Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The jolt of genetics

This makes me laugh.

I'm on the right in each collage,
and Karsten is on the left.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

On raising children as an introvert

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Before I had my first child 12 years ago, I worried about how I would balance my need for quiet alone time with the care of a baby. I have my skepticism toward those personality tests that purport to tell you who you are for all time, but I will say that every time I've taken one, the slider is always the full way over toward introversion. There are few people I feel wholly comfortable around, people I can sit in a room with and feel my batteries recharging rather than draining. By the time I had Mikko, I was down to one: my husband. How would a child fit into this system?

As it turns out, things were fine — for a while. Babies don't require a lot of back-and-forth. You can still have your thoughts while cooing their direction, nursing in long moments of stillness, changing diapers and giving baths.

It's more once they talk that you have to weigh how your conversational styles mesh. Do they enjoy long pauses? What toddler or preschooler does? Do they need time away from YOU? Very few little kids would voluntarily choose so.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Keep your kitchen scraps in the freezer: Prevent fruit flies & odors

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I was lamenting fruit flies on Twitter several years ago, and Teacher Tom stepped in to save me.

Seattle had decreed that all food and yard waste needed to go in the compost bin rather than the garbage. This was a change I could get behind as an eco-friendly ideal.

But the small kitchen waste bin the city handed out for collecting our kitchen scraps had two distinct problems: The smell of rotting food seeped out into our kitchen, and fruit flies gathered to feast. It didn't seem to matter how often we emptied the little container, and we even bought a fancier one with a locking lid and filter, with no accompanying improvement.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Another snowy day

Monday, February 18, 2019

My experiences on an anti-inflammatory diet to help hidradenitis suppurativa

I'm going to talk about health and food here. I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on this blog. Please consult a medical professional before diagnosing or treating any conditions you may have.

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

It started, or so I thought, with persistent ingrown hairs. They were red bumps in my bikini line that often grew swollen and painful, but every search result told me to be more careful about shaving and to try warm compresses. No matter that I barely ever shaved the area, I took it as fact that these were just a nuisance, even as they grew larger and numerous.

Then I had an open wound on my stomach. It was during hot weather, so I wrote it off as some sort of reaction to the heat and sweat. I felt embarrassed, really, that apparently my stomach folds weren't letting in adequate ventilation, and pledged to keep the area drier.

Then I got a small open sore in one armpit. That sent me Googling. I didn't have a knee-jerk reason for wounds in my armpit, even tiny ones like this.

It was that small sore that connected all the disparate symptoms. I didn't have ingrown hairs and severe heat rash and mystery sores. I had an autoinflammatory skin condition known as hidradenitis suppurativa, which I will abbreviate as HS for ease of reading. (You're welcome.)

HS was initially considered to be an inflammation of the sweat glands that caused leaking wounds (hence the mouthful of a name, if you want to consider the root etymology of hidra/sweat + aden/gland + itis/inflammation + suppurativa/weeping). It's now more accurately considered to be obstruction of the hair follicles, but tomato-scientific-jargon-tomahto. Whatever the internal workings, externally HS presents as painful swollen cysts that ultimately break to the surface and expel pus and blood, recurrent open wounds, and resulting scar tissue. To avoid traumatizing you further, I won't post any photos, but feel free to do an image search if you haven't eaten recently.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Snow day!

We're not used to snow around here, so we've been snowed in.

We're trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

Snow is yummy.