Friday, August 28, 2020

Love Hurts: 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. It was submitted by Me!

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

1. Harry Hawk: Are you finally ready to go? I've been waiting for you forever.
Hazel Hawk: That depends. Do I look fat in these feathers?

2. Harry Hawk: What is that song those humans are playing? 
Hazel Hawk: It sounds like Fly Like an Eagle.
Harry Hawk: Well that's just insulting. 

3. Harry Hawk: What are you looking at?
Hazel Hawk: That TV in the window down there.

Harry Hawk: Why?
Hazel Hawk: I'm looking for someone I know.

Harry Hawk: What?
Hazel Hawk: They keep talking about some guy, must be a cousin, but I don't see any birds at all.
Harry Hawk: Why do you think he's a cousin?
Hazel Hawk: That little guy, they call him Radar, keeps saying he's going to go get Hawkeye.

4. Hazel Hawk: I'm tired of hunting, I'm going back to the nest.
Harry Hawk: But we haven't eaten yet.
Hazel Hawk: I'm too tired for take-out, can't you just splurge and do delivery for once?

5. Harry Hawk: Jeez, woman, you need to get those talons trimmed. You add a whole new meaning to "love hurts."

And now for something yummy:

Fiery Shrimp, pan sautéed, steeped in a spicy tomato sauce and tossed with fettuccine. How hot will you go? | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Fiery Shrimp
Fiery Shrimp, pan sautéed, steeped in a spicy tomato sauce and tossed with fettuccine. How hot will you go? | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Click on the link below for more smiles:

Southern Belle Charm 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

Fiery Shrimp         

Printable Recipe

2 TBSP olive oil
2# large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves minced garlic, divided
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cans (14.5 oz) Italian flavored diced tomatoes
2 TBSP white wine
3/4 tsp sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 - 3/4 tsp dried crushed red chili flakes
1# fettuccine noodles

*Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Turn and cook the other side until the shrimp is completely cooked. Remove from the pan.
*Add the other clove of garlic and the onions to the pan. Cook and stir until the onions are soft.
*In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
*To the saute pan, add the tomatoes (with their juices), white wine, sriracha, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and 1/2 tsp red chili flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add more crushed red chili flakes if desired.
*While the sauce is simmering, cook the fettuccine noodles to al dente in the large pot. Drain.
*Add the shrimp to the sauce. Cook until the shrimp are hot, then toss the sauce with the fettuccine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Name Changers

We need to stop calling each other names. Especially when that name is mine. Yeah, I'm a Karen.

Names are meaningful in so many ways, they're the first identifier of us as individuals, we use them and answer to them throughout our lives. They also tie us to our past.

I've been giving names a lot of thought lately: first, middle and last. There's a story behind that. You know me, of course there is. It starts with an apology being offered, and coincidentally ends with being owed one.

The apology proffered: I've been thrown into connecting with my extended family. My mother's cousin (however many times removed, who understands those things anyway?), initiated a zoom call to include descendants of two branches of a family tree. Turns out I'm on both, who knew (hint: not me)? At the time all I knew was that I didn't recognize the majority of the names of the people involved. I opted out.

What I couldn't opt out of, to my great dismay, were the emails. They came in droves, something like 50 people, mostly strangers, emailing nonstop about ancestors of whom I'd never heard (every one of them hitting "respond to all" instead of just the person they were addressing, thank you very much). If I were Pavlov's dog, salivating every time my email dinged, I'd be dehydrated. Probably in the first 10 minutes. It was incessant. And incredibly confusing. All the talk about Max and Lizzy, for instance, had no correlation to my grandparents, Max and Elizabeth. These people are nuts, what, are they doing making up history as they go along? No, turns out there was a Max and Lizzy who were not "my" Max and Elizabeth. Nor is the Rose they refer to my grandmother's twin. Oy.

One day, though, someone in one of those emails asked about "my" Max and Elizabeth. This I know, not where it all fits in, but who they were. I could give them a story, and I wanted to. So, as best as I could, with what little I knew, I responded. And the floodgates opened.

A cousin (maybe, kinda, sorta, who knows?) responded to me. He started to put the pieces of my great grandfather's family tree into place for me. He sent not only the written story, but multiple snapshots of the family tree. Suddenly I knew who some of these people who lived in my email stream were, how they fit in, and most intriguingly, how I did.

Just like that I got sucked in. I'm engaged. 

Name Changers | Graphic developed by and property of | #MyGraphics #ancestry

I had written a post for BluntMoms back in 2016 about my great grandmother. It's a humor piece and worth a read, I call it Ancestry, my Murder and Bootlegging Legacy. Although I knew my great grandmother well, had her until I was 26, I knew absolutely nothing about my great grandfather (who died long before I was born) and his family. Until now.

So to Jerry and Reisa specifically, but to everyone who reached out and added pieces to the Goldman/Chayet/Dores puzzle, helping to carve out a comfortable spot for me, I extend my heartfelt apology.

Last names:
I have always known about and been sad about the change in my great grandfather's last name. It happened, I believe, when his father came to this country but how and why and by whom remains a mystery. I have heard three different stories about that and have no idea what's true any more. I do know that in Russia the name was Chayet (also seen spelled Choyet, Chait). I always thought it was such a pretty name. Some of the family kept it when they came to this country. My branch became Goldman.

Middle names:
Middle names came up in 2 ways. First, there's still much discussion as to which of my great grandfather's names was his first name and which was his middle name. Was he Aaron Morris? Or Morris Aaron? It shows up both ways. Nailing down this guy's name down is like playing whack-a-mole. Between a drastic change in the family last name and the fluidity of his first and middle names, it's a miracle he didn't have an identity complex. Next thing I know, my great grandmother started showing up in records with her middle name (I never even knew she had one) as her first name. But it's different when there are associations so she will always be Eda to me.

Then there's the issue of having middle names at all. I actually stumped Google on this one. Through a plethora of emails I started hearing over and over again from and about people in our family who did not have middle names because they were too poor. 

Wait. What? Too poor? Did they charge you on birth certificates back then? By the name? By the letter? If you like the name Elizabeth for your daughter, have you used up your allotment? If you start off with money and have reversals, do you forfeit your middle name? If you do well in life, do you get one retroactively? I asked Google about this "too poor for a middle name" thing because, you know, Google knows all. Not this, though. If you have the answer, I'd love to hear it. And then maybe you could pass it on to Google?

First names:
I always liked my name, Karen. I have a thing for Ks and Ys so I would have liked to be Karyn, but potato, potahto. 

For the record, I still like my name. Despite the fact that loathsome people are now using it as the name for loathsome people (oh, the irony of that), I still like it. Actually, at the end of last year, before the whole "Karen" thing took on such a toxic tone, I used it in a meme I created myself. Although mine was fact based:

Karen has Shingles meme | Graphic created by and property of | #MyGraphics #Karen

But (the apology I'm owed part) it's gone from funny to cruel. Enough is enough. Quit the Karen bashing. Chill out, have a cookie, and read this little ditty I shared on my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page (you do follow me on FB, right?):

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies are quick and easy (they start with a mix) and lower in fat but high in chocolatey flavor. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (lower in fat)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies are quick and easy (they start with a mix) and lower in fat but high in chocolatey flavor. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

There are all these people named Karen,
didn't make you unhappy, rude, or barren.
Whatever you won't face,
when that mirror's in place,
no problem, just go blame a Karen.

Relentlessly put Karens down.
The behavior on which you claim to frown.
The truth is nearer,
just look in the mirror, 
you're the one wearing the "bully" crown.

The thing about Karens that's true,
she owns it, knows her own value.
So despite your bashing,
and your Karen trashing,
I'd rather be me than be you. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (lower in fat)         

Printable Recipe

1 package sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 TBSP canola oil
1/2 cup butter substitute, softened
1 egg
3 TBSP water
1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp low fat milk

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Mix together the cookie mix, baking cocoa, canola oil, butter substitute, egg and water until it forms a dough (I find it's quickest just to use my hands). 
*Roll the dough into 32 balls, and flatten slightly.
*Place the sugar onto a plate. Press the cookies into the sugar to coat the tops, place on the baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the baking sheets and allow to cool completely.

*Whisk together the peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk. Spread evenly onto the flat side of half of the cookies. Top each with the other cookies to form a sandwich.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hollow Shrubs and A Weed Wacker Divorce: 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

I was reading a book the other day and was surprised by the (geographical) turn it took. I knew right away that I had to text PurDude:

Me: I'm reading a book about a private investigator based in California. Due to the case she's working on, she just flew into Denver, the case has taken her to Boulder (the person she's looking for went to CU), now she's driving to Longmont. She's closer to you than I am.
PurDude: But then she doesn't exist . . .
Me: Yeah, there's that.

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

No matter the level of curiosity, sometimes you just have to turn around, walk away, and accept it's best if you just don't know. That's exactly what I did when walking down the hall towards the kitchen, I heard this piece of a conversation:

Hubs: Screw it.
College Boy: It's starting to move.
Hubs: Quick, screw before it moves away.
College Boy: I hope I don't end up in the hospital.

Nope, nothing there for a mama to see. I'm happy to report that whatever they were doing, they both lived through it.

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

I'd made a batch of my Basic Fruit Smoothies and put the leftovers in individual servings in wide colorful plastic cups in the freezer. A few days later, Hubs wanted one.

Me (taking a cup out of the freezer): It's frozen solid, just let it sit on the counter for a while.
Hubs (looking in the cup): It actually looks like a candle.
Me: Well don't set it on fire. 
Hubs: I won't. And in case you were wondering, I won't be drinking any of your candles either.

Good to know.

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

Hubs (coming up from the man cave): Are you OK?
Me (coughing): My throat is killing me and I can't stop coughing and clearing it.
Hubs: I know, I could hear you all the way downstairs. What's wrong?
Me: I don't know. Probably my allergies.

Hubs: Can I get you anything?
Me: Yeah, a glass of wine.

Hubs: How will that help?
Me: How would it hurt?

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

Hubs (looking around): Where's that paper?
Me: What paper?
Hubs: The one with the list?
Me: What list?

Hubs: The list of things I don't want to forget.
Me: You forgot where your list of the things you don't want to forget is? Why don't you just put it on your phone?
Hubs: Because I never forget where my phone is?

Valid point.

Very Strawberry Cake has only 5 ingredients and comes together in minutes. Mix, layer, and bake. Serve with powdered sugar, whipped cream or fresh strawberries.| Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

Very Strawberry Cake (5 ingredients)
Very Strawberry Cake has only 5 ingredients and comes together in minutes. Mix, layer, and bake. Serve with powdered sugar, whipped cream or fresh strawberries.| Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

My next door neighbors have a vegetable garden in their back yard. The husband built it up with railroad ties and surrounded it with wire to keep the rabbits out. Some years she plants it and others she doesn't. When she does, those fresh veggies are just delicious.

Me: I think the neighbors are going to end up getting divorced.
Hubs: I doubt it, why do you think that?
Me: I'm guessing there was a miscommunication.
Hubs: How bad can a miscommunication be?
Me: Well, for the past few weeks I've been watching her out back watering her garden.

Hubs: And?
Me: He's inside there right now weed wacking it down to nothing.
Hubs: Oh, that could be bad . . .

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

Hubs and I have an ongoing issue about weeds growing in our shrubs. He needs to carefully cut the weeks out, leaving the shrubs intact. He often starts out with the best intentions, but ends up throwing out the baby with the bathwater, literally hollowing out the center of the shrub. It doesn't go over well with me. Recently we had a huge weed overtaking one of our shrubs.

Me: Can you go cut that big weed out of the shrub growing out front? It's bigger than the shrub at this point.
Hubs: Yeah, I'll go do it now.

Me: But don't cut away any of the shrub, just get the weed.
Hubs: We'll see.
Me: We'll see? No. No we'll see. If I wanted hollowed out shrubs I would have bought hollowed out shrubs.
Hubs: You can't buy hollowed out shrubs.
Me: Maybe I can't buy them, but at this point I could sell them.
Hubs: Great idea, we could sell them.
Me (rolling my eyes): Yeah, I'm sure people would love them as much as I do. And to make it an interactive experience we could have them dig out the shrubs themselves. You know, like cutting down your own Christmas tree. 
Hubs: You're making fun of me, aren't you.
Me: What was your first clue?

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

Hubs and I have been eating some really delicious corn on the cob during the way too short corn season. I get 3 ears at a time, he has 2 and I have one. One night, we were eating dinner and I looked over at him as he went to grab his second ear of corn. I eat every kernel, his corn, however . . .

Me: You're a very inefficient corn eater.
Hubs: OK.
Me: OK? Aren't you going to ask what I mean?
Hubs: Oh please, this is not my first rodeo.

And just like that, absurd argument averted.

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

I've talked before about how I check in with PurDude once a day to see how he's feeling and what he's up to. He's not a sharer in the best of times, getting information out of him is like pulling teeth, and staying at home so much there's really legitimately been little to say. As always, I'm sad that this virus hit shortly after he moved to a place where he knows no one. Sitting alone in your house isn't really conducive to making friends or to dating.

Recently, when I checked in with him, asked how he was doing, I was shocked at the answer. 

PurDude: Hi Ma, I'm doing fine today. My wife was back so I didn't go in to work yesterday.

Wife? Wife? Last I knew he'd barely met anyone there. I know he doesn't share minutia, I didn't even know he'd grown a mustache until I saw it on a zoom call, but, you know, having a wife? That's kinda major, no?

And then I looked again (well, after the heart palpitations subsided, that is). His cable had gone out a few days before and he was having to go into the office to get his work done. So what he actually said was that his wifi was back. 

Me: Oh, wifi, I read that as wife. Thanks for not getting married without telling me.
PurDude: You don't know that for sure.

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

Later that day:

Me: Texted with PurDude today.
Hubs: How's he doing?
Me: Well, he didn't get married without us.
Me: You're not going to say anything?
Hubs: Ummm, I'm glad he didn't get married without us?
Me: Well, we don't actually know that for sure.
Hubs: There's no way you're going to explain this to me, right?
Me: Right.
Hubs (leaving the room): OK, good talk.

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

Very Strawberry Cake (5 ingredients)

1 can (21 oz) strawberry pie filling
1/2# fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 cup ginger ale
1/2 cup sliced almonds

OPT: powdered sugar, whipped cream and/or sliced strawberries for serving.

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. 
*Spread the pie filling evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Top with half of the chopped fresh strawberries.
*Mix together the cake mix and ginger ale, then add the remaining chopped strawberries. Spread evenly over the filling in the pan. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
*Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely before slicing. 
*OPT: sprinkle with powdered sugar or dollop with whipped cream and/or fresh sliced strawberries for serving.