Thursday, December 4, 2008


Finally I was able to wear down the satellite folks. They wouldn't agree to disregard my contract but they did agree to give me 2 months completely free and then after the two months they will only bill me $20 a month for the next 12 months. Not too shabby. At least no bills from them for 2 months and if things haven't improved by then, I can still try to get them to cancel the contract.

Writing this paragraph may be the kiss of death but I'm going to type it anyway. J is really making lots of progress. It's been about 4 weeks since she's raged. She's doing really well at allowing me to teach her and there hasn't been any control battles yet. She's been very kind and considerate of Puddin and I've been able to allow her to be in the room unsupervised with Puddin. Tuesday night I walked out to the mailbox and was able to look in J's window and see her reading in bed holding the book with one hand and petting Puddin with the other. I honestly cannot tell you how that made me feel. Almost had to sit down in the driveway and blubber. Puddin has been going in J's room to lay on her bed a good bit and it still surprises me. The cat is now deciding it's safe to be around her too. The cat has avoided J like the plague and will leave the property if J comes out of the house. Now he is also discovering it's safe to come around her. Journaling is taking up some of our board game time but she's enjoying it and is being very consistent.

There is the sweetest sight right now in my house. It's independent reading time and J is curled up on the couch with a blankie reading, Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion. (Thanks again for the books, Texas Mary!)

Ok girls... (and Mike ;-) here's the dish on the beans.

I might be wrong but I think some of the problems could be
(a) there is not enough water when you're soaking them (it takes a lot of water to soak them since they're dried they'll use up all the water);
(b) you have to cook them for at least 30 minutes (by themselves) without salt, seasoning or acidic products such as tomatoes, juice or vinegar (thanks Mike for reminding me of this);
(c) make sure there is enough water or stock when you're cooking them too. If the beans are soaked overnight and you've put them in the pot to cook, the water should cover the beans by at least 1 to 1 1/2".

These recipes are courtesy of Mike, for all of us. (Remember these are calling for SOAKED beans)

Charro Beans
• 1 bag of dry pinto beans
• 6 slices of bacon cut into pieces
• 4 to 5 Serrano peppers
• 1/2 onion
• 4 roma tomatoes
• salt to taste
• *cilantro optional *
1. Cook beans in water according to package directions. Once beans are tender and cut easily with a spoon
you add salt to taste.
2. Cook the bacon pieces in a pan until done. Take out the bacon and set aside.
3. Add the Serrano, onions, and tomatoes to the pan and sauté until tender. You may have to add a little
bit of water to keep mixture from getting too thick. When mixture is tender pour into your pot of beans
and add the bacon also.
4. Let then beans simmer for about 10 min. to let flavors mix.
5. You can also add a few sprigs of cilantro to pot if you wish.

Borracho (Drunk) Beans
1 Medium size bag of pinto beans

1 Package sliced bacon (or you can use salt pork bacon)
3 Links (I prefer Blue Ribbon Hot & Spicy)
1 Large onion
3 Large ripped tomatoes
5 Raw Jalapeno Peppers (or you can use 2 large bell peppers if you don't want Hot)
3 Garlic cloves
1 Cup of Cilantro
1 Can of beer (your choice)
Salt & Pepper to your taste
Preparing the beans:

Clean the beans and pick out any dirt etc, rinse beans and cook. (I use the Crockpot on high) Make sure you have plenty of water, don't open lid but maybe a couple of times to add water or to make sure they're not stuck at the bottom of the pot, or the beans will turn dark. When the beans are starting to get tender you need to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Remainder Ingredients:
Cut bacon in 1-inch pieces.
Cut links into 1/2 inch slices and then in quarters
Cook bacon and links in skillet until caramelized, add to the beans slowly
Remove some of the grease from the skillet and add chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped Jalapeno peppers until caramelized, add everything in the skillet to the beans slowly
Cut tomatoes in small pieces and add to the beans
Rinse the Cilantro and chop the leaves and add to the beans
Pour beer into the beans slowly
Add Salt & Pepper to your taste, stir all ingredients slowly and cook for another 30-45 minutes to soak up all the ingredients or until beans are fully cooked.

Please, oh, please don't give up on dried beans. Once you get the hang of it you'll never go back to canned beans.

I just hate it when I don't check my spelling until after I've hit post. Duh!


Kristina P. said...

I'm glad that you were able to get your bill reduced! That's great.

And I didn't even attempt this recipe. I knew it would be problematic for me. :)

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of homeschooling unattached kids. I think it helps prevent the need to triangulate. It is hard to triangulate just one person. There is also a lot less stress in general.
The down side is there is no built in respite for bad days.

I am glad your daughter is doing well. I'm praying it is a sign of things to come.

Kelly said...

You are tickling me with all your money saving tricks. You could live in the amish country living like that.:) I visited one up in Tennessee one time and I was wishing my life to be like them when I left. I have always said the simpler the better. We live very frugally but not as frugal as you. :) I am so happy for you a J. I nearly cried picturing you looking in the window on her and Puddin. You are both so blessed. Your committment to her healing continually amazes and inspires me!

Brenda said...

I love your reading/kitty story. Very sweet.

Torina said...

Ahhh, it was the cooking in nothing for thirty minutes that I have not done. I will have to try it again cause I have a Navy Bean Soup craving...and glad it is still going well. FOUR WEEKS!! Woo hoo!!

Christa said...

Hooray for 4 weeks without a raging fit. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it continues.

Annette Anthony said...

Thanks for the recipees!
I am so glad that J is doing so well. I am also very happy for Puddin. Good KITTY!

Holly said...

Yeah for J and yeah for you on the satellite battle!

Kathy Cassel said...

Yay for progress.

Meg an Aggie in Frisco said...

Whoop! I also am becoming a fan of Brodie Beans... but I use a ham hock. I am sure Cindy would not. :-)