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My dearest woke up feeling helpful this morning. He decided he’d put on the roast I bought yesterday to be ready for dinner. He didn’t know I had a specific recipe in mind! He knew the basic principle of what I was going for though, so he did pretty good! I only had to add a few things to get it on the way to what I had planned. Crisis averted.

Someone posted the link to this recipe on a forum that I frequent sometime last year. I tried it at the time and loved the results. This time I didn’t have red wine on hand so I used beer instead. It turned out fantastically. Before this recipe, I had never used alcohol for cooking purposes. Neither of us enjoy wine in any capacity but we were both pleasantly surprised when we sat down to this dish last year. I had used beer on beef before, but not this recipe specifically. I’m happy to say that the modifications were pretty darn yummy. It’s not as strong, which I think I prefer. James liked both versions equally.

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I actually forgot to pick up carrots yesterday. Instead of fresh carrots, I just put in the sliced carrots I had in my pantry a few minutes before serving. I’m also fresh out of herbs de provence. She lists a recipe to make your own and I put what I had on hand in my spice cabinet into the pot. Melisa’s brand has an organic grinder which is what I used last time. I actually prefer the Garden Herb Sea Salt but eh.

Everything is hanging out on a bed of yummy mashed potatoes. I like to add a little sour cream or cream cheese for creaminess and depth. Also, it’s just dang good.

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The original recipe for Beef Bourguignon Slow Cooker style.

P.S. My food photography skills are pretty lame. Sorry about that.

That I write with this ridiculous mix of text speak and some archaic nonsense. It’s not on purpose, I think that I actually speak this way.

While editing some written work, I keep thinking, “WTF? No, the heroin wouldn’t say something like, ‘I will leave your entourage as they are. Dr. Allen will have moved him away from where I am likely to show up. She’s freakishly keen.’ No, no, that won’t do.” *edits* I look up and it says something equally redonk. This is why I’ll never be published. I’ma go hang out on ff.net now, FTW. They’ll love me there. Awesome.

is still up in my living room. I knew this would happen. I undecorated it, I packed all that stuff away, yet there the naked tree sits mocking me. It says, “Suck it, Biotch. I ain’t goin’ anywhere. You’re too lazy and full of excuses and no one else cares, so HA!” Stupid christmas tree.

Last week, after the sudden death of a friend’s classmate in a car accident, I was thinking about the blessed lack of tragedy that had befallen the group of kids I went to school with. Though our school was small, our Sr. class consisted of only 27 graduating seniors, things happen. I can no longer say that something terrible hasn’t happen to one of us. A classmate, a very sweet guy who I was friends with in a sort of passersby way, died Friday evening while working. An autopsy is underway but we’ve been told that it was most likely a heart related incident. His father died young of heart complications of some type, at least that’s what many of us seem to remember. It’s so sad, he leaves behind a wife and two children that will undoubtedly miss him very much.

Kenneth, or KK as he was called in school, was such a nice guy. He was a tall, lanky kid with the strawberriest of blonde/red hair. He had a lovely smattering of freckles and a funny gait that tall teenager boys seem to gain from growing too fast for their bones to catch up to. I honestly do not remember him ever being cross with anyone. Even at our ten year reunion, he showed up a little late, but he was so polite while I helped him get a plate sorted out and fixed up. He had four siblings, if I remember correctly, three brothers and finally a baby sister. I remember his mom because after I married my husband, my mil reminded me of her a lot. She could have been his mother’s mom, actually. Tall and thin, blondish long hair, that sort of thing. After school, as most do, we lost touch and I believe his family moved away from our small little town. I suppose his mom had to work things out after his father died, he was in his forties so she was young, too.

KK had worked in various food establishments, I’d seen him a couple of times after graduation, and he always had a smile and remembrance in his greeting even though we were not close friends. So, I suppose, that the goodness of a man is best remembered in times like these and I have no problem what so ever remembering Kenneth as a pretty great guy. My heart bleeds for his wife, I can not imagine what she must be going through, and his children who must be quite young still. Rest well, KK, and here is to a blessed afterlife without the burdens of this life.

My husband’s aunt passed away this week, too. Her funeral was today and it was so hard. I am crazy about one of his cousins, a daughter, and it broke my heart to watch her suffer. Losing your mother, no matter how old you are, is something that causes great grief and soul searching experiences that I do not wish to ever have to relive. Which, I suppose I never will since you can only lose your mother once. I hope for the kids, all five of them, peace and calm. I know that Mrs. Ellen is in her own personal heaven as she so strongly believed in, but I wish her peace as well.

The turmoil in Arizona seems overshadowed by political rhetoric but as a parent all I can think about is that a family lost a darling child, innocent and pure, to madness. Senseless and tragic, my heart goes out to her family, too. My grandmother says that no mother should ever have to bury her child and that there is no greater pain. I hope to never have the experience, I’m sure most feel the same. From mother to mother, my deepest, heartfelt sympathy goes to Christina-Taylor Green’s mother (and her father, which I do not diminish his grief, I just have no fathering experience so I’ll have to leave that up to the boys).

With the holidays my diet has been completely mad. For most people this is a fact of nature. For me it’s pretty dang scary. I’m searching for some ghost craving and it’s making me miserable. I eat foods that I don’t really want, then an hour later I’m looking for something again. It’s purely psychological, I think. It is possible it’s a need for nutrients, I’ve considered that, I am not good with the vitamins…

I should probably do the five day pouch reset, I’ve heard it can do pretty good things. Excuses, excuses, I know, but I hate protein powder. The reset consists of a lot of protein shakes and liquid dieting to which I’m no stranger. However, post surgery, I find that I am incredibly lazy and the protein powder has to be a certain brand. Which I have to order and I have to play holiday catch up first. I’ll probably try to modify the reset diet and watch what I’m consuming a little closer. Probably. I hate feeling this miserable, though.

It has been three and a half years since I took the trip to Monterrey, Mexico to have Gastric Bypass with Dr. Rumbaut. It was a terrifyingly exciting decision and for the most part I haven’t regretted it one bit. Losing weight didn’t change the things I thought it would. I’m still incredibly anxious and people shy. I am not able to start or hold conversations well. I still don’t like to get out of my house when I’m in a funk, which is a lot. I had thought when I was ‘skinny’ that would change too. No more depression because the fat wouldn’t be holding me back. It turns out, the depression wasn’t because I was fat. It was because I have a pretty serious tendency toward depression and severe anxiety. I still hate to shop, even if I can go into any store and buy clothing off the rack without worrying if it might fit. Funny how you can’t go into Victoria’s Secret even though you’re a size six because you’re convinced that everyone in the store knows you don’t belong because you’re way too fat. Hi, eating disorder.

Yet still, I’m happy with the outcome of my weight loss. I feel better physically, and I know now that the pain I was experiencing wasn’t just because I was ‘overweight’ as my PCP constantly suggested. It’s funny how people stop looking at your ailments as caused by your weight when you weigh 140lbs instead of 300+lbs. Same issue, but now magically it’s possibly RA or another auto-immune disorder instead of just Fatassitis. Sweet. Heh. I have a gorgeous two and a half year old that I wouldn’t have if not for the surgery.My kids don’t remember their mom being so unhealthily large and my husband thinks I’m great. Still. A pretty good dude, if a tad bothersome now with the ‘oh look a shiny new play thing!Eleventy!1’. Still incredibly cute though.

Life is a beautiful tragedy and no one makes it out alive. I have been blessed many times over and for that I am thankful. I haven’t the slightest idea how 2011 will go (one can only hope it looks better than 2010) but I do wish everyone a prosperous New Year full of joy, love, and good things.

post. It’s not. Nope, not even a little bit. Unless you’re a vampire, then sure it is. Happy Christmas. Cursing ensues, be forewarned…

I enjoy this time of the year most of the time. For whatever reason, this year seems so blah. Halloween has came and went, I barely even decorated. Tomorrow marks the usual Christmas decoration day tradition. I can’t decide if I will get the ump to get the stuff down and put the effort in it. Sophie really wants to decorate this year and I can’t let my awful mood affect her joy. The boys don’t really don’t care much but maybe the baby will get into it. We can hope the cat stays out of the tree, right?

I am thankful. I couldn’t even pretend that my life hasn’t been blessed. I have enough food to feed my family, a roof over our head, a husband who  loves to work if for no other reason than to provide for us, and extended family that we love dearly. Our children are healthy and mostly happy, they are bright and inquisitive. No, I can’t complain a bit. Perhaps the blues have a firm hold of my head but my soul knows that it is fed.

I’m putting some of my recipes together tonight, I’ll get up and make mashed potatoes in the morning. My granny is sick and I wouldn’t put the burden of our loud, large family on her even if she was cooking tomorrow. Later I’ll take her a plate and visit for a minute before we come home, presumably to decorate. She is 83 years old and I am so thankful to still have her. She is having fits worrying about not being able to gather us together, but she feels better since we’re going to his mom and dad’s.

Maybe we’ll watch the parade in the morning, I bet the girls will get a kick out of that. The boys have moved into the grandparents for the week, they are thankful for that.

My hope for tomorrow is that everyone will be able to find a warm meal to put in their belly. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.