Monthly Archives: April 2016

From my moon to yours…


My man watching the moon rise in Arizona — a few years ago


that glorious moon

Thursday was a super busy day at work.  The 12th grade English teachers threw an afternoon party for our seniors, including an academic awards ceremony.  We wore ourselves out managing the thing, but it was worth it to see the girls having fun being girls — watch out when you throw a tug-of-war rope into the mix; or tie their ankles for three-legged races.  Sadly, it’s back to exam prep tomorrow, but for now it’s still the weekend.

Thursday night I was too exhausted to want to leave my place, but it’s all good because Shannan came over so we could feast on pizza, inhale shisha and watch Game of Thrones episodes (can you tell we’re looking forward to the new season?).  All was right with the world until one of us decided to scan Facebook and see that Prince had died.  Two days later, and I’m still in shock.  I get it … he wasn’t someone I actually knew, but Good God he was Prince — an icon of my high school/ early college and beyond days (not to mention an unbelievably gifted, innovative soul).  I remember how excited my cousins from New York and I were the day we drove to Richmond — ewww an hour drive by ourselves! — to see Purple Rain.  And I couldn’t tell you how many times I danced to 1999, Let’s Go Crazy, Darling Nikki, and the list goes on.

He was also only 57 — the same age as my man; same age (or close to it) as many of my friends.  Yeah, yeah I know we’re no longer the young fools shaking our hips to Prince tunes, but hello we’re still young enough TO shake our hips (and then wish we hadn’t the next morning).

Yesterday, I spent the day on Saadiyat Beach with Suzanne and Craig, and later a few more friends joined us at her apartment.  It shouldn’t be a surprise then that, of course, we played Prince songs while feasting on apps and enjoying glimpses of the full moon’s reflection kiss the Arabian Gulf.

This morning I read a message from Joe telling me that he was outside with the dogs and cat huddled by his feet, watching the full moon, and thinking of me.  We are not the couple that comes to people’s minds when they think of romantic or sexy, but me oh my we do know how to enjoy our sun and moon time — and we sure do love each other. I miss my man and cannot wait to see him again this summer.  We’re so lucky to have our time together, and that we shine when doing mundane things like sitting outside with the pets and just watching time go by.  March 2017, when he finally retires, cannot get here quick enough.  Although I type this knowing that all of us must enjoy the minutes we have while we have them, and I do — while at the same time looking forward to Inshallah all the time ahead of me (I’m two dimensional, what can I say?).

In honor of my man and The man, I leave you with this:

Nothing Compares to U (Prince & Jennifer Hudson singing it in concert)

p.s. sorry about the bad video, but you get the point.






Summer is coming…

I’m a little under the weather, so I spent a good chunk of the weekend watching Game of Thrones reruns with Shannan.  I also booked a weekend trip with Haneefa — will tell you all about it in May — started looking up potential spots for Michelle’s and my next big trip (next school year), caught up with some friends not living in the UAE, and I ordered some things for our big family event this summer.  It’s been a weekend of reminiscing and planning.

In three months I’ll be in a beautiful cabin in Show Low, Arizona with the people I love, celebrating the best of what my family has become.  It’s crazy how many different corners of the world I find myself in throughout the year, and I still cannot believe how lucky I am.

That said, of course, I have plenty of moments where I’m feeling anything but lucky.  Take for example right now, I’m afraid to eat because my stomach is waging its own war, and, sadly, despite its refusal to house food the scale is also rebelling because she just won’t deduct the pounds.  What The Fat?

I guess if I’m going to feel crappy it’s a good weekend to do so since it’s dusty, humid and windy out there, but I’d rather be writing about playing at the beach or going to the gym or hanging out at the pool.  Inshallah I’ll do that next weekend.

But since I’m in a whiny mood, I can share some of  things I find not lucky  — especially since I’ve goofed around on Internet more than usual and scanned through the latest batch of “we’re coming in August” Facebook posts.   So, for the upcoming newbies and any of you who are tired of my “damn I’m lucky (but seriously I am!)” posts here’s some of my less pollyanna stuff to deal with:

  • Cultural differences and language barriers sometimes bring up frustrating moments at work.  At the end of the day we all want to do the right thing, but sometimes our version of that clashes, and while it’s all part of the deal, sometimes I just want to yell “Puhlease can you just let me do it this way.”  I’m not saying I’m right, just saying sometimes I long for the days where I’m on the same page and alphabet as everyone else.
  • Ditto for getting stuff done outside of work.  Sometimes my face and arms hurt from gesticulating and enunciating so much.  Hahaha those might be the only toned muscles in my body.
  • Shaky paradigms — things change while at the same time some not so much.  It gets a little confusing sometimes.  But isn’t that a worldwide complaint right now?  Everything is changing while at the same time some of our old uglies are popping right back up again.  It’s a frantic Whack A Mole game, and I’m hoping we all come out winners in the end.

And, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Back to the bright side of things:   there’s always the next vacation to plan for!  Or, the next good thing — at work or play — to look forward to.  The good still outweighs the bad.  And…

Game of Thrones Season 6 AND Summer vacay is coming!  While I will sooooo miss my girls this year when they graduate, I’m also sooo looking forward to playing at home with my loved ones.  (not to mention all the fun stuff planned here for the next three months — you’ll never see or hear me complain about being bored).

Onto trimester three…


It’s been a busy two weeks.  Joe landed on Easter, and we had a week of catching up and seeing some sites.  In his short time here he got to play in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Dubai.  Saying goodbye was really hard (although my friends and time on the beach made it easier).  A week is not enough time, but I’ll be home for the summer in three months, and then before you know it he’ll be retired and living here with me.  I think he’s ready for the expat life  — his liver maybe not so much.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I so love my friends.  We manage to really do this living thing well together.  Joe’s first two days here we holed up in Al Ain, but then we joined Suzanne and Craig in Abu Dhabi where we showed Joe a taste of the city night life.  Then we all took off to Muscat for a few days, where we took advantage of our resort’s pool, beach and club room.  We had good intentions to visit the city.  I hear the souk and opera house are must sees, but alas we only waved at them from our taxi.  It’s all good; it’s only a 45 minute flight from Abu Dhabi, so we can visit again and actually do the tourist thing.  This time was all about laughing and loving life.

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Here’s what Suzanne had to write about it.

After Muscat, we headed off to Dubai to catch up with Jordan, Shannan and friends of theirs (who are now also friends of ours).  We splurged on a nice hotel on The Walk and whooped it up, although for Joe and me it was bittersweet since it was also our last night together.

City Lights and Laughter

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This past week was professional development, which worked out for Nasirah (my department chair whom I adore) and me because we pretty much planned out the whole trimester.  It’s good going in knowing we have our resources ready, and by the looks of it we may have only around 6 weeks of teaching because our exams have been moved up.  I’m not complaining, but my poor girls are going to be slammed with studying.   It’s okay, they’re tough, they can handle it.  I can’t believe my time with them is almost finished. The school year has gone by as fast as my breaks.

Last night some of my friends — same old crew, so really they’re more like sisters/cousins — came over for dinner, and tonight I’ll go over to Shannan’s for a cookout at her place, so basically I have a few more days of kicking back before the mad dash to the final exam line begins.  While I’m missing my people back home, I’m still totally content and grateful to be over here.  It’s weird to be so at peace when the world around me is losing its shit.  I’ll keep hoping the rest of the world will catch up with our little corner and learn to relax, love life and be productive in a good way.

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