Archive for May 2016

A few weeks ago, when I visited the Indian Grocery store, the weird looking bitter gourd caught my fancy. And all I could think of was my Mother-in-law’s amazingly lip smacking fried Karela chips. I bought around 3 medium sized Karelas and carefully deseeded them. I stored all the seeds after carefully washing and drying them indoors.

I tried soaking the seeds and then used the moist paper towel method to check for germination. I used this video to experiment. Unfortunately, the seeds started decaying and developed black fungus over it.

The most important lessons learnt from this failed experiment are:

  1. Use seeds from yellow and completely ripened Bitter gourd. This is what a completely ripe Karela would look like…

ripe karela


2. Don’t give up… though I couldn’t find the seeds anywhere locally, I eventually found these on ebay.com and my new pack of 10 seeds arrived last week from China ๐Ÿ™‚



3. I have sowed these seeds into an use cup cake plastic tray to see if they germinate.. This is what it looks like now.


Fingers crossed on that one !!


Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day … Hey hey hey!

That’s the song that’s stuck to my head today … its actually playing in a loop and the only way to exit that will be to play another song … I’ll leave that to another time ๐Ÿ™‚

Its funny how an old song actually can make you happy specially when you hear it totally unexpectedly. All you want to do then is sing along …

Listen on …

This year I tried something new. I volunteered as an Art parent volunteer in Riya’s class.

That meant conducting Art lessons for 2nd Graders. The Volunteer form clearly said “You do not have to be an Artist to volunteer.” I impulsively filled in the form and submitted it.

Luckily, they had a course outlined for the students, this was just a guideline on what needed to be covered, what kind of material needed to be used.

I spent a lot of time on YouTube researching Art lessons, practicing at home before the lesson to avoid making a fool of myself.

We experimented with a lot of paint, chalk pastels, oil pastels, paper craft, we got our hands dirty, and yes, we all had fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the Art exhibit for our class. The Class teacher, Mrs. Peck had the children pick up 3 of their favorite Art pieces for the exhibit, we labeled them and got them ready to go on the wall. Day 1 was excruciating, with some fails, I got to learn some key tips and tricks on keeping the Art pieces from falling down. I had become a pro by the end of it ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Here is a snapshot of what the wall finally looked like ..


Art Wall Part 1:



Art Wall Part 2:



Riya’s Art Work:

The Dragon and the Sunset with Chalk Pastels are Riya’s Art pieces…



Here’s a picture of Riya with her drawing of an Owlย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Some interesting things I learnt this year are:

  1. You don’t have to be an Artist to teach Art – All you need is the willingness to learn and the doing whatever it takes to do your job well.
  2. Practice … there is no substitute to practice if you plan to teach.
  3. ย Children are the best Teachers in this world, they love you unconditionally, they teach you to experiment and improvise as and when the situation changes.
  4. They show you why its important to have a mind of your own and not be apologetic for your decisions.
  5. Don’t over analyse anything. Learn to live in the present and work on what you have in hand rather than worry about how it will look at the end.
  6. Follow your instincts, just go for it and not think too much of Who, What, When and How. Think on your feet.

That’s too much of Gyaan for now….

Until we meet next time,ย  Keep the Faith … Adios !!


Fresh Mint:


I picked up a bunch of mint leaves from the Indian grocery store a few months ago and kept them ready for planting. I reused some plastic trays and filled them with some Potting Mix (I somehow do not like using Potting soil), and planted roughly 5 stems in each tray.

An interesting point to note is that the stems you use should not have been stored in the refrigerator. You can pluck the leaves, clean them and store them in your refrigerator, but in case you plan to use the stems for planting, keep them away from the cold.

Mint is something I absolutely love, its absolutely worth it.


Cilantro (Coriander leaves):


Nothing beats the flavor of fresh coriander leaves. And nothing could be better than to use the absolutely fresh ones from your garden ๐Ÿ™‚ I think my food tastes way better when I use these in comparison to the Cilantro I normally get from the stores here in the US.


Methi (Fenugreek leaves):


All I can think of when I see this Methi tray is a Kashta wearing Maharashtrian vegetable vendor walking down the streets, with a basket full of green leafy vegetables on her head and shouting in her full throat-ed voice “Taaji Taaji Methi … Taaji Taaji Bhaji” (Taaji means fresh in Marathi). Brings back some really refreshing childhood memories of life in Pune.

Growing these are pretty easy. I used Fenugreek seeds by “Swad” from the Indian Grocery store and followed this video.

We Pune-ites love our Methi and can be really nasty if somebody picks on it, yes, we can be terrible that way ๐Ÿ˜€



The Whispering Blooms …


A sign of hope, of love, and patience … these Petunia blooms top my list of favorites in our mini-garden.


Baby Okra plants


These Okra plants are a little over 2 months old. I had picked up the seeds from Fred Myer last year.ย Its been a long wait for these to germinate and grow to around 3 inches tall. Can’t wait to see them grow taller, stronger and eventually bear fruit.


Baby Tomato Plants


Tha-daa… I had sowed tomato seeds on the same date as my Okra seeds, and they have grown around 4 inches tall in a little over 2 months.


The baby Bean plant


This is Riya’s baby bean plant.. she had sowed the seed roughly 20 days ago when they had gone on a field trip from school to a Farm. She is extremely possessive about her Bean plant takes good care of it and waters it sometimes. She has entrusted little Miss Bug B to watch over it when she is away.

It brings me immense joy when I see children nurturing plants, I wish we have more people creating more green and happy spaces around us. Wouldn’t the world be a better place to live in then ?







Meet Little Miss Bug B …P1000861

She listens to the breeze and talks to the Moon

She basks in the sunshine,

And guards her garden like a goon …

Meet little Miss Bug B…

She’s my friend from the Bloom.