Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Starting Fresh Stinks...lol!!!

*I apologize for no pics...but apparently the camera AND phone wires were left behind in boxes...read on...also spell check is not working so bear with any misspelled words please.



Ive been meaning to get this post up for a week...but Ive been so freakin busy its not even funny. I also considered giving you all a detailed over view of that past 2 weeks but figured that would be a down right mini series...so decided to spare you that trauma of anticipation for each new installment. Sooooo came to the painful conclusion that I would just give you more of a bullet type update...anyone with questions can leave them in the comments. Be nice.


So here goes...


1. Right up until the VERY moment we boarded the plane I was having one headache after another just preparing to leave Bahrain. Everything from missing passports...delayed visa...making new passports...stolen money and wallet with all my ID....aaaaaand the million and one other things moving from one country to another entails. I wasnt sleeping at all for the week leading up to our departure...and jet lag is still kicking my backside...so Im still trying to catch up a week later.


2. I had a dozen people calling me offering plane tickets....money...help with the bills etc...a dozen people if not MORE...they ALL CALLED ME due to the article in the newspaper I mentioned before....they all called me....ONCE... with heartfelt promises and BIG PLANS...and then never called me back. NOT ONE OF THEM. Like I have mentioned countless times before...why even bother to call or offer such things if you have NO intention of following through? Whatever.


3. One person from the blogs did email me and promised that she would make sure all the tickets were paid for (she found some people to donate them)....and she did. I am truly indebted to this lady because once some of the money was stolen I did not have enough for the tickets...but wasnt about to get on here and say that after the amazing turnout of people who donated. I sincerely apologize to those that donated for losing (had stolen) a portion of the money donated...I lost all my ID as well. Try getting passports, traveling...and starting a fresh life with NO ID (well eventually got my passport...barely hours before I traveled) and discover just how hard that can be. I dont recommend it.


4. At the airport I discovered I had too much luggage and had to open everything we had right there on the floor and rearrange contents trying to get some of them legal weight wise...had to leave two boxes behind. (have since discovered those boxes had some very needful things in them...of course) It was a mad rush of sorting and screaming and trying to organize in a hurry as the delay meant we were late getting to the gate. I was absolutely drenched in sweat and near to having a breakdown due to the 2 weeks build up of high stress over the stolen money, ID etc plus other delays...plus now the luggage drama. By the time I sat down at last on the plane and could actually take a very long exhale...I was pretty close to exhaustion. It was the hardest most stressful 2 weeks I have had since pre divorce...and thats saying something. (boxes were taken back with my friend who has promised to send them to me...Im waiting girl)


5. Oh yes...I need to mention that upon arrival at Bahrain airport I discovered one of my childrens passports had a page torn right down the middle...which page might you ask...the picture and ID page of course. Prior to heading to the airport I had stopped to make photocopies to leave with my friend....apparently the Filipino girl that did the copies tore the page (I assume by accident...but she did seem in a hurry to get us out the door) and I didnt notice til I handed it to airport reservation...who took one look and declared it illegal to travel on...ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Eventually much heated discussion followed in which numerous "higher ups" were called upon to make a higher up decision...and it was accepted but I was warned I would have a headache, no doubt, while traveling...now THERES an understatement. Every single passport check delayed us again and again while ALL of our passports were scrutinized due to that one having the tear. In Paris we barely made it to the next flight due to the delay. In Dallas the man just stared at me and asked..."did you do this...why did you do this...you know its not allowed to do this"....ok...gotcha...just stamp it and get on with it will ya? In Salt Lake the lady said...."how in the heck did they let you travel with this?" I have no idea but Im certainly glad they did and now that Im here I dont really care anymore...JUST LET ME THROUGH ALREADY!!!



6. The trip itself was sooooooooo loooooooooooooong. My lord was I tired of sitting and sitting and sitting...and did I mention how much I sat for heavens sake? At least we were pleasantly surprised to discover the first leg of the trip was in business class...so we could stretch out and enjoy our leg room...warm cloth...and REAL utensils with our meals. However, this set us up for the devastating realization that the next 2 flights would be in the Sardine Section. Im NOT complaining as I was extremely HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY to be on the plane at all...but for us bigger than average people (read:fat) its harder to be in the Sardine section when your a fat sardine...*sigh*. (need to work more on that...been going to the gym you know). By the time we reached Salt Lake my feet were the size of cantalopes...I dared not remove my shoes for fear of a minor explosion of flesh hitting innocent bystanders.


7. When we FINALLY arrived some 3 months later in Dallas (11 hours but whose counting), I might add...while standing in line at customs and my kids are looking around getting their first REAL look at America (the boys at least) (and you cant get anymore American than Texas) what should be their first EXPERIENCE in America be but a flat out rude f**k of a man who shocked them and left them with open jaws and round eyes. A guy was standing in front of me in the looooooong customs line that all the Americans stand in...the line drew ahead and he just continued to stand there. Made no attempt to bridge the gap...and the gap was at least 7 or 8 people wide by this time. Im very tired...very irritated...very thirsty...and very tired..did I mention that? So I did what just about any other person would have done...I made moves to move ahead in hopes that he would catch on and move ahead too. He quickly turned and looked at me and with a completely benign look on his face spewed out the most foul language I have heard in quite some time. "F" this and "F" that about how I dared cut in front of him and who did I think I was and how he F***ing hated people who thought they were better than you and cut in front of you in line...and how he had JUST ABOUT HAD IT WITH RUDE PEOPLE. I see. After I got over my initial shock I calmly asked him if he was having a bad day. Willing to give him some small excuse because I wasnt IN America officially until I was past customs....and I still had a torn passport to deal with...no need to cause heads to lift and focus on me anymore than they had already...right? So I was calm. I was good. I swallowed his sh*t just to get through customs. He said he was having a "very good f**king day and would continue to do so if people LIKE ME didnt come and try and ruin it". I see. My kids were in shock as I said and I was trying to figure out if the guy was actually going to have a mental breakdown and go all kung foo on me or something. He looked spring loaded and ready to act that was for sure. I decided to remain silent....but not in my head. Anyhow...he moved forward so I took a step forward as well. He then turns his head and dared me to touch his luggage or "see what he would do to me". Wheres a frickin police officer when you need one? I calmly (still calm) told him I wouldnt touch his luggage if my life depended on it. (and maybe it did?) When we passed a security man I pointed out the sh*t and told security dude that he was insane and rude and they should scrutinize him a little better than most. Security dude just laughed and pointed me to a line.


Welcome to America kids *sigh*


7. I did manage to get some exercise in at Dallas airport after all that sitting. For those that havent been there...there is a tram system set up that takes you from one terminal to another. It goes all around the airport. We found the tram after getting off the Paris flight...went to the proper terminal for getting to Salt Lake and sat down with a sigh. I then realized I had all the Bahraini money to change...not having had a chance to do so in Bahrain due to the luggage fiasco delaying us...and in Paris due to the passport fiasco delaying us...and I wasnt sure if Salt Lake airport would change Bahraini money or not. I wasnt sure if it was considered an international airport...so I went looking for a money exchange. Turns out that terminal did not have any...I had to return to the terminal I was just at. So I told the kids to sit and relax and dont leave the carry ons etc while I got back on the tram and went back to the other terminal. Once I located the money exchanger and he spent eons of time figuring out the rate for dinars and carefully calculating at least 10 times...he then asked for my ID. Did I mention I didnt have any? Thought so. I had not brought my passport either...ugh. Soooooooooooooo I had to scamper ALL THE FREAKING way back to the tram and to the other terminal...grab the passport with a quick word to the kids...and rush like mad back to the other terminal..change the money and get back on the tram to my departure terminal in which they were by now calling for all boarders. I didnt even have a chance to relax and enjoy browsing the airport (same thing in Paris...argh!!!) I sat down with an exhausted crash and held a silent pity party for one.


8. So we FINALLY reach Salt Lake...the last leg of our trip...but is it? No it isnt. We still have a 3 hour plus drive ahead of us to Wyo. It was lovely seeing my long time friend there to greet us...hugs all around...meet the family...wait ages for luggage....of course it was ABSOLUTELY LAST coming out of the little box thing....and off to the car we went. Arrived "home" at 2 am with my two kids and her two kids screaming like mad in the street having been waiting for 2 hours for our arrival. My sonny boy was first in the car into my lap and arms around my neck before the door was even fully open. I hadnt seen him in 9 months...he is nearly 12 now but he wasnt ashamed to cry with happiness at seeing his mom again. My kids were estatic to see each other and be all together once again (didnt last long til the first argument over who slept where was had but hey...it sounded wonderful anyhow). We all crashed out where ever we could find a spot(my sonny boy was right next to me..almost on top of me)...and it was lights out until the next day was half gone.

7 hours to Paris (give or take)
11 hours to Dallas (give or take)
3 hours to Salt Lake (exactly)
3 hours plus to Wyo
----------equals
4 very very VERY tired travelers


*to be continued. Life after landing.


43 comments:

Angel Darling said...

WOW!! is all I can say!!

Murphy's law is an understatement here, but hey, your kids are all together again and I can't imagine how your "sonny boy" must of felt (brought a tear to my eye).

I am so happy for you!! Can't wait to hear the next installment. :-)

God bless!

.::Tuttie::. said...

alhamdulillah things are working out for you. ALHAMDULILLAH! I will keep you in my duas inshaAllah. May Allah swt make your transition easier and help you get on your feet faster ameen.

Chiara said...

Only in Coolredland LOL :)

Had me laughing out loud!

Barbara said...

Well, what's important is that you got home! All the frustrations will disappear eventually as you settle in. Glad you made it! Take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that you have arrived.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Wow what an agonizing trip. I'm so glad its all over now and you can stick around one place for awhile. I hope that the adjustment is going well for the kids. I am so glad you did it! I think you have a lot of really great things coming in the future.

caraboska said...

So happy you made it home and can finally rest... Do keep us updated, I'm following this blog every day... I notice you still have the Paypal button up. How are your finances at the moment? I finally got paid yesterday...

janice said...

Like Chiara said, "only in CoolRedLand". You really need to start that book, your adventures are extraordinary.

So glad you and your family are finally here. Again, welcome HOME!

Anonymous said...

Hey Red,

I was glad to see you back on line this morning. What an ordeal you've all had. Sorry about the a-hole in the Dallas airport. We do have our share of nasties in America, don't let them spoil your homecoming for you.

I know you have a lot of difficult stuff yet to get through before you can start feeling really settled but maybe you can make a book of it all someday. Hang on to your sense of humour, it's always been one of your strong points.

Be tough for each other and keep your chins up. I think you have my email address if you'd like to make contact. Betty (Fat Too)

coolred38 said...

Angel...over a week later and sonny boy is STILL hugging and following me around...lol. I love it. Missed him so much. Thanks for the well wishes.

Tuttie...thank you for the prayers and well wishes.

Chiara...CoolredLand..hmmm...sounds like an amusement park that will be the latest sensation...aha!!!!

Barbara...I will do that indeed. Thank you.

Stacey...thanks and I hope your hopes come true for us...lol.

Caraboska...thanks for following my blog...I will endeavor to keep a regular update...as Blogger allows...grrrr. Finances took a hit when my wallet was stolen but I wont directly ask anyone for anymore money as the original reason for it has been accomplished. However, I will leave the paypal button on there and anyone who feels so inclined can donate...and my huge thanks to anyone that does that. Just finding a place to rent, which requires first and last and sometimes a damage deposit, is SOOOOO expensive. Anyhow, thank you for the well wishes.

Janice...thank you and the book is well on its way...just dont have much time at the moment. argh!!!

Betty....nasties ARE everywhere, unfortunately. What can you do? Thank you for the well wishes and I will email...eventually...lol. Hardly have time to blog these days.

Caps Fan said...

OMG I am tired just reading that!! So glad you got in though. Karma will get that jerk in TX. Your tweets have been fun, enjoy the early snow.

-Monica

Susanne said...

So glad to read an update. Glad you are home with your children all together. I hope they are adjusting well. :)

sandybreeze said...

I am glad you are back in the US..youare going to do well....

Chiara said...

An amusement park sounds like a good idea! A theme one for after THE BOOK, THE FILM, and OPRAH.

Anyone wanting some of the minute-by-minute adventure check the chats on my post at Tara's blog:
http://taraummomar.blogspot.com/2009/09/ramadan-zakat-sadaqa-charity-do-you.html

Coolred drama in realtime!

The beginnings of the screenplay? LOL :)

Jewels said...

OK. I really missed something. First of all- I am sooo glad you're physical journey is finished. But Wyoming? I thought your family is in Texas.

angie nader said...

VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!

MaryAnn said...

So happy that you are home now. How are your sons adjusting to life in America so far? InshaAllah all is well. I think of y'all all of the time.

San Antonio Cicily said...

Of course its good you are home but how do the kids like it here in the states! Have they experienced any culture shock?

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Welcome home, Coolred.

coolred38 said...

Caps Fan...Im hoping the jerk has a bad case of hemoroids...lol. Thanks

Susanne...thank you. So far so good.

Sandybreeze...thanks and I hope so too.

Chiara...you get that "interview" for free...all the rest have a price...lol. Thanks.

Jewels...thank you. My mom and sis are in Texas, small town, I grew up in Wyo...decided to try it out here first. Let my kids see some of my history for a change.

Angie...thank you. Im very happy for me too...lol.

Maryann...thank you and so far they are doing pretty good.

San Antonio...well I guess the most obvious culture shock would be the amount of skin on display compared to Bahrain. Even I dont always like seeing some of what these people choose to show me...argh!!

Abu Dhabi...thank you.

Chiara said...

LOL :) Ah, it was good while it lasted! Do I at least get a free family season's pass (North American sized family, short northern summer season) to CoolredLand? And what's this about the book being well under way? Holding out on me Red? Got a manuscript in the computer, in the luggage, in a secret hiding place? LOL :)

The Apprentice said...

Hey,
been reading for a while now, Thank God you made it in one piece, can't wait for the rest, I still can't believe they let you travell with that passport XD

and do I wish I could of been there when he was foul mouthing infront of the kids, I would of implement every move I've been learning for the past three years >:(


Best Wishes

Salman

Ordinary Housewife said...

Glad you're back, Cool Red. :)

srinivas said...

despite lot of hardship, its nice to know that your taking the breath of freedom

i pray with the almighty for your and your family's ever welfare

gurudEva dayaa karo deena jane

PS: am silently following your blog and twitter :)

Shafiq said...

Seriously Coolred, I don't know how you do it. If it was someone else, they'd have probably given up a long time ago.

Sooo glad you made it though.

Jay Kactuz said...

I have visited your blog once in a while and wondered how it was going.

So you made it back. You would think a good Muslim would want her children surrounded by followers of the one true faith, where Allah and his prophet are respected and where sharia and Islam ensure justice and truth, blue skies, happy thoughts, and 25 degree (c)weather all year. Or maybe not.

I think there is a lesson here but I doubt you will see it. I kind of remember making a comment about you situation years ago on your blog, before recent events, but it didn't register either.

As to the rude man (I will not call him a gentleman): 1. you did move in front of him; 2. why shouldn't he think that a Muslim wasnt just taking her lawful place in front of a 'mere' infidel?(I say that mostly to pick a fight but there is an element of truth in it);. 3. you could have just said "Hey, the line has moved!"

I do not throw stones at Muslims. I think they should have the same rights as I, but no more. If they do not treat non-Muslims equally, especially where they dominate, they do not deserve respect. Period.

Like so many, I have no goodwill towards Muslims. They do not deserve it (they have even threatened my family because of my opinions). They take their hate and violence with them whereever they go just like their suitcases. When Muslims start treating others like people, then I will reconsider.

Well, welcome to Evil America.

As to starting life over, go for it. It did it at age 40. I walked away from a country, job and house. It wasn't fun but it needed to be done. I think you'll do OK.

Kactuz

coolred38 said...

Chiara...*nod nod wink wink*.

Salman...thank you for your chivalrous attitude...I have a few moves of my own...but I doubt the customs line in the Dallas airport was a good place to display my talents...such as they are...lol.

Ordinary HW...thank and Im glad to be back.

Srivinas...no need to be silent..lol. Thank you for the kind words.

Shafiq...well I dont know about that but I take one step at a time...most days thats all you can do. Thank you.

coolred38 said...

Jay...hmmm...your post comes off as a mixture of sarcasm and condescension...with just a touch of heartfelt emotion...so I will answer in the same vein...yes?

I have never claimed to be a "good" Muslim...just a Muslim. Whether Im good or not is completely up to God to judge. I just do what I can. I might add that just because I was in a designated Islamic country...doesnt mean I was surrounded by people who respected the Prophet and Islam. I wouldnt have had half the problems I did if that were the case.

Blue skies...yes...happpy thoughts...eh! and 25 degree weather...hardly...try 42...44...something like that.

Im all up for learning lessons but I admit I can be a bit slow at times. Sometimes I need a spotlight and some flashing neon to get the point across....care to indulge a girl in that respect?

A for the rude "man::
1. I did NOT move in front of him..a closer read will indicate I merely made preparations to move in hopes he would get the message. There is NO WAY he could have come to the conclusion I was a Muslim based only on appearance...so coming to the conclusion I was trying to "one up and infidel" is laughable. I could have indeed just have said the line has moved...but given that he was looking straight ahead...it seemed obvious that he was aware of it. Next time I will be sure to let that person know...then when they kick my ass with foul language...I will have deserved it less. hmmm?

I agree with your respect comment...it works both ways. So at last...we meet half way.

Its dreadful that you have obviously had bad experiences with Muslims...they should be ashamed of themselves for treating you in such a manner....I, on the other hand, did nothing to that man...as a Muslim, as a woman, or as a humanbeing. He had no right to spew such vile language at me...especially with my children listening. His bad mood was not my fault...just as which ever Muslims gave you grief was not MY fault nor the fault of the millions of other Muslims who have never given you grief. Those that did should apologize and make amends...me...I have nothing to apologize for.

Thank you for your welcome to Evil America..I was born here...grew up here...I believe I can handle it.

Nice to know its never too late.

Nzingha said...

cool- 35c at al osra today around 3 ish.. uh huh.. 25c is a dream!! lol

glad to see you had fun on your trip. All you needed was a screaming baby!! You could have borrowed one of mine lol

ohhh gulf air just upped their baggage allowance after you left lol

coolred38 said...

Nzingha....it was hovering around 40 last night here...40f...which means...freezing!!! lol. My kids never knew what hit them.

I did not have a screaming baby but alas...plenty of other families did.

I did see that luggage allowance shortly after I arrived...can you imagine my reaction? exactly. *sigh*

angie nader said...

i cant wait for you to write more. id love to hear how your children are adjusting to the culture shock..and how you are adjusting to it as well

Anonymous said...

Dear Coolred, glad all is well and you arrived home safely. I was following your story and have forwarded link to your website to many people here in the region (ME) and some of them made donations though I personally wasn't able to. I was just thinking, I somehow got it that you speak good Arabic. Maybe you should look for translating / interpreting jobs. Check out various courts and govt depts. Take care. B

Ilse said...

Touching story. Brought tears to my eyes. Your courage & determination is an example for us all. Really, I do think that you should be on OPRAH! I wonder when her people are going to contact you! Keep on blogging. There is a book in here. Remember "Not Without My Daughter" -- exit from Iran. A book & film rights would secure your future. And some justice for all you suffered.

marianna68 said...

CRAP coolred you need to write a book about your adventures overseas and how you came back to the USA. I would watch it!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Good choice in going to Wyoming. I lived there a number of years and people are quite tolerant I found - despite not having much exposure to "the other". I am guessng you are in the Western part of the state. The job market is pretty solid out there - especially if you are near Evanston. But if you do have good Arabic - there may be work in Salt Lake or Denver. Those jobs pay well and they want a US citizen. Glad you were able to get back in the states. I have been following you of an on since your beliefnet days back in 2002. You have come a long way. OH yes, There is a mosque in Laramie if you ever want to check it out. A small community.

A

Anonymous said...

Hey Red,

Congratulations! I think it's great you've found a job already. Hope you have a line on a good house/apartment.

When we were starting out we furnished our whole place from Goodwill and Salvation Army at a fraction of the cost of the cheapest new stuff and got better quality too.

I hope all is going well with the kids.

Betty

Jay Kactuz said...

Coolred...

I make no apologies for my words. I don't like Islam and that is knowledge and experience speaking. I sincerely believe that islam is a major factor in the hate and violence see in our world. Worse yet, Muslims refuse to even consider Islam, their actions as the source (whole or part) of this. To Muslims, it is always the others fault.

You don't have to feel or express sorrow. It wasn't you. It is a fact of life that anybody that expresses unkind thoughts about the religion of peace will be threatened by Muslims.It is almost like the sun coming up in the morning.

Yes, there is sarcasm enough to float a boat. The only reason I wonder Muslims site is because I want Muslims to know there is one old infidel that knows their Quran and hadith (and Tabari, Hisham, kathir, etc...) and also, like scarlet, doesn't give a damn what others think. I do this because I believe it is good for Muslims to here criticism of their religion. One day they might slip up and start thinking.

Even the good Muslims seem to be unable to speak out about the dark side of Islam (What dark side, Islam is perfect!). I give it 5-10 years before whatever happens happens. I am pretty sure your friends in Europe will start attacking non-Muslims within that time and there will be blood in the streets. Of course, It will all be the fault of the evil Europeans. I do not believe that people that consider Mohammad to be a great moral example can live next to people that want freedom and equality.

Now back to you. Lady, you have lived a life of joy and sorrow. Think about it and consider the lessons. Add up the facts and try to reach your own conclusions. Unlike the hadith, I don't think women are stupid.

You seem to be doing OK with lots of support. That and a good attitude is essential. Like I sad, you will probably do OK (but it won't be easy and it shouldn't be).

I see Chiara is here. I seem to remember a few words with her. Do we have unfinished business? It was at Xroads, right? That Chiara just knocked me all over the place but I managed to survive, barely.

Based upon my experience It takes between 6 months to a year to start to get things organized. Getting a job was the worst part.
Then it becomes easy.... ha, just kidding. It is never easy and when the kids grow up and move out the worry continues.

You take care....

Kactuz

Chiara said...

Coolred--got those 5 Muslim kids of yours strapped into suicide vests yet? Smart woman working at a GAS station! Oh and having a couple of girls--good anticipatory thinking!

Jay Kactuz--nice try.

Others: for enquiring minds who want to know
http://xrdarabia.org/2009/09/03/apostasy-in-the-us/

coolred38 said...

Angie...I will indeed write more...just trying to find my way around for the moment and get things in sync. Stay tuned.

B...thank you for forwarding etc...Im sure it helped us alot. I will look into a translating type job at some point..but here in Wyo not sure what good it will do...but you never know.

Illse...lol...could someone please inform Oprah Im waiting for her to call me.

Marianne..ha ha...are you going to "watch" my book...or the movie made after. lol

A...hmmm...beliefnet with an A...trying to remember the familiar names. Yes we are not far from Evanston and only 3 some hours from Salt Lake...and are still considering moving to Denver as we lived there before and the Muslim community is pretty strong.

Betty...still looking for a place of our own. Not easy without 2 months rent...will have to work and save like little demons. Im familiar with Goodwill etc but we dont have any of those type stores in this particular area...but Im sure we will manage eventually.

Kids are good...thank you.

Chiara..still working on all that. Not easy getting those type vests over here...not like theres a store down the street or something.

coolred38 said...

Jay...nice to see you back.

Nobody expects you to like Islam...just like quite a few Muslims dont particularly like other religions besides Islam...however...both sides need to be tolerant and accepting. Those that refuse to be so..are not following any type of religious dictates. (yes that includes Muslims)

Not all Muslims go around threatening those who say negative things...thats a gross generalization. The ONLY time I have ever threatened anyone was when I discovered he was hurting my children...then I went after him with a baseball bat..and yes..I did threaten him...incidentally he claimed to be a Muslim...go figure.

If All Muslims spent that amount of time threatening those that do not like Islam or make negative remarks about it...I would venture a guess and say we wouldnt have time to do all the procreating and ruling by sheer numbers everyone keeps going on about.

I agree it is only right Muslims hear some critiques of themselves..just as Christians should be so willing too..unfortunately...people are more than their religious affiliations...first and foremost they are base creatures living by desires...and most people consider their desires more important than anything else....and one desire that destroys more than any other is...the desire to be "right" no matter the cost.

Come back in 5-10 and lets see if your right.

I dont think Im stupid either..all though I will concur I have done some stupid things. I dont accept hadith for the most part..too much controversy and here say for my taste...so no need to bring those up.

Ah we agree on something...nothing is ever as easy as we wish it to be...which makes it that much sweeter when its attained.

Thanks for the comments.

Chiara said...

Coolred--thanks for your cool response to my cactaceous, cactal, cactoid comment! You are the coolest by far! LOL :)

Chiara said...

PS I hope everyone realizes my initial comment was a rather terse joke. I apologize if any offense was given or taken.

Ghada Al-Amin said...

Your the woman who moved from the Gulf back to America, because of your husband, huh? I read about you on some blogs...very happy that you got home safe and sound. You are in the best country ever.

Chiara said...

Ghada Al-Amin--interesting blog and I have enjoyed your comments elsewhere, eg. Susie's blog.