Day 286-MET-I Used To Do My Own Nails

I could do this but it looks so much prettier when they do it!

I’ve been doing my own fingernails since I was twelve years old (maybe younger) but lately I’ve decided that the salons do a much better job. I spent tons of money on polish, gemstones, decorator kits, stickers and whatnot, all to try and copy what they can do. Most of the time I got lots of compliments and people would remark that I did a great job, saying they could never hand paint tiny designs like that. As I’ve grown older, I don’t want to mess with it as much, plus, I would rather have gel nails most of the time and the salons just do it better and faster than I can. Oh, I have the equipment and all, my results just don’t look as professional.

Lately, I’ve been sorta sad about my increase of gray hair and I’ve been curious about whether I should keep coloring, just let it go or do it at home myself. It’s kind of like the nail thing, I know the salon does a better job, but it’s so expensive! Now, I know a lot of you ladies would say, just fugetaboutit…everyone goes gray sooner than later. It’s like fighting wrinkles, a never ending battle, but I’m just not ready! Remember, I’m a fifty-six- year old rocker that still likes going to concerts and parties, I don’t want my grandkids to call me grandma, and I like my nails to have color on them at all times! Gray hair is just not part of the deal in my book…not yet anyway.

My salon professional said I barely had any gray that she could see, but I say she was just being nice. I have a tiny fountain of it coming out of the top of my head and my sideburns look like salt and pepper. Not as distinguished on a woman as a man, let me tell you. I was at the local Walgreen’s the other day, and I spotted this cool kit that lets you not only dye but adds highlights as well. It was under $20 and I just thought, “I have to get that!” but I still haven’t done it yet. I used to dye my own hair a long time ago, when I was young and brave, I wonder can I do it again without turning my ears red or brown, or blinding myself in the process.

I don’t know about you guys, but I refuse to go down without a fight. I want to appear young for as long as I can pull it off, I just want to do it at a discounted price. 😉

 

Day 280-MET-How About The Time I Almost Died?

Back in 1980, I was stationed at Ft Carson, Colorado and had just gone through a devastating experience. My body must have been in a weakened state following that and I somehow came down with mono. Now, back in my day, they called this condition/disease/affliction the kissing disease. Well, I certainly had not been kissing anybody and by the time my friend found and rescued me, I was pretty near death.

All I knew was I was sick, sicker than I had ever been in my life. I had checked with my doctor, who told me I had strep throat, isolated me to my room at the barracks, and it was there that I continued to deteriorate. Everyone knew where I was but no one came to visit, I assume for fear they would catch the horrible thing that I had. I must have had a mini-fridge or a cooler in my room, I remember getting some ice cream because my throat hurt so bad, but it melted and I was left with some milky foam…not appetizing at all.

I must have been in isolation close to a month when my friend finally called me to check on me, when I answered her in a strangled, high pitch squeal she couldn’t even understand  she said,  “I’m coming and I’m taking you to the hospital!” All I could think was it was about time someone finally cared about whether I lived or died. I had wasted away up there, I lost 14 pounds due to the fact that my tonsils had swelled to the point of touching, I could not get any food down at all. I was managing water and broth and the doctor had given me medication to numb my throat, yet the antibiotics he gave me were not working at all.

Once my friend arrived and carted me to the hospital, I discovered the reason nothing was working was because they had been treating me for the wrong thing. I had mono, not strep-I remember the doctor saying, “I’ve got good news and bad,” and I asked him, “Am I gonna die?” He laughed and said no, but I would be going home for awhile, I was that sick! He said I needed a mother’s love and would need about another month to get well. I had to get my top’s (sergeant) permission to leave, walking out on the parade field to get my paperwork signed, he saw me and his mouth fell open at my appearance. He did not even recognize me!  (Note: Mono is a virus like Ebstein-Barr and that’s why antibiotics weren’t working)

My parents were so concerned about me, they babied and cared for me for three weeks and nursed me back to health. I must have been super sick to get a medical leave, they thought and they were right. I was so sick I even developed hemorrhoids from all the diarrhea and strain on my body. My mother said it was unheard of for a 19-year-old to have those, and gave me the medicine to fix it. I guess my weight looked ok to them, what they didn’t know was that I had gained about 15 pounds from drinking and so when I lost that weight, I was actually back to my normal size. When I learned to drink, it was white and/or black Russians and sloe gin fizzes that were my choice at the time. One night I drank 15 black Russians…it’s amazing that didn’t kill me itself! I had been dancing, so I thought I was burning it off. I was so stupid, moving actually makes you absorb it more!

Soon enough, I was better and had to go back to Colorado. My Dad put me on a bus (really?) and two days later I was there, and again I was put on light duty. My body took another two months to fully recover, and then I was back to my wild child self again. I pretty much maintained my weight after that, I decided the pudgy look was not a good one on me. I kept the weight off by dancing like a maniac and stopped drinking the sugar laden, milky beverages I had grown accustomed to. I didn’t stop drinking, however, I just switched to a less caloric choice. Rum and coke I think it was. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m lucky to have survived. Thank God I had at least one friend willing to break the rules that day (I was in isolation, remember) or I’d have surely been a goner!

 

Day 273-MET-How I Lost My Virginity

Most of us have done it, at some point in our lives. Difference is, no one really wants to talk about it. It is a very private thing. Especially if the experience was…less than enjoyable. I don’t mean the fumblings of young lust in the back of a car, less enjoyable- I had something a bit darker in mind. The day I arrived at  Ft Carson, Colorado for my first permanent party station in the Army, I was a mark…I just didn’t know it at the time.

What I remember about that arrival was the pure wonder of a young girl seeing the magic of the mountains for the first time, after just enjoying her first ever commercial flight on a huge Delta airplane, gliding into Colorado Springs and thinking the mountains looked so close! I immediately fell in love with the place and could not wait to get this new chapter in my life started, even though I was a bit nervous as well. This wasn’t basic training, or AIT anymore, this was the big time. My permanent duty station, it could mean anything from a nine to five type job in a medical facility to going off to war. More than likely it meant getting stuck working in the tool cage and learning how to fix army vehicles, but I’d find that out much later.

Here is where I would be tested, on everything from how I managed the cold weather to using what I had learned in basic and AIT (for me that was kind of a basic medical school) and applying it in the field. Unfortunately, upon arrival and after checking in to my new duty station, I discovered my new company was about to ship out to California for some kind of desert training. On top of that, I was injured and got to start my first month on light duty due to the fact I was stuck in a cast from my shin to my thigh. My knees had a nasty habit of dislocating at the slightest turn and I was recovering from the latest in a long line of those occurrences. Still, my top sergeant was kind and felt sorry for me and assigned me a cush job when we got to Ft Irwin.

While in California, in fact, the whole time in the military so far, it was as though virgin was written on my forehead or something, men seemed to look at me as some sort of challenge they needed to conquer. I had so far maintained my status as a card-carrying virgin, although it had not been easy. I had experienced many close calls, always hearing my Dad’s voice in the back of my head that I should not give myself away until I was married, not to mention my own voice saying “Don’t do it, you’ll be seen as a slut.” Yet I was young and wild and free and the feeling of freedom was as intoxicating as heroin and I was addicted. Still, nothing had changed my status until we got back to base in Ft Carson.

I had previously been wined and dined and had gone out on many dates, treated like a lady and had been made to feel special in several different scenerios…what ended up happening was nothing like that. The asshole that finally slew the dragon was evidently known around the base as a player that somehow knew you were a virgin and made it his mission to change that. I never saw it coming, never had a chance. How he lured me in must have been that he appealed to me on some kind of bad boy level, I really don’t remember. Somehow, he coerced me into his barracks, into his room and then ultimately into his bed. He was such a dick, I didn’t even like him but there was just something, almost as if he was shaming me into it, making me feel like a coward if I didn’t. I don’t know how else to describe it, and then quickly, painfully and with no real softness or feeling…it was over. He had got what he came for and I was dismissed. I felt dirty and humiliated. An afterthought…never to be seen by him again.

Oh wait, before that, I made him take me to my friend’s place in Fountain. He dropped me off and then he was gone.  I remember to this day the song that was playing on the radio…”goodbye stranger, it’s been nice. Hope you find your, paradise. ” A song by Supertramp, and I remember thinking that my life was changed forever.  Little did I know how true that was, a few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant, just my luck. First rattle out of the box and I have to be a fertile Myrtle. I won’t go into details about what happened after that, suffice it t say, it was the worst experience of my life-something I regret doing to this day. I got through it with the help and support of my friends and life went on.

I wish I had had a better first-time story, but that is the way of life. Not everyone gets the sunshine and roses, blissful, “it was so wonderful” first-time experience I guess, I like to think it taught me a valuable lesson. Not all people are good. I had to stop viewing the world through rose-colored glasses and get tough. For a while after that, I saw no one for fear it would happen again, and just because I saw myself as damaged somehow. It didn’t last long though, I liked the boys way too much. That time in my life was my short period of freedom, away from my parents, free to make my own choices, good and bad, and eventually, I got back in the saddle. Colorado was too beautiful to waste my time crying over some arrogant ass, I was off to find my next adventure and explore everything with new and curious eyes, even if those eyes were now wide open.

Day 260-My Essay Tuesday-I've So Loved All Of My Pets

I have had many pets growing up and this trend has continued into my married life, cats, dogs, a bird at one time (poor thing) fish, and even a hamster (or was it a guinea pig?), the point is, I have loved them all. Each one probably has a special story attached to it but I can only relate what I can remember.

The earliest pet I can truly remember was my cat Mac. He was black as the night and he slept with me most nights in my bed. He had quite the rough life and I used to say, he really did have nine lives, I think he earned most all of them. Until the day I was away in the military, his hearing had gone, he didn’t hear the car as Mom was backing up. When I came home to visit and heard the news, I was devastated. I had had Mac for some 14 years.  So that makes him my longest pet relationship to date.

The next memorable pet in the roundup was our dog Flip, he was a three legged mixed breed and that dog had the best spirit and personality of any dog we had while I was growing up. He was also black, with a few brown markings, kind of like a rottweiler- he was a mix of one of those and whatever our dog Puddin was, I can’t remember. He never seemed disabled, he ran the fences in that back yard like any other dog, the heartbreaker was when he broke one of the three, the doctor splinted one leg and Flip just kept on going! I remember when my brother and I decided we were going to run away, Flip and the other two dogs we had at the time, followed us out the back gate as we escaped on our bicycles. We made it to Grapevine Highway before the cops stopped us because the dogs were impeding the traffic. It’s funny now…certainly was not funny back then.

After my husband and I had been married a while, he surprised me with a parakeet. I loved that little bird, but we lived in an apartment, space was limited and his singing irritated my husband. Plus he was kind of messy as birds are known to be. I don’t even remember if I gave him a name, but I took care of him, kept his cage clean and bought him a mirror to preen into, and one of those seed cone things for hime to snack on. He was a blue parakeet, so pretty, and his chirping never bothered me. He had a heart attack one day, I assume it was from my husband shooting his cage with rubber bands in an effort to quiet his singing. Poor thing had probably become so nervous anticipating the next one coming…or it was too cold in the apartment, I didn’t know much about bird care back then.

After my first son was born we got a chow dog named Milo, he was also black, sweetest dog ever and yet, a fierce protector. You wanted to be very loving to each other or whomever he deemed the instigator, he would nip. I remember once when the boys were teens, they used to fight with each other constantly. One day the were fighting in the hallway and Josh went to kick Christopher and Milo nipped him in the groin! That stopped that particular fight, but there were more…trust me. What is strange is, when Josh was a baby, Milo was so gentle with him, he let him ride him like a horse! I guess he just knew the situation called for action that day, before someone got hurt. Poor Milo was given orders to be killed after he accidentally killed a neighborhood dog that charged him. To stay his execution, we found him a job as a guard dog at a local business. I don’t know how long he lived after that but I know he cheated death that day.

I’m pretty sure it was after Milo was gone that Joshua brought home the ugliest gray kitty. Poor thing was full of fleas I must have given him three baths, his ears were huge on his head, his eyes look like he was scared to death all the time. We decided to go ahead and keep him and he blossomed into the most beautiful cat you ever saw. His gray fur turned a silky silver and he would not be petted unless he wanted to be. I named him Harley because my husband had just got a motorcycle so I decided I got to name the cat. Harley also went through most of his nine lives but that only happened once he started getting out and fighting with neighborhood cats. One day there was a fight he didn’t win, he was in such bad shape we had to take into the vet, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done having to put him down. It made me feel like a murderer,  yet I knew he would never be the same had he had the surgery. Not to mention we were young, and  could not afford the thousands of dollars that was going to cost to try to save him. Even my best friend who hates cats loved Harley. He was a very special cat. I don’t know why house cats decide at some point in their lives they want to start going outside, in my experience with cats that’s when they’re about to die. It’s, it’s as if they want to experience the wild one more time before they go. I’ve had it happen like three times in my life.

I can’t truly say whether I’m more of a cat person or a dog person, I think I’ve loved them equally.

My husband, having been a Marine, always wanted a bull dog. So the year that Dale Earnhardt died is when we got Butch. I remember because when we went to the airport to pick him up we came home to watch the race, and as I lay there holding baby Butch on my lap we saw the race that killed Dale. You talk about special dog, although he was David’s, he was my shadow, my protector and I loved him just as much as David did. He used to lay there and let me file and paint his nails, he was great with the kids, he partied with us on the patio (that dog loved his beer) he and Sarah, Christopher’s dog, once got so plowed they passed out under the table while we partied till four in the morning. He was a tough dog, I think he could eat bricks and hardly ever experienced any stomach issues. Not that he didn’t have issues, he was an expensive dog to keep up-skin problems, ear problems, but everybody loved him, especially our friend Jack. Every time Jack would come over Butch would get so excited he would tackle him before he could ever get to a chair to sit down, then he would smother him in kisses and snuffle and drool all over him. Jack didn’t care, he loved him to the moon and back. I don’t think he ever forgave us for moving to the coast and taking Butch away. He never came to visit, I think that’s pretty telling. We loved Butch so much that when he passed away,  Dave had him cremated. I was not there because I was with my Mom at the time, caring for her before she passed away. when I went home, they were both gone.

Brandy

Whiskey

That was a hard year. After a few months, David took me to go get a new pet, that being our sweet shorky Whiskey. She is attached to me at the hip, David loves her so much, he treats her like a granddaughter, yet she wants to lay by me constantly. When we had her about six months, he decided she needed a playmate, and we went in search of another Shorky. That’s when we got Brandy, and they fill our lives with so much joy. We spoil them, dress them up, make them homemade treats, feed them off our plates, and everything we know we’re not supposed to do. I won’t let them get fat, but we do spoil them like grandkids. Whiskey is not a good traveler but Brandy loves to go, go, go. Whether it’s for a walk or ride, you just pick up the leash and she knows. They have their own unique personalities, yet most of their actions they look like twins. They’re not even related. We love them and we expect to be with them for the next 13 years, if taken care of properly, they are supposed to live that long. My hope is that they’re still with us when we decide to make our last move, whenever that may be.

Day 255-Throwback Thursday-Where Did it Go? (The Evolution of My Hair)

Once upon a time, in a state called Mississippi, there lived a little girl with long, beautiful hair. Her grandad loved her hair, but since he did not have to brush it and take care of it, the girl’s mother decided it would be better if she cut it short. In a pixie. She looked like a little boy then, and the grandfather was very sad. Mother didn’t care though, it was so much easier for her to care for.

The evolution of my hair from long and thick to short and thin

Thus began the up and down history of my hair, I would grow it out, it would thin and become limp, I would perm it and/or color it in an attempt to get thick, lustrous hair again, with some body…only to tire of having to curl and fix it every day, so I would cut it short.  As the years went by, and I had children and experimented with drugs and alcohol, my hair suffered the consequences. It got thinner and had less and less body.  Then again, my mother and grandmother both began with long thick hair and died with thin or barely existent hair. so, maybe it’s inherited-I’m not sure. I’ve tried thickening shampoos, medicated shampoos, essential oils and vitamins. Right now I’m on added Biotin, it seems to be helping somewhat.

My hair now-me with my brother

I do have to admit, while I like the look of long hair, having it short is sooooo much easier to take care of. There are days when I feel like washing it, adding some mousse and running out the door, but I just can’t do it. I feel naked if it isn’t fixed somewhat, like putting on a little make-up…I like to be at least presentable when leaving the house. 🙂 I have even considered wigs, scarves and hats, maybe it will come to that one day, but by then, hopefully I will be living by the beach and everyone knows you don’t care what your hair does there!