Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.
-Robert Burns, To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough
Home is supposed to be a safe haven. A place to escape the rest of the cruel world. A place to relax, unwind, recharge.
And for the most part, mine is that.
And while there are perks to living in an older home (it’s actually mostly well-built, and still standing after 100+ years), there are also issues that come with it.Upkeep and maintenance is harder, especially if you’re not DIY-people, which Jay and I are not. And there’s more of a chance that your house will be invaded. I swear we’ve had a different infestation of bugs each year.
This year, it was spiders. The first year after we moved in, it was crickets. One year it was earwigs.
We also have the world’s stupidest wasps that keep trying to build a nest in the same spot, no matter how many times Jay knocks it down or sprays.
And then there are the creatures. I have chronicled my encounters with They-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named, so we don’t need to relive that. They still lurk in the crawl space in the main part of the house, which is why we have a fan on full-speed and either the air conditioner or humidifier blasting away (depending on season), because otherwise, I’d never be able to sleep again.
But this year, we apparently have another intruder. Mice.
So far they seem to be in the walls, though Jay did confess he found one (dead) in the basement a few weeks ago. Which means I will not set foot in there again.
Even if we have another tornado roll through town. I’ll hang out in the bathroom, and take my chances.
It sucks, it really does. Especially if you’re a weenie chicken like I am.
I jump at the slightest noise, especially if it involves any kind of scratching sound. I get up earlier than everyone else, because that’s when I get the most writing or blogging work done. I like my quiet time, my solitude.
Or at least, I did, up until a couple weeks ago. Though I usually listen to music while I write, I’m constantly pausing it, because I hear or think I hear something.
Nights are slightly less stressful only because Jay is usually home, so I feel safer with him there. Still, there are occasions when he has to cover an election or attend a meeting, and that’s when I get edgy and paranoid.
Still, I know when necessary, maternal instinct kicks in, and I can deal with things. I’d just rather it not get to that point.
I won’t let it stop me baking and cooking, though. It’s my version of therapy. And it’s much cheaper than therapy.
Plus, we have to eat.
I had a can of pumpkin I bought that I was planning to use for something, though as usual, I wasn’t sure what. We actually ended up with one tiny little sugar pumpkin from our garden that will be used for Thanksgiving, so I decided instead to make some Bourbon Pumpkin Blondies. That also have toffee bits in them.
The bourbon isn’t necessary. You can substitute vanilla if you’d prefer. I just like putting booze in all the desserts these days.
- cooking spray
- 2 1/3 C flour
- 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 C sugar
- 3/4 C dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp. bourbon
- 1 15oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 10oz. bag chocolate-covered toffee bits
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, making sure there is an overhang on all the sides. Spray well with cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugars together until lightened. Add in the egg, mixing well to combine. Add the bourbon. Add the pumpkin and mix well.
- On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Add the toffee chips.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely before removing using the parchment, and cutting into pieces.
Recipe Source: My Baking Addiction