- Cullman, Alabama


January 20, 2014

Tips for surviving the ’flu’

CULLMAN — The ’flu’ is no fun. It swept through our family like the plague ever since before the holidays, coming on with sniffles and congestion, then advancing to hacking coughs, bodyaches, fever and chills.

There’s not much you can do in that condition. Mainly you lay in bed and wait to die for the first 24 hours, then, with the help of modern medical science like Tamiflu, and OTC miracles like Nyquil, you spend the next few days being miserable on the couch, flipping the channels or surfing the ’net.

This is how I managed to combat boredom while recovering. I hope you will discover some useful information, valuable factoids and enough trivia to last you through a bout with this evil virus.

Who knew Robert Downey could sing? Check out “Robert Downey Jr. sings with Sting and kills it” and see the duo tearing up “Driven To Tears”. His jacket is to die for!

You can while away most of a day on Pinterest. From decorating to storage solutions, music, books and food, everything in the world is on Pinterest. I started out with a tutorial on making faux flagstone floors and walls out of torn brown paper bags. I even found Rob some argyle-patterned pumpkins.

I checked out Around R House for some tablescaping ideas. Phyllis never fails to amaze me with creative ideas for setting an interesting table. Then to the best gardening blog that I know of, Dirt Therapy at, which has the most incredible pictures and is located right here in the Tennessee Valley.      

On to books….I have an emergency arsenal of books and various reading material, like back issues of The Cullman Times, on hand at all times. I read voraciously, so I’m honestly never really bored. Part of my collection includes a section of books about Southern mothers, which expound on the Southern traditions we hold dear to our hearts — like our silver patterns. “Being Dead Is No Excuse, The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral,” by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, and “Someday You’ll Thank Me For This”, also by Metcalfe and Hays, and “Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too,” by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, are hilarious, and all too true. They are filled with the kinds of things that we laugh at ourselves about, but would be offended if someone else dared to snigger at. You can find them on Amazon.

Break for hot chocolate. Not the instant kind, the kind you make on the stove, with real milk and powdered chocolate and lots of sugar. Like your grandmother made for you when you were sick, or when you came inside from playing in the snow.

Recipe: Scald six cups of milk. Add half to 1 cup of sugar (or to taste) and quarter cup of powdered Hershey’s cocoa. Stir until well blended. Fill mugs and top off with whipped cream or marshmallows. I have thoroughly managed to convince myself that this is health food, because it makes me feel so much better, almost instantly.

Other trivia and obscure facts gleaned from the marathon Internet session. After delving into the deep, dark secret that Ellen has been hiding from her fans, and finding out that Dr. Oz now endorses…everything, I came upon one of the funniest clips I’ve ever seen.

Seems that an 88-year-old Austin, Texas, resident calls Ellen and has the audience laughing and Ellen sliding out of her seat, she was laughing so hard! This is a must see!

Ellen DeGeneres’ "I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little"

Another side-splittingly funny Internet video is number one in a series of similar short videos: “S*it Southern Women Do” is one for the record books. Why something I’ve seen and heard every day of my natural born life should strike me as so funny is beyond me, but it does.  There are three other episodes, all are familiarly funny.

Then I discovered Spotify…now, I know that I’m a late comer to this site, but you have to remember that most of the time I’m writing, not playing, on this computer. This was a special treat because I was sick, okay?  

Willie Nelson's songs that take me wayyyyy back. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard “Funny How Time Slips Away,” you should pull it up. “Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground” is another oldie but goodie, as well as “Always On My Mind.” If you happen to have just had a bad breakup, these songs are essential. Then it flipped me over to a shot of Willie in a bubble bath and that was more Willie than I wanted to see…

I stumbled up on a site called “See what your favorite dead rock stars would look like if they were alive” and that was so scary that I got out of there fast.

On to a food site. I found a recipe for a pound cake that sounded so good that I got up and made it. Just substitute buttermilk for the liquid, and lemon flavoring for the vanilla in any pound cake recipe. The kicker is the glaze. You make it by zesting two lemons and juicing what’s left of them, then boiling with a half cup of sugar and two teaspoons of water. Pour over hot cake. Excellent!

I ended up with Lewis Grizzard. He’s just the best, and you can’t argue with his theory that Northern actors just can’t learn to speak our lingo.

By this time, about the fourth day, I was feeling much better, although still coughing and a little achy, but The Rolling Stones, that lemon pound cake, some oniony hotdogs, Tamiflu and lots of bed rest put me back on my feet. I hope these ideas help if you find yourself suddenly knocked off your feet by an invisible sledge hammer. The only problem now is that I have “Internet neck.”


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