Saturday, October 31, 2020

Another random week in 2020

 Everything that I could say about 2020 has probably been said. 

On the whole,  its not as bad as it could have been because I am with my two favorite people in a house I love, with so many books to read and movies to see .My family a video chat away.


A dear friend I met via work is leaving Seattle. He lost his spouse this year, unexpectedly. Living in the house they bought and decorated together, with minimal external interaction has proved difficult and so he is back to London. I have always really liked G but we got particularly close this year

I don't think I told you but we lost Miss Chrissy in July . She cleaned our home twice a week for 8 years. In fact, she cleaned our house on a Friday  and died on that Monday unexpectedly.  Her loss has been very hard to deal with. She was so nice to R, only 52, one of the truly good ones and my house is full of  little things she thought we would like. The reason I bring her up here is that G and I got closer this year because he gave me a lot of comfort on how to cope with the loss of someone you love. His theory is that when you love someone - they never really go away. 

So on Friday we have a "going-away" party for him. Basically we all have a fixed schedule of a 30 minute window  to stop by to say goodbye - socially distanced and masked of course. This has the unexpected bonus of getting one on one time with him. I have noticed this about 2020- some unexpected things have happened that would not have happened without the isolation. A friend with an international career had a video party for her 50th with people from about 20 countries. On my birthday my team organized a Harry potter quiz ( I am a Potterhead).  

This pandemic is a total nightmare of course but its good to make the most of what we can while we wait for it to be over ? 

R and DH come with me. Both have an essentially quality of "come-withness" . I tell R that he can take his Ipad and listen to music but can he buzz a little less. When we are there and he is listening to a little Trotsky and flapping his hands excitedly for the music crescendo- I ask him if he can flap a bit quietly. 

He repeats my rules "No flapping and no buzzing for 30 minutes" solemnly and makes my heart turn over.  

We stop by Jack drive through to get R a fast-food meal as a treat for being so good, get some groceries and go home 

Friday nights, DH and I have a ritual of watching  Bill Maher and eating dumplings for dinner.  And today we are starting another Binge- worthy show- Mirzapur whose Season 2 has just dropped.  So good !! Despite these temptations and although I have also started a suspense novel- The Turn of the Key ( the ending of which on Saturday - I am sorely disappointed by) , we are in bed by 11.30!  Its way past R's bedtime , but he still comes in to snuggle, smell my hair and get a tight hug. I cannot skip or shortchange as he times me :-). 


I wake up at 8.30, go downstairs and make some French Press coffee. Since I figured out how to fully take apart the French Press in order to clean it properly, I have been drawn back to the delicious rich coffee it makes . DH makes fun of my coffee obsession ( he IS justified - I have a Nespresso, a pour over, a grind and brew, a Capresso for cold lattes and 3 kinds of French Presses) . But the truth is I really enjoy my variety of ways of coffee consumption.

Its our typical cold rainy Seattle fall day and I really love them because they are so perfect for things I love like tea-drinking and book reading.

 I wake up R and DH with compliments and snuggles and then its time to start the day.  DH usually does all the grocery shopping  and these days R and DH have a ritual of going to Costco together. While they are out - I vacuum our living area, fold and put away a load of laundry, empty the dishwashers  and reset the kitchen to a pristine state while listening to my book,  and get lunch started in the Instant pot.

On Saturdays we always eat Choley ( Garbanzo bean curry)  DH's late dad had a superstition that if you eat garbanzo beans on Saturday - you will accumulate wealth . Since we love rituals - this has now become a standard 

Once they are back, the house is sparkling, groceries are done and we enjoy our lunch which is DELICIOUS ( I am an excellent cook for the things I love). I will plan out our meals for the week later but we have a rough idea of the kinds of things we need for what we regularly eat . Salad, cucumbers, avocados, pomegranates, spinach, grapes, asparagus, tomatoes eggs and sausages etc etc . DH and I are super organized people. when its just the three of us  -the house runs like clock work . When we have guests, they are nonplussed by my need to know a week in advance 

In the afternoon - we need to make a trip to the Under Armor store. Its DH's birthday on Monday and we both much prefer to buy our own presents. All our money is our money so its never a surprise since we can see our withdrawals. SO now the rule is we buy our own real present ( I got the Kindle Oasis for myself this year) and the other person just has to do cards and chocolate for DH and cards and flowers( for me) 

The shopping is quickly done . DH is a quick chooser - the only thing that slows him down is trying to be more parsimonious, but i urge him to  remember these are birthday presents and he should splurge 

Our drive back is gorgeous - the sun seems to hit the trees at just the right angles to turn the trees to light

When we get back home, DH wants to relax and drink tea, but I am perishing to walk, so make tea for him and get a snack ready for R and step outside for 2 miles in the cold air and the grey gold of a Washington Fall day.  I continue with my book but the protagonist is such a ninny ( this is the problem with Ruth Ware novels. A fantastic writer, bar one device that she overuses.   She creates the uneasy atmosphere mostly by statements like "my nerves jangled", "a sudden sound shattered the silence" - which is then followed by something commonplace like - "it was just my mobile phone". Makes me want to shake her protagonists and tell them to grow a spine.) So I switch to self help book.

The walk is SO lovely . The dark descends and the half moon is visible. Its so great to see how people decorate their houses for Halloween . The moon comes out and one house looks so  cute and spooky ! 


I have finished "The turn of the key" last night and I am feeling at a loss with what to read now. I did not like the ending ( oh how I hate open ends) so there is that too. Like magic, a bunch of Mary Westmacott books become available and I am so glad to have something to look forward to again 

We celebrate DH's birthday today ( even though its officially tmrw- he keeps a fast on Mondays- so meats and sweets must be eaten today :-) and of course we always pre-pone not postpone) . R has written an exceptionally sweet card - he and I did research on messages to be written on cards . 

I have learned this in the many years of being R's mum.

When auties don't do a great job with writing /doing traditionally sweet things, much is made out to be an empathy/psychology problem where is its usually a dont-know-how and did-not-know-why problem 

I decide to go back to our usual bakery instead of the new 85 degrees and its an AWESOME decision. 

DH responds to all the people who wish him individually- he actually types messages to everyone - not even copy paste as it seems fair to him to type in return for typed messages . ( I am usually confounded by how much logic these two seem to have ) 

We are also planning on starting a diet and as per usual we have a feast before 


Is DH's actual birthday - I have saved time in the day and the glorious sun comes out.  Oh how we PNW folks treasure the sun. We stroll past our lake - (really I marvel at the joy of having a park and a lake so close by) and have a lovely time


I am in a sudden panic. I suddenly realize that the year is passing by without having made enough progress on my core- priorities. This is typical of me - I work in intense periods fueled by panic - and the rest of the time - I  procrastinate while feeling vaguely guilty . I work madly.  I also manage several walking meetings and oh my - the Fall trees are gorgeous all around me 


 I did not write in my gratitude journal today- so i don't remember much of today - except it was a blur of meetings  - but I started Matthew McConoughey's book Greenlights on Audible( his voice is a treat) and finished "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", which no matter how many times I re-read- its still fresh. Have a small argument in the Agatha Christie book group about whether the artwork on the cover is justified or not. 

How I love book groups and our innocent passions !


Was a day of many milestones and work and consequently I am wiped out in the evening. I am grumpy in the evening as DH takes too long to come our for a walk with me because the daylight will be all gone ( Seriously - y'all - we are a light hungry people in the PNW - especially as winter comes closer) . But OMG its even better - because its a clear moonlit night - so beautiful - it fairly takes my breath away ! 

So many times I don't get the thing I want in life, and then sometimes I get something even better !!

When we are having our goodnight reading and snuggles and compliments ( yes dear reader, I still read a story to R- its one of our rituals that is precious to both us - as we will often have some special conversations) - R tells me that he would like to ask Santa to be his third grandpa so he could call him regularly .

Later as DH and I are reading and chatting - R knocks on the door to tell us to go to sleep :-) 

The boy hates to be left out.


A busy day at work. I have a meeting with that colleague from last week -he is leaving on Monday for London. I am feeling quite awful about it . I am also remembering all my last days in cities ( as an Army kid - I traveled a lot . When I worked and was single /student- I also lived by myself in cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Athens etc.) 

 I clearly remember the desolation of last days. Your stuff is packed and gone mostly. The walls are empty. You are enveloped in the awful realization that the days,  people  and memories passed, will never come back. On an impulse, I ask if he will come for brunch with a mask and 6 feet apart  on Sunday. He agrees and I feel so happy about it 

I persuade R to come to the playground- I wipe the swings carefully with Clorox wipes -  he tells me warningly that he wants to swing for a long time- while I walk around and stare at trees. He has many rituals that he wants to do and many places that he likes to feel the wind - so this takes a long time

I  walk back to our house, looking so welcoming and lovely with DH's artistic decorations . I and R are only allowed to lug the pumpkins up from the store room - all the actual decorating is done by DH - as he (correctly) tells us that we have no artistic abilities.

Well dear reader - if you have still stuck on through reading about this week - I must sign off now. 

 R is calling for his book and goodnight routine  . 

I must say, I enjoyed writing this post. 

The days seem to run together these days , but while describing this week - it made me realize how precious and distinct each day is. 

That when I think back, some time in the future, I wont just think of 2020 as that dreadful year - when life came to a standstill- for in this year too - was a week filled with love, joy, business and beauty!

Until next time !

Monday, September 2, 2019

A random update of the last days of Summer

"I wish there was a way to know you're in "the good old days", before you've actually left them."

""I'm happy that this was all filmed, so I can remember everyone and what we did. ……I worked for a paper company all these years and never wrote anything down."

"How did you capture what it was really like? How we felt, and how we made each other laugh, and how we got through the day... how did you do it"

"There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things"

I was watching "The Office" Finale today. 

The last lines of each of the characters reminded me of why I used to blog .I started as a way to connect with other parents dealing with special needs. 

But it became a record of my time along with the feelings of that time.  

A blog is better than a photograph or a video because you interpret yesterday's photo with today's perspective. But you cannot do that with a journal. 

And so I am back - years after my last post - just telling you about a few random days

(I am talking to you, dear reader, even though I don't know if any of you still come here. Or even  if people really even blog any more. )

Summer was so busy - usually all our friends/relatives come and stay with us during the summer (Only a special kind of person would like Seattle in the winter. Luckily we are that special type of person. I always find the winters really restful here - a way to explore the great indoors - read books - watch movies - feel that delicious sense of Hygge)

We traveled quite a bit - around Western Washington- barely leaving the State on our many trips. This State is so beautiful. In addition , this summer was really mild which also meant no forest fires

We had many many guests over.

One new thing about R is that he loves having guests over. Instead of waiting for them to leave, he now eagerly asks when the next set will arrive. Its not just all the going out and the Sprite and eating Subway too. He really truly enjoys them. Our friends for the most part are very accepting of R too. Now that he is a bit more grown up and interactive the constant stream of advice has lessened, which has also helped us to be free to enjoy people more.


May be my absolute favorite day of the weekend. Even the  dentist whose lecture on periodontal disease ( she is annoyed, because I absolutely refuse to take out my wisdom teeth, but now cannot say it any more since I explicitly said that I want no more advice on talking out wisdom teeth)


I listen to Harry Potter all morning and do a massive clear out of kitchen appliances.  Due to our smallish kitchen we have slowly upgraded to  appliances that multitask,  such as the instant pot that takes place of pressure-cooker +slow cooker +rice maker.

Some friends of ours have their kids starting Grad school in Vancouver our clear out,  will mean a stock up for them. DH and I hate throwing things and when  they delightedly accept our offer

With the smugness of a  super productive morning behind me, I settle down in the deck to read my book and drink some tea. R comes out and joins me. He is the most terrific company, content to simply have his legs resting on my lap, while we are both busy in our respective devices. 


Sunday I wake up with a feeling of happy anticipation.

I have recently bought Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Audible ( this series may be my favorite re-read)  and every day I wake up with joy thinking of listening to the book.

Saturday's kitchen clear out has also meant that I have found my old Cuisinart Grind and Brew. DH had given  this to me many years ago. We had laughed at a review on amazon which said that " This is a great coffee maker for a person who likes to spend their whole day cleaning the coffee machine" . Laughed,  because in those days when I worked in Bush's Baked Beans with a leisurely pace of life - I could not imagine being so busy that the few minutes a day would feel like a hassle.

The pace of life has gone up tremendously since moving to Seattle. Somewhere in the beginning of our time in Seattle, I bought a Nespresso. I am used to now waiting those 15 seconds impatiently, as it brews a cup.

I have been thinking of late that I want to shift my mindset. Feeling frenetic is a state of mind. Taking the few minutes to set and program it in the night and waking up to the sound of it grinding the beans puts me in a good mood. DH and i do our usual coffee + news on our phones in bed.

Today for lunch we are doing to Downtown - we are meeting a freind of ours who works in the Gates Foundation. She prepares lunch for us and is a huge fan of Hello-Fresh since she now gets to try out things she would normally never try. I take my lunch with me since I am not a huge fan of unusual meats and flavors. R is so delighted with her. She lives facing the ocean and has a really beautiful apartment furnished with things she has collected as she lived in various African and Asian countries

The sky is so blue as we drive back- even though its Sunday, I am looking forward to the coming week which will end in a 3 day weekend

The week

Is super intense. Most people are back from their vacation which means that the temporary Summer lull is over and its the usual Microsoft that I both love am exhausted by.

Every day is full of meetings, while the evenings pass with needing to tend to some email while also doing the evening routine of dinner exercise etc

The weekend 

I start the weekend the right way with a date lunch with DH at a fantastic café at Microsoft called Ingredients. The food is REMARKABLE and we pledge to reinstate a monthly date lunch ( I will tell you at the end of September if we are able to continue on this plan)

We cook and clear up on Saturday. Our friends will  stop over for the weekend and we don't want to waste time cooking, while they are here  from Canada. Since we have an open kitchen, there is also no way to put your headphones on and cook by myself as I like to do. (I also am odd in that I don't like people helping me in the kitchen. The nicer our friends are, the more they have a hard time not helping. They assume I am being gracious despite my repeated protests that they should just sit and let me cook in peace. To avoid this we end up pre-cooking)

I cannot describe how nice these friends here. Its easy to understand why their 3 sons are so sweet when you meet the parents. Each night they are here we stay awake and chat till 1 in the morning 

R especially is smitten by D. Besides a business, she also runs a sort of animal rescue. She is mad for ALL animals ( dear reader- the true extent of this is made clear to me when we watch the latest Jurassic movie, and I find her sympathetic to the creepy Indoraptor. This is more clarifying than even her veganism)  
Because of her ability to bond without words- R is inseparable from her. 

Monday the last day of summer vacation seems to move in slow motion. 

R comes and snuggles in bed with us in the morning and we read - all 3 of us together -  in a way that we haven't in a long time. 

We drink a last cup of tea before our friends leave, with promises to meet again next year 

I come and sit in our deck to finish this blog dear reader - our deck that is a little bit of paradise - thanks to DH's alchemist touch with flowers, plants, color  and architecture in the perfect sunshine of a September day.

R comes out with a Tinker crate kit to make a paper plane launcher and DH comes to help. 

Dear reader sometime the beauty and perfection of life takes my breath away. If I could press pause, I would. 

But I can't. So I write- hoping to bottle up my  bliss

Adieu until next month 

Monday, September 28, 2015

The minutiae of a random weekend

Dear Reader 

I have been absent without excuses and now I am back just plunging you back into the excruciating minutiae  of my life without explanation.

This is a post I found in my drafts from July  that I am editing and publishing


Somewhere earlier this month I resolved to prioritize my life according to my values and decided to be more patient at him

The patience thing is really paying off

I am back to truly enjoying R

It was 9 am when I sort of woke up - I do this pretty regularly on weekends when R lets me ( also I had slept at 2 am due to an interesting book)

DH finally urges me to wake up as my sister has been sending alternating kisses and threats on Skype(this is her signature move)

My mum and dad are staying with her right now so I talked to everyone.

My sister talked about the difficulty of finding a good protein shake in India - she has finally found a chocolate one which she does not like to make into a smoothie- but makes it into a paste and eats it as baby-food.

This is MOST strange but it works for her.

 She takes the tablet outside so I can hear the rain pouring.

Monsoon is serious in India

In her house they have a big balcony from which you can see the Himalayas as well as the road downstairs to people-watch.

In this way you can satisfy your spiritual and social side both

R was of course made to exchange pleasantries which he did in a most reluctant fashion and only under the threat of not going to the Mall today ( holiest of places to him)

DH and I chitchat in bed.

We usually do Facebook sitting side by side.

He argues on politics and I look at funny things and pictures.

I also make fun of the people who post all the cheesy stuff ( like "marriage is 90% hard work and 10% romance" "Mothers are the best. Share if you love your mother . If you don't share it means that you don't love your mother")

I find this really funny article on bad spellings in India.

DH and I  are in splits  and R is so jealous that he had not had any attention that he put his face right next to mine and shouts "Mama sleep in R's bed"

I plead for 5 minutes so I can get my Nespresso and then sit with him and read for a while longer.

We go downstairs and got everyone fed ( R his Kale/spinach puree to counteract the junk he will eat for the rest of the day, DH Chole Bhature  and me protein shake )

I get ready

This is a selfie since DH is shouting at me to hurry up and would most certainly have not taken a photo.

I have cut my hair short as really love short hair though DH says that I have the hair of "all-middle-aged women now"

I have told him that since I am 40, its fine for me to look middle aged now.

 But I have also resolved to grow it out again.

Who wants to look middle aged even if they are- that too to their love?

Last weekend - I cleaned out my cupboards and was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothes - I have and had sworn that I would never buy any clothes for atleast two years.

DH assures me that this resolution would not last 24 hours and he was quite right. Enough said

We get R's  shoes ( as he has outgrown everything).

We do his two rituals

Ritual 1: Take photographs of the elevator at Polo Ralph Lauren. " Its a Schindler" he tells me gleefully and watches through the gap in the door.

Ritual 2: Buy an oven roasted sandwich with creamy sirracha sauce and black olives and a bottle ( not cup) of Sprite at Subway

Then we drive home

Over the years I have realized that our best chats are usually in the car

In other situations we tend to have a lot of electronics. But not in the car

Its why I have started to enjoy road trips.

Apart from cursing at the other drivers (who are too-slow/reckless/stupid) DH is really fun in the car

We make fun of pretentious homes and signs( The Villas at the Lake starting at the low 700's) make up stories about the people in the cars next to us
( today there was a lady in a Fiat actually shouting with hand gestures at her DH - saw her later in the Mall holding hands), air grievances ( who is the one that cleaned up R's closet ultimately?) and generally connect.

We run a few more errands. have a great time at a Walmart of all places and eat a yogurt parfait that I am really partial to (from Mcdonalds) and then finally head home

Today even without trying I have done 10K steps on fitbit

I am super tired so just do a few chores while listening to Agatha Raisin on my phone and then make dinner( Asparagus and Turkey Cutlets - the latter which DH had cooked last weekend and I had portioned and put away in the freezer ) and watch Seinfeld

Then I clean the mudroom

 In a box I find Christmas ornaments that R had made in 2007 - just 3 years old in the best special needs school I have ever seen in Knoxville.

 His photo is so sweet and the ornaments so darling that I just sit and cry.

Oh goodness - I have so enjoyed these years and this child and I wish i could live them again.

All this nostalgia and sentimentality wastes a lot of time and its very late.

R's Saturday tradition is to sleep downstairs in the couch and he has already brought down his fan( he must have a fan on or he cant sleep)

We cuddle and I tell him all the usual nonsense of how lovely his company is and bid him goodnight

I write this in bed until DH demands that I turn off the lights .


One of the weekend days is a fun day.

Today unfortunately is the work day  - Sunday.

Still I wake up late- DH is already up - perched with his tablet  looking smug at being the first one up.

Last night  he was deaf to my challenge of " are you a  spineless worm who is going to sleep or a brave lion who will stay awake and read with me"

R comes up to- he snuggles with us for while with his tablet

 - but to prevent DH and me from chatting-  remind me that since last night's special treat was that he sleep in the couch in the living room  - that now its time for  "snuggle with mama" on the couch.

This is one of his signature moves to make a separate world with me.

I go downstairs make a cup of Nespresso. I cuddle per request and  watch an old rerun of "How I met your Mother?"

Then Miss D is here and R is off - he is wearing shoes with laces for the first time ever.

DH loves to eat out so we go to our new favorite restaurant La Isla

DH and my food tastes are for the most part mutually exclusive but this restaurant has both pork( his fave)  and beans and rice( mine)

We  walk around  downtown Redmond and chat about all the changes we would make, were we in charge of the decorations and management of downtown ( instead of the troglodytes that have made the current decisions until its time for our reservation)

The food is epic. Fried plantains  - are maybe my favorite thing to eat of all time

Once we get home we start on the epic job of cooking and preparing for the week. Here is my lunch tower for the week
Also we make R's Dinners ( pureed veggies with chicken ) and DH chops up a lot of vegetables that we will use up over the week

This dreary set of activities takes about 4 hours - Then R is whining to go to the club for the bounce house.

I am so taken aback by how easily he is climbing( to be sure other 4 year olds are climbing right along with him- but  it still feels like great progress)

We return home and OMG  I still have so much work left !!!-

I had many grand ambitions on Friday and had started decluttering the mudroom and my jewelry cupboards - so I get my book on tape on and get to work solidly for the next several hours.

And that my dear friends is a typical weekend at my home.

Full of work and fun and love.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bits of January in Seattle

My dear friends 
I have taken to writing about once a month – but even though not as frequent as before, I am still glad that I am a regular writer because I love to read this blog.

I am also back to taking photos.

A blogger I used to read – wrote that she felt that by taking photos and writing – she had almost created a distance between herself and her life - as though she was seeing her life through a lens

But – this is not true for me. Taking a photo and writing a journal commemorates that this moment is precious and worth recording. Plus there is the pleasure of returning to it when the moment has passed

Here is what happened this month

Eat less, Exercise more

In the past 4.5 months, I have lost all the weight that I gained in the last 2 years i.e. 22 pounds

I never thought I would be the kind of person who would have 30 pounds to lose – but I became one

I still have this another 8 pounds to go to my "goal weight"

3 years ago was weight was my fat weight - now this is my thin weight and people give me compliments all the time because they are not used to it!

The program I am on comprises 4 parts – doctor, dietitian, trainer and psych.

The trainer is very helpful and the has made me the type of person that works out and goes to the gym and showers in the locker room without a qualm at all the women around who walk around unselfconscious in the nude

I have learned a lot about myself

My dietitian's - main use was in making sure I was accountable.

All my other observations around how I feel about food( don't care that much) why I overeat( reward rituals/habit/boredom), why dietitian bugs me so much ( because food and control are linked in my mind) came from my own reflections

Ultimately the diet is a very useful part of the program but I don't think I ever felt good about my dietitian. I always took my weight myself as well so I never had the thrill of the "Yayyy 2 pounds down" when I went to see her

The trainer and exercise was after a few weeks what felt trans formative (even though I am sure my outward appearance was more changed by diet)

I realized that that is because the diet is what not to do, about stopping and controlling and feeling bad about lack of control, feeling greedy and having low will power.

But exercise is about something to do: something active. It reduces my stress and gives me joy.

I try to walk a lot

I have a Fit bit 

I have bought the awesome TRX

Happiness Rituals on the weekends

After the Thanksgiving and Christmas break and realizing how much we all love slow time – we are all working extra hard during the week to ensure lazy weekends

DH shops on Thursday and Friday – we finish laundry on Friday and then each of us take turns to cook Saturday morning and Sunday Morning to cook for the week

DH is also on a health spree – he already works out daily at the gym but is adding diet as well- so we both have our special foods – I make a lot of Chicken Tortilla soup /DH makes a lots of Chinese stir fry.

Here is what a typical weekend looks like. As you will read through this – you will see its full of many of our simple happiness rituals

We all wake up in a tangle of arms and legs as usually R is in our bed in the morning and many kisses, cuddles and compliments are exchanged (lots of teasing from DH which is his love language) 

I go down to make either Darjeeling tea/Nespresso. If I turn on the coffee machine he will usually just stand in the kitchen

But when I pour the leaves out in the saucepan, he knows that I will wait at least 5/10 minutes for the leaves to soak.

So he will settle down on the couch with his iPAD and wait patiently for me to finish brewing and making this most delicious tea

I hand DH his tea and then I have to go sit in R's bed and we read our separate books together. I have negotiated to sit on "his side" as it's the one with the bed side table for my tea

He quickly swaps the pillows so that "my pillow" where I put my head on each night when we write his journal
He loves the smell of my hair and does not want to mix up the smells
People talk about the greatness of unselfish love - but I have always liked most to be loved selfishly
When someone wants you and your presence because of the joy it brings them.

DH calls R my "little psycho" – but how can I describe the deep gratitude I have for what R gives me?

When I am an old woman and look back on my life I think I will find that the best thing in my life might be that R loved me like this once.

On alternate Saturdays – R has social camp and in this time DH and I go to pictures. We are finding new happiness rituals- thing that we can do together that don't involve food. We have watched "The Imitation Game" and the "Lord of the Rings" – we literally had not been to the movies in almost all of R's life and we are enjoying this so much 

We jump on the new trampoline that DH has set up outside, go to the park when it does not rain and we always go swimming.

R LOVES The pro club – he is also a real dandy and loves to use ALL the products that there are there – deo, mouthwash, hair spray. You should see him matching his scarves and shoes and how he preens when he blow dries his hair

In the little bathroom downstairs he has arranged all his beauty products in the same order - so as to have the Proclub experience at home.

Sundays we usually take a long walk while his therapist is here and then finish off with movie night (the old Disney "Three little Pigs" have been a great success)

I am reading a LOT these days – thanks to my new Kindle Paperwhite and its been amazing.

Work is very stressful right now and my insomnia is back and so I am making a lot of effort to shut down( with almost no success) – but I have to say these rituals are make my waking hours quite joyful

A huge developmental leap

R has had a huge developmental leap and its killing us !!!

He is very very mischievous - interested in EVERYTHING.My nerves are completely shot.

Here is an example of a typical evening. The other day DH and I were trying to do some paperwork so DH could file taxes. In the 30 minutes or so that we were upstairs
1. R shut down a computer – in which DH had opened all his files
2. Emptied a frig and stuffed it full of Sprite bottles and
3. Called 911

I had to talk to the operator and she asked to talk to R on the phone and luckily he scripted out " I feel good" and that he felt safe ( when she asked him) .

Whatever he reads or hears he will try out – the other day I ruffled his hair and was shocked by how sticky and awful it felt – he told me proudly "R take care of hair – R put shampoo and conditioner in hair". I guess the back of the bottle left out the part about rinsing it with water .

Then he is obsessed with perfume – he has a little lair in the mudroom – a laundry basket in which he puts all his treasures – the other day I found all my super expensive perfumes and equally expensive pashmina shawls. He will also usually tell me virtuously that he will "not do .X" and then he will immediately sneak around and do it behind my back. 

He is very very sorry afterwards - here he has fallen asleep on the couch after being in trouble literally holding the little plastic heart that DH got him for Valentine's for comfort

Sometimes I laugh and sometimes we are exasperated – but always we remind ourselves to be grateful for this developmental leap (though it is much easier to parent that quiet child who ignored everything in the house)

He is also into the good things - like baking his cakes, makes his music lists  , 

Has set his piano in our study room ( never has a boy hated being alone more) - he tries to make sure he is always with us 

Thinks about traveling all the time , plotting the trips he will take on a new map we have got him 

He is also fully autistic – obsessed with elevators, department stores, Santa Claus etc – just continuing to blossom on develop on his own path.

And in conclusion

This February it's been 8 years in the world of Autism and 2 in the world of Crohn's.

Every February feels like a milestone of sorts to me as both diagnoses were around the same time and each of them has felt like an end of life as we know it

But we have recovered and have for the most part been very happy.

This, I think is the secret to happiness after diagnosis.

To accept that life just is.

That this right now, is it

No postponing joy for when you have more time, more money, less illness.

But making the most of what we have today 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

The end of 2014

Dear friends

2014 has been rather lovely and I am sorry to see it end. ( esp as it came on the heels of a crazy 2013 and an unsettled/uneasy 2012)

I was off for 2 weeks. 1 week was vacation and another was staycation/some work from home. This is a perfect recipe for a great vacation for me as it combines both Rest and Recreation

What happened in Vegas…and Grand Canyon and Sedona

Vegas is a great place for a family vacation

1. Parking is abundant

2. Loads of things for kids to do

3. Great prices on hotels – we stayed in the Hilton Grand Vacations - right on the strip in a suite that is practically an apartment and simply sumptuous and it's about 100 dollars a night
They really know how to put on a show 

We loved the High Roller Ferris Wheel 
the Bellagio restaurant - great place to stop if the crowds are exhausting 

4. Its close to things so beautiful that they make your heart fill up and burst out of your chest. I am all atingle with the beauty of nature and the amazingness of humans. The beautiful things we saw were as follows 
a. Grand Canyon: The splendor of this has just taken my breath away. We were smart to stay in the     Grand Canyon in a slightly dated lodge but it was priceless to be right there.

 b. Sedona: The sun kisses the red mountains and turns them to fire. We took a little hike and could       see the ring of fire all around us
c. Hoover Dam: Its art. No other word for this. The words inscribed here underneath the American     flag that says "inspired by a vision of lonely lands made fruitful" will be in my mind forever.

Especially after we came on this after 4 hours of driving in the gorgeous barren deserts of the        Arizona and Nevada.

R was mad to go on vacation but as is always he was sometimes a bit of a pain. Its SO great to see his enthusiasm.

First, we were worried when he was sick. Then he would NOT sleep the night before we were going to leave as he wanted to keep checking to see if it was morning yet

Then we were very annoyed when he was a whiny mess. He LOVES vacation but he wants to do the same things everywhere like go to Malls - take pictures of the elevators at Macy's etc 

Still DH and I have learned to simply keep our expectations low and enjoy life in spite of his rigidities and try to balance between his need to keep things the same( so LOADS of picture of elevators were taken)  and our knowledge that things need to be shaken up for him

I have rediscovered the pure pleasure of loitering in bed with a cup of Nespresso and a book

Since P.D James died, I am re-reading her series

Unnatural Causes: Maurice Seton was a famous mystery writer -- but no murder from his imagination could equal the ghastliness of his own death. When his grotesquely mutilated corpse is found in a drifting dinghy, ripples of horror spread among his bizarre neighbours: the cruel and cynical drama critic, the celebrated recluse, the rakish young heir, the terrified woman waiting for her killer in a lonely house.

Death in Holy orders :
When the body of a young ordinand, Ronald Treeves, turns up buried in a sandy bank on the Suffolk coast near isolated St. Anselm's, a High Anglican theological college, it's unclear whether his death was an accident, suicide or murder. The mystery deepens a few days later when someone suffocates Margaret Munroe, a retired nurse with a bad heart, because she remembers an event 12 years earlier that could have some bearing on whatever's amiss at St. Anselm's

I read a new author recoed by my trainer

Fault in our Stars Cliched plot of cancer kids and undying love. But I could not put it down. If you are in love with language, you must read John Green. Some choice quotes
"Look, let me just say it: He was hot. A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy . . . well."

"The risen sun too bright in her losing eyes."

"One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around"

"Mom sobbed something into Dad's chest that I wish I hadn't heard, and that I hope she never finds out that I did hear. She said, "I won't be a mom anymore." It gutted me pretty badly."

"His hand reached for her boob…. I wondered if that felt good. Didn't seem like it would, but I decided to forgive Isaac on the grounds that he was going blind. The senses must feast while there is yet hunger and whatever."

""I was thinking about the word handle and all the unholdable things that got handled.""

""That's the thing about pain," Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. "It demands to be felt." "

""Osteosarcoma sometimes takes a limb to check you out. The, if it like you, it takes the rest."

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves." Easy enough to say when you're a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars"

Ruth Rendell

No more Dying then: Its in the Wexford series and is an amazing psychological thriller - two kidnapped children . One mother is indifferent - almost as though she is relieved. The child was an interference to her .The second mother is devastated. I like that Ruth Rendell does not glorify motherhood
I liked his sidekick - Burden's – his inner world was fascinating - always he is so controlled but not this time

The Rottweiler 
The side story was almost more interesting - about one of the characters who has Fragile X and ADORES his aunt - has a job but no other sexual appetite at all . His mind is so childlike - all he hopes for is to have a big enough house she he can live with his aunt. I read it fast to find out the end - but it was not a good one. This handicapped child def ruins his aunt's life - I was mad at the author for making this the end

Master of the Moor
I always find it disturbing when she writes the books from the murderer's perspective ( like in Rottweiler)
Out of the three POV's in a murder ( detective, Victim, Killer ) I always like the detective perspective. Having said that - it was very well written
A man who is like a child in some ways ( married but not consummated) loves the Moor.In the moor he women with golden hair are being murdered with the hair shorn off

No man's Nightingale:

Who strangled the Rev. Sarah Hussain in the vicarage of St. Peter's Church, and why. The fact that Hussain was biracial and a single mother had galvanized bigots near and far, who resented her very existence as well as her modernizing the liturgy. When Wexford's grandson, Robin, begins dating Sarah's daughter, Clarissa, Robin gets entangled in identifying Clarissa's sperm-donor father—further upping the ante for Wexford. Is a white power group responsible for killing Sarah, or had a personal relationship curdled into fur

Put on by Cunning:

Nineteen years later, Camargue's entrancing daughter, Natalie, now a considerable heiress, suddenly reappears in Kingsmarkham. When her fiancé appeals to Wexford for help, believing that Natalie is using a false identity, the case of the Camargues is once more under investigation. Events soon take a gruesome twist and the pressure is on for Wexford to discover Natalie's true identity and to solve the mystery of the Camargue family, once and for all.

Pleasures of home

I have a sinsusy/cold/ weakfish staycation and so very relaxed and mellow

We love Binge Watching There is a lot of pure rubbish on TV after we have finished the A grade shows ( news Room, True Detective, Game of thrones) then the B grade shows ( mentalist, scorpian, elementary, Madam Secretary). Finally the real rubbish –( Mysteries of Laura, State of Affairs) - these woman-centered shows- I feel duty bound to like them.

But I don't.

A good yarn is a good yarn and vice versa. Instead we did Netflix - Liked Wolf of Wall street( about 1 hour longer than it should have been) a Bollywood movie ( rather good and about this new generation of Indian youngsters who are so materialistic and practical)

R is SO relaxed with the slacker schedule - he is just a cuddly, snuggly ball of love and charm and magic. Today DH was very la-di-da when I told him that R had asked me to read "Good night moon". I get it but its okay for five minutes of bedtime story I think.

Something so magical about me saying "And the Quiet old lady whispering " .. and R adding "hush"

In the little circle of the light from R's bedside lamp - its just the two of us in an enchanted circle.

The start of the year

The first day is AMAZING.

The sun is out shining and the ring of iced mountains that surrounds us are resplendent.

It's a perfect day to go for a drive

We do little acts of self care which I love to start the year with

We drop R off at Social group - then went to the Mall where I found excellent prices on Levis Cuve ID ( read fat ass) and I bought FOUR!!!

Then got to meet Molly – one of my online friends -short visit R was loud and annoying - but still I got to see Molly at least !!!!

The second day is a day of little accidents
Missed the trainer time and got to gym an hour early ( and I really would have loved the extra hour of sleep )
DH called me as I was pulling into the garage - so I grazed against the wall ( luckily car is 12 years old)
I cleaned ALL day- I had decided that I would clear the attic and so I did - I was listening to PD james novel ( super interesting) so it was a lot of fun

We interviewed a new therapist who has been working since 1984- so loads of expereince but  who had an AOL account( which immediately made me think dated ) but once she was here - she engages beautifully with R.

She got his attention and they read a book together. ( Pete and his buttons) She was that combination of firmness and gentleness that is super important to us.
I have asked for references but if it works out - I think she will be a good fit 

Did other nice lovely things

I had a massage certificate from my fat camo Massage was good - heated bed /vanilla fragrance .I really liked it 

But not sure that I will go again as she also said a lot of vodoo things like "let the healing begin" and I should drink a lot of water today "otherwise the massage can generate toxins which must be flushed away". Plus it was a $90 massage ( +$18 tip!!!!) . I just had to pay the tip but still…

The rest of the weekend is spend in getting ready for the week. We are sorting out cupboards and our garages etc.

This will be the year of cleaning and decluttering and organizing I think. 

I am not into making New Year Resolutions – most of the time they are forgotten sooner in a month. Sometimes life gets in the way and we have one more thing to feel bad about not getting to.

But organising is something that is becoming important to DH and me

The start of real life 

Well all good things must come to an end and we are getting ready for the start of real life.
I cannot help but wish that I could rewind the past week.

But the trick of course is to find the oases in regular life.

Happy New year dear friends and hope 2015 brings you and your loves - joy and happiness

Another random week in 2020

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