March 21st, 2008


guate and running away (or not)

In my recent longing for warmer weather, I've also found myself experiencing the deep nostalgia for Guatemala in general and Xela in particular that I get from time to time. It's nearly three years since I've been there, and though I've vaguely kept up on the news from the school by way of Claudia, my friend and former teacher, and who I see whenever I get to San Francisco, it's a far cry from being there. Mango season starts in a couple of weeks, and how much would I love to walk up to the market and buy myself a handful of Rosita mangoes (an actual variety) and sit on the crazy tall curb to eat them in the sunshine?

Maybe it's because I feel like so much is up in the air and the temptation to flee the country again is awfully strong. It worked so well last time as a way to change my life, and as a big project, it was great. Of course, a good argument could be made that grad school is certainly a great, big project, and there's a strong possibility that in a few years, I'll look back on it, too, as a life-changing event, if somewhat less dramatic. But that doesn't change my desire now to dash off to a more immediate and viscerally exotic locale.

Day to day things there were really hard. One of the things I remember when I got back to the US is going out to run errands and finding myself practicing the things I'd need to say for various interactions at the bank, post office and grocery store, before realizing that they would all be in English, and, you know, I didn't need to make sure before going in that I knew all the right words. It's a little weird to say I want things to be hard in that way for a while, in part because the ways things are actually hard for me these days are so very differently hard. But, really, I think it's just that running away right now sounds pretty nice.

experiments in lotion!

I'm playing around with making lotions. A couple of weeks ago, I made two: one with rosewater, jojoba oil and mango butter, and the other with coconut oil, jojoba and mango butter.

The first, I made in a blender, which I had not properly assembled, so my nice, rose scented lotion mostly ended up all over the counter and floor. Oops. I rescued enough to use after a shower, but I don't really feel like one use is a full test, so I'll have to try again with rosewater at some point. The scent also didn't last all that long, which is actually fine, but sometimes I want the nice smelling part of the lotion to last longer, so I'll have to figure that out.

The second, since I had made a mess of the blender, I made with a stick blender, and though I think the regular blender is a better option, this worked fine, and I'm really pleased with the result. Coconut oil has a coconutty scent, itself, so it's very, very lightly scented, but, as with the rosewater, it doesn't particularly last. It's a great texture, very light and silky, and I'm totally pleased with it.

I have this theory that I might be able to make lotions with scents by adding perfumes, or, probably even better, perfume oils at some point in the process. But I'm very satisfied with my product in this first round!

Unfortunately, it takes a while to go through 10 oz of lotion, so my experimenting is somewhat limited. If you might be willing to be a guinea pig for me, I'd love to hear from a handful of you who would exchange reviews of (unscented) lotions in exchange for small samples of several variations. (Local people get preference, and if lots and lots of you are interested, I'm just gonna pick a few of you, because I'm lazy. If this all works out, I'll happily sell or gift lotion to you once I know what I'm doing a bit better.)