Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wondering If I Should Continue This Blog

I'm finding myself not as into this blog any more. I'm not as interested in it as I used to be.

It started because I had a need to write after I got laid off years ago. Today, I'm writing for 2 real estate blogs and 3 real estate Facebook accounts. I also make PowerPoint Presentations once a month, write for a small real estate e-magazine, and proof other people's work for them. It's all just on a local scale, but it's good. And I'm still goofing off on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as blogging for Geek Crafts.

Right now, I'm finding myself all written out at the end of the day. I'm more interested in trying to brand myself more as a social media leader in the local real estate field though. That'll be a longer, on-going goal though.

Between spending time with Chief and trying to work on some new "leather" holsters for Star Wars cosplay stuff, and vegging out in front of the TV with my fire stick, well...I don't want to write so much. I don't need to write so much any more.

So if you see the entries are few and far between here, there's nothing going on here. It's all good. I'll try to stick with entries about any bigger projects.

I'll still be monitoring my emails and the comments though. If anyone is interested in any patterns, feel free to hit me up.

For anyone that actually read this blog, I appreciate your time. I especially appreciate the comments I've gotten. I felt validated with this blog, because with every comment I received, I felt like I was out there with my writing.

And, as Stan Lee says, EXCELSIOR!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chicken Enchiladas/59 1/2 Recipes Down

Supper tonight came to us courtesy of Sam The Cooking Guy and his book, Just a Bunch of Recipes. I realized I really should have used a larger pan for this recipe, because I think that would have helped the enchiladas turn out better.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I actually cut the wet ingredients in half for this recipe, because it just seemed like so much. They still turned out fairly soggy. Shane liked the enchiladas, because they were pretty tasty, but they were still just so....messy.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mini Crab Cake Sandwiches/58 1/2 Recipes Down

This comes from Just a Bunch of Recipes. I love a good crab cake sandwich and some cole slaw. I thought this recipe would be right up my alley, because I needed to make something to take over to a friend's house for an MMA fight. Unfortunately, the get-together got cancelled a few hours before it was due to start because the host wasn't feeling good.

What did I learn from this recipe?
Something is wrong with my taste buds. I don't know if they are changing or what, but these cakes were bland, just like the last recipe I made. It couldn't have been the recipe. It called for 1-2 tablespoons of Asian chili sauce. I didn't have that, so I substituted red Thai curry paste.

And though the cakes came out nicely moist, it was almost like a mouthful of nothing. If it weren't for the cole slaw, I'm not sure I would have known what I was eating. :(

Friday, April 7, 2017

My Big Fat Greek Avgolemono Soup/57 1/2 Recipes Down

Thanks to Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts as inspiration, this is what we had for supper tonight. I had been eyeballing this recipe for sometime, and I had everything to make it tonight.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I followed Sam's directions to the "T" and you know what...I didn't like it. It was extremely bland. I can't help but wonder if that's how it's supposed to taste, or was there a mistake somewhere after all? I mean, it has a good amount of lemon juice in it. How could it be bland?

Anyway, I was disappointed in this recipe.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Close Are We to a Handmaid's Tale Reality?

I don’t remember when I read A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I was probably in 8th or 9th grade when I heard about it, and I know I read it only because it was on a banned books list. I didn’t care what it was about, but I had to know more. 

About the book: Set in a future America that has turned into an anti-feminist fascist state, the book tells the story of Kate, a handmaid who lives a life of sexual servitude but falls in love with a man who is not her assigned partner.
Excerpt: “‘I was coming to find you,’ he says, breathes, almost into my ear. I want to reach up, taste his skin, he makes me hungry. His fingers move, feeling my arm under the nightgown sleeve, as if his hand won’t listen to reason. It’s too good to be touched by someone, to be felt so greedily, to feel so greedy.”
The controversy: A Judson, Tex., school superintendent banned the novel from an advanced placement English curriculum after a parent complained that it was sexually explicit and offensive to Christians. In doing so, the superintendent overruled the recommendation by a committee of teachers, students, and parents. The committee appealed the decision to the school board, which overruled the superintendent in 2006.
I barely remember any details about the book. I do remember being surprised it was on a banned books list, but then again, I grew up feeding my morbid and gore curiosity on Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I guess the idea of a near-future dystopian New England wasn’t much to grab my imagination or to repel me on the idea of sex. 

Strange off-tangent  thought here: my mom was fairly strict about allowing us to watch movies that, in her opinion, was too sexual in nature. That seemed to include a lot of stuff, even as we got into high school. I always wondered if she gave any thought to the violent nature of Stephen King’s books. She knew I was a voracious reader of his novels. Is violence more socially or morally acceptable than sex for pleasure?

The book seems to be popular again, especially because of the hype-surrounding the Hulu series, which is set to start in late April. But I also think it’s growing in popularity because of how society treats women, especially with the publication of this article: "The handmaids in Atwood's book are subject to strictly enforced dress codes and are provided uniforms similar to a Catholic nun's habit, except bright red. Red is the symbol of their societal status as women who are kept solely to conceive children for the wealthy. You may think this is extreme, but in 2017 when you have a president who says '[he] likes the women who work for him 'to dress like women,' it may not be so far off.”

Just days ago, United forced two girls to change out of their leggings before allowing them to board a flight. "A United Airlines gate agent barred two girls from boarding a flight Sunday morning because the girls were wearing leggings. Another girl who was wearing gray leggings had to change before she was allowed to board the flight from Denver to Minneapolis, a witness saidThe airline’s passenger contract says for the safety of all passengers and crew members, the airline can refuse to let a passenger board if the passenger is 'barefoot or not properly clothed.' The airlines, however, does not define 'properly clothed.'

Hey, it’s totally okay to make girls feel bad about themselves! They don’t know well enough to care for themselves!

"In the book, women are fed a story about how their new restrictive lifestyle protects them from the dangerous world around them. "There is more than one kind of freedom," said Aunt Lydia. "Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it." Freedom from being catcalled, from being assaulted by men. At my high school, they didn't want boys to be distracted by the girls' shoulders, so they required us to cover up instead of telling the boys not to objectify us. Covering up was freedom from the comments of our male classmates. Freedom to would have been teaching boys that girls do not exist for their viewing.”

High schools around the country are telling female students they need to send photos of their prom dresses for school approval, before the prom, so they can be admitted. "Employees at Perfect Fit Formals, where Morris spent that $500, say they don't even stock the more risky styles. 'We have two pieces, but we are more like a family-oriented business. We only order dresses that show about 1-2 inches of skin in the belly area,’ Brown said.

If schools are going to insist these students submit their dresses in advance for permission, then does it need to be required of the students that have already turned 18? After all, those students are already legal adults.

Better yet, how about the prom chaperones who make girls leave the prom when such prior approval isn’t required? "A Virginia teenager says she was forced to leave her prom after fathers who were acting as chaperones at the event complained that she was dancing provocatively and her skirt was too short'[She] told me that some of the dads who were chaperoning had complained that my dancing was too provocative, and that I was going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts,' Clare claimed.” But then again, this was a prom held at the Shady Grove Methodist Church…for the Richmond Homeschool Prom…that girl wasn’t going to be able to do ANYTHING right that night!

I think one commenter to this article summed it up perfectly: "It's a sad day when normal intelligent Americans blame a young woman's choice of dress for their own "impure thoughts". Speaks volumes on the dad's integrity.

Let’s control the females’ appearances, but not teach the males how to behave?

"It is hard not to wonder what truths might lie in plain sight within fiction. In the trailer for the upcoming Hulu series, the take home quote is, "We only wanted to make the world better . . . better never means better for everyone." It has eerie similarity to Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again," which beckons my response: will America be great for everyone?”

Of course, America will be great for everyone…as long as you’re a natural born American citizen, not a Muslim, is a male Republican, and you don’t make any waves in society. 

"Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t go to dinner alone with women who aren’t his wife or drink alcohol around them…There are sensible reasons that somebody like Pence would avoid being alone with women. He was first elected to Congress in the shadow of the Clinton sex scandal years. During that time, a self-preserving politico would be wise to avoid any appearance of sexual impropriety. Plus, Pence’s choice to avoid being alone with women is a function of his religious faith. It’s hard to fathom similar left-wing backlash if Pence’s conduct were informed by a non-Christian faith.

As the Vice President, Mike Pence is a public figure. But it makes me wonder how the never being alone with a woman other than his wife or drinking around them even came to light. It might make more sense if he explained why he feels he has to live like that, but he should also be able to keep some parts of his life private. Personally, I think he’s probably got a drinking problem and he’s a womanizer. Maybe his wife put those restrictions on him because she knows what he’ll be like if he gets out of control. I also wonder what part of his faith brought him to those decisions.

Monday, March 20, 2017

12 Months of Thrifting--2017

I forgot how I stumbled across the 12 Months of Thifting graphic from Dina’s Days at Sharing the Spice of Life but it stuck with me for a few days. Dina is a thrifter who likes to share what she’s learned.

Me? I’m just a thrifter that looks for clothes she likes that fit, look good and are in good shape. There’s not a whole lot to my motives when thrifting. I don’t care much about brands anyway, except for my Converse and my Crocs.

Anyhoo, since I’ve been preoccupied with my little Chief and haven’t been doing much personal writing lately, I decided to write about Dina’s graphic, because like I said, it stuck with me.

I got my first full paycheck last Friday from my new real estate/social media job and I was hot to spend it! I ordered a new purse, which was just a want and not a need (I am getting rid of another purse though: something in, something out). And then I realized I needed some new undies (off to Target on my lunch break) and a quick stop at the Salvation Army store that’s on my way back to the office. This isn’t my usual Thrift Store USA, so I was shopping here on a whim, just to see. I ended up leaving with $17 worth of a sweater and shirts, so I was happy about that.

However, according to Dina’s graphic, I should be looking for a denim jacket this month. I’m going to call a pass on this one because I already have one. It’s one I had stolen from my husband (I don’t know why he bought it. I’ve never once seen him wear a denim jacket ONE the entire time we’ve been together. I even told TOLD him he wouldn’t wear it and I was going to steal it from him.) This is the same jacket I actually dyed purple last June. 

Because I missed January, I’ll take a pass on the cashmere sweater in a neutral color. However, one of my finds at the SA store might be a good substitute: I don’t remember the brand but I found a long, variegated grey, lightweight cotton sweater with elbow-length sleeves and just a few buttons. Even with the color changes, I think it still counts as a nuetral. 

For next month, the search will be on for colorful or printed flat shoes. This is a hard one for me, as I don’t have good luck finding used shoes that are in wearable shape, unless we’re talking about Converse again. This might have to be a new purchase.

And by the way, Feb. 7-13 was National Secondhand Wardrobe Week.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Rosemary Chicken Sandwich/56 1/2 Recipes Down

Tonight's supper was technically half of a recipe from Sam The Cooking Guy, from Just a Bunch of Recipes. 

I only made the chicken portion of the recipe and didn't turn it into sandwiches. However, this was such a good recipe, I will go back and revisit it for the rest of it.

What did I learn from this recipe? There is no smell greater in a kitchen than freshly cut rosemary. It actually drew my husband into the kitchen to see what I was making.