The Challenges of Summer.

Phineas and Ferb courtesy of The Disney Channel

As Phineas and Ferb say:

There’s 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it…

Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve been in school and had a “summer vacation”, but I have always loved summer.  For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt better in the summer.  I hurt less, and I just want to get out and do more.  Longer Days and Warmer Nights…life is good.

The challenges of Summer?

  1. I over do it because I feel better, then I pay for it!
  2. I get over heated easily and don’t realize it because I love hot weather.  (although we lived in Palm Springs, CA for a while…it was too hot there!)
  3. I over extend myself.  I have a hard time saying “No”, I seem to think I can do anything during this time of year.
  4. I often end up eating things I shouldn’t, and get sick.  (I just don’t plan well.)
  5. Again, I get too hot before I realize it!
How I can over come these challenges?
  1. Well, this should be easy, just do less!  However, it’s often hard to tell when I might be over doing it.  I guess my best option here is to pay more attention to what my body is telling me.  And REST OFTEN.
  2. Limit the amount time I spend in the heat.  Don’t just trust that I can tell when I get too hot, or thirsty.  Set a time limit, and stick to it.  And DRINK A LOT of water!
  3. I need to remember, I can only do so much!  And sometimes, I can’t do anything.  I feel guilty when I tell people I will be somewhere and then I can’t show up.  I need to tell more people either, “No.”  Or “Maybe.”  If people don’t understand, then do I really want to be doing anything with them?
  4. Since I have gluten and fructose intolerance, there are a lot of things I can’t eat.  Too often I go out and don’t realize we may not be home when I get hungry.  I must plan better for this.  Make sure there will be food I can eat at parties.  The easiest way to do this is to bring something.  When we are going out and about I need to make sure we will be near places I can eat, or keep food with me.  I used to carry protein bars in my purse that were gluten free so I’d always have something.  Now, it’s more difficult.  I haven’t found a protein bar that doesn’t have things I can’t have because of the fructose.  I must find something!!
  5. I used to never get over heated.  I have a convertible, and I love to drive and feel the heat, and wind.  On Wednesday, I was on my way home and got stopped due to road work.  I was sitting still for about 20 minutes.  When I got home I felt sick, and dizzy.  I got way too hot.  How can I prevent this?  I have to keep WATER with me.  Not soda, WATER!  If I get stuck in traffic, I need put the top up and turn on the AC.
What do I want to accomplish this summer?
  1. Complete all the requirements for becoming a licensed foster parent.
  2. Perhaps take a vacation…something we haven’t done in a very long time.  Even a long weekend would be nice.  But traveling scares me…I’ll have to be prepared.  And we really don’t want to leave our dog.
  3. Take care of me.  (read *pamper* here)
  4. Read more books.  I really don’t know if this is possible, but I’ll give it a go.  (I love to read!)
  5. Enjoy my birthday!  (July 2nd)
  6. Spend time with hubby.  (I don’t really care what we do, just as long as we do it together.)
  7. Enjoy my pets.  Especially Sandy, on July 2010, the vet told us that Sandy had 6 months to a year to live.  I don’t think anyone told her!
  8. Enjoy driving.  (something I haven’t been able to do much for the last 2 years.)
  9. Enjoy our garden!  This is the first year we’ve tried growing a vegetable garden.  I keep looking at a friend’s garden and think…”Wow, why does their garden look so much better than mine?”   Oh yeah, they aren’t using all organic practices.  Let’s just say I now understand why organic produce cost so much more.
No matter what your plans for the summer, be sure to take care of yourself.  Keep things close to you that make you feel good.  For example: I take a bath every night right before I go to bed.  It really helps me get to sleep, feel more relaxed, and hurt much less.   I put lotion on every night, often my husband puts special peppermint lotion on my feet.  (My feet get hot at night and the peppermint makes them feel cool.)
Spend time with people who are good for you.  Avoid people who are toxic.  (you know who they are, you may feel like you have to spend time with them for some reason or another, maybe they are family, but you don’t.  Just say “NO”.  You can do it.  I know you can.)
Enjoy yourself.  That’s the most important thing.  Find ways to make your life easier, and more enjoyable.
Then pass it on.  Let other’s know what secrets you have found that make you feel better.
What’s your plans for the Summer?

What’s in your Medications?

I posted this on my other blog Wendy Cooks, but thought it important enough to post it here too.

When you have a food allergy or intolerance it is very important to know what all the ingredients are in our medications.  However, it can be hard to find reliable information about the inactive ingredients.  I’ve asked my pharmacist to be sure to check the ingredients, but they are busy, and I’m sure some of them don’t actually check.   When I was diagnosed with Fructose Intolerance (malabsorption), I asked my pharmacist to check to ensure there were no ingredients in my medications that would make me sick.  He told me that I wasn’t on any liquid medications so I didn’t have to worry.  I wasn’t really happy with that answer, so I looked up the ingredients in the medications I bought that day.  I soon found that one of my medications had Mannitol in it, something I should not be taking.  It was easy to rectify, I just called my doctor and got a prescription for the regular tablets.  However, if I had taken the pharmacist at his word I would have wondered why I was continuing to get sick.  (and unfortunately, I had to pay for 2 prescriptions)

I was looking at the Health Resources listed on my library’s website, and I found this wonderful site.  Pillbox, is part of the US National Library of Medicine, it gives “rapid identification, (and) reliable information” on medications.  Pillbox, has two ways you can check for your drugs.

One is a Quick Search, and one is the Advanced Search.  I used the Advance Search, simply because I found it first.  The Quick Search has photos of the medications, it is still under development, so some medications may not have photos.

In the Advanced Search, just fill in what you know about the medication, and it will give you a list, choose your medication and it will give you all the information you need.  I tried it on a few of my medications, including an over the counter allergy medication.  One I put in the name, one I just put in the description, and one I just put in part of a description.  For most it found the medication I was looking for, the only one it didn’t find was one that is labeled as a pharmaceutical food supplement.  It gave all of the ingredients on all of the medications except the over the counter allergy medication, but they are listed on the box.

I hope this will help you and give you more peace of mind about the medications you are taking (or giving to your children).

http://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/index.html

Please let me know if you use the Pillbox site, and how well it works for you.

Feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post.

Company Coming! Excitement and Worry all rolled up.

Tonight one of my very best friends and her husband will be coming for a visit.  Not only is Kym a great friend, she was once my roommate, and my maid of honor. (Which I think was a great honor considering I only had one attendant.)

During our wedding ceremony. (l-r) Kym, Wendy, Stuart

I haven’t seen Kym and Camden since their wedding 4 years ago.  Unfortunately, we live on opposite sides of the US, about 3,000 miles apart.  They live in San Francisco, CA, we live in Durham, NC.  So, of course, I’m VERY EXCITED!  However…

I’m also a bit worried.  Kym and Camden are very energetic people, they love to site see and just go, go, go.  Well, the go, go, go is a little hard for me.

Let me explain with a little side note:  Yesterday I was telling Stuart how much I hate it when a doctor asks me to rate my pain on a number scale,  0 being no pain and 10 being pain that sends you to the ER.  I think the amount of pain it would take to send me to the hospital (someone who absolutely HATES to go to the ER) a lot different than someone else (who doesn’t mind going at all).  I told him that the scale should be 0 for no pain and 10 for when I pass out from the pain, and I really think they should tell you what 5 would represent.  Stuart said he was glad that he hasn’t been in pain that often.  Once when he broke his arm, and when he had to have surgery on his knee…but not much.  I confessed that I can’t remember a day that I haven’t been in some amount of pain.

Now I guess you can understand why I’m a bit worried.  I really want to show my friends a good time, and do things with them, but I’ve been in a lot a pain lately.   I know they’ll understand, and wouldn’t dare think of me being in pain so I can do something with them.  However, I don’t want them to be bored.  And I really WANT to do things.  *sigh*

I’m still having trouble with my arm with pain and tingling, my wrist with carpel tunnel, my hip is still giving me trouble, and I can’t seem to walk very far without pain in my feet, calves, and knees.  I feel so old.  I feel like I can’t do much at all before I get so tired (or hurt too much) and have to sit down and rest.  Every night I’ve been taking a hot bath before bed, it seems to help dull the pain, especially in my legs and hips, so I can go to sleep.

I keep waking up in a lot a pain, and I feel exhausted.  I wonder if I’m hurting so much while I’m sleeping that I don’t sleep deep enough to rest?

I’ve been baking today, and I’m exhausted.  I was trying to make gluten free hot dog buns.  After 3 tries, I gave up.  So no buns for the cook-out tomorrow.

They’ll be here in about 3 hours.  Think I might take a nap.

Guilty!

The fraudulent Gluten Free Baker, Paul Seelig, owner of Great Specialty Products, was found guilty of 23 counts of fraud, and sentenced to no less than 9 years in prison.

To read more about this please see my post on Wendy Cooks: Fraudulent Gluten Free Baker Sentenced.

Thank you all for supporting me through this.  I’m so glad this is over, and I put it behind me.  I used to buy gluten-free products from local bakers, trying to support our local businesses.  Now, that has been spoiled.  How can I trust people to really be baking gluten-free?  Until the FDA states the requirements for a business to say their products are gluten-free, I won’t be buying any products that aren’t certified gluten free.

Thank you! and What’s up with Wendy?

First I would like to thank all of my contributors to the Meniere’s Treatments Series.  I hope we all learned something (I know I did).  I’m also hoping that this series will help those who are going through all of this understand that they are not alone.  That not all treatments work for everyone, but there are many treatments out there and hopefully one will work for them.

Thank you to all who contributed, either through a guest post, or by commenting.  This could not have worked without all of you.

It’s been a while since I posted about what’s going on in my life.  So, on at the risk of boring you, here it is:

NOT Gluten Free!

The biggest thing that is consuming my mind today is the trial against Paul Seelig.  The man who is accused of selling bread as gluten free when in fact is wasn’t.   I have to testify against him on Thursday.  This is just so hard.  I don’t want to see this man again.  I don’t want to relive what he put me through.  I read a post on Facebook by a woman who was at the trial yesterday.  They were selecting the jury.  She said that he kept chuckling.  What could possibly be so dang funny?  She also said that many potential jurors said they couldn’t be impartial because what he did was so horrible.  Hmmm, what about innocent until proven guilty.  I mean I know he’s guilty because I was there, but if I wasn’t I don’t think I could say that.

Of course, that is what I said the whole time all of this was going on.  People were saying they were getting sick from the gluten free bread this man was selling, heck I was sick.  But there was only a few people, and I thought I was sick from Meniere’s.  I felt that people were publishing things on their blogs about his selling bread as gluten free before they really had any proof.  Plus, he kept telling me that he was setting up a time for me to come in to his bakery and be there when he had testing done, so I could witness it.  He even applied with the Gluten Intolerance Group to have his facility certified gluten free.  I kept thinking, why would he do this if his products were in fact not gluten free.

However, even if he was guilty (as I now know he is) I felt that it was irresponsible for people to be publishing this without proof.  And I didn’t feel like a home gluten test was enough.  After all, we wouldn’t know if it was cross contaminated or not.

But the sad fact is, I believed him. He told me that he sold to the government and to hospitals.  He said he only sold to the public because he wanted people to be able to have good gluten free bread.

I look back at the emails we wrote to each other and I feel so very stupid.  Why did I believe this guy?  I think I just couldn’t believe that anyone would purposefully contaminate people.  And how could he be so stupid that he didn’t think he would get caught?  He was making people sick, did he think they wouldn’t eventually put it together?  I fell so betrayed.  He must really have been thrilled to have had someone who was so gullible on his side.

Ok, enough about that.  I’ll let you know how it goes after I testify, and then after the trial is over.

making a mold of my ear for my hearing aids

I have some good news.  I was fitted for hearing aids last week.  I will be getting them on the 8th.  I’m very excited.  Think of all the things I’ll be able to hear, that I can’t hear now.  hehehe.

The fructose intolerance diet is going well.  I saw the nutritionist on the 23rd.  She put me on a pretty strict fructose elimination diet for 4-6 weeks.  Then after my body starts absorbing nutrition again, I can try to add in new foods and see how I do.  Right now, I’m doing so much better.  No GI upset.  I did have a little of one thing on my NO list, and I got so bloated, and gassy.  Then within an hour I had a horrible migraine.  I’m really hoping that once I get this food intolerance under control I will stop having so many migraines.  (one can hope right?)  According to our scales, it looks like I’ve lost about 2 pounds this week.  Oh, I forgot to mention, the nutritionist told me I’m not eating enough.  I’ve been trying to eat more calories since I saw her, but it’s really hard for me.

I joined Spark People, an online weight loss community, so I could log everything I eat and keep up with my symptoms and my calories.  If you happen to be over there, look me up, my username is ONEARTSYCHICK.

One more piece of news.  Stuart and I are starting classes on April 5th, to become Foster Parents.  I may need a lot of advise from you who have children.  Wish us luck!

As you can probably tell, the patches are still holding, and I’m not having any vertigo, and the disequilibrium is gone.  Hearing is stable.

My hip is bothering me much more.  I’m sure it’s because I’ve been doing more.  But it’s a real pain….literally.  I’m also having more trouble with the pelvic pain, I’m sure that’s because I’ve been feeling a little more amorous lately, since the world stopped spinning.  However, just because I know why these things are bothering me more doesn’t mean it should be that way.  I should be able to walk and not hurt, or have sex without pain.  One thing at a time.  Perhaps I will get there.

What’s going on with you these days?

The First Signs of Spring

I went to the library today and there were daffodils blooming in front of the building.  Oh, I love the first signs of spring.  On Monday it was so nice I sat outside for a while and just soaked up the sun.  It was so beautiful.  I know we will still have some cold days, but the warm days are peaking through, and that is making me happy.  Time to start planning our garden!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in so long.  My stupid headache lasted for days.  I literally slept for nearly 2 straight days trying to get rid of it.  I’d wake up and would still be in so much pain, I’d just take more meds and go back to sleep.  It has been much better, but I still feel like I have a nagging headache, just not one that will knock me on my butt!

On Monday, I had a good day.  I actually cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed the kitchen/breakfast nook and living room.  It looks so much better.  Our new vacuum is so powerful, it needs a different attachment on it for the carpet, it is so powerful the suction makes it hard to get it to move along the carpet.  But, boy you really should have seen how much dirt it picked up.  I never would have guessed there was that much in there.  (Or maybe you shouldn’t see it…now should I be ashamed?  Or delighted that I was actually able to finally get it up?  I think I’ll be delighted!)  And today I’m working on the laundry.  I really hate doing laundry, but I’m so happy I am just able to do it.

I even made candy on Monday!  I was going to take a picture, but I put it in the refrigerator, and it turned a funny color, so I didn’t think it was photo worthy.  However, my husband was thrilled.  I made mint chocolate Lego Blocks for him…he is a huge Lego fan, and loves mint chocolate…no silly hearts for him on Valentine’s Day.  : )

We even made it out to dinner.  I had planned to cook, but we hadn’t made it to the grocery store, so out to dinner it was.  We got there early, so no waiting.  Then we spent the evening grocery shopping.  How romantic, right?  We did come home and have a nice quiet evening together and it was very nice.

So, how am I doing physically?

Better.  But the headaches aren’t good.  However, I think they are mostly hormonal.  I’ve been having a very light period, but it’s the first one I’ve had in months.  Also, I’m trying to go off of birth control pills.  (no I’m not trying to get pregnant, I just want my hormones to be my hormones and see where I’m at with all of that.)

I still start feeling worse in the evenings.  Dr. Gray is talking about testing my pressure to see where I’m at, I think that’s probably a good idea.

I did see my regular MD this past week.  (did I mention that before?  I should probably re-read my last post, I was in so much pain when I wrote it I really don’t remember much about it.)  Well, if I haven’t mentioned it we found out that I have a B-12 deficiency again.  I was getting shots last year, then I went to oral supplements.  It looks like I don’t absorb the oral supplements or B-12 in my diet very well.   A lot of people with celiac disease don’t.  So some of my icky feeling symptoms could very easily be caused by that.  My thyroid was also a bit low, so there we go with more of the same symptoms.  Fatigue, dizziness, GI symptoms…  It’s hard to know what is causing what.

My nutritionist started me on a diet to help regulate my blood sugar.  It is mainly just meat and veggies with very little fruit.  I am to make sure I have protein and fat every 2-3 hours.  I’m also to drink lots of broth.  I’ve been drinking the broth for a few weeks now, and it really seems to be helping my digestion.  I’ve actually had come normal bathroom habits.  I still have some diarrhea, but it is less that it was, anything that isn’t diarrhea is less that it was.  (I know icky subject.)  If I could just start losing some of this weight I would be a very happy girl.

The last couple of nights I’ve had a hard time sleeping.  I’ve read 3 books this week.  One was pretty short, but still, that is just insane considering I don’t read in the day time.  You can really tell when I have insomnia, I go through books like crazy!  I read Counterfeit Magic by Kelly Armstong, Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris and Ghost Town by Rachel Caine.  All of these books are parts of series.  Sometimes it drives me crazy that I get all caught up in a series, other times I can’t wait for the next one to come out.  I was disappointed in the first book.  The second book is a mystery, this poor girl one of those people who always seem to have people murdered around her, but it was cute.  The last book, was really good.  I was impressed that this author was able to come up with such a unique story on book 9 of this series, I felt like it was getting a bit same old same old with the last book, but this one really switched it up.

Well, that’s all for today.  I hope you are all getting your first days of spring and are enjoying them as much as I am!

What I did today…and Spaghetti with Sausage

Every Saturday we try to go to the Durham Farmer’s Market.  And every Saturday morning as we are getting ready, I say something and Stuart thinks I’m being mean to him.  We end up being snappy to one another, and it starts that way….I hate it.  Finally, I realized today that I get very anxious about getting up and going anywhere, and it’s not just when we are going to the Farmer’s Market it’s anywhere.  It’s just very noticeable on Saturdays because we do this every Saturday.

I was being a bitch.  I snap, and I’m snarky, and I am simply not the nicest of people.  But it really has nothing to do with Stuart.  First, I’ve gained so much weight, I find it hard for me to get ready and feel comfortable (read *pretty* here).  What woman does not get bitchy when she’s feeling like that?

Then I start to get more and more anxious about being out and about and what if something happens.  When we are home an attack is much easier to stop, or at least make it much easier.  But when we are out and about, it’s much harder.  What if I collapse?  What if we have to leave some place in a hurry?  There have been a few times we’ve had to leave a restaurant, just leave, the food hadn’t arrived, I was getting sick, and we had to leave NOW.  It’s so hard to explain, no we don’t have time for you to put the food in a to go box, here, we will pay you for it, but we have to leave now.  (besides I would not be able to stand smelling the food in the car all the way home.)  People look at you so funny, because all of a sudden I’m walking like I’m drunk and I can’t stand up by myself, and I wasn’t drunk a few minutes ago.  I can’t imagine what they must think after we leave.  We try to say, “She has vertigo, she’s getting very sick, very fast, we have to leave.  But how can they understand?

So now I understand.  I’m anxious about leaving the house, and it comes across as me being grumpy.  Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I’m hoping he will get mad and say, “Well we just won’t go then.”  But instead he told me that I could go by myself.  Oh my, the terror that went through me.  But you know what?  I was going to do it.  Just because I got so mad that he said that to me.  And how dangerous would that have been?  Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.  (well, today, I’ve had a pretty good day, so I would probably have been fine, but still, it wouldn’t have been smart….what if…)

Deep Breath Here!  I calmed down and talked with Stuart.  I apologized.   He apologized.  And I realized what was really going on with me.  It was a very nice talk, and I hope we can deal with it better in the future now that we know what was (or may be) causing it.

So, off to the Farmer’s Market we went.  We got there, walked in, hit 3 vendors and said, “It is too dang cold out here!”  And we left.  We came away with a bag of Sun Chokes (also known as Jerusalem Artichokes), some green onions, a bag of mixed winter greens, and some baby turnips.  Not enough veggies for the week, but it was in the 20’s this morning and we all know I’m not a cold natured person…well, neither is my husband.  I’ve never tried Sun Chokes before, but I like trying new things.  I’ll let you know what I decide to do with them.

We then tried to go get breakfast but the breakfast places were way too busy, so we decided to have lunch at the steak house.  Yes, steak for breakfast.  It wasn’t what I wanted, but it wasn’t bad.

We left there and decided to drop by the mall to walk off some of that meal.  I was so bloated and miserable.  After our walk we came home and I realized my keys were missing. (I keep them attached to my purse with a carabiner type hook.) The hook was there, but the keys were gone.  I felt like such a fool.  Stuart called the mall, nope, no one had turned in any keys.  I knew I had them at the steak place because I opened the car door with them.  Stuart still called them, and yep, they were there.  How lucky was that.  Guess I’ll figure out a different way to carry my keys.  Perhaps a carabiner hook that screw locks, I’ll have to go look at them.  All I know is, I’m lucky today.

We also took a trip to the huge thrift store!  We bought a pretty blue bowl, 2 small sushi plates with small sauce bowls and 2 place mats.  All for $3.25!  How cool is that?  I decided I wanted some cuter dishes take pictures of my food for my cooking blog, so it doesn’t matter if I have a set that matches or anything.

We made Spaghetti Sauce tonight.  (see my pretty new bowl and place mat?)

Spaghetti Sauce with Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage over Noodles

Spaghetti Sauce with Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Sausage

  • 1 medium to large onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (I didn’t really measure, I just sprinkled it in there until it looked right.  I’ve been making this for a long time.)
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic minced or chopped what ever is easier for you.  (about 2-3 teaspoons)
  • 1  28oz can Tomato Puree or chopped tomatoes
  • 1 package Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage

heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium high heat.  Sautee onions until translucent.  Add Italian Seasoning stir for just a second(this will release the oils in the dried herbs.  Add garlic and tomato puree, heat thoroughly.

Cut up sausage in slices that look like round discs.  Brown sausage in a separate pan.  (I guess you could do it in the sauce pan before you add the onion, but I didn’t think about it.)  Add the sausage to the sauce, and heat thoroughly.  Simmer for as long as you want, the longer it simmers the more the flavors will meld together.

*hint, to quickly clean the pan you cooked the sausage in, immediately add water to the hot pan and scrape the brown bits off.  Then pour this out (the chicken sausage doesn’t have much oil, so there is no oil to pour out), add soap to the pan and swish with a cloth, and rinse.  Voila, it’s clean.  (If it doesn’t come clean just add a little baking soda and the last of the brown stuff should come out.)

Serve sauce over noodles of choice (we used Tinkyada Gluten-Free Noodles) with shaved Parmesan cheese on top if desired.

That was most of my Saturday.

Do you get anxious about going places?  Especially if you’ve been having a lot of attacks recently?  Do you find yourself not being so very nice sometimes, and not really knowing why?

small update and Sauerkraut recipe

I have an appointment with Dr. Gray on January 28th at noon.

I don’t know why all of a sudden they were able to get me in sooner, but I’m glad.

We’ll find out what’s going on with the Cerebral Spinal Fluid Pressure.  Hopefully, she will be able to get something straight.  Even leveling things out a little would help a lot.  3-4 attacks a week are driving me crazy.  (as you all know.)

On a side note.  I made Sauerkraut today….well I started the making of Sauerkraut today.  I thought I had pictures of it from the last time I made it but I can’t find them.  : (  So I didn’t take any today.  But I will tell you what I did.  It is so easy!!  (especially if you have a food processor) *this recipe was inspired by the recipe for Raw Sauerkraut in the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.

Sauerkraut

  • 1 head of Cabbage
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons of Sea Salt (I use 1, but the original recipe called for 2)

Peel off a few of the out leaves of the cabbage head.  Save these you will use them later.  Chop the head into small enough pieces to fit in your food processor. (be sure to remove and discard the stalk. I really like the center of the stalk, I always just gobble it up.)

Slice up the cabbage in your food processor with your slicing blade. (if you don’t have a food processor you can do this by hand, but it will take a while, you have to cut it up really small.)  Transfer the cabbage to a bowl and toss with the salt.

Here’s the really hard part if you don’t have a food processor.  Remove the slicing blade from the food processor and put in your little plastic blade.  Return cabbage to food processor in small batches just smashing it up and making it all juicy.  (if you don’t have a food processor you need to just keep smashing he cabbage with a mallet until you get a lot of the juice out.  Of course, this is a great way to get your frustrations out.)

Just spoon your juicy cabbage into a clean jar, and cover with those outer leaves you saved from the beginning.  Press the mixture down so the is some juice covering the leaves.  This won’t be hard.  Keep in a dark dry place for 3-7 days, I like to keep mine in my pantry.  (I do put the lid on the jar, but I don’t tighten it.)  Every day you need to press it down some more so even more juice will cover those leaves.  (eventually the leaves will start to just fall apart, don’t worry about it.)  The original recipe says to start tasting it after about 3 days, mine tastes nasty that soon.  Just smell it, if it smell like sauerkraut, then taste it.  If it taste like you like, then put it in the refrigerator the slow/stop the fermentation process.  If you get a funky scum on the top of your sauerkraut, just spoon it off.

I use a wooden pestle from a mortar and pestle that I have to press my mixture down every day.  Since I don’t use this mortar and pestle any more, I use it exclusively for this, now it smells like pickles.  : )  If you used a pestle made from a different material, or perhaps a mallet, you probably wouldn’t have this problem.

They do make crocks just for making sauerkraut, and I’ve seen much more complicated recipes, but I’ve never tasted better sauerkraut.

I may make it a different way some time, I may even get a fermenting crock so I can make more than one head of cabbage at a time.  But for now, this method does well for me, I just start a new jar before the one in the fridge gets empty.

(If I find those pictures, I’ll post one.  Maybe I will take a picture of the jar I have started at least so you can see what it looks like.)

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good day.

I woke up this morning and I heard water dripping.

Most people wouldn’t think anything about that, most people may even be annoyed by that, I thought is was great!  The great thing about it was I HEARD water dripping.  At that moment, I knew it was going to be a good day!

I looked at the clock and realized I slept 8 1/2 hours without waking up (well if I did wake up I don’t remember, so it doesn’t count.)  I turned over and went, Ouch! My head hurts.  I was not going to let that get me down, so I started to think about what I wanted for breakfast.  I knew we went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday and got a box of veggies, including spinach, oh, and there are some wonderful green onions in there….I can do something with that.  (But, dang my head hurts.)

I cuddled up with Stuart and asked if he would like a wonderful breakfast and he said, “we only have one egg, how do you feel today.”  “Much better thank you, but my head really hurts.”  He replied, “Well, then I’ll run get your medicine and pick up some eggs and be back in about 45 minutes and we can have breakfast.”  Oh, how I do so love my husband.  About that time, the cat pounced on me to say hello, then Sandy dog runs in after Stuart has finished feeding her and letting her out for her morning business (yes, he is wonderful)…and I am surrounded by love.  What more could you ask for on a Sunday morning?

So, I play with my “children” for a while, and then get dressed and come downstairs to have everything ready for the eggs (and the potatoes I decided to have him buy) when he got home.  And this is what I made for breakfast:

Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Green onions with Hash Browns

After seeing the picture it really doesn’t look quite as appetizing as it tasted.  However, I was so thrilled with breakfast, it was one of the most tasty meals I’ve had in a very long time.  (perhaps I shouldn’t say that about my own cooking, but oh my goodness, it was good.)

Today we also went to Home Depot and looked and Tile Saws.  Yes, that really is exciting.  There is an art project that I really want to get started in, and I need a tile saw.  If you read this blog, or know me personally, then you know I like to recycle things.  I saw the most beautiful set of glasses made from wine bottles, and I thought, “What a wonderful idea, I’d really like to do that.”  Well, cutting wine bottles, is not as easy as you would think, especially if you want to have them match, and you want to be able to drink out of them.  So after much research, I think I’m finally ready to get started.  (Luckily, one of my dear friends is a member in a Wine Club, so I have a good resource for wine bottles, and I don’t even have to drink.)  If this works, I plan to talk to a few bars in town and see if they will save their wine bottles for me too, so I can have an even bigger supply.  I plan on making beautiful glasses from wine bottles and hand etch designs on them to make them even more unique. (what do you think?)

We also went to Weaver Street Market today.  (It’s a local co-op, and I can find local, pasture raised meats and eggs there.)  For some reason I’ve been craving beef.  A nice juicy steak.  So we bought steaks.  We also found Stew Beef on sale…so you know what we will be having later this week.  Oh, and we found a delightful Hoop Cheese on sale.  They let me taste this cheese, and it has a mild taste, a bit like a medium cheddar.  I was so pleased to find a local cheese that I really like.  (We have really become locavores.)  We do try to support our local farmers, and we try to eat organic and ethically.  It’s a challenge, but we think it’s worth it.

I’ll be posting the recipe for dinner tonight on Wendy Cooks.  But here’s a picture:

Petite Sirloin, Sautéed Italian Broccoli Greens with Baby Turnips and Carrots

I do so love to cook.  I sing, or hum the whole time I’m cooking, I dance around the kitchen.  It’s just so much fun to create something that brings such joy to my husband (and sometimes other people), and I have to admit I really like to eat good food too.  It’s also fun, to create something really tasty that is nutritious.  One of the most fun things for me to do is to say, “OK, I have these ingredients, what can I make?”  And actually come up with something that people like.  That used to scare me to death, now I think it’s so much fun.  Isn’t it funny how life changes?

I have a phone consultation on Wednesday with a nutritionist to see if we think she can help me with my issues.  (Let’s keep our fingers crossed.)

Tonight, I have a movie date night with my husband.  We’re just going to watch a movie on Netflix, but I can watch a movie on Netflix with my husband tonight because I can HEAR it.  What a treat!

**One big side note.  I realized something yesterday.  I think I know something else that may have majorly attributed to my depression day before yesterday.  I started having really bad cramps yesterday.  I feel like I’m trying to have my period.  This would explain the extreme moods, and my headaches.  At 47 and a half, I’m peri-menopausal.  I’ve found that my hormonal symptoms have gotten much worse since I’ve started skipping periods, and then having heavier periods sometimes.  Hot Flashes, Night Sweats.  (more night sweats than hot flashes.)  The moods are much more unpredictable.  (poor Stuart.)**  Just a thought.

Meniere’s and Menopause…what a combination.

I think I got Glutened.

It’s so hard to know for sure, with all the GI trouble I’ve been having, but this is different.

Last night after dinner.  Which was very good, by the way, my stomach started hurting so bad.  I ate a brand of “Gluten Free” pasta that I don’t normally eat.  I have eaten it before, but only once or twice.

I read on the internet today and it said that they make their gluten-free pasta in the same facility that they make their regular pasta.  It does not say that on the package.  It doesn’t even say that on their website.  I found it on a Celiac site.  I tried to contact the company and the Contact Us link wasn’t working.  I really thought this was a reputable company.  Today, I’m questioning that, because I feel really bad.

All night, I kept waking up with my stomach hurting and with horrible gas pains.  I told Stuart that I felt like I had piranha in my stomach trying to eat their way out.  Pepto was my very good friend last night.  I must say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

Today, I still don’t feel good, and I can’t stay out of the bathroom.  This time, it’s very painful.  My stomach really hurts, like it used to before I stopped eating gluten.  My head hurts, and I ache all over.  Yes, it sounds like I have the flu, but I’m not that sick.  I just feel like crap.

I’m also very afraid to eat, but if I don’t eat, my stomach hurts.

I hate getting glutened.

Tomorrow I should feel much better.  That’s always the up side of this, it does go away.