Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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A New and Daunting Challenge

Hello my friends. Yes, I have been M.I.A. of late, and I really do hate that. I haven’t forgotten about you. Life gets crazy sometimes, I’m sure you can relate. Thankfully, it’s the good kind of crazy. Kids growing up, work busy, life busy. Just the usual.

This new and daunting challenge. What is it? You’re asking. If you’ve been with me for a bit, you know I love to cook, and eat. And one of my most favorite things to cook is, well, indulgences in the form of cookies and pastas. I have a friend, a former classmate, who is a natural health care practitioner in California. She has been sharing information with her friends and patients about not just the gluten-free lifestyle, but a grain-free lifestyle. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I said. I’m fine. I’m perfectly healthy. Except when I try on the jeans I haven’t worn in a while and they’re more snug than ever. Hmmm. I guess I’ve been naughtier than i thought.

So, about three weeks ago, I decided to give this whole grain-free lifestyle a go. I thought, I’ll just do it for a week and see what happens, right? What’s the worst that can happen? I certainly won’t be hurting myself by eliminating these things. Let me preface this by saying I’m a girl who loves pretzels, tortilla chips, popcorn, cheez its and freshly baked bagels. I am a bread loving girl of the worst sort. Whenever I’d buy a loaf from a local market, I literally could not stop eating until I hated myself for it. My favorite, a crusty batard with whole cloves of roasted garlic baked inside. Mmmm. This is something that was difficult for me to envision or attempt. I mean, how do you have PB&J w/o bread? How do you eat salsa without chips?

Yes, it was tough, I won’t lie. I eliminated all grains, including oats, quinoa, wheat in any form, as well as sugar and alcohol. I’m not a huge drinker (a glass of wine or two maybe a couple of times a wk) but alcohol alters the way your body metabolizes and uses calories from food.

At the end of this first week, I noticed my clothes were fitting better. Hm, I thought. That’s a good thing. Ok, let’s see what happens if I continue this. I had already been eating eggs for breakfast, and many times my lunch was grain free, cottage cheese and fruit or grilled chicken, or whatever we had leftover from dinner the night before. But when I got home from work, I’d go for my favorite snack of air popped pop corn, or pretzel chips w/hummus or cheez its. Finding different snacks has been an adventure, to say the least.

An interesting note. Maybe a week in, on a whim, I grabbed a couple of cheez its from the pantry. Just for grins, ya know? I have to tell you I was really surprised that they didn’t taste good to me any more. Not even remotely. They tasted fake and plastic. Seriously. Right? I was shocked too.

I am here to tell you, if you are experiencing health issues, such as diabetes, IBS, reflux, arthritis, or maybe just a general feeling of bleh, you really should look into this. The book “Wheat Belly’ was written by a cardiologist and gives very detailed information on how wheat, and grains, affect the body. He’s also come up with recipes, even for baking, that are grain free.

My daughter who is 11, is not keen on this ‘diet’. I told her that I don’t look at this as a ‘diet’ but a lifestyle. It’s me working to get really, truly healthy and to me, the word ‘diet’ has a negative connotation, as well as sounding like a short-term proposition. My family has not totally jumped on board with me on this adventure, but I am easing them into it. My biggest challenge for them right now is finding a suitable lunch replacement for their PB&J sammies.

I am now three weeks into this lifestyle, and I’m down around 10lbs. I say ‘around’ because I don’t own a scale, I’m basing this on how my clothes are fitting me now. My favorite jeans that I was completely unable to button before I began, I can wear now. Losing the lbs is not the only benefit I’ve noticed. I sleep better. I used to wake up randomly, in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep for a while. Not now. I have one knee that had been getting crankier with each passing month. Not any more. I had been having some intestinal disturbances on a regular basis. Not now. The mid afternoon nap that I always wanted because I was exhausted when I got home from work, yeah, that’s not an issue anymore since my energy levels have returned to a more normal level. I aim to drink close to a gallon of water a day (not all at once, but during the day) and I have made it a priority to move more. Just walking, nothing major. Rather than sitting at my desk at lunch, I walk between 15&20 minutes. And that’s the biggest thing. I’m 40-something, but I don’t want to look or feel it. Some things I don’t have control over, but those that I do, I want to make work for me as long as I can, and if it means not eating something that is truly detrimental to my health, I’m all about it.

If you’d like to learn more about what I’m doing, and how it might help you feel better, check it out. I would really encourage anyone who is dealing with autoimmune issues, weight, or any number of other problems to just take a look. Check out the book and read for yourself.

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What’s the worst that could happen?

That is a phrase I try really hard not to say, because invariably, as soon as the words pass my lips, it happens.

I need some help, from everyone, from anyone. I am working on a story (isn’t everyone these days?) and need some ideas. Here is what I”m looking for: crazy/wild/weird things you have had happen to you at work or you have done at work. Did you spill coffee on the boss? Run over a coworker in the parking lot? I know there are loads more stories out there, I just need a few. My novel is about a young lady who’s sort of down on her luck, she’s not very coordinated or lucky.  She’s starting a new job, which she feels is key to turning around her situation, but there seems to be a cascade of crappy things that happen at this new job that make her rethink her whole life. So please, tell me your stories! I promise I will change the dates and names to protect the innocent! Seriously, anything that happens will be happening to my heroine, no one else. Well, maybe a coworker or boss who are hapless victims of her poor timing or coordination.

Alright people! Now is your chance to share!


I can’t say I didn’t see this one coming

I wrote an earlier post about my BFF and how horribly I treated her boyfriend at Halloween and what a shmuck I felt like after. We never did get together to have dinner or anything like that.  From what she told me, he really wasn’t a very social person and didn’t like people. Um. Hello. You are one. Anyway.

Last week she asked me if I had a good recipe for German chocolate cake. Oh yeah I do! I’ve got a wicked good recipe for an upside down German chocolate cake that will make a lover of that cake out of anyone who tries it. I sent it to her and fully expected the result to be that he would drop down and kiss the ground she walks on. It’s really that good.

I sent her a text and asked if she’d made it yet and if he liked it. She said no, “I’m pissed at him, he’s being a butt”. Oh. Ok. I’m not a person to pry. I don’t like to be nosy, I know that if someone wants to share something with me, they will, when they want to, if they want to. I don’t need to know everything that goes on in someone’s life. I have enough to deal with on my own, thankyouverymuch.

I didn’t push her for details, and soon enough I got more than I expected. Apparently this guy, this very nice guy, who always seemed so appreciative of everything she did for him, treated her so sweetly, spoiled her in just about every way possible, has an ugly jealous and possessive side. I can’t say it’s a streak because when you threaten to ‘gut’ someone like a fish, that’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of stuff.

So, here’s what went down. She has a male friend, one she’s had for nearly ten years, he has a thing for her, but they’ve never really dated, and he lives in a different state, oh, about a thousand miles away. This friend sends her texts occasionally,’how are you?”, “Sunny here, how about there?” things like that. Well Mr. boyfriend got all wound up and told her she needed to tell him to stop texting her. And it progressed from  there. She still hears from a couple of ex-boyfriends occasionally. She has no interest in seeing either of them anymore, and she can’t control what they do. She doesn’t always respond to their texts. But one sent her a text on Christmas, telling her “Merry Christmas’, which got Mr. boyfriend all in a twist, the nerve of someone wishing his ‘woman’ Merry Christmas!

He then proceeded to tell her she was not allowed to have any male friends that he didn’t know. She was not to get any texts from any of these men. He didn’t want to come to my NYE party, so she couldn’t come either, she had to stay at home with him. And at some point the words out of his mouth were, “You’re MY woman.” As if he had an ear tag on her or his name branded on her flank. Let me tell you, that really set her off.

Just a bit of background on my BFF. She’s been in abusive relationships in the past and she’s at the point in her life, she’s not going to let anyone tell her what to do, especially not some guy who thinks he owns her like a head of cattle. She let him have it with both barrels. She told him she pays the bill for the cell phone and she will talk to whomever she pleases, whenever she pleases and laid it all down for him. Then he made a comment along the lines of  ‘if anyone else touches you, I’ll gut him like a fish.’ That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is frightening on many levels and made her exit even hastier.

So she packed up all of her stuff while he was gone and she got the hell out of there. He’s begging and pleading with her to come back. he wants to marry her and he’ll change, blah blah blah blah BLAH.  I’ve heard it so many times and from so many people. I’ll change and they do, for about a week, and then everything goes right back to the way it was.

I am very proud of her for not putting up with his bullshit. His insecurities, ego problems and other issues. He’s got some things he needs to work out for himself, but it’s better that she’s not around while he does it. I just have to say, and I said this to her, she’s way out of his league. He should be happy she gave him a chance. She was able to see past the height, bad teeth, scrubby appearance to try to get to the heart of the man. There is just so much bad baggage there that will likely always be there for him, especially with her, it makes it difficult to surpass things like that.

She asked me tonite, she said she’d weighed everything, the good things he’d done for her vs the jealous/possessive side and asked me if you really throw out the past six months over something like this. I said, um, yes. Especially when he uses language like that about anyone who touches her. He was way out of his league and he knew it. She said that if she was not with him or at work, he wanted to know where she was and with whom.

I’m no expert on abusive relationships, but I believe I’ve read something somewhere that they start out all nicey nice, and then get all controlling/possessive/jealous and make the spouse/partner feel worthless and afraid to leave because a.) no one else could possibly love them or b.) I will kill you and your family if you do. It’s a tragic and vicious cycle and I am so so very proud of her for not taking his crap and having the wherewithal and the huevos to tell him adios and good riddance. She is such a strong and amazing person. She needs someone who is strong like she is. Who wants to be with her because he’s crazy about her and worships the ground that she walks on, but at the same time has other interests outside of their relationship and can really survive without her, but doesn’t want to. I know she’ll find that person, someday.

Did I mention I’m proud of her? I love her like a sister, I really do. Lele, if you’re reading this, I love you bunches and I”m so proud of you and I’m just praying that sooner rather than later, your prince comes charging up to rescue you from the humdrum everyday life that we all get sucked into and turns everything you’ve known on it’s ear. You deserve that, beautiful lady.

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SERIOUSLY?  I was shocked, floored, amazed and astounded when we turned on the radio in the car yesterday.  Completely gobsmacked.  It was November 1, and time for me to really start thinking about the seasonal things, decorations, Thanksgiving, you know what I mean.

But no, some other people around here wanted us to think about something else entirely!  CHRISTMAS!  Two of our radio stations here have gone to a 24/7 Christmas format and it was barely November!  If I’d had my radio on Saturday night, they probably had already started it then!  WTH???

I am so not ready for Christmas!  My husband works in retail and this is the time of year I become what I call a ‘retail widow’ because of all the extra hours he has to work.  He goes to a six-day week at Thanksgiving, but because of budget constraints and running a skeleton crew, he’s basically doing it now.  ARGH!

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the Christmas music as much as anybody, but not until around, oh, say, Thanksgiving!  That’s when they used to switch to the holiday format.  I wonder how many listeners they lose by doing this.  You know, the Jewish people, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc.  Really.  If you were not of that religious persuasion and your fave radio station switched to an all-the-time, day-and-night format of music from a holiday that you didn’t celebrate, or necessarily understand, what would you do?  I know what I’d do, stop. 

Oh well, they dont’ ask me and I guess if the advertisers are paying them to do it, they’ll keep doing it, right?  As for me, I’ll wait til Thanksgiving to really start thinking about Christmas. And I’ll even wait until the turkey is cold!