Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Fashion Show Career

Bet you couldn't guess from the looks of me, but I was quite a model in my day. :0)

Actually I got to model once, for my Grandmothers womans club. She was one of the founding members of this club and they have put on a fashion show every year for as long as I can remember. When she got to old and weak to go we no longer went to it, but it had been a tradition every year. My Aunt Rita called me up last year and invited us (me and my mom) to go so feeling the nostalgia we went with her. Everything started out the same, lunchon, door prizes, honors and recognition for accomplishments. But then things got weird because somewhere along the line one of the old ladies decided to change the program, so we were treated to "Fashions Through the Ages," which sounds alright but ended up being a musical review put on by some really cheesy college students. We were still grateful for being able to go and see some of the ladies that knew my Grandmother, my Mother and me.

I came across some pictures of my one and only walk down the runway and I thought I would tell you the story behind them.

First of all, let me explain to you the story. My Grandma asked if I wanted to model in the upcoming spring show. I didn't know what that meant so she explained it to me and told me that we would go and pick out a new dress for the show. So she took me to ZCMI's department store and we found a really fun frilly dress that I could twirl (I loved to twirl). Then on top of that she bought me new shoes and socks and a pretty white purse to match. So the day of the fashion show arrived. My mom dressed me up, curled my hair and put a pretty ribbon in it. When we got to the show I was beginning to get nervous about it all so I asked my Grandmother what I was supposed to do. She told me to copy the other girls and that I would be fine. I was really dizzy right then, with fear and probably from the undiagnosed gluten intolerance. So when it was time to walk out another little girl walked out on the other runway and I was watching her as I walked. She got down to the end of the runway and turned. I got down to the end of the runway and I twirled. I twirled so fast that the purse that I was holding flew out of my hands into the audience. I was shocked and embarrased, everyone started laughing. I thought they were laughing at me, and the little girl on the other runway probably was but the old ladies were probably laughing because it was so cute. I ran back down the runway and down to my mom who was sitting in the audience. Someone handed me my purse but I refused to touch it because it had brought me such embarrasement. I kept my head burried in my mom's shoulder for a long time. They didn't ask me to model again, probably because they didn't have kid's do it again and when I was older my Grandmother got sick. So now here are the infamous pictures that I didn't know existed until after my Grandmother died about 5 or 6 years ago.

Here I am walking down the runway, notice that I am looking at the other little girl.







Here I am twirling, they caught me in mid twirl.





Here I am running back to my mom. Notice the other little girl, I wonder who she is now.




There you have it, I am a famous model, and you couldn't guess. Well mabie more infamous, then famous, but whatever works.

~Strawberry Girl

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Need Some Summer Time!!

Alright, we are completely enveloped with a lot of snow. Everywhere you turn are snowbanks and ice. It looks as if grass never grew and the sun never shines in the world. But today when I went down south to get some raw milk (from a farm, wahoo!!) I passed by center street and my little neighborhood by the center street exit. My parents finally moved from the little duplex that I grew up in, not far from the little grocery store called Reams, so I decided to drive around in the neighborhood a bit. It's a good thing that it's winter because there are not very many people out to wonder why I was driving slowly around the neighborhood (plus the ice was a good excuse as well). My aunt still lives in the same house where she and my mom where raised (for most of their lives) and where I lived for about the first 4 years of my life until my Grandmother died (from a drunk driver), they have fixed up the old house and it looks good. Her house is only a block from the duplex that my family moved into after the death of my Grandma. Man that duplex is rife with memories, across the street diagnally from our duplex is the church. About two blocks from that is the river. My cousin would visit every year and man one year when we were about 14 we had the best time of our lives. We were kind of little earth children and used to write songs about mother nature, we also liked to take walks, Shannie and me. We would go for walks down to 900 W. then to center st. We would walk along center to the pet store down town and we would visit other store's down there as well. Our current mayor has revitalized the down town, but at that period of time it was not doing good. We were dressed in our cut off jeans and t-shirts and we would wander in and out of the store's carrying our shoes. There was a little hippe shop that sold hemp fiber purses, incence and jewlery. We could never figure out the name of the place so we called it "The Door," because it was basically a blue door in the side of the building. Man the sun was hot and we got thirsty, so we liked to visit a little chinease restraunt, sometimes with my little brother (who was so close to my age that he didn't seem little). We would order pop and egg drop soup (because it was cheap), then we would walk home again. One time we decided to buy fish for the fish tank in our living room. So we gathered up our pennies and walked down to the pet shop, we bought about 12 zebra fish and started to walk home. When we got to Reams the bag that we were carrying the fish in broke and we started scrambling round to pick up our fish who pretty much died when they hit the hot pavement. Some guy dumped out the rest of his pop and ice and I ran in the store to fill the cup with water. We saved about 5 of them and burried the rest of them in my strawberry patch. My cousin gave them names like Axel and Rose from the band The Grateful Dead (in fact she named my cats, kittens the same names). Things were so green and life looked good that summer, it was probably the best summer of my life. We've just got a bunch of gloom to live through and then the heat will return. Here's to the summer of 2009!! May it be a good one!!

~Strawberry Girl

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Stranger in The Mirror

So I have mentioned before about the effects of Celiac disease/Gluten Intolerance before on my life. If I would have known about this before my life would have turned out quite differently. Let me tell you how it affected me, it effects people differently so one persons case can be quite different than anothers.

In fact let me quickly tell you how it effects my little niece. Her mother was worried about her from just about the beginning of her life. She couldn't breast feed her very well so she had to bottle feed, let me tell you the stuff that they put in powdered baby formula is nothing anyone should be drinking. The formula she was using included wheat ingredients, and my little niece started to have terrible diarhea and rashes on her bottom. Plus she could never seem to get enough food. So her mom started to feed her rice cereal, which was contaminated by gluten ingredients. She has alway's had terrible diarhea and rashes, which have always worried my sister in law. The doctor couldn't explain it so he gave her creams to use, but nothing helped. So after I found out about my gluten intolerance I suggested taking her daughter off of all common allergiens. After about two weeks she had her first normal bowel movement and the rash cleared up on her bum.

This has not been the case for me, although it has been more insidious than you can imagine.

Here is how it has affected me. I cannot remember a time when I was not depressed, when my world was not cloudy and I was not dizzy. In fact I remember it being that way when I climbed down from the crib that I shared with my brother to see what my mom was doing in the other room. Despite the depression (which has always been the worst in the winter), I was an imaginative and creative kid. I had fun with my brother and cousins, but I had to deal with the depression.

My older brother has Autism, the signs started appearing when he was about two, he was on a medication for a long time called dilantin. They had me on it as well for a while, but then decided I didn't need it and took me off of it. I remember thinking that there was indeed something wrong with me and that I should get to take the medicine too. My younger brothers have ADD, and I think my little sister has to deal with things the same way I did.

My older brother has clear behaviors that you can point to and see that he needs help. He has high anxiety levels (in fact he is on medication right now to deal with it), he has facial twitches, he gets in this mode where he has to work on a project and will not leave it alone. He has other "ticks" as well, like twitching his hands, but he has actually been able to control his twitches through mental effort. I have had some of the same problems, high anxiety, some facial twitches (though no one would notice), and compulsions for projects.

Depression has probably been one of the worst things about this disease for me. One of my early memories is walking on the cement border to the playground at preschool/headstart and singing the song "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," from the movie "Annie," and crying. I also remember having a difficult time making friends.

I was depressed during elementary school. I had a difficult time focusing, making friends, dealing with my anxiety. In fact I would hide in the girls bathroom by the stalls on the ledge inbetween the stalls and the window, because I felt safe there. There were "mean girls," at my school and I had a lot of free floating anxiety.

The only times that I was really happy were during during the summer playing with my brother and cousins or during the winter, playing in the snow.

I felt dizzy all of the time, I felt tierd, I was depressed and I thought it was because I couldn't make any friends. I was uneasy with too much open space around me (I liked to be sitting or leaning against something), I was also uneasy with too many people around me.

I always felt like I was trying to run to catch up to everyone socially and in general. I wasn't dumb, I was just very introspective. I was the kid wandering around in Kindergarten during story time because I wanted to paint. I was the quiet one, I wasn't really shy, I think that the other kids didn't know what to think of me so they just left me alone.

I hated school, although I did well, I just didn't like being there. I would walk the six blocks back to our house and I would find books to teach myself. Plus I liked being safe at home where no one would tease or bother me. The anxiety, the dizzyness and the depression stayed with me throughout elementary school, then junior high.

In high school things got so bad for me that I started to walk home after second period, stumble home more like. I was alway's exhausted and I couldn't run, I could never run (I remember the humiliation of it well, every PE from elementary school on was terrible for me). When I got home I would sleep, sleep and sleep it was a terrible blackness that wouldn't go away.

I was always trying to figure out what I had done wrong, what was wrong with me. I was always psychoanalyzing myself to try and clear up whatever "issues" I had that were making me depressed, it didn't work. I tried to get my mom to bring me to a psychiatrist, even in elementary school, but I never saw one (thank goodness).

Then there were the doctors visits to try and figure out what was wrong with me. One doctor decided I had Mononucliosis, another gave me prozac. I took prozac once felt like killing myself and never touched it again. I also remember the day that I noticed the tinitus, which is a ringing in the ears. I was sitting in a totally silent room, probably during my sophmore year, taking a test, suddenly I heard a terrible sharp piched ringing. I looked around, then decided it was the TV in the room, I tried to nudge my cousin for a sympathetic person to complain to about the noise. I thought everyone would have noticed it for sure, but strangly no one seemed to notice it, it was surreal looking around with the ringing sound driving me nuts and no one else moving or complaining about it. That class period was torture, I was gald when it was over. The doctor decided that a nasal spray would help with that, but that one just dryed out my sinuses and made me sick because I could taste it in my mouth. Later on when I was an adult I tried to see if the doctor could help me with the dizzyness. He had me do tests, like touching my nose and walking in a straight line. Then he prescribed a medication to get rid of the "excess water" in my body which he theorized was causing pressure to build up in my ears to cause dizzyness. That medicine also made me ill so I didn't take it either.

In high school I tried to change how I dressed and acted, because nothing had worked before. I got incredibly confused and out of control. If I had been in my right mind I would never have gotten involved with my husband, for a lot of reasons, but I did and I got pregnant at 16. Then my life was a blur, I finished high school, then went to college. I got an associates degree in behavioral science, then decided to keep going and got a bacholors degree in Accounting. During this time I also had another baby, then four miscarriages (which the doctors couldn't explain, but are very common in cases of gluten intolerance/celiac disease) then another baby, then later 6 more miscarriages before getting pregnant with my fourth baby, a little girl.

In 2006 I made a decision that drastically changed my life (I guess again). I decided that I wanted to lose about 10-15 pounds, so I joined Weight Watchers. The program worked really well for me and I lost the weight, but I felt like a Robot. I was basically eatting very little fat, very little meat, tons of vegetables, "spray butter," and wheat products. I exercised, but later on would be too fatigued to stand and would have to sit down, this was towards the end of getting my bacholors degree. I was working at a temporary job and I acted very childish, sitting on the floor to do the filing, plus I had to get up the energy to walk from place to place so I would walk around as quick as possible. Luckily I had a couple of friends at this time who could cheer me up, because my feelings had bottomed out. One friend, cheered me up and made me laugh every time I called, I will never forget that.

After I finished that job, I decided to try something new, walnuts on my cereal. How could that make a difference? Well, I had been restricting my fat in order to lose weight. So the omega-3's from the walnuts made me feel uncommonly happy. In fact this was after the birth of my little girl and my mom came by with a salad. I was sitting in my living room and looked around, in the best mood that I had been in for a long time. So I started to recommend walnuts to everyone who would listen, it was really the omega-3's.

Then I went through a really tough time trying to figure out what food I should eat. I wanted to be a Vegan, so I went out and bought TVP, or Textured Vegetable Protien and some nutritional yeast, not-chicken nuggets and the like. Plus I decided to try and cook everything myself.

So I started to make bran muffins, to be extra healthy and all. But things started to backfire, big time. I had planned on helping my dad make a garden that year, but I was actually becoming progressively weaker and weaker. The bran muffins made me extremely constipated and bloated. I backed off, only to have the same reaction to the TVP. One week I made TVP lasagna, and then TVP spaghetti and then the TVP meatballs really through me over the edge. The ringing in my ears became worse then ever, I became extremely angry at my mom and my sister (I can't remember why now). I was banging my hands on my bed and screaming in anger at them but knew it was irrational. I felt so sick I thought I had food poisoning, I lay on my bed and I really thought I was dying, I actually was very close. I didn't want to go to the hospital because I didn't have insurance and couldn't cover the bill. I figured food had got me there and food would get me out (I had become very distrustful of doctors at this point).

I finally called my pediatrition, he was my doctor from the time I was born and still see's my kids. He thought that I had alkalosis from changing the protein source in my diet too quickly, so he told me to breath into a paper bag, that didn't really work. So I decided to drink vinegar (too alkaline, drink something acidic), that seemed to help a bit. It was actually anapeleptic shock from too much gluten.

I remember walking around, too weak almost to lift my baby in her car seat. Doing the shopping, and walking very slowly. I went over to my mom's and sat at their table, the same one my Grandpa sat at for 5 years after my Grandma died. I sat there, so, so weak, people walked by and I felt like crying. I told my mom that I felt like I was going to die and she thought I was being over dramatic. I decided to go home and lay in my bed, I laid there, still breast feeding and taking care of my baby. I talked to my friend who was a health nut like me and she told me to avoid eating wheat/gluten. I gave it a chance and almost immediately I started feeling better.

My mind was clearing up, the "brain fog" started to go away, the anxiety started to disappear even my baby started to act different. I had a terrible time with anxiety and compulsions before but those started to go away too. As an example of these compulsions I remember one time when we were supposed to go to my cousins baby's birthday. But things felt out of control for me at that time. So although I knew the party was at a certain time I was cleaning and cleaning, I meant to go but kept putting off time. When I left the house I thought I would just hop over to the store to see if they had a baby high chair and they did so I bought it and I went home and couldn't leave until I put it together and I never got to the party. Things like that happened all of the time, I would stay home and clean, I would work on a project sometimes all night and all day. I could clean all night, I couldn't leave it. Now although a dirty house bugs me, I don't feel compelled to stay up all night cleaning it.

I was alway's super orginized, yet disorganized at the same time, because I could not get the things done that I needed to do or wanted to do. I have learned a lot though because I love to read, but I would feel compeled to read it all night until I finished it. Now I can put down a book and finish it another time instead of staying up all night to read it.

After a couple of weeks on the diet my depression cleared up quite a bit, my breathing became easier, and this summer I ran for the first time for 10 minutes on the trail back to my home.

I didn't have the proof that it was gluten and my mom and family thought I was nuts!! But I knew it was, and no one could tell me otherwise. Now it's strange when I do something that I have done before because I feel different, like walking through the store, it is amazing to compare the difference. Where once the store was closed and I had to hold onto the shopping cart and focus really hard, now I can stroll and see the whole store clearly and do what I need to.

Going to the hospital is not as intimidating, the doctors office, driving, doing Christmas things together, going sledding. Everything is different, because I can see clearly. For a long time I was dazed and unsure of myself, not sure what to do with my time and not sure how to reach my goals. In fact a lot of my goals had been compulsive before, I just felt I "had" to learn this or that, so it was a weeding process to see what I really want to do, what I really like (sorry about the run on sentence).

I also had a food sensitivity test done, which also helped me figure out which foods to avoid to feel better. I finally paid for an independent lab test to find out if I was "really" gluten intolerant and that came back positive so I have "proof." But my mom still continues to distrust my word on a lot of things because she is on Weight Watchers and can't imagine slathering butter all over her green beans like I do. I learned that a lot of different cultures around the world eat a very healthy diet without counting calories and worrying like Americans do and it works for me. I usually stay around 130 pounds, but I have gained a few because of the M/C.

So this is where the title of my post comes in. I was looking in the mirror the other day, I sat down on the counter and looked into my own eye's, someone once told me they could see the green in them. It was surreal because I was looking at someone who had been masked by an unseen disease. I saw the real me, and I realized that I wouldn't have the life that I have if I hadn't have had this disease, I cried because of the irony. I wouldn't be married to my husband, I wouldn't have these children, in fact it was like waking up with a family that you didn't consciously decide to have (although I love them).

Someone once told me though about the difference in tree's and people who have been exposed to adversity. Tree's that grow in a fertile field with all they need in water and nutrients, have shallow roots. When a strong wind blow's, the tree will fall because it didn't have to dig it's roots down too deep. The same thing happens to people, those that grow up with little challenges will sometimes be blown over by a big challenge. Where as tree's that grow up having to fight for their "lives" grow strong and tall and their roots are deep. People too, grow strong through adversity.

I am glad that I have had the chance to grow strong, though in some way's I have to try and figure out how to live again because everything is new again, but I am glad for the challenge.

Now it's really late, and I just want to wish you all a good night.

~Strawberry Girl

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Crisp Winter Day's

So now we are covered in about 8 inches of snow. There are large banks of snow cast up by the snow ploughs on the side of the road. My kids have gotten out their gloves and coats and are building a snow fort outside. I have a case of Strep Throat, (which I somehow always seem to get at this time of year). Plus I just started on my Christmas shopping yesterday, because we haven't had the money before then. I did my duty though and got the kids some toy's, today is going to be a pain because I have to wrap them all. But before I get to that I feel like writing a bit.

When you are little, the winter belongs to you. Adults have to "deal" with it, but kids love it (mostly). We lived in a duplex when I was growing up but there were compensations, a large back yard, a garden, a large hilly field, a bunch of trees plus we lived close to the river (within walking distance), so it wasn't so bad. One year my dad found some ski's at a yard sale, two pairs, my brother and I loved them. We would strap them on and head out back treking through the yard, through the fence and into the woods behind our house. It was better than back country skiing because we could do it any time we wanted and we didn't have to worry about avalanches. We would ski through the woods out towards the wooded hills behind us. There we would climb a relatively gentle slope, going up sideway's like our dad showed us, then we would ski down the steep end of the hill, man what a thrill!! We would do this over and over until our noses felt like falling off, then when we couldn't stand it anymore we would trek back to the house and warm up in the kitchen with hot cocoa, fuzzy blankets and a warm heater. Boy I wish I could recreate that for my kids, build up a hill in the back, find some used ski's, sometime I will do just that.

Anyway, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

~Strawberry Girl

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Steps and Missteps

I am a fairly patient person, in fact I think I have the patience of a saint sometimes. I read an account that my friend wrote about a doctors visit where she was a bit late, then made to wait and wait and wait as patient after patient even those who arrived after her were admitted before her. This has happened to me before, it was portrayed amusingly by Jerry Seinfield as they were waiting for a table at a Chinese resteraunt. I think in that case she might have run into an annoying paradox about doctors offices. Those people who make an appointment for say a well child examination are often forced to wait while people with more "urgent" needs like a current cold or whatnot are seen before them. How many times has this happened to me??? Too many to count and I have often felt like getting up and walking out, but I am a patient person I weigh my options and look at the big picture, sure I am annoyed but still I will wait. Do I say this to extoll the virtues of patience? Not at all, because sometimes patience is pointless because you could be sitting there and suffering with no one aware that you are suffering or annoyed. I have learned that in the case of doctors offices it is better to put on an air of nonchalance and to hang out in front chatting with the nurses. It's a trick that my Dad uses, not really consciencely because he just likes to chat, but it helps none the less. There was one time though recently that I just could not stand being in the doctors office, not one second longer and I left. Well actually it was about two years ago. We didn't have insurance but the state "requires" that you do this test on your baby where they prick their heel and squeeze out drops of blood onto about 8 circles that they send off to a lab. Well I missed my appointment and the only one they had was a Saturday at 9 a.m. and I was a tierd new mom. I didn't realize at the time I made the appointment that my husbands niece was to be baptized that same Saturday at 10 a.m., my husband mentioned it to me but it didn't click. So I woke up on Saturday and went to the doctors and I still wasn't thinking about the baptism at 10. So I sat there in the office until about 9:20 a.m. and they finally called me back. At this point I was weak with hunger and thirst because I hadn't ate or drank and I was still a very new mom of a week. So I went into the appointment and the nurse placed a warm sock that contained rice that was warmed up in the microwave over my baby's heel, then she pricked it and my baby started to cry. Immediately I felt sick to my stomach and faint in my head so I sort of held my baby trying to comfort her and leaned against the doctors table at the same time. Meanwhile the nurse was pushing at my baby's heel trying to get her to bleed and painstakingly blotting her blood onto the card. Finally after 10 minutes she got one dot full and I breathed a sigh of relief, but then I realized that there were 7 more dots and that the first prick was not bleeding very freely. So the nurse went to warm up the sock thing again, but I had had it. I was disgusted that I was being forced to sit there torturing my baby and that I would have to pay $60 bucks for it to boot. Plus it is a test that checks for extremely, I mean extremely rare diseases that have to do with babies not being able to drink milk properly, I was breastfeeding and my baby was fine. So as soon as the nurse left I snatched my baby off the table and locked her in her car seat, put on my coat and gathered all of my stuff and hastily walked out of the room. The nurse came back and told me that I would have to start the test all over again if I left right then, I told her I would reschedule. On top of all of that, I believe it was before the nurse started to poke and dot fill, my husband had called me all mad about me being so late at the doctors office and reminding me about the baptism. Needless to say I had enough reasons to leave. I DID NOT go back to have the test done, there was NO WAY.

That is how things are for me, sometimes my life feels like a situation that I cannot control. I look at the implications and see what the "right" thing for me to do is and try to do the right thing but sometimes the "right" thing is irritating, difficult and I wish it was different. Sometimes there are situations where I know that I would like to take one course of action but I "have" to take another course of action, because that is just the way things have to be. Right now I am stuck in a conundrum. I cannot explain it, it just is. It's one of those situations where you rehearse what you would say in your head, but when it comes down to saying it the situation is just wrong and you cannot say what you think. Where you wish that others would act in the way that they should act because the situation calls for it, but then they don't and you are left with the painful task of either explaining it to them "slowly" or dealing with the situation without their thickheaded understanding. Am I a pushover? I guess in some ways I am, but in others I am just taking what I have and doing the best that I can with it. I mean you can curse the car in front of you who just cut you off or you can avoid an accident, calm yourself down and not let it ruin your day. I guess thats my rant about my patient impatience. I hope everyone has a good night.

~Strawberry Girl

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sorry dear friend...

I've been reading my friends blog. It's full of her family and her daughter, her sweet little girl that is about the same age as mine. Her daughter has Down Syndrome and she has always been the sweetest little thing (although I do recognize that she sometimes gets really cranky, but that's normal for any baby). The problem was I didn't know what to say to my friend about her daughters Down Syndrome, her baby looks really normal and only slightly Down Syndrome so I didn't quite know and didn't want to say anything if I was wrong, so I made stupid comments. I guess that is one of the things I need to work on, being a bit more forthcoming and open with people.

I've also realized that I need to do more things with my own daughter, poor kid, I don't bring her to any of the fun things that my friend does. I guess I have always been like that, going out has always brought on a great deal of anxiety. I hate being late to things and have this irrational fear that I won't ever get to something on time and then I will feel lame. I like spontanious things for that reason, well actually... sometimes I don't like that either because I like to be at home cleaning and not having to deal with other people. Strange because I deal with people just fine, but that is just what comes to mind when I try and evaluate what bugs me about going out. I remember one time going with my oldest son, then 6 months, to Missouri for a confrence with Primerica. It was a nightmare, the guy who was our sponser told us (my friend and I) that he had tickets for us and seperate hotel rooms for women and men and that all turned out to be wrong. We went from the airplane to the confrence center and stood around while he tried to sort out the tickets. Meanwhile my son was crying and his diaper was wet and somehow his diaper bag ended up with the luggage sent to the hotel. So I caught a cab and was astounded by how much it cost to go to the Marriot and didn't know that there were two of them. So I ended up in the other Marriot then the one we were staying at and my son was bauling by this time so I found a chair and fed him (breast fed) in the lobby, totally embarrased. Then I talked to the staff and they offered to let me ride on the shuttle that went between the two hotels. When I got over there I went up to the room and found out the sleeping arrangements and by this time it was late. I couldn't figure out how to breastfeed with a bunch of unknown men sleeping on the floor around the bed. So I got up and went into the lobby where I called my mom collect and she thankfully bought an airplane ticket for me first thing in the morning. I spent a sleepless night in the hallway (they had a spot with telephones and chairs) and then went to the airport the next morning to fly home. I was only 17 at the time so that explains part of the flaw in logic. I felt so bad that my mom had to spend money on a plane ticket for me, now I know why she did it. What I have noticed though from this and other times I have travelled was the great pressing fear that comes over (or I should say used to come over me) when I would travel to far from home. I have noticed now though that the fear is gone since I adopted a gluten free diet. We went to Wyoming and it is always interesting to me to look around with a clear head and feel the difference betweens situations that are similar to experiences that I have had before and to note the difference in how I feel. This time (on my trip to Wyoming) even though I had a head cold and my baby did as well, I still did not encounter the brain fog, and the gripping fear that followed me on trips like this before. It is terrible to me that so many people live what they think to be normal lives when they could be influenced by allergy's. I never thought that it was an allergy, I just thought that everyone felt that way to some degree or another and that other people were just more talented or more outgoing than I was.

Maybe I will write a bit more on my tumultuous adult life, maybe no one would believe me about half of it.

But I do want to appologize again to my friend and her daughter. She is an amazing woman!! Plus I need to get some sleep, I am still going through this m/c, although I feel better in some ways.

~Strawberry Girl

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Must be Indian Blood

In our family and probably a lot of American families we have a family myth (because we haven't found her yet) of having an Indian great grandmother. My mom's dad and brothers are very dark (hair but not so much their skin) as well as my older brother and younger brother (who tans very dark). I have brown eyes paired with blonde hair so the debate about Indian blood remains a tantalizing mystery.

Whether or not it is true, I was kind of a wild child growing up (not that it has anything to do with Indian blood, that's just how we were). I was very anamalistic and loved to be out in nature. I remember playing "Indian" with my cousins, we got on skirts and went out to the grass and chanted what we thought to be "Indian" words (whatever those were). My brother and I were known "squirllers" we would get my mom's necklaces and hide them around (I feel sorry for her now). We found beads and buried our "treasure" next to the house (we dug them up for many years afterwards). My brother was a combination of Dennis the Menace and Tom Sawyer. I was a closet Tom boy (since I also liked to dress up as well). I have so many scars from our misadventures, that I don't even know where they all came from. Maybe that is why I have so many darn moles and freckles all over (because I was out in the sun all of the time). I wish I could recapture half of the creativity that I had back then. Maybe it's circumstances but I don't do as many things with my kids as I would like. I think my husband stifles creativity sometimes because he is not spontanious at all. I like to plan but I am also a "feel it out" type of person and do things based on what feels like it would be fun that day. Right now though I don't feel like doing anything, the pregancy that was supposed to be happening has turned into a miscarriage. I kind of knew that something was wrong since my stomach wasn't getting any bigger, plus I had these terrible waking moments a few weeks ago that I have had before and I knew something was wrong. I don't know what it is, this will be my 11th miscarriage and I thought I had figured it out because Celiac's have recurrent miscarriages and a gluten free diet should have taken care of it. I don't even know if I feel sad right now, I just feel dog gone tired, ok I feel sad. I guess I need to get back to basics on life. God has been the guiding influence in my life ever since I was a little girl, more so when my life started to get really complicated from having a baby at 16. Man I think of my 16 year old sister and I know she would have problems... Well anyway, I can do something constructive now, since i've got some mail to work on (I do the accounting for my husbands business). Talk to ya all later.

~Strawberry Girl

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Hideaway as a Kid

Well the time has come to admit it, I used to sit in my closet. You thought that was going to be juicy didn't you? I sat in my closet because it was an enclosed space, it felt good to have one wall behind my back and one wall by my side. Why? It probably has something to do with the unrecognized celiac disease which colored my thinking for my whole life and gave me a great deal of anxiety. I always felt nervous when there was too much space around me, I would have to find something to sit on or lean against in order to feel grounded. I was alway's dizzy and foggy headed and crowds were just nightmares.

So I used to sit in closets, I would sit there and think. I would sit there when my dad was yelling at my brother. I would sit there and cry. I also liked to climb to the top of the closet and sit on the shelf. One day I did just that and lo and behold I found a beautiful green box. I lifted the lid and there sitting amongst pink paper was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen, delight of delights. I picked her up and she cried a mechanical cry. She had beautiful black curls all over her head and chubby cheecks, arms and legs. I brought her down from the closet and played with her. Then I messed up her hair, so I decided to give it a wash. So I did and I had a mess. Then I decided to dry her hair, with the blow dryer, not good. I still have my beautiful doll, her hair is still messed up, I would have to send her off to the company to get her hair fixed. I don't know how much it would cost. She is a Madame Alexander doll and it's too bad that I don't still have the box, I didn't understand collecters back then (I guess I still don't). I have a dozen Holiday Barbies now all worth varying amounts of money. Most of them are out of there boxes, though I still have them. When I have checked price guides on them, most are still worth just about what I paid for them. So I think I will give one of them to my daughter for christmas. She has always wanted to play with them and it is pointless to hold on to them forever.

Well it's just about time for the kids Christmas concert, they both chose instruments to play this year. My daughter decided to play the violin. This is interesting to me because I wanted to play the violin when I was a little girl, but never got a chance. I remember holding one for a brief moment in the gym of our school, but then my parents didn't sign me up for the lessons. She also likes clogging more than any other dance, which is also interesting to me because I took clogging in the third grade and quit because it became to hard to keep going there. I had to ride my dad's enormous bike (I was a really little girl) to the studio, down the steep underground stairs by my school and several blocks, to get there. Then afterward I had to ride the bike all the way back home, needless to say it was an exhausting routine. I gave up when it was winter and it was just too cold and snowy for me. My son decided to play the Clairenet, boy does he play!! He practices and practices. Unfortunantly for my daughter, someone stole her book and it has just been hard for me to go get her another one. Not only the cost, but getting up to the studio to buy it is difficult because it is hard to get out of the house. I will do it though, I hope she dosen't give up. Well it's time to go.

~Strawberry Girl

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting sick of living around students...

Alright,

I know Sonja can relate to this, I am just sick of being around students all of the time. We live in a duplex right smack in the middle of a student housing complex. Actually there are three, wait four housing complexes nearby. So I am baraged by students all day long, and they park in front of my house at night. It's not like students are bad people, it's just that I am not in that phase of life and am instead a semi-insecure housewife with four kids. So to see girls prancing past my house dressed to the nine's all day is sightly irritating. Why? I am just not in that phase of life. I don't have money to spend on myself, none at all. So I can't afford to buy new clothes and get my hair done everyweek (slightly exagurated) and to go to the gym (yes I like to run outside, but right now it's cold). I told my husband about all of this and he thinks I am being rediculous, in Tonga wives get fat when they get married, well I don't like that idea. I know all of this doesn't matter, not really, I have a lot of life knowledge that they don't. But it's more than that, if I lived in a different area I would be around peers, and we would have things in common, right now I feel isolated and akward. Plus I found another reason to hate the programming on TV right now, I turned on channel 2 the other day and what did I see. Flawless 5'7" tall girls prancing around in rediculous "outfits" (more like colorful metal contraptions) up and down the runway. Who can live up to that? What an insulting portrayal of womanhood!! I have moles on my skin, I have fat and scars and hair on my arms (although it is hard to tell unless you look close). My hair is continually evading the "perfect" hairstyle, at times it is flat and lifeless and two toned (depending upon if I decided to try coloring it or not, that's not gonna happen for at least another year or two for the last dye job to grow out. I hate trying to rescue my hair color). These girls with their perfectly semetrical faces and finely toned bodies and flawless skin and hair are they real? Do they even exist in real life? NO they are made up, from money and laser surgery and lipo and plastic. They have teams of hairstylists and teams of trainers for their bodies, their postures etc. Did they even play as children? Where are their scars? But how do these pretend idealistic women get to me? I rationally look at them and know everything that must have gone into that look, but I cannot see it at the moment and it looks like they are these mocking Venuses who I can never be. I knew someone, a guy friend who had that ideal in his mind when he was dating. He even had someone close but complained that she was 3" too short, that she had hair on her arms (like I do), that was fascinated by how skinny she was at the moment. She told me that she didn't feel good and that she was worried about if she gained any weight. They had a good relationship otherwise, but she couldn't keep it up and called it off. Too bad, they would have been great together and the other guy just wasn't as good a fit as the first, but he didn't complain about her so that's what made it work. Too bad that kind of a narrow focus ruined what could have been a good relationship and life.

Anyway, that's my rant and insecurities for the day.

~Strawberry Girl

Monday, December 1, 2008

Need a creative outlet...

Man life has been tough lately. Ever wonder when something bad is gonna end and things are going to get better? Sometimes I feel like I am spending my life doing pointless things. I feel really grateful that I have four beautiful kids to teach and help through life, but marriage is hard especially when I have to work so hard at it and cross my fingers that things will work out alright.

Here is a story about some pointless, but fun things I did as a little girl.

One year when my brother was a baby so I guess that was 20 years ago, it snowed, a lot. I remember thinking that we were living inside a blizzard and that digging out was going to be hard. Walking around was difficult, but I was a kid so my brother and I found way's to make things fun. We shoveled our driveway everyday, almost every hour and piled it high in our yard. No we weren't overly helpful or dilligent kids, we had a purpose in all of that work. We were out to make snow tunnels. We piled it high, over six feet, then we started to dig. We had an excellent slide down one side and a duggout fort type of area and a tunnel which was more like a snow arch. Man I wish I had time to spend on pointless things that are fun anyway. I really am having a tough time, but I can't really write about it, I just hope it gets better.

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life will never be the same...

I was thinking about how one reality will continue for a certain period of time and then things will be almost completely different. For instance I lived with my family for 16 years in a duplex apartment (there was a large yard and field with trees in the back so I didn't mind too much. Plus we lived near the river as well). My reality was of that life and it continued for a long time. Then I got pregnant and married and then that reality persisted for a while (it was a whirlwind reality that I was never quite sure was for real). Now we have lived at this duplex for almost 7 years and this reality is what I am dealing with right now. I am not the type to envy other peoples things or positions in life. I am the type to take a hard look at what I have and to find ways to improve and enjoy my life. I hope that in the future things will be as tolerable as they have been now. I hope they will be good for you as well.

~Strawberry Girl

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Am Homeschooling At Last!!

My little boy Sione decided on wednesday that he would like to be homeschooled. I was so thrilled!! I have had him all week and I have felt new purpose to my life, I am absolutely loving it. Now I have an excuss to go to museams, play's, the library and to just find interesting things to do and learn.

Wish me luck it is going to be an adventure!!

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Feeling Prolific Tonight

The thing of it is, I am not what I consider to be a fully developed person. I am unversed in the world, I have known no one, I know nothing (so to speak) and my actions are those many times of ignorance.

I want to be known, as a person, the spirit emanating from me. I don’t want to be subjectively viewed as the body to which I belong.

Unfortunately I don’t know myself, my own mind. My opinions are not formed, I only know impressions of what I want. The only way that I am still the same, that I am ever the same is that I don’t consider myself “done” and so I want to learn more, I want to learn and learn. Language, politics, government, history. Cooking (I have learned quite a bit), sewing, quilting, I am not done.

I am a person tied to obligations, my family. If I could I would suspend time and space I would confine my children to where they are right now and I would learn all I could until I became more confidant that I have learned well and that learning is not the burden that it seems now. Learning is the fruits of living though, perhaps I am greedy? I know I cannot confine time and space and I am obligated to get along as best as I can with what time I have. I know I waste time, sometimes I am uninspired and sit waiting for something to happen. I wish I could feel as I do now all of the time, proactive, searching, trying.

Oh well such is life. Right now I have decided to try and take on a list of 100 classic books that they made available at the library, plus I want to learn Latin, perhaps that will help me learn the variety of languages that I want to learn. I read a phrase in the book “The Magic Mountain” where he states that a person who sits at his table sits as though he were deaf because he didn’t know any language to speak to those around him, only his native language which wasn’t German or French. I feel like this at times, deaf to the world.

Well I had better be off, I am wasting my time again contemplating the universe.

~Strawberry Girl

Buddy Holly and Other Memories

Today is election day, outside it is cold and raining and I am reduced to running up and down the stairs for exercise.

I have already voted, yippie! (note the slight sarcasm) I live in a very Republican state, I am a registered Republican and always wondered how my grandparents could possibly be Democrats.

That's the subject never talked about around the Thanksgiving dinner table, politics. The thing is, I can see both sides to the argument. But I think Republican vs. Democrat is too narrow a scope for the attention of American voters. We need an argument for personal responsibility and the dignity of hard work.

Anyway, that is my short commentary on politics for the day.

I have been trying to recapture the essence of who I am. Years of schooling has sucked the life out of me so to speak.

I am not an empty vessel ready to be filled with others ideas, I am intuitive and thoughtful, and I have never felt to harm anyone. Being the calm spirit can sometimes be difficult, not everyone has this type of an attitude. There is a lot of maliciousness out there, I don't understand this type of behavior.

I am a writer, but sometimes uninspired and I cannot write a word. This is usually during a time when stress and outside influences comes over me.

On the note of my articles title. Buddy Holly, his music has inspired all types of artists The Beatles, rhythm and blues, Elvis, and many others including a Reggae artist that I heared today reprising Buddy Holly's songs.

Sometimes I love to be able to curl up in a comfortable chair to re-live favorite memories. Today is one of those day's. The dark grey and rainy weather always seems to bring out melancholy musings in me.

Perhaps I will describe to you the thrill of "surfing" down the river.

In the middle of a hot July, my cousin and brother and I decided that we could take the heat no longer.

We didn't have money to go to the public pool, besides it was too far away and the repressiveness of finding money and walking down there was unappealing to us.

So we decided to go down to the river. The water was more pristine than now, there was far less gang activity down there.

Though you could still see signs of it under the bridge where the train crossed the river, seeing graffiti always gives me nervous shivers that the miscreants had been there only so many hours before.

We would walk as far up the trail as we could stand and then tentatively we walked down to the water and dipped in our feet. The others preferred to slowly immerse themselves, but I hated the process and rushed in.

I came out of the water gasping, but felt the vigor of it throughout my whole being. Rushing water ran over me as I steadied myself in my place and waited for the others.

I splashed them a bit to get them into the spirit of it and they protested slightly then wiped the water from their faces and then turned and leaped into the rushing water.

I turned after them and felt a rush as my speed built and I felt carried away by the current. The thrill of turning over control of my body to the raw nature of the rushing water was magnificent.

When the water was deep I turned my body into a surf board and "dove" down the stream.

The roiling water took me Up and over the boulders and rocks and with fascinated thrills I felt the fish as they swam around my feet.

When the water was shallow we "sat" as the water carried us along. We laughed and scooted along on our bottoms.

When we would come to a small waterfall we wouldsometimes go over them, but usually we would get out and walk around them on the trail.

Shivering as we walked because of the evaporating water on our skins. We rushed back to the water as quickly as possible and continued on our journey.

At these moments the world faded away, mans feeble attempts to lay claim on the stream became foolishness in our eyes. We passed backyards of fortunate ones who held property along the water, but we somewhat scoffed at them because they like us held no claim upon the rushing water.

Joy, incomprehensible joy and fear of the water was our emotional state as we sailed along.

Then suddenly a stong fear of the water came over us as we came to a dyke in the water holding it back and creating a ten foot drop. The powerful currents were pulling us ever closer to the edge.

We swam hurriedly to the side, but found the bank too steep to climb and had to slowly make our way back, with the aid of low hanging branches, to a more promising stretch of land to climb out onto.

We got out and surveyed the dyke and the drop and breathed in a sigh of relief. Then we ran back up the trail to have another go at the river.

Once again we ran to the water, this time we got out well before the bank of the river got too steep.

Then once more we ran up the trail for another run before we walked languidly back home again.

We wrapped up in towels and laid out in the hot sun, now friend as it warmed our chilly bodies. Then one by one we showered and went in for a nap.

Now when I walk by the river, I can scarcely keep myself from rushing to the water, especially on hot languid days. But then, the shoes on my feet and the baby in my stroller keeps me from jumping in.

Plus the water is filthy now, and there are so many more people along the trail.

It's not the same, but the water lapping against the rocks and rushing down it's designated path reminds me of hot summer day's when life was simpler and a lot more fun.

~Strawberry Girl

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tulsi Tea

Man I have just found the best stuff!!

Dr. Mercola recommended it on his website, Tulsi Tea. I knew though that I could find it at the Sunflower Farmers market near my house so I went up and bought some. I am loving the raspberry peach version, yummy!! I also love Roobios tea or it's also called African Red Tea. I love both of these because they are caffine free totally better for you then Green, white or black tea (teas from the Camilla Sinisitus (SIC) leaf).

I finally got a run in today. My right calf has been grumpy with me and hurting so I have been stuck with walking. Today I took a really long walk up the really big incline path by my house then when I got to the top I turned around and did 2 minute sprints down the other way. It was great and I feel really good.

I've been thinking about the things that I thought that were cool when I was a kid. Like babysitting, having my own phone line in my room (I strung one from my moms room to mine), having a backyard swimming pool (me and my brother started to dig one once, my dad didn't appreciate it), driving (way not cool anymore), candy and ice cream (you know how I feel about these, except I do appreciate coconut icecream with raw chocolate and agave and Xocai chocolate).

I was big into study when I was a kid. In fact I hated school with a passion. I would walk home after being dropped off, not to watch TV, but to get all of my dad's books out (for some reason I wanted to read all of them). I would set up my study schedule, make my lunch and be in perfect bliss reading through all of those old books. I didn't understand half of what I was reading, but I wanted to. I remember listening to a tape that he had about morris code, I can't remember a thing about it now but it was interesting at the time.

What is also interesting is to compare what I was facinated by when I was little to what I feel about things now. Take rainbows for instance they always evoked a sense of wonder in me. I loved to make them by spraying water from the hose up into the sunlight. I also remember one day when there was to be a meteor shower. I went with my cousin to the store and bought these rainbow glasses. We sat back in our lawn chairs, actually in the middle of the street, and watched the meteors as they seemingly came straight towards us. It was fantastic watching the light burst into rainbows. I was also very earthy, I loved to walk out and smell the fall leaves decaying and drying. I loved to jump into them and crunch them up. I loved to sit in the bushes and smell the fresh earth around me. I would watch the bugs and imagine how things were long ago when there were no humans destroying what was natural around them. I was a very animistic kid and sympathized with the trees that had deep cuts on them and were weeping sap out. The Chinease elm tree does that, it weeps out a brown sap sometimes when it has lost a limb. I also felt differently towards cats and dogs and animals in general. Cats were and are fun creatures to think about. They are so hauty, but some are really friendly. Our new little kitten is a friendly creature and dosen't like to be alone. In fact I was happy to hear her marrow for us when we went upstairs.

I have decided that I definantly get PMS because I feel so differently during the course of the month. I only feel like writing at certain times in the month, like right now. For most of the month though I am intensly interested in learning. If I had a day to myself I would sit down and read as much as I could, I would not be done in a day I would want weeks, years. I am never satisfied with not learning. People who don't like to learn bug the heck out of me. In fact although I love my husband he dosen't like to learn the same way that I do and it really bugs me. He does talk to people though, usually the guys at work, so I can talk to him about things a bit. But he doesn't get the deeper meaning of things or the nuances and dual meanings of things, thus very shallow conversation ensues. That's just how things are though, and I love him so I deal with it.

Advice for anyone looking for someone to marry... take a long time, be engaged a long time and talk a lot. If you are an intellectual, don't marry a jock (unless he likes to read and think also).

Well gotta finish this tome!! Because I have other things to do (like visiting Busuu.com and learning French).

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The American Tax System

The way our tax system works....This explanation of how our tax system is "supposed" to work, comes from an Economics professor at the University of Georgia . I encourage you to take the two minutes to read this brilliant explanation, it is well worth the read.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all tencomes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar everyday and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that every one would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings) .
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings) .
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!' 'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!' The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

OK So that is how I got this e-mail.

This is what I think about it.

This is exactly the Rupublican viewpoint (that I have heard espoused) on this subject. They think unilaterally about it, that everyone is happy "drinking their beer" or living their lives until someone or something comes along that shows in stark contrast what the system looks like.

I think that this explanation, although theoretically true, is shortsighted. Being one of the first four who would be "drinking their beer" for free I want to put in a comment. I would rather be able to earn enough money to be able to support myself, then to have to rely on other people to pay for me. Having a system set up that "supports" me rather than allows me to support myself encourages me to either be lazy or to be stupid. Stupid in that I no longer take the initiative to find ways to support myself as well as I should. Or what if I could find a cheaper "beer" or make my own "beer?" OK I HATE BEER I AM GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE THIS TO BE Kombucha Tea made with Roobios (an herbal red tea instead of Green tea which is caffinated). So I decied that it is better to drink Kombucha tea but I am stuck drinking beer because I sold my right to make my own decisions when I signed on to this "redistribution of wealth" idea. I say forget that idea, let us all make better decisions and if your stupid enough to believe everything you are told and to not fight for truth and your own individual freedoms then you should not deserve to be wealthy either. But if you are wealthy you also have the responsibility to encourage and teach others what you know. The whole "teach a man to fish instead of give a man a fish idea."

That said, I know there is more to my own personal development that needs to be done on this subject and it is an ongoing process. I know though fundamentally that I would rather be out there being productive and trying to take care of myself rather then sitting around blowing bubbles in my "beer" and letting someone else pick up the tab. Taking care of myself feels better.

~Strawberry Girl

New Kitty!!

Yep, I finally gave in and got a new kitty. We tried to get one about 6 years ago, but he ran away and joined the heirom of girl kitties that lives next door. So after that disappointment I have been resisting the urge to get a kitty. Plus I had a really great Cat when I was growing up. His name was Spooky, he marrowed at you and had a virtual meowing conversation with you when he came in. He was also very loving and a good purrer. He died from an infection that he got after a cat fight. This new kitty is a female, about 8 weeks old and she is a people kitty. She is a purrer and very friendly. She is a dark grey and black calico with a bit of orange. I am so happy to have her and so are my kids. In fact my two year old was so excited that she stayed up late rolling around on me saying "Kitty, kitty" and then she rolled off the bed in the middle of the night and she murrmered "Kitty" when I picked her up.

I haven't wrote in the past little while, I guess I get in a funky mood and don't feel like writing or don't know what to write.

I am in a kind of funk right now. I am trying to figure out what canidate to vote for, because I like neither McCain or Obama and Ron Paul is already out of the running. Some of my friends are voting for Chuck Baldwin but I don't know much about him. I already realise that my vote will only be a "statement" vote because McCain will win my state no matter who I vote for.

I have also been thinking about the fundamental attitudes that I should have. There is an air of "relativism" around and I got the idea when I was growing up that as long as you were not hurting anybody, whatever you did was alright. But is this idea true? On the surface it sounds good, everyone gets to do what they want to do right? So if I have sex without being married that was my right, and no one should tell me it's wrong. But what about if I get pregnant? That is where the behavior leads, to pregnancy. So if there is no chance for pregnancy is it alright to engage in sex without being married? Theoretically it's alright, but unfortunantly there are other things to consider. Like disease and like mental health. What about other ideas, like the idea that it doesn't matter what I spend my money on. Ok so I earn some money, I can go out and buy all the games, toys, magazines, clothes and junk I want. But what then happens when my decision to buy clothing that is made by underpaid children in China fuels the demand for that product and more of them are exploited. My decision to buy a game or new cell phone leads the manufactures of these products (usually the smaller ones) to demand the rare metal that is used for the manufacture of these products and a small boy in Africa has to go down dangerous mine shafts in order to retrieve it. My decision to eat junk food leads to health problems and an increased demand upon the "health care" system to "cure" my ailments. Which fuels the demand for more government healthcare because I can't afford to pay for my healthcare because I have spent all of my money on disposable products on "ME" and have no money left. If my decisions are all about "ME" then I have essentially become a burden to society.

I want to figure out how to become an "Unburden" to society. I have not been raised with the firm moral doctorine of standing up for what is right by making wise choices, but I figure that it is time I look at how I can make myself and my life as responsible as possible.

For the record, I think that the Gay movement to redefine marriage as a "union" between two consenting adults, two individual people is morally and fundamentally flawed. I can understand the idea that we should not discriminate against people who are different. But this surface reason behind the movement for "Gay Marriage" is not the whole story. The whole story is that when we change the definition of marriage and make it a matter of anti-discrimination in the courts this then becomes the tool with which the Gay and Lesbian movement will use to force religious and non religious institutions alike to do what Gay and Lesbian people deem to be moral. In fact shoving their morality in everyone elses face and normalizing abnormal behavior. I am not going to make an argument about the morality of being Gay or staight, but I do want to point out that normalizing abnormal behavior includes not only Gay and Lesbian marriage, but other abnormal behaviors as well. Cross dressing, kinky sex, public displays of lewed behavior, public neudity etc.

This kind of result has come about and will continue to come about if we allow "Gay Marriage." Do I want to see people slobbering all over each other in public, Gay or staight? I say NO!! All of this behavior should be done out of the public eye. Another more obvious and already happening result of "Gay Marriage" is the normalizing of it to our kids. They will be taught by action and by word that it is normal in their schools and elsewhere. It's not about being kind to others its about the view of life that I want my kids to grow up with.

Heck it's sad that there are people out there who struggle (or openly embrace) attraction to the same sex, why? Because I think it is a sign of the degeneration of our food supply. This may seem odd coming after such a long discussion of Gay marriage, but I think that most people even Gay people (may) believe that men and women are supposed to be attracted to each other so that they come together to form babies. That there are so many people out there who do not feel attracted to the opposite sex leads me to wonder why? In fact I have to admit that when I ate a diet that was completely denatured I felt oddly blank and wasn't normally attracted to my own husband and even I wondered what that meant. Now that I am eating a diet full of grass fed butter and free range eggs and other healthy fats I feel more and more normal and attracted to my husband. Another part of the story is the amount of hormonal disrupters out there. If there wasn't grass fed beef I wouldn't want to eat any beef at all because of the amount of hormones pumped into the beef. I have also learned about the destructive effects of soy on the body, that the Chinease (oriental people) didn't even eat soy for thousands of years until they found a way to ferment it. Even still they only eat a small amount of Soy in the form of Miso, Natto and Tempeh and soy sauce. Not the large quantities purported to be eatten by the American soy industry. It was considered a sacred crop, but only as a nitrogen fix for the soil. For more information on this visit the Weston A Price foundation online.

Lastly I believe that we should question long held beliefs and that in the rush to be "fair" we consider the consequences. I am going to post next about how the American tax system is set up. We need as a whole to start thinking through how things are set up and how they should be set up.

~Strawberry Girl

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cycles

I am finally feeling extraordinarily well again today. I am really starting to wonder if there is something to the Chinease belief in meridians and Chi and blockages because it seems like there is something blocking up my head a lot of times but it is not like a cold (you know mucus and stuff). I want to know what's going on so I think I will research Chi a bit and see what I can get from it.

~Strawberry Girl

Monday, October 20, 2008

SAD

I think the scariest day of your life is when you wake up and see things differently then you previously have.

That happened to me last year when I became disillusioned about the SAD diet or Standard American Diet.

What is funny is that I read Kevin Trudeau's Book called "Natural Cures "They" don't want you to know about."

Ok - That book is hard to read because he rants a lot and he repeats himself a lot. But he outlines some things that make sense also, however I think he is absolutly over the top about some things. For instance he suggests that you wear white indoors (not particulary bad, but could be weird if you made a religion out of it), and that you stand on a giant magnent in your back yard. Plus he is really into internal cleansing, although I do think that it is good to do cleanses, but I don't agree with harsh methods.

Here is my cleanse: Start the morning off by eating a young coconut (or Thai coconut) they are white cylinder shapped coconuts wrapped up in plastic, usually kept in the produce section. You cut off the outer husk, then pierce the bottom "mouth" and let the juice (about 2 cups) drain into a cup. Afterwards you can take a hammer or heavy knife and hit it in the middle (not on the end where the "eyes" are or the other side, but the middle like where you would open a grapefruit in half). When it opens up spoon out the meat and eat it.

Then eat as much celery as you can stand throughout the day. Then eat an avocado and a green apple (Granny Smith). Then about an hour later eat another avocado and another apple. You can also eat carrots and other fresh veggies.

Preety soon you will see how "clean" you can get, without harsh herbs or chemicals.


Aside from cleanses, it is good to take a close look at your diet in order to avoid the junk that manufacturers put into their (your) food.

If you eat anything out of a box, wrapper or can you should really scrutinize it. There are a lot of fillers and tricks in these products. Look for HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) I think I already posted a link to an article about it, don't believe that it is safe to eat. Also look for Modified anything (not gonna be good for you), hydraganated oils (trans fats), MSG, sugar, Artificial colors (they will affect you for the worse, believe me), plus anything that say's "Natural" (Natural on a lable may mean that it origionally came from a natural source, but doesn't neccessarily mean that it is natural now, it can also mean how it "naturally" is suppossed to taste and could be derived from a petrochemical). Also look for the word "Spices" which could mean anything from chemical flavorings to MSG. Look for Propolyne Glycol and other types of this word. This is a substance that is used in your deoderant, shampoo, my dad uses it to lubricate heater parts (In fact he has a large bucket of it), you can also find it in your antifreeze and believe it or not in your sour cream, YUMMY!!

Check out the Weston A Price foundation online http://www.westonaprice.org/

Weston Price was a dentist that had a phenomenon start appearing in his office. A lot of cavities and jaw deformation. He decided to locate people still eating their indigiouness diets and make a comparason between them and those that ate refined sugars, flours and canned goods. Keep in mind that this was at the beginning of the industrial "revolution," and that there were still some people that ate their indigeouness diets.

I bought his book called "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" and it was an eye opener. The differences between those who ate a traditional diet and their children or siblings who did not was striking. The facial structure of those who started to eat refined foods became narrower and the teeth started to crowd and become full of cavities. He visited people from all over the world and the same thing was happening everywhere. In one instance that I remember, he visited the Ekimos in Alaska. They were coming down with all sorts of ailments, bad teeth, liver failure, overweight, heart disease. When they went back to eatting their traditional diets all of these diseases started to clear up and go away. I recommend this book to anyone who is seeking the truth about food. I also recomend that you should eat as much whole, real and raw food as possible. I don't recommend a Vegan diet however, because as much as I would like to never have to eat animal flesh or products I just cannot sustain that type of a diet, I personally have tried it and felt sick, sick, sick. Vegan diets have to be carefully, very carefully planned. Substitute meats are not healthy for you. I found this out the hard way. Plus after reading Dr. Prices book he mentions that he wasn't able to find any indigiouness group that did not eat meat.
I came to the idea of careful consumption of meat and eggs (I just cant do milk). I try to only eat eggs that are from a farm (I have found a couple of sources). I also try to eat only free range chicken and pastured grass fed beef. This I do very sparingly and try to be frugal in how I use these animals. I think that you should respect the food that you get and not waste it.

Well that is it for now.

~Strawberry Girl


P.S. Here is an article that I found just today that points this out (partially)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnews/20081020/ts_usnews/10thingsthefoodindustrydoesntwantyoutoknow

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family Work

I was sent an article about family work, it makes a whole lot of sense to me. I feel saddened that this way of life is not possible for many people and a lot of people don't even know what they are missing.

Here is the jist of it.


Parents and children used to work along side each other. Fathers ploughing the field would have their children following them planting seeds. Mothers used to have their children around them during the day cleaning with them, cooking with them, laughing and joking with them. As well as educating them. All of the industrial advances of the last century have made it so that fathers go to work and are isolated from their families. Mothers go to work and are isolated from their families. Children go to school and are isolated from their families. Even if mothers stay home, like I do, the older children are sent to school and their kind company is definantly missed. We are supposed to establish relationships through play, but really how natural is that?

It is natural to weed along side your child and bring up the important things that come to your mind to talk with them about. They are able to bring up things to talk to you about. It is natural to laugh while cleaning your home and cooking dinner. It is natural to rake leaves while your children take turns jumping into them. It is not natural to be separated almost all the hours of the day then thrown together to eat a hurried meal before everyone slinks off to their computer, to their book, to their music or television show. It is not natural for children to have to be shifted about in the school system. Constantly lining up as criminals to their ordered places. How friendly is it to sit eating your pathetic food (which I consider all school food to be) with people around you who may or may not be your friends, but either way don't have your best interests at heart, they have their own concerns.


This article struck a chord with me, I am increasingly feeling saddened and isolated by my childrens absence during the day. I want to be more connected with my children, I want to raise them. Yet they are going to school, it is a product of my own upbringing, a force which is hard to fight against. After all I don't really know what to do with them when they are here, that's how far I have gotten from them. Yet there is something more, there is learning and edification and care from both mother and children. The day is fuller when you are able to teach and help shape the future of your children.

How stupid these feminists!! I read a paper written by my mother when she was in college. I wonder if her teacher had a sense of humor, or reality. It was about how women had been repressed, how they should be allowed to persue their intellectual interests. How children could be raised without imposing upon the mothers freedom to do this, I agree!! Yet the way that I agree is different from what she meant. As you stay home with your children your intellectual capacity is expanded, you learn by teaching!! As the feminists would have it, you should be free to work, HA!! You are free when you are able to bring up your children. Feminists live a harried life. If they choose to have children, they rush about to bring them to day "care," to get to the office on time, then they are "enslaved" all day to their work. They finish the day exhausted then have to pick up their children bring them home to an alway's messy house with no dinner to serve and the only option is the fast, the cheap, the blah that the modern industrial revolution has made ready for them to offer their family. This "Junk" is then the cause of the suffering of their own and their family's health and doctors and illness is their only choice.

Contrast that to a mother who stay's home. She is more able to wake up when rested and her children too. She can cook them breakfast, they can do some work, then go out for a walk. They can talk and chat and laugh together. The meals they eat are nutritional and they all feel good about their day. Sure sometimes things get busy, but I noticed that when I was trying to homeschool my kids during the summer that things went smoothly and I felt so happy at the end of the day.

Now their in school, curse my inability to communicate with my husband, our inunderstanding of each other. I want to cry everyday because I feel like I am missing something, that my time is being wasted on the meaningless and mundane. Somethings gotta give here, I hope I can figure out what to do.

~Strawberry Girl

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wow, New Post!!

I know, I know, I haven't posted for a while. I haven't forgotten, I just haven't felt particularly inspired lately.

So I went on a walk the other day and it was a very nice day. I was thinking about how amazing just one little leaf is. The leaves range right now from beautiful bright red to yellow to green and inbetween. So I picked a few different types and decided to copy them on the scanner, here is the result.



Today I took a really long reflective walk up to my mom's house. It was chilly out today so I didn't feel like walking along the river (which makes the air even colder). It's been a nice day, I needed that. I hope to post more later (I even have a new Gluten Free Gourmet recipe to share).

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fate

I have been pondering the role of fate in our lives today. Really how much does fate play a role in our lives? Why is it that you were born to the parents that you were born to? Live in the land that you live in? Are rich or poor?

I am not the first person to think thus, nor will I be the last. Plus what are we supposed to get from the encounters with others that we have? I have had situations like a job that I got once, were it was the last minute, and I was running around trying to call on it, then I got it. Then I met someone on that job who changed my life, but they are no longer in my life. What should I take from that, what was the purpose?

Like when I was 15, I was running with my "best friend" (in quotation marks because she was a backstabber), and she mentioned one of her cousins in Tonga and I thought to myself "I wonder what would happen if I went there and met him, would he like me?" Then he came to America and it turned out that he did like me and we ended up married. Then I have had a lot of dramatic experiences with fate.

My husband and I had a rocky start to our marriage, there were things that happened and I was very upset over them. His family whisked him off to California before I even knew what to think and before things could get worked out. I had one chance, he was going to Tonga in two days (he had trouble with his visa anyways) I had to find someone to cover me at work and no one was answering the phone, so I left messages (which I hate to do). I got a last minute ticket and packed my bags. My mom and I got lost, we barely got to the airport and I missed the plane. But there was one more going out that night and I just barely made it (running all the way, carrying a baby and pregnant to boot). I went to a different airport than the one that my husbands family were told I was coming to and on the off chance that I might be there they had driven an hour from the other one to find me. Just in time since my baby had got his clothes wet and I was very pregnant and very tired. He flew out to Tonga the next day and my mom and I worked very hard, just barely meeting deadlines for immigration (the rules were literally changed the next day after we filed). It took 9 months and I had my daughter alone before he came back. The whole time I didn't really know what I was doing or why, I just acted.

That is also how I found the duplex apartment that we live in. We were kicked out of our other apartment (because my husband lost his job and we couldn't pay). After one night at my mom's I searched the internet and there was very little for rent, except this place fit the description. I was almost out of gas and but I went to the appointment with the manager anyway. Then I couldn't find the address and was running around then I called him and found the place and he gave it to me on the spot (This was also while pregnant, baby number 3).


Last year, my cousins were travelling home from a family reunion on labor day when a drunk man swerved across the meridian and hit into their truck and killed them. That was also fate, very unfortunante fate.

I think about how things happened to me, when I was 15 I didn't know that I had food allergies that affected my reasoning skills. Lot's of people won't believe me, but it used to be very hard to make positive assertions. Even when confronted by little decisions like what time to make an appointment or whether or not I should make an appointment, I would sometimes say yes knowing that I couldn't make it and then regret it later. Or I would say yes to do something that I knew I couldn't do or to do something I shouldn't do.

Thus in this state, I think that it was not fully my decision which made it so that I married my husband, or even that I brought him back from Tonga. I was just doing what circumstances dictate that I should do, it was not a pleasant way to live.

So now I wake up and feel differently from what I did then and wonder "is this where fate wanted me to be?" "Should I look at other possibilities for my life or should I be grateful for what I have and where I am at?" After all, my cousin who is every bit as good as I am is still not married, that could have been me.

I have chosen to live with what I have, there is definantly a lot of joy to be found in my situation. But I wonder, what the capricious hand of fate has in store for me. There was so much drama, so much going on to get me here, that it is hard to feel comfortable with living life as though things are going to work out and that fate is through playing with me. It's like I am living with the anticipation of "what's next, what now." That is probably the most unsetteling thing in my life right now, that and the inactivity of being through with school, it's hard to get my goals defined again. School had deadlines, real life does not, or at least you don't know when they are. How do you know that you have one more chance to hug your kids, before they are somehow killed?

If you got this far reading about my thoughts on fate, thank you for listening. Now I am going to do the only thing I can do, keep on living. I hope your day is good.

~Strawberry Girl

Monday, October 6, 2008

No More Doom and Gloom

OK

I am getting stressed out following what is happening with the stock market. But I can't let it keep affecting me like this, I havn't gone on a walk today, I have been running around trying to do things to keep my mind off of what is going on. So I am going to take a nap and then go on a walk (or vice versa). I am going to evoke my monthly period coming up as an excuse for the extreme emotion, because I am usually quite mellow and focused. Today however I am going nuts. Plus my husband has decided to join the SWAT team for the police (he has always been randomly interested in the police) and wants me to look up the price of a sniper rifle. (Yikes, I don't like this). I think I will write later if I get anything interesting to say.

~Annie

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Finding out What is "worth it"

I'm feeling better today, I was blowing off steam yesterday, because I was frustrated by what is happening in this country.

It is raining outside today, I am glad. For some reason the rain always seems soothing to me. I have been listening to General Confrence today, it is a LDS meeting that they broadcast twice a year, I always feel so refreshed and renewed in spirit after listening.

You know I have found that this life takes courage. Courage to be different, to stand up for what you believe in and to seek out the truth. It is very difficult to be trying to hold the line on healthy living and eating when most of my family looks askance at me. Let me tell you, to be trying to do something because you believe in the principle even though you may not know all of the details or all of the truth is hard.

Here is an example. I began my journey by throwing out my microwave, I heard that deoderant contained aluminum and that it had been linked to tumor growth, and I also heard that cell phones could cause cancer. So one morning I was downstairs trying to cook breakfast (oatmeal)on the stove when somebody called. I had to run upstairs to take a message (while holding the phone at arms length) and left the stove. After I took the message I could smell the oatmeal burning so I ran downstairs and turned off the stove. Then felt utterly pittiful because I had no oatmeal to eat, the house was filled with smoke which made my hair stink and I stunk because I hadn't yet found a deoderant without aluminum that worked (I've found one now called Herbal magic Jasmine scent, which I like). So the thought came to me, "is this worth it, do I really believe that this is an improvement in my life?" That was kind of an ironic moment. So I went upstairs and took a shower with my organic shampoo (which kind of smells like roses, an old favorite scent). Then I went downstairs and cooked some more oatmeal and put nuts and dried cranberries in it, and I felt so good and my mind was so clear, that I felt that my efforts were worth it. (BTW I tried to put on my old deoderant several months later and it hurt my pits).

Thankfully I no longer have to stink, I am better at keeping track of things on the stove (you don't know how many eggs that I caused to explode because I forgot about them), and I know what to eat to make me feel good.

So it is worth it, no matter what it takes, no matter how long or how stupid you feel during the effort of trying to find out the truth. In the end if you find out the things that are worth it, you will be happy.

~Strawberry Girl

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Complexities of Life

Man, I feel like I have missed something and I am running to try to catch up. The problem is that I am not sure "what" exactly I missed and how I can "catch" up.

Here is the problem. I graduated from college with a degree in accounting. I took economic, accounting (of course), taxes, history, philosophy courses. But I feel like I know way too little about these subjects, as well as geography which I remember only briefly studying in the fourth grade. I don't understand what is happening in other countries and what little I do understand about what is happening in this country has left me baffled about what to do. As well as the general public which probably dosen't understand as well.

There is one thing I know. I hate being beholden to others and I hate being scammed. I wish that this life was as straightforward as what it used to be. You used to be able to work and have what you did pay off for you. Here is the scenario that we face now, you work and save and put your money in the bank. Some policy makers in Washington pass legislation that either taxes you or they increase the currency (by asking for money we don't have and then printing it off without something to back it up), so by increasing the currency that decreases the value of the money you earned. Or you work and don't save, you spend your money on whatever pleases your fancy, you get into debt and effectively put yourself into bondage. Here is also what is happening, you have very little choice as to what job you want to do. Here are the jobs that I know of right off the bat, store clerk, store manager, fast food worker, fast food manager, office employee, office manager, nurse, doctor, electritian, plumber, carpet cleaner (and other services), massage therapist, medical transcriptionist, small business owner. There are a few creative jobs like journalism (where in my opinion you end up as a front for the big corporations and express no real opinion other than what the popular news media wants you to say), photographer (which is highly competitive), florist, painter, writer. These jobs are highly competitive and somewhat based upon the whims of popular thought. Then there are sales jobs, and psudo jobs. Sales jobs require a certain type of personality and a tough skin. Psudo jobs are in my opinion somewhat dishonest, you put out ads for a real estate apprentice, or put ads in newspapers, flyers for people who "want to lose weight," these people make money off of other peoples dissatisfaction with there situation.

What happened to doing something because you enjoy doing it? I know that there are people out there who do this. But you have to live with the reality that you are going to be beholden in some way to someone to meet your necessary living expenses. Do you have to sell yourself out, do what everyone else is doing?

I think that it is important to take a look at what you really need in life and to make goals consistent with that. Two of the greatest problems in society (or what I think to be the greatest problems) are greed and apathy. When people get greedy they take on more than they can handle. Everything you own demands some part of your attention, if you own too much you will constantly be trying to protect your things. I had a teacher bring up the problem of "affluenza" of wanting more than we needed. This is certainly a contributing factor in what is happening right now with this "bailout," people took on more than they needed. Plus if you think you need a lot you will work a lot, that is just part of the beast. So what do you need? Figure that out and don't put more pressure on yourself to get "more." Apathy is part of the problem in that when we are too focused trying to accumulate we ignore things that are important because we have no more time to focus on them, we are too busy. Here I am, I know that I don't have "a lot." It would be nice if we owned a house. But we don't and I don't see anyway in the near future that, that goal can happen. Does that mean I give up? No, that means that I take a look at my reality and decide to focus on those things that are worthwhile and will bring me happiness. I love my family, I love to have good health, I love to have a clean home and I love not feeling stressed out over a mortgage payment. So I accept where I am at and hopefully in the future I will get where I want to be, it can happen. When you show that you are responsible for what you have and you enjoy what you have, then you will be able to get what you need.

Here is my plan for now:

Learn about politics, geography, history, food, healthy and cooking, among other things. Do what I can to be a good citizen and teach my kids what they can do. Try to educate them, apathy is dangerous. They need to know what is going on, why and what they can do about it.

I hope I haven't bored you all with my frustrations and I hope your day goes well.

~Strawberry Girl

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Healthy "Carmel" Popcorn Recipe and a Request

Today I made up a recipe for healthy "carmel" popcorn, the link is on this site to "The Frugal Gluten Free Gourmet," delicious.

The request is for creative parents out there to help me think of way's to avoid a sugar overload this year on Halloween (I know tall order, but I had to ask). If you have any idea's please post them, all comments are appreciated.

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Different Thoughts of the day

I went up to my husbands former employer today to deal with our 401 K, scary hu? His boss is married to a really preety lady that has been intimidating to me in the past. But today I was ok, I think I am feeling secure enough with myself that I didn't feel intimidated.



One thing though that has been on my mind is the differance in the amount of money that we have. It's not really an envy thing, I really appreciate what I have, but it did cause me to rethink my priorities a bit.



For one thing, they have a lot more at stake than we do in their 401 K. That is good in some ways, and of course if the US economy grows and keeps going then they are better off. But what if there is the off chance that the US economy totally flops? What if inflation grows totally out of control and the value of peoples portfollios is completely wiped out. They having a lot more will feel a lot worse than I would. What if I lost everything? Well right now, I feel secure in the idea that I will be taken care of. I know it seems naieve but that is how things have worked out for me. about 6 years ago we did lose just about everything and I was scared stiff. We had no car, no jobs, no money. What did I do? I prayed my guts out and worked through our problems to find a solution. Things worked out.



So this line of thinking led me to think about my general attitude about things. I realized that I have a bit of a defense mechanizim for when things get out of my control, I just let go. I stop thinking about what is bothering me. Our money situation and our business have really been bothering me, I have no control over it and I have had to let go. But that leads to problems. I get really aimless about life. It is hard to figure out what to do with myself and I let other important things slide also. So today, I took a look at what was happening and grabbed a hold of the reigns and started doing something productive again. Just in the nick of time I hope. Of course I haven't let everything slide, but it feels good to be trying a bit harder again.



Well I think I had better get to sleep, I will write more on this line of thinking later.

~Strawberry Girl