River’s Edge Cabbage Soup Recipe

I considered writing an article about this recipe first so that you all would have to scroll through it to get to the recipe, but I hate it when websites do that, so here is the recipe at the beginning. You’re welcome!

Cabbage Soup Recipe

Yields around 6 quarts. However, I often double this recipe and freeze what my family can’t eat in one sitting.


  • 1 medium-sized cabbage chopped into 1-inch squares, (or enough to fill the bottom of the pot several inches up with chopped cabbage).
  • 5-6 stalks of celery (enough to cover the top of the cabbage).
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes.
  • 8 ounces of tomato juice or V8.
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt.
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper or white pepper, if you want a cleaner look.
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed red pepper.


  • 1. Take your cabbage and cut it into 1-inch squares. Place this in a large steep-sided pot, enough to hold all the ingredients.
  • 2. Put the chopped celery into the pot on top of the cabbage. I usually just do a rough chop to the size I want.
  • 3. Fill the stock pot up with water to about so that it covers the cabbage and celery a good 5 inches.
  • 4. Place the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat just enough to keep it at a steady simmer and cook until the cabbage and celery are tender but still firm; around 35 minutes.
  • 5. Then add the remaining ingredients (crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper) and cook an additional 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to get to know one another.

Notes: You may want to adjust the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to suit your taste. I personally like to add some chopped Polish Style Smoked Kiolbassa Sausage, the pre-cooked kind. I know it’s not traditional to the Rivers Edge Restaurant, but I really like it with this addition, your mileage may vary. Anyway, enjoy the soup!

The River’s Edge Restaurant was originally a restaurant located in Saint Albans West. It was closed around 2010 unfortunately.

D. Michl Lowe

Addendum: I did not come up with this recipe myself, I found it years ago on the web at Delishably.com and have rewritten and reworked it over the years into the format you see here. To be completely fair, this is as close as I have been able to get to the original recipe that I remember it as a kid. It’s the closest to the original taste and trust me I have tried a lot of other versions. Howie, the original website author writes a very good article that goes into a lot of details about the town of Saint Albans, the restuarant, and the recipe, so check out his article below.


Maybe I’m an Imposter, Maybe I’m a Fraud

Those of you with kids should be aware of the now receding fad surrounding a little indy video game called Among Us. It’s a very simple game of tag, where you don’t know who is “it” until it’s too late. The idea is that you are on a spaceship that needs to be repaired after an alien attack, but secretly one of your shipmates has had their body taken over by an evil alien. As such, while everyone who is playing is running around the ship trying to fix it, one of them is hunting the other players and when they get one of them alone, they can kill them. It sounds worse than it is, the art style is cartoony and the “killing” honestly is lighthearted, if such a thing can be said. See below for the art style.

The “red” space person from Among Us

At the end of each round, after the alien kills someone, the game pauses, and each other player votes on who they think the alien player is, and then that person is thrown off the ship. If they are right, then they win the game, if they are wrong, then the game continues and the alien can kill again. If the alien kills all the other players, he wins. The kids like to call someone they believe is the alien “sus”, short for the suspect. However, this idea of someone being an imposter has been on my mind lately. I recently had a conversation with a friend about the idea of Imposter Syndrome. For those who are uninitiated to this idea, let me help you self-diagnose this by providing you with the wiki definition.

Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or impostorism, is a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.


If that doesn’t immediately make you start to question yourself or your qualities, then I’m sure you are safe from what I am feeling. Let me be clear here, I am not looking to denote myself as a victim, or as truly being inept. I know my value as a person, but doubt is something that I have dealt with in the past and still deal with today. Recently, I have been frustrated with myself because of a lack of progression in my professional endeavors. Not that I believe I am no good at what I do, but straining financial stress, lack of upward mobility, and a general feeling of persecution (which is unfounded I know) have led me to a generalized belief that I am not enough.

All that being said, let me tell you what has made a huge difference in my thoughts and feelings. As a man, the idea of respect is hugely important to most of us. My wife is an amazing woman, she supports and loves me. However, I can tell you that just recently I was reminded that a good friend of mine (a man), believed I was smart. He didn’t know I would read what he had written about me to another person, but in reading that, tears came to my eyes. It was a moment of clarity for me, I was able to be a fly on the wall in someone else’s conversation and hear something about myself that was free from bias or flattery; just an honest statement. It was just a comment in passing, not even the subject of the conversation, but to me, it was like someone reached down and ripped off my mask of fragility.

My friend, who I deeply respected and thought to be wildly smart, believed I was smart as well. Men, how much power we have over each other; the power to embolden and uplift. I have to say, I am working in my own life right now to make sure I let my friends and family know that I believe in them and that they are capable and competent. I know how badly I have needed to hear those things, and I always want others in my life to know how I don’t view them as imposters. They are not SUS!

D. Michl Lowe

Fantasy Book Project Logo

When I was a little kid in grade school, we used to get our report cards on
a paper sheet. It would have little boxes and through most of my life, those
little boxes were filled with handwritten grades; A’s, B’s, C’s, and if I was
very unlucky a couple of D’s as well. That being said, at the bottom of all
those sheets of paper, was a section for notes from the teacher to the parent
who would be looking at these grades. A while ago, I was at my parent’s house
and my dad was cleaning out the attic. As such, he ran into a box that held my
old report cards. Kindergarten, First, Second, all the way through grade
school, every single one of the comment sections of my report cards said the
same thing, “Michl is a wonderful student, but he has his head in the clouds.
He tries hard but has a lot of trouble paying attention.” This was the
teacher code for “Hey, your kid has ADD and needs to get on some
meds.” My mother never got the hint, or rather she did but didn’t care.
She always said I could learn to pay attention and didn’t medication. To some
degree, she was/is right about this when it came to me, but I did struggle a

All of that said, I still struggle at times with organization, staying
focused, and keeping my mind going in only one direction, even on things I am
interested in or like. This brings me to the picture above and the current
state of the Fantasy Book Project. At the time of writing this, I am getting
ready to start chapter 16 of the book, out of an estimated 54 chapters total,
and am on page 188. There is a strong chance that I might have to split the
book into two books due to the estimated length. Amazon only allows a certain
number of pages to be printed for their books; at my given chapter page count,
I might be over that limit once I am done. Still, even being at this beginning
stage of writing (Yes, 200-some-odd pages in is mostly just a beginning for
this story), I decided to take time today to work on a logo/cover art for the
book. Here is a look at the current cover I have designed. It should be noted
that I am not a graphic designer so the abstract nature of this has more to do
with my lack of skill than loving the abstract nature of the logo and cover.

Basically, my thoughts about it are that there are not many white book
covers when I look through the bookstore. A snow-white cover with black
lettering seems clean and should stand out on a bookshelf. I also like the idea
that black on white denotes the idea of smoke, which is a main theme of the
book. The title and especially the subtitle is still a work in progress, but Pillar
of Smoke
is growing on me. So let me explain my thought process about
the logo. The main idea of the book is that there is a country that is raised
up on top of a seven-mile-high “pillar”. This country is completely
separated from the rest of the world it inhabits. One of the main features of
this country is that it has “smoke stacks” scattered throughout the
land that emit a constant stream of clouds.

As such, there is almost constant cloud cover and it rains most days. You
can see on the right three of these smoke stacks emitting their clouds. In the
center of this country is a large castle with a dome, thus the dome in the
middle of the city at the top of the pillar. Inside this great pillar is
another city, a city that hangs above a large chasm. You can see that city is
represented in the middle of the pillar. Inside this pillar are countless
crisscrossing tunnels, which I decided to represent with some white lines.
Again, these aren’t to scale or really even realistic at all, but I like the
idea. The country in the book is nearly 1000 miles across, a giant circle of
land, but here we can see what I think of as a representation of much of its
main features.

As of this moment, I like this. I think back to how books like The
Hunger Games
have been represented by the bird called a Mocking Jay, a
symbol and real animal in the books that were meaningful to the storyline. I
have always liked symbols and logos and while I am not necessarily very
talented in graphical artistry, I was very pleased with what I was able to do
here. At the very least, I think I will use this logo for the title page of the
book, and if nothing better comes around, maybe the cover as well. I may not
have started chapter 16 just yet (it’s the next thing on my to-do list), but I
feel like I accomplished something today.

D. Michl Lowe


Chapter 14: A Psychopath’s Sleep

The first section of chapter 14 of the Fantasy Book Project.

Vishna has been arrested and charged with the murder and kidnapping of hundreds of the peoples in Charles Gate. He is now in the dungeon of Fayette Castle, awaiting what will happen to him.

The wooden pallet hanging from the wall had been difficult to get comfortable on. The stiff wool blanket had helped, but still, the bleakness of the surroundings had brought about a touch of melancholy in Vishna’s mind. He sat up and swung his legs down to the floor. They had taken his fine clothes and replaced them with simple linen pants and shirt, a drawstring at the waist so thin it seemed ready to snap. Most likely so the prisoners couldn’t hang themselves with it.

He shook his head and nearly laughed at the situation. He had been practicing his experiments for nearly five years now, searching for a path to understanding the idea of death. The fools around him; Nicodemus, Christoph, and the rest, had truly believed in that fantasy idea of Afterlife. However, after what had happened down in that cave, that fool Christoph’s sister had apparently come back. It didn’t make sense though, was it possible that this nonsense about a person’s smoke heading into Afterlife be true?

Was Akol Ramous real? He couldn’t believe it. Something else was going on. There was no way their ridiculous religion with all its contradictions and flaws could actually be true. He had to get to the bottom of it, but there was the small issue that he was now incarcerated and being brought up on charges of murder. That would need to be dealt with. He wasn’t sure what they would do with a serial murderer, but he was sure it wouldn’t be pleasant.

To be truthful though, while his experiments were necessary, they did involve the death of many peoples. He had worked to bring his subjects as close to death as possible but would try to get them to hang on as long as possible, working to observe what happened at the moment of death. Through these experiments, he was able to confirm that combustion only happened once a person’s heart had stopped beating for exactly one minute, no more, no less. Directly at the time of sixty seconds from the last heartbeat, the person’s body would begin to combust. It was too precise, too mechanical, too… designed.

There was a scraping noise just below his pallet and bent down to look underneath it. At the edge of the rough-cut stone, the mortar had been scrapped away, and a crack, large enough for his pinky was present. As he was investigating, a little twig poked through the crack, pushing a small pile of dust out onto the stone floor.

“Hello?” he asked tentatively into the crack.

“Oh, I had wondered if I had a new neighbor,” a husky voice said. “When did you arrive friend?”

“Only this past evening,” Vishna replied.

“Well, I’m sorry. I’m afraid you have come to a bad place. Were you arrested or just brought here?”

“Arrested,” Vishna said. “You?”

“I was searching for mushrooms in a cave down by Fayette Castle when I stumbled on something I apparently wasn’t supposed to see. I thought I had stumbled into some kind of subterranean cult or something, but when I realized I was in the Fayette Castle dungeons, I asked them what I had done and when I could go home, but the guards didn’t appear to know or care. I tried to tell them that I have met the queen before at my restaurant, but it doesn’t seem to matter. They are crazy! They are ripping the smoke from people.” The last sentence was said almost in a whisper. The horror of it needing to be stifled even though they were only two hearing it.

Vishna crossed his legs on the stone floor and straightened up, thinking. He had kidnapped nearly two hundred people from Charles Gate and the surrounding areas, but the papers had reported that around six hundred had gone missing. At first, he had thought it was just the papers exaggerating the missing persons, but as time went on, it became clear that he was not the only monster prowling the streets. Perhaps someone was working out of the government, using his exploits to cover up their own kidnappings? It was an interesting notion.

On top of that, it sounded as if they were kidnapping people for reasons similar to his own. The research of what smoke and combustion really were was the main reason he had started his own experiments. After a couple more minutes talking to this other prisoner, he discovered that this Mangalit, Marcum Wiggsnem, was a chief and had witnessed what Vishna would say was someone’s Smoke being separated and then collected for some reason. Fascinating for sure. Was he actually excited about this? He couldn’t deny the danger he was in, but there was an allure as well. He knew the person that Marcum had seen was Anzel, an Araneae or arachnid person. Most peoples had no idea such a creature even existed; he was the only one Vishna had any knowledge of at all.  

A private researcher for the royal family, but very odd. Nicodemus had worked with him in the past, and even helped him on some research projects, but this was far beyond what Vishna could have hoped for. If he could somehow get to Anzel, then he might be able to convince him to let Vishna join him in his research. Of course, there was also the issue that if he was conducting research similar to Vishna’s, he was most likely completely insane. Vishna was sure he himself was and just as clearly, didn’t care.

D. Michl Lowe