Holy yum!

I know I just posted last night, but I made something else awesome, and I have to share it:

A perfect, quick, gluten-free, dairy-free lunch.

Cooked white rice, canned black beans, fresh tomato, fresh chopped cilantro, scallions, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, cayenne pepper.  Tossed it all in a bowl, let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Bam.

I wanted to chop up some fresh avocado to put on top, but I was running super-late this morning and didn’t have time to cut up the avo.  It’s good without it.

I think it would also be good with corn and/or bell peppers.  I could see adding some crumbled Cotija on top (but then it wouldn’t be dairy-free obvi.  Good thing I’m not lactose intolerant too!)

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Holiday food crafts

Because I’m a nice coworker, I made holiday food crafts for my colleagues.  I made white chocolate peppermint bark, dark chocolate bark, and semi-sweet chocolate-covered pretzels.  I intended to melt those colored candy melts and decorate everything, but the cake supply store was closed (boo!), so I used colored sugar crystals.  I think they still look pretty, but next year, it is ON.

The pretzels were a challenge for me because of the celiac.  Gawd do I love a good pretzel.  But whatever.  I withstood the challenge and didn’t eat any.  Hooray for me!

Yum!

And the pretzels (delightful looking, eh?)

In all, I think everything will be delicious and much-appreciated.  Who doesn’t love a good holiday treat?

Smelling like a rose

The job offer came this morning.  It’s slightly lower than I had wanted, but not so low that it was a deal-breaker.  I accepted.  My contract gig is now a full-time job, no small matter in this ridiculous economy.  And best of all, there’s not going to be any gap in our health insurance, which is awesome, especially in light of recent events.

Our elder statesman cat woke us up at least 3-4 times last night.  He’s almost 19 and I think he’s starting to lose his sight.  He’s generally such a sweet cat, so on the rare occasion he acts like a total dick, we tend to forgive him.  Despite what can only be called a rough night’s sleep, I have more energy today than I have had in quite some time.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still exhausted, but I feel less like I got run over by a truck, then backed over again.  The tummy is still rather upset (no details), but there’s a massive psychological difference between “oh my god I’m going to be sick forever because no one knows what’s wrong with me” and “at least this will only happen for another few weeks because we know what’s wrong and we’re fixing it.”  It’s pretty amazing the change in just five days.

On tap for the weekend: looking at another house, working a basketball game, baking my first loaf of gluten-free bread, and celebrating my “new” job. Can’t wait.

Everything changes

Day four of living gluten-free.  I’m finding myself feeling utterly grateful every time I find something geared toward celiac.  I almost started to cry when I found the GF cooking classes at PCC.  I almost teared up at Trader Joe’s last night when I found their little guide to TJ’s gluten-free shopping in the store.  I assume this bizarro emotional stuff will start to subside eventually… I’m guessing it’s all part of the process of coming to terms with this diagnosis.

You may have figured out that we didn’t wind up offering on the house in Bainbridge.  We still love it; it just needed more work (read: money) than we wanted to throw at it.  And so the hunt continues.  I’m still madly in love with our realtor.  I’m so happy we found him.  I’ll give up his name once our search is over.  I don’t want to get dumped for someone else mid-way through our process.

The hubs is officially out of work now.  Yesterday was his last day, so I’m not sure what to expect from him in terms of his mood and everything else.  He was a bit down last night, but three Netflixed episodes of The League helped tremendously.  I seriously think that might be the funniest show on TV.

I should hopefully get some great news tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m just holdin’ it down, looking forward to my celiac symptoms clearing up in a few weeks, and gettin’ er done.

A new beginning.

I finally had my endoscopy and biopsy yesterday.  While I won’t get my official pathology report for another 1-2 weeks, the doctor told me during pre-op that she’s 95% sure I have Celiac.  She said my lab results were so utterly out of whack that there really wasn’t another plausible explanation and it was highly unlikely that my biopsy would show anything other than Celiac.  And so today is the first day of the rest of my life, I guess. 

I have to admit that I have some mixed emotions about this journey.  When I first suspected gluten as the culprit, I felt resolute.  I was going to find out what was wrong with me and fix it.  Then when my doctors agreed with me and ordered the tests, I felt slightly vindicated.  I *knew* this wasn’t stress.  I *knew* there was something medically wrong with me, dammit.  When the labs came back overwhelmingly jacked up, and Celiac was all but confirmed, I was sad and a little scared.  I’m Mediterranean.  I eat bread.  It’s what I do.  Plus I now live in the PNW, which is renowned for its excellent craft beers, which I have truly learned to appreciate.  No more wheat?  It’s like a death sentence!  But then my biopsy was scheduled, and I had to binge on wheat for almost three weeks.  Those were easily the hardest weeks of my life, health-wise.  I had to leave work early at least twice a week, because I had the worst upset stomach I had ever experienced.  I felt tired, nauseous, crampy, foggy, etc.  Absolute misery.

But now it’s over.  Well, almost.  There are foods I will miss, and I know my body will be purging itself of gluten for the next few weeks, but as long as I stop the intake, I should start to feel better within the next few weeks.  I’ll learn to bake good GF bread.  And I’ll start to play with food again, which will be a nice change.  I know there will be missteps along the way, and there will be plenty of sad moments as I realize I can’t ever eat another “real” cupcake, or bagel, or bowl of legit, homemade mac’n’cheese.  But overall, the promise of living a healthier life far outweighs the food-related grief.  And so it goes.  Today is my first day of being completely gluten-free and I can’t wait.  Here’s to the rest of my life!

Inching closer

I guess things are progressing.  Only a few more days until my biopsy, which is awesome, given the misery I’ve been experiencing the last few days.  I won’t describe it, but it’s been bad.  Bad,

My job is going to go full-time in just over a week, which is awesome news.  I’ve been a contract worker in various places for the last two years, and this is the first FT gig I’ve had since October 2009.  I love my job and my boss, so this is all really good.  Hooray!

And we’ve set up a second showing of the house we’re crushing over.  In the five days since we last saw the place, there still haven’t been any offers, so we’re hopeful we’ll be the first.  We’re also hopeful that we’ll be able to make a semi-low-ball offer and have it accepted.

We’ve been daydreaming about this house, and we’re pretty excited.  We would have a little over twice as much space (we currently live in about 800 square feet), a big yard, and a huge, amazing kitchen.  And a fireplace.  Basically the only thing we’re unsure about is the location.  Can we make the commute?  Do we want to?  I think it would be an adjustment, but we’d make it work. 

Stay tuned.  Maybe we’ll make an offer Saturday!

Is this seriously happening?

So the husband and I took the ferry over to Bainbridge yesterday to poke around the island and look at a few homes. Since I work in SODO and the hubs will be working from home, the commute for us wouldn’t be a problem. We like the idea of the isolated, private life on the island. So we checked out a few places… and our crush on the island began.

The first place we looked at was pretty adorable. Hubs liked it, but I wasn’t super impressed. The floorplan didn’t really work for me. The kitchen was tiny, the living room was tiny, and putting a dining room table in the dining space would have completely disrupted the traffic pattern. Plus it was pretty much on top of the other neighbors, and on a busy street. Pass.

House number two was a total horror show. It smelled bad, it basically needed a gut reno, and the house owners seriously need to watch HGTV for a day. There was furniture and clutter crammed into every possible square inch of the house. And lots of books on Nazis. The whole place just had kind of a weird vibe. Plus, driving in to the house, we got to pass by an old ’70s Camaro on a flatbed truck. Fantastic.

House number three was cute, new construction. I don’t generally care for new construction, but we decided to give it a look-see anyway. The homes in the area are total cookie-cutter places and while adorable, not really my thing. Again, the hubs liked it, but I just felt like something was missing. The realtor and the spouse both asked what, but I honestly couldn’t articulate it. I just knew it wasn’t right.

The fourth place was damn-near perfect. It’s priced at the absolute top of our range, but it’s a foreclosure and the listing agent told our realtor they’re open to offers. It’s been on the market for quite some time. There’s a ton of land, a beautiful deck, and a completely renovated first floor. The second floor needs work, but nothing we can’t handle. We really kind of love the place, and can totally imagine living there.

Reality is, the place needs a new roof, a new decking eventually, new appliances and a fair amount of cosmetic work upstairs. So we’re realistically looking at probably $20k of work. But the house is totally livable.

So now we’re considering writing an offer, and we’re scheduling a second showing. Is this seriously happening? Are we really thinking about buying a house? I just can’t quite wrap my brain around this yet.

Also, the main selling point of Bainbridge? Mora ice cream. Hell yes.