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Posts Tagged ‘#locksoflove’

I’ve been so absorbed in social media lately and yet I haven’t wanted to get on here and blog. Like sitting for hours and watching Instagram Stories. I don’t know if I like them or not but they keep me coming back for more. I know it’s my dislike of the new laptop and the difficulty that arises from using it that keeps me at bay. Last blog post I published was on my iPhone which caused other problems but may be the way I have to post for awhile. The entire week I’ve been like a zombie since Greg started his new job on Monday. We’ve been getting up at least an hour earlier than we used to and going to bed an hour earlier but still don’t sleep well. At first it was the anxiety of the unknown but now it’s just going back to a 5 day work week after many years of a 4 day one. I’ve tried to keep my yap shut and keep the complaining down to a minimum. I’m really dreading winter for his travel to and from work. He also doesn’t have much to do which he knew would be the case but it’s still hard to go from being busy almost constantly to trying to find things to do.
Wed. Aug. 17th was hubby’s last day at his old job. They had a going away party for him with pizza. He was given an eagle trophy and a challenge coin for being at O’Hare airport for 12 1/2 years. One of his coworkers has a jet airplane chocolate mold so made treats for everyone. They turned out really cute! Now I want to make some. I’ll add it to the list of 5 million other things I want to do. Which I can squeeze in between the 3 thousand other things I’m already doing. Sigh…


I have an inordinate amount of things to tell so will shorten them beyond what I usually would. August 4th I got my hair cut short. It didn’t turn out to be as short as I wanted it. Or as short as the other 2 times. I like it but I can see how very soon it will be getting unruly because of the natural curl. I got 16″ cut off and the salon I went to no longer sends in the hair or gives a free hair cut. I wish they’d told me on the phone when I made the appt. It was no big deal though. The haircut was $25 & I gave her $30 with the tip. Then we took the rattail home and boxed it up and mailed it to Locks of Love. I had them notify me of receipt via email instead of mail since it takes so long. I already got the appreciation certificate whch was nice. Since Greg was off, he came along like last time to take pictures. It was so sweet and I told him not many men would do it. He said he didn’t mind since it was only once every 3-4 years! Ha ha.


Next step was getting my eyes examined. Lens Crafters had just gotten this Clarifye machine in 3 weeks before. It takes a snapshot of the eye and supposedly gives a more accurate exam. My eyes hadn’t changed that much but they are so bad (6.25 & 6.50) that I never feel like I can see good. Even now with supposedly 20/20, I can read things at a distance but it takes some time for my eyes to focus. One of the downfalls of getting older, I guess. I didn’t have as much trouble picking out glasses frames as last time. I tried on like 6 and narrowed them down from there. I had Greg take pics of me with them on plus Lens Crafters has an ipad like device that takes pics and you can put them all on a page and compare you wearing each of them. I really like my new ones. I’m surprised how much. They are Vogue brand and made in China. They had a 50% off lenses sale so the total for one pair came to $389. The machine that makes the glasses was broken so instead of an hour, they said they would take a day to make them. They weren’t ready the next day like they promised but I picked them up on Sat. Aug. 6th. They needed some adjustments and sent me on my way. Then I noticed something on the left lens near the nosepiece. It was like a piece of glue or something that wouldn’t come off. I didn’t want to take them back but they were so new. I figured I better. So I went on my birthday to Lens Crafters and the woman there at that time knew right away it wasn’t glue. It was a nick that the person adjusting had put in the lens! They had to remake the lens and I had to give them up, use my old pair and come back again the next night. So I was at Lens Crafters 4 times in 4 days. <eyeroll>


Sunday Aug. 7th (my actual birthday), we got pizza for the 2nd time this year and brought it home to eat. We got 2 since the 2nd was half off and there’d be leftovers. I never take pictures of the pizza but figured I would. I took the one pizza and then when I went to take a pic of the 2nd, it fell on the floor face down. Gah! It wasn’t as bad as it sounds but not ideal. 


For a special treat for my birthday, Greg took me to his office. I’d seen his 2 previous offices but not the current one which is SO NICE. It’s a new building and the cubes are HUGE. The size of a NYC apartment!! In Feb. he just moved to a window cube and has a lovely view too. If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to give it up! (Now at his new job, he has a much smaller cube with low walls. It’s also in front by the supervisor’s office where everyone has to walk by.) So that was really fun and then we went to this waterfall in Rosemont and walked around and took pictures. It’s a touristy thing to do but since we’re local, we never do it. 

In the past few weeks, I’ve made 4 batches of homemade spaghetti sauce. The tomatoes started coming in the very end of July which was about a week early. When I originally started this blog, I was thinking of making it all about cooking and recipes. I was far more into it 6 years ago than I am now. I still enjoy cooking but don’t have as much uninterrupted time as I used to. Plus Mom used to encourage me to make various dishes. She would tell me how delicious things were that I made and have 2nd helpings, etc. Now she still eats well but never tells me she likes something or to make it again, etc. If I ask her if she likes her dinner, she doesn’t answer. It’s hard to get enthused about cooking when the ones you lived to cook for don’t take any interest. Greg still likes my cooking but I don’t think it matters too much to him what I make.


The weekend of my birthday, Greg found a vintage formica kitchen table top at the curb. Someone had put it out for the garbage in our neighborhood. It was the best gift I could’ve gotten even though it was free. Or maybe because it was free?! I’ve wanted one for a long time. Never mind that our kitchen is not big enough for a kitchen table! I grew up with a kitchen table and dislike not having one. It didn’t matter that it had no legs, we knew we would figure something out. After much thought, I came up with the idea of using the vintage Singer treadle sewing machine base Greg got at an estate sale. It’s so beautiful and he had a piece of redwood fitted tot the top of it but not screwed down. He was going to treat the wood and now we have to find something else for the redwood to go onto. We are going to try to dismantle the loveseat in the sunroom and put the table in there. Ideally, we will remove our large couch in the LR that has been trashed for years and throw it away. Then put the loveseat from the sunroom in the LR. If it sounds confusing, that’s why we haven’t done it yet. It involves a lot of moving and lifting and making way to carry things. Plus the weather has been scorchingly hot and we try to avoid doing that type of thing in the heat.

The same weekend, we found an old ALL detergent metal bucket and 2 pieces of vintage enamelware. Two different size white pans in very good condition–one is round and the other about twice as big and oval. We haven’t had luck finding anything curbside in a long time even though our neighborhood usually throws out nicer stuff.


Sunday Aug. 21st was the only Sunday off hubby had this year since he was transitioning between jobs. So I decided it was high time we go to Vintage Garage Chicago. It is a once a month vintage market in Uptown Chicago (north of downtown). They set up in the first few levels of a parking ramp. It costs $5 to get in and you walk around and see everyone’s wares. We had to park several blocks away & I got a blister on my heel but otherwise it was fun. I doubt we’ll go again but I’m glad we went once. 

Hubby found 2 cool things there. The first was an aluminum P-38 box airplane from the 1940’s. It looks like a hood ornament but it’s not. There was a booth to get a free appraisal of a vintage item. They weren’t busy so I told Greg we should take the plane over there. We got a good laugh because we know more than they do. They had no clue & only knew how to search on eBay. I hate to brag but in this case I will. I know way too much about looking things up on eBay!! 😇

The other thing Greg got was a Weston voltmeter in its original wooden box! Inside the lid of the box is the paperwork dated 1912! So much fun to find something we’d never seen before & might never see again! I got 2 books & a small planter. I’m just not seeing the appeal in a lot these days…

Hubby smoked his first pork loin last weekend. He used cherry wood chips & it turned out great. The “bark” was kind of hard & hubby lost a filling eating it. 😩He had to go to the dentist even though he’d just been there for a cleaning 2 1/2 weeks ago. 😐 It’s been so blessed hot and HUMID, we’ve had the air on for like a month straight. I hate having it on for more than a few days but we’d die without it. I wonder what kind of winter we’ll have?! Sorry this shortened post turned out to be long. 😬 It’s been a crazy month! 😜

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Greg returned home from his 2 weeks of work training on Sat. July 23rd. I picked him up at the airport around 2 pm. They’ve closed (actually demolished) the Kiss-n-Fly lot that we always used for drop off and pick up. We still meet in that area just outside of where it is fenced off for construction purposes. It cuts through a lot of the hassle of picking him up at the main part of the airport. He brought me a very cute wallet that says “Federal Agent’s Wife” which looks just like the one he has that holds his badge.
Greg had applied and interviewed for 2 jobs in June. One was running the training dept. in Milwaukee WI. The other was the same job he does now (cargo inspector) but at Midway Airport instead of O’Hare. He has been trying to get tje promotion he was promised 11 years ago. The head of O’Hare had taken him from being a TSA screener and had promoted him to head up the training dept. 22 years ago. This guy told him repeatedly that he would be elevated to the next pay grade in 1 year. He was always praising him for the fine work. Then the guy left before the year was up and when Greg confronted him about it, he said, “I never said that!” This has been such a sore spot and cause of heartbreak for him. Then he had a female supervisor who picked on him for about 5 years. He just got switched to another one 2 months ago! He had applied for several promotions over the years and he never could figure out why he didn’t get them. Several guys who started after him and weren’t as good as he was at the work were given it instead of him. Due to recent events, we’ve figured out that this previous supervisor was the one holding him back.

Greg got a phone call about the Milwaukee job while in Georgia and was told they went with someone internally. This means someone who’s already working in the dept. He wasn’t sure he wanted to commute up to WI anyway. I’d been trying not to freak out wondering if we’d end up moving back up there then. When he got back from GA, he had a message that the person in charge at Midway had been trying to get ahold of him. He called them on Monday and found out that they were offering him the job. He wanted to meet in person and talk over their expectations and his and see what exactly the offer consists of. So Thurs. on his day off he drove down there and they talked. He told them he needed something in writing since he’d been burned before by the TSA. Ever since Thurs. he’s been waiting to receive the offer and finally it came through yesterday and he accepted it! He starts his new job on Monday Aug. 22nd. 🙂

Greg is so happy that all the drawbacks to the position don’t seem as important as they originally did. He is going from being a small fish in a big pond to being a big fish in a small pond. He is definitely giving up A LOT of perks. He now has a 4 day work week (10 hour days) with Thurs., Fri. and Sat. off. He has to go to a 5 day work week (8 hour days). He can still work Sundays which is a big deal to me so he’ll have Friday and Sat. off still. Right now he has a 3 mile commute that takes between 8-11 minutes. To Midway he’ll have a 30 mile commute in heavy Chicago traffic. It takes 40 minutes PLUS depending on time of day. He’ll also have a ton of tolls unless he can find some backroads that won’t add excess time to the trip. By my calculations, even with the raise he’s getting, not counting the wear and tear on his Jeep, he’ll be losing $500 a year by taking the job. Plus losing a day off every week, etc. But his ego needs this and they want him BADLY. it’s worth a lot to me to have him happy.

Maybe the hardest thing for me is if I run into some kind of trouble, he could get home to help me in like 10 minutes. Now I’ll just have to wait until the end of the day no matter what. At first I couldn’t understand why he wanted to leave that bad that he’d give up his days off and the short commute but I realized it’s not about me. He likes a challenge and his current position no longer challenges him. They don’t seem to value him or his contribution like they should. So this is a bit of excitement happening around here with watching hubby stretching his wings to fly.

Last week I heard from my sister-in-law Sandy that my half-brother Gary has been having some health problems. He was up at the cottage alone in northern WI and had some type of attack. He had to be taken to the hospital in Barron, WI and then transferred to one in Eau Claire. They had run tests on him and it looked like a mass in his kidneys. He went home on a plane to Seattle and was seeing specialists and fearing kidney cancer. Looks like the first step is kidney removal but I don’t know any of the details yet. I spoke to him on the phone and he sounded terrible and was on his way to the urologist so we didn’t talk more than a minute or two. He’s 18 years older than me so 72. That’s been on my mind a lot this week too.


It’s that time again for me to donate my hair to Locks Of Love. I get sick of it long, I get sick of it short and I get sick of it inbetween. I’ve got an appt. on Thurs. with Madeline again to get it cut super short. She’s the one who did it the other 2 times I donated it. After I get the haircut, I’m going to get my eyes examined and get new glasses. It’s been 4 years and even though I always use a soft cloth to clean them, my glasses are extremely scratched up. I hope I find some I like! I figure my birthday week is as good a time as any to make all these changes.

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My SAD light (or as my hubby calls it: my Unhappy Light) arrived on Friday March 1st from Amazon. It came ready to use so it was early enough in the day that I was anxious to try it. I’ve used it every single morning without fail since then. I was told it takes AT LEAST 2 weeks before any benefits are seen. However I’m not known for my patience so I’ve been grumbling ever since. The unit itself is portable although it doesn’t run on batteries, only has a plug in cord. I don’t have a place to keep it plugged in so I put it on the shelf and plug it in behind my chair every morning for the half hour I use it. These days have been so dark and gloomy that it feels like a police interrogation light when I turn it on. If all else fails, maybe my next step to more energy and alertness is waterboarding? You don’t look directly into it, just have it to the side of you and the light goes into your eyes. I’ve been so sleepy lately that I’ve caught myself shutting my eyes while under it which totally defeats the purpose. When that happens, I extend the time a minute or 2 past the 30 minute timer to make up for what I’ve missed.

My SAD Light

My SAD Light

The one I got is called Lightphoria by Sphere Gadget Technologies. It’s a 10,000 lux unit with 3 light intensities. The timer doesn’t make any noise but you can set it for 15, 30 or 45 minutes and it just quietly goes off when the time is up. It is easy enough to use but now I’m starting to think it’s like witchcraft. Don’t worry. That’s my new favorite saying about anything. I will update again when I start to feel some effects from it. I have been sleepier than  usual lately. I fall asleep playing Candy Crush, forwarding the remote control through commercials, etc. It makes me feel old and useless and like something might be really wrong with me.
My Unhappy Light

My Unhappy Light

 

Simulated Sunshine in a Box

Simulated Sunshine in a Box

What else has been happening since I last posted? We finally got our income tax stuff into the accountant. I’d had everything together for about 6 weeks and was just waiting for hubby to crunch some numbers from our home business. I don’t nag him about it but it was getting out of hand how long he was putting it off. He also finally snaked out our bathtub drain. It had been draining ridiculously slow for about a month. I can handle slow like 10 minutes to drain, not 3 hours. He pulled out a long clump of hair equivalent to the Locks of Love donation I gave back in August! It was gross and disgusting so of course, I had to photograph it. 😀 I don’t think he’d snaked out that drain for about 10 years. I remember when he did it that time, he got a hairpiece the size of a medium sized cat.
 

Hubby with his bathtub find

Hubby with his bathtub find

The bathtub's Locks of Love donation!

The bathtub’s Locks of Love donation!

I finally used the homemade laundry detergent my friend Doreen sent me in the mail. I don’t know how or why that didn’t look like an envelope of anthrax to anybody but me! I tried it out on our sheets and it worked fabulous just like she said. It smells great but what’s weird is there’s no sudsing. Which is great since I usually have to double rinse everything to get all the suds out. When I use Tide, I use about half the recommended amount and it still suds like crazy. Now I’ve got about a year’s worth of Tide on hand before I’m out and can justify making my own detergent. I’ve had such bad luck with tackling projects lately, I don’t know if I even WANT to do it. Oy vey.
 

Tiki Man Vase

Tiki Man Vase

Last Thursday we went to an estate sale in our town. I’d never gone to one but hubby and my mom had back when we lived in WI. I had been sleeping (working nights) and they were awake like normal people and 2 or 3 houses away they had one. Hubby got a bunch of tools dirt cheap. About 10-14 years ago we were heavily into the auction scene. We went to several auctions a week and usually bought to resell online. We got pretty good at knowing what was a good deal or not where collectibles are concerned. Thursday’s estate sale wasn’t an auction. It started at 9 am and we got there a few minutes early. There was a long line outside the house. Some people had come early to get numbers and we got one at 9 am. We got #43 which meant we had at least a one hour wait outside. Luckily it was sunny, even if it was only 34 degrees out. At 9 pm they let the first 15 people in. Then as time passed, a few people came out. Some with empty hands, others carrying their purchases. They didn’t let anymore people into the house until about 10 of them left and then they let 15 more inside. Finally we got in and it was so different than I’d imagined. Almost everything had a price tag on it. Hubby got a 4′ long level for $5 and an old can for $2. I found a neat Tiki Man ceramic vase for $2 and 2 cake plates for $5 each. One is etched frosted glass, the other is pink glass. I’m going to use them to serve appetizers and desserts on. We both left thrilled with our purchases. We saw other things we liked but they were priced higher than we were willing to pay. Now we’ve got the collectible bug again. I’ll have to see if I can find some spaghetti poodles. 😉
 

Frosted glass cake plate

Frosted glass cake plate

Pink glass cake plate

Pink glass cake plate

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August 2nd was Happy Hair Day for me. I had a 10:15 am appointment to get my super long hair chopped off. This is something I had been thinking of doing for over a year. Talk about procrastination! I didn’t know what hairstyle I wanted or who I wanted to have cut it. I just kept waiting, expecting the answers to magically fall in my lap. That I’d see the exact hairstyle I wanted somewhere or someone would recommend the perfect hairstylist. I didn’t just sit idly by, I spent time looking online. Anyone who’s ever looked up businesses on Yelp! knows that those reviews are so subjective. A place will have mostly 5 stars and then have a few 1 star horror story reviews. I just wasn’t comfortable taking the risk this time.

 5-6 yrs ago I had donated 13 1/2″ of my hair to Locks of Love. That time I found a hairstylist online by looking at the Locks of Love website. (They have since taken the links to salons down off their website.) Her name was Madeline and she was an older woman who worked part time. The salon was in the town I live in but on the south side. It was a good experience and I was happy with the initial cut. I went back to her a few times later but then eventually started letting my hair grow out again. Since I was stuck in a rut and couldn’t decide, I figured I’d go back to Madeline. I knew what to expect and I felt pretty comfortable with her. I had no pictures of the before, during or after that time so I had my husband come along to photograph Thursday’s session. He volunteered, I didn’t force him. 😉  I went overboard with the pictures this time and posted most of them to Instagram who sent them to Twitter for me. I am going to attempt to put pictures in this post. If you don’t see any, you’ll know I failed. If they are screwed up, you’ll know I tried.

 
As I said in my previous post, I was tying this hair cutting event to my milestone birthday which is happening on Tuesday. I’d built it way up in my mind, to the point where I was as nervous as if I was going to the doctor. And that’s pretty nervous! There was nothing to be nervous about except the unknown. I had a few pictures on my phone of short haircuts so I showed them all to Madeline and explained what I liked about each one. My hair is naturally curly so I used to just scrunch it when it was long and wet and it would curl right up until I combed it.
 
Madeline is such an expert at cutting hair, she can talk a mile a minute and her fingers are just automatically working in tandem with her tools of the trade to cut the hair. It was great to be back in the hands of a professional. First she put a cape on me and got some rubberbands to ponytail up my hair. She didn’t have a ruler so used a comb marked 6″ to measure how long my donation was. It was 6″ twice plus at least 3″ more. So 15″ total. The salon was now taking hair donations for Wigs For Kids and already had 4 other ponytails to send along with mine to the charity. Madeline then cut through the hair above the rubberband. She placed it on table of the station next to hers. She had my husband fill out all my info to mail in with the donation while she took me back to be shampooed.
 
At this time she told me my haircut would be free! That was such a nice surprise. At the end of the haircut I thanked her and tipped her $20. I hope that was fair. I’m not familiar with going to salons and what they charge and how much most people tip for a haircut. I wanted her to have something for her time. It took about 40 minutes total and she’d alotted 45. Anyway, after the shampoo she worked her magic and actually listened to what I said and did it! That really impressed me. She made it as short as I wanted while giving me a soft feminine look which was important to me. It felt so good to have it short. Like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Today it is even more noticeable. I look in the mirror and I feel like I was hiding behind all that hair.
 
I love being able to help someone in ways other than money. I could have not donated my hair and just let it be swept up on the salon floor and put in the garbage can. Instead, it made me feel good to get a fresh start and give back to someone else who needed and would appreciate the hair. I recommend anyone who’s thinking about doing it to give it a try. If only I’d started doing this when I was younger, I could’ve made it a hobby and done it like 6 times already! 🙂
 
To make the day bigger and even more memorable, we left from the salon right over to the Driver Services Facility, also known as the DMV. The closest one to us is in the next town over, Niles, IL. It was ridiculously crowded so I had a 1 hr 35 min. wait. For renewing a driver’s license and getting a vision test. I barely passed the vision test which scared me half to death. I know I can’t see as good as I should. It was exactly 2 yrs ago I got an eye exam and glasses and thanks to genetics, I’ll be getting new glasses the rest of my life. 😦 Anyway, I need to get in and get a new prescription in the next few months. At least something went right and I passed! I then had to go wait in line at the cashier and pay my $30 renewal fee. Then wait in line to be sent over to the seating area for photography. There was only one open seat there so I sat squished in with a bunch of people and waited. They called us up in groups of 8 people to stand while they had one person at a time sit in front of a blue background. I didn’t wear any jewelry because I didn’t want to worry about the earrings while I was getting a haircut but it would’ve been nice to have some on for the picture. Thankfully, my new license is good until 2016 and hopefully longer! The last time I’d gotten my pic taken there was 8 years ago. 4 years ago they had let me renew through the mail. I paid and they sent me a sticker that I affixed to the back of the license to extend the expiration date another 4 years. All this because I was a Safe Driver and their facility is overcrowded.
 
We rounded out the day by having lunch at Dick’s River Roadhouse in Mount Prospect, IL. It’s a sports bar that serves food. They have the best ribs anywhere! They had sent me an email certificate for a free entree for my birthday so I wanted to make sure we went on a day they had ribs. It was a great way to celebrate feeling short hair sassy! 🙂

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