Thursday, September 28, 2006


Pictures are up at Dadguy's. The post that he does along with the pictures ... well, read it. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Kitchen Sink

So, my dad called the other day. He was waiting on pins and needles to hear about the Flagstaff trip to pick up Dadguy's new toy. Instead he got a rant on Linda Hirschman's "Shame-ifesto." Sorry Pop, here's the fun part.

My big sister took the day off of work to come watch the Chaos, she came bearing Twizzlers and her three year old son. It is my understanding that everyone had a pretty terrific time INCLUDING the Pearl-girl. My 10 month old baby did not miss her mama at all. She just shuffled on all fours after the older kids and had a generally good time. This surprised me a little, but does not hurt my feelings in the slightest. I'm considering going away for a while again real soon, like next week.

Dadguy and I drove and drove and talked the whole time. As far as the gluten free diet? Ahem, I believe the term is cheater cheater white bread eater! I had a doughnut and flour tortilla as well.

When we got home, the kitchen faucet had blown a gasket. Fine. I never liked that faucet anyway so although we could have fixed the whole business with a dollar twenty nine cent gasket, I went and bought a whole new rig that fit my aesthetic sensibilities. We shall not discuss the frustration and crustiness that ensued from this decision and purchase... but three days and several trips to the hardware store later and we have....

Monday, September 25, 2006


I wasn't going to respond to this... partly because it wasn't addressed to me, but mostly because I regard Linda Hirshman, and the things she has been slinging about in the media as inflammatory hoodie-doo. In addition to the previous reasons... the topic has been covered by better writers and clearer thinkers than I. There are still one or two questions that niggle and giggle and tickle inside me... I would like some clarification.

I say "not addressed to me" because while I am a SAHM, I ain't altogether ed-ee-kated with a college dee-gree and all. Plus, even had I finished my degree? It was a BAFA with an emphasis in Painting. Yikes, not exactly sure that I am intelligentsia enough to qualify, as she is "focusing only on highly educated, elite women, and taking them to task for staying home and out of the workforce." She claims that what she has to say "... is meant to inform, but not judge, women of other means and education who largely cannot afford to stay at home." and I can only assume, those women of other means and education who actually are in a situation where they CAN afford to stay home and take care of the kidlins as well.

Holy marginalized Batman!

1. Is she saying she is only judging those women of the highly-smartified and uber educated set? Because she is certainly judging them and, whoa! Using words like "immoral" in terms of the act of PhD'ed women out there opting out and choosing to stay home and "wipe butts."

2. By her "manifesto," was I first a traitor to society and feminism because I am an intelligent (yeah, on a good day I AM intelligent!) woman who did NOT finish my degree and go on to do cool art/cultural things and push the "glass ceiling" by becoming part of the academia/corporate elite?

3. If I had graduated... it would have been from the art department of UNM. Would that have been enough to qualify me for the reprimand? Perhaps she saves her disdain for graduates of schools like the Chicago Institute of FA. I was good enough to get into that school... but not well off enough to pay for it. So since Mummy and Daddy were not wealthy... does that exempt me, or just the simple fact that I wasn't savvy enough or had someone around me to encourage me to fill out scholarship papers?

3. Since she does actually include artistic endeavors in her list of jobs that are "more important" than raising children, is there the outside chance that she IS taking me to task because I am an intelligent woman and an artist who, with three young children be-bopping about underfoot has hung up her brushes for the time being? I mean... Basquiat was a very important modern day artist and that dude for sure did not go to Yale. Is she only speaking to those who had already "arrived" before having children? If I die today and my artistic work then gets discovered and highly valued over my dead body... how will I know if I have been taken to task for my passivity and losership, because, y'know I had been so busy wasting my time raising children instead of adding to society and female prestige by creating more artwork?

4. In her world is a PhD'ed man who opts out a loser? Is he opening up a premium position for a woman to push her way in? Does it matter to her at all what a man chooses to do?

5. "I believe it's my responsibility in this society of American females that I happen to live in, to pull it away from this passivity it's in, this refusal to test their capacities against other people and to take risks and to be judged." Has this woman raised children? Has she actually been around children in a caregiver role... like EVER? Talk about testing your capacities in every way possible against a little person. The risks, you risk your entire existence, sanity and your whole heart! And boy, do you ever get judged.... by everyone with half of a halfbaked opinion and every person who stands behind you in line at the supermarket.

"When women opt out, and make what they call in preemptive language a "personal choice," they're doing harm to two interests I have. One is they're doing harm to themselves, and insofar that they are human beings, as a political philosopher, I'm interested in every one of them. Secondly, they're doing harm to others. Opting out makes women dependent, it hurts other ambitious women, and it doesn't use their full capacities. I want to have a social conversation about it."

Precisely how am I harming myself? Does the personal growth that comes from sacrifice and love, the struggle to expand my patience and tolerance and keep my temper in check in the face of the most unreasonable yet vulnerable being EVAH, count for naught? In everything I have read from and about this manifesto and what the authoress of it has to say that answer is a resounding "YES!" and here is the crux. We are dealing with a person who has an agenda and a definition of success that I do not share. There is, at rock bottom a dismissal of a woman's, nay a human being's, emotional and spiritual existence. In her book (no pun intended) the only thing that seems to count is money and prestige. If a person has not expended their first, final and best efforts to achieve them, they are a loser and fit only to wipe the butts of their loser children. If you listen to what she says you get a vision of these PhD's wiping their babies butts with their diploma's. Piffle.

I usually just laugh at this kind of extremist tripe, but sadly, I bristle at the elitist dismissal and respond. Linda, if you ever read this? Call this woman, I think y'all would be great drinking buddies.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dadguy Dreaming

Ya wanna know what I am gonna do this coming Friday and Saturday?

Driving to Flagstaf AZ to pick up this. It looks like this.
Cross yer feengers that this one goes through ok...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bird Realities

Morning in the House of Chaos. Birdie sits in the middle of my bedroom floor putting on socks and boots for preschool. As I walk by I see she has stopped. She is thinking, putting ideas together in her dreamy Birdie way.

"Mama, you are in charge of everything, huh?"
"Well, everything around here pretty much," I answer.
Slowly, still in think-mode she starts again."Daddy is in charge of some things?"
She has it, it makes sense to her. "So YOU are in charge of everything and DADDY is in charge of some things!"

I am so proud.

Go pop some bubblewrap.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Foodie Post

It is as my Mom says... I need to look at all the food that I can eat! Fruits, veggies, meats and once I get my body in line I will likely be able to enjoy cheeses with more freedom again. So now I have to rely less on canned, processed and be-muckified foods... is that REALLY a bad thing?

This morning I walked Birdie to her preschool, across the street and down two houses... then the two younger girls and I went to the local health food store. I picked up a couple of brown rice pastas, a box of uber-healthy corn chex, bag of hot cereal mix, two kinds of snack crackers and two kinds of snack chips. I also picked up a box of gluten-free rice milk (the kind I usually use has some sort of barley nonsense in it) and a tiny frozen loaf of brown rice bread. At the counter I threw in a $2.00 tube of Burt's Bee's lip balm and FORTY FREAKING DOLLARS later we are home having ourselves a taste test. I tried everything but the pastas and the hot cereal.

The crackers tasted... healthy. So healthy in fact I think they may have done a few push ups and cardio exercises as I chewed them up and swallowed. They really weren't any surprise, as I have mentioned I come from a long and glorious tradition of Celiacs and gluten sensitives and I have tried a few of my Mom's "treats" over the years. They aren't bad but they really do have that cardboard doppelganger thing going.

Next came the rice bread. First let me say that a loaf of rice bread has an uncanny resemblance to a llama loaf... pressed into shape and frozen. This is one gluten fee yummy that I have eschewed over the years. I have watched carefully as my Mom would take her frozen and pre-sliced turd of "bread" and pry two slabs off. She would then toast the everliving hooey out of those bad boys, claiming that if you toasted them very, very well the gummy quality of the "bread" became less noticeable. Mmm hm... tried it and I see why my Ma uses those hockey pucks as a vehicle for good jam. If I ignored the fact that my toast was sticking to my teeth while I chewed... why it was almost like eating something toast-esque for pretends.

The rice milk tasted just like rice milk, and the Corn-crunchies cereal looked alot like corn chex and tasted like I imagine the Marine Corps would taste if they were made into a breakfast cereal. Semper Fi and ooo-RAW!

I don't know
but I been told,
Jar Heads taste best
served up cold!

Lemme tell you, at five bucks a box I better know I've eaten them!

Happily I also came across these in my quest for all things non-glutinous, because O, my stars and garters! These suckers are to Cheetos what a rich German Chocolate cake is to a Hostess Ding Dong. I also picked up a brand of Sea Salt and Vinegar potato chips that I am fond of for their overall mouth disabling qualities. We are talking open sores on your tongue and you STILL cannot stop eating them. I'd go get the bag and shoot you a link but my blogging time has ended. Lunch... aka cabbage salad and an apple.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Boring Medical Crap Alert

Once again... Blog-stymied. This time it's a triple threat.
  1. New health problems. Rather, an unexpected diagnosis of a problem I have been having.
  2. My blogging time has been sucked down by Googling and processing info on new diagnosis-illness-treatment (it was suggested by my Doctor so shut it)
  3. Indecision on how much/what I want to share with the Internets.
Right-o then. Here it is in a nut shell. Auto immune disorders run happy rampant through my family on my Mom's side (Yo Ma!). Fun things like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and various funky permutations of such. Also, or possibly in cahoots with these auto immune befunkifications come food allergies and intolerance's, the most diagnosable of which being Celiac Sprue. Celiacs are folks who lack an important enzyme that allows them to digest gluten, this lack causes a slow destruction of the guts and the sufferer dies a rather horrid death... eventually from, for lack of a better way to put it, malnutrition and the trots. As a matter of fact, some pretty important genealogical breakthroughs have been made in my family by checking the cause of death on the person of record. If they died from diarrhea? Then look at them closer, they may well be related. If you were wondering? Gluten is found in wheat, oats, barley and MOST standard western used grains. Notable exceptions are rice and corn.

I have Hashimotos. Diagnosed at age 13, on meds for it since then and for the rest of my life. It adds an all new level of fun to my pregnancies, as the second trimester (the fun trimester) my thyroid levels take a nosedive and it's a scamble to get me evened out but not over the proper level. When I am over, I look like this from my scalp to the soles of my feet. I have also got food... mmmm... issues. Lactose intolerance, and I'm allergic to tree nuts.

A few weeks ago I hit the doctor's office with a few concerns. I have been lactose intolerant for a decade and a half... all that time I could eat cheese in moderation without having any problems. A serving of Lasagna? Sure. A few slices of pizza? No problem. It was just straight milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt and the like that gave me... problems. Tree nuts. All my life I've had to stay away from pecans, walnuts, almonds UNLESS they were cooked. Something about cooking them altered their chemistry enough so I could enjoy a pecan tartlet, a banana nut muffin. Not any more. I have already documented the disappearance of oatmeal from my list of loves, only....

...something is still wrong.

Now my doctor is a bit of a windfall, I was referred to him by a local Midwife as a doc with a rep for not being knife happy when it comes to squeezing out babies. We started seeing him over five years ago when Birdie was just a wee yolk in my tum. He doesn't actually deliver babies that much any more but he promised to be there for mine. In any case, he is a Doctor with a liberal side of hippy-de-la-holistic to him. I call him Dr. J, PhD, HiPpy, or Dr. J for short. So he takes me for serious when I tell him of my family background and orders up a whole slew of blood tests. Yay.

The nurse asks if I have an arm of preference and I show her my left. "Just go for the bulls eye right there," I tell her, indicating the indentation surrounded by scar tissue in the crook of my arm, and as per usual... paydirt.

I did not test positive for Celiac, and I am very likely am not a Celiac (although it is certainly not a guarantee). I am very likely gluten sensitive, however. This means that I get to EAT like a freaking Celiac for an extended period of time just to find out if I AM. Gluten Free diet equal NO FUN, and MORE WORK. Did you know that virtually every prepackaged or processed food has gluten in it? There is a @&*$! list as long as my arm of ingredient label type terms that mean "gluten" or "probably gluten" or even "maybe gluten." Distilled Vinegar? Yeah baby, bye bye condiments. I am angry and resentful about this business. How the flippity-doo-dah will I feed myself and my family. I already have a lousy attitude about coming up with three relatively nutritious meals for my small and diverse hoard. If you now my family, you are already aware of some of the dietary quirks we've got going. Bread-foods and pastas made up the bulk of the common ground we had going. HAD... past tense.

Crap. This has been a behemoth nut shell.

On top of it all, something screwy is going on with my insulin... yeah, that kinda crap runs in the fam-damly too. So a new round of meds right there. Put it all together my friends and....
  1. No gluten, wheat, processed foods or prepackaged foods.
  2. No oatmeal
  3. No pasta, breads
  4. No dairy
  5. No tree nuts
  6. No sugar (thankfully not yet but I see it on the horizon)
  7. Can I just kill myself now and be done?

Soooooo, the upshot of deciding to tell all y'all about this is I am scared and this is why.... diets suck. Even diets that give you immediate happy pay-offs like losing weight, looking svelter and getting new clothes that fit better... even those diets I SUCK at. How am I going to do a diet that takes several months to pay off in terms of feeling better and holy sweet mayonnaise what if it doesn't fix a crapping THING!?? I have a good girlfriend who was diagnosed with full blown Celiac almost two years ago and has recently had a baby and even she has not been able to stick to it very well. Like, she eats all the things she isn't supposed to and lives with being overall sickish.

I am not looking to you for accountability. Frankly, I'm not really sure that kinda thing works... weight loss blogs and quit smoking blogs. They can be funny, but folks don't really seem to get much of anywhere... at least on the blogs I've read. I DO hope that you will wade through some of this new territory with me... it's gonna be a big, annoying, frustrating part of my life for the next while and if I don't give myself permission to blog about it now I may stop blogging altogether. Can't afford to do that folks, I feel isolated enough as it is.

Tomorrow starts my all-new rice-o-rama lifestyle... my struggle to find a way to accept the possible loss forever of toast, crackers and eating out. Eeek, I'm starting to cry right now with the self-pity of it all... and if I find out that I also have to give up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper? My little sis will be able to hear my screams all the way in Maryland. Gahgk! Hold me now.