Archive for October, 2008

Getting Old with Mom

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I’m listening to the audiobook “Water For Elephants” now. It has me completely captivated. The story is told as a series of memories from the point of view of Jacob Jankowski, the lead character. When the story begins, Jankowski is either 90 or 93 (he can’t remember) years old and living in a nursing home.

As Jacob describes some events that unfold in the nursing home, my heart breaks. I immediately think forward to when my parents will be his age. What will their lives be like when they’re elderly? Will they want to live in a nursing home? Or would they rather live with their children? Thinking about them being taken care of by strangers fills me with sorrow and dread. Unless that’s their express interest, there’s no way I can let that happen.

I also started imagining what daily life would be like if my mom came to live with us. For some reason, I don’t picture my dad in these future projections. Mostly since his health isn’t the greatest; he’s a compulsive overeater whose body is showing all of the signs of a lifetime of excess food: Diabetes Type 2, heart problems, etc. That’s another story, for another day, though, and not all that relevant to the point of my little story here.

Envisioning my mom and I living together as older women actually brought a smile to my face. We’ve not always had the best relationship – especially through my teens and twenties – but today she’s someone I feel a need to connect with on a regular basis. When I don’t talk to her for a few days, I start missing her. I think we would actually have a good time together in our twilight years. Of course, a lot would depend upon her attitude. She tends to get depressed when she doesn’t feel good physically. She also has a lot of back problems. For my little daydream, though, we’re sitting around the kitchen table sipping on hot tea and enjoying our moments together.

Of course, I know I’m projecting into the future (just a little, hmm?), but I think it’s good to come to terms with these types of things with oneself. Knowing where I stand on this issue for my family gives me a sense of peace. Just as a side note – I don’t hold any opinions or judgments about anyone else and their family situation. I know that everyone has to do what works best for them.

With all this being said, I still hope we have many, many years before any of this comes to fruition. I’m looking forward to having a long and rewarding relationship with my mom (and dad!), but I’m also wise enough to know I need to just enjoy the time I have with them today. Speaking of which, my mom is pinging me on instant messaging now. Time to go.

Hair Pics – No Shampoo

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I took pics of my hair today to show you how wonderful it is now that I’m no longer using shampoo.

First, here is a picture of my hair from 2 weeks ago. This picture doesn’t really do the mess that was my hair justice, though, because I totally tried to make it look as good as I could right before I took it. Within 15 minutes of this being taken, I’m sure the sides were perpendicular to my head as they prepared me for take off.

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And here I am today. I did that baking soda and apple cider vinegar wash earlier, so my hair is a bit drier than it has been this past week. I’m hoping tomorrow it goes back to being a bit softer again. I love this first picture because of how much light was hitting my face, it makes my eyes look translucent.

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The great thing about the hair now is that it stays the same way it looks in these pics. I mean, I might have to run a brush through it to remove tangles at the end of the day, but that’s about it!

I’ll update again in a few weeks to let you know how the no shampoo routine is working out for me.

No Shampoo

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Last week on Facebook and message boards, I spent some time talking about my need for a new hair style. My hair was seriously driving me nuts. There was one spot, in particular, that came dangerously close to being dealt with in a drastic manner. I’m so glad it didn’t have to come to that. The emergency trip to the hairdresser afterward would have been so embarrassing.

“Yes, I realize I’m not a hairdresser and have no business with scissors anywhere near the vicinity of my head. And yes, I know I shouldn’t cut my own hair, especially right smack on the side of my head where it’s hard to hide a butchering. But you have to understand: I couldn’t control myself!”

Yeah – glad that scenario didn’t have to play itself out.

And this week, I’m singing a whole different tune. You see, I’ve found my panacea. And it’s in the form of a surprising new beauty routine.

For a while now, a few friends have been talking about how they discontinued using shampoo. I didn’t pay them a whole lot of attention because, well, no shampoo just sounded pretty darn gross to me. It wasn’t until Julie chimed in that she’d been shampoo-free for some weeks that I decided to start asking questions.

It turns out, I’ve got some knowledgeable friends (who knew??). First, Marisa schooled me in all things silicone in the hair product world. Here’s a direct quote from my wise mentor of all things beauty:

The reason you would want to eliminate silicones is because they are very drying. Silicones give hair a sleek, frizz-free look. They make your hair appear healthy. But appearances are deceiving. While the silicone coats the hair, giving it a glass-like finish, underneath it is drying the hair shaft. If you don’t use the ‘cone based product, your hair is even worse than before. The more you use, the more you need.

That made so much sense to me. I liken it to sugar in foods. The more you eat, the more you crave and destroy your body in the process. If you stop eating it, you don’t crave it and your body can start to heal. But, you have to stop eating it in order to get off the vicious merry-go-round.

So, I was on board with the no silicones and decided to go for broke and try the no shampoo thing, too. Even though there’s no shampoo being used, you still “wash” your hair with (silicone-free) conditioner – using it just like shampoo. Here’s what Marisa says about no shampoo:

In a nutshell, the shampoo is needed to remove the buildup of silicones and proteins. These are primary ingredients in styling products, anti-frizz serums and most conditioners. When you eliminate those ingredients, you no longer need such harsh shampoo.

Today was day 4 of no shampoo and I can barely express how thrilled I am with the results. That piece of hair that refused to behave before? Lies down perfectly in place where I want it and stays there all day. No more flipping out, or fly-aways!

Marisa recommends using Suave Naturals line of conditioners since they are silicone-free. I’ve been using the Tropical Coconut, but have a couple other scents on hand to use, as well.

As a point of reference, my hair is naturally a bit wavy, sometimes almost curly (depends on the humidity in the air), thick, and extremely oily. Since it’s oily, I was afraid of the conditioner-only routine, but I haven’t had any issue with my hair feeling or looking greasy sooner than it did when I was using shampoo.

I also want to give my hair a “detox” to clean out any remaining buildup from previous silicones. Here’s Marisa’s recipe to remove buildup in the hair:

Mix a couple Tablespoons of baking soda with water to make a paste, massage that into the scalp. Rinse well then rinse with about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup of water.

I’m going give this a try this weekend. I’ll also try to remember to take pictures of my glorious hair that I’m in love with all over again. I’m also so grateful I finally started listening to my smart friends. Maybe I should do that more often.

Some Tweaking

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I’ve been doing some slight tweaking around here. I know no one else besides me cares about any of this, but I wanted to post about it as more of a record for myself. Of course, there’s also some stuff here for those who can’t get enough of me – I added a Social Media section so you can find me all over the dang Internet. Let the stalking commence.

Other minor things can be found “after the jump” (just because I’m testing that functionality)

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In The Rooms

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Since I’ve been in recovery for my food and alcohol addictions, I’ve been surprised at the lack of community and resources online for us addicts. Sure, the fellowships I belong to all have websites and offer online meetings, but all of the forums and other forms of social media I’ve come across have been severely lacking. I just chalked it up to the power of face-to-face interaction with other members; maybe there wasn’t a big need for what I was looking for.

Yesterday, though, I was pleasantly surprised to find a site that could fill the bill I had in mind. In The Rooms is a brand new global recovery community that seems to get it. The site has most of the features you’d expect from a social media standpoint: profiles to fill out and browse, groups for fellowships, member-created groups, libraries for files, news, a blog, photo uploading, a daily meditation offering, and messaging between members.

I hope to make some friends “In the Rooms” and grow my circle of recovery friends around the globe even wider than it already is. That is always a good thing. If you’re in a 12-step recovery group, check it out!