Antiperspirant

Posted July 14, 2019 By Ruth

I’ve posted before about how I’m allergic to some antiperspirants.  I’d been using Almay’s hypoallergenic formula for years, in the solid form as I’m not a fan of gels or roll-ons, but a few years ago Almay discontinued the solid form.  I never did find out why, attempts to contact them failed massively.  Since then I’ve been using Dove’s unscented Sensitive Skin antiperspirant with no problems.

Till the past couple weeks.

The past couple weeks I’d started noticing my underarms itching on occasion.  It didn’t really penetrate my brain though, till this past Wednesday evening when I realized that my underarms were ITCHING.  Crap.

Dug out the stick of Almay gel antiperspirant I’d stuffed in the back of the cabinet.  I’m working a job that not only requires me to be outside in the sun a fair bit, but also requires me to do a fair bit of physical labor, and I absolutely sweat.  Not wearing anything wasn’t an option.  But thankfully the itching went away pretty much as soon as I switched.

But that puts me back to using a gel, and I’m really not a fan of gel antiperspirants, I really really prefer a solid.  If a deodorant worked well enough for me I’d totally be willing to go that direction, but not one of the ones I’d tried previous worked for more than a couple hours for me, even when I wasn’t sweating all the time!

But this time I noticed something interesting as I was looking at ingredient lists.  Almay’s aluminium of choice is Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate.  The aluminium in most of the other antiperspirants on the shelves, including the Dove formula I’d been using is Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex Gly.  I’d swear that when I was checking back in 2008 that they all used to same form, but I can’t prove that.  Not sure when it changed either.

Going through the lineup of antiperspirants and deodorants at the grocery store I found one other antiperspirant that uses yet a 3rd form of aluminium, and one deodorant that says that it works for up to 48 hours.  I guess its back to experimentation time!

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Garden Update

Posted July 13, 2019 By Ruth

The weather has settled out some.  Several days of hot and dry and then some rain.  That I can live with.

On an amusing  note, apparently I didn’t need to worry about mosquito larva in my rain barrels this year:

There’s upwards of a couple hundred tadpoles in each barrel!

Went out to the garden today to do some weeding and thinning.  Came in with a handful of “baby” carrots, 5 or 6 early tomatoes, and then had to go back out for a handful of Miniature White Cucumbers.

The Hollyhock is blooming.

The Noir d’Comes Melon is taking off.

 

But most of them melons look more like this one (Kaho Watermelon).

 

Most of the giant Sunflowers are looking good, this is the biggest of the bunch so far, and its just a bit taller than I am.

The garden appears to be home to a bunch of Garter snakes this year.  I always see a few, but this year every time I turn around I see another, and they’re all different sizes too, so it’s definitely different snakes.  Everything from a little tiny fellow who was MAYBE 6″ long, all the way up to this one, who was bigger around than the garden hoses and had a head the width of a quarter!

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I actually had to water the garden!

Posted June 30, 2019 By Ruth

Its been over a week  now since we last got rain here.  Which is kinda amazing.  There’s been rain in the area, but none of it fell on us!  So we managed to get the rest of the yard mowed, and I even had to water the garden!

The cucumbers at least are  happy:

 

And I finally got up a shade structure for the peppers that need shade:

Now to see if it’ll hold up to wind.

I put together this fountain/bird bath a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to post about it.  Its got a small fountain pump in the bucket, that pumps the water up, which over runs over the side and dribbles back into the bucket.

 

One of the random seeds that caught my eye when I was buying seeds was some dwarf pomegranate seeds, so of course I bought some:

 

 

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Garden update

Posted June 25, 2019 By Ruth

The garden is not, in general, happy this year.  To much rain, not enough sun and warm.  In addition something has attacked a BUNCH of the melons.  It almost looks like borer damage, except that it happened WAY too early to be borers.  The good news is that most of the vines appear to have survived, the next question is if they can recover well enough to produce.

The last couple years the germination rates on my carrot seeds has been lacking.  I put it down to old seeds, most of my carrot seed packets are old due to the fact that I don’t grow that many of any one variety in a year.  So this year I decided to just do a quick broadcast spread of whatever was left of the oldest seed packets and then next year I’ll buy fresh seeds.

So of course every single freaking seed germinated *rolls eyes*

Here’s a picture of the carrot container AFTER I did some thinning:

More thinning will  be required, but at least this way they have a bit of room.

Here’s the celery tire:

And one of the giant sunflower plants (in a jalapeno tire)

Both the Hollyhock and the Foxgloves I planted last year have come back up, and the Foxglove have been blooming:

 

Here’s my updated garden plan for this year:

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Rain

Posted June 20, 2019 By Ruth

Two weeks ago we started a 3 day long “dry spell”.  At which point local news pointed out that the last time we had 3 days in a row with no precipitation at all was back in Sept.  No wonder my yard is wet.  At the end of that dry spell we had barely half the yard mowed.  We managed to get an additional ~1/4 of the yard mowed later last week, but thats about it.  A not small portion of my yard is still waist high grass.  And it just keeps raining.  As I type this its pouring outside, with predictions of up to another 2″ of rain between last night and tomorrow morning.  Blah.

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Garden update

Posted June 1, 2019 By Ruth

Garden is officially all planted.  It was 90% planted last week, but I ended up ordering some extra jalapeno plants, and those didn’t arrive till this week.  I swear I started plenty, but somehow when it came time to plant I only had half of what I thought I had.  Oh well.

 

The rest of the yard is a mess.  Its been so rainy that we’ve not been able to mow most of the property.

Its hard to get perspective in this, but most of that grass is taller than my knees.  And the ground under it still squishes when walked on.  Its going to be “interesting” to mow it all  once we can finally get the mower back there.

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House Wren

Posted May 23, 2019 By Ruth

We have a fairly large population of House Wrens here.  They can be a bit of a nuisance, taking over BlueBird boxes (and even occasionally damaging eggs), but they’re feisty little things who’re totally not afraid of the House Sparrows.  They tend to stuff the boxes (and occasionally my manual well pump head) full of sticks to make their nests in.

This year we have a new twist.  We have a half dead tree in our yard.  The Pileated Woodpeckers love it.  Last fall a Downy appeared to make a nesting hole in it, and at one point we even saw a layer of feathers in the hole, but nothing came of it.  Then, last week, I noticed the House Wren dragging sticks to that tree, but NOT going into the Bluebird box!  A change of viewing angle and I realized he was stuffing them into the woodpecker hole!  Today I got a picture of it.  That little Wren has been singing his heart out in that tree, here’s hoping he decides he likes that spot better than the well pump this year!

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Life

Posted May 21, 2019 By Ruth

Turned out that a fair bit of my lingering symptoms were dehydration.  I do not understand why I’m suddenly having such big issues with dehydration.  I swear I’m drinking alot of water!  So, I bought a bunch of Snapple and Arizona Iced Teas (all non-caffeinated stuff), all of which I normally avoid, because sugary drinks, and keep forcing myself to drink and drink and drink.  And presto, I feel better!  Ugh.  Appointment with the gastro specialist is Thursday and I intend to ask if dehydration is a normal symptom or if there’s something else going on here.  Seriously, I never stopped peeing at a normal rate, and it was normal colored too.  So why was I dehydrated?!

Garden is about half planted, now if Mother Nature would stop trying to drown us…..

As of last Friday there were 4 Bluebird eggs in the nesting box, cross your fingers!

We’ve had a bunch of Baltimore Orioles this year, they’re going through orange halves at an insane rate.  I need to remember to take more pictures, I keep forgetting, on the other hand I’m enjoying watching them.  The hummingbirds are out in force again this year too, such little birds, so big egos!

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Power Tool Bleg

Posted May 7, 2019 By Ruth

I have just enough energy to be thinking about all the things I want to be doing, and no where near enough energy to do any of it.

But anyway…..

I mentioned back in the fall that I’d acquired a 6’x6’x6′ wooden box to use as the basis for a future greenhouse.  My goal for it this summer is to get it moved into location on the property, get the clear roof on, and a smaller door built.  If I can get at least one sides worth of windows on that’d be awesome.  But the roof and the door would mean that I could potentially use it next spring even if I don’t get the rest of it done right away.

But this means that I’m going to have to cut holes in the plywood sides and roof.  I currently have a corded circular saw (Black & Decker), a battery powered recip saw (18v Dewalt), and various hand powered tools.  The circular saw is a full sized saw, and its heavy, no way I’m going to be using that.  I MIGHT be able to managed it with the recip (which is lighter, but not lightweight by any stretch), but especially the roof parts, only might.  I know my limits, and having either of those up over my head and running doesn’t sound like fun.  Yes, I can get Husband to help me, and plan to, but still.  I may end up on a ladder cutting down on the roof instead, but then that’d be awkward too.

Best suggestion for the tool to use for cutting out the window openings?  I kinda have my eye on some of those little corded circular saws, but they’re not especially cheap……

Bleh

Posted May 6, 2019 By Ruth

I already had my spring sinus crud, so I figured I was good till fall.

Except then Husband brought home his version from his work.  And spent a week miserable on the couch.  And of COURSE I caught it just as he was getting better.  Went in to see the doctor on Thursday with an elevated temp, mild cough, sinus pain/pressure, drippy nose, all the usual sinus crud stuff.  She wasn’t happy with me getting sick again in barely a month (but hey, I wasn’t happy about that either you know), prescribed me an antibiotic and a new allergy med.  Except when I got home and actually read the label I realized I’d tried that allergy med before, and it knocks me on my ass for two weeks while my body adapts to it, and then god forbid I miss even one pill because I have to repeat the adaption to it, so yah, not taking it.

Friday woke up, pulled off my cpap mask, and instantly felt short of breath.  Tried my asthma inhaler, and it made no difference.  Then the cough got worse, and my temperature climbed, topping at 101.7.  I spent the day on the couch with my cpap machine running.  By the time I realized how bad off I was my doctors office wasn’t answering their phones (to be fair, Spectrum had had a weird phone outage the day before, so it might not have been the fault of the doctors office).

Saturday I got ahold of the doctors office, and was informed that I needed to go to the ER.  Do not pass go, don’t try Urgent Care.  Ugh.  Spent 7 hours there.  Turns out that I’d somehow managed to let myself get way dehydrated, and it took two liters of IV fluids to get things back to some semblance of normal.

Except that when you walk into the ER, and you’re 40, overweight, tell them you feel short of breath, and your heart rate reads 137bpm they tend to panic and run ALL THE TESTS.  The attending doctor got me to admit to having “gas pain” for the last couple days.  So on top of the list of bloodwork, EKG, and chest CT with contrast, she added to the list a pelvic CT.

So, the heart rate and shortness of breath were caused by the dehydration, the IV fluids fixed that (and got me a stern talking to about the need to stay hydrated, I don’t normally have a problem with that, I really don’t!).  The EKG read normal.  The chest CT read everything normal.  The bloodwork read mostly normal, except for being dehydrated and an elevated white blood cell count.

The pelvic CT?  Well, “acute diverticulitis”, “gall stones”, and a “mild hiatal hernia”.  The hernia’s not a huge surprise, I’ve had acid reflux symptoms for years, though the way the attending doctor put it on my paperwork initially confused the hell out of me.  The rest of it though…..yay?

Today (Monday) I might actually be starting to feel better, though I have absolutely zero energy for ANYTHING.  I got halfway through watering the greenhouse this morning and had to take a nap.  God only knows how I’m going to get the garden planted as I’ve not managed to prep ANY of the beds yet.

I did manage to get the hummingbird feeders out.  And on the way home from the ER, I MIGHT have seen a Black Throated Blue Warbler in the brush next to the road.  I can’t find anything else that would match what I saw anyway, very much like this bird.  Chickadee-ish, but not chickadee-ish.  All black (though it was in the shade, so it could have been dark blue), with a white belly and white splotches on the wings.

And now that I’ve typed all that I need another nap……