Secret Garden

It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that I did not inherit my mother’s green thumb. Plants come to my house to die. My home is Stalag 17 for plants.

Charlie, however, takes after his father, who I’m certain planted his garden over a radioactive waste dump last year, and grew a zucchini as big as a cudgel.

Club Zucchini
Photo shamelessly stolen from my friend’s Facebook timeline.

Usually, we’ll do our own zucchini, and some green beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and last year, as a total vanity project, a whole box of pumpkins.

They pumpkins all got eaten by bores.

It was very sad.

This year, the garden has had a slow start. Just didn’t get things started in time.

Sad, nearly-barren garden boxes, with ANnie being of no help whatsoever.

Charlie is dropping in some Aloha Pepper seeds, from a couple of weird ones he picked up from Aldi the other day.

I have a feeling this garden is going to be the laziest garden in Apiary history.

Even lazier than the one pepper plant we accidentally grew with one of our succulents because Charlie cut peppers too aggressively one night at dinner, and a seed landed in the planter.

Until I have more updates in the garden, enjoy these photos from gardens past.



Complete Disasters


I seem to have developed an ear infection out of nowhere – probably picked up from Typhoid Charlie and his exposure to kids.

Both Charlie and I are complete disasters at the moment: me with my ear infection, and he with his terrible cough, general sinusitis, and recent development of Hairy Eyeball. (He thinks he’s got a cat hair stuck in his eye, I wonder where that could have come from?)

I’m hoping that I don’t feel so poorly that we won’t be able to make a sojourn down to Cincinnati to see The Brothers, including my brother, who would be coming up from Louisville.

If I find that I will, in fact, live through this trying time, I’ll have updates from my mini-vacation.


Author’s Note (May 27, 2018) : I had strep throat/ear infection, and Charlie had pink eye. We stayed home like a couple of bubonic shut-ins.


Current Skincare Routine: May, 2018

This is currently what I’m doing to my face to take care of my skin. If it changes in the future, I’ll update with a new post, and reference with this one.

Morning Routine

Face Wash
I use one or the other, based on how good I was at cleaning my face the night before. The White Clay Foam is a little higher-octane.

Acid Toner


  • CeraVe PM Face Moisturizer for Nighttime Use
    I like this formula well-enough: it was great for the winter when my face was a but a dried-out corn husk. It’s a little too occlusive for the summer Ohio humidity – the ceramides in it suck up all the moisture in the air, and makes me feel a little greasy.
  • belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb
    Sample size purchased using Sephora Points – would love to be able to buy/afford the full size.

Evening Routine

Double Cleanse
The first cleanse is designed to remove makeup, and the second to cleanse the skin.

Acid Toner

Acne Treatment
One thing I discovered is that the only way I’m able to keep my acne at bay is by treating my whole face (not just spot treatment) every single day. Spot treating is locking up the barn after the horse already escaped.

  • DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel (5%)
  • (Formerly) La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
    Made the switch to DDF because the cost/oz is so much better, part of which is because I think you aren’t paying for ingredients in negligible quantities. That said, if you can afford to use Effaclar every single day, it’s a great product.
Acne Topical Cream Comparison
I have an entire Sheet in my Google Drive that I use to do ingredient and price comparison on tons of different products. This spreadsheet is for acne creams, and I had originally compared 10 different creams, for price and ingredients.



You’ll note that I don’t have an SPF integrated into my skin care. Be ye not so foolish as me! Use sunscreen every single day, separate from what’s in your makeup product! I’m just super lazy and haven’t integrated it into my skincare routine.


Edited 05/22/2018 @ 7:35pm EST:

Some Notes:

  • A lot of websites will give you a discount if you sign up for their email list. I’ve gotten great deals this way. To get around using an actual email account, sign up for a burner and never get pestered again (unless you use an actual email to confirm the order – then you’re on your own).
  • If you want to check what the ingredients in your skin care actually do, like I did in my spreadsheet above, go to the INCIDecoder, and nerd out.


Had lunch up in Macedonia with K today. Since there isn’t a huge bevy of options, we hit First Watch again, and instead of the protein bowl, I opted for the roast beef sandwich.

If you’re a fan of roast beef sandwiches, I recommend the one from first watch: it includes caramelized onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Even though I don’t have a huge appetite on this new medication, I ate the whole damn thing. Which means that poor Charlie took out five chicken breasts for dinner for no reason.

I followed K to the consignment store to do a little window shopping while she consigned some clothes. I appreciate the patience and willpower people have for consignment shops. I personally cannot stand having paid $30 for a shirt, be offered $2 for consignment, and see the shop turn around and sell it for approximately a hojillion dollars. Someone in that equation is getting screwed, and it ain’t the consignment shop.

I almost bought a couple of blousy tops, but ended up passing. I’m sure I just threw out well over $500 in makeup I was never going to use, and I still need to konmari my own closets – I know there are things I’ll never wear, are now too big, and things I haven’t worn in 30 pounds. I just don’t really need to add to it. Maybe when I’m not on a tight budget and after I’ve unburdened myself of the junk I already have.

I’m trying to live lighter. In addition to cleaning out the vanity, my office bookcase, and my intentions to go through closets, I finally cleaned out my car. I threw so much crap away. Why have I been carrying around all of this crap for so long? Why did I feel so married to keeping it? I don’t know, but it felt really good not to leave the consignment shop with more stuff.