27Jun/13

Wrappin’ it Up!

Last Day of school and I don’t even pretend to have the KIDS give gifts to their teachers.  How often does a kids say… ” MOM!  I HAVE to get Ms Awesome a MUG!!!”  Maybe it’s just that I have boys but their expressions of gratitude are a tad different.  Still.  This year the teachers have been wonderful with my boys.  SO… Off to the creative space I went.

 

Now, I don’t normally post my creative stuff to this Blog.  I am a Virgo and we like to keep things organised and separated so I usually post anything artsy to (now retired) CovetedCutz.com .  Meh.  Maybe it’s time to let it go and just share in one spot.  We will see how I feel about this one!   So…  No Pressure but here are the finished results of my creative endeavors yesterday.

Gift for Teacher 1 Gift for Teacher

19Jun/13

Growing Pains

” Limited access to the video games?  That is a great idea, Mom.  Thank you for setting realistic and healthy boundaries for me to learn from.” Said no kid ever!  Sighs.   Still one can dream.  I do hate this feeling of being the bad cop and very selfishly want to be the Cool and Awesome Mom.

That isn’t my job.  My job is not to be their friend or their peer. My job is to raise them with respects for authority, themselves and others. My job is to help them to learn healthy forms of communicating and learning.  My job is to help them understand the balance of responsibilities and recreation.  No where in there is the qualifier of ” make them like me”.  Crappy hey?

I was a challenge growing up ( here is where my mother gets to burst into laughter at the understatement!)  My parents sucked,  the rules were unfair and I resented having to tidy my room.  My forms of communicating this included the pre- emo glower pacing around the house with slammed doors and gale-force sighs, clipped words muttered and snapped with dripping sarcasm, and the creaking sound of my bedroom window heralding my departure from my sentenced confinement.  Ya.  Typical but not healthy. I didn’t talk much but I sure communicated my feelings about my parents choking limitations very loudly.  (Keeping in mind… those choking limitations were things like 11pm curfews, no alcohol at the party, and no boys in your room… and I was 15.)  I was challenging…

So in parallel MAN have I got it easy (so far!)  85% of the time my 16 year old is a hardworking, concerned and caring mothers-boy who expresses gratitude, frustrations and feelings in a maturity that many adults never reach.  Its the 10% of the time where he is his Mother’s son…  oih.  I struggle between wanting to argue in my own defense and wanting to choke him for real.  Then, for 5% of the time, my heart breaks with guilt of my own as he beats himself up for his teenage nature.

This growing up ( for both him and I ) sucks .

17Jun/13
Hubby profiled at sunset

The Door Closed…

The door closed behind hubby this morning and I didn’t quite know what to do. It felt so like every other morning with one exception… the tears that poured down his face. My brave rock, my solid Taurin Bull cried as he closed the door and got into the car. I haven’t cried yet… until just now.

Today hubby headed ahead of us to start his job in Calgary. The boys and I will remain here, 10 hours away, for another year. There will be holidays and vacations together (as we can plan them) between now Ans then but… well.. its going to be an adventure. Day one of the adventure included dealing with toy guns and halo games being snuck out by the 12 year old, the eight year old bending all the rules he can, the exchange student struggling with the awareness of his own impending departure, and a missing 16 year old( my bad… I forgot I said he could go to the Movies tonight). I figured out how to turn on the furnace fan, started my first card in my deck I want to design and well…  fed them supper.  It might have been McDonald… but that IS technically food.

Don’t judge! Survival first! Lol

01Jun/13

Glogged. And More Glogging to Come!

So the blog has echoed the sounds of crickets of late.  I have many writings saved as drafts but none of them inspired me to click POST.  Spring has moved into summer and the lilacs are in full flower.  (LOVE that smell!).  There is green grass in the sun and I am denying the whispers of snow still up in the hills. (Ok,  aware of how Hick that made me sound.  Oih!)  The spring breezes stir my Gypsy Spirit and have kept me driven through the period of rebirth.  Planting the seeds of hope.

The Gypsy Spirit also stirs in me, though, my desire to run.  I mean, I really want to GO.

HELL No not literally!  I only RUN run if something bigger than me is chasing me.( ok, or maybe smaller like a snake! Though that is more a ‘running on the spot until everything is stompled flat! ) Run Run as in GO, DO, Explore, Find New!  I have many old quotes from long-gone-boyfriends and meaner-wells that see my Gypsy as less than ideal personality trait.  ” If you don’t have a crisis you will create one.”, ” You always make mountains out of molehills.”  and so on.  Here is where I go on into a personal monologue ( duh.  It’s a blog!) about me.   Let’s skip ahead and summarize.

I love the chaos of change!

I don’t see problems as Disasters!  I see them as an opportunity.  I sink my teeth into solution mode ( after I have my knee jerk reaction of OH MY GAWD!!! We are all going to die!) and love the creative process of pulling order from the chaos.  People look in from the outside and just see chaos… I see POTENTIAL.  ( are you noticing the number of capital letters and exclamation marks in this post?  Demonstrates my passion indeed!)  I see a massive hole left by a front end loader not as a scar in the lawn but as the foundation for a new water feature!  I see the flooded basement NOT as an infuriating learning curve on winterizing exterior water taps but as a great opportunity to get the flooring I LOVE and purge those unpacked boxes that we obviously didn’t need.   I roll up my sleeves and see what new creation can be drawn out of the rubble of some dynamic wreckage.

So when you see a quiet blog do not think that I am dead.  You may want to check the local news reports for forces of nature and mass destruction, though. Then watch for updates of my elbow deep labors of grand proportions.  Ok.  Grand to me but HEY!  It’s my blog! LOL

 

PS – Glogged is a word!  Is Too!  I just created it.  SURE you could call it a typo but I like it and, again, IT’s My Blog!

 

31May/13

Sinful!

SO I did it last night.  I KNOW!  It was so awkward at first.  I mean I used to do it a lot when I was a teen and 20-something but it has been decades!  Great.  Now I dated myself.  Damn.  Guess it helps to punctuate the significance of me finally doing it again at this point.  Surrounded by kids all the time and the huge list of house chores that always seems to call my name and snag my attention away like an unbalanced cheque book, it is understandable that it is easier to just grab the TV remote at the end of the day and flomp back into the couch nest and drool until dragging myself to bed beside the snoring King of the Keep.  Totally understandable!  ( Hey, that is what I tell myself so leave my self-justification alone!  It gets me through the days!)   Last night I decided to listen to that quote I love so much.

Be the Change you Want to See in the World!

I turned off the remote.  I ignored the ” too tired”, ” too hard”, and ” too much effort to initiate” and just did it.  Climbed my backside out of the corner nest of my favorite brown couch and stretched out across the cushions, turned on the side lamp and, biting my bottom lip, I reached out a shaky sinful hand.  I knew it was a sure thing but I still felt unsure about the whole plan.  An hour later I chuckled at myself and wondered why I had waited so long!  I took my warm and tired self to bed with a peaceful mind and happy heart.

I have missed reading before bed! ( you dirty bird!!! What did you think I was doing?!  AND you thought I would write about it publicly?!  Good heavens! I’m not that kinda of girl – in public!)   I have a stack of books sitting here on my coffee table yet I so seldom take the time to read.  They are my stack of “Some Days” and ” good intentions”.  I think it’s time to change that illicit affair into a committed relationship.  ( There.  Joined you in that thought process! LOL)

Hello my beloved books.  I have missed you!

26Mar/13

Spring Cleaning & Carrot Muffins

Easter is coming up on us very quickly.  It is an inspiring time of the year.  The warm rays of sun point out the dust bunnies under the corner coffee tables and, perhaps, under the recipe books that we MEANT to try out.  The RAW ones, the Low GI ones, and the ones with the oober healthy muffins that we hid behind the cute cupcakes one.  ( Insert guilt here!)

So this year we returned down to the coast for a green family Easter.  Being here with extended family inspires me to step up my game in the food arena.  Right off the bat my Aunt pulls out a recipe book that I keep meaning to look into.  The Wheat Belly Bakery.    She pulls aside Dman and he agrees to take a risk and try out a recipe.  Carrot Muffins that have a net Carb of 4grams per muffin. THAT is oober low.  How did he do?  SUCCESS was in the fact that the muffins didn’t last the day.

 

Carrot Muffins
Recipe Type: Wheat Free, Low GI
Cuisine: Breads and Muffins
Author: Dianne @ Wheatfreefamily.com
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 12
Kid Friendly, moist and rich alternative with a wonderful nutty crunch.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 C Almond Meal/flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons orange peel
  • 1/2 cup raisin (optional)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup xylitol or 1/4 teaspoons liquid stevia or to desired sweetness
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, extra-light olive oil, or butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350’f.  Place paper liners in a 12 cup muffin pan or grease the cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal/flour, pecans, flax seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.  Stir in the carrots, orange peel, and raising ( if using).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, xylitol or stevia, sour cream or coconut milk, oil or butter, and apple sauce.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the eaten whites into the egg yolk mixture until combined.  Fold egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each about half full.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and cool completely on the rack.
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 248 Fat: 22 g Saturated fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 9 g Sodium: 255 mg Protein: 6 g
27Feb/13

Return on Investment verse Cost Outlay

I have written about Being Scarlet and have skirted around the details of which extensive foods we have had to add to our Wheat Free Family list of allergens. I hate using the word Allergens because it triggers people’s attempts to debunk you.  The social perception is that ONLY items that cause hives, rashes, or anaphylactic shock are true allergies.

A true food allergy causes the body’s immune system to attack the proteins in a particular food, releasing chemicals (histamines) that cause symptoms like hives, gastrointestinal or respiratory distress. Symptoms, whether mild or severe, occur quickly: within a few minutes to two hours of eating. In the most severe cases, they progress to anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal condition in which the allergic reaction overtakes the entire body.

Cheryl Sternman Rule“How to Eat Around Allergies,”September/October 2007

So, courtesy of the bloodwork done by our Doctor, both my youngest and myself now have a list of foods and their respective numbers indicating the body’s immune system reactions to them.   No, thankfully, none of them trigger such an extreme reaction as anaphylactic shock, yet there are clear digestive track responses in my youngest and clear digestive and respiratory reactions within myself.  Damn.  Makes it hard to ignore them and pretend that I can eat things like Whipped Shortbread with real butter.

sugarsYet, all food plans, menus, eating styles or terminology you wish to apply to how one eats, is a balancing act of Cost verse Return of Investment.  If not eating a specific item causes hours of daily preps and struggles but only increases your health by a barely noticeable amount, then the Return on Investment is low.  If your health increased dramatically that Return is high and motivates you to continue.  While the ROI for my son was SO worth it, the ROI for myself was not.  Removing all dairy, soy, nuts, beef, onions, peppers and a myriad of other foods made my days FILLED with the full time-plus job of food prep yet did not give me the healthy life that would have empowered me to continue.

Sugars the Secret

Almost 2 years ago I went sugar free.  I mean SUGAR CARB free.  Low GI, no potatoes or corn free.  In 3 months I had dropped my Fibromyalgia pain down to a manageable 4/10, my headaches had lifted to only a handful a month and I had shed 42 pounds which gave me back my energy and brain power.   It was a huge time investment that paid back in returns that made every moment worth it.

So I have made the Cost verse Return assessment on the Blood work Verse Sugar battle and have decided to get the sugars under control first.  THEN revisit the blood work.

Now the challenge of getting back on the wagon and the 10 days of detoxing those nasty sugar bugs out of my system.  Anyone know of an empty cottage in the back woods so I can protect my family from the monster I am about to become?  :)

31Jan/13

Chocolate Lunch Box Treats

My grandmother used to make me Puffed Wheat Squares.  Little bits of fluff bound together with gooey chocolate taffy wrapped in plastic wrap until I was ready for it.   The removal of wheat from the diet kinda removed the key ingredient in that favored treat.    A few quick switches and VOILA!  The tradition is now in MY sons’ lunch boxes with their glee!

Chocolate Puffed Rice Squares

Recipe Type: Gluten Free, Kids Food
Cuisine: American
Author: Dianne @ Wheatfreefamily.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 16
Chocolate Puffed Rice Squares
Ingredients
  • 8 cups puffed wheat cereal
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
Instructions
  1. Place puffed wheat in a large bowl, and set aside. Grease one 9×9 inch pan.
  2. Grease the rim of a medium saucepan to prevent boil-over. Place the cocoa powder, corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter or margarine in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until mixture comes to a full boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute, and then remove from heat.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over puffed wheat, and stir until puffed wheat is evenly coated. Using a buttered spatula, press mixture into the prepared pan. Allow to cool, then cut as desired.
  4. Wrap squares individually, or store in an airtight container.

 

30Jan/13

HERBED CAUTION!

Ilemon grass love fresh herbs in all I cook.  Winter hits and I am looking for ways to have those fresh tastes through the frozen days.  Herbs in a tube I thought were a great idea… until hubby checked the ingredients in my tube in the fridge.  MAN!!!!  Surprise!  Dairy and wheat!   Seriously?  WTF!

I had Italian blend and the lemon grass in my fridge.  Not any more   SAD FACE!