Read Reviews Before Starting a Book, or No?

Do reviews influence you one way or the other? My thoughts in particular are book reviews? On On

I started a book, it was recommended by a friend. A friend, whom I seem to connect with when it comes to reading. We generally like the same type of books.

The book in question is “Goldfinch” by Tartt. Upon first look at the book, I didn’t want to deal. I tend to be turned off by the length. I think it’s my ADHD/ADD aspect that factors into this. This is why I have not gotten into the Outlander series. I heard they were great, fantastic. I’m not sure why length is an issue. After all, I am a reader.

Back to Goldfinch. I read the blurb on the book. Okay, I thought, I kind of like the idea of that book. So I begin to read it. I’m 200 pages in and so far, so good (it’s a 700+ page book). But I decided to browse the reviews on Goodreads. Some of them are not good. I continue to read and some of them state that the book would have been better if the book was trimmed. Others state, that this is true but a lot of the passages are expressive and well written. Others say they hate the main character.

Do you ever read reviews and become turned off by the book? I suppose my biggest fear is reading the book and then being disappointed and then think to myself-I should have heeded the reviews.

But then I think, there are some very popular books that I didn’t care for–The Shack being one. But I finished it and was, somewhat disappointed. And the Curious Dark in the Nighttime-was another one.

I will continue to read this book but I just hope I’m not going to be disappointed.



Once upon a time I collected Michael Jackson memorabilia. Why MJ? From the ages of 9 until about 13, I was suicidal. At that time, I didn’t really follow Michael Jackson. However, when I was about 13-I watched his video “Will You Be There” video. At first, I was just mesmerized by his talent. I had to rewind (remember VHS?), and watch it again. And again. Finally it downed on me to listen to the actual lyrics. And I did. It really spoke to me. Questioning people’s purpose in your life. “Hold Me, Like a River Jordan, and I will say to thee-you were my friend.”…”Carry me like you were my brother, love me like a mother-could you be there?”…It just really spoke to me. Enough for me to run out and buy Michael Jackson’s cd DANGEROUS. Thankfully the song that follows “Will You Be There” was “Keep the Faith”. When you listen to the lyrics, he tells you to dust yourself off and you can do it. You can achieve whatever you want, regardless of what naysayers say. After that I was hooked to Michael Jackson. I will speak more about that in about a week (around his birthday).

But why I am posting now? That Michael Jackson collection that I have collected thru the years, I am parting ways with. Why? For the last couple of years, I have been a travel nurse. It allows me to travel throughout the states. Thus, I’m traveling light. My collection is in storage. And how much longer will it be in storage? I do not see myself stopping my travel nurse career anytime soon. Therefore, it probably will be there for awhile. Than I think, whenever (if ever) I settle down, where will I settle? What type of house? I’ve thought about downsizing completely and live in a Tiny House. I definitely will not have room then.

Does that mean I’m not a fan? Nope. Not at all. I will be a fan forever and everyone knows this. Whenever they see MJ related items-they think of me, they share it with me, the tag me with it. Not to mention, I have permanently inked myself with his liking (thinking about another). So I’m back home now. What a better time to depart with items?! I want them to go to fans who will appreciate them. Show them. Display them. Years ago, I had my own vision of what I wanted to do with my beloved items. MJ always made me happy, especially when I was depressed.

Any money I collect from my Michael Jackson collection I will put towards a good cause too. I’m going on a Medical Mission trip for 2 months in Jan/Feb/beg of March 2016. This mission trip sends me to Africa. I pay for my own flight, two months “rent” while being there (which includes Room/Board, 3 meals/day, Wifi, etc), as well as vaccinations. Not to mention, I will be out of a paid position-so I have to pay for my bills back here in the states for those months. It all adds up but I cannot wait. I know it’ll be worth it. I am pretty certain this will not be my last mission either. I foresee many more. The link to my GoFundMe account is (

Anyways, onto the list of items for sale. I tried to categorized it for easy finding if you’re looking for something in particular. Prices do not including S&H, as it’s hard to figure that out because Michael Jackson fans are worldwide (actually, they are usually overseas). ALL items can be shown in a photo and of course, I can answer any questions that you may have. If you’re interested please email me at Below is the list:

45 Albums- $5.00/each/OBO + S&H

  1. J5-Lookin’ Through the Window/Love Song-generic sleeve
  2. J5-Skywriter/Ain’t Nothing but the Real Thing-clear plastic sleeve
  3. J5-I Want You Back ‘88 Remix
  4. Michael Jackson-picture sleeve, Man in the Mirror
  5. Jacksons-picture sleeve, Torture
  6. Jacksons- picture sleeve, Torture2
  7. Jacksons-Wait Right Now
  8. We Are the World-picture sleeve

Full size albums/LPs (ie not 45s)–Give me an offer and we’ll talk. Unknown if they work, I never owned a record player while collecting.

  1. (2) J5-Maybe Tomorrow
  2. J5- Lookin’ Through the Window (in a album frame. I can mail with or without)
  3. J5- Third album
  4. J5-AnthologyAlbum-J5Anthologyfront
  5. J5- Various Songs. Basic Label, plain sleeve. States “For promotional use only/not for sale”)
  6. Off the Wall
  7. Jacksons-Live
  8. Jacksons- Joyful Jukebox
  9. Thriller (I have many copies of this one)
  10. We Are the World album
  11. Black or White single
  12. MJ Remixes-basic sleeve, basic label (? I think it was for DJs)
  13. HIStory-sealed
  14. Janet Jackson- Alright single
  15. Janet Jackson Black Cat single
  16. Janet Jackson-Control album
  17. Janet Jackson Love Will Never Do Without You single
  18. Janet Jackson- Pleasure Principle
  19. Janet Jackson- Rhythm Nation
  20. Stevie Wonder ft Michael Jackson-Get It
  21. We Are the World single


  1. Off the Wall mini disc $35
  2. Remember the Time single $12CD-single Remember the timeback
  3. Bad25 Walmart Collector pack w/ t-shirt-sealed $40
  4. Collection of 33 discs. In white box with MJ on toes. Not official product. Never watched all of them to know if they work properly $40
  5. Collection 35 disc in black box. Never opened. Not an official product $40
  6. Bad25 2-disc Target Exclusive sealed $35
  7. 3T Gotta Be You single $5
  8. 2300 Jackson Street $7
  9. Bad25 3cd & 1 DVD sealed $40
  10. Blood on the Dance Floor $7
  11. Blood on the Dance Floor single hard case $7
  12. Blood on the Dance Floor single soft case sealed $7
  13. Dangerous 1st edition of regular cd $7
  14. Do the Bartman single soft case-promotional copy. Rare. $30CD- Do the Bartman single inside
  15. Earth Song single $8
  16. Eddie Murphy’s Love’s Alright $8
  17. Gone Too Soon single $10
  18. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You single Walmart Exclusive $4
  19. Immortal double disc blue sealed $15
  20. Invincible blue $8
  21. Invincible orange sealed $12
  22. J5 Christmas Album $7
  23. J5 Ultimate Collection $7
  24. J5 Unreleased Masters sealed $7
  25. 2300 Jackson Street LONGBOX sealed $25CD- Long box 2300 Jackson Street front sealed
  26. Love Songs sealed $7
  27. Maxi CD single Black or White $10
  28. Maxi CD single Heal the World $10CD- Maxi CD single Heal the world front
  29. Michael $7
  30. Michael & the J5-18 Greatest Hits $7
  31. Michael Jackson 5 cd collection sealed $25
  32. MJ & J5 Early Classics sealed $7
  33. Music & Me $7
  34. Remix Suite-case cracked $7
  35. This Is It 2 disc sealed $18
  36. VISIONARY 20 cd set sealed #1182 $250.00CD- Visionary 20 cd set-sealed #1182 back CD- Visionary 20 cd set-sealed #1182 front
  37. You Are Not Alone single red $8
  38. You Are Not Alone single blue $8
  39. 2 disc KoP The Belgian Edition sealed $15

Cassette-I haven’t played these in awhile. I no longer have a cassette player

  1. Bad $4
  2. Black or White single $7
  3. Blood on the Dance Floor $4
  4. Jacksons- Get It Together $4
  5. Fan made-Rare1, Rare2, Denver Depo $4 for all 3
  6. We Are the World $6
  7. Will You Be There single $7


  1. Interviews Vol 1 sealed $12
  2. Interviews Vol 2 sealed $12
  3. HISTORY (not the short films) sealed $12
  4. Life of a Superstar sealed $12

VHS–I haven’t played them in years, I no longer have a VCR

  1. Moonwalker $5
  2. The Wiz $5
  3. Dangerous Short Films $5
  4. American Dream-The Jacksons $8
  5. HIStory Greatest Hits $5


  1. Before He Was King photographs by Todd Gray $15
  2. JRT’s Magic and the Madness (blue cover, older publication) $15
  3. King of Pop 1958-2009-black cover with photo from Dangerous era $30
  4. Live & Dangerous by Adrian Grant $30
  5. Advanced copy of Man in the Music by Joseph Vogal (not read, softback) $50
  6. Michael Jackson The Man in the Mirror 1958-2009-black with Billie Jean live pose $30
  7. Commemorative book by Rolling Stones. ‘80s photo of MJ looking down $30
  8. The Magic of Michael Jackson-a Giant Collection of Facts, Photos, and Interviews $30
  9. A Tribute to the King of Pop 1958-2009-Platinum, Edition Collector’s Vault $40
  10. In the Studio with Michael Jackson by Bruce Swedien $40
  11. Keep Dancing-set of three small books $10
  12. Michael Jackson Entertainer-Billie Jean live pose from the 1980s $15
  13. The picture Life of Michael Jackson by Warren hard cover, old library copy $10
  14. Michael! by Mark Bego paperback, used $15
  15. Unmasked by Ian Halperin paperback $15
  16. The Visual Documentary by Adrain Grant (earlier publication) $40
  17. A Tribute to an American Idol (SuperBowl 1993 pose on the front) $20
  18. Sotheby’s Auction book. Gold statue with Bubbles on the cover. Approx pages 30+ $30
  19. Early Years by Chris Cadman & Craig ____ $30


  1. People-Feb 1984 $20
  2. MAD-March 1988 $20
  3. LIFE rough shape but complete-June 1993 $12
  4. Billboard Invisible cover 2001 $15
  5. HIP HOP Commemorative Issue $10
  6. LIFE-Commemorative issue $10
  7. USA Today Commemorative Issue $10
  8. Collector Edition Historical commemorative issue $15
  9. NEWSWEEK Commemorative issue $10
  10. Tribute to the KING of POP 1958-2009 Collector’s Edition $15
  11. PEOPLE special double issue commemorative $13
  12. Rolling Stone-August 6, 2009 $10
  13. TIME Special Commemorative Edition (2) $10
  14. Today’s Black Woman commemorative issue $13Magazine-CommemorativeTODAYSBLACKWOMAN
  15. TV Guide Commemorative issue (young MJ cover) $10
  16. TV Guide Commemorative issue (Dangerous era issue) $10
  17. Crazy-The Wiz Gets the Biz $18
  18. HIT MAG-MJ and Mick Jagger on the cover $15
  19. Hot Dog # 29 $15
  20. TV Guide Dec 4-10 $15
  21. TV Guide Nov 10-16 (adult MJ) $15
  22. TV Guide Nov 10-16 (young MJ) $15
  23. My Life by Michael Jackson $25Magazine-MyLife by Michael Jackson
  24. People- July 20, 2009 $10
  25. LIFE-Michael & Son- Dec 1997 $18
  26. LIFE-Michael & Son-Dec 1997 (in a frame, I can mail with or without frame) $20
  27. Janet Jackson-US (back cover torn) $7
  28. Historical Rock $18
  29. “I’ll Be There” (90s. ALL MJ) $25Magazine-I'll Be There
  30. His Life In Pictures 1995 (90s, ALL MJ) $25
  31. VIBE March 2002 $25
  32. National Enquirer April 8, 1997 $10
  33. OK! April 4, 1997 (full cover piece of MJ, Debbie Rowe, Prince) $15
  34. OK! April 11, 1997 (full cover piece of MJ and Prince) $15
  35. OK! April 18, 1997 (MJ on cover but not center piece) $12
  36. American Cinematographer-THE WIZ Nov 1978 $20
  37. Entertainment Weekly Nov 1991

Fan Based MJ Magazines

  1. Tribute NR 16 ‘97 $5
  2. KING #3 $18
  3. KING #4 $18
  4. KING # 16 $18
  5. KING #28 $18
  6. Magic Special Edition Fall 1999 $5
  7. Magic-Vol 1, Issue 1 $5
  8. Magic- Vol 1 Issue 2 $5
  9. Magic- Vol 1 Issue 3 $5
  10. Magic- Vol 1, Issue 4 $5
  11. Mystery No 4-German (or French) fan mag $20
  12. Mystery No 1-all together pages are separated and placed in folder with page protectors $15
  13. Welcome kit to the Michael Jackson Observer International Fan Club $20
  14. Welcome kit to the International Fan Club-including 8×11 promo photo, two pull out posters. Intact. Never hung $20
  15. Off the Wall #23 $18
  16. Off the Wall #20 $18

Tour like books

  1. Michael Jackson Forest Lawn Memorial Program $15
  2. 30th Anniversary Celebration $80Book- Tour 30th Anniversary
  3. Bad, large sized book. I put it in a frame. I can mail with or without the frame $60
  4. Michael in Concert from the 1980s
  5. 20 photo book. Intact. $25
  6. This Is It $25
  7. Dangerous era $50
  8. HIStory era $50

Sheet Music

  1. Got to be There $4
  2. Greatest Hits (I believe this came with a keyboard once upon a time)
  3. Remember the Time $4
  4. Say Say Say $4
  5. Will You Be There $10
  6. I’ll Be There $4
  7. I Wanna Be Where You Are $4
  8. Heal the World $4
  9. Never Can Say Goodbye $4
  10. Is This What Feelings Gets? from the Wiz $7


  1. 1996 HIStory on the cover-sealed $18
  2. 1996 Dangerous era on the cover-sealed $20
  3. 1997 Black or White video on the front $20
  4. 1997 Clown on the front-sealed very rare $22Calendar-1997 front clown not used
  5. 1958-2009 sealed $12
  6. 2012 Bad on the cover-sealed $18
  7. Janet Jackson 1995 $12


  1. 3 very small bracelet charms (smaller than a penny) $5
  2. 8 track tape- Off the Wall $10
  3. Laser Disc-Thriller. $27
  4. Various clippings 1 (7 clippings) $2
  5. Captain EO comic book $20
  6. R&R Comic book from the ‘80s $15
  7. MJ Japanese (or Chinese) Pepsi cans with box. All cans are closed but cans are empty. Box is worn but cans in good shape) $18
  8. Phonecard-Captain EO with case $17Misc- Phonecard-Captain EO
  9. Phonecard-Toes with case $17
  10. 3 coins with individual mixed image (not official) $7
  11. Human Nature pose 1980s notebook $10
  12. BUTTERFLIES Ad in frame $4
  13. Flag-Bad Tour pose (produces in 1995) $15
  14. Flag-Bad (? when produced. Looks newer-I would guess 1995) $15
  15. Rolling Stone bag $8
  16. Wall decal-MJ on Toes Pose (unused) $10
  17. NEWSPAPER-front section of Mpls Star Tribune June 1995 with Lisa Marie and MJ, Sawyer interview $5
  18. NEWSPAPER-Entertainment section of Mpls Star Tribune “Jackson’s New Jam” with Jam & Lewis producers (both from Mpls area) $5
  19. NEWSPAPER USA Today Life section- “Jackson and prince create a Kingdom $5
  20. USB This Is It limited edition 47,104 out of 75,000 $15
  21. Guitar Picks set of 10 framed $16
  22. Bad25 Ear Plugs/Headphones $15
  23. 9 pack 45 Souvenir set $30
  24. Tapestry Human Nature pose, sealed from the ‘80s $28
  25. set of 4 different stamps $10
  26. Stationary KoP Journal-Seq Glove $8
  27. Stationary KoP Journal-Toes $8
  28. Stationary KoP Journal-Billie Jean concert $8
  29. Stationary KoP Journal-pink $8
  30. Stationary KoP spiral notebook-tour Billie Jean $7
  31. Stationary KoP spiral notebook-pink $7
  32. Stationary KoP spiral notebook-concert pose $7
  33. Stationary KoP folder-pink $6
  34. Stationary KoP folder-black/pink on toes $6
  35. Stationary KoP folder-Dangerous tour pose $6
  36. Stationary Human Nature pose-1980s folder $8
  37. TOUR PASS-Jacksons Victory $15
  38. TOUR PASS-MJ All Access 1988 $15
  39. TOUR PASS-Majic 102 FM April 8, 9, & 10, 1988 Houston, Tx $15
  40. Christmas Ornament Another Part of Me concert pose in box $18
  41. Christmas Ornament Leg Up in box $18
  42. Christmas Ornament Toes pose in box $18
  43. Christmas Ornament Music Box Jukebox shape in box $18
  44. Christmas Ornament Music Box Square shape in box $18
  45. Super Bowl 1993 half time show Audience Card BLUE (during HtW where the audience lifted up the cards) $25
  46. SuperBowl 1993 half time show kit (cushion, HtW pin, football cards, Ticket, misc) including the WHITE Audience card $75Misc- SuperBowl Halftime 1993 including audience card white

Promo Items

  1. Cereal-3 buttons-Great Vibrations, I’ll Be There, Darlin. Sealed in package $12
  2. Cereal- 3 buttons- Love You Save, I’ll Be There, Jackson 5 $12
  3. Cereal- Jermaine Balloon (as far as I can see-never used)-very very rare $35
  4. Cereal-Marlon Balloon (as far as I can see, never used)-very very rare  $35Promo- Cereal balloon Marlonfront
  5. Cereal- 3 cut out cards from the 1980s $15
  6. Cereal-4 stickers from the 1980s-intact, never used $8
  7. Cereal-4 stickers from the 1980s-intact, never used $8
  8. Cereal-4 stickers from the 1980s-intact, never used $8
  9. Cereal-4 stickers from the 1980s-intact, never used $8
  10. Cereal-4 stickers from the 1980s-intact, never used $8
  11. Cereal-4 stickers from the 1980s-intact, never used. Though edges peeling away from sticker (sticker itself is intact) $7
  12. “Bad in Britain” Tag $12
  13. Cup plastic- pink Dangerous World Tour $18
  14. Cup plastic- purple Dangerous World Tour $18
  15. Cup plastic- white Dangerous World Tour $18
  16. Cup plastic- This Is It from the movie theater $10
  17. Waterbottle Dangerous Tour Black $40
  18. Victory Tour Pepsi can-can is yellow, top is open but in pretty decent shape given the age $8
  19. 12 pack 16 oz USA released Pepsi. Empty & opened. Great shape $18 (keep one for yourself and use the rest to trade with other fans in other countries. Try to collect all countries)
  20. Bad25 Store display cards.set of 2-1 big and 1 small (they are not very big) $10
  21. Trading Card display (used to hold the packets of cards for individual purchase) $20Promo-Store Display tradingcardsfront
  22. THIS IS IT tags (2), one cord $6
  23. VIP Immortal package-softback journal, book, tag, red bag $80Promo-Immortal World Tour VIP pack
  24. 4 pack buttons $10
  25. 6 different pins from the ‘80s. Two profile pictures, two metal Thriller era pins, “Michael Jackson” $15
  26. Bad Tour Binoculars sealed-RARE $40
  27. THIS IS IT 3D glasses from Target, set of 4, uncut from each other $5
  28. HIStory Tour concert scope (sold at the concerts)-?Germany $50
  29. Moonwalker Home Video promo poster $25
  30. WII Experience store display $20


  1. Black or White doll in box non singing $40
  2. 1980s American Music Awards doll, in box-cellophane looks off color, as does the back paper where MJ is secured to the box. $27
  3. 1980s Grammy Awards doll, in box $30
  4. Outfit-Motown on package $20
  5. Outfit-Thriller on package $20
  6. Outfit-Beat It on package $20
  7. MJ Pets with cassette-JEANNIE, in original package $40
  8. MJ Pets with cassette-Muscles, in original package $40
  9. 1980s red radio-Human Nature profile pic. $8
  10. California Raisin $5
  11. Rub on transfers Colorforms-I have 6. They are $10/each
  12. Puffy Stickers profile from the ‘80s-sealed $3
  13. Puffy Stickers poses from the ‘80s-sealed $3
  14. LAZER BLAZER Sticker-Thriller-sealed $7.50
  15. TOPPS 1st series box. Open box, sealed packages inside $30
  16. TOPPS 2nd in series box. Open box, sealed packages inside $35
  17. TOPPS Super Sticker-sealed $7.50
  18. Cards #34-66 (2 sets) $15/each set
  19. Cards 7, 11, 12, 14, 19, 21, 23, 33 $2.00
  20. (Sticker) cards. Set of 16 (unknown if complete) $7
  21. (Sticker) cards-alphabet F, O, Q, U $2.00
  22. (Sticker) cards- alphabet A-Z, plus  and extra AEIOU $17
  23. Neverland Fire patch (probably a knockoff) $3
  24. Watch-black 1980s-made in the 1980s $15
  25. Watch-red 1980s-made in the 1980s $15
  26. Watch-black 1980s, but the band has separated-made in the 1980s $5
  27. Watch-Captain EO digital watch $20.00
  28. ViewMaster Thriller 3D reels in package-$12.00
  29. Fan made small coloring books for parties, set of 5 $2.00
  30. BumperSticker-Mystery $1.50
  31. BumperSticker-Angels of Light Support Group $1.50
  32. THRILLER Carnival glass picture $12
  33. Bobblehead $15
  34. Electronic Microphone in box from the 80s $40
  35. Captain EO Idee & Odee stuffed toy. VERY VERY Rare. In good condition, small dime sized stain above left brow, no glassed. $250
  36. Captain EO Mickey PVC-paint coming off the nose $15
  37. Captain EO Minnie PVC-paint coming off the nose $15
  38. Captain EO Pluto PVC-I think it’s from Asia Captain EO $15
  39. Pop Rocks doll Smooth Criminal in box $50
  40. Pop Rocks doll Beat It in box $50
  41. Pop Rocks doll Billie Jean in box $50
  42. Puppet Kooler Smooth Criminal in box from the ‘80s. Cellophane is off but good in the box $30

#michael-jackson, #volunteer

It’s Not About You, It’s About the Patient

Stethoscope and a silhouette of the heart and ECG. 3d

Do people realize that if you offer help to others, there is less stress for everyone?

I work in the healthcare field, now as a nurse. I tell everyone, PLEASE, do not get into nursing for the pay because it’s a highly stressful job (or can be)-not to mention you’re dealing with people’s lives. It’s not a production line at a factory.

My personality is that I have to help. I am not one to sit down and stare at my smartphone while someone else is running around. I’m not one to chat on the phone while people are admitting someone or discharging someone. I get up and ask everyone “do you need help?” Most of the time people say “no”. But I think it’s important to lend a hand. I think the stress level overall, would decrease if everyone took part in that. Not just for the stress level. Not just to keep you from being bored. Not just to help that other nurse or tech. But for the patient.

If someone is in pain, why should the patient have to wait until their nurse is ready to help them? If I’m available? Or someone else?

I suppose it stems from a situation when I was in the hospital as a child. I had a bone graft taken from my hip. This was the night after the surgery (as in less than 24 hours). So it was tender and painful. I was young. It was in the middle of the night. I called for the nurse and my bed positioned where I could see the nurse’s station. I rang and someone answered (now looking back I believe that someone was a unit clerk). They said “someone will be down shortly”.

Okay, not a big deal. I’ll wait. But I waited and waited…and waited. When time went by (granted it could have only been 5 minutes) no one came. When I saw a 2nd person at the nurse’s station. I rang again. I told them, like the first time that I had to use the bathroom. The person on the other end repeated what they did the last time.

So I sat there, and waited. In the middle of the night. It was quiet. I was thinking about peeing. No one came. I decided to take it upon myself. I rolled over to roll off the bed, sat up. It was painful. Hopped on my good leg, hopped to the head of the bed to unplug the IV pole. Used the IV pole as a brace and hobbled to the bathroom. Whew! I made it.

When I was finished, I hobbled back. I did not even bother to plug in the IV pool. As I picked up my legs, carefully on the surgical side. Went to pull up the blankets, someone came in and asked what I was doing? “I just came back from the bathroom, I had to pee.”

She said something to the effect of “why didn’t you wait?”

My going to the bathroom, is minor at a young age. Now that I’m older and think of my patients. An older lady that has had kids, thus a weak bladder-having to use the bathroom. Or an older gentleman where we gave Golytely to prep them for a Colonoscopy, needing to have an explosion. What about the middle aged man, that cam in with chest pain…calling because he’s having that experience again? Or someone with COPD who feels like they cannot breathe, and gasping for air? I just think of myself as those people-what it would feel like to be them. Then realizing that there probably someone else that could have helped them.

Yup, virtually every hospital that I have worked it. As a policy for workers NOT to say “That’s not my patient.” But I notice a lot of workers (everywhere) have that mentality. I just tell my co-workers, what if that was your loved one? Would you want them waiting?

I am not a charge nurse. I left my permanent job because I didn’t want to be charge nurse. I didn’t want the added stress of people coming to you with problems, or trying to make everyone happy with their assignment, etc. But when I offer help to my co-workers, I often hear “are you charge today?”. I say no and follow up with why? “Oh, because your asking people if they need anything?”

Again, what if it was YOU or your loved one waiting to be assisted? Waiting for pain medication? If you have time, and your caught up? Why not help someone else? It’s not a big deal and who cares if they don’t do the same. Remember it’s not about you, it is about the patient.

Link to my GoFundMe site for my medical mission trip Jan 10-March, 2016:

To write a memoir or not write a memoir?

In my previous post, I mentioned about writing a memoir. There are so many things that go into writing a memoir:

  • Who am I writing it for?
  • What’s it’s purpose?
  • Who would be in it?
  • What time would it surround?
  • Who could be offended?
  • Who would approve/disapprove?

Other questions often go through my mind as well:

  • What if it’s not interesting enough?
  • what if people do not like it?
  • What if I do not like it?
  • Will I regret it after I click submit?
  • Will I be too vulnerable after I write it?
  • Is it worth it, to open up?

Among other questions and concerns. I certainly go through many more thoughts than just those listed. Which is why I go back and forth.

Telling my story to people, just in general conversation-a lot of people are impressed that I have made it well for myself. They often tell me that I have a lot to offer other people that would help them through their situations. I once worked with a friend who was going to school for neuro psych. She needed volunteers to run thru her tests/study. I said sure without knowing the full details but she had me in mind to begin with because of my family history vs my personal being, etc. These were general tests, almost like IQ tests. She told me, “I think you would be good for the study because of your background.” And of course, as I mentioned in my last post-my 9th grade English teacher said that I should write one.

I came from a broken home. My father left when I was about 3. There was question of him doing some inappropriate things, however-I do not know him, so I cannot speak on that. Eventually my mother re-married. My step-father had 4 boys. One of which did something inappropriate with my sister. The other, sexually assaulted me when I was 7 (he was about 18). My step-father physically choked my mother. We spent 3 months in a Woman’s and Children’s Shelter. Only to leave and one morning my mother woke us up from a deep sleep, we took the city bus to the greyhound station to take another bus 5-6-7 hours to my step-fathers house in another state. They would fight, we would move back to our home state-the wound make up, we wound move back with my step-father; fight and leave, make up and go back. Back and forth, multiple times. In fact, I was held back in the SAME year at the two schools; the teacher in my home state said it was because I was “missing too much school” (though I wasn’t); the one in my step-father’s state said it was because they “couldn’t understand me”.

By the way, I was born with cleft lip & cleft palate. I was a preemie, I had about 15/16 surgeries from about 6 weeks until I was about 18. I had a rhinoplasty (nose job) when I was 14. So I looked physically different from my peers. I had/have a speech impediment. I was suicidal from about 9 until I was about 13 years old. I was suspended from school 3 times; including fighting with a boy. I was physically assaulted in middle school, while the teacher was present and did nothing to stop it.

I eventually did go to high school, I managed to go to 4 different high schools in a year and a half (my mother called herself a gypsy). I, however, never felt like I fit in. I eventually dropped out of high school; took my GED. Moved on the other side of the country without a job or perm place to live-by myself. Sooner or later-I made my way into college-eventually graduating Nursing School and now I’m a nurse that travels.

My mother had a mental illness, often self medicated with alcohol. Won a large amount of money at BINGO, bought a bar, lost the bar. Was never physically abusive but had her share of being emotionally abusive/manipulative.

Every now and again, I read on a cleft lip/palate board of someone struggling. Struggling with life. Wanting to give up. Hating people. Hating themselves. Hating the way they look. Hating the way they sound. Hating the way people are treating them. Not being able to see the bigger picture in life. That life can be good. When I read things like that, I want to write the memoir. But I think will those types even read it?

Who Likes to Read Memoirs?

When I was in the 9th grade, my English teacher suggested that I should be a writer (not necessarily because of my spelling, grammar, etc). He continued and went on to say that I should write a memoir-saying that I should write my story for others people. Which was an odd comment for him to make. Other then him seeing I was born with cleft lip & palate, I was a very quiet, shy, somewhat socially awkward student. I certainly did not express things that happened in my life. My mother worked in the cafeteria and I do wonder if they struck up conversations?

Long story short, I eventually dropped out of high school. Eventually I obtained the GED. I decided to start writing my story. Not for anyone in particular but for therapeutic reasons. It was never complete but I tucked it away and saved it on those floppy discs that computers used to use.

In recent years, I have went back and forth on the idea. Do I? Should I? Do I have something to share? If so, how am I able to express it without being boring? How can I express it in a novel format? Those things I continue to pounder.

Since the internet and since the comings of Facebook. I was lucky enough to come across a group on facebook geared towards Memoirs. Not really for authors of memoirs (though there are a lot of authors or potential authors) but those who enjoy a good triumph or two. So I came across We Love Memoirs.

It certainly does have to be one of the most friendliest groups on facebook. There are times when we bicker/disagree but never even close to being disrespectful. It is weird how that works too since there are over 2500 members. How can you happily be in a place that doesn’t feel caddy, shallow, mean? We Love Memoirs is the place to be. A lot of the topics are not memoir related. After all, we need a break from real life. But then again, there are many topics that are; including Spotlight Sundays-which spotlights a memoir and is a Q&A session with the author, Member Mondays-Q&A session with a particular member, and Whaddyathink Wednesday question of the week related to reading/writing memoirs. We have random giveaways, quizzes, etc. There are members that often share free or reduced cost memoirs that they come across. The only rule is-no promoting yourself. Feel free to promote other memoirs that you have read.

Now is a good time to join the group. On August 31st-we will be celebrating TWO YEARS success on facebook. I haven’t been a member that long, unfortunately, but you wouldn’t and couldn’t tell-they are just as friendly as if I was an original member. I am thankful for Alan Parks and Victoria Twead. You have to watch out for “Eric” though-he likes to steal nuts!

#entertaining, #facebook, #friendly, #groups, #kind, #memoir, #reading

Correcting Something That May Hold You Back

I finished a book the other day. It’s called “Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart” by Carrot Quinn (—).

It’s about a woman’s journey on the PCT in North America. A 26oo mile trail from the Southern Cali tip to the Canadian border. Going thru the hot desert to the moist, green state of Oregon and Washington.

In her journey, she meets new friends and a love interest. The book is not just about I hiked x amount of miles, it was ____ (sunny, rainy, cold, etc). She tells her journey like a story. You become interested into what will happen with Carrot next and whether or not she’d give up or make it thru.

This is not my first thru-hiking memoir that I have read. No, I did not read WILD. I did see the movie though. It gives me motivation to want to do something similar-just to prove to myself that I can do it.

I do have a medical condition. A hole in my heart. It’s not an uncommon one. It’s called a PFO (or patent forman ovale). It usually closes just before birth, sometimes it closes soon after. For many people, it does not close at all. This has never stopped me from doing something-after all, I did not know I had it until I was about 29. When I was being worked up for migraines. There is a study that females that experience migraines, there can be a correlation between migraines and holes in hearts. In order to figure this out-you have to have a Transesphogeal Echocardiogram (TEE). Mind you, through the years-when I’ve had doctor’s appointments and physicals, some providers noted hearing a murmur every now and again. In any case, the TEE shows a blue and red screen of oxygenated blood and de-oxygenated blood crossing where the hole is. I remember the TEE, you’re not sedated completely, you just have enough to relax you. The cardiologist did the testing, within a matter of seconds (miliseconds), the doctor noted that the blood was mixing. So much so that he brought over an ECHO tech to show him. Which I thought was weird, I would assume that the ECHO Tech would have seen this before.

Anyhow, usually a PFO doesn’t give you a lot of symptoms, some people-clearly-do not know they have it unless they get the TEE. In hindsight, I probably ALWAYS had the symptoms but I just never paid attention. I never really exercised a lot until recent years-I do get fatigued early, I do get beat red (almost like not being able to regulate me temp), I do get peripheral edema (swelling of the fingers and ankles/feet) when I walk a distance. Usually it does not need to be corrected. If it does, it is usually a simple procedure.

Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to walk/hike more and more. August 2014 I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I did not hike much before that, so when I did the 26 mile Inca Trail, it was a struggle. I sucked it up to not preparing well. This past July, I went to Japan and did Mt. Fuji. It was a day hike. Usually taking people 4-6 hours up, 3 hours down. It took me almost nine hours up. I was not dealing with altitude sickness, I did not experience a headache or nausea, etc. However, I’m putting things together and I do wonder if the altitude and the PFO combo-slowed my accomplishment. I was not IN PAIN doing My Fuji (like I was on day 3 of the Inca Trail) but just overall fatigue. My friend that was with me, at the end, suggested that maybe I should get it looked at and correct. She said “Paula, you’re so bound and determined at accomplishing something, I think this PFO hinders you more than you think.”

So I’m thinking about making a cardiology consultation.

Do You Pay Attention?

When you’re out for a walk-even if it’s a short distance (from the car to the store entrance) or a long distance (a hike thru the woods)-do you take the time to look around? To pay attention to the surroundings? Do you hear the trees? See the birds? Smell the skunk? Or are you too busy to notice? Lost in your own thoughts? Which is not a bad thing. Or looking down at your phone?

I notice this a lot. People looking down at their phones. Or just generally not paying attention.

The other day, I did a 5 mile walk. A walk that I commonly do. I tend to take my headphones but I definitely pay attention. It probably takes me longer to walk the 5 miles than usual because I stop to look around. Sometimes I even take a photo.

These are the three photos I took the other day:

Common Conehead vs Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid

Common Conehead vs Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid

This little fellow was directly in my path, on the road. I noticed it before I even approached it. I bent down and took a photo with my phone. He didn’t seem to mind. The funny thing is, there was a lady that passed me. She wasn’t wearing headphones but I don’t even think she noticed to what I was looking at. Since he was in the road, I did take a leaf and got him off the road.

Dead snake in the road

Dead snake in the road

This Eastern Milk Snake was dead in the road. I just assumed he was probably trying to cross the road and someone ran him over. It makes you wonder-did they run him over because they don’t care for snakes? Or maybe they ran them over because they were on facebook behind the wheel and didn’t see him?

Moth on a tree

Moth on a tree

This was not exactly on my 5 mile walk. I was back at the house, watering plants. I notice something flutter and I watched him. He went around the tree and landed. Wings opened. I took a photo. I never saw one like this. Though I know it’s natures way to blend him into a tree but he reminded me of a pencil shaving after sharpening. Would I have noticed it, if I was looking down at my phone texting a friend while watering? Probably not.

So do you pay attention to nature when you’re out and about? It’s bad enough that we have to point out that you should put down the phone awhile being out to lunch with friends. I would imagine that people do not pay much attention to their surroundings-nature included-anymore. Heck, if they don’t while with friends-why would they for nature?

We are missing a lot.

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