28 January 2010

Blue skies, smiling on me

I woke up with a heavy heart. Hey, I can't be happy all the time. I drove carpool to school and tried to concentrate on my blessings, but just couldn't do it. I knew my mood would change, eventually. I'm very fortunate in that nothing keeps me down for long. The sky was very cloudy, but in a majestic way. I was happy to have it hold my attention. Here and there on the horizon, you could see a little blue. I decided to drive to Sherwood Forest and hang out on the dock for a little while and maybe take some pictures. It was so cold, but so beautiful. Here's a panoramic view from where I stood.

How could the beauty of this day not lift a person's heart?

I like this picture too.

And then, there's this cause you know how I like taking pictures of my feet.

Heavy heart? Gone. Sunny skies again.

26 January 2010


I spent most of yesterday inside. It was rainy. It was cloudy. It was sunny. It was rainy. It was warm, then cool. I knew all this, but had no idea what the sky looked like. Had I known, I would have been outside. I went outside to bring the trash down before driving to field hockey at 5:30. The whole ride there I was trying to get Emily to be as enthusiastic as me about the sky, but she wasn't much interested. Oh well. It was a great indoor day, but what I saw outside was just majestic.

I had a big break at work today, and I've spent it at Borders with my laptop and a decaf latte. As always, a happy way to pass a few hours. Work calls, so it's time to put my smock back on and get back to hairdresser mode. Later!

24 January 2010

Out and lazy

I'm not a stay-at-home person. I just can't do it. I feel like the day is wasted if I hang around. I can't nap. I can get lost in front of my computer. I'd rather do that at a Starbucks or Borders. So I'm at Starbucks. It's quite a busy place on this wet and cold Sunday. At one point I counted 25 people here. It really is a community hangout. All that's missing is a fireplace.

Thought I'd post this catchy rap about the Washington Capitols. The Cap Rap. My nephew Ryan grew up with the creator and actor and has a small part in it. He's the bald guy in the suit. It's a bald 'wig'. I didn't even recognize him. If you watch it, put it on pause first so it can buffer a little.

I think it's time to get my lazy self up and about. Go home an watch some TV. What a life.

23 January 2010

That was then....

Hello Saturday night. Well, almost night. It was a great day at work. It started with a new client who found me by searching the web for salons/hairdressers who specialize in cutting curly hair. I've gotten quite a few new clients from that website and am really glad to be developing a niche market for curly hair. I feel a bond to my sisters, ya know? Anyway, she was great and loved her hair. The rest of the day was smooth sailing. I had a client return to me after a year's absence. She came back a few months ago and tried a few other stylists, but now she's back home with me. She said she learned her lesson. I'm glad to know she appreciates me more now than she did before. And I'm thankful for each and every client that I have, even the ones who challenge my patience. And I have lots of patience!

Rob is in town tonight. Have I mentioned he lives about an hour away? We're going to a mutual friend's house tonight for Chinese food and games. Board games. Should be fun.

I've been playing with my scanner. I'll post old pics from time to time. This one was taken in the 70's. My hairdresser boyfriend bought me this dress in Hawaii. I don't remember the brand, but it was the real thing. I went to J.C. Penny's with the next boyfriend to have my portrait taken. We bought the whole package. Look at the hair! Look at the nails! Look at the young me! Wow. The boyfriend at the time was 18 and I was 23. He was a wild thing, and I was me. I lived an unauthentic life with him that lasted for years. By the time he left, I was in debt, something that took a long time to recover from. I have a few regrets, but a lot of good memories too. Anyway...this was me, then.

21 January 2010

I'm done with sugar, and other musings

Hi. I'm at Caribou Coffee with my latte. How can every coffee shop make their lattes so differently? My favorite lattes come from Borders. They're just the best. At Borders I ask for a caramel latte, extra hot, extra shot, skim with extra syrup on top. I ask for the same thing at Caribou and it tastes nothing like the one I love at Borders. At Starbucks I ask for the same but with no foam, because they fill it with foam and you get so much less latte.

I drove Emily to school this morning, then headed to my doctor's appointment. I thought it was at 9:50. It was at 8:50. I sped like crazy and was only 10 minutes late. I'm so glad I didn't get a ticket. I'm hanging at Caribou for a while, then I'm heading to my mom's. We'll do lunch.

I thought I'd post a few pics. I've mentioned that Emily's playing indoor field hockey. It's an interesting game. I've mentioned I don't really 'do' sports and don't know any rules. This game is fast and fun and so different from outdoor FH. It reminds me of air hockey or pool in that they use the wooden boards to richochet the ball. Am I saying that right? They play two 25 minute games, and the clock doesn't stop except for the 5 minutes between games. They don't change sides. And that's indoor FH.

To totally change the subject...I walked by the guest room the other day and saw this sunrise. It brought back such memories. This used to be Emily's room, and I saw so many sunrises as I sat in my rocker and nursed her.

Change again. Here's a picture of Rob and Lulo from International Guitar Night. He wanted to take a picture of me with Lulo but that would have been weird. I do have a great picture of me with Fabio of 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' fame. I'll have to scan and post that one some day.

My time here is winding down. Mom is waiting for me. I've mentioned that her favorite activity is eaingt out? Today she wants to go to Ruby Tuesday. She has a BOGO coupon. I'd rather have a Lean Cuisine. If you read my status last night on FB you'll know I ate a whole bag of Jelly Bellys. I know they only have 4 calories per bean, but the bag had 140 grams of sugar. If my calculations are correct, that means I consumed the equivalent of 33.33 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting. 'Nuff said? I've had that bag since Christmas and didn't even crave it. Till last night. It's a new day, and all I have to worry about now is chocolate.


18 January 2010

Links galore

It's Monday night, meaning that my weekend is coming to an end. Seems like it's been a while since I posted. Let me catch you up. I wrote that I met my nephew at Caribou Coffee on Thursday. He's one busy and creative guy. Ryan has a few awesome websites and I'm going to promote two of them right here. Check out his wedding blog. It's a great site with every resource for brides-to-be. I'm impressed by it, and a bride-to-be is not me. Here's his pop culture blog. I like to think I'm a little hip and into stuff like this. And I am. Into stuff like this. Being a little hip is up for debate.

My weekends have really changed since I've been in a relationship with Rob. Now I'm happy with somebody else instead of being happy alone. It's amazing how easy the transition was. We're just taking it one day at a time, and that's working great. We never know what tomorrow holds so we have to live in today. And that's as deep as I'm getting.

We went to International Guitar Night at The Gordon Center on Saturday night. I was mesmerized. I've known about this event for years and now that I finally made the effort and went, I'm sorry for all the years I missed out. My favorite performer was Lulo Reinhardt. His long dark hair and tall, dark and handsome physique made him a striking character. His playing of Latin and Gypsy jazz was spellbinding. Rob teased me, saying I had a crush on him. I swore I didn't. The evening consisted of four guitarists playing solos, duets, and so on (meaning I don't know what you call it when 3 or 4 play together). It was a great night.

Sunday was a rainy, stay-at-home day. We finally ventured out to the grocery store in the late afternoon. I planned to make a meatloaf; it was a day for comfort food. We were so hungry that we ordered pizza from the store and picked it up on the way home. We had that and Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ice cream for dessert. So much for the Lean Cuisines.

Rob's car broke down today and it's in a shop by my house. We did some things while we were waiting for it to be repaired. We drove through Annapolis so he could see the downtown. We went to Annapolis Mall so I could return the last of the things that needed returning. Half of Maryland was there--I forgot it was a holiday. Rob got to see the Sony 3D TV. So cool. His car was supposed to be ready in the afternoon, but they had the wrong part delivered and it won't be ready till tomorrow. I drove Rob home to Havre de Grace, MD and then to his job. It was my first time seeing where he lives. It's about 50 minutes from here. It was an easy ride and didn't seem as far away as I've been picturing it. You can see the Bay from his neighborhood. I can't wait to go back and see the town itself.

How'd it get to be 9:30? I thought I'd have an hour to read in bed. If I go now, I'll have a half hour. So, that's it. The End.

14 January 2010

And so it goes

Don't you hate it when you're hungry and full at the same time? I want Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ice cream. How can 1/2 cup of ice cream have 240 calories and 13 grams of fat? I won't buy it. Remember my post "Why Tight Pants Are a Good Thing"? All my pants are way too loose and they'll only stay that way if I stay away from ice cream and jelly beans and all those other foods I love. Fortunately Lean Cuisine is on sale everywhere and I haven't tired of eating Sesame Chicken every day. It's great being at my skinny weight but hard work.

Speaking of hard work...Work has been busy. I thrive at very busy. Time flies when it's very busy. I'm so thankful I'm busy.

Today was a great day off. I drove the kids to school. Em made a playlist for the car and it's heavy on Nirvana. I'm not digging that, but they are. I stopped at Safeway to pick up a latte and wound up getting the H1N1 vaccine while I was there. I got my mom and we headed to Annapolis. She read in the car while I ran into Sam's Club. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. I didn't have Sesame Chicken. I didn't have cheesecake either. I had a few things to return at the mall, and mom kept up with me on her scooter. I shopped at the Apple store and found the perfect new case for my iPhone. It kinda made my day 'cause I'm easy to please like that. Unfortunately in looking for a picture to post here I found that I could have gotten two cases for the price I paid for one. I'm not gonna stress about it--I got what I wanted without having to wait.

The sign outside the Sony store caught my eye: Come in and view TV in 3D. I've read that 3D will be then next new thing in television so I was excited to see it. I put the 3D glasses on and what I saw was beyond cool. First I flew along with a rocket on PlayStation. Then I watched polar bears diving into the Arctic Sea. You could almost feel the splash of water. It was all in true 3D. The TV was a prototype and not for sale. The salesman told me ESPN is filming in 3D and hopes to broadcast the World Cup in that format. Wow. If you get the opportunity to view a 3D TV you won't, as I've heard people lament, mind wearing the glasses. I can't wait till they're mainstream.

I brought my mom home just as my brother and SIL Cindy came over so we got to visit for a bit. I drove to Caribou Coffee to do some blogging and ran into my nephew, who, as it turns out, hangs there almost every day. He's the cool Mac. I'm the one with the dinosaur PC.

My nephew, Ryan Freakin Deal, has a few awesome websites. No, his middle name isn't the one on his birth certificate, but it's the name he goes by. I like it. I'm gonna steer you to one of his websites in my next post. This one is way too long already, so.... The end. Again.

11 January 2010

How I became a hairdresser, probably part 1

I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I was always a good girl. Well, mostly good. There was the summer I got drunk every day, but no one but me and my best friend knew about it and it ended along with the summer. Luckily for me. Not so much for my best friend who dropped me like a hot potato and went on to ruin her high school career with drinking and heavy drugs. I went to college because my parents made me. I was an art major because it was what I liked best. I didn't want to be an art teacher and I wasn't good enough to be an artist. I went to Towson, a liberal arts college and got good grades in every course I took. I just didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and eventually I became consumed with my lack of direction and the weight of it on my shoulders. After 2 1/2 years my parents realized how unhappy I was and let me quit. I've never regretted it. Fortunately, and you'll see where this is leading in a second, it was my naturally curly hair (OK, I could have just said curly, but we curly girls tend to include the 'naturally' thing; it goes hand in hand). I grew up hating my hair. Curly hair was not in style. You couldn't comb it. Your friends didn't play with it. Like I said in my previous post, I felt like I didn't deserve it. I don't remember what age I was when I started setting my hair in rollers, but I was pretty young. I used to sit on the counter in the hall bathroom and set it every time it was washed. I used some kind of pink tape that was made for bangs and taped them down on my forehead so they'd be straight. I was always envious of my sister Ilene because she could set her hair in front of the TV with no mirror. I'd have to stay under the hairdryer forever till my hair dried, then I'd have to sleep on the rollers. How I did that, I'll never know. It wasn't till I was in high school that I first let my hair dry on it's own. I'd really never done that. I was shocked at what I saw. It was around then that I started letting it dry curly. I'd wear a bandana like a kerchief (tied underneath in the back of my neck) to pull my hair straight back from my forehead, and have the rest flowing down my back. That was back when I wore overalls and construction boots. Oh, yes I did. I wrote poetry and wrote in journals and thought deep thoughts. But I regress.
Me and my college friend Mark

Even though I wore my hair curly, I wasn't entirely done with setting my hair. I still felt I looked my best with it straight. What we curly girls called straight, anyway. My college roommate (and friend from home) set her hair too. I learned a few tricks from her. The nights we set our hair had us isolated from the fun our dorm mates were having. First we'd set our hair and put the soft dryer bonnets on. Then we'd paint our nails. Then we'd turn on the dryers and go to sleep. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and turn off the dryer, keeping the rollers in. When I'd wake up in the morning my hair would be dry and my nails would be done. What a pain it all was. I had a good friend Lisa who always had very short, very stylish hair. One day we were out and had a drink or two and she somehow convinced me I should get my hair styled. I finally agreed. We went to my house and Lisa told my mother I was getting my hair cut. My mom said to call right then and make an appointment before I changed my mind. Lisa's stylist had a cancellation so off we went. I couldn't believe I was actually going to get my hair cut in a real style. The hairdressers went crazy over my hair. They were touching it and exclaiming how thick and beautiful it was. No one in my entire life had ever told me they liked my hair. I thought of it as a curse. Well, I had it cut to dry naturally, and that was that. People loved my hair. It was then that I thought, this is like doing sculpture on the head. I thought it was something I could do. And that's how I decided to become a hairdresser. The end.

07 January 2010

This, that, and Freida

I think I've mentioned a time or two that coffee is a drug to me. Thank goodness it's legal. Because of it's effect on me, I only have real coffee on my days off. Coffee makes me very happy. Very. So much so that when I think of a day off, I think of coffee. When I think of vacation, I think of a lot of coffee. So to all of you that get to drink real coffee every day, I envy you. For me it's decaf with some happy days thrown in. Fortunately for me, I'm both a morning person and full of energy so I don't need coffee to get me going. I was certainly going this morning after my large extra shot latte at Borders. I spent about two hours there with my laptop. I had to tear myself away to spend time with my mom. We went to Paneras for lunch, then browsed the aisles of Walmart. My mom loves going there, and it can be fun to just roam. There's always something to to buy; I got a new case for my iPhone. I brought my mom back home, then ventured out to Marshall's and bought a Pea coat. I've wanted one for a while, and now I have one. I brought the coat to my car and thought to myself, now what? Nothing to go home to. Time on my hands. Laptop in car. So, I'm hanging out at Caribou Coffee next to the fireplace. It's really nice here...it looks like a lodge in Yellowstone. I'm sneaking peeks at the people around me. There's a very glum, very depressed-looking woman sitting in a lounge chair staring into space. I wonder what her life is like? There's a young guy in jeans and black Converse's texting on his Blackberry. There's three high school girls at a table giggling, texting on their iTouch's, and attempting to do homework. There's a middle-aged couple that look like they're dating. And then there's me, with my decaf. The fireplace is blocking my view of the other half of the coffee shop. I mentioned I like places like this, right?

Someone posted something on Facebook today about the Peanuts Gang. It brought up a memory of the curly-haired girl. I always related to her, being a curly-haired girl myself. I did some searching and found this on Wikipedia.

"Her most prominent feature is her "naturally curly hair," which she manages to work into every conversation, to the dismay of those around her. This self-love about her hair leads people to believe that she is rather vain. In turn, Frieda herself believes that the other girls are jealous of her hair (and is often depicted as disappointed or depressed when the other girls tell her that they're not jealous of her hair), and also that "people expect more of her" because she has it." "Today she is best remembered as the Peanuts character with naturally curly hair, of which she is extremely proud." Notice that she's not wearing a baseball cap? Freida never wore one because it would mess up her curls. I never wear one either.

Back when I was reading Peanuts, I hated my curly hair. I certainly wasn't proud. I always thought to myself, "what did I do to deserve naturally curly hair?" Since I embraced it in my early 20's, I've known it to be a blessing. I'm curly and I'm proud.

06 January 2010

Ta Da about something

It was a wonderful day in the neighborhood, meaning, it was a good day. I had a new client today. Lately I've been getting a few a week, which is great and necessary in my business. My job requires a lot of talking. It's up close and personal. You never know what kind of connection you're going to make with a new client. Will you have things in common to talk about? Will you hit it off or will you feel awkward? Fortunately, most of my clients, new and old, are great. I guess after all these years I'm a pretty good talker. I can make most people feel comfortable. Very few make me feel uncomfortable, but that happens from time to time. I deal with it. Today's new client was instantly likable and she loved her hair. The most exciting part of my day was the makeover I did on Karen/Happyone. When I first met her she had very dark brown hair. At some point she decided she was ready to grow the color out and go natural, which turned out to be a beautiful silver. It took a long, long time to grow that color out. I know I couldn't have endured the process, and I never plan to. No gray hair for me! Karen told me she was thinking about coloring her hair again. The silver made her feel old, and she wasn't ready for that. I loved her silver hair. It was bright and beautiful. I love the new color and I do think it makes her look younger. I can't wait to hear what Ken thought when he came home to this surprise. He knew she was thinking about coloring her hair, but didn't know it would be today.

Karen was my last client and I suggested we go to my favorite Asian restaurant, Pei Wei, for dinner. It's owned by P.F.Chang's. What a nice way to end a Wednesday workday.

I came home at 6:30, washed my face and put on pajamas. I've been sitting on the couch relaxing like a couch potato since then. Luxury. I've watched a few DVR'd shows and eaten popcorn. I don't remember the last time I just chilled and it's been great.

I'll spend at least part of tomorrow with my mom. It's time to get back to my old routines. As with all my days off, I wonder what will unfold. I like surprises.

04 January 2010

Coffee, iPhone, Me

Could it really be Monday when it feels so much like a Sunday? It's been a stay at home day. A day of lazing around till about noon, doing a whole lot of not much. Somehow I got motivated and accomplished very much by putting almost every part of Christmas away. The lights are still outside, but it's much too cold to even think about removing them, and unplugged lights don't really matter. All I have left to do is take down the staircase stuff and the jingle bells from my window treatments. My goal was to put away the tree, so I exceeded my expectations. The house looks plain, again. I like an uncluttered look, so it's not a complaint. I wish I could finish out the night here at home, but Emily has an 8:00 indoor field hockey game. I'm glad she's playing so I'm more than willing to go out. In the freezing cold. I mentioned that, right?

I went to the movies yesterday to see the third in my quest for five. I had all intentions of seeing Brothers but made an unexpected last minute decision to see Invictus. What an inspiring movie! The title is taken from the poem 'Invictus' by William Ernest Henley. Nelson Mandela memorized the poem and drew inspiration from it during his long incarceration as a prisoner of his country and then as it's president. The last lines of the poem are as follows: "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Those words kept his spirit alive. I need to learn more about Nelson Mandela.

I walked around the mall afterward. Arundel Mills has a new LEGO concept store. It was packed. I loved the window display made out of, what else? Legos.

I came home and made a very fattening and delicious dinner. NY strip steaks pan-fried in butter and olive oil. Mashed potatoes with lots of butter, cream cheese and cream. Green beans and broccoli, both with butter. Ben and Jerry's for dessert. I can't wait to get back to my routine tomorrow.

There's still a pile of snow on my deck that once was my snowman. I've put all the pictures in a file and will post them when what's left of him is gone, gone, gone. It's been a fun journey, starting with a very tall pile of snow that is now a little one. Because it's so cold it might stay this way for a while.

I noticed something in my blog layout that I didn't see till yesterday. There's an iPhone right behind the flat-tipped paint brush. How perfect is that? Coffee, iPhone, me.

03 January 2010


It's a killer cold morning. Cold as can be. Windy. The wind chimes have been singing since yesterday. I wish I had a working fireplace. Mine only makes smoke and I haven't lit it in years. If you were only looking for looks, it looks good. Maybe I could place the space heater in it and pretend?

My work week is done. The whole week had a different feel to it. The bosses are vacationing at their condo at Wisp Ski Resort in Deep Creek Lake. A bunch of the staff took the week between Christmas and New Year's off, including Saturday. In a way I was jealous, but then again, my income is entirely commission, so I need to work. I have scheduled some time off. I'm going to meet my GA sister in Raleigh in February to visit my oldest nephew and his family. I'm going to an advanced hair cutting class in VA in March. I'm also going to Wisp the last weekend in March. I'll work extra days and longer hours to accommodate my clients. I'm not one to miss work, except for my summer vacations. I'm all about summer vacations.

I cut Rob's hair on Friday. I think he was a little nervous. Cute, huh?

I cut Emily's hair last night. She's only been asking for a few months.

Rob and I went to my parent's house on Friday. My mom said all kinds of embarrassing things that I won't repeat. She gave Rob all kinds of advice. Embarrassing advice along with a list of all my so called virtues. The three of us went to Olive Garden for an early dinner. It was really nice. Rob sent me text messages from across the table. Very sweet and romantic ones. He got a chance to talk to my father when we got back to the house. My brother was also at the house setting up the new travel trailer that he's parking in my parent's driveway. I'm ready to go camping. Actually, I love to camp but haven't done it in years and years. That's one thing I'm looking forward to doing in the spring. I have all the equipment, but I never thought it was a safe thing to do with just Emily and me.

So, it's Sunday morning and I'm the only one up. Emily is asleep upstairs and Rob is sleeping on the couch in the family room. It's nice and peaceful despite the sound of 50 mile an hour wind gusts. It's probably a perfect day to stay inside and start putting away my Christmas house. Then again....

I hope its a great weekend where you are. Stay warm. Happy day!

01 January 2010

Cha Cha Cha Changes

New Year, new template. I think this one's a keeper. Thank you Andrew!

Twenty Ten

I like the sound of that. Twenty ten. 2010. New Year. New opportunities. Fresh starts. What will unfold in the new year? I'm not one for resolutions. I'm one for hope, for health, for happiness.

My New Year's Eve was a quiet one at home with my guy. It's hard to believe we've been together for 8 weeks. Did I mention that I hadn't been on a date in all the years I was separated and divorced? A lot of years. I really had no interest in it. For one, I didn't see how I could find the time between working, being a single mom, taking care of a home, spending time with my mom, etc. I wasn't in a place where I met men. I'm very independent and set in my ways. I'm happy alone. I was fine. Really. I never felt like I was missing anything. It was kind of like, what you don't know, you don't miss. My marriage didn't make me happy. Being alone made me happy. It was all my way, all the time. Because of my occupation, I'm surrounded by 'friends'- my co-workers and my clients, who really are friends. About a week before I met Rob I was sitting on the dock of the Severn River on a beautiful day, gazing at a Great Blue Heron, happy. I thought the thought, 'I'm so happy that I can be happy alone.' Then I thought, 'It might be even better to be happy with someone else'. After all these years, I met someone else to be happy with. We spend all our time together, together. We talk. We're friends. It's pretty awesome. I'm not sure where it will go. We're still getting to know each other. I'm not thinking ahead. Really. I don't know what the future holds and I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to enjoy each day, one day at a time, and consider each day a gift. And that's my musing for the day.

I wish all my friends a Twenty Ten that's even better than Two Thousand and Nine.