Thursday, November 12, 2015

Finding My Voice

Tonight was the night I shared my writing with my writing club. It really was the first time I shared my writing out loud with anyone, besides speeches I gave in school so many eons ago.
I had no idea what they would think regarding my topic or my writing talent or lack thereof. All I could do was read and share my outlook on the world and wait and see how they would react to it. It was very silent and then I got to one part and found myself overcome and had to stop. I apologized, but they said that it happens to everyone when they read at one time or another. I felt validated and then the leader of the group finished off my piece for me as I quickly composed myself. In the end they said they liked it and the leader told me to keep writing and that this story was definitely going to be in the anthology. I felt like I had come home. Birds of a feather really do flock together, but sometimes, you just need to find them.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

STOP THE PRESSES: My third daughter has a new blog! Young Muslim Girl in the Shoe.

Nope, I didn't come up with the name. She did all this when I wasn't around. Love how it ties into my name choice. So if you want to read about how it feels to be the daughter of the Old Muslim Woman in the Shoe and how it feels to be a half Malay Canadian teen growing up in Canada then go to her blog now! Tell your teen daughters too! Then come back here and tell me what you think ;) Now I have 2 daughters blogging. Check out her blog here.

And if you want to read my other daughter's blog, the oldest one with the 3 kids then go here. In case you forgot, I have 5 daughters and 5 sons. Masha Allah.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Writing Club? Write on!

So remember when I told you about  the woman who told me she had no time for a book club because she was taking 4 Gale Writing courses? Well she also told me about a writing club, well actually two. One in a town about 20 minutes from me which I went to once but then she told me there was actually one in my town and gave me the email. But no one answered my email. So what to do? Then an article appeared in the local paper mentioning a writing club and the one running it was the one I emailed! So I got in contact with the place that runs the club and was told that they were meeting that very night! Did I just write 3 sos? Forgive me. I know that's wrong. Anyway, I grabbed my beautiful writing book that my daughter ; Handmade Beginnings made for me for Eid, and headed on down! I was a little late since I had to do my prayer first but when I arrived I saw that they had a special guest who was telling them how they could get their anthology published finally. I also have to submit a piece too for the book apparently,ahem,so nice of you to ask. Now I have to think about something to write about. You've been following my blog right? In your humble opinion, what would be the best topic for me to write on?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

His Book and My book.

Now that all of my kids are going to school, I have time to focus on myself. Before September came I signed myself up for an Arabic class. My sole reason for this was to learn the language of the Quran. It is really disappointing to not fully understand what is going on when you are reading Quran or saying your prayers and spending time in the mosque. For example I never know whether they are reciting Quran or saying a dua at the mosque. Feeling like a stranger in your own religion is a very painful thing to go through. So to rectify this I signed up for Arabic1a with Rabata. If you are unfamiliar with them, they are a group of sisters mainly a sister; Anse Tamara (a convert like me) who studied in Syria then started this online portal of Islamic learning. Arabic 101 was too easy for me as I already know my letters and basically how to read so I chose the next level. Its been a few weeks now and there are two classes per week including grammar and vocabulary. At first I was literally getting headaches and the teacher said its normal when learning a new language. It never happened to me before when learning other languages though. This is really intense for me I guess. Another strange thing is that sometimes now I think of random Arabic sentences. This is amazing to me since I only just started learning.

The second kind of learning I am doing kind of fell in my lap! I asked a woman from the mosque if she would be interested in starting a book club and she said she had no time! She said she had just signed up for 4 writing courses. I expressed an interest and she said I could sign up too and that they were free through the library website! My library doesn't offer these courses sadly, but, my old library does in the city I used to live in. I still have my card from that library and our town has privileges with theirs so I signed up. These courses are offered through Gale.  The course I am taking now is Writing for Children. I also signed up for 3 other courses. This course has homework just like my Arabic course so I am very busy now with that and like I mentioned in the last post, teaching the kiddies in the mosque. Sadly though we still have no book club at the mosque.

So insha Allah one day with Allah's help I will be able to understand the language of the Quran and also write a book of my own.

A little bonus for my hubby was that when I went to the library I saw a bookmark there advertising another Gale resource; CHILTON. If you are a car enthusiast you will know what I'm talking about but if not it refers to the repair manuals used for cars. He has already used it to fix the power locks in our van. Alhumdullilah.

My First Arabic PhrasesBook I borrowed from the library (not part of Rabata) which has proved useful.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Omwits got her groove

Whoa! Remember my last post? I was kind of lost? Well, now I seem to have so many activities that I'm overwhelmed but in a good sort of way. Alhumdullilah. One activity I planned but the others fell into my lap! Again alhumdullilah. One thing that fell into my lap was when I signed up my kids to a different islamic/arabic class. At the original one it was 3 hours and now revamped to 5 hours. At that place I had to travel there just like the second one but at the first I was not allowed to access the classes so had to sit in the hall for 3 hours. Contemplating sitting in the hall for an additional 2 hours made me say no way! So I decided to travel the other direction and bring my kids to a school that was only 2 and a half hours long with a break in between and a lovely playground outside. The first place had neither. Funny thing happened though on the way to signing up. I got roped in to be the kindergarten Islamic Studies teacher. So on the spot I had to come up with a lesson. Since it was almost Eid at the time, I figured I'd go with a hajj theme. First I read to the kids about the story of Ibrahim (as) and hajj. Then I got them to colour a picture of the kabba (photocopies from a colouring book). After that I got the kids to build kabbas out of legos/mega blocks which was something I saw on Facebook and since the mosque had these, why not? Whew, that was my first unplanned night. The cherry on the top is that I also get to teach my littlest daughter who is tickled pink and during the first hour I am learning quran. When one door closes, another one opens. Subhanallah.

 Goodword Kidz Kaaba Coloring Page

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Muslim Authors Send Me Your Books!

I love reading! So far this year I have read 44 books. Its my favourite hobby. I would also love to help promote the books of Muslim Authors here by requesting you send me a copy of your newly published book and I will review it here insha Allah. contact me at omwits at Jazakullah khair in advance.

At Loose Ends

In a few weeks the new school year will begin and all the kids will be gone including my one and only home schooled son who will be starting high school. Last year I tried to upgrade my computer skills and also got a little temporary job. Looking into the future I see a gaping chasm and am filled with uncertainty. Jobs are hard to come by in the first place and with an old diploma and barely any recent experience I am not a top candidate. What's the next step in my life? I have no clue. Other people seem to find their way don't they? Why am I so stuck? I am not feeling inspired either. Feel more like I'm spinning in circles. I need some kind of fresh start. How do I shake things up? Moving away would be great but I can't see it happening in the near future. Somethings got to give right? I hope insha Allah that Allah will send me a sign because I'm clueless. Have you or anyone you've known been in this situation? How did they turn their life around?

Monday, June 29, 2015

MS and Red Dye

First of all, take this with a grain of salt. I'm not a health expert but am only sharing what happened to me personally. Maybe by some extraordinary chance someone out there has experienced this too or someone in the science world can tell me if I'm crazy or not. So here it goes. After I got diagnosed with MS I noticed something very strange. When I drank chocolate milk, my legs would get worse. When I ate red licorice or other candies with red dye my legs would get worse. One day after drinking a litre of chocolate milk in one shot (it was a hot day and we were travelling) I could barely walk. I had to stop having these things. I could understand the red dye in the candies could be affecting me but why chocolate milk? White milk didn't harm me and neither did chocolate! I was perplexed so I checked out the ingredients and lo and behold it said colour. Colour? Why colour? Isn't chocolate milk brown because its made with cocoa? Apparently, people don't like their chocolate milk too dark so they add red dye to it to lighten the colour. Who knew? So red dye was really the culprit for me. But why? I knew that red dye was linked to hyperactivity in children but it was causing the opposite in me so to speak. I tried to search for information and came up with zilch! So I am perplexed. All I know is that for me personally, I have to avoid it. I don't know if scientists will ever discover anything about this or not but I have no choice in this matter. I am glad that I figured out it was bothering me. Alhumdullilah. Now whether it is a natural (ie made from a bug) or chemical dye that is affecting me, I still don't know.

Aside from this peculiar aha moment for me, my health regarding my legs is improving as I continue to see a homeopath. Still not cured but I am grateful for my mobility. Now in Ramadan I've noticed my legs seem even better than usual. But I think this is a first as I don't remember such a thing happening last Ramadan.

May Allah bless you all this Ramadan and cure you of any diseases. Amin.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ramadan and being yourself.

Ramadan Kareem! Its that time of the year again and everywhere I look I see pictures and stories that I can't really relate to as a convert. Maybe we need to fill the gap. Recipes from our own cultures etc and sharing our experiences. I'll start. This morning we got up at 3:15 am for suhoor. Hubby had leftover rice from last night and the boys grabbed bagels and cereal while I made an omelette with tomatoes and cheese and red pepper jelly meanwhile being so tired I hoped I didn't cut myself with the knife, and had water and orange juice with sliced strawberries thrown in.  I shared my omelette with my daughter. See this is not 'normal' right? Any other post and you would see the mother got up super early and cooked a big breakfast (when do these women sleep anyway?) and also the food is just 'off' for most people. But this is our life and its about time we converts took our place in the Muslim world er social media. So there you have it! Now please if you are a convert share your suhoor and iftar menus and stories about your Ramadan.

Some people decorate, I never really do but the one thing I do each year is order Ramadan books from the library and read them to my kids. Some people make elaborate menu plans and make fancy meals but we just continue as usual and eat what we always eat. My focus is read Quran and go to any potlucks on Saturdays that are offered in the mosque. The other days are by invitation only. As the only Muslim family in our town we know it will be quiet for us and being 45 minutes away from the mosque we know we won't be praying taraweeh at 11 pm and then driving back. Our lives are different but they're ours. Everyone is different. Vive la difference!


My,my,my! Right after typing this I went on facebook and found this awesome offer! A free e-book from a convert! Great minds think alike!

Monday, June 1, 2015


My daughter has launched a new project! See the link here. Aren't they cute? I saw them in real life and was so impressed, masha Allah. Seems my daughter has really inherited her talent for sewing from my grandmother and her paternal grandmother. Check it out and show your kids!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2 Down, 1 to Go

As of last week I have finished 2 out of 3 computer courses at the employment centre. I learned Microsoft Word and Excel in the first one and then Microsoft Word, Excel and Publisher in the second one. Can I say I love Publisher? Its like what I took back in the day at college when I studied Advertising; a program called PageMaker. Now, with just one left, which will include Access this time, I am almost done. Insha Allah, hope to complete this by Ramadan and then add these skills to my resume. Hopefully, employers will take note. Can't see why they wouldn't ,since every office  job seems to need these skills. What's your favourite Microsoft program? Oh I also like Powerpoint which my kids taught me.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mini Job

Haven't written anything in awhile as first my daughter got really sick and then I got a mini job and then I got sick too. Whew. Things are back to normal now. Feeling healthy and back to taking my lessons for Microsoft Office. Circumstances have put me far behind though. Insha Allah I hope to finish before Ramadan. So what was my mini job? I was a distributor/ promoter for the MS Society. What did this entail? Well I had to construct these little boxes by folding them together and then bundle MS Walk and Bike cards to be put into it. Then I had to go to various businesses/offices to ask them if they would allow me to leave the boxes on their counter. Doesn't seem like a big deal but my whole day and night was taken up with this work for 8 days and in the middle of it I got a call from school saying my daughter was sick. As well I was doing this during the coldest days of the year; record breaking temperatures that they haven't seen since the 1960's! Was I cold? For sure! But I'm a Northern girl originally so I can take it. Well almost. One day was so bad I had to go home early. This job was interesting because I got to interact with the public and learn a lot about human nature in a short time and also realized how many businesses had been closed down. I went to over 300 place in 3 cities/towns. I got to hear stories about people that had MS which were very sad and once I broke down as I was told about the death of one of them. I mainly did this job for two reasons; to freshen up my resume and to help find a cure for MS which I apparently have. From this job I realized that I really like being independent; no one breathing down my neck and working outdoors (partially) and dealing with people. I wonder now what job I will get in the future. Meanwhile I'll continue working on my computer skills. Have you ever worked for a charity?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Skating Test

So its been 4 years since I've had MS or a virus or whatever it is that is causing me my troubles. Since I had this I've been unable to skate which is one of my favourite pastimes because of how it connects me to my kids. I'm either teaching them how to skate or enjoying time at the rink with them but no more. For the past few years I've had to sit in the bleachers and ....just watch. Last year I decided to give it a whirl. I went around the rink while holding onto the side but my legs collapsed and my teenage daughter had to bring me back to my seat. This year after going to a homeopath for a year I thought I would try it again. This time I did not collapse but it was still impossible for me to skate. I held onto the sides again and took breaks in the side seats and completed one round and gave up. I'm sure everyone thought I was an immigrant who didn't know how to skate instead of a convert who had been skating for 40 yrs and now had MS or whatever I have. Its depressing but I am grateful for all the years I had to skate and know many people have never had the chance due to worse situations than me like the woman in the wheelchair that I see there often. I am in no way allowed to complain and as Muslims we must not. What saddens me is being cut off from my kids. I wave to them through the window/plexiglass and I help them tie up their skates and take pictures but its not the same. I long one day to skate again with my kids. I am thankful that my youngest quickly learned to skate though with my teen daughter. I am grateful for older kids to take my place but still melancholic. It would also be nice if I knew anyone there to pass the time with as well but for one and half hours each week I peer through the window and enjoy the bliss that is mine; children with the ability and chance to skate for free every week.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Country who reads my blog the most!

I checked out my stats and was expecting that my own Country, Canada, would be the one who reads my blog the most but its not! Can you guess? My second guess would have been Malaysia since I write about that all the time but nope. So then you could guess USA since they are close or a Muslim country right? Nope, again! Shockingly, its the Czech Republic! What? I was so surprised! So to all of you out there thanks for reading my blog and leave me a little note about why you as a Czechoslovakian read my blog, please. I'm really curious.

Read about Czechoslovakia here.

Is Muslim blogging dying?

I looked at my blogroll and some people haven't blogged for 1, 2,3,4 or even  5 years! What's happening to Muslim bloggers? Is blogging dying in general? I know I'm not the most frequent blogger but come on, I don't go for years without blogging! What's up? Did everyone move on?

What kind of blogs do you read? What makes you come back? Are you sad when bloggers disappear? Are you a blogger who has stopped blogging?

Share your thoughts, preferably this year. Better yet, how about today!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Walking through the door.

Did I get a job? You've been wondering right? Well, no. So in the meantime I've been exploring my options. I looked at job postings and people's profiles on linkedIn and realized that I needed to upgrade myself.

 First, I thought ,I had to learn SEO, but could see that it takes years and/or lots of money. Apparently its a competitive niche market and maybe I should just concentrate on content writing.

 Then, I had to explore where I could find these sites, which offered writers' jobs. Did you know that one place is Twitter? I don't even have a Twitter account but you can see them without that.

 I also found out  you are supposed to have a blog and no, not this one, but a real, business one where you brand yourself and put up examples of your writing. Well first you have to write something fresh and recent and do your best, so that you can be chosen, out of all other writers. Pressure!

 Besides SEO, I also noticed that everyone wants you to have the latest programs down pat, such as Microsoft Word (at least  2010) and just about every Microsoft Office program you can think of. So in that vein, I have been taking Microsoft Word with 2007 booklets, on a computer which has the 2010 program, which is pretty close. Insha Allah, I will also be taking Excel and PowerPoint and all three of these programs are FREE at your local handy-dandy employment centre. Isn't the gov't nice?

So I'm not sure what I will end up doing. I would prefer a job with a steady cheque, but,maybe I'll have to end up doing freelance work. Only Allah knows the future. In the meantime, I will keep bettering myself and looking out for opportunities insha Allah.

Here is a useful link to a site with free program learning. 

Oh and yes I am still homeschooling my son. He is reading The Travels of Ibn Battuta.