Monday, June 25, 2012

Where's my umbrella and please pass the fried potatoes.

In case you haven't heard, there is a tropical storm pretty much parked in the Gulf of Mexico right now. One morning I wake up and it is headed to Texas. The next day I wake up and it is headed straight for Florida. I've decided there's just one thing to do. Don't wake up.

Storms aren't new for us.  We've lived in Florida for over half of our marriage.  I've hunkered down for tropical depressions, storms, and quite a few hurricanes.  Each summer we buy jars of peanut butter and jugs of water (to wash down the peanut butter.) We have packed up the pictures and the pets and evacuated on more than one occasion. Storms are part of life on the gulf coast. So, you'd think I'd be used to it by now.


Although I don't think this storm will be a big one (what do I know?) I feel a little unprepared. As I type this I have only half a jug of water and a partially eaten jar of Peter Pan. Debby doesn't seem to be the kind of storm which warrants a power trip to Wal-mart, but my OCD personality wants to be prepared. To tell the truth, if it doesn't start moving, we may need an ark. Believe or not, Wal-mart doesn't sell those.

May I just say that every time I read or hear Tropical Storm Debby I can't help but think of the line in Despicable Me when Gru tells Miss Hattie about his fictional wife's passing.  And then I laugh a little to myself. Don't judge me for my word associations. 

Despicable Me is one of my all-time favorite movies.  When we were living in New Mexico, daughter and I watched it during a snow storm and ate chili with fried potatoes in place of watching the Super Bowl.  I have no idea why I just shared that, but you are welcome. If you've never tried fried potatoes over chili, you don't know what you're missing.  

So here we are in not-so-sunny Florida, waiting for Debby to go away.  Meanwhile I think I just might make chili and fried potatoes for dinner tonight.  It seems appropriate. 

It's a lot better than half a jar of peanut butter and a jug of water.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's like a little vacation with cool decorations.

I have three words.


So, those aren't words but actually letters.  Just work with me here.

This week our church has been decorating for Vacation Bible School.  It starts next week and I am tickled about it. We have an excellent group of volunteers and leaders and it is going to be quite the week filled with goldfish, crazy decorations, music with lots of arm motions, and best of all, the story of Jesus. 

You have to admit that goldfish and Jesus is a good combination. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Unless you add in crafts, which we will also have.  See?  TICKLED!

I have a little confession.  Being a part of VBS is pretty close to heaven on earth for me.  There is just something special about entering into the imaginative and inquisitive world of children as they hear stories from the Bible, often for the very first time. It is a huge honor to stand next to a pre-schooler in worship rally as she waves her arms and sings about how much God loves her.

It is also a lot of fun.  So far, I've helped hang banners, paper, letters, airplanes, and clouds, and painted a mini version of the Grand Canyon.  It isn't all about the decorations or the crafts or even the cupcakes. VBS is about the message they help convey.

Hopefully, all of these efforts will send a message to children. One that says, "We care about you and The Bible can be fun.  And you know what else?  What God has done for you is even more exciting than this!"

Can I get an Amen?

What about you? Is your church doing VBS this summer?  I'd love to hear! If you aren't already,  I would also encourage you to volunteer in some way.  There are tons of things you can do to help out.  If you aren't comfortable with teaching, there are lots of other positions to fill from manning the registration table to being the official Juice Box Distributor.  

I promise.  It will be the best week you've had all summer.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Nobody knows the hair trouble I've seen.

Well, I've waited long enough to write something (at least on paper/the Internet) that I decided it better be important.

Let's talk about hair.

If you don't think hair is important than either
a) You are a man
b) You are a man.

Sorry, but let's face it. I have never seen a Pantene commercial with a man tossing his hair from side to side or a Clairol ad with a father playing with his son in a meadow as the wind gently blows through his highlighted, side swept bangs.

Nope, men just don't care as much about their hair as we do. That is, until it starts to fall out. And then they join clubs. 

I have had over a year of hair woes.  Yes, I kept track. I won't describe them all in detail here.  Oh, okay. I will.

Last February I had a major hair issue. (Don't ask me how I remember it was February accept that Hubs had been out of town and was about to return in March which meant that it was of utmost importance that I have good hair.  But, let's move on.)

I went to my regular stylist in Smalltown whom I'd been going to for well over a year, the girl who highlighted and lowlighted me and gave me reasonably good choppy layers.  I had gotten to know her.  I gave her a baby gift when she had her little boy.  I joked with her about clothes and make-up and we talked about vacations. She was a sweetheart and if I had the occasion to see her more often than 6-8 weeks, then we could have been gal pals or just had lunch at cute sandwich places where they serve a melon wedge with your chicken salad.

She was pretty good, but not great.  She tried, so I stayed because I liked her and she was such a doll. And then on a sad day in February 2011 she added just the right (or wrong) amount of lowlights to my hair and I felt myself wishing I could run to the sink and rinse it all out.  It happened before I knew it.
"Ummmm... what are you doing? I don't usually get it done like that."

"Oh, I always put the lowlights in like this."

"Not on me. We usually do them differently."
"No, I always do this with everybody."
That's when I realized that every time she had asked me, "Would you like the same color as last time?" that she didn't really have a card on file for me. What she meant was, "Would you like the same color that I always do on everyone else with dishwater blonde hair?"

But I told her I would let it grow on me and she said if I still didn't like it in a few days to call her back and she would fix it.

So, I called her back.

And she fixed it.  But that was when I decided to find a new stylist, one that would hopefully keep a card on file instead of giving me the same "do" that she gave everyone else. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind having a style like then next girl, as long as it looks good. I just felt like it was time for a change.

I waited for months and months, my roots showing and split ends splitting, searching for a new stylist and being careful to pick a great one. That's when I found J.  She had been doing hair in her house and opened a salon. My friends started going to her and they looked fabulous. I made an appointment.

When she was finished with my hair, I looked in the mirror and was so delighted that I was certain the clouds above the beauty shop had parted and the angels were singing in glory. FINALLY. Someone who knows hair. It looked great. I was overjoyed and her prices were very reasonable.

And then we moved.


When we returned to Florida I just went back to my old stylist.  It started out a little rocky, but I chalked it up to the fact that she hadn't done my hair for years.  I kept going back, hesitantly, but loyally.  I tend to be loyal to my stylists.  I have no idea why, but I think a lot of women are that way.

Each time I went something wasn't quite right, either the cut or the color, but it takes some time for a customer and stylist to get on the same page so I gave it some time.

(I promise this is going somewhere!)

Things just went downhill. I had my hair done and it was bad. It felt overly thin and crunchy on the ends. The cut, the color, everything.  I called my good friend in North Carolina who is a stylist herself and explained it to her. She said it sounded like the color had been left on too long. Basically, my hair was fried.

I suddenly wanted to join a hair club myself.

If you are thinking this sounds like a pity party, then you are right.  A woman loves her hair, especially a southern woman.  We are raised on it.

Good skin, good hair, and a good girdle are a girl's best friends.  Only now we aren't allowed to wear girdles except for Spanx, which really doesn't work as well because it isn't nearly as painful.

The women in my family have always had good hair.  I can remember admiring my grandmother's hair.  We talked about how pretty it had grayed.  Her sister's hair had turned to a snow white.  Good hair is in my genes, even in old age.

But no good genes can help you at all if your hair is fried like a green tomato.

I have conditioned and conditioned and have even had special treatments put on my hair since that last visit to my stylist. (And no, I didn't go back and complain.  That's in my genes, too.)  I've since found a new stylist who listens and is learning what my wonky hair does when it is cut in layers. 

I'm letting  my hair grow and using lots of clippies.  And I'm still considering joining ones of those clubs, only I think if women had one we'd call them Hair Support Groups and we would eat chicken salad with a slice of melon on the side.

And maybe even talk about bringing back the girdle.

Or maybe not.