Hair Now vs Hair Then

My mother despaired of making my hair look good.  I guess it didn’t help that the brother born before me had a head full of adorable curls.  And of course Mom herself had thick, curly, blond hair.

In those days, women did not give in gracefully, so neither did their daughters.  I believe I had my first perm at the age of 5.  My Mom’s cousin was a hairdresser and I went to her for the torture process.  I’d sit in the chair on top of a lot of books, and would have my hair rolled in curlers each one of which was attached by a long electrical cord to a device not unlike the apparatus used for early electrical chair executions.

My head was doused with gasoline chemicals and then I was plugged in!  I remember smelling the stench of burning hair and I think I am lucky that I was not accidentally done in. 

Was the result beautiful?  No.  Pretty?  No.  Unbelievably horrible and insanely messed up?  Yes.  But I’ll admit it was thicker. 

Even at the age of five, I knew I looked an absolute horror.  My Mom would grab a hunk of this frizzled mess and tie a huge bow in it and send me off to school.  Really it was my worst childhood memory, even worse than the Three Stooges films that used to play at the Saturday matinees. 

The only consolation I had was that my best friend and cousin who got the same straight, fine, thin hair gene, had exactly the same perm and exactly the same bow in the hunk of frizzled hair as I did. 

My last perm was in 1991.  My daughter, Carla, took one look at me and said, “Mom, you are not allowed to get another perm for the rest of your life.” 

You know, I kind of like my hair now!

No photos of any of the perms is permitted in this blog!


No Time to Read

I am visiting my daughter and her family in Ottawa.  Yesterday Hubby and I went looking for a house and saw a few interesting prospects.  We haven’t signed anything but we feel we’re getting closer to a move.

Hubby left for home at 3:30 this morning, leaving me to visit for another week or so.  During the week, with my daughter and her husband at work and the kids at school, I spend my time doing a few simple chores (dishes and laundry), doing puzzles, and reading.

This morning I just opened the newspaper when I got a call.  I had to pick 5-year-old Brynn up at school.  They suspected pink eye.  Took her to the doctor who confirmed it.  Went to the pharmacy for anti-biotic eye drops, back home to get my money, back to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription.

We got back to the house around 10 a.m. and Brynn declared that it was the best day of her life!  She gets to stay home for two days, with Grandma.  She was very brave about getting the drops in her eyes and we’ve been diligent about hand washing.

Brynn and Grandma are having a great day together.

We’ve played with Barbies, stuffed animals, watched Treehouse TV and played on the computer.  We’ve drawn pictures and laughed at each other’s jokes.  I’m glad she’s not really sick because we’re really enjoying being together. 

See why I have no time for reading today?

Exploding Things

I have always felt that my home and all the things in are relatively safe.  Oh maybe I could trip on a rug or bump my knee on a table, but I don’t usually expect things I use every single day to explode!

I read the news this afternoon in my online newspaper, The National Post.  No, not The National Inquirer, and although it seems far-fetched, I am not going to use this item ever again.  There has been a recall on this product but I have yet to find out where to send it, or how I am to retrieve my ill-spent money.

And the company that makes it?  I had faith in this name.  It was a firm I trusted to get the job done with minimum fuss, and certainly without explosions. 

 Now this isn’t funny.  It’s serious, and although there have been no lasting injuries reported in Canada, the company spokesman warned all consumers to stop using this product immediately.  

I have taken a photo of the item and ask you to look closely to see if you happen to have one.  If you find one in your home, take steps to get rid of it safely.

My Colgate Motion Electronic Toothbrush


Nine people in Canada have had their toothbrushes explode.  That was probably not a good way to begin their day.  Or if it was in the evening, it would pretty well guarantee a sleepless night. 

If you unwittingly bought one of these dangerous items, call 1-800-268-6757.  Don’t use it, even if you have to go to bed tonight with dirty teeth.

Just when you thought you were safe!

A Bicycle Ride on a Beautiful Day

When I think of November I think of the colour gray.  Grey skies, gray trees, and grey days.  Even people look gray in November.  It’s almost a relief when the first snow falls.

But the last few days have been absolutely gorgeous.  Today it was 18º C (about 65º F).  It was sunny and there was a nice breeze.  We went for a bike ride, and enjoyed the park. 

I took a few photos and would like to share them with my readers.

A beautiful November day.


Off for a bike ride in the early morning.


The Oshawa Garden Park


My favourite spot by the Oshawa Creek.


A beautiful Oshawa neighbourhood.


Growing Up Single

It was 1960, I was 15 years old, and I was planning on going to university the following year.  But first there would be the dreaded Provincial Exams.  Every student in the province had to write these exams and they were marked in Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia.

My parents knew that finding the time, space, and quiet that I would need to study would be difficult in our household of 11 children.  So they sent me to boarding school, about 90 miles away on Cape Breton Island.  The school was St. Joseph’s and it was located in a part of Cape Breton known for its stunning scenery and for its many expert fiddle players and musicians.

The population of Mabou was less than 200 people and at the boarding school, there were 100 girls.  We attended the local high school, just down the hill from our residence.

I was the oldest girl in the family and was in the midst of 5 brothers, so the thought of living with 100 girls was thrilling.  I was never disappointed and many wonderful friendships were  made there.  But there was something really, really exciting in store for me when I got to school the first day.  There would be boys in my class for the first time.

There were three grade 11 rooms and I was in with students who were taking physics and chemistry.  I had a couple of experiences with the boys I’d like to tell you about.  Don’t worry, they’re squeaky clean; remember, it was 1960.

I was seated in front of a boy named Roger whose brother Brian was also in the class.  Well, Roger tried to talk to me but I wasn’t going to get into that.  I kept my eyes averted whenever I saw him.  I don’t think I said more than a dozen words to any of the boys for the entire year I was there. 

A few days later, Roger started touching my back as I sat ramrod straight at my desk.  He whispered in my ear and tried his best to get me to talk to him.  I never said a word.  But when I was in my bed at night, in a dorm with 24 girls, I prayed to God to change me out of that class.  The next day, Roger was transferred to one of the other classes.  Maybe he couldn’t understand the science courses.  But I was free!!!  Free of Roger!!!

Roger’s handsome brother Brian, who was 18 to my 15,  seemed to have a more “mature” understanding of a very shy girl.  Every couple of weeks, he would wad up little pieces of paper and throw them at me.  When I would look to the back of the room, he would smile at me.  I’d quickly drop my eyes and I don’t think we ever talked to each other. 

I still remember those boys – Brian fondly, Roger, not so much.  I finished my year at school and entered university the next year at 16.  By then I was used to having boys in my classes and you know, I really loved it!