Category Archives: Love/Loathe

Sister Sky Products

When we visited Oklahoma over the July 4th holiday earlier this month, my friend, and her family took us on a driving tour of a few areas local to her house. One of those places was a quick stop at the Chickasaw Nation Visitor Center and in there was a display of some body products.  I sampled the lotion on my skin, and the scent stayed true and clean for the 10 minutes or so that I walked around.  I was pleased, because a lot of products that I sample turn musky and musk scents give me headaches.

I went back to the display and picked up a bottle of the lotion, shampoo, conditioner and body wash and dropped $45 for the lot.  I felt like I’d walked out of Bath & Body Works, but with only one scent.  The only scent they make (or at least that was sold there and on their website):  Sweetgrass.  It is refreshing, subtle and clean smelling and stays true all day.  I fell in love with it.

I’ve used the Sister Sky sweetgrass products now for almost a month and I am so pleased with them.  The shampoo and conditioner require only a very small amount to get through the entire length of my hair — which is a lot of hair.  The body wash doesn’t dry out my skin like some soaps do and the lotion stays on, even after washing my hands.  I just placed an order on their website for more (I’ve got another 2 months worth in the bottles, but I like having inventory), and am going to try their “Kevin’s care” lotion for eczema or distressed skin, as I have a recurring rash on my arm that happens when the PH balance is off in the swimming pool. I’m hoping that the special lotion will help.

I try a lot of products and am often disappointed, but this time my quest for finding something unique and different made it all worth it and as long as this company continues to make these products, I will continue to buy them.

You can find their website here:  link, and they have a Facebook page, too:  link


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Filed under Love/Loathe, Who I am

The Other Side of Bliss.

There was an accident outside our community tonight. It was a white mini-van and a small white pick-up truck. When I saw the white minivan, I held my breath without realizing it, praying without realizing it, that it wasn’t our next door neighbor. When we passed by and saw the woman on the stretcher, maybe it was bad, but I breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t a neighbor we knew and my prayer changed to one that she would be OK.

Someone ran a red light in front of me the other day. His light had been red for at least 5 seconds before he sailed through. The guy next to me was so angry about it that he blared his horn at the person. Too late, of course, the law breaker was far on down the road by that time. I was just thankful that I had been checking my son in his car seat and hadn’t gone when my light had turned green.

I finally received my disability payment today from the state. They pay that stuff by issuing a debit card now, which I guess is supposed to be all hip and cutting edge, which is what I thought at first. But then I realized, it’s kind of a pain in the rear for those who already have bank accounts that they like, because then you have to create yet another login and password, initiate a funds transfer, which then takes up to 2 business days to complete. Plus, the debit card is issued in an account with Bank of America, which is not a bonus to me since I absolutely loathe that bank.

I caught a cold from someone last week and have been praying that William doesn’t catch it. If he manages to somehow avoid getting it from his main provider of food who breathes on him, and can’t avoid coughing on him, it will truly be a miracle. But then he’s a miracle, so maybe it’s not that far fetched of a hope that he remain healthy? I took some Children’s benadryl to try and help with my cold symptoms, but am being very careful about what I take as I don’t want my milk supply to suffer. As a result, I’ve had a couple bouts of insomnia this past week. Apparently, I’m one of those people that benadryl, instead of making me sleepy, has the opposite effect. Let me tell you, it really sucks to lie in bed listening to my newborn baby cooing in his sleep from his co-sleeper, hearing the house creak around me, knowing the minutes and then hours are ticking by and that everyone in the house is asleep but me.

I guess I should be glad I didn’t have any other orifices that stuff could come out of, because my ears are crackling, my eyes are red, my nose is dripping, my mouth is coughing out stuff that shouldn’t see the light of day, my breasts leak milk, my southern area is still working on recovery… and that just about sums up how I’ve felt this week.

The other night, I was nursing William and my nose was dripping. Rather than drip on my son, I shoved a kleenex up the offending nostril and just sat there, defeated, while William ate in blissful oblivion. I must have been quite a sight, because my husband walked by and stared for a second, told me how sorry he was for me, and then started laughing. Five minutes later, my mom did the same exact thing. They both apologized for laughing at me, but honestly, I can’t blame them. In fact, I almost wish I had asked them to take a picture of it, because I’m all about recording the reality of the moment.

Anyway, I think I’m on the mend, or at least I hope I am. My husband thinks he may be catching some form of something and is trying desperately to find someone to blame it on, but since his symptoms in no way resemble mine, I’m not allowing him to lay it at my doorstep. So far William hasn’t caught it, thank God, and let’s continue to pray that he stays healthy and strong. Because let’s face it, I would rather be the one with insomnia and sick than for it to be the other way around!


Filed under Gross Can Fascinate, I Worry A lot, Love/Loathe, Our Kid is Cute, Sometimes I Sleep

Blogabilities – Week of 03/27/11

* Since I’m not allowed to go swimming right now (doctor’s orders), I’ve been using my “swim time” as “scan time.” Surely you remember the family photo archiving project I embarked on back in … 2004? I’m able to get through two years each night (thank goodness my mom wasn’t a photobug like me!). I just finished scanning year 1982 and came across this picture taken in Gettysburg of two of my cousins sitting on a cannon. It’s not a very good picture, which is directly correlated to the camera (a pathetic 110 deal where the viewfinder didn’t match the lens, so all the pictures it took were skewed to the right, usually cutting any person on the left of the frame in half, and also only one speed of exposure), not the skill of the photographer (an 11 year old girl who was in a hurry).

It makes me laugh because I always think, “Hey, that cannon must have just boomed a ball out!” I mean, why else would the picture be so blurry, right? Nothing like action photography in my imagination.

* Our local grocery store has been undergoing a remodel, and so they were clearancing some of their inventory at unbelievable prices. I’ve wanted to try pretzel chips for awhile now, but not to the tune of $4 a bag. I was thrilled (absolutely thrilled!!) to find bags and bags of them, in all different flavors, on clearance for $.79. Also, cinnamon sugar pita chips. Awesomely delicious.

* This hot sauce from taco bell. I like it so well, I’m thinking of going there, ordering one taco and grabbing a handful of them for inventory.

* I’m usually one for vivid, dramatic sunsets, but yesterday’s was so gentle and soft and peaceful… and it was soothing. I snagged this picture over my backyard fence.

* My hospitalized fish has started intermittently eating again. She has been on a hunger strike for the last month or so, so it’s a huge relief to not have to vacuum moldy food out of her tank every night. Apparently, she is very stealthy about the whole eating thing, and won’t eat if you’re looking directly at her, but if you peek around the corner, you can see her darting out and getting food. Tony reported on the beginning of this miraculous happening a few days ago.


Filed under Blogabilities, Kid Substitutes, Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe – Week of 03/13


* Teaching people common courtesy at the gym. Like, if you want to split the lane I’m swimming in, let me know before hopping in with me and going for it. I have my diatribe down now (three months of practice), and I’m not shy about letting them hear it. People can be so rude.

* Our little Nemo passed away this week. We know he had a good life, longer than it would have been in someone else’s home. We miss him, though, he was such a happy little fish.


* My mom stayed with a friend of hers and his family for a couple nights, since we’ve been busy with work and stuff this week. When he drove her back to our house tonight, he brought us a gift of Korean pears. My first thought was, “Why a gift for us? I should give YOU a gift for driving her around, entertaining her and feeding her!” So I gave him some cookies I had baked.

* Another FREE salad from a meeting at work today. This makes me happy!

* St. Patrick’s Day dinner (Green Dinner) is this weekend. My mom gets to attend this year and I just know she’ll enjoy it! (I must remind her to pack earplugs for the bagpipe player…) Also, green nail polish and holiday appropriate socks — love it!

One Last Thing:

I recently read Home to Holly Springs, authored by Jan Karon. It’s a fictional tale of retired Father Tim returning to his hometown where he reunites with childhood friends and discovers he has a half brother who needs a stem cell transplant. Father Tim’s blood matches, and he begins the arduous and painful process of harvesting the cells from his blood to engraft in his newly found brother’s.

One page of the book details how Father Tim called his bishop, and then a chapel, and then friends in another county, another church, another friend, with the purpose of asking them to spread the word that prayer was urgently needed. Any prayerful person — he needed them all to petition God in prayer for the procedure to be successful. That when he had left his dying father’s bedside years before, he had in a sense let him go. But unless God himself ordained it, he was not going to let his brother go. The page is concluded with, “He was marshaling troops, he was calling up regiments, this was war.”

It was powerfully written, I could nearly imagine the accompanying music build to a crescendo in my head as I read it. But more importantly, it reminded me that vulnerability is the key for relating with our fellow people — enabling us to request prayers and support.

If you would then, please pray for us tomorrow, Friday, over the weekend, and continuing next week. I will be undergoing a medical procedure and we would really appreciate your prayers for its success.


Filed under Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe – Week of 03/06


* I still have a lingering cough from the nasty cold I caught three four weeks ago. It’s a mild cough, just annoying as all get out to me, as I have high expectations of my lungs when swimming. Someday it will go away. I think.

* The gym’s pool. I’m just holding on to the light at the end of the tunnel — one more month until our community pool is heated and I can swim outside again. One more month. One more month.


* My life right now. It’s far from perfect, but I am so thankful for what we have.

* Do you know what this is?

Yes, yes, it’s a salad. But it’s not JUST a salad. It’s an enormous (the picture doesn’t do its size justice) FREE salad that I brought home from work after a meeting. Why people don’t eat salads is beyond me, but I’m not questioning it too deeply; since it wasn’t eaten, and I didn’t want it to go to waste, I brought it home. We will surely eat it.

* Last weekend, finally, I finished straightening my back yard. It’s been in messy chaos since December (thanks to painters and fencers) and I’m so glad it’s back the way it’s supposed to be, instead of all topsy-turvy.

One Last Thing:

I’m posting a day early because my mom lands in our life tomorrow for 2 1/2 weeks. Just thinking about seeing her makes me feel excited, apprehensive and tired (can I be tired in advance?). Marathon visiting, entertaining, transporting and feeding someone who’s not normally with you everyday takes energy!

I know the next couple weeks will go way too fast and before I know it, she’ll jet on to her next destination and we’ll go back to our routines. So, I intend to fully enjoy every moment I can wring out of the next couple weeks.

Hmmm, mother-daughter relationship — let’s just hope the wringing doesn’t reach our necks!


Filed under I have Family, Life Encompasses Me, Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe – Week of 02/20


* Taxes. I’m bemoaning and missing the “once upon a time” when our taxes were so easy that I could do them myself in an afternoon and get a hefty refund for the effort. Hopefully, likely not next year, but the year after, our taxes will be that way again. Accountants are wonderful, and well worth it when taxes are complicated, but the pocketbook and my attitude pay the price.

* When a 4 month old waterproof watch decides it’s not going to be waterproof anymore. I was lap swimming the other night (what else is new), checked my watch to see when I could change to a different stroke and saw a bubble of water inside the plastic. Water in electronic devices=never good.


* Popcorn and milk. A friend of mine says she likes popcorn and a can of soda, has to be soda for her. I get that, but for me that’s just OK. Or popcorn and hot cocoa… that’s OK, too. But when it gets right down to it, and I’m serious about it, it’s popcorn and a glass of really cold milk that does it for me.

* Having a cat on my lap. Or two. The more the merrier!

* Only two weeks until I get to see my mom. Hooray for mom visits!

* My bosses are back in the office tomorrow (for a day or two). Yay! I’ll be super busy, but so happy to see them.

* My SportCount. As a result of my waterproof watch dying, I recalled that I had one of these SportCount things. I had one of the original models back in 2007, but after a couple months it developed a defective button. Their customer service guy mailed me a new model, but the new model didn’t have a “pause” button on it. At that time, I wasn’t able to lap swim without stopping to catch my breath. Now, I can swim nonstop for hours on end (seriously), and so the new model is perfect for me. So happy!

* Competent vendors. We have our new back yard fence installed now and I just think it’s the most wonderful thing. Also, these vendors actually did the work without damaging anything back there or, you know, injuring themselves. Remarkable.

One Last Thing:

My mom likes to tell stories about when I was a little girl, one of the foremost traits I exhibited was an uncanny knack for planning ahead. I would make my own lunches the night before. I would pick my clothes out for the next day the night before. I still do those things, in case you were wondering, I’m just that kind of person, I guess.

But the specific story my mom likes to tell as an example of this, is how one night, mid-winter in Oklahoma, I wanted a piece of toast, so I went and opened the door and headed to get the bread. “Why’d you open the door? It’s cold out there.” She said to me. I, in my 5 year old wisdom replied, “I’m going to make some toast.” As it happened, our toaster would always burn the toast, no matter what setting you put it on, it burned the bread. Of course, after the toast was burnt, the door to the trailer would get opened to air the place out. She then realized I had linked the two, and by opening the door ahead of time, I was planning ahead for the inevitable.

Lately it seems that I’m going through a phase where, no matter what I’m doing or how careful I am, I always manage to slice my finger. In fact, one day last week, I cut myself one night and then the next day, I “paper cut” the same place with a file folder. As I wrapped a tissue around it, I thought, you know something? When I go to cut things, I should just put the band-aid on before I do it. Maybe spare myself a cut?

So tell me, how do these people do this without ending up with a bunch of cuts on their hands?


Filed under I own a Home, Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

Love & Loathe – Week of 02/13


* Several things, but nothing I’m at liberty to share. Look at me, being all vague and ambiguous.

* Creating picture heavy blog posts. They’re a lot of work! *mops brow* (I came back to the top of this post to add this point, by the way.)


*Jack jammies. Tony bought me these crazy jammies for Valentine’s Day, and I just love them. Plus, i got a huge laugh yesterday morning when our little bird saw them for the first time. She totally freaked out and flew across the room. This morning she did better, but was still giving them the long neck with feathers down, and keeping a wary eye on them.
So excited to get them, I tried them on for the first time under my work dress!

Yoda giving them the long neck, wary eye treatment this morning. Hilarious!

* Homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies, with dried cherries in them. Quite delicious, if I say so myself. I’d made the chocolate chocolate chip recipe before, and knew it was a good one. The dried cherries were an inspirational addition. These cookies are so good, I could easily eat about 10 of them and not feel ashamed at all. If you gave me a weird look, I’d hand you one and go, “You try just eating one…” I suppose the addition of cherries allows me to call them “Black Forest Cookies,” doesn’t it?

* Yawning pictures of cats… and seeing my boys back together again. I can’t believe it took a month before Tug accepted Snug back as his buddy. Next time, buddy, you’re going to the vet, too, even if it means I have to pay a day’s boarding fee.

* Facing a three day weekend. I plan on doing absolutely nothing for at least one of those days. Like, maybe even not taking a shower! Gosh, that sounds appealing to me.

* Going to IgLots! We didn’t find any Igloos, in case you were wondering.

* Everyone in our community is getting a new vinyl fence in their back yard, courtesy of the HOA. This is something we have desperately needed (due to termite damage) for the entire 5 1/2 years I’ve lived here. While it’s a big deal, because I had to move all my plants (again) and my back yard is in total disarray and chaos (again), I’m so grateful for this. So grateful, in fact, that I’m giving the fence vendors some of those delicious cookies I baked.
The old fence. Notice how it zig zags?

* I solved the 360° Rubik’s puzzle. Have you seen these? It’s a bit of a double entendre trying to describe how it’s solved. I’m brave. I’ll forge ahead with it and tell you that it involves many balls, sliding parts that go in circles to line up the holes to get the balls in their holder, and then to keep them there you have to slide another part to lock them in. Also, it involves much patience.

One Last Thing:

I wheeled into the parking lot at work last week and saw two ladies who work on the 1st floor of our building wielding saran wrap like a weapon in the parking lot. They were giggling and jabbering at each other like a pair of teenagers at a sleepover.

I smiled at them as I walked past, hoping they wouldn’t touch my car with that stuff, and hurried up to my home on the 2nd floor of the building. I settled in and a bit later went and peered out the window and gasped in surprise at what I saw.


My co-worker and I went outside a bit later and took some pictures. Several of the people from the 1st floor company were outside, too, and we were told that “a practical joke had been played on a practical joker.”

Later, the saran wrap was in a big wad in front of the car, and by the end of the day it was overflowing the trash can. Gotta say, that was quite the practical joke!


Filed under I own a Home, Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe – Week of 02/06


*Weird mystery sickness. On Monday, I developed a cough. But it doesn’t seem to affect my lungs when I’m swimming. Maybe it’s a backwards cold? Like it’s starting in my lungs and moving up to my throat, nose and ears. That’s what it seems to be doing. So we’ll just call it the weird backwards cold.

* I’ve been in an anxiety type of funk the last month or so. I’ve constantly felt as if I’m battling anxiety attacks. Being in constant battle against that sets me on edge, which then makes me feel stressed out. But this past weekend, everything just kind of leveled out for me. Hormones, most likely.

* The worst enormous-bumps-under-the-skin acne I’ve had in years. I’m pretty good at disguising them with makeup, at least I think I am. I must be. Because last night I washed my face and Tony looked over at me after he brushed his teeth and said in a horrified, yet fascinated voice, “What’s that?” He leaned in closer and peered at it. I replied, “A really bad pimple.” He goes, “Wow, that’s huge.” I replied, “You’re not making me feel better about it.” He goes, “But it looks like you ran into a wall or something.” Me, “Do you really want to go down this path when I’m hormonal already, AS EVIDENCED BY MY FACE?” The man is usually pretty tactful, but like I said, it’s really bad acne.


* Snug and Tug. Their love affair has returned to normal, mostly. Despite that, Snug has continued his recently established routine of a late night love session with me. I love, love, love this. It’s so sweet.

* The CEO of my work offered to bring me a Starbucks this morning. There is so much I’m not saying here because I could turn this into a post all by itself. So I’ll just say, even though I declined (I bring my coffee from home), I’m taking it as a compliment.

* We had mountain time last weekend. Rented movies, popcorn, hot chocolate, extra sleep… you know how much I love our time in the mountains. *grin*

* I took the time to change out all the CDs in my 12 disc CD changer in my car’s trunk. It took maybe 5 minutes to do, and then I asked myself why I hadn’t done it sooner. Now I have “new” tunes to listen to and I added some worship CDs to the mix. I’m hoping they improve my attitude as I sit in traffic, and don’t make me feel like a hypocrite; you know, praising God for his marvelous works while cursing his creations for their stupidity?

* Flavored licorice. Twizzler’s newest – Hershey’s chocolate and cinnamon fire. Be still my heart! Pay no mind to the nearly empty bags.

* Aloe vera juice. Introduced to me by my friend, Grace. Curse you Thank you, Grace, for sharing your delicious addictions discoveries.

One Last Thing:

The pool at our gym has been closed by the health department for an indeterminate amount of time due to “chemical imbalances.” If you know me, you know how big of a deal this is to me, because I swim every single day. I have a routine! Or, should I say, I had a routine.

Fortunately, there’s another branch of our gym not too far from us, but it’s really, really busy. Their pool is one swim lane smaller than our regular gym and it’s not unusual to have a line of four or five swimmers against the wall, all waiting to get in and get their laps in. It’s crazy!

I truly hope our regular gym’s pool gets fixed quickly! I feel like a mermaid out of water…


Filed under Health/Endo, Love/Loathe, Mermaid Envy, Money Hump Building

Love & Loathe — Week of 01/30


* Confrontations, setting boundaries and picking my battles. Some people seem to handle these things so naturally and easily. For me, it’s definitely a learned behavior, and something over which I agonize, strategize and analyze… and am still learning, albeit clumsily at times.

* Double standards. If it’s illegal to drive in the bicycle lane, then it should be illegal for everyone, including police officers whose shift is ending.

* My dear husband has been sick this week. A lot of men tend to become big babies when sick — whining, complaining and wanting to be waited on hand and foot (no offense if that’s you). Not Tony. He just gets very, very quiet and sleeps a lot. Normally, he has such a big personality and so much happy energy, that it’s these times, even though he’s right there, I miss him so.

* Rough days at work. They really get me down. Today was one of them. Everyone I work with was under a lot of stress today, including me. Now I’m hoping/praying everything will be OK tomorrow, and the things I delegated at the end of the day go smoothly and don’t come back around to bite me in the rear. (sigh)


* The word “cozy.” For me, it evokes the imagery of fireplaces heaped high with wood, knit blankets pulled up against the cold, hot chocolate, a good book and a loving pet on your lap. You want to make me happy during the winter season? Just tell me to stay cozy and warm…

* The weather the past couple of weeks has felt like spring here. It’s so weirdly wonderful. All the magnolia trees and flowers are blooming, with highs in the mid-70’s°F, and mid-40’s°F at night. Some refreshing showers last Sunday… what exactly is this blizzard stuff of which you people speak?

* A good post-exercise stretch session. Some stretch sessions are better than others, so I decided to track this anomaly for a few months. Surprise, surprise — I’m suspicious that the tension in my muscles, and their ability to stretch out, are related to hormonal levels throughout my cycle.

* The painting of our home is complete. Not without some challenges — apparently one of their workers fell off our patio cover and had to go to the hospital. Yikes. Oddly, after all that, our home doesn’t look any different; still the same beige, except it’s NEW beige. Whatever. I’m glad it’s done… and done after the holiday season, when it should have been scheduled in the first place.

One Last Thing:

I spent my lunch hour with this fellow one day last week. I guess he felt safe because he was quiet, just hanging out there, walking around in the grass and looking at things.

Something about birds doing birdly things makes me happy inside. Perhaps it’s the seeming simplicity of their lives, and how they welcome the new day with happiness and joy — raucously singing their unique songs (or discordant cawing, as the case may be).

I guess I wish that for everyone, including me. The ability to grasp each day with joy as it comes to us, and sing (or croak) along with the radio or music in our lives, or at least smile at those we meet.

Can we learn from the birds?


Filed under Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

Love & Loathe — Week of 01/23


* Finding used band-aids at the bottom of the gym pool. I pulled this one out last night, as I have every night this week, because I refuse to swim with that in there with me. That gives me such an “ewwwww” feeling. So gross.

* Also, another gym pet peeve, people who leave their empty bottles/sample packets/trash in the shower stalls. Wads of hair in the shower drain are bad enough, but then leaving trash behind? Disgusting. Lazy. Rude.

* Slow races. Three cars across and no acceleration. Best to just hang back and let them figure it out, but I do find it quite maddening.


* Having my bosses back in the office. They’ve been traveling pretty extensively of late. Most people think it’s easier or quieter to have them gone, but it’s not. When they’re out, they’re often communicating in “Blackberry speak,” followed by chunks of time when they’re inaccessible. But mostly, I miss their energy and the in-person interaction.

* My attorney friend was finally able to resolve the HOA issue… yesterday. One day before the scheduled “special hearing.” Thank God for good friends in high places. Now the knot in my stomach can dissolve while I re-think my strategy for dealing with this type of conflict in the future. The vendor was actually in the wrong but, as with any situation, there are things I can cultivate and learn from this.

* All our pets are healthy again. My hospitalized fish will be going back in the big tank in a few days – when I’m ready. Snug had his follow-up visit for his teeth cleaning and it went well, everything looked good. This health thing is a HUGE thing.

* Squirrels in the snow.

One Last Thing:

I was going to write something deep and meaningful, but it’s been a long week filled with much thinking, deep thinking and tiresome thinking. So much, deep and tiresome, in fact, that last night while I was swimming laps I got to the part where I was kickboarding and I bumped the pause button on my stopwatch and didn’t realize it.

I was kickboarding away, checked my stopwatch and saw I was at 25 minutes and thought, “OK, 8 more minutes…” and then went back to my thoughts. I checked a few laps later and thought, “Huh… weird, I swear it said 25 minutes a few minutes ago…” A few more laps and I realized the back of my legs and abdominal muscles were becoming fatigued, checked the watch again and went, “Oh hell.” I realized then I must have gone about 20 minutes additional with the kickboard than I intended. Oopsie.

It’s OK, though, that just means more chocolate for me!


Filed under Love/Loathe