Monday, June 28, 2010

I was reading a blog today....actually re-reading, when I decided to send the author a note that I was waiting for an update. I was pleased when he responded and apologized for not tending to his followers. Something I notice more frequently is that I crave well written articles, novels, blogs, medical journals, emails......I could go on. This appetite for verbiage has not been sated by the tomes I lug around, nor the articles I look up or blogs I follow. Perhaps being an erudite has created an unquenchable monster, as opposed to AJ Jacobs "humble quest to be the smartest man in the world." He sounds more noble...more humble..less discontent. I feel more driven, more competitive with myself and the world around me. I have no desire to be smarter....but I really enjoy the challenge of growing and unearthing wisdom or knowledge. If you have any recommendations to feed this dragon, please let me know.....but I will not be reading Encyclopaedia Brittanica, ever.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is not the only one....

You may, or may not know, I have others. I am a prodigious writer, and realize not all of you have need to read the ups and downs of all my life. One is sufficient for many of you. However, my contributions to is indicativethat my life, in fact, has other facets than Mik's medical condition and the roller coaster of emotions that we have been riding since last year.

I point this out, today, as a result of such a great weekend of riding through the countryside of north west Washington and the Okanagan of BC. One could not drink in the beauty of the Cascades, vineyards, orchards, the transforming sky, quaint towns and winding tarmac, and remain anything but in awe of life itself. I well with emotion at the ever changing landscape that transcends what I expect. This is also part of my journey in the unknown.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I am in awe of the brain. The recognition and decoding that happens before the eye can blink astounds me. The fact that this grey matter can process and produce intelligible answers, imagery, sounds, and movement is prodigious and humbling. Mikaela's experience with neurosurgery and neurology has allowed us to peek into unknown worlds where neurons and angiomas, electrical activity and lesions are everyday vocabulary.

We are back at neurology today. She will try to convince the doctors to wean her off of Tegretol. Her argument is good. It has been rehearsed, several times, on me. She is learning to read the clues when she needs rest, or less stress. This alone convinces me that she has moved on to healing and been an integral part of it. The warmth and carefree days of summer are almost upon us. I know we will luxuriate in them.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When I began this blog it was cathartic in helping me put down on paper the myriad of events and emotions that were teeming through me. I have usually had a journal, but often was too rushed or too tired to capture the moments that I wanted. I am not like that with photography. I have never owned a camera, and rarely think of earmarking a moment. When Ken and I go for a ride, or go anywhere lately, he likes to take a picture. We have pictures of Mikaela going in to with a note - NOT THIS SIDE....One with Ken pretending he is the surgeon as he pulls out his Swiss Army knife.

He also chronicled her 10 inch scar, her alien electrodes and lots of embarrassing pictures for the future. I am glad he is the picture guy. I like being the word nerd. We are coming out of the turbulent times now. I no longer feel I am wearing a cloak of heaviness. The days are much easier, the emotions less intense. Yet, even as I named the blog, I realize that this is true. Our journey through life is mostly unknown. We have a lot less control than we think. We are vulnerable physically and emotionally to the people we come in contact with. We can be assailable and dissonant at the same time. We can know peace yet have no peace. My other blog is about my adventures on a motorcycle. They seem incongruent, and yet both are about traveling through each day - the things you see and feel, and the things that make you stop and write them down. Both are journeys in the unknown...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The difficult thing about a setback is not to anticipate a downhill slide. My heart dropped, though outwardly I appeared calm. I had been weeding this morning, and something just seemed amiss. Mik was back in bed, which is not unusual for a teenager, but unusual for her. I tried to find an excuse to go by her room to listen. If she was fine I would feel like I was invading her privacy - but when she asked me for Atavan I knew she had heard me creep in. She changed her mind as soon as I found it, but at that moment I was back to only months ago the days of consoling and anxiety.

When she recovered she essentially told me, I had to keep moving forward. She reminds me, as if I could forget, that sickness can exacerbate her seizures. She is trying to mother me, although, I thought the mask I wore was calm and peaceful. I cannot shroud my heart from her. This has been a blow to her, though she thinks she has disguised it with the right words.

She wants me to go on as though it didn't happen, and so I will outwardly. But, I may have many reasons to come inside today. It's just the way it has to be.

The Snob

This weekend was one of those rare moments in time when every bit of stress and mire that clings to you, doesn't. I think it is the laughter with friends that changes everything. My abs are certainly in better is my endorphin level. I am not exactly sure of why the chemistry works with certain people....but it does. You fall into a flow of exchanges that border ridiculous until some old man in the Italian Market tells you to "shut up". Now we weren't that loud, nor that obnoxious - he forgot his meds, we are sure - but it did raise my awareness that we were having a great time in the midst the doldrums that most were slogging around in.

I couldn't even repeat what we were laughing about - mostly inane comments or monikers that ring true in that moment. I became the princess - and I know that is the first time I would own that label...though it is not because I flung my nose in the air to look down on peons. I had a chauffeur and a cook this weekend - the life of a princess. We also came to the realization that my friend is a capital S snob. But, let me clarify....she is a Snob when it comes to cooking and food. This lady knows her flours....I can't even remember how many she has....and she knows her nuts.....she buys in quantities that rival a grocery store. Mention quinoa and cupboard doors fling open to reveal red and white. She knows her stuff....especially chocolate.

There are few subjects I would hesitate to broach with Grace. We both know how to talk....but when it comes to chocolate, I am a neophyte in every sense of the word. Oh, I know how to eat it. I know what I like.....but when a 3 pound, dark chocolate (or was that 5?) Bernard Callebaut is put in the middle of the table, after olives, bread and balsamic vinegar - you know you are not at a regular Sunday luncheon. You have entered into dining with chocolate. Chocolate becomes a part of the meal and you wish you had not picked at that last crust of bread just before feast began.

I came home with chocolate too. Chocolate to cook with; to drink; to study the flavor and aroma. I felt that I was at a seminar this weekend. I would title it "Learning your Palette one Bite At a Time". It began with Indian food, topped with home-made Baclava by her daughter, that I still try to conjure up. Brownies were part of that mix too, but the Baclava took the prize for me. Apparently she drizzles it with warmed honey....which would explain why everyone stood around the pan salivating before it was cut. Breakfast was a glorious display of fruits - blackberries, strawberries, watermelon. This was Edmonton in May and yet I was transported to August. The day (food) just got better after watching Grace make a delicious bean concoction.....I was the princess after all....and I am it worked. I loved watching her wield the knife and the tongue.

I don't have to give a play by play of all the meals, but suffice it to say I went home full. Full of ideas, recipes, chocolate, memories, laughter, peace and joy. I went home knowing the world hasn't come unhinged and that some people are exactly who they say they are. And I came home knowing my friend is a Snob.......and I am guessing her family is grateful she is.