Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating today

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family celebrating today…

 

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On a more serious note, be sure to be thankful for what you are celebrating!

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Gray is not my color

Gray is not my color.  My hair started to turn gray when I was just 14 years old, yes 14!  The boys in my classes at school used to fight to sit behind me so they could pull out the strands of gray from my very long hair. Good thing I have always had lots of hair.

By the time I was 30, my hair was very gray. This picture of me and my siblings was taken when I was 34; I’m the sister with the gray hair…

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….even though I am the youngest sister and second youngest sibling.  Very annoying, even though I knew it was hereditary; my father was totally white by 30.

When it was streaky gray (like the picture) people actually asked if I had it colored that way.  It did kind of frame my face I guess.  The straw that broke the camel’s (gray) back came later that year (still 34) when my eldest son started junior kindergarten.  For a Hallowe’en party in his classroom, I dressed up as Snow White.  When I took my wig off at the end of the day, one of the children said “that must be Matthew’s grandmother, she has white hair”   That was when I decided that gray is not my color.

So, for years (twenty some now) I have tried various colors on my hair.   I have always admired red hair on other girls, and because my dark brown hair always had natural reddish highlights in the summer, I have always aimed for reddish brown.  The problem is with so much gray, the reddish brown sometimes comes out orange and I HATE orange.  Even at expensive salons my hair would come out too orangy/coppery for my liking.

The solution?  I finally discovered how to get the color I want by combining two shades.  Yes, DIY haircolor.  I do it myself, saving myself lots of money and the annoyance of paying for the wrong color.  I start with a medium dark brown on the roots, then spread the rest of that color throughout my hair, then add a reddish brown in streaks on top of the medium brown, avoiding the roots.  This phote was taken in the summer when my hair is always lightened by the sun, but you get the picture…

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Over the years I have tried many DIY hair color products too.  My choice these days is Belle Color by Garnier, in shades 50 (medium brown) and 65 (chestnut brown)…

 

 

It reminds me of a commercial (I cannot remember which one) where Penelope Cruz proclaimed (with her sultry, sexy accent) “the color I want is the color is get”

I love these Garnier products because they make my hair silky smooth (others leave it coarse and tangly) even before I condition it.  Each box of hair color includes a pouch of conditioner that contains argan oil, a well-known miraculous treatment for hair…

 

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The Garnier products are creamy (not drippy) and offer 100% gray coverage.  They also have an almost pleasant smell, unlike others that reek.  My color lasts three to four weeks before those returning gray roots are too obvious to hide.  It is so unfair that dark roots look much better than white ones and are even quite fashionable (apparently)

These Garnier products can be purchased online through Amazon here:

CHESTNUT    or   MEDIUM DARK BROWN

 

So, if gray is not your color either, try your hand at your own conconction of color!

 

 

‘Tis the season

‘Tis the season, my other season, (not quite the Christmas season) as Gardens4u is now officially closed for the winter…

 

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Although this past gardening season started off wet and cool, it was extended recently with the most marvelous fall weather.  Unfortunately, that has come to an end, and reality is settling in.

Now my other season is starting, with a growing list (I am a list person for sure) of the things I hope to accomplish this winter…

  • finish the quilt I started for my grandson last winter.
  • start and finish a quilt for my granddaughter.
  • make nursery curtains for my new granddaughter due to arrive the end of February.
  • clean out the few remaining closets I did not get to the past few winters.
  • reorganize the walk-in closet in our master bedroom.
  • post more frequently on this and my other blogs:   WOW  and  LOL
  • spend more time with my grandson and granddaughter (and their parents).
  • visit with friends I never seem to find the time to visit during the gardening season.
  • read more books.  If anyone has suggestions for a good read, please let me know!
  • clean my house.  Although most people do their spring cleaning in the spring, I do mine in the winter (silly me) so when spring arrives I can get out and enjoy my favourite season.
  • update my business website, adding pictures from this past season.  Be sure to check them out and add your comments!
  • reconnect with my freelance writing contacts.
  • exercise.  Planks are my favourite exercise for maintaining muscle tone.  Without gardening to keep me in shape I have to work extra hard in the winter to keep pounds from creeping up on my bathroom scale.

 

Phew, with that list I should be busy until spring when I can start a new garden season!

 

Shelley’s battle to beat lung cancer

This video was created by a dear family friend whose wife died of lung cancer at the (much too) young age of 51…

 

This is a very sad story, but apparently very common.  Dave’s message is clear; please share it.  Get any symptoms checked out and demand answers when you feel something is not quite right with your health.

Be proactive and persistant; early detection is the best way to beat cancer of any kind!

Growing up a tomboy

I was recently inspired by a post on Facebook about beautiful daughters.  What do tomboys and beautiful daughters have in common?  Well, I have no beautiful daughters (I do have three handsome sons and a brand new beautiful daughter-in-law though) and if you asked my mother she would say it is because I was a tomboy growing up.  She actually told me this when I had my second son. Although she had passed away before my third son was born, I am almost positive she had a good laugh then too, convinced of her theory more than ever.

I grew up in a family of six children; my poor mother gave birth to all of us within 8 years, with no multiple births either!  As the youngest girl with three brothers closer in age to me than my two sisters, it is no wonder I was a tomboy. It seemed too that most of the neighbourhood children were boys.  We always had lots of fun playing road hockey, flag football, tennis, hide and seek and more.

The fact that I was a tomboy was annoying to my mother who tried hard to get me interested in dolls, pretty dresses, jewelry, etc.  I remember being very ticked off one Christmas because my brothers got walkie-talkies and I received a ring.  I probably pouted about it for days.  I also ticked my mother off when I gave away all of my Barbie paraphernalia to the little girl down the street.  I thought it was very generous of me.

I like to think growing up a tomboy prepared me for my most important role, mother of three (very active) boys….

 

 

 

Turning sixty this year

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No, not me, I am NOT turning 60 this year, but my big brother is, so I thought I would honor his upcoming birthday with this post.  You know, instead of trying to find a unique (tacky) “turning 60” or “old fart” birthday present.

My brother is in great company, apparently, 1957 was a great year…do you know who else turned 60 this year?  Lots of celebrities including Steve Harvey, Melanie Griffith, Vanna White, and John’s favorite, Homer Simpson!

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After all, 60 is a good chunk of 150; 40 percent, 0.4 or 2/5 of 150 Canadian years to be exact.  Any way you look at it, sixty is alot of years, almost half of Canada’s 150 years!

 

 

Canada turned 150 this year and we Canadians are celebrating all year around.  I think those turning 60 (or fifty or any other momentous number for that matter) should too. Actually,  I think my brother may have started celebrating last winter when he was visiting our sister in Texas, good Canadian boy that he is.

I hope my brother is not too bothered about turning sixty.  I know he has his priorities right, retiring from work recently to spend more time doing the things he loves to do.  We are not always sure what those things are, but he does appear to be enjoying himself.

There are lots of good proverbs about turning sixty, so pick one (or three) and run with it…

 

The other good news I have heard (I don’t really know as I am not there yet) is that sixty is the new forty, at least it will be when I get there!

 

 

Can you be an orphan at forty-six?

Can you be considered an orphan at forty-six years of age?  I always said (still do) that when your second parent passes away you feel like an orphan. Not to diminish the pain that children who lose their parents at a young age must feel, because that is truly horrible, but I can attest to the fact that there is still pain to be felt at forty-six and counting.

My father passed away eleven years ago today and my mother twelve years prior to that. Today I am reminded by the calendar, other days a picture on social media, a commercial on TV, a precious smile from their newest great-grandson, or even something I see that I know one or both of them would love or hate.  Yesterday I ran into a friend who is planning an 80th birthday party for her mother.  Although I am happy for her and her mom, I could not help but feel a pang of envy and longing  I miss them both so much….

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I grew up in Cornwall, Ontario a small city not far from Ottawa.  Now that my parents and most of their siblings have passed on, and most of my own siblings have moved far away, I feel that my connections or roots are slipping away, especially in the Cornwall area.

If you are lucky enough to have one or both parents alive, give them a hug or a phone call to show you appreciate their presence in your life.  Trust me, you will miss them when you no longer have that opportunity!