Monday, February 28, 2011


It's been a while since I have written anything  thought provoking on my blog.  That is simply because I have been heads down all week in moving our trailer and getting it all set up again.  In the course of this week, I have rediscovered how much I like being outside and moving my body.  The winter is not my favorite time of year.  Don't get me wrong, I love the snow, but the bitter cold and freezing rain is too much for me to venture outside.

So this past winter I hibernated and ate.  I vowed that I would not obsess about dieting this year and focus on staying healthy by moving more.  I am still not going to go crazy and go on a diet.  I am just refocusing my energy on moving and eating the right kinds of food...mainly not eating gluten.

It has been a year since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease.  It was a relief to finally find the root cause of my health issues and address them.  Changing my diet has been hard.  I am really good for a few months and then something happens...usually I meet some really good food along the way.  LOL  I laugh but it's not really that funny.  Having an addiction to anything is not good, but food is so hard.

I love carbs!  It's that simple.  I love noodles, pizza, peanut butter sandwiches, crackers and cheese, any cream based soup...the list goes on. I know that many of these foods have gluten free substitutes....It's still not the same!

I struggle every day to eat healthy foods, but my body still craves wheat!  It's a frustrating food addiction that at times brings me to tears.  I find that I can eat sprouted wheat bread (Ezekial).  This does help.

I have spent a lifetime learning to cook.  I love making bread.  I have had to relearn so many things in the kitchen.  I try to make everything from scratch. I think it taste better.  Have you ever tried to make a flour blend using 5-8 different types of starches and flours?  It's difficult.  I usually end up buying the blends all ready pre-made and they work, but there are so many choices that finding the right one can be expensive.

I have no problem spending money on healthy food.  We try to eat organic as much as possible.  We visit Famers Markets to try and support local farming.  I just hate spending money on these "alternatives" when they are not all equal in taste and performance.

SO, yes I get frustrated with having to eat gluten free.  I miss the foods that I love.   I have found that I can eat small doses of gluten, but this is the problem.  I can't eat just soon as my mouth tastes the flavors I immediately want more...and more...and more.  I am once again trying to recommit myself to swearing off all gluten.

Today I made my family Chicken Divan.  I am not going to spend $4 on one can of cream of chicken soup.  I turned to the internet and found a delicious recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup and they added a gluten version.  It turned out fantastic and I am recommending this basic cream recipe to be used for other types of dishes.  The flavor of the recipe can be enhanced with cheese (Parmesan, sharp cheddar, etc) or with spices (I used curry).


2 cups of milk
2 T corn starch
garlic salt

*add small diced chicken to make cream of chicken

For the Chicken Divan in my slow cooker:

In order:

1 stalk of broccoli, pre cooked
2 chicken breast, pre cooked

1 batch of recipe above
1 T curry...I add alot more because we like it stronger
1 cup of Miracle Whip
1 T. lemon juice

I top it off with shredded Cheddar cheese.

I will cook it on high for a few hours and then turn it to low until the family is ready for dinner.  We serve this with rice.

I love food and I love cooking.  It will always be a challenge for me to eat gluten free.  The more recipes that I find that I can convert to how I can eat, the easier my eating will become.  It takes times, work, effort and a lot of discipline.  A LOT!!

To some this might sound like a very easy thing to overcome and maybe it is for some.  I know for me it's a daily challenge.  If I don't follow this way of eating I suffer from: hair loss, face acne, severe bloating, terrible gastrointestinal pains, depression, irritability, extreme tiredness.  These are serious symptoms to me that do and have, at times, prevented me from doing lots of things with my family, work and life.

To those that are enduring the same trial, I feel for you.  To those that this is easy, I admire you.  I hope  some day that I will not be so consumed by what I am eating.  ENJOY!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recipe...Split Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

I found this recipe on

My family enjoyed the soup and it turned out perfect.  I did the 4-5 hours on high and then turned it to warm for an hour. I served it with warm bread.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup Recipe

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours


  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 meaty hambone, 2 ham hocks, or 2 cups diced ham
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 1/2 qts. hot water


Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; pour in water. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bones and bay leaf. Mash peas to thicken more, if desired. Serve garnished with croutons. Freezes well.
Serves 8.

LIFE...Rye Turns 16 (pictures)

I can't believe the time has gone by so fast.  Sixteen years have flown by.  Even Rye was wondering where it has gone.  I don't think she ever imagined that she would turn 16 while living in a travel trailer, seeing the country...but hey, it happens!..LOL  Her main birthday gift was a ticket to go and see Lady Gaga on March 14th.  She was pretty excited.  We usually take the kids out to eat for their favorite type of food and Rye wanted Sushi.  We all love sushi!

I have added captions to these pictures twice and both times the site crashed..sorry, they are not organized or labelled, but you can get the jest of the day....

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Thursday, February 24, 2011


I finally got a few minutes to post some pictures.  It is so nice being outside everyday.  We had rain this morning, but this afternoon we are bright and sunny.  We picked up Maggie yesterday and she is finally home with us..aka...our new truck!  Pictures to come soon.

This is the bed we added.  It is set on top of square risers.  It added enough room that the kids each have their own drawer with clothes. Plus behind the clothes we were able to store excess toys, winter clothes, etc...

This is the little table I added to the bedroom.  It has 4 drawers and works perfectly.

Will travel?...must have bikes.  When we go places, people seem to nick name us the "bike  family".   We love the cart.  It hauls our laundry, store items and, of course, Isabella and her scooter.

There are birds everywhere. I thought this was a cool picture with the tree and black birds dark against the blue and white sky.

Our set up...

Our cat, trying to settle back into the trailer routine.  FYI, we handle the litter box by putting it inside the very large dog carrier that we have.  He goes in the crate 3 times a day for about 20 minutes.  We have not had any accidents. We also walk him with a harness and leash.  Yes, he does like it and he understands that it is his only way to get outside.  LoL

I am not sure if this is a goose or a duck.  But she is very sweet and does not fly well. 

Feeding frenzy.  The lady across the street feeds the ducks every day and they know it!  They walk up to her site daily at the same time.

Isabella was not afraid of the ducks.  She and I turned around and the ducks all took off at the same time, I screamed and she was laughing.  It sounded like being inside a tornado...LOL

Here are the ducks going up to the the duck lady...they stay in this nice line.

Despite the water being cold, she could not resist the opportunity to stomp around.

She did find a few shells.  This made her day.  Simple pleasures are daily doses of sunshine.

Movie night...Gnomeo and Juliette.

Honestly, does it get better than this when you are 4.  Playing outside with the ponies.  She is in heaven .

Running to the lake...she has this huge field to run around and she loves it.

Last picture of the kids at the hotel.  I love the fact that my kids want to be together and include Isabella.  This made me happy to see them all laughing together.

Movie night..Gnomeo and Juliette

Our kitchen, it's a little crowded at the moment.  We had a lot more room in the hotel .  It will take us a few days to eat the excess food.

The main living area of our trailer.  Cory and Rye work at the table and Drake has his computer set up where a TV would normally go.  We don't have TV.  We use Hulu, Netflixs and Veoh to watch our shows.

This is looking out my front door to the left.  There is a huge marina, apparently this lake is quite large.

Isabella loves olives.

Lots of seagulls.  They are constantly vying for these two poles.  They attack each other all day long just to sit a few moments on top.  Must be nice to be king.

I liked this picture.

The sunsets are very pretty here too.

More trees...I love the spidery effect of the tree with no leaves.