Friday, June 22, 2012

Living "Clean"

I have been "clean" for just over a year now. That means that I have not allowed anything with wheat into my mouth if I can help it. It means that I read all labels. My whole family reads labels. My church family reads labels. If the label reads gluten free everyone smiles when I am around.

I am kind of quoting when I say this but: when you go through something new or difficult you find things out about yourself that you never would have otherwise. I am learning that most people are much kinder and more sensitive with me that I had ever been with/about others who have allergies. Secondly, I am learning that this lesson carries over into all areas of my life and practice. Judge not, means a lot more to me now.

For the most part, living clean is much easier than I thought it would be. There are many substitutes for flour and I do not miss bread that much anyway. Eating at home, gluten free, turns out to be more healthy for me and everyone else, too.  Most whole foods other than wheat are legal: beans, rice, corn, oatmeal, meats as long as they are not too processed, vegetables, fruit, and dairy. Who needs anything else? So it is easy... at home.

I miss pizza, though. Oh yes, we tried rice flour crust, but let's just say that pizza on rice flour crust is not pizza anymore. So when it's pizza night around here, I skip and eat desert for both courses. :) Is that too much ice cream?

One hard part about a wheat allergy is that even the smell of bread is bad now. We have stopped making our own homemade bread because too much flour in the air offers me a significant reaction. (Never mind the details of my style of reaction.)  And the other hard part is that fast food restaurants have wheat in most of their menu items.  So I stick to ice cream in those places too, unless we are at McDonald's. Even their ice cream has wheat in it. Odd!

So the longer I have been clean the better I feel in general. I can work all day and still have energy left over. Bike riding for miles is wonderful. Health is a gift from God for which I am truly thankful. He gets all the glory for bringing me through.

Just this week, I blew it.  After perfect health for months I had a couple days of going back to the old exhaustion. My gluten free flour became tainted with the wheat flour being in the same cabinet. How dumb was that?! So I am still learning to be careful and clean.

Most of all, I want to thank each of you in my life who has been helpful and kind to me while I learned my lessons of life this past year. My first thanks goes to God and next to my dear husband who watches out for me in every way he can that I am getting safe food. He even checks the labels on the chocolates he brings me regularly.  Thanks to you too, especially, Dorothy, for your encouragement and good ideas and recipe education and research for me and others that you know.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer At Home

    The girls found vetch along the road blooming with the daisies. This week is Northwoods Vacation Bible School.  This VBS was started back in the late fifties for the Native American children.  My mom, who is now in her sixties taught a class when she was sixteen years old. I taught in my teenaged years.  This year Frances is teaching second grade.

We have thoroughly enjoyed all the flowers this spring and summer that have abounded everywhere due to substantial rain and the early warm weather we had.
The squirrels have been raiding our strawberry patch from the beginning of the first ripe berry.  But since we have had a bountiful crop there seems to be enough for all of us. I made jam today of some of them. I am feeling very virtuous about this jam making project of the whole crop , especially today since it is dreadfully warm and humid.These two jars were nice looking enough to pose with the two linen embroidered table cloths that I found at the used shop this morning for a dollar each.
And here are the pictures you asked for, Lisl.  Brad and I think this is really exciting.

Post Without PIctures

Just words.
       It is a warm summer evening and I am down stairs where the AC keeps the atmosphere pleasantly cool.
       Brad is here with me finishing up a gun rack that he has been working on for a couple of weeks. This is one of his first wood working projects and it is far from perfect, but I think it is just about right.  When he gets it varnished, it will be a valuable addition to his bedroom.
        Last weekend Brad and I tried our hand at finishing sheet rock seams in his new bedroom. Speaking of lack of perfection! But we managed to get it painted and a border added to make a lovely cozy boy's room for him. He chose brown paint for the bottom half of the room. I decided to trust his good judgment. I actually found a gallon of "oops" paint at Wal-mart that exactly fit the bill.
       The strawberry patch is producing wonderfully. Tomorrow I shall make more jam. I recommend Pamona's jam making process to anyone.  You just about cannot goof it up, which is a good thing for me.  Besides it does not require as much sugar as does the regular SureGel stuff.
      And while I was at work, Frances, Amy and Abbey worked at the laundry and had chicken and potatoes in the oven by the time I got home. They had also gathered vetch and daisies for a lovely bowl bouquet. Pictures coming soon.
    This post is just to say we are alive and well and busy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A June Posting

DSC00063                        2012-06-07 20.06.44 

There are always bouquets of flowers now on our tables here at home.

Of Abbey’s house.  We helped Abbey move into a house sitting job last week. We moved in a bare minimum of needs in furniture and ktichen gadgetry and planted a wee garden in the back yard.

2012-06-08 18.34.57                 2012-06-08 18.35.02

2012-06-08 18.35.53                     2012-06-08 18.36.41

2012-06-08 19.34.26    2012-06-08 18.35.45    

In the evening Elv and Noah showed up to help us have her first cookout at the new house.  I am afraid we filled the street up with cars and pickups and made plenty of noise and action in the yard, too. 

                                                  2012-06-07 20.06.54      Other current events include the much anticipated and enjoyed Children’s Ministry Seminar given by Rueben Stolzfus and Jeff Barker.  We sort of crammed a lot of seminar into a very small space of time, but with lots of discussion and good information and a strong mission emphasis we came away packed full and over flowing.  The Barkers stayed with us at our house. We had a bit of time for visiting and time for canoeing first thing Monday morning before they left for breakfast with other friends. So that’s how we finally got to meet the people who have hosted our children each year when they went to Bible School in PA. Mary Rose remembers the name and face of each of the young folks who has stayed in their home and she continues to be interested in where he or she is today.  

We have merged into the full stream of summer work and play.  The garden is up and needing weeding. I failed to water one of my treasured hanging pots in the sweltering weather we had last week so it cooked to a shriveled death. Very sad.    The strawberries are bearing amazingly so now we have pints of jam cooling on the counter this morning and a prospect for more before the end of the week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Be Of Good Cheer

A friend observed to me today that though one or both parties in a marriage feels like he or she is not in love anymore, that doesn't mean the marriage is over. There are no convenient excuses to make this true. Marriage is 'till death do us part' and a lack of the warm fuzzies does not change that fact.

The trouble is, we all get our times in marriage when it seems that it might as well be over. If this hasn't happened to you, then be forewarned. Your time hasn't arrived yet.  I predict that every Christian couple will face moments of "truth" that seem like love is gone.  We are human and we live in a fallen world. It happens.

But this is not the time to panic.  This IS the time to get out commitment and use it as we promised at the honeymoon beginning.  Commitment is much more useful than romance at these times.  Commitment builds bridges. Commitment overlooks impossibilities and focuses on truth. Commitment lets us DECIDE to love even when it does not feel doable.

The same principle goes for families and churches. Think about your family or church.  Is everybody in your life making it easy to love?  Are you? Anybody in your life multiplying the negatives? Let us not miss our cues. Now is the time to praise the good things and encourage each other. In other words, now is the time to be committed.

We should know the difference between real problems and plain, old, life-happens stuff. Things like young people coming home from VS work or Bible school and complaining because home and church home are boring and lonely. Sorry youth, that issue is as old as families and churches. The cure for it is commitment. Go ahead, roll up your sleeves, change your world, but please do not whine.  This is what the home bodies have been working on the whole time you were gone.

It is nice to know that just as negatives and complaints tend to snowball and get themselves magnified; happy attitudes and love will cover a multitude is sins. So, go away, you calamitous thoughts and attitudes. Life is too precious to waste.

My dad often tells us to live above it.  I really appreciate this advice. Living above mulling over negatives takes courage and fortitude (stick-to-it-iveness). Living above the things of this life that WILL happen to pull us down, is like paddling upstream. And it is tiring. But I take heart in what Jesus said."Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

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