Sunday, May 30, 2010

My First Migraine Headache

OK, I've had migraines before. Headaches w/ some nausea and light sensitivity. But today, I had the real deal. My dad gets them like this. I've always thought I was lucky that mine aren't as bad as his were. I rememer every so often, tippy-toeing through the house as a child because my dad was in his darkened room with a migraine, vomiting, the works.

Today, I woke up with a headache. I realized it was a migraine on the way to Church when I was nauseous in the car. I should have had Wes turn around and take me home so I could deal with it and get on top of the situation. But I decided it was just a few hours until after Church and surely I could tough it out and take communion, right?

Wrong.

I got sicker, and sicker and sicker. I realized half way through the service that I'd better not take communion because I'd throw up if I did. (If you are Orthodox, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you aren't, you don't want to know, trust me.)

A friend found me some tylenol. But on an empty stomach, it would not stay down. Problem is, the bathrooms are clear in another building from the Nave. So after taking care of business there, I had to trek back over and get my family to take me home. What a lovely scene, I'm sure. We cleared out well before the end of liturgy. I threw up again in the car. Into my favorite mantilla. Then Wes found me a plastic bag on the floor, and I used that the rest of the way home. Bye bye mantilla. (Well, perhaps I should go rescue it. I might regret throwing it away.)

My head was hurting so bad I was crying. Pain hardly ever makes me cry.

At home I still could not keep anything down. I tried some coffee, I could only nibble some crackers. They came up, too. Finally I just cleaned up and went to bed, with ice on my head. After dozing, Wes came in with some excedrin migraine and some potato salad. The ice really helped, so I was able to take the meds and keep the food down, so that was a mercy. Soon they kicked in and after resting some more, I've been able to quietly watch a movie the rest of the afternoon.

But oh, for a while there I thought I was gonna die. That is the LAST time I'll ever try to tough through a headache on a Sunday morning. Really.

But the potato salad (I'd made it for a cookout we'd been invited to and which we had to miss.) :-( was the best potato salad I've ever made. I think I'll have some for dinner.

So many of my blog posts sound so tragic, don't they? I don't mean for them to sound that way. All of this took place without self pity and with a fairly high level of acceptance. It just was. So that's some progress, isn't it?

I'm grateful for the fact that my headache is mostly gone/at bay right now, and that my husband was so nice to me and took care of me. I'm grateful for understanding friends and for air conditioning and ice packs and excedrin migraine. And even while I was in bed and in pain, it was still possible to utter a prayer or two in my head. "If I descend into the depths of the earth, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." -paraphrase from memory of a verse in Psalm 139.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Begin Again

I'm officially disgusted with myself. It's my eating. I fell off the low carb wagon, and even though I was on the low carb wagon, I wasn't on it very well. You see, I have a cookie addiction. No matter what diet I'm on, I find a way to make "legal" cookies. Obeying the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.

For some reason, I can make and follow all kinds of food rules that involve not eating beans, or not eating carrots, or even sometimes not eating certain fruits. But as soon as you tell me I eat too many cookies, I'll have an excuse. If you say I should cut out the cookies, I say: Ok, must be the sugar, so I make sugar free cookies. Or I'll use coconut flour and make them low carb and thereby be even more virtuous.

Never mind that 1/24th of the pan has more than 150 calories and like 30 grams of fat, and who ever heard of me just eating one? After all, they are legal! They are free! And if I eat them when I'm hungry I'm not doing anything wrong, right?

Um, well, I suppose I can do that, right? As long as I don't mind staying obese.

I clearly want to have it both ways and it's time I wake up, grow up, and realize that I can't and never will and never can have it both ways.

I'm not so special. I think anyone who eats as many cookies and iced coffees, and slathers as much butter onto their food as I do would be 50 pounds overweight.

I need to change my eating habits and not just my cookie recipes. And I need to change how and what I cook.

And all while not going overboard on the carbs. It's a tall order. Somehow I am starting this journey again, and again, and again. And I never get to my goal.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any amount of time knows this is a huge, boring and never ending issue for me. I yammer on and on. It's been on my mind of late.

So today I wrote down what I typically eat in a day. I was brutal, and so were the numbers staring back at me at the bottom of the page. I counted the carbs, I counted the calories, and I counted how many Weight Watchers points that would all represent. Oh my. The carbs weren't that low, the calories were whopping and so were the WW points.

I can do better. I really can do better.

So here's to new beginnings...again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Testing

Today B goes in for a sleep-deprived EEG and an MRI. Please pray with us that these tests will reveal something significant and diagnosis worthy, since we KNOW she has neurological abnormalities.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All the Right Answers

I finally feel like I'm not as naive and helpless as I once was, when it comes to doctors and hospitals and the like.

Call me a slow learner. I know. It's taken me a while to get the hang of things.

But at last, I think I'm ahead of the learning curve, having reached a new level of competence and confidence when it comes to dealing with the health care system, knowing what information to ask for, and what question they will ask. It is good to be prepared.

When a doctor gives you a note or an order saying that you are to take your child for testing, there are certain questions that should be asked:

1. Is this a walk in place, or do I need to set up an appointment?

Usually a blood draw is just to a lab and you walk in and do it and are out of there in 15 minutes or less.

For a different type of test, you might have a "come anytime" situation. But if the test, however simple, is to be performed in a HOSPITAL, one needs to call and be on the phone for an interminable amount of time to pre-register for the walk-in procedure. That would have been last week when I took Eric for his X-Rays.

2. If the receptionist at the doctor's office says: "You are all set", what she really means is: You need to call the hospital and ask several questions, get pre-registered and be on the phone for an interminable amount of time with at least three different people in two different departments before they will know you and/or your child actually exist.

3. If you ask the receptionist who supposedly got you "all set" whether there were any special instructions such as not eating, or howling at the moon, which must be performed before said test can be accomplished, and she says "no, you are good to go!", do not believe her. What she really means is that you should call the hospital and find a person who actually works in the department where the test will be performed (such as for a sleep deprived EEG or an MRI) and ask THEM what special instructions might be. Such people will tell you to wake your kid up between 12 and 4 am and keep them awake without caffeiene or chocolate until the 9 am EEG so that they are incoherent at the time of the test. This means that not only is it a sleep deprived EEG for the kid, it's also a sleep deprived day for one lucky parent.

4. Despite all efforts at pre-registration, if one is pre-registering for TWO procedures at once, one has to talk to at least two different people in the same department and go through the same information twice.

5. None of this is any sort of guarantee that many of the above mentioned steps won't have to be repeated on the actual day of the procedure/s. So, it behooves to arrive a few minutes before the scheduled test time, just in case.

6. The question: "Your daughter's social?" is not an inquiry into her autism and social skills abilities, but rather a request for her social security number. (Hangs head in embarrassment after regaling the poor registrar with a litany of daughter's abilities....sigh.) Not so suave after all, I guess.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vacuum Cleaner Wars: Hoover Strikes Back

So, it's time to vacuum. Somehow there are popcorn kernels STILL gracing my living room floor, cheerios and all sorts of crumbs and cornchip detritus in the dining room, and despite me being conveniently out of their way all day Saturday, none of the Rebel Forces decided to try and strike a death blow to any of the crumbs.

So, I'm vacuuming the dining room, which also happens to have the keyboard and head phones in it, when I suck up the chord to the headphones. I had visions of just vacuuming over it, but it was just skinny enough to succumb to the mighty wind tunnel. (Why is it that half the time the Hoover never sucks up what you want it to suck up, but if you get within five inches of something that will bring it to a grinding halt, it will suddenly increase it's suckage and whoosh, the item is forever tangled in the beater bar, and the motor is suddenly making grinding noises and emitting that nasty smell?)

So, I had to get the screw driver, take the bottom plate off, remove the beater bar and untangle the headphones chord. While I was at it, I decided, I might as well cut off all the thread and blond hair and wool roving that was wrapped around there. That took awhile.

I replace everything, plug it in, and the beater bar is not turning.

So I unplug, unscrew, unhook and re-position the belt, re-hook, reposition, re-screw. This time it starts.

So I start vacuuming the hallway. Suddenly, with no warning at all, the entire handle assembly comes off in my hand, and the only thing holding the vacuum together is the hose that's wrapped around part of the handle assembly.

I stop, I unplug, I examine. Two screws are missing. Ok, where did they get to? I wonder. I go dig through the box that has such things in it and find more screws. Just as I'm about to try them, I notice a six inch long screw lying on the hallway floor. A second later I see a little nut. Hmmmm. Where did that come from?

So, on it goes. More screwing. More fiddling with large dusty pieces of plastic. More aggravation.

I plug in the vacuum, and the on/off switch does not work. I had noticed while the handle assemblage was disassembled that there was a red on/off switch buried beneath the handle assembly that was obviously controlled by the big gray switch we normally use to turn it on and off. So, I remove the bag cover, unscrew the long screw once again, remove the handle assembly...again, flip the stupid switch, replace the handle assembly, replace screw and nut, screw it back in, replace plastic lid to vacuum cleaner bag compartment, plug vacuum back in.

Finally, finally it's all together and working properly.

Nice to have Clean floors, although I think I may have lost a hand in the process.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ramblings of the Day

Well, it's official. I am now working on the wedding dress (which is really two dresses since I'm doing a wearable muslin before I make the wedding dress.) Today it's been ironing the fabric for the "wearable muslin" that I'm making, ironing the lining fabric, cutting the pattern and the fabric...at least that much. I'll probably get some sewing started today as well.

I read over the instructions today and it's going to be easy, easy, easy. Once I start sewing it's going to be quick.

At the end of this week I'll do a fitting. And next week....THE SILK!

Sorry world. No pictures until AFTER the wedding. I wouldn't want to spoil any surprises for the groom. Top secret, and all that.

Liturgy was lovely this morning. I did not think I would go, because I could NOT fall asleep last night and at 1:30 I decided to turn off that 6 am alarm clock that I had set. Well, it turns out I woke up at 6:30 on my own and couldn't fall back asleep, so I figured God wanted me to go to Church. I'll deal with being tired later, I suppose.

Kids are in their final stretch of finishing up for the "school year". This week, perhaps a bit into next week. Perhaps not. I'm ready to get these dresses made, get their papers graded and then do a serious house cleaning overhaul. Every nook and cranny (there aren't that many of them) will get de-cluttered and cleaned this summer. That's the plan.

Pentecost Sunday was lovely, lovely, lovely. And I had a nice day on Saturday when I went to the wedding, and visited St. Athanasius for the evening service. In between the wedding and Church I was able to visit my favorite Lexington thrift store. Yeah, I know. I'm a thrift store junkie. Found a couple of skirts. I collect skirts. He he.

Vigil on Saturday night was just lovely. Two whole hours. Lytia bread for Pentecost. The slow pace was nice and it felt like home. Smelled like home. Looked like home. I miss people there. And I miss that longer vigil service on Saturday evenings. It was like a mini-retreat.

And after Church, I had a great visit with my god-daughter over a less-than-stellar dinner at Applebees, and then I drove home. It was late and I was tired. Bifocals on the road late at night are not the best. But I managed, the weather was fine and traffic was easy. Once I got on the interstate, it only took 1 hour and 5 minutes from on-ramp to off-ramp. But it took 50 minutes to get from Nicholasville to the interstate on the north side of Lex. I wish there were a short cut.

Why, I wonder, does Applebees have to throw so many spices onto their food and try to blend so many flavors together at once? Why, I wonder, do I keep eating there?


At any rate...time for some lunch, and then back to the sewing room.

Know that God is so good, lovies, so very good. May the Holy Spirit comfort you today!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost

On Pentecost, after the Divine Liturgy, or in a Vespers service, Orthodox Christians kneel and pray the following prayers:


Prayer 1

O pure and blameless Lord, Who art without beginning, invisible and incomprehensible, unchangeable, immeasurable, and unbounded, Who art without evil and alone immortal, who dwellest in the unapproachable light, Maker of heaven and earth and the seas and all that was created therein, Who grantest to all their petitions before asking, to Thee we pray and of Thee we ask, O philanthropic Master, the Father of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the ever-virgin Mary, the noble Theotokos; Who first didst teach by word, and then gave testimony in deed while bearing the saving Passion, teaching us Thine unworthy, sinful, and miserable servants, to offer Thee our supplications with bent head and knee, for our sins and human ignorance.

Wherefore, O most merciful and philanthropic Lord, hear us on whatever day we call upon Thee, and especially on this day of Pentecost, whereon, after our Lord Jesus Christ had ascended into heaven and sat on Thy right hand, O God and Father, He sent down the Holy Spirit to his Disciples, the holy Apostles, Who alighted on each of them and filled them all with His inexhaustible and divine grace; and they did speak in strange tongues, prophesying Thy great deeds. Hear us who beseech Thee, and remember us, wretched and condemned. Deliver us from the (sinful) captivity of our souls by Thy loving intercession. Accept us, who kneel down before Thee and cry out: we have sinned. From birth, from the womb of our mother - we are Thine, O Lord - Thou art our God. But as our life passes in vanity, we have therefore been stripped of thine aid, and have become silent. Yet do we trust in Thy compassion and cry unto Thee. Remember not the sins of our youth and ignorance; cleanse us of our secret sins. Reject us not in our old age, and forsake us not when our strength fails. Before we return to the earth, prepare us to return to Thee. Measure our lawlessness with a measure of Thy generosity, and erect against our many transgressions a bottomless abyss of these generosities.

Look down from the height of Thy holiness upon Thy people who stand and await from Thee abundant mercy. Visit us with Thy goodness and deliver us from the force of Satan and preserve our life with Thy holy and solemn laws. Commit Thy people unto a faithful guardian angel. Gather us all unto Thy kingdom. Forgive those who put their trust in Thee, relinquish us and them from sin. Purify us by the operation of Thy Holy Spirit and remove from us the wiles of the adversary.

Additional prayer: Blessed art Thou, Lord, Almighty Master, who illuminest the day with the light of the sun and the night with the glow of the moon, Who hast made us worthy to pass the course of the day and draw near to the onset of the night; hear our petitions and those of all Thy people. Forgive us all our sins, both voluntary and involuntary, and accept our evening supplications and send down the multitude of Thy mercies and compassions upon Thy people. Protect us with Thy holy angels. Arm us with the weapons of Thy truth. Envelop us with Thy righteousness. Preserve us by Thy power, and deliver us from every oppression and from every conspiracy of the cunning one. Grant us that this evening and the approaching night and all the days of our life may be perfect, holy, peaceful, sinless, without doubt and vain imaginings, by the intercessions of the holy Theotokos and all the saints who have done Thy will from the beginning of time.

Prayer 2

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who residest with us in this life, and Who gavest mankind the world, and in Thine inalienable rule dost give to the true the gift of the Holy Spirit, this blessing Thou hast sent down more fully to Thy pupils and Apostles and dispensed into their mouths the fire of tongues, so that through them all mankind would receive knowledge of God and be enlightened by the light of the Spirit, being emancipated from seduction as from darkness and by their supernatural action learning to believe in the Son of God and to praise Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit as one Godhead, Power and Authority.

Wherefore, O Splendor of the Father, the Likeness of his Essence, His immutable and unchangeable Nature, Thou art the fountain of salvation and grace. Open my lips, sinner that I am, and teach me how and for what I should pray; for Thou dost know the multitude of my sins, but Thine unbounded compassion doth overcome the enormity thereof. Behold, I come and stand before Thee in fear and dismay, casting my soul's despair into the depth of Thy mercy. Ordain my life, O Thou Who rulest the whole creation with ineffable wisdom. O tranquil Haven to those who are caught in the rages of winter, make known to me the way in which I should walk. Grant to my thoughts the spirit of Thy wisdom, and bestow upon my ignorance the spirit of Thy understanding. Overshadow mine acts with the spirit of Thy fear; a just spirit renew Thou within me, and by Thy Sovereign Spirit strengthen Thou mine unstable mind, that I may be worthy each day to do Thy commandments, being guided by Thy righteous Spirit into that which is profitable, ever mindful of Thy glorified (second) Coming, when we shall all be obliged to give an answer for our deeds. Let me not be led astray by the corrupting pleasures of this world, but strengthen me to delight in the treasures to come. For Thou, O Master, didst say, "Whatever ye ask in My Name ye shall receive" from God the Father co-eternal with Thee.
Therefore, I a sinner, implore Thy goodness on the day of the descent of Thy Holy Spirit. Grant Thou my request for salvation: yea, good Lord, Who grantest all riches and benevolence; for Thou art He, the merciful and pitying, Who givest us more than we ask, Who hast become a Partaker with us in the flesh without sin. Thou art He Who, for his love for mankind, dost have compassion for those who bend the knee to Thee, having become an offering for our sins.

Grant, Lord, Thy compassion to Thy people, and incline Thine ear to us from Thy Holy heaven; sanctify us by the saving might of Thy right hand. Cover us with the shelter of Thy wings and turn not away from the product of Thy hands. Against Thee only do we sin, yet Thee only do we serve. We know not how to bow to a strange god, nor how to reach out to a different god. Pardon our iniquities, O Master, and accepting our requests on bended knee, extend to us all a helping hand, and accept the prayers of all as fragrant incense acceptable to Thy most righteous Kingdom.
Additional prayer: Lord, Lord, Thou Who hast delivered us from every arrow (obstacle) that comes by day, save us from everything that walketh in darkness, and accept the lifting up of our hands as an evening offering. Consider us worthy to pass the night blamelessly and experience no evil. Deliver us from Satan. Free us from all confusion and fear. Grant our souls rapture, and our thoughts concern over our accountability at Thy just and terrible judgment. Transfix our flesh with Thy fear, and mitigate our members who are on earth, that in the tranquillity of sleep we may be enlightened by the meditation of Thy precepts. Drive from us every evil fancy and lasciviousness. Elevate us during our prayers, strengthened in faith and enriched by Thy commandments.

Prayer 3

O Christ our God, the ever-flowing Spring, life-giving, illuminating, creative Power, co-eternal with the Father, Who didst divinely achieve the deed of saving mankind, and didst tear apart the indestructible bonds of death, break asunder the bolts of Hades, and tread down the multitude of evil spirits, offering Thyself as a blameless Sacrifice and offering us Thy pure, spotless and sinless body: Who, by this fearsome, inscrutable divine service didst grant us life everlasting, O Thou Who didst descend into Hades, and demolish the eternal bars, revealing an ascent to those who were in the lower abode; Who with the lure of divine wisdom didst entice the dragon, the head of subtle evil and with Thy boundless power bound him in abysmal hell, in inextinguishable fire, and extreme darkness.

O Great Wisdom of the despairing! Overcomer of misfortunes - eminent helper, Who came and lit the way for those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death; Thou art the Lord of everlasting glory, the beloved Son of the Most High Father, eternal Light of eternal Light, Thou Sun of truth! Hear Thou us who beseech thee, and lay to rest the souls of Thy servants, of those who have died heretofore, and those of our fathers and brothers and other kinsmen in flesh and all others through faith, for whom we now celebrate this memorial; for Thou hast power over all, and in Thy hands Thou holdest all the boundaries of the earth.

O Almighty Master, God of our fathers, Lord of mercy and Creator of all the races of men, the living and the dead, and of all nature, animate and inanimate, Who appeared and resided here on earth and again departed into the other world, Who settest the years for the living and appointest the time for the dead, Who bringest down to Hades and raisest to bliss; who bindest with weakness and loosest with power; Who arrangest the present as is meet and Who directest the future towards usefulness, Who consolest with the hope of resurrection those who feel the sting of death 3/4 Thou art the Master of all, our God and our Savior, O Hope of all the boundaries of the earth and of those who are away on the seas, O Thou who on this last and great day of salvation, the day of the Feast of Pentecost, hast revealed to us the mystery of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial and co-eternal, indivisible and immiscible, Who didst send down the Holy and life-giving Spirit in the form of tongues of fire on His holy Apostles, revealing them as proclaimers of our godfearing faith, making of them true confessors and preachers of the word of God, Who makest us worthy that our propitiatory prayers, of this all-perfect day of salvation, be acceptable for those who are imprisoned in Hades, and Who grantest those imprisoned therein a great hope in receiving from Thee consolation and relief of their confining grief.

Hear us, disconsolate and wretched, who beseech Thee, and give rest unto the souls who have formerly departed, and make them to repose in a resplendent place, a place of verdure and coolness, where there are no ills nor sorrow nor sighs. And array their souls in the tabernacles of the righteous, and make them worthy of peace and repose; for it is not the dead who praise Thee, O Lord, nor do those who are in Hades venture to offer unto Thee confession, but we, the living, do bless Thee and supplicate Thee, O Lord, and offer unto Thee prayers of purification and sacrifices for their souls' sake.

Additional prayer: O great eternal God, holy and loving toward mankind, Who dost make us worthy to stand at this hour before Thine unapproachable glory, praising and glorifying Thy wonders, forgive us, unworthy sinners, and grant us grace that from a humble and contrite heart we may offer Thee the thrice-holy glorification and gratitude for Thy great gifts which Thou didst grant and dost still steadfastly grant unto us. Remember, Lord, our weakness and destroy us not in our iniquities; but in accordance with our humility show unto us Thy great mercy, that being delivered from the darkness of sin, we may walk in the day of truth, equipped with the armor of light, and freed from all the evil attacks of the wicked one, glorifying Thee in all things, O only true God and Lover of mankind.

For in truth, O Master and Creator of all, Thine is the great and original Mystery; the temporary death of Thy creatures, and their restoration thereafter unto eternal repose. In all things we acknowledge Thy favor, at our entrance into this world and at our going out therefrom, O Thou Who by Thy unfailing promises didst hold out to us the hope of everlasting life, resurrection, and incorruptible life, which shall be ours to enjoy at Thy Second Coming; for Thou, Lord Christ, art the fountain of our resurrection, the mankind-loving and incorruptible judge of the deceased and those worthy of reward. Thou hast assumed, with utmost condescension, our flesh and blood, and through Thine undying love for us, didst not dismiss Thy suffering, willingly submitting to torture; so that, having been tempted, Thou, as promised, became the helper to those who are tempted, elevating us to Thy dispassion.

Wherefore, O Master, accept our prayers and supplications, and grant repose to our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, blood relatives, and kinsfolk, and all those who have gone to their final rest with the hope of resurrection and life everlasting. Inscribe their names in the Book of Life; in the bosoms of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; in the land of the living, the Kingdom of Heaven, in the paradise of delight, leading all into Thy Holy dwelling places by Thy radiant angels, and raise their bodies on the day that Thou hast appointed, according to Thine unfailing Holy promises; for there is no death, O Lord, to Thy departing servants who cast off their bodies and come unto Thee, O God, but a transition from sorrowful things to pleasant and benign, to repose and joy. And if they have sinned (in any respect) against Thee, forgive them, and be Thou compassionate unto them and us; for there is none without stain before Thee, even though his life be but a day, save Thou alone, Jesus Christ our God, Who didst appear on earth without sin, and because of Thee we all trust to attain mercy and the remission of sins.

Therefore, O God, through Thy grace and love of mankind, weaken, remit and forgive our sins and theirs; overlook both our voluntary and involuntary offenses, which we have committed either willfully or through ignorance, openly or in secret whether by word, deed, or thought and all our wrathful dealings which we have committed during our lifetime. As for those who have preceded us, grant them emancipation and repose. To those of us who are here, bless us, and give us and all Thy people a blessed and peaceful end to life. At Thy fearsome and dreadful coming open to us Thy fathomless love of mankind, making us worthy of Thy Kingdom.

Additional prayer: O Thou most exalted God, Who alone dost possess immortality, Who dwellest in the unapproachable light, Who in wisdom didst bring into being all creation, who didst separate between the light and the darkness, setting the sun to rule the day, and the moon and stars to rule the night, Who on this day didst vouchsafe us sinners as worthy through confession to present ourselves before Thy countenance and to offer to Thee our evening prayers.

Additional prayer: O philanthropic God, set our prayers like incense before Thee, and receive them as a sweet fragrance. Grant that this evening and the approaching night may be peaceful and serene for us. Clothe us with the armor of light, and deliver us from nightly fears and from everything that walketh in darkness. Vouchsafe that the slumber which Thou didst grant us for rest from our weakness be also free from every satanic vision. Yea, O Master, Who providest good things for all, grant that in our lodgings, amid the night, we may with fervor recall Thy most Holy Name. Grant that being enlightened by the teachings of Thy commandments, we in spiritual joy would rise up to glorify Thy goodness, offering for Thy compassion petitions and supplications for our sins and those of all people, for which Thou, through the intercession of the Holy Theotokos, visitest upon us with mercy! Amen.

Hair



So I washed that gray right outta my hair and I went for a slightly darker shade this time. I thought to match my head hair with the middle-aged-woman-hairs growing out of my chin that I pull out while I'm stopped in traffic.

People at St. A's yesterday were teasing me and telling me I look GREEK! It's not the first time I've been told I look Greek, LOL, but COME ON! I'm all English with a little bit of Cherokee...in other words, 100% American, since those English genes have been on this continent since the first half of the 1600's.

At any rate, there it is. My mom wanted to see a picture. This is for you, mom!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Monkey Bread

In no particular order:

I taught Ariana how to make monkey bread today. Like we need THAT. eh.

Also figured out that Bethany is going to get a gardening badge, a textiles badge and a needlework badge for American Heritage Girls.

Printed off medical health forms for camp (printing is a long and arduous process requiring patience and causing stress).

Took two kids to the doc for camp physicals.

Got an MRI and EEG scheduled for Bethany.

Followed up on inquiry about referral for Eric to see a specialist about something.

Picked up milk from Farmer.

Answered some grammar quesitons.

Took someone to piano lesson.

Filled out a gazillion forms.

Had a deep conversation with one of my kids.

Dealt with mental illness issues.

Had a melt down.

Dispensed medication.

Cooked a very boring dinner.

Had phone conversation (that was on a deadline) while I was rushing around trying to do something else.

Was stuck in traffic for 45 minutes.

Still has not gone grocery shopping.

Did not touch the untidy living room or kitchen.

Thinks the popcorn kernels on the living room carpet will survive another day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In the Hands of God

Whenever I tell people that three out of four of my kids have been diagnosed to be on the autistic spectrum, I always get the same reaction: Sympathy, a shaking head, and an "I don't know how you do it." or a "You have so much on your plate." comment.

But really, around here it is just the way life is, and so I don't know any different. It just IS. I'm used to my kids, and I love my kids and sometimes I forget how different they are. (Now those early years, before any diagnoses were to be had...those were TRULY DIFFICULT.) OK, it is hard sometimes. I won't say that it's not. And I am sad a good bit. I can't say I'm not. But there is joy, too.

We deal with the difficulties at Church, for instance. There's an article in the March Word Magazine about how Orthodox worship lends itself to being appealing to someone on the autistic spectrum. Very charming. Except it's also been said that kid son the spectrum are like snowflakes: no two are the same, except that they melt. Anything written about one autistic kid is written about one autistic kid. Sometiems.

Meltdowns certainly were a large part of my life for many years. Now that they are older my kids don't "melt down" the same way a toddler does (ahem...for the most part), but we are still constrained by the utter exhaustion being amongst people can cause someone on the spectrum. You won't often find our family staying very long for coffee hour. Because of our special food challenges, you'll likely never find our family at any of the parish wide sit down dinners and even pot luck dinners (where I can at least bring one dish that will be safe for certain ones to eat) can be a challenge.

I daily face many small reminders that my kids do face special challenges. B and I were at knitting group last night, at Panera. More than once a stranger stopped to chat with us about our knitting, and at least one lady got an unexpected dose of a one-on-one conversation with an obviously autistic person, when my daughter answered her in her own unique, blunt and rather autie fashion. After the lady went her way, I commented that "she'd been Bethanied" and Bethany had a really good laugh that I'd "verbed her". We all laughed together. It's good to find the lighter moments.

I sometimes wonder what it's like to parent "normal" kids who don't have special needs. It seems like those families have fewer constraints and more options available to them. On the other hand, I'm really GLAD my kids are who they are. I try to stay in the present and not worry about the future. It will take care of itself and doors will open that need to open. God is in control.

I think the biggest thing that a mother (and a father) with special needs kids needs is friendship and support. I value my friends and family members who support me, and who accept my kids just as they are. It's good to "get away" sometimes, and have an adult coversation or some fun activity like "girls night out". My husband and I work hard to carve out plenty of date nights for ourselves, now that the kids are old enough to "babysit" themselves. Believe me, we went for years and years and years when the kids were wee without ANY dates, so this is important and a good season to be in.

The biggest challenge I face in parenting kids that are on the autistic spectrum is my urge to "fix them" or to mold them into behavior that is as close as possible to neurotypical behavior. On the one hand they do need to learn what societal expectations are, but on the other hand there's a lot more latitude for uniqueness and what might be termed "weird" that a person can be and explore without actually behaving in inappropriate ways. I need to learn to give them that latitude to let them be themselves.

My biggest dream for my kids is that they grow up to love God above all else, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Beyond that, I always try to remember that I did not create these unique and special persons, and that God is in control of their destinies, and loves them beyond measure, even more than I do. In the hands of God, they will be just fine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Confessions of a Slacker Mom

Oh, I am so ready for this "school year" to be over. But onwards they forge. Ariana finished her math book yesterday, and certain ones are also done with science. And certain other ones are about a week away from being done with their maths.

Blah blah blah.

And when I went into the girls' room this morning to help locate a lost pair of glasses, I realized what a pit/disaster zone it has become. So, do I task them with getting their room clean, or do I prioritize school work? Or both? I just don't know.

What I do know is that, as I've promised myself for the last three years or so, next year I'll be more organized. Yeah, right. And I'll also suddenly hate cookies and crave vegetables and effortlessly lose 40 pounds. Yeah, that's happening.

Sarcasm?

Yeah, methinks.

So what can I do? How can I be just a bit more organized with keeping tabs on lesson schedules.

One year I ordered Manager's of Their Homes and promptly broke out in a rash just from looking at the stuff. So don't be commenting in my comment box that I should try that. BTDT, moved on.

What else could I do? Get a big blank calendar and write in some weekly goals? Hmmmm, I sort of tried that at the beginning of this past year. Well, what I did, actually, was write out for each kid, week by week, what they needed to accomplish ad where they needed to be at. All lovely and theoretical and I spent about sixty dollars in printer ink on that failed effort. Did it help us? Not at all.

Meanwhile I sit here and type, in my pajamas at 8:39 in the morning. In my defense, my husband is hogging the bathroom right now because he does not know what an early morning looks like. And I have this routine...you see. I'm all about routines. My routine: I get up, make coffee, check e-mail, check facebook, tear myself away to pour the freshly brewed coffee, plunk myself back in front of the computer and keep on checking facebook. There are, after all, videos to watch that people post. (They are my friends. I must honor them.) There are comments to be left, etc. If I'm really lucky, I'll get pinged for some chatting with someone or other. That's important, too.

Meanwhile, my kids are getting themselves breakfast. This morning alone there has been one altercation, one major furniture move-around to locate lost glasses (had to take a quick computer break to deal with that), and a massive Costco sized cereal spill. Meanwhile I blog about it and the husband is not out of the shower yet.

So around 9 am I'll go take a shower, and then we'll do morning prayers and people will start their school work. Honestly. I think that three girls ought to be able to clean an 18'x18' room in fifteen minutues or so, don't you? As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Except at our house. It ought to go: Many hands compete for bandwidth and work does not get done efficiently at all, and when it does it's mostly by me.

So, instead of dealing with the currently messy reality, I like to fantasize about how much more organized I'll be next year. How I'll have a firm start date and stopping date, and how I won't take too many spur of the moment trips to the zoo and how I won't make all the major feast days AND holy week AND bright week school holidays. All in the name of getting school done by mid May.

Yeah, that's the ticket. I'll suddenly wake up and be completely different. And 40 pounds thinner. That's the dream, ain't it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

These won't help you lose weight but they might prevent you from gaining...

Well, my back is feeling quite a bit better today. In fact, I woke up at 3 am and had to use the bathroom, and I knew then that it was going to be a good day because I could walk there and didn't have to crawl.

I discovered that the house elves did not do as much laundry as I would have done, judging by the huge mound of dirty stuff there was to be tackled today, but who cares, right? Laundry can be squeezed in between things that are more fun. And my back is no longer horrid, so it's a good day. More fun....

Like developing a low carb chocolate chip cookie recipe (and we wonder WHY I'm not losing weight???? Ha ha ah.) which will at least save me from further snarfing of the normal chocolate chip cookies that my daughter made and GAINING weight. Also we took a trip to the library, I finished up my tea shop sewing, and promised to teach my youngest how to make meatloaf (Our typical Monday night dinner).

And now, my back is a bit sore, so I shall settle down with some lavender tea and two of those cookies I made.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening or coconut oil (hard/room temp)
1 and 1/2 cups any combination of calorie free sweeteners you like (that measures like sugar) I used 1/2 cup splenda and 1 cup Z-sweet.
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup coconut flour
sugar free chocolate chips.

To make the sugar free chocolate chips: 5 squares of unsweetened bakers chocolate, melt in double boiler. Add and couple of tablespoons of butter and artificial sweetener or calorie free natural sweetener of your choice to taste until it tastes like you want it it taste. I used purevia, which is an erythritol and stevia blend. Be careful not to burn this. Stir constantly. Lay a large piece of parchment paper on a plate and dollop the hot chocolate onto it, then take another piece of parchment paper and spread out the chocolate between the two layers. Freeze.

Put the frozen hardened chocolate through the food processor until it is in chocolate chip sized pieces.

The texture of these cookies is almost like shortbread. I'll have to try to make some coconut flour shortbread next week. After I buy more Z-sweet that is.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Queen Quasimodo

So, I was putting on my sneakers today to go to the gym for a workout. I was sitting on the floor to do this ordinary thing. Then I tried to stand up. And I could not. My back is out.

Sitting, since it angles my legs and hips forward, I could do. Kneeling even was OK, but as soon as I tried to stand up...I literally can't do it. The pain just doubles me right over. And I'm pretty tough.

I immediately had B annoint my back with some holy oil. I also had M give me a back rub.

My chiropractor is out of town until Tuesday.

So I either have to crawl to the bathroom, or walk bent double. Like Quasimodo. The kids laugh at me. Well, my son does.

So, B was helpful and fetched me rag, towel and ran some bath water. I crawled to the bathroom, crawled into the tub. Crawled out again. Somehow managed to dry off and get dressed in pj type clothes and crawled to the living room.

Then I ensconced myself in my best chair with my legs elevated and my back in a neutral position.

My kids did school work. My kids got their own lunches. (I did quasimodo [that's a verb because I said so] my way into the kitchen to make a grilled cheese sandwich at some point). My youngest made yet more cookies-as big as one's fist. I ate some. I figured it would be good for my back. I do need to teach her how to make smaller cookies, though.

I watched movies on netflix while kids skittered around doing schoolwork, and baking, and cleaning the kitchen and running the vacuum.

One realizes how dirty the floors are when one is forced to crawl. Eating dust. With Eric laughing at my lack of dignity.

That's OK, you know. I really don't need dignity today. I've had fun.

O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on this sinner. Help me to move better tomorrow. Or if not, he he, Thy will be done. Vacation, even of the chaircation variety, is nice-movies, cookies, and servants-who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movie Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief

Wes and I went and saw this movie at the second run theater last Sunday night on our weekly date night outing. I've not read the books, although I have a friend who enthusiastically endorses them, I think.

Initially I thought that it might be a fun film to take the kids to see, as a special treat. We are big fans of fantasy fiction stuff at our house and this seemed like it might fit the bill.

But not far into the movie I changed my mind. I won't be taking my kids (ages 16, 14, 11 and 10...yes, they might be old enough to "handle it") to see this film. I'll get to the "why" in a moment.

In summary, Percy Jackson is a high schooler who hates his step father and who finds out that his real father is Poseidon. Being a demi-god, he goes to demi-god camp/school (Hogwarts, anyone?) to learn how to fight, medieval style, and to generally do demi-god things. I suppose he is expected to become a hero although why these kids don't move their weaponry and heroics into the 21st century is a bit of a mystery.

Adventures ensue when Percy, his satyr protector/best friend and girl who is the daughter of Athena go on a quest to prove that Percy did not steal Zeus' lightening bolt (the ultimate god weapon) before the deadline imposed by Zeus to have it returned, lest war among the gods break out and the world gets destroyed in the crossfire.

They must visit Hades to try and convince him that Percy does not have the lightening bolt, but first the kids have to collect three pearls to enable them to leave Hades. A magical map reveals where these pearls are located, and a teenagers-driving-a-pickup-truck-cross-country-roadtrip ensues. I always wonder how these things are funded, because in real life roadtrips cost quite a bit of money. I guess they have demi-god credit cards or something. The movie does not make that clear.

First stop: An old garden center in upstate New York somewhere. with lots of stone statues that turns out to be Medusa's lair. Medusa alone is reason for me not to let my kids see this film, since I have a young one with snake hallucinations sometimes. I think that's when I was 100% clear that this film would not be making it's way into our Netflix line up.

Second stop: Parthenon in Nashville. I used to live there and jogged past central park daily when I was a teenager. There's a giant statue of Athena inside an accurate replica of the Parthenon. From a classical perspective, the building is a beauty. From a religious perspective...shudder. Of course, they battle creepy monster bad guy creatures that are in the form of security guards during the day.

Third stop: Las Vegas, Nevada. A Casino where the kids get distracted by eating lotus flower cookies, lose track of time, and gamble their lives away for about a week. When they wake up from their dream state, they have very little time to make it to Hades (which of course is located in Hollywood, California) to convince him of Percy's innocence so he can argue the case to Zeus.

Once in hell (and yes, it was creepy and hellish), Percy tries to convince his uncle that he does not have the lightening bolt, but in the process it is revealed that it is hidden in the handle of the shield a friend of his at demi-god camp gave him, and Hades tries to take it. Persephone steps in and helps the kids out, and also makes very obvious sexual overtures to the satyr fellow. Ick.

Long story short, just in the nick of time Percy walks into the council of the gods and gives the bolt back to Zeus, has a heart to heart with Poseidon (his dad) and all is right with the world.

Yay, rah.

Ok, that's the movie in a nutshell.

I'd call this Greek mythology based fantasy fiction. Perhaps it might get some kids interested in learning the classics.

But see, here's the thing we must not forget: There was a time in the the history of the world, when the Greek myths, were not "myths" but rather, living religions. With sacrifices, temple prostitutes, people reading the future in entrails of animals,demon possession, all sorts of things that are nasty and less than wonderful that the classical lines of architecture, beautiful statues and the exalted philosophies of Plato and Aristotle might make us forget.

And it was into this pagan environment that St. Paul brought the gospel of Jesus Christ when he went and preached about the Unknown God who made himself known (Acts 17).

Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Hades...these were gods who were actually worshiped by real people. These are the beautiful-yet-dark faces of demon worship that was supplanted by the worship of God.

I think it's important for Christian students to read the ancient Greek myths and be familiar with who these characters were. But at the same time, we must remember that these characters are not in the same category as Marvel Comic superheroes or made-up worlds. Rather, we must know them for what they were/are.

Christ is Risen from the Dead
Trampling down death by death
and upon those in the tomb bestowing life.

I remember one time, a few years ago when we were reading about the ancient Greeks, one of my kids asked: What about the Greeks now? Do they still worship these gods? (They were younger then).

And I was able to answer them: "No. Now they are Orthodox Chrisitans. Saint Paul preached the gospel there and many believed...a nation and culture was converted over time." The kids all cheered.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Suddenly They Grow Up

Today my youngest daughter made her fist solo batch of cookies. She's just a few months shy of eleven and her arms are long enough for oven reaching. She's never showed any interest in baking before, but today she came to me and asked if she could make oatmeal cookies. Sure. I don't mind.

So I lined up the ingredients, we found the recipe together and I answered a few questions for her. I gave her some tips on using the oven, but all in all, she made those cookies herself. I'm very proud. And they were yummy. And I got lots of sewing done while she made them.

My oldest has also come up with the most delicious stevia sweetened mint tea lemonade concoction EVER. Yum.

And she decided to make some coconut flour, erythritol sweetened chocolate cookies for us to eat. So very kind of her. I'll eat them tomorrow. Perhaps even for breakfast. But today, I feel like it's my motherly DUTY to go off my diet and eat some of those oatmeal cookies that A. made. ;-) They are, after all, her very first batch.

Unbefreakinlievably Tired Right Now

A full day of waking up with back pain, supervising school work, working in the kitchen, helping my 10 year old bake her fist batch of "solo" cookies ever, and taking Eric to the hospital to get X-Rays.

X-Rays, you ask? Yes, indeed. No emergency, just a chronic pain condition that his doctor wants to look into.

You see, yesterday I took the boy to the doc for a routine camp physical, since he's wanting to go to Boy Scout Camp this summer. All good, easy peasy, right? Wrong.

He tells the doctor about the fact that his legs hurt whenever he stands. (They really really do, and have for years and WHY did I not think to mention this to a doctor before???? Overwhelmed a wee bit by other things, me guesses. At any rate, it's prevented him from ever being an altar boy.)

So, the doctor ordered blood work and X rays and did not sign off on the camp physical form yet. So that's what I was doing getting my son some X-Rays at the Hospital this afternoon. I don't really expect they'll find anything. Weird sets of symptoms that are largely undiagnosable to modern medicine seem to run in our family. But if they do, it will be nice to know what's going on. And I hope it's not too terrible.

Meanwhile, I've also been working on some sewing...place mats this afternoon. And I started hemming cloth napkins. Going to have to do some seam ripping on the second one. I guess I got tired and the quality went way downhill. That's life.

I'd better get off here and go make spaghetti. Can you tell from my writing that I'm tired? Yah.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Thrift Store Score

Major, major "Mom Uniform" thrift store score: Four pairs of capri length (Ok, two of them are soon to be capri length as soon as they have a fatal meeting with my sewing machine) pants and two tops and a white cardigan.

Wooot!

And a couple of pairs of khakis for one of my kids.

A New Opportunity

A friend of mine opened a Tea Shop in Lexington a few weeks ago. I can't wait to drive over there and have some tea and check out the new business. I'm just so happy for her.

And...she wants to sell things like cloth napkins, aprons, tea cozies, place mats...you know...tea-time things made out of fabric.

And here I am, with a brand spankin' new sewing machine. So, guess who got a commission to do some sewing? Moi!

Sounds like I need to organize my time...seriously. I've already designed a unique fully reversible one-size-fits-all-teapots tea cozy and made my first three specimens. Trust me...I collect tea pots and I tried this out on a variety of pots and it works on all of them, thanks to the unique flower petal design. And yesterday I bought more coordinating fabric for reversible place-mats, cloth napkins and yet more fabrics for another reversible set.

So that etsy shop that I've been threatening to open but never actually getting done...I think it might be happening soon. Whatever doesn't sell at Cuppa will get sold on etsy.

I'm excited.

Now, I'd better go get organized and make it happen. And pre-wash that fabric.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Eeeeeew! AKA: Vile Smell of the Week

So, today is M's birthday. Happy birthday, dear one. 14! Wow. She really is a young lady. I could not be more proud and blessed.

Anyway, the birthday girl requested an outing: Perhaps a trip to the library and then down to the Riverfront Park?

That sounded lovely to all of us. So we had a lazy morning (no school work on birthdays!) and then after lunch we gathered our books, filled our water bottles and set off.

First the library...then onto I-65 to whip downtown to the park. It's a very busy interstate at mid-afternoon. And curvy.

We passed a truckload of pink pigs. Poor pigs. Comparisons were made to the chicken truck we passed once before. My kids know way too much about the food industry for their innocent ages. The pigs smelled like pigs. We drove behind the truck for a while.

Then it happened: E, who was riding shotgun, mentioned that he was getting carsick, (which was a consequence of reading a library book in the car!!!!)! Then it REALLY happened and vomit was flying about...mostly down the front of himself, thank goodness. My purse was sitting pretty close to the drama, but managed to escape unscathed, as did the library book he'd been reading.

There was absolutely nothing I could do but keep my eyes on the road and drive. So I drove.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate driving with windows open. All that wind. Yech. But since there's nothing worse than the smell of vomit, those windows came down, and instead of taking my exit, I just hopped right onto I-64 and we made a nice loop straight for home. (I do love the interstates in this town!)

As I pulled into our parking lot, giving intructions such as "Go straight to the shower, etc.", there is a problem: A, sitting just behind me in the back seat is not getting out of the vomitous van. No, instead she is ALSO puking her guts out. Double eeeeeeeew. Mingling smells of two types of vomit. Such fun. She, too, had been reading in the car. And we all know how the smell of vomit can trigger more vomit.

So the kids were shuffled inside, and I got to clean up the van with my peppermint fragranced enzyme cleaning spray and almost a whole big roll of paper towels.

I think I deserve a cup of decaf coffee and a slice of birthday cake now!

"Kids will be Kids!"

Why is it that the parents of bullies often have this attitude? I've heard it said more than once, coming from the mouth of the parents of bullies.

Lord of the Flies comes to mind. Perhaps kids WILL be kids, but its the parents job to civilize them, and teach them a better way.

Yesterday, I really blew it. Or maybe I did not blow it. Maybe I finally did what I should have been doing all along. Except I did it in the wrong way. Oh so wrong.

You see, my kids have been being bullied. Again. Still. They are bully magnets, which kids who are on the spectrum usually are. In this case, my younger two are the ones on the receiving end, although B has also been the recipient of some ugliness (she mostly manages to avoid it by staying away from kids in the neighborhood) and M is often confused by these same children being nice one minute and mean the next.

My kids are such easy targets. And they get upset easily.

Eric's been chased down my a kid on a bike on more than one occasion. Ariana has had her scooter forcibly ripped out of her hands and taken away from her on more than one occasion.

If my kids go outside with a ball or a toy, there's a good chance that that toy will be taken away from them and a game will be played of the "keep away" variety, in which my kids are subtly left out or left in the dust. All in the innocent name of fun and games, or course.

So yesterday it was sidewalk chalk. Ariana came inside crying. Such and so had stolen her sidewalk chalk. (later I found out that this girl was deliberately baiting A, and doing the little "shoulder push/gentle hitting" thing to egg her on, and taunting her once she started getting upset that she should just go on home. Control of the play ground.)

And after months of me trying to teach non-resistance, of turning the other cheek, of peacefulness, I lost it. Completely lost it.

I ran outside. I yelled at the kid in question. She started taking off in the opposite direction and I (I'm' such a grown up) chased after her. Yelling. And here comes her mother.

Two mama bears, facing off. With a smug and blinking nine year old in the middle. I yelled at the mom. I was so angry. I was yelling. She had to make me calm down. Eventually I did. So we had somewhat of a conversation about it. Of course, this was the first she'd ever heard of any sort of bullying.

But it won't be the last. From now on, I'm knocking on that woman's door every time her kids are nasty. She invited me to do just that. I doubt she really wants to know how often it's happening. Maybe it will put a stop to the bullying. Maybe it will be a "who is going to believe which kid" hopeless situation. She seemed to want to shove all the evil off onto her older daughter who was not there. Again, the nine year old was looking pretty smug. I always thought the younger one was at least as nasty as the older sister, if not slightly more so. Manipulative little liars.

I pointed out that my kids are on the autistic spectrum and were at a disadvantage in the "kids will be kids" arena.

And I feel really bad from more than one angle. 1. That I have not stuck my neck out to confront this situation a lot sooner. 2. That I do such a piss-poor job of it when I do finally confront the situation. 3. That I'm so afraid of people and of confrontations that I can't even effectively deal with a situation like this. and 4.) That I got so angry and yelled and really put myself at a disadvantage and made myself look like a loser and a fool (which titles I freely acknowledge that I fully deserve.)

How can I deal with this situation and help my kids to be safe? They want to move. I think I'm going to be reading a book on my back patio when the kids dare to venture forth outside a lot more often from now on. Oh God, help me!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Seth Jones "Landlocked"



Nashville is my "American Hometown". So obviously I'm very concerned. Love this song. Say a prayer for the folks in Tennessee.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Another Nightgown

Lemon Bars


These are MM friendly. I suppose the lemon juice in them has a few carbos, but everything else is phase 1 friendly.

I hunted online and found a coconut flour pie crust recipe which basically was:

mix coconut flakes (unsweetened of course) with coconut flour and shortening, a wee bit of stevia...and make a crust.

Quantities? Good question. I doubled the recipe to come up with something that would go in a 9x13 because I fully expect my kids to help me eat these...

Here's a link for the crust recipe that I doubled. I had to fudge on the amount of flaked coconut and just use what I had.

I pressed it into my 9x13 pyrex pan and baked it at 325 for 10 minutes. 8 would have been enough. Coconut browns rapidly.

And the lemon bar filling? Good ol' Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, adapted of course:

4 eggs (yaaay, a way to use my mass of eggs! Why, why, why did I tell the farmer we could eat 3 dozen per week?????)
6 Tablespoons of lemon juice
Rind of one lemon, peeled and shredded
1 T. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cups of Z sweet (erythritol) and about 10 packs of stevia...I hope it's sweet enough, I forgot to lick the spoon!)

Pour over crust and back into oven for 15 minutes.

And I just pulled them out and they smell good and look...eggy. I am going to let them cool before tasting, so that I get the full effect. I'll let you know if they are any good. He he he. Premature to blog it, perhaps?

And of course there must be my photograph disclaimer. There they sit, cooling. I could have waited and cut them up and put them on a pretty plate with a doily and a pretty background, but that seems like a bother today, you know?

P.S. The crust needs a bit more sweetness to counterbalance the coconut flour flavor and I should have tripled or quadrupled the filling. It's a very thin layer of filling over the bars.