Beans?

Beans?

Okay, I tried making black bean soup using dried beans. (I'm so trying to save money and used dried beans vs. canned ones) I left them in a pot of water for about 8 1/2 hours. I put them into the crock pot this morning (along with the other soup ingredients) and left it for about 12 hours. The beans are soft, but certainly not soft enough that I would eat them. My questions: Did I not soak them long enough? I soaked them in a covered enamel pot and they had plenty of water covering them. Did I cook them too long in the crock pot? Are beans not suitable for crock pot cooking? Thanks! EDIT--Thanks for all the great advice!
Spring in bloom!

Spring in bloom!

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Any Idea What This Is?

help with plant identification please!

help with plant identification please!

Condition: Guardedly Optomistic

Condition: Guardedly Optomistic

My Room

My Room

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What Is This?