The year the stuffing got away.

This week has been stunningly beautiful with warm sunshine making the days feel more like mid May than late November. I have been spot on with eating and exercising, working out on Tuesday and getting a great bike ride in on Wednesday and then power cleaning the house which had to burn some calories, right? I noticed earlier in the week my lower back was close to having a temper tantrum of epic proportions. I ignored the pain for the most part and thought it would go away. No pain, not gain right? Wrong. I am writing this blog post today from a chilly house with an ice pack on my back and Ben-Gay wafting through the house, much different than yesterday I am afraid.

Yesterday was so warm in fact, we were able to relax outside for a pre-dinner cocktail, complete with the dogs frolicking in the back yard and the lazy spin of a ceiling fan spreading the mouthwatering smells in the kitchen.



It was perfect….Almost.


Melinda and Bob were heading over to the house about 2:00pm, my mother was responsible for bringing one thing, and that one thing I had anticipated and thought about for days…her  homemade stuffing. I had the measuring cup at the ready and I was going to have 1/2 cup of this glorious concoction of sauteed veggies,  Busken’s fresh rolls that were toasted and buttered all diving into a warm bath of mom’s homemade chicken broth creating such deliciousness that I have had a serious long term relationship with her stuffing, and while we are no longer life partners I am okay with the occasional one night stand.

The phone rings… it’s my mom saying words I still find agonizing to repeat, the pain is still pretty fresh, “I dropped the pan of stuffing coming out the front door”, my first thought  is… “SO, scoop it up, HOW dirty could the concrete floor of your porch possibly be?” Actually pretty dirty because my mom is a half -way house for all the neighborhood cats. If they don’t like what is being served at their homes they head on over to see what is being served at mom’s place. Then the truth comes out, she lost her balance when a hungry kitty got under her feet….(must have smelled the damn stuffing down the block). She was clearly upset so I refrained from throwing a third grade tantrum on the phone, but in my head that is exactly what was happening, feet stomping and all.

Perhaps it was the universe helping me with my caloric intake for the day, but I recovered quickly (kinda) and told mom that it was not a big deal, what mattered was that she did not fall, and was not hurt. It’s not like we didn’t have other food to eat, the menu had been planned for awhile and I wanted to enjoy the food for that meal with no guilt and it was to be about moderation. The menu consisted of a beef roast, studded with caramelized garlic, buttermilk mashed yukon potatoes, creamed spinach made with lemon infused yogurt and just a touch of half an half, mushrooms with dill, chives and brown butter (just a tablespoon though-if you brown it there is an amazing nutty flavor and you don’t need much of it at all), cranberry/orange relish and roasted beets. I was going to do an asparagus dish but sadly like Mom’s stuffing that bit the dust too, however it did not involve any feline intervention just user error as they had gone bad from being in the fridge for just 2 days? This is why I try not to buy veggies from big supermarkets seems like they buy produce grown under the armpit of the earth having almost no shelf life! They were going to be served with goat cheese and crispy shallots, it’s okay they will go on the Christmas menu along with the second attempt at , you know what! We finished our meal with Abby Girl Cupcakes which were amazing and portion control build right in which is why I chose them in the first place.

We had a great meal, and so much to be thankful for. Melinda (Mel) and Bob have become family to mom and I, there is now an established ease and love that is something I cherish, as it feels like they have always been part of our lives. The other thing I cherish is now having the memories made yesterday, memories of my mom sipping  a bourbon/cranberry/apple cocktail on the patio as the temperature danced right below 70 degrees with the sun full blast yesterday afternoon, and  the dogs playfully chasing each other in the yard. Tristan was so brave,  making giant steps overcoming more of his fear and anxiety as he was able to run out the backdoor with Mel holding it open to chase after Tully and their new Pilgrim Pete toy! (Thank you Shannon!) and of course playing ball! It is a very slow journey for Tristan but worth the wait seeing him take the next step when he is ready, I have to remember that like me, he has to find his own way at his own pace for the healing to happen.



Tristan managed to pry the ball from Tully....


I felt good about my choices, small servings and enjoyed the food I had very much, while it was a bit of indulgence I set myself up for success. Had a great workout with Linds early in the week and Jen and I went for a nice bike ride on Wednesday afternoon. I followed my plan of attack, so today it feels great to not have to say “gotta get back on the wagon” because I never left the wagon.


It IS totally acceptable to drink Bourbon out of mason jars!




Our "stuffingless" feast!



Here I am with mom and her holiday glow...



Fine... maybe we all had a little bit of the holiday glow.


FYI “Holiday glow=Bourbon”


We spent the rest of the night drinking coffee and playing board games, laughing like kids and by the end of the night we were all pleasantly exhausted….even the dogs ran out of energy.


Probably dreaming of stuffing.....


I am Thankful for all I have been given, cherish what I have, and miss those terribly who are no longer beside me.








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