Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Hairy Adventure

 I have never colored my hair. I am a big chicken! Well, there was that time in high school when I doused my hair in lemons. But purchase at the store or pay someone for hair coloring!? I just couldn't justify it. Also, coloring your hair comes with a complication – you must continue coloring it FOREVER or you get that weird band where natural hair color meets dyed hair color. Keeping up with hair, make-up, or fashions really don’t fall under one of my ‘strengths.’ “So, why,” I asked myself, “would I begin coloring my hair when I would have to re-color it every four weeks for the rest of my ENTIRE life???”
One day, it all changed.  I was innocently sitting at a basketball game, one row higher than another mom. From my vantage point, I could see the most gorgeous color of copper in her hair. She had mostly dark hair except for the stunning copper highlights. I just had to know! So I asked.
Now, I am not always aware of crossing social boundaries. I sometimes ask people how old they are. Sometimes I ask if they are pregnant (not too often anymore though. Once a lady replied, “I know it looks like I am pregnant, but I have a tumor.” Egads). And apparently, sometimes I ask if their hair color is natural. Fortunately, she was not offended. She replied that the dark is her hair color, but the copper is there because of treating it with henna.
Fast forward 8 months. I could not erase that beautiful copper color out of my mind. I began asking around about hair coloring, and henna. It seems that in the 70’s, henna was frequently used to color hair. Nowadays, I think only the Indian women and alternative/punk-rockers use henna.  I have two friends trained in cosmetology. I asked each friend (they do not know each other) what they knew about henna for hair. Both of them shrieked, “DON’T USE HENNA!!” I asked them, “Why not?” They both dropped their jaw, shook their head, and said, “That is what they taught us at school – NEVER use Henna.”
Sorry, that is just not enough reason for me. I did some research. I believe the beauty schools don't want Henna used because the results vary, so there is a lack of control. Also, you cannot use chemicals to correct or cover up Henna-dyed hair. After all this research, I decided I really wanted to try it. Yes, I was willing to change my life for those beautiful copper-colored strands.
I asked my friend to take me to an Indian grocery store and I bought the Henna dye. It was a green powder that smelled like alfalfa - fresh alfalfa. I glopped it onto my head, shirt and countertop, waited the prescribed time, and spent at least 20 minutes trying to rinse it out of my hair.  But at last, I was finished.
I am fairly happy with the results. I will say that I had MUCH more gray hair than I thought! My gray didn't turn the smashing copper that started this whole quest, but it isn't gray. My hair does have natural-looking reddish highlights. I read that as you repeat the process, the color actually deepens.

After Henna treatment
Before Henna treatment
Left side Before

Left Side After
Right Side Before
Right Side After

Top Before

Top After
I know the pictures are lame, sorry. The lighting wasn't good, but I figured I should take Afters in the same place I took the Befores. Really though, my hair does look different in different lighting. Here is a picture I took outside. 
After; Outside


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mom's Surgery

Um, I actually wrote this on June 8. I guess it was just too difficult to remember to actually post it! Since I wrote it, however, I will go ahead and  post it more than two months later. 
I am sitting in the hospital room where my mother is recovering from knee replacement surgery. She will be recovering for the next several months. It is pretty amazing that a 70ish year-old woman has the guts to go through such a procedure. That is the stuff for a twenty-year-old. Or teenager. A teenager breaks a leg, wears a cast for 5 or 6 weeks, then jumps right back into playing football. She will have to work much harder for days, weeks, months to recover the strength she had before surgery. Then she will have to continue to fight every day just to keep the strength and mobility she has regained.

I feel that same fight even now. When I was twenty, I could go from sleeping to running and never even be sore. Now, just a score of years later, I am sore from sleeping!!! I have to work to maintain the strength and flexibility that I have. If I stop working at maintaining, I immediately start losing the strength. 
It is completely different with my weight however. I have to focus and work and exercise just to maintain my weight. The second I stop working, I immediately (overnight or faster!) begin to gain weight. Ah, the irony.
Anyway, back to my mom. Glory to God – everything has gone very well. She has been well taken care of in the hospital. The staff is excellent, patient, available and attentive. The pain medicine has worked very well and she hasn't been nauseous. It is obvious how much her friends love her.
I don’t like seeing her hurt. I don’t like knowing the struggle she will go through. I do like that she will have less pain in the long run, more strength, and more ability to live the next phase of her life with less pain and more activity.
We are very thankful to God for all His goodness to us!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Catching Up

Wow. More than a year has flown by since I last posted. More than just time has flown by – many miles have sailed under my wheels. We moved, first to one temporary location, then the Lord opened a job for my DH and we have relocated to a big metropolis. Born into the big city, my heart finally found a home in the country. Now I’m a city girl again.  No more stickers in our feet, shoes, carpet, car, or dog. No thistle wars to wage. No wilderness creeping into our yard. No sunsets over hills, no creek to play in, no river to swim in, no animals to care for or ride, no full moons shining in my window, no fabulous friends coming over.

It has been a difficult transition. But I can testify that the Lord has been right with me every step of the way. He delivered a box of surprises, or a word of encouragement; kindnesses on sad days, strength on weak days, peace on lost days. Even as I felt hard pressed on each side, He gave me the grace to remain in faith, knowing that He only has good for us. Because I have seen His faithfulness in so many ways throughout many years and trials, I desire to be found by Him in faith. I want to receive what He sends with gratefulness. It hasn’t been easy. I am sometimes sad. But He is Good.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endures forever.

Hebrews 6:19 which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entered into that within the veil;

And so my hope is in Him. And He has strengthened me, and taught me. And I look forward to more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Climbing Mount Everest is a monumental, life-threatening challenge.  Swimming the English Channel is a dangerous confrontation. Running a marathon is a grand undertaking. Even mowing 5 acres on a riding mower can put me to the test!

But the challenge that I am facing these days is recovering a skill that was once easily accomplished for me.  Back in an earlier time, before technology was instantly accessible from almost any home, intersection, mountaintop or public bathroom, listening was something I could do without having to repeat the mantra, “Remember to listen, remember to listen.” (Of course, even that increases the traffic between the ears!) 

I don’t really blame my cell phone, or computer, or my ipod, or TV, or instant wikipedia, or even the radio. These things do help me to perfect “short attention spans,” but they are not at fault. 

Really, I have no one to blame except the fertilizers and pesticides in our foods.  Just kidding.  I know it isn’t the food’s fault. 
It is the result of what I have been practicing.  The problem is that it seems to take more and more attention to think about the things that I am actually SUPPOSED to think about, and that thinking crowds out my listening skills.  Then, since I become un-used to listening, it seems awkward, therefore easily avoided. 
Alcoholics Anonymous says the first obstacle to overcoming a problem is to face the reality of the situation – admit you have a problem.  So here I am admitting the problem.  I want to listen better.  I want to listen to loved ones better.  And I mostly want to listen to the Lord better.  I do believe that the Holy Spirit is always leading, always speaking.  And I do believe that abiding in Him (John 15) is ‘living and moving and having our being in Him,’ (Acts 17:28). So combining being who we are and who He made us with the fact that He delights to reveal Himself to us and has given the Holy Spirit to do just that, He is always leading, always speaking.  But I also hunger to hear -  His words are life, His voice is life.
My hearing has become dulled by the noise pollution between my ears.  And since I know that I can do nothing by my own power, (no matter how much I want to ‘resolve’ to listen better!) I fall on the constant mercy and kindness of my Heavenly Father.
And I know He hears me! Praise You LORD!
What is the last thing you heard from the Lord?