Tuesday, July 31, 2018

History, Repeat Yourself

I was without internet for about 5 hours last week. Seems we needed a new modum. Actually we didn't, it was the router, but dealing with cable companies can be exasperating. So two frantic trips to stores, four phone calls, one unnecessarily replaced modum and a new Panoramic Wifi modum/router later, we were back in business.

While I worked Mission Control and Hubs frantically drove all over town beating store closing times, here I sat internetless. Not the end of the world. At least not when it came to the luxuries of internet access. I mean, I can live without checking social media or knowing what's in my email folder. In fact, I enjoy offline time. But that's when I have options. What got to me was the realization of just how much I'm dependent on Google. I really had no idea how many times in a one hour period my answer to any question started with Googling it.

And yes, in an "emergency" I could jump on my phone and use data to do what I needed. Even despite the fact that the boys use up our data allowance the first day of the month . . . no matter how many times we up our plan.

But, left to my own devices (meaning getting lost in my own thoughts) I, as many of us often do, wondered what I did before internet. And then, in the spirit of stream of consciousness, began to imagine what history might have been like had online options have been available at some strategic times . . .

Paul Revere could have reached the masses:
The British are coming the British are coming! Want to know how? Follow me on Instagram.

Since pictures posted on Snapchat delete after being seen, it would be the perfect place to post this clandestine Save the Date:

Boston Tea Party Save the Date. History, Repeat Yourself: What some of the more famous moments in our history would have been like with today’s technology.  | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny

Ponce de Leon would surely have taken advantage of Go Fund Me:
Accepting contributions to fund an upcoming transformative expedition. 
A bath. A drink. A lifetime of youth. Perpetual juvenescence is just a donation away.

Imagine how much easier finding help would have been if there'd been LinkdIn:
Help Wanted: Robbers and Plunderers. Will train. Cannot suffer from sea sickness. 
For full job description and requirements, visit my LinkdIn page: LinkdIn(dot)com/Blackbeard

You know that Marie Antoinette would have been on twitter:
Company coming and need to be a good hostess? Don't lose your head, check out my blog for today's recipe: Coffee and Cinnamon Cake Squares #LetThemEatCake

Coffee and Cinnamon Cake Squares have bold coffee flavor with a hint of cinnamon. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake #coffee
Coffee and Cinnamon Cake Squares

Christopher Columbus's ship log:
Finally left Spain on my assigned quest to sail to the Indies. Must be lost, found this big honkin' land mass instead. Cell service spotty here, will continue attempts to access Mapquest.

Betsy Ross could have had some assistance in her design dilemma with a simple FB poll:

Betsy Ross of FB. History, Repeat Yourself: What some of the more famous moments in our history would have been like with today’s technology.  | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny

George Washington, such a busy man, would have loved checking out Pinterest for DIY time savers. I'm sure he would have found this one:
Writing the Constitution and don't have time to go to the dentist? Visit our most popular pinned post: Make Your Own Wooden Teeth.

Thomas Edison could have made a fortune in the app store:
Run out of whale oil before your chores are done? Buy this amazing light bulb app ad never trip over the spitoon again.

Of course there's the downside of technology. Imagine the Puritans scratching their head while reading their email:
"Hmmm, what is this cheap Viagra so many of my fellow citizens are kind enough to offer. I must google this . . ."

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Coffee and Cinnamon Cake Squares

NOTE: If you can, set aside half of this cake to make my Cinnamon Mocha Cake Balls!

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup Rum Chata (can substitute 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cinnamon baking chips

1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 - 2 TBSP Rum Chata (can substitute milk)

*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat 1 stick of the butter, margarine and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs, 3/4 cup of coffee and 1/4 cup of Rum Chata.
*Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder just until incorporated, then beat for 2 minutes.
*Mix in the cinnamon baking chips and pour evenly into prepared pan.
*Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Cream the last stick of butter. Beat in the remaining coffee. Mix in the powdered sugar then beat in the Rum Chata, 1 TBSP at a time, until the frosting is of spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cake.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Can You Hear Me Now: Funny Friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday:a multi-blogger challenge, one picture, five Captions,  | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here is today's picture. It was submitted by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles.

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Woman to her partner: I asked you to keep our daughter amused for ten minutes. That was not ten minutes, that was three seconds. Seriously, I amuse her all day long, you can't handle ten minutes?

2. Woman to her partner: No these are not Jazz Hands. These are Angry Hands. In fact, these are Very Angry Hands.

3. Woman to daughter: No pictures of mommy until she's had her coffee.   
No pictures of mommy until she's had her coffee. 
No pictures of mommy until she's had her coffee. 
Hellooooo? Can you hear me now?

4. Woman to her partner: No, I'm fine, this movie isn't too scary for me. Why do you ask?

5. Five year old to her mom (sighing, rolling her eyes and speaking in an exasperated voice): Mama, this is not how you play hide and go seek. You know I can still see you, right?

 And now for something yummy: 

A little bite of heaven, White Chocolate Chip Nutella Bites are like individual Nutella flavored brownies studded with white chocolate chips. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

White Chocolate Chip Nutella Bites

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

The Bergham Chronicles
Cognitive Script 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

White Chocolate Chip Nutella Bites

1 stick butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 36 mini muffin cups with mini paper baking cups.
*In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the Nutella and vanilla, then sugar and salt followed by the eggs. Mix in the flour and finally the white chocolate chips.
*Drop the batter by heaping TBSP into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes.
*Remove from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes in the pan.
*Once they have set, remove from the pan to cool completely.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Once Bitten

It started as an innocent conversation with a friend, as these things often do. But somehow, and this seems to be a habit with me, we ended off in the ether on some weird tangent. And ended with a list: what would you never do again?

As I said, it started in a whole other place. I was talking about a new recipe (you're shocked, I know) that I had tried for dinner. Pepper Jack Chicken. The number of days are dwindling where I'm going to have all four of us at the dinner table. College Boy is working locally and PurDude has turned down 2 job offers while still looking for one he feels will be a good fit. He could end up living pretty much anywhere. His first choice is Seattle, about as far away from here as a person could get. I'm trying not to take it personally.

I digress. 

In honor of the boys I wanted to make another recipe using Chipotle Ranch Dressing. They both love it but College Boy uses it on a salad almost daily. PurDude likes anything hot, putting sriracha on sandwiches, fish, anything and everything. So I marinated chicken in the Chipotle Ranch and added a little Tabasco. Mixed cayenne into the breading and oven "fried" it with melted Pepper Jack.

Pepper Jack Chicken: marinated in a spicy dressing, coated in bread crumbs and baked with creamy melted Pepper Jack cheese, a favorite way to serve this dinner is with salsa.| Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Pepper Jack Chicken
Pepper Jack Chicken: marinated in a spicy dressing, coated in bread crumbs and baked with creamy melted Pepper Jack cheese, a favorite way to serve this dinner is with salsa.| Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

That's when it happened. I very innocently said to Kate "I'd do that again."

"What wouldn't you do again?" she asked. I wasn't sure what she meant, like in the kitchen? 'Cause when it comes to recipe fails, I've had some doozies.

"How about not in the kitchen, just in general. Not what would you not do, we can all come up with a million of those, but what, that you've actually done wouldn't you do again?" she asked. "Ten things."

What wouldn't I do again? 

1) Well, just off the top of my head, high school for one. Not that it was bad, it wasn't. In fact, the parts I remember were pretty fun. But been there, done that, lucky to have survived.

2) Rub plants over myself (with a friend) in the woods because we wanted to see what Poison Ivy felt like. We ended up with Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac. All over. In our defense, we were very young. And stupid. I, for one, will never ever forget what that feels like. FYI, not good.

3) Say "maybe" to a child. Any child. Ever. If I were to write a book of advice for moms, this little nugget of information would be in it. Because "maybe" means drive me absolutely bonkers until I give in. Something I would love to not have had to learn the hard way.

4) Sign up for "anything you need" for the school Thanksgiving celebration. This is another one I'd put in that book of advice for moms. I thought I was helping the teacher in case too many of the moms signed up to bring in the same things. I figured everyone would be bringing in drinks or paper goods or dessert and maybe she'd need me to make a side dish. Yeah, right. I'm the dumb sucker the teacher called the day before the party asking if I'd make a turkey.  

Once Bitten, ten things I'd never do again | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #laugh

5) Join a gym in a strip mall next to a Chinese restaurant. Suffice it to say that I never did lose any weight at that damn place.

6) Speaking of Chinese restaurants, I would never again eat Szechuan for lunch right before a job interview.

7) Call in sick to work and then that night end up on the jumbotron at a (nationally televised, of course) Celtics game. Yeah, that went over well.

8) Park in an 8 level parking garage and not make note of what level I left my car on. Just as an aside, I may as well mention that I lived to regret having worn 4 inch heels that day too. There was a point at which I seriously considered just giving up on the damn car. (Level 6, in case you needed to know).

9) Agree to feed Hubs' boss's dog while he and his wife were on vacation for a week. No, I didn't get bitten. But I got to the house and she'd left me a note. Feed the dog. OK. Let the dog out. No problem. Feed the fish. Unexpected, but I can do that. Skim the aquarium water. Ummm. Feed the cats. Cats? Clean out the cat litter. Oh now wait a second, I don't do cat litter. Apparently they "forgot" to give me a full accounting of the zoo. I had to leave a picture of myself at home on the counter that week so the family could remember what I looked like.

and finally:

10) Drink water in a Mexican restaurant while on vacation. I knew better, hadn't even intended to, I was talking and eating and just not paying attention. Maybe it's safe to do now. Don't know, don't care. 'Nuff said.

TMI? 'Cause from the rolling of her eyes, I'm guessing that what Kate wouldn't do again is ask me a question like that.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Pepper Jack Chicken         

Printable Recipe

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Chipotle Ranch salad dressing
1 tsp Tabasco sauce

3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

10 slices Pepper Jack cheese

OPT: Salsa for serving

*Cut each chicken breast into three pieces of fairly even thickness. Place into a gallon sized resealable bag.
*Mix together the salad dressing and the Tabasco sauce. Pour into the bag with the chicken and massage to be sure that all of the pieces of chicken are completely coated. Refrigerate overnight.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Mix together the bread crumbs and the cayenne pepper on a dish. Remove the chicken pieces from the bag and coat completely with the bread crumbs. Place in the prepared dish.
*Cover the chicken pieces with the cheese slices. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Serve with salsa if desired.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fake Blood and Real Pain: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I was upset with the men in my family for not helping me when I asked them to. Later that day College Boy sneezed.

Me: Bless you.
College Boy: Thank you.
Me: Oh wait, I didn't mean to say that, I'm upset with you, I take it back, un-bless un-you.
College Boy: Sorry, Mom, you can't un-bless a Blessing.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I had a bit of a disaster with some red food coloring and decided to play a little joke on my family. 

PurDude walks into the kitchen:

Me: Arrrgh. Ouch.
PurDude: What's wrong?
Me (showing him my hand): Oh ouch, I cut myself. I'm bleeding.

Red food coloring disaster | picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny

PurDude rolls his eyes and walks away.

A minute later College Boy comes in:

Me: Arrrgh. Ouch.
College Boy: What's wrong?
Me (showing him my hand): Oh ouch, I cut myself. I'm bleeding.

College Boy rolls his eyes and walks away.

Later Hubs comes into the living room and I'm sitting on the couch pouting.

Hubs: What's wrong?
Me: Neither of the boys believed I was bleeding.
Hubs: Were you?
Me: No.
Hubs (walking away): OK then, carry on . . . 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Hubs was outside doing some strenuous yard work, hauling tree limbs out into the woods. He came in cringing and walking a little funny.

Hubs: Do you have any frozen peas?
Me: Peas?
Hubs: Yes, that I can put down my pants.
Me: Pants?
Hubs: Don't ask.

I didn't. I did put a fresh bag of frozen peas onto my shopping list though. Because that bag went where nothing on my table will ever have gone before. Or something like that.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics 

Me (looking around): Have you seen my reading glasses?
Hubs: Did you look in the fridge?
Me (rolling my eyes): I'm aggravated and you're making stupid suggestions like the fridge?
Hubs: Just remembering where you found them last time.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I was baking a cake using grape soda in the cake, the filling and the topping. I wasn't sure it would be Hubs' favorite if he knew what was in it, but I also knew he'd like it if he just gave it a chance. I wasn't going to lie to him, but I wasn't going to be exactly forthcoming either. So I held off telling him about it, just until he tasted it.

Hubs: I like the flavor. It's subtle but there.
Me: It's the soda.
Hubs: The cake is so light and fluffy
Me: It's the soda.
Hubs (looking at it again, then looking at me): It's purple
Me: It's the soda.
Hubs: Not baking soda? Actual soda?
Me: Yes. It's good isn't it? Subtle flavor. Light and fluffy.
Hubs (pushing it away): I don't like soda.
Me: But you like cake.

When it comes to men and food, seems sometimes ignorance is bliss. Next time, like the mom who hides vegetables in the casserole, I'm not telling him at all.

Soda Pop Poke Cake is a flavorful visit to the past. Grape, orange or berry soda flavors this light and fluffy cake, thick filling and whipped frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake #dessert

Soda Pop Poke Cake

Payback is a bitch. Or not. Seems I wouldn't know.

I had a bad night and had fallen asleep on the couch the next afternoon. Next thing I know, I'm waking up to:

College Boy: Mom! Mom! Are you awake?
Me: I wasn't. You just woke me up. What do you want?
College Boy: Nothing, just wanted to know if you were up.

So I decided to get him back that night, I'd wait till he was asleep and stick my head in his room asking if he was awake. Vengeance will be mine. He won't be waking me up again.

At midnight I stuck my head in his door. He wasn't home. At 1:00 am I stuck my head in his door. He was on his laptop. At 1:45 I stuck my head in his door. He was watching TV. 

Screw it, I don't know about him, but I need my sleep. Instead of "payback is a bitch" I'm personifying "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." I'm a walking (sleeping) payback fail.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I grew up a Red Sox fan. My grandfather's company had box seats and I just loved when it was our turn to use them. They were along the first base line, by the dugout.

I never outgrew my love for Boston sports and, in fact, one of my earliest posts was called I the Red Sox.

Now I live in the Midwest and I don't often get to see the games. Unfortunately the channels I get tailor their game choices to the local market. Boo.

Recently, between all the channels that show games, I was going to get the Sox on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was so excited.

Me (excitedly): I'm going to get to watch the Sox five days in a row. That hasn't happened since the last time I was back home.
College Boy: Really, Mom, you're way too excited about this. You need to get a life.
Me: I have a life.
College Boy: Maybe you better put in for an upgrade.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I'm minding my business happily watching the Red Sox game and completely ignoring my family who are trying to torture me.

College Boy: Mom, the dishwasher is leaking.
Me (distractedly): OK.
PurDude: Mom, I just borrowed all the cash in your wallet.
Me (distractedly): OK.
Hubs: Karen, we just won the lottery.
Me (distractedly): OK.

College Boy to Hubs: She's addicted. We need to have an intervention.
Hubs to College Boy: Better wait til after the game.

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I had bought some Rib Eyes I was making for dinner. Late in the afternoon PurDude went out, but said he'd be back for dinner. I asked if I should make dinner later, but he assured me he had no problem being home on time.

I was grilling the steaks out on the deck, they were almost ready and I hadn't seen PurDude. I was not happy. I grabbed my phone and texted him.

PurDude: OK. 
Me: I'm pretty angry. 
PurDude: Why?
Me: These steaks were expensive. 
PurDude: You're angry because the steaks were expensive?
Me: I'm angry because they're ready and you're not here. WHERE ARE YOU?
PurDude: Upstairs.

I guess he had come in while I was out on the deck.

Me: Ummm, OK, nevermind.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

College Boy: You know what I need?
Me: What?
College Boy: A lobster.

And as much as it made me laugh, coming out of nowhere as it did, I have to admit that I could use a hot steamed lobster or two myself.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Menopausal Mother 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Spatulas on Parade

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Soda Pop Poke Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 1/2 cups flavored soda (grape, orange or berry)

1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding mix
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1/2 cup flavored soda, same flavor as in the cake
OPT: food coloring if you want to enhance the color

1 cup heavy cream
3 TBSP powdered sugar

*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the cake mix and 1 1/2 cups of soda for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.
*Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center of the top springs back to the touch.
*While cake is baking, whisk together the pudding mix, evaporated milk and remaining soda. Add food coloring if desired. Refrigerate.
*Cool cake completely. Using the round bottom of a wooden spoon, make about 40 holes into but not through the bottom of the cake. Place about a cup of the pudding into a plastic bag, snip the corner and pope the pudding into the holes. Refrigerate the cake.
*Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks hold. Beat in the remaining pudding, then frost the cake.
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Hour Long Minute

I've been feeling the ravages of time lately. No, not my age, although I could write (and have written) a post or two about that as well. This time-suck is the dreaded minute. You know the one I'm talking about, the 60 seconds that invariably manage to drag by in about an hour. Those times when you feel compelled to grab onto that second hand and physically drag it around the clock.

Dragging that second hand around the clock | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #MyGraphics

Although it happens to us all now and then, this has been going on for me with frustrating regularity for over a month. It started, as far as I can remember, at PurDude's graduation. We were in line outside the hall, standing in 90 degree weather and I was, of course, wearing 3 inch wedges. Mine were black leather with gold accents, open toe, with a pretty woven wedge. You know, the kind that look great on so you have to wear them with that graduation outfit even though you'll still have remnants of the blisters 2 months later.

Minutes seem like hours in wedge shoes | Picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #humor

That's OK, I can make it, gotta suffer for fashion, right? And they're going to open the door in one minute. 

One minute that although literally lasting right around 60 seconds, felt like a melting, excruciating hour. Or two. And I had the frizzy hair and blistered feet to prove it.

More time-bending "in a minute" fun torture:

PurDude was streaming the Red Sox game to the TV. Boston was winning 1 - 0 when it froze. PurDude said he'd be back in a minute and went upstairs to check the laptop we were streaming through. Apparently Windows decided to update at that moment. He switched the streaming to his other computer and the game came back up. It was only a minute, felt like an hour, and we were losing 2 - 1 when we got the game back. Wait. What? What happened? (As a funny aside, PurDude has a friend from college who works for Microsoft. He texted his friend and told Riley he better fix Windows 'cause it ruined our game).

I'm almost home, just a minute away. But if I don't get out of this bra now, I swear it's going to dig into my skin so deep I'll need to have it surgically removed. If you, dear reader, are a woman, I've said enough, you know exactly how long that minute can last. Forget hours, years.

When you bake anything chocolate the house smells divine. As the time winds down and it's almost ready, mouths water. On Saturday we were at that point. All inhabitants of this house converged on me in the kitchen wanting to know when the cookies would be done. I looked at the clock and informed them all it would be just a minute. And then I stood there being stared down by 3 men for what seemed like an hour. And PS: good thing you can eat cookies hot because if that had been a cake this would not have ended pretty.

Nothing in my house freaks me out as much as spiders. Not even my kids, though there were times they sure seemed to make a full time job of trying. I was walking up the stairs the other day and hanging there by the window was a spider. I screamed out "quick, quick, come here and bring a tissue" to which College Boy answered "be there in a minute". I swear that minute lasted long enough for that spider to have gotten married, bought a house (in my hallway) and had twins.

I've had enough of this minute lasting an hour thing. I SO need a Chata Iced Coffee. Can you make me one? And don't you dare say "It'll be ready in a minute . . ."

Coffee, Vanilla and Cinnamon flavors meet summer in this Chata Iced Coffee cocktail. Refreshing served over ice or with a scoop of ice cream. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cocktail
Chata Iced Coffee

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Chata Iced Coffee         

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (per drink):
3 oz brewed coffee
1 oz french vanilla creamer
3 oz Rum Chata
1 oz cinnamon liqueur

OPT: scoop of french vanilla ice cream

*Mix the hot coffee and the creamer. Refrigerate until cold.
*Remove from the refrigerator and mix in the Rum Chata and cinnamon liqueur.
*Serve over ice or with a scoop of ice cream.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Aloe and Snowflakes: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using:  swim ~ towel ~ aloe ~ snowflake ~ hot dog ~ Kool-aid  They were submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

We recently brought my younger son home from college. I'm still traumatized. Don't get me wrong, I love having him home. In my nice, neat, clean home. But what I saw up there, and especially when we unpacked back here, well, I can never un-see. I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought he was living in a house with a few friends. It wasn't until I got there that I realized he was living in a cave. A dark, disorganized, dilapidated cave. 

I know he's a boy, and I know boys will be boys, but I cannot believe the way he had been living. I am the most organized person on the planet. Apparently he is the least organized person on the planet. 

Somehow he had decided that he would only pack up what he needed or wanted at home for the next few months, then when his lease ran out in July he'd drive 10 hours back, pack up his 2nd floor room, and move it all down a thin staircase and out of the house by himself. So he was partially packed. Or so he said. 

In his bedroom upstairs were a half filled trunk, a half filled suitcase, and a body sized duffel bag I was too afraid to open. In his outer room were about 40 partially filled bags and 6 boxes completely covered in white dust and plaster (management had replaced his door at some point, who knows how long ago). It took me two days to convince him that he had to move his furniture out while we were there to help him, and that it made no sense to move partially out, then drive back for the rest of his belongings.

I did consolidate his trunk, suitcase, and bags before we left so we could fit everything into our cars. I didn't have a chance to go through anything, just noting that there was no rhyme or reason to what was where. Unfolded clothes were packed with toiletries, papers, whatever.

Once home (and after spending 2 days explaining that we would not be leaving everything in his unpacked until he moved out again), I worked with him to be sure he had everything organized. I still cannot believe what we'd transported home. 

I threw out about 10 pounds of trash. There were old receipts, plastic silverware, empty packaging. He had 3 bottles of aloe (which had apparently moved with him twice) from when he got a sunburn freshman year at a football game ("I'll skype with you, Mom, but don't freak out when you see me", just what every mom wants to hear). There were 14 sticks of deodorant, 10 bottles of hand lotion. Apparently the way toiletries work is that you use them once, misplace them in the morass and just buy another. Who knew?

There were about 50 batteries, a can of lighter fluid for the lighters he didn't have, and 3 packets of Kool-aid, which he does not drink. Had I found a half-eaten hot dog, I would not have been surprised. The body bag, I'm relieved (but bewildered) to say, was completely full of cords.

He had almost all of my missing beach towels, though I don't know why. And he had a new beach towel as well. Seems the one time he had an opportunity to swim, when he went with friends to Vegas for the weekend, he'd forgotten to pack a bathing suit and towel so bought new ones there. 

It wasn't until we got to the boxes that I realized he had packed them covered in dust, drove them home covered in dust and moved them into his room (yes, you guessed it) covered in dust. My turn to roll my eyes at one of my kids. I told him to take them outside and wipe the dust off of them so we could find what treasures lay inside. 

Later that morning College Boy and I were taking breakfast out to the deck. The outdoor dining table was covered in white. "What is all over the table?" College Boy asked. "Looks like snowflakes".

Loaded Egg in a Bagel Basket, an egg cooked in a bagel slice topped with salmon and green onion | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast
Loaded Egg in a Bagel Basket

Yes, it was plaster and dust. Guess I should have been specific, pretty much the only place I didn't want him to clean off those boxes in all of the outdoors would have been on my table. {{sigh}}.

If I ever, ever, am in the position to move this kid out of anywhere again (other than my house), the process will be simplified. Everything goes straight to the trash {{claps hands back and forth with finality}}. Done.

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Loaded Egg in a Bagel Basket

1 bagel
2 TBSP butter
3 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cooked salmon, chopped
1 green onion, sliced

*Slice the bagel lengthwise into thirds so you have 3 round slices with a hole in the center.
*Melt 1 TBSP butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bagel slices and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
*Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Put the bagel slices back in the pan, cooked side up. Crack one egg into the center of each slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. 
*Carefully flip the bagel slices over. Cook for 1 - 2 more minutes or until the egg is done to your liking. 
*Remove bagels from pan. Serve topped with salmon and green onion.