Home, Homing, Homed

Magical World of Marsha
Magical World of Marsha

For many of us, home is a verb. It’s movable. It changes with all that life brings. Somehow, though, whatever else I have in my life, I always have a home.

But I don’t have a hometown, one place of solidarity with the past that I am confident will last into the future. My brother does, and as proud as he is about his home and hometown, it is one thing that I welcome in his life, but can’t replicate in mine. It’s that old story about accepting our differences, accepting ourselves.

Stanley and I have lived in our chicken coop for 3 1/2 years now. It is home, as it has been since the first time we entered the poor old run-down bungalow, long before we turned it into its current state of comfortable unspectacularness. I recently confessed to some travel friends that 3 1/2 years is about my comfortable pace of travel. This is as fast as I want to see things in this world. A childhoood in California, two years in Colombia, three years in Texas, a couple decades in the central valley of California (aiii!), a year in Ukraine, and now this. Is it time to move on? Have I ‘traveled’ the wondrous central Pacific coast, ready to move on to some other place for 3 1/2 or so years?

nearby
nearby

Who knows? But it won’t be this year. This year, Stanley is on the count for new countries to visit, filling up his list. And I am tagging along. Lord help us.

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Day 20, 21 and to eternity: The Quest is Over

The quest is over, but I have not found the holy grail of diets. This is just another diet fad, and though it may help many people, really, what was always true remains: Marsha is what Marsha eats. We all are what we eat; all of us need to figure out what it is that we can live with and what we can’t.

good, and good for you
good, and good for you

The real ‘skinny’ of this diet: I did not lose a pound. I did find out that soy and milk products will stay out of my grocery basket, and that grass-fed beef will occasionally find its way home with me. Was it worth it? Yes, and no. No holy grail, but a good piece of information or two.

Day 17, 18 & 19: The Never-ending Quest for Health

Leave it or Heave it?
Leave it or Heave it?

Nothing on this diet has been difficult, except me and my attitude. I am suspicious about why we always feel we need to change our outlook toward foods. At different times, red meat has been good then bad and now good again; soy is now evil; whole wheat is on the verge of being a bad food. Although I get a bit tired of the author’s ever-loving cheerfulness (she’s a ROCK STAR and she ROCKS!!!!!,) I’ll follow her recommendations if they work for me. But does that mean my supply of Trader Joe’s Multigrain pancake mix, the one that makes wonderful waffles, will have to be tossed? That somehow just doesn’t seem right.

Day 12 & 13: The Never-ending Quest for Health

If you want to test your memory, there’s nothing like those songs you sing in your youth. Like this little sweet thing from camp:

I´m a little  coconut
Sitting on my coco-butt
 Everybody laughs at  me
Because I am a nut, you see

(Chorus)
I´m  a nut (*clap* *clap*)
I´m a nut (*clap* *clap*)
I´m a nut, I ´m a nut, I´m a nut (*clap* *clap*)

MacScouter Book of Songs

I feel like I’ve been singing that song all week. Coconut oil, coconut juice, coconut milk, and -surprise- coconut. Mostly, though, I relate to the chorus, because following all this diet advice is a bit nutty.

It wasn’t so long ago that soy was magic. And before that, corn. And I find it absolutely wacky that this

everything but the coconut
everything but the coconut

is not on my diet.

Happily, though, since I had been dairy-free for several weeks before this venture, tomorrow I am re-introducing cream in my coffee. And maybe some yogurt, if I’m still feeling nutty.

Day 10 and 11: The Never-ending Quest for Health

Sometimes I just gets the eats.

bad, and bad for you
bad, and bad for you

Habits are funny things. You do them because that’s what you do. I’ve had a couple close calls on this diet – my autopilot goes to the pretzel jug – but I haven’t fallen off this soy-is-a-villain-coconut-is-cool diet. Yet.

Day 8 and 9: The Never-ending Quest for Healh

Solid oil, no soy, coconut until I’m crazy, red meat and sausages. That is the real challenge of this diet for me, that it challenges my thinking in some very interesting ways. It’s good to jumble things up a bit once in awhile. And, the truth is that a lot of pretzels and waaaaay too much honey aren’t always the good thing I want them to be.

Meanwhile,

I can be nuts about these
I can be nuts about these

Life is just a bit crazy sometimes.

Day 7: The Never-ending Quest for Health

Most of the stuff in this diet is old stuff to me. Lots of fresh food, grown and sold close to home. In other words, eat close to the source. I’ve agreed with this philosophy for a long time. But some stuff is new. And that is the challenge.

An old dog can learn new tricks, they say. Or is it ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks’? At this point in the diet, all attempts to confuse me might be successful, since now I am using solid oil to cook my foods. I can’t remember the last time I allowed solid oil near my stove top. I know the label reads ‘coconut oil’ and the book swears that the stuff comes from heaven, but it looks like Crisco to me.

New Rules
New Rules

So these new rules about cooking might be just the newest in a very long line of diet fads. But there are some interesting pay-offs that I am hoping will stay around for the long-haul. Even though my main hope in following this diet plan is better health, my clothes are suddenly just a bit bigger than they were last week. Just a bit.

Still, if the oil looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably Crisco.

Day 6: The Never-ending Quest for Health

We recently watched a show on America’s Best Sandwiches. With one exception, they were all disgusting. And even that one – from Austin, Texas so you knew it would be good – could not be as great as the sandwich my son had today

The Truly Best Sandwich
The Truly Best Sandwich

I liked my salad a lot

Second best
Second best

but I kept my eyes on his sandwich the entire meal. Wouldn’t you?

Now the question you should really be wondering about is this: Why, if you are on such a strict diet, Marsha, are you eating in restaurants so often?

Good question.

Day 5: The Never-ending Quest for Health

So I know you can’t eat butter in this Virgin diet, but can you eat beurre? I sat in a very nice restaurant debating whether I really needed to scrape off that wonderful-smelling sauce or if I could eat it (AKA cheat.) The restaurant turned out to be a really great combination of Central Cal Cuisine and French (hence the beurre,) so I could tell that the sauce was worth tasting. I had done so, so well with everything else on the menu and had been so, so good sticking to the drill these past couple days, I just wasn’t sure which way this would go. I’d already passed the bread basket to Stanley, who had been quite pleased. Since there was a sweet little array of boutique bread in the basket and yummy stuff to dip it into, I’d already paid a tremendous sacrifice.

Even the view was outstanding, and the weather spectacular. How could I ruin the day, whichever choice I made?

Photo courtesy of Mom
Photo courtesy of Mom

Day 4: The Never-ending Quest for Health

The author of this diet book stated that we do not need to eat grains in a healthy diet.

Glorious Grains
Glorious Grains

She could not possibly have been talking about all-round health, though, because everyone knows how wonderful grains make you feel.

Grains – whatever it was made into -flatbread, loaves, rice cakes – in whatever culture you come from, make people happy. Perhaps you can live a physically correct life without grains, but you cannot live an emotionally content life. Healthy diet versus happy diet – it can be a problem.

Have I been that long without pretzels? No. I can manage. But don’t even think of taking away my oatmeal.