Fathead Flu Remedy

I write a humor blog over here at Fathead Follies. It’s not a health and wellness or a cooking site. However it’s flu season at the Fathead household and this past month has been particularly festive if you love misery. For some reason, this time around I’ve been the sickest of the bunch and the resulting delirium has spurred a temporary departure from my usual format. And apparently reality in general, which might explain why in the past week I’ve:

  • Earnestly planned a dinner party for myself, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel without a hint of irony.
  • Let Hubs cook a week’s worth of fiberless, vegetable-free meals for the kids without a thought about nutrition, constipation or the impressive stove splatters. Seriously our kitchen looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.
  • Gone through a giant bottle of NyQuil in a week…end. Don’t worry I staged an intervention for myself and I’m now NyQuil free, which is for the best. NyQuil isn’t organic. Nor does it contain any whole grains or fruit, despite the appetizing picture of cherries on the bottle. It should be avoided except in emergencies. Much like cheap chocolate.

By the way, it’s my contention that purgatory is gripping the sides of your commode while your four-year old stands in the bathroom doorway playing the theme song from Thomas the Tank Engine on loop like some sort of demented John Cusack in a preschool version of Say Anything.


If only Peter Gabriel had written the Thomas theme song.

Anyway, I decided to make my own homeopathic cold remedy using only the healthiest ingredients. I call it…

A Mojito.

Here are my instructions:

Boil two cups of organic sugar and two cups of water from one of those crazy filtered water stores.

Sure you could use tap water but we Californians don’t feel comfortable unless we’ve paid a premium price for our water and dispensed it from a bottle. Also, I’m fairly sure the raccoons have been poisoning our water supply and the kids really enjoy riding the cart at the water store. If you’re going to spend the evening whacked out on my home remedy, the least you can do is bring them some joy with a water cart ride first.

Boil your premium filtered water and organic sugar for one minute. DO NOT walk away from the stove. Otherwise you’ll lie down, forget you’re boiling something and ruin another pan.

Remove from heat. Be careful not to spill it on yourself. Boiling sugar burns like molten lava and you don’t want to be spotted running out of your house screaming like Richard Pryor after a crack fire.


Sugar and cocaine are remarkably similar at high temperatures.

Pour your simple syrup over the zest of two limes and 1/2 cup of mint leaves. Be sure to use organic limes and mint grown by vegans and sold in a local farmer’s market. You’ll feel better about yourself. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain your simple syrup and chill it in an energy star refrigerator.

Now eat the solids because not only does it taste like the best minty lime candy ever, you’ve just gotten a dose of fiber and prevented scurvy. And we all know that scurvy leads to a peg leg.

Now take some lime wedges and a half cup more mint and muddle them with feeling in the bottom of a pitcher. Add crushed ice, a half cup of lime juice, one cup of your lime/mint simple syrup and a half liter of rum. The rum doesn’t have to be organic because the distillation process kills pesticides…I’m pretty sure.

Note: feel free to use any color rum you like. I firmly believe that a rum should be judged by the content of its character.

Serve your remedy in a glass with more crushed ice, soda water (the extra expensive brand purchased at your local Whole Foods allegedly uses carbonation obtained from the intestinal gas of woodland fairies) and my secret ingredient: Antihistamine.

One glass of this and you’ll forget you’re feeling bad. As an added bonus, the antihistamine will prevent you from leaving a pool of snot on your floor when you face plant on the way to your bathroom.

I'm not sure which is more disturbing: that I had my 4 year old take this picture or that my linoleum looks that bad.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing: that I had my 4-year-old take this picture or that my linoleum looks that bad.

Author’s note: This was written two weeks ago. I’ve since come down with another flu virus. This cannot be attributed to the Mojitos, however, so drink up.


Photo Credits:

The Guardian



Slacker Mom Confessional – Spirit Week

This morning we all woke up late. Well the kids woke up late and I uncharacteristically decided to shower as soon as I got out of bed due to the fact that my hair had molded into some sort of 4th grade art project during the night. The shower put me behind schedule.

Personal hygiene is my nemesis.

So we were all running behind when I realized that it was Crazy Hair day at my daughter’s school. This is spirit week and Crazy Hair day was the day to which Riley had been looking forward all week. She had big plans for Crazy Hair day, namely to dye her hair the color of the rainbow. All week long I told myself to prepare and all week long preparation was preempted by other, more pressing things on my to-do list, so this morning found me woefully unprepared.

However, Riley hasn’t had the best week. She’s been stressed out about learning multiplication and the upcoming state testing and bummed about a hundred other little things.  Being a sensitive, dyslexic seven-year-old ain’t easy some days. Because of that, I wouldn’t even consider scrapping the rainbow hair plan despite having insufficient time and preparation. Desperate mothers aren’t ruled by logic.

I'd dye my butt rainbow colors for my daughter if it wouldn't simply traumatize her.

I grabbed our food coloring, my creme brulee ramekins, some conditioner, a toothpick and a sandwich baggie in a rush and went to work.

Okay, so my organizational skills are suspect even when I’m not under duress. My manual dexterity is sub par. And I multitask like a drunken bachelor. This partially explains why I grabbed such nonsensical items.

You know what you can accomplish with a toothpick, a baggie and a lot of food coloring in a tiny white bathroom? Complete multicolored chaos. Like a mac truck and the Easter bunny collided.

Jackson Pollock bathes here.

The only thing that really didn’t take color was Riley’s hair, which sent me into a panic, because I just couldn’t accept the look of disappointment on her face after all the carnage. I made a last minute decision to stop rinsing the colored conditioner from Riley’s hair in an effort to keep at least a hint of rainbow on her head. Then we ran out of time before I could thoroughly blow dry Riley’s hair so I sent her to school with wet, slightly slimy, mildly tinted hair, a bright blue ear and random smudges and smears everywhere else. She was shivering when I dropped her off at the gate and well on her way to developing Spirit Week pneumonia. But she was happy about having colored hair and that’s what’s important, right? Right?? Right!

I took this picture after school. Greasy, colored hair makes Riley feel edgy like a 7-year-old runaway or a Calvin Klein model.

When Conor and I triumphantly returned home I remembered that both the rent and preschool payment were due…five days ago. Those two items were also preempted by other items on my to-do list. Understandable. It’s not like housing and education are important, right? Ask any politician.

I threw a check and one of Riley’s drawings into an envelope (my little way of reminding our landlords that we have adorable children who make up for my delinquent rent payments) and hustled Conor out to the car. We dropped the rent at the same post office that houses our landlords’ p.o. box to speed delivery. I briefly lamented about the waste of another stamp but since I can’t even remember what current postage is it’s hard to really get indignant.

We're happy even on the verge of being incinerated by the giant sun--who wouldn't want us as renters?

Then we headed to the credit union, conveniently located nowhere near our home. I like to pay our preschool in cash because they are extremely relaxed about cashing checks and Hubs tends to get excited upon finding extra money in our account. When Hubs gets excited, he celebrates by purchasing something. The preschool inevitably cashes the check right after Hubs’s celebratory purchase. And then Mama can’t go to Vegas…I mean the grocery store.

On a side note: I only refer to myself as Mama when I’m gambling or experiencing a financial windfall which is exactly never.

Now at that point I hadn’t eaten yet, which is not a good thing. Important parts of me shut down when I don’t eat: patience, empathy, motor skills, cognitive function. And Conor was overdue for his every-15-minute fuel intake as well. The inside of my car sounded like a road trip with the Bickersons of Bickerville. Conor loudly expressed his disdain for the post office, the road we were on, all roads around us, going uphill, going downhill, “pleases” officers, banks, cars, air, you name it, he hated it and I was only slightly more pleasant.

I had to carry Conor into the credit union due to his sudden attack of “pleases”officer-phobia and that took a little longer than usual because, in my low blood sugar state I couldn’t remember how to get to the front door. Afterward I couldn’t remember where the freeway on-ramp was and ended up on the wrong freeway headed to no place in particular. I should have picked up a souvenir and some breakfast.

Oh look, we're here. (image via dreamstime)

When we were finally home and I was dancing around in the hallway, waiting for my son to get done with the bathroom, so that I could relieve myself and then eat before ending up in a puddle of my own tears and urine, I remembered that I had missed the play date I’d scheduled for Conor by an hour and a half. What else could I do but light my to-do list on fire and sit down here to write my confession?

You see I’m not a slacker mom because I don’t care. I’m a slacker mom because I don’t possess the mental faculties to be super efficient and still sane. God made me mildly funny and then got distracted and left the room before he added organizational tools. I’m okay with this. I love myself and all of my deficiencies. My kids seem to be okay–I don’t think disorganized parenting caused Riley’s dyslexia or stunted their growth.

Disorganized parenting is the leading cause of messy hair and extended pajama wearing according to the Surgeon General's office.

However if you were thinking of putting me on some sort of important committee for the future of society, you might want to rethink that choice. Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow is available.