Monday, March 31, 2014

What I've Been Reading...or not!

Thought I would share some book that I have read and others that I started and never finished!
The first book is "The Good Nurse." This book was highly recommend and reviewed. I couldn't wait to read it.  I read about a third of the way through and just couldn't take it anymore!!
From Amazon: 
 After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.
Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Sounds interesting...doesn't it!  But, this guy goes from one hospital to another and NO ONE stops him! He would be working at a hospital and they would want to get rid of him so they would give him decent references and he would get hired at another hospital!  The system made it very easy for this guy to kill his patients. This circle goes on and on and I found the book a nit redundant and not going anywhere.  Some reviews said that the ending is better than the beginning, but I just didn't have the patients to find I moved on to my next hospital book.
This is another book that I couldn't wait to jump into!
From Amazon:
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better.  A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.
I did not finish this book, but will go back to it. It is so heartbreaking and frustrating in so many ways. The nurses and doctors stay with these patients during and after Hurricane Katrina and all most all of the hospital staff did not go home to check on their own families, but stayed with these people in need. It gives such an insight on what was happening in the hospital and the terrible communication and response of emergency workers. At times the hospital was directed to "emergency personal" that wasn't even emergency qualified people, just an "operator" of the phone answering service and HE was telling the hospital what to do, when he had NO idea what to do!! The staff does need to make life changing decisions about some of their patients, which is understandable after reading the book. The staff does get arrested for ending patients lives, but I haven't gotten that far. The book does show that an event, just like Hurricane Katrina, took place in New Orleans before and how the "lessons learned" from that event never panned out, because it was a "one time thing."  It is an eye opener how unprepared Americans are for  devastating events.
The next three books are ones that I DID finish!! 
This book was amazing, but I had to put it down several times because it is heartbreaking. 
From Amazon:
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk. 
I can't say much more than the review...I found that Lavinia saw people for who they where, not by their color or status and that was her downfall and she desperately tries to make things right in such a wrong place.
I did not go see the movie "12 Years a Slave." I have a hard time with such stories. I shared this with my mom and she told me she too, has a hard time with the same subject but went on to tell me,  "I tell myself people lived through years of that treatment. I think I can watch 2 hours of a movie that tells their story."
Makes such amazing sense to me and that it why I read and finished my first book on slavery.
This is a great book!! Don't let the cover fool you!! When I first started reading the book, I thought, this is going to be your typical bad marriage trying to stay together. Oh so not true!! One of the best parts in the book is the epilogue. It tells even further what happens with the characters...SO clever!!
From Amazon:
 Cecilia Fitzpatrick lives to be perfect: a perfect marriage, three perfect daughters, and a perfectly organized life. Then she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only in the event of his death. She opens it anyway, and everything she believed is thrown into doubt. Meanwhile, Tess O'Leary's husband, Will, and her cousin and best friend, Felicity, confess they've fallen in love, so Tess takes her young son, Liam, and goes to Sydney to live with her mother. There she meets up with an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, while enrolling Liam in St. Angela's Primary School, where Cecilia is the star mother. Rachel Crowley, the school secretary, believes that Connor, St. Angela's PE teacher, is the man who, nearly three decades before, got away with murdering her daughter—a daughter for whom she is still grieving.
I do love a Stephen King novel, but had waited on reading this for some time. Decided to give it a read due to needing a book that I really didn't have to think about!
From Amazon:
Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

This is not your "typical" Stephen King book. It isn't a scary horror story and it doesn't get "weird" at the end. The first 150 pages is building the background and at times it took forever!!! There are things that King spends time on, that really didn't help more the story along and weren't relevant towards the story. About 150-170  pages in, we meet Mike and Annie and then the story did get a bit more interesting. I did hang in there and read the entire book, just because I wanted to know who the killer was...that's why you read a mystery!! I am off to figure out what will be my next read!! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sylvester McMonkey McBean...

Jack's school was celebrating Dr. Seuss with a week full of fun. One day the kids were able to dress up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character. After much thought, Jack decided to dress up as Sylvester McMonkey McBean. Seriously, Jack.  Who is he?
This is Sylvester McMonkey McBean. He is in the book "The Sneetches." The story is about how half of the Sneetches have green belly stars and look down on Sneetches that do not have green belly stars. In comes McBean. He offers, for a small price, to put green belly stars on the star-less Sneetches. Well, the ones that already had green stars, were not happy, so McBean offers, again for a small price, to remove those stars.  The story goes around and around this way until the Sneetches cannot remember who did  and who did not have stars and end up excepting all Sneetches. Good story!
So, back to Jack and off to the party store, where he found a green bowler hat and a green tie (thank goodness for St. Patrick's Day!)  Along with a mustache. (Now I can finally use all that mustache paper and embellishments I have been hoarding!) He put his outfit on in the car and tada..
Sylvester McMonkey McBean!

Or as Jack would introduce himself...
Sylvester ...



When we were in KC, there was a balloon man on the corner. Jack asked him to create a green monkey with a blue bowler hat and a mustache. The man asked him, "How did you ever think of a blower hat?" Jack, "Oh...just something that came to me." I am pretty sure it was from Sylvester McMonkey McBean, but I don't blame him for not wanting to explain the whole situation!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jack is My Hero!!

Warning: There is a dead squirrel in the images to come!! If this may offend you, please do not read on!
Coming home from a good day out...driving down our lane...when suddenly - thump...look in the rearview mirror. Oh jeepers. I finally did it. I hit one of those squirrels that dart in front of my car everyday. What is a girl to do? After many "helpful" texts from friends. One suggested to cover the little dead one with a towel until Jason got home. Perfect. I had to do something, because the crows were gathering. Nasty. Well, by the time I decided to cover with a towel, I had to pick up Jack from school.
"Jack, I need you to do something for me," I told him. I explained the situation...and added that if he covered the squirrel, I would pay him 10 dollars. He agreed.
"Mom. It doesn't have any eyes."
Oh jeepers....
"Just don't look at it.  You can do this...I know you can," I cheered him on. And I might have offered a bit more money in the process.


Way to go Jack!!
Fast forward to Sam coming home. As we drove past the towel, I asked Sam if he would be willing to pick up that towel that dropped into the lane. Sam was on to me instantly. "What's under it?" Jack, "Oh nothing!!" as he starts to laugh.

 So the boys head out. Sam picked up a stick and poked the towel and let out a slightly high shriek. And then added, "What is wrong with you guys!"
And is pure Sam fashion. He headed in to wash his hands...though he didn't touch a thing!
I picked up the towel the following evening. Yep, it was covered for an entire day. Yes, I know, gross. When I got up the next morning, squirrel gone. I was glad that it was no longer laying in the lane, but then I thought, what came through and picked it up???

Monday, March 24, 2014

Big 12 Champions!!

While in Kansas City, the Big 12 tourney was going on. Iowa State played Friday night, but we watched that from a restaurant. When they beat Kansas that night, we decided that going to the Championship on Saturday night would be a must! Jason looked for tickets that night and finally found some tickets on Saturday morning!! Off we went!
A family selfie before the game!

Heading into the Sprint was CRAZY!! The place was sold out and FULL of Iowa State fans.  It was SO much fun!!

A pre-game pumped up!

Unfortunately, ISU was off to a SLOOOW start. A 13-1 run by Baylor did not make us very you can see from the faces of my boys!

But never fear...ISU was HERE!! We won and it was a great time to help celebrate the Cyclone victory with 17,000 other ISU fans.

Kane came up in the bleachers beside us!!
Pretty Cool!

Proud to be a Cyclone fan!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Break...

Hello! We are really enjoying our spring break and I have a few stories to share. But, I am afraid you will need to wait until next week to catch up on our "happenings" due to me taking the read of this week off from blogging to further enjoy my break! I do have one little story to share...
We were in Kansas City for the weekend (go Cyclones!!!)  and I was doing a little shopping when Jack came around the corner with this on...

"Mom!! I really want this hat for Easter!"
Me: "Why."
"For all my pops I drink! It would be so much easier!"
Me: "I don't think so."
And then he came back with this one.

No words for these pictures. But Sam couldn't BELEIVE that he would put such a thing on his head. Not because it is a bit odd, but ALL THE GERMS that could be in there from other people!!
See you next week!!
Have a great break!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

That's Jack...

And now some moments with Jack...
One morning Jack rushed into my bedroom,
After I recovered from my heart attack and Jack recovered from his giggles, I realized it was only a Sharpie marker stuck to his chin...with tape. 

On the way to pick up Sam from school one afternoon, Jack was in the back seat singing the Star Spangled Banner. I turned around to see he had also put on one of the yellow scrimmage tees that Jason uses in basketball practice. Nothing like having your kid singing the Star Spangled Banner, wearing a scrimmage tee and drinking a Capri-Sun...but then I remind my self...That's Jack.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cold Stories...

I got one of those that your nose is completely plugged, but it still runs, which means you MUST have Kleenex very near at all times due to not knowing when your nose it suddenly going to start dripping. Like the time I was teaching and I was planning a lesson with the librarian.  We were looking at her lesson plan book and suddenly, drip went my noes, right on her lesson plan book!! Thank goodness she was a great friend so she looked at me and said, "OH!" I was still embarrassed and quickly cleaned up the drip with some hand sanitizer!
So when your nose it running like a faucet, then you have to blow it which leads to a raw nose! So, which leads to me taking care of my nose in the evening with zinc oxide!
You know the stuff that you are to use for sun protection?
Nothing will heal your nose like a little zinc oxide!
Here is another amazing selfie!! Yep, I have zinc oxide on my super sore nose!! Why would I ever take a picture of me with zinc oxide on my nose...why not?  It's not the first time someone has seen me with it all over my poor nose!
One time I had a terrible cold, sore nose which equals zinc oxide ALL OVER the nose. Damn!! I ran out of Kleenex and wanted more cold medicine, so I went to the store.  Much to my horror..when I got in the car, I caught a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror...I forgot to wipe of my healing lotion!!! And no, as you can see, I can't pass it off as wearing for sunscreen!!
Another time, terrible cold = zinc oxide. My landlord came to talk to me...I sat and talked with him for some time, not once did I remember that my nose was COVERED in zinc oxide, due to feeling so terrible!!  He never said a word about it, but I was once again humiliated that I had made an appearance with a white covered nose without an excuse!!
So now, everyone has seen me with my white covered nose. So, if you see me out and about with a zinc covered nose, you can say, "Oh Katie, I see you have a sore nose and a cold." I will be okay with that!
Another thing that is a must for my cold is Vicks VapoRub.  Not for my chest, but for my FEET!! If you have a cough at night, rub Vicks on your feet, put on socks and your cough is done! No kidding! Best advice I have ever gotten!!Works for the boys too!

Unfortunately for Jason, when I have a cold, I will make terrible loud noises at night through my nose that keep him up and have him say, "I am sleeping on the couch tonight!" So, to be nice, I went to the store and bought these for him!
No, I didn't, but I sure thought about it!!
 I actually bought some of these...
AWFUL!! These go in your nostrils and expand them to sizes that they shouldn't be allowed! They also have a lavender smell..which actually burned my nostrils!! These lasted about 2 minutes. 
So then, I tried these...
When you have a cold, you will try ANYTHING to breathe! They really haven't worked, I am still making a low rumble through my nose, much to Jason's dismay. He says I am giving Moose a run for her money and that sometimes Moose and I are in harmony!!
 I am a bit embarrassed to share this, but this wasn't the box I bought. I didn't realize, until now, that you can buy these in sizes and for sensitive skin! I bought a box with a gentleman on it and they are probably wonder my nose is pulled up to my eyeballs!!
 My nose is a little sore from these strips, so the ones I have must not be sensitive skin! They are heavy duty stick um strips...if you ever need something to stick and you don't have any glue, try one of these!!
I hope you have enjoyed my cold stories and I am off to get me some strip that are more my size!!
And as they say at the store that I have been frequenting..
Stay well!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

One Fine Season...

Basketball season is complete. Both boys have played their last games of the year. I will miss watching the boys play, but the last couple of weekends have been free of schedules, which is a welcome change!
Got a last game photo of Jack.
He is loving the bright neon colors of the 80's! With the sweatpants draped casually over his shoulders.
Jason was Jack's coach this year.
Jack's fans had a quick conversation with him after his last game. Jack shared his wisdom of the day with them, "If you get hit in the head with the basketball during the game, you just keep playing." Very deep young son, very deep.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Big Hair!!!

I found the most amazing hair product for my flat hair! Now if I can just get this selfie thing to be amazing.
Here is a photo of my hair after I have dried it. Now, before taking this picture, I have used volume shampoo and conditioner, volume mouse and dried my hair with a large round brush...upside down. Well, maybe not upside down, but you understand. Now with all that volume product, you would think I would have some BIG hair. Nope. Just a lot of work for flatness.
Unit I found this: Big Sexy Hair Powder Play! You tap the powder onto your roots where you need a little lift. Not a lot of powder, which I found out after using it the first time. A couple of taps will do the trick. Then using your finger tips, rub/ massage the areas where you placed the powder and...

Wah La!! Big hair!! Now you may be thinking..that's big hair? Well, for me it is big hair..but trust me, I will still tease that hair and spray that hair and then cross my fingers that my "do" will last for 30 minutes! The good/fun thing about the powder, is that you can reactivate it by rubbing/massaging it again.
It is worth a try! A heads up, it has a very chalky feeling. The first day I couldn't stop touching it. So when you try it the first time, you might want to make sure you don't have to go out in public or you may get some strange looks. No that I would know.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar Day...

I knew it was Oscar Sunday, so when I got up yesterday, I put on my slippers with the gold ties in honor of this wonderful day!
Then I went to the basement and cleaned it out ALL DAY...BUT I watched the red carpet ALL DAY too!!
And then it was time to "Get Ready" for the show so I headed upstairs to print off our Oscar ballots.
 I had the pre-show on TV and the live stream on my can see it on my red binder to the left of my computer. I LOVED the live stream. Got to see EVERY ONE walk on the red carpet, not just the biggies!

An "up-close" of my phone! I carried it around with me for two hours!! I wish you would have known about live stream!!!
(So happy she won!! Such a classy lady!)
Check out his gal, I am not sure who she is, but she is EXTREMLY pregnant! (Found out later that she is "Thor's" wife) You didn't see her interviewed, but these are things I watched on live-stream.  I think if I was that pregnant, I would still go to the Oscar's...I think.
Before we filled out our ballots, we made our own personal pan Oscar pizzas! Sam looks as if he wanted to put a little sausage on his!

Jack's pizza is all ready for cooking!

Sam showing his pizza right before it slid off the tray!

While the pizzas were baking, we filled out our Oscar ballots.

We choose the ten most popular categories and then pick who we think will win. I help the boys out by sharing the top two choices that may win. In order to keep it fair, we pick a few categories where we have no idea who could possibly win!
Pizzas done! So we headed downstairs to eat our personal pan pizzas and watch the end of the pre-shows.

Had a few minutes before the big show, so we decided to take an Oscar selfie!

The boys and I decided our selfies were too dark, so we turned on the flash. Yea, that didn't work so well....neither did my laying back on a pillow help my chin situation!

Soon, Ellen took the stage and the show began!!
A quick picture with Ellen (who was amazing!!) and we settled in to watch the big night. A successful night of enjoying the Oscars, but not a successful night on my Oscar ballot!