wedding day palms with mehndi,

Pink Wedding: Bridal Mehndi

Although I would not be wearing Indian clothing for the wedding, I wanted to have really good bridal mehndi done. I get mehndi whenever I can (usually on trips to India) but had never gone so far as to have both hands and feet decorated – that’s usually reserved for brides. Now it was my turn.

The current tradition in India is for the bride to have a mehndi party for her female friends some days before the wedding (mehndi needs a few days for the color to set and deepen). There are many mehndi artists in the Bay Area, but the wedding date turned out to be a problem: August 17th was the weekend after Indian Independence Day, August 15th, and many of the artists were booked for other events.

The artist I originally found (via a friend) was not available, but she recommended another, Varsha, who did a small drawing on me in mid-July so I could see how the settled mehndi color would eventually look with the pink of the dress.

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paper flower and colored paper tassels - wedding decorations

Pink Wedding: Planning

The Venue

We had planned all along to have our wedding at home. The house we have been renting since December 2018 was remodeled in the early 2000s by the recently-divorced owner of a high-end bath and kitchen outfitter. The remodel seems to have been intended to turn the place into a swinging bachelor pad. There’s a fabulous kitchen / open space for entertainment, another large room (shown as the “media room” on the house plans) added onto the back, and a big open backyard with… a tiki bar. I kid you not. Which is canopied to protect the large BBQ grill and non-working fridge, and also has a bar sink. The owner who remodeled had also put in a pool, but the current owner thought it was too close to the house foundations to be safe, and had it filled in years ago. So now there’s a wooden deck surrounded by smooth concrete, which leaves a nice big space to put a tent.

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large red-yellow sunflower

My Garden Year: 2019

Follow my 2020 gardening adventures in real time on Twitter!

We moved into this (rented) home in December 2018. Did I mention that it has a garden? And even a greenhouse?!? Best of all, it was not already landscaped, nor did the landlord have anyone coming in regularly to take care of it – it’s all up to me, and I am thrilled. The garden has kept me very happily busy for much of the year (in addition to all the other things that normally keep me busy, plus a wedding).

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2019 in Review


After a very busy December 2018, traveling and then moving house, we spent the first weeks of January in a state of collapse. The California winter rain was heavier than usual so the weather was dank and depressing, but we had plenty to do indoors, unpacking and setting up our new home. I went to Seattle for an internal AWS marketing kick-off. Brendan worked on a new book. (Yes, I edited this one, too.)

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