Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goodbye, October. You were lovely.

"All things on earth point home in old October..."
--Thomas Wolfe

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”
--Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Curling up with a good book

"October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.”
The photo is of a friend's fireplace; she lives where it's a bit cooler than here. But I did spend quite a few hours this month curled up on my bed with socks on and book in hand.

I've fallen for Laurie R. King's mystery series about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. As soon as I finished The Beekeeper's Apprentice, I wanted more. I love these characters, and King's writing. I've never been much a mystery reader, but these are so smart and funny and not just about "the case." She's even making me break out the dictionary. My numb noggin could use a little vocabulary building.

Our library system had only one copy of The Monstrous Regiment of Women, the second book in the series, and it would take until next week to get it. I requested it, and resigned myself to waiting. Then I discovered a 40% off coupon and five Borders Bucks, and Scott generously offered to make a late night run to the bookstore for me! One hour and three dollars later, I was back in Oxford, England with Holmes' protege, the lanky, brilliant, California-born, half-Jewish Mary Russell.

Today I took a sick day, my body having finally given in to the sinus cold I've fought off all week. I spent most of the day snuggled up in bed to read my book and catch up on blogging, with a break for a game of balloon volleyball with my birthday boy.

The laundry will wait... Now, will someone please make these pumpkin brownies and eat one for me? Don't they sound better than Halloween candy?!

Middlest turns 8

Can it really be eight years since that chubby-faced baby landed in my arms for the first time? My first home-birthed babe, the nursling content to be in a sling wherever his mama went, who put up with toddler head-bonk kisses from his "big" brother, slept quietly tucked beside me every night, whose one desire from life was to nurse and be cuddled?

Yes, it really can. Yesterday, we celebrated his birthday, starting with presents at home before I'd even had my tea. This was the year of the pocket knife. Scott gave Eldest one when he turned eight, and Middlest waited another 18 months for his. First use: opening the box of a new Bionicle set.

The weatherman had threatened 50-mph winds and rain all afternoon, but we prayed for a birthday blessing and received sunshine instead.  The weather was beautiful just long enough to spend a few hours at the park, to eat bbq hot dogs and chocolate cupcakes, play tag, and bob for apples -- the only nod to his autumn, nearly-Halloween birthdate.

No orange and black, please. He didn't want a fancy theme or costume party (although I'm open to that next year when the big day's on Saturday). It's not easy competing with Halloween party weekend, but we try to keep the focus just on our boy -- the middlest one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Quidditch er, trampoline season again!

In some parts of this country, kids play outside during the summer. But where we live, summer is for leaving town, hiding out in the A/C, or making friends with someone with a pool.

Autumn, on the other hand, is trampoline season. The boys have been on ours every afternoon for the last two weeks.

And yes, they're playing Muggle Quidditch. Please don't tell my insurance broker.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

At the pumpkin patch...


We met old friends and new this morning at our favorite pumpkin patch -- where the background is lovely, and the smiles are a little goofy.

The kids tolerated our picture-taking (and took a few shots themselves), picked out their pumpkins, and raced through the corn maze, leaving the moms behind in the dust.

Actually, there wasn't much dust, thanks to the recent rain. We chose the most beautiful day of the week to visit -- the sky was clear and the temperature was perfect.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Regime(n)

This is what I've been doing to heal my adrenal glands. I know I'm not the only mama around here with symptoms, so I thought I'd share what's working for me...

1. Most importantly -- beginning and ending the day with prayer and reading my Bible, NT letters lately. Some days I get tripped up, but waking up and looking immediately to the Lord has made the biggest difference in reducing anxiety. No surprise, right?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  -- Phillipians 4:6
2. Reducing stress, increasing rest. Lowering social expectations of myself. Not being afraid to cancel plans if I simply cannot do it. It's not fun, but it's necessary.

3. Diet.  The adrenal fatigue symptom I struggle with the most -- the one that affects everything else (energy, mood, headaches) -- is the hypoglycemia. The protein/carb ratio and TIMING of meals is critical. Fifteen minutes late and a few bites too few or too many can get me off course for the next 24 hours. This is what's been working lately...

No caffeine or sugar. I gave up my weekly soy lattes first, and eventually even my morning Earl Grey tea. Now I'm drinking Yogi herbals, which have all sorts of good things to support the immune system.

Two eggs and one piece of Ezekial cinnamon raisin bread toast for breakfast.

Snack at 10 a.m., earlier if I woke and ate breakfast early. Berries, milk, yogurt and protein powder smoothie and a handful of cashews.

Lunch. Yeah. Still working on that one. I'm supposed to be eating salad with a good dose of protein. Sandwiches don't work, even with Ezekial bread, but I'm not sure why. Leftovers are easiest.
Snack at 3 p.m. Don't forget!  Nuts or string cheese and a piece of fruit. I should do veggies and dip.

Dinner -- no pasta, no potatoes, no cornbread, nothing made with white flour. Beans, meat, veggies, brown rice. And not too much of it. I need some new recipe ideas, but my belly is shrinking!

I was having a bedtime snack (usually string cheese) for a while, but I don't seem to need it anymore, which is AWESOME!

4.  Supplements:
Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F (oh, wait, there's no F vitamin...). Calcium, magnesium, chromium. Ashwagandha, licorice root, Raw Adrenal.

5.  Exercise... I sneak next door to ride my mom's exercise bike every once in a while. I should be doing more, but it requires more calories, too. Right now I'm just enjoying the fact that I've dropped a size and had to buy new jeans last week!

6. I also had my copper IUD removed, on the chance that my symptoms are related to copper toxicity. I started feeling different during the first two weeks after having it removed -- more weepy, less angry, as though my estrogen level was changing. Also, I started having headaches after eating meat. Meat contains zinc, which helps counteract excessive copper in the liver, and headaches are a symptom of copper detoxification.

I am still learning about how all of this works, and I need to see my doctor again in a few weeks to discuss how things are going, and if I should change anything. I'll start my period this weekend, and the last time was pretty rough, so we'll see if things have improved.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday nature table?

These were supposed to post on Friday, but better late than never, right?

Eldest discovered the apples were ripe on my parents' tree next door, so of course we had to go snag a bunch.

Littlest stopped to watch a snail make its way across the lawn...

I stopped to admire the light through the pecan tree...

We were there at just the right time to gather the nuts that had fallen to the ground in the last week.

The boys arranged the pecans in an array of eight groups of 10, and then told me they'd done their math for the day...

More signs of fall... dried seed pods on the mimosa tree.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A full day of science and art

I am so very grateful to have certain friends who enjoy coordinating and hosting lots of fun for the kiddos! We spent today experimenting with the magic of air pressure, energy, mirrors and light...

They made reflective "cameras" out of toilet paper rolls by stretching tissue paper across one end, foil across the other, poking a tiny hole in the foil, and then peeking through it in a dark room to see a light bulb reflected upside-down inside the tissue.

Then they headed to the garage to paint dioramas of prehistoric scenes from Magic Tree House books they read this week...

And finished up with ivory (soap) carvings like people made during the ice age (and thereafter until it was no longer legal).

Thank you, Christina!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Via Arte

We shucked our usual routine last night for an evening out with friends, and to celebrate local art at Via Arte. For two days each year, local artists decorate the pavement at the Marketplace, an outdoor plaza, with their pastels, charcoal and chalk.

The street painters had been working all day by the time we arrived. After grabbing fish tacos and bean burritos, we met our friends near the ska band that was performing, and watched some funky dancing before walking around to view the art.

Street painting was first recorded in Europe in the 16th century. In Italy, the artists are called madonnari because they often represented the Madonna in their pictures.
 From Wikipedia:
The madonnari were itinerant artists. Aware of festival and holy days in each province and town, they traveled to join in the festivities. They created images in public squares and in front of the local church using bits of broken roof tiles, charcoal, and white chalk. Passersby would often leave a bit of bread or olive oil for the artist along with an occasional coin. After the festivities or with the first rain, both the painting and the painter would vanish... 

In 1972 the first International Street Painting Competition was held in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy. The goal of the competition was to record and publicize the work of (those thought to be) the last practitioners of this traditional art form. The eldest painters were already in their 90s. The 1972 festival resulted in national recognition of the validity of the art form, causing a new generation of street painters to emerge. Within a decade these artists were using commercial and handmade pastels to create copies of well-known masterpiece.
For you owl lovers (you know who you are!), this was a piece done by former students of my husband...

About half the space was reserved by adult artists, and the rest reserved by local schools for their art students.

It was easy to tell which ones the kids appreciated!

After admiring the artwork, we headed over to the bookstore. Can you walk by a bookstore without going in and buying something?? We could not.

And then it was time for ice cream!

Thank you to our friends for the invitation to Via Arte!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Early morning prayers

She gets up while it is still dark,
She provides food for her family...
--Proverbs 31:15
The days are growing shorter, and the early mornings darker. My doctor told me two months ago to sleep in because my body needed it, but this week I've been waking up in the dark, much earlier than usual.

I don't know if it's because Littlest spent a few days waking at 5 while adjusting to the colder temperatures, or because my cortisol levels are improving. I'm not seeing other evidence of this, but I want to take advantage of my eyes popping open -- better to get up early and take a nap later, than oversleep. I went back to sleep the other day after waking up when Scott got up, and my only reward was a nightmare.
She watches over the affairs of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
--Proverbs 31:27
There have been days recently when I could not get out of bed. When I felt the same as when I had mononucleosis as a child, and lay in bed too tired to even watch tv. There have been other days when I moved as much as I could, but wore out quickly. There have been days when I felt "normal" again, and used every ounce I had, only to be useless the next day. And there have been times when I probably could do more, but chose to be idle instead.

It is difficult with a chronic illness to find the balance between resting to recover, and working to recover. Because if I do not put some effort into planning and preparing meals, and learning more about adrenal fatigue, it may get worse. I need to lean on the Lord every day, and continue to pray for healing, but he has also given us "every green plant for food" -- part of His healing regimen is ready for the eating.

I had a few good weeks after my diagnosis, after getting off sugar and caffeine, taking my supplements, and improving my diet. It was almost too easy. And it didn't last. I got the flu, my adrenals took another hit, and I needed to start all over.
It does not depend, therefore, on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
--Romans 9:16
I have to be careful not to grow discouraged, when eating feels like a chore -- when so many things that used to give me pleasure are now forbidden. I have to be careful not to despair, when my energy runs out before the day's even begun, when the infection for which I cannot take medicine returns, when my blood sugar and hormones cause my mood to drop dangerously low and the boys can see it on my face, even if I bite my tongue.
All day long I have been plagued, and punished every morning.
--Psalm 73:14

And yet, I know this is such a mild, temporary ailment. All around me I witness others suffering from life-threatening disease, from heart-breaking circumstances, from chronic pain which will not end.

I know I am abundantly blessed, with a husband who loves and cares for me, with three beautiful, healthy children, with a home we can afford, and food and clothing as we need it, with friends who know and love me, and parents who live close and are not estranged.

I can know all these things, but if I do not put my hope in the Lord, if I do not listen carefully to His voice, and not my raging thoughts, then I grow hopeless.
But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in You.
--Psalm 39:7
I am so thankful that I know what the issue is now, and that healing is on its way. I am so thankful that He is with me every step of the way. I am so thankful that He's given us His Word for encouragement, and made healing possible with His blood.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Autumn Daybook

I haven't done a Simple Woman's Daybook post in so long, and it feels right for today...

Outside my window... the sky is grey and the air is cool. It finally feels like Fall!

I am thankful for... the change in the weather.

I am wearing... JEANS! Finally! And a grey-and-white-striped t-shirt. 

I am listening to... the kids play their instruments.

I am pondering... what to do next with science.

I am praying for... healing, peace, and the same for my friends.

I am reading... "The Beekeeper's Apprentice."

We are reading together... "The Last Battle," "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," and "Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Capture"

The boys... have kung fu tonight.

In the kitchen... organic purple grapes, and lentil soup waiting to be reheated.

On my needles... a simple shawl in shades of violet is half-finished.

In the garden... the ground needs to be cleared of weeds.

Around the house... the surfaces are begging to be dusted -- and decorated for fall.

Plans for the rest of the week... just the usual routine so far, maybe a nature walk tomorrow.

From my camera... dirty feet, because it's cool enough to play outside!

Related Posts with Thumbnails