Monthly Archives: January 2009

Death by….

Double Safety Razor!!!!

I have decided that I am going to try to move over to a Safety Razor for shaving rather than my disposable head Venus razor.  Another blog writer… Greeen Sheeep… described how her 12 year old daughter used one with no issues.  Surely if a 12 year old can use one… I can too!  I am a little concerned about using it on the underarm where I had my surgery.  This side is very ‘cratery’ and difficult to shave since the surgery. Not happy about that but I may eventually discuss that in another blog.  This is another step into going greener.  A Safety Razor simply needs a new metallic blade rather than a complex metallic, plastic, aloe gel head packaged in tons of plastic.

How are my green baby steps going?

My Lush shampoo bar is only a little over half used.  So my 10$ investment has lasted me 4 months so far.  I will not be going back to that shampoo bar as it still has perfumes, dyes and sodium laurel sulfate in it.  I have found a new source for a more natural shampoo bar at Chagrin Valley Soap and want to try that.  I like the shampoo bars very much and have no desire to go back to shampoo in a bottle.

I am bringing in almost no plastic bags into the house.  I always remember to use my reusable bags for groceries but I sometimes forget for other items.  Eduardo keeps us in plastic bags for kitty litter because he isn’t changing for no environment.  I think this is reducing my use of plastic bags by about 50 or 60 bags a month.

I have ditched liquid lotion and will likely not go back.  This will get rid of that plastic bottle and also expose me to less chemicals.  I bought a glass jar of coconut oil for 10$ and I have started to use that.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but will melt on your skin.   I scoop out about 1/2 a teaspoon and use my hands to rub it into my skin.   I only use this at night because it seems to take a bit for it to soak in and I don’t want to get in on my clothes.  In the morning, if necessary,  I use some super-duper Body Balm from Chagrin Valley Soap that comes in a tin.  It absorbs quickly so I can get dressed immediately.  It is about 8$ and I expect it to last me 2 months using it 4 or 5 times a week for my arms, hands and below knees.  It is also chemical free using only natural oils, Vitamin E and soy wax.  These lotions actually work far better than the ones I used to buy from the pharmacy or grocery store.  Another bonus!!  I also use their lip balm.  Chemical free but it does come in a plastic container.

I have also moved over to a natural soap.  I really like the smell of it.  It reminds me of my grandmother’s soap.  It has none of the chemicals that off-the-shelf soap has.  It is made from olive oil, calendula and a couple of other things. I got this from Chagrin Valley Soap.  I don’t know if I am going to continue using it or not.  I am thinking more of the price than anything.  I love the soap but a small bar is about 2.60$  I have certainly seen soaps that are much more expensive so it is not outrageous.  I have found some Almond scented natural soap at Whole Foods that has completely natural ingredients and no plastic for 1.80$.  I am going to try that and see how I like it.

Before Christmas,  I decided to recycle our paper and cardboard.  I have a sawed off box from Costco next to our garbage can in the living room which the paper gets dropped into.  I have another cardboard box outside the kitchen for cardboard.  When the containers get full,  I dump them at the recyling center on my way home.  This is super convenient as I drive by the drop-off place every day.  I think this has reduced our garbage that goes to the landfill by 50%.

Clothes shopping has been entirely by thrift store.  This is still generally cheaper than shopping at a mall but not by much these days.  Those deep discounts at the mall make for attractive clothing prices.  Eduardo bought some really super nice casual track pant like pants for 10$ at Abercrombie and Fitch in January.

We have been keeping the heat down in the house but the electric bill is still exploding.  The furnace doesn’t go on that much so I have to assume its the lights or plug-ins that are the issue.  Ok… maybe I need to clean the filter to the furnace.

These steps have really been easy and I think they have been reducing our use of plastic, reducing use of chemicals and reducing the amount of garbage we send to the landfill.  Could we do more?  Oh I am sure we could.  Mostly,  I wanted to point out that going green is not all about sacrifice and pain.  The alternative products are potentially just as good or better than the products that you already use and don’t take that much effort to find them.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort to remember reuseable bags rather than take plastic bags.  Switching these things has been easy for me despite my busy schedule.   I could probably do more if I had more time.  One day… I hope to have that more time. 

Like Night and Day

Eduardo doesn’t have work today.  The company didn’t have any work for him so he is ‘laid off’ for the day.  As a result,  we dropped off Piero off at Kelly’s house and Kylie stayed with us last night.  She is so much easier to be with.  She has significantly less energy than Piero and is much quieter.  At times,  I feel like Piero is an energy vampire and just leaves me limp after his visits.  He has trouble concentrating and it shows I think.  He is 6, she is almost 4.  He has trouble putting together a 50 piece puzzle without help.  She can put a 25 piece puzzle together without help.  A good example of his non-stop energy was Sunday morning.  We decided that sick people and healthy people were going to sleep together.  Piero and I weren’t sick so we slept in the bedroom.   I could tell when Piero woke up.  Immediately,  I heard little sounds coming out of his side of the bed.  Quiet little sounds but sounds nonetheless. AIIIEE!!! Por favor… let me sleep!  But no more sleep was in my future.  As soon as I twitched and he realized I was awake… he started talking to me.  He talks more than I do!!!

Contrast this with Kylie….
If we are walking along in the shopping mall or somewhere… we walk along quietly.  She doesn’t say much.  Piero?  He chatters the whole way.  She is out in the living room playing.  I hear some quiet sounds while I am trying to do some sewing in the bedroom.  Then all is quiet.  She has fallen asleep on the floor as I discover when I go out to see what the silence is all about.  After her little nap, she brings a book to us.  She opens it up and out of her mouth pops the words from the page.  She is not quite 4 and she can remember the words from a book I read 2 nights ago.  I have also seen her ‘read’ other books.  When she gets to certain pages,  she knows the words on those pages even if I haven’t read the book for several weeks.  Maybe this is normal for not quite 4 but it certainly blows my mind away.  Piero is just as the point where he can see the same word twice on the same page and realize that it is the same word and he knows how to say it the second time.  Kylie knows certain numbers too.  She was looking at the book I was reading and pointed to the page number and said 24.  Wowsers…. It took Piero at least 6 months of school to get his numbers to 20 figured out.  She can already look at numbers and say them.  I don’t know if the difference is that Piero’s schooling is just exposing her to concepts or what… but she sure seems like a smart cookie.  I think Piero can be smart too but it seems like his inability to focus (or lack of desire) makes it harder for him to pick up concepts that he is exposed to.  She just absorbs them from listening and he must be taught them over and over.

Trivia that you just need to know

There are 19 stoplights between my house and work.  It is usually a guaranteed thing that I will be stopped at 4-7 of them on any given trip between the house and work.  Last night,  I sailed home and got stopped at exactly 1 stoplight. 

And yes… that is the most exciting thing that has happened to me in the last couple of days.

Wedding Anniversary

January 20th is our wedding anniversary.  We have been married for two years.   Eduardo had the day off work due to the Inauguration so I took a vacation day also and we spent the day together.  We didn’t do anything super special.  We got up late and turned on the TV to watch the start of the festivities.  We headed out to the gym together and then came back to watch the speeches.  Obama is a very good speaker!  He had both of us very emotional over the power and words in his speech.  After everything was over, we headed out to new restaurant we wanted to try.  It was a little Bolivian hole-in-the-wall that looked rather run down on the outside.  It had no menu.  The waitress told you which two soups were available and which main courses were available.   You selected what you wanted.  Eduardo was initially turned off by that but was convinced by the great food that the lack of menu was not an issue.  He said this kind of place was very popular in Peru.  Lots of restaurant only served a single dish each day.  After lunch we checked out a little thrift store next door.

The afternoon and evening was spent reading(me) or doing homework(him).  It was a very relaxing day and reminded me of what it was like to actually be a couple rather than two tired people who went to work or dealt with kids every day of the week.

I’m alive?

Friday night I went to bed before 8pm.  I was freezing cold and couldn’t get warm.  An hour later?  I was sweating buckets but if I so much as pushed off a blanket, I was freezing cold 5 minutes later.  I stayed in bed until afternoon on Saturday.  Saturday around supper,  I finally got up and took a shower and had something somewhat substantial to eat.  Then I went back to bed to read and watch a movie.  I really didn’t budge from that bed until Sunday morning at 10:30.

Sunday,  I went to do groceries.  I came back soaking wet. Apparently I wasn’t quite up to the task.  The rest of the day,  I spent it very quietly.  Lets face it… I wasn’t really well enough to do anything else.

Monday…. yep… more sick… and took the day off work.  I still had a fever and I was yakking up stuff from my lungs.  I really didn’t see where my co-workers wanted to be watching that.

So I have absolutely nothing to write about because I have done sweet dick all for 3 days.

Oh… watch the move "The Limbo"… I did… I loved it. 

No cancer

I think the title says it all.  The doctor also said I need to MOVE that arm or the scar tissue will start to bind me.  I have been moving my arm but I have problems moving my elbow above my shoulder level.  Every day I have more and more motion that I can do.  I had been concerned previously that the ‘pulling’ I was feeling when I was stretching was hurting my incision but the doctor says I can not hurt the incision with normal motion – SO MOVE THAT ARM! Yes Ma’am!

I am happy to report that the big bulge that that would appear between my underarm and my breast is gone.  Yippee.  I don’t know what the scar will look like.  What can I say… I am being a little vain.  The scar from the lumpectomy is much longer than I expected and currently very ugly looking.  Nobody is going to see that one except for me and my honey.

Hopefully,  I will feel much better by Monday and I will be able to put in complete days at work.  Maybe in another week I can head to the gym?

Just kick me when I am down

If it wasn’t enough that I was recovering from surgery… I caught a cold.   I ended up taking a sick day from work yesterday.  I had another mind numbing day of being forced to do nothing (not like I felt like doing much).  I read a book, watching some instant movies on Netflix and watched some TV. I am back at work today but still on reduced hours.  I am just totally beat with everything.