Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Smash journal

I always love to keep memories. My son also has gotten that from me. Every time when we visit somewhere, he asks me what I'm taking from there as a keepsake. Though, I always buy a fridge magnet, but something I always want to keep only for me, just to go through them in my spare time,not to share, just for me. That's why I always keep the tickets, maps,boarding pass.Since childhood I'm keeping this hobby. First I've just kept them in a box, then I decided to glue them in a handmade journal.

Sometimes I cut from magazine and make collages, that is very therapeutic to me.


My son has a great affinity to aviation.

Whether I would call it smash journal, or junk journal, or travel journal or something else I don't know. Actually, this journal is a mishmash of all. Some time when I'm in crafting mood, but no projects are in hand, I usually open this book, and add something to quench my crafting thirst. 

Our Seattle visit in 2014
The whale watching was the most exciting event during our Seattle visit.

It was a great dance in Vegas. 
Our visit to New York back in 2011
We went to Disneyland to celebrate our son's 4th birthday.
Another museum visit

I usually keep cuttings form various advertisements, booklets come in the letter box. I sit down with the cutting, try to think about some collage and make the pages. Sometime as soon as I see some pictures ideas pop into mind. I try to do at that moment, but when I think of doing another time, I end up forgetting that very idea. I'm very much moody about about my craft. Last year I did many pages in my junk/smash journal, but this year I yet to add a single page in that very journal. 

When we went to visit Sausalito, my son was desperate to ride "boat". Though we had nothing to in SFO, still we took the ferry to Fisherman's wharf, and came back on the very next ferry. 

Our last vacation to Carmel.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Collecting Pictures - A Childhood Hobby

Reaching in the middle age of life, when so many memories of childhood surge in the mind, I just want to say only three words, “Good old days”. I grew up in a very simple middle class family with little things to indulge. So, I always try to find out some pleasures in the existing things I had. Two things I used to get in abundance was diary, and beautiful calendars in the beginning of the years. 

The pictures of calendars. The young mind used to imagine a lot staring to those pictures.
It is still with me. I don't know from where it came from. Most probably my sister colored it, when she was little.
These are pictures from a flyer of a painting company. I used to adore those pictures, longed for those kind of beautiful rooms.

We sisters always waited eagerly specially in the evenings of December and January to our dad’s coming home from office. Everyday we tried to find whether he was bringing any such new treasures. Beautiful pictures in the calendars always delighted me, as they were going to in my collection at the end of the year. 

A young artist. I don't know when I copied this picture. It was my favorite pastime in good old days

Anyway, collecting pictures all started when I was in grade three. I totally forgot how it was started until when one of my  school friends with whom I started the hobby reminded me few months back. One day she told me that in grade three I gifted her diary. I really couldn’t recollect that, that I gifted an old useless diary,and in return she gave me some photograph, of some unknown children.

This is the very first picture, my friend gifted to me. It was in very good condition, but in time it has lost the luster.

 That too were the pictures of either European or American children. At that time the USA was an unreachable destination to us, which only could come in dream. So, we used to enjoy any pictures from those countries , specially winter pictures. It was mid eighties, and the communication was not that much strong, and there was neither Internet, nor uncountable T.V channels, nor social media. Even telephone calls were expensive. We used to wait for letters from near and dear ones. If anyone received a picture postcard from west he/she felt on the moon. So, our knowledge about the outer world was limited. Only way to know was our textbooks, and children magazines. That’s why, those two pictures were very precious to me.

That very friend gave these pictures also.

These pictures were also given by same friend. These are actually pictures medieval age Indian Paintings. When she gave those picture they were already old and fragile. Now the condition is worse, I don't know how I can preserve them.

Typically I used to keep all those pictures, and “precious” things in the drawers of my table. I could never imagine to throw away those “precious” things, even in my college days. So, my mom gave me huge carton box, and asked me to put all the treasures in side, and tape it. That box was had been sitting in one room in my mom’s house for decades. This time when I went home, my mom literally requested me to do something with the box, as the box was really aging, and couldn’t hold up those treasures, means it was in a very bad shape. I opened the box, there came out huge collections of calendars, pictures, letters from friends, paintings from friends, and so on. 

I don't know who gifted it to me, as she didn't write the name.

I took a pretty good time to find out the things which would keep with me. 
After throwing away, many of the things, I kept the most precious ones with me, and have brought them back all the way here with me. 

This letter was written to me by one of my adorable friends. If she reads my she will understand it. Can you see the date? Yes, I've kept it. I have preserved almost all the letters written by my childhood friends. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chicken-fennel bulb stir fry

Once I read one recipe of chicken with fennel bulbs. At that time I didn’t buy fennel bulb, as I was little skeptical about it. However, I desperately wanted to cook chicken with fennel. Even two three times I controlled myself from buying fennel bulbs to my trips to Trader Joe’s. Lastly, in my last trip to there, I just shut my eyes, and picked up the fennel bulb box. After coming home I searched over internet for a recipe with fennel bulbs. I got many recipes, but somehow, I found that, whatever recipe I had been choosing, one or two ingredients were missing in my pantry. Lastly I just took some ideas, from those recipes, and cook something from my mind. The dished turned out good. We ate that with store bought pita bread, but you can also eat with brown or white rice.
Here is my recipe:

One pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (you can use chicken breasts also)
One fennel bulbs (The fennel bulbs I bough were huge, so I used one. If you use medium sized fennel bulbs, then you can use two)
One medium sized onion
Few sweet jalapeño (optional, actually I had few sitting in my refrigerator, so, I used them)
Two tsp. wine vinegar
Salt to taste
One tbsp. of oil ( I used olive oil)

Wash and dry the chicken thighs. Cut into small piece. Thinly slice fennel bulb and onion. Cut sweet jalapeño into two halves. 
Heat oil in a frying pan in medium.
Add onion slices, and slightly sauté. 
Add fennel slices, stir well, and fry for one two minutes.
Add the chicken pieces,mix well, cover the pan, let it cook.
After five minutes, add salt, jalapeño ,and let it cook. 
If needed, you can add little (1/4 cup) of water. I didn’t need to add water. It will be cooked on the juice of onion, fennel, and chicken.
After five to eight minutes add the wine vinegar, mix well , cover it, cook until chicken pieces are tender. 
Serve hot with steamed rice. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Carrot-meat ball

What to do with the left over pulp of carrots after drinking the carrot juice. Everyday I face the same problem. I know easiest way is to just throw the residue. However, I always hesitate to do that. So, a big bowl of carrot reside was sitting in my refrigerator. I was thinking what to do with that apart from carrot cakes. Then I decided to mix that with ground chicken to make chicken-carrot meat ball. Even you can add grated zucchini, broccoli in the meat ball. Believe me , that will taste great. Here is my recipe.

One pound ground chicken
Two cups grated carrot 
Two tsp. garlic pawer
Two tsp. ginger powder
Salt and pepper to taste
One egg
Two tbsp. of all purpose flour
You also can use dried herbs with it. That will enhance the taste.
Oil spray


The recipe is very simple. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F. Take a cookie tray. Line with aluminum foil. Spray oil on the aluminum foil. Then mix well all the ingredients wit your hand. Make golf size ball from the mixture by hand.  Arrange the balls on the cookie tray. Spray oil over the balls. Bake for fifteen minutes. Then with a tong flip the meat balls, and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with your choice of dip.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Carmel Day 3 - Carmel Mission

Our last stop was the Carmel mission. After leaving the scenic road we headed towards the mission. As it was Christmas Day, the mission museum was closed. The mission itself was open, so we could walk around to see the mission .

Fr. Junipero Serra

The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) is one of the missions of the California Mission trail. It was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1770, and is the second of the California missions. The mission which is standing today is not the actual mission founded more than two hundred years ago.  However, it is restored to the almost original shape of the mission. 

Fr. Junipero Serra was buried inside the mission after his death. The mission was built in a vast area. It would take a time to walk around the mission. Different parts of the mission was built for different purposes.

The plaque commemorating the native Indians.

I took a walk around the mission. Tried to read all the plaques. My son who was eager to visit, lost his interest when he found out that the museum was closed. The huge mission was built by all the native Americans.I saw plaque was built inside the mission later to commemorate those Indians who worked there to built that.

Fr. Junipero Serra Cenotaph

Anyway, after that we headed towards home. 


Monday, January 29, 2018

Carmel Day 3 - Scenic Drive

After speeding the whole 24th of December in Carmel downtown, 25th morning we started for home. We were not in hurry. We wanted to take the last essence which was still left there. We decided to go visit the Carmel Mission on our way home.

 My son was eager to visit the mission, as he is studying about the missions in California in his current grade. Before leaving Carmel we just wanted to go to the beach. 

Though we didn't have any plan to stroll in the beach in the cold, but just to feel the breeze. Moreover, we were not prepared for the beach. The road along the beach was known as scenic drive. 

However, the road was scenic not only for the beach, but also the houses along the road. As soon as we entered the road my mouth became opened wide. I just couldn't utter a single words for few moments.

This is most probably the Tor House

 I saw many lovely houses on previous days. Somehow, these houses on scenic drive completely blew away me. First we thought we only drove on the road and would stop directly at the mission. Later, we changed our mind, the stopped our car, just look around the area. Then my son started getting impatient and drove to the mission. 

Among those traditional English Cottages few were very ultra modern houses, and one of them is this one.
..To be continued.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Carmel Day 2- Shopping windows

I'm still continuing with my Carmel visit. Actually, there are so many things to share with you friends. One of them is the windows of the tiny shops. First of all most of the shops, look like little cottages. Every time I saw, I felt like living there.

 Carmel is a tourist destination. When we went there that was Christmas time. So, the shops decked up more for the season. 

Here I'm sharing few of the pictures I took during my visit.

....to be continued0