Category Archives: Books Books and more Books

FITFS Lois Roelofs Champion of Nurses into the 21st Century

LOIS ROELOFS

Blogging Heroes
Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am hesitant to write today’s FITFS (Following in the FootSteps) series for two reasons.  The first is that Kathleen Korthuis, Lois’s sister passed away October 5, 2012 and so her focus is on preparing Kay’s eulogy and dealing with the sorrow and loss experienced by her family, friends and herself.  You know that the purpose of FITFS is to honor my heroes.  Writers of the blogging world who inspire me to be better and to somehow emulate them.  Writers have allowed me in some way to be part of their life.  I decided to go ahead with this post to let Lois know that she is in our hearts at this very difficult time.

The second reason I hesitated is that Lois is exactly who I would like emulate but she has set the bar high.  She is the ideal for me and I am in awe of her life and what she has accomplished and continues to accomplish.

Like me, Lois Roelofs has her heroes and certainly the most important was her sister Kay who was her lifelong career mentor.  In fact both of them attended the Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and Lois’s 50th reunion takes place this weekend prior to Kay’s service.  How bitter sweet that must be.  Kay graduated in 1955, Lois in 1962, – oh and me from South Waterloo Memorial Hospital in 1969.  That’s right.  There is a sisterhood bond here beyond writing, nursing and blogging.

You know how some people, like all of my heroes, do what so many do, but they do it with that extra touch of class?  It is that extra touch that I guess I want to emulate.

Lois, says in her ‘About’ page that she initially started the Blog to center around the publication of her career memoir, Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self.  She is a Chicago girl, wife, Mom, and Grandma.

Blodgett Memorial Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a nurse from about the same era touches my heart and makes me get all mushy about old hospitals and old uniforms. (I still think the old fashioned hats signifying who the registered nurse is instead of non-nursing staff was wonderful.  We worked hard to get those black bands on crisply starched hats).  I took the photo below from the Blodgett web site and Lois also has the same one on her post of October 6th.  Kay helped open the first intensive care unit in the country in 1958 and she is the nurse poised over the desk.

Kathleen E. korthuis, PhD, RN

Lois I know this FITFS may seem more about Kay than you and someday soon I may do another honoring only yourself for your incredible achievements.  But I hope you will let me join you in dedicating this post to your sister,

KATHLEEN E. KORTHUIS, PhD, RN 1934-2012

Folks I hope you will stop by to visit Lois, read about her incredible life, say hi, and leave a comment or two.

Books, Books, and More Books

Libraries are wonderful places.  I have a number of ebooks downloaded that I will sometimes read, but for me, the satisfaction of holding an actual book in hand is the best reading experience.  Ebooks are a tad cold for me.  I guess the difference could be equated with feeling the warmth of interacting with another human being in person or speaking and seeing them on Skype.  Don’t get me wrong on the whole skype thing, when those you love are hundreds or thousands of miles away Skype is the best.

Skype Technologies S.A. logo
Skype Technologies S.A. logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But give me a day that cries out or even murmurs, Come curl up and lets get lost in another world, and it is the warmth of a good book I feel.

Andersonlibrary.wordpress.com

I just returned two books that I read last week.  Having thousands of books at your disposal feels like an ermine and mink kind of luxery (before furs were a bad thing).

The first book was by one of my eternal fave authors Dean Koontz and a part of the Odd Thomas series.  Picking up anything Koontz is like having an old friend visit and Odd is wonderfully entertaining.  Poor Odd, who by the way is so optimistic would never think of himself as poor in anyway is beset in solving a mystery with the also very mysterious Annamaria.

I’ve seen Mr. Koontz interviewed and he is a very gentle man who I think values his privacy but judging by the mega books he has sold his mind is as sharp as any scalpel cutting through a plot.  But I have have been a part of his literary family, Odd or not.

The second book I read last week is by an author that is new to me, but looking at her many many publications I am surprised I did come across her before.  Her name is Iris

iris johansen

Johansen and the book What Doesn’t Kill you certainly had many exciting moments.  Enough to prevent me from putting down the book at a reasonable hour and getting some sleep (which is a good indication of excellence).

In with all the suspense and action Johansen peppers sexual tension between Catherine Ling and Gallo.  Will they or will they not hit the sheets?  Personally I don’t care.  Her breasts growing taunt or taunting repeatedly is not of interest.  Ms. Johansen tells a crisp clean tale and I will read her again (and perhaps just skip over the less interesting stuff).

I have been trying to update and clean up my wordpress site this morning but it just seems to take so long and I have not suceeded very well today.  But I must not think of that right now for it off for a good cuddle with another book.

FITFS Judith Baxter

Each Friday I devote a post to someone in my hero group from the Blogosphere.

Heroes are important to our lives, unlike the ‘experts’ I wrote about this week, they are individuals who inspire us and make our lives better and more fulfilling by their very existence and actions.  Real people who make us better by their example.

Judith Baxter lives in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.  Originally from England, she and her Dashing Young Scotsman settled in New Zealand.  Her trusty companion is Lotte an adorable Tibetan Spaniel.

Since the passing of her mother and then the premature death of her husband Judith made a decision to ‘choose how I will spend the rest of my life’.

Judith lives with intention and is a certified life coach, mentor, author and facilitator.  What I most admire is that she has defined her values which are Gracious, Generous, Loving, and Radiant.

Family is very important to her, especially her four fine grandsons.  Judith shares her insights with every post and it would be impossible to choose one.

Judith’s very first post on March 1, 2011 was titled, ‘I choose how I will spend the rest of my life and in I she talked about her mother’s last years and her mission “about keeping the mind active….”. She says, “I know our thoughts determine the results we achieve…”

When I think of Judith I think of silk, satin, heart of gold, and soul of goodness.

Today’s post is a recommendation to read Dr. Wayne Dyer‘s book, ‘Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life and the wisdom of Lao-tzu.

So please do stop by and say hi and take a dip in her pool of wisdom.  Bathing suits not required.

Friday’s FITFS …..Linda Cassidy Lewis

FITFS
Linda Cassidy Lewis The Brevity of Roses

 Each Friday I write about somone in the blogosphere who teaches me lessons, is supportive, and like all my Following in the Footsteps heroes is someone I would like in some small way to emulate.

How do I choose my FITFS?  Selecting first, or second, or third would be nigh unto impossible.  In addition to wanting to  honor those who I admire it seemed the easiest way would be to select those who take the time to comment on my posts first.  If you have ever commented then it is quite likely that some Friday, ‘when you least expect it you’re elected’ as the song from Candid Camera goes, you will be highlighted here.

 

 

This theme takes a better defined form  each time I do it. FITFS started out as a blanket praise and is evolving into delicious declarations of each writers’strengths, my fave posts or quotes (cause fave posts are almost impossibloe to choose), and what I have learned or what has inspired me.

Linda Cassidy Lewis is a California girl originally from Indiana.  Artistically she began expressing her creativity through drawing and eventually portaits with clientele in the US, Europe, and UK.  She is the consumate artist, drawing, living art, beading, and of course that fave expression of each of us – writing.

Certainly LCL (don’t her initials even seem poetic?) is dedicated, tenacious, persistent and very talented.

It is almost impossible to choose a favorite post – there are so  many.  Her first post was I believe October 13, 2008 in which she discusses how the Ms. Perfect side of her being judges everything she writes as garbage and with she posted a quote by C. J. Sherryh; ‘It is perfectly okay to write garbage as long as you edit brilliantly.’

My fave quote by Linda herself is; ‘When  you hoard imagination it suffers a sad, lonely death, so, as an act of mercy, I write fiction.’  Bloody brilliant I say!

See this author is all about inspiration so how could my own Ms. Perfect even think of holding me back.  So far Linda  Cassidy Lewis is the Doer and I with toes in the frigid unknown seas of publication stand poised and ready to jump in, getting braver every moment by her display of bravery.

She has a number of literary projects on the go and is the published author of ‘The Brevity of Roses. and I quote from Michelle Davidson Argyle author of ‘Monarch’; Told in gorgeous poetic tones, The Brevity of Roses will take you on a journey delving into the unique characters as delicate and beautiful as a rose itself.  Lewis’real understanding of relationships is phenomenal.’

Do yourself a favor and visit the mulitalented, multifaceted gem of a writer, and please click a ‘like’ or leave a wee comment for her.  Something we all appreciate!

I am now off to the last supper for our Scots cuz who alas must depart tomorrow!

And once again in case that linky thing isn’t working or I have made a mistake, please find LCL at lindacassidylewis.com

 

Terramundi and Centennials and Birthdays

Friday June 8th was not only my birthday but also the city of my birth, Kitchener Ontario.  The city was 35 when I was born and I think that is about all I will say of that.  Its original name was Berlin and it was renamed when the first World War took place.  I guess our city fathers felt Berlin was a little Germanic considering so it was named after Lord Kitchener.  It did not change the fact that the largest population was German.  The city apparently boasted a spectacular bust of Kaiser Whilhelm 1 and a few days after war was declared three young Berlin men (Fred Bolton, Alan Smith and John Ferguson) toppled the bust and dumped it into the lake at Victoria Park.  Unfortunately in 1916 there was considerable animosity from the non-German residents.

It has been interesting reading the history pages on line as many of the names we have for parks and streets are linked to the actual people living at the time.

In 1920 Charles How’s Royal Cafe was raided by Kitchener police who seized a large amount of opium and smoking equipment so I guess drugs in the cities have a long history.

In 1922 we were visited by William Lyon Mackenzie King who was then Prime Minister and a native son of our wee town.  Not so wee since 10,000 people came out to meet him .

Canadians are known to be generally a polite tolerable people however 1925 saw a clandestine attempt to oraganize a Kitchener chapter fo the Ku klux Kan that ended through disinterest.  The organizers met in a private home but two Daily Record reporters ‘were able to glimpse a’crowd’ of three around a table.’

In 1927 it seemed there were bootleggers to be caught and in 1928 the city’s Health Department found two gypsy families living in an abandoned store and shooed them out.

The first of the famous Five and Dime stores opened in 1932 by Walter Zeller.  I remember my mom still calling them Five and Dimes.  In 1936 specific mention is made of a shoemaker William Thoms who road his bicycle from home to work every day for a distance of 12 miles.  It was estimated he cycled a total of 131,400 miles.  The distance would have been much greater but during the winters he had to walk and they did not tally up those miles.  He stopped, or retired I guess at the age of 82.

One hanging was detailed in 1940.  Reginal White who was the third and final person to ever be so disposed of for a crime in the city.

1942 mention of note was that the local library reported many strange things found in books used as markers, but none so strange as a slice of bacon.

It was not until 1946, on Devember 24th that Canadian women were given equal status under the new Citizenship Act.

There are many interesting facts listed at kitchener100.ca by decade.

So while my own history did not come close to the city of my birth it was an incredible event.  This was our first Terramundi party.  I had decided I did not want any gifts as I could not think of a single desire.  Terramundi is perfect.

According to the accompanying tag:   (In the picture below mine is the blue and pink). ‘This is an Etruscan Money Amphora. These money pots have been used in Italy for the last 2,000 years and their hand thrown design has remained the same.  Examples can be seen in the British Museum.  TRADITION:  ONce the first coin is dropped the money pot must be fed til full, then smashed whilst making a wish.  It is customary to replace pot and spend money on good things.  Pots bring fortune.  There is a fortune coin in each pot.

The whole idea was that instead of bringing a gift bring a Loonie or Toonie ($1.00 or 2.00 coin) and throw it in the pot and make a wish.  Everyone was way to generous with me but the idea remains pure.

So folks that was my start to an amazing weekend!

Terramundi Money Pots

May 24 Weekend as in Two Four

Well it is a kind of lolling around weekend here in Canada.  The neighbourhood is quiet and most folk who have not headed out to cottages or camping are puttering at this and that.  May 24 to the young adults means 24 (the number of bottles of beer in a case) but the holiday celebrates the reign of Queen Victoria who ruled the United Kingdom from 1837 until 1901.

Victoria at 18 coronation

That lady would have seen a lot of changes in all those decades and today her style is defined by her name: Victorian; architecture, clothes, morals (although the morals have long since changed drastically).

It’s a day for catch up (having sorted through a couple thousand emails – how do I get so far behind?)  The biography ‘Steve Jobs‘ by Walter Isaacson sits on my reading table awaiting some much anticipated attention and a newly started cross stitch sits beside the TV remote for a planned movie watch this afternoon.

Most of my spare time over the last few weeks has been spent devouring book after book including a reread of the Harry Potter series minus 6 0f 7, Joseph Boyden‘s ‘Through Black Spruce‘ which was gripping and demanded my complete attention deliciously, and completion of the ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ series by Steig Larsson, also delicious.  My reading group of friends is trying to entice my attention to ‘The Hunger Games‘ but for some reason I am resisting.

So thanks to Vicky this is one of those cozy days wrapped in other folks creativity and I cannot complain.  It is also a day for appreciation of family and friends and life in general.  It’s a very hot day, truely summerish and reminds me of other two four weekends when blizzards blew and my sons’ and their friends threw blankets and sleeping bags into the back of cars  and headed off for adventure.

This is tradionally when cottagers head north, east, west, or south, to open their little bits of heaven for the summer and fall.

So dear friends I am off to get the rest of this wonderful day done in pursuit of just plain old content activity.

6 of 7

One of the great pleasures of serial stories is the satisfaction of starting a reread from the beginning and not having to wait for the publication of the next edition. There is flow with anticipation dependent only upon your rate of speed in gobbling up the goodies served with each novel. There are a few series I enjoy, the latest being Harry Potter. My sis had acquired all the books I was missing to complete the set of seven and what a thrill to close one book and immediately pick up the next. Even if completion of one occurred in late evening I immediately started the next, just for the satisfaction of reading what came next. Well imagine my consternation and confusion when I went to the book shelf and could not find number six, ‘The Half Blood Prince.’
It wasn’t enough to cause a case of cursing but it threw me off my stride. Where could it be? A quick search through out the place revealed nothing except for a missing sock, which I assumed had been eaten and digested by the washer sometime ago.
Through the course of the reread I had also completed two of the Stieg Larsson series about ‘The Girl’: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who played with Fire. I am patiently waiting for the third and last book as it winds it’s way through my reading group. It’s a reasonable wait, but number six? I was sure I had all my ducks in a row so to speak.
I reached out for the seventh book, The Deathly Hallows a few times, but it just didn’t seem right you know? I searched my data memory bank and am pretty sure it was in a load of reading I had taken to my sisters. At least I am counting on it being there. Last night I started number seven, too impatient to wait but the universe is a little askew. There is an uncomfortable feeling like the way you feel when you know you should have done something and did not, or you did something and should not. It’s nothing major in the big scheme of things but it niggles. Niggles is such a perfect for those little irritations, which makes me think of muggles, which makes me think of number six.  Sigh

My Friend Joss

My friend Joss is an author.  She lives in eastern Canada and today I got to have lunch with her and her friend Christine.  Joss is visiting southern Ontario and happened to be spending part of that time here in Hamilton, hence the opportunity for us to meet.  I have followed Joss’ wordpress site here almost since I started blogging.  Initially it was her poetry and witty, common sense approach to life and events that drew my interest.

Then we discovered we had more than mutual adoration in common; we shared the challenge of coping with and conquering fibromyalgia.  Well conquering is perhaps a little misleading as one never does conquer; one learns to live with and adapt and Joss has done this amazingly well.  It never goes away but it can be tempered and Joss has been flare-up free for almost ten years.  Me?  I have done well since 1986 but I cannot list any particular number of years as being flare-up free however I am continuing to learn and much of that learning has been via Joss.  She talks about it being a journey and that it is and oh my, like any journey it is better because of the folk you meet along the way who provide encouragement and support.

Thank you for your wonderful book Joss and for your personal support!

Her new book ‘What I Know About Fibro’ provides information and inspiration and I encourage anyone who has dealt with pain in any form to read it!

Now please note that below the table has no food on it but I swear we had a delightful lunch!

The Reliable Unsurprisingly Surprising Mr. King 11/22/63

Stephen King unsurprisingly tells a tale in 11/22/63 that is way more than it would seem at first glance, which in itself is hardly surprising because you don’t build a huge readership and fan base by going for the obvious.  Mr. King always delivers that little bit more and he does it with style.

Ostensibly the book is about using time travel to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963 in Dallas Texas.  The idea being of course that so many of the bad idea roads America travelled down following that event would have been prevented.  Seems like a short sweet idea with a big final hurrah at success.

I said in a blog recently that we must be careful of what we wish for and Mr. King aptly demonstrates the why’s of that caution and by the time you finish reading this novel you may answer the question: ‘If you had the power what one thing would you change in the past?’ a little differently at the end of the book than you might have in the beginning.

For one thing the story becomes very personal on more than one level.  I like that King writes from an everyman perspective so there are no big talk- their- own- language scientists around.  How the time portal works from Al’s Hamburger joint by stepping through the pantry cannot be explained.  It just is.  And when you go down the steps into the past you always arrive at exactly the same moment: at 11:58 a.m. on the morning if September 9, 1958.  This very fact has a huge impact on everything.

How Al Templeton, the original user of this portal,  makes the best use of the opportunity may at first seem rather mundane, but then he experiments a bit with some deeper subjects and comes up with a plan that will have worldwide impact.  Except, because of a glitch he must find someone else to do the deed, or as it turns out, the deeds.  And that’s where Jake Epping aka George Amberson comes in.

Intrigue and sub plots are woven as intricately and delicately as an elaborate lace tablecloth double and tripled layered here and there and well everywhere.  It’s a delicious story that is not as farfetched as say Michael Crichton’s Timeline (which I adore and reread again and again). Um I must take that statement back because Timeline is believable.

11/22/63 is expansive because it is not nicely encapsulated with a beginning, middle and end, but has endless possibilities in our own minds.  The potential for discussion of those possibilities is immense and leaves the door wide open for more.  What is the story of the man with the yellow card?  I want to know more about him and the others like him.  How many portals are there?  Who else has used them to what end?

I love it that the past is obdurate and like Dean Koontz’ (best book of his all time in my opinion), Lightning the past (or Fate) will seek to return, to correct change.

It is easy to become intimate with each of the characters: Jake, George, Harry Dunning, Al, The Yellow Card Man, Lee Harvey Oswald, Marina, June, Sadie Dunhill, so many that count so much.  The people are as real as you and I and that is why we care so much about them.  There are no heroes here, just folk like you and me, living the best we know how in any given moment, and often coming up just that wee bit short.

Joss Burnell That Crowing Crone Has Done It

My friend has created a wonderful book.  How do I know it is wonderful? Why because I assisted in my own little way so I have had a preview of what is to come.  Joss doesn’t have a ‘press this’ button so I have endevoured to copy and paste it her announcement of the coming work.  Some of us talk about doing….Joss does it!

Find her at crowingcrone.wordpress.com

Now for the attempted copy..

 

..I can hardly stand it!  The final editing of my book is done. The cover is ready and I’m just bursting with pride and excitement.  All that’s left is the hours of work to upload it to the self publishing software.  They make it sound so easy but it is time consuming for sure. But that’s okay.

 

A huge thank you to Chris King over at Bridges Burning for her wondrous editing work.  Chris was oh so patient, oh so gracious, and oh so paid attention to detail.  I am thrilled with the end product.

Also must thank my friend, photographer John T. Fowler for allowing me to use his image on the cover.  Isn’t it just beautiful?

And last, but definitely not least, thank you to my BFF Christine for reading the manuscript all in one go – she who hates to read at the computer!  Christine, your support and love, as you know, mean the world to me.

So, there it is folks.  I can’t wait to hold the first real copy in my hands.