Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanks Was Given

We had Thanksgiving. It was so nice. I mean, nice in that we had to leave for Las Vegas earlier than expected to outrun the Blizzard Of 2010, and nice in that I had to find out on Facebook the day before we left that Sean's brother had smashed our van, and nice in that my poor pregnant sister had to stop in at the ER in Beaver of all places because her congestion was so bad she couldn't breathe. Yeah, that was nice.

But once we all got there, it wasn't nice. It was wonderful.

We had sort of promised my mom before she died that we would keep all the traditions going. Well, we have, for the most part, but as our family changes, it only makes sense that things change a little too. So we decided to have Thanksgiving at Jill's house, and we decided that every person would be in charge of something for the big dinner. Every person. Kids included. And we also decided to try new recipes and ideas. And it worked. Every kid and adult did something fun, even my dad contributed with a stop in to the Dutch Store before they came to Vegas, and he brought our favorite; Marzipan and windmill cookies.

As we spent the morning cooking and laughing and eating bits and pieces of tasty treats, we realized all at once that our family is amazing. We are so blessed. It isn't a mystery that I've had a hard time since my mom died, but looking around at all the kids playing together, us girls and Noma cooking our little hearts out, and it all happening like a well oiled machine made an distinct impression on my heart that family is absolutely the most important thing in the world. I honestly don't know what I would do without them.

I know my mom was thankful to see us all there together.

There are so many things to be thankful for at this time of year, but family is my number one, for sure. My mom taught us from a very young age that although we might not always like each other (especially as quarreling siblings), we would grow to love each other more than we ever imagined. And guess what? She was right.

Thanks be given for lessons learned.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dusty Muffins

I made blueberry muffins today. They are delicious. The best part is smearing a huge portion of butter across the split I make in the middle, and watching it melt as I shove the whole thing in my mouth. It's very ladylike, don't worry.

But it does make me think of this video, which is hilarious, and also very ladylike.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Little Things

You know, I've been homeschooling for 3 months now. I can't believe it. In those 3 short months, Maggie and I have both learned a lot.

She has learned to read rather well. I have learned to let her take her time in sounding out words, rather than jump right in and tell her what they are.

She has learned that she can do a lot of work on her own now, without me telling he specifically what to do. I've learned that she can be a self starter if I let her take the lead.

It's funny what we can learn about our kids when we are actually engaged in the learning process with them. I find Maggie's humor to be spot on, something I hadn't noticed before this adventure began. I also know that I need to make special concessions for Maggie. She needs things to be stable and smooth, no major bumps in the road, or it throws her whole mojo off.

My previous parenting skills included lots of threats and "if you don't"s, but now I know I need to take the time to see what her perspective is like, and then adjust my own reactions to her needs. She tends to be an organizer, so I let her make math problems in a line up and down, instead of across. She likes to find patterns, so I let her do the sentences out of the order they are written in her book. These are all little things, things that take no time at all to do, things that make her life so easy, and things that I know make her happier.

It's funny how the little things can mean so much. I only hope she appreciates it as much as I appreciate her.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have a confession to make. I've been tanning lately. Like, not a ton, but I'll visit the old cancer bed every week or so, mostly just to get warm. I know, it's bad, but I can't help it.

I'm freezing. All. The. Time.

And it's only November.

I'm not going to handle this winter well, I can tell, and I should be so grateful, since it's not the bone chilling sub zero kind of winter you get in Illinois. But still, I'm so cold! I've had my thyroid checked, and yeah, it's off, but I can only take so many pills each day, so those are usually the ones that get left behind. I know if I took them more regularly, I wouldn't be so cold all the time, but they don't help that much, so it's not a big deal.

Also, I like the little bronze sheen I'm getting as a bonus from the tanning bed. I can't complain about that.

One thing I don't like, is the biotch that works at the tanning salon. She's there every time I go in. I'm very pleasant with her. She is not. She won't make eye contact, and she acts like I'm totally putting her out when I show up. She has the requisite bleachy blond hair, and super leathery skin, along with what I can only assume are collagen fillers in her lips, because you think Lisa Rinna's old lip was bad? This girl puts her to shame. I call her a typical Tanorexic.

I'm not turning into one those, I assure you, I'm merely seeking warmth, but I can certainly see how the tanorexia can take over, and before you know it, your jonesing for a hit of UV, and getting the withdrawals from artificial face plumper.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Fun For Friday

At least we know it's a Gentile. And a genital.

Now, in all seriousness, this potato was grown in my in-laws garden. They are the sweetest people I know, so that makes this even more funny. I just think it's hilarious, despite the risk I'm taking offending so many followers. So I apologize for my crassness. But I am who I am, I can't help it.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Turns Out, I'm Not That Smart

You know, my perspective on a lot of things has changed over the last year. I have a whole new appreciation for so many things I always took for granted before. One thing I've really found myself pondering on lately is how easy other people make things look.

Other people make being full time students look easy.

It's not. Sean is doing a lot of homework these days, and by a lot I mean an hour or so a week, which for him is a lot. Trust me, it is. I know it will get more difficult and time consuming as he advances the ranks of education, but for now it's a weird transition to see him home at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Other people make running a business look easy.

It's not. I've been learning QuickBooks, of which I'm not really a fan. I like the idea of QB, but it's really quite cumbersome. And by cumbersome, I mean it doesn't translate information directly from my brain to a neat, user-friendly spreadsheet, with nary a keystroke. See? Cumbersome.

Other people make being smart look easy.

It's not. I've always thought I'm pretty smart. I know a lot of crap. Useless, brain space hogging, annoying to most people kind of crap. I do a lot of stuff. Mostly half-assed, but stuff nonetheless. I can write a coherent sentence, do basic math, carry on a decent conversation, and even make people laugh. Although maybe that's not smarts. Hmm.

I think as my perspective on life has changed, my perspective on myself is changing. I guess that would seem a natural conversion. But as I go on about this little life of mine, I'm realizing I still have so much to learn. It's a little frustrating, but if I can keep a good attitude it makes it a little easier. I just need to keep myself from sabotaging myself. Be more optimistic instead of a pessimist so much of the time. Understand that things come gradually, not all at once. I hope I can be smart enough to wait it out.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yesterday I attended a cutting class. I know, normally I was the one cutting class, and now I'm deliberately attending a class on cutting.

It's sad to say that over the years of doing hair, I've picked up some bad habits. Some out of shear (ha ha!) laziness, some out of necessity, but bad nonetheless. I tend to have a limp wrist when I cut. I tend to hunch my shoulders. I tend to crane my neck. All bad things. But as the years have worn on, they have become natural to me, and therefore they seem normal.

I was smacked with a terrible reality yesterday. As I stood in line to make sections and cuts on our Mannequins head, my wrist started hurting terribly. When I mentioned this to the instructor, she said I have been doing things wrong for so long, my ergonomics were all screwed up. Makes sense. Luckily it wasn't anything lasting, so I can go back to my lazy limp wristedness today, and things will feel much better.

But I also learned something else at my cutting class yesterday. I have been out of the loop for so long, I forgot how important education is. It's amazing what a little shift in texture here, or a snip at a different angle there will change in the look of a cut. I needed a little refresher course, and I got one. It was fun to see stylists from all ages and experience levels learning new things together. I never thought a beauty school student would ever teach me anything, but some of them really have a lot on the ball, and really know what's up in the hair doin' world.

So now I'm all edumacated. I feel smarter, and I think what I've learned will serve me well. At least until next season.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Fun For Friday

This makes me smile. And not just because it's hot chocolate.

I love those cute squinty little eyes and that cute button nose.

Thanks, McDonalds, for making me smile.

Happy Friday!

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Working With It

Yesterday was spent shopping at the Beauty Supply, which I love, and hitting Wal-Mart for a pair of cheap black pants and some trouser socks. Does anyone else seem to lose socks during the summer? I do. I'll have a whole bunch of new ones for winter, and by the time the end of summer comes along, after those months of wearing nothing on my feet but flip-flops, the socks have disappeared into thin air. Weird. But I digress. I had to hit the Beauty Supply for last minute supplies for the salon. Which brings me to...

...Yesterday I also went to work. At my new place. Yippee! It was a pretty big deal, at least for me. I like the new place. It's cute and friendly, and I have lots of room to grow. Maggie doesn't like it. She says it's too big, and the necklaces are too expensive. (?) That kid cracks me up.

It did feel pretty good to be back in an upscale salon atmosphere after these last few months of my "Steel Magnolia's" place. I miss the intense one-on-one thing, but I do like the camaraderie of having lots of stylists and clients about the place. I like working, I always have. I think I'll like this new gig. I know I can do great things with it if I keep a good attitude and try not to let the business end get me down. Sometimes it takes a good leap to get you off the ground, right? Right. And I can definitely work with that.

Feel free to click over to the new website (props to Mike for working on it!), and schedule an appointment online. Yes, I have entered the latest century. You can honestly book appointments without even calling or texting. Amazing, I know. Go ahead, try it.

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