On The Nationwide School Walkout…..A Historical Perspective……

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:1

To the students who walked out today, I offer some encouragement:

When you hear and see adults criticising you for your choice and say your feelings don’t matter, just remember:

1. Queen Esther successfully petitioned King Xerxes to spare an entire nation from certain death. She is remembered every year during the Jewish celebration of Purim. She was 14. (Esther 1-7)

2. Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego all mustered up the courage to defy a kingdom order and were all thrown into a fiery furnace where, instead of burning, they came out unsinged. The king looked upon them and decreed that their God must be the one true God.  They were between the ages of 11 and 13. (Daniel 3 NIV)

In our modern times we have:

3. In 1899, newsboys (boys who sold newspapers), went on strike for 2 weeks to protest low wages in New York City. They were successful in increasing their wages. One of the leaders of the protest, Kid Blink, was reported to be between 13 and 14 years old.  (As a side note, the strike was the inspiration for one of my favorite movies, “Newsies.” 🙂 ) 

4. Bana Alabed tweeted in real time the events that were happening in her town in Aleppo, Syria during the height of the crisis there in 2016. She has since published a book entitled, “Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace.” She is 8 years old. 

5. Founding father James Monroe was 18 when he co-signed the Declaration of Independence. 

So my young marchers, take courage. You are here for a reason and our future is brighter because of you. ❤

Thank you!

PS: Always remember you are never alone and are loved and supported more than you can imagine.



LAFF: The Not So Thin Black Line……

It may be Friday all week on the blog. I just have too much material from life lately to do any other post.

I hope you don’t mind. 😛

So I recently got enough curiosity and courage to attempt liquid eyeliner to up my makeup game. I went to the store and picked up a very reasonably priced liquid eyeliner pen that I thought I could use easier than a traditional ink and brush liner.

I started practicing using the eyeliner at home before I went out in public. My first attempt at putting it on, I spent a good 20 minutes to a half hour making sure things were even on both sides. After several attempts, I was able to get my liner routine down to 10 minutes from start to finish.

Last night I had plans with a friend to go shopping and stimulate the local economy. Because of my schedule and job, I don’t get out of the house as much as I’d like, so when I do, I like to glam it up a bit. So even though it was a random Monday evening, I reached for my new eyeliner and applied it first to my left eye.


I went to apply it to my right eye.

I pressed the felt tip, at an angle as per the instructions, to my eyelid close to my eyelashes…….nothing.

“That’s weird”, I thought. “It worked fine a moment ago.”

I repositioned my hand and tried again……nothing. At this point I’m getting frustrated because here I am, just a girl with a dream of seeing other people in her day other than her cats and her husband and she’s about to walk out the door with lopsided eyelids.

I totally would have done it too. But my plans got pushed back a few minutes and I had time to try again to make an even line on my right eyelid.


GAH!! WHY is this so hard?? The package DOES NOT say the product is only good for 2 weeks. 

Even so, I was determined not to just toss the eyeliner-at least until after I used it one last time. And I needed to try to even out my face, so what could I do? 

I may have run the liner under a stream of water. 

That actually worked really well and I’ll be doing that until either, A: That stops working or B: I get an eye infection because I didn’t know that running your eyeliner underwater can give you one. *It should be noted that I don’t necessarily think that would happen, but knowing me, this is an entirely plausible situation. 

So what can you do if you are in the same situation and one eye looks amazing while the other eye refuses to be lined? No worries, just pop on an ungodly bright color of lipstick and nobody will notice your lopsided eyeliner face! 😛

purple lipstick

Some people, during their midlife crisis, buy insanely expensive and impractical cars. I buy insanely impractical lipstick shades. I’m also getting the midlife crisis out-of-the-way 2 years early. 😀 

LAFF on Monday: Eh Cautionary Tale….

Yesterday Chad and I had a date night and I spent about an hour in the bathroom making sure I was groomed within an inch of my life and putting on my makeup while listening to the RENT soundtrack. I had a song from RENT going through my head and decided to listen to the entire album while I did my makeup in bright shades of purple, blue and a yellow-green that reminded me of that shade of duo-chromatic green with undertones of yellow that was popular in the 90’s when I was in high school.

In case you wondered, this is what I looked like in high school. Apparently brushing your hair was just a suggestion back then. 😀 And yes, I am wearing overalls. I lived in overalls pretty exclusively from 1994-2004ish. At one point, two of my college roommates threatened an intervention so I’d stop wearing them.

I’m getting my next pair today. 😀

HS Me in Overalls

Anyway, back to our story…..

Our senior class trip was to Toronto Canada to see the sights and take in a Broadway show. RENT had just found its way to Canada and we were all excited to see it. (OK, I can’t speak for everyone in my class, but I was pretty stoked.)

Right before we left for Canada, it was decided to make the entire class pack their birth certificates because it wasn’t quite known if everyone would be checked at the border or if they’d just want passports and such from our foreign exchange students. I mean, I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. Now, packing our birth certificates (original copies of course 😉 ) wasn’t in and of itself a big deal. But it was decided by our class sponsors that since we were going off to college and into adulthood just a few months later, that each student in the class would be responsible for their own birth certificate.

Can you see where this is going? Great! I don’t have to finish this blog.

**Lulabelle attempts to exit stage left to hunt for chocolate in the freezer to satisfy her sweet tooth. Meanwhile, the ghost of High School past intervenes to give her a gentle reminder**

Dangit! I guess that wasn’t quite the entire point of the story. Let’s **begrudgingly** continue.

So anyway, our trip went off without a hitch. This particular story picks up on the morning when we left our hotel. I packed my belongings and made it down to the bus to board on time (we were fined a dollar for each minute we were late to places during our trip. This would be one of the last times I was on time for anything the rest of my life. 😀 )

After boarding, I began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach. I mean, it was hardly noticeable at first, but the closer we got to home and out of the country, it grew to such a sickening feeling that I couldn’t ignore it.

I couldn’t remember if I had packed my birth certificate to go back home.


This notion was confirmed when I returned home and went through my things and didn’t find it. I knew the hardest part of this was going to be telling my parents. As it was after midnight, I crept to my parent’s bedroom door and knocked. My mom answered and had the look of just getting up from a very deep sleep. I anxiously blurted out, “I think I left my birth certificate in Canada,” and waited for the parental hand of God to come down on me. To my relief, she said, “It’s ok. We’ll talk it out in the morning,” turned around and went back to bed. 

I should have known this wasn’t the end of the conversation. But at that moment, I was just satisfied that I hadn’t gotten punished. I went to bed, happy and content that this incident was behind me.

Until I woke up the next day that is. 

At breakfast, I again mentioned my birth certificate mishap. and to my surprise, my mom LOST. HER. MIND……

“How could you forget your BIRTH CERTIFICATE??!!” 

“Don’t you know all the things you are going to need an original birth certificate for??” 

“I don’t think you understand how SERIOUS this is!!” 

Ah, this was a fun interaction. 

Dear parents, when your kid F’s up and needs to be punished, PLEASE take the time to do it immediately so your kid doesn’t get a false sense of security and is blindsided later by the consequences of their actions.

Or let them sweat. But tell them that they will be punished later. 

Honestly, my parents didn’t ground me or take away my phone (didn’t have one anyway-HA!). In my parent’s wisdom, they knew I’d be paying for this mistake for YEARS to come. 

And I have.

To add insult to injury, most of the things I’ve needed a copy of my original birth certificate (which you can thankfully get for a small processing fee) involve the DMV. A place no ordinary human goes to for a fun time. 

This alone is DEFINITELY punishment enough. 😛 

It’s amazing how many places you need your birth certificate immediately after you no longer have it. And yes, one thing that my mom made me do the next day is call the hotel and ask if they found one. 

They did not.

So if you are a young person going out of the country, make sure you make knowing where your passport and birth certificate is at all times a priority. Worst case scenario, get it tattooed on your hip or something. 

DO NOT, however, get it tattooed on your boobs. That would create a whole host of other issues. 😉 

I don’t know what the solution would be to never lose another important item in your life, but I hope this story made you smile and hopefully you’ll remember to remember your birth certificate the next time you need it. 


*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.