pStyle Giveaway Winners!!

Congratulations to Natalie and Lindsey!!  Their urinating worries are over, as they just won brand new pStyles!

Natalie, promise me you’ll pee on a tree during your next hike.  I’ve yet to do that.

Lindsey, you’ll live every woman’s fantasy by writing your name in the snow this winter!  Pictures are welcome!

I will be contacting the two of you through the emails provided to find out what color you’d like and to get your addresses, so be on the lookout for an email from me today.

For those of you who didn’t win, but feel you can’t live without a pStyle, you can purchase one for $10 through me by clicking on the PayPal button below.  (Or if you know me personally, and want to work out an exchange of cash for goods on a dark corner under a broken street lamp, just give me a call or send me a message, and we’ll work something out.) Thank you to all those who participated; it was fun!

Also, for those of you new to my blog and wondering what the pStyle is all about, you can read my review HERE.  There’s also a PayPal button there to buy one if you decide you want to.

Orange $10.00 USD
Blue $10.00 USD
Green $10.00 USD
Purple $10.00 USD
Pink $10.00 USD
Clear $10.00 USD


Zombie On My Mind…Still

With the return of The Walking Dead, I can’t help but constantly have zombie on my mind.  I’ve already mused on my blog about what sort of zombie I’d become, yet still, the other day, I was thinking about possible scenarios that might play out in the case that I actually live through most of the zombie apocalypse.


Me:  If we live through the zombie apocalypse, and it reaches a point where we are completely surrounded with no way out, I think we should just turn ourselves into zombies.

Greg:  I like how this conversation started with, “If we live through the zombie apocalypse…”

Me:  I know I’ve told you before to just shoot me, but now I have a better plan.

Greg: (smiles amusingly while getting up and walking into the kitchen)

Me:  (follows him into the kitchen) Let’s say our apartment is boarded up, with zombies trying to break in.  We could just stick our arms out, get bitten, and wait to be zombified.  That way, by the time they get in, they won’t be able to eat us because we’ll already have turned.

Greg:  Being you, if you stuck your arm out, it would just get torn off.

Me:  True.  So maybe I can just stick a finger out…

Greg:  …to get bit off.

Me:  Or better yet! When their arms squeeze through one of the cracks in the boards, we can stick our arms just within their reach so that they can only scratch us!  Then we just sit back, and wait to turn into zombies.

Greg:  Yeah, and be stuck in our apartment not eating brains.

Me:  Exactly!  So when they come out with the cure, we’ll never have ingested humans.

Greg:  When the CDC finally busts into our apartment, they’ll find two zombies sitting down playing video games.


That’s why I love him.  He might tease at first, but at the end of the day, he’ll talk real zombie strategy with me.

pStyle Giveaway!!

So, remember when I went on and on about my new found ability to stand and pee using the pStyle?  If not, you should go read my awesome review HERE, and join 112 others in viewing my actual urine (don’t worry; you won’t automatically see my pee by clicking on that link…you’ll get to make that choice on your own once you’re there…I’m not totally gross.)

Well, the founder of the company that promotes the pStyle, read my review, loved it, and gave me TWO free pStyle’s to give away on my blog!  I’ve been itching to give these away for a while now, so I’m glad things are finally in place to allow me to do so. ::cough:: Google killed my blog ::cough:: I made the time consuming (but worth it) transfer over to WordPress ::cough::

Colors to choose from if you win: Blue, Clear, Pink, Purple, Green, or Orange

So without further ado, here are the giveaway instructions!

1. Leave a comment on my blog telling me where you’re most looking forward to peeing while using your pStyle.  Or if you are trying to win this for someone else, tell me why you feel that person really needs a pStyle and what their reaction will be upon receiving it.

2. Make sure you leave a working email in the comments form so that I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, your email will only be viewable to me, and I will only use it to contact you if you are a winner.

3. The last day to leave comments will be this Friday, October 26th, at 3:00pm PST.  After the 3pm PST cut-off, I will do a random drawing of two names.  Check back at on October 26th after 3 pm PST to see if you are a winner! (FYI, you’re all winners in my eyes, but only two of you can win a pStyle from me.)

Good luck, and be sure to tell your friends about this giveaway!

UPDATED: Winners have been announced!

You can also buy a pStyle through me by choosing your color and clicking the button below:


Orange $10.00 USD
Blue $10.00 USD
Green $10.00 USD
Purple $10.00 USD
Pink $10.00 USD
Clear $10.00 USD

How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore

Yesterday, I shared my lovely experiences of living with a cold sore, and promised to tell you how I beat my latest one.  That’s right, I was able to stop a cold sore from developing any further.  It shrunk its nasty self back into the recesses of my lip to appear another low-immunity-leveled-day. (which will probably be soon ‘cause I have a limited supply of immunes)

I share with you today, Erica’s Cold Sore Battle Method!!!  It worked for me, and hopefully it will work for you, too.  Just follow my three easy steps!

 Erica’s Cold Sore Battle Method






Step 1:

Catch it early!  As soon as you feel the little bugger itching on your lip, or see the bubble beginning to take form, go ahead and pop 2,000 mg of L-Lysine into your mouth (for me, that was 4 pills).  Continue to take these little treasure pills throughout the day (for two days) by taking 500 mg (or more) every hour.  You can take up to 9,000 mg a day safely, though the most I’ve ever taken was 7,000 mg.

This is the brand I bought from Target.


Step 2:

Grab a washcloth, fold it in half, wrap an ice cube in it, but leave a bit of the ice peeking out. (don’t be lazy and use an easy-to-reach papertowel, ‘cause the ice will quickly melt right through and drip all over you)  Apply this ice to the cold sore site until the entire ice cube has melted away.  This will usually take 20-30 minutes.  If you’re pressed for time, do it for at least 10 minutes as many times as you can throughout the day.  I applied a full ice cube every hour for the next two days.  (In all honesty, I would miss a few hours here and there, so on average, I used 4 or 5 ice cubes a day, but if you can remember to do it every hour, do it.)

Step 3:

As soon as your lip has been iced, liberally apply Abreva to the site.  If you’re not going out in public, shamelessly whiten that area up and let the medicine do its trick.  If you have to interact with people, it’s cool to just put on a thin layer that will blend in to your lip.  I not only applied Abreva after every icing, but also anytime I started feeling my lip itch, or anytime I “remembered” I had a cold sore.  I don’t think there is such a thing as too much Abreva.

Thank you for this picture. I used up all mine and threw out the bottle a few days ago and haven’t restocked (which I usually do as soon as possible because cold sores are sneaky and I want to be prepared) Also, I used this pump style bottle because at the time of purchase, it was all that was available. However, they also sell it in a small tube (like, smaller than your pinky finger, small). I recommend that one. The pump ends up squirting WAY too much lotion out, that you end up wiping off your finger and throwing away. This stuff is too expensive to be throwing away like that. But trust me, the $13 you spend on that miniscule tube of glory is worth every cent!


So that’s how I did it!  I understand that certain jobs disallow the opportunity to follow this completely throughout the day (I was a teacher, so trust me, I know).  However, even doing as much of it as you can, really does minimize the symptoms.  Currently being unemployed and confined to my couch all day to heal my ankle, I was able to give my system a full-fledged chance, and it worked like a charm!  Good luck, and feel free to share your own cold sore busting tips in the comments!

Cold Sores 101

I kicked my latest cold sore’s ass, and I couldn’t be more proud!  I don’t think I’ve ever won that battle before!  I’ve learned how to maintain and minimize my cold sores, but never, ever, have I completely obliterated it before it could destroy my mouth!

My very first cold sore aptly appeared when I was a freshman in high school.  I guess my body wanted to make sure I maintained my uncool status, ‘cause I can think of nothing more embarrassing in high school than mouth herpes.  There was no hiding that sucker either!  Overnight, I developed a huge sore that took up the entire left side of my bottom lip.  Being a Plain Jane, it wasn’t like I could hide it behind some dark lipstick either.  I just had to grin and bear it.  Well, more like just bear it.  If I so much as cracked the tiniest smile, I risked blood or pus pouring down my chin.  Sorry, you can go vomit now; I’ll wait.

Anyway, back then, all I could do was put globs of Campho-Phenique on it, and cross my fingers that it’d be gone in the morning.  Of course, cold sores take their sweet ass time to clear, so I would usually have to deal with its ever-changing stages for at least two weeks.  For those of you who’ve never had a cold sore, it usually starts with an itch or burning sensation on your lip, which then transforms into a bubble of liquid.  You could let that bubble pop on its own over time, but no one ever does that.  It’s gonna pop the second your sandwich bread rubs its sandpapery surface across it, so might as well avoid that disgusting mess and take care of it yourself at home.  At this stage, it’s really not too bad.  I mean, you might have this nasty loose piece of skin resting on your lip, but if you apply chapstick regularly, it’s hardly noticeable.  That is, until the next morning.  By then, blood has come to the surface and a beautiful, purplish black scab has manifested itself on your lip.  For me, the scabbing was the worst!

As soon as I started talking, I could feel the scab ripping and tearing, and with a quick lick of my tongue, I would verify that blood was oozing out of it.  It’s not like I could wear a bandaid on my lip, so as soon as it bled, I’d pop my lip in my mouth and keep sucking on it until the bleeding stopped.  Many times, this resulted in the scab being sucked off and digested.

Anyway, once you let the scab heal and fall off on its own, it’s over.  Unfortunately for me, since I kept eating my scabs, a big, circular, cratered, scar appeared on my bottom lip.  (That scar is the reason why, to this day, I still gnaw on my bottom lip. Oh! And I gnawed on it so much in high school that I can’t even get cold sores on that spot anymore, so I consider it a win.)

I still get cold sores every now and again (nowadays on the left side of my upper lip).  As I mentioned, I’m usually pretty good at keeping them small and somewhat unnoticeable, but this time, I beat my cold sore, and I wanted to share how I did it in case any of you suffer from this.  However, this post is reaching my blog entry length limit, so I’ll have to share my cold sore busting secrets with you tomorrow!  Bwahahaha!  Stay tuned!

**UPDATED**  To read on how I beat my cold sore, click on the following link: How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore

Running Over Robert

I’ve kept a secret from my parents for 10 years:  I ran over my brother with the family car.  But don’t worry, Mommy, he survived.

One summer, when I was home from college, I was out running errands with my two younger brothers Robert and Kevin.  Being the eldest child, I took over the driver’s seat for the entire summer.  As with most days, we were going to be hanging out with Kevin’s best friend Danny, but he needed to be picked up.  Robert requested that he be dropped off at home first, so that he could do whatever it was he needed to do before we all went out for the night.

Robert was sitting in the back seat behind me, and as we turned down our street, one of us came up with the brilliant idea of me bringing the car to a slow roll, and Robert jumping out of the moving vehicle a la Indiana Jones style.  I think, in our heads, we all imagined this perfect tuck and roll while Kevin and I continued driving off.  Of course, we were all on board with this plan, so as I approached the house, I brought our little maroon ’88 Toyota Corolla to a snail paced roll.  As Robert opened the car door and watched the ground moving beneath him, he must have had second thoughts, ‘cause as he exited the vehicle and Kevin and I began to laugh and cheer, I suddenly realized that he was still holding on to the door.  I gently pressed the brakes a little more firmly and urged him to let go!  He quickly released his grip from the car, took a few running steps up and onto the curb, and Kevin and I gleefully cheered as we prepared to drive away.  Success!

Except, instead of going into the house, Robert seemed to be walking around, disoriented, and then he took a seat onto our front lawn, legs sprawled out in front of him.  I think he smiled and gave us some sign of reassurance, like a victorious fist pump, but the dude was sitting on the grass, and I knew something wasn’t right, so I quickly pulled into our driveway.  As I parked, Robert went from sitting, to laying out spread eagle on the lawn.  Kevin and I jumped out of the car, and hovered over our brother, whose eyes were rolling into the back of his head while his eyelids fluttered.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been so scared in my life!  We kept calling his name and gently poking him until he became conscious.  When he came to (which was probably less than 30 seconds, but felt like 30 minutes) he informed us that his foot had been run over.  We were shocked to discover this as we felt no bump in the car, but sure enough, there were asphalt and tire tracks on his shoe.

Together, Kevin and I helped him hobble into the house where we laid him on the family room couch.  We got him some ibuprofen and an ice pack, and then debated what to do next.  His toes had just been crushed by the Toyota’s rear tire, and we had just witnessed him pass out in our front yard, so needless to say, I was freaked, and wanted nothing more than to take him to the doctor, but Robert kept reassuring us that he was fine.  Stubbornness is a strong trait among us Schatz kids, and Robert held strong, convincing us that he was okay.  When I saw that he could wiggle his toes and no bruising or swelling had occurred, I reluctantly backed off.  Robert insisted that it was just the shock of being run over that knocked him out, and that we should leave him to go pick up Danny.

I was worried to leave him alone, fearful that he’d pass out again with no one home to wake him back up.  Kevin and I were seriously terrified that we’d come back home to a dead brother!  Or, an equally worse scenario (to my adolescent mind):  I knew that our mom would be home from work soon, and I worried that she’d come home to find Robert passed out on the couch, and then I’d be in deep donkey doo-doo.

So Kevin and I stayed home long enough with Robert to feel confident that he’d remain conscious and be up and walking within a few minutes.  We unanimously agreed that this little adventure of ours must be kept secret no matter what.  Well, as long as Robert remained healthy.  If his toes started swelling or he passed out again, then we’d fess up, but why risk getting yelled at and getting our car privileges taken away if Robert was A-Okay?

And he was.  A-Okay, I mean.  Kevin and I got Danny and we continued on with our night as if nothing ever happened.  None of us ever tried jumping out of the car again, and we never told our parents…until now.

I hope I don’t get grounded.

My immunes! (A story of yellow toenails)

I was told that while the stitches in my ankle’s tendon are holding, my tears have likely not healed.  I did not find this surprising, as my body has competed against my desire to be healthy and normal my entire life.  Next week, I will be undergoing a natural healing process where my blood’s platelet rich plasma will be separated and injected into my tendon in the hopes that those beneficial growth factors will speed up the healing process.  In the meantime, it’s two more months of complete inactivity (besides regular walking, and thankfully, no wearing of the boot).

While grateful for an answer, this means that I will have to forgo the marathon I had planned to race in this coming Sunday.  Being that I wasn’t able to train properly anyway, it’s probably more of a blessing.  Also, surprise, surprise, I managed to gain not one, but two ingrown toenails over the last week and a half that has disallowed me from wearing any shoes.  (I wore a pair for three hours last week, and I paid for it horribly that night.)  My toes would not have held up for 26.2 miles anyway!

I used to get ingrown toenails frequently growing up, but never as throbbing or painful as the ones I have now.  I believe this has to do with the fact that, up until a year and a half ago, my toenails were thick and yellow.  (My guess: the thicker the shard of nail to dig out, the easier it is to remove.) When I was young, doctors said that nothing could be done about my nails because it was genetic, and so I endured years of embarrassing yellow toenails.

As a child, it was hard enough fitting in while being painfully shy, abnormally tiny, and possessing a nose that was far too big for my face.  Unfairly, but fittingly, I was given disgusting, embarrassing, crumbly, yellow toenails to mix into my cocktail of ailments.  I couldn’t do anything to hide my large, dysfunctional sniffer, and I took the teases in stride.  But my toes; those I could control…or so I thought.

Besides going to the pool and curling my toes inward on my quick paced walk to the water, I was able to cover my unsightly feet with socks and shoes all day long!  That is, unless you go to Sports Camp for the summer, and the gymnastics leaders force you to take off your socks even though you beg them not to, and plead with them to get your dad (the one running the gym at the camp) to vouch for you.  Adults don’t always listen to kids, and those adults had the final say, so I slowly and reluctantly peeled my socks off my feet.  I did my usual toe curl that I used effectively at the pool, but when it came time for tumbling, I just couldn’t perform the proper technique without uncurling my toes.  This meant, as I came out of my roll and stood, feet together, hands held high for my “stick,” a mean, pretty girl was able to grab my ankle, hold it with a tight, zombie grip, and announce to the gym, “Oh my god!  Look at her toes!  Her toenails are yellow!  Hurry, come look!”  As you can imagine, tears of embarrassment sprang forth, and I wished that the blue felt of the mat covers would open up and smother me away from the gawking girls gathered around my feet.  Of course, after the gym leaders were able to pry those girl’s fingers from off my ankle, they allowed me to wear my socks, but the damage was done.  My dignity was lost, and I dreaded going to Sports Camp.

However, as most kids do, I grew to accept myself.  I even learned how to manage my toenails with a 7-speed electric sander battery operated toenail file and some nail polish.  A few years ago, I discovered that modern medicine had advanced, so I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor who prescribed me Lamisil tablets.  Those pills worked wonders, and currently, most of my toes are cured.  However, I believe that as my toenails were growing into their thin, clear, beautiful selves, that they followed the thick, curled path of the old nails, and viciously cut their way into my nail bed like the knife of a surgeon.  I’ve since dug them out (with twice the effort and pain as before) and have accepted that I will most likely always have ingrown toenails.

Anyway, that entire story is to say that I’m unusually optimistic about my upcoming natural healing process next week.  (I love long tangents, don’t you?) Yellow toenails might not sound like much, but trust me when I say that my body conspires against me, and if not for modern medicine, I’d probably be dead, or abandoned to some colony of misfits.  My little platoon of “immunes,” as I like to call them, obviously couldn’t heal the tears in my tendon (even with the aid of stitches–poor little troopers), so I’m eager to witness all of my strongest immunes being clustered together into a battalion of health.  Here’s hoping for the comeback of a lifetime!