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Choosing My Stride

5 Jul

I had thoughts of writing a post about where I stand in the gluten-free diet regimen; the migraines, and how my junk science is panning out.  In fact, in the past week, I have concluded almost daily to write a new post with regard to the dietary subject–to no avail.  Yet, I ask myself (and you as well), how can I write a post on what now seems a frivolous subject when I have had heavier pressing matters before me?  I mean really, it doesn’t make sense to take to the black keys and formulate an anecdotal strategy for myself and share it with all of you when I have the effects of domestic violence present in my immediate path along with the continued health trauma of my son.

No, the glutton of the gluten must be cast aside.

My son?  Well, we meet with a specialist tomorrow who will hopefully initiate the diagnostic process to put him on his way to a better quality of life, within his newly disabled quality he is presently entertaining.  More to come on that as it pans out.

The domestic violence scenario?  A sad, and unfortunately, not so unfamiliar tale.  There are many a woman who have endured the tumult brought forth from the psychological and physical effects of brutalization within the home.  Not to mention the children who bear witness to, as well as endure, the cycle.    From my observation, if a woman (and offspring) can get out of the situation early on, she (and them) have a much greater chance of breaking the pattern and developing a healthy relational perspective.  The longer the lady is in the bloody mess, the deeper the damage–to all parties–and passing the sickness onto the heirs becomes more probable than had the violent interaction been eradicated within the formative years of the relationship.  And believe me, verbal bullying equates to violence; so let it be written that verbal and physical abuse share similar platforms of destruction.  I have been witness to this truth and will not back down on the statement.

So how can I come to my blog with tidbits about wheat when I have just left the office of a high profile criminal attorney who was referred to me through a connection from my friend, Tanya Brown (younger sister of Nicole Simpson)?  I mean who cares about grains when a childhood friend, and her children, have been subject to such despicable acts of violence that now, in despair, are requiring legal representation due to false allegations from their perpetrator.  …a story Tanya and the Brown family know too well and again, unfortunately, so does the criminal “justice” system.  To answer the questions (rhetorical though they may be), I can’t.  I can’t talk about my dietary functions or dysfunctions when there are these types of subjects crossing my path.

And because this circumstance is not new to my life, I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the organization, Human Options (as you can see on my home page).  Human Options does a very good job of taking the women (and children) into their safe house, protecting them, educating them, nurturing their bodies and souls, and advocating for healthy change within each life that steps over their threshold.  Their success statistics are compelling–90% of their “clients” never return to a violent situation.  Within the world of altruistic organizations, theirs is a statistic worthy of praise.  In other words, they are doing something right.  And yet the hardest task is getting the adult victim to risk a better life by giving up the comfort of brutality.  Make no mistake, the perversity of the previous sentence was intended because it showcases the “skewed perspective” which ensues the cycle of violence within the home.

My friend’s husband came from a home where his childhood was riddled with severity, or cruelty.  He knows only one way; his inheritance is being passed on.   If only she would have taken the risk for life sooner…if only.  Yet even for her, it is not too late, though I worry for her stability.  She has drunk the poison for so long now that the sickness has infiltrated her mind and her judgement is marred.  Her idealism is now her foe, and she needs help.  Though her circle of support is dwindling down to those of us who stand behind our vow of friendship, support she does have.  We are few, but we are mighty!

So here is where I ask, “Am I choosing my stride, or is it choosing me?!”  To answer, I think I will go and eat a gluten enriched bagel, an onion flavored one fresh from Western Bagel in Los Angeles (thanks Aunt Susie).  And in the meantime, please take a few moments to watch the attached video.  Let’s not let another “if only” slip on by.

The Sourdough Loaf

6 Jun

Since I have declared myself to be living a gluten-free life, I have craved (almost daily) a slice of sourdough toast.  Oh to have the crunchy texture of the bread dripping with butter, smothered with a slice of white, cheddar cheese, and crowned with a cool, crisp arrangement of sliced bread-n-butter pickles on top…  The thought of this particular concoction has been calling to me.  And while I’m sure there are sourdough recipes out there for the glutenless, I cannot fathom that the texture resembles the San Francisco style treat to which my memory calls.  Even to have an elongated slice from an SF round, with only butter, is a treat in and of itself; add in honey from a local hive and Utopia is found–(not that I’m so interested in such a place, but the commonality of the phrase is a useful idiom within the context here).

Sourdough bread is such a favorite of mine that when I was in need of a new toaster, I took careful pains to ensure I only purchased a unit whose slice holders were long enough to support my particular love affair–the long slender slice of a crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside–loaf.  Thankfully Cuisinart provided the match to my specifications.

My Toaster

Why talk sourdough?  Truly it is not the bread I am interested in discussing in this moment.  It is the longing.  The longing for something I have decided is off limits.  Now under normal circumstances, or let’s just say within groups where topics of discussion are probable, my desire for buttered toast and my self denial of it would incite the scoffer to aim his or her malice my way.  Understandably.  It is not as if I suffer a physical or psychological addiction to the favored munchie.  No, I am getting along just fine without it, though I smell and touch the loaves as I pass by them in the aisle of the supermarket.  I even pause to contemplate purchasing the two large, sliced loaves sold in Costco…but I keep walking, leaving them for another customer to consume.  But honestly I have to say, that having the desire for something that is ‘forbidden’ for whatever the reason, just plain stinks.  To make matters worse, tonight for dinner I made an old recipe from Bisquick called, “Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie”.  It is a favorite dish of my son and husband.  But tonight instead of using the, ever faithful, I substituted the flour mixture with a new, gluten-free, product.  And guess what?  My impossible pie was certainly that…impossible to eat!  It was awful.  And to make matters worse, or add insult to an already bad scenario, my potholder slipped and I burned my hand on the 400 degree, cast iron, pan.

So here I sit longing for something else, something like a real piece of sourdough toast…with butter.  But instead I am writing this meaningless fluff while applying and reapplying aloe vera plant to my wound.  Aaaahhh, the longing!

Bless-Sed

17 May

First off, I would like to thank each of you who complimented me in such a way as to make me feel like “Super Mom”.  You all gave me a lovely gift, and I am grateful.

Secondly, I have to say that both of my children are very good at blessing me.  They stayed back from church on Sunday and worked on making the house (dogs bedecked with bows included) festive and beautiful for when I returned.  I was greeted at the door by two very happy, colorful canines and when I turned the corner into the dining area, I was further greeted with a bouquet of 40 multi-colored tulips (my wedding flower) which were sitting next to a lovely tropical arrangement courtesy my friend, Nora, and Bodega chocolates from my Candymoto.  Chocolate covered strawberries were in the mix, and a flourless chocolate cake made especially for me by my daughter (I am still living the ‘gluten-free’ regimen I began a while back) was wafting its dark decadence my way.  They even had my favorite Brazilian music playing in the background.  And because it was lunch time, they were both ready and awaiting the go ahead from me to order my favorite ‘gluten-free’ pizza which they picked up, payed for, and delivered to our backyard Shangri La…the one which I requested spend the rest of the day basking in.  In fact, that was my one request; for mother’s day I had hopes of sitting by the pool reading, playing cards, or just visiting with my children and husband.  Others were welcome as long as I didn’t have to wear my ‘happy hostess’ chapeau and could lounge until I was all lounged out.  Turns out it was just us four until Esther had to leave for work and then it was three.  🙂

Now a couple of comedic errors–well ironic really– occurred during time I was enjoying my blessing shower.  One, I received two Happy Mother’s Day cards from the two women who served as my maternal coaches.  The only problem was that I was so focused on my needing the day to do whatever it was (or wasn’t) I wanted that I forgot I had two very special women deserving of my time and energy.  Thus in the course of my forgetfulness and self focused mind, I failed to send them a reminder of their special place within my heart and life leaving them only to chomp upon the bitter pill of a phone call from me.  My other ironic chastisement came when I read a 2012 daily devotional for the date of ‘Dia de Madres’, for from it I learned of the proverbial wife and mother referred to by the name of, ” The Proverbs 31 Woman”.  She is not necessarily new to me for I had heard of her ways and means some years back, though I confess to have cast the lesson she portrays to the side for I have no interest in rising before dawn and working in the fields.  But here I was, once again, facing the lesson of this particular female as recorded in scripture many years past.  And by again learning of this selfLESS female from long ago, I concurred I am most definitely not her…just ask my two moms!

Even so, this past Wednesday I again enjoyed the gift of my children, the gift of our home, the gift of time, the gift of rest, and the gift of laughter.  All of which was unexpected, but superbly fulfilling just the same.  Cole, Esther, and I laughed our heads off in the morning as we dipped all kinds of foods in chocolate and ate till our stomachs refused another morsel.  I baked muffins and they both entertained me in the kitchen.  We lay by the pool, we napped, and we swam.  We listened to music and shouted absurdities at each other with such mirth we had to take pause only to reclaim the air to our lungs so we could carry on some more.  And the only reason our soiree came to an end was because Esther had to get herself off to her job–leaving Cole and I to wrap up the good time without her.  Which we did (with Brian who returned home from work and joined us poolside), until the makings of our evening meal required my attention and the ‘norm’ of the familial routine resumed.

While I know I am not a “Proverbs 31 Woman”  (nor do I have the slightest aspiration to be so for my stamina forbids it), I am a blessed mother and wife just the same.  I am graced with thoughtful and kind children and a loving and dynamic husband.  Besides, the daily devotional was written by a man; what could he possibly know about being a wife and mother? 🙂

So, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?  I already am what I would choose to be.

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