I blog gluten-free

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dalek Cake, Paczki, and More

I am excited!

1)Found a way to make Dalek Cake without first making gluten-free Swiss rolls. Here, it's a bit of a pain in the butt, however used I am to gluten-free food- to make what amounts to a jelly roll, when I'm not used to them. (However, with yellow cake, good cream, and a clean cheese cloth, with a bit of mess and rolling, you can have voila! Twinkies!) I'm also astounded by the amount of butter, even as I heal, just one treat from the recipe above- my thanks to the BBC, who gave me the idea- I'd be eating about all I could for that day!

   But... playing with a little frosting and plain M&Ms and a few other titbits, I can make my own miniature dalek. But a video from a vegan kids' show gave me a way to do it with a few cupcakes stacked on eachother- a bit less fuss. Since tweaking recipes is normal for me, starting from a vegan recipe can sometimes be simpler.
 2)Are you gluten free? Been a little saddened by not being able to pick up paczki (I hear it mostly pronounced as "Poon-ch-key".) at the store? In the beautiful red and white boxes? Gluten free Catholics and Polish people everywhere! Rejoice! Before next Fat Tuesday, you can now order paczki from a little place in Detroit, which, like beautiful Buffalo, is another hub of the Polish-American. And chocolate with chocolate buttercream, too! Yay! I have to share the good news! You can order at: Celiac Specialties. (You can order now, I suppose, but this is a time for getting ourselves right. This does not mean pile on the carob, although the book of Daniel discusses carob and fig mixtures. I wouldn't suggest that, believe me. This means a more barren diet of sorts- fish on Fridays, more prayer. No sacrificing a pig as fish! But if you're not a Lenten celebrant, you can have your fill of a lovely fatty doughnut. They do say those with health issues can abstain from the partial fasts, but at 500 calories, one of these is surely overkill and should only be taken rarely!)
I am delighted to report, my kitchen is fine and that this year, I only got my ashes once. And the original dalek cake recipe, via Blue Peter, a British kids' show, sort of like Sesame Street. I have to say I prefer the classic episodes that I've watched on Youtube, as the newer ones got a little odd, sort of like the new version of the Electric Company blew dead bears but the original is still bloody marvelous. Enjoy, and towards Easter, may there be peace, more light, and a chance to eat, drink and be merry!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday 2013

Fat Tuesday has left us, and full of pancakes from Fat-or Shrove (pancake) Tuesday celebrations, it's time for 40 days of sorting myself out (well, 40 more days of doing so... as I have been at work to get myself sorted for some time now.)

I have, for some time, done at least a decade of the Rosary a day... to get myself rested, to get "bad energy" as it were, out, and to focus on what's really important, as part of my meditation practice. I use one of three large rosaries--- we seem to collect them in our family, from my father's large wooden beads from his stint as a Franciscan- to a blessed strand (blessed by John Paul II) to the 6 inch rosary bracelet I wear on my wrist. (I have arms that would best befit a very muscular mosquito.) This is simply, 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, and 1 Glory Be, (Which uses a sentence I've unconsciously been using when I list things verbally... "World without end, amen.") around the rosary, stopping to greet Our Lord and the Holy Mother.

Yes, I have heard of the Pope's resignantion, first in over 700 years. I am not laughing, although I was used to and liked John Paul II very much, and could not, even thinking "forgiveness is all", etc, manage to respect Benedict XVI. May he be blessed, is about all I can say. The jokes about the Pope giving up being the Pope for Lent, while I have an odd sense of humor, are sad to me. 

I also added in a new app, which lets me do breathing exercises, which is very helpful and gets me to slow down. This is Meditation Words on Google Play- which allows you to breathe in and out through the prayers... 1 prayer for forgiveness, a prayer for peace, and the Lord's Prayer again, as well as prayers for Tao and Buddhist philosophies. 

After the extreme bell ringing while sorting out Lightning Bug-I'd hoped that it would filter out "household noise"- toilets being flushed, heavy footsteps, the occasional too-loud conversation somewhere in the building, or water gurgling. But along with the artificial rain, one thing that is calming for many but sends me in search of a bathroom, it also used bells on a loop, and I acquired a Pavlovnian- reaction that had me sorting out if I needed to pee or begin the Liturgy of the Hours. White noise is still something I haven't gotten, but laying/ sitting still and breathing to calm are actually possible for me now. (And at once, someone has uncapped a Sharpie and is writing in a calendar blank: "February 13th, 2013: Beth learns to be still.") So-

Meditation Words: Highly recommended.
Lightning Bug: More work needed. 

In all, I've been officially at this for about 37 hours total, in varying segments of time. I am finally learning to be still, which I needed, and perhaps calm myself. 

It's been tough: Got an answer, a diagnosis, but also found that the anti-convulsants had not been working, and had indeed been hurting me- from lack of vitamin/food absorption  to severely cutting down how much food I was capable of eating, to not helping symptoms at all, as I am actually allergic or sensitive to many, and keeping me from being able to use or eliminate other medications. But while on occasion, one type of seizures messes with speech/writing, and I get frustrated because I'm trying very hard to be understandable, I have been hard at work, researching both neurologists (It's not so much an icy, nasty demeanor. It's refusing to talk to me, rather than yell about how frustrating I am, and medicating first, letting "Inconclusive" be as opposed to checking the answers, and re-doing tests, and then asking questions.), and alternative seizure-control treatments. I am not my disease and want to simply live---cause mischief, be a brat, go out... without fear and without worrying that someone will force my hand and my freedom will be taken away. And without fear of losing control in public. I also want to, and am working on, being calm, and being understandable. One step at a time, I suppose. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Don't Forget the Milk

My starting quote-which is a quote in a quote---freaky! ;-)---is courtesy of: Buddhist Bootcamp, Facebook

If you keep saying "I want more money" you will always have exactly that: the wanting of more money! 

It's no different than when you tell yourself "Don't forget to buy milk, don't forget to buy milk", and you get home from the grocery store with everything BUT milk. Energy flows where attention goes; so when you focus on forgetting the milk, that's exactly what's going to happen. Tricky, yeah?
This is one of the greatest concepts that Neale Donald Walsch introduces in "Conversations with God". Energy flows where attention goes. Just be grateful for what you already have and you'll have more of it. Namaste

I've been trying to heal myself. I want health, I want a sense of peace. I want to be understandable! I want to quit looking at conversations the way I look at the episode of I Love Lucy, where Lucy gets arrested for passing counterfeit money in Paris, and with Ricky trying to bail her out, and a Spanish drunk translating the excitable gendarmes' words back and forth, it ends up being a convoluted game of Telephone. (Eugh.)

So have I, when trying for this, working so hard at it... been teaching myself to want, need, and bury myself, all while trying to teach myself to rest, so I can heal, rest so maybe there's not a sense of "Oh, damn, I'm cracking..."? Am I working where I should be "Letting it be"?

I know I have a lot of blessings. I know more are coming. But I focused on the dark instead.

Ah, but I do feel more peaceful. I'm now attempting to sort what needs to go, what needs to be said, and am fighting with myself. I want to be understandable! I am tired of fighting so hard, to realize it's still a convuluted mess. I'm tired of irritating my friends... so freaking tired of multiple translations!

But I've been forgetting to see the good, which is what I try so hard to do- and that's the thing-it's there, I shouldn't be trying for that.
The world is a mess, yes. But you have to let it off your shoulders here and again (I'm thinking of Greek mythology- not the Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, which I've found is something I'll read, start agreeing with, and nodding slightly, and when the sentence is about half finished and I'm in mid-nod, I suddenly say, "Oh, my God! You jerk!"- I'm told that's a standard reaction.)
So I guess the trick is acknowledging the mess, the coldness, the anger, the hate, but not letting them become me. I am not the world, I am not balancing it on my shoulders. It has to speak for itself, I cannot allow those to mess me up. I can make the world better, and am doing so, in whichever way I can.

Health will come as balance is more realized. I will continue trying to clear my mind and focus. And peace too, although there will never be a perfect peace on earth. Until then, I'll put my energy on the good, and focus on healing, on prayer, and celebrating the good that's come my way.
Also? I need milk.
Courtesy of: http://sbahlemarwa.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/milk-and-cookies.jpg


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Questions, Answers, and Waxing Seussical?

I'm going to attempt to be as clear as a bell here.

1)Why discuss epilepsy? On the internet, health issues can be easily translated as something else.
A)The simple answer is: "Silence kills." 
B)The not-so-simple answer? I got a lot of misinformation while searching out answers, and had my system severely screwed up by treatments and stress. All while Inconclusives blared out at me, and I was cracking, because I was trying to hide it- I have yet to figure out how to comfortably discuss it on dates, for example. I know what a lot of things could look like to a jaundiced eye- (You could figuratively be jaded or jaundiced, right?) but I'm doing it for these reasons:
1A-Over the years, numerous misunderstandings arose, from demonic possession, to a personality flaw. We're seen as funny, or stupid.
1B-My own family doesn't always get it, and Lord knows, I try to patiently answer questions.
1C-You get a little tired of reassuring people, "If I feel funky, I will try to excuse myself. You may see me drop things and get frustrated, you may see me tired and obviously not myself. I will usually try to say 'I need to go lay down' or 'I'm going to sit now'." And for some, "I will try to ensure I don't have any symptoms around you. I know it's scary...I've both had and watched...including one child who gave me a black eye during one of theirs."

It is not me. I am me. I am human. I live, love, laugh, lust, swoon over Humphrey Bogart (Yeah, maybe not normal.) I am trying to build a life for myself. I am free, under no one's thumb. I love classic films, kids' films, British comedy, the Mutter Museum site- I almost asked to adopt a criminal's skull as a Christmas gift. (Imagine the hijinks! I'd name him Yurick and do Shakespeare monologues!) I like kids' films with slightly dark overtones. I love my family and friends, music of all sorts, reading, writing, dancing- to a beat only I can hear. I don't fit into molds, I'm stubborn, I'm opinionated, I don't relax easily.

 I am not where I want to be, but I am better-and I am getting better. I am, to borrow from Flinstone vitamin ads: "Ten million strong... and growing!" 

I am me. And no one is me-er than me, or some such. 

I love my butterflies, my cherry blossoms, my orchids and simple little wild flowers too. I love baking, projects, hiking. I love the sweet and simple things, and the sweet and simple people.
I AM! I am not what afflicts me, I am not my battles. I am ME!
And I know, we all visit that Seussical hades, where the hackenkraks howl. But I am not staying, I am not there.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dancing With the Fairies

Cicadas chirping in the trees above, loud and croaking against the still blue sky
Bare feet in mud squishing merrily
Sweat damp hair barely held back by elastic and pins

Dance with me, little fairies in gossamer
Flit merrily tree-to-tree
And rest on a branch, eating candy, your mouths like mine, sticky from the sugar

Travelling home as it gets dark,
a cooler air blowing across sweaty skin, hair dried and blowing in the breeze
Do little eyes gaze from the shelter of the branches?
Do little hands come up to wish me fond farewell?

And back to the world,
The only mark, dried cracked mud on my bare feet
That squished so merrily in puddles
My sandals safe and in my hand,
A dying brightly colored flower in the other

Home to dream of fairies in a rainbow's hues of gossamer
Whose tiny feet never touched the ground
Home to dream of squishing through the mud and the cool grass
What's this?
A ring of little posies around my head, entwined in sweat-tangled hair.
And on the porch, I raise my hand and wish a goodnight, 'til we meet again.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Savage Ballets

In life, sometimes you have to bend lest you break.
My "Compromises" of late are intended to preserve a sense of freedom, while enabling me to hike, run, walk and move across the earth with freedom, and the knowledge that if I cannot speak for myself, someone will, in accordance with my wishes, and not make decisions I disagree with or have no input in.

Since EpDetect fails me, being hyperkinetic- it's movement based to catch "odd movements"- and since it goes off if I run or sneeze- to spectacular panic in trying to quickly shut the alarm off (Unzip purse, dig out phone, press the red button while the whole phone shakes unbearably and elicits a sound like you'd hear during cinematic prison escapes- I'm still searching. Movement based options may not be the best, as my seizures- especially the last episode, from which I am still feeling sore and exhausted- am catching up, but mostly am trying to be warm, rested and get the thirst at bay- I always get a lot of it post-episode, along with dragging and zombified walking/ movements- involve at least one period of time in which I will act like I'm held down---any movements, coming out, will be stiff and not of my own volition. Not to mention the bizarre head angle I end up with, from which it's tough to move my head, and causes stiffness and pain- I think it's a relic of having had an episode in the tub- I'm trying to breathe and apparently convince myself I'm drowning, thus tipping up the head so I can gulp air... still not with it, but still trying to maintain a good attitude and work on something fabulous- it's been tough enough.

I decided on joining Medic Alert, that bastion of health-care jewelry mostly known by parents and grandparents. Here I'll have a tag, and the ability to give information even if I can't speak, and a list of my directives on hand. No, Ma. I don't want nor do I need a nurse, and I'm a horrible patient and would have her leaving in days, if not hours. I'm pretty capable- and while being a sweetly dis-positioned person, I am also very human, and can't refrain from the occasional "OH, HELL NO!" moments, or little mutinies. Besides, let's face it... my trust in the medical establishment is low to naught. I will walk over this earth, get out, and not be afraid. My freedom is mine, and if I have to practice a Scottish accent, paint myself blue and face people down wearing only a kilt, I WILL! 

This is only a small concession. I still will insist that I have input, that I do not fight to be understood for nothing, that painful speech therapy did have a good effect- I WILL SPEAK FOR MYSELF, and if I am certain that my wishes are not being heard, if I am being ignored, I will find a way to speak. I will protect myself, even if I am still trying to learn when a person I don't know comes at me for a hug, I probably should not put my hands up like I'm blocking a hit. My rights, my needs, my words---I will fight for those. But if I am too rigid, I can break myself. If I bend too much, I'll be stepped upon, so I have to know when to say, "WHEN!"  

I will enjoy- music, literature, my butterflies, my cherry blossoms, my hobbies, my friends, my family. I WILL LIVE. And hell no, I'm not breaking, not giving in. I will not sway which way the wind blows. If this smacks of false courage, so be it- but remember that we all battle, and we all have different strengths. I may choose to be quieter in my rebellions, enjoy the quiet, be a bit fearful of the loud and angry, get angry myself if I see someone in pain- but there is no such thing as "false courage"- just courage. The type that snorts, and has steam come out its nose, the type that needs to roar and to judge- that is bravado... that I have never had, but "false courage" would never have let me live this long. I'm not going it alone- this I know. Things may change, but I have my people in my corner. And my gloves are on. I am not "giving" in, but performing a certain graceful, savage dance a boxer performs, around the opponent  My opponent is not human, but I'll fight the pain my way. And dance a savage ballet while searching for my perfect target.