unplugging

Three months back, I was a person who incessantly tethered to smart phones and  always carry mobile to bed.  Checking upon social network apps ( like whatzapp, viber and Facebook)  had become part of my bedtime routine.  Some days , I used to watch TV serial from  mobile. I go to bed early but I kept myself awake by fiddling with the phone. Usually, I shut off my mobile when its past midnight or my eyes begs for rest.

I have read articles about using smart phones before bedtime can mess with our sleep. Few points that caught my attention are:

  • staring at the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin,  which lets your body know when it’s time to hit the hay. So it becomes harder to fall and stay asleep.
  • People are exposing their eyes to the stream of photons from smartphones that basically tells your brain, ‘Stay awake! It’s not time to go to sleep yet.

If we didn’t sleep for 7 – 8 hours ,it might lead / cause  :

  • impaired memory
  • ability to think for our problem gets challenged
  • hindrance to regular toxin removal process
  • insulin level may increase
  • etc , etc

I wanted to get rid off this habit, so I took only one resolution in this new year – ” I will never fiddle with my Smartphone at my bedtime”. It was not easy to part with my mobile at bedtime. As long as I carried my mobile to my bed , I was tempted to watch a TV serial or check upon messages. Finally I came up with a solution  –  ” Don’t carry smartphones to Bedroom” , I started to put away my phone in our living room or sometimes I’ll plug it outside to get charged. Initial few days, I was allured and felt something was missing, but after few days, I embraced the slumber sooner than before. Since then I have been successfully leaving my mobile outside and never got the urge to check upon my mobile.

Also, I read somewhere that sleeping next to smart phones is not good for health , it produce some toxic effects on our body. To avoid that , we have to take some precautionary measures like switch to airplane mode or shut it off or keep it away in a distant place.

What I gained from keeping my smartphone away…

  1. less trouble in falling asleep
  2. Quality in my sleep improved
  3. feeling active and fresh in the morning
  4. able to rise early in the morning
  5. got rid of cellphone hangover
  6. No worries about the effects caused by sleeping next to cell phone

Apart from these,  when the alarm starts to sound , I have to get out from the bed to turn it off, In a way it helps me to get up on time.

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Back to blogging…

It’s been more than two years that I have blogged. For my come back post, I was pondering on what to write, hmm What’s better than a brief write-up about the happenings of my inactive blogging years. The most important thing, that made me to take a break from writing was my second pregnancy, on 2015 Jan 1st I was confirmed with my second pregnancy,few weeks later I was struck with terrible nausea, my body craved for complete rest, after my second trimester nausea subsided. My first son started going to Preschool.  On Sept 8th 2015 we are blessed again with a charming son  and  finally I can say my family is being completed.  My two sons makes me to push my limit (both in positive and negative ways 🙂 ) , they  redefined  happiness in a way that I have never thought about, they challenge my cooking skills, they helped me to unleash my dancing and singing talents. I could go on and on …, May be I’ll write more about my motherhood journey in one of my blog post.

When I got some free time, I started to watch TV and  ended up in binge watching few TV serials like White collar, Drop Dead Diva, Once upon a time, Person of Interest etc. Now, I got rid off binge watching habit, I have restricted myself to limited TV time. That’s when I realized it will be good to make myself involved in blogging rather than watching TV.  Besides, writing clarifies my thoughts. So here I am, embarked once again in writing journey, I Promised to myself that I should never stop writing , Going forward I have targeted at least one post per week in my blog.

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Apple picking

This post was residing in my draft for almost 2 months, thought of publishing it now 🙂

I love apples and I strongly believe “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” :). Last year (2013), we had plans to go for apple picking but we couldn’t make it.  So this year, I was very firm to visit at least 1 apple orchard and  hand-pick some apples. Finally , On October 18, 2014, for the first time we went for Apple picking. As anticipated my son enjoyed a lot. It was his day, he was picking few apples for us. That was really sweet , on the flip side , he was throwing away few apples too :(. On the whole we had great fun.  Based on my experience,  I wanted to share few guidelines about Apple Picking: (hope it will be helpful in the next year)

When to go? Apple picking starts from September and it will end by October. We went at the end of season , so couldn’t get a chance to visit more farms, only few were open . Also , very limited varieties were available. If you are planning for Apple Picking , then I would suggest the right time would be end of September.

Tips to pick perfect apples We went to an organic farm, a person who works in that farm shared few tips :

  1. If you see apples that were eaten by snails or  worms, then that tree has most sweetest apples.
  2. Pluck the apples from outer layer of the tree. Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples at the outside of the tree will ripen first.
  3. More the brighter the color more sweeter it will taste. This will work for Fuji,
  4. Pick firm and bruise free apples.

By Products related to apple: In most of the farms ,apart from apples they sell Apple butter, Apple jam, Apple turnover (my favorite), Apple cider, Apple pie, Apple juice, Apple pops etc.

Farms we Visited  1) Clear view orchards Organic farm : For “Pick your own” apples they had 2 varieties Fuji and Granny Smith.  In their sale shop you can find already picked apples, squash, honey, pumpkins and few other vegetables too. They also sell apple by products like Apple turn over, apple juice, apple pops, apple jam.  I fell in love with their Apple turnover, it had the right quantity of spice, so fresh and the taste was really awesome. Also their apple juice tasted really good. They have placed picnic tables near their sale shop. They also have a small play area for kids with swings and sea-saw or teeter board. Near their front entrance,  You can find two perfect spots for clicking some memorable snaps: 1. cute board(caterpillar in the apple) 2. a nice bench with hay cushion , surrounded by very attractive flower baskets. This farm is the right place for picnic. Heard, next year they are planning to sell apple butter too.

2) Gizdich Ranch –  “Pick Yourself” apple season was closed when we went. Presume ‘U pick’ ends by October 1st week. If you go on Saturdays, then you can watch their Juice pressing crews in action, But its open to public from 8 a.m to 11 a.m, unfortunately we arrived at the ranch little late, so couldn’t  watch the juice pressing. They have a nice barn where kids can play , also a perfect place to sit and eat your home-made food. If you didn’t get food from home, no probs you can try some pies from their deli shop, they sell so many varieties of pies. You can buy a piece or a whole pie. They have a sale shop where they sell their juice, apples and apple by products. I liked their Ollaberry & Apple juice.  They also has an antique shop.

Advantages about Apple Picking

  1. It will be wax free.
  2. You can pick the size you want. My hubby prefers small apples , so we picked small size apples for him.
  3. You can taste the apple and decide whether to pick more apples from that particular variety.
  4. It will be a great fun-filled family picnic.

We are planning to go next year too, hopefully next year we get to pick more varieties of apple :).

 

 

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oct 29 2014

Oct 29, 2014 -> My Bday . Unlike previous Birth days , this year bday was quite different and made me to realize that I  have become a matured person (guess maturity comes along with age ha ha) :). I was so serene when my hubby couldn’t spend more time with me(I myself surprised about my attitude shift) , he is loaded with work, besides he has also signed up for a “Hackathon event” in his office.   Few days before my bday, He took me out for shopping and bought me a skirt and top.  On my Bday, Morning My 2yr old son sang “Happy bday to you” , It was very cute. :). My hubby took care of our son and he gave me a break for a while from my regular mom duties – that was the greatest gift for me.  Then he went to work around 10.30 a.m.

Evening , we went to a temple. Then, my hubby took us out to a Burmese restaurant  “MOH Kitchen ” for dinner.  It was small, descent and pretty clean restaurant. Veg. food tasted really good there. My hubby requested  the restaurant  waiter  to place a candle on top of the Dessert, Unfortunately they didn’t have any candles and also I overheard their conversation 🙂 . After our dinner , my hubby took me to a nearest bakery, I felt little odd and apprehensive to choose my own bday cake. Then, my hubby dropped us home and he went out . When he returned, he carried a small cake and a candle on its top, It was 10.45 PM my bday almost over, I was little mad , amazingly I didn’t fight or argue with him but I denied to cut the cake , I told my son to cut the cake on my behalf.  But , later I felt bad for it. So, the next day, I told my hubby that I will cut the cake (thank god, my hubby kept the cake in the refrigerator) and finally we had the cake cut :). 7 years back,  on my bday ( My 1st bday after our marriage), my hubby didn’t wish me exactly @ 12.00 a.m, I was very upset , I fought for that nearly 2 hours with him :),Since then , my hubby never forgets to wish me @ 12.00 :).

With respect to my friends, I got so many wishes in Facebook, Viber, Whatzapp, Some messages were really surprising :). Big thanks for all the wishes. But, I got hardly 3 phone calls from my friends. I wondered,  my friends those who wish me over phone every year, didn’t call me this year. Hmm, guess they are too busy with their life. or May be , as technical communication grows , personal interaction getting reduced . Whatever be the reason , I was happy that I got at least text messages from them . one of my friend gifted me in advance (2 weeks before my bday) a cozy hand bag . As usual I got a phone call from my little sister ,  every year she wishes me @ sharp 12.00 a.m, so sweet of her.

Regarding my last year bday resolution,  I was able to accomplish the following  1)Avoid junk foods 2) let go of expectations 3) cook other cuisines  (so far attempted Thai dessert and pasta)  4) Be organized.  I am really happy that I was able to execute at least 4 resolutions out of 10.

My this year bday resolution / bucket list :

  1. Loose weight  (at least 10 pounds).
  2. Learn to get rid off driving fear and drive alone frequently. Got to drive long distance trip.
  3. Learn to be straight forward at the same time be diplomatic ( should not hesitate to let out my opinion.)
  4. Go for skydiving
  5. Learn to cook other cuisine foods
  6. Wake up early(I fail in this every year, lets see whether I can make it this time)
  7.  Exercise regularly
  8. Got to organize an adventurous “Camping”
  9. Improve communication skill (especially when it comes to talking)
  10. Be more organized ( when compare to last year, I got better but still got to improve ).
  11. Socialize more and make new friends.
  12. Blog frequently.

Hopefully by next bday I would have fulfilled all of my resolutions.

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word to the wise…

I wanted to share few messages/lessons that  I have gleaned from my past and also inherited  from the books that I read:

  1. Never assume about other person decision/opinion, better ask them, let it directly come from the respective individuals .
  2. Never argue with someone when you are hungry (it applies to our loved ones too). when our stomach is empty , our patience will go for a toss.  Better take a break rather than arguing 🙂 . Like the Ad says, You are not yourself , when you are hungry. It’s so true from my experience. 🙂
  3. Learn to say “NO”, Think twice or thrice before saying ‘Yes’ to anyone , Don’t blindly say “Yes”.
  4. It’s really hard to satisfy everyone. If you feel, what you did was right(remove ego out of equation) then ignore, on the other hand, your inner voice says “oops, Wrong”, then don’t hesitate to apologize.
  5. Avoid saying “Sorry” unnecessarily. I used to say sorry for everything but after reading an article forwarded by my close friend, I have reduced unnecessary apologies.
  6. It’s really hard to change someone the way we want. But , its comparatively easy to change ourself.
  7. Try to set right expectation from the right person/ situation. In other words Don’t expect apple from orange trees.
  8. Avoid being judgmental. In other words don’t label someone before you get to know them very well and try to be open-minded .
  9. Advise someone only if they seek for it.
  10. Words are more powerful, let the words uttered from your mouth be great-positive  words rather than bad rude words.

 

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Nostalgia…

Long back I have happened to read a forwarded message about childhood memories, while reading it, I was smiling and my childhood memories flashed in my mind too. So I wanted to share my unforgettable childhood memories.

When I was small…

  1. Me and my cousins compete each other in climbing trees, we try to climb as high as possible (yes , we were following our great great ancestors).
  2. Whenever I play  carom , kalangai (a game we play using pebbles or gravel stones), if I am about to lose, immediately I end the game by shuffling and throwing away the carom coins or pebbles :), I don’t want to lose heheee. :), Later I get scoldings from my cousins and sister 🙂
  3. During rainy days, We make a paper boat and make it sail in the puddle formed due to  rain. We follow our paper boat and enjoyed getting drenched in the rain. Later I get scoldings from my grandma for getting wet.
  4. When power goes off, we(me, my mom, aunt, cousins) play kho-kho in the moon light.
  5. When I was in 6th grade, I was more intrigued about cross-pollination taught in my botany class , I wanted to experiment it , so I prepared a potion – by mixing pollens of two plant with water and injected them in my moms favorite plant and later found them dead :).
  6. When I was eight , I got a new-born puppy from my neighbor and wanted to raise it secretly. My secret got reveled  in couple of hours or so, then I was asked to return the puppy. I felt sad when I gave back the puppy. (At present, I am very scared of dogs, big story :))
  7. When I was seven, we found a wounded cuckoo lying on the ground , me and my cousins took some leaf,  tried to squeeze and get some juice (like we saw in a famous Rajini movie), But we couldn’t get any juice from our bare hands , so we used a stone to grind the leaf and finally applied the leaf paste in cuckoo’s  wound , hoping it will heal the wound (movie effect :))
  8. When, one of my friend told, Ink comes from tree, I believed it. Funniest part, I searched for the tree which produce ink :).
  9. At one summer vacation, me and my cousins prepared Kootan-Choru, told my cousin we can add some greens . Instead of edible greens I added some other leaf :), next day everyone faced the relevant consequence 🙂
  10. We enjoy dropping flowers in a Dilapidated Well, and just to watch its fanning motion.
  11. At night, Dozed off by counting stars in the sky.
  12. Wondered why I couldn’t see anything when lights went off….. (countless memories to list)

Childhood days , always the best part and cherishable memory in our life. When we were a child we always dream to grow up, but now I wish to go back to my childhood days and be a child again. Impossible!! Hmm Then??  Unleash the inner child within us and bring back all the lively nature when we were a child.  once again be curios, lively and be a happy child.  🙂

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The Reunion..

After fifteen years I met one of my school friend ‘Divya’.  Last week, she sent a message in Facebook about her vacation in Sunnyvale. so I invited her to my home and we got a chance to meet each other after 15 years. Our reunion was really great , we spoke about other school friends, family and  wonderful old memories. It was very nostalgic for a while. Divya took a vacation,  just to take a break and also to meet all her bay area friends. She has an intriguing and interesting hobby – ” To reconnect with friends”.  I still remember that perplexing day, when I got a call from Divya around august 2011. I wondered and asked her how she found my number after 13 years. She told all about her detective work that she did to find me.

After my 12th grade graduation, I was not in contact with my school friends, During my school days, no e-mail Id’s. I only had their land line phone numbers, Presume I would have lost it somewhere. Tatz it, my connection with my school friends were lost. Since then I am not in touch with any of my school mates.  Also none of my school mates studied college with me. Divya and my other school friend Meenal, they tried to find me in social networking sites and they couldn’t. Coz I changed my last name after my marriage . Both of them did  some sleuthing work about me and found a common friend jasmine , From jasmine they got details about my hubby (his name and where he works), Divya Sought help of another school friend who is also my hubby’s Colleague and  got my hubby’s official e-mail Id. Daringly Divya sent a mail to my hubby explaining about our friendship and asked my contact number. Finally she got my mobile number and called me during august 2011. OMG,  when she finished telling about  how she got my number, I was really stunned and amused,  “someone searched me all these years!!!”, and they took so much effort to reconnect with me!!!.  Wow!!! Awesome!!!.

A big thanks to Divya. Because of her, I was able to connect with other school friends too. Since 2011, we were connected Via Facebook and finally we met in July 2014 :)I am not an active user in Facebook or other social networking sites, after meeting Divya, I told myself at least I should update my page once in a while so that others will know what’s happening in my life. Also,  I should blog frequently :).

Divya inspired me a lot. Especially her hobby -> “search old friend and stay in touch with them” triggered me to call some of my college friends. Also I sent few friend request to some of my school friends in Facebook.  Considering her past detective work (done to find me),  I named her Sherlock Holmes :). At present, she is in the process of finding one more school friend – Sri Devi. :). Good luck to my beloved friend Divya, hopefully she will find Sri Devi  too as she found me. 🙂

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