“Taylor-Made” Conversation: Friday morning. Waking up. Coffee. Second or third cup but who’s counting?

Me: Well, I am officially in hell.

Adam: Why? (looking at the television and not at me) What’s wrong?

Me: (hands on face, shaking my head) I have a Taylor Swift song stuck in my head.

Adam: Which one?

I snap my head up immediately since this question elicits mild concern. WHICH ONE? Like he knows from her repertoire?

Me: Well, (figuring it was my moral imperative to give him the backstory on my musical road to perdition) I was flipping through the channels yesterday afternoon and landed on The Ellen Degeneres Show – Oh, my God…have you seen Ellen lately? She looks like a man. I’m serious. A very attractive man, but still. AndAnd she’s a Cover Girl! Boy, is her hair short. Bet she doesn’t even have to comb it through in the mornings it’s so short. Just a fluff with the fingers and poof! Done. (Sigh) Wouldn’t that be nice? I couldn’t pull that off though. I just usually pull mine back. Anyway, Taylor Swift was her guest and for some stupid reason, I decided to watch some of it to see if this person who has catapulted into the stratosphere of the entertaining world, this kid-turned-business-mogul…Oh, and she’s a Cover Girl, too! Well, I wanted to see if this role model for so many easily-influenced young girls could put a coherent sentence together without a Valley Girl accent, which she did, actually, and even used a 25 cent word in the mix. But! She did say “awesome” a little too much in that irritating tone but anyway, she went on stage and I suppose she has a new album out and was making a plug for…

Adam: (says impatiently in a monotone) Which one, Cheryl?

Me: Which one what?

Adam: Which song?

Me: Oh. I’m getting to it! (Clearing my throat, I begin singing, mocking her voice) We’re never, EVER, ever…getting back together. Whhheeee!

(Hanging head in shame.)

Me: Help me, please.
Adam: Shouldn’t she be writing more grown-up lyrics by now? I mean, what is she…like 25-years-old? She shouldn’t be writing that tween sh*t anymore.

(Eyebrow raised) The mild concern returns with yet another little morsel of Taylor Swift knowledge that he fires off without pause.

Me: One could only hope. But she’s got her little genre down pat, it’s workin’ for her, so she’s riding that wave. (The song continues to loop in my head.) Geez, it’s relentless! IT WON’T STOP!! (I pad into the kitchen and refill my coffee cup. The one line in the song keeps going over and over and over). Man, can she write a hook.

Adam: She wrote a book?

Me: No, hook. She can write a good hook. Damn you, Taylor Swift (shaking my fist in the air, subsequently dribble some coffee on the floor).

 – We’re never, EVER, ever…getting back together. Whhheeee! –

Adam: (Getting off the couch, attempting a side-to-side dance as he sing-songs) I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family.

Me: Oh, my God! (Pressing my head with my palms, wincing.) NO! NO! NO! I don’t know which is worse. Having that perky guitar-strumming blonde’s music or that obnoxious dinosaur’s theme song stuck in my head.

(Brief pause.)

Me: Hey, why are the arms so short?

Adam: Whose arms? Taylor’s? They look proportionate to me.

Me: Barney’s. I mean, the T-Rex’s. It’s like nature’s cruel joke. This beast slash killing machine has to run around Jurrasic Park…

Adam: (interrupting) The late Cretaceous period, actually. From the Mesozoic era.

Me: (ignoring with a slight pause) Whatever…trying to terrify the lessers with those pathetic appendages. And WHO…WHO? I mean seriously, what PERVERT makes the biggest and most brutal of all the dinosaurs – a tyrant lizard – the host of a CHILDREN’S SHOW? Seriously? That’s just sick. And why purple? Or is it magenta? Would you say he’s purple or magenta?

Adam: Fuchsia, actually.

Me: Whatever. And, despite the fact that they consciously attempted to make him all non-menacing and air-brushed in a gumball sort of way, bathing him in a color that apparently appeals to both genders – is that somehow supposed to mollify the fact that the T-Rex, even with those freaky-deeky arms, because, let’s face it, a cheetah can’t change its spots, that Barney would not even hesitate for a nanosecond to chomp down on little Johnnie when he could no longer fight his genetic predisposition, especially after singing that ridiculous – hey! you know what? They totally ripped off that song! It’s the knick-knack/pattywack, give the dog a bone song! Singing that song on a daily basis would make anyone homicidal. It’s just a matter of time before ole Barney loses it. I mean, Barney’s a man-eating machine, plain and simple, man.

Adam: Dinosaur, actually. He’s a dinosaur-eating machine.

Me: Whatever. OMG. Did I tell you? Speaking of children show hosts. Did you see that YouTube clip of Mister Rogers flipping off the little kids on his show? It’s freaking hilarious. Black and white real footage of Mister R. singing a song about fingers and so when they get to the second one, he and all the other kids are flying the bird proud, bouncing it all around. I. Could. Not. Breathe.

Adam: (walking over to me and takes my mug.) No more coffee, Cheryl. I think you’ve reached your target heart rate for the day. Congratulations.

Me: Whatever.

We’re never, EVER, ever…getting back together. Whhheeee!!!


Adam: Make me some of your pumpkin waffles for breakfast?


Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Whipped Cream

Author: Cheryl Beverage Barnes
Recipe type: Waffles, Breakast
Serves: 4
Pumpkin Waffles
Pumpkin Waffles


  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Baking Mix (Homemade Bisquick – see link below)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Lightly grease a waffle maker with some non-stick spray and preheat it according to the manufacturer’s directions. In a bowl, whisk together the baking mix and pumpkin pie spice. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  2. In a glass measure, combine the milk, pumpkin, vanilla, butter, oil and egg. Whisk until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined (a few lumps is okay).
  3. Add batter to the waffle maker and close the lid. Bake according to the manufacturer’s directions until done. Remove the waffle with a fork. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve warm.
  4. Make the Maple Whipped Cream: In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream with the maple syrup until soft peaks form. Serve with the warm waffles.


…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

Planning: You can make the Maple Whipped Cream a day in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Product Purity: Pure vanilla extract and pure maple syrup are a must.

Presentation: I like to serve these with toasted pecan pieces, the Maple Whipped Cream and extra pure maple syrup on the side.

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