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Need a Good Laugh? Learn how to give your cat a pill!
By Carol LeBeau
12/30/2013 11:24:43 AM


–FULL BIO
 

My sweet kitty, Bing, is getting over a little infection. The vet said it was no big deal. All I had to do was give her a tiny pill twice a day for a week.  

Bing is young…an adolescent, really…and not very cooperative (to say the least) when it’s time for her pill.  Anyone with a cat can identify with my dilemma. Talking with my step-Mom, Kaye about battling with Bing and her pills, we had a good laugh about “herding cats” and the like.  

Two days later, a note from Kaye arrived “snail mail.” Inside was a copy of an old Ann Landers column from 1999 which included a piece called “How to Give Your Cat a Pill,” by Bob Story.  

It’s hilarious.  In fact, I haven’t laughed that hard in years – no decades!  That laughing jag made me feel so good; I’ve decided to pass it along.  And please, no complaints from cat lovers.  (I love cats more than anyone, believe me!)  It’s just a piece of humor.  I hope it gives you a chuckle.

How to Give Your Cat a Pill  
By Bob Story
 
Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as though holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to his cheeks. When cat opens up, pop pill into mouth. Cat will then close mouth and swallow.
 
Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.  Repeat the process.   
 
Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.
 
Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, immobilizing front and rear paws. Ask assistant to hold cat’s head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat’s throat. Flick pill down ruler with forefinger and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
 
Retrieve cat from living room valance.
 
Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set aside for later gluing. Remove next pill from foil wrap.
 
Wrap cat in beach towel and ask assistant to lie prone on cat with cat’s head visible under assistant’s armpit. Put pill in end of paper tube you’ve made for this purpose. Then force cat’s mouth open with pencil and blow.
 
Check label to make sure pill is not lethal to humans. Sip water to take away taste. Apply bandage to assistant’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with soap and cold water.
 
Call 911, ask fire department to retrieve cat from eucalyptus tree.  Remove remaining pill from foil wrap.  Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and securely tie to leg of dining table.  Put on heavy-duty pruning gloves.  Force cat’s mouth open with tire iron.  Drop pill, previously hidden in one ounce of raw hamburger, into cat’s mouth.  Hold head vertically with nose pointed to ceiling and pour one-half pint of water down cat’s throats and two jiggers of whiskey down your own.

Ask assistant to drive you to emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor administers anesthetic, stitches forearm and removes pill remnants from eye. Drop off cat, along with a generous donation, at animal shelter and adopt a goldfish.

There you have it. And now it’s time to give Bing her next pill. This is gonna be fun!

 

Destination…Lindbergh Field! Exciting Airport Expansion Makes Flying Fun!
By Carol LeBeau
12/17/2013 3:40:12 PM


–FULL BIO
 

I’m not a great traveler.  Friends make it look easy, but for me, it’s a struggle.  I don’t mean to whine, but planning and packing are a pain.  I hate turbulence and I miss my bed!  

But the worst part is the airport.   It’s just so chaotic!  Hustling to get bags checked…frantically navigating the crowds, security lines and crowded bathrooms only to finally arrive at the gate just in time for the battle to board!

Well, no more!  The newly expanded Terminal 2 at Lindbergh Field is actually making traveling in and out of San Diego fun!  In fact, I may just get there early for my next trip…relax and enjoy the amenities of the new, state-of-the-art expansion that’s put a fresh face on our aging airport.

The additions to the gorgeous, new 445,000-square-foot terminal include 10 new gates, a dual-level roadway for arriving and departing passengers (reminds me of the “Jetsons!”) fabulous new eating and shopping options and lots of space!

Thella Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, says the expansion takes Lindbergh Field to “a new level.”
 
I think that’s an understatement.

The gates are furnished with outlet-equipped seating, free water-bottle refilling stations and clean, contemporary terrazzo flooring.  There’s new artwork to enjoy, six new gates, comfortable, new seating and other amenities…including the airport’s first post-security animal relief area complete with fire hydrant!

The terrazzo flooring makes the trip to baggage claim like a walk on the beach.  Lay in geometric bands in shades of ocean blue, gray, green and sand, it’s also integrated with a matrix of marbles, shells and glass. You can almost feel the sand between your toes!

The heart of the terminal aptly called “Sunset Cove,” a dining area that provides a stunning, panoramic view of the airport.  The lighting is breathtaking.  Called “The Journey,” art lights sparkle throughout the corridor.  A stunning Swarovski crystal fixture is the “Cove’s” centerpiece.

Returning from a recent trip, it was hard to believe I was in an airport let alone Lindbergh Field!  

And then there’s the food! Restaurants in Sunset Cove include Saffron, Bubbles Seafood Wine Bar, Seaside Stack Shack, Qdoba, Red Mango and Tommy V’s Pizzeria.   San Diego favorites Stone Brewing Company and Phil’s BBQ are also there just to make you feel at home.

Finally, be sure to allow yourself some time for a little shopping.  You can browse the books at Warwick’s, check out the cool stuff at Brookstone or sample a new shade of lipstick at Clinique.  While husband, Tom, was distracted at the PGA Tour Shop, I was trolling Brighton Collectibles for a gift and we still made it to our flight on time!

Years in the making, the beautiful build-out is finally complete.  I think you’ll find it was well worth the wait.

By the way, the expansion project…dubbed “The Green Build,” by airport officials is not only beautiful, it’s receiving much-deserved accolades and awards for energy efficiency.  

Bravo Airport Authority!  (I can’t wait for my next trip.)

Dana's Perfect Pumpkin Bread; A holiday favorite made easy!
By Carol LeBeau
12/12/2013 10:27:45 AM


–FULL BIO
 

I love it when Dana hosts our women’s Bible study.  Her home is warm and welcoming.  She has a cool dog and she makes the best, by far, pumpkin bread in the world.

Dana serves her signature sweet bread warm right from the oven in a cute, Bundt-style baking pan in the shape of a pumpkin.  Martha Stewart would be proud.

Recently, as I let a second warm slice of pumpkin perfection melt in my mouth, I decided to ask Dana for the recipe.  I figured it would be beyond my culinary skills…probably an old, family recipe involving double boilers, exotic spices and separated eggs.

Dana just smiled as she shared her “secret” recipe – three ingredients – one step. So simple, even I could dazzle my friends and family with pumpkin bread worthy of the Cooking Channel.

If you need to bring something sweet to a holiday gathering, consider whipping up Dana’s perfect pumpkin bread.  It’s so simple; you won’t even have to write it down.  But here it is just in case!

Dana’s Pumpkin Bread
1 Box Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix

Prepare according to the box recipe, but add ½ can of organic, canned pumpkin (also at Trader Joe’s) and a small tub of vanilla Greek yogurt.

Bake and eat. Consider it my gift to you!

Happy Holidays!
Good eating and God’s blessings!

No Flu for You! Don’t let the flu knock you flat this season! There’s still time to get vaccinated.
By Carol LeBeau
12/6/2013 10:11:50 AM


–FULL BIO
 

I ran into Don and Sheila the other day on the curb in front of our house.  It was Monday…garbage day…as together we rolled our trash cans back into our respective garages.   Actually, it was good to see our next-door neighbors.  Tom and I hadn’t seen or heard from them for several days.

I quickly learned why as Sheila dressed in heavy sweats with a wool scarf around her neck warned me not to come any closer.  Looking like the walking dead, she told me that she and Don had the flu and were so sick they hadn’t even left their house.  Taking the trash to the curb was their first outing in days.

It broke my heart to see our friends in such misery.  They admitted they hadn’t gotten the flu shot and vowed never to pass on it again.  

Secretly, I applauded my own decision to get vaccinated.   But it’s my pharmacist who deserves the credit for making that smart choice.  As I quizzed him at my local pharmacy, he convinced me the flu shot is still the best way to avoid the miserable symptoms of the flu virus.

I remember using the line, “They never get the formula right anyway,” to justify skipping this year’s vaccination.  If that’s your argument, then it may be time to roll up your sleeve.  Turns out, a flu shot is effective even if its strains don’t match those going around!

That may sound crazy, but a Canadian review found in years the vaccine hadn’t targeted the viruses circulating, people still got protection that was more than 50 percent effective (when there was a match, protection rose to 65 percent or more).

Bottom line…from my pharmacist and primary care doctor to the Mayo Clinic and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.

Like all medications, vaccines can have side effects, but they’re extremely rare.  For people with certain health conditions, getting the shot may not be advised.  Obviously, if you have any concerns, check with your doctor before getting vaccinated.

Then, before you decide to skip this year’s flu shot…consider this.  The vaccine can protect you from the ravages of the flu that wiped out our neighbors – a viral respiratory illness that spreads easily and can make your life miserable for weeks.  Worst case?  The flu can lead to serious health complications and possibly death.  Why chance it?

It’s too late for Don and Sheila.  Thankfully, they’re recovering nicely.  

But there is still time for you to prevent the fever, chills and body aches that could have you down for the count this holiday season.

For a list of Palomar Health community flu shot clinics, go to www.PalomarHealth.org/flu.