Friday, August 20, 2010

Just Shake it Off

...the marriage blues, that is.

Try something totally out of the blue, and way out of character with your spouse, today. Try to break the monotony. Find a way to connect on a level that you may not have connected on in years. Ideas:

  • start a pillow fight
  • big kiss in the kitchen for no reason
  • splash fight at the sink
  • climb in the shower with them
  • have a staring contest
  • write them a note on the bathroom mirror
  • scavenger hunt
Something. Do Something. Even if you don't feel like it...even if you're hurt. Make something happen that doesn't normally happen. Stop thinking about the list of things to do. Stop wondering whether or not you should have planted the tree, and get to the business of growing roots...cultivate it. Water it. Take care of it. The tough stuff will always be in the simplicity. Stop trying to figure everything out...just BE with them, today. Thank them for giving you children...or being by your side when you adopted. Say the words..."you're important to me, and I'm on your team." Leave it at that. Nothing else. Do whatever it takes to have a laughing moment with them. Without fun...marriage is just a list of things to do. The choice is YOURS. Don't agree that this will always be the way it is...change it.

Brandon, thank you that when I need to find myself, I never picture doing that without you. Thank you for encouraging and challenging me to do that, every day. Thank you for giving me the room and the support. Thank you for being by my side when we adopted, and while we raise our son. You're important to me...and, I'm on your side. I love you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Incredible Edible Egg?

{photo credit: mother earth news}, I'm sure, by now, you've all heard about the recall of 228 million eggs! Well, if you needed another reason to begin to buy locally, from people you meet in person, whose farm you can go and've got it. When you have a large scale salmonella outbreak like this, it's easy to speculate that a) they've known about it for a while, and are just now getting around to the recall, and b) they are finding more efficient ways of getting the salmonella into our livestock. In order for there to be salmonella in's not an environmental issue in the egg is the CHICKEN! The chicken is, in fact, contaminated with salmonella, and then passing it out through the egg. Awesome. Does that make you feel any better about buying some pretty boneless, skinless chicken breasts from your nearest grocer? Never mind that they can't stand up under the weight of the, they are dying as a result of it, as well. We caught on to the cows...I guess they figured they should start on the chickens. Frankly, I'm beginning to wonder if the government is actually subsidizing salmonella and E. corn and soy are just code for "death and disease." But, what do I know? I'm no scientist...I'm no Big Food Industry bureaucrat...I haven't passed my opinions across the desk of anyone at the FDA. I suppose that means I don't know what I'm talking about....

If you'd like to form your own should read here.

Update: As I stated above...they DID know. There were several cases back in June and July. Oh! and by the way...the count is now up to 380 million! I think I'll be heading to my nearest farm, today:)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Real Food Wednesday: A Heart Song

Real Food Wednesday has taken a hit. It's very disappointing, really. In order to do these posts, successfully, I have to actually DO something during the week, that will allow me to write a post. It's hard to write a weekly post on real food, when I'm just throwing a sandwich together and brewing coffee every day. While I am actually spending my day moving us toward our goals, that doesn't mean I am spending much time on food. I hate that.

School starts on the 30th...about 13 days from now. All my classes are cooking the online English Comp class I have to take. I'm sure I won't be hitting the kitchen right off the bat...but, I'm thrilled to be moving forward on it. I was trying to explain to someone the other day what my love of food...especially real about. It's hard to explain. While I do love to eat...the thing that brings tears to my eyes isn't about eating. It's about people. It's about history. It's about a common thread. It's about an art. It's about culture. It's about communing with our Earth. It's about painting with God's brushes. It's about nourishing more than just's about nourishing souls.

I love that God gave us the practical means to create beauty. He gave us all the nutrients, the vitamins, the minerals, the proteins, etc. But, just for our pleasure...He packaged it in the most vibrant colors, textures, flavors, smells...sounds, even. That's why I scoff every time someone says "food is just fuel." If that were true, why wouldn't we just have a pile of goo on our plate, like they eat on The Matrix? While I agree with the allegory of The Matrix, I take exception to the idea that to be enlightened to the tricks played on your life every day, means that one would live in the land of industrial gray and a pile of uninspiring gruel. It's so puzzling. Food is a multi-sensory experience...a concert of God's bounty.

I think that's why I see processed food as such an abomination. To feed your family and yourself solely on the pre-packaged notion of food that's readily available is like putting Ansel Adams to work at Olan Mills, Martin Scorsese in charge of pushing the slide button, putting Monet to applying stickers all over poster board...or Frank Lloyd Wright to setting up a tent. It is to short change the very essence of what makes us, and keeps us, human.

It's no doubt that there is a movement swelling, here. It's no doubt that I am determined to be a part of it. I feel a strong sense of duty to bring as many of you with me, as I can. However, more than anything, I can't wait to have a kitchen full of friends, a big harvest weekend celebration, a warm gathering to feast on the fruits of our labors. I can't wait to help a hurting loved one heal, and create a place where a connection to those who went before, is as palpable as the modern music playing on the iPod. I want to be in a proverbial montage of women standing over a pot of food, and adding flavor until their heart says..."they'll love that." I want to weave the backdrop for the moments when my grandchildren walk into cafe, somewhere in the world, on their travels, and are automatically transported to a moment...when they remember just how I looked when I helped them embrace a beautiful aspect of themselves, or realize something about life and understanding. I want to create the kind of reference that connects life today, to a point in the past...the kind of reference that helps bring about the realization of purpose...even years after the fact. I want the generations that come from me, to hear my voice speaking of their immense worth, as they sit over a bowl of soup, or pass by a beautiful vegetable garden. I want to create a place where people know they can go...and get fed...body and soul....I want to feed people.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seeing Him

I had a very profound experience with Jax, today. We were sitting on the couch, watching a program about how to prevent and survive different life-threatening scenarios. At that moment, there was a particular story about a man who ignited into flame, at a gas station, when he was filling up a gas can, and didn't follow the proper protocol to avoid static electricity. I don't shield my son from things that are ugly (as long as they aren't inappropriate), I just make sure to give him the truth about it, explaining to him how things can happen, and if I know to avoid them. Well, during this segment, he was very quiet. I was telling Brandon about my very specific behaviors at the gas station, to avoid such situations, as most of the people who become fatalities of gas station static/vapor fires are women...because they reenter their cars more often during fueling.

{as women, we keep our credit cards in our purse, so we usually reenter the vehicle to put it back. DON'T DO THAT! Always just keep your card in your pocket, or if you aren't comfortable, make sure that you touch the metal part of your car, before heading back to the gas nozzle.}

A few minutes passed, and heard a little sniffle. I look down at Jaxen, sitting in the crook of my arm, and he says, in a teary voice, "Mom, I don't want you to do that." {chin quivering} I assured him that I am very safe when I pump gas, and that I always make sure and do the things I need to do, to make sure a fire doesn't happen. A couple of tears fell down his cheeks, as he says to me..."I want you AYIVE, mom!" (We're still working on the "L" sound:) He buried his face in my side, and I realized that there are some anxieties that he carries that he doesn't always share. In the past few months, he has experienced the passing of his grandpa, and his baby cousin, Evan. While he never knew either of them very intimately, he was still affected. It created questions in him.

He is at the age, that several details of his personality are beginning to emerge. When he is a little hurt...he'll make a little show of it, publicly. But, if he is really in pain, or really feeling badly, he hides from me. A couple of times, it's only been because I am like a hawk that I have even realized that he had been injured, because he just doesn't want to advertise it. I'll find him quietly suffering in another room, because for some reason, he doesn't want to say anything to me. I find it very strange, because we have never had a situation where he wasn't allowed to express anything...except for disrespect.

I'm taking all of these little instances to heart...because, I'm starting to realize that where he is very much an extrovert, there are specific things that he doesn't readily share...and, I will need to keep an eye out for his moments of reflection...always ready to read between his lines. I guess it shouldn't surprise me all that much...because, for a child that doesn't house his father's biology...he's a chip off the old block, sometimes. I certainly have never been covert with my emotions.

I am often taken aback by his beautiful depths. I am awed by his perceptions, by his understanding. I can't wait to hear the things he has to tell me. I can't wait to see the things he has to show me...often times about myself. What do we do, we parents, to be honored in the ways that we are with these excruciatingly amazing little people? Is anyone else as awed by their existence as I am? It blows my mind that this little person was just learning to roll over 3 1/2 years ago, and today, he's telling me, in his own words, of my value to him, and regaling me with tales of his conquering dinosaurs and showing me the royalty that lives deep in his spirit. I can't explain how grateful I am that I get to witness his life.... kind of makes me feel Ayive.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Me Mondays: Setting My Jaw

Okay...I have a new strategy for getting my blog done. My hope is to be able to write a post for every day...because for the past week and a half, I have been very sad. I've been neglecting what has become a huge part of my life, and I'm just not willing to let it go. I'm very, very happy doing this...I've put an enormous amount of energy into getting it to the small level that it is, and I simply refuse to stop, just because I'm working full time right now. Anyway - hopefully, this new strategy will work, and I will be able to fit blogging into the grind...or rather, as a respite from the grind. I know there will be a day, when I can make money doing this...I just know it.

That brings me to an interesting point. I think I may have turned a corner. I have started and stopped, tried and failed at several different things in my life...all my life. I actually think I lack the thought that I can do anything I set my mind, I never actually set my mind to anything challenging. Well, when I started running 3 weeks ago...I got invested very quickly. I also got injured very quickly. It's very upsetting....I was on such a roll...being very faithful to do it every time I was scheduled, making great headway in a short time, and loving how efficiently my cardiovascular system was dominating my breathing...instead of the other way around. But, now.... My. leg. HURTS!! I tried over and again this past week to get back into the swing of things...however, I wasn't able. The pain is traveling from the outside of my knee to the inside...from back to front. Today, I was walking around Target, and the pain shot down the front of my shin. Here's the thing, though...I'm STILL not willing to give this up! That's weird for me. Usually, I'm secretly lying in wait for a reason to quit something that is hard for me. But, this time, I'm REALLY trying to find a reason to get back to the run. I am doing the elipse machine, and I'm going to do water this week...but, I keep looking at the treadmill, and feeling like something is beating me. The new twist is...I have this...BRING. IT. ON. feeling. I will find a way to get this thing back in order, and still find a way to do the things that I want to do. I'll get this knee healed up, because I am not going to let anything stand in my way, this time. I'm ready to fight...

This is my Everest. I, in no way, feel like I've got this in the bag...but, I DO feel like if I don't face the giant may be the last time I back down. That pisses me off. I'm NOT going down this easy. Quitting can just bite me...

...because this time....I'll just bite back.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Me Mondays: The Reinvention Strategy...Stage 2

Well, BOO! I'm pretty upset at how things are playing out, right now...with my blogging taking a real hit, as a result of working full time. We need to get a place, we need to get started on the next stage of our, I know what I'm doing is actually moving us forward. However, I have to tell really feels like I've gone backward. You know that holding pattern feeling?...I am actually moving us closer to our goal...yet, I'm not spending the hours of my day on the things that the goal entails. Does that make any sense? I mean...I'm sewing...not cooking. I'm cutting out cheerleading uniforms, instead of writing my blog...I'm not doing what I feel passionately about, yet I have to know that it's a means to an end. So...all that to say: it sucks, right now...because, I want to do nothing but think about food, and promote it to others, and go to farmer's markets, and go look for land...but, yet...I sew. I love my mom...and, I'm really thankful for the convenience of being able to make a paycheck...I just don't enjoy the sewing. Ok! Enough about that. Really I just intended to tell you all why I hadn't been very faithful with my writing.

So...onward and upward.

I've been RUNNING!!! What?! Yeah...that's right...running! This big girl is now officially a runner...and, I have to's not too shabby;) Part of the reason I didn't write much last week, was that I was exhausted. I could barely walk for most of the week...but, I'm bound and determined to get this, I kept running. I didn't get to run on Saturday...but, my run this morning was AWESOME! One of the major issues for me and running, has been the inability to, you know...BREATHE! I can hold my own on the legs...and I can deal with the joints and so forth...but, I loathe and despise sucking wind for all I'm worth. All last week, I worked on the rhythmic breathing pattern, but I could barely keep it together. I was really just hyperventilating in time:) But, this morning was a whole different story! It may seem trivial to someone else, who is not carrying around an extra 130 pounds...but, I was able to do my entire running cycle, this morning, and NOT ONCE did my breathing get the better of me! I got really tight in my calves...but, I stayed on top of the breathing! I was even able to control the speed of the rhythm! Yeah...I know...but, it's the small victories strung together, day to day, that will have me crossing the finish line of the Austin Marathon in February...hand in hand with Heather!! So...I celebrate!

Now...this week I'm going to concentrate on the eating. I have to be careful...because, I have to make sure that I'm not under-fueling for the runs. So, this week, I'm going to work on doing the small meals very consistently...maybe with a larger breakfast right after my run. I experienced a couple of major crashes within an hour or two of running, last week...and, that was NOT, my goal is to find something that serves a dual purpose for my body...both keeping me running, but also helping me to drop pounds.

Anyway - I didn't weigh and measure again, this morning...but, I can tell you with almost certainty that I didn't lose anything, yet. My appetite was huge last week, and I had a lot of trouble, my focus wasn't so great...but, I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to allow my body to work into a more athletic mindset! It's amazing how quickly the body will begin to reverse itself, and get in step! I love the healing power!!

So...stats next week?

Happy Monday, All:)


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