Friday, November 30, 2007

Cristal Taste, Hamm's Budget

Today when I walked into TJ Maxx, I immediately zeroed in on a buttery yellow handbag with red accents. It was behind a few other bags, but I spotted it with ease. It was the best thing on the rack, easily. I leaned forward to see the tag, and at first glance it appeared to read $29.99. SCORE! While I shouldn't be spending $29.99 on something completely unnecessary, this was a really nice handbag. I leaned closer, and realized my mistake. The tag didn't read $29.99. It read $229.99.

I shouldn't be shocked, really. I've been able to hone in on the most expensive item in any given store for years now. Still, at TJ Maxx? Come on, now, TJ, first you allow my credit card information to be stolen (oh, yes, I was one of those unfortunate customers), and now you're selling things that are well beyond my budget? Please. You're TJ Maxx, you're supposed to be cheap. You have clearly forgotten your place in the retail food chain.

...

I'm certain you must have noticed by now that something is up around here, what with the posting every single day instead of only when the mood strikes. I've sneakily been participating in NaBloPoMo. I originally intended to put up a badge and make an announcement, but then I decided to just forget about all that and participate without making it obvious. As if posting every day this month weren't obvious in and of itself, but still. Today marks the last day of November, so with this post it's all over. It's been fun; thanks for being along for the ride.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hit Repeat



Bunny rabbits + A good song = Excellent chance of ending up on "Repeat One"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

32

birthday self-portrait with lamp and kitty cat

In low light, the crow's feet are barely noticeable. This is probably because I use eye cream (and serum) (and gel) religiously.

...

As birthdays go, this was a pretty good one. Earlier today I made brownies (round two of research and development for refined sugar free brownies, which proved to be gloriously successful) for a potluck we attended tonight. Jack and Mary Liz were here while I was making the frosting, and after it was all done, Mary Liz reminded me that I promised her last time she was over that she could help wash dishes the next time I did them. I called Jarod in to do the drying so that Mary Liz would have someone to hand them off to, and pretty soon he had put Jack to work ferrying dry food processor parts over to the table, and it was all done in no time. When people asked me tonight if I'd done anything special for my birthday, or if I was planning to celebrate in a special way, I told them that I had three whole people helping me do dishes this afternoon, and that was celebration enough for me. In fact, I'm kind of hoping I can convince people that it's my birthday every day; it sure was a lot easier and more enjoyable than tackling dish duty all by myself. So, uh, tomorrow's my birthday again. Who likes to dry?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's a Good Thing We've Been Going to the Gym Faithfully

Because I did my first round of agave sweetened brownies yesterday (with chocolate! cream! cheese! frosting!), and while they're not exactly perfect yet, they are good enough to eat for breakfast. I had to stop myself after three and send the rest of them to work with Jarod. And let's not talk about how many I ate yesterday while they were still warm.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Well, See, The Thing Is That

I mean...

Because...

See I did all the wedding thank yous by myself and I thought a bonus was in order...

And it's just that...

Well, I was in Target anyway...

And I needed tights...

And just a few aisles over...

They peeked out at me!

I COULDN'T HELP IT!

i have a problem

They also have tails! See:

they have tails!

Let the record show that I did not also purchase the dress with the bunnies on it or the shirt with the bunnies on it or the thermal pants with the bunnies on them, which I think we can all see would be ideal for winter layering. I do still possess a modicum of self-control, you know.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I've Been Feeling a Little Judgmental

There are some blogs I've been reading for quite some time that do not usually contain photos. I've stumbled upon photos of some of the authors lately, and admit I've been quite surprised at times. In my mind, all the bloggers I enjoy who do not have photos posted look like the people I hang out with. Youngish. A little hip. Might use a PC but really would prefer a Mac if they're not already using one. And then when it turns out that they look remarkably different than I had pictured them in my mind, I have trouble wanting to read what they wrote anymore. It's sort of like having a fantastic book made into a movie, but the actors that are chosen are nothing like what I've imagined them to be, and from there on out I have trouble deciding which representation to choose--the one I've been imagining all along or the one I see in front of my face. Often I prefer the Mary's Mind Version. It seems quite all right to say this in terms of movies, but I think when it concerns real people, it comes off as a little judgmental, as if I'm saying that because they don't look how I want them to look, they are not worth my time. But it's more about not being able to reconcile the photographic representation with the voice of their blog. Sometimes the photo just doesn't seem to fit.

...

I've been meaning for some time to put together a little basic nutrition blog entry, but I seem to get distracted with other things. I'm trying to find the right words to put together to explain things simply but effectively, to encourage without judging. I am really passionate about feeding kids properly in particular, but to infer that someone's parenting practices could be improved in any way, I've found, is treading on thin ice, especially since I've no children of my own just yet. Which leads me to a pet peeve of mine, which is when people assure me that when they're my own kids, I will suddenly succumb to every parenting faux pas I swore I'd never make, particularly in reference to nutrition and television, that I'll revert back to drive thrus and partially hydrogenated crap because they're MINE and they're PRESHUS and how can I deny them THE GLORY OF THE MCDONALD'S FRENCH FRY or at least a few high-fructose-corn-syrup-laced tubes of yogurt and twelve episodes of SpongeBob? It's a lot like telling an Apple employee that one day he'll go off and buy his kid a PC featuring Windows Vista. I happen to have an Apple employee right here, and he just looked at me like I was nuts when I asked him if that would ever be a possibility.

I think it might be different if I were just casually watching others' children, if I'd never gone beyond just getting them where they need to go and making sure they're dressed for the weather. I think about much more than that. I consider their futures. I put in serious time researching developmental issues. My goal has always been to do for the kids I work with what I would do if they were mine. I want the best for them and their futures. I doubt that will change when I'm the parent as opposed to the nanny.

...

Circling the wagons back to nutrition, if you'd like a good place to start, Nutrition Detectives is fantastic. I saw a short piece on this some time ago, and I am a huge fan of this program. You can implement it yourself, regardless if you are planning on using it with children or if you're an adult who just wants more information for yourself. If you have been eating the Standard American Diet (SAD! Don't be SAD!) and have no idea what is what or where to start, this is a great tool. Also, this way it's doctors telling you what's good for you, not some ridiculous nanny who doesn't have the proper letters behind her name.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This Is My 700th Post

And I'm going to waste it by being brief. I am sitting at my dining room table, pretending to listen paying close attention to Aunt Marge's stories about the past and present. Some of the stories are charming, but some are repeats, and others are all about medical conditions. Would you like to come over for tea? Aunt Marge would like to speak with you.

...

This morning while cooking the chili I'm bringing to tonight's family dinner, I put on a DVD for Aunt Marge and an iPod for me. Refreshing.

...

Just now I spaced out through most of an explanation of mimeographs. I tuned back in just in time to lean forward a bit and nod. I'm terrible. I'm going to pay attention for real now. And then I'm going to go run errands. By myself, thank heavens.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Liveblogging from The MAX

Does this prove my love for the bus or what? Here I am, bouncing along, fumbling with Jarod's iPhone keyboard. I hate to say it, but maybe I'm just more of a Blackberry kind of girl.

Yesterday we kidnapped Aunt Marge, who is in her eighties, from the family dinner, and we're holding her hostage until tomorrow evening. And by "kidnapped" I mean "relieved my parents of the burden." Aunt Marge is a very nice lady, but with the waxing of age has come the waning of social graces. She seems to no longer remember that one should not make comments at full volume at the movies or that it is a good idea to pack a pair of underwear for each day she'll be staying away from home, plus an extra. I'm sure you can imagine my bemusement at her request to borrow a pair of mine, as the only pair she'd brought had met with an early morning accident. I shook my head, chose the granniest pair I could find, and attempted to convince her that, no, really, it's not a loan type of situation. It's more like, um, a gift.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Perhaps You Would Like to Help Us With Our Little Project?

Today, thanks to the generosity of our families, we were able to participate in this offer. While it's cool to give one AND get one, (I mean, they are really cool and all) the truth is that we have enough computers around here. Our plan is to take the one we get on a little KC Metro (and beyond) tour, allowing people to see it and touch it and become more familiar with and passionate about this project. I'll be letting you know when we get it, and I'll also be calling and emailing a lot of you about meeting with small groups to get the word out. If you'd like to see it yourself, or have a group that you think might be interested in knowing more about the project, please send me an e-mail (marymuses at gmail dot com) so we can set something up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drunken Hookup Barbie Needs Your Help



Before you forget, go on over and sign the petition. The projected delivery date is November 27, so get your name on it as soon as you can.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Found Amongst My Husband's Things

When my husband placed my wedding ring on my finger, he also pledged to share his earthly possessions with me.

my husband used to be RAD

Please try your best not to be jealous of my good fortune.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Because I'm Sitting in the Lap of Luxury Already, Thanks

For some years now I've been amending my Christmas list to include not just good things, but the best things possible. Like a goat. Or an alpaca. Or hope. In years past, I wanted these things in place of some of the things on my list, but the For Mary list was still quite healthy. This year, though, I'd like the For Mary list to be positively anemic. I'd like nothing to be on it. This year, and in years to come, I want to pass on the splendor of Christmas. I have so much already. Sure, there are things we could use for the house. Yes, there are pretty little things that would delight me to own. But I can afford to get those things for myself, and I have gotten those things for myself. I look around me and I see that I have everything I need and so very much of what I want. It is enough. It is too much, really. To get more things for myself brings such fleeting pleasure; to have things given to those who truly need them in place of what might have been given to me, which I do not need, would give me long-lasting satisfaction.

How appropriate, then, that this year my church is participating in The Advent Conspiracy. Whether you are a person of faith or not, perhaps you'd like to participate as well. I don't think you have to be celebrating the birth of Jesus in order to change the focus of your Christmas giving this year. We are so blessed and lucky. We have so much. Wouldn't it be good to share?

I think so.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another One Joins the Club

the birthday girl and her cake

Yesterday, Julianna kissed her twenties good-bye. We helped her celebrate by going roller skating and having a party in Jill's parents' basement. I tried to send everyone into a sugar coma with the cake, but I think we were all well on our way thanks to the exertion of skating and the subsequent enjoyment of a whole lot of Mediterranean food and pomegranate margaritas. We were going to bask in the glow of the strobe light that Jill picked up and do some dancing, but we were all too tired.

Wow. We're old.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Knee Socks or No Knee Socks, That is the Question

The answer, naturally, is KNEE SOCKS, DUH! Who roller skates without knee socks? Not me. And that is what we're doing tonight. I have yet to check to see if Jarod has knee socks, but I'll get right on that.

Also, who roller skates without being well-rested? I've got to get a quick nap in before we head out for the evening.

There will be photos of our wicked good time, so don't worry about missing anything.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

'Tis the Season

For birthdays and babies and more birthdays and babies and then perhaps Christmas or something. My social calendar is getting ALL booked up. I'd better schedule in some naps before it's too late.

...

All day long I've been thinking it's Friday. Even on the Plaza it seemed like a Friday night, with all the spots I usually park in to pick up Jarod full and people running around all dressed up like they were going out to something fancy. Thursday is the new Friday, I suppose.

...

Tomorrow I'm baking two cakes, but I cannot lick the batter bowls thanks to my very-sensitive-to-sugar skin. Now isn't that a tragedy?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Now with More Sin-Free Second Graders

Yesterday in the car we were having our standard Nobody's Perfect So Don't Worry That You Just Got In Big Trouble talk. Jack was the one who had just been in trouble, so he felt it was an excellent time to point out that, while no one in the car at that very moment was perfect, he soon would be. Because tonight he went to Reconciliation. Which, I gather, is the same as First Confession (should I be capitalizing that? I feel like I should, in order to be more holy), but with an updated name. He assured me that not only would his sins all be wiped away, but that he wouldn't sin anymore, so he'd be just like Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Apparently this opportunity was available to everyone in his class, so watch out, Kansas City, there's a pack of sinless second graders headed your way.

...

The only way I'm headed right now is toward the gym. Late night workouts are my specialty, and they're about to become Jarod's as well. Isn't he lucky?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How's Your Fear of the Underdog?

Because I'm concerned that you have none, and you will not survive. And then who will read my blog? Nobody, that's who.

I'm blaming Alice for the fact that I suddenly feel compelled to have that song on repeat the majority of the time that I am awake. Certainly my repeat habits are not Alice's fault, but she is the one who drew my attention to the song by posting the video on her blog. So that I will not be the only weirdo doing her entire StairMaster workout to one single Spoon hit, I am posting it as well. Just try to listen to anything else now. I dare you.



I double Underdog dare you, actually.

...

I have a confession I feel I must make, though it may cause me great pain and loss. Last Saturday Whole Foods was out of my normal bread selection, Basic Whole Wheat, so I wandered over to the bakery to take a gander at what I might get as an alternative. Their seeded whole wheat was on sale, so I bought it. And I proceeded to fall in love after the first slice of toast. I became so enamored of this bread that while at Rachel's Sunday night, I refused offer of food, thinking that I would pick Jarod up shortly from his work meeting, and I could go home to my bread, my beautiful, lovely bread! However, Jarod's meeting ran longer than usual, and I was forced to pursue other means of sustenance in the form of a multi-grain bagel from Barnes and Noble, which was tasty and economical (just $1.38 with cream cheese), but still not what I had longed for. I looked forward with watering mouth to the next morning's toast. This bread is the bread of my dreams! And so here comes the confession. Because of this deep love of my bread, I have not offered any to my husband. I have, in fact, packed other things in his lunch in order that he might not find out how good this bread is. I'm considering hiding it after posting this so that he will not consume any. I already have enough trouble keeping Annie's Cheddar Bunnies in steady supply. Is it wrong to keep this one thing I love so dearly to myself? I like to think the answer is no.

...

I always have the best blogging thoughts while on the StairMaster. Unfortunately, they all seem to fade away on the drive home. So this? Well, this is all you get, I'm afraid.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Should Have Brought My Grain-Sweetened Chocolate Peanuts

Today we celebrated November birthdays with my family. There are three of us Novemberites: my nephew, my sister-in-law, and me. After the meal we opened presents and then lit candles on the dinosaur cake my nephew had requested. It looked really good, but sugar free me didn't have any. While everyone else was having cake and ice cream, I just...sat there. Later I dug a Larabar out of my purse and had that. It just wasn't the same.

Sometimes I really miss cake.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm Just Sitting Here With My Cat

I was lying to myself just now about how I would totally get up and get something accomplished if Phae weren't purring and holding me down, but the truth is that I kind of just want to sit here for a bit. There is plenty to do, but my plan for today is to do whatever I feel like doing in terms of chores, though I will probably scrub my skillet even if I don't feel like it. It's been in the sink for days, since that day I was catching up on things and discovered that it needed a long soak. It did need a long soak, I wasn't wrong about that, but maybe not quite as long a soak as it's becoming, long enough for the water to slowly evaporate out of the sink.

One reason I feel justified in just sitting here for now and then just doing whatever chores I feel like doing later is that I put in a pretty long day yesterday. 7:50am to 11:45pm is nothing to sneeze at in my book, so I feel entitled to a day of whateverness. Besides, I already managed to buy three birthday gifts, my Moleskine pocket planner/notebook for 2008, and groceries today. What else do I need to do?

...

One thing I definitely do not feel like doing is laundry. One of the two florescent tubes in our laundry room light fixture is going out, so now the room is dim. The tube which is biting the dust flickers weakly, adding to the spooky effect. And do you remember how I foolishly paid attention to The Breed while on the StairMaster last week? I'm not going in there alone.

What will make the list (most likely) is putting together our new basement shelf (hooray for storage!) and hanging up all the clean clothes I've piled on the ironing board this week. I'll also most likely do some internet research on making homemade ketchup without sugar. I'm seriously considering carrying my own little condiment caddy when I go out. It will include a handy little bottle of agave for sweetening coffee and my homemade ketchup, once I make it, that is. I'm a food snob, I guess. I just can't overlook the fact that Heinz makes their ketchup with high fructose corn syrup.

...

Lots of people have expressed that they could not go without sugar, and I want to tell you that I'm right there with you. If my face didn't do what it does when I eat sugar, I wouldn't be able to resist either. However, I've seen it all too clearly. It took one single bite of a Halloween treat to inflame and irritate my skin. One. Single. Bite. You'd be regaling the deliciousness of grain-sweetened chocolate peanuts and carrying agave nectar in your handbag if you were me; just trust me on this one.

...

A woman who I was chatting with in the handbag section at TJMaxx today asked me, gently, if it would be all right if she asked what happened to my skin. I just told her that it was acne, and she apologized for asking. I said it was all right; she was so gentle and sweet that it wasn't offensive. And it's obvious that something is there; it's not as if it's something that can be covered up or bandaged, like many afflictions. It's right there. I was far more offended when a friend who hadn't seen me in awhile dramatically asked, "MARY, what HAPPENED??" as if I'd been disfigured in an accident or something. I was confused at first, not really knowing what she was talking about. Because, I don't know, people just don't make a big deal out of it. I had to ask her if she meant my skin, and she said yes, and then she said something like, "Well, you're still beautiful to us," which came off as if I had just revealed that other people didn't find me beautiful because of it, and I just...I don't know. I was offended. I am a delicate little flower with sensitive little feelings, apparently. Or maybe it's that I don't consider my acne to be something that robs me of my beauty. Sure, I feel it is a little gross to look at, but I don't feel like it makes me ugly or that other people look at me and think I'm ugly. That's ridiculous. In fact, I find it kind of charming the way children approach it. They ask what it is, and why I have it; they're very direct, but they have no preconceived notions about what it is and how I feel about it, or how others should feel about it, for that matter. Jack and Mary Liz call it my "red dots," which I find to be not only acceptable, but a little fantastic. I'm still who I am, just with polka dots. It kind of makes me more exciting, don't you think?

...

It appears the cat has exited the premises, so I suppose I should get up, too. Happy Saturday, everybody. Enjoy your polka dots if you've got 'em.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Brevity is Today's Special

This has been the longest day ever, and to further complicate things, I am forced to blog via Jarod's iPhone. I suck at typing on the iPhone. If I suddenly go all arbitrary capitalization and creative spelling on you, I hope you'll understand.

I also hope you'll understand that this is all I have for you today, just a confession about my continued incompatibility with technology and good wishes for an excellent weekend.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Today is Catch Up Day

Or ketchup day, if you're all caught up on your catching up.

Today I am catching up on laundry, dishes, cleaning the stovetop, editing honeymoon photos for your viewing pleasure (only 400 more to sort through! I'm really making progress here!), writing thank you cards for gifts I received at my bridal showers in August (Miss Manners probably hates me, and everyone else thinks I'm ungrateful), and listening to albums I downloaded on iTunes but never listened to.

What are you catching up (or putting ketchup) on today?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Everything Tastes Better If You Add Turkey Bacon

I haven't tried it in chocolate chip cookies yet, though. That one is still up in the air.

My days seem to be disjointed. To and fro and to and fro and nothing new under the sun and all that. We run errands, I go to work, the kids' school continues to torture me by having the kids not only have days off, but get out early. I keep forgetting things because there's no constant routine. Workouts are relegated to the late night hours. I wish I had a StairMaster in the house. The 4600 CL, specifically, and nothing else will do. This is why I must go to the gym; they have two of them there, and most of the time lately one of them is free for me to use. I have had to use an elliptical trainer twice, and I simply can't abide that nonsense. Or the nonsense of TNT on Saturday afternoons. I watched a movie called The Breed, which is like The Birds but with dogs and Michelle Rodriguez, last Saturday while attempting to have an excellent StairMaster session, and while the StairMaster session was a good workout, now I can't get the idea of feral dogs attacking me in the basement out of my mind, which is especially inconvenient when I have to do laundry.

Time to pack it up and head somewhere else. Consider my blogging duty done, and my run-on sentence award won (again).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Two Things I Realized Just Today That I Love

1. canister vacuums
2. grain-sweetened chocolate covered peanuts

In other news, but sort of related, at least to #1, I really wish that I didn't have to go to work in a few minutes. My job is great, but I'm really on a roll with the cleaning. It would be nice to be able to just keep going until I've exhausted my motivation. Oh, well, not today.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Earning My Keep

A couple of days ago I borrowed a vacuum from Rachel, with the thought that it would motivate me to get more things put away faster. I was partly right; it's helped. But clearing things out and organizing them properly still takes longer than I'd prefer, so I have yet to vacuum. Today I tackled the office, otherwise known as Land of a Kajillion Boxes of Crap, and I'm proud to announce that I'm very nearly done. In fact, if I hadn't created a whole other box of things to file by going through the existing boxes, I would be done. The filing, though, will have to wait for another day.

And so will the dishes.

...

One big challenge of my current schedule, which varies quite a lot, depending on both my work hours and Jarod's since we A) share a car, and B) like to hang out together when we're both not working, is that I haven't come up with a consistent workout schedule. Luckily, my skin hates sugar, so the Hershey's Kiss binges will no longer be a factor to add to the spotty workouts which together could equal a need for bigger trousers. See how nicely that works out? Thanks, acne!

...

Would you like to buy a television?

No, really. I'm dead serious. Like a heart attack serious. It's a Sony Wega flat screen HD television, 34", I believe. We're open to offers and we'll throw in the stand it's on, too, which is from IKEA. I just want it out of my living room. Please, give us some money and take it away.

...

I bet we'd also throw in the DVD player, but I'll have to double check about that one.

...

It's my favorite season now. The only complaint I have about autumn is that it never lasts nearly long enough.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm Drinking a Big Glass of Water RIGHT NOW

Hi. Let's talk about acne. Or at least how to get rid of it. Because I think I have finally found the way! The way for me, that is. I think the most frustrating thing about my recent breakout is that there are a lot of products and methods out there, and there's a different method that works for each person. What I've concluded is that what causes one person's acne is not exactly the same as what causes another person's acne, so treatment, therefore, is a little different for each person. For example, I found a ton of information indicating that dairy can contribute to acne, but noticed no difference in my breakouts whether I was eating a lot of dairy or not. In fact, I find that a big bowl of yogurt with agave and cinnamon was often followed by my skin actually calming down, so clearly dairy was not the culprit in my case. However, it seems refined sugar was. Is. Unfortunately. It makes sense, really. This article does an excellent job of explaining how the body responds to sugar, not only causing inflammation, but also robbing it of stored nutrients. It's not some big, strange leap.

So on Monday I stopped eating refined sugar. Today I can see a noticeable difference in my skin. It is steadily clearing.

This is not to say that I don't use other methods in addition as a means of helping things along. I'm drinking lots of water, getting plenty of rest (another thing that I noticed is that after a good night's sleep, my skin is better), taking 500mg of vitamin C with breakfast and dinner to boost my immune system, and using topical treatments as well. Twice daily I wash my face with Origins Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Cleanser, do a ten minute hydrogen peroxide compress (just hydrogen peroxide on a washcloth, pressed firmly against my acnified areas), and apply Cellfood Oxygen Gel (thin layer in the morning, thick layer before bed). If I have an early morning, I'll do a quick wash and then just dab the hydrogen peroxide on my face quickly, followed by the Cellfood, and do the longer cleaning later. I'll also do a quick wash like that if I've been out and feel particularly grimy. In addition, I use Origins Out of Trouble Mask every four days to exfoliate. When I was first in Origins, I purchased a whole system, so I also have thePlantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Lotion, which I use if there are some scaly areas (which, ew, I know).

A lot of the products I use are fairly expensive, but I'm a desperate woman, so I'll pony up the dollars. I won't always have to use as much of each product as I use now. As things calm down, I anticipate using the mask just once weekly, not having so many scaly areas to moisturize, and being able to apply a thin layer of the Cellfood both morning and evening, instead of really having to glop it on at night.

As far as sugar consumption goes, that will be an ongoing experiment. Different people have different thresholds for foods that cause adverse reactions, and I'll have to find mine. Most likely I'll be able to return to eating desserts every now and again, but in the meantime I'll be working on incorporating agave into my favorite recipes so that I can eat sweet things without worrying about angering my skin.

One thing I haven't mentioned is that I do have a preference for going all natural for my skin care. I didn't want to mess with antibiotics, and I've had enough of products that are heavy with chemicals and multiple parabens. I want something that will work for the long haul, without having to use prescription products. I don't want to be tied to a life of applying harsh products (*ahem*Proactiv*ahem*) that still leave me with some blemishes but also cause my skin to flake off because it is so dry.

If I were to give advice to others trying to clear their breakouts, I would recommend starting with a gentle cleanser, drinking lots of water, and eating as healthily as possible to help your body heal. And be patient. Try the free samples (I found Cellfood Oxygen Gel by wandering through Whole Foods and slathering things on my face to see if they helped). Eliminate what needs to be eliminated and keep what you can. Do your research. It will get better. My acne was severe enough that it was constantly inflamed and the zits would (ew, be prepared for ew) pop themselves. And now? Not so much. It's getting better. Much, much better.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Watership Down Dramatization Soon to Come

I've found more than one warren of dust bunnies in the house today, the most notable collection retrieved via toothpick from the bathroom fan that I can't seem to figure out how to get off the ceiling. There are no visible screws, and I've pulled gently, but am afraid if I pull too hard that I'll break the thing entirely. Which wouldn't be the worst idea ever, as that fan doesn't do much, but I'd rather first find out if a good cleaning will help at all or if I'll have to take the second step of shopping for a new one.

I sometimes feel compelled to apologize in advance to all guests we might ever entertain at our home, to say a big I'M SO SORRY OUR BATHROOM IS COMPLETELY CRAPTASTIC. The whole thing needs to be taken to the dump. Except the sink. The sink may stay. Future guests, please to enjoy washing your hands, and sorry about the rest of your lavatory experiences here at Chez Mary et Jarod.

...

There's a reason the acronym for the Standard American Diet is SAD. Have you looked at your labels lately? And noticed how they are lying to you in the Nutrition Facts box? It may say "Trans Fats 0g," but if you read the ingredients, you'll find that those pesky partially hydrogenated oils are still in there. They've just manipulated the serving size so that there isn't quite a whole gram in a single serving. Put the box back on the shelf, the bag back in the freezer case, the bottle back on the shelf. I've got a ton to say about nutrition, but let this be your introduction. If it says "partially hydrogenated" or "high fructose corn syrup," it's not something you should be putting in your mouth. I feel similarly about artificial sweeteners, so put down that Diet Coke, too.

...

I just found a recipe for making chocolates using agave nectar. As I'm a big fan of agave and also possess a great many chocolate molds, this is fantastic news indeed.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oh, Naptime, How I Miss You

These past two days Jack and Mary Liz have been out of school due to parent/teacher conferences, and the day before that they were off at noon. Next Friday they'll be out all day as well due to the annual school fundraiser. And due to the fact that I think the school secretly wants to do me in. Come on, school, give a sister a break here. Don't you understand that the children don't nap anymore? And that I do? Faithfully? And also that I've given up caffeine and sugar? I just can't win.

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This evening we are taking the nineteen-year-old niece of a good friend down to the Crossroads District for First Friday. I told my friend to warn her that we are nerds, not cool people, and that she should be prepared to be embarrassed to be in our presence. She's a little too hip for us; I hope she survives.

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On a related note (related because I used the word embarrassed in the last little blip and because it's nerdy), does anyone else feel that the word embarrass should have just one R in the middle instead of two? I have always felt it should be spelled that way. Who's with me?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thanks, Acne!

This morning I put on a pair of freshly laundered jeans which contain stretch. For those of you who are not acquainted with The Way Of The Stretch-Containing Jean, I think I can sum up by simply saying Day 1 = fits like a glove, Day 2 = sags as if I have no butt. So I was quite amused this morning, just half an hour after putting them on, to discover that they were already sagging low enough to drag at my heels. In fact, not only did it already appear that I was buttless, but I could also pull the jeans down without undoing any buttons or zippers. Being the lazy daring sort, I left 'em on and headed to work. Without wearing a belt, because, again, lazy daring!

There is only one possible explanation for my jeans suddenly being a bit big, and that is that I no longer have the luxury of eating what I tend to eat all the livelong day, which is sugar-laden crap, most recently the Hershey's Kiss. (I say "the Hershey's Kiss" as if I'd eat just one at a time, as if I haven't been leaving little pyramid-like piles of wrappers in various locations around the house.) But The Acne has driven me to extreme measures, and has responded well to those extreme measures, even in just four days, so I'm sticking with it. If doing without refined sugar is what it takes, I'll do it.

And I'll go buy a dang belt already, too.