A Post Head Hike

English: The Hollywood sign seen from the farm...

English: The Hollywood sign seen from the farmers market in los angeles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being an original country girl (Washington State to be exact.) living in a big city, I have an intense need for nature hikes. The air quality, concrete and traffic can really get me down sometimes. Hikes recharge me on a deep level that I find very satisfying.

Back in January, just a week after hiking Bronson Canyon, I heard some very disturbing news. Did you hear about the head/body parts found by the Hollywood Sign? Read more here if you dare: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/18/local/la-me-0118-head-found-20120118 That just happened to be one of my most frequent and favorite hikes in Southern California…until that happened. It’s just so terrible. What a way to go.

When my Mom heard the news, she immediately called me to make sure I wasn’t hiking that trail any more for fear of the killer leaping out from the bushes and attacking me. I did stop hiking the trail, but it was more because I didn’t need my serene hiking thoughts interrupted with “I wonder where they found the head?”

Knowing we are moving to Austin, Texas in October (That’s a difference of 1,383 miles in case you were wondering.), I’ve decided to soak up as much LA awesomeness as I can possibly cram in between now and our moving date. I couldn’t let a head (…and hands…and feet.) defeat me. I had to attempt it at least one more time to prove to myself I could do it. Damen joined me. That helped. It was quite lovely, and we only encountered one massive film crew (Crime scene show…weird.) at the trail head.

There are few things that make me reflect as lovingly on LA as looking down on it from high. Mid-hike I came upon this and had that moment once again.

I know I complain about you a lot, but LA, I’m really gonna miss you.

The Art of Home Canning

Home Canning

Home Canning (Photo credit: renoir_girl)

Both my Grandmother and Grandfather grew up on farms. They are the salt of the earth. I grew up in their house and am blessed with many memories of backyard edible gardens, fresh honey from home made bee hives and a magic medicine cabinet complete with something in a glass jar called “salve”. I’m told it was an old recipe given to our family by Native Americans.

Every summer, my Grandma would harvest the fruits and vegetables from the garden. She would have a home canning jam session right there in her kitchen. She preserved fresh peaches, pears, jams, green beans, soups…you name it, she canned it. I know this made feeding her seven children healthy meals a lot easier. Tragically, I somehow never learned this skill from her.

While inspired by the idea of making fresh homemade jam as favors for my DIY wedding, I stumbled upon a very exciting book on Amazon.com titled the Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today. (Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Complete Book of Home Preserving. Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose Inc., 2006.) I just received it in the mail today and I am very excited to get started. While it will in fact be too expensive to make jam for our wedding, I know canning is a skill I can actually use. Besides, how delightful is homemade jam?!

For the last couple of years, I have noticed that people are beginning to value wholesomeness again. There seems to be a trend among younger people toward moving back to the farm, returning to the garden and simplifying one’s life. I’m ready to become a part of this movement through the art of home preserving. My hope is to become at least half as comfortable with this process as my Grandma. And while I live in an apartment for the moment, you can bet that when I have a house, it will have an edible garden in the backyard and I’m going to bottle everything in it.

The Evolution of My Hair

My hair has evolved quite a lot over the years. In my early twenties it was long, red and curly. Once I hit 30, all bets were off. My dear friend Derek liberated me by cutting off most of my locks and giving me a really cute bob. I loved it. Then he added blonde streaks. Loved it.

My hair at its shortest.

Then I went all blonde. Loved it less. Hair got fried. Loved it a LOT less. Hair became frizzy, dry and brittle. I tried to convince myself my hair would be ok. It wasn’t.

Me as a blonde fairy. (More on that later.)

I stopped bleaching. To help return my hair return to a more hair like texture, I decided take my hair to a light brown myself. Still didn’t make it healthier. With my wedding coming up in September, I want my hair looking and feeling healthy and awesome. It also wouldn’t hurt if it was a bit longer. So I’m growing it out also so I can pull off a cute up-do for the big day.

Light brown. Easier. Cheaper.

I’m getting desperate. My hair is beyond thick. It takes me around 45 minutes just to dry all of it (and I still have short hair mind you) with the hair dryer. One of my hairstylists even refers to my hair as “girthy”! And it’s just so damaged it won’t receive moisture. Not even Kerastase helps!

I’ve been trying all kinds of products. My hair is very coarse and naturally curly. Each time I try a new product I think “Please let this be the product that saves my hair.” And each time, it doesn’t. I know you coarse haired beauties have been there. I’m really starting to panic.

My awesome girlfriend knows of my hair woes and gifted me with the complete Wen system at my bridal party meet n’ greet. Awesome gift! I have been hearing amazing things about it. I’m going to try it out for the first time today. I’ll keep you posted on the results (if any). Wish me luck!