My GrandpaT always said at nearly every meal to at least one of us grandkids "Why don't you eat and leave the food alone?" Which, to a 5 yr old, is pretty confusing. I think I have it figured out, but don't tell my family. We all believe what we want about Grandpa's words of wisdom on just about everything in the world.
For me, I will simply say - it makes me wonder what in the world I really have eaten myself into...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This afternoon I posted a mobile pic of our lunch on my FaceBook. 

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

My friend Tiff asked that I post the recipe for her.. funnily enough I made the dish a few weks ago and took pics planning to blog it eventually. So, for you my Tiff... The recipe.

The following recipe was given to me by a wonderful friend who made this casserole for me when Mini-Me was born. Thanks Kerry!
It is truly the yummiest, most indulgent casserole you will ever love, right up there with 
Homemade Mac & Cheese!
You will be needing Chicken Broth anyway, so... just use it to boil your chicken in instead of water. I have also cooked my chicken up in a pan with seasoning and such... but it really isn't necessary.
And of course preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I gave this job to Mini-Me, but she had a hard time using this particular tool.. either way, cut the chicken up smaller or not - your choice!

Recipe (for a medium to large casserole):

Chicken Breasts (1 per person is what I use usually cook up)
Tortillas (1 or 2 per person)
Cheese (2 cups or more, as you wish)
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Ro-Tel, or other preferred diced tomatos w/chilli's
1 Cup Chicken Broth 
(I also do add ins from time to time, like Green Beans, Black Beans & Corn, Olives - whatever strikes you)

Spray your casserole dish.
Layer the Tortillas, Chicken, and Cheese.
Combine the soup, Ro-Tel, and Broth.
Pour over the layers and watch it sink in.

Mini-Me cutting up the Tortilla herself, super easy, fast and safe for young ones too!


Cook in the oven for 35 minutes, or until top is bubbly and the dry tips of the tortillas are browned and crispy

This is the mobile pic of the completed casserole from today. This is also twice baked. Last week I made my usual recipe and put it into two smaller dishes. We cooked both, then froze this one.
How I managed to not get a pic of the one we were working on a few weeks ago, I will never know., but such is life!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

7 Stages of a Senseless Breakup

First let's address the title. When I say 'senseless' I refer to it in the way that, how can any break up make sense?. Yet, most break ups have very specific reasons they occurred.

I want to address the type of break up that occurs even when for all intents and purposes the couple should have worked, and the ending of their relationship was almost as surprising to them as it was to their friends and family. Only they know all the reasons it didn't work but this is what they have to face:

*These 7 Stages of a breakup came from She Knows Love, with my own spin on them.

Shock: "What in God's name just happened?"

Shock is the body's natural protection against pain. And when your relationship first ends, you just might not want to deal with what's coming next. It may be too scary, too lonely, too confusing. A state of disbelief could last minutes, weeks or even months even if you're the one making the decision to break up. Don't be surprised if you feel a sense of blurriness about the actual breakup scene, a literal loss of breath, or trouble sleeping.

Do/Do not:

  • Do Pray, only God truly gives you the sense of peace you seek in other methods, although other methods are valuable too. Rest, meditation on the goods things in your life.
  • Do not freak out. You will make sense of all of this!

2Denial: "This is NOT happening."

Denial is rejection of reality and a storage of feelings. The thinking is that, if you don't accept the heartbreak, then it didn't really happen, thus leaving hope for reunion. During this stage of a breakup it is common to call, email or even Facebook-stalk -- anything that feels remotely "normal" about the relationship -- in an effort to put dealing with the heartbreak on hold.

Do/Do not:

  • Do open up to a journal or trusted friend to begin unleashing fears, identifying unreasonable thoughts and more.
  • Do not minimize the situation. Pretending your breakup doesn't have to be dealt with will lead to emotional numbness and leave you stuck.

3Isolation: "I just want to sit in this all by myself."

Once you've recognized the breakup, you get into the dirty work: Dealing with the dissolution of the relationship. You may replay the relationship over and over in your mind, trying to pinpoint where it fell apart and how it could have been saved. Your thoughts may feel very scattered and disorganized. This stage of grief has you in withdrawal; you don't even feel like updating your Facebook status or checking your voice mails. You may draw your blinds and not even want to leave the house. Sitting in silence, darkness or a pint of ice cream feels better than going outside and admitting to the world that, yes, it's over.

Do/Do not:

  • Do take regular showers and create reasons to face the day (work, social activities).
  • Do not indulge in self-pity by letting irrational thoughts like "No one will ever love me again" take over. 

4Anger: "I hate you/myself for ... "

In this stage, your heart goes from sad to raging mad. It becomes fueled with anger towards your ex for whatever his part in the breakup was, and/or toward yourself for your part. During this stage of breakup, you may find yourself burning pictures of him, holding his stuff hostage, slandering him to his friends or worse. If you are angry with yourself, you may do a lot of self-talk -- regretful thoughts and angry conversation with yourself. The deeper desire here is often to place blame.

Do/Do not:

  • Do feel, write or talk about your anger, it is real, and normal.
  • Do not act on it.

5Bargaining: "What will it take to get him/her back?"

Sometimes involving prayers, this stage is often about getting your ex back, but other times, it is about absolving your own guilt if you did something wrong that caused the breakup. Desperate to negotiate with yourself or your ex, you may go to extreme measures to make deals or become something else (thinner, less jealous, etc.) to make amends -- when in truth, it is just about making the current pain go away.

Do/Do not:

  • Do create a self-love list complete with what makes you happy and things you want for your future.
  • Do not include wanting your ex back in the above list! There was a reason you split!

6Depression: "I will never get over him/her."

You realize the magnitude of your loss in this stage of grief, and it can feel all too overwhelming. You may wind up in a state of deep sadness that can even resemble mild depression. At this point, recalling what your life was like prior to your relationship or what it could be like now can be hard. Just getting out of bed feels difficult, and you may even feel physical aches and pains perpetuated by deep feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and sadness.

Do/Do not:

  • Do surround yourself with positive people and lots of sunshine.
  • Do not fall victim to unhealthy behaviors such as binge eating or drinking.

7Acceptance: "I understand why I was with him/her, why I'm not now, and that I will be better than just OK."

The acceptance stage of a breakup makes all the other really tough ones worth it. This is the one that finally gives you that welcome sense of exhalation. You come to realize what the past meant and what the future can hold. The sun begins to shine, and you begin to feel like yourself again, ready to move onward and upward.

Do/Do not:

  • Do celebrate getting through your breakup.
  • Do not be surprised if you still feel moments of sadness from time to time; it's normal. Just keep on your positive path!
Prepare to cycle these stages in big and small ways throughout them You may feel the anger one day then depression, then denial all over again. But essentially you will move forward from one stage to the next. They may not come in order for you, and each stage will last as long as it needs to. Not one minute less.

Now, I have been through this, we all have. When The Exhole and I split, I had passed through most of these stages before I actually left him. I knew I was leaving and was figuring out the when and how right up to the night he lost his mind and I ended up the screaming woman on a 911 call. It was really easy for me to leave (and stay gone) by that point!

Some times though, the end is a surprise for all. It seems that just one more 'discussion' or the right turn of phrase will resolve the issues the couple faces. Then someone says "I'm done, I'm leaving, I can't do this anymore" and the other surprises them both by saying "Yeah, it's not working". That is the precise moment Shock sets in, and you go on from there...

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