over at blogher

Posted by J on Friday, February 25, 2011. Filed under:
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I posted a new (short) piece: The Best Advice I Can Give Right Now

Pod Pod is broken

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I was in a hurry this morning, to switch the laundry and get back upstairs to my sick little one (she has a cold, but in an asthmatic child, warrants being watched) when my ipod feel out of the pocket of my sweatshirt and landed, face down, on the concrete floor.


It still works, for now, but I'm going to have to replace it. I'm so mad at myself even though it was an accident I'm totally beating myself up about it. Ipod's are so damn expensive and I just got a nook I can't spend another $200 dollars right now on something I don't really need. I'm having myself a nice pity party here, poor me, poor ipod! 

Posted by J on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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I made a decision that I would be limiting my computer time to only a few hours a day (as opposed to several hours all spread out through the day) including my ipod use. That one was pretty easy, I just left it upstairs, the fact that we have a lot of other computers around the house made avoiding sitting down at one pretty hard; especially when my daughters were watching Strawberry Short Cake this afternoon while my 9-year-old was playing on his laptop, but I did it and I'm comfortable with how much time I spent today. I'm planning on knitting tonight while watching American Idol on my Citron shawl (which I had to rip out and start over again). I got through the fist section of the pattern pretty quickly. I'm hoping to finish the second section tonight during my TV time (Idol, Top Chef).

I finished this up yesterday for a baby shower gift that needs to be shipped out ASAP.
baby shower gift

I need to find some wrapping paper though, and a card, and figure out something to write.

That piece I was talking about not wanting to write? I'm writing it. In pieces. I'm going to share it when it's done.

Posted by J on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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I haven't been feeling great, since pretty much last Wednesday. I felt a little better on Monday during the day then last night it my entire right side hurt, terrible. This morning was okay, still sore but by mid-afternoon I was feeling pretty awful. I was nauseous and dizzy. I drank a bunch of water and coconut water, I dunno. Right now I'm feeling quite a bit better. Nervous though and quite frustrated with myself and my health in general.

not sure

Posted by J on Monday, February 21, 2011. Filed under:

So I'm writing, and trying to write about things that scare me and things I don't want to talk about. I've started, several times, to write about my last suicide attempt  but thinking about that night makes me nauseous even though it was nearly 10 years ago. I'm not sure if I'm not ready to talk about it or just too afraid to. Do I push myself out of my comfort zone or do I just stop for now?

and i'm sick

Posted by J on Friday, February 18, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
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I've got a fever. I've been having some issues since Wedensday. My husband said I was over reacting cause I was nervous about Saturday. Can overreacting cause a fever? I'm not sure. So of course I'm self doubting, that maybe it can, and maybe this is all in my head once again. I called my doctor. She just thinks it s a virus and my Crohn's is reacting to the virus (body is under stress so my lower half starts making noises in protest). I don't like it. I also feel like I can't fully open my eyes because my head hurts so badly and being on SCD, and afraid to stray, I can't take any medication like Tylenol or anything. Obviously I will if it gets too bad, but I'm trying very hard not to. Very hard.

Happy Birthday!

Posted by J on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Filed under: ,
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Today is my Grandfather's 94th birthday. I'm so blessed to have know him my entire life.

My Grandfather and His mother

This is a photo of him and his mother at a birthday party at a local state park. I have no idea when this was taken (I'm assuming the 50's). I love how they are dressed. I don't think I would have liked to live back then (lack of technology, of which I have become dependent) but I would to go back to dressing so nicely for every occasion. She wearing white gloves!

Weekend plans, anxiety

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I made plans for the weekend. Granted, it's only babysitting, so really I guess it's a huge play date for my three kids and my friend's two kids so she can move but I'm really getting nervous about it.

The drive two hours, who knows how long at the house, then driving home. My husband is going along to help (move her, not watching the kids) so really, it shouldn't be a big deal. I started getting upset about it shortly after I said yes, which is stupid, because I do want to help and with all five of the kids together the "babysitting" will amount to me sitting in the room with them because they will entertain themselves. I'm worried about my Crohn's acting up, of course, but there are bathrooms there and I told my husband which way to drive down to optimize bathroom availability, beyond that, there's nothing more I can do. I've made this trip before, many times, it shouldn't be effecting me like this.

Since I was diagnosed I have pretty much avoided making plans, maybe that's why this is so upsetting to me. Someone is relying on me to do something and I'm afraid that my health issues will get in the way. This is exactly how I want not to live, it simply can not happen. I can't have a productive life if I'm constantly worrying about and at the mercy of my disease, which of course, I am. Here I go again though, looking for trouble. If I feel fine on Saturday morning, most likely, I will feel fine all day. The morning really sets the tone for me, I know this, I've been doing this for a while. Then why is my head playing games with me, going through all the awful things that could happen over and over again making a little ball of worry in the bit of my stomach?

Being Brave: Defined.

Posted by J on Monday, February 14, 2011. Filed under: , ,

In 2011 my goal is to Be Brave. I think it can mean a lot of different things, and I'm sure my definition of it is going to evolve over the course of the year.

Right now Being Brave, means being honest and owning my story.

I like to think of myself as pretty sneaky. I can hide a lot of things in this little body of mine and convince a lot of people that I'm fine, I'm okay, I don't need to talk about it. But I do, and I have to, and this year I'm taking the time to do that. I realized recently that keeping everything to myself was only hurting me and inhibiting my chance at a healthy, happy life.

Happy Valentine's Day

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knitted Monsters, originally uploaded by bridgetroll.

I made this little guy for my Husband. Yes, the heart is knitted, stuffed, and sewn to his hands (ouch!).

I'm sort of obsessed with knitted these now, I wonder if I'll ever get anything else done again?

Apple Cider Raisin Bread - Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, SCD Legal

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This bread has a cake like texture which makes it great for a treat. Breads are not a staple of my diet anymore since I dramatically changed my eating happens to accommodate my healing but it is nice to have a treat once in a while especially when in the company of others. I've served this bread to a bunch of people who are not on my diet and with the exception of my husband (who apparently hates raisins baked into things and didn't tell me until now) everyone enjoyed it and no one knew it was Gluten Free let alone Grain Free and SCD legal until I told them. You can also leave the raisins out completely if you'd like.

Apple Cider Raisin Bread
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut free, SCD Legal

3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 c apple cider (if you're following SCD make sure it's legal apple cider)
2 tbs coconut oil, melted
 1/4 cup raisins 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or use a stoneware that is non stick. Go ahead and melt your coconut oil in the microwave and set it aside to cool slightly.  In a small bowl combine the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda, combine well and set aside. In a large bowl combine the eggs and the honey. With an electric mixer blend these together. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and continue to blend until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly beating as you go, keep mixing until all the lumps are gone. Fold in the raisins. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.

New Meds and a Monster

Posted by J on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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On Thursday I started a new supplement, L Glutamine. Yesterday I felt sick (just regular sick not Crohn's sick, thank God!) and had a low grade fever, today I have a sore through and a runny nose but no fever to speak of. I'm pretty sure this is just a coldish/fluish thing that's been going around and nothing related to the supplement so I'm going to keep using it and see what happens. It took me an awful long time to get sick and I know getting better is going to happen in phases but I get so frustrated whenever I feel funny thinking that I'm going to go into a flare, that something is going to trigger this awfulness again. I've read the research, and 80 - 90% of people with Crohn's do have a relapse this does not take into account any sort of medication or dietary changes they've made and I generally do not trust statistics especially from drug companies, but it what it is. I have a cousin with Crohn's that I believe has tried every sort of medical treatment offered and he's still having major issues, in short, nothing is working for him. He has not tried any sort of dietary adjustments though.

I don't like giving people advice when I'm not asked for it, just like I do not like people giving me advice when it's not warranted. We're stubborn people, my family, and it's just the way it is. I've had other family members say to me, "Why don't you just eat whatever you want and just carry toilet paper", I'm sure that was supposed to be a joke but it really made me angry. Why would I change my diet to the point of alienation at family picnics and functions if it wasn't making a difference in how I was feeling? And for the record I brought things along that I could eat to share with my family, so I was eating at the picnic, not just sitting off in a corner with my arms crossed muttering.

So right now I'm taking Apriso - 4 caplets daily, pro-biotic x 1 daily, vit D drops 4000iu daily, L Glutamine 1/4 tsp daily, Multivitamin x 1 daily, as well as my birth control pill which I'm debating going off. No, I'm not trying to get pregnant but I'm wondering how I'll feel if I don't take it.

I'm feeling positive about my progress so far so we'll see what happens as I continue on this course. Monday is valentine's day and thus we have started the season of candy-gift-giving. I'm not sure what's going to happen around Easter time but I was strong through the Christmas season (so.many.cookies) so I'm sure I'm going to be okay. This year, I'm planning on making myself an Easter basket full of yarn.

I'm so thankful for my knitting especially at this time in my life. I've recently become obsessed with knitting monsters, they are quick, and my kids adore them. This one is for my Eldest child for Valentine's Day. I can hardly wait until Monday to give them their gifts.

Sammi the sock monster

God, Crohn's, and Teeth.

Posted by J on Thursday, February 10, 2011. Filed under: , ,

My kids were home from school yesterday due to the -20 degree weather. Now I know why school is out in the summer, so you can have your three children go outside to play in the warm weather! I'll admit that they watched way too many movies yesterday (three) and the baby didn't get her afternoon nap. Oh well, it happens.

Today I started using a new supplement, L.Glutamine hopefully it'll do something nice for me. I'm excited about the results others had with it, however, everyone is different so we'll see how it works out.

I feel like all I'm writing about is Crohn's and I've mentioned in other pieces that I don't want it to take over my life, and that is true, and most of the time while I'm engaged in other activities (not blog writing) I don't think about it but now, when I have time to sit and think it bubbles to the surface. I think staying positive is important, to not look at it as a problem but as an opportunity for growth. So far, I know that having this disease has strengthened my relationship and my faith in God. I also can say with confidence that I'm taking much better care of my teeth (flossing every day)! I'm taking my health more seriously than I ever have before in my life because I have to be okay to take care of my children. It's just like they instruct you to do on an airplane, but your oxygen mask on first before helping others around you.

I have to get myself together health-wise first before I can do anything else, it's important, I have to put myself first in this situation. I'm grateful for that realization.

it's still snowing

Posted by J on Tuesday, February 8, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I stepped outside to snap a few photos, in my socks, that was not a good idea. It's so quiet here. Living the woods bothers me most of the time. I seem to need noise to function, in the summer in the woods there are noises, birds, bugs, and the constant sounds of people sawing wood and driving by on the dirt road. Now, in winter, there's nothing but stillness and the very occasional snow plow the only sound when I was outside earlier was the wind. 
I know. I know people would sell their left arm or first born to live out here but I'm not one of those people. I crave people, and a city, at least some place larger than this where you don't have to drive 30 minutes to get to a Wal-Mart and cell phones work. I praying this is our last winter here, at least up on this mountain, this isolation is killing me (besides the fact that I'm allergic to tree pollen, notice all the trees?).  In the mean time I'm working on several new recipes that I'm hoping I can post next week when I've tested them to my satisfaction. Besides all the snow, all my car being all messed up (breaks went out, and has not gotten fixed right), we also ran out of cooking gas. Maybe I'm just having a really bad week, too bad it's only Tuesday! 

finding balance

Posted by J on Thursday, February 3, 2011. Filed under: ,

Now that I've posted a ton of recipes that are heavy on the coconut flour I'm going to try to do more things without it. Over the next couple of weeks I'm hoping I can come up with some alternative desserts (and maybe some meals) that don't use any sort of flour at all. I'm not saying it's going to work out, but I'm going to try!

Posting a recipe every day is hard and I've only been doing it for (almost) two weeks. I know I can't keep up this pace because, frankly, I'm running out of recipes that are done. I'm simply not going to post something that I don't know is going to work that would be irresponsible of me and I can't do that.

Not every recipe I create works out so well.

If I could spend the day in the kitchen experimenting (and had some hired help to clean up the mess) I would but I am a mom first and foremost and while I love cooking and baking I have to realistic about it. I do call it "working" but at this point it's actually a hobby and taking care of my family comes first.

No I'm not going anywhere, I think what I'm doing right now is important and I plan to continue to do it, I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from. I'm figuring things out right now trying to find some balance between everything I'm doing and what I'd like to be doing in the future.

Soup Guide (Gluten Free, SCD legal, nut free)

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I wasn't going to post this cause I figured that everyone "knew" how to do this. Then I thought about it for a while and I realized that I didn't know how to make soup when I was first starting out cooking, I just sort of figured it out as I went a long so I would have had loved to have some direction.  I'm a haphazard cook. I never measure anything and keep tasting and adding things until something "tastes right" so this is more of a "soup guide" than an actual recipe.You can really put anything you want in it, if you like broccoli, add it, if you love onions, add them.

carcass of one roasted chicken (I usually roast a 5lb chicken)
one onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled and broken in half
sea salt & pepper to taste
enough water to cover

You're going to need a very tall pot. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer and cover for 3 hours. Strain broth, discard the onion and carrot. Remove any meat from the carcass and refrigerate the broth if you aren't going to use it right away.

Chicken and Veggies Soup serves 6:
Homemade chicken stock
1 large carrot peeled & sliced
1 stalk celery sliced very thin
1 zucchini julienned (avoid the seeds)
5 button mushrooms, sliced
sea salt & pepper to taste
cooked chicken meat

Put all your soup ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the veg is as soft as you'd like it. That's it. Taste your broth and adjust the seasonings.

on being brave

Posted by J on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. Filed under: , , , ,

One of my goals for this year is to "be brave". This means a lot of things to me as I'm generally very nervous about everything, but especially about being creative and how it is perceived by other people. I like to talk myself out of things, part of it is my depression, part of it is that I've convinced myself that I'm not much good at anything.

Being brave is about taking chances and I took a chance by submitting a piece to Kind Over Matter, and today it is featured. I'm overwhelmed and honored.

Banana Whoopie Pies (gluten free, grain free, SCD legal, nut free, dairy free)

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I think Whoopie Pies must be a Pennsylvania thing, whenever I would mention them while living in other parts of the country I would be met with a blank stare. Every summer my friend's mom would make dozens of Whoopie Pies with the intention of freezing them, although not a lot o f them made it into the freezer. Oh the stomach aches we had back in those days! Here is my grain-free version of Whoopie Pies, and just a warning, you're going to get messy that is half the fun, and you can always lick your fingers when you're done!

Banana Whoopie Pies
makes 10 pies 

4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup olive oil
2 over ripe bananas
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking sheet. In a large bowl combine eggs, coconut oil, and honey with an electric mixer blend on medium speed until everything is well incorporated (I use my kitchen aid stand mixer for these). Add the vanilla, olive oil, and bananas, blend well. In a separate bowl combine coconut flour, ginger, sea salt and baking soda, whisk to combine. With your mixer on low add the dry to the wet ingredients and mix until all the lumps are gone.  Scoop your cookies on to your prepared baking sheet bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool completely before filling. These really are more like little cakes although I'm calling them cookies.

Marshmallow Icing - adapted from from Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.
This frosting takes no time to make at all so don't walk away from it, and don't worry about having to done too early you cake has to cool before you frost it anyway :-) It also makes a good bit so save the rest in the fridge it will keep for a while.

1/2 cup honey
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a large sauce pan heat the honey over medium heat until it reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage, if you don't have a candy thermometer this stage is when the honey will form a "firm ball" when dropped into cool water. This process takes about five minutes so watch it!). Whip your egg white until it it's frothy. Pour the hot honey into the egg white mixing on low. Increase the speed once all the honey is combined and whip until the icing is very thick and forms soft peaks. Fold in you vanilla.

How to Whoop your Pies:
After your cookies are cooled spread icing on the flat side of one of the cookie.

Press another cookie on top of this one (flat side down) and press together.

If you're going to eat these right away go ahead and pile them onto a plate if you want to save them, tightly wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

some knitting

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Greta for Baby Girl
I decided to make my kids things this year for occasions when I'd normally go buy them a gift in an effort to quit buying them stuff just for the sake of buying stuff and to reduce my stash (even though I bought new yarn for these projects, just sayin'). Last year for Valentine's day I got my kids build-a-bears all in outfits and accessories (hello $$ x 3). I already got them each a small box of candy and gift bags (Target dollar section). I think it will end up being a cute gift, especially since they are still at the age where it's cool for their mama to make them stuff!

Penelope for Middle Girlie

Here are the two plushies for the girls, I'm working on one for my son too but I don't want to work on it in front of him and he's been out of school now for two days in a row and I think his bed time is too late for me to try to get anything productive done afterward  (9PM). What time should a 9-year-old be going to bed?

Find me on Ravelry!

of ice and snow

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The ice is falling quickly now, it's so very cold outside. We may be losing power in the next couple of hours so if that is the case please know that I did not abandon you! Last time there was an ice storm out here the power was out for two weeks. We're very isolated out here on the mountain and we don't get cell service either so I'll have no way to check email, facebook, blogger, twitter, you know anything.

My nook is charged and I have a lot of yarn (which I may have to burrow into) if it comes to that.

Hopefully, nothing will happen, but like I said before, I'm not ruling anything out. Stay warm.


Orange Cream Cake with Marshmallow Icing (gluten free, nut free, scd legal)

Posted by J on Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , ,
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I love oranges, I love the smell, the taste, and the lovely orange color. This cake is made using the juice and the zest of the orange so it takes on the flavor and some of the color. It's not a confection that is very heavy, that is to say that it won't make you feel like you ate a brick after your done. The cake it's light and citrus-y. It can be eaten with or with out frosting. My son said it's better without, my husband likes himself some sweets so he preferred the frosting, personally, I like it both ways.

Orange Cream Cake 

6 eggs
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (juice from one med orange)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs orange zest
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a  cake pan with parchment or use something that's naturally non-stick (like stoneware). I used an 11x7 baker. 

Combine eggs, orange juice, honey, vanilla, and yogurt in a large bowl mix until combined (I used my kitchen aid stand mixer). Whisk the coconut flour, baking soda, zest, and sea salt together an another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly with your mixer on low. Keep mixing until all the lumps are gone.

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

just out of the oven

Cool cake completely before frosting if you're deciding to do so.

slice of yum

Marshmallow Icing - adapted from from Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.
This frosting takes no time to make at all so don't walk away from it, and don't worry about having to done too early you cake has to cool before you frost it anyway :-) It also makes a good bit so save the rest in the fridge it will keep for a while.

1/2 cup honey
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a large sauce pan heat the honey over medium heat until it reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage, if you don't have a candy thermometer this stage is when the honey will form a "firm ball" when dropped into cool water. This process takes about five minutes so watch it!). Whip your egg white until it it's frothy. Pour the hot honey into the egg white mixing on low. Increase the speed once all the honey is combined and whip until the icing is very thick and forms soft peaks. Fold in you vanilla. Frost your cake.