Yay, I’m normal!

Okay, so I’m not really normal. I’m kind of odd, even my quirks have quirks, and add in an intermittent layer of brain fog and I could qualify to be someone’s crazy aunt. Come to think of it, I’m already several people’s crazy aunt.

However, for the first time since we starting testing my thyroid levels last year, my thyroid levels are normal! Granted that’s still on daily thyroid meds, but since it took a year for them to normalize even on the meds, that’s still a huge step in the right direction.

According to my doctor, now that my thyroid levels are normal the rest of my system will essentially take a deep breath and look around to realize that it doesn’t have to compensate for an underactive thyroid anymore, so I should continue to slowly feel even better as my body adjusts.


My Kitchen Aid is Not Yet Dead

This morning I was contemplating how pleased I am with my KitchenAid mixer.  It’s a Professional 600 model, heavy duty and very handy. I was pleased with myself for thinking ahead enough to purchase this particular mixer for my hope chest instead of dinky two person sized mixer. Having in my possession a mixer capable of kneading four loaves worth of whole wheat bread dough at once, I thought, makes me a more efficient person.

That was about when I discovered that an overheating KitchenAid mixer smells like flowers. Seriously, I was standing right in front of my mixer trying to figure out where that sweet jasminey lavenderish smell was coming from. I began to take the hint when the mixer stopped dead.

I was in the middle of making this super awesome 100% whole wheat bread. The first time I made it, I only made half a batch, being skeptical that it would truly be that amazing. (I did make a few small adjustments of my own, mostly adding the ginger to my yeast proofing mixture ala Rose Lane Farms bread cookbook.)

Colton liked it.

Yep, 100% whole wheat bread that was soft and breadlike enough that Colton *liked* it. I was sold. This time I went for it whole hog, making a full batch and trying a couple of the add ins. I suspect that was where things began to go wrong.

As per usual, I made a small, really hardly worth mentioning change to the recipe. I substituted chia seeds for flax seeds.

As you may be aware, chia seeds are the darling of weird healthy people. They have Omega 3s or maybe 6s (I can never keep those two straight in my head) and they absorb toxins from your system which then pass harmlessly through your gut encased  with lots of lovely fiber. They also absorb a lot of water. More than flax seed does. FYI.

I didn’t realize this error until after several attempts to get my Kitchen Aid to work again by such methods as letting it cool off and splitting the dough in half to make it easier to knead. By the time I tried adding water I was concerned that my Kitchen Aid was never going to permanently recover.

It’s amazing what 1/4 cup of water does for the health of a Kitchen Aid. Um, not on the Kitchen Aid though. That wouldn’t help. It’s much better if you put it in the bowl to thin down the dough.

After rescue efforts had been made, the dough eventually turned into bread that’s just as soft and breadlike as last time. (I think I’d leave out the millet next time though. I really don’t feel the need to add tiny crunchy grains to my bread.) And my Kitchen Aid isn’t dead.

I’m still very pleased with my Kitchen Aid. It’s a good machine and handy to have around. But next time I try to knead four loaves worth of whole wheat bread dough at one time I’m going to watch it carefully for any signs of distress.

And I think if I want to keep that title of thinking ahead I should apply it to my life more consistently.

Things I learned from Agatha Christie: Never Marry a Dull Person

Something else I learned from Agatha Christie is that merely sharing similar literary taste and general good sense with a person doesn’t make them a good choice for marriage. When people in your village start collapsing with alarming rapidity, when the servants start slipping on ladders more frequently than their previous clumsiness level suggests reasonable, and when your extended family has alarming rash of car accidents, you want to be in a relationship with someone who accepts the implications.

A dull person may well just wave aside your concerns with the very sensible suggestions that you’re blowing things out of proportion.

Obviously, your chances of survival are much better if you’re working with someone who’s willing consider the clues and jump into tracking down the murderer with you.

In other words, marriage is aided by a sense of shared adventure.

This particular advice has borne out in many other stories and genres as well. If you are attacked by any type of undead creature, or transported in time or between dimensions, or start developing a superpower, you’re much better off being able to trust the person you love with this startling information.

Of course, I have the best of both worlds, as Colton and I share at least an overlapping (if not quite identical) taste in literature and movies *and* a sense of adventure. I’m pretty sure being married to Colton astronomically raises my odds of survival in case a catastrophe of any genre suddenly breaks out around us.

Things I learned from Agatha Christie: Imagination is Vital

I’ve started rereading my Agatha Christie books. As a teenager they were one of my reading staples, and thanks to a thrift store with a good book selection and prices even I could afford, I accumulated a couple dozen of her books. Coming back to them after ten or twelve years of only sporadic reading makes certain themes a lot more obvious.

For one thing, I remember why I used to be concerned about eating food that was just sitting around, because you never know when someone might have poisoned a sandwich or a cookie or an apple in the assumption that a particular person was going to eat it, and by coming along and eating it you would throw off their plans entirely, not to mention dying in the process.

Another thing that stands out to me is the connection she makes between imagination and sympathy. A person with no imagination is pretty scary in her world, because that person has absolutely no idea what other people want or like. The kindest person, without the imagination to know what kindness is needed, becomes a frightening force.

This kind of person relentlessly bakes fruitcake for neighbors who hate fruitcake, knits ugly sweaters for relatives who are never cold and cannot comprehend a friend’s disappointment at being unable to travel, because traveling is so inconvenient, surely the friend wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway.

And naturally, any person this annoying is eventually going to be knocked in the head with a poker or poisoned with arsenic laced fruitcake. (I learned that from Agatha Christie too.) So you can see how dangerous it is to be a person who lacks imagination!

I must recommend that every person cultivate great powers of imagination. Not only does it save the people around you great tedium and annoyance, but it may just be vital to a long and healthy life as well.

Is there supposed to be a hill around here somewhere?

A couple weeks ago at church I heard someone say, “Everyone over thirty should really take digestive enzymes, because the body doesn’t produce them as well when you hit thirty.” I started to file this as a mildly interesting tidbit that applied to all ‘those people’ over thirty and stopped.

All of those things I’ve ever heard about ‘when you’re thirty’ are going to apply to me in just a couple of years.

I had a bit of a mental block about turning 27 this year, not because I have any problem with the number 27  (in fact, I’m kind of a fan of the number of 27, despite the fact that it’s an odd number, because it’s 3 cubed, and I like multiples of 3) but because 27 represents a definite shift to ‘late twenties’.

I kind of stopped paying attention to my exact age when I got married. It didn’t seem to matter nearly as much if I wasn’t thinking, “I’m ___ years old and I’m still not married!” but ‘late twenties’ was still a bit of a shock. How did that happen?

There’s a general understanding that about 30 your body starts slowing down and subtly breaking. There are things you could do when you were 18 or in your 20s that just don’t work anymore. You have begun the process of becoming old.

I have other plans.

I’ve spent most of my 20s dealing with some kind of chronic health problem. At various points and it no particular order I managed to hit chronic fatigue, recurring cysts, adrenal fatigue, appendectomy with post operative infection, undiagnosed Lyme, joint pains, hypothyroid (causing weight gain) and an egg allergy. (Not the mention having the word ‘infertility’ kind of floating around the edges of my health consciousness while I decide whether I hate that word enough to come up with some other descriptor.) If my 20s represent the pinnacle of my health and energy, I’m staging a revolt.

This year I’ve played ultimate frisbee almost every week since it started for the season (including a couple games in the rain), played soccer and walleyball for the first time, and started running most mornings. Extrapolating this out a few years, I’m pretty sure my 30s should include running 5ks, outdoor rock climbing, and maybe even learning to play a sport well enough to be considered an average player instead of a tolerated noob.

And apparently they should also include taking digestive enzymes.

Juice Fast, Day 4

Breakfast: organic celery, ($1.25, Kroger), cucumber (.75, farmer’s market), organic lettuce ($1.25, Kroger), organic parsley (about .30, Fresh Market)


Results, about 3 cups. Cost about $3.50


You might notice there’s no fruit in this juice. That’s because we semi-spontaneously decided to make an overnight stay away from the house. My original brilliant plan was to just make green juice and mix it with our supper juice leftovers since that turned out to be so much juice. This could have actually been a brilliant plan except for how very minty the supper juice turned out.

Colton mixed his green juice with half supper watermelon juice and it was still unbearably minty. I drank my green juice straight and it was very green and not at all sweet.

Colton snacked on some red juice when he got to the office and I finished off the container of coconut water and had some dandelion root tea.

Lunch: pineapple ($1.20, Aldi), organic beet (about $1, Azure Standard), oranges, (.80, Aldi), organic carrots (about $4.50, Azure Standard)


Result, about 7 cups of juice. Cost about $7.50.

Again I didn’t get a picture of the lunch juice, but it looked like the other beet/carrot juices. (Except maybe for the fact that it sat a little longer and it started to get an oranger layer on top and a redder layer toward the bottom as the juices separated.)

I set out to make a really good tasting juice to make up for the rough patch over the last couple meals, and mostly succeeded. But regardless, by the end of the meal I very suddenly hit a moment of my body being done with juice, to the point of feeling kind of sick to my stomach and really not wanting to do this juice fast thing anymore.

Colton had already been feeling kind of shaky and ready for food. Neither of us finished our lunch juice.

We’d already been planning to cut our juice fast a little bit short so we could eat before playing frisbee tonight, and we stepped that up slightly with a plan to snack in the afternoon on real food leading up to a light supper. I had a grand plan of how to come off the juice fast with homemade cheese (made from organic raw milk), but it really didn’t sound that great at first so I started with a mango, then an hour or so later had a carrot stick, and shortly after that a couple small bites of cheddar cheese. A little later I did start on the homemade cheese with a few crackers.

I’d never gone so long without solid food before (unless maybe sometime I was really sick when I was little, but if so I don’t remember it) so while I knew in theory about going slow  to reintroduce my body to solid food, it was odd to experience it. I wanted to just keep eating and eating, but at the same time even the small bits of food I let myself eat were sitting heavy on my stomach.

We ate a light supper (chicken and a couple spoonfuls of leftover homemade baked beans), played frisbee (my stomach continued to feel heavy, but I had better energy than usual), came home and had a second light supper (quesadilla with sour cream and fresh salsa). Colton even ate ice cream, and did just fine with eating real food again.

I’m still struggling a big with the transition back to solid food, even after eating nothing but raw milk for the whole morning today. On the plus side, I think I lost about 6 pounds on the juice fast, which is very encouraging if only because for the past couple of years I hadn’t lost weight at all, even doing the GAPS diet. Either juice fasting really worked well for me, or my thyroid is finally functioning better. Either way I’m pleased with the results.

Based on how Colton’s system reacted to the juice fast and how easily he went back to solid food, I’m pretty sure that juice fasting isn’t the best match for his metabolism. It was still a good cleanse for both of us, and I would definitely consider doing it again, and I think even Colton might eventually consider doing it again, especially to replace a water only type fast.

The whole cost of an almost four day juice fast for two people came to about $65, counting the coconut water we drank, and allowing a little more for the tea and honey, which I didn’t figure up the exact cost of.