Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black and White

This week is formal over at I Heart Faces. It is "Black and White" week!

I love black and white photography. Almost all of the pictures of my kids that are actually framed and displayed in our home are in B&W. I think they are so classic and timeless. This week I entered pictures of my sweet girl and my sweet Dad!

I can't wait to see all the entries. Go check it out!

The Slumdog Celebration

I have no idea how the Oscars played out in the States this year. I won't hear the Monday morning quarterbacking or post mortem of who wore what. I will tell you that it was a very, very big deal for South Asians, most notably Indians.

The large Indian broadcaster that we can watch here in Nepal had advertised that they would show the Oscars live at 6:30 am with a prime time reprise that evening. Rooting for Slumdog I was up in my jammies and turned on the TV. Nothing, nada, nic, niet - no Oscars and no explanation. While surfing to see if I had just made some mistake I happened on Indian CNN. There was NO OTHER story the whole day other than to learn the fate of Slumdog Millionaire at the Academy Awards. They had a split screen with scenes from the movie running on one side and interviews with various second cousins once removed of anyone who had anything to do with the movie on the other. The ticker running across the bottom of the screen would give you the latest updates from inside the Kodak Theatre.

Needless to say Slumdog Millionaire (which I did see here and loved) cleaned up. Cities and towns all across India erupted in cheers. It doesn't matter that the producers and director were not Indian. They felt that somehow Indian cinema had been given a global audience and been deemed worthy. The jubilation! The slums of Mumbai were nonstop fodder for the newsmen. I know it was just entertainment - not "real" news - but watching it play out was fascinating. In a part of the world where religious and caste discrimination have historically played out in a dramatic fashion, the idea that disparate groups would coalesce around a movie is remarkable to me.

So for the underdogs, true love and those who just wish for better .... Jai Ho!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Boudha with Baboo

Boudha is one of those places I rarely go to but lots of people we know here spend a lot of time there. Like most Buddhist temples it is clean and quiet. When you enter the stupa area you circumambulate clockwise - spinning prayer wheels if you are a devotee. There are no monkeys to harrass you and a bevy of shops and teahouses have grown up around the stupa to cater to those who visit. It is a nice little change of pace so one morning Baboo and I went for a little visit.

(I also wanted to check out some of the Tibetan furniture - shhhhh).

Prayer flags - you can see the Tibetan writing on them.

The Stupa.

Baboo - taking it in.

More prayer flags.

And finally, a little Tibetan boy.

We all should be tourists wherever we live sometimes!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Oh happy day .... lookie here!

It is "wonder" week at I Heart Faces.

I love this shot of this woman. I wonder what she is wondering about?

Our nephew in wonder and awe at his own birthday party!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

For the Love of Chocolate! Valentines Day '09

Valentines Day. I really do have selective amnesia because as I recall Valentines Days of Old the memories are only slowly rising to the surface. Repression baby - it ain't all bad!!!

You know, there was adolescence. It makes me both laugh and cringe just to think about it. In High School the "Keyettes" sold roses (or was it carnations?) in red, pink and white - denoting, of course, was this "LOVE", "like", or ... the dreaded, "just friends" (only given by girls to girls anyway!). Ugh. Then there were my single years (which went on and on and on - smile). Sometimes there was a significant other, sometimes not, but the day always felt so ... so ... loaded!

One positive memory was a college boyfriend who was in an 'a cappella' singing group. They all came over to the house where I was living (with about thirty or so other college women) and sang before my boyfriend and I went out to dinner - very nice. Another Valentines Day several years later the person I was sorta-kinda dating at the time came over with a cactus or some other equally romantic plant life. I am cracking up as I type. Needless to say that romance didn't go very far. Bill actually thinks that Valentines Day is a manufactured Hallmark holiday - but he humors me anyway.

So while it is the day of loooooove for most people I really now believe it is all about CHOCOLATE. Yep - it is a day to celebrate my favorite food group! An old roommate of mine used to say "I know that chocolate is full of fat, sugar and caffeine but it makes me euphoric and it's worth it." I wholeheartedly agree. And thankfully, I have a friend on the same wavelength.

The last three years my friend here Marcela, who is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef, has had a "Chocolate Dinner" on Valentine's Day. Not only is this always a fabulous meal, it is always fabulous company as well. This year, as in the past, each course had chocolate in it - in a very subtle way.

The menu:
  • Goat cheese wrapped in roasted peppers with a balsamic chocolate glaze.
  • Carrot ginger soup with a surprise of chocolate sauce on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Black and white tortellini, stuffed with goat cheese and black olives. (The black tortellini was made of a chocolate pasta)
  • Pepper Pistachio crusted salmon over roasted veggies with a chocolate barbecue sauce.
  • Chocolate Cake with vanilla cream.
  • Chocolate biscotti at your place to take home with you.
One year she had chocolate martinis. Ummm. Yum!!! Even though this is sadly our last one to share in her dining room, it is not the last Chocolate Dinner. I have decided it will be our new tradition! And I'll raise a glass to Marcela - and to the Cocoa Bean.

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh So Silly!

It is "silly" week at I Heart Faces - go check it out!

I only have one entry for this week's theme. I really didn't have any "adult" shots in the arsenal that were "silly" ... which I thought was kind of pathetic given that we are a very silly bunch in this house - adults included!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Swift!

My littlest guy is three. I can't believe it - where, oh where, is the little baby I brought to Kathmandu two and half years ago?
He is funny and expressive and oh how we all love him.

I love his love of books ... and pray he keeps it up!

Swift can't wait to get outside and play, even in monsoon rains.

Busy, busy, busy.

And just too cute. I love you little man. Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Confessions of a Slacker Mommy

I actually do have a few pictures I could posted with this but ... that would mean I would have downloaded them, which I have not. See, a slacker!

Yesterday I took Swift to the birthday party of another little girl in his playgroup. She is an only child of delightful, doting parents. She turned three. Let me paint the scene for you. The party was on the grounds of one of the very nice hotels in town. There were roaming costumed characters (who did NOT freak my little guy out for once - go figure?!) and face painters. There were games and rides. Swift could hardly be peeled off the seat of the little choo choo train that went around and around and around and around. There was a moon bounce and a magic show. There was a lovely meal for both children and adults. There was a chocolate fondue fountain - smile. A special CD was playing that had been especially recorded with the little girl's name in all the songs. I am sure I left a few details out but I think you get the picture.

A lovely party with very generous hosts. So what is my issue? Swift's birthday is only three days later. Guess what his Mama has planned????!!! A choo choo train birthday cake with the family ... and another one for playgroup at our house on Monday. I did order some balloons!

Truth be told I find throwing kiddie birthday parties somewhat terrifying. I pretty much thought this was the last time I could get away with not actually having one as he is still in slightly clueless mode. Entertain politicians and peers? No problem. The thought of a dozen little faces looking at me potentially being bored does kind of freak me out though.

So sorry little guy - Mama is just a slacker!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Eyes Have It!

This week at I Heart Faces the theme is "The eyes have it"!

I love this picture of a little boy peering out of his father's antique car.

Isn't she gorgeous?

I couldn't resist this picture given the theme. We kept this guy only long enough for the kids to see him and then let him go. There will be other weeks for our beloved German Shepherd pup.

Go and see - oh the inspiration!

A Bit Greener, A Bit Healthier ... Maybe

There have been things about living in Nepal that have definitely made me eager to be a better steward of our environment. I won't give you a laundry list of what they are. There are a whole host of things that I will be greener about "when we get home". In some ways it would be easier to be green here - we have a staff! I was about to write about how we don't have access to some of the products one might use in the effort to be more environmentally responsible but upon reflection that isn't true. Resolution - we certainly can be using non-chemical cleaning products. Vinegar does exist here. Settled. Smile.

We often chuckle about "organic" food here. Who the heck knows? Is it all organic? Or, they are using highly toxic chemicals from China? But there are places that say they are and we do the best we can.

There are fresh baked goods in our home every day (which I have little to do with except when it involves large amounts of sugar and fat and then I am the Pastry Chef). Ram Dhai makes whole wheat sandwich bread, pita bread, tortillas, sour dough bread and amazing bagels. He makes fresh yogurt and salsa among other things. He freezes the in season items for the off season. While I won't be the master bread baker when we return there are many things I will continue to do myself and much I have learned from him. Taco seasoning - just toooo easy to make yourself instead of buying a packet full of chemicals. Granola? I make a batch a week for the yogurt.

These are all small things but I am thankful for these threads in my tapestry just because of our season here.

Peace ... and some healthier livin' to you!