Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tassajara One room school visit

In the era of smart phone, cutting edge technology, a one room school house  which was a learning center for children is really an amazing fact  that hard to believe. We cannot even imagine children from grade one to grade eight are sitting in the one small classroom and studying. When we can reach from one part of the world to the other part within 24 hours,  traveling few miles was an event and as well as nightmare in bad weather two hundred years ago. 


Students used to come to school by walking, or on ponies or in buggies through the prairies. The teachers used to stay with the any of the students of the school, as traveling was very problematic. She had to come very early in the morning to clean the school house. 


To know how was the life in the prairie of early pioneers , and how students were taught at that time, the class of my son went to visit the one room school house, and also enact ,as a part of their curriculum. Before going there their teacher taught them how to bow to teacher, how to answer to any questions, above all , the etiquette in that era. The boys dressed in plaid shirts and long trousers, the girls dressed in long skirts, aprons, and bonnets.It was not possible for every one to dressed up exactly like that era, so many of us improvised with the dresses available in our wardrobe.

 
Tassajara school house was like a living museum. The children lived in 1888 for few hours in one morning. On a cold windy day of May (very unlikely) we drove there crossing the ranches and vast open space to reach the tiny house. Two very nice ladies enacted as teachers for the children. From them we came to know in that era the female teachers could not get married. If they got married they had to leave their jobs. They had to dress up covering their ankles, and no ornaments, even a tiny studs in the ears were not allowed. On the top of they got paid way less than a male teacher, there was no concept of equal pay. There were many rules, those were must be obey by children without any mistake, otherwise the punishments were extremely severe. For example, if a boy played with a girl the punishment was 4 lashes, can you imagine it?


After reaching the school, they said the pledge first before entering the school. The “teacher” told them how to use wash basin if the hands got dirty. The basin was a big container of water with big spoon,and a small enamel basin bowl was kept beside that. Those who needed it, put water with the big spoon , then used the bar soap, again washed their hands taking water with the spoon, into the basin. After finishing they had to throw away the dirty water in the ground.

 

Anyway, after the pledge, they went inside the house. First they read from the Bible. Bible study was must at that time. After finishing Bible study, they started learning how to stay happy in life. In the mean time “Hanna”’s pony started roaming out side the schoolhouse . So, teacher and Hanna had to go out side the to tie the pony. As Hanna didn’t tie her pony properly, she got punishment. She stood for five minutes putting her nose on the wall. That was most funniest part of the act. Then they wet out for recess. They played with the toys of the 19th century. 


After coming from the recess they did mathematics, and wrote with a fountain pen. They even sang in their “music” class. After they finished their studies, the “teacher” showed them many of the things, which were very modern tools at that time, like a toaster, a butter churner, even a camera. Taking pictures,and getting the photo in hand used take 4-5 weeks time. It was the fastest possible time to get photos in hand.




We packed the lunch in wax papers, and cloth like that century. We ate our lunch after the school dismissed. It was a life time experience to live in that ear for few hours. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Five on Friday

Monday: 
Since last Thursday I stopped  walking in the morning. Today morning I fought of going, but it was already hot around 8:30 in the morning. So, I abandoned my plan for morning walk. I came back home. I had a piles of jobs to be finished at home.
Those who are following me already know, we are going to remodel our home. Anyway, I almost finished moving things from the three bedrooms and bathrooms today. I left few of the essential things , which I would move later.




Tuesday: 
What happened to me today I couldn’t understand. I started feeling dizzy since morning. Somehow I managed to drop my son to school, and came back. In the afternoon I didn’t take any risk. I called Mr. Man to go to school and pick him up.


Wednesday: 
Today I felt an urge to paper myself. It had been long I got my toe nails done. So, I went to nails SPA. It was so much relaxing that I almost fell asleep.


Thursday:
Today was the day, I couldn’t find anything to do. Lastly I sat down with beads box, and made one bead necklace.



Friday:
It was not so busy Friday. As the bathrooms and the bedrooms would be remodeled, I stopped cleaning them, which made a lot less work.




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Volunteer Appreciation Tea 2017

Who are already following me know that I volunteer a lot in my son’s school. Since my son started going Kindergarten I have been doing the job. It is really fun to do that. Though I don’t like  teaching, I like volunteering in school. When my son was in Kindergarten, I used to help the teachers in crafts and other activities. It is really fun to interact with the little ones, though some times it is difficult to control them, when they get crazy. In grade 1, I even helped the teacher to correct the homework.  Anyway, the teachers of the school organize a volunteer appreciation tea every year. I love to attend the event. 


This year also I attended the same. It was great time with the teachers and other fellow volunteer. The teachers brought many delicious food for us. Not all the volunteers are doing heavily responsible jobs like the PTA president , or the secretary, but each small job also counts. You need someone to do that. So from doing Friday folders to chair a school committee all the jobs are required and important, and the volunteers are doing those jobs with great responsibility and devotion without expecting anything. 


It is really nice when someone appreciates whatever you are  doing for them. The principal gave us a Thank you speech. We all enjoyed that.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mother's day at Pier 1

Few weeks back  before Mother’s Day,I received one mail from Pier 1. They were going to hold an event to celebrate Mother’s Day just a week before the Mother’s Day. When I read the letter, I became very interested going for the event. It was going to be held on May 6th , the previous Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend. I enrolled my name for the event. Almost everyday I reminded myself about the event, until Saturday morning. That Saturday was very busy unlike other Saturday. In the morning I rushed to Home Depot with my kid for the Kid’s Workshop which is usually held first Saturday of every month. 


From there we went to local Farmer’s Market. I prefer to buy the fruits from the farmer’s market where I can get fresh and tasty fruits. Then we came back home. We had lots of things to do in our backyard garden. You know, spring time is gardening time. After lunch still I had some jobs to finish. Around 4 in the evening I finally sat down to have some rest. The event just went out of my mind. Suddenly Mr. Man came and told me that, there was something we were forgetting. He also couldn’t remember what was that?


 Suddenly it clicked in my mind. Oh no!! The event was almost going to an end. I rushed to Piet 1 store. I checked in.  I was the last lucky person to get a beautiful tote bag from Magnolia Home. Though I was not that much lucky to get gift cards from the lucky draw. Anyway, apart from that I bought few plates and two cups which I got on heavy discount. You know, I never pay the full price to but anything. I always search in the clearance section. I got the three plates on 75% discount , that was a steal.



Friday, May 19, 2017

Five on Friday

Monday: 
After a lovely fun-filled weekend, the Monday started with its as usual pace. Beside doing usual job, now I had another tedious job on me. 


We will remodel our home. For doing that,I need to move everything from three bedrooms. 
Though I don’t buy many things, still those rooms had so many things that I had to struggle to fit those things in my garage and living room. In the afternoon I was so exhausted, I gave up doing that and moved on. On the top of that my son had a field trip on Tuesday, for which I needed to prepare few things.



Tuesday:
Today I went as chaperon on the field trip. It was a fun-filled historical field trip. We went to see a one room school house of pioneer era, which was kept beautifully till date. Children went there    not just to see that as a museum, but they enacted like that era. Even they had “teachers” who were also from 1888. I would give you the details in my blog very soon. That one room school house was called “living museum”.



Wednesday:
Today I had many things to outside the home. I drove around the town almost all day.


Thursday:
It was another busy day. Today my son had many activities rather than me. In the morning he had practice for the evening concert in school. He had to go to school early. I thought of going for morning walk. However, again I became busy in shifting the things from the bedrooms. In doing so, it was already late. Moreover, the temperature also high, so, going out was not a good option. Anyway, I almost finished in shifting all the small things. In the evening my son had his spring concert in the school. It was a very fun time. All the little ones sang, and my son’s grade played the recorder.

 


Friday: 
It was so much tiring today that it was difficult for me keep my eyes open in the late evening. Today I volunteered on Field day in the school. It was long process. From 9 in the morning till 12 I was on play ground of the school. All the grades played different fun games from sack race to rolling hula hoops. I volunteered in the hula hoop station. Today was extremely hot day. The sun screen could nothing on the skin. I came back home super exhausted. Again went back to pick him from school. In the evening we went to mall to buy some things which were long pending . 



Monday, May 15, 2017

Celebrating Mother's Day and eating out

First, I want to tell you Happy Mother’s Day to all Mom’s, though I’m way late to wish. Actually, yesterday when I tried to transfer the photos from my phone, for some unknown reason I couldn’t transfer them. So, I couldn’t upload yesterday. 

We all know that Mother’s Day was first started by Anna Jarvis 1908, and made an official US holiday in 1914. I grew up in India,so, I was not familiar with Mother’s Day when I was little. Later , after I grew up and started my job, at that time communications became much more easier. On the top of that , globalization, and Internet made many things more easier than ever before. Then we all came to know about Mother’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other US holidays. Currently, in the era of marketing all kind of celebrations , and festivals become an extravaganza. Anyway, some people argue that there is no need of Mother’s Day, everyday is mother’s day. 

However, that is not real. Moreover, what is the problem in making one day special for her?




It takes nine months to become a mother, but, motherhood is a lifelong journey. I’m now 40 years, still my mother thinks about me. So, all the mothers deserve a special day for her.
Today, father and son decided a little treat for me. In the morning my little one handed my one card. It was the best gift. Then ,later in the morning he sold a “newspaper”, called Mom’s Chronicle to his father by 1 cent.  He wrote many good words about me. He wrote that, I’m very good at mathematics. *smile* Then ,we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. Though the restaurant is very near to our house, we have never been there before. The food was really good, we enjoyed the lunch a lot. I ordered for wan ton soup, and garlic chicken. Mr. Man ate lunch combo, and kiddo went for noodles. 

I chose to eat garlic chicken


Kiddo's favorite noodles



HE chose lunch combo


Then we decided to go to Barns and Nobles, as kiddo wanted a word search book for a long timer. The Old Navy was just beside Barns and Nobles, So, I decided to take peek there. While I was going through the summer dresses kiddo made a sweet rose from origami paper, kept inside the store. That was a nice gift from him. They really made the day special for me. 




Friday, May 12, 2017

Five on Friday

Monday: 


Today was as usual a very busy day. On the top of that I had go to eye doctor. I had an appointment at 11:30. Finishing all the works within 11:30 was tough. When I finished everything it was already 11:00. I took a quick shower and rushed to the doctor’s office. I was under the impression that I had an appointment on Monday. I entered the office panting, and told the receptionist that I had an appointment. She couldn’t find out any scheduled appointment. Then she found that I had and appointment on Tuesday. What a bummer!!! So, I came back home. As I finished every chores already, I had plenty of time in my hand. So, I sat down to sew a bag from old jeans, which one of friends requested to make for her.



Tuesday:


Today was actually the eye doctor’s appointment. It took more that 2 hours there. Doctor’s put some eye drops in my eyes to dilate. That was another problem.  I was not wearing my contact lenses, so I couldn’t use sunglasses. Though doctor provided a temporary sunglass kind of thing, it didn’t work not much. I faced real  difficulty while driving back home.



Wednesday:
 
Today was volunteer appreciation tea in my son’s school. Every year I usually attend the tea every year . This year it was also not an exception. You would get the details of it in another post.



Thursday:


Thursday was kind of mellow. I didn’t much thing today. Apart from finishing the bag which I started on monday.



Friday:


Friday was real busy day. Usually all my fridays go very busy. However, this friday was much more busier than any other Fridays. Actually Saturday would be Mr. Man’s birthday. But, I hate to cooking, cleaning, or any other chores on weekends. So, I cooked all the special dishes for him, and stacked in the refrigerator. Other than cleaning the whole house, I decorated the louse for birthday , and also made  birthday card for the birthday boy.



Friday, May 5, 2017

Five on Friday

Monday:


Till yesterday the weather was really fine. It was not at all cold, but pleasantly warm. We two worked a lot in our backyard, from planting to cleaning up pool. However, Mr. Sun had other idea in his mind.Today, since morning he had been blazing. I woke up 5:30 in the morning, and could feel that it already stared heating up outside. When I took my son to school, it was really hot. After a long time I went walking after dropping him to school. To avoid heat, I didn’t waste time in school chatting with other moms. Right after dropping him, I went to walk. Still I came back really burring. Rest of the day was more or less same. I finished a long list of chores.

Can you find me out?


Tuesday:


Today was National Teacher’s Day. I kept the gift ready for my son’s grade teacher. But, he was very tardy since he woke up today morning. Each and every moment I had to push him to get things done. In that course, I totally forgot to take the gift. On the top of that I didn’t tell my son that we had to take the gift with us. So, he also couldn’t remind me. When we reached school, I saw gifts on everyone’s hand, then I remembered. Anyway, I had my volunteer duty in the mid morning. So, I took the gift with at that time, and he gave it to his teacher.

Gift for teacher


Wednesday:


One of my friends asked me to sew a bag from old jeans. I always enjoy when my friends ask me to make something for them. After doing all the chores I had one hour. So, I sat down with the bag, I was so engrossed in sewing, that I forgot that I decided to go to thrift store to donate few thing, before going to pick my son from school. When I finished the bag, it was time to pick him up. First I decided to skip that chore, but I had many things to on next day. So, I went there while coming back from my son’s swimming class.

Mr. Man is in action in the backyard


Thursday:


I went to take a walk in the morning. Before going I decided to finish all the chores. So, I was little late. Around 9:15 I went. It was so hot, and scorching, I came back with black tan, tough I put generous amount of sunscreen. Then, today I had lots of shopping to be done. I went to four stores to finish all the shopping. I felt that, I had been traveling on a”Hop-on Hop-off” tourist bus. Lastly when I was in Walmart, it was almost the time to pick my son from school. I yet to pay the money in the counter. I called my best friend to stay for few minutes more for my son. However, I managed to come back home, unload all the shopping, and finally reached the school just in time.

Sudden visitor in our pool

 
Friday: 


Another super busy Friday just went by. At least today I didn’t have volunteer duty in school. Friday morning my son usually goes to school with Mr. Man. So, I was at home the entire morning. I did all the jobs from cooking, cleaning, two loads of laundry. The I sat down to sew one bag. I had been nurturing a style of a bag in my mind for a long time. Though I couldn’t finish it today, but I think I could make it according to my idea. Then I went to pick my son from school. The day yet to be finished. After that we took kiddo to his Kung Fu class. Nope, not the end, still the Costco shopping to be finished. Then, after coming home I could at last sit after putting away the groceries, folding the laundry. The super busy day ended at last.

My flowering succulent


Also don't forget to visit my Etsy shop

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thai style chicken

I’m calling it Thai style chicken, though many of the ingredients of Thai yellow curry are missing in this recipe. I didn’t have lemon grass in kitchen. Also I didn’t use shrimp paste. I neither used oyster sauce nor soy sauce nor fish sauce. In fact I din’t keep fish sauce in my pantry. Somehow I cannot stand the smell of fish sauce, though I love Thai food. I think after cooking the it don’t smell so strong. For me it is difficult use fish sauce, as I cannot stand the strong smell.


My Kaffir lime tree is growing profusely, and the beautiful fresh smell of the leaves tempting me to use them in my cooking. Past few day I was feeling strongly to use the leaves in chicken.  So, I ended up 


One pound boneless skinless chicken(I used thigh meat, you can you great meat also)


One medium sized onion

One  medium sized Tomato

One tbsp. ginger paste

Three-four cloves of garlic

One dry red chili (Optional)

Pinch of turmeric powder

Two tsp. coriander powder

One tsp. cumin powder

One tbsp. lime juice

Two kaffir lime leaves 

Salt to taste

One cup whole milk (if you have coconut milk, that will work better)

Oil for frying 



Wash the boneless chicken, and dry with kitchen towel. Cut it into medium sized pieces, mix with salt,and keep aside. Cut the onion and tomato into big chunk. Peel the garlic cloves. In the pan heat one tbsp of oil into medium. Add onion, tomato, garlic into oil. Slightly sauté , and turn off the stove. In a mixer, put all the sautéed ingredients, along with the ginger paste, coriander powder, cumin powder. Make a fine paste. Heat two tbsp. of oil in a heavy bottomed wok into medium. Add the spice paste, stir it well, cover the wok, and let it cook. Cook the spices about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to avoid scorching on the bottom. When oil starts oozing out from the  spices, add the chicken pieces. Mix well, and let it cook. Do not add water. Cover the wok, and let it cook under low medium heat. Water will ooze out from chicken, and it will cook under its own water. Let it cook about 10-15 minutes. If it starts sticking on the  bottom, scrape it, and add two cups of water, and also the lime juice and salt. Cut the lime leaves into pieces, and add into it. Cover the wok, and let it cook until chicken are fully cooked. Check time to time. If you find chicken is done, then increase the heat to dry up into thick gravy. Lower the heat to low-medium, and add one cup of milk, and cook in low medium heat until desired consistency reaches. After adding milk, do not increase the heat to avoid curdling of milk. 
Serve hot with steaming rice.