Friday, November 21, 2014

VIGIL AT THE TOP

Photo by Annisa Lam (former member of Stock.exchng)
Licensed photo DO NOT COPY


Currently I am keeping the following in my thoughts &  prayers:

-----Safety as holiday traveling starts.
-----That a new online friend is protected from having further Pulmonary Embolisms.
-----A friend who had his birthday recently. That the year ahead brings much companionship, happiness and peace.
-----I am not sure my Husband is going to do any more smoking cessation efforts!
-----Ebola victims and their loved ones. That anyone who can do so safely helps stop the spread. That the American soldiers who have been sent over to help do not catch this illness (and that their is more media coverage of what is going on with them). That people and governments work together to eradicate this...less complaining and more eradicating.
-----A friend who has been under care at a health rehab for about a year. He should be home around Thanksgiving!
-----Friends who were in the desert about twenty minutes from their night's lodging when a person on a cell phone rear-ended them causing a rollover. They were stranded 3,000 miles from home for about a month! Hopefully there is complete healing and they are able to rebuild the careers that were greatly affected. One has relocated and I hope we get to see them soon.
-----A friend of mine and his wife...they are in Africa to help children. They are volunteering in one of the countries considered at risk for eventually having Ebola.
-----A friend of ours, a 44-year-old mother of 10, passed away from cancer recently. I am now reading about a Mother of six who defied odds on first prognosis (as my Mother managed to do for almost five years after being admitted with death likely imminent)...this mother's name is Kathy Taylor. I am hoping that targeted therapies continue to develop and continue to help keep the Taylor family together. There is a GoFundMe page listed in the article I linked.
-----All who battle mental illness.
-----A couple I know who would like to afford getting married this year.

__________________________

Note:
This post is in no particular order. Prayer/thought requests just go to the top as I hear more about what is going on. If you can think of a way to help these people, PLEASE do so. This post will be second-from-the-top during the midst of an emergency (such as an Amber Alert).

Note: I would not advise linking to this post...you will wind up with a broken link each time I have to change the post-dating to keep this a Vigil at the Top.




At JPUSA. Summer 2011.


 
-----It definitely won't be in time for Thanksgiving but I do want to try Florida cranberries (roselles). I must make a plan for getting some.
-----I wonder if our city would allow us to have a few goats. Milk, weed control and new pets would be excellent. I must look into if there is a way.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lou Ferrigno interview

-----Officer Ferrigno. Would you recognize him? In my mind, I have started calling Mr. Ferrigno "The Incredible Cop." :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Re-Read: The Art of Social Media

This is a re-read because I have put in a lot of time and had a lot of experiences with social media. I want to make sure my review avoids bias as much as possible (just assuming that a chapter I skimmed is more of what I already heard). I also want to give the chapters that don't apply to me more of a chance...that might be a helpful thing.  Anyway, working on that re-read.

Of course, I am a bio reader and this time the bio was at the beginning of the book. I already knew a lot about Guy Kawasaki but I had only vaguely read in a tweet or blog post somewhere of his fellowship...a fellow at the Haas School of Business (UC Berkley). Everyone has their passions...I am fascinated by academic programs and possibilities. Haas is the second-oldest business school in the United States! So, for me, my fascination leads to me exploring any lecture, opencourseware or MOOC I can get my hands on...stay tuned. (That post will be entitled "Haas at Home.")

15 pages on profiles? I should say that means profiles are important. Indeed looking around on the internet, I see that profiles are really changing for some. I see people "founding" as much as they can (claiming the origins of hashtags for instance...meaning they started a chat). Does your profile stand out and show you are an individual?
So, one of today's task was revamping my profile. I have posted a "Before" photo below (screenshots aren't working).

Of couse, it's over there in the sidebar...but this is the text of my latest profile edit:
"Profile Updated: November 20, 2014. I am blessed with being a homemaker and mother. I own about 5.5 thousand books and our family has around 8 thousand! I am the founder of "Project Barbara's Rainbow"...a fledgling book giveaway program. I believe in life-long learning and can often be found glued to the screen in a MOOC course. I am very interested in urban farming and self-sufficiency. Someday, I hope to make advancements in soil science and irrigation in terms of urban farming. One of my favorite books is The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Huge Douglas Adams and Roger Zelazny fan. Avid Armchair Traveler. I like roadtrips and the goal is for our children to see a good part of every state before they turn 18. I am married to the vocalist of "Once Were Serpents." My family is involved with Asylum Ministries and AudioFeed Music Festival. I have started hosting virtual book tours.I have extensive editing and writing experience. I hope that something made you smile today."

This post is a work-in-progress.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Steaks, Chicken and Questions

-----Tenderloin Steaks with Red Onion Marmalade recipe
-----We had Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken for dinner last night. It was very good as pulled chicken with a loaf of fresh homemade bread (our bread machine is getting daily use lately). We used apple cider vinegar instead and substituted Hungarian paprika for red pepper flakes.
-----Preschooler had some very frank questions about how we get chicken to eat. He didn't think the chicken was happy that we're eating it. Still, chicken is his favorite meat.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday's Dinner was Yummy!



Swai Two Ways. Friday's dinner.
Swai is a Vietnamese fish that is light like tilapia. It is also called iridescent shark or striped catfish (but is neither).
Side comment: I want very much to try shark.


---Roasted Swai Fish with Tomatoes, Basil and Chives. The chives were a pleasant addition from our windowsill each time I trim the plant down I smile because it reminds me of giving a Chia Pet a haircut). We also put a little McCormick's Garlic Sea Salt on top.




One of two fish recipes ready to go in the oven.
The cookie sheet is from my childhood.


-----Sweet Dijon Basa Swai Fish.
We used Rock Island, Illinois' legendary Boetje's Dutch stone ground mustard instead of Dijon.
Dill weed was sprinkled on top of the adults' portions.



There was also:
Seasoned Browned rice (leftovers).
Sweet onions sauteed in olive oil, Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and freshly ground black pepper.



There was a marked difference between the two Swai dishes. The tomato dish was heavier and the Dijon was very light.
Husband and I both remarked that we wished we had some wine to go with...he wished for some white wine and I would have loved a Pinot Grigio.


We will definitely be adding Swai to our fish repertoire. :-)

TBR List...To-Be-Read

Non-fiction

Happy that I was approved to read/review this book! I would have written the publisher a letter asking for a reconsideration if I hadn't as it a very important read/PSA for me. My Mother passed away last year after battling Stage 4 Breast Cancer for almost 5 years. She tried to still enjoy food by gardening as long as she could, having small dine outs and savoring what she was still allowed to eat (also being diagnosed Diabetic at the same time the cancer was found). I wish my Mother had a book like this.
---The things my Mother missed most were probably pickles, Chicken a la King, grapefruits and Pomelos. 




High Intensity Interval Training. I have done some HIIT (but not from this book). I have thyroid issues and I am hoping this book will have ideas that work for giving me energy and assist in reducing the abdominal bloating from my hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's/IBS.
(The book comes out January 2015 and I was kindly provided an Advanced Reader Copy from demosHEALTH via Netgalley.)









Thursday, November 13, 2014

Preschooler wanted an Iron Man pumpkin. 
He said his favorite part was the candle and blowing out the candle.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The philodendron clippings that my mother-n-law gave me now have tiny tendrils. :-)



Mmm. Dinner. A modified version of Manwich's "No Alarm Chili" recipe. This is one of our many uses for the bottom of the pressure cooker my parents had when I was growing up. We used 2 pounds of ground sirloin, 1 can Manwich, 1 can Manwich Thick and Chunky, 15 oz. of Hunt's Tomato Sauce, 5 cans of dark red kidney beans, chili powder, garlic powder, minced onions, a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, about 4 cups of water and some chicken base...yes, we definitely modify and usually cook in large amounts. There was no cumin as Husband is sensitive to it. I am sensitive to if the spices do not blend and that means our simmer was actually 35 minutes (vs. the 10 of the recipe). We served it with sour cream and shredded cheddar. Tomorrow's leftovers will be served with some sweet cornbread muffins (homemade, of course).
---The Manwich site mentions using pouches of Libby's Seasoned Beef Crumbles in place of ground beef. I have never seen this product.


-----Mmmm. Apple Sangria for Fall would be nice (recipe from "Taste of the South Magazine," a publication I love). Every sangria I have tried has given me a headache and I have yet to figure out why (grrr).
-----I see that the doctor in New York City who had Ebola is now well and being released.
-----Reading through the media kit for a review I will be posting as a part of a virtual book tour. The book is Rich Leder's "Workman's Complication" and my review goes up on January 24th.
-----Downloaded the SavingStar app for Android (there is an iPhone app, too). One of the things we are doing is stocking up on Orerida products. If all works well, we can get $20.80 in rebates for this month. This will help with baby wipes and my non-fluoride toothpaste (annoyingly expensive and I am currently eeking out the last of the tube).
-----Another thing on our menus is simple Yukon Gold and Apple Hash Browns.  This will be nice for me because I love Yukon Gold potatoes but can never justify there expense in our area.
-----I am behind on my NaBloPoMo again. Our kitchen sink decided to start leaking. We now owe a friend for a new faucet (this was better than letting the water bill mount until we could afford the replacement next month or even the month after). Anyway, we now have the modern convenience of having the faucet be further overhead...I can water plants and actually fill pitchers without pouring or using the sprayer. Plus, we no longer have a sprayer where the sink still runs at the same time (more cutting of the water bill...awesome). The water pressure is improved and tastes better (our area has awful water and I guess that makes the sinks get a buildup...you learn something icky every day). Anyway, a lot of good came out of our run to get a new faucet. Next will be a filtration system of some sort as now we run all drinking water through a Brita pitcher and that is time-consuming (especially if more than half a gallon is needed).

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Moving Right Along in My World




-----Roid!: One woman's rage and struggle with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Disease. Tenative title. A blog column for now but I think I will be organizing it into a free ebook (unsure of no-cost platforms for this...maybe a peer-to-peer). What a project. When you are highly symptomatic, it is like the delicate balance experimenting that one has to employ if they are fighting diabetes. For instance, I have IBS, don't think gross as it usually manifests in not being able to go right now...I took stool softener...no, for two days...then I made oriental food which has oil in it....that worked in a most urgent manner twice....no, it wasn't my cooking, it was the cooking oil that finally helped. I am not one to just put up with the sudden weight gain or look of a triple chin that I am currently having. Hence 2015's project is born.
-----It is amusing that I like butterflies so much...that is what the thyroid is shaped like.
-----I earned 220 Kellogg's Family Rewards points today. I have no idea what we are saving towards.
-----I am about 20% of the way to earning the frequent flyer miles that I need for us to stay at least one night at the Hilton or Doubletree for a convention next year. :-) I hope I can get someone to give me a tour that I can cover on this blog. I love both hotels (and the famous Doubletree chocolate cookies are okay).
-----That convention we are going to is also looking more hopeful on me paying for the gas with Swagbucks. I just discovered that there is a Bing Reward that can get you (500)Swagbucks and have set that as my goal. You can convert the Bing Rewards into Swagbucks up to 50 times per account! I get 2 points for up to 10 searches each day...since I have not found a program for Google, I am going to go ahead and try Bing as my homepage for a while (especially since it has a little icon connecting to my Rewards account and showing my points). :-)
-----One way that I started earning Swagbucks tonight is to use the RadioLoyalty program. If Ubuntu lets it recogonize what I am doing, I will earn 5 Swagbucks for every half hour I listen. I am testing this as I type.
-----I don't understand people that pretend to be sober or spend great amounts of time talking others out of their sobriety. Some people just DON'T learn.
-----Discovered that our Toddler daughter likes The Black Crowes. :-)
-----I was looking online to order some deodorant (I have been earning points so I can pay for our hygiene products with gift cards...paying a bit more and it takes a lot of time but it is slowly freeing up money for bills and debt). It was interested to see that one tube of Secret was listed as "New" but with a noted expiration date of early 2010. Another thing to watch for. No surprise that this seller has the lowest rating I have ever seen on Amazon. Read those descriptions.
-----I found out that Garnier now has skincare products. I sent for a sample of a blackhead eliminating scrub and a sample of nourishing cleansing oil...both for oily skin. My samples should arrive in 6-8 weeks. Expect to see a review here. :-)



An essay that I need to write for a Philosophy and the Sciences class I am in:
"'In what way can philosophy or philosophical thinking contribute to the physical sciences? Give a clearly argued answer....."




One of tonight's bedtime stories.




A repeat bedtime story. We first watched this one last year when Toddler was still putting her toes in her mouth.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Okay getting back on track with blogging every day as intended (NaBloPoMo and beyond). Blogger has been dating my posts wrong and I have given up on that-I think some posts are when I first started and others are when I hit update after making revisions. Then there has been a time of emotional upheaval, sick relatives and car problems. Anyway, moving right along.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

My Little Corner of the World

-----Mmmm. Easy Stuffed Green Pepper recipe we are trying in a week or so.
-----Oh, cool! The new Star Wars movie has just completed principal photography. Husband and I both agree that we don't like the title though..."The Force Awakens."
-----A MUCH cheaper way to insure cell phones that we might do at some point. :-)
-----Decided to start writing a section on here called "Roid!" It will deal with my rage and fight against Hashimoto's Disease (an inflamed thyroid) . :-) I have been very symptomatic lately particularly with goiter issues and IBS. I am tired of it. I would start a similar column dealing with the headaches I get from my eye problem (true alternating exotropia) but I don't know where to begin on that.
-----Signing up for Kellog's Family Rewards this evening. Husband's friend tells me this is a good program.
-----I am in the third week of a Philosophy and the Sciences course. I am currently learning about the history of astronomy and the history of cosmology. Husband and I both learned very little of Newton in school. It is making me feel intelligent to learn more of Einstein. :-) #HelpfulForHomeschooling #FiguringOutReligionAndScienceTogether
-----I have been doing Secret Shopping for several years. For the third time, I managed to miss a weekend getaway by not checking my e-mails until later in the day. Big sigh.



Interesting. Ocean Spray now has a Cranberry Mango drink. We will be seeing if our children like this. I am hoping our Walmart carries the 100% juice.
---There is also a $1.00 coupon for cranberries in the coupons section of the Oceanspray Facebook page right now! Our printer is not available right now due to a couple of issues (one of which a frustrated  Husband has been working on all day). It is nice to see that Brick.com now has an option where they will mail you a coupon. We will have to wait a little longer for our cranberry coupon but will still get it. :-)

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor
That was a quick read!


In addition to a glowing review by Stephen King:
“A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —Geraldine Brooks.


I felt dread just reading the description on the Netgalley site. This was such a quick 245-page read because I was so interested in the storyline. There was much flashback but it was done in a simple and rarely confusing manner. The storytelling was not similar to Stephen King but I can see why he admires how the telling is organized. Quietly haunting, horrify and sad.


Basically:
-----Wife is mainly selfish and spoiled.
------Husband has a hard time with any emotion but nostalgia and how things should be.
-----Children have plenty of avoidance and hurt.
-----Wife disappears and we slowly find where she went.
-----We also slowly find where everyone's heart went.

Clever title...bring it all out into the daylight.
Seeing their marriage in the daylight has both sunny and harsh moments.

5 out of 5 stars for me.
I think this would be a great book club read.
I would love to lead a read-a-long.

I read an Advanced Reader Copy...
and plan to re-read it, too.
The book comes out May 5, 2015. :-)





WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Getting Ready to Read


Besides the glowing review by Stephen King:
“A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —Geraldine Brooks.


Yes, I am getting a feeling of dread just reading the description.

Basically:
Extroverted wife becomes introverted.
Introverted husband becomes more introverted.
Children in the middle silently observe it all.
One day the wife disappears...
Follow the wife's footsteps & the husband's flashbacks to that fateful moment.
A mixture of crime, failed marriage and (probably) broken hearts.

Clever title...bring it all out into the daylight.





WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Monday, November 03, 2014

Why Walmart, Why?


So, the other night I was actually contemplating taking a part-time job at Walmart when the kids get older. I have some sort of photographic memory which is great for working the floor of a retail store. Only it will never happen because of my eye problem...the last store I worked at I was tortured for the whole time and ditto the job before that....approximately 9 years straight of being told I was ugly (no seriously), having no chance of promotion, being treated as if stupid and general gameplaying. Sue you say? No it would be the same anywhere for me. Apply for disability? No, they don't send you to the proper doctor for evaluation unless you have already afforded to be under the proper really expensive doctor's care.

Anyway, Walmart just really depressed me tonight and since Halloween when we have gone in. The employees are under some sort of stress and right now actually just ignore anyone standing at their customer service desks as they are so busy training each other. Our Walmart is going to a new system where no clearance is allowed in the store (seriously). Their following of trends has become so bad that there were only a couple of sock choices in the entire store for our children and it took at least a half hour to find those....they just want to sell "no-show" socks vs. anything with an actual cuff and its winter time. Constant being nice to surly employees does not soften them up. Yeah, I could complain for quiet a while.

This evening, the cashier put things through the wrong way repeatedly. Then she proceeded to explain to me about people using multiple forms of payment as we did being flagged for committing fraud and calls being made to their bank and so on...basically a nasty, veiled demeaning/threat. Husband and I were both thoroughly embarrassed and obviously judged by the customer behind us.So, we had intended to divide the receipt across three debit cards and by the time we got out of there at least 8 transactions were made (many being declined because of her error). The cashier did not know how to operate her machine but made me feel sad out of some sort of attitude issues and refusal to actually learn her job. Now, we have to wait for next month to get Preschooler's Christmas presents despite my working so hard to arrange finances for this month....correcting her errors would only result in messed up accounts. There will also be no extra travel for us this month beyond relative visits (meaning Husband's artwork will have to be held even longer at venues).

I am starting to wish that ordering everything, EVERYTHING online were a viable option. We only have Walmart, a gourmet store and a couple of dollar stores here.
I need to get some items at Walmart tomorrow and I actually find myself dreading going there.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Welcome to My World

Day 2 of NaBloPoMo....that means making the effort to post every day this month. Hmm, what shall I write today. Well, I am mainly concentrating on writing and books as far as the blogosphere goes lately. Tonight, I think I will take a break and offer you some bits and pieces of my life lately.

This is the Chicago-based band Leper. My husband made the skull panels and they made wall pieces to put them in. Awesome.

My fave Leper song:





Fall is Dragon Breath Season at our house. Nighttime guests join us on the porch for a chat, a cup of warmth and a toast to the fun months ahead. Our Dragon's Breath consists of hot mead, honey, mulling spices and Krakken Rum.
---In a few days, we will have our annual Pumpkin of Sorrows Toss. We take a pumpkin up high after writing whatever has made us sad during the year and toss it down. A spotter is used and the pumpkin makes a quite explosive sound. Cathartic.

-----I taught Preschooler how to play dominoes and he is going to teach Daddy.
-----I plan to listen to Leonard Nemoy reading Ray Bradbury stories. 



I want to make something similar for daughter. This has been a fun theme of ours ever since I saw "Baby's First Camo" at Bass Pro Shops.


Toddler over the past few days:
---Looked at me intently and said really clearly, "Hello, friend. Hello, buddy."
---Suddenly started speaking full sentences for a while during the stopping to eat a piece of Trick or Treat candy. An older boy fell and dropped his candy, "That one guy falled."
---Told me that a Caterpillar back hoe was a baby and had to show it to her uncle.

Toddler was in charge of her own popsicle for the first time. :-)


Preschooler's wisdom:
---"To make coffee you start with beans. But if you use other beans, then you can eat them."
---"Little s is for little spider and big s if for...big spider."
---"I'm like a rainbow because I just stretch and stretch."
---Told me that he loves me because I am soft and warm and my barrette fits.

In response to an online friend's Frida Kahlo costume:
Toddler said "brow" for the first time. Our Preschooler now wants a unibrow toy for Christmas. He has decided that is a good name for an action figure. The kids are getting goldfish for Christmas. Preschooler now wants fish and a good Unibrow for him and a bad Unibrow for his sister.
---We have purchased a tabletop tank and decided on shading of the fish. There names will be Spiderman, Peter Parker and Beep Beep.

Our comfort food before Trick or Treating. Husband is allergic to soy now and misses Oriental Food. I experiment with making homemade sauces that are soy-free. The veggie stir fry sauce consisted of Worchestershire and water (for the soy), Ty Ling Naturals Five Spice Seasoning (anise, ginger, cinnamon,fennel,black pepper), garlic powder, sea salt and sesame oil (in addition to the cooking oil).

I hope MADD encourages people to do this next year, too. 


Winter is coming. One of our last flowers!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Sitting Back and Catching Some Rays (of Writing).

So it is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). That means, I am definitely concentrating on improving my writing skills this month....I am participating in both. :-)

This is my favorite photo of Ray Bradbury. I am not sure who the photographer was.

Working through Ray Bradbury's 12 pieces of advice for young readers from 2001 will be my first order of business.
The first advice to contemplate:
Don’t start out writing novels. They take too long. Begin your writing life instead by cranking out “a hell of a lot of short stories,” as many as one per week. Take a year to do it; he claims that it simply isn’t possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row. He waited until the age of 30 to write his first novel, Fahrenheit 451. “Worth waiting for, huh?”
(Paraphrased by Collin Marshall on Open Culture)
What I intend to do with said advice:
---Well, of course participate in NaNoWriMo.
---Find a lot of writing prompts and look at them as assignments. Do them all! Use (blog)memes as a warmup for doing this.
---I am into non-fiction and lengthy research. Make plans for implementing this advice on that front. Oh, and poetry, too. And I want to learn to write songs (there is a course on Coursera on this).

I liked this little RIP for Mr. Bradbury. :-)

Other Rays I will be learning from: Raymond Carver and Raymond Chandler. 
This post is a work-in-progress for the month of November. :-)

:-)



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