Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Zig, Zag, Flee

Almond Cranberry Sauce Cookies | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #baking

It's not so much that I was hearing voices. I mean, that's not . . . you know . . . healthy. But, truth is, I wasn't. Healthy. Physically. 

Mentally, I was doing OK. A little depressed, a lot exhausted, but mostly OK. Well, except for the messages. 

Not auditory messages, visual. Delivered through a daily game I played. Seemingly mocking me at first, but later offering some pretty sound advice.
So, two things. The first one I'll give you the bare minimum in terms of information. Because I neither want to relive, nor will you want to hear all the gory details. And it was gory around here. 

Little by little, in the end of November through the middle of this month, we were sick. We being PurDude, (who was home from Boulder for 2 weeks for his brother's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah), and then College Boy, and finally me.

PurDude's first morning here, he had respiratory symptoms. On his day 8, his brother exploded in the middle of the night, gastrointestinally. On day 11, I had respiratory distress and PurDude, still having his respiratory issues, was also exploding gastrointestinally. He went to an urgent care and they did lab work. All negative. He didn't have Covid, strep, flu, RSV . . . apparently, we were all suffering from . . . nothing.

Not to be deterred, I still made all the celebration meals, desserts, and snacks. So, at least I was functioning. And somehow it all got eaten. Whoever was well enough on any given day, ate whatever I'd made. Well, along with their jug of Gatorade.

Almond Cranberry Sauce Cookies | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #baking
Almond Cranberry Sauce Cookies

On day 15, with just some minor congestion, PurDude ran for his life, escaped, drove back to Boulder. Two days later, not to be left out, I joined the explosion party. And two days after that College Boy went for round two.

At the 3 week mark, everyone was pretty much better except for me, I was still coughing and congested.

Now the second thing: I play a lot of word games and post my results twice a day to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page, where some friends there share their scores too. I wrote about it in Wordle, Nerdle, Curdle. I even wrote You Are What You Phrase, about the game Phrazle, which is the specific game choosing to mock me a few weeks ago.

I clicked on Phrazle this particular morning, PurDude was back in Colorado, College Boy was back at work but I, a week behind them, was still sick, and exhausted, and sad that our holiday celebrations were . . . how do I say this? . . . a shit fest. And although I was ready to play the game, figure out the elusive phrase of the day, I just kept saying to myself over and over again "how did this happen? How can we all be so sick with (according to the lab tests) absolutely nothing? Where did this come from?"

And there it was, the solution to the puzzle? Or a cosmic answer?

Zig, Zag, or Flee | graphic by Karen of BakingInATornado.com

OK, that's just mean. Yeah, maybe we zigged when we should have zagged, but it's not like we had any warning. I mean, none of us are aware of having seen some big cloud of medical crud headed our way, so how could we have known to initiate evasive tactics?

Believe me, we would have. Zigged, zagged, or just flat out run for our lives.

The next day, since we clearly didn't zig, zag, or flee, Phrazle shared the only strategy left to me:

Zig, Zag, or Flee | graphic by Karen of BakingInATornado.com

And the following day, I guess the advice was not to dwell on a ruined holiday season. Once I was better, apparently the puzzle gods recommended that I:

Zig, Zag, or Flee | graphic by Karen of BakingInATornado.com

Finally, finally feeling just a little bit better, and hoping that with the illness was going the percieved subliminal messaging, I got to the Phrazle portion of my daily game routines. Hoping against hope, but afraid to look in the mirror, I wondered if I was starting to look human again. Seems Phrazle had reverted to snarky:

Zig, Zag, or Flee | graphic by Karen of BakingInATornado.com

Oh, and btw, were you wondering about Hubs? Bet you can guess who it was who'd been tending to the boys while they were exploding. Well, let's just say this: Hubs . . . perfectly fine, from start to finish, not so much as one single wayward sneeze, dammit.

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

Almond Cranberry Sauce Cookies         

Printable Recipe

2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce, room temperature
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg, room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup sliced almonds, chopped

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Cream the butter, sugar, cranberry sauce, and almond extract until smooth. Beat in the egg.
*Starting at the lowest speed, beat in the flour, baking soda, and salt until it forms a dough. Mix in the white chocolate chips and chopped sliced almonds.
*Bake for 11 - 13 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Allow to sit on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.


  1. Yikes! Those generic viruses can be the worst. Glad to hear that the worst is behind all of you.

  2. Highly suspicious this illness comes from nowhere and Hubs missed it. You need a food taster. 😋

    1. You know, when College Boy first to sick to his stomach, we thought it was the pizza he's ordered at lunch and threw it out. But, that neither explained all of the lingering resperatory symptoms, nor why PurDude had those symptoms on a different day, me on yet another day, and College Boy again the next week. Guess we threw that pizza out for nothing.

  3. I remember years ago when there was a flu vaccine shortage. We were visiting our mother in law for Christmas and apparently another relative brought the flu in. We all got it. Except my mother in law. Whatever you all had, it was nasty. My gut (oh, maybe I should say something different) is that it may have been Covid (I know people who have gotten nasty gastro symptoms from it) even if the test was negative. Whatever it was I hope you all have immunity from it, at least for this season.

    1. I thought Covid too, but he took not one but 2 tests, a weekapart, and they were both negative. I think we had RSV, brought home by PurDude, and flu, brought home by College Boy (many of his co-workers were sick at the same time). I guess we'll never know.

  4. There is always some kind of virus going around

  5. I'm just glad you are all better! Those rounds of illness are exhausting.

  6. Oh no, I hope you are all feeling better now. I had the stomach flu last week.


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