Tuesday, June 21, 2011

photo: neem flowers

Some photos of neem flowers and leaves from the old house. Our neem tree was just behind the house and we could see it from the bedroom windows, always beckoning me outside to gather some leaves or flowers for the house.

the appeal of a mini laptop

Ever since the new kind of mini laptops have come out, I've been intrigued. I use my laptop all the time and I love it, but lately, I've not been able to take it with me on any of my trips since it's just too much to carry along with little E's stuff. But, if I had something like one of the new hp mini laptops I wonder if I could have carried one with me in my purse itself. I could then not have such a backlog of mails to get to once I get back home and could send out photos sooner. But on the other hand, this way without a traveling laptop, I get to be completely offline for a while, which is a huge relaxation in itself.

and now time for some reading

I finally got back to doing some reading again this week. It was good to suddenly find that all my work was done and I wasn't dead tired and sleepy, so I sat in bed and read a bit of a book. It was a good feeling, a new feeling and one that I will not take for granted again. Having a child is such an eventful and powerful experience, some might even compare it to going for drug rehab treatment in the sense that it is a bit of a shock, as to how exhausting it actually is, how time-consuming it is, and how you really have no time for yourself. But best and more surprisingly of all, it's something that one does happily, apart from a few grumpy moments when one has to wake up in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

photo: simple flowers

Something so special and simple about simple blooms of Plumeria, isn't there? I love these flowers and somehow, we've always had a few trees close to each house we've lived in, making it so tempting to have a few in my home.

a fun way to vacation

I've always been keen on traveling the country by road, to take a few months to explore the countryside, to not worry about the last day of the vacation before even the first one has ended. To travel without deadlines has always been my goal, but in this day and age, when one has to take flights and have deadlines, it's just about impossible to do. So, to be able to take a few months off in the summer, rent an rv and just roam the country would be bliss. Traveling by road always involves a good amount of planning, mapping routes, finding hotels to stay on the way, getting a good rv insurance quote to make sure you're not going to be stranded half way on your trip. And then, just to switch off, and enjoy the trip. Wonder when I'll be able to do all this! A few years down the road maybe!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

seeing anew

As with any trip back home, I have a really packed schedule. I try to keep some time for complete relaxation and then time for all my errands too, which I always seem to have so much of. This time was no different as I had tons of things to do, one of which I had been putting off for a while, a visit to get my eyes tested. Well, it wasn't bad at all and my power had just changed slightly, balancing the power out in both my eyes, which earlier was uneven. I decided to get new glasses, nothing too fancy, but more for just a change and having a spare pair. Getting a pair of designer reading glasses is not high on my list of must haves, but if they are comfortable and light and look good too, then why not, right? My new pair isn't used that much anyway, but it is nice to have a good pair of spectacles when one needs them, even if no one besides the husband and baby are seeing them!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

making tax returns not so taxing

Every year in March and April, there are lots of people trying to frantically sort out and submit their tax forms, and each year there are many who fail to meet the deadline. But, did you know that if you are in the military and are stationed outside the US, you may be eligible for a tax extension, beyond the already extended date for military personnel living outside the US. Not many people seem to know that it's a simple procedure to get a tax extension form so that you can meet the extended deadline.

Filing taxes have always been tiring and well, taxing, and so I've always found it left better to the experts, especially if you don't have to pay a ton for them and don't have to trudge to an office across the city with all your bills and receipts. Handling it all online, made it a very do-able option for me, especially when last year's tax information was automatically transferred and your W2 and 1099 forms were imported from a large number of employers. Other great additions in using a tax filing service are taking care of your deductions, alerting you to audit risks and keeping track of donations, all such tiresome aspects of tax returns. With all these extras and more, filing taxes became quite a relaxed experience.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

photos: views of Mussoorie

Some photos from our trip to Mussoorie. This was the second time I'd gone to Mussoorie, and we stayed at the same resort, but in a completely different part of it. I loved exploring the resort this time around too, but took only a few photos, since I had my hands full with my little girl. She's one year old now and really enjoyed the trip too. And I got to see it all afresh through her. It was a wonderful experience.

View from the bedroom

View from the living room towards Dehradun. We had lots of sunshine and good bits of rain and mist as well. A real treat for us coming from Dubai.

Lovely little flowers on the balcony.

There were lots of little areas to sit outside and enjoy the fantastic views.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

an unexpected tourist attraction

The other day we were at the supermarket and every second person seemed to be wearing some kind of fancy name badges or the other, and I wondered what was going on. It turned out that they were part of a group tour and they had specifically come to the grocery store as part of their tour package. I kid you not, it's true! I didn't realise our grocery stores were such an attraction. I must pay more attention to them for more than just being a place where I do my weekly shopping, I suppose!

Yes, I'm back!