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May 2011

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May. 27th, 2011

wtf sookie

Please vote and repost :)

Please vote for your favorite military base or post listed! I've gotten a few results so far, but I'd really like to get more results by next Friday. Repost please!

May. 19th, 2011

wtf sookie

My workshop has been approved!

http://www.circlesanctuary.org/psg/proposals/psgview.php

My workshop, A Glance into Camp Kitchen Witchery, has been approved for PSG! This will be a live cooking demonstration, and there'll be servings for all attending - so bring your bowls and spoons! YUM!!

I've always wanted to star in a cooking show (hehe), and now I get to do it while combining it with my spirituality. This is going to be FUN!

And hey, don't forget to grab a copy of my book before you start planning your meals out there. I have lots of recipes included, as well as getting your camp kitchen going!
http://www.doomdiva.com/camping.html

And in other news, I just got back from the grocery store, doing a standard haul. Because I've been building up my coupons and took a little extra time planning my trip, I was in and out of only **1** store in a flat hour. But the best part is, I saved $46.23!!!!! WHOA! I can't wait to see how much better I can get at this couponing thing after I build it up more! Ron couldn't believe it! Very cool!

May. 16th, 2011

wtf sookie

More promotions done, vacuum sealer and couponing fun :)

http://www.doomdiva.com/camping.html - yup, three more promotions for the book done this weekend, including two more radio interviews. Very cool! It was a busy weekend for sure and total blast! I really appreciate that folks are really digging me book. :) Funniest take-away from the event: Next to all the tea choices, someone set down a Kool-Aid packet. ROFL! How completely random!

I also got to play with my Mother's Day gift, which was the vacuum sealer. I can see that $100 investment is definitely going to pay off in no time flat. Ron and I both got a giddy thrill out of watching it suck all the air out hehe. (hehe, mom's new toy.) Our grocery savings have already been cut down to about $50 a week, even with the current high prices for food, and we don't eat a bunch of processed crap. Once the summer foods start to become readily available at Stanley's (the fruit market I like), I'm going to go crazy on stocking up and sucking out!

So far, I can say without a doubt building the coupon book has made couponing A LOT easier, along with shopping by sales only. I'm trying to go by the weekly circulars as guidelines as to what to buy at which stores, and which stores to skip altogether. I'm getting a lot better and going in and out, zipping through the stores! We also tacked a dry erase board on the fridge, writing down what I want to (eventually) buy based on what we normally eat, marking a © next to anything I have a coupon for in order to compare that particular item with a sale. I'm getting better at it, but I'm no expert by any stretch. And since I've gotten a Sunday paper subscription (for only 50¢ a copy with a coupon code LOL), my book has been filling out well with far-out expiration dates. I figure in a couple months, I'll have a nice little collection going.

One other thing I've learned is the baseball card sleeves for the book is best bought at Target (by the check-out section where the trading cards are located). The big packs they sell are about as much as the small packs sold at Staples/Office Depot. Also, I'm really glad I have the zip-up binder, because I've already come close to loosing stuff. I figured out another thing: If I put my purse in the kid seat of the cart, pushing down my bags, my book fits well over it all, propping it up perfectly for flipping through at the store. (And, with the book over the purse over the bags, it hides my purse a bit better, which is always a worry for me when I go to reach for an item.)

Remembering to grab the book hasn't been hard at all, and in fact, it's helped to remind me to bring the canvas bags, especially to Target and Strack and Van Til (as they pay me 5¢ a bag for using them). I now feel naked without the two. Remembering to bring the bags has always been an issue with me, and even to bring an actual list, so I'm guessing Gaia is cool with it LOL. Speaking of which, I know a lot of people have the belief couponing is for people following the SAD diet - but it's really not! If you go to http://www.coupons.com (and other sites), you'll see a bunch of printable coupons for Kashi, Seventh Generation, Method, Glen Meir, Amy's, Boca, Horizon, Cascadian Farm, Stonyfield Farm and lots more! Whole Foods and Trader Joe's both accept coupons (if you want to avoid supermarkets), so you're all good there. And of course, coupons aren't just for food - they're for things like cleaning products, liquor, health and beauty needs and whatnot. So yes, even a devout, tree-hugging vegan can find some big savings outside of just relying on sales and stockpiling! :D (Just save your trigger finger for printing the coupons until you're completely finished going through the list, and set your printer preferences to "Mono" or "Black and White" to save on excess ink and paper usage.)

And for the record, no, we don't stockpile, nor do we plan on doing so anytime in the near future. We especially do not believe in "shelf clearing", as I find it as equally rude as people who believe in Pagan Standard Time. (This of course does not apply to someone who got a couple salad dressings which just so happened to be the last ones available.) I will get a rain check if I have to, but it sucks to have to do that, especially if I had a need for that item at that particular moment. A couple weeks' worth of food and supplies, sure, and whatever my little freezer can handle. But as far as dedicating a bedroom, garage or additional closets for stockpiling 100 bottles of laundry soap - nope. We're practical minimalists; we take what we need, and we use what we have, but we are always prepared for emergencies as well.

So yeah, I think we're doing pretty good with this couponing thing. I now look forward to our Sunday routine, waking up at 6:30/7ish to grab my paper and start going clip-crazy, flipping through the book and kicking out the expired coupons I didn't get a chance to leave behind for someone else. (Most of them I do catch, and I leave them in random places in the stores, usually on large displays.) That takes me about an hour, which I do while watching the news. I also spend an additional hour sometime during the week on the coupon sites looking for a few printables. And, it takes me a whopping 2 seconds of my time to load a batch of ecoupons to my Preferred Card, just in case I hit Da Jewelz next door to the post office we frequent. Getting our weekly grocery run to $50 a week is pretty good, if I do say so myself!

May. 13th, 2011

OMG

Busy weekend!

Within the next 48 hours I'll be promoting my book three times:

TOMORROW:
http://markmandrake.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/beltaine-20111.pdf

I'll be speaking to the Ringing Anvil event here in Chicago which is part of Pagan Coming Out Day. Hope to see you all there! (I may even figure out how to tape the presentation for you YouTuberz outside the area!)

TOMORROW NIGHT:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forbiddenamerica/2011/05/15/a-guide-to-pagan-camping--author-lori-dake

I'll be live on the Internet airwaves! Be sure to tune in!

SUNDAY NIGHT:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/akashatemple/2011/05/16/akasha-temple-live?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4dcdb43313bd280c%2C0

Another station I'll be chatting, along with some BNPs promoting their awesome fests!

May. 9th, 2011

wtf sookie

My Thor Review

Rambling thoughts from a so-called fanboy(girl) who just so happens to be Pagan (but not to ever be linked in as a geek!):

We saw the movie as my Mother's Day present to myself. I have had some (nearly) free movie passes for several months now that have been tacked up and waiting to be used. I was saving them for the final Harry Potter movie, but that would have been torture on Ron, as he doesn't care for those movies, so I figured I'd use them with the guys on a flick we could all enjoy. We rarely go to the movies anyway, as it's very hard to justify $14 a ticket, on top of $7 soda and $8 popcorn when we can wait a few months and spend that on a DVD.

Anyway...

As far as a movie /for/ Pagans... not so much. It's something we can get giddy about, as long as we don't pick at it piece by piece, scrutinizing every final detail. Remember when 300 came out? Same thing. It's a fun romp, with details we'll catch over the average viewer, and it gives us an incredible visual as to what Asgard may look like. But because it's based on a comic book that in turn is based on mythology, it shouldn't be taken *that* seriously. Besides, I have no true affinity to the Norse Gods, other than a mutual respect for my fellow Pagan friends.

Anywayyyy...

Since it's readily apparent there will indeed be an Avengers movie, especially with so many minor cross-over references already in place, my guess is we should expect it Thanksgiving 2012 (just in time to save the world from the Mayan Prophecy!). My question is:

Will Dr. Druid show up? And what about the Scarlet Witch? We've already got available:

- X-men (various 80s Avengers characters like Wolverine)
- Spiderman
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man
- The Fantastic Four
- Thor
- (and coming soon) Captain America

(Very gigged on Captain America btw, especially when I saw Tommy Lee Jones!)

Just thought I'd ask. And, I say Mayan Prophecy, because one thing Ole Boy Stan is good at is blending current events and popular fiction/legend/conspiracy with his stories. How awesome would it be to see the occultist Dr. Druid get involved in something of that magnitude! Professor. X is dead, but we do have Mr. Fantastic's brain to work with, with Tony Stark's money bankrolling things (millions/billions of dead people is bad for business doncha know LOL), just so as long as The Thing and The Hulk can be kept in their separate sides of the ring. ;) Oh there are so many ways this can go! *Squee!*

I'm thinking part of the popularity with Thor is thanks to LOTR, because the average viewer has already fallen in love with fantasy. It didn't surprise me at all to see a Conan trailer yesterday, though uhhh... no... that Conan I saw yesterday is nowhere /near/ beefcake enough. A recent Mr. Universe-winning Ahhhnold, who could barely speak English, did the original Conan a great deal of justice, even if the film's considered cheesy by today's standards. That new Conan needs steroids STAT! :P

And speaking of which, whatever happened to ridiculously cut and chiseled guys in fantasy movies? That was the fun of it - that the actors looked A LOT like the comic books. The Thor I saw yesterday, while indeed handsome, was not the Thor I grew up with: long, golden locks to blow triumphantly in the wind, a smooth, clean-shaven face that shows off a perfectly square jawline, and yes, a total beefcake overall! hehehe I like my fantasy heroes to be over the top in appearance, even at the risk of being one dimensional and shallow, thank-you-very-much. The Thor in "Adventures in Babysitting" was better :P~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (I know, I'm terrible. TERRIBLE!)

This is going to *still* be a regular complaint with me, that I expect the actors to look like the comic book characters. It is not anything more than that. I at least got a laugh out of the "Jackie Chan" reference, because just like there are no black folks in Asgard, there are also no east Asians. And hello... it's BLOND hair, not brown. Ah well. It was a good movie overall, so I guess I shouldn't complain. But it's going to be a continuous point of contention with me - a hangup, if you will. Where's Brody to debate such trivial things when I need him?

Another criticism is again with the blatant advertising. How many times did she have to "hide" the Kashi Go-Lean cereal, with the Trader Joe's Honey-O's behind it? The 7-11. Bank of America. Ugh, that drives me nuts! Jeez lady - why not slowly wipe your brow with an ice cold Gatorade, gulp it down while dripping down your shirt and smile into the camera while you're at it. :P That's /another/ movie I'm looking forward to seeing - "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold". Blatant advertising should at least be fun!

Now overall, I did like the movie, even though the less than R rating had me leery, and I really wish they'd get rid of the love stories. I would have gone much darker, making Loki one GRIM, KVLT muthafukka, waging war alongside/against the Frost Giants with Naglfar's "I am Vengeance" jamming out in the background. Love, love, love 3D, though I wish they'd utilize the occasional "thing flying right at me" gimmick like they used to use a lot ("My Bloody Valentine" was good for that!). The 3D is the only thing that has me justifying going to the theater anymore. Our projector and surround sound at home can give us the same effect on a Blu-Ray disk, but without having to sit in an uncomfortable chair around a bunch of rude strangers for two hours and pay ridiculous prices for the privilege. Oh, and we all kept our glasses as a keepsake, since we had a choice to drop them in the recycling bin or not.

Apr. 29th, 2011

Applause

Full-page article on the book is up

http://tinyurl.com/3tazgbj - The Witches Hour Magazine
Applause

Made a coupon binder

I looked around at a bunch of sites as to how other folks were organizing theirs and came up with a layout that works for me. The one I bought is a zip-up binder with two sets of rings on either side (and of course, I had a coupon at Staples for 15% off my entire purchase). It also has a zippered multi-pocket pouch on each side, good for toting miscellaneous things, including a mesh pouch on top - perfect for pulling out coupons I intend to use at that particular purchase. I also added on a pocket folder for hanging on to that week's circulars, so I can compare the big sales to coupons I have, as well as hanging on to stores' coupon policies, in case something comes into question.

One side is pretty standard - just for manufacturer grocery coupons, which I separated by category (dairy, produce, frozen vegetables, etc.). They're kept in clear baseball card display sheets, and dividers where I wrote the sub-categories on the sheet. The tab says "paper products", and the sub-categories include toilet paper and paper towels, as well as tin foil, garbage bags and baggies - just like how most supermarket aisles are laid out.

The other side is flipped, so when I'm using those coupons, I'm still reading the same way. That side is for a handful of stores I frequent, and they get a special section for their coupons only (like Target's web coupons). Unlike the manufacturer side, these coupons are folded with the item's picture up and the deal opposite, and they are arranged by the coupons nearest their expiration date. That made the most sense to me, since there are far fewer of them. There is a final tab for miscellaneous stores I shop infrequently, like Famous Footwear.

I have to say, I'm glad I put this together. In just a week, my purse was already exploding with coupons, and it was getting really hard to keep track of what I had when I was at the store. And now that I have a Sunday Tribune subscription, I have a feeling an envelope was no longer going to cut it. Again, I am not interested in going big on stockpiling, as I simply don't have the space to do something like the people on TV. But, I do see this as a fun project that has already paid for itself, and it really hasn't taken up too much of my time.

I figure the binder will just be one more thing to grab when I jump in the car, just as I've gotten used to remembering to take my canvas bags. And what's nice is I've actually found myself spending less time at the store, because I'm only going for what we truly need and what's on sale verses what I have a coupon for. So the time I invest with using my paper cutter and stuffing coupons into the sleeves trades off for me wandering around and impulse buying. ;)

It's all good!
Tags:

Apr. 28th, 2011

wtf sookie

Turning into the crazy coupon lady

Ever since that Extreme Couponing show came on, Ron has been having me go nuts on clipping coupons and looking for sales. My purse is already about to EXPLODE with coupons, since there are so many ways to get them; it's not just through the Sunday paper anymore. (I got a subscription for the Sunday paper for 50c a copy instead of $1.75; might as well use a coupon to start couponing.) Besides coupons.com, I've found http://www.jillcataldo.com/ and http://www.mashupmom.com/ for local and national stores, plus the Jill site has links to other sites like Avenu which link eCoupons to my Preferred card. (I tried using it yesterday, and it let me use the Avenu discount combined with my Preferred Card discount, making my deodorant nearly free.)

Target has a ridiculous amount of coupons, which can be printed twice on one computer. Most of the coupons on their site are Target coupons, but I have seen a few that are manufacturer coupons, which mean they can be used at different stores. Wal*Mart does that too, but we don't shop there very often, as the nearest one is ghetto as hell and the other one in Niles is kind of a drive. With printing coupons, I figured out I need to surf those sites on IE, as Firefox doesn't work right with their software. Also, the printer needs to be on, because they print immediately - no saving them as PDFs for later or anything like that.

We don't have any stores that do double coupons, but unlike people who live in the boonies, we have A LOT of stores to choose from. As some of yas know, I already shop at four to six stores a week, mostly while doing other things, so it's not like I'm wasting gas. However, I doubt we'll ever get the 90+% off deals like the people on TV ($2k in a haul and paying $25 for it), because:

1) I believe in product loyalty, but I'm willing to give new products a try. Some of these people will buy whatever they get the deal on, even if they don't particularly like what they bought. That seems foolish to me, because if we don't like something, we won't eat it, which ends up being a waste of money, as minuscule as that may be.

2) I don't stockpile due to space. My pantry shares apace with the furnace, and we live in an apartment, so we don't exactly have basements and garages to buy up 60 bottles of mustard. Nor would we want to anyway, unless we were buying for a charity that was picking it up at the store, since we have a little car.

I have been thinking this would be a great way for a Pagan group to get a food pantry going, since one with dedicated space would have the capacity to stock up like these folks. People could donate coupons to them to use (stuff they don't want), as well as do their own couponing, and the stockpile would build up rather quickly! If everyone in the community met up once a month to drop off just the web coupons they didn't want (but were eligible to print), imagine what we could do! (Now I wonder if a 501[c] status can use coupons, which I don't see why not. They'd be out of paying taxes, which would be *crazy* savings - close to free for sure!)

Just my mind thinking...

Apr. 11th, 2011

hey-sexy

Little help?

Have you read my book? If so, I'd really appreciate it if you took a few minutes to write a review on Amazon so others know you think it's worth it to buy it (or not).

Thanks so much for everyone's support. I really do appreciate it!

Apr. 9th, 2011

wtf sookie

New interview up!

Lamyka's Wiccan Podcast - Enjoy!

Apr. 6th, 2011

Applause

Yay! Another positive review!

Here's the link

Apr. 2nd, 2011

wtf sookie

My contribution to Shitbrix



I was reading an article, and I couldn't believe someone actually arranged the produce in that particular order. ;)

Mar. 31st, 2011

wtf sookie

Off today

It's one of those *there is no way in Hell I am going to make it in to work today* days, so I'm taking it easy at home. I hate not getting enough sleep because of this shit.

Meh. I got some tweaking done on my various book profile pages between naps last night, and I listened to the podcast with Selena Fox while doing so. It totally got me in the mood for going to PSG this year. In fact, during one of my many micro-naps afterward, I was dreaming about waking up in my tent and seeing the sun rising through the screen. Very vivid and colorful - just the way I've seen it a thousand times in a thousand locations. People say we don't dream in color, but I beg to differ! I even felt the morning chill. It's too bad it didn't last. Ah well, camping season is right around the corner. Perhaps I can get away in a few weeks.

Well, off for another nap. Maybe I can get back to where I left off. :)

Mar. 28th, 2011

Applause

Another *glowing* book review!

http://thedivadigest.com/wp/?p=166 - I am so stoked people are digging it! Awesome!

Mar. 23rd, 2011

Applause

Another book review

Check it out :)

Mar. 16th, 2011

wtf sookie

Live podcast in 40 minutes

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/witchschool/2011/03/17/pagans-tonight

Hope you listen in! :)
wtf sookie

Book now on eBay

with FREE US shipping (calculated for elsewhere)

Mar. 13th, 2011

wtf sookie

Book ad



So whatddaya think?
wtf sookie

Live podcast reminder

Pagans Tonight with Lori Dake, Wednesday: 3/16 - Just a reminder to tune in Wednesday night 10E/9C. If you follow the link, they even have a reminder feature so I don't have to keep nagging ya! ;)

Mar. 12th, 2011

oh-snap

My fingers hurt

I just sent an individual email to *every* Pagan shop in the country that's cool with me contacting them. It took me since 5am! =:o But, I scored a whole mess of wholesale orders and also got a book review out of the deal, so it's all good baby! :D

Mar. 11th, 2011

Applause

Officially Best Seller on Smashwords

Just thought I'd share the news :)

http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/374/popular/0/any/any

Mar. 8th, 2011

Applause

Now available in paperback!

https://www.createspace.com/3571867

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement!
Applause

A book review - and a good one, too!

http://pncminnesota.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/book-review-a-guide-to-pagan-camping/

I'm seriously blushing over here!
Applause

Made my first sales yesterday :)

...and I saved the email notification from the first one. I'll probably do the same thing when I get my first paperback sale!

Speaking of which, it should be arriving tomorrow TODAY, per the USPS:

Your item arrived at 10:22 am on March 07, 2011 in CHICAGO, IL XXXXX. The Postal Service expects to deliver the item on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.


SQUEE! I'm really hoping it will be good for me to approve it. Mostly, I'm concerned the page numbers are showing up on the correct sides (exterior, not interior!) and the details on the spine are staying on the spine (and not bleeding onto either the front or back cover). In both cases, we used on a template instead of just our know-how, so who knows for sure if there's an issue.

But yeah, she's coming today!! :D

Mar. 6th, 2011

wtf sookie

Pagans Tonight - 3/16



Pagans Tonight: March 16 - Yep, yep, yep! I'll be promoting my new book, A Guide to Pagan Camping: Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings, and probably chatting about a bunch of other fun stuff, too! Hope you tune in! :)

Mar. 4th, 2011

OMG

WANT!



That is all.
News

50% off introductory price!

A Guide to Pagan Camping:
Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings

50% off introductory price for the eBook before the print copy becomes available! Use code: LP82E

(And, if you would, please review it as well! It would be much appreciated!)

Mar. 3rd, 2011

Applause

Proof has shipped!

OMGs that was fast! They said it could take up to the 19th to arrive, but even with Media Mail, I'm guessing sooner than that. Very cool! :D

ETA: Woo!

Label/Receipt Number: XXXX
Expected Delivery Date: March 9, 2011
Class: Package Services
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™
Status: Processed through Sort Facility

Mar. 2nd, 2011

Applause

Print proof has been ordered!

Hopefully I will be able to approve it. I really do think so, because I've already printed out the manuscript at home a couple times and liked the results the second time. (LOTS of paper! *sigh*) Sometimes though, I end up catching more things when it's in your hands rather than on a screen, and I'd much rather catch errors at home than pay money and wait around.

So yeah, they said the proof will arrive no later than the 19th - right before Ostara and on a full moon no less! I think that's a very good sign that everything is falling into place. As it is now, I've had very few problems with the print version - the one I care about most.

The ebook has been much more of a challenge, as I'm unfamiliar with using those readers. That's up and active through the site directly, and hopefully I'll get the final okay for the ebook to appear on Kindle's site and whatnot. Otherwise, since I'm on CreateSpace anyway (owned by Amazon), I'll just let them handle it. I just wanted to use Smashwords because it's free and covers all the formats. Who knows - maybe I'll just go with BookBaby if SM doesn't work out. We'll see.
wtf sookie

A Guide to Pagan Camping on Facebook

Click Here to add my book to your interests! I would greatly appreciate it, as it will help get the word out to festies who just may have a use for it.

Thanks again to everyone for their support in this endeavor. I love you, man!

Mar. 1st, 2011

Applause

eBook now available!

Click Here! to purchase the eBook now and check it out! The printed version should be available in a couple weeks, but I wanted the digital version out right away for those of you who love reading on Kindle, iPad, Nook and other eReaders.

And remember, every sale goes back to getting me to a fest, so Send Lori to Camp! ;)
Applause

e-Book to be available this week!

I just wanted to let folks know the digital version of my book, A Guide to Pagan Camping: Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings, will be available for purchase this week on various mediums:

- PDF
- RTF
- Kindle
- Plain Text
- Palm Doc
- epub
- Sony Reader

Nook should be available down the road as well, but I do not have a definite time on that.

When it is available for download, I will provide a link for direct purchase, for those of you who like to cut out the middle men. The artwork for the book will also be revealed at that time. The print version of the book is still right on schedule for purchase by Ostara. Hopefully it stays that way!

Thanks for your support in this endeavor. I really do appreciate it!

Feb. 12th, 2011

hungryyy

Snowman Cake



The pic's a little blurry, but that's because it's from my cell. But you get the idea.

Feb. 7th, 2011

shoot-me

AOL bought Huffington Post?!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/huffington-post-aol_b_819373.html

::: speechless :::

Feb. 6th, 2011

wtf sookie

Puppy Bowl VII in full swing! :D

This show is just so cute, and they went all out again as usual! <3

- Several camera angles, including waterbowl cam: check
- Announcer, with Instant Reply, drawings and whatnot: check
- National anthem: check
- Unbiased referee unafraid to call on unnecessary ruffness: check
- Adorable puppy players: check
- Kiss Cam: check
- Blimp, navigated by hamsters: check
- "Hot Chick" chicken cheerleaders: check
- Tailgating puppies, with tiny grills and RVs: check
- Kitteh halftime show: check
- Celebrity puppies in the stands: check

I wonder if the streaker will show up again! ;)

Feb. 2nd, 2011

Applause

PSG goes KoA! OMGz!!!!

And damned near in my own back yard, just 80 miles west of Chicago!

http://www.stonehousepark.net - Quite possibly the best Pagan festival location ever! We're talking not just electricity being available, but RV hookups, (possible) cabin rentals, completely flat land, indoor facilities for shows, flush toilets, shower stalls, and get this: Cell phones will work and even WiFi connections. Whoa!

Honnnnn... can I book my reservation nowwwww???
wtf sookie

Snow!

If ever there was a day to appreciate the little things like warmth and light, it's today! I wonder what the final snowfall total is going to be.

ETA: Officially 20.2", surpassing '79 and third highest accumulation on record. The sun's come out, and the cold is on its way.

Ron and I went outside to scoop the snow off our car with cardboard before it freezes tonight (-15F/-35F wind chills) and turns it into a block of ice. It's eerily beautiful. We had to dig our way out the door, as we were the first to venture out at 11:30am. The snow drifts in the courtyard are 5 feet high, and we trudged through the waist-high white stuff to even get to the car.

Hardly anyone is outside, which surprised me, as I figured at least the kids would be out playing. No one has shoveled yet, and I doubt they will; it's not common practice around here. However, I'm sure as soon as people start driving around (tomorrow?), the lawn chairs will be out in abundance calling dibs.

My dad was a huge advocate of calling dibs. Woe it be on the fool who moved his chairs and took his spot. He'd go out there with ice water and freeze the doors, closing with the comment,

"You wanted my spot? Well you got it now, muthafukka!" And that's being nice - most people get their cars shoveled on or keyed. Ron, OTOH, doesn't believe in dibs, as it's a public parking space. In the past, he's actually moved the dibbers' stuff on the lawn, and then waited for the backlash from people unknowingly parking in the spots. Terrible... TERRIBLE I say, but ya have to admit it's kind of funny.

Anyway, I hope Ron loads up his Flip so we can get some video. This is the first time since the last big blizzard in '99 where the Chicago Public Schools closed, much less calling it the day before, so I knew it was going to be serious. Grocery store shelved are bare, gas stations are empty, and at least a thousand people were stuck in their cars for twelve hours on Lake Shore Drive. With tonight freezing, I doubt we're going into work tomorrow, as the streets are probably still going to be screwed up due to freezing. In Indiana, people are getting tickets for driving, as they're under a state of emergency. So for people living in Hammond and work in the city, too bad.

Well, I'm going to enjoy some more of the split pea soup I made last night and crusty bread. That, and I'll get in some more illustration work for the book cover as well. I really don't care for the cold and would rather be someplace warm right now, but I do like to see fresh snow. It'll all turn into that salty, black slush that ruins my mood, but for now, I do like it.

Jan. 23rd, 2011

wtf sookie

Too good to save just for the book

I just added this to the recipe collection, figuring people would at least want to make this at home before heading out. It's certainly better than the stuff on the store shelves, at least I think so. ;)

Super Chunky Red Sauce

My guys love this, and so will you. I've cultivated this recipe over several years, honing in just the right amount of flavor to hearty texture. This is definitely a sauce that sticks to even the thickest of pastas - even lasagna noodles. Things can get rather messy, so keep a sponge or towel handy.

Do not use your Dutch oven for this, as it's too acidic, resulting in a metallic taste. Mobster types (how you doin'?) should be aware not to drop their guns in the pot for the same reasons. (Fugetaboutit!) Also, the milk can be omitted to make it vegan, though it really does help cut the acidity of the tomatoes as well as bring out their sweetness. (I unfortunately do not feel soy/rice/nut milks are good substitutions in this particular case.)

You will need:
- Large stew pot
- Long stirring spoon
- Ladle
- Utility kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cup/spoons
- Can opener
- Apron and hair tie
- Clean hands

Ingredients:
- 3 - 28 ounces cans stewed tomatoes, whole
- 2 - 6 ounce cans tomato paste
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large zucchini, sliced
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon parsley, dried
- 1 tablespoon basil, dried
- 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Total time: 4-6 hours
Serves: 8-12

Step 1:
Don apron, tie back hair and wash hands thoroughly. Empty tomatoes into pot and mash well with hands for at least 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.

Step 2:
Over medium heat, bring to simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Stir sauce at least every half hour, scraping bottom to top to prevent burning and scorching.

Step 3:
When sauce is nearing desired thickness, remove lid and raise heat to medium. Stir frequently, watching for scorching and burning. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool before serving and/or canning.

Jan. 20th, 2011

News

Interview on PNC-Minnesota

Click here to read the interview and add any comments. :)

Pretty cool :)

Jan. 19th, 2011

wtf sookie

Waiting for American Idol to Start...

Not because I love the show, but because I love the first auditions. Some of them are really, really funny! There's that, and I've always been an Aerosmith fan. ;)

Jan. 17th, 2011

Applause

I would love to do something like this!!

An indoor, year-round park that doesn't need much tending. I've actually contemplated several times, even in my written journals, how I wish I had a whole room to dedicate as sacred space like that. I have that spot on my desk, which is like this in miniature, but to encompass a giant room? Wow!

I tell ya, with a lottery winning, I would almost be tempted to do something like this in a big loft space and turn it into an indoor campground. I'd never want to leave! And in a big enough space, like with high ceilings (with a sprinkler and ventilation system), I could even do it as a gathering spot, complete with fire ring for drumming and a stage for bands. I've seen some really cool stuff done at places like Bass Pro Shops and the RV & Boat Show, so why not for a residence?
no-soul

The "I'm A Bad Person" Cycle

Over the years, I've seen a pattern with people who try to get my stubborn ass to side with them on an issue. Any issue, it seems:

- First, they'll try to work with my common sense. That's smart, because that's where I'd head first, too.

- If that doesn't work, they'll take the next route and shoot for my heart. Okay, okay, I feel bad for you. Here's a buck/I'll sign the damned thing/Whatever. Just go away and leave me alone.

- Not good enough? Then they'll hit me with a guilt trip, that I am somehow so much more fortunate than others in whatever issue is at hand.

- If I don't agree cave in at this point, which I most likely won't, I'm a ______________.

- And if THAT doesn't work, they'll call me out publicly on how much of a ________________ I am, and that I am to be snubbed.

People need to get the hint: that shit doesn't work on me. If I say no, it usually means no. I am stubborn, but I am also someone who thinks very critically about something before I arrive to my conclusions. I take everything into consideration before becoming stubborn on a specific issue. If someone doesn't agree with my opinions, I usually figure they're just as stubborn as I am and walk away, agreeing to disagree.

Why do people feel the need to fix me? I don't think I'm broken. In fact, I think I'm doing pretty well for myself. ;)

Jan. 16th, 2011

oh-snap

Hey, I know this guy! Pt. 2,548


(From Your Scene Sucks. Recognize yourself in there?)

I was actually just mentioning to a friend the follow-up to my book should be in this field guide vein... of fest people! Oh the ideas I already have. Of course, I'd have to be in there someplace myself. It's not right to dish out without taking. I'm thinking the Kitchen Witch, with the most awesome camp kitchen known to man (10x better than my own gear LOL), and yet she serves mac n' cheese with sliced hot dogs and ketchup. :P~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oh that's just terrible.

Wrong.
Wrong.
Wrong.

But so right! Yes, let's get the serious out of the way for the funny!

Jan. 15th, 2011

hungryyy

Baking bread, take 3

Since my last attempt went over very well, I thought I would try it once more to ensure I nailed down a recipe. I nixed the sugar, since Jr didn't like it sweet, I added a bit of butter, and I coated the dough with olive oil just prior to tossing in the oven. If, after it's done baking and cooling, even he likes it, I will make it a part of my book, for making bruschetta completely from scratch. :)

Yup, he likes it.
"It actually tastes like real bread this time." What a little shit! :P~~~~~~~~~~

Since I need to convert my meal ideas into actual recipes for my book, I figured this was as good a time as any to get in practice at writing recipes from scratch. (I've always sucked at the formatting, since I generally don't follow recipes myself.) Let me know if this makes sense, okay? :)

So without further ado:

DD's Fool-Proof Artisan Bread

You will need:
- Large, clean work surface
- Stand mixer capable of kneading dough (optional)
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 cookie sheet
- 1 mixing spoon
- 1 Measuring cup and spoons
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Aluminum foil
- Bread knife
- Basting brush
- Cooling rack
- Zippered plastic bag (optional)
- Clean hands, apron and hair tie (recommended)

Ingredients:
- 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1-1/2 cups retained and separated)
- 2 cups lukewarm water (about 100F) (1-3/4 cups reserved)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened (1 tablespoon reserved)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

Total time: 5 hours, 45 minutes
Serves 12-16

Step 1:
Tie back hair, put on apron and wash hands thoroughly. In a mixing bowl, pour 1/4 cup water and sugar, stir until completely dissolved. Add yeast and set aside for 5-10 minutes, until yeast has bubbled and foamed. Reserve remaining yeast packet in plastic bag and refrigerate. (If yeast has not proofed, try another package.)

Step 2:
After yeast has been proofed, pour in remaining water. Blend 4 cups of flour (with dried measuring cup) and salt well in second bowl, then slowly stir in with water. Mix with spoon until it becomes a sticky paste. Remove spoon, add butter and 1 additional cup of flour. If a stand mixer is not available, grease hands with olive oil and begin kneading dough over bowl, stretching and pulling for about 15-20 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour as needed during this process. When dough becomes translucent when stretched, cover bowl with aluminum foil, coated with nonstick cooking spray, and set in warmest area available. Allow to sit approximately 3 hours or until dough has at least doubled in size.

Step 3:
When dough has risen, grease hands, remove dough and knead in a punching and folding fashion to remove pockets of air bubbles, about 5 to 10 minutes. Coat cookie sheet and second bowl with nonstick spray, place dough on sheet, form into (somewhat flattened) ball and cover with bowl. Transfer dough back to warm area for 1-1/2 hours for second rise, checking periodically until doubling in size once again.

Step 4:
Before removing dough, preheat oven to 400F. Remove bowl, reform ball, slit dough four times (spaced evenly), then gently coat with olive oil. Transfer to oven and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating once halfway through. When bread appears to have finished baking, remove from oven, turn over and flick with thumb and middle finger (thump). Listen for hollowness. If yes, transfer to cooling rack for 15 minutes to finish the baking process. Slather slits with softened butter. Slice into 1/2" to 1" servings as needed. Store bread in an airtight container (can be stored without refrigeration 2-3 days).
News

Festival photo needed for book cover

*** PLEASE CROSS-POST LIBERALLY ***

Hello!

I am purposely opting to self-publish a book on Pagan camping, and I am looking to purchase an image for the cover. I have already searched sites like iStock, and while there are a couple images that would work, I'm hoping to get a few other images to look at before making a final decision. I too would prefer to purchase an image from someone within our community.

Articles which will be featured in the book can be viewed at http://pagan-camping.livejournal.com (These are unedited and not in the format which will be used in the final pressing.) Earning any sort of significant profit is not my intention. I have developed these tips and ideas over seven years online, and the primary purpose is to help newcomers and seasoned veterans alike enjoy themselves at the various retreats.

The ideal image would be a large cooking pot over a campfire (Pagan + Camping) , preferably with something like tents in the background. I would also consider a night shot of a group of ***unidentifiable*** people at a drum jam with a roaring fire in the center. Dark images will be considered, providing there is enough contrast. Otherwise, the end result will be too dark to discern.

Images MUST be large and high resolution with a minimum of 300dpi. NO watermarked images will be accepted whatsoever. Photo credits will be listed in the book, per your specifications.

I will pay standard iStock costs, $20 per 1000 images used; offer is non-negotiable. You will also receive a copy of the book for your portfolio. Payment (s) will be sent by PayPal. My husband does lots of layout work in various mediums, so I do not need help in that department.

If these terms are acceptable to you, please contact me. doom diva (at) yah oo (dot) com

Thank you.

Jan. 12th, 2011

Applause

Blessing Way leads the Tucson Memorial

I am watching the memorial now. How beautiful, meaningful and uplifting to have it begun by a Native American blessing, asking Father Sky and Mother Earth to assist in healing our collective spirit and of course for those directly affected. I am deeply moved.

Jan. 9th, 2011

wtf sookie

Just so sad

All those dead and wounded yesterday, all thanks to the deranged politics of a lunatic. I have no words to say other than I pray those who survived will recover physically and mentally, and all the families left behind will be able to carry on.

Jan. 2nd, 2011

wtf sookie

Yep, this about sums it up.

wtf sookie

Basement Cat iz Halping

funny pictures - Basement Cat New Year
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Jan. 1st, 2011

hungryyy

Bread by hand, take two.

http://www.jansdough.com/Sourdough_Bread/makebread.htm - found this after the fact of course. I'm linking for my possible/probably next fail tomorrow.

Okay, my arms are fucking tired! Hopefully things will turn out better this time around, even though the dough is a lot more sticky than the link shows. I didn't want to keep adding a ton of flour, because the last thing I want is to chip any more teeth!

- I poured myself a tumbler of Capt. Morgan and Coke with ice and put on an apron. (I normally shun such Suzie Housemaker attire, but damnit, flour is messy. This one is black too with white vertical pinstripes, so at least it's modernized, somewhat slimming and definitely not foux-foux. LOL!)

- I proofed a 1/4 teaspoon of yeast with some sugar water (about 1/4 cup water gauged by the wrist test and a teaspoon of sugar). Rest of packet was sealed up in a baggie and tossed in the fridge.

- I added an extra cup of sugar and about a teaspoon of salt, then my gut told me to sprinkle on a little more yeast. Hopefully I didn't screw things up too badly.

- I then added about 4 cups of flour with another 1-1/2 cups water and started stirring things together.

- I then attempted to mock what a stand mixer would do with my bare hands for a good twenty minutes, adding a little water at a time like my uncle used to do. I'm now thinking I should have taken the opportunity to toss in some butter like he did (in the monster stand mixer of course!).

- I forgot to tie my hair back, so I hope none of my long strands found their way in. Meh, I guess I'll find out tomorrow. :P~~~~~~~~~~~~

- Things were still incredibly sticky (next time I'll oil my hands), so I hollered for Ryan to first scratch my forehead (ha!) and then had him sprinkle flour into the bowl to try to loosen things up. It helped! (Total additional flour 1-1/2 cups.)

- After I couldn't do one more twist and pull, and thankfully just when the stretch seemed about right, I collapsed. (No, just kidding!) I hollered for Ryan to turn on the water to wash off the remaining sticky dough.

- I then covered up the bowl with the dough (and some lingering flour) in some plastic wrap and tossed it on top of the stove. It's pretty warm there. (I moved it to the furnace closet an hour later, as it dawned on me it's the warmest, darkest, driest spot in the apartment. I'm now guessing that was a smart move!)

Tomorrow morning, I'll go for another round of kneading before baking, seeing how bad I screwed up. To be continued...




ETA: Three hours later, and it's risen three times its original size! Looks like I did it right this time (so far). I'm tempted to start the second kneading now, but no... let's see how much bigger it'll get! ;)

(I'm also saving this link as future reference as well.)




Further ETA: I probably could have begun the second rise last night, as it hadn't risen much higher since. Meh, no matter. Note for next time.

- I put on the apron, then floured the board well. I even remembered to tie my hair back this time! ;)

- I removed sticky dough from bowl, which I really should have liberally sprayed with cooking spray. No big deal; I got almost all of it out.

- I punched the dough on the board for about five minutes, taking up a good deal of flour into it, making it more like my uncle's (and what everyone seems to explain/display).

- I formed it into a somewhat flattened ball and transferred it onto a well-sprayed cookie sheet, the covered it with a well-sprayed bowl to act as the dome for the second rise.

- I then moved the cookie sheet into the furnace closet. I'll check on it in a couple hours, as it should be ready for the oven at that time, judging by how long the original rise took in there. To be continued once again...




Another ETA: Okay, I'm back, two hours later. It expanded a great deal, and boy am I glad I used the big cookie sheet and sprayed it, and the bowl, down well! I guess I really do need to go with my gut on this kind of stuff! ;)

- I kicked on the oven to 350F. (Afterthought: many recipes call for 450F. Hmmm...)

- I removed the bowl and used the big bread knife to slit it three times.

- I popped it in the oven, and now I just need to wait for it to bake. To be continued once again...




Further ETA: It's done, and wow does it look picture-perfect! I just hope after it cools a bit it's light and crusty and not dense and chip-your-tooth crusty! ;)

- I checked on it 20 minutes into baking and slathered some butter where I cut the slits. I also slathered a bit elsewhere to help with browning.

- Another 15 minutes later, it looked done.

- I pulled it out of the oven, flipped it over and gave it the thump test. Yup, it's done the best I can tell.

- I then moved it to a plate from the cupboard to help it cool off a bit, but damnit if I don't want a slice now! I'll return in 10 minutes with the verdict. To be continued...




Final ETA: YAY! It's good! It's pretty! And, I even took a pic!

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