Monday, August 12, 2013

Still Chocolate, But No Gluten

Chocolate After Supper is back online, but this time, the supper is gluten-free (well, and so is the chocolate...). Why, you ask?

 This summer I decided, after way more research and thinking than anyone should have to do, that I should try a gluten-free diet. I have suffered for more than ten years from chronic muscle aches that just increase every year. It's not unusual for me to sit by the woodstove on a winter evening huddled up as if with fever 'n ague, and unable to lie still at night from the aches, restlesness and skin-crawling sensations in my legs, back and arms. I have wondered for a long time what in the world is wrong with me. Is it Restless Leg Syndrome? After effects from West Nile? Fibromyalgia? Chronic Fatigue? Wacky hormones? Who knows?

 I finally had enough of nightly, increasing, doses of ibuprofen and aspirin, and the general fatigue and achiness, and spent my free time this summer trying to figure it out. I discovered that doctors who treat patients with fibromyalgia have found that many of them respond well to removing gluten from their diets. I thought, what have I got to lose? (Well, besides toast and bran flakes for breakfast. And macaroni and cheese. And pizza.)

 So I began; eating no bread or anything else with gluten. I wasn't sure I was seeing any results until I realized that I was no longer taking ibuprofen at night. And then I realized I had more energy. And then I discovered my sensitive tooth wasn't sensitive anymore. And I wasn't begging my husband to PLEASE rub my arms, and my back, and my neck, and my legs.... I began to wonder if I had just imagined all that achiness.

 After four weeks I knew it was time to test it for sure. I spent two days eating "normally." Toast. Pasta. Gingerbread. Surprisingly, I still felt pretty good. My daughter came over and the first thing she asked was "How are you feeling?" And I said, "Waiting for the other shoe to drop."

 Three days later, in the middle of the night I woke up with a bang, aching so badly I could not hold still and wishing the world would end. While waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in I looked around on the internet and found out that, yes, there can be a delayed reaction, sort of like catching a virus. You know, where after being exposed to someone's nasty cold you feel fine for a while, and then kind of off-ish, and then BAM! you wake up with a whole raft of misery. I'm still recovering from my gluten cold, and that was three days ago.

 So now I am pretty sure this is it. As my husband said after that miserable night, "No more gluten for you!"

 Next time, I'll talk about how I am making that happen and still have happy suppers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

DIY Makeover Quote #14

"It takes creativity to wear one dress ten ways; any dummy with a credit card can buy out the mall."

--from Rebekah, via Academichic

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Long Time Gone

There have been a lot of things going on around here in life, and in my head. Much of it has been too complicated or too personal to write about here. Also, as I've mentioned before, I've discovered Facebook, where I can sum up my life in short blurbs, and I read all the blurbs of my friends' lives.

I have just a few items of interest to share. One, I'm going to be a grandma in a few short months. New relationships! New roles!

Two, I am re-connecting this fall with an aspect of myself that I have ignored and even shunned for a long time: I'm going back to school. I'm not sure yet where that journey is taking me, or how long it will be, but I'm excited.

Three, because of those two things, I am seriously considering shutting down this blog altogether. I already post very infrequently, and it may be time to close it down as I move into the next things.

This blog was originally about finding myself in my mid-life-- whether I communicated that or not-- and it looks like I AM finding new direction and purpose, so it remains to be seen if I still need this particular outlet.

If you try to find me later, and you can't, you'll know what happened!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Fashion: Elie Saab

This is an auspicious day: I found a designer whose designs I like, and would actually buy and wear if I had a big pile of money in my back yard. Here are a few of my favorites from Elie Saab's Fall 2010 lineup.

I could see myself wearing this one to church:
Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Or this one (with a camisole):
Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

I like this one too:
Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

The bandage neckline and body-hugging skirt catch my eye on this one:

Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

And this jacket! Oh, I like this jacket!:
Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

I don't know what this is supposed to be; some sort of new camouflage? But I like it:

Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

And something lacey:
Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Can I wear this one, pretty please? (with a long nude slip underneath...):

Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

I wish I had a red carpet event to go to:

Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

On second thought, maybe I want this one instead:

Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Or maybe this one:

Elie Saab Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

I can't believe that I liked over HALF of this designer's collection. I'm sure it helps that many of the street length dresses were knee length--much more desirable from my 48-year-old point of view than the shirt-length dresses other designers are showing.

It's probably good thing I don't have lots of money or I would want to spend it all on these dresses!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fashion Peeve #4: The Future is Yesterday

Here in Nebraska we are still in the tight clutches of winter. Yet last week when I was out shopping I saw spring clothing boldly displayed, and all the winter stuff was crowded onto a few clearance racks. I can understand that. Even though we are probably at least a month away from being able to wear any of the new styles, I can see that it's fun and interesting to plan ahead. Plus, it's a welcome distraction from the unending snow and ice and cold temperatures.

BUT--and here's my latest peeve-- now I'm seeing fashion forecasting for NEXT FALL! Come on. I'm not ready to think that far ahead. I still have to plan what I'm going to wear this coming summer!

Related to that is this: Fashion forecasting is a game, not biblical prophecy.

At least, that's what I've decided. People who love and know a lot about fashion try to guess what the new trends will be in the next couple or three seasons. Sometimes they are right, but just as often they are wrong. Sometimes they were right for only a brief moment. I saw fashions last spring that only lasted long enough for the first run to get bought, and then the trend was gone again. If I had jumped, I would have only had time to wear my cutting edge whatsit once before it would have been So Last Week.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fashion Friday: Oh, NOW I Get it.....

"Haute Couture should be fun, foolish and almost unwearable" - Christian Lacroix, high-end French fashion designer.


To wit:

Givenchy Spring 2010
Givenchy Spring 2010 Couture


Christian Dior Spring 2010
Christian Dior Spring 2010 Couture

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2010
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2010 Couture


Chanel Spring 2010
Chanel Spring 2010 Couture


Valentino Spring 2010
Valentino Spring 2010 Couture

Alexis Mabille Spring 2010
Alexis Mabille Spring 2010 Couture

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wardrobe Maintenance

Looking at photos of myself over the years, I realize I used to have pretty nice clothes. They weren't expensive, but I looked reasonably put together, especially in college, where at my Bible college I was required to wear dresses to class; and in the early days of my marriage, when I still had those college clothes. But somewhere along the line I lost whatever sense of style I had, little as it may have been, and I'm wondering what happened.

I've been thinking about it, and I think I've discovered the answer. My wardrobe suffered from lack of maintenance. Since I had no "style" to speak of, I had no plan, no vision of what  my wardrobe should consist of. It was mainly whatever caught my eye, that I could afford, that looked halfway decent on  me, that matched at least one other thing in my closet. (One style sense I did have was the love of mixing and matching.) Over the years, as I've changed shape and sizes, what with having babies and growing older, I've outgrown or worn out different items in my closet, and I never replaced them.

Many years ago my wardrobe had a lot of brown and cream. For example, I had a nice brown linen pencil skirt and a cream sweater with pastel flowers embroidered on the shoulder, and to go with it, a pair of tan heels. There is a photo of me wearing that outfit, while holding my first born, who was one year old at the time, and I actually don't cringe when I look at it. But what happened? Well, the waistband on the skirt became too tight--my waistline just never went back that skinny. The sweater became pilled and a little shrunken--and besides, at some point I became disgusted with acrylic sweaters and threw all of mine out. (I did "replace" them, sort of--with cotton sweatshirts! What was I thinking?) I don't remember what happened to the shoes, but my guess is I ran out of things that I felt "went" with them, and got rid of them. Eventually, my wardrobe degenerated to the point where I was wearing jeans everywhere, including church, because that was all I had. It never occurred to me, when I outgrew my brown skirt, to find another brown skirt, to keep  my wardrobe going,  or to find another cream sweater in a different fiber when I tired of the acrylic one.

Now, I've learned. I've learned that when I find a basic, classic piece of clothing in a color and fit that suits me, I will replace it when it become unwearable, as many times as necessary, until I change my style and I need something else. But I will no longer just let something die. It must be replaced if I want to keep my wardrobe to continue to function efficiently.