Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Crocheted Gag Gift

On the 21st, I orchestrated a school-wide surprise celebration for my boss who retires after 12 years in Kuwait.  The whole event turned out just as I had imagined and he was totally taken by surprise.

A gag gift was made by me and a friend just for the occasion.  There's a back story that I won't go into, but this link his niece shared is what started it all.
He joked that they would make a great gift for my husband, but I turned the joke on him.

Let me just say, when he opened it up, he leapt out of his chair in fits of laughter.
Just the reaction we were looking for.
I made the crocheted granny square shorts and the box.  Leslie made the shirt, hat and sandals.  And her husband made the doll out of air dry clay and the surfboard out of foam.

Few people would get the joke, but to us, it was priceless and definitely worth the effort.
Happy Thursday!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Breakfast and a Stroll

For the past several weeks we've had lots of dust storms off and on.  In fact, it always seems they arrive just in time for the weekend, which is what happened yet again on Thursday.  Yesterday was definitely a stay-at-home kinda day, and although today was still very windy, I managed to get out and about with a friend for breakfast and a walk.
There are several branches of Ayyame Restaurant in Kuwait, but this one is in an area known as The Village.  We had homous and foul, falafel, roasted potatoes, a variety of breads, cucumber, tomatoes, coffee and tea.
The area where it is located is known as Abu Hasania.  Even though we were blasted with blowing sand and dust a couple of times, we still managed to have a nice 30 minute walk up and down the neighborhood streets. 
Some of the homes have a view of the sea.

This home by far was my favorite.
 So colorful and charming; surrounded by lush greenery and delightful design touches such as the mosaics that were on the walkway and the surrounding wall.
 We were even able to see it from the opposite side.
I love that door!
 And the beautiful bougainvillea.
 It's always fun to explore new locations, finding spots of beauty along the way.
Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Exciting Sighting and Other Bird News

This past Saturday was a very dusty day; definitely a stay-at-home pajama kinda day.  As I sat drinking my morning coffee, it hit me that I was not hearing as much birdsong as usual.
However, later in the afternoon I heard a bird call right out on my balcony that was quite different from the normal bird chatter I hear.  I rushed to the back door and, sure enough, there sat what I believe to be a bee-eater.  This is only the second time I've seen one.
I was able to get a few quick shots through the window before he went flying off.
Daddy dove or mama dove is still sitting on the window ledge at school.  I really don't know how they managed through the major dust storm we had the other night.  The wind was really whipping through and for a short period of time there was zero visibility.
 Thankfully since then, the weather has been so much better and blue skies have returned.
 This afternoon I watched bulbuls and sparrows flitting around the mulberry bush.
Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?
David Attenborough
 So much free entertainment right outside my window.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 10, 2015

From Hazy to Dusty

 Hot, humid and hazy described this morning's weather.  Despite that, hubby and I got out for a 45 minute walk.
By the time lunchtime rolled around, it had gotten much worse.
We met friends at a new to us restaurant called Al Marsa which is in the basement of one of the small hotels here.  Very similar to another seafood restaurant we go to, but much less expensive.
We were supposed to go to a Palestinian Exhibition afterwards, but the weather did a number on my head so we came straight back home.
Hoping the throbbing will stop soon so I can get some creative juices flowing for a crafty evening.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nesting Season

Yesterday when a friend and I went up to the 3rd floor staff room to take our break, we were surprised to see that two laughing doves had decided to nest on the window ledge.
 We watched as the male would dive to the ground to collect twigs for his mate.
 In this next picture you can see the twig in his beak.  He hands it to the female and she tucks it into her nest.
 A co-worker said she saw two eggs which is the common clutch size for doves.
 I've become quite fascinated by the whole process and have watched several videos this evening about doves and their nesting practices.  Their nests are always flimsy at best.  The male incubates during the day and the female takes over at night.
This last picture was taken today.  It doesn't look like much was added to the nest and I certainly don't know how that little gathering of twigs is going to protect  the squabs if they do hatch.  Plus, it's gotten so hot now -- up to 95 degrees during the day and they have no protection from the sun.  It will be interesting to see what we find when we return to school on Sunday.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

From Our Balcony Window

I use the camera on my phone almost exclusively now for all picture taking.  It's easy to carry and quick to whip out, but there are times when I really wish I had my good camera with me ...
like when I was walking the other day and just happened across this hudhud (hoopoe) in the park.
 I was outside the fence surrounding the park when I took the first picture but was able to actually go inside and get a little closer for this next one.  
We don't see these birds often in town, so I'm always excited when I catch a glimpse of one.

This evening I watched two bulbuls from our balcony window as the sun went down.  
 Male and female bulbuls look alike so it's hard to tell them apart.  Their breeding season is March through June.
 This next photo is much clearer as it was taken through the open door.  (The top two were taken through a tinted window).  Bulbuls eat insects and fruits and they are loving this tree because it is filled with ripened berries again.  You can even see the berry stained chest on this one.
We've had hazy weather the past couple of days which makes me feel rather blah.  But watching birdies from the balcony certainly helps to cheer me up.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Scatter Kindness

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.
Nathaniel Branden, Canadian Psychotherapist And Writer

On Sunday while Samantha and I were enjoying our leisurely breakfast sitting out on the patio of a restaurant with a view of the sea, there were two other tables of customers who were not happy with the service they were getting.  The restaurant unfortunately was short staffed so things might have been a little slow, but my feeling is that if you are out with friends or family enjoying your time, then you should not be rushing.  I mean seriously, if you are in hurry, go to McDonald's.  One lady was very embarrassing, shouting and threatening, which is basically bully behavior.  Totally uncalled for.  
I had given Samantha a homemade Easter card and a crocheted heart, but after the insulting behavior our waitress had to endure, we decided we had to do something for her.  We asked if she celebrated Easter and she said she planned to go to an Easter service at church after her shift was over.  We decided to give her the heart and card instead; as Samantha said, I can make her something anytime.  A simple gesture on our part, but one we hope made a difference in her day.  I will never understand why some people think they have the right to belittle and harass others.
The above card was made for a friend at school.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.
Bob Kerrey

Scatter kindness and blessings wherever you go.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Crafting

Happy Easter Week!
Although much of the world celebrated Easter yesterday, the Orthodox Christians will celebrate theirs on Sunday, April 12th, so there's still time to get in some Easter crafting.
(My little crocheted bowls make the perfect birds nests.)
It's only been in the past couple of years that our school has extended Spring Break to include the Easter Sunday, so I was fortunate yesterday to spend a lovely morning having a leisurely breakfast with my friend, Samantha.
We deemed it a #cafepainter date (if you are on Instagram, there's a hashtag for it).  
We don't really know what we are doing, but had fun anyways, and plan to meet for more #cafepainter dates in the future.

Besides the birds nests, I also made some bunnies using this pattern.
And saw some little bunny baskets on Instagram; no source or pattern to be found so just made them up on my own.
These were gifted to co-workers today.

Since I used old, leftover yarn, I'm linking to Linda's April Stashbuster Party.

I hope that you all had a blessed Easter Sunday.
May your week ahead be a good one.
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