Becoming Jill: Adventures in Adulthood

I’m Still Here!
January 9, 2012, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Primal, Uncategorized, Updates

So, my blog has been on hiatus for quite some time. What can I say? Life has a way of happening, often in extremely unplanned ways.

Here’s a quick review of 2011 in The World of Jill:

  • Number of hospital stays for dad: 3
  • Number of hospital stays for mom: 1
  • Number of hip replacements for Papa Coats: 1
  • Number of hospital stays for Nana Venter: 3? (Could be losing track, here)
  • Number of hospital stays for Papa Venter: 2 (Plus in-home hospice)
  • Number of trips to Missouri for Jill: Innumerable
  • Number of pounds lost since October: 36!
  • Number of jobs found: 0
  • Number of EF-5 tornados narrowly avoided: 1 (hooray!)
  • Number of first dates: 4 (I think? I may have blocked a few out)
  • Number of second dates: 0 (Trust me, you wouldn’t have gone on one, either)

So, yes, rather a momentous year for Jill And Family.


My Papa Venter passed away in July, following several months in the hospital, and a brief stint at home and on hospice. I first experienced hospice with my Grandma Denzel before she passed away in 2010, so when Papa came home from the hospital, I already had a lot of knowledge of how to take care of him, which was very helpful. My aunt and I took care of him at the Venter family farm, and while it wasn’t easy, we were glad he passed away peacefully in his home, on the farm where he was born.

A handsome young soldier!

Since Papa had dementia/Alzheimer’s, taking care of him was more difficult in many ways than taking care of Grandma D was. It’s hard to get used to bossing around your stubborn and confused grandfather.  On the other hand, you get to have some pretty entertaining conversations, like trying to convince him that he doesn’t have to go deliver a wagon-full of turnips to town. One rather scarier interchange involved trying to convince him that we hadn’t been gassed by the Germans (he fought in WWII). All in all, I was glad I was able to be there with him, and we all miss him very much, especially my Nana, who is in very poor health, herself.


I was in Joplin, MO helping my dad through his recovery process following his motorcycle accident when the city was devastated by an EF-5 tornado on May 22nd. Thankfully, none of my family members were hurt, and my step-sister Jana had only some minor damage to her house. Lots of other people weren’t so lucky.

I still have very strong emotions about this event, and it’s hard for me to write about. I won’t say much, other than it really helped me stop focusing so much on the things that are “wrong” in my life and start seeing the bigger picture. It’s an ongoing process for me.

Joplin, following the tornado

Due to my many extended stays in Missouri through the past year, I have gotten to see the process of the city rebuilding, which is nice. I am glad that the images from the weeks following the tornado are slowly being replaced in my brain.

November 2011: New buildings! Trust me, it really does look better


In more positive news, once things calmed down a bit in my family and I got to come home to Minnesota, I was able to focus on myself and start making some positive changes! By far the biggest change so far has been discovering the Paleolithic or Primal lifestyle, which advocates eating the diet that humans evolved eating before the introduction of agriculture. I stopped eating grain, sugar, and processed food, and I feel GREAT! Plus, I have lost 36 pounds total. I’ll definitely write lots more about this in future, because I feel like it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself. Not even exaggerating. Goodbye pasta: you are NOT missed!


So… in the year ahead, here’s what I want to do:

  • Continue following the Primal lifestyle, and start increasing my exercise and activity level
  • GET. A. JOB.
  • Spend more months in Minnesota than Missouri (sorry, mom)
  • Move to a slightly larger apartment once I have had said JOB for a while
  • Write more, both on my blog and my very neglected fiction writing
  • Be a better friend, which includes keeping in better touch with people
  • Find some volunteer work that I find meaningful. I miss volunteering.
  • I am sure I am forgetting something.

Happy 2012 (Slightly late, but that’s how I roll!)

Pip celebrates the new year with his favorite pink toys!


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I recently read a young adult book about that diet! She actually made it an entire lifestyle. It’s about a 16 year old girl who uses herself as a year long science project. At first it’s tough, then she learns to adapt. But THEN once the weight starts coming off, the other students (particularly male) act much different toward her. If you want an easy read it’s titled Fat Cat by Robin Brande.
Happy 2012!

Comment by Angie

Interesting! There are plenty of adult books out there about this lifestyle, but I didn’t know there were any for kids!

Comment by becomingjill

I forgot to say it’s fiction.

Comment by Angie

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