Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tara Tyler Talks Blogaversary Blogfest!!!

My brain must be water-logged because I almost forgot to put up my entry for Tara's Blogfest today!

Happy Anniversary, Tara!

Tara is celebrating one year of blogging and wants us to share our favorite recipes!

And there are prizes!

And I love food!

Win. Win.


Shrimp/Crab Dip

1 pkg real cream cheese
1 jar cocktail sauce
1 can crabmeat
1 can tiny shrimp, drained
1 box crackers

In serving dish create layers of ingredients. Spread cream cheese out, spread cocktail sauce over that, crabmeat then shrimp. Serve with crackers (Wheatsworth are really good with this dip). Use small knives for spreading.


Southern Sweet Tea

Boil 1 cup of white sugar (more or less to taste) in a small pot of water to make sugar syrup. Remove from heat and add 8-10 Luzianne Tea Bags. Let steep with lid on the pot. How long? From 1 hour to over night. Add tea syrup to 1 gallon container. Make sure you squeeze all the good stuff out of the tea bags. Add cold water to fill container and serve. Last a few days in fridge.


Easy Fudge

12 oz. pkg semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Place chips and milk in microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.
Microwave, stirring at 1 minutes intervals, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and thick.
Pour into greased 8" square pan and cool.
You can also melt the chips and milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat.

You may have noticed I skipped over dinner.

Who needs dinner when you have fudge?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene's autograph.

This is one of the main roads into Warwick called Kings Highway. As you can see there is some road separation going on here.

This is Forester Ave. One of the firehouses is back behind the photographer. The road is flooded and also the train tracks.

Same road. This is the entrance to the park we were supposed to have the picnic at the day before.

Large maple tree down on power lines across Main Street.

Railroad Ave. There is a road and sidewalk under there somewhere.

Other end of Railroad Ave looking down South Street. Same tracks different road. On the left is a huge parking lot.

 This is a pedestrian bridge over what is normally a small creek. The water is never high enough to touch the bridge. In fact those are full grown trees next to the creek on the left.

This is the other end of South Street. Same large parking lot now on the right. Train tracks ahead...somewhere.

In the center of this photo is where a bridge, that was level with the road, has been washed away. There is a children's park on the left.

Same spot from the other side. This picture was taken later in the day.

Cascade Road ... cascading away.

All of these photos were stolen from Facebook. I was not out in the storms. I was home with my son and in-laws who were evacuated from their street in the village in case a resevoir near them decided to bust its walls.

Please...if you see some volunteer firefighters or ambulance members give them a quick thanks. Our guys were on stand-by all through the night Saturday, worked all day Sunday and are back out this morning helping out any way they can. I'm sure yours are too.

Stormy the Weather Gnome was on the scene...

So...that was a hurricane.

Technically they downgraded the storm to a tropical storm moments before it hit us. 

Call it whatever you want. It sucked. But...you know I had to have some fun with it. 

Meet Stormy the Weather Gnome!
Stormy the Weather Gnome is prepared to ride out the Hurricane. A good weather person knows those mandatory evacuations don't apply to them. Stay tuned.

Stormy was posting pictures and information on Facebook to help his friends and neighbors.

Stormy the Weather Gnome is reporting that some rain is falling in Warwick.
Stormy the Weather Gnome felt bad for the bedraggled chipmunk that came up on the porch so he left out a snack for him in case he comes back.
On my way to the WFD picnic!

Ready for any emergency. Stormy the Weather Gnome is heading for the shrimp and veges!
Stormy the Weather Gnome predicts colder temps in the cooler.

Thanks Stormy for plugging my blood drive!
So full. And that was just the appetizer!
A little card game to ward off the boredom while we wait for the hurricane.

Hot grill. No rain right now.
Banana splits! What hurricane?
Back home relaxing in our PJ's after a great picnic. Thanks WFD. They are staying at the station for a storm standby. I'm watching this kid play video games until the storm comes.

Well this sucks. That is the street flooding in front of our house.

Great idea Joan. Stormy the Weather Gnome has lost his hurricane poncho hat (shower cap) but found his shark swimmy for safety! Still raining and windy

Holy windy weather! Hold on to your butts.
No Gnomes were injured during the hurricane. 

Our fire department had already scheduled a picnic for Saturday. They opted to have it at the station instead of down at the park but it was still a great time.

Stormy was a good sport and we had a lot of fun with him. He's resting comfortably right now wrapped up in bubble wrap (my son did that, not sure why).

We had over a foot of water in our basement. Not the first time. We did lose some stuff down there. It happens.

We never lost power, internet or TV, thankfully.

One tree snapped in the wind and fell in the driveway. No other damage.

Our Town and Village, I can't say the same. Roads washed out. Bridges washed away. Large trees over the road and down on power lines. It will be a while before things are back to normal here. I'll post some pictures in a separate post. 

How is everyone out there?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yesterday's Rant and preparing for Hurrican Irene.

You guys are the best! Have I told you that lately? You really are.

I read that stupid article yesterday and got my panties all in a knot and had to vent.

There is no better place to go than the blogosphere!

Not only did you guys calm me down and make me laugh but you all agreed with me and that was the very best part.

So, I sent a Tweet to Angela James, the Executive Editor from Carina Press:
Wondering what thinks of this article: 10 words editors hate? - A dozen of us on my blog are at a loss.

She wrote back:
I've got nothing for you. I don't hate any of those words and they seem pretty innocuous! But I DO hate the word fateful...

Then she RT'd:
Seriously? Is it a joke? RT : Wondering what thinks of this article: 10 words editors hate

And these were the responses to her:
Joely Sue Burkhart

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Statements like these piss me off...

I read this article today:

10 Words Editors Hate


Published On Thursday, August 18, 2011

By . Under: On Writing.   

10 Words Editors Hate

If you use these words in your poetry or writing, be very careful. They are so charged as an editor I’ve stopped reading because of them. They can of course be used in a way that are not cliché, but many times just the sight of them can send your work into the DO NOT PUBLISH pile. I’m not really saying to avoid these words. It’s really up to you, but they do send editors running. Be aware.
1. Soul-this word is number 1 for a reason. Many editors simply hate it.
2. Heart- this word also can get a manuscript rejected quickly!
3. Love-ugh, so many other ways to say this one.
4. Warmth-tread lightly here. Nine times out of 10 this one will get you rejected.
5. Windows-oddly, more times than not this one is used in a cliché way. Windows to the soul…
6. Forever-don’t use it.
7. Death-ok to write about, not great to say.
8. Life-see above
9. Feeling- talk all you want to about them, just don’t say the word.
10. Light- do not use.

If the author of this article thought they were helping me out...they didn't.

In what context are you referring to? 

So, I use the word LOVE in my romance novel and you throw it into your Do Not Publish Pile cause you see the word a lot?

You stop reading my work because you saw a single word in thousands that you don't like?

I get trying to make a point but this article just rubs me the wrong way.

There is always a way to share information with people without being completely obtuse or blatantly offensive.

Rant over.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2 and 1/2 things...and you could vote for me!

1.  Are you on Facebook? If so you could enter a contest from Reader's Digest!

Share a lesson, simple advice, funny moment, or other story from your life in less than 150 words.

You could be published in Reader's Digest and win $25,000.

Once your story is submitted, encourage your friends to vote for your story. 

To enter visit facebook.com/readersdigest 

Contest entry opens on August 16, 2011 and ends on November 1, 2011. Voting on submissions closes November 15, 2011

1.5 If you don't want to enter, and you like my story, then you could always vote for my entry here!

2.  Alex J. Cavanaugh has posted some incredibly important information about the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

First post is September 7th. Check out his website to get the full scoop!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just for laughs...

Had another great weekend with my family visiting a beautiful lake in NJ.

My brave men. The little one caught the catfish.

Too much fun makes small boy pass out.

Did a tiny bit of writing but other than that nothing to report.

So, today I just thought we could have a little laugh, see some trip pics and then go check out The Spark blogfest and The Star Trek As We Know It blogfest entries!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bloody good time!

Not that any of you live close by to me but my Auxiliary is hosting another Blood/Bone Marrow Drive and I'm inviting you anyway.

I have preached to you guys before during the A to Z challenge...D is for Donate Life.

Does it mean a lot to me? Yes.
Do I let the drive take over my life for a month? Yes.
Do I wish that everyone would donate? Yes.
Do I wish that people would stop giving me lame excuses why they can't? YES!

Afraid of needles. * Who isn't?
I'm too busy. * To save a life?
I don't have enough blood to spare. * Yes, you do.

If you can't or won't donate it's simple. Just say I am unable to donate.

I'm not going to ask you about it. It's none of my business.

You still want to help? Tell someone else.

That's it. I promise not to smite you or tell you that you're a horrible person.

Lot's of people can't donate but everyone can spread the word.

Hopefully we will have a good turnout. You just never know. We've had some really great ones and then ones where we can hear crickets chirping for six hours.

Can't stay. We are heading out to get school supplies for First Grade!


Sing it with me...

'It's the most wonderful time of the year...!'

But, before I go, I want y'all to check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog today. He is talking about starting an Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you're happy and you know it...

Did you know that there are 31 types of happiness?

Me neither.

August is Happiness Happens Month.

The Secret Society of Happy People started this month long celebration. Not doing a great job on the secret part but I guess they are too busy being happy!

Here is some info from their site: 

There are three purposes of the month:
  • Recognize and express happiness
  • Listen to others talk about their happiness
  • Don't rain on other people's parades
I'm happy and I know it!

Here's why!

I'm happy my son goes back to school on September 6th!

I'm happy we had such a memorable vacation together as a family.

I'm happy I have such great blogging buddies! 

I'm happy I have chocolate and coffee in my life.

I'm happy for all of my family and friends! 

Are you happy? What makes you happy?

Thank you Tara Tyler for my new cool 200 Followers Badge!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sharing is caring...


How are you? 

Fine here.

Vacation was wonderful. Thanks for all your comments. 

Right then.

Let's catch up!

Tara Tyler from Tara Tyler Talks is having her first Blogaversary Blogfest on August 30th. Yes, there are prizes! Sign up!

Alex J. Cavanaugh is having a Worst Movies Ever Blogfest on September 19th! You heard me. Worst Movies Ever! You know you have a few. Check out his site to sign up and get more info!

Have you met my 200th follower yet? No?
Meet Cheryl Dooley from Kangaroos of the Scrubby Bush!
Welcome Cheryl and thank you for becoming a follower of my blog even though I don't have any cute kangaroos on mine!

While I was writing this blog post I received a Blog Award! How cool is that? I know, right!

A great big thank you to Kathryn McKendry at Imagine Today for passing on this Liebster Blog Award! 

You know I had to look it up. 

Although I have read on other blogs it means 'friend' according to the translation program I used it means 'sweetheart' in German.

Not a whole lot of rules to this one. Just thank the person who bestowed it and bestow it to five others. 

Suzi's Ice Box Art

Tara Tyler Talks

I should remind you that I hate rules. I'm sure I have three others that I could share this with but at the moment I don't have the time. 

I'm going to type up some more notes that I wrote while on vacation for that story I came up with on the back of the motorcycle.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sun and fun and chocolatey goodness.

Why does the actual vacation never last as long as the planning? Seems unfair.

We had a great time and thanks to all of you for your good vacation wishes.

We left NY on Friday and headed to the beach in NJ. My wonderful sister (in-law) invited us to her parent's place just three houses away from the sand.

This picture was taken on Monday morning before we left. It was a little overcast but cleared up within the hour. 

The surf, however, was very rough while we were there. My brother said it was TS/Hurricane Emily coming up the coast that caused the giant waves. It kept us from taking the 5 year old too far into the water but it was spectacular to watch.

If you have ever taken a hard look at NJ you will see a small strip of land running parallel to the right of the state. This is where we were staying. You have the ocean on the one side and the bay on the other.

My brother decides to take us crabbing on the bay. This was a hoot and a lot easier than it sounds. With just two traps and some raw chicken we caught over a dozen blue crabs in less than a thirty minutes.

It was recommended that we don't eat the crabs since the bay water is not the most pristine but the 5 year old loved the catch and release program.

With wonderful memories, and sand in unmentionable places, we left the beach and headed to Harrisburg, PA on Monday and stayed until Thursday.

Here is a short list of all the awesomely cool things we did in Harrisburg/Hershey.

No pictures but the food was really good. My husband enjoyed the beer and we bought some of their very delicious root beer and birch beer.

This was an interesting tour with lots of great memorabilia. To keep the kids entertained they had an I Spy game and the Maya Chocolate Adventure.

What can I say? This place was awesome. Chocolate everywhere. Cool shows. Chocolate everywhere. Make your own candy bar. Chocolate everywhere. I didn't want to leave.

We don't go anywhere without checking out the local firehouses. These guys were great and had the coolest T-Shirts to buy. You can get them off their website.

So much to do here now I know why they want you to come for two days. The water park section alone could have been an entire day. 
I don't think my son stopped smiling the whole time we were there. There were so many rides all over the park for just his size.

The shows are pretty cheesy but still make you laugh. Lots of spontaneous entertainment all over the park. It was the longest and most fun 10 hour day I have had in...forever.

Even if you are not interested in Civil War history (which was very cool) the museum sits at the top of this tall hill and has the most beautiful view. Worth the drive just to see it.

This quote was not credited to anyone but I found it inspiring.

All in all...amazing. It was great and relaxing and fun. Most importantly my son and husband, who don't get to spend long days together except on the weekends, had the best time.