Category Archives: Fear of the Day

Pretty in Pink?

Looking a bit drab after our recent torrential rains and lack of sunshine lately, I reached for an almost-empty container of blush that has always been one of my favorite face “pick-me-ups.” I know they tell you not to keep makeup items too long due to spoilage, etc., but some of them are just like a favorite pair of jeans or a good marriage.  When you find something that works, you tend to keep it around after its expiration date.

Googling my favorite brand of blush to make sure it was still around (unlike one mascara company that let me down by discontinuing my favorite magic wand…Maybelline, why can’t ya be true….?), I wanted to make sure my little pink pick-me-up was still available before I trudged to the local drug store.  I don’t spend a lot on makeup, so avoiding the overpriced department store that promises that I’ll look like Jennifer Perky Anniston is really a no-brainer for me.  The way I look at it, I don’t ever envision anyone approaching me and saying, “Wow, you look sooo fabulous…that must be the new $430.00 blush from Nordstrom’s!” Ain’t gonna happen.

But as I was scouring the internet for cheap makeup dot coms, I fell upon some interesting statistics on the products used in cosmetics.  I typed in the exact name of my favorite little pink blush, and found a great resource at  On the site, the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies we use every day are rated to match your preferences for healthy, green or socially responsible products.  The ratings provide a credible way to easily rank products and companies, enabling you to pick the best in a category or identify alternative products you may want to use instead.  For instance, although the company that manufactures my favorite blush had an above average score in effects on climate change and ethical policies and performance, it rated my favorite product at only a medium level in the health concern portion. A little disconcerted, I clicked on the rating and found out that the product contains butylated hydroxytoluene, which is an additive used in many cosmetics (also in pharmaceuticals, jet fuel, rubber and petroleum products) which can cause respiratory immune toxicity.  Oh, yeah, it’s also used in embalming fluids, but by then it shouldn’t concern you.

The good news is that the site also indicated the ingredients in my item that are not concern for worry, i.e., talc, oat kernel flour, etc. Feeling all Daisy Dukey, I continued on the site which goes one step further to suggest alternative products one may want to consider once you’ve gotten up from the floor after reading all the scary things you just realized you’ve been slathering on your body. But it doesn’t stop there. The site contains ratings for just about everything − apparel, electronics, cars and all forms of personal care.

 I know better than to lose sleep and worry about every product that I bring into my home or rub on my skin. Although I will be more cautious, I recognize that even the most scientifically grounded assessment of environmental, health, or social performance requires value judgments about the relative importance of various issues. 

But, wait!  Is that the sun I see? As for reaching for that certain brand of sunscreen I usually use? Uh, no. Yikes. I think I’ll just re-invest in my little pink pick-me-up, use it more sparingly until I find a replacement made of corn starch and dead rose buds, and I’ll just add a little more blush rosé wine to my diet.

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Say Cheese

Fact of life:  A gastroenterologist’s office is not full of happy faces.  Oh, yeah, and the furniture is brown…

I recently accompanied my husband for his much-dreaded colonoscopy.  I wouldn’t have gone, but the thought of him driving without being sedated alone makes my eye twitch. So I signed my life away, swearing that I’d stick around and shlup the poor guy home like a wounded animal.  For God’s sakes…

“Just think of it as an oil change, honey,” I said.  “You know how you like your cars all clean and feeling good.  Now you, too, can run smoothly with all your various internal combustion parts lubricated.  Just because you’ll have a three-inch wide PVC pipe with a camera up your ass does not justify you comparing it to child-birth. Well, maybe close…”

Entering the waiting room, I saw a virtual Noah’s Ark full of paired-off couples.  The one with the book…or knitting needles…or an eye twitch, was obviously the lucky one.  The suckers…I mean patients…sat quietly eyeing each other with sympathetic glances.  It was like a silent Twitter convention. I could hear the less-than-140-character thoughts bouncing off the unadorned walls.  “I can chug that crap in 6.5 seconds.”  “I set up the big screen in my bathroom.” “I can never look at Crystal Light…ever…again.”  “I’m buying stock in baby wipes.”

I’d like to meet the Dr. Jekyll who came up with the rule that you need to be in the office one hour before your procedure.  That is just cruel. The form took 3:01:04 minutes to fill out.  Then there was the waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  Stomachs growled and echoed in their cavernous solar plexuses. Feet shuffled. The cumulative blood pressure in that waiting room had to be 928/560.

I breathed a sigh of relief when they called my husband into the great abyss known as “the back room,” which I pictured as a large Ford assembly line.  I made a mental note to check him for stitches and make sure he still had both kidneys before we left.

Since we had to be there at the butt-crack of dawn, I so needed to find a cup of coffee.  So out I bolted to the nearest deli.  God forbid the doctor’s office might have refreshments for those waiting.  But I know the smell of coffee would probably have had Starving Sam grabbing those knitting needles and stabbing someone’s eye out. Makes perfect sense.

But upon my return a few minutes later, I noticed the waiting room had filled to the brim, and the natives were getting restless.  The desk nurse bravely came out from behind her desk and made an announcement that their computers were down, and there would be about a 15-minute delay so things were a bit backed up.  Nice choice of words.

I glanced at the woman sitting next to me knitting.  “Uhhh, does this mean our husbands are in there with their innards being raped with no camera to smile at?” I asked.  She just shrugged, methinks a little perturbed that I made her lose count in her reverse stockinette stitches.

Nancy Nurse then tiptoed back in and approached with caution as she suggested, “If anyone wants to reschedule…” She didn’t get the rest of the words out of her mouth as TwelveAngryMen gave her the death stare so bad it relaxed her jheri-curls. She tiptoed back to her desk and advised the IT guy to move quickly and quietly, less he start a mutiny.

Alas, all was well within minutes, and before I knew it, I was accompanying Whiney and his wooby back to the car.  He was cleared by the doctor, who explained that everything was “uneventful,” (easy for him to say) and we headed off to get Hungry Herman a double cheeseburger with fries.

Apparently, he never noticed there was a delay since he was in la-la land during the entire procedure.  But just to be sure, I’m going to check to be sure there’s no unprocessed film floating in the toilet tonight.


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The End is Near

Recently my husband manned up and made an appointment with the doctor…all by himself. That in itself was miraculous to behold. I wept. But when he came home from the appointment, he mentioned the “C” word.  I held my breath. Alas, it was not the Big “C” word, but the dreaded little “c” word…colonoscopy. Big dread comes in small packages.

Yep, once again he was reprimanded by his doctor for putting it off.  He’s had the prescription magnetized on the fridge for a year now. I believe he thinks if it gets enough soy sauce on it and disintegrates, it will be a moot point.  If we had a dog, he, too, would be included in the Mister’s Master Plan of Famous Excuses, claiming my dog ate it.

Seems it’s just never been the “right” time to get it done. There was that imaginary turkey shoot he went on last Thanksgiving to provide for his hungry, desolate family, which took up all his holiday vacation time. Why, plucking those feathers alone took up one whole weekend! Then he couldn’t possibly leave because the heating and air conditioning guy announced he’d check our system between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., sometime between July 1st and September 3rd. Well, that covered his summer vacation days off. So he’s still waiting for the guy and says he can’t leave the house to go get the “solution” one has to drink.

Which brings us to the final face-off. He begrudgingly strolled into the doctor’s office today, whereupon Perky Polly provided him with instructions for the day of the big oil change. During his conference, he tried in vain to con Florence Nightingale into letting him just jog on over to the drug store and fill up on ExLax on the eve of.  “I can’t drink that stuff,” he said.  She just smiled and said, “Oh, that’s okay, cuz if you heave it up, that will just make our job easier! No nasty residue!” He was not amused.

Although I am fairly intelligent and pretty literate, the directions on the piece of paper he brought home made my head spin, thus setting in motion my empathy pains for his upcoming upchucking. The instructions included minute-to-minute intervals of drinking a liter of the concoction from a mixture of package (A) and package (B), not to be confused with substance (C) and not to be mixed with red or blue liquids (but green, burnt sienna and fuschia were allowable). The instructions went on: “Before, but at no time after the resulting Montezuma’s revenge, should you eat, drink, snort, inhale, lumberjack sneeze, or breathe while situating yourself less than, but not more than, seven millimeters from the porcelain goddess in a fetal position. Repeat step one only after you are sure all family members have left the premises for higher grounds. The morning of, please do not look at, consume or smell the coffee or the roses in preparation for your procedure. This can result in anaphylactic shock, Tourette’s Syndrome or physically harming members of our medical staff.  Help us help you. And have a nice day.”

It’s yet to be seen whether this event will actually come to fruition. I might pull a Katy Couric and follow him with my videocam to capture his journey. But last time I saw him, he headed out to buy a snow blower that’s on sale at Sears. He might not make it back until the first really big snowfall.


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Going green…literally.

xrayI was going to wish everyone a Happy Arbor Day – yeah, yeah, let’s go green, blah, blah. But I do love trees, so go hug one I will.  I  will just never take it quite as seriously as some poor guy in Russia who, after experiencing writhing pain throughout his chest, staggered into an emergency room, only to have a doctor slice him open to find a 5-centimenter (just say branch, Igor) of a spruce tree growing inside his nice, warm, fertile lung. OMG.

OK, I’ve heard A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but this takes the cake…the cone…whatever.  I would show you the actual picture of the branch entrenched in his lungs that the doctors decided to show the world, but I’ll let you (not for the faint of heart..) find that on the internet yourself and lose your own lunch. Even as I talk about it, I’m getting spiky, tingly feelings in my chest like I have a chia pet growing in my rib cage.

treefaceThe doctors, after scratching their heads, decided he somehow must have inhaled a seed and it implanted itself in the murky soil of his left lung. Left to it’s own accord, it went crazy sprouting, thinking it would grow up some day and become adorned with Christmas ornaments and sweet, shiney tinsel! Poor little stupid tree.

I really am a little nervous about those sunflower seeds I used to pick out of the old lady’s bird feeder next door to us when I was a kid, with my mother threatening that I would have large sunflowers growing out of my ears if I didn’t cease and desist.

I’m coughing really hard as we speak.

shoetreeHmmm, but let me think about this. If an inhaled seed can grow inside us, does……this……mean….I….can…….eat….a….small piece of leather and grow my OWN SHOES!!!!???

Oh, the possibilities are endless.

Eat me, Barbie….

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Don't Bothaa with My Butter

Ahhh, c’mon!!!  How can you screw up PEANUT BUTTER!!  OK, I’ve adjusted to the world not being an episode of Father Knows Best.  I’ve adjusted to never seeing kids skipping rope on the sidewalk anymore, or playing hop-skotch with chalk.  Wouldn’t want to ruffle the feathers of the homeowners association. And I still sometimes have a tendency to actually get up out of my seat to change the t.v. station, and sometimes have the urge to wear an apron and high heels when I cook. I still believe in cocktail hour, and just rediscovered Necco wafers the other day at the candy counter, and devoured them, pretending I was going to communion.

pntbutterBut screwin’ with my PB&J sandwich is just not right on so many levels. There are certain memories of childhood that you just don’t screw around with, and I hope they get to the bottom of this salmonella scare, and fast! Last night, I found myself hoarding the one jar I have in the cupboard, safe in the fact that we’ve been eating from this particular jar without visits to the porcelain goddess or getting our stomachs pumped.  I felt like a drug addict going through withdrawal who had just found some residue of delight lurking in that forgotten secret hiding place.  I flung open the spoon drawer and proceeded to pillage that jar full of spreadable edible crunchy cream. Then I waited.  Let’s see.  No hives, itching, swelling, dizziness, lightheadedness or trouble breathing.  Oh, woops, I’m confusing peanut butter with Viagra.

I’ll be glad when they’ve determined the source of this invasive outbreak, because my milk is getting sour in the fridge.  Can’t have a glass of milk without a PB&J sandwich! Of course, my lactose intolerant gut is probably enjoying the break.

Wonder what the Beav would do….


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Fear is Still Free

fear1OK, now ya’ll know I have some scaredy cat issues with plastics, aluminum in deodorants, etc. (see my Fear of the Day posts over there…).  So instead of spending time researching those pesky, lurking monsters hiding in my food and under my armpits, I decided to subscribe to a free weekly digest from the Food and Drug Administration that sends ME, without asking, the latest, greatest warnings.  Hey, it was free. Hmmm, free fear.  I like the sound of that.

Anyway, I don’t have much to worry about after all, as it seems the items that come across the FDA’s desk are even wackier than I could even make up. The latest issue was chock full of scares that – not only would I never ingest, microwave, apply to my face, or use in any way – I would NEVER know where to buy half these items.

Nestle Withdraws Nestle Farinha Lactea Cereal in the United States What the…okay, does this mean they’re NOT withdrawing it from Iran?

Nestle USA Voluntarily Recalls Two Production Codes of Nestle Nesquik Strawberry Powder Whoever drinks strawberry flavored Nesquik instead of chocolate should be shot anyhow.  That’s just not right.

ETHEX Corporation Voluntary Recalls Specific Lots of Five Generic Products Due to the Potential for Oversized Tablets Did they not SEE the oversized tablets before they shipped them to the nursing home?  Oh, I thought that said “geriatric.”  Oh, well, still – next time your mother-in-law pisses you off, remember, it’s spelled E-T-H-E-X.BabyDrives

Urgent Voluntary Nationwide Recall Of Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief Dye Free Drops Non-Staining (try saying that three times real fast..) Due To Possible Metal Fragments So your infant won’t have much gas, and that cute little bib that says, “Drool Rules” on it will remain stain free, but she’ll never be able to get through the security checkpoint again – and you might have to drive instead of fly.

 CSI USA, Inc. Issues Voluntary National Recall of Topical Acne Cream That silly benzoyl peroxide always gets a bad rap.  Don’t people know the only thing that works is Preparation H?

Okay, and last but not least:

nursingpadSeattle’s Favorite Gourmet Cookies and Dessert Co Issues Nationwide Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Muffin Tops I’ve heard of muffin heels, but it sounds like they got this shipment mixed up with some maternity pads used in nursing…you mean all this time has passed and I didn’t know you could “declare” your mother’s milk??

I can’t wait for next week’s issue…

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Fiesty Popcorn

Ew. A microwave popcorn bag is coated with a perfluorinated chemical (PFC) called a fluorotelomer that can break down to form perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Huh? Well, in layman’s terms, that stuff all over the inside of the bag prevents oil from seeping through the bag and it tiptoes into the toes of those little kernels when heated. Since it has been linked to cancer and birth defects, the EPA’s scientific advisory board has recommended that the chemical be listed as a likely human carcinogen. Ya think!? The supposed “good news” is that the EPA has asked manufacturers to work toward eliminating PFOA from their products by 2015.

2015!!!???  Well, how kind of them to give us a heads up! I knew there was a reason I liked my homemade popcorn better! My favorite recipe, since I have to reduce my sodium intake, is one my daughter insists I make every time she’s home from college, we’re cuddled up together under the fuzzy, and watching a chick flick after taking over the remote and forcing The Mister to go off and do man stuff.

So I’m going to have to file this under both my Recipes file and my New Fears file…what’s a blogger ta do? This will also save you money…oh gawd, now I need to start an Economic Recovery Package file…

•Put 2 tablespoons of Canola oil in bottom of pan.
•Throw one or two (cheap, generic brand popcorn!) kernels in pan, put lid on, and set over medium high heat.
•When the two kernels pop, lift lid carefully and pour in one cup of popcorn. Shake pan only once or twice throughout cooking time.
•Throw cooked popcorn into large bowl.  Throw in just about a spoonful (just enough to coat bottom of pan) of margarine into the hot pan, and recover with lid.
•With a fork, distribute melted margarine through popcorn.
•Sprinkle (to taste) with Chili Powder, Garlic Powder and just a dash of Black Pepper.
Just enough flavor, and you won’t miss the salt! And eating the burnt ones (the best!) won’t give you lung disease!  

Redneck Fire Alarm


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