Wednesday, November 23, 2011


2 weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go to Kurdistan which is in the northern part of Iraq and it was a fabulous trip.  Last year, a little girl came to the hospital from Kurdistan to have surgery on her club foot.  It was great to follow up with her and to meet her family.  Kurdistan reminded me a lot of Palestine and we really enjoyed our time with the people there. 

A couple doctors from Oasis went along, too.  It was freezing but a nice change.  

The kids loved Trey and appreciated the fact that he was willing to wrestle with them.

Warshin is the girl in the front. Her personality is so different from when we first met her before her surgery.   It's great to see how a change like this can make such a positive impact.                                

The whole family and a few others.

The mountains in the back were towards Iran and had snow on them. It was so beautiful to see.

They gave us traditional Kurdish clothing. They had them made just for us.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's a beautiful day.....

I'm been absent a bit on here due to a crazy schedule AND nice weather!  Yes...the nice weather is finally here, folks!  And we're taking full advantage of the fact that the evenings are cool and the sun doesn't burn off the top layer of your skin anymore.  So we've been outside as much as possible.

We've had a lot going on these last 2-3 weeks but it's all been good and fun stuff that I'll update the blog with over the course of this week.  I was doing so well updating on a regular basis but then I got out of the habit and it's hard to get back into it. I know that I'll be glad to have these updates some day to help me remember our days in the UAE.  So here goes the first quick update of the week.

1) We threw a birthday party for our pastor at our house.  It was nice to have the church folk over and of course to eat foods from all around the world since everyone brought something to share.

2) Min and I started golf lessons here at the Rugby, horse and golf club.  We had our first lesson last Monday and are excited for our 2nd one.  He said we're naturals!  Just kidding...but by the end, we'll be ready to join the beginners tournament, I hope!

Monday, October 31, 2011


On Saturday night for a hospital social activity, we took the staff to a local driving range. 
Don't I look like I know what I'm doing?! 

 It was so nice and green out there.

 This is probably not a good way to drive golf balls--2 people to a section. 
Probably some serious injuries could happen...not probably...surely.  

I always enjoy going to the driving range at home on summer evenings. 

I think Min and I might start taking lessons.

All had a good time and enjoyed being outside as much as I did!

Min getting ready for the next UAE Women's Golf Pro tour! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

You take the good, you take the bad.....

I feel like I finally have my LIFE back!  The summer sucks every bit of energy, life, happy mood, etc out of you.  But now the weather is back to normal temperatures and the nights are perfect.  We've been outside as much as we can be.  This weekend we spent a lot of time outside (more to come on that in later blog posts) and we've been back at the pool in full force. 

Tonight Min and I went for a walk outside and then headed to the pool for night swimming. It's quiet in the evenings, they have pretty lights on the trees around the pool and the hot tub is always on!   Mmmm..I love it! 

So what have we been up to since being back from the States?

Apparently I've been learning how to put on an abaya. I forgot about this photo and just found it tonight when I was downloaded all the pictures from my camera.  Some women wear this kind where it is one piece and the thingy goes on your head, too.  Sort of like those baby bath towels that have the head part built in.  We went to visit our friend in Oman and her mom just started putting it on me one day before we left.  Always fun to try.

And our grill cover came back home...on its own!  I don't know how or what...but it was a miracle.  It flew off the grill by itself in one of those crazy sandstorms in late August.  We thought that we were going to have to buy another one. Then one day, we walked outside of our gate and there it was!  Ta-daaaa!!  Woop woop!  Trey called it an Eid miracle.   My hair in this pictures sure looks like an Eid miracle, too. I think that "sand storm" was still blowing or something. 

And last weekend, we got invited to one of the UAE teams football (soccer) matches in Abu Dhabi.  It was nice because we got to sit in the VIP section. I don't think that I would go if I couldn't....only because the spectators are ALL men.  No problem. We did it in Palestine.  But no need to do it here.  It was fun, though and again...great to be outside!  There was an air conditioned part with nice chairs and big windows looking out onto the field, but we wanted to be outside.  I tried to wear team colors as you can see....always trying to be the best spectator:)  It was a lot of fun. I hope that we can go again. I think we're going to try to find a way to get ourselves invited to a game here in Al Ain. I don't know how, but I'll try:)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Check, check, check.....

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we have been busy with events for the community.

We hosted an event at the local mall, at a local college for women, for some of our VIP patients and then this weekend we have a Breast Cancer Walk.  Our slogan is "Get Fit, Fight Cancer" so we are trying to encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle. 

It's been a good month of education for myself and for those in the community.

Here are some nurses from the hospital along with my co-worker Debbie.  We had nurses at each event to teach women how to self breast examinations and answer any questions that they might have.

We're all about the presents and prizes at events.  We were donated gift certificates to hotels to give out as prizes.  We also bought some gifts to give out at each event.  We got them pedometers, little make up bags with the pink ribbon and a pretty towel that has our hospital logo on it.  Everyone loves getting gifts and winning a prize!  As you can see, we also bought pink boas and pink scarves that I found at the $1 section of Target for our staff to wear at each event.  Puts us in the mood and keeps things fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I love Fridays. It's the first day of our weekend and it usually involves some type of relaxing, going to the grocery store, getting coffee, cooking/baking something and visiting friends.

I did almost all of those things today but we're off to visit friends now in our town and then across the border in the city/town of Buraimi. Should be fun.

This is what I did this afternoon. I love baking to give it away to friends.

I wanted to bake:
1) for our friends that we are visiting
2) because it is Fall and we MUST make pumpkin things
3) I want to give some away at work. People like trying new things and I like making it for them so it is a good partnership!

That is pumpkin bread, pumpkin choc. chip bars, gingersnap cookies and another kind of bar cookie. They are all so quick to make that you can whip them up while the other is baking.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies....

I post this recipe every Fall and a couple people have been asking me about it.  I got this back in 2005 from friends at Duke and it's been a family favorite every since!  If you haven't made them, do it!  You won't be sorry....unless of course you hate pumpkin...and even those of you who hate pumpkin, should try these.  The cooked icing will make you just want to lick the icing off of every cookie. I haven't made them yet, but I need to very, very soon. They're calling my name.

Pumpkin Cookies with a warm Vanilla Icing

¾ c. butter                           Cream together the first 3 ingredients then add: 
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar

 Add 2 tsp baking soda to 2 cups of pumpkin

Then add pumpkin mixture to butter mixture

 Sift all dry ingredients together and then add to above mixture:
3 c. flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger—optional
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes


1 c. brown sugar
½ c. butter
½ c. cream or milk

Bring to a boil and remove from flame.  Add ½ tsp vanilla. A pinch of salt and powder sugar until spreadable.

Add warm milk if thickens while standing.

I dip mine into the icing while it is still hot instead of spreading it onto the cookie. 

Store cookies in refrigerator.

Monday, October 17, 2011

There is a season turn, turn, turn......

I love Fall and I know that many of you do, too! I was glad to have the opportunity to spend some time back home with the cooler weather.

Now that I'm back, I am trying to play a mental game with myself and pretend it's Fall here, too! It is COOLER than before....but again, that is all relative.

But I did put my Fall wreaths out....and we finally got our picnic table out so that we can begin enjoying our winter evenings outside! That is the prettiest time here.

Sorry that the pictures are's night and I don't have a flash on this thing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Take a look, it's in a book.....

I am back in the UAE and officially over jet lag.  It's always my goal to make it to the first weekend and then I can sleep in and let myself relax as much as I need to.  It was a good weekend of visiting friends, relaxing and reading.

Yup, I said reading. If you know me, you know that reading isn't on my top list of past times.  I'd rather be in the kitchen pretending I'm Martha Stewart.  But my MIL gave me her copy of The Help for the plane and I just couldn't put it down!  Every night I came home from work and read it...and read it. I loved it! I want to read more good books like that.  Now, I just have to find them.  Did you read it?!

Also, it's time for all things pumpkin and apple!  I made pumpkin bread and pumpkin chocolate chip bars.  I found them on my friend, Jen's blog.  I think this pumpkin bread has been on her blog for the past couple years and I've made it ever since.  It really is a good recipe.

You can find the recipe here.  It's called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.  I took it into work and people asked for the recipe.  People who probably never made pumpkin bread in their life.  It's that good.  Although, I think almost anything pumpkin or apple is pretty darn good tasting in the fall. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire....

The other night it was pretty chilly so we lit our first fire of the season at my parents house. I wanted one before I went back. We needed trey the wood cutter to help us but we managed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Who's your daddy......

Who has a dad like Martha Stewart? I do! Yesterday I left him with the project of making me two fall wreaths for my front doors back in the U.A.E. I do what I can to make it feel like fall. I knew that he would do a better job than myself. Turned out fabulously. Can't wait to hang them up.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The other night we were hungry and my mom and I were talking about what we wanted to eat. We decided to make a salad with grilled pears, warm goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Then I made a vinegarette with olive oil, balsamic, honey, orange juice and mustard.

Mmmmm, that was good.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Introducing J.J. .......

Last week I went up to Massachusetts to visit Treys family and to see the new baby in the family. J.J. Our new nephew was so stinkin' sweet. He loves his Auntie Jessie and just likes to be held. We went out for a walk on a beautiful day and took him to one of my favorite shops -- the Christmas Tree Shop which is where I get all of my fabulous junk for my parties.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Tea for two....

Last week I had my high school girlfriends and their moms over for tea. It was a really nice time and special that we have been friends for all these years.

We set the table like a real tea and made tea sandwiches and scones.

Fun times at home.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby, baby.....

Yesterday my roommate from college came down to visit. She is having her first baby girl in January so my mom and I showered her with some gifts. Lots of baby books and some other things. Books are the present that keep on giving year after year.

Then we made some good fall food. Apple crisp and squash risotto.