LAFF: Things I’m Loving in 2019….

I love reading “favorite things” lists on the internet because I love to discover new products, music, and food. So today I’m writing my own. Enjoy! 

  1. Internet Things-Pets with captions. Specifically Tucker Budzyn-a 1 year old Golden Retriever.
    I’ve never met this dog, I don’t know him personally, but let me just tell you–this dog makes me smile every day. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook @TuckerBudzyn. Also, I recommend this video of his: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjFAx5jPFN0
  2. Internet Things #2-Philip Defranco-I’ve been watching this channel on Youtube for about 3 years and I really enjoy it. It’s a news channel that gives you a 15-20 minute show every day on news topics from the US and globally. The main reason I enjoy this show is that it’s heavily researched and it’s independent and not beholding to anything. There are times I agree with what he says, and times I disagree.
  3. Internet Things #3-Lavender and Lemons Shoppe-Full disclosure? This Facebook page and blog is run by a friend of mine since college and focuses on disability, advocacy and health related content. And unlike other much larger platforms who don’t pay their writers, L&L seeks submissions and pays a small amount when they are able to. If you’d like to contribute to help fund writers, go to this link: https://lavenderlemonsshoppe.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR0I6rWyHgPKZy5QW6_04VH99m_PCEw8M39XN5zeApPzRu0Mtr0cR81L9WA
  4. Tillamook Mint Chocolate Chip Ice CreamI’m a lover of anything mint chocolate chip. The reasons I love this particular brand of ice cream is that first of all, there is no artificial dye in the ice cream itself. Unlike most other brands of MCC, this brands ice cream is white, not green. It still packs a delicious minty flavor without the dye. Also, the container comes pre-sealed so you can be assured that your ice cream does not come pre-licked by anyone trying to gain clout on the internet. (Dear Jesus, what have we become?? 😛 )
  5. My Favorite Human-My husband. (To be fair, he’s been my favorite human since 2008)
    This summer my husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. We’ve technically been together for over 11 years. We have seen each other through job losses, property moves, grandparent deaths, many many miles spend on the road and we still like each other. He’s super great and I believe that everyone needs a Chad in their life.

    me-laura-valentine

  6. Favorite Politician-………………………………………(Yep. I’m sick of all of them and wish we could scrap them all and start over. Blech)
  7. Favorite Morning Devotional AppOur Daily Bread. I read these in booklet form starting in college and they were just long enough to keep my ADD attention span. In the era of smartphones, you can download their app in the Google Play Store (or whatever the iphone equivalent is) so you have a daily devotional delivered to your phone every morning.
  8. Favorite Ringtone-On a related note, when I procured this phone, I went in and looked at my ringtone options on ZEDGE. One of the artists that I plugged into ZEDGE’S search bar was Rich Mullins-the late contemporary christian artist. And I found a song by him-The Love of God. Then I put this as my ringtone. Now every time I hear my phone ring, I hear this song and it reminds me of how much Jesus loves me. I’ve also noticed I’m calmer in my everyday life since I’ve made this change.
  9. Favorite Music-Anything by Taylor Swift (Yes, I’m almost 40. Just let me have this, Ok, Linda? 😛 ) I am currently obsessed with Taylor Swift’s Lover Album (which dropped yesterday) and I’m listening to it as I write this. This album is not only Swift’s latest project, but marks the 1st album where she actually owns all the songs. #GirlPower
  10. Blueberry cobbler-Chad and I are at the age where having normal blood pressure levels is a good thing. We discovered that berries help to lower high blood pressure and have gotten into eating frozen blueberries. Tonight I put them into a cobbler. If you need the recipe, you can refer to it here, swap out the peaches for blueberries and omit the cinnamon. 
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#CommunityForCODA

**If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation and needs help, you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or The Council on Domestic Abuse (CODA) at: 800-566-CODA (2632)

All calls can remain anonymous.

I’m not even sure how to start this one, so I’ll just make it simple: The domestic violence shelter in our town needs your help. Due to a lack of available funding, The Council On Domestic Abuse (CODA) residential home will close September 14th unless $150K is raised to cover funds. And because of the financial crunch, 8 staff members will be let go from their jobs this Friday, August 23. 

This is a devastating blow to our small town, a place where many already live on or below the poverty line. Without a shelter for domestic violence survivors and their children, those living on or below the poverty line are left especially vulnerable.

But you can help.

CODA has set up online donations to try and raise enough money by September 14th to keep the residential facility open. You can donate funds here.

If you are not able to donate, you can still help by calling and emailing Indiana Congressman Larry Buschon’s office to ask what he plans to do to address CODA funding. 

Congressman Buschon’s office: (812) 232-0523

Email: https://bucshon.house.gov  (Click the “contact” button on the page)

Thanks! 

LAFF: Lulabelle’s Guide to Surviving Your First Mammogram…….

**Please note that most of these tips are written for humorous purposes and shouldn’t be taken seriously. To be honest, I’m being overly dramatic and having a mammogram is not all that bad.

One legit tip I can give you is if you are worried about pain, take some tylenol before your appointment.

Also, for some reason they want you to avoid using deodorant or any powder products under your arms on the day of your appointment.

My 3rd tip is to try and schedule your appt for a time where you know your breasts will not be tender due to your cycle. This will most likely cut down on your uncomfortableness with the mammogram process.

My last legit time would be to not wear a bra or wear a soft sports bra to your appt. Your breasts will be a little sore afterwards and an underwire bra could make things a bit more uncomfortable. 

Ok, on to my ridiculous tips. 😛


Guys, I’m getting old.

Specifically I’m around the age that a yearly mammogram is recommended. After thinking I felt something a few weeks ago (doctor didn’t feel anything on the follow up exam) I decided to schedule a mammogram just in case because I’m about to be 40 in a few months and at least once in my life I want to be on time or early for something.

My mammogram was today and I lived through it. As nervous as I was about it, I decided to make a guide to getting through it.

1. Don’t worry about the pain and discomfort. Honestly on a scale of 1 to getting hit in the face with a brick, it’s really not that bad. You’ll be fine.

2. You’ll be shocked and amazed at the way your breast can contort into about 50 different shapes during your mammogram. Those cirque du origami boobs are yours and you should be quite proud of their feats of stretch and foldiness.

3. It’s a good idea to take with you a small spatula because inevitably one of your boobs will become adhered to the imaging surface (especially if you have it done on one of the hottest days of the year like I did, where even in the air conditioning you can feel the heat). And no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to get it elegantly lifted off the tiny table with just your hands. 

The imaging tech tugged so hard, my left boob almost flew up off the imaging surface and hit me in the face. Next time I’m putting a small spatula in my purse. Just in case.

4. Have an uncomfortable anecdote ready to share with the imaging tech as payback for squishing your boobs flat as pancakes. I decided to go with the story of how Chad’s great grandma was treated for breast cancer in the 1920’s with acid.

It definitely got the desired result and made me feel like we were now even. 

I hope these tips helps you prepare for your first or next mammogram. 

Happy weekend, y’all! 😀

 

 

LAFF: Linoleum Chicken and Broken Tailgates………..

For this week’s LAFF I almost told the story about how the other day when I was deciding what to have for dinner, I opened the freezer and a box of fried chicken jumped off the freezer shelf and landed on the floor with such force that the box split open and the chicken flew out and landed on the floor.

I definitely DID NOT eat it for dinner later.

*Because my mother raised me better than that. 😉

So instead of that story, I’m going to tell you a story about my wheelchair. This is actually part 1 of a 3ish part series on my journey to get another wheelchair.

Enjoy!

This year my manual wheelchair turns 13 years old.

In cat years that is about 63ish. In wheelchair years that is at least 103 and honestly, she sounds like it.

Old Blue, as I like to refer to her, came to be mine after the tragic loss of my old wheelchair.

I say tragic because I lost her in a freak traffic accident, but it’s not what you think.

When I lived in Louisville about 13 years ago, I was using the same chair I had since Jr. High.  I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Back in my 20’s I was still walking with crutches and a walker on a regular basis, so my manual chair didn’t get as much use.  But I did use it to go on errands like grocery shopping.

On this particular day, I asked a neighbor to take me as the store was just up the road a few miles. Her only vehicle was a pickup truck. I didn’t think much of it as she hoisted my chair into the truck and we were on our way.

When we arrived at the store, we got out of the truck and walked to the back to discover my chair was GONE.

How in the world??

Aliens?

The Rapture??

Nope. Turns out that living on the bottom of a hill and putting your chair into a pick up truck with a broken tailgate is a pretty solidly bad idea.

We immediately retraced our steps and the funny thing was, the chair was NO. WHERE. TO. BE. FOUND.

It’s very strange and unnerving to lose a piece of you that’s not exactly your body, but at the same time it feels like you broke your legs. And it’s an unfortunate way to learn to not put your wheelchair in a pick up truck with a broken tailgate.

So long story short, I was fortunate enough to be able, after several weeks, to start the process of getting a new chair-at no cost to me. 

And we’ve been through so many adventures together.

I met the love of my life while in this chair.  

She was my “something blue” at my wedding.

We saw a total solar eclipse together. 

I’ve held all my nieces and nephews while sitting in this chair. 

It’s been quite a journey with this chair, but I’m so excited for this next chapter. 

Stay tuned! 

Flying wedding
One of our favorite wedding photos featuring my something blue 🙂

*I guess in this instance, do as I say, not as I do?? 😛

Dear Gov. Ivey………..

Congratulations! Because of you, people from both sides of the aisle are coming together…in criticism of the new anti abortion bill you signed into law this week.

You gotta admit, you have to know you’ve done F’ed up when both Tomi Lahren AND Pat Robertson come out against your policy.

Abortion in and of itself is controversial, but when you unequivocally ignore cases of unwanted pregnancy that happen through rape or incest, you manage to re-traumatize victims in the name of saving a life. Trauma that already leads to depression, anxiety and increased rates of suicide

And while I am pleased that there is an exception when the life of the mother is in danger, I think it’s a good idea to point out that I’ve made the conscious choice to not become pregnant because as a **disabled woman, pregnancy would be harder on my body and I’m terrified of the potential complications that could physically harm or end my life.

But I made that choice. And I can control whether or not to change my mind on that.

Unless I am raped. And live in Alabama. 

So this law really pisses me off.

It further frustrates me when we talk about this law and women like myself are told to “get our tubes tied” if we don’t want to get pregnant by rape.

So instead of, I don’t know, maybe telling men not to become rapists and increasing the punishments for those convicted, we are telling would-be rape victims to prevent getting pregnant by first getting their tubes tied.

Alabama is also set to punish physicians who perform these procedures by giving them sentences that are far greater than the rapists who put their female victims in the position to need an abortion. 

Neat. 

“But Laura, what about that clause about the health of the mother?” 

Well…….

I don’t trust the government to make a logical determination of the risks to my life when at the same time, as a disabled woman, I’ve needed a brand new wheelchair and the “options” available to me (through the government healthcare system we have) returned with a substandard product that would have further disabled my body (stay tuned for my 3-part wheelchair buying experience coming soon 😉 ).

In this case, it should be medical professionals and medical professionals only (one chosen by the women in crisis) who are tasked with determining what is the best course of action for their patient.

Abortion is horrible. But what is worse is taking away the choice of a woman in crisis. 

Full stop. 

**I speak only for myself as a disabled woman, and my views do not necessarily represent the entire disabled community.

LAFF: The One Where Lulabelle DIY’s a Crazy Product She Found on the Internet……

***Trigger Warning: Today’s blog contains talk of babies and a baby related product. If this subject is a trigger for you, click off this blog and enjoy one of my other non baby related posts. 🙂

I found it yesterday. And thought initially it was a joke.

But after finding a link to the website where it can be purchased, I realized it was very much a new thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, FridaBaby has outdone themselves this time with a product dads of toddlers have needed for years. And for $27.99, you can have it.

May I present to you, FridaBalls, the kid proof underwear for dads!!

Honestly I’m still clicking around the website making sure this isn’t an April Fools joke, bu so far it seems legit.

But that price? For ONE pair?? I mean, I guess you could justify that, especially if you have an overly kicky child, but I wondered……Could this be DIY’d?

Well folks, I would say YES!! And as it turns out, this product came out just in time, especially if you have leftover Easter eggs.

What you’ll need to DIY yourself a pair of kid proof underwear:

1. One pair or boxers or briefs

2. One half of a plastic Easter egg (and size does matter here. Makes sure it fits your um,  stuff)

3. Needle and thread or fabric glue or hot glue (*If using hot glue DO NOT wear the garment during this step).

Take the pair of boxers or briefs and find the pockety hole thing reserved for your “delicate package”. Take half of the Easter egg and place it inside the pockety thing, open side towards you. Then secure it to the boxer or briefs by the method of your choice (**do NOT wear the garment while securing the egg). 

And ba-bam! Instant kid proof anti ball bustin’ underwear!

You’re welcome! 🙂  

*Lulabelle.net is not responsible for injuries acquired if instructions were not followed or if it was decided to drink and DIY

**See first warning.

***It was also brought to my attention during a rough draft reading of this post that I neglected to specify that if you use hot glue or fabric glue, it should go between the outside of the egg and the fabric of the underwear.  While I thought this to be an understood step, I did just point out to not wear the underwear while attaching the egg, so there you go. 😛 

 

 

PSA: The One Where Lulabelle Reminds You About the Importance of Following Directions…….

A few months ago I referenced briefly how this past summer I developed an ulcer on my hip. At the time I was unsure how it happened, but in the months since I’ve connected the dots and figured out why I ended up with a bullet sized hole in my hip.

The TL;DR-I don’t read directions on things I buy that I assume I know how to clean.

Oops!

So today I decided to pass along my knowledge so what happened to me doesn’t happen to you.

You’re welcome!

So, for the entire story, we have to go back to last fall. That was when Chad asked me to find something that we could put down on the bottom of the inside of the tub so he wouldn’t slip and fall in the shower. The first attempt was small stick on grippy strips that Riley immediately pulled up.

Solution #2 was a squishy tub mat from Walmart.

That seemed to stand up against our youngest cat’s claws and teeth.

But there seemed to be a problem.

I wanted to get into the habit of cleaning more in the bathroom, so at least once a week, I cleaned the bathtub and tub mat in the way I’ve always cleaned them-by spraying bathroom cleaner onto it and scrubbing it down with a scrub brush.

It seemed though that the more I scrubbed it, the dirtier it appeared. I couldn’t figure it out, so I tried to wipe it down with another cleaner-no change.

Around the same time I developed a weird red mark on my hip…..That turned into an ulcer.

Months later the question of how this even happened still baffled me. So I went to the free clinic in town and got it cultured. And it came back a week later positive for TWO types of bacteria.

Yep. Overachiever over here. Go me!

After my ulcer was cultured, I went out and bought another tub mat to replace the weirdly dirty looking one we had.

I found one that I was excited to try because it was a micro-fiber one that could be put in the WASHER! How cool! I also noticed it looks suspiciously like the one we had at home. So we bought it and brought it home and I inspected both and gasped!

Ladies and gentlemen, apparently, MICRO FIBER TUB MATS CAN’T BE SCRUBBED WITH A CLEANING BRUSH AND CLEANER!! Apparently what I had been doing for months with our old mat was actually introducing bacteria deep into the mat and that is how my ulcer formed!

Knowledge is power, kids. Hopefully this story will help you not get an infectious ulcer on your hip.

Cheers!