Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort

Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort
Life overseas can be an overwhelming and exciting adventure.
Come be swept away with us in the Kingdom of Bahrain!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gavin's First (AND LAST) Haircut!

OK, now it's been almost four days and I've stopped crying long enough to type this blog update. I don't want to press my luck - so let's make this quick (like ripping off a Band-Aid)!

Gavin had his first haircut on Saturday. I wanted to the kind lady (whom I now so lovingly refer to as Sweeney Todd) to take a little off the top and even it out... what we got is something totally different. My "baby" now looks old enough to drive AND I HATE IT! I want his curls back! All of them, and not in a Ziplock lunch bag thank you very much! (I know that Super Glue could suspend a dude in a hard hat to a metal beam - big deal, what I want to know is does it work on hair?!?!?!)

I posted pictures, but please, PLEASE don't make me look. Oh, Geeeze here they come, anyone got a box of Kleenex?

Here we go!

The first cut is always the hardest!

Sweet baby, he has no idea what's being done to him.

Now this is where she goes CRAZY and moes my poor baby down.

Note to self: Go to Sally's Beauty Supply, apparently my child can be bribed by a hair clip... VERY INTERESTING!

His tiny little "Superman Curl" sitting in my trembeling hand.

Who's that bald kid in the mirror?

All done. The finished product.
"Why's Mommy crying?"


My dear friends...

I think my husband finally saw my desperation after reading my blog on the gas spewing death machine in my kitchen. Last night I returned home from my Arabic Language Class to find my landlord in my kitchen replacing the gas line to the oven... aaahhhh, do you smell that? That's the smell of a fume free kitchen! Thanks Honey, a batch of Oooie-Goooie Bars are in your very near future! ;)

Rug Flop

Think "jewelry party", only with Persian rugs instead of earrings. A rug flop is the only place you'll see a group of bare footed people rubbing themselves all over beautiful, one of a kind, expensive silky carpets. I was privileged to experience the craziness first hand this weekend at our friend Nomer's home!

Some of the finery we experienced that night.

Our Sadeeq (friend) Abdul gave a little background about the carpets he would be showing us that evening.

The guests "Ooooed" and "Ahhhed" as each rug was unrolled.

Guests really checking out the beauty of the carpet.

You only thought I was joking when I said people rubbed themselves all over the rugs... I wouldn't lie to you... see, I'm not kidding!

My Sedeeqa (friend) Katy striking a pose!

I really admired "The Tree of Life" Carpet, it is a silk on silk rug. It is so beautiful I would NEVER let anybody step on it - EVER! So don't even think about it! :)

This is the rug I fell in love with... then everybody jumped on it (literally)! It sold at the end of the night to our friends Erin and Jason... guess I'll have to go over to their home to enjoy it.

So many to choose from!

The back should be as lovely or more so than the front. Look at the detail!

Admire all the tiny knots, some rugs take more than a year to complete when worked on by 2-3 people. Can you imagine working your hands in knots for over a year's time to produce one item?

This is the van that delivered all the beautiful Carpets, talk about being loaded down! ;)

Thank you Nomer for opening your home to us and many thanks to Abdul for the food, carpet education and lots of fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Now that I've got your attention...

Take a look at my oven.

Seriously, take a close (really close) look at this picture and tell me how would YOU set this oven to 350 degrees?

Yeah, I know, NO TEMPERATURE SETTING!!! Seriously, doesn't ANYBODY bake in this country?

I'm all good with the top burners and that fact that it's like rubbing flint together to get the thing kick started but really the oven is just about to push me over the edge!

Last weekend I wanted to bake my beloved 12 month old son a much deserved (and 2 week belated by the way) birthday cake. I procrastinated for two whole weeks because I'm a little intimidated (OK, A LOT intimidated) by this oven. Honestly, the thing FRIGHTENS me!

I couldn't get the darn thing to light. I was turning the knob and pressing the "clicker button" (the ignition switch, if you want to get all technical on me). NO light, just a STRONG smell of gas. (Which is a whole other blog posting entirely - I think our landlord is trying to kill me slowly by fume inhalation!!!) So then it dawns on me: "OLD SCHOOL CAMPING TRIP"! I reflect (due to the fact that I am TOTALLY high in gas fumeage) on the YMCA Indian Princess camp outs that I used to go on with my Dad and kid-sister... GREEN COLMAN STOVE! I remembered (or was that hallucinated) that you need to use a match... yet another not so bright idea from the "Jann School Of Cooking With Idiots" when three sheets to the wind on gas.

Paul (my hero) returns to the house with a long nose lighter designer for this sort of drama and we get the thing to BURN!

AND BURN IT DID! We made it like a pow-wow in there. The Flusche & Aebi parents all stood in the "dirty" kitchen (where this dinosaur of an oven resides) and tried to get my oven to 350 degrees. We tried both the top and bottom burner on the lowest setting we could get with out the thing blowing out. The oven reached upwards of 600 million degrees. So we brainstorm and decide to take out the top burner all together, keeping the bottom burner on the lowest setting... we arrive at 450 degrees.

Now, lets think logically here... no cake recipe on this planet (or any other planet I'm aware of for that matter) instructs it's cook to bake a cake at a temperature THAT high. Hmmmm, that's our lowest setting and we're still reaching 450 degrees... hmmm... bake with the oven open? NO! THAT CAN'T BE SAFE!

(Check out the "fancy" wiring and hook up!)

(Here's a closer look, I have to turn this knob each time I want to use the stove or oven.)

Then again I don't think anything about this oven is safe. (See above petrographical evidence). So we cross our fingers, crank up the oven then shut 'er down, then crank 'er up and shut 'er down (you get the idea) and lo and behold...


The good Lord was watching over this poor ol' Mommy who didn't want to spoil her son's first birthday party. I would like to add that the birthday cake was actually eatable, more than that - it was GOOD.

I might even go as far as to say delicious.... naaa.
For this story, GOOD will do.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Fairytale Life!

Today I met "Price Charming"

The Crown Prince met with a small group of families on base today and I was honored to meet him! His full name is H.E. Shaikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa Crown Prince to the Kingdom of Bahrain (whooo, that's a mouthful!)

What a great photo-op!

The Crown Prince said he and the royal family were pleased and grateful to the US military families for making the sacrifice to move their family and children to his Kingdom. He encouraged us to experience all that Bahrain has to offer and he also promoted The Bahrain School. The Crown Prince attended The Bahrain School (which Tanner will attend beginning this Summer) and he raved about the quality of education and cultural diversity children receive there.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful day here in the Kingdom of Bahrain...
Who says a girl needs a fairy godmother and a pumpkin to meet a Prince?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Magic Carpet Ride

I was honored to meet Paul's friend Abdul this weekend.

Abdul is a local in Bahrain and we hung out for a few hours while visiting with him at his uncle's carpet shop. What a cool experience and the carpets... SOOOO soft and beautiful!

Tanner had the best time feeling the different carpets and playing "hopscotch" on the many colorful squares. Tanner's favorite part of the night was sitting upon a very tall stack of carpets (Princess and the Pea style). Tanner said he enjoyed being "taller than Mommy and Daddy". Gavin liked crawling around and pointing at the different patterns on the pretty carpets.

Tanner atop the tallest carpet stack!

Abdul was very kind and generous, at the end of the evening he asked Tanner to select a carpet for himself and one for Gavin. Tanner chose a beautiful black carpet with designs in an array of reds and blues for his room. Tanner picked a slate blue carpet with a multi-color floral design for Gavie. Abdul also gave us two mini carpets that could be used as coasters (but who wants to risk their ruin by a sweaty glass of water?!?!?) that have taken residence in out living room!

Our friend Abdul pictured with Tanner and his selected carpet!

Tanner clowning around in the carpet shop!

We explained to Tanner that Abdul's uncle only sells "magic" carpets. I informed him that if he sits cross-legged and closes his eyes while saying the magic words that his imagination can make the carpet fly anywhere he would like to go! Guess where Tanner flew first... Yup, you're right Oklahoma.

What a fun night, great memories!

Getting a piece of my "Jann" back!

I met a new friend last week named Angela.

Angela's oldest son Marco goes to school with Tanner, the boys are both new to the Nadeen School so they have become fast friends. Today I went to my first coffee (A la Corpus Christi style)!!! Thank goodness for Starbucks, it's like a universal Mommy play date location (that probably has something to do with the obscene amounts of caffeine per square inch)!

Angela is GREAT, her family moved to Bahrain a week after we did. The two of us are in the same life-stage and have shared many of the same "strange" experiences. You know, there is comfort in knowing that you are not the only person who thinks the yellow light system and the non-urgency lifestyle around here is outrageous!

Angela and her family are from South Africa. Her husband travels to Saudi Arabia (nearly a one hour commute) each morning to work for an oil/chemicals company. They have two little boys, Marco who will be 5 in March and her youngest son is two. They are currently looking for a villa on the island to purchase.

It was super to have some "girl time" today and to get to know a new friend. I've been feeling a little lonely over the past few weeks and this morning I feel like I got a little piece of my "Jann" back - YAY!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our "Starter Palace"

Well, folks we're in and it was certainly worth the wait!

Our new home in Arad is beautiful and is already beginning to feel like home! I worked like a dog for one week solid and I am proud to announce IT'S DONE!!! WOO-HOO!! Three cheers for a serious lack of cardboard around here! I know, I know enough writing, just get to the photos of this place (or is that palace?) already! :) Enjoy!

Tanner "recycling" the cardboard boxes. This one was a race car, doesn't it look FAST!?!?!?!?

Gavin giving Mommy an hand unpacking!

First floor living area #1 looking out toward the front foyer

Downstairs living area #1 (Dining room in the back)

Downstairs living area #2 (the Pool room)

Down stairs living area #2 looking toward the front courtyard

Playroom on the first floor


The downstairs bathroom, Tanner asked it the beday was a sink... ahhh, no, not exactly. (laugh)

The inside kitchen (locally known as the "clean kitchen").

Inside kitchen looking toward the direction of the back door and outside kitchen

Outside kitchen (locally known as the "dirty kitchen")

The outside kitchen also houses the laundry machines (as well as an additional freezer AND a dishwasher, which is a rarity in Bahrain)

This is day two in the new house... Mommy's first time to cook in the outside kitchen. Let's give it up for PANCAKES!!!

Marble staircase

Second floor living area (with door to the guest room and the wet bar in the background)

Second floor living area (master bedroom door to the right)

Our guest room, also refereed to as the Aebi Lodging Facility (laugh!)

Tanner's Bedroom looking toward his bathroom

Tanner's Bedroom

Gavin's Bedroom

Office looking out to the second floor living area

Front door entry and office

The office (door on left leads to Master bedroom)

Looking down the right side of our street from the office

Looking down the left side of our street from the office (you can see a little of our courtyard from this picture)

Door on the third floor that leads out to the "ROOF PARTY!"

Thanks for visiting the Flusche Villa! You're welcome to visit anytime!