Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome, Neshira and Aiva

Neshira (Shira to me) and Aiva joined our family officially on Saturday, September 22. They have unofficially been part of us for the last year or so, but now it's official! I don't have very good pictures of the lovely wedding in the meadow of Pigeon Forge, TN, because I was busy just enjoying the event. Both Alissa and my sister Peggy took some lovely ones, though. Mine all seem to have been taken from the side and just of people milling around.

At any rate, it was a simple and beautiful wedding, and now Chip and Shira are enjoying a well-deserved honeymoon in the Smokies. They have a secluded cabin in the mountains, but they have easy access to all the tourist attractions that they can afford in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN as well as Cherokee, NC. I'm sure they won't lack for activities in that very busy and scenic area.

We are so pleased to add Shira and Aiva to our family. Shira is a lovely young woman who shares Chip's slightly offbeat interests and way of looking at life. They are both kind of like modern day hippies, and they enjoy simple pleasures. Both of them like poetry and music and have a deeper philosophical side that most of the rest of us Rausch's do not. They are both somewhat shy and self-effacing and are so well-matched. Shira makes our guy happy, and that is a major accomplishment! Chip spent many years waiting for just the right girl to come along, and now she has. He's ready to settle down and take care of his new family. Aiva, who will be three very soon, is just icing on the cake. She is a delightful and loving child, who, in spite of the picture above, usually has a big smile on her face. We love having a new granddaughter! We are so happy to have both of the ladies in our family and look forward to many happy years for the newlyweds and their daughter. Life is good!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Many Faces (and Hairstyles) of...

...me! I know it has been awhile, but I am finally getting around to finding and posting pictures of me and my different hairstyles at various points in my life. You can see I have changed a great deal. Thanks for Peggy for most of the pictures. I took them off my "Happy 50th" poster that she made for my surprise party nine years ago...

As you can see, I've always been blonde, in some shade or another. Even now, not too much gray hair shows up in my darker blonde hair. As a child, my hair was platinum blonde, very fine, very thick, and very straight, although you can't tell it by all the pictures of me. Invariably, the pictures showed me with a fluffy hairdo. This was due to the diligent efforts of my mother, who washed my hair each Saturday night and then sat me on the floor between her knees and proceeded to torture me by twisting my hair into tight pin curls that were secured by bobby pins, many of which had lost the protective rubber tip. This started when I was very small--the first picture you see was taken when I was four, and in the second shot I was about six or seven. Every Sunday my hair was a combination of fluff and frizz, and it got progressively less curly throughout the week. I remember growing hair long enough for a ponytail when I was about eight, but I think my mom thought this was too much trouble to maintain because I went back to short hair after that. About that time, Mom tried home permanents, which left me feeling like a ball of frizz, and I hated them. They were stinky and ugly. I think I continued to get them until I was in junior high, when I took over my own styling. At that time, I swore I would never get another perm--more on that later.

When I started fixing my own hair, I did the brush roller thing. Since my hair was so fine and I didn't want perms, I had to roll my hair every night and sleep on the curlers. Picture number three shows how I looked throughout much of high school, although with different hair lengths. I would get a short haircut at the beginning of each summer and let my hair grow until the next summer, with longer hair in the winter. My hair was odd and hard to style, and keeping it pretty was complicated by the fact that I wouldn't tease my hair or use hairspray because I hated the way it made my hair feel. And I wanted that soft and smooth hair because I was a hair twirler. I had a specific hank of hair that I fooled with much of the time, and it felt good between my fingers. When I was in high school, the look was a flip hairstyle, which you see in picture number four. Usually I couldn't achieve this look, and one side flipped up and the other turned under, but I seem to have managed it in this picture when I was 18.

About that time, hairstyles began to change, and long, straight hair was in. Finally, a low-maintenance look! The next two pictures show that style. The close-up was my senior college picture and the one used in my engagement announcement that ran in the paper.

I kept my long hair throughout college and the first several years of marriage, but in my mid-twenties, I was ready for a change, and I got it. I got a shag haircut with many different lengths, and it lasted several years. From that point on, I kept my short hair as it was easier to care for and keep neat, and with three kids, that was a necessity.

During my 30's, I thought I needed to do something to jazz up my flat hair, so I started getting perms (done by a professional), even though I was leery of the frizzy look I had had as a child. The perms weren't frizzy, but I still felt like a poodle when a perm was new. It began to look good about 2-3 months after I got it. I never did figure out a way to get a perm that didn't leave me too curly in the beginning, so I abandoned the perms a few years ago. I now get my hair cut about every 5-6 weeks and use a curling iron when I wash it. I still don't put much effort into styling it, but my hairdresser has been cutting my hair for over 20 years, and she has got it down to a science. It's very easy to maintain a neat look. I am proud to say that I have never colored my hair, although I do confess to occasionally using a spray that is 50% peroxide and 50% water to keep it from getting too mousy in color.

I have always considered my hair one of my better features because it is naturally blond and very soft and silky to the touch. It's not fancy, but it is my style, which is unadorned and down-to-earth. It fits me to a tee, I guess. Now you know more than you ever really wanted about my hair. I'll try to think of something more interesting next time...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I'm Still Alive...

It seems to have been a few weeks since I have had a chance to post anything. It has been extremely busy around here. Now that the old guy is feeling well, he goes with me most of the time when I have somewhere to go, and then we end up going somewhere else. Between Curves, doctor appointments, hair appointments, getting my car fixed, and a few social occasions tossed in, it seems we have had something on the docket to do every day from September 4 through September 14 and many other days as well. For various reasons, I will be missing my painting session for three weeks in a row. Of course, one of those Mondays was a holiday, so the library wasn't open anyway. And this coming Monday is Grandparents' Day at Drew's school, and I'd much rather be there!

We have still been looking at travel trailers and patio homes, even though we won't be getting one of either for at least a year. We have found a few patio homes we really like, and I think the old guy is getting ready in his mind to make the move. I expect it will be a few years, but just looking at the new homes makes me eager to move to a new place with not so much maintenance. Of course, that means we need to go through all the things we have accumulated over the years and cull out the things that are most important to us. Better we do this now than wait until we are so old that the task becomes overwhelming instead of just daunting, as it is now.

Because we have been so busy, I have had very little downtime to be at the computer or even to read, and I find myself longing for a quiet afternoon at home as much as I longed for activity early in the year. Guess I'm never satisfied. :)

Reading Alissa's post about hairstyles the other day made me think about the various hairstyles I have had over the years. I found a few pictures. As soon as I have time to scan them, that will make a humorous post, I'm sure. Meanwhile, life is good (and busy!)...