Archive for May, 2010

May 31 2010

Memorial Weekend

Let’s see, what’s new?  Oh, I know!  I may or may not have broken a bone in my finger.  Last week, The Man and I were working on getting a gate installed, so that eventually I can just open a gate and walk into my berry patch instead of disconnecting a section of fence and crawling under the netting.  So, I’m holding a post, and he’s got the fence-post rammer in ramming position.  And then he brought the rammer down, the post slipped into an old hole that we weren’t planning on using, and my finger got squished between the gate and the post, or the gate and the rammer, or the gate and God’s Angry Hand Of Vengeance.  Whatever happened, the outcome was not good for my finger, which would no longer bend and the second knuckle and was swelling alarmingly.  I went to the doctor the next day (because this happened at around 6 PM) and got some X-rays done, and was told by the X-ray dude that it might take 2-3 days for the films to be processed and for anyone to get back to me.  So, I waited two days, and on Friday, after hearing nothing, I called my doctor only to find that his whole office had shut down for the holiday weekend.  I guess I’ll call them tomorrow.  This must be that outstanding American health care system that everyone is so adamant that we never change.

So, this weekend we ran around a lot.  The Man went to a minor-league baseball game on Friday night, and I did not.  On Saturday, we went to a birthday party for D– and C–’s daughter, who is now 16 years old.  On Sunday, we went to church, then Grandma’s, and then to The Man’s dad’s house.  And today, we worked and worked, mostly at getting the pool up and some water in it.  Filling the pool is a 3 – 4 day process, because instead of paying someone to bring us a whole lot of water, like sane people, we use a hose.  The Man also mulched around the dwarf cherry bushes, and I mostly stood around and stared, because having a gimpy finger makes it hard to pull weeds and stuff.  Setting up the pool was a real blast, too.

The other thing I accomplished this last week was getting a web site up for my “business”.  If you are interested in seeing what I’m up to in that line, check out aftertwelveonline.com.

Annnd…the kitchen ceiling just started to leak.  Joy.  Must go.  Must get a bucket.

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May 26 2010

Manners to melt the heart.

Published by under Snippets,The Fam

We were over at The Man’s dad’s house, and so were most – if not all – of his siblings and their children. Anyway, I was in the kitchen with a couple of The Man’s sisters. The kitchen has a doorway that leads down several steps to the back rooms of the house – the family room where the kids like to play and the scrapbooking room where they are absolutely not allowed. So, I’m in the kitchen, and Mimi – who is two – is making her way backwards down these several steps. And I’m casually watching her, but not really, because she does this a million times a day. Only this time, she loses her balance. Right before she falls over backward, we lock eyes and I see a look on her face that clearly says “DANGER! ABORT! FAIL!” I try to catch her, but that’s a lost cause, so she kind of fall/stumbles down three carpeted steps and lands on her back, shocked. I go to her, and pick her up and check her over to make sure she isn’t actually hurt. Once I pick her up, she kind of brings herself up to speed and starts crying, mostly from shock. Her mom, Bellanna, comes out from the scrapbooking room and I tell her what happens. She takes Mimi and gives her a hug, and says, joking, “Did you thank Aunt Jas for coming to your rescue?” And Mimi, with her arms wrapped tight around Bellanna’s neck, looks at me and sobs out “Tha-a-a-nk yoooou…”

That was probably both the cutest and most pathetic “thank you” I’ve ever gotten in my life.

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May 18 2010

Homespun beauty.

Published by under Beauty

In my last post, I talked very briefly about the thing I was doing with Mackers – namely, that I was making up a bunch of body care stuff.  I’m really having a lot of fun with this, quite honestly.  I bought a whole bunch of supplies and some different bottles and whatnot, and I’ve been throwing things together and trying stuff out.  Tonight I made my first batch of body butter, and so far, I am really liking it.

I’ve been fooling around with homemade beauty stuff a lot lately, because I figure if I can make it at home for pennies instead of buying it from the store for dollars, why not?  I have the time.  So, this post is about two things I’ve made and tried at home, and how they stack up to “traditional” products.

OIL CLEANSING

The first thing I tried was the oil-cleaning method for my face.  I’m not going to go into the whole thing here, you can follow the link if you want, but the short version is: you clean your face with oil instead of with soap and water.  It’s supposed to make your skin soft and clear your pores, and work with your skin’s natural oils instead of against them, making your face less greasy.  And, it’s cheap and chemical-free.  I was intrigued.  I tried it for a month, and while my skin didn’t get MUCH worse, it also didn’t get any better.  My pores were actually less clear and my skin didn’t glow any more than usual.  The one thing I did discover is that I liked using olive oil as a moisturizer.  The skin on my face is kind of dry, but it’s really easy to overdo with the lotion.  However, I found if I put just the barest amount of olive oil on, I was doing pretty good, and my face didn’t grease-slick midday.  But, since I’ve got all these super supplies laying around, I decided to ramp it up.  I mixed up one part olive oil, one part jojoba oil, and added in some tea tree essential oil.  That’s what I use on my face now, instead of moisturizer.  (I went back to washing with Cetaphil, which is what my dermatologist recommended I use).

Lots of people rave about this method of cleaning your skin, and I think it’s just one of those things:  either it works with your skin type and body chemistry, or it doesn’t.  For me, it was a step down.

HOMEMADE DEODORANT

The second thing I’m trying I just started today:  homemade deodorant.  I’ve been struggling with my deodorant/antiperspirant for awhile.  I don’t know if I’m particularly sweaty, or if my love of fitted t-shirts works against me, but I tend to have some underarm wetness and I am NOT about that.  I don’t even lead an active lifestyle…like, at all.  “Active” for me is going to the grocery store.  I’m not saying that I’m gushing sweat (ew), but dang, as far as I’m concerned, if I’m just driving my car, why SHOULD my armpits be damp?  I tried Certain Dri for a time, but it made me itch, badly.  I would put it on before bed, as instructed, but a few minutes later, my armpits would be SO ITCHY that it would be hard to sleep.  Obviously, something in there didn’t like me.  I tried roll ons, solids, semi-solids, different brands, and nothing really worked.  So, I decided to try the basic homemade deoderant recipe I’ve seen on the internet:  1/4 cup corn starch, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 5 tbsp. coconut oil.  I don’t have coconut oil, but I have jojoba, so I mixed it up.

The first thing I noticed is 5 tbsp is WAY too much oil.  The mix was supposed to have a “Play-Doh” consistency, but what I had was soup.  I kept adding the two powders until I had the right mix, and then I added some essential oils, just for fragrance.  I tried it out this morning, and here’s what I have to say:

  • A little goes a long way.  If you gob too much on, it’s going to clump up rather badly.
  • It feels really dry going on, which is a good sign.
  • Definitely not something I would wear with a little black dress or anything like that – there seems to be more rub-off than you’d see with a commercial product.
  • After the whole day, I don’t stink and I never noticed any wetness.  At all.  This is very encouraging.

I’ll keep using this stuff.  I’m reserving judgment until I’m further in, since new things have a tendency to perform outstandingly with me at first, and then slowly begin to suck.  However, I do like the idea of this stuff.  I like that there are at most four ingredients and none of them are aluminum, which has been getting some disturbing press.

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May 06 2010

Just the usual stuff.

My husband asked me today to set up a blog for him.  This might be a sign of the coming apocalypse.  I’m not sure.  I need more time to analyze this data.

Another sign of the apocalypse:  I’m really not feeling my own blog, lately.  Between Facebook and Twitter and my Droid, it seems like I do a lot of writing, and staying in touch, but when I look back over what I’ve actually DONE in a month, in terms of writing, it’s not much.  But what do I have to write about, really?  I have a pretty quiet life.

The one thing that is sort of not quiet right now is that Mackers and I are embarking on a new business venture.  I guess I should say we’re sticking our toes in the water of a new business venture, because we are Cautious Cathys (or at least I am).  She’s doing some perfumes, massage oils, and therapeutic balms and such, and I’m working on lotions and salts and lip balms and your basic “I feel pretty” things.  For now, the plan is to share booth space at several local craft shows and see what happens.  Our first show is coming up June 12 and I am a Nervous Nelly (see, personality crises abound!) because it is a New Thing and, as we all know, I am not big on New Things.  New Things give me stomach pain.

SPEAKING of stomach pain and new things, The Man and I were recently up north at Dr. Mom and Moll’s, and we discussed taking home Milo, a Corgi who belongs to one of their neighbors and who is a very sweet boy.  However, my Big Anxiety prevented this from happening, as I could not get over the utter nervousness of taking another dog home and having it not work out for various reasons.  I’ve been dog-burned.  Therefore, Milo remains with his owner, who is OK with that, and we remain dog-free.  This makes me a little sad, but it’s probably for the best right now.  Our cats are old and cranky, I’m a bundle of nerves, and introducing a new animal into that mix is….well, let’s just say The Man has only so much sanity to go around.

I’ve been working on the gardens lately.  I got some tiger lilies from my Grandma and some bluebells from Milo’s owner.  I moved some stuff out of the berm that was taking over (FYI: yarrow spreads like a mofo) and added some things to the butterfly garden, which I’m now calling the St. Francis garden, mostly because there is now a statue of St. Francis back there.  I call him Frankie-baby in my head, which is in NO WAY respectful, but I can’t seem to stop myself.

Also, this year is The Year of Seeing If We Can Get Edible Apples (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) and also The Year of Keeping The Stupid Birds From Eating My Berries.  There are now nets over the berry patch and we are spraying the apple tree for the first time ever.  Let’s see if that extensive pruning campaign paid off, shall we?

I’m looking forward to the summer,  but I know I’m getting old because it was JUST February like, yesterday.  Tomorrow it will be August.  Time flies, tempus fugit, whatever you want to say.  Sometimes I’m scared that I’ll wake up at 55 and think “What did I do with my life?” but, day-to-day, I’m happy.  I’m content.  I don’t really WANT to be out there, doing some exciting job, making the big bucks, or seeing the world.

Hey, this entry sure went all over, didn’t it?  I think this is what happens when I don’t write enough.  Verbal. Spewing.

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