Friday, November 22

the best guilt-free dessert ever

Photo from onesmallpot

It is my birthday soon. I have come to struggle with birthdays. My issue with them is not primarily that they no longer involve marshmallows, and milk chocolate. They are my teary days because another year has passed, another hard year of sort of coming to terms with the loss of my health and lack of recovery. I have high hopes that I will be less blue this December.

Here is the plan for dessert. It tastes incredible, and I'm having berries as a treat - this is so exciting, berries!!

This recipe is sugar, dairy and gluten free. There is no guilt or sacrifice involved.
From Sarah Wilson's 'I Quit Sugar' book.

Blueberry Quinoa Crumble


1 cup of nuts and seeds {pecans, almonds, pepitas, sunflower kernals, anything.}
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup shredded coconut
pinch salt
80 ml rice malt syrup {get your hands on this fructose free sweetner from Coles, it can be used as a substitute in anything.}
3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder {optional}
3-4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
coconut milk or yoghurt to serve. {I think the coconut milk is incredible!}


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Using a food processor (or knife) roughly chop the nuts and seeds. They should still be a little chunky.
Add the quinoa, coconut, vanilla and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
Combine the syrup and butter in a large bowl, then add the quinoa mixture and stir.
Arrange the berries in a baking dish, sprinkle with vanilla powder and scatter the quinoa mixture over.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden, serve with coconut milk or yoghurt.

Thursday, November 21

humbled and humiliated

When I went outside to embark on some weed termination this morning, the sun was shining. And after serious burns from a coconut oil mishap last summer {a story for another day}, I am anxious to avoid further torturing my skin. You see, it is quite likely I will perish from skin cancer due to alternative sunscreen experimentation. I applied sunscreen.

I pulled and tugged the little buggers with enthusiasm. After a while I started feeling faint and weak, so I took my sweaty hands out of my gloves and went inside for a rest. It was ten minutes since I’d started.

It was now time for me to feel extreme frustration, and humiliation. I tried to resist expletives. I hurled rhetorical questions instead.  What kind of a body is this?  What kind of an apology for a human being am I? Will I ever be independent again?


Yesterday I went to see my friend try on charming wedding dresses, as she is soon to be married and I am her bridesmaid. She and the other bridesmaid travelled 1.5 hours to do the shopping where I live. In each of the bridal stores, there were plush couches by the change room especially for the bride’s support team. I sank into them, I slouched in. The lady in one shop was telling us how we had to the bride’s servants on the wedding day and I reflected that I was the worst ‘maid’ one could ever choose. A few minutes in to the sitting-watching-exclaming process, I was feeling ill. The lovely bridesmaid asked me a few times if I was tired, and I agreed. Her concern was so refreshing, but oh my heart, ‘tired’ is the biggest understatement I have ever heard.

By the time we reached the last shop I was closing my eyes each time she was behind the curtain to change into a new dress. Please may this one take a long time to get into, I prayed. The curtain would open in a flash, and I would rally to open my eye lids and sit. The attentive bridesmaid next to me would exclaim, “Wow, you look amazing”, and I would slump and literally grunt. That night the bride sent me a message thanking me profusely for my support.   

 On the weekend, I had the honour of being my younger brother’s grooms woman. I didn’t help with the wedding, nor did I attend the rehearsal, or the hen’s afternoon. In fact, the only thing I did was arrive wearing my prescribed dress, take the bouquet handed to me, and stand up the front near my brother as he waited for, and then married his bride. He could have chosen any friend, but he chose his dysfunctional sister.

These are the times I feel humbled. Love hits hard when you haven’t earned it. I feel no legitimacy because of what I have done, because I haven’t the ability to do anything. Culture says it’s about ‘do’. It has for centuries. Hitler killed the disabled and elderly en masse, along with other minority groups. Those with disabilities have been hidden away as an embarrassment in homes and institutions. Now we can test for disability during pregnancy and terminate if it seems best.

Early on, I held this strong view of achievement based value. I felt humiliated if people had to help me, or modify things for me. I would stoically attend the wedding rehearsal, and refuse help because I didn't want to feel like less of a person. I still feel this way, when I face my inability to go shopping or weed my own garden.  

But slowly I begin to gratefully accept love. This is only possible as I delicately grasp the concept of not being valued or defined by what I do. If my identity is in what I do, then I have lost my very self.  I begin to think that who I am matters more than what I do, and it’s my friends and family who are teaching me this. 

My brother telling me what to do, as I missed the rehearsal.
My husband being my support team, as usual.
My eyes are closed, nothing new.

Thursday, November 14

believe me {a film trailer}

I tear up every time I watch this trailer. Every single time.
I feel raw after watching it, because it is my story, my siblings' story, my friends' story.

Canary in a Coal Mine 

I'm backing this project so that they will have the funds to create a full length film. Imagine thousands of people seeing this and believing this?!


Sunday, November 3

a kiss and a cup of tea

1956, animals used as part of medical therapy

2013, my medical therapy

Pain and frustration accompany most of my days at the moment, usually en masse. But there are always flickers of beauty and joy, even on the days where I don’t think I can continue if this illness lingers any longer.

It comes in the form of a letter, a new thought, a kiss, a doggy snuggle, a piece of cake.

Today {a lowly day} was spent in bed, but Wolfie did extra cute things, and when I was strong enough to lift a tea cup, it tasted divine, and the clouds outside my window glided entertainingly. 

Sometimes I view my home as my prison. Every time I am asked why I don’t work or study I am reminded that staying home is not a life, in our society. But the journal below reminded me of all the terribly wonderful moments which happen right here in these four sometimes oppressive walls.