Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6 Link Log

Back to three pages of e-mail (after sorting out the spam and bacon). Categories: Shameless Self-Promotion, Animals, Books, Christian, Crafts, Food, Fun, Health, Holidays, Phenology, Poems, Politics, Shopping, Weird, Writing. (No Zazzle, and this time it's their fault for not getting their e-mail out earlier this morning. I got through today's e-mail and, toward closing time, am only just touching last night's.)

Shameless Self-Promotion 

Hire me to write for you at https://www.fiverr.com/priscillaking#! . Fiverr paid up as promised! Hurrah! Youall are hereby cordially invited to use that site to promote your services, too! And, since I see a lot of requests for help for book writers at Freelancer and Guru, which have so far failed to pay, here's where to hire me to help write a book at Fiverr:


Well...some of my best research and writing went into those obsolete FacTapes. Can I help produce an audiobook? Touch wood, cross fingers, spit in hat...my phone doesn't do great audio recordings, but it does clearly audible ones. I've not tested how long a single audio file can be, on the phone, or whether reading a book-length manuscript that would've made a box of tapes in the Good Old Days will actually be efficient with the technology I have. We can always try.



Cat links came in first today...

Tiana from Atlanta: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36238475
Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea from New York: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/4756289
Panda from Bethesda: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36577000

Is the practice of "declawing" cats about to be banned? It probably ought to be, because it's unnecessary. If a Cat Sanctuary cat uses its claws inappropriately, I clip its claws; so far all I've ever had to worry about is that every week or two some cats will take a dig at something that belongs to me, just to get some more attention. (Yes, Polly used that "human's legs as scratching post" behavior when asserting herself as Queen of the Cat Sanctuary. The surprising thing is that, like most cats who do this, she didn't like human blood and was able to paw-scent-mark my legs without drawing blood. I felt her "scratching" just the topmost, dead layer of skin, as if I'd been scratching an itch.)



And a related petition...I didn't notice that I was signing it, but youall may want to sign it too:


The post below does a lot to explain why, after Barnie the Antisocial Cat came and went, Inky the Manx Waif suddenly noticed she outweighed Heather and Irene the Social Cats and started repaying their generous hospitality in such a nasty way. Well, at least now Inky's moved on, too...



Wendy Welch shares a unique local-interest book...no, you don't have to go to Big Stone Gap to buy a copy. (Everybody should go to Big Stone Gap at some time in their life, but I recommend going in summer.) The Little Bookstore would be delighted to sell you copies online.


I'm sharing this one out of sheer frustration. I'd like to share Jim Geraghty's e-mail--the full text--about the American Atheist grinches, and that goes against both my editorial policy and his. You need to subscribe to NRO to get his e-mails. This web site now shares only nonprofit e-mails, from elected officials or from individuals who write to us once in a while, but not newsletters or e-mails from'zine editors. Here's JG's book, instead.


Darkness is an interesting metaphor...



My take on this news tidbit differs from the Blaze's or the Huffington Post's. I see Natalie Baxter coming up with a fresh, novel gimmick to market her handcrafts...and I salute that. (The Blaze has the most informative headline, for those who don't want to bother reading the whole story; I thought it was worth clicking to see the quilted machine-gun pillows, but then my computer tolerates Blaze cookies better than some do.)


I've not done a non-book Amazon link for a while. In honor of +Sandy KS 's Christmas shopping list, and the popularity of elaborate "adult" coloring books ("adult" because they call for fine-pointed pencils or markers) as stress relievers, and the stress the teenager mentioned seems to be coping with...

 136 colors!
136 colors!

And here's a photo guide to all you ever wanted to know about making sock monkeys, or a whole little sock zoo:


Food (Yum) 

For the carnivores:


Warning: you can make pancakes with gluten-free flour, but they will not taste the same. I like cornmeal pancakes with a bit of flaxmeal and/or an egg for binding power. Having the pan just a degree or two below the smoking point definitely helps lighten them; impatience with my wood stove has given me more tolerance for heavy, soggy, slow-cooked cornbread than some people have. With eggnog...cornmeal pancakes would definitely taste different. With pumpkin? ??? Different, but probably better than bean bread. (With banana, pineapple, chocolate-and-banana, blueberry-and-cinnamon, or candied-ginger-and-five-spice-powder, cornmeal pancakes can be pretty good.) Rice-and-potato flour might make fancy-flavor pancakes that taste more like eggnog-enhanced wheat-based pancakes, if the flour is fresh. One of these days this web site will get together and work this out...



This sweet gluten-free cookie story...reminds me so vividly of Grandma Bonnie Peters' brilliant start and epic fail with Allergy-Ease Veggie Burgers. Stay small, small start-up companies. If you invest everything in a big splashy start, the big food industry is all set up to see that you lose everything. While this web site opposes all forms of protectionism, we recommend that entrepreneurs stay small and take advantage of being small until they grow, rather than trying to go mano a mano with ConAgra during your first year. (I said this to GBP. I was ignored. I grieved with her.) I'd like to see Reason To Bake outlast Allergy-Ease Foods. I'd like to see GBP's granddaughter (the child on the package of Allergy-Ease foods, now a teenager), who inherited the cooking gene and whose fever-related brain damage is less drastic than autism or Downs Syndrome, get a job with RTB.



Do you subject children to the photo-with-Santa routine? If so, you may appreciate these out-takes from the ritual:


Here are some (I say better) ways to entertain children during holiday exhaustion:



Here's a more positive, empathetic reply to the discussion of "caretaker burnout" that appeared here last summer:



Abi Sutherland explains Pakjesavond:


This playlist is shared because it's so different from mine...well, I've not lived with teenagers full-time for a while. (My favorite carols are for singing and/or singing along with. Most of them come from the Oxford Book of Carols and/or the Mennonite hymnal (which was what my parents had when I was learning to play them on the piano) and/or Jim Reeves' Christmas album--but maybe my Long List of Songs to Sing While Fundraising for Your Favorite Mission does deserve a blog post. One of my silly stunt "talents" is having learned the words and tunes to nine hours' worth of Christmas carols.)


Phenology Links 

Illinois celebrates the first Real Snow this winter. Here in Virginia, we get rain...I just checked. According to Bing, the temperature in Hell, Michigan, is (at the moment of checking, about 11 a.m.) exactly where it was at the Cat Sanctuary when I left (about 8 a.m.)--exactly where you probably want the temperature to be in your refrigerator. In both Michigan and Virginia the temperature has risen by 12 Fahrenheit-degrees since sunrise, and as usual it's about 10 F-degrees warmer in Virginia. I mention this for the benefit of anyone who wants to needle a profane acquaintance who has promised, at some time in the past year, to do something "when Hell freezes over." It does, every winter, and Accuweather will tell you when. Anyway, Naomi the Nature Nerd has posted the official First Snow Picture this web site has received:



This web site is aware that some readers' one regret about Fidel Castro's demise was that it didn't happen fifty years earlier. Nevertheless: brave people criticize those in power, less brave people criticize those on the way down, and people who are just plain mean bash the dead. Alice Walker heard things about Castro that made her admire him, when she was young, and saw things about him that allowed her to like him, when she was old enough and famous enough to get a chance to meet him. Good and bad things can be said about everybody. Let the good as well as the bad be remembered.



Even when it's a beautiful free choice, communism is freedom only for the minority who have chosen it...not unlike celibacy.


Professional protesters? Hmph. Some people need to get lives.


From Penny Nance:

What a disaster ObamaCare has proven to be. The stories of decreases in coverage, along with unreasonable increases in cost, seem endless. And it’s not going to get better any time soon.

According to the Heritage Foundation, “in 2017, on the ObamaCare exchanges in 39 states, the average premium increase for the benchmark plan will be 25 percent.”

That’s on top of the steep increases we’ve already seen!

Thank God, President-elect Trump has plans to repeal this job-killing, economy-crippling legislation. But that is just step one in the process of making health care both more proficient and more affordable for American families.

It must be a priority for the President-elect and also Congress.


For those who want to continue buying prezzies for people who have everything...actually, if "everything" includes arthritis in the hands, this might be a good idea. (Reposing on the porch of the Cat Sanctuary is a vintage jar of preserved strawberries nobody was able to open for long enough that, by the time a big strong young relative visited, we'd repurposed the jar for use as a weapon. All poachers, trespassers, and raccoons should tremble.)


Elizabeth Barrette's "Winterfaire" blog post is a link-up for crafters:



This woman blames the presidential election for her boyfriend trouble? (And he's probably glad, because at least she's not blaming him...)



How to prevent burnout...for bloggers or traditional writers. (Rita Mae Brown said something similar, years ago. I love that typewriter--have a couple just like it. I loved reading her book, too.)


Jerry Jenkins on one of the basic writing skills challenges for new writers:


Hmm. Now will I make the e-time to "syndicate" a post at Niume? We shall see. I still have a post here that I was supposed to have updated last week, and I'm getting down into the last hour of online time today...