Monday, February 23, 2015

Merry Monday

This past week was extremely busy and stressful.  I'd hoped for a break over the weekend, but had a particularly heavy homework load.  I had to write two essays (finished one, now I need to finish the other one by Thursday), complete an online quiz,  work on two class projects and do a tooooooooooooon of reading.  This week is filled with various meetings and I need to finish up that other essay, so it'll be just as busy as last week.  There just never seems to be enough time in the day to finish everything.

I feel like this semester is sucking my soul dry.  I took on more than I can handle and am desperate for it to all be over with.  Sadly, I won't get much of a spring break,  because I'll be busy with my internship.  I can't just tell them I'm not available, because it'll be ending shortly after that so I need the hours for my credits.  Just a few more months, and all of this will be worth it when I can walk across that stage and pick up my diploma.
Took this from here.
1.  What is or was your relationship with your parents like?
I really disliked my parents as a kid.  It seemed like I was always getting yelled at for something or another, and felt like my parents were always annoyed at anything I did.  I didn't really have a very good relationship with them until I became an adult.  Once I graduated from high school, I moved out for awhile and then moved back home.  I know my dad was not happy about that, and he often expressed that.
My dad had a heart attack, and that changed things a bit.  Eventually I moved out, and things got better with both parents.  I actually do feel like my parents love me now.
2.  Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
I'm very negative by nature, so I have to really force myself to see things half-full.  I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but I still feel myself falling back on bad habits when things are bad.
3.  Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?
I feel like MOST things can be funny, but not everything. 
4.  Show and tell.  What comes to mind first when you see this picture?  Or tell a story if it reminds you of one. 
Overall, it's been a pretty mild winter here.  We only really had one bad snow day, and it was a doozy!  We've been experiencing spring-like temperatures here lately.  And then this morning we woke up to a smattering of snow.  It melted pretty quickly, but it's still really chilly.  I'm looking at the glass half-full (see what I did there?), and am just extremely grateful that it hasn't been worse. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

What I've Learned This Semester!

This is where I share the wealth of knowledge I've gained with my lovely readers.  If all goes well, this will be my very last post on this topic!  I'll miss it but at the same time, it will be a relief not to have an overabundance of homework always pressuring me to get it done every second of every day.

POLS 403 Introduction to Public Administration

I'm really enjoying this one so far.  I just wish it wasn't a night class.
  • Closed vs. Open Systems
    • Closed systems focus on the organization, its internal structures, internal dynamics, and decision making processes.
    • Open systems assume the external environment influences the organization in a wide variety of ways.
    • Organizations are dynamic entities impacted by both internal and external factors.

POLS 403 Urban Politics

This is much more of a history lesson than politics.

  • Three Factors of Production According to City Limits (book by Paul Peterson, 1981)
    • Land:  This is the only one that cities can control.  Land use decisions are critical.
    • Labor:  Cities can't control the movement of people, but they can try to attract only the "right kind" or residents
    • Capital:  States can't control the movement of capital.  It can, however, minimize taxes, and build good infrastructure.  Cities compete with one another.

POLS 414 Comparative State Politics

This one comes with a lot of homework, but it's been pretty interesting.

  • Elazar's Political Subcultures
    • Individualist:  Limited government, politics viewed as dirty/corrupt
    • Moralist:  Emphasizes the commonwealth, government is a political force
    • Traditionalist:  Government used to maintain existing social hierarchy, politics are for the social elite

POLS 414 American Political Thought

I took this on the advice of a friend who swore I'd absolutely love it!!!  Yeah, not so much...  This is my third class with this professor, and it's *CONSIDERABLY* more difficult than the other two.  It's the only class that I seriously dislike this semester.
Brief summary of Federalist 10:

We must break and control the violence of factions.  We must remove the cause for factions, or control its effects.  The only way to remove it is to remove liberty, or to give citizens the same opinions.  Since this is not possible, we must control the effects by creating more factions.  The more we have, the weaker they become individually.

**All pictures courtesy of Google Images

Monday, February 9, 2015 Review

I owe a HUGE apology to for not doing this earlier.  We ordered this way back in December, but didn't get it until almost a month later.  School started, and I got waaaaaaaaaay busy!  Then when I finally had a moment to type up a post, my iPod no longer wanted to synch with my laptop so I couldn't post pix.  I figured out a way around that, so I'm FINALLY getting around to posting this. 
After looking over all the delicious choices, the chi's finally settled on Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Turducken Canned Dog Food.  We were sent several 12.5 oz. cans to try.
It kind of reminds me of a thick stew with chunks of meat, potatoes, and carrots.  While it might not look like it here, it's actually quite moist!  The boys usually get dry food, so any time they get something like this, it's a real treat.  Here they are scarfing it down.
You can tell how much they enjoyed it because Shiver is going back to lick the last little bit of taste he thinks might be left behind. 
This particular flavor offers several key benefits: 
  • Made with real chicken, turkey, and duck
  • Free from harmful by-products
  • Balanced, nutritional content makes a great everyday food
  • Made without wheat, a common allergy trigger for dogs
In addition to being made without wheat, it is also corn, soy, and grain-free.  My mom's beagle has wheat allergies, so it's nice to know that I could feed him this and be worry-free.  Best of all - it's made right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

A case of 12 cans is $32.28, which is a 13% ($4.80) savings.  If you set up autoshipping, you can save even more - $30.67, which is an additional 5% savings.
Thank you to  My boys have never been disappointed in any of their products, and this was no exception.  They both gave it four paws up each, for a total of 8 paws.
We were not compensated financially for this post, but were provided free samples of dog food in return for our honest opinions.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lung Leavin' Day

Have ya heard of Lung Leavin' Day before?  No?  I hadn't either until just recently. 

I received an email about this a couple of weeks ago and wanted to help promote it because of my father.  Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that he died about three and a half years ago.  We know he had at least two kinds of cancer and suspect a third, although we aren't 100% certain of what kind he had when he passed away.  No biopsy was able to be performed when he was alive as he couldn't tolerate the procedure, and my mom chose not to have an autopsy after he passed away. 

To paraphrase from the email that Cameron sent me:  His wife, Heather Von St. James, was diagnosed with mesothelioma nine years ago.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos.  Heather had just given birth to their daughter when she was diagnosed, and what should have been one of the most exciting times of their lives turned out to be anything but.  She was told she'd only have about 15 months live.  She had her lung removed, and fortunately Heather is still with us today! 

Heather was more afraid about the surgery than she had ever been about anything in her life.  Her sister named operation day Lung Leavin' Day as a way to help lighten the mood.  The name stuck, and they've been celebrating it ever since!  I encourage you to click on the links for Lung Leavin' Day to read more of Heather's amazing story.

Today is the 9th Annual Lung Leavin' Day.  What's it all about, I'm sure you're asking yourselves?  Lung Leavin' Day was started as way to encourage others to face their fears.  The family gathers around a fire in their backyard with friends and family, write their biggest fears on a plate, and smash them into the fire!  They use this time to celebrate those who are currently fighting cancer, for those who are no longer with us, and for those who are currently going through a tough time in their lives.  Most importantly though, they celebrate LIFE!

The event has grown bigger every year, and they also use it to fundraise for mesothelioma awareness.  They've raised over $7000 to date.      

I love this idea!  All of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another.  Even if you say you haven't been, you likely have been and may not even realize it.  And we all certainly have our fair share of fears, even if we don't want to admit to it.  While I don't have a fire pit in my backyard to join in, I'll figure out something special as a way to participate.  What will you do to celebrate?
With the extenuating amount of homework last week, I wasn't able to blog hop.  My load is considerably lighter this week, so I'll be around for sure.  If I can get my iPod synched back up to my computer again, I'll post a review on Wednesday.  

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