Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beautiful Yosemite

This past weekend, we graced Yosemite with our presence. This time, it was not to attempt feats of valor like last year. Instead we did proper touristy stuff like relaxing, sightseeing and taking tons of pictures.

Even the almost incessant drizzle and generally cloudy and cold weather could not quite mask the ethereal beauty of Yosemite. No wonder the national park boasts of some of the most photographed vistas in the world. My camera does not do much justice, still...

One of the views from the famous Tunnel View point

The same view later in the day when the fog and mist had rolled in

The Bridal Veil falls - isn't the scene breathtaking? Trivia: legend goes that if you stare at the Bridal Veil falls for an entire minute without blinking, you will get married within a year (don't know if you will get divorced if you are already married :-P)!

Tipis at the Native Indian museum in the Yosemite visitor center. They look so cute - wonder whether they are as cute to actually live in!

The mandatory sunlight* filtering through trees (albeit giant sequoia trees) snap.
*ok ok - it is hazy alright

The "clothes pin" giant sequoia tree. Apparently a natural forest fire burnt a hole through the trunk. Yup, the resilient tree is still thriving and going strong. And oh, believe it or not, the hole is wide enough for a pick-up truck to drive through!

Snow in Upper Mariposa Grove - it had snowed the previous day there! Needless to say, the trip to Mariposa Grove consisted of a lot of stamping about and shivering in addition to sightseeing!

The venerable Grizzly Giant sequoia tree. This grand dame is a royal 2700 years old!

Bottom line: Yosemite definitely ought to be on your list of must-visit places!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kada kutty*

It is always said that parents never stop being parents. In other words, to parents, their kids are forever trapped in a drooling, squiggle-eyed, gurgling baby time-warp.

I was talking with a friend the other day and she told me that her father had called her up early in the morning that day. It had turned unseasonably cold the previous night and he wanted to remind her to put on her sweater when she left for work. Did I mention? My friend turned 50 just recently.

Though I had heard about this compulsive-parenting phenomenon much earlier, my firsthand experience came about when I was in tenth grade.

Mom, dad and me had gone to visit some temple in South India. When we reached the temple entrance, dad was walking a little ahead while mom and me were lagging behind, admiring the architecture.

As we crossed the threshold of the temple, mom excitedly grabbed my hand and said, "Ooooh Archu! Look, what a huge elephant!" as she pointed out to the token elephant standing at the entrance. "So big, no? How exciting for you!" she continued.

At that point I gave a cold glare and crossly said, "Mummeeeeeee! I am not in kindergarden you know. I know what an elephant looks like. You don't have to point it out to me. I have seen plenty of elephants before in my life!" and stomped off angrily to complain to dad.

I caught up with dad and was just about to start complaining when he excitedly interrupted me, "Oh, here you are. I was looking for you! I wanted to show you the elephant. Did you see it? So big, no?"

Aaaaargh! I am sure the other people in the temple must have thought I was a mentally retarded 14 year old. Unless they were also parents, in which case they must have been too busy pointing out the elephant to their offspring to notice.

Oh well! As I said, parents will be parents!
*kada kutty refers to the last born in a house. Kada kuttys usually get even more babying than their siblings.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The non-hanging garden of my patio.

Swish, swish. There, I just brushed off the last of the dust from the cave I had crawled into for the past few weeks. I have been super-duper busy. Before you roll eyes and go, "Yeah, right", for a change, this is not the usual self-important sounding excuse. I was actually busy. To all the readers (actually make that reader, singular) who worried about me: I am doing fine :-)! Things are now almost back to normal and I am all set to be a glittering part of your lives again. Woohoo or groan, whichever!
'Tis the season to garden. This year I have gotten super ambitious. Yesterday's trip to OSH saw me return with a tomato plant, a yolo pepper plant, mint plants, two different varieties of flowering plants and a big bag of Supersoil. It was only while I was planting that I realized that I did not have enough soil for all the plants. Also, I had two empty pots left even after all the plants had found a home. Some googling also informed me that the pot in which I planted the pepper was too small for it. So much for claiming to be a seasoned gardener.

This morning I remedied the situation by repairing back to OSH and buying additional soil, a bigger pot and some more flowering plants for the empty pots. This is how my patio looks currently.

I solicit all unoccupied fingers you may have to cross them on my garden's behalf and wish for the healthy growth of my plants. Thank you!

Yesterday was also the day when, after a long period of not seeing any water except for the excess water draining from the plant pots, the patio was washed and cleaned. My poor back stands (or rather curves) testimony to that. Groan.

Oh well, anything for my garden.