What Should Have Been... by BETAkanim

What should have been a great time out with family devolved when we sat in the restaurant waiting for our meal. Let’s back track a bit okay?

Our Sunday plans included visiting an escape room in Delaware with family. It’s something my nephew’s wife suggested and both of us thought it was a great idea. She booked the In a Galaxy Far Away” room at Great Escape Delaware for our group of seven. Star Wars theme? Yeah J and I were excited. We found the place easily enough even after my poor husband took the wrong exit. Luckily I lived in Delaware for 10 years and that makes me proficient in getting from A to B without waiting for navigation to figure what’s going on.

We got the rundown on the room, got locked inside and watched the timer start ticking away. Sixty minutes goes by crazy fast when you’re trying to solve puzzles and find clues. I don’t want to give too much information about the room because spoilers aren’t fun. With our seven brains working frantically we managed to escape with 8 minutes 43 seconds left on the clock!

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Team Skittlez killed it even if the room tried to kill us with heat.

Seriously though, it was way too warm in that room with seven people scrambling around to figure things out. But both J & I enjoyed the escape room adventure quite a bit and we’re thinking of returning in the next month or so.

We all agreed to head to The Outback for dinner and that’s when things took a turn. Mind you, J and I stuck it out, ate our meal and put on the social face. What we didn’t know was that we were both feeling knocked back by a few things our family members said at the table.

We had driven over by ourselves and apparently after crossing the bridge our family said, “Quick, let’s leave the fatties behind.” and “Oh they’ve probably already stopped at a donut shop.” Neither J or I claim to be anything but what we are. We are overweight and for the past few months have been slowly working to change our food life. Anyone that has dealt with obesity understands the struggle. It’s rare to find someone who just woke up one morning as was completely dedicated to their weight loss without facing struggles.

But our weight goals and struggles to make them happen aren’t the point here. What is the point is the idea that suddenly family and friends can start taking pot shots at us, making fun of us and saying hurtful things to us in order to amuse themselves. What makes it worse is that they said these things in their car where we couldn’t hear but made a point of telling us they did it once we were at dinner. Kinda’ makes you wonder about the way they talk about us when we’re not around.

Being hurtful is unacceptable and if we weren’t both so taken aback by what they said we’d have stood up and left the restaurant. But we didn’t. Instead we stuck it out, made small talk and even invited them over next weekend for a family game night.

That was my doing.

I’m non-confrontational and don’t like to cause rifts. My five decades of experience have taught me to just go on and ignore the behavior to keep the peace. But I’m tired of keeping the peace. When is it time for people to learn to shut theirs mouths if they don’t have anything nice to say? I’d have never said anything like that to any of my relatives. I would never have subjected them to something like that in front of people in a public venue. But somewhere along the way we became targets and the skinny people feel as if it’s fine to take aim.

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They’ll have to continue to make jokes and say unkind things behind our backs because we’re done. Just because they’re family doesn’t mean we have to allow them into our lives.

I’ve got five decades of

  • not being pretty enough

  • not being considered a “real” sibling because I was adopted

  • not smart enough

  • not tall enough

  • not cool enough

Neither J nor I are going to let this one slip by. We’re not laughing it off and continuing to invite people into our home for game nights, holiday meals, BBQs and swim parties. You don’t get to say hurtful things to us or make jokes about us to make yourself feel good. You’re not funny. It’s not cute and Vogue isn’t standing in the wings to ask you to grace their magazine cover.

Bitter? A bit, but I expect to be treated better by people I love.

I’ve paid my dues and earned the respect.

But sadly, I don’t think they’ll get it. Because we’ll be viewed as “overly sensitive” or “whiny snowflakes”. I’ll miss them in my life and maybe one day they will “get it’. But I’m not holding my breath and we’ll continue to live our lives happily.

Learning to Macrame by BETAkanim

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve made the time to sit down and write for the blog. My plate is full when it comes to projects and I keep coming up with more ideas. Add to that the arrival of Spring and blogging seems to drop very low on the priority list.

Spring means yard work and the continuation of outdoor projects as well as the start of new ones. In nine weeks we open the pool and we’re hoping to have the patio completed by Memorial Day. Our minds are on our pool paradise and getting everything ready. It’s where we spend the majority of our time from May until the end of September. We’re happy homebodies.

On the creative home front I’ve taken up macrame and I absolutely adore it! Using yarn I practiced basic knots that I learned watching YouTube videos. It’s relaxing and that’s something I didn’t count on when I started. After falling in love with it I ordered a spool of 3mm cotton macrame rope from Amazon. Even though I’m a beginner I want to make things that we’ll use instead of making things that will pile up in the crafts closet. So I made a simple runner.

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It’s wonky in areas but both J and I love it. Still had rope left so I made a little mat for our end table.

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I’m absolutely hooked on macrame. Decided to order some more cording so that I can make an additional runner in the same pattern as the end table mat. The first runner has been shifted to the sofa table and it looks great there with photos and a Woodwick candle displayed on top. Josh and Brit got me two Woodwick candles for Christmas and I love them so much!

There are a couple books on Amazon that have lovely patterns and I’m considering ordering them. It’s hard to pull the trigger on “How To” books when there are so many wonderful video tutorials on YouTube! The books would be nice when I don’t want to sit in front of the computer or iPad while trying to learn. My screen time has gone down immensely because I just have so many artistic/crafty things on my list.

Peace,

Bet

Banana Bread | Nimnee Bakes by BETAkanim

©2019 The Chronicles of B | B. Rank. All rights reserved.

©2019 The Chronicles of B | B. Rank. All rights reserved.

J loves banana bread. I love banana bread. It seems that I’m always making banana bread whenever I buy bananas. That’s because the darn bananas don’t last long and by that I mean they get brown spots really fast. The upside to quick ripening bananas is banana bread. Turning a problem into a delicious solution yay!

I love this type of recipe because it’s quick and it deosn’t make more than we can eat. Baking a layer cake is fun and I enjoy it but that leaves us with too much cake. We love cake but we just can’t eat it fast enough and end up wasting a good portion. I just started looking into smaller batch recipes for cake batter. Maybe I have to graduate to making batter by the cup and not just a standard 8-inch double layer cake. Smaller cake size would allow me to practice decorating without having to toss half a cake in the bin.

©2019 The Chronicles of B | B. Rank. All rights reserved.

©2019 The Chronicles of B | B. Rank. All rights reserved.

The recipe I use is from Simply Recipes. I altered it slightly by adding 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg. The recipe calls for 2-3 ripe bananas. I used three for each loaf. The loaf pictured also has 1 cup of chopped pecans. Because it disappeared with a quickness I baked a second loaf. Left the pecans out of it and I actually liked it better.

Quick, easy, small batch recipe that makes the house smell amazing? Yes please!

Happy baking!

B


Books, Movies, Streaming. by BETAkanim

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Last week was pretty for reading and watching. Movies, books and TV web series filled many hours and I’m good with that. This gal can be productive AND watch a lot of movies/TV. It also helps that there was no episode of Critical Role. That freed up 4+ hours of viewing time. For those not in the loop, Critical Role is a TV web series where voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s amazing and we’ve watched it since 2016. Okay back to the topic of this post.

The Book: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Wanting a change from my beloved police procedural genre, I browsed through the collection of best sellers available through Kindle Unlimited. This immediately caught my attention because it’s a WWII story. It’s based on Pino Lella’s life in Milan, Italy from 1943 until the end of the war in 1945. The story begins in June of ‘43 as the British began their intense bombing campaign.

This story moved me to my core. I sobbed when Pino was forced to witness the execution of not only his friends but the love of his life. I sobbed for a solid two hours after finishing the book and as I write this my eyes are welling with tears. It’s been Titanic level crying. I don’t write reviews for anything other than purchases on Amazon. So bottom line, LOVED THIS BOOK and I’m glad I found it.

The Movie: The Sisters Brothers (2018)

I’m a sucker for westerns old and new but I didn’t see this one in theaters because of the two top billed names. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy films with John C. Reilly or Joaquin Phoenix. Neither are actors that immediately draw me in. Last Tuesday I decided to watch the trailer because the movie was available to stream. As soon as J walked in the door from work I was like, “Dude, we’re watching The Sisters Brothers right now.

Based on the novel by Patrick DeWitt, the movie revolves around two assassins, Charlie and Eli Sisters and their pursuit of a gold prospector. Their journey takes them across Oregon to San Francisco where they finally catch up to the prospector. This movie wasn’t what I expected and that was a pleasant surprise especially when dealing with dealing with Eli Sisters’ personal crisis in regards to his life as a killer.

We enjoyed movie so much we immediately purchased it for our library when the end credits began to roll.

Streaming: Russian Doll - Netflix and Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders - Amazon Prime

Let’s start with Russian Doll shall we? Both J and I were excited to watch this. Initially I found the preview and knew it would be something he’d enjoy. He’s a fan of dark humor and this show definitely delivers that. I’ve seen reviews that say it’s absolutely not a comedy and I disagree completely. The first episode didn’t hit us with laughs but after that we found ourselves laughing hysterically at things. Perhaps we saw and heard more than others? We’re analyzers. As a couple we’ll stream a show or movie and stop multiple times in order to discuss our theories, comment on script and/or cinematography or complain if continuity falls flat. We’ve gone beyond being just “watchers.” We discuss everything.

We hoped that the time loop wouldn’t be a semi-copy of Groundhog Day and it wasn’t. Yay! This dramedy is also filled with suspense and mystery. Seriously when Nadia’s deaths become fast and furious upon seeing herself as a child I was on the edge of the couch. When the series goes dark, it goes DARK. The scenes with young Nadia and her mother Lenora were fantastic. Mostly becaues Chloe Sevigny is a freaking amazing actress! I haven’t seen her since her role in Bloodline. I was disappointed when that show ended with only 3 seasons.

We’re looking forward to a season 2 for Russian Doll. The creators, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland can take the show and Nadia in many directions. We’re on board for whatever may come.


Okay that brings me to the Amazon Prime Original series Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders. Reasons why I spent an afternoon watching it:

  • I love murder mysteries

  • I love Agatha Christie

  • I love John Malkevich and Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint was fantastic in this show and I’m glad it was something I could see here in the states. I know he’s done a few series since the last Harry Potter movie but nothing I’ve been able to view. If you love Agatha Christie I think you’ll enjoy this TV mini series. The novel was first published in 1936. The mini series shows us a retired Hercule Poirot living an all too quiet life when he begins receiving letters from a soon-to-be serial killer.

I’m always skeptical when a book goes to film but they did justice with this novel. The production was well worth spending the afternoon curled up on the couch with a plate of nibbles and my phone turned off.