I do love this time of year, summer ebbing into autumn. Here in the southern Rockies, the leaves have begun to turn on some of the trees and shrubbery in the high country, the air has a wisp of coolness to it, the sun no longer burning hot in the deep sea of sky…
For those of you who read the BTD forums, yes, I did go white-water rafting with my family on my birthday; it was awesome! My father-in-law joined us as well. My youngest son was almost popped out of the boat going through some rough and steep rapids but fortunately he fell into the boat instead of out of it. We went out for dinner that evening as part of the celebration… we rarely eat out. It is interesting in ordering a meal as a B; I seldom need to ask for substitutions. But I always feel somewhat funny requesting baked potato instead of wild rice… and quite frankly, I would prefer the rice. I think I still have that ingrained belief that wild rice is a better carb choice than potato, even though it is an avoid for B secretors. I suppose that in most commercial wild rice blends, there is very little actual “wild” rice, but I still feel better choosing a neutral over an avoid.
My A-non son started middle school last week and part of sixth grade orientation was a free school lunch… no need to bring lunches on that day. My son was very distraught and remarked how sick those school lunches make him feel. So we consoled him… realized that there was no place for him to keep a sack lunch handy on that day… gave him snacks that would fit in his pockets and sent him on his way. What did he have for lunch that day? … fried chicken fingers and French fries. A very costly "free" lunch by our standards.
Today, for the first time in months, I went out to garden. It was so lovely being outside leisurely in the late summer sun. Of course at this point, there is no garden really to tend but lots of weeds to pull. I don’t know what it is about pulling weeds but it always brings me home to myself. And it is so satisfying to clear a portion of garden that is overgrown with weeds. As the patch of weed-free garden soil emerges, the cleared space also helps to free the clutter in my mind that invariably accumulates there….
Later for dinner, we had buffalo patties on the grill, along with a large salad. I placed a small piece of butter in each patty to help keep it moist as lean buffalo can be quite dry. They were fabulous! I did not used to like buffalo but it has grown on me. My O son, of course, has always loved buffalo meat.
Lucky boys I have. The A got his wish and is a non-secretor. Now I can relax a little over all the lamb and turkey that child devours. And the O is very relieved to discover that he is a secretor. I am too, he eats several apples a day... it would be hard for him to relinquish those, as well as some of the other constraints of the O nonnie recommendations. So we are a household of two A non-secretors, an O secretor and a B secretor. A little bit easier now for meal planning... and I have noticed that I have reduced my carbs and increased my intake of protein and veggies as a result which is healthier for me, too.
We recently went to see the Chihuly exhibit at our local Fine Arts Center. I was prepared to be disappointed with the exhibit but was quite surprised at how moved I was by it. The next day we took our boys to see it too. I think it is important to expose them to a working artist gaining notoriety in his lifetime who is also having such an impact on the world of blown glass. So fantastic to see his pieces live, in a gallery, perfectly lit as light is such an important element in viewing glass. And how as an artist he pushes the envelope of his medium in size, scale, shape, presentation...
But the color... oh the colors!! Unbelievably vibrant, pulsating colors. Truly speaking to the heart of a B with all those incredible colors. Dale Chihuly was influenced in his early career by Native American artifacts, particularly weaving and basketry. Our Fine Arts Center has an extensive collection of Southwestern art and exhibited his pieces in conjunction with several Navajo blankets and exquisite baskets... quite a wonderful presentation.
But my favorite part of the exhibit was Dale Chihuly’s paintings. As he no longer blows glass and is more of a director of his works rather than a producer, he has turned to painting as a creative outlet. A whole gallery full of his paintings from floor to ceiling of the most colorful works I have ever seen... full of bright whimsy and his characteristic style seen in his designs for glass.
Viewing this exhibit reminded me, once again, of the importance of color for myself (if you saw my living room, you’d know... trust me...) and for many B’s too, I think. If you ever get a chance to see his work... it really is worth it just from the color perspective.
And if you find yourself in a dull moment remember to look for the color in it. It will give your heart wings.
The menfolk of my family FINALLY got around to sending in their secretor test samples and so far we have only received my husband’s results... Type A Non-Secretor it is. Which I knew it would be. For months now, whenever he has some sort of health complaint I always retort with, "That’s because you’re a non-secretin’ celiac". The gluten intolerance he could wrap his brain around but with the non-secretor suggestion I would get the compulsory spousal eyeroll. Now there is no refuting it. And he is not a happy camper.
We were shopping for groceries shortly after he received his test results. He asked me what types of food he should be focusing on now. So I ran off the litany of flesh foods that he would be wise to incorporate into his diet that were beneficial for him, and that he’ll need to decrease grain consumption... really eating more towards the O side of a Type A. Being that he has been a grain-loving vegetarian for the past 30 years this is a particularly bitter pill for him to swallow. He looked at me and said,"How about some food suggestions where I won’t have to change my world view."
Ahhh, yes.... there’s the rub, isn’t it?? We want to improve our health, minds, spirit, but when doing so challenges all that we have come to believe to be true... there is the tendency to hold on desperately to our precious beliefs. Even when it comes to our health. Especially when it comes to our health.
For years, we have talked about the possible need for some dietary changes as he ages; he might need to add some meat, and especially fish, to his diet and now with the knowledge of his non-secretor status, even more so. He does agree with this notion... in theory. But putting it into practice will be a difficult challenge for him, a letting go of a long-held version of himself to make way for a new one. He has not had the best health and energy in recently. This, he knows. But that his health and energy may be impacted by being vegetarian for most of his life??? ... very difficult for him to come to terms with.
So we are taking baby steps. The last flesh food he relinquished (at age 12) was sardines. He used to love sardines. So I bought some extra sardines with the hope that he has the willingness to try them and see how they react in his body.
Willingness... that is really all it takes when confronted with a challenge to our world view. Willingness to see a new perspective... willingness to challenge what we hold to be true... willingness to let ourselves evolve in line with our direct experiences of the world... willingness to at least try.
And the boys??? Well, since they both know they are half-way to being non-secretors, the A is hoping beyond hope that he is a nonnie and looking forward to all the foods he will be able to add back into his diet (like lamb, shitake mushrooms, tomatoes). And the O is praying that he has only the one non-secretor gene.
Soon now, we should know...
Sure is the grilling time of year here in the northern hemisphere. Waaay too hot to cook inside, or outdoors for that matter. But... there is the issue of meat consumption, and not something I like to experiment with in the raw foods department. And with an O in the house, I still feel the need to prepare meat for our evening meal.
But, I have noticed something. We no longer use buns for burgers, buffalo brats, turkey dogs and the like. I used to use the organic wheat ones for awhile... then went the way of spelt and sprouted wheat and now... nothing. And the funny thing is that no one seems to notice that we are a sans buns household. I just have a side of brown rice with my burger if I feel the need for a carb with my meal as do my kids and of course we have veggies, veggies, and more veggies. But... no complaints from the bun kings yet regarding our current bun-less status. A new milestone.
Tonight I was in that certain kind of mood for something to eat and feel guilty about later... y’all know what I mean... OK... all you of the female persuasion know what I mean. I complained to my husband that we have no junk to eat in the house. I then saw a carton of heavy cream in the fridge... poured a little into a small bowl, added a splash of vanilla and teeny bit of powdered sugar and hand-whipped the cream to a nice consistency and used it as a topping for fresh sliced peaches. Ahhh... instant decadence... and with only a tiny bit of guilt.
Sometimes... you just can’t help but love being a B...
This year, for the first time as an adult, I have not planted a garden nor a single plant all season. This was not a conscious decision on my part. I turned the garden over, began weeding, bought vegetable seeds that were beneficial or neutral for all members of the family and... suddenly it is July... and no garden...
I began to ponder this action in my life. Even in years of severe drought conditions with minimal watering allowed I still planted at least something. I love to garden. What is going on inside of me that I let the gardening season pass me by?
Ah, yes... there was the clue... my garden this year is an internal one. I’ve been stripping away the layers to expose the fertile soil of my belly-earth, making way for new growth, new awareness, new possibilities. And as I clear away the debris that no longer serves, I wonder... what seeds shall I be sowing now? How do I prepare the soil so that what I want to manifest comes to full harvest? Will my garden be able to survive the inevitable earth-shaking storms that are such a potent part of midlife?
These are the questions I am living as I tend to my inner garden.
Today, I walked around the yard to the cottage-style border gardens I have growing alongside our house. I have not really taken the time all season to see any of the flowers and herbs growing there... and quite surprised there was anything growing at all. And I realized how I have missed the beauty of the flowers... the first green push through the soil, slender stalks reaching toward the sun, soft, yet firm buds poised for the burst into blossom. And the splay of full-bloom color that always lightens a B’s heart.
Yes, I will surely make space in my garden for full-flowering in all its glory.