Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I'll be wishing for ...

In honour of my impending absence to an area not on the map (literally), I will post on things I know I will wish I have!

Crisp sheets and a soft duvet:

A luxurious bath:

(I wish I had this bath tub!)

A nice place to curl up and read:

Seeing these images, I'm also realizing just how serene an off-white decor can be!

Tell me: what comfort items would you pack if you were me?

Long underwear?

I've been swamped at work. Just so stressed. I work for a consulting company, and about a month ago we won our largest contract so far. It's $5 million over 2.5 years. Well, we're only operational for certain months - October and November this year, and six months next year and the year after. I'm getting part of the occupational aspect under way, and I'll be there for the first 3 weeks. At first, I won't have internet access. When internet is hooked up, it'll only be in our office. I'll be living a facility between a dorm and camp - something like 4 beds to a room, but we won't have total occupancy. Also, I'll be the only girl for a while, then there will be 2 girls, and just before I leave, 3 girls. I'm not looking forward to losing internet. I'm not sure what to think of aspects of it. The site is remote - so remote that the nearest town isn't on google maps or mapquest! The catering facility may not cater to vegetarianism. I am not vegetarian, but for the purposes of this camp, I'm ovo-lacto-vegetarian. I eat seafood and fish, but they won't be serving those options. Just beef and pork, with occasional chicken.

I go up next Tuesday or Wednesday - details are still being sorted out. If I can get my act together between now and then, in addition to shopping for work clothes (coveralls and heavy duty jeans and long underwear and wool socks) and finding all my PPE (yay hard hats) and packing for 3 1/2 weeks, including camping for 1 week, I might try to do some posting ahead of time.

But I won't make promises!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My week

My as-of-yet unpublished resolution is to post three times a week, ideally Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. I was okay with this resolution last week, but I failed this week. Monday was Labour Day, so I figured I'd just post on Tuesday instead.

Then Tuesday, on my way home from work, I decided to test my car's off-roading abilities.

Not really. Really, I saw a deer, swerved, and ended in a swamp. The road to my house goes through a swamp, and there's no shoulder. If you get close to the edge, the edge can give way. (Safe, right? I guess that's a risk that is taken when a road is built through a swamp.) We haven't even been in this house 11 months, and I'm the third car to end up in the swamp. Were the others, like me, just close to the edge? Were they inebriated? Was it due to bad weather? I don't know what caused the other 2 cars to end up in the swamp. But one of the many passers-by (who knows Wade) informed me his brother did the same thing, with the same result, a couple years ago.

I don't really remember what happened. All of a sudden, I was shocked by mud splashed on the windshield, and I realize my car was 2-1/2 feet deep in mud. My air bag didn't deploy, which I suspect was beccause I wasn't going that fast - maybe 60 km/h (~35 mph) when I went off - and the mud slowed me gradually to stop. At some point before I realized what was happening, I had a sensation that the car was about to roll sideways, but then I bumped a tree and I was righted. The tree caused some damage to the bumper & fender.

About 2 minutes after it happened, a lovely couple named Troy & Amanda stopped and helped me. They helped me to climb out through the windows because I was so deep in the mud. This couple was on their way to take their daughter to riding lessons, but they insisted on waiting with me until my husband arrived. I was so confused, and Amanda assured me it was normal. She was in an accident a couple years ago, and she doesn't remember it. She thinks that the emotional trauma makes it hard to rememeber the accident. I think that makes sense.

In fact, every passerby stopped to offer their help. As disoriented as I was, it was very heart-warming.

Wade, his dad & brother showed up with a big truck, but they quickly realized we'd need a tow truck. Surprisingly, the car is undamaged. I had a safety inspection yesterday, and it's fine! I had to get 2 tires - 1 tire was damaged, but it/s not usually advisable to get 1 new tire. Luckily, these tires were getting worn and I was going to have to replace them in the next 6 months. If you can call that lucky. I have to get the fender and bumper fixed. I have one estimate ($1700) and I'm going to get a second from a company my dad swears by - both for price and quality. After I get it fixed, I have to get it cleaned. It smells like swamp! I'm undecided if I'll claim it through insurance - I'll call my agent (who's a family friend) and ask if it's worth it to claim it (and have my rates go up) or just pay it myself and keep my relatively low rates.

I'm okay. I've had some back aches. Some have been bad, but most are bearable. My cheek bone was tender, which makes me wonder if I bumped my cheek on the steering wheel. I really don't remember.

And I've been sick all week. I had a minor cold last week, but now it's miserable. My mom says that a physical trauma weakens your immune system, and an emotional trauma weakens your immune system, and I had both a physical and emotional trauma. I'm still shook up, although I am doing much better. But I have a horrible sinusitis.

I know I'm lucky. So lucky.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another skin care myth

I thought this was neat. You know "age spots", aka "liver spots"? Your mom might have them. Or maybe you do? No biggie ... but they're not actually age spots. They're sun exposure spots.

Again, from Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop says:

Brown, freckle-like skin discolorations are not a result of age; they are the result of years of unprotected sun exposure (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2007, pages 195 -202; Dermatology Nursing, October 2004, pages 401 -413; and Age and Ageing, March 2006, pages 110 -115). You can demonstrate this yourself: just compare the skin on the parts of your body that haven't seen the sun (like your backside or the inner part of your arm) with skin on the parts of your body that see the sun on a regular basis. I'll bet that the parts of your body that don't the see sun will have minimal to no skin discolorations. And keep in mind that the bad rays of the sun also come through windows!

The number of skin-care products claiming they can make skin whiter or lighter more often than not contain no ingredient that can have any significant, or even a minor, impact on melanin production (melanin is the brown pigment in skin). (One of the products that can lighten skin is hydroquinone.) In addition, even when the product does contain an ingredient that can have an effect, it usually contains such a small amount that it won't help at all. Basically, there is no comparison between the effects (or non-effects) of using one of these products and using a sunscreen plus a product containing hydroquinone. (Sources: Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, May-June 2008, pages 107 -113; Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings, April 2008, pages 20 -24; Experimental Dermatology, August 2005, pages 601 -608; Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, December 2005, pages 2368 -2373; International Journal of Dermatology, August 2004, pages 604 -607; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July -August 2004, pages 377 -381; Facial and Plastic Surgery, February 2004, pages 3 -9; Dermatologic Surgery, March 2004, pages 385 -388; and Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, March 2005, pages 272 -276).

I found this interesting - I thought age spots were caused by age. Who knew?

P.S. I promised this for Friday, but I forgot to post it. It's been in my drafts for a few days.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


As the promised follow-up to my post on Monday, which was a much overdue follow-up to my gardening post back in May, here's what some of my garden looks like now.

I have about half the marigolds I had when I killed them (as I mentioned on Monday) by using a "safe for flower beds" weed treatment. As you can see, some of them are full and some are kinda puny and sad. This is about half the marigolds prior to using the "safe" treatment, and they were ALL full and wonderfulin July. So imagine double the marigolds with more fullness, and you'll have an idea of how great the marigolds were doing:

Where some of the marigolds were completely dead, I put these late season chrysanthemums:

I liked the lavender so much that I bought two more! The bottom lavender (the smallest) looks droopy because I accidentally over-watered it last night. I'll leave it alone the next few days, so that should help.

I also got another rosemary - and they're both doing well. Behind the rosemary, you can see the pepper mint. I've already cut LOTS off the mint - it's thriving!

I added some flowers in June, which I have not posted pictures of - some hanging plants (begonias and petunias), two hibiscus plants, two English (David Austin) roses and more peonies. My petunias) (not planted until later in June, which I haven't posted about) and hydrangeas (originally posted) look pretty sad - we've had a heat wave the past week, so may things that were blooming are wilting. I'll post them next week once we've had a little bit of rain.

Oh and for the cuteness factor, here's a picture of Princess I took tonight:

She's saying "oh hi, do you want to play? I love to play! And get belly rubs. Belly rubs are great!"