Phantom Hair

Honesty is such a simple word.
It’s mostly what I need from me.

Sharing with much sarcasm and self-love.


I did it.

In a rather radical move (for me), I maskedly braved Meijer Sunday morning.

It was time. More than a year later, I made the purposeful trek to the walk-in hair joint that, thanks to COVID, isn’t really a walk in joint anymore.

I called first to see how that works. It’s register online and wait in your car for the 5 minute warning.

When I signed up, the wait was a reasonable 30 minutes. 3 miles and 8 minutes later, I clicked the “I’m here'” icon to see that the new estimate was 70 minutes.

So, I unparked, drove around the corner to Kohls to pick up the labor-of-love order I placed Saturday night at 2 am. I had a fantastic savings layering perfectly planned. So, I was disappointed when only 3  out of 5 items that were indicated as available at my store for pick-up found their way into my trunk.

Lessoned learned. Read the whole email not just the “Your order is ready,” subject. Because then, you can call the store and ask if there is mini chopper avail in any other color since the color you chose was now sold out. There was, but there was no saving my obliterated savings.

Layering FYI was: Spent $84, saved $79, expected $20 Kohl’s cash and a $5 reward which I would combine with my $5 anniversary voucher to purchase a $30 insert for my Instant Pot. I sadly paid $64, with no perks.

I considered the go-inside, return, grab appliance and re-buy contortions the desk clerk offered, but in the end, just headed back to the market lot to watch the hairy-ing countdown meter do its thing.

Which, brings me back to the honesty part. I’m honestly just tired if it. I’m tired of pretending, so I freed myself in a way that will likely garner criticism and concern.

To quote the Post Malone feeling, in Feeling Whitney, “I’m done.” PM, btw, so rocked the Grammys. I’ll admit I sort of expected The Weeknd to pop-up cameo, but maybe the whole druid-choir thing is an across the board vibe these days. Anyway, props to Post. ❤ him.

I’m tired of pretending, hair. The stylist and I had a conversation. Grief, 100# added, 118# lost, nutrition issues, gut issues, plus gallbladder, hernia, and ‘thing’ removal surgeries. That last one was already 3 years ago, on the left side of my head. It’s become obvious. It’s never growing back.

The hesitation was a little amusing. “Are you sure?” She asked 3 times. Clippers set on 3. Scissor cut, slightly an1/8 of an inch longer on top, maybe.

It’s not a fashion statement, nor a look-at-me statement. Not political, and not really open for discussion. It’s just what I did so I could stop worrying about the wind lifting my comb-over into an oddly bad, bald-resulting mohawk. It’s just what I did to make myself feel better.

When done, my shearer announced surprise at how much more my new wgaf style seemed to match my personality. It only suits me because I am more comfortable. I’m no longer worrying about the doo-wop flipped out-curls at my neck. I don’t look younger without the straggly mullet part in back. I just look more at ease, because I am.

The question, “You’re an artist, aren’t you?” almost moved into an automatic snort and shrug of denial,. There hasn’t been much artistic in me for a while. But, empowered by ease, I decided to own it. It’s always been what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m grown up enough, so I said, “Yes, I am.”

Another one of those odd, maybe I should pay attention to this, universal alignments struck late last week. I lost my nose stud. Not a tragedy. I seriously, haven’t lost one in years, though. Last time was MRI related about 4 years ago. Forgot to take it out at home, so when I got to the hospital I stuck it in my wallet. Never to be seen again. Luckily, I had about 5 spares.

That was the scan that resulted in the surgery 3 years ago, because I put it off for a year/as long as possible. There’s something super creepy about having your ear unattached and the flesh on the side of your head pulled away from your skull. I needed some time to get used to that idea.

Last week, the 4 spares, became 3 spares. Happened again this week. 3 spares are now down to 2. I considered it might a sign that I maybe I should be outgrowing it.

Nah, I’ve decided it was more of a reminder to be a little louder about who I am.

Who I am is not comfortable with a shortage of spares. I’ve placed an order for a couple more.

No savings layering to be had, but the investment in myself seems worth it to me.

Quote for the Week:

PS. I have phantom hair. You can see it in person. I can see it in the mirror. Yet, every camera emphatically denies that there’s anything there. If you really want to not see it, DM me. LOL.

Mean Elixir-ing.

The moment I saw it, I knew I had to.

I follow two sites of “I wish I’d thought of that” brilliance. Actually, there are more than that, but these two are specifically relevant. I screen-shoot them both daily. Most of the time I resist. But….

Coca-Cola with Coffee. 

Stop wrinkling your nose and keep your “eew” to yourself.

Coke didn’t create this concoction for me. There had to be at least some sort of wide-spread weirdo-appeal factor in play. You’d best believe it wasn’t likely to have been inside pitched as a mass-marketing loss-leader.

Are you my people?

My choice: Dark Coffee

OMG. Yes! 200%. Yum.

Two things the cracked tab called to my attention.

First, the fantastic smell of coffee.

Second, audibly less fizzy release.

Sip? Yup. Sip! Mmm & Yup.

Closed my eyes trying to place the taste.

Landed in New Orleans. Ah, dark cold-brewed, chicory-cut iced coffee with a touch of simple syrup. Sigh.

This isn’t that, but I like where it takes me.

The can claims ‘powdered coffee’ made from Brazilian beans. No chicory.

High fructose corn syrup. Not simple syrup.

I decided I needed more. More than my current four cans. Well, only three and a half cans were left on Monday morning, so I took the half with me to work.

Stop judging. I like my coffee cold and my soda warm and minimally fizzy. So, a half-sipped overnight in the fridge perched it on the perfect edge.

The original IG feed that caught my eye had a cautious comment. Paraphrased, “I saw it at Sam’s and I’d like to try it, but I’m not gonna buy a case of it.” In case it wasn’t liked.

Well, I liked it. And ‘by-the-case’ sounded suitable.

I checked Costco online. Nada. Not even a hint of it.

I’m not a Sam’s club member, but a friend of mine is. Of course, I asked the favor.

To my horror, it was declared sold out at Sam’s. Sold out? Sam’s, Target, Walmart. What?

What the heck happened between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning?

Was some subliminal advertising during the big, copyrighted (don’t dare use the word) football fan show, lost on me? Of course, not.

That’d have been hilarious, though. Attention redirection from Pepsi to Coke while TheWeeknd performed on the weekend. Yes, I enjoyed that.

Yeah, off track.

I kept scrolling. Angst was replaced with anger.

People are mean. Some rat-bassbird had actually listed a 4-pack for $120.00.

Ah, that special group of people who buy stuff they don’t want and resell it at outrageous prices. Yes, it’s a cycle of retail life. Yes, folks are free to be opportunistic. I suppose I could flip and offer to assess is it as a COVID-induced attempt to supplement restricted income. But, the cruel crafties existed way before this pandemic. And assess is only one letter away from a….

Oh, no. Uh, uh. I’ll just slid my finger over to Meijer and order me up another 3 four-packs for $4.89. Mm hm, mathematically: $1.295 apiece including MI deposit. Not $20.00. Yeah, I snapped that. Inwardly, not outwardly, because that would have been bizarre. -er.

Could I justify a $10 delivery fee for just Cokes? Nah. So, I bulked up my order with a cucumber, cat food, cream cheese and some fascinatingly interesting bake or no-bake Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with Oreo Pieces.  

At that point a little bit of logic chose to lope across my front lobe. Do ya really need to do this?

Nah. X’d out my cart.

I shouldn’t be consuming the contents of any sugared, caffeinated soda on a daily basis. Not on a semi-regular basis, either.  Yes, there is a zero-sugar alt version. No, I’m not planning to go there.

Here’s the close.

I’ve got three coveted cans left. An emergency stash. Or a celebratory stash. Like wine, but with the opposite not-drowsy, super-hyped effect. (Hee hee.)

So, are you my people?

I Didn’t Have Any of That So… (Sweet Nothing but Something; Desperation Dessert.)

I giggled because… yes.

You may have never heard about this COVID Cuisine adventure, but a friend FB posited: what is one of the weirdest food combinations that you’ve eaten during sheltering?? (be honest. lol)

I’ll tell you what I told her. It’d be completely dishonest for me to claim my COVID cuisine concoctions differ from my regular, um, creative cooking.

Honestly, though. About a week ago, I stared longingly into my cabinets of mostly health. My general rule is – if I don’t have it, I can’t eat it.

In any case, my jumble of left-over baking bits was mostly from Christmas. 2019.

I had to bring up the stool to reach the high shelf where I put all the should-be-inaccesible temptations. I found partials of: graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, semi-sweet chocolate chips, vanilla, brown sugar, self-rising flour, regular flour, a box of vanilla pudding, a1/2 bar of Bakers white baking chocolate, two different types of cocoa powder and three different types of sprinkles. 

Among the rediscovered hidden treasures were Tastefully Simple brown sugar salt and blueberry vanilla salt. I was also in possession of an overripe banana, cream cheese, almond milk, butter, two baby apples, honey roasted peanuts and sour cream.

Considered seemingly viable choices lead me to a dismal Google exploration conclusion.

I had almost all the ingredients to make something. Unfortunately, these particular ingredients made nothing. (Nothing normal, anyway.)

Banana Pudding? No wafers

Banana Bread? Not enough bananas.

Cheesecake? No eggs or heavy cream or any type of cream.

Chocolate chip cookies? Sigh, no eggs.

Apple cobbler? No white sugar. Besides the pitiful apples might not even make a cup, leaving more cobbler than apple.

S’mores? No graham crackers, but I did have a couple cups of pre-crushed crumbs.

Where my mind went after about an hour of recipe search:

I can almost make a cheese cake. I don’t have eggs, but I do have an overripe banana. Didn’t I read somewhere once that bananas could replace eggs? Hmm. Suppose I mashed the fruit to replace the eggs? Mashed banana has a tighter consistency than eggs, so it seemed logical to me. Plus, banana cheesecake didn’t sound too bad.

Suppose, I added some chocolate chips? Ooo, banana chocolate chip cheesecake! “Now, we’re getting somewhere,” I announced to Blu. I received a yawn and a “why-did-you-disturb-me?” slow blink of indifference. “Maybe not,” I thought.

“Well, how about a S’mores pie?” If I used the vanilla pudding and powdered cocoa, made a graham cracker crust and plopped some chips and mallows on top? Maybe. Then, I had second thoughts about making a pie because I’d have to eat it. All. By myself.

Aha! I can make mini cakes in my 6-cup pan. There’s some portion control, right there. So, that’s what I did, sort of.

I made graham cracker crust cupcake shells. While those were baking, I slid back to the cheesecake idea. Yeah. That was it. The perfect tasty experiment. I mean, you know, all the pieces were yummy, so…. Banana Chocolate Chip Almost No Bake Cheesecake.

On my quest, I’d come across a tip that indicated using marshmallow fluff in a cheesecake batter helps it firm. I didn’t have any of that. I did have some humidity-melded marshmallows and the forethought to halve the closest recipe I could locate.

Crust (from the box): 1.25 cups graham cracker crumbs, 4 tbs butter

Filling (adapted): 4 oz cream cheese, 1 mashed overripe banana, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla.

Topping: 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Because that’s all I had.)

I placed each graham cup in one of 5 Pampered Chef small prep bowls. Remember, portion control. I planned on eating the 6th.

Flopped some filling in each, sprinkled chips and considered. Seemed to be lacking something. I still had a hankering for s’mores. So, a glob of mushy marshmallow landed on top.

When I was done assembling, a 15-second microwave run heated the taste-test. For some ridiculous reason, I saw the bowl of gooey goodness and decided to  mix it all up. It wasn’t baaaaaddd. There just weren’t any clear-cut flavors, and the brownish, lumpy presentation was lacking. I ate it.

I tried being a bit more reasonable on Sunday. Heated for same 15 seconds, let cool for a minute and spoon scooped through the layers. There’s no logical reason why it tasted so much better. In fact, I ended up eating two on Sunday. Not back-to-back, though. Portion control.

I’ve got this one on the counter waiting for me to nuke after I finish blogging tonight.

Quote for the Week:

Stay Safe Home Mode

My Foodsaver  and my freezer are my god-sends. So much so, that I truly believe I could go another 3-4 week in Stay Safe mode.

Not quarantined, not anymore self-isolated than usual, it’s pretty much just business as usual for me, except for the shortened commute.

Working from home has taken some getting used to. I’ve always imagined that I’d love it, and I do. The thing is, I imagined it with better equipment.

Downsizing from two huge monitors at work to my tiny laptop has been a challenge. My mini mouse requires a lot more maneuvering. Although, I’m not sure why since I’m sliding over a smaller surface.

My micro set-up unfortunately lends itself to completing one task at a time. I’m more of the handle-it-right-now-if-possible type. Too many windows can be a bit too much for my 5-year oldie to handle and too many layers for me to keep track of.

HBlu’s noticed that opening and closing files to limit electronic desktop clutter requires a lot of clicking.

At least, that’s how I’m interpreting the increase in those huffy cat-sighs while he lounges in the office recliner. Honestly, though, he might be sighing in the lounger because I wouldn’t let him squeeze into that small spot reserved for my mouse and pad. I cleared off the whole other 2/3 of the desk for him. But, no. He must occupy that corner.

Anyway, the point is, still working full days.

Don’t have any more free-time than I had. My 10-minutes-on-a-slow-day roundtrip commute gives me 5 extra minutes in the morning.  Plus, another whopping 5 in late-afternoon.

Still, somehow, I’ve been managing to get up 30 minutes earlier than norm. I made in onto the treadmill 4 out of 5 days before work my first week. A trend I plan to keep up.

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve cut down on unnecessary glamour. (wink, wink.) Mascara and lipstick-free isn’t as freeing as I imagined. Being truly comfortable, however, is.

I’ve uniformed into jeans and a t-shirt; a comfy sweater and no-shoes sock-footed feet. I do wear my trusty Fitbit to remind me that good leg circulation is just as important at home as it is in the office.

My super cool two-person office desk has been used more this month than all of last year. Face it, we all sofa and laptop when we can. But, real desk work requires, well… a desk.

Sturdy good-posture invoking chairs have been inspirational. Early morning pre-work workouts admittedly encouraged by the “Gee, shouldn’t these chairs be a little wider in the thighs?” question the slightly sore sides of my legs are asking. It’s really more about the shape and style of the chair, as opposed to, you know an actual ergonomic office chair.

The most repeated online advice for home-bound, self-protective or mandated work-at-home isolation has been to stick to your normal routine.

That’s good advice. Get up, get showered, get dressed, go to work.

My personal advice? Loud music will help you ignore the 4+ hours of springtime edging and weed-whacking, whine and buzz in your neighborhood.

Lessons on Working From Home:2020 03 31 working from home lesson 1 music jakorte2020 03 31 working from home lesson 2 jakorte

ps. recessing from my year of  memories. just seems now isn’t a good time to add to the sadness.

Life’s Like That: Rice

Making rice isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s because of the whole don’t lift the lid thing.

Watching my pot not boil, I have time to think. I’ve been studying my life, lately. Trying to determine self-worth against a fear of no-worth. Trying to remember to trust God.

I snicker, and Blu answers questioningly. If I’m standing here because I can’t trust the outcome of my rice, how can I trust Him on things bigger than potential burnt grain? I snicker again, and Blu huffs a sigh, curling back into cat-nap position.

Right. They’re two different things, aren’t they? Umm, are they?

This is what happens when I can’t lift the lid. I compulsively stay nearby for rescue and the sake of safety. Puttering around rearranging cabinets, wiping out drawers, my Fitbit faithfully paces steps in my galley kitchen.

A boil over would singe my last nerve tonight. After a 7-hour seasonal cleaning marathon, I’ve realized I’m not done, but my body is. Treadmill time doesn’t create kneel-stand-stretch-pull-bend endurance.

I gauge the roil. I re-read the instructions and unsurely determine its time to turn down the heat. The timer is active, but I am not.

I’m still standing there thru the simmer, and its not looking good. There seems to be too much water. At least that’s how it looks thru the lid. I’m determined not to burn. So, I wiggle the pot in lifted circles; ‘stirring’ within the rules, not lifting the lid. It’s not any clearer what’s going on in the there.

At 12 minutes, it suddenly is. Clearer. Now a slurry of milky roiling water and slightly swollen rice nubs, this feels like the dangerous part. The critical point where I really want to stir the pot. I swirl the pan again, and lament that nothing’s significantly moving. Then, it hits me: not much water – that’s a good thing, right?

At 9 minutes, I recant. Maybe its not going as planned, according to the assurances of preparation materials so blithely plastered on paper. 3 easy steps. Except for the don’t lift the lid part.

Guess that’s life though. Standing over a watched pot, hoping everything will become clearer once the process is complete.

6 min. Yeah. Life’s like that. Your focus has to be just right to see thru the condensation. Rivulets riot with your view.  Concentration required comes with a headache from peering over the heated coil, red-face full of radiant heat.

3 minutes. I can still see simmering just below the surface of swollen bits. Ugh. There’s still liquid; disappointment.

2 minutes. Dear God. I hope this doesn’t burn. Technically, it’s not part of my Keto plan. I do reasonably plan to only eat small ¼ cup portions at 5 carbs each. 35 minutes of my life has now been poured into the procedure.

1 minute. A burn now would be a waste of a full 40 minutes, and waste even more time dealing with the mess.

I’m nervously watching the timer. 30 seconds.

It’s time to lift the lid away. Everything is fine, if ‘fine’ means slightly sticky rice.

Life’s like that. All about timing. Whether you’re waiting on rice or God.

The relief is nice, but short-lived. Success over shadowed by nausea, I quickly evaluate my situation, pull the pot from the heat, find a seat and dangle my head below my knees. All the extra effort, sweltering over the course of experience, worry and watching did not change the outcome.

Will I do it again? Probably.  The same way? Probably, maybe. My treacherous mind still believes in the future possibility of failure. Which, directly connects to my Matthew 6:25-34 struggle. Not worrying seems irresponsible to me. But, that’s another blog.

Quote for the Week:

2018 09 09 Life_s All About Timing rice or god jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Rice: Cook Covered

Rice: Cook Uncovered

Rice: Cook Sticky (On Purpose)