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 weeks 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.

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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.

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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/ ūüćĀI 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.

 

 

Brrrr….¬† “Baby it’s Cold Outside”.

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Not the song that’s stirring so much this year. I’m talking about the cold weather. I know most of the country, are watching the weather maps and hating Florida. While we are not buried under several feet of snow, it’s too cold for us. The earnest day here gets a high of 62 this week.

    Not to disappoint or irritate anyone, I do not live where we have subzero temps with bitting wind chill. We get our fair share of cooler weather. Last week our high was only in the 40’s. Had to wear socks and shoes other than flip flops. What gets us is the humidity down here. In summer the moisture in the air guarantees afternoon showers with only 20% precipitation. It weighs heavily on everything during our hot and humid months. Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas… you all get the same conditions.

    What makes those frigid lows so bad here? We have no supplies nor experience in these conditions. This year we may get some snow and ice. Natives like me who were born here have very seldom even see it (unless on holiday somewhere north) or have moved here from cold climates. My hubby hails from Wisconsin, and we have other family there and in Missouri. He refuses to drive even with all his experience doing so.

    It’s not the sleet, snow, ice, or even blizzard conditions that keep us off the roads unless absolutely necessary. No my friends he will not drive with my fellow southerners who cannot drive in it. “I freely admit this”. We have no chains, snow tires, and the most salt we see is on the rim of a Margarita glass.

    This winter has been an interesting season so I thought with snow and ice reaching as far south as Tampa it would be a good time to remind ourselves of cold weather preperations since it’s not over yet.

    For most of us it’s not very different from hurricane prep. Batteries, water, food, prescriptions, and extra warm blankets are just a few. Those who didn’t know before Hurricane Michael should refresh your memories, or learn for the first time.

    Hurricanes – What you need to know

    • Take measures to protect people, property, plants, and pets.
    • Store some extra gallons of water in case of frozen or burst pipes.
    • Have cold weather attire. 60% of body heat is lost from the top of your head. Warm knitted hats are helpful, and those that block wind can be added if needed outside.
    • I love my Isotoner gloves! The soft inner layer keeps hands toasty warm while the leather outer layer blocks both the wind and wet, your hands may come into contact with.
    • If your hat doesn’t cover them you may want to consider ear muffs. Since I have grown my hair long again I generally leave it down to help.
    • Invest in a warm outside coat. Wool pea coats ( I got mine at JCPENNEY) still one of the best and as most are lined they are very effective. I prefer mine in a longer trench length for days I may wear a long skirt.

      New Years Eve

    • Wrap outside or exposed pipes in fabric or foam. If you have something like a Dollar Store pool noodle, cut for length and secure with zip tie. Protection that will hold up all year long.
    • Move potted plants inside or cover with plastic sheeting, to create green house warmth around the plants.
    • Bring animals indoors. If it’s too cold for you it’s too cold for them.
    • Make sure if you cannot bring animals indoors that they have heated shelter from the weather, and plenty of food and water.
    • Great story with happy ending for caring for community cats.

      Www.alleycatadvocates.org

    As for me well I just got a notice that the temps are going back into freezing this weekend. I’m also goning to order some more Florida Sunshine, to go with the hearty recipes inspired by the cold. We are out of our stash we got for Christmas. With colds and flu’s on the rise the citrus will help our systems ward them off. Stay warm my friends. How do you stay warm this winter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or drop us an email at. jensperspective71@yahoo.com

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    Warmth on a Cold Night

    We had this at a popular restaurant  several years ago.  It was new and different and we loved it!  As it turns out it was rotated off the menu so I came home and started my own copy cat recipe.  On a quick trip to a store for something I found a McCormick seasoning for it.  I followed their recipe and after many experiments came up with my own simple, restaurant tasting version.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  This is fabulous any time of year.  Especially Fall/Winter.

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    McCormick makes a spice blend for it.

    Jens’ White Chicken Chili

    1 pkg boneless, skinless, Chicken Breast or Thighs about 2 – 3 lbs.

    2 Cans Great Northern or Navy Beans do not drain

    1 can Diced Green Chili’s

    2 pkg McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning

    2 cups heavy cream

    1/2 cup shredded mozzarella Cheese + extra for garnish

    4 Tablespoons chopped Green Onion (if desired).

    In large dutch oven style pan, cook chicken until golden on both sides over medium heat. ¬†Remove from pan. ¬†Cut or shred chicken to bite size pieces approx 1/2 in. ¬†Return Chicken to pan. ¬†Add diced Green Chili’s and beans with liquid. ¬†Mix 2 season pkg with 2 cups heavy cream. ¬†Add to pan. ¬†Simmer on medium low 10 minutes. ¬†Stir occasionally. ¬†add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. ¬†Once cheese melts serve piping hot, garnish with chopped green onions and extra cheese if desired. ¬†Keeps well in freezer I recommend a double batch. ¬†(One to eat today, one for an easy frozen meal later.)

     

     

    Fall into Autumn

    Vivid autumn colors abound! Bring that merry dance from mother nature into your life.

    This is my favorite time of year1 Not only does the tempature start to drop (which in Florida means you can comfortably spend an hour outside), in our family its a long group of celebrations. We have so many birthdays coming up with a list is required to keep track. Moms, sisters, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and almost everybody in between.

    So when not decorating a birthday cake I try to get an early start on the Big holidays coming up. Many who know me know I’m a list person. if its in my future its on a list. Since I love them anyway I thought i’d share with you. Who knows maybe you’ll find the perfect gift, decoration, recipe or tip you need to make your celebrations sparkle.

    Birthdays

    Teachers, Books and Tech Oh My!

    As July winds down to the final few days, we look ahead to what’s to come. That’s right with August just days away we all know that back to School is coming. While parents look forwPlan your shopping around both your budget and the best sales. Most states have tax-free shopping. The items are usually the normal items and in some states where tax is 9 – 10 percent, or higher this can save you a bundle. Most Children see it as the loss of their freedom. To return to the world of teachers, books, papers and learning. Each year at this time we prepare to send our children on the adventure of a new school year.

    The transition for most is a happy and exciting. Whether Starting for the first time or transitioning schools as well as grades, it is important that they are prepared to meet this brave new world. Either way it is busy, so here I’ve gathered some ideas to get prepared, organized, and not go crazy while doing so.

    Start early. Work, summer camps, shopping, holidays, sports, and not completely blowing the budget can be a challenge. Starting early gives you extra time to fit it all in.

    Kindergarten or college students will need some new clothes and shoes. (Probably because they outgrew them in summer.) Most schools provide a list of supplies your eager learner will need. Paper, pencils, folders, the new backpack, and tech. College in particular will need basic household items as well to furnish the dorm room they will call home while persueing their degree. A good Laptop, Netbook, Chromebook, and or tablet will also be in the must have list.

    Plan your shopping around both your budget and the best sales. Most states have tax-free shopping. The items are usually the normal items and in some states where tax is 9 – 10 percent, or higher this can save you a bundle. Find the dates for your state in this handy list.

    I know I am going to use to my advantage and get a new computer. I’ll share my review and shopping experience soon.

    So here starts a new adventure for the kids and time out for parents. Just think with the return of school it means it’s almost football season.

    Independence Day

    That title is more important to everyday Americans. The regular families. Parents who work both white and blue collar. Children to carry on your families traditions. Growing up our holidays like this were spent with great family, plenty of food, and the pyrotechnics show given in almost every town large and small across the country. Swimming pools and BBQ scents fill the air. Lawn chairs, watermelon, ice cream and red, white, and blue can be seen everywhere.

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    Laughter, squeals, and firework pops are audible over the playlists of classic rock, Souza marches, and songs of Americana heritage. Any born here should take this opportunity to give thanks for being born here, immigrated, or the men and women of our armed services for protecting our freedoms.

    With the advent of social media we are all familiar with the policies swirling through current events. To agree or disagree is not the important question here. Recognizing that we have the right to disagree, we all must learn to get along and live together. All who stand within our shores should be proud to be an American. Our Flag, Government, and our values shape this great place we call home, never let anyone tell you that you are unlucky to be here. With no fear of imprisonments, torture, and many horrors that we see abroad. Is all fair and just here, no but looking around the world you could do worse.

    As we Celebrate the founding of this nation on July 4, we remember those who came before. Immigrant, native, man, woman, child. Let us focus on the good and work toward solutions that resolve our arguments. This Wednesday, as we spend time with family and friends, bbq or take-out, enjoy the time and festivities.

    If you find yourself in a quiet moment, add a special song to your playlist, wave the flag and proudly display what makes up the best part of our country, We The People.

    Please drink responsibly and remember that alcohol and fireworks can be a bad combination.

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