Friday, June 24, 2022

Exercism: Monthly Poetry Group


Blueberry Cinnamon Loaf is a quick bread both encrusted and infused with cinnamon, and loaded with plump blueberries. | recipe developed by | #recipe #bread


Last Friday of the month is for
Monthly Poetry Group to rhyme.
Diane, Mimi, and I take turns,
"Exercise" is the theme this time.
As usual, today I'll try,
a poem to write . . . or fudge.
Whether I'm successful or not,
you get to be the judge.  

Exercise, multi blogger poetry writing challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of | #poetry


Church was not just spiritual,
but a social place for many.
Parishioners got together in
fun groups, and there were plenty. 

One day, a new group was formed,
exercise, the mutual plan.
Going on a daily walk,
with all of those who can.
Though he was much older now,
Father joined in when he could.
But to their shock and awe, he said
that they were up to no good.
"No, I cannot do that," 
he exclaimed, "I'm much too old.
And wrong, stay home and bible read,
if I may be so bold."
Shocked, dismayed parishioners,
went along their way.
On the phone that night, though, they,
agreed to meet up the next day.

Next day, about to have coffee and
some freshly baked quick bread,
saw a group in the parking lot,
so he headed outside instead. 

Blueberry Cinnamon Loaf is a quick bread both encrusted and infused with cinnamon, and loaded with plump blueberries. | recipe developed by | #recipe #bread
Blueberry Cinnamon Loaf

Yes, the group had gathered,
they were ready for their walk,
when from inside the rectory,
Father came out to talk. 

"Good morning," Father, smiling, said,
"What's up on this fine day?"
Worried, Mabel told him,
"Going walking, we'll be on our way."
"That sounds like a fine idea," 
Father asked "can I go with you?"
Everyone looked to Mabel,
her answer? Blunt but true.

"Father," Mabel calmly said,
"you were invited all along.
but you told us quite clearly that,
exercise was somehow wrong?"
"Exercise? Oh, exercise!
Guess I didn't hear it.
Thought that you'd said exorcise 
as in . . . you know . . . expel a spirit."

Monthly Poetry Group, a monthly group writing challenge, poetry based on a theme | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #poetry

Before you go, stop by these blogs for more Collections poetry:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Blueberry Cinnamon Loaf

2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips
2 1/2 cups flour plus 1 TBSP, divided
1 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg 
1 1/4 cups blueberries 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP blueberry jam
1 TBSP lemon juice

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
*Mix together the 2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Dust the loaf pan with this mixture, moving it around to coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.
*Place the cinnamon baking chips in a clean coffee grinder or a food processor. Grind to a powder.
*In a large bowl, whisk together the cinnamon chips, the remaining cinnamon, 2 1/2 cups of the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
*To the bowl, add the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg. Mix until incorporated.
*Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 TBSP flour to coat. Set aside about 1/4 cup of blueberries, and fold the rest into the dough.
*Spread the dough evenly into the loaf pan. Top with the reserved blueberries. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes, until the top springs back to the touch.
*Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and cool completely.
*Whisk together the powdered sugar, blueberry jam, and lemon juice. Drizzle over the cooled loaf.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Call Me Smith



Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie (no bake), all the flavors of the cocktail in a no bake pie form | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

I always said I'd marry a Smith. 
Not really the recommended criteria for choosing a spouse, his name, but hear me out. My maiden name has 5 consonants (2 are the same), 3 vowels (2 are the same) and looks like someone threw all those letters in a blender and whatever order they came out in, that would be our name. It's actually a word. Just not in English. Whatever. No one ever spelled it right, no one even pronounced it correctly and by the age of, like 6, I was over it. 
Smith. I'd marry a Smith. It's not that I would go searching out a Smith, per se, but I'm sure a few would cross my path. It's a common name. The most common name in the United States, actually. So really, with a plethora of Smiths walking around among us, how hard could it be to find a good one? We're tripping over them, after all.

I've never met a Smith. Figures, right? Isn't that the way it always goes (well, for me, anyway) . . . whenever you're looking for something . . .
Call Me Smith | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphic #humor #blogging

Of course simplicity (or difficulty) of a name wasn't even in the mix when I agreed to marry Hubs. But, ever sensitive to the subject, it did dawn on me at the time, that my new last name, although not Smith, would possibly be the next best thing.


Who could screw up Blessing?

I recently found out. Twice.

It started with junk mail. I seemed to be getting way more than usual. Double, in fact. And that's exactly what was happening, I was getting double. One for me, and one for Karen Lessing. At my address. It seems that everything I got, she got. Ms. Lessing was approved for all of the same credit cards as me. She was encouraged to apply for a lower rate mortgage . . . on my home. She was steered to political candidates, all of them, was informed of lower cell phone rates, lower internet rates, told which streaming services would best serve her needs.

I Googled to see if there was someone with that name living in my city, but there isn't. There is another person with my (correct) name. I found out when a package for her came to me, I hunted her down, and had her come get it. Fortunately, her junk mail goes to her.

But this Lessing mail was filling up my mail box, matching me solicitation for solicitation, day after day. And she doesn't even exist. Well, not at my address anyway. Not that I know of, at least.
I would have complained less about the silly annoyance of increased junk mail, if I'd have known then what was ahead.

"You call that a name screw up," Karma asked, "hold my Margarita (I don't like beer) Pie, honey."
Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie (no bake), all the flavors of the cocktail in a no bake pie form | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert
Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie (no bake) 

A few days later, nestled among all that crap in the mail box, were bills. Big, big, big bills. Many of them, some for thousands of dollars. 

Hubs had gone for his physical to a doctor he's seen for years. There was the office visit, blood work, an MRI, a visit to a dermatologist, lab work there, you know how that goes. One or two medical appointment(s) can generate all kinds of charges from so many different places.

When Hubs scraped me off the floor, we took a close look at the bills. Surely these providers hadn't sent the charges through insurance. No, they had. This, they were all claiming, was what we owed them, and it was the full amount.

I studied those bills, and I studied that medical insurance coverage. I called the offices, all of whom confirmed they'd sent the charges to insurance, and they were denied. This just wasn't possible.

And then I saw it.

After all these years as a patient, suddenly someone in one of those offices added one little letter to our last name, changing it to Blessings. And they did it in the main computer system accessed by all of the affiliated services and providers. And not having someone named Blessings as a subscriber with Hubs' insurance plan, group, and ID#, his insurance kicked out all of the claims.
I wonder how Hubs would feel about legally changing our name. Smith. It still has a nice, easily spelled ring to it. And really, who could screw up Smith?

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie (no bake)        

Printable Recipe

1/4 cup orange juice
1 box (3 oz) lime jello mix
3 TBSP Tequilla
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 TBSP brown sugar
4 TBSP butter, melted
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
11 oz bottle strawberry smoothie
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
OPT: additional whipped cream and/or sliced strawberries for garnish

*Heat 1/4 cup orange juice in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the jello mix and stir until dissolved. Mix in the Tequilla and set aside.
*Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Pat into the bottom and partially up the sides of a greased 10 inch pie plate. Refrigerate.
*Beat the cream cheese, jello mixture, and smoothie together for 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold. 
*Add the strawberries to the cream cheese mixture, fold in the heavy cream, pour evenly into the crust. Garnish with whipped cream and/or sliced strawberries, if desired, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
*Move to the freezer for at least an hour. Once the pie is hard frozen, you may want to move it to the refrigerator 1/2 hour before serving.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Medible Fritos and Combustible Pie: Fly on the Wall


Sesame Hoisin Brussels Sprouts are mixed with a marinade featuring Asian flavors, then oven roasted to perfection. | recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables


Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 3 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.

I've talked about the fact that for Mother's Day, PurDude bought me a MLB Red Sox subscription. Now, on our Roku, using the MLB app, I can watch all of the games. And Hubs and I had been.
Unfortunately, the Sox hadn't been doing well. In fact, "hadn't been doing well" is an understatement. Seems like they couldn't win a game.
We watched every game though, until the Celtics got into the playoffs, then we missed some of the Sox games.
And the Sox started to win.
It was a night the Celtics weren't on when:

Hubs: Are you going to put the Sox game on?
Me: Yes, I wasn't going to, but I decided to.
Hubs: Why weren't you going to?
Me: Because they only seem to win when I don't watch, I was starting to think I was a jinx.
Hubs: You know that's not true, you know you're not making them lose, you're not a jinx.
Me: No, I know I'm not.
Hubs: Good.
Me: You are.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I had turned on the Ruko and put on MLB. Just as Hubs was coming upstairs, I started to laugh.

Hubs: What's so funny?
Me: I need to get in touch with MLB.
Hubs: Why?
Me: There's something they need to know. Quick.
Hubs: What's that?
Me: Their "s" in "first" is running away from home.
Hubs: Huh?
Me: Looks like it's heading north.
S running away from home | picture taken by, featured on, and property of | #humor #funny

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
Apparently, when you're planning to put Fritos in a taco salad and realize you don't have any, asking your son to pick some up for you can backfire.
He brought me home Fritos, alright. But I wasn't going to put them in our dinner.
You see, the Fritos I had in mind was a 9.25 oz bag, under $5, no necessary activation time, no warning labels.
Edibles and Medibles | picture taken by, featured on, and prperty of | #humor #blogging

The Fritos he had in mind was about a 1 oz bag, somewhere around $20, 40 minute activation time, with a warning to "keep out of reach of children and pets." 
Edibles vs Medibles. Well, that'll teach me to be more specific.

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


I was checking a lot of grocery stores online to see what prices they had for a few items that had gone up considerably, boneless chicken breasts and eggs.
On the Walmart website I noticed eggs had gone way up again, but the chicken breasts had gone down. Apparently so had the size of the packages.
Me: Look, chicken breasts went down. Quite a lot. I bet they weren't selling much at such a steep price.
Hubs: I don't think price is why they weren't selling much.
Me: Really? Why do you say that?
Hubs: See what the average price had been?

Me: Wow, $51.97. That's like, what {{opens online calculator}} a 23# package?
Hubs: Yeah, half the customers probably weren't able to lift it.

Well, he has a point.

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


One night Hubs and I were watching TV when all of a sudden I had a really bad stomach ache. I decided to try to use it to my benefit, try to get out of cooking for a few nights.
Me: Wow, I'm not feeling well.
Hubs: What's wrong with you? 
Me: I have an upset stomach. Maybe it was dinner. Maybe I shouldn't cook any more.
Hubs: You can still cook, you just can't eat it.

Well, that was an epic fail.

Sesame Hoisin Brussels Sprouts are mixed with a marinade featuring Asian flavors, then oven roasted to perfection. | recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables

Sesame Hoisin Brussels Sprouts

I had just sat down at the kitchen counter with my first cup of coffee and my laptop.
Hubs: What are you doing?
Me: I'm playing my games.
Hubs: Which ones now?
Me: You know, Wordle, WordHurdle, Quordle, Septle, Octordle, and Phrazle.
Hubs: Do you have any idea how much time you spend on those games every day?

I shut the laptop, grab a pen and a piece of paper.

Hubs: Now what are you doing?
Me: Making a list of things I need you to do around the house.
Hubs: Why are you doing that when you've got games to play?

Thought so.

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


I was working in the kitchen, trying a new pie recipe when Hubs walked in and found me looking at a box with an odd expression on my face.

Me: Two things . . .
Hubs: OK?
Me: It was nice knowing you, and I'm sorry.
Hubs: OK?
Me: Jello powder can't possibly get old, can it?
Hubs: What?
Me: I need jello for this recipe. I found a box of the flavor I need way in the back of the pantry.
Hubs: OK?
Me: It has a "best if used by" date on it.
Hubs: OK?
Me: It's a 2006 date. 
Hubs: Oh.
Me: So, if anything happens to us, it was nice knowing you, and I'm sorry.
Hubs? You're going to use it?
Me: Yeah, we're living dangerously.
Hubs: OK. Oh, did I tell you I decided to give up desserts?
Me: Really? When did you decide that?
Hubs: Now.

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

Later that day:

Hubs: How did your pie come out?
Me: What makes you think I was the first to try it?
Hubs: Did you?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: And?
Me: It was really good, but I think I'm going to have to decrease one ingredient before I post it.
Hubs: What ingredient?
Me: Let's just say in its current form, it's very Tequilla forward.
Hubs: And you didn't like the taste?
Me: Oh, I liked the flavor a lot.
Hubs: Then why change it?
Me: Well, I'm not sure everyone will appreciate being drunk by the end of a slice.
Hubs: Valid point. 
Me: And by the way, I've decided not to cook those steaks on the grill tonight.
Hubs: Why not?
Me: I think there's better than even odds if I went near the grill right now I'd spontaneously combust.
Hubs (laughing): Take out, it is.
Me: I've got pie for dessert . . .

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

The "tire low pressure" warning light went on in my car. When it does, it makes a very loud screeching noise, I guess to get my attention. It does, I almost jump through the roof.

I told Hubs about it, he usually takes it to the place we use for service and they fill the tires and reset the alarm. He left the next morning with my car, came back and said they were now correctly filled.

The next time I drove the car, the alarm went off and scared the bejeezus out of me. It doesn't go off when you start the car, but waits until you're driving, I guess for maximum bejeezus scaring effect. For some reason, Hubs who had put the air in himself this time, and hadn't realized he had to reset the alarm.
All that day, every time I went somewhere, after every stop or errand, that alarm screeched and I jumped. 

Hubs came home from work that night, walked in the door . . .

Me: I have a headache and it's your fault.
Hubs (stopping in his tracks): I haven't even been here, I'm just walking in the door.
Me (swallowing aspirin): That's no excuse!!

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

College Boy was going to the post office and wanted to know if I need anything. I did, and asked him to get me a book of stamps.
A while later he came home and handed me my book of stamps. 
College Boy: Here's your stamps.
Me: Thank you, I have no idea what they cost these days, what do I owe you?
College Boy: $3000.

Honestly, I didn't think they'd gotten that expensive. Or maybe there was a delivery fee. Perhaps he's saving up for more Medibles?



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

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Sesame Hoisin Brussels Sprouts

12 oz Brussels Sprouts
1 TBSP Hoisin sauce 
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame seeds

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a sheet pan.
*Rinse and pat dry the Brussels Sprouts. Trim the ends, cut in half, and place in a large bowl.
*Whisk together the Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic. Pour into the bowl and gently mix together so all of the Brussels Sprouts are coated.
*Pour the Brussels Sprouts onto the sheet pan and arrange individually, cut side down. Sprinkle with the salt.
*Roast for 10 minutes, using a spatula, move them around on the pan and roast for another 10 minutes. Move them around again, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and roast another 3 minutes.