Hello, My Name is Susan

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… on here but I really needed to make an exception to this recipe.  Lately I’ve been almost craving it & it’s so easy & delicious!  I found it @ Taste of Home recipes & the original recipe is from Julia Bushree.  Click here for original recipe.

Anyway back to the recipe.  I’ve tweaked it a bit for us.  Little things like less garlic (it upsets Hubby’s tummy) & I’ve added things like jalapenos & zucchini for taste & just because I had them.  So a few photos to wet your appetite & remember that you can control the amount of spice you put in.

The cast of characters…

plus this…

a couple of closeups…

This is what it looks like after you add all the ingredients…

& after it’s simmered for a bit the juices start to appear…

& finally the finished product.  Look @ how juicy & yummy that is.  I really wish you could all smell how absolutely delicious my house smells.  Oh & you serve it over rice.  I like brown but Hubby prefers white.  Guess what?  I win!  I don’t even buy white rice!  bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!

Louisiana Red Beans & Rice

4 cans (16 oz each) kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (16 oz) Johnsonville New Orleans Brand Andouille recipe

1 C chicken broth (I use organic no-fat cause it’s lower in sodium)

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 lg onion, chopped

1 med green pepper, chopped

1 small sweet red pepper, chopped

2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 – 3 zucchini, chopped

Hot cooked rice

In a 6qt slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients.  Cover & cook on low for 8 – 10 hrs or until heated through.  About 30 min before serving add zucchini.  Stir before serving.  Discard bay leaf.

Serve w/ rice.  Makes 9 servings.


… and my son is spending the night @ the home of a friend from school.  Hubby & I semi argued (don’t ya just hate those little piddling nothing spats that really aren’t about anything more than that you’re tired or something? – me too), I swam twice today & even got up 5:54 this morning to walk a mile.  I think I’m crazy.

I’ve lost my camera w/ my sweet baby niece’s pix & I’m wondering if my darling daughter didn’t kype it just so that she could look @ the photos over & over.  (I’m thinking she REALLY wants a baby sister but after Hubby’s vasectomy – it ain’t happening!)

Tomorrow is another round of soccer games & just to make things interesting, the Prince has team pix 1 hour & 40 minutes before his game.  This means that we can’t go home between games.  Just not effective enough since he has to be back @ the field 30 min before his games starts.  Oh & while playing basketball @ school he jammed his right hand which means that he’s not going to be goalie for @ least a week.  AND basketball starts @ school & he’s on the varsity team.

Luckily for me, the Princess just has soccer 4 times a week.  Maybe it is good that we live in the boondocks.  Imagine how stressed I’d be if we lived somewhere that had lots of different activities going on all @ once.  Sheesh!

Some friends from back East are coming out to visit us & the kids & I are heading up to the really big city today so that we can get them from the airport bright & early in the am.  So I probably won’t be around until next Tues.  See, we haven’t seen each other in over 3 yrs so we have tons of irl stuff to catch up on.  Plus she’s bringing her kids along & our kiddos were the best of buddies so… tons of catching up to do.  In addition my pool is 93F (crazy hot, eh?) so I’m sure that we’ll be hanging out & having a great time!

I WILL be back though!  Don’t give up on me.  I still have the rest of our little vacation & the Princess’s big day to blog about.  So see ya soon!

to the Grand Canyon!  And we did it on a train.  Talk about F. U. N.!  We started out from Williams, Az to the Grand Canyon & then came back.  If you’re planning a trip there I highly recommend the train.  It was great!  (we in no way were compensated for the train ride although because Hubby is a Vet, his ride was free)

This picture turned out only through sheer luck.  I was staring into the sun as these four Condors flew towards us so I just pointed my camera @ the sky & clicked.  Amazingly enough, it worked!

I have some more photos but I think I’ll leave it @ this for now.  We had an amazing time & can’t hardly wait to go back.  We felt like it was one of those places that we could go over & over again.  Even the kids loved it.  The Princess kept telling us over the next few days that she’d loved it & it was so amazing.  The Prince grunted his enthusiasm & told us that he’d be willing to go back too.  All in all it was a truly wonderful time.

Next up?  The Princess’s day.

Okay, so apparently in So Arizona poison ivy/oak or sumac are not a concern as they don’t grow here which means that I don’t have a rash caused by them.  So *drumroll* I actually have shingles!  Yep, I’m pretty surprised too.  It certainly explains why I’m in so much pain though & not as much itching as I would have thought if the rash had been caused by the other stuff.  I’ll survive but man, was I shocked.

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Hmmm, you know that the day isn’t going well when your car has been bumped by another vehicle, an old woman calls you a bad name & the first thing you do upon arriving home isn’t to kiss your family hello but rather to run to the Ladies room (I won’t expound upon that last bit.  I’m pretty sure it’s self explanatory! grin)

I love people who are older than me by a number of years.  Yep, that means Senior Citizens and not just because I hope to be one some day.  Nope, I happen to find the vast majority of them mighty interesting people.  My grandfather remembered the first automobile in his hometown.  As a matter of fact his dad (okay, my great-grandfather) bought it & it was used!  Or how about the fact that when he first laid eyes upon my grandmother he told his brother that he could marry a girl like that?  True stories both of them.  Oh & what about the fact that my grandmother cut choir class & one of her friend’s marked her present on the roll anyway?  Stories like those are just so fun to me.  It’s great to learn about others pasts & some of the wonderful things they’ve seen & done in their lifetimes.

All of that aside?  Don’t go to Costco in the Big City on a Monday.  Apparently there was a memo that went out saying it was Senior only day & that if you went you were taking your life into your own hands!  Why, you ask?  Well, I had no sooner parked & was getting the sun shade in the front window (a must when you are in a city w/ tons of sun!) than an older gentleman (let’s just call him Buffalo Bill because of his big & fancy pick-em-up truck) pulls into the parking slot in front of me & proceeds to “bump” my bumper!  Startled me half to death!  I got my things & went & looked but luckily there was no damage because Buffalo Bill was @ the back of his truck unloading a wheel chair for his passenger!  When I mentioned to him that he startled me half to death he just chuckled & told me that can happen!

So I decide to cut my losses & head on in.  I had to dodge several little old ladies out for their Sunday constitutionals (yeah, I don’t think they realized that they were late) & I swear (not really, I’m really working on not doing that!) one of them aimed for me & followed me to the door!  Ahem. Where was I?  Oh, yes.  I went inside & almost had to fight an old man for a flat bed cart.  I’m not certain why he wanted it because when I saw him later in the store all he had was socks but whatever.  I get inside & it’s packed.  I mean it was almost wall to wall carts in places.  It’s usually not that bad before Christmas!  (Maybe the snowbirds don’t have Costco where they’re from?  Just a thought)  It was pretty exciting though because I was playing bumper cars w/ the carts & once I got the water loaded on mine maneuvering got really tricky.  As I was getting my water though I realized that everyone had gray hair.  Well, except for the 3 other younger women who were there.  They all had looks of desperation on them that I’m not sure was attributable to the babies/toddlers that were w/ them.  I wondered on the drive home if maybe they were all there only for the diapers & then decided to heck w/ it & did more shopping.  That might explain the sheer terror on one woman’s face as she was trying to save her toddler from the cart welding maniac who sure looked to be aiming for the little tyke.

So I dodged carts but don’t even get me started about the mobs who were strategically located around all of the food demos.  I think if I had actually tried to get a sample I would’ve been tarred &  feathered.  I actually heard grumbling when one old man reached in for a drink!  I felt like yelling that there was a whole try full.  Did they really need more than one? Although really, it looked like an old coffee shop where everyone just sits around & gossips while they drink their joe.

When I made it to the front it looked like a new Wal-Mart opening.  I had to dive back into the candy aisles (that was so stinking hard!  Have you ever had their macadamia caramel chocolates? YUMMMMMM I did successfully make it past them btw) in order to get into one of the check out lanes.  I wasn’t paying attention for five seconds & almost lost my place in line.  As a matter of fact, I looked up & got back into position just as a Senior couple tried to cut in front of me.  If there hadn’t been about four couples behind me I think I would’ve found myself very hurt.  She sure glared enough & then the woman actually called me a bad name as they walked off!

But enough of all that.  There was one positive aspect to the whole day, well besides the fact that I got what I needed & made it out of there alive.  As I left the store I headed for the aisle that I thought I had parked in but I was actually one aisle too far to the left.  I turned around & headed back to the proper aisle & heard a couple laughing.  The woman jokingly told me that she did that all the time.  Then they walked by the muffins that had fallen off my cart & headed inside.  Phew…@ least they didn’t run them over!

The moral to this story is, if you get inside a store & all you see are gray hairs/heads, turn around & RUN the other way!  lol

Last night the Prince had boy scouts and luckily for me, Hubby takes him.  To me, this is free time w/ the Princess.  It’s our time to sit back, play a game, make a craft or watch a movie.  After all of our activities lately & the fact that the new Disney Princess movie plus Barbie’s new adventure made it onto dvd, we sat back & chilled while w watched the movies.

Oddly enough, the Princess liked the Barbie movie better although I think it’s due in part to her age & in part due to the scary nature of the voodoo scene in Disney’s the Princess and the Frog.  I loved the Princess movie better although I thought the voodoo scene where the prince & his man servant change places was a little frightening too.  This movies has been too long in coming & but I hope that Disney won’t take as long to work up a story for a Hispanic princess.  Enough said.

Oh, the Princess & I did have one misunderstanding during another scene in the swamp.  There are these shadow voodoo creatures who are after the main characters (is it bad to admit that I cried when Ray died?  He was a darling little bug!) & the Princess kept telling me that there could actually be creatures like that.  I do believe in ghosts but not in the typical Ghost Hunters thing.  Anyway, being the wise mom, I kept telling the Princess that this was just a cartoon (she actually was surprised when I told her.  Guess @ the ripe old age of almost 8, reality is sometimes blurry still) & she kept insisting that she was right as well.  So I stopped the movie & actually listened.  What she was trying to tell me was that people can wear masks & be ugly & frightening like the shadow people.  My daughter humbled me last night w/ her insight into human nature.  You know what?  She’s right.  You see, she wasn’t talking about a costume mask but rather the mask of civility & friendliness that we wear.  (Sometimes I can be ugly like that when I yell or get frustrated by the things.)  I can’t explain how serious she was about it not being a costume mask.  She was the one who made the distinction, not me.  It kind of amazed me that in one breath she could go from child to adult, but isn’t that always the way kids grow?


May 2019
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