Thursday, September 30, 2010

Old Antidote

Sooooo, there have been some big changes at work. Now I'm sure these lovely alterations aren't going to kill me . . . but they do make me feel kind of acidic.

I've been reminded lately of another sour situation in my life: getting laid off. It actually ended up inspiring both my current adventure and my all-time favorite photo shoot. I guess when life hands you lemons . . .

Biking and picnicking around a tiny island with a very treasured friend was truly a perfect day. I dearly love these photos and the memories that go with them. They make me smile every time--even when certain situations aren't necessarily the sweetest.

Wishing you all a refreshing weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Week One. Done.

Yay! I made it through week one!

Although I'm still overwhelmed on all fronts, I must say that this year is already off to a better start than last year. It's not as smooth as I expected it to be (darned expectations!) but the schedule is coming together, the routines are falling into place, the kids are starting to actually listen to their crazy English speaking teacher, and I'm already feeling so much more supported by the staff and administration.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer Quest: Update

Turkish Tomatoes

I know bruschetta ain't no Holy Grail, but I really did take my quest quite seriously. I searched through several sources to find the best recipes; I bought or picked the freshest of ingredients; I prepared my dishes with love and care. Despite my efforts, I never quite found the perfect melange. Until this crusade is complete, I thought I'd share one of my top contenders:

Bruschetta Pomodoro
Cooking Light
, September 1997

Pomodoro is Italian for "tomato."

2 cups minced plum tomato (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
10 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted

Combine all the ingredients except French bread; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain the tomato mixture. Top each bread slice with 1 tablespoon of tomato mixture.
Yield: 10 servings

CALORIES 95 (20% from fat); FAT 2.6g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 2.2g; CHOLESTEROL 1mg; CALCIUM 15mg; SODIUM 255mg; FIBER 1.1g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.8g
(Special thanks to Cooking Light. I'm not the best at creating my own recipes; the results are definitely better when I borrow them from others.)

Some produce from the Bellingham Farmer's Market.
(I don't know how to describe it, but it's a little too shiny--or something. Any photo experts out there have ideas on how to keep that from happening again?)

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This and That


or something of the kind, is important to carry with you when you leave the house. (Perspiration, you know.)


helps decrease the temperature by about 10 degrees; that is when I remember to use it.


is where I've somehow already ended up 2 days in a row. (Bleck!)


is where I spent my first day back at 'work' going to meetings.


is something I brought back with me and I cannot, cannot, cannot wait to fly it on the beach!!!


is going to come in handy for some desert camping.


I've decided, is going to be the basis for my math program this year.


will help with the handwriting aspect. Inshallah.


is where I look forward to possibly venturing during the next school holiday. (Yes, I know I've just returned from a trip. However, I'm the type of person who really likes to look forward to what's out there on the horizon.)

Or maaaaybe here . . .


is where I wish I was at this very moment. Sure beats sitting inside, at a desk trying to plan for school tomorrow.

is starting to look like it's going to be a really great year. Although, I'm still really missing home and

I imagine, will never really change.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Settling... Sorta...

I think my grandmas and grandpas [plus a few other non-facebookers] will be happy to know that I'm once again in Abu Dhabi! I'm safe, of sound physical condition, and trying to get settled. My only problem is that even though my body is back in the Middle East, my brain seems to be lost somewhere between Seattle and southern Turkey.

Or maybe still riding the open range in Göreme?

Honestly folks, when I assess the supply and demand of the current *brainpower* situation, things aren't looking pretty. There's a lot that needs to get done in the next couple of days, but not a lot up there right now.

For example, knowing I needed to run a few errands this morning, I woke up, showered, dressed, and was putting my sandals on at the door when I noticed a little problem. Instead of shaving both of my not-so-sleek-after-more-than-a-week-of-traveling legs, I'd managed to only shave one. Still not sure how I forgot that I had two legs while I had the razor à main, but somehow I did.

In the afternoon, while waiting for a ride from Jill, I momentarily misplaced my bag. Of course, a mild panic attack (complete with additional, not-Abu-Dhabi-heat-inspired sweating, an attention-drawing spinning around the pavement and frantic scanning up and down the sidewalk) ensued. Thankfully, I found the missing bag right where I'd left it: on my shoulder. Yikes is right.

Last but not least, I completely neglected the fact that I am the proud owner of two goldfish. Was it really only a few short months ago that I'd given my little fishy friends to a fellow animal lover so she could watch them for me over the summer holiday? Spending several hours with my pet-sitter, including a coffee catch-up, dinner, and Bible study, didn't help. Even being in close proximity to their fish bowl wasn't enough to jog my memory. I'm embarrassed to admit that it took a little longer than it should have for me to figure out what in the world Cait was talking about when she asked me if I was ready for the fish. Fish? Fish? Ohhhh . . . fish.

Although poor Dora & Diego might have slipped my mind, I'm sure they were always on Cisme's.

Thinking it might be time to get some help.
Or ride off into the sunset.
Or remember that sometimes, even really smartandcoolandtalendwritertype people have days like this*.
Or at least take a nap.

This was my favorite sleeping kitty in Istanbul.

At this rate, the first week of school could be pretty rough. It doesn't help much that I'm still missing some information that's quite critical to planning for the year. (Yeah, I still don't know when students are expected to arrive, if I'll be transferred buildings, if the empty positions at my school are filled, if co-workers will be returning, or if I'll even be teaching first grade again and other stuff like that.) Being able to think when I get this info at the last minute might actually be kind of nice. Let's just hope to goodness my brain shows up -- and like soon.

Wish me luck!

*You really should read this post by my friend, Abbie. I still can't stop giggling.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


photo credits from
IN-- I touched down in Abu Dhabi around 7:30pm tonight
OUT-- my flight takes off again at 9:20am tomorrow morning; I'll be heading here for a few days.

Be back soon,