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0Holly Perkins



THANK GOD for the little things in life.
Every day I find thrill in little things like a perfectly hot cup of green tea, blasting Clair du Lune when it plays on my Pandora, and clean hair. I love this about myself because it truly makes life better. Never forget to celebrate little things!
Today I’m giving you something to celebrate!
After about 8 years – no, I’m not joking – I have finally perfected one of my favorite recipes EVER and I’m going to share it with you!
Introducing…Protein Perfect Breakfast Cake!!!!!!
The reason this recipe is so important:
Nearly every client of mine struggles with finding breakfast options that are delicious and give you fuel for the day

What you eat for breakfast literally programs your body for fat storage OR fat burning for the entire day

Protein at breakfast is critical to stabilize blood sugar, optimize energy and boost brain performance

A macronutrient balanced breakfast promotes fat burning and weight loss

Every one needs a breakfast option that is easy to make ahead of time for grab-and-go mornings

This delicious cake also serves as a fantastic pre-workout option

Literally, I could go on and on about this recipe. Instead, I’m going to share it with you so that you can add your own reasons as to why it’s THE BEST!
This week I am releasing my original recipe: Raspberry Oat Protein Perfect Breakfast Cake. In the coming weeks I will also be releasing these flavors:
Now THAT is a little thing worth celebrating, so GET COOKING!
PS! I reserve exclusive content just for the members of my Inner Circle email update list. If you’d like to get more inside tips from me on health, fitness and weight loss that aren’t shared here on the Blog, you can sign up at the top right (or bottom) of this page! It’s free.
Liquid egg whites

736 grams | 3 cups

Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

160 grams | 2 cups

OR [Pre-ground oat flour]

1 3/4 cups

Unsalted butter

56 grams | 1/2 stick

OR [Coconut oil]

3 Tbsp + 1 tsp

Frozen raspberries

560 grams | 4 cups


1 tsp

Baking powder

1/2 tsp


1 tsp

Blender 9×9 inch baking pan
Large mixing bowl Pam for Baking spray
Whisk Tupperware for storage
Measuring cups and spoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 inch-baking pan with Pam for Baking spray.

Place rolled oats into a blender and blend for 1 minute until an even flour consistency. Alternatively, you can use pre-ground oat flour, but blending your own make this recipe better!

If using butter, melt over a low flame, or in a microwave.

In a very large mixing bowl combine egg whites, oat flour, butter (or coconut oil), salt, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk just until there are no flour clumps; do not over whisk.

NOTE: Batter will be very liquid.

Fold in the frozen raspberries and break up any clumps. NOTE: Batter will still be very liquid!

Pour into pan. Gently stir to distribute the fruit evenly in the pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan ¼ turn and cook for another 25 minutes or until solid in the center of the cake.

NOTE: Ovens vary; cook just until the center is solid, but still a bit wet.

Let cake cool completely. Cut into 4 or 6 pieces. See below for calorie and macro breakdown.

Place each piece in a Tupperware container or tin foil for easy grab-and-go.

4 pieces: 440 calories each
6 pieces: 293 calories each
Variation: Drizzle 1 Tb of maple syrup on top of each piece:
4 pieces: 490 calories each
6 pieces: 343 calories each
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Try out this recipe and let me know what you think! Tell me ALL the ways that it changed your life! Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below!


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May 3, 2017 at 7:11 am

I love this recipe! I was a bit skeptical as I’m not a very skilled baker and I’ve tried sugar-free recipes before that didn’t taste good at all. This one was super easy to make and screams “healthy”! Thank you for sharing!



May 2, 2017 at 10:04 am

This recipe looks delicious, I can’t wait to try!

Are you able to break down the nutrition facts for me?

Most importantly, protein, fiber and sugar



May 2, 2017 at 9:01 am

This sounds seriously amazing! I do a similar version, but with cocoa powder. But now I’m thinking cocoa+ raspberries together!!? Oh yeah!



May 2, 2017 at 6:16 am

Hi Holly,

I was wondering if you’ve tried adding protein powder to the recipe and if you did, how it turned out?




January 31, 2017 at 8:04 am

Hi Holly,
I just recently discovered you and have started the newbie Lift to Get Lean program and loving it. You demystified the gym for me! Thank you!
I made this cake and LOVE it! So easy and filling. There’s enough sweetness from the raspberries.

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

February 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Hello Fatima and welcome to this wonderful community. I am so happy to hear that you have started your Newbie Program from Lift to Get Lean. I can’t wait to hear about your results and goals you have accomplished. Stay on track and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions.
I am glad you loved the cake. It is such a good source of fuel for your workouts!
In strength,




January 25, 2017 at 6:14 pm

I don’t know how you can label this cake. Cake is moist and flaky, this is a soggy, spongy mess. It should definitely be called a quiche because the amount of egg white in it is absurd, and leads to a disappointing consistency. Tastes ok, though; I will try it again with less egg white and more oat flour.



January 22, 2017 at 8:03 am

OK so I made this using quinoa flour and frozen blueberries. I think it taste fine. Mine was dense but I used a different flour since I was out of oats. The recipe does not have added sweeteners so I am surprised everyone thinks it should taste sweet. Its lie making a protein waffle or pancake batter, its not going to be sweet. Just add some maple syrup or agave nectar and its good. Thanks for the recipe Holly!



January 5, 2017 at 4:30 pm

This may be obvious, but does this taste “eggy”? I do NOT like eggs at all and if the egg taste is prominent, I would love to know in advance. Thanks!

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

January 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Not AT ALL!!! No egg flavor whatsoever!



January 14, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Cool, thanks!! 🙂



January 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm

100% honesty here: I made this and after feeling like a wasted almost 2 dozen egg yolks I couldn’t even swallow it. I was very bummed that I wasted all the eggs and raspberries because I cannot eat it. This was not tasty to me and the texture was beyond strange. Please let me know if I should warm it, or how I can ease my way into liking this good food combination. I don’t label myself a ‘picky’ eater and was hopeful for an easy breakfast for myself.

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

January 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Hi Jenni: SO UNHAPPY TO HEAR THIS! First suggestion is to use liquid egg whites as opposed to cracking your own. I do think this makes a huge difference and that is why the recipe calls for the liquid kind. Also, did you use frozen raspberries? I suspect that the real, cracked egg whites caused a difference in the result. I’ve made this recipe at least 50 times and it always turns out great. The consistency IS bit wet, almost like a quiche, but shouldn’t be inedible. I also wonder if maybe you needed to cook it a bit longer. Cook until the center of the cake is totally solid and not jiggly. Apologies that you didn’t have success the first time. Maybe give it another try?? (Holly P)



January 23, 2017 at 5:59 am

OK, second attempt was MUCH more tolerable. I used liquid egg whites (didn’t know there was such a thing) and frozen raspberries. Last time it was very quiche like, I do enjoy quiche, but with the name breakfast cake I was thrown off. I just finished my first piece, no maple syrup added, and it was not the worst. It will take some getting used to and I look forward to the other versions, I suspect the chocolate chip or pumpkin will be my favorite! I am hopeful to get back into a routine of treating my body better.



January 5, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Hi Jenni,
I did the same thing and uses cracked eggs. But I warned my piece up and drizzled a tiny bit of maple syrup. It helps. But next time I will try with liquid egg whites as Holly suggest.

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

January 6, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Angela: how did your “cracked egg” version turn out? Was it a weird consistency? Just curious



January 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

Hi there-
Unfortunately, I would have to agree that this didn’t have any flavor 🙁 I used liquid egg whites and frozen raspberries as suggested as well. I may give it another try with almond extract instead of vanilla. I haven’t tried it with syrup yet…maybe that will help?

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

January 19, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Hi Susan! Keep in mind that this is a healthy breakfast option and not “gourmet” or sugary. The flavor will come from the fruit that you use. I wonder if maybe you didn’t use enough raspberries, but every time I make it it’s VERY raspberry flavored. I’ll be coming out with a Strawberry Banana, and Chocolate Chip Banana as well. Maybe those will strike your palate more!



May 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm

What about adding stevia??



December 28, 2016 at 8:04 am

I’m putting everything on my grocery list and can’t wait to make it!

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

December 28, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Let me know how you like the recipe! I would love to hear some feedback.



January 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Hi Holly, I finally made this last week! I used old fashioned oats, frozen raspberries and liquid egg whites. I have to agree with the other comments in that it didn’t have much flavor. I used a drizzle of honey and that made it better. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t hungry midmorning! That is a A+ on my book so I’ll keep trying. I like to bake at home and I’m wondering if using the oat flour would be better? Also, I used coconut oil but will try with melted butter. More over, is it suppose to be soft or dense? Maybe having the liquid egg whites at room temperature or using cracked egg whites (also at room temperature) whipped up? Just throwing some suggestions but you might have tried these methods already. One more thing, my coconut oil had turn solid so I popped it in microwave to bring it back to liquid form. I don’t know if that makes any difference. I ran out of frozen raspberries and I have some fresh blueberries. How would I substitute with these?

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

January 19, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Hi Sophia!

Remember that this is a healthy option for breakfast and it takes the flavor of the fruit that you add. It should taste “raspberry-y” and not sugary. When I make it, it has tons of raspberries and that is what’s pronounced to me. Will also be adding Strawberry Banana and Choc Chip versions! And yes, can totally add blueberries if you like! You can use old fashioned oats (and blend them at home) OR yes, you can also just buy oat flour that is already ground for you. The flavor should be the same either way. It should be a bit wet and dense, almost like a quiche!



December 21, 2016 at 3:24 am

Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing!



December 21, 2016 at 6:31 am

Me too!

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Here’s What Real Healthy People Actually Eat For Breakfast | The Daily Headline News says:

May 2, 2017 at 6:50 am

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March 14, 2017 at 4:33 am

[…] What do you eat for breakfast most days? Gahhhhhhh, my Protein Perfect Breakfast Cake!!!! I just perfected a banana chocolate chip version that is my favorite!!!! It’s the perfect […]

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What if…

You let go of the stranglehold on being skinnier?

You stopped demonizing the body fat that you have?

You walked in to your next workout with the intention of having fun?

You said: “I may not be exactly where I want to be, but that does not mean “here” is anything less than awesome”? — What if you decided to embrace the…….

“Muffin top”

“Bra bulge”

“Arm pit fat”

“Jiggly arms”

and choose to love yourself BECAUSE of it? —-

It doesn’t work to only love yourself when everything is good. You gotta love all the pieces, all the times; the good along with the bad. To me, that’s radical self acceptance. —

#womensstrengthnation ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

Gym. Friday night, 6:29 pm


Male trainer: “You don’t remember me, but we met here before.”


Me: “Gosh, I’ve met so many trainers here over the years…so sorry I don’t remember you.”


Male trainer: “It’s understandable, not too many women come here. You stand out. You’d be hard to miss.”

—- Quite possibly the best compliment I’ve gotten in a long time. “Cheers” to all you women braving Bro Territory in gyms everywhere. 

#lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

Abs are made in the GYM and REVEALED in the kitchen. The more strength training you do, the fewer isolated Ab exercises you need. Adopt a high quality deadlift practice and you’ll uncover your best Abs yet! And yes, what you eat does influence the degree that you can actually see the hard-earned muscle. So sad to admit that beer does not do a belly good 😩

#lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”


▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ Yes, I see the paradox. It is only because of the struggles that I am truly able to smile. How can you know real happiness and bliss without challenge and despair? 

Stay strong through your challenges. Tuck your chin, but do walk through the storm. Own the discomfort while you breathe through it all consciously. Learn all you can for it will be over. And then you’ll be stronger, wiser, and free. 

#womensstrengthnation ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

Tuesday night, 5:37 PM.
I was in a new gym surrounded by men. Most of them were in their 20’s and clearly super committed to their fitness as if they were in that stage of life where fitness and aesthetics are everything. 

And for the first time- maybe ever- I felt out of place. I thought: “Oh God…why am I the only woman here? Am I the “old lady” trying to be something else? Exactly WHY am I here???” *** I’m here because this is my life. I’m certain it’s why I was placed on this earth. I have a mission that gets played out in the gym. On the outside it may look like fitness, but on the inside it’s a metaphor for life. Hard work. Sweat. Breath. Strength. Self doubt. Progress. Community. Feeling out of place. Feeling right at home. 

#womensstrengthnation #lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

There’s GOT to come a time when you stop doing it “to get skinny” – It’s not sustainable, and the underlying message is that what you are right now is not good enough. 

There’s GOT to come a time when you start using different metrics to measure progress and put your scale in the back of the hall closet. 

When you are ready for that time, you’ll start doing it because it is an expression of the gift of life that was given to you. You’ll do it because you have a body that CAN, and because it makes you powerful. 

There’s got to come a time when you realize that body fat is NOT a reflection of YOU. Your spirit is a reflection of you. 

And I guarantee that if you start doing it in celebration, your spirit will soar. 

#womensstrengthnation ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

Happy Easter to all of you who observe the day! Cadbury Cream Egg anyone? 🙋🏼🐣🌸💐🌺 ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

Had such a blast at the gym today. The more thorough my pre workout prep is, the better my session. Check out my full #prep from today in my Story above and try it. I’ll betcha anything you’ll have the best workout ever 😆😆😆

#womensstrengthnation #lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift


#womensstrengthnation #lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

3 Move Leg Workout 👯

LOVE this mini workout for leg strength and a great booty pump ✌🏻

Aim for 10-20 lb DB’s and let me know how it feels!

#womensstrengthnation #lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

Coming up later today: ☝🏻Join me LIVE at 4:00 PM EST for a nice lil chat sesh ALL ABOUT MACROS!

✌🏻A great 3-move leg workout that you can do anywhere 👯💋❤️

#womensstrengthnation #lifttogetlean ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift


▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift

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© 2016 Holly Perkins


Time-Out Tim Home Tip

I figured out that the leak in our basement was coming from the AC drainage pipe. The installers had forgotten to seal the joints with PVC glue. Karen and I have a fairly sophisticated security system in basement. It’s called Boxes of All the Crap We Have Accumulated in a Life Time That We Were To Lazy Organize. It’s an effective deterrent to any would be intruders since we imagined they would see it and mutter “No effing way!”. We did need an alarm since we would hear clunking and crashing and loud run-on sentences of swear words. But the problem was in order to shut off that security system, it meant moving the boxes and cleaning by God. The water was below the boxes so of course they were wet and things fell out and it was a huge mess. When I have a liquid mess in the garage, I usually pour kitty litter on it, it absorbs it all and sweeps up nicely. I decided to use our kitty litter in the basement to do the same. Only this litter is the kind that chunks together when wet which was never a good idea but I thought I was being really bright and never considered using towels like a normal human being. I liberally poured on the chunky litter in the 6×6 wet area. The chunky litter absorbed the wet but became glued to the floor and was impossible to sweep up. It had to be scraped up. I had to go to the garage and get my ICE SCRAPER. I tried the SNOW SHOVEL but that didn’t seem to as work well. Not only did the litter stick to the floor, but it stuck to my shoes. Well, my flip flops. The more the soles accumulated litter, the slicker it became and my flip flops looked like snow shoes. Several times I slipped into my Michael Jackson Thriller routine, ultimately saving myself. I remained confident that at 61, my stealthy cat-like reflexes would keep me from falling down. I tried to clean off my flip flops but the litter was glued to the bottom so I changed to my outdoor clogs, which of course were no better. The creases filled with litter and became slippery and snow shoey. There is only so much scraping and slipping a man can do without getting pissed and of course you know I was well on my way. Becoming impatient never helped me complete any work and in fact, more often made more work. At this point I went in to a full fledged slip seizure with arms and legs flailing and boxes and poles flying and then my foot came down on the side of the open kitty litter box catapulting chunks of cat poop and pee clods all over me, my feet and the room. That’s when the well preserved Johnides artifacts started flying across the room. In all, it took my the better part of three hours to clean up a one hour mess. All because I am not the sharpest chunk in the box. Tip: don’t use chunky litter to clean up liquids.


I bought some chrome door side molding for my truck from an online source at the end of March. And I’ll never buy from them again. They sent me the wrong parts because the molding is about 4 inches longer than the passenger door. The directions said you have to wait until 70 degree weather to apply the moldings, which in Michigan already exceeded their 30 day return policy. They have refused to exchange the parts. It occurred to me that anyone who buys anything in the winter that requires 70 degree temps may also be screwed by these shysters.
I was fantasizing about taking them to court in Ingham County so they’d have to pay a lawyer which would exceed the cost of the parts that I can’t use. Ever. But I’m pretty sure the Judge would throw out the case.
“Mr. Johnides, it is your responsibility as a consumer to assume responsibility for what you are buying and you assume that risk when you purchase something on the market. We call this “In Flagrante Delicto”.

Defense Attorney: “No your honor, that’s not it.

Judge: “You’re right Counsel. It’s ‘E Pluribus Unum’ .”

Defense Attorney: “Ah, no your honor.”

“Carpe Diem.”


” It has to be ‘Manage a Tois’.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s French your honor.”

” Mucho Painess Speculum Largoso? ”

“I don’t even know what that means your honor. It might be a spell from Harry Potter.”

The clerk approaches the bench and whispers to the judge. 

Judge: “Yes. Yes. That’s it. “Caveat Emperor”, which means Mr. Johnides, your case is dissed.”


I look at pictures of young people with coordinated belt and shoes, layers of shirts and coats, all the trendy accoutrements and remember my youth, when I felt very cool if I could string together two possum pelts and a splash of English Leather.

Adventures with Tool Time Out Tim.

In Wmstn, I try to do anything requiring a functioning brain before noon. Largely because later in the day I’m getting tired and irritable. That’s when I get really tired of the obnoxious stupid things messing with me. Not that I take it personally though. It’s when I’m pissed that I didn’t take out those last two nails on a board or the jagged metal plaster corner bead, that snags my shirt or pants or tool cord that I’m working with and I then have to dick around trying to get free. Or I can deeply impale my forehead on the meanest eighty year old board in the house that the crease becomes my new pencil holder. It’s when the extension cords become this complicated paradox of tangles. It’s a time when special things happen. 

When the kids were young, we took then to oodles of fairs, carnivals and amusement parks. I would play those games of chance to win that big-ass Teddy bear. Throwing the ring onto the bottle tops. Pitching to knock off those obvious clowns. Using the glass encased hydraulic shovel to lift and drop the coveted prizes into the drawer. I wanted to be that bad ass alpha guy walking around strutting his male prowess; showing off that huge stuffed animal. “Yeah baby! I AM a provider!” But did I ever win those prizes? Hell no.

But in Wmstn in the late afternoon there is some funky shit going down. I become a master of the paranormal, Bob Villa on steroids. Or Norm the Crack Master. I deploy my latent Jedi skills, mystically defying all odds and decimating statistical probabilities. When I have that last flat head screw, perfect for the job on the second floor, I can drop it 8-10 feet and through the tiniest crevasse in the wall or floor, never to be retrieved. I can drop my hammer from a second story ladder, that performs the most complicated gymnastic tumbles, bounces and twists through cords and boards to eventually rest two floors down on the basement floor. I throw a piece of scrap wood behind my back and smash the only light bulb on the table. A board on the saw table will mysteriously move so that I cut it one foot shorter than what I needed. Or when I’m not looking, the miter saw rotates 45 degrees cutting an inverted angle, the opposite of what is needed. I make tools disappear before my eyes, or levitate and fly at the speed of light across the room.

It becomes a spiritual enclave that knows no earthly bounds nor yields to laws of physics. Where all inanimate objects become alive. I am Mickey the Wizard in Fantasia. Except these animated bundles of matter do not do the dishes or my bidding, instead acting of their own accord, despite my constant swearing. And I morph into the artistically uncouth poet, Beelzebub, and effortlessly string together paragraphs of the obscene that would make Linda Blair blush. And the innocent pedestrians who pass by the open windows and doors are captive to my poetry reading. An incendiary barrage of ear lobe frying expletives. I expect, any day, to see extra crossing guards directing children away from the haunted Swearing House at 302 E. Grand River. 

It’s true. This really truly happens. And then I know it’s time to go home.


I was to meet a builder at 9a over at the Williamston  house today so we could get started moving the stairs. I got there about 815a and decided I better head over to McDonalds to use the bathroom before he arrived. When I arrived, the parking lot was full which was a little discouraging. Maybe it was Senior Day I thought. Sure enough, when I went in, there were Seniors everywhere. Knowing their penchant for bathroom hoarding, I wasn’t optimistic. I went into the Men’s room and was amazed there was no one. Locking doors in bathrooms is just a reflex from growing up with five sibs. If it wasn’t locked, some smart ass would open the door and walk away. Then you had to do the penguin across the floor to close the door again. So of course I locked the stall door. When I went to leave, the door wouldn’t open. I turned the handle this way and that and nothing. I pressed the lock button as though that might help and it got stuck inside the handle. I turned it several more times. I started lifting and banging at the door since pounding the shit out of things always seems to help. I looked at the door and thought “I’m going to McGyver the shit out of this”. I checked the door hinge pins to see if I could pop them out but the bottom hole was the size of a pinhole. The physical laws of the universe didn’t stop me from thinking I could fit one of my keys in there despite the fact they were twice the size of hole. No luck. I got out a credit card and tried to jimmy the lock just like Jack Bauer. It didn’t work. I thought it would be embarrassing to call the McDonalds I was stuck at to ask to be rescued from the bathroom stall but I had to get over to the house to meet the builder. Then I remembered my phone was in my car. Throughout this time no one had come into the bathroom. I won the Latrine Lottery on Senior Day no less. There was a space under the door and I was measuring it in my mind and then looking at my middle girth and of course I thought I could fit under the door. And of course that would be when someone came in. Now there is nothing appealing about getting your body down on the pissy floor of a stall at McDonalds. It would give some dry heaves. But I could see no other way out. I was wearing my working bibs so I had to try it. I laid down on my back and slid my head through and started shimmying on the bathroom floor. I got past my chest, and kept squeezing and sucking in my stomach and managed to get right to the middle where my pens and reading glasses were. But on the outside of those pockets is a stupid button so you can snap the pocket shut. So when I decided this strategy was not going to work I tried to back out. But the bottom of the door was sticking on one of the pocket buttons held in place by my glasses and pens. So I was stuck by that damn button. And worst, I couldn’t get my arms up through the bottom of the door and put my hands through to move the button. So I Iaid on the floor contemplating giving up. But then I tried to puff out my chest or suck it in. I could imagine the conversation I could’ve had with a bathroom patron as I lay on the floor, part of my torso sticking out underneath the door. But I decided that I would act like I was passed out or dead, lying still with my eyes closed. They would wonder what happened but I didn’t care because I would be passed out or dead. When the paramedics got there I would come to and ask what had happened. But then I would be taken out on a stretcher and then to the hospital where I would spend the afternoon. At that point, no one was getting into the stall until I got out. Then I thought about that really fat Senior with really loose bowels coming in and having to use the stall. I had visions of having to be rescued by the Fire Department which of course would end up somehow on the Internet. At this point I was getting pissed off (pun) and started flailing my legs back and forth and lifting up my hips in a wild frantic effort to move my torso and get that damn button unstuck. Finally it worked and still no one had come in that bathroom. I got up off the floor and looked around the ceiling because I was sure this was being filmed by some sick bastard. At this point I had no idea what I was going to do. I rubbed my pockets again, trying to find some McGyver material and then I felt my phone that had slid sideways in my pocket. That’s why I didn’t feel it. I asked Siri to find the McDonalds in Williamston and pressed the call button. A young girl answered.
“Hi, I’m stuck in the Men’s bathroom.”


“I’m at your McDonalds and I’m stuck in the bathroom because the door is locked and will not open.”

“Oh geez.”

“Can you tell your manager so he can rescue me?”

“Of course!!”

Some kid comes in the bathroom.

“Are you stuck in there?”

“Yes, I’m STUCK in here. Can you get me a screw driver, a hammer and Allen wrenches so I can try and get out of here?” By now it was about 855a.

He came back and slid the tools under the door. I took off the door handle and opened the door. I left everything on the floor, handed the kid my business card and told him I expected his manager to call me and I wanted cheeseburgers for a year.

They still haven’t called.

Quote challenge d3

“If you ask me what I came in this life to do, I, an artist, will tell you: I came to live out loud.” – Emile Zola, French writer

Living out loud can mean many things. I choose to interpret this quote as having many interests and trying and learning as much as possible in the brief time we call our life. It also means embracing who you are; what you think and feel, your experiences whether sadness, happiness, travails and overcoming them, or victories. To go through them, not around them. Pain and happiness mean we are alive. And whether you consider yourself an artist or not, sharing your experiences with others. From my religious youth, I chose to embrace the concept of witnessing what it is like to be human and eschew shame in doing so. Perhaps to the chagrin of my family and friends. It means being interested in many things. Life should be a fertile endless field where you can plant as much as you want of anything you choose. But I suppose the challenge is to tend the field, to maintain some sort of balance which is easier said than done. We all cannot or will not be recognized for our creative endeavors. But maybe the true value lies not in the accolades from outside but the insights we absorb on the inside. And whether we can use those insights and experiences to comfort and reassure to others that they are not alone. Because ultimately, this is what we fear the most. To me, this is living out loud.

Refocusing Blue Jeans

I’ve decided to revamp my blog. Writing isn’t the only thing I do; though I’m retired, I’m in the process of remodeling a 1400 square foot, two story, 1936 Dutch Colonial Revival house.

When I’m working alone at the house, I write in my mind. Unless I have a power tool in my hands and need to focus on the job at hand because I’m adverse to losing a digit or appendage, or my life. But if it’s a repetitive no brainer job, this is when I write. I obsess about a piece I’m writing, a topic, emotion or a problem, a poem, song lyrics, a sundry other things which amount to pounding bleached dead horse bones into powder. Unless I have a satori and then I need to write it down because I’m a sixty year old netting butterflies before they disappear.

This house spoke to me, I bought it for a song and promptly tore it apart to make it better. To give it the attention it was asking for. Gutted it completely. Electrical, plumbing, lath and plaster. A grueling physical job and I was sore as hell for weeks. I have the requisite scars and dented fingernails. 

The sellers rented this house to the same tenant for over twenty years. They could have bought the house five times. This made me sad. The sellers did not put a dime into the house except to cover things up. I took down a suspended ceiling to find water leaks, rotted wood and a hole the squirrels were using to store nuts and pine cones in the ceiling. Eighty years of whole and half eaten pine cones fell onto my face. That pissed me off.

I have put in fourteen new windows and will be moving the stairs which are located in the middle of the house and take up 20% of the first floor square footage. My intention is to open it up completely. I cut out the back door to put in a patio slider that felt like eight hundred pounds. I put in a front door with side panels. Friends and passers-by ask why I’m putting so much time and money into the house if I’m going to sell it. Because it’s my baby, my hobby, a work of art and my reputation. This week I return to work after a three month recovery from rotator cuff surgery in January. Second surgery on my right shoulder while I’ve had the house. The surgeries and paying for our daughters wedding have caused significant delays.
Another project I completed last year. I saw a picture of this fence that I love and finally put it together.

The gate took a long time to complete as I had to individually rip sixty 1/8 inch strips for the weave.

Quote challenge d2

“The true measure of a man is what he does when no one is looking”.- John Wooden, basketball coach UCLA

When I first came across this quote I thought of the minimum wage kid in the back making my burger. Shudder. Or think embezzlement. Or maybe the diagnosed psychopath at the psychiatric hospital where I worked with a raging case of Hepatitis who was quarantined from the kitchen. He made several sandwiches (of course in the kitchen), put them on a plate and asked a confused patient to give them to the staff at the nursing station. Or the son-in-law of our lawn guy who stole my two-hundred dollar tie down straps off of my catamaran. The quote resonated with me because it’s true. We see it proven by surveillance cameras on a daily basis which offer a snapshot into a persons true personality. But there are also times when we actually observe an individual’s lack of integrity in person. I find these moments even more telling because these snapshots speak more about a person’s moral fiber in those distilled seconds or minutes than if we had observed them for a lifetime. Examples from my own life include a co-worker who had also won a bid for two of four shelving units. Two were damaged. He beat me to them and took the two pristine shelving units leaving me the two damaged units. I would never have done this, opting to take one damaged and one pristine. Another co-worker refused to make good on a ten dollar commitment several of us made to another co-worker, daring him to sit on the lap of our VP who was playing Santa Claus, and kiss him on the cheek. Or another staff co-worker who smashed the adjacent parked car in a parking structure and took off without leaving a note. I was a manager sitting in the passenger seat and took exception to his leaving. He was a claims representative who was responsible for hundred-thousand settlements. His excuse was that their insurance will pay for it. I never trusted any of them from that point on. Of course I take the high road in all of these incidents. But how do you know I’m not just blowing sunshine? 

Quote challenge d1

I’ve been nominated by my friend Citse to post 1-3 quotes for three days. I’ll push the envelope a little by posting a segment of a poem (She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron). I read this a many  years ago and I fell in love with it, although I haven’t memorized the poem in toto. Yet. 

“She walks in beauty   

Like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

 Meet in her aspect and her eyes..”

I would like to know more about the woman who inspired this line and poem. I think it’s a touching compliment and description. What do you think?