Friday, July 24, 2009

Lazy Hazy Daze of Summer

As Salaamu Alaikum and Greetings of Peace:

Insha Allah this finds everyone well and enjoying the summer. Before we know it, the blessed month of Ramadan will be upon us, Alhamdulillah.

I have been real busy trying to recover from my trip to ISNA, and also trying to clean up my extensive to-do list.

I am the kind of person who ends up way over her head, unintentionally, because I have a problem saying "no." However, I am learning little by little how to say "no." It is very important to me; not only for my own peace of mind, but for my personal integrity.

Anyhow, the garden is one thing I cannot ignore or put off. To do so creates a whole lot of extra work. And my garden is my sanity saver! This year, my garden is rather larger than I'm used to (or maybe it's a combination of age and MS), and I forgot how labor intensive gardening can be. But, it is definitely worth the effort, Alhamdulillah.

Hubby and I have been eating fresh green beans, yellow squash, and cauliflower. Not to mention all of the herbs I have planted and frozen for future use, Insha Allah.

I bought a "food saver" that seals the plastic bags for the freezer, and also bought a nice chest freezer to hold the goodies for the winter!

Here are a few pics:

1. Dill flowers. Aren't they lovely? They remind me of Queen Anne's Lace flowers. Soon, Insha Allah, I will be able to collect those wonderful dill seeds. I can save some for planting next year, but I plan, Insha Allah, to use them for cooking, too. I have been cooking with dill leaves since the plants came up. Once someone cooks with herbs from their own garden, they are never again content to use that dried up stuff in the bottles that can be purchased from the store.

2. There is also stuff growing around that I did not put in (we just bought this house a year ago). Does someone know the name of this tree or bush? It grew from a few inches tall to what it is now (up over the garage) in about a month. The "flowers" are nice though.

Here's a picture of it's "flower" up close:

3. My tomatoes! Urargggg! Why won't they turn red? I have nice big tomatoes on the vines, but they won't turn red. I looked online and learned that it is a "waiting game." But, I'm not sure how much longer these tomatoes can wait. The plants are so heavy, and I've tied and staked them more than once. We had two real strong rain storms here in the past week or so (did I mention that my bathroom roof was leaking? Ya Allah).

I also red online that you can pick green tomatoes and ripen them in the window without compromising anything on the taste. I never had success doing that. When I picked them green, or even a little pink, and ripened them in the windows, they always tasted a little acidic. (Don't even mention doing fried green tomates or relish with them; I've tried it, and hate it, lol.)

And finally, this little flower was poking its head up from below and between the vegetables and weeds. Anyone know its name?

Well, as you can see, I love gardening.

This winter, Insha Allah, I'm going to plan and design a real nice one for next year. I've learned some valuable lessons this year, and Insha Allah next year will be bigger and better.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Yusuf Islam

Image: Copyright © 2009, S. E. Jihad Levine, All Rights Reserved

Yusuf Islam was at the ISNA Convention in Washington, DC this year.

I got a shot of him signing his CD An Other Cup.

For those of you "old heads" and non-Muslims, Yusuf Islam is the former Cat Stevens!