Friday, August 12, 2016

Use Your Words: From Shark to Manatee

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: caution ~ manatee ~ blonde ~ microbe ~ glasses ~ boss
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.

Sometimes life is a lazy river and you get to be a manatee. Gentle, peaceful, floating along without a care, sleeping when you want, eating whatever's around. 

Sometimes life is a dark churning ocean and you have to be a Great White. Aggressive, hunting, dominating the ocean, baring razor sharp teeth, feasting on anything that gets in your way.

Personally, I'd spend every day in manatee mode. And there are days when I can. Days when there are no catastrophes, no emergencies, no disasters, no havoc. Meaning no phone calls from the boys.

What can turn a manatee day into a Great White day? Kids, of course. Just because they're older doesn't mean they get into less trouble. That's a myth I'm debunking right now. The older they are, the more intense the trouble they can get in. Or cause. We've talked before about PurDude calling me on my birthday to tell me he'd broken his leg. I've mentioned, more than once, the time College Boy came home to tell me he'd lit my car on fire.

Caution. Lazy river becoming churning ocean. Razor sharp teeth back in motion.

The summer is an intense time. I love having the boys home. I know these days of all being together are few and far between. But as much as we're enjoying spending time together, they're making it clear that they still know just how to push my buttons. 

From the time he came home, I asked PurDude to make his bed in the morning, put his toiletries in the bathroom closet instead of on every surface in his room, clean out his locker in the laundry room, put his clothes into drawers instead of thrown on top of his suitcase in the closet, clean the trash out of the car I gave him. Nope. Nada. Did not do a single one.

PurDude is a head lifeguard and in charge of the learn-to-swim program at a city pool. He'd get out of work between 8pm and 9pm, long after we'd had dinner. When he was leaving work, he'd text me and ask me to make him something for dinner. He works long hours in the broiling sun so by 8pm or 9pm he really needed a meal and I'd make him something.

One day he came home and I told him that by 9:30 at night I had made and served dinner, done the dishes, run and emptied the dishwasher. I'm going out of my way to make him a meal after work, but if he will not do even one of the few things I asked him to do to pick up after himself, I don't see why I should keep making a second meal once I'm done for the day.

What did he do? He stopped texting me for dinner. No bed made, no room, locker, car or closet cleaned. Grrrr (do sharks growl)? Not all summer. Not once.

Last summer PurDude got 2 speeding tickets. In one week. I told him that was it for tickets if he wants to keep his car.

This summer I noticed that he wasn't coming to a complete stop at the stop sign on our street. I told him that he needed to be sure he stops completely, that police look for any infraction, and in the summer they are especially cognizant of what kids are doing while they're driving. No more tickets, given what happened last summer he has to be especially vigilant.

Every single time I'm out front when he leaves for work, he rolls through that stop sign. Every time. Grrrr.

And College Boy. He works 2pm to 11pm four days a week, eating fast food for dinner. The nights that he's home, he's picking the vegetables out of his pasta salad. Still. At this age. And coming down to the kitchen the middle of the night eating every sweet in the house, home baked or store bought, leaving nothing for anyone else. Grrrr.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars: Chocolate and peanut butter at its best. Reminiscent of a Rice Krispie Treat, but with so many surprise ingredients. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #snack
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars: Chocolate and peanut butter at its best. Reminiscent of a Rice Krispie Treat, but with so many surprise ingredients. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #snack

We're nearing fall, it's back to school time here and I'm heading for that lazy river. And just to ensure I get to do my manatee impression without those damn kids aggravating me, I'm making sure they don't find me. I'm going incognito. That's me, wearing a blonde wig and glasses.

Use Your Words, a blog writing challenge | Mama Manatee incognito | Graphic design by | #funny #MyGraphics #humor #laugh

Snacking on microbes like a boss.

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

Southern Belle Charm 
  Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 bag (8 oz) mini peanut butter cups
1 bag (10 oz) marshmallows
3 TBSP butter
1 package (16 oz) peanut butter sandwich cookies
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP corn syrup
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

*Using 2 long strips of plastic wrap, cover the bottom, up the side and over the edges of a 9 X 13 pan. Spray only the bottom and sides lightly with nonstick spray.
*Chop the mini peanut butter cups and spread evenly around the bottom of the pan.
*Crush the cookies. You want small chunks, not crumbs.
*Spray a spatula with nonstick spray.
*Microwave the marshmallows and 3 TBSP butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 3 minutes until the marshmallows are melted. Quickly, using the greased spatula, mix in the crushed cookies and pour into the pan over the candy. Flatten so it's even, it's easiest if you use wet hands.
*Melt the chocolate chips with the remaining butter and the corn syrup in the microwave in 20 second increments until smooth when stirred. Pour over the cookie mixture and smooth. Place in fridge to set, about 1 hour.
*Once set, run a knife around the edges between the plastic and the pan. Once completely loose, pull bars out. Turn them over, remove and discard plastic wrap and turn back.
*Melt the peanut butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Drizzle over the top of the bars. Cut and serve. Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.



  1. Kids. Now I'm dealing with the next generation, too. Sigh.
    I wanna head for manatee-ville. Wasting away again in manatee-ee-ville. It'll never be a hit song.

  2. I've grown to adore your boys. Reading about them all this time, has led me to be fond of them. Not as fond as I am of you, but fond. When PurDude returns to school, I feel your pain. As they grow older, and their permanent departures grow closer, I empathize. Then I read this, and wonder why you're not planning a "Hooorayyyyy, school is back in session" party!! LOL
    Manatees are my FAVORITE animal. I'm also fond of sharks, no bake desserts, and peanut butter. This post was a home run in my book. Don't worry, I'll be here to remind you to enjoy your Manatee days, after PurDude leaves. Sending you hugs!!

  3. PERFECT analogy! Manatee or Great White. Girl I've had days where I was both. And you're right, grown children are WAY more difficult to deal with than little ones. Troubles are more severe, consequences are more life altering. And think, in a few weeks you'll be missing them, you'll have your car, less cooking, less noise and smells.
    Now on to this recipe...girl! I can't eat peanut butter but my mind is running wild with the possibilities and alterations. I may do one today :) Hope you don't mind. I'll let you know how it turns out.

  4. Oh my goodness, I wanna be a Manatee, too but LIFE forces me to be a shark!

    So I'm curious: how much is a ticket for running a stop sign, and how many can you get until your license is suspended?

    Somebody told me guys will only pick up after themselves once they have a girlfriend to impress.

    1. I don't know how much a ticket for running a stop sign is, he hasn't gotten one. And he better not!

  5. Kids definitely bring out the shark in us. The good news is that once they move out for good, you can live the manatee life!

  6. When you said you were going incognito my brain read "commando" and I was wondering why you were sharing that LOL. Kids do grow up. In some ways you are very fortunate -- mine grew up too quickly and I felt they didn't need me but they really always do and always will.

  7. Can we talk about how cute that manatee pic is?

    I love when you share about your fam- whether it's a day they put you in sharkie mood or a manatee mood- you can always feel the love. 💛

  8. I remember on Saturday mornings if the kids hadn't done their chores my husband would start banging on bedroom doors at 8 a.m. yelling house keeping. It was hilarious and they learned quickly lol! Glad you're back home!

  9. Lord those boys are going to give me gray hair! And they're not even mine......Good luck

  10. I am absolutely not looking forward to this age with my own son. I don't think I have the patience for it. haha.


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