The secrets to great fried eggs

When my husband and I first got together, I was a little… nervous about cooking for him. I mean, I had been cooking for a LONG time, and I am a good cook… but when you get into a relationship with a man who loves good food and sings the praises of his mother’s cooking. So, when he asked me to make fried eggs and told me EXACTLY how to cook them how his mom did… I was overcome with nerves. We still laugh at the fact that I went through a whole dozen eggs just to get two perfect eggs for his breakfast- the rest of us munching on the less-than-perfect ones. Over time, I have realized just how silly I was. Eggs are really not that hard once you know what you are doing.

Below, there is a video who shows the best way to cook eggs… the difference being when I make eggs, I use butter. I know- butter bad- olive oil good… but being a true southerner -we use butter in EVERYTHING! It just makes it better!
When I make eggs- I do basically what is done in the video, using a spatula to… flick the hot butter over the eggs. When the top becomes done, I flip it for a few seconds- being careful not to burst the yolk as my hubby likes a runny yolk. But, this technique in the video works as well.

Here, The Moment shares their special fried egg technique, which involves spooning olive oil over the egg to make the white crispy and deliciously browned. (Butter, butter butter… ok, yeah, we are fat- but butter is so darn good!)

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Cloud EGGS???

So- we have tried Cloud Bread. It is addictive with a very different flavor. So- when I saw this recipe, I thought we would have to try it!
Cloud eggs- perfect name for this fluffy delight. Believe it or not, they are EASY to make… now, is my 12yr old ready for this challenge???

If you are- here is the recipe:

What You Need:
– Large eggs
– Electric mixer
– Parchment paper
– Baking sheet

Parmesan cheese is optional, and gives your clouds a little more flavor.

Step 1: Separate the egg yolks and whites. Keep the yolks whole, but you can add all the whites to one large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites until firm peaks start to form.

(add your cheese here as well as salt)

Step 3: Use a spoon to scoop the egg whites onto a lined baking sheet. (You should be able to form one cloud per egg used.) With the back of the spoon, carve out a small depression or nest in the middle of each cloud.

Step 4: Bake at 400°F for about 4 minutes. The edges of the clouds should just be starting to turn brown.

Step 5: Gently spoon one egg yolk into each of the cloud dents and return to the oven to bake for an additional 4 minutes. Serve warm.

 

The video is a little different than the recipe above. With any recipe, it is whatever works best for you! Just be sure that you ENJOY!

The secret Pancake Ingredient!

OK- pancakes are a STAPLE at our house! We have them probably once a week in the summer, and try to make them Sat or Sun during the school year. My kids would HONESTLY eat them every day! Every once in a while we do Waffles instead- but my husband HATES waffles- even the smell… HOW CRAZY IS THAT? So we do them when he is camping or sneak them in when he sleeps late- LOL.

We DO NOT always have plain old pancakes, either. We change them up. We do chocolate chips every once in a while- we have done cinnamon, chocolate, we add nuts or fruit- peaches- strawberries… Our latest concoction was Banana Bread pancakes- we use those good mushy bananas like banana bread- add nuts and vanilla flavoring… and YUM. We have even tried the bacon pancakes- where you fry your bacon and then pour your batter over the bacon. We even tried sausage mixed in- sounds crazy, but when done right and grease drained correctly, YUM!

This mixture is a little different. It gives you that bacon flavor- just a hint- and makes your pancakes yummy!

The Secret Ingredient That Will Make Pancakes Taste Incredible

If your pancakes need a little oomph, you’ve probably been overlooking a simple ingredient that will take your pancakes from good to incredible.

That secret ingredient is bacon grease.

Here’s how to do it: Heat your skillet, but instead of using oil or butter to coat the pan, add a dab of bacon grease. Then cook your pancakes as you normally would, flipping them when the batter begins to bubble.

If you’re cooking bacon first (which we strongly suggest), just remove the bacon from the pan, dispose of any excess grease and keep a dollop in the skillet. Then spoon your pancake batter right on the greased pan.

The result: Pancakes that are doughy on the inside, crispy around the edges and taste amazing. Pile ’em high, drizzle with maple syrup and

ENJOY!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Muffins

First of all, if you do not LOVE making muffin tin recipes, then you haven’t made muffin tin recipes. I mean- there are websites DEDICATED to using these things for much more than muffins… even turning them upside down and making cookie bowls for ice cream. YES- you read that right! Cookie Ice Cream Bowls. Sweet Mary….

OK- so this recipe is similar to one that I did earlier with biscuits sliced in half and flattened. Laying them flat- adding cinnamon sugar AND nuts and putting them in a loaf pan….

But this little recipe gives you individual layered muffins that are OH SO GOOD! Using, of all things… french bread loaves… NEVER thought about that- but I am glad that they did! Check it out!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Muffins

  • Prep    15 MIN
  • Total    35 MIN
  • Servings    6

Layers of buttery cinnamon sugar goodness packed into a muffin. Can’t get much better! 

Ingredients

1 can (11 oz) refrigerated crusty French loaf
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Steps

  • 1 Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • 2 In a skillet, brown the butter over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. The butter will turn a caramel color and smell nutty. (Watch it carefully because it can quickly go from browned to burned.) Set aside to cool.
  • 3 In a small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside for later.
  • 4 Open the bread dough and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, make a small slit to score the dough at the middle point of the roll, so that there are two equal sections. Then score each section again in the middle. Repeat, scoring sections at the halfway point, until you have 31 slits in the dough. Using a very sharp serrated knife, slice the dough into discs using these score marks as guides.

  • 5 Place all the slices on a large sheet of wax or parchment paper and flatten with a rolling pin. Brush each disc of dough with the melted butter. Dip buttered slices into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Add any remaining butter and sugar mixture to the prepared muffin tin.
  • 6 Stack 5-6 pieces of dough on top of each other. Slice each stack in half and place both sections cut side down in a muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough until all cups of the muffin tin are filled. (sprinkle extra cinnamon sugar on tops if you like- too much butter and they will NOT brown)
  • 7 Place muffin tin onto a large rimmed cookie sheet to catch any sugar or butter overflow. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then enjoy!
  • 8- for sugar OVERLOAD- and a cinnamon roll flash- add some glaze- but, for me, that was too much. They are plenty sweet just like this!
 ENJOY!!!

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Bars

YUM is ALL I can say!

 My daughters and I used to make something like this from an old Paula Deen recipe. It wasn’t quite this creamy, but this one is OH SO GOOD!  It has Cream Cheese- which I can’t tell the hubby-he hates cream cheese- but what he doesn’t know…

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Bars

  • Prep     15 MIN
  • Total     50 MIN
  • Servings      12

 

This famous St. Louis dessert starts with a vanilla butter cake base topped with a gooey cream cheese layer.  You can hardly wait for them to  cool completely before cutting them into pieces -but you HAVE to or they will fall apart! They smell so amazing right out of the oven…but they ARE worth the wait.

(Tip: for just the right amount of “gooey,” make sure to use a 9×9-inch pan and not an 8×8.)

Ingredients

1 box (15.25 oz)  Cake Mix French Vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 eggs
8 ounces cream cheese
1 pound bag (about 3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Steps

  • 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • 2 In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the baking dish.
  • 3 In a stand mixer, combine together the cream cheese, 2 eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over the cake mix layer.
  • 4 Bake bars for 45 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and the center has set to a soft consistency.
  • 5 Cool COMPLETELY before slicing into bars and serving. (If not, it WILL fall apart!)
 ENJOY!

Mac N Cheese LOAF???

Macaroni and Cheese Loaf

 OH=MY=CHEEEESE….
If you know me… you know that, besides coffee, cheese is my NUMBER ONE WEAKNESS… If they created meat, cheese and coffee plates at parties, i would be in HEAVEN…
Grilled cheese squares and cheese balls… cheese dip and cheese roll ups…. SORRY- had a momentary cheese lapse….
When I saw this recipe, I KNEW I HAD TO TRY IT! I mean- Mac N Cheese and Ham- all in a slice like a cake… I even imagined a yummy cheese gravy to go on top… OK- am I going overboard??? OH WELL-
This is one of those recipes that, once you master the basics- you can EXPAND. Seriously! Shells and cheese- instead of ham- add some lobster for lobster mac- add some hamburger for burger-mac- add BROCCOLI for broccoli and cheese mac… the SKY is the limit! Use wheat macaroni, if you are into that kind of thing… use plain elbow noodles and add various cheeses… Did I mention I love feta? Some feta, a few olives… mozzarella… the only limit is your imagination.
But, if you are limited in your cheese vision, then just go ahead with the recipe below and ENJOY!
Macaroni and Cheese Loaf
  • Prep time 10 MIN
  • Total time 60 MIN
  • Servings    8 (unless you are serving me!)

Here is a fun twist to your boring powdered cheese speedy mac. Instead of a meatloaf, how about a Mac and Cheese Loaf???

Ingredients

2 boxes (6 oz each)  Macaroni and Cheese (CHEAP IS FINE!)
5 tablespoons butter
1 package (8 oz) diced ham
(any sandwich ham will do-chopped- this is a cheapo recipe remember)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
(Yes, you can use the stuff in the jar)
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar, divided
(Better put 2 cups out if you are like me- you know you will eat the rest)
 Nonstick baking spray (with flour)

Steps

  • 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  • 2 Boil macaroni and cheese until tender. Drain excess water. Add butter and cheese  packets. Stir in ham, eggs, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
  • 3 Spoon macaroni mixture into pan.
  • 4 Bake for 30 minutes, then top with remaining cheese and parsley. Continue baking for another 20 minutes.
  • 5 Remove from oven and cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Easy Recipe That Made My Daughter Shine!

cake

Look How Yummy!

Pineapple-Angel-Food-Cake-Ingredients-1024x778

Just 2 ingredients!

My daughter, Addison, is 12. She has been through some rough times the past few years. She has been living with us for a little over a year, now, and this week I turned in the paperwork to start the Adoption proceedings! YAY! She truly needs to gain some confidence, so I have been giving her big girl things to do. She loves to help me in the kitchen, so when I found this recipe, I knew that I had to step up my game. I called her into the kitchen and told her to wash her hands, gave her the basic info- and went to the living room. I could see the doubt in her eyes at first, but also the excitement. It was the first time I had given her free reign in the kitchen (of course I was watching carefully). The recipe was so simple, I knew she would be successful, so it was a win-win because in the end I knew we would have a great dessert! When she was finally able to take the cooled cake, plate it up and top it with whipped topping… she was on cloud 9. I heaped on the compliments and I know that simple lesson meant more to her than anything! The recipe is below:

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package angel food cake mix

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spray a 9×13 inch pan with vegetable oil spray.(we used a bundt pan)

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pineapple (with juice). Mix until well blended. (I let her use my mixer, which she had never done!)

Pour batter into prepared 9×13 inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool.

Serve with whipped topping

Watch you little girl gain confidence that no one could imagine a simple recipe could give!

Just 2 ingredients to make a yummy cake!

Published on Bored Panda 072217

Don’t you know me?

Today, I have been asking that question in my head way way too much. Have you met me? Do you know me? Do you FREAKING LISTEN TO ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF MY MOUTH?!?!?!?!

Ok- what has me so flipping twisted? SURPRISES… I HATE SURPRISES. Anyone that knows me knows that I cannot stand being surprised… planning a surprise for my birthday, sending me flowers, holidays even. I hate them. I have tried psychoanalyzing myself and trying to figure out why I hate them so very much, and all that I can come up with is that almost anytime I have ever dealt with these situations, I have been disappointed…. I know- that sounds ridiculous- but it is the truth. I can vividly remember so many times expecting things that never materialized. Over the years, I have actually started having severe anxiety when my birthday is coming up and I freak out if anyone tries to do things. I get rude and angry.. Last year my husband sent me flowers at work and I refused to go to the office to get them- when I was “Tricked” by someone to come to the office and they presented me with the flowers, I actually started CRYING- not like that cry of joy- I mean tears of anger and frustration. I wanted to shove those flowers down the throat of the person who called me to the office AND my husband. This person presented me with the flowers like it was a pot of gold and I should have been so very thankful they tricked me into coming up. I was so very angry.

Mother’s day… yeah. Those Hallmark card breakfast in bed mornings with gifts from the kids and cards…  Guess what? Either you kids have to be old enough to have a job of their own and a car to get themselves to the store… of you have to have a significant other who choreographs the whole thing. The last few mother’s days with only the boys at home, and now Addison, I have laid in bed, listening for conspiratorial whispers coming from the kitchen, begging my bladder just to wait… only to finally end up getting up and starting breakfast, disappointed I didn’t get syrup dropped in the bed or coffee spilled in my lap. The gifts the boys make at school, forgotten until everyone either hears the words, “Mother’s Day” on TV or they wonder why I am in a crappy mood… this last year the boys brought potted flowers home and they ended up putting them outside and they died before Mother’s Day. I never even got to see them because they were tossed before Mother’s Day even arrived.

Christmas isn’t so bad because I enjoy giving to others. I always search for just the right gift- I listen to subtle hints being dropped, and I make those things happen. So, when Santa comes and we open gifts on Christmas morning, I am surrounded by happiness. i always put my gifts aside, unopened, until  everyone else finishes because I almost need that good spirit to get through the disappointment that I know awaits me. My daughters, now that they are grown, are pretty good at giving me what I want- but if they are not home for Christmas, either I have nothing, or I get an afterthought. It is extremely depressing. I try to tell myself it is not important… gifts are not what matters, after all. And, that is not the source of my discontent. It comes down to no one making that effort. No one caring enough to make sure that my eyes light up in the morning- or searching out that one thing that I have dropped hints about and making it appear under the tree. I could tell you so many horror stories of gifts that I did receive that were so clearly those gifts that say- I forgot about you until the last minute so what I got you was all that was left in the store. I am not hard to shop for- I have worn the same perfume for years and it is inexpensive- you can usually get the lotion, body wash and spray for less than 20 bucks if you shop the sales. I only wear certain types of boots, am not a big jewelry person… love books… love certain crafts and would be excited over a collection of Chalk Paint… I collect cookie Jars and am always looking for an odd or different one. I have never wanted diamonds, or flowers, or other girly stuff. I just want someone to show me they know me and they care about giving me that gift that shows it.

OK- I got off on a tangent… sorry- So- what was I so twisted about today? Undoubtedly my husband has planned a “surprise” for me for Monday. I HATE when he says that… I hate it because every time he has said he has a surprise for me, it has turned out badly. He is either BSing- or what he thinks of as a surprise is so NOT a surprise. When he said to me You have a surprise coming next week… I assumed it was his cousin, who I love, coming to stay because he lost his job… When he assured me that was not it, I allowed myself to think that there was really a surprise. He then said it was really for the whole family… Man- my dumb ass started thinking he had found me a Great Dane puppy and it was coming next week- knowing I had been mourning the loss of my big girl. OR- maybe it was the car I had found several weeks back that was in TX- and the most perfect car I had ever seen. Had he SOMEHOW gotten the car I loved just from the pics and gotten it delivered? WHY? Why do I allow myself to think that someone actually went to that much trouble for me? Have I not yet learned my lesson?

So- when he couldn’t keep the secret and finally told me someone was going to come for a visit… I was incensed… enraged… He knows that right now I am in a funk… the medical issues and dr appts, the things happening with my son, dealing with insurance and phone calls, conference calls…. and trying to keep our heads above water through it all. He knows I haven’t even talked with my best friends. I have just sank myself into writing projects where I don’t have to think about it. I do not want to see anyone, go anywhere, do anything. I am still showering, still eating, making money… doing what I need to do. I just don’t want to inflict my funk on others. AND, to have someone coming HERE- to our house? We are far from the pages of Southern Living. We have 3 kids- dogs-cats… we LIVE in our house. It is not dirty or nasty, but we have junk here and there- things get piled on the table sometimes… so if someone is coming over I go into a frenzy, trying to clean and basically change the way we live for someone else. I never have friends over- and part of that is just because I like being comfortable in my home. I like to sit in my peeling leather recliner wearing my jammies and no bra in the middle of the afternoon when I am writing. I like to smoke when I want without worrying that other people are going to be offended. Sometimes, I sit in my chair with cats or dogs or kids… or all 3. I do not find pleasure in the thought of entertaining… making finger foods, locking the animals up where they won’t bother the guests- not letting anyone breathe until it is over with… I know- that makes me a freak. I just feel so exposed when people come over. I don’t like that feeling. And when I found out that this was planned behind my back- I was furious. I felt disrespected. I know- crazy… but is a surprise a good one if you are embarrassed because your house is not a showplace? If you sit, looking around the house at things that should have been cleaned before someone showed up? Dusting that hasn’t been done, or rugs that should have been vacuumed… Am I the only person in the world who wants my private life to stay private? Who likes to keep home life for family? IDK. I have been accused of being a control freak, and maybe I am to an extent. I have had to be in control for so long- had to take care of my kids by myself for years as a single mother and then as an abused woman with a vengeful and violent man. I have always paid my own bills- have always been the money maker… maybe that is the problem. IDK. All I know is that, now that I know that this surprise visit is planned for Monday, I am torn between exhausting myself cleaning the house from top to bottom tomorrow, or simply putting my foot down and refusing to have anyone over here… Does that make me a psycho? OH WELL- we shall see what happens, I guess….

Domestic Violence, when does it end?

I woke up this morning to the FB buzz concerning a murder that happened close to the school that I teach at during the school year. A mother of 5- whose child I had previously taught- had her life ended by a piece of human garbage. Now, I have to say that this mother was not an angel- and I won’t pretend to sing her praises, but I will not defame the dead, either. She and I were not friends, but regardless of who she was- she was a mother. And, she was a woman who didn’t deserve to die at the hands of a maniac… because what else can you call him? The saddest part- other than the children- is the fact there are people who hear the words “Domestic Violence” and immediately start their diatribe of hate… she should have never been with him- why did she stay- if that was me… and on and on and on. I even saw a comment based on the fact that she lived in community housing- poor ignorant woman- too dumb to know any better… probably didnt even have a high school diploma…. WAIT, is that what protects you from Domestic Violence? A High School Diploma? Or a college degree? A good job… what is it really? Let me tell you what- I probably used to think some of those same things… not the ignorant part or racial BS I have read… I was the one that always said MAN, if that was me and that man even TRIED to put his hands on me… blah blah blah. Let me tell you something friends… it doesn’t happen like that. One day you meet a man when you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do… you have the college degrees, you have the career- you have the perfect children… all that is missing is a man to share your life with… when he walks into your life- everything is good… you quickly realize it was HIM that you were missing- before you know it- he IS your everything because everyone else is gone. You don’t realize it at first- the way you were separated from everyone and everything- but you were just so darn happy. Then, something crazy happens… maybe not totally violent- but crazy… scary… part of you stops and says, wait a minute… but before you can answer yourself, everything is back to normal with some excuse- I forgot my meds- i was upset over my mom being sick… whatever. You think, yeah- that’s not him… but you start, in your peripheral vision, to see things… little things… attitudes where you never noticed attitudes before… things that make you uncomfortable in the bedroom- suddenly he has to know who you are talking to- where you are going- at all times. You think at first it is sweet that he is jealous… but it is more than that- he has become possessive. He suddenly doesn’t care how he talks to you in front of others- and you find yourself saying “sorry” a whole lot… you feel guilty for not being good enough- for making him mad. When the real aggression comes- you feel like it is your fault… You hide the bruises by wearing long sleeves or layers- whatever it takes. You tell yourself when it is just bruises because he has grabbed you too hard that he just didn’t realize how strong he was= didn’t mean to hurt you- and the first time he does- the first time he slaps you, or hits you with his fist- you are already “that woman”. He has groomed you. He has you brainwashed. You don’t even know what has happened. The next thing you know, you are on your hands and knees cleaning up your own blood at 2 in the morning while he looms over you, making sure you do it right. Knowing you have to be at work in a few hours. Knowing you have to be quiet when the pain comes because your children are at the other end of the house and if they hear, they will come and check- and you don’t want that to happen. You don’t want them to know- and you have no idea what he will do when he is like this. You look at him and he spits in your face and laughs… You have no idea how you got to this point. How you are missing teeth and clutching what can only be broken ribs- but still you scrub- because if you don’t, it will only get worse. You tell no one… how can you? So much is your fault you think. You should have listened… before the family and friends went away, they saw what you didn’t- but you didn’t listen to them, only to him when he told you that they were jealous of your love…. How can you now go crawling back like this and tell them they were right? How embarrassing. Besides, you love him so very much. He is the air that you breathe- you cannot even think straight when he is not around. You feel you would die without his presence. Only later, you realize how crazy that was… How you were suffering from some kind of Stockholm Syndrome or some mental breakdown to love a man that hurts you for his pleasure… but that thought comes later. When you get to a point that you THINK you have had enough, you call the police. Surely, they will help you, right? But they have been there before when others have called and you lied- you took up for him… they are tired of seeing your face- they are tired of you covering for him… you are the opposite of the boy who cried wolf- and they simply aren’t asking anymore. You beg- but he is smart. this time it was only threats- he only held the knife to your neck- no marks… your word against his. You beg them to take him away- you try to lock him out-  and the police- those who are supposed to protect you, they stand there and tell him that this is his legal residence and you cannot kick him out- tell you that you have to let him in… they tell him he could kick the door in and there is nothing you could do because this is his house, too. They tell him he could back a u-haul up to the door and empty the house and there would be nothing you could do about it. They tell you to get a restraining order or they cannot help… finally, he leaves- but you know he will be back. The game has changed. You have gotten stronger and have stopped blindly following his every direction like a child. He is not having fun anymore, so he has to find a new way to have his fun. One night, before you can get the restraining order, you are jerked awake because he has broken in while you slept and you are awakened by him snatching you by your ankle out of the bed- and this time he doesn’t hold back. Your head hits the floor, but not enough for there to be blood. He beats you in the head until you are sure that you are going to die. You cry and beg while he laughs.  You are truly broken. You are a shell of the woman you were when he walked into your life. The new game continues and is more cruel that ever. Eventually, somehow- someway- many beatings later- you find the strength to end it. You get the evidence- you have him arrested- but it never really ends. As long as he is breathing air somewhere, you are in fear. Even when you get the restraining order- even when he is in jail- even when you get granted a divorce- you still know he can find you. Even when he moves to a new victim and goes to jail for beating her as well- you still know as long as he has breath in his lungs, you are not safe. You have become a truly educated woman. Educated in something no woman should ever be educated in. You know that you are the lucky one. And, when you turn on the tv and see that a woman whose child you taught, a woman who you now know had so much more in common with you than you could ever imagine, you know that it could easily have been you. You know education doesn’t matter. Status, income, a good job. When it comes down to it, all women are vulnerable- all women are….eligible… for this type of evil to walk into their lives. The only difference is that, so far, you have survived. But you know, as you get ready to go to sleep in that bed- that bed that was your torture chamber for so long- you know that you were so close to being exactly where this woman is today. If you have never walked in those shoes- you cannot judge- and I wish, as I feel the tears running down my face for a woman I never had a kind exchange with- I wish we had realized we were sisters in a way not many women are. I wished I had of known and I could have helped. All I can do now is pray for her children- hope they did not witness this- hope they are not scarred from this- and pray that they do not continue this evil in their own lives. If no other lesson their mother ever taught them sticks- let it be the realization of what can happen if you become a victim of this kind of depravity. Let them use her death to lead their lives in a direction away from the pain that ended their mother’s life.

God have mercy on them… on us… all.

WRITING FOR OTHERS???

Ok- so this morning, a good friend of mine who loves to write like I do- said to me… Are you REALLY doing freelancing? How in the WORLD can you sit down and write for other people… Huh? I was confused… I mean isn’t that what we do every time we put pen to paper- or fingers to keyboard I should say… Aren’t we always writing, hoping SOMEONE will see the beauty in our words… or be inspired by a story we share… or laugh at a silly anecdote… Anyone with a college degree- heck even a high school diploma- has experience writing for others… I mean, not many people go around doing science projects and writing about them for fun… sticking headings on a backboard… science fairs- I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES!!! And what about all of those research papers? Learning APA and creating papers formatted just so… Yeah- that was painful. But that is not REALLY what i was talking about… When I write for other people- YEAH- it may be a research paper-you know, for their research… not a class or anything, really… or it might be an ad- it might be an opinion or a list… articles and blog posts about things that your employer wants you to write about… you could be stuck writing about a product that you TOTALLY despise… but the enjoyment comes in building that piece- creating- making your reader BELIEVE you think that is the best product since sliced bread. Selling that horrible product even… making OTHER people think it is the best product… but isn’t that disingenuous she asked? I gave her points for the big word-lol. “OH MY GOSH” I exclaimed… “YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Why would ANYONE want to write about something they don’t truly enjoy, or about an experience they had never had… or something they wish they could… That is like pretending to be someone you are not- like anyone would EVER do that… I mean I can imagine people putting on costumes and walking around, pretending to be someone else- all for the entertainment of others. I mean, going to the extreme of losing weight, or shaving their heads, just so other people “buy in” to their deception. How disingenuous is that… I mean, imagine a whole group of those lunatics parading around, dressed like someone else, using words that some other lunatic wrote for them, pretending to be somewhere they really aren’t. Crazy, right. And, what if those lunatics did it all while some other knuckle-heads are actually recording their little dress up frenzy… How ludicrous would that be… Then, to top it all off- they forced unknowing people to pay money to sit in a room and actually WATCH this lunacy on a big screen… I mean- the nerve of these people… thinking that other people want their lies splashed up in front of us, expecting us silly sheep to sit there- watching their lies and eating popcorn…” I think the popcorn part really brought home my point… of course to hide her earlier confusion she rolled her eyes and said something very unbecoming and we changed the subject. But I really had not made my point. Yes- I made her see the parallels between writing and acting… how we, as writers, are just actors. We act like we enjoy things we don’t, like we have been places we haven’t. Heck, there are times when we pretend to be men instead of women, black instead of white, rich instead of poor…  beautiful- ok, that is not a stretch for some of us- but you get my point, right? Writing gives you the power to be whoever you want to be. The power to handle conflict and tragedy in ways that you have never been able to handle it in your real life. It is a form of fantasy. For a time, you get to step into a world of your own making. You decide if there is stress or strife- you decide if the enemy lives or dies, and if the heroine gets her man. You decide to challenge ideals that have been in existence way too long. You get to play pretend all day long. Only when the kids are saying- MOM it is 8 and we haven’t had dinner, Mom when are you going to be done writing… MOM- not kidding, the house is on FIRE! The firemen said you should unplug your laptop and come out!… You get the idea. Only then do you have to come back to the real world, look at some real firemen (by the way, those guys wear waaay to many clothes- how are we supposed to figure out what month they are if they are hiding under all that bulky stuff) and get back to your boring, or crazy, life just the way it is. What is better than that?