With dry, winter weather comes dry, winter lips. Which makes me think of one of my favorite products: ChapStick.
Whoever came up with this stuff is a verifiable genius. Here’s why I love it. It’s possible that I have a medically definable diagnosis relative to this petroleum-based product.
#1) Fits in every single pocket of every single pair of pants I own.
#2) Stashes easily in purses and desks at work.
#3) Comes in different colors that all end up clear on your lips.
#4) Saves having to apply lipstick. Lipstick? Yuck.
#5) If I have ChapStick in my pocket, my stress level magically drops 10 points.
#6) Zipper stuck? Rub some ChapStick into it and the zipper will work again.
#7) Survivalists out there? Yeah, you can smear this stuff on any fabric and use it as fire started. (After swiping it one last time over your lips, of course.)
#8) Scuffed shoes? You can fix it with ChapStick. Yeah. I said it. Dab or rub the product on the shoes, then buff with a soft cloth. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do in a pinch. Note to self: do not use the ChapStick on your ips after using on the shoes, because....yuck.
#9) No sunscreen? No problem. Smear the product on your face. Gets you somewhere from 4-15 SPF, depending on the flavor.
#10) Stops bleeding. What? You bet. Of course, it won’t make a lick of difference if you’ve severed your femoral artery. No amount of ChapStick will solve that little conundrum. But if you have, say, a paper cut? Smear a little bit of amazing-ness on it and voila? No more bleeding and sealed from infection.
This blog post highlights a unique anthology slated for release in 2017 and spearheaded by Victoria Griffin. It involves stories regarding brain injuries/concussions. The anthology, “Flooded”, will contain selected works from authors who have experienced or observed brain injuries, or who have written about them in a way that makes the experience tangible to a reader.
As a physician, I see the devastating effects of brain injuries in my patients. From teenagers who are no longer allowed to play sports and who now have cognitive challenges, to adults whose brain injury has literally changed their personality, to veterans who have suffered TBI’s (traumatic brain injuries) and struggle to explain why they are disabled when they bear no visible scars – brain injuries can be complex to manage, long-lasting, and the effects can change from day to day.
One of the most profound concussion cases I witnessed was in medical school when an internal medicine physician in a rural practice had what anyone would think was a simple concussion. Dr. Smith (name changed) was pulling into his driveway, had his seatbelt off, and another vehicle hit the back of his car. He had a brief loss of consciousness and a headache.
Three months later, Dr. Smith still couldn’t function at anywhere close to previous work capacity. His short- and long-term memory suffered. He couldn’t recall patients he had cared for over the past 20 years!
What a great evening in Seattle for the Passport2Romance Reader Event put on by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America! Thanks to the organizers for putting together a fun and exciting evening.
And huge thanks to the readers for coming out in the storm (thank goodness it wasn't as bad as expected), to meet the authors. The free swag and amazing raffle baskets were off-the-charts awesome this year!
As promised, readers who signed up for my newsletter were entered in a drawing. They can choose to receive digital copies of my paranormal romance Hell to Pay series (all 4 books) or an advanced reader's copy of Legacy of Lies, the first book in my new western paranormal romance series! (You'll get the book a month ahead of release date!)
Originally I planned on picking 5 readers, but then decided on 10. Because I'm the author, that's why.
Ok, people. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Otherwise known and "Save the Ta Ta's" month.
It's not simply about wearing pink, although that's cool and everything, no question. Pink rocks.
A few quick facts:
Breast cancer is the #1 cancer in women.
It KILLS over 40,000 women per year.
1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer.
And yes, fellas. Guys can get breast cancer, too.
What about a new study that questions the value of mammography? Look, here's what we know, and here's what the preponderance of research tells us: Mammograms save lives. Period. There's new data suggesting that we might be picking breast cancer up super early in the stage just prior to invasive breast cancer, and maybe this is "over-estimating" the cancer?
If it's there, why not fix it early? Who wants to take the chance and wait? Seriously.
Ok. We’re talking about fun stuff today. Like shopping.
Why? Because I’m in Seattle at the ECWC conference, and the hotel is right across from a big, beautiful mall.
So what, you say? Why the big deal about a mall, you might ask. Well, going to the Big City is a treat for those of us who live hours away from a Big Mall. And to find out there is a Big Department Store in the mall here? That’s me, totally verkelmpt over here. >fans self wildly<
But…there are things that make no sense in a mall.
#1) Why is there an extra large size in the petite section? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
#2) Why do they write on the bra tag “comfort underwire”? That’s also an oxymoron. Written by morons. Who don’t wear bras. Who are these people and where can I talk with them. Alone. In a small room.
#3) Why is there a chocolate store next to a sporting goods store?
#4) Why don’t they make bras that really fit how breasts go…like sideways. The tag needs an extra designation. Like “34D, laterally” or 38B, downward” so you know you’re getting the most accurate fit before going into the dressing room and acting like a monkey wrestler, trying to get those darn things on.
(Trigger warning: miscarriage/stillbirth)
So yesterday was day number…whatever…of this last call block. I’m off call today, going to a writing conference (ECWC). But before I could leave for ECWC, there was work to be done, and yesterday pushed the emotional and physical limits of my patients and me.
Doesn’t help that I have a whopper of a cold. Yeah, no one wants to acknowledge it, but doctors get sick. Especially when I see every coughing, booger-oozing toddler in a twenty-mile radius for the past two weeks. And those same sick toddlers like to sneeze directly on me, or grab at my face with those grabby, snotty, glistening, crusty little hands. So that’s the background. Not at 100% to begin with on this last day of the call week.
Yesterday. Phone rings at 6:30am. It’s the ER. 20 week patient has delivered a fetus literally 2 minutes ago in the ER, and the patient is bleeding badly. My head spins. Is it my patient? If so, which one? ER doc doesn’t give a name. Just asks me to get there quickly. I go from REM sleep to fully awake in 5 seconds and provide a few orders before pulling on clothes and hurrying to the hospital. En route, I’m thinking through hemorrhage protocols and meds, and also planning for the non-clinical things that need to be done to help the patient through such a devastating event.
Announcing a new series coming in 11/16 from Crimson Romance! (If you got my newsletter, you'd know all about this series already...) :)
Hell's Valley is a planned four book Western Paranormal Romance series. That's right, folks, it's like Bonanza meets X-Men ... or Big Valley meets Alphas.
If you like your ranchers hot, your nights chilly, the passion steamy, and Hell-driven evil forces closing in on all sides, then you're going to love Hell's Legacy!
Meet the Taggart family of western Wyoming. Four siblings, each possessing a strange, secret power. Each sibling fights their personal demons and deals with their disturbing neighbors, the Brand family.
Each Taggart must risk revealing their darkest secrets to save the family ranch, fight the Hell-fueled Brand family, and protect the ones they love.
What dudes see. (and what they don't see)
Here's the scene: I'm working late, hubs is at home waiting for a Handy Guy to come over and give us a quote for repairs.
My text: Please make sure personal stuff and mess is picked up before Handy Guy comes by
His text: Roger.
I come home after Handy Guy has left. In my bathroom is the untouched mess of hair product, hairdo electronic implements, and assorted anti-old age goops. Oh, and my Pill package is wrapped up inside a crumpled towel. Ah yes, he has removed the offending Personal Item from view but left the messy stuff out. Sigh. Good job.
Then, as I walk back through the bedroom, I see it: 2 bras and several undies. Just sitting on the dresser in plain sight. Super obvious. Yup.
When asked to describe the logic behind the choices made, hubs said, "I didn't see the clothes."
Right there. Plain sight.
But thank God the prescription was hidden...
…mostly because hubs and I would rock at these events. (We had free time. We made a list.)
#1) Checkers. Before you laugh, recall that ESPN considers poker to be a SPORT. (Seriously?)
#2) Synchronized cannonballs. What’s not to like? This event would be even more awesome off the high platform, but I suppose then they’d increase the chances of broken bones. (If femur pokes out after the dive? Degree of difficulty: HIGH)
#3) Eating chocolate. Dude. Just give me the gold medal already.
#4) Speed reading. Yup.
#5) Side eye and eyeball rolling. Points for distance and for snarky impact.
#6) Riding that inflatable banana thing that you see at the beach or on the lake.
#7) Maintaining a perfect 11:30 minute mile pace for 30 whole minutes. Play me the freakin’ anthem and pass the snacks.
#8) No sleep as an endurance event.
#9) Avoidance of housework. Complete with tiptoeing around hairballs on the carpet.
#10) Competitive rock, scissors, paper
Hubby and I were playing the hypothetical/impossible game of ‘what if’ a few nights ago.
To understand how ridiculous the game is, let’s call the proverbial spade a spade: Hubs and I are a short and stumpy match made in heaven. While we like to imagine that once upon a time we were ‘elite athletes’, the reality is much different. We’re okay with that fact.
But for funsies, let’s go through the list and see what sports might net these two hobbits a gold medal!
#1) Archery: Not really. I can’t hit a fly with an oversized flyswatter, and hubs would kill himself with the compound bow.
#2) Rowing: While it’s a point of dubious pride that I have pretty amazing, flabby man-arms, it’s a foregone conclusion that a few rows with the oars and I’d be done. Snack, please.
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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