Thursday, November 22, 2012


     Hi again!
     The biggest news since last time is that Hurricane Sandy came through here, and with all the post-Sandy stuff going on at The Job Which Supports My Writing Habit, I've been pretty busy the last few weeks.
     There wasn't a lot of damage at all at Casa de Lavell from Hurricane Sandy, which is something I'm VERY thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We lost power for three days, and a couple of bits of flashing fell off the roof.  But that's the extent of the damage we took.  Again, VERY grateful.  There are people out there that lost their power for a lot longer than we did, lost their homes, and some even lost loved ones.  Did I mention that I am VERY grateful that our damage wasn't that bad???         I am also thankful that my Mom is still with us, after everything she's been through, and still goes through. Stroke, cancer, blood thinners, and all.  She's a survivor, and I'm lucky to have someone like that in my life.  Then, there's my wife Michele.  Through all of our ups, downs, dramas, etc., she has stayed in my life when a lot of other people I know and thought were friends headed for the exits.  As she put it earlier today, she's my partner in love, in life, and "a little bit of treason." (Quiet Man reference, for those that didn't get it. Don't call out the black helicopters, lol).  Through her, I also met her parents, who are mad, brilliant, and wonderful.
     My Dad has been, and continues to be, a positive influence on my life, whether he realizes it or not.  And I'll always love him, no matter how long it is between the visits.  And there's also my friend Lou, who for about 30 years now has been a brother to me.  (Not LIKE, Goat Cheese.  You're family.)
     I'm thankful as hell for The Job Which Supports My Writing Habit.  I gripe as much (and sometimes MORE than) the next guy about my job.  But somehow, at the end of the month, I sit here with my bills and my checkbook, and everything works out somehow.  I've also made some really good friends at the MMC and at Morrisville Yard who I may not have met otherwise.  So again, I know how lucky I am.
     Now in the aftermath of Sandy, there are some really great efforts going on to help the people who were impacted by the storm.  NJ's First Lady, Mary Pat Christie and others have set up a website to take donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy (
     If you feel more comfortable donating to an established charity (and there are a lot of people who feel this way), there's always the American Red Cross (, or call 732-493-9100 ext. 1245).  They are taking financial donations, and also running blood drives, as blood supplies are dwindling in a lot of areas in NJ since the storm hit.  Another group taking blood donations is the Community Blood Council of NJ (, or call 609-883-9750).
      There are dozens of benefit concerts planned across the state, and there are people all over the internet selling various merchandise with the proceeds going to Sandy Recovery.  I have to admit I bought a couple of tshirts when I found out that they were donating their profits.  The two I bought were on, and  The second one is a group that are based in NJ, and I already got the shirts.  I bought a few as gifts, sort of donating in my friends' names too.  It's a great shirt, and I hope that the money they make on it goes to help someone who really needs it.
     Anyway, there's not much else going on right now, except that after a short storm break I'm back to the book.  I'm still hoping to be done by the end of the year, but I'll keep everyone posted.  In the meantime...



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