Sunday, June 6, 2010

That Easy Peaceful Feeling

I look forward to Sundays. After a specially hectic week--it was my first full week of teaching and there were problems...Yeah. Problems. Such as not being able to get connected into the online classroom to teach Wednesday night. I didn't have any problems last semester logging into the class. My husband, D and the Education Outreach boss, J were both working on my computer, trying to figure out why my computer was not able to connect.  With two computer techie/gurus working their magic on my machine, it made it hard for me to do much of anything else on it.  That issue was not resolved until late Friday morning. 

Since this was the first week for one of my graduate classes, I decided to hold a special Saturday morning review session from 8AM until noon so my students could get caught up on course material. It was actually successful, judging from the comments made by my students. It wore me out but it was worth it for my students. 

I also decided Friday that I'm pretty busy during the week--judging by this past week. If I want to eat during the week, the weekends are my only time to cook. So I grilled pork steaks on Friday; tequila-lime chicken and seared our pot roast (on the grill) on Saturday; and today, the pot roast is cooking in the crockpot. There's fresh salad and grilled veggies (D's corn, potatoes and our zucchini spears) for side dishes, along with fruit salad and grilled pineapple spears in the fridge. I won't have to cook again until Thursday afternoon. Yippee! 

Today is Sunday. The cats were gracious enough to let me sleep in until 6:45 this morning. Even Harley kept his purring down to a comfortable roar while kneading softly on me.  This was heaven. Nonetheless, it's been scorching hot here lately. I've been getting up early to water my garden out back to keep everything alive. So I dragged my sleepy butt out of bed, dressed, made coffee, fed cats, and then went out back to water. I saw these...
 Baby zucchini plants with leaves!  I'm so excited because these sprung from the seeds I planted!
 I also caught sight of this...the first green bean plant also from seed! This will go well with the wax beans I have growing as well! I'm going to have to transplant this bunch of wax beans.
 After watering the garden, I kept my promise to the girls in taking them outside in the front yard. This allows them to get outside time, allows me to work in the front beds, and allows D to sleep in without being woken up to cats crying to go outside.
 Ava, sniping in her grass nest.
 Topaz checking out hunting spots.
 Chile and Arby enjoying their morning.
Merlin and Chile greeting each other. 

Last Wednesday, I started weeding out one of the front flower beds. Then I had this brainstorm--I can plant my strawberry plants there! It meant enlarging the flower bed and changing its configuration. I started out with this on Wednesday....
 I ended up with this today...(and it's not done--just started)
While I pulled weeds (tough buggers too) and planned the front flower beds, I had an epiphany.  I realized that for the first time in years I felt better than I ever did before. This was the first time in two years since my first hospitalization I really believe I'm going to live for a while longer. I suddenly realized that I wasn't even doing the "I'm dying so I need to get this all done NOW before I go" thinking.  For the first time in a long, long time, I feel I can just stop, breathe a bit, and relax. 

I attribute this change in my attitude because I changed my eating habits. Since I learned I was allergic to food preservatives, I had to give up eating out. I also had to give eating nearly all foods that came pre-processed and in a box, can, or bag. I had to give up processed meats and vegetables.  In fact, what most people consider to be "normal eating," I've had to just quit doing--including coffee drinks, sodas, ice creams, canned soups, instant dinners, etc.

Because I changed my eating habits, my blood pressure is stabilizing and I'm able to use the lowest dose for my hypertension medication.  I'm off the cholesterol statin drugs. Other than a few sore muscles and joints, I'm feeling better--healthier--than I have in a long, long time and that goes back before I became sick enough to be hospitalized. All this because I changed my lifestyle from convenience to healthier choices. 

This year, I'm growing--or attempting to grow--some of my own foods. While the garden has become my obsession, I also realized it's been my center. Sunday mornings are a joy because I can spend time nurturing the very life force that will nurture me in return. The garden has given me what's been missing in my life--that peaceful, easy, healthy feeling. 

I'm living it. 



  1. your cats are all so beautiful! I would love to be in a place in my life where I could have a few cats ( I have one grumpy old man cat now) and would love a garden too, but I live in an apartment so have to make do with a few pots on my deck, I'm glad to hear you are feeling so good, I need to do something about my eating style too, maybe I could get off of some of my meds if I did, I miss New Mexico, as a child I spent my summers there my mamaw lived in Portales and I would take the train from Portland Or to New Mexico every summer, good memories!

  2. I am glad to hear you are feeling good. I started cooking more veggies since my baby arrived, and I realize I am eating more healthy. A bit more exercise would be good as well. Comes next.

  3. Those green beans should be getting big pretty quick. My husband's are getting pretty high already. I can't wait until fresh green beans. I'm glad changing your eating habits have helped your health. That's also a great idea to cook a lot on the weekends. I love doing. When I cook during the week, I try to make enough for at least 2 days. I hope you computer cooperates this week for you.

  4. Not only is the food healthier for you, Cathryn, but I think the gardening has been therapeutic for you too. Sounds like you really enjoy it!

    Love seeing all the cats. I think I've only seen Merlin's pic once. They are all so cute.

  5. I am thrilled that you are feeling better. I think nurturing your soul must have something to do with it as well as the changed eating habits. Thanks for sharing an inspiring story.

  6. So glad the gardening is therapeutic for you, Cathryn. You will reap many rewards from your garden. And since mine isn't so big, I can live through yours!

  7. I'm so happy for you Cathryn. People don't always understand what's in the foods we eat...most people don't care. You had to care and look at the difference it has made in your life. Good for you.

    I've learned a lot, but I still have a long way to go. I try to avoid many of the things you can't eat because I know they are not good for me...or really for anyone.

    Small changes make a big difference is what I am finding.

    Your garden is going to be so wonderful!!

  8. What a great post. So inspiring!

  9. Thanks for being a follower, yes I did the stamping on the copper medallions( I won the set from Cindy of Sweet Beads Studio) in a jewelry class. I had also cut the disc w/ my cutter & then ran them through the mill press to elongate them into ovals
    Your garden is looking great!

  10. All our modern convenience foods do come packed with chemicals and not all of them are good for us. That could be one of the reasons so many people today have health problems and digestive problems. Your blog post has really got me thinking about cutting out or at least cutting back on so many of the processed foods that are an easy fix. I'm sure a lot of others who have read your post are now also thinking seriously about this issue.

  11. You know, because I'm blessed not to have had any that were severe I can honestly say that some of the health problems I have had were the best things that ever happened to me. The good habits I adopted because of them have done me more good than the problems do me harm, I'm so sure.

    My boyfriend cooks for the week the exact same way. I love calling him on Friday night and chatting while he's got a different meal on the go on every cooking surface in the house!