Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lessons in the Breeze, Novel Excerpt

"This cool, refreshing breeze sitting on the deck with the glass of red wine is just what the doctor ordered.  The beautiful blonde dog is not mine, but she has seen fit to become my companion on this deck.  Oddly, I welcome the silent partner.  She doesn’t ask much of me, which is perfect since I haven’t much to give.

My dreams lately have been forcing me to confront people and situations of the past with an ominous foreboding of how a next meeting may go.  After several consecutive nights of this, I have decided the message my sub-conscious is not so subtly trying to convey is for me to stop looking back.  Stop regretting.  I know it consciously, but apparently I have more to process.

My second glass of Shiraz by 2:30 in the afternoon may seem a bit excessive, but with the world crashing in on my chest like a baby elephant settling in for a nap, it is quite necessary."
  ~~ excerpt from "Leap of Faith" my novel in the works

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Allergies in Children, per a Parent

I want to share with my readers an experience about allergies in children and maybe it not only applies to your children, but maybe to you.  My son has a history of spring allergies since he was 2 or so and Zyrtec-D was used to manage them for 5 or so years and then they seemed to just go away.  Well, they are back but they are no longer spring allergies.  Saturday he was suddenly sniffly and whiny as only a teenage boy accustomed to feeling healthy can.  I gave him an Allegra which has been our daytime "allergy cure all" as needed.  He complained bitterly hours later that nothing worked and was sneezing out a fur ball again.  The Allegra is a 12 hour dose so I made him wait the appropriate time and promptly forgot. 

A side note about the offending allergen.  He had spent the night at a friend's house who has a cat, so I suspected his mild allergy had been violently shoved into a true allergy.  But that being the allergen could mean the reaction would subside now that he was away from the cat, ergo the forgetting. 

Sunday morning was harsh.  He hadn't slept and was CRANKY.  I gave him liquid Benadryl thinking this would allow him to clear up and function.  The liquid one is supposed to be the non-drowsy formula.  Note: IT'S NOT!  He did not wake up until almost 2:30 in the afternoon.  I administered another Allegra thinking this could easily be just left over from the interaction with the cat.  Monday, I treated it with Allegra as needed.  Then today, Tuesday he was a gut-wrenching, fur ball hacking, stopped up, runny nose, sneezy mess.  In passing, my cousin told me it's ragweed season and it is high right now.  I spoke with my mother within five minutes of that conversation and she is or was also allergic to ragweed.  Fortunately, my younger cousin is also allergic to many things and takes Zyrtec.  That reminded me that my son took Zyrtec when he was little and it worked wonderfully.  I practically ran to Walgreens for Zyrtec-D.

I am delighted to report that within an hour of him taking the one 12 hour tablet (with Gatorade, yogurt and chicken broth/noodle soup - homemade, no preservatives), he was wandering the halls again! 

My message... know what's in your family, know what works for your kids and be prepared for "childhood" illnesses to rear their ugly heads at random, unspecified times.

11/9/11 Editor's Note: This article is repeated in the health blog.

Entertainment Review: Davenport's Piano Bar, Chicago

The room was empty at 8:50PM and full by 9:20PM.  The music began promptly at 9 PM with the piano/vocalist crooning the standards.  He was not offensive and fairly pleasant sounding.  My friend commented he sounds like every other piano lounge singer, every song sounds the same, which when you think about it, that could be worse.  But then a female vocalist grabbed the mic and belted out a couple of show tunes that were far better than average.  Get this!  She worked there as a hostess.  It was great.  Then another female vocalist took the mic and she was our waitress.  Again, belting out hit songs & show tunes we all know and love with perfect pitch.

The service was reasonably good, the drink (Vodka/Tonic) was good and the crowd was a pleasant group of friends who all seemed to know each other.  The environment was conducive for our private conversation, their party and I'm sure other small groups.  It is not a large venue, but certainly fits several small groups wanting to do their own thing.  The piano is situated in the middle which easily allows the music to be heard and interacted with from everywhere in the lounge.

Davenport's also has a cabaret show, but we did not venture into there.  I will and will give you a review.  Please let me know if this helped you select trying this place or if there is other information I should include in the review.  The website is

Windy City Diva