Monday, December 5, 2011


I rolled out of bed this morning as soon as my alarm went off at 6, loaded up the crock pot with ingredients for a quick soup to simmer all day long and be ready for dinner when we got home. Meditation came easily after feeding the geranimals and packing my own breakfast and lunch. After meditating with a kitten in my face (quite the new challenge), I got ready for work and left the house.

All this by 7am.

The beautiful thing is that I didn't feel rushed. Bing, bing, bing, it was one thing after the other, riding that wave. Was it knowing I was planning ahead that felt so good and effortless? That I was taking care of myself? Whatever it was, it was peaceful and joyful and fulfilling.

After a long day at the bakery, coming home to the smell of dinner ready was a dream -- I was so excited! To know all I had to do was take a shower and eat filled me with such gratitude I could hardly contain myself. What a different feeling than coming home exhausted and knowing dinner prep and cooking and cleanup still needed to take place. It was as if someone lovingly prepared a meal for us and left it on our doorstep for our dining pleasure out of concern that we were terribly busy and needed a hand.

Indeed, someone was me!

Thanks, me! : )

Somehow it makes it much more special. Really. To plan ahead for the care of our own needs means we matter. That I'm a priority. That what I need is important. What a switch!

Guess I do know how to retain some sanity after all. It does require presence and conscious choices and a different kind of focus. But it is so very worth it.

And somehow once I started taking care of myself today, it made it easier to continue as the day went on.

I actually sat down for something to eat this afternoon when I was hungry. I drank plenty of water throughout the day. I did a little stretching, breathed into my five minute routine and even finished my meditation for the night before sitting down to blog.

What a difference a day makes. Especially a day with a little forethought and deliberate intention. Nice!

Even with a couple more hours of work with stuff I brought home this evening, all the self-care made all the work more balanced. And bearable.

This, I can do.

For now, it's time to finish up and get to bed for a long winter's nap night's sleep to prepare for another conscious day tomorrow. In honor of the snuggle fest ahead, complete with a kitten sleeping at my feet (or so was the program last night), I've chosen a special brew for tonight's installment of the...

12 Brews of Christmas!
For the fifth brew of Christmas, my true love poured for me...

...Great Divide Brewing Company's Hibernation Ale!

Yum, and yum!

Malty and hoppy, a little coffee, a little smoke, and some caramel to balance it out. Again, a bit more bitter on the finish than I usually prefer, but this one is so much more balanced than the one yesterday, more subtle flavors that blend into a big tasting beer. Dark, yet not nearly as thick as day two -- in all fairness, that one was a stout. Hearty without heavy, warming and flavorful without being overpowering.

And I LOVE the label.

What can I say? Never underestimate the power of a super cool label.

Only available through December 15th, so strap on your skis and glide on over to The Ale Jail and check it out before it's gone. It's probably available other places, too...I just tell you what I know!

NOTE: No kickback for me from The Ale Jail -- just happens to be my favorite beer shop in town and I love to promote the places that I love!

What's For Dinner Tonight?
A couple weeks ago, I was at my brother's and he had a crock pot full of his version of Chicken Posole going. It was so scrumptious, I made him write down his made-up recipe for me.

And now, I share it with you! (Thanks, Pete!)

Chicken Posole
3/4 roasted chicken, mix of white and dark meat
32 oz. chicken stock
28 oz. can green chile enchilada sauce*
2-10oz cans ro-tel tomatoes (original)
2-15oz cans white hominy
1-7oz can diced green chiles (my addition)
salt to taste, if necessary

*I used 2-8oz pouches of Frontera green enchilada sauce and a cup of water since Frontera is so concentrated. Delicious!

Throw it all in the crock pot and put on low all day long. It was about 10 hours for us and it was fantastic. Chopped up some fresh cilantro and served with sour cream, tortillas...great with any of your favorite fixings.

I never did get any pictures because I was starving and we just plain ate it. Plus, brothy soups are notoriously challenging to photograph well and frankly, it was unessential this evening. But you got the recipe! And trust me, it's awesome! So warm, a little of da spice, comforting and filling.

Perfect ending. Just what the self-care doctor ordered on a cold winter's night.

Did I mention that below freezing temps have arrived on our doorstep and unpacked, expecting to stay awhile??!?

Stay warm and sleep tight!

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