The questions that come with the end of Summer

Contributed by Columnist Tina Specht

As summer is coming to an end and things are trying to get back to normal I am having a weird vibe about it all.  

Well, for one, it has been extremely hot and I don’t see an end to summer anytime soon and the normal life we are all used to is not happening!  

I am watching all the kids get ready to either go back to school or be homeschooled for the first time. What does this all look like? How are you really going to social distance in school and learn from teachers wearing masks? How will you be able to go to the lunchroom and eat? What about playing sports? 

I just talked to a family member that is from Maine. He is a teacher and a coach. Referees and coaches have to wear masks. Kids on the bench have to wear masks. How is this going to work? I see a lot of refs passing out in this heat.

I am not taking all this lightly by any means. I am cautious and follow all rules. If you want me to wear a mask, I will. Am I scared and wear one on purpose? No. But it is ok with me if you do. I don’t judge.

What I am having issues with is all that are freaking out, or those having a fit and don’t abide by the rules. Businesses are not requiring you wear a mask because they are trying to make you mad. It is state ordered or they cannot open.  

Businesses are all just trying to make a living also. It is not fun wearing the masks by any means. But I am respectful to those who enforce it. 

I guess what is on my heart today is that this is a cruel world we are living in during these days. I believe it is the end of times. You don’t believe me? Read Revelation. It is not going to get any easier. We need to be in support of one another, help one another out. Be there for your neighbor in tough times. Stop all this hate and just but nice. If you can’t be nice then just stay home. 

Another thing that has been on my heart, is we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Someone is having a bad day because they had a fight with their spouse or kids.  Maybe they lost a loved one. They could have even lost their job and they don’t know how they are going to put food on the table and pay the bills or their family. So when someone is not so nice to you, think what they may be going through. Just turn around and walk away. Don’t say something you will regret later. It is time to link arms together and help one another out. Who is in with me?

Pumpkin Bundt Cake


  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Caramel Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  • Make the pumpkin bundt cake
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bundt pan by spraying with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl with handheld blender, add the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and sour cream. Beat together until combined. 
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Blend together until just combined and no flour pockets remain. 
  • Pour into the prepared bundt cake pan and cook for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it’s cooked. A toothpick should come out with moist crumbs. 
  • ** I like to lay a piece of foil over the cake during the last 20 minutes of the cook time so that it does not over brown. This is optional. 
  • Let cool in the bundt pan for 10 minutes and then invert the bundt pan onto a cooling rack to let the cake cool completely before frosting. 
  • Make caramel frosting
  • Combine butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and once boiling turn heat to low and let simmer for 3 minutes. Do not stir during the 3 minute cook time. 
  • Pour the caramel into a mixing bowl and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so it can cool to lukewarm. 
  • Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, beat together until combined and frosting-like consistency. If it is too thick/crumbly, add more heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired frosting is reached. I usually have to add 2 additional tablespoons of cream. 
  • Immediately drizzle or pipe the frosting over the cooled pumpkin cake. The caramel frosting hardens up rather quickly so be ready to spread it over the cake right when it’s done.



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