Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Year Down

Yesterday was my birthday.

Highlights: I got peaches and cream for breakfast made from the rare find of Lybian peaches at the grocery store the day before, the card I received from Abbey inviting me to a beach party whenever I wanted to go, a new pink cell phone from Brett, visits with the Robinsons and Ben and Mary through skype, Thomas saying, "Happy Birthday Grandma!", four mint lemonades delivered to my door from our thoughtful neighbor Felicity, spring rolls for lunch, and seeing Abbey and Brett drag themselves to Fuddruckers for "American" hamburgers even though they both were coming down with stomach/cold stuff.

Lowlights: looking in the mirror and realizing that this is what 45 looks like on me (certainly not Oprah Show worthy by any means), not being able to go out to lunch with my best friend Lori, and putting a candle in a cupcake I made for Kristy's birthday (yes, even though she's in Colorado and we are here, I try and always make her something for her birthday. We just got to enjoy them for her. By the way, Happy 25th sweet Kristy!) and making a wish after Abbey and Brett went to bed sick.

The best part was having a difficult time thinking of a good wish, because I have such a full, wonderful life. I made bread for the first time here, and it turned out pretty good - funny photo comparison above with me and the Iraqi waiter. And as you can see from the picture above, I'm just like Snow White, because birds hang out at our villa - no I just wanted to prove that there are birds here, and this one visited us through the window.

Last week Jesse and Felicity took us to the Old Souqs or Souq Waqif (It is called Souq Waqif because when the Bedouin brought in camel meat, milk and dates to trade, the merchants were forced to waqif (stand up) near the small boats in the water.) as some call it. We ate appetizers at an Iraqi restaurant and explored the old world through the shops there. We ate hot bread, baba ghannouj, hummus, and other things I can't remember the name of. The tastes were smooth and earthy, except for the mint lemonade Felicity recommended. Ohhhhhhh that was refreshingly tamed tanginess. I don't know any other way to describe that, but it was my favorite.

It feels and smells like stepping back in time to walk the cobbled streets and see men sitting at outdoor tables smoking from shishas (elaborately tall metal smoking pipes that have fruit flavored tobacco). It looked like something from an old Lawrence of Arabia movie I once saw. There were spice souqs, falcon souqs with live falcons wearing their hoods, jewelry souqs, and much more. Brett bought Abbey a little camel trinket, so now Abbey has declared that she now collects camels. I just hope she doesn't ride one home someday!


Kristy said...

Here's my comment: I love you so much, Mom, and I love seeing these pictures and reading your great writing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Bethany said...

That bread looks heavenly.

And I think 35 looks fabulous on you.

Richardson Family said...

Happy Happy Birthday Dianna!! Love, The Richardson's