FOWC with Fandango — Shed

I was torn between writing about the shed which is falling down or the dog, who is shedding long white hair on my nice, clean black shirt.

Let’s go with the dog.

We didn’t have a problem with the two Scotties. Not only do they mostly match my clothing, but they don’t really shed. They get dirty and disgusting, but they don’t shed.

Mostly, terriers don’t shed. They have to be clipped or they look like a pile of dirty rags.

Now the Duke? HE sheds all the time.  This year, probably his first full coat, he has been shedding more than usual. I do not believe that either Garry or I ever go anywhere without a light to heavy coating of dog hair on everything.

He gets especially cuddly when we are dressed to go out something. I feel like we need a plastic bag over us as we race for the door!

Hey, you know the difference between a pure-bred dog and a mutt? You ready?

A breed dog “blows his coat.”
Mutts shed. 




A friend of mine, also suffering from thinning hair, pointed out that at least my hair is shiny. It’s the result of insanely expensive shampoo and conditioner, a carefully chosen hairbrush … and unmitigated luck.

I don’t have a lot of hair … but by golly, it has lustre.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

The secret — other than the wildly expensive shampoo and conditioner? A very soft hairbrush, wash it ONLY when it is really dirty … like once a week. When it was a lot longer (waist length) and much thicker, I washed it every two to three weeks because the longer it gets, the more fragile it becomes. It was explained to me that the hair at the bottom was the oldest hair on your head.

For example, if you have been growing your hair for four or five years, even with regular end trimming, the hair at the ends has been around for four or five years. It is essentially dead, so treat it with great care.

Also, when your hair is that long, it takes a REALLY long time to dry and when I was working, I had to have a strategy. Wash hair Saturday morning and by Monday, it would finally be dry.

I had a best friend who was a hairdresser and always reminded me to NOT WASH YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY.

Your hair is supposed to have natural oils in it. The first time you let it go a few days, it feels weird, but after a while, it all settles down, so unless you’ve been gardening, running, or seriously exercising, your hair doesn’t need a daily scrubbing.

Of course, there are people who have fantastic hair that never seems to thin and always looks great no matter what they do to it. Sadly, I’m not one of them.

The other thing? DNA. You just have to have “that kind of hair.” I may not have a lot of it, but it is shiny.

Note: My hair is always tied back except when I sleep. When it was very long, it was always in a braid, including when I slept.

Why? I take pictures and my hair is fine. A little tiny bit of wind gets it into everything. It covers my eyes so I can’t take a picture because I can’t see anything. It gets tangled with my glasses. It sticks in my teeth. It’s hard to tell who sheds more — me or The Duke.

THE ROYAL WE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Royal

The royal we — that is to say, me and Garry — went to the barber yesterday. There were no more excuses and it was getting ever increasingly difficult to find those magnets in his head.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

It sounds pretty funny, when I think about it, finding the magnets in your husband’s head, but he has magnets. They are what holds his transmitter to his skull.

Messages collected by a little microphone in his ear go to a coil and other electronic pieces. Presumably, from there, they go to his brain which translates these sound into human speech. Normal hearing does pretty much the same thing, but without the magnets and with the coil is there naturally from birth.

It’s a pretty cool setup. Even with all the ghost chimes and bongs and jangling in his head, Garry can hear, probably better than he has anytime before in his life.

I was there at the barber’s to explain that he needed one piece of hair cut shorter– not bald, just pretty tight to his head– so he could easily find the magnets. There are also magnets in the transmitter, so it’s magnet to magnet.

Garry may not have a lot of hair on top, but the hair on the sides and back of his head is thick. It was getting difficult to find the skull beneath the pelt. I was trimming the area, but the hair was growing a lot faster than I could cut it. And Garry is very fussy about his hair and heaven forfend I should accidentally cut an extra sprig of hair.

I would never hear the end of it. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But he is very fussy about his hair.

The result was perfect and now, it’s easy to find the magnets. As long as he keeps the head reasonably short, all should go well. The royal WE did it again!

BUT MY HAIR LOOKS GREAT! – Marilyn Armstrong

Much to my shock and delight, my granddaughter and her mom went and picked up groceries and a prescription for us today. Wow! And then they came back and Kaity dyed my hair, then trimmed it.

The last time she trimmed it was the end of January 2016. In between, I snipped a little off here and there when it got especially ragged and lately it had grown quite long. Which is often the result of not cutting my hair for a year-and-a-half.

Kaitlin felt strongly that I shouldn’t have cut my own hair. Self-cut-hair is, as she put it, a hack job. I pointed out that I had several times — like maybe more than several times — suggested she could trim it, but she hadn’t. She was sure it was just a few months ago that she cut it, but since it was more than mid-back length, that was not likely. My hair doesn’t grow that fast.

She pointed out that no one “had ever called her dependable.”

I agreed. I certainly had never said anything like that.

In June, I had bought dye for my hair. Called “vanilla white,” it’s basically white and ashy. I was hoping it would pull the yellow out of my hair. Our well water is full of iron and it turns my hair yellow, no matter what I do.  I hadn’t found any way to get the yellow out of my hair or remove the iron from the water since it appears to be part of the earth.

Amazingly, the color did the job. The hair came out a nice, even white.

Then she trimmed off about 3-1/2-inches of my hair.

I went into the “long-haired woman-after-a-haircut” shock. It happens every time I get my hair cut. Even when it’s a half-an-inch trim, I go into shock. This was quite a bit of what is left of my hair, but to be fair, it needed cutting. It looks thicker and healthier when it is a bit shorter.

It’s still long enough to tie back, but it’s not long anymore. It looks fuller and the color is improved. And it will grow. Presumably.


Share Your World – March 26, 2018

It is already a week past the Vernal Equinox and it’s still surprisingly cold here. Not mid-winter cold, though and in the middle of the day, you can feel the sun.

With the change of time, we are also getting a more normal sunset. I always feel better on DST than the rest of the year. It feels “natural” and the arrival of the light in the morning feels right. Full dark at 7 in the morning always feels “off.”

What is your favorite color of hair? You can name your hair color or a color that you just like.

And the answer is — I never thought about it. I have liked natural blond hair, however rarely I see it. I had a good friend who had the most amazing blond hair in the world. Then one day, she chopped it off, I suppose because she wearied of the amount of care very long hair requires. I understood the motive, but I mourned the amazing hair and it’s many intermixing colors.

I like dark hair too. Natural hair with natural highlights. You don’t see a lot of natural anything in hair these days. No one seems happy with whatever nature bestowed on them. I liked my hair well enough, even though it was never the same color two weeks in a row. It was very dark brown when I was a kid, but lightened up to a dark amber brown — what some hairdressers called dark blond but to me was brown with lighter highlights. Then it began to go gray.

It didn’t go gray evenly or elegantly. Just patches of battleship gray here and there. So much for natural! For the next 40 years (I went gray when I was still in my 20s) I dyed it back to what had once been my color.

Then, I had some serious life and death surgery and when I came home, my hair was not gray — it was snow-white. You hear that such a thing is possible in books, but to have it happen to you is more than a little startling. I gave up dying my hair. The difference between white and even light brown was too abrupt and I always looked a bit skunkish, with white streaks here and there along my scalp.

Since going white, my hair has reverted to a bit brown in some areas (yes, you can revert to brown from white — hair is a moving target) and darker gray in others, but it’s mostly white. I gave up dying it a long time ago. I am pleasantly surprised at how many older actresses have done the same. Probably for the same reason.

It’s nearly impossible to maintain another color when your hair is white. The contrast is intense and you would have to keep retouching it every few days to keep from showing white stripes.  White is not a bad color either Highly reflective and interesting. And, should you get the urge to change to some other color in the spectrum, it’s easy when the base color is white.

List at least 5 things that you are good at.

Writing. Taking pictures. Figuring out how to pay bills when we have no money. Thinking really weird thoughts. Writing the weird thoughts down, then blogging them. Because no one has enough weird ideas of their own. They need mine, too!

What is your favorite animal or type of animal? (pets, dolphins, stuffed, wild cats, etc)

I’m pretty fond of dogs, but I also love horses, cats, birds and ferrets. If it’s friendly and furry, I probably like it.

Which doesn’t mean I want to have them in the house. I think we have enough life here already.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

The news made me howl. It has gotten so ridiculous, I can choose to laugh or I can spend my life ranting and raging about it. Laughter is better for one’s soul and a lot easier on the people around you!


Share Your World – February 12, 2018

Are you a practical jokester?

Absolutely not. I think practical jokes — why are they called that anyhow? — are mean-spirited and often, cruel. I don’t like that kind of humor and don’t find it funny. I never did.

Who cuts your hair? You, a friend, or professional.

When my granddaughter remembers, she cuts it. Otherwise, it just keeps growing. Which I don’t mind. My hair looks better shorter, but it is much easier for me to maintain longer. This way, I can tie it back and when I am outside with my camera, I’m not fighting a constant battle to keep the hair out of my face. Or, for that matter, trying to keep it from covering the lens.

I love television advertisements with beautiful, very long-haired beauties driving in convertibles with their hair blowing free. Garry had a gorgeous bright orange Challenger convertible. To ride in it, I had to first braid my hair, then wrap it in a tight scarf. I also had to cover my easily burned skin because you don’t feel the heat of the sun in a convertible, but it find you anyway. I got some of my worst sun burns in Garry’s convertibles (he had three over the years). Finally, one day I gave him a simple ultimatum. Get a car with a roof or I’m cutting my hair. Pixie style.

He got a roof.

If those long-haired beauties were really riding in the convertible with that 2-foot long hair blowing in the wind? It would take three hairdressers several days to carefully pick the pixie knots out of her hair. And it would hurt.

When my hair was really long, I couldn’t leave it loose almost ever. I had to braid it at night and let the braid hang off the edge of the bed so I wouldn’t roll over on it and get my head stuck with my hair under my back. Long hair — very long hair — can get complicated. But medium longish hair, like mine? Easy peasy. Tie it in a Scrunci  and life is good.

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind?

No stuffed animals. Many dolls, though.

Dolls and a president

And real live dogs and cats which served the role very well.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Creating a few of my own filter effects made me feel really good … and the post Gretchen Archer posted on Facebook made me feel downright wonderful.


Allergic? I have a few words for you to consider:

Dust and Dog Hair.

If you don’t have a problem with either of them, wait for spring and add … POLLEN! Oh, and don’t forget autumn RAGWEED.

Anyone feel like coming and clearing our gutters and moving out those big blocks of ice and snow before the ice dams form?


I thought not. I got a notice from National Grid about doing exactly that along with a few other things we can’t afford. It took me two years to find someone to clean the gutters last time. He never came back and turned out to be a big time thief, so I’m glad I didn’t pay him in advance.

Pass the tissues.