Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Secret Squirrel pops out of bed, ready to start the day.
This is Mom's professional telework attire.
While Mom gets back to work - focused and serious.
Monday, May 30, 2022
I just got the sad news this week that our dear friend from Blogville, Oreo, has gone to the Bridge, just two years this May after their furry family member Addie left on that journey.
Oreo, we will miss you and hope there are lots of bubbles to chase in heaven.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Saturday, May 7, 2022
I've always been a beauty product junkie (I tell myself that's OK because I only have 3 pairs of shoes) and my husband is probably the only engineer that carries little bits of gadgets to a job site in small, black Chanel cosmetic bags. Having the world's most sensitive skin with the added joy of occasional eczema on my neck (if I was a dog I would have been wearing a cone a LOT) means I tried a lot of products and threw OUT a lot of products.
Over time it got worse to where I couldn't use my favorite cleanser as it had coconut oil in it (a trigger for me) and most essential oils used for the benefit and/or fragrance in many products and especially serums left small painful bumps as eczema flared and I'd just itch all over. So I was on the hunt for something new.
I found what works for me, with all my skin issues - it's natural, eco-friendly, no pet testing, and ingredients you can pronounce (many of which you could eat, but please don't). It not only cleared up the last of my rosacea but all those breakouts and left me with a glow you can't pay money for at a cosmetic counter.
Founded and operated by Kara R. - she took her own skin issues and enrolled in an award-winning Organic Cosmetic Science School to broaden her formulation knowledge and dive deeper into plant and skin science and set up her studio in Charleston, SC. She makes all of the products herself so what you receive is fresh and carefully crafted. The Clean Slate can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer, and mask ingredient (mixed with the Berry Bright honey enzyme mask which is a little bit of heaven on the face). The Phyto Tonic has probiotics and vitamin C, and my favorite, the Glow Getter Serum, cleared up my adult acne AND left my dry skin positively glowing (with moth bean - a gentler plant-based alternative to retinol).
To give you an idea of the kind of skin-friendly ingredients here is what is in the Clean Slate multi-tasker: *Grapeseed Oil, *Mango Butter, *Rosehip Seed Oil, *Pomegranate Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, Blueberry Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (a fatty alcohol that's an emollient), *Beeswax, Elderberry Extract, *Lecithin (from sunflower), Pineapple Fruit Extract, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus/White Willow Bark, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Rose Clay, Vitamin E (from sunflower), *Organic ingredients
The only "fragrance" type essential oils (which are really good for the skin) is the Tea Tree and Geranium in the Glow Getter but they are the last two ingredients, just enough to work, not so much it's irritating even for my skin.
This three-step program (which will last you about 3 months) takes just a couple of minutes a day but you will see results right away. Even adding a couple of additional items I'm spending in one month what I used to pay for a single product in other lines.
I love using the Clay Play cleansing grains as a second cleanse after the cream cleaner on days I wear extra makeup and/or sunscreen and as a quick detoxifying mask on its own, mixed in its little blending bowl with a little Phyto Tonic. The Berry Bright is a must-have with locally sourced raw honey as well as a whole organic berry blend of cranberry, blueberry, and aronia berry and organic herb of horsetail and hibiscus flower all of which exfoliate and firm the skin while helping boost skin elasticity and collagen production.(from one of the nicest women I've met in the industry) is simply this - a selfie - no smartphone so NO filters, no touch-ups, and no makeup. This is my glow at age 64. So go get your own Glow On!
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Living in a big city with lots of traffic we're pretty vigilant about cars when walking our pets. One thing that made me more comfortable with walks after dark was the reflective jackets we got for Abby, and later Lorelei which really lit up in a car's headlights hit them. Just some extra security as we cross streets, even in a quiet neighborhood.
But Lorelei, being a very large and extra fuzzy dog did NOT like to wear her vest when it started getting warm out (we had one day in the 80s here before it plunged back down into the 30s). We'll get a reflective bandana we thought.
Easy to find at the pet stores online if you have a purse-sized dog, but what was available in a totally reflective fabric only went up to Large and at over a hundred pounds Lorelei wouldn't be "large", even on a diet. So I turned to Etsy. There were some great bandana makers out there but all I was seeing were ones with brightly colored (but not reflective) fabric with just reflective tape strips. That's just not enough visibility for my comfort, I wanted the whole bandana to reflect.
Fortunately, I found one on Etsy at
Thursday, April 28, 2022
100 carts in the store and I will get the one with the front wheel that pirouettes like a ballerina on crack.
I always make a list. Sometimes I remember to bring it with me.
Always eat something before shopping. I once went on an empty stomach and came home as the proud owner of Aisle 5. They say flying is dangerous. No - grocery store parking lots are dangerous. For there are NO rules in the parking lot. Go as fast as you want. Go any direction you want. Those abandoned carts are there for you to circle your KIA around like a barrel racer. Ignore the redhead shrieking and running for the door.
If someone is standing directly in front of the item I need I will pretend to look for something else before they move.
I do not object to telling the millennial who has 87 items in the Express Aisle "that I know all the lyrics to Frozen and I am NOT afraid to use them".
I have, on more than one occasion of many years, turned the Betty Crocker Upside Down Cake box in the aisle - upside down.
I realize that I get excited that I can now buy the unhealthy cereal my Mom usually didn't let us have.
Someday they will say about me "she died doing what she loved, carrying 87 plastic bags of groceries from the car to the house, rather than make 2 trips.".
That being said - happy to have survived and make it home for a cold one, though for me it's iced green tea with cucumbers and strawberry,
And frozen fish sticks - as I was tired out from all the shopping.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Monday, April 25, 2022
The kitchen still smelled faintly of sweet and spice, my having baked a dozen banana chocolate chip muffins late last evening for my husband to take to work to share with his team. The house itself was quiet, the work computer still, my not having to log in for another hour. The morning chores were tended to, the dog fed and walked, the bird feeders filled, as was the water dish we leave out for the creatures that live among the tall stand of Spruce trees. Lunch was made and packed, the muffins corralled and wrapped, small daily moments that removed me from reality and let my mind go back to other landscapes, other mornings.
I will miss the mornings where the ground is covered with thick white, the blanket of white hushing the sound of traffic. For others and certainly for me, in such moments, as you step out into the hushed cold, you can almost imagine you are in a place other than a bustling city, your mind taking you back to days on open land where corn rioted and stands of tall trees stood as kings over their subjects of deer and wildlife. You were yourself a quiet subject, there up high in a tree blind, Winchester in your lap, bewitched and cut off from worry and hurry and fear, those things that seem to belong to another world.
The sound of a siren from the first accident or serious illness of the day, takes me from my musings, reminding me that indeed I am in the city, and it's waking up quickly around me. The siren sound is one that haunts my dreams sometimes even though normally when I am in the company of such a vehicle it is moving away in stony silence, the only sound that of tires reverberating in holly claps as they kick up gravel from a place where lay only the memories of those too late to be saved, their only voice a cluster of little yellow flags upon the ground.
So far, as I have walked such places, the dead have not revealed their secret, something for which I should probably be grateful.
As the siren fades away, I briefly look at the news, seeing it as not mere words today, but rather the sound of drums, of peace, or war, or of prayer, I don't know. Such are the days, I'd just as soon write, having no desire to further scan the computer for news, or social media of strangers, growing tired of how unkindly the world is of things it fails to understand. As a scientist, I'd like to live in a world of straightforward facts, but the feeling is short-lived as soon as I look at the media. No, I drop a few notes to friends, then a look at the weather, as I settle in to write as the sun comes up.
I have no story today, merely words of observance, of the surface truths in the world outside my window.
Although I honestly love the Fall and Winter over the heat of summer, there is something transfixing about watching the earth bloom each Spring. It's nothing like the mornings of winter, the sky brooding over the earth, becoming more somber by the minute, as if irritated by your attempt to stay warm. Spring is more like a lover, coaxing from the ground new life, as it touches everything with shy wonder, that is as new now as it was this time last year. Even as there is snow on the ground, the sun peaks out behind a cloud with exquisite brilliance.
The sun glints of the newness as the last bit of snow melts away. I know too well, that even light can lie, yet this Spring beam had no manipulation of light or pose, it simply gazed on everything with equal warmth and equal depth, lending its truth to a new beginning.
The earth begins another season for those of us that remain, as those that have gone before can only watch from the heavens. The earth is simply a standing place, one that we dwell in with that modest, clear flame that is our hope and our faith, even as we understand too well, how easy it is for that flame to be extinguished.
As I turn back into the house, I turn one last time to the trees, to a sound I can't hear, to a thing I can't see, to a memory of another tree, another morning, from a year that I can't get back, but one that will be with me always. - Brigid
Friday, April 15, 2022
Friday, April 8, 2022
Of course, I had to get some "Manly Man" soap for the shower just to see him smile but it's a great soap and helps him get cleaned up after whatever it is that engineers do when they disappear into the basement for a few hours.
Denali Creams has also got items for pets now including a dog bath soap that's perfect for a dog's dry, itchy coat (with the natural essential oils keep bugs away) as well as a salve for paws (a must for Chicago winters and also soothing when paws are dry and sore from the heat of the summer).
Seriously, get the "lift" tray for the soap (you can buy them separately in assorted designs and colors). I got one for my shower soap and it's great for keeping the soap drained and dry, super easy to clean, and it won't break if it hits the tub