I am wavering on feelings of fear, giddiness, excitement, illness.
Tomorrow my 15-year-old Bean will start her high school years. She’s beginning her sophomore year and we still don’t know if or what they will accept from her 9th grade home school work.
I am nervous about her being a minority, a gorgeous girl, and about how she is going to adjust to being in public school again.
Today a sweet friend prayed over her and I am trusting her to God’s very capable hands, but my human heart is still quaking.
I will feel a lot better when her first day is over and she tells me it went fine.
I have no idea how I will feel when this year is behind us and we are only facing two more years before sending her off to college. Let’s just say I’m going to let that one rest for a while.
This year my 4 year, gastric bypass, surgiversary slipped by almost ignored. We were having a family weekend in San Diego. Our first stop was San Juan Capistrano.
That afternoon we arrived in San Diego and hung out at the hotel for the remainder of the day. The next morning we woke up early and set out for Sea World. Once a year military members and their dependents get free entry to any park owned by Anheuser Busch. Our favorite show is the Dolphin and Pilot Whale, Blue Horizon show. There are also birds involved in this one along with aerial acrobats.
Our other favorite activity at Sea World is watching the Sea Lions. They are such clowns and they are constantly performing to get the fish. We don’t get fish to feed them, there are plenty of people to touch the nasty fish, we just stand and watch them for half an hour.
We were soaking wet for most of the day. Shamu had his way with splashing us. We got the tail shake at least 7 times and I had water dripping from my face and clothes. Matthew and Berry decided to go on a water ride since they were already wet and I don’t know that they ever dried out completely. I know I still had damp parts when the day was done. Not only were we damp all day, we stunk like fishy, salt water. I was so glad to get to the hotel and shower that day. Of course Berry’s first stop was the pool…if she had been able to get in the water at Sea World, she would have been there all day, swimming with the fishes.
Our last stop on this whirlwind trip was the San Diego Zoo. We arrived early, but the zoo filled up fast and heated up even faster. By noon we were done and so very tired. I had already applied 3 layers of sunscreen and still felt the skin burning. I think the highlight of Matthew’s day was getting to see the black jaguar up close and personal.
I finally realized that it was the day before my surgiversary. I think it passed me up this year because I am not where I would like to be on my weight loss journey. To get to where I would like to be and back to where I was a year ago, I need to drop 20 lbs. This year has definitely been a stressful one and unfortunately my old habits of comfort have kicked in. I am getting back on track this week and will begin walking again too.
As with all remembrances there are good with bad. I would never go back and change any of my decisions about having the surgery done. I would change the type and frequency of help with the psychological aspects and I would love to say that the complications were minor but unfortunately I almost lost my life with the worst of them. However, my life has changed so dramatically for the better that I could never regret having it done. I will always celebrate it as a blessing. So however belated the celebration may be I will still celebrate, the best way I can do that is to refocus and make sure that I don’t squander the chance I have been given to be healthy again!
A traditional French dish that is so unassuming and simple. How on earth can the French make a dish sound so elegant and difficult just by naming it? I have always been afraid of cooking French food, but didn’t exactly know this was French until after I made it and decided to research it for posting. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was posting was the truth. So, it’s a low country French dish, made in the homes of farmers. I say the French know how to cook. This was amazing!! Typically a dish made by cooking several meats together, the traditional cassoulet is made from duck and sausage. Most modern housewives do not cook duck and since we are always looking for leaner dishes to make, the American recipe makeover uses a lean turkey or chicken. Since my gastric bypass chicken breast tends to be too dry for me and so I have learned to love dark meat. I was excited to find a recipe that used chicken thighs. The recipe also called for turkey bacon and added the needed fat with olive oil. I really dislike cooking with turkey bacon so I used the real thing and replaced the chicken broth with white wine. This was a quick cook and one that we will be eating over and over!!
4 thick slices bacon, cut into strips
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered or left whole
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 -1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
15 oz can great northern beans, drained
In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon till crisp and fat is rendered, add the diced onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent and softened. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place in the pan, browning on all sides. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the beans and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and mixture is thick.
I simmer this longer depending on when I get the word that Matthew will actually be walking in the door, the chicken portion, before the beans are added, has simmered covered, on low, for up to 45 minutes. The chicken is just falling apart by that point, however, it is good cooked by the directions. We have also started serving it over thick mashed potatoes and it’s wonderful with a side of sautéed kale or simmered yellow squash cooked with onion and rendered bacon. This is a dish that we have every month and haven’t tired of yet.