Friday, February 14, 2020

A Song, A Raven, and Shrimp?: 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 | developed and run by | #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: vile ~ well known ~ shock ~ song ~ bug ~Raven
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.

Perspective is a funny thing. I took a look at my assigned words for this month and I was stuck. The reason? The order in which Jenniy submitted the words. I see that first word, vile, and in my mind I'm using that as a starting point. I don't want to write a post about vile. Well, actually, I do. I received these words, exactly 2 weeks ago today, the day the senate voted (again) to hear no witnesses and subpoena no documents. The vile way senators (I won't call them representatives because they're not) blatantly put their own political aspirations ahead of the best interest of our country (so . . . guilty of the actions they were charged with judging, how's that for irony?) really is something I could write about at length. But then so is shock, another one of my assigned words.

I'm not going there though (despite the fact that you could argue that I sort of just did, but oh how much more I have to say). I've done it before on this blog, my political viewpoints are well known here. But I just don't have it in me to get started on what I think about that mock trial. If I were to write about it, really speak my mind, I know how it would end, with the bottom line of how I feel about the state of our union, of the star-crossed hopes of anyone who values democracy:

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore".

So I'm going to change my perspective. Throw the words (well, there are only two left) into a dice shaker, roll them out again and talk about something else.

"Bug." Great, the perfect segue to sharing a new recipe . . .

Creamy Shrimp Rotini, fresh shrimp and vegetables are mixed with pasta and served in a creamy sauce. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Creamy Shrimp Rotini
Creamy Shrimp Rotini, fresh shrimp and vegetables are mixed with pasta and served in a creamy sauce. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

I hope you don't mind if I move right along to song, a nice, benign, happy word. 

Or at least it should be. But thanks to some weird game app, and egged on by my words today, the song that's become today's earworm is about a bug. Technically (for the record), not a bug although (also for the record) a Raven would eat them. Nonetheless, "Eensie Weensie Spider" is circling my brain like kids playing a game of musical chairs. I was innocently playing my daily Sudoku game and when I beat it, I am always encouraged to download other game apps before my win is registered. Today's was a game where a spider is in one drain connected to a man in another. There are blockages in the drain and you are supposed to open the blockages that would allow the water at the top to drown the spider and not the man. Absurd game, in so many ways. I'd just leave all the blockages there, they're both safe and the spider's unable to get to the man. There, I win. Not much fun, but then neither would be playing the game as it's intended. 

Hence, the unwelcome (dare I say "vile") earworm of the day.

As well as the final proof that I'm not really accomplishing anything with this writing challenge {{sigh}}.

To that end, I guess I should end with an apology. Maybe two. First to Jenniy, I'm afraid I didn't do your words justice this month, I'm sorry. Second to the rest of my readers, if you look at my word count, seems I spent more time writing about why I didn't want to write about "vile" than I did saying much of anything else. Guess it's true that words are powerful, and sometimes they just won't be denied.

But there's a bright shiny object recipe. It's easy and it's delish. 

Yeah, deflection. Hope it works as well for me as well as it works for . . . 

Oh, and happy VD to you all. Wishing you love and happiness and flowers and champagne. And no spiders.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Creamy Shrimp Rotini        

Printable Recipe

1 box (12 oz) garden rotini
1 cup spinach (uncooked)
4 TBSP butter
3 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
24 oz raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 TBSP flour
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 milk
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

OPT: shaved or grated parmesan cheese for serving

*In a large pot, cook the garden rotini to al dente. Drain, add the spinach to the pot and keep warm.
*In a large saute pan, melt 1 TBSP of the butter over medium heat. Add 2 cloves of the garlic, the onion and the chopped red pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft, then add them to the pot with the pasta.
*In the same saute pan, melt another 1 TBSP butter with the olive oil and the other clove of garlic. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until just pink. Add to the pot with the pasta.
*In the same saute pan, melt the remaining 2 TBSP butter. Whisk in the flour. Cook and whisk for 1 minute until it's thick and the flour starts to brown. Whisk in the wine, heavy cream, milk, dried pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. 
*Add the pasta mixture to the sauce and gently stir to coat the pasta, shrimp and vegetables. 
*OPT: serve with grated or shaved parmesan cheese.


  1. HAhahaha! You’re not saying anything said a bundle. And very well indeed!

    1. LOL, glad you could follow along, my mind wandered in many directions.

  2. Girl, that trial. (w/o witnesses). My heart is broken. If there is any positivity in this, it's my utter respect for Schiff and the managers. Other than that, I fear for us every day. On another note, when I see that spider game you're talking about, I freak the freak out. I hate spiders and I can't stand seeing that preview. I think you used your words just as you needed them. Happy <3 Day!

    1. Yes, I hate that spider game preview and it seems I'm seeing it every day {{sigh}}.

  3. the spider song is MY ear worm for today.....

  4. That was a mock trial alright. I was so happy when I heard about the indictment, but if I was honest, I knew it wasn't gonna *do* anything.
    Kudos to that one Republican who voted "guilty" (what's his name, Romney?)
    But hey, as long as the President knows what great State the Kansas City Chiefs represent... ;-)))

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  5. Well those are interesting words to work with and I think you did a fine job.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

    1. Thank you. I may not have had a clear direction but it was still fun.

  6. My mind.followed yours. I blame it on the barrage of crap flung at us from the overkill on nothing. If that even makes sense. I cannot blame you. I would have gone the same direction.

  7. Two things. First, I’m so relieved you did not post a bug recipe. And second, I will never get used to the modern usage of the term VD. ROTFL! Alana

    1. Just so you know, that bug thing? You never have to worry about that.

  8. It seems you managed to work the words in very well, in spite of not being inspired by them upon first reading.

  9. Perspective can help a lot I've learned in my self awareness journey.

    1. Yes, sometimes just a small change in perspective can make a big difference.


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!