Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Just received an email - I have been voted a SparkPeople Motivator.
Cried a little. Read it again.
A very heartfelt THANK YOU.
Monday, November 02, 2009
I make bread at least once a week. Some weeks, it's as many as 2 or 3 times. I mill my own wheat and am thinking about growing wheat in the future.
Since early September, I have been skipping bread altogether to see if my inflammation abated. It actually did. I still had a few aches and pains and soreness from use and overuse - but it was never anything that woke me up in the middle of the night.
My awesome friend, Steph, made me a loaf of friendship bread with her white wheat and YUM, I started eating bread again. Not pigging out, but a slice a day. One day I had two. The bread was delicious, had a beautiful crust and a delicate crumb. Tasty as hell.
Unfortunately, during the week that I was eating bread, my inflammation also increased. :( During the week, I ran ONE mile, jumped rope, have painted our son's bedroom, built a corner shelf in there and cut moulding to put across the front of it. Sat on the floor cross legged for 1/2 hour putting new outlets in. I can honestly say that I don't think anything I've done since my run has been excessive activity for me. Really, after hauling at least 10 tons of dirt 1 wheelbarrow load at a time. If anything should have hurt, I would have thought it would be my shoulder or back from doing the ceiling. Nope. I should not have had pain that woke me up.
But I did. Two nights in a row, now, hip and leg pain has woke me up in the middle of the night and prohibited me from sleeping for some hours. Even with IBU and cherry extract (my friend for pain), it took 2 to 3 hours to get back to sleep.
The last time I hurt this bad was in the beginning of September when we were all getting on the motorcycles and riding to Mt. Lemmon, then Kitt Peak and finally Colossal Cave. Had a lot of sandwiches those days and while I didn't eat bad, it was a lot of bread.
I am aware that my disease makes one more prone to celiac and I don't really believe that I've developed it full on, but I seem to be having sensitivities. However, a few weeks off and one week on is hardly enough evidence.
So, I will be continuing this experiment and documenting my results.
Tucson had a couple of freezing to near-freezing nights recently. We got out there and put up lights and row covers to protect the tomatoes and okra. I think we managed to save everything we were trying to. The mortgage lifter tomato has finally started making fruit and I am very excited. This is the plant that makes 2.5 lb tomatoes. So far, they're getting quite large and are looking good. I hope to get at least one before the plants go. However, I do fully intend to keep the lights and covers going for as long as possible. I don't expect to be able to nurse a plant into next year, but I'm going to try anyway. :)
The garlic, shallots, bulb onions, peas, carrots, radishes and green onions and eggplants are up, but they're moving slowly. The older bell pepper plants are producing nicely. Einstein the cat tears branches off of them tho. He's going to get himself into real hot water if he doesn't stop trying to be the gardening cat.
I didn't plant the corn right. I planted my corn so that they would all come up around the same time. Well, they did. We got 7 to 9 foot tall stalks, every one of them tasseled and every one of them produced at least 2 cobs. The first 3 cobs to come off were gorgeous and tasty. Cobs came along after the tassels had already blown and there were MAYBE 10 to 20 edible kernels. :( I will do things differently with the corn next planting. Stagger plantings by 2 or 3 weeks so that production can continue and cut deeper rows so they can get more water more efficiently.
Friday, September 04, 2009
My garden is progressing nicely. Like everything in life, there are bumps in the road sometimes. And just like anything else you do in life, you get out of your garden EXACTLY as much as you put into it.
I picked caterpillars off of my tomato plants for so long, I started seeing caterpillars that weren't there. My tomato plant rewarded me with a tomato that weighed 12 ounces. Once the days are 100 degrees and lower, the tomatoes will be producing heavily - not just one or two tomatoes near the ground, but tomatoes all over the plant. And the plant is almost 6 feet tall now. But it wouldn't be if I hadn't picked those caterpillars off.
My cucumber plants are dead. Cucumber beetles snuck into my garden and my cucumber plants perished. I have planted again with precautions in place.
I didn't SEE the cucumber beetles for a long time, so now I am beset with beetles - both striped and spotted. And they have targeted my okra and corn. For THREE days now, I have, in addition to my normal work, hunted and crushed beetles. This morning I caught a pair mating in the canteloupe blooms. GRRR. They're dead now, tho. Last night I had a dream about beetles. Won't share it cuz it was kinda gross, but maybe that gives you an idea of how many beetles I've encountered.
My 20 ton pile of dirt looked like this in the beginning.
After hauling a total of 106 loads, it looks like this. I shoveled all but 6 of the loads of dirt into the wheel barrow. I hauled and dumped all 106.
I've planted several more tomato plants - red pear tomatoes, yellow globes, Cherokee Chocolates - all heirlooms, red okra plants (an heirloom variety from Tennessee), Christmas Lima beans, blackeye peas, orange carrots and purple carrots. Mid-September I will plant two kinds of peas, garlic, bulb onions, shallots, garlic and a couple of artichokes. October and November I will plant asparagus - I have a place planned - I'm planting half from seed and planning to buy roots for the other half of the space. January or February will see the planting of potatoes, hopefully. If I had more room, the list would be longer! But I will save my confessions of a seed hoarder/addict for another blog. Here are the first 2 pumpkins we harvested yesterday They're curing in the sun for a few days.
I've converted an old dumpster into a composter. Used an old wire birdcage stand in the bottom to sift the compost. I cut a door into the bottom and seal it with duct tape. For the first time the other day, I opened the bottom and applied compost tea to my baby tomatoes and okra - they all grew more than TWO INCHES overnight!
When I add food trash to the compost bin, I layer eucalyptus leaves on top and then add a layer of manure. I need to get the bin to a place where it can get sun all or most of the day during the winter. A good place will present itself.
A friend of mine saves her garbage for me for composting. She keeps her coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit and vegetable peelings, melon and squash rinds (all PRIME ingredients for good compost) - she packs them up so nicely and saves them til we're able to get together.
The acorn squash, butternut squash and sunflowers are thriving, too. The sunflowers are 6 and 7 feet tall. The acorn squash are producing much quicker than I expected and one plant has over 6 squash on it.
The butternut squash is putting on a few squash here and there, too. I think the butternut is a slower producer - kind of like a pumpkin.
The corn is over 6 feet tall now. Below the corn, I have planted a white pumpkin, scarlet runner beans (they're good as green beans and as dried beans, too), and green beans.
Here's a pic of a giant cantaloupe (they look funny because they are heirloom too) that grew from the garden.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
During the last few months, I've been taking it real easy. Recovering from the dental disaster and getting used to my new natural thyroid meds.
As my body recovered, I decided it was time to deal with some stuff that I had put away, but never really looked at very hard.
Often the things you don't want to deal with are the very things you NEED to deal with and let go of.
I dug down deep. Pulled these things out, looked at them for whatever there was to learn from them - about myself, about other people in my life, about things that I do without thinking.
I've always tried really hard to protect my children from the things that I found so hurtful when I was a kid. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I found much of my childhood painful.
Whether my children have thicker skins or have less stress in their lives and are less reactive to things, they are just in much better places emotionally and intellectually than I was at their age. They spat from time to time, but they really are very happy, well balanced people.
I am so grateful for their balance, good humor and serenity.
I've delved into this deep emotional stuff, one incident/issue at a time, looked it over, assessed the damage, gave myself permission to vent/cry/hurt for a bit. Dealt with the human frailties of other parties involved and what the dynamic was between us.
I've seen the root causes of some of the odd things I do (like pushing people away before they can hurt me) and some of the downright weird reactions I have to the things other people do.
By understanding the WHY, one can get to work on how to remedy what needs work, cultivating things that need growth and stomping the crap out of things that need that, too. :)
Now, I'm putting it all away. I feel unencumbered and refreshed.
Ready for whatever is next.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
A day or so ago, the Spark People's Healthy Reflection email contained the following quote:
Without forgiveness life is governed by...an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. - Roberto Assagioli
It's true, there is no doubt. It's also something that brought up a painful subject for me.
I am Native American. My mother doesn't show her heritage, but I do. When I was a kid, I lived out in the sun and my skin was a beautiful shade of very dark brown. My hair is curly and almost black.
My father and his immediate family were a bunch of bigots. His sister's husband liked to ask me ugly questions such as "how do you like your dog cooked, Julee" and "what kind of indian are you, nigahoe?".
Oh yeah and it didn't stop there. He urged his son and my own brother to call me things like 'blacky' and the n word above. Let's not forget the 'nappy' hair comments that riddled my childhood.
Another relative told me that "we lynch people like you". I was FIVE but I understood what lynch meant and I was afraid of these people. Needless to say, I developed anxiety disorders and fear disorders. I kept them well hidden, tho, because those people were like animals - if they smelled fear on you, they went for blood.
My own father stood there and said nothing one time someone asked me that ugly "what kind of indian are you...." question.
While I was in college, the son of the uncle mentioned above already had a terrible drug problem - one time when he was loaded on cocaine, he tried to rape me and told me he'd never had any 'dark meat' and wanted to see what it was like.
OK, fast forward to present day. My brother (who is blue eyed and blond) is now married to a blue eyed blond and they live in the same city as that uncle mentioned above.
A few years ago, at my brother's birthday party, said uncle was there. He was very neutral to my son, though he thought my daughter was cute (take a look at their pics - you'll see why) and when we were all leaving, he told me NOT JUST ONCE, but SIX TIMES "Hey Julee, did you hear that Al Sharpton buried the word N----- today?" I tried to ignore him, but he kept at it. Finally I said "yep, and they should have buried every idiot that USES that word along with it" HE got mad and was ready to go.
Brother and SIL have been urging me to go to family reunions with these people. They've called me unforgiving and hateful because I refuse to subject myself and my children to these people. My sister in law unfriended me on facebook and didn't talk to me for months. That hurt some.
My maternal grandmother (my beloved Nana) always told me "Juleebug, you can't choose your relatives, but you can choose your friends. You can choose who you want to hang out with no matter what."
I have chosen NOT to expose myself or my children to them.
I seriously don't hold a grudge! I am not feeling hatred or anger right now. I have considered the source. Like any wound, if I pick at it enough, I can dig up pain - but I choose not to. Ignorance is ignorance and you cannot teach something to someone who doesn't want to learn. So let them live in their stupidity.
Even though you have forgiven the fire for burning you, are you going to stick your hand back in the flame?
Am I wrong?
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