Monday, November 11, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Tex Mex Pot Roast

8:00 AM 0 Comments
2 to 4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can chili beans, undrained
1 (11-ounce) can corn with peppers, undrained
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel (tomatoes and chiles), undrained

Add your meat to the crockpot. It can go in frozen or thawed. After your meat is in, add the chipotle chili powder and all the canned ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 6. If it’s frozen, it will take longer. It will be done when the roast reaches your desired doneness.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Trouble

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What did you get into trouble for the most when you were a kid?

Whew. Let's see. I'm sure I got into trouble for the usual things, like being mouthy, but the biggest thing I remember getting into trouble for was always about my younger sister.

She was born with a heart murmur (one I should point out has never affected her life) and so my grandfather spoiled her. While I was always made to carry in groceries, she got to sit and watch. While I had to mow, I don't remember her ever mowing. The frustration over the fairness of it all would build up and I would lose my temper. It always resulted in me getting into trouble.

More than once, she would make up things to get me into trouble. I always told to stop picking on her. I remember having friends who would comment on how I always got into trouble, even if I hadn't done anything, but she never did.

....And that, folks, is another bit of insight into my world.

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Super Easy Fajitas

8:30 AM 0 Comments
2 pounds of thin cut stir fry beef
1 or 2 packets of fajita seasoning mix (depending on how spicy you prefer)
1 onion
2 bell peppers
1/2 cup of water

Place your meat into the crockpot. It can be frozen or thawed. Cut the onion and the peppers in strips, and add. Add the seasoning and water. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 6. The meat is done when it reaches desired tenderness. Serve with your favorite fajita toppings.

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Lies

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Name one thing that you have lied to yourself about. Why did you do this?

Wow, this is a tough one this week. The first thing that pops to mind is a bit tough to write about, but since it's come up twice today, maybe I'm supposed to share it with all of you.

When I was 29, my ex-husband and I divorced after nearly ten years of marriage. After the divorce, I was broken. I had no idea of self-worth or even identity. During that time, I met a man online and for my 30th birthday, we agreed that I'd fly from Michigan to New York to see him. Everything that could go wrong with that trip did and I should have turned around and gone home, but I believed this man cared about me and I really didn't want to spend my birthday being ignored and alone. I kept telling myself that I just had to get there and everything would be alright.

I was wrong. By the time that I got there, I was exhausted. The airline didn't have my bag so I had nothing other than the cute, dressy outfit that I had worn.  I'll spare you all of the details, but that night was far from fine and I woke up the next morning, bruised and bleeding. Here's where lie #2 comes into play. I was so confused by what had happened. Since we were entering into a new relationship, I wondered if I'd given off some sort of mixed signal. He did his best to convince me that everything was fine and that nothing bad had happened. I was there, I was lost and confused, I believed him. I had nowhere to go and calling someone to come get me never crossed my mind. I didn't believe anyone would come if I did call...and I didn't know anyone else in that area. That night, there was an attempt at it happening again, but when I completely disassociated, it wasn't fun for him, so he stopped. The next day I flew home, confused by what had happened, hurting, and yet somehow looking forward to seeing him again. He was that good at manipulation.

Why did I lie to myself? Because I believed I was unworthy of love, affection, and any kind of positive attention. Part of me believed that any attention was better than no attention. I'm not that girl anymore. I have boundaries. I believe in me. I'm proud of me. That makes a big difference.

I hope you believe in you.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Ravioli Lasagna

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1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 (28-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
25-30 frozen cheese or meat ravioli
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
2 tablespoons warm water

After browning the meat in a skillet, drain well and add the pasta sauce (save the jar!) to the meat in your sauté pan. Stir to combine.

Scoop a large spoonful of meat sauce and spread into the bottom of an empty slow cooker. Add a layer of frozen ravioli. Then add another layer of meat sauce. Continue layering until you run out of ravioli and sauce. Sprinkle cheese evenly all over the top.

Put 2 tablespoons of water into the empty pasta sauce jar, and shake. Pour this water over the top of your "lasagna."

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for about 4. Your lasagna is done when the pasta on the ravioli is tender and the filling is heated through.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Book Review: The Dollmaker of Krakow

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In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina's courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter--that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.


The Good:
I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Each one is so well done that they become real people (and dolls) before your eyes as you read and by the time you reach the end of the book, it feels as if they're friends. Then, there's the story itself. This talented author created a world that I could easily imagine in my mind. I was pulled in and when the end of the book came, the reality of my bedroom was a bit startling.

The Bad:
Only that nobody warned me that I'd need tissues before the book came to its end.

The Summary:
This could easily be one of my favorite books that I've read this year and I've read some really good ones. The story will draw you in, the characters will become friends, and by the time you reach the end, you'll be praying for more of little Karolina. In fact, I would love to see a novella all about what happens at the end of the book. No spoilers here!

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Mathematics

9:09 AM 0 Comments
Come up with a mathematical formula to express something you know/believe.

Me + My Children + Time = Happy Me

Me + The Man + Time = Happy Me

Me + Hard Work + Dedication = Success

Hard Work + Money = Progress in certain things

Me + Good Book + Cozy Blanket = Downtime

I thought this one might be tough, but really it's all about taking everything down to its base. I think I could probably do this for half the day and have a bit of fun with it, but I'd much rather see your formulas.

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