Sep 29, 2010

Direct Deposits

Note: This is a continuation of my earlier post Love Bank

I suppose you have been busy making deposits in your Love Banks. Just one thing to keep in mind: Be careful not to deposit in the wrong accounts. Would we do it with money? NO! We double & triple check to make sure the deposits go into our specific accounts.

Similar if not more care to be taken when it comes to love banks too - especially in our marriage. As I said, our emotions are directed towards people making more deposits in our love banks. If you think a little deeper, you can comprehend where I am arriving at.

I am not saying that for each act we have to compete with someone to make sure our deposit is bigger. All I am trying to say is to be a good friend first; the best if you can.

Let's start out easy, not holding grudges, smiling more often, and being generous with compliments. Sharing with him/her on everything possible, sending in a little love note along with the lunch, making it clear to him/her that he/she is more important to us than anybody else in the world including our kids or parents... etc.

Day to day errands could easily overwhelm any marriage. It takes effort to consciously set aside time for just the two of you. How about praying together/playing together/reading together? The more time you spend together, the better for your banking; trust me, it would be automatic deposits in no time.

Our Pastor always says, "Watching a movie does not count towards spending quality time". I definitely agree with him on that as our attention is not on each other, it is on the screen. We heard in his marriage class once that it takes a minimum of six touches each day to grow stronger in marriage.

Hugging, patting, holding hands, all counts towards that. Funny part is when we remember this, we will quickly touch each other six times counting "one, two, three...& six" and claim we are covered for the day.

You get my point, there is nothing like spending time together with your spouse even if it is for some coffee... If there is real trouble brewing, I am so sorry to hear that. Hold on to the divine love; your returns will be greater!

"Enjoy life with your wife (husband), whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun." ~ Holy Bible

Sep 24, 2010

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

There is this girl I run into on a daily basis. We have only exchanged glances though I remember playful moments with her growing up.

I had invited her for a one-on-one with us here at the NRIGirl blog. We will have a little Q & A session after the interview where you can ask more questions to her. Let's begin.

Me:Hello! Welcome to our blog! I guess this is your first time here.
Her: Hi. Thanks for having me. It's my pleasure being here. Actually I am a regular reader of your blog and also a subscriber. I've got to tell you I truly like it here hanging out with the rest of the readers and bloggers.
Me: Cool! Glad to know that. For the benefit of the readers can you please tell us about yourself and give us a little introduction of how we met?
Her: Sure, As you know my name is 'Girl in the Mirror' and I am from 'Mirror Mirror on the Wall'. We have known each other for a very long time and in fact we have had wonderful moments growing up.
Me: I do vaguely recall some of the moments. Especially the animated dialogues and my search for you behind the scenes. Do you still remember those days?
Her: (laughing) Of course I do. It was fun growing up with you.
Me: It has been a long time since we have spoken to each other. Was it me or you or something else?
Her: I believe we had other priorities come up in life and started to grow apart. Even when we glanced at each other we had other things in the back of our minds that we just slipped by... So to answer your question it is neither me nor you it is life as it unfolds...
Me: You are right about that. So now that we have found time to sit and chat I would love to catch up with you on things at your end. Tell me, are you married? kids?
Her: I am married for nearly 12 years now and we have three wonderful kids.
Me: Tweleve years! That's amazing. Are you still in love like when you guys first met?
Her: Very much so, in fact we grow in love each year
Me: I am so happy for you. what do you say is the secret of your happy married life?
Her: We both agree on the fact that God is the Head of our family. Differences aside we primarily love God and next each other. This third bond surely keeps us strong.
Me: What would you like to share with readers on marriage?
Her: Accept the differences and learn to love unconditionally. Love is not an emotion. It is an action. A conscious effort. Even in the Bible it says, "If you love me keep my commandments" So love is not just words it has to be revealed through action.
Me: Those are great words. I will be putting it in use in my life as well. Now, I have heard people comment that you are very good in handling work and home efficiently. How do you do that?
Her: People who say that mostly assume it based on their rare weekend visits, they should have seen my kitchen this morning. (laughs)
Me: But I have visited you quiet often, things seem to be in order. Towels are rolled up, clothes are folded, and you are working fulltime, still find time to blog... How do you manage it all?
Her: I make an effort to put things in order. Having a clean house is a basic necessity for me. So I try my best to keep it clean. It is cheerful to see a clean space where you feel more relaxed and can truly enjoy the blessing of having a home. When I can't absolutely handle it myself I hire some help though it is very rare like couple of times a year.

Rolling up the towels is not a big deal, instead of folding I quickly roll it up which I feel makes the towel closet more interesting. Let's not even bring up the folding of clothes. That's one thing I do only because I have to. If only there were a clothes folding machine... (laughs) Working is my passion; I love to get out, meet people, breath some fresh air and of course earn some and be a blessing to others.
Me: Please tell us about your kids
Her: I am so grateful for the blessings of Rachel, Sharon & Joshua in my life. They are the most wonderful kids. They love the Lord & love the family.
Me: Wow! You are truly blessed. How about blogging? Where do you get your inspirations from? Most importantly how do you find time for blogging?
Her: It's just that I consider my blog as my winding down place after the heavy dose of a day's errands. If you can imagine it, it's where I can remove my shoes, sit back and relax and be excited about meeting my whole new world of friends. I love them much as they are with me thru' everything. I believe my regular friends may not know me as much as my blog friends do as most of them don't care much for my blog. So honestly they don't know what I am going through on a regular basis; how I feel about my Papa, did I talk with the stars and wonder at the rain drops or any of that.
Me: You are right on track. Tell us about your Papa. I have read your poems and can see the pain you still feel. How do you pick the subject for your poem like stars or rain
Her: We love(d) our Papa so much. Not just me - all of us. He was so special to us and it is such a tragedy that we lost him so suddently. Though there are many happy memories about him the same memories sometime brings much pain and it shows through my writing from time to time, I can't help it. But you know what, we have an assurance that we will meet him again in eternity. I hold on to that blessed hope and move on with life.

About poems, it comes as a surprise to me that I can write some. Mostly it is all from momentary flow of thoughts based on happenings, emotions & imagination.

Me: Which one is your favorite poem that you wrote?
Her: Mhm... It is a difficult question as I like them all... (thinks hard) if I am allowed to pick two I will say "Conversation with the stars" and "Honey where is the moon?"If I must pick only one, I will go with "Honey where is the moon?"
Me: To cheer you up again and to end in a positive note, tell us a joke
Her: (Laughing out loud) You caught me on that one! Most of my jokes need my hands for actions. Hiccupping butterfly, scrambled eggs, a man in dhoti- these are my kid's favorites. Though I can do it for you now the readers can't really see it. So I will have to skip this question
Me: You got it. It was wonderful speaking with you; Now I feel more closer to you than ever before. I truly appreciate the time you have taken to hang out with us. Before we wind up the session is there anything you want to share with our readers?
Her: Thank you! I sincerely appreciate this wonderful opportunity to wind down here a bit. And to the readers, thank you for stopping by and "listening" thru' this interview. I hope the next time we run into each other we will pause a little and share a smile...
Me: Sure we will. I must add I've truly enjoyed my conversation with you today and thank you for sharing. After a short break we will return for more questions from the readers. If you have specific questions for 'Girl in my mirror' visiting us from 'Mirror Mirror on the wall', please post it in the comments section below. Thank you!

Sep 22, 2010


Words of Wisdom

Here's what my Mom wrote on my post: Water for the Lady

"The lady of the house is always happy if her water pot is full. Do not make holes in her pot with your unkind words/deeds so that her pot becomes empty.
Always see that her pot is full and fill her pot with with your love and kindness.Of course this applies to every person. Only when every one in the family is happy,the life is a blessing. Remember not to make holes in others pots. May your pots be filled with Gods mercy,love,peace and happiness."
How true...

Sep 21, 2010

Water for the Lady

If you ever wonder what is the one thing you could do to your Mom or Wife to capture their heart all over again on any given day, try this.

Give her a tall glass of fresh water - warm or cold - just the way she likes it. You are sure to see her relax a bit, smile instantly and even hug or kiss you or at least a 'thank you' depending on how much time she has at hand.

Lady of the house is much pleased when there is abundance of water in the house. When you think about it, most of her work revolves around water - cooking, cleaning, washing, caring... Remember the saying 'water water everywhere not a drop to drink' well that totally fits her.

In her busy schedule she hardly finds time to drink enough water. She is always rushing thru' something or other. She doesn't even pause to fill a glass of water for herself. Yes, she does it many times for you and others - all thru’ the day - but hardly for her. When occasionally she does she doesn't have the time to drink it all - as she moves on to the next chore that needs her immediate attention.

Next time at family dinners, try filling up all the cups and keep a jar full of water for later use. You can't miss the relaxing look on your Mom's or Wife's face. She is happy that the water need has been taken care of. It may be a simple act for you, but not for her. These are deposits of golden drops in her love bank.

Try giving her some water, she gulps it down in such a rush as if she was so thirsty and waiting for it all day long. She heaps blessings on you and loves you all over again - head over heals!

Now what are you waiting for? Go ahead, give it a try, 100% guaranteed results!

Warning: Try it at your own risk with Dad or Husband! No guarantee. Reactions could vary like: "Did I ask for it?" or "Don't spoil my papers" or "Leave it there and go" or "Don't you see I am busy" or something like that - definitely not an immense gratitude as from Mom or Wife...

Sep 20, 2010

Life Cycle

As the day passes
Slow and steady
The mind always races
Of things at home

Clothes to be folded
Sheets to be laundered
Dinner to be made &
Children to be fed

As the night progress
Fast and Fury
The mind always ponders
Of things at work

Follow up discussions
Meetings & deadlines
Alternate logic
For optimal solutions

New day dawns &
New night sets
As the cycle of life
Moves on and on and on...

Sep 17, 2010

Mmm mmm good!

For the folks who know me it is no secret that I have been trying to lose some weight. Not much - just 20 lbs! I know it seems very reasonable and so reachable but it is ever elusive. Just figured out the reason! It's ME!!

I love food. Not much the rice and roti kind but fruits - lots and lots of fruits. Agreed fruits are good; but above a limit not so I guess. If I like grapes for a time being I'll keep eating grapes, grapes, grapes and loads of grapes. If it is dates season, dates, dates, dates and more of dates. Mango season is ditto! But at least that is acceptable.

Lately what has happened is I keep my office filled with snacks - murukku, mixture, biscuits, chocolates and the list goes on. It's like I have to have something with tea and I have tea at least 5 times during the day and mostly it is only an excuse to have some snacks. It is black tea with no sugar added so should be okay but then the oil and sugar in these snacks sure add up.

Then end of the week I stand on the scale hoping to see the pointer go to my left whereas it shoots up to the right! :( I jump off the scale so swiftly and tell myself, "Don't you worry, that is just the water weight!" (as if I got soaked in water like a sponge!) Or "It is the garments" and reduce 2-3 lbs of what is being shown and give a mental pat on my back with a, "Cool, you haven't gained an ounce!!"

It is funny how at times when I come across some sweet delicacy I will tell myself "Only one!" and just hurriedly add on few more as if I completely forgot my command to myself! All along I'll be well aware of my resolve to have just one, but will totally ignore it saying, "Don't fret, it's not every day you eat such things..."

Sometimes – especially in pot lucks and buffets, I will be praying earnestly: "Please God, don't let these calories count" (as if it can just evaporate) When the image on the mirror appears slightly bulgy, I will assure myself, "Nay, it is the angle from which you are looking" or something like: "It is the horizontal stripes that appears to make you look bigger"

Now I realize all these "tricks" need to STOP! Right now! Right away! The last time I checked the scales instead of being 2-3 points to the right, it was a whopping 5-7 points to the right :( It got my attention - finally!

Today being Friday, I have made up my mind to clear out my office and take home all the snacks - with a promise to NEVER bring it back.

Yeah, yeah I have done it in the past only to find by Wednesday they are all back in the office, one by one, in bags and boxes!! And I will be like "Mmm mmm good!" enjoying my “tea”

But this time I am serious however, check with me by Wednesday on how I am faring... If I say, "Mmm mmm good!" you'll know what could have gone wrong...

Sep 16, 2010

If only I had...

If I'd had one more Year
I would have stayed with Papa one more year

If I'd had one more Month
I would have visited Papa with my kids

If I'd had one more Day
I would have begged for Papa's longer life

If I'd had one more Hour
I would have talked to Papa little more

If I'd had one more Minute
I would have hugged my Papa really hard

If I'd had one more Second
I would have quickly kissed his fingers once

If only I had...

Sep 14, 2010

Rain drops

As we drove
It started to rain
Rain drops falling on car's window sill

A child exclaimed
They are tears
From a crying cloud for whatever it fears

Another took a different look
She claimed these are racing cars
Racing to get to the other side

It also reminded of swarms of flies
That took off just to land again
Once the wiper is done with each swipe

Not tears nor cars nor swarms of flies
If you looked closer you will see
These are mercy drops falling from God's window sill

Sep 11, 2010

Helping Hands

This morning as I was making breakfast I thought I should involve the kids as they would learn something and I could use some extra hands. The conversation goes like this:
Me:"Hey kids anybody wants to help Mommy with cooking?"
Kids: "Me! me! me!"
Me: "Good! Switch off the TV and comon' over"
Kid 3: "Then I don't want to help" (stays with the TV)
Me: (Thinking) "That's fine, one less trouble"
Kid 1 & 2: "Ok, what can I do?"
Me: "How about learn to make the chutney?"
Kid 1 & 2: "Me! me!"
Me: "I only need one person to work on the chutney; while the other can help with the sambar"
Kid 1: "What kind of help with the sambar?"
Me: "You can cut some tomatoes!!"
Kid 1: "Where are the tomatoes?"
Kid 2: "Ok now what do I do with the chutney?"
Me: "Get the green chillies" (I said in Tamil "Pachai Milagai")
Kid 2: What is that? Is is the leaf thingy? (She means the curry leaf)
Me: "No! The leaf thingy is the 'churry leaf'. Get that too. We need
it for seasoning. Pachai milagai is the green chillies"
Kid 2: "Oh! you could have said that first"
Me: "You have to know the Tamil equivalent too"
Me to Kid 1: "So, Have you started with the tomatoes?"
Kid 1: "I asked you where they are"
Me: "Look for it in the fridge or check in the garden or look in the freezer. you should know it already"
Kid 1: (Reluctantly opens the refrigerator): "They are all over the place; they are all spilt; they are not in a bag!!"
Me: "Don't worry about it, just grab a handful in a bowl"
Kid 1: "Where is the bowl?"
Me: "Go and get one; bowl won't just come to you at your call"
Kid 1 to Kid 2: "Can you get me a bowl?"
Me: "Here you go!" (handing her a bowl)
Kid 2: "So, what do I do with the green chillies?"
Me: "Wash them; Remove the stems; put it in the blender with coconut
and blend it"
Kid 2: "Where is the coconut?"
Me: "Thawing in the microwave"
Kid 2: "Yeaw! I am not touching that; can you put it here in the blender?"
Me: "Ok here you go; now blend it! oh! we need a pulse of garlic"
Kid 2: "Can you please peel it for me?"
Me: "Here you go, this is how you peel garlic"
Kid 1: "Yeaw! look there is a hole in this tomato!"
Me: "That's okay, wash them all; I will take care of it"
Kid 1: "I am not touching that one; It is so gross"
Me: "Let me take that one off; you can handle the rest!"
Kid 1: "Yeaw! What is this sticky thingy?"
Me: "Oh! it is nothing - just a dried up stem from another tomato that just looks sticky because you wet them"
Kid 1: "Yeaw! What's that?" (Pointing to another tomato)
Me: "Let me see, oh! that's just a piece of onion peel"
Kid 1: "So gross, I am not touching it, and I am not touching the one with the sticky thingy and I am not touching the one with the hole in it"
Me: "Ok, then quickly cut the rest, I need it NOW! (voice getting louder)
Kid 1: "I quit!; I quit helping you! I quit cooking!"
Me: ??!!
Kid 2: "Ok, I am done with the grinding... what's next?"
Me: "Great! Thank you! Now put the blender away and wipe off the table"
Kid 2: "Mhm mhm, can you please do it?"
Me: "Okay, thank you! Wait and see the chutney will be so yummy!" Calling
out to Kid 1: "And the sambar will be yummy too!"
Sure they are great helpers! Only thing is I needed a few extra hands just to help them...
Cast: Kid 1: 11 years Kid 2: 9 years Kid 3: 7 years Me: Just a few years older...

The Cuckoo Clock!

Please read this first: My Cuckoo Clock

Dear friends! Thank you for your encouraging comments! The cuckoo clock is finally up! I can't find the pendulum though; have to live without it for now... I am all smiles now as you can imagine...

Sep 9, 2010

Empty Calories

Walking through Midtown New York avenues 7th, 6th, Madison, Park, Lexington & 3rd from 32nd to 39nth streets yesterday I was proud of myself. No, not for being in NYC all by myself but for the fact that I did not get pulled into consuming any empty calories.

By empty calories I mean the junk food but more importantly I mean the other junk I could have easily accumulated.

The burgers, hot dogs, bagels and pastries all looked very appetizing, but I was satisfied with the little snack and water I had with me...

Then there were Aeropostle, Abercrombie, H&M and other fashion stores calling out with rock bottom discounts which were hard to resist, but I moved on...

They were calling out "Any bag! Any bag! Any bag for ten dollars! Pick any bag any bag for ten dollars!!" I confess I stopped to look. The heaps of shiny bags did look very tempting and the price seemed too good to be true, but I just walked on...

Street vendors with 'I heart New York' T-shirts, world maps, children’s books, magazines - very appealing and really nice - would have made me shell out a few bucks any given day - but now I paused!

No, I am not becoming thrifty - it is just that I now understand these are all just plain empty calories - filling you up momentarily with no lasting goodness or nutritional value.

The homeless on the streets & in Penn Station made me wonder if they were once pounding on empty calories that actually made them homeless. May be it is too harsh to think of it that way, but there could be such stories I am sure.

To add on, words could be empty too! Especially when they don't mean what they say. It is true communication builds relationships but when it comes across empty they are just plain words and do more harm than good.

That said, I am determined to watch out my calories in food, things and also in words. Are you still with me?

Sep 6, 2010

Garden Fresh from Garden State

Presenting 2010 yields from our home garden...

Sep 5, 2010

My Cuckoo Clock

I am so fascinated by cuckoo clocks so years ago when we saw one in the stores my husband gladly bought it for me. I have had it for about 5 years now and I love it. You may wonder what really is my problem then?!

The problem is that ever since we brought it home, I have been trying to get it installed on the wall. But alas it has never been hung and lies in the corner of my closet. Hopefully the cuckoo is still alive.

My repeated requests were shrugged off with "Jot it down; I will get to it when I have time". It has been on my honey-do-list since then, but unfortunately Honey has been busy otherwise.

Few times when he volunteered to work on the list, we would disagree on where to hang the clock. I would say in my office and he would say in our bed room. If I say in our bed room he would say in the kitchen. There have been close calls where he came with the hammer and nails to work on it, but then the phone would ring or a friend would visit or a child would cry that he would hurry to the scene - completely forgetting my poor cuckoo clock.

There have been times when I would challenge to do it myself, but then the electric drill would need to be charged, so I put it on charge only to never find time to get back to it. I have even promised myself that may be next time when Ganesh visits I will request him, but Ganesh has come and gone many times while the cuckoo bird is out of sight and out of mind.

When I start complaining my husband would say, "If you keep hiding it in the closet; how will I remember? If you leave it on the counter top I will do it when I see it". It kind of made sense so I left it on the counter top with frequent reminders but for whatever reason the cuckoo just wouldn't budge. After months of seeing it on the counter top, attracting piles of paper and mail on top I took it back to the closet.

Then recently we painted the house and I was so sure I would finally get to use it, but weeks and months have passed and my cuckoo clock still awaits installation.

Is it me, is it him or is it the cuckoo clock?

Please read this next: The Cuckoo Clock

Sep 4, 2010

Pause Button for Life

This is a re-post...
There have been days when I worried a lot about the "could have been's". I could have said this, done that, gone there.. etc. Or for that matter, the shouldn't have done that, gone there or said that's. Too much stuff was occupying space in my mind/heart or wherever it was... may be you can relate to that...

I would think if the house is all clean then I could rest. I'll be about to wrap up when the room just cleaned will be already messy and I will rush to straighten that... when I am done with folding loads of clothes, the new set will be out of the dryer and I start over again from square one... by the time that is done it will be a whole new day and loads of more clothes to be washed, dried and folded... when I think I am done with my hello rounds to friends and family, it will be already time for the second round of calling... one meal would be just over and already I will be worrying about the next dish to prepare, a weekend is just gone by and I'm already planning for the next one, same way for next Christmas, next summer... you get the point...

Sep 3, 2010

"'Date"-ing Season

Green Dates or Fresh Dates are the date fruit before it gets processed into the brown sticky kind we are familiar with.

Green Dates look like hard grapes bunches - each fruit bigger than the red globe grapes. They are yellow in color, crunchy like apples, juicy and very sweet. To me the flavors remind me of lot of my childhood delicacies (sugar cane, palm root, palm juice, palm fruit etc)

They are ripe fruit & best eaten before it gets too soft. If you leave it out it would get soggy in a few days. Keeping it in the refrigerator will help hold them fresh a while longer.

These fruits are available only for a short time every year. From September 1st week thru' middle of October is the season for it.

Fresh dates are much lower in calories than dried dates. For example, 4 oz fresh dates contain 100 calories while 4 oz dried dates contain 250 calories. All dates are high in iron and potassium and contain modest amounts of folate and a small amount of vitamin A, and the B vitamins. Dates are beneficial for anemia, constipation and fatigue.

In the United States they are available in Middle-Eastern Stores or in Farmers Markets and Indian Stores as well. If you are from outside of the States and know where to get it in your residing country, please leave a comment so that fellow readers can benefit from it.

If you haven't tried them already, take my word for it and give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised at the rich flavors it brings.


Sep 2, 2010

What's in a Name?

As Earl is expected this weekend, it got me thinking how they pick names for the storms/hurricanes. I was so far under the impression it was the name of the person who first "spots" a storm. Silly me... Here's the fact:

National Weather Service has put together six list of names for the Atlantic Ocean. The list goes in alphabetical order from A thru' W, skipping Q's & U's. Each storm or hurricane as it develops in chronological order is given the next name in the list.

In case there are more than 21 storms/hurricanes in a year, Greek alphabet names are used for the next set of storm in that year: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and so on.

If a storm forms in the off-season, it will take the next name in the list based on the current calendar date. For example,The 2010 Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Ocean began on June 1, 2010, and will end on November 30, 2010. If a tropical cyclone forms on December 28th, it would take the name from the previous season's list of names. If a storm forms in February, it would be named from the subsequent season's list of names.

Also, if any storm/hurricane is very deadly and devastating, that name gets retired from the list. That's the only time the list changes. Example: Charley (2004), Katrina (2005), Gustuv (2008) have been retired from the lists so that they don't repeat again.

The naming of storms/hurricane was first introduced in the year 1953. It used to be all female names, only in 1979 male names were added to the list.

Names are used over longitude/lattitude identification methods for effective communication across the miles.

For this year, Earl could be followed by Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie, Walter, Alpha, Beta, Gama, Delta... Ok! Enough with that!

In case you are interested, here are the six lists for Atlantic Ocean:
2010 list will repeat again on 2016 (hopefully there are no retiring names this year), 2011 list be repeated on 2017 and so on...

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015







Sep 1, 2010

Around the world in 15 hours! (Half way that is...)

I recently took the non-stop Continental flight from Newark to Mumbai. It is pretty amazing that once you board the aircraft, a movie, two meals & few hours of sleep later you are actually touching down at your home country!!

This was the first time I took Continental and liked their service very much. Take off and landing was so smooth that you would miss it if you are not paying attention. The crew was friendly & courteous. Kids too enjoyed their choice of movies & games. They even liked the meal options. Not a stir or complaint from the kids all through the flight.

The only downside is that not enough connecting flights to Trivandrum or Tuticorin or Madurai from Mumbai. I had to wait 8 hours to catch the first flight out to Trivandrum. Since I have family in Mumbai the wait was okay. Let's leave it at that as it is not Continental's issue...

Thank you Continental for bringing us NRI's closer to home!
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