Monthly Archives: June 2009

Love & Loathe – 06/30/09

Love:

* Arugula. When I lived in Fallbrook and had a yard big enough for a for reals garden, I used to grow the stuff and couldn’t wait until it had sprouted tall enough to eat. Now I have to buy it at the store, but I love it no less than I did before. I could happily eat plates and plates of it.

* Listening to pastor David Jeremiah in the mornings when I get ready for work. I get our little bird and we go to church together. Although she’s a little sassy, because she chirps back at him sometimes.

* Ending the day by crawling into bed with my husband. Sweet, sweet solace.


Loathe:

* Bills. They’re like housework. You finish them one week and the next week you’ve got more. Everybody wants money. In fact, I need to pay some of those right now.

* Being distracted by stress. So distracted that I have no idea where my Amex card went. I don’t remember using it to get gas last Friday, but I have the receipt, so I know I did. Called them, canceled it and requested a replacement card. GAH! Or, example #2, I did a fish tank change but forgot to refill my water recycle tank. *shakes head*

One Last Thing:

This plant actually belongs inside the fish tank, but I pulled it out about a month ago to clean it and then decided to see how the fish did without it because it’s a collector of tank debris.

The thing it’s sitting on is a cover Tony built to give a false top to the fish tank to keep the cats off the top of the tank. I tell you that because…

A couple weeks ago one of the cats had barfed on the couch. Yes, on the couch. Disgusting I know, particularly when you consider the irony of the fact that 95% of our home is floored with wood or tile, but the cats like to barf on porous surfaces, apparently, not wipeable surfaces. So anyway, one of the cats barfed on the couch and in that barf were pieces of that plastic plant. Which begs the question of which cat was it and how did it get up on top of that tank?

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Filed under Good for your Poopy, Love/Loathe

Not Cool.

The weekend was one of mixed emotions. Happiness that I was able to spend time with a friend of mine celebrating her marriage at her delayed wedding reception on Saturday. Casual beach party, complete with a BBQ and bonfire, as well as a rousing, competitive, unscored game of volleyball… which I managed to wrench my toe while playing, but I saved the ball! My poor toe! I’m not sure if it’s sprained, fractured or broken. I tried to get an x-ray this morning, but after waiting an hour and being told there were still two people ahead of me, I left because I had things to do.

Such as attend Grace’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party today. She turned 3 on Friday, can you believe it’s been three years ago already that Mia was born? I sure can’t. Tony’d had a rough morning at his work this morning and was really looking forward to seeing Grace and her family, as was I. So it was well worth it to leave a crummy doctor’s office to see friends.

Those were the highlights.

The rest of the post is behind a password protection. If you don’t remember the password or if you’ve not ever received it, please do let me know.

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Protected: Shrugging it Off.

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Protected: Love & Loathe — 06/23/09

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Hairy Fathers.

The Father Part

First of all, if you’re a dad — Happy Father’s Day. I hope you know how blessed you are.

If you have a father’s heart but don’t have a child, I also wish you a Happy Father’s Day because I’m sure you find ways to nurture and love other living creatures in your life.

***

Hair Update — Week 5, No Shampoo

I’m still working on perfecting my mixtures.

My “shampoo”, the baking soda rinse (BSR), is great. I still use 1/2 cup BS in a 1 QT bottle of tap water. No changes required.

My “conditioner”, the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse, has taken some work. The current recipe is as follows:

1/3 c ACV
1/4 c Aloe Vera
2 five inch stalks of rosemary
1 QT bottle w/ tap water

Last week in my ACV rinse, I only used 4 tbsp of Aloe Vera, and that didn’t provide nearly enough moisture against the constant chlorine exposure my hair gets, which is why I upped the amount. I may increase it even more when I mix the next batch. Surprisingly, rosemary is the scent that I smell in my hair throughout the day, not the ACV.

I tried alternating the sulfate free conditioner every other cleaning, but for whatever reason, it throws off the texture of my hair and makes it feel oily and icky. I tried a different brand today and it seems much better right now… but then again, I think Sunday are my “perfect” hair day of the week.

Tonight my hair even withstood successfully the damage that a just turned one-year-old little boy can inflict. I’m really not confident that it would have done very well 5 weeks ago!

If you followed along on my Twitter updates (<——over there), you'd be in the know that we had Dinner with Shamu at Sea World San Diego on Saturday night (good food, OK show, much prefer the breakfast to the dinner) and a most enjoyable day with family today.

I hope your weekend was just as enjoyable?

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Filed under Entertainment can be Expensive, Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation, I did something Special, I have Family

Taste Test Madness.

Soooo, in my quest to find those dratted dried plums (Yes, I’m still looking for them. Yes, I know I have issues.), I headed over to an Asian market not too far from my work location and visited their dessert aisle. There were some, shall we say, “interesting” things down that aisle, not all of which were items I would necessarily consider to be of the dessert variety, or even what I would consider to be a snack.

Despite their odd definition of desserts and snacks, dried plums they did have and in several variations. So I grabbed three bags containing different types of dried plums along with a few other items that looked promising and hauled my loot out of there and back to the office.

On the way back, I ripped open the bags and tried one of each item. A random taste test while driving — good clean fun. The law states we have to use headsets while driving and we can’t text while driving, but eating while driving is still fair game, as far as I know.

When I arrived safely back at work, I made the file clerk boy try each of the items. Then I took my bag of loot over and made the IT fellow (the one I tried to play a joke on a couple weeks ago) try them.

Here’s what was in the bag:

These things were absolutely delicious. Just the perfect amount of crisp, but melted in my mouth, with a touch of sticky sweet goodness. Delectable might just be a word that I would settle on as a description for these. The boys agreed.
In fact, I think you should go buy some of these, they were that good.

I’ve had these before, they’re like gummy candy… flavored litchee and muscat. One of the boys said the muscat candy tasted like he was chewing on a plant. Whatever — they tasted fine. Besides, he’s young and his taste buds clearly aren’t fully defined.
I think you should buy some of these, too.

Next up were the dried plums. First bag wasn’t too bad but, sadly, they really weren’t what I was seeking. Same with the second bag. The third bag was deceptive. The plums weren’t spit-it-out-or-I’m-gonna-die traumatic, in fact, they started out OK, but quickly became too salty. Ick. I gave the bag to the IT fellow (which is why there’s not a picture of it), and even he didn’t much care for them. Said they had a strange aftertaste, but he was OK with eating them. Which, interpreted to guy speak probably means, “I wouldn’t go out and buy them for myself, but since they’re here and free…”

The last thing in the bag were these things.

Now, in my defense, I’ve never had roasted chestnuts. But I’ve heard The Christmas Song, I’ve sung The Christmas Song, and it seemed appropriate that I should try the subject of The Christmas Song. Maybe freshly roasted chestnuts are different from these dog food smelling variety of chestnuts, I don’t know, but I couldn’t even finish one of them. The file clerk boy took a tiny bite and declared it disgusting. The IT fellow took one look at it and his hand went from being palm-up receptive, to pushing it away denied. He emphatically declared that he wouldn’t eat anything that looked like a little disgusting poop.
He was probably the wisest of the three of us in that decision.

And that concludes our Taste Test Madness.

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Filed under Entertainment can be Cheap, Good for your Poopy, Gross Can Fascinate, I have Friends

Love & Loathe – 06/16/09

Love:

* The way our little birdy chirps when I cover her for the night. She sounds just like a little cricket. They are the sweetest chirps I’ve ever heard. Sometimes instead of her name, Yoda, I call her Little Grasshopper.

* How our coat closet smells, because that’swhere we store our thousands of co-mingled candles. Our coats smell like co-mingled candles. It’s a good smell.

* Our dishwasher. I enjoy washing dishes by hand on occasion, but I marvel at how clean all of the dishes get in the dishwasher, no matter where I stack ’em in there. Even way back there turned to the side, it still finds it and gets it clean. It really is an amazing invention.

Loathe:

*When people put ads on my car — under my windshield wipers or tucked into the weather stripping on my side window. The rule is simple: Don’t touch my car.

*Sometimes I think “adults” are really just a bunch of people with grade school maturity levels minus the youthful “cute” to distract from our juvenile behavior. We just wield bigger, more expensive toys, larger vocabularies and more emotional baggage.

*Hiccups.

One Last Thing:

One day a couple weeks ago, I returned to work from my lunch errands early and decided to sit in my car in the parking lot and read my mail. One of my co-workers pulled up and parked next to me and made a couple smarty remarks and as he opened his door, it accidentally swung open too far and it hit my car. It hit hard enough that it made my car bounce a little bit and it sounded terrible. I cringed, expecting a dent. He cringed as well and leaned over to inspect where it had hit and said in a wondrous voice, “There’s no dent!”

I inspected it when I went inside and he was correct, there was no dent.

Over the seven years that I’ve owned my car, it seems that as small as it is, people go out of their way to park too close, even to “share” my parking spot with me because my car clearly doesn’t need the entire spot its parked in. Or at least that’s what their parking style tells me. As a result, my car has suffered numerous door dents down its sides and I’ve spent at least $200 on dent removal services. All this time I just figured my car was easily dentable. But now, not anymore. Because as hard as my co-worker’s car door hit my car (I felt it!), the people who actually left dents in my car must have just beat the crap out of it.

People really can be something else, can’t they?

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Filed under I ♥ My Miata, Kid Substitutes, Love/Loathe

Hair Update — Week 4.

Last Sunday brought about the healthiest, shiniest hair I’ve seen to date in my pooless experiment. It was, dare I say, perfect? The hair I’ve always wanted… from the top to the tip. 25 inches of hairy bliss.

Monday morning things got a little weird because I tried using coffee grounds in my hair for coloring purposes. I was desperate, so I used it full strength, coffee grounds and all. Well, what it did was, it threw the texture off and it was odd (to say the least) to find coffee grounds in my hair (like black dandruff?) and to crave coffee all day. On the upside, no one but me knew and my hair smelled delicious.

After Monday night’s swim and shower (remember, I’ve been using a baking soda rinse & lemon juice), Tuesday my hair seemed a little dry. I determine “dry” by the amount of tangling I get during the day. Which told me that the coconut oil was indeed causing my oily issues. So Tuesday night, instead of my lemon juice rinse, I used an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse which, according to Google, is very near to our hair’s natural PH and as such acts as a cleaner and seals the hair shaft. Sure it smells kind of like pickles while it’s wet, but I like pickles.

Wednesday night I again used the baking soda rinse and ACV rinse. My hair seemed a tiny bit better, but still a little dry. So I used a little sulfate free conditioner to see if that helped.

Thursday night I added a tablespoon of aloe vera to the ACV rinse, as well as some rosemary. Aloe vera for moisture and rosemary for scent (nothing quite like pickled rosemary, I say) and hair color. I grow both items in containers in my back yards, so they were readily available.

Saturday after my swim, I used an all natural henna hair coloring gel. The bottle was pretty small, so I wondered if I’d be able to color all of my hair. Of course it didn’t say anything on the outside of the box about needing to buy two for long hair, only on the internal instructions, so I decided to do what I could with what I had. Turns out, there was plenty for such a small bottle and I even have some left over. The best thing about this colorant, since it contains no peroxide or other “bad” things, I can reapply as often as needed, even right away! It didn’t strip my hair, I had zero(!!) loss of hair and it left my hair soft, even during the rinse. I love the color, too. I used ACV post-coloring and my hair felt fine.

In summary, what I did this week:

Hair coloring: Tried coffee grounds. Tried rosemary. Purchased “natural” coloring agents at Mother’s Market on Wednesday and used it on Saturday. The coffee and rosemary didn’t noticeably change my hair’s color, but it did give my hair a deep sheen. Love the new “natural” henna hair color kit. It “washes out gradually”, hopefully the “gradual” slows down because I was a little concerned about how much of it came out with this morning’s post-swim rinse.

Hair growth: I had to snip 3/4 of an inch off my bangs to keep them out of my eyes. I could have easily snipped an entire inch, but I want them just a bit longer than the length they were cut to 4 weeks ago. But, that tells me that the rest of my hair has likely grown between 3/4″ to 1″ since I had it trimmed 4 weeks ago. That’s pretty rockin’ for hair growth, I think.

Hair cleaning/conditioning: Continued using baking soda rinse. Added rosemary and aloe vera to my Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. Used sulfate free conditioner once when hair felt too dry. Did not use any lemon water rinse this week. I’m only using the club soda until the bottle I have is gone. In the course of researching exactly what baking soda and apple cider vinegar do to hair, I learned that, apparently, they are both chlorine neutralizers. The club soda doesn’t hurt, but I now believe it to be an unnecessary expense and just how much chlorine do I need to kill?

Here’s my bottles — the blue one has the baking soda rinse, the red one is the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse and the yellow one has the lemon juice rinse:

Plans for this week: I would like to cut back the BSR to every other day, and alternate the ACV rinse with the sulfate free conditioner. When I used the sulfate free conditioner this past week, I nearly hyperventilated it smelled so good! Talk about glory for my senses! The reason I stopped using the conditioner was because I thought it was causing the oiliness that I was experiencing. Now that I’ve isolated that to the coconut oil that I pre-treated my hair with before swimming, I think I can start trying the sulfate free conditioner again.
Taken today, post-coloring. The sun had set, so I used the camera’s flash.

Overall, I’m very, very pleased with how this experiment is coming along. I’m getting more and more ready to ditch all my shampoo bottles. I love how my hair feels to me. In fact, I’m pleased to report that this is turning into a new way of doing things and less and less of an experiment every day.

Skin Care: In addition to all of the above, I started using the BSR and a washcloth on my face as a cleanser. As my hormones shift through my cycle, I get painful outbreaks of under-the-skin acne on my face and back. The frustrating part of that is, just when the acne clears up from the break-out due to ovulation, it breaks-out again when my menses get ready to start, then clears up just in time for the ovulation break-out. I’m hoping that a more natural cleansing will help.

…and finally, I’d like to thank my husband for putting up with all these weird bottles rotating in and out of the shower, sitting outside of the shower, or some inside while others are outside, all because I’m trying to figure this stuff out. The man has an inordinate amount of patience with me, because I know full well that if I were him, I’d be irritating myself. Thank goodness I’m me and he’s him. If that made any sense at all.

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Filed under Chick Chat, Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation

Love & Loathe — 06/09/09

Love:

* Getting a great deal on meat. Beef Round Cut for $1.99/lb. Regular price was $3.99/lb. Perfect for making beef stew in the crockpot.

*Beef stew in the crockpot — you didn’t see that one coming, did you?

* Summer fruits — watermelon, blueberries, cherries. Anyone else but me seeing a food theme here?

* Coming home on my lunch hour. Enjoying the heck out of that while I still can.

* My sweetie, who makes me happy.

Loathe:

* Worrying about things. I know full well that worry never fixes things and, in fact, it often makes things worse. So, why can I not turn it off sometimes?

* Lack of sleep from worrying about things.

* Being tired from lack of sleep.

One Last Thing:
With as crazy as things have been at work for me lately, I sometimes feel as if I don't stop going until I fall into bed at night. I use the word “night” loosely, because it always seems to be around 1 AM that I actually lay my head on the pillow. Then to lay there and worry about stuff, I still feel as if I'm running mentally because I didn't have time to process things intellectually during the day.

I just want to tell you that seeing that you guys have visited here, choosing to interact with me in the comments, those are little happy darts for me during the day. You guys mean so much to me.

So, just… thank you for being here. It means a lot.

Oh, and today is my brother’s birthday — I’m sending him Happy Birthday wishes in a prayer and happy thoughts, since we don’t talk. Someday he’ll know I never forgot.

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Filed under Brother rates his own category, I Blog about Blogging, Life Encompasses Me, Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

Hair Update – Week 3.

This Sunday marked three weeks of no shampoo. This week also marks the week that I changed up a lot of things I was doing and started doing “new” things… because I almost gave in this week. In fact, I had the bottle of baby shampoo in my hands and had squeezed out a dollop of it to sud up, but I used it on my body instead of my hair. I was that close, My People.

On Tuesday the “leave in” conditioner feel, or a damp feel, was all the way to the ends of my hair. It was definitely the “oily” feel that women have reported and it almost sent me reeling back into consumer usage of shampoo. But instead, I decided to see what happened that night when I showered, that maybe something would change and I wanted to research something I’d read somewhere about using egg and lemon juice as an emulsifier. So my hair lived in a clip on Tuesday.

I showered after swimming on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning when I got up, my hair was still oily. So down to the fridge I went, grabbed an egg and whipped it up. I had one lemon in my fruit basket, so I juiced it and added it to the egg with some water, and ran upstairs and used that concoction on my hair in the shower. I made sure to use cool water and rinse thoroughly, but even at that I had egg bits in my hair. Argh. Easy enough to comb out, but still… ick.

The thing about that was, it emulsified the oil out of my hair (hooray!) leaving it the right texture, but it smelled like egg. I hate the smell of raw eggs. By 10:30 that morning, it was making me feel a little nauseated. So up in the clip it went. The next day, Thursday, was better and my hair felt normal. I could still smell a light scent of the egg, but I made my work friend smell my hair and she said it smelled perfumed, like flowers. *blink* I have no idea. Could be the lotion I use on my body or maybe she just has good smelling nose hairs. But she said it definitely did not smell like eggs.

Friday morning I used a small bit of my baking soda rinse (since I didn’t swim Thursday night, I didn’t use club soda) and then I used a lemon water rinse as the conditioner. Except I didn’t strain the pulp out of the lemon juice, so I had pulpy hair. (sigh, reminding myself that this is a learning process) However, all day Friday it felt fine and I love the smell of lemons in my hair.

But after swimming and showering on Saturday morning, there was that the oil again, except it was only on the lower part of my hair.

This puzzled me… why only the lower part? The oils come from the scalp, right? Then I realized — it might be the coconut oil that i pre-treat my hair with before I swim. This is something I’ve done for so long, I didn’t even realize I was doing it anymore. So before Sunday’s swim, I pre-treated by rinsing my hair with water only. After my swim, I cleaned it with my baking soda rinse, then club soda and then lemon juice rinse. My hair has just finished drying and it feels normal. We’ll see over the next couple of days if that solves the problem.

So, to recap, here’s what I’ve done this week: Continued no shampoo. Continued club soda after swimming. Stopped using sulfate free conditioner. Stopped using Scalpicin. Stopped using hair serum. Stopped pre-swim treatment of hair with coconut oil. Used one treatment of egg/lemon/water to emulsify oils. Started pre-swim treatment of water only rinse. Started using a baking soda/water rinse. Started using lemon/water rinse.

I’m proud of myself that I didn’t give up this week. I’m realizing that there’s a lot of “natural” things out there that I can do, I just need to learn what these things actually can do! Also, I remind myself that this is a daily journey. What my hair needs one day, it may not need the next. Since my hormones change on a daily basis, so does the oil my body produces. One thing I learned that I found to be a huge encouragement is that there are women who have successfully transitioned to using no hair products at all and are able to wash their hair with water only. Wow — I have to admit, that intrigues me.

I’m also pleased with how healthy my hair feels when it’s wet — that right there is probably the one thing that keeps me going with this. Three weeks ago after I showered, my hair felt as if it would shatter in my hands and I hurried to get the hair serum in it so I could detangle it. I really, really hated what shampoo did to my hair. Now, I lose (maybe) one hair when I shower, most times none at all — that one hair looks like a lot because it’s so long, but one single hair, max? That’s not bad. I lose some when I brush or comb, but a whole lot less than I used to. I think that’s a pretty good testament to how healthy it is right now. My scalp also feels really good, so good in fact, that I’ve been able to stop using Scalpicin entirely. If there’s an itchy spot, it’s usually because I missed it when I was rubbing in the baking soda rinse.

Now I’m almost ready to ditch all the shampoo I have left in my house. Imagine the storage I can free up! Isn’t that something — in one week, to go from almost giving in and going back to shampoo, to being ready to discard all the shampoo bottles I still have?

This coming week I’m anticipating that I’ll have to address my hair color, as the natural color is becoming a bit more obvious to me, what with all the lemon juice and such, so, yeah, that’ll have to be addressed this week. I have some ideas, which I’m going to try… I’ll let you know how it pans out next week!

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Filed under Gross Can Fascinate, Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation, Mermaid Envy