Real World

Another Saturday. I’m in a melancholy, sort of slow mood – I think partly because my body was not ready to wake up this morning. I’m ready to get back on a more regular sleep schedule, and be done with this constant feeling of having half-fueled batteries. The big diet changes are probably somehow linked to this as well, although I imagine that most of it will be sorted out once I can get back to sleeping eight hours a night at a regular time.

Chris got a computer game called RIVEN that we’ve been enjoying playing – it’s been enjoyable exploring this synthesized world. I really enjoy the beautiful graphics, and the fact that it’s actually mentally engaging, making us think. The puzzles are a lot of fun. Now if we can only get to the point where it’s as easy to turn the game off, as it is to turn the game on! It’s addictive, and I think that contributes to the lack-of-sleep issue. That, and I’m having computer-game dreams… I find myself in dream situations where I’m opening secret doors, carrying tools to work the puzzles, etc. I have been too sleepy in the morning to fully recall them. I wonder if my subconscious is working out some of the puzzles while I sleep.

Chris woke me up with doughnuts this morning. Yum! In shape, they were more like fritters – sort of randomized flat shapes, made of yummy fried dough and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I haven’t had a doughnut for two months – which, I realize, is probably better for me health-wise, but it’s frustrating in comfort-food terms. It’s one of those things where it’s almost more a matter of knowing that I CAN have doughnuts – it’s very reassuring. I still feel slightly deprived when somebody brings in a box of Krispy Kremes, but not enough so to be sick from eating them.

We have both been learning to cook more, which is both entertaining and healthier – last night, Chris made the most amazing gyros, with ground lamb and sausage and herbs – of course, nowadays, that meal starts with making pitas… which came out delightful, although not quite as flexible as their wheaty counterpart. In most cases, there is some way around it, it just takes a lot of creative cooking. The KitchenAid stand mixer that Chris got me for Valentine’s Day has been immensely helpful, too – breads and such are a lot less trouble if the mixer does all that tedious beating.

I talked with my Mom the other day, and she wants to learn how to make egg noodles, so she can make her famous chicken-and-noodles without wheat – there’s a fundamental, powerful connection between mother-love and starchy food, and she feels like she’s partly responsible because all the cookies, rolls, noodles, and gravies we enjoyed over Christmas were part of what was making me so sick (totally unbeknownst to any of us at the time.) The “starchy-food” = “maternal nurturing” equation is especially strong for us bread-basket Kansas folks; Chris’s mother and mine are ironically from small towns that are very near one another – so we’ve got lots of similar food traditions, and some of the same food feelings. One of the first things Mom thought about after my diagnosis was how she would have to learn to cook our traditional family favorites in ways that I could eat them. Some things, like using cornstarch instead of flour to make gravy, are easy – some things, like cinnamon rolls, are not. Chris made some really tasty ones last week, but he said they were really hard to handle – the dough is just nothing like regular dough. So far, biscuits and the pita bread are the only ones that have handled at all like regular dough – where you could actually knead and cut and roll, get your fingers into it and expect to get them out again. Most of the bread dough is like sticky thick white glue – hard to get into the pan, out of the bowl, and off your fingers.

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