UD, cookery, desert dreaming

I was all harried yesterday with work, but between home practice and insanity in the office, I decided to post and ask you all for pictures of UD. Part of me felt dorky for asking, but I decided to just go with it.

I’m so happy I did! I got some really helpful pictures via links and emails. Thanks, you guys! I am a visual learner and seeing your different pictures is quite instructive.

And reading the different explanations people sent is also instructive.

And reading everyone’s comments was wonderful. Thanks for your humor and your insights and just your general community. And now I know what manties are.

I’m an instructional designer by trade, and part of our process is to analyze the input of a number of SMEs (subject matter experts) in order to extract general principles as they apply to a specific learning audience. In this case, you all are the SMEs, and I am the very specific audience.


My list of things to do today is short and very pleasant and included some cooking and some shopping.


  • Whole wheat artisan bread dough
  • Turnover dough for Sunday turnovers
  • Shopping

  • Salt or sugar scrub
  • As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the definition of vata. So I have really dry skin. It’s been pretty flaky lately, so I wanted to get some body scrub. Without any chemicals. A little online research to decide if I wanted salt or sugar scrub came up with no criteria for rating one over the other, but I did come across some recipes for homemade scrubs.

    Well, duh, right? What could be easier? It’s just sugar or salt in an oil suspension. The reason you buy it at the store is so you can get a nice package and some extra chemicals or fragrances.

    I decided to make my own. Both salt AND sugar versions.

    Salt Scrub

    1 cup sea salt (I mixed large and small crystal salt)
    Organic extra virgin coconut oil (enough to bind it all together in a paste)

    Sugar Scrub

    1 cup brown sugar
    Organic extra virgin coconut oil (enough to bind it all together in a paste)

    Okay, that was easy. It smells terrific, costs pennies, and I didn’t even have to leave the house. And the dog licked the sugar scrub mixing spoon and thought it quite yummy.

    Then she licked my feet where I tried out the salt scrub. Seemed to think that was quite good, too.

    I will have smooth skin and be tasty to dogs. What more can I ask for?


    Before dough mixing, I’m off to read my “Residential Landscape Revitalization Workbook” which I downloaded from the city of Scottsdale website. The dirt yard will slowly be transformed. But not until I’ve done my “Analysis of Existing Conditions,” and chosen a design scheme (“Nativescape” is looking like a winner).

    I love this booklet! Step 5 is “Implement the Landscape Plan,” and includes sections on “Order of Installation,” and “Maintaining Your Vision.” It’s a really well-designed booklet.

    In the end, I hope to have a back yard that looks like undeveloped desert.


    6 Responses

    1. That can’t be too difficult to have a backyard that looks like an undeveloped desert, right? Much easier than maintaining the bright green grass of which we Easterners are so fond, no matter how much we like to be ecologically green. i would love to replace some of my grass with stone walkways and natural brush…it’s just that it would cost such a heap of money, more than simply maintaining my grass. On the bright side, there’s about an acre of lawn that we only mow every other week. That is our contribution to “green”, I guess.

      Now, can you remind me why you got rid of your pool…in Scottsdale, AZ? That is quite unusual, no?

    2. We didn’t use it, so we decided to get rid of it. All it was doing was using up water and electricity, and I didn’t get into it once last year, and my husband used it occasionally, just so he wouldn’t feel bad that it was there. If even the dog had gotten some use out of it, we’d have kept it, but it was just a resource black hole. Interestingly, when I mention to people around here that we’ve filled it in, almost all are very curious to find out how that works and what it costs, etc. Seems like a lot of people don’t use their pools. Back in the day, pools were just part of every house that got built in this part of town. Seemed necessary. But I think lots of people have realized they don’t actually use their pools all that much.

      As far as making the yard look like undeveloped desert — you’d think it’d be really easy, right? But right now I’m researching all the plants that can survive with natural precipitation and how they relate to each other and which need some shade and which need none, etc. Mostly it’s a puzzle about how to lay them out in relation to the sun/shade patterns of the back yard.

      And I’m trying to find the plants that contribute most to the way the desert smells after a rain, which is a very distinct and lovely smell. So far, I know it’s partly creosote and turpentine bushes. And I want to have the environment be attractive to the native birds, so I’m trying to find out what kind of flowering bushes and berries they like.

    3. one thing to be careful with the homemade scrubs is that you don’t slip on all the oil if you are in the tub or shower. i speak from the experience.
      i have a neutrogena scrub that i like, and a body shop one that i like evn more that leaves my skin nice and soft. no drying at all.

      i hope other people were game for you using the pictures in a collage, i would love to see that!

    4. I hear you on the oil slipperiness. We have tile floors here, too — so even if I get out of the shower safely, there’s always the potential of slipping on the floor, too!

      Do you find the not-homemade scrubs less slippery in the shower?

    5. you’ve seen my ud.

    6. yes, i have found, for whatever reason, the store bought ones to be less slippery. the neutrogena is a bit more slippery than the body shop one. i actually just went and looked at the ingredients of the body shop scrub, and it isn’t a sugar or salt scrub. all the same, it exfoliates nicely and leaves my skin moisturized without feeling greasy. i am assuming you need all that oil to suspend the salt or sugar in without it dissolving. the less oil you use, the more soap you have to put in as a medium. or glycerine? who knows?
      Lax, i think you should send a picture of your UD for the collage!

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