Friday, October 9, 2015

Secret Subject Swap: Overnight Sensation

Welcome to the October Secret Subject Swap. This month 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: If you were trapped in your favorite store/business overnight, what would you do?
It was submitted by: Sparkly Poetic Weirdo.

I don't know if I'd call a craft mega store my favorite store, I'm the least crafty person on the planet. But they have halloween items in each of their departments so I do wander in this time of year. Not where I'd want to be stuck overnight but just my luck that's where I was when the place somehow shut down. With me in it.

First thought, grab my cell and call the police. BUT . . . let's think this through, weigh the options. On the one hand, I can go home, make dinner, do the dishes, water my plants, do laundry, argue with College Boy. On the other hand, it's quiet and peaceful here. Hmmm.
Note to self: When they find you in the morning, make sure you hide your cell and say you left it in the car.

OK. Let's do this. First stop is the fabrics section. I have wanted to do this for so long, and here's my chance. I just need a sharp pair of scissors and all "team" fabric bolts that aren't Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Purdue Boilermakers. Mmmmm . . . boilermakers . . . 

Note to self: Start a chain of craft stores with liquor aisles.

My next stop is a public service, an act of selfless kindness. Although I don't still have toddlers, I did. And let me tell you that all moms of toddlers have been subjected to a house of horrors on a regular basis. Yes, I'm talking about store bathrooms.

So I'm headed for the candle making aisle and I am going to line those stalls with scented candles. In fact, I'm going to double up on the scents.

You're welcome.

You know what? All this work can make a girl hungry. Now that could be a problem. Let me think. Hmmm. Those ceramic pumpkins won't taste so great.

Fall Harvest Crack: Favorite fall flavories incorporated into a bark. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #candy #fruit #snack
 Fall Harvest Crack
Fall Harvest Crack: Favorite fall flavories incorporated into a bark. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #candy #fruit #snack

Oh, I know, head to the baking aisle. Candy melts and jimmies (sprinkles to you non-New England heathens) may not be nutritious but they'll boost my energy. I mean I've only got one night to accomplish all I want to do here. 

Much better.

Next stop, glue guns. This is one of my crafting downfalls. I cannot use a glue gun without burning my fingers. Here's my chance. I can practice with their supplies. I'll just glue all of those "team" fabric pieces back together. No harm, no foul, right? And if I burn off my fingerprints, they can't prove it was me so there's that.

I am really getting tired. But there is so much to do and so little time so . . . back to the halloween costume aisle. I totally think costumes have gotten cheap and boring. Freddie and Jason could use some bedazzling, don't you think? I'm sure there's a bedazzler somewhere in this place.
Secret Subject Swap: Overnight Sensation| | #funny #Halloween

Note to self: If you plan on denying that you bedazzled all of a store's costumes, don't let them wake you up with a bedazzler in your hand and rhinestones stuck to your face.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Fall Harvest Crack
Printable Recipe
12 oz Vanilla flavored almond bark
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, shelled
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup cranraisins (dried cranberries)

*Cover a baking sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.
*Melt the vanilla flavored bark in the microwave according to package directions. Mix in about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup of the cranraisins, 1/4 cup of the apricots and 1/2 cup of the dark chocolate chips.
*Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet.
*Mix together the rest of the dark chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, apricots and cranraisins. Immediately sprinkle over the top of the bark mixture. Very gently press down with the heel of your hand.
*Refrigerate for 1/2 hour or until completely set. Break into pieces to serve.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

University of Mom

I miss my boy. Truth is, it seems that nothing makes me happy. One son is in college 700 miles away and I can't stand how much I miss him. The other one is living at home again and I can't stand how much I miss missing him. {{Sigh}}.

Somewhere there has to be a happy medium, a middle ground, a compromise of some sort. 

So while I try to figure out how to get College Boy a little further away, I'm also trying to work out a way to get PurDude a little closer.

PurDude came very close to not going back to Purdue this year. He went through a devastating situation immediately followed by a heartbreaking loss last semester. It was all too much, for all of us. He applied for a transfer to our local university an hour away, where College Boy was going to school.

You'd think I'd be thrilled, right? Turned out not so much. Yes, I wanted him closer, but even though PurDude had been solicited into the honors program there, I really felt that he wouldn't get the caliber of education that he should have. Purdue is a better school for Computer Science. I was torn.

I made him an offer. One I thought he couldn't refuse. I hadn't quite figured out the dorm situation yet, but I did put together a list of class offerings. 

Welcome to the University of Mom.

University of Mom: Unique education for those who dare | | #Halloween #MyGraphics

Real Holidays in American Culture: 
Fruitcake Toss Day, I Forgot Day, Bad Poetry Day, If Pets Had Thumbs Day, how many holiday celebrations are you missing out on? But the main focus of this class is one we already celebrate and the one it's really all about: Halloween.
*This course meets a history requirement or a sociology requirement.

Goo, Guck, and Fake Blood:
Making your own goo, guck and fake blood is a skill you can use through your entire life, not just on Halloween, but to get out of any task you choose to avoid. 
*This course meets a nutrition requirement or an art requirement.
The Freshman 15, Fact or Fiction:
Most students start college not realizing that they need to watch what they eat. In this class we'll explore strategies for making through the school year without ripping your pants.
*This course meets no requirements but the snacks are to die for.

Bloody Fingers Halloween Dinner: Simple ingredients made to look like a bloody hand for a fun and entertaining Halloween dinner, for a party or at home| Recipe developed by | #recipe #Halloween

Bloody Fingers Halloween Dinner
Bloody Fingers Halloween Dinner: Simple ingredients made to look like a bloody hand for a fun and entertaining Halloween dinner, for a party or at home| Recipe developed by | #recipe #Halloween

Siestas in Everyday Life: 
You are what you eat? No, you are what you sleep. Power naps: when to take them and how they relate to your future success.
Note: this course is designed to be taken in conjunction with "The Freshman 15, Fact or Fiction".
 Also Note: For all you party animals, this is "siestas" not "fiestas".
*This course meets a foreign language or a philosophy requirement.

When and When Not to Post: 
What will that future employer think of that FB picture of you with your underwear over your head? In this class we will explore social media scenarios as they pertain to your future.
*This course meets a business or a sociology requirement.

The Art of the Selfie: 
 All your pictures show the inside of your nose or the wax in your ears? Learn the art of taking a successful selfie.
Note: this course has a prerequisite. You must first take and pass "When and When Not to Post"
*This course can meet a business or an art requirement.

Hard to believe but my offer was rejected. Before I even had a chance to work out the housing situation. Maybe I better work on a scholarship program.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Bloody Fingers Halloween Dinner

Printable Recipe
4 hot dogs and/or precooked sausage links 
1 mini hot dog
1 slice bread
black edible piping gel
6 - 8 slices deli roast beef

NOTE: you will need 5 toothpicks and a clear disposable glove

*Cut the bottoms of the hot dogs and/or sausages about 1 inch up in half and then cut each half in half. Be careful not to keep the strips attached to the hot dog.
*Make three thin shallow slices sideways on the hot dog in two separate places to resemble knuckles.
*Place the hot dogs and the mini hot dog onto a microwave safe plate and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until the color starts to change and the bottom pieces separate.
*Cut a very small piece off of the top of the hot dog, just to create a straight edge. push a toothpick down inside, close to the top, so it's sticking out about 1/4 inch.
*Cut the crust off of the bread. Cut 5 triangles out of the bread. The bottom should be approximately the width of the top of the hot dog. For length, it should approximate a fingernail.
*Toast the bread pieces. Remove and gently push the flat portion of each piece of toast into the toothpick at the top of the hot dog to look like a fingernail.
*Garnish around the fingernail with ketchup to look like blood.
*Pipe the black gel around the fingernail for definition.
*Tape the plastic glove "fingers" to the back of the glove. Fill the glove with the roast beef slices. Place under the hot dog fingers to resemble a hand. Squeeze ketchup over the bottoms of the hot dogs and the top of the glove.
NOTE: I do not serve the roast beef slices, I use them only for decoration, then discard.


Friday, October 2, 2015

It's NOT About Religion, Stupid

Halloween is a time for scary stuff. Witches, bats, spiders and monsters.

But there's a new "scary" on the block and it's been all over the news. This one isn't all in fun. It's real and happening and does not bode well for the future of our society as a whole.

It's NOT About Religion, Stupid | | #MyGraphics

For me, the conversation started with, but is so much more than, this status I posted on my personal FB page a month ago. I said:

"OK, I am seriously getting pissed off at all of these stories in my trending news about people who are shocked that there are ramifications associated with refusing to do their jobs. First the KY clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses and now a Muslim flight attendant suspended for not serving alcohol.

I understand that the issue is that these jobs have requirements that the job holders feel incapable of performing due to personal beliefs. I have no problem with people living a life consistent with their beliefs.

But where does the responsibility lie for having taken these jobs in the first place? When are people  going to take ownership for putting themselves into these positions?

If the KY clerk could not, in good conscience, issue licenses to anyone and everyone meeting the legal criteria for those licenses (whether that criteria has changed once she was in office or not . . . and honestly, who did not see this coming?), then she should have known that she did not have the heart of a public servant.

And is the flight attendant asserting that she did not know she'd be asked to serve alcohol? Because I'm not in that industry but I could have told her.

So is this where society is headed? Gone are the days where we make thoughtful decisions? Apply for, take, train for a job and then blame the job for our discomfort in its requirements? Gone are the days of taking responsibility for living up to our word?

Yes, in order to grow and improve we, as a society, need to be sensitive to and accommodating of people's personal rights in terms of how they choose to live their morals and their values and their religious convictions. BUT governments/businesses cannot function when the people who have agreed to do a job pick and choose the parts they feel they can do. It's up to each of us to do our due diligence when applying for a job or running for office. If, despite doing this, we cannot function in the situation in which we've put ourselves, we need to accept responsibility for our mistake and find a different situation. One that allows us to live as we choose and provides an atmosphere in which we can accomplish that."

College Boy gets it. Granted, he lives with me so he hears these opinions all the time. His response to my post was "It's as if I were to apply for a job as a tatoo artist. Then, since having tattoos is against my religion, just sitting there until my shift is over." Exactly.

A business is charged with vetting you as a potential candidate from a professional perspective.  But they do not, cannot, ask you about your religion. It is your responsibility to know what the parameters of the job are. You need to determine whether you can meet the requirements and handle the tasks associated with that position from a personal standpoint. I repeat: That is on you.

I'm not saying the worker is responsible for all job situations that do not work out. I am saying we all have to be proactive in obtaining any pertinent information before entering this or any relationship. 

Limoncello and Spiced Orange Pudding Cocktails: Cocktails you eat with a spoon. Decorate for Halloween or any adult party | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail

 Limoncello and Spiced Orange Pudding Cocktails
Thanks Menopausal Mother for the inspiration for this recipe
Limoncello and Spiced Orange Pudding Cocktails: Cocktails you eat with a spoon. Decorate for Halloween or any adult party | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail

Here's an example of what I consider to be the opposite situation, one involving College Boy:

He ran through all of his money and had to get a job. He chose one in which he'd be unloading trucks at night from 4 pm to 1 am. He'd work 4 days a week, get two 15 minute breaks and one 1/2 hour meal break and make $10.50 an hour. At some point the hours would change to 2 pm to 11 pm. Anyone hired after the hours changed would be hired at $9 per hour, but those already working would continue to make the $10.50.

From the start he was put on the schedule 5 days a week, not 4. He never got out before 2 am not 1 am.  I'd understand if his job hadn't been completed in the time allowed, but he was stocking shelves and doing the jobs of others because they were short staffed. There were days he was told there was no time for a meal break (illegal). He (and his co-workers) were asked, since management is under pressure not to log overtime hours, to clock out but just continue working (illegal, and they all refused).

One day, an hour and a half after he'd taken a pallet of paint out to an employee stocking the shelves, the worker claimed that the paint spill on the floor was College Boy's fault. It couldn't have been  1 1/2 hours later, but College Boy was verbally abused publicly in the store aisle (not in private) not only by the back room supervisor but by the store manager as well. He was told to clean up the paint. Alone. Ruining his jeans, shirt, and shoes. And still he stayed and worked out his shift.

After only 2 days the hours were changed and he was supposed to get out at 11 pm. Never happened, he was still being kept working late, sometimes until 2 am. Once, long after his job was done, he was told that he was not to leave until all of the restocking was complete. He had already worked his shift, put in an hour of stocking and there was a good 3 - 5 hours worth of work to complete.

College Boy did not do it. He set clear limits with his supervisor. He will work late whenever his job isn't done. He will help out if his job is complete but his shift isn't over. He'll even work overtime in another department sometimes, but he will not do two jobs. He needed to manage expectations not because he didn't take the time to understand the circumstances under which he was hired, but because he did. And if he cannot work it out to everyone's advantage, he will respectfully extricate himself from the situation.

This is not about religion. It is not about refusing to do what you were hired for. Accepting a job is entering into a relationship in which the terms are understood. Yes, things change, negotiations are possible along the way, but in the end both sides have an obligation to honor their word. Both sides.

Employers need to be held responsible for realistically portraying the parameters and the expectations of the job.

But we, the employees, need to be held responsible for our character. Both in situations that are what we expected but also in those that are not.

And this is where we are sadly lacking.

In KY and in the friendly skies, the job requirements were NOT hidden from the applicants but the applicants DID hide their willingness to meet those requirements. 

They cannot misrepresent the job, but you cannot misrepresent you.

And to take it even a step further, if you take a job knowing full well what it entails then claim you cannot execute all of your duties; if that job required extensive training, I believe you owe them the expenses they incurred on your behalf.

But what really makes me sit here and smh in disgust is the indignant way in which I see people defend this behavior, plead their case on social media and expect support. They make it about religion, make it about their rights, expect the job to accommodate them.

And OMG, they get it. They get the support. They get "go fund me" accounts. Politicians rush to their defense. They are made martyrs for the cause. They become famous. They get validation.

Witches? Nope.
Bats? Nope
Spiders? Nope. Well, maybe.
Monsters? Nope.

What's scary to me? 

This pervasive attitude of entitlement.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Limoncello and Spiced Orange Pudding Cocktails
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (Limoncello):
6 good sized lemons
1 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP powdered sugar
1 box (3.4 oz) lemon instant pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
2 oz whipped cream vodka
4 oz limoncello

1 box (6oz) Lemonhead candies
24 drops of food decorating gel 
24 mini chocolate chips
6 TBSP grenadine
Opt: additional whipped cream for serving

*Cut both ends of the lemons so that they will sit flat. Cut them in half and hollow them with a spoon, being careful not to puncture the skin. Place in the fridge.
*Set aside 24 lemonhead candies. Crush the rest of the candies in a food processor or in a closed plastic bag with a kitchen mallet.
*Use the decorating gel to attach a mini chocolate chip to each of the remaining 24 candies.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold.
*In a separate bowl, whisk the pudding mix with the milk, whipped cream vodka and limoncello. Fold in the whipped cream.
*Fill the hollowed lemon with the mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*To serve, sprinkle with the crushed lemonhead candies. Top with the Lemonhead "eyes", drizzle with grenadine "blood" and top with additional whipped cream if desired. 

Ingredients (Spiced Orange):
3 oranges
1 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP powdered sugar
1 box (3.4 oz) cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
2 oz Grand Marnier
4 oz Spiced Rum

12 Orange Slices candies
24 drops of food decorating gel 
24 mini M&Ms
6 TBSP grenadine
Opt: additional whipped cream for serving

*Cut both ends of the oranges, just so that they will sit flat. Cut them in half and hollow them with a spoon, being careful not to puncture the skin. Place in the fridge.
*Use the decorating gel to attach a mini M&M to each of the candies.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold.
*In a separate bowl, whisk the pudding mix with the milk, Grand Marnier and Spiced Rum. Fold in the whipped cream.
*Fill the hollowed orange halves with the mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*To serve, top with the orange slice "eyes", drizzle with grenadine "blood" and top with additional whipped cream if desired.