Swept Away

That's how I have been feeling ever since the year began. Swept away and spun around.
But before I get to the unnecessary details that I sometimes share through my posts on Indian Food Rocks, only to have those esteemed hecklers show up and say "where's the recipe", I do want to say a huge Thank You to all the wonderful feedback and terrific support for my entry for Click: Liquids in January. And, to Nupur, for letting me use a phrase from her comment as the title for the image: A tsunami in a martini glass. And, to Jai and Bee, for all the excitement they bring with each post, especially the event Click.

I raise a toast to you all! In Martini glasses, of course!

The winning image was this photo of a lemon splashing into a martini glass:

It won the following awards:

Yay! Yay! Yay! And one more Yay!

Many of you wanted to know how I managed this. It can be rocket science but I managed it with a worse-than-amateur setup. A detailed post is on my Inner Lens for your perusal.

I apologize for the delay in writing that post as I simply did not have the energy to do so. You see, I was hit with - no! not writer's block - but some really nasty looking numbers in my blood work. Together with my BMI, and my age, there was only one thing to do: get serious about becoming active. I had a session with a lovely personal trainer way back in October but no matter what I did, I just couldn't get excited about working on those machines three times a week. Come November, my resolve dissipated like a fast vanishing point in a clever photo. My sister - remember her? the one who memorizes recipes? - suggested that I try a new fitness rage that has been sweeping the nation. One that she herself was hooked onto. She's never one for fads and I am so glad I took her word for it and found drop-in classes in my 'hood. I now go to Zumba fitness classes twice a week and have a blast moving to throbbing Latino beats and working out all the muscles in my body. It's not just Shakira's hips that don't lie anymore...

The good news is that I will probably live a little bit longer as my numbers are normal again. And, no, it wasn't my cholesterol - that is like out of a text-book or whatever those medical tomes are called. Maybe it was a lab error. Maybe it was taking becoming active more seriously. Maybe it was eating smaller portions and drinking lots more water. Maybe it was all of the above. I don't know. At this point, I really don't care either as what matters is that this was a huge wake-up call for me and thanks to my good fortune, I found a fitness activity that I enjoy so much that I am ready to drop everything and rush off for the class. Excuses are a thing of the past.

The lesson to take away from this: don't wait for a wake up call. Find something you enjoy first, the motivation will follow. But become active as soon as possible. It only gets worse as the years roll by. Zumba, to me, takes aerobics and jazzercize to a new level. I get to shake my body with abandon and it's perfectly fine to have my hands go up when everyone else's are going down. Or to do a swirl when everyone is just doing a half turn. The instructor can make or break the class. I am lucky. I found Helene.

My other woes included a leaky roof. Luckily it didn't leak inside the house but over the front door. Every roofer we called told us the same thing; that the roof should have been replaced about 5 years ago. And this, for a roof, that was given flying colors - "excellent condition," I have it in writing - during the home inspection a little over 2 years ago. The drip edges probably vaporized, the tarp must have shrunk and the shingles magically nailed in since that fabulous report. All the roofs in our neighborhood had been replaced after a huge hailstorm hit Louisville 4 years ago. All but ours. It's hard to believe that our house, which was not ours then, escaped unscathed. We had no clue.

Replacing a roof is not a small job. We had contractors streaming through our house and then there were decisions: 30, 40 or 50 year shingles? What type of shingle? What color? What about ice and water shields? What about the ventilation? How much more for covered valleys? What about heat tape in specific areas? It was endless. Once this hammering on the head stopped, the real hammering began. But the good news is that we now have a new roof, with new ridge-vents instead of the old box vents. We also have soffit vents, which we didn't earlier.

The roof was installed but the gutters couldn't be because of high winds that were harbingers of a major storm that was headed our way. We were all very stressed and we have no idea how the winds let up, how the contractor - the gutter-walas as I called them - managed to be here that early in the morning and installed them within that short time frame. I literally had no nails left and I would have started pulling out my hair if all this had not fallen into place, just like that!

The lesson to take away from this is, of course, don't fret about what you cannot control and deal with the consequences, if any. The larger lesson being: get up on that roof with the inspector during the home inspection. We couldn't as we were over a 1000 miles away. Also look up past weather reports in the area to see if any major emergencies had been declared for your city, area, neighborhood: a severe hailstorm, a tornado, flash floods, anything. And find out the effect it had on your new home to-be.

In a way, it's all ended well for us. We now have a roof of our choice. One that is well ventilated and has quality shingles that meet code. I can sleep well at night. Especially tonight, when we have a high wind warning and wind gusts of up to 80 mph.

Through all of this, food took a back-seat to the extent that we were eating healthy meals but they were put together quickly and were nothing to rave about on this blog. Well, at least I didn't think so till I saw khichadi and kadhi doing the rounds. I'm sorry that I have no recipe yet again. Life is still a roller-coaster ride and there are new situations every day. But for every situation, there is a solution and then dawns a new day.

And with this, I am going to announce another NaBlo event, close on the heels of NaBloWriMo and NaBloPoMo. It really blows! It's called NaBloSiMo and I made it up! National Blog Silence Month.

It's totally rad! The rules are like no other event ever. Here's the low-down:

  1. This event can begin whenever you want it to begin and it can end whenever you want it to end. It says month but it could be a week, two weeks, a month, a year...you get the picture!
  2. You don't have to link back to this post. OMG. Imagine that! No need for linky-love.
  3. You don't have to use the logo.
  4. When you join this event, you stop posting for a specified or unspecified length of time.
  5. Going on vacation? Sign up for NaBloSiMo.
  6. Feeling burned out? Sign up for NaBloSiMo.
  7. Bored of blogging? Sign up for NaBloSiMo
  8. Got a writer's block? Sign up for NaBloSiMo.

It's a great event and it's one I am signing up for right now!

So, my friends, Indian Food Rocks is going NaBloSiMo. See you all next month! And don't forget to enjoy that extra day in February.