Because it really is personal…

August 19, 2012, 11:56 pm
Filed under: Awesomeness, Hooray!, People To See, product endorsement, spouse | Tags:

Terry’s New Blog! 

January 12, 2012, 4:49 pm
Filed under: *whinge*, Disease and infirmity, product endorsement | Tags:

I have a cold. gross. It results in nasty tissues littering the floor around the trash can, but only briefly because Rusty the 7 month old Dachshund ADORES soggy tissues and collects them in his bed, along with empty toilet paper tubes, dirty socks, and the wax paper strips that you peel off panty liners before sticking them in your undies. (Necessary when you’ve had 4 kids and a cold that makes you sneeze)

And more symptoms (I love to overshare!)
A runny nose means clogged up ears. Mouth breathing due to congestion results in burping, which results in popping ears due to cloggedness, which actually feels kinda good in a sick sort of way, like that feeling you get when you stretch and your joints pop in an alarming manner. So I sit here in the recliner, with a bag of pretzels and a cup of hot coffee, cracking and popping, burping and rolling my jaw around to try and clear my ears. Everyone else is mumbling and i can’t hear anything. “How come the volume is turned up so high, Mom?” Every now and then I’ll hold my nose and mouth shut and blow, popping the ears a little bit painfully but it created a few minutes of better hearing. Mucinex helps loosen everything up, but those things are horse pills and it’s difficult to swallow them with a tender throat.

I am, kinda thankfully, not alone in this disease. Will (he’s nearly 24) and #4 (12) also have it. I doped #4 up on Dayquil and sent him to school. Oh I know, there will be people going “TSK” and accusing me of abuse and how awful it is that I am willing to risk the health of the other 20 kids in his class etc etc…but I am SICK and in no mood to deal with yet another person snuffling and blowing and touching my stuff. Will stayed in bed until 11 and now I hear him banging around upstairs, groaning and snorting and making disgusting noises that probably involve mucus and the sink drain.

Disease makes me hungry. I could go for salty foods like french fries and pretzels right now. They feel so good going down a scratchy throat. The day before yesterday, when that ominous tickle began in the back of my throat, I put together and excessively garlicky crock pot of chicken soup. Garlic and pepper, that’s what’s in order. And salt. Technically I am not to have salt, due to high blood pressure and kidney issues, but…I need it. And so it is. 2 gallons of garlic chicken soup. how much garlic? Almost more than chicken. An entire head of garlic was roasted, mashed and added, as well as a very heaping spoonful (soup spoon, not dainty wimpy teaspoon) of minced garlic from the jar. Yes, my pores reek of garlic but I’m not exactly in a Love Fifi kind of mood anyway.(refer to the tissues littering the floor and panty liners)

20 years ago, when the boys were really little, getting sick was Not An Option. They went to day care one day a week (Friday) so I could buy groceries, have lunch with Terry, and spend time doing something without interruption. Occasionally they would bring home some contagious disease and I would fill the bathtub with Lysol and hold them by their heels to dunk them in it give them a good bath with Dial soap, a dose of vitamin C and wash all the toys down with bleach water. It worked pretty well and Terry and I didn’t get sick. I guess I’ve gotten slack with all that. David (22) was sick a couple of weeks ago, and beyond asking him to wash his hands and relieving him of kitchen responsibilities, I didn’t do much. Maybe I should have. Oh well.

There are things I have learned over the years of dealing with minor diseases. I will list them here for your edification. You’re welcome.

1. Puffs Plus tissues (the ones with the lotion in them) will go through the laundry intact. This means 2 things: you can recycle them (they’re even softer the 2nd time around) and you’d be wise not to flush them if you have a septic tank. They also come through a dachshund puppy’s digestive system relatively intact, which is kind of weird.
2. Chicken soup really IS good for a cold. Extra salt, extra pepper, extra extra garlic. Parsley is high in vitamin C so add that. Make it in a crock pot so you don’t have to watch it. Use brown rice instead of white so it doesn’t turn weird and gloppy. Use boneless skinless breasts so you don’t have to fool with anything. Just throw them in there.
3. Lemon ginger tea. I cannot stress this enough. It’s amazing on a sore throat, clears the sinuses, and you can taste it even though you are completely clogged up.
4. It’s kind of pointless to do around disinfecting everything once you’re sick,especially if others in the household are sick as well. HOWEVER, after everyone is feeling better, Bleach Stuff! Wash pillows, sheets, blankets in hot hot water and bleach them (especially the pillows and sheets) if you can. If, like me, you’re on a septic tank and bleach is bad for it, get a box of Rid-Ex and flush it the next day. It is amazing how much better you’ll feel knowing your bedding is clean. I have a vivid imagination and when we’ve been sick,I can see the germs crawling around on my pillow. It looks like ComicCon and makes me nervous. Use Lysol spray on surfaces you can’t wash, like doorknobs, counters, sinks and toilets, and don’t forget the door frames that people grab when they swing around a corner.
5. Also- Zicam. It works. It alters your tastebuds so everything tastes like metal, but it also (for me) takes a cold that would last 7-10 days and have me wretchedly miserable for 5 of those days and shortens it to 5 days and only mildly uncomfortable. Follow the directions, take one every 3 hours and don’t drink anything for 15 minutes after taking it. (this is an uncompensated endorsement)

I am very thankful that I got the house all tidied up after Christmas, because now the stuff that needs disinfecting is fairly minimal, since all the crap decorations and piles have been put away.

For now however, I am sitting in the chair with a hot cup of coffee, listening to my ears pop with congestion, mouth breathing, and throwing tissues in the general direction of the trash can. Rusty will keep things tidy for me. If only he had thumbs and could fix me some soup…

All you need is a good book, and a functioning coffee maker
August 19, 2009, 12:31 pm
Filed under: oh you self indulgent hussy!, product endorsement, what? um...what?

I woke up this morning, as I do every morning, with coffee the first thing on my mind. God bless the inventor of the coffee maker, and also the inventor of the automatic timer, so I can get up to a hot pot of coffee every morning, without having to sit there and stare at it.

Except for this morning, when my beloved percolator didn’t percolate. I poured out a cup of brownish water, in dismay thought maybe I forgot to put grounds in, but upon further review saw that I had, indeed, done it all right, but the percolator was Not Doing It’s Thing.
Frantically, I dug around in the utility room for the drip maker, but all I could find was an inadequate 4 cup device, and had to Make Do. I must have, in a fit of hyper efficiency, given the big drip maker to Goodwill. Can you relate, Jerseychick, to giving away something you don’t think you need then turns out 6 months later that you *do* need it? most egregiously you need it? Well, anyway, I made a paltry 4 cups, made 4 cups more, then 4 cups more, because we all own generous mugs. I also remade a pot full in the percolator, so as to determine the nature of it’s ailment. Terry thinks perhaps it’s not heating properly, because it wasn’t chugging like it’s supposed to, and that is a symptom of said disorder. “Wiring issue” says he. And he, being Who He Is, He Who Can Fix Everything But a Broken Heart and the Crack of Dawn(tm) will take it apart tonight and see what he can do. In the mean time, we’ll make do with the little bitty inadequate drip thing.

It's exactly that size

It's exactly that size

I was reading a USAToday article about the latest Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons, etc) book, and how it’s supposed to be the Next Great Thing. Now, I’ve never read Dan Brown books, so I can’t speak to that. But it did make me think about books in general. David suggested I get a Kindle, one of those automatic screen book reading things that you can download books from Amazon and all. I am not intrigued. I mean, it seems like a terrific idea. I’m thinking my grandmother would like one because you can adjust the font size to HUGE and she needs that, and she loves to read. For me, however, not so much. I love the tactile aspect of reading. Turning a page is satisfying. Holding it on my knees, putting in the bookmark, and laying on my bedside table has a traditional sort of appeal. I’ve done it all my life, ever since reading Dr. Seuss as a wee one, ever since throwing Nancy Drew across the room because she was such a pansy, and underlining concepts I didn’t understand in Godel, Escher and Bach (pretty much the whole book is underlined at this point). I love to aquire books, to put them on the shelves, and watch those shelves fill up. I’m a sucker at Books a Million. They lay out those books and make them look like delicious candies. I have to avoid it like an addict avoids South College and West Jones. And, when someone recommends something, do I go to the library? No. I go to Amazon and order it, because I am a sucker that way.

Recently I ordered a couple of Ted Dekker novels: Showdown and Saint. I was looking for books where a terribly reprehensible character finds redemption. I am frustrated with current Christian lit because the characters are victims of circumstance, rather than created by their own weak character. I was looking for a character who, because of his own psychological shortcomings, committed heinous acts, then found redemption. What I got was a character who committed heinous acts, because he’d been brainwashed. Ergo, not good enough, in my estimation. Oh, there was a nasty guy in the book, I kept waiting for him (The Englishman) to find redemption somehow. He was a Bad Guy because he was Bad Guy, not because he’d been kidnapped and brainwashed, like The Saint, who did bad things but couldn’t help it. Disappointing, to me. The Showdown was like reading something written by someone who wished he was Stephen King, but lacked that spark, that way with words that Mr King has. Oh well. Now I have 2 Ted Dekker books on my shelf.

Right now I am (re)reading my Flannery O’Connor collection. I like short stories, because I can read one and be ready for sleep. I don’t feel compelled to stay up and keep reading, because I get caught up in the story and want to find out what happens next. A bit ago, I bought a book about a Hmong family who had an epileptic child. Apparently in Hmong culture, epileptics are closer to God, and the medical treatment for them is vastly different than what we in America do. Consequently, there was quite the culture clash between the family, the doctors, and the social services. True story, and very interesting. I’d tell you the name of the book but I can’t call it to mind and I’d have to get out of my chair, climb the stairs and find it….oh ok…hold on.************** ok back...”The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman Fascinating stuff, especially if psychological, medical and cultural things interest you. Another interesting book is “My Lobotomy” by Howard Dully. This guy had the step mother from hell, who, when he was 12, had him lobotomized by an unscrupulous doctor, because he was a handful. What normal 12 year old isn’t a handful? Anyway, he wrote the book when he was 56, and looking for answers. It’s both heartbreaking, that a kid was treated so heinously, and heartwarming, because he made the best of his life in spite of it.

One of the cost-saving issues I have with books is my terribly short memory. Seriously, put that with the way I speed read (and therefore miss about 1/2 of what I’m supposedly “reading”), I can read a book 3 or 4 times before I realize I’ve read it before. And, if I go for more than a year before re-reading it, it’s as if I’ve never read it at all, except for a nebulous feeling I have that I might know this character or that one. I’ve read “Gone With The Wind” probably 20 times, and am always surprised when Scarlett mistreats her husband du jour. It frustrates Terry sometimes, he with the photographic memory (go ahead, ask him what’s on page 459 of his Quantum Mechanics textbook from 25 years ago.), but I find it comforting to go to a book that seems familiar, but introduces something new every time I read it. I always forget about the crazy woman in Jane Eyre (well, except for now, obviously), and the personal shortcomings of the jockey dude in Dick Francis novels. It made for difficulties when I was in school, because I’d read the textbooks the same way I read the novels, but my philosophy was to remember *where* I found the information, rather than the information itself. I’m the same way with the Bible. I can find most anything I need, but don’t ask me to quote it off the cuff. The Baptist in Terry grumbles about that too, but it’s easy for him, with his photographic memory, to memorize things. All I remember is that Leviticus bores me to tears, and Acts tells me I don’t have to worry about eating lobsters anymore. Anything else, I’ll have to look up. That’s why they make those teeny purse sized New Testaments that Gideon’s gave away in the 5th grade.

So, right now I’m in fall-back mode, to my collection of short stories. It’s where I go when I’m not visiting the library (because I’m feeling anti-social and don’t wish to be seen in public), and short on cash for spending on books at Amazon. I have a collection of O.Henry stories, and James Thurber, and a book of essays called “Help! Help! Help!” that’s all about the difficulties one has “these days” finding a decent live-in maid or nanny. It was written in the 1950′s and is extraordinarily outdated, thus very funny. I may even send it to Jerseychick, as she can appreciate the frustrations of getting good help along with me. Maids! They expect so much from their employer! Like an air conditioner in their suite! And a day off! honestly!

So how do you feel about books? Care to recommend something?

stack of books

CO Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy
August 6, 2009, 7:38 pm
Filed under: product endorsement

from Bath and Body Works. I wash my hands constantly, not because of a compulsion, but because I’m always handling nasty things, from cleaning out the catbox to fixing the chicken for supper, and my hands need washing. Consequently, they get chapped. So, once a day I wash them in CO Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy from Bath and Body Works. It’s kind of a sorta greasy ointment thing, not soapy at all, and I don’t know that i’d use it to get my hands super clean after handling something gross, BUT, where the chapped hand thing comes in, it’s stellar.

After rinsing (and it won’t all rinse off, because it’s kind of oily, like washing your hands with Vaseline), and doing a half-arsed job of drying with a paper towel, I follow it up with the Chapped Hands lotion. Not a lotion, really, more of a really dense cream. It comes in a little tube that makes you wince when you pay for it because the tube is small and the price isn’t, but you don’t use a big ol’ blob like you would with a regular hand cream. Rather, you just squeeze out a dab smaller than a pencil eraser. I use less than that, maybe a 1/2 inch squeeze of a bit around the size of a pencil lead. It doesn’t take much which lessens the pain of the price (like, $12 a tube)

After washing with the remedy, and not drying your hands very well, work the lotion in. It mixes with the water left on your hands and makes them really, really soft. If I don’t do this once a day (usually at the end of the day when I know I won’t be washing up for 8 hours) my hands heal up nicely and that flaky cracked thing that happens to them just GOES AWAY.

The worst my hands ever got was when I went to Texas last Spring to visit Grandmother. The air there is dry, and in the nursing home I washed my hands ALOT because I didn’t want to risk spreading germs around. By the end of the visit my hands were so dry they were bleeding, and looking like they could substitute for lizard skin to make boots (ok, little bitty boots). They hurt, too. I made the mistake of juicing a lemon when I got home. Ow. So, I went to B&BW to ask for help, and these are the products they showed me. I winced at the price, bought it anyway because I’d tried everything else, and within 2 days my hands were soft and healed.

Now, I don’t use it all the time, because I’m cheap, but once a day keep my hands from looking too terrible, plus it smells nice.


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