Day 242-Flash Fiction Friday-Angels of Armada Part 5-Coffee


Amanda returns ten minutes later, excited to leave the cabin with her son for the first time in months. Julian stands up from his place by the fire and asks if she is ready to go. “Yes” Amanda replies and he says, “Follow me.” After checking with his men that the door is open and the coast is clear, they all proceed to his truck, parked on the side of the cabin closest to the window.

Amanda has her list in hand and looks down at Ethan as they walk to the truck. He is staring in amazement at the sparkly snow covering everything as far as he can see. He is excited to be out as well and now asks his mom if they can go to McDonald’s while they are in town getting groceries and other provisions. She looks to Julian who nods in agreement, “Sounds like a plan young man, maybe your mom and I can have that coffee sooner than later.” Amanda smiles and mouths thank you above Ethan’s head.

It takes them an hour just to get there, even though the roads are somewhat plowed, they are still treacherous. Piling out of the truck, wrapped in coats, scarves and sweater hats, the group trudges into McDonald’s for a fast food treat and hot beverages. Ethan gets pancakes and hot chocolate and the adults pick at eggs and bacon while drinking cup after cup of coffee. They have so much to talk about and seem to be totally at ease with each other.

“So you mentioned earlier that you have a daughter” Amanda asks Julian, simultaneously picking at an english muffin. “She’s not really my daughter, I’m her foster Dad,” Julian replied. “Oh, that’s so wonderful Julian. You must have a huge heart to do something like that. How old is she?” Blushing, Julian answered, “She is five, and she has a disability. She came to me after a friend shared the news that her parents were killed in Matamoros, and since I was in the system to be a foster parent, they picked me. I’ve been caring for her ever since. The problem is, Mexico has very limited resources for healthcare of this nature, so when I’m here I work to earn as much as possible, network with other people in the know and take what I’ve earned and learned back to Mexico.”

Amanda has been rapt, listening to his story, food forgotten on the plate as she sips her coffee and stares at this man, trying to understand how hard his life must be. “You are truly an angel sir. I already knew that because of your generosity in dealing with us, but now you tell me this unbelievable story. Your heart is huge indeed! What is her issue, if you don’t mind me asking?” Julian stares back at Amanda and before he replies he gives her a seductive little wink. “I’m no angel ma’am, I have my own story. Like how I was born here but ended up in Mexico, but we can talk about that some other time. No, I don’t mind you asking…She has ASD, autism spectrum disorder-she has trouble with social, emotional and communication skills, sort of like Asperger’s.” All this time, Ethan has been quietly eating and listening to Julian and now he looks up and asks, “Can she play with other kids ok?” Julian winks at him and answers, “Kind of, she has her own special way of playing and needs someone very patient to show her how to be nice and play fair.” Ethan considers his answer, nods his head and goes back to eating his pancakes.

Meanwhile, Amanda has been secretly wishing she could give this man a medal, but settles for a hug and stands up to deliver one. “You are amazing Mr Julian, and I would love to hear more, but we really need to get to the store and get back home so you can get back to your work, or wherever you’re going next.” Julian is surprised by the sudden hug and responds that he isn’t in a big hurry but her request is his command. “And you don’t have to call me Mr., I will call you Amanda if you’ll just call me Julian. Amanda nods in agreement and together they all head back to the truck for the next destination in their journey, some big everything-you-need-in-one-place store.

 

 

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Day 241-A Respite and A Recipe Fail!

Sorry folks, I just can’t bring myself to do the ole Throwback Thursday post when I have such a funny story to tell. Well, not funny really unless you like to look at what can go wrong with a recipe. So, I’m taking a respite from the usual and now I present you with how a cupcake can go so horribly wrong.

First thing off the bat, my computer was doing a slow download, so I decided to make some yummy sounding cupcakes for breakfast out of my new Crave recipe book I got for free from Shana Ekedal.  They are called:

Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

(And here’s the recipe)

Cupcakes: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar • 1⁄2 cup maple syrup • 4 tbsp. coconut oil • 2 tsp. vanilla extract • 1 cup almond our • 1/3 cup cacao powder • 3⁄4 tsp. baking soda • 3⁄4 tsp. baking powder • 1⁄4 tsp. salt

Vanilla Frosting: • 3⁄4 cup coconut butter • 2 cups xylitol • 1 tbsp. vanilla bean extract

Directions:: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F 2. Line cupcake tine with cupcake liners. 3. Add almond milk and ACV to a medium size bowl and set aside for 3-4 minutes. 4. In a separate bowl, combined the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract; add to the almond milk mixture. 5. Sift together our, cacao, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. 6. Pour wet ingredients into the our mixture, mix well and pour evenly into liners 7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 8. Meanwhile, make frosting by blending xylitol in a blender and turn it into a powder. Pour it into a food processor and add coconut butter and vanilla extract, processing until smooth. 9. Once cupcakes have baked and cooled. Apply icing and enjoy!

Well…I followed the recipe and here are all my ingredients to prove I was ready!

Everything you need for the cupcakes

Only once I pulled mine out of the oven, this is how they looked! 😔

Fallen angels

So…After eating a few of the crispy edges, this is what I did. I had made the “frosting” which turned out super delicious, so I simply put as much of a cooled fallen angel into my bowl as I could and spooned some frosting on it. It was so yummy!!

Not pretty, but delectable just the same!

I wonder if I can save them by melting them down and adding a little coconut flour and rebaking them. Or, if I should start all over and use less maple syrup, although it looked to me like the oil was too much. I’ll tweak it later and let you know how it turned out. 🙂

I’m going to check with her and make sure she doesn’t mind me sharing this with you all, it was free for me though so I don’t see why she would. If you click the link with her name in it, you can get your own copy of the cookbook, it’s free! Then you can make them and show off your results. And then you can tell me where mine went off the rails, lol!

I used quality ingredients, but maybe I measured something wrong or the fact that I didn’t sift the dry ingredients was my mistake. Anyway, I’m no quitter…I’ll be trying these again-if for no other reason than the excuse to eat more frosting on something!! It’s so yummy!

Join me tomorrow for the next installment in the Angels of Arvada series (as yet untitled) (not to mention, unwritten 😉) and until then, I’ll be staying warm and dry on the patio! 

Day 240-Wednesday’s Medical Minute-How Stress Affects Us

*This post may contain affiliate links, please check my disclosure.

Source: Pixabay

In light of yesterday’s post about how stress maybe because of my ear issues, I decided to do today is medical minute on stress and how it can affect us.

While I don’t know yet why or how stress can cause my ears to be hypersensitive, stress is a killer and it affects us in many negative ways. My stress is likely due to a number of factors, guilty conscience (because I was allowed to stop working in the 9 to 5 work world) and David bears the brunt of the responsibility, pressure I put on myself to be there for everyone who matters to me, (Just like any mom, wife, daughter or friend),  pressure I put on myself to become a freelance writer and earn a living from it. Some of the risk factors of stress are:

  • Social and financial problems
  • Physical or mental illness
  • Lack of social support networks
  • Family discord or family history of stress

Signs and symptoms of stress are:

  • Anxiousness
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive worry
  • Distraction
  • Internal pressure
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Good lord I have all of this!!

PS: I am talk texting this post to reduce my stress this morning. 🙂

  • These emotional states began to affect a persons outward appearance:
  •  Unusually anxious or nervous
  • Distracted
  • Self absorbed and/or
  • Irritable or angry

(Guilty of all charges 😉 )

*If it increases or lasts over a long period of time, a person may experience more emotional or physical symptoms such as:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide, or harming others
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heart
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperventilating
  • Shortness of breath

I will admit to 2-4 of these symptoms myself, but don’t worry-I would never harm myself or others!

What can we do to manage stress ourselves you might ask?

According to my research there are several ways to accomplish this, some I need to implement myself.

  • Set realistic goals and limits for yourself
  • Put things into perspective and try to get upset about insignificant or an important matters
  • Take stress management, Time management, or anger management classes
  • Find activities that you enjoy and set aside time to participate in them on a regular basis
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Participate in regular physical exercise
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Maintain a positive outlook
  • Set goals and break them into easily achievable tasks
  • Reward yourself for the good things that you do each day

*Source-Emedicinehealth

I found a quote by Victor Frank that says, ” When we are no longer able to change a situation we’re challenged to change ourselves.”  I think that’s pretty fitting for me anyway.

For more information on stress visit the American Institute of Stress and also emedicinehealth. 

I realized that one of the things that stressed me out this week was losing my post on SiteGround that I did on my website Products from the Patio. Somehow while trying to insert a picture on that post, that was pin-worthy, I erased the whole post!! Now I have to start all over- or, back up and regroup and relaunch my website later.

Other stressors for me are time limits, which I suppose falls under the category of setting unrealistic goals for myself, since I try to get so much done in one day. Then when I don’t achieve those goals I feel guilty and lose my motivation. Just being honest here, but I can see I have a lot of work to do on myself. Maybe my doctor’s right and part of the problem with my ears is stress related.

What are your stressors? How do you deal with them? Any comments are welcome and or suggestions too.

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust.