Outlander

If you’ve seen anything in this blog before you know I’m a book lover. Well I’m playing catch up. I passed over the Outlander series several years back upon encountering the books. I’m so sorry I did. The only reasons I can site are no one told me about them, and the cover art and titles didn’t catch my intrest. My sincerest apologies to the goddess author Diana Gabaldon. I saw some of the Outlander fever online, and went to look. I saw Season 1, episode 1 of the series from Starz and I’m hooked.

Time travel, Scottish Highlands,romance….what’s not to love. I saw the term knee porn used the other day and while I would normally never take this seriously, I have to agree that the character of Jamie Frasier in a kilt is a true sight to behold. I started falling in love with the depth of the characters, story line, and while Jamie is my favorite, Claire is very compelling as well.Where else can you find a WWII nurse transported back in time to 1743 in the Highlands of Scotland. There she meets a handsome, noble Scottish warrior. With no idea how or opportunity to return to her own time she weds him for protection in a world where women have little choice. Adventures ensue bringing encounters with the British soldiers of the time of great unrest in the country. I fell in love with the young highland warrior for his principles, strength of character, and okay I’ll admit it he does look good in a kilt. His character is tempered with vulnerabilities that he only shows to Claire and the reader/viewer.

I must admit I enjoyed a good binge watch to catch up to season 4. Now I have to read the books as well. The longest part of my week is waiting for the next episode. Sunday evenings will never be the same in my house. I am currently buying all of the books in print and awaiting the release of the next one too. I’ve read snipets shared online pertaining to various scenes and know from just the pieces I’ve read these will quickly make my favorite author list. Have you read these yet? Are you a fan of the show? I’ve seen the comments about the differences between the books and the show, it makes me want both experiences all the more. I’m now Outlander obsessed. I caught the fever and couldn’t be happier about it. I can happily recommend both the show and from what I’ve read so far the books as well.

Get them from Amazon here
https://www.facebook.com/groups/222279768543395/permalink/408381076599929/?app=fbl

See this link for more great Outlander items.

Don’t forget to see our other book recommendations here, and here

Father’s Day 2019

Dad, just a simple three letter word. Like many of us we take that word for granted as youngsters without realizing just how important it is. There are many labels applied to this job. Dad, Daddy, father, brother, uncle, grandpa, heck maybe that special person in your life is not even related or a guy. In my case my dad is no longer with us, He sadly lost his battle with cancer some years ago. Not a day goes by that I do not miss him. From this experience I would tell one and all to cherish your memories, That was made losing him bearable. I was lucky. He taught me things like loyalty, respect, hard work ethic, a good sense of humor, and the best Saturday morning pancakes, (my dad did not cook unless it was waffles, pancakes or bbq).

As I watched my new sister-in-law dance with her father at her Wedding it really helped me realize how lucky I was to have all my good memories. He danced with me at my wedding. Some never get those chances.

So this year and indeed every day of every year be thankful for it. Even when your mad at them for something or you are in trouble, these are the life lessons that will help you as an adult. So take every chance to celebrate dad and make lasting memories you will both cherish. I’ve included some Some of Amazons gift picks to show them just how much you care.


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Give the gift of Prime

Prime members enjoy:
FREE Two-Day Shipping on over 100 million items
Watch thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video
Stream millions of songs and thousands of playlists
Also get free Kindle e-books, unlimited photo storage, exclusive access to deals, Twitch, and much more
Invicta Men's 8928 Pro Diver Collection Two-Tone Stainless Steel Automatic Watch
Invicta Men’s 8928 Pro Diver Collection Two-Tone Stainless Steel Automatic Watch

Freedoms Ring

June 6th… In the dark days of WWII, with half of Europe overrun by The Axis Powers. America was attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. We declared a unanimously supported declaration of war. Our forces were marshalled and staged to enter the European conflict as it now became essential to turn the tide that had overtaken so many nations.

Attack at Pearl Harbor Naval Fleet December 7, 1941

The unprovoked attack and devastation prompted thousands to enlist in the Armed forces of the day. “A day that will live in infamy”, it was termed. Our armed forces started preparing both men and equipment for the coming conflicts. Many unsung heroes from this day and who helped gather intelligence behind enemy lines are often forgotten to the pages of history. Thousands of our troops of all branch’s of service staged in some of the only places of freedom holding out in Great Britain.

Axis holdings 1943

After careful consideration by a team of cabinet advisors F. D. Roosevelt made the fateful decision to launch an offensive the size of which had not been seen at that time. Operation Overlord or D-day as it became known. Men, ships, tanks, amphibious landing craft, and a supply train of support had to both breech the outer defenses of the Atlantic Wall, envisioned by Hitler and Rommel. Our brave soldiers were joined by Troops from Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland, stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. 156,000 Allied troops made up the the landing by sea and air on five beachheads along the coast. Separate assault teams made perilous landings by both parachute and gliders in the dark of night to sabotage, and capture vital supply lines and bridges before the main landings on the beaches.

Along with the brave men who faced the enemy forces on those beaches and as they made their way inland across Europe there were numerous heroes obscured by the remembrances of history. Countless men and women worked behind the lines to make the ultimate victory possible. As we remember those who gave their last measure of devotion, let us not forget those who worked with local resistance groups to do everything from coded radio broadcasts, destroying supplies, fighting and harboring both wounded soldiers and those who also hid people like Anne Frank.

On June 6th we celebrate the freedoms so hard won in battles in this and other conflicts. Their bravery and sacrifices are why so many do not speak only one language. In todays world we hear a lot if talk about Diversity.  These souls took a stand so we can celebrate our differences. As we look at the world today it is important to remember the lessons taught by the experiences of history. The rights and freedoms we so often take advantage of have been hard won by the sacrifices of those who have stood up for them both at home and abroad. While there are very few WWII Veteran’s still out there they have earned the respect and deference afforded them. They fought so we could live in freedom and peace.

Today we honor our heroes and I also give thanks as we celebrate a long list of holidays devoted to these ideals that a 3 day weekend for things like Memorial Day or 4th of July are not just about our backyard BBQ. These lessons need to be passed on to future generations as well. Places like Korea, Vietnam, Afganastan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and a long list of others (that I cannot remember at the moment), means we are still searching for fairness and peace. One day I hope Diplomacy will be enough to achieve this but until that day arrives we must be ready and willing to maintain these freedoms we enjoy. Are you wiling to stand up for these freedoms?

The Longest Day by John Wayne 
by 20th Century Fox
The Longest Day by John Wayne
by 20th Century Fox

This was one of my dads Favorite movies. Every time I watch I remember him. He wasn’t in WWII but he taught me to appreciate the service and sacrifice spent this day. Starring Henry Fonda, John Wayne , Richard Burton, Eddie Albert, Paul Anka, Robert Mitchum, Richard Beymer, Robert Ryan, Jean-Louis Barrault, Arletty, Hans Christian Blech, Bourvil, Arletty Albert, Robert Wagner, Red Buttons , Sean Connery

D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II 
by Stephen E. Ambrose (Author)
This year is the 75th Anniversary of this fateful day of June 6, 1944

Books to read

Great books come in many shapes, sizes, and genres. Whether you are just looking for a good read, or the perfect beach bag companion. I personally recommend these as some of my favorites. Coffee, tea and your favorite place to read are all the additions besides maybe chocolate…

I loved this entire series. I read them out of order while I was acquiring the books. They combine adventure, history, romance and time travel. I will not accept the blame if you can’t put it down to go to sleep.

Suzanne Brockmann’s wildly popular Troubleshooters series showcases this master storyteller’s rare gift for blending intense adventure with sensuous romance. And it all begins with The Unsung Hero, a heart-pounding tale of love that reveals hidden truths and brings two solitary people together against all odds.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness.

After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the sighting as injury-induced imaginings. In a last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorism team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton. As the town’s infamous bad boy, Tom was always in love with Kelly, a sweet “girl next door” who has grown into a remarkable woman. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day.

“Thanks to Suzanne Brockmann’s glorious pen, we all get to revel in heartstopping adventure and blistering romance.”—RT Book Reviews

A Dance Through Time (MacLeod series Book 1)

Scotland, 1311. James MacLeod was the most respected—and feared—laird in all of Scotland. He loved his men like brothers and his land with a passion. And he allowed no women to cross the threshold of his keep…

New York City, 1996. With an indifferent fiance and a stalled writing career, Elizabeth Smith found passion and adventure only in the unpublished romance novels that she wrote. Until a Scottish hero began calling to her…


Elizabeth longed for the man of her dreams. But she knew she was overworked when she began hearing his voice—when she was awake. To clear her mind, she took a walk in Gramercy Park. She dozed off on a bench—and woke up in a lush forest in forteenth-century Scotland. A forest surrounding the castle of James MacLeod, an arrogant and handsome lord with a very familiar voice. Elizabeth would turn his ordered world upside down and go where no woman had ever gone before: straight into his heart..
Another Chance to Dream (De Piaget series Book 1)
With neither title nor land, Rhys could not win the hand of Gwennelyn of Segrave. But he would always have her heart. The two are kindred souls…Rhys, a knight with far too many notions of chivalry for his own good. And Gwen, a lover of minstral tales, waiting to be swept away. But Gwen is betrothed to another man, and Rhys fears he will lose her forever. Until a suprise offer comes his way—bringing Rhys and Gwen a second chance at love…
I love everything this author. Patrick MacLeod is haunted by his past, by events he had no control over and wishes desperately he could change. He hasn’t the heart for love, nor the time for rescuing maidens in distress of their own making. Until he sees a woman who touches his heart and stirs his soul…and makes him believe love might be possible again after all.
 
For Madelyn Phillips, Scotland is the land of dreams, filled with magic, romance, and handsome Highland lords. Unfortunately, the reality of her dream vacation is no car, no luggage, and a pesky ex-fiancé determined to shadow her every move. She thinks her dreaming is in vain.
 
Until she sees a man standing on a windswept moor, a Highlander full of secrets and longing, and knows she has seen her destiny.
 
But the past isn’t through with either of them, and it will take all the love both of them possess to make their dreams come true…
The Viscount Who Loved Me With 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons) Kindle Edition

1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better…

–Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers,April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry–he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield–the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes to notmake the best husbands–and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister–but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…

Are you green? Emerald that is!

Wether its the Emerald isles or the Emerald Coast, they both get their names from May’s beautiful birthstone….you guessed it Emeralds.  These precious stones have been coveted by humanity throughout history and its easy to see why.  If you have a May birthday this is your stone.  If not the allure and beauty of the stones gives all the reason needed to add these to your wardrobe.

Colors range from light Columbian to deep Emerald.  Most are determined by mine location.  The fewer inclusions the more valuable the stone.  In times gone by these stones were thought to have powers beyond matching a gown.  Some are rumored to be cursed, while some held curative powers if ingested.  Emeralds are so coveted they even have a shape of diamonds and gems named after them.

A symbol of unending love and honesty have encouraged favoritism as wedding stones of choice.  The Regency era in particular Irish and English girls received many.  Long seen as a symbol of hope and prophecy made them very popular.  Unlike the red ruby, a statement of passionate love, an emerald conveys a complex symbolism and emotions.  Cleopatra draped herself in Emerards.  Rich luscious green color beautifully played off the violet of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes in the 1960’s 
While being most calming color green it  reflexes growth, peace,balance, and reflection.  Healing and fertility are also attributed to these very rare gemstone.  Verdant tones and inside are tempered by cool blue within the stone symbolize a steadfast bond.

Giving an emerald, you showing a dash of humanity.  You’re considered “green” or a bit naive when you don’t have everything figured out in life.  This should be seen as a positive when you consider your new life as a couple is defined by many unforseen obstacles to confront and solve together and learn lessons from.

Emeralds are often associated with strong sexuality and fertility, it was historically believed to help with difficult births or the problems bearing children.  Linked to healing and balance within the nervous, respiratory and even aid digestion.     Ancient Romans, for example, felt that the very soul of an individual was restored when they wore emerald jewelry.
So whether they are for your Birthday, or you just love the color I wish you any luck they may contain.

 

Don’t forget to show all the moms out there lots of love. Its one of the hardest jobs out there and there are no days off. So make sure you show them some special love.

Navachi 925 Sterling Silver 18k White Gold Plated 10.5ct Pear Emerald Az9639p Necklace Pendant 18″

Droughtlander

As most of you know, or now know Outlander TV Series is not only a great show but, incredibly popular as well. Season 4 has come to an end. After which many will be experiencing a phenomena we have dubbed ‘Droughtlander’. Basically it describes the loss felt in the off season of the TV show. Which begs the question after this finale (extended by only 5 minutes), how do you plan to deal with the loss of our favorite Sunday evening show.

Cliff hangers in speculation. What happens during Ian’s time with the Mohawk? Does Lord John come back into thier lives soon? Will Murtagh capture Bonnet again?  Will Bonnet get the consequences he so richly deserves?  Will we see Jocasta and Murtagh find a happy ending? Don’t forget Furgus and Marseli.  How much fun will both Claire and Jamie have with the new children on Frasiers Ridge?  I’m open to any and all theories, from the books to just speculation.  Share it in the comments below. 

If you have read all the books you have at least some idea of what is to come in that version of the storyline. How much the shows writers follow that is as yet undetermined. I’m planning to try and get the reading of the books done before Diana Galabadon release the new one (book 9). Lots of fans are going to re-read the books and either binge watch season 4 for the first time or the entire series again. What about the Lord John Grey books? Several longtime fans have recommended them. So maybe I’ll read those too. So in my quest to both read and acquire the books I’ve come across some info that might be helpful to new readers like myself.  If you like this article please like and share on as many social sites as you like.

Lets start with the reading order. Diana Galbadon has published many books so finding where they all fit is important for the timeline of the story. The full listing of proper reading order is on her website, http://www.DianaGabaldon.com or the direct link http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/chronology-of-the-outlander-series/. I have included both the links to her site as seen above and the links to the books themselves on amazon below. Simply click on the picture of the book and it will take you right to it. There are several formats available on Amazon so you can chose which will satisfy your needs best. All captions and book photos belong to Amazon.com.

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
For twenty years, Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to the mysteries of Scotland’s mist-shrouded Highlands.

 Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as shocking as the events that gave it birth: the secret of an ancient circle of standing stones, the secret of a love that transcends centuries, and the truth of a man named Jamie Fraser—a Highland warrior whose gallantry once drew the young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Claire’s spellbinding journey continues through the intrigue-ridden French court and the menace of Jacobite plots, to the Highlands of Scotland, through war and death in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.
Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her . . . and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and the pain awaiting her . . . the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland . . . and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite—or forever doom—her timeless love.
It began in Scotland, at an ancient stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice. Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in frontier America. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century. Their daughter, Brianna….
Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the stone circle and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history…and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past…or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong….
The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge.
Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time—1743—when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George’s army.
Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor—Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes….
The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.
With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence—with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from
The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.
Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he’d rather die than have to face his illegitimate son—a young lieutenant in the British army—across the barrel of a gun.
Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won’t include Jamie’s life or his happiness, though—not if she has anything to say about it.
Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna’s parents’ story comes to life through Claire’s letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire’s love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles—as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire’s fate but to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.
1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.
The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is  searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself

Diana keeps a blog as well you can find it here.     There are countless fans around the world of both the books and the show. Everything from discussions and reviews of the latest episode, to fan art and licensed merchandise here. In addition to all this if you’re still looking for something to do there are a couple of Authors who write about both historical romance and time travel. Each of these is a novel I have both read and enjoyed. Some may already be in your to be read pile. You can find them here, with links to Amazon, for easy shopping.


While Diana Galbadon can never be replaced, its fun to have other options to read until her next book comes out. I personally keep a list of favorite authors that I check on frequently for new releases. I re-read a lot of my favorites. While I enjoy this, I find myself not sticking with it if I can quote it verbatim. I need a few weeks and couple other storylines in between. So here’s to enjoying both Season 4 Finale this Sunday night, and all the re-reads and new discoveries as we anxiously await the next book and season 5 of the show. Find great reads here.
The Outlander blog gives great insight to the characters.  Worth the read while we wait.  Is it time yet? Please post the minute we have dates for either the book or next seasons show. Anxiously waiting with you.

PS. –  If for some odd reason anyone feels compelled to get rid of thier books, there have been quite a few hurricane victims in several states that have lost thiers in the water and mold that invades in the wake of a hurricane.  I was born and raised in Panama city, Florida where hurricane Michael was so devastating.  Even though they are no longer making the big headlines please don’t forget them.  While there have been many inspirational efforts there they are still very not okay.  You can read about it here.  There are several links to reliable people on the ground there that are still trying to help those affected.  This year the freezing temperatures not typical of Florida are causing real problems with the temporary shelters for those awaiting relocation, rebuilding or possibly FEMA trailers.

Hurricane Michael

Featured photo by https://www.facebook.com/christonanderson

Michael, for most is just a name. Neither good or bad. I have several family members with that as a first or middle name. However, if you’ve been around a news broadcast anywhere in the last few montgs you know the name has taken on an infamous shadow that will haunt thousands for years to come. It started innocently enough as tropical wave L91 in the lower Caribbean Sea off the Yucatan peninsula.

As a long-term Florida resident we didn’t give it much thought. It strengthened and started heading north as these often do. We get regular storms brought up from the Gulf year round. While bringing some wind and rain, it’s not really an odd occurrence. Indeed this is a normal weather pattern for us. A couple of days later it intensified to a named storm. Michael. When early predictions started rolling in we took note but really didn’t consider it worth getting anxious about until it made category II.

stock-photo-saffir-simpson-hurricane-wind-scale-showing-categories-damage-force-and-wind-speed-in-miles-per-729661924

If you’ve seen the pictures from Panama city, Lynn haven, Tyndall AFB, Mexico Beach, you have seen the catastrophic damage these storms can cause. in the days right before it hit land we urged friends and family to evacuate. People with brick homes are facing starting over. I was surprised by how many people were going to stay even those in mobile homes were planning to ride out the storm at home. I was very surprised to learn that even with all the years experience that most long-term residents have, they did not have a basic hurricane kit with essential like a weather radio. Along with posting information for survivors to help in the aftermath, I am putting the link to the supply list everyone should have and how to prepare before the storm arrives.

Hurricanes! What you need to know.

With most communications down, info was passed on thru the few working cell carriers. The vulnerable systems left, advocated using secondary sites like Facebook, Google hangouts, Zello and others for both rescue officials and citizens. I am proud that most who stayed showed the best side of humanity by jumping into action and helping each other without any expectations. While some tried to take advantage, the majority pitched in to help. Many like myself could not physically travel to the affected area, we turned to social media groups to help verify and pass important information. Working with both people bringing supplies in, official stations for aid, and real people on the ground, we were able to help connect people with needs and help.

Special Thanks to all the Linemen who work so diligently to restore power to affected neighborhoods. The search and rescue teams who help save countless lives. The Cajun Navy from Louisiana. Their tireless efforts to help can never be overstated. Thank you for continuing even after official operations were turned over to the National Guard.

hurricane-michael-9

This is from NOAA just before the storm made landfall.

http://www.FEMA.gov

Over a month later the major news media has refocused thier attention. Good Morning America, did a live broadcast just this morning to help bring focus back to the destruction that is total and onhoing. People are still living in tents throughout the city. Mexico Beach just no longer exists. As Thanksgiving comes to us all this year we give special thanks for surviving the storm. Even with everything lost and no place to go or live the residents remain strong, hopeful and yes, this Thanksgiving we give extra thanks for our family and friends from this affected area. So as you gather for your holiday celebration, and prepare to shop till you drop, please remember the spirit of giving. While there are many who donate to charities this giving season, please consider giving to those in the ground aiding directly in this recovery.

An alumni from school started her own non-profit for Hurricane recovery. Way to go Rachel!

https://www.facebook.com/1097704366/posts/10151584809379945/

Here to help Bay County

Gulf Coast Animal Hospital

https://www.facebook.com/SenatorGainer/ 🍁I have compiled a list of Thanksgiving events that are free to our community.

FEMA

2.1.1. First call for Help

Salvation Army

Shannon Cooper Hurricane relief

850Strong

If I have missed a link to a valuable resource please let me know.

Safe Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of others keep us connected. They are valuable tools to stay in touch. I love my Facebook account! With schools back in session I cherish the photos of all the children embarking on their new adventures for another school year. Family and friends alike enjoy the progressive photos from one year to another. So by all means shutterbug away. There are more photos taken today than at any point in our history. The only Question is what do with them?

As parents, you take extraordinary measures to insure their safety. In today’s world that can be quite a challenge. it seems like the news is full of traumatic events and a significant portion of these stories showcase children both the good and the bad. More bad than good I’m sorry to say. Abuse, neglect, cruelty, mistakes, as well as kidnapping, murder and a variety of others make headlines around the country both here and abroad. As these feature on even our local evening news and our media feeds I thought this would be a good time to review the tips to keep your precious ones off the news and out of the statistics.

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Never give personal information.

It’s the first day of school and we like to proudly show off our accomplishments. Never post your child’s name, school, teacher, or classroom. The same goes for bus information. Give to trusted family or friends directly. What you post to a family member, friend or frustrated adult can be seen on social media by people you defiantly do not want around your children.

Turn off Geotags in phones, tablets and devices.

Funny name, big consequences. Did you know that funny tag is your exact GPS location? Nefarious individuals can use this information to find your home, and even your child’s window. Every photo uploaded with these tags will create a trail of bread crumbs accessible through social media outlets of every place you go. Some also give a location history of where you have been with your phone.

Use a special password.

A special password between children and parents can alert a child to seek help. Imagine an adult approaches your child near their school. They say you parent was in an accident and sent them to pick them up. Scary right? Your child should ask for the special password. If the adult does not know it your child should immediately notify a teacher, administrator, or law enforcement officer. It’s better to have a small delay while it’s checked out, than a missing poster.

Remember to have fun while making sure both you and your child stay safe.

Do you have a safety tip? Share them in the comment section below.

 

 

Jen’s Easy Shepherd’s Pie

This is a savory meal that will make you forget you’re dieting. I make mine low-carb for our diabetic friendly family. I make it with more meat and veggies. We skip the regular mashed potatoes. For a low carb or keto version, you can do parmesan and cheddar cheeses with mashed cauliflower now available in most stores.

Another trick is to use red or yellow potatoes instead. The texture is slightly different, but the carb count is lower and they are low on the glycemic index. What’s that? It’s a chart of how easily your body can convert things to sugar.

by Meri Reffetto (Author)

$10.99

This is a great way to stay on target. It gives regular shoppers alternatives to high sugar and simple carb foods. We’ve been using this method for over 10 years. Best of all lots of items can be substituted into Keto and Paleo diets.

We started using this in conjunction with low carb dieting to keep type 2 diabetes in check. We happily report it has taken us back to pre-diabetic status. We have both lost weight and feel better even when we don’t stay as strictly to diet as we should. Hey, sometimes I just need chocolate ok.

by HOMWE

$14.97

Jen’s Easy Shepard’s Pie

1 1/2 lb ground chuck or round

1 package Steam and mash Ore-Ida potatoes Frozen (or low carb substitutions. Parmesan cauliflower is really good).

1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables (California mix is better for carb counts)

4 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Italian Seasoning (dried)

1 cup chopped onion

2 pkg Brown gravy mix

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt (I skip this there is enough in gravy mix.)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/3c water (if it’s too wet it’s a big mess)

Price:$49.99

My mom just got one and she loves it!

Directions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp Olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add Beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brown beef, about 5 min.
  3. If not using cast iron or oven safe pan, turn into cassarole dish.
  4. Mix 2 pkg brown gravy mix with 1/3 cup water. Mix well and pour over beef and vegetable mix. Stir well.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F
  6. Make topping with mashed potatoes or cauliflower.
  7. For topping add 4 Tbsp butter, 1/2 c milk, and dash of salt and pepper to potatoes. (If using cauliflower add parmesan and cheddar cheeses, salt and pepper.)
  8. Spread potatoes or cauliflower over filling. Cover completely.
  9. Bake uncovered at 350°F about 20 minutes.
  10. Top with sharp cheddar cheese.
  11. Put under broiler in oven for 5 minutes. Watch to make sure top is not over done. Serve hot.

$19.99

These are great to freeze to. We put them in those aluminum pie pans or sealing dish. Freeze until needed. Simply defrost and warm. Those pans go easily from freezer to oven and table. If it seems flimsy simply place on on a baking sheet for ease of carrying

by Pyrex

Price:$20.64

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Cheesecake fruit salad

This is a great red, white, and blue dish for any patriotic holiday. It gets even better if you switch out the fruits like kiwi instead of blueberries and leave the strawberries with your bananas and you just got Christmas colors. This lucious, fluff like treat is always one of the first things to disappear at our parties.

by Emeril

$79.49

Cheesecake Fruit Salad

These are for the red, white, and blue version.

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 lbs fresh strawberries

3 fresh bananas, chopped to bite size

1 pint fresh raspberries

1 lg 24.3 oz Philadelphia Cheesecake filling

1 16 oz container of Cool Whip

4 cups mini marshmallows

1 tsp real Vanilla extract

2 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

  1. Prepare strawberries by removing stem and chop into small peices.
  2. In large bowl combine cheesecake filling, vanilla, and milk. Mix u till smooth.
  3. Fold in 1/2 of Cool Whip
  4. Fold in fruit, marshmallows, and remaining Cool Whip
  5. Keep chilled.
  6. Enjoy

Easy Boccoli Salad

Salad

1 16 oz pkg Bacon

1/3 c red onion

1/2 c dried cranberries, Craisins

2 heads fresh broccoli florets

1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c sunflower kernels

Dressing

1/4 c Blue Cheese dressing

1/8 c Avocado oil Mayonnaise

1/8 c heavy cream

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 Tsp or packets sugar or substitute

Instructions

  1. Mince onion, chop broccoli
  2. Cook bacon well. I like mine so I can simply crumble it.
  3. Add bacon, broccoli, Craisins, cheddar cheese, in lg bowl
  4. Toss to mix well
  5. Assemble dressing and pour over salad.
  6. Mix well to coat.
  7. Chill 30 minutes or until serving
  8. Add sunflower kernels right before serving. Mix well and enjoy.

by ARTLAND

$29.95

Ofargo Stainless Steel Salad Tongs Kitchen Tongs with Silicone Tips for Cooking, Non-Stick, 9″+12″, 2-Pack, Black

by Ofargo

Cucumber, Tomato Salad

2 medium cucumbers, chopped into1/4 in pieces

2 c grape tomatoes (I like the sweeter taste of grape over slight tart flavor of cherry tomatoes).

1/2 c minced radishes

5 oz fresh Basil leaves

2 Tbsp minced red onion

3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp minced garlic

  1. Mince radishes and onion.
  2. Wash cucumbers and dice into about 1/4 inch bite size pieces. I find it easiest to slice into 1/8″ slices and cut into quarters or eighths.
  3. Slice grape tomatoes in half.
  4. Combine cucumbers,tomatoes, radishes, and chopped basil in large salad bowl.
  5. Mix Olive oil and vinegar, and garlic.
  6. Drizzle liquid over salad and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix well to coat and enjoy.

Serves 9-10 easily.

Artland 82001A Simplicity Cylinder Salad Bowl, Clear

by ARTLAND
$29.95

Ofargo Stainless Steel Salad Tongs Kitchen Tongs with Silicone Tips for Cooking, Non-Stick, 9″+12″, 2-Pack, Black

by Ofargo
$13.99

We paired this with hamburgers and fries. Kids and adults loved it. It was a great low-carb side dish for my husbands birthday party.

https://www.hydralight.com/?mid=8790705

Mojito Sherbert Punch

This was so good! I got the original recipe from a Pintrest pin. We made it for our Anniversary celebration. As there are currently 8 people here after Hurricane Michael, I needed something for the adults that wouldn’t break the bank at the adult beverage store. (We gave the kids the virgin version and they loved it too.)

1 can frozen limeade mix

1can frozen Margarita mix

4 cups club soda

1 pt lime Sherbert (we only found it at our local Publix.)

750 ml white rum (we like Bacardi)

Handmade Beverage Bottle with Yellow LED lights. Great for a desk lamp, a mood light, a man cave, and party. All of our lights are battery operated with replaceable AA batteries. This prevents the lamp from overheating or being a safety risk

Price:$35.00 + $8.99 shipping

In Stock.

Usually takes between 1 and 2 days to create

Ships from and sold by Mood Lights by Carol.

Mint leaves both for punch and garnish

4 limes thinly sliced (we use 2 in punch, 2 for garnish.)

  • Muddle 1 handful of mint leaves with 1 cup club soda to release thier flavors.

  • In gallon pitcher or punch bowl, combine lime sherbert, frozen Margarita mix, and frozen Limeade mix.
  • Add mint leaves, and lime slices.
  • Add remaining 3 cups club soda
  • Mix well. (This virgin version was loved by kids attending).

We had a great time making it. It paired really well with the Irish Skillet we made. Now I have a great idea to use for St Patrick’s Day. Happy cooking and make so.e memories with your family.

Beef Eggplant Pie

1 pie crust (I get mine premade in the refrigerated dough section. You can also make your favorite recipe for this. Cauliflower crust is really good)

1 small eggplant about 1 lb.

6 tbsp butter

1/2 c finely chopped onions

1 clove of garlic crushed (I like mine. minced so I use about a tsp minced).

1 lb ground chuck

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1/8 c chopped celery tops

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp salt

Dash of black pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

Pyrex Easy Grab 2-piece set includes: two (2) 9-1/2-inch pie platesEach pie plate is made from Pyrex glass which is microwave, dishwasher, preheated oven, and freezer safeThese plates are made of non-porous glass, so they won’t absorb food odors, flavors, or stainsNon-porous surface does not absorb food odors, flavors or stainsPyrex glass is made in the USA and come with a 2-year limited warranty against manufacturer defect

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate (9.5-Inch, 2-Pack)
by Pyrex

Directions

  1. Roll out pie crust to 11 inch circle. Fit into 9 inch pie plate. Crimp the edges, refrigerate till ready to use.
  2. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Measure 2 cups.
  3. Add 4 Tbsp butter to medium sauce pan. Cook eggplant, covered 5 minutes then drain.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F
  5. Melt rest of butter in lg skillet. Saute onions and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  6. Add ground chuck and rest of ingredients. Mix well. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  7. Add eggplant to meat mixture. Turn into pie shell. Bake 45 – 60 minutes until crust is golden brown.
  8. I add shredded sharp cheddar to mine. I learned this one from my mom. The cheese gives it a little kick.

This is a great way to get extra veggies into your diet. While eggplant does have a mild flavor, when mixed like this my husband thought it was Shepherd’s pie for the longest time. That was actually my fault.

He told me he hates eggplant before I made it the first time. So I made it and didn’t tell him the eggplant was inside. (This works with kids to.) When he asked I just said it was Shepherd’s pie. He has loved it for more than our 15 years of our marriage. Yes, I did come clean and tell him it really was eggplant but he still loves it!

You can easily substitute the crust with a gluten free or keto option. I’ve done it with parmesan cheese or simply increase the chuck and forget the crust all together. Makes an incredible casserole too.

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