Monday, June 27, 2011

Travel Tuesday! 6/28/11

Someone said to me not very long ago, "You're like Where's Waldo but it's Where's Kris"

I am currently in Durham North Carolina. I love the South, especially the Carolina's and I wanted to go to South Carolina but that license, which I thought would be faster, was taking longer. To get my North Carolina license it took 3 days on line. I got here several weeks ago and am already planning out the next location, to South Carolina. Preferably the coast. I would love to spend some time in Charleston and Savannah, which is very close as well.

My unwritten plan is SC then Cali then Hawaii then Colorado and then........ who knows.

I was planning to get away for some long weekends but ran into car trouble. Blog to come on that. Lol.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Childhood Obesity is still rising, Vegetable Gardens are dying and Media is thriving

I was in line to check out at the hospital cafeteria the other day and I overheard a child, of at least the age of 10, ask his mother "what's zucchini?". I saw the child, overweight, holding a plate full of pizza and wondered "does he know what vegetables are?". The whole thing reminded me of the brief excerpt I saw of this show.

I think there are several areas where we are lacking. To start, I think the home garden is dying. Very few people garden anymore. It's a lost art and even fewer children are being exposed to a vegetable garden. I know that many communities ban vegetable gardens all together. Such a shame. Why not promote it in a designated area with a designated responsible person? If you're worried about the maintenance of it.

Then, of course, there is the home itself. If parents don't know it or practice it themselves then the children won't either.

We are on the heels of a change to the food pyramid, yet again. It seems like it changed only a few years ago. The agriculture of America as a business has a lot of influence on government including nutritional recommendations. So any changes are difficult to occur but slowly and surely they are. Maybe you're even asking, "Is it really necessary? Who cares about the food pyramid?". Well, yes, it really is necessary if children aren't aware of what vegetables are. I think it's going to take alot more than just changing the concept of the food pyramid.

It takes more than just removing soda machines from schools to affect a change in children's eating habits and preventing type 2 diabetes. Many schools are revamping their entire cafeteria menu. I remember lunch in school. In elementary school it was a brown bag and your parents ordered your milk by the semester. You got in line for milk and then sat down to your meal. Then when I went to public high school the cafeteria had pizza and fries and candy/snacks/vending. I saw some vegetables. They were usually overcooked, soggy, limp and soaked in but I don't recall ever seeing a salad except maybe a side salad with iceburg lettuce and carrot slivers.

In this day and age, indoor activities are growing like wildfire and outdoor activities are just the same. It seems like parents must battle the latest gaming system to get their kids out and about. The Media in general, computers, tv, game systems........ are far and away the number 1 activities of children above any physical activities. Here's an article from NPR Pediatricians Recommend a Media Diet for Kids to Fight Obesity.

If I had the place to garden I would and I fully intend on having a vegetable garden when I settle somewhere. Do you garden? Do you know many people who do? Ask a child about vegetables or where some of their favorite foods come from and see what your answers are. Do you know of any schools that have a garden? I know many children don't like vegetables but does that mean we have to promote that among them? There's no reason they can't have the knowledge and exposure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Massachusetts Man Fired After Revealing His Wife Has Cancer - ABC News

Massachusetts Man Fired After Revealing His Wife Has Cancer - ABC News

There is a sad new phenomenon occurring across the US among businesses.

In this state of affairs when people live in fear of losing their job, seeing many friends and coworkers losing their jobs, people are worried and job security is practically none existent in most fields. It's bad enough that citizens are worried about job security when their loved ones are well BUT.........

now when they are not well also!

The following news piece was about a man fired from his job as an accountant for a Real Estate management company after 13 years and a recent raise. His wife was diagnosed with lung cancer and he requested a change in hours, so he could take his wife to appointments and treatments and work evenings and weekends to make up for it. His job claimed they were planning to fire him anyway, then following his dismissal they posted a listing for his job.

Apparently this is happening at an alarmingly increasing rate. Smaller companies of less than 50 employees are not covered under the The Family and Medical Leave Act. So there is nothing an ex employee can do about being fired by them. I have heard of this happening to women on maternity leave also. I personally think it's just proof that every single person is really just a $. Hopefully you are worth more to the company than you cost them! Shame on you Haynes Management of Wellesley Hills, Mass.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy First day of Summer Everyone

The distant hum and buzz of a lawnmower.

Perhaps the lapping of waves against the surf as they crash.

Water splashing as children frolic, be it pool or shore.

The squawk of the crows and the friendly chirp of the finches fading in and out as they travel about the neighboring yards.

The clicking and electrical chirp of the crickets and the other audibly present insect companions of the heat.

Maybe a canine awakens from a temperature induced slumber to stretch and quench his thirst as his entire body suddenly lengthens to double it's size.

A welcome breeze kicks up laundry on the clothes line nearby rustling a gentle sigh as they toss to and fro.

While the wind chimes announce their song of idle time sitting and relishing the seasons beginning.

(Just a little something I found from a while back) Travel Tuesdays will start again next week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Back and a few Summer Safety tips

After a long hiatus I am back. Hope everyone has been well. Blogs to come soon. Hoping everyone is having a great Summer!

Summer can be so much fun but what's even more fun is getting to do it again, which doesn't happen when your dead or injured.

If you know me then you know I am all about having fun and I will push the limits. One thing I have learned over the years and as a trauma nurse, that safety always comes first. Let's face it, it's simply no longer fun when someone gets hurts. It's also the number one way to get restrictions and limits to a once fun activity. Why do you think everything has a disclaimer. Someone out there acted foolishly and got injured or killed.

Keep in mind that with Summer and all of it's freedom's come many unsafe situations. So take a moment before all of your activities to stop and think have we covered all the safety steps before ............

We all say "stay safe" but what exactly do you mean?

A helmet is required when operating or riding anything on wheels or when the surface below your footing has increased potential for falling ie. snow and ice. When I say required I mean to protect yourself from traumatic brain injury. Regardless of your laws and how silly you might feel and even more so if you are not experienced then you should be wearing one. Also don't go beyond the recommended capacity of a vehicle so not everyone is securely seated. That includes golf carts, which are frequently used for transport at vacation spots.

Wearing a seatbelt whether you are going down the street to the gas station or a few blocks away to the ice cream store while on vacation.

Your judgement and reaction time is greatly reduced when intoxicated or even buzzed. Drink responsibly and no other substances while operating anything mechanized, lighting fireworks or grills or any water activities.

Lawn mower safety can easily be taken for granted since it's something you've probably done for years but mower accidents happen all the time. Always be cautious of children around outdoor lawn equipment.

Fireworks. What can I say? They are dangerous! Obey your local laws. They are ignited with fire, so always keep water near by for any fires and nondischarged fireworks. Only adults should be lighting them and only one at a time. They should only be lit in a clearing large enough that homes, vehicles and people can be double the distance of which it is known to reach. The area of lighting should be clear by everyone except the lightee and the lightee should be as clear as possible and immediately following lighting.

Water safety tips! Keep pool gates locked when not in use or at the least child safety locked. Wear life jackets during water sports. Never do water sports if you can't swim. Water is fun and one of my favorite activities but it is also inherently dangerous. When a child goes missing check the water first. Always keep supervision when children are swimming. Always obey life guard's rules. Never dive into a pool unless approved for dive/swim training by a coach. The minimum recommended for diving is 9 feet. That is not a widely accepted number and many pools may not be that depth. I will never forget the day a girl dove head first while warming up for a swim meet, nor will I ever forget every single spinal cord patient I have seen after a diving accident.

Children are small and hard to see when they are playing in their own yard/driveway. I have heard of backing into your parking space to prevent hitting a child when pulling out but they are still at risk when you are actively parking. Hence always be aware of children playing when parking or leaving a parking spots or driveway, whether you back in or pull straight in.

Be mindful of open windows, window locks/latches being open or loose to fall down on a child easily, or long hanging strings from blinds that toddlers can get their head caught in.

Hydrate in the heat and be aware of heat warnings.

Use caution when igniting a grill. Maintain your grill and check for leaks of gas or fuel.

Wear spf of at least 15. Nothing's worse than not being able to go out until the sun goes down and an Emergency room visit for a sunburn. Nowadays that's almost a no brainer but not long ago people wore butter and baby oil outside and no spf, literally cooking their skin!

When an insect stings, don't remove the stinger. Often times the stinger gets left behind without releasing the venom. Apply ice.

For Jellyfish stings apply vinegar.

Being safe doesn't mean you can't have fun. It actually means you can have fun again.

Sadly in the time I wrote this and posted it many accidents and fatalities have already occurred. One story in Pa about a 1 year old who drowned in a family pool. Be safe!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the Face of Happiness has a Posterchild

Gallup has been polling people on a happiness survey. During their polling they found out several factors that seem to dominate the happy people. The happiest people are male, tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.

Then the New York Times searched for one person who fits that description and found him. Personally, I'm certain that there are other people that fit that description. I also think that there are other people who are completely happy and don't fit that description. Either way I think it's great to have good news in the news for once.

He is, Alvin Wong. He is a 5-foot-10, 69-year-old, Chinese-American, Kosher-observing Jew, who’s married with children and lives in Honolulu. He runs his own health care management business and earns more than $120,000 a year.

His key to happiness “my life philosophy is, if you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you.”

He continued: “This is a practical joke, right?”. He also spoke about waking everyday grateful.

I think alot of people out there suffering through life as if it's all a punishment might be able to learn something from this man's attitude. You don't have to move to Hawaii, if you take some time to laugh at yourself and be grateful :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

I would give my Left arm for an Irish potatoe right now

What is an irish potatoe, you ask?

Well, they are only the most delicious thing to happen in the Winter next to the chocolate explosion of Valentine's day until Easter arrives.

Basically it's equal parts



and Cocount flakes

then roll them around in Cinnamon

Apparently they are ONLY a Philadelphia thing :(

I was unaware of this before I started travel nursing last year. Good thing I am going back home for a visit soon :) Although the recipes are really that easy. I have done a few different twists too. One year Starbucks had some left over coconut flavor and they ran a feature drink named after the confection and flavored with coconut and cinnamon. I've recreated that and made a diet desert out of fat free ricotta, unsweetened coconut flakes, cinnamon and splenda. I'm sorry, I don't have a recipe for it. I always just went by taste.

Here's an orignal recipe for these amazing treats.

1/4 cup butter, softened 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups confectioners' sugar 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

I dare you to try them and eat only one. They're dangerous!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Time to Waste, a Plea to save funding to Planned Parenthood

Whether you are pro-life or pro-women's rights, no one can deny that Planned Parenthood treats millions of women and children per year who may othewise have little or no access to medical care. They can gain this medical care through government funding. There was a bill proposed in 2009 which failed. The Pence Amendment was voted on to stop all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and it failed to go through. Their hopes were to cut funding to all services in order to fight abortion. The bill has been reopened for voting this week!

Just last month there were several videos released to the media about a pro-life group which ran a sting operation. They caught several employees of Planned Parenthood abusing the government funding by assisting human traffickers in getting underage abortions among many other illegal atrocities. All of these employees were immediately fired.

I do not deny that what they did was wrong but cutting ALL federal funding is not the answer. These pro-life groups are using this as an opportunity to solve a totally different battle. There is a totally different problem here than funding. The problem is in the employees and Planned Parenthood is taking actions.

I also feel that any undercover operations should be handled by the authorities and not groups with any bias or agenda. The possibility for editing to favor their movement and the actions of their participants should most definitely be scrutinized. I believe that there were other parts of those videos not reported which do show empoyees upholding the laws and acting with ethics and standards adherent to the Planned Parenthood Organization.

There should be a policing of Planned Parenthood just as every agency recieving government funding. In the mean time they can not stop funding. It would make these atrocities even worse for effecting an extraordinarily larger number of people in a negative way.

Call and be counted. Tell your Representative how you feel. Tell facebook and spead the word.

Click Here

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Stylish Blogger Award and & facts about me

Steph in the City has awarded me with the Stylish Blogger award!

Thanks Steph! Now I am to award it to 7 other bloggers and give you 7 facts about myself. Also, my laptop is fried due to a virus and I am using my boyfriend's for a few more weeks. So I really haven't been on here much.

1. I am the youngest of 8 children. Yes, I was spoiled alot and I was a total brat when I was young.

2. I love candy, all sugar and sweets and chocolate.

3. I ran a half marathon, once and have swam several races at the beach.

4. I collect tea cups and saucers. I especially love hand painted Asian ones with lithophanes imbedded in the bottom.

5. I couldn't write my name until 1st grade. My mom made little dots for me to connect on all of my Kindergarten papers.

6. I am addicted to massage. It's a wonderful therapy that I highly recommend to everyone. Wether it's aches or pains or depression/anxiety or to help with chiropractic adjustments.

7. I am a very loud talker, see #1.

I am passing this on to........

Elizabeth Grimes at One Magical Moment per Day

Linda at to Behold the Beauty

Taylee at Tay Talk

Hilary at The Smitten Image

Sandra at Absolutely Narcissism

Marsha at Coffee to Cocktails

A cop's wife at Nerdy Apple Bottom

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Not My Problem

I am not traveling to go to some new job all the time and try to fix them.

There are many times that I come across, inefficiency. I'm not there to fix that. Don't get me wrong, the thought to address it always pops into my head but again I am there as a visitor for 13 weeks. It's the dedicated hard worker in me, that always wants to go the extra mile. I will gladly go the extra mile for a patient but for a facility? No. Honestly even if I'm correct, how in a matter of weeks or days can I really know that they are being inefficient?

I learned after 15 years at the bedside in the same hospital, that it's not my job. That's why managers are managers and charge nurse are charge nurses and supervisors.... It's what makes a really successful charge or supervisor.
It's not worth the hassle. Unless it affects my patient's safety, I will simply do as they wish. I went above and beyond plenty at my job for years about little behind the scenes things, to improve simple efficiency.

I must say, I've learned to embrace this freedom and save myself uneeded aggravation. This isn't the kind of attitude I come to easily. I do struggle with it but, just as anything else you practice, it becomes easier. I come in to work and I abide by their guidelines and rules. I always do things, the way they want it done. Then I go home at the end of the day leaving the problems behind because, well quite frankly, it's not my problem ..................or is it? I am probably being far more efficient by actually just doing my job as they want it done.

I am lucky and unlucky enough to see a totally new crew of workers, styles of management and types of work order every few months. It's fascinating to see the differences in nurse's aids and secretaries and everyone from facility to facility. There seem to be alot of people who just get by at a job doing the bare minimum to keep it yet still stay employed. In fact at times getting rewarded along with everyone else.

Bottom line I think it absolutely takes every individual, whether they're management or whatever the role, to be most efficient Team possible. In medicine your own tasks often require more than one person. Each person must have a clear role and be efficient enough at it. Of course it helps to have an efficient manager but I don't think that a great manager alone is the best foundation. From the Environmental Services to the Dietary to the Physicians and the Volunteers, each person's role is vital.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Horrified Animal Lover (warning graphic photos)

I have heard of tattooing your race dog or race horse. Racing animals or fighting animals is cruel but still goes on in this country. I have never seen any of these and really don't want to. I don't believe that they are always well cared for under these conditions.

To be honest, I believe there are better laws and regulations among laboratory animal care. With humane animal testing not only is there humaneness but a greater goal than "art" or simple selfishness. Some pet owners are more cruel than some race/fight animal owners or even laboratory animal testers.

I can understand a small simple mark to claim ownership. The mark should be carfeully placed in an area where the animal has little to no sensation. This form of ID should only be used when an eartag may be inadvertantly ripped off by the animal. Even better if the goal of research is to benefit the animals.

So, I heard a crazy thing the other day about a program ran on Animal Planet. I didn't believe it. Then I saw the photos. I was honestly horrified! I was also confused and had so many questions and speechless all at the same time. I admit that I found very few answers. I've searched the internet and the Animal Planet site and was unable to find the video or any reference to it. I don't understand why this is so unknown when yet there are numerous images on blogs and sites all over and an artist creating these works to "harvest" them. Yes, in his own words "harvest", which it turns out truly means that he kills these pigs for their tattoos to frame as wall art later. He saves these pigs from a Chinese slaughter house only to sedate them and decorate them and then terminate them when their skin has stretched the tattoo to his liking, all for the soul purpose of Art.

These owners of tattooed pets and animal tattoo artists claim that animals skin is less sensitive due to many layers and that they sedate them anyway. Sedation of any creature has it's side effects and risks and I'm not sold that science has proven their skin less sensitive. Sedation and tattooing of a creature unable to make their wishes known is cruel and unnecessary.

I have contacted both Animal Planet and the American Veterinary Medical Association for any information and sources they have. I will post a follow up later.

I'm not saying to give up pet ownership or Zoos, although I totally understand that point of view and once stood on that side of the fence. If you stop to think about all the things we put our pets through for the sake of ownerships and pure selfishness, it makes you wonder if we are doing them any diservice, ie. grooming, shaving, clothing, training and now tattooing...

Where do we draw the line?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day, Honoring Heroes!

What does Martin Luther King Jr. mean to you? His voice was necessary and his achievements were great. He made equality for all an absolute with just one voice that became many.

We should use this day, this man's memory, to honor all heroes and in fact allow ourselves to be inspired to find our own inner hero.

Without him and others like him, the most influencial leaders in history would be made up of one less great person. With people like Hitler, Napoleon, Ghengis Kahn we need to keep alive the Legacy of the great people, like Martin Luther, Joan of Arc, Ghandi. Any of these leaders could have led the world anywhere they wanted. Some of them chose the greater good of man and some of them chose to destroy mankind.

We are all capable of great things. Even great things within the confines of our lives. All of the most magnanimous people in history were made just like each and every one of us. Some came from alot less opportunity than what any of us have but they never gave up. They made a choice. What if Hitler put his efforts into goodwill? What of you actually followed your crazy unrealistic dreams? What if your kid is saying they want to be President of the United States? Stop defeating the good and embrace it. He was one voice that made such a loud and necessary statement. I think he taught me that we all are one loud voice with the potential to do and say so much if only we say and do it!

It took one man to stand up, state "I have a dream............".

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in DC will be open in August for contributions via website, text or toolbar go here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saving Lives through vaccination!

Maybe you've heard the claim before, that vaccines are dangerous. Not too long ago I watched a tv program about the claim that vaccines cause autism. This is completely unfounded and false, as this program also reported. Recently on facebook a Physician friend of mine posted a link to a report released this week from Britain.

Study Linking Vaccines to Autism Is "Fraudulent"

The report was of an in depth study proving how the originally claimed study falsified their report and the head of that study recieved financial gains. This doctor lost his medical license in Britain and is now living in the US. Jenny McCarthy is supporting this physician so many people are accepting his claims.

It appears the average person is more willing to believe a celebrity endorsed spokesperson rather than someone backed by the entire medical community. This fake is not only killing children but also an opportunist preying upon the parents of autistic children and regressing the movement to diagnose, cure and spread awareness about Autism.

Sadly the damage is done and irreparable in many cases. Children have lost their lives and many many many more innocent lives will be lost to this monster's selfishness and irresponsibility.

Many people think that if they google, read or hear something, then it is true and accurate. You can never believe just anything. Proper research is so important for this very reason and no one can argue with the shear number of deaths of children from communicable diseases vs the actual number of known vaccine reactions.

How often do you just take something for face value? Do you ever question things that people tell you or even question yourself about beliefs that you always thought were true and one day found out weren't?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Travel Teusday 1/11/11 "I still have too much stuff"

Friday was my last day of work in Pittsburgh. Wow, did that fly! It had a lot to do with being so busy, going away out of town alot, the holidays, my dad falling, my mom's stroke.

I'm still quite the newbie with travel nursing but 13 weeks goes fast. There are plenty of assignments that are even shorter but the housing for those is usually unpleasant. So, I'm back in Connecticut and starting at Yale again. It has it's pros and cons but I'm here and with my boyfriend for 13 weeks, plus a little time off before and after. We're planning a tour of Italy in April.

In the last few weeks coming up to now, I did have a chance to do a little site seeing. I made it to the Andy Warhol museum to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibit, which was amazing. I wanted to get to the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural Science, and Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright. I hope to be back some day to get to all of those.

I made it to the Duquesne Incline and a wonderful dinner on Mount Washington showing a panoramic view of the entire city.

The one thing I am learning fast more than anything else, is to simplify. I am becoming much less material. I'm not hanging onto "things". It was something that started for me back when my marriage ended and we sold the house. I didn't want to bring that life into my future. I just wanted to move on. I was also moving from a 3 bedroom townhouse with an attic, basement and garage full of "stuff" into a one bedroom apartment. There was no easy way to fit everything and I was glad for it. It made me have to choose what was most important. It also prepared me for the amount of downsizing for travel nursing.

Moving this time was one very full car load in my SUV when I arrived and now as I left I downsized even further. The next trip will be even less. I have no interest in hurting my back moving every 13 weeks and spending any more time than necessary packing and unpacking.

When I get rid of stuff or when I buy "things" anymore I really wonder do I need this and did I really need this when I bought it. I know a number of people who live simply with as little belongings as possible. Is that the answer to being fulfilled? I am by no means a hoarder. I just have 39 years worth of belongings in a storage unit and along with me. How do you feel about things? Do you own alot of "stuff"? Do you know any hoarders? Are we trying to fill a void everytime we buy an item?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What are they thinking? Camden prepares to cut police force by 50%!

Yes, not only the most crime ridden city of New Jersey but the HIGHEST crime rate in the nation, is cutting their police force in half!

Are they honestly insane? I don't care what alterior plan they have, it's just plain stupid!

Camden borders Philly on the other side of the Deleware river as you enter New Jersey. It's totally unfair that they have chosen such a foolish plan to budget with lives instead if money.

Philadelphia will always hold a place in my heart no matter where I live. I grew up far away from the inner city, just outside of the border in a very nice suburban neighborhood. Center City was always a reasonable train ride or car trip away.

As far as cities go, Camden is sort of along the lines of an armpit. Philly on the other hand does have many upsides and better neighborhoods within it's borders and just outside but this just can't be good for any part of Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

I plead that the powers in New Jersey's government don't allow this to happen.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ode to Snow

[photo credit the theory of life]

small and light



suspended in the chilly air

the sky, grey

as if full of moisture

ready to explode

birthing it's crystaline creations


onto the cold frozen earth below

blanketing the land

with it's friendly welcome to December

come play

come dance under my beauty

let me float around you

days of youth

spent as angels


olympic lougers

sweet memories

and new meomories to come