Friday, April 16, 2021

Emotional Support Skunk: Use Your Words

 

Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics



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.




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:  school ~ latitude ~ happily ~ framed ~ skunk ~ old news
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.
 

 I'm thinking of getting a pet skunk.  
 
He can be my emotional support animal. 
 
Let me explain.

Before I do though, let me just say that we lived next door to a family who had a myriad of animals, including a skunk. It was descented, so yes, that's possible, but in my case that would be counterproductive so mine won't be. The logistics of where and how to house and feed him, and most importantly how to train him when to use his odoriferous weapon is something I'll have to work through. Preferable, you know, before I bring him home.

I suppose a little background information is needed here as well. It's old news, on this blog anyway, how frustrated I am with the poorly run vaccination sign up system is in this state. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about it. It was originally called Just Shoot Me. Please, but since it published the day after the Boulder King Sooper mass shooting, I renamed it Vaccination Information Stagnation. Framed in the context of over 500,000 deaths nationally, you'd think there'd be some national strategy but it's not happening. My son in Boulder got his appointment before I could get mine. He was allowed to go to another county where here we are limited to our own. Counties around mine opened up to all adults before mine had even gotten to 60 years old and above. It's a mess.
 
And, of course, I'm frustrated that politicians who don't believe in the science and even deny that there is a pandemic were first to get their vaccinations. Same with the people in rural areas around here who are so mired in ignorance they're refusing to get their vaccinations, impacting the efficacy for all of us. I would have happily taken their turn (even driven an hour to do it like my son was able to do in Colorado) but here I'd been restricted from doing so. 
 
Even here, where we should be safe in our own neighborhoods, the people living on both sides of me do not wear masks, do not social distance, in fact, they've met in the middle to have face to face conversations. The middle being my driveway. {{grrrr}}.

During all of this, school has been going on here. Pretty much all along. The elementary school is right around the corner from my house. I used to take such joy from hearing recess, now it fills me with dread, so many kids out running around and screaming and playing together. If you ask me, the school system has way too much latitude in a life threatening pandemic. And I often wonder what these parents are thinking. My boys know that if they were still in school, I would not let them go back.
 
{{sigh}} So . . . skunk . . .
 
What happened just yesterday is not at all unusual, in fact it's been surprisingly common. I was in the kitchen minding my own business trying out a new recipe idea (S'Mores Pancakes, btw, yum), when school was letting out.

S’mores Pancakes, whether camping or at home, these buttermilk pancakes studded with chocolate and marshmallow are a sweet breakfast treat. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast
S'mores Pancakes

S’mores Pancakes, whether camping or at home, these buttermilk pancakes studded with chocolate and marshmallow are a sweet breakfast treat. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

 
Since I live so close to the school, kids walk by my house on the way to and from class. Parents often walk with their students, and in the afternoon will park on our street and walk up to the school to retrieve their students for the drive home. Yesterday, and as I said, not for the first time, all the way in the kitchen (in the back of the house) I could hear noise. I walked to the front windows, open because it was nice out, and there on my driveway was . . . well . . . a party.

Parents and grandparents who'd come to pick up students, kids of all ages including in strollers, had stopped to visit on their way to or from the school. There had to be close to twenty of them, most not wearing masks, none social distancing. Some of the older kids were dribbling a basketball up and down the driveway and a few were playing tag on my front lawn. I even saw one kid spit something out of his mouth.
 
I actually just finally got my second vaccination 2 days ago, but obviously the medication has not reached full efficacy yet.
 
So in the meantime, I'm thinking pet skunk. 



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


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


 
 

S'mores Pancakes        

                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
 
2 1/2 TBSP butter for pan frying, divided
 
Directions:
*In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
*Add the buttermilk, egg, and 2 TBSP melted butter to the bowl and mix, just until incorporated. Fold in the mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.
*Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 TBSP butter and swirl the pan so the butter covers the entire bottom of the skillet. Scoop about a heaping 1/3 cup pancake batter into the pan. Move the batter around to form about a 6 inch circle.
*Once the top of the pancake starts to bubble and the bottom has browned, flip over and cook until the other side has browned. 
*Repeat with the remaining butter and batter. If the bottoms start to get too brown too fast, you may need to lower the heat to medium low.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Take the Cake

 

Raspberry Devil’s Food Cake, a moist, fluffy chocolate raspberry cake with a thick chocolate raspberry frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate 
 
 
 
Poetry Monday's once a week.
You may have guessed, it's each Monday.
I don't participate every time,
But today I've come out to play. 

My friends assign each week a theme,
Favorite Invention's what they chose.
Now it's up to all of us,
to put our thoughts into prose. 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Take the Cake
 
Poetry Monday | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poem #poetry
 
"Best thing since" is often said,
about the napkin and the wheel.
Referencing sliced bread as well,
and yes, they all appeal.

But napkins and sliced bread are not
what I really treasure most.
The wheel itself does not excite,
unless driving to the coast.

Many inventions I can rule right out,
once popular, now antiquated.
Cassette tapes, Walkman, camcorder,
smart phones make them outdated.

But favorite invention truly is
a matter of current need.
Working in the dark requires
a light bulb to succeed.

Any question I ever have,
whatever I need to know,
information overload is what,
the internet has to show.

Thanks to Michael Hart I can,
borrow books right from my home.
E-reader miraculously provides
simple access to any tome.

BUT if I had to choose right now,
my oven'd take the cake.
Its magic powers elicit smiles,
when I turn it on and bake.


Raspberry Devil’s Food Cake, a moist, fluffy chocolate raspberry cake with a thick chocolate raspberry frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate

Raspberry Devil's Food Cake
 
 
Wait!
Read more poetry, 
you're not through.
Some talented writers
are in this crew:
 

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



Raspberry Devil's Food Cake         
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 TBSP baking cocoa
1 box (15.5 oz) Devil's Food cake mix
1 box (3 oz) raspberry jello mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 TBSP raspberry liqueur (can substitute water)
 
1 can (1#) chocolate frosting
1 box (3 oz) chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur (can substitute 3 TBSP water and 1 tsp raspberry extract)

multicolored sprinkles

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan and dust it with the baking cocoa.
*Whisk together the raspberry jam and 2 TBSP raspberry liqueur (or water). Set aside.
*Beat the cake mix, jello mix, milk, oil, and eggs for 2 minutes. Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan. Dollop with the jam mixture, gently swirl into the batter, then top with the remaining cake batter.
*Bake for about 28 - 32 minutes, until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Beat the frosting, pudding mix, and the remaining liqueur (or water and extract) for 1 minute, then spread onto the cooled cake. Decorate with sprinkles.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Multifaceted: Secret Subject Swap

 

Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes, features spring flavors. Fluffy strawberry cupcakes, filled and topped with lemon frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

 

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 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.

My subject is: What if April flowers brought May Showers?

It was submitted by: Sarah of the ever-changing identities, whose current incarnation is What TF Sarah. 
Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 
You can change your name all you like, Sarah, I'll always find you. In a non-threatening, non-creepy way, of course (please don't get an order of protection against me, I'm harmless, I swear).

What isn't harmless, though, is the rain. As spring settles in, water from melting snow adds to the rain and for the last couple of years, this has been a problem for us. The side of the house where my lilac shrubs await the warm sunshine is also where the sump pump from our basement drains. And drains and drains and drains. It's gotten to the point where it's dug a gully resulting in mud puddles in our and our neighbor's back yards. Not pretty. Not good for the lawn either. 
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

We've had to extend the drainage tube all the way into the middle of our back yard, at least stopping the mud from pooling in the neighbor's yard, but not a solution. So if April flowers bring May showers, meaning a deeper canyon in the side yard and a second round of mud puddles, my first thought is "crap!"

Despite crap being my first thought, it's not my final answer. Because, flowers.
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 
I've spoken before about the flowers I have in my yard and those I plant in pots both on my front porch and my back deck. They've always brought me joy, not just in their symbolizing the end of another long cold winter, but in the gift of the colors of their blooms. In the one year plus of my Covid isolation (I'm still not fully vaccinated) the beauty of spring has become even more meaningful. I've mentioned that the only way I could safely buy plants for my pots last year was to go to an outdoor nursery in the early morning of a pouring rainstorm.

So if the price of having these in my life (and my surroundings) . . . 
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
. . . is dark and wet and dreary days, even if it's a repeat of the mud slide and all of the required clean up, I'll pay it.
 
It's also because of the rain that I can sit on my back deck between showers, looking out over the green lawn and the woods behind the house . . .
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
. . . contemplating the marriage of cupcake flavors . . .
 
Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes, features spring flavors. Fluffy strawberry cupcakes, filled and topped with lemon frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes
Happy Birthday, Mom
Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes, features spring flavors. Fluffy strawberry cupcakes, filled and topped with lemon frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


. . . and being treated to sightings of all of the wildlife that emerges after a storm.

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
And as if all of that isn't enough, there's the aftermath of the storms, painted on the skies.
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


And out front, the colors of the night sky serve as a reminder that even if tomorrow brings rain, it will also bring so much more, as long as you remember to look for it.
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

In this time of absolutes in terms of our opinions about each other, I hope that we can all temper our judgement with the lessons taught to us by Mother Nature. Rain has the ability to cause destruction, it also has the capacity to be nurturing, to bring life and beauty. We, like rain, are multifaceted.


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:

Wandering Web Designer 

Climaxed 

Part-time Working Hockey Mom 

What TF Sarah



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





Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com



Printable Recipe


Ingredients: 
1 box (15.25 oz) strawberry cake mix
1 box (3 oz) strawberry jello mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 can (1#) vanilla frosting
1 box (3 oz) lemon pudding mix
2 TBSP Strawberries and Cream liqueur (can substitute milk)
1 TBSP lemon juice
 
OPT: decorating sprinkles and/or sugar pearls

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers into 18 (for extra large) to 24 (for regular sized) cupcake pan wells.
*Beat the cake mix, jello mix, milk, oil and eggs for 2 minutes. Divide the batter into the cupcake pan. 
*Bake for about 15 minutes for regular sized cupcakes or about 18 minutes for extra large cupcakes, until the centers spring back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Using an apple corer, press down from the center of the top to about 3/4 of the way down into the cupcakes. Twist and gently remove, leaving a hole in each.
*Beat the frosting with the pudding mix, liqueur or milk, and lemon juice for 1 minute. Place into a piping bag. Pipe the frosting into the hole in the cupcakes made by the apple corer. Swirl the remaining frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and/or sugar pearls if desired.