How Daylight Enlightens Me and MR-enterographies Enlighten Doctors About What’s Inside Me

Hello Reader.
With the exception of yesterday’s stormy weather here in Bellingham, these past several days have been as sunny and enchanting as anyone could ask for in early March.


And what does that do for our moods, you ask? Well, it makes us extra adventurous, of course. (Bear in mind, “adventurous” to Adam and me might probably have a different definition from yours. We are not bungee-jumpers in this household.)

Instead, we do things like try to suck every last bit of daylight out of the sky when Adam gets home from work. I think we still are recovering from living in Alaska (or at least I am, anyway) where daylight was scarce and sometimes literally non-existent.

Monday morning was my MR-enterography. It was very trying on my body and my mind. I spent the rest of the day recuperating, but when Adam got home, we decided it was high time that we saw some sun and got inspired by something.

And so, we loaded up Juvenaly in the car and embarked on one of our favorite activities: discovering cute old neighborhoods and oggling the houses and deciding which one we want to live in.

But before that, photo-shoot on the parking garage, yes?

Look at Juvenaly’s big rabbit feet. It kills me.

A quick intermission of boring stuff:
I’m still waiting on confirmation from my doctor, but it appears now that I have four strictures in my intestines instead of three. That there is some fierce scar tissue. Clearly this is not pleasing news, but we’ll know more after the rest of my procedures this month.

Also, I got another migraine. (And subsequently a chance to try out my new migraine meds. Result: Inconclusive and frustrating.)

Symptoms started Tuesday evening but I naively did not think it was going to turn into a migraine. I’m still learning about this migraine game. By the quite-early hours of Wednesday morning, I was desperately fumbling in the dark for the migraine pills. I was still essentially incapacitated until about 1:30pm or so, but it was definitely not the worst migraine I’ve had. It eventually turned into more of a dull pain, so I decided “Why not? Of course I should go to Pre-Sanctified Liturgy tonight at church.”

We were about halfway there (20 minutes into the drive) when I realized that I had perhaps made a terrible mistake. By the time Liturgy started, the pain was so bad and so debilitating; I don’t even know how to explain how I felt. A deep concern that I would be carted out of there in an ambulance? I was really scared, honestly.

(Have I mentioned lately that Adam is a saint for taking care of me?)

The point of all this: Who the heck knew that migraines existed. I mean, of course everyone knows what a migraine is and that people get them. But I had no understanding and no appreciation for what a migraine was until I started getting them myself. How is it that this is a thing for people? When it comes to my weakling body, migraines feel like the entire right side of my brain and neck are simply shattering. Completely breaking down. It’s terrifying and surreal. Using the charming term my mom suggested: I have now decided to be prayer warrior for every sick person and migraine-ridden person in the world. Just let me know, and I will wage a prayer war for you.

Intermission over and back to fun stuff.
Adam and I also spent a lovely Saturday afternoon browsing our local bookstore, Michael’s Books. It’s one of those huge used bookstores that looks like a tornado hit the place and that every book is a precarious domino that is about to cause the entire store to come falling to the ground.

That’s a tad exaggerated. But Adam and I love the place. They also have boxes and boxes of free books that sit outside the store everyday. That’s right; I said free.

We scored with these lovelies.

All but the top book were freebies. They have an endless supply of freebies, it seems, so we don’t feel too bad about leaving with five!

We don’t really know what A Touch of Danger is yet, but Adam insisted on it.

I’ve wanted to read The Elegance of the Hedgehog for a while now, so when I found it at Michael’s for cheap, it was a no-brainer-purchase. I’m about a third of the way through. It’s translated from the French, so it’s written kind of oddly. But in an amazing way. The language is so bizarre, so thoughtful, so whimsical, and often an enigma.

The story itself is incredibly cynical right now, and it’s all about social classes (which isn’t my favorite topic, but it’s French so I can forgive it. heh heh…). But I happen to know from a very good source (my librarian-mother who knows exactly what kind of books I like) that I will love this book. So I’m excited to see where it goes. I do enjoy it already.

So, to end this post in a way that it seems many bloggers do, I will leave you with this:

Currently Reading: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, also Jane Eyre (gosh darnit, I love it so much it hurts), and reading out loud to Adam as a bedtime story: Coraline (a favorite of mine, and I’m telling you, Adam suggested that I read it to him. I didn’t force it!)

Currently Listening to: a heck of a lot of Sharon Van Etten (click name for a great song!) and Frightened Rabbit (click name for another great song!)

Currently Watching: Let’s just say I am now obsessed with the film, The Hours. Let’s be real, this is probably going to get its own blog post, so I’ll leave it for now.
Also, Adam and I are still making our way through the Wes Anderson films (I only have 2 left to show him!), and the Hayao Miyazaki films. More on that later!

Happy Thursday! Many blessings to all.

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The Many Faces of Anacortes, or “How I Came to Love Amos Bowman”

Men with trenchcoats, men with canes, men with cameras, men with porkpie hats, men with bow ties, men with pinstriped pants and boxing gloves?

Welcome to Anacortes, where the town is small, but the men are dapper. Well, at the very least, they used to be.

It was mentioned in my last entry that Adam and I made a Valentine’s Day venture to a formerly-unexplored-by-us town called Anacortes. We really didn’t have a clue what to expect, and we truly didn’t care. We wanted to go somewhere new, and for all we knew (or cared), Anacortes would be a ghost town filled with nothing and no one except for time-traveling gentlemen.

Close. Very close.

Anacortes, Washington is on Fidalgo Island. It’s main point of interest are the ferries, which take you to British Columbia and the San Juan Islands. If you are not journeying to any of those places, you can always spend the day visiting with the various wood panel murals of men who I guess are important to the history of the town. Like this one, for example, who “sold furniture here from 1942-1946”.

It’s kind of laughable, but in the best kind of charming way. And don’t get me wrong, there are other things too. A couple thrifty/vintage stores, like “The Thrifty Kitty”, which donates all proceeds to a kitty rescue! What could be better. (We bought an old copy of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights for me there). There’s a great bookstore and some eateries, too. And in full disclosure, I’m only talking about the historic section of Anacortes. There’s also a lot of normal, strip mall kind of stuff, but who goes to those places anyway?

But really, the town is oddly quiet, and almost Stepford Wives-y in a way (just a much humbler, cuter way). Adam completely disagrees with me, though. He thinks I’ve gotten too used to the noise of downtown Bellingham and it has clouded my ability to clearly evaluate places. Humph, maybe so. At any rate, Adam and I ended up having quite a fun and silly time looking at all the painted gentlemen.

The old-timey boxers were my favorite. I embarrassed Adam and made him stand with them for a picture with my incredible Fujifilm Instax camera (thank you to the most loverly friend, Shelby, who gave it to me as a wedding gift!). Shortly after I took the photo, we realized that we’d missed a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to have a pretty sweet picture of Adam fake-boxer-posing with these men. Ah, well. Next time.adam and the boxers

I said the boxing men were my favorite, but that was until I met Amos Bowman. Oh, Mr. Bowman. Amos Bowman, we now know, was the founder of Anacortes. You can read about him here. His wife, Anne Curtis Bowman, is the namesake of the town. Anne Curtis/Anacortes–pretty good, right?

We never would have been introduced to Mr. Bowman (and subsequently learned all about him), if it wasn’t for a moment of “husband-wish-granting his silly-wife’s-whims”:
We were on the main street out of Anacortes, heading back to Bellingham, when I saw the largest and most dapper mural of all. As we continued driving, getting closer and closer to leaving the big man behind, I said (and sounded, I’m sure, like a panicked 5-year old who doesn’t want to miss the pony show down the road) “Adam can we stop???” That poor man puts up with a lot. Without complaint, he made the soonest right turn and found a roundabout way of getting back to the mural, where I made him take a photo of me, pretending to hold a cane, just like Mr. Bowman’s.

We only took a photo with the Instax, and it didn’t turn out perfectly. But I love it nonetheless.

Well I think that about covers it. I suppose several photos of paintings of men may not be the most interesting topic to many, but I hope it held your attention in some way or another. I congratulate you if you’ve made it to the end of this blog entry! Well done, friend.

Here’s a few other men, in case you are wanting more:

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And here’s one with the best man of all.

The Loveliest of Flowers, or “How My Husband Won Valentine’s Day”

Good afternoon and happy two-days-after-Valentine’s-Day!

How are your flowers holding up? Mine are doing splendidly.
Allow me to introduce them properly.1

This Saturday was Valentine’s Day. I shall be a normal girl for a second and say Valentine’s Day is amazing when you have a Valentine. Who was mine? Well, my husband of course.

In the morning, Adam and I were getting ready to head off to church (Saint Innocent’s Orthodox Church) for the Saturday of Soul’s Liturgy, in which we pray for loved ones who have died. Adam zipped up his coat, 30 minutes early, and said “I have an errand to run.” Or something like that. I gave him a look, and he departed. He returned in 10 minutes with the absolute most lovely arrangement of flowers. Peach, pink, orange, white, and green. Roses, daisies, baby’s breath, and lamb’s ear. Oh how I nearly died over the lamb’s ear. My husband knows his stuff.

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We went to Liturgy, which was beautiful and haunting and quite an interesting juxtaposition to the day. Valentine’s Day is a man-made day to celebrate the love and pretty things of life. But what’s even more important is that we remember death and that Christ came to destroy death! That is more beautiful than anything in this world. Glory to God–Adam and I are married and that extends beyond death. If we keep God at the center of our lives, we will have each other for all of eternity.

After Liturgy, we got bagels from the best bagel-spot in Bellingham (the appropriately named “The Bagelry“), lattes, and headed back to our studio. There, Adam presented me with THE MOST exquisite heart-shaped box of luscious chocolates, and *drumroll please* humpback whale paintings, made by an incredibly talented young man from our church. Clever Adam said “I may not be able to make you art, but I can commission other people to do it for me.” Hehehe, silly rabbit!

Enjoy this eye candy. I can’t wait to find the right frames for these fellows.

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Many people, though not everyone, know that I have a strange attachment to humpback whales. It began from watching National Geographic, and it was a completely solidified obsession after I went to Southeast Alaska with my grandmother for my 18th birthday and we went whale watching in Juneau. In college, I got a tattoo of a humpback on my forearm (see photo in my “About” page). And last Valentine’s Day, Adam took me to a restaurant in Anchorage called “Ginger”, where I was totally shocked to find a rather large origami whale sitting on our table when we arrived. Adam had written it under “special requests” when he made the reservation, and lo and behold. the entire Ginger wait-staff ended up competing to see who could make the best origami whale for me. My goodness! What a guy that Adam is.

I gave my sweetie a few odds and ends of things. A couple Marvel comics (one old, one new), a bouquet of Cow Tales (his favorite old-timey candy), a card from the cat (along with real-Juvenaly paw prints and a photo of him I took with my awesome Fujifilm Instax camera), and a wood plaque with one of our wedding photos and a silly little poem I wrote on the back.

I took this photo the day before with my iPhone, so it’s a little lame and blurry.

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The silly poem:

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After we ate our bagels and exchanged gifts, we made a mockery of poor, adorable little Juvenaly. We put the bow from my box of chocolates around him, in various positions, and took photos, of course.

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Oh Juvenaly, why did you let us do this to you?

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He’s such a trooper. And don’t worry, we gave him his own special Valentine’s Day treats too.

When our antics came to an end, my thoughtful husband (who knows how much I love going to new places) said “Where do you want to go today? Let’s go someplace we’ve never been before.” Woohoo! So we went to Anacortes, which is going to get it’s own blog post, filled with odd photos. Stay tuned!

And to end the sweetest of Valentine’s Days, we had dinner in Bellingham at a quite-fancy Italian restaurant. Which, in itself, was a new adventure because Adam and I have NEVER gone to an Italian restaurant together. We’re Indian food, sushi, and food trucks kind of people.

But it was magical.

See you next time with a menagerie of strange people-murals and other things of Anacortes!