Monday, September 10, 2012


You didn't hear from me last week because I was totally and completely unplugged from technology (well, as much as one can be here in Minnesota without heading Up North to BWCA and getting lost/wet/eaten by a bear). I mean I was not tweeting, blogging, or facebook-ing. I was also not working for three magnificent days plus the weekend. It was basically amazing.

Let's pretend that dog is Willy the Cat, ok?

It would behoove you to read about my lazy exploits ahead...

I should tell you know that my mom staycationed with me last week. And this little mini-break from reality was not about burning calories at all. It was about a mother and daughter each claiming separate couches on a Thursday afternoon to read books with the breeze and sunshine coming in through the patio screen door and eventually falling to a snoring sleep for an hour or more (who cares?). It was about blowing off half-baked plans we'd made to visit the arboretum because we slept too long. It was about totally not caring at all what time it was or what was for dinner or who was going to do dishes because it certainly wasn't us. 

We did however take some exercise in the form of walking through my surrounding neighborhood and gawking at beautiful old houses. Because of what I like to think of as a fluke-like loophole in my life contract, I live in a really fancy-pants section of St. Paul, MN where the houses are like, all on the historic register or whatever, and you can actually walk in the uncontrolled crosswalk with your ice cream cone and not get mowed down by a belligerent driver.

I snapped this pic while we were walking. It should paint the picture for you. 

We also walked a bunch through the Walker Art Center's Sculpture Garden, where we saw some interesting artworks but really the prettiest walkway flanked and canopied in some breathtaking flowering plants. I'm sure it would have been even more stunning in July, but it was still awesome. There were giant Sweet Peas arching over the walk, huge white Hibiscus, purple Cat Tails, and a bunch of other stuff I either forgot the names of or my mom didn't know (and she knows everything).

It was easy to escape Hennepin Avenue in this environment. 

We toured an exhibit on '80s art and pop culture in the museum as well, and saw some wild stuff.

My mommy, checking out a collection of crack vials found in the artist's NYC neighborhood.
We really bonded, I tell you!

For reals, it was the best three days I've had in a long time. We did other stuff here and there but again, it was less about doing and more about BEING if you get what I mean. We were on the balcony watching people walk up and down Grand Ave. We were in the car, wondering what historic sites could possibly be in Mendota Heights after seeing a brown sign on the highway. We were sitting in a diner having a burger and/or a Crabcake Eggs Benedict and talking about nothing.

I love my mom. Minnesota is pretty great too.


I started Arabic class again yesterday, and while I'm not sure if I'm in Arabic 9 or 10 (I seriously can't keep track anymore and am too lazy to check) we're right back into the swing of things. We translated Surat al-Baqarah verses 98-100 and also got back to our 40 Ahadeeth book, of which we are now on Hadith #17.

The Hadith is basically saying that if you're going to do something, do it right. But the specific examples used are of a very serious nature—killing and slaughtering:

It sounds gory, but can you think of any other acts that are done as often and so very badly as these? There are very specific conditions regarding when blood may be shed, and they are largely ignored by Muslims and non-Muslims alike all over the world (See: Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Burma, etc., etc.). 

Also, a vast majority of animals raised for our consumption are kept in deplorable conditions, fed things that harm them (and eventually us), and are killed in terribly inhumane ways. This happens every single day, so of course it's befitting that we should be counseled on the topic. While the hadith doesn't go into detail about how to kill and slaughter with "Ihsaan" (perfection), it makes the point clearly and it's up to us to figure out the specifics from other sources of knowledge. I'll let you seek those out however you see fit. 

I'll admit I was kind of dreading Arabic class this semester. I felt like I had taken it as far as I could and that I should maybe just stop. But then I remembered two things: One, that I have so much more to learn (I mean, who am I kidding??) and Two, Allah loves those who are consistent, even in the smallest things. So I will stick with it as long as I can and keep sharing what I learn with you. 

Thanks for taking the ride with me!


  1. I absolutely love the pics in this post! LOVE! masha'Allah
    Your mom is a beautiful soul, I am so glad to have met her.

  2. I'm glad you had such a great staycation! You really needed it and I hope that you can take the times of relaxation you had and remember them when times are crazy.