Every once in awhile, I find that I’m telling so many people about so many things, I feel like I should write these things down in one place and direct people over here, so that’s what I’m doing today. I am one of those “early adopter” types, meaning you can usually count on me to have tried the new things that have recently come out (or that I’ve heard about recently, anyway). Here are a few examples of things I’ve been using/ liking lately:
Thundershirt Baxter hates thunderstorms, fireworks, and other loud noises, so summer is usually a hard time for him. I got the Thundershirt on the recommendation of the vet, and I have to honestly say, it works better than any drug, supplement, or training device I have ever seen. I think it’s based on some kind of acupuncture, and you should definitely, DEFINITELY watch the video on the website, because it is hilarious and the Jack Russell terrier looks like he’s on drugs. The ‘shirt doesn’t quite have this effect on Baxter, but I will say that the first time I put in on him, he laid right down and went to sleep, even though a thunderstorm had just passed through, which would usually mean you’d find him hiding in the bathtub for at least three hours, trying to calm down. Now I put it on him when I think there’s going to be a storm, and no lie, when I get it out he actually wags his tail. What the heck? It also looks nice as a little coat, if you're into that sort of thing.
Dandy Blend You’re going to just have to take my word for it—this is an herbal coffee substitute that is made out of dandelions and chicory root, and I know that at least one person is going to call me a crunchy California hippie for even trying it, but DUDE. IT TASTES LIKE COFFEE. As you might recall, I have been trying to quit coffee for several years because my doctor says caffeine is bad for me, but I kept falling off the wagon because of totally gross coffee substitutes like “Roastaroma.” I read about Dandy Blend in a book, ordered it from iHerb, and was SHOCKED to find that not only did I like it, but that now I think it tastes better than coffee. Stephan drinks it, my coffee-obsessed friend Shannon just switched over and was similarly amazed and impressed, and we’re already on our third bag over here because you can drink it all day and it’s actually good for you. Again, I don’t know why it works, but it actually completely alleviated any and all symptoms of caffeine withdrawal I experienced every other time I tried to go off caffeine. So, give it a try. I promise you, it does not taste like flowers, and I have emailed the company multiple times requesting that they change their packaging so that people will not have that impression. IT IS SO GOOD. iHerb.com hast the best price I've found, if you're looking to try it.
Sirius XM Radio This actually falls into the category of “late adoption,” because I was all indignant about not having to pay for radio, but we got a free subscription to Sirius XM Radio with our new car in February, and already I am so in love with it, I extended the subscription so that I could listen to it online, on my phone, on my iPad, and in the other car, which means I can listen to it 24 hours a day if I want to, and sometimes I totally want to. The Sirius XMU station is like the perfect college/ indie station, they have DJs but no commercials, and where else can you hear Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Radiohead, and Cults (to name a few) and never have to worry about losing your signal? Oh, and that list I mentioned was actually just on the XMU station—there are a zillion other stations if you don’t like that kind of music. The one and only issue I have with Sirius (besides the fact that they are not yet using Stephan Cox as the “voice” of their company) is that they have a whole station dedicated to Pearl Jam, which I think is a little arbitrary. They also have a station dedicated to the Grateful Dead, to The Seventies, and to Indie Music, just to give you some examples, and I don’t think “Pearl Jam” falls into one of those top-level categories so it just makes me laugh every time it goes by. Other than that, though, I am totally sold on Sirius XM and think it’s pretty much perfect.
My Toyota Prius Since gas prices keep going up, I find that at least once a week someone asks me about my Prius. I love that car, man! It gets about 49 miles per gallon, we've never had a single problem with it, and it is a fantastic road trip car. We have the 2008, and since my dad has been a Prius enthusiast for quite some time, he owns a 2010 so I've also been in that one, and it is even nicer! Gas is so expensive, I would say yes, the Prius has definitely paid for itself in gas savings. If you're thinking of switching cars, I would definitely say check it out!
And now, we head out to Kentucky for my dad's birthday. Happy birthday dad!!!