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Monday, February 01, 2021

The end of "Cold = Cold?"

 When the experts--CDC, Fauci, Hoda--tell us how we can best protect ourselves against Covid-19, this is what they always say: 

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Don't go outside without a jacket
  • Stay 6 feet apart 

Wait. Which of these things just doesn't belong here? 

That's right!! Nobody says anything about wearing a jacket! And while we're at it, nobody says we shouldn't go out with wet hair or with our ears uncovered. This brings me much joy because I feel hopeful that maybe NOW the 75% of people (and I'm being generous) who believe these things will finally realize: 

Although I am hopeful, I still think we might need to do some FAQs to really drive this point home: 

Q: But Elsa, I understand that you can't get Covid-19 from being cold but what about the common cold? 

A: Believe it or not, Covid-19 and The Common Cold have a lot of similarities--the main one being that they are both classified as a VIRUS. And you catch a virus from people, not from weather. 

Q: Hmmm I guess that makes sense but what if I go outside with my hair wet? Won't the cold air penetrate through to my head and I will catch a cold? 

A: No. Again, the air outside does not give you a virus--cold, flu, Covid-19. In fact, being outside whether it is cold or not is a great way to PREVENT getting a virus because you are not in close quarters with people. 

Q: Then explain why people get colds more often in the winter. 

A: Cause they stay inside too much and spread their germs. 

Q: What about windows? Do I need to keep all of my windows closed so my house doesn't get drafty and I catch my death? 

A: You could catch your death if you leave your windows open--by falling out or someone breaking in and murdering you. But no, you will not catch your death via a cold. 

Q: What do I do if my kids refuse to wear a jacket when they go outside during the winter? 

A: Nothing. It truly doesn't matter. 

Q: No way!!! 

A: Yes, way. And while we're at it, could everyone please stop asking my son Leo where his jacket is? Do you ACTUALLY want to know its whereabouts? Because the answer is, it is in a closet. 

So are we clear now?! I realize I am not a doctor, a nurse or even a medical office receptionist, but you can trust me. I am a writer AND a group fitness instructor.  Or don't and bundle up, close your windows and dry that hair. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Thank the Lavender

 Hello, my name is Princess Covida and I am on day...243...189...356...oh it's been so many I can't keep track anymore...of my Covid Isolation. 

I'm trying to scratch these marks on the wall of my cell so I don't get confused about what day it is. 

Oh, wait. My wall has two marks on it. It has been two days in this guest room with an en suite bath. How did I get here? That's where the lavender comes in. 

Sunday, 1/24, was my 44th bday. A dear friend popped over to drop off a gift--this lovely lavender plant: 

I couldn't smell it. Even when I stuffed my face way down in there, no lavender scent. I couldn't smell hand sanitizer, laundry pods, dryer sheets, Irish Spring soap. You get the idea. So I got a test and here I am. Day two. 

I am going to interview myself so I can hopefully answer some of your burning questions: 

Do you know where you got it?  
No. Also, that is my least favorite question. 

Are you taking anything for it? 

Do you have any other symptoms besides not being able to smell or taste? 
Not really. A little bit of a stuffy nose. And I get super sweaty in the middle of the night. TMI? 

What do you miss most about the outside world? 

But it's only been two days. How can you miss Target already? 
It's kinda like how you miss Chick Fil-a on Sundays even though you can go there Mon-Sat. 

Um, what about your kids? Don't you miss them? 
Well, I can hear them. Very loudly.  Plus I have to FaceTime Gus every few minutes to make sure he is doing his schoolwork. He enjoys looking at himself on the camera more than listening to me. Can. you blame him? 

What are your accommodations like? 
I'm in our guest room which has a bed and two night stands and a TV.  The window looks out to the street which is awesome for spying on, I mean checking on the neighbors. 

How about the amenities?  
Funny you should ask. Those could be better. I get my food delivered outside my door from an untrained chef who often gets my order wrong. (When I say AVOCADO I don't mean NO AVOCADO!!) Also, I have to get my water from the bathroom sink. I mean, I know it is the same water but's from the bathroom. BUT he did do a good job making and delivering my coffee this morning. The dishes are starting to pile up in here though and I wish I had a dumb waiter that would clean, sanitize and send them back down. Maybe I will invent that while I am stuck in here. 

How do you keep your spirits up, Princess Covida? 
I appreciate you finally addressing me correctly. Oh, you know, I meditate. I stick my head out the window for some Vitamin D. I walk in circles around the room, trying to get my 10K steps in. 

What have you learned about yourself from this experience? 
I smell my own armpits A LOT. I guess I am always checking to see if I need to shower. And you just don't realize that you stick your nose in your armpits until you don't have a sense of smell. Every time I do it, I think, "Hmmm, I smell like nothing." And then I remember...the lavender smelled like nothing too. 

Thank you for these insights, PC. Your story has really...well, it hasn't motivated anyone yet but you still have eight days to go. 
You are most welcome. Just wait until I invent that sanitizing dumb waiter (patent pending). 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Tooth Fairy's Business Model


The Tooth Fairy 

Dear Gus- 

I heard you were disappointed about the gift I gave you. I am sorry you were sad :( 

We fairies don’t feel the emotion of disappointment but I know it is a normal feeling for my human friends--you expect one thing but you get another! That can be a major bummer. 

I thought it would help if I explained how my Tooth Fairy business works: 

When I get a tooth from a child, I figure out what to leave under their pillow based on two things: 

  1. Which tooth it is: Your tooth was a “Lateral Incisor” which is an important tooth--well, they all are! Right now I have a medium amount of those so I give a medium amount of money for them. If I had A LOT of those I would give less money and if  I had only a few, I would give more money. It’s all about “Supply and Demand” which you will learn more about in school. 

  1. Your parents’ rules: You may not know this but your parents give me guidelines on how much I am allowed to give you (same goes for Santa). Some parents say “Give our kid whatever you want!” and some give me a range like, “Give my kid anywhere between $.25 and $5 but never more than that.” And still some parents say, “Don’t give my kid ANY money; just give him stickers or a pencil.” (By the way, I don’t love giving pencils because those don’t work that well under pillows--ouch!) 

The bottom line is, you never know what to expect from me. Like all fairies, I am UNPREDICTABLE! I hope that clears up any confusion, Gus! 

Love and Fairy Dust, 

P.S. You keep your room very clean! Thank you! Makes my job much easier!! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Conver-cusions with Gus

Gus (age 9) is a funny, honest, handsome, athletic, smart little boy. He is also chronically confused. A dialogue between the two of us often sounds like "Who's on First?" They are more like conver-cusions rather than conversations. 

Examples, would help, obviously: 

As Gus was heading back to regular school last week (for one day), I asked him if he wanted to bring his lunch or buy. He said he wanted to bring so we started negotiating what would go in his lunch box. Curious, he asked what they were serving at school. I pulled up the menu and showed him that the options were orange chicken with rice or a "jamwich" pack. He mulled it over and considered changing his plan. "Well, I could get the jamwich pack and if I don't like it, I can always go get a muffin or something." 

"No, let me explain how it works now," I said. "Things are different because of Covid." (Parents utter those last three words to their kids all day long.) "You can't just walk up to the cafeteria line after you get your food and get other things. They don't have other things. It's grab and go. They just have what is on this menu." 

"So, are we eating in our classrooms?" Gus asked. 

"No, you are eating in the cafeteria but that's different too, like they will have empty seats--" 

"Are you going to pick me up before lunch?" Gus asked. 

At this point I am exasperated because, by the way, we are having this discussion in the morning, BEFORE school when time is crunchy. "No, Gus! That is why we are packing this lunch right now!" 

"Do I eat this lunch outside?" Gus asked. 


Gus, looking completely lost replied, "But you said it's grab and go???" 

OHHHHHHHH. Ok, Amelia Bedelia. "You grab it from the lunch line and GO to your seat. And you just don't get up again!!" 

In addition to latching onto one thing and taking it literally, Gus also jumps around from topic to topic which makes for complicated conversations: 

Me: "There was a storm last night. Did you hear it?" 

Gus: "No, I don't ever hear storms when I'm sleeping" 

Me: "Well, Smitty heard it and since he is scared of thunder, I slept in the living room on the couch near him." 

Gus: "Was daddy already asleep? Why doesn't he ever sleep on the couch with Smitty?" 

Me: "Since daddy has to get up really early for work, it is my job to sleep on the couch near Smitty." 

Gus: "It's your job? Is that because you bought Smitty? How much did Smitty cost? Do dogs cost money?" 

Then I went into a whole thing about how we got Smitty from a shelter and there is a certain fee you pay, like $100, for the shots and stuff they give him but it is not a big cost. I was about to go into the difference between a rescue dog and a breeder dog and the cost when Gus said: 

"I just can't WAIT to be able to drive. I think about it all the time! I am going to love driving. I'm saving up now to buy a car. How old do you have to be to drive a car?" 


Also, it seems that so far, Geography isn't a strength. We were driving today and we passed a big apartment complex. We were about 15 min from home at this point. Gus says: 

"Hey, is that the place we stayed one time with the lazy river?" 

"No, we definitely have never stayed there but what place are you talking about?" 

"Oh, you know, it had a lazy river, a pool, a hot tub and I made a friend!" 

It took me a little while to figure out what place he was talking about but finally I realized he meant a condo we stayed at in Fort Walton Beach. 

"Do you mean the place at the beach?" I asked. 

"Yes!" he said. "And Leo said that the only thing that could make it better was if we had our dog and there were lots of other dogs and he could play video games as he floated in the lazy river." 

"So, you thought this place right here was by the beach?" 


"So you thought we lived like 15 minutes from the beach?" 

"Well, NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, I know that it takes longer to get to the beach like 1 hour and 30." 

(It takes 6+ hours if we only stop two times to go to the bathroom and drive thru to get food without eating inside, btw. But I am glad the trip goes by so quickly for him!) 

On this same excursion today he said, "If you turn right down that road, that's where my football practice is." It wasn't. Not even close. But he argued with me that it was. Like he would know better than me. I mean, I can actually drive!! 

I'll leave you with just a funny comment he made tonight. I was reading Harry Potter and a character talked about how he needed to look "smart" because his relatives were coming. I explained to the kids, "They are saying smart the way the English say it, meaning they want to look nice, not that they are trying to look intelligent." 

Gus: "But WE are ENGLISH!!" 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Sandwich Strength

I have been getting a lot of requests for more workouts that you can do at home*

(*"A lot" means my friend from high school Jessi and my sister.)

I made this video for my sister. I only mention that because you might wonder who I am talking to. Oh, and I should probably also explain the title. 

I call the exercises in this video sandwiches: 

You do a lower body move for 30 seconds 
Then you add an upper body move for the next 30 seconds 
Then you lose the lower body and keep the upper body for the last 30 seconds 

So the lower body move and the upper body move on their own are like the bread and then the "meaty" part of the exercise is when you do the upper and lower together.  

If your muscles aren't fatigued after 90 seconds then you can adjust the time of your sandwich--45, 45 and 45. Or you can adjust it the other way--20, 20 20. 

Have fun with your sandwiches! And if my fans bombard me with requests, I can make more videos!