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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm Back--Again--And I Might Shave My Head (But Not In Honor Of The Pseudo-Druids)


 It's like all I do is pack, unpack, and repack my suitcase. 

Rick and I have just returned from an extended holiday at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Wonderful Canada.  We thought we'd be escaping from the searing heatwave here in NEO, but The Canadians, who are everso polite at all times, kindly provided identical climatalogical conditions there so that we would not miss it.

Sigh.

But why should I bitch?  Our car has airconditioning and so did all of the wineries.  Suffering was minimal.

(Allow me for a moment, however, to digress here and Be A Stereotypical Woman and say this:  My hair looked like crap and gave me fits the entire six days of this vacation as well as the preceding one in Virginia.  So much so that, in Virginia, I called my stylist from the resort in order to book an appointment for the day I returned, and my hair still looked like hell during my Canadian vacation.  Honestly, I've just had it.  I've switched shampoos four times, styling gel three times, tried something called a "root volumizer", and used a round brush while I blow dry.  I've spent more time with my hair in the past month than I did with my kids during most of their babyhoods.  At the age of fifty-three, I want to let go of My Hair as an Issue.  I know my Vanity is an enormous Part Of My Pathology--I KNOW THAT.  But every single woman in the world knows that, even if you have a mustard stain on your shirt, if your Hair Looks Great, nothing else matters.  Even your mascara and do not get me started on that.)

Heavy Sigh.  Anyway.

On one of the days when it was not terribly torrid, we went to The Niagara Horticultural College grounds and walked all over for hours, looking at all the various plants and trees and gorgeous vegetable and herb plantings.  It took all my restraint not to raid some incredible onions, ruffly lettuces, perfectly chubby and charming cabbages, and grab some other interesting things I knew would be much happier in my yard.  They have so many lovely trees there, too, and I am fascinated by the variety and placement of some of them, and the striking black squirrels they attract.

Near a large pond area was a Dawn Redwood, one of my favorite trees.  As we approached it, we noticed these little...figures assembling all around its base.  Here, look:
Can you see them?  I took the photo with my iPhone as I walked nearer and nearer.  I thought that perhaps they were a student project because they look like little carvings--like little Druids or something, and they were all converging to the right, like they were headed to worship or something.  We moved closer to get a better look and another shot:

I soon discovered that these are, in fact, the upraised roots of this Dawn Redwood tree.  They are very sturdy and some are covered in bark.  There were other Dawn Redwoods on the grounds, and none but this had the little Druid Root People.  This tree, though, was the only one near the water.
Here's a little clutch standing by the shore, like a family.  Aren't they just fascinating?  It's unfortunate that there is no one on the grounds or anyplace to ask about the interesting things you see at the College.  I would have loved to know anything about this phenomenon.  It's not something I recall from my reading of The Wild Trees, the terrific book that inspired my love of redwoods.  But it was a long time ago that I read it; I think it's time to visit it again.

Once we were done wandering, we sat on a bench near the entrance to have a cold drink and do a little people-watching. The Niagara area is always great for that because it draws so many international visitors.  We sat near a very lovely, very patient horse hitched to a carriage-for-hire.  Nearby, its companion also waited, just as beautiful, but not nearly as patient, for it stamped its rear hoof whenever a child came near.  Soon, we heard a lot of screaming.  Not pained or frightened, just some kid who felt like screaming.  It was a black-haired boy of about four with obviously a lot of energy.  His parents were completely indifferent.  He approached the cranky horse, who stamped his rear hoof several times.  The driver skillfully intercepted the boy and stood at the horse's head.  The patient horse was not so lucky.  At least the boy settled somewhat for the following scene:

Boy approaches horse.  Mother and father rush over.  Father bends to speak to boy and then encourages him to pet the horse.  Mother is obviously fretting, but holds up camera for photo.

Nance:  That poor, long-suffering horse.  Now that kid is going to badger it.  You know darn well that instead of petting it, he'll clobber it.
Rick:  The parents are oblivious.
Nance:  I would think the best way to approach that horse would be to--
Rick(interrupting)--get in there as quick as you can and just go for it!  Before the horse even knows what hit it!
Nance (looks at him in shock and disbelief)...What I was going to say is "hold the kid's hand and pet it very slowly so that he doesn't go crazy".  What in the hell...? 
Rick:  Or, you could try that.  Yeah.  That.

End Scene.

9 comments:

  1. What a timely story, that involving the cretin parents and their obnoxious offspring... I told my sister just yesterday - as we witnessed the condo pool being abused by similar groups - "You know, I really do hate children...," and I do very, very often...

    My hair has been bat shit crazy this summer as well, so you KNOW something is RADICALLY wrong as my hair NEVER changes. Also, I look forward to getting together with you and drinking our brains out while we bitch about mascara. (I've been looking for its Holy Grail since 1965, so I'm more than annoyed, at this point, as you can imagine.)

    Just in case you experienced too much fun, I thought I would welcome your return with excessively crabby comments regarding nothing of great import to others...

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  2. Stupid people, getting in the way of patient lovely horses. I hate people sometimes, because horses, like dogs and cats, are very much domesticated, but still instinctual. They will stomp you or bite you or scratch you, based on their motives, not yours. Funny, we were talking at dinner tonight about Maya's 5th grade graduation party, which was at a pool. Several children were beating a bee around with their balloons. Maya felt for the poor thing, and caught it so she could bring it to safety. Guess who got stung? Poor Maya. Poor bee.

    Ugh. Hair. My hair is straight and flat, and so when worse comes to worst, I can at least put it in a braid. I'm lucky that way. Mascara, however, is my downfall. My current favorite is something by clinique. I'm not the least bit faithful, though. Lancome has some kind of primer that you put on UNDER your mascara that is amazing. I don't know how it stands up in humidity.

    I do hope you'll come this way someday. I'd love to meet you in person, and Rick, who is perfect. We could taste wine and eat avocados and enjoy the dry heat.

    I've never seen anything like those roots at the base of the Redwood Tree, unless it's a Banyan Tree, where the roots appear to reach up to touch the branches, and vice versa. Or is it visa versa. I never know. :)

    Grrr. Now let's see if I can get through bloggers comment test. Blech.

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  3. Mikey G.10:59 PM

    I gave up having nice hair about two days into my trip, but we do take different types of trips ;-)

    Hello from Bangkok!

    - Mikey G.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mikey--Vastly different! And you have quite a bit less hair than I. Enjoy your travels.

    J@jj--I've almost given up visiting any of the buildings at our Cleveland Metroparks Zoo because of idiot parents who allow their children, despite CLEARLY POSTED SIGNS, to beat on glass and irritate the animals who are indoors due to unsuitable weather condition. Just like ill-behaved pets, it is rarely (if ever) the child's fault, it is the parents' for not doing their job.

    RE: Mascara. I was slavishly devoted for aeons to L'Oreal Voluminous until I found their Million Lashes, which I adored...for about 9 months. Then I ran into the same issues most users did: it does not go very far, dries out, and leaves crumbles on my face. Sigh. I won't pay the big bucks for Department Store Mascaras because I am not convinced that they are worth it anymore (I used to). I am back to Voluminous, and not as thrilled as I once was.

    Talk about First World Problems, right? I should be (and am, actually) heartily ashamed of myself right now.

    BooksterOne/LTB--YOU ARE RETIRED! LOL. Had to open with that and remind you, just for the sheer joy of it.

    Anyway, I get the Annoyance With Children Thing. Maybe it's the age factor, but it seems to me that people aren't actively parenting their children when it comes to discipline anymore, and you and I know from the highschool level that this is true. It's tiring. And kids are showing up at inappropriate places as well, exhibiting this behavior. I ate at a winery restaurant at both Virginia and NotL, and neither place was a venue for kids, yet both places had a stodgy grandparent couple bringing in children for a meal. WHY? The kids were cranky, bored, and just itching to act out.

    Now, as far as mascara...see my comments to J. I know you go HighDollar Shopping at Sephora, so you're on your own there. But WHAT HAS YOUR MONEY GOTTEN YOU? Let's have a few, go slumming at CVS, and get some Cover Girl in the horrid pink and green tubes and try it. LOL.

    Call or email me when we can get together. If the heat would let up, we could sit on my deck, listen to my fishpond waterfall, and drink from the recent 5 cases of wine we brought from Canada. I'm sure there's something in there for you to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I could write volumes about the volume my hair doesn't have. For real.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I cackled several times while reading this - thank you!

    I've actually tried the pink & green cover girl - it was just ok. I had something a while back that I liked a lot, but I didn't pay attention to what it was & now I can't remember. I think it was some cover girl variety. I guess I'll just continue to try a new one every three months until I find it again. I should make a spreadsheet.

    Lately, my hair loves Drama Clean by Herbal Essences - but I have to use conditioner with it.

    I have no patience with children. Or adults who are obnoxious either. Makes me just want to stay home!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bug--You know, I miss the Original Herbal Essence shampoo. It smelled wonderful and did a nice job, too. Now there are eleventy varieties with doofy names and some smell like children's candies and juiceboxes. Irritating.

    I am completely enamored with your Mascara Spreadsheet Idea. Please, please DO THIS. As a matter of fact, add it as a separate page on your blog so that we can follow your progress. Every single woman in the makeup addiction world will bow to you in gratitude. On a related note, I am slowly coming back to good terms with L'Oreal's Voluminous.

    Rainbow Motel--I am halfheartedly okay with Pantene's Thin to Volume or something like that Shampoo. Which is probably going to be discontinued immediately. Because I like it. Sort of.

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  8. Love the tree pics with upraised roots. Something very hobbit-like about them.

    Hair & make-up:

    I just know there are surveys out there that calculate how much time women spend in a lifetime dealing with hair and make-up. And I don't want to know.

    I can't deal with all the shampoo types out there now-- volumizing for thin to medium thickness hair that is dyed with anti-frizz agents thrown in for good measure. So many promises on each label. It takes half an hour just to read the basic information and then you have to CHOOSE. So I just get whichever Pantene is on sale. I once heard that it doesn't much matter which kind you use as long as you switch it up every couple of months. There is some truth to that, I have found, and virtually no truth in labeling.

    When God was giving out eyelashes, I was at the end of the line. If I don't use a little mascara, you can barely see them. Really. So clumping is a major concern. I am ready for that spreadsheet.

    And finally: I concluded a long time ago that certain make-up is worth paying more for, but other stuff might as well be Cover Girl because it works as well if not better and saves a ton of money.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ortizzle--As usual, you are So With Me when it comes to Everything. I read the same advice about shampoo, so I have the requisite three or four Panaceas du Jour in my possession at all times so that I can rotate whenever my hair starts being a Bitch.

    And it is patently absurd how specific shampoos and moisturizers and disposable shavers, even have become. As you so rightly pointed out, it's So Much Bullshit.

    Mascara, however, remains my ever-elusive Beauty Ideal. I have been a loyal Revlon Woman for everything else, but their mascara...not so much. We all know that most cosmetics are horribly overpriced and probably made of chemical sludge and giraffe spit, but oh well.

    ReplyDelete

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