Copyright © Ruby's Musings
Design by Dzignine

Friday, April 15, 2011

"S" Times Three

LIFE. Sometimes life's twists and turns take you on a ride that you truly do not want. Has happened a lot in my lifetime. I am sure I am not alone and often we find out that unexpectedly we are enjoying it or that it was for the best and we learn new things about ourselves. Other times, it side swipes you, when everything seems to be looking up and going well and then BAM! That was this week so far.

Sunday as you know was delightful. Monday was a day from hell. There is no other way to put it. Family issues cropped up from an extended family member and has grabbed hold and dragged myself and so many others back to a place from the past that was better left buried. At least for me. I can not speak for the rest of those involved. The issue/person that caused this has been on my radar, I had warning, but yet had pushed it away, out of my mind till Monday when it was unavoidable. I made a choice that I am on the fence about regretting, I addressed it. Doing so opened Pandora's box. I then crumbled. I was not strong enough to handle the backlash. I did handle it the best that I could, and like a reasonable adult. I am very proud of myself for that. But I sadly fear it is far from over and will get worse before it is. I can not share with you all the details, and that makes it so much darker. I have shared everything with you, my reader,maybe not in each and every detail, but have never danced around things. Here my hands are tied. That weighs heavily on my mind and heart. It feels even more stressful to have this burden. That is the first "S", the stress I have been under for the last few days.

Tuesday was a great day, and I shared with you all the wonderful gifts new friends had sent me and how it had come just in time. I shared with you my day out with my daughter and how it was such an uplifting day, a day that I nearly felt human again after the previous day. I was flying high on that feeling and carried it with me till Wednesday morning. More stress. I had a doctors appointment. I was going for a breast exam. My second one in a month. Because I have no insurance I had been trying to qualify and get into the Planned Parenthood here locally for my lady exams. I had failed and gotten frustrated. I finally had made an appointment with an OB-GYN locally that took cash patients, and came up with the money needed ( by the grace of God) and went. I found out then I had raising blood pressure and fibroid issues. I thought I was all set for the No Woman Left Behind program, never being told that I needed to see certain approved doctors, just that I needed to have an exam and an official reference for a free mammogram. I had this. I had spent two weeks of grocery money to get it. After many phone calls and hoops I was given an appointment to do it all over again at the approved PPH office.

I went in, with my paperwork that had been sent to me all completed and approved, the local office did not accept it. I had to fill out all the paperwork again. The same paperwork. I waited, upset and trying to avoid all the people that were coughing and crowding in, my anxiety was raising. I was approved and sent back. Pee in the cup time...for a breast exam?? Then being ushered into the office, I was asked all the same questions I had just filled out, it had not been entered into the computer yet. I could feel my anxiety and anger raise a bit. Of course that is when they took the blood pressure. I did my best to breathe. The reading was very high. Higher than ever before. I possibly need medications. I simply can not afford them. I was given some natural ways to lower it and once we have grocery money again I shall buy what I need, as well as a home testing kit. Finally it was all over, exam done, bad news given, reference sheet in hand and I came home. It was a cold, wet, gloomy day and all I wanted to do was relax. I needed to relax. So I opened my browser on my computer and was ready to visit with all my email was full of letters from all the family members involved in what had been going on. It was going to continue. Monday was going to happen all over again and it was going to go on all day.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. My husband was home. I always enjoy his days off. We chose to get a few projects done. I am trying to add a new twist to our decor best I can for pennies and he was going to help me. We were also going to start going through photos and dig our family documents for his side of the family as we have plans to scrapbook and do our family tree. We carried up boxes and albums. I dug through them all day. I came across my Grandma's journal. I now see where I get my writing skills from and that brought me even closer in my heart to her. I read the love notes she wrote about my Grandpa. I smiled over descriptive notes about the weather, the birds, or even the meal she had eaten when my Grandpa was home from the convalescence home on a day pass. I even read notes about time spent with me that brought back wonderful memories. I poured over photos from when our daughters were little, and laughed often. The day continued with warm feelings as we had our youngest daughter over for supper, as we always do on Thursdays. Our one time a week to see her and have her all to ourselves. We treasure that. Then I opened my email, had not done so, was not going to do so, but hubby had been "cleaning " the files and had opened it for me, thinking he was doing me a favor. More emails. More stress. More drama. It is unavoidable, it has to be discussed, cleared up and dealt with , but after such a nice day of memories, I was not ready to do so.

I have no idea what today holds. I was exhausted and decided to skip my walk and sleep in. Sip my coffee slowly, watch my cooking shows getting new ideas. I always adore that time when I can just sit and plan new recipes I wish to try. That brings me to the other two "S" words that are referenced in my title today. It is Shine Project Friday!  This week we were given an open ended challenge, a choice of all the past challenges. I chose to do one under the heading  Create. I decided to create and share my "famous" vegie red sauce. Sauce is my third "S" . Oh do not worry, there is a sweet recipe coming up as well on Sunday, but when I get stressed I cook, and so that is what I spent Wednesday doing cooking. Hope you enjoy!!!

Hidden Vegie Red Sauce

This sauce is so easy, and it is a sauce that can be used with meats, thickened for a pizza or dipping sauce, it is of course wonderful over pasta of any kind. It is healthy, full of vitamins, and low fat as well. There is wine in it, BUT you could make it with Chicken or Vegie stock as well..or even water if you add extra herbs and seasonings. There are no rules. I love it because it is the way I get my hubby to eat all the vegies he would normally not eat, and it is also very forgiving, so you can buy any vegies you choose . It runs me about 25.00 to make, but it stretches so far it breaks down to being much cheaper per meal. Sure it costs more than the average jar or can sauce, but I like controlling what goes in. So here we go. 

Here is the vegie selection this go round. Oh and Tomato paste, one can added to the cans you see of crushed tomatoes  and sauce . The baggie is full of onions.

You can skip oil if you want fat free, or use a bit of Best Life Margarine, melted and then just dump all the cut up vegies in. I use olive oil and "sweat" onions and garlic with it, adding salt and pepper...helps draw moisture out of the onions.

Onions and garlic into the oil, with salt and pepper. Cook till onions are translucent.

First batch of rough chopped vegies. There is the carrots, squash & red bell peppers in this bowl....

Cherry tomatoes and mushrooms here... There are times when I oven roast all the vegies first.....

This time I dumped them all in,with more garlic I like the combo of the cooked down garlic and the more fresh/stewed. But you can even use roasted or jarred minced/chopped. I then pour in half a bottle of wine, as well as the diced/chopped canned tomatoes, the paste and the sauce at this point. I turn the heat to high at first, stirring a lot so things do not stick. Then as I see it start to boil I lower the heat and just come back and stir from time to time.

After everything is added and stirred now is a really great time to add herbs I always add salt free seasoning, I add bay leaves and then Italian seasonings to taste, there are no rules. At times I only add salt and to wait.....

As you can see it has cooked down a couple of inches and after being stirred a couple of times this is what it looks like.

Once it cooks down about 2-3 inches or a bit more if you like, if you have an immersion blender use it to blend the vegies down .Be sure to taste it, see if it needs more salt, more of any seasonings that you used.  IF you want to skip this step, then add some more tomato paste or even more roasted vegies to thicken the sauce. The blending hides the vegies and blends the flavors. You can also turn the sauce off at this time, let it cool and use a blender to slowly break the sauce down.

This is what is the result. Yummy, healthy goodness. We get about 5 containers of 4 cups each. I put them in the fridge, cool overnight and then pop them in the freezer. When I defrost each one to use for meals, I often can stretch it to three meals with additions of flavored tomato paste, more wine, a bit of stock or even a bit of cream cheese or cream, depending on the application. Often I will roast more vegies in the oven and add them as well and have a more chunky sauce more onions and garlic and cherry tomatoes. It was brought up last night to use  frozen spinach as well to add to the health factor. Very often I have added a bit of heat and mixed chicken in and made chicken tacos with it or enchilada casserole!

So that is my answer to The Shine Project Challenge of CREATE. Check out other peoples HERE


  1. Ruby! You are the woman! I lovve this post. Way to be strong in the sight of opposition sista!

  2. I hope today is a better day Ruby honey! Kori xoxo *hugs*

  3. Blog looks awesome.. great writing as always


Simply adore all your comments! Thank you so kindly for leaving one! They mean the world to me...more than you know! I love hearing from my readers. XOXO Comments will not appear until I approve them, due to spam bots.