Aprovechar

Taking the full measure of life

Everything & Nothing

April 29th, 2009 · 22 Comments

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Well, I might as well get started writing something, since the longer I wait to write something, the more I feel I should be writing something powerful and significant, not just catching up. And that, dear readers, is a recipe for absolute writer’s block.

So where’ve I been?

Partly—working. Working has never precluded blog-writing before, but until this point, working has never been researching and writing. Despite my deep love of writing, it turns out that I reach a point where I either don’t want to write more or can’t get into a state of flow with writing anymore.

Partly—visiting my grandmother. That meant going with only spotty internet borrowed from a neighbor for checking email. My grandmother just told me she wishes she could be on Facebook with much of our family, though—and when a 94-year-old computer-averse woman wants to be on Facebook, you can see why the 24-year-old Facebook founder is worth over a billion dollars.

Partly—wanting to write about topics which can’t be public at this point. I rarely get trolls hitting up my blog, and I have many supportive readers, so that’s not the issue. But part of what I’ve wanted to write about is my husband’s job search and my experiences with that, and while the job search is now going exceedingly well, I don’t feel comfortable talking about it in a public location where anyone searching for my or his names can read my thoughts.

Partly—taking my energy for writing and applying it to personal correspondence. I’ve gotten really bad about communicating with my friends over email. I set emails aside to respond later and then realize way later that I haven’t responded. My friends mean more to me than that. But there’s only so much writing energy to go around, as I’ve said.

Partly—feeling too jumbled at times to pull together cohesive posts. Anxiety, excitement, and frustration have been common lately, but I haven’t gotten the clarity to write about some of it.

Partly—going places like the amazing cathedral in Cologne.

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Two of the three jobs we’re most seriously considering for my husband are in Europe. We used up my husband’s (wonderful) frequent flyer miles buying me a rather last-minute ticket to go with him and see where we might move in three months. We were there nine days. I was way more focused on, “Could I live here? How do I find food I can eat? How do I find my way around?” than on taking photos, so I didn’t take nearly as many as usual. But if you want to see some of the photos, I’ll put a link to the Flickr set once I fix my Flickr uploader in Lightroom.

So what specific news can I share with you right now?

First, I’m in the process of developing a couple of gluten-free, allergen-free cooking classes in cooperation with the woman who runs our CSA here in Atlanta. The (hopefully hands-on, not just demo) classes will be held at a fabulous cooking school here. We are focusing on local, sustainably produced foods as well as the gluten-free/allergen-free aspect. Assuming everything moves forward, we’ll be having classes in the next two months. I’d love to hear your thoughts about what you’d most like to do or learn in a cooking class for people with food restrictions. I’m really pumped about offering these, because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking cooking classes in the past, and I’ve really missed that community connection around making food.

Second, my husband has been brewing gluten-free, and it appears that we (okay, he—but I made suggestions!) may have brewed a gluten-free beer that resembles a chocolate porter or stout. If you have ever bought any gluten-free beers in stores or restaurants, you know that a dark gluten-free beer doesn’t exist yet (or at least, not that we’ve ever found or heard of). The others he brewed this round all seem tasty, too: richer and more complex than the gluten-free beers on the market. He bottled them a few days ago, so we have a few more days for the beers to be fizzy and ready to drink. Are you a fan of dark beer, and you’re gluten-free? If so, tell me what varieties of beer you miss the most.

Third, my weight is up a bit. It’s easy to feel anxious about that, but it’s much easier to lose seven pounds now than to panic, avoid thinking about it, stress-eat, and regain 30. Gaining a bit and then losing it again is a natural part of the lives of many people who maintain healthy weights. I am telling myself I can do it, that I have the tools to do it, and that I just have to be conscientious about taking care of myself. I am mentioning it here because hiding it makes it a bigger deal than mentioning it does. Talking about this kind of stuff on my blog is what has kept me on track for this long, so I may be talking about healthy eating and weight loss—and my struggles and triumphs—a bit more again for a while. I haven’t exercised as often lately as I normally do, and I haven’t been as conscientious about what I’m putting in my mouth and whether what I actually need is food. But like I said, I can do it! Each moment of each day offers the chance to make good decisions. I don’t have to be perfect and won’t be—just have to make good decisions most of the time.

I want to write more blog posts. I want to get my self-care series back on track—so much for 26 changes, but we can still manage 20 or so! One of the things I’m juggling right now is when to do work, when to do fun things, when to do essential things (like chores), and when to do things that fall between those zones. Working from home has many benefits, but it can also be a bit complicated.

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22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kristen // Apr 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I was wondering what happened to you. :)

  • 2 Shannon // Apr 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Looking forward to seeing more of the self-care series.

  • 3 Sarah // Apr 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    SO glad to see a post from you! I was just wondering this week what you had been up to. Sounds like you are staying busy! Hopefully you were able to enjoy your trip to Europe :)

  • 4 Linda Simon // Apr 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Re: cooking classes. When using CSA produce, consider teaching techniques rather than recipes, so folks can cook without a book . Ask the students what they would do with these lovely ingedients before you start the instruction. Students are often very creative.

    Re: life. Even though it is exciting, it is good sometimes to draw in and limit distractions. It looks like you have a full plate. Better to digest it before adding more. Thanks for being so honest.

  • 5 Kimberly // Apr 29, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Wow,Europe! Hope everything works out for the best:) Glad to see you back after a few weeks of missing your post!

  • 6 Alisa (@ Go Dairy Free) // Apr 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    It sounds like life has been keeping you busy in a good way!

  • 7 gaile // Apr 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Wow, sounds like you’ve got a lot of exciting things going on, even the exciting challenge of losing those few lbs that came to visit. Sending lots of good thoughts your way and we can’t wait to hear how Europe pans out for you!!

  • 8 Cherie // Apr 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Hey, good to see you post!! No stress, no worries. Just breathe. Life is a journey and make it a fabulous one. :)

  • 9 Hannah Handpainted // Apr 29, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Enjoyed your blog very much. I think you should definitely relax a bit about how you come across-you definitely don’t have to write anything monumental and/or earth-shattering. It’s all important. I like posts like this. It is _real_.

    And good luck. Considering everything that’s going on with you I think you’re doing very well!

  • 10 Anthony // Apr 29, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The cathedral in Cologne looks majestic to say the least.

  • 11 Hannah // Apr 30, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Yay!

    You’re back.

    my favourite blog of the 25-or-so selected blogs in mij RSS.

    :)

    Good luck with all your new endeavours!

  • 12 Ricki // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:50 am

    Congrats on all the positive changes going on! And good luck with the job search. Re: the weight, as someone who works (mostly) at home, I know that the switch can take a toll on weight and self-care; it’s harder to be motivated to get ready and GO out to workout that to just BE out already and stop by the workout club, etc. But it can be done–and if anyone can do it, you can!

  • 13 Sunny // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Oh man. This is why I enjoy reading your blog. I can very much relate to much of what you are saying…especially the concern about gaining the weight back. Learning to slow down and take time for ourselves is so important yet so hard to do. I too have lost quite a bit of weight over the last 2 years and am terrified that I will gain it back. My dad tried to tell me it wasn’t going to happen…I tried to explain the fear. We discussed, like you discuss above, how that fear can cause more stress and more weight gain then just taking it in stride and refocusing. Amazing the things we get to learn in life, isn’t it? Have a wonderful week!

  • 14 Cindy // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    A gluten free chocolate porter or stout sounds heavenly! I miss our locally (Montana) brewed beer. Moose Drool, Summer Honey, Toad Back Bock. And I would love to enjoy another McEwan’s again…

  • 15 Cheryl // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I’m glad you’re back…and know you will take these new challenges in stride. I’m looking forward to hearing about your new classes as they evolve.

  • 16 Meg Wolff // May 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Sounds like exciting changes are happening for you!

  • 17 Bee // May 3, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Great to see you back! And with another honest and real post. We all NEED to take a break and you have so much going on I think you should feel wonderful that none of it derailed your weight loss too much…I was just talking to my friend about this because she had to work off island for about a week flying back and forth which took a toll on her health (run down mostly but..) so she took another week to recover and now she is in week 3 of none exercise and she is having a hard time getting back on track and here you did and are getting back after some setbacks. you are an inspiration.

  • 18 Lorelei // May 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    In terms of classes, I miss white bread. I like the nuttier, dense loaves on gluten-free bread, but being able to make a sandwich on light and fluffy white bread is something I really miss. So maybe a class on sandwich toppings (especially savory toppings like cooked greens or roasted vegetables) with a good bread recipe thrown in?

  • 19 Carma // May 5, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I am so glad to see you back. I showed your site to my mom while I was visiting her the middle of April and got concerned when the Strawberries Were STILL Coming. (Hope you enjoyed)
    As for the class, one thing that we really enjoyed when taking cooking classes was the actual hands on. One teacher had a nice trick. She had the whole menu of items to make for Thanksgiving. She split us up into 5 different kitchens (in a high school Home Ec Room) and each kitchen did 2-3 different recipes. Many of the recipes she had called for some experimenting with flavors. (Organic carrots to bagged carrots for one of the sides. ) Then when everything was cooked, we all sat down to eat and explain what we had done.
    Side note for a recipe idea, there use to be a gluten-free restaurant near my neighborhood. Really good stuff even for those of us who don’t worry about gluten. She sold most of her breads and baked goods as well as having the diner. She made the most AMAZING biscuits and sausage gravy. I wish I would have found out how she did the biscuits.

  • 20 Heidi // May 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Glad to see you back Sally! It looks like things are coming up roses for you. So wonderful to have some lovely changes happening – life is often better when it keeps you on your toes!

  • 21 Rachel // May 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    So glad to catch up and hear your news. My husband would love to be able to drink a dark beer again. It’s been a while I can barely remember which ones he liked, but I know it was something about “brewed by German monks using the same technique since 1405.”

  • 22 Kelly Wilson // Aug 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Sally and Dan,
    Ginger from Freshginger pointed me your way to ask on Gluten Free Brewing. Have any recipes you could share? What grains did you use for color for a stout? I used to be a brewer and haven’t for over a year now trying to figure out my GF diet.
    Cheers

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