Sunday, 29 July 2012


Remember my herb garden?
Well, it was extremely productive this year. Almost every basil seed I planted has been productive -- some of them a little less so than the others. I have already made three batches of pesto and just harvested a whole zip lock bagful to freeze for later. Should I make basil ice-cream? It seems to be everywhere these days!

The methi (fenugreek) on the other hand, I mostly forgot about, until I could smell its fragrance every time passed by. When I realized why it was, it was already too late. The plants had bolted and started to make seeds!

And this is what I harvested in the end. I have decided to let all the plants go to seed and harvest them for the next round of sowing!

It would be good to see of these guys germinate.

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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Three Wise Pumpkins -- Part 1

The three wise pumpkins set out on a journey around the world. Little did they realize that this journey would mark them forever.

The first wise pumpkin, Mr. Speaknot Evil, started as a humble balloon with his features not yet formed.

He sat thusly for two years, preparing for his journey in a dark and dingy basement. Sitting alone in the basement gave him a big case of depression. Several therapy sessions later, he went on meds. Since this is magical halloween land, the meds don't work on the patient. The meds work on themselves to cure the patient. And so it was that Mr. Speaknot Evil's meds started to sprout some fins around the edges.

 And one day, when Mr. Speaknot Evil was deep asleep, the meds attached themselves to his head. With hot glue.

Mr. Evil's therapy had well and truly begun. 

The surprised pumpkin's mouth froze in a permanent expression of shock

His eyes grew wide in horror and looked a bit like it would pop right off!

His ears twitched! And moved a few inches.

(To be continued....)

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Friday, 27 July 2012

Boulder Colorado -- The City

It's not just the natural beauty of the greater Boulder area that made me fall in love with it. (Here is my brief photographic journey of Boulder Colorado).
This place is an eco-conscious, vegetarian's paradise. Check out the bottled water I bought here!
Now that's green!
The streets were filled with bicyclists and runners and there was even a father with 4 kids, all on a single 5 people bicycle with a large "carrier", who was educating his kids about gun control laws. May be they were discussing the recent shooting in nearby Aurora.

I managed to get fairly decent vegetarian fare at most places (except the place where I stayed *eye rolls* which had only oats, bread and potatoes for breakfast for vegetarians!). But, I did manage to have one awesome dinner at the only full service, sit-down-and-eat-in-style vegetarian place called the Leaf.
This was the entree (Jamaican Jerk Tempeh ) that DH ordered!

Walking on Pearl Street Mall is perhaps the thing to do in Boulder and it didn't disappoint. As it turned out, the day we roamed around on Pearl Street Mall, there was an Art Fair going on where local and nearby artists had gathered to display their wares. And wow! The art work on display was mind blowing. There was glass art, recycled art (of course!), sculptures, stone art, canvas. Everything. Unfortunately, because of the new baggage rules, all I managed to get was a pair of sculpture/wall art in brass from an artist based in Arizona!

The street was alive with performers, general millers-around and tourists like us. And sculptures! This sculpture of a girl on a swing had so much movement in it and the whole thing was balanced on her trailing "dress". Unfortunately, I have only this view of the sculpture, not the part where the "dress" is balancing the entire sculpture.
I loved the motion and the asymmetry of this sculpture
Boulder, the City, also has a Museum of Contemporary art, which unfortunately, was closed on the only day we had the time to visit it. Since we had already fed the parking meter we decided to stop by at the nearby Dushanbe Tea House. A building that was disassembled and relocated all the way from Tajikistan! And.. this tea house had Masala Dosa (a staple of the southern Indian state that I hail from) on its menu! The ingredients list for the masala dosa, though, had some interesting and very un-south Indian spices. The only trouble was, neither of us was hungry, so we just had us some tea. Coloradans seem to be great tea drinkers, if Boulder is anything to go by. While the hotel I stayed in served tepid sugar water under the name of hot chocolate, their teas were Tazo!

Interior of Dushanbe Tea House

What we missed in the museum of contemporary art, we made up at the Leaning Tree's sculpture and art gallery (free admission, with a donation box). Although at first I was very skeptical about an art museum maintained by a greeting card company, I changed my mind once I entered. The gallery itself contained several western themed paintings and sculptures, where the theme of balancing a whole sculpture on a relatively small point, continued. We were allowed no photographs inside, but the gardens did have several large sculptures that we managed to capture onto pixels.

Sakagawea with her child in the foreground and a leaping panther in the background
Details of the face of a woman -- one of the early prospectors

And then the piece de resistance -- this completely "recycled" horse! Built completely out of yard and other junk, welded together to make the most interesting sculpture. I marvel at the amount of planning and vision this sculpture must have taken. It's one thing to sculpt something out of a "blank slate", it is something else (I would imagine) to sculpt something from already existing forms! I imagine that you would need to somehow erase the familiar object from your mind and see it as a completely different piece!

Oh how I love this little town!

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Boulder Colorado through iPhone eyes

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I am so impressed with Boulder's picturesqueness that I am going to let the pictures do all the talking.

Putting the Boulder in Boulder, Colorado?

Rocky Mountain National Park

The foothills was hot and sunny, by the time we got to the top, it was hailing and cold!

Alpine Tundra

Even a volcanic canyon!

Boulder Falls -- a little footnote of an attraction!

It's a pity I did not actually have the time to hike these mountains!

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Monday, 16 July 2012

Patio Paver Planter

Sunday was a day to finally work on building my patio paver planter. I love contemporary furniture and garden decor and was initially planning on building a large planter from concrete for my front yard. My only problem was building the form for this thing. I was procrastinating because of the effort involved.

Then I came across this site:
Wow! Neat idea. I decided I would build myself a couple of these.
The only thing I did different was to use 16"x16" pavers squares.

I would add the following:

1. It is vitally important to find a perfectly flat surface on which to make your planter, otherwise, things just don't line up right.

1 a. So, when you don't have things lining up, you need something to force the ends to touch each other. Either a clamp mechanism or an improvised clamp mechanism. I just improvised

2. I used some pebbles as spacers when I was trying to attach the bottom for the second planter.

3. Next time, I think I would use very thin strips of wood as spacers when attaching the bottom to the rest of the planter, because these pebbles weren't even and so did not really help much. I landed up having to move them out.

4. This could also be used as a bottom less planter if you want to put it directly on the soil in the garden to create some vertical interest while still having a mostly seamless look

Can't wait for these guys to cure so I can paint them!

I hope the construction glue will cure well to give me nice drainage channels at the bottom. I was not so luck one one side of the planter, where the weight of the last block squished my construction adhesive flat!

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