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26 September 2010

The Weather Dance

Spring and Summer have been waltzing around each other for a while now.  Spring should have said it's goodbyes long ago and you'd think Summer would be nicely settled in by now, just beginning to think about packing it's bags.  But tradition does not have it's way this year.  Spring has delayed it's departure, pushing away our hot Summer sun, bringing warm rains, soft winds, and cloudy skies.  Summer struggles against odds to bathe us in hot rays and coax the shy flower buds out of their shells.  This weather dance has us in a suspended state of extremes.  Should I bring an umbrella and shawl today or sport sandals and sunglasses?  It's anyone's guess because this struggle for season supreme has left us guessing almost daily of what the weather will bring, or more accurately, which will be leading the dance today.

07 September 2010

Hairy Tales

I've been a long haired beauty  (ha!) for most of my life, if you don't count the few mishaps in between.  But those debacles are always spur of the moment and I regret them almost instantaneously.  Luckily for me, my hair grows at super speeds, spurting out at least an inch every 3 weeks.  You'd think with this super high power growth, that I'd have hair like Rapunzel by now.  Well, I would except....

When I was about 7 years old, I begged my mom to cut off my lovely locks which fell well past my shoulders.  I have no idea what my little mind was thinking at the time but the second it was cut off, I immediately regretted it.  I looked like a boy.  A boy that wore dresses.  So I set out on a quest to get it to grow back as soon as possible.  Anytime I was alone in the bathroom or near a mirror, I pulled and pulled on the ugly short strands, trying to coax them to become longer.  With time, I was me a again, with long hair and life was good.

Although I was a young child of the 70's, the 80's did not spare me and thus began the decade of not just bad music, but bad hair-do's.  In fact, most of those years my hair was feathered, curled, sprayed, permed and spiked at one time or another and most always cut above my shoulders. 

I don't like to think much about those so let's just fast forward to the 90's where I became a blonde but at least my hair was long again.  But not for long.  As life would have it, I got a job at a hair salon where I fell victim to the stylists wanting to try all the new do's on me and am ashamed to say that during my tenure there, I went from permed to straightened, long to layered, from light to dark, and ultimately, got the 'Rachael' do.  Yes, I did. And don't you dare laugh because you know you wanted one too.   But all of those do's were time consuming as I spent mornings washing, conditioning, putting in endless arrays of products, blow drying and curling.  I felt like a big vat of hairspray and god forbid if I had to go camping or got caught in a rain storm.  It just wasn't me.  So I began to grow my long hair out once again.  I chopped off the Rachel 'do' and wore my hair back in a short bun until it all grew back in long.

Things have been a bit better since we entered the new millenium.  I've learned my lesson - keep the hair long.  But that hasn't stopped me from messing with what's already perfect.  Again, I've gone blonde for a few years, and then hopped on the dark brown bandwagon and kept it that way for the most part.  Sometimes though after watching back to back episode re-runs of ANTM, I will get inspired and chop off some locks to make some cool 'bangs' or some model-esque long layers.  Of course, I hate it instantly and have to wear a head band for months to hide the bangs until they grow back out.  Just this month I decided to go blonde again over a few glasses of wine with my sister.  We put in some bleach blond highlights which turned blonde at the roots and red farther down.  Of course I went back to dark brown soon after - closest to my natural color and easiest to cover the gray, yes gray strands, that insist on appearing out of nowhere.

Can't you just see it - 'Rapunzel, let down your hair'.  'Why I can't Prince, I was bored and I've just cut it.'    Why do I do this?  Have there not been 100's of hair lessons lived and learned by now?  Just the other day I was going through old photos (remember those days?  the ones where we actually had to get film developed!).  Almost every other roll of film showed a differed hair color or a funky do.  I can't say I've found a happy medium - just yet - as of now I am working on growing out these long layers that I cut on a whim last winter.  Only one rule I have now -  keep the long hair.  That's the me I've always felt best as.  Learning to curb the urge to cut and then regret is a cycle that I must not repeat!

05 September 2010


What to do when it's late summer, you've got vacation time built up and your husband doesn't get any time off until next fall?  You take a staycation!  Staycation's are spent at home, in town and cost little to no money.  But most importantly, to have a true staycation you must follow one simple rule:  Prepare to get some shit done but leave plenty of time for some rest, relaxation and fun.  It's also good to stock the liquor cabinet or the wine holder.

I prepared beforehand by making of list of items I wanted to accompolish on my days off.  Stuff that I wish I could get done on the weekends but never do because weekends are just too short to spend the time working.   Clean the attic, clean one room a day from head to toe, emtpy the fridge of all rotten items, wash the moss off the sides of the house and gutters, prune the climbing rose, etc. 

Ten days off and I'm on day seven.  It's actually taken me a good five days to fully come out of work mode.  I caught myself quite a few times checking my work email but I've slowly weaned myself to peaking once a day now.  When I wake up, sans alarm, I have my morning coffee with the news, lounging on the couch until I feel awake enough to begin my day.  If that motivation never comes, I just pull a blanket over me and find a good lifetime movie to get lost in for a few hours.  That's what I love about staycations, there's no agenda.  If miraculously, the motivation hits me early, I get a good walk in with the dogs and then throw on some Budos Band and begin one of my projects.  However as soon as the afternoon sun comes through the windows, that is my signal to chill it out again with a glass of wine and my book of the week.  Dinners are relaxed and could vary from a wonderfully aromatic steaming crock pot of happiness or simply take-out burger and fries.  And who needs a bedtime when the next day promises anything I wish for and involves no going to work.

The thing about staycations is you have to love being by yourself. You have to be ok with being your own company. Because my hermit genes run extra high, it's good to get some socialization too. Get outta the house every other day and visit someone or invite a friend over. I highly recommend it or once you go back to work you will forget how to interact with the public and you will mourn for your  staycation cave.

I have to admit I have been quite productive as well as slothful. My wine is now running low and my projects are almost complete.  Relaxation has hit a full-time high and thoughts of work have slipped way way into the background.  I've slowly rejuvenated my senses and gotten my groove back.  I am always one to raise my glass to getting away from it all but if the away part can't be on a private island, then I make damn sure that I use my staycation time to the fullest. 

Usually as staycation draws to a close, that old friend 'anxiety' tries to call.  I conquer this intrusion by booking a full body massage the day before going back to work, then a late afternoon nap and being fully organized and prepared for the first day of work.  I highly recommend a staycation to one and all.  Now don't get me wrong, there really is nothing better than getting the heck outta dodge and that is just what I plan to do next - vacate the premises, and take a friggin vacation!