I was terribly smitten with the Christmas trees in Gibson City and Paxton the other day and wanted to see them at night, so last night I dragged Ernie out as dusk approached. We hit Paxton first and the town looked SO pretty.

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Then we headed west on Route 9 to Gibson City. There was still a glow at the horizon and it was lovely.

Many pictures later we happily headed home, feeling pleased with ourselves for actually doing something we said should do!

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We sat and chatted with Leo when we got home. He had a gorgeous box of Harry & David pears that he got as a gift from work. They are extraordinarily fragrant. I made Ernie smell one and he couldn't smell it. Poor boy. Of course my increased sense of smell has a down side (the other day I was sniffing Owen and said, "uh, when's the last time you showered?) but at times like this, with a box of pears on my lap, it's delightful.

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I'm in the reintroduction stage of my diet now, and it's funny…I was so excited about it, but I haven't felt that strong about it now that it's here. I haven't tried anything new in the last several days. I guess I feel good about what I'm eating. And….related to that….can we all agree that frozen strawberries taste like nothing? Maybe I just haven't found the perfect frozen strawberry, but eh. I think I have mastered my morning smoothie however….today was blueberries, cherries, greens, avocado, toasted coconut butter (heated it up too long and lo and behold, toasted coconut butter) and water. It was delightful. I actually look forward to my smoothie now. On the side a little piece of leftover turkey tenderloin that I had sautéed with Aleppo pepper. Good God….look at the dust and fallen coasters under that chair….and a gray hair next to my plate. Geesh. Unvarnished truth here on the Sandwich Life.

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After my breakfast I figured I should get going. I had some grass fed stew beef that I needed to use so I started browning the meat. I pulled it out of the pan and managed to let my nice crusty fond in the pan burn. Sigh. So I pulled out another pan and dumped in sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and tomato, along with a vat of homemade beef broth. Now, you'll notice I said tomato. I hadn't reintroduced tomato yet, but I thought what the hell, and ate of slice of tomato. It wasn't the reddest tomato but still had that homegrown tomato taste. Delicious. I added cinnamon, rosemary, salt and pepper to the stew ingredients and put it all on to simmer. I came in here to the living room and thought about what I should do next. I fussed on the iPad and suddenly I realized I did not feel good at all. My stomach was upset, I felt shaky, my nose was running, and my head hurt. I sat there thinking WTF? Suddenly it dawned on me….I was having a reaction to the tomatoe. WAHHHHHHH! I love tomato. I had reintroduced pepper without a problem, and somehow it didn't occur to me that I would have a problem with tomatoes. 

Well damn.

Onward anyway, onward anyway.

Merry Christmas!

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Thoughts?