Saturday, November 14, 2015

Better after taste

What Vodka is for Russians, Chai is for Indians. Chai can easily be termed as our National drink. I am sure there won’t be any upheaval on this front but it’s much more than a beverage for us Indians. I too am Chai enthusiast but I have to confess that I am a late bloomer. I didn’t even know how to make a good cup of Chai, though that is something that I have mastered now. Like how I was passed on this craze by my mother-in-law, I managed to pass it on to my husband too. 

Most days when hubby is back from work and Smera has retired for the day we usually sit down together have our cup of Chai. It is like a ritual for us and this is when I get to tell him all about the notorious things the little one has been up to and exchange notes on work.
After a lot of experimentation I have finally landed with my own formula and I thought it was really good, until we went to a friend’s place recently. She made us the best Masala Chai that we have had in a long time and it was so good that even a week after, we were still talking about it. In fact the hubby asked me to check with the friend for her recipe. I left it at that, while he went to freshen up after a tiring day at work. Just as usual I put on a pot for ourselves and we sat down to discuss some work-related stuff. As he took first sip, he smiled and asked

Hubby: is this the new recipe for Chai from your friend?
Me: No, it is just the usual one
Hubby: But it tastes really different, quite nice!

So I take the cup from him and smell it, then I take a sip and I couldn’t spot any difference. “No it’s just the same! What is different?” I asked him. Hubby takes the cup the back and then says nothing, lost in his thoughts he goes back to his notes. Then suddenly he shouts, “I know it is not the tea, it is KP Namboodari toothpaste that I used now”.

For those who don’t know KP Namboordari is a herbal toothpaste. Essentially, a tube full of mashed up popular Indian spices like pepper, cloves, cardamom. According to my husband, it is an Ayurvedic concoction that has cavity protection and tooth cleansing properties. 

I can not vouch for those tall claims, but this product has left a better after taste in my hubby’s mouth.  Whoever said Ayurvedic products do not have side effects!

P.S.- We as a family are quite crazy, it's not just my husband, even my baby sister had come up with something equally ridiculous a while back. You can read here on her experiment with Chai

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Logical Princess

My daughter suffers from the ‘princess syndrome’! A desire to look, act and dress up like a princess all the time. I am sure it is the same case with many other parents who too have daughters at home and unintentionally must have inflicted this upon themselves. Even I am guilty of this, it all happened quite suddenly though for me. What had started with reading fairy tales, promoted to watching movies then further moved on to pretend playing and now has reached new levels – personification!

With Smera’s birthday around the corner, we decided to go for her birthday shopping yesterday and she would just not settle for anything less than a princess dress, sparkling shoes and a matching tiara to go with. I am told that it’s not just her, girls her, girls are age are naturally bitten by the princess bug. Last year it was the Frozen craze and this time it’s the Cinderella mania!

After we came back home from the not so productive shopping trip we all sat down to eat lunch, just then she goes back to the Cinderella conversation:

Smera: Mamma you know Cinderella’s mom tells her to have courage and be kind, when she is about to die.
Me: Yes, that’s how real princesses are supposed to be.
Smera: Let’s play after lunch you can be the step mother.
Me: Why? I am so nice to you!
Smera: But you are always asking me to tidy up and do all the work. Daddy can be the Prince, I will be fairy godmother with this magic wand and Abdu Haq uncle (my houseboy) can be the Cinderella!
Me: (Looking flabbergasted) How come Abdu Haq gets to be Cinderella and me the wicked stepmother?
Smera: Because you always ask him to do the dishes and mop the floor just like the stepmother in the story!

Now with that logic I couldn’t come up with something smart to answer back, so I decided to use my ultimate weapon, the puppy face. She instantly changed me to fairy godmother and she took upon the Cinderella part. Daddy continued to be Prince, which is always constant and so we played happily ever after.

Moral of the story is that if you cannot beat the child’s logic then play along, because their reasoning is really nothing but giving their intelligence a form! After all imagination is the spark to the endless possibilities in our thoughts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Win some, lose some

Just as I was thinking of my next post, little Smera walks in with a grumpy face back from school. The expression was self-explanatory that her day at school was not very exciting. So I got started my interrogation, to better understand why her mood was off.

Me: How was your day?                              
Smera: Not good!

Me: Why not?
Smera: I was not the super reader in the class today.
Me: That’s alright, you were super reader yesterday and you will have chance to try again tomorrow.
Smera: But Hannan was the super reader and I did not like that. The whole class clapped for her, even I did but very slowly.
Me: Hmm and why is that?
Smera: Just because I was feeling angry in my heart!
I was glad that I got the little one to talk about it. By the end of the day Smera felt a lot better after talking it out, but this incident really was meant to be a good lesson in her learning curve. These little incidents teach children that they aren’t always just meant to win. They would have to put it their best effort and the best effort would eventually get to shine. 

While Hannan got to taste success, Smera got to taste competition and which in my understanding was also a good lesson to learn. Every lesson that Smera learns, gives us also a revision in old lessons learnt and which is why something that I read a while ago made perfect sense to me today. Let our children know that is absolutely alright to come second or even fail for that matter, but what is more important is that we are there to help them when they do fall.

“It may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya Angelou 

Parenting is such a wonderful experience, lets you re-learn, re-inspire yourself almost everyday. I guess this is how we become more experienced and hopefully wiser in life!! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Don't give up now

We all have that one person in our lives who is a constant source of inspiration to our lives. For me it is someone who embodies the ‘never give up’ philosophy most brilliantly in her life – My mother!  Mom has been my inspiration right from the very beginning. There is something about her that makes everyone just fall in love with her. She is beautiful, energetic, intelligent and a constant learner! Thinking of mum gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling just like how one would feel while having a big bowl of soup on a cold wintery night.

From the time she remembers, she always wanted to be a Doctor instead ended up being an Air hostess. She was always a topper in her class, even though math was a huge task for her but that never stopped her from acing the class. But somewhere she never gave up on her aspiration and just recently she has concluded her studies and has become a certified Doctor in Alternate Medicine.  What makes it even more special is the fact that along with her long working hours, endless household chores and a recurrent shoulder condition she has managed the doctorate degree.

Learning something new has always been her first love! It has partially to do with the fact that she didn’t have the luxury of going to med school. She moved to Delhi right after her 12th exam got herself enrolled in the evening college for and during the day she would work. But once she cleared her graduation, she landed up herself with a job at Indian Airlines as an Air hostess. Life got busy but learning never stopped, while working she did her Masters in history and even cleared a few papers while studying for MBA. Even though should couldn’t complete it then, she did try to give her best.  

In a few more years she retires from her long innings at the airlines, but she has already found something to new to keep herself busy with in her retirement. She plans on further learning yoga which would come in handy with naturopathy and ayurvedic line of medicine. It is this perseverance what inspires my life. Whenever I am stuck, I would go back to thinking what would mum have done and just that thought helps me get through tough tasks easily.

Her life story is inspirational and if there is one thing you can take away from her is - you don’t really need to compromise on your dream even if it takes time.

P.S. - And it goes without saying none of this would have been possible without daddy's support. He has always been a silent support in her life and so when she graduated he was the first one to announce about her success. 

P.P.S. - I love you !! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Been a while

I know it has been a while since I have been here. Initially it was time constraints that kept me away, juggling between work and home. Later was hit by the writer’s block. At the beginning of the year I had promised myself to make more time for my blog but unfortunately that has not worked out well, however on the brighter side of things the year is yet to get over and I hope I can do all the justice over next three months. 

And while I was away I did some take time out to go home and enjoy Mother Nature at it's best. Surrendering yourself completely to the beauty of nature is still by far the best way to re-inspire oneself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Caught red handed

My husband loves a challenge. It was only to be expected that he would come up with something remarkable when I teased him over his drawing skills. The hubby instead of reading the Cinderalla, drew an illustration of the story for little Smera to colour. The illustration was good, but the horse with the pumpkin coach looked more a dog. This comment did not go down well with him. As for me it was just a statement, I said it and moved on other things, while hubby continued to brood. So he decided to set the records straight. This morning he picked up one of the "how to draw anything" book and started drawing a horse. And this is what it eventually looked like at the end.

Quite a horse isn't it? 

Happy that the horse looked so beautiful, he asked little to Smera to show me the picture and then he asked Smera to use her imagination and colour the picture. But the little one had some other plans. So she went ahead and did some scribbling on the sheet instead of colouring it. Later during the day when my post lunch cleaning session was in progress, I chucked away all the loose sheets into the dustbin. Unfortunately I trashed the hubby’s horse sketch also, but then I didn’t think of it as a big deal.

As things are meant to be, trouble was staring into my face when hubby got back from work. He asked Smera to show the horse she was given to colour and little innocent child was running around the place searching for the sheet. I pretended as if I didn’t know anything and continued to look busy. After few minutes little Smera came in looking disappointed and asks, “Mamma have you seen the horse painting?” To which I quickly replied “No”, but the hubby caught the lying look on my face and went straight to the dustbin and after what he saw there, he looked very crossed with me. In fact was he so angry that he took the picture below to keep it as a record for future fights. 

I don’t think he will be forgiving anytime soon. However I am really glad for one thing, this time he got my birthday gift well in advance, hence the chances of him penalizing me on the gift part are ZERO J

Friday, June 12, 2015

Can aromatic food can make you feel depressed?

I am feeling really homesick today. Usually when I feel homesick, it’s primarily either I am missing home or home-cooked food. And today it is home-cooked food that I am really craving for. Whether it is summer or winters, I am perpetually hungry and worst part is I do not like my own cooking even a bit! It is not that I am bad at cooking! Honestly my food is no match mum’s magic or Kaipunyam as we would say in Malayalam.

To make matters worse, just this morning I was feeling miserable thinking how far I am from home, have been away from home for over a decade and just then I smell something really fragrant being cooked in my neighbour’s house. It looks like they have invited friends over and I am suspecting they are up to cooking and eating something scrumptious. My living room and kitchen is filled with aroma over-flowing from their kitchen into ours. I am sure you can imagine how it must be adding on to my grief.

All that aroma is making super-nostalgic and hungry simultaneously. I know I am sounding really absurd but that's how emotional I have got all thanks to my neighbour. Food makes me feel real good because it reminds me of my childhood. But when I am deprived of mum’s food it feels more like being tranquilised with misery, which have a powerful, mood-altering influence on me.

Such misery can stoop me to unbelievably low levels of irrationality, for instance I am currently wondering if I could just call the police and ask them to arrest my neighbours for enticing me. That’s a far-fetched idea and I know the law wouldn't even have a provision for such a thing. However I am sure of one thing, the constitution would have been much different if I were entrusted with the law making responsibilities. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Good ideas gone bad

Every child loves their mother for the food she cooks! Food is an irreplaceable connection between the mother and child that starts right from the womb. I am not planning a philosophical post on motherhood. Rather this post is all about challenges that mums like me face everyday with our mediocre cooking skills. By the end of this post I will be able to unload the heaviness on my heart, which I have been carrying around for the last few days. Beware this is post is going to take a melodramatic twist, so prepare yourself!

To start with I am not a great cook but I like try new things for my little one. I want her to eat healthy and nourishing food. Not just for her, I believe every child deserves it. I try to incorporate all elements of balanced food into her meal everyday.  Most mornings and nights are spent thinking what to make for the little one. And on a recent afternoon I made some rice along with her favourite chicken curry and carrot pachadi, a bit of carbs, proteins and good old veggies all packed in one meal.

Now who in the right mind would like a spicy chicken curry with a sweet and sour carrot pachadi? Carrot pachadi is wonderful of combination of freshly grated carrot, gently mixed with beaten yogurt that is tempered with mustard, onions, curry leaves and green chilies. At least that is what I was thinking until Smera took one bite and declared it “YUCK”! I was heart broken. This was the first time ever in 4.5 years that the little one had called something that I made for her as – yuck. I mean there have things that she has not appreciated before, particularly when it involves veggies but her reaction had never been so harsh. So I chucked away the entire thing and spent the rest of the day brooding over it!

After a day or two, a great idea popped in my head. To make something yet again with carrot that would win her heart this time and heal my wounded heart. So it was going to be carrot and it had to be something sweet. So I decided to pull out the trump card – Carrot halwa also known as Gajar ka halwa! So I spent Thursday afternoon, preparing carrot halwa while she was at school. I put in all the best ingredients and an extra dose of love too. To be honest the halwa’s idea initially came up for hubby’s cousin but then it seemed perfect for the both of them.

So in the evening after dinner when I gave her carrot halwa, she took first bite and thankfully didn't say “yuck” however she did go on to make the dirtiest face ever.  If that wasn't enough the hubby gave her the permission to spit it out too. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Me and my holiday confessions

Ah back from my wonderful vacation and suddenly everything is beginning to look lovelier. That’s what a good holiday is really meant to do, leave you with warm fuzzy memories and a smile isn't it? On my way back home, I spent most of my travel in thinking of this post. Pondering what is it about Paris and Rome that I could write that has not been written or said before.  Well everything has been pretty much said and written, but the memories we made were new, fresh and here to stay with us for the rest of our lives.

While I must admit the trip was far away from what I was anticipating and here's how it all happened:

  1. Paris was really cold: the initial choice of destination was Hong Kong, which is what we should have stuck to considering it was really cold in Paris. The idea was to enjoy the Disney holiday in a pleasant weather, rather than in hot and humid one. However the weather in Paris towards the end of March is still far away from being pleasant. It was rainy and cold at 5 degree Celsius and the hubby left no stone upturned to make me feel guilty!
  1. McDonalds was our saviour in this trip too! It’s not like we were in China but we had little Smera with us and nothing better could have come to our rescue! A dose of McDonalds happy meal made the little one extremely happy. Though I must confess the French desserts at the local patisseries too worked like wonders.
  1. We had not taken a holiday in 2 years and had almost forgotten how na├»ve tourists frequently get taken for a ride. Case in point was our first day in Rome – our first stop was Vatican – to recharge our batteries before the long wait to get to San Peitro, we decided to get something light to eat. We asked the waiter for his recommendation and that is where we exactly went wrong. The lunch was neither light on the stomach nor on the wallet. A total rip off, but on a positive note I still got a very appetizing picture for keepsake!   
  1. Even if you are not a history or an art enthusiast, the city of Rome will turn you into one for sure. Everyone knows that St. Basilica and Sistine Chapel are strikingly beautiful, but the spectacular work of art enchanted even our little Smera and the story behind the art and history made her appreciate the Easter celebration even more this year.
  1. This was officially the first trip where we spent most of the time soaking ourselves in holiday fun rather than clicking picture! And now when friends and family ask us to share the holiday fun, I have no pictures to share! All I have is a few 
  1. Also I must admit the French were nice, much nicer than my previous trip but the Italians stole my heart! I particularly thought that the Italians people were a happier bunch than any place I have ever been. Especially the random people we met walking on the streets, in fact I loved it so much that I could actually imagine myself living in Rome

And the holiday came to an end with little Smera singing “let it go” in full throttle, while watching the movie on our way back home in the middle of the night! Go bless all those passengers who were sitting around for having the courage to bear her through that night! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Silly Saturdays: Daddy's beautician at work.

We always talk about the busy and industrious moms, who work day in and out. 365 days a year. However the daddies of the world are equally incredible! No one talks of their hard work. Call them breadwinners, head of the family or finance minister (as I do) they too are equally integral part of the family.

I have been instilling the virtue of hard work on to my little one, by holding up her daddy as an example. Thus this weekend when we were all home, Smera decided to take matters in her hands, I mean on daddy’s foot. Drawing inspiration from mummy’s visit to the beautician’s her artistic skills were woken up. Without wasting anytime out came the nail polish in ElePhantastic Pink. With an amazing dexterity to match an accomplished painter, she covered both the toes in no time.

But there was a catch, the daddy was asleep when all this was happening, so he was in for a real shock when got up see the color pop pink on his toes. And to his bad luck there was no nail polish remover at home. I somehow managed to convince him forget it and anyway no one was going to know as he always wear shoes and socks.

Life wouldn't have been so interesting if all his problems were to end there. Shortly after this incident was forgotten about, few friends dropped for tea. After a few minutes in the discussing the day’s match suddenly everyone’s gaze shifted on to hubby’s shiny toes. The rest of the evening was spent laughing at daddy’s new pedicured toe nails and Smera accepting accepting booking from her aunts for their next pedicure appointments. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mommy's guide to happy mornings

Have people ever doubted your parenting capabilities? I get it all the time and honestly I don’t mind it at all. I usually get tons of advice on how to raise my child, while I do listen to them, I do not guarantee to follow them. While I cannot claim to be best at the task, but I do try to give my best shot at it.

Just recently my interaction with another newbie parents got me some eye rolling and this made me wonder if I was really being tough on Smera. I mostly get in trouble for being a bit too strict with my daughter. But I believe toddlerhood is just the best time to learn all about discipline.

The newbie parents were appalled to hear that Smera’s sleep time on school days is 7pm. They felt it was an absolute injustice to the little one. I was asked questions like then when does she get time to play? My response to them was – “She perfectly manages to do everything a child needs to do before 7pm”. I might have sounded a little rude but this was the truth!
Smera is a morning person, loves to get up at 6am (even on holidays). Her biological clock is tuned to it waking up early in the morning. Nothing is more special than seeing her get up with a smile every morning. The reason being she had a good night’s sleep – just a  simple logic. Morning’s are never a struggle with Smera and on most days she is extremely happy to be going to school. I never have to scold her to get out of bed.

As an infant too Smera had this habit of waking up real early, though I did have to put her into an early sleeping habit but that too wasn't a big task with her. And this good habit has helped her to settle into school routine. 

Smera leaves for school at 7am and unfortunately her school finishes at 3pm – a real long day. After school the little one loves to come back and unwind at home, colour a bit, play with her friends, dawdle around the kitchen to find her snack, have a bath, eat dinner and listen to stories just like any 4 year old child. The only difference might be that she skips her afternoon nap.

There is another reason why I chose early to bed routine for her that is because I have never been a morning person for most part of my life. My dad has had some real tough days to get me out of bed. Most days I have spent my time in classroom dreaming of sleep. And that is the reason why I want to put in good habits right from the beginning for her.

I have learnt from confirmed sources the ultimate mommy fact – most children are the happiest when they have slept well and their tummies are full.  As they grow up with they would need to focus more on studies and that’s when sleep will become even more crucial. Then why not practice good sleeping habits from the beginning itself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Parenting trap #1 - Perfection

What is with parents wanting nothing but the best for their children? Is good not good enough anymore? Why suddenly there is a desire for everything to be perfect? Either it’s the best school, best pediatrician, best tutor to even best prospective life partner. Does good not satiate our desires? The world around me is split into two the one with that have the best and the other striving for the best.

Competition is great and in any form would be healthy not only for the mind but also for the soul. But the question that has been going on in my head is if excellence too has the same effect? The idea of perfection is not frightening, while the idea of desiring perfection for others is asking a bit too much I guess.

We as parents want to give our children the best school, but are they worthy of it? Why not let the child prove his or her caliber in academics. We would buy the best of the branded clothes, take them best vacations or dine in the at best restaurants. But are telling them how much it costs to afford this best lifestyle?

I grew up in an environment where my parents tried their best to give me a good opportunity in everything and expected me to excel in studies. This I felt was reasonable, but somewhere from then to now things have changed and the reason being our aspirations.
This new age parenting is a bit scary for me, we are training our children to be the best. But what are not teaching is how to get there and also understand the value of ones failures, that too many positives.  How else would the youngsters understand what it takes to be best at something, if we don’t guide them towards the right path.

I don't know why are putting ourselves and our loved ones through this pressure. We parents love to celebrate the A grades. If the child didn't win, then we wouldn't tell that child had even competed to save ourselves of the embarrassment of acknowledging that someone else was better. It is as if we are telling our children, there is no point participating if you cannot win it.

Now more than ever the youngsters must understand the concept of discipline, dedication, practice, punctuality, consistency and teach them to find positives from a failure. It is important to help them understand that we are not perfect. Even if we make mistakes, we have a share in everything that's happens to us, good and bad.

The journey of our life may not be perfect, but we will eventually reach where we want to be. We have to be careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is what we should aim for and teach our children, perfection will follow us with persistence, patience, and by prioritising our passion.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tough luck

A 4 year old boy was recently expelled from my daughter’s class in KG -1. The school was forced to take this drastic step against the child as he was continually disrupting the class. But what was more defeating in all of this is the fact the parents were in denial that their child could such a thing.

The problem started right from the very beginning of the class in September. The boy would bite his fellow classmates and occasionally push or kick them too. Smera too was bitten and we asked her to complain to the class teacher instantly. A month into the class this continued, so I spoke to the academic supervisor regarding the matter was asked to send a written complaint. The supervisor was asked to prove that the child really was biting by his parents. Forced to provide proof to the parents, she decided to urge parents to send in written complaints.

At first I refused to give in a written complaint. I wanted to give the boy a fair chance as I was not sure if Smera was exaggerating. As a mother I could understand another mother’s situation too. It is difficult to hear when our child does something wrong and I am really no one to judge about the little boy’s character. So as days passed on, Smera continued to grumble until one day when she came back home with a bite mark on her wrist.  And that was it, I didn't want Smera to think that it is okay to bite. So I finally sent an email to the supervisor, explaining the incident and hoping that this time the parents would not ignore the incident.

After the email, I very rarely heard Smera complaining about her friend. Though she would tell me of how her other classmates were bitten by the same boy. And then just this week I was informed by the supervisor that the boy has been expelled from school. The reason cited was that the boy was given plenty of chances to improve and the school no longer wanted to be held responsible for anything untoward happening to other students.

We were not the only parents who had complained. But did the school do right by putting the child out of the school? In my opinion, maybe not! The child of course every child needs to know the difference between good and bad, right and wrong but not all children are the same. I think it was a very harsh decision on a 4 year old. Maybe they could have waited for few months for the year to get over, this way the child would have saved an academic year. I am sure the parents could have helped a bit more to help their child deal with his aggressive behaviour.

Discipline cannot be taught overnight and definitely not by punishing the child. What we must remember is that every child is different and a child needs our love the most particularly when he is not worthy of it!  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Old habits die hard

Can you believe it January has almost come to an end? What is it with time that stops for no one or anything for that matter? I have been thinking of posting something for the last few weeks and then got busy with life. To be honest I am really glad that 2014 is over, had been a tough year at many levels. That explains why I was keener on 2015 to get started, but time seems to be rushing and I am yet to catch up with it this year.

I have carried on my old habits like laziness into this year too. Not just that in fact I have attained new heights in being lazy already in 2015. Just yesterday Smera came in from school with her school bag all messed up courtesy her lunch box. The bag had to be cleaned up and somebody (i.e. me) had to do the job, so gave my washing machine a golden chance to be my savior. 30 mins later not only the bag was clean, my washing machine survived my experiment (sporting a proud grin).

Now that I have confessed of washing the school bag in the machine, let me also share that I wash little Smera’s shoes too in the machine. Actually I go to the ridiculous extent of buying only those kinds of shoes that can be machine washed. To explain better these shoes do not come with washing machine friendly label, but I have attained this wisdom through my trial and error methodology (yet again sporting the proud grin).

Strange things happen to nice people. It continues to haunt my life in 2015 too. It is quite to keep track of the number of times that I got into trouble for bizarre reasons. After feeling proud about my accomplishment yesterday, I decided to help myself to nice cup of chamomile tea. And just before bed I stopped to have my daily dose of multivitamins. One of them is a big capsule and just as I put that in mouth, I heard Smera crying in her sleep, so I quickly downed the medicine with a small sip of water and ran to the bedroom.  She was alright and it just the dream, I switched off the bed to realise, something was stuck in my throat. In my rush I took little to have medicine and that thing was stuck in my throat. Went back to the kitchen had lots of water, the feeling got a little better however it didn't go away completely.

Suddenly memories of biology class flooded my thought and made think how to get rid of the silly capsule stuck in esophagus. Remember esophagus, a thin tube connecting the mouth to the stomach? Yes that was hurting.  Then I remembered of rice, somebody once told me when something like this happens or a fish bone gets stuck, fill your mouth with a large ball of this rice and swallow it. Hoping the rice takes the capsule down my pipeline, I ended up eating an entire bowl of rice to feel better. With no choice I retired to bed thinking of blogging about this.

And as I got up this morning I was feeling much better and the discomfort was gone. Just then I decided to finish up my morning chore and sat down write this post.  I guess strange things will continue to happen this year too! Who knew that a dirty school and a capsule could inspire me to write my 2015’s first blog post. Wishing you all a very late but a real happy new year!

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