Saturday, April 26, 2014


I love the stuff, all types of cheese.  Love cow milk cheese, goat milk cheese, sheep milk cheese!!  And yet, cheese does not love me.  Those of you that know me well, know of my struggle with dairy, all dairy.  And I have found some nice alternatives to some dairy products.  But not cheese!  A few months ago I had a couple of scary incidents when I used dairy, and one was even in the form of goat milk lotion.  So I have been so careful to NOT have any dairy since then....none at all.

Well.....last night I was feeling good.  I had not had any allergy types of reactions in a couple of months, was feeling great.  And in the past I have been able to have just a tiny bit of dairy without any incident.  The boys wanted guacamole and cheese dip with tortilla chips while watching a movie.  So we made guacamole and cheese dip, and I decided to try some.  I mean a little won't hurt.  I was up all night sick.  Horribly sick. I knew that was a possibility and I also knew that I could have a worse reaction, as I have had worse reactions in the past.

Why do I continue to test those waters?  What can't I just leave it alone?  I KNOW I need to just leave dairy out of my diet completely....I KNOW THIS! I know the outcome is not worth the dairy.  But in the moment that goes out of my mind. I need to figure out why it is so hard to stay away, and why I am willing to risk my health for a stupid piece of cheese.  I also need to figure out a great dip alternative.  So while the rest of my family is enjoying the cheese dip, I have something.  Or create something so much better, that none of them want the cheese dip, so it is not around to tempt me.

I have tried so many gluten free vegan dips, and none have been really that wonderful.

Those of you out there that struggle with something similar, let me know how you do it.  How you stay away from something you enjoy, resist that temptation.

For now I am OK, I am back on the dairy free bandwagon, and still struggling with this issue. (sigh)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vacation~Remembering my Dad

Recently we took a vacation with a bunch of friends to the beach.  I LOVE the coast, have I ever mentioned that before.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!  Everything just feels so right when I can look out over the ocean and see just water.  The salt water splashing up on the shore, watching the gulls fly back and forth looking for scraps.  I love the sun on my face, my feet in the sand, it just feels like home.

As we were driving back home, as usual, I was just a little sad.  I don't get to the coast nearly enough.  I could feel that pull at my heart, something calling me back.  I have already made plans to get back at least twice more this summer.  It's not easy living 6 hours drive away.  It isn't like when I was a kid and could walk to the water, now I have to plan, pack and DRIVE! So leaving, for me, is a challenge.  I always say, as we are driving away "I could easily live here".  This time Jackson said "me too".  So who knows what the future holds.  For now I am loving my life here on our 12 acre mini farm.

On the drive home, I just sat there looking out the window, didn't want to knit, didn't want to read, just wanted to sit and remember the fun times we had for the week.  I also thought a lot about my dad.  I know I post about family a lot.  That is just me being sentimental.  I feel like my parents were taken away from me way too soon.  So I think about them a lot.  I was remembering going out on the water with him, fishing, clamming (not that I ever did much clamming).  Generally I would go out, get tired of clamming after about 30 minutes, curl back up in the boat and watch the clouds roll by. He so loved the water.  I so love the water.  My boys prefer the mountains to the coast, OK didn't see that one coming.  How could *I* raise two boys and neither one love the coast.  Don't get me wrong they enjoy going, but both have said how much more they love the mountains.

My dad has been gone now for 17 years, 5 months, and 3 days.  He never met my youngest son.  He would have been a wonderful grandfather to them.  I miss him so much.  I think about him often, but there are days, like today, when it seems so much deeper, just an ache in my heart.  Generally I remember both of my parents with funny or sentimental stories, but there are days when the tears just flow uncontrolled.  When I REALLY miss him.  Days when I say "my dad would know exactly what to do" or "dad would know how to fix this".  Those days of sobbing are spaced out more now, but they still come.  And I just sit with this feeling, remember how much he loved the ocean, and how we have that in common.  I plan my next trip back to the beach, so I can see the gulls flying around, hear my dad cursing them, feel his bony ribs as he gives me a hug, hear his laugh in my ear, remember a practical joke or two.  And wish he were still here!

My dad~right, and his brother (my Uncle Barry)~left.