Showing posts from April, 2007

Mystery Bite

I discovered this on my leg today while I was still at Church. I had a mild itch, reached down to scratch it and unexpectedly felt a lump. Naturally I looked at what I was feeling and: WOW! The whole thing is over an inch in every direction. The blurry red mark in the center is actually three tiny dots: two bigger and one smaller, in a triangular pattern. The white part in the middle is hard and raised, and then there's the bruise around the whole thing.

I know it wasn't here yesterday, since that's when I shaved my legs last. Oy, vey! I'll keep watching it before I decide whether I go rushing off to the doctor. I'll let everyone know if I develop super powers or amazing climbing abilities.

If anyone knows what it looks like, let me know.


does not have a very food-allergy sensitive policy. I spoke with the manager before dining there, and the best he could do was give me a card with a phone number on it, for "Applebee's central command". I could call there during business hours and talk to a representative. Meanwhile grand high pubah does not even disclose to Applebee's managers what all is in their menu items.

He WAS able to assure me that they don't use peanut oil. They use vegetable oil...which I assured him was most likely soy (it could be corn, buy I think soy is usually cheaper and veggie oil is just a euphemis for "whatever's cheapest oil".

I only ended up with a mildly itchy mouth that a good drink of water cured.

The waitress, on the other hand, was appalling. Not to mention her pierced tongue. Call me old fashioned, but it was distinctly unappetizing.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Storms were moving in yesterday in waves. The weather went from sunny to rainy, back to sunny and then REALLY rainy, followed immediately by a rainbow and some sunshine. Fortunately, I was able to get out of doors with the kids for a littel while, letting them run off some energy at the park while I walked in circles around them.

But unfortunately, and mysteriously, my bread failed. Since going GFCF with my family, I've been having to make all our bread. Usually I make a loaf about every other day, or every third day, depending, and that is all we need. I refrigerate the loaf before slicing, so the crust changes texture and the bread gets firm, and that way I can get about 20 thin slices per loaf...the same number as from store bought bread. It's quick and easy, and since I'm home all the time, I may as well. My goal is to not have an increase in our grocery budget. A stiff task, that, and one that involves cooking from scratch.

So, the bread: I did what I always…


I've had a great deal of trouble sleeping through the night for a long time. I blamed my fibromyalgia. I blamed my hypoglycemia (it makes sense that a blood sugar crash at 3 am would wake a person up, doesn't it?)

This past week, I've been sleeping like a baby. So nice. And no drugs, either. In fact, I've been liberalizing my diet somewhat and feeling healthier than ever. Who knew, but Basmati rice is only 50 or so on the GI scale, and raw honey is very close to that number as well (55). Even with rice for a bed time snack, I still slept through the night last night. So much for the hypoglycemia theory.

How could this be? Raw honey? In my diet? It actually seems to be a self liminting food. And, it is highly nutritious, and just a little bit is enough. So I know I'm not overdoing it.

So, why am I sleeping so well? How does this add up? What is different? I've been scratching my head all week, trying to figure out why I'm sleeping so well.



Today I finally found (it was lost!) a beautiful book on praying the rosary that a friend had given me for Pascha. I only used it once, and after that it just disappeared. Turns out, the couch had swallowed it. I'd slid the couch out from the wall, but apparently it had gotten kicked down to the other end, where I only sort of swiveled the couch when I was looking for it. Today I was inspired to ask for help, and my dh actually lifted the thing (too heavy for me) and there it was...along with lots of pencils, an alarm clock that kept going off every morning at 7:45 am, and some rather large dust bunnies.

I was so happy to have found it. It has the appropriate icons on the page opposite of the prayers for each of the mysteries...most of them from St. Catherine's monastery on Mt. Sinai. (An aside: My Sunday School students were so cute a few weeks ago, when we were learning about Moses going up the mountain to receive the law from God, and I mentioned that now there is an …

Feelin' Good

Working out...I just love it. It's simple and methodical. I write down what I do. I have a nice chart, and I love filling in the numbers. So many reps/so many pounds. And it tells me exactly how far to push myself and when to expect more from myself. Very simple, systematic, and so far I've never accidentally dropped a dumb-bell on my foot or anything stupid like that. Low risk activity.

So, I"m feeling sort of buff right now, under my layer of mom-fat. Unfortunately, I tend to get rather bulky muscles for a female. NOT one of the lucky ones who can work out and get slim and pretty. Oh, no! Because THAT would obviously not be "good for my salvation" or whatever Christian-ese spin I want to put on it. (I get in moods where I hyperspiritualize EVERYTHING...duh, that's what this entire BLOG is, isn't it?) But, when it comes down to it, I think I'd rather have muscle shaped strong bumps than fat shaped weak bumps. Right now, I have both.



I have an earache.

Mustard Seed Living

One of the biggest temptations that I have been facing lately is the temptation towards dissatisfaction. People whom I consider my peers, both IRL and in the blogosphere are just so much "more" than I am. More out there, more significant, more successful, more special, more involved at whatever. And here I am. Nowhere to go. No car to go nowhere in. Very much alone.

And it is a really hard thing to really embrace where God has put me during these days of my life. There is this stillness. The stillness was a gift when I was more sick than I am now. It is still a gift, but the bonds are chafing a little bit. But the fact is, I do wonder if I even COULD do more. Probably not.

And its such a sin to compare myself with others. For one thing, I always come up on the loosing end of the comparison. I've not started any businesses. I've not gotten paid to write articles. I've not started any great novel (I humbly realize that I do not have what it takes to wr…

Why I Love Mondays

go nowhere
clean the kitchen
read a good book
work out
time to catch my breath
home made food
home schooling

Boyfriend Season Is Here!

One of the things I like about blogger is it's remarkable lack of ads and junk like that. I was just over at myspace commenting on someone else's blog and a HUGE ad popped up with a model perfect guy on it. want's me to know that Boyfriend Season is Here! Woo Hooo!

Quick, let me rush out and tell my husband that Boyfriend Season is Here! I'm sure he'll be THRILLED....especially when I tell him that I nominate him for the job! Seriously, though. I'm SO GLAD to be married/unavailable/off the market/out of the dating scene/etc. What a relief to be settled down and happy.


Today I attacked the green grass with a vengeance. It was tall, almost hay-like in it's qualities. I'm sure the neighbors are very glad that I got rid of the spring time growth. First mowing of the season, and long over due.

Then I got out the electric hedge trimmers and did the hedges...well, at least the four ones in the front of the house. Wes and I have the eternal debate about our side bushes. I particularly love the privacy of a leafy screen in front of the kitchen window, but he prefers them short. Well, I guess he can trim those, if he must. arms are very shaky right now.

For some reason mowing the yard is one of those despicable activities that makes me pray. Probably because I hate the job so much. It's not the physicality of it all that bothers me, but rather the fumes. I really enjoyed the electric hedge trimmer part. It's just the stinky gas powered lawn mower that drives me bonkers. And then the gas always sloshes on my hands when …

Unexpected Autism (April is Autism Awareness Month)

I'm feeling pensive today. I woke up sick, and slept in a little bit, then had to get up and do some things in the kitchen. That turned in to the whole morning spent cleaning out my cupboards and getting rid of gluten-containing foods.

You see, my 13 year old daughter is Autistic. It sounds harsh to say that. She's on the spectrum, and actually has Asperger's Syndrome. She is very intelligent, reliable, moral, good, sweet and kind, creative, dilligent and modest. She also hits herself in the head, shrieks uncontrollably when upset, stims by rocking or banging her head against the wall. What a bundle of contrast. This kid has a higher IQ than I do. When she was younger she'd keep a constant tally in her head of the number of syllables being spoken in a conversation, for instance.

The other day she came to me and asked to be put on the gluten free/casein free diet. She had been reading about it. I'd mentioned it to her a year or so ago, and she didn't want to then…

It's time for another Submarine Picture...or Two



I've heard it said that in so many ways we are living in a toxic soup. Think about it. There is air pollution, water pollution, things like chlorine and floride added to our water in unnatural amounts (which is worse for us, bacteria or chlorine? Floride may be good for our teeth but is it bad for the rest of us?), estrogen-mimicking compounds leaching into our water supply from various pesticide run-off sources...

And then there are things like Aspartame. Is it or isn't it a neurotoxin? Red food coloring? Blue food coloring? Yellow? Even something like marshmallows has blue food coloring! Can you believe it! Monosodium Glutamate. Another neuroexcitotoxin. That, along with Aspartame give me a buzz. Am I addicted? I used to be addicted to diet cokes. They still call my name. Or by another name: Crystal Light. It's the ersatz juice I like to pretend I deserve. What am I doing to myself drinking it.

Which is worse, the sugar or the artificial crap used to re…

GFCF Cooking

As I mentioned a few posts ago, my daughter has decided to try the Gluten Free/Casein Free diet. She is saying that it is giving her good results for some of her brain symptoms. (Google GFCF diet and Autism if you don't know what I"m talking about and care.)

So, this week I've been experimenting with some gluten free cooking and meal-making. I'm kind of enjoying the change of what is on my table. Not that, strictly speaking, I'm supposed to be eating much of what I put on my table...

Tonight we had Tacos. Yeah, brilliant. We skipped the cheese and went for lean ground beef, organic leafy greens, salsa and sauteed onions with chilli and cumin. Ok, I knew none of the kids would like the onions so I did them in a butter/oil mix. I read somewhere that the oil helps decrease the smoking point of the butter. At any rate, they were delish. I got spicy and the kids dined in the land-o-bland like they are wont to do.

I came upon a very successful gluten/casein f…


I've been such a slug this week. Lying around in my p.j.'s reading novels and loosely supervising school work. Monday I didn't even TRY to make the kids do anything. It feels good to be lazy, but I"m sort of ready to do a little bit more tomorrow.

Yeah, still recovering from Holy Week and Pascha. That's what it is.

Today I put a turkey in the oven so dinner was a snap, and now we have all this delicious meat in the fridge waiting to become sandwiches. Yum.

All four of my kids were ACTUALLY invited to a birthday party! I was so excited. That doesn't happen very often in our family. So when it does, it's a special treat. And there were these totally adorable bunny rabbits that the birthday boy had gotten for his main gift, I think. A cool hutch up on legs in the living room with both a cage door and a lift-up top, and the bottom of the cage had the drawer-type thing under it for the "bunny-litter" to go. Looked very easy to keep clean…

Truly He is Risen!

One of my favorite Bright Week activities is randomly shouting Christ is Risen! at the top of my lungs as I go about my day. Usually in threes. So far there is always some willing kid to shout the appropriate response, followed by comments such as: "Mom, you find the weirdest times to say that!" Bwahahaha!

Yesterday, though, I spent hardly moving from my chair. Our furnace gave out, finally, and we are weathering this cold snap with a borrowed space heater. It is in the low-mid sixties in our house, so not too bad, but a mug of something creamy and warm seems most welcome, as are abundant blankets. The weather will warm up soon, and then our house will be warmer again. Upstairs, I'm happy to say, is nice and toasty, as we have baseboard heaters up there, and tomorrow I plan on heating up the kitchen by slow baking a turkey all day. Yummmmy!

The temptation for me is to really let down my hair and not pray at all this week. God forgive me.

Most of All

Yesterday, as I was busy fixing paschal foods all afternoon, I was experiencing a wee bit of self pity and more than a wee bit of grumpiness. Ok, more than a wee bit of self pity. Everyone was looking forward to the feast. Except for me. The only foods (when one is pitying oneself one never has a realistic view of things) I would be able to eat, I was thinking to myself, were all the sugar free things I brought myself. And the same for my gluten free, casein free daughter. And what was there to look forward to in THAT? The only reason everyone is getting happy, it seemed to me, is the food. Not the resurrection. How much, in this moment, do I really CARE about it? It all seemed so far away, and I so exhausted.

I truly did not think I would make it. But as usual, once I got there, I picked up a second wind. (Note the recurrent "I's" in the above sentences...). Whoever invented the idea of out-of-doors liturgical processions is brilliant, simply brilliant. The…

Finding Myself on the Via Dolorosa

It must have been a busy week, getting ready for the passover. There must have been food to buy, and things to prepare. Planning, cooking, shopping. Everything must be just so. And so many were there, and would Jesus come by during the feast?

And suddenly Thursday night is happening...a supper meal among close friends. And then in the garden, a breather before the real Passover feast? But what's this? Soldiers. And Judas. But we are tired. So many preparations, and we just want to sleep. Why does Jesus chastise us so? We've been busy busy busy all week long. And Soldiers! What ARE they doing here? And Judas? Why Judas? Why is he with the soldiers?

Oh. My. Goodness!!!!! He just betrayed Jesus! Astonishment. Fear. I'd better protect myself. This has blindsided me. Hide. I'm already so exhausted, and now THIS. But curiosity takes me there, where they took him.

He stands accused. Yet silent. And it's cold. A cold spring time. And at the f…

Wanna be a "Mary"...

...forced to be a "Martha".

That's my experience of Holy Week year after year. I particularly over-did it yesterday, just doing what needed doing. Nothing could have been left out. Ok, perhaps I didn't need to lift weights, but even so I only got in two sets, and at the time I did not anticipate some other unexpected exercise that would come my way. Ever NEED to run to the store and not have a car? Walmart is just a wee more than 1.5 miles from my house. I made it there, and back again with my one item in a bit more than an hour, walking as fast as I could.

Then there was that loaf of gluten free bread to be baked, so that my daughter could eat sandwiches. And some pre-pascha prep work to be done so that it would not all fall on Saturday.

It's just always so busy. Day before yesterday I got all the ironing done for all the clothes that people would need to wear over the next few days to look nice. With my luck nobody will want to wear THOSE clothes, es…

In case you've ever wondered...

...what it feels like to get your fingers caught in an electric mixer, I'm here to report that it hurts! Feels much like slamming them in a door, only the painful bits are all at odd angles to each other.

And no, I did not experiment on purpose. Just my usual klutzy self.


In a bout of unanticipated but much appreciated maturity, my oldest child has taken her health into her own hands and decided to go on the Gluten Free Casein Free diet. It is a diet that helps many on the autistic spectrum. The proteins gluten and casein have an opiod effect for many autistic kids (grownups too, I guess) and removing those from the diet can/may/might reduce many of the neurological symptoms she struggles with.

I'm all about being 100% supportive. We've had fun researching together, reading together and cooking together, these past few days. She's totally committed, and I'm so proud of her! With my help she navigated a pancake breakfast the other day by bringing gluten free batter, and she and the other no-gluten person in our parish had their own griddle upon which to cook. Then she made gfcf banana muffins, to the envy of her siblings, and today it was gfcf peanut butter cookies. Of course all her meals and snacks are gfcf now. She's very…