Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

I know that I forgot to wish you all a Merry Christmas, sorry! I've been recuperating from my neurostimulator surgery which was on December 15th. I haven't been able to sit for more than 1 hour at the computer or anywhere in the house lately. I will be posting more over the next few days. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year from my family!

Sleep & Slumber Dietary Supplement (review)

Disclosure: I received this product for free or for reduced price in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are mine or my family's.

I'm on some meds for my fibromyalgia and back pain that would interact with some of the ingredients in this supplement, so Steve, my husband, reviewed Sleep & Slumber. My husband has issues with insomnia.  Steve has used melatonin at times, and doesn't mind using natural products for sleep. Sleep &  Slumber uses natural ingredients in their product to aid in a good night's sleep. Their product contains the following: Calcium (calcium carbonate), Vitamin B-6, Magnesium, Melatonin, and a Proprietary Blend (which includes Valerian Root, Hops Flower, Skullcap, Chamomile Flower, Passionflower, L-Taurine, Inositol, and GABA).
Melatonin and Valerian Root help to complement each other to help one fall asleep faster, and the Valerian root can help one have a better quality of sleep. Hops Flower helps the Valerian root to help you fall asleep faster.

Steve was able to sleep decent while he was using this product. He  liked how he was able to fall asleep and stay asleep more soundly, and not wake up in the morning feeling groggy or the like. He liked Sleep & Slumber.  For more information and on purchasing Sleep & Slumber, go to Sleep & Slumber .

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Zulay Lemon Lime Squeezer (Review)

We have accumulated quite a few useful kitchen tools over the past 33+ years during dating and marriage.  One of the tools that we didn't have was a lemon squeezer. We've had to use a wooden tool that you squeezed the lemon or lime around to get the juice out.  I was never crazy about using the wooden tool, because after you washed it, you had to leave it out for a few days to dry.

I was given the opportunity to review the Zulay Lemon Lime Squeezer recently. With our crazy schedules and with Steven going back and forth to Nemours, it took awhile before Steve and Steven had a chance to do some grilling. When they decided to grill some chicken for dinner this month, Steven recorded Steve using the lemon-lime squeezer on a lime on the chicken. It was a very short video but it was to the point (it's on you tube!).  Zulay's squeezer was easy to use. It's made of metal, but it's not clunky! It can go in the dishwasher or you can hand wash it. I like it and my husband and our son do, too! It's definitely a thumbs up in my book! You can use it on lemons, limes, and small oranges!
Disclosure: I received free product from Zulay in order to facilitate my review, and the opinions expressed are my family's.
For more information and to buy one, go to Amazon .

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Day

Hi! Steven and I are at Nemours again! Steve took him 3 days this week. He ended up renting a car, since I needed to drive to my pain management doc #2 (the one who handles my fibromyalgia). Hubby's mini-van is so old, 16 years old, and it wouldn't handle the drive to and from Nemours.  Not having a car payment is nice for now, but we need to have functional vehicles.  Son hasn't been to school this week due to his appointments taking up time. Somehow, he's keeping up with his assignments.

I'm watching this week's "Scream Queens" on my iPhone while I am waiting in a very noisy waiting room. Steven's already back in the therapy area for his 2 hours of P.T. and O.T. ! From what my husband said, Steven goes beyond what they exprect him to do in therapy.  I forgot to ask him on the drive over this morning how is pain is. Instead, we talked about concerts and music. My sister Karen would be amused, because I told Steven that back in the 80's, Karen and I would call WDIZ in Orlando before we left for our drive to the community college and request songs. Typical songs we would request would be anything by The Who or Eric Clapton. I was a big fan of Roger Daltrey back then.
Anyhow, I'll send this for now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day

Just wanted to thank all of our veterans, those living and deceased, men and women who served our country! My husband and I both have had family who have served our country.
Addendum: Steve served in the Navy when he was younger, before I met him.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Another Long Week in Our Household!

Hi! I'm waiting for Steven, he's in with Kaylin at the moment, in the behavioral health department at Nemours. She's a licensed mental health counselor. I asked her to set a goal for him on 10 minute showers, and that includes the time for the water to get hot! If any of you live with a teenage boy, you know that they take long showers and sometimes multiple showers a day. Our water bill is high some months! Argh! I'm driving Steven to and from Nemours and to school or home 2 days this week, and Steve's got the other 3 days. It's alot of mileage on the car for us! Steven's been checking me in on Swarm during the drive.

Even though I had the weekend off, I don't feel rested, and I'm in pain! My sciatica is getting the best of me today. I almost fell asleep out in the other waiting area for therapy, while he was in his two hour therapy appointments. I was listening to a cooking podcast. I started off crocheting and worked some more on a scarf that I am working on for my Aunt Helen.  I posted a pic of the scarf in progress on Instagram this morning. I still have a long ways to go on it. I couldn't focus on working on my nursing credit classes today, I just wasn't in a reading mode for some reason. I brought review items with me, but again, I didn't save pics on a post as a draft to work on. The pictures are on my MacBook Pro, not my iPad.

My sister Karen had her 49th birthday yesterday, and I'm wishing her a belated happy birthday here now! She's up in DE, not down here in FL, like our younger sister Laura is. Laura's 47th birthday is in about 9 days, she's here in Central FL, like us.

I'm hoping that this pain management program helps Steven, it's so frustrating to see him trying to deal with the back pain and to try to keep up with school. We got the chronic health letter taken care of, and it helps with him getting time to get his assignments caught up. I'm not sure about how the tests will be taken care of, but it will work out! There are days when he gets to school for the last two or so classes, and then there are times when the appointments run late, and we just head home. The doctor's notes cover him.
 I'll close this for now. BTW, happy birthday Kayla Potega, I know that your birthday's this month!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hey y'all! I feel like Paula Deen saying that this morning! I know that it's been a few weeks since I posted my last review. Forgive me, it's been busy in our household lately with appointments for Steven and all. We all caught a cold and it messed with our sinuses. Steve and I both ended up on Z-packs, and Steven started Augmentin last Friday. Son had taken himself off of his allergy and asthma meds since he said that he didn't need them anymore. I had him go back on the Zyrtec and his Singulair, at least for awhile, till he gets over the antibiotic. Teens can be so stubborn sometimes. Maybe it's the "Millenial" in him!

It took awhile to finally see the neurosurgeon after the neurostimulator trial. I saw him last week, and the appointment was set up for December 15th. I went back and forth talking with my bosses about it.  Since I couldn't get a straight answer from the surgeon's office about the cost, I'm having to keep the surgery set for this year. I don't like not knowing how much we will have to put out, cost-wise, for the surgery. It's frustrating and a bit anxiety-inducing at the moment. I will end up with a down payment for the hospital, since it's an overnight stay with the surgery for the neurostimulator placement. I will be getting a Medtronics brand neurostimulator.

We started Steven's pain management program at Nemours this week on Monday. Steve took him the first day, and he got back in time for his 6th period class. Yesterday, all 3 of us attended, since we had a family counselling session for 90 minutes. Believe me, it was a long time and all 3 of us had to talk.
This pain management program encompasses multiple modalities in order to help the child and the family help him with dealing with the pain. He goes to Occupational and Physical therapy every day, 5 days a week for the 4 week period. He sees the social worker, and she's a licensed mental health counselor. He works on setting achievable goals with her. He sees his pain management doctor at some point each week. We see the psychiatrist together as a family. And, there is a weekly group meeting with all of the doctors and therapists. It's an intense 4 week program, to say the least.
If you wondered, I'm actually posting this while he's in therapy!

I got behind on working on Continuing Hours for my RN licensure, so I worked on a few classes  yesterday in one of the booklets that they send out. I guess that I ought to use this time at Nemours during this program wisely! I will probably do some blogging and crocheting too. The only thing is that I don't have any pictures saved on my iPad that I'm working on at the moment. So, the posts will be picture-less.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tea with the Queen E-Book review (revisited)

Disclosure: I received a free e-book from Xist Publishing in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own!

I decided to revisit a book review that I did earlier this year, just in case there are some of you who might want to get this e-book for your children or grandchildren. It's a book for early readers or those who are being read to by their parents or grandparents or caregivers!

I reviewed a cute little book about mice and the Queen that I'd love to share with you! It's about a young mouse named Charlie and his grandparents, Arthur and Harriet. Harriet had turned 100 (in mouse-years), and she had been invited to have tea with the Queen. They had a flight on The Royal Express (a goose!) to the Buckingham Palace. They flew near some sea gulls that made a food comment about them! When they landed at Buckingham Palace, the Queen's corgis were out on the lawn, and Charlie gave them some black licorice to keep them busy! 

I really can't tell you anymore without giving away the whole book, but if you have little children to read to, like your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews---it's a great e-book to read! It's also a great book to read for those who have been reading for awhile! It's available on  It's published by Xist Publishing. The author is Chrissi Hart, and the illustrator is Stephen Macquignon! This book is a definite buy!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Love Inspired and Lion Brand Yarn Review

Disclosure: I received two Love Inspired books and a skein of Lion Brand Yarn for free in order to facilitate my review, along with information. The opinions expressed are my own.

The best times that I had in my late teen and early adult years were spending time with my best friend Roseann, my maternal grandmother, my Aunt Helen, and my Mom. Roseann and I taught ourselves how to do multiple stitchery crafts, and we started learning to crochet then, too. Mom taught me how to crochet, Aunt Helen would teach me how to crochet the last stitch at the end of a line, and Grandmommy would help me roll skeins of yarn. Roseann and I would spend time crocheting at her house and watch tv with her family while our boyfriends were at work in the evenings.  I have had good times connected with yarn! So when I was given the opportunity to work on this campaign, I couldn't wait to sign up!

This review has two products in it: the Lion Brand Yarn and the Love Inspired series of books!
I like this brand of yarn, and I had not worked with it prior to this project. It's soft and easy to work with. I tend to single crochet,  and that's what I'm doing with the yarn, slowly making a neck scarf for the winter. I love the color and it's name "Great Smoky Mountain". It makes me think of the mountains in North Carolina and of vacations to there! I recommend this yarn for knitting and crocheting!  I think that the only person that I mentioned the yarn to was my friend Karen at work.  The Love Inspired books are very good! I received "The Rancher's Second Chance" by Brenda Minton and "The Amish Bride" by Emma Miller.  Brenda's book is part of the "Martin's Crossing " series, and Emma's book is part of the "Lancaster Courtships- Book 1".

I like that the Love Inspired series are clean!  I know that when I read their books, I don't have to worry about seeing cuss words or explicit language. There's romance, inspiration, and excitement in the books, but it's written in a clean way! My favorite book of the two was "The Rancher's Second Chance".  I've always had a soft spot for cowboys in romance books for some reason or another! :o) Grace Thomas was pregnant and of course scared, and she knew that the rancher Brody Martin was a dependable sort of guy. He's there for her, and no mater what, he'll support her, even though it's not his baby.  I'm not giving away anymore of the book.
I do want to tell you that 6 new full-length inspirational reads come out each month from Love Inspired. You can find them at Walmart! About the yarn... you can also purchase it at Walmart in their yarn section, back in the crafts area!

For more information go to: the contest  !!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Signed Sealed Delivered Movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries TONIGHT!

Disclosure: I was given the information to share with my readers from Grace Hill Media, and I was given the opportunity to review the movie prior to it being shown to the public. The opinions expressed were my own!

I know that it is such short notice, but I wanted to make sure that you were aware of a new "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" series movie on tonight! It is the third in four "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" movies produced this year. (To be honest, it is the first one that I've viewed, but I don't get the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel with my U-Verse packet! I am so bummed! But anyhow...)
 The new one tonight called "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Truth Be Told" airs at 9pm EST/PST, 8C on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. You will need to check your local cable provider to see if you get  the channel.

In the 2 hour event tonight, Gregory Harrison will be guest-starring. He's from "Trapper John M.D. " and "One Tree Hill".  He accompanies the cast of POstables: Eric Mabius ("Ugly Betty"), Kristin Booth ("Orphan Black"), Crystal Lowe ("Smallville"), and Geoff Gustafson ("Primeval: New World"). The POstables are on a mission to uncover the truth from a war torn letter about a soldier missing in action while Oliver gets an unexpected visit from his estranged father (Gregory Harrison) that shakes him to his core. I can't go into the story too much without giving it away and it's an awesome movie! I loved it, to be quite honest!

From the press release: " Martha Williamson has masterfully intertwined poignant themes of family, love, war and faith, taking viewers on a compelling journey oversea and back, all while staying connected to the heart," said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President , Programming & Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks. "Our exceptionally talented cast and special guest star  Gregory Harrison deliver an unforgettable story not to be missed."

The next movie in the series will air Sunday October 4th at 9pm ET/PT, 8 C on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quick post: about The 33 !

Disclosure: I was given the information from Grace Hill Media to share with my readers. I did not receive compensation for the information.

Here's a YouTube link for you all to check out about "The 33" trailer, about the Chilean miners who survived underground after 60 days: The 33 . CNN's article on the Chilean miners, another link, and it has to do with a CNN article on the Chilean miners.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Vardin Village --- A Novel Review

Disclosure: I was given a free book in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own!

Vardin Village was written by Maggie Spence. It's available in Kindle Format or in what I call a "sturdier" paperback format (not hard). If I can I usually prefer a paperback or hard book, since I can take it places with me to read, without worrying if I have "bars" on my iPhone and how much data am I using! I took this book initially to several doctor appointments early this year, and I did the rest of reading Vardin Village at home or when husband was driving us in the car somewhere. Her novel Vardin Village, is a 305 pages in length, and it is without pictures. I want to explain why I made a point of mentioning that it had no pictures in it! When I received the book, I was impressed by the illustrator's picture of the Vardin mansion on the cover! It was beautiful! I really feel that it helped me to paint the picture of the Vardin Village town in my mind. I cannot begin to tell you, my blog reader, how I felt that I could envision the story in my mind as Ms. Maggie told it on paper! I could feel like I was in the story seeing what was going on with George and his sister! She told the story about Vardin Village so well in detail that the story "painted" the picture for the reader! I seriously don't know if anyone who read her book felt that way, but I definitely know that I did! Okay, so I am "WOW"-ing her book before I even tell you a few brief synopsis! I can't help it, I seriously loved the book!

 Okay, so now onto the book review! Vardin Village is a small village that George Vardin's great, great, great, great, grandfather founded many years ago. The "many" great-grandfather wanted to give back to the village.  Many years later, George and his sister Eleanor are living in the cottage on the property of the mansion. The cottage is one step away from being condemned. They are living in conditions worse than you could imagine, compared to their ancestors. He'd like to be able to do the same things that his friends do, like date, be on the varsity team for football, and to hang out with the guys. Slight problem, no money to be able to do any of those cool things. His friends don't know what kind of situation he's in, especially being a Vardin. When his father married his mother, his grandfather disinherited his father, and made sure that his mother couldn't get any of the money. George and Eleanor's father died, and their mother took off, becoming a drug addict. Friends of the family got together, especially Uncle Morris, to try to keep the two kids together and in better living quarters, such as the mansion. I do not want to give away the rest of the story, you really need to read the book, I am so serious! I really enjoyed it, regardless of being given it in exchange for my review!

For more information on the book by Maggie Spence, go to Vardin Village . You can get the book in paperback or in e-book format. I had taken pictures of the front and the back of the book, but they aren't showing up for me when I go to look for them on my Mac.

Friday, June 26, 2015

A quick update on the family!

Hey y'all! I've had a sinus infection that has taken up the better part of this month, and I'm on round 2 of antibiotics (I finished the steroids up yesterday! I did not like the hot flashes with them! The sweating part was so intensified!). I didn't know that I couldn't take Diflucan if I was on Lipitor (I found that out earlier this month!).  I have come home from work this week and fallen asleep on the sofa--- not getting anything done on the blog. Forgive me, I was exhausted! Steven was off at Mission Is Possible, and hubby was at work those mornings!

Son informed us that he was healed of his back pain when his pastor prayed and put healing oil on him during Mission Is Possible week. I was hoping that someone would lay hands on him or pray for the healing for him this week! Alleluia! He's felt so much better today!

This afternoon was spent at the vet, two of the birds, Trouble and Shrek needed to be seen for trimming. Trouble was due his annual visit, and he freaked in the office in his typical Senegal fashion. He bumped into the wall and hit a blood feather close to its entry site, and it bleed some. He wasn't happy at all about being toweled for wings, beak and nails to be trimmed! Shrek's got used to having his beak dremel'd by the vet. We have to keep it trimmed or it starts to grow up towards his left eye---- long story, he got caught up in the door about two winters ago, and his beak grows strange now because of it.

Still working on a few posts, I'm not sure if I'm going to be working a 3 or 5 night stretch, it depends on how our census is at work this weekend and Monday. Changeover night is Tuesday night, and it's when we have to check July's med and treatment sheets against June's sheets for all of our patients that night. I'm scheduled off, but I volunteered if they need me.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Joy Williams "Venus"

Disclosure: I was given a digital copy of Joy Williams album via  One2One Network in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own!

Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars(they officially split in 2014), has recorded a solo album called "Venus". This is not her first solo album, but her first solo album since prior to being in The Civil Wars.  I was surprised to see online that she had maybe 2 or 3 other albums in the past. As Joy describes "Venus, it's her "coming-of-age" album. She has been working on writing songs for "Venus" since June of 2013, and has written over 75+ songs since then for this album (but obviously there aren't 75 songs on it). It's made of 11 songs which show a change in Joy, in what I want to call a growth and transformation! Coming out of the darkness and out of the sadness, and being able to be free and to be one's self!  The album's due out June 29, 2015. Here's a video of "Woman (Oh Mama)".

I listened to this album many times prior to writing my review. The songs that keep popping up in my mind are "Sweet Love of Mine", "Woman (Oh Mama)", and "Before I Sleep".  "Sweet Love of Mine" sounded like a sweet love song, and I love the rhythm of it. It was my favorite out of the 11 songs on the album.  It was hard for me to discern some of the lyrics on some of the songs, unless I turned the volume level up high. ( I've had a sinus infection during the past 3 weeks and because of it, my head's been congested and it's been hard to hear through my ears.) "Woman (Oh Mama)" has a catchy beat. To me, it's about women being empowered, but that's just my opinion.  "Before I Sleep" made me think of the Robert Frost poem line, and "miles to go before I sleep". There seemed a bit of weariness in that song, but it was interesting to listen to. I did like the whole album, don't get me wrong!

Usually in the past, I've listed all of the names of songs from new albums, but this time I won't! It will give my reader the opportunity to check out Joy Williams' new album! I'm sharing a few links with you below for Joy Williams.



Joy Williams on Facebook

The Official Joy Williams site

Joy on YouTube


And if you are on twitter, follow her  @joywilliams.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How To Raise An Adult

Hi, I'm Barbara, and I'm somewhere between a semi-overprotective and a permissive parent. Now that I've introduced myself, let me talk about a book that I'm reviewing for you! How To Raise An Adult : Break Free Of The Overparenting Trap And Prepare Your Kid For Success was written by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Let me give you a nutshell of information about the author. She has served as a dean of freshman and undergraduate advising at Stanford University. Ms. Lythcott-Haims has spoke  about and has written numerous articles about helicopter parenting. If you are familiar with TEDx talks, her work has appeared  on them. Julie holds two degrees, a BA from Stanford University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She is working on a MFA (to be honest, I have no idea what it is!) from California College of the Arts.

Getting to her book... I want to tell you about the parts that spoke to me! (I actually had at least a dozen or more tagged with sticky tags in the book!) She mentioned about Baby Boomers being the first to be helicopter parents, and I'm one of the baby boomers (born in 1962). I've tried to be there for Steven, but due to working 40 hours a week most of his early years and until about 2 years ago--- I was busy most of the time sleeping or working the nightshift.  Julie talked about kids riding their bikes to school with a parent riding with them. I didn't want Steven to ride his bike to school, I didn't want him to get bullied or hurt on the ride to and from school. Was I trying to overprotect, or did I not give him the chance to be capable to learn to handle things himself? Good question. Did I butt in too much when I took a matter to the teacher and the principal that son had been bullied for two to three years in elementary school, or should I have let Steven speak to the teacher and the principal himself?
I definitely don't plan on calling a future employer of his or to interfere with his job! One Millennial mother called his boss over a weekend regarding her son putting in too many hours, and he was greeted at the building Monday morning with a box of his stuff--- and a note "ask your mother"!

We've let him make the decision on his classes throughout the years. Honestly, Steve and I couldn't have steered him to do a career that we'd want him to. We can only hope that he makes wise choices. We don't do his homework for him, like some of the parents that Julie wrote about. She wrote of parents even writing their young adults' college essays and whatever it took to get their kids into "the right" college. We got involved when we needed to switch him to hospital/home bound schooling through the county when his back pain became too much for him to sit in class. The way I figure it, from Julie's book, I can only guide and teach him skills on organizing and getting his act together in regards to school and further on with college or armed services.

Parents need to make sure that the children get the opportunity to have time for being themselves and time for homework, but the kids need to learn how to balance the two! There were a few things in the book that Julie brought up, like young adults doing whatever it took class wise in high school so that the prestige schools would pick them over Joe Schmoe would didn't take 3 years of a foreign language. She had a chapter on the college kids taking Adderall and pulling allnighters after taking it to do more studying. One student had been taking it at one point, and he questioned about the long term effects of it. Would they be continuing the drug when they were out there in the workforce?

There are certain life skills that should be learned by certain ages, like being able to shop and cook a meal with multiple items in it between the ages of 14 -18. They need to be able to pump gas, and check the oil level in their car. He can prepare a meal for us, after he has shopped for it. He grill a meal of chicken or hamburgers and make a side dish. He does some laundry, though he doesn't always treat stains on clothes. He's learning those kind of skills, the ones that you need for at least taking care of your place. Childhood should be an experience that helps and prepares child for life in the world later on!

He interacts well with adults and can carry on a conversation with them, even if they are strangers. Steven's doing well about learning how to get himself to and from places on his bike without us, and he has no qualms about riding his bike to and from a dojo a few miles from the house in the dark. I'm fearful for him, though I do realize that he's old enough at 16 years old to bike ride in the dark! He didn't master managing his classes and getting assignments and tests turned in on time during hospital/home bound, and he maybe paying for the consequences of his actions. (That time management/organization/classwork/papers thing is one of the skills that 18 years should be able to do by the time that they go to college.  Steven can help contribute to the running of our home, by doing laundry, cooking dinner, and cleaning dishes, along with taking care of our birds.  I think that he's got the handling of interpersonal problems down pat. Managing money---he's still working on it.
An 18 year old must be able to take risks, and he's getting there.

What I've learned from reading Julie's book is that I need to step back from the hovering, and to guide him gently as he makes his own decisions with school, college and life. All my husband and I can do is to help sure his got the skills for life coping for the future.( I have stickers on pages in her book to help me to stick task teaching! )

For more information: How To Raise An Adult .

How To Raise An Adult trailer

Four Tips on How To Raise An Adult

On Facebook

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A look at 2014/2015 from my perspective

I should actually start with last summer... Steven was going through different doctors around that time. Steve was running him to and from appointments, whether they were for acupuncture, physical therapy and even throwing in a doctor's appointment or two. I had a MRI to which the doctor (who had done my neck and lumbar disc surgeries) said that my back pain wasn't a surgical issue from his standpoint. I was thinking, "well, what am I supposed to do with my pain?" I put off dealing with the pain issue for a few months.

My father was diagnosed in August  2014 with myelodysplastic syndrome, a kind of cancer that affects the bone. He held off deciding whether or not to get an infusaport for chemo for a month or so. Mom had had issues with her infusaport during her chemo days back in '96, and she ended up with a clot in her subclavian (if I can remember correctly). Dad was afraid of having issues like the clot Mom had, and didn't want to get a port no matter how many times that I tried to convince him that it probably wouldn't happen to him. One of my aunts on my Mom's side was able to talk with him and finally convince him to get one. He spent time getting a port put in sometime in October.

From here on a lot of the events that happened blur, since I was working 32 hours a week, and trying to help with things going on in our household and Dad, too. Steven had a few falls around the house, yes, the boy. One of them happened in the garage while I was at work, but before he was supposed to get on the bus. Dad had chemo, and ended up in the hospital with counts very low. I want to say that his WBC's were less than 0.5 -0.7, and he was on neutropenic precautions . That means no fresh flowers, no produce, no sick people near him. He ended up leaving there to go to a hospice unit, and then to our home for a few weeks. Steve, Steven, and I helped to pack his apartment up, in between work and school and Steven's appointment in Gainesville. Hospice came to visit him at our house while he was there. I took Dad to a few doctor appointment and spent Black Friday with him as he received 2 units of blood. My sister  Laura and her family came over from Orlando along with Dad's older sister and her husband to finish packing up his apartment. Karen and her husband Bruce came down in early December to fly Dad up north to their home, and Bruce drove the moving van from FL to up north.

Dad ended up in the hospital, I think one more time, between a few outpatient blood transfusions and one more inpatient stay. He decided no more treatment in mid-January. From there till the day he died in February, Karen and Bruce took care of him.

During that time down here, we were trying to straighten out things in our house and tried to get things back to pre-Dad being here. We were dealing with issues with Steven's back pain keeping him out of school for almost 2 weeks between early January and late February. I spent a lot of time on the phone with doctors, trying to get Steven  hospital/home bound schooling in our county. He was at the point where he couldn't tolerate sitting in class for even an hour. We finally got him on the schooling through the county in early March. His pain kept him from concentrating much on even the homework much less tests, and he got behind. (As of early June, I'm not sure what his school status is for next year, sophomore again, or heading for a junior.)

We had issues with trying to get a pain management procedure done during Spring Break. He ended up with having a wisdom tooth or two removed instead! I finally was able to focus somewhat on getting my back pain and fibromyalgia taken care of. My rheumatologist decided to refer me to another pain management doctor#2 whom she felt could better handle meeting my needs for the fibro pain, maybe the other doctor could do something different with my meds. I went back to my pain management doctor#1 for my lumbar pain issues, and we had a discussion. He opted to refer me to another neurosurgeon who could look at my MRI from last summer to see what else could be done, like surgery or if not maybe a spinal cord stimulator.
The neurosurgeon recommended a spinal cord stimulator trial. 1/3 of the patients who have the surgery to get the SCS put in according to him say that it worked wonders on them, 1/3 say "meh" that it helped some, and then 1/3 want it removed after they've had it put in. Encouraging or discouraging, I don't know! All that I know is that with the back pain, my quality of life is nowhere that I want it to be. I have a consult with a therapist next month, and the therapist will send results and notes to pain management MD #1. From there, the SCS trial will happen. It's just this waiting for things to happen that gets to me.

Steven's at church camp this week, and he wanted to go regardless of how his back pain was. He's scheduled to see pain management doc #1 next Monday, I'm hoping that he gets some form of relief. We have him also going through Nemours this summer for another doctor.

Oops, I forgot to throw in that we had to put down our 21 year old yellow collar mini-macaw last month. It was the hardest thing that I've had to do in a long time. We had her euthanized and cremated, and her ashes were scattered in Central FL somewhere.  We were blessed earlier this year to receive Poppet from our dear friends Alesha and Doug and Ike. Poppet's an Timneh African Grey, and she's brought joy into our house.

You probably have also noticed or will notice in the next couple of weeks several posts a week. I got majorly behind on posts and projects during the time that Dad was sick/we were dealing with Steven's back pain. I am still trying to get caught up. I will be running a very late giveaway within the next 2 weeks re: "The Good Lie".  For those who have stood by me and continue to do so, thank you! For my new readers, bear with me, I am getting caught up! Thank you!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Adovia Mineral Skin Care 100% Dead Sea Bath Salts

Disclosure: I was given free product from Adovia Mineral Skin Care in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

What do you use when you want to take a bath or a soak in your bathtub? Somedays I prefer bath bubbles, and other days I prefer to use bath salts! I do like to soak at times for my arthritis, my back pain, and my fibromyalgia. Son likes to soak for long periods for his chronic back pain issues.  I was happy to review Adovia's 100% Dead Sea Bath Salts!

Adovia's 100% Dead Sea Mineral Salts are fine-grain, which means that they can dissolve easier in the tub as it's filling. They definitely dissolved quickly in the warm water in my bathtub! They don't have any added scent to them, and I was pleased about that. They have a higher level of minerals in their bath salts than epsom salts, per Adovia!  They are formulated with 26 essential minerals! You can use their product for a soak in your tub for skin issues like eczema (I suffer from eczema once in a blue moon!) and psoriasis.  My skin didn't feel dry after soaking in the tub with the dissolved salts in it. I felt soothed and relaxed after using the salts in my tub! (I realized as I'm writing this post that I've been a little bit grinchy with my bag of the salts from Adovia! I could have used more salts in the tub, like at least 1 cup at a time! I was using an ounce or two at a time!) I liked their Dead Sea Bath Salts, and I'm still trying to remember to get Steven to use them!
 Adovia recommends that you do the following with the 100% Dead Sea Bath Salts:
"1. To use these natural bath salts, simply pour 1 cup of salts into a bath tub that is filling with warm water or that has already been filled with warm water.
2. Allow the salts to dissolve before getting in to the bath tub.
3. Get in to the bath tub, relax, and soak for about 20 minutes.
4. Follow up with a warm water rinse. "

I would say, "Soak, relax, and rinse!"
For more information: Adovia Mineral Skin Care 100% Dead Sea Bath Salts They come in two different sizes, the 1.75 pound zip locked bag that I received  and the 10 pound size.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

True Skin Under Eye Gel (Review)

Disclosure: I received free product in order to facilitate my review. The options expressed are my own.

I have been working on treating the under eye and around the eye area of my face lately. I have a few fine wrinkles around my eyes and some dark circles. The dark circles have been there for years, and the fine wrinkles have creeped up on me in the past few years, maybe less than 10.  I tried True Skin Care Anti-Aging eye gel with Vitamin C in it. All you have to do it is apply a small amount of the eye gel onto one of your fingers, then you gently massage it around the eye area twice a day.  I used it in the morning and before bedtime as part of a skin care regime.

The great thing about this eye gel is that it is unscented, and both women and men can use it! It is non-greasy and very soothing, in my opinion! On my days off, when  I had used the eye gel during the morning, I didn't even want to wear cover-up under my eyes! The gel was helping reduce my fine wrinkles and dark circles. It's definitely a product that I need to continue with for maintenance!  For more information  go to  True Skin Care Anti-Aging Eye Gel with Vitamin C. They have a 100% guarantee on this product!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nutritional Yeast Superfood (review)

Disclosure: I was given free product in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own!

Have you ever tried Nutritional Yeast? Sari Foods Company has a 100% natural and non-fortified nutritional yeast in a flake form. What can I tell you about besides it being 100% natural? It tastes like cheese on popcorn, and I'm serious! Yum! It is gluten-free, dairy-free,  Kosher, vegan, non-GMO, and it has NO MSG! It is considered an a Egyptian Superfood. It is also LOW in sodium, and that made me happy due to high blood pressure. (Plus, I'm not crazy about product that are high in sodium! ) A serving which is 2 heaping tablespoons contains the following: 61.6 calories, total fat is 0.8 grams (sat fat is 0.24 grams), Sodium is 4.8 mg, Potassium is 352 mg, Total carbs is 5.28 grams (another thing that made me happy!), dietary fiber was 3.52grams, and Protein as 8.32 grams. It contains 15 minerals, 50% protein, a natural vitamin B-complex and beta-glucans (they are known for their extreme immune enhancing properties!).

I don't know how else to explain how good the nutritional yeast is for you, other than giving you some points from their packaging:  1) It can help fight aging,  promote cellular repair, and guard against free radicals.   2) Curb your appetite, helping to promote a natural and healthy weight loss.
3) Improve your sleep, it can help to reduce insomnia, depression, and ongoing fatigue! That point stuck with me, because I have sleep issues and ongoing fatigue due to the fibromyalgia.

I can tell you that I'm happy with the taste of it, and that I enjoy it on popcorn! I haven't sprinkled it on anything else yet, but plan to!! I'm pretty sure that if you like foods that taste like cheese, you will enjoy it! For more information, here's the link: Nutritional Yeast

Friday, May 22, 2015

Credit Card-Sized External Battery Charger Review

Disclosure: I received free product in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed in this post are my family's.

How big is your portable charger? Can I ask if you carry the charger around with you on a daily basis? I do try to, unless I switch purses and forget to take the charger out of the pocket in my purse!
I reviewed the Power Theory PTX-2500 Power Bank. It's a credit card-sized external charger that you can carry in your wallet, back pocket, backpack or purse! It can charge a smartphone fully! I like that it's handy to carry!

 We have two kinds of phones in our family. My husband and son use Samsung Galaxy 5, and I have an iPhone 6 Plus. The Power Theory's design is such that you can use the built-in cables that are both MicroUSB and Apple Lightning compatible. For the Apple Lightning compatible, you use the Apple Lightning adaptor on the MicroUSB to charge the iPhone 6 Plus. We all like how it has worked for our phones. Steven, my son, was charging his Samsung the other night while he was using it, and he said that it took about 1.5 hours for it to charge his phone completely. Bear in mind, he said while he was using it! Steve, my husband, was pleased how it charged his Samsung. I was happy with it, charging my iPhone 6 plus with it while we were out and about one day in Orlando in the past month.
The recharge time for the charger is 3-4 hours.

I am going to tell you about a few features for the Power Theory PTX-2500 Power Bank  (borrowing from the case for it) :

POWERFUL: capacity of 2500mAh is enough power to give a full charge to almost all phones.

RELIABLE: made with ultra high density A+ Li-Polymer battery cells and premium microchips.

CONVENIENT: charge your mobile phone anytime, anywhere, without the need for extra cables.

SMART: built-in LED light and intelligent circuit board to prevent overcharging.

PRACTICAL: small and light enough to fit in your wallet. Never leave home without extra power.

FUNCTIONAL: true all-in-one design: the built-in cable is both MicroUSB and Apple Lightning compatible.

Do we recommend it? YES!
For more information, check out the link above for the Power Theory PTX-2500 Power Bank!

Just showing the measurement of the battery charger!