The Beards Have The Floor

Hello, gorgeous.  Yes, you. You there with the trim beard.  You are looking fine today.

I’m not sure anyone else noticed this, but if you are a woman who enjoys a good looking man, then the Oscars was the place to look on Sunday night.  And the predominant thing I noticed of all the delish boys, was the amazing amount of facial hair.  It appears that trim, neat beards have come back into fashion.  For years I would have never gone for the bearded look. I was not very thrilled with beards, mustaches and an over abundance of facial hair, which included long sideburns.   Nope, I was not a facial hair person.

Ah, but recently I’ve had a change of heart.  No more so than watching the Oscars.  I have to say hands down Ben Affleck’s look was best, though I can’t decide between his director look, or his Argo look.  Argo is definitely a 70’s look, and honestly, a very sexy look for Mr. Affleck.  I would say a close second to the bearded look was Bradley Cooper.  The combination with his suit and blue eyes made for a knockout.

Now, there are a lot of guys that try to do the three day shadow/stubble. STOP! Please, please stop. Either grow it out or shave it off. But quit looking like you just rolled out of bed. And then there is also the guys that grow it out to the super long look that reminds me of a mountain man. Stop that as well. Girls really don’t go for unkempt. We want clean and neat. That is what the boys of Oscar brought to us. Trim, neat, gorgeous.

I will just leave you all to enjoy the men of the Oscars.  I could have added way more, but then I thought it might be overload.  Oh, and on a side note, have you noticed that when the actors become a director, a beard is in order.

Signing off

~Kate

Being a Blood Hero

I was out of the loop for a week and a half due to some health issues, but during this time I donated blood for the first time.  It was a fascinating experience, and one I plan on repeating in May when there is another blood drive.  I’m donating blood for health reasons, but while donating was for my benefit, it is also hopefully going to help someone else.

After donating I went on the website and started reading the statistics and information about donating blood.  Here are the statistics from the company I donated with.  Blood Centers of the Pacific.

Blood Centers of the Pacific helps 50,000 patients every year with blood donated by community volunteers.

BCP works closely with businesses, community groups, non-profit organizations, churches, synagogues, schools and colleges to schedule “on-site” mobile blood drives. We process more than 200,000 blood components, and distribute about 145,000 pints of blood and almost 24,000 units of platelets to more than 40 hospitals annually.

So, wow, that is kind of amazing how much blood is used.  And this is just in Northern California.  You add in all the other blood banks and the Red Cross, and that’s a lot of blood used and needed.

And here is some information taken from Wikipedia regarding blood donations.

Storage and blood shelf life

The collected blood is usually stored as separate components, and some of these have short shelf lives. There are no storage solutions to keep platelets for extended periods of time, though some are being studied as of 2008.[78] The longest shelf life used for platelets is seven days.[79] Red blood cells, the most frequently used component, have a shelf life of 35–42 days at refrigerated temperatures.[80][81] This can be extended by freezing the blood with a mixture of glycerol but this process is expensive, rarely done, and requires an extremely cold freezer for storage.[37] Plasma can be stored frozen for an extended period of time and is typically given an expiration date of one year and maintaining a supply is less of a problem.[82]

Demand for blood

The limited storage time means that it is difficult to have a stockpile of blood to prepare for a disaster. The subject was discussed at length after the September 11 attacks in the United States, and the consensus was that collecting during a disaster was impractical and that efforts should be focused on maintaining an adequate supply at all times.[83] Blood centers in the U.S. often have difficulty maintaining even a three day supply for routine transfusion demands.[84]

Donation levels

The World Health Organization recognizes World Blood Donor Day on 14 June each year to promote blood donation. This is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the scientist who discovered the ABO blood group system.[85] The theme of the 2012 World Blood Donor Day campaign, “Every blood donor is a hero” focuses on the idea that everyone can become a hero by giving blood. As of 2008, the WHO estimated that more than 81 million units of blood were being collected annually.[86]

In the United States it is estimated that only 111 million citizens are eligible blood donors,[87] or 37% of the population.[88] However less than 10% donate annually.[88] In the UK the NHS reports blood donation levels at “only 4%”.

Donor health benefits

In patients prone to iron overload, blood donation prevents the accumulation of toxic quantities.[90] Donating blood may reduce the risk of heart disease for men, but the link has not been firmly established and may be from selection bias because donors are screened for health problems.[91][92]

Research published in 2012 demonstrated that repeated blood donation is effective in reducing blood pressure, blood glucose, HbA1c, low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio, and heart rate.[93]

I think donating blood is a really amazing thing.  I never did it before because I thought I couldn’t handle it.  And after being ill right after, and being a bit woozy all day, I’m not sure how well I handled it, but my doctor said I could. So, I plan on doing it again two more times this year.  I like thinking how I might help someone who needs it.  I think it’s something we should all be thinking of doing.

Do you donate blood?  Have you ever thought about it?  Are you one of the 90% of people that don’t donate?  Maybe you could consider it. Check out your local blood banks or the Red Cross.  Talk to your doctor.  Can you be a Blood Hero?

Signing off

~Kate

Book Review – Unexpected Love by Julie Coleman

Unexpected Love God’s Heart Revealed in Jesus’ Conversations with Women By Julie Coleman takes a look at Jesus’ interactions with women in the Bible.  Breaking down what He said to these women and what it really means.  Each of the nine chapters starts out with actual scripture of the story, taken mostly from the New American Standard Bible, then goes on to the author giving a more fictionalized version of scripture.  Next comes the breakdown of what Jesus has said and a discussion of what everything means.  Each chapter concludes with a section titled “Food for Thought”, giving questions to ask one’s self and verses that correlate.  Then another section called ‘Journaling’ which gives you a chance to ponder and record your own thoughts on the prompt included.

From the title and description I really expected Unexpected Love to be a great book introducing me to some of the areas in the Bible I haven’t read, but relate to God’s interaction with women.  While it does do that, I was severely disappointed and bored out of my mind reading this book.  So disappointed, in fact, that I only read two chapters.

I found the version of the story the author told was too speculative, feeling like it was more fiction than dealing in facts.  I would have much preferred bits of information about the time period interspersed  with the retelling of scripture instead of trying to make it into fiction.  While the facts are included with the breakdown of everything that is explained, it’s clunky to read it that way.  Also, the breakdown of every sentence and what each think means felt tedious.  I felt like the author was trying too hard.  While I’m sure there are women out there who find comfort in this book, I found it very tedious.  I think I’ll stick to just reading the Bible.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>

Signing off

~Kate

 

 

Owl Valentine

Little owls from Feb 14, 2013 Bing

I absolutely adore this image that was from the Valentine’s Day Bing homepage.  It’s sweet and it kind of makes me think of several things.  Obviously the first thing is love.  A couple of little love birds, right?

But then after staring at it for a moment, and a comment or two from my mom, we decided it’s a couple of little old ladies sitting together and one has to fix the other’s feather that is just out of place.  It mustn’t be.  Just like if you have a hat on and a bit of the decoration is tweaked.  It has to be fixed.  These are just two of the best friends ever.  They do every thing together.

Doesn’t it look like that?

In writing, I find some of the simplest things can become great ideas.  I want to write about two little old lady owls that are best friends.  They have tea together every day, or take a walk through the park.

Who knows. This may never go anywhere, but I have the idea stuck in my head.  It’s cute and charming.

What say you?

Signing off

~Kate

Love Songs for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's day!

Happy Valentine’s day! (Photo credit: DonnaGrayson)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Okay, no, it’s really just nine days away.  Not long.  I don’t do much for the holiday unless you count wearing something pink, or red.  It’s kind of hard to do much on a holiday where I’m sort of what you call, um, single.  Ha ha.  No sort of about it.

But despite that, I love anything Valentine’s-y.  I love all the hearts. I love all the pink. Gobs of pink everywhere. I love the cool things and stuff.  I won’t go into details.  That’s not why I’m here today.  Today, I am here to talk music.

The Enemies

Yep, you say, she’s at it again.  She’s going to ramble on about The Enemies.  Well, you might be right.  Because that is where the inspiration for this post started.  I was thinking about their song ‘Pretty Valentine’, as it is on my Go To list on my mp3 player, lead song mind you.  However, I was also thinking about other really cool love songs.  Not your traditional ones like, oh, “As Time Goes By” and “My Heart Will Go On”.  We all know those.  Those are the classics. I’m kind of disgusting myself by saying a Celine Dion song is a classic, but hey, whatever floats your boat. It is not one of my more inspiring songs.

Moving on.  So in no particular order, though I’m going to put ‘Pretty Valentine’ at the top, here are some cool love songs I’m listening to right now.

  1. Pretty Valentine – The Enemies
  2. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  3. Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
  4. Sunday Kind of Love – Beth Rowley
  5. If You Were The Only Girl In The World – Stanley Holloway
  6. Heartbeat – Enrique Iglesias feat. Nicole Scherzinger
  7. Give Into Me – Garret Hedlund and Leighton Meester
  8. Try – P!nk
  9. Just The Way You Are –  The Piano Guys (a Bruno Mars Cover)
  10. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (Also brilliant by The Piano Guys)
  11. Lil’ Darlin’ – Count Basie
  12. Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
  13. You Go To My Head – Billie Holiday (the classic) and Rod Stewart (the not so classic)
  14. Overwhelmed – Tim McMorris
  15. Rain – Patty Griffin

Okay, so this list is far from complete. I live for love songs. I think I may have mentioned that recently.  I’m totally in love with “Pretty Valentine”.  Sorry I keep rattling on about it.  I can’t help it.  I urge you to check it out HERE 

I could add in all the links to the other songs, but well, I’m sure you can find them y’all.  So, I’m curious.  Tell me some of your favorite love songs. They don’t have to be traditional. They can be wacky, weird, or all points in between.  I’m always up for a new love song.

Signing off

~Kate

To Eread or Paperback It – Minding The Gap

True irony. A hardback book on an Ereader.

I liked The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Minding the Gap about using an eReader or actual book.  After taking the poll, I found that I am clearly not in the minority when it comes to still enjoying a good old-fashioned paperback book.

I don’t buy a lot of books, and the main ones I do tend to be hardbacks that will stay on my shelf for years to come.  I rarely get rid of books except the trashy (and trashy is a loose translation) romances I indulge in occasionally.  I love holding a real book and for the most part I always want to keep it that way.

But………

I think a Kindle or Nook, cause the Nook is way cuter, would be super handy for all those paperback books I do want to read.  I wish I didn’t have that shelf of all the romances and excess ridiculous books.  I would love to have the eReader for all the Shakespeare I want to own, or the poetry of poets I don’t really care if I own a copy.  Is that sad?  Possibly.

The downside though to the whole eReader thing, at least for me, is the cost.  If I can go to my library book sales and spend ten bucks on a bagful of romance and Et cetera, why would I want to spend almost ten dollars on every paperback I read?  The cost would be phenomenal and not something I could do.  Sure it would free up a lot of space. And by a lot, I mean A LOT.  I have this one whole cupboard devoted to the paperbacks.  And this is a house that does not have a lot of room, so any cupboard space is dearly needed.

If someone were to pass of a Kindle to me today, I wouldn’t turn it down.  And the $79, it’s not a bad price.  But, again, I would have to buy the books.  And trust me, I’ve read some of the free books, and most are not worth downloading.  There are many others I would rather read than wasting my time on the really trashy books.  My apologies to anyone who has a book in the free section for a time being and the book is actually good.

Does this solve the debate?  Not in the least. I will probably always want a book in hand.  Heck, here is my issue with virtual versus physical.  I need a glycemic index of foods and I can read it online, but I would much rather have a stack of pages that had the items listed. I like things in hand.

Signing off

~Kate

 

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