MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Fresh Start

Another year has passed since I wrote my last post. The year has been hard not only me but on the whole world due to COVID. It was also the year when I lost my other four-legged son Matt on April 13, 2020.

As we took COVID seriously, we literally became (and more or less still is) a prisoner within the house. Anxiety, loneliness being cut off from other family members and friends, and depression were the common theme of 2020. Life is not sustainable in that way. So, we and especially me starting a fresh start in 2021. 

Gardening pushes depression away; writing brings in excitement and hope as I dream and plan about the garden. I hope to capture all those ideas here in my small corner of the blog-world. 

My daughter is now three-years-old, and has started understanding and enjoying the concepts of gardening, growing and outdoor space. She is also unlike any children who loves eating vegetables and especially if they are fresh and raw. She would try to pick up anything green and nibble (and that can be dangerous since plants can be poisonous). She also loves ladybugs, birds, flowers, bees and butterflies. So, our ultimate garden will be a child-friendly yard with lots of fresh produce and flowers and herbs to attract her favorite creatures to the garden. 

The garden has gone into complete neglect in the last three years since I got busy into taking care of a child, and handling all the death and depression. So, in the last three days I have taken the baby-steps: 
  • seeded about 22 coriander seeds indoor under the grow light
  • seeded about  40 broccoli seeds and put it outside to make them cold-hardy and strong
  • scattered lots of coriander seeds outside in some big flat containers, ideal for growing coriander/cilantro. Winter has not yet left and so the outdoor seeds will take longer to germinate. 
  • Cleaned up one of the beds; all the run-away strawberry plants from the bed has got re-planted in proper containers. 
  • Planted the seeds of some store-bought organic pepper that we love
  • Ordered 25 sweet potato slips from Fedco, and 
  • ordered lots and lots of tomato, eggplants and hot pepper plants from I love this place as they are local and grow everything by themselves. It is a good way to help local economy. 
I hope to slowly convert the front and backyard into one of those showy home-gardens shown on British TVs. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What a sad and eventful year and it is still continuing

It has been more than a year since I last wrote a post. And, within that time so many things happened to drastically change my life and outlook.

On March 10, 2019 my first son, my beloved Casper passed away. Casper died due to the wrong diagnosis of the first veterinarian to whom I was taking him. Casper's death has really affected Matt, another of my pet-doggy-son. He has grown so old within a year; his face has become much whiter. He has developed arthritis and drags his back legs behind. So, I need to medicate him and that makes him good. But, the medicine has other side effects; he doesn't see or hear properly. He can no longer walk long distance or stand for a while or climb up and down the stairs. I am also seeing a small tumor being developed in his mouth. I am now wondering if he will survive the next one year.

On March 14, 2019, we did the last rite for Casper. We cremated him. It was a beautiful ceremony at a beautiful place. They really did everything so nicely that it seemed like Casper was just sleeping. I did not get much time to mourn Casper before my father got admitted to ICU on March 20, 2019. I needed to rush to his side. He was on ventilation and was almost passing away. He recovered slightly and the doctors put him on tracheostomy tubes. He had Parkinson Disease and dementia. He was completely bedridden now with tracheostomy tubes through which he breath and he was also fed through some nasal tube; he was on catheter; he looked like a skeleton lying on the bed with all sorts of tubes going into him. It was awful to look at him. And, he was not here (in the USA) and thus I couldn't do much as medical laws, rules, techniques, everything is really backdated in the country where he decided to live. He suffered all those tortures and passed away on December 28, 2019.

The year 2019 was the year of death, not only the death of my beloved dog and my dearest father, but also of four colleagues, two close uncles and others. It was also the year when I lost my much-loved full-time job. I am a researcher and professor but my university decided to do restructure and thus it laid off more than 60% of all full-time faculties. Amidst all these sad and desperate time, I am glad that my partner and child are healthy and hearty and Matt is still here. My favorite garden with all its companions is also here. And, I hope it continues that way though 2020 is turning out to be worse as 2019 with Covid-19.

I am yet to overcome all the tragedies of 2019 and the coronavirus is not helping so far. But, spring is in the air. I hope my garden and this garden blog will all the required peace that I need.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Casper and Tim Maher

This blog is about gardening. But, today I am not going to talk about gardening but a wonderful creation. As you might remember from my others posts, I have two dogs. They are (or were) literally the stewards of my garden. They never destroyed any plants or any of the garden beds; they obediently followed all the rules about avoiding which parts of the garden. However, through barking and chasing they kept all the birds, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks away.

As my barren, no-tree, only-grass, chemical-infused (that's how the garden was when we bought our house) evolved through the last decade, so did the stewards. They grew old. The chasing gave away to nimble trot. Constant alert and watchfulness gave away to snoozing in the warmth of sun. You dare not come near my house growling turned to raspy and feeble barking. I saw them grow old and matured, and was getting comfortable with the idea of snoozing with them in front of the fire-place for many more moons to come. But man (woman in this case) proposes, God disposes.

The white one is Casper. On October 26, 2018, he started sneezing badly. They were loud sneezes, the force of which was making him fall over and get his head bumped on the floor. He then started bleeding from his nose. After much ups and down, fail diagnosis, bad veterinarians bent on just stealing money and not diagnosing, we found good vets. The final diagnosis is Cancer. Now, we are waiting for the result which will tell us what sort of cancer, how much time we have with him, any chance of cure or not. In the meantime, though, his health is deteriorating. He has lost almost all his muscles, he is now a skeleton with skin and fur. Now and then he refuses to eat. He is just a very strong dog with a stronger will, and that's what pushing him ahead, we think. He has already been hospitalized four times, and every time  he bounced back so nicely that even the doctors were surprised.

I am just hoping such surprises and miracles continue. I am not yet ready to see him cross the rainbow-bridge. We recently had a baby, and life was so rosy and blissful. But after sunny days come the dark, cloudy days, I guess.

While all these are going on, I decided to have a portrait of Casper done. I know an awesome local artist. So, I requested him to create a portrait of Casper in oil-painting. I gave him a photo, and he created a Genuine Gem.

This is the picture of the oil-painting, and seriously the picture is not doing justice to the painting. The picture is all grainy and hazy. But, the real-painting is simply mesmerizing. We didn't realize that it was going to be so lively and life-like. Hubby and I simply cannot take our eyes away from the painting. The other evening I entered the room deep in thought; I caught the painting through the corner of my eyes and mused for a fraction of second what was casper doing on top of the door frame; how did he climb up there? Then I realized it was the painting.

The painting is so realistically done that it seems like real, living and breathing Casper staring out of it. The painting captured each and every spots and shades on his fur. Not a single strand of his fur missing. The posture is perfectly captured. His emotions and personalities are vividly coming out of the painting.

Now I am wondering whether the painting will give me solace or more heartache when Casper will be no longer with us. I will think Casper alive, sitting and staring at me; I will reach out to touch his soft fur only to realize that it is a painting.

Tim Maher is the artist who painted it. I wonder how long it took him to paint such a masterpiece, at least to our eyes since we know Casper in real life and thus can compare the painting to him. Yes, it costed some money; many might say why not blow up the photo to the size of the painting? But what is money compared to the love, dedication, thought and hard-work that the painter poured into the painting? Perhaps that is why the painting has come out so life-like as it got imbued with the magic and breath of the painter.

Thus, I dedicate this post to painter Mr. Tim Maher of New Jersey.