Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gruesome Gallbladder Grief

It all started with a dull ache in my back as I tossed and turned, trying to find a comfy position that would bring a reprieve to my sleeplessness. No such luck. Three in the morning, I get out of bed and walk into the den with the pain now radiating in my rib cage. At this point, the pain feels hot and a little nagging. Suddenly, I become overwhelmed with nausea and I'm barfing in the foyer bathroom trying not to wake my sleeping husband. Groggy from taking an Ambien, Matthew stumbles out to see what all the commotion is about. I tell him something is wrong.....I'm in a lot of pain, and it hurts most to sit or stretch out, so standing is my only option at this point. He looks at me quizzically and suggests I take a pain killer and come to bed. Didn't you hear me, I scream. I can't lie down! Next, I try to sit comfortably in an oversized chair in the den. Doesn't work and I have to stand. Matthew puts me in the car and rushes me to the ER in my pajamas and no shoes. This is my first experience with "breaking into a cold sweat." I was literally cold to the touch but sweat was pouring from me like I'd just finished a 10-K roadrace in July. The pain was so intense while in the car that I literally fainted on the way. I had to let the window down for a splash of cool air and prayed out loud til we arrived. Matthew carried me in wailing like a half-killed animal, no words, just grunts and moans and screams. Where is everyone, I screamed in a garbled voice when we walked through the glass doors of the ER. The front desk sat empty. I bent myself over the back of a chair writhing in the most unimagineable pain my healthy body has ever experienced; and later I was told the pain is WORSE than labor pains. Well, hell.....I'm definitely adopting if it's anything comparable. Before I knew it I was sat in a wheelchair and brought to the back for an ultrasound. I couldn't lie down for them, so they flooded me with delotid; and suddenly, I felt like I was in Cabo outstretched in a lounge chair right by the pool----only Manuel was nowhere with a margarita, and I wasn't getting a tan. They immediately saw my gallbladder grief and admitted me for surgery. Emergency surgery!

The doctor removed that superfluous, stone-filled, diseased organ that we don't even need anymore (thanks to evolution). Who knew an organ the size of a walnut could wreak so much havoc on your body? And, why do we still have things in our bodies that are left over from the cavemen days, anyway? Another million dollar question for the gurus of human anatomy.

Once I was released the following afternoon, I was thrilled to be in the coziness of home again. (Although, the hospital acommodations weren't bad at all. Nice warm colors decorated the rooms with cherry finished furnishings, and all rooms are was really five star. And the nurses were angels. I've never met a more dedicated team of people). Then, down came the rain. (Brooke Shields was right when she claimed that title to her book about post-partum depression). Figuratively, I mean. Who knew anesthesia would leave me in such a depressed funk? I was crying about everything........insignificant or not. My birthday rolls around three days later and I'm propped up on my back, knees scrunched to chest, blitzed out on pain pills, and bawling my eyes out about everything. Happy freakin' Birthday. Matthew has been the best nursemaid, ever, and friends and family have been overwhelmingly helpful and sweet. My house looks like the inside of a florist's walk-in! And Matthew hasn't missed a meal, either.

In spite of all the gall bladder grief, I've learned a lesson or two. I'm blessed with a caring, beautiful family and an overabundance of nurturing friends (far away and near). It's good to see what you mean to people in the event of a crisis, because during day to day life we tend to get caught up with ourselves and forget to share our purpose with others. Life is great, rich, and a blessing that should be treasured every day and celebrated with the ones you love. So, I guess it's not so bad when God sends you a friendly reminder to keep it real.......... : )

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mothers Day

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Advice from a Higher Power

Wow, I mean wow! I just heard and met Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street, read several short stories to a warm, receptive audience of high schoolers, parents throughout the community, and others. She was so real and so approachable. She stood at the podium wearing a lime green Mexican muu muu dress adorned with colorful embroidery, and delivered her goods with a soft, sweet voice like honey dripping from a spoon. Long, thick, black hair that parted in the middle and hung down her back, and so shiny she looked like a modern day Breck girl. She spoke with her soul and could've offered me dirtballs from the palm of her hand and I would've believed they were diamonds already cut and polished. She was that good. There was one part, however, where she read about her lost cat; and boy did she get long winded. Went on for days.......but she still had me hanging on every word and remembering the days of being read to by my own mother. I didn't want the experience to end. Then she started taking questions from the audience and someone asked her what her advice to young people would be. Even though this patron, fan....whatever you want to call her in the literary world..... was a shadowy silhouette in a dark auditorium, she couldn't have shone any brighter. The answer rolled off Sandra's tongue as if it were practiced and prepared. And her advice was quite clear. Sandra spoke to all the young ladies of the South, and the rest of the world, and said: Be economically independent, ladies. Do not depend on anyone to bring you a paycheck or your happiness. Delay marriage for as long as you possibly can; and delay children for even longer. She didn't mean this in a bad way like some hard core butch lesbian avenger at a Pride parade swearing off men for their evil ways. She reiterated the fact that when you settle down you are taking time away from you to get to know yourself and fall in love with life and living through adult eyes because once the ninos come, well.......ya know......your life is never again your own. Never, ever, ever again. You have traded in freedom, travel, easy living, and TV dinners for little league, gas sucking SUV's, a permanent place on the PTA, and worry 24/7.
Girls, I sure hope ya'll were listening. Glean the knowledge and hear her advice. Life is nothing to rush; everything will unfurl in due time just like that budding leaf in the spring. It may sound cliche, but you need to take time to smell the roses and linger a little longer while doing so. Stay forever young in spirit and absorb and learn and grow. Don't be afraid of the road less traveled, for your fate will be your ultimate destination. Okay?
Enough of dishin' the dirt. Just thought I'd share...........

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Summer Product Picks..........

Okay, ladies. Even though it's been rainy and unseasonably cool this spring in Atlanta, summer is sneaking up on our heels, and you need to be prepared to wrestle that bull by the horns. I've been dying to share my favorite product picks with ya'll for the season, so take note and write this stuff down. We'll start with the crown of our head and work our way downward, shall we?

For your mane....... which, come on ladies, is our crowning glory. I highly recommend deep conditioning once or twice weekly. If you have thick, natural wavy hair then Redken All Soft Heavy Cream will be your new best friend. It has avocado oil, proteins, and amino acids for the deepest conditioning treatment. Your hair will feel and look like spun cornsilk and everyone will want to touch it, feel it, and stroke it. You'll go to your next high school reunion tossing your hair around shamelessly with the secret buried in Al Capone's vault. Now, as far as shampoo, I have to admit I keep it simple. I'm a Dove girl through and through, and even with regular conditioners. To me, and believe me ya'll, I've tried everything under the sun, the main importance is your deep conditioner and what you put in your hair as a prep before you blow it out. This brings me to my second product pick, Moroccan Oil. Recommended by my hair guru stylists, Patty and Constantine, they swore to me this orange oil holds magical powers. And ya'll......they are RIGHT! A dollop of this oil on wet hair is enough to transform anyone's bad hair situation into something better.
Just blowdry normally and if you follow my plan (if you have thick, wavy hair), your hair will be the envy of all; the smooth, perfect after picture without the salon blowout price. Happy hair= happier wallet, which means the more you can save for that Botox treatment.

Next item I love (and every woman should have one of these in her make-up aresenal) is a fabulous bronzer. Nothing with glitter, ever. Save that for preschool art projects and NOT your face. Natural is key here. My favorite bronzer sans any glitter is Hoola by Benefit. Ladies, listen up. Even though the box is a bit bulky and cumbersome, get over it. Maybe they'll change the way it's packaged. But until then, you need to purchase, stuff it in your purse somehow, and roll with it. With a swipe of this bronzer you can fool all your friends into thinking you've just arrived from St. Tropez. No's THAT good....and natural. As far as a blush to accompany, try Coralista by Benefit, too. Wow, the color is so believeable. It gives your cheeks a wash of warm sunshine as if you've just had a sweet nothing whispered in your ear, and no one in the room heard, but they can see the glow spread across your cheeks. This is exactly what blush is supposed to do.......remember Scarlet pinching her cheeks in Gone with the Wind? My sentiments, precisely.

Mascara. I know, I know, I hear everything about all the expensive ones out there on the market. But sometimes you've got to travel to the trenches and drugstore dive, ya know? Somethings are worth a higher price and others are not. Simple as that. Maybelline Great Lash in black paired with the Shu Uemura eyelash curler will be enough to draw anyone's attention to your fluttery, doe like eyes. Shu Uemura.......twenty four bucks at Sephora, and there's a reason it's won the awards, ladies.

Next essential, if you like a pop of color on your lips then MAC Venetian is for you. Don't be fooled by it's scarlet appearence in the glossy tube. When you put it on the color fades down so your lips look like you've just bitten them. I wore this out one night and a guy stopped me at Birds in Los Feliz and he told me he wanted to take a bite outta my juicy lips. Now if he had the chutzpah to say it, think how many thought it. Ya catch my drift? Or, if you prefer more of natural look then go with Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Raspberry 02. If this ever gets discontinued I'll have a major hissy fit right in the store, write the company, and maybe even have to boycott the Clinique counter altogether.

Girls, it's time to shed the winter alligator skin. Shed it all! Every gal needs a great salt scrub for the bod. I always opt for salt vs. sugar for one main reason: Salt extracts your impurities naturally and sugar does not. God didn't create sugar oceans, did He? Ya know how it feels when you get out of the ocean? Your skin feels tighter and your cuts heal faster. Salt is nature's way. Leave the sugar for your morning latte, and run to Origins for a Salt Rub salt scrub. Origins has great scrubs in Ginger OR Mint, and loaded with essential oils which are the best for ailing, thirsty skin. I like to use the scrubs at night as I don't like all my scents commingling into one big, unsolveable mystery.

After you've scrubbed and buffed, you must moisturize. I've discovered, well I really must credit my mother-in-law for this one, Bliss Vanilla + Bergamot Body Butter. It's $35, and I kinda scoffed at the price, too. Until I used it, that is. It will forever hold a place in my heart and on my vanity. One tiny dot and you've got your whole arm covered! It will last a lifetime, practically; so go ahead and spend the cash on it. You won't be sorry. The fragrance is gentle, almost baby like, and it blends well with any perfume you choose. But I'm gonna tell ya, this cream will make your skin forget it ever had a dry day in its life. BEST stuff on the market, hands down.

Deodorant. A weird product pick to share, right? It's so confusing nowadays to pick the right deodorant for your underarms. We used to have a few scents to choose from, but now when I scan the shelves I feel bumrushed by the selection. Aaargh! Why can't some things just remain simple? And the last thing I want to smell like is some cherrybomb explosion suitable for a twelve year old. However, I have found one worthy of blogging. Secret makes a Vanilla Chai scent, and I swear every time you lift your arms overhead it's an intoxication of sheer delight; I've even had friends say,........"Gee, your armpits smell terrific!" Okay, well, not really. But I'm not lying to's pretty darn noteworthy. Can you tell I'm a vanilla fan? The scent is just so can blend with anything beautifully.

Finally, we've worked our way down to our feet. I know, ya'll ; we can't pass up a good, classic French pedicure. But in light of the changing economy I've made another wonderful find that will stretch out your visits to your local nail salon. Bliss, again, has a cream called Foot Patrol. It has salicylic acid and peppermint, and you'll want to load it up, cover your tootsies with socks, and cozy up in bed. Boy, does it get the job done. If it can work miracles on my runner's feet that sometimes rival Godzilla's, then it'll work for you, too. It's a great exfoliant and has a nice fragrance. Let's face it, people, we're busy. Who has time to whip out the pumice stone to grind away dead skin? Not me, and besides I'm not that skilled with the caveman tools. I'll leave it to the pros. But in the meantime, use Foot Patrol. This cream will get you through your bad spots...............ahem, no pun intended.

So, stay tuned amigas for more noteworthy product finds. I'm your make up maven, your cosmetic Queen, and it is my pledge to you that I will NEVER steer you wrong. Together we will keep the world a more beautiful place. Okay, Southern Belles? So, take note and look for more fun finds later.......

Love to All.........

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Day Before Earth Day

Today is the first day I'm gettin' into this blog thing, and I'm super excited about it!

Let's begin with the litterbug I encountered yesterday that set me into launch like a loose cannon. First of all, you must know how much I hate, loathe, despise, and detest the act of littering. It doesn't get any more redneck than that, I can promise you. after a long, grueling day dealing with middle schoolers and a headache the size of Texas, I couldn't see beyond guzzling a couple of Sweetwater Blues at the local watering hole. At school we've been creating a rainforest in honor of Earth Day in our atrium. It looks really beautiful.....a totally enchanting paradise created out of butcher paper and some really talented artists........birds, butterflies, exotic animals, the whole shabang. Anyway, after dealing with this project for two days, I'm able to wrap it up, get in my car, and meet my hubby at the bar (and no, I'm NOT an alcoholic!). I'm sitting in traffic, bumper to bumper, of course (welcome to Atlanta, right?) when this woman in a black Audi proceeds to throw her cigarette butt out the window like she owns the street. At first I shake my head in disbelief as I race through my thoughts of how incredibly HARD we've all worked to make the production of the rainforest come alive, and how we recycle at my school, and how littering is just plain UNcool. I sit behind her and I stew. Then my headache overtakes any rational thought and completely turns them inside out, and before I know it I follow her in to the Publix lot where she parks and I assume is planning a grocery trip. Maybe she went for more stoagies? Who knows. Anyway, she gets out of her car and I roll my window down and say, "Hey.........why don't you go back to Pleasant Hill and pick up that nasty cigarette you just polluted our earth with?" She stares at me like I'm from Mars. I say again, "Didn't you get the memo that Earth Day is tomorrow?" She replies, "Fuck you!" I retort, yes very childish I'm aware, "You too, litterbug!" Then I drove off to more traffic delays. And this is exactly why my hubby and mother are terrified to ride in the car with me.
So every housewife exiting Publix with their kid saddled into the front of their cart saw the whole show go down. They were probably on my side because if you have a child then I'm sure you're teaching them NOT to litter, smoke, or cuss; OR not to accost random strangers for the fear of having a Glock pulled on you. I may have accosted from afar, but this beast of a woman committed the other three no-no's.
I know how pathetic this may sound, and you just have to understand the kind of day I was having.......I was in no mood to play; plus I'm really harmless. I even told my hubby when I called home that I had pirhana teeth and the will of a cougar, and I would rip anyone to smithereens who double crossed me. Then when I arrived home I saw the guilty culprit staring me in the face on the countertop. Some may say blame it on the rain, or blame it on the a-a-a-a-a alcohol, but I took one look and I blamed every bit of my mood swingin' craziness on those evil birth control pills. My hubby said, "Hmmmm........look where you are in your packet. No wonder you were nuts-o!! How about we keep them out so I'll see this coming next time?"
Bless his sweet Yankee heart. What would I do without my levelheaded man to put life into perspective for me?
So, I have three final thoughts here: Don't litter, listen to your man.......if you have one, and stay the hell away from women who are on their last row of pills. We're maniacs, but we can't help it.

Goodnight to all!