Thursday, September 30, 2004

Misery wants company

I've taken a dose of benadryl, and had a nice shower. I'm actually not in a near-frenzy of itchiness at the moment, though I was right before my shower. My eyelids are swollen and I have red splotches all over my body. I woke up like this two hours ago.

My only hint was yesterday morning, when my hands got slightly itchy and red, and then swelled up enough that I quickly worked to get my wedding ring off and then took a dose of benadryl. It subsided, but today the itchies were at my hands when I woke up and spread pretty much everywhere, and my feet and legs started getting red splotches, probably hives. It's really hard to think clearly when you're itching everywhere! This has never happened to me before.

But I think it's sort of better now. Feels like it's calming down -- at least the itch. The red splotches are still around. I'll keep up with the benadryl because one thing I do remember (from a couple of years ago when Son1 got the hives twice) is that getting your body settled down quickly with an antihistamine lowers the likelihood that it will happen again or often. I sure hope so.

I wonder if it's a bug bite. I am not allergic to anything that I know of, other than a mild seasonal allergy thing that's developed over the last few years.

I just wanted to share; misery wants and loves company!

I called my doc's office to talk to the nurse about this, and they sent me to the urgent care clinic. The doc I saw thinks it's food related because my reaction is all over my body. I headed home with a plan to take Claritin (which we have, rather than filling a prescription for similar Allegra), benadryl at bedtime, and if this persists for a couple more days, I can fill a prescription for a tapering dose of a steroid. Dear husband thinks, and I agree, that the culprit may very well be the local honey I had yesterday morning. So, no more of that particular batch as far as I'm concerned. All in all, I'm still feeling puffy and red, but I Am So Glad not to be itchy. I can tolerate a lot of itching, but that was driving me bonkers awfully quickly.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Time for some liturgical embroidery

My mind is running a mile a minute with thoughts of silk threads of various weights and twisted or multiple strands, metallic threads, blending filaments, tiny silk ribbon, satin stitch, split stitch, other types of filling stitches, applique approaches, ground fabric types and weights, and so on.

I'm working with a designer on a priest's stole for the statewide level of the Daughters of the King, an organization of women in the Episcopal church dedicated to prayer, service, and evangelism, with the emphasis on prayer. The stole will be used by our chaplain at statewide DoK assemblies, Quiet Days and other retreats, and our annual All Saints Day Eucharist service. It will also be available for admission services (into the order) and for our funerals.

The designer will create the stole in a "crazy quilt" style, using a wide variety of gorgeous fabrics -- silks, silk velvets, linen, perhaps a bit of very old cloth of silver, and some others. The ends of the stole will be a very deep, rich blue and the colors will lighten going up the stole through medium blues to pale blues and finally creams and whites.

My part is to embroider a 3 1/2 inch version of our order's cross (a modified Greek fleury cross; see the DoK Web site) in grays and silvers, and applique it to the lower part of one side of the stole, and then to embroider a small version of the cross on the stole where it passes in back of the priest's neck.

I'm excited! and nervous! and excited! The first task is to explore and then decide how to attach the large cross to the stole. Invisible applique? Normal applique, with the edges covered by satin stitch or by something simpler? That will dictate the weight of the ground fabric. That in turn will help me decide what to use to fill this rather substantial, plain cross area. We won't include the wording, but I do want to represent the bars across the ends of the arms before they separate into three parts.

I'm certainly doing some small test pieces first, probably of the end of the cross's arm, the center of the cross, and a trial or two of attaching it to something similar to the stole.

This is quite a switch from the small counted cross stitch pieces I've been working on, especially the rustic sorts of things. Yet I've always wanted to do liturgical embroidery, especially altar linens. I never thought I'd have the opportunity to contribute to a stole, but here I am. Everything I've ever learned, enjoyed doing, and read about is dancing around in my brain, overjoyed to have their drawers and cupboards opened and rifled through. Time to pull out my old favorite resources.

One of the first books I pulled out was my copy of the recent reissue by DMC of Therese de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework. Go back a hundred years to see some great diagrams of serious needlework!

Hmmm! Hmmm! Oh boy!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The City of Ember

Son1 borrowed The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau, from his school library last week. I finished it today, and it was great! A tale about two 12-year-old kids in a city beyond which all is dark, lit by many lights powered by a generator. The city is running out of supplies, the lights go out for a few minutes more and more often during the "day," and the readers are told early on that the city was meant to last for about 200 years. Great adventure tale, and the back flyleaf says the author is working on a sequel. Good! But the story stands very well on its own. I recommend it! (2003, Random House)

Heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers have been around for many years without genetic fiddling to "improve" them somehow. Thanks to my recent food co-op order that included some heirloom tomatoes, yesterday I ate a wonderful big fat ripe picked-that-morning red Sioux tomato, and on my windowsill are: a big Cherokee Purple, a small red Sioux, and two pinkish-red Arkansas Travelers. Yet another reason I'm glad I made bread earlier this week: I can have big hearty tomato sandwiches and the bread can stand up to it!

I also ordered a "sweet orange essential oil stain stick" with lye and stuff in it, for my tough laundry stains. It's about the same cost as the storebought stuff, so -- like my herbal bug spray purchase in June -- why not try the non-petrochemical stuff. Of course lye is pretty strong stuff, so this isn't exactly a kinder/gentler alternative. As I was rubbing it on my dampened-as-directed test clothes, I thought briefly that this is essentially what the women before me used, before petrochemicals changed our laundry system. I'll let you know how it works!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Wherever you go, there you are

Been thinking lately. Often I get all interested in and excited about some pursuit and yet it's difficult to pull together the materials or the money or the... whatever. I see that I can't do it the way I wanted to, so the impulse sits for a while. Very, very, very often it occurs to me that I can accomplish the goal with what I have on hand.

Impulse: buy stamps and cardmaking supplies to make homemade cards.
Goal: enjoy making a small card-as-gift, save money, expose the kids to a new craft.
Be here now: get out what I have -- it is enough -- and make simple cards.

Impulse: create a grand chore scheme for the kids.
Goal: gain their help with the household upkeep, and teach the kids to handle responsibility.
Be here now: give the kids appropriate help-me-now tasks, and today I might do up an after-school list of what I tell each boy every day (!).

Impulse: afterschool the kids in a relaxed yet Classical/tridium way, including history, Latin, and plenty more.
Goal: give them a foundation to better understand and think about the world and their own lives
(Hahahaha! The oldest is in school all day! The youngest is in school for the first time! They come home ready to decompress!)
Be here now: decompress with them; enjoy a snack, play some games. Send them outside to play. Offer plenty of fun, good books to the oldest. Be intentional about exploring what interests us. Maybe once a week read a chapter of The Story of the World (we're still on the ancient world). At some point, maybe buy Lingua Angelica and play the CD in the car.

Impulse: find some great faith instruction resources for the kids.
Goal: help them know and understand our faith and develop their relationship(s) with God.
Be here now: use the catechism in our church's Book of Common Prayer. Go ahead and set up a prayer/faith shelf, and practice my Godly Play presentations with the kids.

I'm off to make that after-school To Do list.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

She's in the kitchen

I'm waiting for the oven to heat up so I can bake the three loaves of white-but-now-part-whole-wheat bread, using my yummy, local, stone-ground whole-wheat flour from the food co-op. I want good bread, so I'm making some!

Once the counters are clear, I'll put together a Mexican casserole, layering my homemade southwestern rice from the freezer, black beans and their broth that I made yesterday (maybe I'll puree some to take the place of refried beans, hmmm), and plenty of tortilla chip pieces (we have a lot, after our homemade guacamole and salsa fest a couple of weeks ago!). I'll top it with chip pieces and a sprinkling of Cheddar, and stash it in the fridge until it goes in the oven later.

Since the kiddos often, yet unpredictably, turn up their noses at these mixed-up foods, I will make cornbread too -- using my local, stone-ground cornmeal from the co-op!

I'm really glad I decided to make black beans yesterday. We had them over rice cooked with some diced kielbasa, and now I have a great stash of delicious meal bases in the fridge. Hehehe.

My husband is probably in shock; I've barely wanted to cook all summer...

UPDATE: 'Cause I hate cheese and cream sauces (my deprived husband doctors up his portions) and am happy to skip their fat content as well, my casseroles depend on broth or tomato sauce to be moist, flavorful, and stick together as they should. The casserole wasn't moist enough 'cause I grabbed the ultra-spicy little can of "salsa fresca" sauce rather than the sort-of-spicy; my mistake. I used a bit, diluted with black bean broth, but... "eh." The grownups liked the casserole well enough, but, as predicted, the kids weren't thrilled. The cornbread was an all-around winner, though. My guideline is: if you're going to serve an experiment or a non-family favorite for dinner, serve something they love along with it. Homemade bread (even biscuits or cornbread) always works.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

In the moment, even when I'd rather not

Yesterday we went to a big picnic/grill-fest at a large local lake. The kids had a great time, ate goodies and drank soda, played at the water's edge with other kids, and ended up spending a couple of hours with several other kids building a two-level dam/pond thing from the lakeside mud/sand stuff.

We kept a relaxed eye on what they were doing and eating. They ate some grapes, a few chips, and a skewer each of the chicken sate or whatever that they really liked. Other than that, we think they mostly ate chocolate chip cookies and other cookies with chocolate, but they also spent a lot of time at the beach building project. All seemed a little decadent but not too bad. At the time.

About 11 pm we discovered that Son1, age 8 1/2, surely ate more cookies than we realized. He abruptly threw up all over himself and the bed, and it smelled of vomit and chocolate. Sighhhhh. Dear husband and I cleaned it all up, bedded him down on the floor in a sleeping bag, and set the washing machine to work rinsing and then washing the bed linens, light comforter, and stuffed animal "pals." This morning I set everything to soak again 'cause the pals were somewhat chocolate colored still.

Upon checking after church, I was pleased to find the pals no longer looking awful, but actually pretty good. Later, after a full wash cycle, I moved everything to the dryer. It quickly became apparent that, as usual in these cases, I needed to shake (twice washed) food pieces off each item. I did, into the washer, and the bed stuff and pals are drying in the dryer even now.

Once I got that going it was necessary that I spend some time leaned over the washing machine picking up each and every piece of twice-washed food off the bottom, sides, and agitator to throw away. I hate everything to do with vomit, even the thought of it (though I soldier through when necessary). My main thought, all I could think during this odious task?

I'm so thankful these bits are washed and don't smell. I'm sooooo thankful.

Gives new meaning to the directive to pray continuously. Or to be in the moment. Or "hands to work, hearts to God." Sighhhh.

Oh, Son1 is completely fine today, and Son2 had no tummy trouble. Whether to police the cookie consumption or simply let him learn from this is a choice that's hard to make. We waver.

Mid-Sunday reflection

Maybe it's that I rarely got myself and the kids to Sunday service in the summer (my particular struggle). Maybe it's that I was praying and thinking about prayer and personal spirituality a lot over the last two weeks in preparation for the class on prayer I began leading today. Maybe it's that I "turned over a new leaf" by releasing all of those good, but becoming a burden, library books last Thursday. Maybe it's that I read a thoughtful essay on today's Gospel reading over at Dylan's lectionary blog and then Father D. took another tack in his sermon that enriched it further.

Whatever it may be, for me this morning the service actually, surprisingly, was a time for being present to what was taking place and to the sermon. That would be, in between juggling kids on my lap, silently refereeing elbow-throwing, and encouraging some participation (stand, sit, kneel, find the hymn). I managed to participate in "Lift up your hearts / We lift them up to the Lord" throughout the service until about two minutes before the "sending forth" blessing. In a pause, Son1 nearly lost control of an item that would have clattered very loudly, and I lost all patience with my wiggly kids thanks to my lack of breakfast. Arrggggh! It's okay, this happens, and I breathed deeply for a bit. We headed home and ate lunch. Much better.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Book stack winnowing

I released almost all of my library books to the book drop last night. A relief! For some reason reading them was becoming a burden. Ergo the fines I will have to pay once they're calculated; I was ignoring most of the books and anything related to them.

I borrowed two books: a kids' book on the Days of the Dead that I plan to read to the kids, and a small volume called Mudhouse Sabbath, by Lauren Winner, a convert from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity. It seems to be about the rituals of her Jewish upbringing informing her faith even after conversion. It appeals to my weary brain.

I'm still determined to finish How Cities Work, and read Gilgamesh the Hero and the final Young Underground books.

I picked out Redwall by Brian Jacques for Son1, in an effort to entice him from his Bionicle- and Goosebumps-type fluff books at least a bit.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Future race car driver?

Son2 (age 4 1/2) has always been VERY interested in the driving of the car. We've noticed this keen interest and drilled into him that he's not allowed to drive a car until he's a very big kid, at least 15, and learns all of the safety rules. I still worry that he'll put together all of his observations and try to drive the car one day. One consequence is that I don't let the kids EVER play in the car. If I'm out, they need to get out. They got in trouble once for messing around in the car in the garage. I just think this kid... well, let's not give him any extra opportunity to consider any possibilities.

Ever since he started to talk, a short 2 1/2 years ago, he has commented on and asked questions about the steering wheel and turning, the mirrors, the speedometer and who's driving fast vs. slow around us, the turn signals and whether other drivers use them, the hazard light button, and, today, the stick shift. He can see what I'm doing fairly well from his rightside-back-seat carseat location. Lately he's also been very interested in the white lines and yellow lines on the road, and whether people are following the rules. He points out when we or other drivers are crossing the yellow line, and I had to explain about intersections. I feel like I need to review the state driver's manual to answer his questions!

Over these many months the thought has occurred to me that he may continue this keen interest the rest of his life. Race car driver? Semi driver? Police officer? Stunt driver? Hmm, I can't think of any mom-won't-worry options!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

PDA woes

I love my PDA, my handheld computer. Received it as a gift from my dad several years ago. Well, actually, that was a Visor Edge, and the motherboard failed after a year. At that point I was able to get a hand-me-down Visor Pro, which I was extremely happy about because after three days sans handheld, I was stressing!

Now I'm in a similar but not as tough of situation. The Visor is ignoring the stylus. This started creeping up a couple of weeks ago, but now it's full blown. I can still do data entry in the calendar, addresses, memos, and to-dos on my desktop computer and sync them, but I have to navigate the handheld using the buttons. Time to put a new one on my Christmas list. I wonder what's available out there that's a Palm OS, full featured (no $50 "electronic address books" for me, please!), yet fairly inexpensive. Then, shall I browse eBay? Amazon marketplace? Dunno.

Favorite apps:
1. The native ones (calendar, address book, memos, to-dos)
2. HandyShopper (databases, and I have a TON!)
3. Fitaly letris (popup virtual keyboard)

Any other at-home parents or home-biz owners love their handhelds?

UPDATE: I did some online research, and discovered this is "Mad Digitizer Syndrome"! I downloaded an app that might help, but I also did a hard reset and recalibrated the digitizer. I should've done the hard reset days ago, of course. So far it's not getting weird on me; I hope this is a long-term good thing so I don't pine for a new handheld (any more than usual, anyway!). My favorite amount of money to spend is $0 :)

Sunday, September 12, 2004


This week flew by! No blogging since Tuesday?!? Whoops! All week long we had activities some mornings and most evenings. We ate out before Tuesday's PTA meeting, I think we bought cheap takeout pizza Wednesday before dear husband's bowling league, on Thursday the guys dropped me off at home and went out to eat before a kids' program and the library while I went out with MOMS Club friends, and Friday Mark's academic unit at the university had a big back-to-school picnic. And there was stuff during the day, and... Whew!

Despite the busy schedule, I couldn't figure out why I was feeling stressed, until on Thursday I wrote out what turned out to be my List O' Panic! I wrote down all of the major things I needed to do outside the family, and realized I wasn't even paying attention to a couple of big things yet. The list was: (1) Mail a couple of copies of one volunteer newsletter; possible now that the laser printer is back in business. (2) Figure out how to lead a 9-week Sunday school class for adults on prayer and personal spirituality while (3) preparing for a new year co-leading my Godly Play Sunday school class! (4) Actually start the consultant work for a friend. Not to mention, get back up to speed on family finances, inventory food supplies, make a two-week meal plan, and provide class snack for both boys, one on Friday and the other on Monday.

By today, three days later, I have gotten quite a bit done.

On Thursday afternoon, because I silently refused to go to the store just for a class snack, Son1 and I made my special oatmeal cookies for his class snack -- and our after-school snack; multipurpose! Cookies go a lot faster when someone else (Son1) is actually putting the cookie batter on the baking sheets, and he loved it. Yay!

I don't even remember Friday, except that I hunkered down with the computer and worked on urgent stuff. Somewhere between Friday morning and Saturday night I started to figure out the prayer class and how to support in absentia my co-teacher, who will be the primary teacher while I'm doing prayer. I worked out the lesson schedule for both Godly Play classes. I created parent handouts for today's Rally Day see-the-classrooms event at church, one answering "What is Godly Play?" and the other on general ways parents can support their children in Godly Play. I went to a church-related meeting on Saturday and, afterward, spiffed up our classroom for today's Rally Day.

Today at church we had Rally Day. So fun to see the kids and their parents in the Godly Play classrooms! Several of the kids didn't want to leave the Godly Play materials for Rally Day ice cream sundaes in the courtyard, too funny! Then at home, I started trying to figure out how to migrate my Handspring Visor info over to a hand-me-down old Sony Clie -- tricky. This is becoming necessary as the Visor's stylus recognition fails more and more often. We went discount shopping en famille and were reasonably impressed with a local discount grocery store, coming home with huge bell peppers, wonderful fresh corn, guacamole and salsa fixings, and some other stuff. So, on the spur of the moment, we invited some friends over to dinner: chips, homemade guacamole and salsa (love our Tupperware gadget!), grilled chicken and onions and peppers, tortillas, homemade Mexican rice, corn on the cob, and they brought dessert -- yum!

Tomorrow morning Son2 and I will make the other half of the oatmeal cookie batch for his class snack. I will print the newsletter and send it to those who need a printed copy. I'll email the lesson schedule to both Godly Play teachers (my co-teacher and the other class's teacher). I'll work on arranging doorkeepers and substitutes as needed for my co-teacher, so she'll have a good sense of support and direction for this first part of the year; I'll be back in the classroom for Advent and she'll have a break. I need to turn my attention to that consulting project and the family planning stuff as well.

As I told some friends at church, I do all of this (church) stuff up front so when life gets really busy and on a roll, it's all done. The Godly Play-related stuff is challenging, enjoyable, and electric on lots of levels for me, and I spin off all sorts of ideas once I turn my attention to it. All part of the reason I am more and more confident it's what I need to be doing.

I think I'll look through that new slow-cooker book I borrowed from a friend on Friday. It may be just the ticket for some good busy-day meals this week and next. Hmmm. Best to head to bed before "The Patriot" sucks me in and I stay up too late!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Girls love trucks

This is for my two sisters-in-law (of three) who drive a pickup or have in the past.

A sticker I saw recently on a shiny late-model big pickup truck in our truck-heavy Oklahoma town:
Silly boy
Trucks are for girls!

Love it!!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Live a life of learning!

The last 2 1/2 years of falling in love with homeschooling have brought me to the realization that a life of learning is a wonderful way to be a family. This fits right in.

Certificate of Empowerment by Sandra Dodd

Thanks to Sarah who got this from Melissa

As bearer of this certificate you are no longer required to depend on the advice of experts. You may step back and view the entire world - not just your home, neighborhood, or town, but the whole earth - as a learning experience, a laboratory containing languages (and native speakers thereof), plants, animals, history, geology, weather (real live weather, in the sky, not in a book), music, art, mathematics, physics, engineering, foods, human dynamics, and ideas without end. Although collections of these treasures have been located in museums for your convenience, they are to be found everywhere else, too.

This authorizes you to experiment; to trust and enjoy your kids; to rejoice when your children surpass you in skill, knowledge or wisdom; to make mistakes, and to say, "I don't know." Furthermore, you may allow your children to experience boredom without taking full responsibility for finding them something to do.

Henceforth you shall be neither required nor expected to finish everything you start. Projects, books, experiments, and plans may be discontinued as soon as something more interesting comes along (or for any other reason) without penalty, and picked up again at any time in the future (or never).

You may reclaim control of your family's daily life, and take what steps you feel necessary to protect your children from physical, emotional, or social harm. You have leave to think your own thoughts, and to encourage your children to think theirs.

Each person who reads and understands this is authorized to extend these privileges to others, by reproducing and distributing this certificate or by creating another of his/her own design. Those who don't feel the need to obtain approval to experiment, to think, or to do things they've never seen others do are exempt, as they didn't need permission in the first place.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Media: Hurricanes vs campaigns

What if the Weather Channel covered hurricanes the way that CNN covers political campaigns?
ed fitzgerald's unfutz

Hehehehe! (Friends, family, and neighbors work in meteorology; this is a bit of a meteorology town...)

Deeper stuff

All of this "life of me" blog stuff lately doesn't really show that I've been following closely the horrible hostage situation in Russia and its awful end, as well as the ponderously slow approach and sweep across Florida of Hurricane Frances; reading A Theology of Worship (Louis Weil, "The New Church's Teaching Series") and finally beginning to explore why in the world I get all reluctant to attend Sunday church services; adapting every movement of my hands and arms to ease the pain in BOTH of my wrists -- this is worrisome; and getting a little anxious about the start of church/Sunday school in two weeks -- I do not feel ready to welcome our Godly Play kids yet.

That stuff continues underneath and knit into the dailyness.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.
~ Compline service, the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church

Out with old stuff, in with new (places for) stuff

1. This was a week or so ago. Stuff sorted, including lots of now-empty bags (on right), trash bags (on left), sorted stuff since put away (far left and center) and WAYYY too many magazines, which are still To Be Dealt With. A big step forward with that pile o' stuff, though. Posted by Hello

2. Last week my husband put together the bookshelves we bought from friends (getting excited!)... Posted by Hello

3. Today the new shelves are in place! Please ignore the disarray throughout the living room -- I have to figure out new places for some things. It'll take me a week or two to figure out what really needs to go in these shelves. Lots of thinking and looking at what's already in the living room (four tall bookcases), and I'll explore the garage book boxes too. The chair on the right is next to the kiddos' computer desk (camouflaged by a map draped over the monitor, whoops); that won't last, I'm sure. Posted by Hello

4. This evening, the contents so far. Dear husband says, "What is this, game central?!?" I pulled together all of the games from throughout the house, except the large fancy Scrabble game of my husband's I discovered; it won't fit on any shelf we own! The kids' board games still fill the bottom shelf of an adjacent bookcase. I haven't even gotten books out of boxes yet, except some large-format Time-Life books that are out of sight on the bottom left shelf. This is so fun -- such possibilities for organization and enjoyment! Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Fun with kitchen gadgets

Friday evening was do-it-yourself time in the kitchen, thanks to a couple of new Tupperware gadgets we bought recently. End result: yummy homemade salsa made by dear husband, and individual chocolate milk shakes made by each son for himself. Courtesy of T-ware's hand-crank little food processor, and their venerable 16-oz shake-and-mix gadget. My husband remembers making milkshakes with his mom's back in our personal ancient times (that would be according to the kids).

I'll admit, I made myself a mini milkshake with one scoop of ice cream, a bit of milk, and a good drizzle of chocolate sauce. Everyone shook up Mommy's shake, thanks to my wrist pain lately (another blog another day). Yumyumyum! Thank you, Tupperware.

This evening I'm making guacamole, and dear husband want to try another salsa. I guess it's one way to get some of our vegetable servings for the day!

The Ultimate Frugal Haircut

For ultimate frugality in the haircutting realm, I suppose you could keep your hair long, but I really really prefer to keep my hair short. My ultimate frugal haircut is to do it myself! I've been cutting my own hair for a year, and despite moments of frustration, I'm quite pleased about doing it myself.

By short hair, I don't mean chin-length, or some sort of bob. Nope. My hair stays well above my eyebrows, above my ears, and off my neck, and I like it fairly short all over. Two inches would be great, but my DIY cuts come in around three inches all over. Also, I like the hair at the nape of my neck extremely short. When LikeWowMom mentioned cutting her own short hair, I realized there was someone else in the world who did this!

It's taken me a while to figure out how to cut my hair myself. It started with a sharp pair of hospital-origin scissors, my bangs getting in my eyes, and being too busy to get to my latest frugal haircut shop, SuperCuts (10 bucks). Last fall, with a little careful trial and error, I learned to cut my bangs and sideburns. Then I worked out how to more or less trim around my ears. But the rest of my hair kept growing and lengthening, and got to be too heavy for me. Over the months I figured out a way to lightly scissor-texture my hair, which at least kept the whole thing from becoming a "bowl" type of hairstyle.

Finally I figured out a way to scissor-texture my hair quite a lot, which created a really nice shortshort haircut. I even worked out a way to make the sides work out well, above/around my ears. My remaining struggle is how to keep the nape short. One way is to let it grow annoyingly long so I can hold it with my fingers and cut it shorter. The other is to keep on top of it and simply scissor-texture it frequently enough that none of it gets too long. I did have to give up truly shortshort hair; I can't really cut it evenly all over by myself -- as I learned by trying it -- so I texture it until it seems generally short enough. Much safer!

I cut my hair yesterday, including the whole nape thing (I'd let it get too long, but that did make it easy to cut), and today I did a bit of touch-up. It looks quite nice! Better than some of those cheap haircuts I've gotten in the past. If I put some money aside and bought some clippers, I'd be less frustrated about the nape, but still: I'm in charge of my own hair, and not victim to whatever kind of cut the shops I can afford impose on me, grrr. Freedom! Independence! A quite decent haircut for my favorite cost: $0!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Projection of progress

Early returns are projecting a bit of progress...


Volunteer project no. 1 still has a tiny bit of wrap-up, printing and mailing a very few copies, but it's okay; I have a much better grasp of the end than I did on Tuesday!

Volunteer project no. 2 is ever so close to done. A couple of phone calls, some editing, a quick email for delivery, and that should do it.

They're both newsletters. One for my local chapter of MOMS Club (at-home moms) and the other for my statewide (really, diocesan-level) Daughters of the King organization (Episcopalian women doing prayer, service, and evangelism). I am very happy that most of the delivery is by email, with just a few receiving by postal mail. If I'm lousy at completing projects I can email, and yes, it is my weakness, I'm absolutely terrible at preparing mailings. Better to give that part to someone else. Someone to whom I can email the document!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Project progress

One project is out the door (well, delivered via the 'net). Hurrah! Tomorrow I have some legwork to do for the other, add the finishing touches, and then it can go by email to its destination as well. Yahoo! The chocolate ice cream helped my mood, too, I must admit.