On Charity, Care and Ridiculous Ribbons

purple ribbonThis blog post might seem a little nasty. Nah. It will. You can skip over it if you like, but I’m really emotional right now, and I’m just going to roll with it.

I just spent a month watching friends of mine raise money for Children’s Miracle Network, which is great. It’s awesome, actually. I like CMN and think they do great work. I didn’t donate, mostly because I don’t have any money with which to do so. I felt targeted by every call for donation. Why aren’t YOU giving money, Sonja? Why don’t YOU care about the CMN? Why haven’t YOU reposted this petition for support? This was an annoying feeling, particularly because I knew that it wasn’t intended. It was imagined nagging; at least I’m fairly certain it was.
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The Birth of Agony – A Novel by Chris Ironside

agony_cover

Agony has a problem.

Dr. Evelyn St. Croix has been the mortal servant of a powerful vampire for more than half of a century. Strengthened and sustained by his blood, she perfected the art of hunting and seducing human prey for her master. Now, she must hunt for herself as Agony, a newly-formed vampire child. However enthralling the hunt, however blissful the flavor of warm blood flowing over her fangs, the thirst in her seems never to be quelled. Her undead body is constantly plagued with fatigue, and vivid nightmares torment her days. No amount of rest or feeding serves to replenish her powers. Each passing night takes a bigger toll on her both physically and mentally, and she’s already running out of time to find a solution.
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I didn’t know you were coming Ore-Ida made you some potatoes!

Image courtesy of Scott Costello

Image courtesy of Scott Costello

I honestly know only one person who doesn’t like french fries. Of course, that sacrilegious person would have to be the Murse! Oh, he’ll eat them — and he does like them if they’re well seasoned or covered with chili or cheese or something like that. But he doesn’t really experience or understand the absolute elation and comfort that some people get from eating plain old french fries. As it happens, he’s more of a tot man. I, however, love all things french fries. Even just typing about them makes me slightly salivate. I love the crisp exterior yielding to the pillowy center. I love them topped with BBQ sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, ranch dressing and other sauces, depending on my mood. I love them beside a burger or on top of a salad. I love them on a plate as the meal themselves, on occasion. I love them dipped in a milkshake (sinful combination of salty and sweet).

I must say, I’m like a child when it comes to fries. I crave, anticipate and delight in them. If I order a meal at a restaurant, nine times out of ten, I’m not substituting my french fries for another side. No way. But you can’t always go out to get your fry fix. Well … maybe some people can, but I have a budget. I have to cook at home a lot more often than I can indulge in having someone else cook and clean up. Continue reading

Johnsonville Sausage – October Noms

This month, the Allrecipes Allstars teamed up with Johnsonville sausage. I have to tell you, I love their brand all the way around. Beyond the fact that they make sausage that I routinely buy anyway, they are ridiculously generous with both swag and feedback. So allow me to gush about it for a few hundred words.

Johnsonville sent coupons for ground Italian sausage. I discovered after I bought sweet Italian links (my store didn’t have ground) that my coupons could probably have been used for bratwurst or something else, but I kind of wanted to push the Murse into eating the Italian anyway. I mean, we’re huge fans of brat, so it’s not like we really need to try it, you know? Not to sound like a low-brow jerk, but I’m not going to take a brat and make it into something different. It’s going to get simmered in beer and thrown on the grill. When it’s nice and charred, it’s going to be topped with Bavarian sauerkraut and mustard on a potato bun, and it’s going in my face. Period. No fancy bratwurst recipes for us, thanks. Continue reading

Tru Moo Tricks and Treats

Okay, so I’m a HUGE chocolate milk fan. Huge. When BzzAgent sent me an email about doing a TruMoo Halloween promotion, I was very excited! Buy chocolate milk, enter to win a Hollywood vacation. Double win!

When I was a kid, my parents would get chocolate powder or syrup. Sometimes, it was Nesquik, which was slightly better than Ovaltine but still not great. Hershey’s syrup is okay, but you have to use a lot, and it still doesn’t taste amazing. The chocolate milk I could get at lunch in the cafeteria — real chocolate milk — was like liquid crack. I loved it, but we never had it in the house. Continue reading