why I don't colour my hair (anymore)

There's talk in my circle of authenticity, living life whole-hearted... and yet I don't understand why everyone (everyfemaleone) is not being their authentic self...? how can one be themselves if they have fake hair colour...

wow, that's simplistic huh? (ok, and a bit judge-y)

For me: I was fed up. The kicker was when I read online how one woman kept mascara with her at all times so she could fix her roots in the washroom. Much like I quit a popular diet -- >ahem< lifestyle management -- company when they advocated counting each stick of sugarless gum (5cal), that was what did it for me. No way was I about to start getting that persnicketedy.

oh, come on! it was 1989...

I have curly hair, so I don't have a part and thus no skunkline of regrowth, but I have been going gray since my teens so after 18 years of colouring the gray away I was starting to see more gray regrowth than I felt comfy with. But fussing that much? nuh uh. I find having to reapply lipstick too tedious sometimes...

So six years ago I let it go au naturelle. Telling myself that I knew where my fake hair colour formula was and could return to it if I wanted. No biggie.

Except I haven't looked back, and I am more comfy now than I ever was. I've never been a primper, so I have a fairly basic routine. And I follow the Curly Girl approach to taking care of the tresses: cleansing my hair usually only once a week with mostly just conditioner (aka the No Poo approach to hair maintenance). Blow dry on occasion, always with just the diffuser and never completely dry. Very often I just clip my hair up wet, sleep on it and in the morning remove the clips and I'm off! And I haven't used a brush or comb on my hair in years. I just use my own two hands.

ps :: I'm not dissing authenticity 'n stuff, I'm in complete and total agreement with Brene Brown and her work... sometimes it just seems strange for people to wander around declaring "this is the real me!" when it's not, completely, y'know? and yeah, I guess the same could be said for makeup (yes, I wear makeup) but somehow that doesn't seem quite the same.

What do you think? Could you go gray...?

edits and further thoughts:

[my husband just read this and admitted that a fellow dogwalker asked him last week where his Mum was since she hadn't seen me out walking our dog in a while...]  8D

[which then reminded me of when we were car shopping 16 years ago and the car salesman asked if I was planning on buying the car for my son, gesturing to my husband nearby]

[which goes to show that it wasn't due to my hair colour, but due to the fact that my husband looks far younger than his years... see photo below... he's actually older than me!]

he's 27 here!


Sunset Wraparound Epiphany

I'm planning on frogging a sweater. And I'm looking forward to it! I belong to a loose-knit (HA! ha ha ha....) group of Fabric Artists - there are knitters & crocheters, weavers, spinners and quilters that show up at the monthly meetings. We started out years ago in a coffee shop but the group grew, and so we've expanded to a more permanent space. (a church hall)

Sunset Wraparound, in progress

I started this particular sweater in 2007. I knit fast and furious for about 8 months, got about 80% done and then couldn't stand its insulative properties during the summer and put it aside. It was almost full size, and that much Alpaca on your lap will make you sweat no matter what.

And since then it's lagged. Last year I made a decision to not feed my yarn habit anymore, and use what I have in my stash to create. Pulled the Sunset Wraparound out and kicked my butt in gear.

While I was trying it on a couple of months ago to measure some things I had a passing thought

"wow, this is kinda itchy against my bare skin"
"but that's OK, I'll just wear a tshirt underneath"

"wow, this is kinda warm"
"hunh, and with a tshirt underneath I'll be hot a lot... and"

 ~~ here come's the epiphany ~~

"... I'll probably never wear it"


What is it with epiphanies? one minute I'm happily planning how to finish off the sweater, and then bam out of nowhere am hit with a realization. Where was that thought in 2007??

So, it's coming apart. I'm bringing it to my next Fabric Artists night and am going to share the destructive joy.


impressions in waxing nostalgic

Just heard that Sam Sniderman (ie Sam the Record Man) passed away.

This summer we took a weekend trip to Toronto, and I walked along Yonge St. where his store used to be. I actually didn't realized that the building had been levelled after being sold to Ryerson University. I hope the students who will one day wander through their new building feel the vibe that will linger. Ryerson has his storefront sign -- iconic oversized vinyl platters -- in storage. Hopefully they'll find a way to use it fittingly.

In our local media there's been a lot of nostalgia for this store, more now than when it closed it seems. I too have thought about my weekend trips to downtown from my home in the suburbs. How I almost took this kind of experience for granted: buying an import vinyl LP record. I say almost because I knew that one of the advantageous of living in a Big City was that I had access to a store such as this. One that could carry the obscure, the one-of-a-kind... and in my case, the Import. During my 80s it was British Imports.

But I would never have been able to foresee a future where such a successful store would've closed. (And I read science fiction -- I thought about What the Future Would Look Like.)  Statement of the obvious: music consumption has changed so much!

Now those same records that I saved up for, planned the Trip Downtown for, coveted as precious goods...? those songs accompany me on my grocery meanderings up and down the aisles. My oh-so-cool alternative imports are now elevator Muzak.

Music and nostagia seem to be a theme this week. I had difficulty reading this blogpost from all the nodding my head was doing in agreement (hell I've had an almost identical post sitting in my head for ages!).

Nostalgia reigned supreme at the mall recently while shopping with my 13 yr old daughter. She bought a cowl-necked sweater, surrounded by bright neons. Slouchy boots. I even saw a shoulder pad!! Don't worry; I looked away quickly, averting my eyes.

But: I warn you Fashion Industry... you even try to bring back Mom Jeans?? Forget the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement protests... these riots would dwarf them. It would get ugly.


7 lessons from my dog

When someone arrives, run to the front door to greet them.

If someone is willing to rub your belly, it doesn't matter how silly you look... just get comfy.

At the end of a long day, nothing beats a cuddle on the couch.

Waiting patiently while your dinner is prepared is far more productive in the end than whining for it.

Taking your collar off at the end of the day... one of the best feelings!

Regular grooming is essential. It is a hassle though...

Getting out of the house for a nice long walk does a body good, both physically and mentally.

Blaze on the dock at Bird Lake



I stopped swearing when my firstborn looked like he was becoming aware of his surroundings. Which even now at 15 years old isn't all that obvious... rim shot....

Anyway, I don't recall swearing a lot before I became A Mom. But I know I stopped.

When my son was in grade 1, so about six years old, a Lebanese boy joined his class. He knew no English, but wow did he learn quickly! A couple of months later, the after school group was tearing around the play structure, Moms talking on the benches. His older sister picked him up from school, but her English wasn't very good. As this boy raced by where I was standing he exclaimed "get-the-fuck-outta-here!". All smeared together like that: obviously learned phonetically.

Conversation stopped, dead. We looked over to his sister but she didn't react. Eventually one of the other Moms pulled him aside and explained to him that those words weren't good words to use (or something like that), and we all moved on. Giggling inside, truth be told.

There is power in those words, culturally based. I can swear in Quebec French, know one German cursive... but it justs doesn't feel as cathartic as letting loose a blue streak when I've stubbed my toe - again - on the corner of my bed in the middle of the night.

I happened to be using the German cursive when we were travelling through the UK in 2009, so I could swear safely around my 11and 10 yr old when I realized that the table next to us had a family of German diners at it. Who had heard me, and paused slightly in their conversation and glanced over to our table just every so slightly. Shit.

You know how they say that having kids makes you see your world through new eyes, right? And sometimes it also makes you question just why something is the way it is too. Like swearing. Once you get past the social impropriety they're just words.

Mine heard them on the playground at recess, that's where they learnt them they said. So years ago we had a discussion regarding the usage of the cursive. What the words mean ("ewwww"), what purpose those types of words serve* and when and where to use them. Or not use them (like around their grandparents cuz that'll only bring me grief). I think this is one of my favourite aspects of being a parent: questioning the status quo, why things are the way they are. Something I've been doing my whole life.

*a while after our initial conversation (and first of many), we saw an episode of Mythbusters. They tested the theory that swearing helps you deal with pain. And they declared it Confirmed.


a surprise in the cupboard

The milk, incorrectly stored I believe. Found this morning, and I'm guessing put there last night by a very tired family member...


occasionally ugly

We've been going camping for eight years now. Six sites together, about twenty people (all family), the last week of the summer.

We books sites months before so we can get them all together, where we want them. Which is right across from the comfort station: showers and flush toilets. When we started the kids were all young enough to require chaperones for the trip to the toilet. (now it's the older ones - the generation ahead of me - who need to be close in the middle of the night) >smirk<

I like camping. Grew up on it, did some back woods canoe trips as a teen and 20something. This week of car camping isn't really my idea of what camping is... it's more like living like you do at home but with a dirt floor. Especially since now you can buy just about anything for your campsite... even an propane oven.

But the rest of the gang that I hang with for this week... well, let's just say that most feel the need to have a daily shower. The idea of not having one and all the gels and smells that go with it everyday is enough to make some shudder. Me? ... not so much. As a matter of fact, I didn't trek over and queue for a shower the entire week! We were in the water every day, and two evenings it was so hot that the very last thing I did was lie back, floating in the lake while admiring all the stars. How often do you get a chance to do that?

Now, I really did appreciate that first shower back home. Mere hours after we'd pulled into the driveway. But there was something about staying 'dirty' while camping. I'm cringing, but at the risk of sounded too crunchy granola... it somehow felt more organic to clean up by soaking in a lake and not sudsing with smells.

Then I read this post today and I think I figured out why I chose to stay organic. I was appreciating my version of being ugly.


time, never enough

I decided to play along with the @shuttersisters on instagram this month. Today's prompt was time.

Hunh. Well now, THAT'S appropriate...! I thought. Because this morning - day two of the new school year for us - time was the one commodity that just didn't seem to be available enough.

Had to drag them both out of bed this morning, even though both of their alarms were actively trying to alarm them awake. Teens, sheesh. (which they have become, despite assuring me repeatedly when they were younger that they'd NEVER become a one of those nasty beings they derided back then... everything from graffiti to global warming: "tsk - TEENagers!")

One's got a lovely rhinovirus busy trying to escape his nose repeatedly and says his throat feels like it's lined with sandpaper... the other's wardrobe is sadly lacking on anything to wear. All I want to do is wade through the camping gear waiting to be washed in the kitchen to get to the coffee maker...

Then, just mere minutes before it's time for them to push off, one informs me that the clock in her classroom is broken and it's driving her nuts. She rushes around to find one of her working watches but is unsuccessful. Probably because she - like most teens - doesn't use a watch anymore but tells time with a cell phone (or iPod touch in her case). As do I, I must admit.

So she ended up borrowing my necklace.