Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday thoughts

Here we are in the days after Christmas. My family & I spent Sunday watching, what else, Christmas shows, as if anything else was available for the antenna dependent. In the midst of all this I realized something. As a Muslim I probably should feel disconnected from the Christmas dramas, but I don't. The media has boiled down the holiday experience to something we can all relate to. I remember gathering with family & friends for holiday dinners. While the specifics of the meal, decorations, & words remembered may change it is the memories created we all treasure. Enjoy your holiday whenever you have it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Some intriguing questions

I was channel surfing the other day & came across Oprah talking to her weight loss guy Bob Green. They had just come to the moment where they were working on question 2 of Bob's 3 questions to ask yourself about your weight. 1) Why are you overweight? 2) Why do you want to lose weight?  3) Why haven't  your past weight loss attempts been successful?

My answers:

1) I am overweight because, I have lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle as far back as I can remember. I like to eat, but I have little feeling for when I am truly hungry, not thirsty, stressed or bored. I binge if I delay or miss a meal especially if I'm under stress.

2) I want to lose weight because: I want to feel better, sleep better, look better. I want to be able to find clothes that fit all of me not just my biggest parts. I want to stop needing & paying for extra fabric. I want to have more choice in clothing, & cuter clothing to pick from. I want to stop feeling deformed. I want to have the energy to play more. I want to be a better roll model for my kids. I want to have a body I can live in comfortably for the rest of my life & one that's fun to play in.

3) Why haven't  your past weight loss attempts been successful? I was successful 7yrs ago losing 30 of about 110lbs with Weight Watchers. Since leaving WW I have not continued to use the program or any of the 'lessons' taught there. Thereafter when I have lost weight I quickly return to bad habits allowing fatigue, stress, & sedentary activities to be my norm.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bad news, & more bad news

Bismillah R-rahman R-raheem.

We've learned that we were not well enough prepared to take care of goats. Two days after DS#2 found his kid, he also found the larger twin buried in the straw. I assume the female was still in labor & couldn't care for the first twin while birthing the second. DH buried it in the back yard. Then 2 days ago DS#2 found the other kid had died. We are not sure about the other female. DS#2 insists she has not delivered yet. I hope DH will put her inside somewhere until she does. It looks like we'll have to convert a shed or build a barn for the goats.

I suppose next winter we will have to bring any midwinter kids into the house or at least into the garage. DH won't consider bringing the mommy into the garage to take care of her kid(s). I'm not looking forward to buying milk replacer & feeding bottle babies again. I'd prefer keep the male locked up for the months where any female will deliver in the cold.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We have a new kid!

Bismillah R-Rahman R-Raheem

My 11yr old is so excited. When he went out to feed his goats tonight one of them didn't come to greet him. Upon investigation we have our first kid. I was skeptical when he convinced Amu to let him buy a couple of young goats. Amu is raising goats & sheep for halal slaughter. DS#2 loves getting his hand dirty. He went to help Amu at the farm a few times before buying his billy & 2 nannies. I've asked his what his intentions are regarding these goats, but we're not quite clear what he is going to do other than raising them. Amu has suggested milking the nannies after they deliver. That should be interesting. I've tasted goat milk before. It must be an acquired taste, I haven't acquired.

We raised 3 bottle rams about 2yrs ago. Hubby says the kids asked for the rams but I remember it being his idea to get them. We went to a farm to slaughter for Eid Al-Adha. The farmer's wife took me & the kids to the lambing barn to see the new babies. They're really cute when they're tiny. As they got bigger they started butting on us. They were unpredictable & I started to hope hubby would slaughter them for the next Eid Al-Adha. When Eid came he couldn't do it, wouldn't even sell them. He had let them have free run of the back yard most of the time. When they were little it was funny to have them follow you around or climb the picnic table, or eat from the crab apple standing on their back legs. When they got a little bigger it was funny when they came to the fence we had to put around the patio to keep them from drooling on it, to have their noses scratched. One of them I remember would make a 'chuf-chuf-chuf' noise as I scratched his nose. They got into trouble too. We had one dog which we tied to keep him from running the sheep. The sheep would go to him & stick their noses in his food bowl, & drink his water. Eventually we penned the sheep to keep them away from the children. One night DS#1 went to feed the sheep. He found one down & the others injured, with the dog in the pen. We had to slaughter all of the sheep that night due to their injuries. It was a difficult night but alhamdullilah. We sent meat home with the brothers who helped process them & filled our freezer to.

Alhamdullilah those dogs are gone now. Insha Allah we won't have any worries about the new kid being attacked in its pen. It is still cold here & Nanny is keeping her kid inside the shelter most of the time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Trying something new at home.

Bismillah arRHman arRHeem.

Alhamdullilah, Last night was the first shift for my new kitchen helpers. I've decided to finally employ my kids as help, insha Allah. I will be supervising them while they will work one week shifts, doing what ever I need done to get meals on the table & clean up afterwords.

I assigned DS#1 & DS#3 to work together since DS#3 is 6 & can use his oldest brother to help him reach & carry. Setting the table got done without much difficulty. DS#1 even won point with DH by remembering to have his water ready on the table. We ate garlic shrimp, rice pilaf with toasted almond & raisins, chicken mustgo, & salad. After the meal & with frequent reminders of what still needed to be done, the boys managed to clear the table, rinse the dishes, fill the dishwasher, wash the table, wipe off the stove, & sweep the floor. I hadn't realized how hard it would be for me to let them do the work. DS#3 had never really swept the floor before & ended up with lots of 'help' from me. I had intended for him to clean the table & his brother to sweep but DS#1 beat his little brother to the easy jobs. Later, I rewarded them with chocolate as a surprise. Insha Allah the incentive will inspire DS#2 & DD next week to work more than war in hopes of a similar reward.

What is winter?

I was driving the other day on a ring road highway not far from my house. I had been thinking about Libya a lot. What I liked or didn't and why. It suddenly struck me glancing at the side of road, at the snow, the sleeping nature, this was something I hadn't particularly liked in Libya. Understand even in Tripoli you feel the desert. The background color of life is a tan brown, a color of dead vegetation. As much as the white of the snow at the roadside in Kansas City. I am waiting for the green to return, the background color of life here most of the year. I do delight in the white of new snow tracing the outlines of the world. I can live with the muddy brown of rich soil waiting for sprouts to cover it. I have yet to come to terms with the dry hot tan of the desert. It challenges my imagination to find the potential in it, to see the life that will come with the rain that falls after I've left to go home. I want to love Libya. I feel I must as DH's heart will always be connected to his family there & I am too. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What has been visiting my house?

The other night while we were sitting in the family room we heard the sound of metal against metal. Understand our family room has a door to the garage, which has a door to the back patio very near it. None of us knew what the sound could be. My son insisted he had brought inside the pot from the leftovers I had given him to give to the dog. I went to the patio door, a normal exterior door without a window. I turned on the light & paused, knowing I didn't really want to meet any wildlife at my back door. When I looked out I saw the pot with the spoon on the cement beside it. I thought "Of course that's what made the noise, something knocking the spoon out of the pot." Since the patio was empty of life, I looked to the back yard, into the dimness beyond the lights. I did see something four legged running away past the far buildings heading for the trees beyond. It was very difficult to gauge the size of the animal I saw. It moved like a cat though I thought it might be as large as a medium size dog or as small as a house cat. Friends have told me it could have been a fox, as we have them in the area.

These pictures were taken several days after the incident. My daughter came to me in the morning after it snowed telling me I must come see the tracks she had found. These were found on the same back patio which is surrounded by a three foot fence, originally placed to keep our three rams, now deceased, from drooling all over our patio, but that's another story. My daughter was convinced that these are the prints of the animal I saw.

I think these are cat prints. The tracks trail around the patio past the side of the garage through the gate around to the front, across the front of the garage, on the front walk up the front porch & back crossing some rabbit tracks in the driveway & then down the driveway to the street. According to my daughter there were other tracks in the back yard, but I was to lazy to go out into the snow to see them. Besides I want to think we only have ordinary wild life in the yard.

Given the darkness, & the late hour, the mind makes up explanations to fit the 'evidence'. A cat expands into a beast.