Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Really.

I need to not suck at updating this!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things 26, 27, and 28

Did I totally forget to blog about meeting Hippie Tom??  I'm so behind!


26.  Meet a celebrity.

I met Hippie Tom from 'American Pickers'.  I can't believe that I didn't blog about that!  I may have to do a make-up post purely about that adventure.


27.  Enter a writing contest or sweepstakes.

I entered a 'Memory Contest' for a local restaurant.  I submitted my childhood memories of eating there and I WON!  I won a $100 gift certificate to that eatery!  Guess who didn't need to buy groceries that week?  hee hee hee


28.  Visit the Peshtigo Fire Site.

 
If you grew up in the Midwest chances are that you've at least heard of the Peshtigo Fire.  My friends and I learned all about it in school.  It was clear as the years passed though that the Peshtigo Fire was just a small murmur in the shadow of "The Great Chicago Fire".  And that's sad.

The Peshtigo fire occured on the same day as the fire in Chicago.  Odds are that you've probably heard of the Chicago fire and not the Peshtigo fire.  That's crazy to me.  Here are a few facts for you:

     -   The Chicago Fire killed about 250 people.

     -   The Peshtigo fire killed between 1,200 to 2,400 people.


     -   Extreme drought along with clearing of fields caused the fire in Peshtigo.  The death toll is untotalled and so broad because many undocumented people had just arrived in Peshtigo to help clear the land for the railroad.

     -   Within about an hour the entire city of Peshtigo (seen on the map below) was wiped out.  Winds of up to 150 miles per hour created a cyclone of fire and carried that fire quickly throughout the town.


     -   Chicago is more talked about simply because it's a big city and was at that time.  Peshtigo was a frontier settlement with only one telegraph line.  That line burned in the fire.

     -   The Peshtigo fire was put out naturally.  They were not prepared for a fire of that magnitude so it burned it's way to the waters of Green Bay.

     -   The survivors of the Peshtigo Fire were those who jumped into the river.  They spent the entire night in the icy waters as fire burned on every side of them.


Enough history for today.  All that to say that I was at my Family Reunion this weekend and passed the sign for Peshtigo.  I couldn't believe it.  I wasn't expecting to really get there this year - mostly because there is no way that I'd have a car that could make that trip!  I mean, I desperately need new tires so going out of the city I live in is a stretch for me most days. 

At the end of Reunion it was decided that we could make the 30 minute detour to the site; and I'm so glad that we did!  I got to cross another thing off the list.







Thursday, August 9, 2012

Almost Back in the Saddle, Again

Gee, I've really fallen off the horse here; the Blogger horse!

I should probably get back to updating more often.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Excuse Me While I Attend AA

This Summer has murdered my hair.  I don't really even try to understand the ins and outs of the makeup of my hair but I do know it's dry.  When I wash it it feels like straw.  When I brush it I am in agony from knots.  What is a girl to do?

Several months ago I did the mayo-mask on my hair.  It worked like a champ. I also smelled like a deli sandwich for almost a week straight.

I was desperate for a deep conditioning that wouldn't leave my hair greasy.  I did what any normal person would do, I went down the list of home remedies and settled on "beering" (I just made that term up) my hair. 

Last night I cracked open the lonely bottle of Fat Tire that I had in the back of the fridge and I let it sit for an hour or so in order for it to go flat.  I drew myself a warm bath, got halfway through my latest read; The War of Art before washing my hair and prepping for the beer.  Midway through my soak I laughed out loud while sipping my glass of moscato; who sips wine before pouring beer in their hair?  The thought of the scents coming from my body, coupled with the week long mayo smell last time, convinced me that tomorrow my co-workers would be staging an alcohol intervention for me.

Back to the task at hand: beer is so gross to me.  You may remember my dislike of it from earlier posts.  Just the scent of it last night almost made me gag. 

After washing and rinsing my hair I poured an entire bottle of beer over my head and soaked and massaged it through my hair while waiting for the tub to drain.  It honestly didn't smell during this process.  Thank GOD!

A few moments later I rinsed it out and was ready for the results.

MY HAIR WAS SUPER SOFT!!!!!!  It brushed so easily.  Beer actually worked!

Weird.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things 22, 23, 24 and 25

I am so behind!!!!


Road trip to "small town" USA

A group of friends and I drove to Waterford, WI, where we met and spent the day with Hippie Tom from American Pickers.  We spent the afternoon "picking" for treasures on Tom's huge property.  I left with a thrown pottery vase, a horseshoe, and paper mache cat head.  Oh yeah, baby!

Make 3 new friends.

That's just weird to write about, and I'm not going to identify them in a blog, but I have made three new lovely friends in life already this year.  And for that I am grateful.

Create an artistic journal

For a few weeks now I have maintained a "sketch a day" journal.  It's been difficult, annoying, fun, and rewarding.  It's incredible how much even just a scribbled doodle, when looked back on, can remind me of everything that I was thinking, feeling, and going through that day!

Get a pedicure with a friend.

My sissy and I got our toes done together last weekend!  I didn't even realize it was a "thing" till today!  Yay!


Sorry for the shortness, but it's either this or stay behind in my blogging!  This is all you get for now.

I miss you guys though!!!

Love, h

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How YOU doin'?

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a hippie.  Maybe that's because I grew up on Vietnam War music from Peter, Paul, and Mary.  Or maybe it's because my family was too poor to buy more than one Cabbage Patch Kid, so we got the less popular Flower Patch Kids.

Don't worry, I had a real Cabbage Patch Kid, she was a baby with only a tiny tuft of yarn-like hair.  Her name was Jessica.  But Flower Patch Kids, I had two.  Oh yes, two.  Opie and Kelly.  They were awesome.  We also had the Flower Patch Kid pets, I think.  In my memory they were just like the "kids" only they had ears and a tail. 

I hope that's a real memory and I didn't just make that up.  Sounds like something someone on drugs would say.  I assure you, that is not the case.  I have never tried drugs, nor am I on any at this moment in time.  Girl Scouts honor.  *raises hand in the air*

Anyway, I'm sort of a hippie.  I like growing things.  My joy is making things and caring for my home.  I'm a free spirit. But I do wear deoderant.

Hippie took a whole new meaning today when I was sitting at my desk and my bra broke.

For some reason "break on through to the other side" started blasted through my brain as panic set in.  See, I work with all men.  How the heck do you say "Excuse me, my bra just broke, I have to leave for a minute." 

Answer:  you don't.  It would be just as awkward as saying "Hey, I'm surfing the crimson wave this week guys.  Anyone have any extra tampons in their desk?"

A quick trip to Walmart, with an even quicker selection of a replacement bra, and I was on my way back to work before anyone even knew I'd left.

Only me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thing 21 -

 Run a 5k.

I'd love to stay, but I really mustache.


Boom!  Done.

Smack in the middle of my stress filled and busy weekend, I did a 5k.  At four stations throughout the "run" there were people set up to throw powdered color at you.  Fear not, it was basically corn starch, it was easy to dust off; other than the bit that is still stained onto my forehead.  So that's awesome.  I look like I have an extra set of red "joker" eyebrows.  I wear them well.  Through out the race we were hit with yellow, then green, then pink, then purple powders, all ending with the color fest at the end.  What's the "color fest" you may wonder?  Every racer was given their own packet of color: blues, reds, oranges, you name it.  At the end of the race every 15 minutes they would count down and everyone would chuck their colors up into the air.  It was, just as they dubbed it, "the happiest 5k on the planet"!






Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beautiful Blogger


After having a pretty rough start to this week, I was entirely too happy to find out that I'd received the "Beautiful Blogger Award" from a fellow writer; the Literary_Lily_Cate

I feel like I should not only thank her but thank all the Little People as well.  Sadly, I don't remember their names, but I *do* know that they live in the heating ducts of our houses.  I suppose I could thank Thumbelina, the Smurfs, and those little Lego people... 

It appears that it is now my turn to dish out 7 facts about myself and award 7 new peeps the same honor of which was bestowed upon me!  Here goes!

1. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life.  Cigars, yes.  Cigarettes, no.

2. I have never owned a "new" car.  I probably never will either, and I'm fine with that.

3. The amount of times I was almost kidnapped, was pursued by men (with intent of marriage), was a bridesmaid in weddings, and spoke at funerals are all just about even in number. I think the last wedding I was in, however, bumped "Bridesmaid" up to the Number 1 spot though, at a total of four weddings. 

4. I always dreamed of having 8 children.

5. I've driven a train.  Yes, you read that right, I drove it.

6. I have never been in love.  Incredibly sad, yes, but absolutely true.

7. I met Chris Farley on my 17th birthday while in Chicago, IL.  It was one of the best days of my life.


And now it's time to pass on the award and to let you guys check out some new blogs!

Congrats goes out to:


Happy blogging!



Friday, May 11, 2012

Thing 20

Try a new local hot spot.

I live in what, at one point, was known as a small town.  It's over 100,000 people now so I think "small town" is a far cry from what we've now become.  Having said that, an Irish Pub opened up in my town several years ago.  It's possible that from previous posts you may recall that I'm part Irish, and am very proud of this fact.  It's a travesty that years have passed and I've never stopped in.

A few weekends ago two of my amigos, which along with me make up the "Grewenow Summit", were in town for a Saturday evening.  Through messages and back-and-forth whittling through a list of eatery options, we ended up at this Irish Pub.

Have I mention how incredibly odd it was that I'd never stopped in prior to this???  The place was hopping with life.  There was a party in the back with this little girl dressed like a bride - still don't fully get what that was about.  The bar was peppered with mid-twenties to late-thirties, while tables that filled the rest of the place were being used by everyone from babies to Grandparents.  There even was a moment of running in to good friends who were also enjoying the atmosphere at a table of their own.  It was the "place to be", it seemed.

Of course I have no pictures because it wasn't until a day or so later that I realized I'd done a "thing"!   But rest assured, I'm sold.  All of us were well satisfied with our meals and drinks.  My pot roast was a thing of beauty; dripping in gravy and line with potatoes and asparagus decorating the edge of my plate.  Washed down with a nice cold pear cider.

Yum.

I am so hungry right now.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thing 19

Go to a movie alone.  Order popcorn and soda.

Done and done.

I'm one of those rare people who actually enjoys sitting through films all by my lonesome; this challenge was easy for me.  What was NOT easy for me was spending ungodly amounts of money on a medium drink and a junior popcorn!

The movie I saw was "The Lucky One".  Gag me, right?  I'm a lover of romantic movies, typically NOT those of Nicholas Sparks, however, I gave this one a try.  And you know what?  I didn't hate it.

Success.

I'd post a picture of my ticket stub, but I lost it.  I could only find my stub from the re-release of Casablanca on the big screen, which I attended two weeks ago.  Now that is a great flick!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thing 18

Spend too much money on something you can't really afford but think is fabulous!

The blog world and I have been a little distant lately so now I'm forced to play a bit of catch-up.

Like 70% of Americans, I'm currently living paycheck to paycheck.  It appears to be my lot in life, so I don't complain about it, I just live with it!  I've never been on a "vacation" as most people would view them; as my trips are typically to visit family or friends, not laying on a beach somewhere exotic and beautiful.  So when I looked at my year on the calendar and saw that the only "big" thing I had planned was my family reunion, I needed to spend money I didn't have on something that I'd love.  Something I'd really look forward to.

So I did.

I scrounged and saved, and honestly didn't buy groceries for two weeks, in order to by myself the limited edition Kandee Johnson bag.  It's something I loved.  It's something I wanted.  It's something that took me over a month to GET! 

It was worth it.  I am now the proud owner of this very rare bag.



THIS is the highlight of my year!

THIS is my fabulous thing.  My sister hates it.  I adore it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not A Fan

Maybe I'm not a fan of change. 
Perhaps it's just me.
Either way, I'm not convinced that I like (or dislike) this new blogger layout stuff.

We'll see.

I'm tired today.
I had McDonalds for lunch and am once again too tired to go grocery shopping in order to *make* something for dinner.  That, my Friends, is what is called LAZY.

Happy Lazy Monday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thing 17

Get a tattoo

Tattoos have always intrigued me. I never thought I'd actually get one, though. When my Mom passed away a few years ago I designed a tattoo that I would one day get. I still haven't gotten it.

In 2010 I visited my favorite tattoo artist's shop. I was like a kid in a candy store. I bought things, I sat on a couch made from a coffin, I stood inches away from people who were laying there getting tattooed, and I snapped a lot of pictures. It was the highlight of my road trip to California.

(This is me standing outside of High Voltage Tattoos, a.k.a. L.A. Ink in Hollywood, California)

Due to time crunches, my sister and I were unable to schedule tattoos. It was bittersweet.



Almost 2 years have passed since that road trip and the desire for a significant tattoo has not wained. And so, after loads of planning, searching, scribbling, and asking opinions, last night I finally went and got inked.


The reason tattoos captivate me is simply because I feel like each one can have such a story to tell. Sure there is the random person at the Fair who regrets that Tweety tattoo they got when they were 17, but overall I find that most of my friends who have tattoos have deep and powerful stories behind them; THAT is what I love.

My ink is near and very dear to my heart for so many reasons; many of which I will not pour out on the Internet for the world to know. Not now anyway. But in the end I chose a word that sums up my life. It sums up my relationship with God. And dearest of all...it's in my Mom's handwriting. I searched high and low to find this word written by her, and eventually there it was, nestled among pages of memories that she'd written me many years ago.

Everyday I can look at my arm and remember that I must walk by faith, that life on earth is temporary, but it's lived by FAITH! And everyday I get to see the writing of my Mom's; so unique, so beautiful, and so incredibly dear to my heart.

My tattoo isn't for the world to see, it's for me.

I love it.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thing 16

Send a confession to Post Secrets.


To quote the wisest resource ever, Wikipedia, “PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret's books or museum exhibits.”

I’ve followed this ongoing project for many years and even own one or two of their books.  I love it.  I think it’s a brilliant way of getting to the core of people.  I’ll admit, some of them disgust me, but at the same time some of them tug at my heart.  That’s part of it’s beauty, it’s messy, like life.

Tomorrow the mailman will take away 6 postcards I have created, along with the secrets or confessions I’ve attached, and they will make their way to Maryland.  Who knows who will see them, where they will stop along the way, or what will eventually happen to them.  What I do know is that I’ve done it.  I’ve exposed the depths of my soul on paper and sent it via snail mail to anyone who may find it.

Weird.

If you'd like to check out their website click here. 
(Be warned that it can be graphic or offensive at times.  Not all the time, but sometimes.)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Firsts...

I love the innocence of "firsts". First kisses... first crushes... first dates.  It doesn't matter how old you are, there's just something about them that brings you back to being really young. At least, that's what it does to me; back to the pre-teen days. Even chatting with my girl friends when they come home from dates is exciting to me. Times have changed, but first dates always make me feel romantically pulled back to the days of black and white movies, kisses at the drive-in, sweaty hands and all. Things I've never had but I highly romanticize in my mind.

This blogger is a sucker for romance. I won't lie. Give me a cheesy love story or a romantic comedy and I'm happy, within reason of course. That's why I fall so hard for Television shows where I relate to the girl who wants the guy but never really gets the guy. Or, if she does, it's fleeting. Welcome to my life. I'm just an Angela Chase pining over a Jordan Catalano that I'll never quite have...

That's a My So Called Life reference in case you missed it.
 
I am a hopeless romantic; one that knows that relationships take work and commitment.  I’m the girl who’s seen the worst in love and has set high standards for myself so that I will, hopefully, never have to “go there”.  As a result, I’m single, and perhaps doomed with it.

Even though I’m well out of the running for dating and marriage these days, I still daydream about it…

“And then, just like that they were kissing. She didn't know how they got there. She had no idea. The thought of kissing this boy hadn't crossed her mind in years, which was weird, because once upon a time, that was all she ever thought about. And then, just like that, it was over. He coughed, she shuffled her feet... And she laughed to herself. It had been one of those moments, one of those moments where you shuck your status as mere mortal and achieve, however briefly, true greatness. She had shared many such moments with this boy, but now he was leaving and... Nothing would ever be the same again.”


I suppose that’s what shows like Dawson’s Creek are for; hopeless romantics who like to look back on the days when life seemed like complicated mess of teenaged angst, hormones and awkwardness, but in reality…it was beautiful.  Messy, but beautiful just the same.

Gone are the days and nights of walking to the basketball courts, or the grocery store to see my crush play ball and bag groceries in his super cute work-enforced bow-tie.  Those Summer evenings of walking along side him while he walked his bike and we talked.  Endless conversations late at night while laying on the floor, attached to the phone by a spiral cord that easily wrapped around ones finger. 

Love is so much fun in the start, isn’t it?  What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days…

Monday, April 2, 2012

Another Lame Post

A lame post just might be better than no post at all.  I'm not entirely sure though.  Actually, I don't even have a theme to go off of today, so this may be the perfect opportunity to fall back on my old-school method of listing.

-  I have another cold.  This sucks.  This wacky weathered season-and-a-half have brought me more colds (and even a flu), than I care for.  1-2 a YEAR is my norm.  I've had a form of the flu, and at least 3 colds in the past 6 months.  Enough is enough!

-  My house was invaded by smaller plastic containers.  There was a sale on them at Menards and I leaped on it.  Now, we organize!

-  A co-worker of mine hates my haircut.  He hates that I have bangs, therefore, whenever he sees me rocking them he says "I hate your hair".  It's a little burst of sunshine (sarcasm heavily intended) in my cloudy day.

-  Archor Farms makes chips flavored "Grilled Cheese and Tomato".  They totally taste like creamy tomato soup.  I like them.

-  While at Target the other day, I bought a gigantic jug of cheese balls.  They aren't really even that great.  At any rate, they expire in May.  I said, "Hmm, they need to be gone by May huh?  I'll take that challenge!"  That is honestly the reason that I bought them.  Game on, cheese balls.

-  I ate my cheese balls out of a bowl, with a spoon, last night because I didn't want to dirty my hands.

-  Walgreens, I'm coming for you.  I need Nyquil and I know you've got it.


That'll do pig.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Drop the Scissors and Walk Away...

I can't stop cutting my own hair.

I just chopped another 5 inches off, on my own.

This could get ugly.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Currently Reading...


I feel as though blogging would take away from my reading time, and my goal is to read this book by the end of the weekend.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Moms Just Know Better...

My Father worked 2nd or 3rd shift for most of my childhood.  A lot of the other time he spent drinking, bartending or hanging out with friends and/or family.  My Dad and I were never close when I was growing up.  My Sister was his favorite. I don’t just say that; ask her, it’s true.  My oldest Brother and my Dad always had a strained relationship, and then there was me.  I became the son my Dad never had.
Me, My Dad, and my Sister
Apparently my Dad was too tall for photos back in the 80s.

What I mean by that is that I was tough.  Where my sister would use a net to pull minnows from the bucket, I’d reach in barehanded, even in my girly outfits, pull out a minnow and stick a hook through its mouth right then and there.  It was entertaining for all of my Dad’s co-workers and friends.  To me, it was probably just a delight to be the center of attention by doing things my Sister could not.
 

My Mother raised us for the most part.  She cared for us, nursed us when we were sick, corrected us when we were out of line, shielded us from my Father when he was drunk, drew with us, crafted with us, and hugged and loved us a lot.  For the sake of clarity, my Dad was not a violent drunk.  They fought, but it was never physical.  My Mom always made that clear to me; if my Father were to ever have raised a hand in anger towards her, she’d have taken all of us children and left.
 

Every Family has its ups and downs.  I wouldn’t change anything about my childhood; it made me who I am today and I am stronger for it. But there is no denying that my Mom knew me best.
 

Three years ago my Mother passed away.  It was sudden, it was shocking, and it changed my whole life.  She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and six weeks later I was holding her hand as she took her last breathe.  I lost my Mom.  I lost my best friend.  I lost the one person who will ever love me that much.  I think about that a lot, being single and all. 
 

All that to say, it’s almost become humorous the things that my Mom knew about me that my Dad had no clue about!  Great Moms are like that though, aren’t they?  I mean, I flip through the recipe book that she made for me many years ago and I smile when I read side notes on recipes saying things like “substitute cream of celery soup for cream of mushroom, because Heidi hates mushrooms!”  Or “NO ONIONS or Heidi won’t eat it!”  My Mom knew everything from my birthmarks to the things I wouldn’t eat in Potato Salad.  I secretly am convinced she wore a cape under her everyday clothes.


I’ve come to realize that my Dad knows none of these things about me.  Granted, he cannot learn them now because he has short-term memory loss due to sleep-apnea.
 

Examples:


I hate fish.  Therefore, of course I hate tuna.  And having said that, it should be no surprise that I do not eat tuna salad!  At least 4 times in the past 3 years my Dad has left me messages that he has made extra tuna salad so that I could come over and get some to bring home.  1.) Gag.  2.) It’s sweet of him to think of me and want to share.  Each time I politely decline.


I hate meatloaf.  Not the singer, ‘cause lord knows that “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that!”  But I do not like the food.  I will make it, I will be around it, but I won’t choose to eat the stuff.  A few weeks ago I stopped over to see my Sister and my Dad was really excited to tell me that he’d made one of my favorites; meatloaf.  Really?   REALLY?  Were you not there during my childhood when I’d be grounded to the table and crying because I wasn’t allowed to leave it until I ate my meatloaf and finished my milk?  *shudders*
 

My Dad is great.  He makes BBQ Ribs like nobodies business, and those are my absolute FAVORITE!  So I do honestly laugh about the little things like tuna salad and meatloaf.  And then I’m forced to wonder, when is he ever going to make me the one piece of furniture that he promised he’d build me…over 20 years ago?  Or, when will he ever hang up those security lights that he thoughtfully (and I mean that) bought for me 2 Christmas’s ago?
 

There are things that I have never had a Dad to count on for, but then there are other things, like babysitting the cats, that I barely need to mention and he’s there for!  It’s amusing at times.
 

Family values are a little like family vacations -— subject to changeable weather and remembered more fondly with the passage of time. Though it rained all week at the beach, it’s often the momentary rainbows that we remember.

LESLIE DREYFOUS, New York Times, Oct. 25, 1992




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thing 15

Change my hair drastically.

Yesterday I was feeling feisty. 
Yesterday I was feeling daring.
Yesterday I cut my own hair.

After going to the bathroom, at work, I was brushing my hair and chop!  I cut it off.  Only about 2 inches, because what would that matter, my hair is past mid-back on me.  Besides, I was at work and couldn’t waste time playing salon.  In, literally, a moment of madness I pulled a few inches into a ponytail and snipped it off.  It was horribly uneven, but I didn’t care.  And so I went back to work.

Later that evening, after arriving home with enough time to shower before my Finance class, I decided to layer it up.  Standing there, dripping, after my shower, I cut another 2-3 inches off of my hair; following it up by trimming my bangs another 2 inches.


It was madness.

Why do I do these things?

In the end, no one else can probably tell what I’ve done.  But I can.  And I have such a huge relief!  I’ve not only saved money, but I no longer have split ends!  The last time I went for a hair cut was almost a year ago.  Seriously.  And now I’ve got the bug.  I now cut my own hair.  It’s very empowering.

You’d think that that would be my drastic hair change, wouldn’t you?

Well if so, you’d be wrong.

I hesitate to write this, but I’ve committed myself to doing so now, therefore it’s too late.  I’m keeping you posted on my triumphs and trials during 52 Things, and because of that I owe you…
 

This is something I will never post on facebook.
This is something I will (probably) never talk about with others in person.
This is something I judge others for doing.
This is something that will shock the crap out of those who know me.
This is something that if my sister reads this, she may never forgive me.

My drastic change…

I’m “poo free”.

Let me explain.
 
1.  I have pretty thick hair.  My hair has tangled awfully my entire life.  I use baby detangler at times to help comb through my tresses after swimming, bathing or showering.  It can be terrible.  My Mother used to call it my “rat’s nest”.  The Winter previous to this one, I bought Aveda Deep Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner; they worked wonders.  This year I went back to buy some and was shocked by the price I had paid, and was unwilling to pay now, for this product.  Almost 60 bucks for the two?  No way, Jose!

2.   My hair has been getting terribly greasy the day after showering.  Maybe that’s normal, but not for me.  It just meant that I was needing to wash it more often.  It’s probably not surprising that this wasn’t an exciting development in my life, seeing as it can be such a project just to brush it afterwards.

3.   Coming up during the Summer is my Family Reunion.  We camp.  When I say “we camp” I really mean it.  Meaning, there are not facilities of any kind.  Sitting outside in the hot Summer sun means dang, my hair will be double greasy.  Great.

All this to say, I finally gave in to something I’ve read a LOT about over the past few years.  Ditching shampoo.

I’m a dirty hippie.

It all started with me researching alternative ways to get moisture back into my hair.  I’d heard it said dozens of times in beauty magazines throughout my life and mayo, eggs, or olive oil and avocado makes a wonderful hair replenishing mask.  At the view of saving sixty bucks, I went for it.  I mayonnaise’d my hair.   I put mayonnaise in my hair and wrapped it in two plastic grocery bags for a half hour.  It worked BEYOND my expectations.  My hair had never been so smooth and brushable! 

My excitement was short lived as I spent the entire following day smelling like a sandwich.  It was so nasty.  In the future, I’d scrub the heck out of my mayo’d hair just to be sure it was ALL out!

But this all led to the final decision… the choice to try something that I don’t know of any of my friends doing.  So, my fellow 52 Things pal and I, went “poo free”.  Can I just say that I really hate that term, too?

For over almost 10 days now I have been shampoo and conditioner free.  All in attempts to improve my hair.  And do you know what?  I love it.

Incredible, I know.

These are my new friends:

Honey, baking soda, rosemary/rosemary water, apple cider vinegar, and water.

Instead of lovely foaming, sweet smelling, shampoo, I mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda.  I dump part of it on the crown of my head and massage it into my scalp.  I then repeat throughout my scalp till it’s gone.  Then I rinse.

Instead of, literally, a whole handful of pricey conditioner, I mix: 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon of ACV (apple cider vinegar).  I dump it on my head and drench to the ends of my hair with it.  I then let it sit while I wash, shave and whatever.  Then I rinse with cold water and am done.

I’ve recently begun a trial and error game of mixtures.  For scent I’ve added some essential oils to the ACV rinse.  They were alright.  I added almond extract.  Didn’t work.  I boiled rosemary yesterday and used the water for my rinse, I liked that.  And now I’m adding a teaspoon of honey to my rinse – shaken well into the ACV mix.

You know what?  My hair is so soft.  My hair is so smooth and has a healthy shine now.  I’ve noticed that the “grease” is already stopping.  My hair is brushable now.  My head feels cleaner than it has in the past, and I’m not kidding you.  My head always got itchy.  Not dandruff itchy, but, product buildup itchy.  It always felt like I wasn’t getting totally rinsed out.  Not anymore.

I didn’t expect this at all.

I didn’t expect to be using things that would make me judge others as a dirty hippie.

And my hair, it looks okay…right?


So who knows where this will go.  I won’t openly talk about it, because, dude, it’s weird.  But I may just stick with it.  I’ve already saved so much money just by using things I already have in my home.  And it’s working!

PROS:

-          healthy chemical-free hair

      -          no product build-up

-          less money

-          less washing of hair (within reason)

-          manageable hair

-          while showering, I actually feel like I’m cleaning my tub instead of messing it up!

 CONS:

-        I miss the smells that I’m used to.  My hair doesn’t smell bad, at all, but it doesn’t smell like I’m used to – like shampoos etc.  And as a result of it being so clean feeling, I’m less inclined to add products, sprays and perfumes.

-        It is undeniably weird.

-     I miss rich foaming lathers...


So there you have it.  I haven’t shampoo’d my hair in almost two weeks. 

And I think I like it.

I think that camping will be 100 times easier now.

Happy washing!

I swear to you that I don't have dreadlocks or bugs crawling through my hair! ;)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thing 14

Drink a beer.  (I hate beer)


Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and I am Irish, need I say more?

Okay, for sake of this being a blog and all, I’ll say more.  For as long as I can remember I have hated beer.  It’s not that I just “don’t like it”, no, it’s a totally “hate” relationship.  I added it to the list this year thinking that I’d have to drink one with my cousin’s during the Superbowl.  Alas, our team didn’t make it to the Superbowl, therefore, no beer.  Only one out of the four of us likes beer, so dropping it was a relief to say the least.  But then I realized, crap, it’s still on my list!

St. Patrick’s Day brought lots of people out to the bar across the street from my Dad’s house, and so I dragged my sister out to meet our good friends and some family.  Besides, the fire departments bagpipers were doing a pub crawl and one of the stops was this bar.  Bonus!

And so, after I filled up on corned beef, potatoes, carrots, and fresh rolls, I choked down a green beer and chased it with a lovely can of Dr. Pepper.  That will most assuredly be the only beer I partake of this year.  Back to hard lemonades, desert wines and shots.  Yep, I’m that kind of gal!

I hope that you enjoyed your weekends...  



...more than I enjoy beer!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm In A Funk...

I'm ready for the weekend.

This blog isn't going to be as whiny as I have felt this whole week so don't worry.  My Mom would be pissed if I whined.  She never allowed that in her house, so we were raised well!

Let's see, I just spent a decent amount of time reading about being a surrogate Mother.  Why not?  Someone should get some use out of my lady parts before they rot away.  Plus I could make some money and help someone who cannot have their own child...  But then again, I want kids so it's like an extra stab in the heart isn't it?  Bah.

There is nothing exciting to dish about this week for me.  The good news about that is that these moods usually lead me to super productive Saturday cleaning days, and Lord knows I need one BIG time.  It's not so much that I've been bitten by the Spring-cleaning bug, as much as it is I just have a lot of JUNK in my house to go through.  And now the spiders are coming out.  I'd rather tackle this mess now than wait till Winter again because I don't want to see bugs.  Thank goodness I have great hunter kitties.  Beans and Ivy have been on the lookout already and have (that I have witnessed) murdered several unwanted spiders.  Well done, guys.

Maybe I'll paint something in my yard this weekend, or do some yard work...

...probably not.

I am excited to watch My Week With Marilyn tonight though.  I've been looking forward to seeing that movie for a long time now.

Aaaaaaaand, let's end with a quote:

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

Happy weekend, Bloggers!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Things 12 & 13!

This adventure was a double whammy!

Thing 12: Be a part of a flash mob.

Flash mobs used to hold an entirely negative connotation.  The term “flash mob” was used to describe a quick escalating group of people who typically destroyed things.  Flash mobs did things like the riots that happened in California after the O.J. trial.  They were groups that were hard to control and did great damage as a result.

In 2003 that all changed.  It took many years after that to get up and running but I’d guess around 2005-2008 I had my first tastes of flash mobs that were created for entertainment value; the biggest of those being the acting group who randomly froze at 2:30PM in Grand Central Station.  I saw that video and fell in love with flash mobs; particularly the ones involving dance.

In 2009 a woman (Staci) and a man (Conroe) founded an organization called Flash Mob America.  Their first mission: A Michael Jackson Tribute to Beat It.  Sometime in 2010 I joined their mailing list.  At the end of last year, my friend, Mel, and I decided that 2012 would be our year to cross “be a part of a flash mob” off our Bucket Lists.

March 6, 2012 appeared on their website followed by Chicago, IL.  We were in.  We signed up and never looked back.

Flash Mob America is an incredibly detailed group; they leave nothing up to chance, and nothing up to blowing their cover.  Less than a week before show time we got our assignment info: as vague as possible, with instructions that our dance video (sent as a private link) would be emailed to us only days before the event.  And randomly, by awesome luck, my friend was chosen as the mascot!  Mascot for what?  We had no clue, but we were SO in!

The videos arrived and I spent that Saturday rehearsing and getting the first half down.  We had instructions to show up at a center for the arts in Chicago on Tuesday, the day of the mob, at 8am for dance rehearsal.  That is all that we knew.

Monday night, Mel got a call from the producer and found out that she was 1 inch too short to be the mascot.  Being the wonderful friend that she is, she handed my name over and thus a star was born!

8am brought us to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago, IL.  Only something this exciting would be able to drag us out of bed and onto the road at 5:45AM!

For 3 hours we danced.  It was a dream come true.

And finally, as I hopped into my Oreo costume, we were given our location and the time (noon) that the business was goin’ down.  At noon we would be celebrating Oreo’s 100th Birthday party.  On Michigan Avenue.  IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO!!!!!


It was the most unbelievable day that I have ever had.  Oh, and did I mention that my friend and I were hired to stay for 2 or 3 hours?  Yep, we’re getting paid, baby!  I don’t even care if it’s a dollar, I’m getting paid to dance and be the flippin’ Oreo Man – what is more fabulous than that?  Oh, AND I’m in like a gazillion pictures.  I felt like a celebrity.  The mob ended and everyone (dancer-wise) left, and then a swarm of hundreds of people and cameras surrounded me and my “Handler”, Mel.  It was hilarious.

(Mel, Me, and Mitzie, the Producer)
(this guy worked for oreo, but i like to refer to him as my boyfriend.)

Did I mention that being a cookie is hard work?  It was a sauna in that double stuff cookie.  Plus, I’ve never felt so molested in all of my life.  People are so weird.  And why are people drunk at noon?  I may never get that one.

(can't a cookie get a cab in this town without the paparazzi getting all up in my double stuff?)


WORTHY NOTE:  One of the organizers helped me get into the Oreo suit, in a crammed tent, moments before the mob.  She had these words of wisdom for me, and I quote, “If anyone gets too physical or starts molesting you, slap the sh#t out of them!”  I didn’t expect that one!  “Stay in character”, is more what I was thinking.  But nope, that was so not the case.  Best advise ever.
(Me and Mel)

Highlights:

      -          Being in a flash mob

-          Dancing in a REAL dance studio in a “big” city

-          Working with a for-real producer!

-          Being the Oreo cookie

-          Seeing the Marilyn Monroe statue in person.

-          Being on several News Broadcasts

      -          Getting paid for all of the above!

Bonus: 

Thing 13: Learn to Dougie. Record dance video.

One of our other “things” was to learn how to Dougie.  Yep –the Dougie was in the dance that we did!  Ha!  (See video in previous post)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Preview...


Just a little preview before my post! ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tomorrow...

Tomorrow has all of my attention at the moment.

Tomorrow is less than 24 hours away.

Tomorrow has my belly doing back-flips at the moment.

Tomorrow is so close, yet so far away...

Tomorrow has made me like a kid on Christmas Eve that waiting for Santa to arrive; trying desperately to stay awake and catch a glimpse of his crimson coat and his big bushy beard.  My heart beating ever so quickly as I listen for the clicking of Rudolph's heels on the rooftop and the jingling of Santa's bells...

Tomorrow is huge.

Tomorrow is the day that I cross off something on my list of 52 Things, but beyond that, tomorrow is the day that I cross something off on my life's Bucket List

I don't think that I could possibly BE more excited.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thing 11

Create a budget.

This easily goes along with the last one.  What a strike of luck; a class and a budget at the same time!  I killed two birds with one stone on that one!
 
Clearly I’m not going to take a picture of my actual financial situation and broadcast it to the nations.  What I will do, is take a crappy phone picture of my beautiful binder. 
 

My binder holds my post it notes, my Quickie Budget, my Monthly Cashflow Plan, and my Allocated Spending Plan.  These are forms I will do once a week and once a month; making sure that all of my money is spent on paper before I get it.  My binder also carries my coupon papers that I have to go through.  Have I told you?  I’m couponing now.  And DOUBLE couponing at that!
 
I will never become one of those ladies that proudly shows off 75 boxes of cereal and a stockpile of cleaning supplies that I bought for $32, saving $643 in the process!  Why?  Because what the h am I gonna do with a bunch of crap I will never, in my entire LIFETIME, be able to use?  As for me, I keep it simple.  I buy what I will use and use what I buy.  This has become a challenge for me and I quite enjoy it.
 
Budget. Done!
 

For those of you following my 52 Things, stay tuned for a post that will probably take place next Wednesday. I'm super excited to be checking off a particular thing next Tuesday. I can't wait!!!

 


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thing 10

Take a random class just for fun.

It over a half-decade ago that I discovered random classes were available to the general public.  Funny, I know, but I guess I just never really paid attention.  College courses were for college students after all, right?  Nope. See, I found out that mini-courses were open to the public.  This changed my life.  And the first course I took was Hip Hop dance.

Now it’s 2012 and I needed the perfect class to take.  This 52 Things challenge has completely changed my awareness of life around me; it’s great!  Where before I would walk quickly through life, as if on a mission, I now stop and peruse community boards in public places.  I looked into cooking classes, and cake decorating classes, before finally setting my sites on a class that I’d never in my life have envisioned myself doing. 

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

The class meets weekly, for 2 hours, on Monday nights.  It’s a 13-week course.  We haven’t even hit the halfway marker yet and I have found my life to be forever changed.  This course is fantastic!  Plus, look at all the neat stuff I got!  Plenty of tools, right at my fingertips, to help me succeed.


Dave Ramsey is the author of the best-selling book Total Money Makeover.  It’s an outstanding book, and for some reason in my cleaning last week I found 2 copies of it.  Anyway, I found parts of the book difficult to comprehend, but that’s simply because they didn’t apply to my life at the moment.  I think as a result of that I never really stuck with the program.  Financial Peace is so much better in my humble opinion. 

If you are in control of your finances already, or if your finances are in control of YOU, this course is well worth the investment. 

My goal is to be debt-free in 2 years.  Wish me luck! 
No, not luck, discipline!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Soldier Wrote Me!

Way back in the beginning of January I blogged about writing to "Any Soldier".  You can read more on that here.  

Well folks, I've heard back!  Real mail is so much fun.  When I looked in the mail slot and saw the handwritten envelope marked "FREE MAIL" I knew right away what it was.  I resisted all excitement within me that wanted to rip open the envelope and read the letter right then and there.  Instead, I waited till I was sitting on my couch, ready to meet my new friend.

I'm really happy to have heard back from my soldier.  It looks as though we will be able to communicate via email now - my have the times changed!

I think the only blow I got to my happiness was by my good friend's question "so, is this like gonna be a friend?  Or could it be something else?"  It was like a punch in the stomache.  You see, when I first sent my letter to a random soldier, I had a guy friend basically say the same thing only more in a teasing fashion, like, "I know what that means!"  Really?  REALLY?  Does anyone even know me?  After the response yesterday I just flat out said that I find that really offensive.  I don't do nice things with a hidden agenda.  For all anyone knows my soldier is a woman!  It really bothers me that writing a soldier means I'm trying to pick someone up.  Right, 'cause someone stationed in a dangerous area is so much more appealing than someone I could find in my everyday life.  Not saying it doesn't happen but...well...yes I am, for me!  ha!

Laying all those rude comments aside, I have a penpal and I'm really thrilled!

"Thing 1" = success!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mommyhood

The time has come to share a little about the life of the man in my life.  If you’ve been around or stalked my blog even just a little, you’ve probably seen him.  In fact you’ve probably seen him look rather dapper in his Christmas tie and polo shirt.
 
This is Beans.
 

He’s a handsome boy and he knows it; believe me.

Mr. Beans, as my Father refers to him, is the man of the house.  He struts, he whines, he fights, he defends, he eats, and he sleeps.  Basically, he’s like most men; only difference is he doesn’t bring home any of the bacon!  It's totally fine though. We call it even because when the creepy crawlies start making their way around the home in the months of Spring, Summer, and Fall, Beans kills them dead.  And I appreciate that greatly.

Beans likes to know what is going on at all times.  He perches himself on high places where he can keep everyone in sight.  I find it absolutely adorable.  If he’s not under the lamp, or on my clothes, he’s usually found high atop the media shelf.  This is his spot and his alone.  Ivy has never once been allowed on it.  I honestly don’t think her little legs would be able to launch herself that high, but I just pretend she’s being respectful.  It doesn’t matter, Beans smiles massively when he’s on his shelf.


But don’t let his cute and cuddly appearance fool you.  He is one of the smartest cats that I have ever known.  I’m not kidding you.  He systematically finds things in the house that get him in trouble.  Why?  Simple, because it is attention.  He has done it his whole young life and it has lead to many sleepless nights while “waiting out” certain phases.

No longer has my man settled for sleepless nights.  He now respects my slumber, for the most part, and waits for me to wake up in the morning as he sits looking out the window. 

We now have a new hurdle:  The fridge.

“What do you mean, Heidi?”

Well, thank you for asking.  What I mean by that is simply; Beans jumps to touch the top of the fridge and then hits the floor.  It’s so loud that it is ridiculous.  And he does it over, and over, and over, and over without stopping – if I give him the satisfaction of saying “NO!”

Once I establish that it is wrong, I then ignore him when the behavior occurs and then eventually he tires of not being fawned over.  Sometimes this process takes weeks or months. 

So folks, wish me luck!

I have another weekend of THIS ahead: