WFMW: The Best Way to Cook Bacon

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

The best tip I’ve ever learned from the interwebs? How to cook bacon.

I grew up thinking the proper method for frying bacon was in the microwave. It works for my mom, but even when I used the special microwave bacon plate, I couldn’t get it right. My husband is a proponent of frying bacon in a skillet on the stove. Personally, I prefer to avoid being spattered with boiling lava, I mean, bacon grease.

So for many years, I didn’t cook bacon. Which is sad because that means I didn’t eat bacon. (Well, you know, good for my arteries. But sad for my taste buds – and my husband who lives by the motto, “Bacon makes everything better.”)

Then I read about baking bacon. And it changed my life. Maybe I was the last person to learn about this. Maybe you’ve been baking your bacon for years. But just in case you don’t know about this, I’m here to change your life, too.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
2. Place thick-sliced bacon in one layer on the sheet. Do not overlap slices.
3. Turn oven to 400 degrees (don’t preheat). Put the bacon in the oven.
4. Check it after 15 minutes, but it might take closer to 20 minutes.
5. Place on paper towels and blot. (I know. Ew. But…bacon.)
6. Enjoy perfectly cooked, crispy bacon!

What’s your favorite way to cook (or eat!) bacon?

 
Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!

Song Lyrics Gone Awry – and Grace

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I’m a word girl. Which means, when it comes to music, I’m a lyrics girl.

Which means some of the most played songs on the radio right now are really getting on my nerves.

Don’t get me wrong. My love of pop music has not diminished, and the latest songs by T-Swift and Baby Brother Jonas are catchy as all get out. And while I don’t let Annalyn listen to these particular tunes, it’s possible I might have cranked them up a time or two after dropping her off at school.

I’m not upset with Taylor Swift for abandoning country music – or even for having the nerve (The Nerve!) to sing a song that isn’t nearly as appropriate for my seven-year-old as “Shake It Off.” I was, admittedly, completely weirded out by Nick Jonas singing about perfuming his chest – but it turns out he actually says he’s PUFFING his chest. So, that’s better (MUCH) – and I wasn’t really upset about that anyway.

No, what I find annoying is Nick and Taylor’s misunderstanding of love – and the way they sing about it in their catchy songs.

In his song, Jealous, Nick Jonas says it’s his “right to be hellish,” because he still gets jealous. Um. His RIGHT to be hellish? Oh, but wait. It’s okay because later he says, “There’s no one else for you ‘c​ause you know I get excited, yeah, when you get jealous, too.”

Okay, I see now. This is equal opportunity crazytown.

Then there’s Taylor Swift’s new song, Blank Space. Though the tune is catchy and the video is gorgeous, the lyrics are…well…ridiculous. She tells the story of a romance beginning and then “going down in flames” when she gets drunk on jealousy, finishing up with the conclusion that, “Boys only want love if it’s torture.”

Um, right.

Actually, the lyrics to the Taylor Swift song are lovely and clever, but their message is awful. And, while I’m pretty sure this song is actually tongue in cheek, on the surface it’s no different than dozens of other songs getting stuck in my head every day.

Artists – or at least their songwriters – seem to think that love is a game and true love is akin to insanity. So we should all just go crazy! Do what it takes to win! Look out for yourself and make sure you protect your rights and your feel-good and get-what-you-want!

Bah. This is ridiculous and get off my lawn, you crazy kids!

I know. I sound like a grumpy old man. But am I the only one who’s noticed the weirdo lyrics in songs lately?

(Don’t even get me started on the vulgar and purely nasty lyrics that should not ever be played between the hours of whenever children wake up to whenever they go to bed. Because wow. Way to use subtlety and clever turns of phrase to get your point across, people . . . except, oh, right, you DIDN’T.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go listen to the oldies station.

(Where they are giving away tickets to a Def Leppard concert, because apparently Def Leppard is “oldies” now. Def Leppard of the infamous, Pour Some Sugar On Me. With those lyrics, yeah, yeah, I know. Hush.)

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Wait, though! Not all lyrics are bad!!! I’m actually over at (in)courage today, talking about a lesson I learned by listening to the lyrics of a totally different song.

I think most of us are pretty unlovable in our own ways. That’s what makes love so incredible, such a miracle. What all my thinking and singing and song lyric rewriting has taught me is that pointing out others’ flaws doesn’t just hurt them and withhold affection from them, it robs me of the gift of grace.

Read the rest at (in)courage, and let’s talk about grace.

{Photo source}

WFMW: Done is Better than Perfect

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I had big plans. A clever story, coordinated outfits, a comprehensive mailing list.
I was going to send Christmas cards, and they were going to be awesome.

But then we didn’t get around to having pictures taken.
And the holidays felt so busy, busier than normal, with a baby.
Or maybe I just wasn’t organized, on top of it, SOMETHING.

So the holidays – and their cards – came and went, and I decided one day to just order New Year’s cards instead. The cheap kind, because that Christmas budget was long gone. Anyway, it was still very early in the new year, so it made perfect sense! (And gave me a little time to round up addresses for friends and family who have moved. Although not everyone, so apologies to those of you who have yet to receive any holiday greetings from the Carvers.)

Of course, then I had to go to the post office to buy stamps. And stuff the cards. And address the envelopes.

I didn’t look forward to addressing the envelopes one bit, so I waited. Because I really wanted to include a letter. After all, like I mentioned, I had such a clever story for it!

But my printer is broken.

So I didn’t start writing the letter. Because I didn’t have a way to print it. And thinking about the cost of printing it at the copy store, on top of the cost of the cards and the stamps, just irritated me. Not to mention I’d have to fold and stuff those letters.

I didn’t write a letter. But one day last week, as I glanced at the box holding my stuffed and stamped but not addressed holiday cards – and I snapped. I sat down that night and began addressing them. I finished them the following day, did not pass go and went straight to the post office to mail them.

Because you know what? DONE is better than perfect or clever or color-coordinated (but undone) any day.

(Also? Getting that little box off my desk is better than perfect, too!)

What can you do (imperfectly) today?

 
Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!

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Same As It Ever Was

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I cranked up the music because nothing makes cleaning enjoyable but music makes it a little better. It doesn’t, however, drown out the soundtrack in my head: This sucks! I hate cleaning! Why doesn’t it ever end? Stupid dishes! Stupid dirty floors! Why do we have so much laundry? Blergh!

As the Talking Heads sang, “And you may ask yourself, Where is that large automobile? And you may tell yourself, This is not my beautiful house!” I laughed. No, this is not my beautiful house. Except . . . it is. And like they sing at the end, these days it feels like it’s same as it ever was.

****************

Mark and I spend a lot of time staring at each other. Not the lovey-dovey gazing into each other’s eyes, though. No, as we look at each other across the dinner table, it’s more of the stunned, is-this-our-life, where-did-these-maniac-children-come-from sort of exchange.

It just so happens that we have a babysitter tomorrow night – more of a happy coincidence than any romantic planning. A host at one of the restaurants I called, crossing my fingers I could get a dinner reservation, actually laughed at me. Informed me they’d stopped taking reservations a month ago. We’ll probably go to Chipotle or Five Guys.

It doesn’t matter, though. The full tank of gas that magically appeared in my car this week and the bathroom towel rod that was fixed before I even asked him are more mood-inducing than any overpriced appetizer or corner booth. (Besides, we like Chipotle and Five Guys.)

And, really, what matters is finally having time together. We might even gaze at each other without the background noise of a screaming little person.

I’ve read some great, beautiful posts recently about love and marriage and real life. The day before Valentine’s Day seems a good time to share.

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Five years and two kids in, marriage is beautiful and rich. Romance might be hard to come by, but it shows up in little ways that mean a lot, like taking out the trash and holding hands on the couch after the kids are asleep. Disappointments are a part of life, but forgiveness and maturity make a marriage deep and help us recognize our need for the Lord.
For When Your Marriage Seems Like Nothing Special :: Kayse Pratt

Give me pizza on Friday nights and hamburgers the way he makes them. Keep your magazines and movie endings and mad dashes through airports – just give me an ordinary love. That I can touch and hold and snort out loud with; that I can fight and fume and cry with; that I can trust, and hope, and dream with; that I can warm my feet up against under the covers at midnight. Give me an ordinary love.
In Defense of Totally Ordinary Love Stories :: Lisa-Jo Baker

But here’s the truth: lifelong love is actually most built throughout the hours of the day, all twenty four of them, in the ordinary moments of our humanity. Lifelong love isn’t just for lazy Saturday mornings of coffee and books, it’s not just midnight breathlessness scented with perfume, it’s not just evening dinners with a bottle of wine. Those moments of our lives are lovely and necessary, too, but they’re not the fullness of love either. Love looks like choosing each other, again, in all of the rotations of the clock’s hands, in all of the years we share together, in the seasons and the minutes. It’s glamorous and sexy, and it’s boring and daily.
Love Looks Like 2:07 a.m. :: Sarah Bessey

I used to think highs and lows put strain on a marriage—but now I see it’s more than that. The every day stress of life is what makes marriage so challenging {and so beautiful}. Every day we have to fight the distance that wants to creep in and build a wall between us. I wake up in the morning to Steve making breakfast for our family and give him a little kiss. And bricks come down. Sometimes I slip a little note into his bag that says, “You are brave.” And bricks come down. Every day we have to hold each other, listen to each other, and share our hearts with each other. It isn’t fancy, but it matters. It isn’t complicated but it’s not simple either. Marriages are built in the little, everyday moments of life. Marriages are broken through the everyday strain of life and the drain of the mundane.
Loving Each Other in the Mundane :: Lisa Leonard

And here are a few more posts about love and marriage and real life…

Cheering for the Same TeamWhen Being Stubborn is a Good ThingThe Most Romantic Gesture Ever

What are your plans for this weekend?

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WFMW: Hearing Your Voice

Works for Me Wednesday

Dear friends who don’t live close enough to me:

I miss you. I’m still protesting the fact that you moved away/didn’t move closer in the first place. But you know that.

What you might not know is that I have a solution. Sadly, it’s not a cul-de-sac for us to all live on or an apartment building where we all live above our means, mainly because we spend more time in the coffee shop downstairs than actually working. But if you know of a situation like that, let me know. Maybe we can work on that next.

No, my solution requires less packing and absolutely no need to find a new grocery store or gas station. The solution to me missing you every day of my life? VOXER.

Voxer is a free app – and you should TOTALLY GET IT.

Why? Why do you need another app? So you can hear my voice, that’s why! But wait – there’s more and it’s not a fancy knife! You can hear my voice BUT don’t have to talk to me right now!

Voxer is like a walkie-talkie app. Kind of. You leave voice mails (without using your minutes) for people. They can listen to them whenever they want – and then respond whenever they want. If you talk slow or too long (I DON’T KNOW ANYONE LIKE THIS), they can hit fast forward until you sound like the chipmunk version of you.

You can also send text messages (again, without using your text minutes) or photos. And you can create groups and have Voxer group conversations.

So the next time you hear a song or see a video that makes you think of me? (This happens, right? … Right?) You can push that Voxer app button and let me know. And the next time I wonder what you think of last night’s episode of New Girl or the devotion I read this morning? I can leave you a voice message asking.

Way easier than typing a whole long message (and safer when you’re driving, ahem!). And way more personal than another text or Facebook message or email (because we might be old). NOT that I don’t love those things, too. But hearing your voice? Having a real, real-life conversation {without actually talking on the phone because who likes to do THAT anymore?}?

That is priceless and it works for me. So, friends who used to live near me and now don’t live near me? Get Voxer, will you? (Please?)

Dear Lisa-Jo: You were right. Voxer is the best. The end.

Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!

Photo source