December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Makeover City: The Recent Faces of Me - oh oh

My makeovers this year are coming fast and furious! 

I've been taking photos of myself lately and I'm not very good at it, but it just seems too dorky to ask people at the office to do it and then try to pose to look "cool" or whatever (I just want to look like the stunningly gorgeous woman I see staring back at me in the mirror most days, that's all).  I'm no good at posing despite all those seasons of Top Model I've absorbed.  Sigh.  In trying to take photos of myself I can just be as silly as I want in front of the camera and there's nobody there but me, so I don't care!  I've deleted tons of pictures, darlings, let me tell you!  That's the wonderful thing about a digital camera - loving it. 

Anyway, here I am, after a "trim" (I think she took quite a bit off, actually -- you'll see what I mean when you see the picture that I took of myself with a laptop cam on Sunday), and a custom-color job. My "stylist," Joni at Executive Edge (Milwaukee), had to talk me into this darker color.  Okay - a note about using "stylist" - that seems to be a fashionable word but I've been used to calling her my hairdresser, you see.  Yeah yeah, LOL!  Talk about old fashioned!

Back to my text:  I wanted to go with perhaps a deeper red color with a touch of brown.  After going back and forth, back and forth, and looking at the color samples and me emphasizing that I wanted a color that would complement my complexion, which has olive undertones, we reached a compromise.  This color is a blend between two colors, and has "blue/red" undertones.  That made me leery because I thought it would be too cold for my warm skin tones, but she said the color I had, which was just a temporary non-permanent color, had too many orangey tones.  Yeah, she was right about that.  The temporary wash-in color fades quickly.  Today we were going to do a "permanent" color with more staying power. 

Here I am, on October 11, 2011, in my oh-so-fashionable animal print top!
I know I have wrinkles and laugh lines, and also jowls and a double chin.  I just
want to look the best I can be.  I'm not trying to look 20, or 40.  This pic, I think, captures my "spirit"
as well as being a true representation of my new hair color and the newly-trimmed "do."
I think I look cute. 
Let me tell you - the color turned out darker than I thought it would and I'm sure not seeing any red tones in it!  But, as Joni and I have learned since I first started going to her in November, 2008, my hair has a mind of its own when it comes to color, and despite our best efforts we just never know precisely what it's going to do when we 'do' it with color.  This one's a winner.  Now, will it stay that way?  Time will tell...  Joni has the custom mix formula she used written down but there is no guarantee what it will turn out to look like in six weeks when I go for a color touch-up and another trim.

I like this color because it is complementary to my skin tones and when I first looked in the mirror at myself at the salon I thought my eyes really "popped" out of that portrait because of the new color of my hair.  My eyes are not a true brown, they are hazel; this hair color seems to bring out the gold and brown specks of color more. 

So, here I am on Sunday, October 2, 2011, no make-up, sweatshirt on all funky from yardwork earlier in the day, and my first attempts at taking photos of myself.  Notice the hair color:

About all that can be said for this bare-faced photo is that my
hair was shiny and my double-chin wasn't showing :)

Looks just a few shades lighter, maybe, than my current color, and a touch (?)  more red.

But, here I am on Sunday October 9, 2011 - doing my patented wine glass divination (I correctly predicted that the Brewers would defeat the Cardinals by a 3-run margin, although I had the final score wrong: I said 10-7 Brewers, the actual score was 9-6 Brewers):

Oh, flaws, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...
I need to update my inventory of Walgreens 'readers!'  These
are from 2001 - and look it. 
The sun was sinking in the southwest when I snapped this photo using my webcam.  As you can see, I look orange all over - or maybe that's a "pink" glow?  Well, I wasn't red faced from drink despite what it looks like, LOL!  But the hair color - you can see the definite red tones in the natural "sunlight" of a shady backyard (I was on my deck, my yard is shaded, and I was under a patio umbrella).  There I am, no make-up, and dirty grungy hair too! 

That backyard grunge "look" is still a hell of a lot better than this awful photo that Isis took of me in St. Louis while we were having lunch with GM Alexandra Kosteniuk on Saturday, September 10, 2011:

Alexandra looks beautiful in this photo.  Mr. Don used this photo
of me at Goddesschess.  And he wonders how come I kicked his
skinny butt to the curb two years ago?  The man has no fricking sense! 
Alexandra looks beautiful, as always.  I, on the other hand, look puffy-faced and slit-eyed, the light is hitting my face in the worst possible way to emphasize those downward sloping lines on either side of my mouth and my turkey-neck (not to mention the double chin, eek!) and the light is bouncing off my face at all the wrong angles.  Horrid!  My arms also look like logs. Now darlings, I'm not one to make light of my weight issues - I've got many pounds to shed before I'm back to what I consider a healthy weight.  But this photo emphasized all the wrong things.  In short, my dear friend Georgia knows everything about taking a photo of a woman with certain, shall we say "issues" because we're the same age and share many of the same issues.  I did not look that bad in St. Louis!  Honest!

Here is another photo that 'Sis took of me while eating dessert later Saturday evening:

My nose doesn't look so big in this photo. 
So why does it look so big in the other photos?
For certain, it's not a little stub-nose.  It's a French nose,
maybe there's some Gallo-Roman blood in our line, that I was
only able to trace back to the mid 1550's in France...
Despite catching me with eyes closed and from the side, this photo shows several things: (1) I'm not as fat puffy-faced/slit-eyed as I appeared in the photo with Alexandra Kosteniuk; (2) the hair color is true to what it was in St. Louis and it shows a whole range of colors because I'd been putting "washes" of color over the high-lights that Joni had been doing on my hair for almost two years -- I had re-colored my hair about 2 weeks before the St. Louis trip (September 8 - 12, 2011) and despite it's "changeling" appearance in these various photos, I was happy with the color. I thought it "warmed up" my skin tone; and (3) the hair style and length are spot on. 

The funny thing is, I'd already had Joni the "stylist" take off a good inch from the sides and even more from the back, about the first week in August, 2011 - well before the St. Louis trip.  And when I visited Joni again on September 14th, two days after I got back from the St. Louis trip, I had her take a lot more off the back, and angled the sides toward the face and she cut off at least another inch on those sides.

So, in the space of about four months, I shed several inches of hair, although it doesn't necessarily show in photos.  What I need to find are some photos - if any exist - of me and Mr. Don when we went to Las Vegas in March of this year.  I also travelled through several incarnations of hair coloring.  I've also shed twenty pounds, and that doesn't show, either.  More to come off.

And so now, here I am, back to a basic warm brown hair color.  LOL!  That's the color I was trying for back in August, 2008 when I used a "medium brown" hair color in a DYI fit (those fits always end up costing me money in the long run, don't ya know) and it turned so DARK it looked nearly black!

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