Saturday, December 22, 2012

Climbing Mountains

We know it is Christmas time and should do a post about Christmas, but We've been saving this post for a looong time now and  finally have found time to write it all out.
Each daughter, on their 16th birthday got to go on a surprise trip to somewhere new and interesting.
I, Nan turned 16 in I got to do something I have always wanted to do. Hike part of the Appalachian trail!!   So on October 21st mom, dad, and me drove 2 hours into the mountains...

Birds migrating on the way to the mountains
There was a swing at the cute little cabin we stayed in
And a river across the gravel road
It was late when we finally got to the cabin so we cooked up some dinner.
Sauteed veggies, shrimp, sweet potato fries and salmon with sauteed onions.

The next day we set out to hike the Appalachian trail... 
And we met a lady hiking with her pet goat...
So cool to be there!!
On the trail.
It was a beautiful day 

Eating a gluten free sandwich for lunch

Dad was tired

We loved hiking carvers gap, the day was beautiful and the hike was the perfect challenge!
That night we cooked apple compotes in the fire and potatoes for dinner outside our cabin.

We also roasted organic chicken apple brats 

And mom and I goofed off...

SUCH a fun day! Loved every minute of it! 

The next day we made a big breakfast and drove to climb Mt. Mitchell, Highest peak east of the Mississippi River.
This was the view as we rode in the car.

It was definitely a difficult climb, we got lost once...but so fun!  

Proud we made it to the top!

Eating some lunch at a picnic table on top of the mountain.

And then the descent back down...
 I loved both mountains we climbed so much! Each day was just as fun as the last. After hiking, we piled into the car and stopped at a little country shop to buy fresh apples and other vegetables. Then we drove all the way home.
It was an incredible experience and one I will always remember! I was homesick for the mountains weeks afterwards!  For the sound of the river laughing outside my window in the morning, the smell of pine and fresh cool air, cooking over a fire, the way you stand on top of a mountain and feel nothing else really matters  and for getting to know my parents a lot better! Yes I loved turning 16!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Promise of sunshine

It is a sunny day today and even better it's been a week of no LBS for Nan.  I am encourage and excited!  She has recognized her symptoms and has been willing to stop it  before it sets in.  I am so proud of her and we both give the glory to God, who has strengthened her resolve to get well.

We've had a fun December so far.  We watched the Greensboro parade with Mary, Cate and Gabe.  Here Nan, Mary and I are watching it from a parking deck. 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Walking in December

"In December keep yourself warm and sleep."


Life has been good. Mom is finally back from her looooong stay in Atlanta (only 1 week). And everything's back to normal, except for a certain four-legged furry thing named Lilly. I'm watching her while her owners are out of town for a week. She is the sweetest thing, she follows me everywhere!

Pretty sure Lilly did this...

Since not running I have been walking a lot lately, especially with these crazy dogs! I never knew how peaceful and restoring walks can be. They clear my mind and bring fresh air to my lungs. Not like running, I can actually gaze at the beauty around me and take it all in.
This December I will be sleeping a lot, but also walking, sipping rich hot chocolate and trying with all I have to keep warm. My dad mercilessly keeps the heat on 70 and I would much rather have it on 90. But oh well my two pairs of socks, long sleeve shirt, sweat shirt and pants will have to do...

Clyde looking thrilled about our daily walk...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Red noses and Chili

                                    "When all aloud the wind doth blow,
                                     And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
                                     And birds sit brooding in the snow,
                                    And Marion's nose looks red and raw."

I do not particularly love winter because it's cold and grey...and cold and grey, but I absolutely love December! December really shouldn't even be counted as winter, because everything is bright and happy and no matter what everyone looks jolly and glad. Christmas does have a lot to do with that of course.

Picture by

Like mom said so much has happened in so little time. I'm currently trying desperately to gain weight, not just to look better, but for health reasons. Me being underweight surprisingly affects my low-blood sugar a lot. So for now, much to my despair, I'm not running, or biking or swimming or anything, just walking and doing yoga until I gain weight and my blood sugar becomes steady. I love to run and I hate watching my sister Cate take off without me, but I know it's for the best.
It's hard to ignore or pretend nothing happened the past few months. My blood sugar going up and down. But I'm on a new path, and mom is too. We're in this together.

Mom is out of town to help with my sister and her new baby so I got to make dinner for Cate, dad and me.
I thought it was a good night for chili. Mom makes this for us often. It will always be a favorite.

Nonstop, No-Chop Chili  By Cookinglight

3/4 pound ground round 

cooking spray

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn (I omitted)

1 cup bottled salsa

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon sugar (I did 1/2 teaspoon of stevia)

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (16-ounce) can chili beans, undrained

1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

1. Cook ground round in a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in water and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Time goes by...

Yes so much time has gone by since our last post.  I have found it difficult to find the right moment to sit down at the computer and put this on our blog.  I have composed several posts in my head, but they haven't found their way here yet.

One reason is very exciting to us!  We were in Atlanta awaiting the birth of Piper Virginia Hull, who was born on November 13th to our oldest daughter/sister, Lauren.  We had the fun of caring for two year old Gabriela while her mommy and daddy were at the hospital with Piper.  Such joy!

While one life is beginning, another very dear to us is ending.  My dad's brother is in the care of hospice and while we wait, I am reminded of how fragile and short life really is on this earth.  My uncle has fought a brave fight against throat cancer and I will always remember what a strong, courageous and encouraging man he has been. 

So much has happened in the LBS saga of our lives.  So many ups... and just as many downs.  There is so much to tell, so many victories and lessons learned, and now the layers are being peeled away.  One by one... and it is painful, not like the peeling after a sunburn, but like the peeling of a skinned knee, where the wound is exposed to the air.  Hopefully we can document these times and see how God is healing precious Nan.  I won't lie, it has been hard.  But at the same time it has been good and Nan has given me courage to go to the hard places with her ... and even within my own self.

My beautiful granddaughters, Ela and Piper (just one week old here).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Yes, please!

Always Hoping for the Sun

Although today is Monday and we are back into school and chores, it is a BEAUTIFUL sunny day today!  To celebrate after lunch, we finished up our favorite chocolate ice cream--HAZELNUT FUDGE!

Ice cream is definitely a treat on an LBS diet.  We found this at Whole Foods and it is made from all organic ingredients.  The basic ingredients are coconut milk, agave, cocoa, vanilla extract and  hazelnuts.  It is positively delicious, the only negative is it goes so quickly!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Living with LBS

I will not lie.  Living with someone with LBS is hard, but having LBS is harder.  For Nan it's not about cheating and eating unhealthy foods.  No, she has a lot of self-control in that area.  For her it's about eating only healthy, organic food-- and she wants it to taste good as well.  Since I like to cook so that's not the hard part either.  What's difficult for  Nan is getting enough food, enough of the good proteins and carbs.

Otherwise she lives in a perpetual state of hypoglycemia.  I can always tell.  Her eyes get glazed and she starts to complain and all of a sudden a perfectly sunny, happy day turns dark and cloudy--in her mind and body.

 So the trick is to eat three good sized meals a day and three or more snacks.  The snacks need to be protein and carb.  One of her favorites is almond milk and a gf muffin or an apple with a scoop of almond butter.  And it's vital to always have a snack or two with you when you leave home. Essential.

 LBS goes wherever you go.

Always Hoping for the Sun

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little sunshine

It's overcast and cloudy and cold due to storm Sandy that has merciless hit the northern East Coast.  My prayers go to each one who has experienced loss in any way.  It makes me doubly thankful for my warm, lighted house filled with my family.

Two days of "tough love" with Nan and it has been ok.  Not easy, but she is learning to obey my insistence that she eat all that I ask her to.  Let's pray that it continues and that each day will become a little easier.  I am eagerly awaiting the day when she can run once again, freely around the neighborhood and to the refrigerator.


Thank you God for being with us

Linking up with: Friday Blog Hop and Aloha Affair

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The bad word

It continues.  I go away for the weekend and she suffers.  Tonight was bad.  She was beyond reason and angry and belligerent and not herself.  She had not eaten for 4 1/2 hours.  She went to youth group with Cate.  She had two snacks with her but did not eat them.  I offered her food when we got home and she became disrespectful and mad.  Flatly refusing to eat.  Her dad got mad.  Then I got mad.  I yelled and forced her to sit down and began to feed her.  She ate.  She began to feel in control of her feelings.

Then she apologized.  Again.  I was in tears, still angry.  I told her that she would eat when I told her to and what I gave her to eat.  She had no choice in the matter anymore.  I am tired.  I am mad.  I am angry that she lets her LBS takes control over her, over us.

She says she will eat.  I will see.  Tomorrow is a new day and I will give her food to eat.  It all sounds so simple. Eat and you won't feel bad.  You won't have to apologize later.  You will have a sound mind, be in control of your feelings.

But there is a lion in her that roars at the mention of FOOD.  It's become a bad word.  I am sorry, Nan,  but food is your medicine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A beautiful day

It's a beautiful day. The morning cool and crisp, with fog resting on the still lake and geese calling back and forth. Then the sun, red and flaming peeps over the orange maples and thaws the air into a pleasant warm. The street scattered with leaves, the whole world hued in orange, yellow, red and brown.
Our chickens roam the garden, Clyde is lying out on the monkey bushes sleeping in absolute dog contentment. School is good, life is good. But me? Am I good? Each day seems to get better and yet worse.I definitely feel each day is harder than the last, and that's a little exhausting. But each hardship I face, I feel like I break through a little more. Painful inch by inch. Maybe things are looking up. I can't lose hope. One day I sobbed in moms arms until there was nothing left to sob, then she lead me upstairs into my room, gave me almonds and put me to bed. Today I woke so happy! Yesterday I had zero meltdowns, I was on a new path today. Until mom told me I couldn't bike today if I was also going to run. I totally lost it. I got so angry. Hysterical (I'm ashamed to say). Why? I felt like an animal was let loose in me. And it lasted 5 minutes or less. It left me stunned, tired and confused. Was I going crazy? This wasn't normal. I had just eaten too. Low blood sugar again. How? How had it gripped me again? Took me by the shoulders and shook me until it hurt. I was tired of hurting. Of course mom, dad and Cate understood, they always do. We realized I had had coffee that morning for the first time in a month of two, maybe that triggered it? You know, I don't know. I am still learning, I'm still struggling and holding on by a thin rope. But I am NOT defeated. With God holding me and my family ready to catch me, I'm not afraid. I can only hope for better each day. And I have a game plan.
1. Get good sleep 2. exercise 3. vitamins 4. gain weight 5. pray hard.

"Prayer first; prayer before anything else or there isn't anything else".
                                 ~ One Thousand Gifts

On a happier note, one of my favorite snacks is larabars . My favorite flavors are of course chocolate or mocha or coconut pie or carrot cake, but all I had was dried cherries and I do love the flavor cherry pie. So I tried making them myself, they were delish!
Here is my recipe:
My homemade Larabar

Cherry Pie Larabars

1 cup of almonds ( or any nut you like)
1 cup of pitted dates (I used sunsweet)
1 cup of sugarless dried cherries (or any dried fruit you like)

Process nuts in food processor until ground with a few small chunks. Pour ground nuts into another bowl.
Add the dates and dried fruit to the food processor, grind until a sticky paste forms. 
Put the nuts, dates and dried fruit into a electric mixer and mix until well combined. Or use your  hands. 
Pour mixture into a greased small dish and pat down with a wet spatula until firm. 
Refrigerate for an hour or two. You can cut them into bars and leave them in the dish covered with plastic wrap or I cut them into bars and covered each bar individually with plastic wrap so they're easy to grab and go.
* You can add mini chocolate chips into the mixture. Or cocoa powder and make them into any flavor you really like.