Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fat and Happy!

Guilty as charged.  I AM becoming fat and I AM joining the cyber world of Mommy Bloggers.  I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember and with all of the inspiring, awesome blogs out there, and my interest in having a much more interesting journal than I have been 'not' keeping, my perfectionist mind thought, okay, someday I would like to do that. Someday, when I can use a camera like Picasso used his paint brush; and  someday when I can write like Barbara Kingsolver; and someday when I have a live-in maid and don't have to drive my kids around all day, I will start blogging.  Me and my excuses are always butting heads on the topic and since I have nurtured my excuses to great strength and health, they always win.  But then I got clever.  Today, I realized something about happiness, accomplishments and expectations.  Picaso and Kingsolver have talent that I can aspire to for the rest of my life and I will still be found wanting.  Right now is actually an opportunity.  Yikes, that sounded so guru.  I'm not saying that in every moment there is a new opportunity.  I'm really not a guru.  But at this point, something is new.  I have a new type of freedom.  I now live in Saudi Arabia where compared to America, the "freedoms for women" are considerably limited.  After five weeks of assimilating into my new life, I have found that one woman's boundaries are another woman's wings.  Suddenly today, after being inspired by my favorite dummy while catching up at, I saw the glass half full in my life!  I was so motivated to get my blog/journal started that I decided to call out my excuses for a staring contest.  Blinker loses all.  And I actually won! 

It's because of my new opportunities that don't exist in my counterpart life in Hawaii where life responsibilities are typically my ball and chain.  Opportunities = Women here in the Kingdom are not allowed to drive and each villa comes with two servant rooms.  My cooking skills are about as smooth as a 100 grit piece of sandpaper.  With that texture in mind, and the bag of lemons that every western woman gets handed before she leaves the arrivals terminal at the airport, combined with the actual head to toe black robe known as the abaya…. imagine what kind of lemonade I have been stirring up. 

My daughter gets picked up and dropped off door to door to her Kindergarten.  My boys are doing independent study at home for now (and if they do decide to go to the American School, they will get door to door service also.)  When I do go out for shopping, the driver enjoys carrying all of the bags to the car and into the kitchen where the maid likes to help put it all away, rinsed and stocked in the fridge. That's right peeps, as of  last week, we have a cheerful little lady from Sri Lanka who ccupies the live-in quarters on the fourth floor of our villa.  My biggest adjustment has been stocking the house with enough groceries to keep her from running out of things to cook for us.  She loves to cook for us.  Okay, before anyone starts throwing tomatoes at me, it's not like she is Rachel Ray.  I have to show her how to do it first but she actually picks up fast and loves this work and is always smiling about it!  The thing that keeps me smiling is that real home cooking = lots of cleaning up in the kitchen and she likes to do ALL of that too!  Let's face it peeps.  When there are three plus meals a day, everyday, it is not going to be an ambition for too many people in the western world of X generation women who "stay at home".  

So today, when I had that staring contest with my excuses about not having time to keep a "journal";  I was coming from a whole new place.  First slowly and then the pace quickened and my fixated trance began.  I stared and stared and stared and the excuses blinked first!  As I leaped from my chair to strut around in my eighties style victory dance, my daughter woke up from her nap and the excuses said, "AH HA! Not so fast missy!" But then her Dad came home from work and the maid had the dinner ready, so we enjoyed the luxury of doing scripture reading at the dinner table and resembled something like the family in the flip chart during missionary discussions.  After all of that wonderful feeling of fulfillment, I sat back down at my computer to write about how fat and happy I am becoming!  But then my daughter came along and wanted help with her puzzles and then her homework and then I started feeling that sense of competition for what I should be doing with my time and my love and nurturing of my excuses began again.  But then content filled Dad sitting in the family room watching soccer with our soccer enthusiastic son, after having come home to a hot meal and a complaint free wife, came along and took her out for a nice walk around the compound for some fresh, warm desert air.  I sharply gave a quick glare over my left shoulder at those excuses and they blinked so fast this time.  As I looked back my eye caught that glass still sitting there on the table half full.  I smiled and the gentle tap, tap, tapping began.  And low and behold, a few determined hours later, I felt a bit of accomplishment.   Wanna see?

Here's what the table looked like a few hours ago. 

  Two places set for Mac Books and five for dinner.  That's right.  Dinner was made with just a few instructions while I continued tapping away on the keyboard.  And looky looky at what was made from scratch....Maid in the home = home maid fries! 

Florence Henderson would have been proud.  But don’t tell her we don’t use Wesson. (It’s all about EVOO and Rachel Ray - the new face of home cooking for regular folk like me.)      

And look how nicely she chopped up the veggies for the salad.  No need for Quisen Art  in the middle east since an eager job seeker is hoping for a safe employment opp.

More evidence about how fat and happy I am becoming!  

This is the day that I daringly took off my abaya in front of men in the desert and sped away on the quad with my daughter, pretending  I didn't know what Haram! Haram! meant.   


  1. Oh my goodness! I want to be fat and happy too. And have maids and haram harams. ;) I want a cook who smiles and makes me smile.

    It sound like you are doing great out in the desert. I'm so proud of you for starting this blog! Way to go! I can't wait for you to blog across America this summer in your RV down by the river. It will be so fun to keep up with your life this way.

  2. Your verifier said Wailoa. How crazy that it's speaking Hawaiian to me.

  3. Isn't it fun to get comments! I thought I'd give you a thrill and make a triple play. ;)

  4. That funny wv speaking Hawaiian to you in my debut blog! Too crazy.

    I actually had a picture of the smiling maid while cooking and then I accidently deleted it and had to go with a modified posting at that point since it was actually kind of crazy figuring out blogger editing on my own. If I weren't so fat and happy, I would have been in fits by then. Instead I was actually okay with the new version as it got published.

    You are gonna have to give me your ins and outs of how to do posts when I get back in less than three weeks. No way it gets done the way that I had to do it. It was very backward.

  5. Thanks for the triple play btw. Otherwise I would be too dejected. ; )

    I had been cutting my teeth on facebook as a precursor to starting this blog. It was a good place to find my groove and see what the public reaction would be like to my writing. My commentators there so far did not see how to post a comment on blogger, so I know there are lots of bugs to work out. I just had to go with lowered expectations to begin with just for the sake of the learning curve.

  6. But you should have seen those comments. First from my Jewish friend adding extra barbs to my Haram Haram spoof. Then my Muslim friend came in with a proper definition to set us all straight. I'm over there on my facebook wall trying to be a diplomat now and make sure I'm not starting a holy war. You know, if I get in trouble, I'm blaming it on the crashtestdummy as my mentor. It's all connected, as in the butterfly effect!

  7. Hey! You have now taught me a thing or two about blogspot! Thank you :) May the rays of the sun's warmth go somewhere else and leave you and your family cool and dry :)

  8. oooooh! I just found your blog! I love that you've begun and your writing is so much fun. The updates were great. Looks and sounds like an interesting, memorable, fun experience over there! Camels! Quads! Villas! Abayas! Desert strolls!

    See you soon (:

  9. Wow..just over from Crash's blog, and I think this is going to be exciting to read your adventures! p.s. I also emailed you awhile back to see if you had housing available in HI- are you still doing that? Can I get in touch with you?

  10. Dolly! Hello! So good to hear from you. I haven't talked to Glyn in some time, but I'm glad you remembered me. I took a class from you too and I believe you inspired me to break free of my parent's death grip and purchase a two piece in Hawaii. I'd love to see pictures of the kids. I always loved babysitting them. Stay fat, and for the love of, stay happy!