So I finally remembered that I had this blog and came over here to check if I had an unmoderated pending comments etc. I looked at the front page and realized that a) it's been well over two years since I regularly posted and b) I actually could update on a couple of those Front Page posts. So let's count them down.
Update - My Dad - it has now been over a year, and what an emotionally difficult year it was. I just want people to know, if anyone is reading this, that when someone loses someone very close, like a parent, they don't just "get over it" after a month or two. They may seem "fine" and happy and laughing but they are still very, very sad. They still very likely want to talk about that person they have lost, and will want to for the rest of their life. I am not saying this to be passive-aggressive to any friends who might be reading this, but rather perhaps for anyone who might happen to stumble across this blog and has never dealt with loss before. I still miss and think about my dad multiple times per hour. It is not something that goes away.
Update - Sourdough - I never did quite master the art of making true sourdough without yeast, but I did finally come up with a recipe that makes near-perfect whole wheat sourdough. I modified this recipe to a point where it is not recognizable at all (but it was a good jumping off point), and mix/knead in a breadmaker but then do all of the rising and baking manually in the oven, because breadmaker bread is gross and weird shaped. The resulting bread is sour but not too sour, slightly less than 50% white flour, light and fluffy and has a great crust. We haven't bought bread in probably two years.
Update - Natural Swaps - I can't believe this one was written so long ago. I don't use all of these anymore but I have definitely made a habit of pretty natural skin and hair care. I still do not use shampoo but wash my hair with a base of rhassoul clay and apple cider vinegar with some essential oils and glycerin mixed in and it works great. Depending on the outside humidity I can go 1-3 weeks without washing (though still rinse every day). I also still use the homemade deodorant and will never go back to anti-perspirant. The homemade lip balm is still a staple, and last winter I learned to make soap. I wash my face with water only and use a homemade oil-based moisturizer on it and my skin is in much better condition than it ever has been - I can go an entire winter without getting "shiny forehead"! To summarize I do not use any kinds of detergents (sodium lauryl sulfate or its other iterations) on my body anymore, and am totally sold on oils as moisturizers (contrary to what you might think, putting oil on your skin makes it LESS greasy). It doesn't take much time to whip up a small batch of moisturizer, lip balm, or even bar soap. This is one "hobby" that has definitely become a lifestyle.
And finally, update - Kittens - Even without losing my dad, last November was a tough month. Early in the month our two sweet cats started violently fighting after one of them was accidentally stepped on. We had no idea what to do and were advised by various veterinarians that they would get over it but we would just need to ease them back to like each other again. We began some very complicated and stressful routines of separating the cats other than during supervised play together, and after about a week they seemed to be friends again. But then of course a cat got under foot again and started the whole cycle, which then evolved into not being traumatized by getting stepped on but other random triggers that we could not pinpoint. It was so sad and stressful and to be honest, the day my dad died I had actually already spent the entire day crying because I knew that the cat situation probably couldn't be salvaged. When my dad passed away we took our adorable brown cat Biter to my friend Carolyn's for some cat sitting until we decided what to do, and she ended up keeping him which was so great. I still really miss him but I am so happy that he was able to go to a great home where he is loved and can be the king of his castle.
After we separated the cats, their personalities both changed. They both became more talkative and loving, shed less and purred more. It sort of broke my heart to realize that they were likely living in a stressful power struggle the entire time they'd been together which finally snapped, but I'm so glad they are both happy now and mostly stress-free (cats are weird and get stressed out by strange things). We still have Jaypeg who is definitely a mischief maker but one of the most friendly and funny cats you will ever meet. Here she is today, trying to knock over the Christmas tree.
And chewing on my hand on her favourite new place in the house, our bed.
My life has changed a lot since I regularly blogged on here, but it's kind of neat for me to see too that a couple of the things I was excited enough about a couple years ago to sit down and blog about when blogging wasn't a priority are now regular parts of my routine. No promises but I hope I can revive this space again in the next while and get back into the habit of writing.