Baby Steps

Its been a week of baby steps

On my sister’s facebook entry this morning was a quick entry mentioning that little Alysondra (my niece) is getting braver.   Nearing her first birthday, She’s been flirting with the idea of walking for a few weeks now. Small brief periods of forgotten fear as she ventures out  to take an unsecured step here and there.  I’m hard pressed to think of a joy more appealing than seeing a child find their confidence and take their first steps.  Of course that elation is quickly displaced by worry as  their new independence changes the whole game, immersing us in a plethora of new adventure. Now it becomes far more difficult to be their protective shield. Then it only gets more and more difficult with each new ability they add to their repertoire.

On Thursday we had our very first Thanksgiving at our house, and it ended up including nearly all of our local family (minus niece Bekah & nephew David who we missed, but they were spending the day with their Mother).   It still ended up being pretty nice and calm, one of the better ones for me I think.  The kids were able to spend time with both sets of grandparents.  In keeping with the theme of this post, I really hope that it proves to encourage some further “baby steps”  to occur, and inspire more tolerance and understanding within our family. Its always a delicate line between individuality and expectations.. but I think it can be done.

My niece is due to have her baby any day.  She’s having a little boy that she is naming Jackson.   This elevates the number of hats my sister-in-law wears, increasing it by one, thereby adding one more title in the process  – Grandma, or Gigi, or whatever they end up deciding.

I have yet to guess what that must be like. I’d imagine,  that once you get past the sillyness where people now taunt your age (which she has nothing to worry about there. In reality.. she’s a super young Grandma, not even 40 yet.)  you’d probably feel  joy, happiness, as well as fear and apprehension all rolled into the same event.

The child that you brought into the world now having their own.  Lots of  worrying over how your child is going to deal with the vast life change they are approaching.  Knowing full well there are things you don’t understand fully until your own baby is looking at you with those eyes.  Realizing that yet another layer of our inate desire to protect our (now adult) child has been stripped away by time, growth,  and independence, severing yet another apron string.

Letting go must feel clumsy and awkward, and induce some amount of fear.   Bitter-sweet I’m sure, and definitely hard for a Mother. I think I can definitely wait to have a child that is an adult, and I should very much appreciate my time with my kids right now, when it is still acceptable for me to be the Mama Bear.

It will be yet another doorway of opportunity,  immobilizing yet another plethora of further adventures, and one that will induce change in relationship, and growth on the parts of both Mother and child.

Isn’t it interesting that no matter what place we are in life, there continues to be further “Baby Steps” we all have to take.  We are never done learning or growing when we are open to it.  Our routes may all be quite different, but new phases come about regardless of our direction or  uncertainty to take the next step.

Take heart that little things, small changes, tiny adjustments – baby steps –  taken with care and determination, can pave the way, as well as inspire hope for the betterment of us all.

Its about the journey..

I wonder some times why it is we live our lives the way we do.. It seems we are born with the notion to be in a hurry to find something to fully devote ourselves to, a relationship, a career, children, a calling.. something solid to identify ourselves with, and define exactly what, or who we are. I just wonder sometimes. A long time, I’ve pushed and pushed under the notion that if I can just sacrifice a little more, for a little longer.. then I will get to the point where I will be allowed to do something profoundly positive.. something that will make my time here make sense, to fulfill what it is I was put on this earth for.

I feel anxious for that time, but I have to wonder still, why should I be in such a hurry? Wouldn’t fulfilling that accomplishment (whatever it is) mean that my time here is done? If I found the reason for my being here fulfilled tomorrow, while I’m sure it would feel pleasing to have answered my reason for being, what about all the things I haven’t touched? What about the forgotten unexplored pieces of life I’ve hurried past, not taking the time where I should have. Isn’t life about the journey? afterall, we will all reach the destination in due time? why hurry there? What about the journey?

The more I thought on this, the more I started to piece together the following. The fact is that we are all a product of our experiences. From each joy, tear, heartbreak, or situation, we are meant to take away with us bits of ideas that together fully form intended lessons. Gathered from exploration of ourselves and the world around us, these lessons make us more rounded, stronger and wiser individuals, better preparing us for accomplishing our purpose.

If I continue to allow pieces of my being to go unexplored.. untouched.. and ignored until a time when I am no longer able to do anything about it, then what section of my coursework, my preperation, my training if you will, have I lost out on…  all because I was in a hurry, and pushed it off until later?  How can I ever expect to be at my best, if I don’t do more than just wait to exist?

Energy and time are already an issue,  responsibilities, and the needs of those dear to me are also present.  Its a real struggle to balance it all, and I wouldn’t trade any of the things in my life right now, I just…  want it to be ok to be me.

I want to draw again, I want to sing, to dance, take up yoga, and paint pictures, maybe go back to school and get some kind of degree, so that I can be taken seriously in some aspect.  To take beautiful photos, To laugh  a lot more with family and friends. To have adult conversations that last more than 3 minutes,  that enable me to visualize and intelligently talk about ideas, and to learn from others.  I yearn for something creative.  I think it would actually be very cool to be able to work with computer graphics, and do CG for movies, etc..  I want to take philosophy,  psychiatry, art. Pick up where I left off learning Japanese. I want to figure out how to fix my computer and know why things work the way they do. I want to study and understand more about nutrition. I want to encourage, inspire, and help the world around me be healthy. I want to help people heal and begin to understand and analyze personal perceptions, to acquire deeper and more truthful understanding of themselves, so they can in turn use it to inspire healthier attitudes in others.

Just the tip of the iceberg really.. and maybe that’s why it seems so overwhelming, and why it feels much safer to fall back into a routine… but I want to be so much more than I am, and I can’t help but feel like if I don’t pay attention to at least a couple of these soon, that I will miss out on lessons I was really meant to learn, and it will be my own fault. I have chosen my lot in life, but in reality, I’m the only one limiting myself, sure things may not be ideal, but in honesty, they will never be perfect.  My world is not insurmountable stone..  It may just be time to get the chisel out, and start working on a masterpiece.. 🙂

 

Lefse Recipe

I was looking for a recipe for Lefse (Norwegian Potato flat bread)

and I found this one from the book “Christmas in Dairyland” by LeAnn R. Ralph

Wish us luck, we are going to attempt to make it more as Muriel puts it “Serina & Haiden” friendly by substituting:

Milk = coconut milk
Butter = dairy free milk
Flour = Rice/Soy flour

Here is the regular recipe as from the book:
Lefse

– 4 heaping cups of mashed or riced potatoes
– 1 stick of butter (or margarine)
– 1/3 cup of milk
– 1 teaspoon of sugar
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 2 cups of flour
– extra flour for rolling out the dough.

Measure out the mashed/riced potatoes into a large mixing bowl. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter/margarine in the milk; stir in the sugar and salt. Then pour over the cold mashed (riced) potatoes and mix.

Stir two cups of flour into the potato mixture. The dough will be sticky and soft.

Start heating the griddle or electric frying pan. Do not add any oil, margarine or shortening. Lefse is baked on a dry surface.

Take a lump of dough about the size of an egg. Place a heaping teaspoon of flour on the surface where you’re going to roll out your lefse. Work about half of the heaping teaspoon of flour into the lump of dough (enough so you can handle the dough, but not so much that the dough becomes dry).

Starting in the center, roll outward until the lefse is about the size of a dinner plate. Try not to roll the lefse so thin that you cannot pick it up. If the lefse tears when you start to pick it up, gather it into a lump and roll it out again. Don’t do this too many times, though, or your lefse will end up tough and dry. Ideally, you should only roll the lefse once, although that’s probably not a realistic expectation if you’ve never made lefse before. Also try to turn the lefse only once while you are rolling it out. If the lefse starts to stick, add a little more flour.

When you have the lefse rolled out, transfer it to the hot griddle. Carefully pick it up and quickly move it. If you move slowly, the lefse is more likely to tear. Expert lefse makers use flat lefse turners (they look like long flat sticks) to transfer the dough by rolling it onto the turner and then unrolling it onto the griddle. You can also try rolling your lefse onto the rolling pin and transferring it to the griddle or the fry pan.

Once you have the lefse on the griddle, bake it for about a minute, just until brown ‘freckles’ start to appear; then turn the lefse over and let the other side bake just until brown freckles start to appear. While the first piece of lefse is baking, roll out your second one.

After the first piece of lefse is done, use the pancake turner to remove it from the griddle and place it on a clean dishtowel. Cover with another dishtowel.

Bake the second lefse and roll out the third piece.

When the second lefse is finished, place it on top of the first one and cover with the towel again.

Then bake the third piece.

Repeat until you have baked all of the dough. Place each newly baked lefse on top of the previously baked lefse and cover the stack with the towel.

Once the lefse is completely cool, place it in a plastic bag or wrap it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help keep it moist. You must wait until the lefse is completely cool before wrapping it, otherwise the heat from the lefse will condense inside of the plastic or the aluminum foil, and your lefse will end up soggy. If you leave the lefse overnight without wrapping it in plastic or aluminum foil, it will probably be dried out in the morning. If the lefse dries out, sprinkle a little water on the dishtowel and wrap the dishtowel and the lefse in plastic. The lefse will soften up again.

When you’re ready to eat a piece of lefse, spread it with butter (or margarine), sprinkle sugar on it (some people also like to sprinkle cinnamon on their lefse), and roll into a log.

Also, once the lefse is cool, it can be frozen.

A silent tear

A silent tear falls as the only companion to a silent cry

A struggle kept hidden, waging war inside

What good is it to share? What about the price?

to open your heart and endure the tide.

 

what happens when you have to be honest?

when you have to admit to some of the fault?

when you  lean on others who are just as imperfect as you.

to expect perfect understanding,  is expecting a lot.

 

When the world is a gray haze

all battered and torn

When we need inspiration

to get through the storm

 

Healing a must, or else part of us dies..

 

Why is it not until then, we think of help to enlist

when everything is a complete  mess

and we are shaking our fists

 

how much would be solved if we would just be true

and would work from the beginning to thoroughly improve

 

not starting with others, but actually with ourselves

through acceptance of the positives and higher ideals

 

Putting our pride and pettiness aside

with thoughtfulness and cooperation, together we can brave the tide

 

What wonderful things could be possible if we’d work to inspire, instead of consume.

and live together sharing, all under the same moon

~ by Serina Clason 11/19/09

Thought for the day..

There is power and energy available to us once we are able to analyze our own perceptions. Without realizing it, we outline our own limitations with our impressions and imagination. Most times, we are the biggest obstacle to our own success.  A closed mind may offer a sense of control, and may neatly outline whats acceptable to us in the way of the world, but will only serve to keep us stuck where we are.  Like any parent, I believe God has bigger plans for us.  God does not want us to own a closed mind, as those with closed minds consider their knowledge complete. This negates the possibility for further growth and maturity..  causing  stagnation, which eventually will drain and dull their spirit.

Drama hinders our progress, as it makes things appear bigger than they need to be, and discourages others as well as ourselves.  At first glance, that which you perceive to be granite, can in some cases actually be groupings of sand once investigated. We spend far too much time getting worked up over problems, and staying in that state.  Problems aren’t the enemy, they are in most cases an opportunity that needs to be worked out.

Calm yourself, and you may find the hidden path you were looking for. God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle, but how you handle it is totally your responsibility, and in truth cannot really be blamed on others…     my thought for the day.. 🙂

Gluten Free Recipe’s

You may possibly notice, I recently did a little blog-cleaning, and organized my links a little better hopefully.. This was all brought on by the fact that its near my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving.   Family, Love, Humbled attitudes, and sheer appreciation is why I love Thanksgiving so much!  With Thanksgiving comes the sharing of a meal with loved ones.  Food in general, has been a very different creature since finding out about Haiden’s allergies, and my MS.

It hasn’t been the easiest to find yummy recipe’s to take the place of what is normally out there. I know there are a few others who are just starting to venture into the Gluten-Free realm, so I thought I’d offer a little help by just mentioning the couple of links I did have for finding things that may take some of the pressure off this holiday season.  I have made a link category for it on my blog now, and will continue to add to it as I find sites that offer gluten free recipes.  I would love to make some of these and interject them into the regular meal without telling everyone that they are gluten free, and see if people notice that much.. hehe

Here is one in particular I’m excited to further explore..  If you are interested, check out  Katrina’s Kitchen

Misc recipes and actually looks like a gluten free store (I have not myself ordered from here, just so you know) http://www.glutenfree.com/home.aspx

For help in identifying what is considered gluten free:  http://www.csaceliacs.org/gluten_grains.php

Response for Lisa

recently got a message from one of my absolutely favorite bloggers, Lisa Emrich from Brass & Ivory.  She was asking a few people for their reactions to the fact that this coming Thursday and Friday, the FDA will be having a public hearing in regards to how pharmaceutical companies can use the web and other social-media to market directly to the consumer.   In honesty Lisa, you are so much smarter than me, but I do have some thoughts to just put out there.. 🙂

This strikes me as being a very weighted subject,  and really just brings up a lot of questions for me.

My opinion of pharma companies in practice is pretty low.  Ordinarily the optimist, I have to admit that in general I view the drug companies as being closer to that of a leech than an organization who’s inspiration is to help.  The science and any real research going on in the backend, has its use, and for some things, I think its viable and important, but that is not the part of the drug companies that we deal with, and that is not the part of the drug companies that this event is highlighting or discussing.

In the back room somewhere, I can believe that there may be an absolute possibility that there indeed is a select few people who are there because they are interested in helping.  I don’t in my heart believe that there are that many of them, and definitely not ones in the positions that would be working in “marketing” whose core purpose… well.. is making money is really the end goal.  I may be considered “sick” and I may “need help”, but I’m not positive that they can do anything at all for me, except of course offer pretty words and the idea that if I don’t buy into what they are presenting, that I’m dooming myself to have no other option but to get irrevocably worse,  but if I pay them huge sums, that it “might” not be so bad.

It has always frustrated me in that… How can they possibly think they are on the path of finding the cure when there is no identified root.  The cause of MS still a mystery. I have to agree with Diane’s comment in that respect.  Still a newbie to this disease,  nearing my two year anniversary at being diagnosed. In that time the only constant piece of information I’ve found is that MS is fluid and ever-changing.  I’ve actually found some odd sort of peace in knowing that even if I’m miserable today, it in all truth doesn’t mean I’ll be miserable tomorrow, nor that it means I’m necessarily  “getting worse”.   I really hate the negativity I’m spewing, but I am uncertain as to what benefit it is for them to come up with a cure?  A cure would insinuate that that my “issues” would be all fixed, and therefore at some point, if it was a true cure, I would no longer need their services.

All that said, I really believe that the most complete information on these drugs should definitely be readily available in some format for people  (like myself) who doesn’t necessarily see eye to eye with their neurologists. To give us the option to try and make some informed decisions about our own care.  Should it be the Drug companies providing this information? –  I really don’t think so, and of all departments to do so.., definitely not “PR”  or “Marketing”. No, if they really want to have a progressive event, lets talk to the brains in the backroom, and have them offer information on real study’s that weren’t paid for in part by their own companies.

Then there is also the issue of people who do not look into their care, who just want something that will “make them feel better”, they are going to be prime for the picking by these companies campaigns. There are people, who will just “doctor hop” until they find one that prescribes what they’ve been told they “need”.

Thats all I can offer at the time being.

When the party is over, and everyone’s gone home, I think they are still just looking for another way to make even more money off of people.

Identifying our Gift

The title probably leads you to think that this is a post on figuring out what your talents are.   If so, sorry to disappoint, I don’t have a full answer to that one as I’ve hardly figured it out myself.

My topic today is more about our legacy.  Maybe touching a little  on what we want to be remembered for, and more importantly what we want to contribute and promote during our time here.

One thing I had been taught at some point, is that if you want to achieve a goal, its really important to identify it.  How are you supposed to achieve it if you don’t? How would you know where to begin?  I realize that there are those who seem to accidentally fall in line to achieving great things, but I don’t believe that to be the norm.  Most have to put at least a little effort into it. Identifying what we want to accomplish is just the beginning, but when we do so, we actually have a lot of power in having it come to pass.

On a small tangent… I use the word “power” instead of “control” because I think it better describes what we have.  “Power insinuates that we can have influence , while “Control” insinuates that you alone can push, or force things to occur a certain way.   Attribute it to my (quite possibly flawed) perceptions, but I really  think that the perception, or the desire for total “control” is unhealthy and unrealistic.   I think you have to respect that there are things way outside your realm,  that you cannot force to happen.

When it rains on the ocean, there are a whole lot of ripples being made all at once. Each droplet causes many different wakes, yet no single droplet can accurately predict the extent of what shifts and wakes it will cause. There are far too many outside forces it has no control over. All it can do, is do its best to do more good than harm.  Be fluid and allow yourself to be  able to deal with whatever comes ahead. The same can be said for us.   We should also always be open to the idea that maybe our visions may not inspire the best possible option. That may secretly be the reason why the world is seemingly resisting.   ;P  Not because this life is out to get us… but more because as intelligent as we are, there are still things we might not completely understand.  There is wisdom in conceding that there is much left to learn, and that our personal understanding will never be complete.  Also, In general, know that  in relations with others, “control” is rarely healthy, and often inhibits growth and maturity.  (sorry that was a bigger tangent than anticipated.. I don’t care for the word “control” )

Back to the subject.

I have been thinking alot about this lately, and I’m unsure why really, but I know that in my own life,  the impact I want to leave on this world has to do with healing.  It is something I’ve felt drawn to in many facets, but not in the conventional sense.  A weak constitution limits any aspiration to be a physician/nurse or anything of that physical nature, and while interesting, it isn’t the physical aspect of health that I feel the most drawn to.  What I really wish, is that I could do something that inspires more mental/emotional/spiritual health.  Not spiritual in the “Whoo whoo”  shaman, witchdoctor, or crazy extreme religious sense, but more in the way of helping people have healthier coping strategies, and in turn, healthier attitudes.

Still working on what I would need to be doing, to make that be what I leave to this world.  I think in the mean time, my best bet is to inspire those attitudes in my children.  Regardless of whether or not I ever become successful in helping the world on a grander scale, my children are, and will always be my most treasured legacy.

Halloween Fun

Ended up having a pretty Halloween. Wish Halloween was always on a weekend because you get to enjoy it a bit more!  Spent the morning at the store picking up some groceries, and a couple last minute items for the day (via The Dollar Tree – Love that place.. lol)

I hadn’t gotten a chance to go to the video store like I had hoped a few days before, but was able to find the complete Disney version of “Legend of Sleepy Hallow” on Youtube.com. Yay! for youtube!

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In past years our pumpkins were always pretty sad when it came to Halloween..  Oregon rain seemed to always do them in, so we elected to wait to carve them until Halloween since we had the whole day as a family. We had a great time carving them! Haiden helped separate out the seeds, and we roasted them. They actually turned out really good!

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My sister came out with Alysondra, and we loved that! Always love spending time with them!

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Poppa & Tutu came over around 4, so Deon did the kid’s make-up and the kids donned their costumes.

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Haiden was a “Zombie Warrior”, Kylan was an “Alien”, and Shelsea was a”Renaissance maiden”, Alysondra was a “Unicorn Pegasys”

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After Poppa & Tutu left, and my sister picked up her brother-in-law from work, then we got ready to take the kids trick-or-treating.  We dressed up a bit too for fun 🙂

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Here’s our pumpkins end results! We got lots of compliments!

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