The holiday season has started. I’m actually trying to be in the holiday spirit as well. It’s not easy with everything I’m going through. But I’ve made myself a promise– 2011 is the year of little joys. This means honoring and enjoying the little things in life that make us happy and provide us smiles while hitting our emotions. I urge everyone to make this new year as the year of Little Joys. Why? Because it’s important to remember the little things in life that bring pleasure and to remember the first times in life. You know, the first time your child walked, the first time you realized you were in love, your first snow storm you can remember. Those first are things to celebrate. So the coming year is going to be the Little Joys Year– where you enjoy the little things that bring joy and emotion to your heart.

I prepare this holiday season with a heavy heart because things haven’t gone as I wanted them. But I’ve realized the past couple of days that it doesn’t mean I can’t make things better as I go. I can. I just have to believe in myself and those who love me to do so. I’ve been making some jewelry for those I love and I’ve been working hard on getting some other things finished as well. It’s not been easy trying to get things done with all the extra medication and tiredness I’ve been experiencing the past month. I’ve not said anything to those who know me, but I agree with my specialist– my lupus is active again. I should be getting my test results shortly– okay, right now, and yeah, we’re right. It means some prednisone time on top of other stuff, but I’m hoping I’ll be feeling better over the next month or so.

Right now, I’ve got my slow cooker pork veggie soup cooking. It’s fun, easy and colourful. It’s also good for you and really healthy as well. I’m debating on thickening it up once it’s done, but maybe I will. :mrgreen: So how do you make this delicious treat?

Pork Loin and Veggie Slow Cooker Soup

1 pork loin, about 2lbs. diced if not frozen, or cut into chunks if frozen

1 box chicken stock

5 stalks of celery, deleaved, cleaned and diced into bite size pieces

10 baby carrots, diced

3 small white potatoes, diced and parboiled in boiling water for 10 minutes

1 small onion, peeled and diced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 ancient red peppers, deribbed, deseeded, and diced

1 tbsp chicken soup base

2 cups water

2 tbsp blueberry promengranate red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, diced finely

Mrs. Dash, Garlic powder, basil, Italian seasoning mix, and salt (amounts to taste)

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In slow cooker, layer all the veggies in first. Then mix thoroughly with the stock, soup base, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Add in the pork and cook on high for 4 hours. An hour before serving, add in the 2 cups of water and shred pork to bite size pieces if you’ve not done it in the beginning. Add more seasonings like salt and pepper to taste at the table.