Monthly Archives: June 2013

the $6.00 date smoothie

it’s called the $6.00 date smoothie because that’s how much we paid for it at a local cafe. it was so amazingly delicious that we got out the vitamix when we got home and ran some delicious experiments to come up with our very own date smoothie. just to be clear, this is NOT a healthy smoothie. but it tastes AMAZING!!! and its gluten and dairy free. it’s too good not to share, so enjoy 🙂


5 dates, pitted

1 Tbs almond butter 

Pinch of salt if almond butter is unsalted

3/4 tsp honey 

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 can coconut milk (13ish ounces)

1/2 banana 

2 C. ice 


our planter box is FINALLY done!!!

this was what it looked like a few months ago:

and this is what it looks like now:


top row starting on the left going across: 3 squares carrots, 1 square swiss chard
2nd row: arugula all squares
3rd row: dino kale all squares
4th row: 2 squares spinach, 2 squares blue kale
bottom row: 1 square collard greens, 3 squares blue kale

our box started out much bigger as you can see in the first picture, but then after constructing it to be the larger size we realized there was NO WAY we were going to have enough dirt to fill the box. it could have been enough if the dirt in our yard didn’t look like this:


NOTHING will grow in that!

and yes, in case you are wondering, “dirt” full of rusted and sharp things such as this DOES violate habitability codes. but our thankless landlord was less concerned about our safety and quality of life and more concerned about us using water (he pays for it). he removed the hose and sent us a letter stating that we agreed to plant native drought tolerant plants and water using a bucket filled from our kitchen sink…which is up a flight of stairs. we never agreed to any of that. so there was a delay getting our box set up and planted because we had to wade through some tenant-landlord negotiation muck before it could happen.


we are really happy with the end result though. and we can’t wait to harvest some of these greens! having MS was definitely the impetus to eating better food, and eating better led me to learning more about what i am eating, and this in turn led me to making a planter box to grow veggies. now we have a yard that looks less like a construction site dump overgrown with weeds and more like a place i wanna spend my time. the neighbors are taking advantage of the hammock i hung which makes me really happy 🙂

none of this would have happened if i didn’t have MS. being diagnosed was and still is one of the most influential events of my life. but it’s not always a bad thing.

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here goes.

i have been secretly reading blogs of people living with various chronic illnesses and cancers for probably 10 years now. i never talk about my late-night slice of american pie with anyone, but i have thought long and hard about why i come back to read their stories. aside from the obvious courageous and inspirational messages and the opportunity to support others these sites offer, i think i come back because i have an opportunity to witness family support and love. i get to live vicariously and take mental notes on how to be a “normal” person with a happy, loving family. it’s a little bit of fake it till you make it, i suppose. with a dash of green envy thrown in.

most of my 20’s were a series of arguments with my mother over my brothers drug addiction. she believed that i was making it up to hurt them both.she was at times physically abusive and growing up was neglectful and disinterested in us. even now, i can hear the resentment boiling just under the surface. the dichotomy of parenthood. i think she loves us as much as any other mother but we are her scapegoats for unrealized dreams.

whatever the case, parenting by avoidance, denial, and guilt did not result in happy, well-adjusted adults. my sister has chronic pain, depression (with suicide attempts) and no insurance. she can’t work and filing for disability is difficult for someone her age, so she exists in limbo. my brother is riding the revolving door of the prison system and i think he has given up on life. i suppose in comparison i come up looking like roses.

which makes me desperately sad. the hurt runs so deep, i can’t even describe it. i want so badly for everyone to do better and to rise above their circumstances. it is heartbreaking to watch, but i don’t know how to help them without jeopardizing things for myself. if there was one thing i truly wish for in my life it would be for my family to be healed from their drug addictions, chronic pain, mental illness, and traumatic experiences, so that i can heal too.