Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday's Question

How is everyone today? Hot?? It is brutal here in Kansas. But it is July. So we expect brutal! How about if we go island hopping? Wouldn't that be fun? Each of us gets into our own little dingy and takes off. Now, while we can see land ahead, something goes wrong with the boat. We have to go overboard and swim to the nearest deserted island. The question of the week...

What are three things you would want to have with you on this deserted island??? There will be plenty of food in the way of crabs, fruits, and fish. You have to survive alone for at least a week. What do you want in your backpack?? Three things....1, 2, 3!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Second Semester

During my last Nursing Rounds, I told you about my first semester of college. I hadn't even started learning about nursing yet. Just getting the pre-requisites out of the way.

I took Speech, during the summer, between first and second semester. I had been told that Speech, during the summer, would have a smaller number of really young students. That was true. But I still didn't like public speaking. And it was nerve wracking. But in the end, I did okay. The Professor was a bit of a "lecherous old guy". It was a well-known fact that to get an easy A you just needed to wear a skirt. I never wore a skirt. And I still got an A!

Time to start second semester. This time, I was going to have to work too. I worked for an inventory company. You have probably seen them in stores with their "counting machines" and lots of tags. Mostly we worked when stores were closed. So that worked out for me to work late evenings and still be able to go to school and occasionally see my kids. By this time Richard was firmly a fixture in our lives. I couldn't have done it without him. 

During this semester I took Anatomy & Physiology, English II, Abnormal Psychology, and Parenting. The last class was to simply round out my hours which was for the scholarship requirement. This was the hardest semester of all of my college years. A & P almost kicked my butt! It was hard!!! And I received my first C. But, I didn't stop. (I wanted to quit). A fantastic nursing counselor told me a C was acceptable and to quit being so hard on myself. 

The labs that accompanied A & P were the greatest. We dissected many things: a fetal pig, a cow's eyeball, a sheep's brain, a rat to name a few. With the exception of the rat, I loved the labs. It was beyond fascinating to me. Another good lab partner (Thank God for Tom) saved me from having to view the rat. He dissected it and then covered up the head and tail. You all remember my fear of mice?? Tom was in my nursing class. He finished nursing but he went on the be the Supervisor of our Paramedics at the hospital.

My boys have stories to tell about this part of my nursing education. We were allowed to bring home things to help us study. I warned them not to look in the plastic butter bowl in the refrigerator. They didn't listen. Imagine their surprise when they saw a sheep's brain. Ha! Ha! They still talk about it.  

I loved English II as much as English I. And I was lucky enough to get the same Professor. This was my first introduction to The Great Gatsby. I'll be revisiting this book later this year for book club. 

Abnormal Psychology was BORING! Maybe a different Professor may have helped. The one I had lectured in a monotone and showed a lot of boring videos. But it helped fill out my schedule.

Final Summer before I start actual nursing classes. I took Microbiology. Along with a lab. I learned some fascinating things in this class. Like, do you know what the dirtiest thing in a public bathroom is? We swabbed lots of bathrooms and grew the bacteria in a petri dish. I'll give you the results in my next Nursing Rounds

Monday, July 25, 2016

The One-in-a-Million Boy-A Book Review

Overview From Barnes and Noble

The incandescent story of a 104-year-old woman and the sweet, strange young boy assigned to help her around the house — a friendship that touches each member of the boy’s unmoored family

For years, guitarist Quinn Porter has been on the road, chasing gig after gig, largely absent to his twice-ex-wife Belle and their odd, Guinness records–obsessed son. When the boy dies suddenly, Quinn seeks forgiveness for his paternal shortcomings by completing the requirements for his son’s unfinished Boy Scout badge.
For seven Saturdays, Quinn does yard work for Ona Vitkus, the wily 104-year-old Lithuanian immigrant the boy had visited weekly. Quinn soon discovers that the boy had talked Ona into gunning for the world record for Oldest Licensed Driver — and that’s the least of her secrets. Despite himself, Quinn picks up where the boy left off, forging a friendship with Ona that allows him to know the son he never understood, a boy who was always listening, always learning.
The One-in-a-Million Boy is a richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

Oh my goodness! I loved this book. I read part of it, but I listened to most of it! I would fall asleep while listening so I had to go back and read to see where I remembered and then rewind to finish listening. I recommend listening if at all possible. The narrator of this book, Chris Ciulla, made it come alive. His accent of the old lady, the voice of the boy, and the dad's voice made it seem like I was watching a movie on the inside of my closed eyes. Very good!

The story starts with an 11 year old boy doing chores for a 104 year old lady. They quickly become friends. He is fascinated with the Guinness Book Of World Records and wants to see her in the book. They decide she should try for 'the oldest licensed driver' when he suddenly dies from a disease that is not often diagnosed until death...long QT syndrome. His father sets out to finish the son's chores for the old lady. Along the way he finds out how much he missed out on by not loving his living son yet falls in love with him after death. And the old woman finds out something, long forgotten, about herself. 

A fantastic book. Along the lines of A Man Called Ove. I loved it! I give it ***** 5 stars. (Check out my star ratings in my left sidebar if you haven't seen it before). Listen to this book if at all possible. Or read it!  And right now it is on sale both on Barnes and Noble and for Kindle.  Only $2.99! And you can add the audible for only $3.99. Not bad for an audible book! You will not be sorry. And grab some Kleenex for along the way!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Life List-July 24th Edition


I am sharing the views I see when looking out my windows. The top is looking out the bay window, in the reading room ,which is in front of the house. And the bottom picture is looking out our dining room window into the backyard. That is my jelly feeder which attracts the Orioles. Can you see Alice out there by the locust tree?? She is my peacock from this post. 

Front window

back window


I was thinking about some things I read recently on a friend's blog about ways people respond to posts on Facebook. Why is it people feel the need to be nasty when responding to others 'ideas' which are different from their own? I don't understand why we can't just celebrate our differences. Not everyone will share the same religious views, political views, or lifestyle views. But to challenge everyone when you disagree doesn't seem right to me. Can't I just state my belief and let it go? Is this what social media has done for us??


I am learning to love a simple bouquet on my dining room table. $5 bunch from the grocery store yesterday. Beautiful, brilliant yellow! Brighten up the dining room just like the sun pouring through the window. 


I created a wonderful Peach Cobbler this week. Very simple recipe I adapted from Southern Living:

1/2 cup butter    1 cup flour
2 cups sugar      1 T. baking powder
Pinch salt        1 cup milk
1 T. lemon juice  4 cups fresh peaches
ground cinnamon

Melt butter into a 13x9 baking dish. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter. Do not stir. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peaches, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 374 for 45 minutes. Yummy warm. Especially the edges. 


I just started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern. This is August's selection for the book club. I just finished listening to The-One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood. I will review it for you this week! I L.O.V.E.D this book! 


I am continuing to watch Big Brother. I'm sure I would get voted out the first week. I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut. I have also been watching Tiny Houses on HGTV. I want one of those little houses. I wonder how hard it would be to get rid of everything and just keep enough to live in a tiny house. The biggest downside, I think, is having to climb a ladder up to my bed each night. I'd probably sleep on the couch and keep the loft for visitors. 


I am hearing the pump in the fish tank. The water level is too low and it is loud. I need to clean the tank and pour in more water so the filter will run quieter. Good afternoon job today. (I did not get to it. I took a nap instead. There is always tomorrow).

Pictures I want to Share...

On my way to pick up Harley

Darian's first day at Braums

Clouds just over the top of the grain elevator

Taking an afternoon nap...Ah, so sweet


I am currently drinking an orange soda. Very good. Quinces my thirst! Tastes wonderful!


Monday...Loaded Nachos

Tuesday...Ground Beef Stew

Wednesday..Grilled chicken/strawberry wraps

Thursday...Sausage breakfast Scramble

Friday...Hawaiian Burgers

Saturday...Crockpot Creamy Chicken & Veggies

Sunday...Pot Roast


A peek into my week...

See her right there on the end!!

Today, Sunday, was a quiet treat. Harley went to Kansas City, with her basketball team, to bond over a Royal's baseball game. And Darian worked from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. So I wrote and read and finished my audible book. Nice!! Harley works Monday through Thursday this week. Darian works Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Instead of working 2-3 hours everyday this past week, he worked 2 nine hour days on Monday and Sunday. He liked that better! Gave him days off to do things like paint ball, Xbox, and annoy me!! Saturday is National Dance Day. So be sure to get up and dance!!

A final thought...

Found on Pinterest...Who wouldn't want to be Cinderella every night and sleep in this bed?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Book Review-Eleanor Roosevelt's You Learn by Living

Overview From Barnes and Noble

One of the most beloved figures of the twentieth century, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remains a role model for a life well lived. At the age of seventy-six, Roosevelt penned this simple guide to living a fuller life. You Learn by Living is a powerful volume of enduring commonsense ideas and heartfelt values. Offering her own philosophy on living, Eleanor takes readers on a path to compassion, confidence, maturity, civic stewardship, and more. Her keys to a fulfilling life?

  • Learning to Learn 
  • Fear—the Great Enemy
  • The Uses of Time
  • The Difficult Art of Maturity
  • Readjustment is Endless
  • Learning to Be Useful
  • The Right to Be an Individual 
  • How to Get the Best Out of People
  • Facing Responsibility 
  • How Everyone Can Take Part in Politics
  • Learning to Be a Public Servant
Informed by her personal experiences as a daughter, wife, parent, and diplomat, this book is a window into Eleanor Roosevelt herself and a trove of timeless wisdom that resonates in any era.

I think I expected to like this book more than I did. I am not really sure why I didn't find this to be as great a book as some of those whose reviews I read. But I liked some of the things she had to say. Some of the people she quoted. I would like to read more about Eleanor Roosevelt as a person. This book didn't shed much light on her life.

Some of my favorites quotes from the book are:

"There is no human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep."

"Fear has always seemed to me to be the worst stumbling block which anyone has to face"

"You can do anything you have to do" Louis Howe

"Actually you can finish any task much quicker if you concentrate on if for fifteen minutes than if you give it divided attention for thirty"

"Unless time is good for something, it is good for nothing"

"The most unhappy people in the world are those who face the days without knowing what to do with their time"

I'm giving this book ** stars. It was okay! Maybe I should give it a 2+. A little better than just okay. But not quite at the 'this is a good book' level. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two Years is Such A Short Time In A Lifetime!

Taking a break from garden duties
July 21, 2016

It's been two years. That is 730 days. 17,520 hours. Such a long, long time. I have not "gotten over" anything. But I am working through it and processing it in my own way. This is important for every grieving person to do. There isn't a right way or a wrong way to grieve your spouse. And grieving a spouse is different from every other kind of grief I have experienced in my lifetime. I have lost both of my parents. My dad died when I was only 7 years old. My mom left us in 2005. I've lived through the death of a baby daughter in 1974. And the deaths of friends and other relatives. But none of these deaths have been like losing my husband. He was my soul-mate. My best friend. And the love of my life. I miss him everyday. And I think of him constantly!

I still talk about Richard to family and friends. The kids and I share memories of him with each other. But I don't dwell on the feelings that assault my senses almost daily. These are kept private. And I cry alone, then move on. I know that I will never get over the loss. And that is okay! This is my new normal. Life will never be the same but I am okay. I can laugh. I can remember him. And I can have a good day!

His retirement party at Eaton

I feel the second year was harder than the first. Does that make sense? In the first year I was focused on the paperwork, the household chores I needed to learn, the "first" holidays. I didn't really focus on the grieving. So during this second year I grieved. I am still grieving. I will always grieve. But that doesn't mean I have stopped living. 
In front of our "wedding tree"

We haven't yet taken his ashes to be scattered over his favorite place on earth (besides here with me, of course) Lake Isabel, Colorado. We are talking about doing that in February. On our way home from Darian's boot camp graduation. He would have been so proud to know his one and only grandson is becoming a Marine. So we will take him to California with us! And leave him in Colorado. Maybe!?!

On a cruise ship

I feel Richard's presence every single day. He is here with me. He will always be here with me. Thank you, dear readers, for being here, too, during this tough time! I appreciate you all much more than you will ever know.

A Hodgepodge Collection of Sorts

Time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Hop over to Joyce's blog, From This Side of the Pond, copy the prompts and answer the questions. Also, pay all the others a visit and see how their week is going. 

1. Pokemon Go...your thoughts? Are you playing? Do you even know what it is?

Yes! All of us here in this house are playing. None of us are "addicted". I don't go outside searching for them. The kids do sometimes. It is sure a crazy fad that has taken over the world!! I think it will soon fade away. There will be some who will continue to hunt and play but the fad will die out. 

2. What was something you collected as a child? Do you still have that collection? If you're a parent what's something your own children collected? Have you ever camped out, stood in a crazy long queue, or paid a ridiculous sum for a 'collectible'?

I can't remember collecting anything as a child. My childhood memories are spotty, at best. Neither of my kids were really into collecting anything either. I have a doll collection now. I am embarrassed to say that I have spent a crazy amount of money on some of these dolls. I don't collect anymore but I still have them. Richard collected "everything"! Miniature construction equipment. Trains. Tools. I never stood in any line for anything but Richard did the year he bought me the Cabbage Patch Kid. And we traveled all over the state of Kansas to find Justin a Transformer for Christmas. They were so popular in the 1980's. 

3. "Collect moments, not things"...tell us about a moment you've added to your collection this summer.

I have not collected a moment yet this summer. But I do believe in "collecting moments, not things." I have some plans in place to collect a few "moments" before Darian leaves.

4.  What's something collecting dust in your home right now? Any plans to do something about it?

Ha! Ha! Everything in my house is collecting dust at the moment. Once a year I get on the task of dusting all the dolls. And I am telling you it is a big task. It is when I talk to them. Hold them. Remember why I purchased each one. And then put it back on the shelf until next year. I do still enjoy looking at them. But sometimes all of these collections just become part of my background. Know what I mean??

5. A favorite song relating to time?

My favorite song relating to time is Kenny Rogers, Through The Years. This song was special to Richard and me. We played it at his memorial service.

6. What's been your most frightening or your most interesting encounter with wildlife?

My most frightening encounter with wildlife had to do with an incident that took place in our local park and a mother bison. We had stopped to see the newest baby bison and my boys and I was standing next to the fence watching the baby. The mother was grazing near the back. Suddenly she charged the fence. I tossed my kids out of the way and we got out of there. That is why you should only view them from the safety of your car.

7.  On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong set his foot down on the moon. If you could travel to the moon would you go? Why or why not?

No! I would never want to travel to the moon! I don't like flying across the United States. I can't even begin to imagine the fear I would have flying to the moon. Nope, you can go. I'm not. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Summer if my favorite season. I love the sun shining. I don't mind the heat. (Unless I can't ever escape it). I like the outdoors. I love fresh fruit and vegetables that come in the summer months. We are enjoying fresh Georgia peaches right now. The best!! And the last of the fresh strawberries. Yummy! And making my own Peach Tea makes me happy! I'm sure the calories are loving my hips, too!!