Friday, July 30, 2021

Fighting with Water: Water Fights Poetry


Apple Broccoli Slaw is a cool, refreshing side dish perfect for that cook out or pot luck. Apples, vegetable, and sunflower seeds are mixed with a light (no mayo) dressing. | recipe developed by | #recipe #sidedish



Last Friday of the month is for
Monthly Poetry Group to rhyme.
Diane and I take turns to pick,
"Water Fights," the theme this time.
As usual, today I'll try,
a poem to write . . . or fudge.
Whether I'm successful or not, 
you get to be the judge. 







       Fighting with Water

Water Fights, a monthly multi blogger poetry writing challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of | #poetry


In the bedroom 
putting laundry away,
when Hubs enters
all in . . . disarray.

"Holy cr@p Hubs,
you stop right there,
where the hell did you get
soaking wet hair?"
"Wet everything, actually,
just look at your clothes.
There's water in your ears,
dripping off your nose."
"Had a problem in the kitchen,"
he sheepishly said,
and at that moment,
I almost dropped dead. 
If that's how he looks,
I shudder to think.
How much water in my kitchen,
is outside the sink. 
"You'd left some dishes,
he explained, "soaking there.
I thought I'd wash them,
to show I care."

Apple Broccoli Slaw is a cool, refreshing side dish perfect for that cook out or pot luck. Apples, vegetable, and sunflower seeds are mixed with a light (no mayo) dressing. | recipe developed by | #recipe #sidedish

Apple Broccoli Slaw

"I was helping out,
I swear, I'd thought,
but the water sprayer locked,
and . . . well . . . we fought."

"For future reference,"
I (not so calmly) say,
"water fights are not
supposed to work that way."

Before you go, more Water Fights poetry:
Diane of On the Border shares The Fight that Cheers

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Apple Broccoli Slaw

1 cup broccoli stems, julienned
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 carrot, peeled, julienned
2 green onions, chopped
2 apples, peeled, cored, and julienned

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey
2 TBSP cranberry juice

1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds, shelled

*NOTE: if you can find a 16 oz package of broccoli slaw mix, you can use it in place of the julienned broccoli stems, shredded cabbage, and julienned carrot.
*In a large bowl, mix the julienned broccoli stems, shredded cabbage, julienned carrot, chopped green onions, and julienned apples.
*In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Whisk in the honey and cranberry juice until completely incorporated.
*Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, mixing now and then.
*To serve, top the slaw with the sunflower seeds and mix together.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Family that Brays Together

Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, butterflied pork tenderloin is stuffed and cooked covered with barbecue sauce. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Today's post is a companion piece to a blog post I wrote earlier this month. Actually not so much a companion piece but an opportunity to defend myself, clear the air and temper the damage a bit. 
The original post was a Secret Subject Swap writing challenge in which I was asked to talk about the strangest pet I've ever owned. I called it Meet, Bray, Love, and if you didn't read it, you should. 
My prompt was a simple question, but it was also posed in the context of, as I said, a writing challenge. The point of these challenges is to serve as an opportunity for those of us involved to push ourselves out of our comfort zone as writers. 
The piece I wrote may have pushed the comfort zone, but not necessarily mine. More like my friends and readers. Truth is, I've not led an interesting life in the pet realm. No snakes or alligators or piranhas for me. So I decided to use the opportunity to make up a funny story. It was meant to push the box a bit, but it seems that what it accomplished was pushing my readers off the ledge. 
Meet, Bray, Love: The Family that Brays Together. | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #humor

It actually could have been worse. Given the story I told, I'd considered for the title something along the lines of Picking my Ass. Fortunately, after I wrote it out I looked at it and realized how that would sound.
As is, I got . . . let's say more than a few . . . messages. They ran the gamut: disapproval, shock, concern. And, fortunately for me, some actually got it, that it was just a writing exercise, and a joke. For the rest of my readers, who I hope I haven't lost permanently, let me just (try to) explain:
1) It's not like I'm talking behind his back, there are occasions when I feel compelled to call Hubs a stubborn jackass right to his face. 

2) If I happen to mention something I'm writing about that interests him, Hubs has me read him the draft, but he doesn't read my blog (his loss). Since I . . . ahem . . . neglected to mention the donkey post, he doesn't know I called him a stubborn ass in (semi) public.

3) It was a joke.

4) There are worse things people have called their spouses. Way worse. Just sayin' (or mitigating, as the case may be). And who hasn't referred to their significant other as a stubborn jackass now and then? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Too dramatic?

5) Point of fact: donkeys are strong, intelligent, and gentle. They have a great work ethic and a good memory. So actually, I was paying Hubs a complement.
And for those of you who expressed concern for me, let me just say that you have nothing to worry about, he won't leave me. He can't boil water, doesn't know how to use the washing machine and these days wouldn't be able to find his way to the lawyer's office unless I drove him (and there are days when I just might).
Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, butterflied pork tenderloin is stuffed and cooked covered with barbecue sauce. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

But OK, fine. Full disclosure, although I kinda sorta inferred that Hubs was a stubborn jackass, truth is that when it comes to stubborn, I am, and always have been (ask my mom) the undisputed queen. So in all fairness, I'm willing to compromise and take the stubborn part back. 

We good?

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin        


Printable Recipe

about 1 1/2# pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 TBSP butter
1 large apple, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (about 35 crackers), crushed
1/4 tsp dried thyme 
up to 2 TBSP chicken broth
1/4 cup barbecue sauce

*Trim the fat from the pork tenderloin and butterfly it so it lays flat. Place it between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to about 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a sheet pan (with sides) with tin foil.
*Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the apple and onion. Cook and stir until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in the crackers and thyme. Add the chicken broth, one TBSP at a time as needed, to get the stuffing to stick together when pressed. It should be moist but not wet.
*Spread the stuffing onto the pork to about an inch from all sides. Roll the pork into a log, starting with the long side. Discard the bottom plastic wrap.
*Secure either with cooking twine or you can use toothpicks at the seam inserted at 45 degree angles going both ways to form "X"s at the seam.
*Place the tenderloin, seam side down, onto the prepared pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the barbecue sauce over the tenderloin and use a pastry brush to be sure the top and sides are covered.
*Bake for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Hoagies, Stogies, and Watering Pants: Fly on the Wall

Mocha Cinnamon Scones, coffee flavored scones studded with dark chocolate and cinnamon, a perfect complement to that morning coffee. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

 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.

I wrote, in a Use Your Words writing challenge, about my neighbor who over the years seems to keep buying toys which it appears he's never allowed to keep. I said, in that post, Procure vs Secure, that he's bought a riding lawn mower, and it seems he's been allowed to keep it. His lawn is not big enough, and it ends in a steep drop.
I tried not to laugh, I really did, last week when I saw a bunch of men from the neighborhood walk down into the drop at the end of his yard. A few minutes later I heard his lawn mower turn on and watched as the men, mightily straining, pushed him up the hill on his new toy. 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I don't know if he's riding the mower down the hill any more or if maybe he's learned that lesson, but he is still out there mowing his lawn every single day.

Hubs: Is he out there mowing his lawn again?
Me: Yup, every day.
Hubs: It doesn't need to be mowed that much, he must really enjoy that toy.
Me: Yes, he seems really happy, riding around in circles every day with a big hoagie hanging out of his mouth.
Hubs: Hoagie?
Me: Yes, a cigar.
Hubs: I think you mean stogie.

And now every day when I hear his mower crank up I start laughing picturing him riding around with a big meatball grinder hanging out of his mouth.

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

This was a kinda interesting text conversation between Hubs and I:
Hubs: I'm heading home, what are you up to? Do you need anything while I'm out?
Me: No, I'm just watering my pants.
Hubs: You mean you're doing laundry?
Me: No, I did laundry yesterday.
Hubs: So you're just getting them wet?
Me: That's the goal.
Hubs: But why?
Me: So they'll grow.
Hubs: I don't think that'll work. If you need the next size, you may need to just get them.
Me: The next size? What are you talking about?
Hubs: Your pants. You said you're watering your pants.
Me: Oh, LOL, my bad, I'm watering my plants.

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


Another day, another text message. This time I caught it myself.

After Hubs' surgery, he wasn't supposed to lift anything heavy for 2 weeks. When we were bringing the groceries into the house, I grabbed all the heavier bags at once so he wouldn't try to bring them in. As I was putting them onto the counter, I heard a pop and felt pain in my shoulder. Not good.

Don't know what I did to it, it wasn't dislocated, but it hurt. The next afternoon Hubs was coming home from work and texted me.

Hubs: Heading home, do you need anything?
Me: Can you bring me something for my shoulder, it's really smelling.
Hubs: OK.

Fortunately I re-read my text and was able to correct my mistake while he was still at the store.

Me: I meant swelling, not smelling.
Hubs: Oh, OK.

He came home with an ice pack and ibuprophen.

Me: Tell me the truth, you were going to bring me deodorant, weren't you?
Hubs: Maybe . . .

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I was getting into the shower when I jumped back, there was a spider in there. Scared the cr@p out of me. 

Me: I do not appreciate you putting a spider in the shower.
Hubs: Duly noted.

That afternoon in a text to PurDude:
Me: Don't ever put a spider in my shower again.
PurDude: I'm 550 miles away.
Me: That doesn't make it right.

And later still:
Me: Why did you put a spider in my shower?
College Boy: In your shower? I told him to stay in your bed.

Mocha Cinnamon Scones, coffee flavored scones studded with dark chocolate and cinnamon, a perfect complement to that morning coffee. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast
Mocha Cinnamon Scones

College Boy walks in, I tell him what's for dinner and ask if he'll be here.
College Boy: I'll pass.
Me: Why?
College Boy: I don't like what you're making for dinner.
Me: Since when?
College Boy: Since always.
Me: Well, the rest of us love it.
College Boy: It's the worst thing you make.
Me (shocked): That's kinda mean.
College Boy: I take it back.
Me: Good.
College Boy: Yeah, you've made worse.

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

I went out front to water my flowers. As I opened the door to come back in, I almost knocked into College Boy with the door. 

Me: Oh, sorry, I didn't realize you were standing right there.
College Boy: I wasn't just about to lock you out.

I'm thinking he was just about to lock me out. Which, I suppose, is better than locking me up.

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


There are a lot of things we try to teach our children, some they learn and some they just never do. Then there are the things we don't try to instill, but they pick up anyway. For me, one of those "don't try to instill" things is my sarcastic sense of humor. I always wanted the boys to get it, to get me, which was sometimes a challenge in and of itself, but I didn't necessarily want them to mimic it. Yet . . .

College Boy comes in, starts his laundry, heads upstairs, then comes running back down and races through the kitchen.
Me: What's wrong?
College Boy: I forgot to add detergent.
Me (laughing): Ha, I've done that a time or two myself.
College Boy: Yeah, but you're old.

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

It was a lazy weekend afternoon. Hubs was outside mowing the lawn and I was sitting in the office by the window reading in my lounge chair. I heard Hubs come in the house but didn't hear the garage door go down. We'd had things stolen out of our garage in the past so I always listen for the door to go down. I caught him as he was headed through the house.

Me: Hey, are you all finished out there?
Hubs: Yup.
Me: I didn't hear the garage door go down.
Hubs: I know, I'm not quite done out there.

It's not just me, right?


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


College Boy was on the phone in the other room, talking to my mom. I could hear the conversation so he must have had her on speaker:

Grammy: What's your mom doing?
College Boy: She's watching TV.
Grammy: What's she watching?
College Boy: She mostly watches murder shows and the Red Sox.
Grammy: What's she watching now?
College Boy: Do you hear any screaming?
Grammy: The murder shows make her scream?
College Boy: No, if she's screaming, she's watching the Red Sox.

And he's right.

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

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Mocha Cinnamon Scones

3 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP baking powder
2 TBSP instant coffee granules
1 stick butter, sliced
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips
2 eggs
up to 2/3 cup cold brewed coffee
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP butter

*Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Pulse the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, instant coffee granules, and sliced butter in a food processor just a couple of times until crumbly. Move to a bowl, mix in the dark chocolate chips and cinnamon baking chips, set aside.
*In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/3 cup of the cold coffee, and the vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until it comes together, it should be moist but not wet. If it's too dry to hold together, add the remaining coffee, 1 TBSP at a time, until it does.
*Turn the dough onto a floured counter, flour your hands and knead a few times just until the dough holds together and can form a ball.
*Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten evenly to about a 1 inch thick disk. Cut, like you would a pizza (and a pizza cutter works really well), into quarter, then cut each quarter into three triangles. Gently pull each piece out a little to separate the slices.
*Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
*Melt the remaining 2 TBSP butter and brush onto the scones. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, serve warm.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Wrong Place, Every Time: Word Counters


Sweet Hot Ham Grilled Cheese: grilled cheese and a ham sandwich come together in a crunchy, cheesy, double layer lunch with a little kick. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #lunch

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 37. 
It was chosen by Diane of On the Border!

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 Wrong Place, Every Time. Sometimes we're in the wrong place at the wrong time. This day I was in the wrong place every time.


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

~ Hubs had surgery last month, and that was just one component of a really bad day. You know things aren't going your way when McDonald's won't even take your order. But let me start at the beginning . . .
~ Surgery was at noon, they'd told us to be there at ten thirty (it's a thirty minute drive). When talking to the nurse the day before, she said we needed to be there at ten. Just great.
~ Weather had been really hot, more summer weather than spring (which it was back then). And we'd had to turn on our sprinkler system because, very unusual for a spring in the Midwest, there'd been no rain.
~ At nine thirty that morning we were issued a severe thunderstorm warning in our area. Of course. And you know that storm hit while I was on the road. Thunder, lightening, downpour, flooding, I hit the quadfecta. 

~ Surgery wouldn't start for two hours, then two hours of surgery, then recovery. I thought I'd go home in the middle. When checking in, they said surgery would be one hour, recovery thirty five minutes. I'd stay.

~ Two hours later I told the surgeon I would be there. He said that recovery would actually be three, even four hours. That's another six hours. I told him I'd probably leave in the middle after all.
~ As I was leaving the hospital I noticed, just because of the angle from which I happened to be approaching the car, that something underneath my car was hanging down all the way to the ground. Perfect.
~ Hubs would need to see that piece and he wasn't going to be leaning down to look any time soon. Which is how I ended up crawling on my belly in puddles taking pictures under the car.
~ Surgery went pretty well. Phew. There was a minor issue that would only change the recovery time frame but that was it. BUT surgery took one hour, recovery took one hour. He was done. I wasn't there.
~ Raced to pick up poor orphan Hubs. He was in a lot of pain. Scripts were sent to our pharmacy hours ago, I could get them on the way home and we'd be done for the day.
~ Nope. The damn pharmacy had the script but hadn't bothered filling it. Hubs couldn't wait so took him home, settled him in the recliner in the office with a water bottle and food, then had to go back.

Sweet Hot Ham Grilled Cheese: grilled cheese and a ham sandwich come together in a crunchy, cheesy, double layer lunch with a little kick. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #lunch
Sweet Hot Ham Grilled Cheese

~ Pharmacy is next to a McDonald's. I hadn't eaten anything and felt exhausted so I decided to treat myself to a small milkshake. There are two take out lines. Someone was ordering, the other line was empty.
~ Good. If it was going to take time, I'd have to skip it and get home. The guy finished ordering, another car pulled into his spot (for after me). Nope, they ignored me and took his order.
~ Of course they did. So how would I describe life on that particular day? Bad news, good news, bad news, bad news, bad news, bad news, and McDonald's won't even take my order for a damn milkshake.

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Sweet Hot Ham Grilled Cheese       

Printable Recipe

3 slices rye bread
2 tsp sweet hot mustard
2 tsp mayonnaise
5 slices black forest ham
2 tsp Blackberry jam
3 slices swiss or provolone cheese
1 TBSP butter

*Whisk together the sweet hot mustard and the mayonnaise. Spread onto one slice of bread and top with the ham.
*Spread the blackberry jam onto another slice of bread, place the cheese on the blackberry jam and the last slice of bread on top to make a sandwich.
*Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the cheese sandwich into the butter, then flip it over so both sides are buttered. 
*Place the bread with the ham on it, bread side down, into the skillet along with the cheese sandwich. Cook, checking the bottom now and then, until the bread is brown.
*Remove the bread and ham to a serving plate, ham side up. Flip the cheese sandwich in the skillet and cook until the other side of the bread is brown and the cheese inside is melted. *Remove the grilled cheese from the pan, place on top of the ham to form one sandwich. Slice and serve.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Speculation: Use Your Words


Strawberry Lime Marble Cake, refreshing summer flavors swirled together in one cake. | recipe developed by | #recipe #cake


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: clandestineshowcase ~ prices ~ pride ~ solvent ~ language 
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.
Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
The meeting was clandestine, as these things tend to be. We all have talents, many people flaunt theirs with pride, and she supposed she'd get more business that way, but the nature of her chosen profession was such that it was best if she just not showcase her skills publicly, build her business by word of mouth.
We each do what we have to do to stay solvent, and without a doubt there were parts of her job that she found distasteful, but she's honed her skills over time, she was more than solvent. Not rich but comfortable, making it from one assignment to the next without financial concern. There were times when she'd have to tighten her belt a bit, but there was a need for her services and there were those who knew she performed to satisfaction, so the next inquiry always seemed to come.
A downside, of course, was the concern for her safety. She had learned to be careful, only meet with people who she'd assessed could "speak her language," that of secrecy and discretion. Well, that and her practice of ensuring full agreement up front, no last minute negotiations or misunderstandings. After all, there were things that she would do, and things that she would not. Period. Prices, parameters, time constraints, all were spelled out in full ahead of time. Before that first clandestine meeting.
Any guesses?
Have a piece of cake (sorry, wasn't able to work the recipe seamlessly into this post), decide what you think her profession is, let me know in the comments. 


Strawberry Lime Marble Cake, refreshing summer flavors swirled together in one cake. | recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

Strawberry Lime Marble Cake

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:
7 –19-2021 UPDATE
Thank you for playing along and making this post even more fun than I'd imagined.

A synopsis of the guesses at this point:
4 votes for escort and, although this is not the profession I chose, I admit to writing the post skewed towards sending you in that direction.

1 vote for: hit man, spy, abortion doctor, bookie, bounty hunter, and repossessor. Not what I had in mind but I was impressed with the thought that went into these guesses.
1 vote for seamstress, simple nanny, personal shopper, and baker (love this one). Although fun guesses, I don't think these choices fit with all of the clues (like the safety aspect, for example) but then I can see how, with a little more back story, maybe they could.
What I had in mind:
Many of you know I'm a mystery lover, in TV shows, books, and movies, it's my genre of choice.
There were 2 votes for Private Investigator (one as the 5th guess, but it counts).
Congratulations, you both got it.
Too bad I didn't offer a prize. Maybe next time . . .

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Strawberry Lime Marble Cake

6 strawberries
1 box (15.25 oz) white cake mix
1/2 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup oil, divided
4 eggs
1/4 cup strawberry yogurt
OPT: 1 drop red food coloring 
1/4 cup key lime yogurt
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
OPT: 2 drops green food coloring
OPT: powdered sugar and/or sliced strawberries to serve
*Puree the strawberries and set aside. 
*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Divide the cake mix into 2 bowls, you'll have about 1 1/2 cups mix per bowl.
*To the first bowl, add 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup oil, pureed strawberries, strawberry yogurt, and 1 drop of red food coloring, if adding. Beat for 2 minutes.
*To the second bowl, add 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup oil, the key lime yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, and the green food coloring, if adding. Beat for 2 minutes.
*Dollop the batters, alternating between them, into the prepared pan. Swirl them together in spots using a knife. Be sure not to completely incorporate them into each other.
*Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is set and the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, dolloped with whipped cream, and/or topped with sliced strawberries.