Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Vile Situation

          Can I please be in the Vial Olympics? I don’t expect to be in the real ones. Heck, I doubt they’d even give someone this unathletic a seat on the back row.
          But blood samples I got.  At my last lab appointment, this is what I saw waiting for me on the table:
          That’s right. SEVENTEEN vials to fill. Have you ever heard of such a collection? There should be several gold medals hanging around my neck right now. Although I’d probably be too weak to support them and they’d pull me down onto the floor.
          It’s not that I don’t appreciate thorough testing.  It’s that I start to wonder if this sort of thing could be sponsored by the transfusion center. And how can you get an accurate reading of anemia if you withdraw all your blood? (Yes, I came out anemic.)
          Seriously, doesn’t this make you want to start humming that old “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” song, only with the lyrics, “99 vials of blood on the wall”?
          Among the many tests we ran, one was for my Vitamin B-12 count. You’ll like this.  The normal range is from 211 to 911 pg/mL.  Guess what mine was?
That’s right. Five THOUSAND something.  And I don’t get a gold medal for this? I say it’s just time to end all the vial-ence.
Time to check out my short Youtube Mom life hack videos, too, before I keel over. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Hoot and a Half

For all you irony lovers, this is a topper. (And that last word was for all you pun lovers). I just got billed for a Groupon to HOOTER’S.  Yes, folks, an establishment where I have never set foot—nor have set any other body parts—and of all things, this hacker chose HOOTER’S when I’ve just has a mastectomy!  Is this not mockery beyond the pale?
          It came into my email box, thanking me for my purchase, with this photo and information:

Hooters —  $30 eGift Card to Hooters; Dine-In Only

And right away I know someone has stolen my credit card info. The next question is, are they currently buying a car or a new set of furniture?
Naturally I began an online chat with Groupon. I explained the theft and the urgency of finding out what card was used, so I can cancel it.  I received this thoughtful suggestion:

If you wish to print the voucher, just open it up and print it like you
would any other document.

And now I realize I am not going to get anywhere with Groupon. I dash to the bank, find out what card was used, and cancel my own. However I now get to choose between several appealing backgrounds for my new card, including Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, kittens, puppies, an American Flag, a rain forest frog, sports balls, a misty forest, a flower, and many more. Maybe one of these will distract me from my future purchases, who knows?
And then I consider the absolute irony of being billed for Hooter’s but instead of feeling bad I recall a recent painting by the name, "Save the Hooters!" by my dear friend, PerriAnn Allen, and the great laugh we had when she brought it over. 

           See, it’s okay if a friend does it.
Might I add that some of my books are a hoot? Readers’ words, not mine. I’m just saying some of them laughed so hard they pulled out stitches in the hospital. Find them all here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Truly Beet

          Once again I have been duped in my garden. I feel like Jack-and-the-Canola-stock, but I’ll come to that later.
First, I want you to look at this pathetic little beet that took months and months to grow, being a winter crop:
It was time to harvest the cold weather stuff and make room for the summertime plants which always include tomatoes, herbs, peppers, basil, and squash.
But what you don’t know is that last summer I painstakingly chose seeds from a catalog so I could grow all kinds of goodies the average nursery doesn’t even offer (Tennis Ball Lettuce, for example, which never sprouted). My favorite was the Chioggia Beet, which looks totally festive and fabulous with its peppermint stripes:
But it was not to be. Instead I got the sad-looking little sprout pictured above, and it wasn’t even striped when I cut into it. Come on! I have pulled plumper weeds! 
          But then get this: In my row of Brussels Sprouts, we suddenly have this humongous bush: 
Obviously a mustard seed (or a canola seed, even farmers struggle to tell them apart) got into the envelope and now St. Bob has staked this out as his personal project, thinking he’s going to grow mustard seeds for a faith lesson of some kind. But what if it’s the faith of a canola seed?
All I know is that this reminds me of the dreadful summer when I calculated that each of my tomatoes cost $18. And that lousy beet was $7.  Time to hit the Farmer’s Market instead. Wish I had a cow to trade for some interesting beans.
On the other hand, my books are a true bargain. Nothing seedy, nothing that will beet you up. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

          Ah, Chemo, the gift that keeps on giving. We are now (the royal we) at the hair loss stage. And, as you might imagine, it is not without its surprises.
          First of all, as hair began to fall out I wondered if it would all fall out at once in the night, and I’d wake up with it on my pillow.  Like a cat.  Little did I know that I’d be brushing it one day and the equivalent of three cats would come off in my hairbrush.
          Of course, the kids wasted no time helping me with wig ideas.  Brandon suggested a sparkly one, like the kind Cher wears.
 Richie said I should get a Bride of Frankenstein wig.
And then, in a freaky coincidence, our charcoal cat rubbed against fresh white paint and came in with a similar look, as if letting me know his vote:
But of course our kids weren’t through. Brandon next suggested I wear the hats of various professions, each day pretending to be a different one. Firefighter, astronaut.  Then he texted, “Bear impersonator, but you have to do the whole costume or it doesn’t work.” Then he sent me a video of some idiot dressed as a bear in the wilds.
My genius friend, Deniece Schofield, however, came up with an amazing solution for securing an actual wig. “The answer is so simple I can't understand why more cancer patients haven't tried it,” she wrote.  “DECORATIVE PUSH PINS.”
Apparently Amazon has a huge supply of them. “Bumblebees, emojis, smiley faces, animals, flowers, jewels, hummingbirds, butterflies, you name it. Not too expensive either. You can even buy a whole tub of them.”
She says if I put, say, 50 or 60 of them along the front hair line, not only would I secure the wig, but I’d have an “eye catching chrysanthemum (or whatever) tiara.”
Then she wrote, “But wait. There's more. They even have mini clothespin push pins. (Pretty cute, actually.) Now here's the beauty of those little devils. If you were to have a mini clothespin tiara you could clip seasonal notes and decorations right to the clothespins.” These, she said, could be rotated through the year.
And with a brilliant friend like that, I can even get Chemo Brain without a worry because I know Deniece has me covered.
Which I why today I’m recommending her books instead of mine. Check ‘em out here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

We Don't Need April to be a Fool

          Pretend, for a moment, that you are a special effects person in the movie industry. You need an actor to foam from the mouth, and then die. Here is the exact product you would use to simulate the situation:
          And guess what I chewed up in Norway, thinking it was a lozenge?  Yep. There I was, suffering from a sore throat, unable to buy regular American meds at the pharmacy. (No, they don’t have Sudafed. No, they don’t have Mucinex.)
          But the pharmacist promised this one was close. Of course I couldn’t read the label, and the container looked like a Pez candy dispenser. So I popped one in my mouth and began to chew what was surely a chewable tablet.
          Yikes. Instantly my mouth filled with foam (think of a volcano) and my eyes began to bulge. There was no way to contain the volume created by this one tiny disc. I now realize this could be an Alka Seltzer on some kind of Scandinavian steroids.
          Of course the pharmacist handed me a tissue and probably wondered how many crazy Americans he’d actually had to deal with.
          My daughter, Nicole, answered a swift, “Yep,” when I asked if she felt as if she were traveling with Lucy Ricardo. I didn’t tell her that my friends gave me a key chain in high school that said, “Lucy.”  I didn’t have to.
Surely it’s time you subscribed to this weekly proof that you are highly intelligent (by comparison, y’know).  Obviously I will never run out of evidence.