Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Gotta go be Thankful Somewhere Else.

I am joining the swell of folks riding the roads to visit family for Thanksgiving.

This morning signals the start of the great race that finds me juggling not just hair goings on for a solid 8 or 9 hours, but also the bank business and payroll that I usually do on my "day off". Not to mention the packing and general chaos that ensues when a family takes a trip.


But I just wanted to poke my head out of my boiling pot of activity and wish you all a wonderful, Thanksgiving.

I'm grateful for each of you who reads my blog and thank you to those who have taken time to comment. I enjoy getting to know you.

Be blessed...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Can't Talk About it...

I can't blog today because it's my birthday and I probably wouldn't talk about anything except the fact that it's my birthday.

I've heard that it's bad manners. Telling people that it's your birthday, I mean.

Because then they feel obligated to wish you a happy birthday. (Not that I mind if they do.)

Then, there's the fact that I'm now blogging this post with only two hours left to spare on my birthday day so it's seems rather pointless to even mention it at this point.

So I won't.

If you somehow find out that it's my birthday, just remember...

You didn't hear it from me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happiness...Don't Buy into it.

So I'm sitting here, minding my own business, listening to internet radio while weaving tails into my (finally) finished scarves, (more about those later...maybe.) when I hear a commercial for Wal-Mart.
A woman's well modulated voice filters over the air waves... "Making them happy..." a young girl's voice pipes up saying, "oh, I love it!", and the woman finishes with "...that's what I want for Christmas."

I am disturbed by the innuendo that you can buy a child's happiness with a Christmas present.

Hold on a minute while I drag my soapbox over here. You might want to get comfortable...

Now before I go off on a tear here, may I interject that I am NOT anti-gift giving. By no means. I love Christmas. I love the anticipation of what special gifts Christmas may bring.

It just makes me so crazy that there are people out there who still think that giving kids (and not just kids) lots of presents for Christmas will make for a meaningful Christmas! They think that they need lots of stuff to open on Christmas and/or spend a boatload of money on one "big" gift.

And the incredible thing is, they set themselves up for it every year by beginning the season with the age old question..." What do you want for Christmas?" Which, in my mind, teaches our children to think: "how much can we milk our parents and grandparents for this year?"

It has occurred to me as I look at our present economic situation that in our attempt to create our own happiness, we have created our misery. Because that "gimme" attitude is not limited to Christmas. And it's not limited to children.

We are selfish, self-centered creatures. Funny how that's not a behavior that has to be taught.

I wonder what would happen if we spent one Christmas not thinking about what we would get, but what we would give?

There are several ways to practice the discipline of thinking of others by giving to others. There's Operation Christmas Child, Angel Tree, and Toys for Tots to name a very few.

How about starting in your own home? Get children involved in picking out other family member's gifts. Have them make something of their own creation for grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins. (Not to mention mom and dad.)

Why not nurture your own creativity and resourcefulness? What could you make or do for someone that would be more meaningful than a mass produced gift that you're hoping they like?

Who knows?

You might actually find some happiness along the way...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Running on the Treadmill Could be Dangerous for Your Health.

I do not recommend watching the Food Network while running on the treadmill.

Not unless you want to feel very, very frustrated and deprived.

Especially when Paula was making this "heart-attack-waiting-to-happen". Followed by this scrumptiousness for dessert.

I think I would have gladly run the rest of the night for that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Window Shopping

So we are considering a "new" car.

I think half the fun of that is the shopping. At this point, the sky is the limit, and the qualifications are that it must be comfortable. Good gas mileage goes without saying. We currently have a Toyota Camry that is about 11 years old. I love that car. But the last time I went to visit my family, it ungraciously dispensed me on the side of the road for about half a day until my heroine of a sister drove an hour to rescue me.

Good times.

We are about to embark on a travelling marathon, of sorts, this holiday season after going NOWHERE for several months.

Suddenly, Thanksgiving is next week and we are faced with a 6-8 hour trip. (6 hours if I drive--8 hours if hubby drives) I really don't know if we can get a new car, lock stock and barrel in the course of less than a week. But I can do some intense looking, now, can't I?

One of my clients is selling this. I can't believe I'm even considering this....what am I? 85? Of course, we could always go back to the Camry. Hmmm. Volvo? Perhaps that's a little more soccer mom than I want to be... Nissan's Altima looks fab!

Man, the choices make my head spin. Maybe I'll just patch up the Camry some more and let it roll.

Or not.

Ooh. Shiny cars...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Example of Aiming at Nothing and.... Bullseye!

After my envying dedication at the gym yesterday in spite of a headache, (Truth: if I hadn't had an appointment with the trainer, I wouldn't have been there.) I crashed and burned this morning.

It is disturbing to me how easily I can demotivate myself.

Speaking of Demotivators....this one spoke to me on a deep level today:

It says: "Success is a journey. Not a destination. So stop running."

I took it as a sign this morning.

There's always tomorrow.

Said Scarlett.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fluff and Stuff

How I looooove my new blog background! It suits me to a T. After seeing Hepsmom's cuteness, I decided to investigate my own spruce up. I found a great selection at cutest blog on the block. It was super easy to do too. (Always helpful to my technologically lacking self).

We are going on our first family trip in I don't know how long. I'm so excited. We've been wanting to take our girl here for Christmas for a couple of years now.

It is COLD here in the south today! I am sooo grateful for my warm, snuggly house!

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! Whoa! We are planning a visit to some family up in North Carolina. We've not been to see them in about a year! All I can say is "thank goodness for Facebook", otherwise, I'd never know what was going on!

Argh, I have a sinus headache today and worked out anyway. It did not help my head. I begged some drugs off the gym, hope that helps. Soon. Ouch.

Off to work. Bless everyone who just has to have their hair done before Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Can't Get Enough...

...Of the beautiful fall leaves. I'm pretty far south
and don't usually get to see
much in the way
of brilliantly colored fall leaves.

My favorite has been
the vine (Virginia Creeper? Poison Oak?)
climbing the pine tree.
It positively glows when
the sun hits it.

Even in it's waning,
I love these
Cotton Rose blossoms.

They would make
gorgeous ruffly
ball gowns for
a fairy...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My First Attempt...

My first crude attempt at making a "hip purse".

Because I'm impatient, I did this very quickly. I grabbed a ball point pen and drew directly on my fabric thinking it would come out in the wash...maybe. Here is my cut pattern. I ended up cutting off the short "tabs". (At the top and bottom of the pic.) I sewed them on separately.

I had some help removing pins before they were fed through the sewing machine.

The light fabric is canvas, the inner fabric lining is polyester (perhaps?), slightly stretchy but of good weight.

Wrong side out. I was so happy that it turned out as well as it did. Considering that I just cut things out and sewed them together!

I envision that flap folding over the length of the front of the purse. It's far too short, but adequate. I haven't decided what to use for a strap yet. And of course there's the whole embellishing aspect left, but...not bad for a rough draft,eh?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've Been Hit

I went online to check on my credit card accounts, checking due dates, balances, statements, etc. All looked in order and then I saw an alert saying my account had some high-risk activity--Please call. I checked the transactions I had recently made and saw nothing out of order.

Au contraire.

Speaking to a representative put things in a new, but not better, light.

Turns out someone's been on a shopping spree and it wasn't me. Two sports stores (that was proof right there that something was fishy!), and Zappos. ( I had to think about Zappos--I do love some shoes. But I hesitate to buy them online. Half the fun is trying them on. I haven't figured out how to do that online.) Seems like someone got my number somehow and used it all over the country. I recently made a purchase online (my beloved new camisole--oh! need to show you!). I can't remember if the site was secure (stupid! I know!), but it's conceivable that someone was dishonest at the company and took my number or someone got it through the internet somehow.

Thanks to the crooks, I get a brand spankin' new card.

This (thankfully) is the first time anything like this has ever happened to me. There was that close call right after I returned from a trip to New York and couldn't find my credit card. I freaked out and immediately called the credit card company. Almost as soon as I hung up, I found it in my back pocket!

I went online and found some ways to protect yourself from fraud.


Some of these I read through yawning (know that, know that) but then I found the one about keeping your card shielded so no one can take a cell phone pic of your card (!)

Read these. Remind yourself. Pass it on.

Internet ScamBusters' 21 Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips:

1. Keep an eye on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible. Try not to let your credit card out of your sight whenever possible.

2. Be very careful to whom you give your credit card. Don't give out your account number over the phone unless you initiate the call and you know the company is reputable. Never give your credit card info out when you receive a phone call. (For example, if you're told there has been a 'computer problem' and the caller needs you to verify information.) Legitimate companies don't call you to ask for a credit card number over the phone.

3. Never respond to emails that request you provide your credit card info via email -- and don't ever respond to emails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) information. These are called 'phishing' scams.

4. Never provide your credit card information on a website that is not a secure site.

5. Sign your credit cards as soon as you receive them.

6. Shred all credit card applications you receive.

7. Don't write your PIN number on your credit card -- or have it anywhere near your credit card (in the event that your wallet gets stolen).

8. Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.

9. Shield your credit card number so that others around you can't copy it or capture it on a cell phone or other camera.

10. Keep a list in a secure place with all of your account numbers and expiration dates, as well as the phone number and address of each bank that has issued you a credit card. Keep this list updated each time you get a new credit card.

11. Only carry around credit cards that you absolutely need. Don't carry around extra credit cards that you rarely use.

12. Open credit card bills promptly and make sure there are no bogus charges. Treat your credit card bill like your checking account -- reconcile it monthly. Save your receipts so you can compare them with your monthly bills.

13. If you find any charges that you don't have a receipt for -- or that you don't recognize -- report these charges promptly (and in writing) to the credit card issuer.

14. Always void and destroy incorrect receipts.

15. Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.

16. Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Carefully draw a line through blank portions of the receipt where additional charges could be fraudulently added.

17. Carbon paper is rarely used these days, but if there is a carbon that is used in a credit card transaction, destroy it immediately.

18. Never write your credit card account number in a public place (such as on a postcard or so that it shows through the envelope payment window).

19. Ideally, it's a good idea to carry your credit cards separately from your wallet -- perhaps in a zippered compartment or a small pouch.

20. Never lend a credit card to anyone else.

21. If you move, notify your credit card issuers in advance of your change of address.

If you suspect credit card fraud:

If your credit cards are lost or stolen, contact the issuer(s) immediately.
Most credit card companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with these emergencies -- they are eager to avoid credit card fraud.
According to US law, once you have reported the loss or theft of your credit card, you have no more responsibility for unauthorized charges. Further, your maximum liability under federal US law is $50 per credit card -- and many credit card issuers will even waive that fee for good customers.

If you follow all these tips, it will go a long way in protecting you from credit card fraud.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Secret to Healing My Ills



Yesterday challenged me. The fact that I felt irritable didn't make matters any better so I really had to work on my coping/professional skills.

I had a solidly booked day (which I needed) but a morning color cancelled. Bless them for calling. I waited for the next color appointment, trying to figure out when to order lunch since I had also fit a color around my lunch hour. I waited and waited and at 20 minutes after the hour determined that she was a "no show" and considered calling the next client to see if she would like to come in early. (Maybe I would get a lunch hour!) As I stood there contemplating this, guess who walked in? She walked in expecting I would still do her color (which I did, because it was a single, simple process--thankfully) and said nothing more than, " I was going to call, but just decided to come on." I was so angry, I think, because of her assumptive attitude that despite how late she was, things could go on as planned.

When I ordered my lunch, I ordered beef stew, green beans and butter beans from a local homestyle restaurant. I received what looked like the equivalent of 443 green beans, 45 butter beans and 10 carrots with strings of onions and a tablespoon of stewed beef. Oh and one small square potato. I ate it while reminding myself to be thankful in everything. Through clenched teeth.

My attitude got better and my aggravation with people in general lessened as the day went on. I really do have great clients whom I enjoy visiting with and many make me laugh. (As in, I have to stop cutting hair because I'm doubled over laughing.)

But just to cover all my bases, I also had half a chocolate/chocolate chip muffin with a cup of "Sinful Pleasures" coffee.

Worked like a charm.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Search Of...

I carry a suitcase of a purse.

A 9 West similar to this, but this one is cuter:

While I do carry my life around in this, sometimes I only need half my life when I browse stores. Also, that big suitcase eats up a lot of square footage in the grocery cart or I have to carry it when my girl wishes to ride in the cart. I also really enjoy having both hands free when perusing, so I have a vision of a "wallet" I can keep in my "suitcase" and pull out and wear shopping.

I've looked in stores and on the web and can't find exactly what I want, but this is the basic idea:

(Is this Dooney and Burke?)

I envision something I can wear across my body that lands in my hip area. I'd like it made of cloth (something funky-ish), with a front flap that is the size of the purse so I really wouldn't need a closure.

I did find a Vera Bradley that is the right shape and size:

But looking at her prints makes my eyes cross. Odd. Because I do love a crazy print. Oh, and the fact that it is quilted and the whole world (here, anyway) carries Vera Bradley may have something to do with my dislike of it. Last and not least is the price tag of 45 dollars.

Uh. No.

So neccesity being the mother of invention, I shall make my own little "hippy purse". I began working on it last night and will post pics tomorrow maybe. Let's call my first attempt a mock up since it looks rather crude. I will definitely be making another and fine tuning some details, but I was rather pleased at how well I did for not knowing what in the world I was doing. I drew my own pattern and everything!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Technicolor World

The rosy rising of the sun starts the whole show...

Fall has fallen.

It's obvious when you look at the ground covered
with golden leaves glowing in the sun.

Primary colored leaves
litter the grass

Crimson vines trail up the trees.
The sun lights their fiery colors

It's FALL ya'll!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

To Nap or Not to Nap

Thankfully, my husband and I have overall the same views on parenting.

Unless we're talking about whether or not our girl should take a nap.

He feels she should definitely take a nap and if that happens at 4 pm, that's fine. One day this week, she was getting up from a nap at 5:30 pm. Since hubby stays home with her, he craves a bit of quiet time during the day and a nap is his only hope.

I feel she should go to her room and be on her bed for a couple of hours. If she sleeps, great. If not, we'll put her to bed a little earlier. I think at 5 years old, she doesn't always have to have a nap. I think if she does nap, that she should sleep no later than 4 pm so it doesn't interfere with putting her to bed in the evening.

The challenge in having two firstborns in a marriage is that when differences of opinions arise, each is full convinced of the rightness of their opinion. And nobody budges. I've worked hard to get him in my camp. I've laid out the facts matter of factly. I've argued hotly. I've gotten mad. All to no avail. We still butt heads on this issue.

Last night, as we were again fervently discussing the situation, I wondered why I care so much about this. Is it so important for me to be right that I want to sacrifice my relationship with my husband? Marriage is challenging enough without making issues more important than they need to be.

So I'm going to (attempt to) chill out. If our girl is up till 11 or 12 at night occasionally, so be it. She'll fall asleep eventually. I'm grateful for a husband who is willing to stay home with her full time.

And I firmly believe I'm right about that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Adventure and a Half

It started with a phone call at 8:30 pm: "We're going tonight, in case you want to go." Are you kidding? Of course I want to go. It's my husband who is hesitant to let me participate in such an offbeat activity. My friend's message relieves him..."we've talked to a cop and it's not illegal and there will be three of us total." His assent makes me as giddy as a teenager allowed to drive alone for the first time.

We explore through the darkness looking for things others have thoughtlessly thrown away, amazed at people's wastefulness. I soon enter the spirit of the covert operation first, as the lookout, then peeking into waste bins, finally, self-electing myself to be the dispenser of the sanitizer. We found Halloween paraphernalia, barely expired baby cereal (sealed and plastic wrapped), a pottery planter-broken, but easily mended with glue, and a cordless phone (!) that had been used as a display. Most of the fun was in the spelunking.

I was up early this morning to go work out and as I left the house, realized I needed gas, so I stopped at the station about a block down the street. After getting gas, the truck wouldn't crank. So I gathered up my phone, change purse, water bottle, keys and cup of coffee. I had an awkward armful as I hustled back up the side of the road back home sipping my coffee as I went. Thankful for a second car, I motored to the gym only 30 minutes late.

I knew that if I didn't vote on my way home from the gym, I might not have another convenient opportunity. The line was down the side of the building and looked formidable. Not sure how long it would take, I decided to persevere and found the line to move if not quickly, at least steadily so that 45 minutes later, I was finished with that responsibility and on to the next task of getting one 5 year old out of bed and to school on time. We were only 5 minutes late and had only one small meltdown.

As soon as I had dropped of my girl, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thought a large latte was in order. On my way, I received a text telling me about a baby boy shower and listing a date and address. I racked my brain for forgotten information and finally texted back: "Baby shower for whom?" (Pausing for a moment to pride myself on my grammar...and praying it WAS correct.) The response shed no light since I didn't recognize the names of the parents-to-be. Now I'm scared I'm supposed to know someone I don't know. As I sit and ponder this, a man knocks on my car door startling me. I open the door a crack and he informs me that my right rear tire looks might low and I might want to get it checked out. Are you kidding?! I decide I'm not doing anything until I fortify myself with a generous helping of caffeine. Thus armed, I remember we recently purchased a small air compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I employ this wondrous device and ten minutes later am on my way.

I arrive at work sorely tempted to collapse in a heap, but looked in the mirror and realized I might want to swirl some makeup across my face for the benefit of those around me. As I finish, my first client of the day arrives and I'm off to the races.

It's now lunch time and I feel I've worked an entire day already.

I'm glad life's not this exciting all the time! I don't know if I have the stamina to keep up!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm Not One to Offer Fashion Advice, but....

I wish I could wear camisoles by themselves and look like this.

But I don't like sharing that much of my self with everyone and their brother. For me, the purpose of a camisole is to help add a layer of concealment to a dress or top that plunges a bit too deeply or to simply add a pop of color under my clothing. Problem is, by the time I put clothing on top of a camisole, it has disappeared. Look how low that cami is! And it doesn't even meet her pants! What's the point?!

So, I've been on a hunt to find a cami better suited to my needs and I'm here to tell you it can't be found in the mainstream retail outlets.

One of my friends put a bug in my ear and told me to check out Modbe. I found a wonderful selection of camisoles that were modest in not only appearance, but also price.

Then I searched for "modest camisoles" and came up with these sweet camisoles. These are the ones I actually ordered so I will let you know if they are the end all be all of the camisole world.

Now...isn't this better?

Some of these particular camis are on sale at shade!

I smell a shopping spree!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Doing a Good Job...What Does That Mean, Anyway?

O.K. What constitutes the definition of "doing a good job"?

Does it mean doing something to the highest level of perfection you can get or simply doing it well enough so it's better than it was?

Being a perfectionist, I always seem to see what was overlooked.

That can be a good thing if your job is quality control, but what if someone cleaned your car (for a reasonable price) but there are a couple of places he missed when cleaning the interior, or someone cleaned your ring for free but you can still see a little gunk in the crevices? How picky is a person "allowed" to be?

Why does it aggravate me so when something isn't done as well as I would do it?

My husband and I go around about this sometimes. He wants me to tell him what he did right before I tell him what's wrong about it. I get that backwards most of the time. But it's teaching me a great lesson. First to be grateful for a person's effort to do something for me so I don't have to do it myself. Second, not to speak impulsively. Third, let things go. Things don't have to be done perfectly to be acceptable.

That's something I need to internalize: things don't have to be done perfectly to be acceptable. Whether it's my employee, my husband, my child or even myself. I'm not talking about an excuse to do things half a**ed. I'm talking about my personal struggle in expecting others to match my perfectionistic expectations and failing because it's an unreasonable standard.

If I conquer that, will I be doing a good job?