It’s been an interesting year, and has passed in the blink of an eye. I can’t believe we’re celebrating our second Christmas in our new house. Seems as though we were pulling things out of boxes and finding spots to store only yesterday.
Yesterday I traveled first by bus, then by train, to visit my mother in San Jose. A total of 8 hours. It was a home game for the 49ers so the train was full of avid fans all dressed in red tee-shirts depicting their favorite players and ready to party. I brought my headsets. Whew. As I’ve said before, I love the train. Ambling along the tracks with vistas of the ocean whizzing by outside my window. Very peaceful. Buses, however, not my favorite form of transportation. This was the first bus trip I’ve signed up for since Eve ate the apple. The last one was to accompany a friend on a three-day junket to Las Vegas. What a disaster that was. People were encouraged to bring setups if they chose to enjoy an adult beverage along that way. From the looks of things several hours into the trip that included everyone who boarded the vehicle, including the driver. Now, it’s not that I’m not a fan of enjoying a cocktail. Certainly I have enjoyed one or two over the years. But being locked inside a moving silver bullet with 60 drunk strangers and one bathroom with no light is not my idea of a party. I’m just saying. About three quarters of the way there, after the “guide” assigned by the tour group had been pelted with sandwich material from the lunches distributed, our bus hit another bus and we spent the first evening getting off the bus, gathering our belongings, and boarding a new bus. Finally we arrived at our hotel well into the witching hour with apologies from the tour line and $20 worth of chips and a fruit basket for our trouble.
Rick stayed behind this year. I’ll be back in time to put out cookies for Santa and cook the bird. He did drop me off at the bus stop. For some reason I thought there would be a place to wait inside. What a princess. I hear you laughing. There was not. At the station there was a roundabout with a series of outside seating areas each marked with the buses picking up there. Before leaving the house I discovered I couldn’t take a suitcase of the size I had already packed, so I did a quick reshuffle to a duffel bag ending up bringing one pair of mismatched pajamas, two pairs of jeans, no socks, and several shirts and sweaters none of which matched. Good news, I did remember clean underwear. Mother says this is the most important item on the list.
A half an hour early Rick wanted to stay with me. There were three men, two young and two old, waiting at my stop and one woman about sixty. Insisting I would be fine and well over the age of consent, I should have no problem waiting for a bus. Naturally my warm jacket was sitting on top of my suitcase at home with all the clothes I wasn’t going to wear. Five minutes into waving goodbye to my car I regretted the decision. A steady misty rain began to fall, as did my hair and my disposition. At one point, lips turning a lovely shad of teal, I had wrapped my sweater totally around my face and was doing a piece from Riverdance.
One of the men standing on my side of the road with a skateboard was a smoker. Later he was to tell me his name was Snoopy. I don’t mind, I used to smoke. Signs posted said there was a smoking area across the street, so he dropped his board and crossed the street to light up in the appropriate area marked for doing just that. A gentlemen sitting near the area began a yelling match with Snoopy ending up with the two men standing chest to chest nearing an altercation. Snoopy was yelling about his right to puff and the other guy was yelling about his right to lay him out in the middle of the street. Rick?? The lady who had been waiting with me returned from the station to tell me the bus was sold out and she was leaving so there I was on my own, Lucy to Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Linus. Thankfully the bus pulled up before a total melee broke out or I froze to death where I was standing.
Between my duffel bag and my carry on my arms increased in length at least by an inch. With no wheels, the load was heavy. My bag got stuck and a guy came to my rescue, unpinning it and cramming it in an overhead bin. I might still be there arguing with it had he not. There were six stops on the way to the train station and a packed bus. By the time we pulled into the train station the gentlemen next to me and I were registered at Pottery Barn.
At any rate I’m glad to be here. I whipped up these beans before I left and they were delicious. Have a happy holiday. See you in 2015!
Three Bean Crockpot Hot Link Bake
1 lb. dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 16 oz. can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz. can Rosarita green chile and lime refried beans
32 oz. chicken broth
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 hot links, cooked and cut in 1/2″ slices
Spray 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
Rinse and sort beans. Soak beans overnight covered with large amount of water in covered container or pot in refrigerator. Rinse well and place in slow cooker.
Heat olive oil over med. heat in large saucepan. Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for 6 mins. until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and add to slow cooker.
Add all remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 3 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 hrs. longer stirring twice. Adjust seasoning if necessary.