Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Monday, March 8, 2021

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Honestly, I don't even want to introduce this one because I feel like I'm starting to sound like a broken record. Please just watch it and form your own opinions. Peace!















Sunday, March 7, 2021

Easy Veggie Frittata #Recipe!

 



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another recipe today.  I decided to experiment with a riff on a frittata and I think it worked out pretty well. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 large or 3 medium-sized potatoes cubed and boiled
1 12 oz container of sliced button mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup whole grape tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the mushrooms, onion, pepper, and broccoli in two tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Coat the inside of a 9x9 baking dish with the remaining olive oil.  Put the sauteed vegetables in the baking dish with the boiled potatoes and the tomatoes. Stir the vegetables around until they are well distributed and even in the dish. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and salt and pepper, and whisk until they are homogeneous. Pour the egg mixture into the dish evenly until just the tops of the vegetables are visible. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the top is golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. Cut into equal squares and serve with toast or by itself.

Okay, a few variations. First, of course, you can use whatever kind of mushrooms you like, even canned mushrooms if that's what you have. The basic recipe doesn't have garlic in it, but I've made it with garlic and it came out pretty well. One or two cloves chopped fine and mixed with the sauteed vegetables right before you take them off the heat works well. You can also use frozen broccoli and/or frozen onions, if that's what you have on hand. You can omit or add any kind of vegetables you like. I've also made this with cauliflower and spinach, and it came out well.  I also like to slice the squares in half height-wise and put them on toast with mayonnaise.

I don't like cheese with my eggs, but if you do you can add any kind of cheese that you like. It would probably work best if it was shredded and added to the egg mixture or sprinkled over the top about halfway through the cooking process.

As with other dishes, I prefer my frittata without meat. But if you like meat you could easily add ham, sausage, and/or bacon to this dish. Again, either mix it in or sprinkle it over the top halfway through the cooking process. One caveat: make sure the meat is completely cooked before you add it to the frittata. Food poisoning sucks. 😉

Which is also why you want to make sure the eggs are cooked all the way through before serving. I had no problem just by cooking it low and slow at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and taking it out when the top was golden brown all over.  But, since ovens can vary, you should definitely stick a fork or toothpick in the center to confirm that it's cooked before serving it.













Friday, March 5, 2021

#Animal #Rescuer's #Guide To #Staying ( #Relatively ) #Sane! #Free! :-)

 



Hey Everyone!! 😊

Just a reminder, for those who haven't checked it out yet, I've collected all my animal rescue/care posts together and published them as a small book.  If you'd like, you can download the book for free from Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.



Thanks for stopping in today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Thursday, March 4, 2021

#APC #Spotlight: Live From The Cafe By Tory Gates!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Tory Gates in my APC spotlight, today! Tory is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy, LGBTQ, portrayal-of-small-town-life novel, Live from the Cafe, looks great! Here's the description:
“What did you dream today?”
Harlandsville, Quebec—look up the definition of small town in a dictionary, and you’ll find its picture.
A one-stoplight village, Harlandsville doesn’t have a lot to offer, or so it seems. Old homes, an abandoned mill, a gas station, one Chinese takeout joint, and a former pub turned into a coffee shop. For the latter, one learns never to judge a book by its cover.
One step through the doors of Le Cafe, and you enter a world where the coffee is brewed one pot at a time through a strange machine, the pastries are homemade, and the music is a roadmap of Canada’s history.
Presided over by Luc, the son of one of Harlandsville’s most loved residents and his partner Emily, the cafe is home to natives and visitors alike. Where the coffee is strong, the spirit of friendship stronger, and occasional strange (and famous?) characters show up to hang out, and play music.
Small-town life, love, change, prejudice, pasts and futures are examined and experienced. The heartbeat of Harlandsville is right here. You never know who’ll show up, or what will happen next, Live from the Cafe...
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1280



Hey Everyone! 😊

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Twelve-Hundred-Eighty:
I believe my juvenile companion may be planning something. I’m not certain what, exactly, he is up to; however, he has been eyeing my hominid-servant with what seems like purpose. It is unclear if his intentions are benign or harmful, but he definitely seems to intend something. I can only surmise that this extended period of inactivity has caused him to seek to create some excitement. Hopefully, he won’t get more than he can handle.


Hmmm... It seems the game is afoot! 😉 You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. 😉 Happy reading, everyone!








Tuesday, March 2, 2021

It All Ties Back To Corruption...

 


Hey Everyone!! 😊

It's been a little while since we've heard from Alyce, and I think the pandemic has highlighted even more just how much a problem this is, so here's a little glimpse at the inner workings of the US healthcare system. Enjoy... 😉

Excerpt from Answers from Alyce:
Nodding, the taller alien gestured for me to continue.

"First of all, I'm not going to try to justify why medical providers sometimes are more concerned with a patient's ability to pay than they are with treating the patient's medical issues, but I will try to explain it. There are a lot of expenses involved in practicing medicine in the United States. If you're talking about individual doctors, they have to complete, and pay for, more than a decade's worth of higher education before they can take the tests that allow them to earn their medical licenses. Many of them have tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in education loans they have to pay off."

"Wait a moment," interrupted Squid-boy. "Are you saying that your society requires that healers pay for their own training? That you don't train your healers as an investment in ensuring that your people have access to medical care when they need it?"

I nodded. "Yep. That's what I'm saying. People who want to become doctors have to find a way to pay for their education themselves. Some are able to get grants or scholarships, but a lot of them have to either pay cash or take out loans to pay for it. And those loans charge interest, so it can be incredibly expensive to become a doctor."

"That's barbaric!"

"Well, sugar, I can't say that I disagree with you. But that's the way it is. And when a doctor has the banks breathing down their neck wanting their loan payments, you can see why they might be a tad anxious to make sure the patients they treat are able to pay them."

"Yes. Though, I still maintain that it's an uncivilized way of doing things."

"True. But that doesn't change the reality. And you also have to consider that if a doctor owns their own practice, they also have to pay the salaries of all their nurses and other staff, they have to pay someone to do their billing for them, they have to pay for all the medical supplies and medications they use, which aren't cheap, and they have to pay for utilities and clerical supplies. Probably a cleaning service, as well. So, doctors really do need to make sure that they get paid for their services."

"Why is billing a separate expense? Why don't patients simply pay for their treatment at the time of service?" asked Yax.

"Well, sugar, that gets into insurance, which I'll get to later. And, speaking of insurance, it's not just medical insurance doctors have to deal with. They also have to have malpractice insurance and insurance on the building where they practice and its contents, too. It all adds up. And hospitals have all those expenses plus additional administrative expenses and the expenses associated with maintaining sterile operating rooms and the specialized staff that goes along with them. And the supplies and equipment hospitals need are also more specialized, and expensive, than what is used in a regular doctor's office. Plus, they have to pay the doctors, too."

"Will you explain about the insurance now?"

I snorted. "Sure. Like I said, there are several kinds. There's insurance on the building and the contents of the building, in case something happens, like a fire or flood, that destroys the property and equipment. There's liability insurance, in case someone does something like slip and fall and hurt themselves on the premises. There's malpractice insurance, in case a doctor makes a mistake that injures a patient or results in a patient not receiving the correct treatment and suffering injury as a result. These are all insurances that doctors and hospitals have to carry and pay for."

"So, they pay money to a company each month and that company guarantees to pay if anything happens that applies to the type of insurance they provide?"

I nodded. "Yes, though, like I said, in theory. Insurance companies only make money if they don't have to pay out too much, so they try not to pay if they can get away with it."

"How do they do that?"

"It depends on the type of insurance. Most types of insurance have limits on the payout, so the insurance company won't pay anything above that limit. Aside from that, they'll try to find excuses for why they shouldn't have to pay."

"What kind of excuses?"

"Again, it depends on what kind of insurance we're talking about. For medical insurance, which is supposed to pay for medical treatment if the insured person gets sick or hurt, there are a few different ways insurance companies try to get away with not paying. For example, if a doctor prescribes a certain medication for a person, their insurance company might refuse to pay because they have decided that medication won't be covered. So, the patient then has to either get their doctor to prescribe something else that is covered or pay for the medication themselves."

"What if the medication that isn't covered is the only medication that will meet the patient's needs?"

I shrugged. "They might be able to get the insurance company to pay for it if they argue the case and get their doctor to back them up, but they might not. And even if they do, they usually end up having to pay a higher price for that medication than they would for a medication that was covered."

"Wait a moment, I'm confused. If they successfully make their case that the medication should be covered, why does the patient have to pay anything for it? Doesn't that mean the insurance company will pay?"

"Ah, well, that's one of their other tricks. Most medical insurance policies have what are called 'deductibles' and 'copays'. The insurance doesn't pay for anything until the patient has paid out enough money to cover their deductible, which is usually thousands of dollars, for the year. And even after the insurance company starts to pay, they only pay for a percentage of the costs. The rest of the costs have to be paid for by the patient. That's what's called a 'copay'."

"And patients have to deal with all of this while they are sick or injured, possibly fighting for their lives?"

"I'm afraid so, sugar."

"I have to agree with Paxtiguantialablingondintalblinganham, your system for healthcare is barbaric."

I shrugged. "I won't argue with you. It used to be worse. It used to be that medical insurance companies were allowed to refuse to pay if they claimed an illness or injury had existed before the patient bought their insurance. Guess how often that claim was made?"

"From what you've described, I'd wager that it was more often than not."

I nodded. "And they also used to be allowed to set limits on how much they would pay for a patient for a year and also for their whole life. But a law was passed that made it illegal for them to do that, so they don't anymore. But there are still plenty of other tricks they use to get out of paying."

"It occurs to me that, depending on the circumstances, if one of your insurance companies can play such games long enough and prevent the patient from receiving care, the issue of their having to pay may become moot if the patient dies in the meantime," observed Squid-boy.

"Yep. That's certainly a possibility. And having a specialized staff who are trained in how to argue with insurance companies and convince them they have no choice but to pay is why doctors and hospitals have to pay for billing staff."

"And the expenses that your healthcare providers are forced to bear are the reason why patient's lives are allowed to depend on the caprices of private industry?"

I shook my head. "No. The reason that happens is because my country has allowed our healthcare system to be controlled by for-profit corporations. Since their profits are dependent on not paying for healthcare, there's a built-in perverted incentive structure that can't be overcome. As long as those corporations are allowed to continue to control our healthcare system, people will continue to die from lack of care. The expenses that providers have to cover are the reason why they sometimes are more concerned with a patient's ability to pay than they are with the patient's health status. But the reason some patients aren't able to pay is because our government has failed to prioritize ensuring that all our citizens’ healthcare needs are taken care of."

"And there's nothing that can be done about that?"

I shrugged. "There's plenty that could be done. Every other modern country on our planet has some form of guaranteed healthcare coverage through their government, which they pay for with taxes. But, so far, the politicians in my country have lacked the political will to do anything like that. Mostly, because they've been bribed by the same corporations that are currently running the healthcare system."

"Which ties back into the rampant corruption in your political system that we discussed before," said Yax.

"Yep."

"Has no one ever tried to do anything to curtail the expenses associated with providing healthcare?" asked Squid-boy.

I sighed. "Sure. The costs associated with healthcare are routinely used to justify keeping salaries low for lower-level employees in the healthcare system and for denying them many benefits."

The two aliens looked at each other. "This is a new aspect of the problem that we weren't aware of. Can you explain?"

I opened my mouth to answer when a strobe light flashed behind my eyes and a jagged piece of agony sliced through my brain. My vision went red and I felt my legs fold under me. I'm pretty sure I lost consciousness for a few seconds, because the next thing I knew, I was on the floor looking up into two faces that were clearly showing concern despite their alien features.

"What happened?"


Want to find out what happened? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! 😊









Monday, March 1, 2021

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is already a pattern, Biden half-asses something important so as not to offend his donors, and the mainstream media pretends it's a real win when it's really just smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, you can only piss on people's heads and tell them it's raining so many times before they catch on and call you on your bullshit. Which is exactly what will lead to the rise of fascism and Trump 2.0 being elected in a few years. But watch for yourselves and form your own opinions. Peace!