Friday, February 28, 2014

#atozchallenge FIRST EVER Twitter Chat Today!

I know I have a lot of readers who are completely uninterested in the A-Z Challenge. However, I'm trying to assimilate you into the collective (name the reference for a GOLD MEDAL.)  

I've been giving "gold medals" to A to Z Team members, my minions, etc., in the way that a lot of us remember from elementary school when there were charts on the wall and we collected stars to earn privileges. Wanna guess who was really into all that sort of recognition? Yup.  Me.

Today the A to Z Team, more specifically Team Damyanti, are leading the way on our first ever 

#AZchat for one hour 6pm to 7pm EST.

The topic will be "The first ever #atozchallenge chat"

We're keeping it generic to test the waters. Depending on how successful it is, and how many AZers decide to participate, we might make it a feature each Friday.

Being fairly new to actually USING Twitter, I had NO idea what this actually meant.  Of course, Team Damyanti provided the instruction for how to participate.

I invite all participants in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2014 to join the chat.  I invite all of you to join The Challenge, and for those of you aren't interested in this at all, well, have a great weekend.  If you didn't read my mermaid poem, you might like that better than this ;-)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Think I Want To Be A Mermaid

If I squint and mix
my green sheets
and my greybluesea walls,
and the (bubbles on the window)
I can make an ocean

If I can make an ocean, 

Maybe, just
I can be a mermaid

Swim, twirl, speed, spin

Up down, fast, slow
Twirl, twirl down down down
To a quieter place

Still see the light,

but far off, in the kind of
until I
until I am 
until I am ready
until I am ready to
until I am ready to deal
until I am ready to deal with
until I am ready to deal with it
until I am ready to deal with it all

Because right now,

I'm just a mermaid,
Maybe like the ice-skaters,
Body bending gracefully, 
Spinning so fast I become
The blur that I am

Yes, a mermaid.

That would be nice.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit

I'm actually early this week!  I'm at my favorite pub, d'Verse. They are pretty mellow over there, which is why I like to hang out. You can too. Linky still open. Promote #d'Verse, @d'Verse please.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Confessions of a Photo-Challenged Wanna-Be Pinnable Girl

It's confession time. I'm pretty much lost without my admin, my digital guru, my “would you please when you have some (ha!) free time maybe make me...” go-to guy. I miss you, Jeremy. However, I think this forced “figure it out yourself, Tina” time is really what I needed. Who knew?

For a while, my blogging mentor, Amanda of House Revivals, has been encouraging me to make my posts “pinnable” and adding the Pinterest button to what I write. She's amazingly sweet, and kind, and even made me my first two pinnable images as a gift.

Well, life kinda happened after that, but life (though it's Good!) always happens, and I didn't get to more than opening a Pinterest account. I have no idea where all my followers came from because I had maybe two pictures of nail designs I like and new followers everyday. Probably because jenn of quirky pickings, and one of my Tina's Terrific Team of minions, is doing a give-away, and since I contributed, I could “make” people follow me on Pinterest. Thanks, all of you. I am learning. And I followed you back.

I thought I'd share some of my adventures with you, and Jeremy, please don't laugh at how picture-manipulating challenged I am. Because of course, I wasn't going to go the easy route and just use one of the fabulous images Amanda made for me. No. I had to figure out for myself how to make them so that when I'd used hers, I wouldn't be out of material and all Pinnable-Interest (oh, I think that was a good one...) would die off.

So I google, I help menu, I ask The Transporter about software. “Are you kidding me, Mom? That's like $700 dollars and that's why you can't find it on your Windows 8.” (I'm used to the NOT finding things on W8, so it really wasn't THAT stupid of a my opinion, based on previous experience...) For example, W8 doesn't come with a DVD player.

Here's where I am right now. I can make a pinnable image using PicMonkey. I have learned how to add a non-removable watermark (unless you're a genius – the tutorial promised that it would be really hard for even the most experienced photo guru to remove without a trace.)

I have new, free, Norton approved, photo-editing software. (Oh-please-don't-let-me-lose-the-original while using it...I'm really trying to follow the directions and so far my favorite button on either program is UNDO...)

I even made a pinnable image! It has nothing to do with this post. I just picked a favorite picture that I knew would make a post someday. However, I also learned the painful lesson that the two programs I'm using don't like each other, so you can either have the watermark, or the title of the post, but not both, if you made one with the first and the other with the second. Territorial rights, I guess. So I'm not putting it up.

Despite my (very well known) quest for attention, I will not add it to this post. This is just me whining about learning something new and it being hard to do. But hey! It's a COMPLETELY NEW TOPIC OF WHINING. So be happy for that.

Now all that's left is to get that little pin-thing onto this page...I've really tried following the directions...but for now, I'm leaving it with the ½ finished picture. As in waiting for later.

What have you tried to learn lately that challenged you?


Friday, February 21, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things ~ On the Road to Contentment

Last week I met a new to me blogger, VikLit of Scribblings of an Aspiring Author through DL Hammon's Blog Blitz. I'd seen her weekly “Celebrate the Small Things” blog hop all over the place, and now found the founder!  I'm joining in, because it fits so well with my word of the year focus on CONTENTMENT.  

This week I'm celebrating the work I've done on straightening out our finances. We've done Financial Peace University TWICE, yet it seems that every few years we need to do a re-set and basically kick ourselves in the rear and start behaving responsibly with our money. Lots of unplanned expenses lately (which if you've been reading Life is Good even for a little while you're familiar with them...I let it all hang out ;-) 

I'm happy to say we've found some great software that's really helping. It's called YNAB which is You Need A Budget. Yes, yes we do. So far we're liking the 34 (what's up with 34?) day free trial very much and will most likely buy it.

I'm also celebrating some victories in my continual battle with my body image. Some of you know my history (anorexia – there, said it out loud again – and every time I do it gets easier).  I don't like being this size. I struggle constantly with food. 

Alcoholics “get” to just quit drinking. Not saying that's easy AT ALL. My point though is that we can't quit food cold turkey. Well, we can, been there done that and that's the problem...Food is constantly there as a source of stress. My success is that I'm feeling good about my weight for the first time in a long time.  

Maybe the weird combination of meds keeping me breathing is helping me in some way. All I know is that I'm wearing jeans that haven't fit me since 2010. I wasn't going to say anything to anyone, but hey, it's celebration day, so there you go. (To read more about me and this topic here.)

I'm also celebrating my wonderful kids and all they've done for me lately. They have really stepped up and done all their chores and most of mine, and mostly cheerfully. 

Yesterday The Transporter had a very difficult job to do to get his mother to her friend's new apartment. Elevators out of order...four flights of stairs for asthma girl not a possibility...but he (and Mr. Maintenance) found a way to get me up there! (I know you're going to be wondering...we got let into the residents parking garage and drove up to her floor, well as close as we could get anyway and that was enough.) He did all that while carrying a vase of flowers. 

OYT is going on his first overnight youth retreat this weekend which is a huge step for a shy guy and I'm so proud of him.

What are you celebrating this week? Since it's an ongoing, weekly hop, you can join too! Or just leave me your celebration in the comments so I can cheer with you!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

(In Parentheses) "Quotated"

Voices Carry
I wanna run down the street,
No retreat baby, no surrender
but I softly hear You remind me
All of my
ambitions hopes and plans
I surrender these
into Your hands

Now all them things that seemed so important,
well mister they vanished right into the air
I act like I don't remember, he acts
like he don't care

But He cares, He's seated on the throne

I cross the beams,
standing on my own oxygen cord
tangled with
heart monitor
IV tube
and of course,
because you can't take
the write out of
the writer
the laptop cord

Tangled cords, is
what I've become, and
competing voices

(This pensione is not what we'd been led to expect)
Yet I have a view
Not The River
Rooftop, only

But from here, I can't spin cords
From my wrists, and
fly up, up and away
web, of

I wake with a
freight train rumbling through the middle of my head
I'm on fire
always tangled, struggling

Who is this King of Glory?
Who pursues me with His love?
But I want
I Have Become Comfortably Numb

Numb, to it all
the voices
the cords
the (I lack) surrender

So once again,
I put my hand in Yours,
Jesus Messiah,
Lord of All
Amazing Grace
My chains are gone,

I've been set free.


It's not really a secret, though I'm trying not to dwell there but instead in the land of contentment.  Health issues are my current lot in life. Half asleep, didn't have a poem done before bed. Mad and frustrated, songs, secular and sacred running through my head. So I invented my own form. Poets do that all the time, at least the real ones, and I am real. Here I sit. Real. Writing poetry. It isn't magic (Andrew...) it's just a form of expression. I express myself a LOT in the quotes of others.

If you want to play, see how many songs and movies make up the words I wrote. No, I'm not telling you how many to look


I'm shyly sneaking in late to d'Verse, in my pajamas, but I don't think they'll care. They are pretty mellow over there, which is why I like to hang out. You can too. Linky still open. Promote #d'Verse, @d'Verse please.

~Tina, sleepless in CO (now there's an obvious one, though mangled, so it doesn't count)

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 17, 2014

Please Blitz Jeremy, and Yeah, I Finally Gave Away My Piano

Before I get to my silly post for today, I want to encourage you to visit the A-Z Challenge Blog.  One of our co-hosts, my buddy Jeremy, broke his ankle, had surgery, and is needing some bloggy love.  As a team of co-hosts, we wrote his "About Me" feature as a surprise.   (There are more coming up in the following weeks leading up to April about the most of the rest of us).  He's also being Blitz Attacked (see Friday's post).  I ask the favor that you visit the A-Z Challenge Blog even if you're not involved just to say, "Get better soon!" or whatever fits your style. I know the encouragement will help him heal.  Thanks.


My piano has a new home, and it’s a good home.  Yet I’m a nostalgic person, and the big hole in my family room reminds me that though something may have sentimental value, I’m in the place where I need to let go of that which no longer serves a purpose for me, and can bless someone else. Then I have more room to get myself and my essential stuff organized.

I can’t play the piano anymore.  I used to sit down to keep in touch with enough frequency that I could still play “Color My World” by Chicago.  The reason I could play it was that it’s the only song that was taught to me without sheet music, so I’d sit and let muscle memory take over, and the song would just flow.  It’s a really neat feeling when that happens.

I’m going to take a little side trip here and explain about the lack of sheet music, which I know you’d expect the math nerd and recipe girl to need.

I had to have a ride to the bus-stop.  We’d moved, but I still got to go to my originally planned junior high.  Therefore it wasn't always a good time for The Nutritionist to pick me up when the bus dropped me off.  I'd just go to PieGirl’s house.  Sometimes for hours.  We sure didn’t mind!

She not only taught me that song, she introduced me to Billy Joel and we’d sing “heartattackackackack” at the top of our lungs while listening to “The Stranger”.  She tutored me, patiently, since I couldn't cook ANYTHING at the time, in how to make a perfect apple pie from scratch.  She was good at so many things, and such a good friend.  (I can still make apple pie, by the way.  Though I'd pick playing Color My World.  I also know how to buy a good pie.)

Here in my present, The Transporter, along with already kicking some serious talent around on electric guitar, wants to learn how to play the keyboard.  My former (practice saying it, Tina) piano can’t hold a tune (oh, that wasn’t on purpose but I like it), was ancient, and was taking up real estate that could be used for a keyboard.  (So could The Transporter’s own room…but any parent of a teenage boy knows that to make the normal laws of physics apply in said space, you need to add to the equation what a guy is willing to do to keep his room clean…)

We've had an ad up on craiglist with full disclosure of my former piano’s pros and cons, and had three calls in a month.  I thought the ad had expired, honestly.  Yesterday a family, with four little girls 9 and under, came to get it.  All four want to learn to play.  Mom is a pianist, and surprisingly, was very happy with what she found.  “It has all its keys.  All its keys make a sound.  We have someplace to start from, and we can put our money into fixing it up.”

They had driven two hours, rented a trailer, bought tie-down straps, and were ready to go.  I had a delightful time with SuperMom while the (now four, due to the strategic arrival of my three) strapping men got that old relic out the door and secured in the trailer.

Good-bye, Grandma Vivian’s piano.  Swissie and I had fun with our lessons, and it was lovely being the caretaker of this family “treasure” all these years.  Good luck to the four little girls whose names all begin with A, and to homeschool mom and super nice dad.  Enjoy.

~Tina, who wonders if you know how much dust accumulates under a piano which has been sitting for thirteen years…And yes, I could actually play that.  (Mine didn't have the little riff at the end though.  This was the closest I could find.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Send an Unexpected Valentine: Join DL Hammon's Blog Blitz Team

Getting Blitz-ed by DL Hammons Blitz Crew is like getting an unexpected Valentine, on any given day.

DL started the Blog Blitz last year.  Here are his words:
What would it be like if the support, encouraging nature, and community spirit of the blogosphere were ever focused on a single blogger? A few of us have experienced that sort of attention via book launches or other publishing announcements, and still others have achieved that level of awareness through the popular blogfests we host.  In most cases there is a lot of work that goes into generating that amount of interest.  What I'm talking about is being suddenly thrust into the spotlight, without even lifting a finger. What would it feel like to be the recipient of that kind of exposure? Could something like that even be possible? Can the power of the blogosphere be harnessed and directed?

You can read his whole post about it here.

I’ve been a blitzer since almost the beginning, and I gotta say, this is a neat gig he’s got going.  Sometimes I feel like I’m Santa sneaking into someone’s house and leaving a little note for someone to find.  Or truthfully, on the average blitz day, like a tired-just-got-off-work-and-almost-forgot last minute arrival at a party that’s been going on all day.  Either way, I’ve gotten to meet some really interesting, deserving, special, struggling, overcoming, surviving, and completely surprised bloggers.

Can you imagine a blog post all of a sudden getting HUNDREDS of comments, out of the blue?  Wanna play?

The rules are simple.  DL picks the bloggers.  He sends out the link to the team a few days ahead of time, and sometimes the reason for the Blitz Victim.  Other times it’s a random number generator recipient.  We go read and comment on the post.  He’s even kind (and smart…) enough to send out a mid-day reminder on Blitz Day in case our calendars are malfunctioning or our day is.

The only way you can GET BLITZED is if you’re on the team out there also doing the work of surprising the bloggers.  He’s currently working on a goal of 500 participants.  At last peek, the list was at 392 participants.

I think a wonderful Valentine for DL would be a lot of people signing up TODAY.  It would be like HE’S getting blitzed.  Of course, for that I need your help.  I’ve never asked this before, but would you tweet about this?  Here’s the bare link:

Here’s a sample tweet for you to copy:

I’d love for him to hit his goal soon.  He’s currently on a blogging break to finish one of his novels, so it would be a great surprise.
Spread the love.  Join the team.  Spread even more love: invite others to join the team.  You just might be the next recipient of a whole load of bloggy love some unexpected day.


P.S If you join, grab the badge and link it the same link I provided because it has the sign-up list.  THANKS.  Just like the A-Z Challenge, this is about community and supporting one another and holding each other up and encouraging one other words, TWUE WUV!  Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Help of a Jedi, for #dverse, @dverse

He likes to walk ahead,
Because Jedi protect and serve
And bring peace
He doesn’t have to be a Jedi,
This son of mine IS peace
He’s the warm soul, the open heart, the compassion

He takes care of me, I’m sad
To be the mom who needs the electronic cart,
As if I were infirm and elderly
Infirm it is, but not willingly

He waves one hand, the door
Swishes open before him,
Obeying The Force, which is strong in this one,
His cousin once said
And he’s never forgotten

Gently he leads me to the bench, and goes off
He needs a vehicle to complete his mission,
A vehicle for the old woman who can’t breathe
A vehicle to allow her some independence
A vehicle she won’t like, but Jedi will do
Anything required
Missions, you know, take them all,
Serve and guide

My Jedi returns, grinning, because Jedi,
Know vehicles and ships and modes of transportation
Others despise
“Here Mom, I got one fully charged and it’s really fast I think you’ll like it much better than that one that wouldn’t steer at Walmart and ran out of battery and then there were none left and I had to find you the chair and you got all upset.  Here Mom, just get in.  I’m staying by your side and I’ll take care of you.”
He’s not thinking Jedi today, well except the ingrained door thing
He’s thinking Mom.
And he does it with the grace and skill of a master


One of my goals this year was to learn new forms of poetry.  This one is called "Sketchbook" poetry.  You can sketch like people who actually can draw to capture the scene, then write about it.  However, this scene is old, but I stored it in my mental video section, and then "sketched" it with words.  The main idea is that it's not edited, it's a rough sketch.  I have NEVER EVER pushed publish on something that I just threw on to the paper. 

I'm linked up at d'Verse, the poets pub where I like to hang out when I have the night to do what I want.  It's not too late to join.  Write your own poem and link up.  Talk to others.  Have a pint and wander around perusing new poets.  (They're probably not sketching because that's a make-up assignment...)


Monday, February 10, 2014

Family Fun Times with Swissie

I’ve had the pleasure of the company of lots of family around lately, and just had to share what Swissie and I did for grins and giggles.  Facebook quizzes.  We found a whole website full of them, and went with the theme of, “Which [insert name of TV show or movie] Character Are You?” 

If you’re reading between the lines, then you can mostly tell which answer will lead to which character, but I honestly answered the questions to the best of my ability. 

Here’s who I am on TV and in movies:

Leonard from Big Bang Theory
(thrilled with that, love Leonard)

Bones from the original Star Trek series
(I’ll take it, but dammit Jim, I’m a writer, not a doctor!)

Wesley Crusher from Star Trek The Next Generation
(may Sheldon forgive me, but as I recall, he and Wesley are currently on speaking terms…)

The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld
       (this one crushed me – just because I was in the mood for soup at the time of the questioning doesn’t mean that I’m a control freak perfectionist who bosses people around…oh, never mind…just actually read that and realized it’s right…)

Yoda!!!!!   from (Well, if I have to tell you, then you truly frighten me)

This was what sealed the deal for me. Being Yoda totally makes up for any of the other disappointing results.

Besides my ongoing and fairly common crush on Han Solo, Yoda is the ultimate character of the franchise.  Nice to know that I’m 900 years old, too.  Makes these aches and pains a bit easier to take ;-)

I refused to find out which Disney princess I am.  I want to be that new ice princess from Frozen, the older sister, and I want Swissie to be the younger one, because from just the two YouTube videos she sent me, this movie seems to be about us.  I’m heading to a theater soon! 

Do you take any silly quizzes?  Do you know which character you are (or would like to be) on a show?


P.S  I know you want to know.  Here's the Original Star Trek character quiz.  These are from the website  They have lots more.  Please let me know what your results are if you take any of these so I recognize you next time I'm on the show, 'mkay?

Friday, February 7, 2014


(photo by me)

Sometimes it's so fast
Kids growing up,
You think you're watching,
savoring, but
we blink,
and they're so

Sometimes so slow
Unending time,
Unmeasurable, no clocks

You stare at that clock
The hands don't move, or
They're moving backwards, as
You contemplate fate
What brought you here,
How long you'll stay
If you'll ever leave, or

If you and that clock
Will be having that same, stale
Staring contest
Through eternity

But sometimes
Just is, and you
Endure the next minute
the next minute, and even
the next minute

Until the minutes stack themselves
Tall enough that you have
A foothold, and can
Finally, escape

Home is where time
Loses it's meaning, and
You just ARE,
Of what's happening

It doesn't matter
Fast, slow, uncomfortable
Home, IS

Timeless comfort.

It's been a...trying month. Thought I'd share some of the aspects.


©2014 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG: The Founder of our Group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, #atozchallenge Co-Host, Needs Help with Special Promo!

Time to show the blogging community what we can do for each other! The Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the famous, best selling author and Godfather of Blogging needs our help.

My dear friend and fellow #atozchallenge co-host has received the opportunity for some special marketing from his publisher, and needs our help spreading the word.

From February 4 – 10, CassaFire will be 99 cents at Amazon and my publisher’s site. This is the first time they have ever run a promotional special like this and have ads running at several sites, including BookBub. I’m the guinea pig, so hopefully the promotion rocks the house! 
It’s also featured today at Kindle Books and Tips.

You can tweet (samples below for cutting and pasting) or of course make your own tweet.

An announcement appropriate for a facebook status update an also be found below, or if you're stuck for an idea between now and 2/10, you can do a blog post to help! Anything to spread the word is much appreciated by us both.

Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction - Library Journal. CassaFire only .99

This is a book of inner and outer journeys, of inner and outer adventures, mysteries and revelations. CassaFire .99

Top Gun Meets Battlestar Galactica” Amazon Best Seller and Pinnacle Award Winner CassaFire on sale .99

CassaStaR is the cake. CassaFirE is the cherry.” Amazon Best Seller and Pinnacle Award Winner CassaFire on sale .99

From the Amazon best-selling series - A Pinnacle Book Achievement Winner! CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh on sale .99

Top Gun Meets Battlestar Galactica” Alex J. Cavanaugh’s CassaFire on sale .99 #SF #spaceopera

This is a book of inner and outer journeys, of inner and outer adventures, mysteries and revelations. CassaFire .99

“…delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal
Alex J. Cavanaugh’s CassaFire just .99 for a limited time!
Amazon -

Full information:

CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh – Amazon Best Seller!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9 $.99 special!

CassaStar was only the beginning… 
The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

This sequel to Cavanaugh's first novel, CassaStar, delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal



Thanks so much friends!

~Tina, for Alex

Alex “Ninja Captain” Cavanaugh  is our leader for this wonderful, supportive group. Don't forget we even have our own website now.  Be sure to check it out if you haven't already, and "like" our facebook page, too. I'm so impressed with what these talented folks are doing to promote this group! Encouragement month long is now just a click away! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

How to Survive The Broncos Being Crushed by the Seahawks, graciously...

I'm very disappointed in the outcome of Superbowl XLVXIII. I'm a long-time Bronco fan -I switched from my Washington Redskins (growing up in that area) not long after moving to the Denver in 1983. (When they crushed The Broncos 42-10 in Superbowl XVIII I knew they needed more fans.)

The first step to survival is to be a gracious loser. I've already responded to Seattle fans I'm close to with a congratulations. I am not blaming anyone in particular on my team for the loss. I am not blaming the referees. I'm not really blaming anyone. It's football. One team is better than the other and they win the Superbowl. Congrats Seattle fans, your team played well and deserve the win. Your defense truly is amazing, and that guy (#11?) with the Despicable Me skinny legs can run really fast.

Another way to survive a loss this bad is to endure it with friends. We were all crushed, but we were together, and the food was fabulous. In fact, to console myself I'll be sharing a recipe at the end, a la my good friend (and minion!) Jo, of Jo Food, My Travels, and a Scent ofChocolate.

When you're with friends, you can be yourself. You can yell and scream and swear (sorry Mom and Dad, but it really helps me in the dealing with the loss part...) You can communicate with just a look. You can stuff yourself silly with good food and libations.

We had it all: two kinds of gourmet chips, fresh salsa, veggie tray with interesting veggies instead of the boring normal. We had Snow White tomatoes, the ones we call “poppers”! We had 7 layer dip – one of my all-time favorite dips and such a treat. Our hostess, who is a wonderful cook and gardener made an amazing pork stew.

I contributed Baked Potato Bites, the recipe Jo had shared.

Contributed by Patricia, serves 12
Comforting and filling for game day, yet elegant enough for the dressiest dinner party.

2 ½ pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
4 small green onions, trimmed, sliced thin
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  1. Toss potatoes in oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook bacon to desired crispness; chop into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Blend sour cream, mayonnaise, half of the green onions, shallot, parsley, bacon, and cheese in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Place roasted potato halves on a large platter. Top each potato half with with a large dollop of the sour cream mixture. Sprinkle each with chopped bacon and sliced green onion.
  5. Leave remainder of sour cream mixture in a small bowl for extra toppings.

Here's the picture Jo included.

Here's how mine looked. 

 I decided to let each person top their own. I saved a little of the bacon (because I cooked a whole pound, not just 6 slices.) The huge bowl of cheese is OYT's “one cup” of shredded cheese. We served what we didn't use in the mixture...

As to serving size, there were four of us. 3 potatoes were left.

Thanks, Jo, for the recipe.  I think I'll have those three left-over ones for breakfast...just got the newspaper.  Sigh.