June 28, 2011

Long awaited picture post!

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. Remember that show with Bill Cosby, Picture Pages? Got that stuck in my head now from this post: "Picture pages, picture pages, time to get your picture pages, time to get your crayons and your pencils..."

Awww the sweet innocence of young life! BTW I never had the picture pages so I was always kinda wondering what he was on about but still liked the song. lol

Aaminah is sitting on the balcony as I type, playing quietly with some small stuffed animals and randomly drawing on herself with sidewalk chalk. :-) I know I am too picky about her getting dirty sometimes but one good thing about me is when I notice a failing I try to remedy it. So I am letting her color her little feet in chalk til her heart's satisfied. I mean, is it really a big deal?

I wish I could hear her conversation but I know if I butt in it will ruin the moment so I'll be content for now to just be a silent voyeur. Hmmm I think that's redundant, pretty sure voyeurs are always silent. Anyway...

I wanted to post some photos of our visit with Alex but looks like it's gonna have to wait. My little Picasso just walked in, all dusty and chalky. Masha'Allah gotta love her!


OK it's a day later so another salaam is in order. :-) I don't know how much time I'll have before her highness wakes up so here are some pics for ya'll to ponder and enjoy, insha'Allah. :-)


Ok it's ANOTHER day later. A'salaamu alaikum!!! I started to upload the pics and then realized... I lost them. :-( Actually I lost all of my photos. Every.Last.Stinkin'.One. :-( Yes, I can appreciate the irony. I had just urged, rather vehemently urged at that!, all of my readers to back-up their photos.

Then I lost mine.

In my defense, I was in the process of cleaning up my photos, reorganizing, and READYING them for backup. Yes, again, the irony. lol

I tried for hours, literally, to retrieve them to no avail. I downloaded at least 5 programs designed to scan your hard drive for unintentional deletes.


Then my friend Sr. Lisa said, "Oh this happened to me last year" sat down and promptly found them. Yay! Alhamdulillah!

How you ask? By doing a system restore. However it seems that my photos from Alex's visit didn't make it to a back-up point. Boo hoo hoo. Really I am a little sad but what good will it do? I will try to back it up again but I think they are just gone.

So that's how this came from being the "Long awaited picture post!" originally intended for 2 days ago to the "Dang it!" post. :-)

Ma salaama ya'll....

June 25, 2011

This isn't my ummah

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I'm not sure how much I've shared about my current masjid on here. I really miss my old one, which I loved even before moving away. However, absence surely does make the heart grow fonder.

My current masjid is fairly segregated. The Indo-Paks stay with the Indo-Paks, the Egyptians with the Egyptians, Somalis with Somalis... yeah you get the picture. Of course I've met a few very sweet sisters of all different nationalities and ethnicities alhamdulillah but they appear to be few and far between.

This masjid does offer weekly Friday night halaqas with dinner afterward. We've went a few times but never very often. During Ramadhan last year, I pretty much swore off going to the masjid because of the crowding and the horrible manners of the people.

Time often makes us forget.

So tonight I decided to take my friend Lisa and her daughter plus myself and my two stepdaughters. (Aaminah fell asleep before we left.) The halaqa was nice but even through the website said it started at 7:45 it didn't start til 8:30 so we waited a long time. It lasted an hour masha'Allah and by the time we prayed maghrib, had the halaqa, and the food was ready it was 10:15. So pretty late right?

Anyway I go downstairs with my friend Lisa. She is pregnant masha'Allah and has several other health conditions that make walking very difficult for her. I am well... me :-) with my myriad of problems so my stepdaughters offered to get a plate for both me and Sr. Lisa. Very sweet masha'Allah.

We get downstairs and the typical territorial behavior is on display; this table is for the Masris, this one is only Moroccans, etc. I find a table with just 2 girls at it. Apparently they try to say we can't sit but there are no plates at the table and only these two girls so I take one of the 8 chairs available. I am not going to stand to eat when there is a free table and I am definitely not going to stand while 2 young girls sit.

Apparently this was a mistake. No sooner did I sit down with Lisa than the girl's mother starting gesticulating and talking in Arabic. Sorry I'm not budging. She is in the back of the food line and it always takes a long time for the sisters to get their food. I have plenty of time to eat, plus do they really need all those chairs?

During the entire 10 minutes I am trying to quickly eat my dinner so I can catch the Isha salaat, we are getting the stink eye big time from these Arab sisters. There a lot of catty looks, outright stares and muttered phrases. OK yeah I get it, you dont' want us at "your" table. Tougha-lucka sister, we're sitting here.

The catch? There were plenty of seats for their family plus some random chairs scattered here and there. Anyway the grouchiest woman tries to come over and take the seat Sr. Lisa's daughter Aliyah had just stood up from. Lisa says, "No I'm sorry, my daughter is sitting there". Apparently that threw the woman into a fit. Uh-huh, ok.

It was ludicrous, to say the least. I head upstairs for prayer but Sr. Lisa stays behind because she has to help Aliyah eat. I get back and the stink-eye is still being given. Great. So much for sisterhood huh?

The next thing I know, hormonal pregnant Sr. Lisa looks at the Arab lady and says, "Are you talking about my friend?" and looks like she is about to open up a can of whoop-ass, Jerry Springer style. LOL

Apparently the woman had started pointing very bluntly at me and saying, "blah blah blah her, her, her!". She answers Sr. Lisa and says, "No, I was talking about something else," and tries to point at a Gatorade bottle. Yes, very scintillating conversation.

LOL yeah ok. So they start to talk about us in Arabic but my stepdaughter Hafsa understands and she said they were saying something like "Can't that old woman get up and get her own food" or something. They said a lot of other stuff but Hafsa said it was in a slang she didn't understand. Nice.

Are you joking me?? What kind of so-called "sisters" are these to a) not want us to sit with them, b) to talk about us in front of us and c) call us names? What???

I felt like I was in middle school, wallah.

Then came the final debacle. Someone set out ice-cream with no one to serve it. All hell broke loose. Misakeen little kids were standing in line and some sisters (also the ones who were so rude to us) started breaking the line and physically pushing the little kids! They were grabbing bowls and taking serving spoons away from others.

Most of the little kids didn't get any ice-cream. It was ridiculous. My friend Sr. Lisa went up to try and restore some order but it was a lost cause. She did help a couple of little kids get theirs but the sisters had big bowls for themselves.

I'm telling you sisters, my heart is so sad right now I could cry. At first I was annoyed by their lack of manners and their obvious rudeness to me and my friend but then, especially after seeing how they acted over some generic $5 a gallon ice-cream, I just felt defeated.

This feeling has stuck with me all night. As we were leaving a group of teenage girls dressed in skin tight pants and see-through hijabs saw me walk past in my khimar and abaya and looked me up and down and gave me ugly looks. I know this cause I was in front of the rest of my group and they all saw these girls and were thinking..."Um why are you staring like that?"

So I drive home just feeling disbelief and unhappiness and yes, a little anger at the state of our ummah. As I neared my home, I had to stop by our local convenience store for some milk. I put it up on the counter and the young clerk asked me if I had seen the date. Apparently the milk was expiring that day.

"Oh no I didn't notice, thank you" and I started to turn to go get another gallon. Masha'Allah he insisted to go get it for me and was nothing but kind and polite the entire time.

As I walked back to my car, I could feel tears pricking my eyelids. I was treated so much kinder by a stranger at the store than I was by someone I should be able to call "sister" and turn to if I ever needed anything.

I miss my old masjid. :-(

June 22, 2011

The weirdest thing happened to me today...

Just another example of awkwardness. :-D

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. When I say the weirdest thing, I should say THE weirdest thing EVER happened to me today.

OK that's a lot of pressure but it was really really strange. :-)

Let me preface it with a back story. About a month ago I had taken Aaminah to the local library. We were outside enjoying a snack on the beautiful spring day when a woman approached us. She was... interesting. She started asking me if I was a Muslim, if I was hot the way I was dressed :-P and if my husband allowed me to drive! She also wanted to know if I was allowed to work.

I said, "No I choose not to work. My husband works for me and brings me his paycheck home." LOL Anyway she had no compulsion about asking me anything and everything but I tried very hard to be kind to her as I felt she was perhaps a bit slow and definitely lacking in social graces.

Anyway today my friend Sr. Lisa and I were going to the local Salvation  Army store for 1/2 off Wednesdays. (Yes! I love them!) Anyway as we got out of the car, that same woman approached us. Sr. Lisa was kind of taken aback as the woman appeared to know her (probably got us confused although we look nothing alike, save our heads are covered!).

As I rounded the car she was asking, "Are you guys sisters?" In my last conversation with her, I explained the sisterhood concept in Islam. I answered affirmatively.

She then proceeded to tell us the following:

"I have this friend who wanted me to be her Lesbian lover a year and a half ago. I don't know what to do. Everytime I see her, she asks me to be her girlfriend and does this at me."

The woman started gyrating her hips and wiggling her breasts in a sexual pantomime which left both me and Lisa speechless. WTHeck????

Sr. Lisa looks away in acute embarassment and alhamdulillah I had to presence of mind to take over the situation.

"I'm sorry but I really cannot help you with this issue. This isn't a conversation I am comfortable having and we have to go. Now."

LOL It was sooooooo awkward! I mean, who does that????? First off, what are we, a Muslim version of Ann Landers? Relationship advisers? And what exactly, pray tell, about us makes her think we are the ones to have her back in a spurned-lesbian-advance situation???

I have possibly never been in such a publicly awkward situation. Never. Insha'Allah I never will again!

As we hurried off, the lady calls out, "Please pray for me..." and I assure her, "Oh yes, we will definitely pray for you!".

Ma salaama ya'll!

June 20, 2011

Cute family movie

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I think I mentioned my friend Lisa is here right now for a long visit (yay!) and we decided to take the kids to see a movie. We ended up choosing "Mr. Popper's Penguins" and it was really cute.

There were a couple of iffy scenes in it but nothing over the top even by more modest standards. The humor was mostly clean, a couple of penguin bathroom jokes but hey, kids love poo! I enjoyed it myself; there were a lot of pop culture references so they parents could get a chuckle too.

Really the only down-side (besides the exhorbitant cost: $60 for 5 people, 2 drinks and 1 popcorn) was the fact that really it's geared for older kids. Aaminah enjoyed the penguins but a lot of this movie was follow the dialogue kinda thing which made it less appropriate for children under 5 in my opinion.

Aaminah had great behavior masha'Allah but her attention lagged a few times. All I can say is alhamdulillah for the huge bucket of popcorn. :-D

In terms of good, clean family fun, I would give this an A but beware for those under 5. Also I loved Mr. Popper's assistant Poppy's love of alliteration caused me more than a few giggles and smiles. What can I say? I'm a sucker for that sorta sound! ;-)

Oh my other recommendation: just wait til it comes to your local redbox or netflix. It's not one of those movies that demand to be seen on the big screen.

Ma salaama ya'll...

June 18, 2011

Another milestone...

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. Btw, my last entry was post # 250; subhanallah! Like most busy moms, I don't always get to finish what I start so I feel like I've done a fair job with keeping up my blog; 2 yrs and 250 posts later, I'm still here. That's a testament for multi-tasking. :-)

Alhamdulillah my best friend Sr. Lisa is up from Tennessee right now. Can I get another Alhamdulillah? I am really happy she is here with her sweet, funny daughter Aliyah. Lisa is 26 weeks pregnant masha'Allah and I've not seen her all pregnancy. It's so sweet and cute; I love pregnant tummies. Since she's my friend, I get to do the Buddha-belly rub. Yes! I even felt the little buddy kick. (Insha'Allah it's a boy.)

My posting might still be sporadic so just a little heads up. I really miss my son but I am grateful for the days he was here. As we "speak" he is on his way to Guatemala for a working mission trip. Meaning not calling people to Christianity but doing work for the community. As Guatemala is 95% Christian, this is more of a charity trip than a proselytizing one. :-) Insha'Allah my sons stay safe and are a great help to the indigenous peoples they are going to assist.

The past few days I've had many ideas for posts but no time. If I forget to write down my idea, it's usually lost to the void. Insha'Allah they'll resurface at a later time.

Oh yeah, I do have some photos of the visit. I have to admit, I am not best photographer when it comes to special times. I am too busy enjoying them to worry about staying behind a lens. I did want some photos so I would sporadically pull out the old camera and point and click!

I purposefully did NOT take pictures of his departure. It was hard enough and I didn't want to feel sad everytime I looked at the photographs. Wise move, grasshopper. :-)

Oh I've also been trying to re-arrange/re-tag all of my photos on the computer. When I upload my pics, a little box pops-up that allows you to place tags. So, for example, if on that particular day I had some pics of a sewing project, dinner photos, and Aaminah, I would type the following:

"crafts, recipes, Aami"  I thought by placing the commas in between it would make individual tags.

Nope. It made the tag "crafts recipes Aami" which is counter-productive if for example I wanted to pull up all my craft photos. So now I am going through and re-tagging. It's painstaking work but fun for me and I'll be so happy with my new improved photo storage system.

Oh a little reminder for us all, BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS NOW. Don't delay it; get some DVDs or buy online storage. Whateva. Just do it. I lost a computer 4 yrs ago and all of my digital photos from that time period are gone. My boys during their formative years. :-(

I kept the computer for a long time because I really wanted to try to retrieve them. I finally threw it away when I moved here to MA. :-( Anyway a lesson for us all, a painful one, so....

BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS NOW. OK that concludes my public service announcement for today. :-)

Love ya'll fi sabilillah!

June 16, 2011


A'salaamu alaikum ya'll.

Alex left today; I really don't feel like posting. Maybe in a few days. It was a great visit, I cried after he got on the plane to go back home.

Period. (In case all of the (.)s above didn't make my feelings plain enough)

I just turned to face the window and watch his plane take off. Then Aaminah was sad, of course, that her big brother had to go back home and kept asking why so I had to "man-up" and be happy for her.

It sucks being a twice-a-year parent. :-(

June 5, 2011


A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. As you should know from looking at my counter above, my baby Alex is coming TOMORROW to stay for 10 days. I am so excited as is Alex and Aaminah. :-)

That said, I'll probably (and with good reason!) be a little quiet on the blog front. I might do a post or two during some down-time but for the most part, it's be pretty quiet here. Just wanted to give ya'll a heads up.

I had actually thought to churn out a quick post of some substance but alhamdulillah some last minute issues kept me too busy today. He'll be in at 10 am in the morning (his flight leaves at 5am!!!!) so tomorrow is a done day for me.

So everytime you peek in here and find it quiet just smile and be happy for me that I am with 2/3 of my heart right now. For those of you who have to take your shoes off to do math, that means Zack is the other 1/3. LOL Just teasing...

Insha'Allah ya'll have as blessed and happy a 10 days as I will! Ma salaama...

June 4, 2011

Hey UCB, yeah you know me!


A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I hope somebody understood the pop culture reference of my title: the beat of Yeah OPP, yeah you know me" popped into my head when I was thinking of a title.

Many of you may be confused as to what a "UCB" is, exactly. That's ok, apparently they are confused as well!!! ;-) UCB is the initials of a term I coined with my best friend. We've all met them before (although we might not have known it!) There is even a female counter-part to this elusive animal and they are called UCSs.

No clue? That's alright, I'll "out" them for you. UCB refers to UnderCover Brothas and obviously, UCA is for the sistahs. I'll write out a couple of scenarios to describe this phenomenon a little better.

1. You are at the mall and a man walks past. Your spidey-sense screams (silently) "There's a Muslim nearby!" (In the west, where any muslim sighting often remains rare, it is indeed a moment for spidey-sense tingles.) He could be any other man at the mall for all you know by looking at him. So what makes him a UCB?

Well the fact that every week you've seen said bro sportin' a thobe/kameez/(insert your cultural dress here) and kufi combo and salaaming left, right and center. Masha'Allah to the brother for his dedication to show up at the masjid and sticking to his roots.

However, when you in your happiness to see another muslim, throw a sisterly "A'salaamu alaikum" his way, he walks past as if it never happened. At quite a faster clip than before, btw.

Say whaaaaaaa? :-D OK onto scenario #2.

2. A very nice woman steps onto the elevator. She has the Muslim ethnic look but you can't tell by that. No hijab but most telling, no salaam. Hmm ok no problem. After riding 3 floors in silence, she looks at you (in khimar and abaya) and asks, "Are you Muslim?". Hmmmm no I just like to dress fancy. :-)) I nod my assent and smile.

So masha'Allah sister says, "Oh I'm Muslim too". No salaam, just that quick mention. You say, "Oh masha'Allah". The doors open and another person gets on. Sister quickly looks away and conversation ends.

You travel 3 more floors together.

Awkward. lol

BTW, the spelling of "awkward" is awkward. Nice when words showcase themselves.

 Alrighty... onto #3.

3. You've been seeing a particular physician for a year and a half. During this time, you always appear in front of him covered and several "insha'Allah" or "alhamdulillahs" have probably slid through your lips. He is from the sub-continent, you know that much from the one time you tried to talk to him about something other than white blood cell counts and allograft survival.

BTW, despite wearing clothing that is very identifiable as that which Muslims wear and speaking of your family (all of whom have Muslim names) never a word is breath about being a "muslim". :-) OK no problem, your physicians don't have to be Muslim.

Then...after a year and a half, you come down the stairs from Jumah and see him. Yes, your Dr. Standing there after salaat, chatting away with several other brothers, waiting for his wife to finish her sunnah prayers.

He turns around, sees you, and looks visibly surprised. It's like, "Hey buddy, I've never hid I'm a Muslim, don't look so surprised to see ME here". LOL

You give him salaams which he returns and you go on your way.

OK I guess by the time I got to that last scenario you probably had figured out all of those things happened to me. Those and many, many more. :-) I think one of my personal "say what"s is the very nice doctor who treated me in the ER.

She had a typical Arab name and was absolutely gorgeous. Long dark blond hair, flawless make-up, penciled in eyebrows... no hijab, a low-cut shirt. Hmmm OK so I think to myself, wellll her name is an Arab name but maybe her family is Christian or something. So I say nothing except hello.

After about 5 minutes she says, "Are you Muslim?" I swear I get this more from Muslims than non-Muslims!!! Which already confuses me but whatever. I answer in the affirmative and she says, "Oh I am too but I don't practice".

I never know WHAT to say. This has happened to me more than once. What do you say?

"Oh well, I do". lol


"I'm sorry".


"Why not?"


"Then what exactly makes you Muslim?"

Sorry if ya'll find that judgemental but that's just the truth about what runs through my head. It's awkward :-) and I just end up standing there and saying "Oh."

This obviously isn't based on scientific research;-). I'm just stating my observations, based on REAL LIFE events.

Like the cockroach said, "whatevs". LOL

It's a crazy world, ya'll.