Pretty Toes II

Andrew chose the colors and the design for my pedicure. Let's all give him a hand! Reddish purple would not have been my choice, but the final result is awesome. WTG Drew!

I can't help but be a little sad, remembering the original Pretty Toes. Last year for Mother's Day Yasar got me a gift certificate for my first pedi ever. I was still pregnant then, Leila still safe and sound. At that point, I was still a week away from meeting my little angel. (sigh).


Jesus Says,

"Please recycle!"

Happy Earth Day!

(unrepentantly swiped from Jesus Needs a New PR)

Really, Really Good Flaxseed Bread


1 tbsp dry yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar (organic if possible)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup ground flaxseed - I pulverize mine in a coffee grinder
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached AP flour

Dissolve your yeast in the warm water mixed with the sugar. Make sure you get your kids to watch - it's really fascinating, and kids love to discuss how the yeast "burps" and "farts".

Add oil, salt, flaxseed, and one cup of whole wheat flour. Stir. Add second cup of ww flour, then your AP flour. Mix until incorporated.

Knead for at least 10 minutes by mechanical means or 15 minutes by hand, adding flour as needed to make a soft, slightly-sticky dough.

Rub some olive oil in a large bowl. Turn dough into bowl and flip around to get it coated with the oil. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place.

I fill my water pan with hot water and put it in the oven with the dough - makes a great incubator. (here it is with my sourdough starter, a story for another time).

Punch down, put into a greased loaf pan. Let rise again, covered.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Try (really, really try) to let it cool completely before slicing. And never, ever feel tempted by grocery store bread again.



Yesterday I was heading out of town on a milk run into the next county.

My route takes me right past our old house.

Usually I'm pretty good about turning my back on the past, but this time I made that right turn into our development. I just wanted to see our house again.

I came to the stop sign, looked down the street to our address, and saw it.

A truck in our driveway. Loading up the things we didn't take from the house.
It was like a shot to the gut.
Once upon a time, we had a dream in our hands....



As the days tick down to Leila's birthday, it seems like all the grieving "progress" is going down the tubes.

I'm weepy. Always on the verge of tearing up. Oversensitive.

Is this normal?

The first line of "I Will Carry You" just echoes in my head.

"There were photographs I wanted to take..."

That photo of Leila at about 6 months old,

forehead to forehead with Yasar,

a little pink bow in her hair,

a look of adoration in his eyes.

I wanted to take that photograph so badly.

Usually it's hard to separate the sadness of infertility from the sadness of having a daughter in heaven.

That's not been the case lately.

I can SEE her in my mind. And I miss her so intensely.

God, please give my little girl a hug for me. Tell her how much I love her.


Our Organic Revolution, and a New Diet Experiment

Yesterday's dessert was an organic grapefruit that came from Happy Box. Never before had I tasted such a delicious grapefruit - sweet, soft, so juicy it ran all over my clothes. "This is the way food used to be", I thought. "It's a tragedy everyone can't have one of these, they would fall in love with grapefruit all over again."

Personally, this organic journey started as a means of being socially and environmentally responsible. The chemicals that farmers are using in our soils are slowly killing us. The best and fastest way to stop this is to vote with your dollars. So that's what we did.

Now this journey is growing into more. The food really does taste better! It's more vibrant and full of nutrients. The eggs, those beautiful deep yellow yolks. The milk. Oh, the fruits and veggies. You eat them and you feel as if you're bursting with life.

To go back to pale, insipid grocery store findings would be an insult to our bodies. As long as we have the money to keep this up, that will never happen again.

So I'm trying something new, weight-loss wise. For the last week, the amount of processed foods this family has eaten has dropped waaay down. We have an "alternate" schedule, so we don't often get the chance to do family dinners. But we're almost always together for breakfast, so we have a cooked, sit-down meal together first thing in the morning. My typical breakfast is a 1/4 cup of Bob's Red Mill muesli mixed with 3/4 cups homemade, full-fat yogurt. Add a tsp of pure coconut oil and a tsp of ground flaxseed. Then I take some nibbles of what the boys are eating (oat flour pancakes, eggs, labne, zatar, olives) and round it out with a piece of fruit.
Lunch is usually salad from Happy Box with some homemade Asian dressing (made in my new Pampered Chef Measure, Mix, and Pour - oh how I love thee!) and some wild caught salmon or chicken breast of questionable origin (GFS) with half an avocado and a slice of bread with butter. Dinner? Homemade fried rice, or minestrone, or some other leftover. And then usually there's a snack at night, either popcorn with evoo or a slab of fresh coconut and half an ounce of dark chocolate.

Now here's the kicker. I've lost weight. About 6 lbs in the last 10 days. And I'm not hungry. And I have a boatload of energy. This confounds Yasar - he doesn't see how it's possible. But it's absolutely true. Despite the high fat diet, the pounds are coming off.

True story: at the store the other say, I had one very dry turkey burger to choke down. Thinking it could use a little help, I dunked it in some of the BBQ sauce on the cut table. After finishing the meat, it was like my appetite woke up and I was instantly ravenous, looking for things to shove in my mouth. I will tell you the list of ingredients on the sauce container is long, and has lots of -ose endings. Take from that what you will.

I haven't come to any raw conclusions about this except that our bodies weren't designed to eat all the processed foods on the market today. Going back to unprocessed foods is working for me. I don't feel deprived - quite the opposite. And last night I took a 4-mile walk with my kid.

I feel like I'm getting my life back.


Miami River Foods Project Beta Box 2.1

MRFP Beta Box 2.1 In Da Howse! (my house, LOL!)
Sourdough bread with olives? Oh, baby....
Cheese, butter, and eggs.
My one little green egg (I'm saving it for Andrew).
Dry goodies - brown lentils, black beans, white basmati rice, and quinoa. All in green compostible bags.
Kamut? This is going to be something new for us.
Hopefully that's enough t.p. to get us through the month. It's not double-roll.
And my dinner tonight. The menfolk are in Columbus, so I got to sit down with some of that amazing colby cheese, a slab of sourdough bread with my spreadable butter (equal parts softened butter and evoo mixed together), a couple medjool dates from the Middle Eastern store (which are amazing, mushy and sweet - YUM!), a glass of zinfandel (thanks Shari!), and a well-loved book.

I am thankful. :)


Not Much to Say

Well, technically that's not true. There's lots to say, but I'm concentrating it down to one simple sentence:

I'm so grateful this week is almost over. It's a week I would never want to repeat.

It all started with this post over on Almost Frugal.

Then we had some very, very serious family problems. Also on Monday.

Tuesday saw us reeling in shock and heartache for my family, and so many prayers for healing here. With a healthy side of that horrible joy/self pity feeling that goes along with someone you know announcing a new pregnancy. Oh, and this post. (stay tuned on Monday at AF for my response)

Wednesday was a doctor's appointment. Since moving to this new house, I've been having breathing problems. Bad enough that I wasn't getting any sleep without Nyquil. And I bared my soul to my wonderful doctor about my weight problem. It's been impossible this last year to lose weight, something that's never been this hard before. I've been walking around in this cloak of failure and self-loathing for too long. So I asked him if it's the stress of all that's happened, or just me getting older, or maybe a medical issue?

Thursday - bloodwork to check my thyroid level, blood sugar, cholesterol, BUN, creatine, and pretty much anything else my doctor could check for. An afternoon with Yasar and Andrew in Dayton getting the car fixed and doing some grocery shopping at the Middle Eastern store.

Yesterday, Andrew and I went to Charleston Falls after work. We needed that time together to talk and just soak each other in. I am blessed to have a great kid.

Today? I pray for a quiet, uneventful day. At midnight I will celebrate the resurrection of my King as well as an end to this horrible week.

Charleston Falls 4-2-10