Archive for September 8th, 2011

Joe asked me today how much a person can handle before they just collapse under the weight of everything. My response? I don’t want to know.  I’ll add, though, that were it not for my lovely psych meds, I’d probably have collapsed already.

The last two nights, Scout’s been doing a lot of vomiting during the night. Otherwise he’s seemed fine–low appetite, but we chalked it up to stress. I mean, first we lose Molly, then we adopt Emmylou, then we have the house fire, he spends a night at my Dad’s, a night at the kennel, then the hotel, and now the apartment. That’d stress out any dog!

So I made a vet appointment for him this morning, and Joe took him in. The vet said the blood work indicates that his kidneys are failing. They’re keeping him there and pumping fluids in via IV, and we’re in wait and see mode.

In the meantime, here’s an open letter to the universe:

Dear Universe,

I have had enough. Please quit sending bad things our way.  It’s time for some happy.

Yours very truly,


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Shepherds Pie a la Tejana

I was planning to make shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight.  But when I got home from work and grocery shopping, I wanted something with a little kick to it. I also wanted black beans.  So I decided to tex-mex it up a little bit.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or tvp or veggie crumbles)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (if you want to make this all vegetarian, try using several cans of different varieties–kidney beans, pinto beans & black beans, for instance)
  • 1  medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 or 4 (or however many you want) cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • about half a bottle of Heinz chili sauce
  • salt, pepper, Braggs sprinkles
  • 1/2 bag frozen green beans, unthawed
  • 1 bag Mexican style corn, unthawed
  • 5 or 6 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • a little milk and a lot of butter
  • seasoned salt
  • about 1/3 cup shredded cheese

1. Brown the beef with the chopped onion, garlic, and black beans. Drain off the excess fat.  Season to taste with salt, pepper & Braggs sprinkles. Stir in the tomatoes and chili sauce, and mix well.  Spread in the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish.

2. Layer first the green beans and then the corn on top of the meat-bean mixture.

3. While the meat is cooking, get the potatoes boiling for mashed potatoes. Watch closely–you don’t want them to get water-logged–until they’re fork tender. Drain and then return to the pan, and put the pan back on the still-hot burner. You want the excess water to sizzle away.  When they’re dry, add some butter and start mashing.  When they’re pretty well mashed but still kind of lumpy, add some milk and start mashing again.  You want them to be thick and creamy.  Add some more butter if you like. Then season with the seasoned salt.  Important! don’t try using regular salt. You need the seasoned salt. Thank me later.  When they’re all creamy and delicious, pile all but a spoonful on top of the casserole, and spread to the edge.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, sprinkle the cheese on top of the potatoes, and bake another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

4. While the casserole is baking and just before you wash up, eat that spoonful of creamy delicious mashed potatoes, and smack your lips.

NOTE: My husband says he would be just as happy if I left out the green beans altogether, and he says the corn is the best part of it. So maybe you could do another can of beans to make up the volume from the green beans, and then do a bag and a half of corn.  He also says I didn’t make enough mashed potatoes (for the record, I did 5), so  you may want to have 6 or 7, depending on how much you love creamy delicious mashed potatoes.  And he also wants more beef, so maybe a pound and a half or two pounds?

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