Monday, November 30, 2009

Cabbage juice, anti-cold juice and remedies

ESC woke up stuffy. I heard a slight sniffle last night and gave him 1000mg of Vit C and a mangerine but that didn't seem to do the trick.

So what was this concoction?

ANTI-COLD JUICE A LA Sheer Almshouse:

1. Romaine Lettuce
2. A nice big Bell Pepper (Vit C)
3. Plenty Ginger (autoimmune, respiratory boosting prosperties)
4. Lemon juice (Vit C)
5. Honey (for the antibiotic properties)

taken with

One nice big cloved of garlic finely chopped (antibiotic properties).

I am trying to nip whatever it is in the bud. I know he is exhausted having worked without weekends for 4 weeks straight but I have to try and boost his immune system. He starts a new menu on Thurs and has to work this weekend again and I think that his poor body has just had enough. I know he will go unil he crashes because this is not the time for a sick day... but I can't say I didnt see it coming. How can anyone work such long hours 7 days a week for so long and not have the ground shift under their feet? Anyway, I am doing what I can do to help, to nourish and support.

He as also strict instructions to consume ginger, mint and lemon tea and more garlic during the day.

In a bid to regulate my own body, I made myself some cabbage juice this morning.

It's for my stomach, to quiet and cure any sort of ulcer that could be developing and also for improved daily efficiency in eliminating toxic build-up. It was pretty sweet, surprisingly and of course I added ginger.

If there is one thing I couldn't live without these days, it's ginger. What's yours?

Prunes and raisins were not created equal

So last night while chatting to Imelda on Skype, my doorbell rings at 11:30. I was not expecting anyone. ESC was not due home for another hour and I had just almost perfected my all natural moisturizing hair spray and I went to town. My hair was wrapped in a plastic bag covered with my silk scarf and I was parading in undergarments. I looked through the peephole. It was my dearly beloved husband!

Home early- a rare surprise. Slow day. Wanting to spend some QT with his wife. He went to the shower and Imelda and I chatted on. We haven't been having our regular conversations and were getting up to speed. GrannyPeg heard the news of Dubai's debt payment default and was worried about her granddaughter over here in foreign Arabia. The news had reached Jamaica.

The conversation ended prematurely- a regular thing with internet chats over my limited broadband speed. I took the cheapest package. Frugal is my middle name. It rhymes with Practical.

So ESC comes out of his shower, intending to fix his flat bicycle tyre and seduce his wife to an early sign off.

Then the prunes started talking.

I was not comfortable with the way my body was feeling and so I picked up a few prunes on my supermarket run last night. They were really tasty. I had them all. Eleven prunes. I dont eat prunes normally because I never really cared for them. But I wanted to feel like my old efficient self again and they really did taste good this time. Maybe its because they didn't have to travel so far and so long to get to me in the west.. they were much tastier here, having come from the region.

Then the prunes started to sing.

ESC fixed his bike, warmed up some oxtail, unpacked the groceries and waited for me to join him.

The prunes started to dance. One piece of drum knocking and chanting and carrying on.

There endeth the reading of this scripture. ESC was forced to go to bed without me while I was locked up in the bathroom reading "The Poisonwood Bible" as my body found renewed efficiency.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Refocusing and finding centre...yet again

It has come to that again... the point when paradigms shift and I am forced to evaluate where I am, how I got here, where I want to go and what route will take me there.

It's bigger than just being a newlywedded expat wife still trying to come to grips with a whole mass of change in a very short period. Or maybe that is all there is. Who knows? Whatever it is, it is what it is. A crossroad. A crossword. A puzzle.

I find myself torn among a few things within
-The struggle to find ways to make each day count when little is being achieved on the Over Achiever Scale of 1 to Infinite

-The fact that I have successfully used up all the savings that were to last me for a six month period within two months of my arrival

-The grim reality of just how daunting the life of being a chef's wife when you are sitting at home waiting for 15-18hrs for him to come home so that you can try to quickly run through all the things you wanted to talk about and get him in bed within an hour or two so that he can sleep for a few hours and begin a new day just like the day before and work that way without days off for one month straight or more during peak seasons which last for months at a time. A run-on for a long wait.

-Feeling so desperate to redefine an individual identity without the channels usually within reach

-Applying for jobs from here to Cairo, just to find something to do that pays, even though deep down, I am not sure that just having a job that pays will give me the meaning and satisfaction that I truly crave. I am aware that desperation forces saints into prostitution and though I am no judge, I am pretty sure that my limited experiences in this life have taught me that not all jobs are for me. Re-enter the square peg round hole debate.

-Trying to find meaning to my existence- a higher calling more fulfilling than paid labour- the work of volunteerism- realising though it costs more than time to volunteer.

But I need to. I need to be a part of something bigger than myself. To find a little corner in the host of problems rife in the world and sit with my sewing needle and start to sew my contribution to the quilt. Somehow, I feel that once I make that inner connection to my heart's work, I will find the very same channels not only to express my contribution to mankind, but to receive the bounty of fulfilment and the very means of survival that God intended.

The whole point in me packing up my life and moving across the atlantic was to find an opportunity to do things differently in a way that brings sustainable joy as opposed to fleeting happiness. I must admit though that it is hard to reconcile that with having little means and finding myself in a subset of aloneness in a much larger pond. But larger ponds provide more square footage to grow beyond anything that a Small Island Mentality could offer.

Am I creating for myself my own version of Small Mindedness or am I rising to the occasion to be a part of something bigger than myself?

I have a very supportive, though absent husband, who is my champion supporter.

I have already sent out more job applications in the past few months than the total numbers in my entire life. So now, I am sending out a new call to the universe.

I am calling for work that brings me joy, that makes a difference in a life other than my own, that allows me to manifest my Gibran philosophy that "work is love made visible." I know that the money will come. I don't know how, but I know that it will. I am sending out the call to attract good people, solid people who I can be a blessing to and who can be a blessing to me. I am sending out the call for a GPS mapping of how to get to that place where I ought to go. I am sending out the call to be healthy, mentally, physically and spiritually and attract circumstances and encounters that are on the same plane.

I am not sure what I will do. I am not sure where this train network leads. I just know that I will get off at all the right stops.

My life, though small shall be meaningful, present, and fully accounted for.

Expat Spouses Can Resume Their Careers Once Abroad

I stumbled upon this site and have re-posted this article as inspiration to myself and others. Of all the expat portals out there, this is my new favourite. Meaningful, grounded sister love to enlighten, entertain and soothe with the appointed salve.

Expat Spouses Can Resume Their Careers Once Abroad

By Mary Kissel
Sandy Johnson was an unlikely expatriate when she moved to Singapore with her husband in the 1980s. With little prior experience abroad -- save an occasional trip to Mexico and a whirlwind tour of Europe as a teenager -- the Texas City, Texas, native found herself in a foreign country without a work permit or social network. What's more, her husband's oil-field services company, like many others, didn't provide expatriate spouses with job-hunting assistance.

Moving abroad can be tough on expatriate employees, but often it's just as hard -- if not harder -- on accompanying spouses or partners, who may have given up their careers to go overseas.

Undeterred, Ms. Johnson sought out volunteer opportunities. Soon, she was managing Singapore's American Women's Association, a not-for-profit with more than 1,000 members. Through her new professional connections, she landed a job as a marketing manager with International SOS, a Singapore and London-based medical and emergency assistance company, and embarked on a 20-year career with the organization. "The opportunity presented itself to me because I had done the networking," says Ms. Johnson, now a senior executive with International SOS in Philadelphia.

Unlike couples moving within the U.S., "trailing" expatriate spouses may not be able to secure necessary permits to work in their new country or know how to develop a social network to create such opportunities. What's more, an expat spouse's unhappiness can impinge upon his or her partner's professional success.

Unraveling Assignments

Statistics tell a disheartening story about trailing expat spouses. In a recent study co-authored by Willamette University and Cendant Mobility, almost 60% of the 548 surveyed "globally mobile" employees complained that lack of career opportunities for spouses and partners diminished their overall quality of life. And many relocation consultants say anecdotally that about half of all failed assignments are due to family problems.

Companies have been slow to address this issue. Less than half of nearly 150 multinational companies' human-resources departments profiled in Cendant's 2004 Policy and Practices study "typically" provide spousal assistance. Such assistance may range from a lump-sum payment to help with job hunting to work permits or career counseling, although few companies offer all these benefits.

"What's ironic is that [spousal assistance] is typically offered to high-level executives, but very often, the people who most need the spouse assistance aren't the high-level executives -- it's the low-level employees who will more frequently have dual-career families," says Lisa Johnson, Cendant's director of consulting services. Adds Rick Schwartz, president and chief executive officer of GMAC Relocation Services: "This is a really tough issue. We don't see clients doing a lot of real substantive work in this area, not because they don't want to, but because it's so complicated."

Involve Your Partner

With companies providing so little help, prospective expatriates should first ensure that their spouses understand what moving abroad means for their careers and lifestyle, says Susan Ginsberg, head of global business development for Ricklin-Echikson Associates (REA), a Milburn, N.J.-based firm that specializes in career assistance for expatriate partners and spouses. Don't surprise your spouse and say, "By the way, we're going to Japan," Ms. Ginsberg says wryly. "Request and require that the accompanying partner is included in the decision-making process."

Before you leave, devise a plan for how you'll introduce your potentially unemployed partner to new work colleagues or friends abroad. Partners used to working may feel uncomfortable to be introduced now as a "housewife" or "house husband."

Start Small, Think Big

For trailing spouses who want to remain employed, finding a job abroad may be challenging, but it isn't impossible. Some companies provide job-search assistance to partners or outsource this task to firms such as REA. Their assistance may include a range of services -- offering counseling on how to secure a work permit or get involved in the community, information on upcoming business conferences, or lists of classes to augment job skills.

But even if you're totally on your own, experienced expats say networking and imagination are the keys to success. "Be willing to take a nonpaying, skill-base-stretching opportunity, and one thing leads to another," says Ms. Johnson.

When Charlene "Cha Cha" Williams moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1996 with her husband, James, she found it difficult to get a work permit. Rather than wrestle with government bureaucracy, Ms. Williams took language classes, volunteered at the local zoo and joined the local women's association. On a group outing to a mountain resort north of Jakarta, she spotted an unusual looking basket in a hotel gift shop. Curious, she bought it, and at home with the help of the family's gardener, "dismantled it and re-mantled it and started producing them."

Soon, Ms. Williams was leading a small not-for-profit that produced more than 1,000 baskets a year, selling them to expatriates, and even exporting a few to Australia. The venture tripled her local Indonesian workers' incomes. Ms. Williams went on to found a spa in Jakarta with her sister (also an expat), who helped her get a work permit. "I think you can make whatever you want to out your expatriate life," Ms. Williams says.

Where to Go for Help

If you're going abroad, always first explore benefits offered by your partner's company. If no assistance is provided, consider taking these steps to facilitate finding a job, meaningful work or study abroad:

A Few Tips:

If you're going abroad, always first explore benefits offered by your partner's company. If no assistance is provided, consider taking these steps to facilitate finding a job, meaningful work or study abroad:

Before you leave, research the location. Find out if it's possible to get a work permit. If so, ask your partner's company if it can help you arrange the paperwork.

Check out such Web sites as or, which have chat rooms or billboards with job listings.

Contact the local U.S. [seemingly veered towards US citizen but insert you own here or another that may have diplomatic ties with your country] embassy immediately upon arrival. Embassy staff often can help expats integrate into the local community.

Once you're there, get involved in local organizations, community groups, faith-based communities, or schools. Don't be fooled by names -- the British Women's Association, for example, often accepts non-British members.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Industrious Expat Wife

I applied for a record 44 jobs today. Yep...not 4 but 44. I filled out two particularly tedious forms which I had to do at intervals. The jobs were in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Oman, Kuwait, Riyadh, Jeddah, Cairo, and Beirut. I just needed to feel proactive. Just needed to feel like I wasn't just let a day pass by.

I am limiting my blogging due to my painful carpal tunnel which is now affecting both hands. They need rest. I cannot even make tea without pain.

I am still in good spirits. I feel particularly good about one entry level marketing job for which I am over-qualified so I hope to get. Going in at a lower level isn't such a bad idea when you are in a totally new market. Plus I will just apply my sheer fabulousness and wow them over!

The job is within Easy Skanking Chef's group (though a totally different division). It would be interesting to work in the same company- that would mean I could use the company transportation to get to and from work and have time to save up to buy a car cash.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Natural haircare for dreadlocks...The result

I need to update you. I have gotten a request from a church sister to do her locks. She wants to pay me. I used to get those requests all the time but have never been in this situation that I am in now (bored out of my skull during the days and in need of my own cash) so... I am going to take up her offer. Not sure what to charge though.

Eventually, I think I will actually start making and bottling my own products for use here as I build my clientele.

My hands (both now) are hurting badly due to overuse so I really have been forced to lay off the computer. Plus I will need to conserve to tackle her locks on Sun, which are at this stage, looking very dry and in need of some real know how.

Can I tell you a secret? From high school I wanted to do cosmetology. Can I tell you another secret? I should have. I guess it's never too late! Maybe I will put out word that I can do hair, makeup and photography for special occasions at church.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Full your belly before you leave your yard

I can't tell how many times that was forced upon me while I was growing up.

Going to a party?
Full your belly before you leave your yard

Going to a wedding?
Full your belly before you leave your yard

Going to someone's home for dinner?
Full your belly before you leave your yard

The reasons were simple:
1. It's cheaper to feed yourself from your kitchen than to buy food on the road.
2. You may be unfortunate to have the food run out on you even at catered events
3. The food may be awful beyond measure and you may only have a few bites out of politeness and if you never "Full your belly before you leave your yard" gas and belly pains going to kill you!

So, I get invited out the mall, so I going to have to run because a need to full mi belly before mi leave mi yard.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All Natural hair and skin care

I have maintained that the good old basics are really just better... cheaper in the long run, except for the initial requirement of a lot of your precious time.

As you know my by now, though I am really a novice, I am inspired by what little I know of Ayurveda and the balancing of the doshas and chakras. Hence, whatever physical ailment is just a manifestation of things gone wrong on the inside. Mind and Spirit manifest in Body.

So, since yesterday, I have really kicked up my regimen. I pretty much went on a juice fast yesterday. It was good. I can feel my body cleansing itself. I walked yesterday and today and I will try to walk a little everyday. I actually feel my muscles working even though the pace is not fast, because a long walk is actually best for burning fat.

I have also decided to do away with shampoos and conditioners with sulfates and silicones. I am fast becoming the all natural rasta woman who uses bicarbonate of soda for deodorant (eeew). So why the drama with all natural hair care? Well for starters ,I cannot find good stuff for my hair here. At least not in the supermarket and I am not yet in a position to venture into a swanky salon in the hopes of getting a decent bottle of shampoo for 7x the cost elsewhere. The answer I guess is: necessity is the mother of invention. My hair needs help. Fast. And all these products promising to make Rapunzels of Caucasian hair are doing nothing for my Afro kink dreadlocked self.

So here's the experimental treatment:

Vinegar wash (vinegar diluted with warm water). I am using Cane Vinegar (from the pantry) because I am used to cane in the Caribbean as opposed to Apple Cider in colder climes.

This is the fun part. First cold pressed EVO (from the pantry) and egg (from the fridge). I have whisked them together to make an emulsification...This will be used as a deep conditioner and I will rinse as thoroughly as possible. Rinsing temperature should be cold (for obvious reasons).

I will tell you how it went.

BTW... the carrot soup was just barely edible. Too strong a carrot flavour. Not enough chicken stock. Made baked chicken and rice for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beta Carotene in mi spleen

So save for one banana and a mango, I have had three cups of freshly pressed (at each sitting) carrot juice today. I am now making a soup with the pulp because I just think its a sine to waste pure pulp. All that in in there is carrot and ginger anyway.

Waste Not Want Not Carrot Soup:
Carrot Pulp from Juice extractor
Chicken Stock
Salt to taste
And the awareness that ESC would have found a way to make it better (and without all that trash) but this is not ESC and the trash is fibre that serves an entirely different and important purpose!

I did get around to that nap and it was so peaceful... no scary dreams whatsoever.

Looking forward to taking that walk everyday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A new frienie fren fren for Sheer Almshouse!

Remember that lady I told you about yesterday? I think she could be what I have been hoping for!

My age (I usually prefer older friends but hey)... married this year... most time housewife/part time consultant... former career woman who earned the bigger salary...fighting depression about the immense changes...makes her own juices...goes walking in the mornings to lift her spirits...has lots of time... a sense of adventure...first generation caribbean (and from an island that is just friendly generally... and the piece de resistance..... she lives in my neighbourhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I woke up feeling all sorry for myself this morning and ESC hugged me and kissed me and reassured me of his support and demanded that I take up Frenie Fren Fren's offer to go walking and not head immediately back to bed as I had become custom to do. I grunted, moaned, groaned and prayed she wouldn't call. I turned off my cell phone. He turned it back on. He said he would call her himself if he had to. Oooohh so man sexy... I should have jumped him and made him late for work!

Clearly I am in better spirits now, and that is solely contributed to the fact that we went walking aorund the neighbourhood for all of 90 mins and I even managed to go to a brand new grocer's that she introduced me to and get carrots at a rate of about 1/3 of my usual price. Clearly I got many. I needed to anyway... been having stomach issues that have been disturbing my sleep. And if you know me, you know that when my sleep is disturbed, nothing can be more depressing... Hmmm... I need to stick a pin there to explore at a later date.

Anyway... I am just happy to feel like misself again..

Dubai weather at this time of the year is absolutely fantastic!!!

TwentySomething Housewife Rant

OK... right this minute, I am tired of my walls. I am tired of my suburb, and I just want a challenge that is not domestic. ESC's No-day-off-for-two-straight-weeks status is driving me up the wall because he was my most reliable and loved distraction! Now, we can't talk for long or do anything together and I am just being a grump because grumpy days were meant to be had by one and all and this is one of mine and it's my day so I can be grumpy if i want to and I certainly want to because I am just feeling that way.

But seriously, I need to get a job -fast. Screw the whole "I will stay home and do what I want when I want" bit... I need to be stimulated by work, people, conversation, sights and fast before I just pack my bags and go to the airport and beg a free ticket outta here. No job means no disposable income... no disposable income means very limited opportunities to be titillated... lack of titillation incites boredom... boredom begets frustration... you get the point.

The truth is that I do like the sight of my name on a pay cheque- been getting my own since I was a 16 yo TV presenter.

Somehow, the less you have to do, the less gets done! So no, I am not working on the thesis, or the book or the photo exhibition, nor getting art photo sales and commissioned jobs in any targeted way that will produce fruitful results. I am just attacking haphazardly as the spirit moves. And dont forget one of the basic rules of entrepreneurship: you need money to make money. And even though I could just recline fully into my "Housewife" status, "you also need money to spend money." I don't want to lyme if I have to be engaging my brain as an Xcel Spreadsheet to process whether or not I can meet so and so for lunch at that particular restaurant or get to that particular gallery across town via taxi or how many gourmet coffees I can have per month. This "Housewife" thing was truly meant for the rich- an opportunity to be what you where you want to be at all times and to be available at the beck and call of husband and children. That means that domestics are certainly not on the list and a household budget is a loosely defined benchmark that is meant to be attained and broken. After all, how could anyone pass on that USD$5,000 hair accessory?

It also means that one could attend all the pottery classes, yoga classes, dance classes, language classes, personal development classes, and daily Ayurvedic spa sessions that one can manage. Of course, getting around wouldn't be a hassle because of course there's a car parked in the garage solely for your amusement. And for those times when you want to feel like your life is bigger than you... there are those charities that you chair for a better world.

Soooo.. I am fiercely, aggressively, madly looking for a job, sending my resume to all who may know someone who knows someone. ESC is sending his out to head hunters soon too. The trouble is that this will be the hardest shift. He has been here for 4 years and I have only just arrived. We will better off trying to relocate as a team of two from now on... looking simultaneously for work that suits us both.

I have really perfected the introverted elements of my personality that will stay home and locked inside unless forced otherwise. It suits me therefore to have at least a few persistent friends who never take "No" for an answer or who you just end up feeling sorry for trying so hard all the time that you finally cave in to their requests for your presence. The Banker and The Accountable One on Island Behind God's Back were those types of friends. An increasingly reclusive expat wife with a husband who works long hours (though who is himself the consummate extrovert) needs to have some good people with home grown values, good hearts and intentions, who can by fair or foully persistent means, get her ass out of the fricking house!

I hope I may have found one today- a partial housewife/partial freelance consultant who proposes to be my daily walking partner, which means ESC will have to leave the apt at the same time in the mornings! ARRRRRRRGGH!

P.S Don't get me wrong, I married a great man who provides for me and supports me in every way possible. This is not about him, its about me. He would have bought me a car prior to my arrival but I refused don't want us having car loans, especially on one (his) salary when the car would only be used for my jollification. Yes, I still have that mildly independent streak and having forced myself free from debt, I have no intention of heading back there for any reason other than to build equity in property aka mortgage. Plus the reason why things are rough right now is that relocation is extremely expensive business made worse when not subsidized my a company and finally, we just got married- which is costly even if there is no extravagance.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cooking Indonesian Dry Beef Curry (Rendang Pandang)

... Will let you know how this turns out.

It's a dish where you reduce the sauce so much that it just sticks to the meat (think BBQ sauce on ribs)... in a very spicy coconut dark curry kind of way.

I am very excited!!!

I have already started to defrost the beef that I seasoned over a week ago. I will cook basmati rice on the side. I may add some thyme to the rice because beef and thyme go well together. I wish I had Jasmine rice because I quite like it as a side dish to beef. I am going to experiment with a smashed potato with carrot trash left over from juicing carrots. Will also let you know about that one.

I am using a regular cut (boneless shank stew) non-expensive, originally bought for soup but decided on this instead.

BTW, I think I will follow Cloudclutter's recipe idea and do a one pot with sausage, rice and beer next month when we go shopping for a few bottles of alcohol ( a huge production under these Muslim restrictions).

Since ESC is working straight without days off for 2 weeks straight (15-16 hr days) I have increased the frequency of my cooking. In fact, I am the only one cooking these days... from breakfast burritos to exotic Jamaican, Indian, Chinese and Indonesian dinners.

Anyway, it's just one more reason for him to get his diminishing butt out of the kitchen asap at night and hurry on home to wifey!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Daddy's One Daughter

I have been thinking about my father a lot today. Well.. it has been happening progressively over the past few years. But the strangest thing happened tonight. I was in church for a concert and I found myself crying during the performance of the children's choir. Yes they sounded like angels and yes the whole congregation was touched... but that was not it. I was crying because I remembered myself as a little girl in the choir and the fact that my Daddy was always in the audience. My Daddy isn't one for mush. His love language is the active kind. I can hardly squeeze out "hmmf hmmf love you too bye" at the end of our conversations. But you know what? My Daddy calls.

to be continued...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back on the green juice regimen

Yes, ESC bought me a juice extractor, an boy have I been putting it to use!

This morning:
Romaine Lettuce
String Beans

Romaine Lettuce
Bean Sprouts

I have been adding ginger to every juice to give it a kick. Ginger has so many great properties... digestive, autoimmune, respiratory, metabolic.

I used to take Imelda's lead and an apple or a pear for a little sweetness from the intense chlorophyll but now I am forced to keep it simple. ESC doesn't like spicy like me and often says "whoa the ginger strong" but that is a good thing. He certainly wont fall asleep on the staff buss on the way to work!

I dont give him any tea in the mornings when I give him the juices because I don't want to "cook" the juice before it gets absorbed into his blood stream. I make him wait before having his green tea regimen (another of the improvements to his daily dietary intake). He is now on green tea instead of coffee to fuel his very long and tedious days (coffee gives him a crash).

I feel better since I have started juicing. Though I am having lots of weird dreams. And why on earth must they all involve babies?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The wonders of married life

I know I haven't been post ing as much as I have been used to. But bear with me. Things change... and I guess I have just had to change with them.

I have also been busy trying to find a J-O-B since pretty much all that I had saved for my relocation has pretty much been used up in related expenses and unforeseen miscellaneous charges, yadda yadda yadda. ESC and I have been doing a really good job of keeping a tight grip on the finances and stuff, but being on one salary kind of limits us from the extraordinary luxuries. Having said that though, we are eating well and using the opportunity to really throw-down in the kitchen ourselves. We have surprised ourselves and each other with the amazing results we have had just making do with what we have. So we are very grateful for the fact that we are not hungry. The extras are trappings of comfort that are just not necessities. Plus you know what is the best part? We REALLY dig each other's company ,so spending time alone together at home is just as cool as going out anyway. It's not like we are dying to get rid of each other- yet :)

We went on the train for the first time together on Sat, for a meeting of the planning committee for a function in Dec. It was a cool experience. Fully automated without a back-up human operator. Plus pretty cheap. The only thing is that we have to take a cab to and from the train station. I need to figure out the bus system because even though he has been here fro 4 years, ESC has only gone on public transportation once and it must have been like for one or two stops. That will open me up to getting around more because cab fares are untenable (which is why I spend so much time in our little suburb).

I would like to see more of Dubai.. and will get around to it eventually. And a second CONSISTENT income means that we could afford a little travel and to save up for future expenses like further relocation and children, yadda yadda. Dubai is a great launching pad to the rest of the Eastern hemisphere and it would be lovely to be privileged to take advantage of our location. But privilege is the operative word.

I am actually really enjoying taking care of ESC and the finer comforts of having a man who will give me foot and body massages with request among many other actions which indicate his delight in cherishing me.

Anyway... I going to go cook lunch/dinner now. A one pot chicken, rice and green peas meal with ripened plantains on the side. It's my recipe... and according to my hungry belly little brothers from years ago, it is the boss!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Here endeth this day...

Nostalgia aside, I have had a very productive 14 hour day. Give thanks for both the good news and the bad. Now it's time to switch off the computer, play some music and engage in domestic bliss prior to the start of a rare three-day weekend and a packed social calendar with hubby.

We have a one year-old birthday party, church, and dinner guests to host. We have already begun getting invitations from other married couples.

My prayers are with you my loving Uncle. May God grant you peace.

Until next time,
A gone.

From a little cottage in negril

Right about now, I am remembering how nice it was to be 19 and in Negril during college breaks over a two year period (other than spring)... When I ate conch stew, lobster and grilled fish, tanned topless, went out to the caves and even found myself in jail.

It was then that I really started developing my art, moving from teen presenter/photographer while I struggled to find my own creative voice. My photography was better than my writing and my sense of humour...hmmmn. I decided that I would write a novel. I titled it "Curried Muffin." It was then that "Sheer Almshouse" came into being... the militant, irreverent expression of a female Jamaican teen on the web (not very many those days).

You haven't lived if you haven't been so high you really thought you could fly, have a boat run out of gas with in the open ocean in the middle of a thunderstorm with a drunk pilot and find yourself in jail... all in the same weekend.

Thank heavens for "journeying" mercies!

Here is the perfect soundtrack by one big rahtid hit wonder, Tyrone Taylor...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Honeymoon done!

So dear heart, after nearly three weeks of marriage (feels more like 2 months), I am back on the scene.

It was a good thing to have had my energies concentrated where they should be during my hiatus. Why? Because what they say is true... this marriage thing is serious business!

I feel like for all intents and purposes of this blog, I am still somewhat of a single TwentySomething, just now in a more serious lifelong partnership... after all, I do not plan to lose my connection with single people and plus who said I would lose my individuality and identity?

The run down:

-We chose our rings together at the Old Gold Souk in Deira. Without even realising it, he chose mine and I chose his. We went for simple bands. His white gold and mine- yellow, white and red. Why? Cuz me come first, second and third!!! Imelda and I both independently told him that we should celebrate the simplicity of this first wedding every anniversary with a ring appropriate to pocket.

-He actually wears his ring all the time now... and delights in how it feels on his hand. He is obviously happy to be married- in more ways than one. As am I.

- We honeymooned in our studio. Three days. He had to go back to work to prepare tasting sessions and modifications for a new menu in his restaurant. His immediate boss resigned a couple of months ago and he has had to put in more hours to get the job done.

-We had a six course lunch on our wedding day in a fine dining restaurant in his hotel and went to KFC the next day for dinner. Yes we could have chosen some similarly cheap Arabic fast food joint, but the symbolism of dinner at the Colonel's is much more of a internationally understood nature. I have always thought of the charming the story that Rootical Flava told me once about a Jamaican couple who were not very well off financially but wealthy in love- they wanted to get married. Had no money for a wedding or even rings; they had the ceremony and went to KFC to celebrate. I guess my KFC juxtaposition to the 6 course fine dining meal is that we are together for better for worse, richer or poorer. And can I tell you? Fried chicken never tasted so good!

-We then went to a movie... a romantic one- God bless his heart- The Time Traveler's Wife.

-We kept on looking at our rings and asking each other "Did we really do it?" It was such a silly and cute and childlike enthusiasm that we shared that we were kind of like "Big people now, right? hehehehe"

-We ordered take out. I had thought we should have done touristy things before the wedding, but after everything, we just decided that the only sights we would be seeing were right before us. We stayed in. Cooked, drank champagne and then when that ran out went on to Vodka. I can vouch for him when he said he fell in love with me all over again after I cooked him Saltfish Rundown and Fried Dumplings to sweet perfection (bless Imelda for the dumpling refinement par excellence).

-We talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. Both in the literal and figurative sense. But seriously though, you wouldnt believe how much we spoke on our wedding night. Yes we consummated the marriage upon Imelda's swift instruction, but afterwards, we chatted like old friends about things you wouldn't believe!

-Not having family around was rough on us... but it made us focus on the fact that this relationship is just we and God and everybody else,.. has fundamental supporting roles, largely anchored in prayer and the blessings and the channeling of positive vibrations our way. Those who loved us were really there every step of the way lighting candles and singing sankeys and we felt the love and jubilation.

- I was going to cry when I was marching alone to the altar but then I saw how happy ESC was and thought... yes I was leaving my father and he was even able to be there to witness it, but I had a damn good man waiting for me at the altar. And he was 15 mins early to boot- a huge improvement over his father being 2 hours late for his parent's wedding!

-We experienced kindness from the most unexpected places and disappointment in those places that we thought we could depend on, but you know what? Such is life! We saw the hand of God working and weaving our little thatch roof of love over our heads so that we could be sheltered from the sun and the rain. It helped to reinforce the fact that our hopes are not based on man but on God from whence cometh our help. Everyone else is merely a vessel according to His design. All praises to Him for the provisions.

-We had blessings read by our families at the wedding ceremony and the lovely Anglican priest was obviously touched by the words of support, love and encouragement that our families had for us even though they were not physically present. It made us all realise that the church may be empty, but hearts were filled with love. Imelda wrote the one on behalf of my family and his middle brother wrote that from his.

- We had African congo drums, and the Reggae spiritual ballads of Buju Banton playing at points in the ceremony and the priest, who was once based in Nigeria for 10 years, was raising his hands and dancing and turning around in jollification. It was a sweet ceremony and you could feel the love. My only regret is that we didn't have it one video. Not to blow my own trumpet but it was a really lovely ceremony.

-Yes I was nervous. Yes I did let out a loud sigh right before I took ESC's arm at the altar. No I did not notice that he had on black socks with his outfit. As soon as I did (after the ceremony) I proceeded to ask him every so gently to remove them from his outfit that didn't call for socks. The one day that I wasn't around to dress the man!

- I was the frugal bride. I did my own hair, makeup, designed my gown, directed my wedding photo shoot and edited the photos. I selected yellow roses because of the significance of the friendship that we have maintained for nearly 15 years, which is the foundation of out marriage. All photo credits to Saleem Almas.

-ESC surprised me and arranged for a delectable chocolate wedding cake for us from his friend, who ran the restaurant that we dined for lunch because he couldn't let his wife not have a wedding cake because he knew fully well that her Ma is a master cake baker and decorator and no child of hers could have a wedding without a cake.

-Mother Hen was the first to call us after the ceremony ... with such joy and that she was almost singing when she told me "I was there! I was there! I dreamt I was there and me and your Aunty Thelma had on... and there were purple orchids...!" Funny enough, I did get a bouquet of purple orchids from a lovely Jamaican woman (who Imelda knows) the night before the wedding. The Spirit was in accord.

-Family was missed at the lunch table... we had no official reception so we are REALLY looking forward to the "Proper Jamaican Wedding & Reception" to follow next year.

- We have had to get back to the real world and deal with real world issues, but we have been making good headway in resolving our conflicts. We both strongly feel that we were created for each other. We both add significantly to each other's lives and challenge each other in ways that truly make us individually and collectively better for the wear.

- We pray and read the bible together, even in the middle of spats and huge disagreements and confrontations because we have to consult the Higher Power who is responsible for singular and plural.

- Yes, I can attest... sex is really better after you get married!

-We have agreed to go to marriage counseling to help to ease us into the transition of marriage and to reconcile small things before they become bigger things. The first year of marriage is the hardest and we are committed to doing everything we can to build a strong foundation from the get go. Often times, I feel that by the time many couples go into counseling, the marriage is already over because irreparable damage has already been done. As we say in Jamaica, "Prevention better than cure."

- We have married friends to spend time with and learn from (with seemingly happy unions) and this is a good thing. We also have two older married friends from church who have been at it longer and who have taken us up in mentorships of sort.

-We go to church together and even attending sermon two days after the wedding as part of our honeymoon.

I have seen that in so many ways, this is the relationship and marriage that I have prayed for all these years. It humbles me to know that I have been so supremely blessed. Yes there are challenges, and yes there are growing pains, but ultimately, this is a union so wonderfully blessed by God. Together we are truly stronger.

Return from computer crash siberia

Hard Drive: Crash
Memory: never crash but was badly in need of upgrade
Out of commission: over 2 weeks
What did I do in the interim: watch ESC's collection of DVDs, which I must say is pretty impressive; cook together; chat; sort through drama; fix visa issues; shag; read; designed a workplan
Why am I only writing in Q&A? Can I hobble to the mall to pick up some dinner, full mi belly and then come back and chat with you? Seriously, I promise you a nice long chat bout all there is in the space of time that mi married off and gone and only just now return.

Soon come back.
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