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So Many Wonderful Tomorrows

By November 7, 2017 Memes, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing

Once upon a time

your tiny kicks,

like bubbling whispers

inside,

danced upon my heart.

Soon no longer a dream,

your first breath

on my cheek

made me blissful

indeed.

Today, your giggles, your grins

cue answering

sparkly shimmery

smiles.

Tomorrow’s beauty is next.

There is so much a little girl can do – waiting to see what the tomorrows bring!! For dVersePoet’s Quadrille #44, where the word to be used this week is ‘kick’.

I can read this too - says my little girl

My little girl at age 2 1/2 letting us know she can read the map at Great America park:)

 

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13 Interesting Facts About Spooky Creepy Halloween Handpicked For You

By October 26, 2017 Uncategorized

My daughter came to me sometime back to get my feedback on a poem she is writing for her Language Arts class at school – using Maya Angelou’s ‘Life Doesn’t Frighten me at all’ (and I discovered a wonderful poem and Maya Angelou’s recitation of that poem as a result). As we read my daughter’s poems, she commented that she had not realized earlier how scary Mother Goose poems sound (for example, Rock-a-Bye Baby). To read some of these scary poems, you can check out this link here and Literati Pulps’s scary poems to read for Halloween.

From Mother Goose’s scary poems and the Grimms Brothers Fairy Tales to clowns scaring people across cities in the world today and the various true stranger danger news everyday, we have come a long way.  With all the scary clowns, clown costumes and masks are banned in my kids’ schools along with a few other type of costumes. So I am looking forward to trick-or-treating with my kids with the added assurance that we will not be running into scary clowns (hopefully) in our neighborhoods!! But there is more to Halloween than trick-or-treating and here are 13 ghoul-picked weird facts for you..

1. Halloween’s origins are in the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain celebrated over 2000 years ago.

2. Halloween is short for Hallow’s Eve (the day before All Hallows Day/Holy Day) on November 1st

3. Some people have samhainophobia (fear of Halloween)…

4. Trick-or-treating itself owes its beginnings to the practice known as mumming or guising, where people disguised in costumes went door-to-door singing songs and dancing in exchange for food

5. Mumming and guising might have had their origins in another custom called ‘souling’, where people (mostly poor children) went door to door, offering prayers for the departed in exchange for soul cakes.

6. Jack-o-lanterns were originally made of turnips. Pumpkins are a much later addition

By Toby Ord (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

7. The name Jack-o-lantern also has an interesting history. According to Irish folklore, Jack tricked the devil one too many times and was denied entry into heaven because of that. But since he had already made a bargain with the devil that Satan cannot claim his soul, he ends up in the in-between and he made himself a lantern with a piece of coal the devil threw at him, and has been roaming ever since.

8. Apple bobbing or dunking as a Halloween game started in Ireland and England in the 17th – 20th centuries. 

9. Chocolate candies top the list of popular Halloween candies and an article has Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at #1 on the list.

10. Halloween is the second most commercially successful festival in the US (not Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day), after Christmas (the sheer amount of candy sold itself helps! and then there are the costumes and Halloween parties!!)

11. Some of the other similar customs that are celebrated around the world include Day of the Dead in Mexico, Dziady in Poland, Ghost Festival in China, and Calan Gaeaf in Wales.

12. The movie Halloween re-purposed William Shatner’s Star Trek’s mask, as they were on a shoestring budget, and that was the cheapest mask they could find.

13.  World War II caused sugar rationing, which impacted trick-or-treating for a few years.

Do you have any interesting facts or stories to share about Halloween? Do let me know. 

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Tuesday Memes

By October 25, 2017 Uncategorized

For Ruby Tuesday, a glimpse into the beautiful truck art of India via paper crafts you can make at home using printables or templates shipped to you. You can check out my blog about it here.

For Top Ten Tuesday, today’s top ten is about titles. Book titles and covers do matter – it is like love (or not) at first sight, or first impressions matter, or something similar. There are many a times that I tend to turn to the back of the book and read the blurb even before looking at the title/cover for this reason (who knows what gem I missed or the opposite because of first impressions!). Some titles make me fall in love with the book, others that are over-the-top that still make me curious enough to read the book, and still others are so cringeworthy that they make me decide instantly not to read the book. Today’s list mainly includes the first two categories – that I loved or was curious about. 
  1. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss – How could I not love this title? Well, nothing more to say there actually! Yet to read it fully though this book has made an appearance in previous Top 10 lists.
  2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – The straightforward creepiness of this title made me read it, and of course, it is by Agatha Christie. I loved this book
  3. A Book about Absolutely Nothing. by I.M. Nobody
  4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – This intrigued me and I picked it up from a library sale based solely on its title – it is in my TBR.
  5. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson – everything? Condensed into this book. Again, like #4, I got it at a sale, and have read it in bits and pieces of the everything so far. 
  6. Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past by Lesley M.M. Blume – This is a book on my bedside and I open random pages to read up about words, forgotten-yet-delightful!
  7. Inside Out & Back Again By Lai, Thanhha – This was a delight to read and an eye-opener too, about refugees, immigrants, and their hardships. 
  8. How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life by Kaavya Viswanathan – Another book picked up at the library sale because of the title!! Later discovered the controversy around it – on my TBR still.
  9. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente – Isn’t this title just delightful? Bringing fairies and girls who make their own ships and travel the world all together..
  10. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama  – This was a book I enjoyed reading – light-hearted and endearing…Never got around to reviewing it though.

an additional one, because Indian truck art is something I have loved always and found this while looking for books to read for the same:


So what book titles have caught your attention? (or not :)) let me know….
For First Chapter, First Paragraph and for Teaser Tuesday, here are glimpses from the book that I started reading today (a chick flick after a while!). The book is ‘When Dimple Met Rishi‘ by Sandhya Menon. 
For First Chapter, First Paragraph at BibliophileByTheSea
Chapter 1 
Dimple
Dimple couldn’t stop smiling. It was like two invisible puppeteers, standing stage left and stage right, were yanking on strings to lift up the corners of her mouth.
For Teaser Tuesday over at The Purple Booker:
The girl glanced down at the flower, and then up at him again. She nodded solemnly, like she understood the gravity of this moment. She wouldn’t tattle. 
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Sunday …

By October 23, 2017 Uncategorized

For Sunday Whirlings (whirl of words above), Twiglet # 46 (my first attempt, so not sure how I met the prompt),and for UBC as well as Write 31 Days
Still Holding…
’twas the middle of the night,
actually, almost two, alright!!
A light drizzle pitter-pattered
me to sleep….
Soon, dreams milled, chattered,
shared a bit or two of gossip..
You know, I was king of the hill
Wore a ruby-trimmed crown
Sat on my throne until…
….a knock and a pound
they followed each other;
blinded by the light, i woke
muttering to myself, oh brother
something sticky i found, was it yolk?!
But I – was still king of the hill
even if just in my dreams!!
 – Vidya T
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Patience – the secret to good food.

By October 22, 2017 Uncategorized
This hawk epitomized patience! I first saw this hawk as I stepped out to do my chaperone duty – dropping off my daughter at dance class earlier this week. He was so still even as I walked closer to where he sat on the cable wires up top. On seeing me approach, he just stared down at me. I took a quick snap with my cell phone which is what I had then and drove away. He was still there when I got back, and then again even later when it was time to pick her up – since hubby dear did the pickup, I was free to get my camera out and take a few more snaps. I am sharing this one with you here. Barely a minute after this snap, he flew away – towards what he had been waiting for – two little birds that had been inside another tree – that is where he was looking at above, had finally flown out of there and he swooped down towards one of them – he was too fast for me to catch that in action (though I have with his back to me as he got ready to fly – that one is below). But patience definitely paid off for him..
Signing in for my Saturday Snapshot with photos this week and for Six Word Saturday ; as well as the UBC and the Write 31 Days Challenge

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Five Ways to Have Fun Together

By October 21, 2017 Uncategorized

Life often gets in the way of living, and loving, and having fun with loved ones. When that happens, here are a few ideas to add oodles of fun into your day.

  • Create a paracosm (new word learned this week). Wikipedia says ‘paracosm is a detailed imaginary world. Paracosms are thought generally to originate in childhood and to have one or numerous creators. ….which may incorporate real-world or imaginary characters and conventions. ……having its own geography, history, and language, …….. that can last into adulthood.’
    • Building a detailed, imaginary world with your loved ones makes it a unique bonding experience and might help you discover something about them you did not know before! I know that having the
      kids tell stories or even retell stories I made up for them has made me marvel at how they viewed the story I told them.
    • You could then draw and illustrate the imaginary worlds you come up with and have fun activity #2 below! Some famous examples of paracosms – Narnia, Middle Earth, Wonderland, and so many more.

 

  • Pick up a pencil and lay it down to paper: Let your imagination loose and draw your ideas – you can doodle, zentangle, or illustrate your dreams (keeping a dream diary will aid this!). You can find other cool ideas for drawing with imagination in this wonderful book – Keys to Drawing with Imagination by Bert Dodson -I am totally in love with this book currently (and need to renew it once more). Or you could simply
    color in one of the many available coloring books that are the rage today.

    • How to make this a family activity?
      Each of you could color in the same page (print copies of the page) and see how each one turns out – not a competition but more to see the differences! Or let your imagination loose together!
    • Below are zentangles made by me and my daughter sometime back.

ZentangleZentangle

  • Step outside
    • You could take a hike together – at different times of the day maybe, a new moon night without a torch (have one just in case) and let your eyes adjust to the darkness – it will be fun (we enjoyed it when we did it a while ago!);
    • You could play hopscotch together – have the kids teach you their versions and teach them your childhood versions of hopscotch;
    • Play some other outdoor games or go to the neighborhood park and play there (when was the last time you climbed on the play structure or went down a slide)

 

  • Create new traditions – I started watching Seinfeld when I moved to the US, and Kramer was pretty soon my favorite character. His over the top goofiness seems just, well, normal and when I saw the first episode where Festivus was mentioned, I immediately thought – that is truly cool!
    • So go ahead and create your own Festivus – new traditions that are attached to something important to your family, or even to random events (maybe do a specific thing everytime a specific event occurs, regardless of when it does -eg: great success for anyone in the family – grades/work/contests etc – have a
      picnic with food choices from all in the family); and name that tradition to make it more fun!

 

  • You name it and we will do it – Have any one person (maybe the birthday boy or girl/or pick randomly) suggest an activity they would love to do and do it together (minus any devices if possible).  Whenever I
    ask my DD, we will invariably end up with a new dish (most likely, some baked goodies) after an hour or so! And with my son, we might end up reading a book together or building some new DIY thingama jigger he is building.  If left to me, we might wind up with paper and pencil, or on our feet – dancing.Dance to fun songs while singing them out loud (I wonder how stars perform on stage while singing and dancing… doing
    both together has definitely left me breathless halfway through itself! and I am not even performing, just doing some random moves following JustDance or exercise dance videos on YouTube)
What are some unique ways you have fun with family/friends/loved ones? Do let me know – always looking for new fun things to do…
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Thursday Thirteen

By October 19, 2017 Uncategorized

Thirteen things to know about Mr. Subramanyan Chandrasekhar

Image courtesy: Google Doodle – Oct 18-19 2017

1. He was the first astrophysicist to win the Nobel Prize for Physics. He won the Nobel Prize in 1983 along with William Fowler on their theory of the evolution of stars.
2. His was the second Nobel Prize in his family – his uncle, Sir. C. V. Raman won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.
3. The Chandrasekhar limit is named after him (it is the maximum mass of a white dwarf star)
4. NASA named one of it’s four ‘Great Observatories’ after him – the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The other three are the Hubble Space Telescope, the Comptom Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
5. American astronomer Carl Sagan studied mathematics under him at the University of Chicago.
6. The Government of India awarded a scholarship so he could pursue studies at the University of Cambridge. The Chandrasekhar Limit was born during his journey from India to Cambridge!
7. He was admitted to the prestigious Born’s Institute in Gottingen, Germany (where other famous physicists such as Niels Bohr, Heisenberg have studied).
8. His range of fields is wide and his love for learning and teaching led him to everything from study stellar structure to white dwarf stars. 
9. Chandrasekhar wrote a readable and condensed version of Isaac Newton’s Principia to make it accessible to common readers
10. Systematization – Chandrasekhar’s underlying prime motive for his work was systematization and his desire to participate in the progress of different fields of science to the best of his ability. About this, he wrote – “What a scientist tries to do essentially is to select a certain domain, a certain aspect, or a certain detail, and see if that takes its appropriate place in a general scheme which has form and coherence; and, if not, to seek further information which would help him to do that.”
According to the freedictionary – Systematize means – To put into a system; arrange according to a plan or scheme: “The aim of science is surely to amass and systematize knowledge” (V. Gordon Childe)
11. He was invited to join the Manhattan Project that built the atom bomb but delays from FBI to give him security clearance  for the same stalled his inclusion.
12. Family – He was one of ten children, his family pursued learning and encouraged him to follow his dreams. His mother, for example, translated into Tamil, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House.
13. The Google doodle is honoring him on the occasion of his 107th birthday on the 19th of October 2017 with an illustration of him and the Chandrasekhar Limit  in 28 countries. – image above

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O is for October Festivities

By October 18, 2017 Uncategorized
A few days have slipped past without me realizing it at all. Spending time with family and friends during this wonderful, warmth filled festival of lights, Diwali, makes time go by so fast 🙂 Here is my post for day 18 of UBC  (should I play catch up on posts?, will definitely try to catch up on commenting on other posts though) and for ABC Wednesday’s letter O as well as an attempt to work on the dVerse prompt (will try once more!)



October Festivities

Nature seems to celebrate
with colors of fall so bright
Dressed in autumnal glory
All around a visual delight
Homes across too celebrate
with twinkling lights, candles too
As festivities warm the hearts
We say
         – Happy Diwali to You
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Blur….

By October 15, 2017 Uncategorized
Saturday went by in a blur.
Photo taken by me at the local high school Marching Band Expo last week, my son is in his school’s marching band and plays the trumpet. This was part of the performance of another high school in the expo. Each performance was amazing and unique, and it was wonderful to watch our young ones be a part of something so beautiful!
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Friday the 13th

By October 15, 2017 Uncategorized
Friday the 13th

What
does 
happen
on Friday
scare people so much?

-@Vidya Tiru (@LadyInReadVT)
A Fibonacci poem for my Day 13 post..  (on Saturday, Day 14, barely that too!)

Image Courtesy: dogonews
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