April 29, 2011

Tornadoes in Alabama

As most of you that read my Blog know, I live in central Alabama. The storms that came through here on Wednesday have greatly affected my family and our close friends. Thankfully nobody in our family or close friends were part of the over 300 people that died from the tornadoes.

We lost power that morning at 6AM. A tornado hit about 7 miles away in my brother and sister’s town. It went through their small town and did a large amount of damage. A few trees fell down on our road with some power lines and we never restored power.

It was a very hot day, which is apparently very bad for the atmosphere and produces tornadoes. After the generator was running later that day, we realized that there was a very large tornado that was moving through our state.

This was the tornado that was on the ground for over 300 miles. It was the same one that was at times a mile wide. Same one that hit Tuscaloosa and eventually was the same one that hit about half a mile away from our house.

We don’t have a basement. When the news people were saying it was coming in our area and if you live where we live to seek cover immediately, we did. The sky by the way was a creepy shade of yellow. The water on the river was moving very fast. The only place we could make it to that was “safe” was the first floor hallway.

We heard the loud noise of the tornado. It was scary. We prayed. Luckily, it didn’t hit us. However, only half a mile away or so saw complete devastation. Many people died, our close friends lost their houses, and as my brother and dad said when they saw it over there, it looked like a war zone.

Yesterday, my Mom and I looked around our yard to see if we saw any debris or anything. We found mail from people in Pleasant Grove and Tuscaloosa, a yearbook page and a piece of a page from a Bible. We live probably 100 miles away from those two towns. Random objects have also been spotted floating down the river.

If you pray, the people that have lost everything really need your prayers and support. My little area that I live in isn’t getting much (if any) coverage on the news, but everyone affected by the deadly tornadoes that hit the South really do need prayers.

I will update when I can. I appreciate the e-mails and FB messages left for me asking if I am okay. We still have no power here and now not even water. I’m writing using the generator right now and using our DSL (somehow that works).

Take a look at the aerial coverage from the tornado damage in central Alabama here:

April 26, 2011

Katy Perry – E.T.

I’m sure you have probably heard Katy Perry singing E.T. on the radio by now. This is my favorite song lately and the video is really quite interesting too. I don’t like the Kanye West version, but that is the only video for it I could find.

Listening to the lyrics of E.T. really goes with what I have been listening to on “Coast to Coast AM.” If you haven’t heard of this show, seriously go check it out. My Aunt Stacy actually got me hooked on the show and I now listen to it every day.

What do you think of Katy Perry’s E.T. song? Do you ever listen to Coast to Coast AM? Would you be interested in me doing any posts about more paranormal type things? Let me know!

April 17, 2011

True Blood: Season 4 – Waiting Sucks - Eric

My favorite show on TV is True Blood and Season 4 looks like it is going to be my favorite one yet.

My favorite book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (what the show is based on) is “Dead to the World.” This is the one where Sookie finds Eric walking or running along the road in his underwear. Well, if you have taken a peak at the True Blood Season 4 promo on HBO, you will see sneak-peaks of this. Unfortunately, Alexander Skarsgard in his underwear is not what you will see. He is still shirtless though, and well I really can’t complain about that!

Check it out….

I can’t wait until this season premieres! Which if you were wondering, starts on June 26 at 9PM EST on HBO. If I didn’t get HBO, I would seriously order it for just the months True Blood is on… it is worth it!

Anyone else out there as excited as me about this? Who is your favorite character on the show? As you know, mine is Eric Northman!

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. HBO did not pay me to write this (I wish), I’m just a seriously eager fan.

April 13, 2011

Dancing with the Stars Harry Potter Themed Dance!

I honestly don’t watch this show faithfully by any means. However, I happened to watch the Dancing with the Stars Harry Potter themed dance with Chelsea and Mark and absolutely loved it! If you missed it, seriously check this out.

I’m still pulling for Kirstie Alley on Dancing with the Stars, but this fabulous dance choreographed by Mark was my favorite! Another kind of ironic thing is the YouTube video posted was from someone in my area (can tell by the tornado warning at the bottom of the screen)!

For those of you who have been faithfully watching this show, have there been any other Dancing with the Stars Harry Potter themed dances performed?

April 9, 2011

Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton

Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle is a novel that is based on a lost journal of Tamsen Donner. This is a historical novel that takes place during the spring of 1846 when families were heading west along the Oregon Trail to start their lives over in California. If this is a period in time you were ever interested in, this is a must-read book.

Book Description

“The Donner Party
You know how some died.
Here’s how some lived.
“My heart is big with hope and impatient with desire.”
—Tamsen Donner, a letter to her sister

In the spring of 1846, Tamsen Donner, her husband, George, their five daughters, and eighty other pioneers headed west on the California-Oregon Trail in eager anticipation of new lives in California. Everything that could go wrong did, and an American legend was born.

The Donner Party. We think we know their story—starving pioneers trapped in the mountains performing an unspeakable act to survive—but we know only that one harrowing part of it. Impatient with Desire brings to stunning life a woman—and a love story—behind the myth. Historians have long known that Tamsen kept a journal, though it was never found. In Impatient with Desire, Burton imagines this lost journal—and paints a picture of a remarkable heroine in an extraordinary situation.” – Impatient with Desire

My Thoughts
Impatient with Desire is a novel that is based on the Donner party that was trapped in the mountains along the Oregon Trail during a very harsh winter. Gabrielle Burton does a fabulous job bringing the characters together in a journal format as a lost journal that was written by Tamsen Donner.

If you ever played the game “Oregon Trail” this book give new meaning to just what the very real people endured on their path. Burton does a perfect job showing just how hard traveling along this path was for so many. The countless hours of research she did for this book really shows in her writing and will leave you captivated by this memorable tale.

Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton is a must-read novel for fans of historical novels, and especially those who just love a good and haunting read. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Impatient with Desire, Voice, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Nerve by Taylor Clark

Nerve by Taylor Clark is a book all about nerves and how they can either make us thrive or perhaps make us falter. Find out how to get a better hold of your nerves with this book.

Book Description
“Nerves make us bomb job interviews, first dates, and SATs. With a presentation looming at work, fear robs us of sleep for days. It paralyzes seasoned concert musicians and freezes rookie cops in tight situations. And yet not everyone cracks. Soldiers keep their heads in combat; firemen rush into burning buildings; unflappable trauma doctors juggle patient after patient. It's not that these people feel no fear; often, in fact, they're riddled with it.

In Nerve, Taylor Clark draws upon cutting-edge science and painstaking reporting to explore the very heart of panic and poise. Using a wide range of case studies, Clark overturns the popular myths about anxiety and fear to explain why some people thrive under pressure, while others falter-and how we can go forward with steadier nerves and increased confidence.” – Nerve

My Thoughts
Nerve is a book that is written all about stress, anxiety, and those “nerves” that sometimes have us avoid doing the things we want to do. It is written in an easy to read manner that is readable by people with all types of educational backgrounds.

If your nerves are holding you back from stepping up to do the things you want to do, this is a must-read because it will give you the tools available for your to conquer your nerves and finally start doing those things you always wanted to do but were afraid to do before.

This is really a fantastic read that I highly recommend for everyone that needs some motivation to combat their nerves once and for all.

* Thank you to the publisher of Nerve, Little Brown, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

April 4, 2011

21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Neal D. Barnard, MD

21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Neal D. Barnard, MD is a book I was really excited to read and try out for myself. As someone who is always searching for the perfect diet to stick with, I thought this could really work for me. Did it? Find out in this review!

Book Description
“For years, Dr. Neal D. Barnard has been at the forefront of cutting-edge research on what it really takes to lose weight and restore the body to optimal health. Now, with his proven, successful program, in just three short weeks you'll get fast results-drop pounds, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve blood sugar, and more. With Dr. Barnard's advice on how to easily start a plant-based diet, you'll learn the secrets to reprogramming your body quickly: • Appetite reduction: Strategically choose the right foods to naturally and easily tame your appetite.” – 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart

My Thoughts
21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart is a book that is aimed at those who are looking to jumpstart their diet program. It does however put you on a fully plant-based diet with no animal products at all. Yes, a vegetarian diet.

The book is written as a fantastic guide to changing how you eat to become vegetarian and gives many benefits of doing so for your health. It also provides many really yummy recipes that you can use while on the plan. Some you may have never tried, especially with things like tofu or the veggie-meats, but it is worth giving a chance!

I’ve always wanted to try to go 100% vegetarian, so I thought this would be a great way to give it a try. With all of the positive testimonials and research about the benefits of going vegetarian, I was all on board for this change.

I switched to soy milk and almond milk, tried tofu, ate tons of vegetables and fruit, barely had any oil at all, no added sugars, nothing with any meat, dairy, seafood etc.

After the first day I thought I was losing weight. Afterall, I was doing everything that it said. I decided to weigh-in on day 5 and to my horror I saw the scale moved up by 2 lbs. Ouch. How did that happen? It wasn’t weight fluctuation either because it was 2lbs on top of the heaviest it used to “fluctuate.”

Maybe it was because I also can’t eat gluten. Maybe being vegetarian and gluten-free just don’t work well together. Who knows? For me though, this diet sadly didn’t work. I wish it had. I couldn’t see any point of me staying on it for the full 21 days I was originally going to stick it out for. I didn’t want to gain that much weight when the scale was supposed to be moving the other way.

Overall, I think that this book would really be a good guide for those that want to make the jump to vegetarian 100%. Hopefully it will work for you!

* Thank you to the publisher of 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart, Grand Central, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.