Sunday, October 25, 2009

Going Stir Crazy!

Today is day 6 of Operation Ashour Sick House and I am going a little insane. Due to being tied to the house all day for 6 days I am about to break free. Do you need proof? I spent most of today listening to the soundtrack of Mama Mia! and dancing around my kitchen til I was out of breath. I really need Calgon to take me away! Hopefully, tomorrow Adam will be able to go back to school. Cross your fingers!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Will Stick With My Own Cleaners!

For four years I have replaced my household cleaners from the toxic chemicals to more natural cleaners that I have purchased or made myself. No longer have I needed to wear a face mask or gloves to clean the bathroom or any other surface in my home. Even though it is difficult to find non-toxic cleaners here in Jordan, I am thankful that I brought some Basic H2 with me from home.

Why am I talking about this? Well, I am basically considered a freak of nature here. My in-laws LOVE their toxic cleaners. Let me give you an example of what they do that wigs me out! They add Clorox Bleach to their dishwater and wash their dishes in a mix of the dish soap and bleach. I asked why they did this and was told that it gets the meat smell out of the dishes. Huh? Okay? I always have to wear my rubber gloves when I help clean their dirty dishes. Yesterday, unfortunately, I had to stop helping in the middle of dish duty. My sis-in-law sprayed a massive amount of OVEN CLEANER on the dirty frying pan right in front of me. I breathed in a small amount and my lungs were on fire! My eyes immediately began to water, and I began to cough. I was literally running for the door.

From now on I will have to hold my breath when I help out with kitchen cleanup.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2 Sick Children

Another child has fallen ill! I am now 2 for 3. I was up all night last night with Layla vomiting. So far, she has no fever, but I believe that it is only a matter of time before her temperature rises. Please send your prayers my way!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sick child

It finally happened. One of the kids is sick enough to miss school today. Actually the doctor said that he cannot go back to school for 3 days, to make sure he is not contagious. Did I mention that this is exam week at school. Yeah, what timing!

I am just so thankful that the kids are healthy this time in Jordan. When we were here for the summer 3 years ago, they were sick every other week. Praise God. I really believe that the better quality vitamins I give them everyday is soooo worth the extra cost. When my husband comes to visit in 2 months, he will bring me at least a 6 month supply. Hint, Hint.

On another note, my daughter is running me ragged. The other day she made a mess with my eyeliner. Today, guess what mischief she was up to? You will never guess. Yes, my darling, sweet angel poured the entire bottle of pancake syrup on the bedroom rug. What a mess! She always waits patiently for my attention to be elsewhere (sick boy) before she makes her move. Her punishment was a long shower with multiple hair washings. I do not think she will put anything in her hair in the near future. Grrrr.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Olive Oil

When I needed olive oil in America, I would ask my husband to buy some from Sam's Club. I found out that the Ashours' obtain olive oil by a different means. Yes, you could buy olive oil in a store in Jordan, but where is the fun in that! I found out today that the olive trees planted in front of our house are not just for decoration. We actually collect all the olives and send them to be pressed into olive oil for us.

To collect the olives, first you beat the tree with a stick to shake the olives off the branches. Then you pick up each of the fallen olives and put them in a bucket or bag.

Today, Cido was the tree beater and Teta and I picked up the fallen olives. There is nothing quite like olives raining down on your head! But I knew that if I was given the stick, I would have beat the tree to a pulp.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farmers Market

I love Farmers Markets. I love the whole idea behind them. When I was in America, I visited my local Farmers Market every week. I was able to purchase produce cheaper and be kind to the environment all at the same time. Win, win.

Yesterday, my sister in law took me to the equivalent of a Farmer's Market here in Amman. I was in heaven. The fruits and vegetables looked so fresh and tasty. I now have a refrigerator full of fresh fruits and vegetables for the equivalent of $12. If I bought that much produce from Walmart in America, it would cost me about $150!

I have blogged on MAHMAmissy about the issue of the expense of vegetables in America. If the American government subsidized the production of vegetables like Jordan does, maybe there would be less unhealthy people in America. Just a thought.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lazy Morning

Oh the horrors! Instead of taking advantage of the late sleeping of my darling daughter, I have been reading the Southern Muslimah blog. I have enjoyed it very much. Okay, I need to get off my rear and clean my house. Why does it always look like a tornado ripped though my house after sending the boys to the bus stop? How can there be such a mess after we have only been awake for 45 minutes? But then again, I bought some new movies last night..........

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I need more courage!

I love to get a copy of the Jordan Times when I shop at the Sultan, which is the Jordan equivalent to a Sam's Club in America. Reading the news online is just not the same as having the actual paper in your hands. There is nothing better than sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee, while leisurely reading about the days events. I just wish the kids would give me 5 minutes of quiet time so that I can really enjoy it!

Anyway, the book launch at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts caught my attention. I really would have liked to have gone today. The book being launched was a childrens book about Jordan. I thought the kids would have liked the event. So, how do you say the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts? I have no idea, and I did not have enough courage to try to communicate with a taxi driver. Even though I looked up the website for a physical address, I still did not have the courage to load up the kids and try to find a place I have never even seen on the street!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Neighborhood Shopping

The other day I decided to venture out into my new neighborhood to explore the shops. Layla and I left the house at 9am and walked down the street to the business section of our suburb. I could not believe what I saw! 95% of the stores were not open yet! We are definitely not in America anymore! Layla and I walked about a half mile before we turned around to go home. As we were walking home, stores were beginning to open.

I stopped in at a phone store to see if I could purchase international phone cards. I did it! I managed to ask for what I needed and the clerk understood my jumbled Arabic enough to sell me what I needed. Even though I was sucessful, I ended up purchasing 5 cards so that I would not have to go back for a while.

Raed said that he was sending a Vonage phone for me with a friend of his that is traveling to Jordan. Hopefully, I will have it in 2 weeks! No more phone cards!

Mastering the Taxi

I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where your rarely see a taxi on the street. If you do happen to see one, you immediately assume the person just arrived from the airport, or the person was too drunk to drive his own car home. This is not the case in Amman. Here in Amman, there are taxies everywhere, much like New York City. Since I do not have my own car or a Jordanian license yet, I need to learn how to manage travel by taxi. You see, if I was in New York instead of Amman, there would be no language barrier. I would be able to know without a doubt that my directions were understood.

But so far so good. I have managed to go to the mall and to the hospital (sister in law had her appendix removed) and back home again with no problems. I guess the drivers know just enough English and I know just enough Arabic to get where I need to go with ease. Everytime I hail a taxi, I get more and more confident. Yeah, me!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Friends

Yesterday was a great beginning for the kids and I making new friends here in Amman. Rami's classmate, Yassin, has a beautiful family. His mother was very nice, and her English is very good! Hurray for me! They lived in the States for eight years, so her accent was easy to understand. We are about the same age and our children are close in age as well. It seems like a perfect fit.

We met at the fun center at the mall, then we had lunch in the food court. The kids had a great time.

Yesterday was also my first time going somewhere alone by taxi. It went so well. I am sure that the drivers were laughing about my accent, but who cares! I made it to the mall and back home with no difficulties. I felt on top of the world!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Link to Jordanblogs

Link to Jordanblogs: "Jordan Blogs"

Link to Jordanblogs

Link to Jordanblogs: "Jordan Blogs"

Things start moving

Rami is very excited about this weekend! We made plans to have a fun filled afternoon with one of his new classmates. I will meet his mother, and if all goes well, this will be the beginning of a friendship outside of family ties. We will be adding another step to building a life here in Amman.

It was a very chilly night last night. As a result, Adam woke up vomiting, because he was too cold. He is okay now, but I definitely need to pull down the heavy blankets to use everynight. The weather is changing. Summer has left, and the fall air has moved in its place. It is almost time to sort throught the winter clothes.

Layla fell on the stairs today. I will now live 3 years less than originally planned. Yes, she was hurt. Not bad enough to go to the hospital for stitches, but bad enough to scare the daylights out of her mother. Her clothes were covered in blood. It is true that a head wound bleeds more than other wounds. I now know firsthand. It has now been decided that Layla is no longer allowed to navigate the stairs by herself.

So, between a vomiting child and a bleeding child, this morning was crazy. I am glad that I got a chance to clean the refrigerator in the meantime. (This written in a very sarcastic tone)