Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Connor's Courageous Kids Book Fair

If you happen to live in the Morris County area of New Jersey, or even Sussex, Warren and Passaic, this book fair is a wonderful event to help kids with complex health needs. They are looking to eventually build what I guess would be the equivalent to a Ronald McDonald house which is ambitious and selfless. So stop by if you can and pick up a book for a child that needs to forget about tests and doctors for awhile.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Demolition Derby

Hallelujah, the upstairs bath no longer exists. The second floor was once just a plain, old attic. Then it seems the homeowners were inspired to expand and haphazardly divided it into a three bedroom, one bath space. Describing the work as shoddy is being kind. Our minuscule corner shower that could barely fit an average size female was discovered to have a wall held up with just one stud and nail. Also, due to a leak we were not able to use it for over five years. Good times all around.

I have documented the demise of this poor excuse of a bathroom.

The mounted the toilet on a pedestal. Yup. 

View from the hallway

The tight, small shower.

Did I mention there is absolutely no insulation in the walls? Wasn't a concern back in 1920. 

We are expanding the wall out and will have a sliding barn door. In the spot where the toilet was is where the sink shall go and the shower next to that. The Toilet will be next to the big window which will have frosted/stained glass.

And I would like to end this post with a semi-farewell song. Good bye crappily put together bathroom, it's been fun.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Artichoke Quiche

My, my hasn't it been ridiculously cold here on the East Coast? Here in my area of New Jersey the schools were all given a delayed opening thanks to icy roads this morning. While we have not had a brutal winter, I am so ready to welcome spring with open arms.
One thing I do enjoy about winter is having comfort foods. A would dare to say quiche can be a comfort food. I got inspired by a friend who made one this weekend and made their own quinoa crust. I had a can of artichoke hearts and figured I could make a quiche with that. One click on Google and I found a bunch of choices, but the one on Taste of Home was the winner.
I then did a search for a pie crust recipe and found one. Allrecipes has an excellent cheesy quiche crust recipe and I was pretty impressed with myself for being able to make my own. I used wheat flour for it and and sharp cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's. It came out flaky and tasty.

One thing I noticed when re-reading the quiche recipe was that it never stated a pie crust was necessary. This makes me think that because of the breadcrumbs being used in the recipe itself you could get away without using one, but I feel the crust adds an extra oomph.
We had salad on the side, a mix of romaine and kale with a simple vinegar and oil dressing.

Look at this beauty.

Let me point out my pie crust was far from round. More like an oval with ragged sides. No matter, it still worked.

Our four year old even had a few bites. There is a God it seems. :)

Other than that, our contractor will be starting on our bathroom tomorrow. Oh I cannot wait and I will take before and after photos so you can enjoy this insane journey with me.

I am also in the process of researching editors. No matter which venue I chose to go, traditional or e-book, my work has to be edited and free from errors. I am leaning toward self-publishing on Amazon for my novel, "After the Fall" so a critical eye is necessary. Self-publishing is still looked at with disdain. And trust me, after reading some e-book samples on Amazon where periods are missing and the same adjective is used over and over followed by a run on sentence, I see why. As a story teller, I feel it is my duty to put the best work out I can, not just for me, but because being a professional is the only way to get self-publishing taken more seriously. On a side note: I would have hired Chuck again, but he does not read the genre I write so I must find someone else. C'est la vie!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sweet Potato-Chickpea Patties with Sriracha-Yogurt Dip

I made a kale salad to go with this dish. My patties did not stay together really well, but it was a delicious dinner all the same.

Sweet Potato-Chickpea Patties with Sriracha-Yogurt Dip

Everything else going on is good and busy. Our son is currently taking an empty washable paint bottle and stamping circles from the mouth of the bottle all over his arms. 


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Whatcha Doin'?

Immersing myself in the arts in a sense.  I have been writing whilst also deciding if I should self publish my dystopian set romance/thriller "After the Fall". Reading the instructions/soul selling on Amazon's site is tedious, but must be done if I choose to go that route. Part of my hesitation has to do with the fact that I may get lost in a sea of thousands of e-books. At the same time, I could have a publisher and get lost in a sea of thousands of hardcovers and paperbacks. Not everyone ekes out a living writing. This should be no surprise to anyone who has pursued the field. Hell, any field in arts. But let me get back to my point here, the advantage of having a publishing house behind you and their marketing budget is fabulous. Doesn't mean you still can't get lost or never found. Either way, I will make a decision soon enough. As far as "Deconstructing Angels", I would like an agent for that, but the query letter has been ignored for a few weeks as I work on the actual structure of the story. C'est la vie!

Right now I am reading "Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War".  There is a lot about this book that is good and a lot that is frustrating. I do not deny that throughout my life I have been dismissive of rednecks and their seemingly shallow view of the world. Thanks to this book I fully grasp what has happened over decades. By keeping a section of the population ignorant, believing that only hard work gets you were you need to go, and saying higher education is for elitist liberals, well then, you have quite the sheep posse backing your ass as a Corporation or politician. Good Times.

We have begun to binge the show The Blacklist. (Thanks Netflix LOL) Honestly, James Spader is brilliant in his role. We are only in season 1 and while there are moments where you need to suspend disbelief, it is a really well done series.

I somehow stumbled on the pilot of the new show Lucifer. As a fan of The Sandman series created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg, I figured I would give this a whirl. Oh I love it. Tom Ellis is delicious as Lucifer. The best? He is honest about who he is and yet no one believes him. 
You can tell Mr. Ellis and company are having loads of fun in the roles they play.

Want a side dish with a kick? Try Betty Crocker's recipe for caramelized onions and sweet potatoes skillet. I made my own jerk seasoning from scratch and trust me, this is so good you may eat it all in one sitting. Best part about making the seasoning is you can add or subtract ingredients to your taste. I had no parsley and forgot the crushed red pepper. Still tasty. 

Take care lovelies.