Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dastardly Dentistry

I, like many people, am not a fan of the dentist.
Or the orthodontics.
Or hospitals.

I still have my wisdom teeth. (Yes! For real!)

I visited the dentist today for a general exam.
Many people like to combine an exam and cleaning into one.
I'm not one of them.

I discovered the joyful news that most, as in all but two, of my fillings will need to be redone.

Also, before I continue on my orthodontric path to braces and jaw surgery, I'll need three wisdom teeth pulled.

There's a chance I'll get to keep one, and I hope I do.
Just because, how many people have a wisdom tooth actually come in?

If I get to the point of orthodontics and so forth, I'll be sure to post about it. With pictures.
If there's one thing I learned from the leek juice in the eyeball incident, it's that I should have taken pictures.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Washing without shampoo

I've been reading a lot of articles lately about how we shouldn't wash our hair with the modern-day chemical concoctions we call shampoo. I can get behind that. Chemicals are drying and icky and tend to give you scalp issues if you have a sensitive scalp.

Millions of Americans use shampoo every day and don't have hair or
scalp issues, but that's beside the point. Lets just agree that chemicals are icky.

And lets just say that, yes, shampoos are chemical concoctions.
There are alternatives! We don't need to be held slaves to sodium laurel sulfate.

1. Wash with water and a boar and bristle brush.
Welcome to pre-Cleopatra. Welcome to pre-civilization. Welcome to England, in th
e dark ages.
You get the point. However, if you have a boar bristle brush, and you do a good vigorous brushing after washing your hair in water, you should be set to go. The brushing is essential to get particles, dust and you know, dirt, off of your scalp, and to distribute the natural oils evenly. You'll have a point where your hair goes through a de-tox stage and becomes a source of fuel with the amount of grease and oil it produces. But after that, and with 100 brushes a night, it'll look fab.

2. Wash with water, baking soda paste. Rinse with vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is acceptable, too, I believe.
This also creates a greasy, oily hair phase, but not as intense as straight not washing, from what I understand. This one is to me seems acceptable. After all, baking soda is used in toothpaste, so it's not a far stretch to use it in place of shampoo, right? And who doesn't love the smell of vinegar? The key is to make a paste out of a small amount of the baking soda, no more than a teaspoon (claims the all-knowing internet). Then rub it into the crown of your hair, and rub rub rub. Then wash it out with water. Then, do a vinegar rinse. Your hair will.... feel a sight more clean than if you only washed with water and a bristle brush. Speaking of boar bristle brushes, you'll still need one for this option.

3. Wash less, with a natural shampoo.
This one sounds the mainstream compromise. You avoid chemically concoctions, but still don't feel as if you're hair, while smooth and shiny, may not be fully clean, in the American definition. It also lets you off the hook for washing your hair every time you shower, and lets you claim that you only use natural products in your hair. No sodium laurel sulfate for you. I believe for this option, a boar bristle brush is not required, but is recommended, as brushing your hair with a boar bristle brush is good in any option.

I tried the first option. For about three days. Half-heartedly. Besides, it was the weekend. But I have no tolerance for oily hair, and with fine hair, it was oily on day two and a half.

Option two sounds appealing only if you're out camping and run out of normal shampoo. "No, no suave, honey, looks like you forgot it, but hey, we've got some baking soda and vinegar...."

Option 3 seems to hold the most promise. Pay a lot of money for natural shampoo or make your own, and wash less. Maybe two to three times a week.

I have to admit, I'm curious to find out for real, what will happen if you choose option two. Option one is not really a good one for people with fine hair, but baking soda, vinegar? That could work. Unfortunately, I don't have the gumption to try it. I admit it. I would choose option 3, and toss in a boar bristle brush for good measure. I say would, because natural shampoos are pricey. Sodium laurel sulfate is inexpensive, lathers well, and makes me feel all American clean and squeaky shiny.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Prissiest Prince

A bit of a writing blurb:

"And to what," said I, "do I owe this? You had a fit and pranced about, you prittled and prattled and flapped all about. You twirled and you stomped and you glared and you almost, almost shouted. You pouted and sulked and for what, do you even remember?"

"Yes mommy queen," said the prince. "I did. And I don't remember why. But just let me give you a gentle lovely kiss."

"What would you do with this kiss, you know my answer and though I love nothing more than for my prince to kiss my cheek, I don’t for a second believe your dance is over."

"Just one kiss mommy queen, just one. Take three steps forward, three steps sideways and one little hop. Just one kiss I want to give."

I took three steps forward, three steps to the side, one little hop and a kiss I did receive.

And that is how the prissiest prince who ever pranced had a mother who was a frog.

Leek Juice Attack

I have somehow managed to get leek juice in my eye, causing an allergic reaction, causing my eyeball to swell up.

Now my eyeball is sore.
I have eyedrops.
I have a patch and look like a pirate.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rosemary forests forever

The one thing that threw me off is getting adjusted to working and finding a schedule that lets me do the things I love more than anything: writing, gardening and messing around with pics on the camera.

Today's pic is Rosemary, brought to you by my love of fresh rosemary, usually mixed with lemon and crushed garlic smothered over lamb chops. I've got a bunch growing on my back patio and my front porch.

Yes, that is weak, sad basil growing out of one of the pockets. It'll bounce back. It's basil!

Now, I also love the way Rosemary looks.
Earthy green and strong. I've got a bunch growing on my back patio and my front porch. But the photos alone didn't capture that deep, earthy feeling that Rosemary gives to me. So I changed it a bit.
See the strong branches that the rosemary leaves use for support? The color?
If only there were forests of Rosemary.
I'd walk through them every day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The best dinners are someone else's

Since I'm working now, but still determined to not suffer the 'i work, therefore the family eats fast food death' conundrum, I've re-discovered those quaint little places where you go and prepare like, a month's worth of food, and then stock your freezer.

Defrost it the night before, and the only thing you do to cook after the third 'one of those days' you've had this week week, is come home, toss some veggies in the microwave and some rice in the rice cooker and whatever is already pre-pared in the oven. No prep time. No cutting. No dicing. No slicing. No dinner-preparation clean-up. It's all done.

This is brilliant. I even found a place that puts it together for you, so all I have to do is GO PICK IT UP! For reals! Seriously. All I do is glance at a website, think, hmm, ginger and lemon pork tendorloin, yes, mushroom gouda burgers, yes, avocado fish tacos, no, and so forth.

Sometimes, sometimes... I even order the side dishes...

Something happened though, in the second month, after the 12th pre-prepared meal was cooked and served...

"Mom, this brown sugar meatloaf is yummy." Umm er yes.
"Can we ALWAYS have this dinner?" Err err they may not offer it next month.
"Mom, this garlic bread is the best ever!" Hmm.
"Mom, this chicken is my FAVORITE." ahh. yes.

See? Suddenly, all the food on the table that they eat is... delicious. But. Not. Mine.

I'm torn. I mean, I do still cook. Occasionally.... but those comments on those nights seem lacking.

On the other hand.

12 out of 30 nights a month, food is ready for the oven!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lets talk REVISIONS!

I was told to just send out what I'd written (ACK).

I was advised (by smart, writery people, mind you, not just random people) to just suck it up and push it out the door.


I. Must. Revise.

I'm doing my best to revise, not rewrite, but just.... revise.
I need to stick to the things I know I need to look out for:
  • consistent age of character (yes, I changed her age four times, what of it?)
  • consistent story line (as in, does it make sense?)
  • reads correct for targeted age group (re: I changed her age four times...)
  • is actually decent
I started the revisions and to my not so much joy, I discovered something.

It is very hard to revise one story and write another when you have a day job.



It seems no matter how hard I try, I end up writing back here. It's like my safe spot. My 'no one knows about this place' spot, it's my 'unfocused, unfettered writing' spot.

Wherein I detail all the sordid details of staying at home and now, working and not staying home.

I'll tell you what, now I understand why there are more stay at home mom bloggers than working mom bloggers!

Who has time? Who ISN'T TIred?
How many nights up til midnight can I handle?

And, more importantly, how can I be entertaining when I can barely stay awake?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

By Golly I think I've Got it

A balance I mean.

Check out my website: I changed it around (again) and am fiddling with what I want it to do.

It's where I will slowly (VERY SLOWLY) be transferring all my blog posts.

It seems that after a year and a half of working, I may actually have found a sort of balance.
Mind you, with my life, this will disappear quite quickly.

Anyhow, check it out. There's a lot of fine-tuning I'm trying to work out. Mainly, how to be less dry lol and what topics to focus on. I'll probably add a gardening blurb on their too, since gardening in Colorado has become somewhat of an obsession for me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pondering Week

It's 5 a.m.

This is the time I wish I got up every morning. I'd like to be up, an early riser, at 5 a.m. every morning. Sadly, I only wake up this early when I've got that special allergy medicine head that makes it hard to sleep, or when a child wakes me (despite them all being school-age now!) or you know, I just can't sleep, or I have a bizarre dream, or I have one of those panicky check on the kids moments because I heard one coughing or crying.

And all I can think about is, all the things I'm not doing that I want to do, and how I can fit time into my day to do the things I really enjoy, like, oh writing, spending time with the mutt, and actually taking pictures again.

This is going to be my 'pondering' week. Because at the end of the day, I'm sure I CAN find time to fit these things in. It's, I'm sure, a mindset change. The same mindset change that lets me get up and jog three times a week and do a bit of a workout twice a week.

Maybe, just maybe, I can get up at 5 a.m. to write. Or maybe, maybe I just have to face that I must write at night (I'm by nature a morning writer, all my great thoughts are in the morning. My brain is fried at night). Maybe, just maybe, it's time to win the lottery, so I can stay home again and write more.

This week though, by the end of this week, I will have a solution.
Otherwise, why am I up at 5 a.m.?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Martinis and writing

After one of 'those' days at work, I went home to recreate my favorite, but not-oft indulged, treat: a dirty martini. I like two martinis. I like dry martinis and I like dirty martinis. A dry, dirty martini is a glass of awesomeness.

While making this concoction of Gin and Vermouth, I thought of many of our great writers, and their little problem with alcohol. And how alcohol fueled their creative processes. Well, so I imagine, else why would so many writers be alcoholics?

So I decided to see if a martini, a blissful alcoholic beverage, would help my creative process. I took my 3/1 gin/vermouth ratio (turns out I like 4/1 but hey, I wasn't going to waste the drink) to the writing table. Okay, the couch. And wrote.

We can all breathe easier, knowing that the only thing enhanced by this martini was my opinion of what I had previously written and the word-count, by about two paragraphs.

From this one attempt, I can honestly say that alcohol should not be involved in my writing process, however, since I think myself so much more clever after a martini, it SHOULD be involved in the submission process.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pleasant Surprise at Tax Time and Running Shoes

How literal my title is!

But we did get a pleasant surprise at tax time. Turns out education credits this year ROXXOR the HOUXXOR. Hmm. Houxxor doesn't work for house, but you know what I mean.

However, one thing work has, yet again, done to me.

The Epic Work Weight Gain.

Yes, it has struck.

So now I must diet, as in, not eat... no just kidding, but seriously, now I am back to the stringent eating plan and working out plan that I did when I first moved here and ended up looking amazing.

Do NOT ever stop moving, working out or eating right. And do not eat food provided at work.

Trust me!!!!

Now, if only I can find a way to fit three pages a day back into my life for writing!


Happy Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health care reform, a brief thought

I am a big proponent of health care needing to change. I've had enough personal experience to have a deep-seated loathing for the insurance companies and their vested interest in doing as much as possible to deny coverage. I'm still fighting my previous insurance company because of one day my son spent in the hospital. They disagree with the doctor and the hospital who kept him in. Because, they would know.

So Health Care Reform? I'm sorry, but yes. Absolutely.

Here's where it gets tricky though. I believe this debate is less about health care and more the Republican's Great Stand in a power-play with a Democratic Washington. Because, when you look at the bill provisions, both parties aren't that far apart. Republicans and Democrats absolutely could have worked on this together, but instead, Republicans chose this issue to stand over, and lost.

I think the consequences to the Republican party are irreparable, because now that the day is won by the Democrats, the news focus will change from news of the battle to news of the victor. And, when the provisions start taking effect, and more Americans actually have insurance coverage, more individual plans will be made available, and the down-and-dirty process of enacting health care reform starts, people will pipe down. They might not want to give up their new health care policy. The fight was charged, and bitter, but in the end, as always, it was Politics, and the true effects of this decision won't be felt for years.

I will say, whichever side you are on, the one thing that absolutely needed to happen was a reform of the health care system in America.

I will also say, whichever side you are on, this fight was more politics than policy.

Will Healthcare Reform cure all? No, but it's a step in the direction everyone wants: better healthcare coverage, more healthcare coverage for poorer Americans, and better choices.

Hate it, love it, it matters not. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whoever, at the end of the day, prior to today, health care policy in Washington was written by the insurance companies. You may not agree with how health care is being reformed, but you have to agree it needed to be reformed, and America, IMO, couldn't afford to not do something. It's just a shame this had to be the battle ground. It's a shame we can't have a united government working in the interests of America. It's a shame Democrats and Republicans are so caught up in party politics they forget that the majority of Americans suffer for it.

And, at the end of the day, I believe most Americans were in the middle on this particular battle. The majority wanted a reform, but between the bullets flying from the Right and the Evilization of Health Care Reform, and all the noise, the majority, like me, stayed quiet, watching, wondering, hoping that at the end, what we end up with is not what we already have, a ridiculously broken system based on profit margins for insurers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring sunshine and... snow?

So today was in the 60s, sunshine and happinesss....

Tonight and tomorrow: snow. Piles of it.

I personally don't believe it. I'm a big spring fan, and like to think that winter is done when it's done. But this is Colorado, and blizzards in spring are not unheard of.


I'm hoping for rain!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Except not.

I was thinking the other day about some of the articles in newsweek regarding the gender gap in pay and promotions.

Studies show it doesn't have anything to do with women having children and the dual role many women find themselves in, but I think I disagree -- it is because women with children are balancing two major roles and whether or not the husband does equal share, for most women (and really just ask most women) they take on the family role in ways that can't always be measured, but have an effect on work.

I think it's still only a small percentage of men that leave the workforce to raise a child, and we live in a culture that has taken a turn toward placing more value on moms that stay home -- it's okay now to take a few years out of a career. This is a good thing, but it does mean going back into a career can be a bit dicey, and the income you earn may not be as high as if you hadn't, and in some cases, as when you left. Here's a few non-statistical reasons the gender gap could still exist:
  • Many women take on jobs and careers, but put a lot of effort into balancing the two -- this balance often leads to women not working overtime as much, not doing the political-social games work requires as much and having to take time off to be with a sick kid. Whether or not the father is doing the same is moot. When a women leaves work to take care of a sick kid she's a 'mom' first.
  • Women without children are still expected to leave the workforce and have a baby by their male counterparts -- think I'm kidding? I worked in a largely male environment and when new woman came onto the team through conversations she let people know she had no desire to have children. I was flabbergasted when through casual conversations, many of the men (young men, mind you, who should know better) still believed that in a year or so she'd end up wanting a baby. What they told me? All women come in saying they don't want kids, but most really do and they'll end up getting pregnant and leaving.
  • Women who have babies are considered 'questionable' after their pregnancy/maternal leave is over -- this is called risk management, and probably affects every pregnant working woman. The risk is that the woman will decide she doesn't want to return to work after maternity leave, even if she says she does. Some women do find they don't want to return to work, so despite what the woman says, the possibility still exists she won't return. Therefore, a pregnant woman will find that key projects, roles or responsibilities don't land on her plate.
  • Women often have multiple priorities in their life -- this is the biggest one I think. Women aren't just living in a world where the top of the ladder is the goal. They are looking for that plateau with a wonderful view where they can both work and raise their children. This means they may not climb as ambitiously as some men might, or it may mean they take a year or five off to raise young children. Or it may mean that they have other goals and desires not met by their career.
I'm not trying to make a statement here. But I think until women get to a point where the rules of the workforce work in our favor (and ultimately in mens' favor), where there are many different routes and options to success than one ladder up, and where taking time off isn't the death knoll it currently is, the gender gap will exist. We still live and work in a very patriachal culture that views work as one big game of King of the Hill.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sometimes you have to share

New vocabulary word:


Yes, it's something you could have easily lived without knowing.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Countdown to Spring

Well now that I'm back, I was hoping I'd be wittier. My posts would be meaningful. I wouldn't just babble about Bear and Turbo and the Drama, or worse, talk about how I am starting seeds indoor now for the garden and my peas sprouted so crazily that I have to already replant the sprouts...

No... I wasn't going to do that.

Except that I am.

However, when I am witty, and post intelligent thoughts, it'll be on my other site, which I started a while ago and aptly ignored :)

But back to Countdown to Spring... ready?

Here are my top five goals to accomplish before spring:

The Ability to Wear Shorts and T-Shirts -- this requires eating better, losing weight and explains why I've re-subscribed to Shape magazine

The Ability to Use a Rip-Stick -- I call it a wiggle-board, and for me it's easier to deal with than a skateboard, but I have yet to accomplish going more than 10 feet on it.

The Ability to Consistently Blog
-- Because I'm convinced my spring blogging will be SO much more entertaining than ever

The Ability to Grow Plants -- Last year I grew a cool salsa verde garden: tomatillos, cilantro and tomatos -- I'm hoping to have a rousing success this year with everything... and not go overboard on tomatoes. Seriously. One tomato plant is enough.

The Ability to Wake Up at 5:30 a.m. and Be Happy About It -- It's a long shot, but hey, if I can just get up at 5:30, I could do sooo much more by ten a.m. then most people do in a day...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's been that long!

Time passes quickly, but you don't realize how quickly til you check your blog and you're like oh my holy hell, the last time it's been updated, was December! YIKES...

Today is a day of spring. It looks like spring. It feels like spring. My six year old is coughing like it's spring. Therefore it must be spring. I have, however, spent enough time in Colorado to know that we've got a few more cold days, and a snowstorm or two left to go, before we can honestly yell about spring.


Happy Spring-like day!

And to celebrate this spring-like day, I shall remain here, home, with my coughing 'allergic to spring' child, and plant some seeds indoors. Because, yeah, sure, I can take the day off from work for my sick kid and you know, do laundry and clean, or, I can do fun spring stuff, like plant seeds.

Cuz I sure as heck n crap didn't stay home to clean and do laundry!