Please pass the tissues. I’m sick.

I am by no means a wimp when it comes to being sick. You don’t birth all your babies each 2 years apart, survive 2 divorces, go to college as an adult and work to paying your own way in life just to curl up and surrender to a little cold. You just don’t.

Allergies though, that’s a way different story. I’m waving the white flag. Okay. Maybe It’s a Kleenex. Still, I surrender.

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It’s a fairly new phenomenon for me personally. I have stood guard every year since my baby boy suffered throughout his first season. I did my very best to be sure he was medicated and comfortable. I visited many a pediatric specialist and sat holding him for countless breathing treatments. He is a healthy happy 10 year old now with just the common seasonal and pet allergies. He doesn’t seem to be allergic to everything anymore.

The problem is that suddenly I am. Me. The momma of steel has been brought down by tiny particles unseen but powerful enough to make me crumple like straw paper in the McDonald’s drive-thru.

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I mean sure I remember once my parental units bought weird cheap laundry soap and I got a little itchy when I was just a kid. Never a runny nose or rash or infection related to allergens again. I was a normal kid, no signs or symptoms that later in life I may need to live in an adult sized bubble.

It was all rainbows and lollipops until I moved down here. I was healthy and for the most part mucus free.
This place though, it’s different. This is the land of trees and mountians and killer pollen levels. Every year for the past 4 or 5 I have had a steady worsening of my symptoms. It doesn’t take much; cat fur, trees, flowers, soap, dog dander, lotions, stupidity, dust, air and on occasion my wife. Every freaking thing I come into contact with causes some form of irritation.

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I am miserable all year round at random times, indoors and out and I have to hunt for the culprit. It’s like a “Where’s Waldo” for the new thing I have to disinfect, avoid or give up. I am sick and I’m tired of searching for what the problem is. There could at least be a warning beep when I come near a contaminant. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

So here I am, half a days work done and a days worth of Sudafed pumping in my blood stream. I am hot and cold, my throat hurts and my joints ache. I have sinus pressure so bad I am almost positive my worst fear will come true and my head really will explode. I am tired but I can’t sleep. I am hungry but I can’t swallow. No, it’s not some weird disease. It’s allergies.

Tree pollen. Dog dander on my pillow. Cat hair on the sofa. Old lady perfume in the drug store check-out line. That stupid fake tree in the corner of the office. I might be ok with just one but spring and fall both throw me a toxic combo hit straight to the face. I can’t avoid it and I can’t go on like this. I’ve got to outsmart my poor genetics terrible descision making.

The next time I spend an evening soaking in an outdoor hot tub maybe I will take an antihistamine before we go … and maybe I can give up that 2nd glass of wine while I’m medicated. Maybe I will deep clean the house more often to keep pollen and pet dander at bay. Maybe I will ask the dog to get off my pillows and sleep in her dog bed.

That’s a lot of maybe and not a lot of likely. 52c08c26fbbb2d6b1bc3ad7d571b16ad

In the meantime if someone could please hand me a tissue I would really appreciate it.

Happy National Beer Day! Or something like that

If you have paid any attention to social media today you know today is National Beer Day. A holiday to some and a simple Monday for others.

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Once upon a time I was a wine and mixed drinks only kinda gal. I snubbed my “drinking age adult” nose at all efforts to serve me beer at social functions.

Then I met J.
My beer loving, social drinking sweetheart.

When we met she had, and I’m not exaggerating, cans of Miller Light and some bottled water in her fridge. That’s it. I nearly had second thoughts about what I was getting myself into. I’ve come a long way since then and she has too. Thanks to her I’ve learned to enjoy craft beer and look forward to trying new selections. She now has a brewery date any time she wants. Plus now has an upgraded fridge with food selections and bottled beer. Classy.

We’re lucky enough to live in a huge craft brew area of Western NC which means I’ve had a chance to taste test the best of the best. It’s a whole new world.

For all of you who are still beer shy I offer you this newbies guide to beer.

Try a flight the next time you are in a place you can try some brews.  You can sample several types and find your style. This is great for sampling seasonal beer too. Don’t be too shy to try something new. Even if you don’t like one of the selections you aren’t out the cost of a pint.

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A flight at a local brewery.

Ask your server / bartender for a recommendation. If your server is a non beer drinker he / she can still tell you what’s ordered most often.  Sometimes you can even taste test before you commit, just be courteous of your bartenders time. If the bar is full they may not have the time to tell you to stop being an asshole and order already.

Head to your favorite restaurant for Pint Night. These are great nights to enjoy a new beer because you get to keep the glass. That’s right. You can keep the glass. That means no more red solo cups at your next party. You can serve your friends in real glasses. Like grown ups.

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Free glassware! Pint glasses from local pint nights.

Try a selection which pairs well with your food this summer. There is something about a super cold beer on a beautiful evening, or afternoon, whatever your fancy. Having a burger? Pretty much any beer goes well with a burger hot off the grill but if you must narrow your choice try a medium bodied Ale. Chicken more your thing? Try a lighter Lager or a Wheat selection. These beers pair well with pasta dishes as well if you are not already having wine. Having a bite which is a bit heavier? Sharing an appetizer at your local pub? Try a Porter or Stout. while my least favorite, these brews have the most flavor and will be a dark, rich beer.

Grab some friends and attend a craft beer festival. There are many, many to choose from in our area. If there are none in your locality you should move. Pack your things and head someplace more fun immediately.Life is too short to be bored.

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Still lost on what to try? Lets compare to basic a wine selection. Light bodied beers such as the Lager and Wheat are much like the white wines we know and love, a Pinot or Sauvignon Blanc. There are also hard ciders crafted from a variety of fruit which compare to a sweet Moscato. Your medium bodied beers, such as the Ale are like nice mellow Merlot. The darker heavier bodied beers, which I have yet to work myself up to fully appreciating, such as the Porter and Stout are like the Cabernet of the wine world.

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So the next time you find yourself an occasion to have a brewsky, be it a Monday night after work or National Beer Day, be sure to try something new.

Live adventurous. Be brave and always have a DD.