Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's a damp, rainy, chilly day here in the Chicago suburbs, and I can't help but wish I was back in the South.

It seems unnatural for it to be this cold and dreary in early November. Unnatural for me, a Southerner, that is. For my husband, born and bred in Chicago and its sprawling suburbs, it's normal.

Quite frankly, it's a bit of a downer for me, and it's tempting to reflect that if I were in Memphis, my hometown, I'd be basking in 50-degree weather, with the prospect of sunny and low 70s over the weekend.

Of course, if I were in Memphis I also might be looking over my shoulder every 5 minutes, too. It's become a dangerous city.

So, rather than be like Lot's wife and look backward, I decided to start blogging again.

This wasn't really a snap decision. I've been thinking about it for weeks, ever since our wedding in September, when I started having more free time again, but I guess the weather-induced lethargy combined with my ancestors' hearty work ethic, finally prompted me to leave the comfort of my warm bed and fire up the computer. Ancestors 1, down comforter 0, at least until about 11 o'clock tonight.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up blogger and  discovered that during my two-year vacation from this blog, I've had nearly 2,000 page views!

I'm stunned, actually.

So, to all those unknown nearly 2,000 people who have viewed this blog during its 2-year vacay, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am humbly grateful to google for bringing you my way, and that you took the time to stop in here.

This gives me the encouragement I needed to continue with Recipe for Life: Make It Fun.

A lot has changed in 2 years. We moved from the beautiful green hills of Tennessee to the Chicago suburbs. My mother passed away three months later. Chicago Man transitioned from fiance to husband, and I wound up with not only a husband, but 2 amazing daughters, a son-in-law, a beautiful granddaughter, a mom and dad, three sisters, a brother, and a host of funny, quirky nieces and nephews.

For an only child, this was the equivalent of winning the Mega Millions lottery!

After a lot of prayer and soul searching, I decided in May 2012 to continue my passion for food and healthy eating by becoming a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition www.integrativenutrition.com with the goal of being a health and wellness coach. I recently passed my second test at the six-month mark, and became eligible to start seeing clients.

When we first moved here, I became enthralled with all the delicious bread, hot dogs, and Italian food that make up a good portion of the food culture here in Chicago.

The end result of that was a 20-lb weight gain, and deteriorating health. I recently was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity and hypothyroidism, and have been on a gluten-free, no caffeine, no refined sugaranti-inflammation diet with good results.

I also started swimming a couple times a week, and walking about the lake near our home a couple times a week. In fact, a walk was on tap for today, but the rain and chill are not too appealing.

Anyway, I want to get back to the roots of what this blog was originally intended to be: one woman's journey to healthy eating and joyful living!

So stay tuned, and to close I wanted to share this beautiful gingko tree in its fall colors (photo credit Mark Turner). November was my favorite month when I lived in Mississippi, more than 10 years ago now, and I always enjoyed the gingko tree on the lawn of First Baptist Church in Senatobia. This isn't that same tree, of course, but it's equally beautiful.

Drink in its beauty and let it lift your spirits as it has mine.

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