The Mallory Project

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." – Julia Child


I woke up this morning with pretty bad lower back pain. I know exactly what’s wrong, but I can’t see a doctor until after work. So I popped two of my painkillers. They kicked in and I feel a lot better.

Except my pills are 500 mg Naproxen. Which is about 5 Aleve. I’m supposed to take 1 every twelve hours. But one wouldn’t cut it for this pain; it was that bad.

So my back pain is a lot better. But the rest of me… Not so much.

What do you other “fibros” do when you need pain relief? Regular OTC doesn’t work for me, but I’m scared of taking too much!

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Red Velvet Part 2

I tried that vegan red velvet recipe again. This time, I baked it a little less time (I started with 20 minutes, then put it back in for 5 minutes) and I baked them as cupcakes instead of a cake.

And they were marvelous. Moist (which is my least favorite word, unless it’s describing my cupcakes), rich and red. (Remember last time, the cake was hardly red at all?)

I had some issues with the frosting. The taste was really good, though I think I put in one too many drops of peppermint extract. But it was lumpy. I either didn’t whip it enough, or I over-whipped it.

I plan on entering this recipe in my county fair this weekend, so I need to make sure it is perfect. If I can recreate this dough, and fix up the icing, I fully expect to see a ribbon next to my name when I go to the fair next week. 🙂



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Josh Groban

I saw Josh Groban in concert last night, and he is even more amazing live than he is on CD. His voice is magical, he’s super cute, and he’s really funny. (Don’t believe me? Follow him on Twitter, and you’ll see.) 

I am a little disappointed in the venue (Green Music Center at Sonoma State University). It’s a beautiful venue, and the acoustics are amazing, but the lawn is set up so that, in parts, you can’t see the stage. I got there about half an hour after the gates opened, and I had to sit off to the side, where I had a good view (though partially blocked by trees) of the screen, but I couldn’t see any of the stage. I had to get up and walk twenty feet to see him. And of course I couldn’t stand there the whole time…

But I am incredibly glad I was able to go. Now I can’t wait until next time. And I know I’ll have better seats then!

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Julia Child’s French Bread – Gluten Free

I’ve made Julia Child’s French bread before, and it always turns out really good. Golden brown, flakey, crusty, buttery, even though there’s no butter to be found anywhere near it.

Not this time.

And it wasn’t because of the gluten-free flour. At least not the flour itself. It’s how I used the flour…

I know exactly where I went wrong.

I put all the flour in at once.

I don’t know why this changes things, but you’re supposed to add 2 1/2 cups of flour before the water, then slowly add the remaining cups.

I didn’t do that.

The dough came out too sticky to knead. I added more flour. And more flour. And more flour, until I could knead it.

So of course it came out hard as a rock and too grainy. Unless it was drowning in butter, it tasted pretty gross.
I was making this for a competition at my county fair, and I knew I couldn’t serve it to the judges like that. (I feel like I’m on a Food network show when I say that.)

So I redid it. I added the correct amounts of flour at the right times.

It looked pretty good when I took it out of the oven, but I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet. It smelled great. I hope that’s a good sign.

I made one loaf for the fair, and a few smaller (biscuit-sized) pieces for myself. Those came out really hard too, but the loaf was soft enough when I pressed on it. I hope they can be eaten…

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Insomnia. Again. (Or Still, I Guess)

I have been having major insomnia problems again. (I guess you could say still, since they never really went away.)

This particular problem period started when I went to Disneyland at the end of June. Two days of waking up early and going bed late, and trying to sleep in a hotel room. I don’t usually have problems sleeping in hotels (at least no more problems than I have sleeping at home). The bed there (we stayed at the Alpine Inn on Katella) wasn’t uncomfortable. Light did come in through the window, but, again, that’s not much different from being at home.

But I still didn’t sleep. The second night (after a full day at California Adventure) I got maybe 4 hours of sleep. I did a little better the third night, with about 6 hours.

After I got home, I did Relay for Life. I only walked about 1 mile, and didn’t stay all night — I went to bed around 11. Still only got 4 hours of sleep.

That was three weeks ago, and I am still rarely getting more than 6 hours very night.

I try to not drink caffeine, and when I do, it’s in the morning. I try to avoid watching TV or doing stuff on my computer within an hour of going to sleep. I do visualization and progressive muscle relaxation while lying in bed. On the days I have enough energy to exercise, I walk for about 20 minutes or do yoga for 15 minutes.

I know everything I should do to avoid insomnia. But it doesn’t work. My doctor wants to send me to a sleep lab. But she doesn’t want to give me medicine to help me until then. It is just awful.

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