Friday, September 10, 2021

Bobcats, Tarantulas, and the Plague: Use Your Words


Apple Strawberry Cobbler, fall meets summer. Fresh fruit is baked with a crunchy strawberry cookie topping. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

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: chipmunks ~ 50 reasons ~ preliminary ~ spy pen ~ ground-penetrating radar ~ bobcat
They were submitted by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom.


Well, on preliminary perusal, I can think of at least 50 reasons why I couldn't possibly work these . . . diverse . . . word pairings into a cohesive, intelligible blog post.
Now the words spy pen and bobcat remind me of my younger son so let's start down that road and see where it takes us . . .
Speaking of 50 reasons, that's also about how many reasons to be a bit anxious about having a son live 550 miles away. Many of them are a PTSD sort of reaction to the years he went to college in Indiana, 600 miles away. You know, broken legs, many (many, many) flat tires, the death of a friend . . . it was tough. And I've mentioned that my favorite TV shows are factual murder mysteries, but did you know that the majority of them seem to take place in Indiana? True story.
So although he's again 550 miles away, at least it's in the opposite direction from the murder state, so there's that. 

But he moved to Boulder just before Covid hit and, since it's not safe, I've actually never seen his apartment. I set up and decorated his first apartment here, but despite talking him through the best way to set that furniture up in the new apartment, truth is you never know what he'll do. I've requested pics but have received very few. That's unfortunately, on me. I'm a neat freak. When I set up his first apartment, everything had a home. You know, clothes in the closet and dresser, food in the kitchen, that kind of thing.
He later added a desk to his bedroom and I asked him to send me a pic. He did. And although I might have been able to bite my tongue when it came to the unmade bed, that banana ripening on his bedroom dresser? You know I'm going to say something about that. {{sigh}}

So let's just say I don't get a whole lot of pics of his Boulder apartment. I should have packed a spy pen in the boxes that went with him when he moved.

He lives in a beautiful area, right at the base of the foothills. There's a park across the street and he often walks the trails there. Although Colorado doesn't seem to be quite the murder state Indiana is, breathing a sigh of relief was a bit premature. First there were stories about a plague outbreak (and I'm not talking about Covid this was the actual Bubonic Plague) and now it seems there's been a major increase in bobcat sightings in his area. 
Now I like wildlife just as much as the next person, from the everyday sightings, like squirrels (preferably of the non-plague carrying variety), chipmunks, and rabbits, to the less frequently seen deer and foxes. But as fascinating as it sounds, I've recommended he stay far away from the yearly September tarantula migration, and I am decidedly not alright with my son going from being my taste tester to being a bobcat's tasty morsel.

Apple Strawberry Cobbler, fall meets summer. Fresh fruit is baked with a crunchy strawberry cookie topping. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Apple Strawberry Cobbler


And that ground-penetrating radar? I told you he lives right near a park. And truffles do grow in Colorado .  .  .  And my birthday is next month . . .

P.S. I finished this blog post at about 11:30 pm and wasn't really happy with how I used that last prompt. Since I had a few days before this post publishes, I decided that I'd leave it as is and see if in the next few days I could come up with something better. After all, ground-penetrating radar is a pretty tough thing to work into a story. I bet not many people could do it.

So I decided to let it go for now, picked up my Kindle and settled in to finish the book I was reading:

Seriously? Now that's just mean.

P.P.S. As well as being kinda perplexed by the whole ground penetrating radar thing, I was then stumped when it came time to title this post. Frustrated, I'd decided on "Penetrate THIS!" 

But then I reread that choice and realized it probably wouldn't exactly be taken the way I meant it.

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

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Apple Strawberry Cobbler

6 TBSP butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp strawberry extract
1 TBSP strawberry jam
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
OPT: drop of red food coloring
4 medium apples of your choice, peeled, cored and thin sliced
1/2# strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
OPT: ice cream or whipped cream for serving

*NOTE: if desired, you can make the topping up to a day ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, then assemble and bake the cobbler the following day.
*For the topping: cream the butter, brown sugar, egg, strawberry extract, strawberry jam and food coloring (if using). Mix in the flour and baking powder. Set aside (or wrap and refrigerate if using the next day).
*Grease an 8 X 8 baking dish. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
*Mix together the apple slices, sliced strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into the prepared dish. Move the fruit around to be sure both fruits are spread throughout the filling.
*Dollop the topping over the fruit.
*Bake for about 25 minutes, until the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.


  1. Based on the words you were given, I think you did a great job. I've been in my son's trailer the grand total of twice, and I live 20 minutes from him! Do you rent out the spypen? Alana

  2. Bwahahahaha! Good choice!
    Awesome job of using such disperate words. Brilliant!

  3. Hahahaaa, I tell you, ground penetrating radar is on everybody's mind!
    Sorry, these were tough words, but you did great. Here's where they came from: as you know I'm following true crime cases. There's a husband in Salida, CO who allegedly killed his wife. Look up "Barry Morphew", and you may recognize a few of those words. The others come from Chad Daybell (who also allegedly killed his wife and two step kids) and Candus and Don Wells who may have something to do with the disappearance of their 5yo daughter, Summer.
    So Indiana is not the only murder state, I'm afraid.
    I'm sure PurDude (he *must* have a new nickname by now... what is it?) is doing just fine, and the rotten banana smell adds to the charm ;-))))

    1. I watch those shows every day and have heard of some of the stories. I believe they (or she anyway) also had her husband killed (by her brother, who later died himself).

    2. Yes, you're right. A real nice, caring family. Lori is now faking to be mentally unable to stand trial.

  4. Replies
    1. I think my friends and I have moved on from challenging each other to trying to stump each other.

  5. Heeheehee! You did a great job with these, and i do hope your boys stay safe, both of them, no matter where they are.

  6. Heeheehee! Why do i get the feeling Ms. Tamara is reading the same book? You did well with some very challenging words.

  7. Ha ha, its so great that you check in on your son.

  8. Anastasia keeps threatening to move way from me after next year and I keep telling her no. I guess if she does, I know who to come to for spy gear!

  9. My kid has no plans on going anywhere at all just yet, and I'm kinda thankful for that. i wait for him to finish doing the dogs every day before I can leave the living room just in case he hurts himself outside. hahaha. i swear Im not a helicoptor mom. also speaking of ground penetrating radar, have you kept up with the kristin smart case? if not, the podcast Your Own Backyard is a great place to start. i'm so happy someone is finally going to trial over it and the podcast actually helped bring new evidence to light.

    1. No, I haven't kept up with the Kristin Smart case, I'll have to check that out. I was just getting into the Maura Murray case. So damn many women . . .


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