As a semi-retired therapist and writer I don’t always have to get up at the crack of dawn. So on days like today when the rain is pouring down and my brain says I have more things to do than I can handle, I pull the covers back over my head and think ‘I hope the dog can wait a little longer to go out and then have her breakfast.’ Cara Cozy, bless her soul, did wait and my leg pain got to the point where I had to get up, so here I am. Part of the resistance to rising this morning is the fact that my mischief-maker dog, Markey Mark, died last year on the 19th of November
and my beloved husband, Sy died four years ago on November 20th. In this year’s terms that is next Sunday and Monday, and all I could think about to write is the sadness revisited. None of you want to hear that again. So it was up and wandering aimlessly around until I settled at the kitchen table with my pendulum. I listed off the things that needed to be done and then asked which tasks for today. It said write your blog and it said go cook. What a combination!
I’m hosting a small Thanksgiving Feast this year since three of my girls have commitments in other homes and that is as it should be. But Annie and Steve will be with me for a late afternoon dinner. In this last year I’ve moved my diet from gluten-free to Paleo and that is going to mean some tweaking of the traditional foods. That was what my guides were talking about when they said, ‘Go practice some of those changes to see if they will pass muster with your daughter and her husband.’ So how does that fit with writing a blog about my first book, A Bird and the Dragon: Their Love Story: A Memoir?”
When I was a teenager and deep in the midst of boyfriends and all the emotional angst that goes along with that, one of them broke up with me. Can you believe that? I was heartbroken and my mother, Jordan Elizabeth in my book, saw me dragging around believing that my life had been destroyed and didn’t say much until I finally came to her with my pain. She listened to my woe and devastation. She told me she
was sorry that this had happened to me and then she said words that have held me together for all of these years of ups and downs. “You know we women are so lucky, for when the world falls apart, we can go clean house until we are exhausted and then we sleep. Or we can go to the kitchen and cook. Men don’t seem to have that option.” (Well, I know today they do, but this was in the mid-1950’s.) In later years just to reinforce her message, she had a sign on her kitchen counter that read, ‘When all else fails, eat!!’ That little sign is sitting on the decorative turntable on my kitchen island. (Yes, and these days weight wise I have to be careful not to take it literally.)
Not too many years ago my grandson Andrew came to me with a similar heartache and wanted direction and comfort. “You can do the same thing that my mother said to me. You can clean.”
“Well, how would I do that?” He asked.
“There is a Swifter in my cleaning closet and you can get it out and start picking up all of the Cara Cozy hair that is covering my floors.”
“Nah! I couldn’t do that and besides that’s girls’ work.” (See some of those stereotypes die hard.) I’m not sure if he has grown old enough to see the folly in his response. But if you are one of those types of men, there are still rocks to pound, sports to play, or doing something kind for someone else. The point is to feel those painful feelings while putting that energy to some use.
And now to the Paleo part of the cooking lesson. There are many programs out there on the computer to teach you how to convert to a Paleo diet–basically meat, vegetables, fruit, with little sugar. There are many good recipe books to help you get started. The reason for the conversion is that a gluten-free diet usually substitutes rice flour or a combination of grain flours in recipes, which are highly hypoglycemic. In other words it damages your intestines, stimulates your desire for sweets, and puts weight onto the body. One of the programs that I am using is Paleo Hacks and some of their cookbooks.
So, now having walked you through my day and how I handle some of my grief, I’m off to make that Paleo pie crust which uses nut flours and coconut sugar instead of what you are used to using. Happy cooking and a very happy Thanksgiving!!