The Truth of the Matter

A longtime – like 30 years longtime – girlfriend of mine noted that she hadn’t seen a recent post from me. I was so elated that she actually read my posts and more so that she looked for them. She began naming all the reasons why I hadn’t and was indeed spot on. I told her that she should submit a post here and she smiled…hmm we shall see.

It has been a week since that conversation. And not a single post was posted in that time. Why, you ask? Why indeed. There are plenty of topics on which I have an opinion and tons of goings on. I could have updated you about the ‘wee one’ getting bronchitis or how I have had bronchitis and am still coughing. Or that we had 6 more inches of snow this week and yesterday was the first day of spring. I could have given you my outlandish completely baseless theories regarding the missing flight 370 and how I really want the plane to have been plane-napped so that the people on board have a better chance at survival. I could have told you all about my little plants, or the wood purchases for a garden box or about the challenge that is my hair. About how my heart broke or how it heals.

But I realized something. That more than anything, I was afraid. Scared that no one would want to read what I have written. That you would careless about my ideas or opinions or random statements delved in my own idiosyncrasies. This outlet, this social connection, this information station could simply be a nothing. A non-starter. A failure. I am afraid to fail. WOW!!! I hadn’t realized it now.

I learned that I am afraid to die. I wasn’t always. Before my 27th year, I would have been pleased to meet my maker. I adore Him and had no regrets. Then a gave birth to a perfect being and fell so much in love that I became afraid. Scared to miss something, scared to not see him as a young man, frightened to not meet his children. I feared not being able to balance nurture with the nature, not being able to teach him all he should know and instill in him love of God, family and country. Oh there were so many fears associated with being forced away from that boy too soon. But mostly, a fear that I would fail him.

I feared failing you. Not entertaining you to the best of my ability. Not educating or learning or creating or inspiring you enough. Not being enough, for you, the reader.

I am getting over it. I am enough. I am alive. I am growing.

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In Case of Emergency – Dig

We are expecting 3-12 inches of snow. If I seem to disappear for a while, send the dogs to find me and dig. I’ll be under the snow.

I reside in the Mid-Atlantic where the shoreline and mountains are the outliers to cities and suburbs. My neck of the woods gets snow each winter and I can say with all truthfulness that 3″ is about it or any one snow occurrence. All of our weather (except August heat waves) can be considered moderate. Not too much, not too little. Enough snow to be a pain in the tuckus. Enough rain to moisten your basement. Enough wind to blow the siding off. But rarely enough to make you stock up on supplies and prepare for days of ‘going it on your own’.

Still, the effect of climate change is glaring. Yes, I said it. Climate Change! I don’t care whether or not climate change is a natural phenom or a man-made disaster. That simply isn’t the point here. The point is that the Mid-Atlantic climate has changed for the worse. The school where I work has already cancelled all classes after 5 pm today. It is only 3 o’clock and there is not a single snow flake on the ground. The snow won’t even start until after 8  tonight. Everyone is a little nervous. We are all used to the forecast of a lot and getting a little. But here lately, we get a lot.

Ohio derecho damage

Ohio derecho damage

Two years ago, we had a derecho. I had never even heard of such a thing. We get hurricanes all the time, but by the time we see them, they are full of rain and bluster but the bite is much weakened. Not the derecho. I can’t even explain to you the destruction I witnessed. Huge trees on the ground. No, they didn’t fall over. They looked as if someone had grabbed them and twisted them in half. For miles and miles and miles the damage was, simply put, everywhere. We lost power for 4 days.  Some folks  were without power for 10 days. The derecho was part of a heat wave. No AC, food rotted, no ice, trees everywhere. We traveled to a different county to find a restaurant with power. We stayed in hotel after the first three sleepless nights of heat. Bad weather is an understatement.

In 2010, we had a blizzard of epic proportions. So much of the nation was effected by the snow that we named it Snowmaggedon. We had about 36″ of snow. 36 inches of snow!! Not our wonderful 3 and forget it. My family – ALL OF THEM (I am talking Momma and cousins and such) came to rescue me. They walked from the main street for about 1/2 a mile in 36″ of snow to save me. I had already dug myself out so we drank tea instead :). Ok The Marine helped.

Snowmaggedon from space.

Snowmaggedon from space.

By the way, NOAA reports that 2009-10 was the highest snowfall for my area in recorded history. 77 freakin’ inches, 50 of which fell in one month. Just this past December, according to Weather.com we set a record for warmest calendar-day lows ever observed with a low of 62 degrees in December. Climate change.

So, the typical run on toilet paper and milk is actually warranted this time round. With highly unpredictable weather and electric service that takes a lickin’ but can’t keep tickin’, we are quite likely to find ourselves in a pickle. Although I still feel about 5″ is our max, we could just as easily get 12″ of snow. The kids will be out of school, again. I say again because this winter has been fraught with snow days.

The plan:

  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Stay safely off of the roads until the snow has stopped.
  • Eat lots of warming foods.
  • Play.
  • Watch tons of movies.
  • Charge every device we have (in case of emergency).
  • Identify some actual books with paper (in case of emergency).
  • Make hot chocolate.
  • Shovel lots of snow.
  • Play.
  • Make sure everyone has layers to wear and plenty of blankets in the event the power goes out.
  • Find a hotel (in case of emergency).
  • Bake cookies.
  • Start seedlings.
  • Play, eat and be merry.

Stay safe my lovelies.

(Featured image from WSB-TV Georgia)

What are your snow plans this winter?

Ikea Hacks or not

I didn’t know there was such a thing not to mention, I didn’t know there was a cult-like following. Ikea Hacks. Wow. All the really cool things you can do with Ikea stuff. I love Ikea stuff. I don’t have much because everyone knows it is Ikea stuff and because their sofas are just too dang low to the ground to be of any real use to my family. Not that we are all tall, but my parents are tall. And I can’t bear the thought of them having to sit on the ground so low to the ground. Random, I know.

I want to be an Ikea Hacker. I can’t for the life of me think of what to hack or even a good reason to hack it. But I wanna be a hacker. I tried. I went to Ikea yesterday looking for something to change into something else. I found a little greenhouse. I need a little green house that is cute for my seedlings so that ‘The Marine’ won’t complain as they take over all kitchen space near the windows. I could use like four of these cute little guys. Did I mention that they are a cool $20 each and that I am cheap frugal?

That isn’t hacking, it is buying. Booo. I am not a hacker. Check out this awesomely cool hack and this one is my fave. Did you notice that they use the same shelving system. How freaking awesome is that? No really, how awesome is that? SUPER AWESOME! Oh, sorry, I got a bit excited.

I think I will have to stick to growing vegetables… at least until spring break. Muahahahaha. Then I am looking at a new foyer bench with cubbies!!! Ikea hacking away!
ikea hack bench
Til later lovelies.

#CoiledGlory #ikeahacks

UPDATE: I bought the last greenhouse that Ikea had in stock. It was the display and a little over-handled. As-Is = discount!!! 50% off made my inner frugalista very happy. No I only need three more.

Have you ever hacked and Ikea find? Or anything else for that matter?

We Love Sweets

I am a self purported urban farmer. Ok, yes. That would be delusions of grandeur. Is it grandeur to consider ones self a farmer? Does ‘ones’ in ones self require an apostrophe to be possessive? Does the English language require one to possess ones self? Rewind. I am a gardener and by that I mean that each year I plant seeds and plants into the ground, somewhat forget about them when it is mosquito season and then pray that they will actually produce fruits or vegetables before they freeze to death.

My garden has sprawled to almost the front yard. Mostly because I have a lot of shade and dappled sunlight in what is considered a more appropriate veggie area, the backyard. I am perfectly fine with the concept of gardening in the front yard but “The Marine” on the other hand. Well suffice it to say that he complains and scowls at the current growing arrangements because they are not neat, tidy, and similarly arranged. You know, like barracks or boots lined up against a wall. No, the mishegas that takes place in my garden beds cannot be contained by military regime nor will said regime allow such a disarray in the front yard. I digress.

I love spinach. But more than spinach, we as a family love sweet potatoes. I grow sweet potatoes. The free way, which entails getting a tuber making letting it sprout. Throwing the slips out into the dirt. Harvesting sweets hopefully before the first frost (if I can remember). I love growing sweet potatoes. They are by far the easiest and most interesting thing to grow and subsequently make into pie. I don’t have any fancy ‘sweet duds’ (you know, a fancy place to grow sweets). I use a deep, plastic, under-bed storage box. Got it from Big Lots for dirt cheap, drilled some holes in the bottom, added some Mel’s Mix and voila. Taters. It works really well.

I have long envisioned a larger place for tater growing. Basic ground dirt is just not gonna happen. To tough to dig. I need light weight soil for ease of harvest. I really want a fancy new raised garden but that is mostly a conversation non-starter. But I do have to get something as my trusty box didn’t survive this winter and well, winter isn’t even over yet. So here I am, scheming and conniving to get a new growing area. I think I will build it. I can build it. Don’t look at the screen that way, I really can. I have built other boxes and they have survived for years… about 5 in fact.  Just gotta convince “The Marine” that this is really needed and will be neat and tidy. HA!

Til later lovelies.

Is your green thumb-sense tingling?

Protective Styling – Transitioners Dilema

Protective Style: The Halo

Protective Style: The Halo

It is kinda sorta winter. The Winter equinox was this past Saturday. It snowed on three separate occasions the week before last. There was shoveling involved. Yet, temperatures actually reached 70 degrees this weekend. So what on earth do we call that. Nonetheless, I have hair to concern myself with.

It seems that protective styling is the thing to do if you want to keep your ends attached to the rest of the hair shaft, some real level of moisture and gain length. What is protective styling, you ask? Good. So it isn’t just me. The most helpful info I found came from CurlyNikki’s 101 post and Napturally Curly’s Do’s And Dont’s. Using a relaxer, I had never heard of this unicorn call protective styling. So I Googled it and a few days later, I had an idea of what it used for but not how to do it on hair that is straight on the ends, coily curly at the roots, fragile and heck and getting shorter by the day.

What I have learned from countless hours of YoutTube and Google is this:

  • Hair doesn’t define me
  • Hair Typing is helpful to a degree but my hair and your hair are still very different beasts
  • Very few women have always loved their hair and even fewer have never had to struggle with their hair
  • Hair envy is not productive to loving yourself
  • HAVE FUN. It is only hair.
  • Some little girl is looking to you as her inspiration, she wants her hair to be like yours (teach her that her hair is beautiful too)

Oh, and I learned some actual styling and care stuff too:

  • Protective styling is moisturizing then tucking those ends, low manipulation (not touching, combing, handling the hair) very often, and different on everyperson
  • Protective styling can be simple and elegant
  • Deep Conditioning Moisture treatments are essential  on the weekly/biweekly basis
  • Transitioning hair is prone to breakage at the line of demarcation. You know, where the straight and coily curly hair meet.
  • Transitioning hair needs protein monthly
  • Protein treatments should be immediately followed by Moisture treatment
  • Your hair will undoubtedly need something different from my hair

So here is what I have been doing in my effort to protect my hair from going down the drain. And I totally mean going down the drain.

I sleep in a satin bonnet, on a satin pillowcase. This is not new to me. The pillowcases were purchased years ago from Burlington for about $3. I started using them after I read somewhere that they may reduce the chance of wrinkles!!! Sold!

I steam up may bathroom with every shower so that my hair gets a bit of moisture. I then seal in the moisture using a heavy oil blend while still steaming lol. I also tend to slather coconut or olive oil over my skin while still wet because winter weather will rob your skin of moisture too.

So far, a flat twist halo is my primary protective go to style. I haven’t been able to recreate a lot of other styles as of yet. It is relatively easy and involves one continuous or two flat twist on either side of my head that meet up together. I do need to use hair and bobby pins to secure it but it is easy to do and easy to manage. I like easy.

Stay warm and protected my lovelies.

What is your go to Protective Style?