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.


  1. Oh wow, you're surrounded by vehicle loving guys. Do you think it might also be a competition between neighbors? You in the middle are being the odd one out for not playing.
    I just hope the cigar smell does not interfere with your baked goods!! That would be a shame.
    So ten days for the mower. I'll make a note in my calendar to ask you next month if it's still around ;-)

    1. He's still out there every day. I wonder if he's trying to put so many miles on it they won't take it back.

    2. Karen, my calendar entry popped up. It asks whether your neighbor's lawn mower was still around..?

    3. Ha, ha, yes. He's still out there mowing his lawn every day.

  2. Maybe he's like my husband and tears up everything he gets? I once saw my hubby mow the yard with a push mower with three wheels in the rain!!! We have a rider now and he's always cut the grass until a month ago when I helped by mowing the back yard. He has lost his mower! Think of riding around in the sun, listening to your favorite tunes and no one can talk to you?!? Now, I just need the grass to grow faster!

    1. Maybe that's why he doesn't get to keep his toys, they aren't ones his wife is interested in sharing.

    2. Hmmm...lawn mowing just got interesting...

  3. My hubbie loves to cook and manages to destroy things. Like measuring cups (he's melted enough of them, don't ask). Potholders-- not that potholders are indestructible, but he can destroy a potholder in less than a week. I'm thankful he hasn't branched out into riding lawnmowers because our front yard is probably smaller than a riding mower. But seriously, we are surrounded by rentals now on all but one side so there is a steady stream of sometimes interesting people, like the one, I'll save that for my blog. One day. As for your neighbor who keeps stuff for a wee or two - that is kind of curious. Maybe guys to resell, or fixes up to resell? Although you would be seeing it if he was fixing things up. Alana

    1. No, they are definitely toys he wants and I'm guessing isn't "allowed" to keep. Definitely lots of playing and no fixing up being done.

  4. Maybe they family can't really afford all the new things the man buys, and his practical wife makes him return them?

    1. My best guess is that this isn't about what she feels they can afford but a difference in priorities.

  5. Oops! I think I answered in the wrong place. My meds just kicked in! ;)
    Once again, success all comes down to the woman!

  6. Of one thing i am certain, i do not want to be a fly on the wall in that house.

  7. Food experimentation sounds fun. I've been following this Samin Nosrat on Netflix and you may like it. She talks all about how to use heat, salt and acid in food.

  8. My situation is a bit different because our yards are a bit bigger here, but my neighbor is 95. i didn't mistype that. 95. and he mows part of his lawn everyday. every single day. I will never get it, but at least he has a couple acres to go over. Your poor neighbor is just showing off and I don't think anyone is impressed. haha.

    1. Nope, no one is impressed. In fact, now we laugh when we hear him out there.


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