Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rhebeca's 7th birthday
September 2005

Tyler and Caden
June 2004

Tyler's 5th birthday
November 2005

I am feeling a little bit better today. I believe my heart might be beginning to slow down some. I have not been nearly as winded when I walk from one room to the other in the house. I didn't feel like going anywhere today. I want to save my energy so that maybe I can go to the surgery center tomorrow when Alan has his surgery. I won't know till I wake up in the morning how I will be doing and if I can make it.
I think all 3 kids are beginning to understand that I have to take it day by day. Katie was the first to see it because of living closer to us than the other two and she has been so respectful of my health. What I hope they realize is that if there was anything I could do to change my situation I would do it in a heartbeat. But, as it is, there is nothing that the doctor's or I know of that will make me any better right now. I am still hoping that I will continue to gain strength as time goes on and the good thing is that the pain isn't nearly as severe as it was before the pump. Wayne and I talked about it last night because I was really feeling discouraged and we both said the the pain may have drained my body more than we realize and on top of that all the drugs I took to try to get relief from the pain could have drained me even more and it may take up to a year to get feeling like I want to. It's very difficult to be the one who has to do the waiting as everyone else goes about life as usual but I have no choice but to wait.

I didn't get the tickets to see "Stars On Ice". They went way too high in the last few minutes. It seemed like I was the only one bidding on them for quite a while. I told Wayne I would bid up to $60. Well, I stopped at $135. I've always had that problem with auctions. Wayne always teases me about getting carried away at an auction bidding on a rabbit cage...I just wanted to win. We didn't have anything to put in the cage but I bid it up to about $30 and got it. I kind of wish I'd gone on up for these tickets. They ended up selling for $151....which isn't a bad price for front row seats...ON the ice. I'll keep checking ebay because they are also gonna be in Detroit and Grand Rapids.

I made soup, corn muffins and was hungry for something sweet so made a cherry pie today. The pie got done before the soup and we both filled up on pie and the soup is now waiting till tomorrow. We both took a taste of it and it is delicious. I will post the recipe for that, the corn muffins and the very easy cherry pie.

2 T olive oil
3/4 cup diced white onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 T minced garlic
4 15-ounce cans black beans
4 cups chicken broth
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon concentrated hickory liquid smoke

1. Heat 2 T of oil in large saucepan over medium/low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly for 15 minutes or till the onions are practically clear. Keep the heat low enough that the veggies don't brown.

2. Measure 3 cups of the (drained) beans into a food processor with 1 cup of chicken broth. Puree on high speed until smooth. The recipe says to drain and rinse the beans but I have learned on the cooking channel that you don't want to rinse the beans because the starch on the beans will help to thicken the soup.

3. When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the chicken broth, and every other ingredient in the list into the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender. Serve the soup topped with a couple tablespoons cheese and chopped green onion, if desired.

1 1/2 cups jack and cheddar cheese blend, shredded
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups creamed corn

You can either put this in a muffin pan or 10 empty (6 ounce) tomato paste cans, cleaned and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except for 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Set aside. Spray nonstick cooking spray on the inside of the cans or on the muffin pan. Fill each can or muffin tin about 2/3 full with corn muffin batter. Divide remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese evenly over top. Place cans on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

1 can cherry pie filing
12 ounces frozen mixed berries, drained
1 box ready made pie crust (the kind in the refrigerated section with 2 crusts in it)
Flour, for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cherry pie filling, sugar and mixed berries. Set aside.

Gently unfold bottom crust onto floured pie dish. Pour berry filling into unbaked crust. You can use a lattice cutter and cut the top crust or I made a star slit in the center of the top crust with a knife since I don't have a lattice cutter. Place top pie crust on top of cherry pie filling and crimp top and bottom crusts together. Brush top crust with beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar. (I forgot to do this part...back was starting to hurt:)

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until bubbling appears in the middle of the pie. Check on pie halfway through and if it is getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil. Let pie sit for 20 minutes before serving.

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