Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Her Time. Chapter Two: Leader of the Flight

I'm sharing another Progressive Story Project post today. Just as a reminder, this is the 8th time a group of bloggers have joined together to write a piece of fiction. We all contribute to the story, each building on the segments written by the others. Above and to the far right of each section, I've listed the name and a link to the blog of the author of that piece of the story.

Progressive Story Project, a collaborative piece of fiction written by a number of bloggers | Developed by, run by and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #writers #fiction

One week ago I posted the first chapter of our newest story, Her Time. Today's post is chapter two of Her Time. If you haven't already done so, be sure to read:
Her Time. Chapter One: Out of Focus

Her Time, a Progressive Story Project collaborative piece of fiction written by a number of bloggers | Developed by, run by and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #writers #fiction

Her Time
Chapter Two: Leader of the Flight

Michael stood over Camryn praying she'd open her eyes. The test revealed nothing. The doctors were completely stumped. Just that she had been deposited at the ED three nights ago.

Scratching his head, Michael said, "where were you, why were you out at night and in the rain? Oh how I wish you'd open your eyes and answer me." 

At that moment a young girl walked in. "How's our leader doing?" Startled, Michael said "uh um, what, who are you referring to?"

She smiled and disappeared. Damn, he needed sleep. He was hallucinating, or was he? He could smell a faint perfume or soap, it felt familiar yet strange.

Camryn moaned and said "flight". Michael patted her hand, her face, but no response. He rang for the nurse. Upon arrival he told her all that had transpired in the last thirty minutes. She nodded and said "it's almost time" and was gone.

"Almost time for what? What are you people talking about?" Michael almost screamed down the hall, and then his phone went DING. Damn, a text, now what?

It read . . . "meet me on 23rd street at midnight and all will be revealed. Be prepared to take flight."

What the???

Camryn stirred again. "Flight." "Leader." "Get ready."

He was so confused.

Thunder struck and she jumped almost off the bed. Camryn sat up. Looked around the dark room. She let out a sigh of relief. Michael lay next to her, the dog at the foot of the bed. Man, what a crazy dream.

She laid back down and her phone said DING. She was hesitant but picked it up. The text read . . . "We are ready leader. Flight."

She almost passed out. Holy crap! maybe it wasn't a dream. What the hell was going on? She was scad and exhilarated at the same time.

This was her path. Her passion had come to her. Her reason for being. She was to be the leader of Flight, whatever that meant.
Pepperoni Pizza Casserole is the casserole version of a pepperoni pizza featuring a crouton crust baked with sauce, spicy pepperoni and gooey cheese. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Pepperoni Pizza Casserole is the casserole version of a pepperoni pizza featuring a crouton crust baked with sauce, spicy pepperoni and gooey cheese. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Jenniy of Climaxed

She couldn't sleep. She knew it was a fruitless endeavor as soon as she read the text. She felt electric. Alive. She hadn't felt this way in so long . . . maybe ever? She leaned her head back on the pillow looking over at the lump that was her sleeping husband and listening to the dog snore. It wasn't that she hadn't been happy before. She loved Michael. She loved their life together. But now? Now she had this mystery to solve, this purpose that hadn't been there. And how would she ever explain it to him without sounding like she was losing her mind? She knew that wasn't true; she wasn't crazy. She could feel in every fiber of her being that whatever this Flight was, it was hers. It was her past, present, and future rolled into one, and now she just had to figure out exactly what it all meant.

She got up from him quietly and called for the dog. No reason to call, really. Shelby was her baby and always had been from the minute they'd seen her in the shelter. They had a connection that was truly unexplainable. So before she could even get her name out, the dog was at her heels ready for whatever adventure lay ahead. 

She and Shelby padded quietly into the kitchen to start some coffee and make some kind of plan.

Going through the motions helped her think. Camryn could probably make herself a cup of coffee in her sleep and probably had when the kids were younger and she had run solely on hope and caffeine. There were many long nights she couldn't recall having done it at all and still found herself sipping and thinking and daydreaming while she rocked and played and prayed for a long nap later.

Two spoonfuls of sugar and more creamer than most would find respectable.

While she stirred and waited for the nectar of the gods to cool off enough to keep from burning her tongue, she had a thought. She still had some of her great grandmother's things in the attic, things that looked too old and too important to throw away when her mother had helped clean out GG's house to sell and had been passed on to Camryn when her mother died a couple years ago. There were always stories about GG . . . family stories, whispers at family reunions, things only talked  about when there had been too much drink or when someone was beyond other kinds of help.

She'd never really gotten to know her GG, Eloise. Not the way she wanted when she heard the tall tales and whispered secrets. If any place was a good start to find answers, it was in Eloise's things.

She looked up to find Shelby waiting for her underneath the pull cord to the attic by the laundry room . . . that dog always knew what she was thinking. 

Lydia of Cluttered Genius

 Camryn slowly ascended the ladder trying hard to not make any extra noise that might wake Michael. Every creak or groan of the old wood made her cringe. Shelby whined as she watched Camryn go further and further away.

Once in the attic, Camryn wiped cobwebs and dust off of the old trunk that lay in front of her. This was GG's, and it was the one piece she didn't really inspect when they'd brought things home from her mother's. Perhaps an answer was inside.

Fumbling with the front clasp caused her to slice her thumb on the metal. She gasped at the pain and quickly investigated the damage. Blood rose to the surface quickly, so Camryn tucked her thumb into the rest of the hands' fingers to try to stem the flow.

Carefully, and trying to stay as quiet as possible, she lifted the lid of the trunk. Once open, she was confused. The trunk was empty. Surely they didn't transport this heavy furniture all the way up the stairs without it having anything in it besides dust?

She reached her hand down toward the bottom, hoping that maybe it was just so dark she couldn't see. It was deeper than she expected, so she had to let go of her thumb on the opposite hand to steady herself on the side.

What Camryn didn't realize is that with that movement of her injured thumb, two drops of blood fell into the empty trunk.

Suddenly, the ladder to the attic folded up on its own, and the door slammed shut. Camryn was stuck in the dark and wildly began looking around trying to find her footing

She stumbled a few steps back toward the attic opening. As she reached for the folded ladder, light began to glow behind her. Slowly, Camryn turned around.

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles

The once empty chest was lit up with the most peaceful glow she had ever seen. A warm comfort washed over her. On one hand, she knew she should be terrified and most likely should be running away quickly, or at the very least crying out for Michael's help.

Instead, she slowly walked towards the chest, allowing the warm glow to envelope her. She soon stood face to face with a figure she recognized. She had never met the woman who stood before her in person, but she'd seen plenty of photographs, and two paintings of the beautiful woman adorned her study's walls. She knew from family history, passed down from generation to generation, that this was her great, great grandmother. Hyacinth Forsight.

Her memory of the stories her mother had told her had started to fade in recent years, but she knew that Hyacinth had died at a fairly young age. She had married the richest man in their village, and after he died of an illness, she had gone on to raise her children and run her late husband's company.

In that time people could not believe a woman was capable of successfully managing a company, and when she refused to marry any of the suitors who called on her, it was decided she was a witch, using magic to gain success. She fought against her accusers, but was ultimately burned at the stake.

So, how is she here, in my attic, all these decades later?

Hyacinth smiled warmly, her eyes glowing with an almost palpable love. "Come here my child," she said holding out her hand. "Come with me, and Ill tell you everything you need to know, for the task ahead of you is important."

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Click here to read chapter three, Take Off ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

Pepperoni Pizza Casserole         

Printable Recipe

3 packages (about 5 oz each) large Italian flavored croutons
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, store bought or homemade. My Homemade Marinara recipe HERE
1 3/4 cups shredded mozarella, divided
1/2 cup chopped provolone
2 TBSP grated parmesan
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup pepperoni slices
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning 

Additional warm marinara sauce for serving

*Grease a 3 qt round casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Mix together the croutons, marinara, 1 1/4 cups mozarella, provolone, parmesan, mushrooms, green pepper and pepperoni slices. Pour into the casserole dish and spread evenly. 
*Top the casserole with the remaining mozarella cheese. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Bake for 25 minutes, tent tin foil over the top and bake for another 20 minutes.
*Serve with additional warm marinara sauce.

Friday, October 25, 2019

I'm Hot: 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,  | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here's today's picture. It was submitted by me!

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado| Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Shopper (under her breath to herself): In defense of whoever wears these, I've got to say that the "hot pants" of my time were pretty embarrassing too.

2. Husband: I need those pants.
Wife: Why?
Husband: You know how I always forget what you tell me to go to the store to pick up?
Wife: Yes?

Husband: When you need sriracha, I'll just put those pants on.
Wife: And what are you going to wear when we need bananas?

3. Son: I need those.
Mom: What is with this family? Why do you want sriracha pants.
Son: Advertisement.
Mom: Advertisement?
Son: Yeah, 'cause I'm hot!

4. Husband to wife: I think you should buy those.
Wife: I wouldn't wear them out of the house.
Husband: We could go out looking like a team.
Wife: And what would you be wearing?
Husband: I just need to find some fire extinguisher pants. 
Wife (under her breath): I just need to find you a straight jacket.

5. Husband (looking at the sriracha pants): What are you making tonight?
Wife: Let me guess, you want my Crockpot Sriracha Pork Roast.
Husband: See, all these years together and you can read my mind.

Crockpot Sriracha Pork Roast, sear the roast, whisk together the sauce and let it slow cook, it’s that easy. | Recipe developed by and pictures property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Crockpot Sriracha Pork Roast
serve with homemade Devil's Applesauce
Crockpot Sriracha Pork Roast, sear the roast, whisk together the sauce and let it slow cook, it’s that easy. | Recipe developed by and pictures property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

And look at what I found in a different store. Sriracha must not just be hot, but be a hot fashion:

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado| Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

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

Follow Me Home

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

Crockpot Sriracha Pork Roast

2.5# pork loin roast
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
3 TBSP sriracha sauce

OPT: serve with my homemade Devil's Applesauce

*Sprinkle all sides of the roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sear all sides in a very hot pan. Place the roast in a slow cooker and turn it on to high.
*Whisk together the soy sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and sriracha. Pour into the slow cooker with the pork. 
*Cover and cook on high for an hour. Turn the roast over and cook for another hour. Turn again, lower the temperature and cook for 3 hours. Remove the roast, slice, and return to the slow cooker for one more hour.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Her Time. Chapter One: Out of Focus

I'm excited, once again, to host a Progressive Story Project on this blog. Since I first presented the idea to my blogging friends, this is now the eighth time a group of writers has come together to craft a story.

The project first came to fruition in 2014, and it was a success. Not only was it a fun collaboration for the writers, but my readers tell me that the progression of the story was fun to read as well. 

This is how it works: I start a story, then pass it on to someone to move the story along, it then moves on to the next writers who each in their unique voice and writing style, craft a piece of the tale. The challenge for the bloggers is to have an impact on but not control the story. The end result is expected to be a collaboration on a cohesive piece of fiction. I'm thankful to each of these friends for gifting me their words, and I'm honored to share them with you.

Progressive Story Project, a collaborative piece of fiction written by a number of bloggers | Developed by, run by and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #writers #fiction

Our newest story, offered in four chapters and written by eleven bloggers, is called Her Time. As always, each segment's author is listed just above and to the far right of their contribution. I've added a link to their blogs and encourage you to check out more of their writings.

Her Time, a Progressive Story Project collaborative piece of fiction written by a number of bloggers | Developed by, run by and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #writers #fiction

Her Time
Chapter One: Out of Focus

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

This was her time.

Time to switch focus, to find a focus really. She was at a point where she could indulge in whatever moved her, had the luxury of pursuing anything and was excited to do just that. Up to this point, her priorities had always been practical or dictated by her life choices. Childhood was for learning to negotiate life, college was about readiness for a future, marriage focused on building a successful partnership, raising kids was, of course, all about them. Those chapters with all of their successes and struggles, were complete.

She was so damn lucky and Camryn knew it, appreciated it. She and Michael had watched their children graduate college, all just starting out on their own, building their careers. And now? She would find a focus and put her heart and soul into it, commit to a passion of her own choosing. But what? Michael supported her unconditionally, always had, but since he still ran his business, she had already determined that it would not be anything political or religious, she would never alienate any of his clients.

No matter, there was so much going on in this country and in the world: socially, economically, environmentally, educationally, just as a start. Maybe something along those lines. Or possibly it would be something less cerebral and more artistically expressive or even a physical challenge. She could learn an art form, or a sport, the options were endless. All she had to do was choose.

Not just choose what but the how. She'd come to realize that the choice itself would be part of the journey. She'd know the right focus when she saw it, but should she actively seek something out? Or let it come to her?

Diane of On the Border
The sunshine felt good.

Camryn stopped, closed her eyes and leaned against the rough wall of the building. Tipping her head back, she let the rays kiss cheeks and chin.  Behind her, the sun-warmed bricks felt, at once, solid and friendly.

All about her, she could hear the sounds of people. Footsteps. Talking. Laughter.

People. Simply being themselves.

She took a deep breath of the warm, salt-laden slightly smoky air and let it out slowly. And now she was free as well. But she had to admit that, with the release of the pressures that had fueled her for so long, she found it difficult to get any speed. 

She felt, for want of a better word . . .  weightless.

She sighed and opened her eyes once more to the bright afternoon. Ahead of her, along Harrison Street, she could see the Bay Bridge shining in the sun.

The water drew her.

She began to walk again, turning slightly to make a detour around a large bundle of rags lying in a careless heap on the sidewalk. She wrinkled her nose slightly as she started to pass by, then jumped as a pair of dark eyes opened in the midst of the tangle.

What she had taken for refuse was actually a person!

She paused, then just as she would have resumed her walk, two kids on long boards skidded past, barely negotiating the narrow space between her and the curb.

"Sorry!" one of them yelled as they disappeared down the street.

"You're gonna get yourself killed!" Camryn shouted after them, her eyes following their agile bodies as they dodged people and pets and vehicles. She laughed. How like her sons they were.

Smiling to herself, she turned back then gasped.

The bundle of rags had fully materialized into a human being and was now standing in front of her, head topped with matted, greasy hair tipped to one side and one dirty hand outstretched.

Instinctively, Camryn clutched her small purse close and stepped back.

"It's you!" the strange person said.

"Excuse me?"

"I saw you. You're the one. You will start it all!"

Camryn stared. "Start what?"

Cracked lips creased into a caricature of a smile, exposing nearly toothless gums. "The Flight. You will start the Flight."

Rena of Wandering Web Designer
and The Blogging 911

"What are you talking about?" even though there was a sense of familiarity somehow. She didn't know him and she certainly didn't know anything about a "flight", but it felt like she should know, like she would know eventually. She wanted to ask him questions with no idea what questions to ask. She decided in that moment to just walk away because she didn't think she was ready for the answers.

She couldn't get it out of her mind though. She had spent a sleepless night wrestling with the covers as she tried to suppress the thoughts and images that were flying through her mind. "What did he mean 'flight'?" she asked herself for the hundredth time. "well, you would know if you hadn't run away like some scared little kid." she grumbled to herself.

She couldn't take the curiosity any longer. Tonight she was going out searching for a pile of rags and the man who would be wound up in them. She ate her dinner as she looked at a map of the city. She had marked where she was when she spotted him and then moved out, block by block.

It was starting to rain. Cold, fat dollops sliding down the back of her neck, causing her to shiver. She had walked for blocks in the foggy evening looking for that familiar bag of rags. She hadn't seen even a scrap. "Of course, nobody's out, it's raining, you idiot," she scolded herself. "I'm going to end up with pneumonia."

She decided that it was time to go home, but she wanted to eat first and maybe warm up a little bit. She didn't think she had been on this block before and as she looked around she saw an Irish Pub at the end of the street. "Just what the doctor ordered," she said, "I have got to stop talking to myself!"

She opened the door and felt like Alice in Wonderland. The room was bright and loud with people talking over the music being played by the group in the back of the bar. She spotted a booth in the corner and slid into it, grabbing the menu that was already sitting on the table.

The bartender made his way over a few minutes later, "Well hello Camryn, I'm glad that you're finally here!"
Apple Pie Breakfast Casserole, prepare ahead of time, then just pop in the oven. Apples, bacon and French toast are featured in this breakfast, brunch or even dinner dish. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Apple Pie Breakfast Casserole
no, it doesn't fit into the story but I'm sticking today's recipe here anyway. 
Apple Pie Breakfast Casserole, prepare ahead of time, then just pop in the oven. Apples, bacon and French toast are featured in this breakfast, brunch or even dinner dish. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Kimberly of When I Grow Up

Her neck snapped up. She didn't think she knew anyone in this section of the city. She was sure she had never seen the man standing in front of her before. Maybe she imagined that he said her name. There was a lot of background noise. Yes, she was sure she imagined it. She attempted a smile, "Hello. What would you recommend?"

"To start, how about a Dublin Donkey? I'd suggest and Irish Mule, but that has mint in it."

Camryn hated mint. She even went out of her way to find toothpaste without the dreaded herb. She took a closer look at his face. He didn't look remotely familiar. "Sure," she said, "that sounds good."

The bartender went off to make her drink and she tried to compose herself. It was a strange coincidence, but that's all it was. The drink appeared in front of her. "So, Camryn, what's next?"

This time there was no mistake. "Excuse me, do I know you?"

"Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But we know all about you. We've been waiting."

At that, he walked away. There were other customers to tend to. She heard him talking to the new arrival at the bar. "Can I get a flight?"

She jumped at the word. Then she realized the man was ordering a sampling of drinks. Looking don a the bar, she took a sip of her drink. She was making too much of this.

"What can I get you to eat?"

A young girl stood beside her. Camryn was too lost in thought to see her approach. She had only glanced at the menu without really noticing what was on it. "Fish and chips," she said, thinking that as an Irish pub, it must be on the menu. The girl went off to place the order. She took another sip of her drink and pulled out her phone so she would look less alone. She wasn't sure she wanted anyone else to try to talk to her.

Just as she settled in to read a new article, her phone beeped to indicate a new text message. 

"We're glad you're here. Only you can start it."

Sarah of Sarah Nolan

Startled at the text message, Camryn said out loud "Start what?" 

"The Flight" a voice said in her right ear.

Turning, she saw a cloaked figure take the seat at her table, uninvited. "What flight? What are you talking about? Who are you?"

A laugh drifted from under the hod, one seemingly normal with a slight wet wheeze to it. The man beneath the cloak made no indication of revealing himself, but Camryn had an almost eerie feeling that the man was somehow disfigured. "I can't tell you what the Flight is. You have to seek it, learn it, embrace it . . . BECOME it," the man said, staring at the very core of Camryn's soul. "Only YOU can start the Flight. You mustn't be frightful of it. Let it happen naturally, the way it is intended. You'll know when it is time to start and only then can it take off."

Tired of riddles, Camryn closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose against a threatening headache.

"Listen . . ." she said, opening her eyes.

Startled, she found the chair the cloaked figure was occupying empty. She looked around, trying to figure out where he'd gone. But he was nowhere to be found.

Instead, there was a plate of fish and chips in front of her and the young waitress beside her asking if she wanted malt vinegar.

"Actually, I'm suddenly not feeling vvery well. Could you please make this to go and bring me the check?"

Shrugging, the girl grabbed the plate and disappeared, returning a short while with a to-go carton and the check.

After she settled her debt, Camryn grabbed her bag and stood to leave.

She didn't feel the crippling pain in her head hitting the floor as she passed out.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Click here to read chapter two, Leader of the Flight ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

Apple Pie Breakfast Casserole        

3 slices of bacon
3 apples
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
7 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
2 boxes French toast sticks (I used one box of original and one box of cinnamon)

*Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Cook and chop the bacon.

*Core, peel and slice the apples.
*Melt the butter over medium heat in a saute pan. Add the apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring now and then, until the apples start to soften, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
*Whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup and apple pie spice.
*Place the french toast sticks from one box in a single layer into the bottom of the baking pan. Pour the apple mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped bacon.
*Arrange the french toast sticks from the second box in a single layer over the top. Press down gently.
*Carefully pour in the egg mixture. Cover with tin foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
*Remove casserole from refrigerator one hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the casserole, covered, for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Unsubscription Wars: 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 | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Apparently (and I didn't know this when I began blogging), if your recipe comes out looking juvenile and you post it anyway, you are eligible for the electric chair. Yikes.

I had shared my contribution to this month's Blog With Friends "Boo" themed post in the private group for participants. I'd made a Peanut Butter Brownie Graveyard.

My friend Dawn, who knew I'd been having a hard time thinking up a project, sent me a PM on FB. The conversation went like this:

Dawn: Well, you obviously thought of something and posted it for BWF. See, I knew you could do it.
Me: Yes, just tried it out today. Looks like a kindergardener made it. This is what I hate about not having little ones around. No one to blame.
Dawn: Ugh, it does not. I like it.
Me: You're just saying that 'cause you don't want me to fry.

Good thing I caught it and changed it to say "cry". Freudian slip?

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

I was just about to sit down one afternoon after a morning of doing stuff around the house when my cell rang:

College Boy: Where are you?
Me: Hello to you.
College Boy: Hello. Where are you?
Me: I'm home.
College Boy: Why didn't you answer my text?
Me: I didn't hear my phone ding.
College Boy: Oh, I tried a few times.
Me: Sorry, I had the laundry going, sink on, oven on, I was using the food processor, I must have missed you. 

College Boy told me what he was calling for and when we were done I checked my cell. Yup, he had texted. 

First text: Mom?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Mom, you there?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Are you mad at me?
Next text: Mom, are you there?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Why aren't you answering me?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: I just wanted to tell you something real quick.
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Hellooooooo?
Next text: MOM!

So yeah, I guess he was trying to get hold of me. About 47 times. Can't say I didn't teach my kids not to give up.

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

Early (OK, I admit it, anything before noon is "early" to me) on a Saturday morning I'm sitting in the den watching the news and working on my laptop when Hubs passes through the room.

Hubs: I'm going out to mow the lawn.
Me: Don't get lost.
Hubs: I'm not going anywhere, just mowing the lawn.
Me: How many years have we been married and I still have to explain my sense of humor to you?
Hubs: Oh. Yeah. Well, don't you get lost sitting there.
Me (rolling my eyes): That's just not how it works.

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

I was in the kitchen getting ready for the Jewish New Year, but had the TV on in the den as the Patriots were not only playing, but they were actually showing the game in my local market.  Hubs was downstairs in his man cave, it being Sunday afternoon and all.

The Bills had the ball and the Patriots intercepted. "YEAHHHH" I screamed from the kitchen. Just as I did, out of the corner of my eye I see Hubs climb the top step from the basement, turn around and head back down. Huh?

I went to the top of the stairs and called down to him:

Me: Did you need something?

Hubs: Just wanted to know if you knew the Patriots were on.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Hubs: And now the whole neighborhood knows that you know.

And that's a problem, why?

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

It was my birthday a week ago and, well, I may be getting a little sensitive about my age. I made this meme for my FB page, based on the old song from the 60's "It's my Party" (and I'll cry if I want to).

It's my Birthday meme | Made by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #birthday

My mom didn't get the joke. Turns out she'd never heard of the song. Never heard of the song? I thought everyone had heard that song. You have, haven't you?

Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake is a seasonal version of a classic cake. A yellow cake is infused with a silky pumpkin cream and topped with chocolate ganache. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake
Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake is a seasonal version of a classic cake. A yellow cake is infused with a silky pumpkin cream and topped with chocolate ganache. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

I get all kinds of mail and email in the boys' names. Much of the junk mail comes to my house because this was their official address when they turned 18 (and, apparently, acquired a big promotional target on their backs). But I'm also getting a lot of the mail that they need as well, like from their work or rebates they've signed up for, that I then have to pass on to them. I asked them to change their address from mine to their own for anything they need. Both declined, stating that they've found the current situation cuts way back on crap mail in their own mailboxes, deflecting it to me. Thanks, boys.

Now I find that I'm getting emails for them too. I asked them about that, to which they informed me that using my address had done such a good job of cutting down their junk mail, they decided to use the same strategy with spam email. 

Apparently my kids are the gifts that keep on giving. And, on the plus side, you can't say I didn't raise smart kids. Devious, but smart.

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

Since I'm getting their junk mail, let me just say that I'm mortified at the companies that started targeting my boys once they turned 18. I'm constantly getting big glossy ads and coupons for them from cigarette companies and now from Juul.

And the emails I'm getting for the boys is an eye opener too. Less promotion, more threat. Like this one that I just got (google's on to you, btw, went right to my "spam" file) from "Service Center" concerning the car PurDude just bought 5 months ago:

"We have pre-authorized your Audi s5 for extended service. "(Pre-authorized? Doesn't that mean they're doing him the favor of allowing him to give them money?).

"With increased age and mileage, your chance of a breakdown is almost certain."
Jeez, that's harsh. 


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

The other thing that pisses me off (you don't mind that I vent here, do you?) is the new incarnation (aggression) of subscription emails. I now get constant spam email from companies I have never bought from, have nothing to do with, but have to "unsubscribe" if I want them to stop. Why? Why do I have to unsubscribe if I never subscribed in the first place. And since I'm afraid to go to sites I don't know, I don't unsubscribe so in the spam promotion wars, they win.

But there are also companies I have done business with. Despite, whenever I place an order, my always unchecking their automatically checked "send me emails" box, I get them anyway. If they don't come too often, I often just delete them, but Walgreen's, OMG. They were sending them 2 and 3 times a day. I unsubscribed 6 different times and they still come. I went to their website but in order for me to change the email preferences (which weren't my preferences to start with), I have to give them my cell phone number so they can send me a code. Nope, not gonna happen. And since when is unsubscribing such a top secret transaction?

They have no email address available on their website, but I did finally find a form I could fill out to contact them. I did:


Yeah, I need a vacation.

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

Walgreen's customer service did respond, and I have to admit that the response actually made me laugh. It started with "I'm sorry to have to respond to your desire not to receive emails with an email . . ." {{Ha, ha, well I had to give him that one.}} He then let me know that he has marked my email address for manual removal {{thank you, thank you, thank you}} but warned me this could take up to 10 business days {{which could be up to 20 more emails before I'm removed, I take back some of those "thank you"s}}. He then suggested that if that wasn't soon enough, I could block their email. {{wait, what? A company suggesting I block their email address?}}.

I'm thinking that if these emails are monitored by management, this guy may need to reassess his career path.

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

I was preparing dinner when the doorbell rang. It always rings when I'm working with raw meat, dammit. So I wash my hands and run to the door. 

Him: We were just replacing windows at a house around the corner . . .
Me (interrupting him because they always say that and it's never true): Really, which house?
Him (waving his arm in no clear direction): around the corner.
Me: But which house?
Him: The blue one.
Me (knowing there is no blue house in our neighborhood): Unsubscribe.
Him: What?
Me (closing the door): Unsubscribe.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Spatulas on Parade
Sarah Nolan 

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Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake

Printable Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix and the ingredients specified on the box
1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP corn syrup
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake according to the directions on the box. Bake for the amount of time specified on the box. Cool completely.
*While cake is cooling, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate.
*Poke about 30 holes into but not through the cake using the bottom of a wooden spoon. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the cake and gently smooth a knife over the top to spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup in the microwave for one minute. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. If all of the chocolate doesn't melt, place in the microwave for 20 seconds and continue stirring. Pour over the cake, cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set. 
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator.