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About nothing in particular.

This post is about nothing at all. Ok, that isn’t true! It is about writing, something or anything or everything. My goal is to write on most nights if not every night. Past two nights I have had nothing to write about. Again, not exactly true. Last night as I was making dinner (savory polenta with veggies), I had an idea for a lengthy post on the hominess of polenta even though I had never eaten polenta till about 6 months ago and even then last night was only my second time. Seems confusing doesn’t it!? Let me explain a little.
Polenta made the way I make it tastes just like upma, a South Indian dish. You see, you can take a girl out of South India but you can’t take South India out of her! Upma to my family and I, falls into the category of homey comfort food. It is not “comfort” as in stick to the ribs, but just something that means simple, tasty and comforting. Upma is made from semolina which somewhat looks and feels like polenta. So I see polenta and end up making upma from it.
My post last night was going to explain all this and more but by the time it came to write, the polenta had filled my belly and because it tasted like upma (almost!) and looked like upma, it warmed my heart and any thoughts I had for writing the post left my mind and instead I slept like a baby. That is what upma does to me.
I must have upma hangover today cause I could not string together thoughts for a post tonight either. But then I forced myself to sit at the computer and just write. I am glad I did! I could not even come up with a title for the post. Browny is no closer to finding a home, and Skyla is still waiting to solve her first crime, but at least I practiced writing tonight.
Starting this month we have decided to create a monthly newsletter with articles and updates from the four of us. We sent it to family and a few friends. The January newsletter was a big hit. Now we have no clue how to fill in the pages of the February newsletter. Bligh!! Darn writer’s block! Each of us is hoping that the other will involve themselves in scandalous behavior so that we can fill the pages of our newsletter.
But tonight’s post, this post and as much as I have been able to write towards it, is now giving me hope. Maybe it is a matter of just starting the newsletter and soon we will have to stop ourselves from making it a February news novel.
Tomorrow we plan to go watch eagles. Hopefully we get to take some good pictures. I hope that writing and taking pictures and constant practice of both will get us to be good enough to get us to where we have a body of works to show for it that we can be really proud of!
Here’s to keeping at it!

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Dinner, Life size Bytes

 

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I wrote my cake.

Chapter 11 of the Browny book or a version of it is behind me now. I am glad I made myself write it tonight.
This evening I was definitely feeling the opposite of perky and full of energy. After returning from work, I made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, checked up on the boys school work and I was ready to cuddle up with a book and call it a day. And so that is what I did.
Reading a book these days has become such an exercise in learning for me. I generally read murder mysteries but these days more than who murdered whom I like paying attention to the writing style of the author. I pay a lot of attention to how the author has painted a picture of the scene he or she is trying to describe through their words. I am fascinated by that art. I am learning from what I read and am now trying to add more details into the Browny book so it paints a picture of Browny’s life in the reader’s mind. Reading books make me re-read my own work and re-evaluate and add or change a detail missing in the picture I am trying to paint.
Tonight was no exception. Two to three pages into the book and I was eager to write. Wanting to write was actually my second instinct. My first instinct was that I wanted a slice of cake, a large slice of chocolate cake at that. You see, the author had just finished describing how everyone was enjoying cake at a gathering. She described the cake in such way that my first thought was “I WANT CAKE”. Knowing how that would make my snug pants feel even snugger, I fought through the urge and instead settled on writing.
My pants are thanking me that they won’t have to squeeze in even more of me and my book is now one step closer to completion and Browny is one step closer to finding a home. I will be teaming up with a friend on illustrations for the book. I am also looking at self publishing the book through the many online options available these days. Nothing is finalized yet. It is such a wonderful process to be going through.
We are now thinking about our next book. We have settled on “Skyla Boneigh – Girl Detective”. We are in the very early stages of planning but I find myself often wondering what crimes she would solve in what we are hoping will be a series. I leave you tonight with the Prologue written by my son Ajay.

Prologue

On a cold, winter, night, there was a faint knock on the Girls Only Orphanage (GOO for short). Mrs. Johann, the orphanage’s owner opens the big, castle like doors. There lying was a little basket with a letter on it and something in it. Mrs. Johann takes a peek in the basket. A new born baby was lying in the basket just in front of her eyes. She picks up the letter and reads it. “This is Mr. and Mrs. Boneigh. We have sent our dear child to this orphanage because we are a young couple and money doesn’t come very easy for either of us. Please do take very good care of her. (P.S- Her name is Skyla Boneigh and we love her dearly. We also left her a gift from us around her neck).” Mrs. Johann took another peek at Skyla. There was a gold, heart-shaped locket on her neck. Mrs. Johann picks the basket up with Skyla in it slowly and goes back inside.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Browny the book, Life size Bytes

 

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Random thoughts on this Sunday evening.

1. This weekend was incredibly relaxing. Like a getaway. Did nothing major. Just enjoyed time with the family. I am ready for Monday. I think. Almost.
2. This past Wednesday or Tuesday I came up with an idea of writing a blogpost of 100 reasons why I love having a job. As I sit here today I am not sure of what they were. Probably because tomorrow is Monday.
3. My neice turned five today. We enjoyed her princess party. Her brothers aka my sons dressed up in prince costumes two sizes too small. It was an incredibly cute sight.
4. I worry I will never be able to write down a correct recipe for any dish I come up with. Measuring and taking pictures sucks the joy out of cooking for me. Maybe I should post just one dish a week on the blog that I cook specifically for blogging? Pay my son a fee of $1 to be the official photographer maybe!? I like how I think.
5. Will Browny ever find a home!? Or will he just be bounced from owner to owner. I have no clue yet.
6. I love watching the TV Show “The Good Wife”. It makes me glad I am not a lawyer. But I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I also wanted to be an author. Wanted to be an author!? I think I still want to be an author. Or should I be a lawyer instead!? I love writing. Maybe I will love writing briefs!?
7. I made a traffic boo-boo this past week. I loved regaling my colleagues with tales of how I am now an outlaw. Maybe I am meant to be an outlaw when I grow up!?
8. I am listening to “Nanny Diaries” on CD as I drive to and from work. I am loving it. I love simple books. I hope my own book or books will be fun, simple reads as well.
9. I just have not found the time for Pinterest this week. That’s just not right. People lose themselves on Pinterest. I need to work harder at that. This whole being an outlaw thing is cutting into my Pinterest time.
10. I am grateful for my life, my family, health and everything I in my life – the good and the bad. I am also glad tomorrow is Monday. I think. Almost.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Life size Bytes

 

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Browny – Chapter 10

The next morning the Boschs were woken up to the sounds of a familiar bark. Adam and Alan rushed outside. Their parents followed. There in the backyard of the Smiths was a familiar sight. It was Browny!! Mrs Smith was playing fetch with Browny while Mr Smith stood watching with Hannah in his arms. “BROWNY!!!!” the boys yelled simultaneously and ran towards him. But before they could even get half the way Browny had charged at them with just as much enthusiasm, if not more. Browny started licking the boys and running around them. Soon he had exhausted himself and was panting. The boys decided to feed him some water so they took him towards the water tap.
The adults in the meantime began discussing why Browny was back. It turns out that during the picnic the Eckerts had asked the Smiths to come pick up Browny. Mr Smith had been shocked initially but then once the picnic was over, they had gone and picked up Browny. They had made Browny sit in the front seat away from Hannah. They told the Boschs that Browny had been as excited last as he is right now upon seeing the boys. They told the Boschs that Browny had been happy and barking all night. They said none of them could sleep due to the noise Browny made. But they looked happy to have Browny back and didn’t mind that they had lost sleep.
Before Mr Smith could begin telling the story of why Browny was sent back the boys came over to their mom and told her they were hungry and wanted breakfast. Mrs Bosch invited the Smiths to join them for breakfast. All of them (Browny included) headed over the Bosch house.
Once inside, Mrs Smith And Mrs Bosch began making breakfast. Mr Bosch was helping them while Mr Smith watched Hannah. They boys were playing with Browny as they waited for breakfast. Mrs Smith then shared with the Boschs why Browny was sent home.
It turns out that through out his week long stay Browny had been sad. The Eckerts had hoped that he would soon feel better. After all, he did get along with the humans and animals in the Eckert household and seemed like a very gentle animal. Then on Friday evening the Eckerts had a party to attend. So they left the animals and headed off to the party. They had left the animals in the living room like they normally do. When they returned, they found that the living room cushions had been ripped apart and there was cotton everywhere. There were tears in their leather couch. They felt that it could not be Tyson or Fluffy as they had been left alone before and had never behaved that way so far. So it must have been Browny! The Smiths had tried to argue that it could not possibly be Browny but the Eckerts said they had discussed the situation as a family and had felt that Browny did not fit in with them and that he needs to go back to the Smith house. The Smiths said that they had apologized for Browny’s behavior and tried to explain that Browny had never behaved that way. They even offered to help cover the damage the Eckerts had suffered. But the Eckerts had told the Eckerts that while they appreciated the gesture they really wanted the Smiths to take Browny back.
The Smiths and Boschs wondered out loud that if Browny really was the one who had caused the damage to the Eckert living room, if he had done it hoping to be sent back to his home, where his heart belonged.
The Smiths still had the issue of Hannah’s allergies and so they had to find Browny another new home. To everyone’s surprise Mrs Bosch spoke first. She offered to keep Browny at their house until the Smiths could find a permanent home for Browny. She did not have to consult with her family as she knew fully well that the rest of her family would only be thrilled! She told Mr Bosch and the Smiths to not tell the boys. She said they could surprise the boys by moving all of Browny’s things in and then just have Browny stay back since he was already here! She knew the boys would be surprised and thrilled. She however did make it clear that this would only till Browny had a new home.
Mr Bosch hugged and kissed Mrs Bosch. He told her he loved her and thanked her for her kindness and generosity. The Smiths were thrilled and relieved. They thanked Mrs Bosch as well.
Breakfast was ready and everyone sat down for breakfast. Browny laid down by the breakfast table between the boys. The boys were secretly feeding Browny. Mrs Bosch knew what they were doing. She kept quiet. After all, she would soon be laying down the rules as to what the boys could and could not feed Browny. At the moment though she let them secretly feed him while she waited to see their reaction upon hearing her secret.
All was well with world again! At least Browny thought so!

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Browny the book

 

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Browny – Chapter 9

The Smiths and the Boschs missed Browny terribly. It had been three days since Browny had gone to live with the Eckerts. Mr Smith had checked in with the Eckerts to see how Browny was doing. And so far, Browny had adjusted well to his new surroundings. They said he did seem a bit sad but that was to be expected. They also said they knew he would be his happy self again in no time and that the Smiths should not worry.
The following Saturday the Boschs, the Smiths and few other friends decided to go on a picnic. The weather was great and every one was eager to soak in some sun.
Mrs Bosch decided to make some sandwiches for the picnic. The boys, as always, had to help their mom. So they decided that they would help assemble the sandwiches. As they were assembling the sandwiches, they began talking about Browny. They talked about his sweetness, his kindness, his playfulness and his gentleness. They about thought back about all the good times they had spent with him. As their mom listened to their conversation she could not help but feel sad for the boys. If only she was not scared of dogs, she would have gladly let Browny stay with ten. She apologized to the boys about not letting Browny live with them. The boys told her to not feel bad. They told her they understood how she felt and they each gave her a hug. Mrs Bosch was so proud of how wonderful the boys were turning out to be.
Once the car was loaded with the picnic supplies and the food, the Boschs set out for park where the picnic was going to be held. The Smiths followed.
Upon reaching the park, the adults started setting up the picnic table while the kids started playing. And once the tables were set, the adults joined the kids. Everyone was having a lot of fun. It was the first time in the past few days that the Boschs and the Smiths were having fun instead of being sad over Browny.
After a while everyone was hungry and were just settling down to eat lunch, when Mr Smith’s phone rang. It was Mr Eckert. Mr Smith was surprised. He thought Mr Eckert was probably calling to give an update on Browny. Mr Smith could not wait to hear what Browny had been up to. He eagerly answered the phone. But what he heard on the phone was anything but good. While Browny was doing good what he had done was anything but good. Mr Smith was surprised, confused and angry upon hearing what Mr Eckert was saying.
The dog that Mr Eckert referred to as Browny and described could not be the Browny he knew or his wife knew or the one the Boschs knew. Mr Eckert just said “okay!” and hung up.
He returned back to his seat at the picnic table but he did not look happy. Mrs Smith asked him if everything was ok. He said everything was ok but he still looked unhappy about something.
Everyone ate and played some more. Mr Smith joined in as well. Finally, it was time to go home. Everyone cleaned the picnic area and packed up and left.
The Boschs decided that once they reached home they would go the Smiths house and find out what was going on. The Smiths however, it appeared, were not interested in talking and did not answer the door when the Boschs rang their doorbell upon arriving from the picnic. The Boschs were now worried as to what was going on.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Browny the book

 

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Browny – Chapter 8

The Eckerts, who were friends of the Smiths, heard about the search for a new home for Browny and immediately emailed the Smiths saying they were interested in adopting Browny. The Smiths were thrilled. They had known the Eckerts for a long time and knew that Browny would be happy with them. The Eckerts had other pets, a cat and a dog, and the Smiths did not know how Browny would adjust to living with other pets. But he was a very friendly dog and had no trouble getting along with anyone so far. So they were not too worried.
The Smiths had kept the Boschs updated on their search for a new home for Browny. Knowing that they would not be able to adopt Browny, the Boschs, though sad, were happy that Browny would find a new home where he would be happy.
The Smiths and the Boschs threw a huge send off party for Browny. Mrs Smith and Mrs Bosch baked all his favorite doggie treats for Browny. The two families together got him a new collar, a new water bowl and some new toys and said their sad tearful goodbyes to Browny. Adam and Alan had used their pocket-money to buy Browny a big bag of chewable bones as they knew how much Browny loved to chew on them. They were especially sad to see their friend go.
And bright and early the next morning, Browny setoff with Mr Smith to his new home. Browny was sad and whimpering on the whole journey. He did not want to leave the home and family he loved so dearly. But the Smiths and Boschs knew that Browny would adjust to his new surroundings in no time and be happy again.
Upon reaching the Eckert residence, Mr Smith parked in their driveway. He sat in the car for 15 minutes holding Browny. Browny and Mr Smith did not want to let go of each other.
Finally the Eckerts came up to the car and asked Mr Smith if everything was all right. Mr Smith reluctantly got Browny off his lap. He opened the car door and asked Browny to step out. He then followed. They went into the Eckert residence and met with the other pets.
The Eckerts had a German shepherd named Tyson. Tyson and Browny eyed each wearily for a few minutes and then started playing with each other. The Eckerts’ cat, Fluffy, joined in the fun. The three animals seemed to get along really well. Mr Smith and the Eckerts watched happily as the animals played. Browny had found a new home.
Mr Smith handed over all of Browny’s items including all his gifts from the party last night to the Eckerts. He took one last look at Browny and left the house.
He was very sad on his drive back home. He could not help but think of all the good times they had spent with Browny. But he was glad Browny had found a new family to care for him.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Browny the book

 

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Browny – Chapter 6

The four days that Browny stayed with the Boschs while the Smiths were at the hospital were the very best for the boys. They could not wait to wake up in the morning and take Browny on his early morning walk. They finished homework quickly and correctly in the evenings so that they could spend maximum time with Browny. They fed him, bathed him, groomed him and played with him. Browny was never far from them when they were home.
Mr and Mrs Bosch were amused to see how well-behaved the boys were with Browny staying with them. All chores, tasks and homework was completed without either of them having to ask the boys. They were also happy to see what a well-behaved dog Browny was. While Mrs Bosch didn’t spend a lot of time with the dog and almost avoided it completely even she could not ignore that having Browny around wasn’t as bad as she had thought it would be.
On the second night of Browny’s stay, the boys and Mr Bosch had to go to the boys piano lessons for an hour. They left Browny behind with Mrs Bosch who was making dinner. Mrs Bosch wasn’t thrilled with this arrangement but she knew that the piano place did not allow dogs so she left Browny in the living room and went over to the kitchen to make dinner.
She was immersed in cooking her family’s favorite recipe of lasagna while listening to her favorite band when she heard a noise behind her. She turned around out to look and there was Browny at the entrance to the kitchen looking at her with a sad look on his face. Mrs Bosch realised that he probably missed the Smiths and the boys. She hollered for him to come over. When he did, she petted his head and told him, “it’s okay Browny! They will be back soon enough”. That seemed to have done the trick! Browny was happy again and laid by her feet as she cooked dinner.
When Browny heard the garage open he knew the boys were back. He ran to the door to greet the boys. Mrs Bosch in the meantime laid out the dinner table with help from Mr Bosch and the family sat down for dinner. Browny was given his own bowl of dog food as well.
After dinner, while Mrs Bosch was loading the dishes, he again came into the kitchen. This time he just stood there looking at Mrs Bosch with a strange look on his face. Almost like he was saying “Thanks for caring for me earlier!” and then he was gone, back to the boys! He laid at their feet watching TV till it was time for the boys to go to bed.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Browny the book

 

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