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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow, Part II

Disclaimer: No children were harmed in the writing of this post

So I got my hair cut and styled and, much to my surprise, I didn't turn into Rose Byrne's identical twin.

Rose Byrne (not me)

But it did make me wonder why, as much as I love to experiment with my own hair, I freak out when my children have tried to do the same. Of course, they were experimenting using school scissors and didn't have the benefit of a talented stylist.

My daughter butchered cut her own hair when she was four. She cut it down the scalp in some places and left long stringy pieces hanging down in others. She cut as close to the hairline as she could on the top of her head, creating a 1/4 inch Mohawk. She ran into my room and with a big smile on her face, calling out, "Mommy, look what I did!"

It wasn't my best moment...

It was just like that (except I wasn't yelling about wire hangers, beating my child or wearing cold cream on my face). I was just very very upset and got a leetle hysterical. In my defense, we adopted my daughter from a Russian orphanage and seeing her with "orphan" hair again devastated me. She also was enrolled in a little drama class and had a performance the next day. Ironically, she was playing one of the orphans in "Annie." Now that I think about it, maybe she was just practicing method acting with a dedication that would have made Lee Strasberg proud.

Then there was my son. "The INNCIDENT" happened when he was 10. I kept looking at him trying to figure out what was different about him. Quite frankly, he looked angry. Like he had a permanent scowl on his face. I thought he was just going through the early stages of puberty or was going to murder me in my sleep.

Then I got a good look at his eyebrows.

He had shaved them off and drawn them in with eyeliner. A black eyeliner. And it took me two days to notice.

Whew! What a relief! He wasn't angry with me, he was just extremely worried that his wispy little eyebrows might develop into a dreaded unibrow one day and was being proactive. Of course! It all made perfect sense. Not.

The best part is that he was at that stage where he said he didn't believe in Santa but he asked me to mail him a letter. In it, he asked Santa for new eyebrows. I still have that letter and am tearing up just thinking about it.

His eyebrows did grow back eventually, just like my daughter's hair. And now I find it amusing. Funny how it works like that...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, Part I

I have this theory about hair: If you cut it, it will grow back. It's true! Unless it's your Barbie's hair that you've cut down to the little rubber scalp. That hair does not grow back. I learned this when I was four and playing Barbie Beauty Shop and ended up with a bunch of semi-bald dolls that were such a turn-off to Ken that he wouldn't go into the Barbie camper with them anymore. Of course I have some other theories about Ken but I'll save them for another day.

Back to hair. I was so excited when my mom took me to the "beauty parlor" to get a shag/gypsy cut. I was seven and I was going to be cool.
 (Pretty sure I didn't want to look like Jane Fonda when I was in the second grade, but this is the only celebrity picture I could find)

What happened was NOT cool.
I remember staring in the mirror with horror and then bursting into tears while my mom tried to assure the distraught hair dresser that I loved it and that I was sobbing with joy. I had a bowl cut with a tail in the back.
Okay. It wasn't as bad as that but it was pretty awful.
My mom did the best she could to fix it before school pictures the next day but as my sister can attest (i.e. the great bang incident of 1972) my mom has little talent when it come to cutting hair.
I guess I got over it because I've become somewhat glib about hair. I have had hair to my waist and hair that didn't touch my collar. I've worn it straight and rocked an 80s perm.
I actually started going gray in high school so I've always colored my hair out of necessity. I've been brunette, blonde, and auburn.
Tomorrow I am going to get my hair cut and embrace my hair's natural waviness. I am just tired of using a flat iron or sticking it up in a ponytail. I don't want to go short because I am in the middle of growing it out ONE MORE TIME while it's still age appropriate. Age appropriate was of course said in my mother's voice.
I have no doubt that with the perfect haircut I will magically lose 10 (ahem) pounds and be mistaken for Rose Byrne (my lady crush) on a regular basis.


 Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne (I'm kind of obsessed), the longer version.
Keira Knightley
Kerry Washington - Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence - Getty Images

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Put a little Pledge on it...

Today was one of those days where I had to stop and think about how much I put my mother through when I was growing up. It was also one of those days that drives home the fact that despite all the times I have been angry at my mom and swore that I would never be like her, the inevitable has happened.

 I am my mother.

And that's okay. Because being a mom is TOUGH. And sometimes you just have to cry (and yell) and then hope that tomorrow will be a better day and that your kids will grow up to be decent human beings and rocket scientists and brain surgeons and that one day you will have grandchildren who love you and will never slam doors in your face or think that you are mean.

It was a Lemon Pledge day.

Yes, there are cleaning products that are better for the environment and smell like geranium lemon lavender pine verbena but for me, Lemon Pledge is a just little bit of faux lemon Heaven. It reminds me of my childhood and comforts me. I am by no means a neat freak. In fact, I'm kind of gross but I do love the instant gratification of dusting. It's soothing to polish the piano that was handed down to me by my mother or buff our rustic dining table that has glitter from long ago crafts permanently highlighting every crevice.

I really don't know how to explain it. It just makes me feel better.
See? I'm not the only one.
Now, I'm not saying it's as therapeutic as a glass of wine but when the shit hits the fan at 3:30 in the afternoon, it's a tad more respectable to dust than to get tanked. That can wait until 5:00 (give or take 30 minutes). And best of all, at around $4 a can, it's cheaper than a visit to the therapist.
I guess I'm just like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding except I use Pledge instead of Windex and I'm not an old bald Greek man. But other than that, we're just alike!
Sometimes it's the small things that make me feel the best.
So now my glass of wine and I are off to dust. But first, I'm going to hug my two teens and call my mom and tell her I love her.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Stuff I Make That Makes Me Happy

I love me some yard art.

There are few things that make me happier than creating something. Usually it's something for the yard. I subscribe to the more is more theory. A bare spot in the garden is like a bare wall in my home - nonexistent.

 Flower plates (Lolliplates)
Monkey Boots, the Faverolles hen. No, I didn't make her but she sure is a beautiful piece of yard art, isn't she? 
Hubcap art

Bowling balls and old marbles


Garden Totems

Flower plates - the solution to my plate ADDICTION

Needle felted pumpkins

Mosaic bricks 
Another gratuitous chicken photo - Tula (aka, Big Fatty)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Color Me Happy!

There's just something about color that speaks to me and I have the 10,784 paint chips to prove it.

When my old friend Ben Moore and I get together, we have the best time! Why just the other day, we were laughing about when I went out with Martin Senour in the 80s and painted my bedroom peach with teal (yes, teal) trim. I think the peach had the word "Foxy" in its name. I have no idea what the teal was called but I'm sure it was something like "Big Mistake."

To make it even more cool I painted a teal stripe around the room (which I eyeballed because measuring and painters tape is for wussies or people who want things to look good) and then painted silhouettes of cats on top of the stripe just to give it that sexy boudoir vibe. To this day, I still don't understand how I didn't end up a spinster because we all know that nothing attracts a man like crazy cat lady d├ęcor.

In the 90s, I lived in a THE BIG FANCY HOUSE, in which I used a lot of neutrals because I thought that's what you had to do in A BIG FANCY HOUSE. It was beige and it made me feel beige. So I painted the guest room raspberry and the dining room blue and life was good. Then we moved and I found my soul mate - the ordinary ranch that everyone, including my husband, thought was ugly. When I walked in, it whispered, "come live in me and I will make you happy." And it did.

Just like in any relationship, there are times we fight. Some days my house gets a little cranky and just refuses to allow the sewage to go to wherever sewage is supposed to go and our toilet backs up. Once it had a full-out temper tantrum and spewed something unmentionable up in the hall tub 10 minutes before 30 kids showed up for a birthday party. But it's a house that loves color, just like I do!

Photo bombed by "Mooch."
So Ben Moore and his buddies, Pratt and Lambert, and I have splashed color everywhere!

From one end of the kitchen to the other and everywhere in between. Just the way my house and I like it...

For more color inspiration check out my Pinterest board


Monday, September 23, 2013

Perfectly Imperfect

I seem to spend a lot of time wishing that my home was something that it's not - PERFECT. I blame it on Pinterest and Martha Stewart.

I mean, as much as I like to act like Martha Stewart is some kind of stuck up freak or an alien being from another galaxy sent to study the human race and sniff out our flaws (if the latter is true, we are clearly an inferior species), I'd really kind of like to be her.
Go OJ, go!
I'm sure she never had a party where someone got up to use the rest room and she had hurl herself over the table like OJ Simpson leaping over luggage in a Hertz commercial (yes, I'm old enough to remember back when OJ was good) to keep said guest from accidentally opening the CLOSET OF SHAME. You know, the closet where you stuff everything when you realize that there is no way in hell you are going to be able to do two days of organizing and tidying in the five minutes before your guests arrive.

This is the same closet where you shoved all those things six months ago that were too important to throw away and just never got around to dealing with it. It's like a giant junk drawer but dangerous. Vertical piles are very unstable but I must say, I'm pretty proud of my engineering skills. I can always manage to fit just one more thing in there. I call it The Leaning Tower of Pizza. That's not a typo. I believe somewhere towards the bottom is a pizza box, circa 2007.
Martha Stewart has probably never walked in the kitchen and found her cat licking the Thanksgiving turkey right before it was to be served. It was delicious and I honestly think the cat saliva added a little sumpin sumpin. As much as I'd like to be perfect like Martha, it just isn't going to happen. We have dogs and kids, who "occasionally" pee on the floor. Again, not a typo. My son used to whip it out and pee on my carpet when he was potty training. Needless to say, we now have a carpet-free house.

I also have a garage that is just downright scary. We realized right after we bought the house that the doorway was too low to allow our SUVs inside. After considering every option, including letting of the air out of our tires to lower the height of our cars, we just gave up and threw in the towel. Literally. There is a pile of mildewed towels hiding in there along with old animal cages (R.I.P., Mustard and Mayo) and 78 of  not-the-perfect-color-but-I-might-need-them-one-day cans of paint. I'm terrified that one day those guys from "Hoarders" are going to show up at my house with a camera crew. Needless to say, you don't want to be the kid (or husband) who leaves the garage door open for all the neighbors to see. I turn into a Mommy Dearest that would make Joan Crawford jealous.

My dreams of achieving perfection are just never going to become a reality. I peruse through magazines, cackling with glee every time I spot that perfectly imperfect home with chipped paint on the baseboards or pictures hanging slightly askew. It makes me feel like I'm not alone and that there are people out there who see beauty in the less than pristine.
I am learning to accept the person that I am and the messes that I create as I live my life.

Along the way, I have become a firm believer in the theory that exposing my kids to germs has built up their immune systems and that scratches on the brand new coffee table add patina and the hole in the slipcover on my couch just contributes to the vintage vibe of things accumulated over time. It's a lived-in and loved-in home.

Beeeeautiful - I believe this was the result of over-bleaching.
See how trying to live spot-free can screw up your life?

I'm not perfect nor am I ever going to be. The closest I'm probably ever going to get is my lovely Pinterest board, Cleaning and Clutterbusting. You should check it out. It's full of all kinds of awesome pins like how to make your own cleaning solutions from organic herbs from your garden, how to store your Q tips in an attractive container covered in handmade paper, and how to organize your entire life using recycled Altoid containers, a hot glue gun and a label maker. Martha would approve.