The Treasure Sale That Wasn’t

I had to get out of bed this morning and get ready to go to the chiropractor’s office for some ultrasound for my low back and hip areas. I’ve been doing that for the last three weeks or so and it is helping so very much. I am having a lot less pain, sleeping better, and am walking better as well. It’s always great to be on the getting better side of things. 🙂

On the way home from the office I decided to get a few errands done. I’ve been kind of sick with ear pain and inflammation this week, so I haven’t done much, and that is okay. Getting well was more important, especially when I tend to have ear pain, sinus pain, nausea, dizziness, and balance issues when dealing with ear pain. Today was better and I really didn’t want to miss my ultrasound treatment, they are helping me so much.

I stopped at the food co-op and got my favorite gluten free bread. It’s Rudi’s Multi-Grain Gluten Free Bread. Oh my god! I love this bread. I’ve tried over five different kinds of gluten free bread as well as making some from a mix and this is my favorite. As I said, oh my god! I love this bread.

I was debating whether or not I felt well enough to walk through a few galleries at a local museum after that, as I was biking by there, and decided perhaps next week or the week after that when I might be feeling less pain and have more fun. Right across from the museum is a church, and there are tons of churches in the downtown Minneapolis, and I saw a sign for a Treasure Sale there today.

I debated whether or not I was going to stop and shop, because seriously the word treasure kind of implies to me item and pricing perhaps beyond my pocketbook and perhaps a waste of my time. I did decide to go inside, driven by a desire to check out their book stacks, clothes, and knick knacks. Well, no treasure and so no sale. I couldn’t even find anything after I found out that all the items were 50% off the listed prices. I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a church sale without a bag or three of purchases.

I guess I really need to go to the usual church summer sales that I go to where I lived before, because I always found something, some little treasure, to take home and keep. I need to remember to find out in advance when the sales are scheduled for, so that I can plan ahead. Summer seems a ways away, but in the meantime I still go to the used stores and shop for bargains and that keeps me acquiring small treasures. I am pretty picky, now that I’ve moved so much since last October and gotten rid of so much clutter.

Happy St. Starbuck’s Day

So I biked over to the nearest Target store and went to Starbucks on St. Patrick’s Day. I had, as I always have, a tall Pike Place and then I add lots of half and half, yum, my favorite. This store is nearby the small lake that I used to bike around when I lived in this area before. It was so cold out and after dark much colder biking home. I had a nice time there. Some of the songs were sort of Irish style, but most of them were not. Most of the songs were stuff I like to listen to while there.

I can’t have any of the drinks that most people go there for, because Starbucks will not disclose if any of their drinks are gluten free or have gluten, so no expensive Starbucks coffee drinks for me. While I understand why a company would not do so, it is not so nice when you are left guessing. Ultimately the right choice is not to trust anything you are not sure is gluten free. After eating gluten once this month and once last month, on purpose, I am sure I can’t eat it and shouldn’t eat it and am gluten intolerant, as I have believed for almost four years; due to my identical and serious reactions both times. And even if I am not gluten intolerant the serious reactions lead me to believe I can’t eat gluten, not now and perhaps not ever. Oddly I am okay with that.

Here is a picture I took just after sitting my stuff down at my favorite table by the window. 🙂 That’s my new bike out the window.

My pink converse tennis shoes, now scruffy, make a second appearance on my blog:

And finally the irresistible red Target ball that induces so many children of a certain age to attempt to climb it:

Lovely Valentine Celebration

I had a lovely Valentine’s Day celebration today. 🙂 I went to Culver’s and had a double cheese Butter Burger and unfortunately ordered a turtle sundae as well, unfortunately because I was quite full by the time I ate the double cheeseburger and fries. I sat there for several hours, reading a book, having a great time.

I had just planned to go to the coffee shop and read, but remembered it was heart day before setting off on my bike. Then I heard a lot of suggestions from inside for Culver’s, over and over, until I agreed to it. It was quite noisy for a few minutes and was obvious to them all that I was weakening quickly. 🙂

It was the first time in a long time that I ate gluten, I had a bun with the burger and the fries, both not gluten-free. I wanted to see how well my body can cope with eating gluten. I know I have only been taking the medication for less than a month, but still I wanted to see if I would tolerate it much better since I have healed some. Also since I am still taking the antibiotic, my tummy has been more stressed, sore, and sensitive. My tummy feels okay right now. That is good and huge progress for me.

It was wonderful, but just not as wonderful from four years ago as I remembered, craved, and have yearned for. I could probably eat about a hundred more before I would get tired of them. I’ve lost forty pounds so far and want to continue with that, so it is not as though I will be inhaling a lot of Butter Burgers in the near future, no matter what; my health, my weight, or my finances always being much more important issues.

My Baking Today

Here is a photo of the gluten-free cornbread I made this afternoon. I sliced it up and then had some with an afternoon meal. It was great. Then I thought to take a photo of it to show you all.

Here it is:

Finally, Birthday Cake

I haven’t had birthday cake on my last three birthdays. Mostly due to my hesitancy and worry about baking and cooking of any sort. The other part is due to my gluten intolerant issues.

So this year I planned ahead. I found and bought a gluten-free chocolate cake mix in advance. I was uncomfortable with the idea of making a whole cake. I kept planning on making a trial run cake in advance, but found that I was scared of doing it, kept forgetting, and then when remembering kept putting it off. It was overwhelming to me.

I looked for a good recipe for chocolate frosting, but there seemed to be far too many ingredients to research about being gluten-free and for buying. Each time I would go to the grocery store I would forget to buy any of them or wander the aisle not being able to decide to buy or not to buy. Many visits and I still didn’t make any decisions.

It was very frustrating. It was overwhelming to me. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed about purchases, especially gluten intolerant food purchases I tend to keep putting off buying things. This is exactly the same way about cooking and baking. I attribute all of those food related issues to being abused by my mother around food and her rejection and exclusion of me from “her” kitchen.

Finally I found a recipe online for chocolate cake in a mug.

Mix one cake mix and one 4 oz. pudding mix. This mix is enough for about eight or nine cake mugs.

Use 1/2 cup of this cake and pudding combination and then mix one Tablespoon water, one Tablespoon oil, and one egg white.

Use Pam or some other vegetable oil on mug. Spoon mix into mug.

Microwave mug on high for two minutes.

I thought this might be my solution for my birthday cake. I thought it would be very good with ice cream instead of frosting.

When my birthday came I found that I had not bookmarked the recipe and the evening of my birthday, after my dinner with a relative, I found that I couldn’t find it and really was too tired. Almost too tired for a candle, but I did manage that.

But on Monday night, finally, a birthday cake, in a mug. It kind of looked like a tiny muffin. Kind of funny. Kind of cute. It was pretty great.

The Food Co-Op

I love the idea of a food co-op. I love the idea of eating healthier and I am trying. I would love to be able to shop there all the time and buy lots of things there. It’s just that right now I just can’t afford it. I am starting to buy a few things there now.

I had another one of those happy crying moments not too long ago. I rode my bike over to the closest food co-op and was looking all around there. I asked for help several times and got it, so not a normal result in the normal store.

The part that brought me to tears, though, didn’t have anything really to do with what they had or how they treated me in the store. It was that there were little stickers next to certain foods that said “gluten free” on them all around the store. Sweet!

Adventures in Gluten Land

For the past ten days I have been dealing with an ear infection. They are sort of inevitable in my life. I have had them since I was little. My ears are very sensitive and it is very easy to get an ear infection. This one was caused by hot tub water spilling into my ears. It was inevitable that eventually I would get an ear infection from that, and so I did.

I got up last Monday and after a trip to the bathroom, came back into my bedroom and sat on the bottom of my bed. Surprisingly the walls and ceiling tipped dangerously to the right. I’ve never really seen something like that before. I always thought that when the world felt like it was pitching it wouldn’t look like it as well. But it did. I laid down and shut my eyes.

Eventually I felt well enough to shuffle into the other room and ask my brother to go get me some motionsickness medicine at the drugstore. I asked for Dramamine, it was the only name that I knew of and felt that a brand name would help him find a product.  (I had contemplated using my phone by the side of the bed to call him in the living room to ask him to get it, but after a long nap I actually felt well enough to walk there)

It made my life tolerable once again, though certainly was not helpful much, it seems that the company does not guarantee that their product is gluten-free or sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. At least that is what I eventually read online. They don’t guarantee that their suppliers of ingredients are gluten free. Not a good product to continue using, for me. My body reacted like it had gluten in it. So I need to find something else to use in the future.

For the time being I am Dramamine-free and the walls and ceiling are not tipping. And my body is trying to adjust to not having something in my body every day that creates inflammation and an auto-immune response along with internal damage. Time to find something better. I don’t mind not eating bread, or cookies, or cake or pasta or any other gluten-laden product so much as I mind not being able to take a med to make me better when I am sick, without it making me worse in other ways. That sucks.