Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whiter Teeth Cheaper


There are many New Year's resolutions I will not be keeping this year. I won't. I just don't have it in me to improve much. I'd somehow like to chill out and just coast for a while.

However, there is one simple self improvement I'd like to share with all of you: whiter teeth for cheap.

You know, as a Muslimah, I ain't got much showing. I got hands and face. That's it! So, I better make the most of those physicalities.

It makes sense that we all would want our teeth to be clean, bright, and white. I used to buy White Strips and spent weeks applying the clingy strips. They are about $30. Once I bought a competitor's product and used it in one night. It was a gel you apply in a tray. That hurt! My mouth is maybe too sensitive to do a heavy duty application.

I knew that my love of Chai Latte was doing my teeth a disservice. I also knew I was too friggin' cheap...I mean thrifty...to buy those strips now. I researched on the internet and came up with an alternative. And you know me---I'm all about the alternative.

So here's what you do:

Take baking soda and a cloth. Wipe the baking soda onto your teeth. Don't use a toothbrush to do it. You've got to wipe it with a cloth. Be careful not to hurt the gumline. Then floss. Even if you must spit out a little baking soda, try not to spit it all out.

Then take a swig of Hydrogen Peroxide. DON'T SWALLOW! Swish it around as much as you can, for as long as you can. Spit it out, but don't rinse.

Your teeth will look whiter and feel cleaner for pennies. I think you'll like this too, so do it too, inshahallah.

But the real beauty secret for your mouth? SMILE!

"Even a smile is a charity."


Especially if your teeth are shiny white!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You Can Get What You Want



I got my G1 Phone. It seemed like an answer to alllll my needs. Last night I was happy with the possibilities it offered. Today, I couldn't locate my phone numbers. I couldn't figure out how to shut the windows. I got fed up. Most importantly, I couldn't get on line with it.

Thanks, neighbor with internet access!

I did fast more days, but then I got so sick that I haven't fasted since.

I don't have my car, but I've been blessed with rides.

I did have fun last night. I went from grumbling that AbuBoo was coming over to realizing that I could leave Mr. Boo with his father and go out! The little guy's fever was down, alhumdulillah.
I can't believe how I almost told AbuBoo not to come over. Helloooo! FREE BABYSITTER! All of us really need to stay open to possibilities. I had a wonderful evening out and ate delicious Thai food.

EgyptChick, you would be very proud of my companion.

The thing is...I am not sure if I am proud of who I am right now. I feel a bit mixed-up. Ahhhh, once again! Like old times!

I guess infatuation does that to a person.

But, if I can dream about my G1, only to cancel it the day after I buy it, then how wrong can I be about a man? I've been wrong so many times before, I wonder if it's possible for any of my dreams to come true.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mr. Boo Caught the Virus

Subhanallah! Just when I thought he wasn't going to get sick, he did.
May Allah be merciful with my boy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pope's Message of Hate for Gays

The Pope has declared that saving the world
from homosexual behaviour
is as important as saving the rainforests.
Asalamu Alaykom.
Each person on the earth is an endangered species, as much as any rainforest bird.
Each one of you reading this has my love and appreciation for doing the best you can to be YOU.
It really isn't easy to be authentic.
I think it hurts most when it should be a Norman Rockwell "Happy Holiday" family time but someone makes you feel more like an outsider.
I want to reassure you that God does not belong to the Pope.
You belong to God.
God put you on this earth for a reason and it's not for me to know but for you to explore.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reality


There is something about having 103 fever which brings reality into your head. It sounds crazy but it has happened to me like this before.

It was after such a fever that I decided I had to examine my first marriage, and whether or not I could survive another nine years.

Right now? Well, I had to admit that all the admiration of men around the world ain't gettin' me a cup a tea. You know? I feel worse than worse (not going into work tomorrow) and I have NO ONE. No one has helped me take care of myself or Mr. Boo this weekend. We've been on our own and I've been suffering.

Sure these men are calling to check on me from Australia, Cyprus, Montreal, Germany, and Qatar but they aren't here. They aren't real. In order to make them real, I would have to go through a lot of effort.

And you know what?

I don't have it in me.

I told each one of them that today. I ended each possibility today.

If it had been two years ago, I might have flown off to Australia, or agreed for Mr. Montreal to get a visa to visit here. But now? It all sounds like so much trouble. I don't want trouble. I have enough trouble.

If you feel like making a du'a, please ask that Mr. Boo stay healthy. This cold/flu was severe and I would hate for him to go through what I've been going through.

Stay healthy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sick, Lonely, and Sick of Being Lonely

I'm sick.
Alhumdulillah.
Flu.
So, despite the fact that I've had
marriage proposals from overseas,
I have no one here.
That sucks.
I'm going to take a nap.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What I Want


I want a GI phone from T-Mobile. I bought a $75 Nokia from Target yesterday. It was a pre-paid deal and I wasn't sure if my SIM card would work in it. The workers didn't know either. A young kid passed by and said, "Ya, that will work." LOL!

But the GI would be so cool! It has wireless capability! I could access the internet anywhere and use the Blue tooth for my computer. No more slooooooooooow connection by using the cell phone modem. And I would not be paying any more than I am now for my internet connection and text messaging.

Can I have it? Huh?

I feel like a begging kid at Christmas, except that I'm a grown woman who is Muslim. I want someone to buy it for me as a present. Dangnabit! That's the problem with putting down materialism for so long! It really works against you when you are feeling greedy.

TMobile is sold out of them right now. I can't order right away. I'm a right-away kind of person. I could get it if I went into a store...which I can't easily NO CAR STILL (I was lucky to get a ride to the Target!)

It would cost $149 total to me because I'm, "a valuable customer since 2001," which is when I split from the kids' dad. Come to think of it: I lasted longer with T-Mobile than with either the second or third attempt at forever.

I could pay $45 per month until it was paid off. I'm thinking of doing it.

Before I can consider that, I just need to pay a stupid $335 to the remainder of my stupid hypochondriac emergency room visit in Florida.

I want to fast all my pregnancy and nursing days away. I have 5 more to make up from 2004, 30 from 2005 and 30 from 2006 (all thanks to Mr. Boo). Women keep telling me I could pay for people to eat, but that's only a good idea if you have the money. Besides, I feel like I really should fast.

I have all the days I missed from this year made up. Alhumdulillah.

If you are concerned at all about making up your days, ladies DUH! This is the BEST time of the whole year to fast. It is SUPER EASY! You hardly suffer! Eat right before 6:00 AM and eat again at 4:30 PM. Just do it! Let me know if you do.

Oh, and I recommend that you have a document for days you missed. It helps visualize it in front of you.

Mine looks something like this:

Fasting Days Owed

2004

11 days

-1 an additional day on Monday Jan. 15, 2007 to make up for being preg. in 2004
-2 Sat, Dec. 6—8th day of Hajj
-3 Sun, Dec 7—9th day of Hajj/Arafat MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF FASTING
-4 Sun., Dec. 14, 2008
-5 Wed., Dec. 17, 2008
-6 Thurs., Dec. 18, 2008
----------
5 days

Planning


4Friday 19
3Saturday 20
2Sunday 21
1 Monday 22
Tuesday 23


I revisit it at the end of every fasting day. May Allah accept my fasting. As always, the hardest part for me is dealing with kids while fasting and not loosing my patience.

I do feel like I've lost some weight, alhumdulillah. Thankfully, I don't have a scale to tell me differently.

I do feel like I get more of a grip on reality by the second day. I see some things in my life clearer each fasting cycle.

I want a husband which is another good reason to fast. It cuts down on your desires. As I fast, I think about how much easier it will be to get these days done while I am single. Every day I fast, I think that I won't have to go through this much fasting ever again when I am married, inshallah. WHEN not IF, inshahallah.

I want some fun this weekend. I'm tired of no fun weekend after weekend. I realize that a halal time inside my apartment is better than any haram time outside my apartment, but I need to get out and find some halal fun before I go stir crazy.

I want my car inshahallah. It's in the repair shop now. Ignition troubles. How much does that cost? Subhanallah. Maybe this is the way Allah keeps me from getting into my own ignition troubles. I've been grounded.

Sigh...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Broke Down but NOT Broken


Car broke down after driving it four times. Subhanallah! You'd think I would have gotten more use from the thing! It was horribly in rush hour, with Mr. Boo cold in the backseat, driving to my mom's. I was trying to get to my teaching seminar.

The thing just stopped. Oh, it would start up again, but it wouldn't get into gear easily. A man stopped and told me to just put it into first so I could go about 10 miles per hour. Took forever to get the two miles to my mom's---starting, stopping, starting, stopping. Took her car to the seminar. God bless her.

Car is in the shop now. Alhumdulillah, I haven't paid anything for it yet. I'll see.

But now...it's the PHONE! It was a little goofed up, but Mr. Boo helped it fall apart completely. I put it back together. I don't think I'm buying another flip phone. It can still be used as a modem THANK GOD but I've got to get a new phone now.

These are things. They aren't ME. I'm still OK, alhumdulillah. I'm not going to let them bring me down. I can't. Once you start to spiral downward, it is very hard (especially on dreary winter days)to recover and soar upward again.

Inshahallah, I'll remain bouyant.

I wish the same for you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two Years After the Divorce



Subhanallah. Subhanallah. Subhanallah.

This week marked two years since AbuBoo came back from Egypt and I demanded a divorce.

I made that choice. It was mine. I could have stayed in the marriage. I could have a husband now. I could. I made the choice to be alone as a single mom.

I need to own that.

I went to a teaching seminar called, "Motivating the Unmotivated Student," with Chick Moorman.

He's written several books. I bought one: Talk Sense to Yourself: The Language of Personal Power

The key to his approach is in acknowledging that we have choices all day long. As a society, we tend to view ourselves as powerless pawns unable to function because of outside elements.

"He made me love him."

"I was unable to stop."

"It was just what happened."

We say these things, and things like them again and again. Why? Because we are conditioned to by this society.

As Muslims, we have to take control over our lives. This is our mandate from Allah. We have to control our nafs; our impulses; our lower selves. We have to rise above those who act powerless and make choices for the betterment not just for ourselves, but for our families and our ummah.

Our choices are ours alone. No one else to blame.

"The devil made me do it."

That's a popular blame game, isn't it? But even if Shaitan were in our lives mucking about, it would be our own selves to blame for inviting him in. We want...so we do. For everything that we do, we will be asked about why we made those choices.

I will be asked by Allah SWT about the divorce two years ago.

This week, I asked myself about it.

Who was I then?

Who am I now?

If I had to do it over again...would I?

How much have I suffered?

Am I suffering more now?

Or did I suffer more before?

How much have the children suffered?

Did my faith increase?

I'll answer the last question first. Yes, my faith increased. My spiritual being was scraped to the bone, but through the restorative power of The Almighty, I survived. I remained thankful. I remained steadfast. Alhumdulillah.

For the answers to the other questions, I went to my buddy, "Honorary Arab." This was the pseudonym I used for the years when I blogged in fear of being found out. I told too much and worried too much. That blog stopped because I made the choice to stop turning to people for comfort.

I went to the writings I saved from my former self and I looked at what I wrote two years ago. You can access a sample in my 2006 archives. I decided to post them. Why? Because it shows a triumphal arch.

I was once in a place in my life that was uncertain, out-of-control, scared, pained, and searching. I'm not there now. I'm in a better place.

Sure, I don't know exactly is going to happen, but I know who is making the choices. It's me.

It was me before too. I just didn't know it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You Put the You in Universe




Sometimes, I feel like I start losing myself. I talk to too many people; put my hand in too many pots. I forget who I want to be.

When I go to www.youniverse.com , I do get in touch with who I truly am. I remember my values, goals, dreams, and aspirations.

Users are shown a screen filled with interesting images---some of them haram, but what is not a mixed bag on the internet? Then you are asked to choose the image that completes the thought or hypothesis. Those selections come together in order to uncover the real YOU, and not just who you show yourself to be.

I find it fascinating and quite illuminating.


Youniverse Personality Test

Doesn't take long. Even with dial-up, it doesn't take long to load.

It compares you to others in the, "Youniverse," and you can ask others to take the tests as well.

So, I'm asking YOU, dear reader, if you would like to try it out. Let me know what you think.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Days Of Eid Al-Adha

From nasheed artist Dawud Wharnsby and from myself, wishes of joyful celebration and ease.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hajj is Done





.
According to the Saudi Embassy in Washington: a record number of foreign pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom to participate in 2008's Hajj. A total of 1,729,841 pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia from 178 countries, an increase of 18,026 from the previous year and a new Hajj record. Of the foreign pilgrims, 54.3% were male and 45.7% female. Prince Nayef added that 1,575,645 pilgrims arrived by air, 131,353 by land, and 22,843 by sea.

This site from UK's Channel 4's Hajj-The Greatest Trip on Earth is really a wonderful treasure. Please go and experience Hajj for yourself, through the miracle of the internet. There are slideshows, stories, and videos. I needed this today, to feel connected to our brothers and sisters in Mecca.


When you see the images on the screen of men and women crowding the mountain, think to yourself that you will see this again. This is truly what the Day of Judgement will be like. Except, the white cloth around the men will be their burial shroud, as everyone will have left their graves. It is a blessing to us, to see this now; to remind us of the real life awaiting us.

I am fasting. My last day fasting during the pilgrimage. I have never before fasted so many days in Dul Al-Hajj. I did all except the very first day, alhumdulilah. My days missed in this year's Ramadan are all made up, alhumdullilah. I'm now chipping away at those days missed from 2004-2006, when I was pregnant and then nursing my littlest.

My older son, God bless him, is here with me and is also fasting. He woke with me, ate suhour with me, prayed with me, and read Quran with me. Alhumdulillah. May Allah also bless his father for agreeing that his son may fast in my home.

Eid, inshahallah, is tomorrow. I'll be posting a wonderful nasheed, inshahallah, so be sure to come back for that! It's my Eid gift for my readers (who need to be commentators also).

My Eid gift was picked up yesterday. Yes, I have my car. MY CAR! Subhanallah! What an ordeal not to have a car! Any time we do without, we need to realize how fortunate we were before, when we weren't being grateful enough. I'm very grateful now. Alhumdulillah.


May all of us meet at the Kabba and make tawaf together.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dog's Bark Worse



The roughness awoke my peacefulness.
Its barking broke into my bed.

I sent my hate out in the dark
to the wherever; to the dog.

Didn't he know I was sleeping?

And I imagined him as a he
Since no one is more ungrateful than a him

Up I rose to a window, not to see but to find
the direction where to focus my anger.

Didn't he need to go in?

My window was cold; I felt the winter's air
Out there, with my enemy, what would it be?

I prepared to return to the slumber before
to the time when I could ignore.

Didn't he have someone who heard him?

I thought of his night; my night
could no longer be still; not in my ears, or my mind.

My burden was the knowledge of his need.
While I could rest, he could not.

Didn't he sound miserable?

Quietly, I drank my water, sat and forgot.
I opened windows on the LCD.

When I went to bed, tiredness overcame me.
My sleep came without another thought.

Didn't he deserve a prayer?

Fajr time. It's silent. I could pray for
Palestine, Pakistan, and Mumbai.

Instead, I worry for a dog down the street
Who found quiet at last on a frozen Friday.

Didn't he?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Iftar with Belly Dancers


I broke my fast last night at one of my favorite spots, Big Marina. I was ready to be out having fun.

I have not gone out for any kind of fun since...since I moved in actually. Is that right? During Thanksgiving weekend, I only left the apartment for a failed attempt to get the car title transfered at the DMV (which was closed).

So, Marina was a welcome change. I love the atmosphere of the huge termite mound, or whatever it is, in the middle sprouting water. I love the fake grapes hanging from the ceiling. It is better than if they were real---can you imagine?

But, of course, the FOOD is what I was there for. It's a buffet, which I love, in that the food is ready when you are. It is all good. I adore the eggplant.

I am an eggplant you know. If I could be any vegetable, I would be an eggplant. In Egyptian slang, to say you are eggplant or betingan lis to say you little crazy. I am. I am also beautiful, colorful and curvy. I don't go with every dish. You will find me in many delcious ethnic dishes: eousaka, eggplant Parmesan, ratatouille, and many more. You won't usually find me on American plates. Most people here don't know what to do with me. With the wrong person, I am allowed to rot in the veggie bin.

The thing about Marina that night was that the music videos were getting to me. I had just broken my fast and I was there watching half-naked media sex slaves shake their bon bons. It was too much.

I got up and asked the hostess if she could please change the channel. Couldn't we see Hajj instead? They appologized, found the remote, and then found some Quran.

Alhumdulillah.

You know? I am happy with what happened today: the fasting, going out, eating delicious food, and in standing up for what I believe.

Alhumdulillah.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mr. Boo's D.I.Y. Tip #31


Mr. Boo's D.I.Y. Tip #31


While doing home repairs

in the bathroom,

it is not wise to unravel a whole roll

of toilet paper

into the toilet bowl and then flush.

If the large amounts

of toilet paper

cause the water to rise,

call for assistance.


Do not, however,

ask for the toilet paper back.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Backbiting

FOUND:



TEETH IN



MY BACK



IF NEEDED,



PLEASE SEE ME



DIRECTLY.


I felt down...so down...yesterday afternoon. There had been talking about me behind my back; backbiting. In Islam, it is seen as actually eating the flesh of your brother or sister.

As my lovely daughter said to me, "So you felt like you were back in high school?"

I said, "No, worse: junior high!"

I talked it over with a good friend, may Allah reward her. She said that I needed to be grateful for times when the people let me down for only then do I truly remember that I'm doing it for Allah. If I harbored any bad feelings from it, she continued, then I should ask Allah to remove that upset from my heart. I should do this before talking to anyone. Go to Allah. Only Allah.

I'm fasting all these days, and it just hurt to think that I was praying for better and got worse. I felt that last night. Today, as I begin another day of fasting, I see how re-focusing on Allah cannot be worse. It truly is better. Alhumdulillah.

Good people in your life are a blessing, but if the whole world loved you and Allah was not pleased, you wouldn't have done well. And the converse isn't the case. It isn't as if I have no one loving me. I have a wonderfully supportive network of co-workers, friends, and family. Alhumdulillah.

I do think that it would have been nice to come home yesterday to that big shoulder to lean on. But the wrong shoulder? No. Please, no.

So, here I am. Starting again. Remembering Allah more. Trying to please others less. Inshahallah.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fasting in First Days of Hajj


I'm eating now, but in minutes I'll be starting another fast. No, it's not Ramadan. Muslims fast other times of the year too, ya know.

Didn't you know that?

Oh, actually, I didn't know that either when I signed up.

But I'm cool with it.

There is so much gluttony, so much wanton disregard for what brings us closer to God, that it is wise to step back from it all periodically. It's good to, "get a grip." I have felt like I've been loosing mine.

Also, for Muslim women, we have to make up the days we missed. When we were menstruating during Ramadan, we weren't allowed to fast. We have to make those days up before the next Ramadan. As for me, I'm still toting around about 70 days from when I was pregnant or nursing. Little by little, I'll make those up, inshahallah. I could pay the poor in exchange for missing those days, but I don't have the money.

Besides, I like fasting. It re-focuses me. I felt that yesterday.
It is Sunnah, or living like Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. I keep thinking that I'll master that some year, but as of yet, have not.

Fasting in the first nine days of the Muslim month of Hajj brings extra reward from Allah. If you join your fast with prayers, then you will inshahallah see a positive change in your life.

I'm hoping for that.

The fast right now is super easy. 6:00 AM to around 4:30 PM. If you have not fasted before and are nervous about giving it a go, this would be the ideal timing to experience. Get up at 5:00 AM. Eat and drink at 5:30 AM. Brush teeth right before 6:00 AM. Go the day without putting anything else into your body (including cigarettes, gum, medicine), and without any sexually exciting activity. Pray around 6:00 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:30. At 4:00 PM, get the food ready. Break the fast after 4:30 PM and pray. Pray again around 6:00 PM. Remember that doing all the prayers is necessary for a fast to be accepted.
For exact timings, go to www.islamicfinder.org.


May Allah accept the fasting, the prayers, and the Hajj for those whose hearts are filled with good intentions.