Saturday, July 15, 2017

No two days are similar

This week has been checkered at best. The weekend began with bringing in my 40th birthday. As per usual, K and I didn't make any plans. He because he couldn't be bothered. Me because I was too proud to organise my own celebration. But B and J were here and we went out, I wore a new dress, we made merry and had a good time. Sunday was also a good day, more alcohol, food and some friends who came home to wish me. 

MIL's sister and her husband came to visit. He has alzheimers and is now unable to place most of his immediate family. He is aware of it, he has become a shadow of his earlier self, but is lucid and engaging. I took their grand daughter and my SIL's daughter to watch Spiderman the next day. It was to be a girls day out but one of my nieces had an upset tummy so it was just a movie date. I was bored out of my wits at the movie. I cannot think of a more insipid super hero movie in a while. 

Spent wednesday baking. And making about 120 theplas as requested by a friend who was travelling abroad. So the house and studio resembled a small scale spice and chutney powder factory that day. We baked some eggless jaggery banana loaves, cupcakes and lots of salt and pepper cookies. I feel humbled when they call back and praise the bakes to the skies. I need to stop dismissing praise. Learning to accept it gracefully will be a battle to fight in this new decade. 

Started my 8 day baking workshop on thursday. I have 4 people signed up for the whole course and through the week there will be folks who do single sessions. Starting the sessions on thursday is not by choice, I had to do it in order that the most popular ones which attract more single session participants comes on the weekend. I have an IITian whos quit his job because he loves to cook. One chubby boy turned fitness freak who weighs every morsel he eats. One set of identical twin ladies and my assistant is most intrigued about which one is older! 

Sage came to the studio on thursday and he slept through the whole session. Didn't show any signs of discomfort. But suddenly at 11.55 pm he had a massive seizure. this is the third in 4 weeks and I was at my wits end. Pouring rain, K not reachable and a completely disoriented Sage. I may have had a meltdown if I had an audience. I managed somehow but I swear I am really tired now. The mental stress of keeping all balls up in the air is telling on me and I am snappier than ever before. 

Yesterday K stayed home till I finished my session and went to work post lunch. I dont know what we will do today. Sage is not displaying any pre-ictal signs which is puzzling and each seizure in the last month has left me baffled because it seems to come out of nowhere. 

In the midst of all of this, I am thinking of starting a sourdough starter. Its popping up on every one of my social media and I am intrigued by it. I had a starter a few years ago which I killed off because I grew tired of feeding it. May be this weekend. Oh wait, today is already saturday!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Useless vanities

As I sit in the balcony this morning, enjoying the silence, a cup of well made coffee and the soft fur of my fluff ball that I have used to prop my feet on,I notice the colour of my nails is similar to his harness.

Yesterday after a particularly bad instance of I can't recognize myself anymore, I booked a salon at home appointment via an app. The beautician was late by an hour, rather clumsy and a little nosey but she threaded my brows and I got my nails painted a nice shade of red.

The last two weeks have been stressful with sage and his attacks. I'm living mostly on the support of online services that allow me to get most of my chores done while sitting next to him.

Today as I vainly look at my toes, I am filled with gratitude for all of this.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Why I take Monday's off

My busiest time of the week is the weekend at the studio. While I have a mixed demographic, weekend classes seem to always fill to capacity. I tried taking Sundays off. But the losses were too much to ignore. So now I happily work on most Sundays.

My father used to have Mondays off. He would wait for everyone to leave. Read the newspaper end to end, have the whole house to himself (which is bliss if you live with a large extended family like we did) and nap luxuriously after lunch, by which time the chaos would be back. He obviously loved it that way.

I may have inherited this. While we are a two person household, things get hectic during the week. There is constantly something to do and I really look forward to a day of silence.

Today is Eid, technically a holiday but k has to go to office and that makes me so happy 😂

I've just had a glorious breakfast of the excellent aloo paratha Sulochana makes, have curled up with my blanket in the guest room, sage is at my feet and this is how this day will progress.

Slowly and silently

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A week of nothing

Today is thursday and I have spent every day since monday doing nothing. It feels strange and odd, but also deeply restful. If I am honest, even though it has been so long since I began teaching, 14 years of corporate training, 10 years of baking workshops and 3 years of them being fulltime, it is a physically exhausting job. I love my work, dont get me wrong. But the constant talking, explaining and being on my feet during classes for about 5 hours on an average is physically exhausting. 

Last weekend was an unexpectedly tiring week. N was here for just a week, I cancelled a saturday workshop to spend with her. We did a spa and lunch date and then thanks to jet lag she was fading by 5 pm. All plans for the evening were cancelled and she went home. B and J came over, we pulled a late night and I slept at 3.30 AM only to wake up as usual and do a bread workshop till 3.30 PM the next day. Sunday shenanigans continued and while I would have ideally liked to just crash at home, we spent the evening watching movies and talking.

Monday morning after b & J left, K went to work, I skipped breakfast for an early 12.30 lunch and then collapsed on my bed. Slept all afternoon till 6 pm only to be woken bya  slightly panicking Sage who obviously took me for dead. 

On tuesday I went to meet an old friend over coffee and chatted a bit. Got back home and spent some time online (but obviously) and then went back to sleep at the odd hour of 5 pm to wake up at 9 pm. Poor sage had his walk and meal only after I rose from my slumber. 

Yesterday was such a fun day for me. A relaxing change. I went out to meet this lady via instagram. A fellow lady baker and entrepreneur who runs a quaint little patisserie on banjara hills road. Although as per usual I did most of the talking, it was interesting to gain another perspective, especially a female perspective. Post this I headed to K's office. He has been working nonstop for the past few weeks and I have hardly seen him. He comes home in the wee hours of the morning on most days and is too sleepy in the morning to make conversation. Work was winding down and I wanted to shop a little for the house and my studio, so he decided to take me out. Post a sandwich lunch, we headed to a mall nearby. 

My love hate relationship with malls is something even I do not understand. I crave to head out, to browse stores unendingly, find something that I love and go home with it satisfied. But the minute I step into a mall I feel claustrophobic. The crowds, the AC being turned off in the corridors, and then I begin to see everything in a haze. Everything looks the same (maybe it is) and I get confused, I lose track of what I came there for and then want to leave almost immediately. Yesterday between K and me we soldiered on, bought a couple of quilts, and exited as soon as we could. Sage was not too happy to be left home alone, but he was not too annoyed. Nothing a few cuddles cant fix. We watched a movie, ordered in some momos and were in bed by 9.30. both of us kind of exhausted from the week and happy to turn in early. This week of nothing looks good. I have another couple of days before my weekend classes start and I couldn't be more grateful for this nothing-ness.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A rough month

March has ended. Thank god and even tho april and may lie ahead and the heat is going to drive me crazy I will still take it over the shitty month march has been.

In a giant FU, it ended with Amma having a trip and fall over Cindy, our dog in chennai, landing on the wooden armrest of the sofa and needing three stitches to her forehead cut. My brother called yesterday to tell me that she is fine, shaken but not shut up yet. The doctors at the emergency apparently told her to talk less! My heart broke into a thousand pieces as I heard the news, but ten minutes later as I spoke to her, I knew she would come out of this fine.

The misery of being away from ones loved ones when they are unwell or hurt is terrible. The dreary month dragged on. the only bright spot being that my uncle and aunt were here for a couple of days. They were in town to celebrate the birthday of my mom's cousin who turned 97. I wrote about her here a few years ago. One of the most remarkable ladies of my family. Amma was super excited to have her only surviving sibling around and they all went back to chennai together. It was my nephew's birthday and they were to attend, then get back to bangalore, this happened after dinner on the birthday.

It has taken me a couple of days to come to terms with all of this and the last time I felt this overwhelmed and helpless was when this shit lasted half of the year instead of a month a few years ago.

Glad to see this new month. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Is this the new normal?

Since the beginning of this year, I have had a terrible time with Sage's health. He's been going into a preictal phase, which is the stage before the full blown seizure, but not actually having one. The preictal stage is characterized for Sage (changes for every dog) by being more clingy than he usually is, jumpy at sudden sharp sounds, ultra sensitive to known sounds like the reverse tune of our car, sound of the lift on our floor, phone beeps and doorbell. He also sometimes begins to walk into doors and walls or wedge himself into tiny corners like between furniture etc. Constant needs for a walk because he is restless, sometimes every half hour, so I will walk him, bring him upstairs to our apartment, feed and give him water (which is a habit after every walk) and he will ask for another walk almost immediately. Which means there are days and nights when I am walking him continuously for upto 6 hours.

We put him on an hourly emergency medication which has averted the actual seizure from happening, but sometimes I wonder if he should just have the attack so that all of us can be done with it. 

This has meant round the clock monitoring and one block of 4 days when neither K or I slept because we needed to be alert. Sage can't settle down and sleep and is distrustful of climbing up and down from our bed, so I put a sheet on the floor to sleep next to him and comfort him. By the 36th hour, K and I are exhausted and at our wits end and getting at each other like cats in heat. This ended, we had a few weeks of normal and repeat!

While this sounds very mild, imagine living with this recurring every few weeks. It is exhausting. Plus I am unable to leave him home alone for any period of time, I cart him to the studio during workshops and he is leashed till the session is done. But with the temperatures soaring and the heat of the ovens, it gets ridiculously hot and uncomfortable for him and he whines and cries or is restless adding to my stress. I cannot figure whether I should give up classes and stay home or take him and lump it.

If I have to go any place, it is a mad synchronised dance with K and most times, I don't go out unless there is something very important because it causes everyone to be on edge. I do feel sometimes that I do not enough social interactions and need to get out more.

Last week, overwhelmed with all the stuff happening, I wanted to get away from everything and everyone, just walk till my feet hurt and exhaust myself physically so that the mental strain is not felt that much. But the minute I leave the house without him, Sage panics. So there I was, unable to break free, walking with him, feeling so suffocated and sorry for myself. I sat on the steps of a still unfinished mall and started to cry, cloaked by the darkness which had already fallen. I don't know why I burst into tears like that, I usually don't. But I just couldn't stop crying. Nuzzling me was Sage, making me feel more guilty that I held him partly responsible for my suffocation. He sat there, next to me, wedging his nose between my face and knees as I sobbed. I held onto him after a few minutes, and told him I was tired and sorry and just wanted a break. When I was spent, he walked me back and the next couple of days, he was so calm and tried not to get into my hair like he exactly understood what I needed.

I know he is helpless and fully dependent on me, but there are times when all I want is to have a day where I eat and sleep to my hearts content rather than according to his medication, food and walk schedule.

Work has been at the receiving end of all of this drama and for the last month, I haven't done much work which again sets me off. So it has been a cluster fuck for atleast the past 8 weeks. I am crabby and snappy and find everything getting on my nerves. I am sick of being this version of me to be honest. It has to stop, it has to change. If this is the new normal I will be terrible to live with in a few weeks :(

Thursday, February 9, 2017

To new beginnings

I decide to write this in the second month of the new year. That should tell you how prompt I am if you are reading this blog for the first time. I am never prompt and this blog remains a little pointless actually. Between sharing pictures on instagram, facebook and everywhere else, my words are buried.

this year, we started with a bang. With two other couples, one that had two of the most delightful children (under the age of 5!) we spent the last weekend of the year at our beloved farm.
In less than a year, we have had to redo the roofing, which was mangalore tiles. All thanks to the idiot contractor who did the original construction and didn't know his ass from his elbow, and left the roof dangerously sloping under the weight of the tiles.
Our driver S did a fabulous job in under 2 weeks, working day and night and gave us a wonderfully redone cottage. So we spent the last week there. Food, including a BBQ session with less than optimal tools, friends, lots of booze and so much fun that I literally passed out on the grass with Sage. No really, I'd been drinking since 11 a.m on 31st, fresh toddy for the morning, of which I had almost a litre, friends visiting for lunch and without any rest plunged head long quite literally into the evening, demolishing more than a bottle of wine I think.
Each time I drink I tell myself my glory days of binge drinking are done, I am now ageing and cannot digest (or metabolise) so much alcohol anymore, and then i forget those conversations and wake up after a few too many with my head reeling and me promising to be a better judge of my metabolism.
I made kachi gosht ki biryani without any help and was mighty pleased with myself that I managed to do it in a makeshift kitchen! It turned out fantastic and I was able to appreciate it much more for lunch on new year's day!

It has been an interesting year this past one. A year sans drama and paring my life and routine down to only the things that mattered to me. It has been a calming year as much as a challenging one with work and personal life. I am going to write to recap it hopefully soon because I may just forget.

I hope 2017 is all that I want it to be...

I had this in drafts since the first week of jan and am finally posting this here....