Pause point: Built in hairstyle obsolescence?


Isn’t it true that within 48 hours of the perfect hair day you can wake up looking like Bomba the Jungle Boy and there isn’t a thing you can do about it?

I had my hair styled two weeks ago by a “master stylist”, first chair, the mentor of “junior stylists” at a very lovely full service day spa.  You know the place, lush wallpaper, marble floors, mood lighting, music, aroma, and lovely people moving back and forth at your beck and call. Would you like coffee, tea, cappuccino, fresh baked mini muffin?

Why?  My hair got long, and wide, and red…and it seemed the very smart thing to do at the time. Go to the master so that he could create a style to match my features, my lifestyle, and my personality.  Wow every one with your new transforming makeover!

Seventy dollars, a sales pitch for new product and a smile and wink later I was thrilled.  My hair looked great…for exactly…two weeks.  So today I woke up looking like Bomba the Jungle Boy and I had a fit.  The text to my best friend went something like this: 

Ok 70$ later my hair sucks, can’t wait 6 weeks to fix it so ur in charge of my next f’n haircut. 

Thank God she does not take these challenges lightly.  Not three hours later she called (from Memphis where she was stuck in the airport trying to get home) to talk me off the ledge and let me know she’s got me covered.  I, of course, finished my ranting and raving with, “its like built in obsolescence of the hair”. 

Which got me thinking? …I know you’re shocked by that.

·         Built-in obsolescence: a product becoming obsolete and/or non-functional after a certain period, also planned obsolescence.

·        Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because the product fails and the consumer is under pressure to purchase again.

·       Purpose of planned obsolescence is to hide the real cost per use from the consumer, and charge a higher price than they would otherwise be willing to pay.

·       Planned obsolescence stimulates demand by encouraging purchasers to buy again sooner if they still want a functioning product.

·       There is, however, the potential backlash of consumers who learn that the manufacturer invested money to make the product obsolete faster; such consumers might turn to a producer (if any exists) that offers a more durable alternative.

God Bless Wikipedia…

I am that backlasher consumer.  My hair is thick and wavy, it stays where you put it with very little “product”.  I now color it myself saving 120.00 and it holds that color a relatively long time.  What I need is a barber! 

I love my best friend who has found a barber (former master stylist, savior of backlasher consumers) who will cut my hair for 17.00 plus tip.  She will supervise the style and make it perfectly clear to this man that I do not use a lot of “product”; I rarely use a dryer, and don’t like to shampoo the shit out of my hair every day.  She will set up the appointments for every six weeks and we will meet at her house for cappuccino and make it a girls (her mom included) outing.  I’ve been saved…this consumer will win.  Back to the Jungle Bomba…


Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer… Louise Gluck

Today is my sister’s birthday. She is younger than I am and definitely the watcher.  She has been watching since the day my mother scooped her up after a dog bite when she was four years old.  She watches me dive into things without a life preserver, she watches me dance on the edge of my universe and she watches me move from one life to another in a never ending string of transformations.

She is the “good one”.  She is the smart one. She is the shy one, the conformist and obeyer of rules.  She is the saver, the comparer of prices, the one who shops for Christmas gifts in September.  She has the smaller nose, the better eyes, and the curlier hair.  She has all the ailments, she’s had many operations, and she struggles with Diabetes and her weight.

She is the light of my life and I dance always for her.

Happy Birthday Terri

Pause point: In Memoriam

I received a card from a friend today that informed me of the death of her cat Vlekkie.  The oh no that sighed out of me was for the passing of this dear cat and for my friend who had seen more than her share of loss lately. 

For those of us who are animal lovers, the loss of a pet can be more devastating than the loss of some humans.  The reliance we have on our pet’s company, listening skills and unconditional love is bigger than we think.  Many times we only realize the magnitude upon their deaths.

For those who are not lucky enough to be animal lovers, I have given up trying to explain the attachment, the reliance and the sheer joy an animal can bring to your life.  I know that my life has been enriched by several animals that have gone on and I have learned from each of them.

How would I understand abandonment if I hadn’t adopted a puppy that was rejected by its mother? This same puppy taught me what fighting against the odds was all about with every bottle feeding, and lick of Nutrical off my finger.  He taught me about fighting for life and about never letting anyone die alone.

How would I have seen a better example of how to protect those that can’t protect themselves without having seen our sheppard mix, Pearl, maneuver in front of my father’s walker so that he would have a clear path.  The respect she showed his fragility resonates with me to this day.  She loved him and he her.  She taught me about second chances and to respect and care for your elders.

How would I know patience if I had never house broken a puppy.  It takes making your expectations clear, rewarding good behavior and cleaning up after unintentional accidents.  This taught me never to assume people know what you want and always try to catch people doing the right thing.

Currently I am learning how to trust and gain trust from two rescue girls found on the streets.  I’m learning self reliance, confidence and command so that I can pass those on to them.  I’m learning how to be comfortable with myself so they can be comfortable too.  I’m learning peace and routine and eating on a schedule.  I’m learning the value of exercise and the pleasure of walking every day.  Mostly, I’m learning to laugh out loud.

At some point I will have to say goodbye to these girls too.  I will hold them in my arms and watch them slip off to heaven knowing that I have gained far more from them than they have from me.  I will feel the sorrow fully, as I know my friend is, but I will know that pain will become part of the fabric of my experience and I will be the better for having known and cared for them.

To Toby, Pearl, Murphy, Leika, and Vlekkie we are eternally grateful.


Pause point: The Blue Jay Legacy


I am lucky to live in a condo with a deck that backs up to a wooded area.  You can’t really call it a forest because it is only about a city block deep.  Seems funny describing the woods in terms of city blocks but you know what you know.   I’ve seen deer, turtles, squirrels, chip monks and a wonderful variety of birds. 

Just recently I had the privilege of watching a pair of Blue Jays begin their family.  I’ve always been a lover of birds. Growing up my father kept bird feeders right outside the kitchen window and my former home had bird feeders in the garden; but I have never witnessed anything like this.

This Blue Jay couple began building their nest on the edge of the woods but something made them change their mind about that location.  They moved their construction to a large flowering shrub right outside my bedroom window and adjacent to my deck.  They were building not five feet away.  This seemed very unusual as blue jays are notoriously territorial and can be aggressive, why would they put themselves so close to me and my two dogs? That said,  I immediately christened myself a “safe place”.    I believed I was many people’s “safe place”  but having moved on from a life I knew for thirty years I was questioning many of those things.  This seemed to tell me that in all the things that had changed being a “safe place” was not one of them.

I watched them build their engineering marvel.  Working in complete cooperation with an “unspoken” delegation of duties, Mom apparently the architect and Dad the builder.  They worked strands of twig and grasses around the outside of the perfect v shaped nitch.  They reinforced and sewed with string, bits of vines and newspaper.  It was perfectly built and amazingly secure.  I would later watch through storms and wind but there was nothing to fear, that nest wasn’t going anywhere.

Once completed Momma Jay began her vigil.   Blue Jays form monogamous lifelong bonds and during this period Dad would feed Momma while she brooded the eggs.  The incubation period generally lasts for 16-18 days but I didn’t know that at the time.  What I did know was that I couldn’t keep my eyes off the nest.  Every morning when I opened my bedroom blinds I would check for Momma and wish her Good Morning.  I would watch her through the storms and while having coffee on my deck.  While I was watching Momma, Dadda was watching me.  Instead of flying around the corner of my deck he would fly right through the deck making it perfectly clear that he knew I was there. He never once became aggressive with me but I watched him damn near peck a squirrel to pieces.  It did my heart good to see how he protected her and his future family and I was proud to have his blessing.

I remember the first little beak peeking out from under Momma.  I was the proud Aunt in absolute wonder.  Then another little beak and another until all five eggs had been successfully hatched.  Momma finally got to leave the nest to help her mate forage for food.  Luckily there is a neighbor with a bird feeder so that task wasn’t as daunting as it could have been.  They carried on the feeding process over the next two weeks or so; each taking their turn foraging and feeding the kids.   

They began their lessons in earnest with leaving the nest for longer periods of time.  Momma would wait in a nearby tree and listen for the peeping.  She would actually wait for them to stop peeping before she flew back into the nest so they could get used to being on their own more and more.

Then there were feathers and I knew my time with them was short.  I continued to check on them and became a bit panicked when they could barely fit in the nest.  When the storms came I was vigilant in watching to make sure they all stayed in the nest but it occurred to me even if something happened to one of them there would be nothing I could do. There is a natural balance to things in their world; there are distinct boundaries and designated destinies.   This was a valuable lesson for me, one that should have been learned long ago.  For all the good I’ve ever tried to do there was much unintentional harm that came along with it.  Letting people fall is sometimes that best thing you can do for them, letting them pick themselves up is even better.  Consequence in nature can be devastating and final but consequence in the human world has the unexpected advantage of being enriching.

Shortly before I left for my Cape vacation they were gone.  I don’t know if they all made it but I am hopeful that the feathers I saw at the base of the shrub were leftovers from six lives lived in a small space.  The nest is still there and I see it every morning when I open my bedroom blinds which makes me think of them every day. Much like many of the people who have left my life, I hope for their good fortune, I hope that their destiny is enriching and that their consequences are beneficial. 

They can’t know the lessons I’ve learned from them about cooperative relationships that share responsibility and showcase individual strengths, about building a strong home that can endure the outside elements, about protecting your own while giving them the distance they need to become strong and learn from their consequences, about confirming my energy as safe and about letting go. 

In the natural world life is deliberate and purposeful, there is sheer survival and only the fittest will make it.  In the human world we have the luxury of choices, learning from our mistakes to live another day and free will.  It’s my hope that I can draw from both those worlds; to live deliberately and purposefully while using my choices wisely. 

Father’s Daugher Moment: Peaches

I’ve just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal Vegetable Miracle” about her family’s year of eating as locally as they could.  I confess I won’t be doing nearly the local eating that they did but I have begun to visit farmer’s markets in my area.

Last Sunday’s visit to the farmer’s market had early peaches that smelled so wonderful they brought me back to my youth.  I hadn’t smelled that fragrance in forty years.  I couldn’t buy the whole bushel the way we used to but I brought home a half dozen. 

As I was cutting one open I remembered how my father used to hold the peach in one hand and work the knife around the crease until it fell open.  The pit was almost always split with the seed inside showing.  He could carve around the pit if necessary but most times they would just lift away from the flesh of the peach.  I buried many a peach seed in the back yard but never produced a tree. 

Then he would slice the peaches into a bowl of milk and Frosted Flakes.  The sweet inside of the peach and the slightly bitter skin worked so well with the crunchy sweet flakes and milk. Real milk from the milkman, we didn’t know about 1% or skim back then.  It was a delicious combination especially at the end when you would slurp the sweetened milk from the bottom of the bowl.

It became very clear to me what Barbara Kingsolver was talking about with regard to taste and the perfection of locally grown foods.  I don’t buy Frosted Flakes any more, nor do I buy whole milk and my father is no longer with us. But for that one moment I could have been sitting at the Formica kitchen table on Hillside Avenue. 

Where I can, I hope to take advantage of locally grown fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meats. It also became clear to me that our connections to those foods are the makings of future father’s daughter moments that I hope more people will make the most of.

You can visit  to learn more from Barbara and her family.