Week 3 of Blogger Idol…PLEASE VOTE!

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Votes! I need more votes!!

The judges were kind, but the competition is fierce and I’ll still need your vote this week to keep me in the running. Votes count for one-third of the total score, and believe me―every vote counts! Last week I was in 2nd place after the judges scored the assignments, but dropped to 7th place because I didn’t have enough votes. So….HELP!

I struggled a bit with this assignment. There was a lot of second-guessing myself after I hit “publish”. In retrospect, I should have probably made some changes, but it was close to my heart and I cried buckets every time I tried to edit it. Sniff.

I’m glad the judges “got” that.

I’d love to have another week to chew my nails, pace the floors, and challenge myself! Voting opens every Wednesday at noon CST and ends Thursday at midnight CST. Here’s the link: Blogger Idol Voting

All you have to do is click on the link. It should (it’s a little touchy sometimes) take you right into the Idol page where you’ll see our posts listed. Below that, in the blue area, are our names with little circles to the left of them. Click on the little circle – hopefully next to MY name – and then scroll down a little to click on “vote”.

That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to sign up for anything or give them your first born child. Piece of cake! (mmmmmmm, cake.)

Thank you for taking the time to do this; I’m having so much fun and just don’t want the party to end!

Lorinda (The Rowdy Baker)

Blogger Idol Week 2 Assignment “Cookie Enterprise Crumbles”

The Rowdy Baker
Blog6 022 cropped RICE, Wash. (AP)―Following a tip from an informant, federal agents converged on the tiny town of Rice, Wash., Tuesday, as a local woman known as “The Rowdy Baker” was arrested for baking and selling marijuana-laden cookies to Golden Years, a nearby geriatric care facility.

Marijuana use became legal in Washington in 2012, but the federal government does not officially recognize the new law.

Drug Enforcement Administration agent Richard Head said, “We can’t have her distributing drugs to the elderly; those old folks are easily led astray. It’s a gateway drug, and there’s no telling where it could go from there.  The seniors start eating her sugar cookies to help them sleep, and before you know it the old farts are selling them at the elementary school.”

When searched by DEA agents, Golden Years yielded no contraband cookies. The owner of the facility, Bud Fatty, claimed no knowledge of the special cookies. Staff and residents were not available for comment, as they were all either asleep or in the meal hall at the time.

Confidential sources report that a senior citizen rally is planned for tomorrow at the courthouse, demanding The Rowdy Baker’s release. Local hospitals report a sudden surge in admissions with severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. An orderly at the Rice Medical Clinic was injured when two elderly patients fought over a spider plant in the waiting room.

When reached for comment The Rowdy Baker, shocked by the allegations, said, “I didn’t do it! At least I don’t remember doing it.”

The Rowdy Baker, also known as Lorinda McKenna, has been under the scrutiny of the Rice Police Department for months. She has been reported to local authorities several times this year, after neighbors caught glimpses of her tending her crops topless.

topless gardening

Alleged drug seller enjoying the sun in her garden.

One neighbor agreed to speak under strict anonymity.

“It’s disgusting,” the neighbor reported. “She goes out there without a shirt on and thinks we can’t see her! If I put my spotting scope on the edge of my porch I get an eyeful, and let me tell you―it’s nothing to write home about!” The neighbor provided photographic proof of his allegations.

Russell “Russhole” McKenna, The Rowdy Baker’s husband, was brought in for questioning but was later released when he claimed, “I don’t know nothing about it. You never know what that nutcase is going to do next!”

The couple’s three children have declined to comment.

Animal Rescue was alerted to the possibility that pets in the Rowdy Baker household could be at risk and are evaluating current conditions. At Russell McKenna’s insistence they are putting two cats up for adoption that he claimed “are total stoners”, though he assured authorities that the dog and nineteen chickens were completely drug free.


One of two at-risk cats awaiting adoption due to possible drug-addiction problems.

“Proper action will be taken” assured Ima Biddy, coordinator of the rescue shelter. She collected a large baggie of what appeared to be catnip for extensive testing.

Helicopters hovered over the McKenna’s twenty-acre compound where locals lined the unpaved road, watching as officers confiscated armloads of green matter.

Neighboring farmer Steve Floyd said, “Those city boys just got themselves a big pile of tomato plants, but I sure ain’t tellin’ them bastards.”

The McKennas wait for customers at their roadside stand.

The McKennas wait for customers at their roadside stand.

A friend and neighbor of The Rowdy Baker said, “They’re not looking in the right place. She cans and freezes everything. I wondered why all that bear lard in her freezer was green. Losing her cookie profit is going to really hurt, because their roadside stand doesn’t do too well.”

Neighbors report that as The Rowdy Baker was being wrestled into the squad car she shrieked loudly, “I’m freakin’ Pollyanna, you idiots! I just want everyone to be happy!”

Because of the actions of the DEA, there is no happiness to be found in Rice today.


I have never wanted a special cookie more than I do now after reading this. I read the entire thing with a smile on my face and thoroughly enjoyed your “arrest.” I loved loved loved loved how you set up your jokes (ie – neighbor with scope and pictures). I cannot wait for your next piece. Great job you pot smoking hippie.

I really enjoyed this piece and felt that it was very well written. It flowed well and didn’t get overly wordy or too drawn-out. Excellent work.
Non-Stop Mom

Ha! Your husband giving up the cats for adoption made me laugh out loud–my husband would give my cat away in an instant, and would not hesitate to bring up her excessive catnip habit when he did it. I thought this was very imaginative and funny, and I really enjoyed reading it!
Crazed In The Kitchen

Nice job. Read just like an newspaper article. I love that you sold spiked sugar cookies to the elderly, although I was kind of waiting for you to hit someone over the head with your rolling pin.
Ice Scream Mama

This was very on target for me! I really loved it. The humor that you aimed for was successful, it was in a great, flowing format, and the pictures were an awesome touch. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the the statements such as “fighting over a spider plant.” This had great imagery and was HIGHLY entertaining. Great job!
Razorblade Brain


Whodunnit? I don’t remember.

Voting for Week 2 of Blogger Idol begins today at 12:00 Central Time. I hope you’ll read the 12 posts and vote for your favorite. And by favorite, I mean I hope you’ll vote for me!

Here’s the link: Blogger Idol Voting

This week’s assignment was to write a newspaper article about a crime that I had committed. This was a tough one for me; not because I couldn’t imagine committing a crime, but because I’d never written a newspaper article, and it’s a completely different style from what I’m used to.

Journalistic writing is concise. Clear. Factual. Definitely not my rambling, long-winded style. It took a lot of editing, and I’m grateful to be past the days of manual typewriters and carbon copies. Yay for laptops!

Voting each week is from noon central time on Wednesdays to midnight central time on Thursdays. On Friday at noon the ax falls on one blogger. I’m counting on you to keep me in the competition! Your votes count for 1/3 of the total score, so they’re very important…and so are you. THANK YOU!


A Rowdy Eulogy

bi logoWeek One Assignment: Write your own eulogy.


The Rowdy Baker is no more
With tears and wails we say goodbye
To one who never found a chore
In baking love with cake and pie
404426_2953197343717_580241228_nThose who knew her (to appease)
Found it wisest to retire
Well outside the boundaries
Of sacred space and baker’s ire.
profilepic2No careful measures would one see
No graceful steps or calm routine
She scoffed at dull tranquility
Basked in stress and quaffed caffeine
HPIM0898.JPGShe’d reach for flour, white and stark
Then scooping recklessly, she’d spin
And flinging wildly, find her mark
Coating board and rolling pin
Inspired by dreams of things untried
Her deft hands shaped her visions sweet
She posted all the best with pride
Her chickens got the rest to eat

eating camelinaFor those poor souls who follow rules
She held compassionate disdain
And thought of them as boring fools
Who found creative foods arcane

fu judgesAlas she fell and hit her head
While washing dishes at the sink
She slipped on suds and dropped like lead
(She may have had too much to drink)
martinisFarewell to brandished pin and scowl
Goodbye to scoops and flinging flour
Adieu her apron, mitt, and towel
We’ll meet at heaven’s happy hour
bye bye

Final result: I finished in 6th place out of 13. (I’ll take it!)

Here are the judges comments (pretty encouraging, all in all)

I always dreaded that day in English class where we had to write rhyming poetry. Mine always sounded like a bawdy limerick. I highly appreciate your ability to do it and do it with wit. However, I don’t feel like I really learned much about you. I finished and felt a bit empty and was hoping to learn more about why you bake, or why you have chickens. You never mentioned family, job, etc.. and I found myself wanting to know something substantial about you, other than the fact that you bake. Clever but left me hoping for more. Hope I get to find out more about you and your writing in the competition.
Martinis and Minivans

I really like that you did something different by going with a poem (and I really liked your poem!).  It’s always a risk to go “out of the box,” but what’s life without a little risk, right? I agree with the other judges about wishing I’d learned more about you…but I did learn little bits.  Little bits that make me want to hear more of what you have to say.  So, there’s still some mystery to you in this competition…but don’t be afraid to share that with us in future posts.
The Spaghetti Westerner

Okay, I have to admit… I was VERY hesitant about having a food blogger in the Top 13, but this just proves that you are MUCH more than a food blogger. Many of the comments on your audition revolved around the fact that you didn’t just post recipes, but you put a recipe in a story and that’s why you stood out. This post shows us exactly who you REALLY are… a writer with a passion for food. You didn’t disappoint one bit in my opinion!
My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream

Hey Rowdy!
So, here are my thoughts: I think it’s super cool that you did a poem. Way to go outside the box. I also think you did a great job representing who you are as the Rowdy Baker and what your approach to cooking is. The pics were great — but then, I’m a sucker for anyone who flips me the bird. On the downside, as much as I enjoyed the poem it did limit what you were able to tell us about yourself. I wish you had written more about YOU and who you are beyond the blog. All in all, great, creative job.
Pile of Babies

Creatively this was great. It was different than the other entries, which made it stand out. For me personally I would have preferred a poem in a eulogy, as opposed to the poem being the eulogy. I think if you had added a couple of paragraphs it would have given us a more in depth look into who you are. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next :)
GUEST JUDGE: The Crumb Diaries


Living, Eating, Breathing…

bi logoAnd it begins.

Getting chosen as a finalist in the Blogger Idol competition was a high that lasted several days (possibly extended by copious quantities of sugary treats and liquid grapes) but has finally settled into a state of Middle School Syndrome. You know…

“Would they like me better like this? Or maybe like this?”
“Should I change again? Maybe the other one was better”
“I don’t want to look snobby. But I don’t want to be a suck-up either”
“If I turn my assignment in first, I’ll look like a total dork”

Trust me, angst and insecurity aren’t  just for the tween crowd.

I usually just write what the little voices in my head tell me to, and either people read my blog or they don’t. I don’t get paid by advertisers – I actually spend money just to bake, take photos, and spill my guts, so I don’t have to worry too much about saying the wrong thing.

But now, that’s changed. It matters. So pretty please…blog 100
I’m asking you to take a moment every Wednesday to read my assigned post and – if you like it – cast a vote for me. Voting will go from noon central time on Wednesdays to midnight on Thursdays. I’ll put a reminder (and simple instructions) on my Rowdy Baker Facebook Page each Wednesday. Don’t just stop at my post, though. There are thirteen of us competing and a lot of people who will be playing from home, and I assure you – their posts are always a whole lot of fun to read!

Don’t do Facebook? Here’s the direct link: Blogger Idol Voting

And in case it sounds like I’m taking this far too seriously, that’s honestly not the case. In spite of the rampant insecurity, I’m already having a blast with this. I love writing what someone else tells me to, rather than trying to come up with original ideas. I love putting a different spin on these assignments, just to please myself. And I tend to get a wee bit competitive, so YES, I’m definitely having fun. And I’d really like to stay in the running for a while!

Okay, I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, and I’ve exposed my soft underbelly. (EEEUW, not really. That was just figurative. Shake it off, shake it off.) Hope I’ll see you over at Blogger Idol on Wednesday, where you’ll get to read our eulogies! Isn’t that festive?

Lorinda – The Rowdy Baker


Blogger Idol 2013 (holding my breath, holding my breath…)

Here we go again! Never say die, right? Blogger Idol auditions are today and once again I am throwing my pride out the window and groveling for positive feedback. Please go to the BI Facebook page and tell them you’d like me to be in the top 12. Show your support here!

It’s not the prizes I’m after, though there are some wonderful gift certificates that would help my blog enter the 21st century. Take a peek: Cool Prizes!

It’s not the thrill of spending three months living, eating, and breathing Blogger Idol or the wonderful things this obsession would do for my marriage that floats my boat.

It’s not even the fame, fortune, ticker-tape parades, or million dollar publishing offers that would come my way as Blogger Idol that tempt me.

What really calls to me is the challenge of writing about things that are outside of my foodie comfort box. I played along with some of the assignments last year just for fun and considered it time well spent. The deadlines are a little daunting, but I thrive on adrenaline and could probably use the discipline.

And yeah, I also thrive on attention.

Scared to look! Only 12 finalists will make it through the auditions.

Scared to look! Only 12 finalists will make it through the auditions.

Stay close; you’ll either be wiping my tears or doing the happy dance with me when the finalists are chosen. Either way, every reader is truly appreciated, especially you! I’ll keep you posted.

Lorinda (The Rowdy Baker)



Cluttered Meets Rowdy

The Blogger Idol play-at-home assignment for this week is an interview session between two participating blogs. Here is what happens when Cluttered Genius meets The Rowdy Baker!

              Deep thinking and trash talking.

Lydia and I had a chance to sit down and talk with one another – quite unusual considering she’s in North Carolina and I’m in Washington State. But, because we’re so dedicated to Blogger Idol, we made the trip. Check it out:

Rowdy Baker meets Cluttered Genius by lydrichmond on GoAnimate

Animation Software – Powered by GoAnimate.




Another play-at-home Blogger Idol assignment. This is a day in my life, from the perspective of a man. I promise my next blog will have recipes and pictures of real food in it!

I awaken slowly, confused. What the…oh, yeah – I’m in the guest bed. She pissed me off last night, so I kept my distance. Crap, it’s my turn to let the dogs out and make coffee. Am I still mad enough to make her eat oatmeal for breakfast? Probably not. But I’m not caving in and cooking bacon and eggs.

There’s time to read my new Hunting magazine and take a hot shower before I have to head to town this morning. She needs deodorant, a new toothbrush, and a prescription filled, so that means I have to go shopping. What’s with that? I should make her go get her own stuff – I’m not her daddy! Sheesh. But I do have to drop a box off at the post office, and she’d never figure out how to do that, so I guess I’ll have to make the trip.

I clean up the bacon and egg dishes and brush my hair. I can’t find my other brown shoe. How can there only be one brown shoe there? I’ll poke around under the bed with a hanger, because I’m sure as hell not going to bend over or get down on my knees. Nope. No brown shoe. She offers to help me find the other shoe, but I know that’s just to show that she’s reasonable and doesn’t hold a grudge about last night, so I find different shoes instead.

Off to town. I sing loudly to Clint Black, and almost sideswipe a truck that’s working on the dirt road because I’m looking for deer instead of watching the road. Same to you, a#*hole.

Walmart on the first of the month. Great. Looks like a geriatric ward in here. I’m just going to get in and get out. Medicine, toothbrush, deodorant, that’s it.

Look at the line at the pharmacy. Lines suck. This is taking freakin’ forever. HUH? Oh. McKinnon. M.C.K.I…huh? Oh. My birthdate. (Whoa. I have to look around and see who can hear me. You just never know – one of these nut-jobs might steal my identity.) What? Huh? Oh. I’ll pay up front. It’s HOW MUCH?

Okay, gotta find the toothbrushes. Hey! I am driving MY cart on the right side of the road, people. YOU are going against the traffic. How can a stupid toothbrush cost so much? I’ll get her the store brand so I can save a few cents and listen to her complain about it for three months.

There are way too many people in here. I can SMELL these people. And I’m in the stinkin’ deodorant aisle even! I’d better grab some chicken food while I’m here. Oh, and batteries for my game camera. Beer, and maybe a box of ammo.

How am I supposed to figure out how to run my card through this machine and put the bags in the cart at the same time? Huh? It’s HOW much? I only got four lousy bags of stuff. There’s not even any meat in there! No, I do not want to put the beer back.

What the…did someone bump their door into my truck? Yep, that’s a microscopic scratch. Next time I’m parking all the way down by the road with the motorhomes. There are too many people here. Yeah, I know the arrow is pointing the other way. I’m driving down an up aisle in the parking lot. Get over it, a#*hole.

She meets me at the car to help carry bags in. Still sucking up. Then she unloads stuff onto the counter. I tell her the same thing every time I bring groceries home: put the stuff away or leave it in the bags and I’ll do it. She never learns. Now I just have to move everything from the counter to the fridge. Sigh.

I’ve been gone for hours, and it looks like she hasn’t done a thing. Not.A.Thing. I’ll make lunch, check my e-mail, and then go dig up the sweet potatoes before the frost hits. She wants to know if I bought bread. Not at $4 a loaf, I didn’t. I’ll make some this afternoon, after I pick the ripe tomatoes and feed the chickens.

I’m really stoked because I made a giant casserole of chicken spaghetti yesterday, so I don’t have to cook dinner tonight. That will give me an extra hour to write my blog and check for responses to all of the ranting e-mails I wrote to everyone holding a political office in our state. Maybe I’ll take some time to send raunchy, untrue, right-wing propaganda to a lot of close friends that I’m tired of.

The bread’s rising, and it isn’t any of that 7-grain stuff. This is good old white bread. The pets are fed, and I’m going to crack a beer and sit in the recliner farting lightly while I watch football. Okay, maybe not lightly.

I just heard the bedroom door slam.

Lovin’ the guest room!

Easter Beer Hunt!

At the Easter Beer Hunt…makes a mama proud!

To be worthy of the term “Family Tradition”, a celebration must have two things: extravagant food and memorable booze; preferably with copious quantities of both. Add fun, persistence, and considerable lack of dignity, and you are probably attending the McKinnon family Easter Beer Hunt!

Buh-bye Peeps, fake chocolate bunnies, and those nasty pastel marshmallow cream eggs that are always the last to be eaten. Once our three kids were all of legal drinking age, Easter brunch became a whole lot more festive. Their friends, our friends, the guy holding the sign at the freeway ramp…anyone who was willing to scrounge for alcohol was welcome to come and hunt for beer (foreign and domestic), little bottles of liquor (oh, so many tasty varieties), and plastic eggs with lotto tickets in them. And of course there were grand prizes for the most enterprising freeloaders.

Our first annual Easter Beer Hunt lasted exactly seven minutes. Competition is at a peak when there’s an incentive like free alcohol! Luckily we had an amazing buffet set up, so the party didn’t end immediately. Bunny shaped dip bowls, glazed ham balls, tiny “jello beans” (made with booze instead of water), quiche, cinnamon rolls…yes, a good time was had by all. Most of the attendees were starving young people trying to make it on their own, so they probably would have eaten chocolate covered dog turds, but their enthusiasm for the spread made my hostess-heart happy.

Easter bunny Bread!

Easter Bread Instructions

Obviously this was not a cheap party to throw, and I wanted to get a little bang for my buck the following year, so the hiding spots were more challenging for the second annual EBH. Beer was hung high up in the magnolia tree. Tiny liquor bottles were buried in the dirt, and under the gravel in the driveway. Lottery tickets were tucked into the depths of the thick hedge. Most were found, but some surfaced months later–sometimes a little worse for wear, but always drinkable! Well…almost always. There was the can of Icehouse I found in the tailpipe of my daughter’s car one summer, which was buried with honors.

When we moved across the state a few years later, I had to wonder what the new owners were going to think when they pruned that hedge!

Now we’ve all spread out in various states, and though there is talk every spring of bringing the Easter Beer Hunt back to life, the logistics are (unless I win the lottery this week and can buy that Lear jet) pretty daunting. It would be so much fun to have a hunt here in the country; the conservative neighbors would be horrified, and I’d love to see people sift through the chicken coop to get to a bottle of Jack.

Easter Beer Hunt - The Rowdy Baker

Go ahead, I dare you!

Stick around. Friend me. “Like” me. You never know…an invite could be coming your way. But just between you and me, I’ve seen what’s on the bottom of my feet after going in the henhouse, and there is no mini bottle of Jack that’s worth digging through that. Just sayin’.


Pimping out my Blog

Okay, folks…I’m going to shamelessly pimp out my blog, and try out for Blogger Idol.

There are amazing prizes, of course, but best of all is the chance to encourage thousands (dare I say millions?) of people to crack out the butter and cream and let the flour fly!
Did I mention prizes? There’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Blog 2 Print voucher, Ghiradelli chocolate package, a premium edition of Dragon, a Newman’s Own organics package, and more.

I’ll do anything for chocolate!

Check it out! And if you’re feeling kindly, jump right in there and leave a comment on Blogger Idol. You aren’t voting, exactly – it’s more like a show of support. OK, it’s actually more of a popularity contest. But remember the important thing: one of the prizes is CHOCOLATE (which is almost as good as a blue ribbon!) Here’s the link:
Blogger Idol

I’ll keep you posted on Facebook!