Well, I'm finally getting around to posting again. It's harder to have spare time when you are living with someone else rather than by yourself. But this is where I am right now, back at my mom's house. The ride from Chicago to Houston was unbearably long but blessedly uneventful. I was keeping everyone's encouragements and good wishes in mind during the drive home. Thanks for all the positive energy!
It feels so natural to be back here, because I know the streets and the shopping centers by heart. Only a few things have changed: a new CVS put up on a formerly vacant corner, an old Wendy's demolished and replaced by one more bank (how many friggin' banks do we need?). It feels comfortable and familiar. The Texan accents seem a little funny after 2 years in Chicago, but they still sound like home to me.
I've been to Whole Foods several times now and have scoped out the raw food options there. I knew there would be no raw foods section like in Chicago, and I was right. However, one of the two stores in my area carries the sun-dried tomatoes I like, along with cacao nibs, gogi berries, and raw agave nectar, although these items are scattered throughout the store. Most amazingly, they have Nama Shoyu! I've hesitated to use that stuff, but now, desperation has impelled me to try it, since I can no longer rely on a Karyn's or Cousin's or Chicago Diner being available in my area to supply me with gourmet raw foods. I went to the library today and picked up the two raw cookbooks available at my nearest branch: the books by Juliano and Charlie Trotter. Juliano's looks promising, although I need to stock up the kitchen a bit more to make any of his recipes.
I've tried the one place in town that has prepared raw food: it is a small health food store in a sketchy part of town. It is not open past 6 pm (good call), and the storefront has bars across the windows and doors. My mom and I kind of looked at each other skeptically before we went in. I'd say it was worth the trip though. They had a case full of 8-10 different raw salads, such as a nut pate, broccoli salad, several kale salads, and more. I got a heaping of three different salads for $7, which was a great deal. I'll definitely go back. Still, a bit disappointing compared to what I was used to in Chicago. No raw lasagna or rawviolis or cheeseburgers! Oh well. I had it good, a little too good, in Chicago.
So here I am. I haven't been 100%, but I've been close. I had a green smoothie with mom this morning, and she liked it. Last night I made us a wilted kale salad with a creamy avocado dressing, and she liked that too. So far she's been pleasantly surprised. She won't go all raw like me, but she'll eat whatever I make her. So, I've got motivation to try some recipes and get creative.
There is a raw potluck in Austin in two weeks, and I had already been planning on a camping trip with mom out to that area, so I'm hoping to go over to the potluck while I'm there. I'm super excited about that, as the Austin potlucks have good attendance every month, with around 50 or so people. I'd love to move to Austin if I could find work and housing there. That would be so awesome. For now, I have no idea what I'm going to do. I really need to start manifesting! But, I'm here and all is well. I am very thankful. Yes, very thankful.