Monthly Archives: May 2014

From Homeless to Harvard

This young teen went from homeless to Harvard.  An amazing girl!  Watch this video and see how this happened.  You just have to watch!

 

A 92-Year Old’s Five Simple Rules to be Happy:

I like the way this sweet, lovely woman thinks. Big pause for taking it all in.

Kindness Blog

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup… perfectly applied, moved to a nursing home. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

It begins with your attitude.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied.

“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on…

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Observing National Nurses’ Week – May 6-12, 2014

When I was a young woman, I wanted to study to become a nurse, but, at the time, my health thwarted that dream; however, I never lost my interest in all things medical.  I am so glad that nurses are being recognized for the stupendous job they do.

Observing 2014 National Nurses Week:

“Nurses: Leading the Way”
A statement by the Secretary Of Health and Human Services

Nurses are awesome. Tell us why by tweeting @HRSAgov or commenting on HRSA's Facebood page during Nurses Week, May 6-12.“It is only fitting that the theme for this year’s National Nurses Week is “Nurses: Leading the Way.” After all, nurses lead the way in showing an elderly patient how to manage his or her diabetes. They lead the way in making sure their patients – children and adults – get the vaccinations they need. They lead the way in helping our young moms learn how to care for their infants. And they lead the way in conducting research to promote high-quality life for those with chronic illnesses, and to help all of us stay healthy across the lifespan.

And nurses, our trusted advisers on health issues, led the way in reaching out to their patients, neighbors, and families to make sure they enrolled in health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Nurses, who are on the front lines of health care, know firsthand how important coverage can be to their patients: to their health, their peace of mind, and their financial security.

We’re continuing to rely on nurses to help educate patients, some of whom had never had health insurance before, on how to use their newly acquired coverage to get the vital preventive and primary care they need. Nurses are also helping patients use new health information technology tools to manage their own care and ultimately improve their health.

That is why this Administration invests in workforce development, education, and training for nurses.

As a result of funding through the Affordable Care Act and other investments, the Administration has greatly expanded the National Health Service Corps and the NURSE Corps, two initiatives that provide educational loan repayment and scholarships in return for practice in the nation’s medically under-served communities. More than 3,680 National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps nurses – including 1,889 nurse practitioners and 1,475 registered nurses – are providing care across the country to those who need it most.

In addition, during the 2012-2013 academic year, the Administration funded the training of 10,600 nursing students through advanced nursing education initiatives. These are just a few of the initiatives that support the education and training of nurses.

National Nurses Week culminates on May 12, the anniversary of the birthday of perhaps the most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, the original nurse leader.  Please join me this week and all the weeks that follow in recognizing nurses across the country for following in Florence’s footsteps and thanking them for the critical work they do in bringing better care and better health to all Americans.”

Good News Report from the White House, USA, Re: Climate Changes

The following is the report, with video, explaining how our government is meeting the challenge of climate change:

“Today, we released the third National Climate Assessment report, by far the most comprehensive look ever at climate change impacts in the United States.

Based on four years of work by hundreds of experts from government, academia, corporations, and public-interest organizations, the Assessment confirms abundant data and examples that climate change isn’t some distant threat — it’s affecting us now.

Not only are the planet and the nation warming on average, but a number of types of extreme weather events linked to climate change have become more frequent or intense in many regions, including heat waves, droughts, heavy downpours, floods, and some kinds of destructive storms.

The good news is that there are sensible steps that we can take to protect this country and the planet.

Those steps include, importantly, the three sets of actions making up the Climate Action Plan that President Obama announced last June: cutting carbon pollution in America; increasing preparedness for and resilience to the changes in climate that already are ongoing; and leading the international response to the climate change challenge.

We’ve made great progress in the year since his announcement — but there’s much more work to be done.

Watch this short video to learn more about the new report and see how climate change is affecting people across the United States today:

Learn more about the new National Climate Assessment report.

Explore the full report, and find out how you can help — because every one of us has to do his or her part to meet the challenge of climate change.

Thank you,

John

Dr. John P. Holdren
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
The White House”

Memories of a Time Past: Part 1

When I was a little girl, growing up in Brooklyn NY, we used to live on a dead end street.

The dead end street I used to live on butted up against a cemetery wall, which, I believe was the largest cemetery in Brooklyn at the time.

The dead end street I used to live on butted up against a cemetery wall which belonged to the largest cemetery in Brooklyn, I believe, at the time.  We kids used to wait outside the entrance through which the workers would exit at the end of their work day.  They would throw chestnuts to us which fell from the numerous chestnut trees that grew in there.  We ran and scrambled to get them, and the workers laughed and enjoyed our excitement!  We’d drill a hole in the nuts, thread string (or shoe laces) through them and play games with them.

Our house was a semi-detached, and so we had a common wall with our neighbor next door.  When I grew enough so that I was able to reach the electric outlet that was on that adjoining wall, I used it to speak through it with my neighbor friend, Sonja.  We used it quite often in place of a telephone.  We didn’t have a telephone yet, at that time.  We had a bench against that wall in our kitchen, so I would stand on it to speak with her.

I also remember enjoying visiting Sonja in her house next door.  Her parents were very nice, and her father played the mandolin.  I loved listening to his music and watching how his fingers strummed the strings.  It was the very first time I had seen someone play an instrument.  He would sing in the Norwegian language; they were originally from Norway.  Her mother baked the most wonderful cookies, too.!  It was a warm, friendly home.

Sonja was 3 years older than I, and I remember playing in her backyard.  My vivid memory from that time is of sitting at her play table; the chair I was sitting on matched the table and they were made of metal.  I still can “hear” the scraping of the chair on the rough concrete of the yard as I moved it.

Sonja and me in her backyard.  I was 2 and she was 5 yrs old.

Sonja and me in her backyard. I was 2 and she was 5 yrs old.

My father took this photo of Sonja and me with his simple box camera.  I remember the leather carry-handle at the top of it.  He developed his film in a small, dark closet in our house.

I was able to find a photo of the camera my father used (and I subsequently inherited it for my use when I was a teenager.

I was able to find a photo of the camera my father used.  He gave me his camera to use when I was a teenager.

 

In this photo, I am Advancing the film manually in the old box camera.  There was a little window through which the number of the next unexposed area of the film roll would be seen.

In this photo, I am advancing the film manually in the old box camera. There was a little window through which the number of the next unexposed area of the film roll would be viewed in order to be sure the next picture would be centered when the film was developed.

It was a more simple time of life, and there were many pleasures to be enjoyed.

Credits:  dead end, agfa box camera; bingdotcom.  Original old photos from personal collection of Sunshinebright.

How Do You Stop a Pesky Bird From Pecking on Your Window?

This question plagued my husband and me several years ago.

We had moved into our new home at the beginning of Spring.  Things were going along very well.  We met our new neighbors, were getting acquainted with our neighborhood and the local stores, etc.  We got settled in, and were finally able to get some well-deserved sleep in our new bed, in our new bedroom.

That fateful morning was a beautiful morning in South Florida.  The birds were chirping in their newly-found tree; dawn was lifting its head above the horizon and just starting to tell us it was time to start another day in Paradise.  Dawn didn’t have to lift its head too high to let us know another day was beginning.  We were told to wake up by a knocking noise.

“What is that noise?”  “Where is it coming from?”  “Ugh!”  “Groan!”  We pulled the covers over our heads to try to make it go away.  It was persistent.  It was almost like the hammering of a woodpecker pounding on a tree trunk.

Finally, we had to give up.  We got the message.  The day was starting without our permission!

We traced the noise to our south-facing window.  What a beautiful yellow bird!  He was sitting on the top ledge of the bottom section of the window.  As soon as we got close to the window, he flew away.

 

Beautiful (and hateful) yellow finch looking into our window.

Beautiful (and hateful) yellow finch looking into our window.

Well, that was a rude awakening, and we sure hoped it wouldn’t happen again!

It did.  Every morning.  For weeks.

We endured our early alarm-clock pecking-hammering and it finally stopped just as we were at our wits end to finding a way to make it stop.  Ah!  Peace.

Next year, our yellow-feathered “friend” made his noisy unwelcome appearance again.  In our frustration of being awakened so early, we resorted to throwing pillows at the window in an unsuccessful attempt to scare him away.

We thought we would outsmart this little bird – after all, we were humans.  Our brains are bigger than his!  I devised a picture of an owl.  Little birds are afraid of predators.  I taped it on the outside of the window.  “Well, that should solve that problem,” I thought to myself with smug satisfaction.  We went to bed that night with “smileys” dancing around our heads.

Next morning, we were awakened again by that pesky bird.  Oh no!  Will this nightmare (morningmare?) end?  We had figured out what actually was causing this poor bird to peck at our window.

Soon after moving into our new home, we had UV-protection film installed on the inside of the windows that faced south and west, in order to cut down on the sun’s rays from damaging our furniture and carpeting.  If we went outside to look at those windows, we were looking at ourselves.  This thick protective film acted like a mirror.  The top and bottom sections of the window had that film.

We made the hard decision:  we had to remove the protective film from the top section of the window.  It was a drastic decision, for sure.  But, our loss of our morning sleep called for drastic measures.

We got a bottle of “Goo Gone” (yes, there really is a product with that name).  We worked with 2 window scrapers, used up more than a giant roll of paper towels, and used more than half a large bottle of that glue solvent.  It took more than 2 hours, but we got it all off; film and glue, and the window has never seen as clean a day as it was on that day!

A few weeks later, we met one of our neighbors outside, 2 houses down from ours, and we were chatting away, as neighbors do.  Then, she told us about a peculiar thing that was happening outside her bedroom window.

Evidently, she had the same protective film installed on the inside of her windows, too!  We kept our mouths shut, but our eyes opened wide in amazement!

Some time after that, they moved.  I’m still wondering if it was because of the pesky little yellow finch.

 

Photo credit:  bingdotcom

 

Florida Atlantic University Student’s Achievement in Varying Degrees

Here’s a big ray of sunshine from the Sunshine State:  A sixteen-year-old student has simultaneously earned her high school diploma AND her bachelor’s in criminal justice.

Grace Bush, 16-year-old student from Hollywood, FL, has earned her HS diploma and her BS from college, simultaneously.

Grace Bush, 16-year-old student from Hollywood, FL, has earned her HS diploma and her BS from college, simultaneously.  Photo from Sun-Sentinel.

Grace is one of 9 children, all home-schooled by their mother, Gisla Bush.  Two of her sisters and a cousin also have achieved similar goals at very young ages and are continuing their educations.

Grace is planning to earn her master’s degree and then attend law school. What is her ultimate goal?  She plans to become the Chief Justice of the United States!  I believe she is well on her way!!

If you want to read more about this story, click here.