Friday, August 12, 2022

Question Everything: Use Your Words


Grilled Pineapple Bars feature a shortbread crust, a fluffy whipped center, topped with grilled pineapple. | recipe developed by | #recipe #desesrt

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: holistic ~ detective ~ respect ~ asinine ~ loser ~ foil
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.

As I've thought through this post, what I want to say, how I want to use my assigned words, I have to admit it's taken a strange turn. I've decided to share an open apology. It's to my son, College Boy.

I've spoken, a few times before, about how College Boy and I agree quite a bit when it comes to politics. I've also said, in general, in terms of not only politics, but the totality of how our society functions, that he's a conspiracy theorist, and I'm much more a realist.
When I say conspiracy theorist, I'm not talking about those of the wearing tin foil hats to protect from mind reading ilk. But then these days we're less having our minds read, and more being monitored. Privacy is a thing of the past. Tin foil or foil-less.
You don't have to be a detective to see it. In many cases we're not given a choice, held hostage. Want that app? Maybe even need it for something? You have to give them access to your camera, your contact list. But worse, if we so much as mention a blue shirt in a private phone call, we know we're going to gets ads for matching pants and shoes on every website or social media platform we visit. It's asinine, the amount of our personal information that's just out there for everyone and anyone to see, to use, and to sell. Our privacy is a commodity. And it's for sale on the open market.

When it comes to the branches of government, all of them, College Boy's conspiracy theories are all encompassing. We are all pawns, being manipulated, used, and many of us marginalized, even discarded by executive, legislative, and judicial systems run by those making nefarious decisions on their own and together, with only further personal power and financial gain in mind. 
I understand focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all others. I do that when I'm trying to work out a new recipe. A tornado could come through the kitchen and I'm singularly focused.

But a recipe isn't a conspiracy theory. Getting that entrenched when it comes to national conspiracies can be a dangerous rabbit hole to fall into.
Grilled Pineapple Bars feature a shortbread crust, a fluffy whipped center, topped with grilled pineapple. | recipe developed by | #recipe #desesrt
Grilled Pineapple Bars

So I would scoff at him. Tell him he can't paint everyone and everything with one wide brush. Yes, there is definitely corruption, and continued need for change, but there are also politicians who believe in public service. College Boy is, in fact, a big proponent of Bernie Sanders, and Sanders is a politician, after all.

More than anything, I just want him to paint a little of that black he's focused on with the hope of some grey.
But then came the trump cult, the covid deniers, the loss of reproductive rights, the continued acceptance of the deaths of school children, people of color dying in police custody and being removed from voting rolls, lying and cheating, the degradation of all norms and any iota of morals or decency.
Separation of church and state is gone, reproductive rights are part going and part gone, history is being white washed (pun intended), books are being banned, marriage rights are on the line.

These days the losers are winning, and the rest of us? We're inconsequential, collateral damage.

It's true that in many ways, so much that you have always believed is coming to fruition. Right before our eyes, no denying it. But I need for you to see that there is still resistance, many people, both in public life and private, solidifying, taking those steps backward not as a signal to retreat, but to push forward with more strength and determination.
I always felt that you could not see the forest for the trees. But I suppose I need to admit that I could not see the trees for the forest. Perhaps we both need to take a more holistic approach to our conceptions. 

I hope I've encouraged you to look for the swath of grey. I know you've taught me an important lesson too: in order to move forward with purpose, we first have to question everything.
And a final message to my conspiracy theorist son who, it turns out, is actually the realist I had claimed to be: respect, son.

If that kid says the sky is falling, you can bet I'm gonna run.

Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Grilled Pineapple Bars       

Printable Recipe

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

1 box (3 oz) pineapple jello mix
1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 ripe pineapple
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 TBSP pineapple juice
1 TBSP brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP powdered sugar

NOTE: You can make and refrigerate both the crust and the grilled pineapple up to a day ahead of time.

*Grease a 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
*Cream the 2 sticks of butter. Mix in 1 cup of powdered sugar, until just incorporated, add the vanilla and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour and form a dough.
*With wet hands, press into bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate for an hour. 
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, run a knife around the edges, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.
*Boil 3/4 cup of water. Mix in the jello. Add 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, mix, and refrigerate for 30 minutes so it just starts to thicken, then remove from the refrigerator.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 TBSP powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold. Fold in the jello, pour into the crust, and refrigerate for an hour to set.
*Remove the peel from the pineapple, core, and slice into rounds about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
*Preheat your grill to medium high. Mix together the melted butter, remaining 2 TBSP pineapple juice, and the brown sugar. Dip the pineapple slices into this mixture, both sides, and place on the grill. Reduce the heat to medium and grill both sides, flipping once, for about 3 minutes each side, don't let them burn.
*Remove the pineapple from the grill and refrigerate to cool.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold.
*NOTE: When assembling, if the jello has thickened past a semi liquid state, whisk in a little warm water to loosen.
*To assemble: whisk together the heavy cream and the jello. Spread onto the crust. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut the grilled pineapple slices into half moons and arrange over the top.
*To serve, cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.


  1. And I'll be right with you! Continuing to move forward with purpose!
    Excellent post, Karen!

    1. So glad to count you among my friends with a heart and a brain.

  2. I am too naive for this world. I refuse to believe that a majority of the people are corrupt, but frankly the past few years have been giving me a hard time. So in my own little bubble I'll continue to be and do good. On my way out I'll have one of these pineapple slices, please.

    1. I was naive too, and I think it's easier for someone like you who doesn't live in the US, live through the hate and bulllying and lying and anti-semitism and escalation every day to remain more positive.

  3. I think, as always, the truth is in the middle ground.

    1. There was a time when I would have happily agreed with you, but now, I have seen and am seeing too much.

  4. I've lost so much of my faith in humanity these past few years. And yet....right now I'm (short visit) in the land of Bernie Sanders, and I've seen enough in the past couple of days to restore some of my faith. Maybe.

    1. Maybe we all need a short visit to the land of Bernie Sanders.

  5. As my Bigger Girl has pointed out, widespread conspiracies break down because someone talks, every time. My greater concern is the lack of character in so many in politics these days. Not everyone, but too many.

  6. Those bars sound so good. I would eat those for sure.


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