Saving on Your Winter Heating Bill Tips pt 2

Hi everyone! I’m back to continue talking about things I have done to save on my heating bill.

heat miser!

heat miser! (Photo credit: picturemommy)

4) Turn down the thermostat even further when you are going to be away from home for more than a few hours and at night/day (if you work nights) when you are sleeping.

4) Use comforters and blankets on your bed.

5) Install a programmable thermostat.

New Thermostat

New Thermostat (Photo credit: super-structure)

Do not believe that mess when the utility company says that it costs more to get the house up to the higher temp that you set when you get home than to leave the thermostat set at 68 degrees or whatever 24/7/365. That is a bunch of BS!

Remember what I said earlier, the more you use the more you pay.  Based on that, you should immediately see why they would tell you to leave your furnace set on a constant temperature all the time.  Now I’m not saying shut the unit off…do NOT do that.  What I am suggesting is to take it down to about 50 degrees, maybe 55 if you are in a very cold climate, to insure that your water pipes in the house don’t freeze which will cause them to burst. Then you’ll really have a problem…a very expensive one at that.

When I committed to doing this in the last 4 years I saw a difference in my heating bill.  Yes, the house will be quite chilly when you get back home, so just keep your coat on if you need to ’til the house starts to warm up which may take about 30-45 minutes.  This is a heck of a lot cheaper than heating an unoccupied house at the same temperature as if you were at home.  Now if you just like donating money, do what I’m suggesting here, and when you see the savings, contact me and I’ll give you my PayPal info so you can send the money to me. I can assure you, I’ll put the money to good use. 🙂

The more you use, the more you pay.

Bedding comforter or duvet. Français : Couette...

Bedding comforter or duvet. Français : Couette (literie). Deutsch: Daunendecke, umgangssprachlich Federbett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The same principle applies to when you are sleeping at the end of your day. That’s why I mentioned using comforters on your bed in addition to blankets. Comforters are pretty much like a sleeping bag, just not closed in like one. If you’ve ever slept in a sleeping bag outdoors when it’s cool or cold, you’ll be surprised at how warm you are while sleeping. That’s because you are the heater inside the bag as a human’s body temperature is around 98.6 degrees.

Yeah, it’s pretty cold when you gotta get up and go to the restroom in the middle of the night, but look at it like this. You won’t completely wake yourself up ‘cuz you won’t be messing around.  You’ll want to get back into that warm bed you just got out of as fast as possible.  Once you get used to it, it becomes second nature. And you’ll be glad when you get your bill.

The more you use, the more you are going to pay. Yep, I tend to repeat myself as I don’t want you to forget this. 😉

As far as having to get up to start your day in a cold house, well that’s where a programmable thermostat is very helpful. For the price and the convenience, they are very inexpensive and pretty easy to install yourself. In fact I, (not my husband who was my SO at the time) installed my thermostat 12 almost 13 years ago and it still works great.

You can set the thermostat to have the furnace come on and go off at certain times of the day. The one I have you can program individual settings for all 7 days of the week. Pricewise, it was the mid  range at the time but for the amount of money I have saved on my heating bill and when I was using AC, it has paid for itself many, many times over.

Finally, only heat the room you are occupying to a comfortable temperature. 

Now how in the world do you do that you ask?

Well stay tuned as I’ll cover that in the next post.

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Saving on Your Winter Heating Bill Tips pt 1

Hey everyone! As we are in the winter season, I wanted to share some things that I have been doing for many years to save on my heating bill during the winter months. As I mentioned in an earlier post about air conditioning, I refuse to give the utility companies any more than necessary.

Here we go:

1) Weather strip around doors, windows etc. Place heavy curtains and/or layers of curtains on windows.

We want to keep all that heat you are paying for inside the house and you’ll want to do this to your interior doors as well. In another post I’ll talk a bit about what I’ve done to the bottom of my interior doors.

2) Start training your body by setting the thermostat a few degrees lower than you’ve been accustomed to, going even lower on days when there is a warm spell.

thermostat

thermostat (Photo credit: Joelk75)

3) Dress in winter clothing ie sweaters, long johns, etc and in layers.

That should be common  sense right? However, I hear folks complain about how high their heating bills are, saying that the gas/electric company will charge you whatever they want to charge you. Yet when observing them at home, they are walking around in short sleeves, tank tops, shorts with the thermostat set on 80-85 degrees or higher.  Really?!!

Yeah it sounds like I’m criticizing but it makes no cents (pun intended) to have the house like it’s summer in the winter and winter in the summer. Of course it’s your choice but don’t complain about it when the bill comes each month.

Now I grew up in a cold area of the country. The first place was old apartment building that was probably built around the 1920’s or 1930’s with those cast iron radiators

An old-style household radiator.

An old-style household radiator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and before each individual apartment had thermostats. You knew when it was 10:00 pm without looking at a clock because you would hear a hissing sound indicating that the heat was being turned waayy down. Take a bath at 11:00 pm or after if you want to…I guarantee it would be a fast one and the last one ‘cuz you’ll be freezing your behind off.  I can also guarantee you that the temperature was set not high enough for you to be able to walk around in short sleeves or just one layer of clothing during the day/evening either.

A few years later my folks bought a two flat apartment building. We lived in one apartment and rented out the other one. It was a bit newer than the apartment where I spent my 0-12 years of age I think, but still old because there was only one boiler/furnace to heat both apartments so of course the thermostat was in our place.  I almost forgot, it had radiators too. The furnace was a huge oil unit located in the basement and looked like something that would reach out and grab you if you got too close. You could look through the window on the front and see the flames/oil burning. Honestly, it was scary! lol

Anywhoo…my father would have the heating oil company come out and fill the two large tanks in July or August as it was cheaper to do it in the summer months. I mentioned before, I grew up in a cold part of the country which means the winters are long. Much longer and colder than where I currently live.  That oil had to last us and our tenant ALL winter. If the oil company had to come out during the winter, you’d pay almost double for each gallon of oil. If you read one of my How I Got Outta Debt posts, you’ll remember that money was tight…very tight. My father had a major heart attack just 2 months after he bought the place. So there was no dressing like it was summer time in the house in the winter…unless you wanted to shake what yo momma gave you.  I’m not talking about dancing either, though that is a great way to stay warm.

I told those stories because I’m not telling you to do something that I have not done or experienced myself. I still dress in layers including wearing more than one pair of socks on my feet while inside my home in the winter and I’ve been out of my parents house living on my own for almost 30 years. I even wear something on my head most days. Now that my hair is on my back, I feel warmer than I did in the early days of my locs so now I’ve got that added warmth. Back then, I had something on my head everyday during the winter/early spring months.

The less clothes you have on your body, the colder you are going to feel. The colder you feel,  the more apt you are to crank up the thermostat.  It’s much, much cheaper to put more clothing on.

Which brings me to the statement that I hear a lot… “They are gonna charge you what they want to”. This is true but only part of the statement is true. Yes, while they do have control of the rate of each kilowatt, cubic foot, gallon whatever you are being charged, YOU have control of how much you use/waste. The more you use, the more you’re going to pay.

4) If you are just watching TV, reading, on the computer, etc use a blanket, throw or something over your legs. Snuggies are really nice for this.  And, yes this is addition to your layers.

English: A woman models her Snuggie.

English: A woman models her Snuggie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Again, much cheaper to do things like this to make you feel warm. If you feel warm, you are less likely to want to crank up the thermostat. The lower the thermostat setting, the less money you will be charged and therefore have to pay. Yeah ,I know I said that already but we learn by repetition right?!

I’ll cover more in the next post.

It’s Herbal Tea Time!

Hey y’all! I hope that everyone is doing well.

I thought I’d share a tea that I’ve been drinking since the summer of 2011. What 2011?!! This is 2013!  I was reminded by a post from a wonderful friend of mine and health blogger Evelyn Parham last year I believe. Yeah, I’ve been holding out on y’all. Charge it to my head and not my heart as I really did forget to post about it.

So what’s in this tea? Here’s the rundown:

  • Hibiscus Flower
  • Elderberries

    Ripe elderberries (Sambucus) in Rochester, Min...

    Ripe elderberries (Sambucus) in Rochester, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Elder Flowers
  • Nettle
  • Oatstraw Tops
  • Lemon Balm

    English: lemon balm officalis saint andrews se...

    English: lemon balm officalis saint andrews sewanee school herb garden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Red Clover Tops

    Red Clover

    Red Clover (Photo credit: MFCarter)

  • Red Raspberry Leaf (I’ve been out of this for a while)

All are dried herbs except for the Lemon Balm which I have growing in a pot on my deck. If you’ve read some of my posts, you’ll notice that some of the herbs listed are herbs I use in my herbal hair concoctions. Yes, the very same herbs.

I put the herbs and water in a pot on low heat for min 30 min, sometimes longer. Now y’all know I’m not a stickler on measurements but I use the same spoon which is a little bigger than a teaspoon. I put in 4 parts (my teaspoon) of hibiscus, elderberries, and nettle, 3 parts of everything else and a few leaves of Lemon Balm. I let the pot cool down and place it in the fridge, straining  the plant material out in the next day or two. The boiler that I use yields about 40 ounces of tea.

The elderberries have some sweetness to them so the tea is sweet enough for me therefore I don’t add anything like honey, agave etc. And of course I drink this as my cold beverage.

What herbal teas are you guys drinking?


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Happy 2013! Leaving the Old Hair Attitudes Behind

Hey everyone! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are coming into the new year well.

Wow, it’s already 2013! I don’t know ’bout y’all but 2012 went outta here with a quickness.

this woman had incredibly long dreadlocks

this woman had incredibly long dreadlocks (Photo credit: supafly)

Y’all in 2013 we are still dealing with the thought that black women cannot grow long hair. Now I don’t consider my long and yes it’s longer than it’s ever been. Sadly, this backwards attitude is coming from the older generation.

I attended an annual family gathering and this one person has seen me every year since I started my braidlocks almost 4 1/2 years ago. Last year, this same person asked me if this was all my hair. And this year as soon as she saw me she said, “I can’t believe that your hair is that long”.

Huh…this is 2013 right?! ***shaking my head***  And to myself I’m saying, “Wait til you see me next year”.

There is another thing that I’ve heard that bugs me to no end. It’s the notion that older women should cut their hair short. Really?! What’s the reasoning behind that?

Are any of you still experiencing backwards attitudes towards your hair?

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Make Your Own Nyle Herbal Oil pt 2

In my last post I said I was going to talk about the reasons why I chose the method that I used to make an herbal coconut oil. So here I am, the one that you love. 🙂 Sorry but that 80’s song popped in my head as I wrote that. lol

Anywho…I was on Annie’s Remedies and stumbled across this page that talks about the different methods for making an oil infusion. “Great”, I said to myself!  After reading the entire page, I decided on the solar crock pot method. Wait a minute! That was not listed on the site so what in the heck are you talking about ?!! I know that’s what you are saying.   Let me explain. What I mean by that is I use the solar infusion method where you are putting the herbs and oils into your jar but instead of the Sun, a crock pot will be the heat source.

English: Slow Coooker/ Crock pot's parts This ...

English: Slow cooker/ Crock pot’s parts This photo depicts the major parts of a crock-pot, namely the heating component, the ceramic pot and a glass lid. This particular crock-pot is made by RIVAL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do it that way? I’ll tell ya. I liked the sound of the crock pot method but I did not want the hassle of having to transfer the heated oil and plant material from the crock pot into the jars. Ditto for the double boiler method.  Plus, the lady who gave me the inspiration to infuse my own oil burned herself. She was using the double boiler method. I don’t remember the exact details but the jar shattered after putting the hot oil into the jar. Needless to say I was not to keen on trying it myself.

Sooo, I thought about the solar infusion method. I liked the sound of the solar method but the only place where I get 6 or more hours of Sun is along my driveway which is in the front yard of my house. That means I’d have to put the jars out there everyday and remember to bring them in at night or the threat of rain etc. Not such a good idea and gives me more to do when I have to leave the house. Also the neighborhood cat

When It's an Auspicious Day, the Cats Will Play

When It’s an Auspicious Day, the Cats Will Play (Photo credit: Jezlyn26)

who’s a sweetie by the way, would probably think that the jars are toys so there’s no telling what would happen to them.  However, I liked the idea that once I got the herbs and oil in the jar that was it until I was ready to strain the material out for use. And I only have to handle hot oil one time.

So I though hmmm, maybe I can combine the two. I know that on low heat, my crock pot heats slowly and I did not have to worry the oil burning, the water going too fast and all that other jazz one must be concerned with in dealing with oil and a stove.  And since I to do my infusions in the winter, it doubles as a humidifier.  Now that’s true multi-tasking.  Love that!

OK, sounds great right but why does it take so long you ask?  I think it’s because of the low heat being used and the use of dried herbs.

Can you speed up the process by using high heat? Maybe, if  you are using oils that can tolerate high heat such as coconut oil.   But from my research on infusing oils and from talking to a herbalist, high heat destroys the herb. Of course I did not want to destroy the herbs otherwise what’s the point of doing herbal infusions, right?  I had previously done an herbal infusion by heating the herbs and oil for several hours but I was not impressed with the resulting oil. The second time, I left the herbs in for 8 weeks and 3 months. Again there did not seem to be any difference in the infused oil vs plain coconut oil. Maybe the infusion would turn out different if I had used fresh herbs.

Again why so long and why not use fresh herbs? I wanted a product that did not have any water content. When a product has water in it you have to contend with spoilage and I did not have nor want to have to deal with chemical preservatives. As I mentioned in the video, plants have a high water content when they are fresh. Using dried herbs lets me get around that to a degree because the water has been, of course dried out. I’m not a herbalist but my theory is because of the lack of water present, it takes awhile longer to get the herbs to release the good stuff. Remember the old school wine commercial quote ” A fine wine takes time”? I bet the same thing applies with herbal oil infusions…at least for me. The proof is in the pudding as I am continually amazed at how my locs feel and look after using my herbal oil infusion as opposed to when I was using virgin coconut oil straight. So this stuff is spiked, kicked up a notch… BAM. 🙂

In the last post, I forgot to include pics of what the oil looks like after the infusion process and 6 months or more of  “simmering”. lol

IMG_1779

 

This jar was done February 2012. Because I don’t need to use much on my hair and I did about 3 jars in 2010, I have not cracked this one open yet.

IMG_1771

This is the oil after the plant material has been strained out. Like the pic above the oil is somewhat solid because coconut oil goes from liquid to solid at temperatures below 77 degrees. The aloe powder settles to the bottom of the jar.

IMG_1778

Here is the oil when it’s above 77 degrees and the aloe powder mixed. As you can see it’s the very dark green/brown that I mentioned in the last post. That’s probably due to the aloe powder, nettle, hibiscus and sage. I have another herbal infusion that I’ve done that does not have those herbs but some of the others I mentioned and it’s a tan color.

In another post I’ll go into the why’s of each ingredient I decided to use as I did not do that in the videos I posted on here and on my YouTube channel.

 

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Make your own Nyle Herbal Coconut Oil pt 1

Red hibiscus

Red hibiscus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey y’all I promised in my post here that I would share my herbal coconut oil concoction. I did videos on my YouTube channel earlier last year but forgot to blog about it here.

The inspiration to make my own herbal oil came from  hearing about Vatika Coconut Oil, Nyle Herbal Hair Oil and the Profectiv Hair Strengthener. The Profectiv was given as a present to all the ladies at my husband’s family reunion in 2009.  I was already using Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil so I thought what if I could make my own Vatika, Nyle/Profectiv type oil using coconut oil.

The inspiration for the choice of herbs I used are from some of the ingredients listed on the jar of Profectiv Daily Anti -Breakage Hair Strengthner I had and the Nyle Herbal Hair Oil I had researched after hearing about it on YouTube. Back then the Profectiv was not an oil but a…well, I really don’t know how to describe it. It was a milky color with a slight pink tint and had a loose gel like texture. They were listed as extracts however I was impressed by the number of natural things in it like horsetail and sage . Glycerin was and still is in the product… but pretty high on the list back then. Nice for attracting moisture but I really dislike the sticky feeling it leaves on my hair. For me, it also attracts dirt, something I definitely did not want to do for my locs. And you were supposed to be using this stuff daily. I never bought the Nyle Herbal Hair Oil but it’s ingredient list showed it had hibiscus and fenugreek extracts along with coconut oil.

This was three years ago as I see now at the time of this post, the list of ingredients for the Profectiv has changed quite a bit. Currently,  Propylene Glycol is quite high on the list of ingredients with silicones following close behind. I’m not sure but I don’t think it was like that back then and if it was on the list it was close to the bottom. Otherwise I would have never used the product. It also has Lanolin, Olive oil and silicones that I don’t remember being in the product either. I think I’ve mentioned before that my hair does not like Olive Oil nor silicone.

That’s another reason why I wanted to make my own product because I know how companies for various reasons, will change the formulation of a product by adding cheaper chemicals. I wish that I would have kept the label on the jar of Profectiv so that I could see changes at the time of this post vs when I first did my concoction oil. I also think Nyle Herbal Hair Oil has changed their formulation as well because I don’t remember seeing mineral oil listed as an ingredient. No surprise really but…Wow!

The other inspiration was from research done on Anita Grant’s old website and other websites for information on herbs for dry hair.

Now, the trouble was I had no idea how to get the herbs into the oil. Thanks to a YouTube friend and subscriber and also Annie’s Remedies, I learned how to do herbal oil infusions. I would give y’all the link to her channel but I recently discovered she’s no longer on YouTube. 😦

OK, here’s what I came up with.

Ingredient list:

Virgin Coconut Oil – of course right?! However use whatever oil you like.

And the following dried herbs:

Aloe Powder
Benzoin Gum Powder
Burdock Root
Chamomile

English: Flower of a Yellow Chamomile (Anthemi...

English: Flower of a Yellow Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) Français : Fleur d’Anthémis des teinturiers (Anthemis tinctoria). Português: Flor de Camomila-dos-tintureiros (Anthemis tinctoria). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coltfoot Leaf
Comfrey Leaf
Comfrey Root
Hibiscus Flower
Fenugreek Seed Powder
Irish Moss
Calendula (Marigold) Flower
Marshmallow Root
Mullein Leaf
Patchouli
Rose Buds and Petals
Nettle Leaf

Sage

Sage

Sage (Photo credit: lord_bute)

Shavegrass (Horsetail)
Slippery Elm Bark
Violet Leaf
Citric Acid for preserving and

Glass jars w/lids (recycled ones are awesome) to hold all of the goodies.

Keep in mind if you want to follow the actual Vatika Oil or the Nyle oil ingredients, by all means do so. I wanted to use herbs that were readily available to me at my local health food store.

For those of you that have been with me for a while already know the answer to the question “How much of each do you use?” 🙂  For those of you who don’t, the answer is… I don’t have a set measurement amount. Heck, I hardly ever measure anything. lol However I will use the same spoon or whatever device I’m using and add more of some herbs like sage, rosebuds and nettle. I add according to what I feel like my hair needs. It’s also dependant on the size of the glass jar you choose.  Ok here are the intricate instructions:  😉

  1.  Put one round of all the herbs into the jar.
  2.  Melt the oil getting it nice and warm. You can do this while you are putting your herbs in the jar.
  3.  Pour some oil into the jar making sure to cover the herbs and mix very well.  It helps to use a folding method like you’re mixing ingredients for a cake or pie and a pumping motion. This insures that the herbs at the bottom get mixed in with the herbs at the top.  It also helps to get any air pockets out. See the note below.
  4. Add another round of herbs, then oil again covering the herbs and mix well.
  5.   Repeat step 4 until your jar is full and screw the lid on very tight.

See… It’s pretty easy but a little bit time-consuming.  If you’ve already scrolled down and watched the video you might have noticed that I’ve changed the instructions a bit. I remembered from the last batch I did ( the video is the filming of it) that it’s a little difficult to mix the oil and herbs when the jar is full of herbs. I’m thinking doing it in the way I have listed above should be easier.

Also it should help in making sure that you have the most amount of oil you can get in to be infused with the good stuff from the plant material. I guess because you are dealing with oil and not water it takes a bit longer for the oil to penetrate the plant material and absorb the oil. Heating the oil helps with this and so does the mixing.

***Note: be careful when mixing with a metal utensil as constant tapping on the bottom of the jar can cause it to crack!***

You’ll want to make sure that the finished jar has oil covering the herbs as this helps to keep the herbs from going rancid (spoiling).

To heat the mixture in the jars, I use an old crock pot, the kind with the ceramic insert. I put the jars in and fill it with water then turn it on the lowest setting of heat. I do this for 8 or more hours per day for 2 weeks. Then I label the jars with the date and put them aside to set for at least 6 months.

When that time has passed, strain out the plant material using a strainer to get the big stuff out. Re-strain using a knee-high stocking to get the smaller particles into your storage jar. You can add essential oils like lavender for further preserving and others for additional benefits for your hair or fragrance.

The resulting oil will be dark green almost brown in color. This will vary of course depending on the combination of herbs used to infuse into the oil.

In the next post I’ll cover why I chose to use this method. If you want to see how I do the infusion check out the videos below.

The same videos are available on my YouTube channel herehere.

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Daily Moisture and Sealing

Hey! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate it and if you braved the Black Friday crowds that you did not spend too much money.

I forgot to mention in my 4 year update that I’ve noticed that my hair was shedding. I remembered back in the day when I had a Jheri curl that my hair shedding had been reduced tremendously. Probably because of the activator and moisturizer that you had to put on it. Otherwise your hair would break off from being dry.

Jheri Curl Smile

Now I’m not trying in any way to revive those days but what I have been doing the past couple of weeks is to use a tiny amount of my herbal coconut oil (I’ll do  post on this soon) to seal the moisture in after my daily spritzing with water.  I decided to do this because I don’t use conditioner on my locs and I my oil has conditioning herbs in it.  And it’ll be a pre treatment prior to my weekly washing.  So yeah, I’m multi-tasking on my hair.  Love that!! lol

I’m really liking the way that my locs are looking and feeling. I even got a complement on my hair from a much older family member yesterday who does not like dreadlocks.  Y’all know how the older generation can be about natural hair, not to mention dreadlocks. But I’ll tell ya, you could have knocked me over with a feather as I was shocked!

You might not want to try this if your locs are still new. At least not daily as it could interfere with the locking process. But adding  moisture, oh yeah!

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What Inspires me to Blog?

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Blogging Heroes

Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What inspires me to blog? I do it for a number of reasons. I like sharing information as I’m interested in a wide and I do mean wide array of things. Now I was first inspired to start blogging about my braidlock/dreadlocks journey because I wanted to share my perspective as a middle age woman embarking on this journey. I wanted to show other middle age ladies and anybody else for that matter if they wanted small/micro dreadlocks that they too could have them.  Also I wanted to give back to the blogging community as they were my main source of information while researching how to start and maintain dreadlocks. Later, I started blogging about other topics as I believe everything is connected.

Community is the another reason why I blog. I love “meeting” and getting to know people who if I were not blogging, I would not otherwise get to communicate with. The wonderful people who comment live all over the country as I live in the US but I also hear from quite a few outside of the US. That is absolutely amazing to me!  And a blog is much more personable as people can comment to their heart’s content and not be limited to a few hundred characters. Oh man…the comments are like a goldmine. Many times I have gotten inspiration for new posts from the comments. One such comment inspired my “How I Got Out of Debt” series.

Middle Age Market -  - 06

Middle Age Market – – 06 (Photo credit: marcospozo)

It is my belief that each and every person has gifts/wisdom that is vital to the whole of civilization. In sharing what we know with each other we can make it through this thing called Life.  I talked about this from another angle in my post Diversity is Natural Law.   When I see a regular person has done something, it shows me that maybe it’s not so difficult. If I determine that I can’t or don’t want to do it that way,  I’ll take the info I can use and come up with what I can do. Then I blog about it, though not as often as I should as I’m kinda shy.

A voracious appetite for knowledge and the need to break out of my shell is  another reason why I’ve been inspired to blog…maybe I should look for the local Information Horders Anonymous. lol  Blogging has helped this shy person who thought she had nothing that anybody was interesting in hearing, blossom and grow.

Knowledge, gathered from real life experiences through making mistakes, or trying something new is POWER! POWER shared,  is true power indeed.  There is always something new to learn and share so I guess that means I will be blogging more. And I don’t mind that at all.

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4 Year Braidlock/Interlock Anniversary-Yeah It’s Late…real late

Hey guys! Popping in to share my 4 year braidlock anniversary and yeah, it’s real late. My braidlocks turned 4 years old on August 23, 2012. Y’all did get a bit of a preview of what they look like in July. I’ve mentioned it before that my hair growth is on the slower side of normal so there has not been a lot of change or growth since then.

You might be wondering why have in the title  braidlocks/interlocks. Well, I used braids to start the locking process and I interlock to maintain. I want that to be clear to anyone who might be reading and thinking about using this method to DIY  their own set of locs.

As far as any routine changes, not really. I’m interlocking the roots every other month at the start of the New Moon. And there happens to be one today…a Solar eclipse as a matter of fact.  I make sure that I finish before the Full Moon which is two weeks later.
That way I have plenty of time allow for entire day(s) interruptions or if I just don’t feel like being bothered 1 or more days.

It is one of the down sides of having a large number of locs…the maintenance time. But I don’t like the scalpy look and my hair is fine and thin so a small number of locs does not look good on me. That was my pet peeve when my hair was loose. I really did not like the overall look of my twists. And I had 190-200 of them on my head.

I don’t think that I wrote about it but last year I experimented with a 4 and 6 month interval between interlocking sessions. While I absolutely loved the long breaks especially the 6 month break, I did not like the additional amount of time I had to devote to retightening.  Also I was having trouble with my hair at the root staying in and with the correct loc.

I’m still washing weekly using raw African Black Soap and my herbal ACV for my scalp. I apply my herb infused coconut oil to my damp locs. I may or may not have mentioned it before, I completely air dry my locs. Meaning after rinsing, I do not use a towel or anything to get the water out of my locs. I let them dry on their own. I’ve found that my locs feel so much better after they are dry and still feel soft and moisturized the next day. And I’m still spritzing the locs pretty much everyday with water and a couple of drops of my favorite essential oils.

I’m still loving this journey and wish I had done this 8 years ago. Then I’d be  coming to you with my 8th braidlock anniversary instead of my 4th year anniversary! I’ll get there for sure and for those that are just starting out on your journey, you will get there too!

Ok, here’s a few pics I took at the beginning of last month. 

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