Friday, October 31, 2008

Countdown Starts

Okay, there's a little over 3 hours until NaNo officially starts in my time zone. Folks are already scribbling away on the other side of the globe. (Funny, we were discussing getting rid of some VERY outdated globes at the library today...) Will I still be awake at midnight? Probably. Will I still be coherent enough to write? I'm not sure. I still have a bit of cleaning and prep work to do for Ro's birthday party tomorrow.

Yeah, my eldest was officially a tween as of 12:51 this afternoon. My mother and Mr. Incredible's parents will be here. AND Jake, The Kate's puppy is still enjoying going on the carpet in the dining room. I got that steam cleaned last night, though. And with the nice weather we've had the last few days, we should be able to do most of the party outside. Yeah!

Okay, time for more pizza!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Winter Book Club

One of the wonderful things about the internet is all the people you get to meet. And while I know there are some out there who live out a fantasy life online, most of us are just what we seem to be. Thanks to my girls' love of Animal Ark books and a lovely little site called BookMooch, I met a wonderful young woman who later invited me to join her summer online book club. Keep in mind that I'm the oldest on the list. Many of the others are in their teens or early twenties.

After thinking it over for a little bit, I thought why not? I've never read chick lit, which is what the first round of books included. I never really thought of myself as a 'chick lit' kinda girl, but ya know what? I enjoyed myself, got to see what sorts of things were important to females a good bit younger than me, and tried some a new genre of literature.

So, Bookworm's Corner is getting ready to start up for winter. Come join us! It's always much more fun to discuss books when there's more than 3 people involved.

Salad for Your Hair!

So, those neat products I talked about in the last post sound great, but what to do if it's not near payday and you really can't/don't want to shell out $30 for a fancy comb? White vinegar and olive oil, my friends. Personally, I'd start with the olive oil treatment because picking someone' s hair while there's lots moving around just gives me the willies.

Start by working a good measure of olive oil into the hair all the way down to the scalp. While you don't want rivers of the oil running off the victim's head, you do want enough to smother any little bugs. And it needs to be all the way down to the scalp to make sure you've got maximum coverage. Now, slip on a cheap-o plastic shower cap, or swimming cap, and let it sit for at about 6 /12 hours. Lice can go into a form of hibernation that will let them survive without air for 5 to 6 hours.

You can probably try combing the hair out with a lice comb at this point. I honestly never thought to try it because I just assumed the combs wouldn't get the eggs. Both of my girls have very fine hair and the lice combs weren't getting anything out while their hair was dry. However, after dealing with the LiceMD, I'm wondering if the oil would help the combs pick up the eggs. If anyone's unfortunate enough to need to do this a) you have all my sympathy and b) let me know how well it works if you trying combing it out with the oil in.

Next you need to wash and dry the hair. Regardless of what you've probably read online about washing oil out of hair, olive oil is a component in several shampoos and lathers up really, really well. Washing it out isn't all that difficult.

Vinegar helps dissolve the cement (lice spit) that's holding the eggs attached to the hair shafts. I would saturate the girls' hair with it and then leave it on for about an hour to work it's magic. Then wash and blow dry.

Finally, you'll need to go to work picking out the eggs that might be left behind. Work in really good light and with small sections of hair at a time. A pair of magnifying, or reading, glasses really help. Also, I used clips to hold hair out of my way.

Wash the bedding and toss pillows, stuffies, etc... into the dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes. Clothes that have been worn need to be washed as well. Anything that's been taken on and off over the head, even if they only had it on for a few minutes, needs to get washed. (Monkey Girl got really tired of hearing, "Okay, now go put it in the wash.")

Combs, brushes, and clips can go into hot, soapy water for at least 10 minutes. If there are hair scrunchies or other accessories that can't be soaked in water, bag them and toss 'em in the freeze for a couple of days.

The most important part of this process is the actual nitpicking. It's not easy, for you or your child, but it's also not something you can skimp on. Unfortunately. All of the tricks in both of these posts help make the picking easier, but it's still the main thing you'll have to do. Try to stay upbeat for your child's sake, take breaks now and then, and well, hugging each other always good.

Good luck!

Monday, October 27, 2008

%^&*# Bugs

Well, we thought the bugs were gone, until last Monday when The Drama Queen asked me to check her hair. She was absolutely crawling with the little pests. (Is your head itching yet?) It was worse than Monkey Girl's hair had been. Soooo, we tried olive oil, and we did vinegar, and while I'm sure these will work on mild cases of infestation, it didn't with Drama Queen. There was just so much to get out of her hair. Fortunately Wednesday was payday, so Thursday saw me shelling out some money for lice treatment toys. And while I'm still a proponent of the cheaper, no chemical method, this was money well spent.

First off, we bought a RobiComb. This was the pricey toy, at $29.95, but it really was money well spent. And it's kinda fun to use. It's an interesting bug zapper for your head. Run on a AAA battery, the comb emits a high-pitched buzzing sound that stops when it encounters a louse. This is because it's zapped the little bastard and is now waiting for you to clean out the comb's teeth with the stiff little brush included. I did this into a bowl of water. The comb only immobilizes the louse, although it should die in a few hours. The only catch to the RobiComb is that it doesn't zap the eggs. Apparently they don't have a central nervous system until after hatching, so there's nothing to zap.

So, she was still full of eggs. Actually, when the school nurse checked her hair it looked like it hadn't been picked AT ALL. Yeah, she was that bad. Off we went in search of something that might make it easier to comb out eggs. What we found was called LiceMD, which is a non-pesticide goop that loosens the eggs, making them easier to comb out. Yes! The big concern was that the comb included wouldn't be able to clean eggs off of Ro's extremely fine hair. So, we gooped it up and let it sit while I went and picked up her sister from school. (It needs to be on your hair for 10 minutes. Any longer and it starts to itch.) We combed out so many eggs it was kinda scary. After a hair wash and blow-dry, her father picked her hair again.

Now, the nurse did still pick a few eggs out of her hair the next morning, but not enough to keep her out of school any longer. YES!!!! We were both doing the Happy Dance. Drama Queen got dropped off and they did a routine check on Monkey Girl's hair while I was there...home she came. After a week of picking and soaking and picking and, well, you get the idea. I almost cried. Monkey Girl was even closer to crying. She did not want to come home. Long story short, we did the LiceMD on her...and the RobiComb as well. Both girls were back in school today, I've a mound of laundry, and they've a very clean room, thanks to their father. Oh, and we took out the love seat since the consensus was that it was the source of everyone getting lice. (Yeah, The Kate needed her hair treated as well.)

Cross your fingers for us. Please?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Idol Pursuits

So, next month I'm partaking in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The whole concept is to write a short novel (50,000) during the month. I'm hoping to use it to restart work on a novel I started back in May before school let out. Hopefully, this little experiment next month will a) get a BIG chunk of my novel finished and b) get me into a writing habit/routine. It also means that I've been spending lots of time with my story this month, getting an outline and really learning my characters.

One of the challenges I tackled, thanks to this man's webpage, is to sum up the novel in one sentence. I didn't quite bring it in at under 15 words, but it's still a good sentence. And I'm about to share it with whomever reads this little blog, because I intend to write about NaNo for the coming month plus. Aren't we all lucky?

Idol Pursuits:
Quiet bookstore clerk wants employer's killer brought to justice without becoming his sacrifice to an unholy idol.

Aren't ya all a'quiver? More to follow....

Today's Bliss

So, I was out walking my best friend's puppy around the backyard and what did I come across? In OCTOBER!?! Honeysuckle in bloom! I know it's been warm lately, but blooming honeysuckle in mid-October? Heavenly. I love the smell of honeysuckle.

And a thank you to Chris Dunmire, of Creativity Portal, for letting me use her Cowpyright Cow on my blog. Check out more about copyright and the internet here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Book Title

The book I started back in May, that'll be restarting next month for NaNoWriMo, finally has a title I'm not embarrassed to tell anyone: Idol Pursuits. This is a happy moment as I write much better with a working title. And Deadly Immortality was just too...too...too much of something and not enough of something else. It sums up the story, but it's just, well, I'm just to embarrassed to mention that I'm writing something with a title that colorful.

Monday, October 6, 2008

GLBT History Month

This is just a quickie, but apparently October is also GLBT History Month. Our local university has a GLBT campus organization that is marking this week as GLBT week, culminating in National Coming Out Day, this Saturday. Here's an interesting site link from them. Check it out!