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Promise I kept

I promised you all and more to myself that I will read every posts all my fellow blogathon friends. Realistic promise to self was to complete it by end of February and I did it yayy!! I took my own time reading one blogger at a time, MTW, Tharani, FV, RS, Prachee, Seema. Am I happy or Am I happy? I am super happy.

Life is as always happening on full swing in all directions with mixed bag of emotions! If one day is painted all bubbly, next day is painted all gloomy and the very next day is painted with no time to breathe!!

I want to write about one more challenge that I started to follow around end of December but that has to wait till end of March as that’s the next milestone I had set for myself.

For all our old bloggers reading this post, its a humble request for all of us (FV, MTW, Tharani, Seema, RS, Prachee), please plan to join next year blogathon. I know its too early to commit but please think about it. The more the merrier and others have also requested the same in their posts!

I feel so accomplished and happy today 🙂 Planning to make a quick trip to local temple in the evening to attend one of the Maha Shivarathiri kaala poojai!

Another exciting news to share is we are returning to work starting 1st March. Its once a week for now and I am so looking forward to it as we get complimentary food *sheepish grin*

Take care you all! I will see you all by end of March!

Happy New Year 2022

The day started slow, woke up with bad cough, headache. Had two cups of coffee in first 30 mins, lazed around, stretched the body to make some rasam/potato roast for lunch, cleaned kitchen, washed dishes, in the process lost my cool and yelled at kids (I don’t remember the last time I raised my tone to them. It just has to be today!!). This is first half of the day!

Sat down in couch, caught up with messages in phone and then I came to my senses. I reminded myself of the theme of this year “be conscious of the choices I make, I and only I own the consequences of my action that come out of my choice!”

Got up from couch, walked in treadmill for 40 mins, apologized to Adi for my morning drama, took nice hot shower, made few phone calls and ate my dinner. Following me, the clan was motivated to move some muscles. We all spent the next one hour together doing some physical exercises. If I remember right, the last time we spent time together in exercise room was in 2019. Now, everyone is back to their business and I am onto mine that’s drafting this post 🙂 This is second half of the day!

Well, second half could have easily flipped into a boring rest of the day if I chose to stay put in couch , carry forward my mood swings and binge watch something! The clan would have followed the same! Today is another day to realize the direct impact of my mood on the family! All is well that ends well!

This is my 10th year of blogathon and I am super happy to reconnect with you all. We will talk more in following days!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy year 2022. May this new year bring good health and happiness to you and your family. Stay blessed!

Nilavum Naanum (Moon and Me)

Title inspired from the tamil movie (Abhiyum Naanum).

Writing about my two close connection with moon.

Today is no moon day (Ammavasya). I have added the tradition of cooking white pumpkin sambar and raw banana fry for every Ammavasai and offer it to my FIL before we break fast for the day. This is a tradition followed by families back home where family elders have passed away. I love this tradition as it gives me the space and time to reconnect with FIL and remember him.

In 15 days, it will be full moon day (Pournami). I have added the tradition of performing Satyanarayana pooja on this day. I fast all day, cook kesari sweet in the evening, read Satyanarayana stories, perform pooja, step out to see the beauty of full moon and then break my fast. This is a tradition followed by Amma ever since I remember so I wanted to take it over from her. I love this tradition as it gives me the space and time to travel back to my childhood and reconnect with Amma. LHB is my carrier to share the prasadam with neighbors and he mostly accompanies me in finding the beauty. There are days when she decides to play hide and seek and hide behind the clouds. LHB helps me to find her.

Kids are well aware of these two days now and it gives me some inner peace to at least have a cadence in place to pray together as a family twice a month. At the same time, it gives me a chance to rekindle my memories about the two people in my kutti circle that I love, admire and respect the most. They both are my pillar of strength and support.

P.S. Today has been a fairly good day. LHB leveled up in his academics and Adi cracked a test with flying colors that she has been preparing like a monster for past few days. She was up till 2am taking notes for this test. LHB’s level up is just the beginning and we have a rough journey ahead. I hope we both will cross the bridge in one piece!! Wish him and me good luck please!

Doesn’t this call for celebration? So, we made a store trip at 9pm in the night, bought Oreo ice cream cake roll and the trio finished the whole pack **rolls eyes** I have saved my share for tomorrow. Do you think I will get to eat my share in peace tomorrow? I highly doubt **rolls eyes heavily**

Mother’s day 2020

Started with this post yesterday but dozed off before I could publish. So please adjust and read it like its published yesterday 🙂

I woke up before the kids, walked around the home, had my coffee in peace, made few phone calls and then it happened!

LHB woke up and freaked out as last night he ordered me to stay in bed all day today. He made me go back to bed and stay there for next two hours until breakfast was ready. While Akka was busy in the kitchen, LHB was busy walking between bedroom and kitchen to make sure I am not stepping out of the bed. I was bed locked. Thankfully, I was allowed to speak over the phone so had a looong chat with my friend. He said I can even watch TV if I am bored BUT I was not allowed to step out of the bed.

After two hours, I was blindfolded, taken to the table and presented with an elaborate spread.

Dosas
Scrambled eggs
Buttered bread
Leftover capsicum chutney
All sorts of sauces/jams/pickles
Masala chai in a travel mug
Hot water in flask

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Adi made all of them with no help and the little boy helped to set the table. I was surprised and proud. We relished the brunch and then I was allowed to carry on with weekend kitchen chores.

Next 4 hours was spent in kitchen with songs in the background. It has been a while I listened to songs and the songs lifted up my mood. I decided to make mango kara kuzhambu. Just the thought made my mouth watery and I could literally taste the kuzhambu even before it was ready.

In the next 4 hours, with songs playing in the background thik thai kitchen* dished out

Idli batter
Onion tomato chutney
Mango drumstick kara kuzhambu
Brinjal fry
White rice
Appalam/Fryms
Ground and refilled all spice powder – pepper powder, jira powder and saunf powder

We had dinner in formal dining room and I dressed up for dinner 🙂 Looking at me, LHB also dressed up and surprised us by eating dinner all by himself like he made a plate for himself and ate with hands.

*thik thai kitchen – LHB named our kitchen as thik thai kitchen as apparently he believes that his mom loves Bharathanatyam form of dance.

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He forgot to give me the cards and made up during bedtime.

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Small joys

I had Kohls store gift card so decided to treat LHB with a little something for his birthday that is just 3 days away which is very unusual as you know the aftermath if you take a kid to a store not knowing what to buy.

We went to the shop today afternoon, he choose few spring jackets from clearance section and we went to fitting room to try.

I handed him the jackets one by one to try and see this t-shirt in between the 2nd and 3rd jacket. I did not pick it and have no idea about how it landed in the pile. Maybe it was there in the rack and I picked it along with other jackets or maybe it was left behind in the fitting room by someone else.

But think of the odds of us visiting a cloth store few days before birthday to get something for the birthday and this shirt magically landing on your hand! He is turning 7. Isn’t it magical? Small joys of life 🙂

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Food connection

Today’s lunch box for kids:

Ladies finger fry rolled in roti and clementines. I am happy to have started packing lunch for LHB too from this school year. This journey started in 2010 when Adi started her kindergarten and continuing for a decade now, it will continue for another decade till LHB graduates school. Nothing can make me more happier than seeing an empty lunch box. It is an everyday discussion during bedtime about the lunch option for next day and I make up my mind about what to cook the next day morning. Somedays, I also do some prep work in the night like cutting veggies or soaking pulses.

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And I suddenly got this urge today to make my all time favorite puli kuzhambu with drumstick, potatoes and mochai (lilva beans). This is one of Adi’s favorite too and somehow it has been ages I made it. So, made it today and Adi was super excited to see the kuzhambu and fryums on the table when she got back from school. She kept repeating “Today is her best day”.

She kept visiting the table all evening to scoop the kuzhambu with fryums and pop it in. We went down my memory lane about how I did the same at my grandma’s home where I spent all my summer. I would make frequent visits to my grandma’s kitchen to steal the potatoes from kuzhambu and come lunch time my cousins would hardly get any potatoes 😀 😀 I can see myself in Adi today with this action.

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Food can make everyone happy and I am so glad to have established this connection with kids.

Just for laugh:
LHB’s tidbit: Akka, stop complaining! You will be done with school in 2 years!!! Do you know how many more years school do I have? We calculated and its 11 more years *Adi and I bursted out laughing* and both of us said in unison that we would give anything to go back to elementary school. Actually, Adi said elementary school and I said any school or even college is fine with me.

Holiday gifts

LHB is all about giving and I love this nature he possesses. Mind you he doesn’t giveaway things he own. He wants to save everything for memory and takes a dozen pictures everyday for memory (I exactly know who passed down this gene to him. Let’s not talk about that 😉 ). I think I already wrote here about how he wanted to keep the torn Nike shoe that doesn’t fit anymore. For remembrance is the right word but he says “for memory” and I am sticking with that.

For holidays, he bought thoughtful gifts for each of us and gave gifts to all his teachers. I gave him about 6 gifts to give to his main teachers. But, he wanted one for the school security Mr.B, for the music teacher he meets once in few weeks, for his gym teacher, bus driver and the high school assistant in his class. I gave him 3 more and said he has to decide whom to give. His fingers were not enough when we counted the teachers he wanted to give gift 🙂

I opened the gift he bought for me the same day and wore it right away. But, he told me I am supposed to take it only on the day of Christmas. So, took it back from me, packed it carefully and put it under the tree.

He bought mood changing pendant for me (It really changes color, I don’t know how it works), a big marker for Akka and a coffee mug for Appa and a rattle snake for himself. OMG the little brain has overworked to buy thoughtful gift for each of us. What more can I ask for?

I wear the pendant and show off to him just to see the pride in his face 🙂

 

Thanksgiving – 2019

Better late than never has become the motto of this blog. Recording Thanksgiving 2019 in my very own little space for posterity sake.

A friend family spent thanksgiving with us. They stayed with us for a night and we cooked a storm for thanksgiving spread. The friend wanted to try turkey roast but we settled on chicken. It didn’t come out perfect, not everyone liked it but I would say it turned out decent enough for first attempt.

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From left to right:

Lasagna (I burned it little in broil mode) – Adi’s and friend’s daughters made this
Corn muffin
Baked cauliflower in white sauce
Challah bread – Adi brushed the bread with garlic/butter and baked it
Mutton fry
Biriyani (leftover)
Chicken roast pan dripping gravy
White rice
Whole chicken roast
Rasam
Moong dal Kosambari (garnished with pomegranate)
Ghee rice
Stuffing mix with onions and celery

We started cooking the feast at about 1pm after a heavy breakfast and had dinner at 6:30pm. Each of us shared what we are thankful for before the meal and had a great chat at the table.

I am thankful for too many things to count. Family’s good health, kids, safety, friends, job, extended family and many more. It is a wonderful life and let’s be thankful for all that is offered to us every single day.

Happy thanksgiving to all my readers!

 

It has to get better-2

Read this before reading this post

Unfolding next day:

5:30am – A call from other side of the world woke me up at 5:30am. Looking at the name, I could guess the news. It was my cousin’s husband and he got placed in a suitable job. He has been searching for a suitable job for few months now. All I told him was “Irundha ponnu-kku etha mappillai” (Its a popular saying in Tamil. Rough translation – Best bridegroom for a long awaited bride)

6:00am – A message from my friend that her cousin is showing good signs of improvement and she will fully recover with few months of care. We all were very much worried as her eyesight was affected. The word “fully recover” put my mind in peace.

9:00am – Breakfast with two VP women leaders at work along with other women co-workers. It was a great session to hear about their journey and no better way to start the day.

10:00am – Had 1-1 with my leader and he shared the news about my annual rating and plans for 2020. A satisfactory discussion overall.

12:00pm – Monthly all hands meeting and I was awarded for being culture conductor in my organization. Pleasant surprise and I got our mascot plush doll as a gift

2:00pm – Ate cheese cake a big slice for dessert after a scrumptious lunch.

After this I seriously started praying that the day should just end soon as I want to remember this day as a happy day!

5:15pm – Picked up LHB, fed him healthy dinner/boiled egg and dropped at his class. This made me happy as everything went as planned and we had fun time while doing all this.

6:15pm – Made masala chai for myself after many many months and had a good 30 minutes chat with M while kids were in their respective classes.

7:00pm – Picked up the kids and took them to cold stone ice cream shop to threat them for Children’s day. I had great time though Adi was constantly cribbing that this is not a good idea as she has to study for two tests. I kept embarrassing her at the store by repeatedly saying “Happy children’s day betas”. I call them “beta” when I am extremely happy 🙂 LHB and I were hiding inside the store and surprised Adi when she entered. Small joys!!

9:00pm – Wrapped up kitchen and went to bed early in the fear of not jinxing the happy day!

Look at the difference in mood between two consecutive day. I had no idea about how these two days will unfold when the week started. So, if you are having a low day please stay strong and keep up for the table will turn very soon! I understand its easier said than done but trust me!

 

Blessed

Woke up on a lazy Sunday morning to see a text from my neighbor. She left french vanilla flavored coffee powder at my front porch just because I told her that is my favorite when we met last time.

Last night she surprised us with hot hot zucchinni pie and banana bread straight from her oven to my kitchen table.

Life is good and I am counting my blessings!!