I’m still alive. In case you were wondering.

Hello, neglected readers.  I am sorry that I have been away for so long.  As usual, I started a project (this and one other blog) and then got distracted and left them shivering and alone and utterly abandoned.

I have been working on another blogging project, however.  This one with a friend.  It was her idea.  And, it has been quite successful and rewarding.  I really hope that we are helping people.  That’s our goal anyway.  http://theinnerviewweb.wordpress.com, if you’re interested.  We are always looking for contributors, btw.  Please reach out to me if you have a story to tell.  Anonymously or not!

Also, The Hubs’s new work project has been picking up speed.  And, we’ve had a lot going on in the home front:  another garage sale, family visits, family reunions, fantasy football draft parties, visits to my grandma, craft projects, road trips, etc etc etc.  Time is flying by at an alarming rate.

Our 20th wedding anniversary, which has forever seemed in the distant future, is only a month away now!  Goodness!  I can’t even wrap my head around being married that long.  But, we have.  The Hubs and I took a selfie Saturday evening while out to dinner with friends.  I almost gasped when I saw it.  We look….**insert tense, dark music leading up to a horrific reveal here**….middle aged!  Surely we don’t actually look like that in normal, everyday life.  SURELY I would have noticed…..

A small portion of my out-of-state in-laws recently left after a two-week visit.  That is always an ordeal.  The Hubs’s family is just so friggin’ massive.  We hosted a retirement party for my mother-in-law.  It was mostly local family that attended, and I would guesstimate that there were 50-70 people there.  We decorated for two hours.  Cooked for two days.  Planned for two weeks.  It was exhausting.  But, she had a good time, and that’s all that matters.  My right eye has finally stopped twitching.  (I kid….I kid….)

Anywho.  So, that’s my excuse for not blogging recently.  And, I guess that my 100 Day Song Challenge is a gigantic failure.  I’ll never catch up on that.  Oh well…..

Hope you are happy and peaceful and enjoying life.

Song of the Day

Numb by Linkin Park.  This is in honor of Chester Bennington, who committed suicide last week.  So.  Sad.  Suicide is NEVER the answer.  It breaks my heart to hear of anyone doing it…….

Recipe of the Day

Strawberry Jam-Filled White Chocolate Mousse Mirror Glaze Cake via http://www.casuable.com.  The Hubs and I tried to make this for his mom’s party.  It.  Was.  A.  Disaster.  In the end, we served a bowl of “cake salad”.  It was hideous, but very very tasty.  Sigh….

Ingredients

White Chocolate Mousse

  • 8 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  •  cups heavy cream (for the eggs)
  •  cups white chocolate (over 30% cocoa butter)
  • 2 cups heavy cream chilled (for whipping)

Mirror Glaze

  • 300 milliliters water
  •  cups sugar
  • 1 14- ounce can sweeten condensed milk
  • 15 gelatin sheets
  • 26 ounces white chocolate chopped (over 30% cocoa butter)
  • Gel food coloring of choice

Mirror Glaze Cake

  • 1 recipe White Chocolate Mousse
  • 18 ounces strawberry jam seedless
  • 2 round vanilla cakes prepared with box instructions and trimmed to 1 cm thick
  • 1 recipe Mirror Glaze

Instructions

White Chocolate Mousse

  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until frothy and airy, then mix in the sugar slowly. Beat until lemon-colored and fluffy.
  2. Heat the cream in a pot over medium heat until steaming but not boiling, then slowly mix in half of the cream with the eggs – being sure to not cook the eggs by pouring too much cream inside before it’s mixed.
  3. Pour the warm creamy egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the cream and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off too much.
  4. Mix in the white chocolate until smooth, then transfer the mix to a bowl and press cling film into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely.
  5. Once the white chocolate mixture is set, beat the cold cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks. Be careful not to overmix, it’s safer to undermix than the over mix.
  6. Carefully fold in the white chocolate mixture into the cream, a little at a time, until folded in completely. Set aside for later use.

Mirror Glaze

  1. Boil the water, sugar, and condensed milk in a pot for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in 8 cups of cold water for 5 minutes, then wring the gelatin sheets of excess water and mix into the sugar mixture.
  3. Pour the liquid over the chocolate, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the chocolate to soften.
  4. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the chocolate and the liquid, making sure that you are not blending in air bubbles by lifting up the blender too high. It’s okay to go slow, just make sure it’s all blended with as little bubbles as possible, which will show up in the final product.
  5. Sieve the mix into a large jug or vertical container to remove any excess bubbles. If there are still bubbles, continue to sieve back and forth. A trick to remove air bubbles from the surface is to manually pop them with a toothpick or to press cling film into the surface and remove the bubbles.
  6. Separate the glaze into different containers and color them to your desire. We used red and white for this cake. Blend the coloring with the glaze until the color is distributed evenly, then cover each container with the cling film, pressing the film into the glaze to ensure that there is no skin when you are ready to use the glaze.
  7. When you are ready to use the glaze, make sure each one is around 90-96°F, then pour the colored glazes back into one container. Swirl them if you’d like, then glaze your cake!

Mirror Glaze Cake

  1. Spread the jam evenly into the bottom of a round 8-inch cake pan, then place one of the cake rounds on top. Freeze completely.
  2. In a 9-inch by 3-inch silicone round cake mold, pour ⅔ of the chocolate mousse then tap the mold on the table to release any air bubbles.
  3. Place the frozen cake & jam disc on top of the mousse, jam-side down. Press the cake down slightly, then cover it with the rest of the mousse. Place the 2nd cake round on top, pressing down until the mousse rises to the level of the cake. Carefully transfer to a freezer and freeze overnight. It is vital that the cake is 100% frozen through.
  4. Place a can on top of a baking sheet, then carefully unmold the cake onto the can. Make sure to work quickly and that the glaze is already prepared.

Book of the Day

Image result for a painted house john grisham

A Painted House by John Grisham.  I just finished this one today.  I love books set in the ’50s.  I think it’s because my parents were born in the ’50s.  Life seemed so much simpler back then.  It definitely was harder, but there was no social media.  People lived slower.  They seemed to have more values and treat people kinder.  This book tells the story of 7-year-old Luke and his family, who are cotton farmers in rural Arkansas.  I really enjoyed it.

My Most Common Topic: Randomness

Hi.  🙂  How is everyone?  I’m good.  I’m kicked back in the living room listening to The Hubs yell at the Texas Rangers game on TV.  Apparently Sam Dyson is the source of much suffering for Rangers fans.  (The Hubs takes his Texas sports seriously.)

I just thought I’d log in and ramble about a few random things.

Last night I was reading my Bible study, which included Psalm 37.  This is very relevant to my life right now.  If you’ve read many of my previous posts, you may know that I am a disgruntled employee.  Most of my disgruntledness (is that a word?) stems from the wrongful firing of The Hubs by my boss.  I have been making a true effort recently to let it all go and not hold any ill will toward my boss or any of the other involved cast of characters.  I have been mostly succeeding at this.  I have been able to just smile and shake my head and move on from things that would normally have me up in arms.  It is VERY freeing.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

This may sound like I am wishing bad things on these people.  I am not.  I swear.  Basically, the message is that I should not let their deeds bother me.  I need to worry about my own life and not let bitterness toward anyone eat me up.  I kinda felt that having that as part of my daily devotional was God telling me to keep it up.  I will continue to try!  I hope that you are able to do the same if you have poisonous people in your life.

A few posts ago, I mentioned having an MRI.  Well, the results of that came in, and they weren’t what I had hoped.  But, that’s okay.  I was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago, and I have been much healthier during that time than I deserve or could have ever asked for.  The disappointing part is that my neurologist (who I love, love, love) wants me to start taking medication again.  Boo!  Hiss!  I stopped taking all medications several years ago, and I have not missed any of it for a second.  The thought of getting back into all of that has been dragging on me.  I am yet to call him back and make the necessary arrangements.  Why do label side effects have to be so awful???

I love watching #LivePD.  I just wanted to throw that in there.

I also love Carpool Karaoke.

Two more days and that wonderful, awesome, three-word phrase that office workers around the globe rejoice in will be here!

THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Can I get a woot woot?  Do you have any fabulous plans?  I am going to go see my grandma and aunt.  I cherish every visit that I get with my grandma.  We live close enough to each other that I get to see her fairly regularly, but far enough apart that I can’t just pop in whenever I want to check on her or take her out to lunch or invite her over for dinner.  I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of my time off, but I would bet good money that I won’t be spending too much time being a responsible adult and doing chores!  😉

May you and yours have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Much love to you all.

Song of the Day

When you are doing a 100 Day Song Challenge, it is downright difficult to pick a song of the day.  I’m just saying….  I think everyone needs to tap their toes to something.  Why not tap them to Square Dance Rap by Sir Mix-a-Lot?

Recipe of the Day

Beer Cheese Soup via http://www.foodnetwork.com.  (I have used this for the recipe of the day before, but I’m posting it again to add an important note.)  I made this for the second time last night.  The first time, I used a Coors Light.  Last night, I used some funky IPA that The Hubs had in the fridge.  Let me just say that beer choice matters…..

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle pale ale, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mustard powder, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, mustard and Worcestershire and simmer until the veggies are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the ale, simmer, about 5 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the Cheddar, gruyere and half-and-half and stir until melted through and smooth. Adjust the seasoning.  Enjoy with a 30-pack of your favorite cheap beer.

Book of the Day

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  Every book I have read by Hannah has been an absolute tear-jerker, and this one is promising to be no different.  I have a thing for books set during WWII for some reason.  I have no idea why.  They are so heart-wrenching.  I cannot imagine how people managed to survive the things they did.  I cannot imagine having to rely of food rations or having people take over my home and confiscate all of my belongings.  I cannot wrap my head around a whole group of people being denied the basics of life.  I would like to think that I would have the courage to lay my life on the line to stand for what is right, but I have not had that tested yet.  I am about 1/3 of the way through this book, and I am enraptured by it.

 

Bring on the Future

Hello, people.  I hope you have all been doing fabulously in the time I’ve been neglecting my blog.  🙂  Life has been non-stop busy busy.  It’s sad when you have to plot out rest weeks ahead of time.  I think, “I can take a day off this weekend….”  No.  Wait.  I have this going on.  Okay.  “I can take a day off the following weekend.”  No…..I have to go here.  Sigh….  No wonder life passes so quickly.  And no wonder my housekeeping has been seriously slacking lately….

On top of being busy, there has been a lingering air of uncertainty.  Mine and The Hubs’ future is up in the air….not our relationship….but with where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing.  I am all kinds of open to change.  The Hubs has had several opportunities open up in front of him, and whatever happens will dictate the next portion of our lives.  I, on the other hand, am not having the response I’ve hoped for in my job hunt.  I have 15 years experience in my field.  You’d think I wouldn’t have that much trouble finding a job in that field.  But, I have faith if I have nothing else.  I certainly don’t know God’s plan, but I’m open to finding out whatever it is!  The promise of life changing up some finally is rather exciting.

As always, I’ve been reading.  And eating.  Ha!  I’ve mentioned before my love of savoring well-written lines and paragraphs.  Here are a couple of unexpected physical descriptions that made me smile:

“Baffa was potbellied, with a sagging chest, thick jowls, a drooping forehead, and a downward-bending mustache, so that when he sat, he seemed like a layer of frowns stacked in a chair.” – Mitch Albom, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

“Next to me, a lady nearing her seventh decade kept between us a white purse big enough for a mugger to hide in. She wore a black wig. Her devil-may-care red lipstick had come unhitched and slipped a notch; her layers of nail polish were chipped like paint on an old dory; and her hands lay in two piles on the bar, the slack skin taken up by plumpness. As for the Jungle Gardenia perfume, it was only a question of time before tsetse flies hit.” – William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Best wishes to you all.  May you find the ability to not take other people’s bitterness personally.  (This is something I face at my job every day.  It is so freeing when you can just let things roll off your back.)

Song of the Day

Like a Stone by Audioslave.  In memory of the late Chris Cornell.  Suicide sucks.  It makes me so sad that people get to a place where they don’t think there is any other option except to end things.

Book of the Day

Image result for illuminaeImage result for gemina

Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  I used to despise sci-fi, but I have started to enjoy some of it in recent years.  These are the first two (and so far only, though there is an already-titled third book in the works) books of The Illuminae Files series.  The books are set 500 years in the future.  There are space ships, artificial intelligence, inter-galactic battles, and uber talented teenagers who outsmart the adults and save the day.  I honestly don’t think I would have liked them as much if I hadn’t listened to them in audiobook format.  They are performed by a full cast and are done very well.  I gave them three and four stars respectively on Goodreads.

Recipe of the Day

Oven-Baked Leek & Bacon Risotto via http://www.bbcgoodfood.com.  Back when my community had Bountiful Baskets (let’s take a moment to mourn……..), I got a basket with leeks, and I found this recipe as a way to use them.  It was my first experience with risotto, and I fell absolutely in love.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 250g risotto rice

  • 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp soft cheese
  • zest 1 lemon 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C. Tip the oil into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add bacon and fry for 2 mins. Add the leeks and cook until soft, but not coloured, for about 4-5 mins. Tip in rice and cook for 1 min more. Pour over stock. Cover and place in the oven for 20 mins, stirring halfway.
  2. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more. Remove and stir in cheese. Add zest and season.

I love a quotable book.

Good evening, all.

So, I’ve mentioned our Reading Challenge before.  (It still isn’t too late to join, if you’re interested!)  One of the categories this year is a book about a road trip.  For that category, I am currently reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon.  It’s a non-fiction account of the author’s trip around the US on lesser highways (aka blue highways….blue on a map as opposed to more major red highways).  I have quoted this book a couple of times on Ye Ol’ Great Facebook already, and I’m barely a couple of chapters in.

Beware thoughts that come in the night. They aren’t turned properly; they come in askew, free of sense and restriction, deriving from the most remote of sources. – William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Another line, which isn’t exactly quotable because of elegance or profoundness, but which I love nonetheless:

1 Coleman cooler (empty but for a can of chopped liver a friend had given me so there would ALWAYS be something to eat); – William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

This is an item from a list of items that Heat-Moon brought with him on this trip.  I just love the idea behind this…that a friend would give you something so wretched…something that nobody would want to eat because you will always have it and therefore always have something to eat in case the need arises.  What a caring, brilliant act.  Am I alone in appreciating this?  Surely not….

I love books like this.  Not only do I totally envy the author’s courage to set out on such a long trip with little money and a vehicle that probably isn’t up to such a long drive, but I find it to be just so well written.  I love authors with such a way with words that I am compelled to read and reread passages just to soak them up.  When reading such books, I often read lines out loud to The Hubs.  He rarely appreciates this, which doesn’t stop me…. 🙂

Anywho.  Reading is just about all of I’ve done with my weekend so far.  I did get out earlier and vote in my little town’s special election, the result of which did not go how I wanted.  And, I did go have dinner this evening with some of my in-laws.  Good food.  Good company.  The house cleaning, art projects, letter writing, and phone calls that I promised myself that I would tend to this weekend are still waiting patiently for my attention.

Much love to you all!

Song of the Day

I almost hate to come up with a song of the day since I am doing the 100 Day Song Challenge, but I guess that I will anyway.  I have 6 canvases hanging on the walls in my bedroom, where I currently am kicked back with my laptop watching #LivePD.  They were all painted by me and all contain snippets of song lyrics.  One reads “Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck.  Some nights I call it a draw,” which is from Some Nights by fun.

Book of the Day

Image result for blue highways

What else would I pick but Blue Highways:  A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon since that’s primarily what this blog entry is about?  If you’re curious about the author’s name, by the way, he’s of Native American decent.  His dad was known as Heat-Moon, his brother as Little Heat-Moon, and he as Least Heat-Moon.  I’m not far enough into this book to rate it, but I’m sure it is going to be a fascinating read.

Recipe of the Day

Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Fettuccine via http://www.cookingpanda.com.  I made this for dinner a couple of nights ago, and thought it was delightful.  And, it was extremely easy to make.

Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles

Instructions


1) Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2) In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and add mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, or until mushrooms soften. Add garlic and white wine.

3) Add bacon, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a light boil.

4) Add grated parmesan and parsley. Stir until sauce is thick. Add cooked pasta and stir until full coated. Cook for an additional minute.

5) Remove from heat and serve! Top with more parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

I’m So Knocking Knackered

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

Knackered.  What a fun-sounding word for such an unpleasant state.  And, what an appropriate Daily Prompt word for a Friday.  I am most definitely knackered today.  This has most definitely been a most knackering week.  (Is that a word?)

Thank God the weekend has finally arrived.  Literally.  I am LITERALLY thanking God.  I have had an extremely busy work week.  My husband, bless his heart, has been working on a job with his brother that has been a nonstop barrage of problems.  It has come to a blessed end today.  And, I’ve had a lot on my mind the past couple of weeks, and that has certainly left me feeling knackered.

The thinking too much and worrying is the most tiresome of everything.  It is something I seldom do.  It tells us in the Bible time after time not to worry, not to be anxious.  And, usually, I don’t.  I have found in life that just rolling with the tide is best.  I don’t know why I’m suddenly going against God’s word here and wasting any time, effort, and sleep worrying about the future.  Especially since I can’t really pinpoint what it is I’m anxious about.  I just feel…..unsettled.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
And on and on and on……
I get to spend much of tomorrow with my family, which is always refreshing for a knackered mind and soul.  Hopefully, that time will put my my at ease, and I can let go of this silliness.
We are gathering for my sister’s grandson’s 1st birthday party.  I cannot believe that he is one already!  And, I still cannot believe that my sister is a grandmother!  I often feel that I have trouble wrapping my head around such things because I never had children myself.  I don’t guess things would seem so shocking if I had.  Perhaps in my mind, I’d feel more like an adult than I do.  My life has not changed much in the last 20 years, and I often feel like that has stymied my mental growth….or my progression in life.  But, that’s one more thing I should not waste mental effort on.  🙂  I am just going to relish the time with everyone tomorrow and enjoy watching a one-year-old’s awe and wonder at being the center of attention and being lavished with silly gifts.  He is so darn cute.
I hope you all have a refreshing weekend.  And, I hope you are all feeling less knackered by the end of this evening.

Song of the Day

Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz.  “I’m happy.  I’m feeling glad.  I’ve got sunshine in a bag…..”

Book of the Day

Image result for the woman in cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.  I was disappointed by this book.  It was on so many must-read lists!  I totally expected to be blown away by it.  But, alas, I was not.  It’s the story of Lo Blacklock, a journalist whose career has been pretty stagnant for a decade or so.  She is finally given the assignment of a lifetime when she lands a trip on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise ship destined for the Northern Lights.  She almost immediately stumbles into a mystery after boarding, and her life is endangered when she reaches out for help.  I was never really pulled in to the story line.  The plot, though promising, was poorly executed.  It wasn’t awful, but it certainly didn’t live up to all of they hype.

Recipe of the Day

I am going to do something a bit different here.  Instead of posting a recipe that I have tried, I am going to ask a recipe question.  I watch a lot of cooking shows on TV.  I am quite obsessed with food.  Often on these shows, I see chefs making flavored or infused butters.  Have any of you tried this?  What do you like to use them on?  Do you have a favorite infused butter recipe?  If so, please share your experiences with me!  I would very much like to try to make my own…..

Hi.

Happy Sunday, everyone!  I know I haven’t written much lately.  Honestly, I haven’t had much to write about.  Regardless, I thought I should pop in and say hello.

It has been a pretty great weekend.  I went for a much needed hike on Saturday with an old friend.  And then The Hubs and I went bowling with that same friend and her husband on Saturday night.  I used to bowl in a weekly league but haven’t even touched a ball in more than five years.  I can’t say that I bowled well, but we had fun.  I was reminded while hanging at the bowling alley with swarms of teenagers that I do NOT understand much modern music.  In fact, I have trouble even identifying the musical elements in a lot of the songs played.  I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and I think I could make a track of equal quality.

(I was told the other day by a friend that I am judgy.  The above few sentences are another example of my judginess.  I know I am judgy.  I don’t try to be judgy.  In fact, I try hard not to be judgy.  It just comes so naturally.  I swear I don’t think extraordinarily highly of myself.  It’s just that a lot of things make my eye twitch.  It’s deifinitely a flaw that I try to work on with prayer….)

The Hubs and I also ate at both of our most favorite local restaurants this weekend, which always makes me happy.  The rest of our time was spent making my soon-to-be-one-year-old great nephew a Busy Board.  I really hope he gets hours and hours and hours of enjoyment out of it.  We’ve enjoyed making it.  (Gah!  I cannot believe he is one already!!  It can’t be!)

I am thisclose to finishing Cloud Atlas, which I have been reading all year.  I love David Mitchell.  He has such a way with words.  The latest passage of his that I have read and reread in appreciation (though I don’t completely agree with it—was spoken by a character on the verge of suicide–but still a very well-written and creative string of words):

People are obscenities. Would rather be music than be a mass of tubes squeezing semisolids around itself for a few decades before becoming so dribblesome it’ll no longer function. – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Well, here’s to each of you having a wonderful, productive, and satisfying week!  Cheers and much love!

Song of the Day

Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists.  I just love the whole sound of this one.

Book of the Day

Image result for the wild truth carine

I finished The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless this week.  I listed Into the Wild in an earlier post, which was the story of Chris McCandless aka Alex Supertramp, who was found starved to death in the Alaskan Wilderness.  The Wild Truth was written by his sister, and is an explanation of his childhood difficulties, which served as the motivation behind Chris’s journey.  Man.  What a sad read.  Really, I rather disliked the book overall since it was less about Chris and more about Carine’s life, but I guess it would be difficult to tell that story any other way.  Regardless, if half of what she says is true, one can’t really blame Chris for abandoning his family and taking off.  I recommend reading both books, starting with Krakauer’s.

Recipe of the Day

Toffee Crack via http://www.thekurtzcorner.com.  Make and eat at your own risk.  You have been warned….

40 Saltine crackers (one sleeve about)
1 Cup salted butter (don’t substitute)
1 Cup brown sugar
1 12 ounce package of chocolate chips
5-6 Heath bars, crunched up for topping

Take your largest rimmed baking tray and line it with foil. Line your crackers in rows making sure that they don’t overlap. The crackers should fill up the entire baking sheet.  Melt your butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan stirring in your brown sugar gradually. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes. Make sure you stir continuously or it will burn.  Once your caramel has simmered for a few minutes, pour it straight on the crackers. You want it to be pretty runny so don’t worry that it isn’t thick. Try to evenly pour the caramel over the crackers, don’t worry about covering everything, it will spread in the oven.  Place your baking sheet in the oven at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes. You want the caramel to spread out nicely over the crackers. It should be bubbling before you take it out of the oven.  After removing your tray from the oven, pour your chocolate chips over the crackers right away. The heat from the caramel will melt the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes to melt.  While your chocolate chips are melting crush up your Heath bars into little pieces. I used a hammer and lightly hit each bar while they were still in the wrappers.  After 5 minutes, use a rubber spatula to spread out your chocolate chips evenly over the crackers.  Now sprinkle on your Heath pieces!  Place your tray in the freezer and allow between 2-4 hours to fully freeze. Once you remove your toffee it should be rock hard! Flip your toffee over and peel off the foil. It should come off in one whole piece. You might have a few left over pieces here or there but not to worry it’s easy to peel off!  Break your toffee up into pieces with your hand or cut it with a knife.  Eat right away! Whatever is left over just place in Tupperware and store in the freezer. Enjoy!

Carefully consider once again whether or not you should start up a crack habit before consuming.  Everyone knows how addicting crack is…..

Unravel

via Daily Prompt: Unravel

The days get so twisted up;

Tiny strands of stress and work.

But at night there is always you

To unravel it in our bed.

But then sometimes I do it to us;

Not there for you like you need.

I let life get in the way,

And I unravel us instead.

Daily I make plans and goals.

They dance around in my thoughts.

Things I should be working toward,

But doubts unravel them in my head.

I’m the oldest I’ve ever been

And the youngest I’ll ever be.

I must seize life and see the world

Lest I unravel until I’m dead.

Song of the day

Blood in the Cut by K. Flay.  Wow.  This is a pretty disturbing song.  I never realized how messed up just listening to it on AltNation in my car.  Still has a catchy sound to it……  **EXPLICIT LYRICS**

Recipe of the Day

Hobo Packs.  I make these every now and again for dinner.  What I like about them is they’re so flexible.  You can put just about anything in them from fish to beef to pork to just vegetables!  I usually do beef but tried smoked sausage last night and was not disappointed.

  • 1-2 (or more!) lbs of meat depending on how many people you’re feeding
    • When using ground beef, I usually season the whole pound very well and work the seasonings in with my hands.  Then, I break it up into 3 patties and make 3 hobo packs out of it.  You can do more or less in each one.  Whatever.
    • If using smoked sausage, just cut up into bite-sized pieces and distribute between packs.
    • If using chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces, season, and distribute.
    • Etc.
  • A variety of vegetables
    • Potatoes are always a nice choice.  Very filling, and 1 decent-sized potato can fill up several packs.
    • Carrots are also a good one.  You can peel and chop up 1-2 carrots to split between several packs.
    • Onions are easy.
    • Fresh or frozen green beans.  Just a few go a long way!
    • If you’re going strictly all-vegetable, you may use some other fillers like asparagus, turnips, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, etc.  The possibilities are endless.
  • A pat of butter for each pack.
  • Salt & pepper
  • A condensed soup of some sort (optional).  My favorite to use is cheddar broccoli soup.  Just add a scoop or two to each pack.
  • Foil.  One large square per pack.

Lay out one large square of foil for each pack you plan on making.  Start with the meat.  Place one serving on the center of each foil square.  Start piling on the veggies.  Salt and pepper (and perhaps Cajun seasoning or whatever else you may like) each stack.  Top with a pat of butter and a spoonful or two of the soup, if using.

Carefully fold up each foil square into bundles, being careful to seal up every edge as best you can.  (It will leak, if you don’t!)  If you are grilling out, place each bundle on the grill and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.  If you’re using an oven, place all of the bundles on a large cookie sheet.  Cook them all together at 425 for about an hour, until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Viola!

Book of the Day

Image result for one hundred names cecelia ahern

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern.  It has been about 3 years since I’ve read this book, so I don’t feel I can give an accurate summary.  I do remember that it is about a journalist who is in trouble.  Her mentor dies before she can help very much.  The journalist finds a sheet of paper with 100 names on it at her mentor’s bedside, and she throws herself into finding out the link between all of the people listed.  It was a very good and touching read from what I remember.  Must’ve been because I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.