Creepy


When I saw this week’s photo challenge “Creepy”, I felt dumbfounded. I wasn’t sure what and how I would capture it. The idea itselfs seemed scary. I thought of taking a picture of darkness in my house or that of patio etc. But felt scared like a coward. As I went into the kitchen at night, I saw this moth by the sink window. It usually sits there most nights..creepy right. Well, I got my creepy photo. But seriously even while editing the picture I felt uneasy. What do you think?

  

Daily Daily photo challenge – Creepy challenge

A Sci-fi conversation


Me: Alexa, play a song. (Alexa is Amazon echo)

Alexa doesn’t respond :-(. So I change modulation of my voice and say

Me: Allexa…play a song

Same response…no response.. :-(. I try a few more times before giving up. My husband sees me struggling with Echo and comes to rescue. 

Hubby: Alexa, play a song.

Alexa: What song from your music library would like me to play.

Hubby to me: You need to talk loud. Be more confident.

Me: Echo can’t hear me no matter how loud I talk. My voice frequency is inaudible to her.

Hubby: hmm…your voice is too soft. Machines can’t hear you.

Me: Hey..you know what. In future, when AI takes over mankind, they will use my voice to communicate secret messages 😎 (Feeling proud 😉)

Hubby: Yes sentinels won’t be able to hear you.

——–

😁

Lung force walk


Today my brother and I participated in a lung force walk. We walked for our mother who died of a lung disease called Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis and for our grandma who was killed by lung cancer. Both of them didn’t smoke and were never around any smokers. Ofcourse there are other reasons for these diseases as well but we don’t know what caused them. It was a short walk of 3 miles and I wondered how can it make a difference. I thought may be it should have been a marathon or half marathon and that would have mattered. As we registered, met people in different organizer tents and finished the walk, we felt like we did something. There were many participants and my company alone had gathered 11k in fund raising. There was a radio channel covering the event  as well. That kind of money and media coverage makes a huge difference. The money can go towards research, helping current and future patients and so much more. A short event can get fund raising rolling plus its taking place nationwide. And people like me who aren’t yet ready for a marathon can contribute as well. 

Do check for a lung force walk in your area. Clean air is a luxury in some contries and a cure for lung diseases will help save many lives.

Go torquise!

  

THERE IS NO SPOON


We went to IKEA on the day after thanksgiving and brought some NOT MUCH needed stuff. One of them were spoons. After I washed them, I told my husband “Hey..these spoons are like the one in the Matrix- There is no spoon”. My husband laughed and commented “You and your devotion to Matrix”. I was super excited :). Then a theory occurred to me. Let us say, something happened and you got angry. What if at that time, you say to yourself “THERE IS NO SPOON…There is no anger”. Just this one sentence will clear your mind for a moment and your brain will start thinking about why are you angry? Is this anger worth it? Can you really benefit from this negative emotion? Basically, it will break your chain of negative thoughts. I did try this theory and it has worked well for me. By reacting to negative emotions, we are limiting our happiness. The number of times we can be happy can be ALWAYS (Unless there is real catastrophe).

I remember reading this book called ‘Hardwiring happiness’ by Rick Hanson (Will finish it someday..I am slow with non-fiction). In the start of this book, the author explains how we humans are wired to negativity. How bad experiences stick with us more than good ones. He explains it in detail about how we adopted this kind of thinking and with it hardwired our brains to negativity. No wonder we seek a guide to happiness at some point in life.

My husband always says something similar. He says “Be happy all the time and everything will fall into place”. His theory is that if you are happy, your reaction to a particular situation will also be a good one. You will not react as bad as you would if you were in a low mood.

So, next time you see yourself in a bad mood, just say out loud “THERE IS NO SPOON”.

Stay happy stay healthy 😀

Please feel free to comment. I would love to know your thoughts too.

Carrot-Apple Bread


Ever since we bought a bread machine (during Thanksgiving), I have been making my own bread. It took me a while to start using it but now I make one loaf a week. It serves as a quick breadfast during busy weekday mornings. I make coffee, put my toast or sweet bread in a zip lock bag and off we go. Breakfast time is a stop at red lights (So, thankful for them ;)). So, this week I changed a few ingredients in the quick bread recipe and viola a healthy fruit+veggies breakfast bread. Below is the recipe. It is for Sunbeam bread machine but can be made traditional way too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red delicious apple chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 Tbs chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs beaten (You can substitute with flax meal)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. chai masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Recipe: Bread Machine:

  1. In a small bowl combine apple and almond, set aside.
  2. Spray bread pan and kneading blade with non-stick cooking spray and attach the kneading blade to the pan.
  3. Place the ingredients in bread pan in following order: eggs, oil, flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, chai masala and salt. Add the shredded carrots and then the apple almond mix.
  4. Place the pan in bread machine, select quick bread setting and start.

Traditional oven:

  1. Beat the eggs in a container. Now, Add oil and sugar to the eggs and mix.
  2. In another container, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, chai masala and salt (all dry ingredients).
  3. Add shredded carrots, apple and almond to the dry mixture made in step 2.
  4. Now, thoroughly mix the wet ingredients (step 1) with dry. Add a little oil if required. You should have a thick batter like consistency.
  5. Pour the mix in a bread or cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 mins.
  6. Check the center of the bread with a toothpick or fork.

Tips: You can substitute Carrot with Zucchini for incorporating a different veggie in your diet.

I have also made blackberry and apple bread with this recipe. I substituted eggs with flax meal (but used 2 cups AP flour) and it tasted yum.

Enjoy with tea or coffee. Or as a dessert with some whipped cream. Happy Eating 🙂

Apple-Carrot Bread

                     Apple-Carrot Bread

Pottery


I can’t seem to recollect how I got into pottery. If I think hard, it was boredom that lead to my search for a hobby class where I could meet people and learn something creative. I used to work from home you see. The memory seems to be coming back as I type this post. Aah yes, it was one of the photography pages on Facebook that got me interested in pottery. A photographer I follow had taken shots of pottery pieces by an upcoming artist and they were gorgeous. So, I googled pottery and found Lincoln Square Pottery Studio in Irving park, IL.

At first I wasn’t sure if I would like pottery. So, I tried two workshops one on hand building and another on wheel throwing. I liked wheel throwing although it’s more hard work and joined the 8 week course on basics of wheel throwing.

As I learnt more and created new pieces of earthenware, I fell in love with pottery and it’s the closest I have come to meditating. The wheel’s circular motion is very soothing. Also, you need to give full attention to molding the piece in front of you. It’s not easy but the whole activity is calming. Of course for some people wheel throwing can be frustrating as a wrong move can ruin all your hard work. But if you work with a tranquil mind the end result is satisfying. You feel like a monk 😊. Well at least I felt like one. Happy and peaceful.

Below are some of my pottery creations,

Unfinished tea glass

Unfinished tea glass

Finished piece

Tea glass

Unfinished Pitcher

Unfinished Pitcher

Pitcher

Pitcher

Hand built Piggy Bank

Hand built Piggy Bank (unfinished)

Piggy bank

Piggy bank

Mortar and Pestal

Mortar and Pestal

Small Pot and Bowl

Small Pot and Bowl

Two Chinese tea cups, two pitcher lids and one  large plate

Two Asian tea cups, two pitcher lids and one large plate