Saturday, October 30, 2021

My Life In Pictures May 1 - May 10, 2021

 May 1 - Ignore my husband's deck mess. Plants and plant food still in the beginning stages of our summer flowers. Jinxy loves being on the deck and wants to go out all the time but the moment he is out there he wants to go back in. Go figure. 

May 2 - The only photo of the day is me with a filter. Hmmm...

May 3 - NADA

May 4 - When I hear a song in the car that I have forgotten about or that I am hearing for the first time and like, I take a photo. Out of sight is out of mind as you get older.

May 5 - There were only photos of my preschool classes painting their Mother's Day frames which I cannot share. 

May 6 - Minxy Jinxy in all his big boy glory.

May 7 - She may not be a baby anymore, but she is my baby.

May 8 - Mother's Day Dinner at Outback

May 9 - Luna enjoying the beautiful day out on the deck

May 10 - Dentist appointment and I just had to grab a shot of this steeple.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Halloween with Laurie Berkner! - Virtual Halloween Party Concerts for Families - 2 shows - Oct. 31, 2021

As a preschool teacher, I play Laurie Berliner at least 4 times a week in the class. My class loves her as much as I do. 






SUNDAY, OCT. 31 - 12:00 PM & 5:00 PM EST

"The queen of kids' music" – People magazine

"Kids'-music alchemy at its finest."– Entertainment Weekly

“Laurie Berkner does what Fred Rogers did: respect, validate and reassure young children.”– Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK – Ready for a spooktacular Halloween experience? Iconic children's musician Laurie Berkner invites families to stop in for a spell at two special "Halloween Party" LIVE Virtual Family Concerts onSunday, October 31 at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Laurie's concert websiteHERE. For double the fun, a family ticket grants admission to both livestreams.

Laurie will treat little tricksters to her brand new Halloween song, "I Picked One Pumpkin. She'll have everyone singing along to "What Am I Gonna Be (for Halloween)?," "The Superhero Mask Song," "Monster Boogie," "The Cat Came Back," and "Choc-o-lot In My Pock-o-lot." Laurie will also sing an array of fan favorites like "We Are the Dinosaurs," "Victor Vito," "Chipmunk at the Gas Pump," "The Goldfish," "Moon Moon Moon," and "Pig On Her Head."

For kids who are all dressed up with nowhere to ghost, Laurie's shows will give the season of costumes, candy, and jack-o'-lanterns a real "BOO-st." Laurie hopes families will join her in displaying their pumpkins, putting up their Halloween decorations, and getting decked out in their Halloween costume finery.

"Out of an abundance of caution to protect my fans and their families, I have made the difficult decision to cancel the rest of my 2021 in-person concerts. So, I am bringing my livestreams back! I’m so excited to be able to have a Halloween Concert this year that anyone can attend - and that keeps all of my fans safe," says Laurie Berkner. "It will be filled with extra on-screen Halloween magic and even a brand new Halloween song. I can’t wait to get back to joining families in their homes to sing and celebrate together!"

The Laurie Berkner Band's bass player, Brady Rymer, will be a special guest at this show, and other band members will also pop by.

Laurie Berkner's virtual family concerts are full-length, visually-enriched, interactive experiences, so kids might see images of marching dinosaurs during "We Are The Dinosaurs" or pumpkins in a pumpkin patch during "I Picked One Pumpkin." Kids and grownups alike are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas with Laurie in a live chat throughout the show.

A fun-filled virtual lobby will feature pre-show music and videos and a Halloween game. For those who'd like to spend a few minutes chatting one-on-one with Laurie after the show, special Meet-and-Greet tickets are available.

About Laurie Berkner: 
One of the most popular children’s entertainers in the U.S., Laurie Berknerhas filled countless venues nationwide with adoring fans. With an average of more than 16 million monthly streams and millions of albums, songs, and DVDs sold, Laurie’s songs have become beloved classics for children worldwide. The first artist to ever appear in music videos on Nick Jr., Laurie Berkner was featured in nearly all the episodes of the channel's Jack's Big Music Show. Laurie recently created her own Audible Original Series titled Laurie Berkner's Song and Story Kitchen and is currently in production on a second season. She has released fourteen bestselling, award-winning albums and has authored a number of picture books based on her songs. She has also written the music and lyrics for three Off-Broadway children's musicals produced by New York City Children’s Theater. Laurie has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House, among many other prestigious venues.

Laurie Berkner has received tremendous critical acclaim. USA Today named Laurie "the undisputed queen of kindie rock." Time Magazine lauded Laurie as "a kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow ... Berkner inhabits a kid's curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated -- very repeated -- listenings." The Wall Street Journal called Laurie "one of the most popular children's performers in America ... her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups." NPR's All Things Considered declared, "Laurie Berkner is like a goddess to these children."

# # #

Legendary Comics Announces the Official Graphic Novel Adaptation of Denis Villeneuve’s Epic Film Dune

I cannot wait to see this movie but I hear the book is incredible too.


Now available for pre-order exclusively on Kickstarter, the graphic novel adaptation from the creative team of Lilah Sturges, Drew Johnson and ZID brings Timothée Chalamet and the all-star cast to the page through stunning visual artwork to tell Frank Herbert’s seminal hero’s journey


Dune_Cover_Bill Sienkiewicz _LoRes_Cision.jpg


For cover, click HERE.

For motion trailer, click HERE.

LOS ANGELES, October 25, 2021 – Legendary Comics, in cooperation withHerbert Properties, LLC, announced today the official movie graphic novel based on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ Dune, the critically acclaimed film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestselling book from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. Both the graphic novel and the film, currently in theaters worldwide, tell the epic hero’s journey of Paul Atreides (played by Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet). Dune: The Official Movie Graphic Novel,adapted by writer Lilah Sturges (Legendary Comics’ The Science of GhostLumberjanes) with art by Drew Johnson (Legendary Comics’ Godzilla: Aftershock and Godzilla Dominion) and colors by digital painter Zid (Legendary Comics’ Kingdom Kong) and colorist Niezam, features beautiful artwork that brings the cinematic vision of Dune to the world of sequential art. Limited editions of the graphic novel are now available for pre-order today exclusively on Kickstarter, with the book trade edition to follow. Both editions are set  to be released in February of 2022, and fans can now pre-order all editions at


Partnering with Rocketship Entertainment, the limited-edition Kickstarter releases of Dune: The Official Movie Graphic Novel feature four distinct covers. Comic legend Bill Sienkiewicz, who created the original Dune comic for Marvel in 1984, returns to the Dune universe to contribute the cover for the graphic novel. Three additional variant covers from Drew Johnson and Zid, U.K. illustrator and comic artist John Ridgway(2000 AD, Hellblazer, Doctor Who), and comic legend Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween, Superman: For all Seasons) will also be available. Exclusive merchandise and collectibles will also be offered through Kickstarter.


“As a fan of both the book and our film, I wanted to bring Denis Villeneuve’s amazing vision and this all-star cast to the world of comics, and with the cooperation of Brian Herbert and Herbert Properties, LLC, we have done just that with an amazing group of creators,” said Robert Napton, Senior Vice President of Legendary Comics.


A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune, based on Frank Herbert’s seminal novel, tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive. The film stars Oscar® nominee Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Oscar® nominee Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, with Oscar® nominee Charlotte Rampling, with Jason Momoa, and Oscar® winner Javier Bardem.

For the Dune: The Official Movie Graphic Novel motion trailer, please visit:


About the creators: 


Lilah Sturges is the writer of numerous comics, including the PRISM Award winning Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, The Magicians and Legendary Comics’ upcoming The Science of Ghosts, as well as many other titles from DC, Marvel, IDW, and others. She lives in Austin, Texas with two daughters and two cats.


Drew Johnson has been a professional illustrator for over 20 years, working on comics such as Wonder Woman, Wonder Waman ’77, Sensation Comics, Supergirl, The Authority, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, GI Joe, Star Wars, Tomb Raider, & many more.  Drew’s contributions to Legendary Comics’ Monsterverse include illustrating Godzilla: Aftershock, the official graphic novel prequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Godzilla Dominion, the official graphic novel prequel to Godzilla vs. Kong, as well as contributing the cover art on the final issue of the Kong: Skull Island series. 


Zid was born 2 days after Christmas in 1983, he is living his childhood dream drawing and painting what he has always been most passionate about: comics. He is a multidisciplinary artist based in Malaysia and was nominated at #8 in 10 Comic Book Creators To Watch in 2013 on for his maiden project with Robert Napton, his career with Legendary Comics began with Trick ‘r Treat: Monster Mash late 2015. This work relationship continued with the digital graphic novel prequel to the Netflix movie Spectral: Ghosts of War in 2016, and his biggest responsibility yet, Skull Island: The Birth of Kong in 2017. After a change of terrain with Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger, he is returned to Skull Island for Kingdom Kong. In his free time, (which is not a lot) you can see him updating his social media accounts with his slice of life comic as a work-from-home dad under the hashtag #DOAWFHD. 


For Legendary Comics’ latest news and updates, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.    


About Denis Villeneuve’s Dune:

 Oscar® nominee Denis Villeneuve directed Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ Dune. Villeneuve directed Dune from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Villeneuve and Oscar® winner Eric Roth. The film’s producers were Oscar® nominee Mary Parent, Villeneuve, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. The executive producers were Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert, with Kevin J. Anderson as special consultant.  Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, a Film by Denis Villeneuve, Dune. The film is now in theaters worldwide and available on HBO Max for 31 days from U.S. theatrical release. The film has been rated PG-13 by the MPA for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material.


About Frank Herbert:

Born in 1920, Frank Herbert worked as a newspaperman while struggling to become a successful author.  His second novel, Dune, won the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards in the 1960s, but with only modest book sales.  Gradually, readers began to spread the word about what a truly great, highly-imaginative novel it was, and it became a worldwide phenomenon, translated into many languages.  Today Dune is the most admired book in science fiction and has sold millions of copies around the world.


About Legendary Comics: 

Legendary Comics was born out of a passion for mythic entertainment, seeking out new talent and working with the best and the brightest in the industry to create transportive worlds, inspirational characters, and spectacular adventures that leap off the page. Founded in 2011, Legendary Comics has produced an exciting catalogue of original titles that continues to grow and evolve. From partnerships with industry legend Frank Miller to Grant Morrison’s Eisner-nominated Annihilator, Legendary Comics has a passion for innovative new stories, including the fantasy graphic novel The Heart Hunter, the historical fiction story Championess (based on the true story of Elizabeth Wilkinson) and Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis’ hit webseriesFirebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano. In addition to original titles, Legendary Comics also expands the scope of the cinematic universes of its parent company Legendary Entertainment, by bringing big-screen adventure exploding onto the comic book page. Working with the visionary filmmakers and the architects of Legendary’s Monsterverse, they have delivered the level of quality and authenticity our fans demand with New York Times best-sellers such as Godzilla: AftershockPacific Rim: Aftermath, and Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, to name a few.


About Rocketship Entertainment:

Rocketship Entertainment, LLC, founded in 2019 by Tom Akel and Rob Feldman, is a publishing, consumer product, and entertainment company with multiple Eisner-nominated and Ringo award-winning series including Let’s PlayFox FiresBrothers BondLars the Awkward YetiAdventures of GodUrban Animal, and Stan Lee’s Backchannel. Rocketship’s partnerships include Legendary Entertainment, Simon & Schuster, Tapas Media, and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. Rocketship connects fans directly to the series they want, working hand-in-glove with creators to create definitive, premium editions of their work and a full array of consumer products. For more information visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Monday, October 25, 2021

4 Tips to Succeed as a Certified Nursing Assistant

The healthcare community relies on many different dedicated professionals to care for patients in a professional, compassionate manner. To ensure this is done successfully, an important role is provided by certified nursing assistants (CNAs). 

A CNA is responsible for various different tasks, with it all amounting to supplying quality care for patients. Under the supervision of a nurse, CNAs can help with everything from a patient’s personal hygiene to updating patient records. 

If you aspire to be a CNA, there are several steps you need to take to be successful in this role. Below are four tips to keep in mind. 

1. Get certified 

There’s no walking into a CNA role. As the name implies, you first require certification before you can work as a certified nursing assistant. 

To do this, you will first need to complete a CNA course. The CNA courses from Aceso Institute of Health Professions supply you with the knowledge and skills needed to work in this field. Once the course is completed, you are then eligible to sit the state certification exam. 

Once you have been successful in gaining your certification, you can begin searching for a CNA position. 

2. Picking the right role

As you might expect, there are significant discrepancies in terms of pay for a CNA role. This is determined by two main factors: location and the facility you work in. 

Understandably, certain states and cities are going to offer a higher wage than others. Say nothing is holding you back from traveling across the countryFor example, if you lived in Mississippi, there’s a chance of almost doubling your wage by working in California based on average salary statistics

More realistic is picking the facility. As an example, working in a hospital will generally earn you more than in a long-term care center. Yet this can also bring a more demanding and stressful work environment, so ensure you pick the right role for your needs. 

3. Develop your skills 

To be a CNA, there are certain abilities you require – including strong communication and time-management skills. However, even if you already possess these skills to a certain degree, there’s still plenty of room for development. 

This can be achieved from a practical point of view as tasks are completed. Also, consider asking your peers questions. There’s no harm in going this route, and it can be a valuable experience where you learn how to work in a more efficient, productive way.

4. Continue your education 

If you have a passion for healthcare and want to progress in your career, it’s important you continue to stay educated. This will ensure you remain up-to-date about all of the latest or modified healthcare procedures. 

You could do this by enrolling at a local university on a part-time basis. However, if you don’t have enough spare time to do this, you might consider attending a seminar or conference as a refresher for your healthcare knowledge.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Mental Health Expert's 11 Ways to Reduce Holiday Season Stress


The holidays are right around the corner and this year do yourself a favor: have a plan to deal with all the stress that comes with the season. How do you best do that?


Dr. Fumi Stephanie Hancock, PsychDNP, is the CEO of POB Psychiatric Healthand a bestselling author of 24 self-help books. 


Her advice:


1.      Shop Now! Getting your shopping done early has always been a good idea, but especially so this year. There are global supply chain issues, barges loaded with containers backed up at docks, postal service slowdowns, among other issues. Make sure you give yourself an extra-large margin of safety when ordering packages and have a plan B in place in case of out-of-stocks. It will be a major stress relief to have shopping crossed off the to-do list early. 


2.      No Sweat- While the thesaurus doesn’t actually list “Holidays” as a synonym for “stress,” you wouldn’t be blamed for expecting it to be there. Holiday stress is as traditional as the holidays themselves, so don’t worry if you are one of the millions feeling it. Sure, there can be a lot of pressure from family, traveling, finances, etc., but just slowdown and breathe. Whether you feel like you don’t live up to your family’s unattainable standards, or you’d like to escape from them faster than the zombies on “The Living Dead,” just remember that you can do this. There are loads of relaxation exercises, deep breathing, counting to 10 (or 10,000), rhythmic pattern tapping, or whatever works. Try any of them, allow your stress to roll off of you and go forward with peace.


3.      Realistic Expectations- A huge source of holiday stress is feeling a need to please and make it a special time for everyone. The problem is that sometimes we can have goals that are so lofty that they are no longer realistic. This will inevitably lead to a disproportionately large sense of disappointment. It is okay if you don’t hold a gala ball in your living room or don’t hold your guest entranced while serving 5-star cuisine. Let yourself, and everyone else, off the hook and simply enjoy your time together. 


4.      The Day After (Light at the End of the Tunnel)- If you find yourself obsessively counting down the seconds until the holidays and stressing out about it, try to take your mind off of it by planning what to do after the holidays. The big day will still be there waiting, but some of the pressure may be released if it feels more like a stop on the road instead of a brick wall at a dead end that you won’t be able to pass.


5.      Focus on What Counts (presence, not presents)- While you want to find the special gift that perfectly fits each person, or you’d like to be the one who gave the most and biggest gifts, take a step back and focus on what really counts. The gifts are really just a gesture of love and appreciation. It’s having each other that is most important. 


6.      Appropriate Budget- Gifts are a lot of fun, but don’t go overboard. Not only will you stress yourself out if you put yourself in debt in order to finance the holidays, but you will very likely stress out your loved ones as well. Have an appropriate budget and ask everyone who will be there to do the same. Nobody needs to max out the credit cards in order to have a happy holiday.


7.      Diet & Exercise- The holiday stress can manifest itself in a number of ways, including mega doses of binge eating and drinking. These usually only make the stress worse. Give yourself a double dose of stress busting by exercising and eating right. Physical exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel great and reduce stress. Eating healthy foods in sensible portions will also help you feel better physically and mentally. 


8.      Gratitude- When feeling stressed out or plagued by anxiety over the “what-ifs,” take all that energy and redirect it. Focus instead on what you are grateful for. Let the positives rule your mental preoccupation and let yourself feel the gratitude wash over you. Stress will drain away instantly. 


9.      Grandma, the Dog & the Kids- With so many things to worry about doing yourself, don’t forget to make arrangements for children, pets, and any elderly relatives who might need special accommodations. Are you bringing the dog with you? Is there enough on hand to distract the kids when you’ll be busy cooking and wrapping gifts? Does everyone have their medicine and emergency contact numbers available? Take care of this early so there won’t be any unnecessary hassles later. 


10.   My Own Private Hawaii- Even when the stress level has far surpassed the known limits and you are incarcerated between Uncle Jim and Grandma Myrtle with no emergency exit door clearly marked, you still always have the ultimate escape hatch available. Simply close your eyes and let your mind take you to any location you wish. You can still be with the family physically, but mentally relaxing in the tropics or skiing in the Swiss Alps. Just have fun on your personal adventure and don’t let the family stress you out. 


11.   Donate and Volunteer- If you really feel stressed about the holidays, you may need to step back to reconsider how bad you actually have it. Chances are, there are many who are far more unfortunate than you. Donating money and volunteering your time will help you to become part of a cause much bigger than yourself. Not only will you be grateful for what you have, helping uplift others will be the best way to send stress packing and put a smile on your face that will last well past the holiday season. 

Photo source 


Friday, October 22, 2021

5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe and Calm this Halloween: Top Medical Director Weighs In


While Halloween can be a fun night for humans, it can often be a time for our pets. Ringing doorbells, spooky masks, and strange decorations can mean sensory overload for our four-legged friends. When it comes to planning a safe and stress-free Halloween, it helps to plan ahead. 


Dr. Sarah Machell is a licensed, practicing veterinarian of just under two decades of experience in the establishment and growth of two successful small animal businesses. She is a foremost expert in advice and care for pet owners and is a sought-after expert in her field. Dr. Machell provides these five tips to reduce pet anxiety and keep them safe this Halloween:


  • Designate a Safe Space: Whether it’s a crate, a bed, or even a specific room in your home, make sure that your pet has a safe space where they can retreat if things get too scary. With trick or treaters coming and going, it’s important to make sure that your pet is secure and can't bolt through the door once the night gets underway.
  • Opt For Pet-Friendly Costumes: If you plan on dressing up your pet, it’s important to make sure that their costume fits well and doesn't pose any choking hazards, visibility issues or mobility restrictions. Costumes that make noises or have noisy components such as bells can be scary, so try to avoid them. Just like people, not all pets are excited to wear a costume. You know your pet best and should always check in to make sure that they’re having fun too. 
  • Keep Decorations Out of Reach: Jack-o’-lanterns and candles can set a spooky scene, but can become fire hazards if knocked over by a curious cat. Pets can get tangled in decorations like cobwebs and lights, so it's best to ensure they are kept out of reach and secured in place. Lastly, motion-activated decorations can scare skittish pets, so it’s best to turn them off when pets are around.
  • Hide The Loot Bags: Be sure to keep Halloween candy far out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and can lead to seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea, and depending on the type and how much was consumed can even be fatal. Xylitol, a common ingredient found in hard candies, can also be fatal to dogs. Opt for treats from your local pet store or make your own at home using pet-safe ingredients.
  • Leave Trick Or Treating to the Kids: Taking your dog trick or treating might seem like a good idea in theory, but strange noises, costumes, and darkness can cause stress and anxiety, so it’s actually best to leave them at home. If you do decide to take them with you, it’s important to make sure they are wearing an ID tag and that their information is up to date and easy to read. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Things to Do When You Turn 65

Turning 65 doesn’t have to feel like a choreOn the contrary, many people who retire at this age find it’s an opportune time to let loose, enjoy themselves, and start new plans for the twilight years of their life. Not only does turning 65 come with several financial and legal perks, but it can also be a great time to rediscover yourself and what you love. Below are a few things to do when you reach this special milestone.

Look into Medicare

Did you know that turning 65 makes you eligible for Medicare Parts A and B? In addition, you also have the option of enrolling in Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage), which covers vision and dental. This can be a real lifesaver for those who were previously receiving health insurance through their employer. 

However, it’s worth noting that Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of all your medical expenses, such as prescription medications. Therefore, it’s worth looking into supplement plans such as the Medicare D Prescription Drug Plan and/or Medigap, offered by private insurance companies and helps fill the financial gaps of a regular Medicare plan.

Attend to Legal Matters

When you turn 65, it’s also an important time to get your legal and financial affairs in order. If you’re an organized person, you may have already done this; but if you haven’t, make sure you set up and/or review your will, any powers of attorney, as well as for instructions for long-term medical care. The benefit of having this set up ahead of time is that you can rest assured that your needs will be taken care of in the way that you want. It also eases the burden on your loved ones in the event of long-term illness or death.

Investigate Assisted-Living Options

While you may not want to think about giving up your independence, it’s nonetheless important to investigate assisted-living options. You never know what could happen in terms of illness or disability, and it’s best to find someplace you like and will be comfortable in. Otherwise, you run the risk of having the choice made for you, and you could end up in a facility that doesn’t meet your needs or preferences. There are many excellent assisted living facilities, such as, that provide private, comfortable accommodation and tailored levels of care.

Research Your Perks

Turning 65 also means that you’re eligible for a number of perks. For example, there are travel discounts available for people aged 65 and above. This could be great news if you’vehad your eye on an exotic or tropical holiday abroad! If you haven’t looked into it yet, check with your airlines and travel providers for what deals they offer for people 65 and over.

Another perk for people of this age group is a property tax break. If you own your own home, you may be entitled to deductions once you hit 65. These vary by state and municipality, so be sure to check into it as the discounts can certainly add up.

Photo source