Friday, August 7, 2020

There's No Place Like Home for the Covid Days: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

My subject is: What is your favorite restaurant and why?
It was submitted by Rena of Wandering Web Designer.

Everything, every single thing, minuscule or consequential, seems to break down into two camps for me: pre-covid and everything after that. Pre-covid I could have answered this question many different ways. Now? I really don't know what to say.

With no unified federal response before or during this medical catastrophe, it's been a free-for-all, resulting in an unnecessarily unchecked spread. Like Cuomo or hate him, he did the right thing. The proof is in the pudding (yeah, food reference). He shut that state down tight, kept a daily flow of encouragement and verifiable factual information, procured the medical equipment without the federal back-up we all deserve, broke the back of the pandemic in his state and only then did he plan a careful reopening. Residents of New York have been slowly and safely returning to restaurants. 

I would love to be living in a state where logic and science combine to prioritize health and life, but I don't. Quite the opposite. Our covid numbers were low because we weren't testing. And NO, our cases weren't low. Following rational logic I can tell you that not testing only provided a false sense of security, a stick-your-head-in-the-sand dangerous lack of knowledge, and the inevitable spike in the spread of this disease that we are now seeing. And NO, not just in older people in nursing homes (who are NOT, to my thinking, an inconsequential or expendable group of people anyway), but 62% of the cases we currently know about (as we FINALLY start testing more, thanks to private clinics) are under the age of 30. The governor being the moron who is responsible for the lack of testing to start with, never initiated a close down or stay at home order of any kind, nor a mask mandate. Ditto the mayor (gee, I wonder why cases are so high . . . hmmm . . .). In fact, the CDC just named us specifically as "not getting the message," the White House task force mentioned us as a city on an alarming rise, and our Director of Public Health just refused to issue a mask mandate this week stating that it was because the governor and attorney general were threatening to sue her if she did.

So yeah, restaurants, I'm getting there . . .

Needless to say, those of us who understand that we need to be lead by science have not been eating out. Not even take out. It's not safe. Mostly because every restaurant has had the option of remaining fully open, have been able to set their own standards and implement their own safety practices (or lack thereof). And I have no way of knowing what that is from one place to another.

Here's where it stands right now for me:

I grew up eating some pretty fresh seafood and shellfish and it remains a love of mine. Back home in Boston I'd say that my favorite restaurant is one that served a weekly twin lobster special. No such thing here in the Midwest. In fact, fresh seafood of any kind is a rarity so pre-covid my favorite restaurant was one that served a planked salmon that warmed this New Englander's heart. I don't even know if that restaurant has survived, whether it'll still be there when it's safe to eat out again.

Two weeks ago a grocery store in another town west of here got some fresh lobsters in. They had a very limited supply, were only allowing 4 per customer and it was on a first come, first served basis. They were taking precautions and social distancing (you even had to wait in line with six feet between customers), so Hubs went down there. He arrived about an hour before the sale started and stood on his little assigned "X" on the floor awaiting his turn. Ends up the store was short shipped, but Hubs brought home the bacon (so to speak) and I made lobster that night. It was heaven.

So right now, at this very moment, my favorite place to eat (not really a restaurant, if you want to be literal) is my home. It's comfortable, it's safe, and the food's not half bad. Best of all, I know the chef, and she takes requests.

Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken is a little sweet and a little spicy. Serve right off the grill, or over a salad either hot or cold. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken
Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken is a little sweet and a little spicy. Serve right off the grill, or over a salad either hot or cold. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

I hope you are all safe. I hope your loved ones are healthy. And whether you live in a state that is closed, closed again, open, or opening, that you take the time to assess your personal situation and realize that you alone are your best advocate. As much as we all want to follow our hearts, do the things we love and see the people we love, now is the time to put that aside and let our heads take the lead. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken

Printable Recipe

NOTE: This chicken can be served for dinner, or topping a salad, either hot or cold, utilizing the leftovers.

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
2 TBSP French salad dressing
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger paste 

*Trim the chicken breast, cut them in half and place them in a shallow baking dish or resealable bag.
*Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, French salad dressing, soy sauce, minced garlic and ginger paste. Pour over the chicken. Cover the baking dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning now and then.
*Preheat grill to medium high. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, place on the hot grill, cover the grill and lower the heat to medium. Grill for about 10 - 12 minutes per side, until the chicken is completely cooked through. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Birds and the Bees

It's a crazy, mixed-up, upside-down world when the birds are our foes and the giant bees are our friends.

I blame covid.  

Yes, I've befriended the giant bees. Look, you have your pets and now I have mine. Mine don't pee on the carpet, I don't have any litter box stinking up my house, and I never have to pick up their poop and walk around the neighborhood carrying a bag of crap. There are dog people, there are cat people, turns out I'm a giant bee people.

The Birds and the Bees | Picture taken by and property of  | #life #nature

It didn't start out that way though. I've actually always been a bird lover. We have woods in our backyard, it's a quiet peaceful place and bird watching has brought me joy. We have Robins and woodpeckers, yellow goldfinches and red cardinals, doves and geese and swallows, owls that perch on our rooftop to hunt at night. I've even seen hummingbirds at the flower pot by my front door. We have beautiful majestic hawks who get so comfortable with us that they'll sit on the railing of our back porch while I stand at the slider.

The Birds and the Bees | Picture taken by and property of  | #life #nature

But this year, the birds have turned on me. The swallows and the woodpeckers have joined forces. They each seem to have their mission, one working on the front lines, others taking up the rear. Now the swallows have always been territorial. If you get too close to their nest, which inevitably you'll do every time you mow the lawn, they'll dive bomb you like Snoopy after the Red Baron. Can't really blame them, I'm protective of my kids too. They've got something new going on this year though. In an apparent desire to start a nest on the bricks on my portico, they've been pecking at the mortar. Not good. Advised to put up something shiny, we now have a portico sporting a lovely swath of holiday wrapping paper.

The Birds and the Bees | Picture taken by and property of  | #life #nature

And the woodpeckers. I wouldn't have thought of them as noisy in the sack, but apparently when attracting a mate, they try to make more noise than their competition. First they would peck at the wood outside our fireplace, making an annoying racket, and replacing the siding on the regular is not cheap, btw. But as if that wasn't bad enough, they found our downspouts. Not only will that scare the hell out of you, but there is just not enough aspirin in the world. If I go outside and yell at them, they'll go away . . . well, for a hot minute or two . . . but screaming at birds? It's just not a pretty look. {{sigh}}.

The Birds and the Bees | Picture taken by and property of  | #life #nature

In the current adversarial bird climate, I've been left to cultivate a relationship with the giant bees. You may remember that in a post I wrote a year ago, almost to the day as a matter of fact, called Suckdom is for Mondays, I talked about the first time I saw these behemoths. These things are huge. Like hummingbird sized huge. They patrol the front walk between those brick columns, and for a long time I'd only go in and out through the garage. I mean, if a regular sized bee sting hurts, what would a monster stinger feel like? I didn't want to know.

I did some research and found out they are Cicada Killer Wasps. And, turns out, I'm not a cicada. So little by little I started to use the front door again. OK, maybe initially dressed like this, but can you blame me?

The Birds and the Bees | Picture taken by and property of  | #life #nature

We'd reached a stalemate, the first step in any good friendship, right? They're not afraid of my . . . ahem . . . fashion statement and I'm less afraid of their presence. So I started going out dressed like a normal human and still nothing. Sometimes they'll walk with me a bit, but now I can even walk out the front door eating a cookie and they won't bother me. Try that with a hornet, or a regular wasp. Bet you end up looking like a pincushion.

Mocha Infused Sugar Cookies takes a favorite snack to a whole new flavor level. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Mocha Infused Sugar Cookies

Mocha Infused Sugar Cookies takes a favorite snack to a whole new flavor level. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Now I greet them in the mornings, talk to them while I water my plants (turns out they're good listeners). And they've even brought me a laugh recently. Turns out there are people who are seeing them for the first time. In terror they're calling the police, the Army Corps of Engineers, hell even the National Guard. I even saw it on the local news, people convinced the murder hornets are on their doorsteps.

Ha ha, not murder hornets, just my friends the killer wasps.

What is it they say about friends? They're the bees who can make you laugh, even when the birds turn against you. Or something like that.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Mocha Infused Sugar Cookies        

Printable Recipe

1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup espresso baking chips (if you can't find there, use another 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips and 1/4 tsp instant coffee granules)
1/2 cup canola oil (can use 1 stick of margarine, softened)
1/2 cup butter substitute, softened (can use 1 stick of butter, softened)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate jimmies (sprinkles)

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets.
*In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the chocolate and espresso chips until they're mostly a powder. It's OK to have a few chunks in there. Set aside.
*Cream the canola oil, butter substitute, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
*Mix in flour, baking soda, salt and processed chocolate and espresso baking chips.
*Place the chocolate jimmies on a small plate.
*Roll the dough into about 3/4 inch balls, flatten slightly, press the tops into the jimmies and place on the baking sheets.
*Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cookie has set and the edges start to brown.
*Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to cool completely.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Up a Tree: Funny Friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday:a multi-blogger challenge: one picture, five captions,  | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Here's today's picture was submitted by Me!

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture taken by and property of | #funny #laugh

1. Mom (to her young child): Hey, look at that.
Child: Where's the basket with Toto?

2. Teenager (on the phone): Hello, fire department? I know you help people get cats out of trees . . .
Firefighter: Yes, we'll help, is your cat stuck in a tree?
Teenager: Well, here's the thing, how do you feel about bicycles?

Same teenager, a few minutes later, again on the phone: Hi, mom. I might be a little late for dinner, I have a bit of a situation. And the firefighters won't help.

3. Young man: You're walking today. You don't usually walk. Where's your bike?
Friend: Up a tree. Without a paddle.

4. Tree: OUCH!
Bicycle: Hey, listen, this isn't exactly comfortable for me either.

5. Looks like ET didn't exactly make it home . . .

And now for something yummy, a side dish today. I use fat free and lower fat cheeses in this recipe, but you can use whatever cheeses you choose: 

Broccoli Cheese Casserole can be shared as a side dish or even an appetizer. Lower fat options makes this recipe healthier than most casseroles made with cheese. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables

Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Broccoli Cheese Casserole can be shared as a side dish or even an appetizer. Lower fat options makes this recipe healthier than most casseroles made with cheese. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables

Click on the link below for more smiles: 
Southern Belle Charm 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

NOTE: I use fat free and lower fat cheeses in this recipe, but you can certainly use the full fat versions.

2 cups steamed, cooled broccoli
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder
dash of cayenne 
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup low fat mozzarella
1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar
1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar
3/4 tsp paprika 
1/4 cup sliced almonds

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 11 baking pan.
*Chop the broccoli and set aside.
*Whisk the eggs and milk together, then whisk in the flour, baking powder, salt, mustard powder and cayenne.
*Mix in the parmesan, mozzarella, and both cheddar cheeses along with the broccoli.
*Pour evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the paprika and crush the sliced almonds over the top.

*Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, it will be completely set and starting to brown around the edges.
*Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Multiplication and Long Division

It all comes down to math.

I didn't really set out to talk about math today, my point is about life. But it starts with math. For those of you who've been reading me for a while, you know that no one can make a short story long like I can. But if you stick with me, it'll end with life. And math. You see although I suck at parallelograms (love algebra, hate geometry), I'm pretty good with parallels.

Multiplication and Long Division, the math of politics | Graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #politics

If I could remember his name I'd thank my high school algebra teacher for solidifying my love of math, but another number (my age) precludes me from pulling that name out of the cobwebs over in that particular section of my mind. Yeah, those who knew me when know that lapse in memory isn't all to my current age, but we're not going there today. {{sigh}}.

I know I'm showing my age once again when I say that I used to be able to help my kids with their math homework, mostly because that's before they came up with this "new math" concept. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, I know, only old folks complain about newfangled concepts. I promise not to start talking about about walking 7 miles uphill in the winter snow to a one room schoolhouse (I didn't, btw) BUT I will admit that I don't understand this whole Common Core new math thing. New math? Really? Math is math, as old as Methuselah (which I am not). I've heard of "dumbing it down" but whose idea was it to take simple concepts like multiplication and division and "complicating it up" (yeah, that's a new expression, feel free to use it)?

There are those who feel that math principles are, for the most part, not necessary learning. We've not only moved on to the age of calculators, but moved past needing to have one, they're in our laptops and tablets and phones. But understanding math concepts are the basis of everything. Innovations, medical breakthroughs and treatments, the environment, our budgets, all have a solid base in math.

Yes, even cooking and baking (come on, you knew I was gonna go there).

Pound Cake Imposter is lower in fat and sugar than the original recipe, but you won’t miss it in this version, moist and delicious as you remember pound cake to be. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

Pound Cake Imposter
Pound Cake Imposter is lower in fat and sugar than the original recipe, but you won’t miss it in this version, moist and delicious as you remember pound cake to be. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

Here's the life part I promised:

Our politics as well. Numbers, statistics, the census and representation (or the lack thereof), analysis, projections. It's rooted in politics, this most important math lesson that I've come to learn. Not just me, unless you've been living under a rock (and I mean really, really, deeply under that rock), we all have figured out that our entire future boils down to a basic societal equation. Over the past 4 years we've been dividing and conquering, subtracting friends, adding alliances, calculating loss vs gain, in most all of our thoughts and actions.

I won't complicate it up, nor dumb it down. Mr. What's-his-name didn't teach it in a classroom and we won't get to the solution with a calculator or a cell phone. It doesn't require us breaking off into team old school math or team Common Core. The multipliers and divisors in this problem have dire consequences and it all comes down to this basic calculation of risks vs rewards: 

If we don't find a way, all of us, to multiply our common goals, this long division will be permanent.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Pound Cake Imposter        

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup butter substitute, softened
1/4 cup low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
*Cream the oil, butter substitute, yogurt and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, lemon extract, almond extract, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Last, mix in the flour, baking soda and salt.
*Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool in pan for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing. Cool completely before slicing.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Walking the Glass and Cutting the Cheese: Fly on the Wall

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.

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

College Boy has been working two part time jobs. In the past it had worked out well, but one of the companies closed during the pandemic. While they were closed, he was offered another part time job at a higher pay and he took it. This one needed more hours from him, but since the first job was giving him sporadic hours and College Boy really liked the new job (and the pay), he kept a more difficult schedule. 

One day he worked, between the two jobs, 10:00 am to 10:30 pm. The next morning his first job, which normally started at 10:00 am, needed him to come in at 7:00 am. He worked that day until 3:30 pm and between the two days was exhausted. After dinner he announced that he was going to sleep and went up to bed. I expected him to be completely out until the next morning, but an hour later he came down to the kitchen and grabbed a cup of water.

Me: Well that was a quick sleep.
College Boy (heading back up the stairs): There's plenty more sleeping to be done.

Turns out, there was.

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

Hubs comes into the kitchen:
Hubs (sniffing): Is something burning?
Me: No.
Hubs: Smells like it.
Me: I don't know why.

A few minutes later College Boy comes in the kitchen.

College Boy (sniffing): What did you burn?
Me: Nothing.

College Boy: Then what smells like it's burning?
Me: I don't smell anything.

So . . . I took something out of the toaster oven with a napkin in my hand. The napkin touched the hot element and caught fire. And if you tell either one of them, I fully intend to deny, deny, deny.

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

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. That's how I was raised. Didn't always listen, of course, but Mom tried.

I've talked about blog comments before. I love them (in case you were unclear about where I stand). Except when I don't. 

Last month I posted a recipe, and this was the comment left for me:

"I read the title and thought yuck, so I read the post and thought yuck, I'm not eating that . . . sorry."

Sometimes you just gotta laugh. Or cry. One or the other.

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

Hubs and I were in the den watching movie. When a commercial came on, I headed for the kitchen to do some of the dinner prep.

Hubs: Where are you going?
Me: Into the other room, I just have to cut the cheese.
Hubs: Thanks for the warning, I'll go watch the rest of the movie downstairs.

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

From the "you can't please all of the people all of the time" files:

College Boy likes the desserts I make that have candy added to the recipe. Hubs does not. Hubs like desserts that I make that have fruit added to the recipe. College Boy does not.

I was in the kitchen after dinner one night while Hubs was scrounging for something sweet.

Hubs: I know we don't have any more Pineapple Raspberry Sheet Cake, I ate the last piece last night.
Me: We do have more of those Apple Bourbon Mini Muffins and Toffee Pecan Nectarine Bars.
Hubs: Oh good. 
Me: I'm going to try out a new recipe this week too.
Hubs: Chocolate?
Me: You can't have chocolate. Blueberry Confetti Bars, how does that sound?
College Boy (sticking his head out of the pantry): Sounds like another fruit dessert.
Me: But they're going to have jimmies in them.
College Boy: That's a start. Replace the blueberries with your mini baking M&Ms and you've got something.
Me: Hey, you want to take over the baking?
College Boy: No, but what's the budget for a creative consultant . . .
Me: Well, I could pay you in baked goods. With fruit.

Blueberry Confetti Bars start with a mix, then add fresh fruit, jam and flavor. Mix, bake, and dessert is done. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Blueberry Confetti Bars
Blueberry Confetti Bars start with a mix, then add fresh fruit, jam and flavor. Mix, bake, and dessert is done. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

I've mentioned that I text or PM with PurDude every day since we all became aware of coronavirus. Nothing lengthy unless either of us has something going on, just a check in, telling each other how we're feeling that day. Boulder was a hot spot so I really needed to hear from him daily. As time went on, I became more and more miserable that he was sitting alone in his condo and, as long as he wasn't working, I wanted him to have been here with us. So I often told him how much I miss him.

One of our check ins:

Me: Hi honey, how are you doing today?
PurDude: Hi ma, I'm good, how are you?
Me: IDK, I kinda miss my boy.

PurDude: That can't be right. 
Me: No? Wait. Let me check, I'll google it.
    OK, it's confirmed. Google says I miss my boy.
PurDude: Well, if google says so.
Me: I love you. Do you need me to check for confirmation on this too, or are you good with it?
PurDude: You should probably check, just to be sure.

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

I was in bed at about 11:00 pm, the glass I keep on my bedside table was empty and I was thirsty. As I often do when I don't feel like going downstairs to fill it, I spent a while trying to talk myself into not being thirsty. It didn't work.

I grabbed my glass, went downstairs, decided that while I was up I had to go to the bathroom, after which I grabbed my glass and came back upstairs.

College Boy comes out of his room as I'm walking into mine.

College Boy: Did you just go downstairs to get a drink?
Me: I did. 
College Boy: Your glass is empty.
Me: Damn. I forgot to fill it.
College Boy: So basically you just took your glass for a walk.

Me: Pretty much.

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

Me: I'm changing my name.
Hubs: What? Why?
Me: I'm so sick of being bullied.
Hubs: Bullied? By who?
Me: Everyone.
College Boy: Like everyone on the planet?
Me: Pretty much. Have you seen all of those Karen memes? Well that's not me. I'm not any of those things.

Hubs: I saw one today about Karen demanding to see the supervisor.
College Boy: Well mom, that one's definitely you.

OK, so they got me on one. Just one, though. 

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

Hubs walks into the kitchen, looks at the counter, looks at me, looks at the counter again.

Hubs: Are you angry with your spices?
Me: What? Angry with my spices? What are you talking about?

Hubs: Well, you seem to be calling them names.
Me: Calling them names?
Hubs (pointing): Like that one . . .

Jerk Seasoning. Fly on the Wall, a funny look at life | Picture taken by and property of

Yeah, so I'd made some of my Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend, cleaned out an old spice jar, ripped off the old label and labeled the Jerk Seasoning to put into the spice rack.

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

One (of many) things I've learned about life since the coronavirus is that there's always the possibility that what's around the next corner could actually make things worse.

I've talked about Boulder being a hot spot for the coronavirus and my encouraging PurDude to go outside for walks. He lives right across the street from a beautiful park. But then there were multiple mountain lion sightings in Boulder and I started telling him to stay out of the park. {{sigh}}.

That's it, right? Nope, not a chance. Suddenly I start seeing articles online about the plague identified in the Western Reservoir Open Space in Broomfield, just a few miles from him. Wait, the plague? Like the Bubonic Plague? Yup. OK, stay out of Broomfield. 

That's it, right? Of course not, next thing I see is that it's spread to squirrels. Squirrels? They travel. Holy crap, what fresh hell is this?

Message to PurDude: Don't leave the house. Ever. Don't even look out the windows. Next thing coming your way is brain sucking zombies. I'm sure of it.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Blueberry Confetti Bars

1/2 cup butter substitute, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP french vanilla creamer
3 TBSP sugar free blueberry jam  
1 package (16 oz) sugar cookie mix with multicolored sprinkles OPT: use any sugar cookie mix plus 1/2 cup of multicolored sprinkles
1 cup blueberries 

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Whisk together the butter substitute, eggs, vanilla, french vanilla creamer and blueberry jam. 
*Mix in the sugar cookie mix and multicolored sprinkles (if using)
*Carefully add the blueberries and spread into the prepared pan.
*Bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch and it's completely browned. Cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

It's Over When It's Over: Word Counters

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. Each month one group member picks a number between 12 and 74. All participating bloggers are then challenged to write something (or a few somethings, as the case may be) using that exact number of words. Today we all share what we came up with. 

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

The July number is 34. It was chosen by Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings.

As I've been doing in these Word Counters posts, I've chosen a theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with the theme. This month's theme, It's Over When It's Over.

~ You can't lie it away. They say when you assume it makes and ass of (yo)u and me. Well, when you lie it makes a liar of you. Period. It's over when it's over.

~ You can't pretend it isn't happening, life isn't a fairy tale, deny, deny, deny may work for affairs (or in front of congress) but it doesn't stop reality. It's over when it's over.

~ You can't put the responsibility for action on others. Some things require action. It may not be comfortable or convenient, but without everyone doing their part then when it's over may just be never.

~ You can't disavow science. The cold hard truth about science is that it is. Whether you acknowledge it or plant your head in the sand of denial is immaterial. It's over when it's over.

~ You can't blame others as a way to divert attention. Shiny objects may be fun to look at, but only temporarily. Turn back around and reality is still there. It's over when it's over.

Grilled Maple Balsamic Shrimp is a quick and simple dinner, just marinate, skewer, and grill. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Grilled Maple Balsamic Shrimp
Grilled Maple Balsamic Shrimp is a quick and simple dinner, just marinate, skewer, and grill. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

~ You can't buy your way out of it. There are things money can buy, immunity isn't one of them. So put your wallet away (unless it's for funding research). It's over when it's over. 

~ You can't make up solutions. They could be harmful, even lethal. How about we leave science to scientists and medicine to doctors? It's over when it's over, and they'll tell us when that is.

~ You can't apply your own timeline. Set all the dates you want but they're not written in stone, best write them in pencil and have a big eraser. Because it's over when it's over.

~ You can't rush the finish line, even when it's in sight. Sometimes you can sprint, other times you need to take each step gingerly, purposefully. Tortoise and the hare folks, tortoise and the hare.

~ What you actually can do is follow advice, be safe, safeguard others, listen to scientists and doctors, take precautions. It's still over when it's over, but we CAN impact whether that's sooner or later.

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Messymimi’s Meanderings 
On the Border 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Grilled Maple Balsamic Shrimp         

Printable Recipe

2# large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 green onion, chopped

*Place the shrimp into a resealable plastic bag.
*Mix together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and green onion. Pour into the bag with the shrimp. Very gently, turn to cover all the shrimp. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
*NOTE: if using wooden skewers, be sure to saturate them in water for an hour before using.
*Heat the grill to medium heat.
*Remove shrimp from marinade and skewer. Place on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp is pink and completely cooked.