Monday, January 11, 2010

Slow And Simple

I find myself being drawn to all things simple. It is like my mind is too tired and needs a vacation from having to process too much. I am mindful of how exhausting it is to grieve both physically and mentally. I am functioning much better than I was in December but need to remember to keep taking little steps and not try to accomplish too much too soon.

For now, I am truly grateful to be able to do laundry, cook, wash my face before going to bed and floss my teeth. To tackle the dishes straight on instead of letting them sit in the sink. I am less likely to snap at one of the boys and I feel in more control and calm, even when life is still pretty harry.

I enjoyed cooking up a super crock pot meal this weekend that made our little home warm and inviting. I also baked a dump cake which I love because it is simply dumping three items into a pan.

Slow Cooker Italian Shredded Beef Hoagies (Betty Crocker)

2 lb beef boneless arm roast, trimmed of fat (I used a cooked turkey pot roast I already had in the freezer and this still tasted great)

2 medium onions, sliced (These really make the mixture tasty)

1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup tomato paste (I just used a small can of tomato sauce since I didn't have the paste)

8 Hoagie buns, toasted if desired

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Place onions in bottom of slow cooker. Place meat on top of onions. Mix the tomatoes and sauce/paste and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8-10 hours. (Since my meat was already cooked, I just put the setting on high for a few hours.) Shred meat. Put mixture on buns and top with cheese.

Yeah, there is enough left for another dinner later in the week. It is also suggested, that you simply top pasta with the meat mixture if you don't want sandwiches.

3-Ingredient Pear Dump Cake

Coat 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Pour in large can of pears in heavy syrup (include syrup). I cut the pears up because they were in halves and spread out on the bottom of the pan. Top pears with a box of DRY white or yellow cake mix, spreading evenly. Top the cake mix with a stick of melted butter or margarine. Sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes. Serve warm with milk, cream or ice cream.

You can use whatever fruit you have - canned peaches, fruit cocktail, etc. or use fresh berries or pie filling. For the butter topping you can also put on pats or slices from a stick, spoon on soft margarine or even spritz sprays of butter flavored cooking spray. This is also good to reheat for breakfast.

Today I am grateful for:

1. Clean clothes.
2. Flannel sheets.
3. Freshly cleaned bathrooms.
4. Being gifted two huge loaves of Italian bread from my oldest's girlfriend, whose family gets them from their neighbors, owners of a bakery.
5. My son's ceramic pots and vases he made this semester in his ceramics class. I am enjoying decorating with them.


  1. Great to hear :-)

    I have been tidying as I go, but need to motivate myself to empty bins, wash up and do laundry :0( (tomorrow tomorrow, I really will tomorrow) x

  2. Tidying as you go is a good strategy - it lets you keep on top of things before they get out of hand. I tend to let things go until drastic measures have to be taken!

  3. Ohhhh flannel sheets. Not so practical in FL but after 10 days in a row of under 50 and mostly 30/40 I am wishing I had some! For now the heating pad tucked into my bed will have to do. For that I am ever so grateful.
    Dreading the power bill this month. The news just said one week of heat = one MONTH'S worth of AC. Oh my God, I am so nervous about this one. I have kept it set on 68 as advised to save. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. I've been hearing about the low temperatures in FL. on the news. We have been having very cold temperatures but will be going up and maybe hit close to 40! But they are saying with so much snow on the ground it is hard to get up there.

    I'll cross my fingers for you with the heating bill. And hope that it warms up for you too. Right now they are talking about your state on the weather, as I write. They are saying it is so tough for you guys because your cold spell has lasted so long.

    Take care and try not to worry too much in the meantime.

  5. You inspired me to get up earlier the last two mornings. I have been hiding in bed until after 10:00. I realize that I feel better when I get up earlier and have more of the day to get things done. Thank you!

  6. It is certainly nice to have a sleep-in day but I am also finding that when I get up earlier, I feel so much more productive. And that ends up translating over to other areas of my life too.

  7. I only had to work part of the morning today. Started at 5:30 am per usual but was done by 10:30. Came home and mowed the lawn. With all the frost and freezing we've had the grass is so not used to it and it turned into a mini hay field. Even though it's cold I got it done and I feel so accomplished. One things for sure, I have NEVER mowed the lawn and then had hot chocolate after!! It felt good to get out there and get moving around.

  8. How crazy to be mowing and following up with hot chocolate! Glad you got some fresh (cold) air and that you felt productive. I'm sure you'll sleep well tonight, thanks to the hard work and exercise.

  9. Yes, the exercise and being outdoors felt really good. Insomnia is acting up again but thankfully my schedule for tomorrow has been cleared because of sick kids so I have the day off. So I am not going to stress over when I fall asleep tonight. I am just going to let it happen.

    Hope you and everyone else here had a good day.

  10. Kelly - Sometimes we have to just put that stress on hold and force ourselves to forget about it. Do you work with kids or did you need to care for the boys?

  11. I am a behavior therapist, I work exclusively with children with autism. So I do tend to try to put my own stress aside and focus on my families needs.

  12. Good for you! I worked as a teacher's aide at a school for children with autism and learned a great deal. One of the recent job offers I received was as a respite worker for a family with three children, all diagnosed! But I turned it down because the hours were not consistent. I am sure you are providing a great deal of assistance, compassion and support to these families.

  13. You're sounding much better this month. Now that the holidays are over, I think it gets easier.

    Note to Kelly: I am a speech pathologist. I see a lot of kids on the spectrum.

  14. Thank you Thelma. I will agree that the holidays being over sure helps, as well as the new year being a clean slate ahead of us with open possibilities. It was good to say goodbye to 2009.