Memories Music Tag

I enjoyed the book tag post that I did the other day so much that I decided to do a music tag post.  Let me also throw in there that this is the first time I have posted two blog entries in one day.  I fee like I should earn a badge or a patch of some sort.  Perhaps the kinda-sorta-getting-into-this-blog-thing patch to sew on my vest.  I hope you’ll participate in this post.  If you do, tag me so that I can enjoy your answers!

A song that reminds you of your childhood.  El Shaddai by Amy Grant.  I can remember this playing in our house when I was little.

A song that reminds you of your mom.  They’re Coming to Take Me Away by Napoleon XIV.  I know this seems weird, but….okay.  Yes it’s weird.  Ha!  She used to sing this to me, and I love it!

A song that reminds you of your dad.  Keep Your Hands to Yourself by Georgia Satellites.  I remember him rockin’ out to this in his truck.  And, who can blame him?  It’s a great song!

A song that reminds you of your sibling(s).  Insane in the Brain by Cypress Hill.  My seestur and I have had some great moments to this song.  🙂

A song that reminds you of your job.  I Get It by Chevelle.  It’s a kind of angry song, and my job makes me kind of angry.  So, yeah……

A song that reminds you of high school.  Plateau by Nirvana.  My first boyfriend bought me the Nirvana Unplugged album when I was in high school.  And, my friend, Marie, and I used to blast this track all the time.  And, I made a drawing from this song for art class…

A song that reminds you of your significant other.  Iris by Goo Goo Dolls.  Many songs make me think of The Hubs, but this was our first “our song”.

A song that reminds you of a road trip.  Asleep at the Wheel by The Bloodhound Gang.  Self explanatory.

A song that reminds you of someone in your life that has passed away.  Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin.  My friend, Rolo, loved this song, and it was the first song that I sang in front of other people without shame.  It will always make me think of him.

A song that reminds you of a roommate.  Nookie by Limp Bizkit.  We had a roommate for three years, and during that time, we listened to a lot of Limp Bizkit.

The oldest song on your playlist.  I’m really not sure, so I’m picking Where Did You Sleep Last Night, which was originally recorded by Leadbelly.  I prefer Nirvana’s version, but still awesome.


No More Wild and Crazy Nights

Some realities hit harder than others. After falling asleep on the couch in mid-movie, The Hubs wakes me up.

TH: Babe, why don’t you go to bed….since you can’t even stay awake until 9pm.

M: Gah! I know! I’m so old!

TH: It’s pathetic is what it is.

M: **hangs head and slinks off to bathroom to brush teeth with newly acquired electric toothbrush that I bought on my dentist’s recommendation**

Did I mention that I just turned another year older?

I hope y’all had a blessed weekend.  I truly did.  Life sure is different when you opt to spend your birthday weekend going on nature hikes, perusing garage sales, and staying home while The Hubs cooks you a wonderful birthday dinner.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Song of the Day

Life’s Been Good by Joe Walsh.  “I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.”

Book of the Day

Ford County by John Grisham.  This is a collection of seven short stories set in Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of A Time to Kill.  I don’t think I have ever read anything by Grisham that hasn’t had me absolutely hooked from the very beginning, and this one is no different.  5 stars on Goodreads.

Recipe of the Day

Homemade Tater Tots via  The Hubs and I made these last night, and I was frankly stunned at how well they turned out.  Who knew that dill and oregano could make a tot so damn delicious (pardon the pun)??  And, it wasn’t as much work as I had anticipated.


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until parboiled, about 6-7 minutes; drain well and let cool.
  2. Using a box grater, finely shred potatoes. Using a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, drain potatoes completely, removing as much water as possible.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Stir in flour, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and dill; season with salt and pepper, to taste. The mixture should be workable but dry. Form potatoes into tots.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  5. Add tots to the skillet, 5 or 6 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.*

Makeup Book Tag

I have not yet done a book tag post, but I’m going to give it a whirl.  Today’s tag?  Makeup…..

Primer- Pick a book that left a lasting impression on you.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.  An old friend loaned me a copy of this book many years ago, and it still pops in my mind fairly regularly.  The book depicts how our actions and our lives in general can affect other people when we are not at all aware of it.

Concealer- Pick a character you wish didn’t exist.

This is a difficult category.  All characters, no matter how unlikable, are necessary to the story line.  I guess if I have to pick, I would choose Reek (previously known as Theon Greyjoy) from The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.  He is despicable.  He is unloyal, weak, and just altogether creepy.  But, few wouldn’t be in his situation, I suppose.

Foundation- A favorite first book in a series.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.  While I loved all of the Flavia de Luce books, the first was my favorite because it was the one that introduced us to young Miss de Luce.  Who doesn’t love an 11-year-old with an affinity for poison and solving crimes while still enjoying the joys of childhood such as her bicycle, Harriet?

Powder- Pick your favorite last book in a series.

I know that the Harry Potter series has almost become cliche in these types of posts, but I have to go with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling.  Of course all of the books are brilliant, but with each one Rowling’s writing evolves and is absolutely superb by the last book in the series.  And, by that point you are beyond emotionally invested in the characters’ lives.

Eyebrows- Pick a book you think everyone should read.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  This is the story of 9-year-old Oskar Schell, whose father died in the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Oskar suffers from insomnia, panic attacks, and depression.  He find a key in his father’s closet and goes on a quest to find the lock that it fits.  It is a beautiful insight into a boy’s mind who is struggling emotionally, is determined, is mourning, and is yet still a vulnerable child.  Beautiful.  And heart-wrenching.

Eye shadow- Pick a book with your favorite colors on the front.

I don’t really have a favorite color.  So, I’m going to pick a cover that I found intriguing.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  It is dark and simplistic but very much made me want to dive right in.

Eyeliner- Pick a dark and mysterious book.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  The characters have issues.  The plot is very mysterious and has tons of twists and turns.  Very good read.  I think it fits the category well.

Mascara- Pick a long book.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for sure.  1168 pages.  I listened to it in audiobook format, and it took me over a month of listening almost non-stop each day at work.

Blush- Pick a book with a cringe-worthy romance.

Any of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books by Laurell K. Hamilton are cringe-worthy if you’re listening to them on audiobook at work, though “romance” is probably not the right word exactly……

Highlighter- Pick a book that brightens your day.

If I want a nice light-hearted book to brighten my day, I will check out a Stephanie Plum book by Janet Evanovich.  They are always silly and easy reads.

Lipstick- Your favorite book kiss.

I guess I’m going to have to go with The Fault in Our Stars by John Green just because you’re rooting for these two kids to have some normalcy and experience some love.  So, go them!

That was kinda fun.  🙂

Song of the Day

Sweet and Low (acoustic version) by Augustana.  I thought something nice and sweet would be good for this post.

Recipe of the Day

Lemony Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches via  Again, this post calls for something light and delicious.  Who doesn’t love a nice cucumber sammich?  Yum!

  • 4 oz whole cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • 2 TB chopped fresh dill
  • Zest and Juice of half a large lemon
  • Salted butter, softened for spreading on bread slices
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices high quality white or whole grain bread
  • ½ large cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced, thoroughly dried with paper towels
  1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, fresh dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add enough kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Butter each slice of bread (prevents sogginess.) Lay slices with butter side up on a work surface. Evenly distribute the cream cheese mixture onto each slice. Arrange towel-dried cucumber slices on top of the first 3 slices of bread. Top with remaining bread. Slice off the crusts. If not serving immediately, wrap tightly in cling wrap and chill for up to 24 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, slice into 4 triangles per sandwich.

Book of the Day

I think I listed enough books in the main post.  🙂

Probably Not a Polite Sunday Post

I love words.  Over the last week or so, I have heard some memorable examples of word usage that I would like to share with you.

Take a wander.

I heard this one from Michael Crossland, a motivational speaker who was a guest on Ridiculousness.  He is from Australia, and was saying something in his awesome Australian accent about going for a walk.  But he called it “going for a wander”.  Doesn’t that sound more beautiful and exciting?

Left holding the turd.

This fine example was used by a comedian whose name I do not know that was on TV last night.  When someone says something to you that is heavy or awkward or extremely random, and you don’t know exactly how to respond, you are “left holding the turd” while you sit there and ponder what to say.  For example, you run into someone at a party that you haven’t seen in ages.  You ask them how they’ve been doing, and they launch into an extremely detailed and gory depiction of their latest medical problem.

The crack pipe shuffle.

This is used to describe the very telling movements of someone addicted to methamphetamines or crack cocaine.  If you’ve ever seen someone on these awful drugs, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I’m sure that in their mind, they are acting perfectly normally.  But, to the observer they are all constant, overly exaggerated, and jerky mannerisms.

The last is not so much a usage of words as much as a funny observation.  The same comedian that gave us “left holding the turd” was talking about words that he finds difficult to say.  He pointed out that saying “I edited it” sounds a lot like a handful of marbles being dropped on a wooden staircase.  This struck me as hilarious and spot-on.

I, too, have a list of words that I have trouble saying out loud–rural, brewery, and Worcestershire to name a few.  Do you?

I hope you’re having a peaceful weekend with those you love.

Song of the Day

Everything About You by Ugly Kid Joe.  I heard this one on the XM on Friday and laughed and laughed and sang along at the top of my lungs.  My dear cousin, Jean, introduced me to this song back when it came out (about a hundred years ago), and I haven’t heard it in so long.  It’s funny how a song can boost your mood and take you back.

Recipe of the Day

Squash and Green Chile Casserole adapted from a recipe in Texas Monthly magazine.

  • 3-4 Hatch or Anaheim chiles (or canned green chiles, if’n you want to cheat)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs summer squash, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 c (1 lb) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c finely crushed saltines (Ritz crackers are yummy, too)

Place the chiles under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side.  Place in a paper sack or plastic bag, close it tight, and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes.  Remove chiles from the bag and gently rub off the skin.  Deseed, destem, and dice.

In a large, deep cast iron skillet, melt the butter on medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.  Add the squash and cook until softened, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in cilantro, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Turn off the heat.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 3-qt baking dish if you do not have a cast iron skillet.

Add the diced chiles, flour, and baking powder to the contents of the skillet.  Stir until well distributed.  Add the cheese, and stir until well combined.  Whisk together the eggs and the milk, and pour the mixture over the squash.  Stir.

If you are using a baking dish instead of a skillet, sprinkle half of the crushed saltines on the bottom of the dish before adding the squash mixture and the other half on top.  If you are using the skillet, just sprinkle them all on top.  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the casserole is set and the top is lightly browned in places.  Serve warm.

Book of the Day

Image result for lincoln lawyer novel

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly.  This is the first installment of the Mickey Haller series.  Haller is a sleazy criminal defense attorney who operates from the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car.  Most of his clients are gang members and drug dealers, but in this book, he catches the rape and attempted murder case of a wealthy L.A. realtor.  Very good.  It will keep you reading.  (And Haller is played by Matthew McConaughey in the movies… there’s that…..)



A real stretch to call it poetry.

via Daily Prompt: Squat

So my thighs are jiggly and my butt is cottage cheesy.  “That’s

Queer,” you say.  Being thin, for you, comes easy.  “Ah, but you don’t

Understand”, says I.  Just because I’m skinny does not mean I’m

At all buff.  Quite the opposite.  I’m almost wholly made from

The squishy stuff.


Sometimes my head feels like it may explode.  Life gets

Quite trying.  When that happens, I want to take a side road.  Turn

Up the radio and drive until I’m in a different postal code.  Music

Always puts my mood in a better mode.  It is the best sort of

Therapy when things get all pigeon toed.


I won’t torture you with any more poetry that won’t amount to squat.  Or to me doing any squats.  Ha!  My mind is all over the place.  Can you tell?

Hope you’re having a beautiful Friday eve.

Song of the Day

Lost On You by LP.  This song gets stuck in my head all the time.

Book of the Day

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Is there a bibliophile on the planet who hasn’t read this?  This is my go-to book (and movie) when I’m feeling melancholy.  If you need a good sob (and by good sob, I mean The Big Ugly Cry), and if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read this, go get it.  Now.

Image result for the fault in our stars novel

Recipe of the Day

Club Pasta Salad via  I was browsing for a good recipe and came across this one.  It’s light.  It’s easy.  It’s tasty.  And, I haven’t made it in ages.  (I always use cut-up lunch meat for this.  That super thin Buddig stuff.  Because I’m a lazy cook and take short-cuts whenever I can.)



  1. Fill large saucepan 2/3 full of water. Heat to boiling. Stir in contents of Pasta.
  2. Gently boil uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  3. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
  4. Combine Hidden valley ranch mix, onion powder and bacon bits with mayonnaise in large bowl. Stir in chilled pasta and remaining ingredients except lettuce. Serve on lettuce. Refrigerate leftovers (if desired, moisten with a few teaspoons milk before servings).

There’s Gotta Be More to Life

What do you want to be when you grow up?  Assume that you have all the time in the world and every opportunity under the sun to get any kind of education or training.

I think that I want to be a forensic scientist, member of a symphony, travel blogger, book proofreader, and food critic who does tons of volunteer work all around the world in my free time.  Either that or a gypsy.

If there is anyone out there looking to fill such a position, please let me know.

A while back, I read a trilogy on my Kindle.  The experience made my eyes twitch.  All three books were absolutely riddled with errors.  I don’t understand that.  I know that we are all human, and we all make mistakes, but I would think that if a company is bothering to publish a book, there should be people (and/or computers!) in place whose job is to proofread.  I mean seriously.  It seems that a publishing company would want to make a better impression.  After finishing the third book, I immediately tracked down the company’s information and sent them an email offering my services and explaining why I felt the need to reach out to them.  I received a generic response that kindly directed me to the employment section of their website.  All of the jobs were located about as far from where I live as you can get and still be inside the US.  So much for that, but I’m not giving up!

I feel that my days at my current job are numbered.  I have been here for almost 15 years, and the shy, sweet, polite, motivated young lady they hired has slowly been replaced by a jaded and cynical woman whose BS tolerance is extremely low and who often lets her mouth operate on its own free will.  Frankly, I’m shocked that I’m still here.  But, I am good at what I do.  I know that sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but I’m not.  Anyone else could be good at this job, if they were so inclined to dedicate 15 soul-sucking years to it.  The point is, I’m looking for a fabulous job opportunity that will let me help people (not help already rich people make even more money) and see new places.  I work hard.  And, I feel that there is still a good person lurking inside of me somewhere.  I am willing to try and find her again, if you’re willing to give me a chance.  🙂

Much love to you all.

Song of the Day

More to Life by Stacie Orrico

Book of the Day

Image result for the collector nora roberts

The Collector by Nora Roberts.  The main character in this book, Lila Emerson, is a professional house-sitter and author.  A house-sitter!  She spends all of her time going from nice house to nice apartment all over the world taking care of people’s homes and pets while they travel.  (Gah!  How do I score something like that?)  While gazing out of the window of one client’s apartment, she witnesses a murder/suicide.  This leads to her meeting a hunky big-time artist, fighting for her life, helping to solve the murder etc. etc.  Good book.  I like most everything I read by Nora Roberts.

Recipe of the Day

Baked Potato Grilled Cheese via  Man, these are good.  When something is this good, calories shouldn’t matter.

  • 2-3 Strips of Bacon
  • 1 Potato
  • 2 tbsp of Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Green Onions/Chives
  • 2 Slices of Bread
  • Butter
  • Canola Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

To start things off, get a pan on medium heat with enough canola oil to lightly cover the bottom (you could also use olive oil or butter). Cut your potato into even slices, you will need 4-5 slices for the sandwich, then place them in your pan, cooking each side until browned and crispy.

While cooking, salt and pepper the potatoes to taste (they don’t have to be too salty as the bacon with help with the saltiness as well) and sprinkle a light pinch of garlic powder. In another pan cook your bacon on medium heat to desired tenderness (I liked mine crispy for this sandwich!).

While everything is cooking, slice your bread (use some crusty bread like french or sourdough if you have it), and generously butter the outside of each piece. On the inside, put about 1 tablespoon of sour cream on each slice as well as slices of cheddar cheese on each side. Once your potatoes and bacon are finished frying, dab them on paper towel to remove some grease, then fan the potatoes out on your bottom slice of bread, put a little more sour cream on top of the potatoes if you desire (I did to help the bacon and chives stick in the sandwich). Slice up one green onion stalk and spread it on top of the potatoes along with the bacon. Place your other slice of cheese on top of all of this and top with your bread!

Now just grill the sandwich in a pan on medium heat until each side becomes golden brown. Once this is done, dig in and ENJOY!

Trying My Soul

Gah.  Life sometimes.  I swear.

So, The Hubs lost his job Friday.  Even though he was done completely wrong, he found it in himself to go shake the hand of the man who wronged him and tell him thank you for the opportunities and experience that he was given.  That was MUCH more classy than I handled it.  The Hubs really awes me sometimes.  I wish I had as much class and self possession as he does.

I have been trying very hard not to freak out.  I have never been good at winging life, which is why my life never really changes.  I know this is a blessing.  I believe that, but the urge to panic is still standing beside me, tugging on my shirt tails, and trying to get me to pay attention to it.

I have two people in my life who have reminded me the past couple of days that I am a daughter of God and need to act accordingly in this situation.  (So grateful for those who speak Truth to you and keep you in check.)  And, as I was reminded:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  – Philippians 4:6

I am hopeful and faithful that this is the beginning of new and better things for us.

We spent today with my grandma.  I am grateful for every moment that I get to spend with her.  We lost my grandpa almost two years ago.  His last months had a profound effect on me.  I was a self-absorbed teenager when my other two grandparents died, and I missed out on precious time with them.  So, I made every effort to spend every moment I could with my grandparents while my grandpa was dying.  I had the honor of being with him when he took his last breath, an experience that has forever scarred me.

My grandma has not been the same person since his passing.  I try to spend a much time with her as I can, but we live pretty far apart, and I don’t get to go nearly as much as I would like to.  It is so hard to leave her.  She is so happy and animated through each one of our visits, and I can visibly see her deflate when I leave.  It absolutely breaks my heart.  The end of today’s visit hit me harder than most.

And then, my car started acting up today.

I am choosing to be grateful for life trials seeing as that means I’m alive at all.  And, through all of this, I know that I’d rather have these troubles than anyone else’s.  My friend who was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer back in December is facing an extremely serious and important surgery in a couple of weeks.  I cannot wrap my mind around what he and his wife are going through.  I really have no right to be whining at all.  Thanks for listening to me vent.

Song of the Day

Hurt by Johnny Cash.  This is actually a remake of a Nine Inch Nails song, and is probably my favorite cover song of all time.  Definitely top 5.  He recorded it about a year before his death.

Book of the Day

Image result for velva jean learns to drive

Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven.  I was trying to think of a book set back in my grandma’s day.  To be honest, I think it may take place a bit before my grandma’s time, but it has been a while since I’ve read it, so I’m not sure.  But, the harshness of life is similar.  The books takes place in the Appalachian mountains.  The people are all dirt poor and have to work extremely hard just to survive.  It is the story of Velva Jean, her coming of age, and her unhappy marriage to Harley, a hoodlum-turned-preacher.  There is a sequel, which is also a good read.

Recipe of the Day

Simple Wonton Soup via  The Hubs and I were watching an episode of Beat Bobbly Flay the other day, on which they cooked wonton soup.  So, he decided that we needed to make some as well.  Neither one of us have much Asian cooking experience, so we looked for a simple recipe and found this one.  It was good, but next time I will add chopped carrots, green peas, and mushrooms to the broth.  It definitely needed beefing up.

  • 10 oz. baby bok choy or similar green vegetable
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 2½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • Water
  • 1 pack wonton skins
  • 6 cups good chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • White pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 scallion


  1. Start by thoroughly washing the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the vegetables just until wilted. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Grab a good clump of veg and carefully squeeze out as much water as you can. Very finely chop the vegetables (you can also speed up the process by throwing them in the food processor). In a medium bowl, add the finely chopped vegetables, ground pork, sesame oil, white pepper, soy sauce, salt, and wine. Mix very thoroughly until the mixture is totally emulsified—almost like a paste.
  3. Now it’s time to assemble! Fill a small bowl with water. Grab a wrapper and use your finger to moisten the edges of the wrapper. Add a little over a teaspoon of filling to the middle. Fold the wrapper in half and press the two sides together so you get a firm seal.
  4. Hold the bottom two corners of the little rectangle you just made and bring the two corners together. You can use a bit of water to make sure they stick. And that’s it! Keep assembling until all the filling is gone. Place the wontons on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  5. At this point, you can cover the wontons with plastic wrap, put the baking sheet/plate into the freezer, and transfer them to Ziploc bags once they’re frozen. They’ll keep for a couple months in the freezer, and be ready for wonton soup whenever you want it.
  6. To make the soup, heat your chicken stock to a simmer and add sesame oil , white pepper, and salt.
  7. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the wontons one at a time to the pot. Pick up the pot and use a swirling, twisting motion to keep the pot moving and prevent the wontons from sticking to the bottom. If they do stick, don’t worry, They should come free once they’re cooked. They’re done when they float. Take care not to overcook them – mushy wontons are a sin! Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and put them in bowls.
  8. Pour the soup over the wontons and garnish with scallions. Serve!