Thursday, June 17, 2010

I've been remiss...

...about keeping this blog up to date. Sigh. One of these days I'll actually be good at this whole blogging thing, but in the mean time I thank you faithful readers who keep up with me anyway (namely, my Mom). I feel like I have lots to write about and nothing to write about at the same we'll see how this goes. I'm going to save my garden for another post, hopefully one that I'll get up this afternoon (I want to take a few pictures of the garden today before I do that post though). So maybe we'll have 2 posts in one day!

Anyway here are a few random musings from my direction:

1. I realized that I never updated you all on the homemade deodorant campaign. It was a complete flop. The baking soda/cornstarch mix did keep the smell at bay, but it didn't last as long as my Tom's does and, to make matters worse, it dried out my underarms and made them irritated on top of the initial irritation. So I went back to my Tom's the minute I retrieved it from my office. I still haven't been able to find it in stores anymore (it seems to have been replaced by a roll on) but I'm going to Maine on Saturday for a friend's ordination and plan on stopping by the factory outlet store and stocking up on deodorant and toothpaste. Woot.

2. Medieval Welsh. I think I may have mentioned somewhere that I'm taking a medieval welsh reading course this summer. Well, it's not so much of a course as it is a bunch of people getting together to translate. It's going pretty well so far (I think). It involves lots of flipping through the vocabulary section, but such is life. It's also been a good way to get to know some people in the UConn community before school actually starts. I'm the only student in there who's straight up history (although my advisor is in the group as well), but still. Meeting people is good.

3. R and I got season passes to Six Flags. It's not too far from church and it's our entertainment budget for the summer. We've only been able to make it once so far, but we plan on going again this Sunday. It's not a huge theme park, but it's not bad. And for 50 bucks each we can go anytime we want through the end of October, so that's all good.

4. I'm currently starting some summer reading that's more school-oriented. There are a few books I'd like to get through before class starts, and on top of that I'm experimenting with a new way to read, so to speak. When I take generals in 2 years I don't want to have to reread everything, so I'm taking notes on each chapter as I read. It's more time consuming but I think it will pay off in the end when I'm researching for the orals and for the dissertation. This way I'll know where to flip when I need particular information. The only downside is that I have to have my computer with me when I'm reading (I can take the notes by hand but that's even more time consuming). This method is similar to what I did in the fall while I was applying to programs-I'd read books by the folks with whom I wanted to study and take notes along the way. So we'll see how this goes.

5. I'm seriously considering going "no poo," which is the short term for not using shampoo. The more I read about the chemicals in that stuff, the more ridiculous it seems to me that we put it on our scalp, mere inches away from our brains. Not to mention that cosmetics are expensive. The no poo method will take a little getting used to and experimentation (some folks use a baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse, others use nothing), but I'll keep everyone updated. It seems that it works best for the folks with curly hair, so there's a win! I just hope it doesn't look overly greasy, particularly for church on Sunday. I have to look presentable and all that...but it would be great not to have the extra expense of shampoo. And apparently when you stop using it and your hair has started to reproduce the natural oils that protect it, you have softer hair that's less frizzy (oh I can't wait!). So woot. Not to mention that people didn't actually start shampooing their hair until the 20th century. Before that it was just rinsing.

It sounds weird, I realize, but I did find a phrase that captured this for me. It's called "redefining normal." Today, not using shampoo is not normal because that's what society tells us is not normal (even though it didn't become normal until the early 20th century). So I just have to redefine my own normal and off we go.

6. R and I went to a local farm last Saturday and picked some strawberries, as well as bought some veggies. I swear these are the best strawberries I've ever had-absolutely amazing! I hope the ones in our garden bear fruit, literally. I hope next summer we can do CSA at a local farm. I think the cost ends up being about the same in basic how much we spend terms, but the environmental cost is so much lower that if we can afford it, I hope we can do it. That will have to wait until next year though.

OK well, that's enough randomness for now. I'll get some pics of the garden and update you all on that later, especially as we've tried something new this year (well, a couple of new things).

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