Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yes, We are in Fact Alive

"Look, Mommy, I have a mustache!"
 After my lost post a week ago (eek!), I realized we really DID need to make a trip into the 'burg for a last hurrah on the foods B loves and will be unable to eat once we go gf. 

Since we like to go to the 'burg for the Fourth anyhow, it made since to head on in. 

I thought the wings were rather funny and wondered if he was part of a Red Bull campaign. ;o)
We finally made it in Wednesday evening only to discover torrential rains and downpours.  I went on campus to pick Paul up and discovered Stroubles Creek nearly overrunning the bridges that cross it, and the Duck Pond nearly in the road!  There were waterfalls where there used to be stairways.  It was incredible.

 And then, just like that, the rains ended and we were able to go to Mike's for dinner. 

Check out that burger!! 

I have to tell you, we were so ignorant of celiac disease prior to B's diagnosis (an update on that in a moment or ten).  I had always wondered why he couldn't just take the burger off the bun and eat it.  Turns out, it's not just eating "no carb" like if you were on Adkin's.  It is an autoimmune disease and it attacks the villi in the small intestines if gluten is present, which means no gluten. None.  Not even a crumb off a crouton that had been picked off a salad.  So, definitely no taking a burger off a bun.  Not to mention all the cross-contamination I've been reading about.  Yikes!!

We had burgers Wednesday evening and Saturday evening and that was that.

I had to take a photo of this.  It cracks me up every time I see it, and I finally had to share.  A couple of years ago, the renovated the downtown walking/parking area and closed a road that had run in front of Mike's and this cleaners.  They put in this gorgeous brick sidewalk and left the parking spaces--that you can't park in because you can't drive to get to them!

 And, the sign.  Hee hee.

Thursday we had an indoor picnic with Lissie and Paul while Lil worried it would rain and we wouldn't be able to see the fireworks. 

Lissie has this delightful "ice cream window" so she handed out cones after lunch.

Everybody enjoyed them.  What's not to love about ice cream?? :oP

We did make it to the fireworks, and they were wonderful.  There's nothing like a small town during a holiday.  We camped out on the hillside just past the Robo (JiffyLube?) on Patrick Henry Drive and the girls chased lightning bugs until they were exhausted.

We made plenty of time to visit with GG and Bill since we hadn't seen them in close to a year.  Yikes!

We visited both Friday and Saturday evenings and the girls got in plenty of cuddle time.

The girls both know where GG's toy drawer is and they raced to get out goodies.

Bitty likes to color with GG.

Ellie enjoyed the magnifying glass both nights. :oP

Friday morning we HAD to go to Gillie's for brekky.  Okay, I had to go.  Oh how I love a Chappy's Choice with biscuit, fresh oj and coffee.  I have so many wonderful memories of breakfasts at Gillie's while growing up.  Besides, it's the only place in the world I can get those fried potatoes.  There is no way they can be recreated at home.  None.  Believe me, I've tried!

Blacksburg really is so beautiful.  I know it is, but somehow always seem to forget from one visit to the next just how lovely it is, and how much work they put into it. 

After breakfast we went blueberry picking.  That seems to have become a tradition for Lissie and me as we've done it most years I'm home on the Fourth since I was pregnant with Hannah. :o)

Look at this view--oh how I miss my mountains when I'm back here.

For reference, this is Lil's hand, not Beanie's. !!! Those were some mambo jamba berries!

Beanie gave it her best effort, but pooped out fairly quickly.  Not that this surprised me--she got so little sleep while we were there (but better than ever before...).

Bitty, meanwhile went to town and was really proud of her berry picking skills.

She took charge of Bean and they took off berrying together.

Bean's haul.  Not too shabby given her age.

Bitty's bucketful. 

These are Bean's hands.  Those are still some big ol' berries!

 I know it's difficult to see, but a robin flew to the next at the top of that post, completely unconcerned with all the people down below--and there were many of us.

I added Bitty's berries to my bucket and got a good-sized gallon.  Blueberries are cool in that they will continue to ripen after they've been picked.  I need to pull out the red ones and leave them out to ripen.  The rest I'm putting in quart-sized freezer bags for use this winter.  Blueberries are gf, you know. ;oP

Oh that sky!  I swear we don't get skies that deep or clouds that fluffy here.
We had Carol Lee donuts for breakfast Saturday and had wanted to go for a hike.  However, B and I were both feeling a bit iffy about Stoney Creek's water level.  It's a pretty swift creek under normal conditions--after all the rain they've had, we just didn't think it was a good idea to take the girls up.

Instead, we picked up gyros from Souvlaki and headed to the Duck Pond.

That bench over there along the pond is the bench we were sitting on when Brien proposed. :o)

Ah, Saturday evening's visit with GG and Great Grandpa. :o)

Isn't this a lovely photo?

Sunday found us heading home and me racing to check my gardens. (I know, I know, shocking...)
 Peppers!!!!!!  The plants still look rather iffy, though. :oS

Why hello there, golden candy!

Check out the shape of this tomato.  The vine is covered with them. :o)

 I also discovered three cukes hiding from me.  I was worried that because they were so huge they might prove to be bitter.  Nope.  They were perfect!

Everything looks wonderful except for two dying plants in the planter--I have NO idea why--and the beautiful blue chip butterfly bush by the gazebo.  It looks as if it too is dying.  I'm heartbroken and can't help wondering if my voles might be to blame...

 I saw plenty of these guys around too, and I think they are a bit in love with my camera as they're always so patient and stay still for me to get good shots.

I got so close and he had no problem with it at all. Crazy!

Monday we had swim team photos, a reconnaissance mission to price gf foods (don't even get me started!), and then home to clean only to head back out for swim meet. 

Yesterday we had out of town company for the day (Joe and his family), and today the girls and I visited (however briefly) with Nana and Pop and GG at CW.  Yes, that's right, GG's here for a visit! :o)  Hooray! :o)

So, yes, I've been busy. VERY busy.  I stole this time to update so I'd remember everything.  Now I'm off to fold laundry, empty the dishwasher and clean up the lunch mess...

Oh, and quickly, Brien heard back from the doctor last Friday that he has multiple alleles that show celiac.  Dr. F said he would call to set up a preop appointment with a GI and B just found out it's not until August 28!!  We both find this rather frustrating as we are ready to go gf so he can be healed.  We know what the problem is, let's just do it!  And we can't!!!!  ARGH! 

Oh, and I called the pediatrician Monday about having the girls tested for celiac and the MTHFR (B has double heterozygous MTHFR mutation--clear as mud).  I had wanted to speak with Dr. Jen about it all, but for now, am waiting for her to order the blood tests and we'll talk afterward. 


Kim said...

Sounds like you had a really fun time away! Regarding GF foods, if I could make a suggestion - don't buy more than one of any item until you are sure you like it. You (sadly) waste a lot of money trying lots of products until you find the one that works/tastes best. When you have figured out which pasta you like best, what flours you want to bake with, etc., you should look at Amazon's prices (no money going to me for writing this!). They have a Subscribe and Save program that allows you to get regular shipments of products (you choose how often you'd like them and you can always change them), you get free shipping, and you save an additional 5%-15%. I order all my pasta, macaroni and cheese, flours, and baking mix through them. Also, Sam's Club and Costco have a nice selection of crackers and snacks for very reasonable prices. Some things I used to order from Amazon are now available at those stores. Good luck to you! The switch isn't easy but it's amazing how quickly B will start to feel better. : )

Jori said...

I think I need me some Mike's pronto! YUM!! Crystal was telling me about the cross contamination, and how careful you have to be. Wow! Good thing you are such a powerhouse, and will figure out an awesome way to eat!

Those blueberries look divine! I found a farm a few days ago, I want to go pick blueberries there where TIssy gets back.

jaydee said...

Rach, has it really been a year since you saw GG and Bill? Time has flown!
I love Lissie's ice cream window.... that makes me smile. As do your vegetables :-)
the berries from berry picking are huge! I bet they tasted all the sweeter to the girls because they picked them personally.

It sounds like you had a wonderful time away and I really appreciate that you took photos to share with us.

Good luck to B on his GI. this is going to be quite a journey, but I love that you are approaching it with such enthusiasm and knowledge!

Korinthia Klein said...

Those blueberries are insane. So glad you had such a good holiday!

(Have to say, though, "MTHFR" looks like you are swearing in some new internet speak.)

Rebekah Thomas said...

Been busy, busy, busy here but I wanted to say that I LOVE that photo of the great-grandparents and the girls!!! So sweet!

Lisa B said...

From a long time lurker. Saw this on FB and thought of you.