The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: humor (page 2 of 21)

Come to Mama Sausage Dip, for most of your bartering needs

I’ve been told there’s a big football game on this weekend. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. If my Steelers aren’t playing, I’d just as soon curl up with Jamie Fraser, I mean, a good book.

But that means my husband will be going to his parents’ house for a Super Bowl Party, and hopefully taking all three of our kids with him so I can stay home alone and figure out why all my friends can’t stop gushing over Downton Abbey.

Hey, as a mother of three, I don’t get very much alone time. So Super Bowl Sunday is kind of a special day for me, and not just because it’s the grande finale of my holiday eating season.

Yes, just because I won’t be watching the big game doesn’t mean I won’t be eating like it.

Conrad Bain was mr. drummond on Diff'rent Strokes

Jim (aka “The Gatekeeper”) will undoubtedly make a huge batch of his famous hot wings, leaving me my own personal heaping tray of “the good ones.” (I only eat the wingette, never the drummette, not to be confused with the Drummond, may he rest in peace.)

And celery dipped in chunky blue cheese dressing totally counts as a vegetable, y’all.

There will be another vegetable course of bacon wrapped cheesy jalapeño peppers.

And I will be making a big ol’ vat of what I affectionately like to call my Come to Mama Sausage Dip.

I don’t make this dish very often, or I’d have to install an AED in my kitchen, but it sure is delicious and easy to make. And it’s a real crowd pleaser, let me tell you—especially with the men folk.

The Bearded Iris's Come to Mama Sausage Dip and Bartering Tool

As an added bonus, this dip makes for an excellent bartering tool.

Ladies, we all know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So if you want your man to be putty in your hands without having to do some bush hogging or soil your sheets, just shell out some of this dip and sit back while he moans and groans in sausage-infused ecstasy. That’s right, give him a foodgasm and your every wish will be his command.

Need a day to yourself? Sausage dip.

Want him to take down the Christmas lights? Sausage dip.

New DSLR that costs more than your first car? Sorry. That’s probably going to require a more literal sausage dip. Step away from your Amazon cart and go spruce up your downtown, Loretta.

But for the rest of you with less expensive taste…

Come to Mama Sausage Dip


  • 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage* (don’t get that puny 12 ounce thing…this is no time to settle for a little sausage)
  • 2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 10 ounce can of RO*TEL (Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies; find it in the canned veggie aisle)

RO*TEL original tomatoes and green chilis

*If you like to spice things up a bit, and I suspect that you do, get either spicy sausage, OR spicy RO*TEL. Don’t double down on the spice unless you want to spend a lot of quality time with Bernie Bunger over the next few days.

Now let’s get cookin’, good lookin’!

Brown up the sausage. I use a big cast iron skillet for this. Break up the big chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Then drain the grease off and set the crumbled sausage on a layer or two of paper towel. If your crumbles aren’t small enough, chop ’em up and set aside.

Then, heat the cream cheese on med-low until it gets all melty and slap yo’ mama good. Personally, I’m a big fan of using every single pot and pan in my kitchen whenever I cook. But you could probably do this in the same big skillet you used to brown up your sausage if you are one of those more organized people who doesn’t leave a swath of destruction every time you enter the kitchen.

Once the cream cheese is hot and melty, add the RO*TEL and crumbled sausage and heat through. Easy, peasy, muffin-top squeezie.

Please serve this dip with Frito’s Scoops on the side. Don’t get all fancy and try to shovel this slop with wafer-thin Carr’s Water Crackers. This is a white trash, man pleasin’, artery clogging bartering tool and should be paired accordingly. M’kay?

Don’t worry, you can head back to the gym on Monday. Or do like I do and just camouflage that flesh belt with bold patterns and some cleavage peek-a-boo. Or perhaps a coon-skin cap. Nobody will ask you when your food baby is due if they think you’re a hooker or a rifleman.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Come to Mama Sausage Dip
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: The Bearded Iris
Hot, molten, cheesy, sausage dip perfect for the big game!
  • 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage* (don’t get that puny 12 ounce thing…this is no time to settle for a little sausage)
  • 2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 10 ounce can of RO*TEL (Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies; find it in the canned veggie aisle)
  • Fritos Scoops
  1. Brown the sausage; break up the big chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Then drain the grease off and set the crumbled sausage on a layer or two of paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream cheese on med-low in a saucepan until it gets all melty and slap-yo’-mama good.
  3. Once the cream cheese is hot and melted, add the RO*TEL and crumbled sausage and heat through.
  4. Best served warm with Fritos Scoops on the side. It’s a heavy dip and requires a strong chip or you’ll be wearing it instead of eating it. (Trust me on this.)
*If you like to spice things up a bit, and I suspect that you do, get EITHER spicy sausage, OR spicy RO*TEL. Don’t double down on the spice. You can thank me later.

My husband hates my new knobs.

You guys? Can we talk about something kind of embarrassing?

I’ve been feeling really frumpy lately. Mainly, when I’m in the bathroom and I look down, I feel like my knobs just haven’t aged very well.

Back in the late 80s when they were shiny and new, they were pretty popular; I’m not going to lie.

my knobs have not aged well

But twenty+ years of regular handling have obviously taken their toll, not to mention the excess moisture and occasional banging.

I just felt like my whole look was, well, dated and worn. I wanted to swap out my tarnished, lifeless old knobs for something shiny and new, like so many other women in my neighborhood have done lately. I know I should be happy with what I have, but I was coveting knobs that were perky and fresh! Something my husband and I wouldn’t mind grabbing several times a day.

So I saved up and bought a set of the prettiest knobs I could afford!

And that was not an easy feat because there are SO MANY CHOICES. Who knew?!

Not to mention the fact that my ADD prevented me from planning ahead and doing a special order of the knobs I really wanted.

Sweet Brown aint got time to special order knobs at Home Depot

So I chose a set I thought would look good enough given my budget and time constraints, and I set to work.

As soon as they were on, I ran to show my husband. Would he like them too?

Sadly, his reaction was not at all what I expected.

“They’re bigger than I thought they would be,” he said.

“Really?” I asked. “You think they’re too big?”

“A little…yeah…they’re kind of awkward and lumpy. And they’re sort of hard to grasp too. I…I’m afraid I’ll break them.”

“Oh…well that sucks. I think they’re really pretty. You don’t like the way they feel? Seriously? Day-yum.”

“Let’s just live with them for a few days and then decide,” he suggested.

I felt shocked and crushed at the same time. In 15 years of marriage we had always managed to agree on matters of, uh…enhancements.

Honestly, I just assumed he’d like what I picked, but apparently he wanted something smaller, simpler, less showy.

A compromise was clearly in order. After all, to have and to hold, right?

So we took a few days to see if he would warm up to my new knobs.

And not only did he not come around, but over the course of those few days, I started to agree with him.

It pains me to say it, but he was right. When I looked at them with fresh eyes, those knobs were all wrong for the rest of my new look.

your knobs are too big and lumpy hon

Maybe I should back up a bit and start at the beginning.

I’m obviously talking about cabinet knobs and pulls. What did you think I meant? Geez. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y renovating our master bath over the course of the last…OMG…really? FOUR YEARS? Shit. (Oh so THAT is why people pay professionals.)

It’s been a long time since my last blog update about it when I swapped out the cultured marble counter top for a granite one, but only because I didn’t want to bore you to death.

new granite

Since last June I have painted the walls (twice…because I hated the shiny satin finish the guy at the hardware store talked me into) and installed new faucets and drains (myself, thankyouverymuch), and my husband put in new light fixtures.

Then I tackled the vanity. Here is the original “before” shot just for funsies.

master bath vanity before


It’s one of those builder-grade dealios made from particle board and laminate…very shoddy quality, and very badly damaged by wear and tear.

I took all the doors and drawers off, sanded down the raised water-damaged areas, applied a primer, and then painted and waxed everything with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint (in Chateau Grey and Graphite) and Wax (clear and dark). It was a labor of love, let me tell you.

I’m not a painting expert and I don’t want to steer you wrong with how to use Annie Sloan products, so I won’t go into it here. Frankly I’m not even sure these products were the best choice for a bathroom, but only time will tell. I’m hoping that the primer plus the multiple (4) coats of paint and wax (3) will help protect them from water damage.

But here’s how it looked after the paint and wax, and while we were “trying on” the new Victorian glass knobs that we eventually rejected. That paint color on the walls is Celery Root (flat finish) by Valspar, by the way. I’m not sure if I love it or not yet. It’s more green than I thought it was going to be…I was hoping for more of a gray-green. (Also, ignore the floor…we’re not done.)

bathroom vanity after painting

I also spray painted the cabinet door hinges with a flat black paint because the tarnished brass ones were killing my buzz.

In the end, we returned the big, lumpy, glass knobs and went with smaller chrome handles, to match the faucets and light fixtures. And here’s the big reveal (drum roll please)…

before and after of bathroom vanity makeover by The Bearded IrisYou know I’m not the best photographer, and the lighting is making the cabinet look more blue than it is in real life, so try to look past that if you can.

I think it’s pretty amazing what some primer, 4 coats of paint, 3 coats of wax, some new knobs, and bit of touch-up spray can do for a gal. Don’t you?

My husband sure likes the final look, although he did say, “Those knobs stick out kind of far, don’t you think?”

What. WHAT?!

To which I snapped, “Hey, you know what? If you don’t like the new knobs, don’t use ’em.”

And that was the end of that.

Coming soon: a new floor and a toilet. Hopefully our marriage can survive it.

Flirting with the flu

So, this happened recently…

Thirteen day old clam chowder. It passes the smell test. What could possibly go wrong?
Leslie Marinelli


Maybe my “winter blues” are more serious than I thought.

But on the bright side, it’s good blog fodder.

Join me In The Powder Room today to hear the rest of that story. Surprisingly it’s not at all about poop. It’s actually about germs, suburban life, gambling, Puerto Rican hookers, drug store makeup, leftovers, and flu shots. Bring some hand sanitizer. You’re going to need it.

Happy Friday, y’all!


I’m fighting the winter blues, one juicy page at a time

Welcome to The Bearded Iris

Hello friends! (::sniff sniff, wag wag, lick lick::) I’ve been missing you!

Sorry to stay away for so long.

I’m totally engrossed in a book.

It’s a book that I’ve read at least twice before, maybe three times.

But it’s one of those books that beckons me back every now and then. (And inspires me to use fancy words like beckons in my blog posts.)

Apparently I’m not the only one. This book (and the subsequent series) has legions of devoted fans.

It’s Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.

It takes place in the very unhygienic mid-eighteenth century and it’s inspired me to write a list of the Top 5 Things I Could Never Live Without. It’s In The Powder Room today. Please join me over there and we’ll discuss fun things like thunder buckets and camel balls.

And if you are up for some more fun, check out this piece I wrote last month and never got around to sharing. But be warned, it includes my favorite viral YouTube video from 2012 and it is totally addictive!

I’m so grateful you are here with me and I hope to share many more laughs, tears, discussions, and fresh smelling bear hugs with you in 2013!

Yours truly,

Look what’s under the mistletoe!

Dobbie adjusts his mistletoe belt buckle by The Bearded Iris

Dobbie ain’t no dummy.

Hey, all you Christmas decorating pros, is real mistletoe always so flimsy and delicate? Geez Louise, I lost about half the leaves fashioning that belt buckle for Mr. Horny Pants up there.

Confession: this is actually the first year I’ve ever bought real mistletoe. Is that crazy? I’ve always wanted some, but I’ve never really liked the plastic mistletoe I see in most stores. So when I saw some little baggies of real mistletoe for $1 each at the local Christmas Tree Farm last weekend, I snapped up a few bags and brought them home with us.

Did you know that real mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows at the top of trees? The owner of the tree farm told me that there’s a gal in his neighborhood who shoots the mistletoe down with a rifle and then shows up in her head-to-toe camouflage to sell him big fresh clumps of it.

Welcome to North Georgia, y’all.

Anyway, what few hearty sprigs remained intact while I was making my bouquet are hanging in my foyer from the pendant light. So if you plan on stopping by anytime this holiday season, just go ahead and pucker up, Buttercup.

live mistletoe in the foyer by the bearded iris

How about you? Are you a mistletoe veteran or virgin? Got any tips or stories about mistletoe to share? Dish it up!

Yours truly,



Greetings from the set of #DWTS {!!!}

Well another season of Dancing with the Stars has come to an exciting end. And I have just three things to say about the finale:

1.) Congratulations Melissa and Tony! You totally deserve it. Hard to believe it was Tony’s first win in all these years.

2.) If Val and Kelly are just friends? I totally want more friends.  

3.) Shawn and Derek, that ending to your instant Cha Cha was JAW-DROPPINGLY AWESOME. I actually gasped aloud when I saw it and woke my husband who was snoring on the couch next to me. I just hope that Derek was generous with the Axe Body Spray prior to the show or poor Shawn will be scrubbing his musk out of her nostrils for days.

Seriously… check out this progression:

“Shawn, just stand still and I’m going to run full speed right at you…”

“…then I’ll take a flying leap right at your face…”

“…and all you need to do is catch my junk with your neck, okay?”

“And after I tea-bag you at 60 MPH, just grab my leg like you mean it…”

“…and I’ll bend you over backwards while you’re still clutching my groin with your arms & face. Got it?”

And you wonder why I’m such a fan of the show.

Hand to God, I have never missed a season. And scenes like this are just one of the many reasons why.

Now, grab some popcorn and settle into a comfy chair because I am about to do something crazy.

You know that whole “ask and ye shall receive” thing? Also known as “The Secret,” or the “when you announce your intentions, the universe will rise up to help you achieve them” principle?

Yeah, that.



Gosh, this is harder than I thought it would be.

{nervous eye twitch}

I’m just going to come out and say it:

I want to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

Okay, okay, settle down. It’s not THAT funny.

Maybe it is. I can’t even touch my toes.

If I ever attempted a move like this:

a split (ouch)

…it would sound like someone pried open the Pharaoh’s Tomb, followed by the sound of bones snapping and sirens blaring.

But I’d do it anyway…because that shit would make for great TV. 

And believe you-me, I watch enough television to know what producers want. In fact, and I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve been approached three times in the past two months to appear on Dr. Oz and The Steve Harvey Show (twice).

Sure, it was for shows about things like chronic oversharing, facing your bullies, and holiday card DONT’S, but still, I was asked, m’kay?! And let the record show that I turned them all down because I am waiting for the right opportunity to royally shame myself and my family in front of the biggest audience possible. Dancing with the Stars, you are THE ONE for me.

Sadly, my family is a little slow to warm up to the idea.

When I told my kids about my desire to be on the show they just laughed and laughed. And then my daughter said, “But Mom. The costumes! They’re so…tiny, and you’re so…um…squishy.”

She has a point there. But come on, I’m 42-years-old. I’m a homemaker/professional writer, not a teenaged Olympic Gold Medal Winning Athlete. It’s okay for me to be a little squishy. I figure they’ll just dress me like they dressed Cloris Leachman, or Chaz Bono. No biggie.

Besides, I’m not going to let my children’s fears about my lack of muscle tone or talent squelch my dreams.

I was born to dance and/or make people laugh with/at my dancing, and I’m ready to go for it.

So I’m doing what leadership guru Stephen Covey suggests and I’m using visualization to begin with the end in mind. Hence the title of this post. I’m already imagining that I’ve been selected as a contestant and am blogging from the sidelines of the dance floor during rehearsal.

Ladies, I gotta tell you…Maks’ tush is even better in person.

So what do you say, ABC? To demonstrate my level of commitment to this project I’ve gone ahead and drawn up the beginnings of a contract.

Here is my commitment to ABC and the Executive Producers of DWTS:

I will wax every last hair from my waist down so that the show can remain family-friendly and people won’t wonder if “that mom blogger is giving birth to The Jackson Five” when I do a high low kick.

I herewith consent to allow DWTS to videotape me running errands with no make-up on so as to make the montage of My Journey to Week Two that much more inspiring to “regular” women everywhere.

I vow to have at least one minor injury that I will valiantly overcome for the sake of good TV.

In addition, I guarantee that I will cry at least once.

I will provide Bruno Tonioli with a minimum of two opportunities to use phrases like “saucy minx,” “fleshy flavor,” or “check please.”

And I will donate half of my yet-to-be-negotiated fee to the charity of my choice.

In exchange, DWTS herewith commits to the following:

You promise not to make me wear any costumes that expose my mid drift, butt cheeks, or spider veins. Nor will I ever have to dance next to any of the professional female dancers.

You will provide complementary teeth bleaching, spray tanning, mani/pedis, and physical therapy throughout the course of my run on the show.

You hereby guarantee to fly my family out to watch me at least once for a live taping. In exchange I will permit you to film my son Bucket Head doing the Belly Wave.

You hereby swear to never refer to me as a “mommy blogger.” You may call me a blogger, a mom blogger, a writer, an author, a humorist, and/or a philosopher/entertainer/humanitarian/apprentice plumber.

You will provide an unattractive, background checked nanny/housekeeper to help my husband with my three children while I am part of the show.

You promise to partner me with anyone but Val. He obviously uses sex as a motivator for training, and let’s face it, I’m more motivated by the promise of a trip to the buffet at Golden Corral.

So what do you think? Would you like to see me as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars? If so, please help me spread the word! Maybe they’ll let me bring all of you to a taping of the show! I’m stretching my hamstrings just in case.

put leslie from The Bearded Iris on DWTS

Optimistically yours,

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