Tag Archives: hair

Concrete and Abstract

Good morning Everyone!

I thought I’d share a couple of “Kayla-isms” with you this morning, along with some views of my re-done abstract painting.

1) Beautiful Music


Symphony: From Print Shop Professional 3.0

Some of you may recall that our family is gifted in the art of gentle satire.  One day last week, Kayla was bemoaning some terrible fact of her existence, such as her parent’s inexplicable insistence that her room does need to be picked up every now and then, and I responded with that gentle satire we are known for.  I don’t think she appreciated it, because she looked at me as she was getting out of the car and said, “Thanks for the symphony, Mom!”

2) Upside Down

Upside Down

Upside Down: From Print Shop Professional 3.0

Kayla recently acquired an iPod Touch with her own money, and apparently watched a YouTube video on how to make your hair longer, because she entered the living room, sat down in our armchair, then flipped herself over where her feet were sticking up in the air and her head (and consequently her hair) were sticking upside down.  More than a little curious, Mark and I inquired as to her new sitting position, only to be told that the YouTube video had said that one way to grow your hair long was to blow-dry it upside down.  When I started to laugh, she wanted to know what was so funny!

Blow Drying Hair

Blow Drying Hair: From Print Shop Professional 3.0

3) The Abstract Finished

A couple of week’s ago, in the art retrospective post that I published, I showed you this picture of my first abstract painting, and told you that I had decided to go back and do some more work on it:

After a few more weeks of work, here is the final version of the painting, which is called Fibonacci Zero: The Beginning (from Genesis: “In the beginning…the earth was without form and void and the Spirit of God moved over the waters…”):

Fibonacci Zero

Close-up: Fibonacci Zero: The Beginning

Here is a different view:

View 2

And finally, a third view looking at the painting from the right towards the left:

View 2

I like it a lot better now; the colors are richer and darker.

Have a great day everyone!


Hair Wars: Tangled

Good morning Everyone!

One of the things I never expected to deal with as the mother of a girl was the fact that said girl would be in a permanent war with her hair.

Hair War!

Hair War!

This war is something completely foreign to me, especially since I unconditionally surrendered to my hair at about the age of 8.  I let it part where it wants to part, am reconciled to the fact that it is straight unless forced to curl with a perm (and then it stays curly foreeeeeevvvvvveeeeeeerrrrr), and know that I have very little say in the way it ultimately will look on any given day.  If it feels like having a good hair day, we will look good; if it feels like having a bad hair day, that’s why God invented baseball caps and head bands!

White Flag, surrender

The White Flag of Surrender

Kayla, however, has much more of a fighting spirit than I do about most things, so she is not about to surrender unconditionally to an inanimate object she controls.  All of these factors together brought us to the 10 minute conniption fit on Tuesday over the fact that her hair was in a mass of tangles, and it hurt to brush through it.  Well, those factors, along with the fact that the child had kept her hair up in a ponytail/bun without taking it down since Sunday morning.  When asked how she had washed her hair with it that way, she proudly announced that she had just dunked the entire ‘do in the water and spritzed some shampoo through it and then rinsed.  (Fellow parents can imagine the collective groan shared between Mark and I at that point.)

I told her she could either solve the problem, or I would solve it by brushing her hair.  This suggestion did not recommend itself to her, since when I pull the hairbrush through her hair, it does hurt some if the hair is too tangled.  I went on to finish getting ready and found, at the end of 10 minutes, that she had found a way to tame her hair into submission – mousse.  She had found some mousse, slathered her hair with it, and then brushed.

Styling Hair

Styling Hair

She enjoyed the brushing so much at that point that she kept on brushing her hair as we entered the car.  Once she finished, she pulled the visor mirror down, surveyed the results, and announced, “I like that mousse!  It brings out my inner curl!”

Rita Hayworth, Hiar Wave

Letting Your Inner Curl Shine

Have a great day everyone, and a fantastic Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!


Privacy, or the Lack Thereof!

Good morning Everyone!

Newfound Gap

Kayla, this Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains

By a show of hands, how many of you out there who have children love them?

Hands Lifted

Hands voting, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

That’s what I thought; me too.

dog, kitchen, pets

Darwin and Mandy in the kitchen

Again by a show of hands, how many of you who have dogs love them too?

Show of hands

Show of hands

Almost as many, but I can tell there are just a few of you that put up with the dog(s) in consideration of your significant other, or your children.  That’s cool; at least you understand the bond between dog and owner.

dog, sofa

Could you leave this face outside?

For those of you who have dogs, how many of you have indoor dogs?  (An indoor dog is defined as a dog that spends a substantial part of his or her time inside the house with the family.)

Again, not as many; whether to keep a dog indoors on a regular basis versus outdoors is somewhat of a controversial topic among dog owners.  We have always kept our dogs indoors; that allows them to be more part of the family, but other people feel it is kinder to the dog to keep it outside where it has more room.  In addition, some dogs, like farm dogs and other working dogs, might even prefer to be left outdoors.

Arrow, right

Okay, now for those of you who have children and/or indoor dogs, how many of you miss the days when you could take a shower or spend time in your bathroom with ultimate privacy and no interruptions?

Hands Lifted

Hands voting, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

Me too.

Yesterday, I was taking my morning shower in the “master” bathroom.  In our new house, the “master” bathroom is so-called simply because it is connected to the master bedroom.  (In the United States, the master bedroom is the biggest bedroom in a house.)  It is a postage stamp sized room with a shower, and with the door shut, the shower running and the fan on , you simply cannot hear anything else going on in the rest of the house.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

So, to return to my tale, yesterday I was taking my shower, enjoying the warm steamy water and the relative quiet, when after a while I became aware of a rhythmic banging coming from somewhere else in the house.  Since it was only myself and Kayla and the dogs in the house, and the dogs not possessing hands with which to bang that hard, it didn’t take much deduction to realize that Kayla was trying to get my attention for some reason.  Not being in a condition to traipse out of the shower at that precise moment, I had to scream, at the top of my lungs, that I was in the shower and couldn’t hear anything so I needed her to come into the bedroom and crack the bathroom door to tell me what she needed.  (Tres elegante, no?).

Elegance, flowers, green background


She started to open the door, and as soon as she did, I said, rather sharply, “What Kayla?”  Rather than speaking she started to close the door.  I took a deep breath to calm myself and in a more even tone told her I wanted to know what she needed.  The door then swung fully open so that I could respond to the great emergency.

Door Opening, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

What was it?  She wanted to know if she had put too much detangler in her hair.


Have a great day everyone!



Good morning everyone!

When all's said and done, nothing's better than taking a minute to hug our dog!

I hope all of you had a great weekend, and, for those of us here in the United States, a great Labor Day weekend.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Thursday night I went shampoo shopping with Kayla.  I normally do this about once or twice a year to remind myself why I don’t normally do this.  We were in the drug store, and two aisles of hair care products was a bit much for her to process.  I watched her carefully read each label, looking for something, so after about five minutes, I asked her what she was looking for.  She told me she was looking for a shampoo that could make her hair longer.  I explained that there was shampoo that could make your hair curlier, straighter, shinier or fluffier but not longer.  (A lady at the end of the aisle was dying laughing at our conversation.)  FN. 1.

From PrintShop Professional 2.0

Kayla nodded acknowledgement of my words of wisdom, and continued to look.  The first two sets of shampoo and conditioner she picked out were from the left side of the aisle (the “premium hair care products” side.)  I told her to put those back; she asked me why; I explained that I wasn’t going to pay $20 a bottle (each) for shampoo and conditioner.  The third time we had this conversation, I gently picked her up from the floor where she was sitting cross-legged, rotated her 180 degrees and told her that the right side of the aisle was where she needed to look.  That demonstration finally got the point across to her, but she was happy to review the right side of the aisle as thoroughly as she had the left side.

I got excited twice when it appeared we were close to a decision, but then she changed her mind.  It took 30 minutes for her to make her selection.  (For the record, I did let her get a more expensive “premium hair care” product that was a spray on styling aid to reduce frizz.)

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

On the way out, she decided she wanted to try rolling her hair, so we also picked up a set of foam rubber curlers and I promised to roll her hair for her that night after she washed it.  As proof to my friends and family who find it inconceivable that I would ever put a child of mine in curlers, here is the final “wound-up” product.  FN 2.

Kayla investigating moths on the outside window

Front Curlers

I really didn’t expect the curlers to make it through the night, but they did.  She got up earlier than normal to pull them out, and got mad at me when I started brushing through them because it looked like I was pulling the curl out.  I told her to wait a minute, and I would show her some magic.  I pulled the top layer of her hair back into a ponytail, leaving the bottom loose, which revealed a lot of curls, and she was happy.

Final Outcome

This latest round of hair care products better last a while now; I don’t think I’m up for another such excursion for quite a while.

Have a great day everyone!


FN1.  “To die laughing” is a Southern colloquialism meaning “to laugh as hard as you can.”

FN2.  I had her permission to take the pictures of her in curlers; it seemed fair to ask her before posting them.

The Rewards of Patience

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend! 

Thursday night, I had to work extraordinarily late – until 10:15 at night.  Because Kayla is attending day camp here where I work, and Mark was out of town that night, she got to stay at the office with me, and I have to say that she waited about as patiently as you could ask a nine-year old to do.  She played lawyer for a while, interrogating imaginary people  on a play phone, read a little bit, drew pictures and kept herself occupied for five hours so I could concentrate on my e-filing. 

I was so proud of her, and so grateful for her patience that I decided to schedule Saturday morning to take her to get her hair done and to get a manicure and pedicure.  I explained to her Friday night what we were doing Saturday and why, and she turned to me with her eyes wide and asked, “All that for one patience?”  Visions of shelling out her entire college savings to her as rewards for such things as waiting two or three minutes before interrupting Mark and I dancing in my head, I told her quickly not to get used to it!  She thought that was funny.

Saturday morning, she popped out of her room at 7:00 fully dressed announcing,” I’m ready to go be made beautiful!”  She was a little early, but by 8:30, we headed out to the salon as we had to be there at 9.  I had planned about an hour and 15 minutes for the hair and scheduled the nail appointment accordingly, planning that Kayla would ask for her hair to be blown straight.  She has never  once  walked into a salon and asked for her hair to be more curly – until Saturday.  The lady cutting her hair had naturally curly hair in tight ringlets cascading down her back, and that was the look that Kayla wanted.  (Kayla told the stylist that she had always wanted curly hair.  I nearly fell out of my chair laughing!)   They managed to come up with a way to do it, but it took a little longer than we expected. 

Towards the end, I got a chance to take some pictures of Kayla while she was “on the chair.” 

I think I like it!


Uh Oh! She's taking my picture....


Maybe if I ignore her she will stop it!

Oh well, I'll have a good time anyhow even if she is taking my picture!

The pictures alone were worth the entire expedition, but we also got our nails done, and I got a real kick watching her explore the mysteries of the Spa Massage Chair she was sitting in!

Have a great day everyone!


Differences Between Men and Women: Exactly When Was the Election Held?

Hi Everyone!

Somewhere along the line, a very important election was held, and the women either weren’t informed about it, or completely shut out of the voting process. 

That’s the only explanation I can come up with for some of the following:

1)    Panty Hose

Joe Namath notwithstanding, panty hose is an extremely odd fashion accessory to saddle a woman with.  Not only do they rip and run very easily (I average one wearing per pair)  but a woman has about a 1 in 3 chance of getting them on correctly to the point that they are even halfway comfortable.  And in climates such as the Deep South, they are not designed to keep you cooler throughout the day!

2)    Make-up

Exactly who dreamed up the idea that females should every day spread a range and assortment of very expensive goop in varying amounts across their faces, and then paint on top of the goop?  Or, conversely, who decided that only women, and not men too, needed to perform this ritual?

3)  Shopping for Clothes

Have you ever gone shopping with a man for clothes?  The clothes are all laid out neatly in sections together – pants with pants, shirts with shirts, underwear in a neat section behind the counter.  Women’s clothes, on the other hand, as a general rule, are scattered throughout the women’s section, with only loose groupings of  sizes (misses, women’s and petites) and “occasion” dresses. 

4)   Fashion

Adult men’s clothing styles, for the most part (excluding the 1970’s)are very stable.  The one fashion item for men that seems to change drastically every once in a while is the width of ties – and since they have two choices, wide ties and narrow ties, all they have to do is have a selection of both and they are covered either way.  Women’s clothing styles can change as much as three times in one year. 


5)   Shoes

With the notable exception of platform shoes from the seventies, men’s shoes tend to stay flat, and fairly comfortable.  Women’s shoes come in all shapes and sizes, and apparently the higher the heel the more attractive the shoe.   The only problem for me is that I can’t walk well in anything higher than about a 1-inch heel. 

6)   Hair

My husband can wash and brush his hair and be ready to go out the door in 5 minutes.  My hair (admittedly it is getting long right now) takes a lot longer – I’m lucky to get it washed and blown dry in 15 to 20 minutes.  For him to get his hair cut costs about $15.00 at the same barber shop he has been going to since he went to college lo these many years ago.  I can’t even get my hair shampooed for that!

7)   The failure to invent the riding vacuum cleaner

According to Ehow.com, the first riding lawn mower (powered by horses) was invented in 1900, and the first gas-powered riding lawn mower was invented in 1919.  The world still awaits the invention of the (non-horse-powered, of course) riding vacuum cleaner.

8)  Electronics

My husband can work every audio-visual piece of equipment in the house and the remotes that come with them with no difficulty whatsoever.  I can use the same equipment, do the exact same thing that he does in the exact same order, and the *&^%%$%#%$^^&%& equipment still refuses to work.  

9) The Automatic Laundry Folding Machine

We can send a man to the moon, and build a space station, but we can’t invent an affordable machine that will automatically fold my laundry once it finishes in the dryer?  Priorities people!

10)   Hormones

Enough said.

So, Ladies, keep your eyes peeled.  Surely these things will come up for a vote again sometime in the next 500 years, and this time, let’s make sure we show up!

Have a great day everyone!


The Accidental Haircut, Rain, Bananas and Light Bulbs

  • Mark’s New Look

As mentioned yesterday, Mark also has a new look, quite by accident.  Right before bedtime Sunday night, he decided to trim his hair just a little bit over his ears.  Unfortunately, at the same time, Darwin popped onto the bathroom sink with his paws to see what was going on, and bumped Mark’s elbow just enough to cause the clippers to take a free swipe at about a quarter size spot on the front side of his head, completely shaving off all of the hair on that one spot.  Mark then made the mistake of asking for my help.  In spite of my best efforts (please note that there is a reason God steered me away from a career in cosmetology), by the time I had spent ten minutes on it, it looked like we were headed for a complete hair shave.  The three dogs, who have been shaved with clippers of their own before, all sat in front of the bathroom door looking greatly concerned.  Right before we hit the point where all of the hair on his head would have had to be shaved off, Mark remembered that we had some additional razor guards.  He went and found them, and then was able to blend the hair that was left on the top of his head into the part that was shaved so that he now has what looks like a very close crew cut on the top of the head.  The three dogs finally left their post in front of the bathroom door when the clippers stopped making noise, with a sigh of relief as they realized that the clipping was going to stop with Mark.

  • Rain and Bananas

Rain and bananas are two topics that tend not to go together – unless you have an Australian Shepherd mix named Tyra.  She has two idiosyncracies.  The first is her attitude towards water in general, and rain in particular. 

Tyra does not do water.  Period. Sincerely.  The first day we got Tyra from the humane society, back in 2004, we put her in the spare bathtub to give her a bath, and apparently managed to traumatize her for life.  To this day, she refuses to come into the bathroom if someone is in the bathtub, or within reach of a bathtub full of water.  This general attitude towards water is folded into a more specific attitude toward rain.  Tyra does not like to go outside when it rains – unless a human is willing to put on a raincoat and walk out there with her.  In our old city, I managed to walk her through Hurricane Dennis by doing just that.  I was the only person dumb enough to walk outside at the time, but the dog was desperate, and I was fond of the carpet.  We’re not sure how she does it, but even when we have the dogs outside and an unexpected gully washer comes up, though the other two dogs will be soaked to the skin, Tyra remains bone dry.  We have wondered if she makes the other two sit on top of her or something!

Last night, a front moved through, and right about the time we got home, the bottom fell out, which meant I had to force Tyra out in the rain, which brings us to the other idiosyncracy, bananas.  She moped a little bit all evening, until Mark decided to have a couple of bananas for dessert.  Tyra loves bananas.  You can have her on the other end of the house, with three doors shut between her and the kitchen, and the minute someone picks up a banana, she just knows and begins begging her way to the spot where the bananas are.  She has a little tap dance she does once she knows the bananas are on their way.  So, today, her forced sojourn into the rain this evening was assuaged just a little bit by the banana she got to have.  (Mark gave her one all to herself, since the other two dogs happened to be outside at the time.)  She then sat on the couch for another thirty minutes thumping her tail and looking at Mark in hopes that other bananas would be forthcoming.

  • Light Bulbs

We have very interesting light bulbs in the den of our house.  They are spotlight bulbs, and for whatever reason, they tend to go out at least in pairs, if not in triplets, about every three months.  We finally got tired of it, and bought a large supply of light bulbs that are supposed to last for at least two years.  We replaced the last one today.  (The time before when it went out with two others, Mark was able to tighten it and get it to come back on, while the other two were really dead.)  If any of them go out before 2013, I am going to be very disappointed!

New Looks!

Good morning everyone!  It is hard to believe that it is Monday already!  Our household, emboldened by the new looks of spring blooming forth across our state, spent the weekend in obtaining new looks themselves!

  • Kayla’s Braces
  • The most important new look, of course, was Kayla’s braces.  The people at Allen Orthodontics on Friday were just super with her, as they always are, and she has been a trooper about her mouth and the soreness that comes along with the first few days of braces.  Sunday we stopped for a minute, and she let me take two pictures of her with her braces. 

Because she said the sun hurt her eyes, we took a second picture, too.

  • Mom’s New Look
  • Then it was my turn.  I spent Saturday morning getting my hair colored, so Kayla wanted to take pictures of me with my new hair color on Sunday. 




Front Again:

  • The Escape’s New Look
  • We also had a trailer hitch put on the Escape on Saturday, so that we would have a way to pull a light trailer that could carry Mark’s scooter back and forth to the Suzuki place for servicing.

  • Spring!
  • While the most important new look in our house was Kayla’s braces, the most spectacular new looks are with the trees and flowers around us as spring approaches.  Here are some pictures of them:

A tulip tree in full bloom:

Close Up of the Tulip Tree:

  • Daffodils

Here are some daffodils that have grown wild on a hillside:

And here is a close-up of another group of daffodils that have just started a new clump across the street from the ones on the hill.  In a few years, they will have the ground covered!

The last new look in our household was Mark’s.  He originally intended to rest on his laurels with the truck, but a small “oopsie” by him, followed by a bigger “oopsie” by me led to an entirely new look for him also.  But that post will have to wait for another day!  So, COMING SOON:  The Accidental Haircut!

The Best Part of President’s Day

The excitement of yesterday afternoon having faded to the (relative) tranquillity of the morning, I can write about the fun part of yesterday.  Since it was President’s Day, which I can remember used to be Washington’s Birthday, Kayla was off from school, so I took the day off too, in part because she had to go to the orthodontist for a “records appointment.”  A records appointment is like the warm up act for the main concert – the people at Allen Orthodontics took x-rays and an impression of her mouth.  They are very nice there, and Kayla was a trooper.  I let her go back without me, because she seemed comfortable, and I heard her tell the technician that she was good listener, when she wanted to be, except at school.  Little comments like that managed to keep the entire office staff entertained throughout her visit.  Kayla asked a lot of questions, and most of them were very good.  Friday is the “main show” – they will put braces on her front teeth and a few in the back to help with the front work, but at least she will only have to have them on for about nine months.  She is very excited about getting to choose the colors in her rubber bands though, and was even more excited yesterday when she learned she gets to change colors every month!  Her first choice is orange and blue, to honor “the trees”; ie., the trees at Toomer’s Corner. 

When we finished at the orthodontist, I took her to Books A Million.  I wanted to buy her the Little House on the Prairie series, but let her look around in the children’s section for a while by herself.  When I caught back up to her, we had to open negotiations – she had picked out $90 worth of Lemony Snicket books, and I wanted to get the Little House on the Praire set.  We settled for the first three Lemony Snicket books and the Little House on the Prairie set, with a promise that when she finished reading those we would go back and get more Lemony Snicket books.  Her teacher read her the first book at school and she is wild to read more. 

After Books a Million, we met Mark at his work and went to lunch with him at Cracker Barrel.  I was amazed at the power of imagination in children;  without any other implements in hand, Kayla took the pegs that go in the triangle game that they have there, and the crayon box that comes with the children’s meal, and pretended that the pegs were people riding the bus (the crayon box) to go see a pyramid.  She even tucked one peg in the box to be the bus driver.  It was quite inventive.  Her manners to the waitress were impeccable, too; she even remembered “please ma’am” without having to be reminded at all!

After we dropped Mark back at work, Kayla and I went to a place in Opelika called Head Master’s, where I let her get her hair washed and blown dry, which is something my little princess always loves, and then as an extra special treat, I let her get a manicure next door at the Lee Spa Nails place.  She was transported with joy!  Nail polish is something she only gets on rare occasions and I let her get a little darker pink polish then she has ever been allowed before.  We even had a good ride home, without any arguments over the radio station.  (Sometimes she has a difficulty with the concept of the cockpit controls in the car being mine. You have to draw the line somewhere!)  Of couse, it was all too good to last, but how nice it was while it lasted.