Thursday 16 May 2024

1st birthday adventure outing for Cani

For Cani's first birthday, an adventure outing. 

We had a mission to help Otto find some driftwood. 

Wide open, rocky, tall trees and very beautiful

We didn't make it to the Old George Dam and instead followed a beautiful stream in the forest. I haven't been here for a long time and it is a lot wider than I remembered. And absolutely beautiful. 

Rosy on my right. Cani on my left.


I took Cani and Rosy (Rusty went with granny Liz to the park). My pair of black dogs love water and adventures. For the first time Cani didn't try to nip Otto's leg. She even leapt from rock to rock alongside him. She is learning about having friends. Very proud of this agile adventure birthday girl.

Cani and Rosy


Back home, we rounded off Cani's birthday with doggy dessert. Super delicious home-baked liver treats topped with a dash of mashed potato frosting. Doggy equivalent of a chocolate torte. 

Home baked liver treat with mashed potato frosting for dessert.

And couch cuddles. Happy birthday little girl xxx

Loves for granny


Tired girl snoozing with her head on my arm xxx

Happy 1st birthday to my puppies

 I don't think I've posted about the three puppies that I fostered. The 4.5 months with them in my life, from August last year, was a bit of a blur. I did post about them on Facebook and I'll write about them here at some stage. I've had a post in mind of how one goes from one dog to six and then to four. haha haha

The short version is that I kept one of the puppies, Canada (I call her Cani). She has a bad heart condition and poor prognosis. She isn't expected to make more than two years. She has made her first birthday, and yesterday I celebrated the puppies' assigned birthday of 15 May with this post on FB.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Going sulfate-free shampoo - no more hair loss

Despite my hair being fast growing, for many years I have shed many hairs daily - certainly more than the 100-odd hairs that it is said we lose as part of normal hair loss. While the shedding feels less with shorter hair, and more with longer hair, I still felt that I was losing too much hair every day. A tangle in my brush and a wad in the shower daily. I always had little baby hairs on my hairline - and probably all over my scalp too. These were a clear indication that a sizeable of volume of hairs were constantly being replaced.

I had heard about some shampoo brands, including one that I used, being responsible for hair loss. After hearing this again a few months back, I turned to the internet.

The primary problem, it seems, is the sulfate ingredient in shampoo. Sulfates are responsible for that lovely foamy lather. On the ingredient list of most shampoos, you'll find sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfates. The shampoo that I had used for years contains both of these. 

It also contains a number of other ingredients - glycols, salt, silicones, artificial colourants, fragrances, and preservatives - that are skin irritants. This article explains the many shampoo chemicals. 

I never had an itchy, dry or dandruff scalp, but, because of the ingredients in my shampoo, my hair was subject to being stripped of its natural oils. The whole list of ingredients was responsible for making my hair dry, brittle, frizzy and weak, and affecting my hair follicles. Disruption to the protective keratin sheath around the hair shaft and follicle leads to hair loss too. With my sporty activities, I've generally been a daily hair washer, which increased by exposure to these damaging chemicals.

I headed to the shops to look for a sulfate-free shampoo. It took time to read the back of so many bottles, but finally in the African hair-care section I found a shampoo that is free of petroleum, paraben (preservative), sulfate and silicones. 

I've been using this Mango & Marula shampoo (by 'The Perfect Hair' brand) for about two months now. Of the no-no ingredients, it does contain propylene glycol, but this seems to be the lesser of the evils. It is priced similarly to most shampoos. The only other sulfate-free shampoo that I found was an expensive salon brand.

Within a week or two of using this shampoo, I had significantly less hair loss. My hair was longer then so I noticed the difference quickly in my brush and when washing my hair. The reduction in shedding has continued and I have very little hair loss now - I would say even below the requisite 100-odd hairs a day.

Without the sulfates, my shampoo does not foam. It takes a while to get used to this as it initially feels like your hair is not getting washed. But this sulfate-free shampoo seems to do its job.

My hair feels soft and healthy. The baby hairs on my hairline have grown significantly and I can only assume that this is happening all over my scalp.

I'm still using the same conditioner - to finish the container, but I'll look at changing to something from the same range as that shampoo. I'm that impressed.

Not my brush, but you get the idea. This is a drop in the ocean compared to what I was losing daily.


Wednesday 8 May 2024

Days of Running: Day 7

The first week has gone by in a flash and I'm feeling good, like really good, for this week of running. I ran on the roads at night, I ran trails, I ran parkrun, I ran on my own, I ran with Rosy, and I ran with friends. It has been a good week.

This year, my birthday challenge is really taking me back to the first year (when I turned 35) and also to my years of growing up and living in Jo'burg where I ran the suburb streets in the day and at night for many, many years - and how I loved the dark and the sounds and smells of the neighbourhood and meals being cooked. I'd almost forgotten about this.

I've been logging my runs on Strava, which should give me a lovely record to look back on.

Monday evening: the still dam during the GTR Social Run