Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dreading Christmas

Sometimes , even in public, it's hard to control ones emotions ...
Yesterday was a day for a medical apt for a client and some errands.
 After we brought our client back home to the sitter we were off to the hardware store.
I was excited to go get a can of paint for a cpl brainless projects I have lined up. I say brainless because one doesn't need to think while painting furniture lol! I need projects like these to balance out all the complex reading and thinking and trying to LEARN all the other stuff I'm taking in my courses.
As Chris was off to another area of the hardware store I bee lined it for the Christmas Decoration area...I've always loved checking out what's new at the beginning of the xmas season in the big hardware stores...
It's not like I hadn't seen some Christmas decorations before yesterday, I even got some for my product display at the dollar store the other day....
But as I stood among all the Trees and outdoor decorations at Home Depot...The thought of Christmas ....was overwhelming...the thought of pulling out my tree to decorate was overwhelming....the thought of Cleo not being home to quickly put on her new PJ's as soon as she arrives at the house, and to open gifts at midnight on Xmas Eve like we do ....was overwhelming.........
I hadn't even noticed that tears where just streaming down my face...until I turned around and Chris was there just in time, to let me  hide my face into his coat and cry....Thankfully there was no one around....

I wish we could just go away for xmas ...to an island paradise far removed from anything that resembles Christmas for us.........
But I can't...my niece Chantal has lost too much herself and has always celebrated Christmas with me since her mom died when she was 10yrs old. I can't bring myself to deny her and her little boy their Christmas....and so it will be.....



Friday, February 14, 2014

Have Thoughtfulness or Consideration been misplaced?

I've noticed such a lack of basic consideration or thoughtfulness in people over time. Or maybe I just assumed that most people practiced it because I try to. Such simple steps, most of the time can make the biggest difference in a person's day.

 Letting someone in front of a line who has only a few items compared to your full cart, offering a right of way in traffic, I'm rarely in a hurry. Picking something up off the floor if someone has dropped something or even holding the door open for the ppl behind you! I'm amazed how often I see the door swing in the face of others more and more often!

 To CONSIDER how your actions can effect others is certainly a big one. To sum it up simply I guess just being KIND makes for a thoughtful and considerate person. Which brings me to today...

Today is Valentines day.
 Chris and I had booked out sitter for today. Not really because it was Valentines but because our sitter happened to be free today and we had a bunch of errands to run. We figured we could grab a nice meal like we usually do .
Our sitter is a lovely lady we've had working for us for many yrs. She divides her time working for us and another foster family caring for handicapped people like we do.

Last night we were expecting our sitter to come spend the night here because a big storm was hitting around 10pm. She was working at the other residence and rather then drive all the way home then come back here for 10am tomorrow morning with all the added snow on the roads, it was just smarter for her to come straight here instead. She even reminded them that the storm would hit and she hated to drive in it when it can be avoided. Hoping they could be back for around 10 pm....

So by 11pm we were looking outside at the ugly conditions and I just knew that Marthe would hate driving in that! and wondering if she had left yet. I said to Chris that if she hadn't , I would give her the choice of going home instead of coming here. I know how nervous she gets ...I figured our plans could wait for another day, nothing that important. However for her, knowing she could go home to your own bed and not worry would be much appreciated!

This is when Chris admits to me that he had made Dinner reservations at a nice restaurant for us...AWEEE...Just knowing he had thought ahead made me happy...I don't even need to go ...Just the thought was enough!

When I called, she was so relieved...and still waiting for the others to arrive. So the plan was that she would call us today if the conditions improved and come for the afternoon instead and if not that was totally ok also.

She called this  morning to say they hadn't arrived till close to 1am! It was horrid conditions and she wasn't impressed...especially when they said, ...Oh we passed the time at a friends house having coffee haha...Totally forgot that you wanted to leave around 10, Our Bad!...

Now I know we all have those moments but this happens all the time with them. It's inconsiderate, thoughtless and just outright selfish. Just 2 weeks ago, she had told them to be home around the same time as she had a early morning drive to go celebrate her granddaughter's bday with family...They arrived after 2pm so by the time she got home , she was to exhausted to make the trip the next day and missed the party!!!
 Yes we can say she needs to work for someone else and not put up with it and I agree. But I also know that we get attached to our clients , it's the same for the sitter who 's also cared for them for yrs. Also, being on a fixed income , it's not easy to just drop a job just like that. If I could afford to hire her for more hours then I do, I certainly would!

So on the phone with her today, I had no problem telling her to stay home and relax today, it was our Valentines present to her lol! To which she responded...It's often the least expensive gifts that make the biggest impact. I truly appreciate it more then you know!!

As for us...well we have everything we need to spend a lovely Valentines Day ! Each other!!....along with four handicapped men to share the love LOL ...(we have chocolate surprised for them all for supper time ) Oh the joy such little things produce is all worth it!!

This week I've gotten more then a few handmade Valentine hearts and cards constructed at their program ! Today I was surprised with this lovely bouquet from Chris... How lucky am I!
 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Beginnings of much more to come...Bare with me ...

Finally putting some of the theory we've been learning for the past 4 months to practice!! The last months have been as interesting as they were a bit intimidating. I was worried that it wouldn't sink in to be  honest. I wasn't the best student back in the day ...and well, Science...was worse...Unless you count the yr we had a hot science teacher ! I was somewhat more motivated that year LOL.

After xmas our professer Stephanie Plamdondon  launched the production phase of our courses. Starting with the chapter on soaps. I can honestly say that watching assembly and techniques helped to connect the dots in terms of the chemical reactions we learned about. The science makes more sense when you see it in action so to speak. I also really enjoy how Stephanie teaches. She makes it interesting and answers all of our endless questions. I've learned so much these past months and look forward with much anticipation to each week that unfolds!  That said...it will still take me yrs to know all those $20 words. .. I'm still debating a venture into the glycerin soap she made last week. Lot's of additional steps. They are clearly beautiful soaps though.....haha! get it~ ;-) ..I know, a groaner! My husband would be so proud!

Anyway, for this chapter we have to make 2 soaps for our homework. A solid soap and either a glycerin soap or a liquid soap. The calculations that have to be worked out are quite impressive if I do say so myself. Took me near 5 hrs to get all the different values for each given oil/ingredient in my soap to work out the exact amount of Sodium Hydroxide you need in order for it to become soap!

Of course I had to make things easy by starting with a soap that has at least 26 ingredients in it! But it's the most important soap I will ever make, so I might as well do it now , work out the kinks if needed. It's absolutely ridiculous to have as much as I do in there but it incorporates almost all the ingredients of a melt and pour soap I had formally used to make an eczema, psoriasis soap that made huge differences in my husband and my moms life! As I'm now making from scratch, I need to repeat the same results but with an even better soap.

So now I have my recipe in hand...ALL the  precious ingredients I need. Most of which I get at Noblessence in Montreal .....All the tools and protective gear is ready to go.......Ready to go!.......Hello!!! Ready to go!!!

Ok, I'm nervous!....Really NERVOUS!

I'm sure soap makers are having a good chuckle over this apprehension for not so big a deal but
I doubt I'm the only one who was super intimidated about the 1st step of combining the Sodium Hydroxide with liquid causing a chemical reaction that heats the sodium immediately. All the precautions have to be taken for safety.
-Ventilated area, either outside or safe place away from ppl, (garage)
-Protective eye gear....check
-long sleeves, apron....check
-face mask for fumes ..check
-long rubber gloves......check
-all ready to go............check

Oh get on with it!!!....(I can't tell u how many times I rechecked everything)
Ready
How exciting ... No?
I want the temp to cool down so putting this in abed or snow or ice does the trick.
As my sodium cools, now I can start to assemble all my oils ...
I've already weighed all my first oils...to melt slowly...and cool off before combining with sodium. Below are just the ingredients being added AFTER trace! To Super Fat my soap and add all the beautiful essential oils that give it the properties needed to sooth Eczema & Psoriasis .
 
My Sodium is cooled down, my oils are between 30c-40c...So it's time to combine!! The moment of truth!.....Oh look how lovely that is ! (I know I'm talking to myself at this point)
After trace is attained ( kinda like when u get peaks with whipped cream...light trace is when u see slight marks that stay on the surface. That's when it's time to add your powders, exfoliates, essential and super fat oils if desired.
 
Yummy .... ;-)
My PRECIOUS Oils............... (in my best Gulum voice)
 
Needs a bit of colour...
I'm loving this rich green!
Pour into molds
This makes 1 kilo. so 10 soaps of aprox 100g.
I wanted to make some 50g sizes also...
I've sprinkled some with dry calendula petals as garnish.
The soap itself has ground calendula , oatmeal & goats milk powder, all for their therapeutic properties among other things.
I've also used some of my own oils infused for 6 weeks with calendula, hibiscus, chamomile.
Time to cover my pretties and set aside in a cool place to rest 24 ours before unmolding ...
Now comes another fun part!

My pretties are ready to cure for 4-6 weeks! I put garnish on half.... Curious how it will look and feel once hardened.
These are extremely rich soaps! The cost is redonkulous but their properties attest for every cent! I will have to sell these for at least $10 each. It's a lot but definitely worth it!
 
 
I've already started another beautiful floral face soap with a 2 colour technique....
Hope they turned out the way I hope, but won't know for another 24 hours :-)