One Lovely Blog Award – Aw, Shucks

September 29, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award – Aw, Shucks.

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The Newest Do

August 24, 2012

A few days ago, I gave myself a haircut, and now I’m waiting for someone to say, “Gee, I see you’ve gotten a hold of the scissors again. Someone really needs to hide them from you.”

 You cut your own hair? Really? Yes, really. It all started when I became disenchanted with my stylist. You see, at first I really liked her, but then she started taking two and three appointments at the same time, expecting that we had nothing better to do with our time than to wait for her—and gossip. One afternoon following work, I faced this situation. She had a hair color, a perm, and a wash and style scheduled at the same time as my hair cut. Now here we have one stylist and four–count ’em f-o-u-r–clients waiting to be served. Granted, she is one of the few stylists with whom I can get an appointment after five o’clock. But, I was already tired and anxious to get home so I could get supper over, so I politely excused myself saying I had something to do…and I haven’t been back.

I decided to patronize one of those walk-in salons. When I got home with my freshly clipped do, I looked into the mirror and frowned. There were straggling hairs left all over my head. I had to snip several strands to bring them in line with the others. So I said to myself, “Self, you can do this good.” After all, I’d been cutting my husband’s hair for nigh onto forty-eight years now. Yeah, he had to suffer through some not-so-great haircuts, but I never got any reports of bullying by coworkers, or any suicide notes, and after a while I got the hang of it.

I’m all about saving money and an avid D-I-Y-er, so cutting my own hair seemed like a good way to tuck back a few bucks. Now granted cutting someone else’s hair and cutting your own hair are two entirely different things. However, I’d worked myself into a place twixt a rock and a hard spot. I’d either have to shop around for a new stylist—that could take months, go back to the chop shop, or cut it myself. Besides, this wouldn’t cost anything, except maybe a bruise to my vanity. Trust me—those heal.

About a month later, I got brave enough to give it a try. If I do say so, it wasn’t too bad—at least as good as the last one I’d had done at the drive-thru joint. After a few minor repairs, it was passable. No one knew if I didn’t tell them.

Over the next year and a half, I continued to shear, as needed, to keep from appearing totally unkempt. After all, I was expected to project a “professional image” at work.

I’ve worn my hair short for many years after I’d become weary of fiddling with long styles. This time it is short. I mean really, really short. I could spike it, if I’d add super-duper-cement-hold styling gel. But then, I’d always given a slightly sideways glance to dyed-spiked-haired grandmothers thinking “Who are you kidding? That really doesn’t make you any look younger, Granny. Puhleese!”

Now, look at me. No, don’t. I don’t plan on leaving the house for at least two weeks.

Or maybe I could buy a wig…I kinda like the one with the red streak, don’t you?


Meeting Amazing People on Social Media Sites

July 19, 2012

Duke

Social networking has brought people into my life with whom I’d never dreamed I’d become acquainted. Granted, it’s not the same thing as face-to-face meeting. Nor is it likely that we’ll become bosom buddies. But—it has allowed this introvert to broaden her horizons and make some very interesting and talented acquaintances. I’ve become “friends” with hundreds of very talented Christian writers with whom I love to communicate.

A few weeks ago, I received a Twitter request from a gentleman in Littleton, Colorado.  As usual, I checked out his profile and decided to “follow” him. This is good. I like artsy types, having a wee bit of creativity in me.  Then I got a message saying he’d give me a great deal on a sketch from a photograph. Okay. Sounds good. So I found a good snapshot of hubby and sent it to him.

I was so impressed, I wanted to share it with you. His name is Frank Pryor, and I hope you’ll check out his website: www.pryorsportraits.com and see more examples of  his awesome work. He does such a wonderful job on the sketches, I can only imagine the portraits are truly amazing. A sketch, caricature, or portrait would make an amazing gift for a loved one or friend. (If you mention that I referred you, he’ll give you a 30% discount. How cool is that?)


Those Pesky Little Chores

July 10, 2012

I love it when company comes, especially people I don’t get to see often. In this case, my cousin and his wife, whom I’ve seen only four times in the last forty or more years are heading to the Sunshine State next weekend.

They’ve never seen our home. Never. Oh, my! Don’t want to make a bad impression on them. That means I must get busy and do all those pesky little chores that tend to accumulate over time.  The ones to which you become “blind” so you don’t have to admit that they exist. You know what I mean. A screen on the porch that the dog has plowed through needs to be replaced. The kitchen sink should be recaulked. When was the last time I dusted my china cabinet or cleaned out my bottom cupboards?

Dog hair? Oh, don’t talk to me about dog hair; those short blonde hairs that are nearly impossible to see against my beige tile floors until they form a blanket and you go sliding across the room in your stocking feet. And we won’t mention the accumulation on the air conditioning intake filter and the vacuum cleaner.

The third  bedroom? Yeah, the one that’s become a storage closet with boxes of stuff all over the bed. Ah! Guess I’m going to have to do something with that, too. Need to provide a better-than-a-hotel place to rest.

Reminds me of times when my kids were little. With three young boys in a house of only about a thousand square feet, it was a challenge to keep things tidy. When this mom insisted that the house be perfectly clean and neat, the automatic response from the boys was “Who’s coming?” Guilt pangs. Do my kids really think the only time I ever clean anything is when company’s coming?

I would never win a Good Housekeeping award, I can assure you. But I’ve at least managed to keep the top layer of dirt off, the dishes from becoming moldy,  and the laundry mostly done. My motto was: If they’re coming to see me, fine. If they’re coming to see my dirt, they needn’t bother.

So why stress over it now? I no longer have young children at home, don’t work a full-time job anymore,  no more justification of why I couldn’t pass the “white glove test.” Oh! They’ll be here in four days? Guess it’s time to stop procrastinating. If you’ll excuse me, I’d best get to work.


When the Memories Fade…

March 25, 2012

Memory is the ability to retain and recall information. Memories are what make it possible for us to function. Memory enables us to learn as we remember how to feed ourselves, tie our shoes,  and perform many tasks necessary to care for ourselves.

We recall the scent of a rose, the sound of our baby’s first cry, an inspiring comment from a parent, friend, or teacher, the aroma of baking cookies, the feeling of a caress from our spouse, the taste of chocolate, a Scripture from the Bible.  We learn how to count, read, solve problems. Memory makes us who we are—we experience, we learn, we remember.

Memories, precious as they are, tend to fade with age—or with illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. It’s heartbreaking both for the victims and their families. According to the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is “an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.”

In the mild stage of Alzheimer’s disease, a person may misplace or lose things, have trouble handling money, become confused in familiar surroundings, and forget simple words. As the disease progresses into the moderate stage, the person may have difficulty doing things that require multiple steps like getting dressed, increased confusion and memory loss, become unconcerned about hygiene or appearance. Changes in mood and behavior often occur. When the disease reaches the severe stage, round-the-clock care is required. The dementia patient then loses the ability to recognize family members, becomes unable to communicate,  may wander off and not be able to find his or her way home. Finally, the patient has difficulty eating and swallowing.

This is not a comprehensive list of signs and symptoms. Nor am I an expert on Alzheimer’s’ and dementia. To learn more, go http://www.alz.org. While you’re at the Alzheimer’s Association site,  please sign the petition to get federal commitment to funding Alzheimer’s research.

My dear sister-in-law, Laura, has Alzheimer’s. We are losing her, little by little. It’s heart-wrenching. Her daughter, Crystal, is working very hard to increase awareness, raise funds, and point people to whatever assistance they need.  She has a Facebook page “Don’t Forget to Remember.” If you have a minute, please check it out.

Like many other things, such as developmental disabilities or retardation and mental health issues, Alzheimer’s is no joke, and nothing to joke about. Please join me in praying for a cure for this horrible disease.


Savoring the Memories

March 17, 2012

Memories.  After a while, that’s all you have left—of grandparents, parents, even siblings, perhaps friends. Sure, you may have some memorabilia, an heirloom, photographs, or other token remembrance of the person, but it’s the memories, not the objects, that are most precious.

 We “make” memories by doing things with our children, family and friends. We physically preserve social memories in many ways: in photographs, scrapbooks, videos, movies, trinkets, souvenirs.

One of my favorite memories is, as a small child,visiting my maternal grandparents  in western New York and “helping” my grandmother make fresh fruit pies. Myassistance actually consisted of sitting on a tall blue wooden stool beside her, talking with her, listening to her wisdom, watching  her deft hands craft her jewels, and waiting for the leftover pie crust to be handed over to me so I could make my own over-kneaded, thrice-rolled-out cinnamon and sugar piecrust-cookie. Oddly enough, I never learned to make great pies from scratch like my grandmother did, but I still love the cinnamon and sugar crust.

I was almost six years of age when we moved to sunny Florida, and we lived in an old frame duplex right on old U.S. #1 in Sharpes while our house was being built in Cocoa. Along with my two sisters, I slept in the loft on a mattress placed on the bare plank floor.  My two brothers, then babies, slept downstairs in my parents’ room. Every night my mother would come up and sit on the edge of our mattress to spend time with us individually and tuck us in. She helped me to memorize “The Lord’s Prayer” during his time. We didn’t attend church, so I don’t really know why I asked my mom to help me learn it, but it has become one of my most precious memories.

Sometimes we suppress memories of things that are painful to us, enabling us to function without having that heartache in the forefront of our minds. I don’t recall much about what was going on when my father decided to go to work in Mississippi and never returned to the family. Only the most indelible memories remain of when I lost my sister to illness.

A wonderful unforgettable memory was the birth of our first child in Holly Hill, Florida. The night I went into labor, my husband was on his way back from Plymouth, Florida hauling twenty-three tons of fertilizer with the International semi-truck he drove for a living. When I called the shop where the truck would be parked, C.H. Sledd told me Duke should be back within an hour or so.

Several phone calls later and after C.H. was convinced he was going to have to take me to the hospital, Duke finally arrived. He sped home, picked me up and we headed for Holly Hill. When we reached New Smyrna Beach, red lights began flashing in the rearview mirrors.  Once the officer shone his flashlight into the car and onto my ballooned belly, he escorted us to Daytona where he’d radioed ahead to advise the Daytona Beach police we were en route.  There we picked up another police escort who took us to the hospital, and two hours later, Rick was born.  I thought he was the most beautiful thing God had ever created. Then within the next six years, He gave us two more wonderful handsome sons. We now have six terrific grandchildren, five awesome great-grand children and we’re still counting. I could go on and on. We’ve been so blessed.

We “make” memories by doing things with our children, family and friends. Let’s make great memories for our family. Sometimes, it may take some effort, but for their sakes, it’s worth it.

What are some of your favorite memories?

Tune in next week when we talk about what happens when memories fade away.


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