Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall Colours at the Peninsula State Park

Last month, to enjoy the fall colors we went to Peninsula State Park in Wisconsin. It is one of the best scenic drives that we enjoyed so far. Since the park is 4 and a half hours drive from our place, we started at around 6 o'clock in the morning.

We like to drive in the morning a lot. Nice to see the world waking up, the sun rise, sun rays flashing in between the colorful trees. Oh God, nature is so beautiful, can't describe it in simple words. I captured a little through my lens.


In this trip, I drove the car for an hour. I am comfortable driving at 45 to 50 mph on state roads byut having to drive at 70mph on the interstate was a  bit scary. Still enjoyed the drive and the fall colors. By 11 'o clock we reached the park and took bicycle for rent to roam around the park.




This is my dream America. Oh yes, in my dreams I have always imagined America with lots of trees, big farms, small wood house, single lane road, big long trees in different colors on the sides, me and my loved one riding bicycle, enjoying the chilly breeze and the crystal clear lake... You all know, how I would have enjoyed this place.








The whole day I had lots of fun, bought a nice earring as a souvenir...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deepavali Celebration at home

As soon as we get the New Year calender, the first thing we look is for our Birthday and the next thing is obviously Deepavali. If anybody is saying No, they are fooling themselves. Ok, it doesn't matter whether you agree or not, the point is Deepavali. It is always fun.

Deepavali, always a big celebration at our home. It starts two days before the deepavali day and lasts till the next day. Since we all three, me,my Sister and my brother stayed away from our parents, we try to make sure that we come home a day earlier and help mom in bakshanam preparation. As I mentioned in my earlier post my mom will do lots and lots of sweets and savouries we all sit and help her. The actual fun part is that for us. We all sit and talk more about our works, friends, cracks joke, sometime get motherly scolding also :)) All for good...


The day before deepavali is the actual pandigai for us. My mom will cook a big feast for dinner. My dad will fill the water tank and tubs with water, also keep Chandhanam and Kumkum as a ritual. I still don't know actual reason behind it May be since we are getting early in the morning around 4.00 am, we should not disturb others, like running the motor or draw water from the well and make any screeching noise.

Our ancestors were great, they made some unwritten laws to follow which are very good to us till today.
Getting up early on deepvali day, taking a nice herbal oil bath, greeting people, going to temple, enjoying the crackers, sharing the joy by exchanging sweets, lighting up the whole house.Oops, I forgot to mention one main thing its Deepavali Legiyam or Marunthu. This is one of the finest thing our ancestors passed to us.

On Deepavali day, after having nice oil bath, the first thing my mom give to all is a spoonful of Legiyam. When we were kids, we hesitate to eat , so she will give our favorite sweet in another hand. Even now nothing has changed in our house. I missing them a lot...

Now a days, I don't see anybody enjoying like this. Everybody is addicted only to Television and buy sweets from outside . All the channels compete with each others and airing all new films, some talk shows with somebody, in the name of debates one will make fun out of his wife and mom in public. Its like everybody is tied up with TV. Thank God, we are not gone that bad.

I am praying God that this should change. People should spend time with family and friends, other than watching TV crap. Wish they should enjoy the Deepavali as we enjoyed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A week out in a Farm

Back into my world... HGTV and Food Network. Shows are running back to back in TV and I m with my laptop. What to say friends, past two months I had a very good time with my in-laws. After having our lunch we three used to sit and watch our great epics Mahabaratham, Ramayanam aired in our great Doordharshan. Celebrated few festivals, cooked lot new dishes...Oh, those days were memorable good days. Now, me and my husband are little bored in weekends. Since the weather is changing dramatically, we dropped our weekend trail plans which we were doing earlier in the summer.

A week ago, one of my friend suggested about Apple picking. So we planned our trip to a farm on a nice warm Sunday. After many days we went out for a drive about 50 miles from our place. Excitement caught both of us, I was asking many questions to my husband. I was dreaming me picking apples from the trees. On our way we enjoyed the fall colours in small towns.

When we reached the farm, we were utterly disappointed to see the information board. 'Corn maze, fun activities for children, Pumpkin patch are open. Sorry, No apple picking'. Yet, we had a great time there. Come, let me show you how we enjoyed.

Took a maze challenge and entered inside a corn maze. It was a real challenge to us. Though we had a map of the corn maze, it was confusing a lot. First time inside corn field. Had good fun.

Also went to Pumpkin patch and plugged a nice big butter squash fresh from the field.

Had a fresh caramel apple at their cute little store and came home happily with a bag of fresh honey crisp apples. How these apples turned into a more edible form my husband is the story for another day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend outing after a long gap

We spent the weekend visiting Chicago downtown with our in-laws. This trip was special for us as we were unable to go out anywhere for the past 20 days. My mother in-law has the arthritis in her knees, so we decided not to strain her much. It was for this reason that she initially refused to come US and it was only after great persuasion that my in-laws accepted to come here. That too under some conditions, only to be with us and not to go much outing or sight seeing.

Remember, I mentioned in my earlier post that we are going to give them a surprise by taking them to the one of the tallest buildings in the world, 'Willis Tower'. While we were going I was telling them about the skyscrapers, difference between the suburbs and the cities, about the great Michigan lake and its Lake shore. That time she was only nodding, but understood the fact, once we entered the city loop.

My mother in-law was speechless seeing the high skyscrapers. We parked the car few blocks away from the Willis Tower and we walked down the streets towards it. At last, reached the 103 floor in a minute, my in-laws were so happy, to see the breath taking view of the city. The city looked full of lights, as if somebody sprinkled thousands of the lights from above.  


After seeing this spectacular view, the very first thing she told me was "You both enjoy the life here many more years and come India later" She couldn't believe that we were in 103rd floor. After few minutes, I took them to the glass balcony, extending 4 feet out from the main building, giving an illusion as if we are in the mid air 1353 feet above from the ground level.  They were so thrilled to see the city from the mid air.

After spending an hours time in the Willis Tower we started back to home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Varalakshmi Pooja and Avani Avittam

Last Friday, we celebrated Varalakshmi pooja here in Chicago. This is the first pooja after my wedding, last year I did Varalakshmi Pooja but didn't have Amman face with me. This time, my in-laws brought all the things required for the Nombu and Avani Avittam.

At my home, we all like this Pooja a lot. Maybe because this marks the start of the festival season.
My sister and Mom make Garlands for Devi using all kind of flowers. Also they will stitch 'Jadai' with flowers, specially with Thazham poo for Amman. My sister's kolams would light up our home. My active part in all these things was very minimal, I don't like to spoil their good work.
Here me and my mother in-law did everything. Though I missed my home a little, still everything was good. We did the pooja in a grand way.
Didn't miss out anything for Prasadam. Initially I struggled a little to complete this whole menu, after a while by Swamiji's blessing and Devi's Grace everything turned out well. In the evening we invited some of our neighbours to take Thambulam.

On Tuesday, we celebrated Avani Avittam also.
My husband's friend Sudharshan also joined us. My father in-law recited the slogam and they both followed him, since both were in hurry to go office, they both misspelled the slogams. It was hilarious to see both. They both were like school kiddos, copied each other actions. Somehow they managed and hurried to office.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Month of Fun

For the past one month I am enjoying a lot with my in-laws. Daily cooking and eating a lot :)) If I step on a weighing machine hope the pointer will show the extreme point in its scale.
In my earlier post I have been telling you the places which I visited along with my in-laws. This is also a continuation of it.

One Saturday we went to Lake Geneva, a small resort town in Wisconsin, exactly an hours drive from our place. The day before the picnic, I did my all time favorite oats cookies for the trip. Luckily, the weather was on our side and it was a nice sunny day. After going around the town a couple of times we managed to find a parking near a park. After having our lunch in the car, we went to lake shore for a Boat ride.

My in-laws enjoyed every moment.

After an hour boat ride, we both played a while in the park and started back to home.

On Sunday, we went to a park nearby our place, called Busse Woods forest preserve. A surprise awaited their for them. We took them for a short hike in one of the park's hiking trails. My mother in-law  

As you can see below in the photo the trail runs through some pretty dense woods. It took some convincing to get my mother in-law on to the trails

More things are there to share with you all. Will meet you in my next post.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Days with my inlaws

From the day my in-laws landed in Chicago, me and my husband trying our best to keep them engaged and entertained. Making them not to feel bored or to miss any reality shows which featuring almost in all channels now a days.

Daily we go to a lake near by our place for a walk, couple of days we enjoyed a moon lite walk also. They are enjoying a noise less, pollution less, fresh air here.

First weekend, we took them to a Balaji temple in Lemont, which is 50 miles away from our place. We planned our drive to the temple in such a way that we just touch the Downtown loop. They were so happy and amazed to see the sky lines. Since I always like Sears tower, I was overwhelmed and started telling many incidents we enjoyed near the tower and all places. Shhhh.... secret, we are planning to take them for 102nd Floor in sears tower, we didn't tell them yet.

Sears tower in the background, A nice click from my father in-law.

One evening we took them to another beautiful small lake. Along with them we enjoyed a superb sunset in the lake front.

Another weekend, Guru poornima day, we all went to Chinmaya mission and attended a Pooja and went to a temple.

Apart from the outing in the evening and weekends, we are having a good time at home in the day time. Daily we all watch Mahabaratham in YouTube. We talk about our Swamiji and His preachings.

Also I am cooking different new dishes at home and entertaining them with healthy and tasty foods. Want to know what I am doing ?, pls visit Preethibhojan where I am updating all the new recipes which I am trying and surprising my in-laws.

We are not taking only to the temples in the weekend, will update you more in my nest post.