Friday, May 28, 2021

The Canvas: Cosmetics Poetry


Cosmetics Poetry | Graphic designed by and property of | #poem #poetry

Not really a group at all,
Monthly poetry's now just two.
But we continue to play along,
don't need any bigger a crew.
This month's theme was Diane's turn.
Cosmetics, her choice today.
Guess I need to think about,
maquillage in a whole new way.


The Canvas

Lotions, powders, shampoo, oils,
sprinkle, pour, and spray.
Skin so smooth, hair like silk,
routines to start the day.

Toothpaste and deodorant,
help us smell just right.
Sometimes we'll add perfume when,
going out at night.
Bleaches, color can remove,
dyes will add it in. 
Permanent waves can mask if our,
hair tends to be thin.

Polish on our fingernails,
picking colors, so much fun.
Nine nails one color and then,
another, for that last one.

Color, color, everywhere,
kohl to line the eyes.
Blue eyelashes, peach cheekbones,
and red, red lips. Surprise!
Beautifying, I'll admit,
takes practice, time, and money.
But if I look good, let me say,
my day always starts out sunny.

Grilled Mini Naan Poppers, a fun interpretation of Jalapeno Poppers that only takes a few minutes to cook on the grill. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #snack
Grilled Mini Naan Poppers
Grilled Mini Naan Poppers, a fun interpretation of Jalapeno Poppers that only takes a few minutes to cook on the grill. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #snack

We all know I express myself,
through what I bake and cook.
Creativity can also be shown,
in how I choose to look.

You see:
Makeup's not just vanity,
art's a reason to embrace.
Cosmetics are the paint and brush.
The canvas? It's my face.

Before you go, more Cosmetics poetry:
Diane of On the Border shares Craze-metics

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Grilled Mini Naan Poppers

1 package (about 7 oz) mini naan flatbreads
3 TBSP olive oil
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup pepper jelly
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
2 TBSP bacon bits
banana pepper slices

*Preheat your grill to medium (right around 350 degrees). 
*Mash together the cream cheese, pepper jelly, parmesan, and bacon bits.
*Brush the olive oil onto both sides of the naan. Toast on the grill, flat side up until brown (about 2 - 4 minutes). Using tongs, turn them over so the flat side is down. 
*Place about a TBSP of the cream cheese mixture onto each mini naan. Close the grill and cook for 3 minutes. Remove, top with a slice of banana pepper, and serve.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Gaining Ps and Losing Qs

Pasta Salad Bites, whether for a picnic, cookout, pot luck, or dinner on a hot night, this is a fun, individual sized way to serve pasta salad. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
I remember, I bet you do too, singing the alphabet when I was young. The innocent days of learning to spell, to read, to write.

OK, maybe not so innocent. 
I also remember the alphabet song joke. Bet you remember this one too:

Gaining Ps and Losing Qs | Graphic created by and property of | #humor #MyGraphics 
abcdedfghijklmno qrstuvwxyz
At which point our not-so-innocent co-conspirator asks, giggling."But where's the P?"
"Running down my leg," young you answers, laughing so hard you can barely get your assigned words out (despite having both heard and told this joke about a thousand times).

Ah, bathroom humor. The stuff of childhood. That and fart jokes. Although for the most part we no longer tend to sing the alphabet, on those rare occasions that we do (OK, I'll admit it, I do when alphabetizing a new recipe on this blog's Recipe Box page), all letters have returned to their rightful place.

Or not.
While P now stands for good things, like poems, pubs, and pasta . . .
Pasta Salad Bites, whether for a picnic, cookout, pot luck, or dinner on a hot night, this is a fun, individual sized way to serve pasta salad. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
 Pasta Salad Bites

. . . there's another letter that's in alphabet jeopardy. And it's no joke. It's the Q.
Long after my alphabet song joke years, I was probably in high school when I started learning about propositional logic. I loved the study of logic, took a number of college logic courses too. Being left brain dominant, I find comfort in the rational, so the absolutes of logic was my thing. You know what I'm talking about. If P = Q, then whenever P is true, Q is true as well (yes, I'm way oversimplifying). 

Now I know that all of that logic is . . . illogical. Based on a false premise, actually. Because I've learned in the past few years that although P can be a joke, Q is a disease.

Forever more known as the dreaded Q, not funny at all, QAnon (aka Q) is the stuff of lies, mind washing, hateful, harmful, and hurtful conspiracy theories.
Gaining Ps and Losing Qs | Graphic designed by and property of | #politics #MyGraphics
We've all heard them, depraved lies, repeated ad nauseam, advanced with the deliberate goal of causing distress, harm, confusion, even violence. Absurd fabrications, like that Bill Gates is inserting microchips into us all via the covid vaccine. Or that mass shootings didn't happen, are just a hoax. Or that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a DC pizza restaurant.
Seriously? These theories are so absurd they'd be funny if a significant number of Americans didn't actually believe them. I can't imagine a better example of a complete lack of logic.  

With maturity, we all (most of us, anyway) learn to mind our Ps and Qs (so to speak), when it comes to the bathroom jokes. So welcome back, P. I vow to never again make you the butt of a joke. 
But Q? Sorry, you're out.  
Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Pasta Salad Bites      


Printable Recipe

1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 of a cucumber
1 can (about 2.25 oz) sliced black olives
1/3 cup + 2 TBSP light raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing, divided
12 - 14 jumbo pasta shells (about 1/2 of a 12 oz box)
1 cup fresh spinach 
1/4 cup bacon bits
*NOTE: for a larger crowd you can double the recipe and use the entire 12 oz box of shells.
*Quarter the tomatoes. Peel, slice, and chop the cucumber. Tear the spinach. Drain the black olives.
*Mix the tomatoes, cucumber, and black olives in a bowl with 1/3 cup of the salad dressing. Cover and refrigerate.
*Boil the shells to al dente (about 8 - 10 minutes). Drain and rinse 2 - 3 times with cold water to stop the cooking process. Gently toss with the remaining 2 TBSP of the salad dressing.
*Remove the marinated vegetables from the refrigerator. Mix in the spinach and bacon bits, then gently fill the shells with the vegetables.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Timers, Toilets, and Random Links: Fly on the Wall


Ham and Chicken Dinner Casserole, everything you need for a balanced meal. This casserole can be prepped a day ahead of time, then just assemble and bake. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner



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 is such a fun post to write, and since I started them I'm consistently hearing that they are the post my readers most enjoy reading. Thanks for joining me again this month, hope this  little peek at our family life and conversations provides you with a laugh or two.

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

It's always sad when you have to crush their hopes, but it's important to manage their expectations. 
You'd think I'd be talking about the kids but, sadly, no.
Hubs (showing me his khakis): I'm putting these in the wash, I wanted to show you this.
Me: What?
Hubs: See this blotch here?
Me: Yes, what is it?
Hubs: I was using hand sanitizer and dropped some on my pants.
Me (looking at what I realize is a bleached out spot): I know we have a very good washing machine, but you realize it can't add color back into your clothes, right?
Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
Hubs had gone for a check up. He had a lot of blood work done and was schedule for an MRI. The day of the MRI, a nurse from his doctor's office called. I was a little alarmed because they don't usually rush to call you the same day.

Hubs talked to the nurse, came into the room and said "bad news."

My heart stopped. I don't like his doctor and I'd been arguing with Hubs for the past year about something the doctor said that I felt needed follow up and more information. Hubs felt if it needed follow up, his doctor would have said or done something.

Me (hoping if it had to be bad, that at least there were options): Just tell me.
Hubs: I have gall stones.
Me (shocked): You have gall stones? We already knew that. Why did you think we'd drastically changed our diet for the past year?
Hubs: The doctor thinks they're too big for me to pass, he wants me to talk to a surgeon.
Me: But it's nothing life threatening.
Hubs: Well, no.
Me: Saying "bad news" is for serious conditions, not something we already knew you had.
Hubs: Oh.
Me: You almost made it life threatening.
Hubs: What do you mean?
Me: If I weren't standing here having a heart attack, I'd kill you.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
Speaking of killing him, it's a good thing he's going into work a few days now that he's vaccinated and feeling safer. If he were to continue to stay home, there's a good chance . . . well . . . that whole killing him thing . . .

Hubs (coming up from the man cave looking at his cell): I just got this text message. 
Me: OK.
Hubs: It's a reminder for a medical appointment but a few months ago, in March.
Me: You didn't have any medical appointments in March, and no one would be sending you a reminder in May.
Hubs: There's a link.
Me: Don't click the link!!!
Hubs: So I clicked the link.
Me: Are you crazy?
Hubs: That's OK, it takes me to a legitimate medical website. It's about an appointment for a breast screening.
Me: Did you have an appointment for a breast screening?
Hubs: No.
Me: In March?
Hubs: No.
Me: That you needed to be reminded of?
Hubs: No.
Me: In May?
Hubs: No.
Me: Sounds legit to me.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I was telling College Boy the story about Hubs clicking on that link sent to his cell phone:

Me: So I told dad, NOT to click on the link. And dad said "so I clicked on the link . . ."
College Boy (laughing): Well, look on the bright side.
Me: The bright side? There's a bright side?
College Boy: At least when he got to the site he didn't put in his banking information.


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

Hubs comes into the kitchen in the morning as I'm pouring myself a cup of coffee.

Hubs: What's the plan for dinner?
Me: It's barely breakfast time.
Hubs: I know, I want to plan my day.
Me: Well, dinner will be at the normal time unless you want me to change it for some reason.
Hubs: No, I don't need the time changed, I just wanted to know what you were making.
Me: You're going to plan your day around what I'm making for dinner?
Hubs: Pretty much.
Me: Explain.
Hubs: I need to mow the lawn.
Me: OK?
Hubs: I was going to do it later this afternoon.
Me: OK?
Hubs: But if you're planning to cook dinner on the grill, we both know there'll be a nasty thunderstorm in the afternoon, so I'll just get the lawn mowed this morning.
Me: Well, I don't want you pushing a big piece of metal in a lightning storm, so I'll make Ham & Chicken Dinner Casserole, and you can mow whenever you want. You're welcome.

Ham and Chicken Dinner Casserole, everything you need for a balanced meal. This casserole can be prepped a day ahead of time, then just assemble and bake. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Ham and Chicken Dinner Casserole

Hubs comes into the kitchen for coffee another morning and I mention to him that a toilet upstairs isn't working right, I think it's the rubber stopper in the tank.
Later on in the day, I come in from the garage as he walks out the bathroom off the kitchen.
Hubs: The toilet's working fine.
Me: OK.
Hubs: Rather than play around with it, I just bought a new stopper and replaced it.
Me: OK.
Hubs: That was an easy fix.
Now I just have to figure out when (and how) to tell him that was the wrong toilet.

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

I had set the timer on the microwave to remind me of when I had to turn the oven on for dinner. I went up to put the laundry away and heard the timer go off in the kitchen. At that moment, Hubs walked in the house and yelled up from the kitchen asking if I wanted him to turn the timer off. I yelled down that I did and finished putting the laundry away.
A few minutes later I was coming down the stairs and could hear that the timer was still going off. I walk into the kitchen and see him standing in front of the microwave.
Me (reaching over to press the button to turn off the timer): I thought you were going to shut that off.
Hubs: I was trying.
Me: Trying?
Hubs: Well, I think I pressed all the buttons.
Me: Good thing I didn't ask you to do something really difficult, like, oh, I don't know, turning the oven on or something.
It's also a good thing he knows how to fix a toilet . . . just sayin'

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

Hubs comes up from the man cave carrying his laptop. This is never good, usually meaning he has a problem.
Hubs: Did you see our VPN has an update?
Me: No.
Hubs: Open your VPN and look.
Me (opening the app): Yes, I see where it says to click to update.
Hubs: Click that.
Me (having clicked the update and noticing he's standing behind me): What are you doing?
Hubs: Did you click the update?
Me: Yes, you told me to.
Hubs: I'm watching to see what happens, make sure it updates without a problem.
Me: Well, didn't you already do it on your laptop?
Hubs: No, I'm waiting to see what happens when you do it.
What a guy . . . 

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

I had polished my fingernails in a pretty pink color with one nail on each hand a very light green as an accent. All the cool kids are doing it. And although I'm both not cool and not a kid, I decided to try it.

Later I'm baking and college boy comes into the kitchen.

College Boy: Did you do one nail a different color.
Me (holding up my finger): Yes, see.
College Boy: Are you giving me the finger?
Me: No, I'm showing you the one green nail.
College Boy: That's not the one that's green.
Me (looking at my pink middle finger): Oops, my bad.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I often talk on this blog about unfortunate mistakes. Some are mine and some are autocorrect, but they are often funny.

A few weeks ago I had written out a recipe idea for Very Berry Bars. As usually happens, when I go to try out the recipe, I make adjustments as I go along, then I have to go back and edit the recipe.

For this particular recipe I had 3 TBSP melted butter to mix into the crust. When trying it out, it was clear that 3 TBSP wasn't even close to enough to bind the crust together and I ended up using 6 TBSP. Later I was editing the recipe, a quick fix, just delete the 3 and replace it with a 6. 

Luckily, before publishing the recipe I check to be sure it had been updated with all of the edits. That's when I saw that for the butter I'd added the 6, but not deleted the 3. The recipe read "36 TBSP butter." Yikes, that's a whole heart attack's worth of melted butter.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Wandering Web Designer 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Ham and Chicken Dinner Casserole

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 cups french salad dressing, divided
1 packet dry onion soup mix, divided
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 cups brown rice 
1 cup broccoli florets 
1 cup cooked chopped ham
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
4 oz mushrooms, sliced

*NOTE: I cook the chicken, rice, and broccoli a day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate, so when serving, I can just assemble the casserole and bake.
*To cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 X 8 baking pan with tin foil. Place the chicken breasts in the baking pan and sprinkle with garlic powder. Whisk together 3/4 cup salad dressing, 2 TBSP of the onion soup mix, and the orange marmalade. Pour over the chicken. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and chop.
*Cook the brown rice according to directions on the box. Steam the broccoli just to al dente, about a minute in the microwave.
*Grease an 8 X 11 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the remaining salad dressing and onion soup mix.
*Spread the rice evenly into the bottom of the pan. Mix together the chopped chicken, broccoli, chopped ham, red pepper, mushrooms, and dressing/onion soup mixture. Spread evenly over the rice. 
*Cover the casserole with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Headache, Count the Ways: Word Counters


Chocolate Pie Crust Palmiers, These chocolatey crunchy bite sized cookie treats come together with just 3 ingredients. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate



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 50. 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. 

 This month's number is 22. 
It was chosen by Me!

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 I've chosen the theme Headache, Let Me Count the Ways. In my defense, you could say this theme was sort of chosen for me.


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


~ I obviously looked perplexed, as Hubs asked what I was thinking about. I told him I needed a theme for this post.
~ "That's easy," he said, as if picking a topic for discussion in minimal words requires minimal thought. "Talk about how you feel."
~ "I don't think so," I answered, a bit perturbed. "I have a headache, do you think people want to read about that?"
~ "Why do you have a headache?" I'm not sure whether he's concerned now, or still suggesting topics for me to write about.
~ Then there's always my allergies. My nose is stuffy, my throat is sore, my eyes tend to weep whenever they so choose.

~ Or it could be sleep deprivation. Why our neighbor felt that mowing his lawn before normal people get up is beyond me.
~ And don't forget stress: frequent mass shootings (including where PurDude lives), continued political upheaval, voter suppression bills, our neighbors still refusing masks . . .
~ Can't ignore the fact that it could be all of the above. Like a perfect storm of headache inducing circumstances (aka life).
~ But surely you don't want to read about my headache, and why I have one, right? Sorry, I'll do better next month.

~ You know what my solution is for pretty much anything, of course. It's chocolate. May not help, damn well isn't gonna hurt:

Chocolate Pie Crust Palmiers, These chocolatey crunchy bite sized cookie treats come together with just 3 ingredients. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate
Chocolate Pie Crust Palmiers

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chocolate Pie Crust Palmiers        

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 (1/2 of a box) sheet, refrigerated pie crust
1/4 cup sanding sugar 
*Melt the chocolate chips. Set aside.
*Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Sprinkle the sugar onto the counter. Unroll the pie dough sheet and roll, on the sugar, into a rectangle, about 16 inches long and 10 inches wide.
*Gently spread the melted chocolate onto the pie dough, leaving about a 1 inch border along all the short sides.
*Take each of the shorter sides of your rectangle and roll them into the center, so you end up with 2 spirals, side by side.
*Slice the dough into 20 even pieces (a bread knife works best). Lay them, flat side down, onto the cookie sheet.
*Bake for about 22 minutes, the chocolate will bubble and the outer pie crust will brown.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Procure vs Secure: Use Your Words


Caramel Glazed Oatmeal Pecan Bars, oatmeal cookie bars are baked  studded with chopped pecans, then glazed with a caramel topping. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

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.

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:  desperate ~ wild ~ cowboy ~ spring ~ grass
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border. 


Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
 This is the story of two boys. And their toys. Actually, not so much boys as grown men. And not exactly their toys. Well, for one of them anyway.
I have neighbors on both sides of me who are very different people. One's kind of wimpy, the other rough around the edges. Well, except when it comes to wearing masks during the last year. I've never seen either one of them with a mask on. Oh, and when it comes to their dogs using my grass as their toilet. That they agree on too. 
Anyway, the neighbor on one side of me likes his toys. He has a boat, a motorcycle that he rides on warm summer days, and in the spring, out comes his riding mower. 

I grew up with a riding mower, we had close to an acre of land in our back yard so it made sense. Here we back up to woods so the part of our yard that's lawn just isn't that large. But this neighbor has cleared a lot of the trees at the end of his lot so I get why he needs the riding mower. This toy gives him more time to play with his other toys, after all.

Then there's the guy to my right. He likes toys too. And he seems desperate, or possibly a better word is tenacious, about acquiring them. Where he falls short is in keeping them. 
This guy has had lots of toys. He's had a motorcycle (more than once) and he's had a boat. He's had trucks, not that I'm counting, but too many for me to be able to keep track. Thing is, after less than a week, they disappear. The boat even made it into his garage at one point but a few days later it was gone. Every single toy I saw, here one day, gone the next.

There was also something I heard about him buying a racehorse, or maybe a stake in one. I don't know if it actually happened or not, although it was his wife I heard it from. She did only mention it once. Which could mean, in keeping with his track record, he bought in but was forced to cash out pretty quickly. As for me, I'm just grateful that if he did have a horse, his wife didn't let him keep it long enough for him to introduce that horse to his dog's favorite potty location . . .
This week he has a riding mower.

Why he would need a riding mower for a lawn the size of his, I don't know. I can tell you this, he's been saddling that toy up and mowing his little 4 square feet of lawn over and over again, every single day since he got it. Every day. No cowboy hat for this wild (there's a bit of a steep hill on our side of his house) although decidedly short ride, but always with a cigar sticking out of his mouth.

Funny thing about that riding mower . . . well, other than it being almost as big as his lawn . . . and his mowing every day . . . and the stogie sticking out of his mouth . . . is that he's had it for almost 10 days now. I think that's a record.
Maybe there was a negotiation. Maybe, after all these years, she's finally going to let him keep one of his toys. Or maybe she's going to let him enjoy it for just a little while longer, get his hopes up before yanking it out from under him. But it's also possible that it was Covid for the win. Like, after a year of close quarters she's decided that she wants her house to have the warm smells of what's baking instead of the stinky smells of what's smoking. Is giving him a reason to take that cigar outside is worth the price of the toy? Who knows?

Caramel Glazed Oatmeal Pecan Bars, oatmeal cookie bars are baked  studded with chopped pecans, then glazed with a caramel topping. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert
 Caramel Glazed Pecan Oatmeal Bars
What I do know is this, there's a moral to this story, and it's in response to that old saying that he who dies with the most toys wins. I don't know about possessions at the end of life, hope not to for quite some time. But I can tell you something I've learned from my neighbors about the journey there. It most definitely is he who marries the woman who lets him keep the most toys while he's alive. That's the guy who wins.

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Caramel Glazed Pecan Oatmeal Bars

1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chopped pecans

2/3 cup caramel baking bits
2 TBSP cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

OPT: chocolate sauce for serving

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 11 baking dish.
*Beat together the butter, margarine, sugars, egg, vanilla, and almond extract.
*Mix in the flour, baking soda, quick oats, and chopped pecans.
*Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 22 - 24 minutes, the edges will be brown.
*Microwave the caramel bits and cream for 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir until completely melted, then set aside.
*Remove the cookie bars from the oven and turn the oven off. Whisk the powdered sugar into the melted caramel and dollop over the cookie bars. Return the bars to the still warm oven for 2 minutes. 
*Spread the caramel bits over the cookie bars to about 1/2 inch from the edges. Allow to cool at room temperature before slicing.
*OPT: drizzle each bar individually with chocolate sauce when serving.