October 17, 2015




WiFi back up and running….explanation below…hopefully will catch up on things here now with lots of great photos and videos from the fabulous wedding celebrations during the week…
We had a couple of evenings of serious thunder storms, rain much heavier than expected this time of the year, but the final result is a blessed drop in daytime temperatures, as well as really cool evenings and mornings, needing even a little shift in clothing. It is perfect walking weather, and I am now able to sit outdoors on the roof almost all day long, do my meditation outside in the morning, and if no one is around to see me, even my yoga.
I can now begin all the walks I so love to take here…but , thank God….I have lots and lots of work this past week and all through next week. So I’ve taken one day off, and on Monday will take my new friend out for her first real walk in Rishikesh and I’m sure we will have a lovely day together.



I’ve been without internet for two full days so far, which in many ways is a great blessing, but because I have so many lovely photos and videos to upload so that I can share them with you, it is also quite frustrating. But is also the perfect lesson in acceptance and gratitude for ALL that we experience. It truly is all GOOD.
This all another result of the storm…seems to have damaged the main optic cable and although they claim to be working on it, it is still not working.
So, I will enjoy the quiet time, enjoy my work, and all the lovely food I am eating…do writing as it suits me, and eventually this will all find its way to you.
For now, another lovely day winds itself down. Waiting for my friend to come up and I will be helping begin doing yoga for the first time (she is 75 years old), with the very gentle program I was given years ago here in Rishikesh and which serves to to this day.
Life is good, full and blessed. I am most grateful
With love light and JOY

To Cook or Not to Cook-That is the Question!

September 19, 2012

…and the answer is NOT TO COOK!!

This sounds very cryptic I know, but is quite simple.  Every year for the past number of years I have set up a kind of very simple kitchen system to be able to cook in my room while in India.

Good enough to Eat

In a previous post I explained the reasons for taking a room and setting up a primitive sort of kitchen , rather than a full apartment with kitchen, as follows:

My first “kitchen”

”  The limited kitchen as a blessing: I sometimes find myself annoyed that I don’t have a real kitchen and have to improvise to prepare my simple meals. And I am very limited in what I can cook, as I have one pot and one frying pan, [the past two years I have added a pressure cooker which is a BIG plus ]  

no counter top, no kitchen sink (I have finally figured out how to best wash my dishes using the bathroom facilities), and basically all I can cook is kitcheri, vegetable soup, pasta, porridge, pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese or toast with tahini, hot drinks…I cannot make anything more ambitious even if I want to, including chapattis and paranthas. And even these few simple things involve great planning and thinking things out before beginning to actually cook them. Measuring out of ingredients, peeling, chopping etc., in advance outdoors,

Veggies ready for cutting up outside on the terrace table

making sure each thing is lined up on the table to be put into the pot which is on the gas balloon which sits on the floor and which I either squat over or sit in a chair to stir. I’ve gotten very good at all this actually and no longer find it difficult in any way.

And then I realized that these limitations are a true blessing.

I usually sit in the chair but a friend caught me one morning like this!

Knowing myself, if I had a comfortable working kitchen, I would spend a lot more time cooking as I did when I had a kitchen in Mcleodganj several years ago. And that involves shopping each day,

Local Provisions Shop (not including fruits and veggies)

carrying the heavy stuff home, spending money on expensive ingredients, spending LOTS of time in the kitchen making all kinds of lovely dishes, and even inviting people in for dinner a few times a week. And this is NOT what I want while I am here. I want things as quiet and simple as possible and being limited in my kitchen facilities, guarantees that things are kept to the bare minimum and as simple as possible while still being able to cook twice a day for myself. So, for me, no kitchen is actually better. ”

my second ‘Improved” kitchen

I have always enjoyed being able to cook these simple meals for myself however, and since I began using a pressure cooker a couple of years ago, it has gotten even easier.  I can now make steamed veggies in 1/2 minute!!  Kitcheri, delicious vegetable soup with lentils in less than 10 minutes etc.

But cooking still does involve work.  Especially getting everything set up when I first arrive.  It takes a couple of days and lots of energy, and then the same energy to get it all packed up and back into storage before I leave.  And of course the shopping for ingredients, the cleaning up after cooking, etc.

Since I will only be in India for 6 weeks total this time, not my usual several months, I have been contemplating the wisdom of going to all this bother this trip.  On the one hand, I love the option of preparing food for myself when I feel like it, and having the freedom not to have to go out to eat all the time…but most of this trip I will be on my special panchakarma diet anyway (which I will write about at a later date), and the big plus is being able to make my own vegetable (with a larger variety than the restaurants would prepare for me), or even having a good rich vegetable soup once in awhile. And of course there is nothing to compare to the porridge I make myself with apples, cinnamon, raisins and almonds,but I will “make do” with the restaurant version for the month.  On the other hand, I will be needing the time to rest and take care of myself as much as possible, and cooking during this period of time is usually on a very limited basis for me anyway.  I do most of my cooking before and after my month long treatments…and that’s when I enjoy it mainly.

My vegetable plates will not be as exciting this year!

So, after much contemplation of the pros and cons, this morning I came to the final decision, that this trip will be TOTAL vacation.  No cooking, no shopping, no cleaning up, no setting up and repacking before I go home etc.  If I want a larger variety of veggies in my daily vegetable plate, I will provide the kitchen with them myself !!  And if I need my kitcheri heated up in the evening, I will ask the kitchen to do that for me as well.   And if I REALLY feel the need for vegetable soup, I will go down to my friend’s house and cook it there, making up a large pot for her and her family as well!!  🙂

I am pleased with this decision and happy that it has finally been made.  Takes another “load off my mind”!  🙂



Faces of India Part 5 – People at Work-What is Your Job?

August 30, 2012

People at Work in India

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Hope you will enjoy the following photos.  Many of these jobs are found all over the world, but might look a little different or be done a little differently  in India, and some of these jobs are found ONLY in India.  🙂

bicycle rickshaw- Sooooo Indian

Only in India! -change maker for beggars

main ghat veg market varanassi-everything so fresh and beautiful to look at



sugar cookie vendor-found on the streets in the afternoon in time for Tea-the cookies are yummy!

Making a Sweet Drink from Raw Sugar Cane-Very often Long lines at these vendors

snake charmer

snack vendors-so colorful

snack vendor

Sari Merchant – It is Always Men selling these-as well as fabric in the following photo

Fabric Shop – Most women’s clothes are still made to order and one of a kind in India-although ready made and chain stores are beginning to make inroads with the spread of Malls

PLUMBER-let me figure this one out

electrician at work using Indian ingenuity for problem solving on the job

main ghat veg market-varanassi-everything so fresh and beautiful to look at

Cooking my morning porridge at local restaurant

Chai Walla

fruit stand

Fruit Vendor

Provision Shop

yoga instructor

December 21, 2010 – EAT DESSERT FIRST or…the New Journey Begins and Guaranteed Cure for Allergy

December 22, 2010

December 21, 2010 – EAT DESSERT FIRST or…the New Journey Begins and Guaranteed Cure for Allergy

… The feeling of peace and tranquility is slowly coming back and filling me through and through – it feels as though a thick, warm honey-like viscous liquid is working its way through my being – lovely feeling.

I am now sitting at the German Bakery down by the bridge

german bakery on bridge

where I have my first “chance” encounter resulting in a client for a Tarot reading this evening. This all came about when I finished my book yesterday and although I was still tired this morning, knew I had to go down to he book shop. It is a pleasant walk down but the “up” part is still waiting for me!
Got the rest of my herbal remedies on the way, picked up a couple of books and then came to sit at the German Bakery on the bridge to relax. I always enjoy this place but it has one drawback…it has no bathroom which means I very often pass it up to go to another restaurant in the area. To my great surprise, (as well as other not so pleasant surprises since I arrived-several of my favorite places have closed up – Tulsi, Flying Tiger among them), they have expanded the seating area and added a bathroom!

sign in toilet at German Bakery Rishikesh, Laxman Jhula

Lovely. They have the best cakes and desserts in town here!
When I arrived there was a free seat at a table where a young woman looking Indian was sitting, and asked to sit there. No problem she said and at first we sat quietly and then she began talking to me. She is actual third generation Canadian but her family is originally Punjabi. Turns out she is staying at the same guesthouse I am and will be coming up for a Tarot reading this evening…lovely way to begin my stay and a sign of good things to come.

And just now, I have done what I planned to do next time I am in the states- EAT DESSERT FIRST! I am always too full at the end of a meal for dessert, but the cakes here are so inviting, I ordered my chai and apple pie before my meal. It was absolutely delicious, and before going back home, had room for lunch anyway. Perfect meal and I may just do this more often! At least until I begin panchakarma anyway.

While sitting here I saw this guy who looked familiar and then remembered he is the one who posted a video on YouTube about Rishikesh with himself in the star role and singing a song he wrote about Rishikesh… Here is a picture of him…can’t find the link right now:

YouTube Guy

And just to end this post, a couple of quick updates:
the allergy I recently developed to animals and has been making me miserable for 3 weeks, even after trying every type of over the counter med available to fight it, as well as a prescription spray my doctor gave me guaranteed to clear it up – nothing had helped.
Yesterday, among other things, went to visit my friend and local Indian doctor – he gave me something which he said is guaranteed to help in 4 days….after the first dose last night, my nose ran for ½ hour straight, and then I slept well for the first time in weeks and woke up dry this morning! It is a combination of tumeric and other herbs…will take it for a few more days but it amazingly did the trick!!


November 18-20, 2009 – Glorious Wednesday Morning,Messenger of Confirmation and Working Again

November 20, 2009

November 18, 2009 – Glorious Wednesday Morning and Messenger of Confirmation

I’ll begin recounting the Varanassi journey from the end rather than the beginning, and then the next post will start as should be, from the beginning.

It is SO good to be home! After a few short hours of sleep, woke up to the sun streaming in at 8. Will sleep again later but had to get out in the clean fresh mountain air again. It has turned really chilly but so crisp and lovely and fresh. I can breathe again! Actualy-EVERYTHING is clean and fresh once again. Spotless in comparison to where I have been. My own lovely bed, bathroom, rooftop, and scenery-clear skies to welcome me and just to be sure that I realize how “right” it is for me here in Rishikesh-there is a messenger from above to confirm my tears of gratitude sitting across from me on the balcony railing:
Just a pidgeon but a special one…All the pidgeions I’ve ever seen here are regular grey and black. This one has a black tail, speckled white and black head, and the rest is PURE WHITE! And he is just sitting here staring at me and bobbing his head as pidgeions do, as if to say: “welcome back home”.
I truly missed it here-feel like I’ve been away for weeks and it is only 6 days!.

And just to make sure I don’t forget I am home, but still in India – a huge, carred faced male monkey appeared out of nowhere and fearlessly approached me with a definite expression of “I’ve come for the food”. I grabbed everything and retreated hastily to my room with him following closely behind and just barely made it into the room and closed the door!/ He stared for awhile but quickly left.

And that’s it. I am home and will continue to write up the journey now.

November 20, 2009

Just a quick note: I had decided that I was not working this trip, but the truth is, after several weeks of not working with healing, I was beginning to feel like something was definitely missing in my life. No sooner did I think this in Varanassi, than the solution was sent my way. (as always)
Today I began a Reiki workshop which was supposed to be for one person, and in the end there are now two. In addition, yesterday someone called me (don’t know how they heard about me), and asked if they could meet me and perhaps do a series of treatments with me. So after the workshop today, this lovely Australian (half Israeli actually) girl came up for a treatment and has booked 5 more for each day until she leaves. So from no working, I’ve gone to full workdays and I feel MARVELOUS! And aside from everything else, the money I earn will pay for all the traveling, and more, that I did the past couple of weeks.

Namaste from lovely rishikesh

October 22, 2009- Just Another Day

October 23, 2009

October 22, 2009- Just Another Day

I find it nothing short of a miracle, that at this moment, exactly one week after I arrived here in my room in Rishikesh, I am sitting here on my rooftop, completely at peace and at home and am getting ready to eat my own home cooked oatmeal.  Things just came together so effortlessly and quickly, it is truly hard to believe.  My room looks and feels as if I never left! What a wonderful and blessed life.

cooking by moonlight

cooking by moonlight

After two days without going down to internet, I was flooded with 31 mails and several more came in while sitting at the internet café.  I’ve been here for more than an hour and am still working on catching up!!

Visited with my friend Seema for awhile afterwards, and that is always a pleasure.  She is one of my true friends in this world.

Then decided to go down and taste pizza which was recommended a few days ago.  Seems one of the nearby restaurants, Tulsi, had an Italian customer who taught them how to make real Italian Pizza.  Well, I was not disappointed.  It was truly pizza the way I love it-very thin crust and lots of sauce, tomatoes, cheese and oregano.  And to follow it with a delicious masala chai – well, only in India!

I keep meeting up with local people whom I haven’t seen since last year, and that is always a pleasure as well.  And while I was talking

Read the rest of this entry »

October 20, 2009 – The Comforts of Home and the Essence of Healing

October 22, 2009

October 20, 2009 – The Comforts of Home and the Essence of Healing

NOTE: It is now the 22nd and I am down at the internet cafe to post this and the strangest thing just happened. I mentioned in my first post that there is much more concern about terrorists this year. Well, I was just approached by the owner and asked for my passport as the commandos are doing a local search/check and will be approaching every person they see and asking for identification. If you don’t have it, you will not be sent back to your room to get it, but taken to the police station! I just happened to have my passport with me since I have to sign in at the guesthouse today so took it out with me. The world is really changing! OK…now here is the original blog post.

It is now 8 PM and I am sitting outside on my rooftop where it is still comfortable enough to enjoy the outdoors even in the evening.  I have just returned from dinner at a nearby (15 minute walk) restaurant which serves organic, home made (made to order when you order it so don’t come here when you are famished), ayurveda type cooking.  This is a place where I’ve been wanting to eat more often since I discovered it, but because of my problem with being out alone in the dark, at night, I have not been able to take advantage of it until NOW.  There will be a further post either today or tomorrow explaining why I can now go out at night,.

But for right now, just a quick summary of the past few days…have been fruitful in that I have done just about all the errands I need to in order for my room to feel like home again, including a large food shopping, going into the market to get squeegee for cleaning the floor and broom, as well as a larger set of shelves for my kitchen stuff and food.  The squeegee and broom I had left last year for safekeeping, disappeared (although all of my other stuff was fine), but having to buy new ones was even better.  I found a much better quality squeegee and when I went to look for a broom with a longer handle, (all the brooms here are bunches of horsehair held together with a wooden handle and you must bend over to sweep with them) which I was lucky enough to find last year and which only involved slightly bending over, I was surprised to find in the same shop A REAL BROOM!  The owner was so excited to show his “new, modern” merchandise to me he could not contain his happiness. 

New "Kitchen" and "real" Broom

New "Kitchen" and "real" Broom

And although it was expensive, I bought it and am SO happy to be able to finally sweep, in India, like I sweep at home.  And in the end, guesthouse is paying for them anyway, since they lost my other ones.

Next day I went down to get a couple of Read the rest of this entry »

March 22-26, 2009 – Busy Days Go By Quickly

March 26, 2009

March 22-26, 2009 – Busy Days Go By Quickly

Not really in the mood to post, so just a quick summary ….it’s been a very hectic few days, and tomorrow is my last full day before leaving for the airport on Friday evening. I will be home Saturday at 1 PM!!

Over the last few days, which I spent being busy, both with friends, mainly Ilsa and Ben and Seema (the owner of the next guesthouse who I’ve mentioned), but also enough alone time to balance it out. I saw a surprise, spontaneous classical Indian Music Concert a few evenings ago as Ilsa and I were on our way home after having chai at our favorite ganga spot. Someone stopped us and said a concert would being in 15 minutes, so we stayed for an amazing 2 hours. Flute and Tabla to balance all the chakras, dance to stir the body into movement and then an absolutely unreal Tabla concert which left us invigorated and speechless at the same time. My whole body was alive when we left, and my soul in a peacefully balanced state.

I’ve done 3 tarot readings and 4 Reiki treatments, one of them a home visit, over the last few days as well which has provided me with just the amount of money I need to end up the week without cashing any more in. So I’ve also been busy, to my surprise, with work my last week here. I spent the entire day yesterday just out walking and enjoying my last days here…was out from 9 to 5 in the evening.

And today, to everyone’s surprise, was cold and stormy and have been by my room the whole day. But it had two advantages. It reminded me what weather will be awaiting me at home and so made it easier for me to decide what to wear for my journey, and I also finished up all my “packing up the room stuff”…something I’ve never had to do before. I am leaving all my kitchen stuff here at the Guesthouse, and Seema is keeping all of my winter clothing, shoes etc. So I got both of these packed up and ready to deliver, and have pretty much packed my suitcase as well. So now I will just have to calmly enjoy my last two days here, roaming around, sitting by the river, and just relaxing.

Watched a couple of movies yesterday and today with Ben…reading books…so all’s well that ends well and whatever new is beginning will be great as well.

And it is now Thursday, the weather is clean, clear and not as hot as it was before the rain which makes for a lovely final day out for walking and enjoying. I am more relaxed than I ever have been before prior to such a journey, and know that all will run smoothly and in just 48 hours from now I will be hugging my loved ones.


March 16, 2009 – And Still Stuff to Write – A Special Breakfast Treat and Two New Insights

March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009 – And Still Stuff to Write – A Special Breakfast Treat and Two New Insights

I keep thinking that by this point in my sojourn there will be nothing to bother writing about. But each day brings new surprises and discoveries, so I will briefly write about the last few days.

A few days ago, someone came to me for a Reiki treatment after we had had a long discussion about some problems he was experiencing on an energy level. I won’t go into details but his story was quite fascinating and it was a new experience for me to treat someone like this and to hear about the positive results he felt, and is still feeling, from just one Reiki session.

The rest of those couple of days was spent just lazying around in the area here, as it was too hot during the day to go out and I was too tired (or lazy) to bother going out in the evening. But I found the thought of spending another day like that not to my liking and decided that yesterday I would put my “new plan” into action. Change is never easy, but always worth the effort. (I’ve also decided that I CAN go out in the morning like I did last year, and if it is REALLY difficult getting back during the heat of the day, I can just take a taxi back home)

So, yesterday morning, after my morning stuff and a nice breakfast (I still prefer my own cooking and have refilled my gas cylinder, even if only for 2 weeks), and then had a wonderful Tarot session with someone, as well as a shorter reading with one of her friends. And then, when I normally would have gone out, I of course didn’t. I went down to the local internet shop here in the area, “did my thing” and then came up and had a light lunch of grilled cheese and sliced carrots and cucumber on the side. I read for awhile, chatted with another friend, played with the managers baby for awhile and then came up and took a nap.

When I woke up, I of course did not want to do anything…the dangers of napping in the afternoon, but Read the rest of this entry »

Feb. 23, 2009 – I’m Back! And Another Lesson Learnt…the Hard Way!

February 24, 2009

Feb. 23, 2009 – I’m Back! And Another Lesson Learnt…the Hard Way!

Finally seeing signs that I am truly on the mend. After the initial depression for a few days, getting my perspective back and giving myself permission to be sick certainly helped. Once I released into the illness and began enjoying the fringe benefits of not feeling well, true joy returned to my days. I’ve been in very good spirits for the past 3 days despite still being too weak to really enjoy my walking, which is one of my greatest delights in being here.

Yesterday, my appetite returned which is the first sign that things are moving along, and now, today, my need to sit down and write also returned. I have not felt like writing in at least 2 weeks, perhaps more, and this was certainly a serious indication that all was not well. So, sitting here now at the computer, and enjoying each word I write, is giving me great joy, even though there is nothing truly interesting to write about. I even feel like dancing again, something I haven’t done in over a month, which is also a sign of things not being as they should.

Which still leaves the question: Why? And why now? I understand that I was seriously out of balance regarding my own needs vs. those of others for the past couple of months, and hence the vertigo and accompanying weakness. The vertigo is gone but the weakness will take awhile. However, other things have manifested themselves to a serious degree over the past couple of days and I realize now that there is a serious lesson here for me and the fact that I only have one month left, and hadn’t yet figured it out, called for drastic measures from Above…I usually DO need a good hit over the head to wake me up. You’d think by now I would have figured this all out, but what to do? I am a human being and when it comes to my own wellbeing, still not as wise as I should be.

For the past couple of months, on and off, I have had two strange things, which I didn’t even connect until today. My arthritis, which has been almost non-existent for the past 3 years, began acting up, but only on and off and never anything serious enough to warrant my attention. Just figured it was the changing weather and Read the rest of this entry »

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