"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Huckin' Worms

For the last couple of days, it's rained all afternoon here in Denver. Because of this, we've been seeing lots and lots of worms on the roads and sidewalks as we walk to school in the morning. Our daughter invariably insists on stopping to save the majority of these little guys. I would estimate that we relocated about 15 or 20 of them this morning.

As I watched worm after worm fly into neighbors' yards, I was reminded of a time when she was in Kindergarten and the sidewalks were especially covered with worms. It had taken us about 5 minutes just to walk down our block because we were stopping to move so many worms. I explained to Joey that if we continued to stop for each and every worm, she would be late for school (something she really hates). She just looked at me and said that if we didn't stop, they were going to die. And really, she was right.

So I stopped to think for a moment. What was it exactly that I wanted to teach my daughter? We watch kids grow into teenagers and wonder if they have any idea of what is right and what is wrong. It seemed to me that this was an opportunity to teach her something about the value of life. And it also reminded me of a story I once heard about an old man standing on the beach throwing starfish back into the water. An observer commented that with the next high tide, there would be a whole new batch of starfish and that, ultimately, what he was doing didn't really matter. The man just reached down and tossed another starfish back into the ocean and responded, "It mattered to that one."

Now, I'm not saying that we stop for every worm, or that I never kill wasps or things like that, but for the most part, we're a pretty humane family. We relocate indoor spiders to the wild and we watch where we walk so we don't step on rolly-pollies. So, that day in Kindergarten, our daughter was very late for school. I had to sign her in at the office and under the reason for the tardy I wrote, "Saving Worms."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Super Easy Recipe for Brown Sugar Scrub

A couple of weeks ago, we distracted a friend from preparations for her surprise birthday party by having a girls' day of pampering. When we told her what we had planned, she assumed that it had something to do with diapers. I, myself, have never made that connection between being pampered and Pampers diapers. Maybe it's 'cause I used Huggies. But anyway, I digress.

One of the things that we did was to make a brown sugar scrub. She was impressed with how easy it was, and actually, so am I. It basically has only two ingredients, unless you want it scented. Normally, to get products that don't contain phthalates, parabens, laryl sulfates, or any other nasty chemicals that can absorb through your skin, you have to pay quite a bit. Because it is so simple to make (as well as relatively cheap), I thought I would include it here.

Mix together brown sugar and coconut oil, using about half as much oil as sugar. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature and they sell it at health food stores. If you want your scrub to smell like coconuts, make sure to buy unrefined coconut oil. If you would like it to be more oily, just add less brown sugar.

The brown bowl contains the coconut oil, the green has the plain brown sugar and the orange is the brown sugar scrub, all mixed up. That's the consistency that I like it at, but you can definitely change it to suit your own preference.

If you would like, go ahead and add any essential oils that you have. I have a blend from Birch Hill Happenings that's got vanilla and ylang ylang. It's called Caribbean Delight and works especially well with the coconut (in my opinion).

That's it.

To use, rub a handful of the scrub over wet skin. Once it gets really wet with water, the sugar crystals will start to dissolve and it will no longer be very good at scrubbing, so you don't want to mix it with water before you slather it on. As always, make sure to be very careful getting in and out of the bathtub if you use this. It is full of oil and will make both you and the tub slippery, even after you rinse it off. Especially, do NOT balance on one foot in order to apply scrub to the other foot. You will fall. I can almost guarantee it.

So, I hope you all go out and try this. It's cheap and easy- two of my favorite qualities.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Power Tools vs Elbow Grease

This past weekend, I was invited to show some of my aromatherapy necklaces at a Goddess Party. So with less than a week before the party, I decided that I needed something pretty to show my necklaces on. I was inspired by a super cool tree stand on Etsy, but of course didn't have the time to have it shipped. Also, I wanted to make it way more complicated and intricate because, well, I guess I thought I needed a challenge. Also, I had visions of these Goddesses buying my entire stock of necklaces and I wanted to be able to hang all of them on the tree at once.

Anyway, my sister (who is always up for trying this sort of thing- the more complicated the better) drew up a beautiful tree and transfered it to cardboard for me. We paid no attention what-so-ever to the spaces between those gorgeous little tree tips nor did we give any thought at all to how I would get the excess wood out from between them. I cut out this mock up and was really happy with what it looked like, even in cardboard. I had no idea how much more difficult it would be on the real thing.

So we enlarged it onto the piece of birch plywood that I found in my garage (I knew I was keeping all that wood for a reason!) and I started cutting. Now, for those of you who don't know me, I'll explain my experience with woodworking. I've been around carpenters my entire life (grandpa & various uncles), but really I've only picked up what I know through osmosis, I've never really been taught anything by anyone. Also, I love to watch The New Yankee Workshop, but Norm has more tools than I would have any idea what to do with. I understand the function of about one in five of his tools.

Since we don’t own a band saw or a scroll saw, I was stuck with a jig saw, a drill and a dremel.

If I went around the outline first, the dremel cut down on the tear out from the plywood, but overall it was pretty crude. On the second day, Jeff went and bought me a coping saw, which made much nicer, if not necessarily quicker, cuts. I kept vacillating between speed (the party was in one day) and actually having it look good. Eventually, I got both pieces out the the wood intact, a miracle in and of itself, and got the entire thing sanded to a relatively smooth finish about 30 minutes before I needed to leave for the party. Here is what it looks like for now.

I plan to clean it up quite a bit later, but for now, I'm weary of looking at it. Although even if it is crude, I think it's amazing. I just cannot believe that I actually made this thing.

Also, since I was a vendor, I needed to bring snacks. And since I was busy with this project, Jeff offered to make cake, hummus and lemon iced tea for me. He is so wonderful; I have no idea what I did to deserve him.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Trip to the Hospital

So, Jeff gave me a good excuse for procrastinating yesterday. I spent 5 hours in the emergency room with him. I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say, he scared the bajeesus out of me. Just his willingness to go to the hospital was cause for concern in my mind. Usually, he doesn't do doctors or hospitals without significant nagging on my part.

Thankfully, my wonderful sister was able to pack up her 7 month old and come right over when I called her at 6 in the morning. She got my daughter to school while I took Jeff to the hospital.

The best part about when I go to the hospital is that I tend to have mild anxiety attacks when I see blood and needles. Basically I just pass out. But, since I've had lots of experience with passing out, I'm very good at it. I know when it's coming and can usually get close to the ground before I completely lose consciousness. So, I spent a good amount of time sitting on the floor (having your knees raised up helps).

So, after lots of waiting and reading (luckily I remembered to bring a good book- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and various tests, including an abdominal CAT scan, they decided that he has an Arteriovenous Malformation on his intestines. However, as I was looking on WebMD just now, I think that what they described sounded more like Angiodysplasia. Either way, he was released and told to take it easy for a few days.

So that's good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Meaningful Objectives

So, I'm currently (not, like, right this moment- as you'll read- but just in general) reading through an organizational book that is supposed to help me figure out my priorities and organize my time so that I can accomplish the most important things in my life, my Meaningful Objectives.

So, what is it that I decide to do as I am half way through this potentially life-changing book? I decide to open a shop on Etsy. That shouldn't take long, no more than 20 minutes. OK, so it was more like 3 hours, what with the PayPal account and the banner and then, of course, I've got to list something. I can't just have an empty shop sitting there with nothing for sale. OK, it's gotten pretty late, so I guess it's time for bed. I'll read the book tomorrow.

So far, this is the stage I've gotten to in the book... take all the papers you own and dump them in one box. "Check. I can do that. What's next? Oh, now I'm supposed to GO THROUGH that box and organize everything in it. Hmmm, I wonder what my favorite sellers have in their shops on Etsy today?" Two hours later and I'm thinking to myself, "You know, I've always wanted to start a blog. Well, what's stopping me." Apparently nothing. So, that is why I'm writing this right now.

Clearly, I will go to any lengths to avoid getting organized.

Key Words & Phrases-
Procrastination, Papers, Organizing