Thursday, November 11, 2010


As it most always has in the past.
Our lives were turned upside down 2 years ago when we made the Biggest mistake of our lives (we thought) of leaving Marin and moving to Grass Valley. Hence Ray losing all of his seniority with UPS. The company that he had worked at and Loved for 20 full years.

Everything was peachy at first after the move..but when we returned from our 6 week trip to India he had been put on "lay off". And I think all of you know why..starts with an "E" (economy)... :0(

We had no choice but to leave GV and he put in his resignation..it was hard to do, made us sick to our stomachs..because we lost it all..20 years down the drain.

He was hired right away in the town we live in, (with another shipping company) the place where we met, living in the house he was born in...it was like coming Full Circle...without UPS as our provider. It was bittersweet to say the least...

But everyday, for Two full years, I have been envisioning him back at UPS. With that brown uniform..him behind that wheel of that 18 wheeler that he knows how to drive so Perfectly well!

And...yesterday...they hired him back!!!!!! My husband is back with the company that he only had 8 more years to retire with (and he's only 43 I might add!!). He got it ALL back! My Prayers and my Visualizing came to pass.....

I worked it...hard.

He starts the Monday after Thanksgiving Holiday..and Yes, we Do have much to be Thankful for this year indeed...

So, it looks like our plans are on hold for India. Because after he retires (at a very young age) with Full Pension now and Benefits...we will be set once again..and then...Look Out!

India....we will be back. Just with a little more $$ in our pockets!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Life is Good..

This photo is from one of our friends, Padmini, in Fort Cochin, India.
It makes me so happy to see her smile here..she has been through some tough times in the past.
But as Life always does, it made a turn for the better for her and her job situation.
We were here for her, if she needed our help. We made her that promise before we left Fort Cochin last year. She is our friend and we will always be there for her if she needs us.
I get regular email updates from her and we both are so grateful for one another..
cannot Wait to go back and give her a BIG hug again...
Because Life is Good.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The older I get, the more amazed I am at how fast time passes....
Days seem to just fly by lately. I like it in a way. Especially when I have a goal in mind...a plan.

I was reading Operation Shanti's blog post this morning and when I saw this photo I was blown away at how these boys have grown. It seems like just yeserday when I was there and Kaleem (the boy in blue not looking at the camera) came up to me after we had distributed the shoes at the school he was then living at, looked up at me and said "Thank You for the shoes you gave me" and I immediately teared up...

He especially holds a soft place in my heart for some reason...It's wonderful to see how much he has grown up and how handsome all those boys are. They are all well on their way now...and the future will be theirs for the taking. No doubt about that! I can't wait to go back to Mysore and see them all again...


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is it normal...

to be so extremely fixated on a country that you Know you are unable to have residency in...
that there is NO WAY you will ever be able to just "Up and Move" there and not have any sort of hassle? (although I have been told for a price Anything is possible)
Is it Normal to think about being somewhere else every single day of your life...?
Don't get me wrong, I am very Grateful for what I have and where I am right now...but OH how I long to be...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


is coming...

new post soon to come.

Stay tuned my friends!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Friends in "High Places"!!!

I was grinning from *ear to ear* the other day when I got this photo my my friend Angela who is currently living in Cochin, South India while her husband is there working.

We met online..she was a supporter of my recent charity "Practice for the Children Pendant" in which we raised $2500.00 US dollars for the children of Operation Shanti. (i have two pendants left btw if anyone is interested ;0)
but that's not what this post is about...

This post is about Friends. Friends who can make your day with a simple photo like this one...and I DO mean "make my day"!! Every time I look at this picture it just makes me Smile!

Angela and her husband have helped bring India to me...they know how much I love the country and the little "care packages" they have sent to me have just warmed my heart and made me realise that it's these little things like "masala tea, incense that I adore and burn literally all day long, lotus oil, that each time I open the bottle and close my eyes and smell it.. transports me right back to being there in Fort Cochin...beautiful bangle bracelets...earrings..OM pendants..a very special bracelet from Amma's Ashram..stickers (that are now decorating my laptop!!!) just so many wonderful little things from the country that I just SOOOO MISS, mean the world to me. Just sitting and looking at the decorative envelopes that they arrive in with ALL the beautiful stamps, and knowing how far it has traveled to arrive here in California.

Friends...who know what makes you smile.

Thank You my friends Angela and Steven~~~~

OM Shanti!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Ray and I always, ALWAYS, reminisce about previous trips to our beloved India and... as always it is on our minds, and always in our hearts. It's pretty amazing how people react when I tell them about my trips to India. Rarely do I get "WOW, I would Love to go to India", "You've been there 5 times"???!!!
Sadly, a lot of the time I get..."India...oh, I could never go there, it would be too hard for me"...

HARD FOR YOU???? (there's my reaction)

And that is when I realize that we, as Americans, can be so Completely and Utterly Blind to the fact that, Yes, we ARE spoiled...and then I think...Wow...what GOOD it would do for You to go to India and experience all the Good that is there..all of the Spirituality, all of the Happiness that we see each and Every time we go.

Yes, it can be hard..but it's an Important "hard".

If only everyone could open up their hearts And their minds to the beauty that Lives in a country that I so deeply love and long to return to...

Lessons can be Hard...but I have learned, in my short life here on this Earth, that those are the Very Best Lessons to be learned.

and so...onto the title "Queens"...

if you ever get to Bangalore,India..."Queens" is a "MUST" to eat at...if you need the address..just shoot me a comment~

and yes..last but not least...


Friday, May 7, 2010

Help needed...Women Please Read!!

A friend of mine who lives in New York contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in possibly helping her out by sending some of my "gently used" bra's to her as she has been working with an organization for awhile now called "Hands to Hearts".
I will let you read all about it below...
I sent three of mine today. They were actually pretty new, and I had them sitting in a drawer just taking up space...I have a feeling lots of us women may have some that are un-used, sitting in a drawer as well. If you do, and you would like to help out these women in Uganda..I know they would be so very grateful.
Here is the email...

Hello ladies,
Do you have any bras laying around that you're not going to wear anymore?
Maybe they're worn out, stained, or they never just quite fit right?
Would you be willing to donate them to women in Uganda who desperately need them? I am collecting bras for women in Uganda as part of a non-profit project through "Hearts to Hands International" (please see below)
You can contact me, Linda at pixietail@gmail.com or send to the address below.

Our Project:
Imagine spending everyday without a bra. Ouch.
Now imagine that your day involves walking miles to the water pump, walking even more miles to the market, and your free time is spent working in the fields...without a bra. Ouch.
Now imagine that you have had 4-5 children one of which you are currently breastfeeding, and you don't own a bra. Ouch!

Most women in rural Uganda do not own a bra. Women want bras, they just can't afford them. There are many health benefits of bras, especially while breastfeeding and trying to keep the breasts clean. Fibrous tissue can also be damaged when breasts aren't supported.
Not to mention the fact that it just plain hurts.

Laura Peterson, founder and director of Hands to Hearts International (HHI) is a dear friend of mine who is currently in Uganda working with these women to teach them about the benefits of safety and sanitation in childhood development (among the great importance of mother/child bonding).
One of HHI's supporters is traveling to Uganda and is willing to bring a duffel bag of bras. The only problem is..WE NEED YOUR USED BRAS IMMEDIATELY!! Hands to Hearts International will distribute this first donation at one of their Mother trainings in Kampala. (And because many of the Moms are breastfeeding, nursing bras are greatly needed!)

It only costs a few dollars to send a large Priority mail envelope~ and if you get a few friends together it will cost you even less...
If you can..
Mail bras by May 16th, 2010 to
Sara Cooper
910 Robinson Street
Los Angeles, CA
after that date you may send them to
Linda Ruggiero
Fordham University Dept. of Biology
441 E. Fordham Road
Bronx, NY

Thank You all so much for reading this..and Thank You even more for helping out with whatever you can donate~~

You can read more about this great organization at

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Longing..

photo taken in Dharamsala, India 2008
walking along the path behind the main temple of His Holiness the Dalai Lama...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Horn Please!

Today...after only ONE Week...my T-Shirt from the "Fading Ladies" arrived all the way from Delhi, India! And let me tell you...they did Not dissapoint!
The shirt is adorably amazing and the back of the t-shirt made me smile..it say's "Horn Please" on a little label that is sweetly sewn on~~~all cotton. Gorgeous!

They included two little cards connected with a bangle! What a class act!
If you love India..and Love to support worthwhile Charities..please visit their website and place your order. Only one week..all the way from Delhi~ Wow!
and here is the charity that the money will go to
Thank You Fading Ladies! Keep on doing what your doing. I Will be back!

Friday, April 9, 2010

"I'm not a Tourist, I live here"

This is from a fellow blogger currently living in India...
and what she and a few lady friends have decided to do to "Give Back"~
I placed my order for mine last week...

I love the idea of giving to a different charity each month...and may just follow suit in the future. As they say "Share the Love"..
the T-Shirt made me smile too, as that will be my status one day as well!
She ships directly from Delhi and the T-shirt with shipping is only 20.00.
If you'd like one please click on "Delhi Bound" in my friends link to the right~


Last December, I posted about feeling as though I was disappearing. It was based off of a conversation I'd had with a friend about how your "who I am" mantra can easily be reduced to feeling as though you're accomplishing nothing.
Then a couple of months ago, several gals and I were sitting around discussing the same thing. We discussed the "I'm with Sir" concept of being an expat wife here in Delhi. That discussion turned into sharing some really funny (REALLY funny) t-shirt slogans ... totally tongue in cheek ... that we thought would be funny to actually have made.

One thing led to another ... and the Fading Ladies group was born.

There are seven of us gals ... all working together to create some pretty great tshirts (if I don't say so myself) .... all in the name of charity.

Our debut shirt has been a HUGE hit and with barely any marketing work, we've nearly sold out of our first production run!

It says "I'm not a tourist, I live here."

Perfect for those market shopping days when you just want the fair price! Already, we've gotten word of so many great stories from gals as they've worn their shirt around town!

100% of the profits of these t-shirts go directly to charities that we choose on a rotating basis.

Our first charity is Jaipur Foot -- and it is so exciting to be able to explain to purchasers of our t-shirts that they are literally putting legs on folks who otherwise would not walk.

We have many more designs ... up our sleeves ... and many more charities that we will be honored to support.

Check out our website! FADING LADIES WEBSITE

If you're in Delhi, we'll deliver! If you're outside of Delhi, we'll ship to you (with an increased purchase price). Once we sell out, we move to the next design, limited quantities!

Our second shirt will debut next week at a special morning coffee and will be available for sale (and highlighted on our website) on Thursday, April 8th.

* * *

This project may not mean we will be presenting a check of tens of thousands of dollars to our selected charities, but it sure feels good to be having fun and helping as much as we can along the way!

The Fading Ladies are armed with a sense of purpose and an excitement to give back to the community we're living in AND at the same time put a smile on the faces of those IN our community.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

from the Executive Director of the Life is Good Kids Foundation....

This is a letter written by Steve Gross, the Executive Director of the LIG(Life is Good) Kid’s Foundation. The company that I work for here in California. What he experienced while in Haiti on a recent trip there...
I have photos as well...but they were sent in Microsoft Word so I can't figure out how to post them...they are pretty amazing if i can ever figure it out.
Have I mentioned how Proud I am to work for such an Amazing, Giving Company? Well..if I haven't, just for the record..I am Very Proud!

"Do what you like, Like what you do"

Hey Gang,

Below is a note we wanted to share with you from Steve Gross, the Executive Director of the LIG Kid’s Foundation, on his trip to Haiti last week. The main purpose of Steve’s trip was to form a bond with a Haitian relief partner and assess what our Foundation can do for Haiti’s traumatized children with money raised from our Haiti fundraising t-shirt. But as you’ll read, Steve was also able to conduct a training for youth workers and bring much-needed joy by playing with children who have lost everything.

As you read this keep in mind your support helped put a smile on the faces of these children.

We can’t thank you enough.



Brian Conroy


GNS / SIS Programs

The Life is good Company

Dear Team,

I feel compelled to write. Although I can barely keep my eyes open, I'm afraid that if I don't write about today's experiences they will get lost. I know that I won't ever forget the "big picture" stuff, but I'm afraid I"ll lose the details. It's the little details that make life beautiful and, at times, heartbreaking.

I arrived at Amurt Haiti (the base camp for our operation) at 7:30am today and was asked to accompany the medical team to a small tent city in Port-au-Prince. The main medic and my buddy and colleague from Boston, Dr. Jose Hidalgo - along with an amazing team of Haitian nurses, translators and assistants - set up a make shift clinic to attend to the overwhelming medical needs of the hundreds of people who call this barren pile of broken glass, mud and rubble home. The reason that I was asked to accompany this team was that the day before had brought out lines of sick children who had to wait quietly for hours to be seen by the doctors. The team felt that a little "joy" might make the time go by easier for them. I brought along a parachute, two Life is good discs, a LIG paddle ball set, and a little red ball. I actually thought about leaving these toys behind as we obviously did not have enough to accommodate the masses of children.

I was not prepared to see how horribly these beautiful people were living. I'm not a good enough writer to adequately describe the squalor. While we set up shop, the children of the camp curiously peeked out of their "homes" to see what we were up to. We set up an examination table out of two old chairs and created a pharmacy and an intake room with some rope, a huge suitcase of medicines, and an old table. Slowly the line started to form. I noticed eight children sitting and waiting silently and decided to take out the parachute. Without words they walked over. I laid on my belly and invited them to join. They did. We looked at each other, smiled, waved and kept quietly singing "bonjour" to a universally familiar nursery rhyme tune. We drummed on the ground together, laughed and continued singing. Within minutes, twenty new children joined us. Within a few more minutes, twenty more. Before I knew it, well over seventy children, ages two to thirteen, had come to play.

Then we joined hands. We moved together as a group up a small hill of rubble (some of the children had no shoes so we had to walk really slowly) and began singing together, moving our arms together and making up little games that did not involve them having to run. One big hit was having the children sit in a circle and pass around the hat from my head until everyone touched it and it made its way back to me. Then, through our interpreter (a young Haitian boy from the village), I asked if they thought that my hat could beat me in a race? As they passed it around quickly, I ran around the circle trying to get back to my spot before the hat did. You should have heard the place erupt with laughter when I "accidentally fell" and the hat beat me home! By this time, parents, grandparents and others had gathered round to see what was happening. We played together for what seemed like hours (maybe I'm just getting old) taking make believe safaris in Africa, imagining stomping through the snow in Canada, building castles with little pieces of rubble, and just hanging out. David Elkind once said that the best toy a child could ever have is a loving, caring, attentive adult. Never have truer words been spoken.

After a while, some teens approached me. They wanted to know who I was, shake my hand, and thank me for "loving the children's". I told them that I would be leaving tomorrow and asked them if they would "love the children" while I was gone. I explained to them that all they had to do was look at them, smile at them, ask them how they were doing, and hug them when they needed a hug. I also left them with the few toys we brought. (The rest of the toys we brought were being used in a different center in Port-au-Prince) and asked them to play with the children a little bit too when they had the energy. They promised that they would.

As I was getting ready to leave for the day, I needed to get something out of our truck. It was parked about half a mile from the site on a steep hill. As I walked up the hill, a 10 year old boy quietly grabbed my hand. We walked together in silence for five minutes and then another boy, probably around 7, grabbed my other hand. We walked up the hill silently - occasionally looking at each other and smiling. Once we made it to the truck, we shared a small bag of water (yes bag) and sat together silently just holding hands. I noticed that one of the boys had no shoe laces. I found a rope in the back of the truck, cut it with Ismael's knife and the three of us unwound the strands until we had a thin enough piece of string to use as a shoe lace. Together, silently, we laced up the little boy’s shoes. After we finished, he looked at his "new shoes", smiled and kept repeating "merci, merci, merci". He was so happy - like I had given him the world. I've never seen such appreciation in all my life - never. This is one detail that I never want to forget.

My heart aches for these children. They have been forgotten. But my spirit is lifted by them too. I did not know that it was possible to feel such intense joy and sorrow at the same time until today. It's one thing to see the glass as "half full" when it's indeed half full. It's another to see it as half full when it only has one drop inside. This is what the children of Haiti are all about. They are surviving, with unimaginable grace, love and joy, with only one drop in their cup. I can't imagine what they could grow to be if we filled their glass just a little bit more.

Anyway, we then went to a much larger tent city where I was asked to run a training for Haitian youth workers there. Again - once the parachute came out and we started playing, the whole camp gathered. Hungry, tired, sick and thirsty - nobody could resist the desire to play. I had to see it to believe it. I wish you were all here to see it with me.

We'll be back!

Love to you all...


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

$2500.00 check sent to the children of Operation Shanti

Today was the day!!!

I sent the check off to Operation Shanti~~~

I would like to take a moment to tell all of you who were a part of this Amazing endeavor this year for the children how deeply grateful I am to you all. Because, truth be told, it would Never have been possible without each and every one of you!

"Practice for the children Pendants" are now literally All over the world around some Very Special individuals necks..including one dog ;~D named Doris~~
and because of You all, the most precious children in India will be $2500.00 richer. Getting the necessary things they need just to make it each and every day.

I will be back..most of you know this..and I do hope you will all want to be a part of my next charity...
I am not sure what it will be yet..but I am planning on climbing onto a plane in 2012and heading back to Mysore, India to see the children with a little something for them!

I love you all.
I bow to you all.
I Thank You deeply from my core being.
Om Shanti~~~~

p.s. and Do "click" on the check to make it bigger so that you can read the remitters! ;0)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Our friend Padmini

Whenever Ray and I go to Fort Cochin we always stop in and see our dear friend Padmini who works at Idiom Booksellers...
she is a petite little woman who always was there at the register when we would walk in and her face would literally "Light Up" when she saw us walk up the steps into the shop! Ours of course would as well...because we Knew that she would be there no matter what day it was. It was something that we counted on..

Before we left Fort Cochin last year, we stopped in to tell Padmini good-bye. We gave her a big tight hug and told her we would miss her and we would see her next time we arrived....
it was then that she told us about the "trouble" that she was having with her brother in law who owned the bookstore. I won't go into details, but she had been there 9 years and he was beginning to give her some problems and she feared for her job in the future there.
It made Ray and I very sad hearing this news...
she is such a Good Person. We had known her for 5 years..and we had become quite good friends.
I gave her my email address and told her to please keep us informed on what was happening. We wanted to know and we wanted to stay in touch with her..

Yesterday I got an email from her...

Hai My dear Ray & Tracy

Happy New Year , How are you? Just i created my email id yesterday so i think to inform you that
this the 1st letter sending to you. when you are coming in india this year?

I lost my job, not myself, but our boss sent me. there's nothing my fault , before christmas i told to the
manager to re arrange the postcards . but he never arranged and our boss seen the simply the postcard stand
is empty. i told that there is no more postcards to fill the stand, never he hearing and send back

I worked there nine and half years , and they not giving the experience certificate and the ten years service also .

I am trying the new job and i will inform you about later.

Thanking you

Your sincere freind

Padmini -Idiom Booksellers

I feel so bad for her, but know that she will have no problem in getting another position as she is so well known in the town and I do know that all of the hundreds of people who pass through the little town and know her and her sweet spirit..will truly miss seeing her there at Idiom Booksellers. But, we will see her when we go back where ever she might be because she is a true friend whom we love and adore~~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life is good (R) Raises Funds for Haitian Children with Special Fundraising T-Shirts Sold Nationally

Life is good (R) Raises Funds for Haitian Children with Special Fundraising T-Shirts Sold Nationally

Posted using ShareThis

SO Proud to be representing this Amazing Company that I TRULY Believe in and LOVE so much! I am honored to be managing one of their stores here in California. "Optimism Has NO Borders!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Helping out Haiti...

Our friend Andy is now in Haiti doing what he can to help all those who are there..
It is so amazing to see what someone who has been successful in life..does with his money for those in need.

Truly humbling...
and so grateful to be his friend!

Love you Andy!

His blog is below...


Saturday, January 30, 2010

I know it has been awhile...

I have TWO "Practice for the children Pendants" available at the moment..


(photo courtesy of Bettina from Germany!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Big Announcement...

Today I am heading to the Post Office...

as I have TWENTY-SEVEN "Practice for the children Pendants" to send off to Japan!!

Yes, Twenty-Seven~

I want to Thank Kaori for her order yesterday~
Thank You so, So much!

I know that there are so many that need help in this big world of ours...
I wish I could do more.
I can do what I can, and with all of you by my side supporting these children who are so near and dear to my heart..we All are doing so much.
I am deeply grateful and humbled.

We have now raised $2495.00 for the children of Operation Shanti.
I have others still asking about pendants...
and I have more available.
Thus far we have sold 143 pendants.
Since September....

I am going to keep having these made and available throughout the end of February.

This has been such a Blessing...a tribute to our Guruji..and a blessing for the children who live in Mysore, India where our beloved Guruji lived..and so many of us traveled there to practice our Yoga...at his shala.

If you would like one, you can order one on the right sidebar of my blog where it says "Pendant". The cost is $34.00 and that includes shipping anywhere in the world~

It just makes me so happy to know that these are literally "All Over The World" right now!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Mia Farrows sister Prudence and Tracy...

Ready for a story everyone??? A very Special story.....

Today was the Gem fair..a day that I was looking forward to for some reason..that was yet to reveal itself to me until I stepped foot into the Pavilion.

My attention was immediately drawn to a gentleman's table in the far off right corner and it was almost like a Magnet that directly took me by the hand and guided me to this mans table...

I looked down and saw this pendant...
I just KNEW I knew who he was, yet I could not place him at the time.

I asked the man at the table who the Guru was on the pendant and he was drawing a blank as well...
but, he did tell me that he made a handful of these for a woman who lives in Monterey and her name was Anne Farrow..he only had the one left as it was an extra...

I told him I would google her and see if I could come up with who the Guru was...

I paid him the $12.00 for the pendant set in sterling silver and went on my way..knowing deep inside I had a very special gift...just not knowing how special it really was!

When I got home I had remembered who the man was in the pendant as I had a book on him and his photo was in Namarupa magazine with the Beatles...Maharishi Mahesh Yogi...but I googled the woman's name anyway..
and found out that the woman is the sister of actress Mia Farrow and her birth name is Prudence Anne Villiers Farrow. She was in India in 1967-68 with the Beatles and stayed at the Ashram with them...and she was the inspiration for the song written by John Lennon.."Dear Prudence"...

I feel so Blessed to have been able to get this pendant, as when I was in India in 2008 I took a meditation class with Narasimhan my teacher who was a direct student of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I will never forget his love for his teacher and how he looked at his photo and smiled the most serene smile I will ever see...placing flowers below his photo and placing his hands in Namaste.
Upon my return to the states I heard the news of the passing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
I thought about what a blessing it was to have experienced the gift of learning TM from my teacher while in India...
a technique that I practice daily and love so much.

I really had no idea that this was going to be such a special blessing...
but then who really does?
It was just as it was..
meant to BE~


http://www.pophistorydig.com/?tag=beatles-prudence-farrow (for the full story)

Chapati making!

nice to see everyone helping out with the Chapati making!!

(photo taken at Karunya Mane, Mysore India)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Karunya Mane Veggie Garden!

How wonderful is this!!
The "security" man at Karunya Mane also tends the veggie garden there.

This is exactly what we want to do once we "plant" ourselves there one day!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

India is calling....

Many of my friends are headed to or have already arrived in India.
Yes, it's that time of year once again...but, this year my husband and I will not be going.
It makes me so sad.
It was a yearly trip for us, and in fact we would be leaving most likely next week if we were going as well.

But I am so Grateful that we are both working and we have a home..no complaints really, other than just missing Ma India.
But..knowing that we Will be going back One day..keeps a smile in my heart.

I really wanted to be able to go and give Operation Shanti a check in person :0)
but instead I will send it to the San Francisco office and know that because of so many of you, my readers, friends and supporters. The children at Karunya Mane will be well taken care of with the $2050.00 that we have raised for them!

I do have 19 pendants left...
so if you'd like one please place your order and after they are gone..the check will be sent!
Thank You All~ You are all beautiful beyond words!

Oh...and I am still planning on having the collage made..I only have about 38 photos, and if you would like to be included, just email me your photo and it will be done!