765 Miles

Just a short post tonight, because I’m exhausted. In the last two days, I’ve driven from Bend, OR to Dubois, WY. Here’s what I learned!

1. Drink lots of caffeine if you want to make it through southern Idaho w/out losing your mind. It’s so boring, and so beautiful at the same time. Think Mars, plus sagebrush, plus lava, plus cows, plus cowboy hats. 

2. Attach your bike to your bike rack with bungee cords. It’s a real bummer when it falls off as you’re merging onto the highway. 

3. Bison will go wherever they please.

4. Don’t drive through the Rocky Mountains after dark. It’s hard and scary. 

5. Be nice to the person behind the hotel counter. Hello $25 discount!   

I promise I’ll be posting some pictures soonish. I have some beautiful ones that I took when I was staying in Bend. 

In other news, I’m picking Ad up tomorrow! 5 weeks is too long. 

No Poo – Week Three

My hair is shiny and smooth! Still a little on the greasy side, but I think within the next week it’ll all be dandy.

I think it helped that I did a delicious sugar scalp scrub a few nights ago. During the No Poo process, your skin is overproducing oil and it tends to build up on your scalp. If you’ve ever itched your head, and found some crud (for lack of a better word) under your nails, then you need a good scrub. Gross, but true, so get over it. Just mix some brown sugar with honey and massage away! If you have thick hair, it helps to part it first. It works beautifully, and you can use any extra on your footsies!

 

No Poo – Week Two

It’s time for a No Poo update!!

It’s been two weeks now w/out Poo, and things are going well. (For those of you who are a bit behind, check out my previous post about my decision to stop using shampoo). My hair is significantly less greasy than it was last week, but it’s still a little greasier than I would like it to be. I’m not about to give up though, as I’ve heard that this stage can last as long as a month.

There have been some exciting side benefits to the No Poo decision. The skin on my face is much clearer, and it doesn’t dry out as much as it used to. I find I’m using less lotion and less makeup, both good things. I think I’m also covertly cleaning my shower! Baking soda has long been recognized as a cleaning agent, and lemon juice removes soap scum and odor.

Thoughts? Opinions? Is anyone else brave enough to try this?

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

When I graduated from college last year I was jobless, so my dad offered to let me come work with him. He owns a  landscaping business in Marietta, OH, and does some truly beautiful work. Working with him was such a wonderful opportunity, and very rewarding.There’s something so satisfying about manual labor, especially when you’re making the world a prettier place. Of course spending time with him is what really made it enjoyable. I survived the 90 degree days and 100% humidity just fine, and as my father would say, it was character building. Check out his skills:

No Poo!

I’ve gone No Poo. That’s right, I haven’t shampooed my hair in a week.

Is it greasy, you ask? Oh yeah, but that’s temporary. When you shampoo your hair on a regular basis, you strip it of its natural oils (the good ones, which make your hair shiny and smooth).  The more often you shampoo, the more oil your scalp produces. When you stop shampooing it takes 2 to 4 weeks for your scalp to realize that it can stop making all that extra oil. I’ve just been wearing my hair in a pony tail, and you really can’t notice!

Is it smelly? No way. I’m still cleaning it; I’m just not shampooing it. I use a baking soda wash, and a lemon juice rinse.

  • Mix 1 tbsp of baking powder with 1 cup of warm water, so that the baking soda dissolves. When you want to wash your hair, use this mixture on your scalp and around your hair line. Massage, and rinse the mixture out. 
  • Follow with the lemon juice rinse. Mix 1 tbsp of lemon juice with 1 cup of water. Just rinse the ends of your hair with the lemon water, there’s no need to do your whole head. Wash it out, and you’re done!  
  • As an alternative to the lemon rinse, you can use 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with one cup of water. I already had lemon juice on hand, which is the only reason I chose it over the vinegar.  
  • Just a note, I have no idea what this does to color treated hair. Lemon juice tends to lighten blonde hair (which is a-okay with me), so it might have the same effect on dyed hair.

Why on earth am I doing this? Two reasons. It’s better for the environment, and it’s better for my wallet. Do you know what’s in your shampoo? Probably not, because (like me) you can’t even pronounce most of the words.  Many of the chemicals in shampoo are the same as those in your dish detergent. Icky. Over time, they can be harmful to your body and to the environment.  Of course you can avoid the chemicals and buy organic shampoos, which is awesome, but those are often more expensive. Most of you have seen Ad’s flowing mane. It’s beautiful, but it’s thick. We easily go through a bottle of shampoo and conditioner each month, which quickly adds up. The baking soda/lemon juice method costs us less than $1.00 per month! I love cheap. 

Wanna try? Check out Crunchy Betty’s blog and this NPR article for some more info. 

If anyone tries, I’d love to hear about your experience! 


Leaving

Ad has left for his geosciences field camp in Wyoming so I’m alone for the next 5 weeks, until we move away. I know it will go quickly since I’ll be doing all the packing on top of my regular full time work. These last 4 years in Tacoma have been good ones, but I’m more than ready to move on. I miss being close to family, I miss living in the country, and I miss the seasons that I’m used to.With that said, there are so many wonderful things in the Pacific Northwest that I’m really sad to be leaving.

1. Emily (you knew you’d be first on the list)

2. Everyone else who’s shown me love during my time here – friends, professors, co-workers, housemates, and a few strangers

3. The Grand Cinema

4. Mount Rainier – As someone from the rolling hills of Appalachia, I found you a wee bit intimidating at first, but you really are stunning

5. Seagulls

6. The New Frontier – Bluegrass Sundays and Metal Mondays!

7. The grey and white cat who sometimes sneaks into my house when I take the recycling out

8. The ocean

A Cooking Disaster or Why I Should Move to Cornwall

Today is my birthday, and I got the bright idea to make Cornish Pasties to celebrate. I’ve been craving them for months now, so with Ad here to help me I thought I’d give it a try.

I found a recipe online, and perhaps this was my first mistake. There weren’t many ingredients; flour, salt, butter, beef, onion, and potatoes. The recipe was a bit wonky, w/ tons of different measurements that Ad had to help me convert. The crust recipe was only enough for two pasties, but the filling recipe made enough for four. I used up some pie crust that I had in the fridge, rather than mixing up another sad batch of homemade crust. Somehow, we ended up with 4 regular sized pasties, and one slightly giant one. They looked fine though, very shapely, so we popped them in the oven to cook for 45 minutes.

30 minutes in, the smoke alarm went off. At first I wasn’t too concerned, as this usually happens when I’m cooking. I decided to leave them in for the whole time so the meat would properly cook. Naturally, they burnt. And the insides were kind of dry and boring. The pie crust ones tasted much better than the homemade crust ones, but they were still pretty awful. Ad very nicely ate all of his so as not to hurt my feelings.

What did I learn from this experience? I should just move to Cornwall.

Gradu-Ad-tion

I’ve taken a week to recover since my graduation last weekend. My mom, grandma, dad, brother, and brother’s girlfriend came from various parts of the country (OR, VA, PA) to celebrate and buy me food. We ate at a ton of good restaurants; Wild Ginger, The Harmon, The Rock, The Parkway, Gateway to India, and Paddy Coynes. My favorite was probably Wild Ginger, but the rest were insanely delicious too.

We also checked out the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and Everyday Music. I picked up Nine Types of Light, by TV on the Radio and Demon Days, by Gorillaz. They were half price in the scuff CD sale!

My actual graduation ceremony was longish and not the most exciting, considering we didn’t even get our real diplomas. The president of the university gave a good speech and I’m super glad to be done with undergrad.

Here are some photos of the big day, for your viewing pleasure!

Me and Jack

Me and my dad

My mom, me, and my grandmother

Me, my best friend/housemate Mike, and my awesome housemate/friend Andy

My friend and research partner, Katie

My friend Rachael

Technically, I haven’t actually graduated yet. I still have to complete a 5 week field camp in Wyoming. Anti-climactic, eh?