Thankful for Gratitude: TToT

It’s been a good week back in the bush, and I have a few things to be thankful for!

1. Birthday Weeks (at least)….we tend to celebrate birthdays for at least a week around here.  Elayna’s started last Friday, her birthday was Thursday (I would love for you to read my birthday post from that day), and last night we had a family dinner out at Applebee’s (Elayna’s choice).  There were 13 of us total; I’d originally anticipated 15, but Byron’s son had a baseball game so he and his girlfriend couldn’t come.  It was fun!

2. Big Loving Families.  Including my Mother-in-Law, who is my kids’ step-grandmother.
I love that she comes to our family gatherings and fits right in.  This is what she wrote on Facebook for Elayna’s birthday:
Happy 13th Birthday, Elayna!!!!! Hope you have a FUN day today, Miss Teenager! I am so happy and proud to call you my granddaughter.

3. My unique kid.….she received a few gifts last night (she’d already gotten most of her gifts) and loved them all.  They were: One Direction school supplies (agenda, notebooks, etc), Wizard of Oz memorabilia, and a teenage-geared Bible.

4. Thrift store and “picking” finds.  The house down the road from us was abandoned by the tenants and the owners are our friends.  A majority of the stuff left behind is garbage, but if you have time and patience, you may find some treasures.  I think they collected antiques and vintage stuff.  They may have even ran a flea market booth because some stuff seems sorted and priced.  Anyway, among my favorites, I found this mirror this past week.  I don’t know if it’s antique but it’s certainly vintage, and it matches my dresser perfectly.  I love it!  And at a thrift store I found the vanity tray for $1.  It’s these little things that make me happy!

vintage

I couldn’t get the pic on the left to flip over, so tip your head to the right to view it properly =D

5. Stuffed Pepper Soup….I made it for the first time last weekend and I am THANKFUL that I did!  It was delicious and the whole family loved it.  Byron has requested that I make it again, which I am doing right now.  I made my own recipe by combining a few I found online, so here’s mine:

2 lbs. ground beef (I used ground venison)
4 bell peppers (I used one of each color: red, yellow, orange, green)
1 large (28 oz) can tomato sauce
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can beef broth
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon (beef)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups cooked rice

Seasonings, to taste: salt, pepper, garlic salt, crushed red pepper, oregano, parsley flakes.
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream

peppers

Isn’t it pretty??

Brown the meat, peppers, onions and minced garlic together.  Then either add all the other ingredients except rice to that pot and simmer for about two hours, or put it all in your crockpot except the rice and cook on high for about three hours.   Meanwhile, cook your rice and add it to the mix at the end.  You have to put cheese over it, you just have to!  Otherwise it’s not stuffed peppers!

Now, back to the thankful:

6. Fresh Pork.  Byron killed a wild hog Thursday night. This one was huge; so big Byron and I together couldn’t lift him to put him on the back of the 4-wheeler and bring him home.  Byron had to tie him to the back of the 4-wheeler and drag him instead.  I helped him skin him and cut him up.  Butchering a hog is hard work.  We will take it to our butcher to be processed; half ground sausage and half link sausage.  Mr. Hog will make some yummy meals in the coming months!

***WARNING: Dead animal photos below.  Not graphic, but still, dead.***

hog1

Finally got him hanging up, whew!!

hog2

My husband rarely smiles for photos!
I love this!

hog3

Me & Mr. Hog

7. Gratitude.  Yep, I am thankful for gratitude.  Byron is very appreciative of the fact that I get right in there and help him skin/butcher the deer and hogs that he kills.  I’m not squeamish at all, I don’t mind getting bloody and I don’t get icked out.  He’s not used to that, and he loves it.  It’s nice to be appreciated.  I ended up with…something?…in my hair the last time we skinned a deer.  I thought it was hilarious.  I did break a nail while we were butchering the hog, though.  Dangit!

8. Gratitude, Part II: Gratitude from my patients and nurses makes my very challenging job a little easier, and a lot more rewarding.  One particular night last week I got a lot of praise from both nurses and patients; I don’t know if I missed a memo and it was Be Nice to Cyndy night or what, but it sure did feel good!

9. A Sense of Humor: This gets me through so many days and situations.  Work and home.  Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, I’ll be glad to laugh at you, because some people just demand that reaction!

10. Living in Florida.  Although I have been flipping freezing!!!!  I know it’s much, much worse up North.  Stay warm, Northern friends!

florida

 Linking up with the Ten Things of Thankful hop…..check it out!

Ten Things of Thankful
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18 thoughts on “Thankful for Gratitude: TToT

  1. THanks for the animal warning…
    Happy birthday to 13! What a lovely step grandma comment…gotta love a grandma with a facebook account!
    Cool that you include the recipe… and a rare husband smiling sighting is a big deal! Have a great week!

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  2. Florida certainly sounds nice right about now (although today we thawed a bit – rest of the week up until now was pretty polar vortex though)….

    Lots to be thankful for – and I love the mirror find! I like the style!

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  3. This little piggy’s gonna provide a whole LOT of bellyfuls of happiness. That’s awesome. And way cool that you get in there and gut and skin and uck-out the piggy til he’s ready. I’d totally be in there.

    The recipe sounds good. I got lost on the ‘stuffed’ bit, because them peppers look kinda chopped to me, but nevermind. I’m sure it tasted delicious, to judge by the ingredients.

    I’m glad you had a week of so many people being nice to you. That’s lovely.

    And happy birthday Elayna 🙂

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  4. Daggum!! The sausage without the hassle of feeding and raising the pigs! That is the way to do it, for sure. Congrats on the hog.

    My favorite is your thankful for the stepgrandma. As a child of divorced and remarried parents, that one hits home. Our stepgrandparents pretended we didn’t exist, so I am over-the-moon happy to see other people behave better.

    Keep laughing! A sense of humor is on of the best traits a person can have.

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  5. Happy Birthday to your sweet Elayna! I think its great she collects Wizard of Oz memorabilia and I will have to look for the Bible for teenagers. That would really come in handy here!
    I know what you mean about being glad to live in Florida. Yes, it’s been cold for us but nowhere near as bad as our northern friends.
    I had to show my husband the hog photos! He is a huge hunter and appreciates these things! That should fill your freezer pretty well….ours is stacked with venison right now. There might be some elk and gator in there too!

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  6. What a great list! Good for you getting icky with the wild caught stuff. Mr. Hog should be super yummy. I like the idea of the soup, just don’t know if I could sell it to my troupes. What a great birthday for her. My youngest is 13 and a whole lot of fun.

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  7. The soup looks really good! And MMMM BACON…although I’m not sure I’d eat it if I had to slaughter the pig myself. I’m pretty wimpy that way.

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