You brighten my day..

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Soup song....

There are days when I feel L A Z Y in the kitchen. But then, somebody's got to feed the family. So I have found a quick solution to feed both the family and my laziness. Yup, SOUP!!
A big bowl of SOUP!

During my trip back home, I happened to pick up a copy of the BBC Good Food India magazine which has yummlicious quick soup recipes. And to make my work even more simpler, my daughter, all of 9 went through the entire magazine and cross checked all that she wanted me to prepare. Yeah, she's a big foodie, that girl!! The above speedy noodle soup was our dinner for tonight accompanied with broccoli gratin!
Do you have bouts of laziness? How do you overcome it?

Tuesdays around the world

When we have friends or relatives(which is rare) over, the kids and I LOVE doing the routine...

of playing guide and walking through the cobbled streets of Lohr am Main.

Today we headed to the local supermarket to show my sister what one in Deutschland looks like. She loved seeing the variety of cold meat and cheese that we have over here. Not to forget the fruits and veggies we don't find back home.

So, what are you doing today? Playing guide like me?? We would love to know. Join us at..

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Monday!!!

On Friday we were treated to some snow. Today is Monday and all of it has melted.
(Valentin's Kapelle)

Knowing that this white treat would be short lived, sis and I went for a long walk in the neighboring mountains.

She was like a little kiddo(in reality she is an adult..:D) pausing every now and then to make snow balls and feel the cold white powder against her skin. At times brushing off leaves just to see all of it fall to the ground.

Towards afternoon the kids and her had a very long snow fight. She was begging towards the end to ask them to stop. She literally had a frozen face....:D

This is one holiday that she will remember her entire lifetime!!!

Thank you all for your lovely comments and concern on my previous post. Things are getting much better back home in India and hopefully we shall have darling hubby back in Germany again!! 
Till then HAPPY MONDAY!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A day at Würzburg...

There are a few things guests MUST be entertained to while in Germany...

1. Bratwurst and Glühwein

2. A stroll in a farmer's market. If you fancy you can proceed to buy fresh produce...

3. A tour of a site rich in German architecture.

We accomplished all three at Würzburg and my sister loved every bit of it. To say that we are tired would be an understatement. Am also very proud of the fact that I successfully travelled alone with the kids and sis by train(minus hubby who is back in India due to a family emergency), toured a city(with the kids asking occasionally as to whether I knew where I was going!!), was able to communicate in Deutsch and do all the normal touristy stuff without help. Someone's already making plans with her new feeling of independence!!! :D
Unknown Mami

Friday, January 27, 2012

Snow white and snow fights...

We did pass by snow white's castle. The children preferred snow fights with whatever snow was left. So the castle has to wait......till Sunday.
Tomorrow we are headed to Würzburg. I want to introduce my sister to some bratwurst and maybe gluhwein(if it's still available), stroll through farmers markets, and also visit sights with Baroque architecture.
What are your plans for the weekend?

P.S: I am totally in LOVE with Instagram. I seem to be going overboard with my pics on Facebook...:-) Anybody else using this application?

It's Friday with some snow!!!

Do your rely on the weather forecast to know what the day/week will be like? Well, I do. A lot!! So yesterday the sun was SUPPOSED to be shining, yes shining. And I waited, waited and waited....the day came and went with absolutely no sunshine. Those who are following me on Facebook must have got fed up of my weathery rants yesterday.

And today we wake up to Mr weatherman, you didn't predict SNOW, right? Anyway, who cares!!! This sight made me want to wake up from my bed, charged me enough to pack my kids along with their snow boots and gloves to school...I even woke up my little sister to see the snow fall from our windows...she had to see it!!!
(The kids school playground as seen from our bedroom windows)

We are now waiting for the clouds in the background to slightly thin down, then we shall head to the mountains for some snowball fights and pretty pictures!!! Late afternoon we also plan to visit snow white's castle.
What are you going to do today?

Also, a warm welcome to all my new followers and a big thank you to the ones who left comments on my  previous post about India. I love having you all over and look forward to your visits. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oprah Winfrey in India

Last week, Oprah was in India. Being a huge fan of hers, I followed her every move around my country. The highlight was her interview at the Jaipur Literature festival. I LOVED what she had to say about our country and admired the fact that she got it all without anybody having to explain it to her. So, here's a post with my pictures in Oprah's words......

What has struck me the most is arriving in Mumbai, my god daughter and I were being driven and she said "you know, this is like being in a video game". We didn't know which way to look and are like "gosh is that car going to hit us?!". And so my first impression was that it's a bit chaotic and then I realized that there's an underlying calm or flow, that everybody here get's the flow, and that as a foreigner, you have to get in and move with the flow. 

What is it with the red lights? I mean does the red light mean stop or not? Or is it just there for your entertainment? I don't get it. What is it? I mean, the light is red and everybody just keeps going. But you all seem to know what you're doing. 

There is no rage even though there are lots of people on the street and there's lots going on. There is a genuine respect and a sense of karma. People don't just talk religion here, they live it!!! They live their practice.
The above words were my favorite. I cannot describe how I miss the busy streets and the flurry of life.

I've been in middle class and elite homes and there's an altar in every home. There's an altar and there's a practice of going inwards and looking at yourself and something greater than yourself, it is an actual practice everyday. It's not just something people talk about.

I was asking the question as Americans do, "How on earth do you all live with your parents? What's that all about?" It's the kind of thing that's really a foreign concept to those of us in America, because you're just waiting to get out of the house. But having spent some time, and having dinner at a home with 4 generations in one house, I now get it. I really get a sense of how really glorious it is, that this is a country that has no respect for nursing homes, because you take care of your family and you don't put your family in nursing homes. I'm most amazed by that.

This is one of the greatest life experiences I've ever had. The reason is that, when you're in the heart of India whether it's in Jaipur or Agra or Mumbai or out in the countryside, you feel like you're in the centre of something bigger and greater than yourself. I feel enriched, deepened and enriched.

Today, India celebrates it's 63rd Republic day. Last year, on this day I posted a little video about my country. Want to have a look? Head on over here. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesdays around the world

Last evening squeals of laughter, giggles and screams were coming from our living room. The kids had introduced their aunt to the game of monopoly and apparently aunty was getting rich in the process. Thats why the excitement....:D

We have my little sister visiting for 2 weeks and the kids are over the moon. Living abroad has a few disadvantages and having a loved one over is one of them. Germany is just too far and way too expensive for visits. So for kids who were used to having grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins(we are a very large family) drop in every month or two, living in Germany felt like living in forced exile. Fortunately for us, she is studying in Scotland for the next year and we are looking forward to having her over frequently.

What's your today like? Join us in the fun, we love to have you over....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday's in my City.

I hope everybody's Sunday is going on just as it should be. 

We've had a mix of rain and snow. Not a pleasant feeling, but the sight makes up for it.

Unknown Mami

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow dust

This evening Tinker Bell flew by spraying about snowy dust all over the village. It was a sight to behold!!

It didn't matter that the snow flakes melted once they touched ground. It was still fun to feel it on their way down.

Tinker sure did a great job!!! She made Lohr am Main look pretty with just the tiny hint of snow!!

Do you have surprises like these? Fairies flying with their magic out of the blue....:D

Hanging hearts..

Last month, we had this hazelnut branch gifted to us by good friends. Many german homes have this branch hanging from their ceilings and decorated with lovely figurines. The decorater that I am, I too wanted one for our home. That's when the Huber family gifted me just the branch I wanted...:-)

So last evening, daughter and I got busy shaping hearts....I wanted to use the color golden and red(keeping valentines day in mind), she wanted a burst of colors. We ended up choosing the latter. By the time we were done with a dozen we were tired...:D Looks like the branch needs more, will save the hearts for another evening..:-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter is here to stay...

Winter has set in, yes, it's very cold. Which means, it's hard to capture shots in the open. It's too much work managing the gloves and the camera. You see, frozen fingers are just not for me.

So, what do you think of the picture? This is pretty much how our landscape looks like .... colorless. That is why the germans prefer snow....sheets of white are much better than no color. Well, I cannot wait for spring.

P.S: I do like the sight of smoky chimneys though......:-) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

More slices of life in India

 Veggie/fruit vendors are to the Indians, what farmer markets are to the Germans.. On any given day, much before dawn, you will see them pushing their carts laden with fresh produce and also simultaneously shouting out loud as to what they have in their cart on the given day.
(selling bananas and papayas. I also spot pomegranates and chikoos in baskets.)

These vendors are always on the move. They move from place to place in a given city. While we do have large supermarkets and small shops selling the same, Indian housewives prefer these carts coming right upto their doorstep. Yes, you heard me right. 

Over a period of time, it can so happen that you will be provided by your daily supply of veggies and fruits by one particular person all your life(unless you are on the move from place to place like me) 
(selling so called Indian junk food...yum yum!!!)

Just another manic Monday.

(The orchids are slowly beginning to bloom)

Have you guys got your groove back? It's 15 days past January and I am still trying to get things back to normal. It's sure taking pretty long.

(My newest arrival on the window sill. In about a year's time, I will have to find new homes for these babies)

We are experiencing abundant sunshine along with lots of frost. While the camera has also been struggling to get back into action, hubby has encouraged me to go out and get some pretty shots of Lohr in frost. So as I head out, here's wishing you all my lovely readers a HAPPY MONDAY!!! I hope it's not as lazy as mine.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Orchid Love

Can you believe that two years ago I got these orchid plants for 1.99€? Yes, only 1.99€!!!! I too couldn't believe my eyes considering the fact that orchids are horribly expensive. Wondering whether they were selling plants that maybe sick, I nevertheless picked up 3. They were filled with plenty of blooms and looked pretty.

Once home, the blooms lasted for 2 months and then the plants went through a hiatus for the next one year. No flowers at all. I firmly believed that I would see  no more flowers and decided to try my miracle revival method that I followed back home....:-) The summer of 2011, I promptly trimmed their roots short just like a military haircut the soldiers in the army have and repotted them. The following months saw the plants grow sturdier and stronger with new foliage, but no buds.

Imagine my surprise when I saw all of them sporting buds a month before I was to leave to India. Joy turned to despair wondering how would they survive without water(I could have asked for anybody to plant sit for me, but considering the fact that they are delicate and me a possessive mommy to them I chose not to entrust them in anybody's care) 

So here they are, slowly beginning to bloom....They survived 3 weeks without water(This bold step was taken after reading the article here). I cannot wait to see my windowsill lit up with orchid beauty. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas in India - I

When we first arrived to Deutschland in 2009, we had decided our home trips for the years 2010 and 2011. We knew then itself that Christmas 2011 would be in India, though the decision was based on a completely different reason. So after having spent 2 whole seasons in Deutschland, it was with much delight that we headed home for a joyous celebration. 

Back home we celebrate it in a whole different way. We have no christmas markets, snowfall, pine or christmas trees. No Santa riding a reindeer sleigh. To Indians, all of the above is a dream.
Yet, we celebrate it with much pomp and grandeur in our own way. The advent season is looked much forward to, not only by the christian community in India, but also by people belonging to other faith. 
(The kids are shaping kidyos( means worm). They then are deep fried in oil)

The one major preparation that involves before Christmas is definitely the special sweets known as "Kuswar" in my mother tongue Konkani. The entire family, young and old alike pitch in to help. Most of our sweets are prepared with refined flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Accordingly spices, raisins, nuts maybe added depending on the recipe. Most of our sweets are deep fried in hot oil or ghee. 
(Preparation of neuries or stuffed puffs. The stuffing consists of raisins, almonds, cashew nuts, desiccated coconut, sesame and poppy seeds, and granulated sugar)

Interested in knowing more about kuswar? You can head on over here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!

I would like to wish each one of my bloggy friends a joyous and prosperous New Year 2012. It's been 2 days since we returned from our wonderful trip back home. While the hubby and kids are back to work and school, at home I have been slowly trying to get my groove back. 

(A regular day in the Indian city of Vadodara) 

I have umpteen photos from my country, India. Will take time to slowly sort through them and show you glimpses from back home. 
What's your today like? Has the New Year been treating you well? We are eager to know..:-)