Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Playing the Waiting Game

I couldn't wait yesterday for our real estate agent to call, so I called her about 3:00 p.m. She said that she does not have a contract in her hand yet and doesn't want to get our hopes up. She told me she spoke with the buyer's agent and he said the contract is written; they are going to meet late in the evening to sign the contract and send it to Gemma (our agent). Gemma said for us to sit tight and she will call us when the contract comes to her office. She said if they're meeting late Tuesday, then she won't get the contract until some time on Wednesday. I agreed not to expect anything immediately. Gemma is very hands-off but very professional when it comes to real estate agents.

So we sit and wait.

Anticipating the contract raises an entirely new set of questions; questions which I'm still trying to formulate in my head. First I have the issue of work. I have pretty much decided that once we get a contract on the house, I am quitting without notice. Then there's the packing, the tickets, the settlement, the transfer of money, the school . . . the list goes on and on. I will wait with patience and perseverance. If this contract does not come through, I am grateful that we got this close to a buyer after only 1 month. Alhamdulillah.



Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This may be it!!

There have been a few people to come and look at our house over the weekend. One was a real estate agent and his client, a married woman with two little girls (really cute girls, one is Mira's age). They looked around and she seemed to like it very much. The agent took photos, which we allow because we did it too when we were looking for a house. The woman said she would show the photos to her husband and he would come back to see the house.

The wife and husband returned the next night looking at the house, and chatting with us a bit. Then, the husband said he would come by on Tuesday to look at the lot. Our lot is very level and because it's on a corner, we do not live in an environmentally protected area as many of our neighbors do (there's another house down the street for sale that's environmentally protected). The husband is a police officer and said he would "drive by" to look around. Of course we told him that he is welcome at any time.

Last night the real estate agent phoned and said that the couple will be by Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. to look at the lot. The agent then went on to say that they are probably going to "write" and that the agent will be phoning our agent Tuesday.

Well, we are just besides ourselves. I leave it to Allah because I cannot get up my hopes, and Hassan, well, let's just say he took off into outer space just like an Ariane-5 rocket. Hassan has been up since 3 a.m. and just left for work. Me? I slept like a baby but now am showing my nervousness by writing this entry.

Our one concern is the train. We have a train that comes by once in awhile. It is not very loud maybe because we've become accustomed to the sound, but to a newcomer it may scare them off.

So, I pray that this is it, Insha'Allah. I will write as soon as I hear something one way or the other. Allah is the best Planner.



Cooking Egyptian Food

Ahh, one of my favorite topics -- food and Egyptian food at that.

My mom always cooked, but I never envisioned myself as a cook -- I never thought I would get married, so why would I need to cook? Let's go over some of the great Egyptian dishes.

When Americans think of good "ethnic" or "Middle-Eastern" food, Egyptian cooking is not on the list. Heck, Americans probably think it's the same as the Lebanese or Moroccans, after all, we're all from the same part of the world.
After being married awhile, and traveling to Egypt, I realize the sacrifices that Hassan made in terms of food. He never really pushed me to cook Egyptian, and I thought there was no need to, until we went to Egypt on vacation. I came back with an entirely different mindset. All we do is eat Egyptian now. We ate Egyptian food before, but now it's All Egyptian all the time.

Some of our favorite dishes are mese'ahh (yum), Mira's favorite (or beef stew), chicken and kishk (my favorite), baked fish, baked leg of lamb with garlic, fettah, chicken pane, bittengen mekhalel, tamaya and the ever present fuul. I even cook it from scratch now that I know how easy it is to make. Basically, all I do is soak the beans, then drain them, add 1 garlic, water and let it cook for an eternity. Egyptian feta cheese and zetoon, although I don't cook them, are staples at almost every meal.



Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hassan at his grill -- there is no other place he would rather be on a warm sunny day. Posted by Hello

Warm weather in February, about 60 F, was a welcome change to unbearable cold we have been experiencing. 02/06/05 Posted by Hello