I just finished dyeing Quinland’s hair red.
You see, it’s Spirit Week at the high school, and they are doing a Hogwarts theme:
- Monday – Wizard Attire
- Tuesday – Dress like a Death Eater (wear all black)
- Wednesday – Weasley Twin Day
- Thursday – Mrs. Weasley Sweater Day (aka ugly holiday sweaters)
- Friday – House Colors (each grade is one of the Hogwarts Houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff)
Q decided she was going to be Fred Weasley for the week, and we discussed how she could look the most Weasley-like. One obvious quality was missing: all Weasley’s are redheads, so pulling off the ginger look was going to be paramount. After quickly polling her cohorts on Facetime or Snapchat or whatever the heck they use now, it was decided by all that she should definitely dye her hair.
I have never dyed hair; I once helped someone touch up their roots, but it was nothing like this. The directions were scary! Apparently the hair dye a) can cause horrible skin reaction and anaphylactic shock; and b) can explode if left in the container. (Let’s add “smells really bad,” though that wasn’t in the literature.)
As we finished up and we were rinsing out the dye, Quinland was asking me over and over, “How does it look? How red is it? What does it look like?” but honestly, it looked exactly the same to me. Dark blond hair and “Reddish Blonde” hair look exactly alike when they are wet, so we traipsed upstairs to blow dry it. Let me assure you, it is red. Not the flaming orange color of Fred and George Weasley’s hair, but a very definite red. Strangely, it is darker around the edges. Perhaps Q’s hair is darker there, too, but I just don’t notice it. I must say, I was very impressed with how it looks. It doesn’t have that flat, obviously-dyed look, which one might have expected from a six-dollar box of Miss Clairol.
Oh, speaking of Miss Clairol – did I mention that the dye is permanent? Yep. Quinland was actually more worried about that than I was; I figure her hair is so short that she’ll be cutting all the red off in no time. It’s so cute, though, and looks so natural, that I wouldn’t be surprised if she keeps it for a while.
Posted by Lori on December 8, 2013
Set a timer for 10 minutes and try to write your whole daily post. Now go back and give yourself 5 more minutes to write about how you felt working under such a tight deadline.
As part of my Search for Health and my Attempt to Be a Responsible Adult, I have been trying to wear my CPAP machine more consistently. I don’t wear it often enough, because the dry mouth, chapped lips, and claustrophobic fighting-against-the-current feeling are, shall we say, less than pleasant. But I’m trying to put those cares aside in favor of the benefits: it lets David sleep better because he doesn’t have to listen to me snore, it sends more oxygen to my poor apnea-starved brain, and it apparently helps prevent heart attacks. Those are generally considered to be good things.
We have discovered an unexpected bonus over the last couple of weeks, though: Fu, our nocturnal cat, hates it. Instead of curling up with one of us to sleep – and later jumping into and around the bed in search of food or companionship or whatever the heck she wants at 3 am – she is keeping her distance from the bed. This is huge. We had tried everything to keep her away, and just stumbled upon this unexpectedly. I am thrilled. David is thrilled. Fu is less than thrilled, but I can live with that.
I’m finding ways around the CPAP badness as well: dry mouth rinse and Vaseline on my lips before putting the mask on have been a big help. Constant mask strap readjustment has helped, too. I’ve been able to fall asleep with some conscious relaxation exercises to get past the claustrophobia. It’s getting better – and if we can keep the cat away at night, that will be better still.
It was weird to try to write a post in only 10 minutes. I rushed to pick something to write about; I wasn’t ready to get to pick my own topic! But since it was just telling a story, it went quickly. In fact, I wrote the whole post in only 5 minutes and 40 seconds, though I was sure that I was almost completely out of time. I used that extra time to read over what I’d written, briefly; the entire thing could be completely incoherent, for all I know.
The whole thing reminded me of timing how long it took Quinland to empty the dishwasher. She used to hate that job and dragged her feet whenever she was asked to do it. When she discovered that she could do the whole thing in under 3 minutes, it suddenly became much more bearable. Knowing that I can crank out a post in 10 minutes, however mundane it might be, is definitely a freeing concept.
Posted by Lori on December 5, 2013
How often do you go back for seconds?
All the time.
Enough said? No?
Let’s put it this way. My BMI currently falls in the “obese” range (though I am only 7 pounds away from being merely “overweight”). I need to lose more than 35 pounds eke into the top of the “normal” range, and it would take a 50-pound loss to get me squarely in the middle of “normal.”
I have all the classic “strikes” against me in the weight-loss world: a thyroid problem, a chronic illness, medications that cause weight gain… but the truth is, I eat too much and exercise too little.
I really don’t need seconds. It’s a bad habit, and one I’d like to break.
Posted by Lori on December 4, 2013
Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?
Once upon a time, when I was a fifth-grade teacher, one of my students told me that the most important thing he had learned from me that year was to always give people the benefit of the doubt. I will treasure that as one of the best compliments I ever received as a teacher. (The other? “She reads like you are really there.”)
When it comes to others, I am definitely a glass-half-full person. I do try to give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. I hope that deep down I have an altruistic motive; in actuality, though, I wonder if I cut people slack because I hope that they will do the same for me.
Because, for whatever reason, I tend to be glass-half-empty when it comes to my own life. I don’t usually see it as having a negative outlook – on the contrary, I feel that I see things all too clearly – but I don’t usually give myself the same breaks that I give to others. I don’t know where this attitude comes from. High expectations, perhaps, but my own, or those of others? I’m not sure.
My dad has always tried to impress upon me that the Golden Rule is a two-way street: you are to love your neighbor AS yourself. I need to keep that in mind.
Posted by Lori on December 3, 2013
Do you think you’re more or less likely to post every day in December? Why?
I intend to post every day in December. I wasn’t going to even attempt it; I had decided that I’d post as often as possible, but if I didn’t post every day, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Then I checked out the December 2013 daily prompts over at BlogHer.com. I was intrigued… and I figured I’d give it a try.
See, if I leave it all loosey-goosey, I am far more likely to give myself a pass than if I make a commitment. I still might not hit every single day – it is the Christmas season, after all – but at least I’ll be making the effort. (You might notice that it is not a hard-and-fast commitment, as evidenced by the word “intend;” I’m not joining the December 2013 NaBloPoMo bloggers this time around.)
My real goal for the month is to start to clean some things up here at the ol’ blog. I want to add photos to a bunch of posts now that I have started digging out the craft room and unearthing photos of yore and yesteryear (and Colonial times). I want to clean up categories and tags and all those little things that help one find things on a blog. I may even go through and work on my capitalization. (But that might be stretching things just a bit.)
Posted by Lori on December 2, 2013
Before this Thanksgiving weekend is officially over, I wanted to say how thankful I am for so many things, including:
- My wonderful family;
- Friends who are so good to me, even when I am not at my best;
- A roof over my head and food on the table (I have so much more than that – for which I am also very thankful – but I am still grateful that we have the necessities);
- Good jobs;
- A safe place to live;
- An awesome church community that takes social justice seriously;
- My health;
- The first-world problems of having so much to eat that I need to lose weight, so much stuff that I need to declutter, and so many opportunities that I feel frazzled.
But let us not forget, as we start December with a road win against the Lakers: I am thankful for my Portland Trail Blazers! We are off to a 14-3 start – tied with the Spurs for best in the West and in a three-way tie for second-best record in the league – and are playing absolutely beautiful basketball. The front office has put together a team of good-character guys that have meshed perfectly this year… and my “basketball boyfriend,” Wesley Matthews, is playing out of his mind.
It’s a GREAT day to be a Blazer!
Posted by Lori on December 1, 2013
NaBloPoMo Day 30 – the last day!
I had all kinds of expectations for my little Thanksgiving holiday. I planned to work, work, work. I spent about three hours working today, but I also spent about two hours pinning stuff on Pinterest and a good four or five hours in bed. I know I still have one day left, but let’s see how I am doing so far.
- Clean the house – 25% completed. The kitchen is clean, thanks to David; the basement is clean; the living room is clean. I’ve gotten a good start on my bedroom.
- Hang the Christmas lights – 90% completed. Q and I hung the main lights on the front of the house; she is considering hanging lights on the back deck.
- Get a tree – 0% completed. We are planning to go tomorrow, though I would be fine putting it off a week.
- Move the giant cabinet from the basement to the new upstairs scrapbook room – 90% completed. The three of us hauled that sucker out onto the downstairs deck, up the hill of despair, and then through the front door and upstairs. We didn’t kill each other. I still need to hang the doors back on.
- Set up my scrapbook room – 30% completed. I spent hours on this yesterday, but it is such a massive task. I bolted the big cabinet to the wall and started filling it with memorabilia and old photos. I moved my huge stock of pages and page protectors to the top shelf in the closet. There is sooooooo much still to do.
- Load up countless boxes to go to Goodwill – 1% complete. I have a bag started with three things in it.
- Stack and cover the deck furniture (I’m late on that one) – 0% completed.
- Brush the cats – 0% completed.
- Finish the laundry – 70% completed. I’ll be running down as soon as I finish here to put a load in the dryer.
- Sort through all my paperwork – 0% completed. Yikes. This needs to be a priority tomorrow.
- Spend quality time with my family – 99% completed. I had an incredible Thanksgiving with my family. Quinland and I watched Love Actually last night, which is always a good way to start the holiday season!
- Go in to work for a few hours – 0% completed. I’ll probably do it tomorrow.
Well, it seems that I have my work cut out for me for Sunday! Church, Christmas tree, paperwork, and going to the office… But I will feel like I’ve made a good start on the upcoming week!
Posted by Lori on December 1, 2013
NaBloPoMo Day 29:
Tell us how you feel about endings.
Today is the last day of the BlogHer prompts, which were given Monday through Friday for each week of November. (I chose to keep writing right through the weekends on whatever topic struck my fancy.) But now the month is coming to an end.
For me, there are two kinds of endings. This represents the first category: something is ending, and I have completed the task. Frankly, this makes me ecstatic. I love to bring things to a close, to cross things off my list, to feel that I have been successful.
Unfortunately, those kinds of ending do not happen all that often. The other kind of ending – the one where I have failed – tends to pop up with depressing regularity. It may have happened for any number of reasons: forgetting, messing up, falling off the wagon, inability to stick to a routine, giving up. Regardless, that end comes with guilt, self-doubt, recriminations and a feeling of failure. It’s not a happy thing.
I’m proud of my daily blogging this month. There have been nights that I really just wanted to go to bed, nights where I struggled to get something up before midnight (and nights like last night where I failed to do so – but still posted!), times when I was pretty uninspired by the prompt of the day. But I did it, and I am glad I did. I like the rhythm of daily blogging and the momentum I have achieved. This ending is the kind I hope to see more and more of as time goes by.
Posted by Lori on November 29, 2013