Old ways to make butter and hard cheese


A women swings, in harsh winter in Tabouk, a milk back and forth to thickens the milk & makes butter, yogurt & hard cheese. SPA

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So long 2014, hello 2015

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Excellent reference source on Arab American.


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I’ll Ride With You

Finding My Sunshine

You know, every time I hear that some idiot has gotten hold of a gun and committed unspeakable crimes I brace myself for the almost inevitable revelation that he or she was “mentally ill.”

Then, in that moment, in addition to the horror of violence, the destruction of lives, and the grieving of loved ones and communities, stigma is resurrected. All the work we all do to reduce stigma, to educate others, to prove to society that the mentally ill are not dangerous and should not be feared or discriminated against becomes moot. These unspeakable acts offer proof to society that the mentally ill ARE dangerous. That we should be feared. And we, as advocates of mental health, need to work that little bit harder once more.

The same can be said for Muslim communities. Except, unlike mental illness which is largely invisible, Muslim individuals cannot hide their faith. And, quite…

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Elf on the Shelf A.K.A. Big Brother

The Book Wars

The Elf on the Shelf package. The Elf on the Shelf package.

I think I have been living in a closet for the last 9 years. I turned to my collegue at Kaleidoscope the other day and was like:

“Some lady called to see if we had Elf on the Shelf, do we have that? What is that?”

My collegue’s eyebrow raised and she grinned (dare I say a little maniacally), “You mean ‘Narc on the Shelf’?”

She then described to me, and showed me (because every children’s book store worth their salt has this book), the thing that has become a Holiday phenomenon to love or hate. For those of you that don’t know: Elf on the Shelf is a book and toy combination that was first self-published in 2005 by a mother-daughter duo in the States. In clever Christmas rhyme the book tells the tale of a little Elf who keeps an eye…

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Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Book Wars


Hardcover, 432 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Little, Brown
Source: Publisher

Ryan Graudin is an American author. The Walled City is her debut novel.

What intrigued me most about the premise of this novel is the fact that it is set in a non-North American setting (though we are never told where exactly we are but the names make me assume it is an Asian country) and the characters are all POC.

The Walled City is about three adolescents who live in this walled city for various reasons: Dai because he has to infiltrate this gang; Mei Yee, because she was sold by her father to a brothel owned by the gang leader; and Jin Ling who is in search for her sister Mei Yee. Their lives collide when Dai makes a dead with Jin to stay as collateral in the gang’s headquarters while Jin makes drug runs to…

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Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award #4

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read This Year

The Book Wars

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014 (Overall, By A Particular Genre, 2014 Releases)

Top Ten Tuesday


These topics are so hard. I honestly can’t remember ALL the books I read! I just know I’ll be leaving some amazing titles out, I always do.

  1. More Than This by Patrick Ness.
  2. Dust by Arthur Slade.
  3. Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.
  4. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten.
  5. The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel.
  6. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
  7. Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint.
  8. Smile and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. Graphic Novel.
  9. Zita the Spacegirl  and sequels by Ben Hatke. Graphic Novel.
  10.  Journey and Quest by Aaron Becker. I’m a sucker for wordless picturebooks.
  11. I feel that I haven’t left space for all the wonderful picturebooks that have come out this year – there are plenty! I have loved so many!



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If you ogle food photos on the regular like everyone ever, you’ve probably come across Shakshuka. After initial thoughts of “HEY WHAT A FUN WORD” subside, you have a choice: Make the Shakshuka that basically just undressed you with its eyes, or button up and move along to more food porn. Being a BWOACIS (Bitch Without A Cast Iron Skillet) myself, I always thought Shakshuka was just another unreachable dream. The dragon of my post-meal stupors.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “WOW SHAKSHUKA IS STILL SUCH A FUN WORD,” but also “Hey Molly, just buy a cast iron skillet already.” Excellent argument. But they look so heavy and I don’t have a car. The better, equally extremely obvious answer is just use a baking dish. Dipshit. So that’s what happened. What an exciting turn of events!



Let’s talk about Shakshuka (FUN!) for a bit. It’s a Tunisian dish of poached eggs in…

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Words Not To Say In Front Of My Kids

Dysfunctional Literacy

I tell my kids they can think anything they want, but there are some things they'd better not say. (image via wikimedia) I tell my kids they can think anything they want, but there are some things they’d better not say. (image via wikimedia)

I told my daughters this morning that they’d need to take a sack lunch to school tomorrow, and they laughed at me.  I wasn’t expecting them to laugh.

It took me a moment to realize why they thought sack lunch was funny.  When I was their age (around 35 years ago), sack lunch wasn’t funny.  I carried a sack lunch to school every day, and nobody laughed.  I think I even called it a sack lunch.  Everybody called it that.  But somewhere along the way, kids picked up on the word sack, and a new source of humor was created.

Now I can’t say sack in front of my daughters; I have to say “brown paper bag.”  If I had two sons, maybe it wouldn’t matter much.  But…

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