Pam Laux – Writer in Action!

Author of "PLUSH" and "Island of Lies"

Children’s Pediacare Recall:

May31

D o you use Pediacare when your child is ill? If so and you have any in your medicine cabinets now, you may want to check out this recall.  

A Johnson & Johnson Company, McNiel Consumer Healthcare in consultation with the FDA is voluntarily recalling four children’s products in the Pedicare line.   These products are sold exclusively in the United States.

The four PediaCare items involved in the recall are:

1. PediaCare Multi-Symptom Cold 4oz. UPC # 3 0045-0556-05 9
2. PediaCare Long Acting Cough 4oz. UPC# 3 0045-0465-04 7
3. PediaCare Decongestant 4oz. UPC# 3 0045-0554-04 8  

4. PediaCare Allergy and Cold 4oz. UPC# 3 0045-0552-04 4

 

They initiated the recall as a precautionary step because the products were made at the McNeil Consumer Healthcare plant that has been temporarily shut down. A recent FDA inspection at that facility found serious problems in meeting the FDA’s current good manufacturing practice requirements. The recall was not initiated as a result of any consumer reports of adverse events and no consumer complaints have been received about the safety or purity of the products.

While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.

Consumers with questions may contact Blacksmith Brands during normal business hours at (888) 474-3099. More information is available at blacksmithbrands.com.

Any adverse events that may be related to the use of these products should be reported to the FDA’s Med Watch Program by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178 or by mail at Med Watch, HF-2, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787. or on the Med watch website at http:www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/default.htm

For more information about the recall, check on this article:  http://bit.ly/aBEQ0W

Pedicare Products Recalled

What I’ve learned in LIFE; Swim Suit Shopping Sucks and other things we learn in life.

May31

Old Lady buying a Swimsuit

All over the country Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer. Swimming pools and the beaches are opening in anticipation of kids getting out of school.

My annual tour of the neighborhood backyard pool parties is always preceded by a ceremonial scramble through the malls in search of a new swimsuit. Swimsuit shopping used to be so much fun…back when I was in my twenties. Now I’d rather have a root canal than try on a new swimsuit.
Surveys show that a resounding ninety percent of women are concerned with their appearance in a swimsuit, and nearly half feel anxiety ridden about shopping for a swimsuit. That’s probably not too much of a surprise for you if you’re in that half who hate shopping for swimwear.
Memorial Day just sneaks up on me. I feel I’ll be ready to wear a swimsuit by the Fourth of July, but by then all the good suits will be gone. So I drag my pasty white body to the mall.
Whether you’re average size, super-skinny or obese, the good news is that there is a swimsuit for you — and you should put it on, go outside and wear it, regardless of worrying about your appearance. After all, most women you’ll see at the pool or the beach will be just like you. And few will notice, let alone care about, other people’s cellulite; many will probably be too busy fretting about their own bodily flaws.
In our country, there’s a lot of talk about body-image. I have no desire to carry around an image of my body in my head. Just like a car wreck on the freeway, I know something unpleasant has happened and it’s best not to look.
So, you’re not a bikini-perfect supermodel — but really, not many women are. Every woman has some cellulite, and imperfections, even that airbrushed model that is off-the-scale thin. So, just get out there and enjoy the summer!
What I’ve learned this week, centers around swimming suit anxiety. Remember to take a good friend and your humor with you while you shop for that perfect suit!


• My daughter and I went shopping for bathing suits at a factory outlet mall, where you go to buy mistakes.

• A five dollar NEW swimsuit, Awesome…with three cups.

• Nothing could be worse than a profession in retail swimwear in May.

• Tankinis, one-pieces, bikinis, two-pieces, skirtinis: the choices are vast for women swimwear.

• We ended up at an upscale department store and here are some of the comments we heard coming from the dressing rooms while trying on swimsuits:

• A lady screeches at the dressing room attendant, “This is NOT one size fits all!”

• “It’s your grandma’s bathing suit, but in a two piece.”

• “It doesn’t look like sausage, does it? “

• Wild hysterical laughter. Pause. “This is utterly disgusting.”

• Friend A said, “What do you think?” Long pause. Friend B said, “Well, the color looks good on you.”

• “I need something to stuff in here, to fill it up.” “Try those do dads.”

• “OMG. This can’t be all there is to this suit!”

• “You can still wear a two-piece bathing suit?” “Well, as long as one of them runs the length of my whole body.”

• “My bra and underwear could pass better for a swimsuit than this!”

• “I think I am wearing this one inside out.”

• “I think this has a built-in ‘wonder where they went’ bra.”

• “When I bend over this suit is so tight the bottom hurts like I’m having a baby again.”

• “This is just obscene.”

• “All I need is a little wind in this swimsuit- and I could go parasailing.”

• “This suit isn’t bad… with a cover-up…like a raincoat.”

• “This suit is really conservative. I could put a skirt on it and wear it to church!”

• “When it comes to swimwear, size really does matter.”

• “This suit is really cute, but it’s metallic and is decorated with sequins. I like it- but I can’t go near the water. I mean I can’t get it sopping wet, maybe just a few sprinkles of water on it.”

• “You can use stick-um spray on your butt to keep the suit from riding up.” “Hairspray works too.” Who knew?

• “You can use duct tape underneath your breasts to create cleavage.” (The wonder of duct tape ceases to amaze me. Who knew the application of electrical tape to ones breasts is mainstay practice at beauty pageants?)

• I hear Spandex makes a two hundred dollar suit that sucks everything in and keeps it there even when you get in the water.

• Swimsuits show off body art. I tell my kids, “I’d get a tattoo if I had any skin tight enough to draw on.”

• When you get to be my age, not even a day at the beach, is a day at the beach.

• To me summer is just one long hot flash.

• Now I know why men don’t wear bikini bottoms, it would pinch their twins.
Other things I’ve learned in Life this week.
• Picnics would not be complete without sticking my hand or a foot into a pile of fire ants.

• The parents of the two year old Indonesian boy that smokes cigarettes could use an ass whooping.

• BP; Dolphins with mops, really? Try the oil whisper, or aquaman, or club soda (I heard it gets everything out) or try my favorite, duct tape.

• The BP PR; “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.”

• This week BP got the concession call from Exxon Valdez. They were great competitors but BP oilspill won.

• Oh man, this whole time BP has been trying to stop SEAWATER from gushing into our OIL. Stupid Terry was holding the diagram upside down.

• My memory is not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory is not as sharp as it used to be.

Did you have a great Memorial weekend?  What did you learn in LIFE this week? Let me know!

No Swimming

Memorial Day Quotes and Remembrance

May31

Memorial Day remembrance

The remembrance of the United States Memorial Day is a day we commemorate U.S. men and women who died gallantly in the military service. This celebration was formerly known as Decoration Day.

This is the day of remembrance where we honor those men and women whom have served our country – you, me and the world – by dedicating themselves in an ultimate sacrifice. I am grateful to be living in a free country because of these men and women. Their honor, duty and dedication allow us the freedoms to enjoy this weekend, and every other day of my life, with friends and family doing something as basic as grilling food and sharing it in peace and safety. Freedom isn’t free. Honor those who paid for it. Fly your flags and thank soldiers and enjoy our freedom.

There are many Memorial Day quotes which we have remembered throughout the years. This year as part of the Memorial Day Celebration, I share with you Memorial Day quotes. Here are some of the memorable and inspiring Memorial Day Quotes:

• It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. — General George S. Patton
• Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays…. The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms. -Thomas Bailey Aldrich
• Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. – John F. Kennedy
And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. – Lee Greenwood
• The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli
• Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. – Daniel Webster
• So long as there are men there will be wars. -Albert Einstein
• Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
• But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for,
Is their monument to-day, and for aye. -Thomas Dunn English
• For love of country they accepted death. -James A. Garfield
• The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Havard
• The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. -Aaron Kilbourn
• For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. -William Penn
• I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein
• The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. – Thomas Campbell
• On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! -Thomas William Parsons
• The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men. -Minot J. Savage
We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. -Francis A. Walker
• Isn’t death to fall for Freedom’s right? He’s dead alone who lacks her light! – Thomas Campbell
• I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did. – Benjamin Harrison
• The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. -Rev. Aaron Kilbourn
• I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived. -Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
• Fold him in his country’s stars. Roll the drum and fire the volley! What to him are all our wars, What but death bemocking folly?” – George Henry Boker
• The cost of liberty is less than the cost of repression. -Web Dubois
• With the tears a Land hath shed. Their graves should ever be green. – Thomas Bailey Aldrich
• Green sods are all their monuments; and yet it tells A noaler history than pillared piles, or the eternal pyramids. – James Gates Percival
• They fell, but o’er their glorious grave , Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save. – Francis Marion Crawford
The purpose of all war is ultimately peace. -Saint Augustine
• As I approach the gates of heaven; St. Peter I will tell; One more soldier reporting sir; I’ve served my time in hell. -Mark Anthony Gresswell
• The story of America’s quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots. -Randy Vader
• When we say “War is over if you want it,” we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we’d have peace. -John Lennon
• Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace. -Martin Luther

What are some of your favorite Memorial Day quotes? Who are you honoring this weekend?

Other Related Memorial Day Articles:

Babies & Kids and POOLS: (New Guidelines for Kids and learning to swim): http://bit.ly/bFl6BA ( Drowning is the second leading accidental death in children under the age of 4)

Best Burgers: http://bit.ly/96RBKJ

Backyard trends: http://bit.ly/avAFsS
(Forget a simple patch of grass. Today’s yards sport gourmet outdoor kitchens, waterproof TVs — even air conditioning.)

Burnt , don’t get Sunburnt this weekend. http://bit.ly/dwrh0l

Other Memorial Day Articles: http://bit.ly/clSxPE

Memorial Day across America

Memorial Day

posted under Fun, Kids | No Comments »

Kid related May Recalls:

May26

Forget Toyota and the recall of cars that accelerate automatically by themselves,

ONCE again Children’s Toys & Furnishings topped the list in product recalls.

 

TOYS 

DART GUN

Toy dart gun sets were the top story in children’s toy product recalls, with two reported asphyxiation deaths. Other health hazards for children’s toys include choking, crash hazard and high levels of cadmium.  The Toy dart gun sets were sold exclusively at Family Dollar stores nationwide.

http://www.wtvq.com/news/3599-toy-dart-gun-set-recall

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/pbcdtoys.html

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10079.html

PLUSH TOY

The Sandy the Squirrel Plush Toy sold at the Mall of Americas, Nickelodeon, Nu and 4U stores was recalled due to possible choking hazard.

http://eon.businesswire.com/portal/site/eon/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100316007275&newsLang=en

PUSH TOY

Push Around and Ride Buggies sold at major retailers and specialty stores were recalled due to a pin attaching to the yellow knob on the handle of the buggy can loosen, causing the handle to detach from the buggy. This poses a serious risk of injury to young children.   NOTE:  Only buggies with pins that have yellow knobs are included in this recall.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10229.html

REMOTE HELICOPTER

Thousands of “Fly Dragonfly” and “Queen Bee” remote control helicopters have been recalled after a number of them have reportedly burst into flames.  The Remote Control helicopters were sold at book fairs held in schools, hospitals and office buildings nationwide.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10228.html

GIRL’S BRACELET

The BEST FRIENDS charm bracelet sets that sold exclusively at Claire’s stores nationwide are being recalled because they contain high levels of cadmium.

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/05/10/claires-boutiques-recalls-best-friends-charm-bracelets-over-c/

FURNITURE

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is once again warning parents and caregivers about deadly safety hazards of cribs with drop-sides. In the last five years, CPSC has announced multiple recalls resulting in millions of recalled baby curbs.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10046.html

http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/wordpress/?p=2124

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/cpsc-issues-warning-on-drop-side-cribs,1288724.shtml

BEDDING

If you bought a pink baby blanket form Target , you may want to check this out.  Over 44,000 baby blankets sold exclusively at Target stores were recalled because portions of the decorative trim can detach and become a choking hazard.

http://www.modernmom.com/hottopic/2010/may/18/recall-44000-pink-baby-blankets/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37213900

Recall Pink Baby Blanket

Please post in the comments if you have seen these toys for sale still and where.    Or if you have any others to add.  

 

What I’ve learned in Life; SUPERMOM indulges in a different kind of recreation…Jimmy Buffett & More

May26
Super Mom Writing and Juggling

Super Mom Writing and Juggling

This past weekend, I took my daily horoscope to heart, “Disrupt your normal weekend routine and choose some new kind of playful recreation.” Jimmy Buffett concert & tailgating party all day here we come!
The RVs, Golf Carts, and fifth wheels had been flowing into our small town since Friday morning before the Saturday concert. Jimmy Buffett turned downtown Frisco, Tx into Margaritaville for the day!

Parrot heads, finhats, shark-tail trucks, coconut bras…on men, motorized coolers, grass skirts, pirates, Hawaiian shirts, no shirts, Hula blow-up dolls, RV city , landshark, boats, sand, Captain Morgan, Tiki bars… and a LOT of fun. Even if you don’t like his music you can’t help but have a good time when the streets are blocked off & the police stop traffic for a herd of motorized ice chests to cross the street.
My random thoughts from what I learned this past weekend from doing something totally out of the ordinary plus what I learned doing all my ordinary routines.

I learned that a typical audience at a JB concert consist of partying mid-life crisis victims, partying grandmothers, partying teens, partying thirty something’s, or generally anybody or anything with the partying adjective as a prefix.

• Have you seen a trailer come by called Leaky Tiki?

• Jimmy Buffett is more than a band; he’s a human tourist attraction and a lifestyle.

• Audience participation at a Jimmy Buffett concert is a must and being able to recite every word to every song with hand motions is a prerequisite to being a true parrothead.

• What could be more fun than a weekend long tailgate party with 40,000 of your closest friends and parrotheads?

• Gas powered motorized coolers meet motorized wheelchairs with built-in margarita blender.

• After a day of recuperating from the concert, I squeezed in watching the end of the drama series LOST. Don’t worry I won’t spoil the ending if you DVRed it, because I was LOST.

Spoiler alert…they’ve been dead the whole time.  

• If you want to continue watching a drama about people LOST in the middle of the ocean, check out BP.

• Firstly, I will say that was absolutely my last comment about LOST. Secondly, I swear.

• But speaking of series endings, I will miss the cha-CHUNG of the original Law & Order.

• In my moment of vulnerability, please see me for what I am — not what others think I should be. He He He

• We have two coolers in our backyard containing a Tiki torch, a putter, a wrench, duct tape, WD40 and an army of ants. Packed and prepared for Memorial Day picnics.

• To get my daily dose of self-esteem, I only need to stop by our local Walmart.

• Our local ER (Doc in the Box) should have frequent visitor punch cards. My family would have had a free visit by now.

• Honey, when the car door is open you shouldn’t bend your forehead into it.

I learned that using duct tape to seal a deep cut, does actually work. Thus adding stitches later by the doctor is very painful because the skin has healed around the cut. OUCH!

I learned that when my hubby gets four stitches, I faint and when my daughter gets a penicillin shot in her butt, she faints.

• A quick shot of espresso and a personal assistant is all I need. Well that, and a cleaning lady.

• My daughter takes after me. She left me this voicemail, “Mom, if you get this message, call me; if you don’t, then don’t worry about it.”

• Forget climbing Mount Everest, I just want to be SuperMOM…I want to be a great mom, a great sales professional, and a great writer.

• I am greedy. I do want it all!

Let me hear from you. What did you learn in life?  What did you do different from your normal routine? What is your favorite form of recreation?  What did your family, kids, colleagues, co-workers, and friends teach you this week?   

Super Mom Able to Leap Large Piles of Laundry ....

Super Mom Able to Leap Large piles of Laundry ....

What I’ve learned in Life; No pain, No gain. Traveling can be a PAIN!

May21

I went to Orlando for a few days this week for business, not pleasure. But enjoyed myself as usual. However, traveling can be a pain sometimes. Here  are my random thoughts for this week and what I learned. 

Even after missing my flight to Orlando and feeling a little ruffled, I knew that my travel exploits would leave me with some enchanting and sometimes exhilarating experiences. Whoever coined the phrase, “No pain, No Gain”, was not only a poet, but a wise poet.

Traveling, I discover great stories and encounter once in a lifetime experiences. I saw the oil spill in the gulf from 9,000 feet high as it oozed its way towards the Florida Keys. Incredible. I received a crash course on the new iPAD from my seatmate. Unbelievable. I saw Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse greet a group of smiling, handicapped children. Indescribable. I watched and felt a pair of iguanas chase each other under my lounge chair, oblivious to my toes. Unhinging.

Centuries ago, St Augustine wrote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

Enjoy and let me know what you learned from traveling too!

• The only highway into the airport should not be closed for paving at 7:00 am. Period.

  I learned  I cuss like a sailor when I’m stuck in traffic rushing to catch a flight, not directed at my driver, my hubby, which is possibly a marital record.

• “You’ll be fine” hubby says, referring to making my flight. Fine, the scariest word in urban language. Well, that and departed.

• TSA only does a special inspection of my carry-on luggage when I’m late.

• TSA can always find my missing, half-used lipstick tube, inside a luggage flap I didn’t know existed.

Missing a plane when it’s still at the gate, but the boarding doors are closed, sucks, especially when upgraded to first class. Really sucks.

• Freakin. Friggin. Frickin. I can cope with anything if I have a good “F” word substitute.

• On my plane to Orlando, there was a baby across the aisle from me, a baby in front of me and a baby behind me. They were all crying. I think airplanes should have a “No baby” section.

• Ditto in security lines. Frequent Traveler, Casual Traveler, and Travelers with Baby/Kids.

• Once or twice a month my name makes the top boards list; “The standby list at the airports.”

I learned that Platinum is more precious and worth more as a status at an airport, then it is in jewelry.

• When I said good bye to my kids this week, as I was leaving for three days, my daughter piped up she wouldn’t miss me. She said she never misses me when I’m gone. Nice.

• You really don’t want to order decaffeinated coffee on an airplane, at least according to my flight attendant. She would have to boil the water, find the Folgers crystals package and stir it up. I would be considered the complicated passenger with special needs. Water, please.

• Welcome to WDW hotel. You’re in room 1256-5, to get there, take a left at the shark tanks, cross under the waterfalls, wind pass the dolphin pool, and then take the third set of elevators inside the double doors, to the 5th floor, catch the 2nd tram, then follow the green carpet…why is everything so
S p r e a d o u t in Walt Disney World?

• Following the plot to LOST is more plausible than finding my room at the WDW Hotel.

• My hotel alarm clock always goes off at midnight, thirty minutes after I finally fall asleep.

• Alligators, pythons and bears. Oh my. Beware of Bears in Florida? The concierge warned me to watch out for black bears after directing me to a wooded, unlit jogging path route in the area.

• Sure, I enjoyed watching the fireworks from my hotel room every night, while eating cheesecake and drinking chocolate shakes from room service. I think I need to call child services and have them take me away from myself.

Did you know vinegar soothes sunburn? Who knew? The burning went away but I smelled like a salad.

• Did you know kid’s blood curdling screams from jumping in swimming pools travel more at night?

• For a writer, what better place to visit than Walt Disney World. I already have made-up characters and make believe places living in my head.

• If WDW is kindling creative energy that fuels my brain, imagine what I can do in Las Vegas!

Road Warrior has a whole new meaning.

• “We know why you fly”, really?

Do you have any traveling experiences to share? What did you learn in LIFE? 

 

What I’ve learned in Life ; Birthdays ROCK

May17

I have had my Facebook friends say they enjoy reading my microblogs (my posts). So I thought I would do a weekly post with some of those random thoughts in a list and some of what I have learned over the week, day and years. As a writer, when I get a random thought, I usually jot it down in my notebook where ever I am, and whenever the mood strikes me. A lot of times, I’ll read the one liners later and wonder WTF? Where did that come from? So don’t ask. They made sense at the time! Enjoy and let me hear your thoughts too!

* Thanks to all my FB friends for wishing me happy birthday!

* I learned you should put on your waterproof mascara BEFORE your brand new white pants…especially if you’re clumsy.

* Why does my hairdresser always plan a two week sabbatical around the time my hair needs cutting?

* Don’t get a free haircut, from a beginner cosmetologist, the day of your birthday party.

* Jump out of the chair and run to the nearest exit, when your new cosmetologist’s hand is shaking so much, he can’t hold the scissors straight.

* A free haircut costs $100.00 to fix.

* Stupid drivers come out of the woodwork on weekends!

* It’s true; you still need to do chores on your birthday.

* I don’t find insects amusing.

* Yes kids, mom was wrong, chocolate milk does not come from chocolate cows.

* Why do June bugs show up in May in Texas?

* Always chipper people worry me.

* For my birthday, I spent half a day at the beauty salon- and that was just for the estimate!

* It’s really hot when my flip flops get sweaty.

* Don’t ride your mountain bike, after you get a bikini wax. Trust me on that one.

* It is true that a cockroach can walk around for days without a head. Don’t ask me how I know this.

* Watching my son’s hockey game today reminds me that the game is a form of chaos, encased in glass with little controls.

* Season finales suck. Rob Lowe (Senator McCalister) didn’t make it, but we already knew that, since we’ll be seeing him on Parks & Recreation.

* Brand new lipsticks always get lost. I have used up tubes of lipsticks in every purse I own.

Have a great week!

Chocolate Cures All

May15

What do you mean I can’t write off chocolate as a business expense?

Morning all.  A month ago today, my accountant filed my extension. He bought me more time to file my taxes. More time to gather my paperwork.

Today I will meet with him to discuss my business expenses. Plenty of fireworks are expected. Yes, my friends, tax time is a dangerous time. That’s why I extend. More time to muster up all those receipts. More time to cool the jets.

The controversial discussion will be over what can and cannot be written off. We go through this every year. He may also seek details of how my Wal-Mart, Target and Kroger receipts for Kraft, Mars, M&Ms, Hersey’s, Nestlé and Starbucks intend to be presented to the IRS as writing expense to help motivate my creativity.

The action is due to begin at 10:30 am.

“But I really need chocolate to keep my creative writing juices flowing”. Really.

I’ve heard that if a person has a celiac disease where they must avoid eating gluten, they may be able to claim the expense of gluten free foods on their tax return. I get a disease called “Writer’s block”. I have found that chocolate in any form works to cure this block. M&M’s in small dosages are like colorful Quaaludes to my creative brain. A triple, Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino, keeps me writing for hours. Mini snickers and Hersey kisses melt in my mouth while my fingers click away. Chocolate flows in deep dark, sweet waves, a river to ignite my creative mind and alert my senses. Nuff said?

So why can’t I write off Chocolate!?

Hey, if someone can write off Body Oil and breast augmentation, why not chocolate? I heard a pro bodybuilder used body oil to make his muscles glisten in the lights during his competitions. And the tax offices let him deduct the cost of the oil as a business expense. And a stripper named “Chesty Love” got 56-FF breast implants to make more tips. The tax court judge allowed Ms Love to write off the cost of her operation, equating her new, um, assets to a stage prop. Unfortunately, the operation proved to be a problem for her, and she tripped and ruptured one of her implants.

Admit it. As you’ve worked on your return back in April, you too, tried to come up with extra deductions to pump up your refund.

Well, alas, one day I’ll be able to write off the dental bills for all my cavities from my chocoholic addiction.

What would you do for a Klondite bar? What’s your favorite chocolate?  What’s your favorite food you can’t do without?

posted under Writing | 2 Comments »

THE Writer’s Block-

May12

I realize that many, many people have blogged about writer’s block and there are a zillion books about the subject and comedians have even done stand-up comedy bits about it. (or at least at writers conventions.)

And after my experience these past few weeks, I felt that I needed to share my pain with all of you. After all, you know what they say — misery loves company, right? Well, I have the dreadful disease, writer’s block. I have a block when it comes to writing my synopsis. It is true.

I attended a writer’s conference a few weeks, um, a month ago, where I had my ten-minute book pitch with a literary agent. She responded positively and gave me her card and said “send me your first fifty pages AND a few page synopsis.” First 50 pages, check. A few page synopsis, mmm, not happening. I have a long version of my synopsis, but I need to sit down and WRITE a two pager. Two freakin pages! And I will. After I write a chapter in my new book, and after I finish this blog and after I take the dogs for a walk and after I get a bikini wax…

You see what I mean? Writers block.

Do you suddenly remember you need to run errands every time you turn on your computer to write? Or is your dirty closet calling you every time you pick up your pen? They say writers have the cleanest closets, because writers would rather mow the lawn, defrost the freezer, or clean their closets than WRITE!

Writers block is a form of procrastination. To jump start yourself into writing again, confront the person stopping you. Go to the nearest mirror, look that mother straight in your gorgeous eyes and say, “Listen you lazy, son of a bitch…Write! Well… What are you waiting for? Do it now! “

I need to go write that Synopsis, now! I will blog in a few days about the top Tips to help spur your writing, after I finish my synopsis. Seriously.

I’ll leave you with something to look forward to. One tip includes “wine” (not drinking it either, but that may help).

I do know that the cure for writer’s cramp in my hand is writer’s block in my head!

What helps you break through writers block?  What do you do to avoid the blank page or screen?  How do you get writing again?  What else do you procrastinate about?

posted under Writing | 4 Comments »

What I’ve learned in Life : Mother’s DAY FUN.

May10

 

I have had my Facebook friends say they enjoy reading my microblogs (my posts). So I thought I would do a weekly post with some of those random thoughts in a list and some of what I have learned over the week, day and years. As a writer, when I get a random thought, I usually jot it down in my notebook wherever I am, and whenever the mood strikes me. A lot of times, I’ll read the one liners later and wonder WTF? Where did that come from? So don’t ask. They made sense at the time! Enjoy and let me hear your thoughts too!

* The dishes STILL do not clean by themselves, even on Mother’s Day!

* Chocolate, chocolate pancakes (chocolate batter with chocolate chips and homemade whip cream) make EVERYTHING better.

* It was election week in our town. The cheapest way to have your family tree traced is to run for office.

* I learned I’m like an elephant on Mother’s Day weekend. An elephant spends 23 hours a day eating.

* A half of grapefruit for breakfast and lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is the punishment for a wild, indulging weekend.

* Betty White rocked on SNL. She’s awesome any time, but especially at her age. She said she doesn’t get facebook. At 88 years old, if she wants to reconnect with old friends, she needs an Ouija board.

* Our backyard is really green… where the dogs fertilize.

* I’d like to see more card-carrying AARP members host SNL; Don Rickles, Phyllis Dillar & Bob Newhart are all worthy.

* Why does every printer in our house run out of ink, after I just returned from buying printer paper at the store?

* I’m not sure what’s worse; cobwebs or dog hairballs.

* Posting on FaceBook what a wonderful hubby, kids, life you have, after my day sucked, does nothing but piss me off.

* Found my son’s lost Nintendo DS, at the bottom of the washing machine.

* Never, NEVER hold a hot cup of coffee between your legs for one moment while driving…slamming on the brakes can cause burns on your lady parts.

* Never ask a fat lady in the elevator at your OBGYN offices, when she’s due.

* CSI Sarasota on SNL, need I say more!

* My birthday is this weekend. I’ve been told I look like I did ten years ago…of course…it just takes me longer to get to look like that.

* My new make-up has putty and spackling in it.

* I have always known , that duct tape and WD 40 fixes anything at our house.

* I dream of a California closet full of designer mules, pumps and stilettos, but instead have a pile of flip flops.

* I grind my teeth. I will probably be laid to rest with a teeth guard in my mouth.

* Guys just do not think like girls. Period.

Have a great week!   How was your Mother’s Day?  What are your special traditions on Mother’s Day? 

Who else Sucks at Remembering Names?

May7

I suck at remembering names.   Is it possible that our minds load up so fast over the years, that we just don’t have room anymore for one simple thing, like a person’s name?  It’s true, I am afraid to admit, that I am horrible at remembering people’s names.

I suck so bad at remembering names that my kids would often quiz me on the way to their friend’s house, “Mom, who is my best friend again?”   I hesitate and stare blankly at my daughter.

“For the last three years?” She coaxes.

“Um, girl with long brown hair, umm, she lives by the elementary school, ummm, it’s Cindy, right?”

“No mom, Sydney.

As she jumps out of the car, I yell, “Tell Sydney’s mom, I said ‘hi’.”

“Her name is Pam.  Like your name. “

“Oh yeah, ok, Umm, tell Pam, ‘hi’”.   Sigh.

I’m at the point where my brain not only forgets names, but faces too. So I’m always snubbing people in the grocery store line without even realizing it.  Not good in a small town.  I’m not a snob, promise, just forgetful.

I use to remember the kids’ names, but not the adults.  Adults always end up being “Sydney’s mom or Sydney’s dad”.  And when I really needed to know the mom’s name, I’d ask my child to ask their friend, how her mom spells her name (so I can add it to my contacts). This works well if the mom whose name I can’t remember turns out to be Onalyce, but not so well if she is named, Pam.

My family has given up on me and my memory name bank.  They have learned to whisper in my ear when someone I know walks up to me at a restaurant or a sporting event and I get that look that wheels are spinning around in my head but their name just can’t be found.  My family has saved my ass on so many occasions.  As I stare at the face in front of me trying to remember their name, my daughter will quickly say, “Hi, Ms. Kathy”.  Her grin at me says oh-so-eloquently, “You owe me mom, big time!”

My husband is fantastic at names.  He can recall a person’s face and name from someone he met briefly two years earlier when they sat two rows in front of us at a hockey game, even after drinking three beers.

He just can’t remember our kid’s names.

He often gets our three kids, and our three dogs names mixed up.  He’s always rattling through their names and doesn’t get it right until he hits the 4th or 5th one.   This makes it hard for him to discipline the kids.  The other night, our daughter, Courtney, left a mess on the kitchen counter.  He yelled, “Torrey! Lissa! Ben! Brandy! Mich! …eh, eh.” He stopped and pointed at her on the couch, “You! You know who you are! Clean up this mess.”  By then Courtney was laughing so hard, all we could do was laugh too.  She’s the youngest, so most of her life her name has been; “TorreyLissaBenBrandyMich”.

It’s hard to openly admit that I suck with names, but can now blame it on my age.  I guess I should be thankful that it’s only names and faces I forget.  I will worry when there comes a day when I can barely remember where I live and the names of my own children.

And don’t even get me started on trying to remember where I left my car keys!

What do you seem to forget most?  Adult names?  Where you left the fifth grocery list you wrote today?  Or that bad round of golf?      Let me hear from you!

posted under Kids | 6 Comments »

Got Milk? Got a Crazy Drinking Straw? Got Germs?

May4

Long Swirly Straw

A neighbor told me she had ordered a plastic drinking straw that was curled and twisted to spell in cursive her young daughter’s name.  She said by having her one and half year old daughter drink out of the straw every day, her child would be able to recognize her name in cursive  before she learned to write.    Really?

But then, I do remember the plastic educational placemats I used to set my three children’s meal on displaying the ABCs, Numbers and the Map of the United States depicting all the states and their capitols.   I knew where she is coming from.

A health concern crossed my mind, so I thought I would blog on it.  My health concern revolves around this reusable plastic straw twisted in loops and curves to spell her daughter’s name.   How will she keep it clean enough to prevent the droplets of leftover milk from curdling and the apple juice from turning moldy?

All of these crazy drinking straws claim to be washable.  Sure, she can run water through it, but she said she didn’t want to put it in hot water to sterilize it because she was afraid really hot water would cause it to lose its shape.   These spiral letters and curls are potential germ traps.  The twist and turns in the plastic prohibit thorough cleaning and drying, encouraging the accumulation of residue harboring the germs.  My concern is that they may not be safe and sanitary over repetitive use.

In an unending effort to get my young daughter to drink milk years ago, I resorted to using a lavender twisted plastic crazy straw or one of its distant relatives we found at the dollar store.  She loved to watch the milky white liquid whirl through the double loops and end in her mouth.  Eventually I kept a collection of these colorful plastic loopy straws on hand for when the dinner drama turned to, “Please sweetie drink your milk.”  She loved the straws, I hated cleaning them.

My research revealed that straws in restaurants are considered single use items, so they are intended for single drinking usage and generally recognized by the public as items to be discarded after one usage. Like a toothpick.   “Drinking straws should be discarded immediately after use.”  Req. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

I am just bringing the awareness to other fellow parents.

Got Milk?  Got a crazy straw? Got germs?  Yuk.

What would you do to get your child to drink milk?   What do you do to make dinner time fun?   Do you wash and save your plastic straws for reuse?

Swirly , Double Loop Straw

Toy Scare

May1

Being a mother of three children, my blogs tend to focus on the safety of children everywhere, with the prayer that my writing will contribute toward making their world safer, happier and more secure.   So when I’m not blogging about my pets and about writing; safe toys will be a common theme.

My book PLUSH raises a few questions about the Consumer Product Safety Board and product recalls, or the lack of recalls.  It’s fiction, of course.  But my protagonist, Sue Logan, has some difficult decisions to make on her journey to being successful.  She’s knows deep down there’s a problem, a potentially harmful issue, with one of her competitor’s toys.  But she really doesn’t know everything, yet.  She thinks she knows the truth, and she has to travel far and wide to uncover it.  She runs across some pretty unsavory characters along the way.    I love writing about women who persevere and prevail because that’s what many real women have had to do.  My character is no exception.

I remember searching through my kid’s toys, box after box of endless toys, searching for the ones being recalled because of lead paint being used in the products.  It seemed every toy made in China was facing scrutiny as word was released that the Chinese factories were using paint with lead to decorate the toys.  That was years ago.

But it was an internal audit at Fisher Price back then, not the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that found the high levels of lead paint and reported to the CPSC.  That recall was alarming since Mattel (who owns Fisher Price) is known for its strict quality controls and is considered a role model in the toy industry.

How had the CPSC missed it?

Do we, as Americans, need to better guard our families from tainted products?

Do you remember the red dye scare in M&Ms? 

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments about recalls below.

Pam with some of her Toys

Dallas Magazine , Pam & Some of Her Toys

“I love writing about women who persevere and prevail because that’s what many real women have had to do.  My characters are no exception. “


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