30

Long time no post.  The trial that I’ve been working on for 2 years and that has been consuming my life for the last few months has finally begun.  I’ll probably be going down to Chicago next week to assist.

Today I turn 30 and I’m having a third of a life crisis (inshAllah I can hope that Allah [swt] grants me 60 more years).  We celebrated my Grandma’s 90th birthday this last weekend.  I was a late birthday present for her – 1 day after her 60th, I came into this world.

More than a hundred people came by to wish her well.  I can only pray that in 60 years, I am still happy and healthy, and that I have so many people that love me.  And, I hope that I am still worshiping Allah [swt] and striving to follow the path He gave our beloved Messenger [saws].

My third of a life crisis is many fold.  I’ve been a muslim for more than a decade – nearly my entire adult life.  And yet, I’m stunted in my spiritual growth.  I need to stop and rework my plans deen wise.

I need to get back on track with healthy eating.  I started some new medication that I think is causing me to gain weight.  And I’m not eating nearly as well as I have in the past.  That happens when you work 80 hours a week.

I need to exercise.  I haven’t been to the gym in 2 months.  I want to start running again, and run a marathon before I turn 40.

Once I lose weight, inshaAllah, I want to start to dress “nicer.”  These days, I look like a dumpy, chubby shlub who wears hijab.  Not the best dawah.

I want to become a socializer at my cat shelter, to help timid and feral cats become kitties that anyone would love to take home.

I want to spend more time with my cat.  Squeaky is desperately lonely without me.  And I miss her terribly.  This picture is from last Friday, when we finally had some time together outside.  Even when I get home at midnight, she still runs to the front door, thinking we’ll be going outside.  I hate to disappoint her.

I want to learn how to thread my sewing machine.  And sew sew sew so I can make costumes.

I want to develop patience to make more complex cross stitch.  I stitched my brother a Firefly piece for his birthday, and he really liked it.  Picture forthcoming inshaAllah.

I want to become a better cook.  I love to cook, and again, haven’t had any time to do that in recent months.

I want to spend time outdoors.  I used to camp and backpack.  I want to do that again.  Nature is a huge sign of Allah [swt], and I want to be there to see it all.  See that picture?  It makes me say subhanAllah!

Yes, there is a lot that I want in my life.  Oh Allah [swt], give me the life, the energy, the strength and the time to accomplish what is best in my life.  Ameen.

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scan or grope?

Alas, our umrah plans were not meant to be.  I must keep reminding myself that Allah (swt) is the best of all planners.  We may want to go, but until He invites us, we cannot.

So instead, this weekend I’m flying to DC to visit my mom and sister.  This is the first time I’ve flown in years, and as such, the first time I’ve been confronted with new security measures.  Here is my conundrum:  be nekkid scanned or groped?  I’m leaning towards the pat down, for this reason – it’s a temporary violation of my personal privacy.  Who knows if the scanned image will be saved and distributed?

Has anyone traveled in the past few months and been faced with these choices?  What did you chose?  Would you do it differently next time you travel?

thanksgiving weekend wrap up

A list of random thoughts not necessarily thanksgiving related – but all occurred over this last weekend:

  • Acorn Squash stuffed with Chard and White Beans and Baked Curried Rice with Apples and Coconut are both excellent excellent dishes and should be made often.
  • I take back all the glowing praise I’ve given my NF boots.  One of them just up and cracked on me.  And I have to send them to California and wait at least a month to even see if they’ll deem to fix them for me, or demand that I pay for it.  So I’m without boots just as winter is ramping up.  Bah.
  • I’m addicted to cookbooks.  Got 2 new ones – Food to Live By and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I’m now officially out of space on my spice rack/cookbook shelf.
  • On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin!  Rose Bowl Bound inshaAllah!  Everybody do the Bucky!
  • Of course, watching the Badgers smash their opponents by dozens upon dozens of points 2 weeks in a row make watching the Packers very disappointing.  One tends to forget that it’s not normal to win by 60+ points.
  • My brother bought me this:
  • My dad was mauled by a dog on Sunday, riding his bike home from work.  Ok, it wasn’t really a mauling, but he did get bit pretty good.  Yes, he’s one of those crazies who rides his bike year round, even when the ground is covered in ice.  Which it was on Sunday.  So of course, it was all his fault that he was riding his bike too fast and scared the dog, or so the crazy lady at the end of the leash screamed at him.  Never mind that she was walking them on a BIKE path, and thus should have known that there was a remote possibility that someone would be riding a BIKE on the BIKE path.  Unfortunately, my dad didn’t realize the dog broke his skin until he got home, so he didn’t get the rabies information from the crazy woman.  And being the true Wisconsinite, he refused to go to the hospital until after the Packers game.  Make dua he doesn’t get rabies.  Rrr.  Irresponsible pet owners make me really mad.
  • And of course, last but not least, I really really really missed my BFK. 

thanksgiving menu planning

As always, I am spending the actual thanksgiving day with my dad’s extended family.  Following that, my sister and I will be driving down to Madison to continue our new tradition of cooking a light and vegetarian fall feast for my grandma and aunt.  I’ve been kicking around recipes for a few months, and am trying to firm up my menu plans.  Here’s what I’m thinking for the Madison meal.  I know it’s a lot, but I like to cook a ton when I visit my grandma, so that she can stock her freezer with leftovers.

For the extended family thanksgiving, I’ll be making a variety of hummuses to have as appetizers, as well as bringing several different kinds of olives and pickled vegetables to serve at the meal.

And, wonder of wonders, my mom purchased some alcohol free vanilla extract, so that I’ll be able to eat my favorite thanksgiving dessert – cream cheese pumpkin rolls – for the first time in several years.  Alhamdulilah!

muslim garb watch 11.08.10

I was told by my family this weekend that I needed more professional looking clothes for work, so my mom and I went to muslim garb central – Kohls – and she kindly bought me the foundations of a new wardrobe.  Alhamdulilah for having short, stubby legs, because the skirts that are meant to hit mid calf go all the way down to my ankles.

So today’s muslim garb:

  • purple faux suede skirt from Christopher and Banks
  • long sleeve black top
  • lilac short sleeved sweater
  • black and gray scarf
  • and of course, my swirly shoes

Btw, if you have a Kohls in your area, it’s 30% off next week with a Kohl’s charge card.  I got 3 new skirts, 5 long sleeve tops and5 sweaters for $200 with only the extra 15% off.

This is what I’m wearing today, in lilac.  I got another of this style in rose

I’m wearing scary muslim garb tomorrow, most likely with a rose colored top underneath:

alhamdulilah

We signed the lease on our new apartment last night.  Alhamdulilah.  It seems too good to be true:

  • 100% no smoking complex
  • Specific lease addendum addresses noise made after 10 pm
  • Hardwood floor
  • Nice owner
  • Close to work
  • On a bus line
  • 2 miles from my gym
  • 2 miles from my cat shelter

We move in October 1st and alhamdulilah my dad has offered to take 3 days off from work to help us.  He’ll be arriving on the 29th, when we’ll load up the truck.  The 30th, we’ll have our walk through of our old apartment, then I’ll take my dad to his version of paradise – a used record store, followed by a Twins Game at the new stadium I helped build (via a tax hike).  Then, the 1st, we’ll move things in the morning.  And, on the 2nd, I’ll get to go and meet Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Game and Gregor the Overlander series.  Alhamdulilah!

We stopped at a slightly (in)famous masjid on our way home, one that has been mentioned in connection with the missing minnesota somalis.  It’s not right next door to our new apartment, but it only a few miles away.  Alhamdulilah, they provide an iftar every night, so we prayed maghrib in jama’ah and had fried somosas, rice and chicken for iftar.  Definitely can’t do that every night, but once a week probably won’t hurt my diet too much, right?

Alhamdulilah as well, I talked with a few younger sisters about what events go on at the masjid throughout the year and alhamdulilah, they offer a beginning tajweed class, as well as a sister’s halaqa.  They also offer tutoring for high school students, so I may sign up to help with english.

I feel a slight bit of trepidation to become involved in a masjid that has been investigated by the government, but in all my experiences there, I haven’t experienced anything other than normal, mainstream beliefs and certainly no preaching to get the kids to join al shabab.

Overall though, alhamdulilah!

squeaky @ week’s end + next week

First (and foremost):

Sitting smugly atop her kill after a rousing game of catch the feathers on the stick that are suppose to look like a bird but really don’t.  Ignore the weird eye glare things from the flash if you please.

Second, I’m off on the grand tour of wisconsin next week to visit family and friends, and thus will not be posting much – not that anyone will probably be able to tell, as I haven’t been posting very regularly as it is.  In addition to my grandma, and my immediate family (including my sister, who’s flying in from DC, yaay), I’ll be having the opportunity to meet not one, but two internet buddies, sabiwabi of oyhabibti and Terrie from VJ.  Mayhem, hilarity and running amok is sure to ensue.

I also have quite a menu planned to cook for my parents and grandma.  Since I’ve gotten so incredibly picky with my food to the point where it isn’t funny (halal, humane, all natural, etc etc etc), I’ll just cook copious amounts of food so I don’t have to cause awkward situations when offered x, y and z to eat.  Here’s what I’m thinking: