Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Apartment

It only took 3 trips and about 6 hours, not counting travel time, and we are moved. Gorark and Dilput did all of the work. I tried to carry some blankets and pillows to the car and they took them from me.

Bopal is a village outside of Ahmedabad. Bopal isn't that far from Ahmedabad except the traffic and roads are terrible. The bungalow is on 2 plots of land and is a really great bungalow. SearchKing is moving the office into Ahmedabad, which means Bob will have to drive from Bopal to Ahmedabad every day. This apartment will be so much closer for him.

The apartment complex is called Signature.

The apartment building has 5 floors and each floor is one tenant. The elevator opens up to a private landing.

The elevator and cleaning peoples entrance.

I finally have a kitchen. I am not sure, but I think Bob is expecting me to do more cooking. Which is OK, because I have a cleaning lady that comes and cleans up after me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Count down to Christmas

29 days till Christmas!

I don' like to brag, but I have my Christmas shopping done! I was coming to India and knew I would be home in time to get the 12 days of Christmas and Christmas present bought and wrapped.

I may add to the gifts when I get home. I will buy extra and those that come to see me will get extra presents.

Twelve Days of Christmas for my 9 Grandchildren. The first day is always a Christmas ornament for their Christmas trees.

12 Days of Christmas

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Inspiring Holidays

The secret to making your holiday inspiring is actually quite simple. Be inspiring yourself. As with any change, you must be the change you want to see in others. But how does that come about? Here are some suggestions:

Stop doing what never worked in the first place
Don't blurt out hidden feelings
Stay out of the box that others want to put you in
Tolerate what is difficult; engage with what is simple
Do one inspired thing, no matter what anyone else thinks

Happy Thanksgiving

Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise… then you will discover the fullness of your life.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey Day India 2009

Every year the Expat's in India have a Thanksgiving dinner. We try to work with the ingredients that we have here to make it is authentic as possible.

This year Marsha and Bill had offered to let us use their flat. It was very nice. Plenty of seats and a great dining room for serving. It was sit up as a guest house. 12 people joined us for the Thanksgiving in India dinner.

We had several shopping trips out to find stuff that we needed. We never did find brown sugar, coconut, marshmellows (what's Thanksgiving without marshmellows on the sweet potatoes) and countless other things.
So the stuffing was made from scratch down to the drying the bread and fresh spices from India. I had 1 box of jiffy corn mix, but at least we had 1. The dressing was awesome.

Marsha a job well done!

I took most of my kitchen over to Marsha's to prepare for our Expat dinner. We worked and laughed all day. We had purchase two turkey's from Mumbia.

Our biggest surprise came when Bill got the turkeys out of the refrigerator.

When Marsha had checked the turkeys a day before the dinner, to see if they had thawed out, she had called and said "They have feet on them".

There are alot of people that eat the feet. So it didn't seem to strange.

So when we went to unpackage them.

Under their wing was their head.

What an unexpected surprise.

We said this is not a "Butterball"!

So we worked on getting the heads and feet removed from the turkey's.

This is a picture of the turkey's before we started cleaning it up ready to cook.

Not alot of fat on this turkey. The skin was tough. We put one turkey into a large toaster oven, and the other we cut and put into a pressure cooker. It didn't matter which one, they were both a little tough.

Bill helped us with the turkey's, so that they looked like normal turkeys like when we get them in the US.

Bill a job well done. You were so much help!

We couldn't have done it without you.

We had plenty of turkey. It was a little tough but it sure tasted good. The menu was Turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, I had shipped over cranberry sauce, so we had all the basics.

The rest of the menu was sweet potato souffle (since no marshmellows), green beans, broccoli, potato salad, deviled eggs, rice, cucumber and tomato salad, hot rolls, I made two pumpkin pies and we made an apple pie.

Bill and I carving the turkeys. It took two of us. One to hold the pan so that it would go off the counter and one to cut.

Stirring the dressing! We had alot of fun preparing this dinner. It was quite a challenge.

Ben Made a Chocolate cake all by himself. He was so proud of that cake. He put the cake in front of him and served every piece.

Vernelle and I taking our own pictures. If you look closely we both have a camera.

And this is the picture.
Everybody said that they enjoyed the dinner. There was nothing spicey or Indian.

Marsha and I are not even getting out of bed today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


We had monkeys. MAMA monkeys.

Each one of the monkey's have a very small baby and there were a lot of very small young monkeys with them.

Look how small that baby is.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just a swingin'

This is how I spend most of my days, sitting on the balcony of the bungalow and swinging!

New Boys - Camden & Ethan

What a great job!

Cade and Camden = Priceless!

Ethan James - 2 Months old = Adorable

Ahmedabad Friends

Going away parties are a norm for Expats in India. Someone is always going somewhere else. Tonight it was Alex's turn.

Alex from the UK is going to Brussels so we had a party for him.

Vernelle from Trinidad and Gsjibert from the Netherlands

Blake from Chicago, John in background also from Chicago and Licia from the Netherlands

St. Kitts

Standing on our balcony at the Marriott at St. Kitts in the Caribbean. My very first island. Atlantic on the side that our hotel was on, where the waves were high, and the Caribbean on the other side (within walking distance) where the water was warm. Such a beautiful place.

Of course we had to put the monkeys on our heads. Devesh, our company's COO and I was at the beach when we found these babies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Traffic Jam

While driving down the road in Ahmedabad India. We had to stop for a train. The traffic consisted of this camel. Notice the camel next to the brand new car. The camel has the right-of-way, so he got to go first across the bridge and over the train tracks.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


With regards to the question, should I stay or should I go…. human nature is to always want what we do not have. As difficult as it may be and as cliché as it may sound, you need to remember that no life is perfect.

Disappointment is an emotion we feel when we do not get the outcome we want or expect. When reality fails to conform to what we think it 'should be', disappointment (often combined with resentment or frustration) rises up within us, sometimes with an intensity that knocks us down hard. As human beings wired to become attached to certain outcomes, we are destined to experience it right throughout the course of our lives. I am reassured that even the most 'enlightened' among us are not immune to emotions such as disappointment. Rather they have just learnt how not to let those emotions take hold.

As I work through disappointment, I am called to deepen my faith - in the belief that everything is exactly as it should be (even though that is not always how I want it to be), in myself and in my own resourcefulness. It also calls me to listen more closely to my own intuition and to trust that within every disappointment lies the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. I just have to find it. You just have to find it.

But I have great faith that his character, in his resilience and in his ability to deal with other disappointments that may line his path through life will be strengthened because of it. Just as it serves we ‘grown ups' not to get our way all the time, so too it is good for our children to learn how to pick themselves up after a fall and press on despite a setback.

I think the harshest disappointments are those that occur due to the actions of specific people in our lives. People we expect a lot from, people we trust to act kindly, people we assume will be honest. But expecting those around us to always respond with wisdom, generosity, good judgement, thoughtfulness, or humility is setting ourselves up for disappointment. Just as our ego sometimes gets the better of us, so too others fall prey to theirs. Our disappointment can be eased when we realize that no matter how hard our efforts, how high our expectations or how desperate our hopes, we can never force the world to submit to our idea of how it should be nor force people to behave a certain way.

Likewise, we can never expect life to always unfold a certain way - for our good deeds to be recognized, for our generosity to be returned, for our honesty to be rewarded, or our courage to be recognized.

All you can ever do, in the face of the disappointments that life brings your way is to step forward into each day, into each new challenge (however unexpected, unfair or daunting) with trust in yourself, faith in your future and arms open wide to each and every experience that life brings your way. Life can only ever be lived in the moment. We are missing the boat when we spend our days stuck in regret and resentment about what happened yesterday or in fear and anxiety about what might happen tomorrow.

Right now, in this moment, trust that you are exactly where you need to be and that precious lessons on wisdom, courage, faith and self-trust are waiting on you to be uncovered. And for those who you are disappointed in, know that they have their own lessons to learn and that ultimately, what goes around will come around.

I encourage you to breathe deeply into this moment. Really deeply. Go on, do it. Right to the bottom of your stomach, and as you breathe out, let go your anxiety about the future and any disappointments of the past. Rather just give today the best you have - for all that it is, and for all that it isn't.

Life can only be lived forward. What happened (or didn't happen) yesterday, and what might (or might not!) happen tomorrow pale into significance compared to how you choose to live your life today. Disappointments, setbacks, mistakes, unfulfilled expectations, dashed hopes... they are all part of the rich tapestry that is your life, and my life. Don't wish them away. You would not enjoy all the wonderful things in your life half as much without them.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Life is Short!

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile....


No matter what scales we use, we never know the weight of another person's burden.

Today I just want to cry! Why does things have to be so hard? Those that you respect and love the most are the first to rip your heart apart.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

First Skype

This is Ethan and my first Skype talk, 10,000 miles away. It was awesome to see him, and he is growing up so fast. Can't wait till I can hold him again. It wont be long, time just flies by.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ahmedabad India

This is the 3 gates of Ahmedabad Old City. You just cannot explain the city of Ahmedabad to anybody, but I am going to try in these pictures. Behind these gates is where my wonderful friend Snehal (he calls me his American Mom) lives. His mother and sister own a bangle shop. I have an endless supply of bangles. They have invited us to weddings and have had the honor of attending their father's funeral. An experience that I will treasure the rest of my life.

This is a typical side street in Ahmedabad. Cows ALWAYS have the right of way on any street in Ahmedabad. They each have their own prize set of horns and believe me they OWN this city. Most scooters have at least 3 people on them, Dad driving and child usually standing in front with wife riding side saddle. NO HELMETS!

Ahmedabad is the capital of Gujarat and also known as the “Temple city”. There are many beautiful temple's all over the city. This is Hateesingh Jain Temple built in pure white marble.

This is a herd of farm Donkey's moving thru the streets of Ahmedabad. Donkey's are used for carrying bricks and other heavy loads. They tie a rope between their front and back legs just long enough for them to walk, so that they do not run off.

Elephants actually walk pretty fast down the streets! Most of them are painted and have the right of way anywhere they go.

Camel's pulling thier carts with product are found everywhere on the street with all the traffic.

God is watching!

There was a basket of apples sitting on the table.

The sign next to the apples said:
"Take only one apple, God is watching!"

Next to it was a bowl of chocolates.

The sign next to the chocolates said:
"Take all you want, God is watching the apples!"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Party

We had an Expat Halloween party, we call came dressed as American's. We meet at Little Italy. We all had 4 appetizers, each person had a dinner entree and 6 dessert and the whole total for 10 people was 4,845Rupees. Which comes to $103.00USD, $10 per person. Food is so cheap here.

We all went back to our Bungalow for beer. There was Bill and Marsha from Dallas, Ron, Jim and Don from South Carolina (they are working on the LARGEST electricaly plant in the world), Dave and Eva from California (grant for herb product), Burt and Mesha from the Netherlands (OK they weren't from American, you caught me.) Burt is going to school, Reasa and her son Ben from North Carolina (her husband is programing here for a very large bank), and then US.

There was alot of great conversations, it is tough to listen to them all, but we had a really good time.