Monday, December 26, 2016

Pork Chop and Cabbage Dinner

Happy Day After Christmas! This I prepared my first Christmas dinner and as a result, probably won't do any cooking for a week. The holiday season with the New Year approaching is still busy, so if you have to cook, here's something quick from Fix It and Forget It. Enjoy!

Pork Chop and Cabbage Dinner

2lbs pork chops
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 T dried parsley
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 t caraway seeds
1/8 t allspice
1/2 cup beef broth
2 apples cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

Place pork in slow cooker. layer onions, parsley and cabbage over pork. Combine salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and allspice. Sprinkle over cabbage. Pour broth over cabbage. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours. Add apple slices 30 minutes before serving.

My mom fixed a pork dish she served with baked apples on Christmas Eve. It was wonderful! I love pork and apples. How about you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Break

I'm taking a break from blogging, but I'll be back December 26. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips

Not great, but it's only the first draft...

Here are ten hard-hitting writing tips from Cody Delistraty's article 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors.  

1. The first draft of everything is sh**. -Ernest Hemingway

2. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious a**. -David Ogilvy

3. If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker

4. Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. -Paul Theroux

5. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee

6. You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London

7. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell

8. There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham

9. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King

10. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman

For all 21 tips, click here.

Do you have a harsh but eye-opening tip to share?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Life on the Color Line

Dr. Gregory Williams is a former president of the University of Cincinnati, one of the nation's top 25 public research universities. He is also a noted scholar with a vast background in academic leadership. Prior to his post as UC's President, he was the President of the City College of New York.

Dr. Williams has worked in University Administration for over 30 years, holding positions at George Washington University and the University of Iowa.  In addition, he was Dean of Law School and Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law at The Ohio State University.

After I read Dr. Williams's memoir, Life on the Color Line I was amazed that he was able to achieve as much as he has.  It's hard to believe that an individual with such an outstanding resume faced extraordinary challenges that would have destroyed most of us.

So, what made Dr. Williams's life so challenging? It wasn't a physical disability, nor was it the fact that he was a black youth in America during the '40s and 50's, although that was a large part of it.  If you're looking at his picture, you're probably surprised by his ethnicity!

His series of challenges began at age 10, when his parents divorced. Divorce is difficult for any child to endure. But imagine on top of that, learning your true identity.  Picture living a comfortable life as a white child, at the top of the food chain, so to speak, but then finding out that you're really, what in those days was referred to as a "Negro."  "I don't want to be a Negro," Dr. William's little brother Mike cried, "we can't go to the swimming pool and we can't go skating!" And that was just the beginning of their emotional readjustment to the dregs of society.

Dr. Willams and his brother left Virginia with their father, after their father divorced their white mother. From a decent life in Virginia (albeit with some issues), the elder Williams took his sons back to his home state of Indiana.  As a bi-racial man, Dr. Williams's father had passed as white.  He was known as Tony and claimed to be of Italian descent.  But back home, everyone knew Tony, now referred to as Buster, was black.  And being "Negro" inhibited employment opportunities.

The alcoholism of Dr. Williams's father caused a large amount of dysfunction, and his father's chronic unemployment prevented him from caring of his two boys.  Living from hand to mouth, they endured poverty and beatings.

In school, once Dr. Williams was singled out as black (even though he looked white), he faced rejection and ridicule from former friends, as well as hostility from teachers. And among some black students, he was shunned because of his fair complexion.

But despite the odds, Dr. Williams persevered because of an inner strength and desire to achieve.  He always wanted to be a lawyer and was never deterred from that goal.  What pushed him to achieve he said, is that every time he got discouraged, he would recall the first few months of living as an outsider among relatives in Indiana.  "I reminded myself that if I could make it through those days, all other obstacles could be overcome."

When I read Dr. Williams's memoir, I cried, then cried some more.  Now I'm tearing up as I write about it.  I'm a big believer in racial reconciliation, and I'm thankful that our country is on the mend.  But in reality, the racial divide cuts so deep, it may take another century for the wound to heal completely.

Anyone who doesn't understand the extent and complexity of racism in our nation needs to read Dr. Williams's book.  He had the unique opportunity to live as white, but then experienced the extreme culture shock of  black "reassignment."

"In spite of all the pain and grief of my early years," Dr. Williams says, "I am grateful to have been able to view the world from a place few men or women have stood...I am bound to live out my life in the middle of our society and hope that I can be a bridge between races, shouldering the heavy burden that almost destroyed my youth."

Dr. Williams succeeded in pursuing a master's degree, law degree and a doctorate.  He is a true testament to the power of perseverance!

I write stories of forbidden love from the past in which my characters persevere against the odds.  It amazes me that race is such a volatile issue, even today, where love is concerned.  But if two people love each other, they should be together, no matter what the cost.

When Dr. Williams became engaged to a white girl, let's just say...her family had some issues with that.  Read his memoir to find out what happened.

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted October 11, 2011.