Colorado is amazing. This past week has been ranging between 60 and 70 degrees. The sun has been shining and the breeze has been light and refreshing. This morning I stepped outside to take out the trash, and what did I find? It was snowing and still is. Dishon is on the plane home from the Oklahoma NFB convention. What a way to come home. My best friend Katie has been staying at our house this past weekend which has been awesome. We rarely see each other as she lives in Wisconsin. So it was nice to have company while my hubby was away. She even brought her guide dog. While we didn’t paint the town red, I cooked my famous chicken alfredo and we simply enjoyed spending time together. Last night, my sister brought her two children over and we enjoyed Subway and sat outside before the sun went down and the sky became grey foreshadowing the coming snow. So at least she was able to enjoy nice weather for a majority of her visit.
I am getting comfortable with the camera Dishon got me for my birthday. I have recorded a video that will going up as soon as I figure out how to get the videos from the camera to the internet. I have managed to watch the video on the computer, but am having difficulty transferring it to the blog. But while you have me, I’ll give you a synopsis of our Thanksgiving Break. Wednesday and Thursday consisted of cooking primarily. I went out Wednesday night with a few girls. Thanksgiving Day was a day spent with family. Friday, my plan was to get some shopping done. Instead, I sat at the Apple store for two and a half hours while they tried to fix my phone. I wound up getting a new phone. On the bright side, the camera now works and I did manage to get a present for Dishon. Yesterday I spent some time with a couple that we’re friends with. Then Dishon and I went shopping for our Secret Santas at work. Today, I started the day by making final arrangements for our multi-city Christmas trip. The tickets have already been purchased, but I needed to make sure we were picked up at the airport and that our time was evenly distributed among family. Who knows what the rest of the day has in store for us. Perhaps I can get some more shopping done.
Dishon thought it would be a good idea to start preparing some of the Thanksgiving food today since we have the day off. So far, we have gotten most of the dessert done. Dishon has done most of the work, but I have had the privilege of assisting him with the rolls, the banana bread and the first pumpkin pie. He decided to make another pie because there was a lot of remaining dough once the first one was put together. Tomorrow, my sister and her two children will be coming for dinner. Hopefully all goes well and we will be able to post a video. Since Dishon teaches blind adults how to cook for a living, all should go smoothly. So far so good.
While a lot of people are employed, not all people feel like their co-workers are also family. Some people go to work and somehow manage not to get close to anyone. They don’t meet a colleague for a drink after they clock out. If that’s how you choose to treat your work, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. At the Colorado Center for the Blind, we are a family. I think a lot of that has to do with the nature of the facility. Every day, we bring our students one step closer to independence. We know every student and staff member’s story. You almost can’t help but bond with everyone in a different way. Do we agree all of the time? Of course not. But that’s the icing on the cake. You will not agree with your blood relatives all of the time, either. But one tradition the Center has is a Thanksgiving meal that takes place every year a week or so before our Thanksgiving break. The students and their home management instructors work hard over the course of a couple of weeks to get everything prepared. Once the day of the meal arrives, everything is warmed up and set up with Braille labels so everyone knows what they’re getting. Once everyone has gotten their plates, everyone goes around and says what they’re thankful for. Of course, I said I was thankful for my husband, my blood family and my CCB family.
While Dishon loves to cook, I sometimes get the itch to cook a specific dish. Yesterday, I wanted to make beef stew. The beauty of beef stew is the ability to let it simmer for hours. It’s also very easy to clean up when you’re done. Every step of the process can be done with a knife, cutting board and a big pot on top of the stove or the crock pot. I chose to cook my stew on the stove. All you need is the following:
2 pounds stew meat
6 cups beef broth
1/4 cup onion
1/2 cup celery
1 clove garlic
2 large potatoes
1 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
The recipes says to saute the meat first, but I saute my vegetables first. It will make the meat more flavorful. I can’t take credit for that suggestion since it came from Dishon, but it works. Once everything is cut and sauteed, add the broth followed by the potatoes and carrots. The recipe only calls for one clove of garlic, but I put two in because I’m Italian and garlic is good for you. It is always important to season your meat before cooking. Garlic powder, black pepper and salt is nice and simple, but you can always use other seasonings. The stew should only need to cook for two hours on the stove top, but you could cook it longer. This is a great dish for the winter time. On a personal note, I always get nervous when I cook for Dishon, but he loved it. To me, that’s huge.
Couples are always looking for other couples to socialize with. Dishon and I have a few couples both from work and outside of work that we often spend time with. Tonight, we have invited a couple from work to the house for dinner and drinks. Being that Dishon is quite the chef, he started prepping food last night so there would be less to do today before their arrival. For instance: He prepared the marinade for salmon and chopped some items. On top of that, he cleaned. A lot of people always ask me, “do you help?” Yes, I help when he wants my help. Often times, he finds it easier to do things himself. But all he has to do is say the word and I will assist in any way possible. So the word of advice for the day is to prepare what you can the night before you are expecting guests. It will cut down on stress like you wouldn’t believe. If you are anything like me, I stress when I cook for other people, even Dishon.
At the Colorado Center for the Blind, students with residual vision must wear sleep shades. This will assist with teaching alternative blind techniques. But how do we know if someone is cheating? In my class, one way for me to tell is if the student is talking and their voice sounds muffled. That’s an indication that they are attempting to look at the Braille. In any class, you can often tell if a student is cheating if they reach for something directly or they say, “Hey, Joe,” but Joe hasn’t said a word. Sometimes you can simply tell by the general movements of a student. Someone who is new to using sleep shades will move more slowly at first. We can also physically check if we aren’t certain. If we check the entire class, students won’t feel singled out. So there are ways around not seeing. The same goes for raising children. I’ll have more on that subject in the future.
You’ve seen him in photos and read my posts about him, but this is the first video that he stars in. Every morning, Dishon and I get to work much earlier than most of the staff. So Dishon is kind enough to make coffee for those who need a cup or two to get their day started. So in this video, allow me to introduce to you, my husband, Dishon Spears.
Hello all. It’s been a few days. I’ve done this before and I’m doing it again. I hope that this time my followers won’t be shy. I’m looking for questions. If there was anything that I could blog about what would it be? If you’re afraid of offending me please don’t be. I would rather people ask questions than assume. You know what they say about assuming. As the title says, you have the floor. I welcome questions whenever they come to mind, but right now, I’m seeking them. So ask away. I will either reply in writing or demonstrate it through a video on my facebook group.
For those who are interested, I published a video on my Facebook group this morning. It’s Dishon’s first video and it won’t be the last. So please check it out. Go to facebook.com and search for “Diary of a Married Blind Woman.”