Monday, March 26, 2012

He Gone (a text gone wrong)

I got the strangest text last night. It simply said this.

He Gone

(cue sinister music)

Because it was from a number I didn't recognize (and because I'm really not a "texter") I didn't text back. But honestly. What would I say?

Sorry. Wrong Number. And really is an ('s) an awfully hard to thing to include? That is so obvious.

 But what if the person on the other end works for the mafia? What if it is a confirmation of a hit gone right. (or wrong depending on if you are the "hit" or the "hitter.")

What if it is someone who is having illicit relations and texting the other party? He Gone. You can come over now. For shame. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Or what if it is from someone who has lost a loved one and is simply informing family members of the passing in the most economical way possible. Not in the best possible taste. And frankly kind of strange.

Or maybe it was a text interrupted?

He Gone to the store for milk (I realize that is bad grammar. But honestly, grammar is a lost art in our modern day communications)

He Gone and done it again. (This makes perfect sense to my hillbilly sensibilities...bad grammar and all)

He Gone and got himself a dog (again...makes sense to me)

He gone and got himself another woman (If he's gone and got himself a dog and another woman.....Country song!)

Hmm. I love a good story. Especially if I have to make one up ;<)

Meal Plan Monday - March 26

I'm linking this post up to Meal Plan Monday over at


I told myself I really didn't have time to do a Meal Plan Monday post. I should be cleaning my tub. And cleaning out my fridge. And reading a new novel I downloaded on my Kindle. All those important things in life.

But I can't help myself. Just don't tell The Studly Muffin. He's under the misconception that I'm industrious. Not that he would care. He loves me....I just like to pretend I'm industrious.

This week I purposefully planned some easy peasy meals. It's really warm here in the Ozarks. It feels like summer. I'm craving fresh veggies and salads. The garden isn't producing so I have had to settle for the grocery produce section. I'm cutting up veggies like cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers and keeping them in the fridge (ready for easy access). I also have the crisper stuffed with fruit. I'm going to make up a big bowl of fresh tomato salsa for my guys to snack on...Yum! It's almost better than pie. Almost.

Here's the plan for the week.

Monday: Cold Cut Sandwiches with Veggies. Sweet Potato Chips (I got at Aldi's)

Tuesday: Crockpot Teryaki Chicken Wings, Steamed Rice, Asian Slaw. I use this great teryaki recipe.
It's for baked chicken teryaki, but I use it in the crockpot as well.

Wednesday: Tuna Salad (sandwiches again!) Fresh Veggies with Ranch Dip. I love this Tuna Salad recipe. It has crab meat in it.

Thursday: Stuffed Clams, Baked Potato, Cucumber and Tomato Salad. I bought bought these today at Aldi's for just around $3. I am also planning on using the bits of cucumber and tomato left over from our fresh veggies on Wednesday to make a simple salad with (oil and vinegar).

We are off to St. Louis on Friday for the whole weekend and coming home on Monday. This is going to be a belated Birthday trip to visit my Bro-in-law and Sis-in-law. I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it!

Friday, March 23, 2012


I'm currently a Tutu Making Machine. And I have pictures to prove it. Well, a few pictures. I have some pictures of a tutu. I have some more pictures of more tutus that aren't currently in possession.

Get it? I also just downloaded the new version of Picasa. I've been playing with all the new filters and you will have to excuse my pics. I've gone a little crazy.

Anyhoo. I've been making birthday tutus for my younger nieces. And it just so happened that this particular niece turned 9 this week. Her favorite colors are blue. None of that pink fluff for Alexandra.

That's Josiah finger in this picture. He thought it was hysterical to put his hand in front of the picture. He's easy to entertain :<). This is actually the back of the Tutu (but you can wear the ribbon in the front if you wish). I like making them with ribbons as the waist band. Using ribbons allow you to adjust the size as you need to.  Plus it adds a little bling.

My Mom and Dad drove in to take Alex to supper for her birthday. They then drove over to my house so she could get her birthday tutu surprise. This is my bathroom. Just pretend it's not my bathroom. 

Oh the magic of the Tutu! She twirled and posed and pranced!

And twirled and pranced and posed some more.

Now this is the life. Viva el Tutu!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When Beke Lost More Than Her Mind

Beke is need of a spa day. Just saying.

It has been "one of those" kind of weeks. Is it me or do "one of those" kind of weeks happen more and more frequently. I have issues.

Instead of crying in my Diet Coke (which I'm really not supposed to be drinking) I thought I would share one of my "greatest hits."

My first few years of college I attended a small community college in the Mississippi Delta (the location of the college has nothing to do with my story, but I thought it necessary to blather on a bit more). On this particular day I had driven to the college for a class. I parked. Opened my door and stepped out of the car. Only to have my pants fall around my ankles. Exposing my supersized Granny Panties (a big apology to any of my uncles or other male relatives reading this post..TMI?) Yep. It happened. Remember when your momma told you to wear clean underwear? May I also suggest they be cute as well? You never know.

Anyhoo. Back to the story.  I gasped. Dropped my book bag. Immediately looked at the busy traffic crossing in front of the college and at the crowded parking lot. Then it happened. I started laughing. And laughing. After I realized that I was not only embarrassing myself, but inflicting trauma upon passersby and the young impressionable college students (imagine a fluffy woman giggling in the parking lot with her britches pooling around her ankles), I quickly sat back down in my car. So here I was trying to pull my pants back up, discreetly.

At this point, I was giggling so hard I was practically hysterical. I bunched up my pants the best I could (the elastic had given way) and with the waist band of my pants in one hand and my bookbag in the other I walked towards the building. It was there that I spent the next 20 minutes searching every office and classroom and closet for something to hold my pants up. I would walk in an office (still snorting) and explain my dilemma. The professor/secretary/person in that office would declare disbelief and then begin snorting with me.

By the time I reached the end of the long hall word had spread of my Parking Lot Strip Tease. My Lit Professor and I finally concocted a paper clip sort of thing to hold my pants up. Occasionally I would pass someone and if I heard the giggle I knew that they knew. It's a good thing I have no shame. But I'm convinced that there is a whole generation of people in Eastern Arkansas who still tell stories around the dinner table of the lady who lost her pants in the parking lot.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meal Plan Monday - March 19

I'm linking this post up with Meal Plan Monday over at

This week I'm keeping it Simple. Well. Kinda. Simple for me. I do have a confession. Last week I had purchased a Corned Beef to serve Thursday evening. Instead I made sandwiches. Actually, I made my sandwich. Everybody else was on their own. I did slice a yellow bell pepper and an avocado and arranged it nicely on a paper plate. That way, The Studly Muffin could pretend he was at his favorite sandwich shop. Call it what you will, but we all need emergency "just be happy this isn't a bowl of cereal" meals. 

I always get tickled at those chefs on the TV who (while busily chop, steam,saute,scramble) assure you that this meal they are making is not any more complicated than going through a fast food restaurant. Sure thing, sweetie. Anyhoo. Here is my menu for this week. Baring any unforeseen events. Like company. Or long days. Or strange cravings. Or just because.

Monday: Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage (this is one I carried over from last week).

Tuesday: Hamburger Sliders & Home Cut Oven Fries. We love hamburgers. And there is nothing like making a pound of ground round stretch like making sliders. Put that with some Oven Fries and Yum!

Wednesday: Reuben Sandwiches. I'm using the left over corned beef for this one. I got a large loaf of Rye bread from the Marked Down Bread rack this morning at the grocery. It's a great mid-week meal.

Thursday: Tacos! I found a large package of ground round marked down this morning (hence the beef heavy week). I had everything else for tacos. Why not?

Friday: Bean Cakes with Sour Cream & Avocado. Salad. This is a great recipe for Bean Cakes. And they are really good for you.

The Weekend is going to be spent with my who knows! Enjoy your week ;<)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

321 Cake

I am not the bestest baker in the world. I am not even close. In fact, some of my baking disasters are stuff of legend (just ask my mom about the blueberry floating cake). I have decided that it is because baking is science. An exact science. You have to follow directions. I tend to be more "organic." Throw a little of that and this in the pot. Now that's cooking.

On a recent visit with my Mom, I discovered this cute little recipe for little cakes. She made them with some her grandkids that were visiting. What I saw were perfectly formed tiny cakes with pink frosting. Cute! Recently, when my 2 little nieces visited I decided they would make a perfect afternoon baking adventure.

The cake is called 321 Cake (I believe it is a Weight Watchers Favorite). The ingredients are simple. I found that silicone pan at a thrift store for .11. I'm not sure why it was .11. Why not .12? You can also see some of my ingredients are the product of the markdown bin. My regular cake mix I got for .50 and the sugar free frosting I found for .99.  I'll post complete recipe at the end of this post.

Mix both cakes mixes together. You want to know the difference between cooking with boys and cooking with girls? Not a whole lot. Except the boy keeps making emergency trips to his bedroom so he can rearrange little army guys into a new battle formation.

Stir them both together.

Measure 3 Tablespoons of the cake mix into the little baking cups. Resist the urge to lick the mix off your fingers during the process.

I let everyone take a turn. So basically we made little cakes all afternoon.

Then measure 2 Tablespoons of water into the cake mix.

Stir. Warning! Warning! I should have stirred these up myself. You shall soon see.

Pop in the microwave for 1 minute. It's magic!

Oops. Beke's Baking Disasters strike again. And this time I'm passing the Baking Disaster Bug down to my son and his cousins. This is why I should have stirred. The cake mix and water has to be stirred pretty good.

Sigh. Everything's better with chocolate. And frosting. And chocolate frosting.

This is the end result of one of our later cakes. We made them just like we made the previous ones....I just stirred the mix before we "baked" them. Josiah frosted this cake.

Here is the recipe (along with a few of my suggestions)

1 box Angel Food Cake Mix
1 box Cake Mix - Any Flavor

Combine the two cake mixes together and mix well. For each individual cake serving, take out 3 Tablespoons of the cake mix combination and mix it with 2 Tablespoons of water in a small microwave-safe container. I used my silicone baking pan. I really think that a glass one would have done better. It took a little longer for them to "bake." Microwave on high for 1 minute (it took mine about 1.5). Viola! You have cake!

Keep remaining cake mixture stored in the ziploc bag. They would be really darling with a some sliced strawberries (or other fruit) and a little dollop of cool whip.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Big Adventure

I want to get this out of the way. Today is my birthday. I'm 40. I don't have to tell you that I've approached this particular birthday with dread. But, I've been convicted for having such stinky attitude about my increasing years. I just figured I'd know everything I'd need to know before now and I sure would be a lot skinnier. Sigh. Oh well. I've decided to be grateful for the very breath I have today. It wasn't always so certain I'd live to be 40.

Anyhoo. We're hosting 2 of our nieces this week. They are on Spring Break. So we are pulling out all the stops. On a budget. I thought I would share a few random pics of our adventure yesterday. We are having glorious spring weather here in the Ozarks.

Disclaimer: If you do not enjoy looking at random pictures (accompanied by garrulous, yet insightful comments from "yours truly") you will not enjoy this post..

First of all,  I need to reveal my shame. I used a port-a-potty at the park. It was nasty. I realize that we've all had to use them (or maybe you are one of the fortunate ones who can "hold it" for hours).  But here's the thing. I am not a bit comfortable in one of these things. The sanitation alone is an issue with me. And. What if a strong wind knocked it over...or a couple of obnoxious teenagers? What if people could see me! And I'm pretty sure I have the plague now!  I mean really. This is the "view" from my vantage point. You can practically stick a Big Mac through that crack in the door.  (Not that a Big Mac would be appetizing in this setting)

Aw. The joys of the Merry-Go-Round. To be honest I have a fragile relationship with The Merry-Go-Round. I fell off of one in 1st grade and haven't felt the same about them since. You do understand I turned 40 today, right? I still have a few issues I need to work out.

Josiah has it figured out. Never get off. Never sit down. Just don't move.

King of the Mountain (and his loyal subjects)

Wildlife. (this, my city folk friends is a goose. Don't mess with the goose. He might nip you)

That is what I told my nieces. Alexandra decided to take my advice to heart and keep her interaction to the Wildlife at a distance.

Josiah incorporates all his best baseball moves in the fowl feeding.

This, my city folk friends is a duck. A funny duck, but a duck, nonetheless. Ducks are harmless and generally don't care to nip you. Now a rooster or a mad hen...that's a different story. See? Aren't you glad you are reading this?  You might never know when you need to run from a crazy rooster.

A swan.  I really don't know if a swan will nip. Swan's weren't part of my farm story growing up.


Josiah and Alex. Posing.

I'm not sure what Josiah is doing. I think he's posing, but it looks like something might have flown up his nose.

More posing. And we added Madalyn.

Land Ho!

We packed a lunch. I let them decorate their bags and make their own sandwiches. We added cuties, a granola bar and some bottled water. I'm pretty proud of myself. Considering Josiah and I took Taco Bell on a previous picnic. 'Cause nothing says "nature" like a bean burrito.

After our interaction with Nature and What Not, we went to see a movie. One of our local movie theatres has movies for $1 on Tuesdays. We love $1 movie days. I splurged for a couple of drinks and some popcorn. Are you kidding me? I could have bought everybody supper with what we spent. We enjoyed our Highbrow selection of the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. The kids loved it and I will admit to doing a bit of "moving to the beat." I grew up with Alvin. How come he's still so young?

I've enjoyed my nieces. Girls are so much different. Alex is growing her hair out to donate to "Locks of Love." She doesn't plan on changing her last name when she gets married (she's almost 9) and she informed me that butter in the popcorn is unhealthy. Hmm. Is she related to me? I thought our family invented butter.

Madalyn (Maddie Paige) has been schooling me in the Lady Gaga Songbook. She's pretty much up for everything. Well. Almost. Right at this minute (as I type this) she is trying to play an Agatha Christie murder mystery game on the Wii. I told her she probably wasn't going to like it. I give her 2 minutes to put Just Dance back on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gotta Dance

Today I needed a good belly laugh. Maybe you do, too.

So I am posting this video I took of Josiah and his cousins (Maddie & Alex) playing Just Dance last night at our house.

 Josiah certainly dances to his own beat. My battery on my camera died before the song was over...and Josiah wandered off to another adventure. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meal Plan Monday - March 12

I'm linking this post up to Meal Plan Monday over at

I've got to keep this quick. This is one of those weeks that screams "Are You Kidding Me?" I've done it to myself. We are going to have 2 of my little nieces (My Little Bro's youngest) for most of the week. They are on spring break and want to come to Aunt Beke's to "whoop it up." I'm good at "whooping." We'll have all have a marvelous time, but in the meantime I still have to cart Josiah to all his activities and what not. It's the "What Not" I'm worried about.

And (drum roll, please) I am turning the big "4-0" this week. (shhh. Don't tell anyone) Our small group at church last night had a little party for me, complete with cheese cake and nachos. Yum. I could have cheese cake and nachos every night of the week. But I won't.

Instead. I'm going to have this stuff.

Monday: Mexican Mess. I found this recipe on a blog I read regularly. It's a crockpot dish that you serve over tortilla chips. I am making it a little lighter for our needs. But between swim and family water aerobics and hosting 2 little girls I thought this sounded like a perfect solution for a crazy Monday.

Tuesday: Bacon Ranch Turkey Tenderloin. Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus. This is a repeat meal. I have a few of these turkey tenderloins in the freezer. I'm planning on spending Tuesday at the park and then the Movie Theatre, but this meal won't be to hard to put together.

Wednesday: Who knows? "It's my birthday and I'll make what I want to, I'll make what I want to..."
I'm letting my whims take me wherever...which is always a bit dangerous.

Thursday: Slowcooker Corned Beef and Cabbage. So it's technically not St. Patty's Day. And while I do have a bit of the Irish floating through my Ancestral Gene Pool, I can't claim this as my own holiday. If that were the case I would also have to celebrate Bastille Day, Boxing Day and host the occasional Pow Wow. Anyhoo. Back to the Corned Beef. It's on sale now at the Grocery and I love cooking it in the Crockpot. This recipe has Ale, but if you can always just use water or chicken broth.

Friday: Chicken Strips (homemade), Sweet Potato Fries. Family Night!

The rest of the weekend will be spent at my parent's farm.

Later this week (if I have time) I'll post some cute video I took of my Baby Sister little girls singing with my Mom. They live in OHHH-Klahoma and were visiting last week so I got to see them. And I have a cute tutorial for a 321 cake (microwave) I plan on making with the 2 nieces who are coming to visit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Picture This

Yippee! I was blessed today with an early birthday present. A new camera! My old camera had succumbed to the cares of this world and recently reached it's final resting place (an electronic junk drawer). My sweet Mom-in-law bought me a new one. I'm so excited (and I just can't hide it). I spent the afternoon just playing and trying out all the bells and whistles. This camera also has a video recorder. I took video, but promptly erased it. I thought it was just a bad picture! Oh well. I assure you it was something special.

I started my picture taking Odyssey at Swim Lessons earlier this evening. What is cool about my New Camera is that I was sitting on the other side of the pool. I didn't have to move. My old camera couldn't handle the distance.

(I interrupt this New Camera review with this very important message)
 Josiah wants to point out that he is in the "deep." He is still not convinced he isn't going to have to do battle with a Great White Shark (circa 1975 Jaws) at some point.  And no. I did not let him watch Jaws. He's a big Steven Spielberg fan and has memorized Steven's greatest "hits."

Josiah's long suffering Swim Teacher. And Josiah. Doing his front float.

He's just too cute.

I'm not sure what they were doing here. Jordan looks like she needs an Excedrin. Those 2 little giggly girls in the corner are something else. Jordan is an elementary ed major at MSU. She is wonderful. She also needs to work on her Mean Teacher Face.

Josiah asked me the other day if he gets to go to the Olympics. I assured him that the Olympic dream could be his, but I have a feeling he is going to be disappointed when he isn't marching in the Opening Ceremonies this summer in London. I think he intends to go. Now.

I snapped this picture while Josiah was watching TV. Typical guy. You see that he also in possession of the remote control. It starts young, my friends.

And of course. Josiah had to try out the new camera. Hey my little army friends! It's been too long! Did you miss us! Try not to focus on the mess in the background. I know I'm doing my best to ignore his whole room.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

I'm linking this Meal Plan Monday to I'm An Organizing Junkie.

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." (or No matter how well this girl plans something...look out! Something will happen to mess it all up). The line is from a Scots poem by Robert Burns. Like my paraphrase? Ain't it the truth! (while the poem comes from Scotland, the "Ain't" comes from my hillbilly upbringing).

Last week I planned what I considered to be a beautifully crafted Meal Plan. It was budget friendly and healthy. I carefully constructed it around bargains I had found, pantry items and some of my guy's favorite foods. I poured through recipe books, cooking websites...looking for those special combinations of ingredients. It was to be a triumphant week of meal planning glory.

Okay. It really wasn't that big of deal. I am prone to exaggeration. But it was a plan. And life stepped in. So life often comes in the form of "Buy A Big Mac Get 1 For .29" or "I don't feel like turning on the oven tonight let's heat up some hot dogs in the microwave." Don't tell me you haven't been there. Of course, I have dealt with the guilt of eating more calories in one sandwich than I normally have in a day. And, really, Microwaved hot dogs? I did toast the buns on top of the griddle....that was a bust. The Studly Muffin and Josiah requested that I never, ever do such a thing again. Apparently, they like their buns soggy.

I don't even like hot dogs that much.

Anyhoo. The point is that sometimes life gets crazy for one reason or another. Or people get sick. Or you decide that spending the evening making Tutu skirts (that is a topic for another post) more important than  making spaghetti for your family. How can one not be drawn to the magic of the Tutu Skirt.

So here is my Meal Plan for this week. It's healthy and budget friendly. And hopefully Big Mac proof.

Monday: Chicken Salad on ciabatta rolls. This is one of our late evenings. Swim lessons, family water aerobics. I picked up a deli chicken that was marked down. In mere minutes I am turning it into a fabulous chicken salad (because I have a fabulous chicken salad recipe). It simply has chicken, a little sour cream & mayo, a little bit of onion and celery and then an apple or a few grapes. I also usually add nuts of some sort. Salt and pepper and then a bit of lime juice. Yum.

Tuesday: Stuffed Turkey Peppers. Roasted Broccoli. I found a package of multi-colored peppers this morning at the grocery store. Put that with the Italian turkey sausage I have in my freezer and we get a delicious meal. The Studly Muffin loves these.

Wednesday: Crab Cakes, Potato Wedges and Corn. I don't have much of a recipe for these. I also need to make a disclaimer. I don't use real Crab. As if. I live in the Missouri Ozarks and have a grocery budget that is less than some people's Starbucks addiction. I am using the imitation crab (which is just white fish). I mix it with an egg, panko, a little onion, salt and pepper. Easy.

Thursday: Crockpot Bratwurst with Peppers. This is one I had planned for last week that got knocked out for a Big Mac.

Friday: Turkey Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus. Family Night!

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