Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Me in Review

A word of warning: This post has lots of pictures of me in it, and has nothing to do with gardening. A scary prospect. I'll try not to overshare.

This past year, 2013, was my year to embark on a few personal, physical changes. I made some really effective changes to my diet, adding in more fresh vegetables and taking out processed foods, which was just the push I needed to finally get to my weight loss goal of 40 pounds. I don't have any pictures of the difference between the old me and the new me. It's not that noticeable. I hope the next 40 pounds will be a lot more noticeable (but that doesn't mean I'll take lots of pictures of that process either). I intend to keep going.

One big physical change that I made this year was letting my white hair grow out. I stopped coloring it right at the beginning of the year, in January, when I looked like this.

Now, it's December, the blonde has grown out and been mostly cut off, and I look like this.

I'm trying to remember what the impetus was, to make me want to grow my hair long and go back to its natural color. I told everyone I was "embracing my age." I remember about this time last year seeing lots of photos of actresses and models with beautiful, luxurious, white or gray hair. With my hair short and blonde, I do look younger, but I also thought I looked kind of generic. I wanted to stand out. I wanted to be that funky old lady with the long white hair and a sense of style. But I seem to have turned out to be just the comfortable old Grandma who gives nice hugs. I'm too lazy to be stylish.

I wore my hair quite a bit longer when I was young, down to the middle of my back. Here's a crappy photo from early spring 2005. The roots had gone white very quickly the year before, giving my hair a strange ombre effect.

I took that photo just before I had it cut shorter and started coloring it. I remember it being a lot thicker than it looks here.

Here's how it looked back in 2005 right after I had it cut.

And then about a month later, the first time I colored it.

Looking at these photos, I can see that my hair over the last 9 years has definitely gotten thinner. It's not obvious from that recent photo of me above with white hair, but nowadays I can see my ugly pink scalp through my hair.

So, with the approach of the new year, I'm on the cusp of a decision: Will 2014 be the year I go back to cutting and coloring my hair? Or do I stick it out and see what it looks like really long? I'm inclined to go back to cutting and coloring, and forget about all this "embracing my age" stuff. I don't think I want to go "gentle into that good night." Maybe I should kick up a bit of a fuss.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


  1. Keep the white hair! It is so sassy and cool looking and it gives you a look that is not like everyone else's generic middle of the road style. I too stopped coloring and have started to grow my short sensible haircut out into something a little longer. (and I too have a bunch of photos of me that I mull over, trying to decide what to do!) I vote for the lady in photo no. 2!! Absolutely.

  2. Dear cousin, I'm probably headed in the opposite direction -- gaining weight and (maybe) coloring my hair! Seriously, I think length is more of a factor than color. At our age, it seems, hair should stop at the shoulder and maybe be even shorter. Congratulations on your life changes!

  3. Embrace the white my friend! You earned every white hair on your head. Good for you to have lost 40 pounds, I would like to lose some but it is a slow process.

  4. It is entirely up to you Alison...if you want to color go ahead and kick up a fuss. But I like #2 picture. And congrats on the 40 lbs...working toward this myself...hard work!

  5. Your hair looks great, and so does the rest of you! Hair getting thinner just happens, probably because we have so much more on our minds. Grass can't grow on a busy street!


  6. Book yourself into a really top Salon , get a really good haircut, it'll make you feel and look fantastic ! Do this before you start coloring again. You have such a lovely face … do it !

    1. Good advice from Linda, Alison. She worked as a stylist for Vidal Sasson in London and she knows what she is talking about. I'm thinking of doing the same thing. We could compare notes in February at the NWFG show!

    2. I agree with this advice!! It's amazing what a great haircut can do. BTW..congrats on the weight loss! I'm excited for all of your new garden changes too!

    3. I love your white locks! Besides, that great smile of yours is hard to compete with, as it too lights up the room. As for the rage and fire - it's in the attitude and the heart, not in your hair.

  7. Your white hair is gorgeous, thinning or otherwise.

  8. I really like the white hair, but I understand the desire to color. I color my hair (highlight) and I see how it is a slippery slope. Once you start how do you stop? The growing out process is the worst (I've heard) and now you are at the other side. Keep the white, auntie, you look good.

  9. Two words: platinum blonde. Hey, it worked for Marilyn. Happy new year, bold new you (with all your changes, I'm glad you kept all the good parts, too)!

  10. I think you look lovely with the longer and whiter hair! But I remember you from the Burlington days with very long hair, so it was a shock to see you in more recent years with short hair.

  11. Your white is gorgeous! I vote you keep that.

  12. Your inner glow radiates through your smiling eyes and quick wit. Congratulations on your healthier choices. I bet you have a lot more energy now than you did forty pounds ago. Hair color... You have that gorgeous silver color that people love. You could be the crazy cat lady with the wild shock of white hair flowing over your shoulders who yells at neighborhood children for tromping on her petunias. For special occasions, when you doff you house dress and gardening pearls to don a more elegant frock, hat and kid gloves, your hair could be spun into a tidy bun.

  13. I love your white hair! I agree with Linda. Treat yourself to a great cut and it'll look fabulous. Congrats on reaching your weight loss goal and continuing forward. You've inspired me to start working on it too. :-)

  14. I vote for a dual approach: Embrace age and kick up a bit of fuss -- simultaneously. Attempt the impossible! Rage against the dying of the light AND read Little Gidding in its entirety at least once a month:

    "...We die with the dying:
    See, they depart, and we go with them.
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
    The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
    Are of equal duration....

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, unremembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple-tree

    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
    Between two waves of the sea.
    Quick now, here, now, always--
    A condition of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of thing shall be well
    When the tongues of flames are in-folded
    Into the crowned knot of fire
    And the fire and the rose are one."

    Apologies for the long post.

  15. Your white hair is beautiful - I keep saying that when I have enough of that coming in, I'll stop coloring mine as well but at present mine's going from blond to a blah dirty dishwater color. Do whatever makes you happy when you look in the mirror so you can maintain that wonderful smile in all your photos.

  16. First time visiting your post - your blog title really caught my eye. Here in Scotland a Bonnie Lassie is a beautiful young woman - what I saw is what I got! Keep smiling Alison :)
    Well done on your weight loss and maintaining your ambitions for 2014.

  17. I love this. I have been thinking of doing a similar post, maybe on my 60th birthday, should I live so long, showing me through my life. It seems self indulgent to go way back. but on the other hand, I am fascinated when friends post photos for "Throwback Thursday" on Facebook. Thanks for posting this, and feel free to post one that shows you all the from childhood to the present.

    On the subject of white hair vs. colour: Mine seems to stubbornly either not turn white, or maybe the sun-lightened blonde hides the white. I would relish being white haired (I think) if it would cooperate by being a beautiful clear and not yellow white. Your white hair is an excellent colour.

  18. I love this different post all about your doubts about your hair and weight. I have the same with my hair lots of greys are appearing, shall I colour it or not...
    Anyway grey or blond, your eyes have the same sunny appearance.
    Wish you a healthy and happy 2014!

  19. I love your white hair...I vote for leaving it the way it is!

  20. I love this post. I periodically wonder about coloring my hair to cover some of the gray and kid myself that I would look younger. But realistically, I'm too lazy to keep it up properly, and I think I'd feel slightly false to my hippy background. Linda's advice to get a really good haircut is wise. As I said above, I may just do that myself!

  21. You're in a win win situation whichever you choose but I will vote for all white hair, we think its fab!

  22. I love you just the way you are.

    I'm growing mine out just because I can and there is an excessive amount of it. Just another inch or so and I'll have enough length to gather all this mess into an old lady bun. I have to find more barettes and combs meantime. Big hair can be skeery.

    Your hair is that lovely white that blondes turn. MIne is steely gray that brunettes turn and it never quite gets all white but it's what I have. .

  23. I've never colored my hair , though in the 60's we would spray lemon water on it before going to the beach...this was 'sun bleaching'. I don't mind the grey now. I think you look grand with lighter hair color--and I admire the 40 lb thing. One needs to give up bread and cheese. Especially cheese. Moderation in all things.

  24. I've never colored my hair either - too much work and bother. I vote for a good, short cut, easy breezy and white!

  25. I love the white hair! Lovely photos. Happy New Year and greetings from Montreal, Canada.

  26. My hair is still its natural color so I'm not sure my opinion carries much weight but I think your second photo is attractive. Do what makes you happy. Try the cut/color one more time and if it's as satisfying as it was before, then do it again. If not, then forget it.

  27. A huge congratulations on losing the 40 pounds! I've been trying to lose 10 pounds & am struggling... a lot.


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