Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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I’m sorry. I simply couldn’t help myself this morning.

A friend on Facebook posted that she made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes last week and I’ve been thinking of it ever since. This morning I woke up and said yes, this is the day.

I started checking out different recipes online. There were so many variations! When I realized I was out of baking soda that limited my options to using Bisquik instead of a completely from scratch recipe.

So this is what I did, and you’ll have to forgive my rough estimations. This recipe does seems to have a lot room for adjustment according to taste so feel free to be creative!

2 cups Bisquik
4 big scoops of puréed pumpkin (see scoop in the pic)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (approx)
1 tsp pumpkin spice (approx – I did 4 or 5 shakes)
1/4 cup brown sugar (approx)
3/4 tsp cinnamon (approx)
1/2 tsp ginger
Chocolate chips to taste, I used 1/3 a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet
Milk, according to batter density (about a cup, for my preference)

Okay, I mixed all the above together and added milk. The consistency was too thick for my first batch so I added more milk & it was perfect & moist.

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Then I made homemade whipped cream in the mixer. I always chill my mixing bowl & whip attachment in the freezer first, then threw in a cup of heavy whipping cream, a couple tablespoons of sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Turned the mixer on high and it was done in about 90 seconds.

Buttered the stack, added maple syrup & a heaping dollop of whipped cream & it was so so yummy. The chocolate chips were melty & soft. The pumpkin flavor was evident. The texture was moist. Just perfect!

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Enjoy the yummy things once in awhile! Love & light today, my dear life warriors.

Xoxo,
Stef

Falling down the rabbit hole

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Are you familiar with that term? Its origin is from Alice & Wonderland, of course, but I’ve heard it used a lot lately in reference to research or some other absorbing activity from which it’s very difficult to be extracted.

Recently I have started DVR’ing this show called Intervention. It’s where they shadow a drug addict on the premise of making a documentary on drug addiction and show culminates in the actual intervention with the family & an interventionist.

Tonight I fell down the rabbit hole watching this show. This show is entirely fascinating to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been into drugs. They scare me. The thought of being out of control, the thought of being addicted, being a slave to it, or of living that lifestyle – it’s way outside my comfort zone.

But what gets me the most are the back stories; finding out what drove these people to their present level of addiction. Discovering why their inner demons needed soothing from the drug. Sometimes I cry my eyes out during the actual intervention part of the show; just seeing the raw emotion from the addict & their families. So much hurt & pain; so much abject fear of losing their loved one.

Sometimes I associate with those people far more than I could have ever imagined. Their pain is so acute they could no longer function without self-medicating. I know pain like that.

I don’t run to the medicine cabinet though. I throw myself into work, or I distract myself with the TV, with mothering, with cooking, with crafts. Yes, some of that is certainly therapeutic, but it’s also avoidance. I feel sometimes it’s a constant battle keeping the demons at bay; keeping myself from dropping down a rabbit hole, an emotional spiral, of sadness and depression.

We hear the word “triggers” a lot these days. A Huffpost article about striving for body perfection may have a trigger warning for people who suffer from eating disorders. An article about rape may have a trigger warning for those grappling with the emotional trauma of a sexual assault.

There is no trigger warning for most of life’s heartaches, though. We can’t insulate the world from every bad thing. The show Intervention triggers an emotional response in me, but I have to wonder if that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Do we want to go through life only dealing with the easy? Nope. We can’t only have good. If there was no bad then we would never appreciate good.

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I wrote the above a few days ago, and then I got in a car accident tonight. My goodness, that certainly punctuates taking the bad with the good, doesn’t it? I’m upset about the accident, but so relieved no one was hurt. Things like that knock us down a peg and remind us that we’re only human. We make mistakes. We get holes in our bumpers, it happens.

One of my favorite sayings is to be kinder than necessary because we’re all fighting some kind of battle. I try to keep that in mind, always; some times it’s harder than others. When I watch the behavior of addicts on Intervention all I can think of is how much their people must love them to endure it. Thank God for that love. I’m so grateful for the people who love me unconditionally.

Love & light to you, and remember to take it easy on the self-blame. Just do better next time.

XOXO,

Stef

Maybe I’m Amazed

Catching up on my DVR tonight I saw this performance on The Voice and I was blown away! This is everything.

The artists performed with such passion and conviction – but, of course, this song is fabulous to begin with so they had a great canvas from which to work from.

The lyrics just slay me. When I read novels I like to read about how people deal with human conflict – love, loss, mourning, elation, etc. That’s generally what I write about as well, either here or in my poetry. It’s fascinating to me how people react and handle their life events. The amazing thing about this song is the story that is told in just a few lines:

Baby, I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time,
And maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you.

Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time,
You hung me on the line.
Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.

Baby, I’m a man, maybe I’m a lonely man
Who’s in the middle of something
That he doesn’t really understand.

Baby, I’m a man,
And maybe you’re the only woman who could ever help me.
Baby, won’t you help me to understand?

He loves her, appreciates her, but he’s scared. Nothing new in that, except he admits what he can’t do; he lays his soul bare, opens his heart and says “help me, you’re the only one who can.”

Passionate, communicative and admits when he needs help? Swoon.

Enjoy, my friends.

Xoxo,
Stef

Busy work

Oh boy. Guys, I’m beat.

I was in California for 8 days, 6 of those days for work. A delayed flight got me home at 2 am Monday night, but then my Autistic dude didn’t sleep all night at his dad’s so I got to hang out with him the next day. No napping for either of us! Work & errands beckoned because my oldest had a choir concert that evening and had grown out of his pants & shoes. So I have been sprinting ever since – between the choir concert, soccer practice, Disney on Ice, the Boise vs. Fresno football game, and the last soccer game of the season, not to mention going to work every day, this worn out girl has had very little downtime!

No surprise I came home from the soccer game today, made lunch for the kiddos, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Zzzzzzzzzz.

So, since I can’t form any coherent thoughts at this point, I’ll show you a few pics from the last week – from my high school (go Bullpups!), sunrise on my Amtrak ride, my 6 hour time killer at the OAK airport, and some fun stuff with the boys after I got back.

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Emotionally, if you’re wondering, I’m tired, sad, content, lonely, mad, frustrated, thankful, grateful, and occasionally happy. You didn’t think it would be simple, did you?

All my love, light & hope,

Stef

Sassy? What?

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I’m in San Francisco, working hard, but my cousin sent me the above pic & I had to share it. :)

I’m not as angry as I was last week; perspective & time do tend to help those things. Plus, eff ‘em.

Here’s a few from the city by the bay. I just happened to be in my room taking pictures of the stadium when the Giants won, thus the fireworks.

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Plus I put some Jamberry nail things on and realized they match my peacock phone case. I do have a thing for blue & green together. I’m silly like that.

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Back to the salt mines! Have a great weekend, y’all.

Xoxo,
Stef

Handcuffed & duct taped

Warning: this is not a happy post. This is an angry post. There is language. There is emotion behind everything I’m expressing here. But If I can’t express it here, at least the emotion of it, on MY blog, where can I?

I am so angry. I want to express that anger. I want to let it fly. I want to spew it and all the reasons why all over anybody and everybody who will listen.

But I can’t. I can’t even do it in this blog. I can’t do it on Facebook. I can’t do it at work. I can’t do it on Twitter, or Instagram. It’s not just one thing. It’s 3 things. 3 distinct things that have all built up to a volcano sized eruption today but it has nowhere to go.

I’m mad about things I can’t talk about, except in whispers to a friend.

(Note to self: somewhere in-between work & mothering, make more friends. Local, preferably, for weekly sippin’ & bitchin’).

Social Media is the easiest, right? Stop, drop an explosive bomb, relieve the spleen, then walk away. But there are inherent problems with that scenario. Hurt feelings, sometimes rightfully, sometimes imagined, or those people, usually those least involved in your life, who plead for more information or offer the worst possible advice.

Or you can leave the cryptic, “I’m so angry right now I could just explode” comment that just irritates the living crap out of anybody & everybody who actually has an interest. No, can’t do that. I detest those posts.

So I’ll sit here and fester. I’ll feel hurt. I’ll feel rejected. I’ll feel overwhelmed, unloved, unsupported, overworked, under-appreciated, and it will just fester.

Maybe I should be more ruthless. Maybe I should care less. Maybe that would make all this easier.

But, fuck, I don’t know HOW to care less.

So this is my vent. My rant. My rage. This is all I can say.

And maybe just this: My love language is acts of service. When people do things for me, things that make my life just a little easier, that’s how I feel loved. I mean, I like touch & affection, gifts, and all that as well, but it’s acts of service that brings me to my knees. This is true in all relationships, romantic or otherwise, at work, and just in life in general. But when you do the opposite, when you make my life harder, when you hurt me and you make me angry, when you discount me, it’s like a slap in the face. Selfish bastards.

No hugs and kisses, or light and love from me today. I’m trying to let it go. Trying, trying, trying.

 

-Stef