Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Cleaning Blog Style

To Do List

For the last several weeks I have been working on cleaning up the blog.  Part of this has been going back through old posts, cleaning them up and deleting old pictures that didn't convert when I changed my blog address.   To be honest, there are way too many posts to complete this monumental task.  Today's blog is officially something like my 721st post. 

So instead I decided to clean up my Pinterest blog board and remove all posts that didn't work.   It was a shorter task but it reminded me of long forgotten post which are still out there but include things that are no longer relevant to my life.  Some good and some not so good. 

Including friends who aren't a part of my life and one ex romance that, thank the good lord, ended up preparing me to find the love of my life.   

The truth is this, these people were a part of my life for a relatively short period and they only mattered at the time.  The question becomes, should I delete the old posts all together?  I haven't figured out the answer yet.  I suppose if I were reading those posts now, I would laugh at the naive person I was just 5 short years ago.   I don't really know that woman anymore.   

Sometimes a trip down memory lane is necessary and some of those blogs are about people and friends who will always be a part of my life.  You can't delete who you were with the push of a button so I suppose, in their own right, the posts are relevant to me, if nobody else and I guess that answers the question about deleting.  Most of those posts are not a reflection of the blog today and most people don't go back that far.  For me, some are embarrassing and some are just sad. 

In the end, you can't run away from who you use to be.  That's all they really are now. That person is gone just like the  hurt is gone.  The people that use to be a part of my life and are not now, well, they don't matter.   You can even care about them, wish them the best, and still want nothing to do with them.  It is possible and they taught me that lesson.

So I haven't deleted them.  Maybe I will someday if I ever make the change from Blogger that every blog "how to" post says I have to make.   That is another decision for another day and energy and time I don't have.  For now, I will work on the future and making this blog better and not worry about the past.  Everyone has one. 

So what about you? Do you delete old posts that really don't matter anymore? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

F is for...

F is for Flowers. 

Spring is in full bloom in North Texas and my flower garden is starting to really take shape. (We have a spectate veggie garden in the back). 

It has been a challenge planting flowers the chickens don't see as dinner.  Even when they aren't interested in eating them they spend a lot of time digging in my garden and sometimes they dig around the flowers.  

Some of my plants were here when we bought the house but he flower beds are so large that it requires not only maintenance but planning as I increase the plantlife in an effort to create something akin to an English garden in Texas.  

Next year I plan to plant tulip bulbs.  Tulips are my favorite flower but they can be a challenge in the mild winters of Texas.  

Seeing the flowers always puts a smile on my face and while I am sure everyone doesn't appreciate the beauty the way o do, (hello hubby!), it is totally worth it.  In fact for Valentines Day I had my husband buy flowers I can plant instead of ones that die.  

The backyard has some well placed hanging pots to bring a little color and keep the tasty treats away from my little dinosaurs who want to eat them.   

This is the old bucket I rescued from our land in East Texas.  I love it!  It makes the perfect planter.  

I even added a few flowers to the onions hubs planted in my pot without my knowledge.  

And here is a picture of the front garden just 
As you can see I have a ton of potential.  If anyone can recommend any great chicken safe plants I am open for suggestions.  

What are your favorite flowers?  Do you have a flower garden?  

The Walking Dead recap Episode 15: What the heck?

The forbidden fruit....apples anyone?
So many emotions were involved in Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead.  Once again, the show made me scream by the end of the episode.  This is getting way too familiar and with the coming of Negan next week, it isn't going to get any easier.

We started out with a flash forward scene and then it gets a lot a little slow and involves mostly moments where everyone is hitting the sheets which is never a good sign.  It is always the calm before the storm.   Rick and Michonne and Maggie and Glenn were doing all the nasty deeds but you got a little bit of the after glow of Abraham and Sasha too.
Carol has nice handwritting 
Next up there was a ton going on and it all got a little confusing.   Daryl is angry....again.  When is he not angry?   So being the genius that he is, he takes off alone to go after Dwight and the Saviors.  Glenn, Rosita, and Michonne, who is now done sharing the forbidden fruit with Rick, take off after him.  Of course, I am talking about the apple they shared in bed.  An aside here, I have never eaten an apple with my husband.  If I did, I would probably cute it in two and not pass it back and forth with him.  
Glenn should have stayed in the shower with Maggie

Going out on your own is not smart! 
Rick finds out that Carol has run away when Tobias takes a mid morning walk over to Rick's place to show him the letter.   Seriously, it took him forever to get to Rick's place. How big is Alexandria, exactly?  Rick and Morgan go after her.

Meanwhile she has run into a group of Saviors on the highway to hell who promptly shoot out her tires.  Carol gets out of the car and starts begging them not to make her do this.  We have a 'Can't we all just get along moment' that quickly turns to a 'Hell no, we can't get along cause we are going to kill you' moment.  Carol, of course, blows everyone away....well almost everyone.  There is one Savior left.
He Morgan, you remember that protein bar?
Rick and Morgan come across what is left of Carol's shoot out and start to track her via piles of blood.  They don't know that they are being followed by the surviving Savior, or are they? He seems to follow them but that part is kind of left hanging.   Morgan takes this opportunity to come clean with Rick about the jail cell, the Wolf that he let live who later saved Denise who then saves Carl.   Did anyone else think to themselves, 'Denise wouldn't have almost gotten mauled by that pack of walkers if the Wolf hadn't kidnapped her and taken her out into that mess in the first place, Morgan.  Your reasoning here is a little light on facts.'   Morgan comes back to his point which is all lives are precious.   I feel like Morgan is the chairman of the "All Lives Matter" movement and while I agree with him in principal, this is a show, about the zombie apocalypse.  If I start seeing "Walker Lives Matter" T-shirts next season on the walking dead, I may have to switch channels.  Unrelated but valid, what I wouldn't give for a Walker Donald Trump to show up. I bet his hair is still the same.  It is alive! It is ALIVE!
Wait until he finds out Carol is missing too 
Glenn, Michonne, and Rosita catch up with Daryl who is mad as hell, still. Mad Daryl is never a good thing.  He loses all sense of reality. Tunnel vision anyone?  He is going to kill Dwight and he refuses to listen to reason.  By now I am thinking; Just what we need. Daryl going off half cocked to get a revenge kill for Denise and Glenn and Michonne out there tracking him.  Don't these people know that Negan carries that damn bat he named Lucille and you do not want to meet either of them, anywhere.  By the way, anytime people start yelling at each other in the woods, or stop to chit chat, I just want to smack them.   The walkers can hear you and we have no evidence the Saviors are deaf.  Why can't Daryl, for once, think about the fact he is putting himself plus 3 other people at risk to carry out his revenge.  Why didn't Glenn find out Carol was missing first before they went after Daryl.   Carol in jeopardy would have snapped Daryl out of it but no, we have Tobias taking his own sweet time going to Rick.   I guess he was worried about waking Rick up before he got to eat his apple.
Let's have a party in the woods and invite the saviors. 
So while Glenn is wasting his time trying to get Daryl to come home, back in Terminus  Alexandria, Maggie decides now is a good time to get a "Mom-Do".   I thought most people waited until the baby was born before they get a Mom-Do.   I am saying this, tweeting it actually, when Maggie goes into what appears to be a miscarriage.  I am so sorry, Maggie.  Wear your hair however you want just don't lose the baby.
Glenn, please find a dumpster quick!
Once again our band of out of their senses misfits in the woods split up.   Morgan and Rick split up but not before Rick confesses to Morgan that Michonne did take his last protein bar.  Thank GOD Rick got that off his chest.  It must have been eating him alive!

So if you are keeping score at home, We have Carol running around alone.  Rick running around alone after throwing his girl under the bus. Morgan running around alone, and Daryl and Rosita splitting up form Michonne and Glen.

Rick makes it back to Alexandria to warn them that the Saviors may be on the way and they need to prepare.  At this point I think there are like 5 people left to guard Alexandria, including one eyed Carl and can't walk Judith,  because everyone else is running around the countryside like lunatics.

Yet again, people stop to talk, in the woods, totally oblivious to their surroundings.  Glenn and Michonne can't seem to find a better place to have a heart to heart so they clearly stop in the middle of the woods to Yell talk to each other.  You guessed it, the Saviors find them complete with Hunger Games whistling, just to confuse things.  I just want to know WHY Glen?  WHY Michonne?   You all can beat the living pulp out of walkers but you can't make it back home before you have a conversation?  WHY?

Never fear however because out there somewhere is Daryl and Rosita, not to mention Carol and Morgan.

But wait, there is more.   Daryl and Rosita sneak up on the Saviors who have Glenn and Michonne tied up.  By sneak, I mean they probably come in like a heard of wild buffalo because from the look on Glenn's face and the rapid shake of his head, you know this is a trap.  I know this is a trap.  Everyone but Daryl and Rosita know it is a trap.....right up until the moment they get captured and Daryl seems to get shot.  Insert my scream here.

Now, seriously people, I screamed and yet my husband managed to sleep straight through.  How does he do that?  If someone breaks into my house, is he going to sleep through my screaming?  These things worry me.  If he can sleep through my The Walking Dead screams not to mention the night I woke up with Charlie horse pain and screamed for like 55  5 minutes,  there is little hope for me if the Saviors come to take me away.

Roll previews:
The previews end with a close up of Lucille.  Negan and Lucille will be key to next weeks season finale and to be honest, I am scared to watch.  I know Negan is going to beat the life out of someone with Lucille.  I have seen rumors ranging from Rick or Daryl to Glenn will die. I know what happens in the comic book and I don't want to see anyone get their head bashed in much less any of these idiot much beloved characters who all have something major to lose.

More thoughts on the show:

It was Easter and there was no Jesus in this episode.  Somehow, that just seems wrong.

Glenn really needs to be in time out.  He left his pregnant wife to go chase after Daryl, who was determined to get himself killed tracking Dwight plus Glen has almost died so many times this season, I can't even count that high.   There are no dumpsters to hide under in the woods.

Does anyone else get the distinct feeling that that jail cell that Morgan built will eventually play a big role in this show?  I mean, they have brought that thing up in nearly every episode for the last half of the season.

Morgan and Carol out there wandering around half cocked not to mention, apparently injured, leave me feeling very uneasy.   I am not ready to lose Morgan and Carol is obviously having a nervous breakdown.

I love Morgan but I can't help thinking his "All life is precious" theme is just a little out of place given the apocalyptic times they live in.  I am not saying random killing is right for the people left, I am just saying if the other people left are trying to actually kill you, putting them all in one small holding cell to rehabilitate may not be the direction to go.  Especially when they want to bash your head in.

I want to hate the Saviors but I can't help but think back to the episode 2 weeks ago where we see that in reality, they are not that different from Rick and the Scooby gang.   They are just trying to survive in this crazy world where there are no rules except 'look out for number one'.   With that in mind, I know already that Negan and Rick are not that much alike.  Rick doesn't kill for the sake of a lesson or to send a message and he certainly doesn't carry a barbed wire covered pistol.  Does anyone else ask themselves how Negan manages to not hit himself in the leg repeatedly with Lucille?  I mean, maybe I am just too clumsy but a barbed wire covered anything is not going to work for me. I even run over the stuff with a riding lawn mower and let me tell you, that is a real B to get untangled.    I think the Saviors are what our band of brothers and sisters would be if they were just a little more crazy. Their brand of punishment, losing a finger for stealing, certainly sends a message.

I start my A-Z challenge on Friday but I will figure out how to get a season wrap up blog in next week after I have a moment to mourn the imminent deaths.  Also, I plan on continuing this series with Fear the Walking Dead and possibly The Game of Thrones.  Keep in mind that I also scream a lot during the Game of Thrones and if Jon Snow isn't alive and well by 15 minutes into the season opener, I might be in cardiac arrest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Long and Winding Road

Somehow every bit of my life can be summed up by a Beatles song.  Seriously, it is true. Hey Jude could have just as easily been Hey Laura.  My marriage is All You Need is Love. When my triplet nieces were born, I use to sing out of tune (See there, With a little help from my friends!) Yesterday. The kids loved it, until they didn't.  I will never forget the day when the triplets and I were playing with their Elmo doll and there I was singing away when one of them said "Shhh, Lala, Shhhhh!"   Broke my heart.  The triplets are 12 now and my nephew is in high school but they still call me Lala.

Anyway,  this blog is a sad but exciting blog.  You see, today closes a chapter of my life that started almost 14 years ago.  For the last year, I have been keeping a secret from almost all of you,  my dear friends.  The company that I have been working for is in liquidation and today is my last day at work.

For months I been searching for a new job.  I have 18 years of experience in my industry and this job search was the completely miserable.  Apparently, experience means little or nothing if you can't pass assessment exams and I have what is known as Test Anxiety.   So bad in fact that when I was in high school, I would ace the SAT and ACT practice tests but when it came to doing the actual test, I bombed both.   It takes real skill to be this bad at testing and I am.  Sadly, most of the job assessments I failed didn't even seem hard.  I even failed a personality test.  HOW do you fail a personality test anyway?  I apparently, have none.   My nerves were shot and my confidence was in the crapper after all the interviews, assessments, and stress.  I cried sometimes and wanted to cry a lot more.

Cinnamon-Not just a boss, a friend!

So for months I have been hunting and searching for a new job, terrified that the one I had would disappear and we would lose our house.  My husband has been incredibly supportive through this job hunt.  He told me I was smart and to ignore the assessments.  He told me to keep fighting.

Finally, 2 weeks ago the opportunity of a lifetime showed up.   I went to an interview and was hired on the spot with a brand new and I mean brand new company with only about a year of history but built by owners with proven track records.   The job starts tomorrow!   I am going to be so incredibly busy helping this new company grow and develop.

2010 watching Rangers World Series with Trish, Cinnamon, and Michelle
Lots of going away lunches lately!  Mary and Robert
Last Christmas 
Some of my blog friends may have noticed for the last few weeks I have been able to post a lot of blogs, comment on a lot of blogs, and redo basically my entire blog.  I even went back and edited some old blogs that had pictures that once were there but are now gone.  I have had a lot of free time on my hands at work.  That time is about to end but I am really thrilled.  It has been a struggle to pass the time when there is so little to do and my hands are tied.   Still, I have been in it together with some amazing people who I love.
Jerod and Rachel
L-R Mario, Mark, Janie, Jamal, Mary, & Russel one of my all time favorite teams of many!

All that being said, I am going to miss my old company.  I have been here nearly 14 years and through that time, I have made some incredible friends, not just co-workers.  I have been blessed to have some of the most incredible people work for me and I have had an amazing boss.   I know this word is thrown around a lot but we truly have become a family.

So to all of my team members, former team members, co-managers, and my boss, thank  you for 14 years of memories and fun.   I learned so much from each and every one of you.  I appreciate the role you have played in my life.  I will miss this place.

Monday, March 28, 2016

It happens to everyone eventually, we become.....

I don't know how it happens exactly.   One night you go to bed a perfectly normal, single woman,
living with your dogs, partying and drinking reading until 4 am on Saturday, and you wake up one morning to find out "congratulations, you are your mother."

Okay, it probably didn't happen like that.  In fact, I didn't recognize the symptoms until I had the kid.  Now I catch myself doing and saying things that only my own mother has said to me.  

So here are a few ways I have become mom:

My mother talks to all the other drivers on the road.  She use to drive me crazy when I was a kid.  We aren't really Italian but we pretend to be in the car, hand gestures followed by the inevitable conversation with the person in the other car who, of course, has no clue what the crazy lady waving her hands about, is saying.  So last week I had to take O to the dentist and I found myself making a push motion with my hands while saying "Come on grandma, move it along!  The speed limit is 45."  Just a note, while arguing with drivers who can't hear you, it is always best to tell the slow ones the limit.   It legitimizes your argument which is impressive to absolutely nobody.  I did something like this at least 3 times before it dawned on me that I was my mother. O just laughed when I told her and said "You do that all the time and it drives me crazy."

*The Eye roll please:
When I was a teen, I fell into the eye roll habit, without even knowing it.   My mother would go nuts when I started talking to her and rolling those eyes.   She would chase me out of the kitchen saying "Don't you roll your eyes at me, young lady!"   Now a days I am chasing O out of the kitchen saying the exact same thing and trying not to hurl the nearest kitchen appliance at her. 

*Dirty Floors:
I have never been the best house keeper but one thing has always driven me absolutely crazy and that is having dirty floors.   I get this one from my mother through my grandmother, her mother.   My grandmother use to follow my grandfather around with a broom and vacuum because the man was forever tracking dirt on to her clean floors.  She would run around after him saying "Louie!  My floors are clean and you are tracking mud all over!".   My mother did the same with my step father and now I run around after my husband, kid, and the dogs with a broom, mop, vacuum and sometimes the deep cleaner.

*Over cooking:
When I have people over they are going to be fed.   This is just a fact of my life.  People may leave my house tired, cold, and sick of chickens but they will not leave my house hungry.   My mother always has been an over cooker and as a result, when there is a holiday, we all get care packages of leftovers.   When we have friends over for dinner, I spend a good amount of time on the menu and I always overcook.  It drives my husband batty but let's face it, people like coming to my house in the country for food.

Another I can trace directly to my grandma.   My grandparents on both sides actually had gardens.  My mother has always had a garden even if she had to grow tomatoes in containers at times.  My husband grew up this way as well so it was a no brainer when we got the acre plus in the country that one of the first things we did was plant a garden.   My chickens are making this more challenging this year because they happen to love fresh tilled dirt and they dug up all of my first round of veggies however, we placed a raised barrier around the entire garden this week and barring rain today, I will be replanting the veggies tonight.

Family First:
My mother always put us first.  She took her portion when we were finished getting ours in the unlikely even that there wouldn't be enough food.  She always made sure her kids had what they needed even when she was raising us alone after my father's death.   She made things fun for us when she could.  I do my best to do the same.  My husband and step-daughter always know that I will have a hot meal for them, even if dinner is just bacon and fresh eggs.  They always know they can count on me, be it a school function or a chore that needs to be finished before the man goes on his annual fishing trip.   I am not afraid to mow the yard or dig a hole.  My husband has said more than once, I am his rock.  I feel that way about him but it is nice to hear.

Driving the kiddo to school the other day she started to tell me a story then said "Ask dad about the time...."  She stopped.  "Oh my gawd!  I am becoming my father!"   I laughed and said:  "You are doomed kid, you have 4 parents and eventually you will become one of us and marry one of us." My husband is a combination of my step father and both my grandfather's with a bunch of my brother thrown in and I realized this about 3 days after I met him.  It is actually one of the reasons I did marry him. He reminded me so much of my grandfather that I just knew he was the one.

There are a million ways my mother and grandparents shaped the person I am today.  These are just a few examples.  The funny thing is, when I was a kid, my own mother use to say "Oh, my gawd, I am becoming my mother!" and I can remember thinking to myself "There is no way I am going to become my mother!"  Now I look back on my life, the sacrifices my mother made for me, and the strong woman she is, and I think "I can only hope that I am worthy of being my mother's daughter."

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Blogging From A to Z: April 2016 Blog Challenge

I was flipping through some blogs and I came across this April Challenge.   Basically, they challenge you to write a blog every day during April except Sunday and use the alphabet as your inspiration.

I didn't find this challenge until after the theme reveal was finished and since I have had less than 24 hours to actually consider this, I signed up and plan on working on something this weekend.

That being said, I technically consider this a lifestyle blog with cooking, sports, entertainment, and DIY, (Okay, follow that?) and I already have some things planned for April so we will see how I fit them in.  

Sign up here for the Challenge if you want to give it a go. There are about 1500 people signed up to date.  They have an outline of the rules part of which is to read other blogs doing the challenge on their actual site and leave comments. 

I am super excited about the challenge and hope to see some of you there.   It should be FUN!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Recap: The Walking Dead Episode 14

My goal here is not to spoil the show if you haven't seen it yet which is why I wait until Friday to post my recap.  If you haven't fit it in yet this week, watch and get back with me so we can discuss! 

The show starts with Rick finding Morgan building the jail.   Rick, in his typical man of few words moment, gives Morgan a tilted head "why?" and Morgan explains that he wanted to give Rick options for "the next time".   Ah Morgan, you don't know Rick very well, when push comes to shove he lets his gun do the talking.  By the way, Morgan, when Rick tilts his head, he is ready to shoot.  Watch your back Brah.  

Next we cut to a sad Carol reflecting on her sudden cigarette habit.  I know it is hard Carol but walk away from the cancer stick. We can work on it together.  You have enough problems without coughing up a lung in the middle of battle! 

Carol sought out Daryl to discuss nothing specific, he got his bike back and that somehow led to a discussion of how he should have killed the Saviors he encountered in the woods.  Carol didn't agree.   Is she getting soft?  Is she losing her mind?  Is she wishing she were just baking cookies?   I know I am. If Carol doesn't end up hitting the sheets with Daryl pretty soon, I am going to have to assume he is gay because....seriously! 

Even Daryl is clueless about what Carol is talking about. 

I mean look at him.  He is all like "Woman what the heck is wrong with you?  Snap out of it, we have people and walkers to kill! Go bake some damn cookies and calm down!"   I recognize the look.  My husband often gives me the same look when I am all female crazy.   He often tells me to go cook something because we have people to kill ah, a garden to plant, chicken coops to clean out, whatever project du jour we have happening...but I digress. 

The missions:

Meanwhile Abraham and Eugene head out on foot looking for, I am not sure what.  What they find is a closed up metal works place.  Eugene promptly tells Abraham that all he needs is lead and he can make bullets.  Their supply is low, the folks at Hilltop have nothing, they need bullets.   

At this point I look over at hunter hubs and say: "Oh hunter man with all the killing things knowledge, forgive me my ignorance but how is Eugene going to make bullets without gun powder.  Even with lead, would you not need gun powder?"   He informs me that yes, bullets do require gun powder.  I say: "I thought so.  Miranda Lambert sings a song called Gun Powder and Lead after all."  I certainly look to Miranda for guidance on these issues because really, who knows more about guns than Miranda?  She sings about them a lot.  Nobody does scorned woman better, actually.  It's got to be why Blake still talks to her. He is afraid.   Anyhow, this issue bothered me for an entire 2 minutes.  Seriously, where is this gun powder coming from?  Do they have a stash but no lead?  

This bothered me so much I almost missed the Abraham shitism of the day. Can I say Shit here?  Oh, wait it is my blog, so I guess I can. 

Eugene and Abraham have a bro fight after Abraham saved  helped Eugene kill a walker with a lead head.  No, really.   Eugene tells Abraham that he doesn't need him anymore.  He was just the muscle.  Abraham tells Eugene that he has as much chance surviving without him as he does picking up a turd by the clean end.  Oh Abraham, you have such colorful poop analogies.  First the dingle berry now the turd.  Abraham leaves Eugene.  Anyone else watch this thinking, this is so not good?

Meanwhile, Rosita, our resident doctor Denise, who is trying to prove something to herself, and Daryl head out looking for drugs.  Right now, I need drugs to forget the whole turd comment and to take my mind off the gun powder but I digress, again.  

While Denise tries to teach Daryl how to drive a stick shift, I think to myself, the guy grew up in the south in an obviously redneck family, with likely not a lot of money.  He was  hunting, fishing, and carrying a crossbow that he can load and fire faster than humanly possible.  How did he never have an old beat up stick shift pickup to drive?   I can't drive one but I am not a redneck.   Anyway, in the middle of their mission they come across a downed tree blocking the road.   Daryl and Rosita get out to investigate and based on the decaying walker under the tree they conclude it was a natural accident and not a set up so they take off on foot to find the apothecary.   They come to a railroad crossing and Rosita takes off down the tracks while Daryl and Denise go the long way because Daryl isn't taking the tracks.  It really isn't like Daryl to throw a fit over something like this so I am immediately clued in that these tracks are going to be bad news ahead.  Remember the last time our rowdy gang of misfits were walking tracks they ended up at Terminus.  

Everyone makes it to town okay and they proceed to break in and steal, hijack,  liberate a pharmacy full of medicine in their backpacks.    On the way back to Alexandria the trio decides to take the tracks back because it is shorter.  

I have a bad feeling about this.   

Along the way Denise manages to locate a soda for her girlfriend and kill her first walker.  It is a proud moment for me and I am thinking to myself as Denise starts lecturing Daryl and Rosita about how brave they are and how they inspire her, aw, Denise is growing up from her sheltered Alexandria roots.  I then think to myself, she is talking way too loudly and this is bad.  Just about that time, poor Denise finds Daryl's crossbow which he lost to Saviors several episodes back.  Well, she really just found an arrow, in her eye.   

Showdown time:

As Daryl and Rosita gun up and prepare to fight the bastards Saviors who just killed their only doctor, we see that Eugene has managed to get his butt captured.   A little cross talk happens between Daryl and Dwight, the Savior he let live in the woods,  who stole his crossbow and bike.   Yeah, this guy is dead.  DEAD I tell ya.   I would let him live out his days as a walker just because.  You do not mess with Daryl.   Dwight explains that he wasn't aiming for Denise, he was trying to hit Daryl but the crossbow is shooting a little high.  Daryl never has a problem hitting his target, Dwight.  I am just warning you here.   You are a dead man walking, buddy.  

About that time Eugene sees Abraham hiding behind some oil barrels.  In his infinite wisdom he tells the Saviors that his buddy is about to kill them.   I am smart enough to know at this point, Eugene knows that Abraham has moved on.   A shootout ensues.  Daryl is reunited with his crossbow. The Saviors, well some die, some run, including that asshat Dwight. Daryl wants to go after them but  Eugene is shot.  I am really concerned at this point.  Denise is dead.  She who managed to save Carl from a gunshot wound to the eye, is laying on those damn railroad tracks with Daryl's arrow in her eye, oh the irony here, Walking Dead writers, I see what you did there.   As the gang hauls Eugene back home we see one final shot of Denise laying dead on those stupid railroad tracks. 

Back at Alexandria:

Eugene was just grazed and thankfully they have the necessary medicine to prevent infection thanks to dear, departed Denise.  Next we see Daryl burying Denise.  I am thinking to myself, out loud, when did they go back and get her body?   Why would they risk it?  The Saviors knew where they killed her, surely.   There were only 3 of them and they were carrying Eugene out so who carried Denise?  Rosita?   

Abraham turns up on Sasha's doorstep and promptly says in his so colorful way something like, 'I am here to take you woman, let me in.'  She does. 

Carol leaves Tobias a dear Daryl letter, um Dear Tobias letter where she explains that she is a killer and doesn't want to be one anymore so she is leaving by herself and not to look for her.  Yeah, because Daryl and Rick are going to let THAT happen.  

Morgan is practicing with his big stick and he sees all the guns being loaded up and the group getting ready for war.   

Role Credits.   

What the hey Carol?  You can't leave Daryl!  You can't leave Alexandria.  Who is going to bake?

My ill feelings about the season finale which is now just one regular episode away became an overwhelming sickness after this episode.  I screamed when Denise took the shot to the eye.  My husband laughed at me.  For once, he watched it Sunday and I fell asleep.  That is usually the reverse.  He knew what was coming while I sat there in blissful ignorance.   

Two episodes left before and Negan shows up in the last one.    

You can read last Weeks The Walking Dead Season 6, To Date Here

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Batman V Superman: Do we have to choose?

Batman v Superman: face off keyart

Just in time for the movie release, what you have all been waiting on, my thoughts on the movie Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.   If you have been living under a rock, or like me, you never get to go to the movies and watch very little TV when it isn't baseball season (What?) here is the trailer: 

I am going to start off explaining that I don't really have a favorite between Batman and Superman.  I was really more of a Batgirl and Wonder Woman kind of kid.  I want to see this movie but there are a few questions I have before I go in.  

*First, do we have to choose before we see the movie?  Are there Batman sections of the theaters and Superman sections?  Does everyone get a button so others can ID you as a Bat or Super fan?  

*Why do Batman and Superman need to fight?   Who's sick idea was it to say, "you know, we have two really loved super heroes.   There have been dozens of TV shows and movies about these super heroes.   What we really need to complete these guys is to make them fight each other! A battle to the death!!!    More than that, make people choose sides.   You won't even worry about the dark and light side of the force because when good battles good, our very existence comes into question.  Yes make them fight and maybe one of them will become the hero of all heroes!"   I like peace people.  I like my heroes being friends!  

*Did Batman and Superman actually run out of bad guys?   I can't come up with any other reason why they would need to fight.  I am assuming that ISIS butt has been kicked in the world of Gotham and Metropolis.  If not, these heroes are really wasting valuable time on each other when they could be taking down actual evil. 

*Is Robin involved?  What about Lois and Jimmy?  Speaking of which, why is Bruce Wayne single?  He has had a number of lady friends over the course of a handful of movies but he never seems to stick with any of them.   

*Why doesn't Batman ever listen to Alfred?  I think by now, we all realize that Alfred is the voice of reason in Bruce Wayne's very screwy world.   I mean, the man speaks and the audience listens.  First of all, whatever Alfred is warning the bat about now, it is most certainly foreshadowing the future.  Second, who doesn't love poor old Alfred?   He is like everyone's grandpa.  (Sorry Pawpaw, you are everyone's grandpa now, I guess, but Alfred was first.)

*Isn't it time that Superman got a better costume?   Look, I know, I know, some things are classics but next to the super tech vision of man that is the Dark Knight, Superman in his PJ's just kind of doesn't match up.  No matter how hot superman is or how buff.   

*Speaking of costumes, looking at the promotional photos of Superman and Batman, are you kidding me with those bodies?   If either of these guys had thighs that size or chests, they wouldn't fit into any of those cloths that Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne run around in the rest of the time.   Do they take puny pills for daily life?

I am assuming that the "Dawn of Justice" portion of the title is the Justice League, which may or may not be reinforced by the theatrical preview where Wonder Woman shows up.   I am also assuming that there is more to this than a "Mine is bigger than yours" contest between Batman and Superman and that eventually they work things out,  do lunch, talk shop, Batman gives Superman some fashion advise, they kick Lex Luther, The Joker, and whomever else comes around, in the bottom,  and spend weekends fishing and hunting and at baseball, basketball and football games.   That Gotham City vs Metropolis game is going to be a killer tailgate Brah!   In other words, I am assuming this is a movie about how Batman and Superman become BFF's and that they both live.   If not, this is going to really suck.  Superheroes can't die.   Besides, I am really ready for Aquaman to show up.  I mean, a guy who can talk to the fish is way more sexy than a guy in a bat suit or pj's.  

Thanks for reading and sharing.  

Enjoy the Ride!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hoosier Roots: Gluten Free Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Full Disclosure, I know, I know, this is my 2nd food blog this week.   So here is what happened, my husband loves pork so a couple of months ago I started making Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches for him and O.  Funny thing is that O isn't really a big pork fan in spite of the fact that her father has spent a lot of time with her hunting wild hogs on our land. I swear sometimes, this kid is so much like me, I can't believe I didn't give birth to her.     (Don't hate me because of the hunting.  Trust me these creatures are incredibly destructive and you don't want to meet one alone, without protection!).  
Oddly, growing up my grandfather raised pigs and I wasn't a big fan of anything pork either, outside of bacon and sausage and come on, with the amount of fat in those things, who wouldn't love them. 

Alas, I am from Indiana originally and the unofficial, or maybe it is official, food of Indiana is Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches.  These things are magic. Go to any county fair in Indiana and you will find these things.  When I go home, I am forever trying to fit all the family visits in with my quest to get my Hoosier family to take me to the best Pork Tenderloin sandwich place they know.  These things are so freaking good!  Not a bit healthy but amazing. How they have managed to keep them from going global is beyond me.  My husband and kid both completely fell in love with them the minute I started making them.  Even more, they accused me of holding out on them because in the 2 plus years we have been together, I never thought to make them before. 

Now the original food is not gluten free.  In order to pull this off gluten free, I had to do some modifications but apparently from the text I received this morning from hubs who was eating a leftover sandwich for lunch, I hit the nail on the head:
 "Good gracious honey, that sandwich is so good!  Thank you very much."  

Alright, so let me start by telling you a few things about this sandwich.  Traditionally, you put pickles and mayo on the sandwich and pretty much that is it.   I prefer them traditional style.  Hubs, on the other hand, leaves off the mayo.   O likes to make these into Chick-fil-a type sandwiches by adding my homemade Chick-fil-a style sauce.   She calls them fake CFA sandwiches.  Truthfully, you can add just about anything you want to this sandwich. Tomato and lettuce would be good starters.  Some folks add onion and cheese.   I prefer the simpler version because the tenderloin is the star.  Also, you have to understand, the meat is suppose to hang way off the side of the bun.  The bun is basically something to hold on to while you enjoy your amazing pork tenderloin.  When you get them at the fair, the meat will easily be between 2 and 3 times the size of the bun. 

If you want to keep these gluten free you will need to add your favorite gluten free hamburger buns.  You can also serve these with gravy if you don't want a sandwich, again a gluten free gravy if you are living a GF life.  

For those of you that aren't living a GF life, you can use regular flour and Panko bread crumbs instead of the Rice and Almond flour in the recipe.   

One last warning:  I don't use a recipe when I make this sandwich.  I like to think that I am an intuitive cook.  I use the same ingredients each time and about halfway through I end up having to make some extra flour mixture up or add more egg/milk wash to get by.   I also don't have any idea how big the meat is most of the time so I did my best to provide you with a reasonable estimate but really, this recipe is easy and you kind of just add stuff together, dip, and fry so if you run out of coating, don't panic, just throw some ingredients in a bowl and keep going.   I promise you about the only thing you can do to really ruin this is to add too much salt.  


2 pounds center cut pork loin.  (I have also made these with thick cut boneless pork chops)
2-3 eggs 
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon Season Salt.  
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cup rice flour
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning or Parsley Flakes
Fresh ground pepper to taste 
Vegetable Oil for frying (I didn't say this was healthy or low fat, just GF and yummy!) 


Somewhere between preparing the pork and breading them, start to heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet.   I admit I eyeball this and don't measure because the size pan will make a difference on the amount of oil.   Also, if you have a chicken fryer, that is the perfect size pan for these large pieces of meat. 

Cut the pork loin into about 3/4 inch wide pieces.  Now here is the fun part.  Get your kitchen mallet out and start beating that pork.   I call mine "The husband beater".  Whatever works. 
Pound them thin.  The thinner the better. If your meat is tough you may have to use the tenderizer side a little first to break down the meat but the goal is to use the flat side and just thin this puppy out.   Don't worry if you pound a few so thin they fall apart.   These make amazing dippers with your favorite dipping sauce).   They should be about 1/4 inch thick or thinner if possible,  when you are done.   Remember, the meat is suppose to hang off the sides of the bun, a lot.   Don't worry if they are too big for your rolls.  That's how it is suppose to work.

Mix together Season Salt, Garlic Powder, Parmesan Cheese, Rice Flour, Almond Flour, Italian Seasoning, and pepper.   Set in a bowl.  

Egg Wash:
Beat together eggs and milk to make a wash. 

Putting it together:  
(Now is the time to get that oil heating over medium-high heat)

Get a flat bowl to put the egg wash in and paper plates for the flour mixture and the coated pork.  Throw some flour mix on the plate and start assembling.  First dip your thinly beaten meat in the flour then the egg wash and back in the flour.   Coat each side liberally and place on a paper plate until your oil is hot enough to fry.  When you have 2-3 coated you are ready to start frying.   Place the pork in the hot oil and cook until the first side is golden brown.  Flip and repeat the cooking.  When the entire thing is golden brown remove from oil and start over until all the pork is cooked.   I usually get about 4-5 breaded before I start cooking.  This way I can complete the breading on anything left while the first 2-3 are cooking.  

Cleaning and serving:

Once all your pork is done, obviously you are going to turn off the oil and set aside to cool.  Also, now is a really good time to clean up the flour you probably got all over your counters, if you are anything like me. :)  My husband refuses to help me clean the kitchen whenever I make fried chicken or pork tenderloin sandwiches because the flour concoction ends up coating any flat surface in the area.  Seriously, one day my black and tan dachshund had a layer of flour dust all over her when she was sitting in the kitchen while I cook.  I am like some mad scientist in the kitchen.  

Place your Pork on the bun with your toppings of choice.  These go great with a pickle on the side and some chips or you can add a healthy veggie side to feel better about eating a fried pork sandwich. I serve them with potatoes because I am a farm girl at heart and meat and potatoes are what I was raised on.  However, if in season, you couldn't go wrong with an ear of fresh picked corn.

Alright folks, that is me, sharing one of the traditional foods of the great state of Indiana.   I hope you enjoy and as always, thank you for reading and sharing this blog.  


Fake Chick-Fil-A sauce:
I almost forgot, if you want to make a chick-fil-a style sauce at home just throw together equal parts Mayo, BBQ sauce, and Mustard.   (Add a little more Mayo if it is too spicy).   That's the big secret.  I know, I  know.  REALLY?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Living in the country: 10 things that make living in the country special

Our Land in East Texas
 I only moved to the country in September 2014.   To say I wasn't exactly prepared, well, that would be the truth.  You see, while our land in East Texas is most definitely in the middle of nowhere.
Beautiful sky
 An admittedly rustic and beautiful, nowhere.

Our chickens in our backyard

More chickens in our back

Our actual home is only in the middle of nowhere in principle.  We live about 5 miles from the center of one of the most amazing suburb in Dallas.   You wouldn't really consider this the country if you drove there.  It is, however, still rural in ways I wasn't prepared for or considering. 

So, here is what you need to know about living in the country:

*Internet options suck:

This is one of the things I struggle with on a daily basis.  AT&T in it's infinite wisdom, doesn't provide service in our area.  We are therefore, stuck with crappy service from a satellite provider.  Here is the thing about the service, it is charged by the gigabyte.   Now remember, I have a 12 year old who is, as most are, addicted to the internet.   During spring break, she went through our entire months supply of service in 2 days.   To say it is horrible beyond belief is an understatement.

*Septic Tanks:

In the country, they make like it is 1935 and all the homes are on septic tanks.  Basically, once every few years, you have to call a sceptic company out to pump your...well poo.   Seriously, this is a disgusting job if ever there was one.  I have no idea where they take all the stuff but yuck!   Also, you can't put certain things down the drain because it causes problems.  You know, things like certain paper products, any kind of drippings from the meat you cooked like hamburger grease, oh and pretty much we never really use our garbage disposal even though we have one. 

*Wild Animals:

It isn't unusual to find tracks from bobcats or hear a coyote's song after dark.  One of our neighbor's chickens was actually lost to a coyote last spring.  Now to be fair, these animals will make their way into the city as well.  Arlington, where the Rangers play, has a bobcat problem and you sometimes see them walking down the city streets but that is usually near a large city park.   Here, you could lose your dogs, cats, or whatever else you raise in a matter of seconds to a hungry animal.  I promise you if you live any where near a water supply, there are wild hogs around.  When I lived in Lewisville my then Fiance, now husband  and I would walk through the city park and he would point out the pig rubs on the trees.   As a hunter, he is tuned into that stuff.  I use to see bobcats running around and heard stories from my neighbor friend about the coyote that walked right down the road.   You have to believe me when I say, you may not know they are there, but they are however in the country you see them and hear them.  One night I started to let my dogs out and saw a coyote pacing up and down the back fence.  I think he was trying to figure out how to get to my coop.   Thankfully, he was scared off by me.   My neighbor told me his neighbor came over and told him "Your pigs are in my field and I would really appreciate it if you could come get them."   He said "I don't have any pigs".

*Farm Animals:

I won't lie, if you come to my house you will see my chickens roaming the front and backyard at any given time.   They are small and they stay in either our yard or our neighbor's.   They don't really mind because we give them eggs and the chickens eat their bugs.   What you don't really think about is large farm animals.   One Sunday while I was cleaning and hubs was watching a race sleeping, the sheriff department came to the door to let me know my goats were in the middle of the road.   Thing is, we don't have goats.  I directed him to the correct house and laughed.  Last week on the nextdoor app I got a message about donkeys in the road.  Three of them.  Someone lost their donkeys, no joke.  How exactly do you misplace something as big as goats and donkeys?


I am pretty sure this is one of the little "charms" of living in the country that makes me crazy.   We live on a 2 lane Farm to Market road that is fairly busy because it is the main road through the small town we live in and out to the country beyond.  Our mailbox is constantly getting hit by drivers who can't keep on the road.  More than that, apparently kids think beating mailboxes is a ton of fun.  How bored do you have to be to decide to go out with a baseball bat and hit mailboxes as your zit faced friend drives down the road at stupid speeds?  We are about to replace our cheep box which we have replaced twice in 18 months with a heavy steel box that is suppose to hold up under baseball bats and side mirrors.   I know this sounds terrible but I would rather the mirror suffer the damage than my box.   I don't want anyone hurt and because our FM road is technically a state highway, I can't enclose it in concrete blocks anyway (oh that I could some days!).  I just want people to PAY ATTENTION!


Remember how I said that we live (technically in) just down the road from the town that usually makes the top 10 of best towns in America?  Well, if you go to the local gas station or Walmart, you would think you were in the middle of a hunting convention.  I have never seen so many people wearing so much camo outside of the Bass Pro Shop.  It is like the unofficial uniform of the country.


I lived in my last home for 16 years and it wasn't until the last 3 years that I met my neighbors.  I was in my current home about 3 days before people started introducing themselves.  I know both neighbors on either side of me and the minute I heard little voices coming from the trees of the home across the street, I grabbed my step kid and ran over to help her meet friends.  Our little community had a workday a few months ago when we picked up trash and where I met more neighbors.  Some that even own chickens!  People leave Christmas baskets on my porch and we leave eggs on people's porches.  


We have one and so do all our neighbors.   In my little house in "the city" there was no place to grow tomatoes much less a garden.   Here we have a flower garden and a vegetable garden and assuming the chickens actually allow something to grow, we will have fresh veggies.  We even planted a bunch of fruit trees last year and this year I planted vines for other fruit.   I will have to learn to can if this stuff actually ends up healthy. 

Small Town Mentality:

When I go to the grocery store in the small town next door, the people are so friendly you would think we were friends.   My hairdresser has a group of ladies who play bunco once a month so I go there and try to win the bunco lottery.  People are just friendly.  Friendly in a way that you don't get in a bigger place.  Plus, everyone knows everyone and you can't go anywhere without running into somebody.   Everytime we go to Walmart or the grocery we run into friends. I even run into them randomly at Khol's or when I was running around the downtown farmers market.  It is amazing.  The moral of that story is dress like you will run into someone because you probably will.


Much like the sceptic system, I wasn't prepared for my gas to come from a propane tank.  These things are big and ugly but in the winter or when you turn your stove on, you are really happy to have them.  Truth here, I didn't know anything about monitoring them and last winter we actually ran out of propane one Friday night.  Luckily, the propane company sent someone right out to refill the thing because it was actually a cold winter spell we were in the middle of and our home was about 20 degrees.  Moral of the story here is don't run out of propane. 

Having owned a home both in the country and in the city, I will take the country every time.   There is a peace that comes from being able to sit on you back deck and watch the animals play.  There is a comfort in knowing if you need something, you can walk next door or across the street.  There is a simplicity about living somewhere that you can raises and grow your own food.  Is it for everyone, probably not.   It is for me. 

Thanks for reading and sharing my blog.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Taco Poppers

Normally, when I make jalapeno poppers I make something luscious that includes bacon and cream cheese.   In fact, the next time I make some, I will take photos and post the recipe.   This week however, I was stuck with a bunch of extra cooked ground beef that we would have had for dinner Thursday if we hadn't gotten a better offer with friends. 

If you haven't ever worked with fresh jalapeno peppers, the most important rule is, always wear gloves.  These things are torture and part of the reason half the time during football season, I resort to the premade freezer version, not nearly as good.  Last week I was talking with one of my husband's hunting buddies and he mentioned this amazing group of products..  I quickly ran to Amazon, found them, and ordered them.  (You can find the links to the products I used below).  These simple tools made my life so much easier.   You see, jalapenos emit an oil that gets on your skin and burns.  I am pretty allergic to it, in fact, I have  a hard time just breathing when I am working with these little suckers. 
This little cleaning tool came with the King Cooker.  I love this thing.  Think of it as a potato peeler for poppers.  It has a sharp edge that cleans out all those nasty little seeds quick.  It took me about three peppers to really get the hang of it and then it was on.  I started by cutting off the tops then cleaning out the peppers. Easy, peasy.
Next I created the stuffing.  In this case, I used the ground meat, cream cheese, sharp cheddar, onion flakes, and taco seasoning.  It was delicious and because I wasn't stuffing two halves of peppers, I had a ton left over so there was poppers twice this weekend.  My husband loved me so much this weekend.
The second item I ordered was this little popper stuffer.  It wasn't necessary but it was amazing.  I was able to push that cheese concoction all the way down without being covered in cream cheese goo.  

Finally, I decided instead of the Italian bread crumbs or tricked up almond flour (recent change due to me gluten sensitivity)  I used ground up corn chips.  This gave the poppers an amazing little corn taste that I loved!
Once I sprinkled them with the chips, I added some more sharp cheddar and they were ready for the oven.   I popped them in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.   We like our peppers soft.  Fair warning here, the smaller peppers will fall through the bottom of the cooker and they also tend to be much hotter.  The best bet when using this handy little holder is to choose peppers that are as straight as possible and medium-large in size.  Don't pick the really fat peppers, you can get them in the pan but they aren't as stable. 


Up to 34 jalapeno peppers, cleaned, top and seeds removed.
1 1/2 packages low fat cream cheese room temperature
1 cup sharp cheddar
1 cup cooked and cooled ground beef
Taco seasoning of your choice to taste (we buy in bulk and I used about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
Cheddar cheese to garnish
Handful of crushed tortilla chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Clean, remove tops and seeds from all peppers.  Rinse in water and turn upside down on paper towels to drain.

In a bowl combine cooled ground beef, soft cream cheese, sharp cheddar, dried onions and taco seasoning.  Set aside. 
Grind the corn chips in your blender.

Pipe the cream cheese mixture into each pepper and place on your cooker wrack.  Once all peppers are filled, top with ground chips and extra cheddar. 
Place in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until peppers are soft.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy!


If you buy these from me I get my husband off my back for shopping so much at Amazon because I can tell him I got credit from you lovely people.  Not enough because I shop way too much but that really isn't the point, now is it?


If you love this blog please share it, pin it, stumble it, or tweet! 

Thank you for reading and as always,
Enjoy the ride!


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