Have you Figured out the Way to your Girl’s Heart?

No rose bouquets.
No gold earrings.
No diamond rings.
Because, he has figured by now, that none of that is needed.

After all these years, he continues to vie for my love and attention with lenses and HDs (in terrabytes!).

He follows up the gifting with some unmentionables ($&#*) that fall under the “indecent proposal” category.

Here is to all the men that have figured out the way to your girl’s heart.

Love and Peace.

P.S. If you are trying to be nice to me, bring books or food. Don’t bring lenses or HDs. He would fight you to death. You have been warned.

Visiting State and National Parks in Texas

“What do parents owe their young that is more important than a warm and trusting connection to the Earth…?” – Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth

“If getting our kids out into nature is a search for perfection, or is one more chore, then the belief in perfection and the chore defeats the joy. It’s a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it’s even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it’s a lot more fun.”
― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams. ”
— John Muir

Out of all the things I want to leave the kids with… “love and respect for nature” is in the top 10.

There are some things on my bequeath-list that I have to work hard with them and for them.

But I realize now that “love for nature” is something that I don’t have to work hard with them for. It has rubbed off on both of them…perhaps, by just being in proximity with Kumar and me.

We toured State and National Parks in Texas the last couple of days. I lost track. We saw so many peaks. So many lakes. So many creeks. So many trees. I truly lost track.

Just the nature of it all….the nature of nature….so huge….so tremendously wonderful….so awe-inspiring.

I am back in the concrete jungle. But, my heart is still in the forest. It will always be.

Whoever said Texas is flat and boring got it all wrong. Texas is beautiful.

Love for Nature - Ambal's Amusings

Image source: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/655/overrides/rio-grande-river-big-bend-national-park_65547_600x450.jpg


Letters to Kumar and Kids – Reaching out

Some day in the future, I might publish a book titled “Letters to Kumar and Kids”. That book might chronicle the sheer beauty of our lives – all the challenges, big and small, all the decisions, complicated and easy, all the happenings, mundane and interesting, all the discussions, heated and calm, all the love notes, short and long.

Here is a sneak preview of one of the sections that might go into that book.

When the school said they were testing an initiative to provide a laptop (for a small fee) to every student for both school and home use, I was very very doubtful.

However, in the last few months, over and over again, Adi has proved me and my doubts wrong.

The laptop and connected-ness has helped us communicate better.

I am also aware that a child’s need to communicate with the parent is short lived during these teen years. So, I am soaking it all in and feeling blessed…for now.

Hello Amma,
So here is the predicament. Tomorrow, in second period, I can take the AMC 8. However, I have the option of taking it before or after school too. Before school, I have my first sectional. After school, I have my Science Fair Prep. Tomorrow during second period, I have a quiz for social studies. What should I do? I think I should go after school. Can you please rank the option from 1-3 in your opinion?
Thank you,

Good usage of the word predicament! I like how you are starting to weave in the rich vocab you are garnering by being an ardent reader.

Excellent email! I like how you are organizing these things so neatly in your mind and further putting it down so clearly in your email. I applaud you for this.

Decision making is one of the key life skills that we have been discussing a lot.

So, let me turn this around and ask you. Can YOU please rank these options from 1-3 in YOUR opinion?

Next time you have this predicament, I would like you to prioritize and then ask me if I have any advise on it. Soon, there will be a time when you don’t need my advice. Until then (and even after then!), I am here to help and support you.

Please CC Appa too, so the poor fellow feels included.
Jokes apart, Appa is very good at decision making and helps me almost every day/week/month/year to prioritize what is most important.


Should I go after school?

Thank you,

Yes Adi! Great and the right choice!

Oh the Lazy, Long, Beautiful Days of Summer

Oh the lazy, long, beautiful days of summer.

I am so glad summer break arrived and stayed for 10 weeks. We created such wonderful memories.

I am also so sad that the 10 day countdown for “back to school” starts today. I am going to be such a wimp and cry like a baby after dropping my 2 naughty fellows off at school.

Meanwhile, let us make the most of what is left of summer. Shall we?

Moving to Texas The Lone Star State

Dear Bay Area Friends,

There are many things I suck at. Saying goodbye tops that list. I just can’t bring myself to say goodbye to anybody.

I can’t break away from a friend’s hug. You have probably noticed by now that I will let go of our hug only after you have done it.

I can’t do short goodbyes. You have probably noticed by now that it takes me a full one hour to say goodbye at parties.

So, please forgive me in advance for what I am about to say.

Side story: Cowboys. I have had a lil girl crush on them since my childhood days. Too many Clint Eastwood movies during my childhood. I figured it is about time that I go check out some cow boys. When I discussed this with Kumar…he said “Yes”!! Turns out he has had a big crush on cow girls too. So, it all works out, right?

Here is the news: We are moving to Texas. Without saying goodbyes.

I am excited, I’m thinking of buying some Boulet Boots just for the move! But, I am also feeling sad at the thought of leaving all of you and our beloved Bay Area.

Thank you for all the amazing moments you have given us.

Every fun and sad moment,
Every crazy and wild moment,
Every meaningless and momentous moment,
Every moment that became beautiful because we shared it,
Every moment..will be etched in my memory for a life time.

I know what you are going to say “Ambal, Cowboys, seriously? Really? I could have arranged for a few hundreds of them to be dropped off at San Ramon Valley. That could have helped you crush that childhood crush. Don’t leave. Stay. There is so many decades of togetherness for us.”

Hear me out. Please.

During my childhood, besides the cowboys, I also grew to love Ulysses and his buddies as I poured through Tennyson. So, I am heading East for more adventure.

“To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”.

I know you will come visit us soon. So, I am going to setup an awesome looking guest bedroom. I am also going to urge Kumar to learn and perfect the Texan bbq. Deal?

I will be waiting (as always, impatiently) at Austin airport with my “please forgive me” grin and open arms. So, come visit us soon.

Thank you to our sweet neighbors who have been feeding us and helping us in the last week and thank you to all our Texas friends and family who have been welcoming us with open arms.

I am truly sorry I didn’t call and stop by to say goodbye. I know you have a big heart. So, I know you’ll forgive me.


Thank you for the good wishes and messages. I couldn’t return many messages and voicemails today because I am overwhelmed with all the curve balls that a move bring into one’s life. Please bear with me.

Some of you asked how you can help with the move. Thank you for reaching out to help. Here is my ask. If you have a friend or family in Austin, make an intro to Kumar and me. We would love it.

Here is a sample of the reactions to the move that made me laugh the most:

  • Don’t you dare BS me with that cowboy story.The Democrats secretly hired you to paint the red state blue. There you go. That is my conspiracy theory and it is a damn good one.
  • Traffic into Austin is going to increase starting today.
  • WTF!? Is this some sort of mid life crisis? Forget the cowboys. Stay with nice guy Kumar.
  • Are you kidding me? There are no pictures to shoot in Texas. You are going to lose your mind.
  • Do you realize there are no mountains to hike on that side?
  • Why are you doing this crazy? Are you afraid of the “big 4” (surprise) birthday party? Ok. Tell you what. We will cancel the party and pretend that you are 20. Will that do? Damn it. The things one has to do for you.
  • Are you going to start carrying a g** now? I have to warn Kumar to not start an argument with you.

Thank you for all the love. Thank you for all the laughs. I will miss you’ll very very much.