Monday, August 23, 2010

August 2010 - The Year So Far

Lots has been happening in Nix Land this year, and I have drifted further and further away from the computer and blogging. All of the places I used to frequent online (except for Facebook because that's how I keep in touch with my stateside people) have been sadly neglected. It's okay, though, because we've been doing real-life, world in 3-D things. I miss the connection I have to other veggie people when I'm updating regularly, and it keeps me motivated to pass on that non-vegan ingredient when I'm focused here on a frequent schedule. So, I hope to revive this little blog and my dedication to it.

We will be leaving Okinawa in October or November for another foreign post, and this information has been coming for a while. Mr. Nix is in training for embassy duty in Washington right now, and I am preparing our affairs for such a move. Kidlet is getting ready for 2nd grade. You know, we've just got lots to do. I cannot stand the heat of summer, though, so getting me out of the house can be a chore. I am prone to depressive bouts if I don't get out and about and keep a good schedule, though, so it's really important to press on and force myself out into the world. This blog helps with that, too.

In vegan living news, I have recently discovered Toni Fiore's Delicious TV video podcast, and she is helping me a LOT. The most frustrating thing this year has been learning how to cook food this way. I've always been a kitchen person, and I feel like a space alien in there, now...fumbling around and coming out with food that isn't always so tasty. It's serious ego damage for someone who "used to be" a good cook. I'm learning, now. It's getting better. We don't eat as many boring rice bowls, and I have a nice long list of standby convenience food to choose from because we've taste-tested and learned. It's still a process, though, and the cooking podcast from Delicious TV has been a Godsend.

I'm encouraged that my dedication to these changes has lasted. You know, I don't think I'm alone in this, but I tend to doubt myself when I take on something new and huge. There is a history of procrastination, backsliding, and non-completion in my past. ha ha! I get passionate about something and that lasts a while...but then it fades, and I slip into old habits. That hasn't happened with this. I'm so grateful. I don't want to go back to participating in all that suffering and cruelty...and I don't want to go back to putting all that garbage into my family.

Elizabeth, who is now 7 years old, is slowly working her way into consciously eating vegan. She knows what vegan means, now, and she checks labels in the grocery store. She is adamant about refusing beef. We saw some cows on a truck in the spring and she asked me if they were being taken to be killed for "hamburgers." I told her that, yes, that was likely where they were headed, and she got very thoughtful. "Do you think they cows know where they're going?" she asked me. I told her that, no, they didn't know where the truck was taking them, but they would probably be scared once they got there. She didn't say anything else about it, but she has refused to eat anything with "cow" in it ever since. For some really odd reason, however, she has no sympathy for chickens and will argue with me about why she should be allowed to eat them. So...I let her order chicken without commenting if we're eating out and she wants it. I am able to remind her that chickens are animals just like the cows are from time to time, and that's enough. Again, I don't want this to become a power issue. It's not about power. It's about choices. She's discovering these things one animal at a time on her own, and that's okay with me. I'm the one who fed her meat and dairy her first 6 years, and we live in a culture where people eat meat several times per day and spend their lives veritably surgically attached to a cow udder. Re-framing her world view is not going to happen overnight.

Mr. Nix has not made the change to vegan outside our home, but he continues to fully support what I'm doing and to increase the number of vegetarian meals he eats when away from the house. You can't force people into this kind of change, and I'm just appreciative of such support and positive thinking from my spouse. I try to come at this with an "each new day" approach, kind of like a 12-step program. I have a good support system, and I just live one day of choices at a time. I don't spend time excusing or berating myself for mistakes (hidden dairy) or bad choices (intentional dairy). As a family, we just vow to go on making better choices in the present than the ones we made in the past. It's working quite well. I'm more vegan in daily practice than I ever have been. Ashley is a half-n-half omni/vegetarian. Elizabeth is a chicken-eating vegetarian who sometimes goes vegan. We're a work in progress, and I think we're doing great.

Tonight, I'm making Spinach Curry from Delicious TV because Elizabeth wanted to try it. If it turns out, I'll post the recipe, link to video, and some pictures.

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