Thursday, June 25, 2009

Continuing our story....

I have designed the new blog to continue the story of our life as we live in the United States. You can find the new blog at
Stop by and let me know what you think! I may not have as much to write about but we'll see. I have learned you never know where life may take you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to reality...gulp

Well, we are back in the "real world". I realize what truly incredible experience India was now that I am back to reality! What a life we had over there. Everyone wants to know how I feel about being back. Well, lots of different emotions. I can't say that I am sad to be back but I do miss India. I can't imagine 2 years ago I would have uttered those words. But I do miss it...the colors, sites, cow lined streets, the people, less hectic schedules, etc. There are a lot of things I don't miss...dirt, poverty, UHT milk, shopping at Fresh and Frozen, cleaning produce, etc. We seemed to pack quite few things in the last few weeks of life in Chennai that I wanted to share with you. I am so thankful that we had our time in India!

Sundar and his family
Outside Bhaskar's gate
Bhaskar and his wife, two sons, mother, sister and nieces
The kitchen
The packers~did a great job!
Put this in the sea shipment please...see you in 2 months Logan
Millie's last walk to the beach with Aruna
Logan and Harry (will miss him climbing over the wall!)
A trip to Pondicherry~past the salt mines
The finished product heading to market
The reason we went to Pondicherry~to get a photo of the right eye
Cute huh? She should really paint those toes
Wide Load coming through
Lotus flowers in a temple pond
Chilling out by the pool at Fisherman's Cove (we stayed here when our house was packed up)

Checking Millie and Cleo in at the airport
Our neighbors were on the first part of the trip!
Waiting in Frankfurt Germany...halfway home
Millie and Cleo under the engine...glad they didn't forget them!

I have really enjoyed keeping this blog the past 20 months or so. It has been a fantastic way for me to journal our time in India! I am glad that I have been able to share our experiences with friends and family. I am also very thankful that I have been able to use this blog to teach others about our experiences of being an expat in Chennai India! I have loved being able to handle the technical aspect of publishing this blog. I have truly enjoyed photographing the part of the world we have been blessed to see. I am not sure exactly what to do now. I do want to continue blogging but will most likely begin a new blogspot so that Our Time in India can remain just that...Our time in India. So check back and I will let you know were you can see Our life in the US! Thank you everyone for you love and support!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back in the USA

We have now been back in the US for 4 days and are beginning to get over jet lag. It was a very busy week last week with the packers, end of school and saying goodbyes. It is hard to believe that our time in India is over. Seems like a dream in one way that we were ever there. But we were and what a great experience it was! I still have several more blogs that I need to add about things that we did before heading back to the US. I hope to work on it in a few days. I just don't seem to have the time like before since I am now the housekeeper, cook, driver, and gardener!

Happy Birthday Logan

Today Logan is 11 years old. I can't believe how big is he getting! Seems like he was just a baby. We can't imagine not having him in our family. He adds such a dimension to our family...mostly laughter and noise:) He is a great kid and loves to keep us laughing. We are so proud of him and all he does. We are truly blessed to have such a great son as Logan. Happy Birthday Logan! We love you very much!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

See you later...not farewell

One thing about leaving anyplace whether it is leaving a home or leaving a family reunion, goodbyes are hard for me. I cry at the drop of the hat! Saturday night our dear friends Alan and Juliet hosted a party in our honor, the last time we would all be together in India. Over the past year we have gotten together with 4 families, 10 adults and 10 kids for dinner and drinks every Friday or Saturday night...sometimes both! We have made such good memories and have had so much fun together. We have learned to understand British and Scottish people talking. Yes, they speak English but it sounds a wee bit different than the Midwest English we were used to. We have learned a lot of terms and phases. The evening began with some cocktails on Alan and Juliet's rooftop while hearing the ocean waves crash and the warm breeze blowing. Then we headed down to dinner where Juliet once again set a lovely table! She should be a party planner because she can make a table look gorgeous! We toasted with champagne flown in from London (thanks Ian!) and started dinner. I had no clue what we were in for after dinner. They presented us with a beautiful collage of photos from our travels we have taken! Everyone knows how I love photography and I always wondered how I could display the photos, now I know! Ted had managed to sneak our hard drive over to Yan's house where they all spent hours cutting photos apart. It is awesome! But the evening wasn't over...they gave me a beautiful Saree as well as some head decorations and some beautiful decorated rubber gloves so when I have to go back to doing my own dishes I shall feel like a queen! Of course to go along with it Ted was presented a Maharajah hat and a flashing ganesh decoration. To complete the evening we were given a list of things that we could do back in Illinois to make it feel a bit like India.
  1. Stop the local garbage pickup and sprinkle it liberally around your yard.
  2. Allow the cows to roam freely about your property and neighbors property.
  3. When asked for directions always give directions even if you don't know where they are trying to get to, and simply point them back in the direction that they just came from.
  4. When having repairs done in your home, insist that the electrician or plumber, be accompanied by a small boy and only allow them to use a single screwdriver while doing the work.
  5. While driving your car use the horn liberally.
  6. Put up a guard shack at the end of the drive complete with a log book and record everyone who comes and goes.
  7. Have your morning constitution overlooking the stream in the woods.
  8. When driving just drive down the center of the road. Make sure to use your horn a lot.
  9. Stop and pee along side the road frequently.
  10. Throw any trash we may accumulate in van out the window.
  11. When giving an answer refuse to answer yes or know, just bob your head sideways.
The great group that helped make India a great experience

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jane Goodall's visit

Several months ago our neighbors hosted a fundraiser cocktail party where Jane Goodall was the guest speaker. I can remember watching her on TV as a child and was fascinated by the life she led living with the chimpanzees. We were able to have our photo with her and get an autographed book. Unfortunately Ted was unable to be there as he was en route to the US.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Please don't say thank you

I was at store today shopping for some silver jewelry. Whenever I shop, unless I am extremely irritated with the shop, I am polite. I like to say please and thank you. But today the sales clerk, very nicely said you don't need to say please and thank you, I am here to serve you. I told him I believe being polite (saying please and thank you) was important to me. I explained that by me being polite he could still help me and that I felt it would be rude of me to forget my manners! The other funny thing was he kept wanting me to sit down while looking at jewelry but the fact that I am so short made it hard to get a good look at the jewelry, so I stood. I actually joked and asked if he would get in trouble if I didn't sit down:) Soon I will be back to the US where it will be hard to find a salesclerk in a three mile radius of the store and I will wish for a brief nanosecond I was back in India!