Friday, April 20, 2018

Bourbon Enhanced Taxes and Loud Silence: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

College Boy went to a friend's house. The friend who drove him there had to go to work and left early. Right when Hubs was getting out at work, College Boy texted him:

College Boy: Can you pick me up at my friend's house and give me a ride home?
Response: I guess so, but it'll take me 10 hours to get there.

Oops, he had texted his brother at school instead of his dad. And I'm still giggling at PurDude's response.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

We were watching TV and a commercial came on for the McDonalds $1, $2, $3 menu options. They were putting items together to suggest different meal pairings and giving them little names. Like there was the "I forgot to set my alarm clock" pairing that included an iced coffee drink and breakfast sandwich. And then . . . 

Me: What the hell is an "I'm not a horny person" meal?
Hubs (rolling his eyes): Morning. 
Me: Huh?
Hubs: Morning person. They said it's an "I'm not a morning person" meal.
Me: Oh. OK. Never mind.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Hubs was doing our taxes on a Sunday afternoon while I was in the kitchen trying out a new recipe. When the recipe was done and I needed a taste tester, I asked if he wanted to come try my new muffin recipe.

He did, and he liked them.

Me: Now that you've had my Apple Bourbon Bacon Muffins, maybe you better not finish the taxes. You don't want to do them drunk.
Hubs: Maybe they'll come out better.

Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Me: I'm getting old.
Hubs: Yeah, me too.
Me: Me too? You say "me too"? How about saying "no you're not, you're young and beautiful and . . ."
Hubs: See, I told you I was getting old, I forgot to say all that stuff.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Me: I'm studying politicians, I'm going to learn politics-speak.
Hubs: Politics-speak?
Me: Yeah, when someone asks a question, you ignore it and just say whatever you feel like saying.
Hubs: Oh, you know we have all had that mastered.
Me: Huh?
Hubs: Remember the toddler years?
Me (laughing): Ahhh, so now we can see into the future, the kids who never outgrow toddler-speak are our politicians. 

Brownie Butterfingers Pie, a dressed up option to brownie squares. Walnut crust, brownie filling with bits of butterfingers, this pie is perfect for company | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #dessert
Brownie Butterfingers Pie
Brownie Butterfingers Pie, a dressed up option to brownie squares. Walnut crust, brownie filling with bits of butterfingers, this pie is perfect for company | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #dessert

This past year PurDude has lived in a house with two friends. Just last week we had this text conversation:

PurDude: You're welcome.
Me: Huh?
PurDude: We have an unfinished basement at our house.
Me: Okaaayyyy. You've been living there for 10 months and you've suddenly decided to tell me this now?
PurDude: We just had a tornado warning.
Me: Did you get somewhere safe?
PurDude: See my second text above.
Me: Oh, OK, thanks for letting me know.
PurDude: See my first text above.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Hubs: How do you use this new dishwasher?
Me: Over towards the left, push "express wash" then over towards the right, press "start".
Hubs (who's not wearing his reading glasses): So I press this one (points to "express wash") then the last one.
Me (looking over): No, not the last one.
Hubs: Why, what's that?
Me: "Cancel".
Hubs: Oh, that probably won't work out well.
Me: Only if you want to eat off of clean dishes. Otherwise, go for it.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Me: I'm a little worried about my reputation.
Hubs: What are you talking about?
Me: Well, FB always tailors its ads pretty accurately, creepily really, to what's going on in my life.
Hubs: I know, you've complained about that before, when we were looking at cars you'd get car ads, when we were buying a new washer, you'd get washing machine ads.
Me: Exactly.
Hubs: So what's the problem?
Me: All the ads I'm getting now seem to be for opiod treatment programs.
Hubs: Oh. That's not good.

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Whenever one or the other or both of the boys are home, invariably when I go up to bed, something is playing way too loud in their room(s). It can be music, a movie, whatever they're listening to it's at a level where I can't hear the television or follow the plot of a book in my own room. I always have to yell to them to turn it down. Always.

I was on my way to bed one night, climbed the stairs and just as I hit the top:

Me (yelling): TOO LOUD!
Hubs (walking up behind me and laughing): You do realize there's no one home, right?
Me: Sorry, habit . . .

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Hubs comes down on Saturday morning and looks at the window at the pouring rain.

Hubs: I blame you.
Me: Me?
Hubs (pointing to the rain): Planning to cook dinner on the grill, I see. 

And dammit, he's right.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Menopausal Mother 
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Spatulas on Parade

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Brownie Butterfingers Pie

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
3 TBSP sugar
2 1/2 TBSP butter, melted
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup melted chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterfingers baking chips

OPT: ice cream for serving

*Grease a 10 inch pie plate. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Pulse the walnuts and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until it starts to stick together. Press into and partially up the pie plate. Refrigerate.
*Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the salt, flour and melted chocolate. Mix in the butterfingers baking chips.
*Spread evenly into the crust. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate.
*OPT: Serve with ice cream.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Needing Dough when you can't Kneading Dough

It's a good thing you don't have to knead dough to need dough. Yeast and I have been in embattled in a longstanding war, and I have lost almost every battle. So I need dough even though I can't knead dough. And given what's been going on around here I may just need the kind of dough you don't knead.

I have had a long (long, long) run of bad luck. I've talked about it so many times on this blog lately that even I'm sick of hearing about it. I was thinking that maybe rather than concentrating on my bad juju, maybe I should come up with a plan to pay for all of the major appliances (and other things, like heating and air, tires and even a car) before we reinstate the whole debtor's prison thing.

Needing Dough when you Can’t Knead Dough | Picture by | #funny #humor

As quick money goes, I'm not sure there are a lot of option for people of my age group maturity. I won't be dancing on any poles, chances are my granny panties won't go over well in the clubs. 

And I might just be a tad too judgemental for a Walmart greeter. "Would it kill you to brush your hair?" and "You really should wear underwear with those see-through pants." or "You know those are tights not yoga pants, right?" would probably result in a short career.

This is harder than I'd thought. And I'd really like to do something from home. Not only do I like the idea of working in my PJs, but I know that retail requires varied hours and I don't want to give up cooking for and having dinner with the family. Since that's often just Hubs and I, and he can't boil water, he'd probably waste away if I weren't home at dinner time.

Maple Balsamic Chicken Breast, a simple and flavorful dinner. Chicken is marinated, baked or grilled, and served over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chicken #dinner

Maple Balsamic Chicken Breasts
Maple Balsamic Chicken Breast, a simple and flavorful dinner. Chicken is marinated, baked or grilled, and served over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chicken #dinner

As far as staying home and making money goes, I could spend my time picking lottery numbers, but after multiple tries I just have to admit that sitting around waiting for that to happen might not work out given my human life span.

Needing Dough when you Can’t Knead Dough | Graphic by | #funny #humor

And apparently my green thumb has failed me. I've not planted the right greenery, so to speak, in our yard. 

Needing Dough when you Can’t Knead Dough | Graphic by | #funny #humor

Do they pay people for sitting at home watching TV and yelling at the news? Asking for a friend.

Moving on . . . 

Phone sex: Sounds easy, but when I worked for a short time in phone sales, I had a call from a guy wanting to buy these benches that are built in 2 pieces to circle a tree. Apparently he felt that the picture of a circle around a trunk was erotic and called to share that with me. In detail. As he got more and more breathless. I still get the heebie jeebies thinking about that guy. So I'm thinking I may not be cut out for this job.

Email spammer: As easy as this sounds, I just don't know how you can possibly make a lot of money getting blocked from everyone on the planet's email accounts.

Telemarketer: Nope. Never. Ever. Even I would hate me.

Phone Psychic: You know, I have a feeling about this one. I'm sensing a bright future ahead. Really, all I have to do is be positive and encouraging. I can do that.

"Yes, you will have a long and happy marriage. You're getting divorced? that's what I meant, you will have a long and happy divorce."

"You most certainly will have a girl. You have 8 boys? That's OK, if you just keep trying, I see a girl in your future."

"Of course you will find the home of your dreams. And it won't even be across the street from your in-laws. I am sensing your relief, you're welcome."

"I do, in fact, see riches in your future. Do you by any chance happen to own a ski mask?"

"I see travel in your future. You aren't that same caller with the ski mask, are you?"

"You will land the job of your dreams. You don't wear granny panties, do you?"

I really think I could do this one, in fact, I predict great riches in my future. Maybe I should try my hand at picking lottery numbers again after all.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Maple Balsamic Chicken Breasts

Printable Recipe

NOTE: This recipe can be either baked or grilled.

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced 

OPT: Mashed sweet potatoes for serving

*Place chicken in a sealable plastic bag.
*Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic and onion. Add to the chicken, seal the bag and manipulate to be sure all the chicken is covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
*OPT: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking pan with heavy foil. Place the chicken in the pan. Dispose of the remaining marinade.
*Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked. Slice
*OR: Cook chicken over a hot grill, turning once, until completely cooked. Slice.
*Opt: Serve over mashed sweet potatoes.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Shades of Parkland: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using: self ~ mind ~ courage ~ slinky
They were submitted by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles.

I have a lot of empathy for the parents of school shootings, and not only because my cousin's daughter was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on that day, most everyone does. For me, it hit closer to home years earlier. I don't want to make this about myself , but I went through a situation back when my kids were in high school and ended up in lock down. My boys did not suffer the trauma that the students at Sandy Hook and Parkland and Columbine (to name a few) suffered, yet I do know the panic, actually can't get it out of my mind.

Truth is, our school handled it poorly. And they handled me poorly when I brought it to their attention. The only thing worse than there actually being an active shooter, is knowing that there could be one and not only as a parent would you not know, but what you would know is that there is a good possibility that if there were, your child could be unsafe. This is a fact that traumatizes, even when the circumstance ends without incident.

The boys were in high school, as I said. I was home working on a new cocktail recipe. Normal day, normal chores, oblivious to what could be happening.

Citrus Ginger Summer Martini: Citrus liqueurs and ginger ale blend together for a cocktail that’s a ray of sunshine | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail

Citrus Ginger Summer Martini
Citrus Ginger Summer Martini: Citrus liqueurs and ginger ale blend together for a cocktail that’s a ray of sunshine | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail

It started with a phone call from my brother in Boston, 1500 miles away. He told me there was a school shooting in my town, wanted to be sure my kids were OK. I assured him that if it were our school, our school district, or even our section of town, I'd have gotten a robo-call. As I was hanging up with him and about to turn on the TV, I got a text from my youngest. If you've read this blog for a while, you know that he is concrete and literal, not always able to discern what's salient in a situation. His text read "there's a shooter". 

Yes, my heart stopped.

I texted him back asking if he was safe, behind closed doors, if he'd heard from his brother. He said that the school was in lock down and they were all safe. 

I did not get my robo-call until that night and let me tell you I was pretty pissed off. A parent should never be the last to know, there's no excuse for me having learned of the situation from my brother in Boston.

But that was not the worst of it. It also wasn't until that afternoon that I found out that not only had my older son not been safe, but had the shooter been at his school, he'd actually have been a sitting duck.

The shooter was at another high school a mile from our house. There was no real danger for my kids. 

When the lock down occurred, my older son was stuck in a loophole in the system. His teacher had released them for lunch, locked the classroom and left the school herself (no blame, she's allowed). The kids were on their way to the lunchroom when the emergency system went into effect. They ran but the lunchroom was already locked. They ran back to their classroom to find it locked as well. For a time, my son and his friends were running back and forth through the hallways.

Later, I sent the school system a letter. It was not with an angry tone, I didn't even mention the notification issue as the safety issue was so much more important. I told them that although nothing wrong occurred, there was a situation in their system that came to light that left some students unprotected and needed to be addressed for the safety of all. 

To this day I have not heard back from them. I don't know whether the students currently at that school are more safe than mine was or not. I do know that no matter how prepared we think our school system is, we never know.

Speaking up takes courage. The Parkland students have that and then some. They have been met with support, but they've also been met with personal attacks, an abomination as far as I'm concerned. They continue on their quest with heads held high. They don't slink yet hold their ground. And as a parent who knows the panic of the emergency (but not the true trauma of their actually having been one), let me say that all parents, even those who are despicable enough to attack these kids, are the possible future recipients of their efforts. Get it, Dana Loesch? Laura Ingraham? Next time, if G-d forbid there is one, it could be you. What if YOUR kid is not as safe as you think?

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Citrus Ginger Summer Martini

Ingredients (per cocktail):
3 oz Limoncello liqueur
1 oz Patron Citronge Orange or Grand Marnier
4 oz ginger ale
1 TBSP lemon or orange juice
1 TBSP sugar

 OPT: lemon or orange peel and/or candied ginger for garnish 

*Put 3 or 4 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add the Limoncello and orange liqueur. Mix.
*Add the ginger ale to the shaker. Mix carefully and wait to allow some of the fizz to settle and the ice to cool the drink.
*Place the juice on a rimmed plate. Spread the sugar onto another plate. Wet just the rim of your martini glass by dipping it in the juice, then dip the glass into the colored sugar to sugar the rim. 
*Place the top on the cocktail shaker and pour the liquid only into the center of your martini glass, being careful not to wet the sugar rim.
*OPT: garnish with lemon or orange peel and/or candied ginger.