Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Laundry Soap

Laundry Soap

My mom has done it.
My sister Lori has done it.
My sister Greta has done it.
I've read multiple links from Pintrest on it.
Then I decided I would try it.

Let's take a step back first.  I'm a highly sensitive person in many ways.  Smells, sounds, sights, often offend my sensory system.  Feelings of disgust rise from bad odors (body odor, garlic, bad breath, candy aisles), feelings of unwanted anger rise from repetitive sounds I can't control or move away from (pen clicking in meetings, chewing of finger nails), and dizziness often follows when I look at outrageous black and white patterns often found on others' shirts.  So, point being, the smell of opening the washer after washing clothes is often offensive to me.  I've tried putting the wash machine (which is a nearly brand new high efficiency washer) on the "tub cleaning" cycle, I've tried washing a non-load with only hot water and vinegar, but alas the smell that emits when you first open the washer is just awful. (I do realize that perhaps no one else even is aware of the smell- although I bet you'll remember to smell the next time you open the washing machine after a load just to see what you think ;) )

Well, one unintended positive of said laundry soap I'll talk about in a minute is washing machine smells that no longer offends my senses!!  YAY!  

Now, let's talk laundry soap.  A large bottle from Target, WalMart, or where ever you choose to purchase you soap from is on average $10 per 100 fluid ounces, and about $15 or more for 150 fluid ounces.  I have found that often it feels like there is a buildup of something on my clothes, maybe it is the water where we live, I don't know.  Regardless, after hearing my mom and sisters talk about making their own laundry soap at a huge cost savings, and after reading multiple posts from pinterst, I decided to give it a try. 

Here is what you need:
1) Container to hold the laundry soap. 
2) One container of Borax
3) One container of Washing Soda
4) One bottle of Dawn dish soap
5) Water

The steps:
1) Put one gallon of water into the container that will hold the laundry soap.
2) Add 1/4 cup of Borax
3) Add 1/4 cup Washing Soda
4) Add 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap
5) Mix

When I mixed mine I ended up with a lot of bubbles, they settled on their own throughout the day and really soap is supposed to bubble.  It has a little bluish tint to it- don't be alarmed by this it is supposed to be this way.  I've been using 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of detergent per load depending on the size.  Here is what I notice:
1) The clothes feel clean
2) There is no smell (other than smelling fresh) left on the clothes as they come out of the drier.
3) The smell that I always notice from opening the washing machine is NO LONGER there - I wonder if it is from chemicals from store bought detergents?? Hmm. What's your thought?
The final product

4) Huge price savings!!  I haven't calculated it out yet but for just under the cost of one bottle of detergent the ingredients will results in approximately 8 to 10 bottles of homemade detergent.  This is an estimated cost savings of $90!

While making your own homemade laundry soap isn't for everyone, it certainly has proved to have more pros than cons for me.  No more smelly washing machine and brighter cleaner feeling clothes for me!

Monday, October 27, 2014

43:52 {curiosity}

Motivational Monday

A sense of curiosity is nature's original school of education.
-Smiley Blanton

Being that this blog marks 43 of 52 means that there are only 9 more weeks to go for this years blog circle.  I've posted my share of dog pictures, which I am doing again.  

Dogs really are curious creatures.
Snowy is more curious than Nadia when it comes to water.
I took the follow a week or two prior.

I originally thought of children for this quote
but my children at this time happen to be four legged and furry.

Nadia trying this swimming thing out for the first of her own accord.  Her curiosity came from watching her sister Snowy.

Snowy is curious about many things.

Nadia considering taking another dip in the lake.

Snowy's curiosity got the best of her when she tried to find rocks under the water.

Monday, October 20, 2014

42:52 {seriously...lightly}

Motivational Monday

Take your work seriously but yourself lightly.
-C.W. Metcalf

I cannot speak about the specifics of my work, there are privacy policies in place.
I can tell you I take my work seriously.

Photography as a hobby allows me to be a little lighter at times,
as evidenced here, in this self portrait...

Monday, October 13, 2014

41:52 {anchors & hopes}

Motivational Monday

A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor a life on a single hope.

This quote reminds me of a good friend. Lee.  While Lee has many Lee-isms, one of the more common quotes I've heard from him in conversation is, "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not why it's built".  This relates to this weeks quote from the same view point that a ship has an anchor to help stabilize but it should not rely only on the anchor for safety or longevity of the journey.  Just as it is important that one does not live their life with only one earthly hope.  Lee is not one who anchors his life on one hope.  If I lived closer to Lee I would have dropped in this week to take a photo of him to go along with this post.

Instead, I anchored my focus on the famous nose of Nadia.

oh that cute little button nose

I think I'll have it imprinted and made into a necklace pendant.

Nadia is one of my life's anchors.  Outside of hopes that can be seen on earth, I do have one main hope that extends beyond life; that when my body ceases to function that my soul would be heaven bound.

Monday, October 6, 2014

40:52 {knowing vs. understanding}

Motivational Monday

There is a great difference between knowing a thing and understanding it.
-Charles Kettering & T.A. Boyd

I know this is an electrical cord to my computer....

I do not understand very well how electricity works.

I know that these are my feet and that I have an autoimmune disease...

I do not understand why in the fall of each year, my feet and other joints are in extreme pain.  I furthermore do not understand why I have an autoimmune disease.

Monday, September 29, 2014

39:52 {conscience}

Motivational Monday

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
-French Proverb

Nadia is also soft.  Her whiteness is as pure as as clear conscience.

Monday, September 22, 2014

38:52 {act your age... or not}

Motivational Monday

The older you get the more important it is to not act your age.
-Asleigh Brilliant

While I have in nearly all cases asked permission to post pictures on the blog this is one case in which I have not.  This is not acting my age.  Age would tell me that it is the best thing to ask a brother if you can post a possibly embarrassing photo of him on my blog before doing so, but I didn't.  Although it was not from lack of attempt... he didn't answer his phone.

Adam does not act his age, always.  This is partially what makes him such a unique individual.  He still will come up behind me, pick me up, and spin me around.  Age would tell him that he should probably ask before doing so but he doesn't.  

Age should also tell you that eating directly out of the serving salad bowl at a wedding reception is not appropriate unless you are two and don not know any better... but that is exactly what I did this weekend when my sister got married.  In this case, it was excusable and allowable.

thought for the day...

Act the songs of your heart, not the age of your brain.

Monday, September 15, 2014

37:52 {learning}

Motivational Monday

Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask a questions, never know too much to much to learn something new. 
-Og Mandino

I've asked many questions in the past week.  Many questions specifically about how I can access the technology I need to best serve my students.  My student ages are a bit different this year.  For the past 11 or so year my students were between the ages of 0 years to 6+ years old.  My students this year are young adults.  Teaching at the University level is a bit different that E-12 level.  If I'm too big to ask questions I'm sure not to have a job in the future.

My new setup

I observe my students during their clinicals, I can speak to them from my office through technology and see their every movement.

Monday, September 8, 2014

36:52 {memories}

Motivational Monday

You never know when you are making a memory.
-Rickie Lee Jones

In my experience it has been more often than not that the best memories come from unexpected circumstances.  Photographed below are pictures from an expected trip to Anitgua.  I'm sure the color of the flowers that awed me and other small details will fade from my memory at some point.  There is one memory that I hope stays with me forever.  It is the memory of a feeling.  The feeling of snorkeling in a small tropical storm, feeling the cool rain drops on my back but having the rest of my body immersed in the gloriously warm bath water of the ocean.  I knew we had scheduled a boat tour which included snorkeling but I did not expect this boat tour to continue in spite of a very small tropical storm.  There are plenty of other memories from this trip.  One significance is that these are the first memories made as Mrs. Robinson.

Mr. & Mrs. Robinson


I could have stayed in this hammock for hours. 

Flowers were everywhere in Antigua

I found this one to be particularly beautiful

Horseback riding: I was very concerned about the horses.  I didn't want to go if they didn't take good care of their animals.

Wonderfully warm relaxing weather, never once did I feel it was too unbearable.
On a side note, one other thought that comes to my mind in considering this quote it to always be cognizant of the words we chose to communicate with, because we do not ever know when we are making a memory.  That memory could be someone else's memory of their impression of you.  Cheers!

Head on over to Anita's

Monday, September 1, 2014

35:52 {Change}

Motivational Monday

If you don't like how things are, change it!  You are not a tree.
-Jim Rohn

This quote makes me laugh.  I read ahead on our blogging quotes a few weeks back, so now when I find myself having a hard time accepting a change or when I find myself not liking something, all I can do is picture myself as a tree; then I laugh.

Change is something I have come to be accustomed to over the past two years; but even more so within the past 8 months.  And no doubt change is HARD at times.

October 2012: I started a Master's Program in Forensic Psychology

January 2013: My dog Nadia and I moved to our own place after living with wonderful roommates for a number of years.

April 2013: Diagnosed with C-diff after having two months of GI difficulties without a known reasons, and multiple trips to the ER. The infection hung around for 6 months.

August 2013: C-diff was finally cleared.

March 2014: Engagement to Robert Robinson.

March 2014: Due to leasing agreements or rather lack of flexibility with lease agreement Nadia and I moved in with my sister and her family- as our wedding was planned for August.

May/June 2014: Pondered for a very long time about a very hard decision regarding my job at the Minnetonka Schools.  In the end I was granted a leave for a year as I would be moving to Duluth, MN following our wedding.

June 2014: Started the last semester for a Master's in Forensic Psychology.  Continued plans for our wedding.

June 2014: Started research for my final project.  Interviewing and Interrogations specific to false confessions took up a lot of my time.

June 2014: Accepted a position to be a tele-therapist in Arizona.

July 2014: Applied, interviewed, was offered, and accepted a position at the University of MN-Duluth to work as a clinical instructor.

July 2014: Quit the position as a tele-therapist before I even started.

July 2014: Continued my research on Interrogations and Interviewing

August 2014: Wrote and passed a seven day comprehensive exam for my degree in FPys.

August 2014: Travelled to San Marcos Texas to watch my sister Jodi graduate with her PhD.

August 2014: Finished a 50 page paper on False Confessions as a result of Interviewing and Interrogation Methods.  Heard from the professor that I have successfully completed all requirements for my Masters.  In October I will participate in a hooding ceremony for my second Master's Degree.

August 2014: Continued planning for the last minute details of the wedding.

August 2014: Moved the rest of my belongings to Duluth, MN where Robert and I will reside.

August 2014: Started work at UMD 5 days prior to my wedding.

August 30, 2014: Married Robert and became Rachael Robinson.

Throughout this entire process I faced many instances where the change was overwhelming and I found myself being negative or doubting my decisions.  I could write about this but I won't.  Instead I want to say how fortunate I am to: 1) have Robert, 2) have friends and family, and 3) have the ability to recognize when I need to change my cognitive thought processes to be positive.

We are not trees.  And yes, if we want something to change, the change agent needs to be us.  Below are pictured three of the wonderful women I have in my life who add to my life, support me when I decide to pull up roots and move.  These three women helped make August 30, 2014 special, even after my hair fell apart and went flat from the rain.

Jodi (sister) aka Doc

Nicole (bestie friend) AKA The Angel

Greta (sister) AKA My heart twin
Change is a lot easier when you are surrounded by your support system.  Bottom line is you can't change the change, but you can change your perspective and attitude towards the change.  Cheers!

Monday, August 25, 2014

34:52 {Ishpeming}

When you finally go back to your old hometown,
you find it wasn't the old home you missed
but your childhood.
-Sam Ewing

Dear Sam-

I disagree with you on this quote.  I didn't have a particularly terrible childhood, I was however bullied and subsequently faced a number of years of depression.  I think of myself as a fortunate one.  One who was able to overcome depression, albeit, at times with the help of pharmaceuticals, but mostly with the help of 'talk therapy'.  So no, I do not miss my childhood.  I am much wiser and happier now than I ever was as a child.

Now, onto my hometown.  I grew up in Ishpeming, Michigan.  While my parents and a couple siblings still reside in Ishpeming, I have no specific connection other than that.  It was a fine place to grow up.

Ishpeming is situated in the Upper Peninsula.  Now, the Upper Peninsula is something that I often miss.  There is a saying that goes something like this, "all good things have roots in the U.P.".  While I cannot for the life of me remember where I heard that, I will take it.  In the U.P. you can find peace and solace from the busyness of life.  Surrounded by water and woods, there may not be a more beautiful place to be.  Finland, as in the country, rivals this.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

{clovers galore}

As I stood here looking out the kitchen window,

I spotted a pentagon looking back at me.
To investigate I went,
what I found was clovers galore.

Seven fives and...

eleven fours.

Friday, August 22, 2014

{Moon Sand}

Friday afternoon fun...

I told my nephews they could have a stay at home day with Auntie today, instead of going to day care.  Our morning activity of choice was Moon Sand.  It was super easy to make and provided them with nearly an hour of uninterrupted play.  This is what it takes....

1- container large enough to hold...
8 cups of flour

you will also need 1 cup of baby oil

Mix them together

And you get "Moon Sand" or "Cloud dough" as some call it.

These were just a few of the utensils they used.
While "Moon Sand" is available to purchase at most stores such as Target, it was a fraction of the cost to make and the kids loved mixed it together.  I suppose if you wanted you could add a few drops of food coloring to make it colored.  I split the batch into three different containers so that each child had their own to play with.  

***Be prepared for a mess.  If you do not like messes, I would not recommend this activity for you (I still would for your kids though). 

Monday, August 18, 2014

33:52 {people, purses, a red dress, and God}

Motivational Monday

Your talent is God's gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift back to God.
-Leo Buscaglia

My talent is people or perhaps it is approachable-ness, but then again maybe neither is.  Two weeks ago I was in TJ Maxx and I was approached by a short old lady who went on to tell me how angry she was with herself because goll-darn-it she didn't buy the purse she saw the last time she was there and now it's gone.  She further explained that she convinced herself she didn't need a purse and she really didn't like the purse because it had a long strap on it.  And being a short lady with a purse with long straps meant that it hung down around her knees.  Although she decided she didn't really like the purse apparently she really wanted it, and it made her angry that she didn't purchase it when she initially saw it.

This is just one example of the many stories I could tell of different people approaching me to tell me basically nothing, or sometimes to give a compliment, or to share their bad news.  A month before the short old lady with the purse, I was in the same store and was approached by a women of middle age, who came in the store to seek me out.  She approached me quite awkwardly, looking me up and down and once again and the proclaimed, "I watched you walk in.  I have to tell you the dress and outfit you are wearing is quite beautiful."  I said thanks and went on my way.  Part of that outfit is shown in the picture below, the red dress.  While I had a scarf and my hair down quite differently that day, the dress is the same.

I consider people a talent, although I'm not quite sure it is.  You see, I can also be aloof and standoffish.  This happens when I am assessing others' behaviors or frankly when I don't want to be social.  I'm not always entirely sure how this gift gives back to God but at times I have walked away from situations as described above (only more personal information was shared) believing that I at least provided unbiased listening and no response to someone in need.  As isn't always the situation that sometimes we just want to vent without repercussions and/or judgement?  Who better to do that to than a complete stranger?

The red dress which prompted a stranger to follow me into TJ Maxx
and just for fun, here's a dragonfly that has nothing to do with this post.

go see what her gifts are...

Monday, August 11, 2014

32:52 {remember when}

Motivational Monday

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. 
-Pioneer Girls Leaders Handbook

My sister Lori is famous for starting phrases out with "Remember when..."  which usually ends up in a hardy laugh.  I spent the weekend with her in San Marcos, Texas for our sister Jodi's graduation.  There were plenty of times we were laughing.  If you're ever in a funk Lori is almost sure to bring you out of it.  Here's to finger glasses, Lori, and the phrase "You're even funny at [insert time]".  Not only is Lori a sister but she is a friend- who sometimes won't let me forget.

My sister Lori

She's even funny at 10:25 p.m. (inside joke)
 Lori and I, along with our parents, went to celebrate Jodi's graduation.

We went to her graduation: Jodi P Lampi, PhD.

For those who care to know, Jodi is the first PhD in Development Education to graduate from Texas State San Marcos, and also the first PhD in Developmental Education in the United States of America.  So proud of you Jods!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{four-leaves: luck or science?}

There is a lot of superstition associated with finding, keeping, and/or the giving of a four-leaf clover.  It is said by some that finding a four-leaf clover is a chance of 1 in 10,000 and even greater for a five leaf clover; 1 to 1,000,000.

I've found both multiple times in my life.  So, being a realist that I am, I feel finding clovers is more of a science than chance.

A fiver and a four
Then again, according to my mother I was an en-caul birth which is fewer than 1 in 80,000 and those born en caul are said to be lucky, amongst other things.  So, maybe it is chance...

or perhaps it is just looking for the square or pentagon instead of a triangle in a clover patch.

Do you see the square?
I did not pick these clovers today.  I left them there to see if others would find them.

31:52 {friends}

Late-Motivational Monday

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.
-Ed Cunningham

I had a number of people in mind that I would photograph for this quote and unfortunately they do not live close to me or were unavailable for a shoot.  When in the company of these listening friends, coffee is generally involved.  So a cup of coffee stood in for the shoot in honor of all my friends.

Within each visit--Friends: 2; Coffee consumed: maybe 4 cups; Friendship: immeasurable.
I took this photo using a DIFF filter which basically is a special effects filter.  I'm not entirely sure I like the grainy effects.  Regardless, I'll offer this challenge today, call/email a friend you haven't seen/talked to in a while, or someone you've been thinking about.  Then comment below on how you felt after the visit.  I've been trying to think of a good word that describes a visit to a friend whether you are listening or talking, but have been unable to come up with that one or one to two words.

Monday, July 28, 2014

30:52 {life}

When I was a child, love to me was what the sea is to fish; something you swim in while you are going about the important affairs of life. -P.L. Travers

This quote strikes a minor cord with me.  Love is the sea that children should swim in as they are learning and growing.  Perhaps given my studies, I am too acutely aware that not all children swim in the sea.  Regardless here are photos of children (and I can't forget the dog(s)) who swim in love daily.

Happy little guy...

Nadia isn't ever forgotten in the "love sea" at this household...
To my nephew, this is his garden.  To the adults this is a patch of weeds.  My nephew has put a sign in his garden.  The adults smile and encourage his play.  To not ever mention that they are weeds growing; is love.

Nadia would love nothing more than to be human; or perhaps I am humanizing her.  This is her attempt at climbing the steps to the slide.

Here my nephews bask in love by having their dad take time to read each of them a story they have chosen.

Sometimes the sea of love shows up in not getting reprimanded when you've been told not to put legos in the water.  To my nephew the lego boat belongs in water.

Shaggy is part of the "love sea".

And sometimes love shows up in just having your parents sit and watch you play.