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Maintenance: Annoying but Necessary

For those who might be curious, yes, I got my bee tattoo last week. Two, actually, and I’m happy with how they turned out. The lines are sharp and clean, and I stepped out of both my comfort zone and the strict interpretation I was holding myself to on that particular arm, which actually gave me ideas and a plan for the rest of that sleeve. So, for all the worrying, it turned out very well.

The rest of the week sort of took a dive downward after that. I had to call my dentist because I had a second tooth in as many weeks break. So I have to postpone the crown prep I had scheduled for the other tooth, so I can get this one filled (and it probably needs a crown too). It’s one of two teeth that I should have crowned years ago, but it got lost in the shuffle of other root canals and crowns along the way while I was trying to get my teeth to a healthier place. Maintenance postponed = two broken teeth and crowns needed.

Then Halloween was cold and miserable for decorating, but we got it done and even had a good turnout of trick-or-treaters. Afterwards, the heel of my right foot started hurting like crazy. The reason? Dry feet. If I slack off on the foot maintenance (filing/soaking once a week, shea butter and socks for an hour before bed every night), the heel of my right foot gets so dry it develops deep, painful cracks in the bottom. I’ve totally been slacking off on both weekly and daily foot care. Maintenance ignored = painful walking for several days.

I was going through my earrings Friday night, swapping out my Halloween theme for something that would match (sort of) the piercing jewelry I’m stuck with for another 4 weeks or so, and one of the pair I wanted is ruined. I have a bad habit of swapping out jewelry and then instead of cleaning the pieces I just took out and putting them away right then, I leave them sitting on the counter to clean “later”. Or worse yet, I’ll put them in a small bowl of water to soak, and then not get back to them until they’ve soaked the finish right off. Needless to say, I had to toss that pair out, and use a pair that don’t match as well. Worse, I have a lot of earrings that I need to toss due to not taking proper care in cleaning and storing them. Maintenance ignored = money and jewelry I really liked both down the drain, so to speak.

This past weekend, the hubby and I finally tried to fix a clog in the plumbing. The bathroom sink on the main floor was draining slow for quite awhile, and then when I finally got it unclogged, the bathroom sink just below it in the basement started overflowing when we used the sink upstairs. We took both traps off the sinks to try to get a snake into the right drain, with zero luck. We did break the pipe for the upper sink in the process though. Finally called a plumber after failing and making the problem worse, and they came out yesterday to clear out the drain and replace some old metal piping (including the ones we broke). Maintenance ignored = a few hundred bucks in professional maintenance, a vacation day and way longer without a working bathroom sink than necessary.

Maintenance is expensive initially, mostly in terms of time and attention. I hate taking time out of everything else I want to do in order to just do basic maintenance on things or myself. But it really is more expensive not to do it in the long run, which is something I really need to remind myself of more often. Or at least every time I’m feeling too lazy to lotion my feet, clean my jewelry or run a bacterial enzyme cleaner down the drains.

What have you been too lazy too keep up with lately? And what’s it going to cost you in the long run? Inquiring minds…


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On Gifts & Hair Color…

My dining room table is pretty well covered with Christmas gifts at the moment. Gifts for other people, of course, in neat piles, with checklists on top for the homemade things so I don’t get lost in what I still need to make for whom. We’re pretty well done, just a couple things to order online and that will be it for the year.

I think it’s interesting that for me, at least, the better you know someone, the harder it seems to get them something you’re confident they’ll like. A lot of that is, adults already have much of what they need, and they tend to buy what they want as well. Which is part of why I think gifts for adults at Christmas could easily be dispensed with altogether. Why not just make it another holiday celebrated with family, and leave it at that? My husband and I don’t exchange gifts with each other – we never have. We don’t at birthdays or anniversaries either. Why? Because if we see something we think the other person will like, we go ahead and pick it up for them, and just give it to them then. No need to wait for a special day – we just make that moment special, and move along.

I think the holidays would be far less stressful and more enjoyable for a great many people without all the gift hullabaloo, personally. Obviously, I’ve quit fighting it personally and just go along with it for peace & harmony, but it still kind of rankles, every single year.

*sigh*

In other news, I felt like I needed a change (not sure whether it’s vanity, or just a need for something different), so this past Saturday, I dyed my hair. I’ve only done that once before, quite a long time ago, and it was kind of an ordeal so I never even tried it again. I may have also gotten a slightly perverse pleasure out of people giving me crap about my hair turning white, and not actually doing anything about it (which clearly, they expected me to do). But enough of my brunette mop is white now that it kind of makes my whole head look “ashy”, and I figured maybe it was time to give the whole hair-dye thing one more try.

With a family history of a few cancers, I won’t use chemical dyes, so I ordered some plant dye (mainly henna & indigo, plus a couple others) last week. Saturday I proceeded to wash my hair, cover it in green goop and then a rather jaunty leopard-print shower cap, and sit around crocheting & watching TV with my husband for the next two and a half hours.

And it worked pretty well, really. Not nearly as much work as the last time I’d done it, and most of my white is now a lovely shade of copper while the rest of my hair is dark brown, as promised on the label. Something a bit different, without nearly as much work as I’d expected. Next time, I might mix a little auburn in for a subtle red highlight effect. We’ll see.

My before and after pics aren’t worth posting – the colors are all washed out due to poor lighting, and I suck at selfies, so I’m afraid you’ll have to take me at my word that it turned out okay for now. Maybe I’ll get a better pic next time.

One of the reasons I haven’t dyed my hair before now (except that one time) is because keeping your hair dyed requires maintenance. Hair grows, roots start to show, and before you know it, you need a touch-up. And it just keeps going on and on indefinitely, as long as you’re willing to play the game. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to commit to that. But I don’t think this will be too bad to stay on top of. One Saturday afternoon ever 4-6  weeks, and I’ll be…well…not white-haired for as long as I care to keep it up.

There was a nice, artistically-pleasing third thing I was going to jabber about, but it’s already 1:30am, which is my bedtime, and I still have to schedule this first. So…I’ll leave you with just two topics today, and you can create your own for the third, as you see fit. And by all means, feel free to share in the comments, if you’re so inclined!


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