Mexican Stuffed Shells

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24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells

1 lb. lean ground turkey

2 cups salsa

1 can (8oz.) tomato sauce

1 cup frozen corn

½ cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained

1 cup (4oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend

TOPPINGS:

8 T sour cream

8 T salsa

¼ cup sliced black olives

¼ cup chopped chives

  1. Cook pasta shells according to package directions; drain.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until no longer pink; drain
  3. Stir in the salsa, tomato sauce, corn and beans
  4. Spoon into pasta shells
  5. Place in a 13in x 9in x 2in baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray
  6. Sprinkle with cheese
  7. Cover and bake at 350o for 25-30 minutes or until heated through
  8. Top with sour cream, salsa, black olives, and chives

Yield: 8 servings or 4 hungry people

** before taking this photo my phone had slipped out of my hand and landed in the food, and I had to clean my phone and the food up and redo the toppings on the shells before I could take the photo above. Needless to say, it entertained my roommates very well**

Second Knee Scar

I made the photo smaller because of…gross. As of today, I now have two beautiful big scars on both of my knees, neither of which came from surgeries. The first one came from the sea and the second from land.
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Aw yes, the sea, how does one get a lifelong scar from the sea you ask? Going into second grade, my family and I took a trip down to Galveston Bay to a family’s friend’s beach house. For those of you that know the Texas Gulf area, when I say beach I mean rock formation that separates land from the sea. The rocks by the sea get covered by the water with the rising tides, and so the stones are slippery throughout the day and covered in barnacles. We young children; being my brother, myself and 5 other kids similarly aged; thought it was a fun idea to climb onto the rocks. About 5 minutes into playing around one girl slips on the rocks, and the parents warn us to be careful while we play, but what does Shelbie do less than 2 minutes later. You guessed it! Shelbie slips forward onto the rock and her knee lands square on a colossal barnacle slicing it open, but Shelbie being the tomboy that she is at that age stands up and starts to wipe herself off like nothing happens but glances over to see the faces of the other children in horror staring at her legs. Shelbie looks down her leg to see red pouring out of her knee. This is when Shelbie starts feeling pain and screaming for her mommy. Long story short Shelbie gets stitches in her knee and doesn’t listen to the doctor when he says to not move it. She ends up separating the wound and leaving her with a massive scar on her right knee.

16 years later at the young age of 25 years old, Shelbie takes her family dog, Sparky, out for a run on the greenbelt behind the family home. Shelbie and Sparky have run the trails before, and every time Sparky falls behind to smell something new, however recently Sparky had healed from a spine injury, so Shelbie did not want to overexert him. About 10 minutes into the run Sparky slows down for the first time, and as Shelbie runs past him, she glances back to check to make sure he didn’t stop because he was in pain. Once Shelbie realizes Sparky feels okay she starts turning her head back around to see where she is going, then she elegantly trips over the dirt, and her left kneecap lands square on a rock and again red starts pouring out of her knee. Needless to say the run/walk back up the trail and hill to the family house and yelling for my dad’s help was the longest ¼ mile I have ever gone. The best part is coming to the backyard and seeing my dad run upstairs when hears me calling from outside because he thinks I am upstairs. Gotta love that man. That is the tale of the first and second knee scar.

Is this the rest of my life?

 

 

Before 2016 I had no idea what a Recreation Therapist was or even that I could have a future in it. Now after over a year working with Recreation Therapists I knew that becoming a Recreation Therapist is what I wanted to do. I hate being stuck behind a desk and filling out paperwork after paperwork. I like being out in the world with people and helping them where they are at. When I worked as a case manager I got more out of walking the trails with a kid then I did sitting in an empty room with him staring at each other trying to get a conversation started. The more I worked with Recreation Therapists as a Case Manager, the more I wanted to be one.

Now, a year and a half after learning about the career I have been accepted into the State University of New York at Cortland’s Recreation Therapist Certificate program. While I will be taking all the required graduate courses to collect a Masters in Recreation Therapy, because I am taking the course online I am not able to complete the mandatory internship and meet the supervisory requirement for the graduate degree. For some reason, I am content with that. I have always hated school with a passion. I struggle to learn sitting down in a hard chair and being talked at. I got through my early school years because I had my parents on my back pushing me, and college I made it through by the skin on my teeth.

Online grad school is something that has scared me for the longest time, until January 2017. Early this year I got diagnosed with ADHD, and I was placed on medication to assist me in focusing on my daily life. It has done wonders for my mood and procrastination. I hate to say that drugs will get me through college, but they will. These are legally prescribed medication that I take the required dosage for, and I am monitored every 3 months by a licensed professional to ensure that I am not abusing the prescription. I was one of those kids that bought Adderall off of her friend to finish a paper in college. The medication worked for me, but that doesn’t mean that it will work for you. There are many dangerous side effects to self-medicating with stimulants. I am very fortunate that none of those side effects happened to me, and now that I am prescribed the medication I make sure that I stick to the medication schedule.

Drug addictions are a serious illness and if you are unable to live without taking substances to numb, dull or get through your life then reach out for help at Americanaddictioncenters.org or Call 877-443-2801.