Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Garden Daze With Dogs

I have a bunch of lazy dogs. They take after me.  On a lovely spring day you most likely will find us lounging in the house rather than out in the beautiful weather. It's not the pollen, not the heat, we are just a pack of sluggish hounds.

Snuggling on the couch under the ceiling fan is very relaxing. Looking out the large picture window in the living room, at the sloping yard that ends with a natural picket fence by the street, the grass speckled with sun as its rays push through the branches of tall pines, and the huge expanse of ground that rounds to the right of way, makes it a bucolic setting. Restful.

Who wants to get up and move? I wasn't always so lazy myself, but hanging out with six dogs is a great stress reducer, and I find it hard to get up and do stuff . . . garden stuff.  I get up to write, eat, chat on my cell, drive off to meet friends for shopping and dinner, but work in the garden has been something I've avoided for a few years. The work was done, but by semi-professionals, and I would look at it later, after I'd written my check, and sigh . . . so beautiful.

This month things are changing. I am doing work myself. I still need a professional to mow the yard, but the clean-up, plantings, and other little jobs are now mine. It is a task I've told myself it's time to take on. Get some exercise, get the dogs out in the fresh air, save some money . . . the new me, sparkling at sixty-five.

Ready to drop in the yard at sixty-five. A few days of vigorous word, raking old leaves from the fall, bagging them, taking them in my little Red Ryder wagon to the street, all joyous activities, all finding muscles and joints I haven't used lately.

Yet I find I am smiling like an idiot. And so are the dogs. We love being outside in these glorious days. I've missed the simple pleasures of my yard. Digging in the dirt is so cathartic. Watching the dogs lounge on the deck, silly smiles on their faces as their heads point up towards the sky, drinking in the sunshine.




The couch will be empty while we all prance in the yard. There is plenty of time to snuggle at night and watch TV.

Perhaps a gardening show on HGTV.

You never know what tricks an old dog can learn.


Lesson Learned!
I did and so did the dogs. I bathed. They didn't. Now the house smells like dirt. That's so much
better than some of the smells from the dogs!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

I'm not going bald. . . I am just going crazy!

Clip art from The Wonders Of Disney

Okay, my friends will be howling at this one.  The ones I told my story to earlier this week.  Tee-hee. I can't believe I am writing this, but you know, I've written worse.

I have worried that my hair was thinning, especially on the left side of my temple. Concerned the blood pressure medicine I had been taking for a year was the problem,  I Googled the pill to see what danger lurked in the background  and a possible - mind you, just possible, not really for sure - side-effect is hair loss. Yikes.

Convinced that this small possibility was my huge reality, I called to make an appointment with my doctor to discuss alternatives. Like, get me off the darn pill. The doctor was out of town, but I could see her new physician's assistant. The next day I was at the office, my speech memorized on why I did not need to be on blood pressure medicine.

The physician's assistant was great.  She is the age of Susan in Danger In Her Words.  We chatted like girlfriends on that visit, well I did. I told her about the book I was working on and that she could be the main character. Well, not really, she was married, in the medical field, and not the least neurotic. But she did have long dark hair and was the right age.

"Let me take your blood pressure now." She smiled sweetly and put the cuff on my arm.

Easy Peasy, I thought. She'd had me talking and laughing, she would see how low my blood pressure could go.

"Oh my. It's rather high." She shook her head. "Perhaps we should up your dose."

"White coat fever." I made a cross sign with my fingers and backed away from her.

"Make an appointment at the desk for next month. Let's keep an eye on this." She laughed at me. "I want to hear more about your book too."

I got in my car to head home somewhat discouraged. At the first red light, I pulled down my visor and peeked at my face. Don't do that in the bright sunlight is all I will say. Then I pulled back my hair on the left side and cringed. Where was the hair under the dark layers above it? A question I was sick of asking myself. I also noticed a small halo of grey right at my forehead and knew it was time to color again.

Not to drag this on until you shake your head and call me crazy, or boring, both names I have been known to answer to.

I color my own hair, and have forever. I cut it too. In earlier years, I did my own perms. Sitting at a beauty shop was not for me. Tried it, spent the big bucks, came home and hated what I'd pay for. At some point I made the decision if I didn't like the results, I could not like them for free, and do it myself.

The drug store was on the path to my house and I decided I needed to tackle this issue right away. I had actually colored my hair the week before, but only left the mixture on my head for half the suggested time. I had dinner with friends and could not wait longer. I've seen touch-up kits, but never tried one. It was time to do something different. The box had a mixing bowl, two tiny tubes, and a small brush. Ten minutes was all the time needed for results.

I mixed the color, grabbed the tiny little brush with my fingers, and went about lifting the layers of hair around my face, especially that dreaded area that made me sad, and slowly brushed color on every strand from roots to end. This was different than how I normally colored my hair, with haste, running my fingers and a nozzle over my head and rubbing in.

When my buzzer went off I washed my hair and blew it dry. I looked in the mirror and almost let out a yelp of joy. Where I thought I'd been bald was rich with color. I wasn't loosing my hair, I was an idiot who didn't know how to color it. What I thought was bald, what I had looked at without my glasses, was pale, almost silver white hair. Hair that I missed when I colored my hair in haste.

I called all my friends with the news. No one realized I colored my hair. Cat out of the bag.

Did turning sixty-five make me more peculiar than I normally am? I'll get back with you on that one. Right now I feel like my old self again. No pun intended with the word old. I bet if I had my blood pressure taken now, I'd get off that darn pill.

Clip art from The Wonders Of Disney
Age doesn't bother Minnie and she was created in 1928!
So I'm not letting it bother me . . .
Disclaimer: My thoughts on grey hair in the great debate if you should go grey or color. I color my hair because if I let the grey come in around my face I look tired. If I didn't color my hair, I'd have to wear more make-up! Some of my friends look damn sexy with their grey. When I finally kick the bucket, some good friend of mine better come color my hair or put bright red lipstick on me before the viewing at the funeral home. Just saying.....