October 2009 Archives

Henna, You're a Rock Star...

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So my attempt to grow out my gray failed, but I refuse to take the chemical route to color my hair. But after a lot of pondering, research, and desire to delve into the unknown (experiments in life can be fun), I decided to take the alternative path and henna my hair. Henna, you see, is a centuries-old practice of using a natural plant product to color hair and not a bit of blindness/cancer-causing chemicals in the process. The main downsides to henna are limited color options and length of time to dye the hair. Also, and this is perhaps the big one, if you don't take the time to learn about it, the results can be disastrous (especially if you are a blonde, which thankfully I am not). But I suppose that's true about chemical coloring, too. The plus sides to henna are staying completely organic and having the softest, healthiest hair. I even like the earthy smell you have for a couple of days.

After much reading about how to use henna and indigo to get the color I wanted, last night I mixed a concoction of body-art quality henna, ground cloves, ginger, and a combination of orange juice, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Yeah, it was mud, but it was supposed to be. And this morning I mixed the indigo to go with it. Happily Kelly came over to apply the henna-mixture to my hair for me (self-applying mud with my head hanging upside-down over the shower did not really thrill me, and Kelly was a willing partner in my scientific experiment). She did a most excellent coverage job. Once I had a new mud wig, we covered my head in Saran Wrap (ok that's not so green, but it's what everyone says to do).

And then I got to hang out with my Saran Wrap turban hidden inside a tuque for about 5 1/2 hours. That's a long time, but I could have shortened the time, or left it on longer. The length of time determines the outcome of the color. And remarkably, there's something very soothing about the earthy smell of the henna. I felt utterly relaxed, as if I were at a spa.

The rinsing of the henna was secretly fun, too -- if you ever liked playing in mud as a child or even as an adult, it's fun to wash mud out of your hair, too.

The result? Well, for the most part it's good -- I have to wait a few days to see the final color, because the Lawsone in the henna oxidizes on the hair shaft and darkens. The grays right now are very bright red, as I expected they would be, but if all goes well, they will darken in a day or two. They better. (A quick run to the bathroom mirror tells me that the brightness is already less so -- darkening is in the works, thank goodness). No pictures yet -- we were going to do a before and after set of photos, but oops, didn't happen.

Overall I'm hoping that once the color darkens it will be back to my natural "brown with red highlights" color of my youth. I am happily hiding the mousy-gray-brown post-children 40-year-old color my hair has become. I still have a lot of hair, though. Haven't lost that! There might be some shimmering in the sun -- that will be interesting. It will be my hair, with spirit! 

FYI, I'm not kidding about the softness of my hennaed hair. For the first time in my life, I can run my fingers through my hair and love every minute of it. And then do it again. No frizz. Let me repeat that -- NO FRIZZ!


EDIT: Day 1 -- Ok, my hair is now darker than it ever has been in my life. Is it an oops? Actually, right now it looks pretty nice. The grays have darkened to a nice dark red, and the bulk of my hair is a red-tinged dark brown. At the moment, I can say it's quite nice for all its darker-ness. We'll see how I feel after it continues to darken for a few more days... 

Pumpkins, pumpkins!

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The annual pumpkin carving party at Stepan and Jen's was yet another success! This year some of the regular attendees couldn't make it, so the party was smaller, but it was quiet and calm and, as always, fun. The exciting thing for us was getting to carve pumpkins grown in our garden. They were small, especially compared to the monster Stepan bought, but they were just right for us!

pumpkinsb2009.jpg pumpkinsc2009.jpg

Stepan discovered that using his jigsaw was both fun and time-efficient, though perhaps a little messy for the jigsaw and nearby viewers.


Plentiful pumpkin party pictures posted on Flickr, guts and all. 

And I'm still working my way through the wedding photos, in case anyone is wondering...

The Shell

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© 2009 


The Shell

Paper thin and fragile

What once held life

Drifts empty

Upon unceasing waves

To be battered on jagged rocks

Until tide draws back

And on lonely shore remains

The shell of a shell


Happy 100 Birthday, Aunt Rowena

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This weekend we celebrated Aunt Rowena's 100th birthday! I have always adored Aunt Rowena -- all her life she has been a vision of health and spunk. This dear woman could always outtalk anyone, except perhaps my grandmother. I think the birthday party wore her out, and I'm not sure how many people she recognized, but to me she is still amazing, and oh my gosh 100 years old! I was so very happy to see her again, along with so many of our family.

Looking at this picture, it's pretty clear where I get my remarkable good looks... Let's hope I also have her remarkable everlasting genes and live just as long (my grandmother lived to be 98, also very impressive). I've always known that I look more like Aunt Rowena than I do anyone else in my family, including my parents, but this picture makes it seem remarkably clear. Oh hey there, my boys hiding in the background!

Aunt Rowena

And here's more of the clan -- we're all looking at different cameras, as is our way. We also continue to be known as the Loud Family, as proven by the many grandkids running around making noise. This was the only picture not to turn out too dark, so it's the winner.

The Clan

As there should be at any big family reunion, there were beautiful young ones around! This little girl knocked us all over with her smile. Except in this picture, where it's blocked by a plastic thing...

Baby cousin

It seems strange that just a week ago, we laid to rest Rowena's baby sister, Virginia. I always remember her as a quiet, gentle woman, perhaps because her louder sisters were always so much more vocal. And she was so very beautiful and kind. Rest in peace, Aunt Sister.

And to my sweet Aunt Rowena, happy birthday! I love you! 

Grandparents and Hummingbirds

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Though our trip was way too quick, in September we headed down to the Corpus Christi/Rockport area, visiting Michael's Dad and Sylvia, eating good food, and seeing lots of migrating hummingbirds. For more pictures of the Rockport festival, visit my garden blog.

rhfc09-21-09.jpgWe worked so hard to make sure Nolan didn't make goofy faces during the photos, and then Logan thought it would be funny to close his eyes in every shot. Yeah, not amused.

With Dad and Sylvia

the men.jpg Oh yes, and we also enjoyed  getting eaten alive by hungry mosquitoes by the thousands(NOT). I don't know whose blood this is -- I killed it in the car mere seconds after Dad and Sylvia left our vehicle, so it could have belonged to any of us... or all of us. That was a serious last supper by the mosquito.

mosquitoWe hope to go back for a crabbing/fishing adventure, as we didn't have enough time to add that to the trip. Another time! But we don't get to see Dad and Sylvia very often, so we were glad for even the small bit of time we could get down there. Next time I'll plan a trip that won't conflict with a class I'm taking (Habitat Steward)!


recent comments

  • Susan: What a wonderful collection of photos, memories and information about read more
  • lisa: You go, girl! I hope you will be feeling much read more
  • Meredith: Well, yes. But henna is considered safe, until proven otherwise! read more
  • nonplus.net: You need to post before (gray), during (carrot top / read more
  • Michael: I thought all the pumpkins turned out great, and it read more
  • Heather: Beautiful. I hope you are keeping your poems for future read more
  • Meredith: Ah well, traffic happens. Somehow we survived the day. It read more
  • Lisa: Uncanny; all these years and I never realized how much read more
  • Meredith: I understand -- it's an easy move from feeling fine read more
  • Heather: I had a crown done that same week! And yes, read more
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