Welcoming 2010

It’s that time again — we’re at the threshold of a whole new year filled with potential and promise…12 months stretching out ahead of us, when we can maybe rectify our mistakes from the previous year or gather the energy/initiative to achieve all that we wanted to last year but didn’t. At the stroke of 12:00 on 31 December 2009, sitting on the terrace of our hotel in Udaipur and watching the fireworks from the Lake Palace, we got around to discussing resolutions — their importance and relevance, resolutions we make and keep and those that we make and break.

At the dawn of a new year, we’re generally enthused about the “fresh” start ahead, and filled with that euphoria, list down all the things we wanted to do in the last year but didn’t, and call those our resolutions. We manage to keep them too, for a while, before discarding them on the wayside as we go about our daily grind.

So maybe instead of making resolutions, what we should make are goals — things we want to achieve in this year with definite action steps and a timeline. One resource that I find really handy when making my goals in the Goal setting workshop that I found about 5 years ago on a website called Tera’s Wish. Try it, it’s fun!

Pepolicious

Finally got some time to upload some of Pepo’s pictures! She’s such a joker and such a big bundle of joy, that you just want to keep on shooting as she goes about her daily antics!

Like her spiderman moments, when she jumps up on the balcony door demanding to be allowed out for 5 minutes, under strict supervision, so that she doesn’t go gallavanting off to explore all of the great big outdoors!

Iz spidey fan!

Or her play time, when she stalks around the house, her prey (here, a cute lil stuffed kitten!) firmly clamped between her jaws.

Hunting time

But the cutest has to be the way she sleeps…totally blissful and at peace with the world!

Iz happy!

For some more Pepo madness, check out my Picasa album here.

Out with the old!

Manifestation so works! I’ve recently been thinking about all the stuff that we’ve accumulated at home and all the work and effort we’re going to need to put in to throw things out. And today, I came across an article on just that phenomenon of accumulating and discarding.

It seems to me that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating things and the second half getting rid of them, paring our possessions down to a manageable cache. At some point, it is important to take the time to catalogue what it is we have, what we have accumulated, what we hold onto, what we have carried with us through the years, and what we would be better of letting go of.

If we are to practice living life with intention, purpose, and appreciation, we are called to take stock — on every level imaginable — material, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And we feel the need to evaluate everything in terms of its value to us. Do our belongings, attitudes, ideas, obligations, commitments, habits, goals, dreams, relationships, and wardrobes still fit us? Do they suit us and our current life style? Are they flattering? Do they please us? Do they continue to serve us? Do they feed us what we need? Or do they drain our energy and slow us down by the amount of maintenance that they require?

The author then goes on to list out a number of suggestions for clearing out…like…

• Throw out, re-cycle, or donate one thing every day. This is a great practice in claiming what is important to you and discarding what is not.
• Eliminate one food from your diet that you know you should not eat. When you get used to living without it, eliminate one more.
• Send all of the novels that you know you will never re-read to a school or hospital library. And that pile of magazines, too.
• Clean out your medicine cabinet and cosmetic drawers. How many of the products crammed in there merely mask superficial symptoms and flaws rather than enhance your essential strength and beauty?
• Reduce stress through yoga, exercise, breathing techniques, warm baths, sex, music, art, meditation.
• Slough off the old, like a snake shedding its skin, or a butterfly its cocoon. Emerge renewed and energized.

You can read the entire article here.

We’ve been adopted!

By a cute little kitteh!

She wandered on to hubby dearest’s tennis courts day before and played around there all evening while he was coaching. She made friends with all of the guys who work with him and won over all the children and parents sitting at his academy. I wanted him to get the kitten over that day itself, but he was biking down that day, so wasn’t able to get her.

They left her on the court that night, and I wasn’t too hopeful that she would be around the next day. But when his boys reached the court in the morning, there she was to say hello!

So, he finally got her home yesterday evening. She is just so darn adorable! Must be around 4-5 weeks old, so though I keep calling her “she,” I’m not too sure if its a “she” or a “he” yet! 😉

She plays around for a bit and then sleeps for the most part of the day. She was up and about early in the morning, so I had to get up around 6:30 am today (gasp!), but now, while I’m awake, she’s fast asleep!

Well, what’s that they say about cats?

Dogs have masters, cats have staff. – Anon

Yeah, right!

We’re not sure how long we’ll be able to keep her though. Have to see if she and Cleo get along — Cleo was scared out of her wits yesterday! It was so funny to see though! Here was this (comparitavey) big bunny sitting in her cage all huddled up and scared stiff, and here was an inquisitive little kitten peeking in, saying “Can we be friends?” Plus, as she grows bigger, we aren’t too sure if we’ll be able to handle her. So while I want to say “Yes! We’re keeping her!” my other half (he ain’t better! ;-)) is saying “Let’s see how it goes.” So as of now, we’re taking it one day at a time!

Reading the cards

I’ve been fascinated with the occult and divination methods, such as palmistry, the I-ching, Runes, etc., since a really long time. I’m even doing an altered book that has a Book of Shadows theme. A couple of weekends back, while browsing through the bookstore, I came across a tarot deck that wasn’t too highly priced, which was rare, and on an impulse, I bought it. I soon realized that that particular deck was a mistake — the cards were simply not “talking” to me — but I found myself fascinated with the cards.

t-rideroriginSo, within a week, I was back at the bookstore, where I purchased the Rider-Waite tarot deck, the only one that’s readily available here, and a comprehensive book on the tarot.

Around that time, while exploring on the internet, I also came across this really greatwebsite called Learning the Tarot, where author Joan Bunning has a tarot course up for free. It’s an excellent site to read about and learn the tarot.

The tarot is made up of 78 cards — 22 Major Aracna cards and 56 Minor Aracna cards.
the_fool
Each of the Major Aracna cards corresponds to a significant life event, tracing the journey of an innocent adventurer (the Fool, card 0) as he evolves into one that has the world at his feet (the World, card XXI). Each card symbolizes an archetype, a classic role that we or others take on.

I especially loved Joan Bunning’s The Fool’s Journey. Not only does it help you to understand the cards in the Major Aracna, it also holds true about the way we go through life — our cycles of learning…falling, rising, learning…

It’s been fascinating learning about the cards, and some of my daily readings have resonated really well during my day. I didn’t have time to do one for today…but I might just draw a card at night to introspect and reflect on the day gone by.

And we've chosen…

…the Hyundai i10 Kappa!!

i10_collage

I had to stretch my budget for the down payment on the car a bit, but did manage to get the monthly payments to fit within my budget. Plus, I get the latest technology without having to settle for the base model, and it’s such a peppy and fun car to drive!

Got my car loan sanctioned today — that was a real PAIN! I had thought I’d be able to get all the formalities done by 1:30/2:00 and go in to office, but by the time we were through at the bank, it was 3:00! By then my brains were fried, and I was dead beat after signing 48 checks! Am taking the loan from SBI — typical PSU bank — no efficiency in their work, things move leisurely…ugh! But, they offered the cheapest loan…so as they say, you gain some, you lose some!

I’m expecting the car to be delivered on Tuesday. I had initially wanted to get the delivery done over a weekend, but if the car comes in the beginning of the week, I don’t think that will be possible…and honestly, once I know it’s arrived on Tuesday, I doubt I’ll be able to wait until the weekend to go pick it up! Can hardly wait!!

Chitty chitty bang bang

Dontcha just love the movie, and the car, which flies at your command? 🙂

It’s time for me to upgrade my chitty chitty bang bang now! After checking out all of the options in my budget (and there weren’t too many of them, ’cause I refuse to drive a Tata Nano and can’t afford a Honda City!) it’s down to two cars, both from the Maruti stable — the newly introduced Ritz and the tried and tested Wagon-R.

The Ritz is Maruti’s spanking new introduction, which looks really stylish and sexy.

maruti_ritz_front maruti_ritz_side maruti_ritz_back maruti_ritz_dashboard

I had initially discarded it as being too expensive, but after a lot of playing with numbers last night, we did manage to strike the right balance between a down payment that I can make without breaking the bank and an EMI that I can comfortably pay for the next 5 years. So now it’s time to do some research about the car and read up some magazines for reviews and shootouts.

The Wagon-R is a tried and tested car that has won numerous owner satisfaction awards.

wagon-r-duo wagon r_interiors_dasboard wagon r_interiors

A couple of our friends own the car, and have only good things to say about it. The best thing is that I can buy the top-of-the line model without needing to juggle my finances or stretch my budget. To buy the Ritz, not only do I need to stretch my budget, I also need to juggle my finances around a bit. And I still get just the base model of the car.

So, it’s decision time. The spanking new Ritz vs. the tried and tested Wagon-R!

Update: 10 June:

Now, we’ve brought another player onto the scene. The Maruti A-Star.

A-star

It’s a nice sporty car, but hasn’t caught on too well, because people find it a bit cramped. I don’t have any such space issues, since I don’t plan to load up the car with people. Now, we gotta figure out the specs and cost. Decisions, decisions!

LOL catting

I stumbled upon this website thanks to my co-editor, who sent me a LOL Cat birthday card back in April. If you’re a cat lover, this is THE site to bookmark for a quickie stress buster any time you need it. I found some time to check it out yesterday, while I was waiting for a document to hit my inbox. It was late evening, I was tired and stressed at the thought of having to edit two more documents still, but after spending about 10 mins on the site, I felt light and fresh as rain! Some of these pictures will totally crack you up! Here are a few for you to enjoy!

Ever wanted to chase an ice cream van? Do it kat style!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Packing troubles?

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Check out the view!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Cheating on your diet, huh? 😉

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

The results are in…

Just uploaded some pictures from my new Canon 1000D, and I LOVE the results! A lot of the pictures I took were experiments, just to get the hang of how the camera works, but I did try out a few macros and bokeh. The macros I like, the bokeh I’m not too sure about!

My first love: altered books

I’ve shared some of my photography here, so thought I’d go ahead and share a few pages from one of my altered books called Life 101.

Dawn
dawn
This is the first spread of my Life 101 book, which I used to explore life, its meaning, and its various hues.
A pale pink background, signifying the hope of a new day, a circle punched out of the page with an image peeking out from behind the window, screened with gold thread.

Music is the Language of the Soul
music

This page combines a Planet M postcard insert and a quotation. Background created with sponge and string.

Maya
still-i-rise
This page is a tribute to my favorite poet – Maya Angelou.

Tea stained background with sponged stamping in purple and grey, illustrating one of my favorite poems – Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. The images, which show capured slaves and slaves working in fields, were tea stained and distressed.

Friends forever
friends-forever
Ripped page pockets hold tea bags, postcards, etc.–ephemera that speaks of friendship. Text stamped along pocket reads Memories.