Tag Archives: house

Lots of Lotus………….

One of the things that I really wanted to do before we left Delhi for good was to go see the Lotus Temple. The inside of the Lotus Temple. I had driven by it a few times and marveled at its beauty and its architecture. It is a lovely, lovely building.

The Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship. The Lotus Temple is open to anyone of any religion. No sermons are given but readings can occur and, although a readings can be accompanied by a choir, no musical instruments can be played inside Bahá’í Houses of Worship. Bahá’ís believe in three main principles – unity of God, unity of religion, and unity of humankind. They believe that God has sent messengers through the ages including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and recently the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. They believe that humanity is in a process “of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.” (thanks Wiki)

I didn’t know all that until I started writing this post and now I am super bummed that we did not make it over there.

Obviously, the temple is designed after the lotus flower which is also lovely.

Lotus flowers are often incorporated into the drawings of many of the Hindu gods – particularly Vishnu and Lakshmi and Ganesha.

And lotus seeds and stems can be eaten. I saw them in the spice market of Old Delhi.

And then, at the very last place I went to eat before we left Delhi, lotus stems were on the menu. You might have gathered that I am not the most adventurous eater out there but how can flowers deemed worthy of designing a temple after be too bad? Plus, my friend had tried them and said they were yummy. 😉

They were d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. Yummy Yummy. They are sweet and crunchy and I liked them even better with a little bit of steamed white rice.

Where’s my pumpkin……….

The Canadian Ambassador recently hosted a Thanksgiving Ball at the Canada House in Delhi. I have not gotten dressed up for a formal affair in a while, so I felt a little like Cinderella. I just needed some helper mice and a fairy godmother. Luckily I had an outfit I could wear.

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The night was actually a fund raiser for CanAssist. The meal was authentic with turkey and, dare I say it, gravy. There was also stuffing. Yum. I got to enjoy a real Thanksgiving meal while helping people with cancer – yes, that is a win-win.

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If you ever move to Delhi – this is the woman you want to know.
She can tell you where to get your hair done, who to trust with braces, where to effectively donate your
time and energy, and she will tell you about fun things like this Thanksgiving ball.
She is a Delhi Rock Star!

Anypumpkin, the night was great fun. I didn’t stay past midnight because I am not
21 anymore and don’t have that much energy. But it was a blast!
My pumpkin was waiting and took me and my tired feet home.

Pictures please……….

I got a lot of requests for pictures of our new house, so here they are…………..

This is our new little family of cats. They are so skinny and adorable that I just had to give them food and water. Don’t worry, they are not allowed in our house and the kids know not to pet them. In fact, Angel told me that I was not allowed to pet them. She knows me well. Flower asked me if I could take them to the vet and get them checked out so we could adopt them. That would be “no”. They are not exactly the kind of souvenir I am hoping to bring back from India.

You might wonder why I am showing the picture of these cats first. Well, besides the fact that it is the first one I have taken so it is the first in the queue, they are part of why I love this house so much more than the other one. We have a little outside space and these cats feel comfortable here. They lounge in our chair and hide in the shade of our plants. It makes our house feel more like home.

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This is where we eat. In our old house it was also our entrance way and the center of the house. It is very nice to have a space kind of isolated away from the rest of the house for homework and family dinners. It’s a mess because – well because it’s a mess.

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Next up, family room. See that window over there – awesome – the sunlight actually comes through it! Yahoo!

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This is the center of the house – you go up a few stairs to the kitchen, dining room, and our room. Down a few stairs to the family room and office. Marvelouso!

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Rooftop Patio. Loverly.

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And, remember I love doors. This is ours. The best thing about this door is that it is not up a dark, narrow hallway and no one else uses it but us. Smile, smile.

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This is the new home for our stray kitties front patio. It is so nice to be able to let the kids paint with chalk or jump rope or just bounce a ball.

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Kitchen – self explanatory. It is so interesting that in India most kitchens do not serve as the center of the house. They are tucked away on the side usually with a door and guests do not gather in them. They are meant for the staff. This is where our driver and cook hang out when having a tea break. Bizarro. In America, guests gather in the kitchen.

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This my little home away from home closet – yes we have storage space now.  And, yes, I know that most of these items are available in Delhi – but they are imported and outrageously expensive here. So, I loaded up. Some of these things are not available – triscuits for example and teddy grahams and combos.

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And here is where it all happens. The nerve center – my writing oasis. My office.

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I did not show you the bedrooms because I just do not know you well enough yet. 😎

A Change of Scenery………..

If you are new to this blog, please let me give you a little background. (If you have been following along for awhile, please feel free to skip on down to the 4th paragraph.)

Last August my husband asked me if I was willing to move our family from the Eastern United States to India. He said it with a straight face, so I figured I better at least find out where India is. What I discovered is that it is really far away from home. After throwing up, I said yes. He left in September, which was just too soon for me. So the kids and I followed in late January. We were in Delhi for 4 months and then back home for 2 months this summer. We just returned to Delhi this week.

When we lived here before, we lived in a flat. A small flat. A very small flat. Did I mention that it wasn’t very big? That was the second hardest part of moving here – the first was, of course, leaving behind the people we care most about. We went from a house on a cul-de-sac that had more than one level with a backyard full of neighborhood amenities – like a pool, playground, basketball court, and tennis court (oh yeah and grass) – to the middle floor of a house with absolutely no outside space. None. It was claustrophobic. We didn’t have much living space either. Like I said, it was claustrophobic. People lived above us and people lived below us. We felt squished. Have I mentioned how small it felt? Maybe I should really explain that better.

Now, I am not saying that we could not have lived in that small apartment for another year. We absolutely could have. But thankfully, we don’t have to. Number One Hubby found us a house. We are still close to the school and are actually closer to some of our new friends. Bonus. Bonus. We have a rooftop terrace filled with lovely potted plants. And a patio. With a family of stray cats who comes to visit eat the food I put out. There is a park across the street. And no one lives above us or below us. We have our own little space that is just ours. It is just fabulous.

Now we have room to invite friends over. Room to sit outside. Room to have one child study and one child watch t.v. – at the same time – without interrupting each other. Room to have one child read before she goes to bed and room for the other child to turn the lights out early.

This change of scenery is nice and we are really appreciating and enjoying our new space!

In celebration of our change of scenery – I changed the scenery on my blog too. You Like???

For the love of toilets…………..

In an effort to get out and see more of Delhi, I took the kids to the Toilet Museum. They thought I was kidding. It is actually (kind of) funny that in a land where bathrooms are hard to find that there is a museum dedicated to all things toilet.

And if you are in the U.S. and you are thinking, “dang, now I have to go to Delhi, I must see the toilet museum,”  – fear not. In Wisconsin there is also a toilet museum. In fact, I think it is the world’s largest toilet museum. You can thank Kohler for that. And if I understood things correctly, there is also a toilet paper museum. No need for a passport.

If you don’t believe me – click this link for the museum in Delhi – http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org/pg01.htm. I knew it was going to be good when the first line of the link said you should seek help if you have ever wondered what a toilet museum would be like.

I have to say it was interesting. For example, did you know that John Harrington invented the modern toilet. I just happen to love this guy! Yes, I heart John Harrington and that big fluffy collar of his.

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And did you know that the reason Americans call the toilet the John is because John Douglass was famous for making pottery basins for the toilet and he would sign them John? An artist must sign his work. Sign he did. See, now you will sleep better tonight because you know that.

This made me laugh. It is a replica of an outhouse type toilet used at construction sites in the U.S. many, many years ago. I don’t know if you can read the signs but the door on the top says “Management” and the door on the bottom says “Employees”. It’s disgusting and hysterical at the same time. And no, there was not a hole in the ceiling of the employee section.

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In Thailand, they are teaching elephants to use the toilet so that the tourists are not constantly side-stepping big piles of poo (not the technical term, but you get the idea). I once considered trying to toilet train our cats.  However, I spent what felt like years getting Number One Hubby to put the seat down – cats would require the seat to be up. I quickly checked “potty training the cats” off my bucket list. But this takes over-achieving to a whole new level.

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This is a picture of the man who loves all things toilet. He was charming and very informative. And, yes, that is a picture of Jennifer Lopez. She is apparently even famous at the toilet museum because at one point Ben Affleck gave her a bejeweled toilet. Now, that is love.

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There was a very detailed explanation of how this traveling port-a-potty works. I have to be honest, there were a couple of times when we all zoned out. So, I did not catch the whole idea behind it – but I think you can figure it out.

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This man in Seoul built his house in the shape of a toilet. Did you know that there was a World Toilet Association? You do now.

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And the award for the most expensive toilet goes to………..drum roll please…………. NASA. Shocking.

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Remember I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet, so you must do with this info what you will….

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This toilet has an incinerator at the bottom and makes ashes out of waste.

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And then there were the mascots – seriously – there are mascots. Can you guess their names?

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I didn’t tell you everything – I didn’t want to spoil all the surprises, just in case you decide to visit. The tour takes about half an hour.

It turns out that the toilet museum is not just about toilets. It is located on a campus where they are studying waste management. The curator offered a tour of that part of the facility as well, but we opted out of that seeing that section.

The tour was free, although I did give a donation at the end of the tour.

It might sound crazy, but we enjoyed ourselves and we laughed the whole way home. Now I have a whole new threat to level against them – if you aren’t good, I will tell your friends you went to the toilet museum – and LIKED it. And it was a fabulous opportunity for my children to see that if you are enthusiastic about your “work”, you will love your job and you will bring joy to other people. Who would have thought that we would make such great family memories at the toilet museum?