Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snow on Thanksgiving

This was uploaded later (after the computer was fixed and I downloaded a week's worth of photos), but I'm dating it back to Thanksgiving for my own records.

Grateful, yet disturbed

with clarification and follow-up, to make the blog post a better historical record

I'm not "disturbed" in the loony-bin way, just not experiencing smooth emotional waters.

I loved my month in India. Hema, Ravi, Raghu and Zoya were a perfect host family. It was wonderful. I felt sometimes I must be crowding them and I tried not to. I played Barbie and Kelly one night with Zoya, I watched kid shows, I played Plants vs. Zombies variously with both of them (the kids), and that was cool. I saw normal and special and lofty and lowly sights and didn't realize how exhausted I was until I got home. Everything I've seen since I returned looks different to me, so the heightened awareness and the racing thoughts continue.

Last night, playing Plants vs. Zombies in my own kitchen, my computer froze up. When I rebooted it, the screen stayed white. I could hear the regular sounds, so maybe it did boot, and maybe it didn't. The night before Thanksgiving is not a good time to get computer assistance by phone or in person, so Saturday right after noon, I'll be sitting with it at the first available appointment at the computer emergency room that is the genius bar at the Apple store. I'm seeing how much of my energy flows through that macbook. I'm not sorry, but I feel a little crippled by not being able to fly through the international cyber-air as usual. I have photos not yet uploaded to Photobucket in there. I have the passwords to my online accounts in there (which I see is not the best plan, and I'm grateful that I could call Holly and ask her how to get into my photobucket account so I could put up three Just Add Light and Stir posts).

Yesterday I made bread to take to Jeff and Jennifer's for Thanksgiving. We woke up to snow today, and a few changes. The family is scattery today, which is not unusual, but it adds to my own internal scatteriness.

Keith left early in Marty's jeep, pulling a trailer, to drive 200 miles to Alamogordo where he will get a load of cut-up pallet wood for the hot tub (and to help clean up the yard where his brother's living), and have Thanksgiving with his brother's girlfriend, brother and their dad. He's coming back tonight. The jeep is strong and solid, and he drove south, not north, so probably he's not in snow, but trailers can be problematical. (He got home about 6:30, and said the first 80 miles were icy and dangerous. Two cars slid, hit the barrier and bounced, right in front of him, but he managed not to hit either of them. He saw cars and trucks slid off in all directions and considered turning back, but after Socorro it was clear. I'm glad I didn't know that earlier.)

Marty will go to Thanksgiving at Ashlee's parents' house in Bernalillo. He was going to eat some at Jeff's and then go to Ashlee's, but her mom moved their mealtime up a couple of hours. (They were all at Ashlee's sister's house in Rio Rancho, but he went to Bernalillo to get Ashlee.)

Holly will go to a young singles Thanksgiving gathering at her friend Tony's house. (Tony's meal was last weekend. She went to dinner at the house where she works, with Clare's extended family.)

After a month as far away from home as I've ever been, and with snow on the ground, and with Marty's jeep gone, I'm waffling between staying home and building a fire and sewing and watching movies, or bucking up and going to Jeff's house, even though I would have to ask for a ride home later, and maybe not be the best of company. Marty can and should use my van, and he could deliver me to Jeff's. Holly will have the sedan. The bread will attend in any case. :-)

The reason I'm posting this even though it's so personal and whiney and silly is that recently several people have said my upbeatness seemed intimidating to them, and they thought I must always be "together." It seemed good and right to report a not-so-together-at-all day, and to share a little discomfort and indecisiveness.

I'm grateful that I won't be with critical or drunken relatives, but if I could design a "best of relatives" dinner, a fantasy dinner (which I can, in my head, and it being fantasy, I can have my dad there) those would be the relatives for me.

I'm grateful that I'm not responsible for producing a whole Thanksgiving meal. It is NOT one of my talents, to cause any meal with more than three dishes to come out right and on time.

I am deeply, warmly grateful to my family for having encouraged me to go to India and for working together so that the houseplants and cats and laundry and kitchen were kept up while I was gone. They took good care of each other. For those who hosted me primarily in Pune and Bangalore, and for those others who hosted and drove me around secondarily, I can't say enough about what a huge gift that was. I've heard my whole life that if people go to India once they will go back again. If I were younger, I think I would be planning the next trip already. I'm not young, though, and England is still there. I'm planning to go to Scotland for the first time next summer, too. But at some point I do need to just stay close to home. Keith is getting older, too, and I *like* being where he is.

I'm grateful for friends who want me to come to dinner with or without my whole family, and glad that they like me enough to understand if five hours from now I decide to send the bread on without me. (And Norman graciously invited me for a later, smaller turkey meal, after he and his wife return from feeding the hungry at a church, which I declined with sweet thoughts.)

(I did go to Jeff and Jennifer's, had a great time, and Ric took me home.)

I'm grateful that my kids are grown and have interesting lives and friends and will eat turkey and laugh and be loved even if I'm home sewing and watching movies.

Photos from a few weeks ago, just so there will be photos. Food and flowers, me and flowers, Hema and flowers. (Hema's mom put flowers in our hair.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Rupee Symbol

This I learned on the way to the airport, and came home and looked it up:

New Rupee Symbol

It's not on the money yet, but will be!  Because India is so quickly and solidly becoming a world financial player, they needed a symbol for stock  market and other purposes (rather than using Rs. as had been done).

This is beautiful, and I understand it's even more beautiful if you see the Indian script aspect of it, too.

Preview of a 10 rupee coin:
(image was gone in 2021, but here's a google search)

I don't think it has an international ascii code yet, but here's  a way to use it if someone needs to:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holly, Caiti and a friend

I love seeing photos of Holly having fun.
Holly is the one in the turtle t-shirt.

I'm in Amsterdam, in an airport, with a headache.  Soon I'll be in a plane, to Minneapolis, asleep.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Canned Unicorn

I will admit I have had fantasies of eating meat in the past week. Yesterday I actually had a small amount of chicken, and a pork-sausage hot-dog which was really good. Most days, though, home or restaurant, it's vegetarian with an occasional egg and little to no cheese. Yoghurt and paneer and "groundnut"(peanut) chikki are protein. The food is really tasty but it's not what I'm used to.

Then this came in the mail
Really. An advertisement for canned unicorn meat.

I read every detail and thought "oooh.... how fun to take this can to Thanksgiving, maybe..." and then I thought about it and decided I really LOVED Indian vegetarian food and will be glad to eat no meat for the next three days.

Some things are easier than others

Apparently not.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


This was up high on the wall of a patio, to get out of the rain, I guess. Someone asked whether we didn't have those in New Mexico. Lizards, yes. THIS lizard!? Nope.

Pune, India, if anyone wants to ID this.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Kites (a bird I hadn't seen before)

Toward the roof of the mall below here it's easy to see birds, in contrast to the white roof. I saw something I thought was a hawk, and went to get better glasses and my zoomy zoom camera. Hema's dad said it's probably a kite.

I think this is it, in a wikipedia cut-and-paste:

Milvus migrans govinda (Sykes, 1832): Small Indian Kite (formerly Pariah Kite)
Eastern Pakistan east through tropical India and Sri Lanka to Indochina and Malay Peninsula. Resident. A dark brown kite found throughout the subcontinent. Can be seen circling and soaring in urban areas. Easily distinguished by the shallow forked tail. The name Pariah originates from the Indian caste system and usage of this name is deprecated.[6][7]

My pictures won't be good, but anyway... it was fun to see something new to me. Again. :-)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Painting Diyas

For Diwali (which is kind of a combination of Christmas, New Year's, Easter and the Fourth of July, it seems, from an American point of view), people use oil lamps of all sorts, but there are these little clay lamps for sale in stores and on the roadside:

The fancy molded ones in the lower left box are just everywhere this week. And the round ones in the upper right box are plain versions.

Today there's a gathering of homeschoolers to paint some of those. They're low-fired pottery, so that they can be recycled later. People use new ones each year I think. I'll have photos of the painting session on my India blog in a few days. Tomorrow we fly to Bangalore for Diwali, which is day after tomorrow.

"Diya" and "Diwali" are related words. Light. The sound for "y" and "w" is the same here, it seems, kind of a combination of W and v.

Here's a link to a google image search on "clay diya."

attachment parenting talk, Pune 31st october 2010

On Sunday there was a VERY well-attended discussion on attachment parenting, organized by Pushpa Ramachandran in her home in Pune, in India. Her husband, Anand, set up a projector and we had Schuyler and David Waynforth live on Skype (they were home in Norfolk, England). It was really wonderful to have them involved that way. I'll put these and some other images on my India blog, too, but in these three you can hear Schuyler, Hema (standing, in the third clip) and me a little bit.

(The other photos from the day are here: