Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year - They Don't Write 'em Like That Any More


By -Lord Alfred Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Who? Me? Spam!?

I have no idea how it happened, but somehow my blog has been "identified as a potential spam blog". If you're here despite the "warning" you received when stumbling upon my URL, Hello! I am not a spammer and have told Blogger so. They're "reviewing" and will be unflagging me as soon as they get it reviewed. I hope you come back despite the rather ragged welcome mat you encountered.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Curly Girls Gotta Plop!

Hi. I'm Bunny
{"Hi, Bunny"}
I'm a naturally curly girl and have been all of my life.
{"Applause, encouragement, sympathy..."}

As a young girl on through to adulthood, I struggled with my curls. I was certain there should be a support group for freaks like me. My hair was schizophrenic. One day it would curl ever so nicely doing just what it should making me feel very pretty and proud.  The very next day it was a giant ball of frizz with bits and pieces waving this way or poking out that way. Those were Quasimodo days and I just wanted to hide.

Looking back I realize a lot of my problem was that I was fighting my hair's natural tendencies. I was trying to make my ringlets "feather" like Farrah Fawcett. Or I'd try to blow them out straight so I could get a little Jaclyn Smith action. Mostly though, for whatever reason, I had bangs in every style and I looked like I had horns growing from my temples. Bangs on my forehead laid so-so, but when you got to the end...flip! Think handlebar mustache on my noggin. And if it rained...or I sweat during P.E. class or if there was just too much humidity in the air....disaster.

I tried a shag, a Dorothy Hamill or wedge and all of the Angels at some point or another. There were also the, "I don't know just make it look cute" cut. It became clear that the beauticians in my small hometown had no idea what to do with my curls either and I never once...and I really, truly mean that I NEVER, EVER even ONE TIME came out of a salon WITHOUT tears on my cheeks. Aaaaargh!

Fast forward a couple of decades and what seemed like, hundreds of cuts/styles and tissues later and I finally found an acceptable compromise. I went with the Michelle Duggar mullet-ish look. I still fought the bangs but they curled under more willingly than being flattened out and so...tease, tease, curly iron and voila. This worked for me and so I hung onto it like grim death. It was basically just me releasing the back of the beast to curl freely however she chose and I would choose to wear it in a ponytail on bad days or down if it wasn't too "out there" in frizz-ville. All family photos from the early to mid 90's have me with all of that hair.

The late 90's came and ushered in the Seinfeld era and I changed my bangs to a poof like Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Never mind it looked like I was wearing a hairy hot-water bottle on my head. It was a style that was generally accepted by society and I kept it long and poofed like that until about 2001.

That was when I was inspired yet again by "Elaine" or, as I call her "Elaine the Emancipator". You see...when she went shoulder length and uncaged her curls in long-ish layers, she set me free. {light dawns, angels sing...}. For the first time I concluded that my curls were not a curse, but that they truly could be my crowning glory.

Now, before I get carried away and give you the false impression that I was ready for a hair product commercial let me explain that it was the best hair "I" ever had, but there were still problems. It still had schizo tendencies, the only way to get it to curl right without a ton of frizz was to avoid all heat styling. No blow drying meant that I had to get up about two and a half hours before I had to be somewhere so that it could air dry enough to let me leave the house. Once I discovered the diffuser (anyone else just throw that blow dryer attachment away because who-knew-what-to-do-with-it?) I could speed things up a bit, but I still had to let it air dry a good 80% of the way and then just "touch" it with the diffuser.

I also started using the "good" hair stuff from salons. I always poo-pooed the idea that a brand of shampoo or conditioner or hair gel/mousse could make a difference. I was sure it was a conspiracy to convince us that spending more meant getting better and my frugal side refused to be duped. Well, rather than being a dupe I was a dope. Hear me...please...HEAR ME....do not skimp on your hair products. There's a million ways it matters and makes a difference so don't be a dope. Too expensive? Skip a meal before you buy a hair product anywhere other than a salon (there are some homemade recipes out there I'm going to try so I can't review them, but that's for another time).

What's the point you ask? Why is it that I've chronicled my hair's life story for you? Because I want to introduce you to something and I want you to know that I've seen and done it all, I know the pain and now...I have found a solution. Or at least a tool and technique to help us curly-girls toward one. It's called...plopping.

I'm posting the video that introduced me to it via Pinterest. I heard about it and thought "Oh, mercy. What sort of failed curly head experiment have they come up with now?" I scoffed. Still it was so easy I figured it couldn't hurt to try. So I got the biggest t-shirt in my husband's closet, washed my hair, laid the shirt across the toilet lid, turned myself upside down, tugged and twisted and tucked and bada-bing, bada-boom...I had plopped.

Now, each morning, I run around doing a bad Princess Leia impression, and hubby loves to make fun, but my gosh do my curls look great! Smooth and curly. No frizz and no tears. In the video she uses a t-shirt material, but others that I saw first showed it with a real XXL t-shirt and so that's what I do. It makes no sense to me to buy a special towel for it, but I know not everyone thinks like me so, by all means. 

Every curly head is different, so you'll have to experiement, but I keep it plopped-up for about 30-40 minutes, turn my head upside down and gentle take it off to keep from de-curling anything and then I let it air dry the rest, or most of the rest of the way. I add mousse right before I do a 2-3 minute diffuse when necessary. That's all there is to it.

And so I say to my curly girl sisters, give it a try. You will LOVE IT!

Plop on! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dating in the 80's and The Dispute That Lasted 25 Years.

So, last Friday was Hubby and my 25th First Date Anniversary.

Does it seem odd that we'd celebrate that? Oh sure, back in high school when each week with your beau deserved notice, but now?  I've gotten mixed responses; weird looks from some as if to say "what a sap!" and giddy exclamations of how "wonderful" it is. Either way, we don't care. We're crazy for each other and that hot August night is what started it all.

Read on for sappy details...

I was 19, just graduated from high school and working most evenings at a little independent video store. It was a Monday night which of course is usually not that busy but that night the place was bustling. I don't know why but at one point when the door opened and the bell on it rang, it caught my attention. I looked up and BAM looked into the bluest eyes on the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen. Tall, tan, muscular and oh-that-saucy-grin. *sigh* No exaggeration when I say he took my breath away for a second. He says pretty much the same about seeing me (you know I mean the shortness of breath part, right?). He came right up to my register, leaned on the counter and said, "You're new here aren't you?" (cross my heart that's EXACTLY what he said).

My answer was not nearly as smooth, "Well, I've been here for two weeks."

He gave me a flirty smile and replied, "Well, that's new isn't it?"

We chatted a bit in between me helping other customers and he left, but a half hour later, in he walks again (be still my heart), comes back to my register and says something about he and I going to a movie. Yippee! Oooooh, I wanted to say "yes" so badly, but I had to say "no". I KNOW, right? I explained I was seeing someone, but thank you for asking. After he grilled me on that relationship he says something about not giving up, grinned rather rakishly, and out the door he went. I figured that would be the last time I saw of him. Pity. *sigh*

Controversy alert.

Over the next couple of weeks this hunky fella continued to come in now and then lookin' oh so appealing in his Levi button flies and tank tops (Hey! It was the 80's!) and each time he would ask me out and I would turn him down (after flirting shamelessly, of course). Fast forward. At some point in there, I stopped seeing the "other guy". And finally on August 31st, the 4th time if you believe HIM or the 5th time if you believe ME, that then-cute-guy-now-Hubby asked "one last time", and I gave in.

Now, I know for certain that it was 5 times as I remember specifically the other girls in the store teasing about his relentless pursuit and they counted 5 as well. He disagrees and says that even though he was acting desperate for my company that he had his limits and he's sure 4 was it. Now, we've told that story more times than I can count and still he refuses to concede. And each time we start a gender war. In the end the hearer has to make their own call about who to believe.

The rest is a quarter of a century of life together and thousands of more stories and memories to be made.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And Away They Go!

There’s something I’ve been wanting to say.

Empty Nesters…SUCK IT UP!


There. (insert satisfied sigh here)

Unpleasantries out of the way let me explain. I’m a newly initiated empty nester. After years of being a full time home educating mom, focusing all of my time, thought, prayers and energies on raising good children that love God and others, my little ones are all finally grown up big people. Adults. Autonomous. Self governing. One’s married and going to college. The other has just flipped her tassel this last May and is looking forward to furthering her education this fall.

No longer do I have to worry over things like:

  • Teaching good manners 
  • The value of sharing 
  • Not to put Barbies in the toilet 
  • Looking both ways before we cross the street 
  • Stranger Danger 
  • Not to put the cat in the toilet 
  • Why we don’t play with matches 
  • Not to put ANYTHING in the toilet that is not meant for the toilet 
  • Dating (well, there’s still a bit of that, but it’s only a part-time concern) 
  • What movies they see or music they listen to 
  • et al… 

At this point they've either got it or they don’t and for the sake of my children-in-law of the present and future, I sure hope they do.

So why all the whining? What’s all the fuss? We all knew the time was coming when we had to look ourselves and our spouses squarely in the face and ask, “Now what?”.

The answer is as individual as we are. And that’s where I am. I’m happy for my kiddos to fly from the nest and pursue their own lives and dreams. I’m sorry they’ll run into headwinds and bad weather along the way and I’ll always be there to encourage and love and help wherever I can. Oh sure, I still have concerns and definitely will never cease to pray for each of their needs, struggles, hardships, joys, triumphs and failures. But it’s time to turn the page. To look at the possibilities that lie ahead. The road not-yet-traveled.

I’m thrilled for my darling husband to not have to share his wife much at all (even though it means more Jeopardy, Scrabble tournaments and solid butt whoopings delivered from me to him).

And I'm excited about the “play” button we can now push on all of our “paused” dreams.

I feel optimistic for me because now I get to see who “Me” really is. And it’s totally open ended as to who that could be. Exciting right?

Nope. No crisis around here. Only sighs of contentment, remembering good days gone by and a sense of anticipation for the adventure ahead. So…let the games begin!