A week

This last week I was honored by a visit from Christina.  We had met in Amman where we were both attending the Danish-Arab women bloggers workshop.  Christina and I found that although we were from very different worlds, we both had similar curiosity about the world and each other which inspired many conversations.  Luckily, the wonderful Danish organizations that funded our workshop also funded the bloggers to spend a week in another city.  So Christina and I were able to continue our conversations, this time in Marrakesh.

Coming from sub-zero temperatures in Denmark, Christina appreciated many things in Marrakesh that I take for granted.  Birds singing in the morning, smells of lemon trees and the daily appearance of the sun.

We did a little site seeing too.  Made more interesting (in my opinion, and I think hers too) by the fact that we took between 1 and 3 of my kids with us wherever we went.  The children have a way of bringing a place to life and interacting with it in new and creative ways.

At Jardins Majorelle for example, the boys set up their playmobils in different places.  A few people spotted them and promptly took photos of them (the playmobils, not the boys).  It was like a happening.

jardin majorelle marrakesh blog
jardin majorelle marrakesh morocco blog

Group photo of the now famous playmobils:

marrakesh majorelle gardens

Group photo of Christina, Amin and Yousef:

marrakesh morocco majorelle jardinsThank you Christina for sharing this fun, chaotic, sunny week with us.   You can visit Christina’s blog here, she also blogged about her visit…in Danish.

PS: last day or so to vote for this blog over at www.moroccoblogs.com I also voted for Itto’s Living Faith under Best Culture Blog, and for The World is her Playground under Best Expat Blog.  Thank you for all your support.

Edited: Ok I guess the voting is closed.  Thanks for trying.

A tour of Marrakesh

I had a chance to go on a great tour of Marrakesh a few days ago.  We hit all the major tourist sites, which of course I almost never do, but I should because it was an enriching and beautiful experience.  It renewed my connection with this city that I’ve called home for so long.  I’m sorry I’m not great with dates and history, if I don’t take notes then it evaporates almost instantaneously off the surface of my brain.  Not to mention the late, late hour that the blogging itch strikes me, which is not a peak time for cerebral activity.  I’m going to have to fall back on good old “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

But let me just say this, these places are beautiful in and of themselves.  And if you can find a great guide to connect you with the richness of Moroccan history, so much the better.

These first two photos are at Medrasa Ben Yousef, which was one of the first examples of governmentally institutionalized learning in 1550.   Before that, students would simply find a teacher and learn what they wanted to learn.  This Islamic college was hailed by some as a positive initiative, and decried by others who felt the government should stay out of the business of education.  I guess the home-schooling debate is not as recent as we think!  Anyway, this college fell out of use in 1960, after the French had installed their own educational system in Morocco.  Sigh.

Marrakesh Morocco blogMy mother, who is an artist and has studied Islamic art, points out that this following picture contains four out of the five elements of Islamic art.  And they are (from bottom to top): complex star polygons, arabesques, repeat linear patterns and calligraphy.  Brownie points if you can name the fifth element of Islamic art, not in this picture.

Marrakesh Morocco blog

The Menara basin and pavilion…used to be an swimming school…and now is a great place to catch a view like this with the Atlas mountains as a backdrop, or feed some of the colossal fish that swim in the murky waters.

Marrakesh Morocco blog "Menara gardens"

Marrakesh Morocco blog Menara pavilion

The Koutoubia mosque, which I talked about before:

Marrakesh Morocco blog mosque islam

And here are some of the storks that live on the wall of the Bahia palace.  Stork in Arabic is “laq-laq”, and if you’ve ever heard the sound a stork makes, you’ll understand exactly where the name comes from.

Marrakesh Morocco blog Bahia palace

PS. Voting is still ongoing over at www.moroccoblogs.com If you can spare 30 seconds, please hop over there and vote for this very blog “Life in Marrakesh” under Best Overall Blogs.  Thank you, shoukran, merci.

The best, easiest cheesecake. Step-by-step recipe with photos.

lemon cheesecake with strawberries, Marrakesh, Morocco

It’s recipe time!  When I was growing up, my mother had Francis Moore Lappe’s book Diet for a Small Planet.  It’s a book about moving towards a diet that’s both nutritious and sustainable for the whole planet.  We learned a lot about how to combine vegetarian foods to get complete proteins.  One of my favorite recipes in that book was/is Ricotta Cheesecake.  My mother made a lot of nutritious desserts, but for me, cheesecake was the ultimate.  It’s so delicious, smooth and creamy and lemony.  And hey, if this is what it takes to save the planet, then so be it!

And I’m keeping up the tradition in my own family, although my kids are still fairly suspicious of the oxymoron “cheese cake”.  Chocolate cake is much more natural collocation.  I’ve made cheesecake many times for my Moroccan friends, and it’s been very well-received indeed.  I’d like to get at least some credit for this important cross-cultural contribution.  In fact, this recipe is mostly for those living in Morocco, as you’ll see from the ingredient list.

The ingredients. Now if you live in Morocco, you’ll know exactly what each of these things are.  My secret about cheesecake is that I never make it the same way twice.  I throw in a combination of whatever I have in hand.  These ingredients are enough to make a large sized cake, enough for 24 people.  I made it recently for a potluck at work, and managed to photograph all the stages of the making.  I didn’t even get that much cheesecake filling on my camera.

Ingredients for Cheesecake:

Crust:

4 packets Sable biscuits

100g of butter

Filling:

24 kiri (about 12 ounces of cream cheese)

1 can Nestle sweetened condensed milk

4 perly yogurts

4-6 eggs

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Garnish:

Strawberries/a little sugar

cheesecake ingredients from the hanut, Marrakesh Morocco

Here’s the thing about the ingredients, you can make infinite substitutions.  There’s no perfect recipe.  If you don’t have Nestle for example, just use about a cup of sugar.  If Kiri is too fattening, you can use ricotta or white cheese (jben).  Perly is also not necessary, you can use any plain yogurt.  I chose a lemon flavor here, but you can put in vanilla instead.  The eggs can also be increased, I used 4 here, but I think the original recipe has more than that.  So there is a lot of choice in the matter of ingredients.  As they say in Morocco, 3aynek meezanek (measure with your eyes).   And of course taste it and adjust the flavor to your liking.

Method:

1-Pulse the biscuits in a food processor:

making cheesecake crust

2-Melt the butter and add it to the biscuits.  Mix again:

pulverizing the cookies for cheesecake crust

3-Pour the crumbs into a glass pan and pat them down with something flat.  Bake for 10 minutes:

pat down the crust

4-While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

Pour ALL the ingredients into the food processor: kiri, perly, eggs, lemon juice and zest, and the can of nestle.  You can taste it now to see if it’s sweet or lemony enough.  In this recipe I actually added another half a can of nestle.  The filling will be very liquid:

5-Remove the crust from the oven after 10 minutes.  Don’t burn it!  Pour the filling in.  It should look like this:

cheesecake for 24

6-Bake on VERY low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour.  It should feel firm and set.

Prepare the strawberry garnish: slice the strawberries, add some sugar, and set them in the fridge to chill and become syrupy.

7-Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool.

Once it’s cool, it needs to be chilled in the fridge.  It’s best to make it about 4 hours in advance or even overnight.  The longer it sits before eating, the better it tastes.  (Don’t do what I did and serve it lukewarm.  That’s not cool, literally).

Enjoy it if you manage to get a slice.  It goes fast!

My Nikon, my friend

Since these pictures did not find their ways into their own blog post, here they are grouped together.

The Mosque and the Church  (Marrakesh, Morocco)

mosque and church in Marrakesh Morocco

Amin picking out carrots (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Amin buying vegetables

Double Rainbow (Taos, NM, USA)

new mexico rainbow

Filling my eyes with sky (Taos, NM, USA)

cloudy sky in Taos New Mexico

Yousef  filling his cup from the endless source (Imam Jazuli’s tomb, Marrakesh, Morocco)

tomb of imam jazuli

A perfect moment (Ocamora, NM, USA)

yousef in archway

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This is Broken. My Very Own Top 10 List.

I recently watched a video on TED called “This is Broken”.  It’s about things that are broken, simple everyday things, mainly pertaining products and business models: a rebate that’s too hard to cash in or missing your plane because there were not enough signs at the airport to direct you to the right terminal.  In fact, the speaker, Seth Godin, was inspired to start his website www.goodexperience.com after trying to catch an a cab from an airport.  There were 75 people waiting in line to catch a cab, and 75 cabs, and it took an hour, he says.

As I was watching the video I couldn’t help telling the screen: brother you ain’t seen nothing! I kept waiting for him to come up with some really good bad examples.  Gimme the juicy stuff.  I want my mind to be boggled, I want to laugh and cry because it’s so bad it’s awesome, I want revel in the sheer brokenness of our products and systems.

But he never quite hit his stride, in my very humble opinion.  That is why I’m very humbly offering to help him out here.  After all I am indebted to him for my newest favorite catch line, say it with me, this is broken!.

If this sounds like a rant, it’s not (entirely).  And it’s not about Morocco per se.  There are broken things everywhere, I just happen to live in Morocco so naturally the things on my list are, well, things that exist in Morocco.  And I hope you appreciate the subtle difference that I’m trying to underline here: this is not Morocco-bashing, it’s systems that I encounter in my every-day life that I feel could be improved.  I love Morocco so dearly and am so grateful for every blessing that I receive here.  Not about to turn all that on its head just for a measly blog post.

This is Broken.  My Own Personal Top 10 List.

(ok not really the TOP 10, just randomly generated off the “top” of my head)

10-Sidewalks. No really, they’re literally broken.  Or too narrow to walk on (2 feet is just enough to walk single file, so very convivial).  Or over-planted in such a way that leaves no space for us to walk.

Simple solution: pass a law that requires each homeowner to maintain their bit of sidewalk in good repair, unobstructed and free of plants.

9-The lines that were painted in the middle of the road. My husband and I were driving down one of the main streets in Marrakesh.  The dashed lines dividing the avenue into lanes had been freshly painted a nice cheery yellow(in preparation for the Royal visit).  A small marker had been placed on every other dash.  The dashes that did not have a marker had ALL been smeared with yellow tire marks shooting out of them.

Simple solution: paint the lane dividers at night.  Or close off one of the lanes so people would not keep changing lanes.

8-Birth certificates. Every time I need to prove my children’s ages, I need to produce a recent copy of their birth certificates.  The copies expire after 2 months.  And since we lived in different parts of the city when each child was born, they are each registered at a different muqata’a.  That’s a day spent running around town with my family book, hoping that the clerk will not say those dreaded words: come back this afternoon to pick it up.  (I am guilty of blog recycling on this one, I wrote about it in one of my first posts ever)

Simple solution: A photocopy of the family book should be enough to prove their ages.  And birth certificates should never, ever expire.

7-Car got towed.  First of all, never park on Jema el Fna square, no matter how many other cars are parked there, and no matter if an official gardien assures you it’s ok.  It’s most assuredly not.  Nothing is more deflating that spending a morning in the souks, happily browsing around, haggling, filling your bags with all the pretty things you found, la la la…then walking to your car…or the place you are sure you left the car, which is now gapingly car-free!

There is nothing to be done but spend the next two hours in a cab going to the all the right places.  First stop will be the towing lot, la feraille, because I’m (I mean, you’re) the kind of person who leaves her car papers in her car.  During the taxi ride you can make “the phone call of shame” to your husband and tell him that the car got towed.  When he asks where you were parked, you suddenly wish the taxi would drive out of cell range.  Hubby is both sympathetic and irritated.  Not nearly as irritated as you will be by the time this is over.  Once you retrieve your car papers, and brace yourself cause this is the hard part, you have to wrench yourself away from your car (you were so close, you even sat in it for a minute and it felt so right).  Then you catch another taxi back across town to the central police station.  Are you still with me?  It’s exhausting even in funny-blog-format.  At the police station you pay your fine (only 25 dollars, now that’s not Broken), then catch  your last taxi ride back to la feraille, were you and your car are finally reunited.  Sitting in cabs for the last couple of hours makes you appreciate your own wheels oh so much.  Pick up life where you left off.

Simple solution: Can’t we pay the fine at la feraille?

6-Cocotte.  My pressure cooker is going to kill me.  Oh the cocotte-minute, Moroccan cooking pot of choice.  It’s fast, cheap and easy (because it cooks food faster, it uses less energy).  The big bummer: these pressure-cookers are made of aluminum, a powerful neurotoxin that has already been linked to Alzheimers.

Simple solution:  As in most cases, the older ways were better.  Nothing beats cooking in an unglazed clay tajine pot.  Pile your meat and veggies in and let is slow-cook, preferably on a charcoal fire.  No neurotoxins, the onions caramelize and stick to the bottom (mouth-watering), and best of all, you can eat out of the same dish you cook in.  Amount of dishes to do: one.

Look out for part two of this post coming soon…in which I reveal the rest of my top 10 list.  Sorry if you feel cheated, I know, I say top 10 list, and it’s only 5. So sorry for the false advertising and all.  I like to keep my posts under 1000 words is all.  There will also be a brief analysis of why things are broken.  And because I’m really more of a glass half-awesome type of person, I promise to palliate all this ranting with My Life: A Good Experience.  My Personal Top 10 List. (will this top 10 list also only have 5 items?  Maybe, maybe not.  Depends on how many I can come up with at a time and how concisely I can enumerate them.  No promises).

Coming soon…insha Allah.

Pomegranates, food for the heart

It’s definitely pomegranate season in Marrakesh.  Every city block has its own cart.  And at 6 dirhams a kilo (40 cents a pound) there is no reason to hold back.

pomegranate arils

Do you like pomegranates?  My kids love them, they scream with delight when I serve up a plate of the crimson jewels.  And I scream with delight internally knowing that my kids are crazy about one of the healthiest foods in the world.  Indeed, pomegranates have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food, three times the amount found in green tea.  Studies have linked pomegranate consumption to reduced blood pressure and bad cholesterol.  The flavenoids (a type of antioxidant) in pomegranates are effective in fighting both breast cancer and skin cancer, and a study has shown that pomegranate juice may slow the growth of prostate cancer.  The pomegranate also has anti-inflammatory properties, a high level of vitamin C and pantothenic acid.  The seeds present in each aril contain unsaturated oils (the good kind), and if you manage to chew them, you’ll be getting more than enough fiber.

Unfortunately, science has still not developed a protocol for picking out a good pomegranate.  It’s one of those obscure skills, like picking out a good watermelon, where many factors are in play.  The color, the amount of give when pressed with your thumb, the smell even.  It takes practice and a refinement of the senses to become a connoisseur.  There is always that moment of anticipation when we open up a pomegranate.    Will it be over-ripe and starting to ferment?  Under-ripe and still a little too tart?  Or will it just glorious; dark, sweet and juicy?

My advice is to just buy loads, you are bound to get some good ones.  Like human beings, a beautiful outside is no indication of what’s on the inside.  It’s usually the most undramatic and unassuming ones (fruits and people) that hide the most precious treasures.

pomegranates in Marrakech In Morocco, pomegranates are a beloved fruit because they are mentioned in the Quran as being one of the fruits of paradise.  In the chapter called “Ar Rahman” or “The Merciful”, the gardens of paradise are described thus, “in them are fruit trees, dates palms and pomegranate trees”.

The commentary on this verse addresses the fact that dates and pomegranates are mentioned distinctly, even though they are both fruits.  This is because dates are distinguished as being a source of nourishment, something a person could live on, while pomegranates are a cure for ailment.  Why would there be a cure for ailment in paradise?  The Sufi commentary points to the fact that some of the people entering paradise have spiritual imperfections, ailments of the hearts, and that the pomegranate tree is a symbol for the cure that they will find.

The Arabic word for pomegranate is rummaan, which in turn comes from a Persian word meaning “to illuminate”.  Indeed the translucent fruit catches and reflects light like a thousand dazzling rubies.  This celebration of light and perfection, each aril fitted to other with the precision of the world’s most delicate puzzle, encased in a dull, thick, leathery and bitter skin, is a perfect analogy for the infinitely complex microcosm that is encased in the human form.  It would only make sense that the pomegranate is a cure for the heart, both through its physical properties, and its spiritual ones.  There is a saying attributed to the prophet Muhammad that says “Whoever eats a pomegranate, God will illuminate his or her heart for forty days”.

So my dear ones, if you live in Morocco or on the Mediterranean basin, make pomegranates a daily delight, and eat to your heart’s content.  If not, then add this to list of reasons to visit.

Eva Longoria and the Billboard Bandits

Eva Longoria is no stranger to attention, no shrinking violet.  I do not even know who she is, and yet I know who she is.  Maybe because her perfect bronzed effigy looms over me at the supermarket, singing a siren song of miracle dream creams, secret potion lotions from the Oracle of L’Oreal?

(Thank you, but I think that  for me to look anything like the image on that poster, scientists would have to splice actual L’Oreal genes straight into my DNA.  After that, I’d have to morph into a body that is 10 feet tall and 6 inches wide.  I’ll pass.)

So when Eva showed up on the side of the road outside of  Marrakesh, well it’s no surprise that her presence caused a bit of a stir.

Imagine you are driving through peaceful Berber country, passing mud villages, olive orchards, and farmers harvesting their year’s supply of wheat.   Men and women’s voices rise through the sleepy sunlit air, singing traditional harvest songs, sheep roam in search of shreds of pasturage, an old man in a jellaba rides by on a donkey.  Nothing could mar this bucolic serenity.

Then, all of a sudden, why it’s Giant Eva Longoria.  Weird.

Wait, there she is again.

Oh, it’s just some kind of real estate thing.  Bah!  Gentrification!  I turn my nose up at you.

No,  you’re kidding me, I’ve been driving for 20 minutes, and I see ten billboards of Eva?  Because I missed the first nine.  But the tenth one really drove it home.  Why if this condo development is good enough for Eva, then what are we all waiting for?  Hurry up good people, and sign on the dotted line, because there are only 1,000 apartments and 400 villas left, and they’re going fast.  (I googled it, those numbers are factual.  So if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in a beehive, give it a whirl).

Am I the only one who finds these adds in poor taste?  Folks, it’s plain old cultural insensitivity.  Berber culture is very traditional.  Cleavage, as shown in the photo, is considered a private part of the body.  Ok, I realize that for most of my western readers, and even my Moroccan urban dwelling readers, this photo is very tame, it’s ho-hum in our flesh-image saturated world.  Female bodies remain the go-to advertising commodity, with less and less left to the imagination.  (In fact, these same adds, along with the rest of the ladies from Desperate Housewives, are plastered all over Casablanca, and they don’t seem to have caused any ripples.)

But try to look at it from an Other perspective.  Imagine your eyes have not yet filled with such imagery.  Imagine that someone put up a giant billboard in your neighborhood, showing body parts that you consider private.  How would you react?

Eva Longoria billboard graffiti

Would you, say, sneak out in the middle of the night with a can of black paint and go on a crazy daredevil mission demonstrating your community’s protest against said billboard?  Because that’s what someone did to Eva.  All ten of her.

And if you are the advertising mastermind behind the Eva adds, would you get the point, and go with something a little more culturally appropriate?  Or would you photoshop 2 inches more tank top onto Eva’s cleavage, and pay for another 10 slightly more covered Evas to be re-plastered onto said billboards?  Because that’s what someone did.  Improbable, but true.

Eva Longoria billboard Marrakesh

(You can see the next billboard not too far off).

So everyone is happy, right?  The advertisers still get to associate their condos with glamorous, glorious Eva, and the locals can stop making such a fuss now that her shirt is hiked a few millimeters in the front.  End of story?

Wrong, this was just the first battle in the war that was waged between these two parties, whom I’ll call Ad Machine and Billboard Bandits.

The Billboard Bandits strike again.  No paint this time, but the billboards are in tatters when they are done.

Next move by Add Machine: a new add featuring a somewhat bizarre looking couple, meant to be Moroccan, each looking in the opposite direction.  (subtext: these condos are for couples that are drifting apart?)

Billboard Bandits, it’s your move.  Sure enough, the adds are again shredded.  Methinks this is no longer about cleavage.

Last attempt by Add Machine, this time they go with the most benign and forgettable add possible.  So forgettable that I can’t even remember it, see?  I think it’s a photo of a balcony, with of course, the snow-capped Atlas rising majestic in the background.

Soon I will take that drive once more and see if this last billboard has survived.  I can’t stand the suspense, can you?

But first, lets take a moment to analyze these events.  Because it would be wrong to think that this issue is just about showing the human body in ways that the local population finds degrading to women.  Certainly that is a mistake on the part of the advertisers, who should not use the same concept on a dusty country road as in the heart of a worldly metropolis.  However, I believe that the thorn runs deeper than that.  It’s the juxtaposition of two completely different realities that is so unsettling.  On the one hand, we have this world of image and fantasy, of unimaginable riches and luxuries, of ersatz culture that attempts to package and commodify the Moroccan experience with no soul whatsoever.  All of it a vacuous Orientalist version of a Morocco pandering to the every whim of the upper crust.  A vision of Morocco that would not hesitate, for example, to introduce alcohol to a valley that has been dry forever, with no thought given to how it might destroy the lives of the locals.

On the other hand, we have the traditional lives of the Moroccan Berbers.  Berber families that are still connected to the natural cycles in the most primordial of ways.  Whose actions and intentions stem from a deep faith in God, enjoying the contentment that ensues.  Whose meals are bread from their own land, olive oil from their own trees, served in clay dishes from the Ourika river, sitting on rag rugs they’ve made with their own hands from scraps of old clothes.  There is nothing more real, beautiful, spiritual, sustainable.  They, and all the traditional peoples of the world, are the original “organic, local and slow” ways that we crave and long to return to.

So Eva Longoria et al, you are more than welcome in this old and beautiful world, but on its terms, not yours.  If your goal is to use and plunder, then you will be met with resistance.  Bring with you the best of what your culture has to offer the world.  Then take the time to learn about Morocco, its beautiful people, its old ways that are still alive under the strain of globalization.  Peace and grace are yours for the finding.

El gardien.

Meet one of my local heroes.

Let me give you some perspective.

He is a parking assistant, as we call them in Morocco, el gardien.

He spends all day helping people park at one of the busiest bakeries in town.

His job is to keep a lookout for traffic, tell you when to turn the steering wheel… left… right… now all the way around.  Although he himself cannot drive, he can coach you through the arduous task of parallel parking.

He also keeps your car safe, from petty vandalism I suppose, while you are loading up on petit pains and baguettes at the bakery.

He works the street up and down all day, receiving 2 dirhams (25 cents) per car.  Which is something, except that he has to pay the city “rent” for guarding that street.

I’ve never seen him without a huge smile on his face (except for when he solemnly posed for this photo).  Everything he says is punctuated with ecstatic prayers.

God help you!  Go in God’s hands! he says to me as I hand him 2 dirhams.

Every time I see him, I am grateful for my good health and sound body.  I hope to one day have grace and utter contentment, like him.

He could have been a beggar, no questions asked.  But instead he’s chosen a lively profession; instead of being burden, he lives a life of service.  I so admire him for that.

What is it like to go from having two legs to having just one?

One day I will ask him to tell me his story.

A tooth puller, literally!

I had a wisdom tooth out yesterday.

Here are the stages of mental preparation I went through.

1-Realization: when I connected all the dots and realized that the intense migraines I had been having the last few weeks were caused by wisdom teeth that looked like this:

2-Denial: the dentist set the date for the surgery, but I still didn’t fully internalize what was going to happen.  Denial is bliss!

3-Sheer terror: I decided to learn a little more about the procedure.  A certain youtube video showed me a little more than I needed to know.  After a few seconds of watching it, I was in shock, tears rolling down my eyes, and scared out of my mind.  So much cutting with the scalpel, the SCALPEL!  In my mouth!  I am not prone to swearing, but in this case, it was appropriate.

4-Getting my zen back together: as the day and the hour drew near, I needed to build my mental fortress.  I explored all the things I was afraid of: being cut, possible long lasting nerve damage, the trauma of a medical procedure to the body, those first few seconds in the chair as the dentist is laying out all manners of needles, knives and drills…I needed to go through each of these things in my mind, fully accepting each fear, accepting the reality of what I was going to go through.  Only then could I get to the stage of mental fortitude that I knew I needed.

5-Focus: as the hour drew near, I settled into a deeper level of being.  More quiet, more serene.  Ready for battle.

6-Surrender, and patience: in the chair, all I had to do was open my mouth and surrender.  I focused on breathing and relaxing.  After all, I have given birth to a few babies, and that required a bit more courage than dental surgery.

45 minutes of work by two amazing Moroccan dentists.  They did an awesome job.  I felt more sorry for them than for me, they had the really tough job.  I managed to open my eyes after a while and watch what they were doing.  But thankfully I couldn’t see into my own mouth.

The best part of all is that I was able to come home to an empty house, the kids were over at my mom’s.  If that’s what it takes for me to get some alone time, then so be it!  I have not been home alone for a day in years!  Well, maybe a day here and there.  Hubby is also planning to take the kids to the beach this weekend, so I can rest some more.  Thank you honey!

Now I just need to rest, which is always the part I am worst at.  The pain is manageable.  I can’t open my mouth or chew much.  There are stitches in there!  The medication helps.   It’s a strange irony that now that I have some actual TIME to blog, I am kind of loopy and so this will not be my best writing.  However, I am well versed in the art of compromise, so please indulge me in my medicated mediocrity!