Pull Together. It’s Over…

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Can we just… not?

A few weeks ago, I had to take a social media break, simply because there was just too danged much hate on FaceBook and Twitter.

I went back last week. Most of what I found was puppy videos and recipes, or tweets from my sister asking me about sugar-free coffee syrups.

That all changed for me today after the President’s speech in Florida last night. A couple of my friends had posted about their standing with Sweden. I’d been outside most of the day, because in in the greater Goldsboro area, the weather was perfect for sitting outside reading a novel.

I saw the Sweden posts and thought I’d missed the news on another terrorist attack. So I surfed over to my local go-to news site. What I found was the AP articles on how Trump spoke about something refugee-related in Sweden during last night’s rally. Now, I listened to the rally while I was making dinner, but I heard (though didn’t catch) the part about Sweden’s refugee issue. And I REALLY didn’t catch the part about Friday night in Sweden. Sue me.

I don’t feel the need to go further into the situation, because if you are following the news, you know what I am talking about.

That said? O.M.G., people! Get over yourselves.

Look, I voted for President Obama in 2008. I did not vote for him in 2012, but I also did not take to the streets or social media to outcry my displeasure about him or the outcome of the latter election.

What I did do, however, was support our POTUS, even though I didn’t agree with some of the things he said/did. I never once posted about what I disagreed with. As an Air Force wife for 18 years, I supported our Commander in Chief, because that is just what you do as a military wife. I supported Clinton during those days when my friends’ husbands were victims of the reduction in force. He was the POTUS, and as such, I supported him. Blind faith? Maybe, but I did what we, as armed forces personnel and their spouses were supposed to do!

Perhaps it was blind faith, but as an American, I chose to overlook what I disagreed with in the hopes that things would get better. My ex retired from the Air Force after twenty years of service.

Because I am old-school, I am mortified at the media’s slaying of our current POTUS. I am surprised at the level of hate for this guy. Is he rogue? Probably. Is he making things happen? Yes, yes he is.

Facebook, on the other hand? No such respect. I get if you don’t like the POTUS, but personal attacks? That just sucks. When second term Obama supporters were online touting how amazing he was, they were not being executed on social media by their hard right friends. Just the opposite. We sat back on our haunches and let our friends have their say. (And for the record? I am neither hard right or left. I am just your old-fashioned run-of-the-mill moderate.)

Not so much, now. Let me just put it out there that I, as a moderate, in fact, voted for Donald Trump.

That being said? I am am not anti-Black. I am not anti-Mexican. I am not anti-gay or LGBTQ. I love everyone. I don’t care about your race, sexual preference, or gender-identification. If you screw with me, I’m going to dislike you because of your actions, not because of any group you identify with.

I supervise a department where one employee and I are the only white people. I don’t see it, though. We are family and we all bleed red. I have never seen color. I was raised that way, yet I have been accused of being against blacks because I went to a Trump rally (and that was NOT in my current department, for the record). Yeah. Guess again, folks. I am for Americans and I really don’t give a fat rat’s ass what color you are. Green? Are you American? I have your back. Purple? Same. Brown? Black? Red? Yellow? Blue? Same for all. Colors make a rainbow, and rainbows are beautiful.

Please do not hate me because of who I voted for. I voted for all the colors. I voted for the rainbow, and take that how you will, because I am also pro same-sex marriage, because love is love, no matter the color or gender.

I have also seen sound/video bites of people whe have seriously ditched friends that have “voted wrong.” Seriously? Is there such a thing as “voting wrong” in America? If so, I am obs in the wrong country.

Until next time…

Spring Saturday Random Musings

Thunderstorm from the porch

Thunderstorm from the porch – and yes, this is one of mine, shot by my alter-ego over at Wall 2 Wall Photography.

This is going to be one of those posts that is all over the map, as I have a lot of little thoughts that probably wouldn’t stand on their own, so they lean on their friends for support, because there is safety in numbers, right?

Okay, so yesterday our area was placed under a tornado watch, and you could tell that it was going to storm, simply because of how juicy the air was. It gets humid here during the summer, but spring storm air has a feel all its own.

The hubbage and I sat out on the deck until it started to get a little crazy in the lightning department, so we took the dogs inside until things let up a little bit. We then went out on the front porch and saw where the clouds were headed, which was away from our house. That’s when the hail started. It was pea sized at first and then there were a few marble sized hail stones that just randomly fell here and there. I walked into the yard to look at the clouds, because I love clouds, and weather has always been fascinating to me.

(Side note: when I lived on the plains of Eastern New Mexico I worked for the Emergency Preparedness department at City Hall. Tornadoes and severe weather were fairly commonplace there and I had taken some spotter classes through the National Weather Service. I knew what to look for, what wall clouds were, up drafts, etc. It was fascinating to me. The fact that I got to test the sirens and be the voice on cable interrupt that told everyone that “this is only a test” was a pretty cool perk, as well. That training actually came in handy after I had left that job to be a stay at home mom with Middle Son, who was just a baby. I knew what I was looking at and was able to see the threat and got my kids and friends to a safe place before the first and only actual tornado I’ve ever seen came through. I called in my report to my old employer and probably should have joined everyone in the safe room, but I was glued to the window, because I am THAT idiot. Had it come any closer than it did, I would have been in the bathroom with everyone else, but it was moving away from us. So that is kind of the back story to my weather fascination.)

Okay, back to the present…or at least recent past…I saw what looked to me to be an updraft, so I walked around to the side yard to get a better look. There appeared to be some rotation, so I got out my phone and started to record video. I mentioned that I’m that idiot that won’t take cover until I absolutely have to, so you shouldn’t be surprised that I stood out there in the yard and recorded some snippets of the clouds. The rain started again, so I ran back to the relative shelter of the porch and shot some more. I could hear the alarm system just inside the front door going off and my phone has a couple of weather apps and all were letting us know that there was a tornado warning issued for our county. I thought I saw a funnel or two drop out of what I figure was a wall cloud, but they popped back up before I could restart my camera. I’m pretty sure there is a multi window feature on my phone, but I’m sure not adept enough to figure it out, so I missed the shot. I got a little more footage from the driveway as the storm was moving away from us and compiled them into the little video below.

Disclaimer: I am no videographer, and will not accept responsibility for any motion sickness that you guys might experience while viewing. I also added a soundtrack because…well, dramatic effect, plus it was a cool feature of the editing app I ultimately used.The app is called Splice and I edited from my iPad for those of you who might be curious. This was also the first out of three free apps I downloaded that would let me render more than just the first 30 seconds of video without paying for the full version. See, I am on a super tight budget (The Hartford sucks), and am cheap by nature, and I was not about to pay for an app that I may only use once, because I don’t do much video at all, so, okay. Now you know a little bit more about the crazy woman that writes this blog. She’s cute, she’s funny, she’s cheap and can pinch a penny till Abe squeals. Just sayin’…

**Shifting Gears**

I went out to the veggie garden-to-be this morning and was thrilled to see that the corn and carrots had not washed away, after all. Well, at least the corn didn’t. What is coming up through the dirt is most assuredly corn. I am assuming what I am seeing in the carrot rows isn’t grass. It looks way to delicate, but I have been wrong before. This will be my first carrot growing experience since childhood.

Then I wandered across the yard to check out the grapes. Did I mention that we want to put a couple more vines in? Future home of The Grapes of Wrath mini-vineyard, lol. They (the vines) are thriving and looking terrific! This is our first foray into growing grapes and berries. The hubs said it won’t be long before we will need to start training them. I told him that I was a step ahead of him. He gave me a puzzled look and I told him to watch and be amazed. I looked at the vines and firmly said, “Stay!” Let me tell you, those grapes didn’t budge. Not one bit. The hubs, on the other hand, shook his head and walked away laughing. I think he’s just jealous because I got them to do it first. 😉

**Shifting Gears**

We spent this afternoon at my mom’s place in Raleigh. I hadn’t seen her since the holidays and she asked me if I would mind coming out to help her in the garden. Well, of course I wouldn’t mind because I love to garden, play in the mud and get dirty. Also, her front and back yards are Zen-like to me. I knew we weren’t going to be able to make an entire day of it, but I also wanted to see Skwarl, since she lives in Mom’s neck of the woods. I had some things I wanted to bring her, as well, so we made plans for her to meet me at Mom’s after the yard work was done. I moved a couple of azalea bushes and dug up and removed the dead bushes that didn’t come back after a pretty harsh winter in our neck of the woods. I was ready to do more and Mom said that was it, we were done, sooo…we sat on the deck and visited until Skwarl arrived.

Man, was it good to see her! We sat outside, talked and caught up, then my sister joined us and we talked about our fear and loathing of spiders. Talk about a bonding agent, lol! The weather was amazing, and I wish that I had thought to get a picture of Mom’s yard because it is like a controlled forest! The dogwoods and azaleas are still blooming, the leaves on the trees are green, the gentle breeze was making the chimes sound off musically around the yard. There were bluebirds, a nuthatch, woodpeckers, yellow finches, cardinals, doves, squirrels, and that one lone black spider that kept making an appearance on the trunk of the tree behind the bench we’d been sitting on. Ahhhhhh, girl time in a Zen yard. Just what the doctor ordered!

While I was visiting with Skawrl, Mom dug up a small dogwood sapling and put it in a pot for us to bring home and put in our yard. This tickled me to death and the first words out of my mouth were, “I can has dogwood?” (Yes, I have been know to visit I Can Has Cheezburger from time to time, and this runs in my family, lol…) I have yet to get a dogwood to grow in my front yard, so this little guy is going to live out back, since the neighbor’s dogwood has done really well in their back yard, and I don’t think trees understand property boundaries, so am hoping that this little tree learns from his neighbor.

After Skwarl left, Mom fed us an early supper of ham, baked beans and homemade tater salad. My mom makes the best potato salad I have ever eaten, that’s for sure! We had sliced strawberries and angel food cake for dessert, and honestly? There are very few things that compare to Mom’s cooking and a good visit with family and friends!

**Shifting Gears**

During our visit, I was telling Mom about the fiasco at Walmart a couple weeks ago, and how I refuse to go in there. It only took twelve days and the telling of the story for it to dawn on me. I take bubble baths. Like, a LOT of bubble baths. Usually nightly. They are a part of my decompression ritual and I can bring my tablet with me to feed my online Bingo habit, catch up on emails, draft blogs, and watch the final few seasons of Dexter that I’d missed (although the latter maybe isn’t the best idea right before bed because I had a nightmare that I was being murdered last week after having watched three Doomsday Killer-related episodes back to back). Anyway, my favorite bubble bath is this lavender scented kind that I get at…yeah, you guessed it…Walmart. I ran out of said bubble bath on Thursday and soaked sans bubbles last night. Also, all of our pool chemicals have been purchased at Walmart over the last several years because they are much cheaper than Lowes or the specialty pool stores. Now I can handle paying a few cents more for a bottle of wine or a case of beer at the grocery store, but pool chemicals and bubble bath? I am not so sure that these are negotiable, because I am cheap and on a budget, but mostly because of the budgetary constraints right now. Mom said I may have to suck it up and get the chemicals at Walmart, in spite of being really pissed off at them, ESPECIALLY since those kind folks up there at corporate never bothered to respond to my email. Why should they? They are WALMART and I am just one lone consumer. They aren’t missing me as much as I am missing them. Dammit.

Now, if you will excuse me, there is a bubble bath and adult beverage calling my name to make my day complete. I feel oddly rejuvenated after the few short hours I spent in Raleigh today, and I think I was overdue. 🙂

Until next time…

It’s Winter in Eastern NC! >:(

Those white lines on the road? Brine solution. Dammit.

Those white lines on the road? Brine solution. Dammit.

I’m a summer girl.

We all know this.

Rarely, though, do I let weather kick my butt.

Today I hollered, “UNCLE!”

Ok, y’all know I’m training (along with my fellow Dirty Divas) for the mud race in April. I started the Couch to 5K program on Sunday, and also began Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred on Monday. I have religiously done the Shred every day since. I did my C25K on Sunday, again on Tuesday, and was going to do it again tonight, but there is just something about a 24 degree wind chill factor that talked me out of it.

Look…I gave it the old college try. I had lunch, let everything settle and went for my 15 minute walk around the block at 1:00 this afternoon. Everyone said it was cold. I don’t worry about cold. You walk fast, you warm up. Piece of cake. I grabbed my coat (I would refer to it as a parka, but people here laugh at me when I say that), my iPod, and set off, planning to knock out 15-20 minutes. I was back in 13 flat. I cut corners, practically RAN through grassy areas, just to get back to somewhere where the wind wasn’t blowing. OMG…REALLY?

Did I mention I’m a summer girl?

Before I left the office, the National Weather Service put Wayne County under a Winter Weather Advisory for freezing precip from noon tomorrow till what? Midnight tomorrow? Jeebus. I am NOT running on slush, but whatever. I’ll pick it back up Saturday if I have to. Ice and I obviously don’t get along, since I have this thing about falling frequently.

Over the last day or so I was able to concoct a logo for our mud running team, Shag Daddy’s Dirty Divas. I am about to tear up the studio to find the original Shag Daddy logo that I developed back in the day when I was operating under the name of Web By Design Online. 🙂 We’re going to implement the PSD of the logo below (and please, pardon the assiness of the attached image). It is a screen shot of the work in progress taken with my phone, so, it is what it is.

The beginnings of a legend. ;)

The beginnings of a legend. 😉

Now, in other news…She Who Shall Not Be Named is writing, also. And she’s writing a LOT. Like me, she finds that venting through written (or in this case, typed) word is therapeutic, and therefore GOOD. I am not going to go into specifics, but when she finally came out of the writer’s closet and told her husband that she was writing, and what she was writing (and she writes incredible fiction, as well as “how to” non-fiction, as well as some pretty juicy stuff), and he was totally accepting of all of the above subjects, he asked her to write a story for him. So she told him she would and then told him that she would write her fantasy down and under no circumstance was he to feel obligated to fulfill any fantasy put down on paper. During the latter part of the conversation, I think she told him not to worry about the goats, golf carts, Swedish flight attendants and oil. (????!!!!!)  Have I mentioned how much MAD respect I have for She Who Shall Not Be Named? Just sayin’.

So with that little catch-up in the winter world of a Type-A Workaholic, I leave you with a ridiculously healthy (and delicious) Parmesan Swai Recipe for those of you that are watching your eating habits:

Ridiculously Easy Parmesan Swai

16 oz (about 4) thawed Swai fillets

5 Tbsp reduced fat Kraft mayo with olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 tsp garlic powder

lemon juice

salt

pepper

Put foil on broiler pan and turn on broiler. Place fillets on foil. Lightly salt and pepper swai.

Put under broiler for approximately 3 minutes. While fish is broiling, mix mayo, Parm, garlic powder, and a little lemon juice to thin the mixture in a bowl and set aside.

Take fish out and flip. Spread equal parts of Parm/mayo mixture over each fish fillet.

Broil 4-5 minutes. Fish will turn opaque and flake easily with a fork when done.

280 Calories per serving

8 g fat per serving

60 g protein per serving.

Good stuff, Maynard…I promise.

Until next time, y’all!  🙂