Wendy Knuth Author of Moore Zombies, blogging about the human experience.

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How To Cure Rosacea – You Can’t – But This Will Help!

This is the story of my ongoing battle with rosacea, including no-no’s, tips and tricks, and my before and after pictures.

Here is my “before” picture of me with rosacea, and without any makeup. This picture was taken recently when my rosacea was at its worst ever. I almost never went out in public like this. People did double takes on me. “Wow, you got really sunburned!” is what I hear and translate as, “Wow, you are really ugly!” Um, yeah, thanks.

Rosacea Before

Rosacea Before

My rosacea started in my 30’s. You can read stories online of people who have rosacea and how the awful redness, blotchiness, and pimples are nothing compared to the true and ultimate horror of growing the bulbous nose. W.C. Fields is often given as a prime example.

Here are some links to pictures from the National Rosacea Society:
https://www.rosacea.org/patients/allaboutrosacea.php
This one shows a couple of bulbous noses: https://www.rosacea.org/patients/faces.php

One trick I learned was to use a cover-up stick ALL OVER my face, not just over small problem areas, and then apply liquid base (you may call it foundation), and finally powder. It works pretty well, but feels heavy and I don’t like having this on my face for long hours at work.
Another trick I tried was to get sunburned. My face will peel and I will have a fresh set of skin, or I will tan over. Nope – don’t do it. You will only look like a nuclear bomb went off in the immediate vicinity.

Yet another trick I discovered was the green tinted makeup. Not Halloween makeup! It is very hard to find. You have to search grocery stores, drug stores, and the likes of Kmart or Walmart and you might find one item. I never found a green tinted base, but I did find a green tinted cover-up stick, and I applied my regular base and powder over this. The idea is that green and red make brown/tan. I thought I looked okay, but my husband told me I looked sick, literally green around the gills. But, I have tried this off and on over the years.

To give you an idea of green makeup and what I am talking about, I am including Amazon affiliate links if you are interested in giving green makeup a try. Perhaps you are better with makeup than I am.

Green Cover-Up Stick

Green Concealer

So finally, I went to a dermatologist. Cureable? No. What to avoid: Stress, coffee, caffeinated beverages, sun, wind, alcohol, spicy food, hot showers, hot tubs, hot baths. Bummer – I like all of those things, except for stress.

I was prescribed metrogel as a remedy. It is a gel you apply to your face. I can’t say I noticed a huge difference. But by today’s standards, my rosacea was still in its infancy so perhaps it worked better than I thought, or at least kept it from getting worse. I’m not sure.

I don’t recall how much the metrogel costs, but you do need a prescription for it. Here is a link to their site: https://www.metrogel.com/

At some point I ran out of metrogel and got sick of going to the dermatologist. So a few years pass and my face continues to redden. Back to the dermatologist who now recommended I get my face lasered.

The laser dermatologist recommended I do one side of my face so that I could see if it made a difference. I wish I had taken pictures. It is said that the laser feels like a rubber band snapping on your skin, but I say it feels like being sandblasted one small area at a time. You end up with a throbbing, aching pain, the kind of pain where you feel each heartbeat in your face. The pain goes away within half an hour or so. Ironically, you are left with a very red, sometimes bruised face. My doc admitted after seeing some dark, purple bruising, that the laser was “up too high” and he turned it down.

I was glad he suggested doing one cheek, because I did notice a difference, but probably wouldn’t have if he had done both cheeks.

The next treatment included both cheeks. I wised up and asked about my Rudolph nose. I thought I had one face, but in the dermatology world, you actually have two cheeks, one nose, one chin, and one forehead, all priced differently. I HATE that!!!! By the way, laser to the nose really, really, REALLY hurts!

I ended up doing the laser treatments 3 or 4 times and my cheeks are still lopsided to this day, but you can’t tell by looking. Laser is not covered by insurance and I found it to be too time consuming (long drive to the big city) and honestly I didn’t have the funds to be this vain. I want to say it was around $140 per cheek? I can’t quite remember, except that it was expensive. However, at the time I thought this was a permanent or at least a long lasting solution. It did make a big difference. I actually could and would go out in public without any makeup, and nobody looked twice or said anything. Unfortunately, this only lasted about 1-2 years.

After some time, and disgust, I thought I would try a new dermatologist. Said new doc was also a newbie doc. He recommended a sulfur cream. Unfortunately I don’t recall the prescription name, but I do recall smelling like sulfur all day, as well as smelling sulfur all day – it burned my nostrils. If it had worked, I would still reek of sulfur to this day.

Years and years pass. My face has become horribly, blotchy red, and now, the pimples . . . so superficial that they come off easily with a scrape of the fingernail. I went back to the first dermatologist. I arrive without makeup and see not only other patients doing a double take on me, but the receptionist herself. The doc took one look at me and said, “You’re a disaster! We can’t have you walking around looking like that!” I agreed.

Luckily, times had changed. He prescribed Soolantra twice daily and Doxycycline once daily. I’m not sure about the theory behind the antibiotic, but it is a low dose antibiotic, not something you would take for a typical infection. The difference was huge. It took about two weeks for me to see great results. I do have insurance so each visit cost me a $35 copay. The doxy was a couple of dollars, and one tube of Soolantra cost $60, which lasted around 3 weeks using it twice daily.

Rosacea Meds That Made A Difference For Me

Rosacea Meds That Made A Difference For Me

After some time, I saw my doc again and he wanted me to stop the pills and do the cream once daily. My “after” pic you see actually looks a pinch worse than when I was at my best with the full initial treatment.

So here are the results, before and after.

Rosacea Before

Rosacea Before

Rosacea After

Rosacea After

Funny enough, when I look at the “after” pic I think I don’t look so great, but in comparison to the before pic, I think, “Much Better!” Perhaps now that I know how bad it can get, I have lowered my standards and am more accepting of my “after” pic look. Maybe I will try some green makeup again.

If you suffer from rosacea, I hope this post helps you see that there is help. Please see a dermatologist. As an endnote, I would like to say I realize that people are suffering from much worse. The bigger lesson learned is to please think twice before you say things to strangers in public.

Wendy Knuth
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The Ups & Downs of Being a Stay-At-Home Mombie

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As a woman, I can tell you that being a stay-at-home mom is a wonderful and rewarding job.  However, it isn’t without pitfalls.  Cook, clean, and wipe butt?  Sign me up, I’m in.  Men, don’t judge.  There is a reason why I can’t talk about being a stay-at-home dad.  Yet I’m sure the experience is quite similar.  Also, ladies, please don’t judge.  No matter how much you decide to work “outside of the home”, it is complicated.  I would just like to stress the point that being a stay-at-home parent is a full time job, without outside pay.

Decisions, decisions.  Do the math.  Can the family be supported on one income?  Now do the mental.  Can you cope?  My husband (the old, bald guy) and I opted for the scrape by method, and since we were just starting out, we decided he would be the crumb winner.  That allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom for about ten years.  Would I take it back?  Absolutely not.  Were there hardships?  Absolutely yes.

It turns out that raising children is very difficult.  At times you may feel like a sleep deprived zombie with a shrunken brain.  Oh, the ups and downs.  But, who doesn’t love a good roller coaster ride?  I actually learned a few tricks along the way.  Let’s review.

Up:  Home cooked meals and Garanimals!

Down:  Arguing over which color cup you chose to use and how much milk you poured into it.

Fix:  Compromise – change the dang cup to your child’s preference, transfer milk from Cup A to Cup B and tip milk carton as if pouring more milk, but leave the cap on – your child will feel smug, and so will you.

Up:  Being there for every single crucial moment in your child’s life.  First roll onto back, first sit up, first noise/word, first crawl, first steps. . .

Down:  The sheer difficulty of trying to make it to the grocery store in between naps, feedings and diaper changes.  Just when you think you might have an hour, nope, rethink plan, and hope there will be another window of opportunity, maybe today.

Fix:  Wait.  All good things come in time.

Up:  Things to do for free – my favorites were parks and the library.

Down:  Having accidents (of both kinds) at parks and the library.

Fix:  I got nothing here.  Oh wait – don’t take your kids anywhere, ever, and then this will only happen at home.

Up:  The excitement of experiencing everything for the first time all over again from spiders to rainbows.

Down:  The power of an instant lobotomy like headache resulting from an inhumanly and inhumane high screech made from your young child, perhaps after seeing a spider.

Fix:  Ibuprofen.

Up:  Volunteering at school and seeing the gleam in your child’s eye when they see how proud you are of him, and you can tell how proud he is to have special moments be witnessed by you.

Down:  Feeling guilty about missing something exciting at school – a play, a spelling bee, etc.

Fix:  There is none – you will feel guilty about something to do with your child(ren) for the rest of your life.

Up:  Being there to explain everything to your child, especially the why.

Down:  Your most intellectual discussion of the day probably had something to do with Dr. Seuss.

Fix: Encourage your child to read.  Explain this to him or her: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” (Yes, Dr. Seuss).

Up:  Being so happy that hubby is home to relieve you of your duties if only for a little bit, because he realizes that you have been on high alert ALL day as there is no such thing as childproofing, you have dealt with numerous disgusting substances, you haven’t had any adult contact or highly stimulating conversation, you have “worked” all day- we’re talking going to the bathroom with the door open or something terrible could happen to the children no-break kind of day.

Down:  Realizing that hubby is not sympathetic to your cause because he has also worked all day, even though he was able to have some meaningful conversations, feel productive, solve complex problems, make money, and go to the bathroom with the door closed without fear of immediate harm to his young children.

Fix: Don’t worry, that last rant resolves on its own as the children grow older.

To be super fair, if I were to rewrite the last “Up” bullet point from my husband’s point of view, it might read as follows:  Being so happy to come home to a home cooked meal after having worked all day, including plunging clogged toilets, clearing sewage lines, and dealing with difficult customers, knowing all the while that this hard work has allowed for my loving, caring, appreciate wife to be able to stay at home with the children.

In summary, enjoy the ups and cope with the downs.  Just remember you are in charge of each and every wonderful new day in molding the mind of your little human being.  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” (Dr. Seuss).

Wendy Knuth is the author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books for children.  One of her characters is a stay-at-home Mombie zombie named Mombie Moore.

Mombie Moore

art by Brian Allen

One Of The Most Perfect Gifts For A Toddler!

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Everyone has heard the adage of buying presents for children only to find out they prefer the box.  Well, from experience, it is true.  So today, my good friends, I am here to tell you about one of the most cherished gifts your child will get from you:  An item to bond with, to sleep with, a source of comfort, homemade with love.  Yes, you will beam with pride when other parents ask you, “Where did you buy that?”

From me to you:  Make a pillowcase!

Back in the day, I made a Teletubbies pillowcase for my son.  He loved it – he treasured it for a couple of years.  My other son was meanwhile enjoying the store bought 101 Dalmations bed set, just so you know he wasn’t neglected.

Go to your local store where materials are sold such as WalMart or JoAnns, and you will find a whole new world of options:  Animals of all types (real and cartoony), holiday themed prints, fairies, princesses, flowers, specific sports teams, and copyrighted Disney characters.  What did I find for my boys?  Dinosaurs and construction equipment galore.  Jackpot!

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Worried about your sewing skills?  Don’t be.  I’m not an expert seamstress.  Out of all the things one can sew, a pillowcase is probably one of the easiest, even if you don’t have a sewing machine.  If your work is not up to par, your child probably won’t notice.  But just in case, here is a handy tip from me to you:  Don’t sew ALL the edges together or you will be left with a pillowcase malfunction.  Handy tip #2 – buy a “travel pillow” – it is the perfect size for a toddler, and you’ll need even less material.

A yard of material is dirt cheap compared to your limited selection of pricey bed sets, and you can almost bank on the idea that toddlers don’t know that bedding should match, and really, why should it?  Where is the fun in that?  Live a little!

Alternatively, if you are “one of those people” and just can’t function without the matching set, you can take it a step further.  I actually made (er, um, yeah) dinosaur blankets.  Okay – I didn’t MAKE the blankets.  I bought really cheap blankets and then covered one side with dinosaur material and used a plain blue cheapo material on the other side.  In retrospect the plain blue material was more difficult to deal with since it was very stretchable.  Tip #3:  If sewing is not your thing – don’t buy anything too stretchy.

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My dinosaur blankets each have a large seam running down the middle because often material is sold in smaller widths than can cover an adult sized blanket – did my kids notice?  Nope!  However, after a couple of weeks, one son complained of something pointy in the blanket.  Oops – it turned out I had sewn in one of the pins I had used to keep the edges together.  Tip # 4:  (I think you get the point, yuk, yuk.)

That same young man is now an older teenager.  Out of the numerous pillowcases I made for him, he still has (in his closet) what is now an old, raggedy pillow with the construction print pillowcase.  He is not willing to part with it.  It is a keepsake of his.  Oh my gosh, how worth it is that?

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So pick a print, apply your skills and give the gift of a pillowcase!  Tip #5: Don’t forget to include a pillow.

Since you may not always be able to find what you are looking for at your local store, I am including some affiliate links for themed materials that are always available online:

Outer Space Fabric

Unicorns and Such

 
Tell me how it goes. . .

 

Wendy Knuth

Author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books

 

The 20 Year Old Cake, Part II – China/Platinum Anniversary

Presents

Let me tell you how things finally went down.  The old, bald guy had a bad day at work and was kind of grumpy.  He actually went grocery shopping.  While he was away, our boys & I ordered pizza.  I removed the cake which I had hidden in the refrigerator, unwrapped the aluminum foil and left it in a pile on the counter.  It was a big clue in plain sight.  It turns out the boys did know about the cake in the freezer.  I must have told them the story long ago.

So yes, there was a small slice missing.  One red candle went in the center.  I put out two presents.  Traditional rules for the 20 year anniversary say I should buy china.  More contemporary guidelines say one should buy platinum.  So I bought both.

chinaplat

After my initial cake blog, a friend on Facebook sent a “Happy Anniversary” Flintstones clip.  It has proven to be problematic in that I can’t get the song out of my head, even days later.

When hubby came home, the boys and I quickly helped out with the groceries, not letting him into the kitchen.  Then I waited at the computer until one of my boys said, “Now.”  He lit the candle and I pressed play on the music clip where Fred Flintstone and his buddies are singing and Barney is playing a Stoneway piano.

The Flintstones – Happy Anniversary clip

The old, bald guy walked into the kitchen and immediately lit up.  He laughed and then said “Where did you get the cake?”  I was kind of surprised.  Then he said “There’s a slice missing.”  He looked a little confused.  He was just not getting it.  I gave him a weird look, looked at the cake and then at the pile of aluminum foil, and looked back at him without saying a word.  He circled around and I saw a sudden look of recognition come over his face.

“Is that what I think it is?!”  Yes, I told him.  He laughed, and I mean hard, and then he said, “Thank God!  We can finally get rid of that thing!”  How romantic.

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We both thought the cake was in remarkably good form.  The icing smelled like icing but when we touched the inside where the slice was missing, it felt really dry, like sand.  No, we didn’t eat any.

Hubby enjoyed his presents, the pizza came, and we watched our wedding video.  Our teenage boys had never seen it before.  Pretty weird to see how young everyone looked, including ourselves, and a lot of people have since passed away.  I was feeling sentimental and teary eyed here and there, but that quickly dissipated because boys will be boys and my 3 guys cracked a lot of weird jokes throughout.  Again, very romantic.

What happened to the cake?  Well, this cake is famous now.  I gave it a fresh wrapping of aluminum foil and back into the freezer it went.

Wendy Knuth, author of Moore Zombies books

The 20 Year Old Wedding Cake

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The old, bald guy and I are about to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary!!!  The picture of the old ripped and torn aluminum foil wrapped thingy-a-bobby?  It is the top tier of our wedding cake, and it has been in our freezer for literally 20 years.  Read it again.

We have all heard about how you are supposed to put some of your wedding cake in the freezer and then defrost it for your one year anniversary and actually eat a bite.  Yuck.  For some reason we reluctantly participated in this tradition.  Even if it tastes great, it is very difficult mentally to cope with the one year old part.  Who came up with this silly tradition?  Perhaps it is an early test of the “in sickness or in health” part of your marriage vows with regards to food poisoning.

Let’s move on to mental health.  Where or how is mine?  For some odd reason, the cake went back into the freezer and became a point of nostalgia for me.  Years passed and my hubby would occasionally ask me when can we get rid of this cake?  We’re never going to it eat.  Well, true.  But it would be like throwing away a piece of our history.  I can’t say that we argued about it but I think he saw that it would make me sad.  He gave up asking quite some time ago.  I think he came to terms with the fact that as long as I am alive, this cake will be in the freezer.  Honestly, if he had thrown it away without my knowledge for the greater part of the last decade, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.  But, don’t tell him that.

So there I am, trying to think of some unique gift for our 20 year anniversary and I suddenly remember – the cake!!!!  I’m going to defrost and put it on the table next to his real presents.  I think he and our kids will get a kick out of it.  I’m pretty sure our boys don’t even know what that ragged aluminum foil wrapped thing is that has been in the freezer for their entire lives.  I’m not sure if they have ever heard the story behind it.  Don’t worry – the old, bald guy is not into social media so he won’t see this post until post anniversary.

There is only one problem.  I will be setting myself up for disaster.  I imagine that after a fun evening and some giggling about the ridiculousness of it all, my hubby will probably ask if we can finally throw the cake away.  It’s a dilemma.  We’ll just see how things go. . .

Wendy Knuth

MooreZombies.com

Hey Zombies – Suckage Time – Your Taxes Are Due!!!

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Oh my Gombie, how I hate taxes!!!  The old bald guy and I own a small personal business which means that we have to pay self employment taxes.  That means we get the privilege of paying taxes twice.

For all of you working zombies out there that roll your eyes in disgust at the chunk that went missing from your paycheck – we all know that really sucks.  But I’ll tell you something that sucks even more.  Imagine taking out your checkbook and writing a check to the government every three months.  That really, really sucks.

If you have a “normal” job, your employer pays for your social security (ouch for them), and then the government also sucks your paycheck dry for your portion of social security (ouch for you.)  That is double suckage.  When you own a small business you have to pay twice, once for yourself as a business owner, and once for yourself as an employee – basically double ouch.

Okay fine.  The rules are the rules.  So, we have to hire an accountant to figure out how much suckage we have to pay to the government.  We have no clue what said accountant is doing except that we end up with literally a book full of pages, forms, subforms and schedules as evidence that the job has been done.  At the end of it all we are grateful and give our thanks to the government for making us pay hundreds of dollars to figure out how many thousands of dollars we owe.

So here’s my thinking.  The accountant payment is a kind of a tax.  Why don’t we propose new legislation?  Any fees paid to accountants should be a direct deduction from the amount owed to the feds.  Not only could we stand up to the feds and punish them for making us go through this yearly anguish, but it also provides an incentive for them to make it less complicated.  The public will love it, and the accountants will love it.  It might even create some new loopholes – and isn’t that what taxes are all about?  That’s my two cents, folks.

Write your representatives in Congress and buy a zombie book.

Wendy Knuth, author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books – MooreZombies.com

Adventures of Agnes – A Back Story Of Moore Zombies: Big, Bad Wolfbag

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The old bad guy and I had this dog named Agnes.  She was a short haired, brown something or other that we got from the local humane society.  When she was really worked up, her hairline that ran down the middle of her back would raise up, but backwards.  She was the friendliest dog ever, but she was also very intimidating if you were on the other side of the fence.  We got a lot of great comments on her – personality, personality, personality, Type A.

Agnes was quite often, a pain in the rear.  She was definitely an alpha female.  So much so, that she would raise her leg to go the bathroom, she wasn’t letting the males have anything on her.  I have blogged about her issues with skunks.  I almost put something into Big, Bad Wolfbag about skunks but I felt I already had enough material.  So then there was the toad thing.

One day, I heard Agnes barking her brains out in the backyard.  Yes, she was drooling and foaming at the mouth, just like in the book.  I saw this toad on the ground.  She was barking at it and almost trying to bite it but you could tell whatever slime substance was on its back was deterring her.  We put the poor toad outside of the fence and worried some about Agnes.  We have her plenty of water to drink and she turned out just fine.

There was the time when the old, bald guy and I were camping near a lake.  We saw this young boy come up over the hill.  Agnes’ ears perked up and she looked very alert.  The boy saw her and stopped in his tracks.  The old bald guy spoke out loud to himself, “Please don’t run”.  Of course, the kid turned and ran, and Agnes chased after him.  He must have been terrified.  Agnes was the kind of dog that would chase after anything that ran away from her, but luckily for humans, she wouldn’t do anything but be playful once she caught up to you.  Anyhow, we feared repercussions from angry parents so we packed up, called Agnes who dutifully came back, and we left.  A version of this is in the opening chapter of my Wolfbag book, except I changed the boy to a girl.

Another time, we were camping at Lake Pleasant, which is why I decided to include the name of this lake in the book.  Agnes loved swimming and we saw her swimming after a bird that looked like it had a broken wing.  The closer she got to the bird, the bigger her eyes became.  When she got really close, the bird flew away and Agnes turned around and swam back to shore.  Before she got out of the water the bird flew back and plopped down near Agnes and swam away again with the appearance of the broken wing.  Of course, Agnes turned back around and swam after the bird.  We were sure Agnes kept getting too close to this bird’s nest on shore.  This literally went on for at least an hour.  Yes, this is also in the book.  When I did internet searches to find birds that played the broken wing trick, I could only find a certain bird that to my recollection did not look anything like the bird that played this trick on our dog, and that is why the type of bird remains unnamed in the book.

The fishing incident in the book is completely made up and had nothing to do with Agnes.  However, there was a time when our other dog, Ed, got tangled in someone’s fishing line as he swam by.  That silly angler saw him coming and should have reeled his line in, but instead he watched the whole thing happen and then blamed us for letting our dog tangle his fishing line.  Luckily, as Ed kept swimming the line untangled on its own and we didn’t have to unhook him or anything.  We were glad because we didn’t want to deal with that dummy anymore anyhow.

I could go on and on about Agnes, and I’m sure in the future I will.  Now you know a lot of the events which inspired me came from real life and you can read all about them in my third chapter book called Moore Zombies: Big, Bad Wolfbag.

Wendy Knuth, Author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books

MooreZombies.com

Peyton Manning’s Post Superbowl Speech –Thank you family, God, and Budweiser

Peyton Manning’s Post Superbowl Speech

Peyton Manning’s Post Superbowl Speech –Thank you family, God, and Budweiser

So there I am watching Peyton Manning’s speech at the end of Superbowl 50 and I am incredibly surprised and greatly amused to hear him talk about how he will be drinking Budweiser that evening.  First of all, I think –  kaching! (cash register noise here) –  he just made at least a million bucks for saying that, right?  Secondly I think – why haven’t I seen this act before?  It’s brilliant!!

Of course Mr. Manning thanked his teammates, family and God.  That is to be expected.  I can’t quite recall the order, so one might go back over the footage to amuse him or herself to see where his priorities were.   Don’t be fooled, Budweiser as a seemingly priority number one would certainly count in my book as family priority number one bringing home the bacon-wise.

But again, why haven’t I seen this before?  Athletes of all kinds wear baseball caps and t-shirts with slogans and logos.  NASCAR events have autos with advertising all over their bodies.  UFC fighters make a point of quickly putting on a t-shirt and ball cap with company advertising after the fight is over.  By the way, I just love how someone realized that the octagon butt is prime real estate for advertising.  Very clever!

We have all seen athletes in commercials endorsing this and that.  However, there is nothing like a verbal and visual endorsement from a superstar athlete at the peak of his career during a prime time moment.  We all know about the “I’m going to Disneyland” statement made post win that is supposed to seem spontaneous.  So, why haven’t other companies jumped on this band wagon?

Disneyland is more of a proximity thing.  Numerous other items are much more readily available to the average person:  soda, candy, snacks, fast food, under wear, clothes, cars & trucks, and yes, alcohol.  I got to thinking – there is a lot more money that could be made here.

I now have a clear plan for my life.  First, I become a super athlete.  I work and toil for years while making several mil along the way.  Second, after years of hard work, I win a huge athletic event in which I will most certainly be interviewed after the fact.  And now comes the best part.  Third, during what is probably going to end up being my retirement speech, I earn an additional 50 million cool dollars in verbal endorsements over the course of a few sentences.  Wish me luck.  Kaching!

Wendy Knuth, author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books

Please visit MooreZombies.com – books, t-shirts, free video games, free coloring pages, fun videos!

 

Enjoy the attached video – you have just read about the inspiration behind it.

I would like to add credits and would encourage readers to please email, tweet, and/or facebook with their comments on this hilarious video:

CBS Sports – Thank you so much for the live stream of the Super Bowl!  

www.cbssports.com

www.twitter.com/cbssports

Peyton Manning Fan Pages:

www.facebook.com/PeytonManningDenverBronco

www.facebook.com/PeytonManninglover/

www.twitter.com/peytonmanninggo

www.twitter.com/theofficial18

Tracy Wolfson, Sportscaster

www.TracyWolfson.net

www.facebook.com/TracyWolfson/

www.twitter.com/tracywolfson

Images used in the video

www.freeimages.com/KennKiser for the classic Ford Truck in the attached video

www.Freeimages.com/kirchli for the hanging under wear in the attached video

www.Freeimages.com/TheD for the picture of the Big Mac in the attached video

www.Freeimages.com/mikaelcronhamn for the picture of the adorable little girl in princess attire in the attached video

Sound used in the video

www.Freesounds.org “Cash Register Purchase” by Zott820

Last, but not least, Sudipta Dasgupta of www.dasguptarts.com for the Moore Zombies images (Gothina, Broheimer, Baby Zom, & Kamper)

We Cut The Cord! No More Cable TV.

I have been complaining for quite some time about getting rid of cable tv, at least for over a year now.   Our bill has gone up, up, up, and so has our commercial viewing time.  Of course, the channel lineup has gone down, down, down.  Why are we paying more and more to watch at least twenty minutes of commercials per hour?  It’s a habit, folks.

I am surrounded by young-ens at my work.  They have no idea why us older folks would pay for cable or satellite tv.  The idea is foreign to them.  Even my own teens who live in the same house hardly ever watch cable tv.  Once, when us older folks were talking about a funny commercial, I actually heard a comment from a gal in her young twenties – “I don’t really see commercials anymore.”  Wait, WHAT!!??

For me, I have come to understand that I am addicted to a scroll bar.  Yes, the scrolling list of junk that is currently available and chock full of commercials.  It’s time to realize I just need to change my habits and so does my hubby, the old, bald guy.

So, we did it!  We cut the cord!  What have we discovered?  There is a lot of great stuff out there.  And, there is a pause button and a rewind bar in case you missed something.  Me personally?  I found that I was also addicted to having the tv on mostly for the white noise it provided.  I was so accustomed to a having programs fully loaded with commercials that my attention faded in and out.  I would often do things around the house during commercial breaks that would cause me to miss portions of programs I was actually interested in.  Why doesn’t the brain behind the program want my full attention?  Isn’t this a contradiction?

An analytical review about this dilemma led me to realize that I have been in an abusive relationship.   For instance, Dr. Phil wants me to watch his program however, he subjects me to more and more commercials, leaving me feeling hurt and unwanted.  Well, no more!  Since cutting the cord, the tables have been turned.  If you want me to watch your program, you had better make it available to me.  As this internet revolution of television grows, maybe one day Dr. Phil will beg me back, only to find I have moved on and developed new habits and healthy relationships with other suitors.

Meanwhile, we are enjoying a lot of Netflix, Rabbit TV Lite and a few other sites.  There are actually many programs available on YouTube.  We now search for these programs that get our full attention and most are sans commercials.  One annoying thing we have found – there is still abuse out there – numerous websites have enticing buttons that say “Watch Full Episodes” which turn out to be entirely untrue, again short clips advertising a longer program, which can’t even then be found.  Gee, thanks for wasting our time with your company logo attached.  Great business plan there, I’m sure we’ll visit again – NOT!

Our new dilemma?  Restricting bandwidth usage.  While our current cable bill is less than half of what it used to be (they provide our internet – can’t ever cut that cord!), our bandwidth usage has gone up, up, up.  So, we might have to upgrade our plan.  It seems we still haven’t gotten the best of the cable company.

Wendy Knuth, author of Moore Zombies

MooreZombies.com

Christmas and The Leaning Tower of Tree

Leaning Tower of TreeHand Xmas Tree
I bought a Christmas tree.  I placed it in the holder all by myself, and low and behold I could not get it straight.  More importantly, I couldn’t get it steady.  Perhaps older teenage boy that I purchased the tree from at the local grocery store did not cut the bottom correctly.  I broke out the old camp saw and cut it again myself.  If you want something done right. . .  Long story short, the tree is still leaning, and still loose.  It could fall over at any time.  I may have uttered a few bad words.

So let’s reframe the situation.  Instead of admitting defeat, I will name this year’s tree:  The Leaning Tower of Tree.  It is much easier to cope with the situation, and much more fun.  I have to admit, I did think about strapping the tree to the wall with plumber’s tape.  Have I mentioned that my husband, the old bald guy, is a plumber? The layperson might imagine that plumbers tape actually has a sticky side.  No, it is a thin sheet metal strap with which you use screws to secure things to a wall or stud, such as a water heater in an earthquake prone environment.  No, it is much more fun to deal with said tree in its current condition.  It is what it is.

Thinking back to previous years, I recall the year of two trees.  The kids couldn’t agree on which tree to buy, and of course they each favored a different one.  Luckily I could afford and we bought them both.  Then there was the year of “The tree of poverty.”  I believe it was 2008 or 2009 when the economy took a terrible turn for the worse.  I bought a tiny little table top tree on the cheap, almost Charlie Brown style but not quite as sad.  We had a lot of fun making fun of that tree, and the savings made for more money for presents.  Boy, how I miss the days of the dollar bin for the plastic airplane or car that the kids loved as much as they would love a brand new computer nowadays.

So buy a tree, or don’t.  Draw a tree on cardboard and stand it up against the wall.  Put together cutout hand prints of your children, tape them together, and tape it to the wall.  Don’t be sad about it.  Set the mood and make it fun!  Oh, and don’t forget to name your tree.

Wendy Knuth, Author of Moore Zombies picture books and early chapter books