Sunday, May 7, 2017

Stepping Through The Looking Glass

     My Life for the past two years has been like stepping through the looking glass. My forty years of marriage and raising children have been all consuming and totally given over to what others needed. I had melt  downs of wondering where I was and who I was everything that defined me was them, not me.  I always found myself trying to fit in with others in our lives but it was like putting a square peg into a round hole. I just didn't fit or feel comfortable. Then boom I went through two years of depression. I found myself at the bottom of a dark hole that I couldn't figure how to climb out of. It was a place I never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever be. What I let define who I was had changed and I no longer had a place. Some one had set fire to Suzie Homemakers world and it was burnt to ashes. 

     People spoke but nothing really connected. I just went through the motions until I crashed and one day I didn't get out of bed and then another when I did I just sat and cried. Then one day my husband said something to me that made something in my mind click. It was very simple, "What do you want, really want to do with your life if you could do anything?" Each day I began thinking about that one thing until it was all I thought about and even how I got where I was. The one day I decided I would no longer live my life for others but for me. My choices would be mine, my thoughts would be mine and no one would ever define me with their reflection. Suddenly I could see everything that was on the other side of that looking glass, my dreams and ambitions that I put aside so many years ago. I was giving myself to live and be my authentic self.

     As they say, "That was then and this is now," and my now is a glorious path that has trickled down into the lives of those around me. Our lives are so much better that before. I started by going back to school at 57 to become a certified Holistic Health Practitioner specializing in aromatherapy and reiki.  It was through the discipline of mastering prayer and meditation that I once again found my spiritual center, the quietness where I hear my Creators voice and love. One by one I was beginning to add all the colors of life back into my color box. This past January I began my Master Herbalist & Holistic Nutrition studies.

     When I told my 38 year old son I was going back to school he asked me, " Why in the world would you want to do that at your age?"  I told him, "Because it would help my family." I don't know if he ever got it or not. What he doesn't know is that when I graduated high school I had a scholarship to go to collage but got married and had babies instead (impetuous youth) with the idea to always go back I may not be the marine biologist I once planned but the ride has been wild and I wouldn't trade it for anything. So I can now say that living on the dark side of the looking glass with depression was a blessing because it brought me through to the other side - where I was meant to be all the long.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

What I Eat & Drink

I've been asked by a couple of people what whole food do I eat and what is my drink of choice.

First on the table is that I am Celiac. So what I eat will be different than some people and even those with in my own household. I eat whole foods, that is anything that isn’t processed, packaged or boxed as much as humanly possible - fresh  fruits and vegetables, organic/grass fed meats/ wild game, organic eggs( I really, really like my eggs), wild caught fish, gluten free grains/flours - sorghum, brown rice, quinoa, cornmeal (no oats- my digestive system can’t handle them), nut butters, maple syrup and local honey, olive and coconut oils. Everything is made from scratch at home. Once you have experienced the pain of being Celiac for ten years without relief you are not daring not walk down that road again from mislabeled products (most gluten free processed foods have oats in them) or cross contamination from food handlers. Oops, got off track there.  

I have been known to eat an Amy’s gluten free frozen dinner in a pinch when the rest of the family eats out because I don’t. Also I do keep a box of some type of gluten free cereal in the pantry for when I wake up at 3 am feeling peckish or Mary’s Gone Crackers to dip in hummus.  I don’t always buy organic produce because it depends on the quality of the produce and the that weeks budget. Because you can’t buy organic isn’t a reason not to eat healthy, purchasing non-organic is still better than buying processed anything. I purchase organic meat/wild caught salmon when on sale and stock up what I can afford. Wild game comes from a family friend and hubby and the young one keep us in fresh caught fish. In the summer I buy from the farmers market at OSU. I do my shopping at Aldi for their wonderful prices on their organic foods (eggs, milk, canned goods and such) and the rest at Sprouts Farmers Market. I don’t shop at Whole Foods because it is way and beyond my budget.

We are a family of 5 (and sometimes six when my grandson across the street comes over) ranging from 14 to 77 years old and I try to keep the budget any where from $125-$150 a week. All breakfasts, lunches and snacks are vegetarian and we eat meat for 3 dinners a week and 3 vegetarian, the 7the meal of the week is usually up for grabs because Friday I clean out the fridge. Always make a menu keeping it as simple as possible and stick to it. Anyway that’s the simple truth of it when it comes to food around here. The bottom line here is eat real food.

My drink of choice and everyone else in the house is filtered water. We have a cabinet filled with herbal teas and I will admit to the morning good old cuppa of PG Tips, with one spoon of sugar.  I can not start my day any other way, also when I’ve had a trying day.

Blessings and Gratitude

In this hurried world that we live in it can be easy to forget how much we truly are blessed with. Today begin making a gratitude list or even a small journal for this month. Write in it each day at least three things that you are thankful for become aware of how much you have been given in your life. Don't know where to begin, then keep this in mind each day - The things that someone else is praying for you already have in you life. This is a very profound thought because it brings into the focus of your own reality of how truly blessed you are and each and everyday remember to take time, just a minute will do.

Pork Chop Cassserole

I came into my marriage with one cookbook -old faithful - Betty Crocker. But I didn't have a clue how to cook on our meager budget in 1977 so mom brought me a little green paperback that became my "newlywed's food bible", How I Feed My Family on $16 a Week by Jo Ann York. It had shopping tips, how to make a menu, and recipes - I was in high cotton now! Thirty- nine years and six kids later I still use the recipes in that fallen apart old treasure and the menus that I made from it even if it does cost more than $16 a week. This Pork Chop Casserole recipe to this day is my hubby's favorite.

Pork Chop Casserole

4 pork chops
3-4 potatoes,  peeled and sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13"x9" baking pan. Place pork chops in the bottom of the 13"x9" baking pan. ( I always added 1 cup water in the bottom of the pan - it makes some nice pan juices to use on the potatoes. Sometimes use apple juice.) Place the sliced potatoes and apples on top of the pork chops. (Occasionally I line the bottom of the pan with sliced onions.) Sprinkle with the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Take Time for You Today