Friday, June 18, 2021

Bird Watching and Day Drinking: Fly on the Wall

Peach Pie Coffee Cake, a breakfast cake with hints of peach pie. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bake



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.




Proof that spending 17 months together 24/7 can make a couple capable of snipping at each other about pretty much anything. Even birds. And now that we're getting out again, we're starting to realize that particular acquired skill appears to be permanent. 
A recent dinner conversation: 
Hubs: Oh, look, a Yellow finch. That's the first one I've seen this spring. 
Me: I think I actually saw a Baltimore Oriole the other day. Is that possible? 
Hubs: It's possible. What did it look like?
Me: At first I thought it might be a Cardinal, but this bird had an orange breast that contrasted with a dark black head and wings.
Hubs: That's a Robin.
Me (rolling my eyes): And you saw a bat.
Hubs: A bat?
Me: Do you know what a bat looks like?
Hubs: Yes.
Me: Do you think I know what a Robin looks like?
Hubs: Fine, you saw an Oriole.
Me: And you saw a bat.

And I am NEVER letting that man retire.

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


I made the mistake of posting this on FB:

Day drinking and aging graphic | Graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #humor

I thought I was being (honest but) funny. Apparently Hubs took it too far. I was laying on the couch, awake but with my eyes closed when I overheard this conversation:
College Boy: Where's mom?
Hubs: She fell asleep on the couch.
College Boy: That's not like her.
Hubs: Yeah, she must have been day drinking again.

Me (popping my head up): What? Don't tell him that! Who else did you say that to?
Hubs: Well, your mom called a while ago . . .

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

College Boy comes up from the basement and I'm standing in the kitchen.

Me: Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.
College Boy: Are you OK?
Me (looking at him with one eye shut): Oh, I didn't hear you come up. Yes, I'm fine.
College Boy: What did you do?
Me: Nothing.
College Boy: Do you regularly stand in the kitchen with one eye shut saying "ouch?"
Me: No.
College Boy: What happened?
Me: Not telling you, you'll make fun of me.
College Boy: I'm not going to make fun of you if you're hurt.
Me: I'm OK. I was just peeling this orange and the juice squirted in my eye.
College Boy (said under his breath as he walks away rolling his eyes): Only you.

I guess that's his idea of not making fun of me.

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

Hubs walks into the room and I'm sitting at the kitchen counter with my laptop open, laughing.
Hubs: What's so funny?
Me: I was looking at this facebook post.
Hubs: What's it about?
Me: It asks if people passed their driving test the first time or had to take it again.
Hubs: You passed yours, didn't you?
Me: Kind of.
Hubs: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I passed the written part easily.
Hubs: And you didn't pass the driving part?
Me: I guess I did.
Hubs: You guess?
Me: Well, I'm pretty sure the guy passed me because he was afraid if I retook it he'd have to get into a car with me again. 
Hubs: Why do you think that?
Me: He jumped out of the car while it was still moving and ran into the building saying something about hoping I get more practice.
Hubs: Really?
Me: Yes and I've had an epiphany about my dad too.
Hubs: Your dad?
Me: Yes, when I got home from taking the test, there was a car he'd bought for me sitting in the driveway. I thought he was being so generous.
Hubs: He wasn't?
Me: Now I'm starting to think that he just wanted to be sure I never drove his.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
It had been raining off and on for days, as it tends to do in the spring here in the Midwest.

Hubs: DO NOT let it rain overnight. The lawn is already soaked and I absolutely have to mow it tomorrow.
Me: OK, I'm on it.

Hubs is a heavy sleeper, even sleeps through the tornado sirens (yikes). I'm the opposite, if someone sneezes in the house next door, I wake up, so when we wake up the next morning:

Hubs: Did it rain last night?
Me: Yes, it sounded like it was pouring.
Hubs: You had one job . . .
Me: I know, and I failed. Clearly I shouldn't be expected to do any jobs.
Hubs: Right.
Me: So you should get the laundry going, before you start the coffee cake for breakfast.

Peach Pie Coffee Cake, a breakfast cake with hints of peach pie. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bake

Peach Pie Coffee Cake

Another day, and I was laughing at a facebook post again (I think I spend entirely too much time looking to facebook for amusement).
Me: Wow, I'm reading another one of those facebook posts and this one asks people to name the song that makes them think of growing up and their mom.
Hubs: Why "wow?"
Me: I'm trying to imagine what it must have been like growing up in this house.
Hubs: What house?
Me: Most people are naming sweet songs like "You are my Sunshine," songs like that. But this one person, I'm wondering what their upbringing was like.
Hubs: What song did they say reminded them of growing up with their mom?
Me: Livin' La Vida Loca.

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

Hubs had surgery a couple of days ago. It was just one component of an all around pretty crappy day. Watch for next month's Word Counters post, I'll be talking about the whole thing.

That evening I was talking to him about some of the things his surgeon had told me about his recovery.

Hubs: Don't mind me if you have to tell me things more than once, because of the anesthesia, I'm still a bit confused.
Me: You're a bit confused in the best of times.
Hubs (jokingly): Shut up.
Me: Are you sure that's how you want to talk to the keeper of the pain meds?
Hubs: Good point.

A little later:

Hubs: Where are you keeping my pain meds? I should probably have them with me in case I need them.
Me: Nice try.

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

One of the things you need to do after surgery is to move around as much as you can to avoid blood clots. I reminded Hubs regularly that first day to just walk around a bit every hour or so.
Me: You need to walk. I know you're in a lot of pain and don't want to move around but it's important.
Hubs (starts moving): OK.
I notice that he's lifting his legs really high and I start to laugh.
Me: You realize you only have to walk, no one said you had to march.
Hubs: You're laughing at me? Are you going to torture me during this whole recovery?
Me: That's the plan.

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


Later that day he had been in the basement, came up to the main floor, then headed to the stairs to the bedrooms. 
Me: Are you OK?
Hubs (starting up the stairs): Yes.
Me: Are you going to bed?
Hubs (half way up the stairs): No, I'm getting my wallet.
Me: Your wallet?
Hubs (from upstairs): It's cold in the basement.
Me: And your wallet will keep you warm?
No answer. I'm pretty sure he knows that the gas fireplace down there is already paid for. But if he leaves some money on the mantle, I guess I won't complain.

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

I wasn't sure what his appetite would be that first night or at what time he'd want to eat so I planned warm roasted pork sandwiches with rice and fruit, figuring I could make it quickly when he was ready to eat. He had a good breakfast but only had a snack for lunch. When I asked, he said he just wanted one sandwich for dinner. While he was eating dinner:
Me: Good thing I made 2 sandwiches, I made the second one just in case.
Hubs: Yeah, I told you I wanted 2 because I didn't end up eating any lunch.
Me: No, you told me you only wanted one. I made 2.
Hubs: Oh.
And the next morning he wakes up and comes into the kitchen with his mask in his hand.
Me: That's OK, we don't require a mask to get coffee here . . .

I know I'll probably go to hell for saying this, but turns out I'm really enjoying Hubs on drugs. I haven't laughed this much in a long time.
Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:
Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Peach Pie Coffee Cake         

Printable Recipe

3 large peaches
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup peach yogurt
*Core and chop the peaches. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saute pan. Add the chopped peaches, 2 TBSP brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Cook, stirring now and then for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 4 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Grease a bundt pan well, then sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture into the bottom and around the sides. Set aside.
*Beat together the oil, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
*Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, then beat into the oil mixture. Mix in the peach yogurt and 3 TBSP of the peach mixture.
*Spread about 3/4 of the batter evenly into the bundt pan. Dollop the remaining peach mixture over the top, followed by the rest of the batter.
*Bake for 54 to 50 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove from the pan to cool completely.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Which Word: Word Counters


Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing. Start with refrigerated cinnamon rolls, add fresh blueberries and cream cheese icing for a sweet breakfast treat. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast


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 18. 
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 I've chosen the theme Word.

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

~ To say I chose the theme "word" is misleading, I didn't. In retrospect, I should have chosen . . . something.
~ Mind blank, I turned to College Boy, eating his breakfast. "Look around," I said, give me a word.
~ He'll pick something, nature based I assumed, "I'll write about it in eighteen word snippets," I thought. Easy.
~ "Word," he said.
"What kind of inspiration is that?" 
"You said to pick a word. I did, word." 

~ "I meant to pick a word I can write about, like (looking out the window) green, or sky."

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing. Start with refrigerated cinnamon rolls, add fresh blueberries and cream cheese icing for a sweet breakfast treat. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

~ "I include recipes in my posts so you could even have picked "blueberry" or "cinnamon" or "breakfast" or . . ."
~ "Using words and writing about them are two different things," I whined, continuing to make my case.
~ But once he's got me, he knows he's won a game he wasn't even aware he was playing.
~ "I quit. You beat me at my own game. Word? I can't write a whole post about word."

~ "Word," he responded.
"So, wait, are you saying "word" meaning okay? Or "word" meaning word's still the word?

~ Walking away laughing, I shouted after him "you're evil."
"I Learned from the best," he replied, winking.

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

1 tube (8 count, 12 oz) refrigerated cinnamon rolls
1/4 cup blueberry jam
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
2 TBSP cream cheese, room temperature

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch pie plate. 
*Set aside the icing that comes with the rolls.
*Cut the cinnamon rolls in half lengthwise. Set the tops aside. Place the bottoms in the pie plate.
*Whisk together blueberry jam, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then mix in the blueberries.
*Dollop the blueberry mixture into the centers of the rolls in the pie plate, then add a cinnamon roll top to each. 
*Bake for 20 minutes.
*While the rolls are baking, whisk the icing with the cream cheese.
*Once cooked, remove the rolls from the oven, drizzle with the cream cheese icing.

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Lime Tree Blossom Blues: Use Your Words



Alouette & Gnocchi Filled Portobellos are filled with sauteed vegetables and tomatoes, then baked for a hearty meatless meal. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

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: lime-tree blossom ~ unlimited ~ residential ~ steep ~ seamless ~ championship They were submitted by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom.
Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
Hold on a second, be right back, have to go google "lime-tree blossom".
OK, got it. So, basically, a juvenile lime tree flowers but doesn't grow fruit. After it flowers and the flowers die, there's an interval of a few years before the tree reaches maturity, at which time it can then bear fruit. I'm not sure what your thought process was for picking this as one of the prompts Tamara, or how you knew about the life progression of a lime tree to begin with, but to me it seems as though parallels could easily be drawn between that lime tree life cycle and humans. 
It could be that my view of the progression of tiny humans is a little skewed, blurred by time perhaps. But like the lime-tree blossom, our children are beautiful perfection in our eyes. We look back at pictures and see laughs and fun, first foods and first steps, first trip to the beach and the park, a time of blossoming.

I'm willing to bet those lime trees don't produce an unlimited bounty of dirty diapers, endless crying jags and sleepless nights . . . but through a lens of love, we see the beauty.

However, between the flowering stage and reaching some level of maturity there is a steep (parental) learning curve. Yes, the well planned, but completely naive, dream of familial bliss in a quiet, peaceful residential setting can blow up in your face. Literally. House set on fire (OK, an imaginative interpretation of a school assignment but jarring nonetheless),
my car set on fire (for reals),
Car on fire | Picture taken by, featured on, and property of

broken legs,
Broken leg | Picture taken by, featured on, and property of

many, many, many, many late night flat tires,
Flat rear tire | Picture taken by, featured on, and property of

Flat front tire | Picture taken by, featured on, and property of

missed (obliterated) curfews, jumping out of windows, falling out of windows . . . And let's not forget the bills: sports and lessons, cars, insurance (and tires), tuition, and the ever-growing food bill.
Alouette & Gnocchi Filled Portobellos are filled with sauteed vegetables and tomatoes, then baked for a hearty meatless meal. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Alouette & Gnocchi Filled Portobellos

As the saying goes, life is not a bed of roses (or even lime tree blossoms). The years of that achingly slow growth between flowering and maturity can turn a mama's hair grey and spawn (yes, I used that word deliberately) a fairly permanent eye twitch.

I should have given birth to a lime tree.
{{Sigh}}, the road to this point has most certainly not been seamless. But we made it. I wouldn't say unscathed, but we're here, we have reached the championship. Maturity. Productivity. I can lower my bills, color my hair, and get rid of that annoying tic. Right? 
Oh, did I tell you that I recently got a late night frantic, terrified (and terrifying) call from one of the boys? He'd just totalled his car.
{{twitch, twitch}}.

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Alouette & Gnocchi Filled Portobellos

1 1/2 cups gnocchi
4 TBSP olive oil divided
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
salt and pepper
1 package (6.5 oz) Alouette Garlic and Herb Cheese
4 Portobello mushroom caps
2 TBSP dried chives

*Boil the gnocchi for 2 - 3 minutes. Drain well and place into a bowl and cover to keep warm.
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking pan.
*Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, and red pepper, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese starts to melt, just about 2 minutes.
*Add the tomato mixture to the bowl with the gnocchi. Mix together gently, don't break the gnocchi.
*Brush any dirt off of the mushroom caps. If there is a stem stump, carefully remove and discard them, then drizzle the mushrooms with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
*Place the mushroom caps, gills side up, into the prepared pan. Spoon the Alouette/gnocchi filling into the centers of the portobellos, sprinkle with the chives. Bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Bound: Best Friends Poetry

Trail Mix Cookie Bars, crunchy gooey trail mix snack bars baked in a cookie dough crust. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #snack

Poetry Monday's once a week.
You may have guessed, each Monday.
I don't participate every time,
But today I've come out to play.

My friends assign each week a theme,
Best Friends Day, they chose.
Now it's up to all of us,
to put our thoughts into prose.
"I often wonder," I said one day,
"how we can be best friends.
When thinking about our differences,
the list just never ends."

"Like you're a staunch conservative,
I'm liberal through and through.
Our viewpoints could tear us apart,
it's happened to more than a few."

"And faith is a defining point,
religion's a priority for you.
I too am grounded by beliefs,
but you're Christian, I'm a Jew."

"You're comfortable in any crowd,
outgoing, all the way.
Me, I'm more an introvert,
don't quite know what to say."

"You're scattered, don't know how you find,
pretty much anything at all.
When it comes to organizing, I'm the queen,
messy truly makes my skin crawl."
"Procrastination's your middle name,
though you always get things done. 
I'm compelled to complete my tasks,
before I'm able to indulge in fun."

Trail Mix Cookie Bars, crunchy gooey trail mix snack bars baked in a cookie dough crust. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #snack
Trail Mix Cookie Bars
"You always try to diet and,"
I went on, "I always bake."
"Your friendship," (pun intended here),
"it truly takes the cake."
Heard me out, from start to end,
and here was her reply: 
"differences, they matter not,
love and respect binds you and I."
Poetry Monday | Graphic designed by and property of | #poem #poetry
Read more poetry, 
you're not through.
Some talented writers
are in this crew:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Trail Mix Cookie Bars

Printable Recipe

1 tube (16.5 oz) sugar cookie dough
1 bag (14 oz) trail mix (without candy included)
1 cup Reese's pieces or peanut butter M&Ms
3/4 cup fruit flavored mini marshmallows
1 can (15 oz) sweetened condensed milk

*Grease a 9 X 11 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Press the sugar cookie dough into the bottom and partially up the sides of the baking dish.
*In a bowl, mix together the trail mix, Reese's pieces or peanut butter M&Ms, and mini marshmallows. Pour evenly over the cookie dough.
*Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the trail mix. 
*Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into bars.