Monday, December 28, 2009

Regular programming to resume soon!!

Hopefully 2010 should see a more dedicated me, blogging wise atleast. I just got back from a barely two week trip to India. We got back last Wednesday, drove to Connecticut to visit family on Thursday; because obviously a 24 hour plane ride does not cut it for us :) I have missed the best season of living in the US. The holiday season. It just feels very odd. The Christmas tree was put up in the a huge hurry while packing for the trip to India. We get back when its time to take it down. I am consoling myself with the fact that our timing could not be better. While we were enjoying my sister-in-law's wedding feast, the Washington DC area got pummelled with snow. Like 3 feet of it. Please not to snigger if you live in the states north of here. We simply cannot handle this much snow.

I am almost over the jetlag. But not the moping. I find I am a tropical girl at heart. All this shovelling and snow and blustery winds business are not for me. I have been on such a whine fest the past few days because I have been rudely flung from a buckets-of-perspiration inducing 90F to a what-will-get-this-chill-out-of-my-bones 19F. No points for guessing what I prefer (ok, a lil AC would be nice, but by and large, sweat wins)

I have a few amazing pictures of peacocks in the snow and a fox in the backyard that I will try and post. But since it involves BigGeek, a wire and a gadget, I hope to cajole him into mailing me those pictures. Till, then Ciao and a here's wishing you all a very happy, joyful, peaceful, all wishes granted 2010.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's trash, but...

why did I not think of it before?????

I would be rolling in millions, yes?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let it snow!

There is a story about snow I'll never forget. This happened about two years ago.. or maybe it was three. Come to think about it, I think it was three years ago, because BigGeek was still in business school. So one cold day in February we had this huge ice storm. It looked lovely of course, the trees shimmering in ice-crystals, transforming the landscape into a regular fairyland, but the roads were not far away from being fantastic. Covered in black ice and very, very slippery and treacherous. So, on that day of the ice storm, I came home from work in the evening and spent more than two hours breaking the two-inch hard ice in our driveway and shoveling. It had snowed later that day, after the ice storm, so the ice was covered in snow, which had crusted with even more ice. All very nasty business. Chip was with his nanny and they both saw me from the warmth of a bedroom window, chipping the ice and trying not to fall.

Two hours later, the job was done and I was happy with the results. The walkway and the drive way were free of ice and snow and safe for walking. I headed inside and the evening followed its weekday routine, when suddenly at 11:00 pm, while I was in bed reading, I heard a knock on my door. It was Chip's nanny. She called me to a window and there we saw a snow plow, plowing the snow and ice until I realized that it was piling up all the snow right at the mouth of our driveway, blocking it. The nanny opened the window and yelled at him. He could not hear us. I ran down to yell at the driver, but before I could get out of the door, he had piled 3 feet of snow and was gone. We were snowed in.

I was too exhausted and it was nice and cozy and warm inside to go and work the snow again. I knew it was a bad move, but I decided to leave it till the morning. I woke up early next day and armed with my shovel, decided to get that wall of snow down. But over the night it had turned hard into a wall of ice. I attacked it furiously but managed only to get bits out here and there. This was turning into a battle of ego. Ice vs. Dottie. I hacked away at it with all my force, got a chunk out at a strategic spot, but my victory was short lived. I slipped on the black ice and fell. Hard. My ears were ringing.

The nanny saw me fall and ran down stairs but I told her to stay away. One person falling was enough. She begged me to get back in and wait for BigGeek to come home from school that evening and hack away the ice, but that would mean defeat, right? So I picked the shovel again and started to break the ice. Suddenly, my neighbor's teenage son was beside me, with a shovel. I looked up to see my neighbor at her kitchen window with a steaming cup of coffee. She smiled and waved. She had woken up her eldest son and ordered him to go help. How I envied her. There she was in her flannel robe, drinking coffee, ordering her sons to shovel driveways, where as my son was only one at the time. A few minutes later his younger brother joined us and between the three of us, the wall was all but demolished. There was a small hump, but I was certain, I could run my car over it.

I got into the car, revved it up and backed it out. It came to a halt with a loud crunching. The lump of ice had caught its underside. The car was stuck. It could neither go forward or back. We hacked the ice under the car, but it was a really hard lump. Soon another neighbor came out and started to help. Between the three guys, the lump was somewhat tackled. The second neighbor got into the car and ran over the lump. Hurray!!!

Ten minutes later I was driving to work, only to realize that I could only hear with one ear. The fall on the ice was not so good. Later that evening I went to the ER and they told me it was temporary and I should have my hearing back by tomorrow morning and I did, thank god.

But the only lasting impression I have of the incident is the image of my neighbor standing at the kitchen window, looking at her two sons shoveling. This Saturday we got four inches of snow. Chip looked out the window when he woke up in the morning and let out a glee and said "Aie, can I go and shovel the snow?"

From our backyard

The enthusiastic shoveler!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Santa,

Yesterday my son Chip and I decided to get some holiday shopping done and went to the mall. The air had a slight chill, and the mall was all sparkling and glittery. Holiday music blared out of speakers. Shoppers laden with shopping bags, scurrying about with purpose. Amidst the hubbub, my son saw you. Sitting on your big red chair in the middle of the mall. My son was mesmerized. His eyes would have put the well-crafted Disney character to shame. “Is that Santa’s work shop?” he whispered to me. “Yes.” I replied. He inched forward, half-shy, half-delighted. There was no one in line. No one wanted to take pictures with you yesterday, you were just chatting up the photographer. I saw my son go through the ropes and stare at you in fascination – you do look just like you look in your pictures- and then he uttered a shy “Hi”, and waved. You could not NOT have noticed him. He was inches away from you. Standing there with a silly grin plastered on his face. He tried again, you ignored him again. The photographer and the elf turned and saw me, so did you. You saw I did not reach out for my wallet. My son stood there and watched you and you did not even wave to him. He just came back after a few minutes. Utterly delighted that he “saw” Santa. Not caring for a bit that you did not even throw him a glance.

We finished our shopping and were headed back home. My son wanted to tell you that he has been a good boy. And he wanted to show you his list. And ask you if you would come to his house this year. He wanted to tell you he was going to bake cookies and set out a glass of milk (and juice) because you would be so tired. But all that had a price tag. Of what? $15? $20? When I told him, you were tired and would not talk (for I could not find it in my heart to tell him the truth), he just sighed and said, “It’s ok if he doesn’t come, Aie. I’ll put on a costume and be a Santa myself and give gifts to everyone.”

When you put on that costume, dear Santa, I hope you realize the tremendous responsibility you have. At some point you have to go above and beyond your hourly wage and smile and assure the child in every one that, even when the times are grim and money is tight, there are some things that will never change. That the jingle of the bells, the silver of the beard and the twinkling smile will warm a heart, not only at 4, but even at 40.

Chip’s mom.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Catching Up

No, I haven’t been on a world cruise grande, if that’s what you have been thinking. I was just testing how many people actually read this blog. And the answer is four. Which means I have four really good BFFs in the bloggywogggy world. Even my father has stopped reading this, I see. I haven’t seen a reminder from him either. Hmm.

So I have mostly spent the last 6 weeks working, sulking, drinking coffee and sulking. Those who are not smart enough to feel a deep existential angst, mostly drink good coffee and sulk. Actually, that’s not true. The smart bit is, but not the other. I have actually been going on a baking frenzy and a shopping one. Participated in 2 baby showers, and hosted Thanksgiving. I don’t want to cook any more. I just want to sit and eat. If I see my baking pans, I’ll scream. Except for the lovely LeCreuset baking dish BigGeek’s aunt gifted me for Thanksgiving. I open the kitchen cabinets every morning just to ogle at it.

I am still working those writing muscles. They are really stiff and achy. But, I’ll leave you with the images of the cakes I baked and decorated. I mean a picture is worth a thousand words, so three pictures equal around 5-6 posts, then. And in the meanwhile, let me outsource my thinking to you and ask you for some ideas to write. I am sooo stuck.

Chocolate Cake with whipped cream frosting

Pineapple Cake with whipped cream frosting and fondant accents. Yes, the pink is garish and I don't want to talk about it.