Eighth post.

As I sit here at one in the morning, I finally realized that I need to stop.  I need to stop worrying about everything.  My intense fear of certain things have put me in predicament.  I haven’t been sleeping well, and goddess knows I haven’t been eating as well as I should be.  I need to be stronger than I am, and I need to  enjoy the time that I have.

I’m finally waking up now.  

It’s never goodbye.

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Charlie was only a few months old when we got him.  He was born February 17th, 2004, and was brought into our family in June of that same year.  I, and likewise with my mom and dad, got instantly attached to this little ball of adorableness.  He came into our lives during a time that we needed him the most.  My dad had just lost his job of 24 years due to the economy, and we were all down.

I remember taking him home that day, and we sat on the couch and watched ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, and I just remember his ears perking up because he knew that he was with a family that would keep him.

A few months later Charlie ended up getting the parvovirus.  He shouldn’t have survived.  The vet we took him to said that he was the luckiest dog ever, because he should have died.  Over the years, Charlie had some problems.  We ended up finding out he had severe allergies to his own fur, and asthma.  He also had a really bad infection on his paws which turned up every spring and summer.  We would always call him “our little runt”, because that’s exactly what he was.

We spent our share of money on him, gave him the best food possible, spoiled him rotten, and in return he gave us nothing but unconditional love.

March 26th, 2014 I had to say goodbye to a dog that has been with us for 10 years.  A dog who has been my best friend, and has been there since I was 15.  He was there through high school, he was there for me when I would come home crying, he was just always there.  

Every single time I would come home from work, no matter what time, he would run to the door to greet me.  That bounce in his step, those perky ears…  he was always so happy to see me.

This past week, Charlie started having problems walking with his hind legs.  After a test, it confirmed that he has severe Diabetes, that had essentially shut down his liver and kidneys.  The vet told my mom that he was in so much pain, that putting him to sleep would me the best choice, as any of the treatments we could have done would have only prolonged his suffering. 

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I’ve never lost a pet before, and Charlie was my everything.  I spent the past five days crying, and trying to make sense of everything.  How could this dog, who was perfectly normal a month ago when I took him to the vet all of a sudden get sick like this?  Why couldn’t I have prevented this?  Why didn’t the vet see this?  The past days have been restless sleep, and even in Charlie’s sick state, so sick he could barely get up, he would hear me crying and force himself to get up and come out from his bed to fight his way onto mine to sit with me, to lick my hand, and sleep beside me.

I woke up this morning, and he was laying beside me, and there was a look in his eyes, a look like he just knew that it was his time.  My mom came into my room to get him, and take him to the vet.  The vet said it would be best that I didn’t go with her, as it’s for the good.  As my mom picked him up, I told him goodbye, and he licked my face.  He licked my face to tell him it was okay, and how it’s not really goodbye.

My mom said that when she gave him to the Vet, he had this look of relief on his face.  He was in so much pain, that he just wanted to go.

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It’s been hard, because I still want to call him.  I’ve been in my bed all day, and every time I get up, I want to tell him to move.  My nickname for him was ‘Stinky’, and I actually told him to move, but mid sentence I realised that he was gone.  

My blankets still smell like him, and I don’t think I’ll ever wash them.  

I love you Charlie.  I love you so much.

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Seventh post.

The five things that distracted me last week were:

One.  Despicable Me.  I have been told numerous times that I should probably watch this movie, and it’s sequel.  I have numerous times ignored them.  I ended up having a rough end of the week, and still haven’t been in best of moods, and so I watched both of them.  Let me tell you, such a nice pick me up.  This is one of those movies that no matter how many times you watch it (I’ve watched them both a few times), I still get a smile on my face.

Two.  My dog, Charlie.  Charlie has been a part of my life for the past 11 years.  He’s been there for me when most people have just up and left me.  He’s always there when I get home, and he’s always ready for a snuggle and some quality Netflix time.  

Three.  ‘Frozen’ soundtrack. Mainly just the song, ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’.  Seriously, I’ve had that song stuck in my head all week.  It’s borderline disgusting.

Four.  The wait for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’.  Only 11 more days till I see that slice of awesome.

Five.  Spring.  I am usually the first to admit that I don’t really like Spring and Summer.  I’m more of a Fall/Winter gal, but this Winter has been brutal, and I can’t wait to start gardening again.  Flowers!!

- Brittany <3

Sixth post.

So as I continue to change my eating habits and switch to a Vegan lifestyle I decided that I should start actually cooking things instead of just buying Vegan/Gluten Free soups from my local Co-op.  I officially call this day, ‘Vegan Sunday!’.  That is just the working title right now.  It’ll be something catchy and aloof within a week or so.

This past week I decided to try a recipe that I found on Chloe Coscarelli’s website.  Let me tell you, first off, I have over 12 vegan cookbooks that I have collected over the past few years.  I’m one of those people that always thought of switching over to the Vegan lifestyle, but I never really fully committed.  So I would keep buying them, and they would just sit on my shelf all lonely, begging me to use them.  Now that I actually have to go Vegan, I decided to start using them.

Of course that story is a waste of time because I got this recipe from a website instead of said cookbooks, but can you all just work with me here?  If it makes you feel any better, I do have Chloe’s cookbook.  It’s actually not sitting on the shelf, but sitting beside my bed waiting to be used.  It’s getting one step closer to my kitchen.

Anyways, onto the recipe!

Continue reading

Fifth post.

Five things that have distracted me through the week are:

First. Fruit Smoothies.  One a quest to cut out dairy and all gluten foods due to some news I received a couple weeks ago, I have found the light that is coconut milk and fruit smoothies.  I try to drink one in the morning when I wake up, because it’s refreshing and keeps my energy going.  Also, note to self: never use unsweetened vanilla coconut milk in a fruit smoothie, because even though the “claim” it’s unsweetened, it’s still sweet.

Second.  ‘Deadly Women’ on Netflix.  Ah Netflix, again you have been a big distraction.  When I should be out hanging with friends, or working out, I find you insatiable.  Plus it doesn’t help that I’ve been mindlessly thrown into a world of female killers and horrifying acting.

Third.  Pharrell Williams ‘G I R L’.  I have to be honest here.  The closest thing I got to listening to Pharrell in the past was the Britney Spears remix he did to Boys.  The Daft Punk song was pretty good as well, but I went and bought his new CD on a whim because I wanted to listen to something new, and I am hooked.  Check out some of my favourite tracks on the album: Marilyn Monroe, Gust of Wind, & Brand New.  It’s a straight up dance party when you put in his album.

Fourth.  ‘Psych’.  I DON’T WANT IT TO END!!

Fifth. Disney World.  After a rough decision that took like three minutes, a few friends and I are going to Disney World in October.  I went last year, and wasn’t really planning on going this year, but I was lured into doing it by my brain.  My mind has been non stop thinking about plane tickets, and what I’m going to wear/pack.  It’s 7 months away, but 7 months can creep up on you.  I’ve been researching websites on Vegan and gluten free options and Disney.  EXCITEEEEEDDD!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday, and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone out there.  Don’t be a douche and pinch me just because I’m not wearing green.  I bruise easily, and green doesn’t work well with my complexion.

- Brittany <3

Fourth post.

So for the past three days I’ve been vegan and gluten free.  I found out on Thursday, after some tests that I have Celiac disease, and a small case of Lactose Intolerance.  This explains why I haven’t been feeling well in general.  I’m not going to lie, my life consists of the following things:

work, sleep, ice cream, cheese, gummy bears, and pizza

This is how I lived my life.  When my doctor told me that I have Celiac, I instantly thought of all the delicious food I’m going to have to miss out on.  As a vegetarian already, I cut out all my meats, and fish, but I could never fully commit myself to a full on vegan diet, because cheese, you know?  Growing up and living in Wisconsin is kind of like a cruel joke to someone who can’t eat dairy or eat anything with gluten in it.  I love my doctor, he never sugar coats anything, and he sat me down and said that it’s going to be hard.  Going completely gluten free, and dairy free is hard, especially since for every two gluten & dairy free products there are 50 products with that stuff in them just looking at me in the grocery aisle.

So Friday night after work I went out on a quest to get some groceries.  I was running low anyways, and had cleaned out my pantry and fridge of all the stuff I couldn’t eat and gave it to my parents, and the non-perishable was given to my local homeless shelter.  Now, I know what you are thinking.  “Well, Brittany, you can get gluten free stuff everywhere!  Pick N’ Save has a nice section.”

Yeah, a nice section of soups and gluten free breads, most with dairy in them.  So I went to Outpost Natural Foods.  As much as I want to support my local co-op, the frugal old lady in me freaks out at the prices for foods at places like Outpost and Whole Foods.  The price you pay there for a weeks worth of groceries could feed me for a month if I buy my groceries at shops like Aldi and Pick N’ Save.

So I walked in there, grabbed a cart and started my quest for foods.  After two hours of walking up and down the aisles, looking at ingredients, and figuring out prices I had compiled a cart that would hopefully last me a few weeks.  As I walked up to the registers I just knew that that cart that I was slowly, and somewhat unwillingly leading up to the cashier would cost me almost a whole paycheck.

Let’s be clear,  Gluten free & dairy free foods are not cheap, and as much as I love fruits and veggies, I can’t just eat that every day for the rest of my life.  I like to have some variety.  I mean, I had an internal struggle down the frozen foods section because I couldn’t fathom spending $7 for a pack of 4 gluten free/dairy free hamburger buns, but I bought them anyways because I needed them for a meal.  Not to mention how hard it is to find things that are gluten free, but also dairy free.  Most of the time you get one, but you don’t get the other.

This is where I think the food companies have the advantage.  It’s AMAZING that grocery shops are finally starting to get in healthier alternatives, but it comes with a price, and I do mean $$$.  They take the advantage of us the shoppers because they know that we’ll buy them anyways because we need to.

I ended up paying $75.86 for two weeks worth of food, but not including the fresh fruits and veggies that I tend to buy weekly.  I cried a little as I slowly walked out to my car, knowing that this is how it’s going to be from now on.  I mean, I’m sure it will get better, and I’ll be able to manage a better budget after a few months, because I’m still new to all of this, but for now I’m just hoping that I can stretch out this chili I made yesterday into five meals.

It’s hard out here for a gluten free, dairy free, vegan.

Third Entry.

Dearest food grocers,

Is it not hard to carry fresh fruits and vegetables that don’t look like they are about to grow legs and walk off the display?

 

Also, starting tomorrow I will attempt to go vegan for 21 days.  We’ll see how this pans out.  I’m sort of scared on how this might effect my personality for the first week or so.  Detoxing out all that caffeine and dairy might turn me into a miserable bitch.  A miserable bitch that did good though.