Thursday, January 30, 2014


I do not gently admit defeat to sickness.

I go down swinging, taking snot-drenched swipes at my illness and hoping that one of my pot-shots will stick, knocking it out of contention before it drags me into the Unwell Abyss.

Never mind that they almost never work... When I start feeling that I'm losing the good fight for my health, I immediately launch into this protocol:

Sunny Smiles'
List of Things That Will Almost Certainly Restore Her Healthometer Immediately After She Starts To Feel Sick

  • Drinking water like it's her job. Germs can't take hold if they're busy floating around in a body full of water.
  • Eating the spiciest food she can palate. Germs don't like chili or those chocolate bars with little peppers in them.
  • Wearing a hat. Germs cannot root in a noggin that is swaddled in fuzzy comfort.
  • Showering obsessively. Germs can be washed off. Still feel sick? Scrub harder.
  • Doing chores. Germs will admit defeat if the illness-getter can prove that they're too busy to be sick.
  • Hourly shots of orange juice. Germs will bow down to excessive Vitamin C intake.
  • [If orange juice doesn't work,] Odwalla smoothies with 1500% of daily Vitamin C. Again, germs can't handle the stuff. It burns them into submission.
  • Not actually saying "I feel sick." Germs can sense weakness. Never give up! Never surrender! And don't let them hear you say (or think) that they're winning.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Survival of the Snuggliest

I made it through, ReaderFriends! I survived the flu**1, in no small part because of the efforts of one Young Master and one Boyfriend of Amazingness.

Boyfriend of Amazingness made soup, kissed my forehead and talked me out of going to work until my fever broke and I was feeling better. He was, basically, Amazing.

Young Master took it upon himself to be my blanket, my footwarmer and my tissue. At no point during my illness was I without his nannying presence - He slept**2 within easy nose-ing distance at all times. He didn't leave except for cursory check-ins with Boyfriend of Amazingness, for bathroom excursions or to grab a mouthful of food. Seriously... he wouldn't even indulge in a full meal. He would eat a bite, toss his ball once, and then run back to my side.

I guess it does take a village to keep me on track.

**1 The first flu I can remember having since I was in fourth grade. I remember specifically because I missed a week of school except for one day when I had to go in and give a presentation on loons. I don't remember a blasted thing about that presentation except that I had a CD of loon calls that I played while I was presenting, and one of the birds was hitting the exact note that made my eyes water. Then my teacher took my picture, because it was a Big Deal sort of presentation. Somewhere I still have that photo, of me looking feverish and oozy and completely out of it. That's how I felt this past week.

**2 Slept is a strong term. He hovered. He didn't rest, and was therefore exhausted by the end of the whole ordeal. We rewarded him with an extra-long day of daycamp, where he played with other dogs for ten hours straight. He promptly came home and fell asleep, where he's been for the past 36 hours.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


New Year's is a time of tradition. Even for folks who don't indulge in superstition, the dawn of a new year is rife with opportunities to bring luck and health and love and happiness and all sorts of awesome upon themselves if they just take part in some little displays of fun.

Myself, I'm not one for traditions at New Year's. I'm all about Christmas and  Thanksgiving and birthdays and other little moments through the year, but on New Year's... I'm just not. Not because I don't want to be, but because I'm definitely not a late-night person and by the time the ball drops, my eyelids have too. I want to have traditions, but I'm just too tired.

This year was no exception. At 9:30 on New Year's Eve I was falling asleep on the couch, nestled between my guys. At 10:30 I was snuggled into bed, happily sleeping my way towards the New Year.

Fortunately at midnight some local kiddos set off a burst of fireworks. The fireworks, in turn, set off the Young Master. The Young Master alarm woke me up at only seconds past midnight, and I'm happy to report that I was able to gather my wits and realize what was going on in time to console Boyfriend of Amazingness (who had also indulged in an early bedtime) with a "Happy New Year, sweetheart" and an "I love you" before calling the Young Master back to bed and falling back into dreamland.

I slept in on New Year's Day**1 and awoke when Boyfriend of Amazingness got up to answer the Young Master's nature call. I puttered downstairs in fuzzy jammies and made a couple cups of coffee, and promptly planted my posterior on the couch. Two hours later, Boyfriend of Amazingness evicted himself from the couch and made a delightful steak and eggs breakfast.**2

As a child, I had one tradition on New Year's Day. I would walk down to my grandparents' house with my sister. We would eat lunch with said grandparents, and then we would turn on the Tournament of Roses Parade. My grandmother had an artificial tree, so we would spend the duration of the two hour parade un-decorating and disassembling. By the end of the parade, the house would be returned to its pre-holiday condition. It was a calm yet festive way to ring in the New Year - by resetting to the old Normal and spending time with family.

This year, I watched the parade with my guys. The bands were amazing. The floats were beautiful. My eyes teared on more than one occasion, and I'm certain that BofA inevitably grew sick of my "Did you see that!?"s and my "Oh WOW!"s and my innumerable squeaks, squawks and snorts of delight.

I hadn't sat down and watched the Tournament of Roses parade since before my grandmother passed almost a decade ago, and I realize now that it's high time I start picking up traditions I let die with the family members I loved. I felt that the traditions wouldn't feel the same without them... and honestly, I wasn't wrong. Traditions are different when the loved ones you share them with are gone. But that doesn't mean you're dishonoring your memory of them - or dishonoring the tradition as it was held when they were alive -  by taking the roots of that tradition and creating something new and special to share with your own family.

Half way through the parade, I found myself overwhelmed with the desire to take down the Christmas tree. My family is partaking in Twelfth Night this year, when we'll do a second round of festivity and fun with presents and food and all the Christmas trappings on the twelfth day of Christmas (January 5). So the tree needs to stay up until then. Instead, I poured myself a glass of champagne and worked on New Year's gifts for my co-workers. While I'm not likely to leave that for the last minute again next year,**3 it was lovely to have those quiet hours of crafting and celebration with my guys. I simultaneously felt the joy of New Years' past and a thrill of hope for New Years to come.

However you celebrated yesterday, my dear Reader, I do hope it was everything you wanted it to be and more.

With a New Year Sparkle,


**1 Something I'm doing more of lately as the shortened expanses of daylight are wearing on my psyche. In addition, I've realized that I can soothe the Young Master back into sleep if I can get him up onto the bed for a snuggle session. This isn't boding well for my productivity or my REM cycles... but good Lord does my pillow feel nice.

**2 This made us both giggle when I noted "How many people do you think are having protein shakes or fruit salad or kale smoothies for breakfast because they resolved to eat healthier this year?" Once we collected ourselves, he responded "The suckers..." and we disolved into giggle-fits again.

**3 Oh, come now, Self. Be serious. Of course you're going to leave it for the last minute.

That's what you do.