Monday, February 9, 2015

An Unplanned Week

Last week was totally unplanned, I mean really do people ever die on your schedule, no.  In fact I came to Idaho with only 2 pair of jeans, a sweatshirt that is now in the garbage because someone left an ink pen in their shirt that went through the dryer and my exercise capris; I was only suppose to be here a few days.  I'm so grateful for an unplanned week, because they pretty much never happen.  Last week went something like this:  get up, go to Grandma Betty's, give lots of hugs, play with my nieces and nephews, fix dinner like gumbo and everyone's favorite Mel's Black Bean and Pumpkin chili, go back to Grandma Betty's.

One morning I didn't go over and Grandma Betty called to ask where I was.  They were suppose to have gone to the funeral home that morning, which is why I didn't go over.  So of course I put my shoes on and walked across the street in the rain, because it rained every day last week, except for Saturday when we woke up to sunshine and blue sky for the first time since I've been here.  Oh and how exciting that it has been in the 60's this weekend, in Idaho, in February just doesn't ever happen.  We did get the moving truck packed with still a bunch of space left in only 3 hours on Saturday.  It will be ready to leave the driveway tomorrow morning bright and early to head to Phoenix!

Tenielle, Tony, Tristen and the girls drove in late Thursday night and Tanner and Mitch drove in yesterday.  It kind of feels like Christmas having everyone home again. I love when we are all home together.  It feels so good to have us all home or at least close to home under our mom's wings.  Grandma Betty's daughter's step daughter Kristina drove in last night.  I haven't seen her in many, many years.  It was so good to see her.  We are the same age and spent many summers together when we were growing up.  We even talked about when we missed our ferry in British Columbia, Canada just after we graduated from High School, because I had to have an ice cream cone.

We are doing very well, celebrating an amazing man's life and crying very little tears.  I haven't cried a single tear.  I'm not cold, just happy that he has been released from his failing body.  Hopefully the funeral today will be uplifting and I won't cry too many tears.  We have been joking that the funeral will be at a Catholic Church, presented by a Methodist Minister, with dinner at the Mormon Church!

I must get going to make another pot of this for the funeral.

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili
Yield: Serves 6-8
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15-ounce each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey or 1 pound round steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (15-ounce) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil until hot and rippling over medium or medium-high heat. Add the round steak (if using already cooked turkey, proceed to adding the vegetables) and brown the pieces lightly. Transfer the meat to a 5-quart slow cooker, leaving oil in the skillet. Add the onion and yellow pepper to the skillet and saute until barely tender, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

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