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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why I Adore My Hair Days

Once upon a time, getting my hair done was a horrid chore. For decades I dealt with hair braiders and stylists, men and women of varying skill who would do my hair one month, then disappear from the face of the earth the next. Several years ago the woman who installed my Sister Locks was driving me batty. She bragged to me she was a 'professional', though her behavior was anything but. Unfailingly I showed for my appointments smack on time. Inevitably appointments began from 10, 20 minutes, if not an hour late. Those hair sessions one time began with a drive to her bank and another with a stop at to pick up some lunch. Then, once begun, her hair sessions might halt a half hour or more for tea or even random visitors. If these had been rare I'd probably not even have noticed, but these incidents were the only thing that could be depended on. Wimpy me, I held my tongue. Then, one day after my appointment, out of the blue the so-called 'professional' lit into me, accused me of having underpaid her - for several visits. I pointed out she never told me she had raised her prices. "Oh," she said, when she realized she'd neglected to tell me she'd raised her fee. No, 'sorry I forgot to tell you' or 'sorry I accused you of underpayment'. Nope, all I got was an unrepentant, 'Oh'.

That was it, I never went back to her. Seriously - fed up with decades of crap service from sundry hair 'professionals', I contemplated shaving my head and the only thing that stopped me from shopping Amazon for a good electric razor was I didn't think my face pretty enough to carry off baldness. I never went back to the infuriating 'professional'. For months I didn't get my hair done. My locks threatened to fall from my head. Then a miracle: I found Adrian. The lady is the hair professional I have always prayed for. I've never been happier with either a hair care person or for that matter, my hair.
A dream come true - Adrian

Every visit with Adrian is a morning in paradise for me. I am at her door at 8 AM sharp, and as the gods are my witness, at 8:01 my appointment begins. Adrian might play a Ted Talk video for me while she works. Perhaps we just discuss our latest food plan tactics or some enlightening item in the news. Sometimes I bring her some little gift, hoping it lets her know how very much I appreciate her. My first thought whenever I ponder moving out of state is, "But how could I get on without Adrian?"

Today was a joyful day. Woke at 5 AM for a traffic-free drive to the Bay Area. There I was greeted promptly at 8 AM by Adrian and at 8:01 I was relaxed, happy & having my hair done: a miracle I will never have, nor never will take for granted.

Oh, and post appointment my fun continues.  As per usual, after my time with lovely - inside and out - Adrian, I head off to Berkley to meet up with fellow Hen, Robbie. She works at home a few days a week & on my hair appointment days she schedules a morning break so we can race out to a quick brunch.

It was my treat today, celebrating Robbie's birthday last month. Sam's log cabin is a fav.

Here is Robbie about to dig into her veggie scramble with poached eggs atop. The blueberry lemon zest scones - I got one too - were poofalicious. We both decided to take our scones home and I will have mine for breakfast tomorrow.

After brunch we were briefly back at Robbie's house. In the back garden she clipped and bagged loads of fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and even fresh figs. I rather balked at the basil, from guilt, as I took a lot of it on my last visit but never got around to doing anything with it. But Robbie has faith and gave me loads of the gently scented herb.
Photographed these figs a couple of months ago - they're now black and sweet
Robbie havin' at the overflow of Basil
Overflowing with lovely stuffs, I headed Home. That, my dears, is how I usually spend my hair days. What was once a horror, is now a joyful sort of day.

UPDATE:  The basil was indeed made into Pesto. Later in the week Hen Ingrid popped by to visit for a couple days. She was on her way back from - now get this - 3 months backpacking in Olympic National Park. Awesome, eh? We had a nice visit and I used Robbie's basil to make some banging Pesto. We ate it with angel hair pasta Ingrid had with her from her travels. We washed it all down with some white wine I got from Judy some months ago. That was quite the 'stone soup' meal.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


So tonight was the last show of the Music Circus season, HAIR. yeah, it was the musical our parents warned us against. It is groovy and emotional. Before the show, many of the ushers swapped stories about having seen the musical in its hey-day. Meself, I saw it in the 1970s... with my mother... who didn't put a damper on anything. On the way home we hadn't exactly discussed the nude scene but we kept staring at each other waiting for each other's smiles to fade. As I recall, that took about a week.

My first thought when I heard it HAIR would play in conservative Sacramento I mentally laid down bets how the nude scene would play out: 'light weight  skin-hugging bodysuits, Full Monty nudity but lights shining so nothing can be seen, or full frontal nudity...' Damned if they just went ahead with the latter. I heard at various Sacramento performances some audience members actually got up indignantly marching out of the theater, offended by 'offensive' words and/or over-endowments of the actors & actresses - trust me on that one. My last thought on viewing Hair this time was really, how few things have changed. There's still wars going on and seemingly not enough love and happiness or certainly peace to go around. The more things changed, the more they stayed the f*cking same.

Broadway Legend Ben Vereen was in Sacto on the 12th,
giving cast of Hair an impromptu Master's class
Tonight was a double 'last' - last show of the Music Circus season and the last show for HAIR. Every seat in the house, sold. We ushers wondering where we'd sit. There are comfy canvas chairs for our use but they pretty much all disappeared over the season. After a lively usher to usher chat, we decided to just plop ourselves on the steps along aisle six. And really, all of us seated in the aisle sure helped the place look like there was a 1960s 'sit in' happening. As the music started up, I was happily cross legged, leaning on the aisle banister. Happy as hippy having a toke.

I was in the same theater as Vereen - YES!

Back in the 70s I wore a nice shaggy afro when I saw Hair. Tonight I wore my sister locks which felt just as right for the occasion. During one scene, as actors tore through the audience, I hastily pulled my leg out of the aisle, freaked I might accidentally trip up an actor. No sooner had my leg pulled out, then an actor leapt onto the banister above me, and leaning down, he playfully tousled my hair! It was suddenly 1967, I was in with the cool hippies and I laughed and laughed! I felt the happy vibes my brothers and sisters. Peace out. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Week on the Coast

Guarding the Crop

Spent this past week down in Monterey County, visiting with Barbara, and her gang. Her 'gang' includes Son Eric, future daughter-in-law Alicia & her ensie daughter Aslyn, Barbara's sister Suzi & very-nearly-official-Brother-in-Law Bob, and Barb's friend, and mine, Dru. It was a busy week as I assisted Eric - I was darned near helpfully too - moving some stuff from storage, and had a fun luncheon at Barb's flat with Dru, my newest 'bud'. Poor Dru was lambasted with my so-called best spooky shite stories and she had quite a few of her own so we're even.

For me, the high point of the week was a shopping trip for a replacement of my recently purloined laptop. Barbara had a coupon that got me 10% off the price - like having the tax paid for me!

The last day, more or less the only bit of the week I've pictures for, Barb and I drove to Carmel Valley. There Suzi, and Bob were treated to breakfast for Suzi's birthday which actually took place in July, but better late than never.

Belated birthday girl Suzi & Barbara
Suzi gave us a tour of the condos she and Bob live, in Carmel Valley. CV has a zip code aspire to. Kind of like everyone wanted the Fair Oaks zip code until one of the two following events happened, (1) Granite Bay rose to the title 'best Sacramento County spot live' (2) Claire moved in.

Right after brunch Bob had Lawn Bowling practice. If you are scoffing at the v. green lawn in drought stricken California, know, the condos are taking out lawns and installing drought tolerant landscaping. The green of the bowling field remains safe and watered, at least for now.
Bob is the far distant gentleman 2nd on the left. in the orange shirt
After our tour of the grounds we retreated to S & B's flat which has the best patio view ever. It hangs over a canyon full of coastal pines with a couple of bird feeders. While chatting with Suzi my eyes were glued to the Chestnut-sided Chickadees, Acorn Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Juncos and even California Quail that scrambled around at the foot of the trees.
Patio with cool view of piney canyon birds
For a bit I day dreamed of living in Carmel Valley's bit of heaven, where I could get in a week's birding from my couch or watch TV as I treadmill at the complex's work out facility. Unfortunately the reality is that single-income Claire can either live in the complex in a one bed/one bath and never entertain company or afford to travel again, or live someplace more affordable and live in the elegant style to which she has become accustomed. Seems the later must persevere as the winning alternative. Ah, but I always have my dreams.

Oh, and I want to show off Suzi's flower arranging acumen.

Love the tiny eclectic clear glass containers.The flowers are bachelor buttons, bee balm, honeysuckle, a rose, a dahlia and others...

And check out this bathroom bouquet with huge white lily, lark spur, rudbeckia and such. All from Suzi's cutting garden... did I mention that before?

So that was my week at Barb's. We're older now and uncharacteristically we get into mini-battles as we each assert ourselves in our relationship. Being older we both think we know precisely what's best and that the other doesn't, but thankfully ten minutes later we're back to being good buds. Tee hee... sure am happy though that neither of us own a handgun!