Would you do this?

I found a hair tie on the ground outside this morning. It was one of those plastic coil hair ties which I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but refuse to get because zero-waste, Kondo blahblah. So my instinct was to keep walking. Not going to pick it up, even to throw it in the trash. Yuck, it’s outside on the ground and someone clearly used it before. But in an odd out-of-body experience, I doubled back and picked it up. I washed it at work and used it. It’s nice. It doesn’t pull my hair. I don’t know that it’s sturdy enough to use at the gym, but it works for a lunch. It mildly makes me want to hop on Amazon and buy a bunch more. Not this year though.

I read a blog post once of a zero-waste lady who entirely stopped buying hair ties and bobby pins and exclusively used ones she found. Hair ties and pins are one of those things that sort of disappear into the same netherworld where the other sock and matching glove goes. I don’t know that I’ve encountered enough rogue ties and pins to keep me in steady supply, or I subconsciously choose to ignore them, but I kinda like the idea of adopting strays and giving them purpose again.

Curing UTIs without Antibiotics

Go see a doctor if your pee-hole burns. There. Now that that’s out of the way, on with the quack show!

Don’t get me wrong, I love antibiotics. I’d be dead by now without them more than likely. But they’re my solution of last resort because microbiome – good. Scorched earth on microbiome – not so good. It’s the body’s personal pharmacy. Unfortunately I get UTIs sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. For a few years, they went away and I thought I was so superstar! And while I still am so superstar, they’re back. In the past, I’ve always taken antibiotics to clear them up because I thought that was how it was done. And every doctor I’ve asked has told me antibiotics are the solution for UTIs. So that’s why I put that out there first. If you listen to a doctor, they will advise you not to listen to any of this horseshit I’m about to share. And that is fine. For me, this worked. I’m here to share my experiences. Learn from my n=1 experiment so to speak.

Experiment 1:

  • Duration – 1 day.
  • Symptoms – Interrupted sleep – woke early; mild discomfort (pressure) in the area; burning sensation when peeing.
  • Solution –
    • Drank a lot of garlic-ginger tea (hot water over smashed garlic cloves and ginger slices). Drink constantly.
    • Rinse with warm salt water after every pee. Mix salt in warm/hot tap water in a big vessel and pour it over that area to clean it.
  • Result – I felt better that day, and it was gone the next day.

Experiment 2:

  • Duration – UTI discovered day 2. How do I know it was day 2? Well, I remembered which day sex happened – yes sex ->UTI. No secret there. Also I vaguely recalled the prior day having cloudy funky pee, and that can be an early sign as well – I just didn’t realize it at the time since I wasn’t uncomfortable.
  • Symptoms – Since it was day 2, things were already feeling more burny. Also a little blood in the pee. It was Sunday though so the local urgent care center was closed and Monday was a holiday so I was just going to have to tough it out.
  • Trial and Errors –
    • Sunday (day 2): Garlic does not work. I repeat, garlic can ward off vampires only, not UTIs. I ate probably a bulb of raw garlic. Nothing.
    • Monday (day 3): Still burning and pink pee. I kept downing garlic. Garlic and I had a bit of a falling out that day.
    • Tuesday (day 4): I finally got antibiotics because the urgent care was opened. Yay! I didn’t take them though. I just wanted them in case I couldn’t shake it myself. Still bloody pee. I got a bag of frozen cranberries, and blended them with some hot water, a piece of ginger, and some apple cider vinegar. This stuff works.
    • I drank it throughout the day (sometimes in super tart strong smoothies and sometimes super watered down to give my stomach a break. Do this for two weeks to make sure everything is truly cleared.
      After the first smoothie, the relief was immediately noticeable. That kind of instant “feel better” felt almost antibiotic-like.
      • The immediate relief can be misleading. I thought I cleared the infection. But turns out I hadn’t fully cleared it. (I actually switched to bear berry after a day of cranberry smoothie and my UTI returned after a week. Bloody pee. I then did this cranberry smoothie for two weeks and it finally cleared.)

TL;DR – Try drinking blended up whole cranberries with some ACV throughout the day for two weeks. I added ginger but I don’t think the ginger is the magic. It’s the whole blended cranberries.

I cleared this UTI without antibiotics.

Also something I learned from my coworker: after sex, pee, then drink, then pee again. I think for those of us prone to it, it’s important to do that because by my experience, peeing just the once clearly doesn’t work!!

Also I plan to have frozen cranberries in my freezer at all times. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to periodically have a cranberry smoothie.

Things I’ve tried that did not work:

  • Parsley tea (boil a bunch of parsley and drink it down. (I ate all the boiled parsley too.)
  • Baking soda water – I drank a lot. It did nothing and tasted not so good.
  • Cranberry juice – This did not work for me. Blended whole fresh or frozen cranberries worked for me.
  • Garlic/Ginger – Make great stir-fry! Nothing for UTIs.
  • Uvi Ursa (Bear Berry) – I drank lots of it for three days. Maybe I didn’t take it long enough. At any rate, it didn’t clear up bloody pee right away like the cranberry smoothie does.

Beans!

It’s March! It’s freezing outside! I’m starting my beans anyway! Because I see sun! Hurray!

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Got these from Monterey Market. Each time I cooked up a bag, I saved a few in a little jar for growing. FU Monsanto!

In case you can’t see all the text, from left to right, Nuna, Snow Cap, Hutterite Soup, Tiger Eye. I realize only planting one bean of each type is a highly risky endeavor. I may not end up with four beanstalks. I’ll take my chances, and I don’t know that there’s room for four beanstalks anyway. We’ll just see what grows. It’s mostly for fun anyway. The yield is usually just a palmful to a bowlful of beans. Not enough to set up a tent at the farmer’s market.

Lent 2019

In the spirit of the Throwaway Year, I intend to throw away/donate one item per day of Lent. Despite my mindfulness in not bringing things in, I still have so many things to take out of the house. How does this happen?! I’m not even referring to actual trash. I intend to get rid of things.

The Konmari method is actually the opposite of this. According to her, I really ought to identify the things I want to keep and then just get rid of everything else. That kind of thinking is similar to bonsai or tree grooming. Finding the beauty or essence of the branches and cutting away the excess to reveal the shrub or tree.

It’s too hard to tackle for me. I’m going with finding stuff to take away for now. That’s challenging enough and it does make a gradual difference.

Konmari Folding

Taylor Swift, you’re free this year. I have a new object of my affection – Marie Kondo.

Having not read either of her books and only seeing one episode of her Netflix show, Marie Kondo has affected me – that’s how influential she is. Heck, I’m devoting 2019 to my cobbled-together interpretation of her philosophy.

The first time I saw her folding clothes on episode one of her show, I scoffed. That’s the last of her ideas I will adopt. Pfft. I DO NOT fold clothes. They fit in the drawers (or not) and if I can’t shut the drawer I leave them open. I have better things to do with my time. Like watching other people organize their clothes.

Fast forward a few weeks and last night, as I was watching Jane the Virgin (great empty-head show), I got it in my head to try folding my clusterfuck of a jeans drawer. I should have taken a before photo but the urge to Kondo struck fast and hard so just picture in your mind unfolded jeans jammed tightly into a drawer and the drawer shuts – snugly. But look at the results!

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Not only do I have an organized drawer of jeans, there was extra room in there to shove my winter knit stockings. (Kondo would have rolled them, but I’m not there yet.)

Three things I gathered from this exercise.

  1. Folded indeed makes for more efficient use of space.
  2. I have a ton of jeans I don’t wear.
  3. That’s where my <fill in item of clothing> went!

I don’t know if I’ll keep this up. And I certainly have no intentions of replicating this for socks or underwear. That’s just absurd.

A Celebration of Rodents

This blog is 12!

Here are things I still do from 12 years ago:

  • Play Sims! (Actually I stopped, but recently fired it up again.)
  • Superfan Taylor Swift.
  • Grow plants.
  • Keep aquariums.
  • Read the Washington Post.

Here are things I no longer do that I used to enjoy 12 years ago:

  • Drive. I mean, sure I can, but I rarely do now and definitely not regularly.
  • Watch movies from DVDs that Netflix mails me. I don’t even own a DVD player.
  • Go with friends to a mall to shop for clothes.
  • Eat all the animals.
  • Date and then over-analyze said dates. True story: this blog was created to cheer me up and distract me from being sad about the end of a relationship. Distraction worked. Distraction can be handy.

Clothes Shopping Rundown 2018

It’s still January, so not too late to be looking back at the previous year right?

Here’s a rundown of the clothes I bought for myself last year and how I feel about them now.

  • Activewear:
    • 2 workout Ts – I was on a quest to find long tees to cover my bum in leggings. I ordered these two mid-length ones from Amazon and they work because I’m short. Also, they’re cotton which I prefer.
    • 1 WearPact leggings – I wanted to try cotton leggings for the gym since I prefer cotton tops. They’re much more breathable than plastic. I’m sold. Cotton they shall be!
  • Thrifting: I love visiting thrift stores, especially when I travel. It’s like grocery shopping. I get a taste of local flavor – even though, let’s be honest, the Internet and social media has homogenized us a lot.
    • Sweater vest – My absolute favorite clothing purchase of 2018.
    • workout tee – It has New Orleans printed on it, so this is not only a gym shirt, it’s a souvenir.
    • Work appropriate top – In hindsight, I didn’t need another top for work, but eh, I’ve gotten use out of it.
  • Fast Fashion: This is stuff I’m trying to cut back on, but it’s also the longest list.
    • Skinny jeans – Had I known how many cute pairs of jeans were awaiting me at the thrift store in NOLA, I wouldn’t have ordered these. But I so wanted a pair of comfortable stretchy skinny jeans that I ordered these from Nordstrom Rack at the beginning of the year. Were they worth it? I wear them weekly! They’re like leggings. But because I got these, I skipped out on a really cute pair of Levi’s at No Fleas Thrift store. Yes, I could’ve still gotten the Levi’s but Marie Kondo would not have approved. And I never need another pair of jeans. Despite cleaning out 10 or so pairs last year (they were too small), I still have a drawer of jeans.
    • Yellow turtleneck sweater – Free shipping made me do this. I hate that I do that – buy garbage for free shipping. I end up paying more than I would have for the shipping. Why do I do this? This sweater is plastic and scratchy. I hate it, but I wear it to work because it’s warm and it doesn’t pill and it’s a good color on me. Every time I have it on though I tell myself I’m throwing it in the Goodwill pile.
    • Undershorts and stockings – I got these from YesStyle/YesAsia (along with the plastic yellow sweater) and the quality of the undershorts are decent while the stockings are complete trash. They’re disposable in that they only last one wear and barely at that. I have nothing good to say about YesStyle. The pictures on the site look great, the quality is absolute junko. Save your money! Darn you YouTube influencers and your sponsored videos!
    • Plaid tencel shirt – I’m not sure if this is legitimately an ethical fashion brand, but they’re called Threads for Thought so it sounded good. The shirt is cute (I’m a sucker for plaid), but the quality is only so-so and because of that, I can’t say I like it. I’m trying to go for items that last, rather than disposable garbage clothes. This one leans a bit disposable.

I’m hoping to only take clothes out of the closet this year and not add anything. However, I anticipate failing when I travel and if I thrift.