Friday, September 20, 2019

I Miss My Bee: 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 | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Perhaps you saw my post a few months ago called Suckdom is for Mondays, in which I mention the giant bees patrolling outside my front door. There were two, but at least one was there at any given time. I cursed them, making me come and go via the garage and taking my life in my hands when watering my plants. Then suddenly one day they were gone. Fast forward to now, I was watering the plants in the pot between my garage doors when I looked to the right, screamed and ran in the house.

Hubs: What's the matter?
Me: Reincarnation.
Hubs: Huh?
Me: I now believe in reincarnation.
Hubs: I need more information.
Me: I miss my bee.
Hubs: Well there are some words I never thought I'd hear.
Me: I know but he's been reincarnated.
Hubs: I still need more information.
Me: He's no longer guarding the front door. He's guarding the garage. I want my bee back.
Hubs: Where?
Me: Go look at the Azalea at the side of the garage.


Bee to Spider Reincarnation: Fly on the Wall | Picture property of and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #FlyontheWall


You see it too, right? 


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



Hubs went out to do an errand and I was going to make dinner while he was gone. When he came home:

Hubs: I'm starving, is dinner ready?
Me: No there was a small problem.
Hubs: What?
Me: I know you just got the propane tank filled, but I can't get the grill to light.
Hubs: You should have told me before I left.
Me: I should have told you before I knew?
Hubs: Well it certainly would have been more convenient.


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


I was meeting a friend for coffee and I was late, which is completely unlike me. I walked in and she could tell I looked exasperated.

Her: You're late, that's not like you.
Me: I know, sorry, we were doing, you know, what married couples do . . . 
Her: It's Tuesday, your husband didn't have to get to work? 
Me: Well, you know how it is, when the situation arises, sometimes you can't help yourself, it takes on a life of its own.
Her: Do tell.
Me: Well the fight started with . . .
Her: Wait. You were arguing?
Me: Well yeah, I told you we were doing what married couples do.


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


I'm sitting on the couch, working on my laptop and singing sort of semi-out loud. I didn't realize that Hubs had come into the kitchen behind me. 

Hubs: I know that song, what are you singing?
Me: Nothing.
Hubs: You're singing something.
Me: I'm not sure, I'm working on the laptop and wasn't really thinking about what song was going through my head.
Hubs: If you say so. 

I do say so. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Because there's no way in hell I'm going to admit that somehow I was sitting there singing the theme song from the commercial for RockAuto. com. 


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


Hubs was heading out but stopped in the kitchen where I was baking.

Hubs: What are you baking?
Me: A pie.
Hubs: What kind?
Me: Well, the majority of the filling was going to be strawberry but I didn't have enough so it's a berry pie with strawberries and blueberries.
Hubs: What's on top though?
Me: It's a crumble, it'll make the top a little crunchy. And it has some white chocolate chips too.
Hubs: That sounds delicious.
Me: Thanks, I hope so.

I put the pie in the oven, turn around and he's sitting at the counter.

Me: I thought you were going out.
Hubs: I'll wait.
Me: For the pie? It'll be in the oven for an hour and cooling for another hour.
Hubs: I'll wait. 
Me: Really? Why?
Hubs: I learned long ago that when you're baking and both boys are home, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

And he's not wrong . . .



Berry White Chocolate Chip Pie features berries, baked into a pie crust topped with a white chocolate chip crumble. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Berry White Chocolate Chip Pie
Berry White Chocolate Chip Pie features berries, baked into a pie crust topped with a white chocolate chip crumble. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


I often, in these posts, mention either typos or auto correct that end up being funny/sad. I swear I try to remember to double check before I post but often, either I'm in too much of a rush or the words look so much like what I thought I was saying that I don't really register what I'm looking at. 

Often, these mistakes end up being more than a little unfortunate.

A friend had posted a really positive comment in the thread of one of my facebook posts. I really appreciate how far she goes to always show her support, so I responded to her comment with "You are the epitome of a friend". Except it turns out that what I'd actually said to her (publicly, no less) is "You are the epitome of a fiend."

On a separate note, I'm taking applications for a new best friend . . .


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


PurDude's company moved him to Boulder a little over a week ago. Between the time they moved him out of his former apartment and into his new one, he moved in with us for 10 days. I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could before he moved 8 hours away. On his second day home, he went out with a friend for the afternoon. 

When he came back:

Me: Did you tell your friend you like me better than him?
PurDude: No.
Me: Why?
PurDude: It didn't come up.


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


Of course the entire time he was here I was trying to think of reasons for him not to leave. One thing he and I have in common is our love of coffee and I was in the grocery store when I saw just the thing to keep him here.

Me: Look at what I found today.
PurDude: Those look amazing.

Espresso and Irish Cream baking chips | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


Me: I'll bake with them next week. Maybe you shouldn't leave this weekend after all.
PurDude: Good try Ma, but next week you'd say you'll bake with them the week after, then it'll be the week after that. 
Me: Are you accusing me of being devious?
PurDude: No, I'm saying you should bake with them next week, I'll be watching for my package.

Clearly I've gotta up my game. I've got till Thanksgiving.


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


Have you taken a stand in the Chic-fil-a vs Popeye's chicken sandwich earth shattering issue? I can't since I won't eat at Chick-fil-a and haven't yet (but will) tried the Popeye's sandwich. 

PurDude has had both and absolutely loves the Popeye's sandwich.

Me: I checked, there's a Popeye's not far from your new work.
PurDude: Good, I know what I'll be having for lunch.
Me: You can't start eating a lot of fried fast food. It's so bad for you.
PurDude: I'll only eat like 3 Popeye's a week.
Me: I'm shocked, you work out every day yet you don't care about nutrition?
PuDude: OK, fine, a multivitamin a day and 3 Popeye's a week.

Yeah, he knows how to push my buttons. Always has, probably always will. 


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



And just like that he's gone (again), 8 hours away. I wrote a post in June about his new car called It's Not a Competition, But I Win. For 10 days those 2 cars squeezed side by side into the double side of our garage, and whenever I went out there I would smile. 

Our two Audis | Picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com


And now he's gone again. I'm doing OK. But I'm pretty sure that my car is lonely.


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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother 
Spatulas on Parade



Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics






Berry Pie White Chocolate Chip Pie
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 pie crust
1 TBSP flour 
 
3/4 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats 
2/3 cup white chocolate chips, divided

2# strawberries, hulled, sliced or berries of your choice
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp nutmeg
 
Directions:
*Place a large piece of tin foil on the shelf below the one you'll be using to catch any drippings. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
*Spread the 1 TBSP flour over the pie crust. Flip the pie crust over into a 10 inch pie pan so the flour is on the bottom. Fit into and up the pan.
*Beat together the butter, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and oats. Mix in 1/3 cup of the white chocolate chips. Set aside to use as topping
*Mix the sliced strawberries with vanilla, 3/4 cup brown sugar, flour and nutmeg. Arrange evenly in the prepared pie shell. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the white chocolate chips.
*Dollop the topping over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes, loosely tent with tin foil and bake another 25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ten Random Thoughts in Eighteen Words: Word Counters

It started like this, about 3 weeks ago I was planning a blog post when it showed up in my twitter feed that the day of the post was National Just Because Day. Clearly I had to think of something to post in conjunction with the celebration of such a day. And, of course, whatever I came up with, you know I was going to drag a few other bloggers along with me. 

What I settled on was a challenge. Each of my participating friends and I would pick a number between 10 and 50 to be assigned to another blogger. We would then use our assigned number and write a piece using that exact number of words.

The result was a post I called Counting Words, Just Because. I got the number 43 and ended up writing three different blurbs, each 43 words long. Well, and rewriting and rewriting to work within the word count constraints. But guess what? It was a fun challenge. So some of those same bloggers, and a few more we've picked up along the way, are going to do this once a month, see how it goes.


Word Counters, a multiblogger writing challenge | Developed, run by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Once again everyone picked a number, this time between 10 and 35 and sent it to me. I gave the numbers out as assignments and today we all share what we came up with. 

I got the number 18. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade. Since it's a low number, I'll use it ten times.


Ten random thoughts in eighteen words:

~ I think I'll have a cookie while I think about what I want to say using eighteen words.

Butterfingers Banana Cookies are a soft cookie with a surprise crunch inside. Banana and crunchy peanut butter batter is studded with butterfingers pieces for a delicious flavor pairing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies

Butterfingers Banana Cookies
Butterfingers Banana Cookies are a soft cookie with a surprise crunch inside. Banana and crunchy peanut butter batter is studded with butterfingers pieces for a delicious flavor pairing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies


~ It's almost Fall, I'm lamenting the loss of longer days. Also celebrating the loss of allergies . . . and bees.

~ Although, until our exterminator arrives, I'll be sleeping with one eye open. Spiders scare the bejesus outa me.

~ Next comes the dreaded winter. Maybe I should just retire to Florida. Think Hubs will notice my absence?

~ I may need another cookie. You know, to power my brain for the next five eighteen word thoughts.

~ Football season! Hoping it gives me amnesia about the season my beloved Red Sox are subjecting me to.

~ Decorating long distance is tough. Bought him the furniture, been laying out my son's new apartment via pictures.

~ When your kid moves far away, he should call, text or message his mama daily. Who's with me?

~ Love these cookies but I'm hereby off bananas. Want to know why? Read Gone Bananas for Labor Day.

~ Until next month, Word
Counters is done.
Then which number will get? 
Sure hope it's more than one!

So there you have it. Ten thoughts whittled down to eighteen words. And worked in the recipe too! 

↑  Oh, make that eleven thoughts!


Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Spatulas on Parade
On the Border 

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Butterfingers Banana Cookies        
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 40 - 45 cookies):
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 over ripe bananas
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Butteringers baking chips

Directions:
*Cream together the butter an sugars until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, bananas, egg and vanilla.
*Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt. Once completely incorporated, mix in the Butterfingers baking chips.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day. 
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Using wet hands as the dough will be sticky, roll the cookies into about 3/4 inch balls. Place on the baking sheets ad press down gently with the (wet) heel of your hand.
*Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven but keep on the baking sheets for 2 minutes to set before removing to cool completely.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Which Truths Do We Hold?: 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 www.BakingInATornado.com | #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: envision ~ stray ~ protect ~ ground ~ sentence ~ infringe
They were submitted by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom.

                          
This is going to be a serious one today. That's partly because of where these words naturally take me, and in part because the thoughts, no longer stray considerations but permanent nagging, brooding ruminations that have become pervasive, depressing, even terrifying. Fears that have, in a very real way, infringed on my peace of mind, even wavering my innate ability to maintain something as visceral as hope.


I've spoken before about the difference between my world view and College Boy's. A conspiracy theorist, he thinks I'm unrealistic, I think I try to be optimistic. I think he's a pessimist, he believes he's just a realist. But what do we have in common? We both envision a world, and certainly a country, where people matter, where freedom is for all, where it is possible for anyone to succeed if they have the will, where humanity and compassion, are standards met with ease. Where safety, equality, basic human needs and dignity are a given.

I know that hope is improbable on a global level, in the near future anyway. There are just too many moving parts. But it can be, it needs to be, a goal. 

On a more local level, in this country, there's no question that there is a long way to go. I honestly don't have a problem with that. As long as we remain on the road, put one foot in front of the other, no matter how quickly or slowly we stay the course, build the groundwork to a more compassionate society. But we're not. We were, but we're not on that road any more. Quite the opposite, we're in reverse. And gaining speed.

I cannot put into a sentence, I cannot adequately put into all the sentences in the world how dismayed I am to know how far we've fallen. I sit in my warm comfortable home, where I am safe and healthy, where there is clothing in the closet, clean water coming out of the tap, an abundance of food on the table.

Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner cooks quickly in one pan. Sliced chicken and fresh vegetables are cooked in a flavorful broth. Serve over pasta or rice for an easy dinner option. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner
Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner cooks quickly in one pan. Sliced chicken and fresh vegetables are cooked in a flavorful broth. Serve over pasta or rice for an easy dinner option. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner



I sit here in my home and I'm assaulted, ASSAULTED, by the knowledge that there are terrified children separated from their mamas and put in cages, and it's my country put them there. That the destruction of our planet is being deliberately and maliciously executed in the name of capitalism. That there are lies, constant and continuous, many times completely nonsensical lies coming out of the White House. That we have lost our place as a leader on the global stage, are in fact a laughing stock, barely tolerated, held in contempt as human rights violators, seen as inconsequential, falling behind in trade, in relationships, in innovation. That we have no rational policies, foreign or domestic, based in fact or even rational thought, and that are applied with consistency. That assault rifles are trained on innocent people with an increasing regularity and they are NOT being used by the mentally ill (STOP blaming mental illness. Just STOP), but by the angry, by the misled, by the hopeless. That we put people to death for walking while wearing a hoodie or selling cigarettes on the street. That our access to information, the press, is under constant attack. That we abuse, intentionally target, minorities, all of them: the needy, the ill including the mentally ill, those who pray or love or speak or look a way we're now condoning demonizing, both within and at our borders.

That we are doing nothing about it. Any of it. And so, as it will do, the malignancy metastasizes, unchecked.


Because so many of, in fact the majority of, the not-so-duly elected (gerrymandering, voter suppression, party super delegate systems and the electoral college negating the popular vote) people who are charged with representing us are so blinded by greed and personal power as to have brought our system of government to a jarring and complete halt. Those still possessing a moral compass have either left or are leaving, exacerbating the decline. This is the thing that nightmares are made of. Our form of government is not working. Checks and balances have fallen off the scale.

Will we protect this American experiment in freedom and democracy? We, as a society, need to start by considering one basic question. Have we devolved past or are we actually still collectively capable of holding the same truths?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed, by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 

That's the part that we always remember of Thomas Jefferson's quote, but there's more:

"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government laying its foundation on such principals and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."



I don't believe it serves us to throw the baby out with the bath water, to do away with the form of government with its inherent checks and balances laid out in the constitution. I'm not saying anything quite that drastic. But without a doubt it is time, past time, not to abolish, but to alter. 

On the road to humanity, to justice, to freedom, we have taken a wrong turn. But the majority of us still possess a moral compass. 

Recalculating . . .

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





Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe


Ingredients:
1 1/4 # boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil
4 oz mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 small zucchini, ends removed, halved and sliced
1/4 cup grated parmesan

OPT: cooked pasta or rice

Directions:
*Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
*Heat the olive oil in a large skillet at medium to medium high heat. Add the chicken and minced garlic, cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through.
*Add the chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli and zucchini to the skillet. Cook and stir, bringing the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring now and then, until the vegetables are crisp/tender, about 5 minutes. 
*Sprinkle with the grated parmesan. OPT: serve over cooked pasta or rice.