Every so often a really fantastic book comes along that I absolutely can't put down. Sweet Sleep is one of those books. My Review:...
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Sunday, December 29, 2013
1. less plaque
2. smoother teeth
3. whiter teeth
4. When a sore throat comes on an extra oil pull sends it packing
Oil pulling is said to kill the bacteria and that is what makes it work. As a science nerd that makes perfect sense as the oil will actually change the pH. All organisms need a specific pH to survive, if that pH is altered changing the conditions in their environment (your mouth) they die.
Oil isn't only good for your teeth but your skin as well as I discovered this summer when my face felt dry from the time spent in the pool with all it's chemicals. I'm sure some cultures have been doing this for centuries. I have within the past several months began using olive oil on my skin. For my face I use a dime sized amount and rub it in, after I cover my face with a warm cloth for 30 seconds or so and wash off. My skin is left feeling softer and fully moisturized. I do this once daily. Not only did the olive oil mend my dry skin patches but it equalized the moisture in my face. A small amount of olive oil in the bathtub will moisturize the rest of the body. I am not sure how or why this works but my theory is the oil locks in natural moisture.
I no longer remember the websites I found this information on and wish I had bookmarked them but either way I am sharing the information. Try it for yourself.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
The Royal Enigma is a historical fiction about a young man, Nawin, who is living during a time of horrible political upheaval in India. The tyranny and caste system are in place where the rich are rich and everyone else is poor. Nawin is trying to decide his plight in life as a young man. He is unable to see anything beyond a never ending pit of oppression. He witnesses abominable injustices to innocents.Revolution breaks out, and many vie for political power and position. The country is torn between the past tyranny and a new democracy. The king himself becomes nothing more than a mere figurehead of sorts with his powers diminishing by the day. War and militant groups have encompassed the land. In the aftermath poverty, devastation and fear guide the people. Much older and wiser, Nawin finds himself back where it all began understanding what and who truly matters to him.
Krishna Bhatt does an excellent job vividly portraying the tragedy of a people and placing the reader inside the reality of a tortured country. The story was difficult to put down and I found a certain pizzazz to his writing style.
The Royal Enigma on Amazon
Interview with Krishna Bhatt
Elle: How long have you been writing and when did you fall into it?
It was porn too at times, even at a young age, besides many religious papers and pulp fiction. But I came across many good writers like Prem Chand in Hindi. I realized the importance of a writer like him much later. When I saw more of the world outside my family and grew older and read more trash.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
This fun read is about a young girl going into the foreboding junior high years whose family moves from west coast California to east coast Virginia as if junior high isn't difficult enough. Drew escapes the ridicule of her California peers also leaving behind the love of her life only to have it replaced by a new villain and hunky junior high boy. The author delves into those awkward years as culture shocked Drew adjusts to her new surroundings and that ever present junior high need to fit in socially. She vies for the attention of the popular while falling into the hands of the ordinary and has a great epiphany to what and who "real friends" are.
Terri Klaes Harper uses great illustration through character and dialogue to draw in the reader and keep the pages of the book turning. I started this read before work and couldn't wait until after work to finish it and did that I did in one day. The book is truly that good! It is a must read for young adults finding themselves trapped in Drew's reality to adults who remember those tragic drama filled years. I am currently and not so patiently awaiting the sequel.
I especially made a connection with this book as I have taught junior high for several years now and found this novella to put a humorous but true spin on the realities of junior high. I envisioned my students playing various characters which actually gave me laughter pains by the time I finished.
Below is a link to the book on Amazon and Terri Klaes Harper's Facebook author page:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I will begin with As Snow Falls as it was the first published. In this story the main character first encounters love from that of her family including her sister and parents. When she enters school that love reaches outwards towards her two best friends, Sarah and Sammy. It is a tragedy that spurs her first puppy love with a boy, Cobie. She does everything in her power to gain control of his attention which he sheepishly denies her for months. When she finally gets his attention she runs from it because he has proven too fickle. Soon after she meets a young man, Nathan, he is attractive, strong and her rock through high school. Having him helps her to quell her teenage hormonal emotional side bringing out the logic that resides inside her. She even imagines one day they will get married and live the perfect American dream life together. Powers beyond their control separate them and her outlook on life takes a severe downward curve as she sublimely moves through life. To her love has become evil, and she vows to never fall in love again but life surprises her and after years of taking up space and oxygen whilst moving through life as an inactive participant she falls in love. It isn't a new love but a love that was meant to be and has been with her for many years. They marry and create a beautiful life together and have a son, Reese. Through this marriage she realizes what love is truly about. It her lost love, a ghost presence that resides inside her heart guiding her life path.
In essence she is a romantic of sorts and believes wholeheartedly in true love and a happy fairy tale marriage.
In November for the first time I participated in NaNoWriMo and created a story called Eye Of The Storm in this book there are two women who share the stage as protagonists. Sunshine is a sweet and very cheery young woman who believes deeply in love and marriage although not in the sense of destiny but in a "good logical choice". Her and boyfriend, Jerry, are old fashioned and too perfect for reality. They believe in waiting until marriage to live together and have sexual relations. Throughout the story she changes immensely and becomes someone else, and even succumbs to her feelings for another young man. This is where the story gets sticky and Eilida becomes more a part of the picture. She fears solid relationships and love; refusing her current relationship she is always running away from him, Jay. It is an inward sense and repressed memories which she is unable to touch that guides her fear of sexual relationships
Sunshine is the perfect optimist who believes in marriage as a logical choice. Eilida is a pessimist who has been thwarted by love and has no use for marriage.
Cleo in my new Baby Girl series grows up in a home with little love and attention, eventually leading to abandonment. She is forced to go it alone and runaway in order to survive. She meets other kids like herself and she begins to understand what love is about, a makeshift family is formed. She at the ripe age of approximately thirteen falls for a young man, Einstein, and they create what is to her a "beautiful normal life" until a catastrophe takes away the one true love and family she's ever known. In the upcoming segments the reader will watch her go from naive victim to in charge of her destiny. In Book 2 the secrets of her mother's disappearance rear their ugly head shortly after she meets a wealthy and extremely attractive young man, Didier. She forms a union with him that is possibly more survival based than true love. As a whole Cleo is more like me than any character I've ever created. She is crafty, intelligent and resourceful but young and not immune from teenage paranoia and hormones.
Cleo believes romance is overrated and she has no time in her life to indulge in such actions as family ghosts and secrets force themselves on her whether she is seeking answers or not. She needs to discover who she really is before she can carry on a healthy future with any man. I won't say that love and marriage is not in her future...
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
According to CNN and Today the average cost of a wedding is approximately $28,000. Wow! That is amazing since the median income in this country is anywhere form the mid $41,724 in Kentucky to $71,122 in Maryland. Twenty eight thousand to the average person is a lot of money and that price doesn't include the honey moon. Now that is the average cost which means some people spend more and some spend less. Who is pocketing all that hard earned cash? Caterers, bakeries, fashion designers and retailers, hotels, photographers, musicians and more. It would seem weddings overall feed the economy although economically placing a gouge in the wedding couples pocket. According to the Census Bureau 55% of Americans have been married more than once. I sure hope they don't go to outrageous extremes for each wedding, but again I'm sure some do and some don't.
Now divorce can be just as costly according to MSN and Legal Zoom one can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, and that is only for the lawyer and does not include the division of assets loss. According to the Census Bureau first marriages last a median of eight years. Delving further into my search I discovered that most people anywhere from 65% to 84% have married only once. Out of divorced people anywhere from 2% to 21% have been married 2 or more times. It appears that most people are choosing to stay single. I'm sure the reasons are not completely based on the cost of marriage vs. divorce but I have no doubt the financial factor is at least part of people's decision to not get remarried.
I myself was married for many years years and have now been divorced for several. Since my divorce I have often casually interviewed married and divorced couples. I have found an astonishingly high number of people who have been married for decades yet have no real relationship with their spouse. They live almost completely separate lives, although still living under the same roof. I say that loosely as most seem very pleased they no longer share a bed with their spouse. My question always is, "Why then are you still married?" The answer I always get is, "It's cheaper and easier than divorce?" What about happiness? If people are still married simply because it's easier can't one question the quality of their life and any other "relationship" they might enter into?
I have met many people who have been remarried sometimes successfully but usually not. When I ask them, "Why did you get remarried?" They usually respond with something along the lines of, "I thought I loved him/her", "We had good times until we got married", "the relationship was fantastic when we lived together but once we got married it went down hill".
I am no psychologist but I can read between the lines and it appears a high number of people in this country get married for all the wrong reasons only to back out and get divorced or stick with it because it's easier, cheaper, more convenient. Myself I am in that 65-84% that married only once and will remain that way. Where do you stand? and how much did your wedding/ divorce cost you?
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Here is the short version of my experience. I sat down and turned the ignition on until the lights and radio worked then had to wait for the machine to beep. Once it beeped I had to blow into it and while blowing I had to hum. I believe that part lasted approximately six seconds. I then had to wait for the lights to flash pass before starting the car. After five minutes of driving it alerted me to complete a rolling check, breathing into the machine while driving. After another approximately twenty minutes I had to do another rolling check. What I found distracting was the awful wailing beep and grabbing for the machine while keeping my eyes on the road.
My questions are, have drunk driving fatalities been reduced since IID's have been placed in cars and how many accidents have been caused be a driver with an IID that was distracted by it? According to MADD dated 11/14/2013, less than a month ago, fatalities have increased by 4.6%. MADD also stated that twenty states have laws requiring drink driver's to install IID's. I checked http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/state-ignition-interlock-laws.aspx for myself and counted twenty seven states that have IID laws and regulations but I didn't count how many for first time offenders. If nearly half the country is requiring these devices than why have drunk driving fatalities gone up? Are these devices really working? On the other hand it is good discipline to the driver. The car won't start unless the driver blows and passes.
How many accidents have been caused by distracted driver's using IID's? Before I answer that question all fifty states have laws at some level banning the use of cell phones either texting/ talking or both according to GHSA because of distracted drivers, so why wouldn't an ignition interlock device be distracting? There isn't enough information presently to determine the number of accidents caused by the use of an IID although I did find individual stories and cases of people who have had problems with them especially the rolling tests and even some accidents. The DUI DWI foundation itself has said that dangers from the rolling tests have been documented because it's a distraction. Follow the link to read in it's entirety. http://www.duifoundation.org/news/ignition-interlock-devices-may-increase-accidents.html
I found a forum called the NMA blog Ignition Interlocks where people discuss their issues with the device and I found it quite interesting. I failed to mention earlier that the device is touchy and a person who has consumed no alcohol may fail. It is good to drink some water before blowing into the machine to rinse away food and other liquids.
To sum everything up I see no definitive evidence that ignition interlock devices work however it can't be ignored that they are a distraction to the driver. Food for thought; Is there something more effective that can be done to prevent drunk driving?
The author of this blog doesn't support drunk driving. She is merely being the devil's advocate.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Qualities I look for:
1. A good substitute is organized and generally at school a little early in order to look over and prepare the lesson for the day. My last substitute came in the day before, while I was covering another teacher's class, and looked over the lessons. It's really awesome when they leave everything organized for the teacher's return as well.
2. Good classroom management skills are a must. Not all classes are equal, some are much better behaved than others depending on the groups of students. A sub may not know any of the students but yet has to manage them for a day or more. I like substitute's that use the evil eye (I always hear about it later from the students). Also important that the teacher sets up ground rules for behavior before taking an absence although some classes are simply students who should not be placed in a classroom ever together.
3. Coming prepared. A good sub has brought extra pencils, paper, candy, a pen for themselves, a creative mind and even reading material. My school had a regular substitute that placed tape on the classroom door when he would leave because the door's aren't always unlocked.
4. When I come back to school after a leave I like to know how their day went and if there were any students whose behavior went above and beyond in a good way and in a not so good way. I have found most good subs, especially those there for more than a day will leave a description of how the day went for each class period.
5. A substitute who follows directions. As a teacher I write or type out detailed descriptions of the students assignments and anything else I deem important because I want the directions followed. That may seem like simple common sense but not all subs are created equal and some don't follow directions. I had a substitute once who took everything off my desk which I had left for him and went to the teacher next door saying I had left no plans. She then checked out a movie for him that had absolutely nothing to do with my subject area. During the day he proceeded to log into my computer, not using my password because I don't have it written down, but someone's password and played computer games the entire day. What I never understood about the situation is that I had left movies for them to watch, so why fake it? Needless to say he was never invited back into my classroom and shortly after banned from the school.
How does a teacher know when a substitute has these qualities? That is an easy answer, our rooms are left in the same shape if not better when we return, the student's have completed the work assigned, the teacher next door has no complaints, and last the students usually give a play by play upon their regular teachers return.
A substitute teacher who has these qualities is worth their weight in gold because sometimes teachers do have to take time off and occasionally we even take a vacation. Kudos to the many substitutes I've had that have made my life a little simpler and have done their job, occasionally more than they were asked. My sub last week was one of the best I've ever had. He did a fantastic job!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
To put this in perspective let's take a look at some other cities. (I have left off the numbers behind the decimal)
Los Angeles California : Square miles-468, population- 3,857,799, persons per square mile-8,092
Dallas Texas: Square miles- 340, population-1,241,162, persons per square mile-3,517
New York City New York: Square miles 302, population- 8,336,697, persons per square mile- 27,012
Miami Florida: Square miles-35, population- 413,892, persons per square mile- 11,135
Washington D.C: Square miles- 61, population- 632,323, persons per square mile-9,856
My current home Jacksonville Florida- Square miles- 747, population- 836,507, persons per square mile-1,100
Across the bay from San Francisco, Oakland California: Square miles- 55, population-400,740, persons per square mile-7,004
Of those cities the ones closest in size would be Miami, Oakland and Washington D.C and their persons per square mile are extremely low in comparison to S.F. Population wise the only city that compares would be Jacksonville, and it has a meager 1,100 persons per square mile. Living in or close to both of these cities for most of my life, S.F.-19 years and Jacksonville- 14 years I believe San Francisco to be a cleaner city although Jacksonville is a fairly clean city but 747 square miles is a lot to keep up on.
I can only think the trashcans and ashtrays posted sporadically throughout S.F. have something to do with the cleanliness of the city. Where ever I went I always had a place close to throw my trash away. In Jacksonville I feel I'm on a hunting spree when I have trash to toss. I also believe both these cities being so close to oceans have something to do with air quality. There is nearly constant winds that blow through S.F. not so much in Jax as the air seems to hang thick and heavy although ocean breezes can be felt on occasion sweeping through the air.
I did some further research According to http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/17/miami-seattle-orlando-biz-logistics-cx_tvr_0317cleanest.html Miami was named cleanest U.S. city with Jacksonville coming in at number three, and San Francisco at number six. The other cities I listed didn't even rank. This ranking and article was based air quality, water quality and street cleanliness.
According to http://www.rd.com/advice/travel/americas-top-5-cleanest-cities/ San Francisco came in at number five, none of the other cities were listed. The article was also based on air, water and street cleanliness.
Kudos to San Francisco on being one of the smallest large cities in the U.S. and maintaining limited pollution. If you haven't visited the city yet now you have one more reason to do so.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Today was interesting to say the least. Adventure from beginning to finish. I started out at Haight-Ashbury where hippies continue to hang out in smaller numbers and smoke pot freely and openly but I 'm sure it's medicinal, and ended up at bar local near hotel.
Stop one was Trax Bar in Haight- Ashbury. They sell $3 margatita's and the bartender was really cool. The gentleman whom I sat next to was a thirty five year veteran to the city. He gave me directions to get to Castro street, my next stop. He said take the 24 bus which I did and it went all of a few blocks. In S.F. the blocks are short, I could have easily walked it.
Stop two was 440 Castro. It was a gay bar, again the bartender was great. They also sell $3 margarita's. I sat by a cute couple who were extremely friendly. I won't publish their names but they were fantastic. After they left another gentleman sat down beside me. After maybe ten minutes he informed me that I was in a gay bar. I had already figured that out the moment I walked in the door, I stifled a chuckle. The best place for a woman alone in S.F., who doesn't want to get hit on, is a gay bar. They had no interest in me except menial conversation.
Stop three Elixer another awesome place. The bartender gave me directions to Taqueria where they make huge delicious burrito's for $6.80. It was so monstrous I was only able to eat half then.
Stop four was a latin bar not far from Taqueria. It was packed and everyone there but me was latin and the only other females were the bartenders. I talked a little with man next to me who was from somewhere in Central America. He asked if I wanted to go home with him. What, really? I politely declined. I guess since I was a woman amongst a flood of men he thought I was there looking for a man.
This is where it gets interesting. It was getting late and I was ready to get back to hotel so I called the shuttle and he refused to pick me up, saying he doesn't go there. Huh? I was on the corner if Capp and 16th, odd is what I thought. My choices were an overpriced cab or BART was across the street. I chose BART and slipped in and bought a ticket. I haven't rode a BART train in decades and was pleasantly surprised how clean it was. I remember the stations and trains to be extremely nasty. The train took me to the airport where I snuck onto the shuttle heading back to the hotel.
Last stop was Houlihans across the street from my hotel where I watched the end of the game.
Seattle won, yuck!
That was my big birthday adventure.