My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Monday, April 26, 2010

Evolve



I think I found a yoga studio. I checked out this place called Evolve twice last week. It is fairly close to my house, they primarily teach flow yoga which is my favorite style, it is fairly small (get lots of feedback) and most of all the people were really nice. They also have a teacher training course if I were to decide to do that later down the road.

I decided to start out in a Level 1 class, just to know what I was getting into. The classes were good but my practice is really beyond what they were doing. For example, they were teaching starting variations of asanas of which I am working on the full pose. But I did enjoy it and there is always a lot to get out of every yoga class. I enjoyed both the teachers I had a lot.

I also went back to the Y for two yoga classes this week. There is one teacher there who I really like (the one who taught the chakra workshop I blogged about before) and a pretty difficult open level class on Saturdays that I really like, too. That class always makes me push myself.

I'm really happy with the yoga situation right now. I will probably see how much I start going to Evolve and then decide what kind of package (i.e. financial commitment!) I want to make to it. I have a feeling my Y classes will drop off, but I'm just not sure. Yoga studios are not cheap. To drop in for a class is usually $15; then if you buy a package it averages closer to $12. This has been a huge deterrent for me joining a studio (since the cost of the Y is so low and there are many good teachers there that I like) but I'm feeling ready to make the commitment.

In other news: went for two awesome bike rides this weekend (Spring!), been feeling really great, and the debut of 808 soap is set for May 7. More details on the soap to follow soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

808

I am pleased to announce that after months of deliberations, we finally came up with a great name and logo for our soap: 808! Not only did we like the sound and look of "808" (it's symmetrical and we have a really cool font), but we liked the idea of having a number - something that doesn't have other associations with it.

It doesn't seem like finding a name would be a hard thing but we really struggled with it. I don't think either of us knew what a long process it would be. Many thanks to our good friend and awesome graphic designer M. who put much of her time, creativity, and love into it. :) Oh, and in case you were wondering the significance of "808," it is the address of my soap partner and dear friend E. - that house is where all the magic happens!

Round two

On Thursday we made soap for the second time in preparation for our First Friday debut May 7. Our first batch a few weeks ago we make a bunch of scrubby soaps. These are bars made of white glycerin soap with things like honey, Vitamin E oil, buttermilk; exfoliants like oatmeal, apricot seeds, pumice; and scents like vanilla, coconut, almond, lavendar - and we made many combinations of the above ingredients trying to perfect our recipe.

For round two we wanted to try one new technique called marbling and also make a bunch of embedded objects in soap. Marbeling starts with a square mold into which many random different colored layers are poured. It involves a lot of attention because you have to pour the next layer when the previous one is cooled but not too much. And you are constantly having to reheat all the different colors of soap you pour because they cool off so fast. E. was in charge of that and she did an awesome job! Here are a couple of pictures of the mold along the way and then the final product:





While E. did that, I focused on the embedded soap. First I made a bunch of small, cute things to embed. We have some really cool molds - stars, butterflies, and a new frog mold we were dying to try out. Here are some of those before we popped them out.


Although these are small (and cute!!) they proved very difficult to get out of the molds. That is my least favorite part of the soap making process. We may start to invest in some (more expensive) silicone molds that are a breeze to work with.

Step two was embedding in clear glycerin. We had another new mold (especially for the frogs!) that we were excited to use. Unfortunately it didn't turn out. The soap was too cloudy and the frog wasn't visible. Some things you just never know until you try. Without another mold big enough for the frogs, we decided to wrap them up and sell them on their own. (And I might have saved a couple for one of my nieces whose birthday is coming up and who I recently discovered loves frogs.)


The butterflies and stars turned out well. I love the two shades of purple stars - that is my favorite bar of the ones I made. Here is a picture of that bar as well as a few other goat's milk bars (wrapped!) that I made - lots of pink and purple this round!




The lesson for the day was that while E's bars turned out the most awesome of the bunch, she made 8 bars of those while I made - no kidding - 25 other bars. We need to figure out a way to speed up this very awesome technique. The frog embed bust was a big bummer, too. We will try to see if there was something we could do differently to get it to turn out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just Write


When it comes to my blog, I feel pressured: to say something profound, to come up with the perfect title, to at least say something interesting that people will want to read. I'm not sure what any of those are right now, so I'm just going to write.

I got home from a 10-day trip to Cleveland visiting my dad on Monday night. As most of you know, this wasn't a pleasure visit (although there were lots of fun times) but rather because my dad had been in the hospital about 10 days earlier with "respiratory failure" they called it - basically he had a bad panic attack and hadn't been able to catch his breath. Since this is my blog and not my dad's blog, I won't go into more than that.

It is good to be home but feels strange being so far away from my dad. Being there feels like home, too - although a different kind of home of course. There has been a lot going on my head but it is really is just a lot of mumbo-jumbo right now. I thought the words might come but I guess now isn't the time. Maybe I will have more to write once I've had a little more time to process.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The other side of things


It may not have been the smartest thing to create a blog, which I have pledged to myself to post on regularly, right before I leave town for eight days. But that's what happened.

Some of you know that my dad was in the hospital with lung/heart issues a couple of weeks ago for about a week. I drove up here to Cleveland last weekend to help out after he was discharged. I was afraid that I might have missed all the action but I was wrong.

When my dad has a bad breathing day, he has a bad breathing day. It means that it is hard for him to get up and walk across the room. Fortunately most days aren't like this for him. But being so soon out of the hospital, he has yet to get back to his baseline. It's hard to see stuff like this happen to your parents. I keep telling myself that it is a natural - albeit very difficult - part of life that most people go through. But that doesn't really make it any easier.

For my whole life, I was the one in the family with health problems. I was the one who would get sick, go into the hospital, be feeling like crap, miss work, need to learn to listen to and respect my body's limitations. And since my dad's health problems started becoming a little more predominant the last two years, I've seen what it's like to be the patient - the person everybody worries about and sends their love and well wishes to - from the other side of things. And let me tell you, it's a little bit of a trip.

I guess I have two observations about it. First of all, it is much harder seeing someone you love have health problems than having them yourself. Frankly, I don't know how T, my friends and family all handle it so well. When you are the sick one, at least there is an illusion of being in control even when things are beyond your control: I have realized how very much my loved ones go through.

Secondly, I think that one is a better supporter of a loved one with health issues when the person themself has had some sort of health issue. When someone is sick, people always want to help but they don't know how. But an experienced patient is more likely to know the kinds of things one wants in that situation - there is a fine line between being helpful and overbearing, empathetic and emotional, helpful and overly suggestive.

So yes. Every day I know that CF has taught me things. But today I can appreciate that it has taught me to be a better daughter, too. Something that is most unexpected.