Friday, February 29, 2008

24th Day of Lent - Thought for the day

Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart

And try to love the questions themselves

Like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue

Do not seek for the answers that cannot be given

For you would not be able to live them

And the point is to live everything

Live the questions now

And perhaps without knowing it

You will live along some day into the answers

Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, February 28, 2008

23rd Day of Lent - Thought of the day

Today's thought of the day is going to be a visual one. As 6:45 this morning as I was reversing out of my driveway I realized that I didn't have my work access badge, I went back to get it I was delighted to see how many more lilies had come out in the garden:

So I went in and got my new camera and took lots of photographs, as it was early morning there was lots of due still on the leaves and flowers and I think I captured some of this! I spent about 15 minutes just enjoying the beauty of the lilies and the wonder of Spring. My challenge to you all today is to take some time out of your rushed day to take notice of the wonderful world around you.

Here is a slideshow of all the other photos I took, I also added a photo taken on our wedding day as Cala lilies were flowers of my bouquet and Larry's buttoneer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

22nd Day of Lent - Thought for the day

Speak tenderly to them.
Let there be kindness in your face,
in your eyes, in your smile,
in the warmth of your greeting.
Always have a cheerful smile.
Don't only give your care,
but give your heart as well.

~Mother Teresa~

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

21st day of Lent - Thought of the day

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don't have.

What is one person's worthless object is another's prize possession, It is all based on one's perspective.
Make your wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have, instead of worrying
about wanting more. Yes, it's all a matter of perspective.

I've heard it said before that the richest are not those with the most, but those who need the least,
Take joy in al you have, especially your friends.

Monday, February 25, 2008

How will I survive.........

......the next few weeks I need to avoid the drug store and all grocery stores as the following has arrived:

Nob hill on Friday night had then not only as you walked in on the door by the the US Bank side  but also by Pete's Coffee. No door is safe to enter!! My Doctor's voice of no sugar rang through my head as I wandered the aisles buying all healthy food.  The devil was also there telling me that they are only 170 calories each, they cannot be that bad for you. Of course, I know that I cannot eat  just one one and I am know in other Easter candy season to buy a box of four and eat them all in one day - see I am my Mothers  daughter. 

I was at Wallgreen's today and what I saw just made me nearly breakdown and cry. Imagine how I felt when I not only saw Cadbury Creme Eggs but also Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs as follows:

I nearly had a to pry my hands away finger by finger from the shelf as just the idea if them send me to heaven and back. I can just image what it is like to bite into the chocolate shell and then lick the cream filling out with my tongue. "How Do You Eat Yours?"

  Oh this is going to be so so hard. I have not had chocolate for such a long time and I really didn't crave it for a long time until I saw these small 34 grams of gooyie goodness and now I am dreaming of a room full of the following

Boxes and boxes of Orange Creme eggs...........maybe I should have some boiled eggs for dinner and pretend they are chocolate. No I don't think that will work. Anyone got any good ideas on how I will survive?? Should I listen to my Doctors voice in my head or to the Devils voice????

20th Day of Lent - thought of the day

Lord, give us the power of hope,
The fire of love,
The light of faith. 

Be faithful to the truth and its transmission,
for the truth endures; truth will not go away.
Truth will not pass or change.

Pope John Paul II

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another great moment to be Irish..............

I watched the movie Once last weekend and loved it! Tonight I just watched Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova win an Oscar for the song "Falling Slowly" and jumped up and down just as excited as if Ireland scored a goal in the World Cup.

I have the soundtrack of this wonderful independant movie on my iPod for about two weeks now and all the songs are amazing and I am so glad that they have won an Ocscar. Here is the song with some wonderful scenes from the movie:

I love all the scenes of Dublin, it reminds me of the six and a half years that I lived there.
If you have not seen the movie yet, it is a must see. I need to watch it again and it maybe one that I might even buy!

19th Day of Lent - Thought of the Day

Infinite Love
Because of the great,
infinite love which God has for all humankind, 
he makes no distinction in love between the blessed soul of Christ 
and the lowliest of the souls that are to be saved . . . . 
We should highly rejoice that God dwells in our soul 
and still more highly should we rejoice that our soul dwells in God. 
Our soul is made to be God's dwelling place, 
and the dwelling place of our soul 
is God who was never made.

Mother Julian of Norwich (1342 - 1416)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My garden in Mountain View

On Wednesday the postman arrived with our new toy a Nikon D40, you may remember in my Macworld post that one of my 2008 goals is to buy a new SLR camera and take some photography lessons. Costco had a great deal with a  $100 coupon, with 2 lenses and a 2 GB SD card. The coupon ended last Sunday so on Saturday with a few clicks of the mouse the camera was ours!! 

When I got home from work on Wednesday, I was lucky to get a break from this weeks rain and I decided to take some pictures in our garden. The front garden in looked after by our landlord and the back garden is in fact a collection of pots and wine barrels to keep me busy!! 

Here are the results of my first attempt of using our new D40. 

The front garden:

1) This is my favorite picture as I like the look of the full orange tree through the barren peach tree.

2) Testing the zoom on the orange tree

3) My favorite plant in the garden 

Back Garden:

1)  The bulbs that Dad planted 

2) The lemon from my lemon tree

3) More flowers that Dad planted:

And now a slide show of all the photos I took:

The miracles of spring

In my Valentines Day post,  you may remember the indoor tulips that I got from Lar. 

Here  are pictures that shows what the difference  week a makes:

Aren't they beautiful?   Thanks Larry for a gift that keeps on giving. 

18th day of Lent - Thought of the Day

A varied of quotes from Mother Teresa:

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. 

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted. 

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. 

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

Friday, February 22, 2008

17th Day of Lent - Thought of the day

"God moves in a mysterious way
his wonders to perform;
he plants his footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm."
William Cowper

Thursday, February 21, 2008

16th Day of Lent - Thought of the day

Butterfly Wishes

Yesterday a butterfly
Came floating gently through the sky.
He soared up through the atmosphere
Then drifted close enough to hear.

I said, "I'd love to fly with you
And sail around the way you do.
It looks like it would be such fun
To fly up toward the summer sun.

But I have not your graceful charm.
I haven't wings, just these two arms.
I've been designed to walk around.
My human feet must touch the ground.

Then magically he spoke to me
and told me what his wish would be.

He said, "What I'd love most to do
Is walk upon God's Earth with you,
To squish it's mud between my toes
Or touch my finger to my nose.

I'd love just once to walk around
With human feet to touch the ground,
But I have not two legs that swing,
I haven't arms, just these two wings."

And so we went our separate ways
In wonder and surprise.
For we'd both seen God's precious gifts
Through someone else's eyes.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

15th Day of Lent - Thought of the Day

Go calmly in peace,
for you will have a good escort,
because He who created you
has sent you the Holy Spirit
and has always guarded you
as a mother does her child
who loves her.

—St. Clare of Assisi

Thanks to my wonderful friend Therese who send me this in a card today and saved me from finding a thought for the day!! Love you lot T and give Marcus a big hug from Auntie Leona and Uncle Lar.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fourteenth day of Lent - Thought of the Day

Think of an ocean liner traveling the seas. A small change in its course will, over time, greatly change the destination. Lent is an opportunity to have small changes in your daily life make a big difference in your life over the long run. Practice Lent, right where you are. It’s where God is waiting for you.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thirteenth day of Lent - Thought of the day

Sometimes is seems that we have been praying a long time
and still do not have what we ask. But we should not be sad.
I am sure that what our Lord means is that either we should wait
for a better time, or more grace, or a better gift.

Julian of Norwich

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mountain View Farmers Market

Just back from the Mountain View Farmers Market, when I left it was a very foggy morning but it was not cold. I had fun trying the samples today it really was the day for oranges - I never knew there was so many kinds - each sweeter than the other.

I bought some great stuff:
  • yummy cabbage - yep I was the only kid in Riverview whose eyes lit up when we had cabbage for dinner
  • onions are also one of my favorites
  • Swank Farms Heirloom Salsa with huge tomato chunks
  • Ohlone Valley Jalapeno Smoked Salmon Spread 
  • Bolani Sun Dried Tomato Humus  from the East & West Gourmet Afgan Food
  • Channa Masala which is an India Garbanzo Bean Chili
 I am about to have lunch and not really sure which of the above to have. Maybe I will get some of my whole wheat crackers and have some the salmon spread, humus and masala..........yummy!! 

Here is a slide show of the photos I took as I wandered around the market. Note as I was leaving the fog lifted than and the sun began to shine.

An update on "Mary and Me"

In a post early in the new year, Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God, I talked about a new  book of my friend Ginny that would be coming out soon. The good news is that it is out now and is wonderful!

The website for the book is:  Mary and Me. Pass the word along to anyone else you know who would be interested in it and buy a copy here.

Here is a wonderful picture I took of Ginny and her son Matthew last Sunday at our friends Sarndra's Birthday party:

All kinds of everything - a special bond continents apart!

A little before Christmas Rakesh,  a fellow AOL Journals team members,  called me over to his cube to show me something on his computer. I thought it was some work stuff but was just blow away by what did transpire in the next 10 - 15 minutes. 

 Rakesh asked me if I knew the song "All kinds of everything  by Dana" and I said "Of course I did. Everyone in Ireland did as she won the Eurovision Song Contest in the '70's and I spent my childhood singing this song, listening to it on the radio and seeing it on the TV every year when  Eurovision time came around."

Rakesh proceeded to show me a YouTube video of Dana singing the song at the Eurovision song contest  and the two of us started sining along to it and I must admit that when it was finished the two of us had tears in our eyes. Here is the video:

Here are the lyrics of this simple but beautiful song:

Snow drops and daffodils, butterflies and bees 
Sailboats and fishermen, things of the sea 
Wishing wells, wedding bells, early morning dew 
All kinds of everything remind me of you 

Seagulls and aeroplanes, things of the sky 
Winds that go howling, breezes that sigh 
City sights, neon lights, grey skies or blue 
All kinds of everything remind me of you 

Summertime, wintertime, spring and autumn too 
Monday, Tuesday, every day, I think of you 

Dances, romances, things of the night 
Sunshine and holidays, postcards to write 
Budding trees, autumn leaves, a snowflake or two 
All kinds of everything remind me of you 

Summertime, wintertime, spring and autumn too 
Seasons will never change the way that I love you 

Dances, romances, things of the night 
Sunshine and holidays, postcards to write 
Budding trees, autumn leaves, a snowflake or two 
All kinds of everything remind me of you 
All kinds of everything remind me of you

When the song ended I asked Rakesh how did he know the song and he explained to me that in the 70's he Dad studied in London and he recorded this song and another by Mary Hopkins  and brought them back to his family in India. Rakesh has fond memories of sitting in his home in India listening and singing along to these beautiful songs. 

I just think it is awesome that we both were children singing this song but worlds  apart - Leona in Ireland and Rakesh in India but bonded by Dana a young 19 year old who won a song contest with this very beautiful song. We connect up in the Silicon Valley and work with each other for over a year and then discover a wonderful link in our past. Was this a coincidence or did God have a part to play in this?

I asked Rakesh for photos of his family and I told him it was for a secret and of course I wanted the photos to Blog about this wonderful moment of sharing and bonding we had. Here are the photos he sent me, he also gave me some history of his family and the photos and I use his own word to explain:

My dad, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Mishra( in short Dr. R. K. Mishra) did his Masters and Ph.D under Professor H.O.W. Richardson ( son of Nobel Laurete O.W. Richardson ) in Nuclear Physics during 1966-1970 at Bedford College, London University. Bedford College has since been merged with Royal Hollaway College and has moved to Egham county. Bedford College during those years was in London.

These pictures were taken in Indian YMCA , located at Fitzroy Square, London while we were returning back from Tripoli , after completing his six years of teaching assignment at Al-Fateh University.

In this picture , from the right , its me (Rakesh) , then there is an unknown person lurking in, the person writing in the autograph book is the Indian scientist George Sudarshan, my younger brother ( Rajesh), dad partially visible, my younger sister ( Vandana) and my mom ( Anjula).

In thia picture, from the right, its my younger sister ( Vandana), me , George Sudarshan, younger brother ( Rajesh ),my dad and my mom.

Here is a picture of Rakesh and I taken last week :

Unfortunately, this was at a lunch for Rakesh's last day at AOL. We had a wonderful lunch with the AOL Journals team but it was bitter sweet to see one of our team members and friends leave. 

The great news is that Rakesh and his wonderful wife are expecting a baby for June and I know that Rakesh will make a wonderful father and I know that one of the first songs the new baby will hear will be "All kinds of everthing".
Rakesh I am available for baby siting anytime and my fee is very cheep -  I just give and receive lots of love!

Twelfth day of Lent - Thought of the day

DEAR JESUS, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarndra!

Last Sunday, I had another friend who had a February for celebration! I spent the afternoon at Sarndra birthday party and had an awesome time. The good time was not just because Bobby of course did the cooking but also it was awesome to spent time with my San Francisco friends. It has been a number of years since I saw some of them as my move to Mountain View I rarely go to the city.

Sarndra is always a joy to be around as she is always so cheery and positive - I hope the next year is one when all your dreams come true!

Here are the wonderful photos I took of an awesome birthday party! Click the sound button for the song to go with the slide show.

Happy Birthday Juanid

 On Friday we had a surprise birthday celebration for our work colleague and friend Junaid. We all knew his birthday was February but he would never tell us the date.  With  a little detective work on the part of  little Project Manger and the help of Facebook and a cooperative wife ( Thanks Mahira!) we found out the date was Sunday the 17th. 

Project Surprise Junaid was planned and all worked out really well - at the beginning there was a few moments of denial from the birthday boy but after a few moments he joined in the fun and we all were allowed to celebrate him and show him how much he means to us all. We are all like family in AOL, Mountain View.

Here are the photos I took on Friday, click the sound button for the song to go with the slide show:

Eleventh Day of Lent - Thought of the day

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."

Mother Teresa

Friday, February 15, 2008

I was spoilt yesterday

I had a truly wonderful Valentines day and was shown lots of love!
First I got this wonderful flower from my work friend Ann:

I love the Hyacinth and the smell is just awesome. Ann has just spent a week in Dublin and really had a lovely time, despite having to actually do some work she got to so some tourist stuff also. She also fell in love with Irish tea and of course I had to give her a box of Lyon's tea as my Dad worked for them for 35 years. She loves her morning cupa! Thanks Ann for your Friendship and support.
After my 10am meeting I had a phone call to say there was something special for me at reception and I went down to find the following:

Isn't is wonderful? A purple butterfly balloon from a secret valentine. Larry claims that he didn't drop it off but the writing on the card is very like his. When I emailed him the above picture his relpy was " Hmmm....
You have a secret valentine. I guess I should be concerned."
When I came home with it he didn't seem to concerned.

When I got home I got the following:

A wonderful butterfly stake for my garden, red roses and indoor red tulips. I also got a iTunes gift Card. Thanks Lar, for all you wonderfully thought out gifts and also thanks for being my Secret Valentine!!

Overall I had a wonderful day and felt truly loved and cared for!

But the story doesn't end there, as I was a bad wife and insisted on going to my class last night we are saving our dinner to Saturday night.

We are going to spend the day in the city and for the afternoon fly my Santa gift of my butterfly kite at Crissy field with Charlotte and Alexander:

Then later in the evening we have reservation at O'Reilly's Holy Grail for dinner. We have not been here yet but the description on is great:

"Located in the former home of Mayes Oyster House, we specialize in superb seafood and rustic European cuisine. Our menu is rich in raw seafood, house smoked and braised meats. The beautiful dining room is dominated by 19th century church stained glass, a copper ceiling and a beautiful open fireplace. This is the most exciting addition to the San Francisco dining scene in years!"

I am really looking forward to trying it out and extending my Valentines Day celebration for another day and also spending part of the day with such great friends as Charlotte and Alexander. I have been looking forward to flying my kite since Santa left it for me but with my arm injury and the rain it was not possible. Not sure if my arm is still 100% ready to fly my kite but I think I will have lots of big and little hands to help me!

Tenth Day of Lent - Though of the day

An Inspirational Prayer -
Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
by St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood
as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving
that we receive,
it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ninth Day of Lent - Thought of the day

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words. 
St. Francis of Assisi

Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self. 
St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eight Day of Lent - Thought of the day

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seventh Day of Lent - Thought of the day

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
Mother Teresa

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sixth Day of Lent - Thought of the day

As it is the 150th Anniversary of the first apperance of Our Lady at Lourdes and it her feast day today, I had to use a prayer to her today:

The prayer is as follows:


O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Mercy,
you are the refuge of sinners,
the health of the sick,
and the comfort of the afflicted.
You know my wants,
my troubles, my sufferings.
By your appearance at the Grotto of Lourdes
you made it a privileged sanctuary
where your favors are given to people
streaming to it from the whole world.
Over the years countless sufferers
have obtained the cure for their infirmities -
whether of soul, mind, or body.
Therefore I come to you
with limitless confidence
to implore your motherly intercession.
Obtain, O loving Mother,
the grant of my requests.
Through gratitude for Your favors,
I will endeavor to imitate Your virtues,
that I may one day share in Your glory.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fifth day of Lent - Thought of the day

An Inspirational Prayer - 
The 23rd Psalm, The Lord is My Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: 
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

What a wonderful afternoon and evening!!

Yesterday afternoon I went to Los Gatos to visit with our wonderful friend Frances who was had just got out of the hospital that morning. Diana and George were also visiting from Fresno and it is always a joy to spend time with them, they came to our wedding in Ireland and they will both always hold a very special place in my heart. 
Frances is looking great for someone just out of the hospital:

Isn't she beautiful!!

After a few hours of catching up with all the news George got busy in the kitchen:

Diana helped out too:

We all shared a wonderful dinner and some more wonderful conversation. Frances kept getting phone calls from friends and grandchildren checking in to see how she was doing, it really did show how much she is cared about and loved! 

When dinner was over, Frances, declared it was time for Skip-Bo and I got introduced to a wonderful card game that has the ability to cause laughter, fun, marital divorce, loss of friendship and I believe I owe lots of quarters to the swear jar. The games didn't start until George got busy in the kitchen again and did the dishes:

And then the real fun began, we played five rounds and for the first four each of us won  a hand and then we played the final one for the overall winner. The tension got really high and I not sure who I was more worried about Frances who was just out of the hospital or my high blood pressure level. In the end Diana was the overall winner and I think I did apologies to her for the number of times I called her a "b with an itch " for stealing my plays, I tired to explain to her that this was a term of endearment in Ireland!! Here are some photos from the card game:

All good evenings come to an end but not before a few photos with me in them! 

Thanks to Frances, Diana and George for a wonderful time, it was great to spend time together,  laugh,  have fun, call each other names, curse, tease each other but overall Thanks for your love and support. Having you all in my life has enriched it and shown me that there is another way to live which I strive to do everyday! 

 Frances next time your lady friends are coming to play Skip-bo let me know and I will bring my laundry money with me and join the fun! :-)