Thanks for your comment, Fiona :) It helped me put a perspective on the purpose of this blog. That is partly why I started it in the first place, so I have a place to share my side of the world's view with others.
Here are some of the pictures I promised. Sorry I have none in the sari I wore on Diwali. I just have to make it a habit to wear traditional clothes more often that we have been. And to remember to take pictures in them. LOL!
It looks better in the pictures - They were taken at night after lighting the diyas (earthen lamps with oil and cotton wicks).
I am in love with my tile flooring. It was so easy to clean it after having the Rangoli there for 5 days. There even was some oil spilled from the diyas. I could never light oil lamps on hardwood flooring. So happy about this choice.
Saturday was my birthday. I celebrated by having a girls night out on Friday night - Ira, Monica and I went to watch a Hindi movie - Om Shanti Om - in the theater that only runs Hindi movies here. And we almost hit a deer while returning. We were on the Toll Road. It was just standing there, not moving at all. I saw there was *something* on the road from far but couldn't make out what was it. I asked Monica, who was driving, to change lanes. By then, the dear was clearly visible in headlights. Going at 65 mph there wasn't much time. Thank God there was no one in the next lane or it would not have been very nice start of the birthday (it was almost 12:15 AM). All four were saved, including the deer, who still did not move an inch.
Saturday, Ira had our Potluck group over at her house. We celebrated their housewarming, my birthday, and another girls birthday (was on the 15th). Much fun was had and I didn't have anything to do entire day :) DH made bed-tea, took me (and M) out to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant, and I treated myself to some knitting stash. Perfect day.
This post is long so better sit down for this one :)
Ok. So the day started with rain. Not entirely unexpected as there was 60% chance of precipitation. I hadn't decided as of Thursday night where I wanted to make the Rangoli. This actually made the decision easy :) It is usually made at the entrance of the house so my options were either outside the front door (more traditional), or in the Foyer. We have tile flooring so I didn't mind it inside.
DH had a meeting in the morning so he had to go in and he dropped Mehul at the daycare. I was working from home and had some stuff to do, so I worked straight through 2PM. Missed my lunch and ate breakfast while working. So then I decided I was getting behind on my to-do list for the Diwali so I took a break from working. I made the Rangoli, then made the sweet dish - Coconut Barfi, and then started thinking about lunch because my stomach was rumbling by then. It was 3, I believe. DH came home. He had gotten some fast food for himself and he brought Mehul back from daycare. He was running late for lunch too as he had his own list of things to do after work. M had the lunch and nap at the daycare so we're good there. DH fixed me up with some frozen dosas as I couldn't decide what to eat and kept doing other things like cleaning. LOL. I have a short attention span so that's very normal for me.
Back to the Rangoli - I didn't like the colors at all. When I dyed them, they turned a nice bright color. I added more color because I thought they might lose a bit of the brightness upon drying though I was not expecting the Yellow to turn into cream. The red was better because it had other dye besides the food coloring, but I'm not happy with sand as the medium. Way too dirty (duh!). It kept running off the edges with the slightest movement of air. Mehul, of course, had a lot of fun with the left-over sand in a bag and shovel on the Kitchen floor. So, around 5 I went to Wegman's to get some flowers. I needed to make a border around it because the sand was driving me nuts. The flowers contained it a little better. But still the colors could have been brighter. Pictures are still not downloaded so I'll do those later.
I made the main dish I was supposed to make after lunch. I'm not sure what I did after - probably cleaning. DH finished vacumming the Kitchen and Family room. I dressed Mehul in the dress he wore on his birthday. Shortly after that, he had an accident. O oh! Luckily, I found a pajama-bottom that goes well with the dress and still fits him. I got dressed in Sari and DH wore a traditional Kurta Pajama as well!
It rained the entire day so we couldn't do the fireworks. Friends arrived, everyone had food and drinks, etc. The kids started dropping off to sleep around 10. We then sat down to play cards. Gambling on Diwali night has been a tradition for ages but no one in my side of family practices that. DH says everyone in his family gambles and loses LOL! We each put $5.00 and played with 10 cent at a time (or whatever you call them). They taught me how to play. It was the most fun I've ever had on Diwali night. We played until 3AM. We played with the fire-crackers (saved from july 4th) on Sunday night. I have pictures, just no time to upload them yet. Mehul has caught another cold, he's not well but we're sending him to daycare. He's miserable at night.
Yes!! Diwali is Friday - Nov. 9th. It is a Hindu Festival but the entire country celebrates it, and Indians abroad celebrate it as well. You can read more about Diwali and it's origins here.
So my entire family is getting together in Delhi. My little sister is coming home from college in Alwar, my brother already came back from Chennai last weekend. My big sister lives in Delhi about 20 minutes away from my parents, so they are all there. I am (slightly) getting down, as it happens every year. But I refuse to stay like this. I am doing my own preparations. So what am I doing?
I am going to make a Rangoli - a colorful design made on the floor with colors or flower petals. Last night I started making the colors - by dyeing sand with food coloring and Rit Dyes. I designed and cut out a template for the design I'm going to make. It's a peacock! That's all you get for now ;) We'll see how well this plan goes LOL! If it doesn't work, I will fall back to my usual floral something.
I was talking to a friend at work about this and she asked if I'm making any sweets. Because she is going to. Crap. I'm supposed to make sweets? She said no no don't do it just because she said it! Peer pressure is NOT good for me. I'm thinking Coconut Burfi. I have to ask MIL for the recipe. She makes awesome Burfi.
The night of Diwali, we are getting out in the neighborhood for some firecrackers. I am hanging the lights outside tonight, and will put rows of candles and diyas that day. Totally traditional this time. Oh, and I might even wear a sari. Don't know that yet. Although it would be totally cool to wear a sari when I am not starving and feeling like I'm about to die. Mehul will wear a traditional Kurta as well.
There is also a neighborhood dinner plan in works. I'm taking the back seat in that. Already have too much to do. So watch for Rangoli and firecrackers pictures end of the week!
I think I'm in love with the wallpaper. I love the look and putting it up wasn't too bad either. Current plan is to do it in Mehul's room, Dining room and possibly, Powder Room. It depends on finding the right paper. If nothing inspires me then we're going with paint.
DH took me out to lunch today. That's the benefit of working within 10 minutes of each other. We went to Olive Garden. That's a bit of a drive, but it was a slow day at work. I must have gone there after about 2 years! I used to work in the complex where this restaurant is located and would go there often for lunch, but ever since leaving that company, I haven't been back for some reason. It was nice to go back.
Two of my friends came home in the evening and while we were chatting, DH made us some potato-tikki sandwiches. He rarely cooks so it really nice gesture on his part. The tikkis were pre-made frozen ones but still. Tomorrow, I am going with them to Diwali Festival. Should be fun! I haven't been to one of those in years. I am looking forward to the chaat (snacks)! And the dresses too.
Why is this post all about food? Moving on to some other topic - Mehul is doing well now. That cough was hard to hear! It sounded much worse than it actually felt (as it says online). He was back in daycare in time for the Halloween Parade at school. We went Trick-or-treating in the evening. Here he is in his Horse Rider dress (picture taken earlier last month). Those are my parents in the background. I promise to put some nice pictures of them up here.
That's all I got. I'll be back with Library makeover pictures. Wallpaper and paint are done, now we just need to hang the curtains and move the furniture back in.