Archive for March, 2012
Some time ago, I was chatting casually with my neighbor Linda out in her front yard. She was telling me about her harried morning and how she had inadvertently run to the front door to retrieve a package from the UPS man while wearing a Frownie.
“A what?” I asked her with a blank look on my face.
“A Frownie,” she answered, staring at me as if I was some sort of life beauty school flunky. “You know what they are, don’t you?” At this point, I almost expected an eye roll.
I kicked at the ground with my toe, then sheepishly said, “I have absolutely no clue what Frownies are…”
It didn’t take her long to begin boasting about the wonders of Frownies — a magical beauty treatment that could erase years from my face. She insisted that the “anger lines” between my eyes would vanish with the use of these little marvels and enthusiastically assured me that they really work. When she was done with her pitch, my first thought was to defend my “anger lines” as “thinking lines” but I quickly threw that notion aside and decided to concern myself with something more urgent: my quest for Frownies.
After doing some online research, I found out that I could purchase them from my local Walgreen’s store. I immediately hopped into the car and sped over there. And trust me — if my car had been equipped with a siren and flashing red light, I wouldn’t have hesitated to use them. This was a critical beauty moment.
Once there, I darted into the store and went on the Frownies search. Unable to locate them, I was forced to ask the cosmetic professional behind the cash register where I would be able to find this mystical product.
“Right here,” she said reaching behind the counter for the small, white box. She casually placed it next to the register then became distracted by some lint on the front of her smock. “Need anything else?” she asked.
“No, thank you” I said, swiftly paying for purchase and praying I wouldn’t be spotted by anyone I knew (thus they find out my secret). Clutching the box, I sprinted to the car, revved the engine, and made a beeline home.
When I arrived there, I ran to the bathroom, opened the box, and began inspecting my wares. Inside were little rounded triangles that to me, looked suspiciously like brown packing tape. Carefully following the directions, I wet one Frownie and smoohed it out between my eyes. After a few moments, I felt like I was wearing a second grader’s paper mache project but if it really worked, it was easily something I could endure. The instructions suggested that these were to be applied at night but heck, I’d get a jump start. It’s never too early to start looking younger. And if it really worked, why would I need to consider Botox anymore, right?
From that moment on, I began plastering the Frownies on my forehead religiously every night. My husband, Ron, got used to seeing me crawl into bed next to him with a hunk of stiff brown paper glued between my eyes. He didn’t say much about this new anti-aging hobby but he didn’t need to. The blank stare he gave me when I put them on told the story.
One day as I sat folding my usual morning load of laundry still adorned with my Frownies, I decided I needed to evaluate the situation. I had been engaged in this beauty routine for weeks. Was this discovery really working for me? Were Frownies only masking my “thinking lines?” The reality was that when I pried them off my forehead every morning, it was clear that this product really did work. For about an hour. After that, I morphed back into the deep thinking wife and mother of two.
I never used up the entire box of Frownies on my face and this actually made me a bit sad. I used the rest to seal up a carton containing the birthday present I shipped to my best friend in southern Minnesota. For that they worked beautifully.
Are there beauty treatments that have been real klunkers for you? Or have you tried some that I really need to know about? Please share!
Next to grocery shopping, yard work, and waking up early on a Saturday morning there’s almost nothing I despise more than cleaning out the refrigerator. Each time I’m brave enough to don my HAZMAT suit and take on this morbid task, I discover that during previous weeks, I have unknowingly cultivated new life forms by placing seemingly innocent leftovers inside of an average Tupperware bowl. I usually smell my frightening creation before I actually see it.
And why oh why when I suspect there’s even a remote possibility of foreign growth blanketing my leftover chicken marinara do I feel compelled to open the lid of the bowl and look at it? But it never fails. I always lift the cover, peer inside, and let out a horrified gasp. Why don’t I just skip that disgusting step and toss the entire container into the trash?
Well, partly because I’m cheap and don’t like buying new bowls all of the time so I generally end up cleaning, disinfecting, and reusing the container. And also because I consider scrubbing out the foul container retribution for my less than stellar fridge cleaner-outer habits. I deserve to see what I’ve done…
A few weeks ago was no different. We knew something evil was lurking in our fridge and despite my having scoured the entire unit from top to bottom, I couldn’t locate the source.
“Maybe it’s something in the freezer,” I told myself the next day after giving the refrigerator a complete bleach rub down. “Or maybe (gulp) something large and furry crawled into the motor of the fridge and died.”
The thought made me shudder. But the odor eminating from the fridge did indeed smell like a dead animal and I was starting to panick a little. Determined to identify the source of the stench I pressed on, purging the freezer of anything even remotely questionable (even pizza rolls). But the funk lingered. I knew that if I couldn’t find the smelly culprit once and for all, I have to single-handedly clunk the biohazard down the front steps and out to the curb for trash pickup.
The next day I decided to try a new angle for cleaning. Rather than scour the unit out shelf by shelf, I emptied the entire compartment onto the kitchen counter. Lo and behold, by the time I reached shelf number 3, I found the noxious problem. A small deviant container had slipped down the back of the shelving and contained inside of it was a sickly wad of pale gray hamburger I had intended to use in a batch of meatballs. Except I forgot about it.
I’m not sure exactly how I could have prevented that one. Labeling things, maybe? Keeping the meat front and center in the fridge so I don’t forget about it? Hindsight, it was almost like the hamburger purposed ducked behind the shelving in an attempt to avoid discovery.
All I know is that one horrifying piece of meat was enough to snap me into some better fridge-cleaning habits and there were a few things I knew I had to put into play so this would/could never happen again:
Clean out the fridge before shopping trip so that when I arrive home with fresh groceries, the old stuff wouldn’t be forgotten and hastily shoved to the back of the unit.
Wash interior with a good soap and water solution and wipe it dry.
Date and label leftovers as I place them in the fridge so there is never a question about the mysterious contents of a container.
Be thorough when cleaning out old containers. Make sure to always check way in the back of the fridge where things can get camouflaged (like my wayward hamburger).
According to the manual for my refrigerator, the temperature should be kept between around 36-39 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food safe. Set the freezer at 0 degrees.
Finally, if when you scan the fridge for a snack or meal ingredients you run across something questionable, throw it out IMMEDIATELY. Don’t tell yourself, ”I’ll do it later.” I’m a champion at this and I think that’s what gets me in the most trouble.
Unfortunately, today is fridge-cleaning day, again. But despite my hatred for the task, before I commense with the duty I’m going hold up my right hand and say a “clean fridge” vow in front of the mirror. I will promise myself to never slip into slovenly refrigerator habits again.
Do you have any tips for keeping your fridge clean? What cleaning tasks do you dread at your house? Please comment!
I finally did it. I broke down and bought a pair of reading glasses. Actually, I bought two pairs. It had gotten to the point where I could no longer deny that I was morphing into my owly-looking parents who depended on their big, black spectacles to read medicine labels, recipes, and the Sunday paper. I had become them.
I knew it was probably time I got glasses when a string of my unintelligible, accidentally profane texts to my friends and family resulted in a couple of severed relationships. And there were also the unfortunate dinner mishaps because it was nearly impossible for me to discern the difference between “teaspoons,” “tablespoons,” and “cups” on the pages of a recipe book. But perhaps the most difficult thing for me as I faced this vision issue was that I had abandoned reading because unfortunately my favorite genre, juvenile fiction, isn’t readily available in a “colossal print version.”
(Sigh). So off to the pharmacy I went. Since I have an inclination to lose things, I decided to pick up two pairs of high quality glasses – a snazzy brown and black giraffe print and a blue and green stripe, both equally attractive. And once I put them on, texts became clearer, dinners were tastier, and there was a whole world of juvenile fiction out there waiting to be read.
On Sunday, eager to dive into some reading, I rifled through Noah’s bedroom library and ran across a number of enticing titles but settled on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins since the movie is due to be released on March 23rd. Noah’s teacher had recommended the series for him and I recalled how quickly he sped through each of the three books. I figured they had to at least be okay.
Before opening the book, I checked Amazon’s description of The Hunger Games so I would know a little bit more about it. Amazon said:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
When I sat down on my cozy green sofa with the book that morning, I became glued. Completely, one hundred percent adhered to this young adult novel — to the extent that I think I only got up three times all day. Twice to use the bathroom and once to drop kick a meager dinner onto the kitchen table for Ron and Noah (there were a few chocolate breaks in there for me too, but those don’t really count).
From the first page, the book reeled me in, pinned me down, and tied me up in a tight square knot. It was packed with everything from horrific violence to a bit of romance (awwwww). As I gripped the book reading, I noticed my knuckles were turning white and I’m also pretty sure I was holding my breath between page-turns. And I hate to say it, but I think I was so entranced in the story I might have drooled a little (reminder to self: purchase a reading bib). I read all day long and finally at 10:25 p.m on Sunday night, I finished the book…and did so with a real, live tear in my eye.
This post is by no means a “book review” but I do recommend reading the The Hunger Games, especially since the movie is due out in a few weeks. After reading it, I’m particularly curious how the makers of the movie will broach the story in light of the characters’ ages in the book (ages 12 to 18) and the level of violence. Honestly, as I read the book and the plot unfolded, I thought I would be personally appalled. But I wasn’t. I just kept turning the pages — and I was utterly and completely sucked in (and feeling pretty happy that I could read actual words again with my fancy new reading glasses on).
So, for those of you who have read the book, what did you think? Do you have misgivings about allowing your child to read it or see the movie or do you think it’s no big deal? Do you have a favorite young adult book that you’d recommend for others? Please comment!