Friday, January 18, 2008

Changes: The Hair: Before and After

Now for the story:

On the way down to the salon, I was fretting about the whole idea of going there. I am always sure I will walk in to a place and the receptionist and the stylist will go (sniff) (tsk) well, we see what we can do....

I'm always sure they think I am a big clod and they are just going to humor me long enough to randomly run scissors through my hair and collect some cash.

"I always feel so intimidated." I sadly said.

Laura looked at me and said: "Mom. YOU have a Master's degree, and have raised two successful children. You have grown up in a very exclusive community, and are married to a successful man. THEY have gone to BEAUTY COLLEGE. That's college."

My "Christians must be humble" mantra sometimes works against me. I always feel like everyone is thinking I am a peon, and unworthy of good service. The fact that I often get remarkably bad service tends to confirm this viewpoint.

I was quiet for a bit, then said: "What I really wish would happen is I would walk into a salon, and the stylist would look at me and say 'You look fabulous. Gorgeous. You really don't need anything done. You look great just the way you are."

Daydreams and fantasies are fun, right?

So we get there, and are directed to our locker rooms, and handed bathrobes, flip flops, and a facial top (a white cotton knitted skirt like thing, to wear over the top of our bodies under the robe.) My facial top looks ratty, and is would fit a refrigerator. It is so big I can't keep it up over my breasts.

I call to Laura and ask her to help me. She comes over and says something like "This is all wrong" and calls for the attendant. The attendant announces that they only have short tops left that won't work on us. Laura hands me her top and tells the lady to get the short one then, because this big top won't work.

I would have just limped along holding the tent up with one hand. The "too short" one fits Laura just fine.

Note to self: Stop being so wimpy.

The facial was great, save for the fact that the table was so short my feet hung off the edge and so my legs fell asleep. Laura scrunched up on another bed for her facial.

I'm not sure complaining would have changed anything there.

I requested 15 minutes between the facial and the hair cut to re-apply the make up. Instead I was immediately greeted by my hairdresser, When I explained what I was doing, she said to take my time. Then she then disappeared for a half hour, leaving me to wander about the spa asking for help to find where I was to get my hair done.

Laura was already getting her hair washed when I at last found my way to the salon part of the Spa. A young man who looked exactly like Marc Anthony (Jennifer Lopez's husband) came over to talk with me, and to tell me he was preparing to do her hair. He asked me who was doing mine, and I told him I didn't know. He asked what I wanted done, and again I said I wasn't sure. Except that I wanted to look better and younger.

He then said: You know, it isn't the cut or the style that makes you beautiful. It is 100% your attitude. If you think you look great then you will look great. It is as simple as that.

I asked him about bangs, citing the magazine article. He said: Magazines and books change monthly to sell their products. What makes you feel good is the important thing.

Another woman employee came up to me at this point. She said she wanted to tell me how gorgeous my hair was. And to find out what spa service I was waiting for. I told her to get my hair cut. She said "Why? You hair is already gorgeous."

Isn't that incredible?

Laura came up then and said that the facial lady kept talking about how gorgeous I was.

Then I finally got waved over by my own stylist. She said "Your hair is so beautiful, so striking and dramatic. I noticed you when you came in, and then again when you went through to the locker room. I really like it. What are you considering doing to it?"

I showed her the pictures that I had created and asked her what she thought. She explained why she didn't think they would be an improvement. I told her mostly I disliked my hair being caught up in my collars, and being messy in the back. And tending to part in the back, showing too much pink scalp.

She pointed to her own scalp and said that is normal, but if there was a bit more layers in the back the hair wouldn't split apart in chunks. That maybe just a bit shorter, and some layers around the face would soften the look, and be less likely to get messed up.

We talked about putting in low lights. She asked me when I stopped coloring my hair blond. I told her I have never colored my hair. She showed me that a part of my hair is still golden blond while the rest has turned ash blond. What can I say...that is just what it is doing.

She said isn't funny the things our bodies do as we get older. I had to agree. Maybe later I will get low lights put in, just a few, to add some depth of color to all this whiteness.

As she styled my hair we talked about how it feels to have daughters who are turning thirty. About how we look the best right now that we will ever look in many ways.

I liked how I looked before. I like how the hair cut looks now.

And I really like that my fantasy dream for once really came true.


Frank Sinatra Jr. and his wife were there at the spa while we were. Laura's stylist shared this with her. Laura shot back "One of my patients SANG with Frank Sinatra. I win."

How did I manage to raise such a self assured daughter anyway?


Two people (employees) stopped and gaped at us and exclaimed "You are SO TALL! You are really TALL! I am so short, but you are TALL!"

Laura and I managed to not go off on either of them. I do plan to tell the management to caution their staff about that "compliment" when I write an evaluation of them.

Laura didn't think her hair cut was all that great. But here she is:



She said she can't see any real change.
But then again, this girl has grown her hair long enough to contribute to Locks of Love twice.
A shaping trim is hardly noteworthy on her.

We'll see how it looks tomorrow.



Added bonus material: If Lovella is brave enough to do this, so am I.

I'm thinking cello? Vase? With a touch of pear?

I'll have to get the book tomorrow to be sure.

Drat that tummy....but all that walking has paid off on fanny level.
(Laura said I can't tuck in my tank top in the picture, so here is another shot with it untucked, just to be righteous. Alleluiah already.)


Laura and I are heading downtown to the Urban Retreat Day Spa this afternoon.

It is supposedly the last word in hair and beauty around these parts.

We are hoping it will live up to the hype. All the glam society ladies go there. I'm a bit scared, but fearless Laura will be beside me all the way. She herself has not had her tresses trimmed in almost a year (the joys of having thick long deep red hair) and she is game for a bit of a make over as well.

Stay tuned for a new look....and a thinner bank account I fear!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Actually, I could NOT have dance all night....

The closet clean out continues.
Laura helped me weed my shoe collection.


1. Do the shoes hurt?
2. Do the shoes make me look old lady?
3. Does seeing the shoe make Laura fall over with laughter?

If so, the shoes are history.

Farewell beautiful torture devices.

Farewell dreams of dancing the night away.

Farewell fond memories of one time events...the Alaskan cruise, the party in Newport, the ball in Chicago.

Farewell Christian Dior gorgeous velvety suede shoes.
Alas, I never was able to wear you at all.

Your soles are still unmarred by a single step.

Good bye Christian Dior with the needle like toes that in no way left room for my own toes.
Bye bye art inspired Modrian heel.

Hasta la vista shiny satin and diamond high heel sandals so perfect for going out for Indian food.
Oh these shoes were the perfect match for the 25th anniversary dress. I remember well clutching Bernie's arm as we walked together, as each step nearly shattered my feet.

Laura said I could keep these if Bernie and I would promise to go salsa dancing. There's a promise I couldn't keep. I bought these shoes as a tribute to a role model who always had wild shoes and a level head.
The little platform sole and HIGH red satin heel made me feel like a wild and lively woman.
Who needed to stay seated while wearing them. still are my favorite shoe designer. My feet have grown since I finally was able to acquire one of you master pieces. Maybe one day I will own one of your shoes again.

Oh Anne...I really hoped we could be friends. But seriously, friends shouldn't cripple friends feet. Even China stopped doing that almost a century ago.

Delicious times were had in these shoes...ball gowns and cruise ships, galas and cocktail parties.
And mega doses of Tylenol and ice packs the morning after.
(Laura said the bead work made my feet look fuzzy.)
If the truth be known, I would be wise to spend my money on shoes which are just perfect to wear to places like this:

Such events are more common in my life than galas and balls and cocktail parties.

I've discovered these shoes...SAS they are called, and they are perfect for 95% of my events.
Work. Grocery shopping. Doctor appointments. Bible Study. Mall shopping. Traveling.
They are hand made in San Antonio, Texas of the softest leather, and have precision sizing. TOTALLY comfortable. I own them in four colors. A bit old lady-ish, but at least I can walk without a cane when I am wearing them. And they look fine with pants.
Except for my Uggs, snow boots, hiking boots and shorty dress boots now ALL my shoes fit on the shelf above my clothes rack.
I have NO idea what I would wear with my formal gowns.
I guess I'll just cross my fingers and hope for shopping mercies to come upon me should the need for such shoes ever arise again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This means war.

Between 2 am and 5 am my Super Wounded Soldier fought the battle against knee pain and my malfunctioning computer.

He entered the fray again at 5 pm today, and it looks like we have regained control of my computer. It took a PC-Cillin Internet Security "House Call" to finally eradicate the virus (cookies that just kept comin') and give me access to Google again.

Why would anyone not want me on Google????


I even love using Google in other languages.
Like this one. (Yup, it really works. Love Elmer Fudd, don't you?)
I'm just sorry I never learned how to read pig latin.

Anyway, everyone out there give a round of applause to darlin' Mr. B!!!!!

(On the other hand, maybe it was Chinese hackers tapping my computer because they were afraid I will go on ebay instead buying Chinese imported stuff? Hard to say. )

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

That's great and all...

What Jill Means

You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.
You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.
You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

Currently I am going absolutely bonkers because SUDDENLY my laptop WILL NOT allow me to access Google except by going to my college's webpage and then to their search engine list to Google.
That worked once, then the laptop wouldn't let me go there again.
This time I am accessing blogger through the Dogpile search engine link from my college's library home page.
What the HECK is this all about?
I have switched settings, used default, changed, redid this and redid that.
All the firewalls/virus scans show everything is fine, and we are up to date with viruse updates.
I think I am on try 96.
If my name means I will try 100 times, fine.
Frankly, I'm hoping the tech guy next door will be able to help me tomorrow.
If you have any suggestions, be sure to leave a comment.
It will be greatly appreciated!
Right now, I am definitively NOT incredibly happy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend Warrior

I still haven't tired of the colored leaves around here.
Laura and I took a walk through the woods together yesterday, and saw this leaf.
Pretty, huh?

Kingwood Parks has added to the paths; this was a brand spanking new path that goes right along beside the edge of lake.

After our walk we (read: Laura) dug into organizing the pantry big time.
She is very strict about "best used before" date.
The day after that date- the can is gonzo.
I explained that "Best used by" means it may have less flavor afterwards, but it isn't the same as expired. She gave me "that look" and chucked the three year past date can into the trash.
Works for me. The pantry was too crowded anyway, and frankly if we haven't been in the mood for "Cullen Skink" soup from Scotland by now, we probably won't be in the mood for it anytime later.
She did discover several food mixes that she had sent us back when she was living in Hawaii.
Poke mix, and poi I ran to the store to pick up some fresh fish, calamari and pineapple for an authentic island dinner.
I took a picture of that...but it really looks odd to see purple poi, raw fish with seaweed filaments and circles of white calamari on the plate so I'm not going to post it.
As I headed to the store the sky looked fierce, but only a few drops fell, and a bolt or two of lightening flashed against a sky that later turned a rich crimson red.
No pictures of the red...I was heading home by then.

This is my dish cupboard. We "borrowed" a couple of the racks for the pantry, so L. and I had to head to Target again to get some more. I am always surprised at how many people see my dishes and bowls stacked on the racks and go "Great idea!"
So I just thought I'd share for any other January organizers out there.
(I hate having bowls stacked, or salad and dessert plates co-mingling.)
The bad part about running to Target was missing some of the big Charger foot ball game.
Laura and Bernie and Tiggie yelled their way through the fourth quarter while I made "Elvis" sandwiches.
That's fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. We had caught a short clip about that being Elvis Presley's favorite sandwich, and L. and B. both said they had never had one before.
So check that off their life's list of things to do.
Eh. It is OK.
Better with sugary peanut butter. The wholesome sugar free keep in the refrigerator kind doesn't really do the melty gooey thing very well.
The Chargers won; they are going to the playoffs.
I guess the Sunday afternoon scream fests will continue for a while more.

What do you think of my new shoes???

I almost never wear high heels anymore. One, at my height it seems silly to tower over everyone, and two, most high heels hurt my feet (heel spur issues) and three, most high heel shoes won't hang onto my narrow heel shape.

Now I have shopped for shoes at the most expensive and exclusive shoe stores in America, and while shopping, I have ignored the price tags. At one store I tried on 120 pairs of shoes. On that day I almost cried.

All that mattered to me was finding pumps that worked with my narrow heeled foot to wear while I did presentations to the top lawyers and executives in the Southwest.

It is true: Clothes not only make the man, they especially make the woman. Flats just don't cut it on a woman wearing a business suit.

Back then, on that day, I did find three pairs of shoes out of the 120 pairs (at an eye crossing amount) and bought them even though they were only about 65% comfortable. They were hand made in Italy, and lovely to be sure.

I bought three other pairs that were only 25% comfortable. As in I could hobble from the car to the event if I knew I could sit down immediately. Shoes SOOO darn cute I couldn't say no. Except that every time I try to wear them, I inevitably say "no" and put on some other shoes instead.

The biggest selling point on any dress shoe that I ever bought was that they hung on to my foot as I walked. Nothing undermines a presentation more than the speaker stepping out of her shoe and falling flat on her face on the way up to the podium.

Trust me on this. I know of what I speak.

The expensive designer shoes served me well. I could walk into an event and stand for up to 30 minutes before crying "Uncle" and begging for a chance to be seated.

While Laura and I were out shopping, I saw these shoes.

Just for laughs, I tried them on. They hung on to my foot! I walked around with them on for a half of an hour. They still felt OK! (like 75% comfortable.)

I liked the cut of the top of the shoe. I liked shape of the heel.

I really liked that they didn't fall off my foot as I walked.

Like the saying goes: If the shoe fits, buy it in every color.

Such wisdom. I think I was pretty smart to do so.

Especially since they were found at Walmart, and were going for $12.98 a pair.

whooo HOO!!!

Next week Laura is going to help me clean out my extensive collection of adorable shoes that I never, ever wear because frankly they hurt like h-e-double hockey sticks.

Oh boy...this is gonna be something. Know anyone who wears US size 8.5 to 10 Narrow shoes? Boy do I have some shoes for you!