Tucker seemed to have a good birthday (even minus the new Les Paul guitar and Rolex!). He got a new amplifier for his (already perfectly nice) guitar. Little do I know because I was naive enough to think his old amp was fine. Apparently, that is a beginners amp. So shame on me, but it means Steve got to do some birthday shopping. For once. Whoops!! Did I say that out loud?? So, it is a Fender deluxe. I know, I know. Wow. (Really....I have no idea what it means either!) All I know is that it is LOUD!! Really, really, really loud. We also indulged for the first time in some Gluten Free chocolate chip brownies. (Here is the pity-party-part...) Some of may or may not know that after more that a year of horrible stomach issues, after blood work, and barium swallows, and endoscopy, and colonoscopy I was diagnosed in June with Celiac Disease. For those of you who do not know what this is, I would love to still be able to say "Join the club." No such luck. Here is the quick and easy version: Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease. Celiac (also called Sprue in adults) is a malabsorption syndrome ... the gluten in wheat, rye, oats and barley cause the lining of the small intestine to become smooth, decreasing the surface area for absorption to take place, and decreasing the body's ability to absorb fats. (The normal lining has fingerlike projections called villa along which absorption takes place.) So you are dealing with something like malnutrition as long as the irritant -- gluten --- continues to be introduced into the body, and your body has difficulty absorbing nutrients. So...no gluten. No breads, no pasta, no pretzels, nothing with soy sauce (made with wheat), and about 5000 million more NOTHINGS. We have to read every label, and believe me there is gluten in ALOT. Even my shampoo had to go. Then there is the issue of CROSS CONTAMINATION. Well... since you asked I will enlighten you. If my gluten free lunchmeat (have to buy it special) is on bread, and I take it OFF, it is now contaminated since gluten is an invisible (satanic) protein. You stir the pasta then stir the sauce...now you have poison sauce. Get it?? Pretty much like learning to walk. Luckily it has gotten a little easier. It is a really healthy way to eat, and as my (kick- in- the -butt-stop-feeling-sorry-for-yourself) friend pointed out. It is most definitely a disease that is HARD to do with a full schedule. No more fast food places, only a few restaurants are GF, and tons of chopping fruits and veggies (yes, Dawn, I get your point!!!) I have been soooo glad my stomach does not feel like it is manufacturing glass and razor blades that I have really not missed things too much. It has not, however, stopped me from making my"mourning" list of all the things I can no longer eat! Wonton soup, tuna sandwiches cut into triangles, Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches,subs, pizza, Amish market hot pretzels, Chinese food, creamed chipped beef on toast, fresh bread, McDonald's fries,Christmas cookies, cram of crab soup, and cannolis just to name a few. A very, very few. BUT. It could be much, much worse, and I am thankful my GI doctor is VERY proactive. And, for those of you who were wondering...the brownies were AWESOME. You would NEVER know the difference. So, I plod on. Oh yeah. Here is the big cosmic joke: Because I have not had proper absorbtion of nutrients in so long, my body is under the impression that I am starving myself. It is in anorexia mode. So until it figures out what is what, and I start healing I have not lost an ounce. Even with eating 200%more healthy for weeks. So for those of you who are expecting the skinny, healthy, svelte new me..........maybe someday!!!! Until then, a girl can always dream!