Thursday, June 30, 2011

Morning Light and Tea with Honey…

I love using morning light or I may say I love using natural light in photography. If someone looked at my camera I have flash turn off 80% of the time. I love how natural light add depth to objects that I photograph. I feel like it has own clarity to pictures with a beautiful glow. I love using the natural light a lot as you can see.

I wanted to take some pictures of my morning tea. Because I am a tea person and I love my tea with honey. I use to add sugar but after researching I now take honey with my tea. I will not go back for sugar. I love honey because of all the natural elements in it. I also read if you consume the honey from your local area you are immune to the local plants because the honey bees gather honey from that area and helps boost your immune system towards allergies. So it is a must, I use honey from our local producers.

I know it is a good cause. However the price of honey has gone up due to the gasoline. Now that you know some facts about honey and I am using natural light for photography it’s time you and I enjoy a cup of tea.

Quote of the day “share a sunrise with someone”


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A tribute to my MOM…

I was the youngest of three. Growing up with two older boys could have its own advantages… promise I won’t go for many details… I was in the kitchen with my grandmother and mom very early on in my life. They both have different styles of cooking. My grandmother mainly did her cooking when I was young with clay pots using fire. My mom used saucepans and a gas stove and in between with a hot plate using electricity. Growing up in 70s and 80s was fun when I look back. I am gal who loves history but not crazy about it.

Any way one of the recipes that I enjoy with my husband is this simple chicken curry that was highly influenced by mom and she uses this base with mutton, sheep, or lamb. Not my favorite but my husband’s. I usually use this base with chicken.

It is yummy and simple but I don’t know your cooking style and strengths but I am pretty sure this is an achievable recipe. If you are up to south Asian cooking you should give this a try.
I usually use chicken thigh with bones, but if you don’t like the dark meet you can go for chicken breast.

What you need… a small coffee grinder this is a must have equipment for south Asian cooking to add the fresh dried herbs to flavor your dishes. A nice big sauté pan because I like to cook this fast and it usually help to distribute the heat evenly.

Part A
1 ½ tbs coriander seeds
3 tbs cumin seeds
3 tsp black pepper seeds (adjust this according to your palette)
10 – 15 cardamom seed pods (seeded)
1 ½ tsp rice (uncooked)
10- 13 almonds
½ tsp mustard seeds

Part B
4 tbs sour cream
½ can of small tomato paste
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp yellow powder
salt according to your taste

Part C
2/ tbs of cooking oil or butter
1 big white onion
Small Green Chilies whole (adjust to your tolerance of spiciness, you can omit this)
Garlic & Ginger
Curry leaves or coriander leaves

Part D
2lbs chicken with thighs clean and cut if you like you can debone

Place all the ingredients in part A in the coffee grinder and pulse it until it is powdered. Add the part A and part B to the chicken and mix well. Add the oil/butter to the sauté pan and sauté garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes in medium heat. Then add the white onion and sate it until translucent. If you are using curry leaves add them now if you are using coriander/ cilantro adds them when you are done cooking very last. Now add the mixed chicken mix to the pan and sauté in medium high heat until brown.

Finally add one ½ cup of water to the chicken bowl that you mixed in and wash all the spices it will be stick to the bowl because of sour cream. Add this water finally to the chicken and cook for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through in medium low heat covered with a lid. Now add the cilantro leaves and serve with warm basmati rice.

Quote of the day “ let go when you really want to hold on”


Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer session 1 is over…


 It has been a really busy summer; my first time taking summer classes at the university… I am glad I chose the summer classes. I have always love reading during summer but this time it’s not leisure reading for exams total different picture but still reading. I am glad it’s over but I have to admit I did learn a lot about the history and the medieval architecture my favorite was I have to admit Gothic. I am in awh state when it comes gothic pointed arches and door jamb sculpture. It is interesting to learn about the history of American art and how it all evolved.

How our ancestors looked upon death and birth how we have develop along these themes with art is fascinating.

Quote of the day “respect someone by learning from them”


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Evergreen bushes are gone…

I did cut down evergreen bushes around the front and the left side of the front of the house. It feels lighter, airy, and cleaner. But the big job is not done yet which is taking the root balls out. I have a feeling it is going to be a challenge but fun. I have to make it fun in order to enjoy working in the garden. I am planning to work with plants that I have not worked before like hydrangeas, day lilies, ornamental grass, and some plants that I know well li

ke hosta, Russian sage, lambs ear, lavender, to name few. In order to condition the existing dirt is going to be a project.

Quote of the day “walk to park, listen to birds and smell the grass”


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Understanding Maple Trees…

I am a proud owner of two very old maple trees. There are absolutely beautiful in spring to watch. I am fascinated with these old trees in our property. This gives us ample shade during summer months and keeps our house really cool. I have had older trees in our first house in VA however they are not at this old. These guys are more than century old.

What I found very neat about these two trees are they have been taped for maple syrup. This led me to learn about the whole process. I know some of you might think she is out of her mind to make maple syrup. Well I might take on that challenge ha… ha I am just kidding. I want to know the details just for educational purposes. So I found this great site how they did tap maple syrup long time ago but this concept have not change much it is almost the same may be with some new tweaks.

I now know you drill about two inches into the trunk using a crank drill bit and then insert a plastic spot for drain and hang a bucket may be with a lid to the bucket so nothing get in the way to the sap.

I guess back then they didn’t have plastic taps they used metal tubes. In one of our trees we see two taps. Once in a while you see some sap coming out it is not clear but has a brownish tan to it. I do enjoy these little findings in our yard and in our new old house stay tune to more findings. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Quote of the day “enjoy nature with children”


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cleaning the Street helps to keep down the dirt coming into our living room…

We are in our new old house. Yes, we have planned a project every weekend with Panduka’s cricket matches, Niegel’s camping, Nicolette’s toilet training, and my papers to be due we are surviving. Cold cuts sandwiches, salad, plenty of water and one healthy meal keeps us moving. I love every aspect of this. It is challenging and inspiring at the same time. Everyone is working and contributing something towards a selected goal.

At the end of the day we are thankful for what we have and achieved. I have been tackling the bushes with some help from Panduka; he has a bigger task to finish the bathroom and getting it ready for winter and the current day standards.

My next goal is to trim the next evergreen bush on the other side of the house and clean the road along the sidewalk. There are weeds growing in between the concrete that is fun to watch but needs to come out. We have some dandelions that need to come out as well. All these seem to be small task however it needs a lot of work and time.

What are you doing this summer… I would love to hear…
Quote of the day “look for beauty in unexpected places”


Monday, June 13, 2011

Owning and Raising Rhododendron with mixed feelings…

When my girlfriend first told me about Rhododendron I was happy because I knew I had this in our little garden. But I wanted to identify the plant and learn about it. I have been working on many projects so I really didn’t have the time to work on this particular mission. Anyway long story short we do have and own them in our new old house garden. This plant has anchored in this land with deep roots I believed it has been there for a long time. I love it very… very… much but I was overwhelmed working two days in a row trying to clean up the entry way… I told my husband to chop it off the whole thing… I know what I was thinking. Well, bees humming so close to my ear, little Nicolette running around the garden, being tired of trimming the other trees, raking dead leaves, tired, and thirsty I think I had it. They all hit me once.
On the other hand Panduka (hubby) taking the opportunity to chop off the tree kept pressing me that he was right that tree need to be removed. After reading so much about the beautiful Rhododendron and having a rest I am revisiting my thoughts of getting rid of the tree could be a good pruning is all it needed was able to calm my nerves next morning.

Finally, yes I have fall in love with the Rhododendron once again… I hope we will continue this love over the years to come. I love the pink that adds a little color to my already picked color scheme garden plan.
Yes, I bought pink and white impatience’s from the Hansen Farm the other day after school. Currently they are spreading their compact roots in the fresh dirt next to Rhododendron on the steps in containers while cherishing the shade they get from the adjacent Rhododendron and the other older tree in our garden (you will get to know this one really soon).

Now that it is said and done we decided to keep the two and continue to prune and clean the underbrush so it gives a clean look. We will be spending a lot of time this summer cleaning our garden including weeding. I am planting bulbs this fall. Nicolette and I picked up a bulb planter yesterday.

Quote of the day “allow feelings to come and go”


Friday, June 10, 2011

We Have Move our Nest towards the East side of the Town…



Past few months have been extremely stressful for us. Thanks for Century One realtor group things were at an ease towards closing. Yes, it was my idea to go to Business with a bigger bank for competitive interest rates and consolidating everything to one bank not the brightest idea and matter of fact the worse idea ever. I know the economy is in such a bad state. What happened to the banking system is a big question. We were lead towards the last moment and dropped like a pancake without any further options. I would never ever encourage anyone to borrow money from a bigger bank for a mortgage loan.

However at the end we were blessed to work with some wonderful people. They were able to work with us every step of the way paying attention, and accommodating all our needs to every point. I don’t think you will ever get this kind of treatment from a bigger lender anymore. I at one point felt like we have done a crime by asking a mortgage loan from the bank. They kept us in the dark and at the last moment rejected for the condition of the house.

We are buying our second home primarily for residing. Since we moved we have been paying a large rent for a two bedroom, 2 full baths, and a loft. We can’t sell our first house due to the market conditions. In other words we are downsizing. We moved towards the downtown for many reasons we do love Mansfield, My sons has few more years in school, Love the pre- school, library, and of course downtown. The house needed some care as well as we needed a house. The moment I saw the house I knew it was the right one. The house has gone through some rough time all it needed was TLC… which we plan to give.

So here are some sneak previews of the house you will see them as we work through the projects of our beautiful old new house. This house was built in 1900’s and I love the fact it has so much colonial influence and a touch of Victorian style.

So far we have spotted a bunny family and little Nicolette and Niegel were so happy to chase them… My son and Thatha (dad) can’t wait mauve the lawn so do I…

Quote of the day “give plant food when they need it”