Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Argentum Vulgaris, of Nether Region of the Earth and Tomus Arcanum as well as several other blogs recently gave me the Kreativ Blogger award. A big thanks is long overdue! I really appreciate the recognition. Thank you so much, Argentum! Nether Region's link is from the award post, so simply click the title bar to get to the most current post on the blog.

He has several great blogs, that always guarantee something funny and also lots of good and interesting tidbits to read. It is easy to see why he would receive an award for creativity! Just take a look and you'll see what I mean (but watch out for Mr. Bean)!

Thank you, Argentum Vulgaris! I'm sorry it took so long for me to do this award post! My excuse: May is the busiest month of the year for me at work!

The award is also a meme, but the rules are simple. If you accept it, you are supposed to list seven of your favorite things and nominate seven blogs that deserve this award. And of course copy the award to your site and link back to this post or my blog. You should also notify the award winners in a comment.

Keep in mind that this did say favorite things, and a thing is an inanimate object. That is why I won't be listing family or pets, even though others before me have done so.

In no particular order, seven of my favorite things are:

  • Art, especially an oil painting that a friend of mine painted and gave to me as a gift.

  • Arts and crafts projects that my daughter or grandchildren made in pre-school or school and gave to me as a gift. I keep them all.
  • Fresh cut flowers, especially the ones that I grow.

  • Music, especially cd's that I buy.

  • Photographs, especially my photo albums and framed photos.

  • My home. It's no palace, but is my haven.

  • My cellphone. I love all of it's features and it goes everywhere with me.
I'm happy to nominate some blogs that I really enjoy. These seven get my enthusiastic nomination for the Kreativ Blogger award. These blogs have a wide range of creativity. They are all creative in their own ways with their photography, layout, or writing style, etc.

Also, so many blogs already have this award, so I am also trying to choose blogs that do not have the award displayed on their blog. I hope you take a moment to check out these great blogs!

The seven blogs, in no particular order that I nominate for the Kreativ Blog Award are:

  • An Ardent Cosmic Journey (Even though she is on hiatus, her archives are worth reading). And even though she is young, she has been blogging for five years! She is creative in every way and has a big following. Comment and she will always comment back!

  • Prinsesa's Anatomy (She's a young nurse and teacher and like me, she loves cats). She is a very skilled writer covering a variety of topics. You'll see she is very creative in using her cat theme! I absolutely love her blog.

  • Pwn Star (A great personal blog) She writes a lot about her life at home and work. It's like a great soap opera! People do cuss in the comments, but she is clever to not spell out any curse words herself (uses asteriks a lot)! Just a little warning to those who get offended by such things. Don't let her blog name fool you. She is sweet devoted wife!

  • Shey_strides (Another nurse, I must really like nurses!) She always has beautiful photographs, especially of flowers. She lives in one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. and luckily for us, she always has a camera with her! She is so creative in every way. I especially love her photos and her layout.

  • Bad Habit (One of the most creative writers out there)! She doesn't blog as much anymore, but it is such a treat when she does! Be sure and read her disclaimer!

  • Imagine (She is a creative floral designer). She will share some photos of the most gorgeous floral designs, but she also writes about a lot of thought provoking things. You will be instantly drawn in by the large size font that she uses!

  • True Crime Book Reviews is a blog I recently found through blog catalog. Now I am no longer embarrassed to say I love to read true crime books! The blog is full of great book reviews and full of energy. The layout is beyond creative; it is amazing.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm thinking, I'm thinking, I'm thinking

I have always loved The Thinker and have had this little statue for many years. Here is a photo I took eons ago, when I had a big clunky television. Of course I couldn't just sit The Thinker on there all by his lonesome, so I designed this enormous artificial flower arrangement to frame him. I added the little crystal clock for balance and function. Click the photo, if you want a detailed look.

Now The Thinker resides in a curio cabinet in my bedroom and is one of the first things I see everyday. Over the years I think (LOL) he has reminded me to think before I open my big mouth. Sometimes I do forget though and say or do something without thinking it through, but I'm getting better! So, it's a great thing to have around. It seems like everyone else in "Lincolnland" has a bust of Lincoln, but I have The Thinker!

In "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" The Thinker is one of the exhibits that comes to life. One of the things he does is demonstrates how he thinks by saying "I'm thinking, I'm thinking, I'm thinking!" That pretty much sums up how I've have felt all week. The Thinker depicts a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle. All this week's thinking has about drove me over the edge!

Sometimes I think too much or "over think." I don't mean to sound so cryptic, but something came up early in the week that has really bothered me. It's one of those things that no matter what you say, or how you say it, you will be perceived to be in the wrong. Well, I have been asked a question and must give an answer. And my answer will be thanks, but no thanks. I will be lucky, if I can pull this off without pissing someone off.

And since you're dying to know, I will tell you just a little bit more. It's more like I have been invited to something or take part in something. It is something I don't want to take part in and I do not want to hurt feelings by declining the invitation or offer. So, I have been thinking about it all week to the point that it has consumed me and made me a very unproductive person. That is why I haven't updated my blog in a week. And when I get like this, I get a bad headache lasting for days that nothing seems to help. I am just now getting over it and feeling somewhat back to normal!

Thanks to a couple of very good and wise friends that have helped me figure out not only what I must do, but also what I should say and what I shouldn't say. Of course, that is easier said than done. I haven't said or done anything yet! But at least I am done thinking (or should I say stewing) about it!

Have any of you ever had an awkward situation like this come up? How do you keep things from bothering you so much? I know it can't be healthy, so I am open to advice! Thanks.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Things to Remember on Memorial Day

Obviously an old cartoon, so add another dollar on to the price of gas!

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Passavant Achieves Magnet Designation

Did you know that it is the nurses that make a hospital great? When your hospital has a large percentage of nurses that have worked continuously for thirty years, you know that must be a great hospital. That is the case in my town's hospital. In addition to the many long time nurses, we have several retired nurses that volunteer at the hospital. Nurses are some of the hardest workers in a hospital. I have an aunt who is an R.N. and several friends who are also Registered Nurses. I know how dedicated they are and how hard they all work.

Many nurses spend a lot of time walking and standing. Nurses also need to be careful in order to stay safe. Nurses care for people who have diseases that they can catch too. And nurses can get hurt while helping to move patients. Nurses also need to guard against radiation from x-rays and chemicals in medicine. Because patients need 24-hour care, hospital nurses often work nights, weekends, and holidays. A great website about being a nurse can be found at this link.

There is a day of recognition for nurses on May 6th--called National Nurses Day. Hopefully all the hard working nurses are honored on this day each year. Our hospital nurses got a little extra recognition this year. They won't brag about it, so I'll be glad to do it.

I want to congratulate all my friends at Jacksonville's Passavant Area Hospital, especially the super nursing staff for earning national recognition for nursing excellence! It's one of the highest levels of recognition a hospital can achieve. Passavant Area Hospital has achieved Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credential Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. Shame on the local newspaper for not reporting this news.

Passavant is among the 5 percent of hospitals nationwide to achieve the Magnet Recognition®, and one of only 19 in Illlinois.

As stated in their press release, the Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice and adherence to national standards for the organization and delivery of nursing services. Applicants undergo a rigorous evaluation that includes extensive interviews and review of nursing services. Research shows there are clear benefits to hospitals that are awarded Magnet® status and to the communities they serve:
  • Healthcare consumers have more confidence in the overall quality of a hospital if it has achieved the level of excellence established by the Magnet Recognition Program®.

  • Magnet® designated facilities consistently outperform other facilities in recruiting and retaining nurses resulting in increased stability in patient care and patient satisfaction.

  • Because quality nursing is one of the most important factors in enlisting high caliber physicians and specialists, Magnet® status becomes an attractive force that extends to the entire facility.

ANCC is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the United States. Passavant's Magnet® status is valid for four years.

This is not the first time our hospital has achieved recognition. Passavant is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO), and in 2006, was named one of the top two hospitals in the State and one of the top 10 percent in the nation to administer antibiotics 60 minutes prior to surgery by the Illinois Hospital Association (IHS). Passavant also received the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings company.

I have driven past the hospital going to and from work for the last 14 years and have watched it grow. It is currently expanding it's Emergency Room. According to it's website, the $16.7 million expansion will double the EDs size to over 25,000 square feet. The new department will have two levels, with a lower level serving as storage space. The ED will feature 22 treatment rooms, with built-in imaging units in the trauma rooms and a dedicated CT scan for the Department.

The hospital is the second largest employer in town. Again, congratulations to a great hospital and especially the nursing staff for the Magnet Recognition®. I know I speak for many people who appreciate all you do. And to nurses everywhere, thank you for all you do!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

New Vanessa Williams single!

Just Friends is the first single from Vanessa's new album THE REAL THING!

Produced by Kenny Babyface Edmonds, Keith Thomas, Rob Mathes, and Rex Rideout, THE REAL THING features songs written by Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Babel Gilberto and Babyface and will release June 2, 2009! I can't wait!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Battling bugs in central Illinois

We are having a terrible time here in central Illinois with an aggressive pest that doesn’t carry disease but can torture people trying to enjoy the outdoors. I'm talking about Buffalo gnats! This is the third year in a row we have had to deal with this problem!
It's a shame you have to avoid the outdoors or risk getting bit! Nothing really repels them. The local news said to wear light color long sleeve shirts. Some people are spraying themselves with vanilla. Many people are attaching dryer sheets to their hats and clothes!

I have my third bite of the year. First the back of my neck, then my right arm, now my left arm. These bites itch really bad and leave red welts! They also take about two weeks to heal!

Click on the title link for the news article (starts out about mosquitoes, so scroll down for the gnats story). Do you have gnats where you live? I hope not!

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Can Do Bad All By Myself

In case you didn't know it, I love Tyler Perry movies! I can't wait to see this one!

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

If you missed Farrah's Story

It is worth watching! Farrah's Story will be shown again on the following dates: (CENTRAL TIME ZONE) 5/17/09 at 12:00 p.m. on Oxygen and also at 5:00 p.m. on MSNBC. It will be shown on BRAVO on 5/18/09 at 10:00 p.m. and again on 5/19/09 at 12:00 a.m. You should probably check your listings just to make sure.

This info came from my DirecTV guide.

Related Previous Post: An Angel Needs Your Prayers

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Jacksonville, Illinois Storm Clouds Friday Evening

This is the third photo taken and is a funnel cloud approaching. Luckily, it did not turn into a tornado. It was eerily quiet and not raining or thundering and lightning yet. Look at the pair of oblivious birds on the electrical wire near the top of the photo! The timestamp on this photo was 4:36 p.m. (Click any of these photos for a larger view).

Notice in the next picture, just minutes apart and it is a lot darker. Then I went back in!

These photos were taken facing northwest from my home located just west of Jacksonville. After my last post announcing that I was unplugging the computer, I gathered up a flashlight and other things to take down in the basement, since we were under a tornado warning.
My satellite tv had not gone out yet and I had the local news on, so I could see that I had about fifteen minutes before a tornado that was spotted west of Jacksonville would arrive very close by my house. I know, I know, it is foolish to go out and take pictures with a storm approaching, so shut it! (LOL, I picked that line up from Re-Re).

Anyway, I only took four photos and came back in the house pretty fast. I was ready to go to the basement, but only if absolutely necessary. Luckily, I did not have to take cover in the basement. I avoid the basement at all costs. It is not a "finished" basement. It is dark and damp and is a haven for spiders. I gave up on a dehumidifier a long time ago. I couldn't empty it fast enough! The storm has finally let up now, but it is still very windy.

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Jacksonville, Illinois Storm Clouds Approaching

After my last post, I went outside my home and took four photos of the clouds. I had to put them in two different posts, because thick clouds made it almost impossible to upload the pics via my satellite internet connection (HughesNet).

These are the first two photos. I believe they are called storm "wall" clouds.

This photo above is facing south west and the line of clouds seems to be parallel with the new Interstate Highway 67. On the right edge you can see the green exit sign near my house.

In the above photo I panned more towards the north west. The line of clouds still appear to be passing over the new Interstate Highway 67. The exit sign off in the distance on the left is the same one in the previous picture.
When a wall of clouds form like this, a tornado could suddenly drop down at any moment. At this point the weather gets very unpredictable. Sudden downpours could also occur, very strong wind gusts or hail and thunder and lightning. These clouds were moving about 45 mph with heavy rotation.
It had been near 80 degrees today. But when the cold front moved in and hit that warm air, the tornado watch, then tornado warning got issued.

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Bad Weather

Unfortunately we are experiencing severe weather that will continue until late tonight. So, my computer is getting unplugged until it's over....

and if you are East of Jacksonville/Springfield area you will get some bad weather too.


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Travis, the attack-chimp, had Xanax in his system

Huh? You would think xanax would calm the savage beast that went ape-sh*t! I wonder what else he had in his system (besides rage)? I'm glad the chimp's owner is getting sued.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Did Simon Cowell's Lobbying For Adam Lambert Cross The Line? - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News

Did Simon Cowell's Lobbying For Adam Lambert Cross The Line? - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News

Posted using ShareThis

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Hodgepodge of a blog post

After a busy week of work, I am trying to get back in to the groove of blogging and all that goes with it, which would be reading my favorite blogs, commenting, replying to comments, and of course coming up with a blog post! So, I'm calling this one my hodgepodge post and featuring the beautiful decoupage my grand daughter made for me, when she was in pre-school. She's so creative! I wish I would've scanned those kinds of things a long time ago. I never thought of it really, but what a good way to preserve and easily share! So here's some rambling thoughts I put out occasionally!

  • I hope nobody thought I was complaining about my job in recent posts! It just gets really hectic the week of holidays. I really love my job. After all, it is my chosen career. I started in the flower biz at age 16 and have tried other things twice, but always found my way back to flowers. I think what I like most right now is the variety of work I get to do. I don't have to stand on my feet all day, but I also don't sit behind a desk all day. It's a great balance. I think I am in a somewhat unique position to have both florist accounting skills and design skills.

I have been inspired by a recently discovered designer's blog called Imagine after I saw it on Attentive Aphorist's blogroll. Thanks, TheMom for pointing that out to me! Kenju writes the Imagine blog, and wrote a great article about working the long hours in a flower shop. Most people just don't realize the hard work and long hours that florists put in prior to and during holidays. If you have a minute, check out that blog link.

What else has been going on? Things in the news happened that I would've blogged about.

  • Maine became the 5th to legalize same sex marriage! That is 10% of all states! Other states, like New Hampshire, New York, could soon be added to that statistic! I really believe it's just a matter of time until it becomes more common in more and more states. I sure hope so. We all deserve equal rights.
  • Elizabeth Edwards is hawking such a personal book. No, I didn't watch the Oprah or Larry King interview, but I have seen clippets. I wonder if she is doing this as punishment to John Edwards, or if they are desperate for money. I find the whole thing tacky, especially since they have children. No, I won't buy the book or check it out from the library. I learned my lesson after that awful book "The Confession" by James McGreevey.
  • Wanda Sykes told those hilarious jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner! Glad they keep showing clips of them still! Sorry Rush (not)! No comment, huh? Hahahahaha
  • Donald Trump defending that nitwit beauty queen. I don't know who is the bigger media whore, him or her. Wait, yes I do, it would be the Donald! Was it really necessary for HIM to hold a press conference. Just because he is ONE of the pageant owners, doesn't mean he needed to once again (remember Tara Connor the former druggie Miss USA) do a press conference to be the moral authority as to whether some pretty girl should keep her tiara. The Miss California USA has it's own organization with plenty of people, who could have just let her keep her title or hold a press conference themselves. And wasn't Chump pathetic to think his paparazzi was applauding his announcement? It was later reported that no it was not, but it was Miss California's parents clapping (dumbass)! Paparazzi were busy taking pictures of that birds nest on your head Chump!
  • That Slime ball Drew Peterson finally got put in jail! I have blogged about him before. He is a very dangerous man, so I previously chose my words carefully. Now, I hope he rots in jail for the rest of his life. That murdering bastard.
  • "Farrah's Story" airs this Friday night on NBC, so check your listings. Just last month I wrote about my admiration for Farrah with my An Angel Needs Your Prayers post.
  • And I haven't forgotten that I received two more blog awards that I have yet to acknowledge! I'm working on that!
  • That's enough of my hodgepodge rambling thoughts post! You mean you read this far?!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Working like a Dog...for Mother's Day

Just had to take a break from work and put something on my blog! I never realized just how much I loved blogging and reading blogs, commenting, etc! As I said in my last post, I would be very busy right up to Mother's Day. That has been the case. I just love (not) how people wait until the last minute.

Oh, and this is just another pretty picture that I took at Caesars last August. No, I did not make this and I didn't make the previous arrangements in the last photo (just wanted to clear that up). I mentioned that when I lived in Las Vegas, those are the type of arrangements I made then, while working for hotel florists. I just love this arrangement, which is actually two. The vase isn't filled with water, but it is filled with monarch butterflies! It was displayed near the Diamond lounge at the back of the hotel. Gorgeous, don't ya' think! (Click it for a detailed look)!

Here's what I've been up to...during the day, mostly answering one phone call after another (taking orders). Some people need to plan ahead like this caller:

At 4:10 p.m.

caller: hello, I'd like to have flowers delivered to my Mom today.

me: That would have to go tomorrow, since it's already so late and we are still delivering flowers that were ordered earlier.

caller: Oh really? Uh, never mind then.

Then I just hang up on Beavis (or Butthead, whichever one it was).

So now it's time to stand on my feet until late in the night and make some mass quantities of Mother's Day arrangements .... nothing on the scale of what's in this picture! I'll be glad when it's over! I'm tired.

Hopefully I will be back to my blogging activities by Monday! And to all the Mother's .... Happy Mother's Day!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some think he's hot, but Rep. Schock has a cold heart

Some people think the Representative Aaron Schock is hot, but I beg to differ. He is a cold-hearted (you fill in the blank), who voted NO on hate crimes. I can't say that I am "shocked" that the nation's youngest congressman, who happens to be from my district voted NO on the Matthew Sheppard Act! But I am very disappointed. If any of you are in the Illinois 18th Congressional District, please call his office and voice your disappointment. I have already called in to voice my disappointment and am encouraging others in my district to do the same. Thanks. Please help spread the word too! Thanks, again.

Here's a copy of the email I received from Human Rights Campaign:

Last week, when the House passed the Matthew Shepard Act in a bipartisan vote of 249 to 175, we moved one step closer to federal hate crimes protections.

With the active support of President Obama and Attorney General Holder, we have our best chance ever to secure enactment of this important legislation.

But Rep. Aaron Schock voted "No" – folding under pressure from the radical right. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) even sunk to a new low when she claimed on the House floor that the brutal hate crime that took Matthew Shepard's life was a "hoax." And she said it in front of Matthew's mother.

Our lawmakers need to know that we notice when they fail to stand up for equality.

Follow up messages mean a lot to legislators: they show that constituents are engaged, and they encourage lawmakers to rethink their positions in the future.

When you let your representative know that you're disappointed in their vote, you're not only helping us build momentum for the Matthew Shepard Act, you're laying the groundwork for the next fight.

Please take 30 seconds to send your note today. This is just as important as the emails and calls you may have made before the vote.

Want to make even more of an impact? Make a quick call to Rep. Schock's office at (202) 225-6201. Tell them you're calling to express your disappointment that the representative voted "No" on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.

The staffer will take down your name and thank you for calling, and you've done your good deed for the day!

Thank you for all your help!

Joe Solmonese

President, HRC

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Wanna see something pretty?

(Click the photo for a detailed look).

I took this photo last August at Palace Court in Caesars Las Vegas. It is one of my favorite flower pictures. These are the kinds of arrangements I got to make, when I worked in Las Vegas. I miss it! Now I mostly do accounting, but I have to help get everything done that needs done! We have proms and funerals, so I just got off work and will be back at it tomorrow.

This is just a short post (and a pretty picture) to let everyone know that I am very busy with work (I'm a florist). I will be working late probably all week as Mother's Day approaches next Sunday. I will still try and visit my favorite blogs, but I may not have time to do that and leave comments and reply to comments...all things I love to do. And I may not have time to make any good posts, but we'll see how it goes. If nothing else, I will share some more random pics.

And I want Tomas Arcanum to know that I haven't forgotten about the Kreativ Blogger award he passed on to me. Thank you! So hopefully, I can do that post ASAP (yes it's a little meme I will be passing around as well).

Oh! Speaking of Mother's Day... I know you will see all kinds of florist ads all over the internet and probably this page too, since I have google adsense! If you do buy flowers for Mother's Day, I don't want any of you to get ripped off! So, before you buy flowers online, please check out this great consumer site by my friends at Florist Detective. If you check that site, you will save money and avoid getting ripped off!

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