Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Girl and Her Dough

The "girl" = me. The "dough" is not the spendy variety, nope. It's the floury, toasty, sometimes flaky variety. Me and my dough are going to break up for a while. I think the dough is going to handle it much better than me.

Eh, what can I say, I've started an elimination diet. I get a little crazy from time to time with food issues. Life for me revolves so much around food. I sort of like cooking (LIE! but I think I shouldn't admit I don't like to cook, considering my occupation), and I like to bake (LIE! I LOVE to bake!!!) I do lots of research & development for new recipes, and tasting is part of it. Even 1 bite of anything adds up when you do the same recipe more than 6x time to get it right. Anyway, sugar is a constant nemesis. I figured it's time to reign things in again, it's been about a year since I stumbled off that wagon. So, I'm coming up on my 1 week anniversary of virtually no sugar to speak of. I don't include fruit in that, not at all. So, my beloved peaches are still on my personal "approved" list, but perhaps maybe not 4 a day anymore. As I write, I've got 2 loaves of Cole's mango bread in the freezer, 2 boxes of Ezekiel sprouted English muffins on ice, bags of cookies I've baked frozen in time, recipes for chocolate peanut butter pie, chocolate peanut butter pancakes (sensing a theme?), and tiramisu on hold. I've even got the ingredients for all of those recipes ready to go, no easy feat on the tiramisu because that new recipe requires vegan English biscuits. So, the biscuits are in the pantry waiting for me too. That's a lot of sugar in a very small space, with a girl who is um, maybe a little cranky the last week or so of doing without.

Dough is the next to go, and that's coming soon. Although it seems like pretty much it's already gone anyway. I haven't had a morsel of anything baked, a speck of pasta, nor a wrap, nary even a slice of toast. Gluten free baking is big around here, but that's off for now because my self-imposed exile in sugar land. And, probably last to go will be my soy. I have no axe to grind with soy personally, but I like it, and eat it a lot. So, while soy is on "the list" it will not be eliminated, just reduced. And, what will I do when all this is done you might be asking? Well.... I'll of course do a timed distance run and see if there's any improvement. When that's all over, I suppose I'll put out the biscuits, the sugar, the flour and the soy milk, and celebrate with some peanut butter chocolate pancakes, peanut butter chocolate pie, some tiramisu or heck I may really live on the edge, and have a piece of toast.

Dough, my dearest dough. You are loyal and will always wait for me. A girl and her dough are never far apart for too long... thank goodness!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Eternal Optimist (and a picture of Peri!)

Hi! How have you been? I'm ok, thanks for asking. It's been busy behind the scenes here, really busy--some good, some could be better, but we're still here in every sense of the word.

When I don't write as often as I'd like, it's harder for me to figure out what the heck I've been up to, and what's what around here. I'm not sure where my time goes, but it sure goes. I have no scientific facts, but it seems like this summer has been rainier than usual. Spring was barely a blip down here, again I have no facts to prove it, but for me it just seems like we went from winter to summer in a flash. I don't mind, it's all part of living where I want to be right now.  Despite the innumerable crushing things going on in the world on so many levels, I realized yesterday that despite every fiber of my being for years believing I am a pessimist, I realized that I am an eternal optimist. This happened during a run, and I'm still surprised by this revelation and coming to grips with it.

I'm doing my best to hold on to a regular work out schedule. For a short while, my running faltered due to so many pressures and obligations on my time. Finally I have put that behind me, and have been back on track. You know I hate running, I don't consider myself a runner by any means, but I might have to rethink that too.... 2 days ago I had occasion to get out extra early for a run. The sky looked threatening, but the other happy vegan assured me there was nothing on the radar. Off I went. Within 1/4 mile I found myself caught in an unbelievable deluge. I tucked my phone safely into a waterproof pocket, rolled my iPod to the inside of my shirt, and kept going. There was no lighting so no reason really to stop since I was already drenched. As I ran, I realized how much cooler it is that time of morning, so unlike the searing temperatures I face with my midday runs. A few people passed me in cars, mostly neighbors, waving with a little laughter that I could see through their windows. It didn't matter, and I turned in the best time I've had in months. Cold turns me away, lightning, snow, ice and all that stuff I never imagined I'd persevere through, but rain? Serious, bucketing of rain the ENTIRE time.... seems to be no problem.

That same day as I was driving, I rounded the bend, and a roseate spoonbill took flight from the Bight over my car. It was so close I think if I were outside my car, I would've reached and touched him (I never would have tried, trust me). I pulled over and just watched him fly away. Such a beautiful sight, and a rare one for us here in South Florida, sadly. But, there he was. Despite all the ruin we have put upon environment, they are still here. Just like us.

Yesterday it was another stormy day. I put on the running garb and off I went. It was indeed raining. It didn't matter to anyone it seemed. There are workers on my street, and they were still working. There were cyclists on my street, and they were still cycling. Pop was still outside, but tucked into the overhang of his house. And, there were animals and birds everywhere, absolutely everywhere. It was an incredible sight. Everything seemed to be moving. The birds were singing so loud I turned off the iPod and listened. That is when again, I realized there was another spoonbill in the Bight. You cannot miss them, that unbelievable pink color looks so artificial against the scarred earth at low tide in the Bight. Also, there were butterflies everywhere. Here on Big Pine, the aerial spray program for mosquitoes has been suspended for a time. The agency is still dropping larvicide, and doing whatever else it is they do, but the actual spraying of the air with poison to kill is on hiatus. This is due to the fact that 2 more butterfly species are being evaluated for status as endangered species. The poison seems to kill either them or their eggs. I wondered if it is possible that in the short time the program has been stopped that it's already possible that the general population of ALL butterflies down here has grown so much, again no scientific facts but it seems this way to me. Butterflies are like messengers to me, and since they were everywhere yesterday, I got a lot of messages!

As I kept on my course, I realized that I must be an optimist because despite what seems like insurmountable odds in the world, I keep going. The spoonbills keep going, the butterflies keep going, the sun still shines, and the moon will rise. My business keeps going, my relationships keeps going, I keep creating new goals, and I get out of bed everyday no matter what. Maybe this was triggered by a  movie I watched about the end of the world, and how people handled their impending doom? I wondered about that too, what would I do? Yeah, I've got a "bucket list" but would I really ditch everything I have here to go on a crazy chase to fulfill it? Not likely. I would still get up every day, cook and bake my organic vegan food for anyone who wanted it, marvel at the wildlife, stare at the sea, and play with my cats. The layers of "wants" in my life keep falling away piece by piece, mostly because I am happier with less clutter, less drama, and more simplicity.

I'm keeping on track for more simplicity. It's been a lot of drama and clutter clearing to get to this point, and I'm still not where I want to be on the "simple" level. But, the plan is set. It's good, it's really good.

So, despite the drama in the world, I admit I'm an optimist. I have not lost hope for the future of our species, or our planet. What's our reward for all this clutter and drama clearing? Well, it's a picture of Peri, of course!
Peri is napping after a long day of patrolling in the house!