Friday, December 30, 2005

I had a beaded hair net once

Back in the '80s I had the prettiest hair net you ever did see. It always got me compliments. My best recollection is the time I wore it to the Bolshoi Ballet in Los Angeles and as I walked down the stairs with my husband a girl behind us said, "Look at that. I want one." I positively glowed overhearing that, don't 'cha know.

The thing is, I picked it up at a drugstore for about a dollar. It was one of those old fashioned nylon hair nets that are so light that they're not supposed to show. The one I bought was brown, but it was beaded. It had tiny multicolored beads woven into it. It came in one of those old fashioned envelopes so I felt kind of stupid buying it, but it turned out to be one of my best purchases ever. I just totally lucked out in finding it.

When my son was one and a half he got into the drawer I had it in and basically, his little sticky hands were fascinated by it and he ruined it. I tried and tried to untangle it but couldn't. It was way too light and fine. Had to deep six it and I've never come across one like it since. I can find vintage hair nets, but none with seed beads.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Computer housekeeping

Last night I spent a couple hours burning photo images to four CDs. I freed up 2.6 gigs. My computer feels so good now.

Since purchasing my machine in May my shut down time has slowly crept up to nearly one minute. I mean, the other night I clicked shut-down, went to the bathroom, came back, and my laptop was still in shut-down mode. I despise how software developers take the liberty of placing their programs on auto start-up. So I ran msconfig and deleted about ten items from automatically starting up and running in the background. I unchecked the following:

Real Player
msmessages
Hp Digital Imaging
HP Image Zone
qttask
HPWuSchd2
hpcmpmgr
RAMASST
gcasServ
ctfmon

I used Start-up Inspector to look up the items that I wasn't familiar with such as RAMASST. My shut down time is back to 15 seconds.

Adobe sent out my Photoshop upgrade so I'm anxiously, excitedly, awaiting! That's why I'm cleaning up my machine. I just want everything nice and shiny for installation. I will have a steep learning curve right off the bat. The upgrade is called Photoshop CS2 but really it's Photoshop 9. Some marketing geekazoids went crazy and renamed it Creative Suite. I skipped Photoshop 7 and Photoshop Creative Suite 1 (aka Photoshop 8). And I'm upgrading to Creative Suite 2 (aka Photoshop 9). They should have just stuck with the numerals.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Calendars as gifts

Man, my brain is fried. I just spend hours on the Shutterfly site uploading, arranging, cropping, and putting captions on a calendar I "designed." Okay, I did the photography and let Shutterfly do pretty much the rest. It took me an hour to figure out how to add recipients and mailing addresses so I could have calendars mailed directly to my family. Nice convenience. I hope they turn out well. They look pretty online. I read several posts from women who were pleased with the service. I ordered six. It all totaled $88.33. That price includes shipping to six different addresses: my mom, my dad, my sister, my eldest son, my sweet step-sister, and me. It's a good deal. I saved $59.00 because now till the 31st they're offering a special discount; buy one at $19.99 and get the second at 50% off. Twenty dollars for one is steep and that's what you pay before Christmas. Wait till after Christmas like me, and yay, you save! Avoiding the hassle of driving to the copy shop, waiting in line, fretting over whether the help gets it done right, and having to mail them myself makes it worth every penny. I just hope they turn out...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Progress with my blue heron


A little better Posted by Picasa

This guy was more of a poser. He didn't fly away. Actually he's sitting on a tiny island and I can't get any closer so he feels safe and comfy.

My batteries went dead and I failed to bring my extra set. What an amateur! I got all the pictures I wanted so no biggie. Although, I want to go back to try different settings and I want to try continuous burst mode, but I need him to fly away too, yet I don't want to bother him and make him fly away. Maybe I'll go find those ducks...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Adobe Photoshop upgrade for me!

My husband got me the latest Photoshop upgrade for Christmas. Oh la la. I can't wait to install it. I have 6.0 and never bought the 7.0 version because it didn't actually have anything awesome that I had to have, but Photoshop CS2 sure does. I have to phone tomorrow and ask them to snail mail me a CD though. I tried to download the software but our satellite modem doesn't like it. Darn it. I could be playing with it right now.

I got my husband some socket sets and a combination wrench. Can you say woo-hoo. :-/ He has a box for me to open too. He always gets me things I want and LOVE and I am never able to get him anything really good. I'm terrible at giving him presents. It makes me feel a little bad. It's been 21 years and still I'm not good at giving him gifts. He wants a new shiny exhaust pipe thing for the truck, but I can't just walk in a store and buy an exhaust system. I tell myself gifts aren't my strong suit, and he's still with me after all these years, so maybe I have a different strong suit. Hopefully.

For our first anniversary he got me Madonna boots. Who remembers those? I wore them with socks, cutoff tights, and a shamefully short mini skirt. Back then in college, I danced six days a week and one day a guy walked by and said I had nice legs. I said, "What?" like I was deaf or something and he said it again. I was embarrassed. It was nice of him to say though. Twice even!

I still have those boots. I take 'em out of my closet now and then, dust them off, rub 'em with my sleeve, to bring back the shine. I tend to linger over them. But then I carefully return them to their place, the exact same spot. I can see where they belong because no dust has gathered where the soles rest. I don't go that far in my closet very often. They're just shoes, I know that. But they're also piece of my life. My history. It's like, there's a little tiny bit of my heart there, back in the back of the closet. I love those shoes. Well, I love my husband.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Honeysuckle EO

I received the honeysuckle essential oil that I ordered online. It smells sweet! Tomorrow I think I'll add a few drops to some sweet almond oil. I read that sweet almond oil is the most popular of carrier oils. I'd like to have a nice fragrance to wear but there are so few that I like and so many are just so, overwhelming. Don't people know that a fragrance shouldn't announce itself before you enter the room? Only people very close to you should smell your perfume. Loud fragrance is just like YELLING AT EVERYONE AROUND YOU.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Here come da judge!


Here come da judge! Posted by Picasa

Gambel's Quail. Male. Is he a fat dude or what? We love the warbling sound they make in the morning. Our son puts seed out for them. Lots of the campers do, and so they don't miss many meals!

Blue Heron


Bird Posted by Picasa

I drive the truck down where I know he is. He hangs out at the same place every day. He hears me and thinks, oh nooo, not her again, and gives a horrible, loud squawk as he flies off.

Kara wrote and told me he's a blue heron. Thanks Kara!

Kettle Top Butte Posted by Picasa

Duck in grayscale


In grayscale Posted by Picasa

There's lots of dead Saltcedar in the water, also called Tamarisk. It's an exotic plant actually, originally from Eurasia. It's considered a pest now because it sucks up a lot of water and squeezes out native vegetation. I'm fascinated by how it looks in the water. This body of water is a sort of big pond near the Rio Grande. Maybe it's at lower elevation and that's why the water collects here.

Today's sunset Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Chloride, New Mexico


The bank that never opened Posted by Picasa

Today's pics from our visit to Chloride, New Mexico. A little town of 70 souls. The museum was closed because they're preparing for a Christmas party and bingo tonight. Cute. They invited us but it's a little far from us.

The only bank in Chloride. Built of native stone. It failed before it even opened. The United States government adopted gold as the monetary standard and the price of silver plummeted. It precipitated the so-called silver crash of 1893 because no longer was it worth the work to haul the silver out of the hills. Sad I think, no one is restoring or saving the little building from ruin. Apparently someone took the timber from the roof in the 1940s to re-use (which was not uncommon in the early days). It's been withering away ever since.

If you will be spending much time in the area, an excellent book is Elephant Butte-Eastern Black Range Region, Journey from Desert Lakes to Mountain Ghost Towns, Scenic Trips to the Geologic Past No. 16 by Lozinsky, Harrison, Lekson.

No one actually hung here


The Hanging Tree Posted by Picasa

The saloon was nearby and though no one ever really got hung from the hanging tree, my book says, "it was used to chain overzealous cowboys when they had too much booze and got too rowdy during the dances. They would chain the miscreant to the tree by the wrist or ankle until he sobered up or promised to behave himself." Ha!

It's a Shell Oak and supposed to be about 200 years old. It's not very big for such an old tree.

Dish satellite service for outhouse


Outhouse with a dish Posted by Picasa

It must be very nice inside.

Coyote


Coyote in the distance Posted by Picasa

A healthy, beautiful coyote across the street.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dreams

Today during my nap I dreamt about hearts. Purple and pink hearts free floating. It was such a good dream.

Herbs in my hair rinse


Dried herbs to concoct an infusion Posted by Picasa

I made my own hair rinse today. I poured one pint (that being 16 ounces) of boiling water over two teaspoons each of burdock root, calendula, and comfey leaf. (Comfey leaf? Did I type Comfey leaf? I meant Comfrey.) You let it steep 30 minutes then add a few tablespoons of white vinegar. I used bottled water to boot. I would like to say I used distilled water, but I used our fluoridated water for babies. I didn't have a coffee filter to filter the infusion so I used a Puff kleenex, unused of course. Hey, I live in a trailer you know.

I poured the infusion (which is just a fancy way to say tea) over my head last as a final rinse. Didn't rinse it out. Hair came out nice. The only thing I noted that I didn't care for was that my very end ends were a little crunchy. I put monoi oil on ends when hair dried.

Which leads me to add, I let my hair dry completely before combing it out. It's supposed to be good to let the hair dry completely before combing out because hair can stretch so much when wet. Stretching the hair is something long hairs want to avoid. Well when I combed it out it was pretty. There was a wee bit more wave, but I'm into waves now that I'm off the blow-dryer.

I just feel so good tonight. I've been sick with a mean headcold since Monday and today I kicked it. I went for a walk, my new 1.4 mile loop, and I did walk - not run. Came home and took a nap. I couldn't help it. I was completely tired out! Geez.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A puzzle page

This is a fun little puzzle. http://www.brl.ntt.co.jp/people/hara/fly.swf

Homemade cosmetics URL

I was noodling around last night and found a neat site about making your own cosmetics. Beauty Recipes

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

March of the Penguin

We watched March of the Penguin tonight and I give it five thumbs up. It was good. I thought the beginning was pixilated but it was real, live photography.

We have DVD players on our new computers so we can watch movies!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to a tribal belly dance class at, ugh, 9:30 in the morning. I hope I wake up looking half way decent. I came down with a headcold last night. :(

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New reading glasses

My little boy surprised me with a pair of new reading glasses from the drug store. They have copper colored rims and they're really narrow, just like granny glasses. I love them! I look so intelligent when I wear these. At least, I think I do? They even come with their own little storage holder. I had a cute pair with red and purple Swarovski crystals, but, they got all scratched up and some of my crystals fell off.

I want a pair of black, sash Melodia pants real, real bad. Melodia's online payment form doesn't work though.

Leia posted a recipe for Honey Oatmeal cookies and I tried it out tonight. They're delicous. My crew of two ate half of them before I even finished baking! It's easy. Here's Leia's recipe. I think they should be called Oatmeal Coconut Cookies.

Honey Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup plain flour (8 oz)
- 1 cup sugar (8 oz)
- 3/4 cup ground coconut (2 1/4 oz)
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp boiling water

Directions
1. Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
2. Melt butter and syrup.
3. Mix baking soda with boiling water, add to melted butter mixture, and stir into dry ingredients.
4. Place tablespoons of mixture on trays.
5. Bake at 325° for 15-20 (mine cooked in 15) minutes. They should be golden brown.

I'm going to make these for our neighbors for Christmas. I made 20 cookies so I'll have to double the recipe next time. And, I might add some chocolate chips to see if they work.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Belly dance workshops

I'm beat! My thighs are sore and I even have a tummy ache tonight from over exertion. I attended workshops for Tribal Style, veil and turban wrapping, and Tahitian dance. Actually I didn't care to do the Tahitian workshop because I totally don't want to mix up my middle eastern dance vocabulary with Polynesian movement, but I was there and it was next, so I took it. I miss my class and my teacher, Aziza, from southern California very much tonight. After taking this class, I am a little blue from missing them. I miss the familiarity of routines I know and the women I knew.

The teachers were full of heart and a love of the dance and I learned some new moves. I danced worse than I used to though. Well, is that such a surprise? I haven't moved for seven months. Give me a big tissue will ya! I got compliments on my dancing when I danced in Homer, Alaska in May, but today I received none. One teacher said I looked very good, but it wasn't a comment about my dancing so much as my figure. I'm not saying that's bad, but somehow it didn't make me feel good at all. Ya know?

I did get a compliment on my hair though. That made me kind of happy. The girl, she was young, asked me how to make my hairstyle (a Chinese bun) and complimented my hair color. I find this unusual, coming from a young woman. I think there's a new batch of womanhood coming of age! She trimmed her own hair and it was perfect all the way across. I told her I was amazed she did it herself and she showed me how she did it.

An interesting comment she made, one I wish I'd asked her to expound upon, she said she'd been through some terrible times and she cut her hair as part of a sort of, recovery. She said hair can hold memories and cutting it off freed her from those bad memories contained therein. I imagine this is related to some sort of mystic belief since not a few belly dancers practice paganism. I don't buy it, but it's a fascinating thought and I'd like to know from whence it originated.

I took so long in the shower getting ready to go that I had to rush to be on time. I did not have time to apply one whit of make-up. Bah! What kind of dancer goes to class without at least eyeliner? Me. Never did I go to a class without make-up before.

I'm signing up for a weekly Tribal class, Wednesdays from 9:30am to 10:30am. I'll have make-up on for class for sure! I'll probably do a scalp wash to be sure my hair is not tinky. (Since our second son was born, we always say "tinky" for "stinky" at our house.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

We are campground volunteers!

We've been selected to work as campground volunteers in the great state of New Mexico. Hooray for New Mexico! We love it here.

What does it mean to be a campground volunteer? It means you work for 24 hours a week and in return you get to live in a camp space for free. Not only that. Most of the sites here offer only water and electricity but volunteers also get a sewer line. Yay! That means you don't have to dump your grey tank and you can use as much water as you like. This is good for showers and doing dishes and everything else you take for granted - when you live in a house.

My husband is fixing the hose and water faucet outside to hopefully keep it from freezing solid tonight. They say this weather is unusually cold. It's supposed to warm up a bit soon.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I jogged .8 miles today

I had to stop to walk twice. Half way, I thought my lungs were going to explode. As I dragged my buns the final .4 miles, my husband looked up and saw me so I picked my knees up and ran in the best form I could remember. My husband waved and I put both arms up in a victory sign just like Rocky did at the top of the stairs. Then he looked away, and man, I was draggin' again. Must look good when your man looks over, at any cost. Then I went in the trailer and did stretches on the floor which is quite a small area. Last, I shimmied, did figure eights, infinities, camels, and invisible zilling.

There's going to be a middle eastern dance day of workshops nearby on Saturday which is why I'm practicing. They're offering Tribal Style, Egyptian, Yoga, Tribal Indo Fusion, open dance drumming, and a veil wrap class. Then a hafla (middle eastern celebration with food and dance) Saturday night. I'm looking forward to it! I emailed an instructor I found via the Web and she's starting a 9 week dance session that I may sign up for. What luck. So, this is why I went on a jog today. I miss having a treadmill where I can sweat and huff and puff alone. I bought a Danskin jog suit especially for running just in case people see me. I've never had one before. Couple weeks ago we saw a busty gal jogging down the street and she looked like she was gonna knock herself out with the girls. I said, uh-uh, that's not going to be me so I found a superb jog bra at Dillard's. It's the best one I've ever had. Usually I run in my husband's sleep shorts and a jog bra but I can't do that in public. Well, I can't get in shape in two days, but at least I can feel more confident in my mind. The teacher here looked up my previous instructor and hinted that guest dancers are welcome at the restaurant she dances at on Wednesdays from 5 to 8pm. An exciting and scary prospect! I'm so out of shape...

Caballo Lake State Park, NM


Caballo Lake State Park, NM Posted by Picasa

During the day the mountains are drab brown, but when the sun starts setting, oh boy, you get a show.

It doesn't say so on the New Mexico State Parks Web site, but there are sites with full hook-ups available here. Most of the state parks have only water and electricity.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tootsie the dog


Tootsie the dog and her master Posted by Picasa

Our son snapped this photo with his camera! I felt it was striking and I asked him if I could use it in my blog.

This is Carleton, our neighbor in our row at Lion's Beach for a few days when we were at Elephant Butte Lake State Park in New Mexico. Carleton's wife has a form of lupus that keeps her home so she no longer goes camping with him as she used to. This is Tootsie, and she was a real sweetie! Our son fell in love with her immediately and made friends with Carleton. Tootsie has a dog friend at home who mothers her and licks her ears a lot, even though Tootsie is eight years old now. Look at that one ear standing up. lol!

You get to know certain people on the road. While the time you spend with them is short, some touch your life deeply. Some people just stay on your heart. Carleton's mom was murdered in a horrible, terrible way. She was in her 80s and lived alone. He gave us some delicious pinto beans and hot sauce and tortillas (made by his wife). The home cooked food was scrumptious! He gave us some good travel magazines to read. He had part of two fingers missing but we don't know why. He was pleasant to talk to and seemed to have such a gentle personality. Like his wife, his own health was beginning to fail. He left before we did because his wife told him she missed him and it was time to go home. He had developed emphysema and was hoping he could breathe better, without the use of an oxygen tank, at lower elevation. He could. We miss Carleton, and little Tootsie too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New herbs + water under the bridge

Good heavens. It's been a week since I wrote? Ah well. I have a good excuse. The past rears up its ugly head every decade or so and tries to run me over. Thanks to my father who has run interference for me for almost 25 years now, the past has been put back to bed. It took a small toll on me. But I have returned! Hooray! ...100% Liliana, no broken parts.

Good hair news. Yesterday we stopped in Las Cruces and I got to go to a fairly good health food store. I want to make my own herbal rinse, so I bought some dried herbs. You boil one pint water, let herbs steep for 30 minutes, strain, add 1/4 cup vinegar, apply to hair as a final rinse, as in don't rinse the rinse out. I think I'll add a little less vinegar though. I bought a couple ounces each:

Comfrey leaf - High protein conditioner for dry hair
Hibiscus
Chamomile - promotes healthy growth, common rinse for blondes
Rosehips
Burdock root - reduces shedding, good for skin ailments like eczema
Calendula
Lemon grass
Spearmint

I wanted sandalwood which is useful as a conditioner but they had none. I wanted to try yarrow which Elvea highly recommends, but they had none. It's got perfect yin/yang, and who doesn't want perfect yin/yang? They carried no Indian herbs so no shikakai, reetha, or neem. I want to try those sometime. I wanted soapwort or yucca for shampoo, but they had none. I was momentarily tempted to buy flaxseed or primrose oil in capsule form. My husband asked why would I even consider it when I've always had some of the healthiest hair he ever saw. Well, he's a husband and what does he know, but in this case, I figure he's pretty much right. We're not pill people. If I didn't eat right, then I'd take diet supplements. He's always been a stickler for meals together and a proper, balanced diet. He's good for me.

Long ago, when I was a girl of 18, I married very badly. In November of 1978 I sought assistance for domestic abuse. My new baby boy was six months old. He's 27 now and I'm so proud of him because is good and strong. He would never lay a hand on a woman. He doesn't use drugs or drink, though addictive personalities are present on both sides of his family. He works, and I daresay is well off for a young man of his age. He owns a home and rents an apartment. He has Jesus in his heart. In short, and it's no accident, he is all the things his natural father is not. He wanted to look up his natural father, not realizing what kind of person he is, because I never told him.

My father did what he is so good at; smoothing things out without ruffling anyone's feathers (too badly). My step-mom did some great research and they sent my son a copy of my ex-husband's county criminal, civil, domestic, and mental public records. These are easily accessible online nowadays. My own name was at the bottom of the domestic abuse records. My son decided not to look up his natural father and for that, I am thankful. As my father says, it's all water under the bridge now. And there, I want it to stay. This was my hard time last week. On a long walk, I laid it all on the Lord, and it has worked out. Family is good to have when you need them.

I like writing about my hair better. :)

Thursday, December 01, 2005