The Harvest

2009/11/24 at 6:24 PM 10 comments

Looking out the window I can see that the autumn leaves are falling fast. They are accumulating in random colourful patterns across my “in desperate need of a mow” lawn. For me this is a sure sign that the holidays are quickly approaching. It never fails that once they arrive I feel like I am constantly pressed for time.  I can never seem to get all that I would like done accomplished. Come to think of it, that sounds like my life’s story the remaining days of the year too! Regardless of my obvious poor time management, I do love the holiday season and the hustle and bustle that it brings.

This Thanksgiving I am going to be ready. Today I sit and plan the dishes for the day; I salivate as I leaf through my favorite recipes. I think this years Ella Mental menu will include Herb Roasted Brined Turkey, Cranberry and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing, Garlic-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Autumn Vegetables, Savory Turkey Gravy with Yorkshire Pudding, Cranberry Chutney, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and a crisp bottle (or two) of Pinot Noir to aide in tackling the preparation of this delectable feast.

Personally, I feel that great food is one of the key elements that contribute to the foundation of a happy and healthy home. So, it is a good thing that I love to cook! Cooking is one of those instantly gratifying pleasures I like to indulge in daily and it has become my art form-or as my waist would say, “body form!”  I confess, I am Ella Mental, and I am a food-oholic!  I am guilty of loving all of the delightful pleasures that it brings-and there is nothing better than when my kitchen is filled with mouth-watering aromas, the laughter of Super-girl as she dances in and out for taste tests and samples, the too many cooks (my family) stumbling around each other to help. Yes, in our home it would seem that food has become the tie that binds.  I look forward to this Thanksgiving, the gathering of us quirky and authentic souls surrounded by a scrumptious abundance.  It feeds my heart, my belly, and my soul, and I am so very grateful!

Of course, it wasn’t always this way; I can remember a time that the holidays brought with it platefuls of rotten emotions and a heaping of distasteful things. That first Thanksgiving with Mi hombre and his Spanish brood did not resemble  anything pleasant or grateful. Instead, with it came enough mounds of insecurities, irrational emotions and resentment that would have flattened even the finest of chef’s soufflés. It was a series of disasters; not the typical Thanksgiving disasters one would normally encounter like an accidental charbroiled bird or the family dog eating the stuffing off the counter. No, it was nothing of that sort. Lets just say that when Thanksgiving arrived that year I was ready to stuff more than a turkey, I was ready to stuff my whole relationship.

I can still recall myself sitting on the kitchen floor crying between my charred parmesan potatoes and a pumpkin cheesecake that had split right down the middle (the dish I was to bring to my future in-laws.) The sadness and disappointment that I felt with the absence of a congratulatory “Welcome to the Family!” I had expected from Mi Hombre’s parents and siblings. (It was our first get-together since the announcement of our engagement.) The anger and resentment that I felt when the ex wife threatened Mi Hombre, “don’t you forget I gave you your daughter!” (Over disliking the holiday boundaries he had set.) I remember being distraught and dumbfounded over how much turmoil family, exes, and the holidays could bring, questioning whether that was what I wanted for my life and feeling so sad that I couldn’t muster up even an ounce of gratitude.

Since that Thanksgiving I am happy to say, things have come full circle. Well, some things have-and other things (the ex wife), they may never change. But, C’est la vive! I have grown to love Mi Hombre’s Spanish brood-their kindness, their values, their culture, mmm, and their food…They have become my family and an integral part of my life. For this, and many reasons I am excited for the holiday, this year more than ever!

Thanksgiving is the time people gather to share food and companionship with those they love. Coincidentally, for me it is time for the harvest… No, I am not a mid-western farm girl getting ready to reap the last crop of the season. I am mid-30’s stepmom and mid-cycle of my second IVF treatment. At sunrise they will harvest and prepare my eggs (not the deviled kind if ya know what I mean!) and hopefully by Christmas I will literally be with a bun in the oven.  Although, it has been a rough 3 years of adjustments and unsuccessful fertility treatments,  I have no doubt that this year we are in a much better place.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and when and how it should.  It is Thanksgiving, and with all that it represents I feel it in my soul that we are surely in good alignment for a successful harvest.

Pray with me if you will: 2009 is the year and the season for wonderful things; a life filled with love, happiness, good food and great eggsHappy Thanksgiving!


Entry filed under: AUTHENTIC, CHILDREN, ex wife, FAMILY, Holiday Traditions, In-Laws, IVF, MARRIAGE, recipes, Stepfamily, STEPMOM. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Child’s Play; Adult Necessity Our Tradition

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. StepMom Magazine  |  2009/11/25 at 8:02 AM

    Wishing you, and yours, a wonderful holiday!

  • 2. Savory Tv  |  2009/11/25 at 6:08 PM

    Have a wonderful holiday, and I hope you love the gravy!

    Heidi / Savory Tv

    • 3. Ella Mental  |  2009/11/25 at 6:37 PM

      Thanks for the recipe Heidi, I have a feeling that it will be delicious!
      Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • 4. gillian from sweet indigo life...  |  2009/11/26 at 12:55 AM

    Pray with me, you ask? Why I’d love to. In fact, did we not pray the other night, over a rather long phone call on this subject? My fingers and toes crossed, and a long soppy (I’m not worthy) prayer thrown in.
    Six! Way to go Stepmommy, six!!!! I’m MUI proud. Way happy, Super pumped to be an Auntie.
    You know, had I stuck with nursing, I’d be in labour and delivery…totally my forte….!
    Love you, can’t wait for ten lunar months so I can hop a plane and join you in your state for the birth. Yes, I’m confident.
    May it rub off.
    Love to you, and Hombre, so much so. xoxo

    • 5. Ella Mental  |  2009/11/26 at 11:39 AM

      You need to cut the mush! I am a hormonal post-surgical cry baby. Oh the tears.
      Thank you for being my dearest friend through all of this. I look forward to you coming to help me with my baby(ies),
      Much love to you-always,

      • 6. gillian from sweet indigo life...  |  2009/11/26 at 11:46 PM

        Tis I…..I who look so forward to rocking and rolling a pair or one or more sweet eggarinos fully grown into baybays….!!!
        So many squishy hugs will be doled out!!! xo

  • 7. Rachel Dingler  |  2009/12/03 at 3:42 PM

    Hi Ella!
    I’m so glad to have found your blog!
    After reading your first entry, I want to tell you I’m praying for you through your IVF process! I am also a 30-something stepmom (for 7 years now) who was blessed with my IVF twin miracles 5 years ago! My husband and I went through a few rounds of infertility treament, before having success with IVF and ICSI. It is such an emotionally tolling process that I’m certain the prayers we received from so many friends, family, and even strangers, is what pulled us through.
    Will be thinking of and praying for you and thank you so much for sharing your stepmother experiences!! 🙂

    • 8. Ella Mental  |  2009/12/03 at 3:51 PM

      Thank you for joining me on my stepmother journey and for your kind words of encouragement and prayers…We can use all the wishes of “glue” we can find. I hope to be as blessed as you were with your IVF- it gives me inspiration to hear the success stories! ((hugs))

  • 9. Peggy Nolan  |  2009/12/04 at 10:07 PM


    One of my dearest friends just gave birth to not one, but two miracle IVF babies.

    My prayers are with you!


    • 10. Ella Mental  |  2009/12/06 at 8:06 PM

      Thanks for joining me here, and for you warm wishes and prayers. I hope to see you around and get to know you better in stepmom world! I love your blog, it has been just that for me-a tool box for being a stepmom! Thank you, for your useful resources and your healthy advice. :0)


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It’s all Ella Mental!

If you asked me 3 years ago would I consider becoming a stepmother I would have choked emphatically NO! Probably not just no, but HELL NO! I would never entertain the thought of trying to raise someone else’s kid(s) or be married to a man with an enormous load of shh...Shall I just say, B-A-G-G-A-G-E (Pronounced: OMG!) I have seen enough drama on the colourful trails of adventure in my life, enough to know that I would simply not ever knowingly plop myself down amidst the chaos of a stepfamily.

Well, in 2006 I ate my words…

I am a 35-year-old career woman, wife to the most dashingly authentic man on this planet…sorry ladies…and gents! I am a “Mother” ( I quote this b/c I don’t believe that you have to pass a spirited life through your Va-Jay-Jay to be one.) …of 4 wild-hearted four-legged children, and the stepmother to a wickedly brilliant 7-year-old stepdaughter.

Feel free to accompany me as I write about my vastly changing life, my kids; both four-legged and two, my (step) Family (I place this in parenthesis b/c I don’t consider anyone under my roof with the term step, they are simply FAMILY to me!) … and the trials and tribulations of transitioning from a single woman into a stepmother (not always) with grace.

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