Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why I Changed My Hair

Yesterday I had scheduled a routine hair appointment for highlights and a trim, but when I sat down in the chair, something came over me. It had been building for a while, whispering in my ear, but now it announced itself. "I want to do something different." I ended up like this.

The difference is still a little shocking to me, but I like it. At least today I do. As my hairdresser said, "If you don't like it, we can always put color back in." So it's nice to have an out.

It leaves me asking myself why I went totally white. Here's what I came up with:
  • It's almost summer; everyone has a summer hair fling.
  • I went to Mt. Sinai for vacation and saw a burning bush.
  • I'm showing solidarity for the vanishing habitat of polar bears.
  • I wanted to look even more like my mother than I already do (yeah, right.)
  • I was feeling old.
The last one is the real truth, of course, and I'll tell you why I was feeling old. It had to do with an incident from our recent vacation. Scott and I spent a week in Puerto Rico and then cruised from there around the Caribbean for two weeks. One evening during the second week of cruising, I was walking on the pool deck about 9:30pm. It was basically deserted and crew members were cleaning the pool and washing the deck. There were two teenagers, a boy and a girl, sitting in the deck chairs talking. You could tell that they had recently met and there was a lot of "flirting" going on. Just as I reached where they were sitting, they jumped up and dashed across the deck, crashing right into me. The young lady stopped and apologized and I told her I was fine. Upon hearing this, the boy, who had not stopped, turned around, looked at me, turned back to the young lady and said, "You don't need to apologize to her; she's just an old lady."

Now this stunned me on several different levels. First, I couldn't believe how rude it was; second, I couldn't believe that young people have that much disrespect for older people; and third, it really hurt my feelings. I just kept walking to my cabin, but by the time I got there I had worked up a head of steam, which I promptly unloaded on my poor husband. I thought it blew over after that but, over the ensuing days and weeks, I kept looking at myself with ever critical eyes. I did look old and I didn't like it, so it was time to do something radical. VoilĂ ! White hair. If I'm going to look old, it's going to me on my terms.

I know, pathetic isn't it? So much for aging gracefully. I don't care. This white hair makes me feel powerful, like some coldblooded Scandinavian killer in a Die Hard movie. "Hey smart-mouthed kid on the ship, if you're reading this, look out. Next time you call me 'old lady,' I'm going to kick your ass." I know I should be practicing forgiveness and kindness, but I think the Universe will thank me for this one.

Let me know what you think about the hair. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm a Little Cranky

I know that those of you who follow this blog are expecting me to write about my great Caribbean trip and show some photos. I'm working on that but, in the process, have gotten delayed by illness. My husband and I both contracted (he from me) a stomach flu that has laid us low for most of the week. I just haven't felt like writing all week.

But today I woke up feeling a little better and had the strength to dress, go to "town" and get a few errands done. Totally worn out by the time I got home, I proceeded to sit on my reading porch and read around on the Yahoo! News site for a few hours. It is so easy to get in the middle of this practice and lose hours at a time going from one link to the next, but today I didn't care. I just wanted to sit there and do nothing particularly productive. 

I needed some time out of bed, since I'd been there almost exclusively since Monday night. I'd gotten up and dressed, makeup, jewelry and everything, so it seemed a waste just to go straight back to bed. I was also tired of watching TV. Wednesday and Thursday I watched the entire season (12 episodes) of the Showtime series "Homeland." I hadn't heard of it until I saw this month's Vanity Fair - the annual Television edition, and stuff about "Homeland" was all over the place. It stars Claire Danes as a manic/depressive CIA Analyst who is convinced that a returning POW/hero was turned during his eight-year captivity by the Taliban. Each episode is about an hour and a half long, some are two hours, so after watching all 12 (I got hooked,) I was looking for something other than TV. (Here's the link to the "Homeland" website in case you're interested.

OK, so here's why I'm cranky. While reading around on Yahoo! News, I saw an article on Yahoo! Shopping entitled "Black Workout Pants for Every Body." Since I'm always searching for pants to wear to yoga that (a) hide my Buddha belly and (b) are stretchy enough that I don't constantly have to pull them back up after doing a pose, I clicked on the link. The article described the best pant for different body types -- boy-shaped, bottom-heavy, long & lean, big belly, etc.-- and linked you to the shopping site for the type of pant which would look best on that body type. One of the categories was "If You're Plus Sized" which proceeded to describe and recommend a great pair of pants by Reebock. Intrigued, I clicked on the shopping link which took me directly to Reebock's site, not some retailer who may not have a complete stock. I read Reebock's spill and decided, OK, I'll bite. Now remember, these pants were recommended for "If You're Plus Sized." I clicked on the size pull-down and found that these pants are available in small and medium only. This from the manufacturer. Don't you think the writer from Self could have done a little better on the research? If you're going to recommend something for big size people, doesn't it make sense that the product should be available in large sizes? Small and medium...I'm just a little cranky.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Wow, three weeks in the Caribbean and when I get home, Spring has arrived. Our whole yard exploded in green and in blossoms. Trees that were still bare with buds just beginning to show are now fully leafed out. Fortunately we had someone tend to the yard while we were gone and she kept it mowed and trimmed. Otherwise we would have come home to a jungle.

The same is true throughout the Texas Hill Country. After almost two years of severe drought, there was enough rain this winter to bring back our sentimental favorite, the Texas bluebonnet. My sisters informed me as soon as I got home that, if I was going to see how beautiful the bluebonnets are this year, I had better get myself out there this week. The blooms were at their peak and in some places, were beginning to fade. So even though my suitcases are still not unpacked and the laundry hasn't even been started, Scott and I packed up a picnic lunch and both dogs yesterday and started driving northwest. 

Our route took us toward Johnson City and Marble Falls before we turned off on RR 1323 toward Willow City and the famous-for-its-wildflowers Willow City loop. It is very hard to photograph on the loop because it is a private road with no shoulders and signs posted by the owners to stay on the road. I tried a couple of shots, but didn't have much luck. 

From Willow City we traveled on to Llano and had our picnic at a park under the Llano River bridge.

The dogs were not thrilled to be tethered too far away to beg easily for lunch, but this was a very nice spot for a picnic. 

It is so good to see the rivers flowing again after almost every one in the hill country was dry or nearly dry during the drought.

After lunch we took RR 2323 out of Llano toward Prairie Mountain. On this quiet road we had much better luck stopping to take photos.

It is a rite of passage in Texas to have your photo taken in the bluebonnets as often as possible. Dogs have that right, too.

Indian Paintbrush


Agarita in barbed wire. Can't get much more Texas than that.
 I love it when you can see blue along the road, as far as the eye can see.

Soon we reached the little community of Prairie Mountain. The school there was once the school, church and community center for the neighboring German farmers and their families. It is now a historical site, complete with marker. On weekends, volunteers at the school are happy to tell you about the history of the community. They told my sisters that they had never seen the proliferation of white prickly poppy like they have this year. 

I agree, the prickly poppy is everywhere; I've never seen it like this. As a biology student, I have to guess that the drought and extreme heat of the past summer must have triggered some dormant seeds. Whenever I think of prickly poppy, I think of my college days at Texas State University. (It was Southwest Texas State University then.) There was a lab instructor in the Biology department named Ruth Cressen. The subject of her master thesis was the white prickly poppy. Let's just be kind and say Ruth knew everything there was to know about this flower and would share her knowledge with you. To this day I cannot see prickly poppy without thinking of her. Ruth, if you're out there, please tell me why we have such an abundant crop this year.

We left Prairie Mountain and headed back home, down Hwy. 71 to Hwy. 281, Johnson City, Dripping Springs and Wimberley. Since it is always a little warmer here than in the counties we visited today, our flowers are mostly gone or past their peak, except for the ever-present yellow composites and the humble prairie verbena.

The verbena is also thicker than usual this year, especially in my front yard. Since it looks so pretty, I am not going to mow for a while, at least until the verbena fades. At least that's the excuse I'm giving. I won't even think about the yard until I get my suitcases unpacked, laundry done and photos of the Caribbean uploaded. Stay tuned for at least a couple of blogs and photos about that trip. Until then, stay safe and enjoy the beautiful weather. It will be too hot too soon. 

Thanks for stopping by.