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It's The Middle Of A Dark, Rainy Night........

Posted by Ursa Major, 16 December 2006 · 104 views

Okay, here I am again in the middle of the night. I actually DID go to bed at 11:00 PM, and fully intended to sleep until morning. Unfortunately, my bowels didn't agree with this plan. And since I'll likely be hours, running to the bathroom every few minutes, I thought I might as well make the best of it and do a little writing for distraction.

Right now I am in the middle of reading four books (plus a computer book). I rarely just read one book at a time. I guess one reason is, that I mostly read non-fiction, which can become tedious. And since there isn't a story you need to know the end of, it's alright to digest the information a few pages at a time.

I already mentioned one of those books in my last entry. I am also reading a book written by other people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, "A Personal Touch on Celiac Disease - The #1 Misdiagnosed Disorder". Obviously no one author there, it's a collection of stories. Some of them sounded a lot like mine, most of those people really suffered before they were finally diagnosed (or diagnosed themselves, like me). It's a good book, and worth reading.

Another book I am reading is "The Gluten Connection - How Gluten Sensitivity may be sabotaging your health, and what you can do to take control NOW", by Shari Lieberman with Linda Segall. I love this book, great insight and years ahead of the medical profession in general. This lady has a PhD in nutrition, and sure knows what she is talking about. I highly recommend this book, it is a good complement to "Dangerous Grains" and whatever that book by Dr. Green was called (can't recall the name, and don't want to go and check right now).

The last book (sort of, really, there are more) I am reading is called "The Whole Soy Story" by Kaayla T. Daniel. A real eye opener. Everybody who still believes that soy is healthy for you ought to read it. They won't ever touch the stuff again after that. Unless they actually go to China and Japan and eat the real fermented soy foods there. Because what is sold here in America is not the real thing, and terrible for your health.

I am glad I now understand how they ferment soy. They cook the beans, mash them, mix them with a certain type of mold, and let it sit. When it's totally covered in mold and falls apart, they stir it and let it ferment for one to two years, after which they press it and package it. I think that's how they make traditional misoh.

I am highly allergic to mold, no wonder the one time I tried misoh soup in a Chinese restaurant (even though it was the fast-fermented, almost fake American version of misoh, I am sure) it made me sick.

A lot of soy products are fermented with wheat or barley. Another reason to avoid it.

Asians use fermented soy products very sparingly, as condiments or as an addition to their soups. NEVER as a meat substitute if they can help it. They know it is deficient in protein, and they eat it with pork or fish, unless they're too poor to afford those. Buddhist monks purposely eat a lot of it, because it takes away their sex drive. As in feminizing men, because of the phyto-estrogens in it.

So, guys, take note: You DEFINITELY don't want to consume large quantities of soy! Unless you are an aspiring Buddhist monk, that is.

In Japan the joke is, that Japanese women get back at their unfaithful husbands by slipping them extra servings of tofu. That ought to keep them out of trouble! I think a lot of vegetarian and vegan men in our society manage to keep themselves out of 'trouble' by eating a lot of soy products, in the mistaken belief that it is healthy for them.

Well, I guess that ought to keep the vegetarian population down, anyway. :P Sorry, if any vegetarians stumble across this blog, this is not meant as a put-down. But seriously, I really, really think that vegetarianism, but especially veganism is a very unhealthy life-style choice. Especially because of the high consumption of soy products by these people, but also because animal protein is essential to health.

Hey, I really like this blog. I can go on and on with my pet peeves and subjects nobody usually wants to listen to. Nobody is rolling their eyes, telling me they don't care and don't want to hear it. Blogs are very patient. I like that.

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On Sunday our youngest daughter is having her first recital after starting voice lessons two months ago. She has an incredibly high, sweet, clear soprano voice. Her teacher adores her (she is the same age as his youngest son, so I mean adores her as a father figure would). They have fun together, and he always goes overtime with her, he has trouble stopping.

She is going to sing "Oh Holy Night", because it shows off her range, he says. I will have to remember to bring my camera (I have a terrible track record of forgetting it at home when going to important events), and take a movie.

I decided a couple of weeks ago, that since I have to be there anyway, I might as well try violin lessons (I have to pay my husband back for this month's lessons with my own money in January). I bought myself a violin a year ago, because I've always had this dream of some day playing the fiddle. But for too many years my hands were too uncoordinated and painful (because of fibromyalgia) to even consider taking lessons.

I tried piano lessons four years ago, and had to give up after less than a year. I actually did well, as I can read music and play the recorders. But after playing for less than half an hour, my hands and lower arms would ache so badly, and would keep on aching for nearly a week, that I ended up in excruciating pain that made me want to scream and it would keep me awake at night. As a result, I gave up because the pleasure of playing was outweighed by far by the fear of that awful pain.

But when the pain went almost completely away last year after discovering my food intolerances, and my hands greatly improved, I went and bought myself a violin on e-bay, along with instructional videos, books and C Ds. But after trying a few times, I soon realized that it is too difficult to teach yourself to play an instrument as complex as the violin. Especially because, unlike a guitar, it has no frets to show you were to put your fingers.

Okay, some people can do it. Like one of my brothers, who is a musical genius. But I am far from being a musical genius. I have some talent, but I'll never be great. I do expect to have fun, though.

Last week was my first lesson, with a cute little 18-year old girl as my teacher. She has red hair, too. She is great, even though she just finished high school, she already plays with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Wow, I can only say. A very patient and knowledgeable girl.

Now I can play "Twinkle twinkle little star". Sort of. In a sort of scratchy, halting way. I am a little disappointed, I thought I'd do better than that. Like making this simple song sound perfect after a week. I thought that was an attainable and reasonable goal. Ever the perfectionist, I guess. Oh well, I WILL persevere until I will actually enjoy listening to my own playing. That is one reason I am taking lessons, I can't just quietly 'forget about it' and put the violin away forever, because I've committed myself!

Last week, after my lesson, I went to the music store below the studio, and bought a fancy chromatic tuner. It makes tuning easy, because when your string has the perfect pitch, a green light comes on. And it shows you which way you're out of tune (either flat or sharp). Pretty cool (I just LOVE technology), and accurate. You don't have to rely on your 'perfect ear' for the right pitch.

So, the next day I tried it, and tuned my violin. Peace of cake, right? Well, it should have been. My E string (the highest one) was very flat. Not physically flat, but playing flat. Meaning, you tighten the string to make it right. So, I turned the peg. It didn't help. I turned it more, and more............... Suddenly there was a 'twang' and ................... the 'A' string snapped! Oops!!!!!!!!!!! I had been turning the wrong peg!

Well, I know I will NEVER turn the wrong peg again when tuning, I make very sure I am turning the right peg now. As usual, I am learning the very hard way how to work this violin. I always seem to learn everything the hard way, I don't know why.

I went and bought new strings the next day, and replaced the A string. The benefit of this exercise is manifold. Now I know which pegs to turn for each string, I know how to take strings off, and how to put new ones on (after a few wrong ways of doing it, I actually did it), and I am getting quite good at tuning. I just wished that darn instrument wouldn't be out of tune every time I take it out! I don't understand why it doesn't just stay tuned until the next day. It would make this whole thing a lot less work.

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I got my babysitting job back. I was babysitting two little boys up to a year ago, but their mother had another baby last January, another boy. Now I am going to start babysitting all three of them the first week of January. I have no idea how I am going to do that, with my level of energy. I mean, those are three rambunctious boys, aged one, three and four! I was really hoping that my adrenal glands and thyroid would be well on the way of functioning right by now, and that it would be no problem.

I know I can make myself do it. But will it be helpful to my healing? Fortunately, it will only be part time, three days a week. And in their own home, I wouldn't even consider doing it here, for various reasons. I have no intentions of totally kid-proofing this house again. I will not acquire all the toys and furniture and equipment needed for such a venture. I would resent having my house turned upside down by a bunch of little 'hooligans', and having my privacy invaded.

I like putting them into their own beds/cribs for their naps, messing up their own house (I do tidy, but the deal is, that I don't do any cleaning unless I want to, because I don't have the energy), and I can LEAVE THEM AND THEIR NOISE BEHIND and go home when their parent gets home. And won't get reminded of little kids by crumbs everywhere, and little sticky things stuck on things and stuff like that at home. Here I have enough to deal with without things like that, it would put me over the edge.

I am doing it, because I need to have my own money. Money my husband cannot touch and has no say over. He is VERY controlling with money. He is obsessed with money, and is financially abusive (one of many different ways of abusing me). Now don't get me wrong. I love those kids, they are like an extra set of grandchildren. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it (no money in the world would make me do something I'd hate doing). The older boys adore me, and look forward to the days their mom is working, because I am coming! Last year, when one day the oldest (who was three then) saw his mom get ready for work, he said, "Yay, Ursula is coming today!" Rather than, "Oh no, Mommy is leaving us and going to work." So, she never feels guilty about working and leaving the kids with me.

I want to be able to buy whatever I want (like a C D or a book), and when my husband sees it, and says, "what did you buy that for, we can't afford you buying things we don't actually need", I want to be able to say, "It's none of your business, I bought it with my own money". I always like that deflated look on his face when I say that. Because there is nothing more to be said then, and he can't preach that 'sermon' he was going to preach on us losing our house if I don't curb my 'excessive spending' (really, it is totally not true), and we might have to do with one car (effectively grounding me, as there is NO public transportation in this rural area), which is a very effective threat, as it scares me to death, and he knows it.

I set up my own bank account several years ago, that he can't touch. He has no access to it. My oldest daughters think that is awful, as I 'ought to contribute to the family income' and put the money into our joint account. Why, so he will control my own money, and not let me spend it? That's what happened before, when I was selling Regal products. I never seemed to be able to do anything I wanted with my own money, as he treated it like it was his. In those days I was dreaming of taking riding lessons, and that was why I had that job. It never happened, as I'd never really have access to my own money. I finally resented that so much, that I quit.

My daughters of course put any money they make into their joint bank accounts. That is because they've got incredible husbands, who trust them, and they keep each other accountable (as in, not one-sided, one controlling the money and spending whatever he wants, while stopping the other from buying anything). It works for them. They don't understand, and don't want to understand. If I try to explain my reasons for things to them, they'll say, "I don't want to know, stop or I'll hang up on you, you're talking about MY dad here, and he is a great guy". Period, end of story. They don't want to know the truth. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. It makes me feel like I am all alone . I've resigned myself to talking with them only about things not too important to me, because it's useless, I've given up.

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Well, so much for this episode of 'The great night owl, who'd much rather be sleeping'. I think my bowels have finally settled down enough to try going back to bed and sleep.

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Hmmm, you and I have a lot in common.

(1) Both of my children took voice lessons. My daughter, who is 23 now, sings at various venues around town. She loves to perform.

(2) I play the piano. My parents really sacrificed to give all four of us children piano lessons. I had my daughter take lessons from a piano teacher. And when my son was old enough, I had started homeschooling them, so I just made piano part of his curriculum and taught him myself. I could only take him to a certain level, though, as I'm not a master. <_< I've always required that my kids take some sort of music, so I let my son switch to playing the guitar. He's very good. He's taking drum lessons now.

(3) I used to play the violin. I started taking lessons in my early 20's. My parents got me a violin as a birthday gift. I started with "Twinkle, Twinkle", too. B) Yes, the violin is a very difficult instrument to learn. I quit taking lessons when I got pregnant with my first child. Now I can hardly play a thing.

(4) I took riding lessons for a while and have had my own horse off and on since I was a teen. I don't have one now, though. I think I'm done with that.

(5) I read a lot, but I like to read fiction mostly.
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