GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ Really Works

One would assume that as one grew older the propensity to do dumb things would diminish. Wouldn’t one?  Unfortunately, that is not always true.  The fault is perhaps in the “assuming”.  A wise person once told me never to assume as when one assumes one makes an ass out of you and me (ass-u-me).  Today not only did I assume something, but I also did a dumb thing.

I am here to tell you that the product GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ facial hair remover really works.  Here is how I know.  First, a little background information.

My friends and family (and some of you that have been following me) know that this past May I retired after 21 years of teaching. In addition, you know that when an individual retires he/she must learn to live with less discretionary income.  I began to make this transition of learning to live with less about a year ago.  I took stock in what I spent every month and reset my priorities.  No longer able to afford monthly trips to the salon and day spa for various services, I figured out which of these services I could do at home on my own. I also decided which I could live without (although I did not think it was possible to live without any of them), and which I still needed to pay another to do for me.

The two things that made the pay-someone-else-to-do list were the manicures and monthly hair color and cut visits to the salon.

The do-myself-items were  pedicures and eyebrow and lip waxes.

A trip to Sally Beauty Supply ™ solved the problem of facial hair removal. I purchased a box of GiGi Hair Removal Cream for the face with calming balm for use on my face for the price of one of the previously mentioned services.  I would be saving a lot of money because one box of this stuff afforded me with multiple uses.

When I got it home the directions said to keep it away from your eyes, so I decided not to use it on my eyebrows. I continued to pluck my eyebrows with tweezers, but I decided I like the look and feel of my skin after an eyebrow wax.  Not wanting to spend the money to go to the salon, I made another trip to Sally Beauty Supply ™.  Herein lays my first mistake.  I purchased a box of GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ facial hair remover.

I read the waxing directions  and decided to put it off for a while. I was concerned with burning myself if I made the wax too hot and applying it strictly to the skin below my eyebrows.  I did not want to be eyebrow-less.  I have to wear my glasses when I pluck my eyebrows with tweezers, and I was wondering how that would work when applying hair removal wax.

As I stepped out of the shower this morning, I decided it was time to for an eyebrow and lip wax.

I applied the hair removal cream to my top lip, waited the required amount of time, wiped it off with a damp washrag and my lip was done. It was as simple as the directions made it sound. Next on the agenda were the eyebrows.  I decided to give the tweezeless wax a go.  Herein lays my second mistake.

I heated the container of wax in 15-second increments as the package instructions state. I made sure the wax wasn’t too thin, because that meant it would be too hot.  I was going for that creamy consistency the directions said I wanted.  When I thought it was ready, I applied the wax to the skin below my right eyebrow.  I didn’t wear my glasses.  I figured they would just get in the way.  After applying the wax, I thought, “This isn’t too bad.  You did a good job keeping it off the eyebrow and only on the skin.  Do the other one.”

As I was applying the wax below my left eyebrow, I whispered to myself, “Careful…careful…careful…Awww Sh………….!”

I worked quickly to remove the wax before it hardened completely.

Let me just say, that GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ facial hair remover really works!

My husband thinks I changed my hair style. 🙂

For today’s creation, I used some of my left-over supplies from October’s My Paper Pumpkin Kit.  So I don’t need to tell you that this card was super easy and quick to make.

October PP Thanksgiving

Hope you enjoyed your visit today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

Mother’s & Daughters

What is it about some mothers and daughters that cause their relationship with each other to be so notorious at times? I have often wondered if as mothers we see the qualities we dislike most in ourselves in our daughters and we try to fix them.  I know my relationship with my mother was sometimes difficult, especially when I was an adolescent and again when I was a single mother.  The same holds true for my relationship with my daughter who will soon celebrate her 30th birthday. She and I get along pretty well now, but there have been times in the past when things were not so stellar.  Like me, she can sometimes be headstrong and determined to do things her way.  (Is that really a bad thing?)

I have done a little reading (enough to make me dangerous) about mother and daughter relationships and this is what I learned. According to an article I read, the three biggest things mothers and daughters usually argue about are hair, clothes, and weight.  All three things relate to physical appearance.

When I look back at the times my mother and I really went head to head, they usually but not always, centered on one of those three things. She either didn’t like the way I was wearing or the color of my hair, a dress I was wearing made me look a little “frumpy”, and well, “You’ll lose the weight when you are ready.”

“All I ever really wanted was for you to approve of me, Mom!” That was the conclusion I finally came to and when I decided I was adult enough to stop looking for mother’s approval, our relationship improved a thousand times.  She could make comments about my looks until hell froze over, and I did not care. When I stopped reacting to what she had to say, we stopped arguing.

In hindsight, looking back at my relationship with my daughter and two of the times we butted heads, they both relate to physical appearance.

When my daughter entered high school, I made an appointment for her at the Clinique counter in a local department store for a makeover. She wasn’t allowed to wear make up until her first year. She attended a parochial school until she graduated high school, and makeup was expressly against dress code until then.  I thought it would be best if someone other than her mother gave her a few makeup tips.  Kids usually listen to the advice of others over their parents at that age anyway.  The consensus among kids that age is their parents don’t know anything. I know mine didn’t!  The only grew smarter as I grew older. I thought I was being very progressive and insightful by doing this.  This would surely solve the problem of her wearing too much make up as most girls her age have a tendency to do.  It would also save a lot of confrontation between the two of us over the very subject.

In reality, all it really did was set me back about $150.00 when I purchased the cosmetics the salesperson recommended. Did she follow the makeup tips that were suggested?  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

I can’t remember the number of mornings my beautiful daughter would come down the stairs to the breakfast table OVER made up. Sometimes the eyeliner was so onerous and dark I thought a raccoon was coming to breakfast. Or, the foundation so carroty in color and thick, I could see a line along her jawbone where the foundation ended and her natural complexion started.   Sometimes the eye shadow was so blue or green that her younger brother would whisper to me, “Jenn looks gross!”   Something funky was always going on with her makeup.  To me, my daughter was beautiful (and she still is).  She didn’t need all of that stuff.  I continually tried  telling her this.  It was when she got to be my age she would need a little extra help.  I also tried telling her that boys didn’t like to be with girls that wore too much make up.  What did I know anyway?

One morning on the way to school, Jenn made the mistake of asking what I thought of her makeup. The second mistake occurred that morning when I told her exactly.

“It’s too much, Jenn. It looks a little slutty.”

“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” she screamed. “I can’t believe you just called your own daughter a slut!”

“I did no such thing,” I said. “I said your make up looks slutty.  There is a difference!  Besides, if you don’t really want to know what I think, don’t ask because I will never lie to you!”

As she continued to vehemently screech  her dissatisfaction with my response, I gently asked her, “Are you pms’ing, Jenn?”

“No, I am not!” she  bawled.  I knew immediately that she in fact was.

After that, she never asked again about her makeup, and I never offered my opinion.

Around the beginning of her junior year in high school, my daughter told me,

“You know what Mom? My English teacher told me the foundation I have been wearing is a little too dark for me. She recommended I try another one that is more the color of my complexion.  She said…”

I smiled to myself, and thought, “What have I been saying? Thank you, Miss English teacher.  I love you!”  LOL!

Here is my card today.  I felt a little autumn-ish, so I worked on a Thanksgiving card for today.  This is what I cam up with.  Hope you like it.  I LOVE these colors together.

For All Things - 3

I always look forward to your comments whether they are about what I’ve written or created, so feel free.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

Another Difficult Thing (Continued)

On Wednesday (my last blog post), I began writing of the second most difficult experience I have ever had. This is Part II  of that experience.

That Christmas there was a lot to celebrate. Chris made the 6 hour drive from Roswell to Colorado Springs with another classmate to spend the holidays at home.  My mom and uncle from Ohio also visited that Christmas.  Chris and I drove to Denver International Airport one evening to pick them up.  Since I have poor night vision without my glasses, Chris agreed to drive us home.

As we were barreling down I-25 at 75 miles per hour and conversing with my mother and uncle, I glanced over at Chris. I noticed his eyes were wide as his head turned from me to the road in front of him.  He looked like he had just seen a ghost.  His lips smacked, and his fingers on each hand extended with the palms of his hands in contact with the steering wheel.

“Chris? What’s wrong?”  I asked.  My heart was in my throat.

All he could manage was to look from me to the road in front of him.

Again, I asked, “Chris? Are you okay?”

No response, but again his head turned as if looking at the road and then me.

After a few seconds the event subsided. “What in the hell was that?” I asked.  “Are you all right?  Do you need me to drive? You looked like you saw something scary!”

“I’m fine,” was all he said.

It happened a few times again after that. Before he went back to school after the holidays, we had him checked out at the Air Force Academy hospital.

What we described to the doctors resembled Absence Seizures. Absence Seizures usually occur in young children.  Chris was about to turn 21.  According to epilepsy.com website, absence seizures are “lapses in awareness, sometimes with staring.  They begin and end abruptly, and usually are so unnoticeable they can go undetected for months.”

The website also says there are two types of absence seizures. Directly from the website, these two types are:

“Simple absence seizures: During a simple absence seizure, a person usually just stares into space for less than 10 seconds. Because they happen so quickly, it’s very easy not to notice simple absence seizures — or to confuse them with daydreaming or not paying attention.

Complex absence seizures: During a complex absence seizure, a person will make some kind of movement in addition to staring into space. Movements may include blinking, chewing, or hand gestures. A complex absence seizure can last up to 20 seconds.”

I had never noticed anything like this in my son ever before.

His father and I stayed in denial for quite a while. However, I will say, I think I began to accept reality sooner than his father did.

Concerned for his safety, his father followed him back to school when he had to return to Roswell after the holidays. In retrospect, we were not concerned enough.  We should have NEVER let him drive back to Roswell!

Try as we might, we could not convince him that he should not report to the Merchant Marine Academy the following June. We kept telling him they would send him home as soon as they discovered his condition.  However, like all young people, he had to learn the lesson for himself.

That summer, my husband and I along with Chris and his dad flew to Long Island, New York. After a few days, we left Chris to begin his first year at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Two days after we returned home, that fateful phone call came. Chris experienced two episodes and was hospitalized. The academy was beginning paperwork to send him home.  They were however, putting his appointment on hold for a year.  If he got his medical condition stabilized within a year, he would be allowed to return to the academy.

He never did get to return.

Being away from my child at a time when he was experiencing such mental anguish over the end of his lifelong dream was heart wrenching. I cannot say first-hand how he was feeling, but I can say that I had an ach in my chest so strong that it felt like a burning dagger had pierced my heart.  I would have given my life at that moment to stop any pain he might have been experiencing.

To say he was angry (and rightly so) when he returned home was an understatement. Never one to talk about his feelings, Chris took the opportunity to take out his anger on those that love him the most. Isn’t that usually what we do?

As soon as Chris returned home, a long-time friend hired him to work part-time in his archery shop.  The friend’s concern was that Chris might become depressed, so he wanted to keep him busy.

Another thing we did right away was have him enroll in classes full-time at the University of Colorado here in town. “Just because the Army won’t take you, doesn’t mean you can’t get a Bachelor’s degree in something and go to work full time,” we told him.

Meanwhile, Christopher tried one anti-seizure medication after another, sometimes a cocktail of three or 4 combined, to no avail.  He’d go for a few weeks without an event, and then he’d have one.

One Friday evening around 7:00 p.m., I received a phone call from his father. Chris had been in a car accident.  He had totaled his truck.  He had a seizure after stopping at a red light on the way to his father’s house.  For some reason we were still thinking we could keep him safe while following him while he drove.  DENIAL   DENIAL  DENIAL!

Fortunately, no one, including our son, was hurt. There happened to be no one on the road.  THANK GOD FOR SMALL MIRACLES!  We were very lucky!

Every state regulates its driver’s license eligibility for people with different medical conditions. Colorado does not require physicians to report when they have a patient that has seizures and does not have a set amount of time it requires a person to be seizure free. It is up to the individual with the disability to self-report to the state.

After the accident, Chris stopped driving. If he needed to go somewhere, his father or I drove him.  Sometimes his friends would give him rides to and from wherever he needed to be.  He rode the city bus whenever he could, until the city cut back on some of its bus services.  Chris began walking the three miles to and from campus whenever he could. I bought him a bicycle, and when the weather was nice, he would ride his bike.  I would drop him off at his university at 6:00 a.m. some mornings on my way to work where he made friends with a building custodian who would let him into the building early to wait for his 8:00 a.m. class.  Sometimes I would pick him up on my way home.

I agonized over Chris. I wondered if his situation would ever be resolved.  Would he ever be able to be independent and self-sufficient?  Would he always have to have another person around to help him?  What woman would want to marry him knowing he had epilepsy?  What would he do when his father and I were too old to help him anymore?  What about when we were gone?  Would he have to live with his sister?  Would it be fair to ask that of her? Would he ever be able to find a job that would provide him with a decent living?  I literally lost sleep over this situation.  Isn’t that what parents do?

Finally, his neurologist referred him to another neurologist at the Anschutz Medical Campus—University of Colorado Denver.  This new neurologist ran a battery of tests on Chris and felt he might possibly be a candidate for surgery.  The goal was to find the exact point of origin for his seizures and remove that portion of his brain.    I had known about this type of surgery years earlier and attempted to have him seen at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio shortly after he returned from Long Island, but Chris wasn’t ready to hear about it at the time.  In addition, his doctors were not ready to consider it yet either.  They had to try all of the medications available first.

I took a week off work to be with Chris while he was in the hospital. I told him I was going to stay with him and he yelled at me, “You are not camping out in my room the entire time I am in the hospital!”

“I will if I want to! You might be 25 years old, but I am still your mother and I will be there at least the first 24 hours after you come out of surgery.  You can argue with me as much as you want, but you aren’t going to get your way on this one!”

If he realized the seriousness of the thought of brain surgery, he sure was hiding it well. He didn’t seem scared at all.  That’s probably because I was anxious enough for all of us.

Two years ago, Chris had a left temporal lobectomy and with the assistance of his medications, he has been seizure free! He began driving again after one year of being seizure free. Except for the time he went away for a weekend with some friends and didn’t take his medications, he has been doing well.  That weekend of fun cost him three months behind the wheel.  As long as he takes his meds, he is good to go.

Chris does not believe the surgery helped, but I will argue the opposite every time. Before the surgery, the medication alone did not work.  Now, it works!  It helped.

Chris is finally finishing college. He had to take a year off after the surgery.  In a few weeks, he will be finished with his student teaching.  He will be a high school physics and chemistry teacher when he is done.  He is proud of the scar he has on his head.  I think it might remind him of the long road to success it has been.  That is okay.  Usually the long road makes us ever more grateful and appreciative of the good things we have in our lives.  When I asked him why he chose teaching after he lost the military, his response was, “Well teaching is a leadership position, isn’t it?”

“It sure is, Chris. One of the most notable ones there is!”

You make me proud, son.

Here is today’s card.

Holiday Wreath - 1

I really like the way this card turned out.  I love the colors!  They are Pistachio Pudding and Wild Wasabi.  Would have never thought to put those two together.   I was inspired by one of the cards in the current issue of Stampin Success.

Hope you enjoyed your visit today.  Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

 

Another Difficult Thing

A few weeks ago, I wrote about one of the most difficult things I have ever done which was to go through Army Boot Camp in Ft. Knox, Ky. I also mentioned at that time that another difficult thing I have experienced in my life was watching my son struggle with a life-changing illness.  Before I get into the specifics of the illness and how it changed his life, I need to give you a little background information about my son.

Ever since my son could walk and talk, he  aspired to be just like his daddy; a West Point graduate and an Army Officer. Year after year, his Halloween costume was a pair of his dad’s BDU’s (Battle Dress Uniform). He always dressed  up as a soldier.   As a very young child, he wore his snow boots on the hottest summer days because they were his “Army” boots.  There was no arguing over how hot he would be; soldiers wore their boots, and he was wearing his.  I was grateful at those times when I could get him to take them off long enough to get into the shower and to go to bed at night.  Every stick or piece of wood was  fashioned into some sort of “Army” weapon because soldiers needed to be able to protect themselves.  He built an “Army” forts somewhere in the house or yard regularly.  There was no deterring him; throughout elementary, middle and high school, his goal remained the same: to receive a U.S. Military Academy appointment just like his dad and become an active duty Army officer.  Not even the events of September 11 changed his mind.  On the contrary, they solidified his intent.

For whatever reason, I always got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when my son would speak of his plans for his future. I always doubted that his dreams would become a reality.  I doubted his ability to realize his dream because I did not think he would be competitive academically.  Chris was a good student; he had a very strong work ethic.  However, as an educator myself, I knew there were other candidates out there that were stronger academically and … I just did not think it would happen for him.

I never verbalized my doubts to my son.  I always encouraged him to follow his passion, his dream.  I told him he could accomplish whatever he set his mind to, as long as he was willing to do the work.  At night when I went to bed, I prayed my intuition was wrong, and Chris would realize his dream.

When he did not get his academy appointment right out of high school, he decided he should attend a military prep school. New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell, New Mexico was his choice.  He would spend two years there working on an Associate’s Degree in Science and on attaining his academy appointment.  If the appointment did not materialize, then he would enter the military via ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps).  This was his plan B.  I liked his plan B; I entered the military through ROTC.  ROTC officers received the same pay, responsibilities, etc. when they were on active duty.

At the end of his first year at NMMI, he once again failed to receive a Military Academy appointment. At a time when most people would give up (including myself), Chris soldiered on.  He would not give up.  In addition, his father and I continued to encourage him.    He would apply one more time.  He had one more year to complete at NMMI, which meant one more year to try for an academy appointment.

Soon after his final year at NMMI began, Christopher learned he was awarded an appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Tears streamed down all our faces!  It was not a West Point appointment, but it was okay by him.  He would enter the military via a military academy.   His dream was about to come true!

I’m going to stop my story at this point and move on to my card.   You will have to come back on Saturday to read the rest.  🙂

I call this card Bright & Beautiful Shooting Star.  I was inspired by a card I saw on Split Coast Stampers when I created this one.  Hope you like it.

Bright & Beautiful Shooting Star

Again, come back on Saturday to hear the end of my story.  Until then…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2