Forest Gump was on to something when he sat on that bench and said, "Life is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you are going to get."
Ever feel like life is ever spining, ever changing, and ever morphing? Like the exact second you map things out, figure out the long, unending algebra problem of life...the numbers change. The great fan comes and blows all your little puzzle pieces apart, flips them over and gives you a new picture to put together. That is my life right now. The past month has been unbelievable. I feel myself change from day to day and as if I am bamboo...I feel like I can sit, stare, and watch myself grow from hour to hour. And sweeter than all? This is a journey I am sharing with my mother (and brother).
If nothing else, I always thought I knew who I was, where I came from, and why I look and do the things I do. I could see myself in my sis, sometimes my brother, and see my strength in my mother. But, it is changing. That picture of me has forever been altered, for the better. I am so much more than I ever thought I was. My history is richer, deeper. My roots are stronger.
I have been open and sharing with my grieving for Granma and how much of me died when she died. There has been a void, deep and dark, but I have learned to draw strength from it, her, and her memory. But, I have always believed that when God takes away one great thing, he often replaces the void with something equally great. That is my life right now. We (my mother, brother, and I) are being giving something equally great and we are on a sort of journey now, a healing journey. We are learning who we are.
I have pictures and stories and stories and pictures and stories...and it is all so much to process. So painful, so beautiful, so inspiring, so tragic, so filled with life and difficult decisions. There is so much to share, understand, untangle, explain that every day I go to sleep thinking "I need time," "I hope Mama does not check out," and wake up thinking, wondering "What happens today." My brother and I change texts that just say "Wow" and "I'm speechless," randomly throughout the day because everything is different now. Everything.
I don't know where to begin and how I will chronicle this all, but it will come soon. It will have lots of pictures/photography. It will involve writing and storytelling. It will make me cry happy tears often. It will be beautiful...and I have been assured...There will be quilts.
And as if not to be completely thrown into a tailspin, some things have not changed. Our garden is growing many different varieties of heirloom and regular tomatoes. This harvest has a few different varieties and also has a couple of tomatillos, cilantro, and basil. The small yellow "cherry" tomatoes are a heirloom yellow plum variety and they are so. very. tasty. The kids can not stop eating them. They have a low acid content, which means they are incredibly sweet. E has been loving a dark redish/purple heirloom.
Our zucchinni plants put on a producing show, caught powdery mildew during the "June gloom" and has started to slow down in production. Nevertheless, I have many, many zucchinni's and this past Saturday made four loaves of zucchinni loaves (vegan of course) to store. One I took to L.A. this past Sunday and was gone within hours, the other is 75% gone in our fridge, and the other two hope they will make it to the freezer. I will probably make another four loaves to vacum seal and freeze...maybe six. A loaf of this bread only lasts about five days in my house...and that is with us stretching it.
My life is changing in other ways too! Before summer, I made it my mission to try and challenge myself to eat healthier and become more whole foods centered in my eating, and in our family's eating. We are not bad, but we do rely on more processed foods than I'd like due to me and E's hectic homework/school schedule. Most times those processed foods are the healthest we can find, afford, and buy--but, we are still not eating as fresh and as whole food centered as we'd like or as we use to.
I have mentioned in the past that I have a sensitive tummy and so that has caused me to shy away from certain foods. I have to tread carefully with fruits (not so much with vegetables), and have to be very careful when it comes to eating fiber dense, whole grains.
Well, I'd like to change that. Since I am at home (my classes this session are all online--score!) until Fall semester, I thought it would be a great opportunity to challenge my system and start to incorporate more whole foods and fruits.
I find that I tolerate Larabars and nuts very well, so I started with making Larabars. Well, one thing led to another and I got a cheap (but usuable and practical) dehydrator. I figured it would make eating fruit easier through homemade fruit rolls. This has lead me to start exploring raw foods/meals. I do not plan on going raw (under any circumstances), but I do plan on mixing in raw foods/meals into our eating. We already eat tons of homemade trail mix, lots of granola, smoothies, hummus, so I think it should be easy to start incorporating raw foods into our diets. Those larabars that I made were a big hit. Big.
When we went to L.A. this past weekend, I stopped at Whole Foods and bought some whole wheat berries and other grains to make my own whole grain flours in the Blendtec. I also picked up some ingredients I have seen often in the few raw food books I have gotten recently.
My intentions are to start raw by replacing a good portion of our sweet treats and snacks with raw goodies. And from there, if we can incorporate a raw meal here and there...great. Smoothies and dips are surely going to be a large part of our reportoire, but I'd like to start making some other things too. (I have my eye on a spiral vegetable slicer for dealing with our often large bounties of zucchinni.)
Depending how well I manage my homework load, I plan on making fruit rolls this week and trying some other raw things like kale chips (we have made these in the oven before and they are divine), more larabars, and maybe some zucchini chips or flax/whole grain crackers.
I love how I went from having no flax seeds to having about 5-6 lbs. :P That is what happens when you've had a long, emotionally draining day and choose to go shopping at Whole Foods before an hour and half long drive and you remember you still have homework to upload and submit before midnight...and you rush...and your youngest says he has to go pee..and you don't trust public bathrooms so the Mr. rushes to check out with what you have (so far) and wait in the car where it is warmer (and hopefully the need to go will calm down), but you end up rushing back to Nana's house on a Sunday at 10:30pm. Whew!
Well, I have fieldwork to do tonight with my good buddy/classmate and lot's of homework to do, which includes another whole book to read (Already read one this week and it's only Wednesday!), a looooooooong lecture, and an algebra exam (boo!).
Off I fly...
Peace and love...