31 August 2013

No More Trauma ... For Now

Well, I have survived both the trauma of my hair and the saga of my hair.  Earlier in the summer, I thought I had finally found someone who "understood" my hair issues and desires. And overall, she did.  The problem was, that she insisted that the couple of times I went to her, I *needed* additional products or services - you know, a gloss, or some special styling product.  Even though (at least during the summer) I keep my hair very short and don't blow it dry, so it never really has a "style."

I got really frustrated, and when I went to make my next appointment, the person on the phone asked me what "additions" I wanted.  Now, I'd noticed that it wasn't just my stylist, but it appeared to be the M.O. for the salon.  I said I wanted a cut and color only, but she kept insisting.  So did I, and eventually she gave up.  A few days later, the stylist called me, explaining that there would surely be things besides just a cut and color that I needed, and after a brief discussion with her, I just said I wouldn't be returning.

Then I was faced with the problem of just where to go.  After some thought [a ridiculous amount to be honest], I made an appointment someplace I'd gone before, that I decided needed another chance.  I even found a picture that showed the cut and color I wanted, so I figured if the stylist didn't get close, I'd know that I should try yet another place.

I handed her this photo.  She said, "Oh that would be great!" (good sign), and got started.  Now don't get me wrong, I like this woman, but I'd gone to her a couple of times before, and though my hair was always OK, it was never exactly what I'd hoped for.  But the salon is really close to my house, and though not inexpensive, it is reasonable for this area.  And I actually first met this stylist when she was a customer at a yarn store where I worked part-time.  So I figured she had first chance to get another shot at things.

The result:  Except that I do not have the face or neck of the woman above, I have her hairstyle and color.  EXACTLY.  And I mean exactly.

I am so happy and relieved!  She was thrilled with the results as well, so I think we might have really hit that happy balance between stylist and customer.

Now I just have to make sure that she doesn't move away or something ... :-)

Have a lovely Labor Day Weekend!

22 August 2013

Run Around

For as long as I can remember, I have had little or no interest in running, or jogging, or whatever you want to call it.  I grew up at a time where there were no real sports programs for girls in elementary or high school, and I am not from an athletic family.  I've always loved walking and hiking, and riding my bike.  But running was never anything I thought about much at all.

Until recently, when I decided I'd like to add it to my exercise repertoire.  I would like to be able to run short distances without feeling like I may die.  I would like to participate in some 5K races, and not only have to do the walking option, particularly when that alternative means walking very slowly, as everyone around you is doing.  I had always thought with my osteoarthritis, it wasn't the best idea anyway. But my new doctors have told me that it is worth doing, not a lot, and not for speed, but for variety as well as for another way to build the muscles around my joints.

I live close to the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia, and love to walk and bike along there, any time of year.  So I have a place where I could also run that is close by, scenic, and at least as safe as anywhere else.  I also have a lovely neighborhood where I can run.  So I'm gonna give it a try.  I have even bought myself a new pair of shoes, and will be wearing them for some walking first, to be sure there won't be blisters.  I'm going to try and follow the Mayo Clinic 5K Run 7-Week training program.  I like it because it builds, and takes its time - and God knows I'm not in any big hurry like I'm getting ready to try out for the Olympics or something!

I want to start soon, but also wait until I have the sense that the extreme heat and humidity will be over for the most part at least.  It would be self-defeating for me to start when just being outside is torture for me, so it may not be immediately, but hopefully it will be soon.

In the meantime, all of my other activities and going to the gym are just fine, and I know they'll be there no matter what I decide about running.  I just think that it's time for a challenge.  Even if I don't keep up with it, I want to feel like I gave it a try.

Have a good weekend!

15 August 2013

The Continuing Hair Saga

You'd think I was a hair model, as much as I worry/think about/ponder my hairstyles and haircuts.  But sadly, I'm just obsessed.  You may remember this post, where I talked about how I had a great hair stylist, but she stopped working after her second kid.  Since then, I've gone several places, with varying degrees of success.  Fortunately, nothing terrible, but nothing WOW either.

Recently, the salon where the great stylist had worked sent me an e-mail, saying she was returning part-time, and was only going to work on Saturdays and Sundays.  Which is good from the standpoint that it's not the middle of the day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when I'd be at work, but could mean getting appointments could be tricky.  However, the place is on the other side of town.  Not impossible, but not terribly convenient.  Anyway.

A week from this Saturday, it will be six weeks since my last cut.  I try to go every six weeks, because it keeps me happy with the way my hair looks.  I've gone to one place the last couple of times, but the woman who has done my hair, though nice and very talented, seems like she really only wants to push me to get more products and services there.  I've observed that it seems to be the M.O. of the place.  A place I tried before then had a woman who was nice, and it was very close to my house, but the woman cut my  hair dry, which just seems kinda weird.  Yet another place I tried is also nice, and relatively close to my house, but you need two different people if you are also getting color, because they have stylists and then also colorists.

Because I am weird, I have made appts for next Saturday at each place, thinking that as it got closer, I could decide which one to keep, and call the other places well in advance and cancel.  I really and truly thought this would mean I'd be able to decide.  But of course I cannot.  Today, I've narrowed it to the original place, and the place close by where my hair is cut dry.

This is all a) crazy, b) sad, and c) ridiculous.  I need an intervention.

And a haircut.

09 August 2013

Eating Clean

I really try to eat healthfully most of the time, though like everyone else, I'm not 100% successful all of the time.  Life is too short not to enjoy some things.

A few years ago, Wendy posted on her blog that she was making a conscious effort to eat better and feel better, through something called the Eat-Clean Diet.  I was skeptical at first because, well, it was a diet plan, and I find most of those unrealistic, at least in the long run.  But as I poked around the website, it seemed more like a way of eating rather than a specific diet plan, where you gave up so much for so long.

So we gave it a try, and really liked it!  At first, we followed it very closely, mostly to see if our habits changed, but also to see if we could do it reasonably.  Granted, since we try to eat well in the first place, it wasn't too hard to adjust, and we started in the summer which means that fresh fruits and veggies were readily available.  And honestly, it wasn't too difficult, and I for one felt a lot better physically.  As far as I know, I don't have any serious gastrointestinal issues, but let's just say that eating clean made me more comfortable and leave it at that.  My husband was really pleased, because he also lost quite a bit of weight.  (I did too, but that wasn't my primary goal.  It does help with that, though, if you are looking for something to try.)

Of course, after our three-month strict trial, we stopped being so very careful.  The interesting thing is that we had been able to change our eating habits somewhat, and we did add in a glass of wine or an alcoholic beverage to the mix, because we enjoy that.  In the intervening times, we've ebbed and flowed as far as our "dedication," but I can truthfully say that we keep with the Eat-Clean Diet overarching theme.

Why am I sharing this?  Because in the past couple of weeks, I've talked to people who are trying to think of how they can eat better, and consume less junk food or processed food.  And as I was thinking about it, I thought, why not share the info here as well?

I'm not saying that everyone should try it, or that everyone even needs to try it.  I just thought it was worth mentioning as an option for anyone who wants to give it a try.  Let me know if you try it, and what you think.

Bon appetit!