Friday, February 15, 2019

Lock Him Out: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 6 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

My poor husband, you can always tell when he's really tired.

A few times a week he works late and I leave a plate for him to stick in the microwave when he gets home. If the dishwasher is fairly full, I put the detergent in the dishwasher so he eats, sticks his plate in the dishwasher and turns it on. 

A few days ago the dishwasher was really full in the afternoon so I ran and emptied it.

The next morning I realized that when Hubs came home, he ate his dinner, put his plate in the empty dishwasher and, with no detergent, turned it on and ran it.

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

I have infections in both of my ears. College Boy was talking to me about it.

College Boy: You know how PurDude has tubes in his ears?
Me: No, he doesn't now.
College Boy: I thought he still did.
Me: They're not permanent. He had them 3 or 4 times but hasn't had them in like 25 years.
College Boy: Not sure how that works since he's only 22 . . .

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

I was trying a new cookie recipe, Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Crinkles and, of course, just as they were coming out of the oven, College Boy walked in.

College Boy: Can I try one?
Me: They're just coming out of the oven, I'm not sure they'd be good hot.
College Boy: I'll let you know.

Give the boy credit, he knows to let me pick which cookies I'll want for pictures so he lets me choose one for him.

College Boy: They're really good hot.
Me: Good, they came out, they'll be even better once they cool.
College Boy: I don't know if I'll like them cool, I should have another hot one.

Smiling, I choose him another one, and then at his urging, another.

College Boy: One more?
Me: Enough, you've had four.
College Boy: Three.
Me: Whatever, you've had enough.
College Boy (surreptitiously grabs a cookie and shoves the whole thing in his mouth) mumbles: You're right. Four.

BTW: He's only still alive because the one he swiped wasn't one I'd chosen for pictures.

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

It was a freezing cold day and the wind made it worse. I looked out on the deck and saw my table covered in snow. For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to take pictures of the plate of cookies out on the snow covered table.

While I was out there, Hubs came upstairs and, when I came in, was in the kitchen making a sandwich. I have no idea if he knew I was even out on the deck, let alone what I was doing out there.

Me (walking in the door): It's SO cold out there.
Hubs: It's cold with that door open for just a minute.
Me: I think my cookies are frozen.
Hubs: . . . and "cookies" are a euphemism for . . .
Me (grabbing the plate of cookies from outside and placing them on the counter): Actually, I think my literal cookies are frozen.

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

It was a rare weekend night when both boys were going to be here for dinner. I had made Baby Backs, a favorite of PurDude's. 

College Boy: What's for dinner?
Me: Baby Backs. 
College Boy: Oh.
Me: Oh?
College Boy: I've decided to be a vegetarian.
Me: What do you mean?
College Boy: It's nothing philosophical, really, I just don't like meat any more.
Me: Any meat?
College Boy: Pretty much, so I've stopped eating it.
Me: I made a new side dish to go with the barbecued ribs, a sweet and spicy cauliflower and butternut squash. It has apples and onions in it. I can make some rice and you can eat it over rice.
College Boy: I don't like cauliflower. 
Me: You basically don't like any vegetables. Or fruits for that matter. But you're going to be a vegetarian?
College Boy: Well, I haven't worked out the logistics yet.

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower and Squash marries vegetables with onion and apple studded barbecue sauce. Serve as a side dish or add leftover pork and rice for a full dinner. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower and Squash

Since I had pre-made the ribs but was heating them up on the grill, and since it had snowed that morning, Hubs was kind enough to go out and shovel off the back porch for me.

I opened the slider while he was out there and asked him to just take the cover off of the grill before he came in. He agreed and I went upstairs to put the laundry away.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I was hearing banging, but I ignored it. When I came back downstairs, there was Hubs, out on the deck, banging on the door. 

Yup, I locked him out.

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

PurDude and his friends had come to the house to finally get the Kegerator he'd brought home from college and move it to PurDude's apartment.

It had been a while since some of his friends had been here. They walked in the door and I heard:

BB: It's been a while since I've been here. It almost feels like being back in high school and hanging out on a Saturday night.

He walks into the kitchen, sees a plate of cookies sitting on the counter, and grabs one.

BB: Now it feels exactly like being back in high school and hanging out on a Saturday night.

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

PurDude and BB had to borrow one of our cars to get the Kegerator downtown. We've always had only one SUV, but right now Hubs and I both have one. PurDude wanted to know which one to take.

Me: You should take mine.
Hubs: No, you should take mine, it's got more room in the back.
Me: Mine has those WeatherTech car mats that will protect the back. And mine has a great sound system. And it drives more smoothly. And . . .
Hubs: Is everything a competition?
Me: You mean it's not? 

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

I woke up on Sunday a few weeks ago excited for the day. Purdue was playing basketball in the morning and if they won would tie for first place in the Big 10. Then that night was the Superbowl, and my Patriots were playing. 

I could smell the coffee brewing in the kitchen, got up and headed for the bedroom door when I caught my baby toe on the bedpost. I heard it crack. 

I sat on the couch in a lot of pain.

Me: Can you defrost the burgers for later? I can't get up, I broke my toe.
Hubs: Sure.

Later . . .

Me: Can you bring me some water and aspirin? I can't get up, I broke my toe.
Hubs: Sure.

Later, Hubs had been downstairs and, of course, comes up just as I'm standing at the fridge pouring a glass of wine.

Hubs: I thought you couldn't get up because you broke your toe.
Me: I broke my toe, not my mind . . . 

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

Hubs was out doing errands on a Saturday afternoon and called to ask if I needed anything. I didn't but I was making soup for dinner and thought I'd like to serve it with a loaf of crusty Sourdough bread so I asked him to stop by Panera and grab a loaf.

Twenty minutes later Hubs comes back with a box of chocolate croissants from Panera. No bread, just the croissants.

Ask me if I'm surprised.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother 
Spatulas on Parade
Follow me home 
The Bergham Chronicles 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower and Squash

1 head cauliflower
1# butternut squash (can use a package of pre-chopped squash)
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 apple, chopped
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 TBSP apricot jam
2 tsp hot sauce

*Rinse the cauliflower, cut into florets and pat dry. Place in a large microwave safe bowl.
*Peel, remove seeds and chop the squash into small pieces. Place in the bowl with the cauliflower. Cover and set aside.
*Coat a saucepan with non-stick spray. Heat to medium and add the onion and apple. Cook and stir until soft. 
*Add the BBQ sauce, jam and hot sauce to the pan with the onion and apple. Lower the heat and cook, stirring now and then for 15 minutes.
*Microwave the cauliflower and butternut squash for 3 1/2 minutes. Drizzle with the sauce.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Broken Toe (Black and) Blues

I broke my baby toe. Again. 

I'd like to say that doing it once is enough to instill caution but, sadly, after that initial trauma, and even after the second, I reverted right back to walking around with abandon.

The first time I broke my baby toe was when my kids were really young, like around 3 and 4 maybe. Let me tell you that it's best to do these things when your loving family is around to support you. Or not. I had been about to get the kids some juice when it happened. I fell to the kitchen floor holding my foot, writhing around with tears in my eyes saying "ouch, ouch, ouch" over and over. My younger son, oblivious as usual, just went about his business. My older son stood over me demanding his juice {{sigh}}.

This time, just to add a little more drama (read: trauma) to the whole experience, when I caught that baby toe on the bed post trying a little too enthusiastically to get to the coffee pot that particular morning, I heard it crack. Let me tell you, it's been weeks and I still sometimes hear that crack in my sleep. I may need therapy. But then I digress . . .

The first few times I broke a toe (always the baby one for some reason), I ended up in the emergency room. My toe was crooked, and my foot was swollen and red, then black and blue so I thought it should be looked at. Amateur move. Once you've sat in the waiting room for about 100 hours, they take you back, treat you to doctors and x-rays and all things expensive, hand you a "boot" (which is the moon-boot cousin of the flip flop but with itchy velcro to strap you in for take-off) which requires the utilization of a fork lift to raise your foot to walk, btw. Then they tell you there is nothing that can be done for a broken toe, it'll heal itself. OH, and as a parting gift, a bill that will require you to take out a second mortgage on your house. And yes, that's just the co-pay.

The Broken Toe (Black and) Blues | Graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #funny

With all this experience, it's clear that I'm the broken baby toe aficionado, expert, pundit, guru, authority. So here are a few of the "do"s and "don't"s of the broken toe circuit:

First of all, just say "no". Don't do it. For the smallest of appendages that thing sure does know how to get your attention if you anger it. Make friends with your little digit and protect it with all you've got. That means (for those of us who are a little slow on the uptake - meaning me - walk around not into furniture).

If, for reasons beyond your control (go with me here) you do break it, do it in the summer. The logistics of a winter toe break is bleak. Don't think you can go into a store wearing one shoe and one flip flop without people giving you the "she's nuts" look (well, on my son's advice I did take to shopping at Walmart where my, ahem, unique footwear attire didn't even get me an honorable mention). 

One thing I did learn having broken my toe in February this particular time turned out to be a true time saver. If you have to leave the house you can skip the whole step of having to ice it to reduce the swelling. Believe me, just walking outdoors wearing a flip flop ices it plenty.

Speaking of winter, as much as I hate to impart this little nugget of advice, you're going to have to go commando. I know, I know, not what you want to hear, but let me tell you (possibly from experience although I'm not in a position to confirm or deny at this point) if you catch that toe on your panties when getting dressed (no? just me?), they're gonna have to peel you off the ceiling.

Keeping up your strength is important so eat lots of sweets. Yeah, I know, it's my answer to everything but it helps. Pinky (not baby toe) swear.

Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Crinkles, boxed ingredients come together in minutes to make these butterscotch cookies studded with sweet white chocolate chips. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Crinkles

Whatever you do, carpe the diem out of that thing. So far, in the first few days I was unable to do the laundry ("I can't put weight on it while transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer"), do the dishes ("but it swells when I stand that long"), change the toilet paper roll ("you want me to walk all the way to the hall closet?"), go downstairs to put the leftovers in the freezer ("do you really want to take the chance that I'll fall and break the rest of my toes?"), and bought a new pair of shoes online ("to make me feel better and give me something to look forward to").

Last piece of advice: make up a good story. "I caught my toe on a piece of furniture" is just so overdone. Well, in my house anyway.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Butterscotch White Chocolate Crinkles        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 40):
1box yellow cake mix
1 box instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 egg
8 oz cool whip, defrosted
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, egg and cool whip. Mix in the white chocolate chips.
*Place the powdered sugar on a plate.
*Drop a heaping teaspoon of the mix at a time into the powdered sugar and roll around to cover completely. 
*Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
*Allow to set on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Red Hot on the Inside: 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: red ~ hardwood ~ dog ~ heel ~ destroyed
They were submitted by Minette of Southern Belle Charm.

It's been cold. How cold was it? So cold the news felt less like information and more like dire warnings and climbing mortality numbers. Whipping winds that had me out front at 5am chasing my trash cans down the street in the frigid cold. My recycle bin, which had been full when I put it at the curb the night before was now flying through the air, empty. It was so windy I wouldn't have been surprised if it had fallen on a wicked witch wearing ruby slippers. I could use a bejeweled pair of red heels (who couldn't?) But I digress). No, no new shoes for me, that sucker bounced off the house and nearly took me out.
Each day I thought it would get better and each day it got worse. Zero degrees, ten below, 20 below and more.

I was actually worried because they were saying not to be outside more than a few minutes at a time. I mean, if I had a dog, I swear I'd let him pee in the house. Some things, man or beast, should just not be frozen off. And PurDude had a 15 minute walk to work from where he lives. Poor kid, I texted him daily. First telling him to wear a scarf over his mouth to breathe into because they were reporting that it was so cold that breathing too much of the frigid air can actually freeze your lungs. Then I wanted him to wear his ski goggles because the next day they were reporting that your eyeballs could be frozen, destroyed. Your eyeballs? Really? Maybe not. Apparently the consensus on Google is that it actually cannot happen. I must have been watching fake news.

I refused to leave the house (yeah, I can do that, groceries are overrated) and spent a lot of time curled up on the couch wrapped in a throw. Like a mummy. I had the fireplace going 24/7 and knew if I ran out of wood there was a chance I'd be ripping up our hardwood floors. Even with the heat on and the fireplace going and the warm throw, I swear I could still feel the whipping winds. 

A hot meal made it to the table each night, not only because I took pity on Hubs, who had to venture out to work each day, but because warming us up on the inside seemed like as good a plan as staying warm on the outside. On the coldest night, I pulled out some red hot sausages and put together my Hot Sausage Mostacchioli Casserole.  

The conversation after dinner went something like this:

Hubs: My stomach's on fire.
Me: You're welcome.

Hot Sausage Mostaccioli Casserole is comfort food, Italian style, with a bit of a kick Pasta, sausage and vegetables are baked in a creamy marinara sauce and topped with melted cheese. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Hot Sausage Mostaccioli Casserole

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

Hot Sausage Mostaccioli Casserole

12 oz mostaccioli pasta
1 small onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups marinara (my homemade recipe is HERE)
1 # hot italian sausages (about 4 sausages)
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

*Heat the marinara in a pot over medium heat until hot. Turn the heat down so it doesn't boil.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Spread 1/2 cup marinara into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. 
*Cook the mostaccioli to al dente. Drain and set aside.
*Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray. Cook and stir the onion, pepper, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until soft. Remove from the skillet and place in the pot with the marinara.
*Pierce the sausages and cook in the same skillet over medium heat, turning now and then, until the sausages are cooked. Remove to a plate and slice. 
*In a large bowl, gently mix the mostaccioli, marinara, sausages, mascarpone and parmesan. Pour into the baking pan and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Cover.
*Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes.