Behind the Blowdryer
Life is about trying new things!
Did you camp as a child? Camping was not something my father did with us. As one of my favorite cousins, Juggie, told me, “Your house was like Disneyland to me. You had the bay, boats, fishing, crabbing, skiing and swimming.” When I look back on it, I see the same, we were water babies.
If we went on a vacation, it was all of us kids, (5), packed in the Vista Cruiser. My little sister Kay and I sat in the seat farthest back facing backwards. Dad was a Civil War buff, so we usually went to a battlefield. We also stopped at all the Wastewater Treatment centers so that we could get a family picture and he could scope out what they were doing. He designed them for the company he worked for. It is hilarious to see all the pictures of us kids in front of the Wastewater Treatment signs.
Instead of camping, we went to a motel with a pool. Our parents would sit on the balcony and let us swim to exhaustion. If you are a parent with young kids traveling, you get it, tire those little kids out, so maybe, just maybe, you could have some peace and quiet. It was heaven to us to be able to swim in a pool. We were just so excited when they asked us to get ice and allowed us to go get it by ourselves. So grown up. We also got to buy sodas from the machine. I know I’m Fifty-Great but when I was a kid, it was a different world. Little things were so exciting!
Since I started fishing, I’ve had the desire to spend more time in nature. I got the Jeep so I could get to out-of-the-way places to fish. The next logical step was to start camping. I’ve never tried tent camping, so I can’t, for sure, say I don’t like it. Maybe one day I’ll try it, but not today! I need some comfort and “glam”. A Vintage Camper was the obvious choice for me. But would I fit in one? I mean, I am a tall drink of water.
I found a 1971 Highlander Scotty for sale in Easton, Maryland. My girlfriend Dottie and I set out on a beautiful Saturday morning, topless of course, to check it out. I purposely did not bring my check book because I was just going to look at it. Ha Ha! It was perfect and Dottie handed me her checkbook so I could put a deposit down. Girlfriends are the best!
Now when I say it was perfect, I am not talking about the decor. Does Pepto Bismol Pink give you a visual? I like pink, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not what I wanted in the camper. I wanted it to be Glamorous.
As a hobby I faux paint walls and furniture. I just love taking something from old and damaged to beautiful. A makeover you might say. So I got to work. First I picked the fabric for my cushions, then I bought paint to coordinate it all together. I removed all the doors to the cabinets and pretty much took out everything, the table and the toilet. Yes, I have a toilet! I put my first coat of paint on the cabinets, then went to work on the walls. After the cabinets and walls were complete, I painted the floor. Yes even the floor. I couldn’t put a new floor down because this girl can’t spare even a ¼ inch of height.
I had Laura of Sewing By Laura make new curtains and a couple of pillows with fabric I already had. She did a marvelous job and even lined the curtains. I would highly recommend her for any of your sewing needs. She can do almost anything. Next I started outfitting my little camper. A mattress, pillows, sheets, towels, bed spread, refrigerator and all the other miscellaneous stuff you need. My goal was to have it have everything in it I might need so that all I had to pack to take it out was food and clothes. Whew! A lot to remember, and I have never made so many trips to Wal-Mart or ordered so much off of Amazon.
Finally ready for my first camping adventure with Jason. Jason is that tall good looking Texan, I dated a few years back. We headed to Nazareth Pennsylvania to meet his friends Craig and Donna from Texas at a horse ranch for a rodeo.
Jason hooked up the trailer, and drove it, all I had to do was be a passenger. Yay! We were both so excited, especially me, since this would be the maiden Voyage of Daiseymae, my little camper, plus my first time “Glampin”. Now, Jason told me we would be staying at a campground with hook-up for electricity and water. Heh, Heh, we weren’t, we parked the camper in a row of horse trailers. To say it was new for me is an understatement. Peeing behind a horse trailer, no shower, no nothing. Not even coffee in the morning! But you know what, I loved it! We had big camp fires under the stars, great food, and even better company.
There was one problem. What was I going to do when I had to poop? I came up with a plan real quick. In the morning we went to town and got coffee I had a coffee maker just no electricity, then we went to Wal-mart to get a camp coffee pot, and we got to use their bathrooms. Thank you, Jesus.
The rodeo on Saturday night was amazing. 1600 people descended on this ranch and there was no fighting, no drunks, just good wholesome fun. When they all left, the hillside they had been sitting on was virtually spotless. The more back to nature I get, the more wonderful people I meet, the more my faith in this country is restored.
Life is an adventure!
I have the fishing bug! At the beginning of July, 7/11 to be exact I bought a Jeep Wrangler from Prince Frederick Chrysler Jeep Dodge. I went to the dealership on Wednesday to test drive one. They did not have exactly the color I wanted, I was thinking Army Green so that I could really get to some great fishing spots and be somewhat camouflaged. They only had a flat gray color, but I thought it would still work for my plan.
I did not want to spend a beautiful afternoon in a dealership. In order to test drive the Jeep, I had to give them a copy of my license and insurance. When I was in the dealership I met Jesse O’Dell the General Manager. He asked if I owned Scalped Salon. His wife has been to the salon. His Aunt Debbie and mother, Gail are childhood friends of mine. We all grew up in Dares Beach together. Oh the stories I could tell. Debbie is a great friend and one of my favorite clients. Her daughter Kristi worked for the Salon when we first opened in Prince Frederick. It is truly such a small world here in Calvert County.
Since the Jeep is used, I dealt with Basil Moye, the Used Car Sales Manager. Now Basil is bald, so you know he rubbed his head and asked if Scalped Salon could do anything for him. I laughed, “Yes we could polish it!” Everyone was very friendly. Yes I know, I was looking to buy a vehicle, and in most dealerships they are just a bit too friendly. It was different, they were just plain nice and funny.
I told my salesman Tommy Deinert that I had never bought a car in Prince Frederick before. I always got better deals elsewhere. I told them I wanted to trade in my Hyundai Tucson. So get me your best price for my trade-in, plus best price on the Jeep. I left to take Ava (my little sweetheart Yorkie) for a walk on the beach and to search for the best price I could find on a 2019 Jeep Wrangler at other dealerships.
On Thursday night I went back to the dealership at about 8:15, they close at nine. Joey Ward greeted me and pulled a chair out for me to sit in while waiting for Tommy to finish with a client. I just love that kind of service. Tommy brought me his deal, and I thought I could get a better deal at another dealership, so I pretty much said can I have that paper because I’m going to take it to another dealership and see what they can do for me. That’s when Basil got involved. He had heard that I hadn’t bought a car in the county before, he wanted to change that. He told me the funniest thing, “If you buy a car here you become like family we will send everyone to your salon.”
I totally cracked up. I said, “First of all, I’m not sure that any woman would ask at the dealership where they should have their hair done, and Basil you are BALD. Not the best advertisement for Scalped Salon.” Everyone who was standing around the desk tried very hard not to laugh, but it was just too funny. I’ll give it to him he gave me a great deal on my trade-in and came to the price plus put a tow package on it for me. I was so excited.
Next I went with Allen Troske the Finance Director. He explained everything to me so patiently, I had a lot of questions. Finally the Jeep was mine. I left and got halfway home, then had to turn around and go back because I didn’t know how to put the windows down. Ha Ha! Poor Tom he had no idea how needy I would be. The Jeep has a convertible top and he taught me how to do it, before I took it home. But I didn’t actually do it. Until you have to do it yourself then you figure out real quick you need another lesson. The first time I had the top off when I put it back together, I just couldn’t do it. I had to go to the dealership and have Tom give me a lesson. Which I might add he was very happy to do, he didn’t even laugh at me. I would have laughed at me. Another time I had taken the doors off and when I was putting them back I got a cord stuck in the door. Tom wasn’t in that day so another salesman helped me, he got it unstuck and taught me how to do it correctly.
It did take a little while to get the tow package put on, somehow Lisa Hogue the Customer Relation/Aftermarket Manager, did not receive the information, but once I got in contact with her personally, the parts were ordered. She called me to let me know they were in and transferred me to the Service Department to make an appointment to have it installed.. The day they had a time was a day I was working, so Lisa offered to drive me back to the salon and she even came and picked me up when it was ready. Now that is service! I am more than happy with Prince Frederick Chrysler Jeep Dodge. I would highly recommend checking them out before you drive an hour to a dealership out of Calvert County.
When you see me in my Jeep I will be topless every day I can!
Wait till you hear about my Vintage Camper, a 1971 Highlander Scotty. I have been redoing it, had to glamp it up, and this weekend is my first trip! In fact this is my first ever camping trip. We definitely have many more firsts to accomplish!
Life is fragile
Today is August 22, it is the Golden Anniversary of my husband Claude’s death. Not a day I have ever “celebrated”. But today I am reflecting on that day twenty-two years ago that my life was forever changed, in an instant. One moment he was talking to me, and the next he was dead from a heart attack. They call his particular kind of heart attack, the widowmaker.
I haven’t written a blog for three weeks because, well, I haven’t been able to. My first week of the month was spent with Dottie,my heart. We lived right next door to each other during the first parts of our marriages, kids, the works. Our husbands were best friends as were we. It was her birthday and anniversary. We went to Ocean City like she and Steve always did for those special occasions. But he wasn’t there, two years ago he died from a heart attack in his own bed. Just like Claude. While we were in Ocean City we laughed, we cried. So much emotion I couldn’t write.
Then last week, my person in this world Sally, my cousin, called me on Saturday afternoon to tell me, in the smallest voice I’ve ever heard her use during the almost sixty years I have known her, “I have to tell you some horrible news, Ed is dead, (her husband), he fell on the stairs and broke his neck and died. In an instant her whole life turned upside down.
You can understand I couldn’t write, I had to be there for my people. But, now that I’ve had time to reflect on it all, here’s my advice to each and everyone of you. Greet each day with thankfulness. Be grateful you opened your eyes and can see. Be grateful you can get out of bed. Be grateful for running water. Be grateful that you have someone in your life that loves you, even with all your faults.
Make sure those who are special to you know they are. Keep your head up, smile at someone, STOP COMPLAINING, JUST STOP.
I start every day asking the universe to send me love, joy and happiness. I hold my arms out as I ask for it and then I close my arms and receive it all. At night I give thanks for everything that was given to me that day and I make a plan for the next day to do it all again. Since I have been doing this I no longer have that negative conversation with myself about anything. I am sincerely grateful for everything that happens to me.
I hope you don’t take one second for granted. In the blink of an eye, it could all change.
Summertime and the Wildflowers are Bloomin'
Tuesday dawned clear and cold. Breakfast was once again delicious, with mounds of crispy bacon, flap jacks and scrambled eggs! I’m here to tell you I was following the “Margaret wants to eat that” diet. No calorie restriction, no thinking, I was on Vacation, and the food was spectacular in its simplicity.
Denise wanted me to go on an RTV ride with her, Jake and a beautiful girl who worked at the ranch. She had an unusual name, Timbra. As we headed out, Jake was driving telling us what we were seeing along the way. We all had our eyes peeled for wildlife, hoping to see a moose or elk. We saw plenty of “beef”, what they call cows.
Along the way I started noticing the wild flowers; it seemed the hotter it got and the farther up the mountain we went, the more they were blooming. It was amazing to see. This winter I want to take classes to become a Master Gardener, my mother would be so proud, she was a Master Gardener. I knew a lot of the flowers: flox, daisies and foxglove. It was very exciting to see them in the wild.
Finally, we made it to the top, but no wild life. On the way back down, Jake finally saw a herd of elk! He got out his big telescope looking thing so we could see them close up. It was beautiful, so many and one great big buck! Lots of beautiful babies. Jake was happy to see that: after the cold winter, babies are a good thing.
On the way down the mountain we came upon a big diesel truck with a horse trailer and about seven border collies in the back. Jake, of course, stopped since he knows everyone, I mean the population of Alder is all of 114 people. Well, these cowboys were out standing on the side of the road looking down this very deep ravine. Lots of beef were eating the blue grass next to the creek and they are not allowed to eat it. The elk hunters get upset.
The cowboys told Jake they were taking the easy way to move the beef by using the dogs. They told those dogs to go get the beef and move them up the hill. I’ll be damned if those dogs didn’t run down that big ravine and move those cows up the hill. The dogs came running back with their tongues hanging out and the cowboys told them they missed a few beef, pointed to them and those dogs ran back down and got them moved up the hill. It was so thrilling to see a Border Collie do what they were bred to do.
We had lunch with all of the fishing gang from Chesapeake Woman Anglers when we returned. Our own private picnic at the cabins, very nice. I had to leave because I was scheduled to go horseback riding. Donna and Timbra put me on a horse called Calamity Jane,who apparently was a little frisky, especially around Molly Brown. All the horses have two names, kinda like being from the South. We walked the horses around the corral to assess our abilities, when they were satisfied we could ride, we started up the mountain. Unfortunately, after just a short distance, Donna had to call it because there was a storm brewing with lightning. We went back to the corral and we got to practice making the horses do what we wanted.
The next day was a fishing day. I was lucky to have Clay all to myself. The day itself was gorgeous, some storm clouds but they held off for most of the morning. Cloudy is good when you are fishing. It was very good for me! I caught three fish: a rainbow, a cutthroat and a grayling. With my brown trout from Monday, I was on my way to a Grand Slam. A Grand Slam is when you catch all seven species of fish in the river. Not bad for a girl from Calvert County. The grayling was the most exhilarating, because Clay was just so darn excited. Apparently, they are hard to catch. I’d like to tell you it was my amazing skill that landed that fish, but it was just dumb luck. It was even tagged. Not for a million dollar prize, just tagged because they had been released into the river. Everyone was so excited when I went to Happy Hour. A grayling, and almost a Grand Slam. I was one happy camper.
Summertime and the fish are jumpin'
On Monday morning I was up at 4:30. I slept with the window open just a crack, and woke up toasty warm under the comforter. It was 38 degrees outside. Bliss! I went down the hall to check if there was any coffee. None. Finally, Jake arrived at 5:30 and made the first batch. I quickly learned where everything was and I made some for Jake and another Fishing Guide named Jeff, who had assured me he would be up earlier than me every day. Ha! Ha! Never once. You see he had to do his whole morning routine before he made an appearance. Shower, shave, hair. And they say women are vain. I just jumped out of bed, put my robe on and went to start the coffee, Just like at home, well no, I don’t make coffee at home. My roommate Ed makes it for me everyday. Totally spoiled.
I put my whole fishing ensemble on. Waders, boots, t-shirt, then various removable layers. I put on my fishing vest, sunscreen, and adorable fishing hat. My hair was in a ponytail. Clients always ask me what to do with their hair when they are on vacation. My solution – Hats! You always look good and you don’t waste any time on your hair. Plus, I personally think if you are going to do something you should be as cute as a button. Let’s just say I have a costume for every occasion.
All ready to fish!!!
My fishing buddies
We had a big delicious breakfast and then met in front of the office, just the people in our group. I had told Donna about Grace’s fear of me falling into the water and drowning, so she picked my fishing guide for me. His name was Clay, he was probably six foot seven and very broad. He played football in college. They call him the gentle giant at the ranch. I can definitely understand why. Very nice, 28 year old teacher, married to a school counselor, who is 5’10”. Thank goodness: I hate to see a tall man with a short girl. Think of how that screws up the gene pool! He coaches football and she coaches basketball. When we had to cross a stream, he held out his arm, I grabbed on and away we went. No danger of me falling.
My fishing guide Clay
We all loaded up in the Suburbans and went south on the Ruby River. When we arrived, everyone else had to put their waders and gear on. I thought it was a waste of valuable fishing time, but what I wasn’t thinking about was coming back wet from fishing. Hmm… Totally understand now. Casey and I headed off with Clay to fish. Beautiful is just not a good enough word for our walk through a field full of wildflowers ready to burst into bloom. Then there was the brush on both sides of the river, accessorized with fresh moose poop. Who would have ever thought I would think that was exciting?
When I actually stood on the edge of the water with its rushing sound, rocks of all shapes and sizes, the birds calling and the sight of them everywhere, I had no words for the pure beauty of it all. Clay led us to a bend in the river. He set me up at one part and sent Cassie down around the bend, her being an experienced fisherman. After checking out the water, Clay set my fly rod up with the correct flies and weights, and then taught me how to side cast. After watching my technique and teaching me one more thing, how to mend my line, he went to check on Cassie. Now I’ve been learning how to tie knots, but I am a girl who will let you – the expert – do it for me all day long. We fished until around 12:30. I had a few bites but did not land one fish.
As the time passed, the sun shining brightly was making it quite warm. Wow, it was only about 80°, but remember we were at 7100 ft above sea level. It was blazing hot. All the layers went and I was down to t-shirt and waders.
We walked back to the truck for lunch. The guides proceeded to set up a banquet for us, complete with chairs, table cloth: I am telling you, everything but candelabras. They even had two gluten free lunches. After lunch and some stretching for me, that casting is hard on the shoulders, we went back to the river. This time we switched with the other group and went up stream. Finally, I caught a brown trout. Clay said it was a big one but I’ve fished the Chesapeake Bay my whole life and we would have thrown it back! For all of those wondering if it was all catch and release, it was.
Back at the ranch we all changed and met in the living room at the lodge for happy hour. Everyone had stories of fish that got away and fish they landed. Other people joined us and talked about their day. Dinner was served and then it was off to bed for me. Phew! I was exhausted. The air, walking to the river, fishing, and just the excitement of the simple joys of life, had totally filled my day to the max.
Fly Fishing in Montana is the best!!!
Check out this video below of the fish I caught!
Summertime and the Ranch is way out there!
My flight was at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. I decided to be a sweet mother-in-law and book a hotel room for the night before. I had ideas of swimming in the hotel pool, and relaxing in my room. The reality is, after Chris, my wonderful son-in-law, dropped me off I had a great dinner, drank two cosmos, and went back to the room and crashed! The excitement never ceases in my world. I made it to the airport at 4:15 on Sunday morning; it’s crazy how busy the airport was at that hour! My first flight was to Minneapolis. I haven’t flown on a “new” plane. Good thing I lost that little bit of fat. They have made those seats so small, and the leg room, well that is almost non-existent for a girl with a 37” inseam.
In Minneapolis, while I was waiting for my next flight to Bozeman, one of the ladies from Chesapeake Woman Anglers, Denise, who I met briefly at an event in April, came up to me and said “Margaret?’ She recognized me and knew from the emails we had been sending as a group that I was on this flight. Speaking of emails, I realized this was the woman who when asked by the trip leader, “Anyone have any allergies?”, replied “I have a horrible allergy to horses, even if someone rides a horse they must shower and change clothes before coming in contact with me.” I mean really? As we were talking, I couldn’t help asking her “Why would you come on a fly fishing trip to a ranch that has horses”? Ha! Ha! Sometimes I can’t help myself and what I am thinking just spills out of my mouth. Her response was, “Well I was thinking if it was bad I would just go to a hotel”. Hotels were pretty far away from where we were going, but hey, she wanted to fish in Montana.
Arriving in Bozeman was a piece of cake since I only had a carry-on. I had sent a big box to the Upper Canyon Ranch with my warm clothes, waders and boots. We met Cassie and Alec, her husband, who told us our ride was here. Jake, Donna’s husband, the owners of the Upper Canyon Ranch, was there to pick us up. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up wine, beer and anything else we might need for the week at the ranch. Denise and I both wanted to stop at a liquor store. Gotta love a girl who drinks gin and tonics. I needed some whiskey. (Amye Ball taught me how to drink whiskey – on the rocks!)
Finally we were on our way to the ranch, a two hour drive from Bozeman. The best part was Jake. He was the ultimate tour guide: pointing out mountain ranges and looking for wild animals. As we passed a river, he told us to look at the Bikini Hatch. I said ”Did you say Bikini Hatch?” They call it that because when the weather warms up, girls in bikinis go down to the river with two tubes, one for them and one for a cooler of drinks. How they do it is beyond me, that water is freezing. All in all, it was a beautiful ride.
As we approached the ranch we left the black top. To be exact, it is twelve miles from black top road to the ranch. We saw a Blue Heron, didn’t know they had them in Montana, turkeys, and just before the ranch we saw Ted Turner’s bison. His ranch is right below the Upper Canyon Ranch. I asked Jake, since he said he knew him, what kind of man Ted Turner was and he answered. “A real gentleman”. Don’t you just love it when you find out a celebrity is a good guy? Ted’s ranch manager never does anything without first consulting Jake and Donna. Jake told me Ted has a barn that has more tools than Home Depot. Jake has a key to it and is allowed to borrow any tool he might need. Right neighborly of Ted, don’t you think?
The bison were in two different fields, one for Moms and their babies (so cute, very red when they are young), and another for the yearlings to eighteen months. He also told us they had had a very cold winter and the beef (we call them cows) had a hard time with their young, some of the newborns lost their ears to frostbite. Ear injuries causes the price to drop when they go to market because buyers assume they may have lung issues. Denise asked Jake “Where do the beef go?”. His answer – McDonald’s. Ha. Ha. Then he said, “No, really to Wendy’s, they use fresh beef.”
When we arrived at the ranch we passed the corral housing about twenty horses. I was just praying Denise would not have an asthma attack. We went to the office where we met Donna for the first time, and then we were shown our cabins. The cabins were behind the main lodge and were connected by wooden walkways. The cabin was very spacious, with two bedrooms, a small kitchen area, and a couch for lounging. But before I could even unpack, Donna was there telling me they were moving me to the lodge because I was the only one of our group riding. Yeah!!! I grabbed my stuff and walked with Donna to the lodge. Lots of dead animals on the walls. Normally, this would really bother me, but somehow that mountain lion, mountain sheep, and big deer heads seemed to fit. They also had the biggest rainbow trout I have ever seen mounted over the dining area. My room was at the end of the hall and it was beautiful in that western ranch kinda way. Plus I didn’t have to share it with anyone. Thank goodness for Denise’s allergy.
After I settled into my room, I went outside just to soak up the beauty. If you have never been to Montana, I highly suggest you go. It is one of the few places I have been that look and feel just like you imagined they would. The mountains, the Big Sky, all of it was so beautiful. At Happy Hour (you need a happy hour at the ranch so you can talk about all the fish you caught), everyone who was there for the week came out, about 15 people. There were five with us, Denise, Cassie, Alec, Christine and me. Another couple, who I became very good friends with, Jamie and Bill, and the other people. If you know me, you know I can’t remember their names. But all such nice people. Donna told us that after dinner we would have a short meeting to discuss the next day’s plans. A dinner bell was rung, with the words “ Supper’s on, come and get it.” I tell you there were mounds of food, oh my goodness. First a delicious salad, then up to the counter to take a plate and help yourself to some good plain supper. I loved it. The dinning tables were long and we all just grabbed a seat. After dinner, Donna told us we were to be at the office at 8:30 a.m. to meet the guides who would be taking us fishing. I was in bed and fast asleep by 8:30 p.m., there is a two hour time difference and I did get up at the crack of dawn, but who am I fooling, I go to sleep at 8:30 – 9:00 at home. But there was something about the air and the high altitude that just made you very tired. The temperature dropped to 38 degrees at night and with the window open slightly those down comforters on the bed were mighty nice. As I went to sleep I felt like I had just started my camp for adults.
Tune in next week to hear about my first fishing adventure and the many joys of the Upper Canyon Ranch in Alder, Montana.
Summertime and the Cowgirls are a Shootin!
So, what are you doing for your summer vacation? I went to the Upper Canyon Ranch in Alder, Montana. The Chesapeake Woman Anglers and Cassie Peltier, to be exact set up this trip. She and her husband Alec have been going to the ranch for years. This trip happens every other year for the CWA, and of course, the year I joined just happens to have been the year they were going. Funny how when you let the universe know your plans, everything just falls in place.
Before I tell you about my adventures, I want to tell you about this incredible woman I met. Her name Is Donna Tate McDonald. I added her maiden name because the story starts with her grandfather who came to Alder, Montana in the 1900’s. He bought the ranch, that ranch was passed to her father, Bill Tate who added a packing business to the ranch. Packing is when you bring game in from the surrounding hunting areas. A Packers license became a necessity and it is expensive and hard to get.
Donna and her husband Jake, (don’t worry, he will be the funniest part of this story), own a ranch called Upper Canyon Ranch. Jake is a hoot! The ranch was starting to fail, so Donna decided they needed an Outfitters license. With an Outfitters license they could take people hunting, which would be a welcome addition to Ranch income. In order to get a license, you must take a test developed by the Board of Outfitters. A group of old white men who wanted to make it very hard to pass and limit the numberof licenses.
So, Donna decided to take the test. Her plan was to take the test and tell her father, a very experienced hunter what was on the test so he could take it. She failed the test, then her father failed, and even Jake failed. With two small children at home, Donna decided to devote her time to studying for the test – 2 ½ years. Donna went to every gun store, stopped reading for pleasure and read everything she could get her hands on, plus Outdoor Life and Field & Stream. Donna was raised on the ranch, riding horses, hunting, you name it, she did it, so she knew this was something she could achieve. Finally, when she took the test, she knew she was prepared, and after completing the test she knew she passed it. (I’m sure you’ve all done something that you were so prepared for and you just had that feeling you nailed it.) That’s how she felt. But when the results came back, they said she failed!
When she told the story to a lawyer friend of hers, and he said, are you sure? She knew she had passed so they protested the results. Under review a mistake had been made in addition! I know, don’t you just love her sheer belief in what she had accomplished? She came to the gunfight with a GUN! I hear she is a sharpshooter. There is even a shooting range at the ranch.
Well the Old White Guys made her come in, even after she had passed the test. They quizzed her, she answered each question correctly, despite being crazy nervous. Finally, a board member said” Enough, she passed the test and she’s answered all your questions correctly, give her the license.” Donna was one of the first women to get a license. In 1981 eighteen years later she was the President of the Board of Outfitters!!! Now you know why I just loved her; I feel like I have known her all my life.
I’m sure many of our amazing clients can relate. Heather, one of our nurse clients, who somehow manages three small girls, a husband, and more than one job with night shifts at the hospital, always comes in with the most contagious smile and positive attitude. Plus, somehow, she finds time to make us treats!. We’re talking homemade treats. We have the most incredible clients here at Scalped Salon. Every day we hear of loss, heartbreak, but most importantly we hear about unbelievable abilities to rise even in the worst of circumstances. These clients do not let anything break them, they may be down for a minute, but they get up swinging and bring their beautiful spirits to the salon to brighten our days. Thank you, each one of you for making our job exciting and new every day!
On Tuesday night when I was at the Upper Canyon Ranch Donna and I were drinking wine during happy hour, five thirty to six thirty, a very important social gathering at the ranch, I mean come on, there were fish stories to tell, horseback riding adventures, history tours, I’m telling you it was like an adult camp. As we were drinking wine sharing my adventures of the day, I said to Donna what’s up with your hair? She said, “I am due for a color and cut, I just haven’t had time.” I said do you have any scissors.She said YES. Then ran to her house to get them. Now I am kind of a snob about my scissors, so when she brought me her drug store hair cutting scissors that would not open, I was a little nose up in the air, but hey I can make do. I said “Donna do you have any WD40?” Of course, we do, and she ran to get it. At dinner that night I sat with the scissors working that WD40 into them and finally I was able to open and close them. After dinner we went downstairs in the basement of the lodge and I cut her hair. It turned out to be amazing, I also convinced her to grow her hair color out, because at the roots was the most amazingly white color, I’m talking about the kind of color that clients want and spend hours achieving. Donna loved her hair and said the second-best thing was that she didn’t have to go to town. She loves her ranch!
On Saturday when Jake was taking us to the airport, we passed a truck, (everyone has trucks out there or some type of four wheeled drive). (Heck I’m thinking about trading in my Hyundai Tucson for a Jeep like Amye Leigh has. I can have a convertible and be able to go anywhere.)I’ve got the fishing bug, and the best places to fish are where other people can’t get to!) Anyway, as we passed the truck Jake said, “That’s Bill Woods, he is on the Olympic Shooting Team, a long-distance shooter, who teaches at the ranch.” I can’t make this stuff up!
So, go ahead live your life to the fullest, try new things, work hard for what you desire, and give away your talents. You just might end up with some wonderful memories and lifelong friends in return.
Summertime and the Livin' is Easy!
Summer adventure – right here in Calvert County! As a team building exercise, and our Christmas Party for the salon, we recently went to No Thyme to Cook in Solomon’s. Have you been there yet? Let me tell you, you will love it. We took a class called “Farm to Table” that allowed us to break up into groups and learn to cook part of our dinner.
The property itself is where Bowen’s Inn used to be in Solomon’s. If you are from Calvert County you will remember Bowen’s Inn. It was a great old fashioned bar, restaurant, and Inn. So, if you were there drinking and dancing, you could just get a room for the night. Thing was, the only bathroom was at the end of the hall, and many a person stumbled out of their room, partly dressed, to walk down the hall to use the bathroom. I’m so happy that nothing happened to No Thyme To Cook after the Salon was there. I took everyone to Bowen’s Inn one night in a limousine after I got approved for the loan to outfit what was then the new salon in Prince Frederick. We spent the night drinking and dancing at Bowen’s Inn, and the next week it burnt down. We always thought it was because we were just TOO HOT!
The property itself is gorgeous, one of the most beautiful spots in Solomon’s. We sat on the deck and had wine and relaxed before we prepared dinner. The wine choices are spectacular. Combine that with a covered deck, a beautiful day and amazing Scalped Salon team members, and you can’t imagine a more relaxing atmosphere.
Chef Gwen is the owner. Not till after the class did I find out that she was Mrs. Bonnie Denton’s daughter. Her mother taught me home economics. I must admit I complained to my mother at the beginning of the semester. You see, my mother was a wonderful cook, and she never sifted flour, tapped the side of a cup measure, or used anything to level off the top. Mom’s food was amazing, how could Mrs. Denton know how to cook if she had to do all that? My mother just smiled and said, “She is trying to teach you the correct way, Margaret, listen to her and learn.”I must admit if I am making a special cake for something special, I sift the flour, tap the measuring cups, and silently thank Mrs. Denton for teaching me the “correct” way to bake.
Gwen’s father owns Harold’s Body Shop. Luckily, I haven’t had too many accidents, but when I have, he has fixed my vehicles. Small world, but I think if you are from Calvert County, you should have to, as a matter of Southern custom, let people know your heritage.
Chef Gwen and her staff are just amazing. They have everything ready for you. But, you have to make it and cook it. We had risotto, Mexican street corn, Crab Cakes, and a Strawberry Tart. I know crab cakes, scary – no one makes them like my mom. In fact I never order them from anywhere. All I can say is that the entire meal, every morsel, was delicious. So much fun. If you haven’t checked them out, definitely do so, they have many different types of classes.
Another summer adventure was a cruise on the Half Shell. The Half Shell is docked right behind No Thyme To Cook and is owned by Donald, Chef Gwen’s husband and my friend Debbie Whelan’s husband John. They have summer cruises and there just happened to be one on the anniversary of my marriage to Claude, June 20th. In the twenty two years since he passed away, I have never celebrated the day. Now, after three years of intense work with my awesome therapist Peggy, I felt the need to celebrate the day. Being on the water in any way was one of Claude’s favorite things to do, so a two hour tour of Solomon’s on a beautiful evening was the perfect way to remember our special day. The cruise begins at six o’clock and costs $40 per person. There is a wine tasting, plus Chef Gwen’s amazing food. They play great music and our tour took us under the Solomon’s bridge. We saw a beautiful sunset, and had a delightful time. I think it would be the perfect date night, or girlfriend evening.
If you are looking for fun things to do that won’t break the bank and won’t involve a long trip, these are just two of the many things available to us in Calvert County. Go ahead and take a chance: do something different and unique. I hope you find yourself out of your comfort zone making new memories.
What a week it’s been! My baby girl turned 30! Its making me feel all emotional, not because she turned 30, but because each one of you has had a hand in raising her. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on her life in the salon.
Grace was the youngest shampoo assistant I ever hired. When she was eight years old, her father Claude died suddenly of a heart attack. They don’t call it a widow maker for nothing. My parents were such a great help to me, a new single mom with a business to run and a child to raise. But, they needed their time also, so I brought Grace to the salon with me on Saturdays. At first she swept up hair and folded towels. In just a few years she was shampooing hair. Of course, she could easily reach the bowl because she was so tall. Imagine that. Needless to say, Grace has become extremely outgoing…ya think? She loves Scalped Salon, not just the business but all the people, fabulous employees, and the best clients. But just as I have had the honor to be a part of your lives all this time, you have been a big part of ours. You have been there to help me through teething, temper tantrums, teenage temper tantrums, (the worst), her decision to do hair instead of nursing, her engagement, her marriage, and her new baby. You stood by her while I was sick. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for all that you’ve contributed to the beautiful woman she has become. Our Amazing Grace.
Okay, enough of that – back to fishing. The first event I went to was in Laurel at the National Wildlife VIsitor Center/ Patuxent Research Refuge, it was a joint event with our club and the Trout Unlimited Fly-Fishing Clinic. It included an introduction to fly fishing equipment, basic casting techniques, knot tying and entomology (the study of the bugs fish eat). I learned how to tie five different knots to secure my fly to my line. Something I never had to because Harry Sturdevant my father, just handed me a rod all set up. I know, spoiled, right? They even suggested these magnifying glasses that clip onto your head. Because lordy, lordy, even with my great close up vision, those holes you have to thread that line through on the fly are mighty small.
We learned about the ecosystem of the water we fish in. You see, the fish want to eat what bugs are growing, hatching, and then flying to land on the surface of the water. Surprisingly for me, it was very interesting. I mean face it, do I look like a girl who cares about bugs? Of course not, but I would like to catch some fish.
Next we went outside and had casting instruction, first demonstration, then individual one on one coaching. I have no idea what that would cost to have someone coach you, I’m just sure it would be much more than my annual $30 dues.
The most fun trip I went on so far was fishing on a private estate just west of Middleburg, Virginia. Can you say loads of money? I mean not just rich, but filthy rich. This farm is where some of the most amazing horses come from. We’re talking about horses that win big races. Well, it was just gorgeous, the weather was slightly overcast, perfect for fishing. Did you know those little fish can see you? Me neither, but I’m learning. One of the most wonderful members, Jean, who is a Fly Fishing Casting Coach, stood beside me all day. Slowly, but surely, she perfected my cast. I tied my own flies, caught four fish, lost four, and finally had a picture to send to my brother, Jeff.
Every time I talked to him about what I was doing, he would say, “But Margaret, have you caught a fish?” He doesn’t get it, it’s really not about the catchin, it’s about the fishin’.
At one point Jean said to me, “Margaret, I do not have to stand beside you and correct your cast, if you just want to practice what I”ve taught you, that’s okay.” Have I told you how nice everyone is? It is wonderful to spend time with women who love being outside and who want to help new people succeed. I told her, “Jean I don’t do anything half way and I appreciate every moment you are spending time with me. Plus, I am going to Montana with the club, I don’t want to embarrass them.” Ha Ha. That’s right, this week on Sunday, the 30th of June to be exact, I leave for a week-long fishing trip, in Alder, Montana, population 114, and Upper Canyon Outfitter of Montana’s lodge is 12 miles from black top and no cell service. Heaven!!! I do not know a single person that is going, although I did meet one at the spring meeting. I am literally vibrating with excitement. Five fishing trips, one horseback ride, a rodeo, small town firework display, and the thing I am most excited about: milking a cow in a field. My mother, Grace, was born and raised on a dairy farm in BelAir, Maryland. Our family reunion is at the end of July and I can’t wait to show the pictures of me milking that cow!!!
I hope you are counting your blessings and discovering all that the universe has in store for you.
Let the adventures begin!
Back in the beginning of March, one of my favorite clients came in for a highlight and haircut. Denise is one of those people who exudes happiness: I don’t think she’s ever met a “stranger”. For those of you that take care of an elderly parent in any way you can, Denise always brings her mother, for a pedicure and maybe a permanent, but mostly haircut and style. Her mother’s beauty needs are definitely taken care of at Scalped Salon and Spa. Hmmm, I’ll have to mention the Grab Your Tweezers blog to her, not sure if we are waxing… But knowing what an amazing daughter Denise is, I’m sure we wax.
As I was highlighting her hair she was telling me of her latest adventure. You see, Denise has a goal of going to a game at every sports stadium in the U.S, and let me tell you she has a fabulous time doing it. The stories are one of the highlights of her services. I wish I could tell you some, but they are her stories to tell. I am just blessed to be a hairdresser, a hairdresser who listens without judgement, and offers words of encouragement, because girlfriend, “If we haven’t been exactly where you are and survived or blossomed, we know someone who has.” And we will tell you – “Girl you got this, this is a moment in a lifetime”. Did I remember to tell you that Denise is one of my inspirations? Well she is.
You know how March is still the end of winter and not quite spring? You are eagerly embracing the longer days and hints of Spring, longing for the weather to change from cold and dreary to bright and WARM! Well my Thursday nights are usually spent at Brick – the restaurant across from the FireHouse in Prince Frederick, or across from the new Dunkin Donuts. I usually have wine, all the bartenders know which one, to some that might be a scary thought, but because I grew up with Rhonda, one of the owners, I think it’s just plain neighborly. I have dinner and I read the Bay Weekly, which comes out on Thursdays, one of the highlights of my week.
Recently, I was enjoying my glass of wine and I kept replaying my conversation with Denise: what could I do, on my own that would include doing something I love, meeting new people and traveling? By the second glass, I had my answer – Fly Fishing! I love everything about fly fishing and I could travel to the top ten best places to fish in the U.S. as my first goal. It’s very exciting to figure out a plan of action, especially one that promises to be full of adventure, clean air and natural beauty.
While I was looking for my horoscope in the Bay Weekly – if you know me you know I love the horoscope section. I’ve even told the owner and editor Sandra Martin, whose hair I’ve done over the years, it’s definitely the first thing I read. But that night my eyes spotted the fishing report and right there in the report was mention of a Fly Fishing Convention, just two weeks away at a hotel near BWI. Isn’t it amazing when you put your dreams out to the universe how crazy things happen? I was more than excited, here was my chance to make a dream a reality.
When I arrived at the convention, not a spot was left to park. It was packed. But I must admit when I entered the “convention” I was kinda shocked. You see, the only conventions I’ve been to have been for the beauty world. And let me tell you there are music, lights, scents, action, and products galore. Plus, the people at a hair show are a spectacle in themselves. This was very small, one room, a big room though.
Can I tell you how excited I was? Everywhere I looked was fly fishing stuff. Rods, reels, flys, fly tiers, and loads of Fly Fishing guides. I was like a child in a candy store. I walked slowly around the room, absorbing everything. I talked to quite a few guides from some beautiful places. I looked at all the gear, all the really cool stuff. As I was rounding the last set of tables, I came across a Womens Fly Fishing table. When I talked to them I discovered it was the Chesapeake Women Anglers. The women behind the table were so friendly and showed me all that they did. They gave me a calendar of events, and let me tell you I could be busy every weekend if I wanted. In order to become a member you had pay $30, I knelt on the floor – because I am six foot three and those tables are kinda close to the ground. I said,”Where do I sign up?” After I happily paid my $30, they said, “Hey, we want to go get the president of the group so we can introduce you!” Not sure if they have ever had someone so enthusiastic to join the club. I could have jumped for joy! It’s that universe thing – put it out and you shall receive For me the universe is composed of the Universe, God, Goddesses, and the souls who have passed before me who surround me with their love. Just to be clear.
So I met Norma Jean, the president, and if you are reading this Norma Jean, aren’t you so proud of me? I remembered your name, finally. I think the reference to Marilyn Monroe really stuck this time. I love Marilyn and as my favorite Aunt Winnie taught me if you look at the full moon in August, the month of Marilyn’s birthday, you can see her profile. You just have to squint a little. Try it this August you will see Marilyn’s profile, lips pursed in a kiss. Finally your name has stuck. Well, Norma Jean took me on a tour of the convention and introduced me to guides, and helped me purchase the perfect fly fishing rod for a newbie like me. It was the most astonishing beginning to my adventure. When women reach out to each other, great adventures can begin.
Are you living your best life? What makes your spirit soar? Take some time to think about it, do it when you find out what it is. There is one thing for sure we all have an expiration date, the amount of memories you create and dreams you follow are more important than anything…
Where's my tweezers?
You are expecting my fishing adventures I know, but I wanted to share a cute story with you. This story began back in March. A new client was on my schedule named Lucy. She arrived with her caregiver and she was just the sweetest lady you could hope to meet. As I sat with her for our consultation, Lucy described in exact detail how she wanted her hair cut. As I listened intently to her request I was just so taken with her. When I asked her about her daily routine she told me she was 91 and basically blind. Her hair had to be just so, I mean here’s a lady who could not see but was still dressed to the nines and had makeup on… Wow!
I walked her back to the shampoo area for a nice relaxing shampoo. As I was walking back to my station her caregiver said, “Just cut her hair short, I hate it the way she wants it.” Now if you’ve ever seen me become my full height and tower over someone, I can be more than intimidating – add my finger pointing in your face – well, let’s just say I can be very menacing if I want. I told her in no uncertain terms that Lucy was going to get the haircut she so carefully described because she was paying for my services, not the caregiver. I also asked her to sit out front until I was done, the last thing I wanted was that woman’s negative energy near me.
As I was cutting Lucy’s hair I told her that the next time she needed a haircut to call the salon and I would come to her. So funny, she said, “Are you sure the owner will let you?” Ha Ha, I told her, “I am the owner!”
About thirty years ago I started doing haircuts for Hospice, I would go to a patient’s house and cut their hair. You know how a good haircut can make you feel, now imagine you are in Hospice care and no one has had time or you’ve been too sick to get out. A haircut can truly change someone’s last days by making them feel better.
I have always loved what I do, so being able to give my services to someone in great need has been one way of giving back to the universe for all of my amazing blessings. The hardest part is always the patients or family members: they desperately want to pay something. Instead of rushing out the door to get away from taking money, I started suggesting they make out a check to Hospice if they felt the need to pay something. That was the answer, everyone was happy. Now there is a whole team at the salon who go out regularly to take care of Hospice patients led by Alice Wells, one of our beautiful stylists. If you haven’t had your hair done with her, she is an amazingly talented hairstylist who is sweet as molasses. Her team consists of Julie, Leah and Natesha. This is one of the things I am most proud of, my team continuing to give back with their amazing talents.
Okay back to Lucy! Monday I went for a second time to cut her hair. She was waiting at her door and warmly greeted me, so happy to see me, as I was cutting her hair she told me of an article she had cut out of a newspaper about a 91 year old woman. She said, “You know Margaret as we ladies age, hair starts to grow on our faces. So this 91 year old woman was going to get her tweezers because she felt the hair on her face. They found her later dead from a stroke gripping the tweezers.”
Now my first thought was to check Lucy’s face for her but not a hair that I could see. I told her, “Lucy you have no hairs on your face.” Lucy said, “I know because I make sure of it.” Thank goodness for Grace, who tells me all the time when she sees a hair on my face, “I have to take care of that because I’m going to take care of you like you did Mom Mom and make sure you have no hairs on your face.” So, if any of you young women with great eyesight have mothers or grandmothers, please bring them in for waxing or grab your tweezers and keep them from having a stroke trying to grab that one long hair! The care we give to each other is where the beauty begins.
Finally the Reunion!
Saturday, June 1st was finally here, it was a gorgeous day, bright, sunny and low humidity. I spent the morning on the beach looking for sharks teeth and giving thanks to the Universe for all the beauty around me.
My first appointment of the day was with Leah, a hairstylist/makeup artist who trained with us after she graduated from the Graham Webb Academy. Grace and I could not be more proud of all that she has achieved in the five years she has been employed at Scalped Salon. Always early and most importantly, always ready to learn. We just love having her as part of our team.
When I went into the makeup room and saw the entire counter filled with every makeup obsessed girls assortment of potions, brushes, powders, liquids, you name it, I was so excited. I love makeup! I am beginning to think she has a slight addiction, but don’t we all. I used to do makeup and we did not have all the amazing products they have now. Did you know they have primers for your eyes, primers that make your skin glow and one that decreases the size of your pores? Wow, I would have to take a special course on all of it to do a makeup today. We were going for a Rita Hayworth in Gilda look. It certainly was so many steps to get the look, I thought before I had my makeup done that I wore a lot of makeup, but not compared to this. My skin was contoured, highlighted, fake lashes, everything the queen in me loves. Leah absolutely nailed the look and if you haven’t met her, she is truly one of the sweetest girls you will ever meet.
Next appointment was with my daughter Grace. My hair was washed, conditioned and Grace added product to make the style last. Grace gave me one of the best blow drys, my hair tends to be very frizzy. She set my hair and used so much hair spray I thought my nostrils were going to stick together. Our goal was to have the waves that were popular in the forties. As Grace was styling my hair I must admit I was close to tears. Isn’t it so amazing when your kid turns out to be a great adult and can also be a part of the family business? Then again she is my Amazing Grace. When she was finished it looked exactly like I wanted. All I had to do was go home put my dress on and head to Solomons Holiday Inn.
I must admit, while driving home I became nervous for the first time. After all, I didn’t have a date and I wasn’t meeting any friends at the reunion. As I walked up to the sign in table the two women (wish I could remember their names but, if you know me you know I don’t do well with names) were just so nice and welcoming that my fears disappeared. As I walked into the room I saw my friend Brindle Chase and other basketball players who were all together at a table so I joined them.
Everyone said I looked like a – wait for it – Movie Star! And they were not sure if they would have recognized me. I saw some more friends and had some great conversation. But all in all, it was a small gathering and over at 10:00pm! Have you ever heard the song – I Shaved my legs for this? That’s what I was thinking as I drove home. I kinda thought it would be more fun.
I sincerely want to thank everyone who helped me along this journey to arriving at my reunion looking like a Movie Star. I couldn’t have done it without them. Till next week, when my fishing adventure begins.
Down to the wire!
Well it’s finally here, my birthday is today and I am Fifty-Great!!! (Like Tony the tiger, from the Frosted Flake commercials when I was young.) Some people are so concerned with getting older, I am so happy to be Fifty-Great. Here’s what I like to think, if I am not happy now what will I think when I am turning Sexty – Great? I’ll wish I was Fifty-Great, so I have decided to just be happy with where I am in life. As I know very well, some people are not given the chance to grow old, see their children get married and definately do not get to enjoy the simple pleasure of being a grandparent. In fact, Grace asked me what I wanted for my Birthday and I asked for Claude. So today I am most fortunate to be able to spend my birthday with my favorite grandson, Claude. What could be better?
The reunion is this Saturday night. Can you believe it? So excited! This week is about doing all the little things left on my to do list. I took Claude with me on Fabulous Friday, to see Kathy Dickinson of Dickinson Jewelers. She is a client at the salon, one of our favorites. If you haven’t met her let me tell you she is one of the sweetest, kindest people you will meet. When we have our annual Pre-Booking contest she supplies us with the most beautiful piece of jewelry. Well, Claude and I went to see her at Dickinson’s Dunkirk store, they also have a Prince Frederick location. Of course I gave up the baby right away, everyone wanted to hold him, but Kathy was not giving him up, he was just as smiley and bubbly as always. I brought my beautiful dress with me, it has a high front so really the only jewelry to wear would be earings and a bracelet. Once she got over the shock that my ears were not pierced she went right into action finding me a pair of clip on earrings from their estate collection and a beautiful bracelet to wear with it. I have found in life that I don’t have to know everything and if I work with someone who is an expert, well, even picking out jewelry is so much easier. Jewelry done!
Now my hair. Do you know Ami Eggleton? She is like a daughter to me. When she first applied at the salon, no one would give me her application because they decided she was not what we were looking for. Her hair was bleached, orange brassy, (that’s what happens when you don’t leave the bleach on long enough) and who knows how many earrings she had on. Lucky for me Ami kept returning to see if we needed any shampoo help and one day I saw her. Well it was love at first site, she had Doc Martens on, what I lovingly referred to as one of her bowling shirts and she was just so punk. When she graduated from High School she wanted to do hair, but her parents wanted her to go to college. Imagine that! So she went to college, came back and said I want to become a hairstylist. The rest is history. Lucky for me Ami had a cancelation and was able to do my hair. I had seen a picture of one of her clients, a redhead that she had highlighted with different colors of red, some lighter and some darker than the base color of red. I have been bugging her about it since I saw it. When you have all over color and it is just one shade it can be pretty, but boring. So everything worked out in my favor and she was able to add some subtle highlights in my hair. So gorgeous. Thank you Ami.
Here’s the scariest thing I did, waited till the week of to get my eyebrows tinted and face waxed. Didn’t even think about the fact that I could end up with Groucho Marx eyebrows, and a reaction on my face from the waxing. But hey life is full of risks, right? Dee is our eyebrow coloring queen at the salon. Before she started I said, “wow I hope this works out cause I don’t want to have black eyebrows and ripped up skin for the reunion this Saturday night.” I know, nothing like putting fear into the person who is about to do these services on you. We decided on a brown, which she had never used before, she thoroughly cleaned off the eyebrows I have to draw on everyday, to prepare my eyebrows for the dye. It says you can leave it on for ten minutes, but around two to three minutes, (I know the fear of them being to dark was starting to affect her) she said, “I always watch them so they don’t get too dark and I think this should come off at five minutes.” Oh my gosh they are perfect!! I will never contemplate microblading again. First I have more eyebrows than I thought now that all the little blonde hairs are dyed, no pain of tattooing and it doesn’t cost $500 or more to have it done. Second, it took only about 15 minutes. I am hooked!
Now the face waxing. I have been reading about how having your face waxed helps to give you that flawless makeup look. Plus, can you see all those hairs on your face? Me either, that’s the problem. I do have my wonderful daughter, Grace, who has said to me more than once when we were out and I was sitting next to her, “Mom, I’m going to have to take better care of you like you did Mom Mom, and wax those hairs off your face.” So sweet. You can always count on your daughter to point those things out to you. Well, we have two kinds of wax at the salon. One we use for eyebrows, that is pulled off with a strip. Dee waxed my eyebrows perfectly, giving me what I call a Model Wax. She waxed the bottom and the top of my eyebrows. They are perfect. Then on to the wax for faces, this wax cools on your face and is pulled off with your fingers, a little less painful, or so I hoped because this was the first time I’ve had my face waxed. Surprisingly it was not to bad on my face. The part that hurt the most was my lip area, ouch, I have always apologized to my clients before I pull that wax off their lip, and now I know for good reason. Wow, that was a little painful. Hopefully we didn’t miss any and Grace will be happy to know that Dee made sure my face was hairless. Today when I woke up I was just so excited, I have eyebrows, they don’t look like Groucho Marx, and my face is not bruised or red from the waxing. Thank you Dee!
Saturday I am having my makeup done with Keyontaye, and my hair done with Grace. My look is Rita Hayworth, from the movie Gilda. Now if you are a person who like me loves old movies, you will know this movie. She was simply stunning and at the very beginning of the film she is brushing her hair and then – the original flip – flips it over and her red hair is just gorgeous. That hair and that makeup! Grace has been practicing and Keyontaye has been researching the makeup look. Have I told you how blessed I am? To have all of this available to me in my salon and everything else I have needed right here in Calvert County. Truly blessed.
I am sooooo excited!
The results are in!!!
My journey began, way back in January, when I made a decision to take better care of myself and get ready for my 40th High School Reunion. So let’s go back to the beginning, first was the diet James designed for me. The diet: 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. This particular diet is one of the most popular diets for bodybuilders, it helps to create more muscle and less fat. Second the training: slow methodical training to build up the muscles in my back to correct my posture, which was has become slumped from 35 years of hairdressing. Third a spin class, plus interval training on the elliptical to add more cardio back into my life. I added yoga on Sundays as my wild card.
The results: My weight is the same, this was never about me losing weight. Although, any woman raised in the US could “always lose a few pounds.” (We have been programed to never be skinny enough.) My goal was to increase the amount of muscle in my body and decrease fat. When I began my fat mass was 34% and now it is 31%. My clothes fit better and I am down a size.
During my first spin class I was literally thinking, “OMG when is it over?”, and that was five minutes into an hour long class! My goal? Don’t fall off the bike. During the next two weeks came the almost unbearable pain where the bike seat hits your body. It was, to say the least, very hard to sit down. Now spin class is great, I still can’t go all out, have to sit down sometimes when I’m supposed to be standing, but I look forward to the challenge and always get a little bit better. I try to remember what James told me, a 1% change is great, and overtime those 1% changes add up.
No Tumbling Over in Yoga, Yeah!!!! my first goal in yoga. This yoga thing is quite hard, but at the same time very relaxing. It makes me feel like I am massaging my own body. The stretching is what I am really concentrating on, stretching has never been that important to me. I think yoga will become a lifelong challenge.
My skin, well it is amazing, as soft as a baby’s bottom. The texture of my skin has changed, it is as promised, plumper and many of the fine lines have simply disappeared. The discolorations are much lighter. I feel very confident wearing only a tinted moisturizer. I have finished the series Kelly designed for me and sadly with my schedule these days, I can’t see Kelly until the Monday after the reunion to begin a new technique that will hopefully help reduce some of the the deep scarring. After seeing her every two weeks, waiting until the 3rd of June seems like an eternity. The best compliment I have received was from Grace one Friday, when we were switching cars for Fabulous Fridays with Claude. She said – “Look at you, Skin All Dewy and Glowy!”. I’d say that’s proof Kelly’s treatments are working.
I want to make this perfectly clear – I did not always eat right, and maybe if I gave up wine, I might have lost a few pounds. I did not always make it to class, or to training with James. I did not always wash my makeup off at night, even though I promised myself I would. Because, guess what, I am almost fifty-great, and I’m okay with doing the best I can do, and being “perfect” no longer interests me. Living my life, going out with girlfriends on a Friday night, staying out way too late to get up for spin class, going fly fishing, or spending time with my family, in other words, Living my Life to the fullest. That’s what is important to me. Trying to be grateful for every small thing, deciding what my day is going to look like before it begins, these things really matter to me. My daily intention is to be joyful, and to bring as much joy into someone else’s life as I possibly can. I will not settle for less, and I know that deciding what kind of day I am having and how I react to different situations is all in my control. It’s time to live your best life!
I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but I am only shopping local for everything to do with this adventure to my High School Reunion. We have so many businesses in Calvert County that are just down home great. With old fashioned values, hospitality, and always striving to give you the best of what they’ve got. Everything you moved from the city to find.
Let me tell you about my amazing experiences. While preparing for the reunion I hosted a Baby Shower for Julie, the other tall stylist, I trained in my Assistants Program. The Assistants Program mentors newly licensed Stylists on the Fine Art of Hairstyling. The program teaches new Stylists everything they need to be a successful hairstylist. Plus everything as a businesswoman I feel is just basic good business. Shaking hands and introducing themselves, looking the person in the eye. How to treat clients as if they were a guest in their own home. How to sweep a floor perfectly, how to say please and thank you, the importance of being trustworthy as a team member, Honesty, just tell the truth always. And most importantly that they are amazing, talented women, and capable of doing anything they set their minds to. If you have ever wondered what New Talent meant that is a new Hair Stylist who has completed, successfully, our one on one, nine month training program, with yours truly. At Scalped Salon we work as a team, a unit, everyone comes through the same training program, and is more than ready to help a new stylist with anything they need. And we still help each other, because sometimes you just scratch your head and say – WTH. Julie has been a full time stylist doing amazing things at Scalped Salon for two years.
We decided on an old fashioned Baby Shower, kind of like my mom would have hosted. Chicken Salad sandwiches, Egg Salad sandwiches, and Beaten Biscuits with Salty Ham. I can’t remember how many parties I’ve hosted that we, my family or friends made all the food. My mother certainly would have, but remember I’m almost Fifty – Great and you know what? I would rather spend the day with my grandson, then slave away in the kitchen.
So I called Dream Weavers because I know that Trish, the owner, buys local and makes the best food. I spoke to Tracey, talk about sweet as molasses!! We discussed all the details and she said would email me a quote. In just a couple of days a quote came and we scheduled the food. On the day of the party all that had to be done was pick up the food and set it on all my fanciest serving dishes and viola! The food was absolutely outstanding! The biscuits were my favorite, just like Miss Martha used to make at St. Paul’s Church. The other thing I loved was that it was exactly the right amount of food and I didn’t have leftovers! If you are planning an event, definitely give them a call!
” Buy a water, Get a baby FREE!”
The Dress. It is definitely hard for me to find clothes because of my height. But, it just so happens that our client, Lisa Burris, manages Occasions Boutique. The store is directly across from the Brick Restaurant, where Three Brothers is located. I saw Lisa at a spin class she was teaching and told her about my plan to shop local for everything, she said she had the perfect dress for me. Occasions Boutique has been doing a Prom Dress Swap and Donation, you bring a dress and you can take a dress. Isn’t that amazing? Well someone had donated this absolutely beautiful teal color dress that looked vintage sort of 1950’s. It was definitely a long dress on someone else, and a little two small on me. Occasions Boutique has much more than just beautiful dresses. While I was there I found the perfect fishing hat, real cute. I love hats and the thought of a “real” fishing hat is crazy ugly to me. I also found the perfect top to wear for Julie’s Baby Shower. I left very excited!
Here’s the best thing about shopping local – she had the name of a seamstress just fifteen minutes down 231.
The seamstress is Alice Thomas. Since I was going to see her anyway, I gathered up everything I needed work on and took it with me. As has been the case with everything associated with this reunion, it was love at first sight. So very nice, she loved the dress and began thinking up ways to make it work for me. First we were cutting off about 8 inches in the length. Alice suggested adding a crinoline to make it sit out like a dress from the 50’s. She suggested putting it between the lining and fabric of the dress so it didn’t scratch me. We made an appointment for two weeks from that day. When I went to try it on, it was still too short waisted. Fortunately for me there was some extra material in the shoulder seam, a half inch to be exact, and when I went the next week it was perfect. I’ve got my dress!!!
Shop Local!!! When you see something at an independent store that costs a little more, try to remember that Amazon & eBay don’t buy ads in the local football program, Wal-mart wont donate prizes to your silent auction and Target doesn’t have kids playing little league in your community. Small business owners DO and they offer better customer service because they do it face to face. Support your local small business owner. The back bone of this country!
Sleek & Shiny
Are you using every product and technique on your hair, spending way too long getting it smooth, just to have it frizz the minute humidity hits? Me Too. If I did manage to get my hair straight with every product and technique I know, two minutes in humidity and my hair starts to grow. Like a Chia Pet, not the best look for me. Now, I love curly hair. In fact, my hair has been curly for the last year and it was so fun to diffuse it and let it be natural, but a girl likes to change things up! That is why hairdressers are busy; I’m no different than you. Time for a change.
I have decided on my look for the Reunion, although I was thinking Jessica Rabbit, I thought it might be a little much for a high school reunion at the Holiday Inn in Solomons. So I’m going with a 1940’s – 1950’s look. Imagine Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, or my absolute favorite Rita Hayworth, going out to one of the clubs. Since naturally curly was not an option for those looks, I need to change my hair.
What’s the opposite of curly? Sleek and shiny! How will I achieve that? A Brazilian Blowout. A Brazilian Blowout smooths your hair, it is somewhat like a perm because it changes the structure of your hair. Instead of adding curls, a Brazilian Blowout makes it sleek and smooth. Unlike the Japanese straighteners, which last until your hair grows out, this treatment lasts about three months and gradually fades off of the hair. Here’s the procedure, first wash hair, apply Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Solution, then blow dry that solution into the hair, and finally after hair is completely dry, it is smoothed with a flat iron. The number of passes with the flat iron dictates the end result of the hair. My hair had five passes because I personally don’t like my hair stick straight, but if you do, the number of passes can be adjusted.
After all of that, your hair is washed, and the Ionic Bonding Spray is sprayed in your hair. Next, your hair is blow dried with the Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Serum and styled to your liking. I had mine curled with a curling iron, I am really liking the curled messy look, or beachy waves. We do recommend using the Ionic Spray at home, along with the shampoo and conditioner. Using these products helps the Brazilian Blowout last longer. The entire process takes two to three hours depending on the thickness of your hair and how straight you want it. Since it is, to me, a lot of time, I will do whatever the company suggests to keep the results longer.
Let’s talk about the results. The first thing you notice about a Brazilian Blowout is the shine. It’s incredible and I can dry my hair with a blow dryer, just using my hands, and it will be silky shiny. Plus when you run your fingers through your hair, you honestly can’t believe how soft it is.
Amazing, considering if I did that before I would look like Roseanne Roseannadanna. I know, if you are not getting ready to celebrate at least your Thirtieth High School Reunion you have no clue what I’m talking about. Knock Knock, who is it, Candy Gram. Back when Saturday Night Live was so funny.
If you are now considering receiving a Brazilian Blowout, we have just put a package together, buy four Brazilian Blowouts and receive an Ionic Bonding Spray, plus save $100. We do recommend having the treatment done four times a year if you want silky shiny hair all year long.
Today was the first day that I have washed my hair since the Brazilian Blowout last week. Yes,I only wash my hair maybe once a week, and I can’t tell you how happy I was blow drying without a brush.I can only last about two minutes with a brush, my ADHD kicks in and I just can’t do it. My hair was amazing! Silky, shiny and so easy to style. That two hours I spent getting the Brazilian Blowout was worth it!
Is your skin drying out? Mine too!
Do you ever look at someone and think, how does her skin look like that? Is it just her natural
skin or is she doing something extra to enhance her skin?
Skin care has always been a major issue for me. At about fifteen I developed the worst case of Cystic Acne. Way back then there were not many options to help prevent real damage, by the way of scarring and large pores. Time is also taking its toll on my skin, everywhere I look, I see dry skin, my legs, my arms and my decolletage (I’ve been dying to use that word in something I wrote that wasn’t a romance novel).
It just so happens Kelly Sullivan, RN, BSN, CANS, CPCP, the owner of Dunkirk Aesthetics and Georgetown Aesthetics called my salon to see if I would be interested in hosting an event in the salon. Now, although I had met her before, I had no idea if she was any good. I’m sorry, I don’t want someone in the salon with my clients unless I have personally received their services. We won’t even carry products for services or retail unless we have thoroughly checked them out, our reputation is on the line. Every service and product Scalped Salon and Spa has, is 100% guaranteed.
So, I decided that I would go and see her to see if she could help me in my quest for better skin. My first impression was great, they worked with me to find a time that worked best for my schedule. When I arrived Kelly greeted me with such a warm welcome, right away I could tell how much she loves what she does.
After analysing my skin, she came up with a plan to do 5 Dermal Infusions. A Dermal Infusion , Volumizes Skin by 70%, Improves Radiance, Refreshes and Revives, Visibly Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles, Targets Skin Concerns and Optimizes Results, Gives A Lasting Youthful Boost, and Stimulates Healthy Cell Renewal. It is also very helpful for anywhere on your body that has Dark Spots, Sun Damage, Sallow Skin,Dehydrated Skin, Enlarged Pores, Oily-Prone, Congested Skin, Stretch Marks, and the appearance of Cellulite. Wow that is a lot, and everything I was looking for! I just had my third session and really after the second session I noticed changes in my skin. I truly can’t wait for the next session, I just feel my skin is cleaner and has less clogged pores, plus it feels so soft. Actually it literally feels like she is sucking years of grime out of my pores. If you’ve ever been drawn to Dr. Pimple Popper – something like that.
Kelly is also doing my decolletage, but only one side, so you can see the results when you come in to the salon. I will be so happy if the sun spots and crepey skin go away. I’m tired of my skin looking like that really tan lady in Something About Mary, you know the one. She does many other things, like Botox, Fillers, Body Sculpting, Permanent Makeup, etc. I haven’t decided if I am going to take that route. The best thing is, she hasn’t pushed that on me and I love that. She said that is something we can look at down the road after these treatments.
Kelly is right now finishing up her Family Nurse Practitioner schooling to add even more knowledge to her already amazing skills. I love another professional who keeps training to be the best, it’s very important to me as a hairdresser. I love when I meet someone with the same passion for their profession. If you are looking for someone to give you an honest assessment of your skin and what can be done for it, I highly recommend Kelly. The best thing is, there is hope to have you looking younger without going under the knife and no down time!!!!
I was trying to think of a way to end this blog and as I was checking out her FaceBook Page I saw this quote – GIVE YOURSELF THE SAME CARE & ATTENTION THAT YOU GIVE TO OTHERS AND WATCH YOURSELF BLOOM… Remember it’s your time now, and you are allowed to pamper yourself, you’ve been pampering everyone else for so long!
One extra thing… Kelly saw a spot on my arm and said, “I think you better get that checked by a Dermatologist”. It’s been a couple of years since I had a check, so after hearing great things about Heather Montgomery, at Dr. Hawitt’s office I made an appointment. I didn’t have to wait three months, I literally saw her the next week, crazy right?
What an amazing experience, from start to finish. Very friendly reception staff on the phone and when I arrived (those kind of things make a difference to me). Heather thoroughly checked my skin, cut off the barnacle that Kelly saw, and froze a bunch more, Yea!!! I would highly recommend her, and I feel so much better, no Melanoma!!!
New Years Resolutions
So truly, my new year’s resolution was to take better care of myself. In December I gave up sugar, and let me tell you I have given in to those cravings, more than I can count on, well a lot of hands, which are never ending! Just today I was thinking of running to the store to get some cupcakes. You know the ones, with chocolate icing and the white squiggly lines in them, to have with my red wine. Oh I forgot to mention that my red wine has no sugar in it. Ha! Ha! Gracious I can’t give up everything.
In the middle of January I quit smoking, don’t get to excited, I started again after three months. But I have hope that I can convince my mind that it is not cool to smoke. All the cool people today do not smoke. I have faith I’ll get there.
I also began training with James Sutton at the Results Fitness Gym (used to be the World Gym, new name) in Owings. James has trained me for a long time. I gave up training for about three years, I was just tired of always working so hard to stay in shape. Then an injury to my back, which took eight months to heal, exactly what my Physical Therapist Yvonne Remz told me it would take, reminded me once again – You’re Not Getting Younger – and you better take care of yourself.
Here’s why I think James is a great trainer. He’s not going to have you lifting massive weights. His main focus is Functionality. To enhance your quality of life through primal movement patterns. Primal patterns is the ability to move in your environment. For example sitting, bending, reaching, squatting, twisting etc… I feel with this focus he increases my balance and core strength. And lord knows I need balance, these big feet of mine continually get in the way!
So he weighed me, told me my body fat, 34% (yikes), I know I look skinny but that’s cause I’m six foot three. He put me on a muscle building diet, and talked to me about probiotics (I’m a true believer – no more after 50 extra gas).
I see James once a week for ½ an hour. He teaches me a new routine each time, James also has me taking two spin classes a week, and doing the routine two more times a week. Plus on my own since I have a membership to the Results Fitness Gym now, I take a very hard and very long 1 ½ hour yoga class on Sunday mornings with Robin Furth, she is my inspiration. I bet you can bounce a quarter off of any part of her body! Can I tell you, Yoga is not for sissies! I literally fell over trying to do one of the poses. But it will not defeat me! Even if it takes a couple of years I will be able to do it.
If you are sitting on the couch watching TV and checking your phone, flipping through facebook, watching videos, reading this (which I personally spent countless hours doing), thinking this girl is crazy I can’t do all that! There are so many times I can’t do everything either. But it just is, no more beating myself up for not being perfect. I try my best. That’s what my mother always told me,”Just try your best Margaret”. Remember, something James just told me, a one percent change is really good. Think about it 1% over time, it adds up to a whole lot of change.
We only have so much time to get ready for being really old. Here’s a funny story – A client, one of my favorites, she is somewhere between 65 – 70, looks great from head (My Haircut) to toe, said “People think I just wake up like this! I’m thinking she heard the Beyonce song, I Woke Up Like This. If you haven’t heard it you should it is an anthem of mine. Listen to it Loud! Okay,back to the story, she said here’s what I do, eat right, walk everyday and go to the gym. Compared to most of my friends my husband and I look like Tarzan and Jane. Ha Ha
Hopefully you will one day realize, like I am, You are the only one who will truly take care of you!
Have a great Day.
PS I so bad want to say – Peace Out, but that might show how old I am
Almost Fifty-Great !!!
Its my 40th High School Reunion!!!
You know I had a tight perm, cut in a circle, it was the seventies – eighties after all, and I was just a Calvert County girl trying to look Funky!
Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, this year I’ll be 58, (fifty-great!) 40 years since I graduated from Calvert High School and my High School Reunion right around the corner in June. June 1st to be exact the same day we graduated 40 years ago.
Well this old girl has got to get her but off the couch and get ready. Lets see:
Get in Shape
Figure out how to give my skin a youthful glow.
Get my hair in perfect shape.
Pick a look I want to portray ( I love costumes)
Find an Outfit
Wax my face, have eyebrows tinted
Make appointment for makeup trial
Make an appointment for hair
Have my nails and pedicure done
Find a date (ha ha!)