23 January 2014

Trying and Doing

Is there really all that much difference in Trying and Doing?  

Trying - make an attempt or effort to do something

Doing - 1. the activities in which a particular person engages
                2. effort, activity

So really, trying and doing are the same thing.  In my mind, trying lacks a little from doing.  To say that I am trying to do something is less encouraging as saying that I am doing something.

When I look at my life right now I can say that I am doing this healthy eating thing (yes, I know, very bad grammar) instead of saying that I am trying to eat healthy.  Because, I am.  I'm on day 23 of the gluten free/sugar free eating and for me that is quite an accomplishment.  

I am, or rather was,  a sugar addict.  I had to have something sweet after every meal and several times in between.  When I snacked it was on cakes, cookies, ice cream and candy.  I can't even imagine how much soda I drank a day. Now if I want something sweet, I have a piece of fruit.  

Or one of these: 

(flourless cocoa cookies from Shirley at gluten free easily)

  or a couple bite of this:

 (very berry sorbet from Brooke & Bri at gluten free anonymous)

My meals consisted of bread, pasta, more bread, some meat, maybe a vegetable that had been fried and more pasta.  Now, meat (sorry but I can't give up my meat) and lots of vegetables.  

This new eating way of life for me is a blessing.  I have so much more energy than I have had in my entire 40 odd years.  I haven't had any headache relief, which was the soul purpose of doing this, but I know that it takes time.  I'm willing to wait.  

I enjoy food again.  I look forward to seeing what I can fix for a meal that is healthy and tastes good.  I'm looking forward to making more recipes.  And I really do not miss the sweets.  Those cookies, are perfect.  A yummy blend of chocolate and peanut butter and not too sweet.  I used coconut sugar and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't taste at all like coconut.  And the sorbet was like having my old standby sugar full smoothie.  But this has only natural sugar that is found in fruit.  (I made mine with orange juice concentrate, bananas, and frozen peaches.)  Wonderful.  

I even successfully went out to eat on Sunday and had a gluten free/sugar free meal.  I no longer say that I am trying to eat this way.  

I am doing it.

And it feels so good.

 (flowers from the Farmers Market - to remind me of spring in this cold weather)

What are you doing instead of trying?


ps... it doesn't hurt that I've lost 7.5 lbs since the first of January.  :-)

pss... the other thing I'm doing instead of trying is learning to crochet - inspired several amazing ladies, like - Vanessa, and Tif, and Lucy!  

17 January 2014

not letting it get to me

In my last post I said I would tell the story of how I almost had a stroke while at the pharmacy.  After several days of cumulative events that are conspiring to bring me down, I really don't want to go into the long drawn out story.  What I will do is share with you the short version of that and all the rest of current events that are trying their best to take me down.

The first was the pharmacy trip.  Over the course of several months and lots of phone calls I've been going through the process of changing my health insurance.  (I bet you can already guess where this is going, can't you?)  On Wednesday when I went to pick up prescriptions they asked for my new health insurance card but when processed it said I had no insurance.  I spent 45 minutes standing off to the side in the pharmacy on the phone with the insurance company and it will be fixed.  But I still needed my prescriptions, all $650.00 of them.  

Later that same day, my handy dandy repairman was fixing what he thinks is causing the crawlspace under the house to flood when we have lots of rain.  What initially was to be about $100 turned into over $300.

These two events were bad, but I was okay with them because I actually had the money available and while it leaves me with no savings, at least it is taken care of (plus I will get the RX money reimbursed).

And yet today, when I went to shower I discovered just a trickle of water coming from the hot tap and lots of squealing (as if the line was full of air).  I thought to myself, okay, hot water heater probably needs replacing.  Back came my handy dandy repairman who discovered that while my water heater is old, it is not in any way faulty.  No, the fault is the galvanized pipes under the house.  The pipes that were installed originally back in the 40's.  I can't even bring myself to tell you how much this is going to cost.

I'm trying to decide if this is the Universes way of saying, no you can't get ahead or if it is telling me I shouldn't move and should stay right here.  I'd finally come to the decision that once the house is under contract I will look out of state for a place to rent. A small house with some land maybe or at least a little bit of a lot to plant on.  

When I consult the Spirits they tell me that my headaches will not be relieved until I am out of the city.  And while I have more energy and feel oh so much better with my new healthy eating habits, getting these headaches to stop is my number one priority.  So what is a girl to do?  Stay in this old little cottage (that I really do love) and tend to it the best I can or sell my cottage, move to an entirely new place and start life again?

I don't have the answer right now.  I am just going to let the Universe guide me.  I plan to do some Work to state clearly to the Universe what I WANT and then I will let it go and just go on as I can.

Instead of letting all this drive me into a deep dark hole (where I would have gone in the past) or to the candy/soda shop, I've been putting myself to work.  

I used the few days prior to the full moon to finish more SpiritWreaths and charged them on the full moon.  They are currently tagged and sitting at a local shop on consignment.  I've already made plans for more so that I can set up shop online.  In addition, I left a stack of business cards at the shop.

I began work on an art piece that has been in my head for a while.  

I've added another page to my art journal.  I'm practicing my drawing more.

I've watched a movie and have another to watch.

I've started learning to crochet.

I am doing.  To me, that is what is most important. By doing all these things, I'm taking that very important step onto the path, instead of hiding in the woods and watching as life passes me by.  I have to say, I'm quite proud of myself.  

Have you taken any important steps lately?


15 January 2014

A Recipe

One of my favorite winter foods is a big bowl of homemade chilli.  I especially love breaking up some Ritz crackers over the top and adding a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.  With my new gluten/sugar free lifestyle I've had to forgo the Ritz, but everything else is still on the menu.

So, on this chilly day when the weather experts are saying we may get a few flakes of snow tonight, I thought I'd share with you a recipe for one of my favorite winter foods.  It's not a complete recipe because I don't really measure things out.  I just sort of toss stuff in until I think it looks/smells/tastes right and then I move on.  :-)

Laura's Wintry Day Chilli  (I just made that up!)

On Sunday I cooked up a pot of pinto beans.  If you aren't eating gluten/sugar free using canned beans is perfectly fine.  I normally use red kidney beans but I didn't have any and I love pintos.

On Monday, I browned 2 lbs of ground beef that I sprinkled with Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt.

 While that cooked I chopped up my onion and green pepper.  (Full disclosure, I used this green pepper in the photo because it was prettier than the frozen bell peppers that I used in the chilli.  When I grow bell peppers, I freeze whatever I can't eat to use in chilli during the winter.  Can't even tell it wasn't a fresh one.)

Once the meat is browned, I drain off the fat and put the meat in a big stew pot, then add the peppers and onions.

 I forgot photos for the next part, but I added a can of tomato sauce, a little can of tomato paste and then a large can of san marzano tomatoes (all of which were sugar/gluten free).  I rinse the cans and pour that water into the pot (trying to get every good part!)

Next up come the seasonings. I add to the pot thyme, oregano, garlic salt, cayenne pepper flakes, fresh black pepper and a little of the mixed up salt.  I also added a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce and then I added about 2 teaspoons of Mayan Cocoa powder.  (I've never used the cocoa powder in chilli before but let me tell you!  It really added to the flavor and I will never leave it out again!)
 Last I add the chilli powder. (Again, I'm sorry I don't have measurements, but I've always just winged it when I make chilli and have never had a bad batch!)

 Give it a good stir and then I left it on simmer for probably 4 hours.  

 And voila!  Yummy, delicious chilli!  I topped my bowl with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

When I had it on Monday night it tasted just a bit too salty and I made a mental to use garlic powder or fresh garlic instead of garlic salt or to use less of the Jane's crazy mixed up salt.  Today I had my mum and a friend over and served them chilli and baked potato and I noticed the chilli was not quite as salty tasting.  Maybe it just needed a little time to mesh together in the fridge. 

I'd love to hear about your chilli fixings or any good wintry dish that you serve. 

Next time I'll tell you the story of how I almost had a stroke at the pharmacy today.  :-/

I'm off to put the final touches on some SpiritWreaths and get them set to charge under tonight's beautiful full moon.  Then it's some AHS: Coven time!  :-)


12 January 2014


I haven't been around for in six days.  I can't believe how quickly that time went by.  When I logged in to look at my blog feed today I was shocked at how many posts I've missed and how much I have to catch up on.

I've been continuing to tend.  Working on gathering tax information, paying bills, running errands.  I have so much more energy now.  It is very surprising to me.  There has been no headache relief, but I suppose that will take a while. (if it occurs at all)

I'm spending more time in my kitchen than ever.  Cooking everything from scratch is time consuming but the joy that I am experiencing is wonderful.

I guess that is really all I have to share right now.  I'll try to come up with something more interesting this week.  There is a sump pump that needs to be installed this week, probably, and cleaning to do for showings that hopefully will get rescheduled after several bad weather days.

Well, enough rambling.  

I hope you are all doing well.  I'll be catching up on everyone's blogs this week. 

04 January 2014


I've been tending things the past few days.  Nurturing and encouraging the seeds that I planted on the New Moon to crack open and send down roots.  

This new way of eating is not as bad as I expected.  Of course, it helps that I purged my house of anything that had gluten or sugar in it.  Or so I thought.  I realized today that I forgot to empty my sugar and flour canisters.  But I've not been tempted to partake of them.  I plan to empty them into ziplock bags and give to my Mum.  I hate to see it go in the trash as that is very wasteful.

I'm eating lots of fruits, vegetables and meats.  I feel like I'm actually eating more than I did before.  But I can't be certain as I didn't keep a record of what I ate then.  I'm keeping a log now as I want to see how my body reacts to foods.  

I've discovered the sweetness that is agave nectar.  It goes wonderfully in hot cocoa.  But I'm not so certain that it agrees with me.  :-)

Thanks to Suzi Blu and her old videos on You Tube, I've discovered the joy of art journaling.  It's something I've wanted to try for years.  Having no notion of how to start and being in general afraid to try, I never did it.  Looking back through some of her old videos I found one that told basically how to start.  And start I did!  (the photo above is one of my page spreads I've just finished setting)

I'm trying to keep warm as the temps her are quite cold.  Not nearly as cold as most of the country but for the south it is cold.  It is barely above freezing right now and is supposed to be colder over the next several days.  For some reason I am unable to get warm.  I have no idea why this is, but it is frustrating to feel so cold down into my bones all the time.  I made a cup of hot tea, not so much for the tea as to have something to keep my hands warm!  

I'm off for tonight.  I have Brunswick stew simmering on the stove and it is calling to me.  And I need to add more paint to my next journal spread.


01 January 2014


 The new year is upon us.  I've started a new page in my health book with my goals for this coming year.  Health is the word I initially chose to be my focus for 2014 but I've since revised it to Healthy.  I've spent the past several years focusing on my health but not in a positive way.  I think Healthy lends itself to positivity, so there.

 I started planting my seeds for this new year last night.  I thought alot about what I hope to do and accomplish and be in 2014.  I experimented with a new way of journaling (video) and I watched an artist that I admire as she shared with us live how she creates a painting.  It was fascinating to watch. 

 I did my health check in this morning when I woke and have been conscious all day of what I'm eating and drinking.  I've spoken to the New Moon and set my intentions for the year deep in her soil.  Now I need to tend them with love all year long and see what grows.

My weekly planner is ready for the year with birthdays, anniversaries and feast days marked.  I have gesso on my fingers and on a canvas I'm re-working.  I have a list of things to pick up at the grocers tomorrow that I hope will help with some cravings.  Yes, I'm already having cravings.  They do say sugar is the hardest addiction to break.  Wish me luck!  

I'm craving hot cocoa.  I have milk and cocoa but the only sweetener I have is honey.  I'm not sure how that would work.  I might give it a go.  

I'm off to play with gesso and paint.  I hope you are having a wonderful day and that you have planted your seeds and are ready to help them grow.


ps...I think I've mentioned I'm going gluten and sugar free.  This is my last thing that I can think of to try to help relieve the pain of the chronic headaches.  If you are gluten and/or sugar free, I'd love to hear how you do it.  What type of sweeteners you use, recipes, etc.