Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Family

This link, My Family , goes to an album of pictures of my family.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Celebrate Fall? YES!

I really hadn't noticed before now, but this year I became aware that I wasn't celebrating Fall anymore, or any season for that matter. Partly because we live in West Texas and in West Texas we have one season, Hot, dotted with cold now and then, sprinkled with a little rain once in a blue moon. But mostly because 15 years ago I lost all reason to celebrate. Twelve years ago I got all reasons back but we've been so consumed with getting everything else back that seasons have not been a priority. That was until Amy Green introduced me to:Now I'm thinking about it and noticing the Fall flowers, pumpkins and gourds, corn stalks and scarecrows, enjoying the somewhat cooler temperatures, shorter days and I'm looking at the trees but so far... nada, no change. They'll change maybe by Thanksgiving.

Amy's Simply Sugar and Gluten Free has been a springboard for me. Not only has she stimulated my thinking about seasons and celebrating she has enlightened me with her 8-part series, Finding Balance with Food. Her recipes and the many links she recommends has filled my notebook with recipes to try, now that I realized it is gluten and sugar that make me sick, and so far all of her recipes that I have tried have worked for me. Not only do they work, they are delicious and a lot of fun to create. My husband is incorporating vegetables and is agreeable to trying the gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, almost vegan meals I have been preparing. He loved her Pantry Tomato Soup.

Amy and several of her blog friends are hosting Fall Festival 2009 . Their celebrating and enthusiasm is contagious. Fall always was my favorite season. So far this year I have cooked apples with cinnamon, and made pumpkin bars, all gluten-free-sugar-free-dairy-free. Thank you Amy for being a part of my living normal life again. You are a Blessing!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've Met Someone


I've met someone. Not just anyone, but a very special young woman from Ohio who now calls Dallas her home. I say young because she is, she's a year older than my Amy so that makes me old enough to be her mother. I haven't actually met her per se but I am getting to know her through her blog. I found her blog from a post she left on another food blog. I've searched many many blogs over the past 3 months in my quest to eat right to keep my body from getting sick but Amy Green's Simply Sugar and Gluten Free is the one I keep coming back to and refer to several times a day. Something about it just keeps bringing me back.

It is true that her recipes are everything she says they are and more. It is true she amazes me with her energy, her creativity, her insight and her wisdom. She is wise way beyond her years regarding the relationship between our body, our mind, our emotions and our food. What keeps bringing me back, is her kindness, her humbleness and most of all her gratitude.

She has a very insightful 8 part series on Finding Balance with Food which I hope will be a book someday. Every single recipe of hers that I have tried has been over the top, way more than I expected considering they are sugar-free, gluten-free. Even my meat-and-potatoes, (preferably fried), -Oreo-cookie-Lays-potato-chip husband says they are good, really good and he's joining me in healthier eating. Thank you Amy for all you are doing and "You Go Girl!"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Born Syndrome

I've always felt so responsible for everyone. Maybe because I'm a first born, I don't know, but I've always felt I should fix, and provide and take care of and prevent, and determine outcomes.
I had a revelation this week however that saddens me but also brings me freedom. I realized that no matter what I know from knowledge or experience, no matter what makes sense and is right, no matter what I believe, I can not change someone else or make another person believe what I believe is right, and than some things are just unexplainable.

No matter how much I prayed, studied, talked to nutritionists and naturalpaths, resisted, and cried I could not change the fact that my dad suffered with a brain tumor and died after a year of agony for himself and the family.

No matter how much Mike prayed and talked and tried to convince his mother, aunt, sister and niece to not agree to radiate his mother's lung so we could take her to a clinic in Houston for a very successful treatment for lung cancer, she died 10 days after the diagnosis. She was scared and signed to radiate her lung. The radiation blew out her heart where she had had a graft 13 years previous.

Not even two years had passed since my mother-in-law's unexpected death and Mike was getting better with the grief, it was a terrible thing this grief, and his daughter, the love of his life, called out of the blue and said she was divorcing her husband and basically separating the two little boys. Mike couldn't stop it, no amount of prayer, counsel, anger, warning, etc. It'd be different if the husband deserved it and it was justified. She just wanted to live her own life, her way. It was a terrible time of anguish for him and for us. We did everything we could do and then we just stood there aching.

No amount of help on my part could keep my precious Amy from experiencing anxiety-panic attacks when she was transitioning from full-time career to full time homemaker and mom.

The clincher, the part when I gave up and realized I really have no control, came for me this past Wednesday when Mike and I went to his New Patient Appointment at the VA Health Center. The doctor called with the results of his blood work and I panicked and felt I was going to be a widow any second. I plunged full speed into "let's fix this" mode and decided that we should go immediately on the Hallelujah Diet, the testimonies are phenomenal and I believe it would cure anything, and along with that start walking 20 minutes daily. He did fine until he got hungry then he said he wasn't going to do it. I said I was going to increase the life insurance. Then I cried. Then I relinquished control and felt a tremendous peace.

We are changing our diet a little daily and it's better on both of us and we'll be all right. I care and want to help and fix my loved ones hurts but there's only so much I can actually control and even that is not a guarantee. That realization brings peace.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Journey With Food

I grew up in the sixties. My mother was and still is a very good cook, she could make something out of nothing and a lot of times that's exactly what she had to work with. She cooked Standard American Diet meals and used canned and processed food. We had lots of white sugar, white flour, white bread, white rice, noodles, macaroni, and milk. The only thing I can remember making from scratch is cookies and the only fresh vegetable I can remember is iceberg lettuce and tomatoes and carrot sticks but I didn't really like them, I couldn't see the point of eating raw and crunchy when you could eat cooked and mushy. As children we had colds, sinus infections, ear aches, bronchitis and stomach aches.

I got married when I was 19 in the mid-seventies and repeated the only thing I knew; lots of sugar, white flour, white rice, canned and processed, etc., I was a good cook too (if you think that is good). I could follow a recipe as well as the next person. There were always fresh homemade cookies in the cookie jar, more often than not chocolate chip.

In the eighties there was a movement for healthier eating, also I was raising my children so wanting to do the very best for them I became as health conscious as possible at the time. I followed the basic four food groups, and used whole wheat flour, honey, minimal or no salt and carob, I can still hear my kids, "Oh Mom, not carob!" Poor dears. I tried to use less canned and processed food and made everything from scratch. I still had frequent colds, sinus infections, bronchitis and stomach aches. I was in an oppressive dysfunctional marriage and by the mid-eighties was suffering depression. Sugar, and chocolate became my friend, comfort, motivation and reward.

I left the marriage in 1995 desperate to get myself and my then teenage children out of an unhealthy situation. I was totally broken and beat down. I moved back into my parents home and partook of my mother's wonderful familar cooking. My parents took care of me and through their nuturing love and support I began to live life again.

The Lord brought a wonderful man into my life, we married and I felt as if I were 19 again. I did notice before we were married that he did not eat vegetables and salad. After we were married and I tried to cook and prepare meals I quickly learned that he only liked hamburgers and meat and potatoes preferably fried. I tried to cook for him but I couldn't cook that way. I knew enough to know that a diet like that was detrimental to ones health. We have eaten in restaurants for the biggest part of 12 years. Either hamburgers or Mexican.

By the late 1990's I was sick! Candida, parasites, food allergies, seasonal allergies, inflammation, I had all the symptoms,systemic. One morning I woke up and I felt extremely terrible and I said to my wonderful husband, "I think food makes me sick." That was the turning point.

We've studied and been to Naturepath's and taken lots of food supplements and done cleanses, etc. All of it has been a necessary stepping stone. The hardest thing to change however has been our diet. I can change drastically for as long as it takes to get feeling better than gradually I have a little sugar here and then a little sugar there and on and on. My blog friend Amy Green at
Simply Sugar and Gluten Free has a series about finding balance with food and the emotional attachment that we have to and with food. Her blog, recipes and the many links she introduces have given me a life changing direction toward food and eating. My wonderful meat and potatoes only husband is joining me and we are slowly but surely this time changing to food that builds, repairs, restores and nourishes our bodies. I for the first time, actually feel good and I haven't had a sinus infection in who knows how long, at least several months. That's progress! I'm thankful and I'm blessed!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We Took a Trip

Well, we did it! We took a trip, not just any trip, but a vacation and it was wonderful! We were gone 8 days, traveled 1000 miles one way to Memphis and Nashville, Tennesse, than 1000 miles home. We toured Graceland, saw a Broadway Musical, went on a dinner country music cruise, sat on the front row at the Grand Ole' Opry, spent the night at Gayord Opryland Resort, and The Peabody and Union Station Hotels, shopped at Opry Mills and Whole Foods Market and had lunch at Pei Wei, my favorite restaurant. These are just the highlights of a fabulous trip.

A year ago, I decided that this year on our anniversary we would take a trip, do something special - since we'd never done that, not even a honeymoon. We've just been so caught up in working and living and taking care of everyone else that we've never taken the time or spent the money. So last year I started saving and a couple of months ago I started planning. Now we've gone and come home again.

We found out a couple of things about ourselves, (which we already knew but it's nice to confirm) first we found out that we get along incredibly well. Mike allows me to walk in my gifting and I hope I allow him to walk in his. Second we confirmed that we like, I mean really like nice hotel rooms, I mean really nice like 5-Star. And for this trip they were worth it. We also confirmed that I am directionally challenged.

There were countless special moments but there were two that cinched the entire week for me. The first one was on our anniversary, we stayed at The Peabody in Memphis and after dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse the valet knocked on the door and said he had a delivery for Mike Gillett. He brought in a dozen very beautiful red, white and yellow roses which I had ordered the week before we left. The brief expression on Mike's face was worth the entire trip and all the effort. It was a soft expression of a tremendous depth of love and of being touched by the kindness of another. I really can't explain it. But it was a very special moment for both of us. The other was when Mike bought me a chocolate chocolate chip muffin and a bottle of water at 10 o'clock at night when I was searching for chocolate cake and we couldn't find any. I felt so cared for when he stepped up to the counter and ordered, "A chocolate chocolate chip muffin and a bottle of water." Two relatively small instances amongst eight days of one special happening after another but they are two priceless moments which captured something much deeper and significant.

I am so thankful we could do this. With Mike's work schedule it may be our one and only trip, but I hope not. We just don't know what our future holds but we know Who holds our future. We are so very blessed.

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