*The History of Phlegm…….

Three afternoons ago I admitted defeat.

I have the flu. 😦

Yeah. Last week I felt a little funny but decided it was just a change in weather. Nope.

Here is the current situation:

Not only is my nose stuffed up and running (How exactly is that possible? Beats me. I didn’t go to medical school), but I have body aches, chills, and a sinus headache.

It’s strange to be sick when you work from home. On the one hand, you don’t feel well and just want to stay in bed. On the other hand, you are literally just going into the other room and working for a few hours until you can get back to bed and rest.

While wearing only underwear or PJ’s.

I’m in that wonderful stage of sickness when you can’t breathe, you can’t remember the last time you were able to breathe, and you aren’t sure when you will ever. breathe. again. So how did I get sick without ever leaving the house? Well…..Let’s just say there were consensual adult activities happening and…..

I regret nothing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 😛 😉

In my defense, at the time of our “activities,” Chad was on an antibiotic so I had assumed he was good to go.

And just like that meme where Morgan Freeman narrates the reality of your life, the following conversation took place in my head,

Me (poor, stupid, unsuspecting me):”We can totally do this without me getting sick. Chad’s healed and everything will be fine.”

Morgan Freeman (The Voice of Reason–and God in at least two movies): “Everything was in fact NOT going to be fine.”

So for the last two days, I’ve been on a steady diet of Sprite (I’m on my 2nd 2-liter), orange Gatorade, peanut butter and cold medicine. The peanut butter is unrelated to my healing process, but rather was a Valentine’s Day gift from Chad that sounded good after I got sick. I’ve been trying to DIY solutions to hopefully kick this thing out of my body faster and the results have been mixed.

My DIY’s so far have included coating most of my body in Vick’s before going to sleep (Ears, chest, throat, soles of feet, nose, and face) and yesterday I even tried to smoke it out with ghost pepper hot sauce on my leftover pizza.

But not before asking Chad if we had ER money.

He didn’t say, so I did it anyway and as you might have guessed, it didn’t quite work. In the next day or so I’m planning on indulging in wasabi. Stay tuned.

I may even throw in a recipe for a cough syrup smoothie since a steady cough has developed as of this morning. #Bonus.

By the way, have you ever tried to use voice dictation on your phone or GPS when you have a severely stuffed up nose? Yeah. When your phone is older than dirt and on its last legs, and on top of that your nose is stuffed up, using the voice dictation feature is like trying to nail jello to the wall. Except it’s less slimy, but it still doesn’t work.

Also, if you live in the Midwest, be prepared to sound like you were an extra in the movie Fargo as the phlegm in your throat and stuffed up nose combine to deliver a delightful symphony of Midwestern dictation.

Update (2-22-18)……

Thankfully with this steady diet of flu meds, Sprite, Gatorade, peanut butter and leftovers, today I finally took a turn for the better. My teeth, however, are probably starting to sprout cavities from all the extra sugar from my flu remedy DIYs. 

Oops!? 😀

PS: Oh, and regarding the photo of me above? I just realized it looks like I was able to take one piece of kleenex and thread it through my nose. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but those are separate pieces of kleenex. I did, however, go to college with a guy who had an extra nostril. He showed us all once, but I was too chicken to look. 😛

*aka-how to clickbait your audience into reading your blog. Or, “How to Lose Subscribers in 3 Second Flat” 😉 

Lulabelle Eats Asia: Roasted Seaweed Snack (South Korea)…….

In honor of the Olympics in South Korea, I’m bringing back my “Lulabelle Eats Asia” series (while also cleaning out my archived unpublished entry box). And today we eat everyone’s favorite aphrodisiac………….

SEAWEED!! (No, seriously. It is one. I googled it. 😛 )

Now, I generally don’t mind fish and other seafood, but even for me, seaweed was a bit out there. But my sister’s kids eat it as a snack and a few years ago when we were visiting them, I tried some. From what I can remember this tasted exactly the same.

Smell: Like the ocean. Fishy deliciousness. Which is weird because it’s not fish, but a plant. But it’s in salt water, so I guess that makes sense.

Taste: As these are supposed to be lightly salted, I gotta say I’m a little disappointed because they taste a little bland. They also have a tiny fishy flavor to them, but they smell fishier than they taste. (Although it should be noted that if you have a cat, they *may* be curious about the smell, but not enough to eat it for themselves).

Appearance: Each piece of seaweed is a rectangular thin sheet of delicate seaweedness. It’s actually very pretty to look at in the light. Like a delicate piece of glass.

.4oz package contains two servings. Each serving contains 30 calories, 50mg of sodium and 2g of fat.

So, as there is still a little bit of valentines day left (at least for the midwest and west coast stateside), go out and buy a package of seaweed, cut it into little heart shapes, snuggle up to your sweetie and let the seaweed do the rest. 😉 

Bon Appetite’ Y’all

LAFF: Things I Don’t Understand…..

  1. Tide Pod Eating-Why? 
  2. *If you never leave your house, HOW does the flu find you?? :-O
  3. Why does my cat prefer to hang out in a room that is 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house? And why when I keep that door closed because of the cold, does he look at me like I just replaced his regular food with a bowl of citrus fruit? (He HATES the smell of citrus.)
  4. Doritos for Ladies: There are just no words for this. Apparently, before the proposed product was scrapped, the advertising hook was that they were less crunchy and more dainty (this last descriptive word is just conjecture) and would, therefore, be more appealing to women. Ah, what can I say about this? Here’s the thing, I don’t know about most woman, but I know for sure this woman loves the crunch. She NEEDS the crunch. For the love of baby Jesus KEEP THE CRUNCH! (And all of a sudden, I’m not sure we are talking about chips anymore. 😛 )
  5. Why is Postmates not available in every city and small town? What am I supposed to do when it’s 1am and I have a chocolate craving and there is none in the house? Go without? Yeah, I don’t think you understand the magnitude of the situation, bruh.
  6. Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl performance. I still can’t figure out what I just watched. I was further confused by his outfit and spent half the time trying to decide if it was a patterned fabric or video projection.
  7.  Why does everyone site Psycho as Hitchcock’s scariest movie when The Birds is 1000x more creepy. Yeesh. #NotFakeNews
  8.  **Cab passengers who call to book a ride, but can’t give me an exact pickup address. This will never stop being confusing. 
  9. Finding something in the frozen food aisle that has instructions for deep-frying, conventional and toaster oven but no microwave instructions.
    This happened to us just this week and confused me because this item was being sold in an area that has 10 microwaves per half city block per capita. I guess breaded avocado slices are too bourgie for the microwave. 
  10. The other day, Chad woke up to this. Now see that little brown tuft of hair peeking out from the top of the blanket? That’s me.: rileyphoebebed(2)

My question is this: why isn’t the following scenario an acceptable reason to be late for work, “I couldn’t get out of bed because my cats refused to get off of me”?

Happy Weekend!

*Thankfully whatever I had in my body was gone by the time I woke up this morning.

**And yes, whenever I get a passenger who can’t give me an exact address, I request that they give me the name of a business around them or ask someone. 

Throwback Tuesday: The Harsh Reality of Dreaming Your Dreams……

Throwback Tuesday.
I made it up. 😛

Because today I wanted to republish a story that I wrote in 2005 for the Spina Bifida Association of Wisconsin. Although I had written it specifically for that chapter of the Spina Bifida Association, the newsletter that it had been written in had been sent out to all chapters of the association. So in honor of my first national article, I’m rewriting it here for all to enjoy. 

Living with Spina Bifida brings with it a natural level of anxiety and questions about specific milestones experienced by most people; specifically dating, marriage and having children.  Another milestone that brings anxiety includes living independently from your parents. 

Since moving into my own apartment 8 months ago, I have experienced joy in new-found independence. But several weeks ago I was forced to re-evaluate my dreams of getting married and having children after discovering an ominous bruise on my big left toe. After a precautionary visit to my doctor and a series of x-rays, it was determined I had a small fracture between my big and fourth toe. As soon as I heard the verdict of the bruise, I felt a sinking feeling. I had a pretty good idea of what caused the bruise. It was the result of my life-long habit. 

I am a compulsive sleep kicker and had obviously kicked my battery operated wheelchair that was beside my bed. 

As the youngest of 3 children, my kicking habit banished me to many a hotel floor when my family went on vacation and my parents doled out the sleeping arrangements. I knew my habit was a bit of a nuisance during a college choir tour where I slept in the same bed with another female member of the choir. After one night of sleeping in the same bed, my friend told me she had to remove my leg from on top of her during the night because she couldn’t wake me up (I also suffer from deep sleeper-itis but that’s another issue for another column 😉 ). 

Despite prior knowledge of my unconscious kicking habit, sitting in my doctor’s office with a broken toe made me worry and take stock of my dreams for the future. I thought, “If I can physically harm myself in my sleep, imagine how much damage I’d do if someone else was sleeping in the same bed!” So far I’ve come up with several solutions, however unconventional, to keep my future husband safe from my flailing appendages: 

1. Trade in my normal sleepwear for one of those puffy, rubber sumo-wrestling suits.

2. Purchase helmet, elbow/knee pads, athletic cup, and umpires vest as wedding gifts for my new husband. 

3. Rig legs up with a string attached to a bell. Each time my legs kicked I’d wake up (although this would require my husband to wear heavy-duty earplugs). 

4. Keep index cards in my purse explaining the scope of my habit. Give to dates when it appears the man could potentially end up with several broken bones as a result of years of sleeping next to me. Also, make sure the guy has updated tetanus shot. 

Maybe this last one is more on the mark. After all, isn’t part of the dream finding a guy who will stay with me despite my shortcomings, and work with me to find a solution that will keep us both from my mysterious bruises on our feet? 

 PS-Years have passed and I still have this habit, unfortunately. But there was a solution that I didn’t even consider. We ended up getting a king-sized mattress.

Problem solved. 

Also, I changed very little editorially speaking and yep. You are right-I HAVE improved my writing style in the last 10 years. Although the biggest change I would make is to change bell into foghorn because the man I ended up marrying sleeps so deep you could explode a cannon in his face and he wouldn’t wake up. 

Probably. Not that I’ve tried this. 😛 Or thought of doing this ever. 


LAFF: Lulabelle’s Guide on How to Procrastinate…..

The other day Chad and I were faced with a small crisis. Both our bathroom sink and bathtub became clogged to the point where when you step into the shower, it could double as a bathtub. The time had come to try to plunge both the sink and tub.

Now our bathroom drains had become clogged due to both having long hair. When I was a kid (with much shorter hair) one of my jobs since I had my own bathroom was to clean out the drain of hair every few weeks. I actually thought it was pretty fun and I never thought it was particularly gross.

Flash forward almost 25 years and things have changed. Not only is my hair significantly longer than it was when I was a kid, but now my gag reflex has become so sensitive that I can only take gummy vitamins.

Suffice it to say I was not looking forward to plunging the drains and cleaning out all that hair.

So instead of adulting and cleaning out all that gross hair, I thought I’d make a list of things to do instead of doing what you are supposed to be *doing:

1. Clean out the gutters. It doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of winter and snowing heavily.

2. Suddenly become obsessed with alphabetizing your pantry.

3. Taxes. April will be here before you know it so getting a head start is a good adult life choice. Yep.

4. Buy a subscription to Rosetta Stone-Mandarin so you can communicate with your niece and nephew. Start practicing immediately.

5. Actually work on that book you told everyone and their mother would be published in 2017.

6. Suddenly remember that you’ve never seen Justin Timberlake in concert and his TV performance starts in an hour. Might as well watch the preceding football event before it. 

7. Meal prep for the week for the first time in your life.

8. Take a broom, turn it upside down and put a dry cloth over the brush part. Then go along each corner of every room of the house sweeping away the cobwebs. 

9. Wax all nostalgic while rewatching old David Letterman segments with cute animals and the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. 

10. Make a list of ways to procrastinate and upload it to your blog. 

**Lulabelle and Lulabelle.com are not liable for any job termination or grounding you may receive from doing anything on this list while you are supposed to be doing something else. 😉

Settle For the Best….Avoiding Red Flags to Finding Happily Ever After…..

“It’s better to be single the rest of your life than married to the wrong person”

 “Women with disabilities have a 40% higher chance of being a victim of domestic abuse
(2017 Stats American Psychological Society)


Over the weekend Chad and I celebrated 4-1/2 years of wedded bliss. And it made me reflect on my life and what it took to get me to this point. To be able to wake up every day to the man of my dreams. 

Growing up I never had a boy show any interest in me. Even through high school, I was never asked out on dates.

This changed my sophomore year of college when I was introduced to a guy who was a mutual friend of one of my college suitemates. Although we lived several states apart, we began emailing and phoning back and forth and I fell head over heels for him.

He was charming and funny.

He told me I was pretty and that he loved me. We made tentative plans to meet in the summer.

Then things got weird.

Whenever I would mention hanging out with guy friends, he became extremely jealous. To the point of contacting some of my guy friends to tell them we were a couple. And to basically back off.


Then through our conversations, he began to ask inappropriate questions like what my ‘measurements’ were.

Um, ew.

He then suggested I needed to get off my anti-depressant because “I thought having a boyfriend would fix all your problems.”

You know that thing where your mouth works faster than your brain? Yeah. That happened a lot with this guy. Except that his brain believed what his mouth was saying. ( e_e )

To be honest, this made me uncomfortable, but as a 19-year-old who had never dated before, I clung to the very thin shred of good stuff.

Even though he saw me as an object to be possessed, not a treasure to be cherished.

But then he would tell me I was pretty and that he loved me.

Even so, I decided one day I needed a break. I asked him to not contact me through phone calls, email or snail mail for one week. So I could get my thoughts together.

This is when the gifts started arriving in the form of flowers. That I could not enjoy because I knew he was trying to manipulate me to get back together. Even so, I decided to get back together with him. 

Afterall he said he loved me and called me pretty. And I’d never gotten flowers from a guy before. 

Weeks passed, the school year ended, and my parents came to drive me back home. During the 18-hour trip, we had a long talk about my relationship with this guy. And their concerns that he wasn’t treating me well. Then my mom asked me something I’ve never forgotten: “Do you think this will be it?” In other words, “Do you think this will be the last time a guy shows interest in you?”

And to be honest in that moment as a 19-year-old, my answer was yes. I honestly thought he’d be the best I would ever have. Nearly 20 years later, I see the flaw in that reasoning. To think that things couldn’t ever be better. That I deserved better. 

Dear reader, the enemy comes to lie, cheat and destroy. The enemy will feed you the lies that this is the best you’ll ever have. That you don’t deserve someone who loves you for you. 

These are lies from the pit of hell. 

If he sees you as an object to be possessed, instead of a treasure to be cherished, he’s not the one. 

If he forces you to disconnect from friends or family, he’s not the one. 

If he hits you, even once, he’s not the one. 

If he forces you to do anything that you don’t want to do, sexually or otherwise, he’s not the one. 

You deserve the best and I promise the wait is SO worth it.