Thursday, May 29, 2008


No book Summary yet. We packed most of our books including the Vaccination book, and things are a little crazy right now for a book summary.

The good news is I got some interest from a Blogger who wants to write something for my blog. The not so good news is I am still figuring out how to change my password so I can start giving out a new password for guest bloggers, If anyone knows how to do it please let me know, I am not so good with this stuff!

On a different note here's a little story of how I wake up every morning:

I open my eyes to a small face with a giant smile saying hi with a wave, then darkness.
A couple of seconds later.. another Hi with a big smile and the same wave, more darkness.. then the distinct word that I hear so many times through out the day "Bok..Bok" then a cardboard book is shoved in my face, and the small body next to me starts adjusting herself in a proper sitting position and waits impatiently.
With a big yawn I take the book and start lifting my head and shoulders enough trying to make up the blurry letters on the "bok". My cracked voice reads:" Panda bear, Panda bear what do you see?" Then I read the book again, and again, and...well by then I'm pretty awake:)

( There are some variations to my story, either reading a different book, or getting poked in the eye when I am more stubborn in waking up than usual).

Have a good morning everyone:)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

10 things I love about America

My next post for the book summary is coming up soon inshaAllah.
But today I am feeling a little bit down, so here's what I am doing to lift my mood up a little, I am listing 10 things I love about America.

1. Farmer's markets

2. Thrift stores

3. The Madison birth center

4. American's who speak English with a thicker accent than I do( a nation of immigrants). I actually remember this cool story. about 4 years ago I was visiting my husbands family before I moved here, and I was buying a sandwich from a food stand , the sales guy asked me for something I didn't quite get, I made him repeat himself about three times until he finally rolled his eyes at me and whispered to himself "stoopeed fooreignooor". It's true I am the foreigner, that spoke better English than he did. But he was the American so, he won:)

5. Online shopping.

6. Recycling

7. Netflix ( we currently don't have it and I am trying to convince the husband to renew our membership, any suggestions?)

8. Museums

9. Sidewalks( we don't have them in Egypt)

10. The 4 Seasons ( same as the above)

Wow I think there are more things I can think of, but I'll leave you with these for now.

If interested, you too can join. List from 5 to 10 things you like about America, either if you're an American or like me, A Stoopeed fooreignoor:)

Btw, this actually worked I feel a lot better.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I cook everything from scratch

This is my second year in the U.S, and Alhamdulilah I am adjusting well.
We found a good mosque with a small community that we enjoy. We have a support network both from my husbands wonderful family( now my family too) and from the ever growing group of friends I am meeting.
I am adapting to being a minority and enjoy the new insights this sort of life brings. I am on my way to having my second baby inshaAllah and I started this tiny little online space with your encouragement and support.

Recently I have been reading lots of blogs of similar mindset. People who are interested in living simply with sustainable choices and raising their children in this kind of awareness, while trying to avoid being bombarded by mass consumerism and negative media messages.
Most of these people tend to read the same books, try to plant their own food, raise their own poultry and just do things from scratch.

Whenever I read any of those wonderful blogs, the blogger seems to emphasize on how cooking everything from scratch is a good thing.
I was somewhat confused on why they're stressing on making things from scratch, and almost having a political stand when it comes to food, and making stuff on your own.
But then it hit me, I was raised in Egypt, and to Egyptians cooking everything from scratch is the default setting of most families. We don't have all this canned food, and microwavable stuff, we recently got introduced to these things in our market, and most Egyptian still don't know what to think of it.
I remember I was pretty excited when Mac Donald's opened in Egypt, I was in my final year of my IGCSE's . So to most American's thats pretty recent.

My husband was pretty impressed when he was sick one time and asked for chicken noodle soup( his comfort food when sick) And I started boiling a chicken to make the broth for the soup, he was like wait a minute I thought all chicken noodle soups came from a can.
We were in Egypt then so I didn't understand what he meant by that, until I came here.

You can literally cook a whole meal in 5 minutes, everything from a can, how wonderful I thought, how easy. I still didn't do it coz it was too weird and too alien for me, it's just simply not how I was raised. Eventually I realized how blessed I was to have been raised in a third world country with minimal access to packaged foods. I just do it coz thats how its done, there is no stand or political statement , its just how things are done.

So to all you Americans out there who were raised with packaged food and are trying to switch back to the norm...I salute you:)

This post is to simply appreciate what we have, and the choices that we make in life that affect us and our brothers and sisters on this planet.


Bathroom deodorizer Recipe

Bathroom deodorizer recipe, aka Marriage saver bathroom scent:)

What you'll need:

1 small spray bottle

An essential oil scent you like( I mix jasmine and lavender)


Mix water with 15 drops of preferred essential oil, and refill water as needed without adding new oil until the scent starts fading( the oil lasts long in the bottle).

Let me know how your significant other feels, I'm curious:)

Btw, check out my new poll on the right.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Vaccinations, Book Summary and Commentary

Sorry I took so long. Before anything I have exciting news to share with everyone. For those of you who still don't know I am currently pregnant with my second:) Please keep our little growing family in your prayers.
For some reason I get nauseous when I sit in front of the screen for long, so it's been challenging entering posts as often as I used to, so bear with me.

Second, I recently sent a group email about this new book I bought that discusses Vaccinations, and I got a lot of attention regarding the topic.

So without further a due, today I am Summarizing the introduction and first chapter of the book.

The book I am reviewing is : Vaccinations, a thoughtful parents guide( How to make safe, sensible decisions about the risks, benefits, and alternatives) By Aviva Jill Romm.
I chose this particular book after researching a couple of sources to buy the best book currently in the market that discusses the topic in an objective informed way.
My decision was greatly based on book reviews and finally Peggy O'Mara's review( publisher of mothering magazine) "The best book I've seen on the subject. Its commonsense, nonhysterical approach assures legitimate informed consent."

First a note about the author, Aviva Jill Romm .
It's important to know the background of the author of any book, to know where he/she is coming from, their inclinations and the like. Aviva Jill Romm is a Midwife, herbalist, and mother of four, she's also the executive director of the American Herbalist Guild.
She lives with her Family in Georgia.


Vaccines were controversial from the start from as early as the first half of the nineteenth century. In England there was horror of Injecting "filthy material" into humans to prevent disease.
Then vaccines campaigns gained public acceptance for the remaining of the twentieth century. The new millennium brings about new concerns about vaccine safety from professionals and parents of vaccine injured children. The national childhood vaccine injury act of 1986 was brought about by Barbara Loe Fisher, mother of a vaccine injured child.
The matter has turned into an emotional debate from both vaccine advocates and opponents, turning into a hysterical unclear argument on both sides.
This is increased by political forces making it very difficult for those who are unwilling to conform to vaccinations. Like having litigations and school regulations against parents and unvaccinated children.
The Author argues, that being a midwife and a health care provider she's a staunch supporter of
public health measures, she has seen what disease can do to the human body, and she knows that healthy living and alternative medicine is not always sufficient. Nonetheless there should also be individual freedom in health care, "particularly when it comes to injecting the body with substances that are known to cause adverse reaction and that may cause long term chronic disorders."
Her approach through out the book is find balance and help parents find an informed choice. She also goes further to providing the reader with options for promoting optimal child health through nutrition, hygiene, common sense, stress management, and herbal medicine, whether or not one chooses to vaccinate.

Chapter One: A Curious History
This chapter Like it's title gives a quick history of how vaccines started, mainly looking at it through the small pox disease.

In the fifth century a plague in Greece eliminated nearly 1/4 of the population. The people that survived the infections lived never again to be infected by the disease. Current vaccine practices are built upon the knowledge that a person who survives an exposure is protected against that disease.
The chapter goes about talking about the history of the small pox disease and the early attempts of inoculation by taking scabs and introducing them to healthy individuals, to protect them against the disease by exposure. The early attempts were documented by the Chinese.
Among these methods was taking 20 to 30 old day scabs from mild cases that had a few pustules, drying them, pulverize them with plants then blowing them in the nostrils of those net yet ill. Different methods based on the same idea were used in China, the middle east and India. Then later in Constantinople by cutting a cross in the flesh and applying smallpox exudate to the fresh wound.

Small pox was brought to the west from Africa, Asia and the middle east by crusaders and from slave ships brought to America. it flourished with unhygienic, overcrowded cities, and poor living conditions.

The concept of Immunity from naturally occurring disease was recognized, families understood the value of letting the disease run its course through the family so they would be protected against the next epidemic.

Jenner an English physician's work arose from this concept in the 1700's( considered as the father of Vaccines).
He came across a young farmer and cattle breeder who became immune to smallpox after contracting it from his cattle.He intentionally inoculated his wife and two young children with cowpox to protect them from small pox epidemics. The family was immune for 15 years.
This is where the term vaccine came from which is derived from "vacca" the Latin word for "cow". Jenner attempted to prove his theory of the cow pox vaccine by eposing an 8 year old with the cow pox then forty eight days later injecting small pox to the same boy.

he had some successful experiments but later his claims were disputed and it was found that some cases still contracted small pox after receiving the vaccine, he tried several other methods which were all a failure.
Later another esteemed physician published the benefits of vaccines which led to the endorsement of Jenner and his vaccines by the parliament. The public readily accepted it and the practice became common through out Europe to give vaccines to all infants. However there were numerous cases that still contracted the disease after getting vaccinated.
Then the death rate rose with the vaccinated and the unvaccinated alike, so multiple vaccination(given at once) solutions were proposed. Revaccination was also suggested.
In the early 1800's compulsory mass vaccination was introduced ( because vaccinated patients easily transmitted the disease to others).

The rest of the chapter gives numerous statistics of continued epidemics even after the introduction of mass vaccinations.

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Crunchy Thoughts

I haven't been checking on Crunchy Chicken for a while( This cool blog I follow) But I was browsing through her posts and this one caught my eye.

Let me hear your thoughts people.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

My aunt the Palm tree

I know I promised to post a book summary this week, But the first chapter has a lot of juicy information that it's hard to leave stuff out, if I do I would distort the big picture, so I am taking my time with that.

Meanwhile I am sharing our latest exciting news.
We are moving to ( censored due to Husband's request) by June 1st( let me take a breath) to this vintage nicely renovated coach house, with a tiny everything, but a very cozy, peaceful energy, and what it seems like a sweet enthusiastic landlord, whose also our neighbor (always a plus). and release breath:) I am very excited.

Also this week we decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) which is a great way to get fresh, local organic farm produce among other stuff. I was inspired by this very special blogger. So we'll try it out and let you guys know.

The thing that I do know is it's really environmentally friendly and there's always a benefit to be connected with your food, knowing who grows your food, the farmers involved and going to events on coop farms on your CSA is a great way to connect back to earth. I am looking forward to this nice summer with all the fresh produce and most of all, having my little one play out in the sun, and experience our sacred earth. A friend of my husband told me this hadith"(prophetic saying) which I am not sure how it goes exactly but something along the lines of take care of your aunt the palm tree. We're all family after all.

(Btw, for curious ones, the top pic was taken on our Siwa oasis vacation in Egypt, oh how I loved it)