January of this 2018 has been:
Mae and I are pretty much obsessed with Jain and tend to put her on full blast when we're doing housework together. We are still, of course, a family of Die Antwoord listeners and Alien is the song of choice most days (Caution: Die Antwoord is not for children or adults who are offended easily. They're a South African group and their lyrics are mostly inappropriate. We have been huge fans since $0$ debuted and Mae swears she and Yolandi are kin. They are also the main characters in Chappy which we all saw in the theater - obviously.).
I've been working on my Italian again but I'm still stuck in the same rut that stifled my progress the first time around. I can read you well, Italian, and infer meaning, but to pull the words, phrases, and sentences together and speak conversationally is downright hard. I'm really grasping now to get over the hump and have started researching Italian movies that I can watch. I think it's the closest thing I have to immersion. Alizah, my mom, and I have all decided it's total bullshit that my grandparents never spoke Italian to their children. My mom said the kids would play in the living room and the adults would sit around the kitchen table having adult-only conversations in Italian, but never shared the language with the children. And so now, I'm sitting around between rows of knitting, stumbling over the feminine and masculine singulars and plurals in tense and time like I'm padding around in the dark.
In addition to the Lore podcast which is my rainy day go-to for binge listening, I've been listening to Crime Junkies which is new and local. The girls and I wake up excited for Monday because our local radio show does Murder Monday with the host of the Crime Junkies podcast. We basically live for it. I've also watched nearly every episode of Forensic Files - even the ones from way back when, but I'm on a Criminal Minds kick right now (not true crime, but still entertaining enough). I don't think many people know about my crime obsession, but I guess the cat is out of the bag as the saying goes. My grandfather was a detective and my mom said she had reoccurring nightmares that one of the bad guys her dad caught would escape and come after them. Maybe my obsession is a trickle down from him, which would honestly be no surprise. If you think my love for crime stops at podcasts and tv shows, you'd be mistaken. I once saw a real life crime scene investigator at one of Alizah's band concerts and swooned like he was a celebrity. I asked Mae to chase him down with me so I could get a pic with him but she yelled at that it was WAY TOO EMBARRASSING, then hid her face in her sweater.
Alizah turned 17. It's a blow with each year, but man. I'm just not into it at all. Everyone thinks I'm nuts - and yes, I literally cry when anyone starts talking about her being an adult and going to college - but it is what it is. I hate it. I wonder how I'll be when Mae starts rounding the bend to adulthood. I hope I'm getting all of my growing pains out now so that I don't go through this again. The first is just the hardest with everything though - at least in my case.
It has officially been two months since I've used shampoo. Gross. No, not really. Have you heard about the no-poo movement? Ya, I hadn't either, but I guess it's that universal consciousness rearing its ugly head again. I had stopped washing my hair with shampoo around the same time I stopped using my deodorant (going full savage). Really, it started because my lymph nodes were so swollen in my pits that I was in tears. I started just washing my pits each morning with mild, natural soap, then using coconut oil with essential oils blended in as deodorant until my nodes calmed down. I felt like I was becoming allergic to the modern world.... and asked my granny what they did before shampoo hit the mass market. Granny is aged and has had multiple strokes now, so it was understandable that she couldn't really remember.
I hit the net and found all sorts of no-poo warriors. What I gathered is that the key is using a hog bristle brush every day and brushing thoroughly. And so I got my hands on one and did as told. I was still rinsing my hair with hot water once a week or a bit more frequently. At about week three I felt like grease was probably just rolling off my head and onto my face and neck. It was... disgusting. I used about a dime size of natural cleanser at my neck, around my face, and on the crown of my head to knock down the perceived oil. I say perceived because I may or may not have been imagining it - like, it wasn't visible and I couldn't feel anything when I touched the areas, it was the areas themselves that felt gross. That was the last time I used a cleanser. I have really thick, coarse, long hair and after that little dime of cleansing conditioner touched me, my hair was all frizzed up and dry looking. I kid you not, it was so weird.
I kept brushing and rinsing with hot water, really exfoliating the scalp and focusing on those same areas I had used the cleanser on because you know, I just thought they needed it. After the first month, things started to balance out. I had read this online and was like, ha, ya, ok, stupid. Because how does your hair just stop being greasy and itchy and gross? I still have no answers. All I know is that my hair was suddenly starting to get more frizzy and dry with each hot water rinse and so I started spreading those out, too. Now, I'm going about a week and a half between rinsing and my hair is dry (as in, not oily), is regaining it's old, regular fluffiness, and natural curl. Somewhere around the two week mark it was not fluffy or curly at all. Sometimes I worry that it's gonna have that stinky, dirty hair smell even if it looks and feels totally normal so I'm currently just combating that by making sure the bristle brush is cleaned with soap and water weekly if not more often.
As far as deodorant (since I'm sure you're just dying to know), I've been alternating the use of the coconut oil/essential oil blend with Schmidt's natural deodorant which is pretty fantastic. My pits aren't trying to ruin my life anymore either, so, that's good.
You know I'm always teetering between sharing and saving the going-ons of my personal life, but I'm feeling my way. I'd like to share a bit of personal goings-on at the end of each month, but knowing me I'll be mid April and I'll be like, Oh crap... whoops. So, I may or may not be here. If I am, I'm sure you'll get to read all sorts of weird stuff about me you never would have guessed.