Friday, July 19, 2019

The Sky's Not Falling: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 5 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 | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Hubs was down in the man cave watching sports one Saturday morning when I went to take a shower. Of course in the shower is where I remember everything, this time it was something I needed Hubs to do.

Once out of the shower and before I could forget, I opened the door to the basement (where the man cave is) and yelled down to tell him what I needed him to do.

I sat down on the couch in the den and started working on a blog post. Fifteen minutes later, the door from the garage to the house opens and in walks Hubs.

I'm guessing he didn't hear what I need him to do . . .

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

We were sitting in the living room and the boys were talking about how they rarely use social media. They tend to use SnapChat, but those posts aren't permanent. 

Hubs: Do you use Instagram?
PurDude: I have an account, but I rarely post there.
Me: I rarely use it too because you have to post pics from your phone and I mostly take food pics with my camera to download onto my laptop so I can edit them and use them on my blog.
Hubs: You can't post to Instagram from your laptop?
PurDude: I think you can.
Me: I have it on my laptop, but can only post a pic on my cell. Although, there's a good possibility I'm just not doing it right.
Hubs: Yeah, I was gonna say it's probably operator error.
Me: And you were almost smart enough not to say it out loud.
Hubs: Well, I also didn't tell you it might help if you go ask a 10 year old . . .

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

PurDude got a new car. It didn't have a front license plate holder, and we have to have both front and back plates here. The guys were out front trying to figure out how to get a plate onto the front of his car as the area where it would go is not flat and there were no holes in the right places for a plate to fit when I walked out.

Me: I have a joke.
Hubs (a little frustrated): I'm not in the mood for a joke right now.
Me: How many Blessings does it take to put on a license plate?

And for the record, we did get that plate on. And I was the one to finally figure it out.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Hubs had talked to our insurance company about insuring PurDude's car. The next day he shared with us that he got a survey about the customer service he received. I told him to fill it out as they are just great every time we call them.

Hubs fills it out, then starts laughing.

Hubs: This must be a joke, after the survey it tells me I can thank Sarah.
Me: How?
Hubs: You can click one of these options. It must be a joke.
Me: What are the options?
Hubs: Well, like the first one is "a promotion". Oh, oh no, oops, I just clicked on it.
Me: That's OK. What were the other options?
Hubs: Well, all I know is the second one was a free lunch. Damn, maybe she'd like a free lunch.
Me: Don't worry, with her new promotion she can buy herself lunch.
Hubs: Oh. Yeah. Right. Good.

And now I'm going to wonder for the rest of my life if Sarah actually got a promotion.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I was talking to PurDude about the cord to my laptop, which has cracked open in one spot. He suggested I check google to see where I can get a new one.

Hubs: The casing actually is open? Is there exposed cord?
Me: Yes, a little, it just pulled apart up by where it plugs into the laptop.
Hubs: I need to cover that with electrical tape.
Me: It'll be fine until I get a new one.
Hubs: No, it's dangerous. It could shock you.
Me: I raised two boys, nothing can shock me.

I actually got a rare chuckle out of PurDude with that one!

Peach White Chocolate Chip Cake starts with a boxed cake mix. Fresh peaches, cinnamon and white chocolate chips add fresh summer flavors. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

Peach White Chocolate Chip Cake
Peach White Chocolate Chip Cake starts with a boxed cake mix. Fresh peaches, cinnamon and white chocolate chips add fresh summer flavors. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

I often talk about episodes where auto-correct gets me in trouble. I really (really, really) need to take the time to be sure I read and read again what I'm posting before I press "enter".

My friend had posted a picture of herself. It was a really beautiful picture so I commented on it, writing "perfect".

I went back later to see the other comments people had written to her. That's when I saw it, my comment on her picture, "pervert". 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Hubs usually stops up the street at the mailbox to get the mail. We're in a cluster box, and in a system that only makes sense to the USPS, not the one closest to our house. Hubs stops there on the way home, unless I've texted him during the day to tell him that I got the mail and he doesn't have to stop.

One day last week:

Hubs: There wasn't any mail today.
Me: Yes there was, I got it.
Hubs: Oh, you didn't tell me.
Me: Yes I did.
Hubs: I must not have seen your text.
Me: Well that's funny, 'cause you answered it.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Hubs walks in the door after work.

Hubs: Gonna go quickly change my clothes, I'm starving, what's for dinner?

I tell him what we're having, he goes upstairs and doesn't come back down. I go up to see if he's OK, and he's just sitting there.

Me: You OK?
Hubs: Yeah, I'm fine. And I want to stay that way.
Me: OK . . . why aren't you coming down to eat, you said you were starving?
Hubs: I don't want to die.
Me: What the hell are you talking about?
Hubs: You said you were serving poison chicken.
Me: Hoisin. Hoisin chicken, not poison chicken.
Hubs: You're not trying to kill me?
Me: Not today.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Note to self: no need to go screaming for your husband because the roof is leaking. That's actually the shadow of the bird cage you have hanging there.
The Sky's Not Falling, a Fly on the Wall monthly blog post | Picture taken by and property of | #humor #funny

And btw, no matter what you think you see, the sky's not falling either.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I had been making a few recipes using peaches and decided to create a cocktail recipe. I knew some of the ingredients I wanted to use, but had a question about quantities.

Me: How many cups in a bottle of wine.
Hubs: For you . . . one.

Yeah, that helped.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother 
Spatulas on Parade
Bookworm in the Kitchen

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Peach White Chocolate Chip Cake

1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup French vanilla creamer
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 box (about 3 oz) peach jello, divided
1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced thin 

1/4 cup powdered sugar

NOTE: You won't use all of the peach jello granules, seal the packet and save the rest for another time

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Beat the cake mix, oil, creamer, eggs, cinnamon and 3 TBSP of the jello granules for 2 minutes. Stir in the white chocolate chips and pour evenly into the prepared pan.
*Spread the peach slices over the top of the batter and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is browned and the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool completely, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*Store, covered, in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for serving.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Cloak of Invisibility

Hubs really pissed me off the other day. Bet that never happens to you. Well I've got a great strategy for saving your marriage. Or, at the very least, keeping you out of jail. 

It's the cloak of invisibility. Thank you, Harry Potter. Or should I say J. K. Rowling?

Cloak of Invisibility, a humorous look at marriage | Graphic created by and property of | #MyGraphics #humor

On this particular day, it started like this:

We were watching the Celtics. It was half time, granted, but the sportscasters were talking about a very promising player from Purdue who had just gotten a contract, and I wanted to hear what they had to say.

As always, during commercials, at halftime, even during the show, Hubs grabbed his cell phone. And as usual he prefers to hear than to see the news. Way too loud, of course.

Me (after glaring at him for a few minutes, to which he is always oblivious): Do you want to turn that down or off?
Hubs (angrily): It's half time. 
Me (I can do "angrily" too): Really? That's your answer?

For the record, he did turn his phone down, but the damage was done. We all know that attitude was just not going to stand.

Let me say now, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I've threatened, in some darker moments, to add a little something to his food. Always the night before an election to stop him from canceling out my vote, but when he pushes my buttons too. And just for the record, not enough to kill him. Not only would I have no one to kill the spiders (yikes), but one thing I've learned from all those true crime shows is that the police always start their suspicions with the spouse. Also, considering the number of times I've threatened this particular scenario, I figure I'd be in handcuffs before he hit the floor. And I don't look good in stripes. Nor could I pee in an open cell. Hell, I can't even use a bedpan.

But, back to Hubs, I figure a little intestinal discomfort may just make a point.

Of course that's difficult to do when I eat what he eats. And really, ruining a good dinner? Now there's something that should, in and of itself, be against the law. 

Beef in Peach Barbecue Sauce starts with a bottled sauce, adds seasonal flavors and cooks in the oven. | Recipe developed by | #beef #dinner

Beef in Peach Barbecue Sauce

So on to plan B, the cloak of invisibility. Or what's more commonly known as "wait till he shuts his eyes". Which he tends to do quite a lot while watching TV. "I wasn't sleeping" he always gruffly insists, "I was just blinking". I don't know about you, but in my book if you're snoring, that's a super long "blink". Even if you end up waking yourself up with that racket within a minute or two.

So I have to be strategic. Work fast. So at the first hint at an extra long "blink" {{wink, wink}}, I tiptoe over and grab the remote. Change the channel from sports to the Food Network, stick the remote on the stairs and wait. 

Hubs wakes up, sees what's on TV and starts looking around. He's patting the chair, checking the floor, standing up and looking under his butt . . . nothing.

Hubs: I was watching that game. What happened? Where's the remote?
Me (looking around, searching for the remote): Oh, there it is, on the stairs.
Hubs: How did it get there?
Me: You must have put it there when you went up to change. And you probably pressed a button and changed the channel when you put it down. 

He looks at me with skepticism. He knows that's not possible, that he was sitting there watching the game. But he has to either accept my explanation or admit he was sleeping. Gotcha!

Hubs sits back down to watch TV. I start to sing softly, under my breath "soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr purr".

Damn, Sheldon, that song really works.

Next, his cell phone. Now this is more of a challenge because it's sitting on the side table next to him. But it's that or arsenic, so I'm going to have to be up to the challenge. Slip the cell off of the table and put it in the pantry. And because I'm impatient (or mean), I call it.

Another quite amusing (if I do say so myself) round of chair patting and under butt checking, he follows the sound into the pantry. 

Hubs: That's not funny, putting my phone into the pantry.
Me: I didn't put it there. How would I get your phone? You probably put it down when you went in there to get a snack. 

His look told me he was on to me, but once again, between a rock and a hard place, he couldn't challenge me. 

This cloak of invisibility stuff is way too much fun. Anyone got some shaving cream? A sharpie? A bucket of water? Yeah, this could become a problem. I may need a support group.

Or maybe Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Beef in Peach Barbecue Sauce        

Printable Recipe

1 TBSP white grape peach juice
1/2 peach, finely chopped
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 TBSP peach jam
about 1# thin sliced eye of round 

OPT: potato salad for serving

*Heat the juice and the chopped peach over medium high heat. Stir and cook until the peaches are soft. Add the barbecue sauce and peach jam. Heat and stir until hot.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 X 8 baking pan. Spoon about 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of the pan. Add slices of beef followed by sauce until it's all in the pan. Cover tightly with heavy tin foil.
*Cook for about 40 minutes until the beef is hot and cooked and the sauce is bubbly.
*OPT: serve over potato salad.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Firetrucks and Football: 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 | developed and run by | #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: firetruck ~ ice ~ rug ~ light ~ microwave
They were submitted by Rena of Wandering Web Designer.
Growing up, my boys loved when we were out driving around and saw a train or a firetruck. Must be a boy thing. Never thrilled me, but then I remember from my own childhood the time we had one of those trucks pull up to our house. This was the second time we'd been hit by lightening. I don't remember the first time.

A have great pictures of the boys, at different fairs in town, sitting in the truck with huge smiles on their faces. And if the firemen turned on the lights and sirens? Those kids were thrilled. 

I learned, the hard way, that it's a little different when they come to your house. When the boys were little, I had been doing my laundry one day and went into the laundry room to see smoke. The washer had finished running and there were no visible flames, but there was smoke. I called and within minutes could hear the sirens.

In walked two firemen in full firefighting regalia. I'm not really sure why, I had been pretty clear about the situation over the phone, but in they walked in gigantic yellow inflated looking pants and coats, clear face masks and giant hats, big boots that made clomping noises when they walked and each carrying an axe.

Holy hell, I think I'd rather have my house burn down than ever hear my boys scream like that again. Freddie or Jason would have been less traumatizing. Freddie AND Jason would have been less traumatizing.

After (way too joyfully, if you ask me) taking their hatchets to my washing machine, they got it taken apart (I'm willing to bet that repair men have a less harmful way to accomplish this). No fire, chances are it was just the motor. And out they went.

The second time we called them (years later, btw) was an ice cold day. 

Now, as an aside, let me tell you that I grew up following professional sports. I'm a Bostonian so that means the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Celtics and the Bruins. College sports wasn't a big thing, except while I was in college, of course.

Anyway, a freezing cold day, college football was on TV and I was going to throw dinner on the grill. When I went out to the deck I knew immediately that something was wrong. The propane canister was hissing, clearly the seal had broken and the gas was leaking out. Not good. We didn't know what to do about it so we tried to find a phone number for the local police, no answer, and local fire station, no phone number available. We hated to call 911 just to find out what to do, but had no choice. They would not release this sensitive information, so a few minutes later we heard those sirens.

Children safely ensconced in my bedroom with the TV on, the firemen came out to the deck, unhooked the propane, stuck a rug in the middle of the yard and placed the tank on it. Apparently the plan was to just let the tank empty into the air. It wasn't until that time that I realized that they were very . . . shall we say . . . not happy with us. They wouldn't come inside, but like little kids at a candy shop they stood with their noses pressed against the glass of our slider trying to watch the local college team play football on our TV.

I blame them, just for the record. If they had been willing to tell us to unhook the propane and stick it in the middle of the yard ourselves, they could have stayed at the station watching the game in comfort.

Tank empty the men headed back to their truck. But on the way out I swear I heard one of the firemen muttering under his breath "next time use the damn microwave".

Jeez buddy, it's just college ball. Lighten up, have a cookie.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies, it’s the surprises inside that ramp up the flavor and texture. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies, it’s the surprises inside that ramp up the flavor and texture. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

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

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients (makes about 4 dz):
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 stick margarine, room temperature 
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp strawberry extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
10 Strawberry Cheesecake flavored Fudge Stripe Cookies, crushed
1/3 cup freeze dried strawberries, chopped

NOTE: If you cannot find the Strawberry Cheesecake flavored cookies, you can skip the cookies and add another 1/4 cup of flour and another 1/3 cup freeze dried strawberries to the recipe

*Cream the butter, margarine, cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and strawberry extract.
*Slowly at first, beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the crushed cookies and freeze dried strawberries.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Roll the dough into about 1 inch balls (works best if you use wet hands), and place on cookie sheets.
*Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the edges start to brown.