Monthly Archives: February 2009

Update on surgery

If the goal of the surgery was to get rid of pain in my underarm, it wasn’t a complete success.  I believe that not all of the tissue is gone.  That in fact, the tissue is all the way through my underarm.  About 3 weeks after the surgery,  I realized that my underarm was still puffy in comparison to my other underarm.  Before, you couldn’t really see that ‘puffiness’ because of the larger mass that was situated at the bottom.  Now you can clearly see it… my first period has come around since the surgery and there is pain in the middle of my underarm.  I will admit to having pain there before but it was hard to tell if the pain was a separate issue or just a result of the big blob right next to it.  Obviously, it was separate.   I am disappointed that I won’t be pain free.  Hopefully, this will not grow into some type of mass and I can simply just ignore the pain.  In terms of pain, it really isn’t that bad.


I am not nuts!

Eduardo is fairly certain I am nuts.

I am coming to the belief that the shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps and so on should be as natural as possible.   How did humans survive before chemical were invented?  Surely there were products that were used hundreds of years ago that were useful all on their own without emulsifiers, stabilizers and antibacterial agents added to them.  And some research has turned up numerous things that can be used.  My first shot at sourcing something locally was a bust due to an apparent allergy.  So what have I done since then?

First,  I purchased a bunch of items from a cosmetics ingredient manufacturer.  I bought several things because I wasn’t sure if any of the items would work so I wanted to ensure that whatever shipping I paid wouldn’t be wasted.  I purchased these products based on what information I could find online.  I really believe that it is best to go as natural as possible for ingredients.  And so far… it wasn’t a total bust.  Read on.

Avocado Butter – this is like a thick paste.  It is a cream colour with a slight tinge of green.  It smells faintly of avocados.  I purchased a 1lb tub of it for about 10$.  I have been using this in the morning because it spreads easily and quickly.  Who has time in the morning for anything complicated?  It feels a little sticky when you first apply it but it goes away almost immediately.  My other choice for a paste type moisturizer was Almond Butter.  I selected Avocado Butter isntead because the Almond Butter said it was mixed with Hydrogenated Oil.  Not quite as natural as I had hoped.

Cocoa Butter – This comes in several varieties.  I purchased prime pressed but I could have also purchased deodorized or white.  It is a yellow/brown colour.  It has a VERY strong cocoa smell.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it smelled like chocolate – more like carob.  I purchased a 1lb block of it for around 10$.  I found the smell too strong for me and Eduardo absolutely hates it.  If I went this route again, I would have to say that I would likely go for deodorized.  Cocoa butter will melt if you rub it between your hands.  It does not melt on contact like coconut oil so it does take a bit of work to melt in on your skin and rub it in.  This takes a bit more time but still yields a nice moisturized feel.  It doesn’t feel sticky but rather a little greasy.  This takes a bit longer to go away than the Avocado Butter.

Illipe Tree Butter – This is white and smells like some kind of nut or maybe nut shells.  The smell was unusual but not offputting.  Eduardo liked the smell of this.  The description for this butter said it was the most healing of all butters.  That sounded good.  It also said that it had a higher melt temperature than cocoa butter.  I wish I had of paid more attention to that fact.  Not knowing that cocoa butter did not melt easily on contact, it didn’t occur to me that I might not be able to melt illipe tree butter on contact.  I really want to make sure of this butter but am not sure how to put it in a more useable form.  If you rub a piece of it really, really hard between your fingers, you can get it to melt.  I have used it to moisturize my hands with some work and it doesn’t seem greasy at all.  I may have to experiment with the microwave or something.  This is the most expensive of the three butters that I bought with a 1/2 lb costing about 10$.

So after smelling/looking at the items, Eduardo is not convinced of my sanity.  He also thinks it is foolish to purchase this kind of stuff.  I think some of his purchases are foolish too but I refrain from commenting.  What we want to do with our allowance is our business.  I don’t think it is foolish to reduce the amount of chemicals going into your body.  What goes on your skin, ends up under your skin.

But I didn’t stop there…
I put an order in at Chagrin Valley Soaps.  I replaced my Butter Silk lotion.  This is a natural bar that is made up of several of the components above but melts a little better on contact than Cocoa butter.  I wanted it as a travel moisturizer.  I also put in an order for Castile soap.  Castile soap is made from olive oil.  It is supposed to be so gentle that you can use it on babies.  Most soap seems to be made from coconut products because it suds well.  I wanted to stay away from coconut products on my skin and I liked the sample I had ordered last time. 

I also wanted to try out their shampoo bars.  They have no added perfumes or SLS or any other ‘natural’ chemicals.  Some have essential oils although their Olive Oil bar does not.  I purchased a single Olive Oil shampoo bar because it didn’t have coconut in it and seemed very similar to their Castile soap and samples of their Neem/Tree Tea and Nettle shampoo bars.  Both of these shampoos are supposed to help with dandruff and itching scalps.  This has been an issue for me since before I started the Lush soap and it has actually gotten worse ( I know… I know… TMI)  The Neem and Nettle shampoo bars really do smell horrible.  The kids helped me unpack everything and sniffed everything and so did Eduardo.  We all disliked the strong smells of both of these bars.  I have tried the Neem shampoo bar for the last two days and have to say that my scalp is not as itchy.  I will continue to use it and see how it goes.  There is no getting used to that smell tho! 

I also purchased 2 sisal wash sacks.  You are supposed to put your soap in them and use them as wash cloths.  They hang up to dry.  I thought these might help with soap melting in the soap tray because it sits right under the spray from the shower and soap sitting on the edge of the tub in little plastic containers so it is NOT in the soap tray melting.  I haven’t asked Eduardo how he likes his ‘soap on a rope’.  I find it a little rough but I bet it cleans better than just rubbing the bar over the body.

All told – with shipping – I have spent about 75 or 80$.  Shipping is not inexpensive but I don’t know where to source this stuff locally *sigh*  I expect this stuff to last me months and months as I bought in ‘bulk’ to make the shipping worthwhile.  Am I nuts to want to go with more natural products?  Have I spent too much money?  I sure hope not.  I also hope to make my own soap once I get rid of my second job.  I have found several tutorials for soap making and one of them specifically talks about Castile soap.  Yes the ingredients can be dangerous but it doesn’t sound too hard to do.

I am beat

Saturday was quite possibly the busiest Saturday I have ever seen at my second job.  I can only think of one other day that might have been similar in terms of being busy which occurred last October.   We were so busy that we had problems finding time to put fabric away.  I am still sore from all the work that I did.

For my own personal note since it will mean nothing to anyone else… we finished 36 bolts of fabric.  That is a personal best for us as I don’t think we have ever gone over 20 before.

Things you needed to know about us

A Couple’s Thing….. I snagged it off of Nadine from my Southern Attitude link.  She is a riot.  Go read her.

♥ What are your middle names?
Eduardo (yep.. Eduardo is not his first name) and mine is a state secret.  I would have to kill you if I told you.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with my middle name but for some reason,  I don’t like it.  I don’t tell anyone my middle name.

♥ How long have you been together?
I am not sure when our first date was but lets say July 5th, 2006.  We got married Jan 20, 2007.  Sometimes I joke and say we lasted about x number of years more than anyone thought we would including ourselves.  So soon I will be saying we lasted 3 years longer than anyone thought.

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About one week.  We seriously clicked although both of us started out with no intentions other than practising our language skills.

♥ Who asked who out?
I put an ad on Craigslist for a language partner.  He was one of many respondents.  In fact, he wasn’t even the first respondent that I replied to.  The others were flakes so I finally looked at all the pictures and picked the guy that looked the worst and said he was looking for nothing more than a language partner.  His picture didn’t do him justice WHATSOEVER.  That strategy sure didn’t work! So nobody really asked anyone out.  I asked him to marry me though

♥ How old are each of you?
I am 41 and he will turn 35 in March.

♥ Whose siblings do/did you see the most?
Neither of us have met each others siblings.  Mine live in Canada and his live in Peru.

♥ Do you have any children together?
No and it will be an accident if we do!  His two children seem to be sufficient for the two of us.

♥ What about pets?
2 cats so far and some shrimp.  The shrimp are still alive after 3 years so they are going pretty good for their life-span.

♥ Did you go to the same school?
No. We didn’t even live on the same continent!

♥ Are you from the same home town?
No. See above.  I grew up in Canada and he grew up in Peru.

♥ Who is the smartest?
He is much better at math.  I think I am a better ‘figurer out’ kind of person so I tend to do better in home repair.

♥ Who is the most sensitive?
Without a doubt… Me.  If  he is sensitive, he hides it very well.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Peruvian or Bolivian restaurants.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Sadly,  we haven’t left the state of Virginia.

♥ Who has the craziest exes?
Our ex’s are completely sane

♥ Who has the worst temper?
He does.  I thought I had a bit of a temper but I am extremely mellow in comparison.

♥ Who does the cooking?
Me….He absolutely hates cooking and only does it when forced to!

♥ Who is more social?
Me….I actually will talk to a person.  He doesn’t like to say anything other than Hello and Fine.

♥ Who is the neat-freak?
We are at about the same level.  Just a little messy but not pigs!

♥ Who is the more stubborn?
Both of us can be pretty stubborn but I am more likely to give in depending on the stakes.

♥ Who hogs the bed?
He does of course!  He might beg to differ on that.

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
Me. I’m a light sleeper.  Of course if you are taking about during the work week – he has the crazy ass early hours.

♥ Where was your first date?
Our first date was at his house.  We walked around the neighbourhood and sat in a park talking.  July that year was totally unbearably hot and I ended up with sunstroke!!!

♥ Who has the bigger family?
If you don’t count any steps… I do.  Start adding those steps in and it just gets hairy.  Who can keep track?

♥ Do you get flowers often?
Never.  He is not a flower guy.  I got these amazing truffles for Valentine’s Day though.

♥ How do you spend the holidays?
Holidays? Vacation?  What is that? We haven’t vacationed since our honeymoon.  My second job pretty much precludes enjoying any long weekends.

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
5 minutes?

♥ Who eats more?
It is a draw but seriously, I need to eat less

♥ Who does/did the laundry?
I don’t touch laundry unless Eduardo runs out of time.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
We both suck.  Did you know the IT guy at my job just finished clearing 141 viruses/malware off our home computer?  That should tell you something.

♥Pet Names?
Honey and Honey.

Happy Valentine’s Day

I was pleasantly surprised this Valentine’s Day.  Eduardo is not one for getting little gifts and cards for holidays but I got this very wonderful and beautiful card as well as some lovely truffles.  I love truffles.  We also watched 40 Day and 40 Nights after the kids went to bed.  We both loved it.

I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day with loved ones.

Survey says…

If someone is generous enough to pay for another line on their family plan for your use, you should use how many of their plan minutes?

a) as few as possible.  After all, they are doing you a huge favour.
b) your fair share, even though you aren’t paying for anything, which is the number of minutes divided by the number of people using the plan
c) As many minutes as you feel like using even if it ends up being somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the plan minutes.  After all, it doesn’t seem like the people with the plan are using them.

I figure the answer is somewhere between a and b.  Even if the people paying for the plan aren’t using the minutes for that month…. does it give you the right to use them up?  What if they have a flurry of calling in the last few days of the billing month?  Can we say overage charges?  

How many…

people does it take to change the tail light on our Jeep Patriot?

Two… using one crappy owner’s manual.

How long does it take?

Apparently, it takes about 45 minutes due to crappy owner’s manual.  The picture showed the screwdriver under the flange for the tail light assembly where it says "Remove push-pins"  In actuality,  if you want to succeed at removing the push pins without destroying anything else… you need to use TWO screwdrivers, one in each of the little slots that separate the bottom of the push pin from the top of the push pin, and pry the top of the push pin off.  After about 30 minutes, we finally figured this out.  At that point,  it took about 15 minutes to drive to the store, get the right light and replace everything. 

And just for the record… we didn’t destroy anything in the 30 minutes it took us to figure out what the CRAPPY OWNER’S MANUAL couldn’t seem to diagram.