What Do We Have Hair?

If you know me, or have been following the blog for awhile, you may know a few things about me…one of them being that I am pretty low maintenance. While I don’t want to go out and scare people with my appearance (I hope I don’t anyway), I also don’t do much in terms of hair or makeup. That’s just me. When I was younger, I did love figuring out how to do different hairstyles, not necessarily for going out, just fun to try. My mom does not know how to do hair at all, so I am thankful for awesome friends who taught me, namely Breanne. 🙂 For the longest time though I could only do a French braid on my own hair, but not other people’s hair, and I’m still not that great at it.

Anyhow, fast forward to present day. I have two girls. They had/have long hair. You can read all of our “hairy” stories HERE. I was pretty unmotivated to do their hair (for no reason, probably just lazy :p haha), but when I did get chances to do their hair, I really enjoyed it. I like chatting with them while we sat together. And lately, Emily has been brushing my hair. I must say it is quite relaxing. So this has nothing to do with anything, but I figured you all needed a break from my decluttering talk.

We have been watching some videos on Cute Girls Hairstyles on Youtube. I have tried several on the girls (half mermaid, waterfall, rope twist, 3D braid, microbraid, etc.), but have only gotten pics of a few of them. ‘Hair’ you have it:

Fishtail Braid
This is Emily before her 5th birthday party. She requested a fishtail braid because her favorite Rainbow Loom bracelet to make is the fishtail one. (Yes, I know that one in the pic is not the same way as the others. It bothers me too.) I did a braid at the top on each side and added it to the bigger braid as I went along. I can’t wait for her hair to be long again, so I can do this. I need to look for hairstyles for shorter hair. It is taking awhile to grow back. I learned to do this one in 4th grade. Love it!

20140503_17192520140503_17195520140503_173701Crazy Hair
Not a real hairstyle for going out unless this is how you roll. This was just wacky hair day at our homeschool group. During the school year, the girls also have wacky hair day at two other groups that they are a part of, and it’s just fun to do whatever! :p

20141017_110907Half Mermaid Braid
This was my first attempt at the half mermaid braid. I have tried it several times since then and it looks better than this now. :p I like it, but it gets messy really easily, and it’s not an easy fix once it is messed up.

20141021_135705Waterfall Twist Rope Braid
This one is way easier than it looks. I really like it, but the top waterfall part doesn’t always stay because Melody’s hair is so shiny. You can see it better on non-black hair, but no plans for changing up hair color anytime soon…or ever. :p

20141213_11101220141213_111032That’s all I have for you right now! Let me know if you enjoyed this super random post, and I will try and post more hairstyles. Thanks! 🙂

Do you have any favorite hairstyles? Are there any you want me to try on Melody before she has short her again?

Another Hairy Story

This is not a style or hair blog (far from it!), but yes, I’m going to talk about hair…again! :p

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It affects about 2% of the population, including 6.5 million people in the US alone. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis). Each September is Alopecia Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Look At Us! It’s pride in those who have suffered from this disease, what they’ve accomplished, and where they are headed.

Melody Joyce EmilyI know some people are probably annoyed by my girls’ long hair, but I promise, it is not for show nor for lack of care that it is long. I shared my story of how I have been donating my hair for years now (see links below), and my girls have asked to be a part of that. Last year, both Melody and I were ready to make a cut. Emily has never gotten a haircut in her whole entire 5 years of life, so I think it was definitely time! She decided she would make the cut this year after her birthday and before our trip to Disneyland. You can see our photos below, along with links to more photos from each cut. 🙂 We had previously donated to Locks of Love, and this time we donated to Children with Hair Loss.

You can read all about my hair stories in the links below:
*It’s Been Almost 2 Years…
*Making the Cut: The Story of My Hair
*Making the Cut: My Hairy Adventure
*Making the Cut: The Fourth Donation

BEFORE – This is Melody’s 2nd “big” cut, and her first time donating.

DURING – She was definitely not as nervous as she had been for her first real haircut.

TA-DA! – I think she had a little more than 8 inches cut off.

AFTER – Cutie!

Check out more photos HERE.

BEFORE – I am always nervous for my cuts, even though this was my 5th donation.

DURING – Long hair is easier to manage for me than shorter hair.

TA-DA! – Looks okay until you see me in the morning. :p hehehe I think I had 10 inches cut off.

AFTER – But it is definitely lighter! Woohoo! No heavy hair!

The girls got their hair done while I was having my hair cut. Check out those photos HERE. They had a good time, and had some fab braids done.

BEFORE – 5 years in the making!

DURING – She was super nervous.

TA-DA! – I think she got 10 inches cut off, and it was a whole lot shorter than she expected.

AFTER – Super cute, and awesome for our Southern California trip! But she also has crazy hair in the morning!

And for more photos of Emily’s cut, click HERE.

It kinda weird to think that this package has hair in it. :p
But so awesome to see stories like these:

cwhlIf you are in the Bay Area, next Thursday is National Alopecia Areata Awareness Night at the SF Giants vs. SD Padres game. It is $17.75/ticket if you have a group attending this game. (Info in previous link.)

And if you have gray hair, but wanted to contribute with hair donation, there is news for you! A friend at church grew his hair to donate to Silver Wig’s Fund.

Well, thank you for making it through a super long post. I hope that kinda makes up for the lack of posts around here for the past 3 months. :p

What are some unconventional ways you have blessed others, or would like to bless others?

Pictorial Timeline of Norm’s Pedalboard

For you guitar geeks out there, enjoy a pictorial timeline of my pedalboard from its current state to the beginning:


Pedaltrain PT-2 with ATA Hardcase (powered by Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2)

  1. Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
  2. Diamond Compressor in Custom White/Chrome
  3. Electro-Harmonix Micro POG
  4. Fulltone Custom Shop Fulldrive 3 – 20th Anniversary Edition
  5. Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
  6. Ernie Ball 6166 Mono Volume Pedal
  7. Strymon Timeline
  8. Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb






– Norm

Readers’ Choice

Life = Behind in blog posting… What would you like for us to blog about next? Leave your vote in the comments below. Thanks! 🙂

1) MOPS & Pops Dinner

2) Mini golfing

3) Gardening

NUD: New Ukulele Day

This post is a month late and all happened around the time of my birthday.

I was trying to teach Melody to play the guitar, but she ended up becoming frustrated because her hand was too small to form chords on a guitar neck.  She was even playing my Baby Taylor (a 3/4-sized guitar) which has a 1 11/16″ nut that’s smaller than the usual 1 3/4″ nut.

A group of friends from our old Sunset small group were taking up playing ukulele, so they came over and Melody tried it out.  She liked it and it peeked her interest.  I always wanted to learn the ukulele too as I heard it was easy to pick up.  It should be an easy transition from a guitar and the sounds would bring back joyful thoughts of Hawaii (which is always a plus!).

I ended up looking around on the Internet and bought a practically new Kamaka HF-3 tenor ukulele from the Ukulele Underground Forum.  I printed out some ukulele chord charts I found online and started playing Amazing Grace in about 10 minutes.  It WAS an easy transition!


Later, I showed Melody some ukuleles on the Internet and she ended up picking a Kala Purple Paisley Soprano ukulele to buy.  Melody was thrilled when the ukulele shipped and finally reached her hands.  We ended up buying a ukulele hangar and nailed it to the wall above her bed.  She can play it now whenever she wants (except during times of sleep)…..and she does!


I love that she has an instrument to call her own and is learning to love making music instead of being frustrated by it.

– Norm

Readers’ Choice

I think I’m behind on blog posts, but I’m not sure… 😉 The posts are totally not in order anymore, but it’s that time again. You, our wonderful beloved readers, get to choose what blog post will be posted next.

1) A’s vs. Cleveland Game

2) Disney on Ice

3) Pumpkin Patch

This Is The Day

Recently, a friend’s husband had a small stroke. The speech therapist told him to pronounce loudly and enunciate clearly every morning before getting out of bed “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!” There is an amazing story about this, which I’m hoping she will share at a meeting on Tuesday. 🙂

It made me think that at the end of the day, we should all say “This was the day that the Lord made. I rejoiced and was glad in it.” Even with all the messes that are made, hardships and trials, I look back at each day and am thankful for each one of them. Even if it was now the happiest of days, there are small blessings in each and every one. After I shared this with my friend, she had said that she has actually been doing that at night too. Lord, “This was a day You made. We rejoiced and were glad in it. And we look forward to tomorrow if You choose to give it to us!”

If you think of it, could you pray for my friend’s husband? Thanks!

– Joyce

Eat Real Festival 2012: Oakland’s Jack London Square

This upcoming weekend is the annual Eat Real Festival at Oakland’s Jack London Square!  100+ food trucks/vendors will be there daily from Friday at 1pm-9pm, Saturday at 10:30am-9pm, and Sunday at 10:30am-5pm.  There will also be drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), live demonstrations, music, a market, do-it-yourself workshops, contests, and even a community oven to bake bread and pizza in.  Hope to see you there!

Link to Daily Listing of Food Truck Vendors: http://www.eatrealfest.com/eb/2012Vendors_ByDay.pdf

Link to the To Do List (includes options for Veggie Lovers, Carnivores Carnival, Without the Kids, and With the Kids): http://eatrealfest.com/event/Oakland/California/2012/guide-to-do

Eat it.  Make it.  Grow it.

Tacos inspired by flavors from around the world, curry, BBQ, hot dogs, ice cream, noodles, and a whole lot more of the Bay Area’s awesome curbside eats. The Eat Real Festival celebrates all things tasty, fresh, and handmade with a focus on street food, local wines, handcrafted beers, and traditional food craft – all featuring sustainable, local ingredients. And no dish costs more than $5.

But eating is only part of the fun. We also show you how to make it and grow it. From home cheesemaking to backyard chickens, you can explore a DIY lifestyle with demos and activities galore. Or just grab a taco and a beer and enjoy our full schedule of entertainment with bands, butchery contests, lit fest, and other tasty tidbits.

Source: eatrealfest.com

High-Strung (Nashville) Tuning

I frequent the AGF (Acoustic Guitar Forum) and one of the threads was about high-strung (Nashville) tuning.  I heard about this before from various places, but didn’t exact know what it was until now.  The posts in the thread said you should use a cheaper, small-bodied guitar when experimenting with this kind of tuning.  It also mentioned that most people experiment using a Baby Taylor…..which I just so happen to have lying around (Baby Taylor Rosewood).

Nashville Tuning is basically restringing your guitar with the octave six strings of a 12-string guitar.  It makes for a jangly, bright, autoharp, 12-string guitar kind of sound when playing alternately with another guitar.

D’Addario is the brand of strings I like using because with the EXPs, the coating somehow lasts longer than Elixir Nanoweb/Polyweb coating.  It just so happens D’Addario also makes a set of strings specifically for this Nashville tuning so I don’t have to buy a whole set of 12-string strings.

Standard 6-string “light” sets usually come in the following gauges:
E, B, G, D, A, E
.012, .016, .024, .032, .042, .053

High-strung Nashville tuning sets come with the following gauges:
E, B, G, D, A, E
.010, .014, .009, .012, .018, .027

Standard 12-string “light” sets usually come in the following gauges:
E, E, B, B, G, G, D, D, A, A, E, E
.010, .010, .014, .014, .023, .008, .030, .012, .039, .018, .047, .027

The experiment was pretty interesting.  It’s good to have different tone coming from each of my guitars now and with this tuning, I don’t have to buy a whole new guitar. I also can use the same fingering and chord formations as regular tuning.  Using Drop-D tuning with the set of Nashville-tuned strings supposedly is pleasant too.

Maybe I’ll even learn a little Hawaiian slack-key in the future as well.

– Norm