Sunday, November 30, 2014

The thankful week

This is a record of the thanksgiving week.

 I am calling it the thankful week because of how lovely it was in its ordinary peaceful way

Sunday (In R's words)

Today I woke up. Mama was in the study room
Santa wears a tan.
Then I ate dinner. I got my allowance and then I went with Miss Darlene -
Mama took a photo of me with Miss Darlene

Where is my Peter Pan Blanket?
I went to Whole Foods Market, Macy's and Subway with Miss Darlene
Then we came home
We went to Target - At target I bought Skittles - Wild Berry.
(Mama bought a present for a little girl called Aniyan - she does not have any money. The present was a kitchen set to play with - I hope she will be happy with her Christmas present)
I need a gift for Christmas - Macy's present- a gift card - I want 50 dollars
Then Mama went to Bath and Body works - I did buy a blue bottle of hand sanitizer.
I went to Applebees. I listen to the music. I sleep in bed.
It was a good day - yes. I will smell the markers
Miss Michelle is gone


Do you guys know that I have started this program called 2020 Lifestyles?

Anyway 2 months in I have lost about 13 pounds and I have really started to become a "work-out person".

However, the program has started to really annoy me.

Honestly I have really never had self-esteem issues – I never think, for instance, that my husband is looking at the ladies in Fred Meyer.

But NOW – I think about weight all the time

I have been stewing about it for a while and today I decided to do something about it and wrote to my dietician Sarah that we need to change our approach
  1. Can't frame a week as a success or failure based on the number on the scale
  2. Stop saying "I am on a plateau"
  3. Stop talking about weight altogether for the time being and just focus on doing the right things.
  4. Be okay with weight coming off slowly.
  5. Need to add normal food in –real and normal food like oatmeal/ brown rice /real eggs/quinoa/beans.
  6. I need to accept that I cannot eat so much meat/tofu. I added the morning star stuff like they suggested and I am looking at the ingredient list – it over-processed food that cannot possibly be good for my body. How is it better to eat this than a bowl of homemade black bean soup?
  7. Diet is not sustainable without dairy. Without greek yogurt –every snack is so hard
  8. Hate all the soy/egg- white shakes I am not going to try any more.
  9. I know a huge part of the problem is that I am a very picky eater and that I don't like meat. But that is who I am and we need to accept that slow weight loss is a consequence of that and be okay.
Guess what? Sarah was simply lovely - she humbly apologized to me and she said that she should really have thought it through and that 99% of the folks who come to the program have one goal which is to lose weight –

I felt so much better

Just putting my unmet need out there in plain words. Without judging I, for having those needs in the first place. I love being 40.

DH and R came to  the club and I gave him a bath after swimming and we all went home.


Was simply a luscious delicious day as I spend all day thinking about how close I was to the long weekend
How I love this time of year.
October there is the cabin break, November there is Thanksgiving and in December the office will be so quiet at Christmas


I had no meetings and I worked from home-A corner of  DH's study room is my "home office"

I think I really love the actual  work - the politics gets me down - but the actual work is amazing.

I was in my fuzzy robe all day - R was so happy that I was "doing Microsoft at home" (sounds like those clich├ęd Porn movie names "Debbie does the east side)

At lunch I stopped and DH cooked cutlets and we ate together and watched Madam Secretary

I walked on the treadmill for a long time - 62 minutes - 4.5 incline, 3.5 miles

Then we watched a lot more of Madam Secretary

R and I wrote journal

I love doing this with him - some of it is prompted and answers to questions because he likes to skip the detail
R's Journal
Today is Wednesday
I woke up in the morning. I went to see Marla. She was closed. Because she was sick
Then I saw Lake Sammamish which is on the end of Idylwood Park
I came home
Then I did HW .HW was very hard.
Then Mr. Peter will come .With Mr. Peter I did Math and Science
I went with Mr. Peter to the park .I went on the swings.
Then I ate chicken
Mama was at home today. Mama was doing Microsoft.
Then I went to the center- I did Math. I worked with Jason and Stacey. They are new. Then I came home
Then mama was home
I did treadmill
No grinding in Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Elevator
I ate dinner.
Then we listened to ILS - I was looking for Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. I found it in the ILS
I filled two glasses with Sprite and with water
I brought them up with me
Then I took a bath - I was looking for the baton - its gone. I could not find it
Then I wrote and journal and now its time to read a book - The book is called "Special Delivery"
This book is about Oswald - he is an octopus. He has got a present. The present is books. People guess that it's a hot air balloon.


R, I and DH lounged about in bed till 2 pm. simply delightful.

I finished a book by Elizabeth George- a disappointment but still a decent book. 
I went downstairs and forced R to play with me by bribing him that we would go to Macy's in the evening ( Dr Greenspan would shudder at this floortime - we did Pretend play with a Thanksgiving feast and read a few Christmas books) 

In the evening we went to Macy's. 

R has been simply perishing to go there to take pics of the elevators

The problem is that he wants to take thousands of pics to get it "perfect"

He mails a letter to Santa - in which he says that his Christmas wish is to see Santa. His sweetness makes my heart ache

I have been really la-di-da about the sales but I see the oceans of these gorgeous cashmere sweaters and am weak with lust.

Maybe the best Thanksgiving I have ever had

We watch Gracepoint


Have to wake up early to go to the gym with the trainer-But even the gym was great as it was super empty

Its raining quite heavily.The firs are all shiny and green

People say this weather as grey and depressing

But I feel like I am living inside an emerald - so radiant is this green

When I am inside the house - it feels like the heavy rain is keeping the outside world out

I LOVE just being at home with nothing to do but watch TV cook and eat

We snuggle a lot - drink tons of tea and generally have a great time

We saw a new Miss Maple "Greenshaw's Folly" which I could not remember reading - a major bonus

I went to Trader Joe's for grocery shopping - which was also really empty .

I asked R whether he wanted to go to QFC with Papa or Trader Joe's with mama

He chose a third option "I will dance"- and dance he did in Trader Joe's.

I bought many nice things for DH to eat so that he would not feel deprived because of my diet.

Also since I cannot eat these sweet things myself - I get vicarious joy out of watching him eat

I bought
  1. Pecan Pie
  2. Croissants ( for breakfast)
  3. A big Toblerone
  4. Chocolate
  5. Shortbread Jammy cookies
  6. Wasabi nuts
I also insisted that he get Thai curry for dinner in takeout – R got a subway sandwich - so the family s very happy

My one worry is R's sore which is still not fully healed - have a new course of antibiotics.

Tomorrow we have to go to the hospital to get Remicade which will depress his immune system further

Still - this is life

Saturday: Hospital Day

Like everything else this week - this went rather well as everything was less crowded.

DH stops by the Mall to get a replacement cover for our "Lovesac" ( have you heard of this  800 dollar pillow ?) He also wins husband of the year by stopping by Macy's to get  pair of boots that are for 19.99

It usually takes FOREVER after they take his weight to get the Remicade prepared but today it is super fast. 

I love the halls of Swedish - which I walk up and down on to get my steps for my fitbit. 

There is nothing like being  in a hospital to give you perspective.

There is a wall where nurses have put up sayings which are very touching

His liver feels less annoyed ( nurse showed us his ALT /AST) this time but some of his inflammation markers like sed rate are up.

 DH and I both feel very bugged by Crohns. While we were coming out of the hospital - there was a couple taking a new born home looking so tired and DH was saying "What an exhausting time is ahead of them?" Then I said "hopefully their life won't turn out like ours".

I said a silent prayer for that mom in the wheel chair and also chided myself for saying that about our life which is really very good.

Interestingly we also discussed if we had a choice and could pick one - we both said we would picks Crohn's over autism

Though we both hate Crohn's a lot more – we complain about Crohn's SO much more than we complain about Autism ( we also crib about having 2 things – that is having Autism should have given R a free pass)

I cooked this afternoon. I am getting serious dislike of meat/eggs -Anytime I am unplanned - I don't eat any meat at all. Today I ate tofu and beans for protein - as a result I looked at the "dashboard" and I have only eating 50% of the protein and over 100 % of the fat and carbs :-(. So envious of those that love meat

DH got the fireplace burning and the lovely smell of wood was amazing. 

We watched "Paradise" which we have always jeered at as being a Selfridges wannabe but it was really very good


Since all our chores were done yesterday today was a day of rest. R was out with Miss Darlene so DH and I took a long walk.

While it was bone-chilling cold – the sky and the lake were just so sparklingly blue

It's the end of the loveliest week ever.

When I think about when I am happy vs when I am not – I think I just need the 3 of us, some good books, some PBS shows, a fireplace and our slow paced lazy life.

Those are my ingredients for happiness. What are yours?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ten days in Paradise

Dear readers

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while - know that my favorite place in the world is this cabin in  the woods in Fall.

We spend 8 days there ( with a few days before in Boca Raton owing to a conference)

I wrote a little down each night in bed- so that it would be fresh in our mind

Boca Raton, FL - Wednesday - Thursday 

We started our vacation in Fort Lauderdale as I had a conference there.

We are staying  in  fancy place ( not at all our kind of place) and they have a lot of super annoying things like valet parking . This means you have to tip the Valet each time you take your car in an out. ( the card clearly states that the $30 daily parking fee does not include a tip for your valet)

Boca Raton is full of old rich people. I think a comedian called it "God's waiting room"

Many strip malls have signs like this

DH told me that there was no way that I was going to be able to stay off email and work and that he did not expect me to as that is just who I was

This shook me up as I DO NOT want to be that crappy sort of person and so I determined to unplug and take whatever consequences came.

So just before  flying from Fort Lauderdale on the way out of the conference we try to get into the vacation mindset with a stop to gaze at the Atlantic

The beach is empty except for some people who are very drunk - they have a tent that R with his terrible lack of judgment -  is desperate to get into.

R  really enjoys the water.

Thursday, back in the room of happiness 

You should never return to a place after a year when its dark.

I always know that and yet that is the time we chose to come back to Knoxville

It was a funny feeling

I remembered so many things from the past - like when we passed the Big lots where I bought a Little people Carnival set ( that R would not play much with - but I enjoyed it so much)

All those joyful memories make me sad.

I am envious of my past and yet I know that I can never go back. Most of all, I envy the mother I had the time to me, which alas I am not anymore.

We stop for groceries on the way- R insists  he stay in the car.

When we get back he is crying and said he is "scared and upset".

Maybe  he feels the bitter sweet nostalgia.

As we make our way up the winding steep road to the cabin and the red yellow leaves begin, I start to feel better and better.

When we get to the cabin it is pitch dark -

 I open the door and step into an ocean of pine fragrance.

It is a long time before I am able to go upstairs to shower and get into bed and write this down.

I had many things to do  - find two fans for R - make a stir fry for dinner - put a load of laundry away.

But all my half finished projects have left my mind

Work and my busy life  is far away in the other end of America

And I am here.

In the room of happiness.


Is the day of the  three musketeers.That is D, K and me

We all meet at a restaurant called Crus- SO much fun - we all like each other's spouses as well

D works on my health care products which have so many funny stories .

Example Anal itch creme - which in a presentation had the statement that causes of Anal Itch are "too much hygiene or too little " .

We just laugh and laugh and its like we have never been apart .

We talked about all sorts of rubbish topics  and were as adolescent as can be.

R is with Miss S and had a nice time at the Mall eating Sbarro and riding the elevator


First real lazy day in months

Woke up at 8.30 with coffee and in a tangled heap of arms and legs that is R, DH and me

R goes downstairs and gets his own meal which is half a Subway Sandwich ( Oven Roasted Chicken) - that he saves from lunch

I go for a back  breaking walk. Thanks to the trainer- I am able to do this without actually thinking I was going to pass out


Watched 8 episodes on Californicaton ( and I am not embarrassed to admit that )

Shopped at the mall

DH's birthday is tomorrow and I really don't know what to give him - as he really does not want anything

So I put some cash in a card ( its an old joke and is not as tacky as it sounds ) and give it him with all of  his favorite chocolate.

R has also purchased many gaudy gifts - a helium balloon , a card that says simply "Happy Birthday Dad"( which possible appeals to his literal mind) . I ask him to write a personal note which this birthday is simply "How are you? I am 9 years old." ( On Father's day the personal note was "Papa has a beard" so this is a definite improvement !)


Since we never have a birthday for DH without some form of pork - we drive down to Knoxville to eat at Bravo's which has the best Pork chops in the world.

R goes off with Miss Kristen- she takes him to the Fall Festival and DH and I while away the afternoon just chatting with some old friends. Oh how pleasant this is.

Their adopted daughter has weirdly started to look just like her mom- my friend (kid has brown skin). I tell my friend that its as though she slept with a brown man to make this lovely child :-).

At the restaurant DH enjoys his chops while I eat my salad virtuously - then guiltily eat a few bites of his Tira Misu ( this will earn me a scolding from the dietician later as I write a food diary which she reads online ).

But goodness its DELICIOUS.

R returns with Miss Kristen and he can scarcely bear to leave her- he has loved the Fall Festival so much


We go to our house which has still not sold.

Last year when we were here - R was totally freaked out by returning to our old house and would not go in.

But this time he just cheerfully says " There is no furniture in 7728 Luxmore Drive" and waltzes right in.

He playes in the backyard and it makes me tear up again.

I have watched him play on those very toys so many times over the years. So many happy memories of DH building the treehouse of hunting down a slide that would also fit me large rear .

The market is bad and no one wants this old house - but how precious it is to me. Every room echoes with the smiles and laughter and tears of time gone by

DH and I do boring things like - buy replacement stuff for the cabin.( I tell you -put something on market for a weekend rental and be prepared for endless breakage and repair.)

R is off with the magic Miss G.
We meet Miss T- who taught R to talk  and her new baby

Its too dark to walk and DH tells me sternly that while I may think that I am "of the forest"- the bears may make me permanently a part of it by eating me alive.


I tell DH  that I want a day to just stare at the trees today I do just that.

R and I lounge around the wrap around deck all morning.

My diet lady has emailed  me a lecture - she has been watching my online diary and I have cheated a little .
This( lecture) was good and today I was strictly on diet

Today Miss G had a migraine and can  not come to play with R which means we had to play with him.

He is very  bored with us -he suddenly bursts into tears - so  we put him in the hot tub

R has become quite mischievous - his main objective is to not get caught.

So he simply tries to make sure that you back has turned so he can let loose a crime spree of epic proportions

I know for a fact that he has played with my make up today as he had eyeliner on his lips and my Yves st Laurent blush is empty.

It is still lying upturned on the floor.

He usually never clears up the crime scene .

He is eating a LOT of sugar and becoming a chubby which is very cute - but his ears are cracking and he had a nose bleed.

Why is he such a wreck physically ?

We watch a lot of TV - then we go  down to town( Sevierville)  and get  DH  some pork chops for dinner which he ate with joy while I eat  my egg whites and  salad.

He downed it all off with  whisky and  chocolate while I have  a few grapes.

And there he is lying down - expressing his angry views on the Indian PM to his admiring Facebook fans, looking with his long thin legs  and here I am writing in my diary  with a big fat roll on my tummy on my lap!!

This diet is hard on vacation !!!

Wednesday : A hectic day 

Bush's baked beans 
Today I meet an old friend  who drive down from ATL.

She is so fantastic and though we have not met for 2 years  - its like we were never apart- we drink jasmine tea, Hot and sour soup(we shriek in unison that the server should take the fried won tons away) and a super healthy lunch (Buddha vegetables/ no rice ) and then fight over the bill ( as in each of us wants to pay it).

R spend the afternoon with Miss G - who is suffering terribly from migraines -

I just think of how much suffering is inflicted on innocent souls like R, my SIL and  Miss G and it makes my heart ache.

I go  to Bush where I got a King's welcome - everyone tells  me that I should just come back and that in 2 years surely I should have seen the error of my ways. I love this company

Miss Lucy 

I hang out with Miss Lucy-as soon as I see her- I knew something is  wrong.

 When I ask- she had had a book club that morning that no-one showed up to. I was super angry on her behalf and she cheered up somewhat. I think people can be very inconsiderate.

We pulled the house off the market

It has not sold in 2 years and we are  EXHAUSTED with reading people's reviews saying its too big/too odd/too old.

I cannot believe that people are coming to look at a 180 K house with 3000 square feet- 5 bedrooms and 4 baths  and a huge half acre backyard and expecting so much .

We are putting it on rent and even if it does not rent - I am just glad that its off the market.

I just don't want any more people walking through our beloved home making nasty comments( really - its just appalling how rude people can be - if a house does not fit your needs - just say that)  .
 I see the realtor pull up the sign and it  feels SO right you know?

 I feel  the house sigh with relief and say  thank you

I stand proudly in front of the house that DH and I have fully paid off, all with our hard saved money

R runs  to the backyard and played in the swings that he played in from when he was 3 and I felt tears come to my eyes at the rightness of everything

Thursday : The last day

Normally I ruin the last day of vacation by mourning the end .

But- as I wake up looking at the Fall which is still in full bloom outside the window in the room of happiness-  I realise that this time I don't.

Its been SUCH  a satisfying week-like eating a really really lovely meal and feeling replete and not like you need to eat any more .

Its also made me think of just how unsatisfactory almost all our vacations are, as R hates new places.

The lack of structure makes him feel bored and there is the endless worry about food and worse drink.

Mrs G is here - she is super sincere and I have told her how worried we are that in the new system there is no structured way to teach fiction and play.

She has taken R to McKay's - a treasure trove of second hand books and kind of a landmark of Knoxville.and they have brought a whole series of books - the Magic School Bus as well as the Arthur Series

She has driven all the way to the cabin - (I am so touched by this- especially since she acts like this is nothing) - as she thinks that R and she need a quiet place to read.

DH and I take one very long walk  and I am delighted to see that he is huffing and puffing as well.( he is very superior about his running abilities and when we are walking frequently asks me if I am "deflated" Hindi word for which there is no English equivalent.)

At every turn of the road there is more stunning view. Its like the forest is saying "So you like yellow green.. wait till you see the orange red I have in store for you. See the pictures below to see what I mean .

R and DH lounge about in the hot tub ( R loves all these sensory pleasures)

R wants a quick set of pictures of the signs around the cabin and we take some last few pictures.

We wait for the sun to go down to do all our chores .

DH and I have resolved to come again next year if we can.

But for now we  say good bye to the beloved  forest.

Until we meet again

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