Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

“Do your squats. Eat your vegetables. Wear red lipstick. Don’t let boys be mean to you.” ~ Unknown

Photo by Li Sun on Pexels.com

I don’t know whom to credit with the above quote, but it sounds like excellent advice to give my daughters. We’ve been going towards a more plant-based diet lately and I fixed one of our favorite dishes — Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp. Because spaghetti squash has very little flavor on it’s own, it takes on the flavors of the spices and whatever else is included in the dish.

Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 medium sized spaghetti squash

1 lb. raw shrimp, shelled

1 c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

salt and pepper to taste

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. smoked paprika

1/2 t. rosemary

1 T. flour

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400. Prick the skin of the squash all around with a fork. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil the flesh of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes. Set aside and let cool. When cool, scrape the flesh out into a bowl. Place the shelled shrimp on a plate covered with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and rosemary. In a oven safe skillet, melt the butter. Stir in the shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes on each side on medium heat until no longer clear and shrimp appears slightly pink. Remove from pan and add to bowl of cooked spaghetti squash. In skillet, add heavy cream and flour to remaining butter in pan, stirring to combine. Preheat oven broiler on high. Turn heat to low and stir with a whisk approximately 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and spaghetti squash and toss to combine. Continue cooking on low until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Broil under high heat for about 5-7 minutes until cheese starts to turn golden.

Here are some tips that might help make this meal easier to prepare:

  • Cook the squash the evening before or earlier in the day to allow it time to cool and make it easier to scrape the cooked flesh into a bowl.
  • You can use any type of flour – I used whole wheat because that’s what I had on hand.
  • When oiling the flesh of the squash prior to baking, I used a can of olive oil spray for just a light misting, otherwise too much oil causes the squash to become squishy (and who wants squishy squash?)
  • The cooked squash should be still slightly firm when done, requiring a bit of force behind the fork scraping it into the bowl.

Again, I refuse to cook anything too time consuming and this is about as consuming as I get. My daughter’s boyfriend at first wasn’t sure he’d like it, but seeing as how he ate about half the pan, I think he decided it wasn’t so bad after all. He said he was 97% sure he’d like it as he hasn’t eaten anything I’ve cooked that tasted bad, but there was still that 3% that might have been “ugh .. .. ..”

So now that you’ve eaten your vegetables, go put your lipstick on, do your squats and refuse to be intimidated by the boys.

Take care!

And It Has Started

“Regardless of how bullying is manifested — either verbal assaults or strategic moves to render the target unproductive and unsuccessful — it is the aggressor’s desire to control the target that motivates action.” ~ Gary Namie, Workplace Bullying: Escalated Incivility, Ivy Business Journal, November/December 2003 (emphasis mine)

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

And so it has begun . . .

the process to undermine and take down successful, staunch, Republicans who openly supported Trump. As noted in the quote above, from 2003 no less, the desire to control is not new. It’s been around for centuries – the Romans, Alexander the Great, Adolph Hitler and many others who had a desire to rule the world.

Faithful America (God bless their pointed heads) claims to be “the nations largest online community of Christians organizing for social justice.” They have recently circulated a petition signed by a mere 16,000 people stating:

“As long as Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association stand by Franklin Graham, it must be said that these once-vaunted organizations have forgotten their original Christian missions, abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are complicit in the spread of dishonest, discredited election conspiracy theories and the deadly, unpatriotic, white-nationalist terrorism at the U.S. Capitol incited by those lies,” the petition launched by Faithful America says.

Over 16,000 Christians Want Franklin Graham Fired for ‘Helping Incite’ Capitol Riot (msn.com)

PREVIOUSLY, this same organization asked for Franklin Graham’s removal as CEO of Samaritan’s Purse simply because he prayed at the Republican National Convention last year in August. And God forbid he should post anything on Facebook with which this organization doesn’t agree!! They aren’t organizing for social justice, they just don’t like Republicans who supported Trump.

I would also point out that

Of the 167 million Christians in the US as reported in 10/2019 by Pewforum.org, Faithful America, again . . the nation’s largest online community of Christians organizing for social justice is actually pretty minute. A mere 16,000 of 167 million Christians signed this petition. Let me do the math for you. 16,000 of 167 million is only

0.00958% of Christians in the United States.

I’ve said it previously and I’ll repeat it here; words are power and where those words are placed and how much press time they receive can have widespread influence.

Steven Cohen, Tennessee Representative (D) is concerned that a majority of the National Guard responsible for securing Joe Biden during his inauguration might not be Democrat voters — that the majority of the National Guard currently deployed to the Capitol at this time “might be” those who did NOT vote for Biden and therefore are armed and may not be suitable for guarding the President Elect. (Army veteran calls out Dem lawmaker for ‘ridiculous’ remark about troops posing threat to Biden (msn.com)) As was pointed out in this video, these members of the National Guard have outside jobs and dropped everything to respond to the Capitol as they were ordered, regardless of their political preference . . . but for some, that’s not good enough. If you are not a Democrat voter, you are now not qualified to serve or at least protect the President Elect? C’mon . . . this isn’t about safety? This is an out-and-out slam against those who may not have voted Democrat. He just doesn’t like Republicans who might have supported Trump.

I do find it interesting that Rep. Cohen stated that perhaps 25% of those in the National Guard voted for Biden, while probably 75% of those in the National Guard voted for Trump. The National Guard is made up of citizens from across the country. If these numbers are representative of the percentages of voters who participated in the last election, explain to me again how Joe Biden won?

Conservative reporter, Tucker Carlson, is being called out and ridiculed for his monologue on Fox News and his sarcastic outrage for the “Inusrrection” at the Capitol on Jan. 6. His outrage is that a riot that resulted in 5 deaths (two of which occurred due to medical conditions and happened near the Capitol during the riot) is being compared to 9/11 in which terrorists attacked the Twin Towers in NYC and the Pentagon using hijacked airplanes, killing 2,996 people. This report Tucker Carlson Thinks Everybody’s Too Upset About Trump Supporters Invading the Capitol (Video) (msn.com) can’t even get the number of deaths at the Capitol correct, now elevating it to 7 deaths. See how that works? Keep reporting your outrage at someone else’s outrage, ridiculing their reaction and padding the numbers and then repeating it and tweaking the information and the numbers and soon it becomes like the old “telephone game” — you tell that person and she tells the next person and he tells the next person and by the end of the line the entire story has been embellished and nowhere near resembles the original statements. The information isn’t correct, the subject is being ridiculed and played up as someone who is facetious, snarky and unempathetic to the plight of those at the Capitol. This isn’t reporting, this is a group of people (the press) who don’t like Republicans who supported Trump.

I’m sure Sean Hannity of Fox News will be next for his monologue in which he stated:

“Establishment Republicans have no backbone, no principle, no courage, no vision. . . Too many politicians in D.C. are just far to willing to go along, get along, and protect the swamp, and that is why conservatives like myself are tired of these empty promises and your rehearsed speeches and never getting anything done.”

Hannity Calls for McConnell to Be Replaced as GOP Senate Leader (msn.com)

Censorship has begun, in full force . . . welcome to the next Regime.

Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip

If you really want to make a friend, go to his house and eat with him. The people who give you their food, give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez

Obviously, I cannot have everyone come to my house to eat. There is neither enough room nor enough chairs. So I share the recipes; then you can have a bit of my heart in your own home.

It’s cold weather time, which means time for cold weather food – warm soups, hot dips, warm sandwiches, aromatic things which make you sigh with contentment. I made baked spinach and artichoke dip the other evening while I was speaking with my daughter on the phone. She sighed and stated that her husband loves it, but it makes so much that she rarely makes it. Hellooooo? Then make it and invite friends and family over!!

Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 can whole artichoke hearts, drained

1 10-12 oz bag frozen, chopped spinach

1 8 oz. block cream cheese

1 c. shredded mozarella cheese

1/2 t. salt

1 t. ground pepper

1/2 t. red pepper flakes

1/2 t. smoked paprika

1 c. Mayonnaise

1/4 c – 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare 9″ pie plate with a thin film over olive oil. Cook the bag of spinach as directed, drain and squeeze out excess water with paper towels. While spinach is cooking, chop artichoke hearts. Soften cream cheese in microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Combine cream cheese with mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese, stirring until smooth and creamy. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika to cheese mixture and fold in. In pie plate, stir together artichoke hearts, spinach and cheese mixture until evenly distributed. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn broiler to High. Sprinkle dip with Parmesan cheese and return to oven to brown the cheese on top. Watch carefully as it will occur quickly and you don’t want to burn it, just achieve a nice golden brown color – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with tortilla chips, wheat crackers or pita bread.

That right there, my friends, is a lovely way to end a day. Friends, food, comfort and conversation.

In all actuality, I am getting ready to go for a run and I will probably have some leftover dip as a snack when I return!

Bon appetit!

Cleansing

“Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.” ~Rick Klein, ABC News political director, Tweet, Jan 7,2021 (now deleted) but placed on ABC’s homepage.

Do you spot something interesting in this photo? Look closely. Out of all the people photographed performing the now infamous “Nazi salute”, one man is standing, arms crossed, refusing to comply. Oh my gosh! A rebel! In 2021, he would no doubt be tagged as a “deplorable” or better yet, a Trump supporter.

There stands a man with convictions. And he paid for them dearly . . . with his life. He refused to capitulate. Love for his family was of more value than his own life. Our country was formed on the basis of such values. Many men forfeited their lives, their families, their livelihoods, businesses, fortunes and reputations to make America what it has been . . . up to this point.

The quote I’ve posted above, came not from 1930’s Germany, but from 2021 following the “insurrection” at the US Capitol. Insurrection? A small group of protesters (without guns) and admittedly infiltrated by members of Antifa, breached the Capitol doors. Or did they? Video shows Capitol police moving the gates and waving protesters past. Additional footage from cellphones of those “breaching” the doors, show Capitol police standing by silently as they enter.

August Landmesser, the brave gentleman shown in the photo above, stood on his principles and refused to continue supporting the Nazi party of which he’d been a member. The Nazi salute was a mandatory act for German citizens to show loyalty to the Nazi party. Mr. Landmesser’s refusal to do so was outright defiance. Two years after joining the Nazi party in 1931, August met and fell in love with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman and proposed in 1935. After word of his engagement got out, he was expelled from the Nazi party. Attempting to procure a marriage license was in vain as the Nuremburg Laws forbid marriage to Jews. This photo was taken in 1936 and a year later, August attempted to flee with Irma and their daughter to Denmark but was detained and charged with “dishonoring the race” under those same Nuremburg Laws. He was acquitted after a year and instructed to forego any relationship with Irma. Being a man of principles and integrity, he refused and was arrested again and spent the next three years in a concentration camp. Irma herself, now pregnant, was sent first to an all-women’s concentration camp where she gave birth to their second daughter and then to an extermination camp where she was killed. Following his time at the concentration camp, August was pressed into wartime service and was later reported missing, assumed dead in Croatia. (The tragically powerful story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute | The Independent | The Independent)

Imagine, growing up and believing that your country espouses and supports freedom: freedom of religious belief, freedom to work and prosper, freedom in the pursuit of happiness (including marriage), freedom to align with a particular political party, and freedom of expression. Now imagine:

  • Suddenly your social media feeds are censored, blocked or removed because you do not support the popular political party.
  • For months, a virus with a 99.4% survival rate, has resulted in forced business closures, social distancing, mask mandates, lockdowns, limits on family gatherings, forced abandonment of older family members in nursing homes with no physical contact, and cessation of religious services. ALL in the name of health . . . for a virus with a 99.4% survival rate?
  • Governors of states, such as Florida and South Dakota, who refuse to follow strict mandates pushed forward in other states such as California and New York, are ridiculed, put down and censured. All the while their states continue to flourish – even with Florida and New York having the approximate same number of citizens. Matter of fact, South Dakota’s increasing tax revenues gave them a budget surplus. How many other states can claim that during forced lockdowns?
  • For four years, “peaceful” (insert snark here) protests resulting in riots, murders, looting of businesses, takeovers of portions of cities (Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington come to mind), attempts to overthrow federal buildings — are not only condoned but encouraged by leaders in the Democratic party.

What comes next? You tell me.

If you’re reading this . . . please . . .

Don’t go along mindlessly with the flow. Be an August Landmesser in a sea of sheeple. Stand on YOUR principles.

Unapologetic

“I’m unapologetic not because I’m strong-willed or overconfident, I’m unapologetic because this is it; this is my life. There is nothing I can do, no one I can please. I am a person with a strong sense of being, that is all.” ~ Jean Seberg

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s time. Time to stand up for what is right. Time to no longer sit down quietly, and let others decide the course of events that will affect me, affect my family and generations to come. Time to let go of popular things that many people cannot fathom living without.

Facebook – gone, deleted.

Instagram – gone, deleted.

Censorship – done with it.

Factcheckers – literally uneducated quacks who strike down anything that doesn’t fit with the current narrative – can kiss my ass.

Yes,I voted for Trump. But he’s not the be all and end all. While he did a great number of good things for the US, he was also human; he had his foibles. While I identify with the Republican party, the party and it’s representatives are also not the be all and end all. Many of the elected Republican senators and representatives have turned tail in the face of adversity. Instead of standing for the Republic that was the United States of America, they have allowed themselves to be cowed, or bought, or frightened of losing their positions of power or economic comfort.

Sanctions are rolling in:

Democrats calling for sanctions against and removal from office of Republican representatives and senators who dared to follow the Electoral Count Act of 1887 and call into question the electoral votes. Something Democrats have done previously in 2001, 2005, and 2017. Did Republicans call for their removal from office? Of course not, because historically Republicans follow the law.

“In 2001, House Democrats challenged the certification of electoral votes for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, a Republican, but the objection failed because no senator agreed to sign the written objection. “The objection is in writing, and I do not care that it is not signed by a member of the Senate,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said during the 2001 joint session of Congress.”

Since 2001, Democrats Objected 3 Times to Electoral College Certification (dailysignal.com)

Even during Trump’s inaugration in 2017, riots and looting ensued. Democrats were notoriously quiet.

“Six police officers were injured and 217 protesters arrested Friday after a morning of peaceful protests and coordinated disruptions of Donald Trump’s inauguration gave way to ugly clashes in downtown Washington. . . . Bursts of chaos erupted on 12th and K Streets as black-clad “antifascist” protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police lined up in an eastbound crosswalk. . . . Anti-Trump protests also broke out Friday in U.S. cities, including New York, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon. Authorities in Seattle say one person was in critical condition at a hospital with a gunshot wound.”

Acting DC Police Chief Peter Newsham told CNN, “We have been pointing out all along that this is a very isolated incident, and by and large, everything is going peacefully. . . “

Inauguration protests: Police injured, more than 200 arrested (cnn.com)

Reading the above quote, what is reported is far from peaceful. If you Google “peaceful defined” this is what returns: 1. free from disturbance; tranquil. 2. not involving war or violence. How anyone can read the quote above from CNN and find it free from disturbance, tranquil and not involving violence is sadly hilarious, because in reality you cannot describe the above scene and call it peaceful. Nor is having these incidents spread across several cities, “isolated.”

Now with the election of 2020 confirmed, Democrats control the House and the Senate with a Democrat president and vice-president. Following the last four years of vitriol and undisguised hatred against President Trump, against the working class who supported him, and virtually anyone who speaks or has spoken in his defense – I am fearful. Rioting and looting has been encouraged and supported by the Democrat leaders:

“No peace, no sleep! No peace, no sleep! . . . If you see anybody from that cabinet (Trump’s) in a restaurant, in a dpeartment store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them . . . ” ~ Maxine Waters, D-Ca, 2018 (encouraging harassment of Trump supporters)

“You know there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives.” ~ Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) (apparently this only applies to Democrats protesting and rioting)

“I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. . . ” ~ Spkr. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Viral Video Shows Leading Democrats Promoting ‘Uprisings,’ ‘Unrest,’ Harassment | The Daily Wire

What are my fears for the future? History has a tendency to repeat itself. Let’s look back at 1930’s Germany, shall we?

In 1928, the Nazi party only received 2.5% of the votes in Germany’s parliament. By 1930, the Nazi party received 18.3% of the vote, expanding their seats in German Parliament from 12 to 107. Move forward two years, and in 1932 the Nazi party received 37% of the votes. Hitler was made chancellor by the German President and it just snowballed from there – parliamentary members were evicted from their seats (sound familiar?). From there, the German President passed the “Enabling Act” which allowed Hitler as Chancellor to “deviate from the constitution as necessary.” From there labor unions and political parties were banned and censorship went into high gear.

This is all historical fact – not a conspiracy theory, not a fairy tale. You can find it here or here.

Words hold power, and as such must be used carefully. Truth is expressed by words, but so are lies. Words heard often enough but not researched for factuality will often become passed along as gospel truth. Repetition has long been used as a form of brainwashing in concentration camps, cults, and now increasingly through our mainstream media. Don’t believe me?

colloquial term, it is more generally applied to any technique designed to manipulate human thought or action against the desire, will, or knowledge of the individual. By controlling the physical and social environment, an attempt is made to destroy loyalties to any unfavourable groups or individuals, to demonstrate to the individual that his attitudes and patterns of thinking are incorrect and must be changed, and to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the ruling party.

Brainwashing | Britannica

I chose to removed my Facebook page and Instagram accounts because I choose not to be subject to the censorship that abounds through those channels. I meticulously check and double-check the news that I read from reputable and multiple non-US sources against what is reported stateside.

I am angry. I am furious. I am unarguably unapologetic because my life matters, not to those in power, but to me and my family. My stance will not be popular, I will be labeled such things as “conspiracy theorist” or “overreactive” or “lunatic” even, but I promise this . . . I will not back down.

Welcome 2021

“The book is called opportunity and it’s first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

Talking about resolutions with a friend, I stated that I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions. When I decide to do something, I just set the goal and do it . . . no need to wait for an auspicious, timely milestone marker. Another friend posted a photo that consisted of a quote which I will insert here:

“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” ~ Source Unknown

After hearing excuses for so long, you just KNOW that some people have no intention of changing. They lack motivation, or drive, or intention, or cajones, or . . . whatever. If you listen, they will have every excuse in the book — usually ones that can be negated with logic or a short reality check. Those are the kind of folks that drive me to the brink of irritation to where I’m biting my tongue and slowly backing away from spending time with them. It’s one thing to be content with who and where you are, and say so. It’s another to feel as if you have to profess change to compete or compare when the obvious lack of follow-thru is more suspicious than mysterious ballots appearing in the presidential election.

For years I’ve felt that I owed explanations for what I do. Guess what? I don’t.

My only competition is myself. Whether it’s running, exercise, cooking, learning, reading, working or sleeping; I no longer compare myself to others. Oh . . . I’ll listen and learn from their experiences, but if I’m not interested . . . I’m not interested.

If I’m mad . . . I’ll be mad without an apology. I can make my feelings known tactfully and with discretion but make no mistake . . . I will no longer hide it. After reading the article on Unapolgetic Women here . . . I have come to a decision:

I will no longer apologize for being who I am, for thinking my thoughts, for having my strengths and my weaknesses. The year of 2021 will be the year of the terrifying, unapologetic me.

I don’t think my experience is a unique one. Women—mothers, especially—are told all the time, subtly and overtly, that we must change, adapt and bend who we are to make other people more comfortable. That somehow a watered-down version of ourselves is the one we should present to the world.” ~ Diana Spalding

This was never truer for me than when I was offered my dream job which required me to move to another state. A job for which I had trained and worked and studied and suffered . . . but yet, the exact day the written job offer came, I was asked to keep quiet about it because it (the prospect of my required move) was upsetting people. The message clearly was that everyone else’s feelings mattered more than mine — their discomfort was of more concern than my need to be happy and excited and celebrate my accomplishment.

Guess what ladies? If you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will either.

It’s been so ingrained in me, so distilled and pressed into my subconscience to be quiet and unassuming, it is difficult for me to promote myself. That will be my biggest goal this coming year.

Stay tuned for the adventures that are sure to come. . . .