The 3 Cs

Cleaning, Clearing, Cooking

It would be no exageration to say that the last few days have been crazy for me. I have been cleaning, clearing, cooking, hosting a party, and cleaning, clearing all over again.I do have loads of left overs to not have to worry about cooking though 🙂

It was daughter’s birthday last week, and I decided to do a small get-together, with our close friends, at home. And also ambitiously decided to cook. Of course, better sense prevailed, Or rather husband prevailed. He refused to even let me think about it. He knows me. So I settled on cooking a few things and ordering the rest – just to make me feel less guilty about not cooking entirely. You see, I have some friends who cook for massive parties, and I feel so inadequate. Husband, of course, believes that we should outsource everything that is not our core competency, and we should enjoy the day rather than go crazy cooking. Which I agree with, most of the time.

Thank goodness, he drilled some sense into me. Even with the little that I had to do, I was running around like a headless chicken. Shopping for everything we would need, cleaning, taking the opportunity to clear out clothes and toys that we needed to give away. Which just made it crazy, because I just ended up doing things which I could have easily done another time. The only way I could pull it off, was by staying away from the laptop. I allowed myself the phone(but of course 🙂 ).

To cut a long story short, in the few days that I cut off myself from the laptop, my efficiency doubled. My cupboards are lighter, my carpets are cleaner, I wish I could say that I was lighter as well, but after a party, that would be a small miracle 🙂 It won’t take too long for my carpets to go back to their earlier state, but I seriously plan to keep my cupboards light. I’m going to have a tough enough time trying to pack things into boxes without adding to it by shopping some more.

Now, with the party and the mess out of the way, I’ve got to get ready to go to Venice 🙂 We are off to Venice next weekend! And I suspect that I will have to go on another blog sabbatical to get everything ready to go.

So I’ll get back next week and comment, reply to comments, read, etc, etc, etc 🙂 I’ll try to sneak in when I can, but I might be better off staying away from the laptop. Oh, and please do wish for us that we get good weather this time! AND by good weather I mean, HOT weather!

PS: Leaving you with a picture of one of the things that I made, and luckily, turned out to be a huge hit 🙂 especially lucky, because it was a first time experiment 🙂

The Cheat that is..


We woke up to glorious sunshine. What joy! There is something about sun streaming through the windows. It was as if summer was already here! Well, not quite summer, but spring is here for sure!

I made plans to pack away our winter coats – those horrid warm coats, without which life here is miserable in winter. But those coats also mean that half our clothes are hidden behind those voluminous coats, unless you are adventurous enough to do things like this. I think I will certainly be happy to leave behind the English winter for good! All you really want is sunny, gorgeous weather that makes your heart sing with joy.

With summer(and summer clothes) dancing in front of my eyes, I stepped out, dressed in my spring jacket, only to feel the cold hit me – and hit me bad. I did not have the time to change into something warmer – daughter thankfully was dressed more appropriately. I was sure that I would get warmer as we walked to school. In a few minutes, I realized that I was wrong – it was freezing. Daughter pulled out her gloves – yes, it was that cold. She, then, kept my fingers warm by holding on to them – she would change sides every so often – so that my other hand does not freeze. What did I ever do to deserve a child like this, I don’t know 🙂

By the time we reached school, I was freezing, despite all of daughter’s efforts, and all I could do was somehow walk back home, cursing myself, and promising myself that never again, am I going to be taken in by this deceptive weather!!!!!

It is still sunny, and gorgeous, but I refuse to get cheated again. I plan to step out fully prepared. But what do I know? In all probability, when I go dressed like an eskimo, it will be so warm that I will have to pull off layers 😦 I tell you, this spring is a big cheat!

PS: I also realized that ever since winter has been on it’s way out – I have also stopped checking the weather reports – it must be weather god’s way of teaching me a lesson.

Just because..

..I am too tired to think of a title, but don’t want a lecture from Ashwathy 😉

There are reasons that I tell you that term breaks are pure torture. Reasons like this…

What’s wrong with this? This is a 3D puzzle. The box warns that it takes 2-3 hours to complete – but when we bought it, I somehow managed to miss it. Or perhaps my subconscious must have dismissed it – 2-3 hours – that has to be an exaggeration, right? Wrong. It takes that long and more. As I discovered to my horror.

Last week, Poohi’s school had a Maths puzzle workshop. We had been to it, and they had a little shop. And this was what we picked up from there. Mainly because Poohi loves puzzles, and she is quite good at them. So I thought(mistakenly), that may be it would be fun to do a 3D one. Maybe it would challenge her a bit. Challenge, it sure did. It just challenged the wrong person – me. I know, I know, I should have known!

This week has been a week of broken promises. We had planned to go out for lunch, just the two of us, but it never happened. Today we had planned for it again but there were some last minute change of plans. So we decided that we would go out in the evening. By the evening Poohi was a little tired, so we decided to stay at home and do something fun. That ‘something fun’ turned out to be that 3D puzzle.

Little fiddly pieces, trying to figure out what needs to be done, over the constant chatter of daughter’s(if you have met her, you would know what I mean), eager little fingers which are sometimes a bit too rough with cardboard pieces, with a million and one questions(does the real Tower bridge have giant batteries that makes it open?).. make a deadly combination.

At the end of the  3+ hours, my back is in pieces, I am ready to demolish the whole thing, if I could, and all I want is, for it to be assembled, and out of the way. I can’t help cursing myself for buying the darn thing, when daughter gives me a sudden hug, and says, ‘Amma, that is magic! It almost looks real ‘.

Can’t ask for more than that, can I? I guess a little ‘magic’ does work wonders to soothe a mother’s aching back and grumpy mood 🙂

PS: I haven’t been blog hopping much, haven’t been responding to comments. Come Monday, I will be on it, I promise 🙂 This week has been crazy!

Quirks that haunt..

R’s Mom talks about ‘managing to lock and unlock the main door a million and one times‘ when RD is away. Well, here’s a confession, I do it too. *more than a little shamefaced* And what’s more, I do even more crazy things like that.

For some reason, I can’t be entirely sure that everything has been locked safely.  I am the one locking things normally – whether husband is around or not. For instance when we go out, Husband takes daughter and gets her into the car, while I lock up. And every single time, as soon as I get into the car, he asks me if I have locked the house – and I can never say it with confidence that I have! I would have to run back out to check(husband despairs every time I do this)! Every single time! Just for the record – the house is always locked!

Or locking the house, and then a doubt creeps in – did I really switch off everything? Do I have any option but to go back in – and in the process have to yank off my boots to get inside and check on everything.

Sometimes I have other more dangerous worries. One time I wasn’t sure if I had taken the plug off after using my hair straightener, and we had to go back to confirm. Again for the record – it was unplugged.

Night time checking is by far the worst. I normally do check before going up to bed. But sometimes, every night, just before I doze off, I have these massive doubts. Have I switched off the oven? Have I switched off the gas? Have I locked the door. Sometimes I go down, check and come back. Only for a fresh doubt to grow in my mind. And off I go again – checking and re-checking. Sigh! If only I could get this under control.. Sometimes, I end up going to bed about half an hour later than planned, because of all my doubts. One time I sat up in bed, horrified, smelling something burning. It was only after checking the whole house, that I realized that I must have been dreaming!

While most of the time, my worries have been unfounded, there have been a couple of times when I actually left something on. I forgot to switch off the oven once. I was baking some koftas for dinner. I was back within 20 minutes, but it was still too late to save my koftas 😦 All I could do was be thankful that the house did not burn down! And once, I did leave something boiling on the stove – when I rushed out to school in a hurry. That time, there was plenty of water in the bowl, so it was safe, but both these times, I was shaken. That might be why I am so paranoid now.

My affliction increases a wee bit when husband is not around. And now I have come to understand that the only way around this is to have checklists and to check off all my worry points as soon as I have checked it, and, this is very important  – sign it off with a time-stamp. That seems the only way I can avoid checking again, again and again 🙂 May be one day, some one will come up with a mobile app, that does just that 🙂

So tell me, am I the only crazy one? Or do any of you do these as well?

Freebie love

I hadn’t realized how many freebies I had collected over the last few years.

One of the stores here, has offers on and off, giving away tiny samples of their products if we spend more than a certain amount on some of their products. And sucker for such stuff, that I am, I totally totally fall for them. Every single time, I end up buying stuff just to get those goody bags. To be honest, I do use stuff from this store, so I justify it by saying that I just end up buying things I will use, with a bonus gift to go with it.  I was tidying up my stuff, when I realized how much I have been hoarding. Stuff that I never touch. Eye-make-up, lipliners, what was I thinking? And this is after giving away loads. I remember a blue eye-liner, that I gave away to someone who loved it 🙂 She thought I was crazy to not use it. Some of the stuff I really like – like hand creams, and even some nail paint. A shade that I would have never bought, but tried it because it came free, and loved it! That still did not get me to go and buy that shade again, because it was such an outrageous pink, but that is another story!

Here is my loot, what is left of it. I haven’t picked up a ‘free gift’ in some time. Time to go shopping, don’t you think? Have to replenish stock, don’t I?

When I think about it, what draws me to freebies is not just the contents, but the whole process of it, you know. The gift packs come in a box, or in a little purse or bag. There is something magical about opening a present, an unknown, you know. Yes, it is not totally unknown, but I still love it! Each sample, that is in there, somehow makes me happy – in way things that I buy never do. Is the fact that it is free? I guess, and the whole packaging of it, like a gift, I think that certainly makes me very happy.

I just realized that I have passed on my genes ,those genes that lust for freebies, to daughter. The other day, she wanted ot go to that restaurant, where children get toys( some of her friends had been to MacDonalds – we plan to steer clear of it as long as we can). Apparently she does not want to restaurants where they only give paper and colouring pens – too boring. That free toy, no matter how useless it is, still carries that ‘fun’ element of an unknown gift, I suppose!

While I know that there is no free lunch, that is certainly not stopping me from getting free stuff when I can!