Friday, March 24, 2017

Five on Friday


 The morning was cloudy, but not raining. It was very pleasant. I decided to take a long walk in the morning. The tress beside the trail were blooming with white, pink , purple , and more colors. The Spring has come out with full life. The creek on the side of the trail was full of water. The water was flowing in full force, as if it was a mountain river. I had never seen that much water in that very creek. The coots were swimming merrily in the creek. 


It had been raining since last night. The alarm clock went off exactly at 5:30, though I woke up long before that. It was pitch dark outside, the gentle tapping sound of rain resisting me to leave the bed.  What a pleasant feeling to lay awake in the bed. I could feel that the clock was running in full pace. At last I could overcome the force and came out from the blanket. The bed room was tar black. I peek through the blinds of the window, I could see nothing but dark except the falling rain near the street light. I try to see the clock in the dark it was 6:30, though the outside signaling wrong. Today I had not much work in the morning. At 8:30, while I was taking my son to school, as I took turn from the lane I saw the hill nearby was covered with gray-white cloud. The cloud was so heavy , it seemed that it would directly come down on the earth.

I woke in the morning in the drumming sound of the rain. Unlike yesterday, I got out of bed as soon as I opened my eyes.  The pelting sound of rain, and the pitch dark outside tempting me to back to bed. However, a tons of jobs were waiting for me. When I took my son to school the sky started clearing, and soft sunshine started coming out. However it was too cold to take a walk. I came back home. Also, I had swimming class. Still I’m struggling with side kick. Am I getting too old to learn swimming? 

Today, at last the day had started with beautiful golden sunshine. Morning I’d plenty of time to do all my jobs, as Mr. Man took the kiddie to school. Around 10 in the morning I went to take a long walk. Though the sun was bright , but the breeze was very chilly. Today I finished all the small bags I was making for my friends. Now, only little finishing touches are to be done. Everything was fine, until I went start my car. To pick my son from school, when I tried to start my car, it was just not making any sound. Wednesday everything was fine. Then again I walk all the way to school. After Mr. Man came home from office he also tried to start the car. Then we realized that the battery died down. Actually, kiddie was paying in the car yesterday. He opened and closed the car too many times. For that reason I battery died down.

A bagful of lemons came from my friend's backyard

Since morning, the sky was dark gray. My car at last got back in life with a jump-start. The whole day it had been raining. Hopefully, tomorrow it was going to stop. As usual it was busy Friday. I couldn’t go to walk in the morning due to rain. 

Perfect for rainy afternoon- coffee and cake

Monday, March 20, 2017

Simple vanilla cake with egg white

After walking six long miles Sunday morning, everyone had been craving for something sweet, especially me. I suggested baking a cake. Mr. Man suggested buying one warm cake. He was almost ready to leave the home. I told that it was not possible for him to get any hot cake in superstores. Only home baked cake could be warm.  I also wanted to do a little experiment with egg white. I didn’t use any egg, or yogurt. However, the cake turned out soft and moist.
Here is my recipe:
One cup all-purpose flour
One fourth cup vegetable oil (you can use butter to get better taste)
Half cup milk (I used almond milk)
One tsp. baking soda
One tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
Three fourth cup sugar
One tsp. vanilla extract
Half cup egg white (approximately 4 eggs)
Oil or butter spray (For greasing the baking pan)

Take a big mixing bowl. Add all the dry ingredients, mix well, and keep aside. Take another mixing bowl, add sugar, and egg white. With an electric mixer or a hand mixer mix egg white and sugar until creamy. Then add milk, oil, and mix well. After that , add the mixture of dry ingredients, and mix well into a smooth batter. Do not over mix. Add the vanilla extract, and mix with a spatula. 
Preheat the oven at 350 degree F. Take a 9X5 loaf pan. Grease the pan with oil spray. Pour the batter. Bake for half an hour, or a fork comes out clean inserted in the middle of the cake. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Five on Friday

After a long time, the weather has started becoming nice. Spring has arrived. The trees are full with flowers of different vibrants colors. Lilies are started sprouting on the yards. 

The warm sun in the morning encouraged me to start walking. Last I took a long walk in October. After almost six long months I went to walk in the morning. It was a warm nice feeling. In the afternoon it became extremely hot. I roasted myself in the sun, as I don’t put sunscreen , when I went to pick my son from school.

It was another usual day. Apart from household work I didn’t do much things. Actually those household chores took a long time to finish. 

Wednesday is always a busy day to me. I usually cook on that day. My son always has minimum day on Wednesday. I have swimming class in the morning. On the top of that my son has two activities on that very day. So, this day in the week usually goes very busy.


Mr. Man takes our son to school on Thursday. So, I get a long time in the morning. This Thursday I decided to deep clean my kitchen. Deep cleaning kitchen always takes a long time. I already took down all the items from cabinets,I got a message from one of my friends. She invited me to joint the mommy gang at a cafe. However, I already created the big mess in the kitchen. So, I couldn’t join them. Then, after an hour or so, I got a call from school. My son fell in the play ground, and hurt himself. The school nurse told me that everything was fine. However, my son had been complaining about pain. So, I took him back home, and gave him ice pack again. He declared that he couldn’t go to his Kung Fu class in the evening, and I agreed with him. But, in the evening he started jumping around. Oh! wow! He could attend his class. 

It was real hectic day. I had been working since morning, still I couldn’t finish all the jobs I listed down. I had some coupons from Michaels, so I went to the store. It took a long time in the store as it was very crowded today. I had some other stores to go, but it was already 2:40. So, I rushed back to pick my son from school. At last I could sit down on the couch to write about my Five on Friday after 6 in the evening. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Couscous with boiled vegetables

Couscous is very popular in India. It is cooked in many ways. Sometime it is cooked with lentils , sometimes with milk. If it is cooked with lentils, it is called “Khichdi”. With cooked with milk is it called rice pudding. It is also cooked with peanuts, and potatoes.The other day I cooked couscous for Mr. Man. I packed it with him for lunch, and some of his co-workers tasted, and they found my recipe is very interesting. I just changed a little in a common recipe. Here, I’m sharing my recipe.

One cup dry couscous 
A small potato 
A bunch of green beans
Three- fourth cup peanuts
Two green chilies (Optional)
One tsp. suger
Half tsp. cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Two tbsp. of oil
Wash and soak the couscous for 2 hours. After two hours drain the water, and mix the couscous with salt. Cut the potato into small cube. Cut the beans into small pieces, about half inch long. Take a small frying pan, dry roast the peanuts, stirring occasionally under medium heat. Roast the peanuts until at least half part of them are dark brown. Keep them aside. Take the beans in a saucepan. Pour water to cover the beans and let the beans cook under medium heat. When the beans are almost soft add the potato, as the potato takes less time to be cooked. If you need more water , then add just to cover the vegetables. Add salt, let the vegetables cook, covering the pan. After 10 minutes, check the vegetables. If they are tender, switch off the stove. If water is still in the pan , then just drain out the stock. If you want, you can collect the stock for future use. In a mixer grind the peanuts along with the chilies( if you are using), and sugar.
 In the same pan, or in a different pan, heat oil in medium. Add cumin seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add the ground peanuts. Fry for  few minutes. Then add the boiled vegetables. Mix well with the peanuts. Lower heat to medium-low. Then add the couscous into the pan. Stir until everything mix very well. Switch off the stove. Serve hot. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Five on Friday

Another week started. At last this week had started with bright sunshine. The days had started getting longer. Now when I wake up in the morning I can see the soft pink sunlight of the morning. Anyway, today again my son had a minimum day in school. I had my conference with his teacher. We discussed  about the concerns regarding about his progress. His teacher told me that he had been making a good progress, and he is already in his grade level, and could exceed that before the end of the school year. That was very nice to know that. 
Since last week I have become very busy with a huge project. Actually in June I am going to meet with my high school friends. I have planned to give all of them some handmade purses. We are 24 friends in our group. So, I need to sew 24 purses.

Today morning I noticed tulip buds in my front yard

My purse making project is going on in full sewing. I’ve already finished six bags. Hopefully I’ll finish them fast. However, there is one problem. As I’m using all old fabrics, and other throwaway things, I’m running out all those things. So, all the bags may not be same, as I  need to change in design to use different other things. Hope my friends won’t mind. Anyway, I was happily sewing in the afternoon, suddenly the fabric got stuck in the machine. I couldn’t take snag it out. I was in the dilemma whether I cut the fabric out or not. At that time one purse was almost at the stage of finish. So, I was hesitating to cut the fabric. Lastly, I decided to cut. However, I couldn’t cut it, as it was a thick jean fabric. I tried to find out solution from the machine manual, but that didn’t help much. Then I took the help of Youtube. However, I couldn’t find any feasible solution. Then I again, went through the manual. Anyway, after many trial and error, I could take the needle, and the pressure foot. It took me more than one hour to fix it. At last I could take out my almost finished purse.

Some of the finished purse

Today was a real busy day. I did all the household chores. I had swimming class today. Since I started swimming class, I had been struggling with side kick. 
I couldn’t  flip my body. Actually I was scared to do that. I always scare of drowning. Anyway, lastly, my coach suggested me using a small noodle, not the big one. After using that at least  I could  flip myself.

Pansies are blooming in my backyard

Today was a warm sunny day. I went to a coffee with some of  friends. It was a nice time. We went Paris Baguette. All the pastries were very delicious there. We spent a quality time together and then went back to our daily routine. Today I could make another purse before I went to pick my son from school. 

Again it was another busy Friday. I overworked today. Apart from cooking, cleaning, and all the household chores, I went to Costco. Friday late morning is not at all a good time in Costco. It was  very crowded. Anyway, my son and I had a big argument in the morning. He was very sad, as well as angry. I, neither could make him understand anything, nor I could divert his mind. Do you know why he was sad. He was sad because, he is the youngest in the class.

That tulip bud has turned into a bright pink blossom

Monday, March 6, 2017

Visit to Black Hawk museum

My son wanted to visit a museum. After searching some of them we decided to go to Blackhawk Museum. 

I had a little confusion about the museum. First I thought it was only an automotive museum. As my son is vehicle buff, we thought of taking him there. After we finished watching all the cars in display, we went to the second floor of the museum. 

The second floor was totally different. The name was “Spirit of the old west”. First I couldn’t understand what was that. I saw the statues of two cowboys. Then I realized it was all about the history about the war between the native Indians and the white settlers.

 As the settlers had been trying to move from east to west and trying to capture lands from the Indians, rift started between the two groups. After reading some of the write-ups there I found out that  all the display article were a great collation of a person named Jerry Fick . He had a big collection of miniatures figurines depicting the life back at that time. That was a huge display Another person named Ken Behring created this museum with the collections.

There I saw a vast history of the native indians. I learned about their daily life, how gradually they lost to the American settlers, how the settlers occupied the land, how the life changed gradually. 

Before the invasion of the settlers nomadic tribe lived on the land. The bisons were inseparable from their lives. They used each and every part of the bisons in their daily lives from food, clothing, and other things they used in their day to day lives, are made by using some of the body parts of the bisons.  Apart from bison they also used she eps skins, rabbit skins in their lives. Their life was very simple moved around hunting, farming, and small trading. 

They usually lived in small villages. One interesting fact I came to know that they named their children within 10 days of birth, with the name of the clan. The clan was usually created with the name of the successful hunters and their kins.In Fact Black Hawk was one of the prominent Indian leader. According to the native Indian everything possess spirit. To them Earth was most important, mother of all spirit.

All the pieces of history could be seen there. How gradually the settlers captured the total land. The transcontinental railroad created a drastic change among the civilizations. With flourishing railroad industry, the train robbery also increased drastically. Many of the robbers pictures could be seen in the museum. I saw picture of four brothers, who were police turned into out laws due to very small salary in the law keepers job. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Five on Friday

Monday:Last few days I had been feeling mentally restless. I could understand that I wanted to do some crafts, but couldn't make my mind what to do. At last today I sat down with cross stitch . For an hour or I did that. You cannot believe I felt so satisfied. Really how crazy I'm!!!

Tuesday:Tuesday I didn't do much things. I always try to give a little break to me every other day. My Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays usually are real busy . Actually in those three days I do all cooking, and cleanings, and that takes almost all the morning. Before going to pick my son from school I try to do a little crafts.
At last leaves are sprouting in my hydrangea

Wednesday:Since morning it was a real busy day. In my son's school, first Wednesday morning  of every month breakfast book club is held. The members of the book club have to reach within 7:45 in the morning. I usually volunteer in serving the breakfast. So, I need to go at 7:30 in the morning. Before going to school I tried to finish all the cooking. I'm a morning person. I don't like to cook or clean in the evening. In the evening I like to read or to do something apart from household jobs. On the top of that an architect was to come our home. So, before his arrival I wanted to finish everything. I don't want to show anyone a dirty house. *smile*. Anyway, the whole morning I spend doing all jobs, taking with architect. I the evening I took my so to swimming class. He already finished all the levels. He was just to finish the medal testing. Only previous week he finished all the level. I though today would only practice. However, to my utter surprise, the coach came and told me that they tested my son, and he did an incredible job, and won the medal!!!
My bright pink cyclemen 

Thurseday :Today was not a good day. Since morning I was feeling sluggish. Still I finished all the chores, and sat down to make fabric purse. Actually, for a long time I was nurturing one idea in mind. I sat down to make the bag according to my idea. However, I think there were many faults in my idea, I couldn't make it. I tried many ways, I wasted a whole lot of fabric, but I couldn't make it. Lastly I became angry one myself, and just drop my idea . Thankfully I didn't use any new fabric. I used some of my old dresses to make the bag. In the evening we went to the Open House in the school. This is another even it the school I love. It is so lovely to see all the works done by the kids.

Friday : Today my son was at home. I won't complain. He was a very good boy since morning. We had a liquid amber tree in our front yard. Since long, we were in dilemma whether we cut it down. However, it was wrecking havoc in our driveway. So, we decided to cut down the tree. The guy came in the morning to cut it down. Now our front is all open. We can plant trees and small plants of our choice.