TBR

May To-Be-Read Stack

MayTBR18

Guys, it’s Spring!

Can you believe we’re going on five months in to 2021?? I just got back from getting my salon appointment and the stylist was telling me about a young woman that was going out with her husband to celebrate their vaccinations (i.e. experimental injectable) and them leaving their house for the first time in a year.

WHAT?!

Are there really people out there that have not left their house for the past year?!? I just find that so sad. So, in essence, people have lost a year of their lives by NOT living. I find that incredibly sad, don’t you?

I, for one, will not be that person. We’re all going to die at some point in our lives, we might as well live our best lives while we’re here.

Wow, that got dark fast, didn’t it. Anyway, here are my five books for May. I don’t know if I’ll read all five, but that’s my goal.

I mean, I haven’t done a great job of keeping my goals so far for this year, why pretend I’ll start now?

___________________________________________________

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review on Goodreads – I’ve come to trust the reviews of Goodreads readers. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

I have currently read 17 books out of 55.

Moving on, here is my May TBR stack:

  1. The Visitors by Miranda Rijks
  2. Black Coral by Andrew Mayne
  3. Winter’s Redemption by Mary Stone
  4. Hate Notes by Vi Keeland
  5. The Solar War by  A.G. Riddle

One (?) ARC (Advanced Reading Copy from NetGalley)

Happy Reading!
Podcast

23: Majority of U.S. Companies Will Mandate Vaccines – Not Without a Fight!

relax
 
I’m afraid I focus far too much time on COVID and how it has and will personally affect me but it’s a topic that has consumed my life and will likely drastically change it. What will you do if your employer requires you to provide proof that you’ve taken the experimental injectable? What happened to “my body, my choice?” Book review this week is “The Arrangement” and it’s a situation nearly all married couples have thought about but would never act upon. It’s twisted and dark. Also, I’m starting a writing challenge!

Mentioned in podcast:
 
 

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*TALK” to you soon!

Here is our Podcast “Right From Us”

Fiction Friday

FF May Writing Challenge 5-7-21

Hello writers!

Ready for a writing challenge?

Me either. (Ha!)

I thought it would be fun to start a writing challenge, exercise our creative chops and start getting in the habit of consistently writing. I’d love to write every day but you and I both know, that ain’t happenin’, so, next best thing? A weekly challenge!

You can check out the full deets here, but in essence, the challenge for this month is to write a novelette – which is a 7,500 to 19,000 word count length story. I’m personally going to write one story from four different perspectives just because I have a fascination for those types of stories and want to try one myself.

And these “rules” are just guidelines – if you want to do something different, by all means, go for it. The objective is to just write – however that looks for you.

This week’s writing prompt is:

Pandemic!

I know, not exactly original but our lives have been so out-of-control this past year, let’s take a bit of that control back and write a story about either the pandemic we’re currently experiencing, or make up a pandemic – how are people behaving? What sort of symptoms are your characters experiencing? Whenever I have something on my mind, like this crazy pandemic, I find that it’s helpful to “purge” it from my thoughts by writing about it.

Come back on Friday, 5-7-21, and leave a link to your story. I’m looking forward to reading your work!

Life, Work Stuff

My Days as a Healthcare Worker are Numbered

Well. It has begun. The threat to fire people if they don’t get the jab. I think this might be the beginning of the end for me.

A hospital in Houston Texas has made a line in the sand – get the jab on or before June 7th or lose your job. The article states that 4 out of 5 employees have gotten the jab and “One hospital administrator said that getting vaccinated is a part of the sacred oath healthcare to do everything possible to keep patients safe and healthy.”

On one hand, I totally get that. You don’t want to inadvertently make someone in the hospital even more sick by introducing a virus to an already compromised immune system. Also:

“As the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath is: do no harm, vaccine safety must be guaranteed. That has not yet happened. More studies of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy should be conducted and published and more transparency about possible risks provided to the public before Americans enter the largest experimental medication program in our history.” Source

But on the other hand, I have a lot of questions. And the fact that we rolled this out, so quickly, with no trials, under Emergency Use for a disease that has a 99.5% recovery rate for a person of my age, seems … excessive.

I’m not willing to be a human Guinea pig. I would prefer to wait and see what the long-term repercussions will be, if any, and would like to see some successful trials first before considering the “vaccine.” In addition, I’m not totally comfortable with the mRNA factor of this “vaccine” and the fact that it contains little to no dead Coronavirus is enough for me to say, “No thanks.”

If you don’t know a lot about the experimental injectable, and why would you? The media continues to do a bang-up job of keeping information from the public, I encourage you to read the white paper on experimental vaccines for COVID-19 published by the American Frontline Doctors. It has a lot of interesting, and informative, information about this injectable that everyone has a right know. It’s not called “informed consent” for nothing, folks.

From the American Frontline Doctors’ website:

“There have been many post-vaccination questions. We will keep adding Q/A to this list. The fundamental problem with releasing medications that have not been fully researched is we don’t know what we don’t know. AFLDS is highly concerned about what we don’t know!” Source

And that’s my biggest hesitation – WE SIMPLY DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS TO ENCOURAGE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO GET IT.

Why are people like me being demonized simply because we have questions??

My being against this experimental injectable does not mean I’m an anti-vaxxer – in fact, I daresay MOST people who are refusing to take the jab are not anti-vaxxers, we, – I – am simply asking for more information and for the vaccine to be run through it’s normal paces and treated as every other vaccine that is out there and approved by the FDA. I am all for vaccines for polio, small pox, measles, etc., overall Those diseases are way more serious than COVID, at least according to research and statistics at the time of this writing, and it makes sense to stop those more serious diseases in their tracks. But this virus, though deadly to some, overall, is not as deadly to all.

And if I’ve learned anything at all in healthcare – there is no one size fits all answer when it comes to people’s health. Healthcare is a pretty shade of grey – it’s not black and white.

I am not criticizing people who have gotten the jab. I am not trying to scare people who have gotten the jab – you have made the decision that you think is right for you and your family. Awesome. That’s how it should be. I respect your decision – please respect mine.

And if this issue stopped there, you wouldn’t be reading this post right now. But, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I don’t tend to go quietly into the night on stuff that I’m passionate about.

I respect people’s rights to make their own decisions and live their best lives. I may not always agree with people’s decisions but who cares, I’m nobody. Ultimately, it’s none of my business what you do in your life – your decision, your consequence.

However –

Once you take my right to choose away, IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG. And that’s how I feel about this whole vaccine passport and mandatory vaccines at work issue.

When you force people to do what you want and if they don’t you will penalize them in some way, that’s called coercion.

And I don’t respond well to this type of bullying.

Also, what happened to “my body, my choice?” Where are all the pro-lifers out there? Why aren’t they throwing a fit because the government is threatening lifestyle choices, (no cruises, no sporting events, no concerts – no job), unless you take the jab? So, it’s only my body, my choice under certain circumstances? That doesn’t make sense. You can’t pick and choose your definitions.

At least, you shouldn’t be able to – though to be fair, people do it all the time.

At this point in time, the hospital where I work put out a statistic that 56% of employees at my hospital have gotten the jab. I’m not too worried right now, however, if that percentage gets into the 80% range, I will start sweating. Because right now, there are too many employees that haven’t been vaccinated and don’t want to take the chance they could potentially lose them. They can’t afford to lose 40% of their staff, assuming most of the unvaccinated quit. But if that percentage of employees that get vaccinated gets to be 80% or above? Then my employer has more leverage.

Another factor in my favor – there is a pretty severe shortage of medical personnel out there. More and more people are NOT choosing to go into healthcare so the supply is low but the demand continues to go up, so I’m hoping that is another factor that will discourage my employer from issuing a “get the injectable or else” threat.

So what are my plans if/when we reach that point?

*sigh*

Depends. If it gets super nasty and I have very little choices, Kevin and I have talked about consulting a lawyer to find out what my rights are. The American Frontline doctors has a link on their site that will pair me up with a local lawyer for a small fee and we might start there. I can’t really fight this until I find out what my legal rights are.

And maybe I won’t really have any – especially since I work in healthcare and the rules are a bit different given the nature of the “business.” And if that’s the case, then so be it, I guess I won’t be a healthcare worker any longer. For if it comes down to either being coerced into the getting the jab to keep my job or having to quit in order to protect my body from God knows what, then I guess I’ll have to quit.

I don’t want to. I really enjoy my job and I feel I’m quite good at my job, and I wouldn’t draw that line in the sand solely due to principal, though that would be a big part of my decision, but largely because I don’t want to play Russian Roulette with my body. Sure. I could get the jab and it’s highly likely that I will be just fine, but considering all we DON’T know, no one can say that with 100% certainty and the fact that the disease has such a high recovery rate, I would prefer to take my chances on suffering through the disease and taking medications that we KNOW help the symptoms of the disease than stick my arm out for a technology that hasn’t been tested and “experts” really don’t know a lot about.

Not to mention, assuming life will go back to normal. Which I know is a big reason a lot of people are getting the “vaccine.” Not because people believe it in it or are scared of the disease but simply because they want life to get back to normal. And I get that. I want to burn these damn masks and be able to freely go where I want to go without people giving me the evil eye or work on the assumption that if they get too close to me they might die.

But life is NOT getting back to normal. We still have these stupid masks mandates, we still have to social distance, we’re still not allowed to do much outside of our jobs so … even if I was absolutely okay with getting the jab, got it and life remained the same, WHAT’S THE POINT?

Anyway. I’m nervous. I feel like this might be the beginning of the end of my healthcare chapter and I’m mentally preparing myself to make changes – the only question is when? I HOPE it doesn’t happen for quite a few years, I was HOPING we wouldn’t have to address this issue for quite a few years, but when I saw that article about the Houston hospital, I really think my days are numbered. It’s too bad I’m not closer to retirement age, I would just retire early, but I’m not there yet. I still have about ten years left before that makes financial sense.

*sigh*

Who knows what is going to happen. For now, I’m just taking one day at a time because really, what else can we do??

Bullet Journal

May Bullet Journal Cover

Sorry, I should have warned you to wear sunglasses for May’s bullet journal cover. But it’s bright and cheery and I feel like that’s what we need right now because the world is dreary and crazy and needs to lighten up. Can I get an Amen?

Anyway – HI! I’m back from the dead. Actually, no I’m not. I was sick for about ten-ish days with a wicked sinus … whatever, but it’s gone now and I’m feeling good. I still can’t smell, but I can taste so we’re making progress. I have no idea if I had COVID. If I did, my symptoms were all in my sinuses and not in my lungs, thank God, but who knows. You can’t trust the tests, you can’t trust vaccines, you can’t trust the CDC because the story changes on a daily basis – all I can do is live my best life. And that’s what I’m doing now.

So I apologize for being MIA for nearly the entire month of April. I just couldn’t bring myself to blog after work – my brain was pure mush. Whatever I had sapped the energy right out of me and I was sooooo freaking tired, more so than usual. However, I really want to stay ahead of the blogging game this month because we’re about to be three MA’s short at work and I’m going to be consistently working three clinics per week, then frantically returning phone calls and working messages, preparing for upcoming clinics and making sure patients are scheduled for appointments and testing after clinics, (i.e. cleaning up clinics), and most likely earning overtime so … it’s going to be a rough month. Probably a rough summer, but whatever, one day at a time.

But more on that craziness as it develops.

Back to bullet journaling. Prepare yourselves for PURE AWESOMENESS:

Peek-a-boo, I see you! Here is my cover page and my steps tracker. I’m actually pretty proud of my steps tracker – I got a lot of steps in this month considering I felt like walking excrement. Notice the construction paper strip on the right-hand side that says steps? Well, that wasn’t my attempt at being craft, that was me covering up one of hundreds of mistakes I make when I put these bullet journals together. I put a piece of washi tape down and then tried to write on it. WOW – it really didn’t work and looked like garbage, so I put that paper down to cover it up. I sort of like it, truth be known. And I really want to put some tabs, or some sort of marker in my journals so I can flip through to past months.

I mean, I say that, but it won’t actually happen because let’s be honest, I don’t really have any interest in flipping back, I’m always a thinking-into-the-future-sort-of-gal. I live in the future, I definitely do not have any desire to go backwards in life.

(Hence the reason I have never, and will never, attend any of my high school reunions. I mean – WHY?? That was part of my life that has been firmly lived and I’m not even the same person I was in high school).

Don’t ask me why I put that funky pattern at the bottom – I was feeling CRAFTY, leave me alone.

Weather and sleep tracker – nothing special here. Moving on.

My habit and mood trackers. Gads, it just makes me sad when I see how empty my habit trackers are. Once again, not ONE SQUARE filled in for my fiction. Which means, I SUCKED at the April Camp NaNoWriMo. *sigh* Ah well, there’s always July.

And though I got quite a few steps this month at work, I didn’t fill in one square on my walking tracker because I’m using the walking tracker for when I am putting on my spandex, (now THERE’S a scary image, eh?), plugging in my bluetooth earbuds and walking either on the treadmill or outside. Which, now that the weather is getting nicer, I plan on doing that.

Any my journal tracker? Yep. It’s that bare. I only wrote it in a handful of times. But in my defense, how many times can I write, “I feel like crap and just want to bury my head under the covers and do nothing” before it gets old? Exactly.

(Side note: I’m pretty sure I got that sinus crap from being forced to wear a mask all day every day at work. Think about it – how can there NOT be some sort of repercussion from wearing a face mask and breathing my moist C02 all day? How?!?)

My mood tracker – no, your eyes are not deceiving you – those are indeed bunnies and squirrels. Yes, I’m a grown-ass woman, hush. But it was Easter month and I had bunnies on the brain. (Clearly). My moods were: happy, annoyed, meh, tired, fed up and sick. I don’t know, there is something relaxing about coloring in something after a long day of work. Anyhoo – I had a lot of annoyed days – which about sums up my working life.

My podcast/videos, reading and writing trackers. Again, sad state of affairs. I did read five books this month but I’m not surprised by that – that is the only thing I had energy for this past month. I only recorded two out of the four podcasts I had planned – again, because I was sick and I lost my voice for a bit as well, so …

I want to post short update videos at some point, that’s what I’m thinking with the videos portion – though to be fair, I do film our Right From Us podcast with my husband Kevin and we did just post a cooking with us video trying out Hello Fresh that I’ll post soon, so I guess technically, I should list those under videos. But I downloaded the TikTok app to my phone, and started another Instagram account for just my blog that I would like to try out. I’m still learning the apps though. And can you only post live Instagram stories? I would rather record them and then put them on my blog, I don’t really want to go live, but whatever, I’ll figure it out. So if you see random videos of me popping up on the blog this month, you’ve been warned.

We won’t talk about my writing tracker. *sad face*

And another very sad tracker – I’m trying to go through and list my blog and Patreon posts for the month so that I’m not sitting down after a long day of work and trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to post about. I’m going to continue this idea and it will hopefully look much better at the end of May.

Okay – I need to jump into the shower and get ready for my hair appointment today. I’m getting my grays colored and my hair trimmed and I’m bracing myself for another $100 bill. It makes me physically sick to pay that much for my hair but I’m too lazy to find another stylist and the one I go to is literally less than two miles away from my house so it’s super convenient. I got spoiled with my old stylist – I loved her, she did a great job and only charged me about $50 bucks to do my hair (though I usually gave her a pretty generous tip). Sadly, her salon couldn’t sustain the lockdowns, (thanks government – idiots) and they closed down last December. I’ve only been to this hairstylist once and she did a great job but wow, she’s expensive. Thankfully, I only go to the salon four times a year, yep, you read that correctly, every 12 weeks, so it’s not THAT bad, I know a lot of people go way more often than that.

Goodbye April and hello May. Be nicer to me, will you?

Your turn – have you been bullet journaling? Share links of your pages or tell me how it’s going in the comments!