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Monday, August 30, 2010

Part deux of my Ramadan Resolution

Remember my resolution to do some charity work at the end of Ramadan? Now here is a way everyone can join me, whether you are or aren't from this flood affected country.

Pakistan's rural areas are currently in crisis with millions of people homeless and waiting for help, or living in crowded situations in relief camps. Helping them is very easy: Just prepare a box of supplies as directed by this video, and contact Pakistan's national airline PIA, on instructions on depositing the box. The airline has promised free shipping to all boxes prepared for flood victims.

Upon landing in Pakistan, the relief supplies will be handed to the Pakistan Army, the most trust worthy organization and the one with the best logistical means to reach all victims.

My only addition to the box would be a pack of sanitary napkins. It would be nice if you can wrap it in a plain paper with a picture of a woman on it, so they know what to do with it without embaressing the women as they open the care packages. (Rural women are extremely shy about this business.)

Contact me if you have any question regarding sending the packages and I'll try to start collecting all information.

Procedure of dropping care package at PIA Cargo building can be found at this page.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh just leave me alone!

I had an inkling that this would happen, me falling off my own bandwagon (or horse). It all started with that darn (good) pasta. I didn't fall totally off though, I just stopped eating.

It's just muesli, Joe's-O's and yogurt these days. I'm too sick to cook with my heart. Wizard needs food, so I whip something up for him now and then in large quantities, but I rarely touch it myself.

I tore intercostal muscles on my left rib during Karma Kids Yoga teacher training...on the second day. It sucked! I missed all these great games that the teachers kept helpfully reminding us to enjoy because we wouldn't be able to play games like the human conveyor belt, and human knot and group chair with kids.

Thank you so much for those words while I sat on the sidelines holding my poor ribs.

But, they were nice enough to invite me back to a refresher course a few weeks later and so when I heal, I can experiences the games training again.

While I'm trying to heal, one night Monster decides she needs to stay up all literally! ALL NIGHT! All night as in slept from 9.30 to 12 am and then up till sahoor and went to bed with us at 6.30am.

And of course, she HAS to jump on Anne's poor

Turns out, SHE'S GETTING SICK TOO! After a night of high fever, and thinking she's just teething, we took her to the doc anyway just to make sure (maybe parent's intuition?). She has the coxsackie virus (that I mentally pronounce to the tune of a much worse two-word adverb curse). Her poor mouth is full of lesions (that are now healing, Alhumdulillah) and blisters on her hands and feet.

PLUS, it's the last week of Ramadan, when I was planning on having my few friends over for iftaar in between the odd-nights of prayers.

As of now, Wizard is the only one unaffected. I'm considering giving him a big blue pinch just to make sure he suffers and doesn't get any sicker than that....Or else, who's going to take care of US?

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Silly Man

Wizard and I routinely sit down after sahoor and have random chats from dhikr to childhood memories etc.

Yesterday we realized that Monster's new bike will be delivered soon and we wondered how lucky she is that she's not even three and she got her first bike. He asked me when I had my first one. "I probably had a tricycle when I was around 4 I guess because I have clear first memories of riding around the driveway of the house I grew up in," I told him. "But my first real bike, a BMX, I got when I was 10...ish."

"Hmm, I got my first bike when..." Wizard pretended to think. "Wait, I never had a first bike! Cetin [Youngest BIL] got his when he was 4, and all of us three older brothers took turns riding it. Bedri [Older BIL] was 17 and he was forcing his body to fit the bike and managed to still ride it around while Cetin watched. I wonder why it didn't break right away!"

I was laughing so hard, I had stitches in my jaw and tears running down my eyes.

Then this morning, he managed to almost get me crying with laughter again.

We were talking about Julia Roberts getting older and I told him how she reportedly feels better about her age when she thinks that if she's getting older, Richard Gere is also getting even older! My sister shared this with me this piece of gem and yeah we decided (she and I) that we should look at more ancient people to feel better about ourselves getting older.

Wizard looks at me, amused and asks "So are you thinking that when you get old, I must be getting older?"

Uhh.....not really but...

"I'm like wine baby, I'll get better with age. You can't compare youself to me."

Oh man...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the 9th Day She Cheated

August 19, 2010
On her vegetarian diet, that is.

But tell me this, what living being can say no to this?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Topsy Turvy Thursday

*I think Topsy Turvy Tuesday sounds better. Next week!

I'm curious to see any comments from sisters fasting this year: If you had to pull off a non-breakfast Sahoor, and a non-dinner Iftaar (not including the traditional Ramadan snacks), how would you do it?

My first attempt would be to have some kind of protein and carbs in the morning, Goulash for instance with pasta, potatoes and meat and normal breakfast fare for iftaar--maybe some stuffed parathas (fried flat bread), omlettes etc.

Editted: There ARE pictures, man!

Wizard's bunch of left overs
My breakfast-for-dinner!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ramadan day 7

August 17, 2010: Stuffed Eggplant, patlican dolmasi.

I don't want to talk about it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What day is it?

No really, what day IS it?

I'm totally out of it. Just before iftaar, after preparing the food I laid down for a little rest. Before getting up, I sat up for a few seconds so the blood doesn't rush to my head when I stand up. I -stand up thinking I should be fine now and crash-bang into the dresser...blacked out.

Thankfully it only lasted a few seconds like all my black outs do...maybe it's not really a black out. Anywhooo...

Day 5 of Ramadan marked my birthday =) and I was lucky to have a great friend who offered to watch Monster while Wizard and I got dinner out at TJ Sushi (something he'd been craving for a long time.) So we kissed Monster bye and in the spirit of prancing out into the night sans toddler, forgot my camera at home.

I know!!! I kicked myself on your behalf.

Here is the extremely bad picture of an extremely delicious platter of TJ rolls... it's not often I pinch myself mid-bite to check to see if I've died and gone to heaven:

And me, after I took a long time to clean up to "appear" non-mom-like. Check out my huge earings.

Luckily, they're crochet and weightless. I haunted Etsy endlessly for something like these, and ended up finding them in a small shop in Newport, Rhode Island.

So, back to today and we're working on left overs from the last 5 days of Ramadan. Maybe I need to make this routine.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vegetarian funny

Don't remember who said it that being a vegetarian means eating only side dishes? lolz, cracks me up every time =D

Day 3 of Ramadan was nothing worth talking about. We had iftaar with friends at the Turkish Cultural Center in Queens. Everyone ate kebabs that smelled heavenly (except they AREN'T!) except me. I ate salads with the pilaav and cut my lip on a plastic spoon. Yes, you read it right the first time.

Today isn't any better. My blood pressure didn't improve and I felt dizzy most of the day. We ordered out but I managed to make this beauty of a salad. As most beautiful things go however, it only looked good.

Maybe I shouldn't share everything on this blog.

Ok readers, who are you to know when I'm lying? It tasted fantabulous.

I feel a little better.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 2- Chicken VS

2 down 27 to go: August 12, 2010

No pictures as food was the kind that is extremely yummy but very difficult to present: red beans and aaloo ki bhujjia. On the Wizard's plate was chicken karahi that came out pretty good (I ate the gravy, was that a cheat?)

I finally got to do my shopping and in the cart were:
Crisco for parathas the next morning
Extra firm tofu
Veggie patties
Vegan Waffles

I tried to find eggless-eggs but even at Trader Joe's they didn't carry any. So I'm glad to announce that I'm not obliged to give up eggs as they make a huge part of our breakfast. (Squeeee!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan Day 1

1 down, 28 to go: August 11, 2010

Breakfast was a vegan fail. I forgot to get Crisco and couldn't make the breakfast I wanted. We couldn't go to Trader Joe's for my other vegan options. I had to bow down to the power of a bagel-egg and cheese sandwich.

Dinner was a success until I added a huge dollop of Ranch:


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Midnight ducks

August 8th, 2010: Sheepshead Bay, close to midnight

It's the simplest thing that inspires

August 7th, 2009: Imran bhai's home

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ramadan Resolutions

In just a few days, lives of Muslims all around the world will take a drastic turn. For a month, the followers of Islam will hold fasts for the love of Allah and all He commands. We will increase our efforts to do everything that is good and abstain from everything that does not become a Muslim.

This is how I always see my month in Ramadan. I want to do something special this year and would love to see more sisters and brothers join me in this effort. Here are my Ramadan Resolutions:

1. Abstain from meat, dairy and poultry for the entirety of the month. Not drinking water before or after eating, only sipping between bites. Also, no cold water.

2. Do dhikr every moment of quiet (when I'm not required to talk to other people). To facilitate this, and as a reminder I've already started wearing a tasbeeh in my right hand all the time.

3. No swearing, not even modified benign versions of my favorite curses. So, saying crap instead of $hit does not mean I've kept my promise. Instead of swearing, SMILE! It's very hard lolz, try it for a day!

4. Forgive everyone and everything, and ask for forgiveness in return. Let's not have any burdens of our earthly debts against our brothers and sisters. Insha Allah, once our heart is cleansed from grudges and negative thoughts and negativity against us, our prayers of forgiveness from God will be truly sincere.

What are your resolutions? Even if you aren't Muslim, would you would you "fast" by giving up something you love dearly? Or would you join me in the most charitable Ramadan Resolution yet?

5. For each day of the month, collect a can for a food pantry. At the end of the month, donate the 29 cans AND at least an hour from your day to volunteer at a soup kitchen or pantry.

I'm looking forward to reading what your Ramadan Resolution is.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I must be crazy posting this

Word to the wise: if the kid is crying in the back seat, try not to console her from the front seat. Even for if it will only last a few minutes.

Possible outcome: A badly twisted sacral joint that needs immediate realignment and then days of recovery.

Which is how I'm finding myself unable to funtion beyond my apartment door, spending most time lying on my back on the floor and trying to entertain Monster from this position. Not being able to go out obviously means that TV has become the most reliable form of entertainment. Oh the horror of watching your toddler become a couch potatoe in front of your eyes!

In an effort to cut down on TV time, I'm trying someone today. Each half hour she watches a show she likes, she and I spend the next hour or so either recreating the story, dancing (mostly Monster) to the show tune and drawing pictures of what we watched.

My first attempt at drawing Angeline Ballerina. And my last:

I hope my mom doesn't see this and throw up.