Monday, October 9, 2017

Nate was here.

Nate has come and gone on the Gulf Coast. It was thankfully quick, although it feels like this has gone on a little longer than only a couple of days.

Gulf Coast humor.


I opted not to go outside to take pics or video like I often have during storms in the past. It mostly occurred at night, and I don't have the kind of equipment to capture anything at night, much less the magnitude of a hurricane when there are no lights in my neighborhood. (I don't have the muscle strength for such things anymore anyway.)

Hayley Minogue at WKRG caught a nice shot here:
I'm surprised the lights were still on at that point. Some areas didn't lose power at all, but about 50,000 people across the coast did.

I didn't come anywhere near flooding, which is reassuring as my elevation is about 7 feet. Plenty of folks in other neighborhoods did flood, and I'll post info on helping them out when I obtain it.

I lost power, which resulted in losing the food in my fridge and freezer. My freezer is mediocre on a good day, so not having power for a day brought everything to ruin. There's bread dough exploding in its bag as we speak, but I've decided not to take a photo of it as I have already put it in the trash. There was of course plenty of other things in there as well...chicken, fish, soup stocks, leftovers, a big box of perishable condiments...normal stuff. Onions, lemons and limes, a fruit snack, potassium, magnesium, and henna are what's left. I'll take this opportunity to sanitize the shelves, and try to restock in a week or so. I have enough soup and crackers in the pantry for 5 or 6 days.


This is a pretty boring update, so I'll leave it at that. Many thanks to those who checked on me. I'm thankful it wasn't worse. 


Friday, October 6, 2017

Well, it's my turn to get hit...


Both photos credited to NOAA National Hurricane Center

I was hoping we were done with Hurricane Season this year. Nope. I'm probably getting a direct hit from this one, but the good news is that it is not expected to be nearly as destructive as previous storms. Still, we are under a hurricane warning and storm surge warning. I don't have the funds to evacuate, nor the vehicle with mine currently without power steering, but I've made all of the preparations I can make to be as safe as I can at my apartment.

If Nate continues at the speed it is currently traveling, it'll make landfall here tomorrow evening.

Talk to you soon!



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thoughts on joining NaNoWriMo 2017

I just looked at my Activity Log on Facebook and counted today's "activities". There were 55. If I used that time to write 55 words of fiction every day, I would have a 20,000 word novella in exactly one year.

I do have a novella written; a first draft of one anyway. I just thought it was an interesting assessment. Fifty-five words a day is nothing, so why don't I have half a dozen manuscripts ready to pursue publication by now? I have no acceptable answer.

I am reminded of an article that I read a few years ago that simply said, "The key to finishing your written work is this:

How bad do you want it?"

Indeed.

That's why I keep joining National Novel Writing Month. I may write the same scene ten times or fight with my characters or struggle with dialogue or get so tired of it that I swear I'm never participating again (every year), but I keep coming back. I want it, but do I want it enough? I could have finished the book long ago, and I didn't because I was tired or bored or depressed or sick or busy liking and commenting on Facebook. They're all reasons, but I don't know if they're good enough excuses, so I keep coming back and trying to do this. I'm hard on myself sometimes. Some people take 10 years or more to write their novels. I'm on year four. But I need to find a balance between not cutting myself enough slack, and cutting myself too much slack. It may not be a best-selling novel, but it will exist and people will know these kids' story. They deserve to be known, and I'm the only one (apparently) willing to tell it. So I will. No excuses.

If you're new here, I'm writing a novel called The Children of Mossy Hollow. It is based on a real event in my family history involving a group of children (distant cousins) who were tragically separated from their parents into new and different homes. The story chronicles a few years of each of their lives starting from that fateful day.

I will ask a couple of my beta readers (you know who you are) to look at a completed chapter sometime in the next two months. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Speaking of Facebook

I changed my account back to my real name. When a friend "in real life" asks "What is your name on there again?" after three months, it's time to switch back. I was tired of explaining it to people anyway.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but if you think I unfriended you in error, feel free to shoot a message my way so we can discuss.

That's all. Nothing to see here. Carry on.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Puerto Rico, The Caribbean, Nepal, Mexico, and Oregon...how to help.

Click here for a few ways to help Puerto Rico.

Edit 9/28: Here's another great list for PR and the islands.

A few more organizations involved in assisting people through various disasters:

http://www.portlight.org/

https://adra.org/emergency-adra-responding-to-multiple-major-disasters/

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/about-us/

https://hispanicfederation.org/donate

https://www.convoyofhope.org/

United States Postal Service is back up and running in the territories. If you want to send something directly to someone who lives in and is assisting St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands:

Drew Alston
9715 Estate Thomas PMB #115
St.Thomas, VI 00802

He can be followed here.

I've confirmed that this is a legit funding page for the Oregon wildfire:
https://www.gofundme.com/PNWOWgivesbackOR

And here is a GoFundMe for Puerto Rico:
https://www.gofundme.com/dontforgetpuertorico

Please note that I am not personally affiliated with any organization I've listed here, but I believe they are doing something to help those in need during these hard times.

Thanks for reading.

Thank God It's Not Me

Every time I run into relationship drama on Facebook, I say to myself, "Thank God it's not me."

Every time I see a photo of a happy family in white buttoned shirts and blue jeans on the beach, smiling or striking a pose, do you know what I say to myself?

"Thank God it's not me."

This is not a front. It is who I am.

The world will just have to learn to accept that.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Home Chef (A Review)

A retail store gave me the opportunity to try Home Chef at a significant discount. I had to say yes!

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, it arrived a day late, but thankfully it was well packed and still cold upon receipt.

Everything comes in these zipper bags.

Whoops! The crushed red pepper was already open and spilled everywhere.
No big deal, really. I informed them but I didn't want compensation.

Here's the haul! I only paid $4.80 for all of this. I would have been crazy to pass it up.

This is a nice-sized potato.

Look at all of this prosciutto! Do you have any idea how much this costs at the grocery store? A lot!

The steaks are vacuum-sealed.

Naaaaaaaaaaaan! Imagine I yelled that like Captain Kirk yelled at Khan, and it'll be funnier.

Ooooooh, I love binders. That's a weird fact, but it's true.

Thanky!

The two-sided recipe cards are great. They show you how to do this step-by-step.

Now let's get to it! Here's my perfect potato.

Good 'ol port mushrooms rarely let me down.
These will make a nice sauce. I can't wait!

Yeeeesssss. I made Steak Marsala with Parmesan Potato Mash!
Disclaimer: I accidentally overcooked the steak. My fault. Everything else was downright luxurious.

Pizza day! Believe it or not, I've never had arugula or prosciutto before!

To be honest, my hopes were not high about fig preserves. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I wanted more!

Toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan raise the roof. Have you seen the price of pine nuts? They're outrageous.
I am really happy I took advantage of this special offer.

The arugula was still good a couple of days after receiving the box.
It has a unique flavor: a little bit minty and a little bit peppery.

Please enjoy this terrible photo of fig and prosciutto pizza on a fancypants paper plate. Ha!
In all seriousness, I loved this more than I was expecting to. It was delightful!

Here's a short vlog I made to show you how this works!



Facts:
- Home Chef has no idea I'm writing this review. I'll give them the URL after I publish. :)
- I received an offer to try Home Chef at a huge discount. Since I am only one person, I chose the smallest shipment of four servings and I paid $4.80.
- My affiliate link will give you a total of $30 off regardless of which membership option you choose.
- I receive no compensation for this review other than credit if someone signs up.
- I am not a salesperson. If you're not interested, feel free to move along. I'll never spam you.

If you would like to try Home Chef, you can get $30 off of your 1st order with my reference.
Just go here! https://www.homechef.com/invite/L0RA5HVBYXGV

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ramen Bowl

video



video


- 1 box beef broth
- 1/2 "spicy beef" ramen flavor packet (it is now MSG free, according to the package, so I used it)
- Sprinkle of dried ginger
- Sliced carrot (canned carrots work well in this, and it cooks much faster)
- Sliced yellow onion
- Sliced green onion (whites in the soup, greens as garnish)
- Sugar snap peas
- 1 chopped mushroom (I only had one left in my fridge, feel free to add more)
- 4 oz sirloin steak, sliced very thin
- 4 oz smoked pulled pork (no sauce)

Bring to a rolling boil for several minutes until onions are tender. Put ramen in the bottom of the bowl and ladle boiling soup on top. Walk away (it's too hot to eat anyway) while the ramen softens. It should be perfectly al dente in 5 to 7 minutes. Top with green onion and more pulled pork.

Don't spill it on the stove like I did, ha.

Optional additions at the table, by the drop: soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili oil, sriracha
(I added none of these this time).

If you don't want to use the ramen flavor packet, you can simply add a pinch of red pepper and some salt to the broth. You can also use the entire packet instead of half, if you wish.

This is a great way to use leftover meat and veggies. It was my best ramen bowl yet.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Let's Help Florida and the Virgin Islands

Irma is gone, but there is much to be done. While some areas were lucky, others were definitely not. There is plenty of wind and water damage. Many people lost homes, businesses, and vehicles, and sadly I've learned that there have been some lives lost as well.

Here are some places who could greatly use donations:

SOS Children's Village received damage, affecting 70 children in foster care. Their site is here.

St. John Rescue covers the island of St. John and surrounding areas. You can donate directly on their site or their GoFundMe page

Operation BBQ Relief is serving meals. See their efforts here.

Next Level Church in Ft. Myers is accepting donations for community relief efforts.


I don't support the Red Cross for personal reasons. Do what you like.

Thanks for thinking about those affected by natural disasters. It looks like we have another one, Maria, headed this way. I'll keep you posted.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Good riddance, Irma



It is an absolutely beautiful day in the Bayou, and I know everyone here is sighing with relief that we dodged another huge frickin' bullet this hurricane season. I hope all of my friends in Florida are good. If you're not, please make it known. I really do want to know if you're not OK. My area is gathering supplies to take down there. You know where to find me on the interwebs.

I'm so sorry for the Caribbean islands who are affected, some of which are U.S. land and citizens...something people tend to forget at times. I wish everyone, no matter your affiliation of course, the swiftest possible recovery, and I wish I were capable of doing more to help.

Hugs to all.