Thursday, February 27, 2014

Homemade Deodorant Winner

Here it is--a deodorant recipe that lasts 12+ hours (on a good, less-stress-than-some day):

Baking soda
Corn starch or arrowroot powder
Coconut oil
Lavender essential oil
Patchouli essential oil (I ordered this one for my anti-wrinkle face lotion I'm experimenting with.  I decided to toss it in the deod because some people say it has antimicrobial properties and adds depth to whatever fragrance you mix it with.  It has a very strong smell, so I only added a few drops.  The deod smells like lavender, which isn't as good as, say, Dove Cool Essentials, but it's growing on me.)

It's very melty.  As soon as it touches my armpit it's dripping all over.  But, I've decided it's worth it.  It doesn't stain as long as I don't put on too much.  And at my Grandad's funeral I was reminded why I'd started experimenting with homemade stuff to begin with: I wore commercial antiperspirant in Colorado not wanting to risk B.O. at such an important occasion; in the shower, when I was washing my armpits, there was that antiperspirant film that's almost impossible to wash off.  I hate it.  So, sorry everyone.  I would rather risk offending you with my body odor than feel un-slippery armpits when I'm in the shower. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Common Core: Where Did it Come from?

Google United Nations Agenda 21.  Do some research.  Let me know if you are convinced the United Nations had nothing to do with Common Core.  I'm afraid it did.  And does.

Now read  George Will's piece on Common Core.  If the Federal Government has no right to dictate what is taught in our public schools, what in the world is the U.N. doing telling us what to teach?

You've got to admire how Common Core is promoted as a wonderful program for teaching kids math, reading, and writing; how great it would be if every state were on the same page so if kids moved out of state, their new school would be teaching the same thing their old school was teaching.  No one mentions that Common Core also includes Social Studies and History.  No one denies it, of course, but good luck finding out exactly what they plan to teach.  I've already described Damon's lessons on Why Americans Are Evil.  If that's Common Core, I don't want anymore.

Now, if you start reading through Agenda 21, it's not so bad. It sounds like all the U.N. wants to do is save the planet.  If you think they've got good ideas on how to do that, that's great.  Write a blog.  Go on Good Morning America.  Start riding your bike to work and to the grocery store, move into a small home, stop using toilet paper, and don't go on exotic vacations.  Then maybe I'll believe you are more interested in saving the planet than ruling the world.  DON'T SNEAK YOUR AGENDA THROUGH THE BACK DOOR OF MY CHILD'S SCHOOL.  It smacks of something Chairman Mao, the Khmer Rouge, or Hitler would have done.  Or did.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Failed Spiritual Moment

Anne likes to have a story while we're driving.  Today on the way to Claire's physical therapy I told my favorite one about the handcart pioneers, the one that ends with,

"I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it...I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there."

I was so choked up I almost couldn't finish telling it.

Claire's response was, "Spooky!  Haunted handcarts!"

Forgive me, Mormon pioneers.  I have failed you.

The Toughest Man We Ever Knew

I hope my roof doesn't collapse, but I've gotta take a break.  There are at least two feet of snow up there, its raining and making the snow heavier by the minute, and raking it off is such hard work my arms are shaking as I type.

Going to Manassa, CO for my Grandad's funeral was so wonderful.  It was a happier time than my Grandma Barbara's funeral a year and a half ago.  It was painful then to see my Grandad so sad.


Sharing memories about Grandad at Danette and Perry's.  Uncle Dan told about a time many years ago he was helping Grandad load hay on the back of a man's trailer.  When the hay was loaded the man hopped in his truck and said, "I'll pay you next week."  Grandad planted himself in front of the truck and said, "No, you'll pay me now.  Cash."  The man said, "I don't have any cash.  I'll give you a check."  Grandad said, "No, your checks are no good.  I told you it would be cash."  The man continued to argue but Grandad was firm, and Dan had to unload the hay.  Cousin-in-law Jared said, "Since Grandad was a Marine and I was in the airforce, I was talking with him one time because we had both had similar experiences with bullets flying past our heads.  He told me to find something to be grateful for in every situation.  A while later I was in a situation where a suicide bomber blew himself up and his face landed at my feet.  I heard Grandad's voice telling me to find something to be grateful for and I thought, 'I'm grateful that's not my face.'"

The funeral (how I wish I'd taken notes!): all the grandson's wore one of Grandad's ties.  All the granddaughters wore Grandma's beads.  Scott told this story.  Lex talked about how tough Grandad was and how we hoped some of that toughness rubbed off on Justin, who just joined the navy.  He talked about what a good man Grandad was, how he hoped we'd all live so that someday we could once again hear him say, "For heck's sakes, it's Lex" (or Charlotte or Lynsey or Phillip--you get the picture), and how Grandad had told him to never take any wooden nickels, and thanks to that advice, he never has taken a wooden nickel to this day.  Aunt Deon, Grandad's only sibling (who looks fantastic, btw) talked about growing up with Grandad, going to dances with him, how fun he was to dance with and how she knew he was always watching out for her, how he didn't talk much or sing very well, but the first time he let her ride with him from the cabin into town, they would sing as they rode their horses.  On the high notes he would stand up in his stirrups so he could reach those high notes.

The cemetery: When a Marine did the role call and all the other Marines answered "Here" (or was it "Present" or something else?) and then called for Cletus M. Gilleland three times before someone said he wasn't present because he had been called home, I cried like a baby.

As tough as Grandad was, we'll never forget how tender and good he was, either.  How he always greeted us by name (the right name, I might add.  I call my kids and siblings the wrong names all the time, calling Damon "Justin," for example.  I inherited that problem from my mom.) and gave such warm hugs.  How he cared for Grandma, how devoted he was as her health failed.  How sincerely and beautifully he prayed.

Enough.  The snow is waiting for me, crying gives me a headache, and we've been blessed with having more to celebrate than to mourn.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winner of the Popularity Contest

When Julia and I got home from the airport last night this was what happened:

"Julia's home!  Julia!  Can I hold Julia?  Awww, Julia.  Oh, hi, Mom."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Before I fly out...

and because I'm tired of laundry and want a break, here's a conversation from this morning.

Damon: I don't like how half of scientists are trying to save gorillas from going extinct, and the other half, the doctor ones, are doing experiments on them to try to find cures for cancer.  It's like they're killing them to save us.

Me:  And you don't like that?

Damon: No.

Me (in my head, because I'd hate to make my son despise me): I like it.  I'm all for saving us.

Friday, February 14, 2014

One from the Greatest Generation

My Grandad died yesterday. 

Sunday Julia and I get to fly to Colorado for his funeral where we will celebrate a life well lived, now reunited with his sweetheart.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

attempt 3.5

So much to blog about, so little time.  But I must make time for the really important thing: homemade deodorant attempt #3.5

Cloves and cutie [you know, those yummy little tangerine things from Sam's Club] peel simmered in coconut oil and beeswax.  Removed the cutie peel and cloves, mixed the wax and oil with baking soda, and poured in deod container. 

Results: armpits that smell like Christmas for some of the day, and armpits of clothing stained yellow.  I've really gotta stop using beeswax, but it makes the deod solid enough to keep and apply at room temperature.  Deod in the fridge = annoying + out of sight, out of mind (meaning: I forget to put it on.  Homemade deodorant may not work well, but it works much better than nothing, friends).

HOWEVER!  My lavender oil arrives tonight, so stay tuned for tomorrow's new and exciting attempt.  Oh, how I hope I won't have an allergic reaction to lavender oil.  It's my last hope.  But hark! Did I just hear Yoda whispering "There is another"?  No, Charlotte.  Get a grip.  You're just a delusional nerd addicted to experimenting with homemade deodorant.