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Oct. 23rd, 2014

Yay!

Avon Stuffs

I just started customizing my Avon website. I was so busy this week, I didn't have time to do it, nor read about the different tools, so at the moment I'm just sort of flying by the seat of my pants here. Tomorrow, if I can get out of work on time, I'm going to go to a local meeting and meet my district manager for the first time. I met my goal for Campaign 25, and Campaign 26 starts on Friday. I discovered that Avon has a blog on their website for sharing information about products or just talking about the business or whatever. So I did a quick post just to try it out.

https://cynthea.avonrepresentative.com/blog/2014/10

I have my Campaign 26 Avon books, so if anyone who doesn't have a dedicated Avon lady, I'm your girl. Just let me know and I'll send you a book.

I have to say that I'm really liking the way the website works, and how the business works compared to my Experience with Mary Kay.

With MaryKay, my customers could order online from my website (which I paid for annually, but which is free with Avon) but it didn't ever actually place the order for them. Instead, MK sent me an email to let me know an order was waiting, and I had to order the product for them. So if I got an online order for a $7 eyeshadow that I didn't have in stock already, and I didn't have any other orders, I would have to order that one product and while I only paid $3.50 for it, I also paid $8.75 for the shipping, which was the same regardless of the size of my order. Not so bad if I'm ordering $450 worth of product (my order minimum once every three months to stay active and keep my discount; other wise I'd pay $7 for the eye shadow and $8.75 for shipping). The item would be shipped to me, and then I would have to either take it to the customer myself, or else package it, and send it to them if they were out of town. (I have several customers out of town.) If I wanted that customer added to my database, I had to do it manually even if they had placed an online order.

In contrast, with Avon, my customer orders off my website, they pay $5.75 in shipping if their order is under $35, and Avon ships their order directly to them, unless they request representative delivery, (in which case they send it to me, and I go visit my customer). I get a notice in my control panel that a customer placed and order, how much it was, and I can click on the order to get the details. The customer is automatically added to my database. Simple.

Anyway. Enough Avon Stuff. ^_^ I have to say that I was becoming pretty frustrated with how difficult Mary Kay makes it for consultants to remain active. I was also increasingly irritated by how much work went into just processing one single order online. Much less keeping track of customers and so on. So far, I'm really liking the way Avon works much better. While it's true that my commission/discount is not as high at my selling level, As with Mary Kay, the product is much easier to sell because there are great sales, and the product is not over priced. More people can afford it. There is more stuff people like and want. What difference does it make if I make a 25% commission compared to a 50% commission, if I can only get tiny orders, and my commissions are whittled away by expenses. I'm not sure I ever did anything but break even once the initial glow was off my business an nobody in my customer base was buying any more.

If you'd like me to be your Avon lady go and register on my website. You can do that even if you aren't ordering anything right at the moment. Check it out. https://cynthea.avonrepresentative.com/
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Oct. 13th, 2014

Leaf

I'm your Avon lady now

Just that.  I signed on yesterday. I like the Mary Kay line, but it's too expensive (price ways and alsocost ofdoing business ways) and too limited.  In my area I need something people can aid that has more variety. With Avon there's jewelery and gifts and. .. BRAS... And all kinds of stuff besides just skin care and make up.  I should have my books pretty soon and my website is up already. https://cynthea.avonrepresentative.comgo check it out.  I haven't done any customization yet.  I might have time to play with that tomorrow.  But send me a pm if you want me to send you a book and I'll send them out as soon as I have some.

Oct. 7th, 2014

Leaf

(no subject)

This leaves me wondering how big this litterbox is.  We use top entry covered boxes. The cat's love it and less stuff fails in.

Leaf

(no subject)

I liked it too.  Very noir.

Leaf

Second Test

No Transparency... Gotta do another test.



Ok. So this one is has transparency now. I had to remember how to do it. You may see tests appearing and disappearing for a while over the next few days. I have to check each one to make sure the transparency is working correctly, but I don't see a point in leaving the posts up. I'll leave this one for a reminder that I'll be posting silly tests from time to time.

Oct. 5th, 2014

kitten frog, cutest

Autumn Layout

I had forgotten that I finally designed an Autumn layout that I actually liked. So I thought I ought to change it before it's winter. I don't think I changed my Spring layout to Summer until it was almost Autumn. I haven't designed a layout in forever and ever. Seems like at least a couple of years. I just don't spend as much time online as I used to, and much of my online activity is done on my smartphone.

I'm guessing my posts must be made of utter and complete boredom the last couple of times. Either that or I need to get a few more friends. So many people on my friends list are gone, or inactive or deleted. Lol Talk to me people. Let's have a conversation about something.
Leaf

(no subject)

I don't know how many people here care, but LiveJournal has finally made major updates to its Android and iOS apps. I've been testing it out for a couple of days and though it still lacks a couple of things that I want I find it greatly improved.  90% of the problems I had with the app (some but not most of which were slightly better in a third party app called ElJay, but not enough to be really useful) have been fixed.  Many features I was looking for have been added and so far though a c
ouple of things I want are still not there, I am finding the app usable now. Since I do a vast majority of my social networking on my phone now, that was really important to me. I can now keep up much more easily;  something I was really having trouble with before.  If you use a smartphone, you may want to try it out.

Hopefully, it will mean that I'm here a lot more and participating in conversations.  I miss it.  I'm getting in the habit of just scanning through my feed on Facebook once or twice a day because the is really very little posted there that isn't junk. (reposts, silly quizzes and so on.)

Hopefully it will see more of my friend who are not posting very often using LiveJournal more. I think I need to scan through my interests and find more people who are active.  So many of my friends have not posted in months or even years. quite a few have deleted their accounts too.  That makes me sad.

Aug. 8th, 2014

balance

Doing Some Old School Video Gaming Recently

Finished Final Fantasy II for NES last night.  Man, I feel like I spent a little too much time grinding to build up my characters to the recommended levels (and I got BORED with it and stopped before I reached them too!).  When I did get to the end, I think it took me about 4 or 5 (maybe a couple more I didn't count) rounds of basically just pounding on the final boss with various weaponry.  I did have my strongest healer healing occasionally if the boss actually did hit one hard.  But it was a bit anticlimactic.  The way you build your characters up is a little odd compared to previous FF games, and those that came after as well.  Basically, you go out and let your characters get pounded by enemies.  If your HP is blitzed (I read that it only has to be more than halved, but I would pound them down to their knees) then at the end of the battle, they'd gain hit points.  Same thing with Magic points.  Use a lot and they gain more at the end of the battle.  Weapon skill increases by using that type of weapon.  Magic doesn't have different spells that you can buy at different levels.  Instead, you level up your spell by using it.  The more you use say Cure, the stronger it gets. Over all I enjoyed the game though. If you dig old school roms,  I'd definitely recommend this one to play.  I am currently using John NES emulator for Android, and I find I definitely play more now than I was recently when I had to be parked in front of my TV to play.

Now I'm starting Final Fantasy III for NES which I've played, but my original rom wasn't translated completely and it became confusing. This was the last game that was created for the NES platform before Final Fantasy IV (released as Final Fantasy II in the US) moved the series to the SNES platform.  Nobuo Uematsu's score sounds great as usual.  He was very good at creating very good music given only 3 tones to work simultaneously with on the NES 8-bit platform.  It was what captured our attention on these games in the first place, and his work just got better and better.

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Jul. 24th, 2014

Triumph, Ed and Al Way too Cute

Starfire is doing SO well.

Star had her big 3 month follow up vet visit today.  I took a soft blanket with me to lay on the table while they did her blood pressure and they did that first before drawing blood for her workup.  The result was awesome.  Her blood pressure was 100, which is just about as perfect as it could be. Dr wanted it below 120, and she's extremely happy with it where it is. We'll know how her blood work up comes out by about Saturday most likely.  All is going well in the world of Starfire.  Her special account is now empty though. The funds we raised have served their purpose though, they got us through to this last full workup of her initial treatment.

Full workups will be annual from here on out. She has to have a blood pressure test every 3 months for the rest of her life, so I'll have to put aside a little bit each week to replenish her account for the next time, but for the moment all is well.  I hope that she will be with us for many more years.

If you didn't catch it, Star had gone completely stone blind as a result of high blood pressure. Her retinas had detached and her pupils were completely blown.  Now that her blood pressure is back where it needs to be with medication, her retinas have reattached and her pupils are reactive. She can see, though I'm pretty sure not quite as accurately as she once did. She still follows motion and looks at me when she sees me.  I don't have to touch her or talk to her to get her attention.  (unless she is sleeping, which she does very well). She sees me come into the room and follows me with her eyes.  Her depth perception is not as good though, so she's more cautious about hopping up and down from things. (especially down) and occasionally you can tell by her over correction when she reaches the floor, or scrabbling when she hops up, that she misjudges the distance. Thankfully she's super smart and recognizes that she can't 100% trust her eyes when it comes to distance guageing now.

We are extremely happy with her progress. We feel that the $1000 we raised went a long way towards helping us prepare financially for her continued lifetime treatment. Thanks to everyone who donated.

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Jul. 23rd, 2014

Iced Over

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes

I have had a busy couple of weeks... Stupid work schedule.  But here is something I needed to share because of how often I see these kinds of things.  Due to reading MegaTokyo I can read |_337 in several dialects quite well, but I agree with this whole thing, especially in my intense dislike of things like letters and numbers used in place of words.  (though I may occasionally say things like OIC... does that make me a hypocrite? I just hate things like "I am here 4u" and especially "I this Ur's?"
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Jun. 28th, 2014

Chihuahua Zombie

This is a test.

I mentioned to shanachie_quill in a comment on one of evil_little_dog's posts that I used Semagic, and that I really liked it. In that comment I also mentioned that I believed that now Semagic is able to upload your images directly to LiveJournal without having to post them somewhere else.  Since I wasn't sure, I said I would test it, and so that is what this post means to do.

Here is a picture:



Ok... Upon testing, I'm not sure if it's uploading to LiveJournal Scrapbook, or if it's uploading to Picasa... It took me a minute to figure it out, because I would putting in my email I use on LiveJournal and it was giving me an error. When I changed to my regular Gmail, it seems to have uploaded. so we'll see.

ETA: from my side I can see the picture. I'm not 100% sure where it uploaded to though, which was one of the reasons I posted something innocuous like a crocheted octopus (which I sell btw, custom made to order for $20.)

Jun. 27th, 2014

Triumph, Ed and Al Way too Cute

Not behind? How?

You know, I thought I was way behind again on keeping up with my LiveJournal friends. list.  I'm kind of picky in that when I go to read I want to go back in time to the last thing I read  and work my way to the present.  It's a little sketchy if I get too far behind, because LJ doesn't let me go back as many pages as it used to, so I've made an effort not to get more than a few days behind at a time.  I do read all posts, but since the LJ app sucks ass, and ElJay isn't much better, I don't always comment.  So if you didn't see a comment from me, it wasn't because I wasn't interested. 

I'm very annoyed with LiveJournal for shooting down the "+1" idea less than a day after they proposed it just because their vocal "Don't ever change anything EVAR" crowd opposed it. Despite the fact that the initial feedback about it was positive. Despite the fact that they clearly stated an intention to make the feature OPT IN, and giving individual journal owners the option to NOT include it on their Journals, the "Don't ever change anything EVAR" crowd won in less than 24 hours, and they dropped it completely out of the consideration.  I'm so sick of those people because they totally hold LJ back from coming into the present day as far as that.  I don't feel that having the option to acknowledge something someone has said quickly when one doesn't have time to say anything specific, or when they maybe don't really have anything useful to add other than something that says "I hear you", or "I see what you're saying."

cornerofmadness, I think I said that I was happy to hear that you're surgery went well, and that they were able to repair your tendon.  I'm sorry that you're having difficulty with your meds, but hopefully you won't need them too much longer and you'll be healing well.  I can't take any opiods at all. I get told all the time "Well vomiting isn't really an allergic reaction." ok.. maybe not, however, it is my body saying "OH NO YOU DIDN'T @*#$#(&!!!" and there is no point in taking a pain med that I can't keep down. Anyway. Glad things are going well. You are in my thoughts.

evil_little_dog, Congrats on another 8 weeks at your current posting.  I know it's not the best job in the world, but work is good.  Maybe if she knew you were putting in another application, she was like "oh no...." and called the agency to keep you on a little longer. lol.  I am not digging my current job because my schedule is constantly in chaos, and I have no time for anything AGAIN. However, in my good news on that front, A couple of weeks ago when my schedule got shredded for the umpteenth time for whatever 'reason', I applied back at the place I used to work (different location) because they a) pay better b) I will have consistent hours c) Day shift! VERY important to me given the amount of evening commitments I have now.  Wednesday I contacted the shift manager to check on that app and she asked when I could come in for an interview. I told her, but then a couple of days later, she told me that I didn't need to interview. The manager wanted to hire me just on her sayso because we'd worked together before and we'd be working togther again here doing the same thing, just a different company.  Anyway, so they are pretty sure that they're loosing their day shift driver, and just have to wait the official 3 days for her to be without a vehicle, before they can her, and then I can give my notice where I am.  You are also often in my thoughts.  It was nice to chat with you on YM recently. I miss chatting and playing Rps with you, even if they are just one on one in chat.

ookamikagakusha, I have been enjoying the writing you've been doing and also recent artwork.  You've really improved in both categories.  I've missed talking to you on Y!M the last couple of days, but I know you have a lot going on at the moment. I hope you mommy is doing ok. 

Recently I was asked by someone I play music with casually (i.e. fellow attendees of an open jam session that I started late last fall.) has asked me if I'd be interested in playing with a band that he's playing with that will have pretty regular gigs and before long, some paid work.  So it's more important than ever for me to have my schedule at work solidify. I can't have this chaos any more. I let work cost me my music once, I will never allow it again.

I've been working on Chapter 15 of CTT... I really think it's almost finished.  I just wanted to try to move things forward a bit, but since that meant basically a filler chapter, I'm having trouble ending it.. it just rambles on and on even though it's not that long. I think I might have figured out how to make it end so I can go on to Wednesday though.  So keep your fingers crossed that I can figure this out.  I've also been working on Gaia's Song again. I did some very minor editing of the first three chapters, and tonight most likely will try to do some serious work on Chapter 4 and then I need to really work out the rest of the outline so I can move forward. I feel like I don't have a clear picture of where the story goes after about halfway through. I'm one of those that really needs to know the beginning the middle and the end of a story, and am notorious for NOT knowing how the end comes.  Anyway. My long break is over, so it's time to go back to work.

Oh yes.. and I've lost about 16 pounds. Only 20 more to go. So YAY!

May. 9th, 2014

Leaf

Not posting drunk today

I started a post on Tuesday, and then I realized that I was too drunk to write a coherent post. Tuesday nights I usually go to The Dublin Pub here in Dayton, for open mic night, which is really more like an open session. If for some reason you didn't know, I play Native American flutes, but I use them to play all kinds of music. Primarily Irish music when I'm at The Dublin Pub, but also pop, rock and a variety of other styles including Bluegrass occasionally at a session at The Trolley Stop (Also in Dayton). What I was trying to say was that I broke (cracked a carpal bone) and badly sprained my wrist in the middle of February, and have been fighting injury induced tendonitis since then. So EVERYTHING in the world has been difficult to do with one hand primarily out of commission. It's getting better, but very very slowly. Most of my pain now is the result of the tendonitis, but also the sprain is still slow to heal. Having a cracked bone on top of that, I'm sure didn't help with the healing process.

Ok, so anyway, I finished a giant crochet project, which probably didn't help me heal, and several smaller ones, so as of Tuesday, all my crochet commissions are complete. (Ooops, except for I accepted another one on Wednesday, but I did tell her I didn't intend to start on it for at least two weeks in order to give my wrist a break.) So now I've finally got everything caught up, and can spend more time writing. I've been working towards limiting my facebook time to almost exclusively phone facebooking, and making a point to close the tab if I open one to catch up after work or something as soon as I have checked all notifications. I removed 90% of my friends from my feed either because all they ever did was repost the same BS, or else they were people from high school and college that I never actually interact with etc etc etc. After I close the facebook tab, I have been working on Chasing the Trail chapter 15, which has been almost finished for several weeks.

Yesterday, I went over to AO3, and started moving some of my previous work (well copying. I'll leave it there too) from FFN. I'm increasingly disgusted with their juvenile approach to posting, and wondering what the point is of having a Mature rating if it can't contain mature content. It's like they think their basic readership is mostly kindergarteners. I'm also increasingly annoyed at the fact that I can't use a lot of characters that I would normally use for notes and things like that. In fact, I seem to recall that you're not supposed to even be allowed to post notes, but I do anyway if I have something to say. Not being allowed to include any kinds of links is ridiculous as well. I should be able to link to my website, or other places my writing is posted. It demonstrates to me that they are not willing to do the work to code their system properly to keep inappropriate links out of their text, or to protect their system from malicious code. Anyway I've continued to promise people there that I would post Chapter 15, but to be honest, I'll probably write a chapter that will lead people to AO3 for the rest of it when it reaches a point where I have to start worrying about what words I'm using, or what my characters are doing that might offend the parent of a 12 year old who lied about his age and said he was a grown up.

I'm still feeling like I need to bitch about the terrible TERRIBLE livejournal app. The El Jay app is a little better, but not much. I'd love it if Semagic had a phone app, but it doesn't. That makes me sad, but by switching to using Facebook primarily from my phone, it means I am keeping up better with Livejournal now. I may not always comment, or reply to a reply, but I am reading now, which for quite a while, I was backtracking 100 or more posts and then zipping through them. Now I'm checking them every day or at least every other day unless something makes me supremely busy. I wish there was some kind of acknowledgment button that I could click to at least let people know that "Yes I read what you had to say, and get it, but don't have anything to add to the conversation.

See you soon. Going to watch The Color Purple with marynachaotica and then work on CTT if I have time.

Mar. 19th, 2014

Chihuahua Zombie

Help for Kitty



As many of you may know, my sweet 16 year old Lady Galadriel Starfire suddenly went blind a few weeks ago due to high blood pressure resultant of kidney disease.  We have got started on treatment and her prognosis is very good. The vet says that she is in remarkably good physical condition for her age, with good bones and strong muscles.  If we can resolve this issue, she may even get her sight back.  However, the vet bills are quite high, and at the moment she is still on weekly visits which can range from $60 to $200 per visit depending on what needs to be done.

Unfortunately as everyone probably also knows my financial situation is not where it was this time last year.  Since ARC closed, my income was cut in half. After I started at my new job I was doing better, but now my hours have been cut too.  This couldn't have come at a worse time. Some of my friends have expressed a desire to help with vet bills, and I appreciate it.  This service was used by another friend with pretty good success, so that's why I chose it.

Thank you in advance.  If any more than is needed for her treatment is donated, I plan to find a local vet care assistance program that I can pass the surplus on to and if I can't then to a local rescue yet to be chosen.

Here is the link if you are able to help or if not I'd appreciate if you could share it.

http://www.gofundme.com/7kvito
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Mar. 16th, 2014

Iced Over

Seriously? Can we have a decent mobile app?


So, LiveJournal keeps banning me for the wrong password. Seriously. If I fat finger (or phone finger a the case may be) the password one time, I'm locked out for an undetermined amount of time. A password that I can't see as I'm typing it in mind you. So I might have been posting more, except that I get locked out when I have time and have to go on to something else. Annoying. Also, again, LiveJournal's app for Android is amazingly pitiful. Btw, there are lots of Russian apps, but only two (well three.... One of which only shows you LJ top posts... So useless to me) English language ones. The official one, which I an using now (and hoping for no strange auto corrections to happen that I don't catch) and which really sucks, and ElJay which has it's own issues but which I haven't used in a while (so I think I'll try out again and see if it is improved). I really wish Semagic had a mobile app...

Here's a picture.

The app says it cannot load the image of poor blind Starfire. Ymmv. We'll see if it posts or if it is some giant unviewable size. (the app also moves my cursor to the end of the post automatically if I take to long spelling out a word with Swype.... Extremely annoying that I can't Swype a word with more than seven or eight letters.
..............................
Isn't that precious? My post link won't load.... I don't get a button... I have to open a secondary menu to post, and it won't open. >_<
..............................
I just discovered that I have to turn my phone sideways (in which case it is much harder to type in the tub) to see the post button menu.... K... I finished proofreading. See how this goes.
......
*snort* .... Now my menu works again in portrait.... Wtg LiveJournal app....

Mar. 6th, 2014

Leaf

Lady Galadriel Starfire

So recently, Lady Galadriel Starfire has slowed down a bit. At first we thought it was just the process of aging slowing her down. She is fifteen now after all. But then we started noticing that certain things she was doing a little differently than she used to.  For example, we have a gate that separates where we feed the dog and where we feed the cats which is has a door that is open during non feeding times, but which is raised up so that the cats can crawl under it but the dog doesn't fit.  (this is because the dog will go in and hoover up all the cat food the instant they walk away from their food if he is not blocked from it, and the cats will eat a little food and then wander around a bit and then go back to it, so their food stays in their bowls for about an hour, where Blooper eats all his food right then and is usually done within two or three minutes.) We noticed last week that even when the door to the gate was open that Star was crawling under the gate instead of stepping over the bottom rung through the door.  We also noticed that she was approaching the stairs differently than she usually does.  She goes up by feeling her way with her whiskers, and goes down by feeling her way with her right hand first, and then once that hand is on the next stair down, she would go down a step before reaching down for the next one. She didn't hop hop onto the bed from floor to hope chest to bed or back down any more either, but did so much more cautiously. These things clued us in that she was not seeing as well as she should, so I looked at her more carefully, and noticed that a) she was not tracking my hand in front of her face unless I got close enough that she parsed me with her whiskers, b) her pupils were thrown about as wide as they could go, and did not react as strongly to light as it seemed they should, though they do still react somewhat.  c) her expression has always been fairly wide eyed when she's paying attention, but now she seemed more to be staring blankly than staring at you when you call her.  We reached the conclusion over a couple of days that she had gone blind.  I did some research online and learned that sudden blindness could be a sign of hypertension in cats.  Often this is caused by hyperthyroidism, or renal issues. (More often hyperthyroid, but hyperthyroid can also mask or mimic a renal problem.) 

So off we went this morning to see the vet to see what was going on with her.  Our vet's office is very nice and everyone is pleasant there. Star had not seen a vet for a while. She is exclusively an indoor cat, so she doesn't have as much risk for infectious disease etc that an indoor outdoor pet would need to be concerned with, and she has been remarkably healthy.  However, at 15, I knew it was only a matter of time before she would need more frequent visits to maintain her good health.  First the vet tech took a history, and checked a few things. Temperature (good), Weight (9lb. slightly less than the last time she was weighed I believe but not a whole lot less.) Mostly she just talked to me about what I'd observed and also watched as Star parsed her way around the unfamiliar room and figured out what was what, familiarized herself with the new person and was generally herself and in good spirits, despite the ride in the car and strange people and getting a thermometer where she didn't want one. 

Then the tech went out and discussed her case with the vet for a few minutes and then the vet came in and checked her over.   Felt her thyroid glands, of which one was enlarged and the other she said she 'couldn't feel' which I interpret to mean she couldn't feel anything wrong on that side.  Star was more annoyed at having her kidneys palpated, since thyroid overproduction can mask or mimic kidney issues too.  Then they whisked her out to get blood for a full workup (expensive...) and to get her blood pressure. Result?  We won't know what the lab results are until tomorrow, but Star's blood pressure is very high (as suspected vis a vis her sudden blindness) and needs action right away.  The Vet agreed with me that Star is profoundly blind and upon looking into her eyes, her retinas are definitely detached due to the unbalanced pressure pushing them off the back of her eyes.

Now we're back home, and star has her little blood pressure pills, of which she is to take a quarter per day.  She has had her first dose, taken with a very minimum of fuss.  Once the lab work is back, then we'll know what additional steps will have to be taken. Despite her 'ordeal' today, Star is in good spirits, busily napping in the next room at the moment.  The good news is that once her blood pressure is under control, Doc Bahns believes that there is a chance her retinas will float back into place and over time reattach, which mean her vision may be restored. So any good thoughts any of you can have towards that I would appreciate for her sake. Even still, if she remains blind, and is restored otherwise to good health, I will be happy with that. Star is compensating for her blindness extremely well, and does not seem very distressed about it at all.  The doctor did comment that for her age, Star is in remarkable physical condition. i.e. not overweight, not underweight, strong and muscular and active despite her blindness.  She seemed pretty happy about that.  She also said that once her thyroid was in balance, that it would be as reasonable expectation that the condition of her coat (which I just assumed had started to deteriorate due to her age) would improve.

P.S.  I am finished having winter now, so if we could please move on to spring now I'll be very happy. Thanks, and keep me and Star in your thoughts.

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Feb. 17th, 2014

Alchemy Symbols (Gold)

No Poo

So 14 months ago, after some study on the subject, I decided to try an experiment with my hair. I wanted to stop using shampoo and conditioner. Period. I had been reading these labels and looking at all the crap that is in these products and realizing that it was full of phosphates and wax and silicone and all kinds of crazy stuff that I didn't really want on my hair. Firstly, because most of them actually make your hair dry and brittle, while disguising that fact by coating it wax and silicone. To date, I have not used shampoo (nor any sort of soap) or conditioner on my hair (other than when I dyed my hair once every 6 weeks or so) since October of 2012 now. After a brief adjustment period, my hair started feeling healthier than it's ever been. Since then, I also decided I wanted to see what my hair would look like without any dye, so I stopped, and when I had an inch or so of hair grown out dye free, I also cut it super short to let it grow out clean and natural. I guess that was probably about 6 months ago. It's probably about 5 or 6 inches on top now. The change is amazing. I'm not sure yet if I'll keep the natural color. I'm considering using henna on it, but will do a test swatch first to see if I can get an acceptable color first.

Since I've gone no poo, a lot of people ask me when I mention it, how I care for my hair now. Obviously I do care for it or it would like terrible and dirty all the time and probably smell bad too. It doesn't. However, I can now go for 2 weeks without doing anything other than scrubbing it out with clear water and have it still be clean and healthy looking. So because I get asked so often, I thought I'd post an explanation of how I keep my hair clean.  I clean it with baking soda solution and rinse with apple cider vinegar solution.  The vinegar does not leave a scent on your hair. You barely use any at all, and then you rinse it out very well.  If you want a scent, you can use a drop of essential oil, but I just put my favorite perfume on a q-tip and run it through my hair a couple times in the morning. That way it's not overwhelmingly strong and wears off by the end of the day so I can choose a different perfume if I like the next day.

Here's what you need:
1. A pair of 2 oz squirt bottles like this one (I actually used bigger ones empty from hair dye at first, but found the small ones were plenty for my shoulder length hair)
2. A box of baking soda (my first one cost 97¢ and my current one cost 80¢)
3. A bottle of apple cider vinegar (mine is 32 oz, and cost $2, and in a year I have used only half the bottle even after I stole some from the bottle for a yarn dying experiment)

Step one: Don't change any products yet. Just spend a few weeks gradually extending the time between washes. If you wash your hair every day, start washing every other day. Then every third day. Then twice a week... for example, at this stage, I washed every Wednesday and Sunday because it worked well with my schedule. Stick with that schedule for a couple of weeks. In the mean time, you can get your supplies

Step two: Ditch the shampoo and conditioner. You may have to play around with your amounts a bit to get it perfect for your hair type.  I started out with a teaspoon of baking soda in 4 oz... and that has worked pretty well, though I have smaller bottles now, I do about half a teaspoon in a 2 oz bottle of warm water. I don't measure it exactly just eyeball it.  I give it a shake to dissolve it and then squirt it onto my hair while it is dry. Start at the scalp and then you can use your fingers to work it to the tips.  For me the 2 oz is enough to pretty thoroughly saturate my hair though it is pretty thick.  Longer hair may need more.  This will of course not foam up like shampoo.  That's part of the adjustment, is thinking foam is necessary.  Just scrub it around with your fingers for a couple of minutes. Especially your scalp, but make sure you are getting the ends in there too. Rinse thoroughly.   Now in the second bottle (or really you could just rinse out the same bottle I guess.  Mix about a half teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar per 2 oz of warm water.  Give it a shake and also squeeze the entire bottle onto your hair. rub it in, especially on the tips. (I usually start at the tips and work my way up to the scalp. Rinse it very well.

Step three: Continue with Step Two for a few weeks.  Staying with the same twice a week wash schedule you've been using.  This is your adjustment period.  I noticed that at first my hair felt heavy and strange, though it looked clean and I could style it without too much trouble.  I adjusted my amounts, as I may have started out with too much vinegar. I don't actually remember! haha.. but some of it is just that your hair and scalp is recovering from years of having wax and silicone applied in conditioners after having all the natural oils stripped out by the shampoo as often as daily or for some people even more.  Just stick with it and let your hair adjust.  It's been over producing oil for years too, as it tries to compensate for what the shampoo is stripping out. Clogged follicles can also open up after a while and your hair may grow in thicker and maybe even more of it. 

Step four: Once you feel like your hair is starting to normalize, you can either continue to wash twice a week as I did for quite some time, or you can try washing once a week, and just giving it a good scrub with your fingertips and clear water the other day you would have been washing.  If this isn't working for you, then just go back to twice a week, and gradually extend your time between washes until you can reach a week.  I don't think there is any shame in it if you don't get there. The main thing is that you don't want to go back to washing every day, as even with this natural method, this will strip your hair of oils and cause it to over produce again.

I hope this is helpful and informative.  I don't have a good picture of my hair today, and I'm not going to take one since I'm in my pajama's, but I do have some at varying stages

These two were taken on Day 71 of the experiment:
 

This picture was taken further out. April 17. I've just decided to stop dying and you can see some of my silver.

You'll notice it looks glossier and healthier, this is because I'd gotten a lot of the damage cut out of it recently.


Here I am on New Years Day 2014 playing Apples to Apples with my spawn and some friends.


Ok so anyway, if you're interested in trying this out, feel free. Share your results with me and feel free to ask any questions you may have about the process.  I also no longer use any styling products.  Honestly, I have so much body that I don't need them, and I've learned over the years that my hair styles best if I just have a good cut and let it do what it wants to

Jan. 2nd, 2014

Iced Over

My new bedding set


Look how pretty! I had to buy some new pillows to put in the big euro shams. I can't wait for my curtains to arrive. My room will just look lovely.


Here is a closeup of the nice coverlet I got from Kohl's.


This pattern is all embroidery. Machine embroidered for sure, but still gorgeous and has wonderful texture and some weight to it. I almost can't wait for bedtime.

Sep. 16th, 2013

Leaf

Job Prospects

I guess most of you know that my Favorite Job in the World. The one where I went out my door, walked four houses down the street, crossed the street and went in the door at work is no more. On June 10 of 2013, I walked in the door and upstairs to my office and my boss told me that he was closing Architectural Reuse Company forever.

Since then, my job search has been less than stellar. A lot of applications, a lot of not getting calls back, a couple of chats with bosses as turning in applications, and no call back. One formal job interview that resulted from a job fair, which was for a job I really wanted. One call back from that job to tell me that I had not been selected, but that they liked me well enough to hold onto my info in case they did have another opening. Honestly, if that job comes up, I'll be very tempted to quit whatever job I have so that I can take it.

I had a successful phone interview with another company, which has great benefits, and not so stellar pay (but it's close to what I was making before and I had no benefits at all), which the interviewer said put me in the 3rd round, in which I was to schedule my on site interview, and that I should do it before September 23 so they could get me in the class that starts on that day. Man oh man! What a pain that turned out to be. They couldn't tell me when any interviews would be posted, just that I should log in every day between 8 and 10 am and see if any are posted, and to make sure I checked often, because if they were, they would be gone very quickly. I'm hoping that the starting pay is just during training and I can expect a raise after I go live on the floor.  Even better to get another raise after 90 days. All questions to be asked at the interview.

Well, at last after almost a month trying, I finally was able to schedule myself an appointment for my on site interview. Man, I have never heard of anyone having to do that to get an interview, and I must wonder why they have their managers post times Online and wait to see who has the patience to log in day after day after day to schedule an appointment. Why not just give the managers the top scoring candidates and have them spend that few minutes calling them to schedule? It seems like they risk losing the best candidates, who are likely to move on to other jobs before they can ever schedule an appointment.

Anyway, as long as I succeed at this interview, then I was told that a class is starting on September 23rd, which the phone interviewer indicated he wanted to get me in for. I take that to mean that the on site is just a formality to make sure I'm not an axe murderer or anything. I hope that class isn't already filled up. If it is, then I'll have to probably wait another month to start. 

At any rate, this is my general call out for well wishing for my interview on Wednesday. I'm still in mourning for my nice comfy job at ARC, but I'm ready to have a job again and I admit that immediate benefits will be nice.
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Jul. 28th, 2013

Leaf

Dayton Celtic Festival

So this weekend is the Dayton Celtic Festival. After my 7 hour shift at the ARC Store for our very last day ever, I went home and washed my feet, chilled for an hour and then walked up from my house in South Park to the Celtic Festival at Riverscape ( about 2.1 miles). I  met up with two very old friends and hung out with them at the first beer line for a while as I enjoyed my first Guinness. I got a bridie and shared a table with/hung out with a dude named Tony who did a 'freak show' and a lady from the CitiFolk festival for a while as I enjoyed my second Guinness. Taught Tony's five year old daughter about how to play my flute. I saw a couple of people I know from The Dublin Pub.  (No seriously, I will totally just walk up to strangers if I'm alone and ask them if they mind if I share their table rather than standing/sitting alone at a table by myself. It's a matter of boring vs interesting opportunity to meet other people, and this is what I did with this Tony guy. I chose his table because it would mean not having the setting sun in my eyes while I enjoyed my bridie (which I love). I even played my flute for them a little after Tony had already suck a nail up his nose with a hammer two or three times and ate fire several times.)

I ran into a couple more friends just after that, and the three of us which are (informally) Celtic Ink walked around for a couple of hours, during which I peed many times and enjoyed my third Guinness bought a package of roasted almonds and a thing of short bread. (yes I shared both.) some other people we knew one of whom gave me 5 tickets she decided not to use. ( you buy tickets in advance and use them to buy beer/wine (this helps them to control inventory) whenever you want from a different line.) Welcome to my 4th Guinness. (some of which I shared with G).

We also ran into a guy we play music with at The Dublin Pub, but when he got finished helping out with a mutual friend's booth (where I actually did end up buying a lovely claddagh ring which I really wanted) he met up with family and was not available to play with us. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the ring later. It was inexpensive, but I love it.

We eventually settled down at the tables near the stage at Jefferson street. (The hell if I know which one it is.) and played some Irish music ourselves, gathering a small group of listeners. That was a good time. Then Kat and Grant headed home and I set out on foot again to walk the 2 miles back to South Park. Ok.. I worked on my feet for about 8 hours before this excursion, so my feet a a bit sore now. But I had a great time and am glad I went.

I hope some people I know are going tomorrow.  I'm game.  I know that Dulahan is playing at um... 13:20 hours, Scythian at 14:40 and then Gaelic Storm at 16:30. There is also a bunch of Irish dance starting at 14:40 which I might have to see. hmmm...I hope some people will show up with musical instruments and willing to play. My feet are tired, so I may not be as mobile, but I'm game.Oh boy my feet do hurt though. I"m going to bed.
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