Feb 25, 2011

Ready or not here I come!

Ready or not here I come!
Here I come with my wand
Here I am - the Tomorrow
You didn't expect so soon.

Ready or not here I am!
Here I am with new name
Here I am called Today
I changed my name from Tomorrow.

Ready or not there I go!
There I go with my wand
There I go - the Today
You couldn't believe so soon.

Ready or not there I was!
There I was with old name
Now I am called Yesterday
I changed my name from Today...

Feb 23, 2011

Very smat; VYTORIN smart!

While waiting at doctor's office I have come across ads for a prescription drug called Vytorin which treats cholesterol. The ads always amuse me with a food item with a matching personality to show us there are two sources of cholesterol - food & family. Just thought of creating a little quiz out of my collection of Vytorin ads.

I have a number posted next to each picture. The idea is to match one food item with one personality. For example #1 & #13 go together. Would you like to figure out the rest of the puzzle? You can post your answers in the comments section below. Let's see if you are just plain smart or Vytorin smart...

Feb 22, 2011

A word with you

A word with you on my 200th post! Please check out my very first post here.

Blogging started off as an outlet to express myself enabling me to share my raves and rants with such openness I wouldn't rather express otherwise. But now it has become a part and parcel of my identity. All the credit goes to you, yes, YOU! It was easy connecting with you all as you accepted me the way I am.

Known friends commented I am sharing way too much personal information on my blog, not realizing you guys are the same as they are to me. While most of them do not care about my day to day life, it is you I turn to to share my simplest of joys. When my frequent calls to them go unanswered or attended to in a hurry, you guys come through with your cheering posts and encouraging notes. I get to see them only when I organize a get together; but you guys always have a get together here in the blogosphere and I just have to show up to belong.

My sincere thanks to one and all who make my days a little bit more interesting. Across the many miles; divided by country lines, deepest oceans and tallest mountains, against all odds, you guys have proved to be the best! The best of friends one could ever have! Thank you!

Along the journey, I could have offended a few though I tried not to. It is hard to explain I didn't mean to, but please accept my apologies if I hurt you. I must add I have been influenced by many and been influential to some; isn't that something?!

As an *NRIGirl I relate to all *NRI's living outside of our Home - INDIA! No matter where we go, how we live, what we do, we are family! My sincere desire is to be back home; may be not today, but sure  someday...

This post and this blog is dedicated to every reader who represents these dots on my map... Let me thank you just once again - Thank you!

*NRI - Non Resident Indian

Feb 21, 2011

Daddy's little girls

As our little girls are becoming "live size" occasionally they borrow my skirts or shoes. As I secretly admire how beautiful it looks on them, Israel can't be very secretive about it.

He will go 'ooh' and 'aah' and make his admiration quite evident.  Children will gladly announce it is Mommy's to which Daddy answers, "Mommy's? no way... she doesn't wear pretty clothes like this. I have never seen her wear this beautiful skirt before".

Now I have to jump in and remind him when and where I wore it and how he never cares for what I wear etc. However hard I try he wouldn't seem to recollect it. He will add fuel to the fire by saying "May be you wore when I wasn't around".

That would be enough to provoke my self pity. I would go on to say how he loves "his girls" more and I am only some one else's (my Papa's) little girl, and how he always admires his girls but takes me for granted and how he never appreciates what I wear but admires anything his girls wear... etc etc. Interestingly a tear drop or two will mostly accompany this dialogue as if to "support" me. Israel will smartly say, "You are part of me Hephzibah; that's why I don't always say it". Somehow that makes sense to me.

Next time around I wear a nice long skirt, Israel's response would be, "Isn't Rachel looking beautiful in this dress?" or "Sharon has got some style; don't you think?" "Okay fine, but how about me???!!" - my self pity screams. His coolness answers: "You are beautiful Hephzibah; Remember you are part of me?!" But this time around the statement has lost its lusture and doesn't really make sense to me...

Feb 17, 2011

Road to Michigan

I had written this a while ago, but wasn't really planning to bore you with this post. But then at the rate at which my good friend A is charging me for ideas for blog posts, I decided to post it anyway... :)

So, here we go...
Thought I will share with you from our road trip to Troy, Michigan. Troy is 608 miles from home and took us 9 hours on the road. It had been a while since we went on our last road trip (NJ to Springfield OH) and so we were looking forward to it.

It was a pleasant morning; as usual journey started with a McDonald breakfast. Children had brought pillows and blankets to cushion up in their seats, ever since GPS came into practice my job as a navigator has been taken over, so it was very relaxing. However we missed looking at the large AAA maps as we used to, thinking children at this age would love it better.

We played I-Spy for some time. We spied on dancing leaves, singing birds on the telephone lines, a big letter R in a passing truck, American flags etc. When we got bored of that we started counting on animals and special things we saw on the way for which we would get "points" - a score we keep track of. The rule is that the finder should show it to at least one more person. We saw an owl, colorful ducks, swans, dead deer, grazing cows, horses and a beautiful vintage bridge.

All along we also made a list of cars from different States; at the end of the journey we had a representation of 32 States and 4 Canadian provinces!! We kept an account of each State Welcome board sign as we entered Pennsylvania, Ohio and finally Michigan. Children showed special interests in them and wanted to be awoke if they were sleeping.

We were amazed at the number of factories or manufacturing facilities in Detroit. We could see lots of smoke - some were dense - some were light - of different colors and shapes. Houses looked a little closer together compared to New Jersey homes but then it also depends on where we live. Snow seemed to have been heavier though. The roads were almost empty but friends were complaining and we were like "Come and see New Jersey roads".

The best part of the trip was when we visited our friends: Ramesh & family and my UG college friend Pratima and her family. It was hard to believe 18 years had slipped by! She looked the same sweet personality as she was when we had waved good bye in 1993.I was slightly an enlarged version with a different hair and look but mostly we clicked on and our husbands and children connected right away and it was as if they too were friends for long.

I must add, we decided to surprise a toll booth worker with a goody bag filled with chocolates, teddy bear and other knick knacks. She was overjoyed and much delighted with the surprise gift and it was such a blessing to us. It kind of put us all in to our Christmas Spirits all over again.

Overall it was a very enjoyable trip and very memorable too. Can’t wait for the next road trip to places unknown...

Feb 11, 2011

Valentines Coupons!

You know the little gift coupon books kids make from school? It is a little basket or envelope they make by hand, with some coupons in them which you can claim anytime from them. For example there would be coupons for chores like 'Empty dish washer', 'Walk the dog', 'Breakfast in bed' etc. So anytime you feel not up to do any of these chores you can produce a coupon and the child will gladly do it for you.

Well, Joshua my son brought home a hand made Valentines card for us (mommy & daddy). It is a nice heart shaped envelope with extra hearts appliques here and there and very nicely made. He brought it to me and said, "Mommy, pick a coupon from here...without looking..." I gladly picked one and it read "Free OOXX". Then he said, "Oh! That's free hugs and kisses" and gave me a nice hug and a few kisses and of course he got it in return.

Then he said, "Daddy has to give me $5 because he picked that..." I was a little puzzled to hear that as I was not sure why Daddy has to pay $5 and what kind of coupon was that. On further inquiry he decided to show all his other (coupons) options I could have picked from. I just couldn't help laughing when I saw that. Because it all had a $$ value to it or something substantial for him and not us! He had changed the idea of the whole thing completely for his gain.

The options were:
Game for the whole week
Get $5 for me
Whole car wash for $25
Clean the whole house for $15
Free OOXX (at least one thing he thought of giving at no cost :) )

I was very glad I got the best of all - which was FREEEEEEEE.... I wish you all the same! Happy Valentines day everyone!

Feb 9, 2011

Am I nosy?

Have you ever found the nose to be the center of attraction during a conversation? It happens to me quite often though not as much as it used to when I was a kid.

Amidst a nice interesting conversation suddenly I get deviated towards the nose - how it looks, how it flares with the emotions, what the conversation really does to ones nose, face minus the nose, face with the nose, bigger, smaller, what-ifs,  and other funny thoughts tickle me...

As I said this habit is very much on the decline now and I thought it necessary to capture it before I lose the 'art' completely; hence this post.

Not sure when or how it all started but I notice the person's nose, next to their fingers. Just like fingers can never lie about one's personality, nose can never lie about one's emotions. People say all those nice things about the eyes, but in fact it is the nose that makes the eyes look pretty as it kind of balances both eyes, so the credit should go to the nose. Imagine if we had not the nose, where else we would hoist the glasses?

Mom's nose turns red when she cries or gets angry. Rachel's nose has droplets of sweat since she was a baby and we guessed she would be short tempered; hasn't been true! Joshua's nose definitely smiles with his eyes, Sharon's nose is turned up when she is mad at mommy and mommy's nose is neutral except when she gets upset, then it flares up with her voice... (happened to catch myself on the mirror once or twice when this happened); Daddy's nose up close makes you wonder why it is so huge!

It feels so uneasy if something is on someones nose when you are talking to them. You very much want to tell him/her, but can't quite, and finally you do, and they excuse themselves and there aren't many awkward moments like that. We won't really feel the same if something was on their ear or lip or chin; why is that have you wondered?

Some when they laugh their nose too rolls with them - making a funny sound which only ignites more laughter, have you noticed? And some when they blow their nose it sounds like air horn of some kind startling sleeping babies and their pets alike, have you seen that? And those that try hard to sneeze and it goes so mild and weak and they try again with hands raised, rooms cleared only to get a faint feeble sneeze, then there are some like my Grandma who mostly kiss with their nose sniffing at you... Some noses can sing too, have you heard? How about the snoring noses that hiss or hush or thunder like motor bikes?

Do you think I am being 'nosy'? Is there anyone out there who shares in the same curiosity on noses as me?!

Feb 6, 2011

Investment Tips for Guys

Thought it is only fair to follow up my previous post on Investment tips for Girls with some tips for guys. Please feel free to add more.

  1. 1. Be a good friend - Does your wife consider you as her good friend? If not, you need to definitely work in this area. It is vital for her. Friendship takes time, efforts, involvement, affection
  2. 2. Do not demand - No, it is not your birth right to be served always.
  3. 3. Consider her input - I can't stress enough on the importance of respecting her opinion. You both have equal role to play in your marriage, in building your family, no one is superior than the other, so it is important to consider her likes and dislikes before deciding on a major financial commitment.
  4. Play - with the kids I mean. This conveys to her that you are committed to the children she so painstakingly bore for you.
  5. Let her sleep in late - At least once every week allow her to wake up on her own. She definitely needs the extra hour or so to fully charge herself for the week ahead.
  6. Domestic help - The slightest help you do such as picking up the dirty socks and tossing it in the laundry basket, makes a big difference in house keeping. Help her out as much as you can.
  7. Give her space - Let her gain access to her own table or a closet or something of her own - which she can set up according to her taste, where she can relax with a book or write her letters or even read her blogs.
  8. Never ignore her tears - No, she does not use it as a weapon to get her ways. She is a human being and her emotions are expressed differently than yours. Never ever make light of her tears, it makes permanent scars that can not be easily repaired.
  9. Allow her to pay back her parents - Think about it, she was raised pretty much the same way as you were, her parents toiled hard to give her the best education they could afford, she was raised on their sweat and blood. It gives her a huge satisfaction to gift them occasionally if not regularly. Do not force her to do otherwise. It is not fair.
  10. Be the best friend she could ever have. Remember best friend would never put one down - in front of others - be it your own family. You take the blame to save her face, not the other way. Believe you were made for each other and make it a happy home!

Feb 5, 2011

Investment Tips for Girls

Back in time I had written about Love Bank & Direct Deposit
Here are some sure-fire investment tips for girls:
  1. 1. Treat your husband as your King. Yes, you heard me right - as king! He should be your first and foremost priority. Just because you cooked doesn't mean he has to clean. This is to do with our attitude; equality of gender doesn't have to do anything with this.
  2. Arise and Shine. Wake up a little early to a good start. Do not fail to join him for breakfast if not make it for him. When he makes it, appreciate it.
  3. Enough with the blame game. Think about it, does it make anyone feel better? Then why play?
  4. Serve a Happy Meal. Find out one thing he likes to eat and make it cheerfully for him often.
  5. Give him room - To breath, to meet his friends, to enjoy his favorite TV shows, to take a weekend nap, you name it...
  6. Surprise him by doing one of his errands - be it putting out the trash or cleaning the fish tank or washing the toilet or why not even mowing the lawn. No work is strictly his; no harm in trying it out.
  7. Send love notes - Trust me, a simple 'I love you so much' in a sticky note in his lunch bag can make his day; he might not say it but it does.
  8. Do not compare - With any one including your father. He is the best.
  9. Never threaten to leave - Believe you are made for each other and no one is better than him. Always work towards mending the hearts rather than tearing it apart further. Even when it is not your fault be the first to make up.
  10. Appreciate - Everything he has done for you, doing for you and all his efforts to make you happy. Try a 'Thank you for marrying me' and see if it melts him or not.
Please feel free to add your tips to the list... Stay tuned for Investment Tips for Guys...

Feb 4, 2011

Not so 'easy' E-ZPass!

We were among the first lot to jump in and get an E-Zpass when it was first introduced in the New Jersey tolls years ago and we loved it!

We loved the fact that we could breeze through the toll booth while others were hurriedly counting changes for exact cash after pulling up to the toll window only to realize they were few pennies short, others were waiting in looo..ng lines to pay cash.

For a while it was fun - until the authorized credit card expired! We started noticing that the red light would stay red and won't turn green and when we paused to try again we got honked at from behind. So we swept by only to receive toll violation notices with our vehicle's picture as proof. For a 35 cent toll we were fined $25, a couple of times :(

Online system wouldn't let us in as it required a pin which we forgot. When we request the pin online it would only be sent by mail - no not email, but by regular mail. It would be few days to receive it and when we received it we didn't immediately use it; so it was voided.

Our numerous calls to E-Zpass customer service only went to repeated mechanical answering service and finally when we got to talk to someone human, it was me calling but the account was on Israel's name and they wanted him to be calling. There it goes... Till date we haven't had the opportunity to get our records straight. After few years of trying their "helpful" customer service, we decided to return the E-ZPass and go back to manual ways.

Hoping for a better service this time called them up again recently only to find out that we have a 'locked account' because of our previous set up and can't move ahead without clearing it up. After days of follow ups and more mechanical voices, we have concluded that there is nothing easy about the E-ZPass!

I must add, these days we drive around paying toll with cash and truly love the laid back experience. But then it is not every day we pay toll...

Feb 1, 2011

Mark my books

I love book marks. Unique tags from clothes, greeting card cut outs, interesting piece of paper or fabric or even a ribbon or why not even some string or thread can all turn out to be great book marks. Thought I will share some with you as part of my Around the house post.

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