Anticipation of Positive…Stuff

Well, why not? Thinking about good outcomes is way more comforting than listing the major stressors you’re dealing with all at the same time, I think. So here I am anticipating better hair.

The older I get, the more I look like a bunny. Oh well, I declare it to be cute.

I’m also anticipating a nice meal with a friend this evening, and the sale of the Bobcat Lair, which is going more slowly than we’d hoped. The professional photos are up now, though. Check them out!

Ooh. We are in an upward transitioning community.

But, for me, the big anticipation is that Pool of Dreams! Dudes showed up today with bullnose tile for the edges of the pool, and the pretty tile for the waterfall.

Limestone with much character!

I couldn’t see the fancy tile, because they hid it to protect it. That’s probably a good idea.

The pretty stuff is under the black plastic.

They also took away all the forms around the gunite, so it’s ready to get pretty. I can’t wait to get home to see it tomorrow (I’m in Austin for the hair thing.)

Just getting started.

I’ve been enjoying the new job, but it’s making me tired, trying to learn so many things. At least I know the software! So forgive me if all I can muster up are some pictures of my latest ranch office updates. I have matching linen curtains and some art from the Bobcat house up. I like being around my needlepoint and Mom’s embroidery.

I’ll work on being more coherent tomorrow.

Your COVID Precautions Are Perfect for You

Hey, so we’re all living through this pandemic, right? We all listen to our preferred news outlets, discuss it with family and friends, have our own experiences, and then decide how we are going to cope.

Very few of us are hiding and ignoring what’s going on, unlike Cozy Carlton here.

I know a lot of people, in Cameron and Austin, but also around the world. They sure differ in how they decide to live their pandemic lives. Here in Cameron, I know people who haven’t changed their lives at all, except having to deal with store closures. I also know people whose underlying issues and financial means make them most comfortable not leaving their house at all.

Most people are somewhere in between. My children have to work. Many people are in that position, so they do what they can, wearing masks and washing hands a lot. Some people go grocery shopping and such, but limit their trips. Others figure out what shops or services are not crowded or taking precautions and use them.

Penney stays home.

Nearly all of us have our mask collections, since we can’t go places without them, but some are more careful with their technique than others.

Here are Lee’s masks drying.

Why are you telling us this?

The point is that, as with so many other things, there’s no one right way to deal with the COVID outbreak. People choose to make decisions based on information that matters to them and act accordingly. There are a LOT of factors involved, like personal philosophy, your risk factors, and your comfort level.

Harvey points out that his comfort level is high.

Because of all this, I’ve made the choice to not judge people on their choices, even when I disagree or am not comfortable with them. I don’t know their reasons much of the time, and when I do know them, I figure it’s their business.*

What’s the issue?

I was a little surprised that when I shared my recent hair update, most of the comments were from people who seemed uncomfortable with going to salons. I felt a bit judged, I have to say. Of course every single commenter had higher risk factors that me (age, illness, immune system stuff, etc.). If I was in that group, I might have made a different decision, myself.

I can sure see how people who can’t get their hair cut might wish they could! I don’t blame them. I wish I could travel as much as some of my friends have. And I know people weren’t thrilled when I did travel. Yep.

I completely respect those of you who haven’t cut your hair in a year. You are doing what works for you, having evaluated the risks. But, I also evaluated the risks. I chose a small salon that has made many modifications in the last year. They require masks at all times, don’t let clients near each other, and sanitize like crazy. I know the hairdresser. I took the risk based on my comfort level.

We are all under so much stress these days. Let’s consider giving others a break and assume they are making their decisions based on what works for them, even when it’s not what you’d do.

Anyway, now you know why I didn’t mention my previous two haircuts! And yes, if I was under one of the endless quarantines I’ve been in, from being exposed to someone who’s been exposed to someone, I’d have canceled.

I like you! Unretouched photo of morning face.

Note that I love you all and want you safe and healthy. If you think I’m talking about you, know that I understand where you’re coming from, which is from concern for my well being. I appreciate all you readers, wherever you land on the precautions continuum.


* I realize that people choosing to take few precautions do endanger others. I’ve seen the results in my community. I still can’t MAKE people who disagree with public health policy make different choices.

Not as Butch as I Am in My Mind

My mental image of myself is some tomboy wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and boots. My actual self keeps wearing a lot of jewelry, growing my nails (not at the moment), and messing with my hair. It’s been so many colors and shapes. But at least I’m now going for a color found in humans.

It’s blazing white.

No not platinum blonde. White. Icy white. It looks kind of butch, right? Tell me yes. I am going for a neutral look. Why? I like it. But I have the girly option at any time!

The good news is I don’t have to indulge in fancy hair often. My roots didn’t look all that bad before I went in. So, twice a year I can look like the human version of Carlton and Gracie Lou, our whitest dogs.

Pre-cut root examination.

Kathleen just reminded me that self care is important. And it is. I actually feel a bit better today. Even pretty in my gender neutral way.

Part of that is thanks to y’all. Your support has helped! Tell me, what’s your favorite self care activity? Mine is HAIR.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

You just never know how a day will go. Today is just dandy, EVEN with an 8 am dental appointment! I had put the dentist off for four months, but I was assured they take precautions. And they did! And my teeth are okay, even with my recent jaw clenching.

I got the day of the week right!

The second day in my work office in Austin was nice. I actually had time to accomplish some work, and the team meetings went well. I think we’re getting the hang of Agility, a bit.

Mainly, though, I had a good meeting with my boss, where I got to share ideas and brainstorm. I admit it. That’s my favorite work activity. I love collaborating and planning, way more than being handed a plan and being told to go execute. Buy in! Yes! I like making things, too. I dislike tracking work and devising metrics. So, if you’re a potential employer, bear that in mind. Also bear in mind that I hope to not get a new job, like ever.

Living my dream.

So, what about the title of this post? Well, it’s hair day again. And I’m bleaching again. It has grown out to where at least half of it is undyed, which means if I keep this up, I’ll never have any hair that’s been bleached a lot, thus the straw effect will be less likely to happen. That’s my hair theory, anyway.

So, enjoy this “live blogging” version of me getting my hair done. I blogged during and after the event, because, well, that’s the time I had.

Before. Roots a-plenty , though I don’t think they look all that bad.

And, Dan the hairdresser says this time he’s making it pale blue to start out. I’m pretty excited. Yep, I’m tying under the dryer. There was no blogging time earlier today!

Bleach applied. Cooking away. Looks scary in there.

I always like the white phase. This time there’s no orange! I wish I was brave enough to keep my hair white. But, to me, blue is safer. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.

Blonde bombshell.

The pastel blue color looks fantastic even just applied! It’s quite goopy and drippy. And I hope you enjoy my little wave. It’s classy. Thanks, Dan.

Mermaid time.

I enjoyed “resting” while the color cooked, but wanted to see if it really came out pastel blue. The last time it was rather dark. I got delayed getting a picture, because my fancy earrings fell on the ground. Sigh. But lo!

It’s pastel blue! Anita says it’s the color of an ice cube tray. Michele at work says it’s blue cotton candy. I like that better.

And in my Bobcat office, it’s lighter. This will be easy to maintain and fun. Life is good, other than the headache I have. It won’t stop me from book club, where we will talk about The Vanishing Half. I won’t vanish with such blue hair!

It’s weird that I now feel more comfortable with blue hair than my natural color. It’s also weird that I now very closely resemble a manic chipmunk. At least it’s a chipmunk with clean teeth.

What Color Is Suna’s Hair THIS Week?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that my mid-life crisis has been to mess with my hair color. It’s my little inexpensive rebellion, I guess. Much less than lots of tattoos, piercings, or motorcycles. I’m not sure WHY I decided on bright hair, because I actually like my gray just fine. But, it’s my head and I’m a Free American Who Can Do What I Want. So, I had a major hair event scheduled for last March when I got back from vacation, only nope, the salon had to shut down.

(below are colors from the past couple of years, along with lots of glasses, which may be my OTHER mid-life crisis item)

I tried to refrain from putting any more Overtone color on my hair, so it could go back to more like the natural color, but I succumbed and used up the last of my coral mixed with red. Of course, right about then is when the Powers That Be in Texas decided it’s a great idea to “open up” the state and let salons open.

Before: Crap hair. A reminder.

I read all the precautions the place I go to is using, and felt comfortable with them. I decided to book that appointment. Admittedly, my long bangs and scary morning hair pushed me a little. And it gave me an excuse to drag myself to Austin so I can work in a different basement office, see Anita, and visit with the neighbors at a safe distance.

I washed my hair daily with Lee’s extra-harsh coal-tar shampoo as soon as I knew I was going in, to try to remove as much color as I could.

Off I went, yesterday, knowing I was in for a slog. Bleach was happening, so I can have more pale colors. Last time I got bleach, it wasn’t good, but Dan swore he knew what he was doing, and had tested a strand. When I got there, I was impressed with how nice the place looked, even with all the plexiglass dividers they’d hung up between stations. They hung them from macrame hangers, so it looked like it was part of the design aesthetic. Everyone cheerfully wore masks, I guess because they were glad to be able to work or get hair services.

On to the slog. First, there was like an hour of putting hair in foil (which looked fun, but I forgot to take a picture), followed by a lot of heat. I took a nap.

My eyes are trying to convey fear. This is still quite orange (and the roots are not done yet).

When that was done, I had white hair with rather scary orange edges. Whoever said Overtone was temporary didn’t know my hair. But Dan wasn’t worried. He proceeded to then put bleach on the roots that had no dye, and stick me back under the dryer.

Back under the dryer with the roots cooking. Please cook that orange, too.

The result of that was a much nicer peach color, which Dan declared would add dimension to the final color. Okay. Then, one last round of heat.

A little less orange. Maybe that’s cute?

I had planned to just stay pale until my light blue color came in, but Dan found some stuff that looked really intriguing. I said, “Sure, make my hair steel blue.”

The final result of bleach. It’s my Draco Malfoy look.

Back under the dryer I went. He promised it was the last time. And it was! It was weird when he rinsed the dye out of my hair, because the water ran clear. ALL the dye went into my newly porous strands. That’s never happened. I’m hoping that means this color will last a while.

Cooking the blue in. I’m heating up, too. Masks are so fun.

I really like the color it came out to be, and the salon owner said it would fade to the pale baby blue I was looking for, which means I can maintain it with the Overtone that should show up some day.

After the cut. I’m all fogged up and Dan is trying to convey happiness in his eyes.

I think after all the experiments, I’m back to blue for the long haul. I’ll be a happy blue-haired Austin-style hippie, and I’m sure people in Cameron can handle it.

Once dry, it’s quite a nice shade.

The hair didn’t scare the neighbors when I attended one of their social-distancing happy hours last night. It sure was great to see them, and we could hear each other just fine. I feel all caught up with the news and like I’m back to being part of the community. Now, of course, I miss everyone at the OTHER house.

Socially distant neighbors with anti-social Anita. Is she really glad to see me?

Hey, if you are “of a certain age,” did you have a mid-life crisis? Are you still having it? What did you do about it? Or are you having a mid-pandemic crisis?

My view during Zoom meetings in Austin. Now my hair matches the chairs.

Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens

Life is rolling along here in scenically rural Milam County, Texas. And its population is getting sicker. There are only 25,000-ish people in this county, so our ten COVID-19 cases are a lot. It was NOT good news to find out yesterday that one person who got sick worked at the local Dairy Queen. We’ve gotten take-out from there during our confinement.

Our lovely Dairy Queen

Oops. This has led Kathleen to declare that we bring lunches from home from now on. No one has disagreed.

Now, an important point to make here is that we have the best Dairy Queen possible here. It’s in a modern, new building. It’s clean. They pay well above minimum wage and have employees who’ve been there many years. The staff have all been briefed on precautions to take. And the owner, Robert Mayfield, immediately closed the store so that they can disinfect it from top to bottom and be sure that it’s safe (and that the workers there have a chance to quarantine and stay safe, themselves).

An example of Judge Young’s weekly newspaper articles.

Our County Judge, Steve Young, has been doing a heroic job going on the radio, doing Facebook Live, and otherwise staying in touch with the people here, urging them to not gather in large groups, wear masks if working with the public or out in public, and to stay the heck home. We’re all really proud of the work he and our Health Department are doing.

But, it takes actual cooperation to prevent the spread of disease. No one at the hardware store, serving the public, was wearing a mask this morning. No one at the gas station where I got fuel this morning was wearing a mask or gloves other than me. I am NOT gonna touch a credit card machine with my hands! I also have a very clean credit card now.

It’s good to have your own company hand sanitizers spread everywhere you go, so you can clean your credit cards and such.

I know Cameron is not alone. There are people everywhere who believe themselves immortal or invulnerable or just don’t give a shit who are wandering around like nothing has changed. Now, I’m not referring to people who have no access to masks or gloves and have to be out so their families don’t starve; I know isolation and protection is a privilege. I’m talking about people who feel perfectly comfortable putting other people’s lives in danger by their choices. Who knows how many innocent folks with underlying conditions that predispose them to having a bad case of the virus these people will kill in the name of their personal freedom?

Happy thoughts, yeah.

I Said There Would Be Some “Ups” in This Post

Look at all those freckles.

Yes, I did. I was looking at myself on Zoom yesterday (it’s hard NOT to look at yourself) and realized I looked as bad as I felt. So, last night I re-colored my hair for the first time since early March. It’s now orange with some pink highlights. (My next hair appointment isn’t for another month, at least, so plenty of time to wash out color by then.)

I put on makeup and lipstick today, added my sparkly yellow shoes, and I donned my new Hearts Homes and Hands lab coat. I look all professional and up-beat, and I’m hoping that will spread to my mood and attitude. So far, it’s helped. If I have to take things one step at a time, at least they will be sparkly steps!

Here you can see my lab coat. It reminds me of the one I had in grad school to keep chalk off my clothes, just like my mentor, Georgia, wore.

A Little Pope News That’s In-Between

Chris is really close to getting the first two offices completely done, other than installing the barn door between them. He has been working on trim all week. There is a LOT involved in doing trim, which is sorta sad, since when it’s well done, it blends into the background.

Trim in progress.

The doorway between the two rooms will NOT blend into the background. It’s darned bright and cheerful, especially on Lee’s side!

Trim, trim, trim.

Another thing that is taking a while is that they have to make dozens and dozens of shims to go behind the metal to trim windows on the tin walls. And, well, the house isn’t all level, so many shims are needed elsewhere. Easton spent an entire day cutting shims. Now, that sounds fun. Or does it?

Without shims, this trim would stick out from the wall, because the metal has bump-outs.

The plan is to get the remaining two rooms all cleaned up and move the supplies needed to finish the rest of the downstairs over there. We can’t paint the ceilings or refinish the floors if there are wood and tools all over the place!

So…even though we remain sort of dazed and confused, my plan is to dazzle with my shiny hair, shoes, watch band…anything cheerful!

Shine on.

My Hair Scared Me

[First off, my apologies for another post full of pictures of me, but it’s hard to get photos of my hair without me in them. However…]

My Red Period, and a picture of me that I don’t cringe at. I am perfect the way I am! Repeat after me!

As you lovely readers know, I keep changing my hair color, because I love the Overtone color/conditioner. I’m not sure why I, a Certified Tomboy, keep coloring my hair weird colors and getting my nails done, but, that’s just me, I guess. This week, however, I got a hair scare, and people kept commenting on it!

For the past couple of months (starting in mid-October), my hair has been RED. The color of a stop sign, not a ginger person’s hair. When it’s first done, and after the first wash, it’s pretty spectacular and looks good with my complexion. I really enjoyed my Red Period, which is the name of the photo at right.

The problem started when I was unable to replenish the color after three washes, which is what I normally do, since the temporary color washes out.

Over the weekend, I noticed my hair was not at all red. In fact it was quite the Thanksgiving/autumn orange. It almost looked…gasp…NATURAL! What the heck?

Continue reading “My Hair Scared Me”

Hair Color Hmm

I wrote last week about how extremely red my latest Overtone color was. It definitely was fire hair. I’ve now washed it twice, with interesting results, to say the least.

Last week’s hair.

The hair itself has become more orange with each wash. And, as usual, my gray fades fast (more on that later). And oddly enough, my scalp was dyed quite red and continues to be that way. I guess it’s like that stuff for thinning hair you put on to make it LOOK like more is there. Thanks, hair color.

Today’s hair. Yes I need a haircut.

I am glad I had a spare old pillowcase for my bed and the hotel last weekend, because after dyeing it, it got all over the place. I also dried my hair with an old beach towel.

It looks better in better light. Note I have different glasses on in each picture. Hmm.

I’ve used the conditioner in the red for dark hair each time I’ve washed it. I guess it helps. However, my hands turn quite red, a bluish red, as you can see. It usually takes me multiple washes to get my hands back to normal. The other Overtone conditioners do not color my hands.

This hand has been washed three times. Hmm.

My advice?

I’d suggest that if you want to use the Overtone for dark hair colors, you also invest in a box of gloves to use, even when you wash and condition your hair. And don’t expect it to stay true to color.

On the other hand, the current color is nice, and will do until I re-up the red again. I’m probably going to do it Friday morning so it will last through my trip next week. And I will take the old pillowcase in my luggage!

Fire Hair

Most of you know that I’ve been playing with hair color for the past few years. It has been blue, maroon, pink, purple, and white. Why?

Purple.

Who knows? It was fun. Especially since I started using this Overtime stuff. It doesn’t hurt my hair and fades fast enough that I don’t get sick of any color. And they are also excellent conditioners with ingredients you recognize. They smell like mint and rosemary, too. Nice.

Blue!

Today I tried one of their intense colors made for dark hair. These have a lot of pigment. I bought the intense rose gold and red. I let Anita decide which one to try, and she picked the red.

The Overtone for dark hair!

I’m glad I had gloves. My hands turned really red when I rinsed, too. I had an old towel and plan to sleep on an old pillowcase.

Cooking for 20 minutes.

I’m happy, though, that even my brown hair shows the color. It will be fun to see how it fades!

Red. Not orange. Not pink.

One day I’ll let my hair be normal. It looks fine that way, too. I just like having fun with impermanent color. I’m scared of permanent things like tattoos or piercings.

How about you? How do you express your wild side?