And to let you know, the beans turned out wonderfully. They are the perfect meal for the fall-turned-winter weather :) Here, friends and family, is some unsolicited help for you:
Soak beans overnight in water.
saute garlic, onion, red and green peppers, carrots in a large pot. cook them down until the carrots are almost tender. rinse and add beans. add WARM or HOT water (never cold says the El Cid lady) and add chicken broth until everything is covered. add cumin and bay leaf. bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours until everything is tender, and desired juice is left. Add salt only at the end to prevent the beans from breaking.