Sunday, November 16, 2014

“Long as I can grow it, my hair…..”

“Long as I can grow it, my hair…..”

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. When I was very young, it usually involved screaming a lot. I had a very “tender” head. In other words, everything hurt. Mom washed my hair in the kitchen sink, with me lying on the counter. It was so baby fine that it tangled every time. And this was before conditioners or de-tanglers. It was thin and stick straight. We tried home perms, rag curls, rollers, (both smooth and brush rollers). My school pictures really showcase the efforts, sadly. So, usually, around the end of the school year, we cut it.

The style was called a “Pixie”. My dad called it a “DA” for duck’s ass. The cut was logical, as I spent most of my time in the water, whenever possible, and it avoided those fights with Mom. But my cousins had beautiful long California blond locks. My favorite aunt, who was just a bit older than me, had incredible long red hair. And here I was, short, fine, muddy blond hair. Sad.

For years I tried everything out there. Perms that left me looking like Angela Davis or a poodle. I cut it very short again when I joined the Army. This was pre-blow dryers, and no one had time to style their hair! For my wedding day, I managed to get it just past shoulder length, with a slight curl. That died by the end of the day. And again, since I did martial arts most days, I sweated and everything just plastered to my head. So short hair always seemed to be the right option.

I tried to grow it out. It would make it to just below shoulder length, and then start to split and just stopped growing. Finally, again, I cut it all off. I wore my hair about two inches long for about 5 years. I have to admit that I enjoyed the freedom of just stepping out of the shower, applying a bit of gel and walking out the door. I dyed it red for 25 years, then developed an allergy to hair dyes, and had to quit. But now, my hair is aging, just like the rest of me. My silver highlights look deliberate, and when it was short, a lot of people thought that I had them professionally done. I just said, “God highlighted my hair!”

The challenge with short hair is that you have to have it trimmed every 3 weeks to maintain the look. I found a wonderful hairdresser and visited her religiously. My hair was still fine, but with a good cut, it was healthy. Then, horror of horrors, she quit. Now, she had a good reason. Her mother was ill and she was caring for her. But what to do?? A lot of my friends have shared the horror story of trying to find a new stylist when they move or their hairdresser leaves. And it’s true. It’s a trust relationship.

So, I didn’t find another hairdresser. My hair lost its shape, and started to look shaggy. I just I pinned it, and used a lot of gel. Then, something weird happened. It started to look good. The silver spots flowed into a streak, and softened the whole thing. Grey hair has more texture than younger hair, I’ve read, and now I could see some body in my style. I started to enjoy my hair for the first time in my life.

I decided to give it one more try. Around this time, I found a new endocrinologist. I’d been diagnosed and treated for Hashimoto’s syndrome for about 20 years, and was undiagnosed for another 20. One of the symptoms of thyroid diseases is thin or thinning hair. My new endo put me on a natural thyroid replacement, rather than the Synthroid I’d taken for so long. My hair started to get thicker. It kept growing, way past the limits it had before. Now, it’s down past mid back, and shows no signs of stopping.

I started doing some research about long hair, since I decided to keep it. There are a lot of websites out there with advice. I changed shampoos, and stopped washing it every day. I started using argan oil to condition it, stopped using the blow dryer. I even bought a different brush. I comb it carefully when it’s wet. And I’m ignoring all the people who say that women over 50 really shouldn’t have long hair. Let’s see how long I can grow it…”gimme a head with hair…long, beautiful hair”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reunion envy, NaBloPoMo A#5

I found a blog post today, talking about attending a high school reunion. The author talked about how people had changed, or hadn’t changed. Some people had stayed in touch, others had drifted away. But they all came together at their reunion
I graduated from high school in 1970. I had been in a different school every year. Now, don’t get the idea that I was a bad kid and got kicked out of all those schools. It all came down to my parents trying to do the right thing for my younger brothers.
My freshman year was actually in a 7-9 intermediate school, so I was “on top”, not the dreaded freshman. La Palma school was a good experience. I loved my Spanish teacher, worked in the library, and lived close enough to walk both ways with my friends every morning. I was involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. We had moved to Buena Park from Whittier for my 8th grade year, and I loved the area. I especially liked having a pool in the backyard! My sophomore year, I went to Western HS in Anaheim, with those same classmates. I bought my class ring here, learned to drive, made some friends.
The next year got a little crazy. My father’s business partner died, and he couldn’t continue to run his bakery alone. As well, they’d decided that Southern California wasn’t a safe place to raise young men anymore. This was around the time of the Watts riots, and it kind of scared my folks. So, they sold the business, sold the house, and rented a house back in Whittier while they tried to decide where to move permanently.
My junior year, I was back with the same students I’d spent elementary school with. Old friends, old frictions, but familiar. I continued my Spanish, joined the chorus, went to lots of Friday afternoon dances. Typical late 60’s southern Cali. I expected to return and graduate the next year. But my parents finally decided to move all the way to my mom’s home state…Pennsylvania. So, my senior year was spent in a new city, new state, new school.
The school was huge. Nine hundred and fifty graduating seniors walked the stage. And although in California, I’d been really conservative and studious; the kids in Altoona just knew that I must be a wild-eyed hippie druggie. I met a few folks in chorus, and in the library. They didn’t have advanced Spanish, so I discovered Russian. I truly never quite fit in. So, how do you go to a reunion? Which do you pick? So, in 44 years, I’ve never been to any. I get a little envious, seeing people with lifelong friendships.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NaBloProMo #4 The saga continues

By KatherineNobles on November 04, 2014

Today was the first time I actually cross-posted on the BlogHer site. It's funny. I have an advanced degree in computing technology, but learning the technical side of new programs in becoming increasingly difficult in recent years. So, one more thing learned.

I'm still exhausted after yesterday's very vigorous water aerobics class. Changing the music to a more driving beat made the class more fun, but also more exhausting. I feel like I did the first couple of weeks after I started! But, I suppose it was time to make it a little more challenging as well.

I've committed to starting a new blog for myself, as well as the little blog I've had for a couple of years, in order to challenge my brain like I'm trying to do with my body. I love to bake, and I'm going to try to present a new bread every week for a year. Just one. I'll be learning how to do the photographs, and how to present them properly. I'm also going to analyze the recipes for possible changes to enhance flavor, presentation and health. I've won ribbons at state and county fairs with my breads, so this is right up my alley.

I'm going to move to a more advanced blogging platform to do this, and to having my own domain. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaBloPoMo #3

NaBloPoMo...silly sounding. But, I've made a commitment to write a blog post every day for the month. Today was pretty boring, but it made me think. I'm retired now. The crises in my life, the interesting things, all of it is up to me. No job to hold my feet to the fire, no stress of grades due, deadlines, meetings. Nope.

The weekend was quiet. Cold, nasty weather set in, and none of us really wanted to go out. So, I worked on my jewelry, made hot food, and read a lot. Since I have a few new books around, that made Mom a happy camper! And, since I went to the commissary and stocked up, I didn't even have to go the grocery store for anything!

So, today I did manage to get to my aerobic class. Monday, and the pool was cold! The pool was pretty full today, and everyone was full of stories about the Halloween weekend. Mine was sad...only one trick or treater. I wish I'd given her all the candy, because it's calling my name. The instructor is a nice young man, in college. His class is fairly set, not a lot of variety from class to class. But today, he changed one small thing. The music

For the last couple of weeks, the music has just been kind of quiet, in the background. Today, he had a playlist with a beat. Solid, 4/4 with a good pace. All the exercises gained in intensity, and people buckled down and did the work. One small change, and I really got wiped out! Came home, fed everyone, and then the exhaustion hit. Hashimoto's is still kicking my butt...but I'm kicking back.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Starting the month right

Yesterday, I decided that I need to do more than spend all day on the computer. The computer obliged by going black almost immediately after I posted that. So, I went out, ran errands, and came home. After a few seconds, my husband had checked all the connections, and it was simply a loose connection between computer and monitor. But, I decided that sitting down to Facebook again just wasn't an option.

So, I dragged out a few boxes of neglected craft supplies, and went through them. I'm kind of a collector. I find pretty things, and buy them, swearing I'm going to finish the project. Then, they collect up in boxes.

I pulled out some beautiful lapis lazuli beads, and rummaged around until I found some gold spacers and all the findings I needed. I arranged it all on the bead board, and in an hour had a beautiful necklace. It didn't take long. It wasn't hard. Why haven't I been doing this before?

The smallest change. Walk away from my computer. Do something productive. Make something beautiful. What can I do today?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New month, new challenges

I've decided that being bored is not my favorite emotion. I've been looking for something to engage my brain as well as something to engage my body. Both kinds of health need to be improved.

SO, NaNoWriMo and NaBloProMo have appeared on the horizon. I've got the start of my novel, and will use my progress on that as the basis of some of my blog posts. I've got an idea for a new blog (Secret, but exciting just now) and lots of new books to read and write reviews for.

Physically, the water aerobics classes seem to be all the demanding classes that I can handle just now. I'm still aiming for three times a week. I've been making it to two on a regular basis, but I need that third class if I'm really going to see any progress. I am planning to re-start my tai chi practice at home on the off days.

I thought it was kind of weird to start November with plans like this. But truly, can't we re-invent ourselves every day? I'm retired. I don't have to live by someone else's schedule. Let's get this thing started!