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So I did something BIG!  I signed up for a 27 week full body challenge.  I started my diet on January 1st and started the workout group on the 3 of January.  My weight was 158.8 on the 1st.  My goal is to gain strength, to tone my body and to be more healthy.  This challenge is called the Kick start challenge and it is being held at Team Hopkins Jiu-Jitsu  in Mobile, AL.  It is so convenient because it is only 2 blocks away from my house. This makes it harder to make excuses not to show up.  The first time I went to a class everyone welcomed me into the group with open arms.  They made me feel like I had been around from the very beginning.  There is a Facebook page for our group and it is full of support, encouragement and friendship. I hope to see some results by the end of my first month.  I will let you know how things are going.

Now on another note ,this post was supposed to go out a  week ago but my computer crashed!  I mean what the hell?   So I have no photos to post until I figure it out.  I am using an old laptop to get this to you now. So don’t forget about me and keep checking in because I will do my best to get this resolved as soon as possible.

Wish me Luck!!

Until Then,

Wende

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Well Happy New Year!

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Yes I know that it is already a few weeks in but here I am.  Quite a lot has been going on the past few months.  I mean all the holidays are over but man they were a whirlwind.  Stephen and I were busy with work, family and friends.  We hosted our Friends Kurt and Christine for a late friends Giving, they had me over for lunch one day while Stephen was working.  They also invited us over for an early Christmas dinner. which was delicious.

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They put out a yummy plate of meat and cheese.

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Kurt and Stephen in the kitchen making refreshing drinks.

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Fizzy…

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I love Christine’s plates!

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The four of us leaning in for a group pic…

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This is a little gift that Kurt and Christine gave us!

   Stephen volunteered himself and I to make Christmas Day lunch for his entire Precinct, so we were busy preparing everything all day Christmas eve day.  We went over to my parents house that evening to eat dinner and enjoy family time.

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This is how we do Christmas Eve diner in the South.  Fried shrimp, Crab and Corn bisque, cheese grits and coleslaw.

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Not the best but it is a pretty descent photo of us.

 They next morning I woke up and pre heated the oven so I could get everything cooked and ready to deliver by 11:15 lunch time.

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 It worked out so well. I was able to have Christmas Lunch with Stephen and his squad.

New Years was uneventful for me but that is perfectly fine.  I really don’t like going out and about on big holidays.  There are to many people out there who do not think, drink  and then drive.  No thank you.

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 I was content sitting on my couch snuggled up with a blanket and my 2 Fur Babies.  I heard the fireworks from the living room  and that was enough celebrating for me!

Well this sums up my last 4 weeks.  I hope that your Holiday season was awesome and that your New Year brings you good health, good friend, great food, love and everything else you wish for!

I have started my new year off with a challenge.  I will talk more on that in a day or two.

Until Then,

Wende

See ya November!

Well as I sit and type this post it is the last night of November and I just want to say that I am thankful for quite a lot. For instance. . .

My family

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My friends

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And my amazing husband!

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I am so blessed!

Until Then,

Wende

Lazy Weekend Yeah Right!

So this weekend has been a busy one.  I have been cleaning and trying to get this house ready for the holiday season and decorating!  Stephen was on duty all weekend so I had the evenings to myself.  I find this good and bad.  I enjoy my personal time but also find that I get lonely every now and then.

I know I said that I was going to post on things that I am thankful for so today I am thankful that I have all of my Thanksgiving and Friends giving food shopping COMPLETE! I will not go back to the store until December if I don’t have to.  This time of year sucks at any kind of store.  We are having our friends ( Kurt & Christine) from Germany over next weekend for a post Thanksgiving / pre Yule holiday dinner.  We always have such a wonderful time visiting with them.  They share in our love of photography as well as traveling.  They have been way more places than we have but it is fun hearing about all the places they have visited.

So the other day I made an easy batch of potato soup.  I will every now and again go all out and make it completely from scratch but this is just as delicious and faster and much more simple.

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I start with just a few simple ingredients:

bacon bits, chicken broth, simply potatoes(shredded hash browns),

onion, minced garlic, butter, and heavy whipping cream.

In a soup pot, I add  about 2 pats of butter and let it melt. I then cut my onion ( about 1/4 cup) into small diced pieces and throw them in to soften along with about  tablespoon of minced garlic.

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Next I add some of the real bacon bits and let that simmer for a minute or two.

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I add the shredded potatoes and stir it up. I always buy 2 packages of these because sometimes the soup does not thicken enough for me and I add more in.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.  Now pour your chicken broth over the top and stir it all together.  Bring this to a nice simmer but stir occasionally so it does not burn on the bottom.

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You may want to taste after a few minutes and see if you need more salt and pepper.  It is strictly up to you.  Once you see the soup start to thicken a bit you will get a potato masher and start smashing.  I like some chunks in my soup so I don’t go to crazy.  Now I will stir in a bit of my heavy whipping cream and let it cook away.  When it is nice and thick I add a bit more bacon and top it with cheese and eat it up!

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There you have it. Simple, fast and oh so delicious!

I found a great recipe for a Irish Guinness Stew and I am dying to make it.  So I hope to have that for you soon.  Be on the look out.

Until Then,

Wende

Halloween Fun!

So I totally know this is late but hey, I have a life too.  With work, the Fur Kids, and a Police husband, I am busy cleaning, cooking sleeping and relaxing (when I can).  So now I am writing my Samhian post.

At work we decided on a Sports them. I went as a referee as did my partner in crime.

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The other girls dressed as a tennis, soccer, and baseball player.

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We had a wrestler, and a handful of tail gaiters.

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We all brought food and had a big Halloween feast.

It was fun and some of the other departments really went all out.  Our Medical Records department chose Hocus Pocus to dress up as.  I have to say that they won the day in my book.

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They had a floating cauldron and the hanging cages with kids in them ( not real ones).

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The sacred candle which can only be lit by a Virgin.

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And who could forget Billy Butcherson?

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They did a great job.

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It was a long day at work but I was ready to head over to ritual with my friend Barbra.  Our lovely host had the house decorated to the 9’s.  They had over 300 kids come trick or treating to her house alone.

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The food was amazing!

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The fire pit was a blaze and we all gathered round for warmth and conversation.

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Circle was set with beautiful lights as the spirit world lingered just on the other side of the thinning veil.

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Paula and Cody graciously invited us in to circle.  It was a magical time to reflect on the  past year and what was to come in the new year.  You could feel those who had left this relm  reaching out to us. Letting us know they are there and to thank us for remembering them.

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We all lit candles for our ancestors.

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It was a wonderful evening.  I am so glad that I can be a part of such a fantastical group of people.

Now that November has started it is time to be thankful and show appreciation for all that we have in this dark time of year.  Love, shelter, friends, jobs, LIFE!  I think that I will post about what I am thankful for throughout November.  I challenge you to tell someone what you are thankful for too.

Until Then,

Wende

Sunday Funday!

Sunday means work tomorrow but it also means relaxing, wine and good food.  So Last weekend I did a bit of cleaning and a lot of the other 2.  I made a beef stew because it lasts a few meals and it is cool out side.  I love this time of year!

I start my stew by sauteing diced onion and bell pepper in some olive oil.  I then cut my beef tips into small chunks to make sure you get some in ever bite.  Once the onions are nice and soft I add the meat and salt and pepper while it browns.

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  Now it is time to cut the potatoes and carrots.

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I will add this to the meat then pour chicken broth over the top.

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I will add water so that it just covers the vegetables.

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I add a dash of celery seed, a bay leaf more salt and pepper to taste and a fresh sprig of rosemary from my front yard.

Now you cover the pot and let the heat so its thing.  Once the vegetables are soft you can taste for flavor.  Add seasoning if you like.

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I take about 2 cups of the liquid out and add some flour to it stir it well to thicken it and then add it back to the stew.  This  will give the stew a thicker gravy like texture which is delicious.

You can serve this with bread but my Husband like to eat it over rice.  So there you have it a nice hot, hearty stew on a chilly fall evening.

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Now it is time for the Walking Dead!

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Enjoy!

Until Then,

Wende

Making Strides

Well this morning I woke up early and headed Downtown Mobile to walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

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I met a few of the girls that I work with and we did the 5k walk.  It was chilly and rainy but the crowd pushed through and we raised awareness for a great cause.

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This walk does not have a entry fee but they ask for donations which go toward the research for a cure to Breast Cancer.

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I walk in honor of my Mom who is a breast cancer survivor and for Mrs. Cindy Morris who is the Den Mother to the Mobile Police Academy.

Stephen was on Traffic Duty during the walk so it was nice to see him along the way.

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We made it to the finish line and now it is time for some food and Para Norman!

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Tomorrow I clean, relax and watch more movies!

Until Then,

Wende