Month: June 2015

The summer of creepiness and creatures…

Of all the creepy and creature surprises so far of this summer (it has been a bit much), the animal cracker such as the one in the picture above has created the most surprise and confusion.  More on that below…  For now, this is what we have encountered so far this summer:

I believe it was the first week of summer when my daughter ran in and said the chickens had this cornered in the backyard:


 I ran back there to appreciate my chickens fully for their attempt at cornering this thing.  Snakes are my number one fear/freak out, and this is only the second snake we have ever found in our yard in over 18 years.  Once I saw it, and started doing a weird crazy dance of grossing out, my husband took over, and corralled it into a butterfly netted carrier, and took it down the road, across the street, and into a creek with my 2 girls and a friend thrilled to be a part of it.  Yuck.

Next up on my summer adventure with creepiness and creatures was this guy:


As I was walking outside to turn off some sprinklers, I saw this on the cover of our hot tub.  I screamed ‘Whoa!’ real loud.  Pretty sure the neighborhood wondered if we had gotten a horse and it was now running out of control.  Nope, just a gross, inappropriately large beetle hanging out.

There was this:


A wolf spider, that upon seeing it in the windowsill of the office, my son proclaimed ‘it can not live here’.

On to the neat/fun creature part of the spectrum (although it too had a creepiness factor).  As I was talking to our insurance agent on the phone, I looked out my front window at the large tree we have in our front yard, and I saw a paw/hand reaching out of a hole in the tree holding onto a large branch.  I yelled for my middle daughter to come look, she thought it was a squirrel.  Um, that would be a really big squirrel!  Then, a few minutes later, this guy poked his head out:


That night, we discovered there were 4 babies.  Super cute, clumsy little guys all climbing over one another.



We all sat on the grass and watched them for a long time.  Then, when I went back to check them out again, the mama stuck her head out and hissed at me.  Ok, not cute anymore.  I’m scared.

So, through all this excitement and creepiness, this last discovery has left me the most surprised and perplexed…

Getting into the shower, an animal cookie was found by my husband on the tile floor inside the shower.


My husband asked why there was an animal cookie on the floor.  I had no idea.

Of course he left it there, and then when I took a shower later, it made me curious again about why in the world an animal cracker was on the floor of my shower.  (I, did not leave the cracker on the floor.  I instead smushed it up real good so it would go down the drain.  Don’t judge my cleaning process.)

So, I asked my son, ‘Why was there an animal cracker in the shower?’

Son:  ‘What?  I don’t know.  It wasn’t me.’

I texted my husband who had my daughters with him,

Me:  ‘Would you please ask the girls why there was an animal cracker in the shower?’

Him:  ‘L wanted to eat one and B threw it to her.  It fell in the water though.’

I guess that explains that.  Sigh.

I’m good for the summer now, I’d be just fine with no more surprises thanks.

Migraine Simulation

This is so interesting. It’s a post from a blog that I follow. It shows a video that Excedrin has created, using a migraine simulator so others can experience ‘everything but the pain’ of a migraine. With the hopes of promoting an understanding and a glimpse into migraines, and that they are not ‘just a bad headache.’

More Than a Headache

I have mixed feelings about Excedrin. I’m always a little skeptical of migraine products – their use, their effectiveness, their cost. Excedrin can be a dangerous thing if misused. With the combination of medicine – 250 mg Acetaminophen, 250 mg of Aspirin and 65 mg of Caffeine, people can often take too much of this medicine. More than 2 pills in a 24 hour period is overdosing which will lead to rebound headaches. Rebound headaches often cause the sufferer to take more headache medicine creating a vicious cycle where no relief can be found without withdraw. This isn’t the company’s fault – it’s the consumers misuse.

A couple of Excedrin’s products make me raise a skeptical eye brow. They make numerous headache/migraine products. The mild headache commercial makes me cringe. My “everyday” headache is not something that Excedrin can treat. This woman’s mild headache could be banished with the loss…

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No thank you Maroon 5…

So, all morning, this was the song in my head:

Maroon 5 – This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf****r

I don’t even necessarily like the song that much, but I can identify with it.  And not for what I’d imagine it’s supposed to mean, like partying like a rock star, or whatever the song is truly about.  Yet, my glamorous take on it, is if I continue to get migraines this summer like the one I got yesterday, ‘This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf****r!’

If anyone got the license of this truck that must have hit me yesterday:

Or if you could tell me if I got any good punches in during the fight against this guy last night:

Because that’s how I feel today.  The ginger helped with the nausea, which was nice (Ginger for Migraines).  Nothing touched the headache or helped me figure out where my brain was and why my head was dizzy today though.

Oh well, as I tell my kids sometimes when they’re not feeling up to something ‘fake it ’til you make it.’

Now, on with the rest of the day….

Well that sucked…

I didn’t expect to have to try out ginger just 2 days after writing Ginger for Migraines!

But, here I am, migraine in full effect today.  Could have been the heat, I’m sure that didn’t help.  Or that I missed my green smoothie today, which could have helped to prevent it.  I had friends over, including my good friend from Virginia for just a few hours, and didn’t want to interrupt my time by stopping to make my smoothie.  My bad.

When I got back home after getting the migraine, I mixed 1/2 tsp of ground ginger into a small glass of water.

So, was it ‘abracadabra, migraine gone?’  I don’t know.  I do know that about 10 minutes after drinking the ginger, the nausea was gone.  And within an hour I was feeling much more like myself, although still could use a whole house fan for my head.  I don’t think anything will ever combat the feeling of having something heavy and weighing down my head and face.

The real test will be tomorrow….the headache.  I’ll see if it is minimized, or if not, if more ginger helps to relieve it.  Here’s to hoping!

Still, overall, can’t complain too much.  Only my 3rd migraine since September which I feel is big ‘Winning’ compared to three per week which was my reality pre-August, 2014!!

I’m at the bottom of the bed hierarchy…

12:01 am, I wake up to my crying 9 year old standing next to my bed.  I’m trying to come to life and recognize where I am, why there is crying, and what needs to be done.  I’m sure I asked strange questions as I acclimated to the situation.  Our previous day came rushing back to me, doctors appointment confirming swimmers ear.  Ok, now I’m on board.  My comatose husband who had found my hiding spot for the peanuts and had secretly been back and forth to them through the night mumbled something nice and comforting towards the crying, as I began the ear infection protocol (one that I know too well…)

  1. Kid into my bed, propped up high on pillows.
  2. Go into kitchen for ibuprofen and water, give to kid who is in my bed.
  3. Back into kitchen to warm up wet washcloth and put into ziploc for her to apply to her ear.
  4. Ask myself why in the !&*# I didn’t suck it up and go back to Walgreens last night to get the ear numbing prescription to accompany her drops, even though she had been feeling awesome when I knew the middle of the night would bring this?
  5. Find somewhere to sleep since she now has my spot.

Can’t go to the couch, because she has her friend over for a sleep over and that’s where they were camped out.  It would be weird for her friend, even though I’ve known her her whole life to wake up and find her friend’s mom next to her, not her BFF.

Can’t go to her bunk bed.  I’m totally afraid that I will fall down that ladder and truly break my neck.  Let alone, it has got to be at least 10 degrees hotter up there.

Image 1

Looks like the window seat is my spot.  4′ x 3′ area with 2″ padding.  I’m a little over 5’9″, but it will work.


I love my cat Kiki so much, and she obviously loves me right back, so that is why she felt that she needed to join me on my pillow on the window seat so I wasn’t lonely.  5’9″ me, and my large cat on the 4′ x 3′ window seat.  I’m thinking Mom Award.

Settling in for a great sleep now…

Why at 12:51 am is there a bird outside auditioning for number one song bird in America?!!!?  It’s DARK!  It’s one thing when you’re sitting outside in the evening and you hear this particular bird  sing all it’s songs, but going through all of it’s greatest hits when you should be sleeping is not as captivating to say the least.

And WHAT is that neighborhood dog barking about for 44 minutes straight?  I’m serious, what could it be?

1:00 am, littlest is back up, smaller cries, asking for me to rewarm the compress.  After rewarming, she is coerced back to the couch.

From 1:09 until 1:13, the number one song bird in America took a short snooze, and is now back at it.

Here it is 1:29, bird going for it hard core, neighborhood dog has even stopped, I’m back in my spot in my own bed, although obviously not sleeping….

But still being taken care of:

Image 2 I love Kiki.  It’s hilarious she now sleeps on my pillow.

Sleep is not in my near future.  As I am writing this at 1:44, the neighborhood dog is back at it.  Good grief people, you may want to check at what it is barking at now.  Or at least bring it the heck indoors.  Bird, still full force at it.  But, a sleeping 9 year old, which makes it all good.

Ginger for Migraines.

I was in Pismo Beach last week for our annual trip with family.  Can’t say Pismo Beach without thinking of this:

While I was there, my good friend Timaree from sent me an email with a cool video about ginger and migraines.  See it here:

Looks like I’ll be purchasing some ground ginger, because heck, if it does as it claims for some without the side effects of Imitrex, which were so lovely for me (see here at Imitrex Fail!), it’s worth keeping on hand for when a migraine does break through my anti-migraine potion!

Has anyone used ginger as a successful migraine treatment?

Thoughts on my 17th wedding anniversary…

Today my husband and I have been married for 17 years.  That’s actually a really long time when I think about it, and it went really fast.  That day was wonderful 17 years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime ago in some ways.

I recently read about how people were commenting on how marriage is easy, and it created quite a debate.  I remember after getting married thinking how much all of those Brides magazines suck.  They painted such a pretty picture of the wedding, but they didn’t talk about the marriage.  I would never ever label marriage as easy, but it is definitely worth the work.

On our first anniversary, 16 years ago, we had plans to stay up on the North Coast of California in a fancy inn for the weekend.  Along the way, we planned on stopping to see the new Austin Powers movie that had just came out that day.  We got lost, (this was before GPS…gasp).  Then, frustration got the best of us as we argued our way to the beach inn.  Good thing it was all made up by excellent food and naps on the beach that weekend.  We even had a picnic basket of wine and brie.  We felt so fancy!  And relaxed!!

Image 2

If this picture were to happen now, it would be because my husband won some sort of bet or competition, and all three of my kids would be hooting and hollering in the background as they took the picture!  Our picnic baskets since our first anniversary have contained such items as swim diapers, PB&J, and capri suns.  Definitely not brie and wine.

Fast forward to today, our 17th anniversary.  We took a 5 hour drive back from our annual week camping at Pismo beach with my sister in laws and their families.  The 5 hour drive is followed by unpacking the trailer in 100+ heat, cleaning the trailer, tending to our house and zoo of animals, as my husband mows the lawns.  Romantic right?  We may get gyros for dinner, which I’m excited about.  Or, since we went from 60 degrees on the coast to 100+ here in the valley, we may have cereal.  It’s flippin’ hot.

Tomorrow brings a double header baseball game for my son and his team which my husband coaches, and a possible soccer game for my daughter.  So, there is our anniversary weekend.  Honestly, I have no complaints though.  Our kids are what have made our marriage a family, and I would have it no other way.  (Although, I am quite happy there are no baseball games today therefore my anniversary dinner doesn’t consist of a choice of a hot dog or nachos from the snack bar!!)

While sitting around the campfire in Pismo (6 adults, 8 kids ranging from 9-19), one of the 19 year olds asked if I had advice for him about relationships.  It was a super fun, light hearted conversation which everyone jumped in.  One of my sister in laws said when you find the one, and you get married, you have to commit to being all in.  The message being, you can’t just give up when things get hard.  My advice was you have to laugh.  Laugh hard with the one you are going to be with for life.  You have to be able to laugh until you have the ugly cry-silent laugh with tears running down your face.  If you can do that, the person is a keeper.  Because butterflies and rainbows that are dancing around when you first meet, they go away.  They return at times, and when they do, you chase after them and try and hold on to them for a while.  But when they aren’t there, you have to laugh, it keeps you connected.

I most certainly do not have a magic formula or tips for a happy marriage.  I find the times that are the most difficult usually have an underlying theme of being so busy that we don’t have time to catch up.  And when we do get  a rare (rare is even a generous term here) outing or overnight by ourselves, we really enjoy each others company.  I find myself halfway through dinner and some wine realizing, ‘hey, we still really like each other!’  A nice feeling when you’re able to peel away all of life’s craziness and just spend some time together.

I’m not a mushy person.  I can be a pretty big pain in the butt and hard to live with.  There are times I see red, and I don’t call him my best friend (see here for that explanation), but there is no one else I’d rather be on this journey with, and I’m thankful he chose me too!  Happy 17th anniversary to us!

My treadmill workouts: from laughter to thought provoking.

I continue to try and kick anxiety’s ass through exercise very regularly.  Exercise also allows me to not have to be so careful while participating in one of my favorites…eating.

My TV hook up while on the treadmill is pretty sweet.  Although we still haven’t hooked up cable out in the office where my treadmill is, but there is the XBox, which thankfully has Netflix.

Up until recently, my treadmill workouts included watching stand up comedy.  It was great!  Then, once I blazed through all the Kevin Hart and other comedians of interest, I moved on to The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

Hilarious, it filled a big void left by 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation ending.

Once I finished Kimmy Schmidt, I was stuck.  No more comedy found of interest.

So, then I went on to other ‘stuff’.

First up was ‘Fed Up’, a documentary/movie about sugar being the culprit in our war with obesity:

Very interesting, and it made me go a little crazy looking at the amount of sugar in all the labels of the food we eat.  It’s a bit overwhelming.

Next up, I watched ‘GMO OMG’.  All about GMOs in our foods.

Again, very interesting.  Made me think about it far after the movie had been done.

I just finished ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’:

I really liked this one, very entertaining, and funny at times.  And towards the end, during a scene with a certain t-shirt, I had the ugly cry face as tears streamed down my face while I ran on the treadmill hoping that no one would walk into the office as I was in that state!

I find that having something to look forward to watching while on the treadmill allows me to almost (I said almost) want to get on that thing so I can continue the movie!

Looking forward to more comedy as it comes up, but for now, I’m diggin’ on some knowledge!

If you have some time to kill on the treadmill, or just killing time, check them out, hope you like them!

Urine therapy. Ya, maybe my migraines aren’t so bad…

So, according to this printout that I was given at my local health food store (which is wonderful by the way), I have a lot to look forward to within the next 14 months.  If, that is, I’m part of the most susceptible group of women and my migraines will end at age 44… Image 644 is not a super party year.  It’s not like turning 21, 30 or 40.  Those were pretty good party years.  44 is, meh.  Good, but meh in terms of a party year.  Unless, of course, I’m what is referred to as the ‘most susceptible group of women’ that get migraines.  They are aged between 25 and 44.  So, 44 would be my last year of migraines if I am in the most susceptible group.

I’m thinking I’m not the typical or most susceptible group.  I’ve already gotten the odds of being within the 10% of the population that gets migraines.  And I certainly have gotten them more than the ‘approximately once per month.’ So, as I continue to cross my fingers and hope that the migraine spell is released on the eve of my 45th birthday, what do I have to look forward to if it isn’t?

Well, if my anti migraine potion stops working, it looks like there is another option I may have before trying prescription medications: Image 2 urine therapy.  Not something I’ve read about yet.  Not sure I’m going to be too quick to look into that one.

Image 1 And then I have these long term issues that may come for a visit when I need something additional to the thrill of a normal old migraine.

So, here’s to hoping that the day I wake up and I am 45, birds and butterflies will be fluttering, and all migraines will stop.

For the next 14 months though, I will continue to apologize to the customer service people at REI for wearing my sunglasses in the store, insisting it’s not because I think I’m super cool.  I’ll also continue to yawn, and rub my ears continuously in an ever so attractive manner in hopes that I intercept a migraine that is coming on.  As well as continue my anti-migraine potion and keep my fingers crossed that it continues to work for me so I don’t have to Google ‘urine therapy’.

Who am I kidding, after writing that, I had to Google it.  And WOW, just WOW!