Posts Tagged ‘st louis’

KTB’s first recipe, 271114

December 3, 2014

While in Florida, KTB’s mother says, “she wrote a wonderful recipe at Thanksgiving that I wanted to share. She did this entirely on her own, and we applauded her effort and the whole family got to exclaim. This was her longest single writing effort, and we were thrilled at the confidence level that allowed her to get through a full effort like this, which is a level of focus we haven’t observed before….This translation should help.”

By Kavya:
Get the pot. Pat the pot.
Put the batter and mix
the batter. Put caramel apples
And a regular apple in it
And put a little bit of
sugar, then mix it and add
Honey if you want.

aa pat the pot 271114

Smiles and tears

November 12, 2014

Usually, they work well together…
The mind and the heart
Go their different ways.
The mind calmly accepts
That all is well, and that
Technology can keep me in touch.
But the heart
Pines, and longs, and yearns…
Reason crinkles the eyes in a smile;
Emotion squeezes tears out of them.

November 12, 2014

Home to home, the journey took 41 hours. Very tiring; and though I managed to get an empty seat next to myself on both the long journeys (Detroit to Paris, and Paris to Bangalore), there was a lot of turbulence, bad service, terrible food (especially Paris to Bangalore, which is an Air France flight) and noisy co-passengers, so jet lag is still killing me. So I’m alternating the sights I captured with the chores I am doing.

F-15 manourvres, at St Louis airport, 051114


Checking in:

Over St Louis:


Also, the minute I come home, I realize how many things have broken down, been disconnected, and so son….I have to rush around setting things right.

Sunset at Detroit airport.


Detroit Airport.


A sample list:

I crossed 60 on Oct 23, while I was in the US. This means that my driving licence, an important document, expired. I have to apply for a renewal within 30 days of its expiry, and the Regional Transport Office seems to have increased, not decreased, the paperwork involved. It took me 3 days to complete the paperwork, and I am now hoping that the new driving licence will be delivered properly at home by Registered Post (I do not know what will happen if I am away from home at the time the postman comes.)

Ready to leave American soil:


Windows where the faceless travellers sit:

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I had not booked a gas cylinder for the past 180 days, so, instead of praising my lack of consumption, Indane (the gas agency) locks my consumer account. I have to go there in person, twice, with a request letter, a proof of my address and id (a xerox copy of my passport pages.) Now it will take 15 days for the cylinder to be delivered, and I’d better be at home, they won’t tell me the exact date and time when it will be delivered.

The moon reflected in the lake over Detroit:



My printer cartridge ink has dried up after 5 months of not being used, and I’ve decided to buy a new printer (I won the old one about 10 years ago in a quiz competition, so it’s run its useful life.)

Something burning in Paris:


The UPS (Uninterrupted Power Service), the inverter that charges the batteries and gives me electrical power in the flat when the power is shut down, is not working. I have to call two people for this: One, the UPS company and two, the battery company, and make sure all systems are OK.

Flight in the morning mist:


I had put my electrical bills on ECS (Electronic Clearance Service) just to prevent the power getting shut off while I was not around. And yet, some lineman from BESCOM (the Govt power company) shut off the power to my flat, and it was my maid who gave him money out of her pocket and got the electricity restored after 5 days. I am still not sure how and why BESCOME did this to me, and charged me Rs.1600 when I have no arrears.

The Seine, over Paris:


Over Iran:


My cell phone died exactly 7 months after I bought it, and three trips to the repair shop established that I now need to buy a new phone.

As Julie Andrews sang, I was also like the wild geese that fly “with the moon on their wings”:



My cordless telephone at home (landline) is not working, and I need to buy another set. I’m sitting and pricing some models. I prefer to buy from the shop because I want after-sales support in case there is a problem with the product.

Dusk on the wing:


My tenant has vacated the apartment I rent out, but has not yet returned the keys to me. I must organize the paining of the flat and find a new tenant, after undergoing the considerable expense of re-painting the flat. The longer I take, the more I will lose in rental. I need to get the keys and inspect the flat for damage, and so on. She has not paid the rental since June, and I have to make sure I get the money.

Landing at Paris:


Unpacking to be done, too….

Jet lag, missing the Boods so very terribly and running around getting things organized…is it any wonder that I am feeling down and depressed? Long absences are the very devil…

Of course, I managed a butterfly outing and a play, too… I suppose I should’ve slept instead…but didn’t want to be only be Ali Baba doing chaalis chores! Both outing and the play

read about it here

were excellent and worth the effort.

Let me close with my favourite image from the flight, of these ice crystals on my window:


and the ice-mist on the wing as we landed at Paris:


Sight words, and art, 041114

November 5, 2014

A drew “sight words” (words that need not be spelt out but just recognized) in this drawing, and asked KTB to look for them.


Then, of course, KTB had to do the same thing, and ask us to find them!


I think she’s done a wonderful job!

Speaking at the St.Louis Audubon Society Annual Dinner, 011114

November 4, 2014

I was quite thrilled to be invited to speak (with a few photographs and videos) on the topic of “My experiences with birding in St.Louis” at the St. Louis Audubon Society (SLAS)which jcompletes 100 years of existence in 2015.

You can visit their website



Mitch Leachman

the Executive Director, addressing the gathering:


Jean Ponzi


who, along with her husband, Dale, I found very impressive indeed, was the master of ceremonies. Here are Jean and Dale with Anjana:

There was a silent auction, with many goodies available.


My good friend

Danny Brown

had donated this wonderful photograph of a Belted Kingfisher:


Several people, including

Amy Witt


Forest Park Forever

did a lot of hard work to organize the evening:

Several initiatives understaken by the Society were highlighted:


Three of us were asked to be “storytellers”;

I enjoyed

Kim Litzau’s

talk on SLAS’ role in nature education:


Chris Kirmaier spoke about “Bring Conservation Home”, the initiative that Mitch started.

I was the third speaker, and I just told the story of the experience I’ve had with birding in St.Louis.


My final slide featured

Edge Wade,

an incredibly knowledgeable birder, who has also been amazingly helpful to me, and to many others. (Imagine. She’s 70, and she drove over from Columbia, Mo, about 2.5 hours’ drive, to take me birding, and gave me her old edition of the Nat Geo book on American birds, a HUGE treasure for me, and on the November bird walk I met Dane Foxwell to whom she’d given another edition, too!…. Now I am going to take either the Sibley or this book back to India with me.)


I felt very honoured to have been given this opportunity, and whenever I visit St. Louis, I will join as many SLAS outings as I can…as also the first Saturday outings that they organize with Forest Park Forever.

Heartfelt thanks to Anjana, who worked on my photographs, improved the flow of the talk, and provided dynamic tech support while I talked, synchronizing the photos to what I was saying!

Under the Ash tree, 251014

October 31, 2014

Under the Ash tree swing the little one, and I.




The ash tree’s grown so gracefully; the leaves peep at the sky.


Others also take their turn on this quickly-strung-up swing.


Swinging in the cool, crisp weather means joy in everything!

On the surface, and under it

October 31, 2014

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Seems to me
That our lives
Are like streams.
Across the surface, bright, and shiny,
Float the colourful leaves,
Adding bits of beauty.
But it’s what’s underneath
That makes our lives what they are:
The colours of the fishes, dimly glimpsed
As they move with the currents of our thoughts
And shape our ideas, our responses, and our days.
When the water of our life-streams is clear,
Life is happy.
Muddied and murky waters
Cause us trouble, and worry.
I wish all of us could always have
Pretty streams of consciousness.
But happiness, serenity, illness and rough water
Randomly fall to our lots, sometimes.

Little holes in the heart

October 26, 2014

Medical science tells us
That we can, indeed, live
With little holes in the heart
I know this to be true.

Oh, little one,
You just set up a wail
In your sleep;
Then, like a caterpillar,
You climbed into my lap.
And, your tiny body bent into
My legs and knees,
You sleep on.
Your little chest
Moves up and down with the breath
That holds your precious life within
This small body.

Soon, I will leave you
And return home.
You will be a voice heard on the phone;
A few pixels on my laptop screen;
You will no longer be the smell
Of the moisturizer that you spilt
So lavishly this morning
No longer the tender fingers
That so often rub against me
As, in falling asleep,
You move them back and forth
Over my arms.

My love for you will overflow
From these little holes in my heart
That your physical absence, little caterpillar,
Will create, in little shafts
Of missing you unbearably.

And yes, I will live with those holes
In my loving heart:
I will take comfort
That you are growing
Halway across the world,
In a happy home.

You and your elder sister,
Precious to me beyond imagining
Will, once again, be tears
Stinging behind my eyelids
As I struggle to be rational about you
Even as I wish I could be with you forever.

Pumpkin Farm, 191014

October 21, 2014

D and I took the children to a pumpkin farm, while A studied for her exams.


There were pumpkins everywhere, in huge heaps.







I caught some munchkins amongst the pumpkins:








The name of this company is Shaffer and Son!


I enjoyed seeing the Halloween-themed displays:














Such pretty gourds!


We met a few people who had apparently passed on:


The children, of course, had a great time!


Here they are in the “fort”:




Boys will always be rambunctious, and girls will always look on!



Halloween can be a heavy pumpkin!


There were several ticketed rides.



There were a lot of old farm implements, and vehicles, too.





Oooh, Bonnie and Clyde!



I never knew I could find tigers (and that, too, a white tiger!) in Missouri…


I liked the persistence of this sign.


We went home in the setting sun:


This is my favourite picture from the evening. Golden autumn moments of childhood….


click here

for the FB album of photographs.

Here’s wishing those of you who celebrate it, a happy Halloween!


Rock’n’Roll Half-Marathon, 191014

October 21, 2014

This run had a great slogan:


Here’s A…


looking up her name and number:


Here’s the route:


The number of runners was huge:



No doubt about the city!


She met us after she’d finished:


Here’s Team Asha, raising funds for the education of children in India:


Team Asha and Son:


We went to have breakfast:


We also went to a donut shop:


I’d never seen a donut-making machine before!


The children feasted their eyes:


We came back home, celebrating A’s achievement! Here are the numbers if you are interested:

Participant Detail
Anjana Mohan
Saint Louis, MO
Age: 35 | Gender: F
Finished In:
Overall: 1012 out of 6361 Division: 79 out of 693 Gender: 359 out of 4080