I know by now you’ve figured out I wasn’t doing my traditional yearly countdown.  There was so much going on and I wanted to handle this special time of year in a new way.  So, I decided to make an extra long post and bring you up to speed at one time.  I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you prefer the other way.  These are in no particular order but these are the moment that stands out in 2017. Let’s get it started.

Moving to 7732 – After a rocky and moldy ending (literally) in my old apartment, we were relocated to another unit on the complex. As you noticed through this blog and pictures on Instagram, I invested a lot of time into making that place feel like home. So when I moved over here, I didn’t even have the energy. We’ve been here since March and I still haven’t got this place organized. Let’s add that I truly thought I would be moving into the home I purchased this year but you all know what happened there. It’s a better apartment. Larger. Better views of the Detroit River. The neighbors are priceless. However, over the last half of the year, I’ve been living in a constant MAJOR construction site. They’re completely overhauling this property. This includes digging to install gas lines to offer residents forced and central air. Well, the majority of this smelly work is taking place right outside my windows and the smell is sickening. Now, the query on my brain is – do I wait for them to finish or move on to another place? I have time to think but I truly need to weigh out my options.


Year of Music – Oh, I saw some great acts this year starting with Thundercat. Chene Park offered up a few artists I couldn’t pass on. I didn’t hit the road as much this year for music but I had to see Chris Brown in Chicago. My cousin even got me out the house to see Xscape. Solange, Tyler the Creator, Boney James, Roy Ayers, Lalah Hathaway, Will Downing, Chante Moore and my jazz festival crew. In addition to those people, I saw a true legend this year – Patti Labelle. Outside of the live shows, I discovered a crew of new artists that I have every intention of seeing live – Smino, Moodchild, H.E.R, Daniel Caesar, and a few others.  My ears and heart were pleased. I didn’t make it to Paisley Park but I’ll get there in the new year.  My SeatGeek and StubHub notifications are loaded and I’m sure I’ll get around a little more in the new year.

AVMs – on Dec. 6, I called 911 to assist me because somehow the entire right side of my body went numb and I couldn’t get it to do what I commanded. As the dispatcher listened to my request for help, she asked, “why do you feel you’re having a stroke?” My response lacked no candor, ‘Bitch, because I’ve already had one. Help me.’ That was the best I could give her. The EMTs arrived and I dropped another B bomb. By the time I arrived at the local hell of emergency rooms, all my faculties were functioning. Afraid of a repeat battle with aphasia, I kept talking and reading everything. After a few hours and some rushed tests, they came back and said it was a TIA. Oh yeah, I thought, ‘fuck this I’m outta here’ and signed myself out. Then, my friend, Reggie appeared only to walk me back to the emergency room. (You never know how blessed you are until you look into the faces of your friends. My friends are unmatched. All of them are true blue. That’s only because they know the type friend I am.) As we sat there, catching up, laughing, trying to see if this nurse was worth him shooting his shot lol and talking about life, I appreciated him a little more. We were only planning to go out that night, I guess we did. Ha! He had done God’s work. I stayed in that hell hole until Friday. While I was there they diagnosed me as having another small stroke/TIA/vasoconstriction/AVMs. The reason it wasn’t a stroke is that I have no residual deficiencies. This TIA business was still up in the air but they presented 2 additional causes. These grabbed my attention and I needed to get to Dr. Miller at Henry Ford to confirm. I was active in a situation where I did NOT trust the people who had my life in their hands. After styling on them for one week in comfortable pajamas, twisting my hair daily, cleansing and moisturizing my face (thanks to Tamika) and laying on my satin pillowcase, I walked out calling my neurologist. He made room for me and I’m going to take all these findings over to him. I’ll let him tell me what our next steps are. One thing I know for sure, I’m going to live.

Rocket Love – After 4 years, the relationship I thought was going to mature into spending the rest of my life with Gino S., is over. Yep, that’s his name. I kept that real close, lol. himThis is the main reason I’ve gone missing over the last part of 2017. I don’t even have the energy to type it out. Bottomline: The feeling he had was that I was spying on him for the UAW or someone more powerful.  He’s being psychologically manipulated and I’m helping them do this to him. He doesn’t trust anything I say or even being around me. Trust me, I’m still confused but hey – maybe entering the institution of marriage – isn’t in the cards for me.  I still believe in love but at this point, I’m not sure if I even want to go through this again. This one hurt more than any other. The reason for this is because I’ve done none of what he believes and I truly felt I had found my best friend and life partner in this man. I stayed single for so long and when I opened myself up again, BAM I got hit. Understand this is the one thing I was protecting myself from and it still happened. Feel free to listen.  There is more but I just wanted to share a piece. My truth is all that matters to me.  Something that I’m not aware of happened (mental health issues) and he needed to push me away.

Book Author Ambitions – This year I decided to write a book. After writing this blog for 5 years and putting this idea on the back burner, I’m finally going to dedicate some time to finish it. If you follow me on Facebook, you can find out the title. I can promise you – it won’t be a short story. 🙂

New Assignment – In June, one of the best bosses I’ve ever had transitioned to the next chapter in his professional life. We truly had a great working relationship and you all know how much I enjoy stability but I had to accept this. His transition spearheaded mine and that included me moving away from everything I was familiar with except my parking garage. Lol, that had to remain the same. I may have started kicking and screaming. Moreover, this was my opportunity to show my worth on the team. Display that I had grown from the time I had joined the company. I had become more proficient and knowledgeable in the role. More importantly, this showed me they trusted me to transition seamlessly and learn about the new business organization I would be supporting. What I didn’t know was, this was only the beginning. At the end of November, I was informed I would be supporting our newest Senior Executive Leader. Wow! As word got around, the congratulatory messages and visits came and none was more surprising than that from Captain Stadwick. I still call him boss and always feel like I represent him and Rebecca. That’s the type of person I am – I just don’t want to disappoint the people that believe/support me. My new director seems nice and I’m sure we’ll build a great working relationship. Do I see you on the horizon STABILITY!? 🙂

Kid Graduating – I’m still excited about that kid graduating. He’s sincere about getting a degree. I think my sermons about making a life for yourself got through to him. With one img_4230semester under his belt, he’s still excited about school. We’ve experienced some bumpy roads but it was time for me to let him go & grow.  He’s becoming his own man and there’s not much I can do for him at this point.  He needs to work those things out for himself. I’m a little nervous about some military conversations he’s been having with some soldiers. I mean who would want their child to be in the military with a leader like 45. I’m not putting that guy’s name in my post but feel free to figure out who I’m talking about. Him graduating was certainly a major highlight of my life.

Lance – Y’all remember when I 1st start talking about getting a new car. I still love Cole but it was time for me to move on. After talking to our Technical Assistance Team, I settled on the CTS. Let me just tell you – I really love all the bells and whistles included in this vehicle. Eff all that – I love this car as a whole. The connectivity is unmatched. I haven’t even had it one year but I know I’ll be a repeat customer. It’s perfect for me. Don’t get me wrong there’s a vehicle from each of our brands that fit me. Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Yukon Denali. This Cadillac just spoke to me. Now, to try out the manual features when the weather breaks and only God knows when that’ll happen around Detroit. Lance

This hair – I still have my edges, more silver strands and it’s getting thicker. My plan is to wear wigs for the entirety of 2018. In addition, I will be doing chebe, hair supplements and deep conditioning on a regular basis. Some essential hair care practices were neglected throughout the year. My goal is APL by the end of 2018. I believe I can do it. So many stresses that were buried in my mind have eradicated themselves or I’ve made a pact to not allow them to drain me anymore. My complete health is important to me and that includes my hair. It may not be billowing curls like Tracey Ellis Ross but it’s all mine. I heart my hair, still.

My favorite Asian – On a quick getaway to Battle Creek, Michigan, I bumped into an Asian store owner. I’ll be the 1st to tell you, I only remember 25% of what he said. The thing that will remain with me until I die is something he said about time. “To waste time is to waste your life.” Even one minute is waste…. I share this message with you, don’t waste one moment of your life.

LIVE…. I’ll see you in 2018 with more smiles. 🙂

Told you I’d be back with a post about my hair.  I’m going to keep this post very sweet and short. I haven’t lost any hair.  My hair is growing. A strict regimen is needed. The wigs may get a revival.

So, I’ve been growing my hair out since my cut last summer.

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I can tell you it has grown since this picture. That’s solely due to my three girlfriends and flat twist.  My comfort level with my natural texture has grown immensely.  Straightening my hair almost brings me no joy beyond the initial day.  I worry about heat damage and hair reversion, lol. I think you’re familiar with all my protective styles.  I embraced the shorter wigs as well.  My next will be a long straight model.

Over the summer, I decided to allow a stylist to wash and condition my hair once a month.  This would allow me to keep up with trims and get a little relief from the dreaded wash day.  I noticed my hair wasn’t shedding as much as normal. But, I was still messing up in an area or two.  I wasn’t keeping up with my wash days. Allowing weeks go by without washing my hair or deep conditioning. Recent stress had snatched two plugs of hair from my scalp and I wasn’t happy about it.  Back to the peppermint oil, I ran and added lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary essential oils and black seed. More importantly, I still had my edges!

The hair was recovering and I noticed a few more grays around the perimeter.  Then I decided to get my hair straightened for a wedding and my anxiety was high.  My stylists I absolutely trust with my hair were booked, one was preparing for a big show and the other was styling a wedding. (You better have multiple stylists you trust and I’m not about to argue.) DAMN DAMN DAMN! So, I remembered a stylist that was close to me and specialized in natural hair care, Meah.  I set up an appointment and I put my tresses in her hands.  Praying all would be fine when I washed my hair the following week.img_4815-1

She gave me a protein treatment, which I hadn’t had in ages, and proceeded to blow dry my hair. I felt safe when she pulled out the heat protectant and the Wild Growth hair oil. Then she hit me with the one line women hate to hear from any stylist – “you need a trim.” Wtf! Everybody tells me that- fuck it do it.  I hate raggedy ends more than single-strand knots.  After she finished, she showed me the remains on the floor.  It wasn’t much and it appeared she just dusted the ends. I dared not show it on the outside but I was overjoyed.

Finally, I got caught in a light mist at the King HS homecoming game and the hair started to curl. 🙂  Then I made the choice to wash and DC like I had always done in the beginning of this journey and within minutes ALL of my curls and coils were accounted for.  Meah, definitely had my stamp of approval and considering I only wanted my hair washed/ blow dried once a month as a treat she certainly could be added to the rotation. I don’t remember how long it took me to wash my hair, condition and style it but it felt good. For the 4th time during this journey has a professional placed a pair of sheers to my mane and not chopped most of my hair off.  I twisted my hair in those flat-twists and made a vow to never miss wash day for the remainder of this journey.

#Mission2020 has begun.  “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan to fit the goal.” My goal certainly has changed and I’m going to focus on doing my part to ensure I have the healthiest head of hair. Now when you see me in a few years with long Pippie Longstocking twists, remember I never gave up.  🙂

Have you had to re-evaluate your hair care regimen? What are your go-to methods for retaining length?

 

 

I’m just as tired of talking about my hair as you may be of reading about it.  The setbacks, the accomplishments, and regimens can all become too much.  I’m literally months away from my initial cutoff.  However, I know that someone somewhere finds a little inspiration in my honesty about this healthy natural hair journey.  Some things have changed.  So, grab your deep condition or pre-poo, set it and read on.

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I got this haircut in June and after a few weeks of just wrapping and forgetting it, this was a needed break.  In September, I straightened my hair again.  Wrong move!  I suffered some heat damage, not too much but it happened.  Afterward, I said, “I’m done.”  I’ll just focus on reducing the heat.  Yeah right!  I love my kinks and coils.  The love affair I have with the wind blowing through my hair is often short lived because my hair starts feeling and looking greasy.  The duality of it all was too much.  I couldn’t give up.  Like for real, I’m so close to my April deadline for this experiment.  In all actuality, I should have retained at least 12 inches of hair.  That’s 1/3 of the hair I’ve envisioned for myself.



My hair has grown since the last cut and I can tell because I’m able to put my 2 flat twists in, again.  In the meantime, I needed to incorporate more ways to amplify my progress.  I’m sure most of you know Mahogany Curls (if you don’t check her out).  Well, she started a year-long growth challenge.  This includes no cutting, coloring, and simplistic regimens to see how much hair we can grow in 2017.  I’m totally on board for this.  More importantly, there is a forum for us via Facebook to gather knowledge and vent, congratulate and encourage each other through the year.  Within the first couple days, I discovered what my real issue was with my hair.  It’s de-fuckin’-hydrated.  I’m not moisturizing my hair enough which leads to breaking and snapping.  OMG!  How have I lasted this long without this critical point?  Only one answer comes to mind – I’ve been doing the bare minimum. Thank you, God, for protecting my edges.  🙂

Here’s what I’ll be doing until November 2017.  It seems pretty basic but it’s more than I have been doing in the past year, for sure.

vitaminsTaking vitamins these certainly helped me last year and I appreciate that I can get them from Target or CVS.  It also helps when I find a coupon in the Sunday paper for these.  That allow me to stock up.  I mean I’m a girl looking to save money on everyday stuff to have lifetime experiences.

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Deep conditioning hasn’t been as present in recent months due to the overwhelming task of wash day and being pulled in so many directions in life. I remember how well my hair was responding in the early days.

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This lady will be back.  The braids didn’t work as well as I hoped but I know without a doubt.  My hair succeeds under the protection of weave. So, as much as I like my hair, it’s time for me to take my hair goals serious.  The hair won’t be long or cost a million dollars.  It’ll give me the protection I need and assist me in retaining more length during this challenge.butter

In addition, I’ll be using hair butter and returning to the LOC Method to keep my hair moisturized in between installs and on wash day.

That sums it up.  I’m positive next year IF this hair makes it to the countdown – it’ll be to brag on my new length.  The April deadline is out the window.  This natural hair journey is here to stay.  Sometimes you need to change the plan to fit the goal. The goal is long healthy natural hair.

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How can I start? I’m enjoying the natural hair journey I’m on. It does become a bit tiring, especially on wash days. However, I’m a woman of my word. I planned to continue until my son graduates high school. This year started off with great discipline and hair care practices. I’ll tell you why I don’t believe I’ve taken the best care of my hair this year.

In the beginning of 2014, I was mixing treatments, rinsing in cold water, deep conditioning weekly and wearing my wig. My excitement about my first full year being natural using limited heat was my motivation. I went in for a trim in June after being told at my spring straightening that my ends were a little damaged. Educating myself on a few protective styles, ditching my wig left the summer and my ends open to a variance of issues.

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I began wearing flat twist halos and puffs on the regular. Ping ponging between another sew-in, braids and the financial obligations of life which included moving created several hurdles in my plan for 5 months undercover, so to speak. Before I knew it – September was here. No time for extra cash bring spent now. The kid was scheduled to go back to school (and you know what that means – more money bring spent). So, I couldn’t pay for an expensive hairdo. The summer was lost and I still couldn’t afford it. Oh yeah, I decided to throw my old faithful wig “Babygirl” away for esthetic reasons. Then I decided to have my hair curled during the fall. By this time, I’m washing my hair every 2 weeks and deep conditioning when I had the time. There is notable shedding but I am not concerned by this much. People are telling me my puff is getting larger and softer. Then I have an idea to keep my hair in a sew-in for the remainder of the year.

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By Thanksgiving Day, I’ve aborted the whole idea for the year. Wash days have become more infrequent. The deep conditioning is a a halt. I’ll have to wait and see what’s the final outcome at my NYE appointment for heat, protein and curls.

I’m definitely going to do better next year and not giving up on my curls, kinks and coils!

The tales of my hair are never ending. They include drastic change, growth, setbacks and milestones. If you really want to know, they mimic my life. Over the past year I have done everything to completely transition into a full on natural. No harsh chemicals, treatments or pressing comb. The biggest challenge for me gas been finding styles to compliment my hair and the agenda I set for it.

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As of April 2, 2013, I removed all damaged hair from my head and began me 4 year journey to healthier hair. It has been a real struggle to keep the heat away from my hair. It takes literally one pull from a pressing comb to have my hair flowing like the river Jordan. In all my conscious effort to keep my hands out of my hair I had to bind my hair up. This consisted of the sew-in weave as a protective style. I was upset after I removed the first install because I discovered that my hair had been ripped from the scalp from too tight braids. I concentrated my energy on reviving that spot through research and experimentation. For 5 months I kept my hands away from my natural hair and you’d be surprised to see what happened. The spot had totally filled in and I was on my way to maybe the healthiest head of hair I’ve had in my life.

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Not only did it grow, it shocked me! I had managed to take care of my hair under the mass of Brazilian virgin hair that was attached to my head strategically. I blew it dry just to see how big my afro had become since April. As I recall my hair has never had an issue with growing now I wasn’t interfering in it’s process. Being a person that sets goals for myself, I wanted to see just how far my process would take me through the end of the year. So instead of getting the weave re-installed, I ventured right back to my trusty wig. Only twisting my hair underneath for protection.

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All was well until I began to feel that something was missing from my hair care regimen. Proper care! Yes I was keeping the manipulation down, oiling my scalp, washing with the proper products but it still felt like I should be doing more. Then it came to me. (Ding dong) I needed to deep condition my hair more often. More like weekly. After visiting the M2 salon in Ferndale and receiving a deep treatment on my hair and loving my experience. I vowed for the remainder of my journey I would DC – deep condition every week. In the meantime I created a new problem area that requires my TLC. After taking the twists out that were installed after my trip to the salon, I placed my hair in a high puff. I’ll be honest it hurt like the dickens but I kept it in anyway. The price I paid was created another bald spot due to tension. So far it has shown improvement but I really didn’t need this kind of setback. However, nursing the 1st spot gave me knowledge on what I need to do for this interior space that’s crying out for my attention. (I have pictures but I want to save them for another post about the methods I used to bring it back) As you recall, my mane was straight for NYE.

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Scared for my life after a few days, I ran to the shower to throw some water on my head to make sure it reverted back to the curls. I didn’t grab no shoes or nothing Lord Jesus! Within seconds I was reunited with the head of hair I’d grown to love. So far I’ve kept my word and delegated a specific day to wash my hair. Currently, I’m experimenting with an assortment of products. This creates an air of excitement for me whereas I can get bored rather fast with the process. The constant in my hair care program is water and Sleeping Beauty hair garments. I’m trusting after this next move some of the subconscious stresses that I’m experiencing will be alleviated and we can obtain more consisted growth. Moreover, I’m going to be patient. i have a goal set but right now i want to focus on remaining strong in this lifestyle change. As I prepare to celebrate my 1st full year as a natural, I’m preparing to make greater gains in year two and become more familiar with the hair that’s suppose to be on my crown. 🙂