The Turtle Will Write

The Turtle Will Write

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Spinach Smoothie

The quest for tooth improvement continues. I ate my bag of spinach like potato chips and learned an important lesson.

Spinach tastes funny.

Perhaps this is the aging of my taste buds, but the bag I ate was reminiscent of floral soap. Not the detergent taste I experience with cilantro. This was a persistent, pervasive floral scent that I couldn't wash away that made it difficult to remember I was eating food, not cleansing supplies.

I'd never thought of spinach tasting anything other than "green," so this is a bit off-putting. Until I get used to it, I'll ingest the majority of my spinach in juice form. I am using store-bought organic spinach. Maybe it will taste different from The Swamp.

I added a little water, lots of spinach, pineapple chunks and juice, vanilla Greek yogurt, one Fuji apple, and a dollop of honey because - can you believe it? - it wasn't sweet enough. Mostly, the honey and the yogurt seemed to smooth out the taste. That made a glass and a half of green frothy stuff.



I'm not giving portions because you'll have to see what makes you happy. The yogurt has so far been one portion/cup of Oikos because I didn't want to buy a whole tub if this went south as some of my experiments do. I liked it better with the yogurt than without, even though it didn't make much difference in consistency. I have a cheap blender, too, so my apple chunks retain some of their chunkiness.

Now I'll have to do a cost analysis, because Bolthouse Farms makes a drink called Green Goodness that has way more "stuff" in it (like seaweed and wheat grass) that I can ingest for $1 per serving. It's tempting to snap a cap and pour for $1 instead of assemble, make a mess, disassemble, clean the mess and start over with the blender every day. I probably get more fiber the old-fashioned way. I certainly get more exercise.

Happy Monday, dear readers. Eat your greens.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

DIY Deodorant, part 2

Mrs. Iguana asks if I could store the stuff I made in a used deodorant tube. Last night, I would have said, "not without altering the ratio of powder to oil" because coconut oil turns soluble rather fast in my limited experience.

This morning, I would say, "yeah, you probably could if you store it in the fridge." When I took my tub out of the fridge pre-shower for after-shower use, it required fingernails.

A Friend posted a recipe with pics similar to mine on my Wall yesterday. The last pic gave me an idea, although it actually wasn't what the pic demonstrating at all. I believe if you wrap the deodorant in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and then cool it, it would retain that shape, provided you stored it in the fridge between uses. Maybe a muffin tin? This is the next thing I will try, since two days after starting the DIY deodorant, I remain pleased with the results.

Now I'm looking for a natural way to remove pit stains from clothes. *evil grin*

Happy Thursday, dear readers. May it not bite you.

P.S. Sept 29, 2014


It's still warm in Kansas, so I am storing the deodorant in a plastic bag in the fridge. Solidified nicely into a "stick" and far less messy. After five days, I'm also less stinky at the end of the day than I am with the Tom's brand. I'll be using this through the Winter. We'll see how well it performs in Kansas Summer. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DIY Deodorant

Several months ago (maybe four?), I stopped using antiperspirants. I had a lot of reasons, but the final nail was a study suggesting preventing perspiration might create a link with breast cancer. Thus began the search for a smell-cancelling deodorant without antiperspirant, something currently impossible to find at Walmart.

The best I've found so far is Tom's brand deodorant from a health food store. My hippie descendant co-worker, who has never used antiperspirant, agreed this is the best she's found. It's still not enough to block the stink of the Turtle with unblocked armpit pores.

I turned my eyes to natural ingredient websites. You know, those hemp-growing, conspiracy theorists who run their computers from either solar panels or the nearest Starbucks that I both mock and respect for their refusal to care about either my mocking or my respect. I found an expensive recipe that supposedly works like magic, but I can't bring myself to spend $50 on GMO free arrowroot baking powder, even if it is the only time I'll ever have to buy it. Especially when the recipe only calls for 2 tbsp.

WGR showed me a recipe from her latest issue of Mother Earth that was cheap and easy, and therefore couldn't possibly work. Being the Turtle, I modified (pronounced BUHNgled) the recipe and kept going. Here is my modified version:

1/3 c baking soda
1/3 c corn starch
7 tbsp coconut oil
6 drops citrus oil
3 drops tea tree oil
I used it yesterday with good results. It wasn't a heavy sweat day, but there was no detectable odor until well after 4 PM, which beat out Tom's and could have been leftover from the clothes (I do what I can, but the Turtle sweats like a racehorse).
The biggest issue I had yesterday was the mess. Coconut oil and powder don't stay mixed, so the lotion must be shaken before applied. Then there's the lotion on the hands, which is slightly gritty and very oily, and almost required Dawn to wash off. This isn't too high a price for a non-stinky Turtle, but it's important to warn the reader.
I discovered the second problem this morning when the temp in the house dropped to 74 and the coconut oil partly solidified. I had to stir the lotion with a finger to liquefy the oil and mix the ingredients. So I guess I'll mix and store in the fridge until the temp around here drops to winter's consistent 69 degrees. That will be an unhappy few minutes every morning, but, again, not likely a deal-breaker.
Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Keep it clean.

P.S. Sept 29, 2014

A Friend who researches this kind of stuff warned me that using tea tree oil daily could be detrimental, so I reduced the amount to 3 drop instead of 6. I included it because it's an anti-bacterial and in another deodorant recipe I found (in larger quantity, too) but I didn't want to be crazy about it.

This initial batch will probably last the next six months, so the next recipe will be the place to fiddle. I may substitute lavender oil for tea tree on the next go 'round. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

Jill Domschot tagged me to take part in this weeks ago. I completely spaced out/ dropped the ball/ moved on with my life/ dissed the honor. It wasn't quite my fault because since getting my blog URL issues solved, I created the unintended issue of "losing" all my Blogs I Follow. I would normally be reminded of such a tagging when Jill's blog changed places on my blog, but that didn't happen. Hopefully, I've fixed that, too, as of tonight.

The only reason I'm remembering to do this tonight is because I seriously don't want to edit the next chapter in my soon-to-be published book Daughter of Anasca. I wrote it years ago, it needs some tweaking, but I wove the whole thing so tight I'm afraid if I pull on any bits, it will unravel into a complete mess, and I just don't have the mental energy to deal with that this evening. 

Where was I?

Right. Four questions.

1) What am I working on?

Daughter of Anasca. A YA fantasy coming of age story of two sisters. Idea conceived 20+ years ago, written five or six years ago, and finally about to see the light of day. My non-writing beta readers liked it better than Star of Justice. I worked really hard to keep it at a PG rating so homeschoolers would have a chance to read it before their parents picked it up and freaked out at the first chapter. I promise, it gets better and worse if you keep going, but I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised at the end.

2) How does it differ from others in its genre?

It's a little more complicated than the YA I've read, which isn't much, let me tell ya. I like "coming of age" stories, but I hate stories about tweens and teens grappling with hormone issues. My girls are growing up fast, and it has nothing to do with who takes whom to the prom, although, being me, I had to throw some romance in there. It's fairly brutal, but The Flash's favorite series at 12 was about a girl with a meth head boyfriend, so... Is it worse? You be the judge. The adults aren't idiots. Coming of age is about entrance into the adult world. You wouldn't want that if everybody there is a drooling moron.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write what I want to read. I like good vs. evil stories, but I'm old enough to know "good" and "evil" aren't always easy to recognize. I like "princess and bodyguard" stories, and, boy, will it show the more I produce. I like in-your-face fight scenes, both physical and emotional, and those are easier to justify in fantasy. I like consistency in world creation, and stretching "reality" without breaking it. I like knowing a book will end well, and I only really know that when I've written it.

4) How does my writing process work?

I wish I knew. It used to be obsessive. Then it was passive-aggressive. Currently, it's thwarted by cats. I'm going to have to train myself to write in the hour between putting them to bed and myself to bed, like I did with this post. For once, the dog left me alone, too.

I might have just enough brain power to go stare at that chapter some more, so I'll end here.

Look for Daughter of Anasca, coming soon. If the cats cooperate. 


Monday, August 18, 2014

Bias

I was recently asked how a fiction author avoids bias. The simple answer: she doesn't.

The questioner, who reads political spy thrillers, was irritated with a certain author because the author appeared to have an agenda in some books.

We all know authors write from their own worldviews. We all know authors write about topics that interest them (unless they have a specific reason that they can't, like "need money now so must accept boring freelance work"). Unless the author is a journalist devoted to giving just the facts (and how many journalists are encouraged to do that, nowadays?), bias will be present. I would argue bias is present even for the journalist, based on what facts are presented and in what order.

For the reader, it's not a question of avoiding bias. It's a question of which biases agree with your worldview, or, which biases stretch your worldview. I suspect a reader's favorite authors will demonstrate a close approximation of how the reader views the world, and, contrarywise, his least favorite authors will clash with his worldview in a manner too disconcerting to accept. 

For the author, the question could be "will this presentation of the universe as I understand it enthrall or disgust a reader?" Or, in Christian fiction, "will the CBA/ God/ secular worldview" be OK with my story? You know. The old "who's my audience" question.

Biases will present themselves on paper. A variety of good beta readers will help illuminate them. One or two reviews will illustrate them immediately, if you can stomach reading reviews. The best advice I can give to an author who wants to consistently sell her writing is "know your audience," write to their biases and don't worry about the rest of the world.

Happy Monday, dear readers. New week, fresh start. Enjoy.