Getting back to basics – Living like it’s 1913 (or close enough for government use)

While I was told over 2 years ago that the effects of my tumor are permanent, I don’t feel that anything else in my life is.

2012 was my chance to get my first home working more towards my benefit,  as well get basic things organized. After moving every couple of years from apartment to apartment, forced to trash various non-essential possessions in order to fit into progressively (until Montana) smaller living spaces, having a home – even a mobile home – is a whole new way of living for me.

I threw myself into my home organizing, taking plenty of breaks, as one trip to urgent care was enough for me. I’m a constant revisionist when it comes to my living space, as I’m constantly thinking of new ideas to improve the use of free space. By the end of 2012, I had done quite a lot and was comfortable with how my house was. It was then time to turn my attention to something even more important – my health.

One of my main goals for 2013, is to simplify all the things that go on and into my body. This started with finding a natural alternative to sunscreen, as I inherited my mom’s sensitive skin (as well as my dad’s beard) and break out in hives no matter what brand I use, as they are all pretty much the same anyway. My mom, who’s about the healthiest person I know, sent me some natural sunscreen that works great, which solved that problem.

However, my mind quickly turned towards everything else I was using. Searching for a cure for my dandruff, I tried every single shampoo I could find. They would often work for a little while, then I’d have to switch. They stopped working at all by the time I was in my late 20’s. After doing research, I decided to try Castile soap.

The difference was immediate in terms of how my hair and scalp felt after showering, and continued when I woke up the next day and saw that my dandruff was still gone! It’s been several weeks, and still no sign of dandruff. This led me to believe that what I had might not have been so much dandruff, as it was an allergic reaction to the various shampoos I had been using for years and years.

I switched to Castile soap for my body as well and had the same wonderful reaction – or lack of reaction if you will – as the hours since showering passed and my skin wasn’t dried out. Once again, a simple change produced amazing results for my sensitive skin, and there’s no way I’d go back to regular soaps ever again.

I bought a container of “Charlie’s Soap Powder” around the time I bought several other natural products , and started using that for my laundry. Again, my allergic reactions to my clothes stopped quite quickly and I am now tasked with washing already clean laundry to get rid of the prior detergents that I so foolishly used. All in due time as, after all, a lot of my clothes are Winter clothes, since this IS Montana.

Earlier I mentioned that I inherited my dad’s beard in addition to my mom’s sensitive skin. Well, you can probably imagine what a combination that is when I have to shave. Once again, years and years of shaving with conventional razors (both disposable and electric), combined with pre/pro-shave liquids and a variety of shaving gels/creams. turned shaving into an uncomfortable exercise at best. It’s hardly a wonder that I preferred to let my beard grow out, rather than torture myself on a daily basis.

One would think an electric shaver would be the solution but, alas, I found that I had just as much irritation as using a blade. All the creams and splashes did nothing but make things worse.

Fast fact: It takes me a little over a week to go from “that guy needs to shave” (day 4) to “so you’re growing your beard out” (day 8). This is great when you’re 21 and trying to chat up a 30 year old “That’s right baby, Intel inside! All. night. long.”

Enter the safety razor. Long forgotten, along with the amazingly close straight razor, the safety razor doesn’t attempt to run multiple blades across your face, nor do you have to buy expensive cartridges for it. It does have a learning curve, as it’s not, at least for me, a quick once over and you’re done.

I am getting better though, and because I haven’t tried to force it by pressing down, I’ve yet to cut myself a single time. To contrast, I used to nick/cut myself quite often with the cartridge razors, partially because the blades wear out very quickly, especially when you have facial hair like mine.

This goes hand in hand with my search for natural pre-shave/ shaving cream products. Proraso has a three “lines” of products. Their “white line” is for people like me with very sensitive skin. I was wary of ordering both the pre-shave and the shaving soap, as I am not too trusting with things that are supposedly “great for sensitive skin”.

This was quickly squashed, as both products are quite nice. I got a badger shaving brush to go with the pre-shave and shaving soap and took off from there. I’m still learning the angles on my face, as my neck is quite tricky, but it is enjoyable as shaving one’s face can be, at least in comparison.

When I originally started to write this, I was going to write about each of the changes I made in this one big post. The problem with that, is besides making the post too long for my tastes, would also likely mean that my post would never get finished and, therefore, never published.

I plan on posting about each of the other changes, as well as elaborate on the ones I’ve mentioned in this post, in due time.

While I’ll continue to post about topics such as Syria, I am going to let this category be a counterbalance to the insanity of war and the economic situation. In fact going natural, besides helping my health, was/is also my way of transitioning away from big companies towards local/small companies.

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