Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Past Due: Chapter Two, Jester's Canyon

I'm sharing chapter two of our current Progressive Story Project collaboration. This project features a piece of fiction written by a group of bloggers who do not discuss the story with each other, just continue to build on the contributions of the last writers. In the end, we end up with one cohesive story, usually told in about four chapters.

Progressive Story Project. one story written by multiple bloggers | Developed by and presented on www.BakingInATornado.com | #fiction #MyGraphics

As this is chapter two, be sure to read chapter one before moving on to today's bloggers' contributions. 
Chapter one: Five Days

Credit for the writing of each section is above and to the far right, along with a link to their blogs, each one well worth visiting.

Past Due, a Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written collaboratively by 10 bloggers. | Graphic designed by and property of, and story presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #Fiction

Past Due
Chapter Two: Jester's Canyon

Diane of On the Border

Emily's heart began to pound. She sat up, her hand still shading her eyes. "Betty James?" She got to her feet. "Betty James?" she said again.

The woman nodded, her eyes on Emily's face. "Do you remember me?" she whispered. She glanced at Emily's companions, then leaned forward. "That night . . ."

Emily drew a sharp breath. Suddenly she knew why Betty's name had sounded so familiar.

In a heartbeat, she was standing once more on Jester's Curve . . .

The red lights of Amy Westerland's car were shining weakly up at her and her three companions as the four of them huddled together in the pouring rain, peering over the cliff into Jester's Canyon.

Sue linked arms with Eddie and giggled rather hysterically. "I guess we won then?"

A noise from the cliff face. Emily stared at the muddied girl who pulled herself up over the edge. Amy's friend, Betty James. Emily and Josh rushed to help her to her feet. "We saw you go over!" Emily said. "I'm so glad you're all right!"

"Amy," Betty gasped out. "Amy's still down there." Shadowed, haunted eyes sought, first Emily, then Josh. "I think she's dead. The steering wheel . . ." The girl shuddered and nearly collapsed. "We have to do something!"

At that moment the cliff edge seemed to disintegrate. The five of them leaped back as a wall of mud broke away. It slid down the sleep slope, covering the smashed car and obliterating the red lights.

"What can we do?" Sue demanded shrilly. "If she's dead . . ."

Emily spun to look at her fried. "What if she isn't?" She turned again to stare at the spot where Amy's lights had been visible. "Moments have made the difference in the past." She started forward.

Josh put a hand on her shoulder. "It's too dangerous, Em," he said quietly. He looked up at the dark, heavy clouds over them. "You might get caught in the next landslide."

"I don't care! I . . ." This time, both Josh and Sue hld her back.

Sue let out that strange giggle again. "Don't waste your time, Em." She looked over the cliff. "Amy got what she deserved."

Emily collapsed against Josh and let the tears flow. "I never meant for this to happen," she gasped out. "It was just a harmless little prank. To kick off the graduation celebrations. You know, the five-day countdown."

Emily's mind was racing. What should she do? Was there a point in playing dumb? What could Betty possibly want? This happened many, many years ago, couldn't they just let the past be the past? What if she could still be reported and charged?

"I - I don't know anybody by that name, Betty Jones you said? You must have me confused."

The pink lady looked determined though. "betty James, and I'm sure that you know exactly who I am. Come on, let's take a walk."

"B-but, I'm here with my friend, Liz."

Betty stretched out her hand, smiled and said "coe on, I won't bite, I'll have you back here in no time."

Reluctantly Emily followed Betty who was tottering amazingly fast in her pink pumps. "Where are you taking me, I have to be back at home and make dinner. My son Andrew is coming over with the kids."

As they left the park through the West Gate, they crossed the street, and after a block they turned into an alley and arrived at an ivy-clad house that looked abandoned. Mysterious at the very least.

Betty used the door knocker three times.

Soon enough the door slowly squeaked open.

"Come on in," Eddie said. "We've been waiting."

Jenniy of Climaxed

She followed Betty inside the house and looked around. Everyone who had received the note was present.

Eddie, Josh, Sue, Betty, and herself.

Eddie took a seat in the small living room in a blue plush armchair and beckoned for the two women to take a seat in the folded chairs set up to accommodate more guests. Sue was in a matching armchair across the coffee table from Eddie, and Josh had taken a folding chair as well.

She was shaking as she looked around. It was all very normal and mundane despite this being very abnormal circumstances. The carpet and walls were a similar beige color. No photos. No art. Just a small tv set on a white Ikea stand and a few coasters on the table. She couldn't even tell whose house it was if it was anyone's. The outside didn't make it seem like it was some kind of great investment.


She realized they'd been talking while she dissociated, and snapped back to reality.

"I'm sorry. What all was said? This is . . . this is all terrifying and weird to me."

They all looked at her in slight disgust, but it was Eddie who finally grumbled, "What do you think it is for us, princess? Of course you're still a goody two shoes who thinks she's the only one with problems."

"EDDIE! Enough. Enough. That's not going to help." Betty reached over and squeezed her hand and then continued. "We all know what this is about. Now what do we do about it? Who did you all tell about how Amy's car got down in Jester's Canyon? And why are they coming for us now?"

Each of them in turn answered "no one."

Emily certainly had never said a word, not to anyone ever. Not her ex, not her brother, and when she hooked up with Josh that summer, they hadn't discussed it once. After a few weeks of being completely overcome with guilt and coming close to turning herself into the cops right afterwards, she buried it. She spent all of her adult life pretending as much as possible that it had never happened.

So who else possibly could have witnessed what happened that night besides Amy? As far as any of them knew, she had died in her car in the bottom of Jester's Canyon while everyone in this tiny white bread living room ran home and lied about where they had been.

Emily knew lying and secret keeping was not the way to live her life. She also knew she was terrible at both, and that is why she had spent much of the first month after that fateful night at Jester's Canyon telling herself she needed to go to the cops, and unburden her heart. She had managed to talk herself out of it each time, and eventually had been able to pretend that night never happened. Eventually, as the memory faded, and life continued on, she had managed to forget about that night, and she had moved on, living each passing year as if that night had never happened.

Now here she was, in a strange house surrounded by the very people she had spent years forgetting. As she looked around at each face, taking them each in, she was transported back to that fateful night, decades before, right before graduation and the start of her life. The same night when Amy's life had ended. The same night they all chose to keep quiet, and protect themselves from any possible consequences.

Over the years, anytime guilt had tried to overcome her, Emily had reminded herself that Amy would have done the same exact thing. No way she would have gotten herself in trouble and risked ruining her future. Her bright future. She had been on her way to Washington D.C. after graduation, and she was destined for a career in one of the top crime labs in the country. She was on her way to achieving every dream she had ever had, including marrying her childhood sweetheart, Emily's cousin Dyson. Emily had grown up in a close-knit family, and her cousins were like siblings to her.

That was why it had hurt her so much to watch Dyson, in the weeks following that night at Jester's Canyon, come apart at the seams as Amy's disappearance stretched on. He had eventually moved to Washington, as he and Amy had planned, and immersed himself into politics and the CIA, and eventually completely growing apart from his family. They rarely saw him anymore, and nobody had any real idea of what he had been up to. He had never seemed to fully recover from losing Amy. Why he was so upset by the loss of her, Emily would never really understand. Amy had been difficult and selfish. All the plans she and Dyson made were in benefit of Amy's wants and hopes and dreams. Dyson just sort of catered his choices to whatever would make Amy happy.

That is how it had always been. If Amy was happy, that was all that mattered, and it was something that most of her family and friends had struggled to accept, but not Dyson. He had always been able to make his happiness reliant on Amy's happiness, and he always seemed to live for her benefit. It was a weird, symbiotic existence, that had intrigued Em over the years, and anytime she had been able to get an idea from Dyson, about what he wanted in life, it never seemed to add up to the plans he made with Amy. The more time had passed, the more Emily began to think of Amy as a parasite, who was feeding off her cousin. That may have been why she had been able to keep quiet, after that night in the Canyon. She knew, if nothing else, Dyson was finally free.

She was not convinced he had ever embraced the freedom from Amy. He always seemed stuck in the past, even though he had moved on and distanced himself from their family and their hometown. Now here she was, surrounded by the memories of that night, and the moment her cousin's future had been rewritten. The night she finally had a secret of her own.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Read on to chapter three The Past is Present ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And before you go, here's today's recipe:

Red Curry Chicken and Snap Peas comes together in just one pan. Chicken and vegetables are simmered in an enhanced red curry sauce. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Red Curry Chicken and Snap Peas
Red Curry Chicken and Snap Peas comes together in just one pan. Chicken and vegetables are simmered in an enhanced red curry sauce. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

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

Red Curry Chicken and Snap Peas        

Printable Recipe

1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 red pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
6 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 green onions, cut into approximately 3 inch pieces
1 cup snap peas, rinsed and dried 
1 carrot, shaved
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips (cut the longer ones in half)
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 bottle (about 13 oz) Thai Red Curry Sauce
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes 
1 tsp lime juice

*Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red pepper, mushrooms, green onions, snap peas, carrot, ginger and garlic. Cook until the vegetables just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan.
*Sprinkle the chicken strips with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add to the same skillet and cook, stirring now and then, until the chicken is cooked through. Drain.
*Add the sauce and red pepper flakes to the skillet with the chicken, mix in the cooked vegetables.
*Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and  allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Drizzle with the lime juice.
*OPT: Serve over rice with lime wedges.


Friday, April 24, 2020

Pure Heart: 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 www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here's today's picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Baby Bear: Why can't I have the same size cup as you, daddy?
Daddy Bear: You do, that big cup is mama's. Lesson learned, next time you and I will do the shopping.

2. Mom (angrily, coming into the kitchen and seeing all of the cups and glasses on the counter): You know we have a sink. And a dishwasher. Do we have to leave every dirty glass on the counter?
Son: Before I say anything, I need to know one thing: is that a rhetorical question, or do you really want me to answer it?

3. Son: Everything's gone, there's nothing to drink.
Mom: That works, since you didn't leave any clean cups to drink from.
Son: Really Mom, have you met me? A cup doesn't have to be clean . . .

4. Hubs: What's for dinner?
Wife: Nothing.
Hubs: Nothing?
Wife: Since you guys left me no clean counter space to work with, I assumed you didn't want dinner.
Hubs (calling to son): I think maybe we should have cleaned up the dirty dishes . . .

5. Mom (walking into the kitchen): What happened last night after I went to bed? You made a mess of my house.
Teenager: You know what they say about a messy house . . .
Mom: No, what?
Teenager: A messy house is a sign of a great party.
Mom: You know what else they say? Have clean hands and a pure heart. Well honey, you're about to have the cleanest hands in the neighborhood.

And now for something yummy: 

Whipped Peanut Butter Brownie Cups bake a creamy whipped peanut butter center into chocolatey brownie cups. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Whipped Peanut Butter Brownie Cups
Whipped Peanut Butter Brownie Cups bake a creamy whipped peanut butter center into chocolatey brownie cups. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile: 
Spatulas on Parade
Follow Me Home 
Southern Belle Charm 

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

Whipped Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 TBSP milk

9 TBSP butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cupcake cups in 12 cupcake tin wells.
*Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and milk. Place about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of this mixture into a baggie for piping onto the top when the Whipped Peanut Butter Brownie Cups have cooled.
*Melt together the butter and unsweetened chocolate in microwave until smooth when whisked. Whisk in the vanilla and sugar. Once fully mixed, whisk in the eggs and finally mix in the flour.
*Fill the cupcake papers until 2/3 full, dollop each with the peanut butter mixture (not what's in the baggie), press down gently, then top with the remaining brownie batter.
*Bake for 22 - 25 minutes or until the center is set. Cool completely.
*Once they are cool, pipe the remaining peanut butter mixture onto the tops of the brownie cups.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Past Due: Chapter One, Five Days

I'm featuring today the first chapter in a piece of fiction. Not just any piece of fiction, but a collaborative one. And not just any collaborative story, but the 9th in a series of Progressive Story Projects I've been gifted with over the years.

The magic of this type of story is that it comes from the imaginations of many. If you haven't read one in the past, I'll list links to them all below, but let me tell you how this works. I start a story, then pass it on to another writer who adds to it, it then goes on to another author and then another. The challenge for each of us is to add to the story without controlling it. In the end, these bloggers, all with their varied imaginations and writing styles, put together one cohesive story. And, as I said, it's a gift as I get to present it. 

Previous Progressive Story Projects:
A Holiday Story
Storm Past 
A Holiday Story, The Sequel
Sincerely Sarah
Take Aim
Skin Deep
Mystery at the Castle
Her Time

Progressive Story Project. one story written by multiple bloggers | Developed by and presented on www.BakingInATornado.com | #fiction #MyGraphics

Today I'm honored to present chapter one of our newest story, Past Due. As always, before each section, over to the far right I've listed the author of that piece of the story and a link to their blog. I highly recommend checking out these blogs and seeing what my very talented friends have to share there. 

Past Due, a Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written collaboratively by 10 bloggers. | Graphic designed by and property of, and story presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #Fiction

Past Due
Chapter One: Five Days

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
There were still only five. It's not that big a number, no way to lose track, count and count again, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, it wasn't going to change anything. There were only five left.

I looked around, trying to figure out what to do. I only had five days left. I wanted to make the most of it, spend time with my loved ones, do things I didn't typically have the guts to do.

Make cherished memories.

I didn't know what would happen on the 6th day. The note didn't say. It was simple and to the point.

"Emily, you have five days left."

It put me on edge, unsure of what to expect. Was I going to die? Was someone going to kidnap me? Was the world going to end?

Would I ever find out?

Five days wasn't a lot of time for one to live their best life, but damn it, I was determined to live mine.

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade 

Five days, why only five? She had lost the love of her life, or so she thought he was, five years ago and during that time she had battled and won the fight with breast cancer. So why now? Why didn't she die during that time? This made her angry, the longer she dwelled on it, the angrier she got.

Liz reached over and touched her hand. "Em, what's going on with you? You are not yourself today."

Emily looked at her longest and dearest friend, putt on her smile and said "oh nothing, just going over the past." She took a deep breath and said "Hypothetically, if you knew you only had 5 days to live, what would you do?"

Liz jumped out of her chair and said "WHAT?" and quickly sat down realizing she was causing a scene here at the Java Joint. Leaning over she quietly said, "Oh my gosh Emily! When? Why didn't you tell me the cancer was back?"

Emily laughed, "Oh no, no, no, no." Shaking her head, "I'm sorry, I was just thinking. It's not back, I'm fine, I mean, I think, well, yeah . . ." and she started to cry.

Liz, looking relieved but still concerned, looked at her, deep into her eyes and said "Come on Em, this is me. We've known each other for how long? High school, college, marriages, divorces, kids, cancer and the death of parents. Tell me what is going on."

Reaching into her pocket, Emily pulled out the paper. She handed it to Liz who read it and then began to laugh.

"Oh my dear sweet dramatic Em! Don't you know a kid prank when you read one? I mean, really. Who would send you something like this and why? Everyone loves you. You know it's some dumb kid pulling a prank."

Just then Steve walked up, kissed Emily on the forehead and said, "Hey what's this?" as he reached for the paper. She tried to move it but he was already reading it. Shaking his head he said, "You know several people at work got this same stupid piece of paper. I'm guessing prank time at the high school. Remember those days?" as he sat down.

Kimberly of When I Grow Up

"Really?" Emily looked up at her brother, relieved.

"Yeah," he said. "Someone is messing with you."

"Anybody I know?" she asked.

"Well, let's see . . . you know Eddie, he lived down the street when we were kids, And Sue; wasn't she your best friend at one point? I think Josh Miller got one, but you didn't know him. Oh, and the other one who mentioned it was Betty James. She was pretty shaken up, but she's not from around here either. So, to answer your question, you know two of them."

Emily didn't say anything. Steve didn't know. She had actually dated Josh one summer when she was home from college. He lived a couple of towns over and she knew her family wouldn't approve, so she hadn't told any of them, not even Steve, who knew her better than anyone else, even better than her ex. It was just a summer fling; she and Josh broke up before the fall semester began and she hadn't heard from him since.

The name Betty James sounded familiar as well, though she couldn't quite figure out why. Emily noticed that Liz was looking at her quizzically and that she had to snap out of it.

"I guess I've been reading too much SciFi lately. Let's get out of here. Who's up for a trip to the park? There should be some great people watching on a beautiful day like today!"

Emily stretched out on the blanket as she watched all of the other people who were soaking up this beautiful day. She had scolded herself all the way for letting something so stupid get to her so badly. Kids! Pranks! She had to laugh at herself, "Em you are much too gullible," she scolded herself.

She watched a little boy play with his dog, laughing every time the collie chased after the frisbee. Each time he would bring it back to the boy and drop it at his feet. Then there was the cute daddy pushing his little girl on the swing, back and forth, up and down. It was relaxing, almost hypnotic, following the little girl's path with each push.

She loved this little town. She had spent her whole life here and now that she was outside she could see that the note was just silly. I can't believe I wasted a moment being upset about something so dumb. She watched a woman in a beautiful pink dress get out of her car and start walking across the park.

She walked straight up to Emily and stood over her, blocking out the sun. Emily shaded her eyes and looked up at the strange lady who seemed to know exactly who she was. "Emily! I'm so glad I found you. I'm Betty James."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Read on to chapter two, Jester's Canyon ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

And before you go, here's today's recipe:

Strawberry Dalgona Cocktail is a strawberry flavored creamy cocktail topped with a creamy whipped coffee. | Recipe developed by www.BakedInATornado.com | #recipe #cocktail

Strawberry Dalgona Cocktail
Strawberry Dalgona Cocktail is a strawberry flavored creamy cocktail topped with a creamy whipped coffee. | Recipe developed by www.BakedInATornado.com | #recipe #cocktail

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

Strawberry Dalgona Cocktail        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 2):
1 cup Baileys Strawberries and Cream liqueur
1/2 cup White Chocolate liqueur
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup instant coffee crystals
1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup boiling water

fresh strawberries

*Pour 1/2 cup Strawberries and Cream liqueur, 1/4 cup White Chocolate liqueur, and 1/4 cup milk into each of two glasses. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Whip the instant coffee crystals, sugar and boiling water until it's light brown and creamy and stiff peaks hold (similar to how you'd make whipped cream).
*Remove the glasses from the refrigerator, add ice if desired, and top with the whipped coffee.
*Serve with fresh strawberries.

Friday, April 17, 2020

SOS. Or Not: 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

PurDude had called and I love hearing from him about what's been going on both at work and, before the virus hit, on the ski slopes. It's always so hard to hang up at the end of a conversation.

I've mentioned a time or two before that we're complete opposites when it comes to communication. He's a man of few words, texts and PMs usually limited to two or three. I, on the other hand, am that person who makes a short story long.

As we were hanging up, PurDude mentioned that he thought there was something else he wanted to say but couldn't remember what.

Me: Well, you know you can always PM or text me when you remember.
PurDude: Yeah.
Me: It doesn't take more than a minute for you to send me a text.

PurDude: Yeah. 
Me: So here's how it'll go, you'll send me your normal 3 word text. I'll respond with my normal 7 paragraph answer, you'll acknowledge with another 2 to 3 words and I'll respond with another 7 paragraphs.

Made him laugh. And that's exactly how I want a conversation with him to end.

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

I'm so glad that PurDude had some really fun times before social distancing became necessary. He's a great kid, but he can be very stubborn. He had friends coming out to visit, one for 5 days, then a couple of days later 2 more friends were coming in for 5 days. I talked to him on 3 different occasions about having a little food in the house when his friends came. He doesn't have to serve them meals (he couldn't, he doesn't cook . . . at all) just a few snacks for at night and some orange juice, English muffins, butter and peanut butter from the morning. His friends were flying in from far away and I wanted him to be a good host.

The day before the first visit I was talking to him on the phone and I was frustrated because he hadn't listened to me at all, hadn't bought anything for his guests. As we were hanging up:

Me: Love you.
PurDude: Love you more.
Me: Well I love you more . . . than a toothache.

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

Hubs' first day of working from home was also the day that Passover would start at dinner. College Boy and I were making an effort to be quiet as much as possible as he was working in the office and taking client calls.

At one point in the afternoon I could hear him finish a call and I had just set the table for the Passover Seder.

Me: I think I'm going to open this wine now.

Hubs comes in from the other room and grabs a glass.

Me: You can't have any, you're at work.
Hubs (laughing): I can take a break and take a sip.
Me: No, no drinking on the job. And if you're lucky, I won't finish the bottle before you start your commute home.

I happen to have very good hearing, so I heard him mumbling under his breath as he walked away. Something about there being more bottles of wine where that came from.

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

The boys grew up basically grabbing whatever I had baked while I was moving it from the oven to the counter to cool. But some desserts really need to cool first, especially those that need to set before cutting, like my Strawberries and Cream Bars. 

Strawberries and Cream Bars, a creamy cheesecake-like center studded with strawberries in a cookie dough crust and topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Strawberries and Cream Bars 
Strawberries and Cream Bars, a creamy cheesecake-like center studded with strawberries in a cookie dough crust and topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

I had taken them from the oven and they were on the counter coming down to room temperature before I could refrigerate to cool completely before cutting. Which was the point at which College Boy stopped by.

College Boy: I'm starving and those smell great, I'll try them for you.
Me: No, not yet. They have cream cheese in the center layer, they need to cool before I cut them.
College Boy: I think you just hate me.
Me: It's definitely a possibility.

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

Hubs and PurDude are both considered essential, so they can go into the office. PurDude is working remotely and has been for a while. Hubs only has 10 to 15 people in his office, so, last month, they continued to work at the office but is not any more. The next group of snippets is from the time when he was still going into the office:

He had gone to work and I was just waking up and heading down to the kitchen. I had a bunch of things I needed to take down and if you're anything like me, you're determined to take it all down in one trip.

I had, in my right arm, my laptop and I was balancing my cell phone on top of it. So the phone didn't fall off, I held it up against my chest. As I headed down the stairs, I thought I heard something and realized that there was a voice coming from . . . well . . . my chest.

Which is how I found myself in the position of having to explain to my husband that I wasn't calling him, I had actually boob dialed him.

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

I've talked a lot before about Hubs being unable to do an errand without calling me 6 times. I've also mentioned a time or two that as technically challenged as I am, he's double. Since he was going to the office anyway, he would be the one to go to the store when we needed essentials.

So it should surprise no one that when he was doing an errand on the way home from work, he called. This time from his car, before he even got in the store.

I answered his question, we hung up and my phone immediately rang again. His number again {{sigh}}.

Me: Hello.
Hubs: Hello.
Me: What's up?
Hubs: Nothing. Did you call me or did I call you?
Me: You called me.

Hubs: Hmm. OK. Never mind.

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

He made it home and brought in what he had bought.

Me: How was your day?
Hubs: Good. I got lucky.

Me: Don't tell me that right now, I don't think the divorce lawyers are available for consultation these days.
Hubs: I meant that I found toilet paper.

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

I've also spoken before (sadly, many times) about Hubs and electronics. He's so bad at using his cell phone that even I know more than he does.

Just before he stopped working, I was sitting at home at about 5:00 pm when I got, in rapid succession, 3 texts from him.

The first was a picture:

Fly on the Wall, I need help. | Featured on and picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com #humor #funny

Looks like an elevator. And it looks like the picture was taken from the floor?

Then came:

Fly on the Wall, I need help. | Featured on and picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com #humor #funny

SOS? With his location? I started to panic.

Immediately followed by this one:

Fly on the Wall, I need help. | Featured on and picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com #humor #funny

He needs help. Police? Ambulance? My heart beating out of my chest, I called his cell phone hoping he'd be able to answer.

Hubs: Hello.
Me: You answered. Are you OK? What's wrong?
Hubs: What do you mean? Nothing's wrong, I'm fine. Why?

OMG, seriously. There should be licensing for owning a cell phone. And that man should be barred for life. 

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Twice a week Hubs would work late and I'd leave him a plate of leftovers from earlier in the week for dinner. He'd come in the house, put his plate in the microwave for a minute or so, go up to change his clothes, then come back down to see how much longer he had to microwave his dinner for.

One night, what turned out to be the last week he worked, I'm in the den when he comes down from changing and his dinner is cooking in the microwave.

Hubs: Why did you put my dinner in for 15 minutes?
Me: Me? I'm sitting here minding my own business.
Hubs: Well I wouldn't put it in there for 15 minutes.
Me: But I would?

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

Hubs and I are quite the pair.

Also when he was still working, I would set up the coffee maker in the morning to go off when he gets out of the shower. He took coffee in his travel mug, and I'd drink the other few cups when I got up. Well, that's how it usually worked. That's how it was supposed to work.

Hubs comes home from work:

Me: We both screwed up with the coffee this morning.
Hubs: I kept trying to get it to work, shut it off, turned it on, checked to be sure there was coffee in there.
Me: I screwed up, there was coffee, I forgot to add the water.
Hubs: I didn't think to look for the water.
Me: But you screwed up too, you left it on and the carafe sat empty on that hot plate for an hour until I got up.
Hubs: Oh, I didn't mean to leave it on.
Me: Yeah, I didn't mean to leave out the water.

Q: How many Blessings does it take to make coffee?
A: Apparently more than two.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother 
Spatulas on Parade 
Go Mama O. 

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Strawberries and Cream Bars

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 stick margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp strawberry extract
2 TBSP Bailey's Strawberries and Cream
OPT: 2 drops red food coloring
1 tsp baking powder
2 3/4 cups flour

2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP Bailey's Strawberries and Cream
1/2 cup chopped strawberries

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 pan.
*Cream together the butter, margarine, sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Beat in 1 egg, the strawberry extract, 2 TBSP Bailey's Strawberries and Cream and food coloring (if using). Stir in the baking powder and flour.
*Pat about 2/3 of this dough into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the cream cheese, the remaining brown sugar and the powdered sugar. Beat in the remaining eggs, the remaining liqueur, then mix in the chopped strawberries.
*Pour over the bottom cookie layer and spread out evenly. Roll the remaining dough into balls, flatten between your palms and place onto the cream cheese layer.
*Bake for about 35 minutes or until the center is set.
*Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to cool completely before slicing. Store in the refrigerator and bring just to room temperature to serve.