Saturday, September 19, 2015

My personal food restrictions

No dairy - well, lactose-free dairy. Hard cheeses have too much lactose for me. I can work around this with things like hard cheeses, sometimes, by using a lactase enzyme pill or two - but if I get it wrong, the results are fairly miserable. Mostly I stick to lactose-free milk and non-dairy alternatives; it's just safer.

No tree nuts - argh! I'm not allergic, so it won't kill me. I'm sensitive, and it makes the inside of my mouth itch, burn, and turn red. This is...not really very pleasant. So far, almonds and filberts (hazelnuts, but come on, they're filberts) have this effect, but probably other tree nuts would move to it if I ate them a lot (both the others were a developed reaction). So I am willing to eat things that may have traces, but I'm not willing to eat the nuts or something in which they're a major ingredient. And since I am reactive to them, I avoid almonds and filberts most carefully...which rules out almond flour and almond milk. Whee! (Peanuts are legumes and are fine, luckily.)

Low FODMAP - this is a complicated acronym for a variety of carbohydrates that can be problematic. I have been doing better since I removed them all and have been gradually trying to reintroduce some of the foods. 

What I know so far about my personal reaction to foods relative to FODMAPs:
  • Oligos are probably not a huge problem. I don't know that I can tolerate huge amounts, but I can have a couple slices of wheat bread or a wheat bun now and then; I can tolerate at least small amounts of onion and garlic (enough to cook with); brussel sprouts and I get along fine. This also suggests fructans may not be a humongous problem.
  • I don't generally get along with corn or corn oil. (Corn meal MAY be an issue but it was always with the corn oil.) Popcorn in small amounts is okay. This is probably an issue with polyols, though it's also possible it's the oligos. Except the wheat bread is higher in oligos than the corn, so this seems unlikely. I can cross-test the polyols with avocado, which is high in them but not in oligos. Of course, there's also the possibility that I'm reacting to something else not FODMAP-related with the corn. Isn't it nice when everything is predictable? Oh, wait....
  • Fructose in moderation is acceptable - one ripe banana every day or two. It's possible that more than that is fine, but I haven't pushed it too far.
  • I tolerate small amounts of coconut fine. Hm. That's polyols, though in a MUCH smaller amount than a serving of corn.
  • I didn't need this diet to tell me I should avoid lactose (also one of the FODMAPs) - in fact, I have to avoid it more completely than the low-FODMAP diet normally recommends. 

Honestly, I'm not sure if the low FODMAP diet is helping because I actually have FODMAP issues, or if it's helping because it happened to remove a bunch of foods that are an issue. I have a food and symptom tracker, but it's...a little dense. It hasn't quite blamed poor sleep on waking up, but it's come pretty close. Still, it gathers the data, and I can always evaluate it myself. Not that I take the time to do so.

This HAS gotten me eating less processed food, which is probably the more valuable thing it's done.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

*tap, tap* Is this thing on?

I came to set up a new blog to discuss my low-FODMAP diet (IBS diagnosis), and found this old blog. I'd completely forgotten I'd had it. I'd completely forgotten abandoning it, and I have no idea why I did.

I'm in tears, now, again. With the rawness of what was going on when I posted here before, but also because of the caring and compassion that everyone who read here brought me.

I can't imagine anyone is still following - although if you are, I'm amazed again, and say hi - but I think Moments, Musings is fine for the kind of things I want to say. I will resume here, not create a new blog.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Friends are a good thing.

This past weekend, we flew to Denver and spent the weekend with friends from college (members of a club my husband and I were both in), and some people from the same group that we did not know. It felt like coming back to family and dear friends, even the strangers. It was excellent recharging time, and - forgive me, Mom and Dad - not associated with memories of my parents. I treasure those memories, but in this space I wasn't thinking about what I have lost, but about what I still have.

I have been blessed so many ways. And I still am, in many of those same ways.

That includes some of you, who read and who think of me, and who leave a comment here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some days, I could just cry.

And these are them. There is too much going on. I have made three trips this summer, and make three more in the next two months (though only two, both over, were longer than 4 days, and only one of those was over a week). Work has been busy - in a good way, but busy.

A year ago this week, my mother went into the hospital with what they thought at first was just malnutrition and weakness. It would take them months to diagnose terminal lung cancer, it would be almost four months before she was dead. Not long enough. Not nearly long enough. And I wish she had lasted a week longer, because then the road would not have been icy when Dad drove to the lawyer. (Oh, let's be honest: I wish she would have never gotten ill, and lived to be in her nineties. But that doesn't somehow seem as realistic as wishing for an extra week. Silly realism. Not like any of it is realistic now knowing what I know today, namely, what did happen.)

A year ago this week. My emotions have been on a rollercoaster. To add to that, I got the letter today; the estate is closed out. I write two more checks and the whole proceedings are completed - legally. I still have a lot of stuff to sort through, dispose of (sell, donate, etc.), and so on. What's neat on paper is not necessarily neat and tidy in any other way.

I do not expect the months between now and January to be easy. And this coming weekend is another of my trips, to get together with college buddies from ten years ago and hang out and play games (myself and my husband both). And it seems strange to ping pong like this between the trivial but sweet and the other.

We had to have Basta put down. (Heart disease caught up with her, despite attempts to treat her. She would have died that day, it was just a question of whether it would be quick and peaceful or not.) But we still have Babe, and she regularly puts holes in my leg climbing into my lap. I still remember her jumping to Dad's lap, when he sat on the little computer chair by the foot of Mom's hospital bed. Even with his heavy jeans on, he would quickly grab for her and look pained - a heavy, clumsy cat with a lot of pointy pieces. She still is. And I understand why they loved her so. She is a charming sweetheart with those she knows and trusts. A cuddly little sweetheart with a joy for life that is so touching.

And sometimes, rather soggy fur. She's fairly patient with me all things considered.

I wish she were home - home with my parents, home where she was born, with them still taking care of her. I'd never know this side of her, for I was Stranger then and she was cautious with me. But I'd have my parents. On the other hand, since I don't have my parents, I'm rather glad to have her to cuddle.

I want to go back five years, ten years, and do all this again, treasure my parents and our time together more dearly, ask the questions I wonder about now when they can still be answered. (For example, where did my sister's baby book end up? I want it, but I cannot find it. I don't know why I care - she was born and died eight years before I came along - and I have baby photos of her. Just not the book. But I do care.)

If I could go back, of course, the first thing I would do is try to change things, not get those answers I get maudlin about now.

Perhaps we're lucky humanity hasn't got a time machine. What a horrible temptation it would be - or, if nothing could be changed, what a torture.

I'm going to have enough on my plate, just living through these next four months, I think.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Truth be told I am not feeling very creative. I am feeling tired and whiny and overwhelmed. The vacation was excellent and I had a great time. But I came home to a huge to-do list that seems to grow longer by the day. Argh! I'm getting my to-do list shorter at work but that's it. :(

On the other hand, my father-in-law gave me the most basic bread machine recipe I've ever met, and it actually works right, which is more than I can say for some of the box mixes I've met. I could learn to like the bread machine. Especially since my husband will clean it after it's run.

Neither of us likes to do dishes much, so not nearly as much gets cooked here as it might. There's so much TIME in food preparation and cleanup. Ugh!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Home again, home again. Or, long time no post.

And this is not much of a post. I am back (okay, have been back a couple days) from a two-week vacation spent visiting my relatives. Mom's side of the family, and also my husband's family. They are all out in the Midwest. I wonder what I would have been like if my parents had lived near enough that I was raised with the constant interconnectedness to family that they were? As it is, it's a sweet but foreign land to me. But the visit was lovely.

I don't really have much to say. I had a blast - and now I am home - and I am missing my parents starkly and wishing I could share some of the things I saw and heard and did with them. And I am running in circles catching up on all the things that lagged while I was gone. Ack!

I have photos, but they are not up yet.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I am working on gathering paperwork for the estate receipts/disbursements stuff to take to the lawyer, per his request. It is amazing how panicked this makes me feel. I have been wailing again that I want my parents back, when I had been going along with more okay moments than upset moments for so long. Of course, one item is not yet anywhere I've searched, which is also upsetting me but in a different way. (Not too bad - I can call the bank and get the info from them, I am just annoyed that I can't find it, but it may be in the one area I still need to go through.)

My to-do list has just kept getting larger and more frantic since December, and I'm ready to cry and scream. Unfortunately at the moment I don't have a whole lot of leeway time to do so.

On a brighter note, I am enjoying swapping with people on swap-bot for the most part. It is interesting to see what you get although sometimes I am a bit bemused. (So far, the winner is the person who sent me a postcard with a quote on it. I'm in, like, three or four swaps for postcards. This is a handmade postcard - it is gorgeous. And nowhere on it did the person identify either themselves, or which swap it is for.)

Also on the positive side, an old friend from high school told me that my mother had given her mother some of the pinks I loved as a child. And they still survive at their house! So I can find out what my pinks are after all and, even better, they are going to divide them and give me some. Since they spread by root and division, this really feels like getting some of the pinks from my parents' house back after all.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Simple

But nothing ever is simple, is it? Even death is, one way or another, not simple. Certainly life, and the questions of life, are not.

Art at its best is anything but simple - and yet it may look deceivingly simple once done. It may feel deceivingly simple in the process, if the steps of that process have been learned until they are bone-deep intuition. But if you try to break it down and explain, not merely the technical parts, but how you select each starts to look very, very complex.

I sometimes say I want my life to be simpler. But I don't, not really. I treasure the daily complexity that surrounds me, the machinery, the intricacies of a picture, the interplay of people, the sometimes-fickle attentions of my cats. None of these things are particularly simple.

And to simplify them would be to take the heart out of them. I don't want my life to be simpler. I guess I want it to be easier, but even that, not at the price of losing the precious details.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I have borrowed this meme from GreenishLady.

Bold the books I've read. Italicize the ones I want to read. Cross out the ones I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. Put a cross (+) by the ones on my bookshelf.Put an asterisk (*) by the ones I've never heard of. (The ones with a + may be short of the true count, as I'm going off memory. My bookshelves are a mess.)

I feel obliged to note on #5-7 that I find the story quite fascinating. I simply cannot read the man's writing; I acquire a headache, and fail to figure out what is going on, because the sentences and paragraphs are too long to hold in my head!

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
*9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon )
*10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
*12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
*14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
*17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) (And I hated it, thank you very much. Nasty, and pointless.)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
+26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
+28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
*30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
+31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
*32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (George Orwell) (Hated this one, too. Not pointless but quite unpleasant.)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
*36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
*37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
*38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
*39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
*40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
+41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
*42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
*43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
*44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
+45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
*50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
*51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)

54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
*56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
*58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
*65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
*77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
*81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
*83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
*88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
*89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
*90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
*91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
*94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
*96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
*97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
*98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Guess I have a few to check out, although the list is so hit-and-miss I'm not sure whether I will. A lot of the ones I am familiar with but have not read, I am just disinterested in.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sputter, Sputter.

Or, false starts. I'm back off the morning pages. What I found was that they unearthed where I was stuck...and then got in the way of getting unstuck by using up time while just repeating the same thing. I quickly grew frustrated with the time it takes to write them, which is actually a very common reaction to the MPs for me. I did them diligently throughout the AW back when, and sometimes they helped and often they didn't. So now I am more of the mind to do them when I am feeling stuck or caught, then let them go for a while. Maybe I am rationalizing (okay, I am rationalizing; maybe I am also right, maybe I am not), but I think this is what I need to do. ADs are another matter. I'm trying to figure out what mine should be this week - a little late there, aren't I? Maybe I will go up to the Gardens today except I am not really in the mood. Oops.

I am doing okay. And dealing with my grief, I think. I'm not sure quite what brought that poem to the surface in April (or the dream that led to it). I know this - I know I welcome dreams of my parents, though I'd rather connect with them, not see them sitting there tired and fading.

I have been doing some swaps at - just sent a few items in the first ones, waiting to get my items. So we'll see how that goes. But it's interesting, and it's another way of connecting to people.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Slowly starting back. And a poem.

I am beginning my morning pages again, and today I go on an artist's date. Not doing The Artist's Way, but doing Vein Of Gold. Or rather, I will be, maybe, probably. Right now I am just trying to get back into the basic tools, nothing more. I haven't started the walks yet.

And on a totally unrelated note, this is a poem that I wrote back in April. I've let it sit, and edited a bit. I'm not wholly satisfied but I'm not sure whether that is justified or just fussing for fussing's sake.


I had a dream this morning. Not like how it really happened.
In the dream, my mother outlived my father. She was sitting
in the cream brocade chair she reupholstered twice.
She wasn't healthy; her face was grey and her breath was short
and she didn't speak at all. Not that I remember, and I hope
I'd remember every word if she did. Even the ones she never said.

There were children, looking at something, on a trip -
she had invited them, I think, but I no longer recall
why they came. They were unconcerned with the woman
dying in their midst. As full of life as she was empty of it.

This is not so far from the truth, even if almost all of it
never happened anywhere but after dawn, in the hours
when sleep comes and goes, and dreams hover close enough
to waking to be remembered, to pretend they might
have happened somehow, somewhere that is not here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Grieving. And living. All of a piece.

I have started listening to audiobooks - it helps feed my desire to read, without taking as much time. (Not that I don't still read regular books, but some of what I would have read now gets read as I drive, which is nice.) One of the ones I picked up at the library on a whim was Anna Quindlen, reading her book Loud and Clear. I was very touched by it and very much liked it, but the last section, section 5, "Soul", had some essays / columns / whatevers in it that struck me to the core - about loss, and grieving, and the death of parents. Struck me in a good way. I need to read them again, and take notes; and so I bought a paperback copy to go through. (It was interesting to find: for some reason, a book containing a series of journalistic columns, many of which have to do with politics or 9/11 or other things, had gotten shelved in 'self-help'. Thank heavens for the store's computers that helped me find it!)

I began searching the web for information on memory quilts this week. I am debating making one for my parents, but I'm not a quilter and I don't use quilts, so this is an idea that is very likely to fade away all on its own. the process of searching, I came across references to tote bags done in a similar style. Which reminded me that I both need reusable fabric shopping bags and have fabric that I have not yet found a use for. So now I have been hunting up and storing sites on making tote bags, with the intent of actually perhaps some day maybe doing something with it. It might end up on the shelf of "what if" projects, the kind that never actually happen; I don't know.

I'm posting still more often over at my LiveJournal, but ... this post seemed most appropriate here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A calendar!

I am mostly still posting over at my LiveJournal. However, I figured the most recent post was worth mentioning here if anyone is still watching this space. Namely, four of my photos will be used in a calendar by the Portland Japanese Garden that I love so much! I don't know yet which four - I am looking forward to finding out. I am so excited!

And up at Flickr, I slowly continue to put up photographs from family history - so far from the 80s, mostly. Me as a kid, my parents when I was younger, places we went and things we did.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Still alive, mostly posting elsewhere.

I'm mostly just posting at my LiveJournal, not here. I am not doing a lot of creative exploration, which is what this blog was originally intended for. I put bits of my life up here because you are friends also! But my main journal is at LiveJournal. Please come visit me there if you wish - I am posting there much more often and you are very welcome. I have been trying to take a photo a day - that has been my main, maybe only, creative endeavor. There are too many other things that need doing right now, as far as my parents' estate and my own grieving.

Come visit me, please. You can comment on my posts anonymous if you don't have an LJ account - though it would be nice if you added something to the text to tell me who it is, of course. :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

General update

Sergeant no-words, etc.

I'm around. Check out my Livejournal if you want updates - most posts are public at the moment - I have little energy to spare here, I fear.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your support, it means a LOT. I apologize for not replying individually or dropping by your blogs to say hello, but I suspect you understand - I hope you do - one more task is not something I need, however neat the people involved.

I also have photos up on Flickr, some mine, some taken by my parents over the years.