November 22, 2011

And...yet again

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. So I think I've mentioned on here I haven't been hired by a non-Islamic entity since becoming Muslim. Yes some people have no problem but they either A) have a very advanced degree or B) cover in a less traditional manner. Or both but .... anyway. :-)

So I had applied for a job at a call center type place. Decent pay (much better than my babysitting job!) and I could work part-time which is important for me to have time with Aaminah. I did the data entry, typing, call center etiquette and another test online. My scores were excellent far above average (they give your results immediately).

The lady from the staffing company called me the next day, gushing about my scores. "Well if that's your off-day, I would love to see a good day!" is what she said in response to my comment on my data entry score. Alhamdulillah. I went to meet her and yes, I wore my brown abaya, black khimar, black pants and black shoes. I am friendly, clean, well-spoken, articulate and intelligent. I am also a covering muslimah. And? No bearing on the job. It's halal, answering calls for doctors' offices all over the country. I do not have to have close interactions with anyone (which means really non-mahrem) so I was very happy. Also close to home. Wow, great.

Yeah, you know there is a catch right? Today I get the following email:


Good afternoon. I so enjoyed meeting you last week, so thank you for your time in the interview and the computer testing.

I wanted to update you on the ___________ assignment. Unfortunately, you were not selected for the assignment. However, I'm working on some exciting other opportunities (new clients) that I think you might be interested in, but it will take some time. I have you registered with us now, so I can give you a call when we get a little closer. And of course, please feel free to check back with me as well.

Thank you,
__ ______________, PHR
__________, President
_____  _________   ________
Knoxville, TN 37922

Office: 865-xxx-xxxx
Cell: 865-xxx-xxxx

Hmmmm. Well, alrighty then. Honestly, I just said "Alhamdulillah" and went on. Surprised? Yeah a bit. She really liked me (or seemed to) and I know, before covering, I would have had that job like nobody's business. Let's be honest, the job is not beneath me but it's far beneath what I am capable of. I told her I really needed the job and could be very flexible.
Nothing else makes sense except my religion. Muslim=unemployed here. OK sorry, let's go back. MuslimAH muhajabat = unemployed. As I said, I have seen some muhajabat with jobs here but they are more trendy, mainstream, a bit more current in their fashion. I really thought (silly me) that my personality and my qualifications would help me land the job.
Alhamdulillah. :-) I am learning many lessons in humility and trusting in the qadr of Allah. I will continue to do my best, to strive, but when it falls away at the end, still praise Him for it all.
May Allah swt make it easy on my family and I. Amin.

November 18, 2011

Into the info age (LG mytouch Q)

Mine is a really pretty muted purple color. Yay me! Um ignore the website above; where I got the pic from :-)

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll.  So I felt I was fairly tech-savvy until the time my son offered to set up a Jitterbug (simplistic phone designed for the 55+ set) for me. I realized, yikes, I'm becoming obsolete!
OK so I wasn't too worried about it. I liked the mobile phone I had (I posted on here about it before). It had a slide-out keyboard I really like as I am a fairly prolific texter. It was internet-capable but I never used it. Small screen and slow speeds = no reason. Plus I like my laptop.

Well all this changed when my phone broke. :-( I really was happy with it and stressed when it broke because I am broke too! :-) It stopped charging and I took it in to be looked at and they told me (a bit condescendingly) that this model has been discontinued and I just needed a new phone. :-)

I had my contract over 2 years so I was eligible for a free upgrade. I really didn't want a smartphone, and Android platform pocket computer. :-) I just wanted a nice phone with a pull-out keyboard, for free. Well that dream didn't happen but they did have the brand new LG mytouch Q smartphone. Subhanallah. I didn't know what to do with it and still don't partially! I'll just give ya'll a rundown of the features I kind of understand. :-))

You can email, text, update facebook, shop, watch tv, download immense time wasters (games), and about 50 others things. Oh yeah, you can call too I've heard. LOL It has a 5mp camera on it (not stellar but nice and especially as my camera recently bit the dust, I am happy with it). It also has a pull-out keyboard which was the selling point for me.

I told the guy I didn't want a smart phone or internet access. I really do prefer my laptop (where I am now)  I tried once to update blogger thru the phone and I just got annoyed as things like capitalization and other functions work differently. Anyway it has turned out to be kind fun as I can check email from anywhere and email photos. I have updated fb once from it as well. Look at me. :-)

So I guess I am far away from needing a Jitterbug as my son threatened. I might not understand or even use all of the awesome features but I have them. :-)) As for what I want, it texts nice and has a touch screen which is fun. I have downloaded a couple of games that Aaminah might play with if we are stuck somewhere. It can also take videos which I can forsee enjoying in the future. :-)

As for price, well... I didn't wanna spend anything. But I did have to pay $100 with a $50 rebate which ohfortheloveofpete I haven't sent in yet!!!!!!!! I'll do that tonight insha'allah. I really want my $50 back. :-)

It seems a big sluggish sometimes, like taking a moment to turn off a call or go from one screen to another. At other times it's pretty fast and I am not knowledgeable enough about theses issues to say if it's my fault or if the phone should be faster or if this is just what it's capable of. I'll let ya'll know.

Oh I was saying I didn't really want an internet-capable phone but it is nice when you get lost and need GPS directions or a phone number. Sometimes you realize you need to get access to an email and that is nice too. However this was the only phone with a pull out keyboard that I liked the layout. The other was too scrunched up and tiny, it wasn't good for my texting.

Other cons: I seem to hit this one hand-free button often (it's a touchscreen so really easy) and it's always popping up. Also there are only like 4 cases for it right now as it just came out this month. I am really worried I'll drop it and scratch it but there are not enough options for me to be interested in getting a case yet. That's all I can think of for now. :-)

So I've been thrust, albeit unwillingly, into the full-blown information age. How many of ya'll have smartphones/iphones and love it? Hate it? Wonder why we have to always be connected??  Let me know.

Ma salaama  ya'll...

November 17, 2011

Just some pictures

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I found some old photos online and wanted to share them. Hope ya'll enjoy!

Alex with Cookie, our friends' dog.

Alex and Aaminah :-)

Just a swangin'

Gooby Zack. Have I posted this one before?? It's classic Zack. :-)

King of the Moutain. :-) My little mountaineer

A rare "snow storm" for E. Tennessee. LOL

Love the expression!

Rare pic of Zack with Nova. :-) Alex was the dog boy.

Zack and his friends. Yes, all girls. LOL

Oh my, yes I had both a nose ring and an eyebrow ring. Whilst rockin' the al-amira hijab. LOL LOL LOL This was taken at my job at the time.

The tiny garden I was inordinately proud of. lol  We had a praying mantis that lived in it. One day she apparently fell victim to the landscaping guys' weedeater and the little neighborhood kids came to me, "Miss Jeanna, Miss Jeanna! Your little buddy is dead". I liked to teach them about nature. :-)

November 8, 2011

To work or not to work...

Really, there's no question. :-) A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. UofA has found herself in a weird position: having to work again! Gasp! OK before any of you "get off your lazy butt" kinda people chime in you should know being a homemaker is a FULL TIME JOB. There was many a day I would have (almost) switched places and gone to work. There you do your time, clock out, khalas.

A mama never rests. Cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, ok yeah fair enough. Oh wait schedule and ferry to doctor appointments, Islamic school/religious education, trips to the park or for a walk. Don't forget you need to get more supplies (shopping again!) and referee in the all-too-frequent spats which occur with alarming frequency.

This is just an easy day, ya'll. :-) And my day lasted from fajr to well past isha. Yes, get off my lazy behind indeed!!! lol

Now however, I must seek employment to provide for myself and little Feisty One. :-) Most places are not very muhajabat-friendly and I cannot say I blame them. Given the choice between me (nice person, competent, intelligent) and someone who fits in with society in general... well businesses are there to make money right? :-) So I tried my Islamic school where I used to work as a preschool teacher but alhamdulillah 2 months into the year they of course have their positions filled. :-)

I realllly wanted my old job back as admin at my masjid. Yes it was a paying positiong but my opportunity to do good for my community was immense. I loved it! Alhamdulillah the previous admin had just left which boded well for me.

Except... a member of our Shura board felt our community didn't really need an admin. Oh woe is me! So of course insha'Allah it might change but I am not banking on something to happen that might not. So I have found a position babysitting.

My problem with it however is that the pay is ultra-low: $4 an hour. :-( I want to help out the sister and her family but as I only work about 3-4 hours a day, well you can do the math. Plus it's in the middle of the day so it's almost impossible to do anything else. My whole day taken up for $12. :-)

Now I have one other issue which is making me have doubts. They are masha'allah very neat and their home sparsely furnished. In the room we mostly stay in Aaminah plays with 2 blue bean bag chairs. Of course I bring some toys for her. Anyway when we arrived yesterday the sister tells Aaminah very nicely, "Your job today is to be very neat and not make a mess".

I'm thinking, WTHeck, we take all of our toys home and other than that, there is only 2 bean bag chairs and 2 little stuffed bears. The sister goes on to tell me her husband is VERY particular about their home and doesn't like it messed up.

I was offended, sisters. I am very careful when in someone else's home. I always insist Aaminah behave and clean up after herself and I assist her. I knew we never left a mess here! Then I noticed the bean bag chairs are always in the EXACT same position, pushed down in the middle, pushed down a bit on the top, so the rest is fluffed out fully. The little bears are on opposite sides of the masjid clock and always at the same angle.

Oooooh now I see. Subhanallah. So I always put things back in their place but I never did those things. And sisters, do not judge me harshly, I will not. I will not put a chair back, and push it down, and plump the sides and tilt a stuffed bear at an exact angle. I am doing them a service and I do not want to feel like my daughter is viewed as a messy girl simply because they have very exacting standards.

I really don't know what to do now. It isn't fair to Aaminah, yesterday I was so worried about her bothering these things. I don't want them to feel we are messing up their things but I don't want my daughter to feel stressed nor myself.

Subhanallah. Also there is the issue of transportation. My van is still in MA and I was borrowing my son's car. So I am currently without transportation. :-( The sister said she would pick me up and bring me as it's only 5 minutes to her house, jazaki Allahu khair.

Then yesterday she calls and says her husband needs to get me. I said, "Sister, I am not comfortable". She seemed surprised and a bit offended so, realizing if I were to every take a taxi, I would be in a car with a man, I agreed but unhappily and she said she would be the one to do it afterwards. She did bring me home yesterday.

Now she just called and said the baby wasn't being happy and her husband will come again!!! Subhanallah. I am very unhappy. I made my position known yesterday. I felt they thought I was being a bit ridiculous and now, because I agreed yesterday, I didn't know how to say no today. I am very unhappy right now and Allah forgive me if I am speaking out of turn. I think I will have to make some changes but, as small as my payment, I need that money and I don't really know what to do otherwise.

Please make du'a for me and ask Allah swt to make my way clear and help me to trust in His provisions, amin.

November 6, 2011

'Eid Festivities!

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. As most of you know, I am a pretty visual blogger. Alas, my camera is still not in working order. I am gonna try to get the lens cleaned but we will have to see. I really miss having photos to post on here. :-(

Anyway 'Eid Mubarak/Kareem to all my Muslim friends and family!!! I hope you all had a blessed day full of frienship, fun, food, and worship! My favorite part, hands down, is the takbiraat. I cannot say what it is that draws me in so but I really hate to miss that. Alhamdulillah I made it in time today and very much enjoyed raising my voice with others in praise to Allah swt.

My 'Eid preparations started yesterday. I went to the masjid to help decorate it; we had an iftar for those who fasted the day of 'Arafat, may Allah swt accept their fasts, amin. I tried to help decorate and set up at the Islamic academy for the 'Eid breakfast but I got very sick with a horrible headache and was in bed for the entire day. :-( I missed the iftar at the masjid which I was so looking forward to as I was not present for Ramadhan. Insha'Allah next year. :-)

After prayer which was held in the local convention center, we went to our community's Islamic school on the other end of town for 'Eid breakfast. Alhamdulillah it was very nice, crowded of course, and cold! Brrrrrr! Maybe in the mid 40s and most of the tables were set up outside. The inside of the school commons isn't large enough for  400+ people and we all know the mess that accompanies a large crowd. Alhamdulillah after the sun came up more fully it warmed up nicely.

Around 12:30 pm we left for the 'Eid picnic. A local family has hosted this picnic for several years; there are hundreds of attendees masha'allah! Really I love seeing our community out in force, celebrating the Hajj and the sacrifice Ibrahim (a.s.) was willing to make. There was food, games, and just socializing in general. I enjoyed it but Aaminah is at the age where the older girls love to take her off and play with her. I have no worries; Muslim girls (in general) know how to take care of children and love to spend time with them. Girls and boys alike; it really warms my heart to see it. :-)

Anyway most of my time was spent roaming around looking for her. I know she is safe but I like to see her ocassionally too. LOL Silly mama huh? Anyway she had a good time but we were more than ready to go by 4:00 pm. She was exhausted and I was tired of trying to keep tabs on her in a HUGE crowd.

Aaminah did get a few gifts alhamdulillah. We do not stress gifts but it is a beautiful and joyous part of 'Eid. I just don't want it to be her sole focus. So I bought her a "I can be a child care-giver" Barbie. She wanted this so bad and do you know why??? Because the tiny baby Barbie holds really drinks and pees. It just excited Aaminah to no end!! lol So I got that for her. My friend Sr. Deanna (who I am staying with right now) bought her 2 or 3 gifts, masha'allah tabarakallah, another sweet sister bought her a super-fun game, and a friend's Baba gave her $10. Woo-hoo rich girl! ;-)

Alhamdulillah we had a good day overall. I am grateful for beautiful friends, both near and far, new and old. :-) I am grateful for a lovely 'Eid with my sweet little girl Aaminah. I am grateful to Allah swt for everything in my past, the circumstances of my present, and the hope for my future. :-)

I pray you all had a joyous celebration whether alone or with the company of others. I pray for all of the Muslims around the world, that Allah swt blesses and protects them, amin!

November 4, 2011

And yet again...

A'salaamu alaikum. I received another couple of comments from an anon. I wouldn't repost it here except they cast aspersions on my ex-husband A. So it made me think, if one person feels this way maybe others do as well. So I have decided to post our comments here.

AnonymousAnonymous said...

thats why you should never consider leaving these awesome countries you are born in for some muslim country where even their citizens don't have rights. btw i was born and raised in a muslim country and moved to usa. i found this country gives me freedom to practice whatever i want to practice much better than my muslim majority country.

coolred blog is an example why should you not leave your country or marry a foreigner.

Umm Aaminah said...
Anon, I am not sure where your comment came from. I do enjoy the rights and priveleges that I have as an American citizen. I do not agree with US foreign policy on almost all issues, however.

As for moving to a Muslim majority country or marrying a "foreigner" that is purely up to each individual. I love to travel and would love to be able to visit more countries. I prefer to live in my own. Many sisters are very happy living overseas and I am happy for them. Many are also happy with their foreign-born husbands.

Although A and I divorced, he was never anything but kind and respectful to me. I wish him the best in this life and the next, amin.

Apparently this did little to soothe Anon's worry for me. Next I received:

Anonymous said...
ok then why did he divorce you? why did you have to leave his house with no money? why is he not paying you now?

So here is my reply, not being posted to the comment box:

As I stated, A has been nothing but kind to me. Yes I left with no money but that was of my own volition. Although I am sure it is none of your business, he is paying my relocation fees upwards of $1000. He is in NO way obligated to do so; he is merely doing it because I am his sister in Islam.
Also he has packed up all of my belongings and moved them to storage until my apt is ready to move into here. Once again, only fi sabilillah.

Our marriage ended because of personal issues which had NOTHING to do with our shared religion. We both have faults and I will not detail any of his here although mine I frequently admit to.
A wife is to hold a husband's secrets and that pertains even after divorce. Therefore anything about A is no one else's business.

He is not obligated to pay me anything. I left our home of my own desire. I requested khula which he assented to due to the issues we jointly had.  Khula is where the woman is able to request separation and it involves (usually) the foreiture of the mahr. I've written about it on here before. We partly amicably and with sadness as well.

He was never anything but kind, courteous, and appreciative of anything I ever did for him. He treated me as a cherished wife, friend, and advisor. Divorce will not change my opinion of him and I pray Allah swt gives him the best, amin.

I hope that answers your questions!

November 3, 2011

ResMed S9, my new love!

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. So I think I am done with my enforced hiatus.:-) Really it's one of those things where they longer you go without it, the less you miss it. I write because I want to or I have something I think might benefit others, not because I have a quote to fill. I've been through quite a few changes alhamdulillah and now I am getting to a place where I can just "be" again.

Still waiting on the apartment, mid-Dec. the lady said. Oh please hurry and come!!! I hate to wish my life away but it's difficult being so unsettled. Insha'allah soon that will be rectified. I try to keep everything in perspective.

I've also been thinking if I should change the tone of my blog. Not the overall flavor; I mean after all it's just a mish-mash of what's in my mind at the moment. But rather the amount of information I share. I did think about it but decided I am totally comfortable with the things I share about my life. I do try to give some anonymity to others whose paths cross mine but at the end of the day this is my little place to be me. So I'm gonna do just that.

It's 1 am and what's on my mind? Sleep! Sleep! It's become a precious commodity lately, if you couldn't tell. (Um because I am up so late.) I don't know what my problem is but it's just been hard for me to go to bed earlier. Than I kinda pass the window of opportunity and I sit here, awake. Good for the blog, bad for the me. :-)

Oh btw dinner kinda by-passed me tonight (Yeah don't really know what happned but a big cup of hot chocolate with real whipped cream was involved!) So I sit here now, eating from a bag of Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) Harvest Vegetable baked crisp snacks. Wow, that's a mouthful. The name, not referrring to any lack of manners on my part. Hmm they are pretty good just wish I had a diet coke in my room. Ahh well, have to have something to get up for tomorrow, right?

Ah yes, sleep, sorry I even confused myself with the crisp snack tangent. I just got a new sleep machine (CPAP or continuous positive air pressure) and a new fancy-shmancy nasal pillow mask. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea about 8 years ago, shortly after my transplant. I hadn't used a machine in years, though, since pre-Aaminah so I was re-tested recently.

Not hijab friendly. LOL You are covered head to toe almost literally in little electrodes and wires. It is actually very restrictive and I had a really hard time falling asleep. Nice. :-) Anyway turns out I stop breathing 60 times an hour or roughly once a minute. I am never falling into the deep, REM sleep that refreshes us and allows us to heal and regenerate.

When I use my machine, all is right with the world. I am able to actually sleep and be more energetic and productive. Really it's like someone telling you they have a little magic pill to make you more energized. I love it.

What I didn't love, however was the face mask. O-Y-Hee. It was super-unattractive. Link Soviet Bloc meets Snuffle-ufagus (the crazy elephant-mammoth thingy from Sesame Street). Oh my bad. It's a SnuffleUPagus, not UFagus as I have thought for years. LOL Anyway compare:

Mr. SnuffleUPagus

My nasal mask. See the resemblance??? lol
Anyway so I really disliked the whole "I gotta a trunk sprouted from my face look." Enter the Breath-o-matic Wonder 3000. OK it's really just called the ResMed Swift FX for Her nasal pillow mask. Ah lookit, so cute and little! And... strap covers in piiiiink. lol So yeah it is much more feminine and thusly more pleasing to me. Check it out:

What a nice, unencumbered silhouette!
Now I just have to get used to it. :-) Insha'Allah that won't be too hard. Oh while we are doing show and tell here is my super-high tech CPAP machine. It has all kinds of fancy features such as humidity adjustment (Alhamdulillah there is a humidifier!) and a remote wireless transmitter to send my readings. Automatically. Yay! Anyway here it is:

Is so fancy yeah? And quiet masha'allah :-) I love how you help me sleep little machine!
Now that I have sung the praises of my gear, I have to poke a little fun. Apparently they now carry SKINS for these babies. So they blend into the interior and aren't so ugly and obtrusive. Personally I think it's because the company thought of another way to make money; who knows? lol Here are a few options:

For when you feel the need to channel Melissa from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

When singing the national anthem just isn't enough

Whoda thunk it, Bubba likes his musheen to be perty too! :-))
OK so a little poke at American capitalism and our need to feel validated and special and unique. Not to mention the mindless consumerism that runs rampamt here.

Ohhh wait, is that Hello Kitty I see?? ?LOL  Alright falling asleep now, ma salaama ya'll!