Thursday, June 30, 2005

Trailer Trash?

I have a confession to make.... And my husband is livid about it, but here goes... I am embarrassed to admit that we live in a trailer. I hadn’t really thought of just how embarrassed until a friend from high school emailed me and told me they would be in the area and wanted to meet for dinner. I have to say I feel I can’t have them over because I live in a trailer.

For those of you who are American, am I alone here? I swear I have tried to say I don’t feel this way, I have tried to look at it like a stage in our life and I have nothing to be embarrassed about… But I am. Allah forgive me, I am. I know this is really materialistic and such, but to be honest I would feel better if we were renting an apartment. Just goes to show that the whole streotype about trailers is engrained in my head. To be honest we have a nice house, masha'Allah. Wood floors, 2000 square feet, fenced yard.... I don't know what my damage is.

Ugh, I feel ill.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My son's ear surgery today

My son had his ear surgery today, and Alhamdulilah things went smoothly. It does look like we will be back in six months for another surgery though; they found out that the problem was a little more complicated than they thought.

They ended up removing the bone that is closest to the inner ear and patching the inner ear with a tissue graft from the little bump at the center of the ear. Now, that patch has to take (which will take about six months) and they will put in prosthetic bones to replace the bones of the ear and insha’Allah restore the hearing to normal.

Right now I am just focusing on making dua that this part of the recovery goes well, we will deal with the hearing later, insha’Allah. Please keep us in your dua, it looks like the case is a little more complicated than we thought... But we are on the road to fixing the problem, insha’Allah.

They took some pictures of the inner ear and I will try to post some of them, it is interesting to see how these things work. Subhan’Allah, the whole thing is such a delicate balance and such an interesting system. Alhamdulilah for the fact that we found this when we did. I hate to think of all the things that could have gone wrong with his case. The DR said that adults with similar injuries are dizzy all the time until the repair is made. Subhan’Allah, kids are VERY adaptable and capable of overcoming these things. It is a mercy from Allah, SWT.

Friday, June 17, 2005

What's Going On....

I haven’t posted in the past few days so here goes…

My children are hyper and wild since it is summer time and they are feeling like sitting at the store with me is a jail sentence of sorts… And I agree. But, alhamdulilah, my husband has agreed to pay an employee for the store from his business account so I can have some time off without feeling like I am wasting money from my business! YEAH! But, if you must know this benefits him too since I can stay home on days he is sick/extremely busy with his paperwork and needs my help.

In other news I have successfully killed two vacuum cleaners in the past month… How? Wouldn’t I love to know.

My daughter is doing well with her reading lessons, masha’Allah. If things continue along these lines she will be reading by summers end, insha’Allah.

And finally, I made some very good fattah for dinner last night… And anyone who knows Egyptian men knows that that tilted the scale in my favor big time. I didn’t even hear about the house being a mess for the entire evening.LOL;)

Monday, June 13, 2005

My DS's ear surgery

My middle son has some hearing trouble that we are finally scheduled to have corrected, insha'Allah. I will be taking him to Denver on the 22nd to get the pre-op exam done and then the surgery will be on the 23rd. As much as I hate the idea of surgery... I am getting excited about the possibility of restoring his hearing. There are some habits that he has which I think are related to not hearing well, and I am hoping for some improvement with them. And the great part is that if we don't fix it with this surgery at least we will know that the inner ear is fine and we will proceed with a hearing aide. Anyway, please remember him in your duas.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The blog and the Muslim mind

I have been an internet junkie since about 1990… And I was online when e-mail came through tel-net, and I was just using a dial-up to get to my university’s server. So, naturally I used the internet to research Islam and meet Muslims when I was considering conversion.

I have often wondered if I would have ever learned all I did, if I ever would have converted for that matter if it weren’t for my internet addiction (yes friends, addiction because I will ask you to use your computer to check my mail if I am at your house).

Now, I think that I may not be alone in this, and it brings rise to a question that I have: Does the internet have a role in modern Islam, and if it does what is it?

My answer is simple. I say undoubtedly, YES. With gusto, YES. What is that role, now that is a more complicated question. I think the internet has two major roles, education and community. Of course I might be biased since those are the two things I get from the internet… But bear with me because I still think it is true.

In this world we are all connected now, and we all have the opportunity to learn from the internet as long as we are critical readers. I know there are those out there who hate to see “wrong” information proliferated by the internet… But I look at it differently. I look at it as an opportunity to open your mind, to explore all the facets of a subject and solidify your opinion. In the end the truth will win out. There is no need to fret over sites that are flat out wrong or misleading, as long as we are all up to the responsibility of weeding out the information we take in.

In a broader sense I think this critical look at the religion will help us, strengthen us. There are many of us out there not ready to follow something simply because it is tradition, or the way things have always been done. If you are secure in your ideas, hold them up to our scrutiny and I promise you if they pass the test we will listen to them.

The community provided by the internet is important to people like me in remote areas where there simply are not many Muslims. I stay connected to the ummah through the friendships I form on-line, and I consider them to be as sincere and important as the friendships I have in the real world. I think even if you never make friends online you will find a certain comfort in reading a blog that reminds you of your outlook on life, a groups that touches on the issues that are important to you. There are days I don’t talk about Islam except with people on the internet. And that talk keeps things going for me when I feel that I am the Lone Ranger here in the Midwest.

So, I just hope that we all keep e-mailing, blogging, building sites… I think that it is a big part of our lives in this society where we are all so spread out. And who knows when you are typing that blog entry who might be reading it!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A story that I really love...

I am not an angry God person, never have been. I figure everything happens for some unexplainable reason. The tale of the khider is one of my favorites. It goes as follows; please forgive me if I am wrong in the details, because I am doing this from memory.

Moses asks the khider (a man whose will and actions are intimately connected with Allah’s will) to travel with him and is told yes; under the condition that he will not question the khider’s actions. The journey starts and the first thing they encounter is a young boy. The khider kills him. Moses struggles to understand, and they come to the next place where the khider stops in a village full of people who are rude and unwelcoming to re-build a stone wall on the edge of the village. Moses of course questions why the khider would rebuild the wall for the people of a town who had shown them no hospitality or kindness whatsoever. So, now Moses is obviously finding it hard to keep from questioning, but he has to keep the agreement to continue to travel with the khider. Next the khider and Moses stop at a dock and talk to some poor fishermen. When the men leave the khider sinks the boat. Moses is really taken aback by this and has to ask about why. So the khider proceeds to tell him from the beginning the reasons for his actions. The khider tells Moses the boy’s parents were righteous people, and if he had grown he would have caused them much pain and tested their faith. He rebuilt the wall to protect the treasure of orphans from the greedy people of the town who would surly take it if they found it in the wall. And, finally he sank the boats of the poor fishermen because that day the king's army would come and collect all the boats in that village but would leave this one because it was damaged, but the fishermen would repair it easily. So, the khider leaves to continue his journeys without Moses.

So, what do I take from the tale of the khider?

Well, it tells me that not all things we think of as right or fair are in God’s plan. There is a reason for even the things that seem horrible and wrong. I don’t think it lessons or grief about bad things that happen to us, but it certainly gives us the assurance that everything happens for a reason. And, even Moses was unable to understand the good behind the things the khider did… So I would guess that probably means we are going to have a hard time seeing them too! So, the next time you are screaming "why"… Think of the khider.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Raising Equality

There is a really great post on Ethnically Incorrect about how Muslims are raising their girls vs. how we are raising our boys. Deer and Wolves. Check it out, well worth the read.

For me this is an important issue. I think we are giving our boys especially the wrong message. We are letting the girls shoulder the responsibility of sexuality as teenagers (as in they are the ones who are obligated to avoid pre-marital sex) and then later letting them be the keepers of marriage by giving them the responsibility of pleasing their husbands.

How about instead of teaching our boys to be tough and our girls to be nice, we teach all our children to be pious, thoughtful, honest, loving and responsible individuals. The rest will take care of itself. Trust me if you give your children the love for the deen, and teach them to be caring they will be fine in their lives and their marriages.

Besides, if I remember my Islamic history correctly Khadijah had her own business and the Prophet (sws) was reported to have been helpful with household chores. So where did we start with all this other stuff anyway? It has to be culture, because we are all equal in the eyes of Allah (swt).

Thursday, June 02, 2005

You can't handle the truth!

Since I wrote about today being my court date I have to write about what happened,

Small claims court is weird if you have never been. It’s basically, like my husband says, “10 minutes of court to keep people from shooting each other over civil disputes without tying up the legal system.” You see in Egypt you would be in court about 3 years over something like this!LOL

Basically the judge warned the renters that they couldn’t prove any of the claims they were making, or it would be very unlikely anyway and asked them if they want to dismiss it before we even start. Of course they said no.

The short version is basically that we would have had them pay everything, and the judge even said he thought we made our case… But, in Wyoming there is a law that says you must give a written notice within 30 days of the tenants vacating (which passed over the weekend) of all charges to be deducted from the deposit. Which means we have to give them thier deposit back.

I got such a notice together and was unable to get them to give me an address to mail it to. The bad thing is since I never managed to do it so as a result we can't deduct cleaning and replacement charges from the damage deposit. The good part is that the judge thought we were in the right and said if there was any leniency in the law about this notice he would’ve ruled in our favor… But in light of that law we have to give notice to have the legal right to deduct these charges from the deposit.

What can we learn from this??? Well I think we will be getting that business attorney my husband has been gripping about for so long. If we had known the importance of that notice we would have found a way to get it to them even if it meant posting it in the newspaper or something. And, I think that this small claims thing is pretty fair for the most part… And I have to admit that I did derive some evil pleasure for seeming the smirk on the judge’s face when he read the pain and suffering part of the claim.

So, I am out $150 more than I wanted to pay them, but that’s OK. They didn’t get all the other crazy judgments they were seeking. Now I know that everything goes to the tenants in writing from now on.

Oh, yeah... And, Alhamdulilah, no one thought we were there to blow up the building or anything.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Super Freak

Well, the courts date with my old tenants is tomorrow morning. Please make dua for us. I think it’s pretty simple and really obvious that they took our stuff… But you never know.

The thing that I fail to understand is how someone who took the mower and all the watering equipment would be bold enough to take me to small claims court for the full security deposit???? Not only that she added $500 for pain and suffering and $100 because she moved out before her thirty days notice was up. What a freak. Super freak. People like that kill me. I don’t even have the confidence to tell a landlord "ufff" if they charge me $100 for cleaning or some junk.

I offered her the security deposit minus $100 to replace the mower and have the carpets cleaned (since a dog she told me she didn’t have peed all over the place). I thought I was being more than fair! Apparently she wants the mower, the sprinklers the hose and a free carpet cleaning… Not to mention her $100 bonus for moving out early, which is clearly just pulled out of her you know what because there is no such stipulation in the contract.

So, now I am relying on the small claims court to see that this person is a whacko. Which should be pretty obvious considering that she is asking for $500 pain and suffering because I didn’t do things to her liking. But, this is American justice we are talking about here folks... So you never know. Besides... I am thinking that the judge might be too distracted by the scarf and my big husband's big beard... You never know I may be bloggin from a cell tomorrow afternoon. So if you read about a mother of three and her Egyptian husband being held for questioning in Laramie, you'll know what's up.