W is for Wacky Cake.

I’m sure everyone who bakes has heard of Wacky Cake!

It’s a neat little cake that can be whipped up IN IT’S OWN PAN, using economical ingredients and it comes out fabulously rich and moist. There are no eggs, milk or butter and I know what you’re thinking “Gross. How is THAT a cake?” That’s the whole point of it! No eggs, milk or butter and its still amazing! How wacky is that?!

It was born during the Depression era out when rations for milk and eggs were scarce and the recipe and its variations have survived to this day.

I enjoyed this growing up but up until this year had never made it myself. When I finally did, I added my own touch and am pleased as punch with the results!

Cinnamon Chili Wacky Cake with Chocolate Ganache

  1. 1.5 cups flour
  2. 1 cup white sugar
  3. 4 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 TSP baking soda
  5. .5 TSP salt
  6. 1 TSP -well rounded- cinnamon
  7. .5 TSP cayenne powder
  8. 1 good glug vanilla extract. It’s actually 1 tsp but ya know…
  9. 1 TBSP cider vinegar. I used good old ACV.
  10. 6 TBSP Vegetable oil. I used Olive and it was fine.
  11. 1 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Sift your dry ingredients into an 8×8 inch ungreased cake pan.

Make three wells in dry ingredients and in add: oil into one, vinegar into another and vanilla into the last one.

Pour water over it all and mix it up really well with a fork. Scraping down to the bottom and sort of whisking it all together to incorporate it all together.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool. Frost with your favourite topping (Or not. This is good without it!)

Lazy Chocolate Ganache

Heat a few TBSP cream and a couple of handfuls of good chocolate chunks in the microwave for about a minute. Stir to melt and incorporate chocolate and cream together. Pour and spread over top of cake. Let set for a bit then eat.

YUM!

Photo by Rafel AL Saadi on Pexels.com

V is for *Vulnerability. A-Z Challenge.

Gah! Just typing the word skeeves me out.

Vulnerability.

You might not be able to tell at this present time but I have used to have a hard lacquered shell over my heart.

I grew it myself over the years in response to:

A. Being born a highly sensitive person.

B. Experiencing both ongoing and sudden trauma.

My hard shell has served me well. ( POETRY!) It was a necessary tool I used to protect myself. It gave me a feeling of power, control, comfort and safety.

It helped me as I built resilience and courage. It helped me as I cultivated my fierce sense of honesty, authenticity and integrity.

And then it started working against me and cut me off from intimacy and truth , truth. Connection and freedom.

It be like that sometimes.

Lucky for me, my hard shell was actually a fragile thing. It was smashed to the ground and shattered a few years ago.

That event left me shocked and reeling. Unable to hide. Exposed.

Completely vulnerable.

It was awful.

But it was also awesome because I kind of “levelled up” if you will. I grew exponentially within myself. Something that would have never happened had I been wearing that really tight and limiting shell.

I was forced to finally admit that I while, yes, I am still a bad ass. I am not all that tough. I actually do have feelings. LOTS OF THEM.

I have a very squishy heart. My insides are full of marshmallow fluff.

YES!!!

Most people saw through my tough act anyhow. I wasn’t really hiding anything. Mostly I just made a fool out of myself, ha ha.

I was as human as anybody else!

So, I’ve had to learn how to allow myself to be vulnerable. I’ve had to learn how to show my heart, how to live through my heart and how to protect myself as needed, by other means. (Boundary setting and lots of self love)

This whole blog is an expression of living through my heart!

Being vulnerable still scares me of course and it still takes lots of work to stick with. That’s where really where my strength lies. That’s really where my toughness is. Because while my heart is soft and marshmellowy, while it’s squishy and silly, it is also stubborn and fierce and brave.

My hero!

What are your thoughts on vulnerability? Is it easy for you? Do you cringe too? What does vulnerability mean to you?


U is for *Underpants. A-Z Challenge.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it!

Underpants!

Sometimes I pass easily as an adult. I can keep it together just enough so the grown ups have no idea what lurks within my brain.

But say the word UNDERPANTS just one time … and I’m done for.

At best, I’ll smirk. Worse? I’ll outright guffaw and say it a few times, giggling like a maniac.

It’s a funny word!

Underpants!

Underpants. Underpants. Underpants!




What words make you giggle?

T is for *Tea. A-Z Challenge.

Tanzanian style tea!

I enjoyed many vibrantly spiced cups of tea whilst in Tanzania last year and of course I just had to go and fall in love! It’s like chai only so much more. A true cup of beauty! Rich and spicy. Warm and comforting. Like nothing I’d had before.

I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since to no avail, even though Grace, our lovely friend and guide so generously gave me detailed instructions. The spices I have aren’t as fresh, the water and milk are different, the tea is not even close to being as fragrant…boooo! I got the sugar down though, ha ha. That’s one thing! I’ve been driving myself nuts with the process but have still come up short. I guess it’s just one of those things.

ANYhoo, I do have a version that comes close and while not exactly “right” it was made per a Tanzanian’s instructions and it’s good!

Ready? This recipe serves one.

Smash up:

  1. 1 cinnamon stick
  2. 7 cardamom pods
  3. 5 cloves

Grate 5 slices of ginger.

Add one mug’s worth plus a touch more of water to pot. This mug holds 1.5 cups of water. You’re adding a touch more because some water is going to boil off in the process.

Add your spices to the water along with a good couple of grindings of black pepper.

Yeah,yeah. I didn’t grate the ginger. I am lazy. You should though!

Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 min.

Turn heat to low and add your black tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Bring back to a simmer. If you’re not having milk, strain and serve. If you are having milk, you have to use canned milk. Seriously. It’s a must. Just trust me. Add your canned milk to the pot and heat through. Strain into mug.

Add sugar if you wish-I do- but the sugar must be the unprocessed kind:

Et voila, Tanzanian style tea.

I highly recommend you actually go to Tanzania and enjoy it authentically there! My version is good but there is nothing like the real thing. Report back here if you do!

S Is For *Sweatpants. A-Z Challenge.

” I am not going into Autumn this year without a pair of f*cking sweatpants!” are words I actually yelled not so long ago.

Why?

I have no idea. Well, I mean I know why I want sweatpants. I don’t know why I was so fired up about the whole thing.

I tend to do that.

Obviously I was seeking comfort. ANd now that I think about it…I haven’t had a pair of sweatpants since 2010.

That IS a good reason to get all fired up!

I love sweatpants! Why am I denying myself so?!

It’s just not right.

The last pair of sweats I owned were pants of mystical proprortions.

I bought them in a crappy Zellers during a big scary move in the middle of a menstration emergency.

They were cheap.

They were in the men’s section.

They were huge.

They were soft and fuzzy.

They were an ugly shade of brown.

I was a desperate, bloodied woman.

They would do.

Those vile pants ended up being a the BEST PAIR OF PANTS I’d ever owned.

I am not kidding. I don’t know it was my mental state at the time or if someone put a magic spell of love, peace and comfort on them but those pants were like one giant security blanket in my life.

They were always soft. They didn’t rub or pull or tug or ride up anywhere. They kept me warm. They were strong and lasted for eight years with heavy use. I was very sad when I had to throw them out, a victim of a snagging accident in an inconvenient location.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as comfortable since.

So the quest is on! I shall find my next favourite pants. I shall wear them. I shall be cozy!

Do you have a favourite piece of clothing? Tell me about it!


R Is For *Rituals. A-Z Challenge

As an End of Life Care doula we are taught to recognize, develop and honour rituals as we empower our clients and their families do the same.

We all have rituals in our daily lives

Rituals offer us comfort and familiarity.

Rituals help us make and take time to just be. Rituals bring us together and empower us in our aloneness.

They motivate us and give us a way to focus our attention and intentions.

They help us mark life events and give us opportunities in this crazy world to acknowledge the present moment with a reverence that doesn’t seem silly while allowing us to recognize the sacred of the day.

Here are some of mine:

  1. Morning stumble to the bathroom, morning greeting with the dogs morning cup of coffee while I sit on the couch with my Hubs.
  2. Thursday flier reading and grocery list writing.
  3. Birthday celebrations. Mine and others. The cake, the candles, the presents.
  4. My daily walk.
  5. Watching the Sun rise and set.
  6. Writing in my journal.
  7. My evening personal well being check in with myself.

Think of some of yours.

I’m thinking about rituals because as a doula with the dying, it’ll be part of my role but also because I’m going to need my own ritual to help me cope with the losses I’m going to face.

Every single one of my clients is going to die. Sure, I’ve signed up for this and I wouldn’t do such a thing if I thought it would be an impossible task BUT I am still a human being. A sensitive human being and I’m going to need my own way to move through those losses that’s meaningful to me, and honours something about them personally.

But here’s another situation where a death ritual can be helpful.

Someone will die and while we don’t know them, we know of them, and we feel sad about their death. It’s a loss.

We might feel silly for this but those feelings are real, no matter what anyone says and it can be therapeutic to do something to honour them.

When George Michael died, I sat in the bathtub ALL DAY, playing his songs and mourned him. I was also mourning all the memories that went along with those songs. Our feelings can be pretty complicated.

You should have seen me when Princess Diana was killed…

Your emotions are usually about that person and something personal to you too.

ANYWAY, I’m not suggesting you go run a hot bath and cry over every person that dies but it can be very nice to do this:

Write the person’s name on a piece of paper. Hold them in your mind and think about what it is you so admire and appreciate.

Think about anything they gave you- Prince gave me Purple Rain and that gorgeous achey feeling I get every time I hear it. Luke Perry gave me Monday night doughnut parties with friends -and light yourself a candle. Then just let it burn for a bit.

( Please watch it. Don’t burn your house down)

Whenever you feel ready( keep a fire safe dish at the ready) light the paper on fire.

Thank the person, yourself and the memories with love as the paper burns. Do what you will with the ashes. Witchy Lael might suggest scattering them to the wind or burying them in the Earth. It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that you’ve now done something, a small thing, a meaningful thing and allowed those feelings to be. Expressions of grief and honouring the dead are important and healing rituals. Hopefully this helps you. I find, its helped me.

Tell me about your daily rituals! What are your favourites? Do you have any sacred ones? Please share if you feel comfortable! ❤

Q is for *Queen. A-Z Challenge.

When I was going through a very bad thing a few years ago, it became very apparent to me and ALL OTHERS that I really needed to do some work on my self worth. Realizing I had it, cultivating more of it, and nurturing it every day, forever more.

People tried to explain it to me and for lots of reasons I just couldn’t get it. It wasn’t sinking in. The problem I believe is that I was looking at it from a logical view point and logic while nice, is not my usual go to method of existing in the world. I need magic and whimsy. I need metaphors and stories. I need imagery and symbolism.

So I struggled and struggled but I kept on trying. In my trying I had many conversations with the people in my life about the subject and one of them was life changing.

“It’s like this” my supervisor said to me. This supervisor being a very strong, confident person of imposing bearing ” I know that no matter what’s happening, I AM the BOSS.” Stretching her bulk up straighter and throwing her shoulders back she continued ” I am the Queen!” She laughed, tossing her hair back as she strutted around the room. ” And I treat myself as such! Always. Without exception. I also don’t allow others to treat me badly because I know that I.Am.The.Boss in my life”

This woman really identified with being a boss. So much so that she went a little overboard and could be extremely overbearing. But there was wisdom in her words. I would never be comfortable with calling myself “boss” even though that’s an apt description but queen…queen was something I could definitely use!

And use it I did. It took awhile and there were many more conversations about self worth and self love, many more discoveries, lessons and realizations but I finally GOT IT and now the word Queen has great meaning to me. It spawned the huge realization in me that I really do LOVE MYSELF. I really do TRUST MYSELF.

I am a dignified Queen. That became my core mantra and soothing balm for all things. I bought myself a crown ring …

See the source image

and charm for my bracelet..

See the source image

so I would never forget.

There’s a tattoo in the works to literally drill it into me, ha ha.

I have to tell you, the day my husband bought me this:

I felt like the lesson I learned and the progress I’d made was visible to others too. Yahoo!

Self love/worth is an on going thing. It’s the continuing relationship between you and you. It’s your most important relationship and I’m so grateful for the lessons I learned, even if they did come late, because…wow, I feel so much lighter in this world and very queenly 😉

Do you have a word that signifies your own self worth? Please share! And if you’re struggling please know that you really are a person of worth, no matter what, simply by being alive! ❤