Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Leah's Beauty Review: Episode One

I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?
Jean Kerr

This proves that I am probably not qualified
to talk about beauty so don't take my recommendation
too seriously.

Being a teacher, I get my fair share of balms and lotions and body scrubs as gifts.  As well intentioned as they are, I'm not a big fan of rubbing myself with butters, and the smells always mingle unpleasantly with my ever-present tiger balm.

(Note to parents: gift cards, gift cards, gift cards.  All teachers love them!  Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks...you can't go wrong!)

Anyway, inspired by my good friend's Prairie Grlz blog (prairiegrlz.blogspot.com) and by a delightful experience in the tub just now, I have decided that a beauty segment now and again would not be misplaced.  I am, after all, a vain gal, and can impart my female readers (and sometimes male) with many a recommendation that could change your life or at least the texture or color of your pallid skin.

I'm not usually a fan of fruity scents because of the aforementioned Tiger Balm addiction, but I had some self-tanned ankles and knees that were looking decidedly dirty, and in my shower just now I decided to work in the direction of scrubbing some of that dirty tan off.  I reached for a forgotten tube of - here it comes - Body Shop Strawberry Body Polish - and just opening the cap brought me right back to the back-breaking strawberry picking fields of my teenage summer holidays where I labored under the hot sun to make enough money to keep me in candy and potato chips.

It was almost a religious experience inhaling the intense esters that really did make me want to squirt some into my mouth.  And, yes, the seeds were there too.  A lot of them, in fact.  Actually, I could plant a small garden with what's left in my tub.

I succeeded in a vigorous, sensuous and heavily scented exfoliation that left me pasty white, my usual shade of skin, and in need of another dose of self tanner.  That being applied, the strawberry scent has all but vanished, but I am left with the sweet memory of it, and skin that does indeed feel polished in the same way that sandpaper might hone a two-by-four.

Okay, maybe this wasn't exactly a beauty recommendation of the highest order, but it's my first try.  I do hope you'll tune in again.  Next week, I might move on to the self tanner.

New start?  Apparently exfoliating.  I'm definitely using that strawberry body polish again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blogging From Bed

I meant to be blogging all summer long about our cross continental camper van journey in a 1991 Itasca RV complete two very noisy children, limited space, constant grime, a gas tank the size of my bladder and doors that continually swung open mid highway speed escalation.  Somehow I could never get around to it and I couldn't figure out why.  Certainly there was plenty to write about and most campsites these days (even national campgrounds) have some level of WIFI.

In between keeping the sand and dirty out of the camper van (a nearly full-time vocation), trying to find the soap, my underwear, the iPad, the keys...pretty much everything...every day from dawn to dusk felt gosh-darn full, even when we were driving along those straight ribbons of highway in South Dakota.

One way or another, no blogging got done.  No novel writing got done.  A facebook update every week or so was about all I could muster in between staring out the windscreen and staring straight into the faces of the three other members of my family who were in CONSTANT close proximity, especially since it decided to a particularly rainy summer in any part of the continent we happened to be in at any given time.  The firepits at pretty much every campsite we tenanted went largely unused, not for wont of trying.  Just as soon as we'd sit down at our picnic table to eat our delicious foil pack (how many foil packs can a family face?) or Kraft dinner or cans of beans, the rain would inevitably start and we'd scramble into Molly II into our muddy camper van castle and ensconce ourselves for the remainder of the thundery night.

Anyway, this is not a blog about our WONDERFUL (Honestly!) summer in the RV, but one about why I did not blog.  I've only just now realized why that is: I ONLY blog in bed.  If I could live in this bed and do absolutely everything here, I would.  (If you haven't heard about my new Sofitel "My Bed" with a feather tick topper you don't know me very well at all or you haven't seen me in a long time.)  I must admit that I even do my Pilates in bed, though I'm not exactly sure it can be considered exercise if you can do the whole thing from the comfort of your bed.  Regardless, apparently there is no inspiration forthcoming unless I am at home.  IN bed. MY bed.

Luckily, I am now home from our summer of camper-bound splendor so you will be reading plenty of nonsense from me, just like the good old days before the vacation started.  My "new start every day" should probably be to try blogging from some other venue in the house, but I'm just not ready to make that commitment yet.

Remember that episode from Seinfeld when Kramer decided to do everything in his shower including prepare his food?  Well, that's me and my bed.  I'm in love.  If I want to get anything done at all, it has to be from this command station.  Just as soon as I post this, I'm off to do my exercises.  In bed, of course.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dead Husbands

We're a super cute couple

I keep starting novels and the main characters' husbands keep dying in crazy ways like being hit by a coconut on a beach vacation in Thailand, or being tragically killed in a climbing accident on that mountain by Squamish when a peanut butter sandwich was reached for in a backpack during a rather insecure toehold.  Oh wait, that was a REAL made-up story I told to a group of fellow conventioneers in Santiago, Chile years ago.  Don't ask me why.  It really spiralled out of control and got me into a lot of trouble.  Pretty soon I was telling them all about the funeral proceedings and playing the mourning widow wearing black to breakfast each morning, and it was all very uncomfortable since none of it EVER happened.  Occasionally things pop out of my mouth that are not true and then it's just like popcorn.  Let it be a lesson, folks: one lie begets another.  (That's why it's best for me to stick to fiction.)

But this blog, after a two month summer absence whilst RVing across the continent with my dh and two noisy children, is NOT about my compulsive confabulation: it's about dying husbands.  You see, it's Saturday morning, we are still getting over jet lag, and my sweetheart had this hike planned with some of his teaching buddies over the jungly terrain of the New Territories of Hong Kong.

The problem was, that upon waking at 5:30 AM this morning, the rain was monsoon-torrential and the sky was lit up like frenetically blinking Christmas tree lights with thunder.  I begged him not to go: he shrugged, told me it would be fine, and proceeded to make coffee, scarf bananas and toast and hunt for his water-proof underwear.  And then he simply whisked out the door, all the while his three girls yelling, "We don't want you to die, Daddy/Husband.  Go have breakfast with your friends instead!  Hell, go get drunk at six in the morning. (I said that: not the girls.)  Just don't go hiking on those snake-infested, slippery, washed-out trails that are full of trees in a THUNDER storm."

These gals need their Daddy!

Alas, as many men are, he is a man who does not like to be told what to do.  So he's gone.  Meantime, I'm in my new Sofitel feather bed reveling in its intense comfort, but not looking forward to spending the rest of my life in it alone; my children are downstairs playing Wii.  At least it's Wii Fit and they're INSIDE.

We're jet lagged, and even if it's before seven in the morning on the last Saturday before school starts and I should be blissfully sleeping in, my husband's departure has at least brought me back to writing the blog.

I hope I will still be a happily married woman the next time I post.  I don't want my "new start every day" to be about learning to live alone.

I hope this isn't the last great pic ever taken of our adorable family

PS: To all of you out there who really DO have dead husbands, I apologize.  I didn't mean to be irreverent.  It's just my way of coping with fear.