A Mouse's Tale

Random scurryings of a writer.

Crazy, busy, good.

I type this from the other side of a crazy summer and hectic fall. The last post I did in here, I was three months pregnant with our daughter, who graced our lives in August. She is a vibrant, expressive, and babbly four-month-old now, who is the apple of her brother’s eye and who has Dad wrapped around her finger already.

As I type this, the weight of graduate school is teetering on the edge of my shoulders, about to fall into the abyss. (Well, aside from scars left by the student loans that will haunt me.) My final copy has been delivered to the graduate school, and barring any last minute edits, I am officially done and have finally earned my Master of the Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. It was a crazy ride, one that I hoped to have had finished before my daughter’s birth, but instead finished with her nursing and batting at the keyboard.

What now? If I’m done, so what? Here’s the so what: I have no idea. I would love to write more, maybe even get published. I’m hoping that in the next few months I can have my thesis sent out to a few publishers to see if anyone will bite. If not, I revamp it and then send it out. The information in it will have to be updated regardless, as so much has happened in the move towards labeling GMOs in the last three months and I have been unable to stay on top of it given the mass amounts of edits my committee was sending back to me. I now have time, sweet time, to go back and look at all of the news pieces that I have tucked away, bookmarked for what a breastfeeding mom calls “free time.”

In the meanwhile, I plan on revamping some writing pieces to post here and to do more posting on my homesteading blog. Please, comment on and share anything you would like! I’m not against free press.

Second Journeys Can Still Be The First Time Around

We’re pregnant again. I’ll admit, I’ve had a hard time being heads over heels excited about things.

My last pregnancy went well, but everything fell apart right at the end. My membranes were stripped without my consent and this stripping went on to cause a cascade effect that led to a c-section that we were told was needed immediately. (It appears we were lied to as it’s marked in my records as “elective.”)

Because of everything that happened, I never went into labor on my own with my last pregnancy. It feels like I’m staring down the Unknown again. It’s a pregnant lady’s worst nightmare: having had children but still not knowing what your body will do naturally. What will happen once I hit 37 weeks is such a massive question mark that taunts me.

Figuring it out

Since January I’ve been striving to hit a gluten-free diet. This hasn’t been a decision on my own, it was a decision by my naturopathic doctor. I was completely gluten-free for three months, something that was a lot easier to do than what I assumed it would be. While it has helped some, it has not been as drastic of a change as I was hoping to see.

The plus side: I had lab work done and I am not allergic to gluten. This means that cutting gluten out of my diet will have some positive affects, but it is not completely mandatory. This is a huge plus seeing how there are three key things that I do not like about being on the gluten-free diet.

1. Lack of local food for substitute.-Given the fact that I do have a family makes it difficult to substitute everything . As it would be to just say we don’t need pasta, bread, grain, it’s not that easy. So instead, substitutes need to be sought out. While buckwheat flour get you so far and grown in Maine, many other substitutes can not be grown locally.

2. Loss of the family meal. – This one is particularly heart wrenching for me. Given our schedules, having one meal a day as a family is a sensual for us. When I have to make two, sometimes three different meals in order to appease everybody’s taste due to my diet, it ruins the entire thing. There have been some successful gluten-free meals that we have all enjoy, but they were meals that we had in our docket of recipes already. The emotional drain of having a completely separate meal from the rest of my family does not balance out what few health gainsI am receiving from going 100% gluten-free.

3. Cultural loss. – This is something that I hadn’t really thought of before. Once I started working on my thesis, and reading about genetically modified organisms and the effects of specific diets upon culture, it suddenly struck me. While it may be true that some cultural diets are heavy in foods that may not be very healthful (American diet), our ancestrial diets are not only a more healthy auction, but allow us to tie culture into our daily lives and to educate our children on our ancestors. By modifying our diets to such an extreme and removing in some cases primary sources of food, such as bread for us of French heritage, we lose our culture one more thread at a time

Will I continue to limit gluten in my diet? The easy answer is yes. I will not be going to hundred percent gluten-free, but if options are available then I will take them. I figure if I can aim to reduce the amount that I previously had in my diet, then that in itself is a step in the right direction. Instead of having pasta and bread two to three times a week, we now have pasta maybe twice a month, and normally it is gluten-free pasta. Instead of getting soft shell flour tortillas for tacos, we go with hardshell corn tortillas. I go out of my way to have either smaller portions of bread with my food, or I choose wraps instead of rolls for sandwiches.

After the healthful buzz of the first three months of living gluten free wore off, I realize that there was a limit as to what to do to my body. Articles can be shared saying one thing or another and regards as to what gluten can and can’t do to the human body but I prefer to go by what I actually have felt, witnessed, and have experimented with. I will continue to cut out the gluten, but I will never make a promise to go 100% gluten-free. It has nothing to do with the ease of the diet, so much as it does on whether or not it is 100% healthy-emotionally, spiritually, familially.

Getting there

Every year I make a new promise to myself to get more organized at home finances. A lot of times it just happens for about a month and then everything fades away in the chaos and barely living above that line. Now that I’m looking at finishing up my degree in December things are starting to get even more real. September is going to be a crazy month around here harvesting, planning for the fall, thinking about going back to work, figuring out Preschool for the little one soon, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So finances, well, finances need to come first and foremost in the next couple days so we can keep everything on an even line and hopefully slowly build our savings for the future.

On top of all that I’m still battling with my health and trying to figure out why my body is throwing a fit that it is. They’re been quite a few games. No huge setbacks. For that I am blessed, infinitely blessed. However, there are still quite a few questions that may or may not ever get answered. It’s been an interesting road getting used to adjusting to what my body needs and what it wants, not what I assume those two things to be.

The next week or so will be filled with goalsetting, planning, dreaming, and scheming. It will be crazy but it will be fulfilling. Here’s to new beginnings with the new fall around the corner.

Stepping Into The “New Age”

So supposedly I’m one of the last few of my generation stepping into the modern age of technology. I purchased my fist smartphone two weeks ago. While I would like to say it’s been an eye opening world of wonder, I can’t. I feel like a traitor to my finer sensibilities. However, given the work I hope to one day do, it is a bit of a necessary evil.