Friday, March 9, 2018

Karma on Fire: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 8 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: That time Karma did a fantastic job.
It was submitted by: Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom.

This is the story of something that happened many years ago. It was a pivotal time in parenthood for me, a very difficult time, made just a tiny bit easier by Karma.

My house had always been a place where kids congregated. We had the basement set up for them where there was a huge TV and game systems, a pool table, a card table, an arcade game, a refrigerator stocked with drinks and a bathroom down there too. Any kids here at dinner time either ate or got a ride home And, of course, there were baked goods. Always there were baked goods.

German Chocolate Brownies, the flavors of a German Chocolate Cake, along with a few surprise flavors, interpreted into brownie form.| Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #dessert

German Chocolate Brownies
German Chocolate Brownies, the flavors of a German Chocolate Cake, along with a few surprise flavors, interpreted into brownie form.| Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #dessert

There were lots of kids in and out of the house. Skateboards lined the driveway. It was a fun time. But there were issues too. The most difficult for me was when I needed to sever a relationship between one of my boys and someone they considered a friend. It had happened once before in our former home, the final straw with this particular child was when he, in our backyard, pulled down his pants and mooned our Mormon neighbors. 

There was a situation that was coming to a head again when my older son was in elementary school. It was weighing heavy because Sydney, the friend's mom had been a pretty good friend of mine. In fact, since she and her husband worked and had trouble making arrangements for her son Taylor on Wednesdays when our elementary schools let out early, I had been bringing him home with us. Every week.

It started with her other son Skipper who was 5 years old. He was a bully, even at that age. My younger son had played with him now and then but that ended. When we were all together, like at sports, it did become a problem, though. I remember one time in particular when our older kids were at a baseball practice and the younger ones were playing. I looked back to see her Skipper going after the others with a stick. Now I admit I was too much of a helicopter mom, but she was too much of a free ranger. You know the type, kid does something dangerous and her reaction would be "well, boys will be boys". Refusing to stop her son, I had to pull mine away. Honestly, even if she didn't care whether her son poked a kid in the eye with a stick, I was angry. I care for her older son every week, could she not make a concession for me?

Those kinds of situations continued. I let them slide but was definitely resentful. The next episode forced my hand. My older son was playing at her house and she'd left her 3rd son, a teenager, to babysit. When I called the house I couldn't get an answer. Ever. Whenever he "babysat", he'd be in the basement, there was no supervision at all.  

Back at home my son told me that they'd played in the garage and out in a nearby field. It was some time later that it came out that Taylor had matches in the garage. It was incredibly difficult telling my son he could no longer play there. He was angry and blamed me. He even blamed himself for telling me. The whole situation sucked, but I had to make a stand for safety and I did. It was also pretty much the end of my relationship with Sydney.

A few weeks later I was talking with a friend, Missy. Missy has a son who was friends with both mine and Taylor. Her son had stopped going over to Taylor's house some time ago, but she never really told me why and I never pushed it. She did know why I'd stopped my son from going over there, and she knew Sydney and I were not in touch. 

On that particular day, Missy wanted to know if I had heard the news about 5 year old Skipper. No, I hadn't. What did he do, poke some poor kid with a stick? No, actually, he'd set Sydney's kitchen floor on fire.

Now I'm not one to gloat. After all, Karma would probably catch up with me if I did. But I'm hoping Miss Karma will forgive me that little (OK, big) smirk of satisfaction.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

German Chocolate Brownies

Printable Recipe

3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 box (3.5 oz) Almond Joy Pudding mix 
Your favorite brownie recipe or 1 box Dark Chocolate Brownie mix and the ingredients specified on the box
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut flakes on a baking sheet and the pecans on another. Place in the oven and bake until they just barely start to brown. Remove immediately and set aside to cool.
*Whisk together the heavy cream, milk and the pudding mix. Set aside.
*Prepare the brownies and bake in a 9 X 13 pan. Cool completely.
*Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and the heavy cream/pudding mix. Spread over the cooled brownies. 
*Chop the pecans. Mix together the toasted coconut and pecans. Sprinkle over the top of the cream cheese layer of the brownies. 


  1. Wow, what a difficult choice to make. Values and opinions vary greatly among parents.
    I couldn't help but smirking either in the end.

    1. Yes, parenting styles are very different. When it didn't affect my kids I didn't care, but a few times it did, and as much as I hated it, I had to step in.

    2. Today Colin's religious study class performed at the community center. Families were invited to watch and to stay for soup and to purchase arts and crafts, your basic fundraiser event. There were about 200 people, most with kids of all ages. They all managed to shut up and listen to what happened on stage. Except that one family with two toddlers. They kept chatting and whining for the longest time until hubby, quite annoyed, turned around and said "would you mind, we are all trying to listen to the play!" The mom left with one kid, the dad stayed while the kid who stayed asked "Mama, where did Mama go, why did Mama leave..." ugggh!
      Later "Mama" approached my husband and told him he should really be more tolerant, after all this was a "family event". And that is an excuse for ruining everybody's experience? Geez!

  2. My daughter had a friend like that. It used to drive me crazy. I let her stay all night one time and I had to work the next day. Hubby picked her up and immediately called and went off on me about leaving "his" child in such a messy environment. He threw her clothes away and bought her a whole new outfit because she was "dirty". Her mother and I fought over things like this all of the time and you know what they are still best friends and when she comes to visit my daughter it drives her crazy because now her kids are doing the same things! It's funny to long as my babies are safe lol!

    1. My son sees this kid now and then and they do still get along, which makes me very happy. Her home was not a safe environment, but that doesn't mean Taylor is (or was) a bad kid, I liked him.

  3. Good call and you have to take care of you and yours first. Hate you lost a friend, but was she really? And the brownies look wonderful

  4. There seems to always be some boy, around 6-8 who plays with matches or lighters. Of course you did the only sane thing! Now these brownies look fabulous but I believe my arteries squeezed shut just reading the ingredients. Never disappointing me about enlightening me of ingredients/food I never heard from, Almond Joy Pudding Mix, who knew?

    1. I'm starting to wonder who does your grocery shopping, sounds like you have no idea about some of the fun ingredients they have there these days.

  5. Such a difficult choice you had to make , Karen. Parents always work from a place of love, but sometimes kids don't really understand the parental fear. I have faced that with my kids!! The brownies sound really so good, and I love the upper almond pudding layer you added!

    1. Seems like so many of my friends have been through something similar.


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