Diet Coke Withdrawal

by Stefani on 26-June-2007

Well it turns out that my oldest is not any less of a packrat than the middle kid. He’s just REALLY good at masking it. He had some VERY cleverly disguised compost piles going on in there. But, after a long day of hauling junk out, a trip to Lowe’s, several swear words and one Phillips head screwdriver later. The boy has a clean room and a new headquarters for his business endeavors.


All on my own, I put together those shelves, popped a wood top on, and called it a desk. It is now home to his sewing machine, drawing supplies, and HALLELUJAH, not much else! The peg board is for his necklace making stuff. To the side is a new (old) shelf for his growing Pez collection. He is thrilled with his space. And I still have miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.

As for eating, I crossed the Rubicon today. Well, at least I have fallen in and am now wading slowly across.

Today was my first day without Diet Coke. I bloody well thought I might die a couple of times, but I am yet taking in breath.


I have an 8 a day or so habit, but I ran out today, and I didn’t buy more, though I circled the Wal-Mart parking lot several times, thinking on it. See I promised myself that we would eat up what we had still , but that anything new to be bought and brought in would be given careful thought: Is it healthy, is it locally grown/made/raised, and if not, will it add to our lives enough to make an exception?

Turns out there are no Diet Coke farms in our area.

But, praise God, there is always Blue Bell Ice Cream. (and before you say it, I am not yet ready to consider that their vanilla might not grow in Central Texas… la la la la la, I’m not listening to you!)

So why, you ask, why would a person of comfortable means, who lives in a country when she can eat what she wants, when she wants it, choose to deprive herself?

1)Read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” It’s fascinating, chock full of information, and her characteristic, thoughtful, beautiful style.

2) Well, it’s just that. We are far too willing to take what we want, when we want it. We feel entitled. And I kind of think that mentality bleeds right off the dinner table and into so many other areas of life.

Isn’t it possible that if you only see those happy little blueberry orbs bobbing in your cereal for a limited time, they taste all the sweeter? Isn’t it true that if you’ve been craving a good homegrown, sun-ripened, REAL tomato since January, the first on your plate in June is just about heaven? Well then consider that a person who grasps this idea fully, that things are best in their season, and therefore precious and limited, might understand that really there is a time for EVERY purpose under heaven. (Go on, sing, get it over with.)

Just maybe, a kid who grows up eating this way, appreciating on a visceral level that there is a best time for things, might be more likely to understand that, ahem, romantic relations, are best in a certain season of life too, and that to rush it, risks taking the sweetness away. Or maybe a kid who has learned the art of waiting for something special will grow up to be the kind of person who understands it is better to save up for a thing you want than it is to jump the gun and buy it on credit.

Or, he might just go nuts with new freedom when he reaches college and instead of going to keggers overdose on out of season produce at the local grocery. I can live with that.

There’s lots more reasons I’m going to give this local thing a go, but I’m so stinking tired in my caffeine deprived state that I am going to drop where I stand.

So, until later, I leave you with visions of sugerplums, er, tomatoes, fresh from Grandmother’s garden. We added some basil from our own garden, whipped up some homemade crust, and had pizza of the most delicious kind.

Mmmmm if yer gonna go local, this is the BEST time of year for it!


Heather June 27, 2007 at 4:05 am

Yeah for you!!! You are just amazing! Diet Coke is probably the single best thing you could ever give up…I did in college and now I can’t stand the taste of artificial sweetner…this is 17 years later. Still every mama needs a little caffeine… can you do coffee?! What does BK say about that. I want to read that book and need to get on the wait list at my library. I will just say now that there is NO WAY I’m giving up coffee… I am too imperfect and my kids would suffer tremendously.

Heather June 27, 2007 at 5:05 am

P.S. the room is super cute… it looks great!!!

Molly June 27, 2007 at 7:27 am

I haven’t read the book yet, but I think BK bought coffee, right? Please say yes. Can’t wait to read about your produce delivery!

jennifer w. June 27, 2007 at 7:28 am

Wow – Fantastic room!

As a fellow Diet Coke addict, I commend you. It’s interesting – I had a little bit of a stomach bug this week, and the thing that seemed the least appealing to consider ingesting was Diet Coke. Do you think my body’s trying to tell me something?

EvaB June 27, 2007 at 1:36 pm

I love reading about your Storm. I think you are inspiring a small one over here. Right now it is just rumblings in the distance. We will see . . .I heartily concur with point #2.Looking forward to reading more about your storm.

Shelley June 27, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Just found your blog and I love it! The Blue Bell mention struck a chord – I grew up in Brenham, and lived in Austin after college. Still visit one of my best friends there every chance I get. You’ve got a lovely way of writing – thanks for sharing it.

brit June 27, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Ahh the caffeine habit. A hard one. I switched to tea myself. With 1/3 cup of milk and two tablespoons of sugar. Shut up! It is too still tea! I am not drinking sugar milk with a teabag in it.

I love the look of that boys room! This Storm is as noted above inspiring in many ways.

As for me I’m going to take it one squall at a time for now and focus on decluttering my space. And getting my garden to grow.

erin June 27, 2007 at 6:14 pm

keep it up! you are a braver woman than me, but i am listening and pondering….

Sarah Jackson June 27, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Great work! His room looks fantastic. Those tomatoes look amazing. Sooo glad I’m leaving for Oregon tomorrow where I really can buy local and enjoy the summer harvest. Phoenix is a difficult place to go local, unless you’re way into citrus, figs and dates and not much else. However, we are enjoying the figs from the fig tree. There’s that.

Molly July 5, 2007 at 10:14 pm

Have you joined a CSA? I am thinking about it myself…

Molly July 5, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Have you joined a CSA? I am thinking about it myself…

Molly July 5, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Have you joined a CSA? I am thinking about it myself…

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