Alright, February is coming to a close and I've somehow managed to make my way back here! In January, I shared a bit about my Italian and my plan for searching out some movies - I'm happy to report that I found one on Netflix called The Wonders (La Meraviglie) that was downright fantastic. For something a little darker, packed with twists and turns, Deep in the Wood (In fondo al bosco) is a good one, too and is available on Amazon Prime Video. I'm also listening to the Coffee Break Italian podcast in addition to my reading and writing - it's extremely helpful for conversation and pronunciation. But let's be real here people, it's been driving Nate and the girls a little crazy. Because of this, I'm tempering my learning and avoiding the use of the "I" word in regular conversation (as soon as Ital... passes my lips, the eyes start rolling). This isn't to say they're stifling me - even if it really felt that way for a few days while I was teetering on the edge of a flare up and PMS-ing at the same time - because, admittedly, I was all in all day.
Mae and I did a takeover of the Habit Aware Instagram at the beginning of the month. This was a big step for her - even though she's not afraid to share her Trichotillomania (and as she puts it, her friends know so, whatever), it's still a big deal to talk about it transparently and publicly. I'm so proud of her for her willingness to share her story and some of our process as far as coming to terms with a coping with her Trich. The response we had was incredible - SO many people showed their love and support on Mae's post that even the founder of Habit Aware e-mailed me and was like, so that was awesome... I also had DMs and e-mails rolling in from parents of trichsters and trichsters themselves, just reaching out, asking about the Keen bracelet, sharing stories of triumph and sorrow. I cried a lot. It was a lot. If you're reading this and you're like, whaaa? Here is a link to some info about Trichotillomania.
The saddest news of the month though, and something I wasnt' even able to share outside the home and with my parents until recently is that we lost our sweetest, most beloved hen this month - likely to the group of juvenile hawks that have taken up residence in the neighborhood. There is truly no trace of Melly at all, but she was just a teeny tiny thing and would easily carried off, unlike our Orpington that I saved from the grips of talons just a few weeks ago. She's a fatty and that hawk was going nowhere fast. Mae was devastated - like guttural sobbing over her best girl. If you aren't familiar with Blind Melon (Melly) from my IG posts, she was our little black Silkie and one of our very first hens. She even hatched Mae's duck over this past summer and was such a good mama to him. When it was below zero, Melly stayed in the house and slept in a dog crate. She had just finished molting and had begun laying eggs again when she was lost. I was pretty torn up, too as I always am, but I think because she has always been my best gal, too. She would often snuggle up on the couch with me and my fluffy black baby dog or sit and look out the back door with our lady dog. She would pitter patter around the house and show up in bedrooms unexpectedly. When it was cold out but not too cold out, I would carry her around in my coat while I did my outside chores. My mom (and Nate too) were like, um... you guys can't get so attached to these chickens. We have SO many predators! But, we're not attached to any of them like we were to her. She was just a damn fine bird.
And obviously there is no replacing that girl, but we are dampening the sting a bit with our new snuggle bunny....
This is Mr. Indigo Rabbit. Now, we've had such a strange collection of animals come through these doors over the years and every time there's a day or two of introductions between the predator and prey members of the family. Normally, this whole thing goes very smoothly and everyone catches on to the idea of not eating each other, basically ignoring that the others exist. Indigo Rabbit has been the exception to the rule in a of couple of ways. First, Carter, fluffly little baby dog, is obsessed with this rabbit. The first couple of days we kept him in his cage or on the lower level until he was acclimated, but baby dog would sit at the cage and watch him for hours, cried all night at the top of the steps because the gate was up... I mean, it was getting ridiculous. Once it was time to make introductions, our lady dog was all about making Indigo stew. Carter would get between her and the rabbit, snapping and snarling until she backed off. Our old man dog just sort of sniffed him and laid back down (thinking, again with this crap?) So, I finally got our lady dog on board and she no longer pays the rabbit much mind. Carter, however, is still following him around constantly and insisting they snuggle every chance he gets. Near the end of the first week though, the cat - who had previously just sort of stared at him - came stalking from the kitchen with her eyes set on the rabbit. To my surprise, it was our lady dog who jumped up and chased the cat away, then sniffed Indigo and made her way back to the couch. There is just something about this bunny!
And, of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't include an update on the ole hair washing situation.
So, I'm still not using shampoo. I mentioned last month that I was considering the use of essential oils in my brushing routine because I don't want to smell like... well, dirty hair. And even though warm water rinsing really does keep it from having an odor, I'm still of fan of smelling good! There has been a fair amount of trial and error here, especially because my hair is so long and thick that I over-did it on my first go. When members of the family walk in the house and shout, good lord, what is that smell!? Um, that's an indicator that perhaps a few extra drops aren't needed. I have found a balance that I like though - after rinsing my hair, I use a couple drops of tea tree, sometimes adding a drop of lemongrass oil and massage the oils into my scalp, then brush as usual. Every other day between hair rinsings I use either a couple drops of tea tree, peppermint, and rosemary or rosemary and lemongrass, on dry hair, massaging into the scalp and brushing well. I use these particular oils for two reasons. First, they're all very refreshing, clean scents if you don't go overboard. Second, they're all known for soothing the scalp and tea tree especially has anti-microbial/anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties. I think I'm really finding a balance and routine that works! As I said last month, my hair is really re-balancing and my, I don't know, old? hair texture is returning. I have that thick, curly, coarse, Sicilian hair that's has been the source of much anguish in my younger days, but now, with those same properties returning, I'm feeling totally at ease with it. The frizz is far less than it used to be which helps!
A quick update, too on my true crime addiction! I finally listened to Serial Season 1 about Adnan Syed. I'm glad I waited because since the podcast, his case has had some breakthroughs and being able to see it all take a new direction is really intriguing. I've been listening a bit to True Crime Garage also, but they ramble a bit. I just have a soft spot for my local gal at Crime Junkies I guess.
Let's see if I can keep it going and see you again at the end of March!