Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day of NaNoWriMo


'Nuff Said...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Put Your Survival Skill to the Test - On Mars

How good are your survival skills?

One NASA engineer is suggesting one-way trips to Mars to find out.

One Way.

To Mars.
life_on_mars.jpg
ala The Western Frontier.

Now, I realize we probably wouldn't have tamed the wild west without some courageous pioneers going before everyone to set up shop, but seriously, they had a few things in their favor the Mars pioneers wouldn't.

Like - air.

I'll admit, I don't know a lot about Mars. The few tidbits I am aware of set up some serious challenges.

1. The water is frozen
2. Plant life is non-existent
3. No animals

Can you even start a fire on Mars? How would you make clothes?

Considering my survival skills are put to the test on a weekly basis, and I come up short - - and learn new things - - I'm not quite ready to put my name on the list.

Here's a link to the full story:
http://www.universetoday.com/13037/a-one-way-one-person-mission-to-mars/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Grateful Bounty

My list of thankful things is pretty much endless...

I'm thankful for my little brother, who's growing up to be a man, without my permission. Because of his commitment to live in The Most Beautiful Snowy Town in the World, we won't get to be together today. Because he's responsible, and takes his job seriously, we won't get to be together today. Because I love him so much, I'm proud to call him my brother.

I'm thankful for my mom and dad, who drove a billion miles in a blizzard so my brother and his wife wouldn't be by themselves, miles from family today. They always put us first, and championed every hairbrained idea we came up with - even living in The Most Beautiful Snowy Town in the World.

I'm thankful for my beautiful babies, and the courageous man who talked me into having them. I love everything about them, from the tips of their perfect heads, to their little round toes. They bring a sparkly wonder into my life and I would be less of a person without them.

I'm thankful for my amazing husband. He is kind, and good, and gracious, and thankful, and respectful, and loving, and caring, and stunning, and has the biggest heart in the world, matched only by his big brain, filled with all the trivia you could imagine. He teaches our boys how to be curious about life, and genuinely interested in others. He's the best part of my world.

I'm thankful for my friends, there are no words to express the courage and blessings they breathe into my life every day.

I'm the luckiest girl on the planet, but luck has nothing to do with it. I'm blessed beyond measure.

Peace,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving

I started listening to Christmas tunes today. I filled the house with some updates to old favorites, and Neil Diamond singing the classics. Then the blizzard showed up as scheduled and life was groovy.

Then I got in the car to run a few errands.

I hadn't changed the station yet.

Most days I listen to KLOVE: Positive, Encouraging Christian music. I dig it. And it keeps me from getting road rage.

Today was a little different.

The president of World Vision Online talked about what he saw on a recent trip to Africa. An 8 year old boy was now responsible for feeding his family: His mom and 3 sisters. That day, all he found was a nest of rats.

Rats.

With Bubonic plague.

I treat survival like a fun little test. In parts of the world, survival is a way of life. For children. For babies. For mamas.

This thanksgiving, I will get to sit down to a feast. Every day, my hunt for food is less than a block away. My children have never missed a meal.

It's time to pay it forward.

Thanksgiving 4 Africa
KLOVE

May a bountiful feast grace your table this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Surviving with Emergency Heat Sources

Emergency Heat Sources

Are you prepared for a blizzard?
blizzard.jpg


In the 12 years I've lived in Utah, I've never been under a Blizzard Advisory. Storm watches, yes. Storm warnings, yes. But never a blizzard.


It's making me a little nervous, so I'm rechecking our emergency heat sources today before the blizzard warning starts at 4 PM this afternoon.


We're super lucky to have the RV as a major backup. If things get really bad we can always move out there. With two rambunctious toddlers, I'm thinking I'd rather stay in the house whenever possible.


I want to prepare for the two likely scenarios that would happen at my house:
1. Power Outage
2. Power and Gas Outage
In both instances, how will we stay warm, prepare food and water, and handle bathing and bathrooms?


1. Heating Spaces
If the power goes out, we have a gas fireplace upstairs in the living room, and I know it will heat that room effectively, and keep us all warm. We may get to have a campout in the living room, but that will make it memorable.


2. Preparing Food
On the weekends, I'm a big fan of the microwave. If the power goes out, we're down to the gas stove, or the grill outside. I'll have to use food from the food storage, or the deep freeze outside, as I won't want to open the inside fridge for several reasons:
a. If the power's out, the fridge/freezer isn't working, and I want the food to stay cold as long as possible. 
b. Opening the door will also cool the interior of the room, and when the main heat source is out, every degree counts.
I may even go a step further and put the necessities - milk, punch, meat for the next few days - outside in a snow bank, to keep me from opening any freezer doors. I can go out through the garage, lessening the entrance of cold air.


Water will be easy, as there's now an endless supply of it outside. I have enough for several days in the food storage, but it might be fun to test the melting snow theory. I still have the gas stove in the kitchen working under this scenario, so I'll melt it in large pots, and store it in one of the bathtubs.


Which brings me to...
3. Bathing and Bathrooms
Since none of the faucets will work work when the power's out, I'll have the aforementioned bathtub for water, which I can use for flushing toilets and spit baths too. (The toilets will FLUSH with no electricity, but the bowl will need to be hand filled with water from the tub.) The RV has been winterized, so there's no water in it right now, and if the pipes froze, it wouldn't work anyway. I have a large garden tub in the master bath, so I'll fill that tonight, because it would take the whole yard to fill it, and that's just a lot of work.


Now, if the power AND gas go out, things get slightly trickier.


1. Heating
I have several small Mr. Heaters in the trailer that would come inside. They'll heat about 200 square feet, so we'd have to move to one of the bedrooms. In a worst case scenario, we could uninstall the catalytic heater from the trailer and bring it in.


MAJOR FACTORS HERE: I have lots of other heat sources, NONE of which are safe to use indoors. NEVER use a camping stove, or kitchen stove as a heat source. NEVER use an outdoor BBQ. Carbon monoxide becomes a serious threat. I have several big patio heaters that we wouldn't be able to bring in for that reason, too.


2. Preparing food
Same as above, though now I'd have to cook on my portable stuff from the trailer. I'll need to double check the supply of little green propane tanks, and big tanks for the BBQ. I'll want to be conscious of what I'm cooking, to keep water consumption to a minimum.


3. Bathing and bathrooms.
As long as I'm ahead of the curve, and get the bathtubs filled, we'll be ok for a few days. We'll obviously have lots of snow to melt to keep the toilets flushing.


I'm excited for another test. What's the weather like at your house?


Here's a great resource for other heating sources, you might have at your house, and how to handle them.


Stay Warm. BE SAFE!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

What Good Are Digital Baby Books?

The monkeys are almost 4 and almost 2.


I have about 6.5 complete pages of a baby book between the two of them.


Printed photos?
About a dozen - because the photographer who did their newborn photos included them in the package.




Photos on our 3 computers?
About a billion.


I'm working on doing a better job of chronicling their lives, but last week I tried something new. I took a journal into the bathroom while they were taking their bath and logged the week's fun.


Which led me to think - what happens to the little bit I've managed to put on a baby blog, or on the harddrive if the power goes out? For a few hours, or even a day - - probably nothing. But what if the power went out for a month - - or longer - - in the event of a major disaster?


I would lose all the moments I'd worked to catalogue.


So I'm going old school - - paper and pen, while they're in the tub...and I'm perched on the toilet - (lid down, of course :)


As for the photos - I'm going to pick my dozen favorites of the month and send them to walgreens via snapfish...I'm there once a month anyway.


What works for you? How do you preserve your memories?




Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bounce House Query


Monday morning, Ben Snow headed into an average day. By Friday, four days were missing, with only wisps of memories for explanation. His aging body is now the athletic build of his youth, and the only thing he added to his bland routine is a little bit of astral projection.

When a stranger appears and offers to fill in the blanks, Ben is wary. Revealing a family secret no one bothered to share, the stranger tells Ben he is genetically coded to prevent epic disasters.

And it’s time to teach his daughter, Abi.

Loathe to spend time with his pierced, leather-wearing hellion of a daughter, Ben declines the invitation and considers the matter settled.

Now Abi’s found the family dirt and wants a piece of the action.

Slipping and sliding through the obstacles of their sketchy relationship while learning the family trade, Ben and Abi find common ground in their hybrid reality.

They have no idea the universe is about to come calling with an unavoidable job offer.

BOUNCE HOUSE is a 95,000 word thriller. It is the first of a series, and I am currently writing the second book.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Bounce House Preview #4

Ready for a little more of my Thriller, BOUNCE HOUSE?
I'm still in the thick of NaNoWriMo...so I'm saving all my words for the count over there :)


If you missed the earlier pieces of BOUNCE HOUSE, you can find Chapter 1 HERE.


Let me know what you think. 




Chapter 2

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Preparedness Away From Home.

What About Car Preparedness?

I'm working my way through the TEK-S safety course, and one piece that really stuck out was a question in the Evaluation:


Do you always have spare cash in your front pocket, in case of emergencies?


Uh, no.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Surviving Cold Crazy Weather.

10 tips for stylish layering techniques for all occasions

Winter in Utah can be a little crazy. The sun shines 125 days a year, but during the winter it's deceptive. Whether I'm working at home, running errands, or working in the office, I've come to learn layering is the best way to staying warm.

The trick is doing it with a little style. While a sweatshirt is cozy, it’s not exactly flattering for any body shape.

1.      Layer in secret! Pantyhose and silk shirts are a great way to add a layer of warmth without compromising your cuteness.
2.      Tanktops. A ballerina turned me on to the slimming effect of a tight fitting tanktop underneath EVERYTHING. When I was nursing, it was also a lifesaver for hands-free pumping, and I got addicted.
3.      Scarves are where it’s at. For me, keeping my neck warm makes all the difference. Last year I wore a scarf with nearly every style of shirt.
4.      Turtlenecks. Nearly every wintertime sweater I have leaves a little room to stuff a turtleneck underneath. I have a couple favorite long necklaces to accent and not look like a covered up blob.
5.      Shrugs. I have three favs. A chocolate, super thick sweater shrug, an ivory cashmere shrug, and a black wool shorty. I can put them over any of the tight long sleeve options in the closet, and those colors will go with just about anything.
6.      Sweaters. Ok, sometimes, the most important layer is pretty obvious. Sweaters are warm, colorful, and come in some stunning textures.
7.      Hats. Major bonus here, because you can also get out of doing your hair. My winter selection of hats are all fuzzy, and cover my ears for extra warmth.
8.      Snowmen. Playing outside requires some extra precautions. It’s important to make sure sweat and moisture is wicked to the outer layer. I have different layers for chilling v. sweat-inducing.
9.      Texture. I think fuzzy is a warm factor for me. Fuzzy socks seem warmer. Fuzzy pants seem warmer. Whether it’s the fuzzy hat, fuzzy scarf, or fuzzy socks, one element of my layer is fuzz.
10.   Snowmobiling. When I get cold, all bets are off. Since picking up the uber cold sport of Snowmobiling, dressing for warmth has become a major factor. Pantyhose, wool socks, thermals, snowboarding pants, silk thermal top, long sleeve t-shirt, t-shirt, sweatshirt, gortex vest, snowmobile bibs, snowmobile jacket, baklava, scarf, helmet. Serious Layering!!

Layer to stay warm, stay dry, and stay mobile. Layer with the day in mind: chopping wood? Wicking materials; shopping? Make the outer layer the warmest so you can easily shed it in the store.



I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Cuddl Duds blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

What The Home Audit Turned Up.

The auditor from the gas company came last week and conducted an audit of the house.  I was pretty sure I'd learn something - and probably get scolded for using the fireplace nearly 24/7 during the winter.


The results blew my mind.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bounce House Preview #3

Every Friday, I'm sharing a bit of the new book. If you missed last week's post of Chapter 1, check it out here. I'm in love with feedback for this book, good or bad. It's headed out to agents next week...so bring it on.


CHAPTER 1 cont'd

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is Pedophilia Where We Draw the Line?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." ~ Constitution of the United States


I'm going to take a stand this morning, though it would be much easier to let the topic slide.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Surviving the Holidays.



I've been invited to participate in the BLOGMANIA 2011 Dream team's Holiday Entertaining Extravaganza.


What's on my entertaining/holiday survival bug-out list?

What's the Opposite of Writer's Block?

Holy Shizzle.

I'm cramping.
And not the good, thank-the-heavens-I'm-not-pregnant-again kind.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is a Lottery Win Required for Survival?

For the most part, it was a losing weekend:
University of Utah Utes: Fail
Miami Dolphins: Fail

But, there, in my Inbox, a glimmer of success:
I was chosen to participate in a review of the TEK∙S safety training course.
I won a copy of the P90X Workout.

Both got me thinking about the physical aspects of an emergency. I've been strategic and methodical about planning my food storage, water storage, and bug-out essentials. But what about my physical preparation? I'm in no shape to chop wood, haul water, and till acres of dirt for anything longer than a day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bounce House Preview #2

FINITO!

My Thriller, BOUNCE HOUSE, is finally complete! Three months, two edits, many mornings of meeting the sun, and it's here (well, the first draft, anyway). This is Chapter 1. As always...I WELCOME comments, judgements, and ughs. Now that it's November, and I'm 6,000 words in on Book 2, I'm going to post parts of the book every Friday.


PROLOGUE

Another miscalculation. Ben Snow grabbed the top cable as it whizzed past. Falling overboard seemed like a shitty way to start this visit. He should have taken the roll and pitch of the ship into account. First time on a Navy ship, and he didn’t expect it to be different than on land? I’m never going learn this.
Night enveloped the ocean beyond, and the sky stretched with a vastness only existing at sea. Five stories below him, the swish of the saltwater against the hull of the USS Cole rose as the solitary sound in the dark night. Ben’s legs settled into the rhythm of the waves and he scanned the massive deck. As anticipated, the ship was deserted at night, a crew moved through the ship elsewhere, but not topside below the main mast, where he managed to arrive.
A lone crewman stood paced the length of the deck, the tinkle of his dog tags against his buttons another melody in the quiet darkness. His loping gait and broad shoulders were instantly recognizable to Ben; he spent twenty years watching him pace the living room at home.
Ben moved toward his son, a little unsure how Gabe would handle this surprise arrival. They’d never been particularly close. Gabe didn’t pick the Navy on accident.
Gabe paced to the edge of the deck, his brow in a furrow that signified too little sleep and too many plaguing thoughts. Ah, son what’s bothering you now? Talk to me. Gabe trailed his fingertips along the uppermost cable of the railing as he turned. Ben stepped forward to catch Gabe’s attention and ask. Gabe’s head jerked up and he scrambled backward along the cabling. “Holy shit! Dad? What are you—how did you—” He raised his hand as if to defend an attack. He thinks he’s losing his mind.
“Gabe? It’s okay son. I’m here to visit—” Ben moved closer to Gabe to explain, but his feet wouldn’t move, encased in some otherworldly sludge.
“This isn’t funny.” Gabe’s mouth hung open as he hauled in deep racking breaths. As if oxygen would make this scene somehow sensible. Gabe pointed at Ben’s now transparent feet.
“Holy hell—Gabe!” Ben’s composure slipped and the entire scene flickered.
The heel of Gabe’s boot caught on a protruding vent and he stumbled, landing hard on his ass. The loud metal clanged at the impact. Gabe coughed, rubbed his eyes, and pressed hard against the vent as if he too might disappear into the deck.
 Don’t be afraid. I’ll never hurt you. Ben refocused his concentration so he could say it out loud. Give Gabe some type of reassurance. He worked to slow his heartbeat. The emotions pulled at his meditative state. The paralysis moved up his thighs. A low moan slipped from Gabe as he touched his head. Was that blood on his hand?
Ben aborted the bounce and vanished.


CHAPTER 1

Magic.
Such a twisted, unique word. Magic is both the greatest known and the deepest unknown. Masters of magic must learn things beyond the realm of a normal man’s imagination. It is the leap from the edge of unknown into an endless chasm of knowledge.
As Ben stood on the threshold of his nightly stomping ground and surveyed the patrons, a wisp of magic swirled around him, tempting him, caressing his mind, stroking his soul. He closed his eyes and blew out a short puff, exchanging the magic for cigarette smoke.
No more magic for him.
In the back of the darkened bar, his buddy Stan waved him over. The bartender called out to Ben on his way by the bar, “Beer?” Ben nodded.
At their usual table, Ben scraped the wooden chair back and dug a handful of peanuts out of the shallow dish. He nudged the chair closer to Stan so they wouldn’t have to shout over the country music blaring from the speaker overhead.
Ben dropped to the chair. “What the hell, Stan? You leave out a few critical details?”
Stan spoke around a mouthful of peanuts, his hands busy shelling more. “What happened?”
“What happened?! Stan, I ended up on a Naval Destroyer, about fell overboard, didn’t know who the hell I was for almost five minutes, scared the shit out of Gabe, and then lost control of the whole bounce. Is that enough?”
Stan choked and bits of peanuts sprayed on the table. The bartender set a dewy glass of beer at Ben’s elbow. Ben grasped the beer like his final lifeline and craned his head to thank the bartender with a nod. The crisp froth of the beer tasted good, but did little to settle Ben’s mood.
“Don’t yell at me.” Stan said. “All you can blame me for is the suggestion. You were the one looking for the diversion, I just picked astral projection for you instead of heroin.”
Ben shook his head. “That wouldn’t have been my drug of choice.” He took another pull off the beer.
Stan continued. “You missed the point. The article suggested astral projection as an escape and I relayed the information.” Stan popped more peanuts in his mouth and a few patrons pushed past them to the booths behind their table. “Why do you suppose I haven’t had any of these issues?”
Ben shrugged. “Who knows. But I’m done, Stan.”
“You keep saying that.”
“I’m serious this time. I threw the workbooks out.”
The mists of magic evaporated.

*

Steam from the shower clung to Ben, it curled around him misting the corners of the mirror and cloaking the overhead light. Blue walls tinged the steam an eerie fog as it cascaded off the ledge of the counter. A bowl of potpourri tucked in the corner filled the steamy room with the scent of roses, vanilla, and dust.
Ben dabbed at the mirror with a short lacy hand towel and pressed forward. Getting old sucks.
Doing it twice came with advantages.
Ben stared at the mirror and tried to apply the makeup a little better. Squeezing foundation out of the tube, Ben squirted a jagged line along the blackened creases of his index finger. He dabbed at the edges of his eyes with the thumbs of a mechanic not a makeup artist. Who knew this was so hard to make natural?
His breath fogged the mirror and he dropped his hands to the edge of the sink. “I’m going to have to tell her.” He rolled the foundation tube in his palm. “One of these days she’s going to need to know why all her makeup is disappearing.” Along with her husband.
Staring into the mirror to check his progress, Ben examined the foam latex creases glued to the corners of his mouth and eyes. Wrinkles that should have been real for each of his sixty-two years, wrinkles that were there a month ago. If anyone in this house actually took the time to see him they’d balk at his weak attempts to cover these changes. And that was part of the problem. No one saw him. At least no one here. Not for a long time.
Being an anonymous entity in his own house didn’t change the major fact at hand: He had to stop.
How far would the clock rewind? Would a day come where he’d no longer be able to conceal the youthful effects of this obsession?
Ben twisted the lid back on the borrowed foundation, slipped it back into the black makeup bag and tossed it into the bottom drawer.
He paused with his hand on the bathroom doorknob. I have to stop.
On the other side of the door, status quo reigned. Twenty-four years of marriage, six kids, and a lifetime of missed opportunities were what drove Ben to dabble in things grandfathers shouldn’t attempt.
When his three oldest flew the nest within a week of their eighteenth birthdays only to return a few months later, Ben searched for an escape. Heroin was too expensive, coke was too frantic, and pot made everything a little too funny. The article on astral projection from Stan seemed the perfect solution.
Visiting Gabe on his Navy ship fueled this astral projection project of Ben’s. The first attempt scared them both so bad Ben almost quit that very night. He hadn’t been back to see Gabe, but curiosity dripped on him like Chinese water torture. Almost a full week passed before the temptation grew too big to resist.
Leaving him in one hell of a bind. Ben twisted the knob and as he stepped over the threshold, he pretended to creak and ache in all his old-man places. One day soon he’d be forced to explain away his disguise, for now, the cavernous space that had grown between Ben and his family served as much an accessory to his concealment as the molded latex pieces stuck to his face.
Ben moved through the aging house with a slowness that annoyed him. In a kitchen as rumpled as his wife, Ben snagged a pancake, dropped a peck on her cheek and followed the entourage of kids out the back door.
His wife, Gina’s, voice slipped between the crack of the closing door. “Don’t forget the trash.” She didn’t look up. Another day. Another chore.
Just shoot me. “Not a chance.” He said. Wondering what the hell she did all day while he worked to support all eight of them. Yeah, maybe that made him an ass, but he was a tired ass. They’d been in this together. Now they were roommates.
Outside, Ben scraped the ice off the truck windshield. If only he could sprinkle a few drops from his fountain of youth on her poor rusting blue body and cracked vinyl seats. The driver’s side door creaked and groaned, and Ben cooed, “C’mon baby, I know it’s cold.”
Sputtering and coughing, the engine fired on the third try and Ben backed into the street. As the trashcan parked on the curb came into view, he pressed the brakes. They squealed in resistance and he patted the faded dashboard.
He studied the trashcan through the frosted window. He had to stop. This was the right decision. Every issue of his astral projection subscription layered the can. He tossed his copies of Mysticism: The Journey Within and Psycho-Dynamic Synthesis: Key to Total Mind Power in with the rest for good measure.
If he finished reading all the study guides, Ben would get better. Then what would stop him from doing it all the time? Ben stretched toward the door handle, but he clenched a fist and punched the steering wheel. An arc of pain should have shot up his arm from the blow to his arthritic knuckles, but he felt nothing.
My curiosity could never be sated. Keeping this information around would be torture. First, he’d start with one bounce a week, then two, then he’d never come home, bouncing from new destination to new destination.
New body. New life.
Little bit of memory loss.
So? So what if he forgot things? Maybe if he was bouncing all the time he needed to forget the family and events he left behind.
Ben released his foot from the brake, and eased away from the tempting silver platter of a different reality disguised as a trash can in a run-down working class neighborhood. Tugging his collar close around his neck, he stared down the quiet road; the morning’s clean sheet of snow barely marred with evidence of the day. But soon, tire tracks would accumulate, turning it into a worn, dirty path.
Did symbolism lay in the silliness of a set of tire tracks? Was Ben working to project his own life onto the image? He’d certainly never been a clean sheet of snow, that’s for sure. But in the moment of amnesia at the beginning of a bounce, he was whoever he wanted to be. He could morph into the surroundings and go with the bounce, to become anything. Anyone.
Then, when the day became muddied with information or mistakes, he could bounce to a clean new experience.
Ben shifted the layers of padding concealing his youthful body. His fingers flexed toward the door handle again. At sixty-two, he couldn’t ignore how his body had failed him. If he stopped bouncing, would the toned muscles and lubed joints leave him? How long would it take to revert back to the aging old man? If the workbooks held his fountain of youth could he forsake this rewind of the clock because it held annoying consequences?
Were they annoying? The only time the amnesia bothered him was on the return. Last time took him almost four hours and a lot of fast-talking to recover his memory. Gina hadn’t been impressed.
He flexed, what good was the body of a twenty-four year old if he didn’t get to show it to anyone? The physical reward wasn’t suitable payment for the mental anguish anymore. It was time to accept the version of this life that existed today, and stop the torture of where and who he could be.
He’d been a fool to think a quick jump to an alternate reality would serve to amp this one. If anything, he made it worse with a contrast of what other realities were possible with a quick flick of his magic carpet.
He blew an icy cloud across the frigid interior of the truck. A quick glance at the house as he pulled away revealed nothing extraordinary; dull brown brick, dull yard, dull front door.
Adventure didn’t live here. 



What did you think?? Would you keep reading??

Read More Chapter 1 cont'd

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral.

Gotta admit, I didn't really think about my blog's carbon footprint. I mean, really, in the grand scheme of my life, this is less than a toenail.


BUT - I found someone who has thought about it.


Mach's Grun will plant a tree, which absorbs 11 pounds of carbon dioxide, and my blog (some smarty pants scientist figured out) will release 8 pounds, putting my blog at a negative 3 pound output. Yay for me.


Check it out.


Get a button.



See you in 46,000....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Is Cholera On Its Way to My House?

The Cholera outbreak in Haiti is concerning me. I did some research and Cholera was nearly non-existent in Haiti before the Hurricane. It is only because of the shortage of clean water Cholera has been able to claim over 300 lives there. It's not a vaccine most people ever think of, because it's simple to prevent. Clean water is the only thing needed. My house boasts an endless supply of clean water.


On a normal, non-disaster day.


Cholera is a simple bacterial infection in the intestine, with a short incubation period and causes victims to suffer from severe dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting, and eventually death.


In the event of a disaster here at home, the same fate may await.


I have a severe shortage of stored water. Although I've been working my way, if a disaster struck today, I have less than a week of clean water available. Not cool.


I should have 1-2 gallons per person, per day. 


Four people x seven days x two gallons = FIFTY-SIX gallons


I found this cool, fairly inexpensive water storage tank from a company called SureWater. The smaller tank is 275 gallson for $479. Not a bad deal. And 275 gallons is over a month of water (look at me, cracking out all this math - - feel free to ignore any mistakes)





While I'm working on saving up the $500 to snag one of these...I'm going this route:

This Survival Mama has some fantastic ideas about vacuum-sealing water in two cup portions and freezing the bags. She double seals them and sticks them in the deep freeze. Brilliant. To meet the fifty-six gallon requirement for a week of clean water, I'll need 448 bags. Um....wow.


Maybe I can meet somewhere in the middle. Either way, time to get going.


Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 NaNoWriMo Starts Today!

National Novel Writing Month
...is upon us...


Have you ever written a novel? Dreamed of starting one? Can't find the time?


Join me (and thousands of other writers) this month for the 2010 NaNoWriMo.


What's required?
Guts, determination, and 50,000 words on the page.


You've got it in you...now put it on the page.


(PS - if you don't see me around much this month, I'm writing the sequel to BOUNCE HOUSE, ROUND HOUSE)


For a preview of BOUNCE HOUSE, check it out here. 


See you in 50,000...

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