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28 years ago.........

Thursday, December 06, 2012

28 years ago today I began my Expat journey. It was a cold, sub zero day, with a horrible winter blizzard that had most airports on the East coast closed, including JFK, where I was headed. With passports, plane tickets in hand, my 6 year old daughter, my 3 year old son in tow, I said good bye to my family and boarded the snowed in plane from Central NY to JFK then to Saudi Arabia. 13 hours later, on December 7, 1984 at 4:25PM, we landed in Dhahran Saudi Arabia without our luggage. It got left behind when we had plane mix ups due to the storm. My husband and I are still here but our kids are now 34 and 31 and haven't been back here in almost 15 years.
It is no longer fun and I hate it but it's better than trying to run 2 households all year, especially in the winter since our home is in New England USA. I make the best of it with the internet, SparkPeople and my cross stitching.

Today when we were out in the stores, we found Christmas decorations, garland, tree ornaments, lights, tinsel, disco balls, Christmas hang up signs, etc, even a miniature tree about a foot tall. We bought a couple items because if we go back again, they will be gone, confiscated by the religious zealot police. (Christmas as with every single other holiday is frowned upon, illegal, against the laws etc in this country) Also bought another turkey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 12/6/2012 8:17PM

    WooHoo is the turkey a little bigger????Good thinking to get the buys when you can. Now just maybe you might have snow--Just kidding.
We are down to the below freezing and Western mountains are expecting single digits and possible snow. It is that time of year. DH is getting his voice back his beard is getting soft and Fuzzy and his face is still very painful from the Shingles. Once the lesions are gone and the face is clean shaven our Acupuncturist MD is hoping to help with the nerve pain issues.
We have no Christmas plans but I am so happy you do, HUGS Pat in Maine.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Take care!!!

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NBARNES 12/6/2012 7:08PM

    Well I wish you all the best - and at least you got the turkey early this time emoticon

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MAGGIEVAN 12/6/2012 4:14PM

    I feel for you being so far away from home and in a hostile country where everything western is froned upon. I can also see that you are making the best of the situation. Good on you. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

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At months end

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lose a pound, gain a pound, that's what I did in November. No more or no less exercise, did my best to eat healthy and I did fairly well. A couple of days I managed to gag down 8 cups of water but it is difficult for me, then I get up 2-3 times during the night to pee. I just wish I could keep up with the motivation more than 2-3 days in a row to do exercise. I guess I am the type that needs to see instant results and I do know that does not happen, it takes weeks or months to see results.

I am still hurt over the loss of Spot, I just can not believe he won't be looking in the patio door waiting to come in, or pushing open the bathroom door while I'm in there. I think his sister knows he isn't coming home but I think she still keeps looking for him.

I talked to my sister today and she is home from the second round in the hospital. She is doing much better and has a home care nurse visit once a day. They help her with therapy and help get her showered and dressed. She still has a long way to go but every day is a start. Now she gets to wait for her 2 grand children to arrive December 19th and January 27.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 12/3/2012 10:03PM

    I AM SO sorry i missed this blog. I am Sparking so much less just so I can be with Fred, he is doing better and they think he has liver damage from the medication they gave him Still,not sure though.

I am sorry I missed the news about your sister's improvement. That is such good news for you to hear. I am so sorry about the precious pet, it is always so hard to let them go, they give us so much love and devotion. I know DH would love a dog but when I asked if I could buy him one he said no. I explained he will have something to baby and take for walks. I think he is just in too much pain still. I did get satisfaction at the Dr's office today. HUGS Pat in Maine. Sorry I am so out of touch--Pat
emoticon emoticon So sorrY I emoticon HUGS.

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GRAMMYEAC 12/1/2012 7:13AM


Remember every journey begins with small steps. Try to get out for that early morning walk almost every day.

Keep on keepin' on!

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NBARNES 11/30/2012 9:58PM

    Well, take things on day at a time...that way you have the opportunity to succeed every 24 hours!

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An Americans' Thanksgiving in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, November 22, 2012

For those of you who know me and know that I live in Saudi Arabia and followed my sob story about not being able to find a turkey until last week, here are pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner. I really missed my cooking supervisor who used to sit and watch me cut and cook.

OH, and this was for 3 people!!!

A wreath I made many years ago

Indian Corn I found in the grocery store

The turkey

Full meal on the table

More food

Yep, more food

Pumpkin Whoopie pies

Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa on food network) Plum Tart, I burnt it though

Pecan Pie:

Pumpkin pie (Libby's canned pumpkin)

Chocolate cake shaped like a pumpkin:

Also had cranberry sauce-both whole berry and jellied, a delicious apple cake from our friend who joined us, the whole works!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NBARNES 11/22/2012 10:53PM

    A most happy day.

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PAMNANGEL 11/22/2012 10:28PM

    Looks yummy!

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LJCANNON 11/22/2012 9:37PM

    emoticon You did a Great Job getting a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal on the Table. Congratulations!! It looked Delicious!!!

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NORASPAT 11/22/2012 9:20PM

    WOW, you did a Great job of getting it right, Well done, I am so proud of you. We did the meal I planned but DH could not eat a lot. He ate the salmon it turned out amazingly well. we had Brussels Sprout with bacon and caramelized onions-I often serve this and people say they do not like them afterwards they want the recipe. It was not one of mine. I found it in a book that called it. "Brussels Sprouts for people who do not like them". The Title is so apt.

You sure do have leftover but not the usual kind. i am sure you all enjoyed a really traditional meal for the day.
It is getting really cold tonight, poor DH is still sick and cannot get warm, he is usually hot so I know he is still sick, I am glad we stayed right here. I slept 9 and a half hours, so did he, we needed it I guess.
HUGS Pat in Maine.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
OOPS!!! PS I really enjoyed your photos too- emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/22/2012 9:21:01 PM

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BRENDAGAIL9 11/22/2012 8:10PM

    What a lot of food! Wow.

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GRAMMYEAC 11/22/2012 5:59PM

    Wow, Robin!!!

What a fantastic spread!! And only 3 people??? Lots to share in the coming days, I think!

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LINWINAGAIN 11/22/2012 2:08PM

    Happy Thanksgiving! looks like a great spread.....

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ALICIA214 11/22/2012 1:51PM


Wow When did you explode.? the food looks delish and plentiful!!!


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MRSAGAIN2 11/22/2012 1:38PM

    OMG, that looks delish!

Happy Thanksgiving, hon.

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KARRENLYNN 11/22/2012 1:34PM

    looks like you did just fine putting on an american thanksgiving dinner in Saudi Arabia!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Karen emoticon emoticon

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So hurt and broken hearted

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am so hurt, devastated, broken hearted and empty. We had to send our Spot baby over Rainbow Bridge tonight, (put to sleep) he had end stage renal failure and liver failure and would never be the same. The vet was so shook up as well, she was so loving and caring, she even cried with us. He is buried in the back yard with our two other babies.

On the good side, my sister is home from the hospital.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMMYEAC 11/19/2012 10:10PM

    So sorry, Robin...

Losing a dear family friend is always very difficult. We all experience these traumas, but it never makes it any easier.
emoticon for you...

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NBARNES 11/18/2012 8:42PM

    So sorry - I fully understand how difficult this. emoticon

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MINILOVER1 11/18/2012 3:28PM

    So sorry for your loss but I am sure he lived a wonderful loving life and his spirit will always be with you. emoticon

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ELAYNE39 11/18/2012 2:07PM

    So sad. Sorry for your loss. They will always be in your heart. I'll always remember our dog Zeb. I loved that boy and still think of him often. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you provided a wonderful home for your friend. Spot was so lucky to have you!

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FLUTTERBY4JC 11/18/2012 1:50PM


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MRSAGAIN2 11/18/2012 11:49AM

    Such a difficult thing, I know.

Sending hugs and support from my side of the world to yours.

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BRENDAGAIL9 11/18/2012 11:38AM

    So sorry for the loss of your furry friend. I still grieve for my lost pets. emoticon

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THINAGIN2 11/18/2012 10:30AM

    I am so sorry to hear the news about Spot. It is so hard to lose one of our dearest friends! We never forget them and what they contributed to our lives. God be with you!

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5 years SMOKE FREE & sister update

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today marks my 5 years SMOKE FREE anniversary and I am damn proud! I quit on one of the Great American Smokeout days and used that Chantix pill. Then I gained 20 pounds, got thyroid problems, diabetes, gout and high blood pressure. Go figure, but my sense of smell is great!

I've had a great update on my sister from my niece and my Cousin who took my mother to see my sister. ( My sister is in a hospital that is an hour drive from the family so it is difficult for my relatives to get up to see her).
This is from my niece
Just received some wonderful news .... mom had her feeding tube removed and has been given jell-o and broth, she is clearer and is feeling more like herself! Docs are now discussing when to send her home!!!!! THANK YOU EVERYONE for your continued prayers and positive thoughts!!! (Anyone wondering ... yes my shower is still happening on Sunday Nov 18).

And from my cousin Janet Adams "Priscilla was doing so much better today. Aunt Doris was so happy to see her doing better. She said she felt like a new person. Got the feeding tube out and was able to eat some jello and drink some juice. Had a bit of gas but kept it down. She said the fog had lifted. They are lowering her pain meds and talking about removing more IVs and taking pain meds orally. I'm so glad to see her doing better."

We DID find a turkey for what it's worth, it's the size of a large chicken, only about 5 lbs and it's from France, not the USA. It's better than experimenting with a duck for the first time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSAGAIN2 11/15/2012 11:06PM

    I'm so proud of you! 5 years is a great accomplishment! I hope you're equally as proud of yourself.

Happy to hear that your sister is continuing to improve.

WOOHOO for you and your turkey hunt success.

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KOFFEENUT 11/15/2012 11:47AM

    WAY TO GO on 5 years smoke-free! It is a HUGE accomplishment and you should be proud of your daily decision not to smoke!

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NBARNES 11/15/2012 11:13AM

    Glad to hear your sister is doing better. Congrats on the emoticon , that's really terrific.

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NORASPAT 11/15/2012 9:55AM

    Just found this even more exciting blog. Both Mother and Sister are well improved. That is exceptional news for you.
emoticon emoticon

We had Duck in England we never had Turkeys. The duck was swimming in fat and it did not tate good. I was a child but just smelling it cooking brings back sickening memories.
Our German friends eat it always on Christmas Eve and so I take over her plate of English goodies Early in the morning to avoid the smell.
Your Menu sounded excellent I love pecan pie too but with just 2 of us and me Diabetic I admire them and leave them alone. Pecans work for me HUGS I am so glad you are all prepared for Thanksgiving, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Pat in Maine.

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BRENDAGAIL9 11/15/2012 9:30AM

    Great news about your sister. She will soon be healed. The sooner she gets to go home, the better for her and everyone else.

I've been watching turkey ads and the price seems to be $1.49 a pound. I won't be buying one but our manager is providing a 22 pounder for our dinner here. I got elected to cook it so it should be a fun day here in our Senior apartment building. It will be a potluck for all the sides and desserts. I think there will be about 25 of us including some relatives.

I cooked a duck one year and wasn't thrilled with it so it is good you finally found a small turkey. Enjoy!

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