Happy Hump Day…

My day started a bit sluggishly. Alexa was chirping her annoying wake-up alarm that Red sets up but rarely wakes up to. I wanted to pretend that I had no To-Dos on my list and woke Red up and told him to get TO ready for school. And he did. TO even brought me a cuppa and gave me a kiss before leaving for school…ah the luxuries of life!

Certain days I am charged up to tackle things and tick stuff off lists to an extent that it surprises me. Red calls it my “caffeinated” state. I imagine it’s a bit more annoying to him than my usual levels of caffeine infestation (?) but it is what it is.

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I washed my hair, fueled up the car, got groceries and am halfway down the Must-Do list#1 and looking to make a solid dent in the Must-Do list #2.

Being a SAHM isn’t a chore. We run the place. We have more leisure than people realize, especially if we have the run of the house to ourselves entirely. But that can also lead to complacency. You could start streaming stuff while you do dishes, or sort laundry and some days you’ve binged watched an entire season of Bones before realizing that 2 laundry hampers are not empty and your husband doesn’t have clean shirts for the next day.

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But I have something egging me on…this week ends with the last day of school for TO. And then it’s a mini-vacay at my folks’ and back home before we figure out what to do with our time.

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Things will eventually fall into a more sedate pattern and more often than not, I’m going to be sprawled out on the floor next to him, licking the business end of a spoon while we snort down ice cream and watch some inane movie for the 99th time.

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So before that state of languid bliss (pshaw!) descends for the next 2 months, I’d like to get a feeling of accomplishment under my belt..however minor. Otherwise my days usually are exactly like this; on loop!

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Happy Humps To You!

The Magic Of Coffee

Caffeine is defined as ‘an alkaloid compound which is found especially in tea and coffee plants and is a stimulant of the central nervous system.’
I, on the other hand, would call it the life-giving and life-sustaining elixir which enables me to tolerate my fellow man, open my eyes in the morning without wishing a piano fell on people around me; basically not putting a hit out on people who keep me from my coffee.


Take this morning’s scenario- TO has trouble getting up in the mornings. So do I but I have been given the divine duty of getting my kid off to school ergo sleep can be sacrificed for the joy of knowing he’s boarding the yellow bus. Anyhoo, after what seems like eons in getting him to get out of bed and the zombie-walk to the loo where he can brush, he decided that *now* was the best time to lie down flat on a skateboard and S-L-O-W-L-Y roll his way to the dining table that was maybe 5 feet away.

Why, one might be tempted to ask. Well apparently the flesh and blood wanted to have his morning milk ‘on the go’ as it were.

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In such moments, coffee is the most glorious of gifts. It prevents you from turning into a banshee, dumping said cup of milk onto otherwise lovable offspring’s head and as the caffeine enters your system, you feel calm and barely-there tolerance pervade the space around you.

I do agree, I might have a wee addiction towards the bean. It has been my constant support for more than 26 years now. It has got me through many a thing. Kept me from throwing things at odious people and throwing odious people off other places.

A few weeks ago I was asked to cut back on milk and caffeine as a part of a “diet”. That it didn’t work out is a given. I took to lingering in the kitchen gazing at the cupboard where the coffee is kept. I sniffed the coffee powder a few times a day and wished I could mainline it. Yup…total junkie.

But all jokes aside, we all have our crutches in life. Some worse than others. Of all the things I could be doing, coffee seems to be the most benign.

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The Changing Face Of Things

I belong to the Wren&Martin generation. It was ground up, chopped, blended, diced and shoved down our throats till the knee jerk reaction for anything pertaining to grammar and syntax meant reaching for our copy of W&M to confirm its accuracy.

Fast forward a couple of years when colloquialisms rule the roost. There are differences in the way English is spoken all over the world and idiomatic speech is how people prefer to express themselves. Well most people barring Mr.Tharoor because once he starts tweeting or talking, the crusty old Brit vanguards of the language are left scrambling for their copies of W&M and the Oxford dictionaries to unravel the mysteries of his verbosity.

Adages too have undergone a change. The majority of the essays written by middle and high schoolers about women usually had the cliche- ‘the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world’. In the last couple of years I’ve realized that the ‘hand that wields the ladle, rules the roost’. And let’s admit, you might as well get control the home and hearth before heading out for world domination.

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Having control over the ladle means a lot. Essentially it means whose taste buds get precedence over the others, how spicy or how bland will your food be, can you switch it up food wise from time to time or do you stay old school, tried and tested. Who has the ladle also plays out in how the kitchen looks and where the “essentials” are placed for the cook.

Sharing a kitchen is often harder than sharing clothes or even a home. Important stuff happens in a kitchen. There’s a power play of spice placement, the cutting boards even right down to the size of the blade and kind of knife that’s going to be used.

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I have been raised by 2 VERY particular people. My mother taught me to keep a separate knife for fruits. She also has a separate paring knife for those things which need paring (Duh!). She uses a rather biggish cleaver for the meat and small knives for everything else. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in her kitchen. And that is something I’ve imbibed as well.

But if person who views all knives the same way and essentially looks at functionality and nothing more, your carefully pigeonholed knife arrangement goes for a toss; bringing waves of discomfort not akin to a bout of OCD. Because there’s been a break in the order of how things are done, how you feel they ought to be and the fruit knife ends up reeking of garlic is not what you need when you’ve reached for the musk melon for a mid morning snack. Before you know it, you want to draw a line down the kitchen and divvy up the space so you’re not sighing in frustration about the other cooks who (mis)use spatulas and leave the wooden spoons soaking in water for hours.

Let’s face it, food is important. How it’s cooked is even more so, where the ingredients are kept; all that matters. I don’t want to go all Patrick Bergin on things but even then it’s only natural that there can be only one Queen (or King) Of The Kitchen. And that is me!

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When The Males Go the Ice Cream Route

Normally we find depictions of girls and women gorging themselves on ice cream as a way to take away the blues or mend a broken heart. Well we find that in depictions of life in the Americas or the non-Asian part of the world.

Indian women, with their funkier palate eat deep fried grub, things served with liquids of dubious origins et al but on the whole, ice cream works. It really works. Especially the ones with the semi-liquidy, fudgy centers…ummmmmm. But getting back to the matter at hand, even males are resorting to drowning their sorrows in ice cream when they feel the twinges of heartache and gloom.

Case in point- MLM and his usual playmate (a 4.5 yr old girl) who we are going to call A were playing happily when another girl arrived on the scene. Let’s call her S. Now A almost exclusively plays with MLM and might have wanted a change. Who doesn’t? And S was without her usual posse and came upon MLM&A and wanted some girl time so she and A hooked up. Where was MLM you ask? Sidelined. Without a glance.

Now before you get onto your ‘awwws’ for him I want you to know that when he came to know A he kind of severed all ties with the rest of the buddies he had and only occasionally stooped to say a hi and hello. So he kind of had it coming but given that they’re all kids and kinda dumb about life we’ll overlook all social transgressions.

So he trudged home, told me he was sad and had a big, pouty underlip to prove it. He moped here and there and finally zeroed in on the freezer and picked up a small tub of ice cream, picked up the biggest shovel-like serving spoon we had at home carved out a chunk of the ice cream that left only a teaspoon of it in the bottom of the tub.

When I came rushing into the kitchen to stop him, he made his most determined “fake-sad” face and said “I need ALLLLL to this to feel better”.

Whaddya gonna do? So I grabbed a spoon and joined in…I wasn’t about to let double chocolate chip get away from me!

Cheers!

 

Get Your Placebo Groove On!

“This is the follow-up post to this one. Both were written a while ago…am currently meandering down nostalgia lane at a less than sedate pace.”

I tried out a detox routine for a day. I did it all day yesterday and let go of my precious java (the drinkable kinds not the geeky one) as per the norms of the routine. And before I get to my observations on this I want to get on my soapbox for a few sentences and just say that our bodies are precious. We literally aren’t going to get another one. Might as well take care of the one you have or at least love the taste of the grub you put into it if you aren’t going to maintain it in a manner that gets you the most mileage. Because it’s no fun to be an adult and feel like you’re compromising on things on a regular basis especially highly personal things like food. It’s just NO FUN AT ALL!

Back off the soapbox and down to reality- I can’t lose weight. I can’t diet effectively. I need a whole new infrastructure and logistics around me to exercise in a manner that I want before my body becomes fit again. I have two adorable lumps at home- husband and child. They are lazy, complacent and very loving so me trying to be a hardass falls flat more often than not. The husband can’t be bothered to find stuff-essential stuff, on a regular basis and usually forgets things if I’m not around to marshal it all into place where he can trip over it and therefore remember to take it with him on his way to work.

The child needs work because he’s a child and doesn’t know a thing about the world. Loosening the reins at this juncture means he grows up to become his father, the less than attractive aspect of him i.e., and more work for me when I’m older and menopausal. Sounds like a recipe for murder at first glance.

Anyhow, various factors get in the way of my getting into the gym, working out, walking, dancing- whatever! On a regular basis. And while none of those factors are critical, I still haven’t been able to offload them courtesy the lumps I mentioned. So the looking better, feeling better has been taking a hit consistently and my perseverance has eroded over the years. Easier to be an overweight housewife in soft track pants watching tv while I fold laundry or vacuum the couches. Not a very sad or dreary existence. It needs to be done and I’m the one who has to do it. Period.

I thought trying out a detox might “fix” the problem, as it were. Give me a little edge or boost before I start the actual process of toning, slimming, getting fitter. But I realize that I don’t feel all  that different. More than anything else, the thought of actually doing something and getting off my cellulitey butt had me feeling better. Honestly, my body doesn’t feel so much lighter today than it did before. Whatever minute differences there are, are too slight for me to keep investing this kind of money (not cheap this treatment) on a regular basis.

But the fact that I tried something out has done more to release endorphins for me than a lot of stuff of late and that’s where the placebo factor comes in. I feel better without having done much to aid an existing condition of sorts. I took something akin to therapy and just the thought of it made me “feel better”.

We all need some placebos in our lives at times I guess. One less crap to flush out of our systems at the end of the day.

And what about my chubbiness aka lard? Well I’ve got a nice new playlist that makes me want to dance so I’ll get my jogging shoes on, pop the headphones in, ignore my kid and just walk. Not fast. Not slow but just walk.

You have to play with the cards you’re dealt. Mine is telling me to take a walk. And dump some dressing (low-fat) onto veggies next time rather than blitz them into a homogeneous mess of a juice that I tell myself is “helping me”. A honey-mustard piece of lettuce never hurt anyone 🙂

Tox Or Detox

This was written a goodish while back but I wouldn’t mind taking a walk down that lane again..”

Apparently a build-up of toxins in one’s systems can lead to a variety of undesirable behavior. I don’t mean murder and mayhem necessarily but it can make you meaner than usual and paint the world a bright shade of jaundice.

I’ve been grumped for a while now; on and off. Stuff piling up. Normal right? Maybe not. Things fall short of my expectations or go bust altogether. Been on a single parent-like streak for a while too although that’s not at all the situation at home. There’s only so much a woman can take and added to that the in-built hormonal imbalance my gender is infamous for and you have a recipe for sulks, pouts, blues, anger and a general snit like a  3-year-old coming off a sugar high post the Halloween candy getting over!

Ergo the looking for modes to offload the weird miasma of stagnation and generally not feeling cheery for too long. I found a leaflet in the newspaper about a detox program that didn’t seem too tough and too quacky and actually seemed like something I could do without it taxing my routine entirely.

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So I ended up signing up for a no-solids, only liquids detox plan for a day to test drive it, if you will. Am on my third bottle of a health drink that doesn’t taste half bad but would taste better with more stuff added in. But this apparently will (can) make a difference in my system and my mood. I’m skeptical but hey, what do I know? Am the moody chunky female who’s been cussing more than usual lately 😦

Have Teeth, Will Eat

It’s no secret am a foodie. It’s also no secret Red thinks I can and do eat pretty much everything under the sun.

We go to the gym on different days and whoever is home makes the protein shake for the other individual to save time etc. Now Red gets creative every now and then and comes up with secret ingredients which I have to guess at. His concoctions usually turn out palatable but the way in which they are presented to me especially, is anything but!

Before we proceed further a little backstory is required. See I eat limes and lemons down to the rind. Occasionally chew on the rind as well. More so if I’ve done some tequila shots as well but for the most part, I strip the lemon bare and it’s mostly cringe-worthy for people sitting around me. They end up puckering their faces while I suck on the lemon so often there’s a bunch of people making kissy faces at me (as it may look to an outsider); while I sit blissfully unaware of anything of the sort!

Anyhoo, apart from the bizarre lemon eating (their words not mine) I also occasionally eat the watermelon seeds instead of spitting them out. So in the last 10 years I’ve become either goatish or bovine in Red’s estimation.

Jog back to circa 2017 and present day. Red kept my protein shake ready and it was slightly tangy and quite nice when suddenly I munched on something I thought was a shrivelled up goji berry and this bitter flavor spread in my mouth. I fished out a half chewed up orange seed and Red, feigning complete innocence, asks me, “You eat seeds, don’t you?”.

If I only had a grapefruit handy to lob at his face at that moment…

Apparently you eat one tiny watermelon seed once and you’re tagged as a garbage disposal forever!

Sighhh.