Morgan Territory Park Hike

First thing in the morning, when I got to kitchen, I was reminded that if I plan on staying home for a while, I’m going to need lots of patience. It’s only Sunday! My first day off isn’t even till tomorrow and I’m already dreading it! :( Not having support from one person that you should be able to count on, doesn’t help the matters.


Anyway… I had laid out the plan for entire day. I had decided to make Khaman for lunch, but then, JK mentioned about sev-khamani. So, I told him that we have some in the freezer that we can have on the side. So, we had khaman and sev-khamani for lunch. Neil had been craving for tortillini for 2-3 days, so I let him make some of that too.





I really wanted to go visit mom with kids in the afternoon, but that plan got chopped off. Pooja wanted us to go hiking at Morgan territory anyway, so that’s what we did. It was such a beautiful hike! The trees and atmosphere is almost like rain forest. I can not believe that we’ve never been there for all this years. It’s right in Livermore!!! As Pooja and Neil mentioned, we have so much beauty right here in our own town and we drive 3 hours to go looking for it! Of course, nothing can compare to beauty of Yosemite, but this one is a great substitute when you only have 2-3 hours.

20140223-230432.jpgOn our way to the park, we spotted one really futuristic spaceship looking vehicle. It was so cool and interesting! At first, we thought it was one of those remote control car or something. As we got closer to it, we noticed that there was a man sitting in there riding it! I had to post it on Facebook right away to find out what it is. Turns out, it’s Recumbent. Darcy’s dad in making one of those!

20140223-231326.jpgAs soon as we got home, it was time for me and Avni to go to Safeway to sell Girl Scout cookies. I was the only adult there. I usually look forward to cookie booths to catch up with Melanie. But this year, she refused to sell cookies because of the higher prices. They raised the prices from $4 per box to $5 per box this year. It wasn’t too bad being alone. I had fun joking around with girls. It was much needed tome away from home.

On our way home, Avni and I stopped by at Mr. Guido’s home to pick up harness that we forgot from last week’s rock climbing. Then, stopped at Target to buy bananas and apples. JK had made pizza on tortilla for dinner.


Meeting Pinika tonight!

Short summary of the week…

Went to Kalpu’s for lunch on Friday. I asked her to make Pizza quessadilla. Her niece Sapna is moving here next month, so I’m excited about it. I don’t know why *I* should be excited about it, but I am hoping Pooja will make friendship with her. They used to get along great when they were younger. Pooja or Avni doesn’t have any Gujarati friends here, so I’m looking forward to have at least someone of their age to relate to.

On Friday evening, JK and I went out for dinner at Chaat Bhavan with JK’s friend Sameer Shah and his wife. She’s just came from India about a month ago. It was great to meet her. And I might’ve gained a new friend. I invited them over for dinner on Saturday. I made dal baati and gatta biryani for dinner. We sat and chatted till 11 (both nights), which doesn’t happen very often. Inviting her for dinner motivated me to print all the recipe cards I’ve been meaning to print for longest time. I ‘extracted’ them from my Project Life pages and sent them to print at Costco. I printed 3 copies of it.. one for me, one for her (Jaimini) and one for Kalpu. Now, I’m thinking I might give my copy to Pinika.. not sure yet.

Sunday, Ba, Neil and I cleaned up boxes from Neil’s room. Rearranged some stuff, put away other stuff in different piles – donate, throw away, give away to Dhaval as he’s just starting his new home. Got lots more to go thru, but we were planning to go to Kalpu’s home for dinner at 4:30 as soon as Pooja came home from work. Jayshreeben and Tusharkumar are here from India, so dad had invited them for dinner. We only meet Margi when Jayshreeben is visiting or for Sundarkand path at her home or Rajubhai’s home.. but I always enjoy visiting her.

Monday.. went for CrossFit training in the morning… I did 640 jump ropes and 160 sit ups in 19:22 minutes. I have a long way to go in improvements.. but I’m working on it. Avni is staffing for Weblo (cub scouts) camp. Neil had stayed at Arnav’s on Sunday night, so I picked him up on my way home for his boy scouts meeting. Kalpu had spilled the beans and told the boys about Neil joining them for Alaska trip. Neil had a big grin on his face! :) He felt that his friends are going to think that he’s spoiled for making so many awesome trips this summer! I got to see awesome video trailer that Bruce made of their Seabase trip. I’m looking forward to get my hands on rest of the pics.

Yesterday, I picked up grocery from Costco to make olive salad sandwich mix. Neil and Avni helped chopping everything to make the mix. It’s been our favorite filling for the sandwich.

I had thought that Pinika was staying at San Jose, so when I initially asked her to come to my home and caravan to go to Yosemite and she said that it might be out of the way.. I didn’t push her. But this morning, I realized (with JK’s help) that she’s staying in San Francisco and will be passing right by our home, I asked her to stop by for dinner before start driving to Yosemite. This way, we can all go there together. They all are looking forward to eat khichadi after having to eat out for whole week! She has rented a home (cabin) for 2 nights. Avni is looking forward to it. Unfortunately, this might be her only highlight of summer unlike Neil, who went to Washington DC (from school), Camp Royeneh (boy scouts), Sea Base, Florida (boy scouts) and Alaska (with Arnav)!


Great week!

Neil came home from Sea Base, FL yesterday. He had a blast there! They went snorkeling, fishing, slept in hammocks, lived on ‘Island time’…

While the boy scouts’ boys and dads were gone having fun on the island, us moms made the best out of it too! Jody, Myriam and I met for dinner on Thursday night. Then, I went to the meeting on Monday because I needed to deliver some t shirts. I was expecting a short visit since I didn’t have Neil at the meeting. Instead, I ended up staying in park till 10pm talking with Jody and Roxanne!!! They’re just so much fun to talk to! Then, Jody invited Roxanne for Tuesday dinner that we were having with rest of the moms. Deanna, Linda (Thomas’ mom), Myriam also joined us for dinner. We ended up staying till the close of the restaurant. We were still hanging out in parking even after the restaurant closed and owners left from there. I definitely had a great social week!

Avni got her learning permit for driver’s license today!!! I’m so not ready for another teenage driver! She’s super excited about it!

Lazy weekend

Weekend was fairly light. Didn’t need to go anywhere. One thing led to another and we started sorting out stuff from the storage shed. I’m glad to get things going. It’s like we know that we need to keep moving, but everyone is afraid to start it up. No one is realizing that there is only a month left before the move and we don’t have many weekends left. Time will fly before we know it! I know for sure that JK isn’t going to lift a finger in this entire move. That’s just the way he is. It frustrates me at times, but I just have to deal with it.

Any time, we were packing things, first question I started asking/consulting with Avni.. WHERE will this go? If we can’t assign a place for it, maybe it doesn’t need to come with us. If we assign a place, we dedicate a box/bucket for the like items. Later, we went to Costco and Walmart to pick up packing tape, sharpies and duck (duct) tapes to color code the boxes based on the rooms.

Avni went to the movie with her friends in the evening and Pooja went to help Chloe with wedding photography of a friend of a friend. So, it was just me, JK and Ba.

Sunday, Avni and I started cleaning up medicine/misc cabinet next to my room. I loved how it all worked out. Cleaned out lots of unnecessary stuff. Threw away expired/unwanted items. Added some items in donation bag. We made labeled boxes for flashlights, spare batteries and toothbrushes. Now, those boxes can go into hallway cabinets and they’re ready with their labels. I was still questioning the idea of labeling everything, but after seeing these labeled boxes, I think I’m warning up to the idea. I will be doing more of it. I might even do entire pantry that way by putting like items in the baskets or something.

I finally finished reading the book ‘The Host’ by Stephanie Meyer, so I asked JK to rent the movie when he was dropping off Dada to Kohls. Watched it before dinner. I’m glad I read the book before the movie. Movie itself was super slow and not much substance to it. Book is much better! Had fajitas/quesadillas for dinner. Finished up 2 Project life pages. All in all, productive weekend!

Just got email from Jody that everyone at Sea Base is back from the island safe and sound. They had a great time there. Can’t wait to hear all the stories! Specially, Neil’s story about the ariline losing his luggage!!

JK just got another prospect to lend the money. Keeping the fingers crossed that this one goes well and we can move a bit forward! It’s nail biting at this point, that’s for sure!

Not much progress

Last night, I went out for dinner with Jody and Myriam. All the ladies decided on dinner date while in parking lot to drop off the boys for Sea Base, FL. Deana and Linda couldn’t make it, so there is another tentative date for Tuesday night. I had a great time talking to Jody and Myriam (Kadlec). We met at Sauced restaurant at 6 and didn’t leave from there till almost 9! I don’t think I would go there again, as it’s a BBQ place and not many choices for vegetarian meals. But, I knew that going in, I was there for the company and it was worth going.

On the funding news, as disappointing and heartbreaking it is, JK wasn’t able to secure the money for the escrow money. Tom, our realtor, isn’t giving up yet and feels that everything will work out. I know it’s too late to think this way, but I never should’ve let this go this far without having 100% money secured. But JK was so confident at the time. Even though Pooja had warned me, I had that tiny little question about it too, but I truly wanted to believe that this was IT! I still believe that it’s going to work out, but we did need to wait on looking for a home until after we get the money, not just the promise of the money.

Home Sweet Home

We’re keep getting closer to have our dream home. However, the way things are going, kids or I are having hard time in believing in it till it will really happen. The excitement is running out and as it’s dragging on financial matters, it’s becoming frustrating as the days go by. Tomorrow is the last day that we need to pay the deposit. I’ve already paid partial deposit over a week ago and that has left my bank account dried up. That’s in itself is scary enough!

We’ve already shared the news with family. I can’t really tell if they’re excited about it or still skeptical just as we are, but I’ll be glad when it’s a done deal.

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We keep looking at Pinterest, Houzz and many other sites for decorating and organizing ideas, but good/bad thing is that most of the things are already there in the house. There isn’t much that needs to be done to make it better. I supposed it’s a good thing. As much as I would love to try my hand at home projects, most wouldn’t happen on my own. We’re really excited to make this house our cozy home.

Home Alone!

It turned out that On Monday, around 4PM , we found out that union had decided to go on strike for 2 days. That put Janis in panic mode with 2 of our team members on vacation, one on his way out from Layoff, leaving me to be the only one remained at work from her team. We had a quick training on other functions that Janis is looking over in absence of other team members. We’re really hoping that the strike won’t last more than 2 days, but, you’d never know. We decided that I would work from home so that I don’t have to cross the picket line.

Because of this latest development, I didn’t get out of work until after 6:30. I almost wanted to skip stopping by at mom’s, but considering I was going to work from home, I wasn’t sure if I will come to office before leaving for NY. BTW, JK also bought his tickets for NY. Our flights are within 30-60 minutes both ways.

I got home from mom’s at almost 7:30. We started cooking dinner. Our plan was to stop by after dinner, but we realized that it would be too late by then, considering I was planning to bake mozzarella breadsticks. Once we go there, JK started talking to everyone and we didn’t get out of there till 9! Of course, I had good time catching up with everyone too. Besides, we had not much going on at home anyway, might as well hang out with friends.

Breadsticks turned out delicious!!!! The recipe is the keeper! No wonder I wanted to make them as soon as I saw them on Pinterest.  I had them for lunch for next two days!

Kids were gone to beach house with not much phone reception, so didn’t get to talk to them.

Tuesday was interesting. As I started to work early morning to get things going, I couldn’t VPN to my computer. I called helpdesk and they couldn’t find my computer on the network. They said that my computer must’ve been turned off. I was able to call Randy, who was going to stop by in office to check up things, and have him turn on my computer. So, I was able to work from home. But there wasn’t much work to keep me busy. I spent some of the time cleaning up my room.

It was Kalpu’s 40th birthday, so Dharmesh had invited us for the dinner. We got to their home at 7. We stopped by at Whole Foods to buy flowers for Kalpu and drove by my job to see if there were any picketers. There were only 1-2 picketers on each entrance.

We went to the Thai Restaurant in Danville for dinner. It was really good restaurant. I loved the decor and of course the food. After that, we went back to their home and had cake. Kalpu got the New iPad(iPad 3) for her gift.. same as me. Mom got her sari and kids got her the travel pillow. However, based on her text this morning, her REAL gift was the diamond earrings. DA must’ve given her this morning.

I tried to log on from home this morning and my computer was shut down AGAIN!!! so I just decided to come to work. Picketers did give me hard time in crossing the line and took several photos of me… to post them on their ‘Wall of Shame’ if I was union? I don’t know! Janis stopped by during her lunch time and was surprised to see me in office. lol She said things are chaotic where she’s assigned. They’re supposed to report tomorrow morning too, just in case strike goes on longer.

About kids… we weren’t too comfortable handing over the money for the rental apartment to the stranger and also about leaving kids there all alone (at least I was comfortable about that one). Last night I had hinted JK about keeping Harishmama as back up if the apt. deal doesn’t work out. He agreed right away! TOTALLY shocked me, but I wasn’t going to make a big deal in front of him. :) This morning I called mama and told him that kids are in his neighborhood and will be visiting him. He asked to have kids stay at his home. So, we canceled the apartment and have kids go to his home. He’ll be taking the kids around tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how it all goes. Kids might be disappointed not to have their own apartment, but it’s for their best. I just didn’t feel safe.

After work, I’m planning to stop by at mom’s to pick up dinner. She wanted me to stop by for lunch but I told her that I’ll come over in the evening to pick up for dinner. Glad I didn’t go, otherwise I would’ve missed Janis when she came by in her lunchtime. After that, planning to go to the mall to Apple store to see they would replace my magic mouse. I might end up having to buy a new one. JK need to buy some new clothes for wedding, so he’ll be meeting me there.

Kids off to NY!

Saturday turned out to be very busy day as it was expected! JK made the waffle for breakfast and as soon as kids were done with breakfast, I took girls to shopping. our first stop was to my office, because I had forgotten my iPad at work, out in the plain view and didn’t feel comfortable in taking a chance to leave it there for a weekend. Friday, Pooja called me to meet JK at Bart to pick him up, which totally threw me off and I just got up and left. JK was dropping off Pooja to BART for her very last Oakland meeting, but decided to leave the car for her in the parking lot so that we wouldn’t have to pick her up at night. We went to Z Pizza for dinner after that  using up the Groupon($11 for X-large pizza, salad and 2 beverages!).

Anyway, after picking up my iPad, we stopped at Target and Whole Foods. Again, I had Groupon for Whole Foods that I bought almost a year ago and never got around cashing it. Avni loves the flavored coconut water that they carry, so she had fun picking out some of those. After that, I took her to get their eyebrows threaded. That was the main reason we were out. Lately, I’ve been threading their eyebrows at home, but I figured it was a good treat for them for the wedding/back to school.

We got home at noon. JK had the boiled potatoes mashed already. So, I made aloo paratha for lunch – kids’ favorite lunch! Kids were busy packing their bags. After lunch, we packed some more and video taped our ‘question of the day’.

We left for the airport around 4:15PM. Their flight was at 7. They had one stop at Phoenix. Home was very quiet after dropping them off.

We hardly did anything on Sunday except going to Costco for some grocery shopping.

Talked to Avni today on Gmail, she said they’re having fun there. Last night they played Monopoly till 1AM with Tusharbhai’s kids. Today, they’re going to the beach.

I’m planning on stopping by at mom’s home after work for few minutes. Then, I’ll stop by at Boy Scouts meeting because I need to drop off the red jackets and pick up reimbursement check($775) for it.


Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Yesterday was RakshaBandhan Day. It was a bit different than all previous years, because we had been spoiled of Dharmesh living only a mile away from us. He recently moved about 20 miles from us and we actually had to plan it out on how we’ll manage it.

I was working,  Kalpu had a longer day at her office and Pooja had evening class in college (another first for us), so best time we could come up with to get together was after Pooja comes home from college. It turned out that Neil had a physical fitness merit badge meeting at 6 in the evening too!

I took Neil and Avni to Arnav’s home in the morning before I went to work, so they can spend some time together before leaving for their NY trip. They haven’t been there since Nikhil and Dilan went back to Chicago. I picked up Neil after work to take him to his meeting. We stopped by at the store (Sikandar) to buy rakhis, kaju katri  and some grocery. I got home just in time to take Pooja to college, but JK was home already so I didn’t need to drop her off. She took my car to the college and later I took JK’s car to pick up Neil.

We stopped by at Target to buy gifts for Avni and Pooja (Raksha bandhn gifts from Neil to girls). They both wanted backpack/laptop bag, so that’s what we bought. Also bought a travel size spray bottle for Avni for her body spray and dry shampoo spray for Pooja. Neil also planned to give $20 each from his NY trip savings. I’m not sure if he really did give them money though. I’ll need to ask him about it. Usually, they’re all very generous when it comes to giving each other.

Got home and cooked dinner for JK, since he wouldn’t be coming with us. Pooja had finals today. She said that she did great in finals. She got home at 8:30, so we left to go to Arnav’s home as soon as she got home.

After the Rakhi tying and taking traditional pics, we had dinner. Then, came the fun part. We went shopping in Kalpu’s closet for the dresses, sari and jewelry for upcoming wedding. Kids are leaving in 2 days, so we’re finalizing everything. While we were checking out the dresses, I asked Kalpu about what kind of shoes Neil should wear with his traditional dress(salwaar). That opened up the door to Dharmesh’s closet! LOL Dharmesh gave him his white shirt, blazer and shoes. Can’t believe that Neil is big enough to ‘shop’ from his closet!!!!

By the time we got home, it was almost 11:30! Once home, we sat down and decided what Pooja was wearing for each of 5 wedding events. To my disappointment, she picked one of the sari I REALLY wanted to wear. :) Pooja brought Kalpu’s ‘universal blouses’ (Black, gold, silver and multi-colored), so we might still switch around on who wears what. She did bring lots of bracelets from Kalpu, since mine don’t fit Avni or Pooja. Tonight, I’m hoping to get/match all the jewelry together for both girls. Pooja is going to Oakland in the evening for her campaign meeting, so won’t be coming home till late night. Avni and I might get head start before she gets home.