"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weird Brother and Weird Kid Wednesday

Warning- This post contains violent, comic book images rendered in stuffie form. Just thought you should know in case you're squeamish about that sort of thing.

This is my little brother. Not Tommy, the one I've mentioned before, but his twin, Matthew.


In this picture, he is using my sewing machine to make a birthday present for his girlfriend's daughter, Raven.

Raven loves a comic book that, frankly, scares the crap out of me. It's called Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and was created by Jhonen Vasquex Vasquez, the same guy who did Invader Zim.

If it strikes you as odd that a kid who could write such beautiful and tear-jerking poetry would also love such a twisted story, it shouldn't. Raven is bizarrely creative. And that's what we love most about her. I once watched her play a song using our wall as an instrument.

True story.

So without further ado, may I introduce you to Nailbunny, complete with abdomen hole and removable nail.


Click here for a ginormous version of the picture to see this guy up close and check out the awesome nail channel that I helped Matthew engineer.

(Huhm, it says that my spelling of 'ginormous' is an actual word. Who knew.)

And I'm not sure who is top of the weirdo list for this post, the kid who loves a comic book with a dead bunny nailed to the wall (and who also happens to be a vegetarian because cows and pigs are cute) or the grown man who decided that a dead bunny nailed to the wall would make the perfect stuffed animal for a 12 year old girl.

I guess you can decide for yourself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Homemade Deodorant, yes, I am that person

About a year ago I made my first batch of homemade deodorant from a recipe of Amy Karol's. In theory I liked the idea of natural deodorant (to avoid the aluminum that may, or may not, be linked to Alzheimer's because why tempt fate) but in practice, I never really used the stuff.

So, I gave it to my sister, who loved it and used it all up. It worked so well for her that she convinced me to make another double batch and to actually try it myself this time. So I made a second batch, using the same recipe as the first.


And I loved it too. It isn't antiperspirant, just deodorant, but it takes that job seriously. I've had zero stink. Yes, I still sweat, but I did that with regular deodorant/antiperspirant anyway. I actually have less issues with odor now than when I was using conventional deodorant.

I did have 2 problems with the original recipe, though.
1) It was really stiff. To use, I had to scrape up a little pea-sized ball with the back of my fingernail and rub it around until it melted.
2) Halfway through the batch, the texture became more and more gritty, which started to irritate my underarms. I think the baking soda settled to the bottom half of the container before the melted oils had a chance to cool and solidify.

So, I devised one solution to both problems... our Kitchen Aid


3 parts Shea Butter
1 to 2 parts Baking Soda
2 parts Cornstarch
Vitamin E Oil (use a couple of squeezed gel caps if your measured parts are Tablespoons, more if you're making it by the cup)
2 parts Cocoa Butter (melted and then cooled, but still mostly liquid)
Essential Oils (enough to make it smell good, but not overpowering- I used tea tree, lavender and wild chamomile- it's very nice. Make sure you've used these before directly on your skin to avoid any sensitivities.)

-To the mixer bowl add the shea butter, baking soda, cornstarch and Vitamin E. Using paddle attachment mix at med/high until it is lighter in color (almost white) and somewhat fluffy.
-With mixer running, slowly drizzle in cocoa butter.
-Mix on med/high for a couple minutes until nice and fluffy.
-Place bowl in fridge for 5 minutes.
-Repeat those last two steps as necessary until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
-Add essential oils and mix until blended thoroughly.
-Spoon into lidded container, making sure to clean the mixer bowl immediately because someone in your family is guaranteed to come along and sneak a taste without realizing that it's deodorant.
-Apply a generous amount to clean underarms, making sure to rub it in well.
-Do the happy dance because you at least your deodorant isn't going to poison you.

Important Note- Make sure to store this below the melting point of 75 degrees or so. Once it melts, the texture will be the same as the original recipe.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Museum Wax

Subtitle- How to foil an itty, bitty, shitty kitty.

Actually, our kitty is incredibly sweet. She doesn't bite or scratch. Well, she did lay down 3 pretty decent claw marks about a month ago, but it was only because she's rather clumsy and was falling off the computer desk, scrambling for purchase when she found my forearm. I don't hold it against her.

She does, however, love to knock over vases and cups of water, which is more irritating than you can possibly imagine. Seriously, all the sweetness in the world doesn't matter when you find a soaking wet library book in a puddle of water next to an empty cup on its side.

So we've become super conscientious about leaving out cups of water. But I was still left with the fact that I couldn't have vases of flowers, which made me very sad.

Luckily, one day I found this at the art supply store.


Museum Wax is made to prevent expensive museum pieces from tipping over, even in an earthquake.

But it works just as well for my purposes.


I attach the vases to plates instead of directly to the table because it's difficult to completely remove from the surfaces without running hot water over them. I have seen the Museum Putty and Museum Gel which look like they might be easier to remove, but haven't tried either of them.

And, yes, I'm sure most of you don't have the same kitty problem that I do. However, this stuff holds so well that I'm positive you can find other uses for it. I've been thinking of letting Joey use it to attach shells and rocks vertically to the back of a shadow box.

I mean really, what *can't* you do with something that does this?


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things I Am Not Proud Of

Originally, I wrote this post focusing on many of the things in my life that are, well... less than ideal lately. Not really to complain, but because I find it all rather amusing. And just as I was about to hit publish, I happened to hop over to Flickr and find some beautiful pics that Jenny took at my house in the very areas I was complaining about. It's amazing how much beauty she was able to uncover by simply focusing on it.

It also made me think about our mom, who could walk across a dry field of grass and emerge at the other end holding a bouquet of wildflowers. Her ability to do that always amazed me.


So in the spirit of both full disclosure and unashamed optimism, here are seven things I am not proud of (and a few things that I am)...

Background Info- I've been preparing for a multi-family garage sale and getting ready has used up all spare time, space and energy.

1) I wrote most of this last Wednesday, and am just now editing and posting it.
2) I was just looking at a video from Sunday, and I can see that I was wearing the same t-shirt that I currently have on. (Note- I just reread this and realized that I was unclear... I wore the same shirt from Sunday to Wednesday. OK, I feel better for clarifying that.)
3) I have a patch of thistles in my backyard that is almost as tall as I am.
- Those thistles did create a lush green background for some of my favorite flowers, though.
102NCD80_DSC_4984 - Version 2.jpg
4) When I woke up with a sore throat today, my first thought was, "Ah, I can postpone that damned garage sale."
5) The state of my living room, dining room and laundry room. That picture shows the living room and part of the dining room. I know. It looks like a crazy person, no, a pack of crazy people lives here. (Feel free to click on over to Flickr for a fun Eye Spy game of crapulence.)
- Just out of frame of that picture, though, are my orchids, which I've managed to keep alive and blooming for many years.
6) I had removed a couple of containers full of old leftovers from the fridge and instead of immediately emptying and cleaning them, I forgot them on the counter. They've started to bulge menacingly and I'm worried they will soon explode. I've actually considered throwing all of it away, containers and all, because I feel that the situation is beyond my ability to deal with. And each hour that passes makes the situation that much more dire.
(But I think I may be over-reacting here.)
7) I walked around with peanut butter in my hair for several hours. Jenny insisted on taking a picture of me before she told me what she was laughing at. And I let her.

And the final thing that I'm happy with is the family of volunteer flowers (sweet peas, violas and snapdragons) that are growing out of the rocks in the back yard.
102NCD80_DSC_4898.jpg 102NCD80_DSC_4938.jpg 102NCD80_DSC_4913 - Version 2.jpg

So, here's hoping all of you can focus on the flowers and not the weeds.

And thank you, Jenny, for helping me to do just that.


Let the beauty we love be what we do.