The A to Z Countdown

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Countdown.”

A letter to myself

Bucket List

Cooking and Recipes

Declutter

Exercise

F The four F’s, find out what they are.

Gratitude

Hobby

Investments

Joy

Kitchen

Live, Laugh and Love

Medicines

Nature

Obituary

Passwords

Quiet time

Reading

Savings

To -do List

Unplug

Vulnerable

WILL

X is for Hugs

Yes to life

Zzzs

I plan to use this A to Z countdown to write new posts next year on these topics. Hope you all will join me.

Cover Art

For this week’s Word Press Photo Challenge, stimulate your creative process and imagine which of your images you would like to see gracing the cover of a book, an album, or a magazine. If your cover art is for a book, is the book fiction or non-fiction?

 

CanadaNationalParksModI hope you enjoy my cover art for my imaginary book, “A Travel Guide to Canada”.  This cover photo reminds me of the song from the movie “Lion King”, “there is more to see, than can ever be seen and more to do than can ever be done”. Have fun checking out how many places you have visited in Canada!

Picture Courtesy: My daughter’s favorite T-shirt. (Of course published here with her permission) 🙂

Extra, Extra

We are visiting Indianapolis this Father’s Day weekend to celebrate Dad.  This evening we accidentally discovered a 101- year-old Italian restaurant called “Iaria”. Established in 1913, this restaurant is owned by 4th generation owners Matt Iaria and Carla Russell. IMG_20140613_212354After a sumptuous meal of soup and salad, spinach ravioli and home-style margherita pizza, we did not think we needed to have any extras, but could not resist when our waitress Nikki announced that the tiramisu was homemade.IMG_20140613_200013

This tiramisu was truly extra, extra special.
On our way out we could not resist the sense of humor the owners have when we saw this t-shirt for sale.

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This is my ‘entree’ for the photo challenge this week: Extra, Extra

I wish you all an extra, extra-special weekend!

 

Shelfie: Hope

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This story is about a small shelf in my guest bedroom, where my ornamental asparagus plant sat.

I have owned this asparagus fern (botanical name:Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’) for twenty two years now.  It requires very low maintenance. This does not mean I could have ignored it, but that is exactly what happened. Through the winter months last year, I forgot to water it and today I noticed the brown leaves and dry branches.P1080097

I removed the pot from the shelf and I couldn’t believe it. How could this have happened?

I got to work- I had to salvage the plant and find out if I could save any of it.

P1080098There were so many dry branches- they had to be chopped off, they had to go.

I grasped the main stem of the plant and was easily able to pull it out of the pot. I could see the bone dry clump of roots. I was now losing hope.

P1080101And then I discovered a dozen fine needles or leaves.

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P1080103I have cleaned what is left of the original plant and re-potted it .

I watered and put this plant in an easily accessible spot where I can water it every few days and keep an eye on it. At the end of this summer, I hope to update you about my Asparagus Fern.

This fern and a few other plants were  given to me by my friend Hedi twenty- two years ago, when I moved to the US and lived alone in an apartment.

Hedi and Charu

Hedi and I

Hedi passed away a few years ago. Hedi believed these plants would be waiting for me when I went back to my apartment after I finished working. I believe she was right.

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Hedi and I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1080212These are the other plants that Hedi had given me and are doing perfectly well.

I visualize my asparagus fern as growing back again with its feathery light foliage and me fussing over its needles and rearranging its branches. If I could describe this in one word, it would be ‘hope’.

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The re-potted asparagus fern.

 

 

 

Let there be light

Holidays were extra special for us in December 2011 when I visited the Magic Kingdom in Florida with my family. I was able to capture some of the lights, but I will leave it up to you to imagine how Mickey and Minnie party during the holidays.

This is my entry for the weekly photo challenge: Let there be lights.

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A picture postcard sign lights up the sky.

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Rows of colorful lights adorn many buildings.

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Dashing through the ….

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Beautiful angels are closer than you think!

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The silhouette of a tourist taking pictures of the lights, or are they taking a picture of Mickey Mouse?

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Cinderella’s castle lit up in blue.

Cinderella castle is lit up pink.

Cinderella’s castle lit up in pink.

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A picture postcard scenery saying Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Have a great weekend!

Unexpected

We have corn fields behind our home and after the harvest, the scenery is like the first picture in this post. Clear skies invited me to go for a walk one day in October and I saw the unexpected. P1070346

Is that a squirrel with her share of the harvest?

Is that a squirrel with its share of the harvest?

The squirrel did not like me staring at it and so it decided to cross the street. Mind you it still chose to sprint its way down the street.

The squirrel did not like me staring, so it decided to cross the street. Mind you, it still chose to sprint holding on to its booty.

By the time I took this picture, the squirrel was getting comfortable having me there.

Now the squirrel was comfortable in my presence and let me take pictures.

"Corn on the cob" for lunch.

Corn on the cob for lunch.

It had finished most of its meal and chose to pose for this picture.

It had finished most of its meal and chose to pose for this picture.

Not too far from where the squirrel was eating was this sign.

Not too far from where the squirrel was eating was this sign. Wonder, what the squirrel thought about it? Chuckle!

This is my entry for the weekly photo challenge Unexpected.

The one thing, I learned from this unexpected encounter was, such chance meetings could be where writers find inspiration. It could just be the “Once upon a time…” that we all have read in Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”. As children, we let our imagination soar and believe in these stories but as we get older we have to “see it to believe it”.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great weekend!

From Lines to Patterns

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This is my entry for the weekly photo challenge from Lines to Patterns.

These monumental stained glass windows aka “America Windows” were created by Marc Chagall for the Art Institute of Chicago.

First debuting at the Art Institute in 1977 and made forever famous less than ten years later by an appearance in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the “Chagall Windows,” as they are more popularly known, hold a special place in the hearts of Chicagoans.

Stained glass is truly an expressive way of exploring how lines can be effectively turned into patterns. Have you ever tried staining glass or any other medium of art where simple lines can lead you to rich patterns?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

Enjoy your week!

Carefree

Carefree: is an adjective, it means without anxiety or worry.

When we are children, we want to grow up. When we grow up, we realize that lost pencils and broken toys are better than lost friends and broken hearts.

Most people agree, that childhood is the most carefree season of our lives.

As adults we can achieve this state of mind only if we consciously strive to be carefree. With this post, I want to look at what makes me feel “carefree” in my day-to-day life especially in my kitchen.

I always worried about cooking rice on stove top, since either my rice would be very mushy soft or half boiled. This was until last year and we got a rice cooker. Now I have each grain of rice distinct and not mushy. Yeah!

The Rice cooker!

The Rice cooker!

I think knowing that my dishwasher is working, also gives me a great sense of relief.

What helps you to feel carefree in your daily life? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by.

The golden hour at Mount Sinai

This week’s photo challenge is about “The Golden Hour”.

I always wanted to see the sunrise at Mount Sinai. Luckily, a few years ago my sister and brother-in-law, who were living in Egypt at the time, arranged this trip for us.

Mount Sinai is a 2,285-metre (7,497 ft) high mountain near ancient Saint Catherine monastery in the Sinai region. It is next to Mount St. Catherine (at 2,629 m or 8,625 ft, the highest peak in Egypt).[3]

Climbing Mount Sinai is the main object for most visitors  to Sinai Moses Mountain. You have two choices for getting around and climbing the mountain: on foot, or by camel. We chose the beast to help us on our conquest.

Both paths lead to natural amphitheater known as Elijah’s Hollow or the Seven Elders of Israel, where you’ll find a tea house for a break. From there, it’s a final 750 steps (30 minutes) to reach the summit.

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Pre-dawn twilight on Mount Sinai.

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It is very cold up there on the vista point and folks are standing bundled up in their jackets and blankets. There are hushed conversations and tourists are eagerly awaiting the sunrise.

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The golden hour

The golden hour

Some surrounding mountain peaks lit up by the sunrise.

Surrounding mountain peaks lit up by the sunrise.

St. Catherine's Monastery

The radiant St. Catherine’s Monastery upon our descent from Mount Sinai.

I believe that the true golden hours for majority of us lie between “sunrise and sunset” each day. It is up to each one of us to make them beautiful by good and positive thoughts, kind words and good deeds to the best of our abilities.

In a lighter vein, if someone works the night shift their golden hours may be from sunset to sunrise.

How do you add meaning to your golden hour/ golden hours? I would love to hear back from you.

Thank you for your visit.