The Cream Within a Cream

Sappy title, but I couldn’t resist.

Some while ago I wrote about how difficult it was to keep my hands happy, especially during the winter months. Cracking, flaking, dry skin is no fun, and for me it’s a constant battle keeping them healthy.

A dear friend sent me a package after that post with several creams and lotions to try. I tried them all, and a couple of them helped more than what I’d been using, but I still struggled.

A couple weeks ago The Dearliest made a breakthrough.

He’d been cutting and hanging drywall for days, and every night he came home with bleeding, broken hands. It was bad. At first he tried his usual treatments, but it just couldn’t keep up with the work.tmp_5171-img_20161229_135857-1471502748

Out of desperation he applied lanolin cream, and the result was astounding. Overnight his cuts and splits healed enough they weren’t painful anymore, and he said his hands stayed moisturized for another day and a half.

So I tried it on my hands, and the first thing I noticed was it didn’t sting at all. Overnight my red, dry, bleeding knuckles became almost normal, and even after washing dishes by hand I got about a day of protection with it.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before! We got more of it, and now it’s part of the daily routine. Thanks to lanolin cream, I’m able to play piano and violin without discomfort, and I even pulled out some yarn the other day (try crocheting with dry skin…it doesn’t work).

(As an aside, O’Keefe’s Working Hands my current “maintenance” hand cream. It lasts, isn’t sticky or oily, and is very effective even when I’m washing dishes or giving baths. It stings on damaged skin, though.)

Do you have experience with lanolin or another healing cream? I’d be curious to hear in the comments!

Signs of the Time

Winter is official.

Christmas is almost here.

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Chickens be like Brwhaaaaaat?

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That’s called snow, m’dear.

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Building up a snowman.

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Daddy makes it glow.

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Concerts are a’ringing.

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Here’s LK and Pokado.

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Or was it Pokado and LK?

I dunno.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The End

Snow Flowers

tmp_7255-img_20161209_132439-2063260678One of my favorite things about the first snow is the clash of seasons.

There are still plants growing, blooming, and living. They throw out bursts of color in the face of approaching winter, and I love the imagery of something persisting even when circumstances demand surrender.

How beautiful, too, that they know something the snow doesn’t.

‘Do your worst,’ they say. ‘Try to defeat us, knowing not that we but sleep, to awaken again in the glory of the sun God hath bestowed.’

Writing on Writing: The Car Chase

The service van slammed on its brakes to avoid hitting us. I grinned at the two startled faces and took aim with the super soaker. (Novel, WIP)

tmp_11624-muscle-car-1155884_1280-1538765505I’ve just finished writing my first ever car chase scene. For a first draft, it’s…well, it’s terrible. Like all my first drafts. Only afterwards did I think to check the internet for insights, and now I have a page of notes to mentally chew on before my first round of revisions.

The page I found most useful was a thread on Reddit. The whole thing was interesting, but this comment in particular proved incredibly helpful.

One of the recurring thoughts in almost every website I visited is not to get bogged down in the details. Keep the momentum going, and let the reader fill in the gaps with their own imaginations. tmp_11624-taxi-842341_1280-700805876

A number of places recommended reading movie scripts to get a sense of what’s important and what’s not, and so I landed on whatascript.com’s entry on car chases, and it was a fascinating read. Also, there was a snippet of screenplay from one of the The Bourne Supremacy car chases, so that’s, you know, cool.

Post-Thanksgiving Thanks

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Our simple but happy feast.

A few of the things I’ve been thankful for these past few days:

Health. We finally have it again, after nearly 4 weeks of colds and flus. (Timber took advantage of all the blankets everywhere as often as possible.)

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Hunger. It means we want to eat again, and this is good. Bring on the leftovers! (I knew The Princess was feeling better the day she tried to make popcorn. For the concerned, the microwave was locked.)

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Truth. I learned some recently, and it changed my perspective. Not in a major way, but definitely in a way.

Children. So grateful for the ones I have and get to hold.

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LK, Pokado, and Squeaky enjoying a quiet moment.

Arc to the Dearliest: I like Mom’s pies. She makes good pumpkin pie.
The Dearliest: Yes, she does. I like to eat her pumpkin pies too.
Arc: Do you eat other girls’ pies?
The Dearliest: Why, yes, I do. Your Nana makes good pies, and Aunt K, and Aunt A, and Aunt H (he listed a few more). They all make very good pies.
Arc: We should visit them.

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The Princess and Arc bringing in potatoes.

Blog posts may be a bit sporadic these next couple weeks. It’s “write the Christmas Newsletter” time! And I’m woefully behind.

A Weakness Revealed

‘Oooh,’ you might be thinking. ‘I wonder what she thinks her weaknesses are?’

I could easily touch on my character flaws, my mental sinkholes, or the blind spots I’m regularly reminded that I have. I am human, and not perfect, and sometimes I struggle with trusting God to work in me without offering my own input.

But I mean to focus on just one thing here. I am human.

Therefore, I must eat.

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Earlier this week the Dearliest brought home a series of ingredients to recreate one of my favorite fast food things. It recreated easily, and on top of that tasted way better. I sat down and figured out the price per fish sandwich, and here’s what I found (amount in parenthesis is cost per sandwich):

Buns (pkg of 8) = $.87 (.11)
Fish Filets (pkg of 6) = $4.97 (.83)
American Cheese (12 slices) (YES, DON’T JUDGE ME) = $2.98 (.19)
Tarter Sauce (12 oz. jar) = $1.98 (.17)

Total = $10.80 ($1.30)

So, for at least a third of the cost as the popular food chain, I can have a tastier, slightly healthier version of one of my favorite things. (Edit: Upon research I have learned that said un-named food chain only uses a HALF slice of cheese on their fish sandwiches!)

I hope it goes without saying this is a splurge item for me and not something I would recommend eating all the time. I will not always keep the ingredients stocked in my fridge and freezer, but for a couple of days, this was really fun to have!

*

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

How I [Don’t] Do it All (Take Two–A Poem!)

I wrote up a long post about cleaning house with 5 kids.

It got longer. Then ridiculously epistolic.

Who needs to read that much on cleaning house with 5 kids? I am not the first to tackle the subject, and there are a lot of really good posts already out there.

Instead, I have written a POEM! Which I haven’t done since I was–like–22. And kind of angsty. But don’t worry, this poem is not angsty.

Cleaning House with 5 Kids

Cleaning house with kids is great.tmp_6813-retro-1321069_1280-545496044
Help with dishes, break a plate.
It’s okay, don’t you weep.
Here’s the broom, we both can sweep.

Learn to fold, straight line here.
Halves and thirds, that’s math my dear.
“A” for ammonia, “B” for bleach.
Those are for Mama, do not reach.

Vacuum in a line so straight.
Try again, WATCH OUT FOR KATE!
Finally we are done with folding.
Where did you get that? What are you holding?

Water the shamrock, lily too.
God loves his flowers, and He loves you.
Clear the dishes after lunch.
Roll chairs in. What was that crunch?

Sweep again, wipe the table.
C’mon kids, I know you’re able.
Little ones nap, quiet for all.
Mama sips tea and rests, y’all.

*

I penned more, but it diverted from cleaning and turned the poem into an epic, so I spared you. 😀