Friday, November 17, 2017

The Dique and the Clique: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 7 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

Anyone who reads this blog knows of the ongoing struggle to get my boys to write a guest post. I bring it up every now and then in the hopes that they will, but so far no luck. My latest attempt:

Me: Did you write me a guest post?
College Boy: Yes.
Me: Yes? That's great! Send it to me.
College Boy stands there looking at me.
Me: Go ahead, send it to me.
College Boy: I am. Telepathically. 

Wonder where he got that smart-assery from. Probably from his dad.

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

We have a horrible time both getting and sending mail. I even wrote a post called Hair by USPO explaining the correlation between our mail issues and my grey hair.

Last Saturday Hubs was going to deposit a check for me at the bank and I had a letter that had to be mailed. We don't do that at our house any more, going to either the post office or a blue mailbox. I told Hubs to drop off my letter in the blue mailbox by the grocery store up the street.

Hubs: There's a mailbox right by the bank.
Me: No there isn't.
Hubs: Yes, right across the parking lot by the Goodwill.
Me: There isn't a mailbox there, that's a Goodwill drop bin.
Hubs: No, I've mailed tons of letters there.
Me: Well, no wonder we have problems, you've been donating our mail to Goodwill.

PS: I sent College Boy with Hubs and College Boy says there actually is a USPO mailbox there.

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

It seems that almost every month I talk about one of my typing mistakes. This month at least it was in a private message so the whole world didn't see (and yet now here I am sharing it).

I love my blogging friend Karen. She has been an online friend for a long time. One day we were talking in a FB private message about a post she wrote about being herself, not "playing the game" to be accepted into this group or that. I was trying to tell her that she would be welcome in any little group of friends of mine. She was very kind not to point out that I had not invited her to my clique, but had actually said "If I had a little dique, you could join it any time". 

Just for the record, no matter how you spell it, dique or dick, I don't have a little one. Or a big one for that matter. 

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

Hubs and College Boy were coming home late one night when the car driving ahead of Hubs hit a skunk. Hubs had no choice but to run over it too. 

The next morning I go into the master bathroom and it smells like skunk. Great, the master bath is over the garage and the smell has permeated up through the floor.

The closet is off the bathroom. I open the closet and nearly pass out. That's when I know what happened. I head down to the kitchen to have a little pre-coffee discussion, never a good idea.

Me: What were you wearing last night?
Hubs: Jeans and a sweatshirt.
Me: Where are they?
Hubs: In the closet.
Me (giving him some serious stink eye): You owe me a new wardrobe. And a new house.

BTW, if you're looking for me today, I'll be in the laundry room washing every stitch of clothes we own.

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

This conversation just happened. It's possible I'm just a tad bit frustrated.

Me: Can you please get that grill cleaned? Now.
College Boy: I will.
Me: That's what you said yesterday. And the day before. Last time I ended up having to do it myself.
College Boy: I'll get it done soon.
Me: Yeah, right. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 865,482 times, shame on me.

Make Ahead Crockpot Sweet Chili Wingettes: bake the wingettes, let them sit in the sauce overnight, the next day, just turn it on. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #slowcooker #chicken

Make Ahead Crockpot Sweet Chili Wingettes

Hubs had been out of town and was flying back in. I had to take his car to pick him up because I was having trouble with mine. His car is a hybrid and I'm just not used to it. I often stop at a light and question whether the car is even still running or if I'm going to be stuck there.

Unfortunately the airport is downtown and he was flying in at 5:00 pm on a weekday. It takes a half hour to get to the airport, but because of the traffic it took an hour and 45 minutes round trip. When we finally got home, I couldn't get out of that car fast enough. I got out and was walking into the house, Hubs was getting his luggage and the car was beeping.

Me: Why is the car beeping, because you have the door open?
Hubs: I don't think so.
Me: What is it? Make it stop.
Hubs: Oh.
Me: Oh?
Hubs: Umm, you pressed the "park" button but not the power button. The car was actually still running.

Stupid silent car. That could have ended really badly.

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

People are weird, can I just say that? College Boy comes upstairs and asks me who's out front. I have no idea what he's talking about. I go to look out the window and there's a car I don't recognize parked in front of my house. There's a kid I don't know, sitting on my front steps talking on the phone. Huh?

I do downstairs and am about to open the door to see what he wants. Just as I'm opening the door, he shuts his phone, walks back to his car, gets in and drives away.

And now I'm going to spend the entire weekend wondering what the hell that was all about.

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

Hubs got a new phone (G-d help me). He used it for almost an entire day when:

Me: Are you hooked up to the house wifi?
Hubs: It does that automatically.

Me: Not the first time, it doesn't know our password, you have to sign in.
Hubs: {{blink, blink}}

I took his phone and signed him in. The next morning he's in the kitchen when I come down for coffee.

Hubs: My phone is playing music. I didn't turn it on and I don't know how to make it stop.

I take his phone, check on the apps he has open in the background (6 of them, btw) and he's got a game playing, which I shut off, stopping the music.

So, yeah, Hubs got a new phone. I hope I'm able to maintain whatever of my sanity remains.

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

I hate getting old. Why? Let me count the ways. One of the worst is when I have a word on the tip of my tongue and can't get it to come out.

I had decided I was going to tell my son that I was starting a poll about yet another controversial issue that had come up in the news. But I couldn't grab that word, "poll".

Me: I'm going to start a . . . what's it called?
College Boy: A cult?
Me: {{blink, blink}}.  

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

College Boy's favorite dinner is spaghetti with my Hearty Meat Sauce (Stove Top or Slow Cooker). I don't make it in the Spring or Summer, and we had a warm beginning to Fall so it wasn't until the first week in November that I made my first batch of sauce for the season. I let College Boy know so he was sure to be here for dinner.

Me: You know, you should come watch me make it so you know how.
College Boy: No, I'll just come to dinner whenever you serve spaghetti.
Me: Do you remember the time I made an extra entire pound of spaghetti and sauce at dinner and you packed it up and took it back to school that night? 
College Boy: Yeah, I got back to school and a couple of my friends were in my room about to smoke a joint. We did, then we were all starving so I stuck the whole pound of spaghetti in the microwave and we ate it all.
Me: Are you at all familiar with the concept of too much information?

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

Menopausal Mother 
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Bookworm in the Kitchen 
The Blogging 911 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Make Ahead Crockpot Sweet Chili Wingettes

4 - 5# chicken wingettes
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1/2 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
3 TBSP Frank's Hot Sauce
3 cloves garlic
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar

2 TBSP cornstarch

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking sheet. Rinse and pat dry the chicken wingettes. Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Arrange on the baking sheet.
*Grease the bowl of your crockpot. Make the sauce by whisking the chili sauce, soy sauce, honey, hot sauce, garlic, green onion, ginger sesame oil and red wine vinegar. Set aside.
*Bake the wingettes for 25 minutes, flip over and bake the other side for 25 minutes. Place the wingettes into the crockpot. Pour the sauce over and cover. When they have cooled, refrigerate overnight.
*The next day, take the wingettes out of refrigerator. Place the crockpot bowl into the heating element and cook on high for one hour. Stir. Lower heat and cook on low for 3 hours, stirring now and then.
*Mix 2 TBSP cornstarch with 2 TBSP cold water. Add to the crockpot and stir. Turn the heat up to high and cook one more hour to allow the sauce to thicken.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I Love You Tom Steyer but I Cannot Sign Your Petition

I love you Tom Steyer but I cannot sign your impeachment petition.

Every time I see Tom Steyer's commercial (and the CNN "this is an apple" commercials too, btw), I smile. Calm, rational, thoughtful defiance. Amen.

Yes, I love you Tom Steyer. You're making a concerted effort to unite the opposition based on morals and values and ethics. You fear for our country for all of the same reasons I do. In fact, I agree with all of your arguments to the point where I find myself nodding my head so hard it's in jeopardy of falling off my shoulders. And I do desperately want to be able to sign that petition. How sweet it would be to dispatch this level of ineptitude, divisiveness and downright hatred. To stop waking up each day with a feeling of dread and a fear of checking twitter. Or turning on the news.

Caramel Studded Popcorn Treats, made with toasted coconut marshmallows, crunchy popcorn and studded with caramel candies, this treat is quick and easy to make and fun to serve. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #treat

Caramel Studded Popcorn Treats
Caramel Studded Popcorn Treats, made with toasted coconut marshmallows, crunchy popcorn and studded with caramel candies, this treat is quick and easy to make and fun to serve. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #treat

Let me just say that I long for the days when there were administrations in power in the United States with which I fundamentally disagreed. This is decidedly not that. Politics was politics and beliefs were beliefs and whatever party was in power was there because of the will of the people. I may not have liked the agenda of the party in the White House, controlling the Senate or the House, but I would defend to the end their right to be there. It's called democracy.

So much for naivete. Exit democracy, enter 2016. Politics became a no-holds-barred dirty fight. He who has the brass knuckles wins. Even if it turns out that it's Putin with the brass knuckles.

As a result, what we've ended up with is a "president" who is not only uninformed about our history and our laws and our system, but he deliberately chooses to be so. He is not just archaic in his views about diversity and dignity and human rights, he's determined to undo equality. He doesn't only disrespect the scientific community and the intelligence community, he's out to discredit them all. He's destroyed longstanding global relationships. He's a bully, an admitted sexual assaulter, a persistent liar, a narcissist and a bigot. Most frightening, he's incapable of self regulation. Actually, even more frightening, he sees no reason to have to exhibit self control. Yes, he is a clear and present danger. As is the House and Senate who not only support him, but look at him with a puppy dog like adoration.

The problem, Tom, is not your rationale. It's your conclusion.

I Love You Tom Steyer but I Cannot Sign Your Impeachment Petition, a discussion of what is and what comes next. | | #politics #MyGraphics

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I find myself between an impeachment petition and a hard place. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame you for putting me in this position. Your heart and your head are both in the right place. Your morals and values are mine, your fear is my terror. 

And yet I cannot sign that petition. Because as bad as this is, as unthinkably harmful this administration's agenda, the damage being done to our reputation, both globally and domestically, I can't support impeachment.

Because what I see as the saving grace of this "presidency" is, in fact, the personality disorders, the ignorance, the absurd lies, the constant and consistent attacks on himself and the incompetent people put into positions of power to carry out this hateful and harmful agenda. The uncanny propensity of our "president" to shoot himself in the foot.

Let me ask you this: if you take Trump and remove the inability to play with others, the insistence on attacking his own allies, the constant torpedoing of his own side, the undermining of his own people, the laughable implausibility, the refusal to learn and grow, what would you have? You'd have an administration not only determined to revert human rights and diversity back to the dark ages, but one with a clear path to do so. 

I love you Tom Steyer, but I cannot sign your impeachment petition. 

Because . . . Pence.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Caramel Studded Popcorn Treats        

1/2 stick butter
1 cup mini marshmallows 
1 package Toasted Coconut marshmallows
2 bags (3.29 oz) microwave popcorn, popped
1 box (6 oz) Sugar Babies caramel candies

*Spray a large bowl, a spatula and an 8 X 10 baking dish with non-stick spray.
*Sift through the popcorn carefully to remove all remaining seeds.
*Melt the butter with the mini marshmallows and Toasted Coconut marshmallows in a large bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Continue to microwave until all of the marshmallows are completely melted.
*Carefully fold in the popped popcorn, then the candies. Pour into the prepared pan and press evenly into the pan. 
*Allow to set completely. Spray a knife with nonstick spray to cut into squares.

Friday, November 10, 2017

When all the Walls: 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: legendary ~ rope ~ control ~ lead ~ scrape ~ whole
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.

Add the sugar to the butter. Beat. Scrape the bowl, add an egg. Beat. I used to love the peace of baking. Today, I guess you'd call this baking by remote control

It's what I do when I'm stressed. I bake. Unlike cooking, baking requires use of science, fairly precise measurements. It works to occupy my mind. And there's the joy you bring to others when you share the end results. It works to elevate my mood. Right now I need both.

Truth is, I am at the end of my rope. It's not one thing that's got me, it's a compilation. They're not life altering, just frustrating. It's legendary, the old saying "when it rains, it pours". Right now the proverbial wind is whipping and the rain is pouring. So I'm baking in my tornado. Lets just say I'm the camel, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd keep that last straw away from my back.

Apparently this storm has a theme. Money. It started with my car, it appears the starter is going. What's that a couple of hundred bucks? $12o0. And that's not even new, that's if I let them put in a reconditioned one (yeah, that means "used"). 

And Hubs thinks my brakes are starting to get a little soft too. Beat. Scrape. Beat.

 PurDude is graduating from college in May. When we go up there, we usually just stay at a local West Lafayette motel for about $75 a night. There are different graduations that go on over a 4 day span and the school has not yet assigned a graduation date to each major. I went in to check on reservation. There is nothing available in West Lafayette at all. In Lafayette, there was one hotel left with the 2 rooms we need. For those for days, rates are over twice the normal rate. So for 2 rooms for 4 days that's $1200. Beat. Scrape. Beat.

My cell phone has decided that I have my headphones plugged in. Permanently. Meaning I can only use the phone on speaker. Which makes it impossible to answer a call in public. Pricing new phones should be fun right about now. Beat. Scrape. Beat.

Hubs just called from his work phone, something he rarely does. Seems his cell will not turn on. Beat. Scrape. Beat.

Open the fridge and the light won't come on. Close. Open. No light. Close. Open. No light. And you know what? I don't give a damn. I've got bigger fish to fry (I sure am on a roll with those old sayings today). Or pies to make. 

Peanut Butter Lover's Pie, a no-bake cheesecake with peanut butter flavor in every bite | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert
Peanut Butter Lover's Pie
Peanut Butter Lover's Pie, a no-bake cheesecake with peanut butter flavor in every bite | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

I often let life take the lead. After all, we don't have a whole lot of control over many of the things that may happen to us in a given day (or week, as the case may be). But it's good to know that when life is leading me down that dark rabbit hole, the tag line of this blog still serves me well: When all the walls are caving in . . . what could it hurt to bake?

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

Peanut Butter Lover's Pie

20 Nutter Butter Cookies
4 TBSP melted butter

2 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup Butterfingers baking bits, divided

1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

OPT: whipped cream and/or chocolate syrup to top

*Lightly grease a springform pan.
*Place the Nutter Butters into a food processor and process to crumbs. Mix with the melted butter. Press into and partially up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate.
*Beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter. Mix in 1/2 cup of the Butterfingers baking bits.
*In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold.
*Spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture into the crust.
*Fold the whipped cream mixture into the remaining cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust. Even out, sprinkle with remaining butterfingers bits and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before removing from pan to serve.
*OPT: decorate with whipped cream and/or drizzle with chocolate syrup for serving.