The little Princess

IMG_3769

 

Yesterday I scrubbed the house top to bottom, washed loads of laundry and got extra groceries. I am preparing for the birth of my first granddaughter! It is an exciting time and we will do whatever we can to offer support to whoever needs it. Osama has come up with a plan to organize everything and has assigned us the fun duty of taking care of the boys. He and Jacki’s mother will be at the hospital to assist her becuase she is having another C-section. She will need help with the baby and getting around. Fattima will go with me and it is sure to be full of fun. I am praying for an easy time for Jacki and baby. The older kids who are acutally not kids any more will be in charge of our household and have my full trust.

IMG_3770

Family time

Family time this weekend was spent relaxing, cooking and hanging around the house. My two older girls who live nearby went in separate directions spending time with friends and family. Those of us who reside in the house had our own little version of family time. We took walks, fell asleep on the couch, got groceries and did a little cooking. Sumaya made her banana bread again and mixed in extra chocolate chips. We watched our usual shows which means allot more talking and laughing than actual viewing!

 

IMG_3725

 

Fattima and family

Meanwhile Fattima spent time with some family friends and then had fun with the precious boys. She cooked a meal, played games and spent the night. The next day everyone had breakfast with the grandparents and then it was time for her to return home.

 

 

Saleeha, friends and family

Saleeha went to Seattle, ate Filipino fried chicken and visited special friends. She met up with her brother and then came back ready for another work week.  She has been trying a lot of Filipino food lately and I am hoping that some recipes will follow.

IMG_3754.JPG

Our house

At home we settled in for some cooking, little D wanted to have something different and suggested she might try a recipe from the blog. She hasn’t done that much cooking in the past but has been showing interest lately. She made Roz bizilla which is rice, ground beef, spices and peas. She did a great job!

IMG_3729

https://lynzrealcooking.com/reflections/middle-eastern-rice/roz-bizilla-rice-with-peas/

Sunday came and she mentioned making a dessert! Again it was superb!

https://lynzrealcooking.com/recipes-2/desserts-2/elegant-desserts/mocha-cookie-mousse/

_DSC0047

I made Chicken divan and mashed potatoes, it felt good to finally just wander out to the kitchen and cook without relying on everyone. The kids have been surprised lately when they come upstairs expecting to cook and see that food is already prepared and ready to go!!

IMG_3753

https://lynzrealcooking.com/recipes-2/main-dish/chicken-dishes/chicken-divan/

Grama time and the special event

It was a relaxing weekend and will be a very special week, full of Grama time and support for the adorable family.

IMG_3760

                                                                       Family

 

Weekly review

This was my week in case you missed anything, have a great Sunday!

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2017/10/09/family-time-4/

thumbnail_IMG_3635 (1)

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2017/10/10/perspective/

IMG_1394

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2017/10/11/grateful-for-the-little-things-2/

IMG_2071

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2017/10/12/wordless-wednesday/

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2017/10/13/banana-bread-2/

dsc1109.jpg

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2017/10/14/broken-life-story/

IMGP0744

 

Broken-life story

 

IMGP0744.JPG

This story has been running through my mind and I am finally able to write it. 

2010

Duffle bags, carryalls and backpacks lay strewn on the basement floor packed and ready for our trip to the Oregon coast. A refrigerator for cold drinks, a microwave and full closet were extra amenities that made this area homey and self-contained. Bed sheets were crisp and perfectly made complete with hospital corners. A fragrant bouquet infused with tones of unknown annuals drifted through the room from hanging baskets just outside our door. Trips back from Saudi were spent here, up the mile long dirt road that wound and curved all the way to the house on the hill.  Since our move back we spent many weekends and holidays in this very room, laughing and feeling the guarded freedom that we now enjoyed.  This house held more than comfort and memories, it reminded me of the person that I had once been.

Sweaty fingers grasped the phone, holding the receiver, pushing buttons and finally disconnecting it from the wall. His words were clear, “You are a liar, a thief” and now it seemed as if his rages had permeated even this safe place and had leaked over to my mother and father. I heard my dad’s voice loud and bold “DO NOT CALL AGAIN” and then the phone was disconnected. I scurried around pushing bags, picking up clothing, pacing past each child, counting heads. It was 1 a.m., I surveyed the darkened room and stood ready, on alert thinking of a plan to pack and head back home. The urge to flee was muted by my mother’s calm yet firm reminders that we needed to get sleep and the vacation would go on as scheduled.

She paced back and forth on the grass just outside the slider, a pensive look could be seen on her face as she fiddled with a shirt sleeve. I surveyed the room, plastic buckets and shovels, treats stacked neatly on the dream bed mom had fashioned for me and the youngest children. I stood frozen staring at the childlike figure that walked back and forth through the early spring foliage. She held the grace and fury of a woman on a mission and she would not be dissuaded by fear and rancor.

Numerous voicemails containing threats and warnings instructed us to leave my parents’ home and return to the little apartment. He cautioned that he would be coming to take his children away if they went anywhere without his express permission. We were not allowed to have a vacation and no one would enjoy the company of his children if he was not along.  I held the phone listening to each word repeatedly until her soft slender hands touched mine and removed it from my shaking fingers.

She shut the door and waited for the next call, walking past the window through the trees and bushes. An hour passed and her exasperated and shaken expression turned to sadness. The usual shame and guilt took hold realizing that my daughter now had to manage crazy that had no limits. I collected myself and lightly moved beside her as she listened to his raging voice, “YES I want your mother dead so I can take my children back to Saudi, yes dead!”

Her eyes welled up with tears, but numbness and strength coursed through my brain. It was finally spoken, heard and real and meant that maybe I was not the unbalanced and spoiled woman he had been “burdened” with.

_DSC0143

Summer 2017

 

 

 

Banana bread

_DSC1109

 

There are many recipes for banana bread and I have tried plenty over the years. My daughter Sumaya wanted to make banana bread and also gave quite a few variations a try until she settled on this one.  She makes it all the time and each time adds her own touch.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup milk

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup mini chocolate chips-optional

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir.

_DSC1094

Mix sugar and butter until fluffy, add bananas, eggs and milk.

Add half of dry ingredients, mix well, add other half mix well.

_DSC1096

By hand mix in 1 cup walnuts and mini chocolate chips if desired. Grease 2 loaf pans, pour half of mixture into one pan and half into the other. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the two loaves.

Sumaya prefers to use two loaf pans which makes the bread shorter but it cooks evenly and is very moist.

_DSC1101

_DSC1102

Bake for 40-50  minutes or until done. Remove from oven and let cool.

Slice bread and serve.

_DSC1109

Grateful for the little things

 

I woke up this morning and I got on the scale, lamented over my weight and then thought about the book. I ran through all of the things I needed to accomplish in this one day and how I had failed and had no direction. I analyzed my failure to lose weight as I have for years! I felt lost with my writing and dreaded working on the book, not knowing what I am doing. Soon I must support the family and although I don’t think the book will make money I feel the push to just get it done once and for all! I thought of the jobs I could apply for but then realized I am 55 years old and a new career is probably not going to happen and I feel anxious about that possibility anyway.

I poured my coffee and it hit me! I realized that in 35 years I have never put myself on this magical list of priorities that I use to keep my family on track and healthy.  Over the years my children have encouraged me to put myself on that list, at the top. I have always refused, it felt selfish and wrong. In the past month my mind has cleared and I feel I am regaining strength and focus.  I never gave much weight to years of abuse, his last visit in which he attacked me ( I could not admit that until now) his marrying a second wife, which took the abuse to a new level and the birth of his child. I told myself that it was nothing, other people suffer greatly, I was lucky.

This past two years finally it all caught up with me. I was unable to cook anything, unable to walk alone, unable to drive and unable to do simple things. I feel so much better now, but I realize that I have to be on this list, Lynn’s magical to do list. I am worthy of happiness, love and good things. I need to spend this time working on my physical, mental and spiritual health and the rest will follow. So on this day I start a new job, getting to know me and to value me. I am worth it!

The little things that have changed

1. I have posted daily for about 2 months

2. I have cooked meals unassisted for 2 weeks

3. I can walk alone short distances

4. I faced my anxiety and had a filling fixed at the dentist

5. I have used my eye wipes and flossed teeth and my bridges

6. I have eaten 3 or 4 fruits a day and 1 veggie for the past few weeks

7. I have worked many days on my book

8. I went for my skin check and was not panicked, anxiety was low

9. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that all of my kids come together. It has been a special time for the past 8 years. Last year I had no interest in celebrating. This year I am so happy to have everyone here and thinking of things to make, games to play, desserts!

10. I have actually felt joy, warm feelings and happiness.

11. My mind is clearing and I am processing things, not running in fear!

12. I can fall asleep easier and wake up at 5 a.m. not 4.

13. I feel hopeful most days.

_DSC1945

2016- look at us now