Monday, September 17, 2018

Pack Ratting Addiction

Last weekend I encountered some awesome garage sales. What was really outstanding is they were smelly laundry detergent on fabrics, no air fresheners...scent free. The first one was the estate sale of a collector and dabbler in creative pursuits. She had a whole box of paper making supplies. I was tempted.

She also had a whole collection of handmade books that were gorgeous, but I couldn't justify the purchase since I had no idea what I'd do with them. Every room was filled with wicker and although I'm not fond of wicker or baskets, she had a great set of furniture I would have loved. I resisted.

And a whole garage of crafts project supplies of every kind, but no painting or art supplies. I passed on a lot of great items and kind of regret it now, but I tried to be practical...I bought:

three colorful beach towels 

two full bottles of ammonia 

a bottle of vinegar 

a half bottle of Elmer's glue 

two tiny picture frames

a container of organic slug bait 

a hose sprayer 

a small cooler 

All very practical items, well, except the beach towels. For someone who hardly goes to the beach, I sure like joyfully colored beach towels!

Then I got impractical and bought a bracelet, but failed to check to see if it worked.

It doesn't clasp. It's broken. So either I'll fix it or the beads can be reused for something. Still a good buy. It was only a $1.

The second estate sale had a ratty old sign so I hesitated then figured I had nothing to lose (but money). These people said they just wanted everything gone so nothing was priced over a dollar:

a beautiful white bedspread (.50 cents!) This will go with the beautiful white blanket I bought at the last sale! The woman said she had just washed it. I panicked, but there was no smell! Hooray!

a gorgeous cotton terry bathrobe My bathrobe is so old it is unimaginable it's still usable, but it's lightweight flannel, has dangerously long sleeves that can catch fire on burners and a long length for tripping. I've wanted something much warmer for a long time. This one is heavy-weight terry cloth with pockets, shorter sleeves and slightly shorter in length. Really good quality and it makes me want to snuggle. Love it! (.25 cents!)

three sets of flannel sheets, light blue, green, and red (.75 cents each)

two rugs (.50 cents each)

painters overalls !!!!!! (.25 cents)

You can't imagine how long I've been looking for some painter's overalls for painting, construction or gardening. The ones I find are for large men which would not be comfortable to wear since they are so big and heavy they would impede movement like my coveralls do.These were for the woman who owned them and they fit me perfectly!

two blue-glass pie dishes (.50 cents) I can use the glass for the mosaic class I hope to take soon. The bracelet was photographed on top of a pie dish.

a picture frame (.10 cents)

a hose attachment (.25 cents)

two lawn chairs (.50 cents each) The lawn chairs were in the back of the garage, covered in dust and dirt, but in very good working order. I got them home, scrubbed them down and they are beautiful. I've always wanted a recliner lawn chair for vitamin D therapy.

and a box of socks (1.00). There were about 15 pairs of white cotton socks in the box. I'm not one for buying used socks but I checked them and they seemed very clean. I figured for a dollar I could bleach them and use them for rags. (I sterilize everything once it's home.)  I got them home, inspected them, and found they are practically new! I'm set for life for socks!

I love the towels match the lawn chair in brightness and cheerfulness!

And I love the garden implements even match the lawn chair! LOL!

Both houses were amazingly fragrance-free.

If that wasn't enough the local junk store that is going out of business put out on the sidewalk for free three school cafeteria-style tables!! Whoa!! Art tables!

What an outstanding day!!! Nothing I love more than buying used junk at awesome prices and practical FREEBIES!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Wildlife Friends

I love wildlife. Well, as long as they aren't living in or under my house. Or using my garage roof as a toilet. I enjoy watching them wander through my gardens because I know they appreciate all the work I've done to make it welcoming and beautiful. Actually, I'm sure they don't care if it's beautiful just edible.

I am reading a book on how to make your property wildlife friendly. Most of it has to do with habitat conservation of acreage, but there is a little section on residential backyards. For the most part, this has been my goal all along. I've grown hummingbird and bee-attracting plants, fruit trees and berries, birdhouses, and a little ground-level bird bath. What I didn't realize is more varieties of birds will use a ground-level bird bath than a pedestal-style bird bath. I had a pedestal bath once and the animals would climb on it, knock it over, and break it. I always thought ground-level baths would be more dangerous for them. Placing it near a bush or under the tree makes it safer. Mine is under the cherry tree.

My fruit trees are dripping with fruit. Literally. I've been selling bags of the Italian prunes to prune-tree-less customers, but once everyone had a bag I can't even give them away now. This week I plan to pick the whole tree and take it to the food bank. The apples are just now starting to ripen.

Every morning I go out and pick up at least twenty windfalls of apples and as many Italian prunes. By afternoon there is another load. It's a lot of work. If I don't do this and let them rot on the ground not only does the fruit mold and create fungus damaging the trees, but the rats come over for a snack. If they visit too often they start feeling at home. In years past I have thrown the apples over the fence so the deer can eat them, but if they don't eat them, it gets messy and attracts wasps not to mention rats. This year I've put the fruit in fruit baskets so it's contained but available for the deer or other animals.

By the end of the day the baskets are full and by morning half empty. Today while I was picking up apples and putting them in the basket my neighbor drove up along side and said,

"I don't know if it's your intention to have the deer eat out of the baskets?"

For a moment I felt defensive, ready for a fight, but I smiled and replied, "Yep, that's the plan."

He continued, "Well, last night there were three magnificent buck eating. It was quite the sight." He left before I had the opportunity to tell him if they eat their fill out of the basket, maybe they'll leave his garden alone!

Hooray!  I knew the deer were eating because they are messy eaters, leave large footprints plowing up the dirt, and crap all over. More importantly, I was glad the neighbor seemed happy about it. People in this neighborhood love to thoughtlessly own barking, biting obnoxious dogs, but they usually don't hesitate to kill a wild animal. Most of them hunt the deer. I really don't like most of my neighbors.

I tend to have incredibly sensitive hearing, bionic hearing, due to chemical sensitivity, and I sleep with the windows open. Most nights as I lay in bed and can hear animals lapping the water in the bird bath. I love getting out of bed and watching them. Usually raccoons. I think they are just noisier than other animals, but on occasion I spy a opossum. The raccoons are noisier, also, because they take a whole bath while drinking. Multitasking. I always know when a raccoon has visited - the bird bath is almost empty and what is left is mud.

Last night there was a fat raccoon who must have drank water for fifteen minutes. It's not a very big bird bath and I was compelled to run out there and re-fill it, but I know it would have frightened him away. He circled the tree then came back and drank some more. So I've added a raccoon pond! The only containers I have that would be suitable are two ten-gallon aquariums. I placed large bricks along side for sitting platforms.

Well, see if it works. I placed it in the backyard which is more private, but I won't be able to watch. I'll know if they use them - the water will be dirty.

I'm thinking maybe I should build another pond, but the last one was a hassle to maintain. Hmmm...

UPDATE: OH! This morning I awoke to some clatter. I thought maybe the deer were wrestling with the baskets of apples and prunes. I took my flashlight and shined it around and saw some dark lumps up in the prune tree. I ran downstairs and opened the front door. One mama raccoon with four fat babies all up in the prune tree trying to find something to eat. I think opening the door and shining a light on them made mama nervous. She started growling lowly at them and they all hustled down the tree and in single file gingerly exited toward the backyard. So cute. I don't think they are using the raccoon pond. It is looking a little dirty.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Essential Oil Toxicity

I approached one of the members of my art group. His essential oil stink polluted the outside air at least 10 feet in circumference. I quickly adjusted my position in the group, up wind and away. He's the one who professes because essential oils are "organic" they are healthy. He refuses to listen to anything I have to say and he's the quintessential mansplainer constantly taking the position that he knows more than me simply because of his gender. What an ignoramus!
Alison Johnson recently included an essential oil study results on her website:
Essential oils, widely used in society, emit numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some of these VOCs are considered potentially hazardous under federal regulations. However, essential oils are exempt from disclosure of their ingredients on their label. Thus, the public may lack information on emissions and potential hazards from essential oils. This study examined VOCs emitted from a range of commercial essential oils, including tea tree oils, lavender oils, eucalyptus oils, and other individual oils and mixtures of oils. Using headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), the study analyzed 24 commercial essential oils, including 12 with claims of being "natural" or related terms, such as organic, 100% pure, or plant-based. Results identified 595 VOCs emitted from the 24 essential oils, representing 188 different VOCs. The most common VOCs emitted were alpha-pinene, limonene, acetone, linalool, alpha-phellandrene, betamyrcene, and camphene. Among the 589 VOCs identified, 124 VOCs, representing 33 different VOCs, are classified as potentially hazardous. All natural and regular essential oils emitted one or more potentially hazardous VOCs, such as acetaldhyde, acetone, and ethanol. Toluene was also found in 50% of essential oils. Moreover, for the prevalent VOCs classified as potentially hazardous, no significant difference was found between regular and natural essential oils. This study provides insights and information about emissions of commercial essential oils that can be useful for public awareness and risk reduction.
AH HA!!!! All those "ene" toxins are cancer-causing as well as just being poisonous. Didn't I ponder in another post I bet they add toulene to essential oils to maintain viscocity??? And there it is! Toulene is in every perfume and is a known cause of cancer!!! Sounds exactly like the perfume industry with their "trade secret" clause defying transparency. I'll make another prediction: I bet anything the essential oils industry is controlled by the perfume and chemical companies, much like some organic seed companies are owned by Monsanto. 
Vindicated once again.
To all you addicted naysayers out there, research is finally confirming the toxcity of essential oils. Take it seriously. Stop poisoning the rest of us and stop pushing your poisons on those who are not interested! Those of us who are "canaries" aren't crazy. We know when your stink is toxic!
If you want to read Alison Johnson's article click HERE

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Shade Garden

I'm loving my shade garden. It has all kinds of native plants: yew tree, maple tree, cherry tree, cyclamen, sword ferns, and lady ferns, with trillium tucked in the back. Every spring and fall when I'm cleaning the gardens, I take all these "weed" types that spring up all over [like weeds!] and put them here.

I love it when the cyclamen blooms appear with the first fall rain signifying summer is over. Well, it's a bit surprising because I always think, SUMMER IS OVER? ALREADY? But they are so pretty interspersed among the dark ferns.

What is special about this shade garden is it took me years to get it to look decent. I must have spent hundreds of dollars on seeds hoping to get shade plants to grow under these trees and nothing would. Finally I thought, Why fight it? Use the native plants! It's finally starting to look nice and filled.

The tiny round cyclamen leaves are just now starting to appear.

They are such pretty leaves. Once they are full grown they are a beautiful heart shape that is so lovely. This is a winter plant which I always find unusual since so much of the garden is dependent on spring-summer weather. The ferns will die back in the winter so my shade garden evolves with the seasons.

Hooray for native plants and not fighting nature!!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Italian Prunes

My Italian Prune tree is LOADED this year. Thousands of prunes. Last year I think it only produced a small bowl full. This year I've already given away five bags and have barely made a dent in the supply! Aren't prunes good for your colon? Added bonus!


Friday, August 31, 2018

August Movie Reviews

*****  Exceptional
****    Great
***      OK
**        So So
*          Blah

All Saints is a Christian-centered movie about a preacher to is assigned to a failing church in order to sell the land and close it down. With a congregation of twelve, it's not worth maintaining. He is faced with a group of refugee farmers from Myanmar who don't have money and are having a hard time feeding their kids. The church has no money, but a lot of acreage so they decide to put the land to work in hopes of saving the church. Really bad performances, incredibly bad dialogue, and lots of unrealistic hope that God is talking to them and will save them. In the end God doesn't talk to anyone and all their plans fail, but like a good religious movie, it doesn't matter. *

The Clapper is about a man who is a professional audience member for infomercials. Every now and then he's given a line to say, but for the most part they want him to be anonymous, just the average American consumer. He's called out for his disguises by a talk show host and becomes famous. Because he can no longer be anonymous, no one will hire him. I can't tell if the script was just lousy or the characters were purposely idiotic with low IQs. They don't comprehend what each other is saying nor are they able to articulate what they feel. If cognitively impaired on purpose, there was something discomforting about this talk show host using them as the butt of his jokes. Or was this for comedic effect? If so it was bad. There were moments that should have been funny but weren't, should have been sentimental, but weren't, and should have been clever, but weren't. It missed the mark at every opportunity. The weird or lack of character development left me confused. The photography was beautiful. Too bad. **

The Florida Project is about the life of Moonie, a precocious  six-year old potty-mouth whose incredibly low-life, immature mother is a scam artist by day and a hooker by night. They live in a purple-painted budget motel just off the highway called the Magic Castle managed by Bobbie (William Dafoe) and filled with other low income families. She runs wild and unsupervised with a gang of friends getting into all kinds of mischief. The story is delightfully filmed from the perspective of a child. The photography is exceptional. Love the way colors are used. Love the opening with Kool and the Gang's song "Celebrate."  Brilliant performances. So incredibly sad. ****

Good Hair Chris Rock narrates this documentary on black hair and what people do to get "good hair". It was fascinating. I had no idea black women can spend anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 on a hair weave made from Indian hair. Or that people in India go through a religious ceremony and cut their hair off for God because hair is vanity. The temple then sells their hair to those who delouse, clean, condition, cut, and sew it to make hair weaves and one hair weave salesman can carry $15,000 worth of weaves in a suitcase and sell them all to salons in a matter of a few hours.  Or the black market where people actually steal the hair right off a sleeping Indian woman's head. Some of it was more than disturbing like the relaxer perms that people give their 2 year old daughters. The whole documentary was amazing and Chris Rock was hilarious. ****

The Greatest Showman is a musical (!) about P. T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and the beginnings of his circus in the 1800s with themes of honoring diversity and following dreams. It was fun. The music was good but nothing special and a little odd it was modern in a nineteenth-century setting. Performances were good. ***

Half Magic is an incredibly lame movie about three women who meet at a women's empowerment class and become instant best friends. Yeah, like that is realistic. They attempt to change all the horrible things in their lives by doing candle magic. The lead character's name is Honey. There is absolutely no substance to this film. The performances were really bad, the script really bad, and the plot really bad. *

Ingrid Goes West is about a psychotic woman who is obsessed with social media and becomes delusionally attached to women who have "perfect" lives, loving them as distant best friends and hating them in very scary ways when they don't reciprocate. It's frightening!  It also serves as a cautionary tale of how we shouldn't pretend we know the people we meet online. Oddly enough it was a comedy. Aubrey Plaza who stars as Ingrid is outstandingly insane. ***

In Harmony was a French movie about a horse-riding stuntman who is injured and in a wheelchair. The insurance company is trying to screw him over and his claims adjuster keeps trying to pressure him into signing their lousy deal. They end up falling in love, but she's married with kids. The horse was gorgeous. ***

I, Tonya is the story of Tonya Harding, notorious Olympic figure skater involved in the knee bashing of Nancy Kerrigan, her competitor. Such a sad low-class life surrounded by stupid people, filled with bad choices, and experiencing way too much domestic violence. The movie portrays her as almost innocent, or a victim of her situation. Too bad she wasn't able to crawl up out of the sewer overcome all the adversity with the talent she had.  ***

The Man Who Invented Christmas is about Charles Dickens's writing of A Christmas Carol. As he develops the characters they come to live and torment him with suggestions.  It was cute. Great performances. Christopher Plummer plays Scrooge and has outstanding lines and a smart ass mouth. It kind of reminded me of my favorite movie of all time the spectacular in every way Shakespeare in Love only not as clever or as well-written. Still it was good. Great sets, costumes, performances and enjoyable. It made me want to READ A Christmas Story. ****

November Criminals is about a high school student dealing with the grief from his mother's recent death. Then his friend is senselessly murdered.  Everyone keeps saying it's gang related only because the boy was African American. He wants answers, answers he never found in the death of his mother,  and goes search down dark alleys to find them. I really like Ansel Elgort --cute, pouty-lipped boy with great acting skills. Chloe Grace Moretz is his girlfriend. Lots of pouty lips in this movie. ****

Only the Brave is about the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, fire fighter team in Prescott, AZ. All-star cast with Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, and others. Great story, excellent performances, very  sad. ****

The Queen of Versailles is a documentary film about the incredibly arrogant David and Jackie Siegel, American multi-millionaires, who live lavishly and are building the largest, most expensive house in the USA based on the design for the French castle at Versailles. Then the economy tanks in 2008 and they start losing everything. Well, "losing everything" is relative. I could live off a tiny fraction of what they lost and consider myself wealthy. Does that stop Jackie from spending frivolously? Hell no. They have to lay off most of their employees and house staff and because they are so entitled and lazy everything goes to crap. Literally. Their dozen mangy dogs are shitting all over the floor and everyone just walks around stepping in it. BLAH! Other pets in aquariums are starving to death because the kids are too lazy and irresponsible to feed them. Oh, and when her precious dogs die, she STUFFS them! Or skins them and lays their fur on top of the piano. It was all I could do not to vomit every five minutes. I searched online because I wanted to see if there was any currently information on them and their post-filming situation. They sued the film company for defamation! Really? If anything they should sue each other for making themselves look so badly!! Excellent documentary, but so repulsive I'm only giving it two stars because I should have turned it off.**

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe was actually a three-hour mini-drama. It covers the sordid parts of her biography told to a psychiatrist she saw late in life. The actress (Kelli Gardner) who played her was phenomenal, the best rendition of Marilyn Monroe I think I've ever seen.  Susan Sarandon played her schizophrenic mother and that gorgeous Jeffrey Dean Morgan was Joe DiMaggio. Costumes were outstanding with most being replicas of Marilyn's famous dresses.  It was surprisingly excellent. ****

The Secret Scripture is one of those Irish horror movies where the bitter, jealous priest has a young newly-married woman committed to an insane asylum  for NYMPHOMANIA after she rejects his advances and marries another. Fifty years later when the institution is being shut down, a new psychologist comes in to re-evaluate the woman. Her file states she was pregnant at the time of her commitment. Rumor has it it was the priest's baby since her marriage was not known. Around nine months pregnant as she's watching the nuns give away the babies of other girls, she attempts to escape, swims the ocean and gives birth to the baby on the beach. Her records show she killed the newborn right after birth. She constantly talks about the baby to the orderlies as if he's not dead. They think she's crazy. Through the years she has kept a secret diary in a Bible for fear she will forget her memories due to the electromagnetic shock treatments they constantly give her. Outstanding performances, exceptional story. So many of my favorite actors in one film: Rooney Mara, Aidan Turner, Theo James, Jack Reynor, and Vanessa Redgrave.. *****

Sweet Bean is a Japanese film about a doriyaki baker with demons and the 76 year old woman who begs him for a job. He refuses her due to her age and possible inability to do the job. He uses canned bean paste which she tells him tastes like shit. She offers to make homemade bean paste. This, of course, has customers lined up around the block.  One of the customers notices her mangled, misshapen hands and it is discovered she is from the leper community.  Business grinds to a halt. It was a sad commentary on how we treat people we erroneously perceive as threats and the power of rumor. Sweet, sometimes slow, but good story. One always knows when it's a Japanese film - lots of food preparation and cherry blossoms. ***

Thelma was some kind of Norwegian supernatural lesbian movie...yeah, I don't know what I was watching. *

The Wall is a psychological thriller about two soldiers who have been casing an American construction site in Iraq after the war during reconstruction. All the workers have been shot and they are trying to figure out if it was an ambush now deserted or if there is a sniper waiting. After 20 plus hours the sergeant gets impatient and decides to chance it. The sniper shoots him and he's left laying out in the open. When the other solider comes to his defense, he also gets shot and throws himself over a wall for cover. He's pinned there. The sniper has access to his radio, asking him questions about his life while taking shots at him when he reveals his location. It's pretty frightening. The ending was surprising...just when you think it's over, it's not, then it kind of doesn't end. Very strange. Excellent performances. ****

Wonderstruck  This was such a weird movie with a disconnected story I was wonderstruck why anyone bothered to make it. It's about a boy in 1977 (WHY?) who's mother has died and he doesn't know his father. In a freak accident (lightning strikes the telephone he's using...REALLY?), he loses his hearing (HUH?), escapes from the hospital and takes a bus to New York in hopes of finding his father based on a bookmark he found in one of his mother's books. A parallel story takes place about a girl in 1927 who is deaf and she heads to New York. Both of them converge on a natural history museum.  It was so weird and the performances horrible. Now, some great actresses were featured: Michelle Williams (who I love) had a minor role as the boy's dead mother, and Julianne Moore was a silent screen actress who is the girl's mother. By the end of the movie they do present the connection between these two kids, but it was so desperately contrived and the plot so unrealistic it made me shake my head repeatedly and so violently I kept getting dizzy. It felt like a fantasy that didn't quite live up to it. I liked the cabinets of curiosity history, but instead of some kind of magical twist to bring the story to life it relied on pure coincidence to keep the plot moving.  So weak. *

Petition to Cancel the Netflix Series "Afflicted"

It seems Netflix has produced a series called Afflicted that implies MCS people are crazy. The participants are calling for the cancellation of the series. Here is there statement:

We were all told that we would be participating in a project that would show our lives and our struggles with illness through a 'compassionate lens.' We participated because our diagnoses are misunderstood and stigmatized. We thought that revealing some of the most intimate moments of our lives would lead to greater public understanding. We hoped that with it might come investment in research to find biomarkers and better treatments. We never fathomed that we were participating in a project that would instead expose us and our communities to further ridicule and disbelief. The most serious and central flaw of Afflicted is the way it frames our conditions - which impact millions of people around the world - as psychosomatic or psychiatric disorders. It does this in part by carefully excluding facts, which show that yes, while there is a lot that science does not understand about our condition, they have an 'organic' basis.

Hmmm...this reminds me of the Snowflake media fiasco a while back. There is no trusting the media, people! Unless you are absolutely sure of their agenda, back away cautiously.

Even though I signed the petition, I'd kind of like to see the series now. I'm living proof there is no such thing as bad publicity!

To sign the petition on click HERE

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Friend for a Day

I'm sticking to my New Year's Resolution of being less reclusive and I'm making a point to connect with people whenever possible. It's not going so well.

I met a woman at an art gallery about a month ago. I was there looking and she had sculptural pieces on display. They were interesting - self-portrait masks made into bizarre mythological creatures using all kinds of weird found objects. We got to talking and she mentioned she used to paint, but she became chemically sensitive and was forced to give it up!

WHOA! Friend alert!

She gave me her card which I promptly lost in the black hole that is my purse. A few weeks later I was out in the garage cleaning up and came across a bouquet of fake silk flowers. Wondering if I could use them for art I remembered the interesting artist with the strange mythological women sculptures, some of them decorated in wax-dipped silk flower petals. I went looking for her business card.

I hesitated for a day or two. Do I really want to subject myself to frustration and rejection if she's not really chemically sensitive? Even those who claim to be chemically sensitive are rarely as severe as I am. Instead of their lungs collapsing they might experience some dizziness. Instead of a migraine, they might have sinus congestion. Instead of brain fog and memory loss, they might feel under the weather. Still, I have a New Year's Resolution to fulfill. Why not take a chance? I might make a new artistic friend.

So I emailed her and suggested we meet for tea or something, talk some art, share our chemical sensitivity experiences. She immediately invited me over to see her house and garden. I discovered right away she has no boundaries.

It was then I realized I already knew OF her. I went to the estate sale of the house she bought. I was told an artist was buying the house and had planned to use the large front room as a gallery.  I was told not more than a month later she had married my ex-mechanic, the guy who asked me out on a date. My instincts told me to steer clear of him, but I couldn't for the life of me understand the reason for my aversion. The person who told me about this match made in heaven knew I turned him down for a date. She snidely commented, "You shouldn't be so picky. See, there is someone for everyone. Maybe someday if you stop being so picky you'll meet someone." She tilted her head in sympathy. I resented her condescending tone. For years I have watched from a distance as the artist's yard transformed into the most spectacular garden with all kinds of crazy gates and sculptural designs, but I kept my distance knowing she was the wife of the undesirable.

I worried about going to the artist lady's house. Does she burn candles? Incense? Does she use scented products? Air fresheners? It's always such a risk and the stress of this anticipated physical and psychological encounter made me think twice, three times and four times before I resolved to follow through on my New Year's Resolution of making new connections and forming friendships. I worried if she was still married to the undesirable and if he would be there, but I kind of doubted it. I figured if she had any brain function whatsoever, she's probably divorced by now. Maybe.

She was friendly, inviting, welcoming, cheerful, talkative, and excessively disclosive. No boundaries. She uncontrollably vomited all her secrets as if she hadn't had human contact for months and needed desperately to confess her sins. All of them. She laughed and moaned about how she married the husband, he drove her insane for two years, she divorced him, and he went on to find another single, older woman living in an old house that needed remodeling only two blocks away. I thought, OH MY GOD! I am so thankful for my spidey senses and my sociopathic radar! I felt rather vindicated.

We shared, laughed, exclaimed. She showed me her house, art, and magnificent garden. I admired her creativity and freespiritness.

Then she did the unthinkable...faster than lightning she grabbed a giant-sized container of Nivea moisturizing lotion, extracted a large scoop, and frosted her hands, arms, face and neck with it. As a young woman I used Nivea religiously. The chemicals in it are so toxic they are addicting. Stink wafted through the room.

"I'm sorry. I can't be around Nivea." I backed away holding my hand over nose and mouth.

Although I could tell through our conversations she didn't quite understand what chemical sensitivity could mean, she graciously apologized. I always feel badly being in someone's private space and expecting them to change their habits for me, but it was either say something or run out of there fast. She washed it off...with bright green scented dishwashing liquid! Clearly clueless. I found out she does have a sensitivity to paint and maybe some hair dye, but that's it.

Although I enjoyed our visit, by the time I left I felt pretty violated. Not just poisoned thoughtlessly with toxic French whore stink, but she kept asking me private questions, pushing when I didn't want to answer, suggested we should form a partnership, and invited herself over to my house...right now. No boundaries. We were best friends immediately. Is it any wonder she married the sociopathic loser with little consideration? I didn't have time nor desire to continue our toxic visit so I suggested I would contact her the next day.

I thought about this all night. I have learned through many years of experience, people who use scented products will NEVER be fragrance-free. They have no idea what that means and no cognitive function to know how to do it. I know this. I emailed her this explaining my situation, and asking her what she thought. Was she capable of being fragrance-free??? Willing to make the effort??? Even if she claims she is, I doubt it.

When confronted, often unenlightened people will  tell you they will eliminate all scented products from their life, or try to be fragrance-free, or agree about the health risks. I think it's some kind of courtesy reflex. Yes, I value our acquaintance and yes, I will try. It never works out that way. They just don't get it or don't want to get it because it's so inconvenient.

Surprisingly she totally agreed with me that people who wear scents won't ever change. She had no desire to stop wearing scented products. I find it really odd someone who suffers from depression, skin rashes, allergies of all kinds, and claims to be chemically sensitive to certain products would purposely wear and breathe chemicals.

Oh well.

We exchanged a few more emails with her telling me she can't give up her scented products because it would be too expensive to go organic and me telling her I haven't used or purchased any Nivea or other moisturizer (hair shampoo, conditioner, spray, make-up, toothpaste, etc.) for over 15 years which saves way more than the stinky stuff she is using. I shared my toxicity and detoxing theories as well as how chemicals damage our health (rashes, depression....). She was intrigued and sounded amazed, but then it ended there. Clearly she's addicted. Only addicts can't see the logic.

What is most disappointing is this woman feels her scented products are more important than friendship. During our visit she lamented how she has no genuine friends. No one for support and no one on whom she can rely. I shared with her my hospital experience where I realized I, too, had no one. If her scented products are more important than a friendship, why would she ever expect people to be loyal and dedicated? Without the stink, I think she would have been a great friend, maybe. But we'll never find out. We both missed an opportunity for friendship and support because of her French whore ignorance and pigheadedness.

I'm keeping my New Year's Resolution. Everyone expects resolutions to be broken as some point, so I wouldn't feel too badly if I gave up. It feels like a dangerous waste of time to try to connect with people, but I trudge onward and keep the faith.

For now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The LAST of the Summer Projects, or Self-Reliance Overtime.

And the award for most summer accomplishments goes to...

Air vent in roof
Closet walls lined
Fence gate post replaced
Two loads of bark for garden
Rodent control and pinwheel construction
Bleach and scrub garage
Side of house painted
Whole garden weeding

Oddly enough, as I read that meager list it really doesn't look like much especially if one doesn't take into account the energy and strength one must have for some of the construction projects. And toxicity. Let's not forget toxicity. Still, I'm patting myself on the back because I can't believe I didn't collapse after the first couple endeavors.

Of course, I've been adding projects, too. I painted the dormer roof walls. I had planned to save those for next year, but they looked so small I thought Why not?

It was absolutely NO FUN to precariously balance myself on that tiny roof ledge and pray I wouldn't topple over with a serious case of vertigo. A couple times I almost did.

Or lay along the roof and try to reach up into the corner! For such a small area, it sure was filled with challenge, BUT it's done! The only thing left to paint on the house are those fascia board trim (see above photo...looks like crap) but those will wait until next year along with the garage.

My next and last project which is another one I added to the list was to re-aluminum seal the dormer roof. I was going to wait until next year but when I started dancing on the upper roofs to paint the dormer walls, I noticed the flat roofs have tiny, hairline cracks. I don't want to wait.

This was HELL. Literally. Burning fires of hell. I washed the roof, but when the hazy ash blew in from local forest fires, I was afraid after a week the roof was too dirty again and the aluminum would peel. So I washed it again. Then the nights started getting cold and it didn't seem like it was dry enough. Finally, yesterday afternoon the roofs were dry and clean all at the same time so like a fool in 90 degree heat in the middle of the afternoon I jumped in (or rather, UP) and went to work.

Half way through the top, larger roof I was honestly afraid I would suffer heat exhaustion! I kept taking breaks and splashing water on my skin and drinking cold water. I couldn't remember what kind of roller I used in the past and the ignorant hardware sales boy sold me a thick splattered aluminum silver all over. I was covered in smelly, petro-based aluminum. I ended up having to throw away the pants, the shoes, and the socks I was wearing. All that dripping and splattering ended up being tracked on my floors. What a mess!

And I don't think I should have done it in such hot heat. The directions say don't apply it in temperatures exceeding 110 degrees...OK...I noticed when I'd roll it, it seemed to dry too fast and harden making thin, even rolling impossible. Still, it's done. I hope it's good enough and it doesn't start peeling. It's not there to look good, just protect the roof.

Paint dormer sides
Re-seal aluminum coating on roof
Scrub kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, pantry tile floors

FINISHED!! That's it! Everything else I want to do should be much more fun!


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Yard Sale Monsoon

This weekend we must have had fourteen different yard and garage sales in our area! Many of them had nothing I wanted, but it's always fun to see a street I've never traveled or meet new people. There was only one sale that was toxic smelly. I have no idea if she had old bottles of perfume she was selling or she tried to spray mold or mildew stink away, but the whole area stunk to high heaven. I walked a few feet in and then out. And it was outside and it still stunk! All others were fine and safe. Most were moving sales with people moving into smaller places or elderly people selling their homes and moving in with family so the sales were large. I always enjoy the free boxes. LOL. Here's what I got:

Yard sticks, two (free) I'm always needing measuring devices in various places.

Little square scrubber brush (free) I used to have one of these and used it on my fingernails after gardening. I've wanted another for a long time.

Set of fancy curtain hangers (.25 cents for a pair) When I realized there was a whole set in a bag nearby, I asked her how much and she said, "Please take them all. I've had them for years and I just haul them from place to place." I was just thinking the other day I wanted better curtain hangers. Now I need to figure out how to get some rods.

Blanket/bedspread, king-size white, 100% cotton (.25 cents) LOVE IT! I washed it in copious amounts of bleach and detergent, washed it again in vinegar, washed it again with plain water. It had no smell before I washed it, but I'm sure if there were any germs on it, they are all gone. I love the feel of 100% cotton blankets. After I dried it (for more sterilization), I laid it on top of my bed to cool.

Side table (free) I'm trying to stay away from furniture, but I couldn't help myself. This one is old style and in fairly good shape, all wood, very sturdy. Not my style of furniture, but it was free.

Painting reproduction with frame about 36 " x 24" (free) I'm thinking I can paint over it. Nice frame.

The image matches the blue color of my house...maybe I should hang it on my house? There is a house a couple blocks away that has bad paintings hanging all over the outside. I like it. It's funny.

Spool bed posts, carved ($1.00 for both although I think I overpaid.) They were so weird and interesting I figured I could paint them and put them in my garden for fancy hose guides. Maybe I'll paint them to look like African staffs. I've already started sanding.

Bandanas, three (.10 cents each)

White distilled vinegar, two gallons, not opened (.50 each) EXCELLENT BUY! I've already used it to clean off everything and de-rust the paint scrapper!

Staples, one box nearly full (.10 cents) Excellent timing. I'm almost out of staples.

Scrubber brush (free) Useful

Clamp (.10) Useful

Paint scrapper (free) Useful

Screw driver (.10 cents) Useful

Philips screw driver (.10 cents) Useful

Three-ring notebook (.25 cents) Useful

Totally practical purchases with little impulse buying and some impulse freebie gathering. I probably didn't need the side table or painting.

I have become a bit of a pack rat...I blame it on hormones.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Well, the pinwheels are spinning madly, some so violently that they have ripped or mangled. I'm trying to find stronger materials for winter but it's been fruitless. I haven't seen one new mole hill for the last month so I've been thinking these pinwheels are working.

My former neighbors have a very expansive, perfectly landscaped lawn of about three acres. When they lived there they cut the grass at least once a week alternating with a weekly poisoning of herbicides and pesticides. I now have a new neighbor who owns an ORGANIC landscaping company and thinks spraying toxic chemicals when we live so close to a river is asinine. Needless to say, I enjoy living next to smart people and he is now my new favorite neighbor.

This morning I look over at my neighbor's well-manicured lawn with never a blemish. Although it's a little yellow right now because of the heat and he lets the weeds grow, it's still well cared for:

Wait a minute? What is that? Did someone drop something? I went over for a closer look:


The pinwheels chased the moles to my neighbor's house! LMFAO! Every time I look out my kitchen window I laugh. I kind of feel bad since I like this new neighbor. Too bad my ex-neighbors still don't live there or they'd be freaking out right now.


So I peered over my fence to check the other neighbor's lawn, the bad moles, but what a dump:

I would think the moles would like all that mess and I would like them to take over the bad neighbor's lawn! Awesome bad neighbor revenge!

So pinwheels work. I confess I also used fox pee, but I ran out fast. I don't know if it contributed to the mole exodus, but the chipmunk is still living in my yard and I saw two raccoons last night so they don't care about fox pee either.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Constant Self-Reliance

You might be wondering why does she keep writing posts about mundane home improvement projects? I'll tell you why:

1.) This is summer entertainment. Yeah, I think most chemically sensitive people might find something better to do, but for lack of fragrance-free opportunities and fragrance-free friends, this is it for me!

2.) I love being productive and saving money at the same time.

3.) The older I get the less I'll be able to do these kinds of things. I want a record so some day I can look back and say, Jeez, I was so energetic...young...self-reliant!

It was my number one goal this summer to paint the LAST outside wall of my house. Last summer I actually did three walls and my whole body was in excruciating pain for at least four months.

Before I start painting I never really notice how badly it needs to be done. Once I start and can compare the before and after sides, it's really obvious! Of course, the white primer spots make it look twice as bad!


This side doesn't get the hot sun for most of the day so I was hoping it would be easier in terms of preparation. No such luck. The previous paint job was sprayed and the painters sprayed right over spider nests, left glitches all over the trim, didn't take the time to control drips, and some of the paint is so thin the old color shows through. I kept seeing specks of beige wondering if something was growing on the paint, but it's just the old color not quite covered. This is why I have little desire to hire professionals who are rarely professional here. No one has integrity. They want the most money for the least amount of work.

It was also difficult because of this overhang blocking access. It was really, really scary to perch up on that tiny three foot roof while I painted which is why I put off this summer job for so long! And of course, when I did have this roof done ten years ago I didn't bother to get up there and check the job...such crappy work they did on the flashing leaving nails exposed! I'm not sure if I would have even known it was poorly done back then. I've learn so much over the years usually the hard way.

It was also difficult because of the garden below which is wider than the other gardens so getting stable footing for the ladder was a challenge. The camellia bush blocked a section so I cut it back a lot. I was really tempted to cut the whole thing down a few times just to get it out of the way. The garden is pretty trashed from walking through it. Oh well! It'll come back.

And then there is the sweating. Now that I'm guzzling water all day long, I sweat like a pig. I don't remember sweating profusely last year with water literally dripping off my body, in my eyes, making my mask wet, rolling down my arms and legs, and making my protective glasses fog. Blah. It just adds to the discomfort.

Hooray for the biggest project checked off my summer list!

I still have the dormers, some of the trim, and the garage to paint. These things may have to wait until next year.

I'm exhausted. But so proud! And self-reliant!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Very Stable Genius

Oh! This says it all! LOL!

Primaries are upon us. Please vote!!


I detest banks. I hate the expectation that I must give my money to a corporation that is in business to take as much of it as they possibly can for their personal gain. I hate the lack of control I feel with my money in an institution for others to use or for the government to snatch.

I've had the same bank for ten years and for ten years I have recognized it's the lesser of evils if one must use a bank. Initially when I opened the account the bank manager was chemically sensitive so her employees were cautious and considerate when using personal hygiene products. She was such a good bank manager and so very customer-service oriented, she ordered me a lifetime supply of free checks. Then the branch closed and the manager went to work for the government. LOL.

I've had nothing but problems ever since. Besides the stink issue, there is the lack of customer service. This particular bank company has a Facebook page someone created for haters of their bad service so their reputation is well-known! At least I felt as if I wasn't alone in my frustration. If you want anything done or have any kind of a problem with your account, you must call the customer service line. No longer do bankers or bank tellers know their customers. It's very impersonal which is why fraud is so rampant. Your only connection is with a recording.

Recently I deposited a check at the ATM without endorsing the back. My bad. They charged me $12.00 for this snafu. Really? Not only was this the first time I have ever in my life-long history of banking have I been charged a fee for anything, but I can't believe I've never not signed the back of a check. This is the first time it's ever been a problem. Where is this rule in the account documents? Where is this fee listed online? Does the bank not check the ATM deposits? How do I get information?

I called the customer service line and suffered being on hold for nearly a half an hour and that's after I was disconnected during the first call due to "unforeseen circumstances", and the second time because there were too many people on hold. The fourth time was a charm:

"Please enter or say your bank account number."


"Is that 57667788?"


"Please enter or say your bank account number."


"Is that 57667788?


"You will not be allowed to speak to a customer service representative without giving us your account number. Please enter or say your bank account number."

UGH!!! They eventually disconnected me so I tried with another phone thinking maybe it was the phone. Same thing happened.

So I went bank shopping which is something I really hate to do. Exposing myself to the stink of tellers is not fun and downright dangerous. Most of them look at you like you are stupid or crazy.

However, I found another bank! It's less than ten minutes away with awesome personal service and lack of fees. I off-hand mentioned to the banker who was creating my account how the bank didn't smell as bad as most banks. I wanted to give them kudos and I never miss an opportunity to provide some public education on the badness of toxic stink.

"Oh, our bank manager is very sensitive to perfumes and scents so we avoid them."


So...yes, there are banks with fragrance-free policies. They are rare, but with patience and perseverance you just may discover a jewel!

Tiny Home Show 2018

Today I went to the Tiny Home Show, drove hours to get there, paid a $15.00 ticket price in hopes of seeing not only tiny houses, but various products sold for tiny houses. I was hoping for inspiration to jump-start any lingering motivation toward building or owning a tiny house.

First, there were only about fifteen vendor booths most selling products that had absolutely nothing to do with a tiny house, construction of a tiny house, the maintenance of a tiny house or the interior design of a tiny house. For instance, there was a booth selling a muscle massage contraption and another selling milk (yes, I said milk). I chalk this up to poor planning.

Third, the lines to walk into each incredibly expensive ($50K and up) tiny house were so outrageously long I spent way too much time standing around waiting. With the space of each house anywhere between 100 and 200 square feet it was a slow process allowing at the most 2-3 people per house at a time and we were dependent on the consideration of others. I kept wanting to scream, Quick Like a Bunny, People! I was compelled to take photos of people standing. Waiting. That was the main attraction after all.

And last but not least, usually large auditoriums or exhibition centers have great ventilation and HVAC systems that funnel stink up and out. The air in this building was thick and rancid. The whole exhibition hall stunk like a toxic waste dump. I guess tiny house fans love their personal hygiene poisons OR perhaps this convention center employed professional stink to air freshen the environment? With my lungs feeling like they wanted to explode and my head swimming it was all I could do to stay long enough to see three of the homes. I just wanted out of I left.

The houses were nothing I haven't seen online. It was fun to see how space is used and how much room there actual is in one of these by actually standing in one. Some of them are huge. My favorite was the little green one, of course.

Such an incredibly waste of money and time. Definitely not a good entertainment option for the chemically sensitive.