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Variety News, June 28, 2021

On My Mind
I’ve been thinking about a couple of things lately – hair (still, yes, I know), and writing (which is nearly always on my mind in one sense or another).

Specifically regarding my hair, I’ve been thinking about how much more “me” I feel now that it’s getting longer than I ever did with the pixie cut. Which is apparently sacrilege considering the consensus from other people has been and still seems to be that I’m more attractive with the pixie cut/shorter hair, but regardless, I feel like…the longer hair is more representative of who I really “am” inside, if that makes sense.

I sort of get the disappointment from others – the shorter cuts make me (I’d almost say they do this for most people, honestly) look more outgoing and approachable, people will instinctively respond well to that. With longer hair, I look less outgoing and more reserved, which is more representative of my true nature. It’s difficult to explain, but I do/am noticing the difference in how people treat me initially (or just in a passing interaction). It’s a little odd, but I’m okay with it. And I do put my hair up (now that I can) when I need to be/be seen as that more outgoing person from the start. The difference now is, I can let it back down again. I have options, and that’s what I’ve been missing.

Check out the writing blog for my recent thoughts on that subject (linked below). It seems as though this summer is the “year of reversion/reclamation” for more than just my hair.

Growing
We may not be loving the heat, but our tomatoes sure are! I’m not actually sure how we’re going to find all the fruit in this jungle….

Eating
One of my weaknesses is Crumbl Cookies. They’re big, they’re yummy, they don’t contain high fructose corn syrup (so I can eat them without getting stuffy). Last week, they had two total winners – the Lemon Poppy Seed and the Dark Dream, which is basically a brownie in cookie form. If they come around again, I’d highly recommend getting one (or more) of each. They are…phenomenal.

Playing
I picked up my Nintendo Switch again this week, and played some Animal Crossing a few nights. Unfortunately, my eyes started bugging me again after the second night. *sigh* So that’s going to have to be a once or twice weekly thing at most, because I’m not going to ruin my eyesight for video games. I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me to play games on my phone, but it does on the switch (the switch screen is much bigger), but…it’s definitely different.

Speaking of mobile games…Bidoof is being spotlighted in Pokemon Go for a few days. And you can catch a shiny one, with a few moves it doesn’t normally have, like Shadow Ball and Hyper Beam.

Bidoof is basically a beaver. So the goal is to catch a shiny beaver that can throw Shadow Balls and Hyper Beams. If that doesn’t amuse you…well…it should. 😀

Watching
We’ve been watching old episodes of Jag lately, and it really is a great show, but it’s also really interesting to watch those older shows and notice not only how misogynistic the whole culture is, but how they are generally aware of it even as they perpetuate it. Even hubby’s been commenting on it, and it really underscores how far we’ve come from how things used to be. Things are always generally improving, and I think we forget that sometimes when we’re stressing over how bad they are now. They were worse, even just twenty years ago. It’s important to see and note the progress we’ve made, I think.

Post Round-up
The Writer’s Desk (last updated: 6/26/2021)


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Variety News: June 21, 2021

On My Mind
Last week, I had a goal to make an eye doctor appointment on Monday. I haven’t managed to get it done yet, so that’s how last week went. I did manage to get my hair into a french braid though, which is a game-changer when it comes to this next phase of the grow-out period.

I really need to get the eye appointment made though, and an appointment for Athena to get a broken tooth taken out too. Those are top of the list this week. Why are the simplest goals sometimes the hardest to complete?

Making
We didn’t “make” it so much as put it back together, but our patio swing is usable again! We took it apart this spring to paint and re-cover, and finally got it back together this weekend. It’s so nice having a place to sit and watch the dogs in the yard. Slowly but surely, things are coming together back there.

Growing
Last weekend, we finally added some annuals to the pots out front for a bit more color while our new plants grow in. Oranges, yellows and purples are the “it” colors this year, and while they’re kind of sparse at the moment, I think they’ll look very bright and cheerful once they mature.

Eating
The best thing I ate last week was a thick bone-in pork chop with fresh spinach penne on the side. I try to eat local whenever I can, and everything in that meal except the mushrooms were locally grown/made. And it was all *delish*. The perfect end to a very busy week.

The Thin Mint Blizzard from Dairy Queen mid-week wasn’t all that bad either…just sayin’.

Bling & Things
I mentioned I can get my hair in a French braid now, and one of my favorite hair accessories at the moment is a bow barrette with a small snood attached. I got a pack of 6 in different colors from Amazon, and they are the *perfect* accessory for that hairstyle for work. The satin bow is elegant and classy, and the snood keeps the short, unkempt ends all tucked up and neat.

I also keep forgetting that I have some fancy bobby pins I could use to keep the straggly side hairs up. I’ve just been using regular bobby pins (from Lilla Rose – they are the *best*, hands down…very strong hold) and trying to keep them hidden under hair sections, but there’s no reason I couldn’t use something with a fancy flower/bow on on the end, or pearls along the length just for a little extra “pop”, right?

Post Round-up
The Writer’s Desk – My notes on writing and progress reports (last updated Sat, 6/19/21)


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Back to Variety

On My Mind
‘Tis the season of change, again. Seems like we’ve had a lot of those in the past year or so. Just when we get comfortable with whatever changed, everything changes again. I don’t do well with such things – I’m programmed for routines, but I like to think I’m keeping up as well as I can. Still, all things considered, I’m ready for some routine sameness for awhile. A long while, preferably.

In the spirit of constant change though, I’m trying a new format for the blog again. Will it stay? Will it change? We shall see! Either way, thanks again for reading. I’m trying to get back to my “variety pages” roots.

Make It
I haven’t really made anything lately, because…big puppy = crafting stuff all put away. But the general temperature of the office I work in for the day job has been pretty frosty lately, and has me wanting some warm fingerless gloves for typing. I may well dig out some yarn and a crochet hook this week, considering the dogs are now crated during the day, and it’s safe to figure out where I hid all of that.

Eat It
I have rhubarb and peaches in my fridge this week. I’m thinking about boiling the rhubarb with sugar water (cranberry-style), and then adding some sliced peaches right at the end. Seems like that would be good either on top of or underneath a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Play It
Pokemon Go community day was this last week, and Gible was the Monster of the Hour(s)! I played for only a couple of hours (things to do on a Sunday, dang it), but got two shiny Gibles, one of which I traded to my hubby for another shiny Gible. We were lucky friends, so that gave us each a shiny lucky Gible with pretty darn good IVs. It was a good day.

I haven’t been playing much Animal Crossing lately. I fired it up once last week, but that was it. Might try just once a week for that. I love it, it’s relaxing, but…I have other things I want to do in the evenings too. So we’ll see.

Bling & Things
Forgive me wallet, for I have ordered more hair things. Specifically, flexi’s from Lillarose, and barrettes from Amazon. I can finally pull my hair back (it requires pins and a lot of hair spray, but I can, and that’s the important part), so I’ve been celebrating/keeping myself motivated to let it grow and wait to cut the color out. Buying bling, especially things that will look really nice with the new silver hair color, is a good/fun way to do that, if somewhat more expensive than it would be to just keep it cut/dyed. Pics when I get them!

My nail polish this week is named Daredevil. I’ll eventually get pics up, but it’s a very pretty green holo polish that is definitely making me feel more “daring”.

Post Round-up
If you deduced from this heading that I’m going to try keeping up with multiple blogs again, you’d be right. I don’t have that new content up just yet, so no links this week, but that’s the plan. Stay tuned!


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Hitting Reset

It’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it? Things have been a bit crazy, to put it mildly. A quick run-down, for anyone who doesn’t follow me on social media:

– Got my second covid shot and immediately got a norovirus the same day, so that was super-fun. I was sick for a week, couldn’t eat for a good 24 hours, and couldn’t eat anything substantial for the next five days after. Good times. Bonus: I have no idea if I had side-effects from the shot or not.

– My dishwasher broke, and is still broken. I finally got an appointment to have someone look at it…Tuesday. Have I mentioned I hate, hate, hate doing dishes by hand?

– I broke my 100 daily words for 100 days streak when I was sick, and with the dishwasher being broke, I haven’t picked it back up because my writing time is late at night after the kitchen is clean, and the kitchen takes me twice as long as it used to now.

– I got my hair cut for the first time in a year, and that was a far better experience than I’d hoped for. I like the new stylist, she was very thoughtful and careful with how she cut my hair given my grow-out goals, and I can let it grow for the next six months now and it should grow out very nicely.

So. Lots going on. Ironically, I feel a lot better overall since the norovirus/full-body-purge…some other health issues I was having seem to have magically gone away/fixed themselves since, which is actually pretty awesome. So much so that I’m considering doing a planned 24 hour fast every so often, just to sort of “reset” my physical systems. Gotta do a little reading up first, but it seems like it might be a good idea. Anything that keeps my body running smoother as I get older is on the table, as far as I’m concerned.

I am getting somewhat faster at doing the dishes (and eating out an extra night or two per week), and my writing issue is more of a “pouting” issue, so there’s really no reason I can’t sit down and whip out 100 words and still get to bed on time, other than attitude. So, I need to give myself a stern talking-to, and get my butt back to writing. I have a very nifty new planner that’s basically just habit tracking for writers, and it actually makes me want to write so I have something to record daily. Whatever works, right?

As for my hair…I’ve got some new routines forming due to both the longer length and the silver growing out. I watch YouTubers who are growing out their gray hair too (judge all you want – everyone likes company when embarking on a new adventure), and one of them mentioned that something she wished she knew before growing her gray out was that makeup will get in your white hair, and you can *see* it (because…white), and you can’t get it out. So you have to put your hair back when you’re doing your makeup, which is something that never crossed my mind, but makes total sense to me. So I’m changing up my routine since I do already have a lot of white right up near my face. I used to shower, then do my hair, then do my makeup (and my hair would often get in the way, because it’s “poofy” when I blow it out). I’m switching it up, and after a shower, wrapping my hair in a hair towel (women and long-haired men, have you discovered hair towels yet? If not, do!), go do my makeup and get dressed, and then do my hair last. Voila! No makeup in my white hair. It’s the little things…

Also, the new cut has taken away the worst of the “flips” at the end of my layers that forced me to take a shower and wash my hair daily for work, so I could tame those silly flips with the blow dryer. Now, I find that my hair just flattens out a bit on the second day after a shower, so I can skip the shower and hair wash every other day, which is far better for my scalp, my hair *and* my skin! Huzzah! I celebrated by ordering a flat iron and a heat-resistant mat for the bathroom counter, so on days I don’t need to shower, I can either straighten or curl my hair (or leave it alone) as I feel like it. It’s a new era, which is awesome, and exactly what I was hoping for. So yay!

In other news, we’re back to yardwork again, and I tell you what – nothing gets those muscles screaming again like shoveling a bunch of wheelbarrows and buckets of dirt to fill garden beds and pots. I am *sore* today, I tell you what. But we got a bunch of tomatoes planted this past Saturday, and I moved my hardy geranium into the brick planter in the front of our house. It’s a start.

In any case, things are slowly getting back on track *again* (though the to-do list is longer than ever), and with any luck, they’ll stay that way for awhile this time. One can only hope, eh?


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Hair Down to There…Or Not?

Longer and frosted!

It’s been almost a year since my last haircut, and a little over two months since I decided to let the dye grow out and embrace my natural white/black/silver color(s). The top layers are *finally* getting long enough that I can pull most of my hair back in a ponytail if I’m not leaving the house now (a tiny, messy one that still needs bobby pins for side/back support), and the sides are just shy of being long enough to pull back out of my face (which is why the bobby pin thing isn’t such a good option…they’re too long to pin back, and too short not to).

No, I’m not a pigtail girl. I think I have one picture of myself as a child in pigtails, but aside from Harley Quinn cosplay, you won’t see me rocking those anytime soon. There’s a line.

I could probably do two braids, but I’ve never really done that either – it’s normally just one down the back of my head. Maybe I should try the double. See if the sides are long enough to reach.

In any case, now I have a bit of a quandary. It’s been a long haul growing all these layers out, and I will probably make a hair appointment for sometime in May. I’ll definitely be getting a trim, and probably keeping some layers but not all. The quandary I have is…should I just cut my hair back into a pixie cut to get rid of the dye all at once and then spend the next year growing the length back out from there?

Or should I just get a trim, keep my hair shoulder-length for awhile until the natural color catches up, and then continue growing it out to my mid-back “goal length”?

It’s a thinker. On the one hand, it would be nice to just be done with the color all at once, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about that “demarcation line” where the white/natural color meets the dyed color.

Look at that black stripe – cool!

On the other hand, there is still a lot of “color” in my natural patchwork of shades (the black is a bit surprising, since I’ve never actually had natural black hair before). I’m fairly positive I’ll like it just fine longer, but the multi-color/patchwork thing sometimes doesn’t work so well in a super-short style, IMO.

Plus I’d have to deal with a whole ‘nuther year of growing out short layers of hair. It’s doable, but really pretty annoying some days.

As of now, the white on top (I call it my “frosting”) doesn’t bug me all that much. And since I wear bangs, my face will be framed with the natural colors in just another month or two no matter what length the back is. Maybe I’ll just get a trim this time, and then if it’s bugging me in a couple months, I’ll chop it off, otherwise, just another trim.

Rinse, repeat.


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Hair, Everywhere

Hair is such an oddly complex thing, mentally speaking. It’s one of the first things people see when they look at us, and an integral part of our personal identity. Many of us hang on to a certain style or color for years just because we can’t see ourselves any other way, and others of us cycle through hairstyles and cuts like seasonal decor.

Our hair often defines us, either by style or cut or color, and while we’re all told not to judge other’s appearances, for some reason, we generally do just that, at least at first. I’m betting that actual first impressions are often made subconsciously, before we even realize what we’re doing, which is probably an instinctual/survival thing.

I was thinking about this and how it relates to my writing (or should), and I’m annoyed and kind of embarrassed to say that…I really don’t know, because this is the first time I’ve given any thought to it. And that’s really not a good answer, because given how important hair is to real people, I think it should have at least a similar amount of importance to my characters and decisions they make. It certainly will going forward, for sure.

I’ve been growing my own hair out for about eight and a half months now, and it’s gone from a short pixie cut to just barely shoulder length at the back (the sides and top layers are still pretty short). It’s a process that has included a lot of ups and downs, both physically and mentally, but the experience isn’t so different from when I first cut it off. I still have days when I just want to chop it all back off, and days when I wish it were mid-back length, and days when I feel like it’s fine just the way it is (not often at the moment – it needs a tad bit more length to pull the flips into nice waves for that).

Eight months of hair growth, from a pixie cut. The three pics in front of my shower curtain are without styling, the fourth in front of my bookshelves is straightened and styled.

When I decided to grow my hair out, several people assumed I’d also be letting it go natural too (salt and pepper with a lot of pepper on the bottom is my “natural” color now). I wasn’t ready yet, so I said ’no’, and have spent a lot of time since trying to figure out how to successfully dye my roots, not just in the front, but also in the back so I can pull my hair up without white showing. Alas, I finally figured out that not only is it nearly impossible to color all my roots every time, but they grow out so quickly that I’d really have to touch them up weekly to avoid them showing at all against my dark brown/chestnut dye job. Also, my hair is thinner than it used to be in some spots, and while it doesn’t stand out so much against the white roots, it’s a rather stark contrast with my darker dye when my scalp peeks through.

Needless to say, there’s really only two good, easy-maintenance choices since I have so many more white roots than I had when I started dying my hair. One is to cut my hair off again, so that it’s easy enough to just dye the whole thing every three weeks, and since there’s only one real style to that, it doesn’t matter if the underside gets missed.

Or I can grow out the henna/indigo as I’m growing my hair longer, and let my natural color take over. That’s the choice that feels good to me right now, so that’s what I’m going with.

I wish I’d been ready to make that decision last year when I stopped getting my hair cut. I’d have pretty much grown out the dye by now, and the process would have been a lot easier. I was already dealing with flippy, annoying hair, so different colors would have just been one more thing.

But I wasn’t ready then, and this isn’t something you can really rush, so I’m starting the color grow-out process now. It could take as long as two years, or quite a bit less if I decide to chop my hair off as soon as the gray is long enough for a shaggy pixie. We’ll see how long I can stand that sharp demarcation line that will be evident on top of my head soon enough. I could just dye the top/most visible roots with a color conditioner too, and I might do that, depending. I just need to see what it looks like when a decent amount of the roots have grown out, and for that…well, it just takes time and patience.

I don’t regret dying my hair for the last…12(?) years or so. I think that and the short hair cut gave me a lot of confidence, and people definitely treated me differently than they had before (that was a lot of what gave me the confidence), which certainly worked to my favor, at least professionally. I think it was very attractive on me, and made me look a lot more outgoing and approachable than I actually am, which served me very well.

But, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I needed to with that look, and that maybe I can afford to be more authentic to my original sense of style and color now (more natural, low-maintenance). I like longer hair (I can always put long hair up, can’t take short hair down), and while the salt and pepper look will undoubtedly make me look older, I’ve looked younger than my age for my whole life, and it might be refreshing to have people not question my age or experience for a change.

It’s going to be another long wait as my roots grow out and look…well, not great while they do. But, a lot of women did the same thing when the salons closed last year, so I’m a year behind the trend is all (story of my life). I think it’ll be a change for the better, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the new ratio of white to brown to black will be when the dye is finally gone.

Updates here and there, as the grow-out progresses. Another adventure begins, and with it, a character or two in a story who has to deal with gray roots, demarcation lines and conflicting emotions about hair.


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Change and Patience

Words for the Week: Stress, exhaustion, bloom.

Changing routines is hard. I am trying rather valiantly to switch things up, with moderate success, but it’s slow going considering I have to rewrite neuro-pathways (essentially muscle-memory for the brain) and also actual muscle memory/kinetic energy. But! I was able to get back to the office at 11pm every night this past week, and after comparing the time it takes me to transcribe with the time it takes to just write, and the editing time required after each…I was able to determine that for me, writing the initial draft instead of dictating it, and then transcribing it later is definitely more efficient.

So, no more dictation, though I may use that just for capturing random thoughts to set the scene or details I want to include later. We’ll see.

It also means (given the editing component) that I have a lot of rewriting to do from last year. *sigh* But I can use my dictations as outlines of sorts, so all isn’t lost.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out how to motivate myself to keep up with daily/weekly chores so small issues don’t become big issues. Like the fact that I had to clean out my fridge yesterday and it was completely gross. Or that I routinely let non-dishwasher-safe dishes pile up in one of my sinks, and they sit there for weeks simply because I hate hand-washing dishes so I don’t do them right when they’re “generated”. And there’s the recycling that I don’t take out to the garage, so then I have empty cans and bottles piling up on my kitchen counters making it more difficult to cook.

Laziness is the only reason I don’t take care of these things right away, before that pack of celery becomes goo on a fridge shelf, or before there are so many cans on my counter I don’t have room for a cutting board. I know it needs to be done, I just choose not to take the 5 minutes to do it because I don’t feel like it, or I’m too tired, or just unmotivated.

I’m not sure how to motivate myself to do these things right away instead of waiting until they get to the point of no return (which then requires several hours of time to catch up rather than 5 minutes). I know routine is part of it, so that even when my brain doesn’t feel like it, kinetic energy and muscle memory just pull me into getting it done. I rely on that a lot for daily things, and it works well, once it’s coded into my brain. Re-coding though is…often problematic.

But I need to do something. Keeping up on these things gives me more time overall, and that is what I covet most…more time not doing housekeeping or cleaning chores. I also really hate cleaning veggie goo and moldy leftovers out of my refrigerator.

Am I trying to change up too much, too quickly, between the writing and household stuff? Possibly. I’m impatient with the fact that I can’t make quicker progress, mostly because I’m finally motivated to fix these problems, and it’s stressful going through the change. So I’m anxious to get through the transitional period and to the other side where this stuff just “happens” without so much mental effort.

Alas, “extra mental effort” seems to be the theme of the past 12 months and continues on. So I don’t know why I expect personal growth to be any different.

I did make some monthly goals for writing/publishing, and a plan for reaching those. I may have made them too late to hit this month, but it’s still a solid plan going forward. So there’s that.

I’ve been working on rehabbing my hip too, with good progress. Slow and steady with that…Friday was the first day I could do three sun salutation sets with zero pain. So this week, I start strength training for the muscles in and around my hips, in hopes of keeping any future damage to a minimum. Yet another change where patience is required (or a lot of damage could occur).

And my hair has hit another awkward point of growth…I really am going to have to find a new stylist soon, if only to even up the back and then sort of calm down the flippy-ness of the upper layers. That will be a February project, I guess.

Change and patience. Patience and change. Two things I am quite weary of at this point, but with enough patience and time, things will stabilize and get easier. It sometimes takes awhile, but they always do.

Eye on the prize, and all that. *sigh*


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New Perspectives…on Hair

After touching up my roots this weekend, I found myself going down the rabbit hole of “Going Gray” videos on YouTube. Every time I’m less than impressed with how the hair dye goes, I find myself wondering yet again if I should just embrace my natural hair color and get off the dye, touch-up, repeat carousel.

And every time, I’m reminded that a lot of these women still bleach their hair to get an even color, or use purple or blue shampoos depending on their personal tone to keep their hair from turning off-colors like yellow. Point being, going “natural”, whether that means white or gray or a patchwork of colors (like mine is underneath the henna and indigo), does not mean “no maintenance”. It just means a different kind of maintenance.

I ask myself if I’d truly be happy embracing my natural color, and the answer is no. Could I, if I had to? Of course! I’d never have started dyeing my hair at all if the lab-made dyes were all that was available, but I have natural powdered plants to dye with, so, it seems less damaging than the nail polish I use weekly.

So why then, am I do annoyed with the fact that I need to maintain my dye job? Mostly because I have trouble getting a consistent result, honestly. I miss spots, or I don’t get the color “right”. It’s because I’m not “perfect”, even though I’ve done root touch-ups exactly four times now.

Seriously. That’s ridiculous.

I do my nails every Saturday night. I started that habit decades ago, and it wasn’t because I really liked doing my nails. It was because my nails grow fast and are hard, but tend to break easily at the tips if they aren’t maintained regularly (cut, filed, and at least top-coated).

So as a way of making the nail maintenance I needed fun, I learned to do a full manicure and started doing nail art. A new design every week, and my nails were protected and maintained. Now it’s one of my favorite times of the week, because it’s a time to relax, watch YouTube videos that make me question my life choices (and also the occasional movie or series – currently the second season of Virgin River), and eat questionable snacks gingerly as my nails dry.

Could I let my nails just go au naturale? Sure. They’d still require maintenance though, and it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as a new color every week.

So how is my hair different than my nails? It’s really not, I’ve just built it up that way in my head. And I’ve put far too much pressure on myself, especially when it comes to being perfect. It’s just hair. And if I miss a spot, I can go back and catch it later. Or next time, even, because no one is going to blink at eye at the occasional stray white or gray hair on my head, just like most people don’t notice when I have to cut one nail shorter than the others for whatever reason.

And if they do…does it really matter?

No, no it does not.

There will probably come a day when I can’t dye my hair for whatever reason, and I’ll deal with that. For now though, I need a change in perspective. And a weekly hair-pampering routine on the weekend that makes the necessary maintenance seem more like a treat and less like a chore.

To that end, I’m going to appoint some time every weekend for hair care. It might be a hot oil mask, or maybe just trying a new hairstyle, but it will be scheduled time that will hopefully become like my nail nights, or my foot care nights (I do foot care while budgeting and grocery shopping online late Friday nights). I think that will make the root touch-up nights just another normal thing I do, like polishing my nails and shaving my feet (yes, that’s a thing…and in my case, necessary).

On a related note, I think we all need one day a week where we can just focus solely on caring for our bodies. It would be so helpful to have time set aside that didn’t also have to be used for household chores and errands.

Weekly spa day for everyone! Wouldn’t that be the life?


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Thanksgiving & Historical Hair

I’m not sure if “Happy” is the correct word to put with “Thanksgiving” this year. I think many of us are so tired, beaten down, depressed or angry for one reason or another that while we’re thankful to have survived this far, a lot of us probably still aren’t all that “happy”.

That said, we have survived this far, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel, so while it may be a ways off yet, we can make it. We just have to keep slogging along, and do the one thing that seems to be the most difficult for humans to do – stay away from each other for a little while longer.

Admittedly, I don’t really have an issue with that like a lot of people, so it’s really not a hardship for me to eschew family gatherings and such. Honestly, it’s kind of a convenient excuse. I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with just my husband this year, and making a nice dinner tailored to our own tastes. Nothing to complain about as far as that goes.

In other news, I’ve recently become fascinated with historical hairstyles/styling. The thing about growing your hair out is, if you don’t focus on the goal, you are pretty constantly tempted to chop the whole thing off again during the awkward “in between” stages of growth. I’ve been buying fun hair accessories and even pony tail holders in anticipation of my hair being long enough to use them, and one day a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube channel of a historian demonstrating how to care for hair during…the Edwardian period, maybe? I can’t remember really, but it started my spiral down into the world of historical hair care and styling, and I’ve been watching similar videos every since. Here’s a different hair video I watched this weekend…fun and fascinating, methinks!

Needless to say, the wait for long enough hair to braid (or “plait”) again is even more excruciating while I watch because I want to “play” too, but also something I’m really looking forward to. A few more months and I should be able to do quite a bit more with my own mop.

I got very little writing in last week, and that’s something I’d really like to change. So along with a really good ham, scalloped potatoes & sweet potato pie dinner this week, I’d like to get some words in consistently. With any luck, I’ll hit four mornings out of five, and have another fun something for Friday.

Until then, I do wish you the happiest Thanksgiving you can possibly have.


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Weariness, Planning, Hair, & Granola Culture

I think it’s safe to say we’re all tired of the pandemic. I’ve heard from more than one person lately that they’re just tired of it all, tired of thinking about it, tired of the mask thing, tired of staying away from people. They’re ready to throw in the towel and go back to just living life normally, letting whatever happens, happen.

We humans do tend to have a painfully short attention span, unfortunately.

I’m tired of thinking about it too, and tired of masks, and constantly analyzing whether my sneezing fit is caused by smoke and fall allergens, or if it’s the dreaded Covid monster. I’m not really tired of staying away from people, but I am tired of having to think before going to dinner, or planning a night at the movies three weeks in the future – will our infected rates be going down or up by then?

But, I’m not going to stop taking precautions just yet. Yes, we have some very promising treatments, and the mortality rate has gone down quite a bit. We are less likely to die from it now than we were a few months ago, just because doctors and scientists are more informed, and have several really good treatment options they can employ right away.

Thing is, they still don’t know what causes some people to react worse than others to the virus, and the long-term effects are still a possibility for anyone. And frankly, I’d rather not put my body through that if I don’t have to. So as tired as I am of all of it, I’ll keep masking up inside and around large groups of people. And I’ll keep evaluating case loads and numbers before I decide whether or not to do something. Because it seems like the responsible thing to do, both to avoid getting sick, and to avoid giving it to someone else who may be affected badly by it.

If you think that’s “living in fear”, well, sure it is, to a point. I’m allowing fear to make me cautious. And in this case, I’m okay with that, because the potential threat is still largely unknown. That’s what our innate fear response is for – to keep us safe. I’m merely listening to mine, because it seems logical/practical to do so.

Last week I posted about focus and planning, and I’m happy to report that on that front, really good progress was made. Every night, I took 15 minutes and made to-do lists for work and home, and then I scheduled all the things I needed to get done (and could reasonably expect to do) for the next day. Not only did that make my entire day a lot easier and less stressful, I was far, far more productive, even with a million different interruptions. It felt good, and I’m definitely going to keep that up. It was so…refreshing to be able to just know what I wanted to work on when, and be able to kind of just put the rest of it out of my mind because I *knew* it was already scheduled, and that I’d left plenty of time to work on it, so it would get done and I didn’t need to stress about anything.

I did, however, fail to do any planning whatsoever for the weekend, and…that kind of hosed me up as far as productivity goes. I’ll be more mindful of that for next week, and actually schedule those planning times on my to-do list so that maybe I can have a little more control over my weekend as well.

As for my hair-growth project…it’s kind of stressing me out. It’s at the point now where it’s just going to be difficult to manage for the next few months, and my confidence is waning. I’m having trouble with the idea that it might affect the way I’m treated, both at work and in other social situations. I’m excited at the prospect of having more versatility again, but there’s this voice in the back of my head that’s afraid to just ignore what people obviously respond well to (my short hair, in this case), just because I want something different.

I just remember how things changed for the better when I cut it off, and I’m afraid all that will revert as my hair gets longer (especially in this stupid grow-out stage when it’s just going to be unruly).

We’ll see, I guess. I can always chop it back off, if I find that I just need that coiffed-pixie look again. When I cut it off before, it was mainly for other people. Now I’m growing it out for me, but I’m keenly aware of the perks that come with keeping it short. It’s…difficult to do what I want when I know that the option that serves me better both socially and in the workplace is something different.

I guess it’s like my tattoos all over again, in a way. And I maybe just need to keep reminding myself that once it gets past my shoulders, I can just wear my hair up whenever I need that “short-hair” boost, and then be free to leave it down for myself evenings and weekends.

Am I superficial for spending so much brain power on my hair? Sure, I guess. But honestly? I’d rather worry about that right now than all the other more serious things I could be anxious about.

For my next personal change of 2020 – I plan on buying some flannel shirts, and re-embracing the granola culture I spent my college years in. Not because I want to go back to college (definitely not), but because it’s comfortable, and it feels more like “me”.

I can’t decide if I’m “devolving” or “evolving” given that I’m basically going back to who I was in my 20’s. I guess the real question is, do I care? The answer right now is, not enough to stop. We’ll see what happens as the months go on.

Rest assured that whatever happens, I will never wear socks with my Birkenstocks. And I don’t even own crocs. I do still have *some* standards.


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