focus

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Watching Pooka learn some new art techniques makes me realize what I need to do: Stay focused, learn something new and push through the frustration.

The past couple of weeks have brought…changes. I no longer have my business partner – which brings with it new challenges and stresses – and the X, who disappears for months and then shows up demanding time that Pooka is too stressed to give, has reappeared and is, you know, demanding time that Pooka is too stressed to give. He thinks it’s me, so he sends me hours of harassing texts, has his girlfriend leave me messages telling me what a horrible person I am, and only quiets when I tell him I have contacted my (very expensive) attorney. So I am also about to become heavily involved in the legal process from two different angles, which costs money…that I need for my daughter (the X is currently on a not-paying-support cycle) and my business (I am very grateful for the amazingly supportive stylists at Illuminate).

Yay. Life has me juggling knives.

The stress has helped me lose six pounds, though. Regular visits with my doctor, 1200 calories a day, 30-60 minutes of exercise every morning, Weight Watchers, 20 grams of carbs a day and even medication over the last eight months didn’t help me lose even one pound, but the stress of the last few weeks has me losing weight. Go figure. Apparently there is something to “fat and happy” after all.

So, yeah. Focus.

Time for me to be glad I had those few wonderful months in which I was able to work Sunday through Wednesday as I ramp up my salon schedule, take on more content marketing work and maybe even finish a book that anyone might give a damn about.

Somehow, everything always works out.

after a bad week…

I’m determined not to start this blog on a sour note, but it hasn’t been the best week. Because of my newly found determination to commit to writing (mostly) about the positive (the “better” part of this site), I am going to publish what helped me through That Which Cannot Be Discussed (yet).

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First off, cats.

Cleo (nearest the window) is a very old tortoise-shell calico cat that has seen Pooka and me through some rough times. She is a constant in my daughter’s life and is even her designated companion animal. She’s loud, bossy and often gets her way.

Soups – a.k.a. Monster – is Pooka’s transitional companion animal since Cleo is getting older and a bit cranky. He is the goofiest baby ever! He loves to hug your neck, kiss your face and then claw the f*$% out of you.

They’re pretty close to perfect.

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Then we have these goofballs.

They are quirky and weird and too-smart-for-their-own-good and pretty much best friends. They will torment each other, but are fiercely loyal. There have been moments this week when Boy has said, “Hey! I’m the only one allowed to be mean to Rhiannon!”

Oh. Excuse me.

And Pooka will come up to us after a tense moment and say, “Sebastian and I both thought that up, so I guess I should be in trouble, too.”

Good girl.

Don’t get me wrong; one will just as easily throw the other under the bus if wronged. That’s just human nature with siblings, right? They might be step-siblings, but they are closer than most blood relatives. Just now Boy was yelling down the hallway, “Rhiannon! Come on! What are you doing? I thought we were going to start playing now!” Her response? “Geez, Bastian! I needed to pee!”

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Pooka.

She makes everything better. She is honest and loving and kind and smart and beautiful, and my world was grey and fuzzy before she appeared. Life before her doesn’t count except for the stories I can share to make it all better for her.guy

The Husband Guy.

I think I make him most frustrated when I don’t let him help me. He’s that man you wish for – the one who knows how strong you are but wants to open all doors, wipe away all tears and fix everything all the while reassuring you that he understands you don’t need him to do all that. He is exactly what I need for the rest of this life and all the lives I might have after.

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Wishes.

We all need them. Dreams. Goals. Plans. When the shit keeps hitting the fan, sometimes it’s the hope that something even greater is out there that makes it easier to clean up said shit.

So, here I go, towel and bleach in hand, knowing that everything will be okay.

like a virgin

10930025_10204347213932977_4001023787430924732_nI’m really not new to blogging — I’ve done it for years for different purposes and even have a small content marketing business in which I ghostwrite for people who want to keep their online presence fresh — but this particular blog has been stewing in my brain and heart for years now.

What do I mean when I say bangs are better than BOTOX®? Well, I definitely don’t mean that BOTOX® is a bad product. Many of my friends use it for a variety of reasons from frown lines to perspiration and get great results. My meaning is this: Sometimes the simpler route can save you money and time which, to me, is usually better. That means I have bangs instead of paying for injections.

Am I swearing off BOTOX® forever? I’m not saying that either, although I have a bone callous on my forehead that makes me look like the spawn of Hellboy and Liz Sherman, the result of bumping my head so severely that I nearly passed out. I’d have to get that filed down first.

But I digress…11412385_10205386216067381_2575817923073800697_n

I’m a stylist and owner of Illuminate Salon in downtown Boise, Idaho, so telling people I’m against what makes them feel better about their looks would be counterproductive. I do help people grow out their grey hair when they’re ready, but mostly I do a lot of highlights, a ton of haircuts, and hours of talking.

I love my clients! These people are my best friends and most have been with me anywhere from 13 – 18 years. I’ve done hair for 20 years. Even when I was a production trainer at a local semiconductor company, I did hair. Even when I was marketing director of a busy real estate group, I did hair. My hands were in hair three days after giving birth!

Featured imageI thought I’d only have my hands in it for a couple of years while I finished college. Turns out, I really love being self-employed. It makes it easier to be a full-time mom and that is my greatest love. I have a ten-year-old daughter, Rhiannon (or “Pooka” as my Facebook friends know her), who is beautiful and gifted and sensitive and amazing. She has curly hair that hangs past her waist. You’ll read about her a lot. Sebastian (or “Boy”), my ten-year-old stepson, has flaming red hair, the most amazing blue eyes, a brain that is always coding, and is most comfortable jumping on a trampoline or pretending to be the host of Total Drama. They and Tony (“The Husband Guy”) are the great loves of my life. Well, besides my cats. More on them later.

Self-employment means I get to schedule around my family and writing (I’m working on a novel or three.) and I can’t imagine inserting myself back into corporate life. I loved it before I was a mom. Now I love sharing a mother-daughter journal with Rhiannon and figuring out ways to sneak fiber into Sebastian’s diet. I love camping trips and watching them become more independent with each one. I love that they are good friends even though they are very different people. I’m glad they have each other. Sometimes I feel that Tony and I were meant to fall in love so that they could have each other.11156271_10204985203602320_8528947458230423514_n

I’ll write about family, friendship, business, writing, geeky stuff and cats, among many other things. I’ll share a few dutch oven recipes The Husband Guy has perfected. I’ll post some art. I’ll get Pinterest crazy. I might even give away some favorite hair care products. If you stick with me, a lot could happen.