Thursday, March 26, 2009

Need for Vacation

Amira and I returned safely from a whirlwind weekend to Arizona. It was so wonderful to see my dad after all this time. Moreover, it was so heartwarming to see Amira run to Grandpa in the airport to hug him.

We were greeted at the airport by my dad and two of my cousins and from their the entertainment began.

What I find most fascinating about family gatherings is the mixture of personalities that would not in any other situation mix or mingle together. Moreover, in any other situation these personalities would never get along. However, for the sake of I suppose nothing else but the mere "family bond" do these personalities endure through the ages. Truly the are like fire and gasoline when gathered together and yet they all seem to somehow manage. It was rather interesting as a somewhat "outsider" as I'm not around it on a daily basis to see them interact. If for nothing else it was rather entertaining and overwhelming at the same time.
The core base of the family members, my aunt and her four now adult children, have very strong views and opinions which can conflict with one another at times. Then you mix in their respective spouses who feel it's their right by marriage to throw in their opinions of the family members and the games begin.

The part that intrigues me is the core base family members get along well. I suppose because they've known each other since early childhood and have learned to adapt, adjust and respect one another's opinions. For this core group at times can be at conflict with one another but if an outsider were to throw in their two cents on the conflict the core group would immediately re-group, bind together and take that outsider out.

The core group is very loving, supportive and helpful. They are genuinely good all around people that do their best to help their family, their community, etc.

Because of the loudness and some times brassness of my family, I'm always surprised to hear when one of them is getting married because my first thought is "have they met the core base family?" And if so, my next thought would be "what's wrong with them?" I know that sounds harsh and strange, but honestly I wonder why an outsider would want to join the force because no matter what, they will still be an outsider to a certain degree.

Aside from the madness of the mixed personalities we had a great time............lots of laughter and memorable moments.

Again, only having two real full days there we pretty much just hung out at my aunt's house visiting with everyone, but on Sunday we went as a group to a place called Rawhide which is like an old wild west town.

Here's some photos from our trip.

Outhouse used for the ATM.

Sign out my aunt's backyard.

Sign over the front door of one of my cousin's home.

Sign over the front door of one of my cousin's home.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Event and Memorable Moments

This past weekend I was asked to work at a Middle Eastern Dance Festival called Rakkasah, which was quite an honor to be asked. My former dance teacher's daughter, Jamilla, is also a massage therapist as well as an esthetician in Beverly Hills, CA. She and her mom have been a part of the belly dance community forever both as performers and vendors, so when I was asked by Jamilla if I wanted to work with her performing massages I jumped on the opportunity. It was my first massage event which I was both thrilled and nervous about, but felt very secure in the fact that Jamilla was a pro at these types of things and knew I'd be in good hands. It's always nice when someone else has already foliaged through something working out all the kinks and ooops that come along with beginning something new. :-)

The event turned out to be very profitable for both of us along with being amazingly fun. Where else can one go to work, listen to great music, watch people, enjoy hundreds of performing dancers, and work all at the same time! I would certainly partner again with Jamilla anytime and anywhere she wanted as we just clicked so well together.

One of my friend's graciously offered to take care of Amira for me on Saturday and Sunday while I went to this event as my dad is still in Arizona. Although I've known my girlfriend for many many years Amira has only met her a couple of times, so I was concerned about how Amira would handle staying at someone else's house but trusted she would do well. My friend's daughter is about 7 years older than Amira and was thrilled Amira was coming for the weekend as she was really looking forward to taking care of her. :-)

Anyway, on Saturday evening I called my friend to say good night to Amira and to see how she was doing. My friend had shared she was doing great and they were all having a fun time, and then she put Amira on the phone. We talked briefly and she said she was having fun. It's funny, I don't talk to Amira on the phone much as there's no reason because she's always with me but on the rare occasions I've talked to her on the phone it sounds so weird to hear her voice. Anyway, every night before we go to sleep I ask Amira where she'd like to go in our dreams. I've done this for years, as my thinking was if the last thing she thought about before she went to sleep was of peaceful things then perhaps she'd have peaceful sleep. So anyway, when I asked her where she wanted to go Saturday night she said that she wanted to go to Butterfly Island (a place she says if filled with beautiful butterflies as well as beautiful flowers) to which I replied with a smile "ok baby, I'll see you there when I fall asleep" and she responded "ok---bye bye". After hanging up the phone although I was smiling at these precious words I also had a tear in my eye because it's these precious words and thoughts that are so memorable and meaningful. It's these moments that remind us that nothing else matters but the preciousness of your loved ones.

It was so wonderful to finally get Amira back in my arms and us home safely. And now we are off to another busy week. This Friday evening we fly out to Arizona to see my dad, aunt and cousins for a couple of days. We are thrilled. Then next week some time dad comes home----YIPPIE!!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Well Amira and I have had a couple of busy weeks with school, work and life in general. She recently had a science fair at her school which meant we had to come up with something for her project. I sooooooooooooooooooooo stink at science so was talking to one of my co-workers who shared her daughter made a volcano for an experiment, and thought we could do that! So, erupting volcano it was. I still want to record a little video of her doing the actual project, but until then here's some photos.

My neighbor lady who is 70 just had a severe fall outside her home recently and decapitated the ball joint in her right shoulder. Can you say, "OUCH!!!!!" Anyway, Amira and I have been helping her out and spending time with her. Just love this lady so much. She's feisty and classy all at the same time. She reminds me a lot of Audrey Hepburn..............interestingly enough her first name is Audrey. Go figure!

She's also asked me to work some massage on her, which of course I'd never deny her that request, and she actually feels there's some improvement. We can only hope and pray she doesn't have to have any surgery. We'll go to the doctor's on Monday for some updated x-rays to see her progress. Keep your fingers crossed.

This weekend is also going to be busy. Yesterday we have to go to a funeral for one of my other co-workers who lost her mom. The poor girl is only 20 years old and her mom was only 46. Was not actually looking forward to going (who actually is ever happy to go to a, but knew how important it was that she receive as much love and support as possible. The service was very nice and many people spoke of this woman I had never met and shared snipets of her life from their experiences with her, which were very heartfelt. May God rest her soul and now begin healing this family as they learn to live their lives differently, inshallah.

Then today I have two clients coming to my home for massages which I'm looking forward too as well.

Some where in between all this maddness we need to do laundry for Amira's class. :-) Not worried as somehow these things always get done and worked out.

Tell me what you're doing this weekend.