Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Mellow Yellows and Orange You Glad It's Monday - Bright Yellow Sari and Bangles - September 30, 2013


Well, October 3rd is my 69th birthday and the beginning of my final two months 
in India.  Four months have gone by in a flash.  It seems fitting that my post
for today is of a lovely friend, clad in a gorgeous yellow sari, wearing bangles
and lovely jewelry and with hennaed hands.  The occasion was a special
Hindu holiday, Karva Chauth, when married women fast from sunrise to 
moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands.  And, no, there is
no corresponding holiday when men fast for the safety and longevity of 
their wives!!!




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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday Flash 55 - Help! - September 27 ( in India ), 2013







I wish I had a "know it all",
To help me through my day,
Things seem to be much harder,
As my hair begins to gray.

On the 3rd day of October,
I will turn sixty-nine, 
Who knows what lies ahead,
But I doubt that I will shine!

"I've aches and pains," she complains!

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Thursday 13 - Wonderful Places I've Seen - Septtember 26, 2013


I haven't participated in this meme before but it seems like fun.  Each Thursday,
you pick a theme and list thirteen things about it.  I can do that, I'm sure!

My very first time to participate, I thought I'd write about thirteen wonderful
places I've seen - though I don't have photos with me, here in India, to depict
all of them.

1.     The Taj Mahal in Agra, India - the Unesco World Heritage site which was
         built by Shah Jahan, for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving 
         birth to their 14th child


from Bing Images, domain free

The Taj Mahal

An architectural treasure,
A tribute to true love,
It almost seems to glow,
From a full moon above.

Made of pure white marble,
Mumtaz Mahal lies here,
With Emperor Shah Jahan,
Resting very near.

Such overwhelming beauty,
Reflected in its pool.
Its minarets standing guard,
Over India's treasured jewel.

Built on the River Yumana,
The Taj is an exquisite sight,
Symbolic of love for centuries,
Inspiring poets to write.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2008 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.  


2.     The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, a Buddhist temple in Bangkok,
        Thailand.- he is 15 m high and 47 m long


The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
Bangkok, Thailand

What is that you contemplate
As the crowds go passing through?
You lie in gilded splendor,
With nothing else to do.

Is there meaning to your dreamy face.
Could it be nirvana near?
Can you hear the faithful praying,
As they bow before you here?

Though you lie alone, Wat Pho is filled,
With Buddhas large and small,
A thousand other figures here,
So you are not alone at all.

Your surroundings are exotic,
Chedi graceful and serene,
A vast temple of great beauty,
A never forgotten scene.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright ©  1997 


3.     Iguazu Falls - on the border of Argentina and Brazil, was named as one
        of the winners of "The New Seven Wonders of Nature" - rent "The 
        Mission" with Robert de Niro which shows the splendor of the falls

from Bing Images, domain free

4.     Mysore Palace in Mysore in southern India - the official residence of the 
        Wodeyars who ruled Mysore for over seven centuries



5.  The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy is a freestanding bell tower that
      began to lean during construction.  The ground was too soft on one side
      to support the tower's weight.



6.     The Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji, in Kyoto, Japan is officially named
         Rokuon.  It is a Zen Buddhist temple built in the midst of classical
         gardens with a reflecting pond.  It is part of a World Heritage site.



7.     The Sydney Opera House, in Sydney, Australia is also a World Heritage
         site looking out at Sydney Harbor.  It is a multiple venue site and is one 
         of the world's most famous performing arts centers.


from Bing Images, domain free


8.     Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada, located at
        Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, near Victoria.  It receives over a
        millions visitors a year.

from Bing Images, domain free


9.     The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California is one of the most
         internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco.  The American 
         Society of Civil Engineers named it one of the Wonders of the Modern
         World.  I crossed this bridge, as a visitor from New Orleans when I was
         eighteen.  I'll never forget the thrill I felt - because I feel it every single 
         time I travel over it - and I have hundreds of times in the 35 + years 
         I've lived in the San Francisco area.




10.   Senso-ji is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, located in the Asakusa
         area.  Next to it is a Shinto shrine.



11.    The Byodo-In Buddhist Temple on the island of Oahu in Hawaii is 
          a replica of a 900-year-old temple near Kyoto, Japan.  It is set in
          beautiful gardens, with the Ko'olau Mountains behind.  It has a
          9 foot Buddha and a three ton brass peace bell.  I see it every
          time I am on Oahu since it is in Kaneohe, about fifteen miles from
          Honolulu.

from Bing Images, domain free


12.    La Boquerria - (  Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria )  located on 
          La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain is my favorite of many markets I've
          visited about the world.  The produce and vegetables are so 
          artistically arranged and there are wonderful spots inside to have a
          quick meal of Padron peppers or calamari, or to sip a glass of
          Spanish wine.



13.    The Acropolis of Athens, Greece is an ancient citadel that looks out
          over the city, reminding all of its importance to history and the world.


I have been blessed to travel about much of the world so I could easily do
another post about thirteen wonderful places!!!


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Water World Wednesday, Episode 76, Year 1 - Sea and Sky - September 25, 2013


For most of my childhood and adolescence, I didn't live near an ocean - though summer vacations would often find us on the Gulf of Mexico at Panama City, Destin, and
Pensacola, Florida.  I grew up, literally, on the banks of the Chattahoochee River,
separating Georgia from Alabama in my birthplace of Columbus, Georgia.  Then,
I went away to nursing school at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, with another river
making its presence known - the mighty Mississippi.  

I have always loved the ocean, though, and, from time to time, I would visit Miami
and see the Atlantic.  My move to Boston gave me proximity to the New England
Atlantic coast.  I headed west and found my home on the Pacific, sometimes only
a couple of miles walking distance from my house.  I visited Hawaii and, then,
began cruising, seeing most of the major oceans and seas of the world.  Now,
during my six months in India, I look out my bedroom window and see the 
Arabian Sea.

Long ago, I wrote about about the sea:


The Sea

The sea has many faces,
And many different moods,
From violent raging tempests,
To lucid interludes.

It flows past frozen glaciers,
And laps on palm lined shores,
It touches the Antarctic,
And the Portuguese Azores.

In the depths beneath its surface,
Such beauty you can find,
Abundant wealth and bounty,
Sustenance for all mankind.

It shapes the land adjacent,
Taking years to leave its mark,
Sometimes gentle hills remain,
Or landscapes steep and stark.

The sound of the sea relaxes,
And it casts a magic spell,
It lulls and lures and soothes,
With each rolling, gentle swell.

With a vengeance, it can change,
And wreak destruction in its path,
As if Poseidon, angered,
Lets loose his fearful wrath!

Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved 
Copyright ©  2007 




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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cats on Tuesday & Pets Forever - Eddy, Curious Cat - September 24, 20`3


I have never really been a cat person, preferring pooches myself.  Partly, it's 
because I am allergic to cats.  Their presence makes me end up with a
stuffy nose and, if they climb in my lap and I hold them, I get little itchy bumps
on my arms.  When I had allergy testing done, cats were high on my allergy
scale but bunnies were even worse.  

When I came here to Mumbai and, desperately, needed a place to live, friends
offered their master bedroom with its view of the Arabian Sea.  I didn't hesitate
a minute, so glad to finally have a home.  "The only thing is," my friend told me,
we have four cats."  I told him that wouldn't be a problem. 

Junior, one of the cats is almost invisible, as he is relegated to life in a back 
bedroom.  He was the original cat in the family and he didn't take kindly to two
of the other three as they moved in his space.  He, literally, became an attack
cat!

The others, Tom, Jerry and Eddy have the run of the house ( except for my
room ).  They seem to be quite fond of me and, somehow or other, my cat
allergy seems to have abated quite a bit.  I guess I am becoming desensitized.
I can even pet them as long as I wash my hands right after - and don't touch 
my face.  My stuffy nose remains, with or without cats.

Of all three cats, I find Eddy the most amusing.  He is definitely inquisitive
and that old quote, "curiosity killed the cat" makes me worry about Eddy.
He is aways poking into boxes, bags and, if I type at the dining room table, he
is there checking everything out.  



Here Eddy is visitng with Junior.  It looks like he's telling him a secret.  The 
coloring of the two cats is similar.  It's nice that they get along so Junior can
have a visitor once in awhile.



This is Jerry.  I always get a kick out of them sleeping and lying on their backs!



Eddy loves to poke around in the hard pkastic wrap in which my bottles of 
water are packaged.  It's not the clingy type so he's safe to do that.  He'll 
wander in the opening at either end and amuse himself for quite some time.



After he plays, he finds a comfy spot for a cat nap.  His positions are hysterical.



If I am at my computer on the dining room table, he simply MUST investigate.



"Now, what exactly is this thing?"  He investigates thoroughly.



Next, he goes after my USB camera connection.



When I start to pull it away, he makes a grab for it!



"Wait a minute...there are some other things here that look interesting..."



'There must be something wrong with Carmen's eyes.  She keeps calling
this thing a mouse and it definitely is NOT a mouse."



"It doesn't smell like a mouse or taste like a mouse - but Carmen must love
it more than she does me....she is always holding it!!"

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Sundays in My City - A Lengthy Lunch at the Salt Water Cafe - September 23, 2012


The Santos family of Sahar Village in Mumbai is like family to me.  During my
first stay in India - four months - I lived with Odelio, Lorna, Nick, Jake and, last
but not least, Skip, the family pooch.  I can't believe I've only been to see them
once during this stay - partly because I'm quite a distance away and, with
Nick and Lorna's work schedule and Jake's school and studies, there is not
a lot of time.  My "nephew", Nick, has been working in Dubai.

Happily for me, he is home for a couple of months before starting a new job in
Dubai.  He and his good friend, Snedan, came to have lunch with me 
yesterday at the Salt Water Cafe, my favorite Bandra West restaurant.

We ate and laughed and talked and, before we knew it, we'd been at the 
Salt Water for three hours.  It was so much fun, though, and it delights me
that two young men would take the time to come and hang out with their 
"aunty".

We shared three excellent appetizers and three desserts but each ordered
our own entree.  On the weekends, during certain hours, there is a cocktail
special for 999 rupees ( about $16 ) - quite an assortment and, as far as I
know, it is unlimited.  Since drinks are pretty pricey at the Salt Water, I chose 
to do the special &, four drinks later, I felt I had my money's worth. 

As always, the food and cocktails were excellent and, in spite of the fact
that the restaurant was filled to the gills, we got superb service.  

I laughed and told Nick and Snedan that we had come a long way from our
first outing together when I had just moved to Mumbai - an afternoon of 
several fancy concoctions at Hagen Daas.

Before Nick heads back to Dubai in Novemger, we're going to try another
place about which I've heard good things - Global Fusion.





While I waited for the boys, I went ahead and ordered appetizers so they 
wouldn't have to wait.  All of them were wonderful.  We had a huge plate of
assorted vegetables in an olive oil ( one of the best olive oils I've ever tasted ),
with green and black olives.  There was also cheese on the platter with the 
artichoke hearts, eggplant, zucchini and yellow summer squash.



Nick arrived, wearing a Monarch of the Seas t-shirt which brought tears to my eyes!



This was a delicious polenta crusted chicken with a spicy sauce which I've had
on several occasions.  The only new dish, for me, of the three appetizers was
a wonderful calamari and prawns, not breaded, with lemon and coriander in the
marinade.  I could easily have eaten a second one of those!



While the boys drank Budweiser, I had my second vodka drink, a very yummy and 
spicy bloody Mary.  



Nick Santos and Snaeddan Keppler Vaz



In a tribute to my Southern roots, I decided to have a bourbon mint julep.  The
bartender really is good as this tasted right on a par with that at the Brown
Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.



Snaeddan ordered lamb shanks - something I've always wanted to try since
I love lamb.  They don't look as good as those I've had on Royal Caribbean
ships, though.  I had a beef tenderloin burger on a whole wheat bun with
Brie - yummy.  I love their lamb burger, too - and once I ordered the "Almighty
Burger", a HUGE concoction with two beef tenderloin burgers, cheese, egg,
and some other things.  You can't get your mouth over it, though.  I had to
cut it in four sections!  Nick chose a chicken dish which he seemed to eat 
with delight.



My final cocktail on my drink tour was tequila - a delicious margarita.  I'll
tell you, Salt Water does an excellent job with their cocktails.  They have
some speciality drinks, too, 


All three of the dessert trio were delicious but my favorite is the chocolate
bomb ( I think that's what it's called ).  Once you put your spoon into it,
warm chocolate syrup oozes out.  A scoop of raspberry sorbet accompanies
it.  Definitely worth the calories!





This coffee creme brulee was so yummy.  Of course, creme brulee is at
the top of my favorite desserts list.  



Our third dessert was cheesecake...nice but just cheesecake, as far as I'm concerned.
I've certainly had better, including my pumpkin cheesecake I make at Thanksgiving.
Nick said he had never eaten cheesecake before.  I wonder how anyone, even in
India, reaches his 21st birthday without having tasted cheesecake!



As we got ready to leave, we had a waiter take another picture of us.  I am 
sure I had a couple more pounds on my frame than when I entered Salt Water.
I am really not losing weight this India visit, what with regular, delicious meals
cooked by my wonderful housemates - I'll just be happy if I don't gain any
weight!

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I haven't visited her in quite some time and I love
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday Photo Hunting - Books - September 21, 1013


There were many traumas associated with San Franciso's massive cuts to
the Department of Public Health in early 2009.  My 21-year forensic nursing
position came to a crashing halt and, at 64, I retired.  My pension and 
social security weren't nearly adequate enough to stay in my home of 14
years.  I finally thought, "I'll live part of my time in India so I can see old friends
and live less expensively than in the Bay area.  It killed me, though, to part 
with so many belongings ( my boys always called my treasures "junk" but
they were precious to me.  I had hundreds of books - and 500 cookbooks.
I had to go through everything before I sent it off to Goodwill or gave it
away, hence, twice I rebooked my India flight, with a penalty.

Here are just some of the books that are no longer in my possession.
Hardest of all was discarding all my forensic books, conference notes,
and the like.  I just couldn't ( and still don't ) accept that my, profession of
almost fifty years, was over.













These boxes are merely a fraction to which I bade farewell.  The few I kept have
been in a foggy storage unit and are probably not worth keeping now.  


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