Sunday, October 28, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY… October 28, 2012

Outside my window... Rainy and cold.

I am thinking... about how I should already be in bed.

I am thankful... that my husband shares his Kindle Fire freely.

In the kitchen... someone should clean that place up.

I am wearing... the blouse I was wearing all day, but I’ve switched out the skirt for lounge pants

I am creating… Power Point presentations.  Its more fun that it sounds.

I am going... to check the weather again before I go to bed, as I have done every 30 minutes all day long.

I am wondering...  if we’ll get snow in the next couple of days.

I am reading... A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle, Jesus the Christ by James Edward Talmage, (the list is getting smaller)

I am hoping... for said snow.

I am looking forward to... to the election being over.

I am learning… to ignore irritations.

Around the house... some sweeping should be done.  It’s the never ending battle I fight.

I am pondering... running I the midst of hurricane Sandy in the morning.  Preparing for a 10K.  Can’t skip the run.

A favorite quote for today... “If everyone voted, there would be an immediate revolution.” – John Adams

One of my favorite things... audio books

A few plans for the rest of the week: Halloween festivities, or dealing with storm devastation.  Your guess is as good as mine.

A peek into my day:

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Presidential Debate #3

Meh.

Here is the thing about the third debate: It was mostly Obama and Romney trying to sound very different from each other, trying to make it sound like they were right and the other was wrong, all while saying most the exact same things.

Listen folks, there are a lot stark and meaningful differences between Obama and Romney, but foreign policy is not one of them. Mitt talks a big game about Obama’s failures, but it is also pretty clear by everything he said he path is not much different.  Indeed, there was an awful lot of agreeing during this debate.  It was very un-debate-ish. 

I think the big issue is really when foreign policy comes back to the budget, and military spending.  Romney is caught up on giving the military more money—money that they are not asking for, don’t want, and don’t need—and Obama is pretty obsessed with continually pointing that out.  Which I think is unnecessary, because it is not likely to ever be a real thing anyway.

Both men did fairly well in the debate.  There were no gaffes, no glaring mistakes, the fact checkers were not incredibly busy.  Overall it was just kind of boring. 

Like I said: Meh.  I’m sure this debate didn’t sway any voters one way or the other.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Homemade Bath Oil

Please read my homemade disclaimer.

Throughout August and most of September, I was engaged in a fierce eczema battle. I was doing a lot of oatmeal baths, which was helpful (And easy to make, by the way.  Never buy an oatmeal bath.  Just put oatmeal in the blender.  Done.) and soothing, but not in any kind of long term way.  I came across the idea of a bath oil and played around with the idea of buying one. Of course, I chose to make one instead.  I found it here.

image1 cup of olive oil
1 cup of castile soap
1/4 each of almond oil
jojoba oil
grape seed oil
1/2 cup of aloe vera juice
1/2 cup of honey
15 drops of tea tree oil*
10 drops of lavender oil*


It’s easiest to just pour all of the ingredients into a 64 ounce bottle (I use an old glass juice bottle) and shake it all up.  And, it needs to be shaken up before each use, because the honey does separate and sink to the bottom.  Pour a cup or two into your bath water, depending on how full of water your tub is, and how badly your skin needs the help.  You’ll want to take a shower or at least rinse really well afterwards. 

Also, this is mostly a really affordable bath oil to make, except for the jojoba oil.  Jojoba oil is SO good for your skin, and I totally understand its addition in the bath oil.  And when I’m really battling the eczema I’ll always include it.  Otherwise, it is still a great bath oil without the jojoba, so don’t let the cost of that alone stand in your way.  If you don’t want to spend the money on it, just make it without it.  It is still great.
Really great.  When I started doing this during my latest battle I was finally able to sleep at night.  It provided SO much relief.  I will never not have this in my bathroom again.

For the record, my latest battle has mostly come to a close.  Whatever it is that grows in Virginia in late summer that makes me flare up, is dying with the cold weather.  I did have a little break out on my arm last week, and instead of bathing with the oil, I just used it like a body wash on the part of my arm that was suffering.  I let it sit for a minute before washing it off.  Worked like a charm.  I wouldn’t always do that though, or I’d go through it too quickly.

For some quick relief from itchiness, you might also be interested in my Homemade Anti-itch Cream post.

*You’ll want to make sure that you use therapeutic grade essential oils for this.  I get mine HERE.  They have quality oils at a great price.  And they aren’t even paying me to say that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY… October 21, 2012

Outside my window... Autumn in full bloom.  It’s a shame it is going to be in the mid to upper 70s all week.  That actually makes me feel angry.

I am thinking... about why Thing 1 some times cries out in the night, but when I go to check on him he is never really awake enough to tell me why he’s crying.  And he just keeps crying.  And he never remembers it in the morning.  Also, this always wakes Thing 2 up.

I am thankful... for all the fun we’ve been able to have as a family over the last month.

In the kitchen... black bean brownies.  Oh yes.  And so good you feel guilty eating them, even though there is NO reason to feel guilty eating them.

I am wearing... the nice fuzzy robe I get out when the weather gets cold.  Perhaps a bit premature this year.

I am creating... excuses to stay up late.  Not really interested in seeing the end of the week-end.

I am going... to be tired tomorrow.

I am wondering...  when I can get some free time.  Alone.

I am reading... A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle, Jesus the Christ by James Edward Talmage, Uprising by Shelly Crane (*sigh* It’s the same list.  I just haven’t had time)

I am hoping... my iTouch doesn’t die before I’ve taken the smart phone plunge.  I have apps I can’t live without.

I am looking forward to... Halloween.

I am learning… to involve the Things in housework more.  If I include them, I get less irritated when they just get in the way.

Around the house... I should get some stuff up on the walls.  Two months later and all I’ve put up are calendars. 

I am pondering... nothing.  I’m all pondered out.

A favorite quote for today... "Elitism is the slur directed at merit by mediocrity.” – Sydney J. Harris.  (I’m not sharing that because I agree with it, but because when I read it I thought, “That’s something a snob would say.”)

One of my favorite things... Getting in a warm bed on a cold night.

A few plans for the rest of the week: same ole, dinner with a friend, Halloween festivities this week-end

A peek into my day:

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There is lots of this in and around my yard.  I don’t hate it.  At all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Farm Days

We had more autumn fun today.  A local farm does an activity they call Fall Farm Days.  Corn maze, hay ride, and all manner of festive autumn activities. 

DSCN2060We did the corn maze, and we made great time.  We employed the “always turn left” method. (When there is the option of taking a left turn, you always take it.  This allows you to explore all the avenues without repeating or back tracking.  For example, you don’t make the mistake of coming out of a dead end, and choosing the path that led you there over again.  There were several signs (spiders, witches, bats, etc.) throughout the maze, and we never approached the same sign from the same direction twice. It’s a time saver.  Of course, the same principle applies if you “always turn right.”  You just have to pick a direction and stick with it.)  We were told the maze takes an hour.  We were done in 30.  Sadly, there was no prize for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also enjoyed a hayride, which I don’t think the Things could have been more excited about.  See their faces?

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That’s why this is the best time of year.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Presidential Debate #2

I had all of these thoughts about the debate Tuesday night.  And I was planning a brilliant write up of them.  But then there was THIS.  And then THIS.  Just watch about the first ten minutes of each, and that about sums it up.  So, since I don’t need to add any further commentary, I’ll just share this:

Nobody puts baby in a binder.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Fun

We went apple picking.  I don’t have much to say about it, other than we came away with a ton of delicious apples and the Things had SO much fun.

Mostly I just wanted to share their cuteness:

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That is all.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thing 2 is 2.

Indeed.  Today he is two years one month.  For some reason I have a hard time posting about birthdays within the birthday time frame.

He is a pretty delightful little person.  A couple of months ago he started using sentences, which is always a blessing and a curse.  The “I love you”s are fun, and the random “I found you”s when he’s decided to play hide and seek but didn’t tell you first…  There is also, of course, the fair share of “No! That’s mine!” and “I want snack!” that are a bit overplayed, if you know what I mean. 

At his two year appointment we learned that he is 50th percentile in weight and 90th in height.  That explains why pants that fit his waist are too short and pants that are long enough fall down.  Alas.

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Birth Day 1 Year 2 Years

Friday, October 12, 2012

What a Debate Should Look Like

I meant to post about the debate between Obama and Mittens last week, but just never found the time.  Now I’ve got two debates two share my thoughts on, with the second making my memories of the first more fuzzy.  Alas.

You love that smirk, right?
Mittens took it to Obama, there is no doubt about that.  He lied (oh how he lied!  you CAN’T mathematically do the things he says he will do.  NOT POSSIBLE!  Please start demanding REALITY Americans.  PLEASE!) throughout most of the debate (he was hammered by factcheckers in the days after) but he came across as confident and… personable.  It was weird.  Of course, he also interrupted both Lehrer and Obama repeatedly. He smirked.  He rolled his eyes.  He chuckled inappropriately.  I’m not mad at him for it, though.  Those things make a good debater.  And it was far from what was expected of him, so I think he presented even better because he was exceeding expectations.  Obama, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment.  Where was our president?  He was distracted, sluggish, and generally unprepared.  He was so far removed from the Obama we’re used to (again, expectation was a thing.  I think he looked worse because of what we are used to.) that I’ve heard a lot of talk from pundits about whether it was strategy.  Perhaps he is playing the long game?  It is the precedent for the challenger to do well in the first debate against an incumbent.  They call it “sharing the President’s glow”.  There are those that have been saying that Obama was banking on this, and so playing into it with the plan of true engagement in the next two debates.  Perhaps.  But I think it’s a risky strategy.  I think he might’ve just blown it.  A better strategy would’ve been to call Mittens out on each and every single one of his lies and half truths and demand some facts.  Speaking of….

This is what “Mwahahaha” looks like.
Biden faired much better against Ryan last night.  Ryan held his own.  And by that I mean he wasn’t totally awful.  He was definitely the rookie.  He just didn’t know what he was getting into sitting across the table from Biden.  Biden did what Obama should have done in the first debate.  He made the factcheckers job easy by factchecking on the spot.  I’ve seen, on the internets, people slamming Biden for the amount of times he interrupted Ryan.  (86? Or something like it.)  Thing is, I’m pretty sure that’s because Ryan tried to lie 86 times and Biden wasn’t having it.  And they say Ryan only interrupted Biden like 6 times?  And they’re explaining it’s because he’s polite.  Pfft.  Like I said.  Rookie.  Letting your opponent get away with just talking and talking is what losing debaters do.  Biden knows how to win a debate.  Which is what he did.   

Of course, every conservative I know was saying all kinds of hateful things about Biden after the debate.  Poor losers, really.  They say he’s a jerk because: He interrupted.  He smirked. He rolled his eyes.  He chuckled inappropriately.  Wait… that sounds familiar.  Funny. No one was calling Romney a jerk last week…

In the end, I don’t know if Biden’s win was enough to make up the ground Obama lost with his disappointing performance.  It’s such a tight race, it’s hard to tell.  I had this idea that a Biden/Romney debate would be awesome.  There is that part of the US Constitution that says the VP steps in when the President can’t perform his duties right?  No?

Well, then Obama needs to bring it next week.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY… October 7, 2012

Outside my window... Cold and rainy day.  I love it.  I wish so badly that is wasn’t going to warm back up this week. 

I am thinking... about Christmas presents.  I need to get on that.

I am thankful... that my eye doctor is open on Saturdays.  Fitting that into the schedule was gonna be a beast otherwise, and I’m relieved to have gotten a much needed appointment out of the way.

In the kitchen... chick pea flour.  Super useful.

I am wearing... cotton maxi skirt and a t-shirt.

I am creating... a calendar for the Things.  So that they can master days of the week, months, seasons, etc.  It’s almost done.

I am going... to run another 5K on Saturday.  woohoo!

I am wondering...  when Thing 2 will be done with those two year molars.  We all need some sleep.

I am reading... A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle, Jesus the Christ by James Edward Talmage, Uprising by Shelly Crane (*sigh* It’s the same list.  I just haven’t had time), and Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

I am hoping... to replace this laptop with an Asus.  Someday.

I am looking forward to... cold weather!

I am learning… that to be better at running, you just have to run more.

Around the house... someone needs to clean up the week-end mess.

I am pondering... Halloween candy.  Do I let Thing 1 have the stuff with food dye in it (he reacts badly) or do I weed it out?  Last year I just let it go during Halloween, but it was a difficult couple of days.  Mind you, if I take away the candy he can’t have, it will still be a difficult couple of days.  It’s a toss up.

A favorite quote for today... "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." – Napoleon Bonaparte

One of my favorite things... Thing 2’s new favorite game of running around the house and throwing his arms around each of us in turn and saying, “I wuv you!”  It’s the most precious thing when Thing 1 is the target. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: all the busy stuff, with the 5K on Saturday

A peek into my day:

Both gluten and corn free.  I love.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The 47%

I’m gonna come out right up front and say that I’m tired of people talking about the 47%.  So, that must mean it is time for me to talk about it, no?

Here is the thing about good ole Mittens.  To anyone who is paying attention, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he has no understanding of what it is like to be normal and make a normal income.  He has a totally skewed perspective of people who live in middle class, much less those who live below the poverty level.  That he would accuse half of the nation of lacking personal responsibility doesn’t come as a big shock.  It’s only shocking that he was dumb enough to say bluntly in an arena that allowed him to be caught saying it.  Even that is only mildly shocking.  I mean, come on.  It’s Mittens.

But what has me fired up to today about the 47% is a bumper sticker that I saw while driving around town today.  It had a cheesy picture of Obama and said something to the effect of “Work harder, because 47% of Americans need more of your money.” 

I just find that infuriating. 

Listen, I don’t know what is more disturbing: The idea that the rich seem to believe that if they get a break, they will work harder, but if the average American gets a break they will work less OR the fact that they’ve convinced so many of the rest of us.  So anyway…

Dear Bumper Sticker Sporter,

That 47%?  It includes your children’s teachers.  Your fire fighters.  Your police officers.  Military personnel.  Senior citizens that have worked all their lives to take care of their families, their neighbors, and their communities and now need the help of others.  It includes students who are working towards degrees in the hopes of finding jobs in the work force that will pay into economy, community, and society.  It includes single mothers working three jobs that know a damn share more about working hard than you ever will.  It includes families just like yours that are doing their best to pay into the economy and into the society and are incredibly grateful for the break they get at the beginning of every year when they file their taxes. 

And when you pay your taxes, and some of your money goes into the pool to help those people? What the HECK is wrong with that?!?  Do you realize what you sound like when you complain about it? 

Hint: You sound like a selfish jerk.

Sincerely,

Me

PS I don’t want to hear your BS about welfare.  States spend, on average, less than 2% of their GDP on welfare.  Welfare is not breaking the bank.  Corporate tax cuts are costing us way more than that all on their own. 

Photo

That is all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Homemade Face Lotion

Please read my homemade disclaimer.

imageThis is a pretty simple idea, built off of an even simpler idea.  Lots of people just use aloe vera gel as a facial moisturizer.  I’ve done it, and it works fine.  My thing is that I really feel like my face lotion should include some SPF (redhead, fair skin).  I came across the idea of adding in a skin friendly oil to the aloe vera gel to enrich the moisturizer, and thought that would also help to incorporate some zinc oxide into the whole thing.  And it does.  It works great.  My biggest complaint is that it has to be kept in the fridge.  Of course, this is only true if you get straight up aloe vera gel that is all au natural – the stuff that is safe for consumption if that is what you are going for.  Sadly, it is all I have right now.  There is stuff you can get that is not safe for consumption because it has preservatives.  I feel like this recipe might be better with one of those types, so that you could keep it in the bathroom.  Just FYI.

1/2 C Aloe Vera Gel
1/8 C Oil of Choice (grapeseed, almond, etc.)
2 or 3 tsp zinc oxide

I also added a few drops each lavender and tea tree essential oils.

The best thing about it is that you can choose an oil that is good for your skin (drier skin? olive oil. oily skin? almond oil. I feel like grapeseed is good for combo skin like mine, it’s what I use) and tailor it to your needs.  And it really does feel great going on and throughout the day.  Alas, the walk from my bathroom to my fridge every morning is taxing my lazy bone.  I’m not sure I can keep it up….  Winking smile

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