In 2008 my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Just 24 hours later came the news that her lab results also revealed high levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA). The specialist said these levels were most likely the result of celiac disease—an abnormal autoimmune reaction to wheat, rye and barley gluten. Three weeks later her diagnosis was confirmed by intestinal biopsy.
As you might imagine, this turned our life upside down “for a minute.” As a mom, I was devastated–by how much things were changing for her and for our entire family. However, since her diagnosis, we have come to embrace the gluten-free lifestyle. Yes. We have had to reevaluate the places we eat, what we eat, how we prepare things, etc. But, my daughter has always loved to cook, so this just opened up a whole new pathway of discovery for the two of us.
Multiply Delicious is one of our go-to blogs for gluten-free recipes because they have a plethora of healthy, convenient and great tasting options to choose from. We focus our efforts on the gluten-free section these days, but all of their recipes are stellar. If you have the time, I highly recommend the Carrot Zucchini Spice Muffins, Moroccan Meatballs with Citrus-Glazed Carrots, (she used to love IKEA meatballs which are not gluten-free, so it is a HUGE celebration to find a meatball recipe she actually likes), and Roasted Sweet-Potato Salsa. The gluten-free lifestyle can be so overwhelming in the beginning. It takes a fair amount of time to get use to reading labels, looking for hidden gluten, and learning to cook with alternative flours. Sites like Multiply Delicious, prove that gluten-free does not have to be taste-free.
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My husband and I bought an old ’66 Ford pickup a couple of years back. The plan: restore said pickup, pack up the picnic basket and a couple of friends, and head out to photograph some of the spectacular rustic old barns here in Oregon. The restore was mostly his idea; the barn photos–and the picnic basket—all mine. Well, as you know, I don’t have a lot of spare time, so the old Ford is still just taking up space in the shop, and, of course, I am still waiting on those old barn shots.
Luckily, all is not lost. You see, my friend, Megan, recently sent me a link to Pam Photography’s post on Oregon Barns, and I must say I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. This is so freak‘in cool! Absolutely stunning photos of barns in Sherwood, Dundee, and Newberg, Oregon, and they are all practically at my back doorstep!
Although Pam mentions in her post that for most people the fascination with old barns does not stem from memories, for me, this is just not the case. I spent a fair amount of my childhood in my grandparent’s old barn, and hours upon hours out in the old barn on the property we rented from my great uncle. There was so much history in those old barns—literally hundreds of years of it—and when I drive past an old barn today, it takes me back to that sweet time in my childhood when time seemed to move just a little bit slower.
For now, I am content in having come across this wonderful photography blog, which will just have to hold me over until we get that old Ford running. But, you can bet, just as soon as I get that engine to turn over, I’ll be heading out into the beautiful country I am so fortunate to live in to snap my very own barn pics.
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With two boys already grown and off to college and a teenage girl heading off to high school in the fall, I no longer feel like I have my finger on the pulse of the 3-8 year old demographic. When I recently spent an afternoon with my young nephews, Chase and Owen, it reminded me that their attention spans are just not that long. . . Of course, neither is mine, but that’s a completely different post. Seriously, there is only so much duck, duck, goose this old grey owl can handle in one afternoon!
Like I said, it’s been a while, so my idea of what is fun for young boys is a bit outdated. Since I was in need of some serious inspiration to keep these guys busy, I logged on to Pinterest (caveat: don’t log on to this site if you don’t have someone nearby to conduct an intervention—it will suck time like no other) and explored the plethora of kid craft suggestions and trials. What a great source I found…a “Boy Get Crafty” post on Red Ted Art’s Blog. Since it was close to lunch, we opted for the shark melons and apple frogs, but there are tons of ideas to choose from. It kept them busy and they got to enjoy a healthy snack to boot! That’s definitely my kind of craft.
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I used to love trying new restaurants and meeting up at local haunts with co-workers for happy hour. Sadly, those days are are now few and far between. With work, school, and the demands of the family, there just doesn’t seem to be much time for anything else.
So, thanks go out to my former co-worker, Megan, for twisting my arm and finally dragging me away from my computer long enough to check out one of Portland’s newest hotspots a few weeks back. (Megan and I worked together for years, but she transition from healthcare to the commercial real estate industry about a year ago, and we went from seeing each other regularly to a much more sporadic schedule.) It was definitely time for a little of the “Kelly & Megan Show,” and she had just the place in mind to kick it off.
Megan works for Urban Works Real Estate, the top retail brokerage firm in Portland. It’s good for her and great for me—you, see, her new career has opened up a whole new consumer scene, and I am happily living vicariously through her knowledge of the city’s comings and goings. She recently turned me on to her hottest source for all things Portland—a blog called Neighborhood Notes–chalked full of informative and newsworthy sections for each of Portland’s five quadrants: the downtown retail core, NW Portland/The Pearl District, the South Waterfront, the central eastside business district, and N/NE Portland. Amongst these sectors are retail districts that often stretch from one neighborhood to the next, summoning loyal consumer bases. So, when we do find the time to get together, we have been taking our happy hour/dinner cues from their reviews. Our most recent find . . . Ox! If you haven’t made it out to Ox on NE Mississippi, you really don’t know what you’re missing. It’s an Argentine inspired menu and the empanadas are to die for. Trust. Me.
Next in the queue, Salt & Straw. It’s an organic, gourmet ice cream shop that boasts flavors such as brown ale with bacon, Dandelion sorbet with spring flowers and pear with blue cheese. Will we dare to take on one of these exotic flavors or stick with plain old vanilla? Guess you’ll have to wait until the next hot summer day to find out.
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As if the second shift wasn’t enough—I had to take 17 credits this term? What was I thinking? Perhaps I was hoping to confirm what my family has suspected all along—that I really am certifiable. I guess I am that much of a glutton for punishment. I know, it isn’t that much of a stretch . . . really it isn’t. I took 15 credits last term, and that wasn’t so bad. And, two more measly credits actually WOULDN’T be a big deal, if all the stars would just align and everything would fall neatly into place. But, of course they never do, and it never does.
Just this last week my nephew ended up in the hospital; my niece (whom I rarely ever hear from, and who rarely asks anything of me), suddenly texted to see if she could hang out for the weekend; I came down with a terrible sinus infection AND my computer crashed! Yes, something is definitely amiss in the universe.
The problem is I really want to graduate next summer, but I need to average 13 credits per term (including summer term) in order to do so. With my daughter set to trial an insulin pump at the end of June, I know I’ll have my hands full with round-the-clock blood glucose monitoring, and if I don’t take at least a week off from work and school this summer my family will most certainly disown me. That being said, it certainly seemed logical when I put this schedule together a month ago. Yes, I should definitely cram this term in order to “enjoy” a lighter term come this summer.
But, just thinking about what still lies ahead got me thinking that I could really use some good work-life balance advice. So, I went searching the blogosphere for answers. Luckily, I came across this post from the Work It, Mom! Blog that has some pretty sound advice. If your life is as harried as mine is, you may want to check this out for yourself. So, I have loaded up on credits this term, and I will just keep on keepin’ on . . . One. Grey. Hair. At. A. Time. But, I will try to incorporate some new work-life balance practices into my hectic schedule and see what comes of it. Let’s just pray the stars are also lined up for the rest of this term.
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