Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sweet Smelling, An Internet Miracle

I'd like to say this is another of my happy paleo homemaker blogs. Unfortunately, I think this particular topic  might be drifting dangerously close to super duper hippy territory.  I am not currently wearing birkenstocks or patchouli (in fact you'll be happy to hear I could not even spell patchouli without looking it up). But, it takes a village. If you ever notice a whiff of patchouli or see me in some very unfortunate shoes - Birkenstocks or (heaven forbid) Vibrams - please hold an intervention!

In short, if my lower quarter ever looks like this and standing near me makes you want to plug your nose, call in the troops - STAT!

Anyhoo, I am way off topic. What I want to talk about are natural ways to stop stink - or stink and the wonders of baking soda!

This started with a desire to resurrect a couple shirts. I have a few workout shirts that I love. They are cotton/poly blend, super cute and permanently stinky. I worked out in them for about 6 months (NO, not straight and not unwashed) and it was like sweat became embedded in the fibers. I would put them on clean and before even doing anything I had to take them off because I couldn't handle the smell. So I did a little google research and people suggested baking soda. So, three shirts, a pan full of baking soda and water,  24 hours and one load of wash later I was ready to test the miracle that is the internet. YES!!!  After a day of wearing the shirt in 80+ weather, still sweet smelling!

But, it gets worse, we haven't gotten to the hippy territory yet. For years I have used deodorant from the co-op (so as to remain alzheimer free). I have tried a few different brands of natural deodorants and frankly most of them suck!  There is only one brand I have found that consistently keeps me pretty fresh. Well, my co-op stopped carrying that brand!  ACK!  So, I what did I do?  I went to the internet. It turns out you can make deodorant. And not only that, but you can make it out of things I already have in my house!!!!!!!!

Coconut oil
Baking soda
Tapioca starch (the recipe actually called for corn starch, but I had tapioca)
lavender oil

that's it. And the internet raved about it.

So, this morning I whipped it all together. Put it in a old deodorant container and put it in the fridge (so the coconut oil would harden) and tried it out. AND........

5 hours, 90 degrees, painting, dog walk, changing bike tires + coconut oil deodorant + ex stinky shirt = SWEET SMELLING.

Looks just like the real thing.
I kid you not. It's an internet miracle.

(And I promise, I'm not just saying this because it's me in my own body. I know when I stink!)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Going back go my roots.

1983. That was the year I first dyed my hair. It was my freshman year in college. Over Christmas break I bleached it a bit, so it was essentially my normal color, but a little lighter. And no one noticed (but me and my freshman roommate).  I'm not sure what happened between 1983 and 1993, but then in 1993 the hair dying started in earnest. I went red (well really orange), and was orange for years. In fact, at some point I began to think of myself as a red head (still do).

Hair dye party at Megans - my sister and me! (No, I did not get her permission to use this terrible picture!)
My sister and me with orange hair (Portland marathon). Suzanne's hair flowing/glowing in the wind.
In the 20 intervening years my hair has been red, blond streaked, dark brownish/reddish and everything in between. I'm pretty sure at this point, I no longer have any idea my real hair color. And, of course, my current hair color is so different than it was then (so much grey).

Long and streaked. This was a good phase.
Well, a couple months ago I decided it was time to stop dying my hair. Well, what I really decided was that even though I really like it dark, as it's been for the last year or so, I hate the roots. And, it's so dark that two weeks after every hair dye my roots just start glow. The grey is so light and the brown so dark, that I feel like everyone is staring at my roots. I began to think of myself as one of those unfortunate old ladies with really bad hair dye job and really crazy grey/white roots.

So, I'm growing it out. My hair dresser has a plan to make it a little less painful, but I'm guessing in a couple months it will be pretty clear something is going on. The real question is what I'll think when all this is done. Will I be one of those women to looks beautiful and glamorous with grey hair?  Or will I be one of those who looks old and haggard with grey? Will I like it?  or will I immediately slap some dye back on? Every time I see a woman with grey hair I stare at her, wondering it she looks anything like I will look with grey hair. (Women in this city with grey hair are probably beginning thinking, why is that creepy woman with really bad roots staring at me?)

Feel free to let me know what you think - though wait until the process is complete as I'm pretty sure we are heading into some rough patches. In the meantime, I may have to go buy some hats!

So, this is an attempt to show the current situation.
That's the real me!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Okay kids, I know you have all been on the edges of your collective seats for weeks now, I certainly have been. It is finally time for the great unveiling!  I'm going to do a little before and after action. I am sure there is some way to put pictures side by side, but I'm not that smart.

After + Daisy butt! My goal is to stay counter clutter free!


Sucky after picture.

Before + MB Orchid.

Art shot + Otto

Pre hole.
Post hole- so nice to be able to walk directly to the back room.
Old desk
 And a few of my favorite features..

Pantry, I love my pantry!

I haven't used this, but I know I'm going to love it. A compost bin built into my counter. 

Faucet. I love the look of my faucet. It has bit of a flaw (it's held on by a magnet and keeps falling off). Looks pretty though!

Otto is always my favorite feature!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy Birthday! (This is not a blog about my kitchen!)

My baby is a teenager! Thirteen years ago this month Daisy was born. And twelve years + 10 months ago, I decided I needed a cat. Actually, I really wanted a dog. Okay, let's step back, I probably didn't want either a dog or a cat, but I felt a yearning for something. That yearning translated in my brain to 'I should get another dog'. At the time I owned the insane beast Clayton. And very fortunately, wisdom prevailed and I realized that Clayton plus another dog would be hell. So instead I decided cat and in August 2000 I brought two month old daisy home from PAWS.

At two months, Daisy was the cutest thing you've ever seen. She fit in the palm of my hand and I wished I could not feed her so she would stay cute and perfect. (Fortunately, wisdom prevailed there as well and Daisy gets fed twice a day.)

Unfortunately, Clayton was not into the 'let's get a cat' plan. He was SO JEALOUS. For years Daisy wasn't allowed anywhere near me. But Daisy was brave. When 90 pound Clayton messed with her, she merely hissed and batted him on the nose. Little 2 pound Daisy refused to run for the hills (hide under the bed for months) and stood her ground. Eventually them came to a truce. And then Otto came along and Daisy fell in love.

And over the years Daisy has been the perfect cat for a non cat lover. She's independent. She cuddles, but not obnoxiously. She just likes to hang out. When Otto goes outside she rushes out to stand beside him. When I go garden, she hangs out in the vicinity. She handles staying in the house by herself when I go on trips. She has gone to the vet maybe twice in her life. She's kind of awesome.

I wish I had a picture of her as a tiny kitten. She was so cute, instead, I'll leave you with a few photos from the last few years. Happy birthday Daisy!!

Daisy loves to be exactly where her brother is and if it's in the sunshine, even better!

When she's on the bed Otto always gets all mopey. Very occasionally he'll lie on the bed when she's on it, it's extra cute.

This was the cutest thing ever. You can't really tell, but Otto had a cone on his head and was extra miserable. Daisy kept sticking her head in the cone to check up on him.

Daisy is kind of the ignored member of the family, but every once in a while she gets to play (stick w/ feather attached is her favorite toy).

Psychedelic Daisy.

Lean sultry Daisy!

I used the word cute excessively in this blog, I apologize.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day ?

Okay everyone with me, deep breath in, slow breath out. Repeat deep breath in, slow breath out. Wow, I had no idea how much this kitchen project was going to overload my poor brain. Yes, I know people have real problems - sickness, natural disaster, crimes etc. I know this is a temporary issue that will end in a cool new kitchen, but holy crap, I think I didn't prepare myself for the impact this would have.

Anyhow, enough whine. I'm sure you all want pictures. Actually, maybe you all want me to find something to blog about besides my kitchen.  Unfortunately for that no more kitchen group, at this moment there is nothing else in my life. The kitchen is all!

What is wrong with this picture? Right. No counters. I hear they are on back order for 10 days. Cabinets look good though!

More cabinets and my new silverware holder. My new silverware holder cannot be placed in a drawer because my drawers do not yet have pulls! Oh, and hood for stove doesn't work. Out of the box broken. Hmmmmm...

Wait, when is she going to stop complaining!  New sink is cool. New faucet even cooler! At some point I will have a compost bin built into the counter which will be the coolest. Right now I have a nasty saucepan doing compost duty (Otto recently tore open and broke the bin I used for compost).

New desk. New desk is cool but a little bitter sweet, as I loved the old desk. But pretty none the less!! It's possible I hate the new wall color. Some times of day it's good. Sometimes it's really bad mint.

Refrigerator in its new home. It will have a paneled door and then it will be much easier to open!

New doors and daisy!

I have many ridiculously small cabinets and drawers. Including one which came with it's own note. It is legal here now kids!

Otherwise, this weekend is for cleaning, and we all know how good I am at that!