Crescent Roll Cones

“You are never happy with a recipe as is, you always have to do something to it…”Jabber complained.

Well, this is sometimes true.  It all depends upon what I can come up with and whether or not I want to put a lot of work into it.  I saw this idea online with the recipe calling for making one’s own dough….but I thought Crescent rolls might work instead.  So, that’s what I did.

This is a yummy Crescent roll presentation for a luncheon, party, shower or whatever special event you might have.

These are inexpensive to make, don’t take a huge amount of time, and best of all can be made ahead!  Fill with chicken salad, shrimp salad, Waldorf salad, fresh berries, or fresh lettuce greens, whatever you would like to serve.  Who doesn’t like Crescent rolls?

Hint:  Be sure to do this when a certain Poodle is sleeping.  Do not ask why.

You will need:

1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 beaten egg

Poppy seeds (or Sesame seeds or whatever seeds you have on hand)

a tiny bit of flour

rolling pin, cookie sheet, cooling rack

And tin foil!

First you make your ‘cones’ by cutting off wide strips of foil–maybe 12 inches wide or so, depending upon how large you want the cones to be.  Fold these into quarters like this:

Sheets of foil.

Folded into quarters–they will NOT look square.

Begin rolling the cone shape:  

Trim the top of the cone a bit:  

I used the long end of a wooden spoon to help shape the cone–it won’t hurt to have a bit of the top of the cone longer.  This will help removing the foil from the baked cones.

Hint:  Keep the wood spoon handy, too.  It is helpful in warding off small Poodles who just want a sniff, then a bite… not ask how I know this.

  These are about 6 inches long–you can make them any size you wish.

Turn on the oven to 350 degrees to heat up.

LIGHTLY sprinkle flour on a piece of parchment paper and a rolling pin.  Do NOT use very much flour as the flour will prevent the dough from sticking together.

Remove two triangles of the dough–they will have a serrated edge between them.  Lightly roll them out a bit.

Cut each of these rectangles into about 5 or 6 long strips.  I used a pizza wheel to do this:

  Now you are ready to cover one cone.  Begin at the bottom tip of the cone and wrap a strip around it, overlapping about half of the dough.  If you do not overlap it, the cones will break apart after they are baked.

Hint:  If they break apart, eat them for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or dinner.  Or a snack.  Do not feed them to your lurking Poodle.  It will only encourage her.  (See Wooden Spoon hint above.  Although I have never had to use it.)

Wrapped cones ready for the final steps before baking:

LIGHTLY pick up each cone and brush on a bit of the beaten egg.  Place back on UNGREASED baking sheet.  When you have brushed each cone, lightly sprinkle with the seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Mine took about 12 minutes to bake, so check them at 10 minutes and adjust time.

Remove from oven, let cool about 1 minute, and then carefully place on rack to cool a bit more.  As soon as you can handle them, carefully pull out the tin foil cones–they came out amazingly easily!

Let cool completely.  At that point you may wrap them carefully  in foil, place in a container and freezer for future use or if you are serving soon, set them aside and make your salad filling.

Busy Weekend

Oh my!

Our beautiful Granddaughter’s first prom was Saturday night!  Here she is:

This is her Aunt standing with her (CCQ Daughter)

Can’t believe our little one is now so grown up!

Music City Half Marathon!

“A year since Jabber did it?” Jabber pondered the very idea that time had passed so fast!

Yes, the Music City Marathon and Half Marathon was Saturday the 25th.  Whilst Jabber and the Brocanters were out sailing yards, about 27,000 of their closest friends were running/walking the marathons, including some of the Y-Knots!

Here are the courageous and successful walkers/runners for this year!  We are SOOO proud of them all!

  Racer Daughter and Leader’s daughter did it together!

  With Elvis!

  Here’s Leader with her running partner, Mac.

Below is Racer Daughter’s ‘bib’ worn during the race–note that she added “YKnotWannaBe” to her bib in honor of us older women known as the Y-Knots who have run/walked in prior years.  (This brought a tear to our eyes, Daughter.  Thank you!)

And some Y-Knot Llamas did it this year too!

(An explanation:  if you are a ‘woman of a certain age’, come to our workout class consistently, you ARE a Y-Knot because we all figure, well, why not?  We are also a very “tight” group–a ‘knot’ at the YMCA, hence, Y-Knots.  If you walk or run a half marathon and are a Y-Knot, you are automatically a Y-Knot Llama.  Because as we all know, Llamas are very persistent.  They will also spit at anybody who tries to “put them in their place”.  We won’t be categorized like that; we’re very persistent and determined…..And we can spit too….  Don’t you DARE patronize us as little old ladies!  There, that ought to fully explain the title.)

“Did anybody ever tell you that you are crazy?” Jabber inquired.

Of course.  I pay them no attention.  That’s what Y-Knot Llamas do.  We just keep on keepin’ on….

Mavis (above)





Close up of the medals and shirts this year!


A marathon is 26.2 miles; a half marathon is 13.1 miles.  A half marathon must be completed in 4 hours or under–and they all did it!

Just in Time!

“Just in time, I found you just in time, before you came my time was running low….”

Wonderful old song, don’t you think?  It’s a love song!  It was meant as a love song, and the writer was telling his/her love how grateful he/she was that he/she came along…

Transfer that ‘just in time’ message to 2015.  Do you know what it means?  It means that you, the average worker, are needed just in time for the employer–not earlier, not later, and sometimes not at all–just in time.  Just in time to do the work which the employer knows needs to be done when and where and at what time the employer says.

That is to say, your beneficent employer may decide they need you 10 minutes before they actually do.  Or, you may be scheduled to work at a certain date and time, but if circumstances change, your employer may send you a text  ten minutes beforehand and say, “Oh, never mind.  Turns out you aren’t necessary after all.”

That is called human resources, which is what we’ve all turned into.  Resources.  Like any other commodity, for the employer to use, use up, or choose not to use at all.  No consideration, folks–you are a resource, easily replaced in the modern-day workforce.  This, combined with the (laughably named) “right to work” laws give the employer all the cards in the deck.  In fact, YOU are JUST A CARD–To be dealt out, discarded or used as they see fit.  You aren’t even human any longer, you are a resource.

For more information on ‘just in time’ management, its impact on our society and the resulting chaos for actual human beings, I refer you to Robert Reich’s article on his blog:

How the New Flexible Economy is Making Workers’ Lives Hell

MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015
These days it’s not unusual for someone on the way to work to receive a text message from her employer saying she’s not needed right then.

Although she’s already found someone to pick up her kid from school and arranged for childcare, the work is no longer available and she won’t be paid for it.

Just-in-time scheduling like this is the latest new thing, designed to make retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, and other customer-driven businesses more nimble and keep costs to a minimum.

Software can now predict up-to-the-minute staffing needs on the basis of information such as traffic patterns, weather, and sales merely hours or possibly minutes before.

This way, employers don’t need to pay anyone to be at work unless they’re really needed. Companies can avoid paying wages to workers who’d otherwise just sit around.

Employers assign workers tentative shifts, and then notify them a half-hour or ten minutes before the shift is scheduled to begin whether they’re actually needed. Some even require workers to check in by phone, email, or text shortly before the shift starts.

Just-in-time scheduling is another part of America’s new “flexible” economy – along with the move to independent contractors and the growing reliance on “share economy” businesses, like Uber, that purport to do nothing more than connect customers with people willing to serve them.

New software is behind all of this – digital platforms enabling businesses to match their costs exactly with their needs.

The business media considers such flexibility an unalloyed virtue. Wall Street rewards it with higher share prices. America’s “flexible labor market” is the envy of business leaders and policy makers the world over.

There’s only one problem. The new flexibility doesn’t allow working people to live their lives.

Businesses used to consider employees fixed costs – like the costs of factories, offices, and equipment. Payrolls might grow or shrink over time as businesses expanded or contracted, but from year to year they were fairly constant.

That meant steady jobs. And with steady jobs came steady paychecks along with regular and predictable work schedules.

But employees are now becoming variable costs of doing business – depending on ups and downs in demand that may change hour by hour, possibly minute by minute.
Yet working people have to pay the rent or make mortgage payments, and have keep up with utility, food, and fuel bills. These bills don’t vary much from month to month. They’re the fixed costs of living.

American workers can’t simultaneously be variable costs for business yet live in their own fixed-cost worlds.

They’re also husbands and wives and partners, most are parents, and they often have to take care of elderly relatives. All this requires coordinating schedules in advance – who’s going to cover for whom, and when.

But such planning is impossible when you don’t know when you’ll be needed at work.

Whatever it’s called – just-in-time scheduling, on-call staffing, on-demand work, independent contracting, or the “share economy” – the result is the same: No predictability, no economic security.

This makes businesses more efficient, but it’s a nightmare for working families.

Last week, the National Employment Law Project reported that 42 percent of U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour.

But even $20 an hour isn’t enough if the work is unpredictable and insecure.

Not only is a higher minimum wage critical. So are more regular and predictable hours.

Some states require employers to pay any staff who report to work for a scheduled shift but who are then sent home, at least 4 hours pay at the minimum wage.

But these laws haven’t kept up with software that enables employers to do just-in-time scheduling – and inform workers minutes before their shift that they’re not needed.

In what may become a test case, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last week warned 13 big retailers – including Target and The Gap – that their just-in-time scheduling may violate New York law, which requires payments to workers who arrive for a shift and then are sent home.

We need a federal law requiring employers to pay for scheduled work.

Alternatively, if American workers can’t get more regular and predictable hours, they at least need stronger safety nets.

These would include high-quality pre-school and after-school programs; unemployment insurance for people who can only get part-time work; and a minimum guaranteed basic income.

All the blather about “family-friendly workplaces” is meaningless if workers have no control over when they’re working.


I’ll bet, as you read the lyrics to “Just in Time” below, you will have an entirely different ‘take’ on what ‘just in time’ actually means.  I do.  So I had to change some of the lyrics…..

“Just In Time”

Just in time
I found you just in time
Before you came my time
Was running low

I was lost
The losing dice were tossed
My bridges all were crossed
Nowhere to go

Now you’re I’m here
And now I know just where I’m going don’t know where I’m going…

No more  Lots of doubt and fear
I’ve found lost my way

For love work came just in time
You found me I got here just in time
And changed my lonely frantic life
That lovely Every single day

Now you’re I’m here
And now I’ve know just no idea where I’m going
No more Only doubt or and fear
‘Cause I‘ve found my way  need some pay……

For love work came just in time
You found me I got here just in time
And changed my
Lonely life that lovely  frantic life to suit your (way)
Lonely life that lovely  hectic life to suit your (way)
Lonely life that lovely day panicked life to get some pay……..

Chronicling Our Times

If you live in this country–or any other–likely you are aware of the on-going issues of reproductive ‘rights’ and the ‘war on women’ currently at the forefront of some politicians’ agendas.  The irony to me is that these reproductive ‘rights’ seem to apply ONLY to women and what they can and/or can’t do.  Men don’t seemingly enter into the equation.  Nobody passes laws saying that men can’t use condoms, get vasectomies or use Viagra or Cialis because of religious beliefs; certainly they are not threatened with losing their jobs if they do nor if they have children out of wedlock they must support!

How obvious does it have to be for people to understand that simply because one is a female she will be subjugated to religious laws?  Some people think they have the right–make that obligation because of their own personal beliefs–to force women to behave in a manner in which the enforcers believe?

I received this email today from Tammy Duckworth–a courageous woman soldier, Congresswoman, and now a new mother (go ahead, you right-wingers–be opposed to those credentials!):

The District of Columbia recently took a step forward for women’s rights, making it illegal for employers to fire anyone for their reproductive choices, like having an abortion or using fertility drugs.

But congressional Republicans, who have been consistently hostile to women’s rights, have stepped in and are trying to overturn the D.C. law.

As a new mom who had the privilege of giving birth to my daughter at age 46, I am especially heartbroken to know that women can be fired for using treatments like in vitro fertilization.

So last night, I proposed an amendment that would protect women in D.C. from being fired for trying to start or expand their family. Add your name: tell Congress to prevent D.C. employers from firing women who use infertility treatments.

This is yet another frustrating example of politicians attempting to interfere with a women’s personal medical decisions.

Couples who struggle to have children face enough difficulty and heartache as is. They should not have to consult their bosses or risk job loss in order to seek medical care.

Thank you for joining me in standing up for these women,


To read more about Tammy Duckworth, go here:


Once again, there is a proposal in front of Congress to demand that women behave in a certain manner when it comes to their reproductive rights.  Men are not addressed in this as far as I am able to ascertain, only women.

Keep in mind the enforcers say this is a right of employers–employers!! have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.  The underlying issue (they imply), of course, is religious beliefs and whether or not they should have an impact upon legislation.  Quite obviously in recent years, these religious beliefs do.  (The real reason is money, people–it’s always money.)

I reference a bill which applies, at the moment, to employers in the District of Columbia.  The bill is to allow employers the right to fire any employee (read that female) who uses birth control pills OR who uses fertility treatments to actually get pregnant!  That about covers all bases, doesn’t it?  For women, of course.

In other words, if a religion-oriented employer (or actually, ANY employer) does not wish to pay medical bills (it all does ultimately come down to money) for a woman who wants to get pregnant OR who wants to prevent pregnancy, and she proceeds to do so anyway, the employer can fire her.

When this law applies to men who use condoms, Viagra and the like, or vasectomies, I’ll not have such great opposition. 

But I’ll bet you THAT never happens.

(Although I will still be opposed to such laws because I do believe in inalienable rights for all.  It’s in the Constitution, people…..and women ARE citizens.)


I should stop the post here.  I’ve made my point.  But let me add some background:  many religious institutions (who CLAIM to be eleemosynary, non-profit, religious institutions–and in most cases, THAT in and of itself is a laugh) do not cover birth control pills for women.  Of course, men are still covered for vasectomies–and for Viagra.  Beyond the actual pregnancy coverage, there often are limits for health coverage for the infant.  How religious is THAT?  Reminds me of our entire society where women are denied abortions on demand–because, of course, somebody else knows more than she does about her desires, abilities, financial situation, family circumstances–and she should have to have the child.  The “fetus” can be cells 24 hours old or up to 9 months old–she has to have it!  No ‘day after’ pill for her!  Nope!  She should have known better.

Hey, people, what about the GUY in the equation here?

Never mind….obviously men aren’t responsible.  They sure don’t want to pay for indigent children and single mothers in this culture, do they? (MOST legislators are men.  As you can see from Tammy Duckworth’s email above, thinking women often feel differently.) No free healthcare.  No affordable daycare.  Not enough money to buy food–never mind diapers and formula–for the infant.  No decent free education for that child.  Nope.  This mother who didn’t WANT to be a mother is stuck for the rest of her life–and twenty years give or take paying for a kid she simply did not want–but once she went through those 9 months of pregnancy and delivery, she decided to keep–again a host of reasons, not all good ones.  She’s in so deep financially, she will never climb out of the hole.

And her beneficent employer?  Well….no time off for her!  No child care days.  No child care at work.  A salary so low she can’t feed herself and a child on it.  And she is ‘on demand’ at work 24/7.  (This thanks to cell phones, the internet, texts, computers, etc.)   If she is fortunate enough to have health care coverage, it may have a cap on how much it will pay (especially for a new born)–but certainly it will have copayments and deductibles.  There will be no forgiveness should she need to take time off to care for an ill child.  And now, should she decide she wants to have a tubal ligation so this does not happen again, she can be fired!

This is insanity in our culture.  Absolute insanity.  This is ‘kick them when they are down’–punish the women for being women, apply a different set of rules for them than are applied to men.  This is clearly telling women that we are second class in this culture.

Fine Christian bunch they are.  And they are worried about “Sharia” law?

Well, to paraphrase Pogo, “I have seen the enemy and it is they………”


One more caveat:  I’m 70 years old, a mother and grandmother–heck, I’m a great grandmother.  I’ve seen a lot of life, birth and death, known a lot of young women who had to make hard, difficult choices, had their lives ruined by unwanted children and those children’s lives ruined because they were brought into the world in an impossible situation.

I’ve worked in health care administration, for several eleemosynary institutions, as well as in business– and know how they work–and I’ve followed political gamesmanship my entire adult life.  That’s exactly what it is:  gamesmanship.  It’s a struggle for power and money fought with words about ideas and beliefs meant to bend listener’s minds in one direction or another.  For women, especially, the sob-story often works.

Toughen up women!  It’s time to see all this for what it is.

Bird in a Nest

Mrs. Robinson  No, no, that’s not right…..Mrs. Robin has built her nest.  She is now sitting upon her nest.  All the live long day…….and night.  Evidently she will shortly produce some offspring.  She hopes.  I don’t know where the Mister is.  I haven’t seen him, but maybe he’s about.

When I go out on the deck to look at her, she peers at me suspiciously.  No, I didn’t write that correctly.  She has a suspicious look in her eyes about me!  I’ve tried to explain to her that I am the landlady here, it’s MY gutter where she is nesting and all that, but still she doesn’t feel very secure.  I suppose it’s because we never discussed the rent and utilities and so forth.

Before she decided to move in, I tried to dissuade her.  First of all, it’s a long way to the deck railing and to the ground.  My goodness, I fear for the lives of her babies once they decide to take flight!  Rest assured, when they leave, they will not be returning home!  Secondly, I really didn’t care for the idea that we would be privy to her birthing and raising her babies.  This, likely whilst we have supper.  Or breakfast.  In the kitchen.  Most unappetizing.  And no, I shan’t prepare meals for them.  I refuse!

She didn’t care.  She just told me I had no business telling her what to do.  So there she is… discussion whatsoever.  And the ever-present ‘evil eye‘ cast down upon yours truly.  I didn’t do anything!

What can I say?

Recycling Memories and Recipes

“What are you recycling?” Jabber asked.

A recipe.  One that I had years and years and years and years—oh, alright, a long time ago.  Brought back memories….

Sosew sent it to us–it’s for the Raisin Bran Muffins she made for us on Saturday.  We all really enjoyed them.

Back in the day, when I was just a pup……

“YOU were a puppy?” Jabber asked again.  “What happened?  Does Houdini know about this?  Were YOU a Houdini too and that’s how you did it?”

Oh for heaven’s sake.  No!

Come on, get a grip here.  I was a young woman.  People don’t change from dogs to humans, you know, just because they get old er……puppies become dogs and young women don’t become old women, they just become ‘women of a certain age.’   As we all know.

“What age?” Jabber asked innocently.  “You have to know how old you are, don’t you?”

I’m ignoring that.

“But Houdini became a Houdini even though she’s a puppy….” Jabber tried to interject, reminding me of how she got out of the car straps and left the halter firmly attached to the seat belt….  

I cut Jabber off….

Stop it!  This is about a recipe.  An older recipe which I think the Weeders are going to like.  Quit with the Houdini stuff, Jabber!

Back in the day, when I was youn…ger……I often made this recipe for the family.  So, it was sort of a trip down memory lane to see it again, not to mention taste the muffins again!  Loved them then and love them now.  Try it!

Raisin Bran Muffins

5 cups Raisin Bran Cereal

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup oil

Mix buttermilk, eggs, oil and sugar together, add flour, salt and baking soda, stir in Raisin Bran.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.  Makes 12 large muffins.  Can be frozen.

Thanks to Sosew for the recipe–these are her muffins above!

Community Sales Have Begun!

Yes, yes, YES! cried the Brocanters….along with a complaint (from Jabber) that there seemed to be three community sales all the same day.  This meant, of course, we would be unable to get to all of them.  So we settled on one near Thumper’s house because Thumper had offered coffee and treats later.  We never turn down treats.  Or coffee.

Off we went!

Thumper takes a look at some items for sale.

We saw some beautiful tulips in bloom–had to get some shots of them….

As always, we were surprised at some things we saw along the way:

  The jumper house was in someone’s backyard–maybe for a party later?

Another innovative seller had put up a huge stand advertising the shirts, lemonade. water and other items they were selling.  Their sale’s proceeds were for an adoption.

  Another big sale….

After several hours of searching for treasures, it was time to take a rest at Thumper’s house.  And have coffee.  And treats!

Raisin Bran muffins which Sosew provided for us along with some raspberry cookies and coffee from Thumper.

  Girlfriend sampled first and declared them delish! although she also asked Jabber, “What are you doing taking my picture?” in a challenging voice.  Jabber moved on to photograph….

Vanna patiently waited, refined lady that she really is, all alone, at the table–the kitchen table…..

She had to sit at the kitchen table because, as Thumper explained, the dining room table belonged to Scout.

Scout’s table.

Scout is a cat.

Scout is the only cat I’ve ever known who has his own table.  I wonder if he requires wait service?  I expect he does.

How very civilized!

Moving along in our visit, Sosew showed us her latest sewing creations!  How beautiful!

  But wait, there is more!!!

A beautiful purse to match!

  Very professionally done, too, I must add!  It was lovely…..

Then it was time for a brief pause for a commercial.

Provided by Thumper.

Who always has such personal and interesting commercials.

 This was all about her brand new Bissell floor cleaner!

Thumper missed her calling as a television advertising personality.  I am sure of it.  I mean, wouldn’t you buy a Bissell floor cleaner from her?  Look at that expression on her face!

‘Twas time to leave and take our treasures home.  We’d had a good time visiting, ‘scored’ some treasures for ourselves, enjoyed delicious treats and coffee, and of course, a wonderful commercial, too.

For a Saturday morning, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Let’s All Sing Like The Birdies Sing….

“What do you mean?  How do they sing?” Jabber inquired.

Chirp.  Tweet.  Chirp.  Loudly.  At the crack of dawn.

And…..they build nests.

Right on top of the gutters.

In front of the kitchen window.

It’s a Robin’s nest.  I TOLD that Robin to not build it there.  I yelled at her.  She ignored me, flying to the railing of the deck as if to say, “Who are YOU? to tell me what to do?”

And so it was built.  My fear is that she will decide we are a threat and begin dive bombing us as we (soon) sit out on the deck at the table (not yet brought up from under the house).  Once Chris was attacked by a Robin for an unknown reason–there were no nests even close to the entry door where she lived.  It really frightened her.  I do not want to experience that.

On the other hand, it will be kind of fun to see the little birds grow up.  Note the phrase, ‘..kind of fun’……

Driving through the adjacent neighborhood the other day, my friend Pat and I spotted these–in the front yard!

“What are they?” Jabber again asked….


Yes, they are.  In a residential subdivision near the Harpeth.   What a view!


From here on out, in this blog, The Spicy Royal Red Paprika will be called……(drum roll here, please…..)


This because she has successfully escaped from a harness whilst buckled in the back seat of the van, securely held by a seatbelt and clasped into four–FOUR–buckles with her head through the opening and her front arms through the appropriate holes.  No other Standard Poodle of this household has ever achieved such a feat.  

This is Jabber.  And I didn’t teach her how to do that, either….

                                                                                  we’re working on……..

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