Saturday, December 30, 2017

Surviving 2017 with a Viral Upper Respiratory Infection - Happy Holidays

What started out as a simple sore throat turned out to be one of the worst experiences of being sick. Ever. Cabin fever lingers as the urge to nom down something other than wonton soup from my favorite Chinese restaurant Skydragon and soft bean burritos from guess where, Taco Bell. Through this trying time, I have discovered that I am a miserable human being when I am sick and all others around me suffer a little less than the hell I think I am going through. I didn’t want to even be acknowledged, looked at, or spoken to.

I’ve been cooped up in my little 1100sqft home for nearly a week and am almost batty, like the one from Ferngully, if you’ve ever had a childhood. Thankfully lemongrass and lavender are keeping me slightly sane. This post is mainly going to describe what I endured over the past week and what I’ve done to combat my viral friend, without using antibiotics(except for my eyes, you'll read why) and what you can use for alternatives in case you don’t have the same insurance benefits that I have. I have to note, I am not your physician, this is just an article of what worked for me, even though it’s taken a lot longer to recoup. Without further ado, let’s move on to my symptoms. They’re even highlighted if you hate reading. There, I did the work for you!

Day 1 December 23rd, 2017: 6pm – Sore Throat; Right before falling asleep, my throat had gone from sore to scratchy swollen.

Day 2 Christmas Freaking Eve: Woke up with the following – Full of sweat, dizzy, nausea, headache, swollen neck (I felt strangled), body aches, bright neon green mucus, and unable to stand much.

My Dad drove me around to gather last remaining Christmas Presents since we were doing it a bit earlier over my Mom’s house that evening. Towards the end of the night I had to leave my Mother’s because I couldn’t tell if I needed to sleep or throw up more. Regardless, it was time to get out. Before I left, I checked my temperature and it was a solid 97.9F.

Day 3 CHRISTMAS: I woke up late in the morning. Felt pretty good since I no longer had any of the other crazy symptoms except for the sore throat and hulk mucus. Unwrapped a couple extra gifts with the family and then hung out. I may have been yelled at by a friend because I decided then would be great time to move 7 cinder blocks to the front yard for my ongoing windowsill project.

That’s when things got worse. The short duration that I felt decent came back to kick me in the rear. At this point it was like 8pm on Christmas night. I had to call a friend to find a store open, to find Nyquil and Delsym, and then drop it off. I couldn’t move. My voice started going and my throat was incredibly swollen. Things got really weird after that... My dreams brought me to some erotic experiences, I’m just going to leave it at that.

Day 4: Coughing.
I finally made myself go to the clinic for what I thought I was going to receive, antibiotics. Instead, I was told I needed Chloraseptic throat spray, Claritin D (Which I was allergic to) and Flonase. I continued to self-medicate with Nyquil Severe and Delsym instead. This includes (Acetaminophen, Phenylephrine, Doxylamine, Dextromethorphan) – basically Tylenol, Sudafed, and Delsym. I also at the time said to hell with Flonase. “I ain’t got time for that” is pretty much what happened.
That night my dreams brought me to some weird place and apparently, I was supposed to be taking a math test in a really loud classroom, but the teacher ended up giving me a French test. The frustration in the dream came when the teacher refused to listen to my problem. I just woke up after that.

Day 5: Symptoms remained the same. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, bright green mucus.
While trying to stretch after waking up rough, I somehow pinched a nerve from my neck to my shoulder.
I figured since I wasn’t really feeling much progress, I’ll go to the store and buy just regular Claritin – without sulfates. I only took one on top of my Nyquil and Delsym. The internet stated that they don’t really have any contraindications with each other, but something went terribly wrong after I fell asleep.

Day 6: I woke up in horror around 4am. My eyes were goopy, sealed shut, and had crust around them. I woke up with pink eye in BOTH eyes! BOTH! I’ve never had it in my life until that morning. While I don’t think it was my new med combo I put together, I went back to the clinic to get a second opinion. After this visit, I had consulted with 3 physicians that all said this is a viral illness, not bacterial. I’m repeating this, because it’s very important to know the difference between viral and bacterial. Antibiotics will not treat viral illnesses. After researching the internet, it does turn out that conjunctivitis (pink eye) can be caused by viruses.

I was given Tobramycin Ophthalmic Solution as eye drops for the conjunctivitis. Two drops in each eye every 2 hours for 2 days then four times a day for five days. It seems to be helping, however, I do have an allergy to sulfates so it kind of felt like putting soap in my eye for the first couple hours.

Side note, be your own advocate when going to the clinic. Sulfa and sulfates are not the same allergy when explaining this to healthcare personnel. They just click a box. Be sure to tell them the right allergy. I thought I was clear when I was a zombie. Guess not.

I finally mustered enough energy to go to CVS and purchase Flonase. By the end of shopping, I was so hungry, I decided I deserved Chick-Fil-A. An 8-piece chicken nugget meal with them waffle fries is what I ordered. The meal was ruined by me choking on said fry. Also side note, if you’re ever sick, salty dry things will make your coughing spasms worse. Trying not to inhale, I quickly swallowed, scratching the side of my esophagus from an unchewed hard-fried corner. Too embarrassed of my defeat to a potato, I tucked my tail between my legs and went home.

Day 7: Creating biological cat warfare..

“Don’t pet the cat. I accidentally sneezed on her.” – Me

Dream: This time I was in “Washington” trolling some boy scouts and watching this sharp turn in the river suck people in and out of the rapid waters. My brother showed up and we’re both looking at kayaks disappear. I don’t really remember anything else since I didn’t write it down. None of the dreams make sense, but I’ll be adding a dream page once I start creating an image to go with them.

Day 8: Attacked in the middle of my sleep, ie Furry Cactus.. Eyes are clearing up, mucus has turned in to clear, runny with random neon green here and there, coughing spasms are still pretty bad, throat swelling has gone down except for my vocal chords. My vocal chords hurt like I have glass just hanging out and I’ve remained mute since the potato incident.


I started writing this article when I had pink eye and I'll update this article when I'm better. You’re welcome. With that being said, below you’ll be able to see photos of my miserable journey and the products I used. Bonus content! Never before seen footage of Heather.





Sunday, October 1, 2017

First Time Aquaponics Attempt

The short: “Fish are friends, not food.” – Finding Nemo
The long: I will be updating this post as time continues. UPDATE 08-01-2018!

The Setup:
Fish tank kit
Pool Noodle
Fish Food/Tank supplies
Pet Supermarket


 I suck at making awesome elaborate posts, so here it goes.

Usually, you want to start your tank running a full 24 hours before adding fish. This allows healthy bacteria and harmful chemicals to even out before throwing fish in to their new environment. I already started growing peas in a tray outside when I decided to take on this project. With this in mind, I grabbed a pool noodle to help the plants float in the tank. Impatient, I may have just thrown them and my new fish together right away (although you absolutely must let the fish get acclimated to the water temperature and chemicals first before just dumping them straight in).  – If you’ve never seen fish get shocked before, YouTube it.

Before purchasing a pool noodle from Walmart, I found black foam on the ground after the hurricane to experiment with. I really try to upcycle as best I can, but again, I’m not perfect at that either. Hence why my slogan is “Heather tries at life.”

After the filter ran for a couple hours, the fish were ready to go!

Day 1 – The plants started looking a little sad at the end of the day. It is possible that they weren’t receiving enough nutrients. One theory, is that I completely stripped those nutrients after removing soil and dumped the plants in the aquarium filled with pool noodles and fish.

Day 2 – With help of the LED lighting and constant water circulation, it appears oxygen was capable of getting to the roots, giving them a boost. I nearly killed half of the sprouts plucked on the day of putting this aquaponic system together because I let the sprouts dry out a little too much. The biggest advice I can say while setting your system up is to NEVER let the roots dry out. You’ll be looking at a dead limp plant.

Day 3 – I can’t have nice things. My plants looked healthy and seemed to be bushy with a lush green. That was, until I dropped the lid on them. All became crooked and the original black foam I was using for some of the sprouts became too water logged. However, I saved them off to the side for a smaller starter system. Yay recycling.

Day 4 – Plants look like they’re still lacking nutrients. Fish were fed a little extra. I did not know goldfish will continue to consume and forget they have consumed. I almost learned the hard way, goldfish will eat until they die.

By the way, I chose goldfish because they were $80.00 cheaper than five Koi. Koi are VERY expensive. Also, shiners for bait fish, require a little more effort than I was willing to give. Just something to think about when you’re trying to save the Earth on a budget.

Day 7? – I kind of lost track already. There’s a lot of energy put in to rotating around the sun. I’m just saying.

Day 8 – I’ll continue here. I think. My pea plants look like they’re very skinny instead of bushy. I compared them to the plants growing outside, but maybe it’s because with my aquaponic system, they might be able to grow taller.

I don’t know why I never attempted this sooner. Fish are so relaxing to look at. Especially when your world is consumed with stress, like fighting people at Wal-Mart and pissing off the turtle haters while saving creatures from humanity.

Below are some pictures, not in any order of what the progress has been. Still messing with the format. What bloggers don't say, is how long it takes to actually format and post their material. One man band over here! Anyways, enjoy! 

Update 11-19-2017*
I'm sad to report, my aquaponic system did not make it. While it was a fun attempt there were multiple reasons my plants withered away. I'm pretty sure my experiment lasted a grand total of 20 days.

Let's cut straight to the point.
Lighting - I left my light on for more than 12 hours a day. Some leaves would turn to a crisp after being dried out for so long. The light was small so only a small concentrated area would receive enough UVs. To combat all of this, I would recommend obtaining a timer for scheduled lighting. 
Nutrients - I chose goldfish because they were supposed to be a very messy fish. Well, messy in fact they are. They would even eat their on faeces. The tank would essentially be spotless from the amount they consumed, leading to my next problem.
The Fish - They literally eat anything and everything! I believe because they wouldn't stop, they murdered the plants even quicker because their root system was getting destroyed.

Needless to say, it was an interesting experience.

UPDATE 08-01-2018*
Maybe I should just stick to growing plants in water before adding turtle bait. Unfortunately, the last sacrifice was given a viking ceremony to the sea. I'm not very good at this and wonder how many other people have lost a couple fins along the way.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Phone Fiasco: An Unplanned S7 Review and Note 4 Disappointment.

The Short: Scroll to the bottom
The Long: Start here or go to the next article...

The future of the infinity screen *inserts sarcasm*

My dying phone was the best accident I've had.

For months, I assumed I had a bad battery in my Note 4. It would randomly die at 12% sometimes as high as 33%. I finally had enough when my phone would get me lost in the ghetto and turn off at the most inopportune moments, like the time I was trying to record a slug eating a banana. That's really important footage, also, don't tell me how to live my life!

Four hours later and three different stores helped determine the cause. Don't ask, but Chik-fil-A might have added on some time. The motherboard was failing, which would continuously zap the battery. My only option was to replace my precious Note 4, that gave me a little cone head with each selfie I took (I don't miss it). While there are features I absolutely loved on that phone, the one I'm writing this article with, does just as good a job for a fraction of the cost.

It wasn't an easy process handing over my lemon phone. Nothing compared to it in the current market. AT&T wasn't carrying anymore (they're currently on strike) Note products (probably due to of the fiasco with the batteries), and I wasn't about to spend $800.00 on a piece of tech that I had no interest in having. The best best option was submitting an insurance request for ~$120.00, and hoping I would get an alternative Note.

Well, I didn't. I was mailed a Galaxy S7 Edge. I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if I could adapt to the infinity screen. If I lathered my hands in astroglide and had a mason jar thrown at my head, it would have been less damage than what I was about to do to this poor, BRAND NEW, S7 Edge. I hadn't purchased a case for it yet because I didn't know what I was receiving, until I brought the box with me to work. Needless to say, my butterfingers took the phone out of the box. As soon as I turned it over, with the plastic still covering the phone mind you, the plastic sticky tab stuck to my finger and went tumbling to the ground. I figured this would be a good opportunity since I've dropped my phone from scaffolding, what's 2 1/2 feet with linoleum floor going to do? Apparently put a giant crack in the so called gorilla glass. Fuming angry, I grab everything and put it back in the box called for another phone to be mailed to me.

I was told I would be receiving another S7 Edge, blue. To my surprise, I received a black, S7. I thought I was downgraded to a lesser phone until I had a Viking ceremony for my Note 4. Turns out, I'm a fan!

Don't get me wrong, I miss my stylus, especially for cold weather and drawing, but if the Note 8 or the next phone with a stylus includes an infinity screen, I'm out. I'll be sticking with the S7, or converting to Apple (probably not). Just a side note, while on the phone with AT&T's customer service, the representative even agreed that these phones today, are built to last two years. So expect your tech to have failures!

With all that being said, I'm planning ahead for the next lemon phone, but very happy with my Samsung Galaxy S7. Ultimately, without the stylus and a screen size that can fit in your pocket, all a Note 4 really is, is an S7.

The Short: If your phone takes a crap, buy a Samsung Galaxy S7, unless you're an Apple fan, then I can't help you. *whispers* "They don't even have audio ports..."

Hard at work

Monday, March 6, 2017

Wanderlusting in the Fourth Dimension

What is the speed of magnetism? What is the speed of gravity? How do we enter the fourth dimension? Does one even exist? If we can't see it, does that mean it doesn't exist? We can't see radio waves, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Some of the conversations I had the pleasure of being a part of tonight. Taking a step back, it's hard to scale just how big the universe is, compared to human heights and what the body, our vehicle, is capable of understanding.

"To infinity and beyond," ~Toy Story. Multiple infinities to some people. Particularly 5 infinities have been discovered so far. To whom is willing to accept they exist.

Voodoo. While I can't prove anything, I enjoy the wanderlust of these concepts, gathering views from other people who have input on this as well. Maybe the person who has the solution to the 4th dimension is reading a book silently in a corner. Maybe the people who have answers about the God particle are eating a delicious chicken and cheese burrito, smothered in all of the hot-sauce.

Have we lost all of our great thinkers? Do we have any currently? Does instant gratification and digital distractions prevent those that are genuinely curious, suppressed?

I feel like I need to know. I'm down a rabbit hole!

Please respectfully add your word vomit below on these subject matters. I want to read them!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How to Move Forward After a Traumatic Relationship or Event

It’s been a couple weeks. The first week my life felt sucked from my chest. Antisocial. Anxious. These emotions seem new all over again as soon as the person you communicate with nearly every day, you see almost weekly, disappears. Subtract the reason for the separation. Realizing the person, you made your world, has been pulled from beneath your feet. A maddening, downward spiral.

It’s only temporary.”

A chant repeated in my head to help speed recovery. My Colonel from High School introduced this concept to me. This will all blow over, hopefully soon. I’ve had enough experience on this end it should be second nature to flip back around, but not with one key ingredient. Love.

No matter how hard you try to light everything on fire, cry your eyes out until the swelling keeps them shut, love will continue to hurt until one day, you realize, you have forgotten to love said person. How long that takes depends on the person, relationship, and stance

"I don’t need you, I want you." I invented this for myself years ago, after falling in love with a boy whom also broke my heart. If it wasn’t for this statement and other factors, I would probably be baker-acted for lack of self-control. Lack of self-esteem and confidence.

How to move forward starting now:
I wish there was a black and white answer book that could just solve this instantly, but maybe these suggestions may help.
·      Pick a playlist and hit the repeat button until your ears start vomiting.

o   My personal playlist:

§  Halsey – pick one

§  Alt-J – Breezeblocks – it sounds different now that I’m separated

·       Find your own gender – You’re vulnerable. Don’t go looking for the wrong attention, unless you have strictly platonic friends.

·       Pamper yourself – get a pedicure, get your hair done, get your eyebrows waxed or your hooha, if that’s what you’re into.

·       Write – find a book and write. EVERY. DAY. I failed to do this until two weeks after. I should have done it the night of and continued. I would have been able to talk myself out of feeling bad a long time ago.

·       Go for a walk. Even in your pajamas. To the backyard. Get some light. Being a hermit doesn’t help even though it’s temporarily satisfying.

·       Garden – you will learn consistency and learn something new, which takes your mind slightly off the subject matter.

·       Pet therapy – find an animal friendly place. Animals are generally happy to see you more than humans.

·       Delete. EVERYTHING. Sure, you’ll have your second guesses. If you do, save some things, but lock it away to avoid reminders. They’re unnecessary triggers. Block them on social media, through the phone, and email. If they were truly sorry, they would find a creative way to show it. If you have items, but not enough strength to get to the post office let alone brushing your hair, gather the objects and place them in a box and put it away for now.

·       Remember things differently. This is a mind trick used especially for traumatic events. Instead of remembering events and personal connections, recall objects and imagine them a different color, or something different entirely. This will train the mind to not act as harshly to whatever environment you find yourself in.

o   Personal Experience – Terra Fermata – Some fond memories. Instead of remembering being with that person, imagine the memory with people from the current view in that memory or change the person to your best friend. It takes a strong mind to master this. I also stared at new objects and formed different memories associated with numbers. Counted how many tables were crammed in a tiny area. How much electricity was used to run certain things. How many people were in front of me. Trying something with a terrible taste. You might not have the energy to move or think, but your eyes can see shapes and color.

·        Just be. Live in the current state of mind. Don’t dwell on what could have been, what should have been. This is the most destructive. Someone, even a platonic friend, is waiting for you to call them to make awesome new memories with you. Even if it’s your golden retriever.

·        Stop thinking about what you can’t have anymore. Start writing down what you can have!

·       Don’t be a victim. They win. Plain and simple. Pick up the pieces, dust yourself off and start working towards your next goal, even if it’s talking about it for weeks.

Please leave a comment if this article helped you or helped someone you know or just want to leave some love!

Note, these pictures below are part of being human. The ugly side to becoming stronger. <3

Friday, February 3, 2017

Poshmark Review - Closet Listing Feed

Update 05-24-2017: Scroll Down

Poshmark is a trending fashion website that allows you to resell your clothes through "closets." I stumbled across this company from various friends that have had experience with the site and thought I'd get rid of some excess clothing too.

Poshmark is implementing a newer concept by solely using the app to create listings. After about an hour of searching why I couldn't list anything from my computer, I finally made the connection at the bottom of their site, "BUY AND SELL ON APP." I was really counting on those extra precious youth minutes POSHMARK!

Creating your account. As soon as you create your account, you're set up with ~40ish people that you're following and I believe 2 followers, but those increase rapidly over your first day. Your phone will become inundated with updates. It's only been 3 days and I have 173 followers and counting and I'm sure you can imagine how often my phone lights up. It feels rewarding knowing there's people out there knowing you exist, but I have yet to make a sale.

Setting up your profile. Definitely edit your profile at the top, but don't forget a listing of yourself was also created for you by Poshmark. Edit this too and add more pictures of yourself to show how human you really are. However, you can only edit the listing of yourself through the app. You are unable to do so via laptop, unless there's a secret I don't know about.

Your first listing. If you're unsure of the process, list your items high and back them down once you get the hang of it. You can always go back and edit them later, which will benefit you anyways as your items move back up the chain. Be descriptive and take as many pictures as possible to reassure the interested buyer of what they're purchasing. Since Poshmark doesn't allow for refunds, I'm sure this tightens up the reigns for purchasers.

Also, when pricing your product, play with the numbers for your pocket income. The amount of profit you make will change as the price of your product increases. My best guess is that they charge a percentage to calculate their stake.

Sharing is caring. Every now and then, you'll receive notifications that your items were shared. Do the same for others! This helps both parties having their products exposed to the world. This leads me to the next topic, Posh Parties. I've only been to one and had no idea what I was doing. Supposedly this also helps expose others to your products. They have themes and times. Both will be located under the main feed. As time goes on, I'll update this section accordingly.

Make the sale. As you've read earlier, I have no experience on this subject as I'm only day 3 into the social experiment. However, when you do make a sale, Poshmark will provide you with a pre-paid, pre-addressed label, and you don't even have to leave your hermit of a home! How awesome is that!

Still unsure of this new service? Check out my "Closet" below! Make sure to add me too!

Closet Items

Update: 05-24-2017
It's been since February, and I haven't sold anything. Granted, I only had about 6 items in my closet. I'm not entirely sure what I expected of this service. If anything, I've gained exposure from it, so there's a plus. As for making a profit, I believe I'm going to have to resort to Plato's Closet for a quick buck. The money might be less, but I don't have to worry about items being in my possession, especially while being on the road. However, I think I will definitely use Poshmark to show dresses I acquire in the future!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Credit Card Offers and Other Mail: The Experiment

Updates: 11/23/2017

Story Time!

Once upon a mailbox, I received credit card offers. Tons of them! When I returned home from a very long work stint, I was gifted a pile of papers and had to use my precious youth to sort through all of the junk. So far, I've found FOUR ways to get rid of credit card offers and other mail.

1. OptOutPreScreen - You can take a chance with and give them your social security number. I personally have not and will not do this. I haven't had anyone that's resourceful enough to confirm that this works, but it's the government. Trust them?

Update 11/23/2017: I've called multiple credit card companies that refer me to this option. I still have trust issues.

2. PaperKarma - a useful app that sends unsubscribe requests on your behalf. Digging through the internet, I've heard good reviews. Whether it's worked yet or not for me, I'll have to update on a later day. Supposedly it takes about 60 - 90 days to fully unsubscribe. The biggest harassers for me are PNC and Wells Fargo. I'll add a note if they go away in the next 2 - 3 months since I just started pushing back.

PaperKarma's interface seems simple. You literally scan your mail, select the correct company, and click unsubscribe. That's it! What's one more app on your phone? Anyways, check out the screenshots of my personal phone below to make sure you download the correct app.

Update 11/23/2017: PaperKarma has ended their free app. You now have to purchase a subscription, and by my experience, not sure if it completely works. The reviews have said this as well. If the updated application has worked, please let me know below!

3. Mail them back - unconfirmed if this actually works, but each credit card offer comes with a second envelope to mail in your personal information. I read online, because everything on the internet is true, to write "unsubscribe me" and mail them back. Their postage will be paid by the sender. See the "No Postage Necessary" on the top right hand corner? You don't pay a dime to return them a piece of paper.

Update 11/23/2017: Not sure if they got the memo, but I mailed another 10 or so. It was on their dime! Another tip, mail them back advertisements for your business. At least one person reads them.

4. Call and request to be unsubscribed - I loathe talking to people from these companies on the phone. Therefore, this is also unconfirmed. Maybe one day, I'll strike up enough patience to ask.

Update 11/23/2017: This has been the best option so far. Grab the newest credit card offer. One that's still active before the expiration date on the flyer. There is a reservation code on the flyer. Read this to the company. It's either this, or give them your social which isn't an option. I made phone calls in October. I've received significantly less mail from the people I directly contacted!

This is all just an experiment to reduce the paper waste coming to my mailbox. Hopefully, PaperKarma will be enough to place a very long pause on the offers. I'll update as soon as I start seeing progress!

If you have an interesting way to get rid of unwanted credit card offers, share it below!