Shine on!

One week ago on May 5th, 2013 my old and dear friend took his own life.  His wife, Katy, and 2 adorable children Leo 9 and Sofie 5 have lost their loving husband and wonderful father.  I hadn’t seen Afran or Katy since that hellish week of Sept 11th but we reconnected on Facebook and felt close even though we are separated by 3,000 miles.  And all week I have been preoccupied with questions, bitterness, and dread.

I love Afran.   What an awesome, amazing person!  When we met in Berkeley I had just finished spending the summer working on music videos in Nashville.  I learned to load a 16 and 35 mm camera and had dreams of making movies.  So did Afran.  He respected my ideas about film-making.  He wanted to make a movie and he wanted my help.  Damn, I should have tried harder to make that happen!  His script ideas were funny, deep, and relevant.  I knew about cameras and lighting but my script ideas fell short.  I thought he was a genius.  I looked up to him.

Afran loved to talk movies, and scripts, and music.  He also had this way of telling you things that you need to hear.  He could say these things in a funny way.  Someone cut down that tree at the Dwight Ave house that stood between the hot tub and the house.  Afran pointed this out to me after I spent an intimate evening in there.  He could have never told me and spared me the mortification.  Thank God, he didn’t.

Cut to New York 4-5 years later.  I had almost given up on film for no other reason than my raging depression and budding alcoholism.  It was Afran who kindly said something I already knew.  That was his superpower.  He could point out things about your that you know, but you aren’t aware of or you can’t think clearly enough about those feelings to  express them to others.  He had a way of showing you things about yourself  so you could fix or change those things.  Hell, I was in New York doing camera work on a mildly successful documentary, spent time learning to edit and edited my own short film but I was a mess.   Afran could say this and it was cathartic.  He was a genius.

Then the whole world fell apart.  It was tough.  I remember sitting and discussing the state of the world crumbling around us.  With smiles and somber realization, Afran and Katy helped me to see that the world was still ok after Sept. 11.  Another superpower.

About a year ago,  I  was chatting with Afran about all things and I mentioned my new career goal:  teaching science.  “In TN?  Isn’t that…on the 7th day he rested?”  I laughed and I wanted to cry.  Because it was so funny and so true.  Damn it, Affy,  I miss you!  There is NO ONE like you.  You are irreplaceable! I am so sorry I didn’t tell you more how awesome you are. I am sorry I never sent you a Nashville western wear shirt.  I am sorry that I didn’t make a film with you.  It would have been grand.  I am sorry I can’t go to your memorial this year.

When I do go, I am going to play you that Pink Floyd song, “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” because it’s fitting and because I like to imagine your commentary because that song is like 12 minutes long and that length is inappropriately  silly as a memorial song.   I look forward to hanging out with you again in that great commune in the sky, my brother.  Peace and love, always and forever.



Baha is: bone anchored hearing aid.   I was against such a thing for years. I didn’t want surgery or a screw in my skull. But, folks, I have changed my mind! I got to try a BAHA band. The band is a head band that has a small processor with microphone that converts sound to impulses that are conducted to my cochlea via my skull. I could hear papers rustling! I heard a computer turn on! I could look away while the doctor spoke softly!  It was pure acoustic bliss.  I cried.  I had no idea what I have missed for years.

I also got to see my ear.  It was hella nasty!  Doctor Labadie is a premier surgeon and he says not only can he repair my eardrum and insert another prosthesis to help keep infection away, he can also insert the implant so that I can get a Baha! I will need to see the baha fitting people to be certain that I am a candidate.  I will get to test the baha band again the same day I go in for my pre-operative appointment!

Getting the implant is simple.  The screw is implanted in the skull during surgery. Then the bone is allowed to heal for 2-3 months.  Finally, the processor is manually attached! It is battery operated and has a volume control.  The processor can’t be worn in water or during sleep (duh).  It even has a safety attachment for sports.

Please follow me on my journey to implanted acoustic heaven.

Here is a picture of a normal ear (my right ear) and my poor miserable left ear…WARNING GRAPHIC

Green Smoothies

I read that raw foods can cure disease.  I bought the kindle version of Victoria Boutenko‘s 12 steps to Raw foods. Then I went to the grocery store and bought lettuce, parsley, and fruits. I drank a smoothie in the morning for 2 days. On the third day I ate cereal. This random pattern of smoothies and traditional American fair continued until I noticed that I started to crave the smoothies. Then I started to crave fruit rather than my usual high carb bedtime snack. I didn’t really change the rest of my diet. Just added those smoothies.  No big deal.  I felt a ton of energy and that pesky sinus infection that had been around on and off since before Thanksgiving went away. Cool right?!  I had about 4- 5 green smoothies a week for the last 4 weeks.

Then the really big news came.  I went to my PCP for a referral (yeah, I go out of network sometimes).  And he checked my blood pressure.  That blood pressure has been elevated since my pregnancy in 2005 but was now 84/134.  My blood pressure has consistently been high since last April when I spiked out in the operating room.  My doctor told me to keep an eye on it and that I would need to go on medication.  He said that no diet or exercise could combat it.  He said it was hereditary.

Is it proof that the green smoothies work?  Was it just a coincidence?  I don’t care.  I will say that I feel better when I add the greens to my daily diet, I have almost zero cravings for “junk” food, and am noticing my clothes fit better.

No Poo

Here we go. I wish I had a video to show you but that will have to wait for Summer. There will be a day when I throw in the futility towel and allow the kid to bathe in the river. That will be the day I video the no poo method. Until then, we will need to make do with these pictures.
First, get yourself some nifty squirt bottles. I used a sharpie to draw a line indicating the one cup line.  Then, put a tablespoon of baking soda into one bottle and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into the other bottle.

Now that you have the ingredients in the squirt bottles put them in those squirt bottles in the shower.  Get everything else ready for your shower and jump in.

Now fill the bottles up to the one cup line that you marked with a sharpie. Normally, you will do this in the shower but for demo I am filling this bottle at the sink.  Now, shake it up.

Squirt this onto your scalp and massage as if it is lathering.  It takes a couple of minutes to squeeze the whole cup into your scalp.  Enjoy yourself.  Think about those times you went to a salon and the stylist rubbed your head at the shampoo station.  Massage that cup of goodness into your scalp.  When you are ready rinse.  Doesn’t it feel squeaky clean!

Now fill the apple cider vinegar squirt bottle to the line with water, shake and squirt.  The ACV is a rinse.  Squirt it on and then rinse as if your were using a conditioner.  Doesn’t that mane feel soft!

Now, I know that this method works.  It’s simple no frills and my hair is clean and soft.  I will start to experiment and add ingredients for smell and for individual hair needs.  My hair is straight and fine so I don’t need a conditioner daily.  I am interested in any ideas for new concoctions.  I hope to have some additional recipes by summer!!!


Happy New Year!

A little late in the wishing…Happy New Year! So far this year has been great. We had a great relaxing holiday season. The weather has been phenomenal. We have been enjoying friends and family but now the days are getting longer and I am again dreaming of gardening.  This year I will grow more greens and herbs. I also hope to start a great stash of lavender.

I haven’t been knitting at all. Embarrassing! But I haven’t had the time. I know, I know. I guess the real reason is I have been in a knitting funk. I have a tiny lace weight yarn that I just knew would make a lightweight TN scarf, but the truth is, I do not like knitting with lace yarn. I have tried it before and I don’t love it. I need to stick with wools and worsted. Those and sock yarn are my favs.  It’s cute but I must stop with the lace.  It’s not my thing.  I thought this would be so beautiful in the pattern for Bad Oyster.  I meant it to be a scarf for a friend.  Maybe, if I can get over my lace hate, I can finish by Easter.

Anyone have ideas on dominating lace?

Have a great year!

Holiday break

We have had such a fantastic time homeschooling.  Mercy is beginning to read bits here and there.  She even grabbed a library book for the car on Sat.  She was reading the words on her own. If she didn’t know daddy read the words for her.  I have started using Homeschool Skedtrak.  It is really helping to keep me organized and focused on my goals.

I am still very behind on my holiday preparations.  It’s a bit late to worry about it.  We are traveling this year so I am using all my worrying credits on the weather and the long drive. lol

I did finish a gorgeous scarf for my mother, bought pajamas for all the relatives and hope to finish up with some gift card shopping tomorrow.  Procrastinators unite! Tomorrow….




I have done virtually no sewing, very limited knitting, and even less cooking!  Glorious.  Yes, glorious save the looming holiday season.  I just realized today that Hanukkah starts Dec. 1 (immediately after Thanksgiving). Not a big deal right? It wouldn’t be if I was prepared.  I have a plan: 1. decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend 2.shot the holiday card that weekend 3.print and mail to boot.  Can we manage? Sure.   Because that’s the bulk of my plan you may have noticed a few small but important details are missing.  I guess everyone is getting gift cards this year as there is no possible way I will have a “Homemade Holiday” unless a grow a few more hands. Possible remedy: 4. purchase and mail gift cards?

As for home education during the busiest holiday month of the year I am totally cheating!  I decided to order http://www.shirleysprepackagedcrafts.com/ for the month of December.  This way I can kick back and leave the planning to someone else.  Hahah.  I will let you know how that turns out.  We are still plugging away at our basic phonics and math.  I added a spelling program and Loo seems to LOVE it.  She asks to do it!  She is more aware of words and there function.  I hear her sounding out words in the car.  She ask me what EVERYTHING says.  My plan is to ease back on the core knowledge subjects a bit for the month of December. I want to focus on doing more crafts and art projects.  Of course, continue with reading and math but bulk up on some art things I have been lazy about, the really messy ones, complete with glitter, paint and strings.   Maybe those glittering messy crafts will be just the homemade gift that will be the most cherished the year.