Tag Archives: candy

TGIF ~ October!

TGIF

Happy Friday and last day of September! Wow, that went by… slowly. Bet you thought I was gonna say fast, but nope. September is always a tough migraine month for me, and this one dragged on as usual with days full of pain and nights plagued with insomnia. Good news is I’ve been feeling and sleeping a little better this week since the temps dropped a bit, and I’m hoping that trend continues.

October is jam-packed full of activities in my corner of the world, from a wedding this Sunday (not mine, don’t get excited) to a play of Young Frankenstein next weekend to an Elvis-themed movie/game night to book club meetups, etc. Some friends and I want to see Bros because the preview looked hilarious (not for the PC crowd). The only October thing I don’t have plans for is Halloween itself!

Guess I should buy a big bag of Reeses’s peanut butter cups in case someone shows up for Trick-or-Treat, not that they ever do. But you can’t be too careful, right?

Reese’s peanut butter cups

Other plans for the month include finishing my genre bingo challenge card (and posting more book reviews), writing poetry to post, training for a marathon, getting back to work on my book of long short stories (I would like to complete it before I’m 90), and just being the best person I can be given my physical limitations and the utter madness of the universe.

One of those was a lie, as my careful readers will note. What are your October plans and goals? Feel free to respond in comments or create your own post. Use the nifty logo that Fandango found, if you like. And remember that my TGIF prompt is themeless, so write whatever the heck you want (within reason).

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

5 Unputdownable Books

book pages sparkle

Dr. Tanya continues her #5Things series by asking for our most unputdownable books. My tastes have changed in this regard. When I was younger, I found it hard to put down a compelling romance novel, but these days I’m more inclined to get totally absorbed in a mystery/suspense type book.

1. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It wouldn’t be fair not to mention that I stayed up all night when I was 14 to finish this romance. Nowadays it makes me cringe though due to its rapey nature.

2. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. Welcome to Temptation was the first Crusie romance I read, and it motivated me to begin writing my own, but Faking It remains my favorite of hers.

3. South on Highland by Liana Maeby held my attention from start to finish. I have a review of it here.

4. The Arrangement by Kiersten Modglin. This is a crazy, twisty suspense novel that grabbed me from page one.

5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Wow, what a fabulous sci-fi novel. Science fiction isn’t my go-to genre, but when it’s good, it’s really good!

Here’s the thing though. These grabby, fun books I gulp down like mental candy aren’t necessarily my favorite reads. I prefer more philosophical writing, where I read at a slower pace to absorb ideas, and even put down the book for a while to ponder the meaning of life or whatever. But sometimes I just want candy.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Trail Mix [socs]

Trail mix

Finding the right trail mix can be a trial. The first issue is my preference for no raisins. I don’t hate raisins ~ they’re fine in kugel, cabbage/onion stir-fry, and rum raisin ice cream ~ but I don’t like them in my carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, or trail mix. Some dried fruit is nice though, for that chewy element, but I prefer cranberries, dates, or apricots.

The second issue is nuts. Whether peanuts (not technically a nut, I know), almonds, cashews, or whatever… if I eat too many I get a tummy ache. Pine nuts are the worst in this regard (still sad about pesto). So I like my trail mix to have some pretzel pieces and/or cereal bits to add to the crunch, rather than zillions of nuts. In fact, granola chunks would be great in the mix! Also, I prefer no seeds for similar tummy reasons.

Third, I do like some chocolate mixed in, but I prefer the pieces to be coated M&M style so they melt in my mouth not in my hand. It can get hot out there in the wilderness even if the day begins with cool temps, and all that trudging up and down hills can really work up a sweat.

HAHAHAHA, like I’d ever go on a hike! Get real. I eat trail mix while sitting on the sofa watching romcoms like a civilized person.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Valentines Share [syw]

Hands mittens heart snow

Happy hearts day, friends. I enjoyed reading Melanie’s “preamble” to her Share Your World questions today and suggest you pop over to Sparks to do likewise. Here are this week’s set of SYW.

Which traditional Valentine’s Day  gift would you rather receive: chocolates, flowers, or a card with a personal message?

I like all of those, but if I had to choose one, I would pick flowers. While yummy, of course, candy can be had at any time (especially See’s, mmm), and a card is so commercial, even with a personal message. I prefer spoken words of love on a daily basis to a scrawled message once a year. Flowers are so beautiful and I haven’t received them very often.

Do you like romantic movies?

I do. I usually prefer them to other genres and it doesn’t bother me one bit that they aren’t like real life. What movies are like real life anyway? I don’t hear people crabbing that James Bond, Star Trek, or Marvel Superhero movies are “too unrealistic.”

Is Valentine’s Day only about romantic love? Or is it a good occasion to celebrate friendship as well?

Since I haven’t experienced romance in ages, I definitely consider Vday a good day to appreciate other types of love. Friendship celebration is one great way to view the holiday!

How do you deal with unwanted romantic attention?

Um, what attention? LOL! I do not receive any because I don’t put out that vibe. Yeah, this sounds like blaming the victim, but I’m sorry it is true (in general). When I wanted to meet someone, dressed more sexily, and had profiles on dating sites, of course then I received unwanted attention. I dealt with it imperfectly as we all do. Sometimes I tried to be polite, but that wasn’t always taken well. If a man got nasty, occasionally I’d be nasty in return; most often though I blocked him from communicating with me, which is the most effective way to get rid of someone.

Here’s a thing to remember, peeps: ANY RESPONSE encourages a creep (not talking about normal people who fade away once they hear no thanks). Creeps do not take a negative reply as a signal to get lost; they take it as encouragement to engage further. You’re deluding yourself if you believe that a prolonged interaction to “appeal to reason” will result in a creep losing interest.

Share one or two of your favorite memories of your special loved one if you’d like.

gatsby kitty cat love hearts

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Valentine’s Pome [repost]

red rose

valentines

i brought you poisoned candy, ha!
but you spit them out, one by one–
crushed chocolate on our Persian rug.
next year? i’m thinking, i’m thinking…

mine is wrapped so neatly:
ribbons curled like big fat tongues;
i rip them out, one by one.
just what i’ve always wanted:

a solid gold tarantula.
i toss it out the window, BOOM:
you almost got me that time, dear.
try your luck again next year.

at least i still have the foil balloons.
i love you, i love you, i do.

[Originally written in 1989 and published at CSUN.]

~*~

Poetry form: free verse. Image from Pexels.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

RFP6: Mashup

Gingerbread house

Welcome to my Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s create a mashup. My story below is a mashup of “Hansel & Gretel” by the Brothers Grimm with the Hannibal Lecter character from author Thomas Harris. (I published it previously in my book Burnt Offerings.) You can mash up whatever you like… tv shows, stories, songs, etc., to create an original work. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. I look forward to reading your work.

Sugar Shack

He’s heard the rumors, sure, and it takes him a few days to work up his nerve. Standing in a clearing, feeling the sun’s warmth on his pate, he observes the small cottage. Pastel roof tiles of aqua, pink, and lemon gleam like glazed candies, while cream-colored stucco glitters in whorls, reminiscent of icing upon a cake. She rebuilt the house, they said, using insurance money received after a kitchen fire. Her aunt apparently perished in the blaze. Sad. Ovens can be tricky, he knows. A shadow floats behind the curtained window, and, determined, he trudges onward, away from the damp, dark forest. Grass crunches beneath his boots, and he smiles down at its ever-resilient sharp greenness. His senses tingle now, his spine sizzling with anticipation, hunger even. Oh, it has been too long, he realizes as he touches her porch railing. It’s sticky, smelling faintly of licorice.

“Yes?” she says with a doughy smile.

Her plump blondeness pleases him. She’s wearing a sky blue short-sleeved dress, and the pale flesh of her arms looks inviting, popping fresh. “Hallo,” he says. “I’m your neighbor from across the way.” He gestures vaguely toward the trees.

“Ah. That would be the grey house then?”

“That’s the one.” He proffers the package. “I brought you a gift. Hope it’s okay. You never know what will offend people these days.”

“Chianti,” she says. “Lovely. Thank you.”

He beams. “You’re very welcome. I’m rather new in the area myself. Wouldn’t mind making a friend, as it were.”

“Of course.” Looking him over, she nods. “Won’t you come in? Perhaps for a cup of tea, or we could even open the wine. Must be five o’clock somewhere.”

Chuckling at her little joke, he says, “I’d be honored, my dear.”

“I’m Greta, by the way.” She licks her lips as he steps inside. “What’s your name?”

“Hannibal.” He shuts the door behind him.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Violence and Chocolate [repost]

box of chocolate candy

Merry eve of Christmas eve!

I’ve been watching a lot of movies with Sharon over the last several days, mostly romcoms bought for cheap off Amazon, but also some rented classics missed over the years. We saw Fight Club last night and I must say that I am now a fan of Brad Pitt. Never liked him at the beginning when every other woman was in lust for his bod, but lately I just think he’s a good actor. That said, I had a really hard time with all the gore in this movie ~ it was just so ewwy and gross.

Yet today we watched Full Metal Jacket, which was hideously violent in the most disturbing ways ~ and I had no problem with it whatsoever. I can’t say I enjoyed FMJ, because that just sounds weird, but it was a damn good movie. I’d sort of like to figure out if there is a logical reason why the gore in FC  bothered me and FMJ did not, or if it’s just my subjective moodiness. The violence in mob movies never bothers me with one exception ~ the horse’s head. I don’t think I need to explain.

Regarding chocolate, I was totally fine all day until I had a bite of a chocolate chip cookie Sharon made and then I was immediately blasted with a migraine. It was totally obvious that there was a connection. Could have been something else in the cookie ~ oats, peanut butter, almond milk, vanilla extra, flour? I think I’m going to do the no-chocolate experiment again. I don’t even care about choccy that much, only caffeine. The headache was so bad I wished I had a shot ~ it took hours to subside from a pill. But the shots cost so much it’s ridiculous.

Anyway, cool title, no? I must get back to writing soon.

[Written in 2012.]

~*~

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Turkey Week Share [syw]

Planet balloons

Melanie whips up a fresh batch of questions…

1. What are some red flags to watch out for in daily life?

Mine are literally the triggers that will cause red-hot, stabby migraine pain, such as alcohol, yucky smells, big noise, lack of sleep, drama/stress, etc., or doing dumb things that will worsen my back issues. I have to stay mindful so I don’t end up hurting myself.

2. What obstacles would you include in the “world’s most amazing obstacle course”?

I’d start with some simple math that most people fail at, then maybe a spelling/grammar test (ditto), and finish off with some logic problems.

3. Who is the best movie or book villain in your opinion? (‘book’ is included because some folks don’t watch movies)

Tony Soprano! As I wrote the other day, he was such a good bad guy because of his positive qualities. He loved animals, he adored his children, and he was funny. He had to negotiate the “normal” marriage and parenting problems while running a mob, not to mention the anxiety issues stemming from his mother’s behavior and other family/work stresses, which caused him to visit a psychiatrist regularly. Sometimes you’d forget that he was a cold-blooded murderer, lol. And even when he killed someone, he was very careful to get the right person and have valid reasons for the hit, unlike some of his friends who killed on a whim. Overall, The Sopranos remains my favorite show of all time.

4. What, in your opinion, is the most beautiful/handsome part of your face? (no dissing yourself please, we’re all beautiful/handsome!)

My hazel eyes are pretty, though they get tired and itchy too often lately.

5. Next week on Thursday, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. What are some foods you enjoy for your festive celebration dinners? (Doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving, as I realize the whole world isn’t participating in ‘our’ holiday)

First, I’m not a turkey fan, especially hot turkey. I can tolerate thin-sliced lunchmeat turkey in a sandwich with coleslaw to disguise the taste, but I vastly prefer chicken. My daughter is making pesto chicken for us Thursday, yay! Second, I dislike many of the “traditional” holiday foods, such as candied yams (so sticky and gross), mashed potatoes (so boring and a zillion calories too), cranberry sauce (ugh, heartburn!). Third, I hate eating a giant meal with dessert and feeling full and disgusting. There’s simply no reason for this, when we can spread out the noms over a day or a period of days.

So here are my favorite foods that are semi-traditional for my little fam around holiday season: pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie (with a graham cracker crust), mushroom stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, orange-cranberry muffins or bread, spinach salad with cranberries/walnuts/feta cheese/vinaigrette (note I don’t hate cranberries, just the gross sauce), and brie cheese baked in pastry (so so so good). I love latkes for Chanukah too ~ and I am on the applesauce side in the great war between applesauce and sour cream. Chocolate gelt candy from See’s is delicious as well. And though I don’t “celebrate” Christmas, I will never turn down a buttery Christmas cookie or a Reese’s peanut butter candy tree. Mmm…

~*~

Image from Pixabay.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Snack Attack!

box of chocolate candy

Maggie tucks into a tasty topic for this week’s Throwback Thursday… it’s all about snacks.

Despite being overweight, my parents didn’t snack much. We had large meals with dessert every night, usually store-bought cake of some kind, so we were pretty full in the evening. We would often have cookies at lunch as well. These were usually store bought too and we tended toward chocolate chip cookies, pecan shortbreads, and marshmallow pinwheels. Sometimes my mom and/or I made cookies or brownies (box mix). Back then Duncan Hines had the best brownie mix; today it’s Ghirardelli. We also liked the box mix of cinnamon bundt cake and baked those quite often. I think they were Pillsbury, not sure.

We always made a cake or brownies for a birthday ~ I never saw a store-bought birthday cake until I was an adult. We sometimes baked Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies for no reason because you don’t need one. For Christmas, we made a ton of cookies and I loved the rum balls and butter spritz especially. Those were fun times, and I have lots of good memories of baking with my mom.

I didn’t even realize snacking was such a “thing” until later on when friends were always noshing on chips or whatever. During the last year of high school, one friend and I often bought a bag of Flings to munch while doing homework and playing Kismet. Another friend worked in a pinball parlor and I sometimes stopped in after school for a hot pretzel. I generally don’t snack during movies and never have.

These days, I try not to snack at all because even a few extra calories quickly turn to fat when you’re old and don’t exercise. Usually I keep a bag of carrots in the office fridge in case of an afternoon snack attack ~ though I did finish the bag of peanut butter cups left from Halloween. Well, someone had to! I love most commercial candy, especially PB cups and Snickers. I’m not one of those annoying chocolate purists.

The image is a box of See’s candy from like 2010, which is something I can never resist (unless it’s filled with fruit glop). Luckily, no one buys me any these days. But yes, my preference is almost always for a sweet snack over salty/savory. I can easily turn down potato/corn chips, but cookies not so much. I’m not a huge fan of ice cream as a snack either, except for coffee and (in the summer) mango sorbet. Two popular snacks I hate are licorice and Slim Jims. I’ve never been a fan of bagged pretzels either (as opposed to hot soft ones). Nothing has really changed re my snack preferences as I’ve aged.

I haven’t mentioned cupcakes here because they’re too special to be lumped in with mere snacks.

Also, I would have used some of the prompt words in this fascinating dissertation, except WP is being glitchier than usual, which is saying a lot. And there should be a way to prevent refollows once you’ve thrown someone off! Some days it simply doesn’t seem worth the bother…

~*~

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Holiday Treats

Christmas cookies

Lately I’ve avoided some of the standard prompt questions in order to create a more poetry and fiction-focused blog, but today PCGuyIV asks about our favorite holiday treats and, well, I can’t resist talking about cookies.

While I adore lots of special occasion nummies, from pumpkin-shaped Reese’s PB cups to heart-shaped Reese’s PB cups to Christmas tree-shaped Reese’s PB cups… to, um, other stuff… there is nothing more delicious in this world than buttery, sugary Spritz cookies. Of course, they must be made in a old-fashioned metal press, with some dough colored red and other dough green and some left plain, and then sprinkled with colorful doodads when done. They should look exactly like the pic above I borrowed from Life, Love and Sugar. No frosting! No choccy! My mommy and I used to make butter Spritzes every year. So so so good!

Mom also used to make rum balls, which I love, but they’re so heartburny to me now. Mostly they’re smashed vanilla wafers smooshed up with rum and more sugar, shaped into balls, and left to ferment for a few weeks. I think it was the lure of “those aren’t ready yet!” that made them so enticing. I also like gingerbread a whole lot.

Chanukah provides yummy treats as well, and while I hate the jelly doughnuts, I love the latkes and applesauce. Gelt is also delicious (chocolate coins), especially if you buy it from See’s. This is how I prefer chocolate anyway: by itself. I’m not a fan of chocolate frosting or dipping cookies into chocolate unless they’re almond crescents, which seem to be available only in New York. Of course, I love chocolate chip cookies, but you can have those anytime and this post is about holiday yums.

What about other holidays? Meh. Valentine candy isn’t anything special you can’t get throughout the year. I’m not a big fan of hamentashen (Purim triangle cookies), and Easter candy is pretty barf except for the aforementioned PB cups (egg-shaped in this case). Passover food is hideous, and I’m not into any of the meat-grilling rituals of Memorial Day and July 4th.

That brings us to Thanksgiving, which is many people’s favorite food holiday, but I don’t like most of the traditional items, with one exception ~ stuffing! I love love love stuffing, especially if it contains mushrooms or oysters. Turkey is meh. Mashed potatoes meh. Sweet potatoes OK. Cranberry sauce ick. Etc. Then there’s pie, which is OK. I mean, of course I enjoy pie… I’m not a psychopath! But compared to Spritz cookies? No contest.

~*~

Image source unknown.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.