Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maybe, Maybe Not

Well, I am trying something new this month. I have hired a personal trainer. I know, I know - shocked right? Me too.

It's just that this heat is doing nothing for my physical activity level, and I am terrible at going to the gym (and being productive on my own once there). It's been nine months since Ella was born and honestly, I haven't worked out really hard once in those nine months. Shame on me.
I have just completed session # 7 with May (my trainer). She is one tough cookie. I am constantly trying to decide if I love her or hate her, as she makes me do one painful exercise after another. I mostly hate her as I am working out, but when I get home and feel good, I love her again.

After my very first session (where I am quite sure there were tears rolling down my face but I cleverly concealed them with my own sweat), I honestly had trouble walking home. It was early in the morning, and I could hear the call to prayer playing in the distance... I looked around and wondered if I collapsed on the sidewalk under a palm, would anyone eventually find me? The compound is pretty much deserted for the summer. I figured I would give one of the Blue Men a heart attack if they eventually came upon my passed out self as they mowed grass or watered flowers, so I hobbled home slowly. My legs weren't the same for about four days. Ouch! Colin enjoyed teasing me about the whole thing.

May makes me do crazy exercises that I swear she must stay up at night and actually invent. I have caught other gym-goers staring at us (mostly me), but no matter. I am going to keep it up as long as I can. Wish me luck!

I think I am starting to get a little loopy with no rain. Like, not even a cloud in the sky for weeks and weeks. Please, let it rain soon. PLEASE.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Epiphany

Doha doesn't have oodles of greenery and trees (obviously), but there are lots of palm trees around. Pretty much everywhere in the city. These palm trees look inconspicuous enough (although not like the ones in Texas, for sure) so I didn't really pay much attention to them... until recently.

For the last month or so, I have noticed that many of these palm trees started having bunches and bunches of oval ball things hanging from them - like big bunches of grapes. I called them 'coconut ball bunches' for lack of a better phrase (they actually don't look like coconuts at all, but they are in about the same place).

These oval balls started catching my attention when I noticed that locals were placing mesh bags around many of the bunches up in the trees. Being the smarty pants that I am, I assume (to myself) that the local conscientious gardeners must do this to prevent them from falling all over lawns and streets & making a mess. Makes sense right? Right.

Then Cooper and Bentley start taking an unnatural interest in the coconut balls on the ground. They pull and tug at their leashes whenever they see them scattered on the ground (which is often as we have many in our front lawn). Then - they eat them. Devour them really. They gobble them up like they are the tastiest things they have ever experienced in their furry little lives. So, I am thinking my dogs are pretty strange. And, really, neither of them has a great track record of having superior taste preferences (Bentley's dish of choice would be bird poop and dried worms, while Cooper rathers fresh baby spit up), so I assume this is just a new weird little habit. But, then their craziness gets more and more intense as the days go by and the coconut balls start turning color from a yellowish green to a dried up purple. Hmmm.

My wheels start turning again, and I decide I have to look into this further. So I google it. OMG!

Of course! I should have known. How could I not have known?(For the record - Colin had no idea either.)
I am so stunned sometimes, I swear.

Dates! Date Palms! Actually, Phoenix Dectylifera. Of course. I live in the land of dates... they even sell them at kiosks in the malls. DATES. My lightbulb was burning brightly now as the pieces fell into place. My dogs love dates.

Mystery solved!

And, We're Back!

Our two weeks totally really flew by. We spent it zipping across Canada from Calgary to Halifax, Antigonish & Sydney and back again, with many stops (we have a baby now, after all) in between. No visit was long enough, but we had lots of laughs, ate and drank too much, and watched as our families fell even more in love with Ella, and beamed as some of our friends got to meet her for the first time. Smile.

We are back in Doha now - and I gotta say, even though I miss Canada, it is good to be back in our own space. Living out of a suitcase with an eight month old loses its' appeal quickly. We all suffered from jet lag upon our return, but Ella's urge to want to party all night and sleep all day is still going strong. Hoping to get her back on track very soon!