25 September, 2019

Thus, the fall season starts

Today is the third day of fall season. The color change hasn't begun yet. Will be happy to share fall colors in the coming days 🙂

Until next time,

Linking this post to #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop hosted by Parul.

One of those full moon nights #wordlesswednesday

Linking this post to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha.

17 September, 2019

Happy Haiku by Elizabeth Crocket - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title : Happy Haiku
Author : Elizabeth Crocket
Illustrator: Jack Foster
Publisher : Crimson Cloak Publishing
Genre : Children Books, Children Holiday Books, Children Poetry, Picture Book
Print Length : 36 pages
Source : A free e-review copy from the author


These 26 delicious scenes retrieved from childhood help us, young and old, to revisit those times and to share them anew. Not the cookie-cutter haiku you’ll find in similar books, Liz Crocket’s work will introduce your child (and perhaps you!) to the way contemporary haiku has evolved over the past half-century, and perhaps inspire you to capture your own special moments in the same fashion.

— Jim Kacian, Editor-in-Chief, Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years

Elizabeth Crocket has filled this book with happy stories from nature, lessons on life, great ideas for children to try, and lots of family love. The 26 haiku--as many as the letters in the alphabet—present fine examples of alliteration “birthday bat”, expression “cutting teeth”, suspense “suddenly…” and hinge questions, “do you love me?” Short and simple to read on 3-lines following the form of traditional Japanese poetry, these haiku can inspire children from as early as two to become creative writers too.

 – David McMurray (Asahi Haikuist columnist in Japan)

Purchase Links:

My Review:

Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry written in 3 sentences with 17 syllables. The Haikus are popular for simplicity and directness of expression. 

This book is a collection of such Haikus especially on childhood. The author successfully covers different emotions of children, their excitement, innocence and their pure nature. I remembered my childhood reading some of these haiku.They are simple and touch our heart.

The simple pleasures of childhood like gathering blankets for forts, saving pennies in a Jar for next vacation, sliding through water in tube, watching fireworks, playing with sand in beach etc and many more .., are all beautifully mentioned in this poetry. 

I loved the illustrations. They are excellent complimenting the poetry and emotions. It is a good book to introduce contemporary and simple poetry to a 6 yr old.  I have really enjoyed the book and I would recommend this to other parents and children. 

My Rating: 5/5

PS: I have received this e-book in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

About the Author:

Elizabeth is an award winning Japanese short form poet and author living in Ontario, Canada. 

She has two chapbooks published with Red Moon Press. One of them was shortlisted for the prestigious American Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. 

Elizabeth also writes women's fiction and has two books published with Crimson Cloak Publishing. She has six grandchildren she loves to the moon and back. Jack Foster has been illustrating children's books for nine years, and has illustrated over sixty books.

Elizabeth's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.crocket.7923
Elizabeth's website: https://elizabethcrocket.com/

Until next time,

15 September, 2019

Crazy Horse and CarHenge #SouthDakotaTrip

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I have become super busy these days and so, couldn't write my Day 3 Travelogue of our South Dakota trip. On Day 3, We covered Crazy Horse Memorial and the beautiful Car Henge in Nebraska while returning  to Colorado Springs.

Before reading this travelogue, go through my earlier posts of our South Dakota trip:

A plan of South Dakota Trip with kids

Rapid City - Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park

Spearfish Canyon and Badlands National Park

Here are some flights to reach Rapid City, South Dakota:

The Final Plan

Looking for accommodations around Rapid city? 
This might help.

Crazy horse memorial has the quote "Never forget your dreams"  written all over the place in Visitor center. The construction of this memorial of course is a mammoth task and it is the result of many sculptors' dream and vision.

Actual Sculpture - In progress

 The elevation of the mountain on which the memorial is built is 6352 ft above sea level. This sculpture was started by Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear 
At the Museum
Fighting Stallions Sculpture At Crazy horse Visitor Center

The carving of Lakota leader Crazy Horse is 641 ft long and 543 ft high. This memorial which is in progress is a must visit.

Admission is $30 per vehicle and there is some bus fee to go near the sculpture. Cars are not allowed to drive near the memorial. The Visitor center has a museum with crafts made by different tribes in North America.

There is a helicopter tour if you want to see the memorial from top. The place is expensive and commercialized but definitely worth a visit.

We couldn't visit Wind Cave national park as it was closed. But, I suggest you to visit both wind cave and jewel cave national parks which are near by.

The time has come to end our South Dakota trip and drive back to Colorado Springs. But, To avoid a boring drive, we have changed our route to go through Nebraska to cover 2 more tourist places.

Carhenge is the replica of Stonehenge, one of the historic landmarks in England, but with cars! This is created by Jim Reinders. 

This is a must visit if you are traveling with kids. My sons enjoyed visiting this place.

The above pics are all from Carhenge in Nebraska.

Chimney rock national monument, Scott Bluffs monument , Courthouse and Jail rock are all within 1 hr distance from each other.
Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock rising 300 ft in Morrill county looked amazing. This rock consists of Brule clay interlayered with volcanic ash and Arikaree sandstone. There are sign boards about the dangerous snakes along the trails near the rock. It was too hot to roam around anyways.

Since it is very hot, we skipped visiting Scott Bluffs National monument and covered 'The courthouse and Jail rocks'.
There is a dirt road leading to these rock formations. These two rock formations are in Bridgeport.
Courthouse and Jail Rocks

The remaining way to Colorado Springs is mostly through the agricultural fields and a lot of wind mills. The scenery is great but there is not much crowd or many cars, so a bit scary in dark. There are not many rest spots, gas stations too. 

That is all about our memorable South Dakota trip!

How do you like it? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

Pin it for later

12 September, 2019

A large tree in Utah #ThursdayTreeLove

We found this tree during a strenuous hike to see 'Delicate Arch' in Arches National Park.

Looked enormous with big branches and facing the heat above 100 Fahrenheit there.

Until next time,

Linking this post to #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop hosted by Parul.

11 September, 2019

Rangoli Zentangle #wordlesswednesday

A zentangle this time!

Until next time,

Linking this post to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha

09 September, 2019

My Gratitude List for July and August 2019 #GratitudeCircle

August month was so hectic that I missed writing gratitude lists for both July and August.

Sometimes, you know? It's good to be busy with what you like. I was just focusing on Our first Annual recital of dance school and some challenging work in Office in a new role.

Let me quickly mention my Gratitude List.

Annual Recital :

We did our first Annual Recital of our Kuchipudi Dance school in September. But, the planning of the event, rehearsal etc., took most of my time in August. If you want to get any updates about our performances, please follow our Facebook Page - Kala Deepika Dance Academy.

I am grateful to my parents and my teacher for teaching me the classical dance for around 15 years. Of course, my husband and kid's help is like the backbone for the event.

My Parents and especially my sister helped with this memento order and delivery to our place.

Work :

Work-front, it is a major learning curve in July and August. Adjusting into a new role is stressful but I feel ready for the next level. 

While it is good to progress in work, it is equally tough to manage home, work and health. I am still not used to less sleep and so, I am using weekends to the best to sleep as much as I can.

Cooking :

Some days, it's very tiring to cook in the evenings. I am grateful to my family as we all adjusted in this phase, ate some quick dinners , got food from outside, went to restaurants, we survived by supporting each other. 

Back to School :

Every year, we spend more time buying new clothes, school bags, snack and lunch boxes etc., in this season. While schools started in the mid of august, we did just one quick shopping and done!

I am thankful to my Manager who allowed me to leave early daily to pickup kids. Thus, I could manage this school season easily.

Travel :

We could plan a trip to South Dakota in the starting of July. I am so happy and we all enjoyed a lot. I could drive this time on highways and help my husband covering long distance.

Spearfish Canyon and Carhenge were beautiful than I expected. Mt Rushmore and Crazy horse memorial were great too. We had to come back by Sunday to take dance class, else, we would have extended our trip by one more day.

Here are some travelogues of South Dakota:

Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park
Spearfish Canyon and Badlands National Park

I am yet to write my travelogue of Carhenge, Nebraska. You see, it was not possible these 2 months. Will write one soon.

So, that's it from my side, guys!

What are you grateful for? Please share in comments.

Until next time,

Linking this to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury.

05 September, 2019

When it Rains.. #WordsMatter

I enjoy nature and outdoor walks, but was not a fan of rain from childhood.

Rain and Crawlies

During summer holidays and rainy season, we used to visit our Grand mother's house which is in a village. The house had a big backyard with lots of plants and trees. It was really pleasant in the evenings with flowers and lovely breeze. We used to play with our cousins in the backyard every evening.

But, when it rains, the garden used to fill with disgusting crawlies everywhere. I hate crawlies so much that I never used to step out during and after rain. From that time, my mind associates rains to crawlies and so, I never really enjoyed rains in my childhood.

Rain in movies

Rain is depicted very well in movies. When I reached my teenage, I was awestruck by the Hindi movie 'Taal'. There is a beautiful rain song in Taal picturized with Aishwarya Rai and the director Subhash Ghai is really brilliant to show the purest form of Mother nature.

After watching this movie, I decided that I should visit some place with heavy rains like Kerala in monsoons or North east to enjoy the pure form of nature. I couldn't visit these places till now, but that's another story.

Fast Forward to Now in USA

I haven't experienced heavy rains both in Colorado and Texas until last year. In India, we have monsoons every year around June, but in USA, there is no specific rainy season.

But, this year, first time in my life I have experienced what damage a heavy rain can do. Here, When it rains, there will be hail too sometimes. Hail is like pellets of frozen rain falling from the sky. Depending on the size of hail, damage will be more or less. 

It is beautiful to see small ice balls in the size of thermacol balls. But, once during a trail, we were stuck in a large hail which was hitting hard on the skin and there was lightning and thunderstorm too to make the experience horrible. We literally ran to the car with kids before getting wet completely. 

Recently, We drove through South Dakota during a heavy rainfall with lightning. It was frightening to drive with zero visibility and water splashing on car front window very fast. By the way, South Dakota is known as 'Blizzard State' and these kind of heavy rains are common there. 

Since we stay in a place surrounded by mountains at high elevation, Rains usually come with thunderstorms and lightning which is a dangerous combination. Lightning can cause spot death. 

When it rains, it's cool to watch from the window or even drench in the light drizzle but, when there are lightening and thunderstorms, better be at home and safe. By the way, I love to have snacks like corn cob or pakoda enjoying ginger tea during rains.

What do you like about rain? What comes to your mind when it rains?

Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

Linking this post to #WordsMatter bloghop hosted by Corinne, Parul and Shalini.

 I received this tag from Sunita Saldhana at https://sunitasaldhana.com/
It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Holly Jahangiri at https://jahangiri.us/2017

There are 42 of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days – 6, 7, 8 September 2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised! 

04 September, 2019

From Story book Island #wordlesswednesday

From Story book island in Rapid city,  South Dakota,  USA.

Until next time,

Linking this post to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha

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