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Last year February 11, 2015

Posted by Jeena in Uncategorized.
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Our latest addition to the family was due in another 2 months last year around this time. A pea sized object whose heart beat we’d been monitoring every week had grown bigger and appeared to weigh approximately 2 kg. There were hands, legs, eyes, nose, ears, hair….  a miracle of creation. 

The anxiety of the first trimester, the relaxed second trimester and I was well into the tiredness of the third. All that is now a fading memory. If I don’t pen down some key moments, I fear that I will not remember the pains DH took to keep me hydrated, prevent me from falling sick, making sure my legs were horizontal, watching over me like a mama hawk.

I started feeling hot around this time. The baby was breached but lots of time to turn around. I wanted a normal delivery and wanted to turn bubs around. Dr S suggested squats and carefully DH supervised them, supporting my back making sure I didn’t injure my knees. Looking back, sure I went through the changes, hormonal lows, aches and pains; but DH was there throughout the journey. Next scan showed the head was down! Those squats sure do work.

Cousins of DH landed at our home, in transit to Mauritius for their honeymoon. I was waddling by then. I wanted to travel somewhere too. Little did I know that it would be another year before I went out anywhere.

At night, I was sleeping less. In preparation for the nights to come you would say. But it was in no way a preparation for the lack of sleep in the months to come.

Looking at the cute babies around you, don’t be deceived if you don’t have any and think of having one. It is bloody hard work! A volatile person like me wouldn’t have believed the oodles of patience this full time job requires!

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Clock it February 7, 2015

Posted by Jeena in Travel.
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I turned into this weird person without weekends. I spent more time gazing into the blue glow of the computer and less on the beauty of my surroundings. I would stare in dismay at the bundle of hair falling around me, not to mention the entangled ones in the hair brush. I became a workaholic with the stress of deadlines and lengthy travel time to boot.

I needed to switch off and rejuvenate. Let’s go on a road trip…a lengthy one. I haven’t seen the attractions of N.Kerala – there are lots of differences in cuisines especially. The monsoon is an added bonus. The fasting

And thus began a long road trip which read approximately 3000km after we got back, a short vacation and the beginning of another wonderful journey – the third and youngest member of our family.

Mischief in the summer April 9, 2013

Posted by Jeena in Behaviors.
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We got ourselves some lovely plants – both flowering and non-flowering. Sitting out on the balcony is more pleasurable if you can ignore the buzzing mossies! Guess who else also loves flowers? The bloody monkeys too!

Yes, you don’t need to reread that sentence. We’ve got a big (and expanding) family of monkeys. They’ve managed to mutilate the red lilies and white flower plants. I’m not sure whether we’ve encroached their habitat or whether they decided to adopt our premises. The head guy doesn’t say much, and neither do the other members in their family. There is a lot of baring of surprisingly healthy and white teeth.

They know how to open the sliding windows if any of them are not locked correctly. They happily get into the bathrooms and take a shower, cooling themselves from this summer heat. Strangely, they don’t appear to do any rain dances in the 2 or 3 occasions the skies attempted to break this drought.

The adults are not so bad. It’s the almost-adult babies that cause grief. Now, why am I surprised. Ask any mother in the homo sapiens. It’s a universal phenomenon

Installed, loving it February 9, 2013

Posted by Jeena in Behaviors, People.
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The two months leading up to moving to our new home was hectic, and confusion reigned. A few new appliances needed ordering, the materials required for the interiors purchased. Couple of old furniture were moved to the new home for refurbishing, touching up. As we started packing up, boxes began piling up in the hall. I wonder, if we had fewer books (fiction & non-fiction), would there have been so many boxes?

We met all kinds of people from the sophisticated to the unblemished & naïve characters. Interacting with them increased our conversational skills in the local language. I trashed Hindi with no misgivings – my directions on the phone to the drivers delivering things we’d ordered would have made the North Indians wince (by the way, what’s hindi for banyan tree?).

It became a routine asking for a discount. Curtains, lights, furniture, painters, cleaners, packers ‘n’ movers. “What’s the best price you can give?” Of course, there were some places that we should have had better deals.

 My leadership skills were tested when DH had to step out on moving day. A shouting match broke out between two men. If DH had been there, it wouldn’t have happened. As it is, I had to get rid of the ‘meek, malleable’ woman image and become someone I didn’t recognize. It took a couple of minutes but they called it quits before getting to fisticuffs. 

I had an allergy tab and put on a mask. The dust rising would have made me a sneezing spectacle otherwise. I never realized that I had so much utensils in the kitchen. After a while, I stopped bothering which crate & carton contained what. It’s been 2 weeks and I’ve just found out what became of my apron.

One mistake I made was not taking time off after moving in. Perhaps, it would have been easier instead of battering my constitution with the longer journey to work and back, then organizing everything at home.

At the end of the day, despite everything, coming home to the unpolluted and quiet home is worth everything.

A whiff of wine November 24, 2012

Posted by Jeena in Food.
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It looks like the printer at work is possessed – among other problems including paper jams. It seemes to think that the user wants about 6 copies of everything he/she prints. That’s how 6 copies of a colleague’s compilation of home-made wine recipes were churned out and I got one copy. Funny, how she hasn’t made a start on it. 😛

Last Saturday, I bottled about 4 litres of beetroot wine. I’ve got another week to go before it’s ready though. Today, I was checking up on the bottles stored in a ‘cool, dark’ place. The daily help saw me moving the storage bins of atta and rice. She asked me what’s the smell and I tried explaining. Apparently, every morning she comes in, she gets this smell. So she attempts to follow the smell and hunts in unlikely places for any ‘bottles’ we may have forgotten. She’s quite happy to find out that there isn’t anything decaying under her nose 😀

Funny how we don’t get any smells. Hmmmm

The ginger is chopped and ready for some home-made ginger wine. I just need to get either the citric acid crystals or some juice & zest of lime. Do I need to boil the ginger for 5 mins or 20 mins or 1 hour? Everyone’s got a different opinion on the ‘world wide web’ (Transformers style). When I diligently followed the beetroot wine recipe, they lied about the prep & cooking time. It took about 3 – 4 hours! 2 litres of water gave me 4 litres because I squeezed the pulp after boiling for 20 mins. 😦

Colder and colder November 1, 2012

Posted by Jeena in Environment.
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Last evening, walking back home from the point where the cab had dropped us, you’d hardly believe this was Bangalore. The incessant showers, the cold, the winds were all reminiscent of cold, wet and miserable London.

Sandy is causing misery in the East Coast. But the cyclone hitting the south coast of India is making sure that her presence is felt too. The days are shorter and colder. The only place of warmth in the house is beneath the sheet or the kitchen when something’s on the stove.

It’s also obvious that the laundry needs to wait for the next sunny day if they need to drip dry. The electricity keeps going on and off so all the gizmos with batteries need recharging. Here’s to wet days ahead and no evening walks!

Too much October 29, 2012

Posted by Jeena in Food.
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Some folks just wait for the weekends to get out and do something. The week days at work is for recharging. It is the other way around for me.

When the weekend comes, I prefer to be a couch potato with a good book. Recently, the stomach seems to need some grub with the book. That makes me mentally go through my pantry to quickly make something.

This has led to a 2 minute microwave chocolate in-a-mug cake, a sponge cake accidentally made with corn flour, a sponge cake with all the right ingredients in varying quantities, couple of non-veg dishes. Last weekend I became too ambitious.

When Sunday rolled around, I had chicken samosas or cutlets on my mind. My body told me to rest though. It was worn out after the weekend chores.

The minced chicken awaits me in the freezer. For the next day off. So that tea time is not the only snack time. 😀

Dark Fantasy October 28, 2012

Posted by Jeena in Food.
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Sunfeast has a new range going on called the Dark Fantasy. I’m hooked, thankfully to a difficult-to-get variety in their range. At the end of the day, when I crave something for the sweet tooth, the chocolate filled biscuit comes to my mind immediately.

On Friday night, the shop nearby didn’t have the kind I needed. The kids cleaned out the stock, I guess. They have an ESP for these things! 😀 Saturday night, the same craving, and DH checked out another shop and got one! The box comes with six wrapped chocolate filled biscuits that are soon demolished by yours truly. It goes well with a good book too!

The ads don’t inspire one to head to the shops. There are too many oreo look alikes in the market. I’m a sucker for chocolate filled biscuits, what can I say.

An eagerly awaited Easter March 27, 2012

Posted by Jeena in Behaviors, Festivities, Food.
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DH and I are strict non-vegetarians. We need seafood or meat for our meals – all three, if possible. If we run out of fish in our freezer, we order chicken or pork for home delivery!

My parents never observed the lent while I was living with them – it wasn’t part of our religious belief. I’ve admired a friend of mine who went veggie for a year and remember thinking that I wouldn’t be able to last 10 days!

There wasn’t a conscious decision to observe this year’s lent. A mate at work said she’d gone veg from the Sunday and it led to a discussion about fasting formally beginning on Ash Wednesday. A suggestion to DH clinched it when he said he’d go veggie with me!

DH’s support lasted for about 20 to 25 days but those initial days would have been tough for me otherwise. DH lost 5 kgs in 2 weeks. The vegetarian fare didn’t hold his interest and the portions reduced even though I’ve tried to be creative in some of the dishes. Sadly, my weight has remained constant but that would be because of the choco bars and the cadburys that seem to find a way into my stomach when the craving for meat hits a peak.

One would think that the images of burgers or grilled chicken leg from KFC would go away after the initial period. Unfortunately, the temptation comes when I least expect them. The weekends are the worst. Needless to say, other “non-fasters” have found multiple occasions to celebrate by dining out and I’ve had to pass chicken stews, fish cutlets, prawn curry, grilled meat, etc.

There are only 11 more days to go! It’s 35 days over!! WOW!! Thank you Lord!

Evernote is hot!!! March 10, 2012

Posted by Jeena in People, Technology, work.
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I read somewhere that Google Trends show that searches for Meryl Streep is at an all time high. I can vouch for that looking at the search criteria hitting my blog. Congratulations to one of my favourite stars for getting that Oscar. She even featured on our quiz at work on International Women’s Day!! I’d like to inform that according to my WP Stats, Salma Hayek & Penelope Cruz in Bandidas is another popular search 🙂

I have no idea how I lived without Evernote. Quite a few people recommended it and the procrastination was all about installing the software on my smart phone. Now, everything goes there except the 2 page long to-do list from work. The only reason that hasn’t gone online is I distrust the internet for work stuff being public even if they are generic and not at all confidential. They are more reminders than anything else. I discovered that I can just mail stuff to my Evernote and things have become so easy.

It’s one of those things that is easy at first as long as you don’t clutter up your profile. That’s the good thing about tagging then. I can always go to the tags if I can’t remember the topic. A de-stressing activity of mine at work is to trawl through food blogs. This being the lent season, it’s mostly veggie dishes to keep the palate satisfied. I love it that I can email the link of the blogs I liked to Evernote.

Once I am back home and if I feel creative, I can just go online on my smart phone and browse away, pottering around with the pans and pots 😀