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...


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