Monthly Archives: June 2010

Swept Away

Before the flood, beautiful plants, planted by one of the stylists at his own expense, always adorned the front of the salon during the warm months. Because of the flood damage, the Salon is now closed forever.

Periodically, floods sweep through Kansas City.  In early June, 2010, five feet of water surged into the hair salon where I’ve been going for more than fifteen years, destroying it.  It destroyed more than furniture and equipment. It wrecked a home.  The Salon, like a lot of similar salons, was a little community center.  

M., the owner and my stylist, had created a lovely ambiance with art on the wall, plenty to read, coffee and treats. From time to time, she would host craft sales and other events in the space.  People lingered at the Salon, chatted, got to know every one. The salon was the center of M.’s many fund-raising activities for a host of charities.  M. featured the work of many local artists and photographers.  

When this photograph was taken, water had already receded quite a bit from the strip mall where the Salon was located.

 M. was a stylist at the Salon for eighteen years, owning it for most of that.  She couldn’t get flood insurance, so everything that was damaged is a loss.  In the middle of the night, a wall of water broke through the windows, knocking everything around.  For hours, the cabinets and chairs and other furnishings steeped in the shoulder-high angry, filthy water.  Bottles of shampoo and conditioner swirled in the torrent, ending up in front of a restaurant at the end of the strip mall.  When the water finally receded, not much could be salvaged.  

The physical losses are painful, but what M. says she misses the most is the camaraderie of the other stylists and their clients.  She and four stylists have found a temporary home in another salon. It’s a lovely place, but the stations are all cubicles, so you don’t see much of the other stylists or patrons. The other half of the stylists from the Salon found spots in another salon far away. 

Flowers every day all year at the Salon!

“That salon was my life,” M. says.  She did have a premonition that it all might end, though.  A minor flood two years ago left her feeling anxious at every heavy rain, so in March she didn’t renew her long-term lease.  Instead, she renewed her lease on a  month to month basis, so she’s now not obligated for another three years.  That’s the main bright spot, if you can call it that.  For now, she’s just going to style hair and not worry about running a business.  She’ll re-group and then decide what to do. 

It’s tough being a small business owner. They keep the country going, taking on risk and are often under a lot of stress, not just for themselves but for the many others relying on them for their livelihood. 

M. will bounce back.  She’s one of the most positive people I know. She has a huge circle of devoted friends.  

More flowers outside the Salon.

  

     

 

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Filed under Business, Commerce, Friendship, Kansas City, Life

It’s a Diabolical Plot!

Loki realizes that golf balls don't taste as good as they look.

I woke up on Sunday with a bed full of golf balls.  How did this happen?  A pile of rawhide chews I can understand, because Loki the dog hides them everywhere, but how did Loki get these golf balls?  Then I saw Bones the cat slink by.  Aha! 

Bones was briefly top pet -- until Loki joined the household. Bones is plotting ways to return to the top by taking advantage of Loki's love of chewing.

The golf balls are strays from the nearby golf course (some of the balls got pretty darned close to the house!) and sit in a corner on the counter, awaiting use as practice balls.  Bones sits on the counter, pushing the balls over the edge, one by one.  Bones thinks he has finally found a way to get rid of this usurper animal, who is staying with us for a while.  Bones knows we may forgive Loki for chewing up toothbrushes, wood trim and even priceless family photographs, but golf balls?  Never! (Sorry, Bones!  Loki is forgiven again…But, Bones,  I promise you extra head rubs. )

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Dogs, Family, Humor, Life, Personal, Pets

Smooth!

Frozen blueberries and banana slices blended with milk make a great smoothie.

I’m hooked on smoothies.  This passion started when it finally dawned on me that I should slice and freeze bananas that were over ripe or soon would be.  Later (really I only waited about a day) I blended the frozen banana slices with chocolate milk.  Velvety, sweet and icy cold.  I highly recommend it.  The calories are worth it, but I usually skip lunch on a smoothie day, anyway.

Recently, I harvested  a pint or more of strawberries from my garden every day for two weeks.  I froze some.   Hmmm.  Bananas? Strawberries?  I threw them together in the blender with some milk (and sometimes vanilla yogurt), pulsed them for a while, added a little sweetener, and the result was so delicious I was sorry I hadn’t thought of this earlier in my life. It’s not as if smoothies are a new idea.  Sometimes it takes me a while to catch on.

I drank these strawberry-banana concoctions so quickly that I never photographed a single one of them before the strawberry season was over.  When my husband bought some blueberries, I was ready with my blender and my camera.  And what do you know!  Frozen blueberries and bananas make a great smoothie, too!  I held myself back from drinking this blueberry-banana smoothie  (photo above) long enough to snap a photo.  Next — Peaches!

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Filed under Drink, Food, Gardening, Life

Asleep at the Wheel

"Asleep at the Wheel," an Austin,Texas, based-band, performed in the Olathe, Kansas, Free Summer Concert series on June 11, 2010.

One of my old favorite bands came to town on Friday, June 11, 2010,  — “Asleep at the Wheel” (With a headline like “Asleep at the Wheel,” you might have thought this would be a political post!)  The band performed in the Olathe (Kansas) Free Concert Series.  Fortunately, great friends got us great seats up front, because I got delayed walking the lovely but labor intensive dog, Loki.  (More about Loki in a future post…)

One of the music lovers at the concert sports a tattoo featuring a guitar and a harmonica.

Years ago, my husband and I heard “Asleep at the Wheel” in Kansas City in another free concert series on another humid summer night, and the band was just as awesome last night.  Sounds like we’re a pair of real cheapskates with a hankering for Texas swing! 

Ray Benson, the founder of "Asleep at the Wheel."

Under the direction of founder and lead singer Ray Benson, “Asleep at the Wheel” is in its fortieth year.  Some of the band members are barely even half that age. The band has undergone a lot of changes in membership, but still maintains that polished yet over-the-top Texas sound. Ye Haw!  

“Asleep at the Wheel” has won nine Grammys.  The “Wheel” has performed and recorded with many outstanding entertainers, such as Willie Nelson and The Dixie Chicks. (See Barack Obama sing with Asleep at the Wheel in a 2008 video below. Someone should have loaned the future prez a cowboy hat!)   In 2005, “Asleep at the Wheel” debuted its tribute play to Bob Wills, the king of Western Swing.  Check out the websites below for more information.

Jason Roberts and Elizabeth McQueen of the Texas Swing band "Asleep at the Wheel" in Olathe, Kansas, on June 11, 2010.

“Asleep at the Wheel” playing their iconic “Route 66.”

Barack Obama joins in with “Asleep at the Wheel.”

Listen to”Asleep at the Wheel” on their MySpace page.

“Asleep at the Wheel” official website.

“Asleep at the Wheel” entry on Wikipedia.

“A Ride With Bob” website.

Olathe Free Summer Concert Series.

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Filed under Entertainment, Kansas City, Life, Music, Personal