Perm Machine


For years my mom has said she’d rather go to the dentist than to the hair salon. This made no sense to me as I love to have someone fuss over me and make my hair do things I can’t.

woman in dental chair

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

The discussion about her dislike came up again when I asked, “Mom, when you were little did you have curly hair?”

I wanted this information because I’ve decided to let my hair be what God intended–wavy and I wanted to know if I got it from my mom or dad.

“Oh no! My hair has always been straight. When I was 4 my mother started taking me to get perms. That was terrifying.”

“How could that be scary, mom?”

“There was this big machine that had curlers that dropped down. Electricity ran through the wires into the curlers making my hair into kinky curls.”

I stopped walking willing to let the Fitbit rest while I considered if I should drive to her house to make sure she was okay. “Electricity sent to your hair?”

“Yes, and I’ll never forget it. You go look it up on that machine of yours and you’ll see. It would have been about the mid 1930s. Then call me back.”

I said I would thinking,  “Mom has lost it. No way such a thing existed.” So I turned on my ‘machine’ that’s what mom calls the computer and searched for perms in the 1930s.

This is what turned up.


Thanks to PBA Progress for the use of the photo.

I had to call mom and tell her I found a photo.

She’s right it looks terrifying. The girl in the photo looks to be about the age my mom would have been.

So I’ve learned wavy hair doesn’t come easy if you don’t have it. I do and all I had to do was learn how to take care of it. It’s not as easy as it seems. I had to buy a book! This one:

Turns out I was doing everything wrong to get my waves to behave. I had to give up my flat iron and learn to leave conditioner in my hair. Someday I’ll post a photo. Not yet though because my hair hasn’t quite recovered from smashing it between the hot plates of the flat iron.

And just for fun here’s a short clip from a movie where the 1930s Friedrich perm machine is used.

And if you think this looks more like fun than scary I read that it is coming back in the form of a digital perm. Send me a photo if you have one done.


10 Reasons To Get Away

Do you need 10 reasons to get away? I’ve got some for you.

It seems like we all should plan yearly vacations to exotic places or just to the beach and yet many of us don’t. Some jobs allow you to take a vacation but it seems like you can never get away.

If you work for yourself  leaving town means zero dollars are being added to your bank account. That’s our life but we decided to take a 36 hour break from our work and head to Michigan. Brr! Though it was cold and the winds were brisk at 40 miles per hour I came back relaxed, happy and ready to commit to writing a new book.


Tree on frozen lake

1. Leave behind a to-do list that will never be finished.

2. Bolster creativity with a new environment. This is the first time I saw Lake Michigan with ice. Impressive. 

3. Reconnect with your spouse or family.

4. It’s a chance to break out of the ordinary, Meatloaf Monday, Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday menu.

Snowman made to look live Elvis

5. Working out in a new environment–hotels have great underused equipment.

6. There are no expectations of being on the job the moment you finish breakfast. As a freelancer, I’m at my desk as soon as my tea is made.

7. Long drives gives you a chance to talk with your spouse about dreams, the future or the reality of your lifestyle .

8. Someone else will take care of the pets. I love my cats but when I’m gone I don’t miss cleaning the litter box or opening the door 50 times a day.

Cat sitting on desk

9. Time to read without interruptions! (hint: grab one of the books I’ve written)

10.  A chance to take amazing photos for your Project Life scrapbook. 

Don’t wait to get away until you have a free week. Let these 10 Reasons to Get Away inspire you to take a short weekend trip.

And don’t forget to keep you memories to enjoy later in your Project Life scrapbooks!

Grandparenting Changes Lives

Grandparenting is Life Changing


Today ends the first year of being a first time grandmother. It’s my grandson’s first birthday so I wanted to share ways he has changed my life.


I’ve to learned how to diaper with cloth diapers that snap! (Velcro is much easier!)

I thought my house was kid friendly but forgot how little ones stand up and hit their heads on desks.

Discovering that normal things like magazines and glass doors are giggle-worthy.

Baby food doesn’t always come in glass jars, sometimes it comes in squeeze packets. I had to ask for help on how to open these!

Happy Baby Baby Food

Putting a child in a car seat is a major time investment and you pray you have it right and the baby still has arms when you’re done.

The joy  I feel when he smiles at me—well there are no words!

Holding a little one again reminds me of how precious life is and how blessed I am to have this one in my arms.

Open mouthed, slobber kisses are better than anything I can purchase.

Watching a one year old has the advantage of a high calorie workout.

Pulling out toys that belonged to his father makes storing them worth it when you watch the excitement on his face. It seems even at a young age a new pair of wheels is the best.

 baby playing with truck

One of the biggest blessings I’ve experienced this past year is watching my husband with our grandson. We didn’t have babies together. I didn’t get to see how he gives himself completely, that look of pure love that washes over his face when he’s holding him and the silly but loveable way that he plays with a baby.

Grandfather and baby


Another blessing is watching my son be a dad. Wow. It takes my breath away to see the man caring for his son. Add to that the closeness I have with my daughter-in-law and I can’t imagine life being any better.


Happy Family



Happy Birthday Big Guy!

Birthday Boy

10 Reasons to Be a Grateful

Being Grateful and Thanksgiving

It’s been a year of ups and downs for my family. Your’s too? I’m posting my top ten reasons to be grateful, join me in the comments please.

Be Grateful 123

  • Family
  • Having two book contracts
  • Finding out why I haven’t felt good for two years and fixing that
  • My grandson–he gets a special mention
  • A pile of firewood on the porch
  • A husband who doesn’t complain about my cooking skills
  • Freedom to do what I want with my life
  • That I still have a mom to hug
  • An abundance of friends
  • Losing a nice number of pounds before the holiday season begins

So what are a few things you are grateful for this year?

Copyright: elosa / 123RF Stock Photo

When Lightning Strikes

Lightning Strikes We Can’t See

Walking through Babler State Park my husband and I discovered this tree.

lightning rips a tree


I’ve never been this close to a tree hit by lightning. I have heard it hit but not seen the fresh results. 

The lightning sends its razor hot light onto the tree and causes the water inside to steam, sizzle and pop open the bark. You can see the bark resting on the bed of leaves.

Will this tree recover? Probably. It’s young and new bark will cover the scar. Or it might not be strong enough to withstand the trauma  of the strike.

lightning strikes tree

In life we are often hit with lightning bolts of a different kind. Your husband has heart issues, a baby is lost, your child no longer calls home, there isn’t enough money to pay the bills. It feels like a strip of ourselves is laid bare for everyone to see.

Except it’s not. The man at the store who pushes his cart in front of you can’t see the pain, a friend has no idea until you mention what  has happened, or we might say “I’m fine” to anyone who asks..

Keeping our scars fresh and hidden can cause them to fester and not heal. Remember when you were a kid and scraped your knees? How you hid the injury under a bandage and tried not to bump it? Then you fell again and the bandage didn’t protect you anymore? Once again you were in pain because the old scrape hadn’t healed.

It’s better to tell someone what has happened. They can  protect you from re-injury before you’ve healed enough to handle another bolt of pain. Even better, take it to God because He understands. He sees your hurts, brokenness and scrapes.

Revelation  21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

After years of trying to figure out why I’m so tired I have hope.
Hypothyroidism makes you draggy and not interested in life. I do have that and have been treated, my blood levels are fine. The only answers I heard were you’re getting older, you’ll slow down. Not willing to accept that I worked out, took boot camp classes, Zumba and walked a million miles around the park. Nothing changed. Instead I gained more weight and became more fatigued than before.

Adrenal Fatigue Zaps Energy

Adrenal Fatigue Zaps Energy

I was at my chiropractor’s office when she suggested using a saliva test to test for adrenal fatigue. Despite having to spit in a small tube the test wasn’t difficult. I did miss that my boys weren’t around for that. I can only imagine the things they would have said along with the laughter.
It took a few weeks to get the results back and yes, I did have it. What a relief to find out there was something that could be done! I’m at week 3 taking supplements and have recently started an anti-inflammatory diet which helps with healing.

Signs of Adrenal Fatigue

These are some of the signs. If it sounds like you, find a doctor who will order the saliva test.

  1. Waking up is hard to do—really hard to do, it’s time to get up but you can’t because you’re so fatigued.
  2. You feel more awake after you eat a meal.
  3. There is not enough salt on anything you eat.
  4. You can’t handle stress anymore—I actually screamed (not loud) when a grocery store worker spoke to me from behind. I didn’t know he was there. Poor man. Scared him too!
  5. Fuzzy thoughts.
  6. Memory problems!
  7. And my favorite—you can’t seem to get anything done.

A book Recommendation

Adrenal Fatigue by James L. Wilson, ND., D.C., PH.D.


Adrenal Fatigue Solution by Fawne Hansen and Dr. Eric Wood

It’s a good read as well. I found the second half easier to understand as that part is written for non medical types. The website has a lot of articles I found helpful. Check it out if you think you have Adrenal Fatigue or suspect you do.

Meanwhile could you all keep me in your prayers as I work on The Honey Bride? It’s due in November and could use some more energy.



Where to find more Information

There is an online test you can take if you want to see if this might be a problem for you. You can do this at Take the Adrenal Fatigue Test


This is a blog hope see what’s up with the Letter “A”

Picking Values over Goals

Why Should you Pick Values over Goals?


I love making goals for about two days. Then I hate looking at them written in perfect penmanship, mocking me for what has been left undone and how far I must go to complete them.

The paper sits on my desk with unchecked boxes next to things like clean upstairs closet, clear out old spices, and read all my email. I don’t even know why I write them, they do nothing for my self-esteem whether I do them or not.

Values over Goals

A few weeks ago I read Jennifer VanderKlipp’s blog and my shoulders relaxed, breathing became easier and my goal setting has changed. Jennifer wrote about the difference between values and goals. I know Jennifer personally and the things that have occurred in her life would have flung me to the floor in tears, but not her. She’s my hero. She’s on her knees a lot talking to God, but she’s survived. Her story is pretty amazing, hop over and read it then come back. Oh please come back!

After reading her blog I realized I have a similar problem. My goal making has gone awry, it serves no purpose but to frustrate me. I need to be looking at what I value.

Yes, I still have to clean, grocery shop and clean the bathroom.  But those aren’t my goals. They’ve never been something I dream about and can’t wait to work on.

I’m making a new list.

What do I value? It’s beginning to look a little like this:

Values not Goals


Now I’m starting my days with, “What the most important thing I value today and what am I going to do to strengthen it?”

By choosing a value as my starting place I think I’ll be a happier person, the frustration of not getting to the important things in my life will fall away….or so I hope. 

Tell me in the comments if you think this would work for you? 


4th of July!

 How do you spend the 4th of July?

In America, the 4th of July is a family fun-filled event. Some cities, like mine plan a 4th of July extravaganza. This year the St. Louis River front is being redone so the celebration will be held at Forest Park in St. Louis. It’s a really big deal because the city turned 250 this year and I think it’s the first time the park will host the fair. Everyone here is a buzz about the traffic, shuttles, and buss routes. I’m hoping to go one of the nights to see the fireworks but the crowds will be huge and that might keep me away. 

I love the 4th of July with all the good food-yes I’m gluten free but there are some amazing hamburger buns out there, along with potato salad and watermelon…Now I’m hungry.



4th of July!


Then the fireworks, the sizzle, the bang and ooohs and awes that follow, what’s not to like?

It’s been a long time since America broke free from England. No one that I know of holds any anger toward that country, many of us have been there or would like to go. So why continue this celebration? 

Here are my reasons:

I get to gather with my family informally. There’s no fine china or crystal at this party.

We play Scrabble, shoot BB guns, and slap mosquitoes before we sit back and watch my sons light up the sky. Every year my mom and I wonder if the bull frog will call out or be scared. He almost always has something to say. 


It’s a chance to think about where I live and how thankful I am. It may sound arrogant, I don’t mean to be, but I think my country is the best. I can wear what I choose, speak freely about Jesus, and I can feel free to say what I think about politicians without fear. It’s my home, it’s what I know and I like being able to travel from coast to coast without a passport. Okay, I don’t have a passport and I seldom travel but when I do I like it to be easy.

I like that we stand shoulder to shoulder as a family to take a photo. It’s getting harder to do that now as my sons are grown and have brought wives and now a grandson into the photo. I want to be the family on the lawn that is so large it sprawls and the cameraman has to back far away to get us in the shot. 

Those fireworks in the sky give me pause to think about those who have fought to give me a safe place to live. I am thankful. This past year I dug around to find out where my family came from. I discovered I had family that fought in the Revolutionary War. I had to sit back in awe, it’s rather unsettling and yet satisfying to know my family has a connection to those who made this a free country.  

If you celebrate the 4th of July what makes it special for you?

Amazing Grace Hate it or Love it?

There was a time when the song Amazing Grace played on every radio station and at least once an hour. It was sung by Judy Collins. 

It became a song that my brother and I hated. To us it was the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Plus my mom liked it which of course made it not cool.

The minute it came on we raced to change the station. We  joked that whoever died first, the remaining sibling would request  Amazing Grace be played. Sadly for me the chance came too soon when my brother died young. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pick that song for him. 

 Flash forward to now.

I’ve since come to love the song Amazing Grace especially this version by Chris Tomlin.


Last month, my friend Don died. He’d been battling ALS. A disease that chains you to your bed by robbing you of the ability to move your muscles, while leaving your brain alone. It does other things as well, none of them are pleasant. This great man, battled with the grace of a God-filled man. He never complained to those who came to visit. He had a cheerful disposition when we saw him and wanted to know about what was happening in our life.

I would walk or drive past his house and wonder how can he do this? Being trapped in a bed all day, unable to go outside and visit with neighbors or help with the garden?

At his funeral Amazing Grace was played and it made sense! Don knew his chains would soon be broken. He had the hope and promise of living in God’s house when his body failed. I know this from conversations we had while pulling weeds.

Since then I’ve heard Amazing Grace a few times, and I’ve come to embrace it for its meaning. Someday all believers will have their chains holding them to this earth broken and we will be free.

Now when I think of Don I see him waving at me while mowing his grass, or washing his car or bringing me my mail on snowy days. I miss his him and yet I’m so happy for him because I know Don believed in Jesus and he is a free man right now.


Amazing Grace

I also need to apologize to my mother. The song is cool.

Have you ever had a song you couldn’t stand become one you loved?




What to Buy a Man for Christmas

I’m not sure what to get my husband for Christmas. Every year it’s the , “Really what do you want this year?” conversation. Then he asks me the same question. I think he should tell me what he wants but know what I want. I could give him a list but I need more time to think.

Back to Mr. Quiet, he likes to cut things up and recently found he likes to read on my iPad so…

I’m considering these.

*affilate links

or this?

The question is now that it’s on my blog will he comment? Yes or no? What do you say Mr. Quiet want to go cut some things up? Or read a book?

Please don’t forget to vote for We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed over at