Weekly review

In case you missed anything this was my week. 







Happy almost weekend!

This weekend we will go to Green bluff, a picturesque farming area near my hometown. A few years ago my oldest son introduced us to this special experience. We sat at the starting point, a quaint little restaurant with pastries, pumpkin muffins and a variety of wonderful treats.

After looking through the ceramics, specialty kitchen items and fresh fruit we started our trek to various farms. For me it was a magical time, invigorating and lovely. Each year since then we have gone, sometimes during peach season or cherries, but always in the Fall for apples. Having the whole crew with us isn’t always possible but we are happy for those that can join us. Last year we took the boys, they were only a few months old. It will be exciting to introduce them to this family tradition.

For some reason this time of year and this special place are magical for me.

These pictures are from 2013 through 2016


Grateful for the little things


Dear friends,

Today I will share my achievements with you. I am not talking about a new job or status but about the little things. It feels strange to share these things but many good friends have encouraged me to be proud for the things I have accomplished and not the things that keep me stuck!  In keeping with my theme of being real, I will disclose these things in hopes that it might help even one person.

A blogger friend told me yesterday that I had helped her through my writing! That was huge for me and helped me feel more excited about finishing my book. This also helped me in so many ways–Thank you!

It is hard to write this list because it is embarrassing in many ways, but people have encouraged me to look at how far I have come and what I can do, not the things that I am unable to do. I was the lady who did it all and kept going no matter what, but I must own these things and who I am and also take pride in what I have accomplished.

Things that have changed in the past few months

  1. I am now able to cook a meal.
  2. I can sleep through most nights until 4 a.m.
  3. I am back to my walking routine and walk outside.
  4. I am able to relax
  5. I am able to get to a better place when panic arises.
  6. I am more social and speak to people casually
  7. I am more confident
  8. I am back to taking better care of me, eat my fruits and veggies, drinking more water.
  9. Flossing my bridge and using eye wipes the dr. prescribed
  10. Can do limited gardening
  11. Back to working on my book almost every day
  12. Have been posting each day for over a month! yeah!
  13. I have given thought to doing cooking posts! This is a cooking blog haha
  14. Have started thinking about the future
  15. Have let my nails grow, no more picking and peeling when anxious

I have been diagnosed with PTSD and OCD. The PTSD has made my OCD way worst over the past few years. I am working hard and trying to get back to me, even if it is a new me!


This is my house!

Picture of guest room 


This summer was spent traveling to Boise, Seattle and Spokane. It was a whirlwind of trips! The other thing that occupied our time was fixing our home. The kids were so good at painting, trips to the dump and taking out old things that we did not want and had been left behind. It was a huge renovation or a huge make over might be the better word.

The kids worked hard on the whole house and most rooms were painted and made into a space we felt was comfy. We have never had a guest bedroom and now we do, it also serves as a room for me to concentrate on writing.

The only real expense was paint and a few tiny decorative items. I finally feel this is our home and we are taking  back our space! The picture below is an open space leading to the family room, everything was taken down, it was a yellow wall with University pictures. My daughter painted and we left it blank for awhile before putting this simple table and graduation pictures.

thumbnail_IMG_3020 (1)

3-A wooden spoon



This is a revised story- beginning 3

Things slowly improved in the villa, a few plastic cups, 2 cooking pans and a wooden spoon were added to the already sparse kitchen supplies. Three thin foam pads were purchased for the four kids and me to sleep on. A gaudy pink floral pattern spread unevenly to edges that were sewn together in a jagged line, enclosing each mattress. They were quickly pushed together and covered with the old brown blanket, closing up any gaps that remained. Days drug on each melding together with no apparent end in sight. Jet lag lulled us to sleep and efforts to turn our schedule around were futile in the dull and numbing heat. The older boys accompanied him to prayer each night, painting a vivid picture of Riyadh and the neighborhood upon their return. A routine of sorts had been pieced together and things became manageable in the villa.

Each night a grease stained paper bag could be seen tucked under his arm as he opened the door and woke us from our lethargic almost dormant state of being. A long piece of plastic ( sufra)was torn at perforations and placed to shape an eating area on the rough black carpet. The contents of the bag were poured onto a tray, rice with chicken on the side. Two large water bottles were placed on the sufra and passed around when the meal was nearly done. Guidelines had not changed; the rules were still in place, no arguing or hurried eating, limit talking, keep hands clean and above all no complaining.

Rice and chicken from a neighborhood restaurant became the staple diet until he announced that he would purchase a stove so real cooking could commence. The house buzzed with anticipation and talk of the food that undoubtedly would follow, cookies, cakes and pasta.  When his day off arrived he made his way to Butha (area where people can buy used goods like a swap meet on weekends) and returned with an electric stove. Two workers dressed in shabby faded coveralls maneuvered up three flights of stairs until at last they delivered this new addition to the villa.

He worked to secure the appliance in its place, making necessary adjustments to put it in working order. He stood and smiled motioning for my approval, pointing to the old yellow stove, dirt and grime, chipped off paint, wobbly and uneven. His eyes narrowed as he scanned my face looking for any sign of disapproval. “Forty dollars and its electric” his words hung overhead too heavy to be absorbed. He spoke of having friends over and the meals that would be prepared on the newly purchased appliance.

A sick and familiar feeling and the realization that nothing had actually changed became my focus. The hope that this move to Saudi would make him happy and somehow things would return to normalcy seemed unrealistic. I pulled my thoughts together and remembered life was a test not meant to be neglected or lived in frivolous luxury.

A pan of water bubbled on the burner; pasta was thrown in and cooked, drained and served with butter and salt. Stirring became treacherous and with each touch of the metal spoon, tiny zaps shocked my hand. Two burners were operational, the inside of the oven spewed out smoke and grit. I smiled and stirred quickly trying to avoid these blips, not knowing what was wrong or daring to inquire.

A dismal expression crossed his face as he stared down at noodles, salt and butter. The usual words were spoken that signaled dissatisfaction “what is in this?” I had learned that responses should be short, respectful and exact. He was disappointed that I was not acting like a woman who loved to create pastries and homemade dishes, what was wrong with me, noodles with salt and butter? Why, no one would imagine I was a lady who loved to experiment with baking and cooking, host dinner parties and prepare special dishes for ailing friends. I explained that the inside of the stove did not work properly and when I stirred food on the stove top it seemed something was shocking me. This was met with a long hard look  and words that would prove to epitomize my life from that point forward, “Well, USE a wooden spoon then!”