Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dear M-Clear

Dear M-Clear,

What a week it has been, and it's only Wednesday! But thanks to you, I'm feeling much least for the time being.

It all started Sunday with a small cough. While Sean and I were looking at houses with our realtor Louise, I noticed a persistent tickle in my throat. No big deal, just some drainage. But as the night went on, the cough got worse and worse. I felt fine, and the cough was really more annoying than anything else. I thought it was just allergies.

Sean and I came home and had a major discussion on whether or not we should make an offer on the home in Clairmonte. Then Amanda came over for dinner and we caught her up to speed on the home buying situation. I mistakenly added cayenne pepper to our chicken breasts instead of paprika. OOPS! I shouldn't be allowed to cook and talk at the same time. We survived the HOT chicken, and then enjoyed some mango sherbet for dissert. All the while, cough...cough...cough...The sherbet felt good on my throat, and I also made some hot tea to soothe it.

At 3:30 a.m. I awoke feeling absolutely horrible. I had the chills along with a deep ache over my entire body. I didn't get much sleep after that, and by 6:30 a.m. when the alarm went off, I knew that I was officially sick. However, I dragged myself out of bed and somehow made it to work. I had a presentation to finish and an important conference call that day. I also had an appointment in Cool Springs to sign the home offer than Sean and I made on the home in Clairmonte. Going to work was a fatal mistake. I should have stayed home sick on Monday and tried to recover. I did come home early, but it was too late. My sickness had settled in for good. My sweet sister brought me a stack of OTC meds to help soothe my pain.

Tuesday wasn't any better. I still had the aching bones along with a horrible cough. I coughed so violenty that I caused myself to puke, and I was so weak that I could barely stand. It would have been the perfect day to crawl back in bed, take some mega pain pills, and sleep the day away. Unfortunately, I had a commitment to give a presentation for a customer of mine in Memphis. I wanted so badly to cancel the appointment. The customer is great and they would've understood if I called and said I was really ill. But, my VP of Sales had flown up from Tampa just for this appointment. I couldn't call out sick. It would've made his trip a waste - a waste of his time a nd a waste of the company's money. So, at 8:00 a.m. I hit the road with my VP of Sales.

I was asked to drive because VP had to make several conference calls. Let's just say it was some of the worst hours of my life...mainly because I thought I was going to crash and kill us both. I fought to keep my eyes open the whole way there. And oh yea, my whole body was in pain.

I made it through lunch with the customer, and then did my presentation. Thankfully I didn't have to stand at all. We were with them for about 3 hours, and they kept saying "I'm sorry you have a cold." I wanted to say, "Dudes, I WISH this were just a cold, but I think it's something more like the flu."

Since I still had the aches, the chills and a low-grade fever as of 8:30 last night, I decided to stay home from work today...FINALLY!!! And, M-Clear, I was so glad when I remembered that you were in the cabinet. You - the pink miracle cough syrup with hydrocodone - have made me feel so much better. My violent coughing spells have come to a stop, and my body feels like jell-o due to the drugs. You are the best stuff ever! But I feel a little drunk.

Stacey the flu blogger

P.S. They accepted our offer. AHHHHH. we are moving.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The rest of the O.C.

Last we left it, I was visiting my friend Jolene in sunny California in early January...
Jolene and I headed north up the PCH, past the gorgeous beach-front homes, rocky cliffs and rolling waves, and landed in Laguna Beach. Having seen the MTV "reality" show Laguna Beach: Richest Teenage Bitches Ever, I was expecting some hoity toity snobberiffic town. Much to my surprise, Laguna Beach was an artist/surfer community that reminded me of a very, very wealthy Franklin, TN. It actually had a HOMETOWN type feel to it! The streets were full of art galleries, cafes, clothing boutiques, and surf shops. We stumbled across a small art village with open-air stores, a courtyard, and a patio restaurant called The Cliff. We also took a self-guided driving tour of Laguna Beach's original bungalows and cottages from the 1920s-1950s.

Our visit to Laguna was followed by a birthday party for one of Grandma's caretakers, Jon (short for the Filipino name Djonji). We spent the rest of the evening enjoying a massive feast at the house with Jon's friends and family. A whole roasted pig was the center of the Filipino feast. Also on the menu: grilled squid, mini Filipino egg rolls stuffed with pork (I forgot the actual name), seafood paella, flan, and sweet sticky rice with coconut and raisins. After the feast and a few more drinks, we busted out the karaoke. Jolene made me sing some Tony Braxton song TWICE! It was the God-awful-make-your-ears-bleed kind of singing, and it was wy out of my range. My throat was so sore...

The morning after the birthday party, I woke early (8:00 a.m.) to the sound of hammering. BANG! BANG! BANG! Due to some over-indulgence in Key Lime Martinis the night before, my throbbing head was in no mood for such loud noises. A couple hours later, Jolene and I emerged from the bedroom and into the kitchen where we smelled the world's most delicious aroma. Come to find out, the banging was the harsh dismemberment of the leftover pig. Jon was busy slow-simmering a Filipino pork stew called Paksiw. I couldn't stop raving about how wonderful it smelled, and finally Jon convinced me to try some of the stew. I dipped my spoon in, past the pig foot and something else that resembled brains, and slurped the spicy liquid into my mouth. It was - to this day - the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

Tuesday was my last day in California. Joelene's boyfriend Zack drove us up to Dana Point where we explored a wildlife preserve on the coast. The 3 of us strolled through the sand and climbed along the water's rocky edge. We stood atop massive boulders and watched the tide roll in, and also spotted a few sea urchins. Watching the sun set along the water was breathtaking. Satlwater, warm rays, fresh air, and bare feet -- what a perfect ending.