Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Losing my internet, and probably my mind

Due to how challenging it is to financially survive each month, especially the winter months when my power bill leaps, I have made a hard decision to cancel my home internet soon. I'd drop car insurance on my 19-year-old almost-dead car, but that's illegal, so dropping internet is my only reasonable option. I just know I can't continue existing like this.

I am giving myself a few weeks to do what I need to do online to prepare for the disconnection. I have a crazy amount of stuff to upload online from my phone and tablet, and also to download from online to my laptop. I'll revert to paying bills in person; thankfully I live across the street from my power and water company. I'll say sayonara to Pokemon TCGO (insert crying Pikachu gif here), and I'd like to marathon Stranger Things 2 and Harry Potter again before cutting it off. I've installed as many apps as I can fit on my phone, but those apps do not include Facebook or Twitter. I will have Chrome to occasionally visit those sites, and Blogger to continue blogging (about what, I haven't a clue...life is about to get even more boring than usual).

I feel that the correct perspective is to acknowledge that it's a first-world problem, and that I will perhaps be less stressed out overall since I will no longer be bombarded by current events. I'll still be aware, but not as actively (read: angrily) involved in the conversations. However, as sad as it all is, I'm glad people are finally standing up to the sadistic hypersexual freaks of Hollywood, the sports industry, the medical field, creepy-ass politicians, looney toon religious abusers, and, of all places, Gulf Coast restaurants. This has been infuriating and so disheartening, but I hope the innocent continue to rise up, call them out, and absolutely destroy them.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: I don't expect to be without Wi-Fi forever, but I'm going to ditch it for as long as necessary. The amount I will save won't be huge, but maybe it will be enough to get by without (humor me while I plagiarize the Bible) weeping and gnashing of teeth. Things have been hard.

Friends and family are advised to contact me via text message if they need/want to.

I'm not sure you'll notice anything different here, readers. My blogging isn't exactly consistent to begin with, but I have no plans to stop in spite of this change. I'll just be typing on (and undoubtedly cursing at while being simultaneously thankful for) the tiny keyboard on my 99 cent phone. It could be a lot worse.

Keep calm and carry on.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Google Voice Typing for NaNoWriMo

I made two short videos about Google Voice Typing. As you will see, it's perfect for NaNoWriMo!





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A few pics from the last five weeks

This is Shady Acres Village located in Seminary, MS.
I always pass it on the way to clinic (and back).
Sometimes, I stop and buy a snack. It's a cute place.

I was depressed and tired of the condition of my storage room,
so I finally dove into the mess and organized it.

I got rid of most of the cardboard boxes, threw out some things,
and sorted some things to eventually give away.

I removed these tables from my living room and put them in the
storage room. It's looking a little bit like an art studio, which is nostalgic.
(I am "overhoused" and will be moved to a smaller apartment someday.)

GREATEST. TEA. EVER.

I have been really down and out with pain, muscle weakness,
and depression, but I wore my Henchwoman outfit and played
board games on Halloween. It was exhausting, but I had a good time.
(It's from Batman '66...The Penguin's Henchmen/Henchwomen)

Crimson Invasion launched on Pokemon TCG.

My pulls were pitiful, but I did end up with two Alolan Golem GX
so it could have been worse. I've become far too invested in this thing.

I almost hated cutting into this beautiful little Italian onion.
So pretty. I can't even remember what I did with it, to be honest.

My neighbors are nice and occasionally give me duck spring rolls.
They are very tasty. I like having Asian neighbors. Zero drama.

November will be consumed with NaNoWriMo, as usual, but I am also hoping to attend a couple of cheap events in the area that I've never been to. If I do, I'll share pics. My head is screaming, and my arms and legs are really tired and crampy, so I'm unsure about any plans. I mostly need to sleep.

NaNo is going great thanks to Google Docs' voice typing feature. I hope to reach 50K by Thanksgiving.

Talk to you soon.

More Home Chef Goodness (November)


I received another shipment from Home Chef. This one was FREE thanks to earned credits!
I was super happy to find that Home Chef uses not only domestic shrimp, but local!


Shrimp Scampi


Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries
Umami Burger

The shrimp scampi was good, but the burger was outstanding. It was honestly one of the most flavorful burgers I've ever had. It was my first time using miso in meat, and it won't be my last.

If you want $30 off of your first order from Home Chef, click on this link.

I'll have to take another break for financial reasons, but I hope to receive a new shipment in December.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017!



I've been horrified that I am unable to find part of my manuscript on any of my devices. I've concluded that I tucked it away in online storage somewhere, but I decided to just sit down and rewrite as much of it as I can. I even put a poem from the story on Facebook last year, and had to conduct a search of my own timeline to find it. Yikes. I gotta get my crap together. Thankfully, the majority of my first draft is intact. I just have a great deal to add to it. I expect the manuscript to double in size, actually.

I went into this not feeling terribly optimistic, but on Day 2, that changed. I discovered that Google Docs' Voice Typing (voice to text) feature has improved significantly since last year. I tested it out, it recorded nearly flawlessly, and I am at 7666 words on Day 3. So...yay? I'm relieved to be ahead a little, and I almost feel like I've reunited with friends after diving back into the lives of the children of Mossy Hollow.

Let's do this thing!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Autumn is finally here.

It has been a little while since I've blogged. Sorry. I felt that it needed a break after all of the hurricane drama. My October in a few paragraphs:

I went to Muscular Dystrophy clinic in Jackson after staying overnight in an Airbnb. The neighborhood was one I was familiar with, and the house was lovely. The experience was less than perfect, however, and left me uncomfortable with the whole Airbnb idea as a whole. I had credits on a gift card to pay for the room, and still had credits left, so I decided to use the rest of the credits to book a room in my area and be done with it. Since I had decided to participate in a Pokemon league tournament, I booked a room about 15 minutes down the road. It was absolutely gorgeous, the house and hosts were perfect, but I still couldn't sleep so I pretty much just lay there and wished I was home in my own bed. When I have to return to Jackson next year, I'll assess how I'm feeling and make a decision on where to stay at that point. For now, I'm glad I don't have to think about it for 6 months.

MD clinic was mostly uneventful. I did meet with the geneticist for the first time, who agreed to order testing through a free program strictly for Periodic Paralysis patients. By the time I got home, I learned that something went wrong with the form, so it wasn't done. I haven't felt like pursuing it any further, but I will hopefully eventually resolve it and get tested for three specific gene mutations. The trip was as exhausting as ever, and I was very depressed and anxious to be in so much pain and so tired while traveling. I told the doctor how I was feeling, and she said it was understandable, but it wasn't discussed beyond that. It happened to be the day after the Las Vegas shooting nightmare as well, so she didn't think much of the fact that I said I wasn't coping lately. I don't expect a resolution anymore. It's just the way things are.

The Pokemon tournament lasted far too long, and I was very tired and in a lot of pain. I managed to get through it, but half way through, I wanted to leave. I gave everyone a good laugh, including myself, for misunderstanding my status at one point. I thought I was being disqualified and told to leave, but apparently the word "Bye" beside my name means the exact opposite in the card tournament world. It was the only "win" I had, as I had no opponent that round. I ended up dead last. I don't actually care, and seem to be more comfortable when I'm not winning. I have social anxiety and I'm not a competitive person, so tournaments aren't really for me. But since I had cards in my possession, I convinced myself to try it at least once. I've decided to only free-play from now on (meaning not structured or sanctioned), when my health permits. I appreciate a friend for sending me a deck, and my brother for sending me more cards. I have a much larger, nicer collection than I was expecting to ever have. I don't love collecting, so I will most likely keep the before mentioned deck and cards that were gifted to me, and get rid of the rest either by giving them away or trading them. My nieces are Pokemon fanatics, and Jo will be old enough to join a league in 6 months, so I look forward to starting her collection.

I finally started stocking my refrigerator and freezer again on the 16th.

I received a free shipment from Home Chef, thanks to earned credits. It was spectacular, and I'll post pictures soon.

I was sorry to hear that Delilah (radio host) lost her son to suicide. If you've been here long enough, you know I'm no longer a fan, but I really hate to hear of her family's tremendous loss.

I spent the 17th remembering my brother Max, as I always do. He would have been 22 this year.

I said #MeToo and #LoveForSophia.

I joined the 2018 Twitter Art Exhibit, and I will be producing a piece to send to Australia this time. I will share more information soon. The call for artists came at a time when I was in desperate need of something to look forward to, so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

I had a bit of a scare with a bill of mine being drafted out of the wrong bank account over the weekend, resulting in a returned check. I have one account, and have used the account to pay this bill for years without fail. After emails and phone calls with the bank and insurance company, I confirmed that they had sent it to the wrong bank altogether, where it was understandably found and returned four days later. The situation was corrected and all is well again. I'm relieved it wasn't worse, but I was zonked for the rest of the day. HKPP and stress are not friends.

Fall weather is finally here, as of yesterday. I'm already wearing my fuzzy plaid pajamas.

This ended up being much longer than I planned. Sorry for the lack of photos. I'll share a few in the next couple of posts.

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






- 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.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Irma



Photos: NOAA



















Now monitoring this insane beast.
It is currently 185 mph...an Atlantic record.
A Category 5 hurricane is maximum catastrophe.
It's creating havoc in the Caribbean at the moment, but my beloved Florida is next.
After that, who knows.
The size of this storm almost guarantees that I'll get a few of the feeder bands.
It could also turn at the 11th hour and hit me directly, but that isn't expected.
Again, that's probably not going to happen, so I'm trying not to worry.
I am making all of the preparations to the apartment that I can, though.
It's better to be overprepared than underprepared.
Management told us to make a plan of escape.
I'm working on it, but my concern is for the Caribbean and Florida most of all.
I have many friends there, and they are in my thoughts.
I'll give an update later this week.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Such a silly overused pun, but I couldn't resist.



























12 inch donation, a new record! :)