Saturday, July 25, 2009

A few months without a bad hair day....

A few weeks ago, Ali, Cindy* and I took a semi-spontaneous road trip from Farmington to Ephriam to visit Snow College. Ali met with a guidance counselor about her first semester schedule, Cindy paid a bill and I got to see campus and the cute apartment complex where Ali will be living. Before leaving we stopped to take a few pictures. As Cindy handed the camera off to me to join Ali by the flowers, she ran her fingers through her hair and looked down at all the stands left behind in her hand. We were in good humor about it (check out the picture) but it was still surprising. I thought her hair was safe through a few more rounds of treatment.

After Quarter Pounders and a visit to Grandma, we arrived home. As we chatted around the counter, deciding if we were too tired to play Rook, Cindy plucked strands of hair off her clothing. After looking over the pile she had gathered in a baseball cap, she announced, “I think we better shave it tonight” and then after a short pause she added, “But it has to be fun.” Not only was Cindy taking her hair before chemo slowly crept in to claim it, she wanted to have a good time doing it.

Ali skillfully cropped one side, while I worked on the other. We left a 3-inch strip down the center for a mohawk. If someone had asked you in December whether Cindy Gardner would ever have a mohawk, what would you have said? I’m pretty sure I would have laughed out loud and I certainly wouldn’t have thought she’d look so dang good with a punk ‘do! Reed decided to shave his head to match. Using Deven’s fancy clippers, Cindy replaced the cul-do-sac do with a new Bruce Willis look (which I think is quite flattering).
Cindy kept a few locks for sentiment (and color samples) and Deven buzzed the rest. We laughed because it was fun. We cried because we were saying goodbye to Cindy’s beautiful hair, and also because we were acknowledging that it was the cancer’s fault it was gone. We all know Cindy is beautiful. In a stunning, radiant kind of way. I didn’t realize it had nothing to do with her hair.

Courage. Amen! That’s Cindy! As this battle continues, I’m sure Cindy will show this courage again and when she isn’t up for it, we’ll all try to be courageous for her. Though I doubt it will come quite as naturally to most of us.

*I’m calling Mom, “Cindy” to stick with blog format.

**We’re hoping Cindy gets to keep her eyelashes. That seems cosmically fair.

***This was meant to be posted on Cindy's blog (lovingly updated by Libby) and will be there shortly

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jason's mom took this picture in their backyard...and I like it.

Turns Out I’m Not 21….

But I couldn’t resist, I went into Forever 21 anyway. There is cute stuff in there….and maybe I was felt like I needed a challenge. And Forever 21 at my stage of life is a challenge.

Let me start by mentioning that you have to look high and low for the items that don’t actually look like they cost $9.80. There is constantly a stream running through my head….what accessories will make this look good, could I wear it under that new j.crew cardigan, or will pairing this shirt with $150.00 jeans help it out.

The next obstacle is modesty. I would venture that 80% of the stuff in there is too strappy, short or see through to meet the standards that I am required* to meet. Trying to convert club wear into work casual is not for the faint of heart.

The last part of the challenge….sizing. Most of us 28 years olds are not the same size we were at 21. Although images of all my thin friends just started passing through my mind like an old school slide show. Even their big sizes are small.

So I left with a pair of pants and a cute blouse, huffing slightly about not being 21 anymore but positive I'll shop there again. I wonder how old I'll be when I swear it off?

*Its a requirement, not exactly a desire. I would be modest without any religious standards, although admittedly my hemline would drift up a few inches.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Turns Out I'm American

When we were younger, a ride with Aunt Antoinette meant we were either listening to Brenda Lee or Lee Greenwood. I know the the words of God Bless the USA by heart...

"From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free."

Not that I was feeling particularly free, but I was feeling very American last night as I devoured a BigMac and then bought a t-shirt at the GAP.

Looking for a Big Mac pictures, I came across What You Really Get a site that compares advertising images with what you are really served at fast food restaurants.

Mine didn't look this good, the layers were doing a familiar slide but it tasted delicious!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

reaching around to give myself a little pat on the back.

Does smugness lead to blogging? Absolutely. (As does a range of other emotions) Look back at some of our not-so-constant posts or for that matter, read random blogs. The blogging/facebook/twitter worlds are full of people sharing their self-satisfying experiences. I think there is nothing wrong with it and had such an experience that pulled me back into the blogging world (where, don’t worry Gardner Compost site-moderators, I will stay at least until my guest post is completed). Where to begin. The pictures and explanations of our recent travel are still coming. However, I am compelled to leap ahead to leaving Utah, before getting to what brought us there and what we saw along the way.

On Saturday I was in the SLC airport. Seated comfortably with an enormous diet coke and a good book, waiting to board flight 1732. I figure I better hit the restroom one last time (I had a window seat where l would only feel just justified taking one mid-flight crawl over my neighbors to relieve myself). On the way I noticed a tall, sculpted, tan man wearing a pony-tail and white capris (I swear it was this exact cut in white). As I passed, I noticed the Lululemon insignia on said capris and spent my entire bathroom break trying to figure out if they could possibly be men’s pants. I decided they probably were. Lululemon is a fitness brand that is “yoga-inspired for healthy living.” Although I am proof that they also make fantastic lounge pants.

After using the bathroom, I resumed the wait to board the plane. I love airports…and malls…and public parks. I have always enjoyed people watching. In college I wrote several journal entries of the life stories of people I had seen in line at WalMart--(small disclaimer—this may lead to stereotyping but it is not mean spirited and until this post, I generally kept these tales to myself). So as I wait and watch, I see an impossibly lithe woman walk by and envied the genetics that make one look like a lean pixie. There were numerous businessmen and a family playing a game on the floor, that I overheard say they were form China. At the ticketing counter, another tall sleek lady waited in flowy pants with hooded sweatshirt pulled over her head. She has a tiny backpack and an even smaller sleeping roll. Then as boarding begins, these three converge—white Capri man, lithe pixie lady, and the hooded girl. When I realize they know each other, I just cannot help myself from guessing their story.

I followed these 3 down the gang plank, or whatever the tunnel that spits you onto an airplane is called. I thought to myself, “What could they be doing here?” Despite the tightly coiled sleeping bag, I seriously doubted backpackers or hikers. I also eliminated Utahans. It just seemed improbable. And although they all sported expensive name brand items, I also doubted they converged in Utah for a shopping trip. As we got closer to the plane, the one girl slid her hood off revealing another horseshoe-esque Lululemon insignia. Ah ha! They had to be yogis (those who practice yoga). Perhaps, visiting some kind of spa or Canyon Ranch type place.

I sat down in 8A and watched Capri man get up and down several times, finally resolving to check the website at home to see if they were male or female pants. About ½ of the way through the flight, when the man next to me excused himself, I figured it was a good time to use the bathroom as well. The line was long. As I cued up, I looked down to see I was standing next to the pixie, scrolling through pictures on her camera and zooming in to check her face in each one (we all do that, right?). I head the man seated next to her ask if she was from Utah. My heart sped up just a little. If the line held, my yogi conclusion might be disproven or proven. Two children had just entered the bathrooms, a good sign that the line would not move. “No,” she replied “I was on a retreat with some friends.” Yes! And then, to sweeten the pot, he asks,”What kind of retreat?” “Yoga,” Pixie says, “I’m an instructor.” I stand a little taller as they continue to chat about yoga. As I walked about, I heard her say, “Oh its amazing, you become a student for life and the world teaches you.” (Could I make that up?)

The smugness set in. It could mean I pay attention to details and notice people—think The Mentalist. Or it could mean I am materialistic enough to notice the brand labels I can't afford—think Becky Bloomwood. I don’t care either way. It doesn’t matter to me that the Lululemon and life style clues were blatantly obvious. All that matters is I got it right.

Thanks, Rebecca, for introducing me to these fabulous pants.