Thursday, May 29, 2008

Adventures in Traveling with Angel-Joy or How My Sister Became My Hero...Again.

It wouldn't surprise me if my daughter begins refusing to get in the car with me. (I know it will happen at some point, put at this point she's 4. Not 14.)

Apparently, adventures abound when I get in a car and go somewhere.

But only if I'm about 5 or 6 hours from home.

I had a lovely time with my family over the weekend. My baby girl and I drove down on Friday and I wanted to come home on Sunday so I would have Monday off to recuperate before jumping back into work.

Besides, I'd left hubby home alone and he promised to turn the house upside down while I was gone in the name of reorganizing and decluttering.

He is a man of his word.

Since it was easier to put my sister's carseat (it's not really her's I guess, but her daughter's) in my car rather than take out my girl's, I squired my sister around all weekend.

Probably a good thing I drove the car during the weekend as much as I did.

That way, when it died, I was only an hour away from my family rather than 3 or 4 hours.

May I just recommend that everyone have a good sister on speed dial?

Especially helpful is a sister who "happens" to be friends with a cracker jack shade tree mechanic and another guy who has a truck especially for hauling cars.

I have two new heroes to add to my list.

Three, if you count my sister. But she's a given.

Since I didn't know how long it would take to resurrect my car from the dead, I wondered how I would get back home in time to work on Tuesday. (Short of driving through the night. I don't think any amount of coffee would help me do that.)

May I mention that I have a good sister?

She volunteered to haul me home Monday. Kid and all.

After an eight hour drive, we arrived at midnight. After checking messages, we found that the car was healed of it's diseases. Sister/friend and her husband will deliver it this weekend.

Those pesky little sisters can be handy sometimes.

Bless them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Buh-Bye. Back in a Minute(ish)

Gonna be out for a couple of days.

I'm going to see my family for the weekend.

I'm pretending I'm sixteen and going to a Superchic(k) concert with my sister.

Of course, it won't quite be like I'm sixteen again.

I wasn't allowed to go to concerts.

Unless they were performed entirely on piano.

That's because I was raised border-line Amish.

(Not really, but close.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Soul Restoration

Thought I'd give you a peek at my journal from Saturday. I went with a friend walking through the woods to step away from life and it's distractions in order to hear God more clearly.

May 17, 2008 Saturday

I become so overwhelmed by the cacophony of life.

Being surrounded by Your creation brings tears of gratefulness to my eyes as I hear the stereophonic birdsong melodies accompanied by the whisper of the wind. Each sound bespeaking Your presence.

The carpet of pine straw to walk on, the trees guarding the path, the cerulean blue canopy above me as a shield contrasting with the rich greens of the leaves, the sweet fragrance of the air--the rest of the world fades as I become aware of each of these.

There's something about morning that quiets my soul -- speaks to my spirit. Is it because my perspective is fresh and new? I'm rested ? I love the light of the morning. The glint of the sun on the dew. The gleam on the leaves. The overall sheen the world takes on as the sun begins bathing everything in light.

No agenda.
Deep breaths of quiet cleansing.

I spend most of my days asking for things from You. Usually, these are cries born of frustration made in desperation. Today, I'm asking only that you speak to me in a language I can understand and that you will give me a heart that hears...

John 14:27
I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid.

Philippians 4:6, 7
Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

II Thessalonians 3:16
I pray that the Lord, who gives peace, will always bless you with peace. May the Lord be with all of you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Send Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Dirty Dishes...

What I want to know is...

How could the dishes be daily piling up in the sink demanding to be washed before the situation got out of hand, but now that we have a beautiful, sleek, dishwasher--we are hardly dirtying anything?! Have we stopped eating? Did they switch to paper plates behind my back? Are they eating TV dinners?

I haven't even turned the thing on yet!

It has a special slot to hold sharp knives, ladies and gentlemen!

Uber cool right in my kitchen and I can't even use it!

Eat something somebody!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Water Therapy

My idea of water therapy is languishing in a lavender scented soak with a cup of coffee and appropriate reading materials on the side.

I like my water related splashing to limit itself to recreational activities only; ideally taking place under a blazing sun.

Therefore, I'm sure you will understand my joy as I bid adieu to a sinkful of suds and say:


Please pardon me if my welcome borders on worship, it's just that I've missed you so much. You have been so undervalued and taken for granted.

No more, my friend.

I'll proclaim your praises from the rooftops.

While my husband takes his turn presenting our daily offerings.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Don't Wanna Go!

I'm so not ready to go back to work today.

I'm not finished with my weekend yet. I haven't yet done the cleaning, sorting and organizing I was "supposed" to do, opting instead for frittering away time on the Internet trying to get things to play online that wouldn't. Wasted a lot of time pushing the button again to see if it would do it "this time".

Since I wasted most of Saturday, I decided Sunday would be the day I caught up. That is, until the couch grabbed me and held me hostage. I didn't think I'd slept all afternoon until I saw a clock that read 5:00pm. Ooops.

On the plus side, my food diary is having an unexpected benefit: I'm beginning a money diary. I bought Quicken software and am entering all of our bills and income. I'm going to dazzle the accountant with a surprisingly organized financial portfolio next year! I've also began keeping track of the cash that liquidates through my fingers. I've set up a debt reduction plan and printed it out so I can easily follow my plan. This is also helping me show my husband where we are financially since I can print out a report. He likes to see things in black and white. Besides, I like a plan. I like to know what to expect. Knowing what to expect helps me make a plan just in case no one has yet. (Big clue into my personality right there.) Funny though, because I can be spontaneous too. I guess it just depends on the situation.

Sorry, got carried away with the belly button introspection. Maybe I should have continued with that psychology degree. Even if I didn't make as a counselor, analyzing myself would be enough to keep me busy the rest of my life.

You want to know what I really want to do today?

Sorry, I'm telling you anyway.

I want everyone to leave. (Not forever, all day would suffice.) Then, I want to sit around reading magazines, drinking endless cups of coffee, petting the cats.

I guess I'll have to settle for pretending those heads in my chair today are fur and be content with that.

(Man, if you didn't know that I'm a hair dresser, that last sentence sounded a little gruesome, didn't it?)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's Nothing a Latte Won't Take Care Of

Can I just tell you how glad I am that this week is over?

It was a very busy week in the salon. I juggled hair appointments, employee meetings and new policies, wrangled disgruntled clients into satisfied clients (more than once), distributed the money to it's respective places, discovered that I have nothing because I basically owe it all to the IRS, and bought a dishwasher with some of that "nothing".

Then I had a great big cry.

And slept.

It's amazing how therapeutic crying and sleeping is.

Especially when followed up with a sugar-free caramel, fat-free latte. It's better than a stiff drink after talking to the accountant who is adding insult to injury by taking any money left after the IRS gets through with you.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hairy Taxes

Sweet Nellie, what a week it's been!

I've been so busy, I thought Tuesday should have been the end of the week! I don't know the last time I've seen so much hair! I've been jokingly saying that I think people must be getting their economic stimulus checks!

I've been plotting what to do with mine (if I get one). First, it was going in the bank. Then, I decided to use it on a dishwasher now that mine is kaput, but after talking to the accountant today, I realize, I'm just going to sign it right back over to the IRS since I owe them beaucoup moola. (Look at me speaking multiple languages!)

I sense by the constant comments (read sarcasm) that you are all on the edge of your seats biting your nails wondering what in the world happened with client confused about her stylist. I did touch up her hair which needed tweaking but was by no means a "bad" haircut. My dilemma about whether or not to charge her ended up being a moot point. My brain said to charge a small amount, but my mouth ended up telling her that it was no charge. She argued and handed me a little more than my brain had suggested which showed me that my gut feeling is still large and in charge.

In other news, I went to Body Pump this morning (exiting the bed was a huge accomplishment to start with) and I upped the weight I've been doing. I felt strong, I felt powerful -- and I won't be able to walk tomorrow. Since I am a glutton for punishment and clearly delirious, I'm going to a class in the morning called RPM which is a spinning class.

I'm smoking! (Possibly crack?)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What Would You Expect to Happen?

What's a girl to do?

A client came in yesterday and got her hair cut. She is not a frequent client. Apparently, I cut her hair the last time and she meant to have me do it again, but couldn't remember my name and ended up with a different stylist in my salon. Now, I back up all my stylists. We are all at various stages of skill, but if you come into my salon, I'm confident that you will get a good cut no matter which stylist you see. We don't all cut exactly the same, because we are all artists and all have a different style in our craft.

So, this girl calls me later in the day and says she's not happy with her hair cut would I cut it for her?

No problem. I firmly believe in making it right.

Here's the quandary.

Do I charge her for a haircut that she just paid for once and wasn't happy with? I didn't do that haircut. If she went to another salon in town, she would have to pay another stylist to redo the cut.

However, since it is my salon, should I honor the fact that she wasn't happy with the finished product and to honor the integrity of my salon, should I fix it for free? I'm leaning to that for the client's sake, however, I'm out some time and money by doing that.

Do I "transfer" the payment? Since the other stylist did it and the client wasn't happy, do I pull the money that was paid to that stylist to pay me for fixing the work?

Do I let it go?

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Great Blackberry Takeover...Who's Winning?

Hey Ya'll!

Whew! Can you hang on a minute while I catch my breath?

Thanks. Gulp.


Man, what a weekend! It was wonderful and included a massage and pedicure, but it also included a 8 hour day at the salon on Saturday. I work the first Saturday of the month usually, and ideally, it's a manageable 8am to 2pm. I'm not sure what happened this past Saturday, but it was 8am to 4pm solid! I even did color on someone who was only scheduled for a haircut! It was worth it at the end of the day.

After work, I beat it over to this precious plant nursery called The Mad Potter and picked up some marigolds to put in with my tomato plants. Marigolds are supposed to repel pests that attack tomatoes. I'm putting them to the test. Of course, while I was there, I had to check out the herbs and am three herb plants richer now. I've added pineapple sage, orange mint and oregano (I think.). I've also gussied up the wrought iron planter at the back door with bright pink double impatiens and a lovely silvery, small leaved vine. (I forget what it's called.) I would have pics (and I'll get some) but the batteries in the camera are dead and I can't find the charger. Dang it!

I worked in the yard for a couple of hours yesterday and I'm excited that I'm beginning to see some progress. I'm fighting a never ending battle with blackberry brambles and I'm taking back my yard! I'm specifically trying to take back the area under my dining room window right now and boy, did it feel good to see a sizeable patch of it clear out significantly yesterday! There's a huge bed in the front yard that we would love to naturalize. Well, it's gone pretty natural so far. It's eaten up with honeysuckle and blackberries. Not quite the naturalization I had in mind. I may have to call someone in to help clear that out.

Obviously, I still have spring fever! Now, if I only had time (and money) to match desire!

P.S. I bought kale...and potatoes. I'll let you know how that kale over mashed potatoes goes.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Grab a Plate and Pull Up a Chair

You guys ROCK!

You were so gracious to give me such helpful feedback about eating well. I'm looking forward to implementing your ideas. I'll give you an overview of what everyone shared...

Lunanik suggested Kale which I've been reading about but haven't had the guts to try since it's not a "mainstream" vegetable. She says to saute some onion and garlic (I'm already there--is there anything that smells better than onion and garlic while they are cooking?) keeping the pan wet with a little low sodioum chicken broth. Wilt the kale, but leave some curliness to it. Don't cook it down to nothing. Serve it on top of mashed potatoes. I would have never guessed mashed potatoes, but hey, I can count on Lunanik to pull some surprises. I've been considering kale recently and read that it's a nutritional powerhouse, so I'll be branching out. Thanks for stretching me, Lunanik!

InTheFastLane suggested incorporating black beans in different ways, like, grinding them up like meat and adding them to lasagna, soups and chili. All I can say is...Duh! Why hadn't that occurred to me? I agree with her that black beans on rice w/ salsa and cheddar cheese (add sour cream to mine please) is also one of my faves and I'm planning on doing that one this weekend! Yum! (Ooh, I bet a squeeze of lime juice would jack that up a bit and I just remembered! I have FRESH cilantro in a pot outside! OMG! Can this get ANY better?!)

Mrs. Blogoway gave me a link for a homemade Caesar salad that sounds divine: I just want to know if you go the whole nine yards and make the croutons too?

Sweet (how appropriate is that name!) is a HUGE fan of stevia and clued me in to some of the variety of flavors available in Sweet Leaf Stevia: vanilla creme English toffee, Valencia orange and root beer flavors, just to name a few. Go here to see more. I found the packets of stevia at the (small) local health food store. The only liquid she has available is plain. But I'm keeping my eyes peeled for more! (Sweet, I would love to come visit, do you have a page? If you don't want to leave a comment to that effect, my email is on my profile page.) Another friend added that you can bake with stevia too! I'm wondering if you substitute it equally?

Now, I'll tell you my new favorite breakfast. Two of them. A bonus one because I love you so much.

1 Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel 4:9 English muffin split and toasted (flourless, sprouted grains)
slather on some Smart Balance peanut butter
about a teaspoon of apple butter on each slice

One of the variations on my protein shakes:
1/2 cup non fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup 2% milk (or lower percent)
1 teaspoon honey
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup frozen cherries
whir and serve
voila! A healthy chocolate covered cherry!