Flu Survival Tips

Perhaps it’s because i had my children in daycare that i have developed the immune system of a cockroach.  i don’t get sick.  The last time i called off work for an actual* sick day was in 2007 when i had mono.

i left work Thursday afternoon with chills… and NOT because i was so enthralled with the work i’d accomplished.  Fever.  102 F when i got home.  Yay.  The Flu.

Maybe because it’s so infrequent, but when i do get sick?  i’m a big damn baby difficult patient.  i wish to be alone in my misery.  Friends have offered to bring me this or that, but i prefer to wallow in the solitary confinement of my sweat-drenched sheets.  Besides, moaning is so undignified…

The animals have been great company.  i’ve learned more about the differences between cats and dogs along the way.  While curled up on the floor of the bathroom on the fluffy bath mat, the cat came by to investigate.  He immediately discerned that i was in no condition to either (a) scratch him or (b) feed him.  So he knocked the bathroom scale into the bathtub and proceeded to make noise there, hoping i’d come around and make with the scratches and cat chow.

The dog, on the other hand, knows that when i’m down on the floor i want to play with him.  Bringing me all manner of gnarled bones, and gooey chew ropes, he felt compelled to pelt me with toys.  The sweet, slobbery bastard…

The fever may have finally broken.  Or not.  But i’m vertical after two days of mostly horizontal.  While these tips are fresh in my fever-addled brain, thought i’d do a gentle public service and share them.

DO:  Drink plenty of fluids.  Staying hydrated is essential to manage a fever.

DON’T: Drink leftover eggnog.  While it is technically a liquid?  It will curdle the moment it hits your roasting belly.  You will immediately regret it.

DO: Eat a little something when the fever drops.  Saltine crackers, light non-acidic fruit, or applesauce.

DON’T:  Bash a couple of Skyline** cheese coneys on the way back from a doctor’s appointment.  Oh, you will regret this later.  Very. Much.

DO:  Moan.  Loudly and as needed.  If you are feeling miserable, and the simple act of turning from your right side to your back is posing a grand challenge?  Let loose with a hefty groan.  Martial artists know the power of releasing visceral noise.  It isn’t just for Ninjas…

DON’T: Get irritated when your dog moans along.  He was born to sing.  He prefers a chorus part.  Don’t be a killjoy.

DO: Get fresh air.  Taking the dog on two short necessity walks each day is an opportunity to ‘blow the stink off’ and get crisp, clean, winter air into your lungs.

DON’T: Forget to put on something other than shorts.  While you’re rockin’ the snow boots and down jacket, exposed flesh in sub-freezing weather is generally a bad plan.

i miss nursemyra

delicious image found here

* As opposed to ‘anal glaucoma’ days – where i just can’t see my ass at work.  These happen on a fairly regular basis.

**  Skyline Chili is a regional delicacy.  Not so much chili as it is a Greek meat sauce, if you were raised on this yummy delight, it becomes the mother of all comfort food.  It also is quite disgusting on the return trip…

Merry Christmas!

From Mr. Pickles, Huey Newton and their kitchen wench…

Merry Christmas 2012

It was quite simple, in theory.  But Mr. Pickles – despite his advanced age – refuses to surrender his dignity to the damned reindeer antlers i’ve been trying to put on him for years.

Huey?  Classy, cool and remarkably patient throughout the 2 minutes it took to snap all of these shots.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Service Entrance

The holidays!  Things are quite nice, and rather untraditional, in my world.  With The Girl living in Turkey, and The Boy on the road with his job, i’ve been partying like a rock star enjoying holiday events with friends, rather than fluffing my nest for the family.

As i’ve mentioned before, i enjoy working the week between Christmas and New Year’s, as there is no one around to wake me up it’s quiet and i can get a lot of work done.  Rather than take time off next week, i took a few days this week instead.

Wandered off with Studley McRocklegs to visit his spawn for a few days in the mountains.  After a great visit with his kids and their ‘others’, i found myself with a full day off at home today… Which i filled with ‘maintenance’ appointments!

As a single working wohuman, i get to take care of all of the mundane ‘stuff’ of life on my own.  Cramming as much into the day as possible is the key!

The first visit was for annual maintenance on the furnace.  Managed to get him in and out within an hour – just as Steve was arriving to work on some bugs with my home theater/audio system.

The down-side of having a kickass rack of high-tech equipment?  It’s well beyond my own maintenance skills.  Attempting to swap out the cable television box in October, i failed to get it properly reconnected.  Hence the service call.  Since Steve was part of my original crew, and we’ve had many opportunities to chat through the years, he’s a known quantity and friend.

He was hunkered down in my storage room, where the equipment lies, tracing lines and pulling plugs and connectors as we caught up on life, the universe and everything.

daisyfae:  Haven’t had many problems with the system, but i did rearrange things for better air flow.  Pretty sure the cable box crapped out because of heat.

Steve:  Yep.  It’s pretty hot in there.  We could build you a new rack.

daisyfae:  No need.  Had that done after i had breast cancer in 2007.

Steve:  Right!

daisyfae:  Think you could rearrange it so the cable box is outside the rack?  Maybe in front?

Steve:  Don’t have enough cable for that.  I might be able to sneak it in through the back door.

daisyfae:  HA!  If i had a buck for every service guy who said THAT!

And so it went…. He got the cable box installed alongside the rack.  But, since nothing is easy, i still needed to call tech support from the cable company to get it operational.  Seems that since it had been sitting in the box since October, it needed authorization.

After Steve left, i copied down the “Please call for authorization” number that was flashing on the screen and gave the toll free line a call.

Receptionist:  Good Afternoon!  This is Jean from the Goldschlager Law firm.  Are you calling to discuss issues with your transvaginal mesh device?

daisyfae:  Um… no…. i thought i was calling the cable company about reauthorizing my cable box.

Receptionist:  This is the Goldschlager Law firm, on the line dedicated to calls regarding troubles resulting from the transvaginal mesh implant device.

daisyfae:  Oh.  Must be a wrong number.  i was calling about troubles with a different box.

 fill 'er up, baby!

Tale Spin

Of all of the whack things i do, taking horseback riding lessons has been one of the most rewarding.  Studley picked up an offer for discount lessons at a local stable last year. Our Monday night rides* have become a weekly highlight.

Due to random signals from the travel planet, we found ourselves at dinner Saturday with my friend Autumn, in North Carolina.  She has had a long-standing relationship with horses**, and shares our passion for the sport.  Yammering our way through a delicious dinner, Studley and i were giddy-up with horse tales.

Autumn:  I love horses, but I just don’t get them.  Never really understood them as animals.  What makes them work…. what motivates them.

daisyfae:  They’re just like big dogs!

Autumn:  That may explain it!  I’m a cat person.  I don’t understand dogs either.

Studley: I used to be just a cat person, but Mr. Pickles has converted me. Horses seem to be a lot more like dogs – just big dogs.  Dogs that you can ride!

daisyfae:  If dogs were that big, you could totally ride them!  You wouldn’t want to ride a 1,200 pound cat!


Last night, we were walking our horses to get them warmed up.  My ride, Rooster, is a clever beast.  An excellent school horse, he is adept at keeping novice riders alive.  At the same time, he is a little lazy, and will often try to get away with the least amount of energy expenditure possible.

He was being particularly sluggish as we worked into the trot.  Mistress Holly, our instructor, brought me her riding crop.

Mistress Holly:  This is how you hold it…

daisyfae:  i’ve used one before, just not on a horse.

Mistress Holly [feigning deafness]: You probably won’t need to use it – he knows you have it.  Try clucking and squeezing first, but if he’s not listening, just give him a good slap with it.  Right here on the shoulder.

To say that Rooster was attentive is an understatement.

Rooster [if he could talk]: Yes, Missy, I was just fixin’ to trot!  I DO like the way you ride me!  Canter?  Anything you want!  Can I get you a sandwich?  Foot rub?

My first full circuit of the arena in a controlled canter happened last night.  And i only had to tap him on the shoulder once.


After our lesson, Studley came in to lend a hand in the kitchen*** as i put the finishing touches on my holiday baked goods.  We also threw together an easy dinner of pulled pork.****

My dog, now fully recovered, was sproinging around at our feet.  A hundred pounds of optimism, waiting for either a handout, or a wayward dropped morsel.  i don’t feed him from the table, but given his advanced age and recent near-death experience, i was in a weakened state of mind.

daisyfae:  OK, buddy.  But you’re going to have to work for it!  Sit! Siiiiiiiiiiit!  Good boy!  Now, Speak!

Mr. Pickles [squirming, sitting, standing, drooling, sitting again]:  ….

daisyfae:  Look, Pickles!  Studley can do it!  Studley!  Speak!

Studley:  WOOF!

daisyfae [pretending to feed porkbit to Studley]:  GOOD BOY!  What a GOOD BOY!

Studley [wiggle-squirming on bar stool and panting with subservient enthusiasm]:

daisyfae:  Ok, Pickles!  Now your turn!  Sit! Speak!

Mr. Pickles [drool-squirm, sit, stand, shake, wiggle]:

daisyfae:  C’mon, Old Dog!  New Trick!  You can DO it!

A few more rounds of getting Studley to speak, and my goofyass old dog did it!

daisyfae:  Speak, Pickles!

Mr. Pickles:  WOOF!  Bark, bark, barkbarkbarkbark! A-WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF!

daisyfae:  Good boy!  GOOD BOY!  Now, shutthefuckup…

of course of course

 * probably not a euphemism

** definitely not a euphemism

*** left as an exercise for the reader

**** [nhur, nhur, nhur]

Open for the Holidays

It’s on at Chez Daisyfae this year…  Getting through Thanksgiving, hosting gatherings of friends, has gotten me in the mood to celebrate.

Got the tree up by myself last weekend.  Sometimes this can be a bit of an emotional quagmire, but this year?  i had a little more fun with it…He's behind me isn't he

Wait?  What’s that back there?  Over the fireplace?  Ermagehrrrrrrrrd!

om nom nom

Christmas.  My way.  Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray and the like can check their ribbons and potpourri at the door.

The first batch of almond biscotti is toasting away nicely in the oven.  The bar is stocked.  Various party staples are tucked into the fridge and pantry.

Happy Alcoholidays, folks!  Let the decadence begin!  Drop in parties for the entire month – but call first to make sure someone can stumble to the door!

Life is short.  Celebrate.  Stay out of the damn shopping malls and bigassbox stores and spend time with people.  Reconnect with an old friend.  Play cards.  Eat without guilt.