Tag Archives: the plan

The Plan: Month Two, Week Six

Six weeks into the new year already. Almost impossible to believe, isn’t it?

I’m finding myself super excited lately. I feel a creative energy that I haven’t in a long time. I don’t know if it’s the inspiration I’ve found writing this blog, or maybe just feeling healthier without gluten. Maybe it’s knowing that in six more weeks I’ll be in Vermont at my Goddard residency. Maybe a combination of everything.

I’m itching for Big Change, and having to settle for little, intimate changes. When I can let myself take a breath and examine the little changes, they are just as exciting as throwing backpacks and a tent in the car and moving to Seattle this weekend might be.

I want a Farmer’s Market. But I’m learning that even a rural, local grocery store has possibilities for ethical eating.

I want to own a small farm. But I’m learning that working the kinks out where we are will make where we end up that much sweeter.

I  want to work from home. But I’m learning that things happen in their own time.

Here is my progress toward monthly goals this week:

  • Self-care (Bake one batch of perfect Gluten-free cookies.) I still haven’t ordered flours. I keep hoping there will be some way for me to get them without paying shipping. I tried making corn tortillas with masa today. Um…I think I need to keep practicing. And to buy a tortilla press.
  • Frugality (Don’t waste any food for the month of February.) We still haven’t had to throw any food away. I’m really, really loving taking my wooden bowl to the cold storage every morning and picking through the food there, pulling out what we’ll need for a day or two. Checking my apples for soft spots, my potatoes for eyes.
  • Simplicity (Figure out three stressors in my life, and three ways to minimize them.) Still haven’t done this.
  • Sustainability (Buy higher-quality, ethically-sound meat and eat less of it. Also, continue to participate in the One Small Change challenge. This month’s change is to use natural, homemade cleaners.) I didn’t buy any meat at all this week. I’m really looking forward to whenever we can get to the grocery store out of town so we can buy some ethical meat. I’m thinking it might be in April when I come home from residency, and Kevin has to pick me up from the airport.
  • Life-long learning (Make a project out of the fantastic book I have to review for you (I’m such a tease!) and review the book.) I’ve been a sewing maniac. I went to the local thrift store today and got this god awful light double knit dress. It was really not good, except that the fabric (white with little grass green pinstripe and polka dot) was fun and very springy. So I cut the thing in half, and suddenly had a cute top to put in my Etsy store, and a sweet little A-line skirt for myself. I’m so proud of myself!
  • Joy  (To earn enough from freelance writing to pay my $250 fee to Goddard that’s due on Valentine’s Day and to pay for my plane ticket to Vermont for my residency in April.) I made $150 this week. My dad is going to buy my plane ticket, which takes a huge load off. I’m such a lucky girl. (We’ll pay him back when I get my financial aide check at the end of the residency.) We did a lot of thinking and talking and planning with regard to financial freedom this week.
  • Forgiveness (To practice thought-stopping techinques (visualization especially) when I find myself getting in a loop of anger over something I should have forgiven.) Still just working on separating myself from the problems at my job. I’m a good counselor. If people 250 miles away need someone to pick on, that’s their issue not mine.
  • Housekeeping (Complete my February challenges!) Still working on it. We’re planning a clean-a-palooza tomorrow and Sunday ’cause our landlord will be here Monday morning.
  • Career (Write for pleasure two hours a week.) Looking forward to another writing session on Sunday.
  • Spirituality (I’m going to look for an online UU community.) I still haven’t done this. What is making me resist it?
  • Relationships (Write a letter to mail to each of my brothers and sisters during this month.) Spoke to a couple of my brothers, still working on the addresses.
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    The Plan: Month Two, Week Five

    (Don’t forget to check my itty bitty giveaway…)

    I am the world’s worst housekeeper. I really am. And somehow I got myself married to a man who likes to clean, so he’s a total enabler.

    It isn’t actually that I won’t clean. It’s that I have a really high tolerance for disorder and chaos. I’m the oldest (by a lot) of nine kids. I have six…yes SIX…little brothers, five of whom are from ten to thirteen years younger than me. It was either gain a tolerance for chaos or lose my mind, right? (Interestingly, the library that resides in my bathroom is the one real strong remainder from my growing up years. The bathroom was literally the only place where I could be alone for a few minutes. So I read there. Curled up in the bathtub a lot of the time.)

    My progress toward my housekeeping theme this month has been subtle, but I think significant. I’ve made an effort to do the dishes every night. We don’t have a dishwasher, and Kevin will wash them if I don’t (without complaining much. His OCD streak actually makes him think they’re cleaner if he does them himself.) And really, since we both work and I do all the cooking, I think him doing the dishes is fair. But I’ve still made an effort. They aren’t always all done, but at least they aren’t piled to the faucet.

    Because my small change for February is to make my own cleaning supplies, I’ve been busy since yesterday getting that done. Or trying to. One part of it is turning into a Lucy-and-Ethyl type fiasco. I’ll post about it tomorrow. But in the name of testing things out, every flat surface in my kitchen is shimmering and shiny clean right now. And I’ve done three loads of laundry.

    I’m loving how The Plan is evolving for me. I’ve been reading Cold Antler Farm lately. And I’m seeing how each part of my plan can move me closer to what I want. How spending a morning, like I did today, making marmalade out of carrots that I rescued by grating and freezing when they started to wilt, is as much a part of my plan as anything else. I’m not sure what I expected when I first came up with the idea for The Plan. Maybe just a way to organize my thoughts and goals. But it’s becoming something more to me. It’s taking shape and molding to fit my life, and I love it.

    If I see my little farm in front of me, not abstract but something concrete and a finite distance away, then every step I take from here to there is a step closer. Every wash cloth I crochet to put in my Etsy store when I get it open again, every researched recipe for goats milk soap or thrifted vintage dress, it all brings me closer. It brings my whole family closer. And giving up gluten, so that I actually have the energy to take care of the goats when I get them, is important. Decluttering my house is important. And it all moves us forward.

    And you know what the sugar on my cake is? The comments from you guys. Or seeing on my site tracking page that someone has come to my blog and read through a bunch of my posts. That makes me so happy that I sometimes actually dance (which does illicit comment from the peanut gallery, but that’s okay. I like to dance!) I have a tendency to isolate myself, to not let people outside my family get close to me. Thank you for not letting me feel alone.

    Here is the progress I made on my mini-goals this week:

  • Self-care (Bake one batch of perfect Gluten-free cookies.) I need to order flours, because we decided not to go to Vegas. I haven’t baked cookies. But I did put the rest of the flour I did have into pre-made bread and pizza dough packets so that all I have to do is add wet ingredients and yeast and I’m good to go. I made some bread today.
  • Frugality (Don’t waste any food for the month of February.) I’ve done well with this. The key for us is to try to avoid a lot of left overs, and to not forget what produce I have in the  fridge.
  • Simplicity (Figure out three stressors in my life, and three ways to minimize them.) I think I’m avoiding this goal, because my main stressor, by far is my work and I’m not ready to face that yet.
  • Sustainability (Buy higher-quality, ethically-sound meat and eat less of it. Also, continue to participate in the One Small Change challenge. This month’s change is to use natural, homemade cleaners.) I’ve done real well here. I have avoided buying the meats that give me the skeeves. The only meat I’ve bought this week is polish sausage from Falls Brand, which is a nearly-local independent farmer that ensures me that their products, while not organic, are also not disgusting. Before I would have paid $3 or so for one of those one-pound packages of polish sausage that has two big links in it. This was a 24-ounce package of eight smaller sausages (smoked) for $7. The frugalista in me tried to rebel. But in the end, the sausages tasted really good. And I was way more mindful of how much I put in my recipe. So we’ll get two meals out of that package.
  • Life-long learning (Make a project out of the fantastic book I have to review for you (I’m such a tease!) and review the book.) Yay! This is already done. And I’ve donated a set of the little bag-recycler bags to Hip Mountain Mama to use as a prize for the small change challenge. I have at least one more sewing project up my sleeve for February. Stay tuned.
  • Joy  (To earn enough from freelance writing to pay my $250 fee to Goddard that’s due on Valentine’s Day and to pay for my plane ticket to Vermont for my residency in April.) Slowing plugging along here. I plan on doing some writing this weekend.
  • Forgiveness (To practice thought-stopping techinques (visualization especially) when I find myself getting in a loop of anger over something I should have forgiven.) I’ve really tried to do a mind-over-matter techniques this week when I felt my job starting to overwhelm me. I’m really struggling with some things that happened at my job at the end of December that have to be forgiven or they will make me crazy.
  • Housekeeping (Complete my February challenges!) Working on it.
  • Career (Write for pleasure two hours a week.) I am really looking forward to doing this on Sunday. In fact, I’ve decided that Sunday mornings are my write for pleasure mornings.
  • Spirituality (I’m going to look for an online UU community.) I still haven’t done this. What is making me resist it?
  • Relationships (Write a letter to mail to each of my brothers and sisters during this month.) I need to start collecting up all their addresses (yes, it’s very sad that I don’t already have them!)
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    The Plan: Month Two

    After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that February’s theme is going to be Housekeeping.

    One major reason for this choice is that it will make Kevin happy, which will make him receptive to some other changes I want to make. (I’m so sneaky!)

    But more than that, I’m feeling better. I have more energy than I’ve had in a long time. That makes me want to do something, but since it’s 5 degrees and snowy outside for much of February, it needs to be something indoors. What better indoor activity than housekeeping? (Shush!)

    Over the weekend I got a good start on decluttering our living room. It got me thinking about how to break down the housekeeping thing. Because ‘declutter my whole house’ isn’t something that is happening in February. I need bigger-than-mini goals, but not so big that I give up. So I came up with four projects for February.

    1. Food storage. We have food stored in two kitchens and two laundry rooms and two pantries, plus two fridges and a chest freezer. I want to organize it all, and get a written log. This would include any storage of non-food items. I’m kind of excited to take pictures of this for you guys.

    2. Craft closet. Ruby’s bedroom closet, with the exception of her clothes hanging on the pole, has become a craft closet of sorts. Only problem is it’s a big jumble. I’ve been known to buy a new crochet hook or seam ripper rather than trying to find the one I already own.

    3. Clothes.  Between me and Adrienne there is an over abundance of clothing in our house. The laundry issue is insane. Ruby’s previously mentioned closet is full of clothes that don’t even fit her anymore. Kevin is holding on to shirts that fit him 20 years ago on the off chance that they will again. Someone somewhere can use this stuff. The plan is to get it to them.

    4. Books. I admit to being an addict. I love books. I adore books. I can’t imagine my life without them. A house without books actually makes me feel a little sad. But there comes a point where too much is just too much. When the bookselves are threatening collapse, I’d say we’ve reached that point. (Even my bathroom looks like a library!) It’s time to cull the stocks. Which means going through, seeing what I can sell, what I can donate, and what I want to hold on to. There are even boxes of books in storage. I’m going to see if I can pursuade my husband to bring them home for me to go through. My commitment though is to go through the books at home.

    Those four projects should keep me nice and busy for the month of February, don’t you think?

    Here are my February mini-goals:

  • Self-care
  • Bake one batch of perfect Gluten-free cookies.

  • Frugality
  • Don’t waste any food for the month of February.

  • Simplicity
  • I didn’t complete last month’s mini-goal, so I’m carrying it over. I really need to do this. Figure out three stressors in my life, and three ways to minimize them.

  • Sustainability
  • Buy higher-quality, ethically-sound meat and eat less of it. Also, continue to participate in the One Small Change challenge. This month’s change is to use natural, homemade cleaners.

  • Life-long learning
  • Make a project out of the fantastic book I have to review for you (I’m such a tease!) and review the book.

  • Joy
  • To earn enough from freelance writing to pay my $250 fee to Goddard that’s due on Valentine’s Day and to pay for my plane ticket to Vermont for my residency in April.

  • Forgiveness
  • To practice thought-stopping techinques (visualization especially) when I find myself getting in a loop of anger over something I should have forgiven.

  • Housekeeping 
  • Complete my February challenges!

  • Career 
  • Write for pleasure two hours a week.

  • Spirituality
  • I didn’t complete this goal last month, so I’m bringing it forward. I’m going to look for an online UU community.

  • Relationships 
  • Write a letter to mail to each of my brothers and sisters during this month.

    So there you have it. The February Plan.

    What about you? What are your plans for February?

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    The Plan: Month One, Week Four

    January, as I’m sure you know without me telling you, is wrapping up. My focus for the month was self-care.

    I spent most of them month feeling like something that got hit by a truck and then dragged a round the neighborhood for a while. Face first. Detoxing from gluten and having the sinus infection from hell at the same time made for an interesting month to say the least.

    I’m feeling much much better. I still have a little bit of sinus pressure happening, but it’s so much less that it’s hardly worth mentioning. Let’s just say I’ve never been so grateful for a runny nose in my whole life.

    I’m not sure, but I have a feeling that the gluten detox had something to do with the sinus infection. I doubt it caused it, because Adrienne and Kevin both had them. But mine was about 1000 times worse, and I believe that was due to my body trying to push the bad stuff through a compromised system.

    Anyway.

    I had all these lofty self-care month thoughts in December. I was going to explore herbal cures and plan a medicinal herb garden. I was going to start exercising–not to lose weight, but just to get the blood flowing. I was going to do a lot of things.

    Turned out that all I had the energy for was getting better.

    It turned out that food played a huge part in my self-care month. I feel like I’ve made really good strides toward being gluten-free for good. I’ve learned that it’s not about giving things up, but about exploring food in a different way. I haven’t felt deprived this month. In the past, when I tried to go gluten-free I resented every minute of it.

    I’ve decided that I hate the term gluten-free. It just sounds like deprivation. Like sugar-free, it sounds like the food should have gluten in it, but because you’re a poor sap who can’t have it, here’s second best. I don’t know what it should be called, since I actually need to know that a food doesn’t have gluten in it. But something that reflects that gluten-free isn’t lacking something. It’s just different. In a delicious way.

    I also feel like I did a lot of work this month toward breaking my dieting mindset. I haven’t weighed myself all month. I have been very aware, however, of all of the media input that tells me that I should be trying to lose weight. Nearly every commercial break has at least one weight-loss-related ad, magazines are filled with the message, even the anti-dieting book I read had a subtle message that the goal of not dieting is to have a ‘sexy body.’ Being aware of the blitz of information telling me constantly that I’m not ok the way that I am has been eye-opening.

    When did I give a bunch of people I don’t even know the power to tell me what I should look like?

    Oh right. When I was eight.

    Because I wasn’t feeling well, there are some mini-goals that I haven’t completed. I have this weekend, and I’m going to do what I can. But the beauty of The Plan is that it’s low stress. No pressure.

    • Frugality: Make a master grocery list and start a price book.

    I still haven’t done this. I plan to work on it this weekend.

    • Simplicity: List three time and energy drains, and three ways to improve each.

    I have a posting planned for tomorrow regarding this goal.

    • Sustainability: Use $10 of each week’s grocery budget on stock-up foods.

    I met this goal in spades. I’m coming out of my skin waiting for Sharon to post her next Independence Days. I might have to just move on without her!

    • Life-long learning: Have Kevin help me make a duct tape dress form.

    I was far too ill most of the month to stand with my arms out for a couple of hours so Kevin could tape me up. I’m hoping to get this done this weekend. If not, this goal will just move to February.

    • Joy: Earn $100 per week from freelance writing.

    I’m a little behind, but plan to get caught up this weekend. I need to earn enough to give Goddard College $250 by the 14th.

    • Forgiveness: Write work problems out in a letter that may or may not be sent to my boss.

    Done.

    • Housekeeping: Declutter living room and front porch.

    Not even started. Another one for the weekend.

    • Career: Finish read-through on Devil You Don’t and send to publisher.

    Nope. Not even close. I’m just going to have to chalk this one up to my goals being bigger than my free time.

    • Spirituality: Find a UU forum.

    I am committed to doing this on Sunday.

    • Relationships: Call Carol.

    Done.

    I’ll be posting a January final post on Sunday, and then a post on Monday with February’s theme and mini-goals.

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    The Plan: Month One, Week Three

    I’m still not feeling 100 percent. But I am feeling considerably better than I was last Friday. Yay for antibiotics!

    I’ve wondered if part of the whole feeling like a truck ran over me thing was withdrawal. The holidays around here start the end of October, on my birthday (the 28th.) I’d been doing fairly well on being Gluten-free until then. But for some reason, I decided that I’d eat what I wanted until New Years and go Gluten-free again then.

    Yeah.

    So three months of birthday cake (mine in October, Nick, Ruby, and Kevin in December), homemade stuffing, who-knows-how-many kinds of cookies, sandwiches for lunch, rolls for dinner, and toast for breakfast, and I don’t even know whatelse later, I was pretty sick.

    It makes sense that getting all that crap–not just the gluten, but the sugar and preservatives, too–out of my system would have an impact. I don’t think it’s far fetched to wonder if that didn’t cause the sinus-infection from hell.

    But here’s the good news. And I mean really, really good news!

    I. Have. Energy!

    Yes.

    Just yes.

    I’ve been going to bed early, because I’m sick. But waking up in the morning rested. That’s so huge for me. Refreshed is a good good thing. For most of the past five years I’ve been walking around in a fog of exhaustion that was never lifted. Until I went gluten-free.

    The bags under my eyes are gone, my hair has pretty-much stopped falling out, and my legs, feet, and hands aren’t bloated. I still have some tummy problems, but they’re greatly reduced. It can take up to six months for my intestines to fully heal. So three-weeks in, I’m happy with not feeling nausious after every meal.

    It wasn’t until today that I started to feel healthy enough to do much more than work and do the basics to take care of my family. So I haven’t made a whole lot of progress on my other January goals. I have done some thinking though, and I’ve decided to revise a couple of goals.

     January’s Goals:

  • Frugality: Make a master grocery list and start a price book.
  • I’ve been saving my grocery fliers, but I’m floundering a bit here. I only have one local grocery store. Some foods, like GF flours, I’ll be getting online. And maybe once every couple of months I get out of town and can go to other stores. On top of that, I’ve decided that absolute frugality can’t be my only goal. So I’m rethinking my plan. A Master grocery list is still a good idea. And maybe some guidelines, like no produce over $2 a pound, no meat over $3 a pound, etc. Hmm…needs more thought.

  • Simplicity: List three time and energy drains, and three ways to improve each.
  • Look for a post on this in the next week. 

  • Sustainability: Use $10 of each week’s grocery budget on stock-up foods.
  • Doing real well on this goal. Our store is having a mini case-lot sale this week, so I’ll be stocking up even more.  

  • Life-long learning: Have Kevin help me make a duct tape dress form. 
  • Kevin has four days off this week, and I feel healthy enough to stand up for an hour or two without fainting–duct tape double, here we come!

  • Joy: Earn $100 per week from freelance writing.
  • This one has really suffered. I’ve earned some. But I’ve just not had the energy to be very creative.  

  • Forgiveness: Write work problems out in a letter that may or may not be sent to my boss. 
  • I did this. I even emailed it to my boss. She didn’t respond. This week I emailed her a friendly note asking her if she would just let me know she’s receiving my emails. No response again. She’s either ignoring me, or not getting my emails.

  • Housekeeping: Declutter living room and front porch.
  • Again, Kevin has four days off this week. We’re getting this done. 

  • Career: Finish read-through on Devil You Don’t and send to publisher.
  • Nope. Not even close. Stupid tonsillitis. 

  • Spirituality: Find a UU forum. 
  • I haven’t looked for one yet, but I plan to this weekend.

  • Relationships: Call Carol.
  • I tried, but she wasn’t home. I’ll try again this week.

    The big goal I think I’m going to revise is the $100 per week grocery-budget that is my Frugality goal. It isn’t exactly that I think I need to spend way more than that. It’s that I don’t want to make my major food focus be eating as cheap as possible. Food is what is healing me. I want to eat well. I know I can do this frugally. But I don’t want to feel guilty spending a little extra on trying something new, or on buying food that is more ecologically than economically sound.

    So here’s my revised Frugality goal: To shop in season, as locally as possible (food from the Western US is my goal), and to not waste any food. $100 a week is a good guideline, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I go over because I want some goat cheese or free-range eggs.

    In the upcoming week I plan on reviewing two books: Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts and Fed Up! Free Yourself From the Diet Trap by Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt. I also have a box of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix that I will review for you. (How self-sacrificing of me, eh?)

    I’m thinking on some ways to involve other people in The Plan. In using it themselves. I’m really loving it so far. I have a natural tendancy to go overboard. To make plans with 100s of steps and rules and guidelines. And then to quit after about ten minutes when it all gets too complicated. The Plan is proving to be flexible and simple.

    Right now I have a loaf of Annalise Robert’s GF sandwich bread in my oven. I’m having a BLT for lunch. Yes. Even with a sinus infection and a stressful job, life is good.

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    The Plan: Start Where You Are

    When I’m working with my clients, this is the advice I give them. If they never listen to another word I say, I hope they get this deep down.

    Start where you are.

    It makes no sense to start anywhere else.

    But isn’t so easy to jump ahead? To pine for sometime in the future, or morn some time past? Isn’t is simple to look at someone else and try to start where they are?

    But you can’t. You just can’t. Where ever you are, you’re at the starting block.

    And so I have to start where I am when it comes to The Plan. Where I am clearly isn’t where I want to be, or there would be no need for The Plan in the first place, right? Just like if my clients already knew how to just not respond to depression/joy/boredom/excitement by getting wasted, I would be out of a job.

    So where am I?

    No matter how badly I want to move to Seattle in six months, I’m at the point of having to really accept that isn’t where I am. It isn’t where my family is.

    Adrienne will be a senior next year. She could stay here with her dad and finish that year. But the truth is I’m not willing to give up my last year with her. She doesn’t want to stay with her dad either. But she also doesn’t want to go to Seattle for senior year, no matter how much I talk it up.

    If we leave in six months, we can have some money saved up. But if we wait another year, we can go ready to buy a house. We can also be out of debt except for student loans. And prop up our credit some.

    In 18 months I’ll be on the last legs of my Bachelor’s degree. I can work on my MFA either at Goddard with a residency in Port Townsend, or at a local university.

     In 18 months I will have almost four years experience as a counselor. I run the whole drug court treatment program here, something that is really unheard of for an intern and that I wouldn’t have been able to do in a bigger city. It’s good experience, no matter how crazy the job tends to make me. Kevin will have almost 4 years experience as a pit boss–again experience it would have been hard to get in a bigger city.

    Patience isn’t my strong suit. Once I decide I want something, I have a tendancy to want it now. Luckily for me patience is Kevin’s specialty. He has a way of supporting my crazy scheme’s without letting me go off the deep end.

    This is where I am.

    Now how am I going to take advantage of it?

    • Work on getting out of debt in the next 18 months
    • Save as much as possible
    • Work on making it possible to live in our new place as a writer
    • Research. Research. Research.
    • Visit different places
    • Get healthy (ie gluten-free, eating disorder free, etc.)

    This is what The Plan is for.

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    The Plan: Month One, Week Two

    Isn’t funny how sometimes things just don’t turn out the way you expect them to?

    Who knew I would spend at least the first half of my Self-Care month feeling like crap?

    I’m going to the doctor today. I think I have an ear infection. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m totally deaf in my left ear. And my whole head feels heavy and … I don’t know … full. I think it’s my sinuses. I wonder if this is a result of detoxing from gluten. All the ick trying to exit got stuck? I have no idea. I just know that I feel worn down, which is how I feel if I have an infection.

    There has been good this week, though.

    Despite the weird ear/infection/sinus thing, my sleep has been more  restful. My energy has lasted longer in the day, too. I’ve been going to bed earlier, mostly because I don’t feel good. But when I was eating gluten my bed time had nothing to do with how rested I felt in the morning. I could sleep 12 hours and wake up miserably tired.

    My hair is not falling out as much. Everyone loses some hair everyday, but when I’m eating gluten mine falls out in fistfuls. Every month or so Kevin sticks this zipper thing down the shower drain and pulls up gobs and gobs of my hair that I wasn’t able to capture before it went down. The last couple hair washings, the amount of hair lost was dramatically less. I think it’s still a little more than normal, so there is some progress yet to be made, but very noticably less. My hair also feels less dry.

    Bloating is drastically reduced. For my whole life I honestly believed that having a hard belly that started right under my boobs was just how I was built. The first time I went gluten-free, and that hardness up high went away, and my stomach was soft instead of swollen, and didn’t start so high up, was a total shock. This week that belly bloating went away.

    Okay here is a funny/sad story that’s embarassing, but I think it’s important for those of us who have gluten intolerance to share the real symptoms, even the embarassing ones, so that others can see themselves in our funny/sad stories. 

    Adrienne knew Kevin way before I did, because he was her best friend’s dad’s best friend (whew). Apparently, at some point, my sweet girl made the announcement that her mommy farts in her sleep. Nice, eh? But the truth is that was was the truth. And it has been my whole life. I can remember being a little girl and afraid I wouldn’t ever be able to get married, because there was no way EVER I would fart in front of my husband, and the need to get rid of excess gas wasn’t optional.

    I know now that my poor stomach couldn’t handle the Shredded Wheat, peanut-butter sandwiches, and spaghetti my mom was feeding it. And that I continued to feed it until I was 37 years old.

    This week’s reduction of bloating is a real blessing for the man I did marry, and have been farting in bed with for seven years.

     I also have had a massive reduction in edema this week. My legs and feet, when I was eating gluten, would swell up until they didn’t look like they belonged to me anymore. I’ve always had some swelling, but after I had Ruby it reached alarming proportions. It was the swelling going away completely that convinced me that I really am gluten intolerance. There is still a little swelling, but it’s noticeably reduced. My face is less bloated too, and I can see a reduction in the bags under my eyes.

    Despite feeling like my head is stuffed with cotton, and having an awful ringing in my left ear nearly constantly since Monday, the brain fog is lifting. I haven’t lost a word all week. (Since having Ruby, I have had this weird thing where I can’t think of a word. A black hole is where that word should be in my brain. It’s scary, and I’m glad to see it go.)

    I haven’t cheated at all in two weeks, although I have a feeling that I’ve accidently glutened myself at least once. I did better this week than last with being very cautious about what I ate.

    I have three books by Annalise Roberts to review for you this week. I’m super super excited about sharing these books with you. She has flour mix recipes that I want to try, but I’m having trouble A. finding the flours locally and B. finding an online source where the shipping isn’t more expensive then the already pricey flours themselves.

    I’m also really looking forward to grocery shopping this week. After reading Shauna James Ahern’s Gluten-Girl book, I’m just feeling really energized about looking at food a different way when I’m shopping for it.

    I think that the coming week is the week when I finally get the big bonus from going gluten-free. I get to feel really really good.

    Progress on other goals:

    • I’ve started my price book. I have several weeks worth of grocery ads collected, and I’ve begun to glean information from them.
    • The stocking up with at least $10 a week plan is on track, and even ahead of the train.
    • I’m behind on making $100 a week freelance writing, but I plan to make it up over the next two weekends.
    • There is no way my career goal is going to be met this month. None at all. When I made that goal, I didn’t realize what a toll working full-time again was going to take on me. I’m working this weekend to get caught up on some work things, that should reduce my stress (through the roof right now) and free up more of my time, so my hope is that next week I can at least get started on preparing Devil You Don’t to go back to the publisher.

    How are you doing on your New Year’s goals, two weeks in?

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