“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…”

Today I want to tell you about this kid right here (the boy at the microphone participating in a spelling bee.):

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This picture was taken in 1982.

This is Chad.

My husband.

Today is his birthday.

And he’s one of the kindest, sweetest, caring men I’ve ever known.

And I prayed for him, years before we met. Even before I knew his name.

That God would strengthen him and help him grow to love Jesus. 

That Jesus would comfort him when he was sad or lonely. 

I prayed that’d he’d not see me as a burden. 

We met in 2008. And right away I knew he loved Jesus. 

I also knew he’d not see me as burden as he intently watched my driver put my wheelchair in the back of the car on our first date. 

That was 10 and a half years ago. 

And I can say that every day since, this journey that I am on with Chad has been the most thrilling, scary, silly, funny, and rewarding experience of my life. 

I can’t wait for the next 50. 

Happy birthday, m’love.

I love you more.

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39 is the New 80: Part Deux……

Several weeks ago I wrote about my latest health issue and the subsequent doctor recommended course of treatment-more protein every day. I started taking BOOST nutritional drink, but was concerned about the sugar content. So I began searching for an alternative.

Last night Chad brought home a box of protein bars. The Pure Protein brand in chocolate deluxe. Which looked deceptively delicious like a normal candy bar.

It was a bar covered in chocolate. What else was I supposed to think?

As soon as I took a bite, a sense of hollow sadness came over me to the point where for a moment I questioned if Jesus really loved me (which is awkward because I’ve already begun decorating the house in anticipation of celebrating His birth. In November. Don’t come for me 😛 ).

It was so bad that after I swallowed the last bite, I had to go into the refrigerator and squirt the rest of the can of whipped cream in my mouth to get rid of the after taste. (To be fair I would have done this anyway. First off its whipped cream and delicious. Secondly, it had been in the fridge for a week and had to be eaten or it would have gone sour and that’s just a tragedy waiting to happen. So in a way I was being responsible.) 

Texture wise it was like eating sawdust with a tiny bit of bitter chocolate flavoring mixed in. 

So my search for a yummy protein bar that’s low in sugar continues. 

Stay tuned! 

PS: Jesus will love you no matter how bad your protein bar tastes. 😉 

Why 39 is the New 80……….

In October we celebrate my birth month!! And in my 39th year we are starting out strong and our body is ROCKIN’…….and literally crumbling like a wedding cake immediately frosted after coming out of the oven.

Seriously. No joke.

I’m currently nursing a skin ulcer on my hip. If you aren’t familiar with what an ulcer is, let me break it down for you. It currently looks like there is a bullet hole on my hip.

Yes, you heard that right.

And the doctor can’t figure out where it came from ( yes mom, I did get it cultured and am waiting with anticipation for the results 😉 UPDATE: Results came yesterday and I tested positive for not one but TWO different types of bacteria. Ah, I love being an over-achiever 😛 ).

It started as a red mark on my hip and after a few weeks of daily Epsom salt baths and manuka honey patches, it finally came to a head and a mess of crap fell out.

And left a hollow hole in my hip.

Pretty unsettling to look down and see a hole in your hip, but there you go. Thankfully I have a great team of doctors advising me on treatment and it’s slowly gotten better. I even consulted a nutritionist and have since been chugging one BOOST nutritional drink per day.

You know BOOST, the stuff your great-aunt Bippy drinks to supplement her diet. Yep. Not only does it supplement nutrition, but apparently it’s been shown to heal skin ulcer’s quickly.

(Sidenote: I recommend the strawberry. It’s delicious.)

I’ve also been regularly soaking in Epsom salt to relieve pain.

I’m literally seconds away from going into the home. Apparently.

It’s probably about time I brushed up on my shuffleboard skills.

birthday blog meme

Cheers! 😛 

Steemit Exclusive: Sound Bites From My Childhood…

The following story from my childhood was originally shared on my Steemit account.

I’ve wanted to upload this story sooner than today, but our oldest cat has been sick and after a trip to the vet yesterday it was determined she needs dental surgery. So it’s gonna be a fun next couple weeks up in here.

*The name of the main character in the story below has been changed to protect his privacy and dignity.

Although I was in kindergarten more than 30 years ago, I still very vividly remember this next story. My class was small and one of the kids in my class was named *Fredrick.

On the outside, there wasn’t anything extraordinary about Fredrick, but while we were in kindergarten he was going through an interesting developmental phase…..

He bit people.

Specifically me.

I can’t recall if I was his only victim or if he had others on his munchy list, but I do remember several instances where my arm and his teeth connected. Of course, I told my teacher about this and she made sure that we no longer sat next to each other.

But Fredrick still found a way. I remember one day in particular when I was several kids away from him in the reading circle. Unfortunately, I was sitting next to one of his criminal associates (no doubt part of some sort of kindergarten biting mafia) and they grabbed my arm and stretched it out so that it would make easy contact with his teeth.

This incident prompted a call to Fredrick’s parents and a few days later I got a letter in the mail (this was way before email was a thing) along with a small stuffed bear. The letter was a formal apology from Fredrick.

The biting stopped after this letter was sent. I found out later that in addition to the apology letter/teddy bear, Fredrick’s mom took him to the library (back in the day these were building where you could go and take out books to read for free) and had him look up the word “cannibalism.”

I’ve since tasked mom’s I’m living vicariously through to do this if their little one has a biting phase. 😛

Fast forward 10 years. I was going to a high school that had weekly assemblies. These assemblies had assigned seating that would change every semester. My senior year I looked at the new assembly seating chart and who was I assigned to sit by?

FREDRICK!

I guess this is what happens when you live in a small town and need to fill an assembly hall with assigned seating.

Thankfully, Fredrick kept his teeth to himself during the semester and I emerged bite free at graduation.

So take heart, parents of tiny cannibals, most likely your child will grow out of craving human flesh.

And if not, at least he’ll become an awesome apology note writer. 😉

Cheers! 

Steemit Exclusive: The Dangers of Getting Dressed in the Dark…..

Growing up in the midwest, there is a certain time of year, namely winter, where you get up before the sun and have to leave for work or school before the sun is up. When I was in high school, I had to ride to school with my mom who was a teacher at the high school I attended. This meant that there were plenty of days that I’d have to get dressed in the dark.

Fortunately, I was still able to look as presentable as you’d imagine for someone who went to high school in the late 90’s, knee-deep in the grunge style scene.

There was one slight drawback for getting dressed in the dark. And I never figured it out till it was almost too late.

I suppose it was my own fault. See, I had a habit of wearing the same pair of jeans more than once in a week. Normally, I’d wear the same pair on consecutive days. But back then I also had a bad habit of not shaking out my pants before putting them back on.

I blamed this on how early I had to wake in the morning.

It wasn’t until I was already at school, waiting for class to start, when all my friends were around, that I would make a grim discovery. I’d find a strange bulge in my lower pant leg. Now, because of my leg brace, I didn’t feel anything weird, it was only when I went to pull my legs to my chest when I was sitting down that I’d feel the strange bulge.

But what was it?

In a word, it was, um…….underwear. Dirty underwear to be exact.

Yeah, turns out I hadn’t shaken out my underwear from my jeans from the day before and they were now stuck in my pant leg.

At school.

In front of my friends.

Ladies and gentlemen, this would be the alternative dream to the one where you arrive at school naked.

So how did I retain my dignity and not let slip (pun intended) my mistake in getting dressed that morning? By a slow and sneaky sleight of hand maneuver. I’d put my hand over the bulge in my leg and begin rubbing it up and down like I had an itch….slowly working the offending garment down my pant leg and out through the leg hole. I’d scrunch it into a tight ball in my fist and hold it tight while I made a sort of “walk of shame” to my mom’s classroom where I’d hand it off to here and she’d put it in her desk. The thought never occurred to me to put it in my locker. I guess I figured it’d be more likely to fall out when I opened my locker and then I’d really give everyone something to talk about.

In a school of no less than 200 students, a tale of runaway underwear would have spread as fast as the tickets sell out for a Taylor Swift concert.

Now you’d think that perhaps this only had to happen once for me to remember to shake out my jeans when I took them off.

You’d be wrong.

Even 20 years later I can remember this happening no less than 3 times.

So why did I include this story? Well, you see, I got dressed in the dark this morning and am now writing this entry in an isolated corner of the grocery store.

With a balled up pair of dirty underwear in my fist.

Some people never learn. 

Cheers! 

LAFF: Lulabelle’s DIY Edible Room Deodorizer………(When You Burn Dinner But Are Too Short to Open the Windows)

There are a few things in life that are inevitable: death, taxes, having that dream where you arrive at school in your underwear or naked, and burning dinner at least once. 

Last night I burnt dinner. 

We are trying to eat healthier and save money, so last night I grabbed a pre-packaged chicken from the freezer and ran it under hot water before opening the package and reading the directions.

The directions never said anything about putting a small amount of water in the pan, so initially, I didn’t. Especially since I was using a nonstick pan.

That was dumb.

It began to stick, so I threw in a tiny bit of water.  I think that made it angrier as smoke started to pour from the skillet and I smelled burnt meat. 

Panic also set in as I realized I’m too short to open the windows and air the kitchen out. 

Praying I wouldn’t set off the smoke detector, I turned the burner off and pronounced dinner done. 

We ate what we could, but I have to be honest, it was chicken that looked like roast beef. In my defense, it wasn’t all my fault. Turns out that when you overcook chicken that has been dredged in Jamaican Jerk seasonings, it’ll definitely have a beefy quality when you plate it. 

After dinner, I had to face the burning meat smell in the kitchen and figure out a way to make it go away. Long story short, I’m a genius. 

First I took two mandarin oranges and peeled them. I put the slices and peel in a saucepan. Next, I added just a small bit of water, half an inch, to the pan. Finally, I covered the top with cinnamon and cloves and put it on the stove on medium high heat till it boiled. After it came to a boil, I turned it down to low to simmer for 10 minutes.  

 This filled the kitchen with such a yummy, warm smell of citrus and cinnamon. I was in heaven! After the mixture simmered for 10 minutes, I took it off the stove, fished out the orange slices and ate them. Finally, I strained out the peels poured the liquid into a glass and DRANK THE REMAINING JUICE! 

I will definitely be doing this again (adding a little bit of sugar) but I’ll be making a bigger batch and turn it into iced tea. 

Stay tuned! 

Steemit Exclusive: The One Where Lulabelle Reviews ZICO Coconut Water and Regrets Her Most Recent Life Choice…….

I’m a sucker for packaging. If there is something in a cute package, 9 times out of ten I’ll pick it up and at least 5 times out of ten I’ll end up buying it.

Last night Chad and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials. While in the juice aisle I ran across this:

ZICO WATERMELON COCONUT WATER DRINK
Now in addition to being a cute package fanatic, I’m also a watermelon fanatic, so when I saw the bright pink with specks of black, I knew I had to try it. And it was practically a steal at $2.99. (#HeavySarcasm)

Guys, I was had.

The advertisers roped me in with the cute packaging and by the time I realized how awful the product was, it was too late. I had already taken a sip.

And then I finished it. I KNOW, LINDA! DON’T JUDGE ME. LET ME EXPLAIN!

After my first sip, my face went into such contortions I thought I might vomit. (Ok, you can go ahead and judge me just a tad.) But then I thought maybe it’d get better as I drank it. (And I know what you are thinking, but no Linda, you are wrong, this was alcohol-free. 😉 I’ve just always been an overachiever. Sometimes that doesn’t end well. )

It’s like that idiot who tastes something, declares loudly that it “tastes terrible” and then asks another soon-to-be idiot to try it.

And I’m BOTH idiots.

So I’m sure you are all aching to know how this vile concoction tasted……

I have several thoughts on this and can’t make up my mind. The first taste that hits you when you sip it is…..salt.

Why?? It’s like this drink is catered towards those weird people who insist that salting their melons makes them taste better. Ladies and gentlemen, these people should not be trusted.

Then the flavor morphs into straight up Alka Seltzer which I have bad childhood memories of my mom who gave this to me to drink when I was sick. Thirdly, I’d like to think that this drink is similar to that stuff that they make you drink before you go in for your colonoscopy, which I will be doing, for the first time, in less than 2 years.

Oh, and that sound you just heard? That was the sound of my mother fainting because she forgot how old I am. 😛

So, to sum up, although the packaging is cute, I will not be trying this one again.