Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – and the “Fatigue Flu” that follows a life-altering crisis.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – and the “Fatigue Flu” that follows a life-altering crisis.

Yesterday I made a full Sunday dinner for the first time since Hurricane Florence.  I’ve been inching my way through this year in Kentucky, slowly building on my “operations”.  First the basics (kids to school, laundry, simple dinners), then more (swimming my mile, buying new clothes, styling my hair).  When your whole life changes, and you have no time to prepare, and you find yourself in a situation where you need to make a very serious decision, it’s interesting how the fatigue hits your body.  It hits you in waves.  Not so bad at first, actually.  That’s because you’re still in “crisis mode”.  But slowly, you come down off of crisis mode, and you have to put yourself back together piece-by-piece.  Day-by-day you have to measure what you can do.  

My first Sunday dinner since Hurricane Florence.

I also made my son’s birthday cake over the weekend.   This is the first birthday cake I’ve made since October when I was still in crisis mode.  I made a cake for my daughter Maria’s 11th birthday. After the hurricane, after the relocation, but when I was still out of my mind from the crisis.  And running on false energy.

Back at Thanksgiving, I thought I had some kind of flu.  My husband came to visit for the long weekend, and he was the one who cooked the Thanksgiving dinner.  He used the recipes on this website and he did a great job.  Weekend after weekend, I’d find myself with this same “flu”.  Fever, fatigue, pounding head, dizziness.  What I finally was able to surmise was it was my body’s way of forcing me to rest on the only days I could:  Saturday and Sunday.  About a month ago, I came out of my Saturday fatigue, and the first thing I did was start taking my kids on “Saturday Adventures”.  We went roller skating that first week.  It was amazing.  I couldn’t even believe it – I didn’t even fall.  

The good part about your life falling apart is that you get to choose in what order you put it back together.  I chose the kids.  I chose to prioritize the kids.  Of course I did.  For my own sanity, however, I’ve stayed on an abbreviated work schedule.  I’m currently operating my Home Management Mentorship Beta Test Group.  It’s been pretty cool to help others “start over”.  I think as women, and as mothers, we all “start over” about every 6-8 weeks.  

As far as I’ve noticed, every 6-8 weeks we get to choose :

Fresh perspective

New boundaries

new “non-negotiables”

A daily plan

And ask ourselves: How can I grow following my last setback?

How can I do things that better serve my mission?

And more.  The physical clutter?  Oh yes, there’s that too.  And it keeps refreshing every 6-8 weeks too.  I’ve found that really, my life refreshes every 6-8 weeks.  And I usually give myself time to just “be” for those weeks.  If I only have 10% of my normal energy (like after our relocation after the hurricane), then I allow myself to stay there until the 6-8 weeks has completed.  

So after all these years, and having all these (7) babies, and moving all these times (12 times?), at least I know the most effective way to deal with all the change:

LET IT BE.  Sit in the change.  Wait in the change.  Don’t force your way out.  Just let it linger, like the way you let a sip of wonderful tea linger on your palate.  The next sip will be cooler, and the sip before was too hot.  THIS SIP is the good one.  So don’t rush it.  

No matter where you are in life, there is goodness.  Even in crisis.  Even in chaos.  Even in pain. Each day is infinite.  Each day is the sip. 

That’s been my best tool in crafting a good life.  Some people think I run around like a banshee, getting EVERYTHING done on EVERY day, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  

I say “no” a lot, and I focus on small things.  I master small things, consistently.  That’s how you move a mountain, after all.  More on my methods later.  My Home Management Mentorship Program is proving to be a lot of fun!  The Beta Test Group (we meet virtually) is awesome.  Besides, it’s a way I can turn my difficult year into one of growth and success.  

What do I do after I fall apart?  I watch and learn, then I write a program on how to build myself back up again – from scratch.  

Of course I do.  It’s what I’ve been doing all my life.  It’s a good skill to have, and much needed.  At least I think it’s needed. From what I can see on social media, we are all in some sort of crisis right now.  

So, making a whole Sunday dinner for the first time after the hurricane was a huge triumph for me.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone six months without making a Sunday dinner before.  My family traditions are sometimes the ONLY thing we have to count on.  But I rested when I needed to rest, and now I’m much better.  Our days are numbered here in Kentucky and we are starting to make the decisions we need to make before we move overseas again.  Should we sell the van?  What should we take with us?  What about the pets? Are they coming?

Of course they’re coming. Of course they are!! Little Mochi here is from Okinawa.

I’ve been able to build a daily schedule that is actually very productive.  When you start from scratch and add the things you TRULY WANT in your day, you’ll be amazed how much better you feel.  You’ll be amazed at what you can do.  I’m writing recipes daily again, and I’m going to start posting several times a week like I did when I was back in Okinawa.  In my “rebuilding” process, I’ve been able to look back and assess when I was the happiest.  It was when I was back in Okinawa, crafting my little recipes and posting them here often.  Most of this website was built in those days.  Then my little livestream cooking show happened, and those were good days too.  But I have to wait to bring back my little “cooking show” (heavy air quotes).  When we get to Germany I’ll start it again.  After I build myself up from the upheaval and trauma of the move.  Are all military moves traumatic?  Of course they are.  It’s nice to know the truth about that. 

But for now, it’s nice to feel better.  I now have the energy to write in the evenings.  Something that even two weeks ago, was impossible for me.  

So, if you’re frustrated with yourself and with your life.  Clear your schedule, and start with the basics.  Give yourself 6-8 weeks before you add another thing in.  If you’re still struggling next year, maybe my Home Management Mentorship Program will be open to the public, then I’ll walk you through the whole process day-by-day.  

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Today, I had three kids home sick, some leftover chicken in the fridge and a pack of wild rice that needed to be used up.  I was able to whip this up in under an hour.  Biscuits included (although recipe not included).  I’ll post a little biscuit tutorial later this week. 

Makes easily two quarts, probably more.  It’s enough to serve my family of nine with leftovers.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

4 stalks celery

48 ounces chicken broth

4 cups water

8 ounces uncooked wild rice

2 cups cubed chicken (light and dark meat works for me)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon flour 

1 teaspoon salt.  More if needed

2 good pinches nutmeg 

In a large, heavy pan, heat the oil over med-high heat.  Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and celery.  Stir constantly for 4-5 minutes, until the onion has slightly wilted.  Add the chicken broth and the water.  Let the mixture warm again.  And add the wild rice when the soup starts bubbling.  Add chicken.

In small bowl, mix heavy whipping cream with 1 tablespoon flour.  Pour mixture into soup ( this will create a creamy soup, that’s slightly thick).  Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes.  Add the salt and nutmeg after the soup has simmered, and just before serving. 

Serves 12

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