Lou Lou’s Languages

First of all, I cannot begin to express how much my heart melts reading all of your lovely and supportive comments. I feel lonely, but it’s comforting to open up my email and read your words of love and support. I know I mocked the iPhone not long ago, but its cool to lay down in my bed, curled up in a ball in tear, but having your sweet comment right there with me.

As promised, I might do a few posts throughout the week about my dad. I don’t think I’ll do it everyday, but for sure once or twice a week.

Welcome to the first one.

I cant get enough of this picture

I never mentioned this but my dad’s name is Lou Lou. Actually its his nickname, short for Leon which was his given name. Later, that changed to Arieh, but he’ll always be Lou Lou. Even though I call him Aba. But only I can call him that 😛

Anyhow……I was BEYOND relieved when I got a phone call from my dad this morning saying he wanted me to bring him some juice and ice cream on my way to visit him. I started crying on the phone because the surgeon said he may not be able to talk again after such a risky surgery in the language area of the brain….which bring me to today’s post.

My dad’s languages.

My dad’s Belgian. You can read this post to read more about that. So his first language was Flemish. How do you speak Flemish? The dirty little secret is that Flemish and Dutch are really the same language. Yes, I know that all the Belgians will kill me for writing that, but the differences between Flemish and Dutch are only as big as that between American and British English. Flemish/Dutch consits largely of the consonants v,s,c,h,r and k. Dutch is surprisingly easy to learn. Simply fill your mouth with chips and then speak English and German simultaneously without breathing.

Oh my goodness, look at those late 80's airplane earphones! We look like doctors!

My dad’s  second language is French. But I think he’s actually most comfortable in it. Its the language he speaks with his childhood friends. Granted, Belgians tend to speak french with a “Belgian” accent but my dad can fake a “Parisian French” accent. So he blends well with the French and Belgians. Not so much with the British because I don’t think the British are fond anything associated with the French.

My dad’s third (possible tie with second though) is Hebrew. He moved to Israel with his parents when he was three. I think my grandparents didn’t like living there very much because they moved back to Belgium when he was six. But at least it added another language on his belt. He later went to do his undergrad in Israel so the Hebrew for sure came in handy!

My dad’s forth language is Polish. The crazy thing is he has never set foot in Poland. Ever. He knows it because his parents spoke it to one another. I guess they were hoping he wouldn’t pick it up, but he did.

My dad’s fifth language is German. My Grandfather was indeed from Poland, but my Grandmother was from Germany. A “Berliner” (did someone get that Kennedy reference? Sorry, American history junkie). Since my grandmother was a stay at home mom, and my dad an only child, you can bet your German ass she instilled German in him.

Finally, my dad’s sixth language is English. I’m not sure when he learned English but I’m assuming in elementary school in Belgium. Dutch is a lot like English, so it wasn’t a stretch for him. He moved to the US in the seventies and did his masters at UCLA in the eighties (around the time I was born). He does have a slight accent, but no one has a clue what sort of accent it is.

Out of all these languages I really only know Hebrew fluently (and I can read and write which is SO difficult!). I don’t like to say I speak French because I don’t practice it very much these days. But I understand it. My Dutch is terrible, I need people to speak SUPER slowly for me to understand. My dad claims that I have no accent when I speak it but I think he’s totally lying. I’ll just stuff those chips in my mouth and speak English.

More recipes tomorrow. Recipe development has taken a back seat but I have a few recipes on reserve. Anyhow, do you speak any other languages? What would you like to learn? I always wanted to learn Port

Wake me up already!

Sorry, this post will be brief. I just can’t today.

My dad survived surgery. But this tumor is a very aggressive cancer. We don’t know what kind exactly until the pathology comes back. They got a lot out, but there are always cells and such left behind.

I feel sick and I’m waiting for someone to wake me up from this bad dream. I know I should not lose hope, but I have. I’ve googled the shit out of “malignant tumor survival” and it looks like its gonna be a shitty year.

So you people still wanting to adopt me, I’m totally up for grabs.

Insert Parent Here

Once again, reading all the supportive comments from my last post left me in tears. I know, blogging seems trivial. And while I’m not visiting other blogs, I’ll be updating mine.

Since I don’t journal, this is my therapy.

And the truth is, I don’t think I ever treated my blog as a “journal”. I never recorded my milage, or my meal. I never really said, “I did this and that today”. But these next couple days will be brutal. So this will be a journal of sorts.

My dad will be in surgery today (Tuesday) at twelve thirty pm pacific time. Not that it matters but for those that want to think of my dad, I guess then would be a good time to start. They think there are a few tumors in there. They are deep in the language area, so aside for the fact that these could be dangerous tumors, because they are e going in to a delicate area of the brain, he may not be able to talk again.

I’m so afraid. My dad appears to be fearless, and when I was scared, he always managed to calm me down. I really want him to calm me down this time.

I miss my mother, and I REALLY miss my father. My father before the hemorrhage in November occurred, when he was healthy. Everyone asks me, “what can I do for you? Do you need me to cook for you?”. I love it how people assume food will make it all ok. One of my dad’s friends seem convinced that this is because he wasn’t eating as much as he did before the hemorrhage.

Anyhow, wow, this post has no structure. Are you guys bored yet?

This is will be a hard year for me for sure. And a treacherous next few weeks.

Even if my dad comes out of this, it will be a long ass recovery. Bills have to be paid, MEDICAL bills will haunt me forever, my dad’s mortgage needs to be paid, etc. Its endless. I feel like I need to be working right now to avoid all the debt that I’ll face. But I’m afraid I’ll fall apart. I feel like there is SO much pressure on me. So much I will need to deal with if my dad dies and even if he doesn’t.

Again, I really would like to insert a parent right here. 

Anyhow, while writing this, i’ve made a decision about future posts. I realized while talking to someone about something my dad usually does the other day that if there is anything that makes me feel better its thinking of things pertaining to my dad.

So for a few posts, while I go through this grueling time, I’ll be showcasing things my dad did, things my dad loves, or just random tid bits about my dad.

I’m not the “praying” kind, but sometimes, its what we do. Its not really a religious thing. We we just wish really, really hard. And that’s what I’ll be doing.

“Life’s Not Fair”

This is do difficult for me to write.

Blogging is no fun anymore. I’m fairly certain my dad will pass from this brain problem. None of his doctors appear to be optomistic. I don’t hear any good news from anyone. The case seems to get more and more complicated. He will do another in depth MRI tomorrow and probably a biopsy on tuesday. Its very difficult since this tumor is in deep in the speech and language area of the brain. One miss int he surgery and he might not be able to speak. It was not there three months ago, so I’m worried its aggressive.

I’m not ready to be an orphan, my dad doesn’t deserve this; it just all seems unfair!

But life is unfair. Bad things seem to happen to good people (not a big believer in karma). Seriously, whats up with that?! Why can’t dictators develop tumors and get strokes?!

But I know my mom and my dad would not want me to stop the blog. It has been my journal of sorts, my outlet, my connection to those I love. Yes, I love some of you out there.

So I decided to list other things that are simply so unfair:

Men’s metabolism: Ok, seriously, what the fuck!? I hate that you men out there cut out one soda a day and you loose ten pounds! Damn you and your fast metabolism! Not that I want to loose weight, but I’d love to have to live off chicken wings and pizza to keep my weight up. Sadly, just a slice or two will do the trick.

Rich people born into money: Not that its bad to have money, all the more power too you. But it irks me when one hasn’t earned it.

How we perceive beauty: I know, most of us say beauty doesn’t matter. But the fact of the matter is that beautiful people have an advantage. A very unfair advantage.

That males make more money that females: Maybe its because all women seem to hate each other, or that we cry at work, talk about our “feelings”, and get excited over chocolate.

That women can have multiple orgasms: no comment

That universites are so exclusive and so expenive: I hate that brilliant people don’t always get into their desired university and that universities are so damn expensive! Wanna become a doctor? You only rich by the time your 60 after paying off the decades of medical school!

That Santa Clause isn’t Real: I’m a Jew and he wouldn’t visit me anyhow, but it would be cool. Sorry if I spoiled anything.

That there will always be a polititian dumber than our dog: Seriously, how are these people elected?! Oh right, see family money.

That HBO and Showtime cost money: With the exception of Family Guy, I only like shows like Nurse Jackie, Dexter, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. This make basic cable so pointless!


Alright, what do you think are the most unfair things?

 

Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes and “Thank You” Notes

First off, wow! Its amazing how much virtual support there is out there.

My dad and I have been through the ringer.

Before I begin today’s post, I just want to quickly update you and tell you what’s going on. My dad indeed has some sort of mass in his brain. I’m nervous as hell that its an agressive malignant tumor, but we don’t know until the do a biopsy. He will likely go into surgery on Monday to remove it. In the meantime, his brain is swollen and since the mass is in the speech and language area of the brain, he has “word finding” problems. He knows what he wants to say but some of his words come out like gibberish. Yes, its freaky and scary, but it could be worse.

Anyhow, I don’t want to dump on you my problems. I don’t want to hide anything about my life, but I still want to keep the “refreshing” spirit of the blog.

So I’m gonna give you a recipe I’ve had on standby and a few “Thank You” notes:

In no particular order thank you to…..

My dad’s two BFFs: They live in Israel, but they know my father better than me I think and have been my rock when my dad couldn’t. They calmed me down when I thought I was about to loose it yesterday. You know, middle aged men dont have to be creepy.

Janetha: Janehta has checked in on my continuously since this all went down. Reminding me that there is love out there and hold my hand “virtually” through all this. I know this must be difficult for her too since her life has not been so kind to her family either, but she still texted me lots of hugs that I swear I could feel.

Abby: What would I do without Abby? She was there actually CALLING (yep, on rare and special occasions, she’ll actually call as opposed to text) when my dad’s first ordeal went down and was still there texting me, reassuring I have people that care about me out there.

My dad’s nurse: In the ICU, every patient pretty gets their own nurse. My dad’s nurse was so kind and professional. She was so impressed with me being a chef and even about my recipes from the blog. I wrote down my blog address for her and if she’s reading this, thank you.

Susan: Susan wrote me the kindest email and we got an oppertunity to gchat a little bit. She kind of “gets it” because her uncle went through a similar ordeal. I’m so lucky I have genuine people like her as friends.

Ice Cream: you are just always so tasty and comforting. Everything feels shitty right now, but eating you doesn’t. You are just so yummy.

My Boss: The family I work for as a personal chef practically bought out a magazine stand and brought to my dad today! Did I mention, I love my job?

YOU: Seriously, I know I named some bloggers but every single one of you that commented and showed your support. I am SO touched , it made me cry!

I know this is a pet peeve of many, but I’m sorry if I have not commented or read your blog. Nothing personal, but I don’t care about what marathon you run or your newest protein shake. I just want to be with my dad and maybe some these days.

So I want to hear, has someone helped you out lately? Thank them, even if they never read my blog.

I said something about a recipe? But of course. A twist on pineapple upsidedown cake (minus that gross cherry).

  • FOR THE BATTER:
  • 1/2 stick of butter or 4 tbs melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 6 tbs coconut or regular butter
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • about 1 cup diced pineapple (I used fresh but canned is fine)
  1. Heat the oven to 350º. Place the butter and milk for the batter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts, then transfer the mixture to a small bowl to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pine-apple topping. Into each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan, add 1/2 tablespoon of unmelted butter then evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over the bottom. Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.
  3. Press the fruit gently down into the butter-sugar mixture, then set the prepared pan aside.
  4. Finish making the batter. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir the ingredients with a fork until they’re evenly blended. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until the flour is fully incorporated. Add the milk-butter mixture and stir well to combine the ingredients into a smooth batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin pan, dividing it evenly among all the cups. Bake the cupcakes until they’re lightly browned, dry around the edges, and pulling away from the pan a little, about 25 minutes.
  6. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife to carefully loosen each cupcake from the edges and bottom of the pan, then place a cookie sheet over the top. Invert the pan, turning the cupcakes out onto the cookie sheet, then transfer them back to the rack to cool completely. Serve the cupcakes at room temperature.


Just being honest…

This is the first time I’ve posted using my iPhone.

For those that don’t follow me on twitter (I don’t blame you I wouldn’t follow me either) or are my ” friend” on Facebook, I ve been through a lot today.

My dad suffered a brain hemorrhage in november. I came over today and his words were not coming out right. He asked me not too, but I called 911.

So here I am, eight hours later. Waiting for answers. We’ll know more once he gets an MRI done. They found a mass in his brain and it could be a tumor or a dried up clot. I have no idea.

This isn’t a woe is me post. Just being honest.

Corn Flour Crackers and Answering More Reader Questions

I am always a little reluctant to answer questions as a post because I’m afraid this portrays this image that I think I’m some sort of expert.

I’m totally not.

But I really feel like I owe it to my readers that feel a little lost and helpless and unsure about this whole recovery thing. I’m no recovery fairy godmother, I’m not “recovered” myself, and I’m not on a mission to convert every non-eater to an eater. I’ve just “been there” and all I can offer is my experience. And maybe a recipe.

So without further ado….

A reader, Katie,  wrote:

“Were you ever afraid that once you started the weight gaining process, you wouldn’t be able to stop? I’m just so scared that I won’t have enough control to stay at a healthy weight, that I’m going to have to be at either extreme end.”

Let’s look at it this way. Are most overweight people that go on a weight loss plan afraid of not being able to stop the weight loss? Generally, no. Our bodies are incredible machines that rival iPads and iPhones. The formula is simple for weight gain: eat more than you burn. However, our bodies have a natural state they like to be in. In most cases, this is a healthy weight (and if you think you “natural state” is some very low weight, don’t bullshit yourself). My point is, even if you eat a lot more calories than you are burning, there will be a weight where your body’s metabolism will work overtime to preserve that healthy natural weight. Just like if you get too thin, your body’s metabolism will shut down and hold on to every calorie it gets. Yes, I had this fear, but as I got fed more and worked out WAY less, I realized that I wasn’t resembling a Hippo. Your body adapts, trust it.

A reader, J, wrote:

“I have a question to add…what was it like to buy new clothes for a restored weight body? When/how did you know when would be a good time to buy? Sometimes I’m reluctant to spend money on new clothes because I think that I won’t be able to wear it soon, because I’ll have gained weight, but at the same time, all of my current clothes are too baggy.”

I was very lucky that my treatment center was kick ass. My therapist took me shopping. It was awsome because she was “stylish” and budget savy! I think she thought I’d have a nervous breakdown but I totally didn’t. Heres the truth, my size didn’t drastically change. Instead of extra small, I bought small. I actually fit the extra smalls but my therapist reminded me that I SHOULDN’T fit the extra smalls or the children’s department. I bought leggings, sweater dresses, oversized blouses (that look really cute with a chunky belt), and of course, yoga pants! By clothes that are “forgiving”. I don’t even like wearing jeans all that often because I find them too constricting. Don’t get too hung up on sizes. You’ll probably still fit the clothes you buy, in fact, they might look better on you!

J also wrote:

“I feel like when I start feeling that my clothes are tight, I’ll feel bad and uncomfortable…even though I need/want to gain. I know that is contradictory, but it’s what I would anticipate I’d feel. A lot of this restoration business seems contradictory actually. Many of us seem to want it, but to not. Want it in theory but not when/as its actually happening? Thoughts?”

Ha! Oh yes, we all want to “gain” weight but not really! Indeed this whole “restoration business” is VERY cotradictory. I’m not some “recovery saint” so let me tell you this. I’m still freaked out of gaining weight. Not that I want to lose it either, but I’m not going to lie to you and say, “Oh yea, bring on the cake! I don’t give a shit about my weight!”. I totally care! I drink diet sodas for crying out loud! We are all so picky; we want to be “healthy” and not be too thin, but we don’t want to go “overboard”. Look, if you’ve been having trouble gaining weight in the first place, I doubt you’ll ever get to that “overboard” stage. I had to buck up and say to myself, “Get serious about recovery! Are you in, or out?!”. And I’m in. Its still ok to be scared of weight gain, but don’t let that fear interfere with your eating/exercising habit. I created goals for myself. Behavioral and weight goals and try to figure out what you want out of recovery. Maybe do a pro/con list of your eating disorder. Than, maybe try to evaluate if you want it or not. Chose wisely.

A reader named Erin wrote:

“How long have you been  ‘recovered’?”

Well, I like to refer myself as “clean” of  my eating disordered weight and behaviors. As in, I’m not underweight, overexercise, or restrict my eating. But I still “care” about my weight. I still have days where I swear I consider liposuction. But I’m also a poor judge of my body. I’ve been “clean” for about two and a half years. I went into my first inpatient treatment program in July of 2008. I did inpatient for about three and a half months and outpatient for six months. Honestly, I could have used more time in both, but my insurance didn’t cover much. I don’t know if I answered your question because I don’t think I’ll ever be fully “recovered”.

 

Ok, I think thats enough for today. Never hesitate to ask me anything or even just to bitch. I like hearing people bitch 😉

And on an unrelated note I invented this vegan and gluten free cracker recipe that happens to not taste like tree bark!

  • 1 1/2 cup corn flour (aka masa harina)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
  • 3 tbs flax meal
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Stir together the corn flour, salt, baking soda, and flax. Pour in the oil, milk, and water and mix until just blended. Knead for about a minuet. It won’t feel like ordinary dough but dont worry.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as possible. Use a cookie cutter (I used my favorite, “star” cutter) or just slice rectangular crackers. Place on an lightly greased baking sheet. You can sprinkle with a little extra salt if you’d like.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and light brown. Baking time may be different depending on how thin your crackers are.

    Things shaped like stars taste better, its a fun fake fact