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A Few New Projects

A few days ago I looked down at my hands and said, “How did that happen? When am I going to have time to cut my fingernails?!”

That about summed up how busy I have been for the last three weeks. As most of you reading this know, I work part-time as a children’s librarian and part-time as a children’s program director at a church. Sunday school started today.

On Friday my husband and I were driving up to the Twin Cities for a friend’s wedding. I was calling everyone I could think of in our church congregation, stopping about every three phone calls to cry with frustration over all the “No thank you. Teaching Sunday school is not my gift” answers I was receiving.

Recruiting Sunday school teachers is a whole other blog, though.

Now I am savoring some free time on Sunday afternoon and because my personality is beginning come down from ‘frenzied’ to ‘normal,’ I can share some projects with you all that I anticipate starting soon.

First, my husband and I have begun this morning to use a more natural form of hair care: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I got the idea from Tsh Oxenreider, and her blog on this same form of hair care can be found here.

Because Tsh goes into such detail on her hair cleansing method and makes it so clear and understandable, I won’t repeat everything she has to say. If you want to try it at home, check out her site.

Here’s the scoop on the baking soda and apple cider vinegar hair cleansing method that we’re starting out with:

Baking Soda Hair Cleanser

1 c. water
1 T. baking soda

Mix the ingredients together in a water bottle. We are using the kind of bottle with a squirt top (like the top on a bottle of dish soap). About three times a week, squirt this mixture all over your scalp and rub gently to lather. You only need to rub this mixture around on your scalp, not on the rest of your hair. Rinse hair. Follow with hair clarifier.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Clarifier

1 c. water
1 T. apple cider vinegar

Mix the ingredients together in another squirt-top water bottle. After washing your hair with the baking soda mixture, squirt apple cider vinegar mixture onto hair length (this time not onto your scalp). Let the mixture sit in your hair for a few seconds and then rinse. Your hair will not smell like vinegar when it dries.

My husband and I are not perfect, and we do not claim that this form of hair care is the only way to be friendly to your body and friendly to the environment, but we do believe that these are some good reasons for trying this. Here are our reasons broken down:

1) This form of hair care is more cost effective than purchasing bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Most of what you put in your hair this way is water.

2) Using this form of hair care we will be putting fewer strange chemicals on our skin and into the environment via the water system.

3) This form of hair care is not harsh on a person’s hair like the strong detergents in most shampoos.

4) We will not be using as many bottles. Even though in most places plastic bottles are recyclable, energy is still required to process an old bottle at a recycling facility. This form of hair care does not require that energy usage.

So, we started this regimen this morning, and I’ll update you in a few weeks to let you know how our hair is fairing under this treatment.

Another project that I’m undertaking currently involves my books.

I love books, and my husband and I own quite a few. A book is one of the best gifts a person could give me, and yet I struggle to read the books that people actually do give me.

The reason, you may ask?

I am a compulsive library patron.

I am almost never without library books in the house.

When I work at the circulation desk, I don’t generally intend to check books out; it happens almost outside of my control, I’m sure of it.

There I am, busily helping library patrons behind the desk. In a moment of quiet between helping patrons, I lean over the drop box, scoop up an armful of books, and begin checking them in.

Suddenly, my hand stops. I’m staring at the title of the book in my hand. I quickly flip the book over, check the back, read the inside flap.

All thoughts of, “You have enough to read at home. You’ve already got eight library books checked out, and you haven’t even touched the book mom and dad gave you for Christmas last year,” weaken and die, only to be replaced with thoughts of, “I could read the books I own anytime.”

Before I even realize what’s happening, my hands have moved of their own accord to pull my name up on the computer, scan the barcode on the book, and press the “Check out” button.

It’s really amazing how I end up with library books at home.

In January I decided that I was being ridiculous and as a New Year’s resolution, I would catch up on the books I own and read them. All of them. I returned all of my library books to their true home and settled down to read my own books.

Three days later I had one library book out.

A week later I had eight.

Now, 9 months later I’m ready to tackle the project again, hoping that the accountability of telling you all about my project will encourage me to stick to it.

I have provided below pictures of the bookshelves with all of the books my husband and I own. All of the books I have already read have been blacked out. The books you can see are the books I still need to read.

This is the fiction bookshelf. I’m doing pretty good here.

These two are the science, sociology, marriage, and general reference shelves. (The bookcase is at the foot of our bed, so I couldn’t get it all in one picture.) These don’t look too bad.

This is our Christian and spiritual living bookcase. I have a lot of work to do here. Because even though my walk with Christ is incredibly important to me, I just do not read these books as quickly. And I do not discipline myself to read these thought-provoking books like I think I should.

This is the stack I borrowed from my dad. I should really read these and return them.

These are books I got when the church library weeded through its collection, as well as a few books my brother loaned me.

These are the new books I got from Borders in it’s second-to-last day of operation. This was the most fun book shopping experience I have had in a looooong time. All-around ninety percent off is always acceptable in my book.

So, the rules of my book-reading challenge for myself are simple:

1) I may not check out any library books or read any library books while completing this challenge. *

2) I will update this blog with my progress every two months.

*Exceptions will be made if a friend or family member wishes to loan me a book. I may accept the book and read it.

That’s really it. I don’t want to make it complicated. I just want to read the books that I own.

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