American Cheese Month

The month is nearly over and I couldn’t let it go by without acknowledging that it is American Cheese Month. I don’t understand why it isn’t celebrated more widely. People get so caught up in Halloween that they forget the truly great things in life–cheese.

In this home, we shun the Jack O’Laterns, ghosts, witches, and black cats usually prominent in Halloween decorations and opt for classier cheese decor. I’ve found that Kraft American Single Cheese Slices stick nicely to any wall. You can cover an entire wall with them or organize them into a festive checkerboard pattern.

A large block of Swiss cheese can be used as an elegant table centerpiece. Stick flowers in the holes to brighten it up a bit. Fresh flowers are best, but you can use dried or even silk flowers also.

I like to string small wheels of cheddar together and hang them around windows and doorways like garland. Of course you can’t celebrate American Cheese Month without some blue cheese. Leave a few small dishes of crumbled blue cheese around the house. Nothing reminds you of the holidays like that festive cheese smell.

I hope these tips will help you celebrate American Cheese Month right. I’ll be giving out string cheese to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. I hope you consider passing out a cheesy snack to the children as well.

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Hooray, It’s Columbus Day

I’m pretty sure today is Columbus Day, but don’t quote me on that because I’m still not completely sure about the exact date of Christmas. New Year’s Day is pretty easy to figure out and so is Halloween, but all the other holidays are a mystery to me. I’d like to blame my lack of holiday awareness on working for myself, but to tell you the truth, I’ve never been sure about which holidays happen when. Heck, I have a hard enough time keeping track of the days of the week.

Columbus Day is kind of a non-holiday holiday anyway. It’s like President’s Day, but worse. Even before we used to have atrocities at dinner I was aware that we really had no business celebrating this holiday. But, how do people celebrate anyway? I don’t think many people even get off from work anymore. There might be a parade for it somewhere and children might learn a bunch of heroic half truths about Columbus in school. I’m sure somewhere someone is using it as an excuse to have a barbecue.

No one on my block seems to be celebrating. I just went out front and looked down the street to check. There are no extra flags out and no dance parties in front yards. Someone the next block down is mowing their lawn which might be how he celebrates Columbus Day, but I kind of doubt it.

Since it seems that people are unsure as to how to celebrate this holiday, I’ve come up with some suggestions.

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1. Claim some territory. Is there a house in your neighborhood that you think is a bit better than where you currently reside? I think it’s about time for you to discover it. Move right in. Never mind the people already living there. They’re just savages who don’t know what to do with a nice house like that anyway. Do they have a nice car and some cute kids? You can go ahead and discover those too. Take it all. You deserve it.

2. Enslave somebody. Now that’s how you celebrate. Anyone off the street will do.

3. Maim some people. Some people just won’t agree to enslavement. I just don’t understand why. If you encounter resistance try maiming and killing a few people as an example for the others.

4. Steal some gold. I don’t know how easy that will be these days. You might have to settle for some useless American paper money. Robbing a bank will probably do. I find that robbery is easiest if you get your slaves to do it for you.

5. Spread disease. Do you ever find that there are just way too many people to conquer? No problem. Kill them off with a disease that they have no way to defend themselves against. That’s way easier then actually fighting them.

Those are my five. If you think of any other ways to celebrate, let me know in the comments.

New Sandals and Nail Polish

Everyone knows that the most important thing is what you put in your head. Your brain is who you are, and you should make sure you fill it with good stuff. Did you know that what you put on your feet is almost equally as important? You didn’t? That’s probably because I made that up about two seconds ago.

I believe in wearing top quality shoes. That’s why I was so excited when I won the Funny Not Slutty Essay Contest a few weeks ago. As a prize I got a pair of Orthaheel sandals from Sole Provisions. My sandals arrived today and I was so happy that I put them on immediately and sat around looking at them. These shoes really compliment my Fred Flintstone feet.

I decided to paint my toenails to pretty up the situation a bit more. I headed to the drugstore to buy polish because I never paint my nails and don’t own any nail polish. There I met a very enthusiastic saleswoman who helped me pick out the best cheap nail polish for me. Pink sparkly nails go perfectly with orthopedic shoes, don’t you think?

I never realized how difficult it is to paint your nails. I’ve tried to do this three times now and it still looks like I was attacked by a group of nail-polish-wielding cats. I’ve always been bad at coloring in the lines, but there are no lines on my toes so I thought this would be a breeze. I was so wrong. No wonder people go to school to learn how to do this.

I’m keeping the badly painted nails for now, but it is a good thing I only paid $1.99 for the polish.

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Top Five Benefits of a Prolactinoma and Other Stuff

I’ve had a cold for the past few days. That has completely thrown off my schedule, and everybody knows I’m all about schedules and to-do lists.

My writing is being neglected. I should be editing my latest novel and recording the podcast version of my first novel, but I can’t seem to get to either of those things. The sound of me coughing up a lung into a microphone wouldn’t make a good podcast anyway … or would it?

I was going to start training Chompyface to preform in the circus this week. I thought he’d be perfect for the high-wire act, but he seems to think otherwise. Now I’m thinking the trapeze would be more appropriate.

When one aspect of my health goes wrong, it’s all downhill from there. My worry starts spiraling out of control. That’s why today’s post is all about the benefits of having a prolactinoma. Everything has an upside. You just have to know where to find it.

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Top Five Benefits of a Prolactinoma

1. Everyone believes you when you say you have a headache.
2. Eye pressure … need I say more?
3. No more milk in the frig? No worries. Stop taking your medication, and you’ll have an endless supply.
4. Low bone density just makes you a better swimmer. Who cares about a few hip fractures when you could swim the English Channel with no problem.
5. The increased amount of acne on your face helps you recapture your youth.

Note: Hey, have you read my novel Flying Lessons yet? Don’t you think it’s about time you do? I think it’s pretty swell, and I’m not biased at all;)

Check it out here.

To Bidet, or Not to Bidet: That is the Question.

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Even though I’ve never actually used one, a bidet has always seemed like a good idea to me. How could it not be? After all, cleanliness is next to godliness and who doesn’t want a godly behind?

I’ve considered including a bidet in the bathroom remodel we’ll probably never get around to doing, but it would take up a lot of space. It would also probably cost an arm and a leg. There is one other problem too, actually using the thing.

I have issues, and I’m pretty sure a bidet is a disaster waiting to happen. I can picture myself spraying water all over the bathroom or turning the pressure on too high and accidentally giving myself colon hydrotherapy. I am a massage therapist, but colon hydrotherapy is beyond my scope of practice.

A bidet toilet seat is a more feasible option. Have you heard of those? Most involve plastic tubing and even remote controls. A remote control toilet seat, now that’s fancy. Alas, a three hundred dollar remote control toilet seat is probably a bad idea for me too. I’m clumsy. I’d flush that remote control in no time. Then I’d have to try to replace it. I’m sure you’ve had to replace your television remote before with one of those universal things from Radio Shack. That never goes well. Imagine how much of a nightmare replacing your bidet toilet seat remote would be.

How much is a clean behind worth to you? You really have to think about that because that toilet paper you’re using isn’t really cutting it. I mean come on, be honest with yourself.

Cottonelle wipes are an affordable alternative to bidets. They get you clean without remote controls or high pressure water spraying up your bum.

This is a sponsored post and all that, but seriously guys you need to make sure you have a clean bottom. I’m just letting you know because I care. I care about your butt. Check out the #LetsTalkBums campaign to find out more. Clean bums rock. Just saying.

Labor Day Flags and a Song

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I never thought of Labor Day as a patriotic holiday, but the people who live in a certain house in our neighborhood definitely do. They have fifty flags on their front lawn. Today when I passed their house while walking the dog, I wondered if their flag display really did have anything to do with Labor Day. Maybe they’ve simply decided that they want to have a bunch of flags on their lawn all year round. Maybe they’ll stick some Jack O’ Lanterns out with their flags for Halloween, or a big inflatable snowman for Christmas.

Maybe I should buy a bunch of flags to put out on our lawn. My stepson would certainly like that. Instead of American flags though, we could have pirate flags. I was thinking about building a model pirate ship out of all the pennies we’ve collected and putting it on the front lawn too. What else are pennies good for anyway? I’m trying to class up the neighborhood, but that’s me, classing it up everywhere I go.

I decided to post this version of My Country, ‘Tis of Thee on the blog today in honor of Labor Day, the house with the flags, and The Queen. Everyone really knows that the song is just God Save the Queen with different lyrics … God save her. I know because I thought I had to learn it a few years ago. Now I’m glad I did because I sing it everyday in the shower.

My husband put on his Tom Waits hat before recording this song. That hat didn’t really look good on him either. Some people just can’t pull off hats, but the the song sounds good.

Life Without Internet is Like Stabbing Myself in the Eye with a Pencil

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As I write this post I am suffering one of the greatest hardships known to modern humankind. I have no internet. I called my internet provider and heard a happy little message about how there is an interruption of service in my area, but it should be restored within two hours.

Two hours!? I sat with the phone against my ear wondering how my new computerized phone buddy could be so cheerful at a time like this. How will I see Lady Gaga’s VMA performance without the interwebs? How will I keep up with the Tweets on the Twitter? How will I know that the world continues to exist? How will I not shrivel into at lonely forgotten ball of emptiness?

I can hear my stepson cooking his breakfast and I think, who eats at a time like this? Who eats when what you should be doing is laying on your bed in fetal position sobbing? “Interwebs, oh interwebs it’s been thirty whole minutes and I miss you so,” I lament. The dog opens his eyes and sighs. I know he just wants me to shut up so he can continue his nap, but he’s only napping because it’s hard to use a computer when you have paws.

That’s when I had a brilliant idea. Why not use this time without distraction to do something useful, like meditate. Okay, that’s not necessarily useful, but it’s something.

But wait … I can’t meditate because I need someone to guide me through a meditation and all of those people live in the You Tube which I can’t get to because I have no interwebs. “Life is so hard without the internet,” I say with my head in my hands.

I guess I could read a book, or take a nap, or … I’ve got nothing. That’s a problem isn’t it. I’m not too worried about it though because the longest two hours ever should be over in what feels like five million years, and then I can get on with my life.

Mow the Lawn … Again

lawmowerBecause my husband and I are absolute geniuses, we bought a manual push mower to take care of our lawn. We thought it was a good idea because it’s carbon neutral. (Notice how I seriously wrote that like the words carbon neutral have ever come out of my mouth to describe anything.) It would also help us get the exercise we need to avoid becoming giant blobs of quivering flesh that can’t even walk as far as the front door.

Let’s just say that the whole manual mower thing didn’t quite work out. We’d take turns mowing the lawn. I’d mow the back and he’d mow the front because I didn’t want the neighbors to see me struggling to push that stupid machine. As far as exercise goes, I haven’t noticed a difference.

After three months of using that lawn mower my arms are still trying to grow bat wings. That’s not entirely true. If I were sprouting actual bat wings that would be kind of cool, and I’m sure I’d get to appear on the local news. My arms are continuing to develop a hanging mass of flesh that wiggles all around when I wave. Eventually, it might become so long and droopy that I could hit myself in the face with it. I’ve done pushups to try to remedy the situation, but after doing roughly six pushups over the course of three weeks still no change. This post isn’t about my arms though, so let me stop.

At some point our mower stopped being quite so mowy. Maybe it’s because the grass thickened up for the summer. Maybe the blades just got too dull. Maybe it decided to go on strike. I don’t know why it happened, all I know is one day it started taking me twice as long to cut the grass, and the darn thing refused to cut some of the grass at all.

None of that matters now because some friends were nice enough to let us borrow their electric mower and now cutting the lawn is like a game of Russian roulette where the extension cord is the gun and the mower blades are the bullets, or maybe that should be the other way around. Can mowing the lawn be any scarier? Don’t I fall down enough in my life already? The orange extension cord trailing along after the mower doesn’t seem to think so that’s for sure.

Now mowing is strictly my husband’s responsibility because my stepson and I can’t deal with extension cords and sharp objects at once. Just thinking about it makes my brain short circuit. Now every time I hear my husband start the lawn mower I sit in the house and worry that he’s going to electrocute himself.

Photo by r.nial.bradshaw

Coffee and Thunderstorms

I have difficulty sleeping. I lay in bed for hours tossing and turning. Every little sound wakes me up. It’s always been that way. Not sleeping well has become part of my personality. I’m shy. I’m quirky. I’m a bad sleeper. That’s why when my husband started claiming that I was just dreaming about not sleeping instead of not sleeping in reality, it really threw me for a loop.

My husband claims that on all those nights that I didn’t sleep a wink, I was snoring away. Yes, sometimes I snore, but it’s a very nice lady-like snore that sounds like fluttering angel wings.

Recently, the dog has been keeping me up. If he sleeps in our room he moves around and breathes too much, and if he sleeps someplace else in the house he still moves around and breathes. When I ask my husband if all that moving around and breathing bothers him he just looks at me like I’m crazy. “Would you rather he didn’t move or breathe because maybe we should’ve gotten a stuffed dog instead.”

He’s got a point. I never considered the stuff dog option before–less walking, less feeding, less poop. The downside is that I’d have to work a whole lot harder to annoy a stuffed dog, and everyone knows I like to work as little as possible.

Last night I swore I smelled the dog brewing coffee in the kitchen. I sat bolt upright in bed and said to my husband, “He’s making coffee.”

My husband groaned and rolled over, and I ran to the kitchen. The dog was in there, but he was just wagging his tail. There didn’t seem to be any coffee brewing, but he could’ve have been hiding it.

After that I kept smelling coffee, and then there was a thunderstorm. I just couldn’t get back to sleep.

My husband thinks this was all a dream, but why would I dream about the dog making coffee? It really happened. That’s why my brain has been mush all day. That’s why I can’t seem to form complete sentences. At least that’s what I’m telling people when they ask. I’m tired because there was a thunderstorm and my dog kept making coffee last night. It makes sense, right?

Don’t Panic, But There’s a Hole in the Sun

sunApparently, there’s a giant hole in the sun, but we don’t have to worry about that because it’s totally normal. Don’t believe? Check it out here. Go on. I’ll still be here when you get back.

Just when we finally called an exterminator who told me not to worry because we don’t have termites, this happens. There’s always something to keep me up at night. If it’s not the possibility of my home crumbling around me, it’s the giant hole in the sun that will one day suck the Earth into it. That last part probably isn’t true, but in order to get the maximum amount of worrying in, I must heighten the drama a bit.

I tried to see the hole, but I just ended up burning my retina. Now I’m seeing spots, which is okay because I don’t really want to have clear vision when the world comes to an end. I’d rather see a giant red spot than my fellow human beings being swallowed up by the massive hole in the sun.

Since when is a hole in something no big deal. If you have a hole in your sock, you throw it out and get a new one. If there’s a hole in your bucket, you write a really long, tedious song about it. If there’s a hole in the sun, apparently you do nothing. You just pray that no extra heat or light leaks out and go about your day as normal.

Something good has come from all this. I started following NASA on Flickr. They have some beautiful pictures there that will make you feel amazed and ill-at-ease all at once. There’s something terrifying about space.

Picture by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center