Friday, April 28, 2017

Five on Friday


After another hectic weekend, I couldn’t wake up early in the morning. Moreover, when I woke up it was a very cloudy day. I love to sit back and relax on any cloudy morning with cup of hot coffee. After sitting for some time I remembered that I had many jobs to be finished. On the top of that, the weather suddenly changed from cloudy to very much sunny. First,I went to Sephora to change some of the make up I bought few days ago, then went to Children’s place to buy some clothes for my kid. Then , from there I went to library. Past few days my son pursuing me to rent few “Diary of a Wimpy kid” series books. So, I went to library.Luckily, I got few of the books of the series. No, my day didn’t end there. It was already the time to pick my son from school. So, I rushed to the pick him from school. At least he didn’t have any activities today. Again, in the evening we went to Costco. From Costco, we went to dine out at an Italian restaurant. Actually, my son’s school organized that dine out at an Italian Bistro to raise fund for the school. It was a fun event, as the teachers and the principal served food to us. 

Spring time, gardening time


After a busy Monday, I thought I could rest on Tuesday. However, I found that I ended up the day doing more works. The morning was sunny and hot. So, I decided to take a long walk. Due to the weather I could start walking regularly. Anyway, after coming back home I found out that I had a long list of chores to finish. After finishing everything I picked my son from school. Then we to his Kung Fu class. 

First broccoli  from backyard garden


Wednesday was little bit easier. The weather was cloudy since morning. Also, it was raining very lightly. The wether was really nice. I was feeling to draw all the curtains to make the home dark. I love to light candles on dark gloomy day. I always feel cozy by that way on those days. However, I didn’t do that. I knew that once I did that, I wouldn’t feel working any more.

Mid morning energy booster


I thought of doing a whole lot of things, but I ended up chatting a lot with my friend and sister.

Every day guest


It was another busy Friday. I finished everything around 12:00. Then I went to school to volunteer. Then, I came back to go back to school again to pick him up. Today, we had a hard day. He had not been listening to me since morning. So, he lost his play time after school. For that reason we had rough time after school. Then he behaved good, finished his studies, and earned back his video games time.

The strawberries are on the way

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Redwood Regional Park

We didn’t know about the hidden redwood forest which was very near to the Oakland downtown. Where we hiked in Bay area, we didn’t get such a splendid Redwood forest anywhere. We had been in Oakland downtown many times, but we were completely unaware about that forest. When we were searching for a hiking trail, one of our friends suggested going there. 

We entered the park through the Redwood gate. The day we went , the entry was free, otherwise you need to pay to enter the park. Driving towards the park was as much as beautiful as it was inside the park. 

Solitary bench

Suddenly, from few lanes road became a one lane narrow road winding up the mountain, though the mountain was not so high to reach the redwood forest. Inside the park there were several parking area. Near the entrance the parking was very small, that was kind of a turn out area of any mountain road. When we reached there, only one single parking spot was left. We needed at least three parking spots, for our group. Mr. Man parked the car on that only spot, where parking was a little tough.

Anyway, after one of the other members reached there, we decided to drive further, as we found several more parking ares, so parking was not a problem there. Near the entrance there was a park for little children, even there were few scattered picnic areas were also available inside the park. 

The weather was beautiful on that Saturday. It was little cloudy, but not cold, a light jacket was enough. The trail started with narrow pitch road. We took the trail ,named Stream trail. I think the name was given ,because, a small stream was flowing beside the trail. It was not only a dense jungle of redwood trees, there were few open areas with bright green grass. They more looked like meadow or chaparral. 

Where we parked our cars, just opposite to that there was a lush green meadow. The starting of the trail was totally flat. Gradually we left the pitch road and entered a dirt trail. It had been raining even the previous night. So, the stream was full of water, and the water flowing in full force, constantly we could hear the sound of the water. I read that the stream had rainbow trout, but there was no way see any of them. As we gradually hiking, we had to crossed extremely muddy patches several times. We three had waterproof hiking shoes, so we didn’t face problem in crossing those patches. 

We were walking, keeping the stream on our right. We came to a point where we had to cross another stream, and from that point, the stream came to our left side. The stream was very small, just we had to put our feet on few rocks to cross it. Then suddenly, from the flat trail started going upward. Although it didn’t gain much height,but those who don’t hike regularly can face a little difficulty to climb up. The weather was cool and damp ,the sun was soft, moreover we were in a green jungle, full of huge conical redwood trees. Again the trail was a little flat.

 We, again reached another little stream. Those streams might not exist all year long. Those little stream were sprouted out like plants due to incessant rain through out the winter. We jumped over it, and again we faced another steep hiking trail. After climbing that, some of our group members felt shortness of breath. So, we rested a little while. Again we started walking. We were already climbed up on the mountain. We were no more on the level of the stream. The trail was flat and winding, but it was very narrow. One side of the trail was the cliff, and other side was the steep mountain. Though there no fear, but the we had some little ones with us. Falling from the narrow trail could cause some injuries, so we had to stay very cautious.

The little hikers

 Then we again started descending down, and we reached a point where French trail and Mill trail merge. From French trail we took Mill trail. The path was continually descending, and we reached the Stream Trail again. It was an easy hike. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Earth Day celebration at Local Farmer's Market

I love to go to local Farmer’s market almost every Saturday. Last Saturday was a little special. We all knew that April 22 was Earth Day. Our local farmer’s market organized few little yet very interesting event for the children as well as the adults. 

Friday Mr. Man received an email from the market, that they were going to organize a scavenger hunt for the children, and they would distribute some plants to the buyers. Both of the events were attractive. First, when I told my son about scavenger hunt, he couldn’t understand that, and was not willing to go. When I told him that, it would be a treasure hunt, then he understood, and agreed to go. 

Saturday morning was bright and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities. My son and I went to the market around 9 in the morning. At the entrance they were distributing some annual plants. I needed marigold plants desperately. I was really lucky person. They distributed  marigold along with other annuals. I grab one beautiful bright light yellow marigold plant. 

Then my son requested the page of the questioners for the scavenger hunt. The questions were very interesting. He went from one shop to another to find out the answers. First he went to the fruit store  to find out the exact colors of the apples. Then went to a vegetable to store find the tomatoes. Then he drew the exact shape of tomato. Then he went to another shop to ask the farmer’s name. For the next question he had to ask one shopper, what he/she was buying, and what he/she would cook that vegetable.  First he didn’t want to ask the question to any of the buyers. He asked me. I told him that, “I might be a buyer,  but I’m your mom. You ask to a different buyer”. 

Then he asked one lady who was buying a cabbage. She told that, she was going to shred , and fry the cabbage. Last question was a riddle , and the answer was “honey”. For this scavenger hunt he won two prizes, one of them was a sweet apple. It was a real fun-filled morning. Mom-son duo enjoyed a lot. I bought oh-so sweet strawberries, and black berries, and also some fresh vegetables. 

Also please visit my Etsy shop: From a mind of a girl

Friday, April 21, 2017

Five on Friday


After a super hectic weekend, I just wanted to rest. However, Monday cannot be a day to rest. I had a long list of jobs to be finished. On the top of that I had doctor’s appointment around 12:00 in the morning. So, before going to doctor’s office my plan was to finish all chores. It took a long time there. Doctor asked to me to do a couple of blood tests. Anyway, from there I came back home . I got little time before going to pick my son from school. I utilized the time by making some cards for my Etsy shop.


After a busy monday, I thought I could get a little easier Tuesday. However, it turned out, much more busier. Since morning, I had been driving around the town. In the morning, after dropping my son to school, then I finished all jobs at home, I went to lab for blood test. From there I went to pick my medicine. It was way past one when I came back home. I rested a little then went to pick my son from school. As soon as I picked him up from school there was no room for resting. We rushed to his Kung Fu class, from there we rushed to his swimming class. After coming home I helped him with his homework, before fixing the dinner. Oh God!! What a day was!

My sweet peas vine


This was another usual busy day. Since morning I had been doing one job another after. I literally didn’t get time to sit, before my son went to violin class in the evening with his dad. Then I sat for a while, and chatted with my mom over the phone.

The potato plants are doing very well


I told you before, that I try to keep Thursdays a little low. However, this Thursday was an exception. I missed one swimming class two weeks before ,So, I went to makeup swimming class. In the afternoon my son has doctor’s appointment after school. Oh boy! This kid is really a chatter box. He chatted with doctor so much, that lastly doctor told me that he might be a lawyer in future. 

Can you see the tiny broccoli?


I usually wake up 5:30 in the morning. However, today morning I woke very early. I just wanted to stay in bed for another few minutes more , but kiddo, who everyday snicks in our bed in the middle of the night, had been kicking me a lot. So,I left bed. Moreover, I had piles of jobs to finish as early as possible. My target was to finish everything within 9, and I finished everything within 9:30. Then I went to school for volunteering. From there I went to my best friend’s house. It had been long we didn’t sit and chat over coffee. At last, today we could manage to sit, and we chatted for a long time. It was so relaxing that we felt that we gained the much needed energy. Around 1 in the afternoon I came back home.

What to do with that many tomato plants?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oat flour bread

I didn’t have oat flour in my pantry, but I did have oat meal in my pantry, which we usually eat for breakfast. So, to get oat flour I ground the oat meal in grinder, and it worked all fine.

Here is my oat flour bread recipe:

Half cup all-purpose flour

Half cup oat flour

Two tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar1 tsp. baking powder

One fourth tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

Two tbsp. vegetable oil 

One egg

Half cup cold milk

One tsp. vinegar

One fourth cup raisins

One fourth cup chopped almonds

Take the cold milk in a cup, add vinegar into it. Keep aside for ten minutes, it’ll curdle.
In a big mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, except the sugar, and keep aside.
In another mixing bowl, mix oil,sugar, and egg with an electric mixer until smooth, and fluffy.
 In the same mixture add milk and vinegar mixture, and mix well.
Pour the dry mixture , and mix well. 
Preheat the oven at 350 degree F.
Take a 9”X5” baking pan. Grease it with an oil spray. Pour the mixture into it. Bake for half an hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Yosemite rivisited

Few months back one of Mr. Man’s friend contacted him after a long time. Actually he was his classmate in Elementary school back in India. The guy was visiting California, and he asked Mr. Man to accompany him to Yosemite. I also didn’t want to loose the opportunity to go to Yosemite. The  steep high mountains with lurking numerous falls apart from the famous ones always fascinate me. 

Roaring Merced River

This time we were even more excited than other time, because we knew that the falls were going to be over-flowing with water due to rain and snow through out the winter. We started very early in the morning, even before the first ray of soft yellow sun came into our backyard swimming pool. Anyway, we reached the park around 9 in the morning. To our pleasant surprise  we didn’t need to pay the park fee, as it was National Park day. When we were entering the park, the Marced River was flowing in full force , pounding the rocks with great roaring sound. We saw the same river, we heard the roaring sound , but this time it seemed that the roaring sound, the force, the amount of water all were much more that any other time with visited previously. The beauty of the river was so captivating, that you could spend a whole just by sitting on a big rock on the river bank. This time didn’t have any plan for hiking, we went there just for sight seeing. Our first stop was Bridal veil falls. Yosemite is a popular tourist destination. So, it  is always full on the weekends, especially on the Saturdays. As we crossed Pohono Bridge and took the turn, we saw a long queue to enter parking area. Luckily, we got a parking space. The fall was looking so beautiful and majestic. That was full with so much of water, the water was evening seeping on the parking area, and we literally tiptoed on the water to reach the trailhead head of the fall. When we reached the foot of the fall, the area was white with the mist. The area was extremely cold, and wet. It was impossible to stay there more than few minutes. Within that few minutes we got totally drenched by the tiny droplets which were spluttering from the foot of the fall.

Majestic Bridal veil falls

Someone is goofing around

From there we went to Tunnel View point. Before entering in the long tunnel, the semi circular vista point gave us an enchanting view of lively green high mountains with many waterfalls gushing out from the creases. 
As the Glacial point was closed due to heavy snow through out the winter, we decided to return from there, instead of going ahead. Then we went to the center point, the Yosemite Village, from where we could take trail to the lower Yosemite falls. However, when we reached the Yosemite Valley, all the parking lots were full. It was very much crowded, everyone was rolling in cars from one parking space to another. We already saw the lower Yosemite falls, but our company was there for the first time. So, we decided to drop him at the trailhead of lower Yosemite falls, and asked him to go and see the falls. We took more than 45 minutes to get a parking space near Valley store. Our plan was to go to the sites inside the park in park shuttles. 

Tunnel view point

After parking our car, we walked to the lower Yosemite falls trailhead. In the mean time our company already completed his Yosemite falls visit. Then our plan to go to the Mirror Lake. After waiting few minutes we got the shuttle and went to the Mirror Lake trail head. From the trail head it was one mile walk to the mirror lake. It was an easy hike. The funny things is that, when you see the lake, you cannot find anything exciting, but if you see the pictures, it looks so beautiful. The big rock inside the lake looks so beautiful with clear mirror image inside the lake. 

Teneya Creek
Mirror lake

The most exciting happening was waiting for us. From the mirror lake our plan was to go back to the valley to have lunch. We were walking towards the bus stop, and we saw few people were whispering and taking pictures. The we saw a mountain lion came almost near to the trail. The color of the lion was as same as the mountain. So, sometimes it became difficult to locate the lion. However, whenever it was moving we could see it. Usually , the mountain lions are very shy, also they are nocturnal. 

Can you spot the mountain lion

Till then we went to many mountains, but never saw mountain lion. It was sheer luck, that we could see a mountain lion on a bright sunny day in the afternoon. The lion was completely unfazed by the presences of human beings. Anyway, that was good, otherwise it the if lion became angry, anything could happen. We were lucky that so many people were present at that time. However, it was a great gift to see wild animal in his own habitat. Then we came back to valley to have late lunch. We came back around 8:30 at night. It was a long, long day, but we were happy.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter



I apologize for my delayed wish to you. Last two days were really hectic to me. I couldn't wake up early today morning. All of you are my beautiful friends, I know you will understand.. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Five on Friday


At last the spring break was over. We again came back to our normal routine. However, our spring break was not a lazy one. Mommy-and-kiddo were super busy. We had a school project to finish. Though the submitting date was in May, still we utilized our break time to finish. So, we didn’t need to rush later. As both father and son left the house I literally jumped into my works. For seven days I couldn’t clean my son’s room. In that seven days he cut out numerous papers to build “airport," “planes," “Fighter planes," and of course “Titanic”. The room was in great mess. I can’t clean the mess in his presence. So, it was a golden time for me to clean up. 
Home Depot kid's workshop collection :)


Morning it was quiet, but, in the afternoon my son and I became super busy. He had two activities back to back. When we came back home it was already seven. 
Iris in my front yard


The morning started at six. My son had Breakfast book club in school. I usually volunteer there. So , we had to reach school at 7:30. After volunteering there I came back home around 8:30. Again, I had my swimming class at 9:45. I tried to finish all the chores, including cooking before going to class. I almost finish everything before going. Again my son had his swimming class in the afternoon. He had not a pleasant day in school. He was very upset. I had a hard to cool him down. Lastly everything was fine. It was a real hectic day.


As usual I try keep Thursdays a low. I usually don’t do much work. The paper purging job was long pending. Today, I succeeded to do that. I’m planning to put some Mother’s day in my Etsy shop. For that, I spent the afternoon making some cards, before going to pick my son from school. 


What a day it was! When I started the day I didn’t imagine that the day was going to be that much long, overwhelming, and hectic. I created my to-do list in the morning. As usual it was long. My  Fridays are always goes very busy. 
On the top of the one of our company is going come from India, and  we are taking him to Yosemite on Saturday. So, I had some extra chores like washing the car which was due almost last four months. I also had volunteer duty in school. I started doing my chores very fast. While cleaning one bathroom, I decided to clean potpourri bowl which was ket there. I was cleaning that bowl and was thinking the consequences , if that bowl fell from my hand. As I was thinking that, I bowl slipped from hand, fell in the bathroom floor, all the splinters scattered all over the bathroom, in the hallway, even in the adjacent room. What a hot big mess! It took another fifteen minutes to clean all the broken glass pieces. I felt so exhausted , that I thought of stopping all other works. Still I managed to finish all sorts of cleaning, one load of laundry, and washing the car. The car looked all new again. Vacuuming the car was  another episode. I bought a new vacuum, and I didn’t know all the functionality. I couldn’t figure out how could I use it to clean the car.  Then I switched on my laptop, found out the tutorials, then I could use the vacuum. Anyway, I  finished everything, only I didn’t get time sit card making, which I have to do very quick as I’m planning to put some Mother’s day card in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Whole wheat flour banana bread

The comment from Judy of Judy’s Gold Country cottage , took me back to my childhood days. I always love the rainy days. I grew up in India, which is a tropical country. Rainy season is a different season  there. During that season, it rains almost everyday. Rainy season is a vital season, as the farming of the country very much depends on that season. Anyway, when I was small I always loved the heavy rain in the morning. As I knew that very few students would turn up to school, the whole day in school would be fun, rather study. Though, my mom tried to resist me to go school on those rainy days, but I ended up going to school. Today, in the afternoon while I was sitting in my bedroom, and staring to the cloudy sky, I felt to write down this little memory. No, I'm not chatting , I'm also giving a recipe of banana bread, which you can enjoy with a cup of coffee on a rainy afternoon.

One and one fourth cup whole wheat flour

Half cup sugar

One chopped walnut

One tsp. of baking powder

One tsp. of cinnamon powder

One tsp. of nutmeg powder

One third cup of oil

Two eggs

Two ripe bananas

Preheat the  oven at 350 degree F. Smash the bananas with a fork and keep aside. In a big mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients, except sugar. In another mixing bowl mix sugar, and eggs very well,with an electric mixer. Gradually mix the dry mixture, while mixing. Then add the banana paste, and mix well. Lastly add the walnuts, and fold with a spatula. Take 9”X5” in baking pan, grease with  oil or butter spray. Pour the batter, and bake for half an hour , or a knife comes out clean while inserted in the middle.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Busy weekend and museum visit

Unlike other weekends this weekend was crazy and busy. Saturday morning, it  was raining, so I decided not to go anywhere. However, in the afternoon the weather changed totally, and it became bright and sunny. So, we changed my mind, and decided to visit two parks, which kiddo was  supposed to visit as an assignment of a school project. Then, after running some errands we returned home around seven in the evening.

Las Trampas wilderness

Sunday was even busier than Saturday. We had already planned to finish kiddo’s assignment. So, first we went to Las Trampas wilderness. We didn’t have to spend much time there, as kiddo could do all the question-answer from the staging area. After finishing that assignment we went to the Danville museum.  
Danville museum was actually the Danville Depot during the active time of Southern-Pacific railroad. 

We reached there in the afternoon. One of the old age caboose is kept there in front of the depot turned museum. After the rail stopped functioning, the railway tracks was removed , and the path was created as hiking trail. Only the tracks are still there, where the caboose is kept. Now the caboose is serving as the restrooms of the museum.

The museum is small one. The museum has main exhibits of all the wars from World War I to Vietnam war. Also there are few exhibits about the prehistoric time, the Native americans lives, and the Spanish-Mexican times. 

The geography of the valley is complex. The valley, and the diablo mountain was once under the ocean. It was once scared place the Indian, and a landmark to the early Europeans  entering to the bay. 

For thousands of years the Indians lived in this places in the watersheds. They were Tatcans, a Bay Miwok speaking people. Their lives and rituals, and cultures changed gradually over the years. Every tribes had their own distinct cultures and rituals. They usually did hunting, finishing for their day to day life. 

The first westerners came here in 1772. The lives of the Indians changed forever , as the Spanish stepped into valley. 
Apart from the little history of the valley, and the documents related to the wars, others things are kept is the information about the Southern-Pacific railroads. The museum is very helpful for the little ones who wants learn about the past and present the valley.

Life size model inside the caboose