Friday, January 29, 2010

thank you

for your kind words and guidance. it is very much appreciated.

sweet potato frites

no news yet. we were interviewed, poked and prodded (rather i was interviewed and e was poked...) and will have a consultation again next week to go over the results - and to talk about a plan.

the removal of wheat from our diet though has appeared to make a great difference. the hives have disappeared. so i think my instinct was correct.

red lentil soup

and now i am starting to get excited about the new way we will be looking at food. i am really going to try and make more from scratch - and i think in turn that will eliminate a lot of wheat items from our diet. my neighbor and i even threw around the idea this morning of a neighborhood co-op where each particpant provides one homemade item a month. (something like what d's cousin is doing up in the bay area but on a much more local level.) so far i have her down for her amazing black beans, and i can take granola...

we need to work on this!

(all this isn't really new. i started this a couple of years ago in reaction to our trader joe's addiction... i hope to start documenting our food more carefully over there again soon.)

happy friday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

food for thought.


i feel like i have done something terribly wrong. e has been suffering from terrible hives for the last six weeks. at first notice i thought it was spider bites. she had been working in the garden at school. seemed logical. but they didn't go away. they got worse. the pediatrician thought it was a virus. then she began to run a temperature and got a head-cold and that made sense. but the cold went away while the hives didn't. so we visited the doctor again and got a referral to an allergist. which we had to wait for before we could make an appointment. (in the meantime she was having daily doses of antihistamine and colloidal oatmeal baths.) she has to be antihistamine-free for ten days prior to her allergy consult. she was so uncomfortable i started grasping at straws. citrus. gone. no change. wheat. gone. ah-ha moment.

so we have lived the last week gluten-free. and noticed a great improvement - though not complete clearing.

and i have done a lot of reading. on food allergies. and what causes them. and the frightening rate of increase in them. links to too much consumption of the food in question. too much wheat, it seems, in our case. i never would have thought. yes we have pasta weekly. (whole wheat. and often left-overs in the lunchbox.) yes we bake bread. (and eat too much of it on occasion.) i am careful about the processed foods we bring into the house. i try to make as much as i can on my own. i have read all the books and thought i was doing a pretty good job.

this has all sent me into a twirl about what we eat. about what processed food is. (flour is processed...) about the endless gluten-free choices in the shops that seem to me perhaps just another set of processed foods to cause more problems down the road. about the idea of a rotation diet. (this makes so much sense.)


it could be something else. in any case i will be thinking a bit differently about what we eat - and working harder to do more ourselves.

we visit the allergist tomorrow. will let you know.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a break

the rain has passed - and more isn't due until tuesday.

we decided to escape to the very close to home cabarello canyon - in the santa monica mountains.

Cabarello Canyon
Cabarello Canyon
Cabarello Canyon :: Saturday hike
Cabarello Canyon

we brought along our dear neighbor - who now into her 80s has been hiking these trails for over 40 years. perfect day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

rain rain rain

I am getting very good use of my boots.

and our garden is smiling.

rain rain rain



Blue skies ahead - and I am excited to get out there and dig in the dirt.


Monday, January 18, 2010


we are on "storm watch". i love it. d not so much. for him it involves sandbags and swearwords. for me, it involves shelter for wet chickens, and rainboots on a budget.

i wanted these. but got these at our local hardware store. $17.99. (it only really rains here at most 6 days a year so i couldn't justify the price difference.)


made them look much better with these liners. easy peasy project. (i think i found this via hannah. though i can't find where now.) i used scrap i had around - fleece from a cape project for em, and some cute japanese corduroy.

it is weather. something i crave living down here. i think that is why i like it so much.

and we are in no serious danger. we don't live in an area that is at risk of mudslides. the only real concern is the water that pools around our house. i am grateful. for so much these days.

it is a crazy busy week. if i don't see you - enjoy & stay dry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

new start (12 on 12th)

january 12, 2010
already?! wow.

I love an opportunity to prioritize and dream.
The new year always offers me that.

little pizzas to be
growing sprouts in jar

for 2010:
1. make more (most) of our food from scratch. goodbye trader joe's and all your convenience and hello...
2. farmer's market. i'll visit on thursday mornings. i have been trying to attend sunday's - and we just don't make it. this will be part of my new routine.
3. what i can - i'll grow. i have a stack of seeds on our dining room table - and two bags of compost ready to add to our beds. winter is really the best time to garden in socal.
4. make lemons out of lemonade. inside of grumbling about it being 72 F in january, be thankful for the lettuce we can grow this time of year - and the beautiful lemons on our little lemon tree.
5. continue looking after myself. i so enjoyed my pilates sessions. but it doesn't meet with the new budget (see number 6.) so i'll find another way. quickly!
6. fine tune our budget. and stick to it.
7. paint the house. and install baseboards.
8. record our progress weekly. over here.
9. spend the summer (the whole summer) on the island. (and avoid those triple digit temps that get me down - helping again with number 4.)
10. read the books i have.
11. never let our cookie jar be empty. a cookie makes everyone smile.
12. smile more. i'm going to be 40 this year :)

Monday, January 04, 2010


we are back home from more time at "our island". i was telling a friend that it is strange how i breath differently when we are there. how in many ways my soul feels at home there. much more than here. it is hard to explain. though, as i have said before, i strongly believe in our connection to places.

i had a bunch more i thought i would commit to the keyboard. resolutions and commitments to living better all around. but i have a nasty headcold. a pile of laundry waiting for me. and keep hitting the delete button.

so for now, happy new year. and a couple of pics of an early morning ferry crossing.



i have a good feeling about 2010.

there and back again

seasons greetings from the woods

what we did:
taught k to play backgammon
walked in the woods
worked on my firestoking technique
slept til the sun rose (every morning except one)
ate on my grandmother's petit point china
worked on needlepoint
watched e make a perfect pie crust
listened to cbc radio and an audiobook of "the goose girl"

what we read:
a homemade life
the ice shirt
julie and julia
anne of the island
rapunzel's revenge
lots of ladybird books
the globe and mail

what we ate:
roasted parsnips and carrots grown locally
lots of oranges
pumpkin pudding
person in the snow (a dessert of k's invention involving chocolate and whipping cream)
old dutch potato chips

we are here.