Monday, April 23, 2012

Signs in Texas

The first sign I saw as I drove into the small Texas town was:

A huge smile comes across my face – tears wet my eyes and I know it is all going to be alright.  I am a notice signs from God person.  The signs He sends me aren’t always conventional (are any signs from God conventional?) but they are my signs.  And that sign helped us more than once…. But you need to also know that had I not turned around on I 37 and went back to the exit I missed – I would not have seen this sign in this location.

Side bar.  While growing up in Perrin my parents had several sets of close friends but perhaps the closest was the Sam Samaniego family.  You have read stories about them before – but Papa Sam, Mama Shirley, Stephanie and Sammy were our dear friends (later they added Jason & Derek and Derek’s twin brother).  There was even a time that Sam & Shirley lived 2 lots down from me at Possum Kingdom Lake and my boys grew up knowing them too.  Stephanie is my sister. Oh and you should see the looks when I say that.  She is dark skinned, dark hair, slender and absolutely beautiful.  She recently said that I could pass for her mom’s daughter before she could – that’s true.  My brother and Sammy had their share of having fun growing up too.  And I can still hear the pain in my brother’s voice when he told me that Sammy was gone and we have since lost Papa Sam & Mama Shirley too. This family has endured many hardships – and I know when I think of the Samaniego name I think of God’s people, people who love Jesus, people who know that God is in control.  I wish I knew how many prayers Mama Shirley said for all of us!  So seeing the Samaniego sign – gave me a calm assurance.  I had to circle back to get the picture – found a house for sale that was great and our story continues…

While waiting for Son one to meet me in this town I drove around and just looked and made phone calls – and got organized.  After he got there we looked at one way out (all of about 5 miles but it seemed forever!) – then when we were coming back in to town – I wanted to show him this place by the Samaniego sign – so we went.  As we were driving back to look at others, he received a phone call from an agent about a house we saw and wanted to see.  I did not do a real good job of remembering streets but I felt like I had a general idea of where we were going.  I went the way I wanted to go only to realize that I really did not know where I was and just as I was going to turn and go another way – Son one wants me to stop.

Perfect idea. 5th wheel set up for short term rent (Son one says he noticed it because of the electrical hook up – all those years of growing up with a mechanical contracting business can sure make a difference!).  What a great idea – we looked, met the owner – who lives right next door and 10 minutes later Son one called and said he would take it for at least a month. 

Oh – Papa Sam’s given name was Ernest.  

Son one's landlord’s name? Ernest

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I know but.....GF really?

A line I have said so many times I cannot count is:

I know it will make me sick but I am going to eat it anyway - because it tastes so good!

My longest memory for that comment is associated with Chicken Fried Steak.  I LOVE chicken fried steak - my mom would make it growing up (not enough I might add).  We ate it after basketball games, ate it at Tarleton - Jake & Dorothy's, and then there is Mary's in Strawn.  For those of you who grew up in my "neck of the woods" - you get it.  Those places are some of the best for good ole Chicken Fried Steak.  But I did not have to wait until I went to those places - I have found wonderful Chicken Fried Steak at the best of places all over Texas. (heavens I just remembered when I was 14 I worked at the cafe in Perrin one summer - I learned how to make the best CFS while working there!)

Sad to say - I cannot remember the last time I had Chicken Fried Steak - and if I have ventured out to try it I have since switched to ketchup instead of the gravy.  It just became too much.  I was getting too sick - felt too yucky to justify how wonderful I knew it would taste before I attempted to digest it!  I have pretty much given up white gravy all together.

But you know it wasn't until recently that I really put all the pieces together.  I thought it was potatoes too.  I thought I needed to give up eating potatoes because like the CFS I seemed to be getting sick each time I ate them.  Then there was the chocolate chip cookie.  I have the best recipe from a friend that is so good - and my family loves them too.

When they ruled out Celiac Disease - I ruled in Gluten Intolerance.  I won't list all the physical things that were going on with my body that made me try this route.  It was the doctor that suggested we test for Celiac when I mentioned the chocolate chip cookie making me sick.  But as I have learned the test for Celiac is quite sensitive and just because it is negative now doesn't really mean it will always be negative AND there is not really a good test for Gluten Intolerance.

I know what to look for.

So I am trying out a new way of eating.  Oh and my family gives me grief.  But they love me so it is okay.  I feel so much better - and the potatoes....  It was my mom who figured that out - so many times when I had potatoes I had bread and many times gravy.  I have been eating potatoes now - and they are wonderful.  As for chocolate chip cookies - I have a GF (gluten free) recipe for them.  It isn't quite the same - but I add a lot of chocolate chips and nuts and it is just pretty good.  It works to  make me think I am having a chocolate chip cookie.  I still make the wonderful ones for my boys.

It just doesn't seem very intelligent to continue eating stuff that makes me feel horrible.  Without a medical history - it is such a shot in the dark to figure out all of these details.  But for now this GF approach to life is working quite well.

The other fun thing going on is the produce I am picking up in Weatherford every other Saturday.  I am participating in a co-op with Your Health Source (  Another absolutely wonderful way to have quality fruits & vegetables.  I recently realized that all those years growing up - I ate organic vegetables.... from my parents garden!  These are the next best things (with less work on my part!).

Kale (something in my co-op share this week), sweet peppers (from the share), organic onion (from United) and brown rice.  Sauted the peppers & onion with some fresh garlic, add rice & water and cooked until rice was done.  Then added bite size torn pieces of Kale - steamed then added Parmesan cheese.  Yum!

Uncle Chris' Chicken with my Kale-Rice Creation.  The chicken is tenders dipped in butter and GF instant potatoes mixed with Parmesan & garlic salt.  Bake at 400 until crunchy. 

Perfectly wonderful GF meal!  

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.