Monday, January 15, 2018

Things My Mother Taught Me

I’m self taught on many things. Like baking bread. Once upon a time, many years ago, I found a complete set of instructions for baking bread in a McCall’s magazine article. My little boys were asleep, I was slightly bored and I decided to tackle bread making. Mom played a small part in that she raved about homemade bread that she learned to make in 4H back in the 1930’s. So I did have her in mind that first time I made bread and last week, too, when I made it for the umpteenth time.

But Mom taught me many useful, frugal and stuck-in-my brain things. Like what, you ask?

Make your bed every day. No matter how rushed I am, I do. The Only time I don’t is if I’m sick, down for the count, and laying in it. There’s no excuse otherwise. Besides, who wants to face a bunch of wrinkled sheets and un-plumped pillows at bedtime? Seriously.

Perfume. A dab on the wrists, a touch behind the ears. “Someone should have to be very close to you to smell your perfume.” Um, in other words, Don’t take a bath in the stuff. Mom used Avon’s To A Wild Rose sachet a dab on her wrists at a time. I swear, if I got a whiff of it right now, she’d appear before me.

“Nice girls don’t kiss boys,” was the sum total of the advise I was given to deal with the onslaught of suitors soon to fall prey to my teenage charms. Funny how the suitors disliked that advise. Sex ed has come a long, long way in the past fifty years. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. Let me consult with my granddaughters and get back to you.

Never use a paper towel if an old rag will do. If Mom could have, she would have, hung used paper towels out to dry. They were a luxury item around our house and maybe even there on the counter just for show. Kind of like the “guest towels” in the bathroom. On the other hand an old cloth diaper (remember those?) or a carefully cut up tattered and torn tee shirt of dad’s was good enough for most jobs.

And then there was this:

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong

The thing that has stuck most of all. A child’s introduction to what matters most. A lifelong work on my sorry soul began with these simple lyrics.  

So, Mom, until I can get there say “Hi” to Jesus, the bread of life, for me.

What did your mom teach  you? Would love to know.

Image: Free Digital Photos

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Devil's Hairbrush

As any woman with hair will tell you, the crown is the most defining element of every hair style. Bangs, curls, side or center part, and, if you’re a trendy chick, half shaved / half curled. I don’t recommend that look for anyone over fifteen but it's your hair.

One fine morning, about a month ago, I took a little looky-loo in the mirror and thought my crown needed a little work, some smoothing out.

“Why don’t you dampen the area, twirl your little black brush through your locks just over your eyes there and leave it to dry while you put on your makeup?” Said the Devil.

“Excellent idea,” replied the foolish, foolish woman as she grabbed her brush.

Twenty minutes later, with both eyes lined, lashes swiped, and eyebrows adjusted, I grabbed the handle of the brush to begin the un-twirl.

Hmmm. A bit of resistance there. Did the foolish woman twist the brush a little too tightly? More tugging. More resistance. Ten minutes of this and I was beginning to sweat slightly from the effort.  

Using two hands now and facing the bathroom mirror I tried to calm the building fury by telling myself small comforting things.

Take a photo and post it on Facebook. Give all your friends their laugh for the day.

Call Britain, ask for the royal hat maker and convince him that a dangling hairbrush sort of falling forward from a red velvet beret could well be the next thing every savvy female subject in the land will want for the upcoming royal wedding. I’ll send him the Facebook photo so he’ll have a clear vision of what I mean. I’d even work with him. We have until May.

Stay in the bathroom and have my meals brought up until the hair grows out and I can cut the Devil’s hairbrush away. Three months tops.

Soon I was near tears and calling myself un-Christian names.

Then brilliance struck. I remembered when we had a Springer Spaniel we’d have to cut knots out of her coat. I’d read that sprinkling corn starch on the matted knot will make the hair slippery and easy to untangle. So, guess what I did? Yup. I flew down to the pantry and grabbed a box.

Five minutes later the devil brush was coated with corn starch, my hair looked like I’d developed an epic case of dandruff and the bathroom sink and floor seemed to have come through a snow storm. And there was no further progress in the de-tangle. Gaaaah! Full panic now.

I began blubbering. I cried out to God. I told myself to be calm and reasonable. Others have twirled and twisted their hair in brushes and they didn’t melt into a puddle on the floor. Well, except for that one woman in New Hampshire who now sells small “wigs for fools”. She got over it, moved on and actually monetized her puddle.


At the end, about an hour later, I did calm down. I went to work in earnest and pulled individual strands of hair slowly through the evil bristles working gently towards the middle of the tangle. When I had about half of the hair out I lost patience and got the scissors. Yes I did. I pulled that hairbrush out as far as I could and began snipping close to the bristles, cackling as I stuck it to the devil.

This has been about a month now and I’m still dealing with the little patch of short hairs in my “crown” just over my eyes. But you know what? I beat the Devil. With my fist in the air and a glorious roar I conquered a nightmare hair event and went on to tell about it. I expect women sympathizers to rise up from across the globe to pat me on the back and call for advise - which I may monetize.

How are your plans for 2018 shaping up? Need a wig?

Image: On sale now at Satan’s Stylin’ Salon