Friday, November 2, 2012

I Made My Own Laundry Soap

Finance and Frugality Friday

DIY Natural is a blog I subscribe to. And last weekend I finally had gathered all the ingredients for homemade laundry soap and I made it and used it in my LG front-loading washer. It smells like Ivory soap because it's, you know, made with Ivory soap. So that's nice. I so far noticed no difference in the cleanliness of the clothes. But I have been mocked mercilessly by my friends last night at Happy Hour.

"Why did you make your own laundry soap?" I was asked.

The only real answer was what I replied with. "Because I can."

I also mentioned that it's less expensive ("Are you poor?") and is better for the environment ("You don't have kids, your carbon footprint is teeny tiny no matter what."). And this is when I used Happy Hour to save me from my friends assailing my choices.

"What game is that on the TV?" I asked. The guys' heads snapped immediately and they began talking about sports amongst themselves.

I turned to the other woman there and said "Your hair looks amazing? Did you change the cut?" Which started her on a 10-minute rant about how she needs a new flat iron and her conditioner is leaving a buildup on her hair and she needs to use a clarifier.

With my friends distracted I escaped any more ridicule - not that they care anyway. None of my friends really give one rat's ass whether or not I want to make my own laundry soap; they just like to give me a hard time. It's our one group ritual. And at the end of the day, I'd make my own clothes if that's what it took to be able to hang out in a cool bar with my friends once or twice a month. The acceptance, humor, and warm feelings this group of people gives me is the best return on any investment ever.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zen Chores

Homemaking Thursday

I have embraced Zen chores.  I've always been the fast, fast, fast person. I seem to do everything fast. I dart around the kitchen when cooking. I dash around the house when sweeping. My fingers fly over the keys when typing. I think fast. I talk fast. I eat fast.

Then I spent the weekend with a friend in her home. We were chatting in her kitchen in the morning. I sat at the breakfast bar sipping my coffee while she prepared herself some tea. I soon became very aware of how slowly she moved. The 3 steps to the dishwasher to get a clean mug were sluggish. The 2 steps to the boiling kettle seemed to take even longer. She didn't even reach out for the pot holder until she was standing right in front of it!

I asked her if she felt all right.

"Of course, why?" she asked.

"Because you seem to be moving like someone who's in the midst of the worst flu ever."

She chuckled and replied, "I've noticed that you do everything so fast. The same as my sister-in-law. I just can't move that quickly. And I don't think I'd want to."

I considered her point. Where was I rushing off to? What was the purpose of the speed? So I paid attention to myself for a few days. When I wiped off the kitchen counters (very quickly) I was thinking "Why do I always have to be the one to wipe off the counters? Why can't he ever do it? Because he doesn't care if the counters are clean because he's a boy. There, now they're clean and he can just go and mess them up again." <harumph>

Instead of trying to change those negative thoughts I changed only the speed with which I performed these tasks. I found that by slowing down my thoughts became slower and more, well, Zen. And that's when I discovered that there was something to be enjoyed about the mundane repetitiveness that existed in these chores.

This is working for me. While I revert back to fast, fast, fast, I keep steering myself toward the Zen side of chores.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pay Attention

Health and Wellness Wednesday

I was going to call this Workout Wednesday but I didn't want to limit the topic to exercise. What's the deal with me not wanting to exercise? It's so counterintuitive. I enjoy exercising (sort of) and I loooooove the way I feel after exercise. So what's the problem? Laziness? Sure, that's a big part of it. I am the Queen of skipping it.

But let's be positive. The big thing I have integrated into my life is the dog walk. I walk the dogs every day. It's an odd day when I don't. And if I skip a day I absolutely cannot skip the next day. The dogs will not allow it. While they're as lazy as I am, they require that I walk them. Is this the classic female thing of I'll-take-care-of-everyone-else-before-I-take-care-of-myself? I suppose so.

So, instead of berating myself for not working out as much as I should, I've decided to take the next few weeks and simply observe my exercise inclinations. I had very vague workouts scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this week and they both got blown off. Today my gym bag is packed and in the car and there's a step 'n tone class at the gym at 4:30pm. I loved it last week - especially how my body felt the next day.

So I'm paying attention.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Decide Who You Want To Be

The Woman I Want to Be Tuesday.

I found a list I made last year. It said -

"I want to enjoy, but not be controlled by,





I love this list. But figuring out how to enjoy these things, without feeling controlled by them, is my challenge. I want to enjoy food, but I don't want to be overweight. I want to enjoy booze, but not let that enjoyment consume me and take the place of other, sober, pursuits. I want to enjoy my body with sex, exercise, and activities but not feel controlled by some schedule that I think I should be living up to. And I want to enjoy the money that Rob and I earn without being consumed by constant complaining about the budget or overspending on things I don't value.

This is my challenge. And the hardest part is … Who do I want to be? How do I want to spend my days, my time? How do I embrace my lazy procrastinator while satisfying the intrinsically motivated go-getter?

This is my journey. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

The Kardashian Konfession

I love Keeping Up with them. I admit it. Call it a guilty pleasure. Call it morbid fascination. I love it. As a group, they fascinate. I will not apologize. I also love Secret Life of the American Teenager, Jersey Shore, Tosh.0, but not Mrs. Eastwood and Company. I've recently changed my channel package with Direct TV so I no longer get to see Tori and Dean and whatever they're doing and I miss them. Do you think they miss me?
It's making me smile just thinking about my reality TV friends. But then I frown.  There is one way in which I believe, I truly believe, that these people (and the K-Klan is the worst) are making us more stupid.  The improper use of the phrase "…and I."

"Mom invited Lamar and I over to the house for dinner."

No. No, you Fucktard. "Mom invited Lamar and me over to the house for dinner."

Retail Marriage Therapy

Marriage and Relationships Monday

Rob and I had a great weekend. We saw friends. We spent time alone. We enjoyed and we relaxed. But then why do I get so annoyed when I see him sitting on the couch, with football on, squinting at his phone? He says he's "reading an article." I'm sure he is. But why, instead of putting on his glasses, does he squint at that teeny little screen? And why do I care?

And was it just a coincidence that he went on and on and on about the Kindle Fire HD it's-the-greatest-they've-really-set-the-standard-blah-blah? It seems I've solved my little dilemma.

It upsets me to see my honey so squinty and pathetic when he wants to read about his beloved San Diego Chargers while watching his San Diego Chargers on the love seat that we had to re-order three times just to get the fabric right.

So I will open up my wallet and buy him a Kindle Fire. I make myself happy by making him happy. When did I transport myself to 1957?

And of course the real question is, what can he buy me that equally as extravagant? I'll put some thought into that and get back to you.