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Showing posts from September, 2010

Notes from an Enchanted Castle

The Literary Lab kindly solicited a story from me for their charity-supporting anthology Notes from Underground. This set of letters written among the inhabitants of the fabled Beast's castle is an accompaniment to my work in progress, Briars and Black Hellebore. I imagined the Beast's cohabitants passing notes like old-fashioned schoolchildren from the days of yore before texting... like when I was in school... Have I dated myself yet? Enjoy!


2nd March, toDear Savaric: I have drunk too much wine again. Come to my chamber immediately and tend to little William. I am so weak that I can hardly sit at my table to write. Do not send me a note in return, just get over here now. I will be dead drunk by the time you are able to write back and will not be able to read your nonsense. Come quickly. Your Helena
3rd March, before dawn, toDear Helena: I am writing to you after I have come and undressed William and rocked him to sleep. I have also bathed your face and hair and carried you to you…

SMOKin' Hot Scents for Men or Women

In our efforts to use safer products, one of the main ingredients we have been avoiding is the ultra-hazardous chemical soup known as "fragrance," which has been linked to all sorts of unpleasant conditions from birth defects to cancer.

But Mr. G likes to smell good!

So do I, but I can get away with just putting a few drops of essential oil in my fragrance-free lotion. Mr. G works two labor-intensive jobs, so he likes to wear a nice cologne in addition to the unscented crystal antiperspirant we both use (which I hear doesn't work for everyone, but it does the trick for us).

A couple days ago, we walked through the mall and stopped in one of those little Rasta/hippie/counterculture shops that sell Bob Marley posters and fair trade sculptures. We remembered that Mr. G used to buy some very sexy, manly-smelling essential oils at a hippie shop that was open in the '90s. (We're talking, so sexy that I and other women would dream about the scent after we had spent any…

Rapunzel Fair, Don't 'Poo Your Hair!

The perks of pregnancy are supposed to include long, strong nails and thick, flowing, glossy hair. The nails part I have down. Check out my natural claws here. It's getting ridiculous. I keep saying to myself, "One more week, then I'll cut them." Nails this long are incredibly annoying, but I just keep growing them BECAUSE I CAN! We'll see how long I can stand 'em.


But my hair remains frizzy, dry, and puffy. I have been diligently taking my prenatal vitamins and waiting for my luscious, Rapunzelesque locks to start coming in any day now, but it's just not happening. The THICK part I have down. (Poor vacuum cleaner.) But glossy and smooth are nowhere in sight.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Esperanzita alerted me to this article about a woman who gave up shampoo entirely. The idea appealed to me immediately--I've been having a hard time finding shampoos without toxic ingredients anyway--but I was still skeptical at first. Frankly, the girl pictured …

Meet Baby G!

Hello! Here is my little nut. I was so thrilled to see a healthy-looking, active baby at my 20-week scan. Isn't she cute?


We even got to see her yawn.


Now we get to settle on a name! Choosing a baby name is a big deal... but choosing a blog nickname isn't! Let's go with Nux Gallica, because I've been eating a ton of walnuts to get my omega-3 acids. We can call her Galli for short.

I think she likes it. She just did a somersault on my bladder. Aww, how adorable!

What Do You Make?

So, reader friends, tell me, what are you worth? What is the value of your time?

No, I am not talking about money.

Getting pregnant really makes you think about a lot of things, including financial security and hopes for the future. Mr. G and I have our share of material concerns with our little one on the way, but we are more focused on raising a healthy, happy, well adjusted child.

Oh, and being happy and fulfilled ourselves, of course. :)

A couple months ago, this post by Offbeat Mama gave me a lot of confidence. Mr. G and I had been worried that our various part-time jobs would not be enough to care for a new baby. Should one or both of us pick up more hours? we wondered. The responses to this post settled the question in my mind. The amount of quality time our child will get to spend with both parents will be far more valuable than any amount of income.

What about the happiness of parents? Wouldn't we be happier with more work hours and larger paychecks? Apparently the ans…

Product Safety for Girls (and Boys Too)

So I learned something the other day...


I'm having a baby girl! (Marie, your baby gender prediction record remains untarnished.)

Mr. G and I are so excited! Our baby girl looked healthy and adorable on the ultrasound scan, and she is wiggling and kicking all day! Here I am a few weeks ago... I look like this now, but a little bigger.


I'm very happy that Baby G looks like she is developing well, but I still keep safety in mind when I shop for foods, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products. Many contain toxins that are extra dangerous for babies, and I want to give my little girl a healthy start in life. Purchasing safe products is important for anyone, but it's especially vital for girls and women, who tend to use many more personal care products than males.

As we shop for ourselves and pick out items for our baby shower registry, we are using the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to check out which products to buy and which to avoid. Some of the results are pretty surprising.…