“Bacon” Ranch Mac & Cheese

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  1. 8 oz. penne pasta, cooked
  2. 8 slices veggie bacon, microwaved crispy and crumbled
  3. ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, split in half
  4. 1 jar alfredo sauce
  5. ¼ cup ranch dressing
  6. Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together all ingredients (w/ just half of the cheese). Spoon mixture into an 8×8” baking dish, and sprinkle w/ remaining cheese. Bake 30 min. or until mixture is bubbling.

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Baked Bean and Cheese Veg. Dogs

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  • 6 veg. dogs
  • 6 hot dog buns
  • Baked beans, to taste
  • Yellow mustard, to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste
  • Chopped onions, to taste

Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking pan w/ nonstick foil, and place hot dog buns inside. Spread a thin layer of mustard inside the bun, and add the veg. dog. Top w/ baked beans, cheese, and onions, making sure that the veg. dogs are arranged so that the buns are not tipping over Bake for 30 min., or until the cheese is melted and veg. dogs are heated through.

Love Me a Little Louder

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I can’t hear you in the morning,

When routine cuts our embrace.

The silence is overwhelming,

As I’m left here in this place.

Your texts take time to check on me,

But the day’s tasks drown them out.

And, as the hours tick away

Your absence welcomes doubt.

So, love me a little louder

Than the ring of our alarm.

Wrap your arms around me tighter,

Till I know I’m safe from harm.

Kiss me a little longer

Before you shut the door.

You’ll remind me I’m important too,

And what we’re working for.

Text me a lot more often;

Fill the void with sweeter words.

And, as the day unfolds itself…

Be the only thing I heard.

Night Writing

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Nighttime scares the hell out of me because it holds an illusion that is forced upon us every 24 hours of our lives. It’s the only time that an unseen mirror can burn your eyes at the sight of your own life, without the faintest light to show the picture. We’re meant to black out and forget it all, when the night evolves from day. But, I fight like hell.

Because I still see that mirror, and I still feel that pain. I will never find it in my soul to begin to understand the way that your minds fire and smother to ashes, like clockwork. I wouldn’t know how to stop, and I wouldn’t care to. Mere sake of schedule, exhaustion, or the compliance of the world beneath my feet—my thoughts are the standing ground for everything that I am, despite what I am told. It never stops, and I have the human body that contradicts itself by allowing it all to happen.

For I was born to see beyond it all. I was born to see, as well as feel the grays beneath your black and white. Everything that we are told is fake and insubstantial to the bigger picture. That truth has resonated in my soul for as long as I can remember, and it has gained strength with the tests of time. This curse and blessing are not lost on me, for I know the purpose: It lies beneath my wandering pen…

Reaching for Darkness

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“I couldn’t love a soul,” she said, as she closed the blinds around her and reached for the darkness that she now held dear. Not a single heart could get in, and she thanked the stars for the walls that she had strengthened with time. “I have tried like hell to keep them far away because I’ll be damned if I feel that pain again.”

With her eyes jeweled with tears, and her head in her hands, she confided her secrets to nothing but the sure darkness that she had created in this space…in her very being. Mere moments passed before she lifted her head with a rush of fear, for her vision was not entirely veiled. All around her, the light slithered its way through the futile blinds. Tiny bits of sunlight, through the cracks, bled truth that cut her with the inevitable pain that called: She could not hide from the sun. It fought through the darkest of rooms, the toughest of shades, and the most shattered of people.

As much as she fought to look away, her eyes wouldn’t allow it. They fixed themselves to those tiny specks that folded the darkness. The truth was that she could never hide. The light would always find her and her beloved shadows…

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She Waits…

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“You know what’s going to fucking tear you apart?” she confided into the darkness before her, as the agony unveiled from her eyes, “When you realize that the person who sets your soul on fire will never spend their life with you.” Every night, like clockwork, she would face the solitude and silence that would inevitably bring to surface the pain that she wrapped so tightly away with the sun. She lost him, and everything that promised to be the life that she would long for for the rest of her time on this Earth.

And, all because she gave. Or, did she give up? Everything that she was, and everything she was made to be faced the collision of the concreted expectations and the cut and dry life mapped out before her since the day that she was born.

Her existence was a conflict. Everything she ever knew, loved, or stood against held a damning lack of standing in the hell she was roped into. Dreaming became a synthetic pastime. When, to her, it was oxygen. Goals were put into boxes, collecting dust from intruders or fire from brainwash. And, love? Love didn’t exist. Not in the world she was born into, regardless of the truth in her soul.

Because love needed depth, and her mind fought to fly. The dark brought on nightmares with the silence, whether her eyes remained opened or closed. Her greatest demons resided in the shadows, though she couldn’t sleep to the truth that called her, thirsted by the burial of the mundane life that she now knew to be her own.

And so, she learned to survive in the parallel universe that was set before her. During the day, she woke up, showed up, sucked it up, and everything in between. And, the whole time, she fought to stay normal….She never forgot the night: Her blanket in a world of cold.

She loved the memories and the truth and the belonging, but she hated the way that it stabbed her heart and crushed any meaning that she could contribute to. The struggle was unavoidable, and the pull was addictive. Night had to come, and she was fused to the web that wove its strings around her.

When her past haunted her and caught her in the midst of her breakdown…It drove its claws into her constantly, taunting her with the whisperings that she had sold herself to the societal norm that she had loathed with the one that held the power to drive her to the ground. She armed herself against them with a drink in one hand a pen in the other. The darkness would call each night, and she would follow with no regard. The daytime was wrong, in every way…but night was bound to come.

The world could fight to find it’s rightness, but she knew where it laid from the very start. Come into the darkness and feel the beckoning. She waits, and the memories will follow. She can only be loved in the dark…and isn’t that the very best way?

The Blood of a Soul

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My subconscious continues to write, as I tire. Pure emotion drips from this pen, regardless of my current state of mind. Alcohol fuels the fire, and the burning of my throat and my thoughts holds the hypnotic power to bring black and white to life.

This is writing, in its truest form. The rules are tossed to the wind as the ink is freed along its paper roadway. How else can we see the blood of a soul?

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