An Ode to my Nocturnal RN friends

I started my new night shift very excited and raring to go! I mean I got this one pat down.
This job was going to let me continue to be the super mom I was. Come back in the morning, make breakfast for kids, drop them off to school, sleep till they come back, help them with homework, give them dinner and then go back to work. I had it all planned to the T.

Except for one fact that I never thought would send my plans topsy turvy. My own body turned out to be my enemy. ME my enemy?

Yes, unfortunately my body decided that I was to not to sleep for more than 2 hours during the day and it didn’t care if I was working the night shift. YOU WILL NOT SLEEP FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS DURING THE DAY!

I was determined to wage a battle with my body and show who is the boss here.

So, armed with thick double curtains and an eye mask I forged bravely. No way. My eyes opened like clockwork after 2 hours. I tried counting sheep to a million to no avail. Alright. I’m going to sleep in the afternoon then.

Started the same drill in the afternoon after dire threatenings of banishing my kids to Timbuctoo if they so much as dared to exhale noisily. Poor things forgot to breathe. JK but you get the point!

Ok eye mask back on. White noise on. Blanket over head. Nope! Brain whizzing at 100mph. After an hour and half of wishful thinking I accepted defeat and gave permission to my kids to breathe again.
I had to face the facts that I am not a night person.

It made me appreciate my nocturnal RN friends who have been doing this for years and some for a lifetime. I have the utmost respect and awe at how they manage to keep themselves together and function.

And so to all of you, I say “Hats off to you!”

Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.

This entry was posted on December 21, 2013. 1 Comment

Fat Free Cheese?? Nope, it’s a blob of carrageenan!

We live in a world where you can get virtually any kind of food you want. I mean have you tried shopping for something so simple (or so you would think) like cream cheese spread? I have spent hours ( not literally) in front of the dairy section trying to decipher all the different kinds of cream cheese, that it nearly drove me to tears at having to wade through all the creamy options before me. I had to choose between the whipped cream spread, light spread, not so light spread, fat free spread, fatfull spread 😉, sun dried tomato spread, onion and chives spread and many more. And then multiply all these options with the numerous brands that offer the same. You get the picture!!

Yeah! So why not fatfree cheese as well? Well, I got my wish. There is actually fatfree cheese in the market. I am all for fatfree milk and other things fatfree if they actually contain the natural product sans fat. If I buy fatfree milk I expect the milk to be watery and that is totally fine with me. So, I became suspicious when I recently bought fatfree milk which was actually creamy and thick as regular milk.

I examined the ingredients and guess what I found. The milk had additives such as carrageenan and locust bean gum. I almost threw up. How dare they pollute milk with these gums and geenans?

So next I went to investigate fatfree cheese. And yes, the main ingredients in fatfree cheese is the same – carrageenan and locust bean gum. So dont get duped. There is no fatfree cheese, what you are getting is a blob of carageenan and the gum of some locust ( pun intended).
My verdict – if it aint looking like fat free then it aint fat free! I would rather eat a small piece of regular cheese than a chunk of carrageenan.

Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.

My Dear Rekha and Que Sera Sera

“Que Sera Sera
Whatever will be will be.”

Whenever I hear that song the vision that appears before my eyes is my dear friend and classmate Rekha.

An exquisite delight to behold or in other words ‘a sight for sore eyes’ from the top of her head to the tip of her toes.

She laughed her way to many hearts in our class. And she always sang,

“Que Sera Sera
Whatever will be will be.”

Impeccably groomed and perfectly clad with not a hair out of place was our Rekha.

Wherever she went she turned heads, this wide eyed beautiful friend of ours. And she always sang,

“Que Sera Sera
Whatever will be will be.”

Yes, that is the best piece of advice ever. Whatever will be will be.

So quit crying over spilled milk and keep going forward.

Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.


My new love – Boba Thai Iced Tea

I just got hooked on the Boba Thai iced tea minus the boba and the whipped cream. Not that it wasn’t yummy but I wanted to opt for a healthier version if this was going to be my new sinful daily delight.

This tea has a distinctive flavor and taste setting it apart from the Indian chai tea. Both are boiled and strained before adding milk or sugar.

I had the chance of experimenting the sweet concoction at my favorite Phoenix Noodle House.

Too bad I didn’t take a picture. It looked like an overdosed beta carotene drink with a floating cloud of whipped cream and giant black eyeballs at the bottom and needless to say I was hesitant to try it.

But I was hooked the moment I sipped a thimbleful of the tea. It was deliciously sweetened with condensed milk but not too much to make me dizzy.

The giant eyeballs I learnt are called ‘boba’ and hence the name Boba Thai iced tea. The Boba, also known as ‘pearls’ are chewy balls made of tapioca.

I was craving for my newfound love and decided to make some of my own ‘Boba’ the way I liked it.

I boiled a cup of water and poured it onto the 2 teaspoons of Thai Tea Mix ( I bought it from Asian Market, Modesto) and stirred it for 2 minutes to let the tea seep.

Then I strained it and let it cool in the freezer for 15 minutes since I was already drooling and couldn’t wait for it to cool.

Then I added ice cubes and 3 teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk. ( I will be trying it with milk and sugar and will update you on how that goes)

Voila! Boba Thai Iced Tea minus the Boba and whipped cream.

It was simply divine!

This will be my daily sweet fix from now on!


Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.

My Dear Friend Julie

My dear friend Julie is the very epitome of buoyant optimism. She bubbles with joy and infects and suffuses people around her with happiness. I was a confirmed cynic and a pessimist and therefore, her exact opposite until the day the following incident occurred which changed my persona forever and set my engine of confidence purring along with renewed vigor, verve and vitality.

We were asked one day to go in front of the class and speak extempore on a topic for which we were given only five minutes to prepare. I am the kind of person who has to sit down and do massive research before I can prepare a speech. My friend Julie, the extempore expert, first reprimanded me for underestimating myself all the time and then she gave me a pep talk, helped me to calm my frazzled nerves and jot down the points that I wanted to speak on and she literally pushed me on stage. I was a nervous wreck with butterflies fluttering in my stomach which made me wonder if they were doing a voodoo dance. But contrary to my expectations, as I began to speak, my thoughts became clear and words flowed out like magic. That was a turning point in my life and the nervous bunny that I was, ultimately became the Master of Ceremonies for many events in my college. From that day onward, there was no looking back.

The timely encouragement and motivation gave me the confidence I severely lacked and repaired my ruined self-esteem. The very thought that somebody believed in me helped me believe in myself and accept myself for what I am and not what I wanted to be. It made me realize that every individual needs a vital push at some point in his or her life and that you will be indebted to that person forever. That push was administered to me by my dearest friend which made me coin the phrase, “Friends are angels in disguise “. I do not want to stray from the point but, another cliché that I attribute to her is “good things come in small packages” because she is only 4’8’’ sans her four inch heels. I should have told her about the incident and “warmed the cockles of her heart” like the hero often says in P.G Wodehouse books, though for some unknown reason I did not tell her, probably because it all dawned on me only now as I sat back and ploughed through my treasure trove of memories for the most memorable one.

This event made me philosophical about the importance of empathy, that is, to be attuned to the needs of the people around you and to identify with them mentally and emotionally. In other words, it taught me to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I am a sensitive person by nature and this incident made me extra sensitive to others’ feelings, especially those of children. They are such fragile creatures with only a thin veneer of self confidence and have to be nurtured like a small sapling if they have to grow into a trees of self esteem.

Motivation and empathy instill confidence. You may not be aware of the impact of a small gesture, a smile, a joke, a pat on the shoulder or an advice that you give to a person but that small act on your part certainly can change a mouse of a person into a lion. My friend’s optimism and happiness were so contagious that I caught then too and they changed my way of thinking. A saying which comes to my mind is about how an optimist would view a glass half-filled with water as “half-full” whereas the pessimist would view the same glass as “half-empty”. That proves how critical our perception about life can be in determining our way of thinking. Therefore, motivation combined with empathy plays an important role in instilling confidence which in turn contributes to the success we achieve in life.

Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.

This entry was posted on October 22, 2012. 1 Comment

The Witness

As I was rushing by, breathless, impatient to get home and ravenous enough to eat a horse, I was drawn to the magnificent and benevolent oak tree in the C.S.U, Stanislaus park and I was tempted to sit down under its shade. I sat down for a moment’s respite from the scorching sun, when I heard a repetitive refrain reverberating in my brain. “For men may come and men may go, but I go on forever” from “The Brook” by Lord Tennyson. As I looked up, the tree lovingly blew away the drops of sweat, from my forehead with its tendrils, making me forget my hunger pangs and I settled down and made myself comfortable against the bark of the friendly tree. I was eager to watch the world passing by, through the eyes of the tree.

There were all sorts of activities going on all around me which made the time I spent there worthwhile. For example, there was a wedding service in progress and the bride was resplendent in a satin, frilly gown with beaded bodice which hugged the contours of her body. The white veil, held in place with a tiny tiara, was a perfect match for the gown and in stark contrast to her dark hair. The bride and the groom were both holding hands in a state of exalted ecstasy, exchanging vows, promising each other, their endless love. The scene made me nostalgic and reminded me of my own wedding, fresh in my mind as if it took place yesterday, not that it took place a long while ago. The fountain was dancing in tune to the musical wedding band. The birds were doing their best and chipping in with their chirpy songs and the ducks in the lake all congregated near the procession, hoping for some tidbits from a kindly soul. It was all so beautiful to see all the beings of nature in such a harmony with each other.

A boy on his bicycle was happily humming along with the song on his walkman, “Mountains bow down and the seas will roar, at the sound of your Name.” The wedding over, the newly wedded couple posed for photographs in various forms of embrace to capture the natural glow of their blissful matrimony against the backdrop of Mother Nature. On the other hand, a young couple behind me on the benches was having a lovers quarrel. I like to presume that they were probably agreeing to disagree about the dates for their forthcoming wedding, the idea spurred on by the picture presented by the happy, now-wedded couple. A group of old people came and sat behind me on the benches and started discussing something in a foreign language and immediately the ducks switched loyalty from the wedding group and approached the old people in respectful silence. They were rewarded with a few crumbs of bread and one of the old ladies fished out a packet of popcorn. The ducks threw caution to the winds and clucked around the lady and this made the old people stop their discussion, momentarily distracted by the ducks.

The boy on the bicycle was back and this time it was, “Yes, Lord, yes!” Tears sprang to my eyes, for it was touching to see such fervor in one so young. He screeched to a halt as he almost bumped into a bunch of kids who materialized from nowhere into his path. He picked up his bicycle, mounted it and was on his way again. The kids abandoned their toys and ran back to their parents in anticipation of the proverbial “rod.” But the parents who were having an animated conversation among themselves failed to comprehend what had happened and the kids took that opportunity to escape again into their world of “make-believe”.

The lethargy of the sultry afternoon caught up with me and as I leant back against the tree to observe a small bird, determined to build its nest, my eyes began to close and I could hear the tree sing to me “For men may come and men may go, but I go on forever”. This tree was a witness to the seven stages of mankind as told by Shakespeare in the famous speech, “All the world’s a stage.”

Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.

Good friends!

Good friends are always
Happy for you
Cares for you
Encourages you

Good friends
Will be there for you
Listens to you
Will not fade with distance
Will tell you the truth about you

Good friends are like riding a bike!
Even if you don’t keep in touch for years, you can still pick up from where you left off. I am grateful for all my friends out there that I keep in touch and don’t.
Just letting you know that you are cherished and in my prayers always!

Copyright © 2012- 2013- Shinu Cherian Roy. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the content from this blog is not permitted.