Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stanford Splash Reveiw

Last month I went to a middle school and high school program called the Stanford Splash. I really enjoyed it. Stanford Splash is a program for students at Stanford University where students come for two days to participate in a variety of classes. The Splash includes classes about filmaking,cake decorating, singing,wildlife, chocolate, and more. A few of the classes I took were: "The Chemistry of Chocolate", "The Secrets of Filmaking", "The Ethics of Medical Research", "Indian Rangoli", "Festivals of India", and "
Psychology and Decision-Making" just to name a few. I really liked participating in Stanford Splash and I definitely recommend it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Boy

As the girls have taken a few outside classes this semester, although it has made our lives a little hectic and put us behind schedule in certain areas, it does provide much appreciated bonding time for me and the boy. Sometimes that time is spent doing structured learning and others it is us just enjoying each others company. I wish I had photos/videos to capture it all but I don't. Two times that I am thinking of right now is when we took a walk to Trader Joe's and when we walked on Marina. Well, I walked and he rode. On our way back to car I rode his bike and he rode handle bars.
Anyway, here are a few captured moments.
A Trip  To Urban Ore.
This trip was special to me because he was a great helper/worker and is beginning to see the need and value in re-purposing. He was excited to be there and was proud of himself for knowing his way around. Oh, for those that do not know, Urban Ore is basically a "fancy junk yard."

Returning this big piece of plywood because it could not fit in car. We forgot we would have to pick up his sisters before heading home.

This should work.

He picked out the pieces we would use.

He insisted on loading the car... himself.

And he did!

Bee Evaluation:
Many of you probably read about the bee adventure. We scouted while the girls were in class.

Building At Home:
I forgot what he called this and all the features it had, but it was designed with purpose.

Lawrence Hall of Science (two separate days):

Golden Gate Bridge in back

Found a bumblebee. was comparing to a honey bee

he was stalking a bumblebee. he took this photo

wild turkey



found a roly poly

earthquake simulation

earthquake exhibit
Reading. Sister made comic

Science. Pulse

Math. Fractions
Blessed to Have Many Great Times With My Children.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Props to Those Who...

Got back to Cali and once again raw milk had been taken off the shelf. That left me at the market looking for alternatives. And also wanting to do a short public acknowledgement via the blog to show respect to all those that have chosen to secure their family's (and others) food source on any scale. I respect and applaud your efforts.

So this milk that I tried was good, creamier. It is not raw, but less pasteurized which leaves it closer to its natural state. And it is from Jersey cows. If I were to get a cow, based on my research thus far, this is the cow I believe I would get so based on the two facts above I gave it a try. I liked it and did I mention it is local. This is not meant to be an advertisement for the company but for all those in the Bay Area that like it raw you may want to give it a try.

Oh wait, why Jersey cow instead of Holsteins? They are smaller. Yes, less milk but I think I would like to start with a smaller breed. I am looking forward to trying it in a smoothie. And as y'all can see I am trying to wrap my mind around possibly owning a cow some day. I am not there yet. I was just wondering today what my yard would look like if I worked in it an hour a day. So tending to a cow... not yet. But major props to all those who do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Going On in the Garden

Grapevine. "Mom, have you seen that grapevine. It is out of control. What are you going to do?" It is not quite what I had in mind but I plan to let it grow wild and Inshallah eat some good grapes.
I was asked, "So what's going on in your garden?"

 A lot. Praise God, slowly but surely.
These pictures are not quite up to date but close, about a week ago. It is amazing how much things have changed in that time.





black berries
Citrus tress. I guess they are doing well. It seems like it. I wish the mandarin had buds, but i will continue to show it love in hopes that it will produce fruit.

Just lettuce but harvested from our yard.

tomato plants, african basil, basil and inshallah carrots. This ground cover seems to be working against me.

tomatoes, onions, and potatoes growing in the cardboard box

bell pepper, green beans, lettuce and you can see the beets and carrots if you pull back or harvest lettuce, and more onions.
tomato plant surrounded by mint

citrus tree. tree looks shabby but there are few buds on there.

chives and if you look closely you can see melons trying to sprout

The Boy's corn surrounded by squash

tomatoes, eggplant and more zucchini

pears. I like the way they are spaced on this branch.

Chickens doing there thing. I went to go collect but obviously I had to come back at another time.

As for the bees. I don't know. The method we are using is hands-off. They appear to be happy and doing their thing. I put out a swarm lure on Monday and when we checked on it bees seem to have found it already. I am hoping they are not bees from our current hive, which still seems to be doing well. We plan to check via observation again tomorrow. Time permitting, which I doubt, The Boy and I may go in and do an inspection.

Oh and we also have raspberry starts that are in need of transplanting. These raspberries are definitely going to have a story to tell.

And then there is the area behind the fence... When I look at it I think I need to make time and have a work party. But then the bees seem to be in heaven in that area so... .

I told myself this post would not be about all the things I need to do but about the things I have. So as I am venturing into that area I believe it is time to end.

Enjoy Life!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Day My Smile Almost Left Me

Greetings and Peace,

     I hope this finds you all well and enjoying God's many blessings. This is an odd post and rather personal but something told me to share. I must add this disclaimer: I am still processing. But like all other posts that are swarming in my head, or forgotten, I decided to just go for it.
Me on a tour at Growing Power. Although you can't see it I was smiling. Very Happy!
    I am not the girl that you see always smiling. You know with the big grin, though I am generally always smiling inside. And those that know me know that one is not far away once you break my concentration get me out of my head. I love to laugh and joke. As one friend used to say, "Stop thinking." Which would make me smile because I really would be in thought. I am not sure why, for me, they (smile and thought) do not go hand-in-hand. Anyway, I digress.
     There was not one incident, but there was definitely a moment that had me ready to stop smiling. Honestly, I did for a few hours. And am still having some spaces of smilelessness. :)  As I know that I cannot control anyone or anything all I can do is go back and evaluate and analyze what I did and how I can do better in the future. Education/knowledge is awesome.  Now that I am somewhat calmer I can replay the events in my mind from the last few days and see how things kept building. All seemingly unrelated. Until... I wanted to SNAP! So what are some things I noticed about myself?

1. I must eat the right foods. When I eat poorly it reflects. Maybe not to others but I notice a change in my thought processes which means I am expending way more energy and time censoring.
2. I must get sufficient rest. I ain't no where near old and at times feel younger, BUT when I am not properly rested, in about the past 6 months or so,  I have noticed that it is also much harder for me to censor and control. Not going to front, sometimes I want to throw a tantrum. But I have not... yet. Praise Be To God. Once again, expending too much energy unnecessarily. Easier just to go to sleep. (I think.)
Gardening Class

3. I have come a long way but have further to go because some of the thoughts that come to mind when I want to lash out are ... just mean. Praise be to God again that I am learning to keep the thoughts to myself, not make personal attacks. My personal Islamic studies helps a lot with that. The two books that have been fresh on my mind in these instances are The Power of Modesty and Proper Handling of People.

4. Environment... Enough cannot be said about this. I need my space. The reality is I am trying to live a different lifestyle than most so I need a space to retreat to so I can recharge. I am not 100% successful but a lot of what this world calls fun I call it draining, boring, and a waste of time. And I really don't like small talk. OOps, did i just say that publicly. Well it is the truth.

5. Opposition and invalidation. It comes from all angles and sides. Don't be surprised. Continue to rely on God, God alone. Continue to strive to be pleasing to Him. Because when all is said and done I want Him to know that I did the best I could do. Also Keeping in my mind that He put certain ideas and desires in me that others may not understand because their purpose is different than mine. It isn't personal. And if it is... So What.

6. Operate from the mode that everyone is doing the best s/he can do.
Silliness for Peace

7. Continue to try to better myself. I was proud of myself for trying to immerse myself in my studies (Islamic) when things weren't going right. I tend to study anyway but this was different. of course. Anyway, enough of this already.

My smile has returned. Praise God! Like I said, it fades at time but it is here. My day started slower and a lil later than normal as I had to pump myself up. :) Prayed. still was feelin a lil blah. Exercised. better but blah. cleaned and packaged eggs. ok. improving. made children breakfast. better. and so on and so on. By the night it was clear that tho I thought (think) about throwing in the towel. I know that God would be pleased with the progress I am making. So continue to do what I do and build on it. Smiling (on the inside) the whole time.
Being Silly me iphone and The Boy

"If you are not excited about life there is a problem. Please take the time to seriously analyze and come up with a solution. We need you amped!" Me via fb May 6.