Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bits and Pieces of Our Days

Whew, it's been so long since I've posted an actual update that I may have forgotten everything we've been doing for the last four months.

Let's see what I can recall.

Much of 16-year-old Ramona's fall semester was consumed by community theater. (Did I just say she's 16? I did. People, I started blogging when she was three. Yikes. May I stop time, please?)

She auditioned for Peter and the Starcatcher and (dramatic drumroll....) got the lead. She adored playing the Starcatcher, Molly, and her British accent was, if I do say so myself, spot on. (Not that I can actually judge, not being British, but trust me. It was perfect. This is not a mother talking. Well, it is. But. Whatever.) There were six performances over two weekends (would have been seven, but one was canceled due to snow), plenty of family made it into town to see her, and overall, the entire experience delighted all involved.

As homeschoolers in a small town, theater opportunities can be a little hard to come by, so I'd been hoping something would work out soon for Ramona. Community theater to the rescue, and long live Molly -- the Starcatcher and the rising star. So happy for her.



Have I mentioned how much I love having a daughter who's a librarian? It's not only that Anne-with-an-e will pick up or return books for me (and I admit that I exploit that benefit far too often), but she absolutely loves her job, and knowing that I played a part in matchmaking the Anne-with-an-e/Library relationship brings me extensive happiness. 


I spent much of the fall semester learning how to shop for and cook meals that are AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) compliant. Betsy's Crohn's disease, as I mentioned last September, was not responding to the drug she was on. She switched to a new one that she has to inject at home (and I learned that I can actually give someone a shot. Who knew? Nurse Karen, here). Then she tackled the daunting challenge of the AIP elimination diet. When people asked what she had to give up and I named all the foods -- grains, nuts, corn, legumes, beans, eggs, spices, dairy -- that aren't allowed during the elimination phase, they asked, "What's left?" Well, mainly vegetables (but no potatoes -- who knew they were a nighshade?), fruit, and meat.

Sourcing can be a challenge, but we've been getting it figured out. I've learned so much in the last few months about how to cook this way. There are loads of gluten-free flours that I'd never used or even heard of (tigernut, cassava.) I learned that you can actually make a pretty tasty orange-cranberry scone without flour, eggs, or sugar, and that you can create a "chili" without tomatoes (which are also a nightshade and therefore off-limits) by creating a stew base with pumpkin. I've been introduced to roughly a gajillion coconut products that I didn't know existed and I learned that everyone actually likes beef liver when it's hidden in a stew created by McAngie at Autoimmune Wellness.

It's still a challenge to balance all the AIP stuff with my vegan-ish leanings and some restrictions that Atticus adheres to, but I'm no longer pulling my hair out. I've been making peace with the kitchen, something I thought I'd never do, and that's been a lovely surprise.


Latest reading:

I just finished How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig, and I absolutely loved it. It was so much more than I expected, and now I want to read everything Matt Haig has ever written.


Tabatha said...

Wonderful bits!
I hope Betsy's Crohn's is doing better (is she on Humira?). The scones look very tasty.
I cried at the end of How to Stop Time, not because it was sad, just because I was moved.

Karen Edmisten said...

That book is SO moving! I loved it so much.
Btw, Tabatha, stay tuned tomorrow -- my Poetry Friday post will feature a marvelous poet named Tabatha. :)

Betsy is on Stelara and she is feeling so much better these days! (That's her in the picture, giving Ramona a kiss.) We hope and pray that the Stelara and the diet changes will put her in true and lasting remission.

Kathryn said...

I loved How to Stop Time. Those diet restrictions sound incredibly difficult, but worth it to feel well - so glad she is doing much better.

Karen Edmisten said...

Kathryn, How to Stop Time really surprised me. I expected it to be lightweight, but it was so heavy with genuine humanity (in a good way) and I appreciated that heft so much. Last night I started listening to his memoir on his depression, Reasons to Stay Alive. Have you read that one?

Also, I should have mentioned that Betsy has started some reintroductions and so far has done well with rice products, peanut butter, eggs, and chocolate. :) Those have made a huge difference! :)

penelope said...

My 19yo daughter and I both loved How to Stop Time.

How wonderful for Betsy that she is able to tolerate these reintroduced foods! That's a blessing. With my GI illness (I think I commented before) I am severely limited to just blueberries, strawberries, oranges, kiwi; red pepper, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, kale; and eggs. And black coffee ... Healthy, I suppose, but soooo boring. And, my system is so sensative that when the kids cook their foods my body starts to react to the airborne molecules ... I Hope Betsy isn't that sensitive!

And Theatre for Ramona! Wonderful! My teens have loved our local theatre and have beeen blessed to do loads of Shakespeare and Shaw. Such fun.

And a librarian in the family :-) marvelous.

Karen Edmisten said...

Penelope, I really feel for you! Yes, those are all healthy foods, but I can imagine how you get bored with the same foods all the time. Trying to help Betsy find variety with the things she's been eating was hard enough ... I can't imagine what you go through! Esp. with dealing with sensitivities to airborne things as well -- wow!

No, Betsy is not that sensitive at all, and has had a lot of luck with reintroductions, or at least we think so! Testing in early March will tell us more. Praying and crossing our fingers!