l want to do more writing, but am struggling with the question of how to start. Do i use the materials in the diary i have kept, off and on, or should i start fresh? Should i take a writing class? How do i select the topic? Any tips would help?

26 Jan


10 Jul

As i settle back in my Madison routine after a year in Almaty, i find my calendar full with family and friends time, tennis, yoga, walks, gym, some voluntary work and lots of time to read all the books i did not have time to read when working.  Somehow, it does not seem to be enough.  What is missing, i ask myself.


6 Nov


Continue reading


9 Mar

I have this heart, sad as black, heavy as led. I  cant free myself of this sadness ever since the shooting of Tony Robinson a 19 year old kid, who had plans to go to collage and make something of his life.  I understand that i do not know all the details about his life or what happened at the event that led to the police officer to shoot to kill. The investigation will hopefully find the truth and justice will be rendered.  What makes my heart heavy and sad is the loss of a young vibrant teenager and why we as a developed civil society can not avoid such occurrences that seem to repeat themselves over and over again.  This should happen to no ones’s child, brother or grandchild. It is avoidable and that is what we, policy makers, people and police force should all work towards.

In the light of ” what is it”

19 Feb

Just finished reading Zia Haider Rahman book “in the Light of What we Know, brilliantly written, however, I kept thinking. Is it a novel, a philosophy book, an encyclopedia on some minutia that I really don’t care about. BUT I kept reading hoping for a story here. A true fiction, the story of Zafar sort of gets lost or did for me. However, the writing gripped me and I kept reading hoping, but by page 219 I began to wonder if I will ever find out about the main character of the book, except through the imagined and glorified eyes of the narrator about the narrators view point and perceptions. The book is getting great reviews. Enlighten me if I have missed something significant here. I adore good fiction, but no one novel can be an everything novel.

Valentines and More

17 Feb

We want roses and we want chocolates on valentines day and i did get both, but i also got a bad cold, which was not asked for, however, such is life. Not to be defeated, we did get ourselves to a concert in minus 5 temperatures which felt like minus 20 with the wind factor.  We did not walk which we usually like to do since the Overture Center is only 25 minutes walking, sanity prevailed.   Of course to find a parking place meant leaving two hours ahead of the concert and found a place at a bar stool downtown for wine and appetizers as every restaurant of course was not taking any clients – except those who had reservations, which was just fine, i could not eat much anyway. Liquids is what my cold needed.  I followed the advice of my Uzbekistan friends who would say vodka is the best remedy, so vodka it was.

Today was a great day – woke up clear headed.  Went to the gym. Thanks to Rob who despite my whining pushed me to do more than i wanted to on the weights and it was good for me.  Went to A Place to Be, my lady cave, and put in solid five hours of work on my mother memoirs – which i am editing, she of course is the voice.  Selected some pictures to be scanned that we can add to the book.

A Place to Be had the monthly “Death Cafe Madison” conversation at 7pm. On the way home stopped at Sour Dough for their opening of the new dessert counter.  A must visit for all, heavenly looking and tasting treats.  Conversed with very interesting people, Madison is full of them. Had to come back home after making my appearance there to cuddle up under the warmth of my quilt.  My head reminded me that i was not quite as well as i wanted and hoped and my bode said that i  had done more than i was allowed. Now with a warm cup of tea, i wish all my family, friends and colleagues, good night

Cheemavignettes is back after a long absence

12 Feb

I have been negligent in keeping up with my posts and I have no escuse. When I retired, I thought I would have all the time in the world to do what I have always wanted to do, that is write more. Now that I have the time I am busier than ever. A Place to Be, my passion come hobby, is flourishing. If you have not checked the site for some time, check it  now http://www.aplacetobewillystreet.com

i love social media as much as I believe that face to face conversation and dialogue is important. My beef with social media is with the number of sites I have to manage. I started with cheemavignettes as a blog to share my daily reflections, then came A place to Be, which requires regular updates on the site and its facebook page. In addition there is my personal FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other messaging applications on my iPhone. My challenge for this year is to become more efficient in social media management. My first challenge is to link cheemavignettes to my A Place to Be website.

How to Grow Blueberries

22 May

How to grow blueberries in Wisconsin

Eric Johnson spoke on Saturday May 17 at A Place to Be on “How to grow Blueberries in Wisconsin”. The presentation was not only informative on how to grow them but it was also educational for those health buffs out there.

When it comes to growing this nutritional shrub know that the soil PHshould be at 4.5. Also, this type of shrub needs acid soil to survive and Sulfur is important for the health and growth of the shrub. The sun is also very important for the Blueberry shrub. The more sun it has the better the harvest. Winter can cause havoc on this type of shrub for if the winter is long and the snow deep, bunnies and deer have a tendency to eat off the blueberry shrub, which in turn affects the harvest for the upcoming season.

On the health side, blueberries are known to reduce the chance of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. As far as taste is concerned the organic blueberries seem to taste better than non- organic. A half a cup a day is what is recommended for people but know that it is expensive.
For more information on “how to” go to: http://www.backyardberryplants

Please check http://www.aplacetobewillystreet.com for other upcoming events.

It’s been a long time

30 Apr

So much has happened since my last post.Above all. Winter is here to stay. And I have no plans to keep myself warm as I have packed all my winter clothes away. I should know better. This is Wisconsin after all. Any way.  My last post was after my moms visit, which lasted four wonderful months. Who would ever think of visiting  Wisconsin from India during the coldest winters ever. My mom would and that is the kind of person she is. Fearless and adventurous.

After her departure, I have settled into managing A Place to Be. If there is anyone out there amongst my friends who have not checked my web site, you still  have a chance to  do that http://www.aplacetobewillystreet.com

I will be back up with more posts soon.







Snow and winter and family time in Madison

30 Nov

I know, i know, its been a long time since my last entry. But much has happened since October. A Place to Be is up and active. Check out the web site http://www.aplacetobewillystreet.com

I have organized quite a few discussions and events and the ideas and thoughts are evolving.  So far the Place received positive feedback from the community, but the concept is evolving so if the readers have any ideas after viewing the web site, please sent them on to aplacetobe@cheemaoptions.org

On a more personal note, my mother who will celebrate her 90th birthday in the US, arrives on December 10 in Madison, Wisconsin. My niece is her travelling companion to bring her across the Atlantic and my sister will take her back to her home in India.  We all are so thankful to her for being their for us during our lives.  I am so proud of her for travelling the distance to be with us in this very cold winter. For me she was my inspiration, my supporter. She guided me and pushed me to achieve what i have in life and be the person i am. Looking forward to having her with me for a few months. Snow and all. She is one brave lady.

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