Giving Thanks

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I have a lot of things in my life to grateful for and I do my best to acknowledge these things throughout the whole year and not just during this season. This year, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do for the holidays. My whole family has recently made an abrupt shift in their lives, with my moving out on my own and my parents moving to Texas, where my brother already lives. Work and life prevented me from traveling to Texas for the holidays, but I’m very blessed in that I have really great friends here.

I was invited to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my godparents and their family. It a huge gathering with so much food, which is a staple of a great Thanksgiving bash. There were a number of people present who I hadn’t met before, so I was able to meet a lot of fun new people, hear great stories from past holiday experiences (always a laugh), and try new foods, which you guys know always thrills me. Can you believe I’ve never had cranberry jelly before? Super-sweet! And brussel sprouts, which I am super-surprised that I liked, but also really excited. Oh, and pecan pie, which I like just about as much as I like pecans (which is a lot).

So I had a ton of fun spending time with people who are a lot like a second family to me, and I’m really grateful for the really great people who happily invited me to enjoy the holiday with them.

I hope you had as good a Thanksgiving as I did, that you ate great food, had an afternoon zone-out on the couch watching football or reading a book, and that you were surrounded by friends and family who mean a lot to you.

Have a great holiday, and don’t forget to be grateful tomorrow for all the things you remembered to be grateful for today.

- Casey

Pride & Prejudice

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My hometown’s high school put on a performance of Pride and Prejudice Saturday evening. My mom somehow heard about and I bought a ticket to go see it. I’m not quite finished with the book yet, but I didn’t want to miss the chance at the show.

I am so glad that I went. Though the play was shortened so we weren’t there all night, I was incredibly impressed with the skill of the actors. I graduated in 2006, so it’s been some years since I’ve been back at the high school and I didn’t know anyone who was acting in the play. I was thrilled to watch the actors put themselves into the minds of characters from an era past and to see how well they portrayed not only the characters but also the time.

The costumes were impressive, the facial expressions of the actors while in character were lovely, and the set was beautifully done. I was very impressed with anything and I am so sure now that I need to finish the book. Thank you for the wonderful show, Hughesville High School. You did a fantastic job!

- Casey

Experimental Meal 002

omelet
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Thick Stir-Fry Omelette

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
2 tbsp ground flax seed
4 slices cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 steamable bag of stir-fry (baby corn, broccoli, snow peas, carrots)
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Thyme
Red peppercorns
Salt
Pepper
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Steam stir-fry mix as directed and put in dish to the side.

2. Break three eggs into a bowl. Mix in all spices, parmesan cheese, and ground flax seed. Scramble until smooth.

3. Heat medium-sized skillet and melt tbsp of butter until bottom of pan is aptly coated.

4. Pour scrambled egg mixture into skillet and cover with lid. Let cook until bottom of egg cake is somewhat solid.

5. Flip egg cake. Cover half of the cake with stir-fry mixture. Cover stir-fry with two pieces of cheese. Fold empty half of egg cake over stir-fry side. Cover pan with lid and let cook for a minute.

6. Flip omelette. Place two slices of cheese on omelette and cover. Let cook for a minute.

7. Shut off stove. Move omelette to plate and add any spices desired to still-wet cheese. Cover with desired condiments (I prefer ketchup or peach jam) and eat.

If you try the recipe, let me know what you think!

- Casey

Let’s Just Run Away

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Do you ever feel like you just need to run away for a little while?

I’ve been feeling very crowded lately, bogged down, and tired. I think some of it is probably the onset of the cold weather and the too-early sunsets, but I’m also just plain exhausted. Granted, I’m always busy and I ought to be used to having about a million things to do in a week’s time, but I’m struggling to finish my book (nevermind NaNoWriMo’s demands), while working full-time at a job that doesn’t test me creatively, and searching for another part-time job because I don’t have enough to do and please inflate the cost of living some more.

Ugh.

There’s this great big part of me that is tempted to just sell my stuff, pack what little I’d be keeping in the car, and go. Where? I don’t know. Could end up anywhere.

Of course, that’s not realistic, but the little part of me that thought started in has been growing and growing, and it keeps getting bigger. And the reasons for sticking around? Well, there aren’t many, to be honest. I’ve got a full-time job here and I know the area well, and I have some close friends nearby. That’s pretty much it and when it comes down to it, I can get a job anywhere, I’m a quick learner, and my friends know my phone number.

I’m not running yet, but the thought is definitely there, and it reappears when things get particularly suffocating. Maybe it’s unhealthy to think that the good solution is to run away, but I don’t know. It could be fun.

I’ve Been Reading A Lot Lately

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I’m always writing, as you know. If a day goes by without my putting pen to paper to spell out some fiction, I’m usually going a little stir crazy by that midnight hour. Lately, however, I have been finding time to read more than I’ve recently been able. Or, more accurately, to listen to audiobooks. It’s not the same as reading, since I’m pretty sure my brain takes things in differently when I’m visually reading the words, but it’s still just as entertaining.

I’ve listened to Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz, mostly for nostalgia, as I read the book years ago, and because I’ve recently watched (and bawled over) the very well-done movie. I have also listened to The Darkest Evening of the Year, also by Dean Koontz, The Third Gate, by Lincoln Child, and made it a few disks into another book before I decided it wasn’t for me. I’m awaiting on the arrival of The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien, 77 Shadow Street, by Dean Koontz, and It, by Stephen King to arrive at the library. I am pretty much beyond merely being thrilled with all of the potential books that I have spread out in front of me. I’ve missed having someone else’s story unfold in my head.

I watched Lawnmower Man on Saturday – a movie I saw years ago and enjoyed. I enjoyed it on Saturday, too, but not as much, because The Third Gate was sitting there, screaming to be listened to, and I couldn’t quite get all of my attention on Job. I feel a little bad, but it wasn’t me that drove him crackerjacks, at least.

So… I’ve given up on movies for the moment. It’s almost ridiculous, but they’re not holding my attention. I’ve even postponed my Netflix subscription, because I’m not using it. Instead, I’m going to frolic through the stories spread out in front of my like blades of grass in an endless, winterless meadow. Currently, yesterday being Sunday and the library being closed, I resorted to a free trial on Audible.com. I am presently listening to Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King, a story I haven’t read before but heard a lot about. And I need to get back to it, because I’m suffering book withdrawal!

Happy Monday, you lot! Have a great week!

Turn the page to a new world.

- Casey

Confessions of Earth’s Paladin

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Dear Diary,

Today I saved the world with a spoon. I wish I had been able to finish my granola first, though. Really, where are these aliens’ manners? They come here unannounced, stop airline traffic by parking their ship illegally over the runway, interrupt my breakfast, and then try to shoot me in the back? And they skipped out on their parking ticket! Rude. I am so not inviting them to my graduation party. 

- Abby, Paladin of Earth

PS: I have a date with Zack on Tuesday!!! Ahhhh! I need to go shopping!


Abby, Paladin of Earth is an urban science fiction series I’ve had on the brain for a few months now. With so many other projects in the works, it’s being pushed on the very full backburner I have of story ideas, but it’s definitely inching its way toward the top. Especially since the first story (the one involving the spoon, yes) is mostly-written in my head. Who knows? Maybe that story will make its debut before the rest.

As always, I’d love your thoughts!

Turn the page to a new world.

- Casey