Saturday, October 30, 2010

Making Soup On Sister Saturday

Whoo hooo!
It's Saturday and it's time for  Sister Saturday.
Hop over to Vanessa's blog at Southern In My Heart and see what everyone is cooking up.
You will love what Vanessa put for a side dish!!
And then, hop over to her sweet sister's blog for more soup treats. Heather has a great blog called Gourmet Meals For Less. How could you go wrong with that??!

Today, I made
Spicy Sausage and White Bean Soup with Winter Squash and Broccoli Rabe.
What a title. I like to call it yummy, easy soup.

Gather your ingredients:

1 quart chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice

1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes ( I used regular pepper)
1/2 tsp. dried sage

12 oz. cooked Italian sausage, cut into small pieces.

8 oz. broccoli rabe, chopped
8oz. butternut or other winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into medium dice
(I get both these veggies at Trader Joe's, the squash comes pre-sliced and diced.)

2 cans (15.5 oz.) white beans, drained.

I use my favorite pan of all time. It is a heavy Dutch oven. This was given to my Mom and Dad when they moved into their first house. Do people still give house-warming gifts? If not, they should, This one has lasted 58 years and is still going strong!

Let's get going.

Microwave broth and tomatoes in a 2 quart Pyrex measuring cup or similar sized microwave-safe container until steamy hot, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute ntil soft and golden brown. Add pepper and sage, and saute 1-2 minutes.

Crumble or add sliced sausage to the onion and cook until browned.
(I use sweet Italian Turkey Sausage. Don't forget to take off the casings!)

Next, add broccoli rabe, squash, 

beans and hot broth and hot tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered until vegetables are tender.


Mmmm. Maybe with some French Bread!

Recipe from:
 "The Perfect Recipe For Losing Weight & Eating Great"
By Pam Anderson

Friday, October 29, 2010

A New Day.

It's a whole new day.
Let's see....
Did not pay bills.
Did not clean art room.
Our volleyball teams won.
Dr. gave the o.k. for a 1yr. visit for Brenna's back.
Haven't taken pictures or posted a thing.
But today we:
Went a different doctor. Brenna is now on antibiotics.
Stopped to get movies.
Oh! I got the dishwasher unloaded.
AND I'm going to make soup.
The end.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Life

Here's my reality check for the day.
 I am trying to figure out what I can get done in the next 45 minutes. 'Cause, you know, 45 minutes is 45 minutes and I should be able to cram something into it, right? RIGHT? 
So, here is what I am thinking of attempting:

1. Clean up the art room, because I can't even walk through it.
2. Make a new soup recipe and take pictures of it to post on Vanessa's blog on Saturday.
3. Take pictures to show you of some cute pumpkins I put under glass because I actually decorated a little for fall.
4. Post about the ridiculously fun time Doug and I had playing in a golf tournament. (No. I do NOT play golf, which made the day even funnier.)
5. Realizing I really need to pay some bills for the end of the month.
6. That darn dishwasher needs unloading again.
7. Get ready to take Brenna to a dr.s appt. (in 45 minutes) to check her scoliosis, and hope that it has stayed in position since taking off the brace.
8. Figure out dinner after dr. appt.
9. Go back to school where we will sit through j.v and varsity volleyball games while Brenna does her water girl duties.
10. Get home at 8 or so and look at this list again and realize I didn't get anything done.
11. Give thanks that tomorrow is a new day.

How's everyone else doing???

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kindness Arrives In The Mail

Don't you love getting mail?
I have a friend that loves to go out to her mail box each day. She says it's like Christmas every time she goes. I love that attitude!
Today Brenna got a little "Christmas" in the mail from my friend,

Brenna likes mail...

Inside was the promised recipe for baking a pumpkin pie!

Brenna poured over each page.

Every single step has been photographed and each photo comes with instructions in big, bold type.

How does one explain kindness like this?
It is a blessing that we will receive and treasure.

Thank you, Susan, for sending such kindness in the mail.
Much love,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A New Blog Friend

I'd like to introduce you to a new blog friend I met last week.
Her name is K.C. Willis.
I was perusing blogs last week and over at Quill Cottage, Sandy had a ton of information on challenges, links, classes, you name it! I was about to hyperventilate with all the creative stimulation. This is where I met up with K.C. I was immediately drawn to her blog and her vision for creating and teaching.

Here is an excerpt:
Four times next year I will open my doors to groups of women and we will change each others lives.
Does that not get your heart pumping????
One will be a retreat in Colorado with guests Jenny Doh and Sarah Fishburn.
The second is seminar entitled imagination congregation, where the focus will be honoring God with your art.
I think I was so drawn to this blog because I have this funny little dream of one day owning a barn or property where women can gather to create.

I don't need a big barn.
Just something a little homey.
Alas, I think I am in the wrong stage of life for this and have much to learn....
I did sign up for a one-day conference called "Joyful, Joyful, We Collage" that K.C. is doing in Southern California!!!!
It is in February, in Escondido at the Urban Barn.
Take a minute and head on over to take a look at K.C.'s blog and view the classes, her thoughts and see about a great give-away!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Triathlon Finisher

Hi. My name is Lynn and I am a triathlon finisher.
One large R.V., two families and a labrador left for San Diego on Saturday.
We met up with my daughter, Lauren who is also a triathlon finisher. And my friend, Angie, pictured here in the middle. We have a great support group started...

We went down to the bay and got our race packets, swim caps, and our numbers. I have to confess. Having the numbers written on our arms and calf was pretty cool. Like way cool.

Kinda makes you feel like a real athlete.
 We listened to a talk on the course and found out that at least half the women there were first time triathlon-ers. I loved it. There were women of every shape, size and ability. Old and young, intense and not intense. (Like us!) 
Here was our swim area:

Yes. I did do a double take. Then we looked at each other and said, "Nah, it's not that bad. Totally doable."
We were to swim out to the GREEN Buoy, hang a left and go straight across and follow the RED, round buoys until we reached the ORANGE buoy. Then swim to the second ORANGE buoy, cut over to the dock, around that and up to the landing. It was a tread-water start. See those little orange flags? We were to all begin right there. 

My friend, Angie kept saying, "Oh, this will be fine. We can do this!" She said it a lot.
She also didn't sleep that night. Neither did I. Lauren did. 
Sunday morning, our alarms rang at 5 a.m., or as known in our house: 0-dark-thirty.
At 6, we met up with 1,100 of our newest best friends in pitch-dark drizzle. 
I think that is where I began to get discombobulated.
That's me in the green jacket. It lights up nicely with the flash, don't you agree?

Angie and I were in the very last wave to go out, for the -ahem- 40 and over age group.
Our area to rack our bikes and put out all our gear was waaaay in the back. They forgot the lights back there. I guess since we're over 40 we must be blind anyway and not need the light.
Very discombobulating.
I had all of 30 minutes to put out my stuff and put on the dreaded wet suit.( In the dark.)
Doug kept leaning over the fence and telling me how to lay out my gear. Helpful suggestions like, "Honey. Not like that. Put it out like that woman did over there."
And, "Hey. Tell me again how to work the flash on this camera." 
In between that the announcer kept yelling how the women who had experience with triathlons should look for the other women that were new. We could be found by our bikes. We either had a mountain bike or a kick stand on our bike. The experienced, wise ones were to come and and give us a hug and some kind words. Mr. Announcer must have said it 200 times. 
That was discombobulating to the point I thought I just might barf. 
Thank goodness, no one saw the kick stand on Angie's bike, so we were spared kind words and hugs.

I am happy to report that I did get the wet suit on in time. Without scraping my knuckles. Or even swearing.

I am also happy to report that we were ready to rock and roll by 6:45. Just like we were told to be.

Gorgeous, yes??

We then proceeded to wait until 970 of our newest friends launched into the water.
We waited a long time.
We waited until 8:00 a.m. until we were launched.
By then, I was so nervous, I thought I would chicken out. I literally stood rooted to this spot the whole time.

I did come to my senses when Lauren lined up to go out, and then I came out of my stupor to watch my child launch herself out into the open water with about 40 other women to swim 1/3 of a mile.

The event actually had what were called "swim buddies". They were the fabulous people in the white caps. They were available to swim with you the entire distance.

Then it was our turn.

I have to tell you -the water was FA-REEEEEZING.
I began to get more discombobulated.

Why am I smiling here? I really have no idea. I should be looking like Angie.
At one point, Angie looked at me and said, "You never TOLD me I would still feel the water inside the wet suit!!!" Darn those wet suits.

She forgave me, though.

The next thing we knew, we were OFF!

Don't we look good?
Let me tell you the real truth.
I had someone pounding on my foot for the first few minutes that I couldn't get away from. I wasn't sure where to swim because there were too many people in my way. Did I mention how cold the water was? And mucky? And salty? And cold?
Then I started the not being able to breathe-thing. 
Talk about being discombobulated. I could NOT get it together to swim more than 3 strokes at a time. I would thrash, gasp, roll to my back and then to the front to see where I was. (I was SO, SO thankful that Angie and I were swimming together. ) It was so frustrating!!! But there were lots of other women doing the same thing. I remember one gal hanging onto the life guard's paddle board and the life guard asking her if she could swim some more. Then, before I knew it, I had thrashed my way to the first orange buoy. The life guards were encouraging us the whole way. And directing. Angie would swim straight as an arrow and I would hear someone saying, "this way-swim this way." When I would look up, I would be on some other course and would have to thrash back into the mainstream.

At the last orange buoy before we swam for the dock, several swim buddies were still in the water. They were so encouraging!!!! We would hear, "You're doing great, ladies, doing great." "Keep going! Almost there." And, "Swim this way...you will be doing another loop if you keep going that way." Yeah. That one was directed at me.  Then it was "Swim toward my voice, swim toward my voice." I think that helped. It was a heck of a lot better than doing an extra loop. Between gasping, thrashing and letting out several "aaarrrghs", we made it to the end. Really and truly!!!

I think I speak for Angie as well when I tell you how unbelievably GLAD I was to get out of that water.

Even so, there were a couple more things to be tackled!!!
Off we went to get out of our wet suits and put on our shoes and shorts to hit 6 miles of bike riding.
Did I mention besides being discombobulated that I had to use the bathroom? Our loud announcer friend mentioned something about using the bay. Ha. It was too flipping COLD. (Thank goodness for port-a-potties on the bike route.)

Sometime during our bike ride, Lauren came in from her run!! She finished in under an hour.
Go, baby, GO!!!!

The bike ride was nice in that there were bathrooms along the way, and most of the Sprint people were finished, so it was mostly us Super-sprinters and the course was wide open. It was wet and rainy, so it was pretty slippery at some points, but there were lots of volunteers along the way to tell us when to slow it down.  I just so happy to be wet from the drizzle and not the ocean, I would do anything they said. I thought the bike ride seemed short, Lauren and Angie both thought it felt longer than 6 miles. Like I said, I was so happy to be out of the ocean....

When we came back from the bike ride, we were into the home stretch!!! I don't know how people jump off of a bike and start running out of the bike area. Our legs were screaming at us that they needed to acclimate for just a second and we were happy to oblige.
When I did begin running, I was so surprised that I kept going. I might have mangled the swim, but doggone it, I ran that whole 1.5 miles!!!

I can't say I was the most put-together runner as shown by this photo that my sweet husband took,
but I did it!!!

Now, when Angie came in...
She was by far the happiest person to be finishing!!! She was so amazing to watch at the finish!

Her goal was just to finish, even if it meant coming in dead last.
Well, let me tell you-she sure wasn't last!!!!!
We both made it in 1 hour and 20 minutes!!

Thank you, friends. Thank you for joining me on this crazy adventure.

I have so appreciated being able to laugh through this with all of you.
Your encouragement has meant far more than I can express.

It has just been a blast having you with me during this time.
Until the next adventure....