Saturday, February 24, 2007

OK, let it be me who opens this can of worms...

I am seriously considering just selling everything. Now the only real problem with this is that Mr. Packrat might go into some sort of seizures when I actually do this. But, I have to say that I can't bear the thought of more storage spaces. We have three sheds already...And only one ever even gets touched (it has our camping things in it). I am tired of hauling things from one place to another. I am ready to just let it go.

I am negotiating with DH the purchase of a few new things to replace stuff I don't think is even worth moving... One being our 9 year old, dropped out of the moving truck 2 times, puked on, cat had her kittens on, sagging in the middle mattress... But DH keeps saying "M (the only other Egyptian in town who happens to be a millionaire) kept his mattress for 15 years! He didn't get a new one until he came with me to get ours at Sams and saw the king size for the queen size price!" UGH. M is a frequent example of these things... M also waited about 20 years to buy his wife an engagement ring even though was able to find it in the budget to buy boats and cars and motor homes for himself... So I don't think he is really an example to follow... Anyway, I want a new mattress and the only debate right now is queen or king???? We have always had a king and I know we think we cold move to a queen and give ourselves more room in the bedroom, but I wonder. I have a feeling it might end up with me sleeping on the couch because I keep falling off the limited space left on the bed!LOL

The other thing I want to replace is our glass shelved entertainment center that I had when I was a single woman in college with no kids to shift the glass and make me all worried... We have broken like 8 shelves over time, and we just keep replacing them. I know we will break more in this move... And I hate the thing anyway. So, I think I will replace it (I ended up not buying the one I had my eye on when we decided to redecorate because we got a couch and recliner instead. And I would really like to get a bedroom set... But I doubt that will happen. DH just doesn't think it is worth it. He would rather keep fixing drawers in the junk we have and keep going. Until when I say?

Well now for my can of worms...

I just want to say this. Man on the moon, no safe birth control for women? Have you all been following the whole thing with the ortho-evra patch? Now see this is why I think barrier methods are the only safe option. I have done other things out of desperation and been sorry every time. When will they come up with something that actually works and doesn't mess with your body? Well, I'm waiting... But until then, spontaneity is the enemy:P

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Little boxes...

Well, if I feel like the world is closing in on me lately it's because it is. My store got chopped in half in January (and I still don't have the promised new bathroom in my half) and now my housing space is about to get cut from 2000 square feet to 800. By choice, of course, and for a variety of reasons including the need to sell this place we are in because the market is going down down down in our town and we need to sell it while we can still get a good price...

So, clean sweep style we are going to sell it all baby, sell it all. Our plan is to move with only the bare minimum (what this means I don't yet know). My biggest fear is that DH won't be able to part with his junk, ahem, personal belongings. As I have told UmmMai, the man once kept a broken iron for 6 years moving it from house to house with the promise to fix it. The other thing i am a little worried about it fitting the kids all into one bedroom, when they currently have a room and a playroom.

The up shot is, DH is FINALY getting an office. YES! That means his work will no longer occupy my dining table, insha'Allah. Which is worth the squeezing into a smaller space for now since it means no matter where we end up after this we will have gotten rid of this problem and we will actually have a table to eat dinner at! So, I am off to measure the new place today and start making the tough decisions about furniture... And start dreaming up storage solutions...

In a way I am really looking forward to it because it is a chance to simplify, and I have been wanting to do that. The only hard part will be convincing DH that he needs to remember how much space we have. No more buying 20 fridge packs of coke because it s on sale honey! And the second juicer, it will have to go... Along with the box of broken electronic devices that only cost $5 to replace. What is the point of keeping the CD player/radio that is only a radio now I will never understand.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Well I was an English Education/ Theatre major....

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Granola recipe

OK ummbadier, you asked for it. I can't say that I have any luck with bars either... But I can give you my granola recipe, but there is lots of variation when you make it. I will try to cover the common substitutions.

UmmLayla's Crunchy Mama Granola

3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup unsalted nuts (sliced almonds and cashews bits are my favorite)
1/2 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (you can also use honey)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried fruit (raisons, cranberries, mixed fruit)
Optional ingredients: 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, whatever), 1/4 cup soy grits

Mix everything but the dried fruit and bake for an hour @ 250. After baking add the fruit and after it cools put it in an airtight container! Yummm. Great on yogurt, ice cream, and you can add a cup to your favorite bread recipe and make cool little granola breakfast rolls;)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Still crazy after all these years...

I came home from a trip to Ft Collins and the whole foods market the other day baffled at the changes that have been brewing in the whole foods arena for a few years but have exploded recently. I couldn’t believe that I had to really look at things and try to decide if it was really the product I wanted or just something in a pretty package claiming to be whole grain/organic. I mean sheesh, when I see no hormones or antibiotics added I’m like well, no s&*%… I am wondering more about what you were feeding the chicken BEFORE he made it into the butcher paper.

I read Diet for a Small Planet when I was about 14... And became a dedicated vegetarian for many years. I still have that leaning to be honest. And if I didn't fear that my family would slaughter me for dinner if they were deprived for too long I think I would still be a vegetarian. Now not because I like cute sweet little animals too much to eat them, or I bought into PETA's propaganda... But because the earth and our bodies were not meant to accommodate our over-indulgence in animal products. I have gotten away from the practice, but not the ideas. I guess no matter what the exterior changes to over the years I am still crunchy on the inside. Man, I make my own granola and serve my kids soy protein shakes for breakfast.

So what is my latest pet peeve in my pursuit of all naturalness??? The fact that the popularity of the idea has brought about a real nightmare in the natural food isles. What is "natural" and what does that label mean when you see it on a product? Can Wal-Mart really be trusted to produce a line or "organic" products? Is an organic oreo really healthy? Eating whole food requires a change. You can't just get organic whole grain McDonalds and call it good. You will have to eat things you may not have tried before. You will have to cook your rice longer... You might actually have to read a label.

The drive for more organic goods has not helped with quality or availability as much as it has brought a bunch of questionable wanna-be prepared foods into the arena. Now I am all for more people buying organic, but not if they are buying it for the same reason they are sporting their versace jeans. hmph.

Maybe we should institute armpit hair checks for truly crunchy people before they are allowed to shop at whole foods markets... What do you think? There could also be like screening questions. Do you know what millet is? Do you have your own bags to carry the groceries you are about to purchase? Have you ever shopped at a thrift store? And if they didn't pass you could send them to the psuedo-whole foods market where they sell the "organic" "whole grain" stuff that those big companies are producing to keep people happy. What do you think?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Living in a small town while Muslim

When you have a last name and a face like DH, people don't forget you. And in a small town this is never good for a minority. It seems like this week has just been bad with that.

I mentioned in an earlier post my DH being stopped by the police when picking me and the kids up at school... Well that same officer came when he called the other day because a lady was spitting at him and got into his car and started hitting him with a rolled up newspaper (long story), and had the nerve to have him "step away from the vehicle" even after he insisted that our 4yo was in the car and he thought he should stay with him. And get this... The lady remembered the call where she stopped us and thought maybe he started the altercation with this crazy woman because he thought she was the person who called on him back on September of '06... WHAT? OK, lets review... We had no idea who called on him and really thought it was no big deal since the lady saw him with the kids and me... And you should just basically erase the call about him sitting on the school grounds once you know he has kids in said school, right? Basically she told him he was intimidating the woman, and it was all his fault and to watch himself in the future. UGH

Then, I got a call from the youth officer about the kids being absent (which was excused BTW) last week. He said we have reached a list of some sort where they have to warn us no more tardy or absent kiddos. Fine. But the day after DH's run in with the officer who patrols the kid's school area?

Then, a grouchy lady at the bank who has just always hated me didn't want to issue my DH a new card (his doesn't work) because I ask her to issue new cards all the time and she can't keep doing that. Come to find out she is talking about a time last year before the baby was born when I had to have new cards issued because one got lost in the mail and two for another account had the names wrong. UGH

DH is mad. Really mad. He thinks I have to be super careful about things because I should know people here are out to get us. My mistakes give them a reason to pick on us. Well, I can't deny that our problems with the park manager here where we live have something to do with my confronting her when she comes knocking at my door to complain about kid's toys in the yard... Considering that I got a place with a yard so the kids could have outside toys, yeah it ruffles my fur a little. And, I am not so great with the tardy thing... But the no more than 5 tardys a year thing is a little extreme, at least for a lady dragging four kids in the snow at 8am. And the bank, I just don't know what to say about that. I make them actually work sometimes (counting coins being their least favorite), and you know how employees hate that.

You know, the more I think about it the more the only good that could come out of this place is a piece of land where we could raise some chickens and maybe a dairy cow and a big fat organic garden. Insha'Allah. Insha'Allah.

Friday, February 02, 2007


We have been saying for years now that we will go to Egypt once our kids are older. Older being relative... It seems like we mean older than they are at the time we are talking, which of course just keeps changing since we never really defined "older". Lately however, we have defined older. When our oldest is 9-10. Which is coming in the next few years... So we have started to look at what moving to Egypt would actually entail. Wow.

There are so many questions to answer... What would be our source of income? Would the kids know Arabic well enough to attend an Egyptian school? Where would we live? How would I learn Arabic? How long would we stay? Just so many things to consider... And we are talking two years down the road.

From people who have made this change... What are the things you took into consideration? How long did it take you from we should move to actually moving? How does an Egyptian life for American kids look? Do they adapt easily? How did you choose where to live? What are the things you wish you had or had not done? And finally, am I crazy for already thinking about this? You see we are planning a trip soon, insha'Allah, and I am thinking maybe we should try to get things in order somewhat while we are there... Maybe we should really look at the apartments the family has to see if any of them make sense for us at least?

I am just swimming in this whole idea today for some reason. You see I have known it is coming, and for some reason I guess I have always treated this place like a student or something. Maybe not Egypt... But somewhere other than here will be our permanent home I think. Allahu Alim. Strangely, it gives me some peace to look at it like a goal, maybe that is why I am thinking about it so much as we get things with our lives rolling in a new direction.