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Archive for November, 2009

Sob

I think I have reached a new, all-time low. Matt and I went to see a movie this weekend, and I actually teared up (read: cried) during a preview. Does it get any worse than that?

Check out the trailer here.

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Pillows!

I finally made some new pillows for fall/winter, now that I have my awesome craft table. I also got some new winter-friendly curtains for the living room. First, check out the before:

And, the after (sorry it’s kind of dark):

Here are the pillows up close:

I ordered the fabric from Etsy Seller Fabric Flair. What do you guys think?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We put our Christmas decorations up yesterday, so lots of Christmas-themed posts to come!

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Recycling a table

Some of you might remember our old kitchen table. It was a free hand-me-down from my aunt and uncle and worked great for a couple of years. It doesn’t exactly fit in our space now, so it’s been sitting in the basement for the past year.

Side note: This picture was taken the night we moved into our house. My mom brought lasagna so we took a quick dinner break. Notice how we are eating lasagna on white paper plates? Yeah, those plates actually left little hot spots on that table. Apparently we are not the smartest group alive.

Anyway, this table is now seeing new life, after I painted it a few weeks ago! I just sanded it down a bit, primed it with an oil-based primer, topped it with two coats of white paint, and a coat of polyurethane on top for good measure.

Now I have a pretty awesome craft table, and you should expect some pretty awesome crafts in the future.

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Alf

Alfie is getting his very own post today. He is having kind of a rough year.

First, we brought home this little devil and disrupted Alfie’s status as the only child.

I mean, it seemed like they were getting along fine, but I guess Indy does crowd Alfie’s space sometimes.

And Alfie has since perfected his evil death stare.

I guess this look kind of screams “resentment.”

Next, it was this unfortunate incident.

And now, without going too TMI on you, Alfie has a UTI. That basically means a lot of pain and sadness for him, and a lot of cleaning up pee for me.

It’s just not a good time to be Alfie.

Even Indy feels bad. This face just cannot lie.

I should mention, on a brighter note, that Alfie has lost approximately 3 pounds in the past year. For a cat, that is pretty amazing. He is looking rather trim. The problem is that now it is very possible that the new, allegedly awesome, slimming food I am feeding him is the cause of all these problems.

Alfie’s Adoption Anniversary is only a few weeks away. It’s been 5 years since we picked him up from the shelter and he dropped a nice, smelly poop the second I got him into the car.

And we couldn’t love him more.

In an attempt to cheer Alfie up a little this week, I did this.

Oh, for shame.

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poisonwoodThis book was another book club choice.  Unfortunately, I am the only person in our group of 7 that actually finished it – ha.  So, our discussion was rather one-sided.  The book wasn’t bad, it just took awhile to get through.   I have never been very interested in African history, but reading this book definitely got me interested in learning more, and I think that makes it worth it.

The story revolves around a missionary family, the Price’s, who move to the Congo on a mission in 1959.  It is narrated by the five women of the family – the mother, Orleanna and 4 daughters, Rachel, Leah, Adah and Ruth May, all of whom seem ill-equipped to handle the harsh conditions and cultural differences of Africa.

The patriarch, Nathan Price, is portrayed as a bullying, self-righteous preacher who tries desperately to convert the natives of the Congo to Christianity.  Throughout the novel, the girls begin to learn more about the political upheaval in the Congo and start to question their father’s stubborn efforts to save the souls of the natives.  Eventually, the political instability in the Congo clashes with the father’s mission, and the tragic consequences that result split the family.  From that point on, we follow the girls as they grow and change over a period of 30 years.

I recently read an excerpt from Kingsolver that I think explains one of the purposes of the novel that I really enjoyed.  The book is meant to be a political allegory, comparing the events of the characters’  lives to the larger world events.  The Price’s, in particular Nathan Price, went into Africa with their ideas and beliefs about religion, politics, culture, etc., the same way the US and Europe went into Africa and other developing countries imposing their beliefs, certain that they were right.  We, as US citizens, didn’t make the decisions our government imposed on Africa.  We are just innocent observers, like the Price daughters were with their father.

And that idea brings up my favorite part of the novel, which was the last chapter told from Adah’s perspective.  She discusses the balance of nature and life, and the African word muntu, a word that encompasses all being – past, present and future, living, dead, and yet unborn.  I’ll leave you with a few excerpts from that chapter.

“The carrying capacity for humans is limited.  History holds all things in the balance, including large hopes and short lives. When Albert Schweitzer walked into the jungle… he meant to save every child, thinking Africa would then learn how to have fewer children. But when families have spent a million years making nine in the hopes of saving one, they cannot stop making nine… Poor Africa. No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill… Africa has a thousand ways of cleansing itself… If you could for a moment rise up out of your own beloved skin and appraise ant, human, and virus as equally resourceful beings, you might admire the accord they have all struck in Africa.”

Overall, I think Kingsolver accomplished something that she must have set out to do – to tell a story of Africa and try to get the world to see Africa in a different light. Did it get a little too political in the last third of the book? Maybe. But this is still a novel, and it certainly causes you to think and want to learn the facts of that history.

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The Oil Cleansing Method

Fact:  My skin sucks.

So, before you all call me crazy for trying this skin-cleansing method, please remember that important fact.

Through the wonders of the interwebz, I have discovered a facial cleansing/moisturizing regimen called “The Oil Cleansing Method.”  I started it about a week ago, and so far I am on the fence about its effectiveness for me.  But, in case some of you out there are interested, here is the basic concept.

Most of the beauty products out there right now are all about being oil free.  In fact, our entire society is way too obsessed with cleanliness right now, and don’t even get me started on the problems that is causing.  So, what usually happens to me regarding my face is that I strip all the oil away using my oil-free cleansers and oil-free moisturizers.  My skin feels clean and tight and dry, and then it gets oily again around 2:00pm.  By stripping the natural oil away from my skin, my skin is over-compensating for the lack of moisture by creating more oil. 

This method revolves around the concept that oil dissolves oil.  Our skin naturally produces oil because it needs it.  So, instead of using dozens of different skin products to both moisturize and rid my face of oil (yeah, because that makes sense), I am going back to the basics.  Oil is not the enemy.  

The concept is simple, and so is the practice.  All you need are two kinds of oil (for cleansing and moisture) and a steamy washcloth.  I won’t go into all the details here, but if you want to try it, check out The Oil Cleansing Method website

I would also like to point out that a friend of mine told me this was all the rage back in the ’70s.  So I can’t be completely crazy, right? 

 

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