Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Thoughts - From a Seventy-Year-Old! - December 30, 2014

I've just been reminiscing,
About great New Year's past,
I would dance the night away,
And have a merry blast!

I'd party hearty with my friends,
Raise my voice in "Old Lang Syne,"
And join the happy, rowdy bunch,
In a midnight conga line!

I'd wear a slinky, sparkly dress,
And heels, the six-inch kind,
And cleavage showing far too much,
Sexy BUT refined!

I'd see the New Year's sunrise,
Not ready yet for sleep,
And resolutions weren't for me,
Promises I'd never keep!

I'm lucky now to be awake,
When the New Year saunters in,
One martini and I'm asleep,
Much to my chagrin.

I'd love to find a partner,
To hold me while we dance,
He'd need strong arms and back,
Forget about romance!

I keep my cleavage covered,
Saggy boobs are best that way,
I do admit to vanity,
In covering up my gray!

I make one resolution,
To try to keep life fun,
To cherish those I've grown to love,
Till my New Year's days are done.

None of us can know, for sure,
When our sojourn here will end,
I'm grateful for God's gifts to me,
For each and every friend.

I wish my lovely family,
And friends both far and near,
Health, love and happiness,
In the coming year.

Carmen Henesy
December 30, 2014

Copyright Carmen M Henesy, December 30, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's About Time! - December 21, 2014

Good grief, I know folks are wondering if I disappeared from the face of the earth!  I
arrived home from India, more than a little weary, on the 3rd of December, after a 
change of planes in Amsterdam and Seattle.  All the flights were completely full so,
needless to say, it was a very tiring journey - almost 30 hours total time en route.  
That shows you how much I love India!!!  I've made that trip now eight times now in
three years and I will return May 5th.

Much to my delight, my West Sacramento family was there to greet me at the airport,
minus the two granddogs.  Harper Ann may have been briefed on "Nana's" arrival and,
even if she didn't exactly remember me, she said my name clearly and took to me
immediately - or was it the Santa bunny I'd picked up at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport
that did the trick?

Once home, the granddogs went into a frenzy when I walked in the door ( they ALWAYS
know me ).  I quickly took the heavenly glass of California red wine my daughter-in-law 
offered and the hours of jet travel melted away.  I do love India but, thus far, their wines
just can't compare to those in my home state, price-wise and otherwise.

Much to my dismay, I could not find my US attachment for my India purchased Lenovo
computer.  I immediately ordered one from Amazon but it was nearly a week until it 
arrived.  Funny how bereft one can feel without a computer to use.  Even with my fancy
Samsung Note 3 phone, I didn't feel adequate electronically to do my blog.

I have really been enjoying Harper who has learned so much in the five months
I have been gone.  She is quite the chatterbox and is so bright, learning words in
both Spanish and English ( both my younger sons graduated from high school 
with high honors in English ).  I am fairly fluent in Spanish myself so, with her
Spanish story books and all this early learning, she will be well on her way when
she begins school.  I am amazed at how much she knows for just 20-months.  She
is so cute as she wanders about the house, reciting in her sing song voice, :"Mommy,
Daddy, Nene, Bap Bap, Nana, Taffy, Bucky."

The dogs love her and have been her constant companions she she came home
from the hospital.  She can pull ears and tails without a protest from them and
they lie contentdly near her as she plays.  Taffy MUST be in her room as she goes
to sleep for naps and nighttime.

We went out for Italian food one night with my oldest son, Shawn, who just had
his 44th birthday on December 17th,  Harper enjoyed playing with the dough they 
brought out for her.  I forgot to recharge my phone so flash pictures weren't 
possible, much to my disappointment.  

Future Round Table employee

Middle son, Alex, 31, on left - Oldest son, Shawn, 44, on right

Nana, Harper, and Laura

I've only been to San Francisco one day, for three medical appointments, in one of 
our torrential rain storms.  Sacramento is only 100 miles from San Francisco and I
left at 4:30AM for my 10AM appointment, knowing there would be rush hour traffic
beginning soon.  I was not prepared to be four long, tedious hours on the freeway,
however.  What a nightmare.  All I could think, though, was, thank heavens, I wasn't
driving in Mumbai!!!!

After my doctor's appointment ( only thing wrong was that my blood pressure was
elevated - doc thinks it is because I am in so much pain - all my arthritic joint pain is
so much worse in this colder weather! ), I went to one of my old favorite haunts, American
Sushi House, for lunch.  I've been eating there since it opened and Bruce Lee ( not
of the marital arts fame but far more important to me ) welcomed me warmly.  I had
my usual bento lunch, raw oysters and a spicy tuna roll, with sake, of course.

From there, I went to my favorite Thai restaurant, Manivanh, near San Francisco
General Hospital, where I've eaten at least a thousand times and where the "Carmen's
Special" appears on the menu.  The Doungpanya family are like my own and are a
treasure to all of us who have worked at the General, especially to the forensic nurse
group.  I especially was thrilled because the 3rd of their four daughters had come in
to bring her baby, Taylor, to meet me.  It was a joyful reunion and I ended up staying
to have a late second lunch with the family, an incredible catfish dish.  Over fifteen
years, I've shared quite a few of their family meals and they are always very special.

As it turned out, I ended up sleeping the night on the floor in the restaurant.  Neither of 
the two hostels where I usually stay had any vacancies and Nang was staying over to
do late food prep for the next day so she invited me to camp out with her.  After my
exhausting morning drive, I slept like a baby!!!

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of little Taylor with her mom, Ann, or papa, 
San but she seems perfectly content with her grandpa, Sam, and grandma, Nang.

Tuesday, I saw my dentist and my optometrist, then went to the Ritz Carlton for the
evening performance of my beloved Sony and Jerry Holland.  The two are now 
performing five nights a week in San Francisco!  How I wish I weren't a hundred
miles away!  At least, they are no longer living in Los Angeles.  I can't tell you what
a joy it is to see and hear them.  They brighten any rainy night and, usually, there
are a few old friends present of the fan club so it's always like "old home" week..  I
was so weary, though, that I was dozing off and on during some of the sweet 

So, now Christmas is just a few days away and I'm determined to finish Harper's
stocking which I began last year.  Felled by my kidney stones ( or one of them ) the
week before Christmas, I didn't complete it.  Alex is teasing me that he isn't expecting
it till she's eighteen - heaven's, I fear I'll be a speck of dirt by that time.  No, I must have
it done for Santa THIS Christmas.

It will be a nice holiday for me.  I haven't seen my youngest son yet.  He was away on 
vacation for ten days but, Christmas, all three boys will be here.  

I hope you will have your loved ones close to you, in happiness and good health.

Lots of love and good wishes from my home to yours.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jaipur Cow - November 28, 2014

Cows wander the streets freely in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. This fellow seemed to be taking a rest against this orange brick wall.

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Thank You Every Day, Not Just on Thanksgiving - November 27, 2014

Who says we need one special day,
To let our thanks be known?
I find it best to often.
Make sure my gratitude is shown.

Of course, it's nice to gather,
With a special chosen group,
To feast on turkey and great food,
From appetizers down to soup.

But why not do it frequently,
On an ordinary day?
Just to show  our cherished ones,
Turkey's not the only way.

I really am most thankful,
For my loved ones far away,
But I'm thankful, too, to visit,
In  what once was called Bombay.

I won't have a bit of turkey,
While offering special thanks,
But you can rest assured,
I won't feast on beans and franks.

I'm grateful I can travel,
Then go home to the U. S. A.,
To spend time with my family,
And friends who share my way.

I'm thankful that my aches and pain,
Are not so very bad,
I really am much luckier,
Than many friends I've had.

Whatever destiny may hold for me,
I really can't complain,
For, except for a little here and there,
I'd do it all again.

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Carmen Henesy
Nov 27, 2014

The Ibis Mumbai Airport - Mumbai, India - November 27,2014

Ibis Mumbai Airport is termed a "budget" property.
I discovered it during my second stay in India during
my retirement years.  To be truthful, prior to that, 
during my nursing employment when I often traveled
with three or four of my esteemed forensic friends and
colleagues, we would never consider anything with
the term "budget" attached to it.  Our Royal Caribbean
friends on board the Monarch of the Seas gave us the
title of "Queens" and that name stuck.  We would 
usually pick a posh property, book a suite which we
could afford if we shared, and travel like queens.  

Well, reality hit when retirement came and I suddenly
had to live on a pension and social security.  As a 
traveler all my life, I would either have to make adjustments
or stop seeing the world.  I immediately downsized,
giving up the rented four bedroom house I had occupied
for over twenty years and got rid of most of my belongings. 
I put the things with which I couldn't part in a 10' by
20' storage unit and started coming to India.

Occasionally, I found I needed a hotel for the night in
Mumbai where hotel properties border on the expensive.
After a most horrific experience at one hotel, I decided I
needed to do some research.  After all, I had been an
outside sales travel agent for years, I was fairly proficient
with the computer, and I was a long term Trip Adviser
member.  I got to work and my research led me to the
Ibis Mumbai Airport.  Good, it was near the domestic
airport and I wanted a place that was in that locale for
my trips here and there about India.  Price-wise, it was 
perfect and I liked everything else I read.

The Ibis Mumbai Airport is located 2 minutes from the
domestic airport in Mumbai and 1 km from the international
airport.  It has 159 rooms, either consisting of one
double bed or two single beds, with an attached bathroom, 
WiFi, and an excellent restaurant, Spice It, that offers
individual dining selections as well as sumptiuous buffets.

The Ibis Mumbai Airport is a member of the Accor Hotels

Weekdays, it seems filled with business travelers, while
weekends, usually at a lower rate, attract families.

I have found hotel staff to be friendly and helpful and the 
rooms are spotlessly clean.  The beds, with incredible 
mattresses, are some of the most comfortable I have
experienced.  The rooms and baths are not very large but,
as this is a budget property, mainly used by business 
travelers, I did not expect a suite!  They are quite adequate
for my purposes.

For much more extensive information about the property,
refer to the Ibis Mumbai Airport website at:

Two of the wonderful Ibis Spice It staff.  24-hour room 
service is available from the restaurant and buffets are 
offered at breakfast and dinner.  The special Thursday night
buffets, which feature various regions of India, are not to be

There are always multiple veg and non veg choices at every
meal and, of course, one can always order off the menu.  If
I look at the buffet, though, I can never resist it.

The Kerala evening buffet was especially wonderful.  I wish
I could remember the names of everything I ate because many of the selections I had never tried before.

I usually indulge in a vodka martini but there are assorted other cocktails ( nice cosmopolitan ), alcoholic, beverages, beer, wine and mocktails as well.  Of course, water, soft drinks, coffee and chai are always available.

The main problem I have is that my eyes are bigger than my stomach.  I've learned to take tiny tastes, planning to go back for more later.  Trouble is, once I've finished all the "tastes," 
I am too full even for dessert.

I am also including a few other pictures from the Ibis Mumbai 

The wonderful bed!

Desk work area in room

The lobby bar area

The wonderful front desk staff

Community lobby computer station

I have stayed at four other properties in the domestic airport
area.  I can recommend Ibis Mumbai Airport if you are in the
market for a reasonably priced budget hotel, with an excellent restaurant, and don't require luxury accommodations at a luxury price.

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GPS: N 19° 5' 47.51'' E 72° 51' 11.9

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Challenge: Architecture - The Leaning Tower of Pisa - November 20, 2014


I have been fortunate to visit this structure, the Leaning Tower of Pisa,
on three occasions.  I am always in awe of its incredible beauty.  It is the freestanding
campanile or, bell tower, of the cathedral of Pisa, and was constructed over a period of
199 years. 

During construction, it began to tilt because of an inadequate foundation of ground too soft
to support its weight. Efforts in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries have stabilized it and
partially corrected the tilt.



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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sundays in My City - Homeward Bound in Seventeen Days: I Love You

Coastal Scene Near Pacifica, California

Well, really, it's hard to say where home is nowadays. I have spent about as much time in India as I have in California over the last three years.  If I could establish some sort of
residency, open a bank account, and get health insurance, I would actually live here most of the time and go home twice a year for two months.  Why? Mainly because it is affordable .. and I like this country. I have so many friends here, from youngsters to people my age, get very reasonable massage, can die here without spending a fortune for cremation and departure from this earth and they have some amazing, reasonably priced hospitals as well.  I can eat inexpensively, find someone to clean, cook, wash and iron for barely a dent
in my retirement income and participate in any number
of wonderful festivals that take place.  

The downside, of course, is that my three sons live in
California and so does my daughter-in-love, Laura, and my sweet granddaughter, Harper Ann,and the two granddogs.  In spite of Skype,not one of them seems predisposed to stay in touch with me that way - though, when I am in the U.S., my Indian friends always keep in touch  via those modalities or Viber, We Chat, etc.  I am a woman of the internet. Air fare is costly between the two countries, often $1000+ round trip and it is a long journey, sometimes 25 to 30 hours.

Jal Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

I've been very pensive the last week or so, acknowledging
that I am aging and may not be able to continue to keep up this international travel forever.  Words for a poem came to mind so here it is.

I Love You

The days rush by too quickly,
Minutes go so fast.
Those we love pass through our lives, 
The treasured times don't last.

Do we pause to cherish them,
While we have the chance?
Or does God take them from us,
While we look askance?

Three simple words, "I love you,"
Are not so hard to say,
We may feel them very often,
But not say them day by day.

I often feel the anguish of a friend,
And his overwhelming pain,
At the death of one most cherished,
And words cannot be said again.

The world would be much happier,
If we'd take time, now and then,
To tell our loved ones how we feel,
From family to special friend.

Carmen Henesy
November 12, 2014

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