Edits, edits and more edits

Behind every book is an author

Behind every book is an author

For all those non-authors out there I would like to tell you just how hard it is to write a book. It is not the stories or the writing itself it is the editing, editing again then more editing and when you think it is all done there is more editing still.
Then there is the final proofreading and editing again. Wow! But now it is done – how funny because three weeks ago I thought I was done. When I wrote those glorious words The End, I somehow thought it was just that, the end.
Well other than my cover being finished we are the end. Yessssss!
Well I am drained and to think I am thinking of writing another, I must be insane.

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Sequel of ‘A Hairdresser’s Diary- Scissors Retired’

A Hairdresser’s Diary

Scissors Retired

Chapter One

It was a long and painful, five years that followed the devastating car accident that targeted me in mid-June of 1970. The memories were overwhelmingly painful for me. So horrifyingly vivid were those first hours after being hit by the unconcerned, uncaring drunk driver that the memories remained fresh in my mind. The life altering accident happened in a split second, but in my mind, it repeatedly played back in slow motion. There were even freeze frame moments. I was overcome with anger as I recalled the way my back was twisted so severely and grotesquely. Seat belts were not installed in vehicles as of yet. I was sitting in the front facing Ron, my husband, both my knees rested on the seat; my feet on the console and my left arm dangled over the back between us. Then, in a flash of a second, a drunk driver sideswiped us. When he hit us the whole top of my body twisted to the right. I hit my forehead on my passenger side window. My knees remained, as if glued in place, on the seat. I thank God that Ron was not badly injured, even though our vehicle was totaled. Fast thinking and in shock, Ron was able to get us to the OPP station safely. He was smart enough to get the description of the car and had part of the license plate memorized.

It was not long before an OPP officer had the driver in custody. Remorse was not in this uncaring person’s personality. He was driving a stolen car, and was on probation from prison and had no driver’s license. He was eventually charged with dangerous driving. For someone who caused so much devastation and destruction he got off easily, his sentence consisted of only a few more years in jail. My sentence was far greater. Although I was the injured one, my punishment would be for life. How profoundly unfair, one drunk drivers inconsiderate choices changed the lives of a whole family. At the time, Ron and I did not know just how much fight God had instilled in us. In the next few years, we would have many an opportunity to show the world just what we were made of. I still remember those family members who thought these two, nineteen-year old kids wouldn’t last a year together, let alone have the guts and gumption to get through this life-altering circumstance.

Now we were into early March 1974. Four more years had passed and there were even more dramatic changes in our lives. We had happily and delightfully reunited with my Baba and Guido only to be heartbroken when Guido passed away just a few weeks before our son Douglas Ronald was born. I was biding my time until I was comfortable about asking Baba how I could get in touch with my father. Connecting with my grandparents, I hoped, might also bring me a second chance to get to know him. I must admit I had a burning curiosity to see him again. I was not sure if it was to confront him or forgive him. Maybe it was a little of both. Baba made the arrangements and once reunited, our visits were sporadic but we were trying to get to know each other. I was looking forward to having our three children and Ron get to know him as well. This reunion did not sit well with my mother so we didn’t discuss it with her. I had not seen him in twenty-six years. We had so many years to catch up on. There were so many changes in our lives and some happened in a very short time.

I also had the good fortune, of finally cultivating a good and loving relationship with all the siblings I grew to know as my brothers and sisters. Now we were grown and could think for ourselves, we as a family decided to be just that – a family. Nothing pleased me more. We started going to the family Christmas gatherings, something we had not done for many years. This was great for our children – they now had a very large extended family. We raised above our childhood misfortunes and flourished as loving, caring adults.

The smartest and most life altering decision we ever made was to take the four thousand dollar settlement from the car accident – not more than an insult for the extreme loss we suffered – and use it as a down payment to build our tiny one floored castle. We could not know how this one important decision would have such a positive impact on our young family. We would no longer look back. We went from Windsor Housing to becoming proud homeowners. How proud we were of that accomplishment. We would take a horrible experience and make it something special and wonderful – ‘a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’ – or so they say.

One of the things that made it so perfect was we brought our beautiful, seven month preemie, miracle baby boy, Douglas, home to our new home the first week we took possession. We had to leave him in hospital for five heartbreaking, frightening weeks after he was born. Weighing only three pounds four ounces, he was too tiny, sick and weak from fighting for his life to come home with me. We knew he was our son when he fought and won. Christine, now nine, was the typical big sister who wanted to be a little mommy and Terry four, was the big brother who wanted to protect his baby brother. God gave us three amazing, caring and loving children who rarely complained even when they had to chip in and help. It did not matter if it was helping with Douglas, housework or just running errands. While other children were out playing ours had chores, their playing came after.

Doug was only a year old when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. I was shocked but so very thankful that my mother came to the rescue to take care of Christine and Terry. They were old enough to go home with her and they genuinely loved their Nanny and Poppy. To my delight, my mother and I had found some common ground. I no longer wept for the mother I never had. What she lacked in motherhood she made up for as a sweet, loving grandmother who the kids called, Nanny. She showed her love not just to our three children but to the rest of the family as well. She showed no favoritism. Poppy and Nanny always had a houseful of Grandchildren.

There were lots of cousins to play with at any one time. Mom and I had too much baggage to let bygones be bygones but we could have comfortable and enjoyable visits. I must confess I had painful moments when I caught myself feeling jealous of the attention she so lovingly gave my kids; these thankfully were short-lived and fleeting. It was very important to me that our children have grandparents that I was deprived of. It was obvious she was still oblivious to the bad treatment she bestowed on me. She acted as if it never happened. When I tried to talk about it she would look at me as if I was talking about someone else. I put it aside for our kids’ sakes.

Ron didn’t want Douglas, who was so young and fragile, to be so far away. We had a friend come stay at the house and take care of him for the week I was in hospital. She also helped for the six weeks I needed to recover. I was so content when Christine and Terry came home I missed them terribly and it was obvious they were happy to be home too. Although they were in good, caring hands they were not in mine.

Although I was healed from the surgery I wished that was the end of my suffering but some of it was just beginning. It seemed like chronic pain and surgery were to be the two constants in my life. I was only twenty-seven and I had already been four times under the knife. This left me feeling lost, overwhelmed and useless much of the time. I was a burden to Ron and the family, I could not work, my household duties were limited and I depended on the kids and Ron to care for me too often.

Needing to find something, anything, to take my mind off my pain and frustrations, I started accepting a few of my former customers for hair appointments in my home. These clients had been almost begging me to do their hair and asked to be notified if I ever decided to get back into the business again. No one had a problem with the inexact schedule I was a slave to. When it rained, my friends and customers knew, on those days, not to call for their hair needs. My fingers and my back were far too painful to work. I was, at first, restricted to haircuts and styling, but gradually as I was stronger I was able to stand or sit long enough to do the occasional colour or perm. This was a far cry from the customer base I had while working in a salon, but it kept my hand in my craft, and helped us a little financially. This made the few customers I accepted happy. But, what I craved the most was having my fingers entwined and caressing the strands of silky, flowing long hair, I so desperately desired to help make me feel alive and creative.

1974 was the year that things would start to turn around for us, financially. Ron was promoted to salesman and one of the perks was a fully loaded company car, his own office and expense account. Ron worked so hard for this position and no one deserved it more. We splurged with a celebration dinner. The kids were so excited they could hardly wait to go for a ride in Daddy’s new car. Ron could hardly contain himself as well. He couldn’t wait to share with his mom – sharing with her just how far he had come, from being a truck driver to a salesman with all the perks. His father had passed away from a heart attack June 1968. It saddened him he could not share this great news with him too. There was no doubt he would have been proud.

For the first time in our lives I now even had my very own car. We had come so far in these few short years. We long ago decided we would never ‘pack up our tent’ or give up. We were determined no matter what it took we would fight to survive. We would forge ahead to make our lives better, not just for ourselves but specifically for our children. It was made obvious that both our families were proud of what we accomplished. Frank and Cathy in particular showed their ongoing support.

Since I had my own car and when I felt well enough I would go back to the old ‘Windsor housing’ neighbourhood. There I would cut a few heads of hair or give our former next door neighbour, Hildie, her much needed colour. Three of those haircuts and styles were for the three women who lived across the street. Sharon’s husband was the architect who had built the tiny castle we now owned. I loved doing Sharon’s, Leslie’s and their mother, Mary’s hair. They wore the elaborate, high bouffant styles that allowed me to be as creative as my imagination allowed. Leslie, at one time in

her career, was a practicing hairdresser and had a room in their house set up as a mini salon. This made my job very easy, but made me miss the salon atmosphere even more. To the lay person this may sound silly but I missed the smells of the hairspray, perms, gels and the sounds of the constant chatter from clients and personal alike. Although I suffered afterward with body pain, it was so satisfying for my soul and my ego.

Today was to be one of those days that was engrained in my memory bank and still makes me smile. Christine, now ten, just came in from school while I was bleaching Bethany’s hair – something I did as a six-week ritual. This time I was using a new bleach product just out on the market. Instead of going on white, it went on blue. Bethany was paranoid when it came to using new products on her hair. She had, over the years had some very unhappy results. Even though I had been doing her hair all the while I was at Nora’s she was still anxious.

Christine walked in and seeing Bethany’s hair, she casually said, “What a pretty blue colour mommy.”

With that, Bethany started to panic. She grabbed the hand mirror from the table and started to cry, “Why is my hair blue? What have you done?” It took some fast-talking to get her settled down. I begged her to let me leave the bleach on to finish its work. She was very cool to me. It was as if all those years of total trust had instantly vanished. I could not say anything to ease her anxiety. It was not until I showed her the stunning final results that I could see the look of relief and get a hug, these were indicators that she was no longer concerned.

Christine learned a valuable lesson that day to never to make unsolicited comments when it came to a customer. I calmly explained to her that some people are obsessed and over react when it comes to their hair. Once alone we joked about Bethany’s ‘panicky blue hair’ over reactions. Shaking her head wildly said, “Mommy I don’t want to be a hairdresser. Too much fussy people.”

My makeshift beauty shop was unusual and definitely not your run – of – the – mill salon. I had no specialized equipment, no fancy pump chair or lighted mirror above my hairdressing table. I used a kitchen chair, a utility room sink and a hand mirror. Sometimes the sunshine was my only overhead light, and a lawn chair my customer’s beauty chair. There was more than one occasion when Ron would have to remove an implanted hair from one of my feet or from my belly button. I had a habit in the summer of cutting hair outside, barefoot and in my bikini. I am sure for the passer by that would be quite a sight. I carried my scissors and comb everywhere I went. Without them I felt naked, like a part of me was missing. When we went to visit either family, I always had a haircut or style to do. Even my mother was treated to a professional cut and style or perm when I went home. This pleased her, other than me she had never been to a beauty salon for a professional treat. I learned to cut my hair by watching my mother for all those years growing up cut her own. What a turnaround in her thinking from just a few years earlier. Oh, how far we had come from the attitude that my hairdressing training was a waste of time and money.’

We spent a great deal of time with Frank and Cathy- Ron’s brother and our sister -in -law. Our two families were exceptionally close, the four of us almost inseparable. Cathy and I would finish each other’s sentence that is how close we were. One pleasure I had was working with Cathy’s long beautiful hair with which she allowed me to use my imagination. She was never disappointed.

It was on a beautiful, breezy, sunny afternoon after Cathy and I had just finished making strapless halter-tops for ourselves. Cathy, being the awesome seamstress she was, loved any excuse to switch on her sewing machine. These cute tops looked like short skirts with elastic that fit snugly under our arms and just fell loose to our waist with a bit of flair. They were not only cool to wear but looked cool as well. Just as we finished, Aaron, Frank and Cathy’s nineteen year old son and youngest of three, reminded me he had asked me for a haircut earlier that day, I said, “As soon as mom and I are finished making these tops I will be happy to do that.”

Aaron smiled and said, “Great just let me know when you are ready.” Cathy did not have a special place for me to do hair, so I tried to keep the mess outside if possible. In the warm weather anyway it is not easy to cut hair in the snow in a parka and mittens. That would be a pretty silly sight and possibly a scary looking haircut as well.

So there we were out in the backyard, Aaron sitting on a high kitchen stool, wrapped in one of Cathy’s handmade hairdressing capes. I had the hair clippers plugged into an extension cord that was sitting on the picnic table – a spray bottle filled with warm water, my scissors and my comb ready for use. Aaron wanted a short cut so most of his hair was cut with the clippers. The top though needed to be wet so I used my scissors. The strong warm breeze was drying his hair as fast as I was cutting. All of a sudden there was a big gust of wind and the freshly cut hair blew into my face. As it did, without

thought, I reached down and picked up my top to wipe my eyes. Not until I heard the gasp from Aaron did I realize I had no bra on. I had just flashed my young nephew. Oh my gawd! I was so embarrassed. How was I going to play this boo boo down?

Aaron and Cathy were laughing hysterically as he hollered, “Hey Dad, Aunt Chris flashed me.” He could hardly stay seated on the stool he was laughing so very hard. Cathy almost fell off the picnic table I thought she would bust a vessel. Again he shouted, “Hey Dad, Aunt Chris is trying to showing me her boobs.”

“Aaron, I am so sorry – it was an accident,” I said, very embarrassed. I tried to finish his haircut, hoping to brush the incident off as if it did not happen, but he would not stay still. He continued calling to his father Finally, Frank came outside and Aaron told her what I did. I could not apologize enough and then everyone started laughing. Cathy suggested we move all the hair implements into the house so I could safely cut Aaron’s hair without me stripping. For the rest of the day, all in the house made gestures mimicking me pulling up my top. To make matters worse, Aaron’s cousin Charissa was visiting. Now more family members would know of my stupidity.

A few days later Frank said. “By the way Chris the neighbours want to know when you are coming to visit next.”

“Why, would they want to know that?”

“Well they said they were hoping you would be cutting Aaron’s hair in the backyard. It is not often they get a peep show with a haircut.” Covering my face with my hands we all started to laugh, including me. Every chance Frank got he took the opportunity to kiddingly remind me that I had flashed his son.

It was the next year that Aaron told us all he was gay. It was not long before someone jokingly blamed my flashing him for being the reason. You know the old saying, ‘Do something right no one remembers, but do something wrong, no one forgets.’ How true how very, very true.

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Tid bits from my sequel of A Hairdresser’s Diary – For Sharon

butterfly (2)

It was through Lil and Norm we met Sharon and Big Bob who lived across the street. We called him Big Bob because when he stood up he blocked out the sun. He was a sweet and tender gentle giant and Sharon a caring, sweet lady. They had three lovely children, again not in our kids’ age group.It was not long before we became not only neighbours but great friends. I started painting on clothing at the suggestion of my doctor to do what would not be stressful on my back. As a result, I discovered the craft of tee shirt painting. However, Sharon was the real reason I started my hand-painting business. She purchased the very first tee shirt I ever made with butterflies and she paid me with more paints and two more shirts. There was no stopping me after that. I had no shortage of clients for my artwork on clothing.

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Writing about chronic pain

Hi all I am asking for your help. I am starting on my new book and it will be about chronic pain and how to handle or deal with it. My question to you all is, how interested would anyone be on the way (bad or good) that doctors handle us who suffer? i do not want to include information that might offend others. I have many horror stories but also some happy ones. Please let me know your feelings on this.

Thank you all.

Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part eight

One day, while I was looking through the newspaper for the weekly sales, I noticed an ad for young adults who were wanted for various modeling positions or to work as extras in the movies. Although it intrigued me, I shrugged it off thinking it could only be a scam. When the boys came home from school, I told them of my find. Doug was not the least bit interested, but Terry jumped at the chance and begged me to check it out. I warned him of the fraudulent aspect of the ad, but he pleaded saying, “Mom, could you please just call and see if it is real?” I talked it over with Ron who was adamant that I be careful of being reeled in like an unsuspecting fish. I promised I would be diligent. I made the call the next morning to the Hamilton number supplied in the ad. I was both pleasantly surprised and thrilled about the exciting information I received. Therefore, I immediately made an appointment for Terry to be interviewed the following day. Ron quizzed me in a hundred different ways until he was satisfied the information I had was on the level. Terry was overjoyed at the thought of working in the movies, even if only as and ‘extra’. I begged him not to get too carried away until his interview was completed. That was like asking a little boy in a candy Shoppe not to want a piece of candy. Terry was up and dressed hours before we had to leave. Once there, we were surprised to find a small, one room dreary office in a rather dull, half run down building. Taking hold of Terry’s hand, I took a deep breath before entering. My first instinct was to run the other way as fast as we could. The heavy wooden door squeaked as I opened it, which alerted the only person in the office. He immediately stood up to greet us. Extending his hand to me, he said, “Good afternoon and welcome. Have you come in response to our ad?”

“Yes, I am here with my son, Terry. You advertised the need for young people for modeling positions and to work as extras in the movies? I have an appointment to see Stan. I assume that would be you?”

“Yes it certainly would, and you must be Chris?”

I nodded and smiled. I think Stan sensed my uneasiness with their unprofessional location and the lack of secretary in the office, for without hesitation he said, “Please excuse our informal location – it is only temporary. We needed to find an office ASAP here in Hamilton so we could do interviews immediately. There are three movies booked to be filmed in this area and they need extras who are ready willing and able before the end of this week. Our new office will be in one of the new buildings downtown. Feeling more at ease, I asked, “So, what do you need from us?” Stan motioned to the two wooden chairs in front of his desk and Terry and I sat down and made ourselves comfortable. Stan turned his attention to Terry and asked. “So young man, which of our programs are you interested in?” Almost before Stan could finish, Terry blurted out excitedly, “Working in the movies!” Stan laughed, “What no modeling?”

“Not really – I would prefer not to do that. That is what my mom used to do” Stan looked at me with a questioning look but I quickly changed the subject.

“Stan are there certain specifications needed?”

“Not really. You will have to sign a contract that you will work for us only. We get our money by supplying the extras to the movie companies.”

“Do we have to pay a fee or buy anything?’

“No, we have no fees or sign up costs. You get paid by the hour, whether you are physically working or not, as long as you are on the set. Terry, you will have to come here to this office or when the new one is opened to that one when you are ‘called’. We provide transportation to the designated location. Now, if you decided you want to be a driver, you will have to take others with you but you get paid gas money as well. We can figure all of that out once you see if you like the work. One last thing Terry, there is no set or guaranteed hours. If this suits you, we can draw up the contract.” Terry was very excited with all the information we received, and already had pen in hand. Just as Stan was finishing his paper work, he looked at me and said, “How about you Chris?” I must have looked confused for he continued with, “Why don’t you sign up too?”

“Me? Are you kidding? I am not here for me. I am here for my son.”

Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part seven

Water drops

Water drops

Approximately a month after we moved and got settled we had our first new neighbour. Lidia, her husband Jack and their three year old son Johnny moved into their newly built house. They were friendly but kept to themselves most of the time. Although the family was not much on visiting I did cut Lidia and Johnny’s hair. My kids were too old to regularly play with Johnny but would let him in on their games when he was outside.

It was on one of the many days when I had to make a trip to the doctor’s, that I was stopped by a very strong urge to go back into the house and write a poem. The deep seeded urge was almost magnetic, almost as if, I was drawn by a power other than my own. This would not be just any poem but a very specific piece, one that would burn itself into my heart and mind for the rest of my life. I was almost in the car when this feeling overwhelmed me. I went back into the house and started writing. What was strange about this particular poem was while composing it I made no mistakes. Can you imagine not even making one error? I walked out my front door and across Lidia’s front yard, I knocked on her front door, and as she answered, I found myself apologizing for being in such a hurry. I handed her the folded paper the poem was on and I left. I was running late.

I had not given the morning events much thought until I arrived home. Lidia was sitting on my front step and she was crying. I noticed the piece of paper in her hands. I was confused when I realized my poem might have offended her. “Lidia, I am so sorry. Did my poem upset you?” No longer just softly crying, she started to sob. Now I was extremely and painfully upset. “I didn’t mean to make you cry, what did I do?”

“You didn’t do anything wrong, Chris I promise you.”

“Then why are you crying?” I asked my voice softening.

“Chris today is the first anniversary of Jack’s death.”

Oh my, I had not remembered it had been a year since Jack had the horrific and tragic accident that took his life. While he was on his way home from work he had been listening to his car radio and had not heard the train whistle that was warning him to stop as he tried to cross the tracks. He was killed instantly. Lidia continued, “I was slumped in a tearful heap at the kitchen table this morning, dark and depressing thoughts fueled by uncontrollable pain was squeezing my heart, mind and soul had overpowered me. I was seriously contemplating if I was any use to Johnny or myself without Jack. I had just gotten off the phone with my mother, who thought I should just shake off my dreadful mood. I was in prayer, talking to God. I was asking Him why no one understood how I was feeling when you came to the door,”

“I am so sorry Lidia, so very sorry.“  As I hugged her I could feel her pain. “I am so sorry I hurt you with my words.”

‘MY LOVE’

I sat here just a crying,

Listening to our favourite country song,

I still feel the haunting pain

Of a love we’d known so long.

I can close my eyes and see you,

I can touch you where you stand,

As my eyes do open slowly,

I feel your warmth still on my hand,

I don’t know why God chose you,

To sweep you away, my love,

But I’ll bet my bottom dollar

You’ll protect me from above.

With so many precious memories,

Special moments I’ve spent with you,

I really feel deep in my heart,

You’ll help me do what I must do.

The pain inside may lessen,

But I won’t let it go away,

Because our love was special,

I want the memories to stay.

“Oh no! You don’t understand. I am crying because through your poem, God spoke to me and He let me know He understands.” She held my hand tightly as she spoke. “Every word you wrote, were my thoughts and I knew you could not know such intimate things about us, so it had to come from God.” She was now whispering, “Thank you for believing and being an instrument of the Lord’s words. I know now that I have the strength to go on and be a good mother and for that, I will always love you.” We now cried together and I knew the words on that paper were not from me but were through me. I felt blessed.

It was not long before Lidia and Johnny moved to another part of the city. I heard she was remarried to a wonderful young man from her church. I never saw her again.

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Testimonials from Amazon – A Hairdresser’s Diary

Just read for the second time and it was even better! A must read by everyone that enjoys a laugh and a tear!
I can relate to so many stories in this book all hairstylist must read this book pure passion for the business
WOW Chris! When I went into fb and saw there was a suggested friend for me named ‘Christine Hannon’ I figured maybe it was the younger one…but NO it was YOU!! YAY! Then to find out you had written a book about your life and tales of hairdressing..some of which I had heard first hand from you a ‘few’ years ago as we sat having tea as friends or as I or my daughters Donna or Mindy sat having our hair done by you. In fact if I remember correctly my oldest daughter Donna was going through something at one time and you wrote a little poem for her. Now back to your book…so on May 6th I bought your book for my Kindle Fire and on May 7th @ around 11:45pm I finally could put it down…FINISHED! You see sometimes reading a book is easy and refreshing, like ice cream on a hot summer day. Compulsive and addictive, like a drug you just can’t get enough of..and these I found in reading Chris’s Memoirs. I cringed and cried at the life she lived as a child growing up but I first handed lay KNOW and have SEEN the BEAUTIFUL woman inside AND out that Chris has become due to the trials and tribulations she has gone through, and when Chris tells us she’s a ‘Chatty Cathy’ please BELIEVE it!! She is, but in the most awesome way! Thank you Chris for this awesome read! I CANNOT WAIT for the sequel
Lovingly Always
Debi xox
This book is a heartbreaking and beautiful story of Christine Hannons’ life as a stylist.
I couldn’t put this book down once I started it.
A great incite in what hairdresser’s go through. It gave a great incite to her life experiences. I highly recommend this book.
Christine Hannon’s story, A Hairdresser’s Diary, carries you on a journey from a life where she longs to be loved to one where she is not only loved but adored. It embraces accomplishment of her dream only to see it shattered most unexpectedly.
The hairdresser is more than a connoisseur of tresses: She is a confidant, psychologist and friend loved by most, revered by those closest to her and envied by no one. For Christine, hers is a story of immense gratitude even in the face of adversity.
You will find yourself at the intersection of many life-changing events where you will want to reach out to her, share in the moment, and lend a helping hand when so urgently needed. You will laugh at the incredibly funny stories, cry at thoughts of the uncontrollable pain, and share with her the most memorable endeavors.
Step back in time with Christine to an era before modern day technology: an era devoid of today’s amenities we so often take for granted.
To Christine: Your book left me wanting to know what happens next. Will there be a sequel? I certainly hope so for this reader definitely wants to continue along the journey.
Once I started reading A Hairdresser’s Diary I found myself right there with Chris. I was one of her customers, one of her friends and I was the one who wanted to console her during her pain and disrepair. This book is a real “could not put down” kind of story. I felt sad, angry, excitement, pride and accomplishment sometimes all those in one chapter.
A definite must read. you will not be sorry you did. I will now look at MY hairdresser in a whole new light.
This book engaged me from the beginning as Christine describes her difficult childhood. Even though she suffers hardships, many brought on by her family, she goes on to achieve her dream of becoming a hairdresser. The portion of the book in which she describes going to beauty school is fascinating, and she details many trade secrets along the way and lets the reader in on dealing with head lice as well as showing the glamorous side of the profession. As she begins her career she brings in fascinating details about her customers and the new fashion of using the seasons to determine what colors would best suit the customer. In school and on the job, Christine shows her heart as she helps customers with their problems. She relates how she has to adapt to new job situations and to a tragic accident that leaves her in constant pain and unable to pursue her career. Despite the setbacks she’s experienced, Christine’s sense of humor, love of her family and personal courage shine through in the pages of this book. As you read, you’ll not only learn a lot about hairstyling, but about how Christine handles life’s setbacks with determination and grace.
Chris Hannon did a wonderful job with expressing her life & feelings. Such a beautiful, strong & courageous woman. I thoroughly enjoyed reading thls book, from beginning to end. I can’t wait for the sequel…..Wendy Cook, Sydney,Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Christine’s autobiography so clearly comes from her heart and soul and compels the reader to stay with it to the last word. I enjoyed the tale and wanted to hug her throughout, but particularly when she was still a toddler and being pushed away from her mother by her mother….how utterly heartless and unfathomable to me, the mother of two children myself, I could never imagine treating them thusly. She had the stalwart fortitude to stand up straight as her beloved Grandmother decreed and march forward under her own strength alone….well done you!!
I feel sure you have raised your children with love you missed all those years.
This is a must read story for anyone who thinks a bad life of downs holds you back. This story is so unbelievable you won’t be able to put it down. It keeps you wondering what will happen next in this woman’s life when she is down in luck but yet pulls herself back up and keeps on going forward to her dream and then… A must read can’t give it all away! Pick up your copy today you won’t regret reading this amazing story.
Christine Harmon’s journey from childhood to emancipated adult as chronicled by her diary is an interesting read and worth taking the trip with her. Despite the terrible cruelty of her mother and step-family she proves what grit and determination can do. She never gave up on her dream of becoming a hair stylist – from dolls to real people. She found strength in writing poetry and drawing along the way as well as writing in her diary. Against all odds and with help from unexpected sources she obtains not only her dreamed-of career, but love, marriage and a family of her very own. She held my attention despite the fact that I personally have never been interested in the “beauty” business.
Inspirational story of how dreams can become reality and struggles become blessings. I was unable to put this book down. The writing is refreshing and down to earth.
I found your story very interesting. I kept getting caught up in the story and having to backtrack to edit the section I just read. And the ending left me wanting to know more. Your story is so inspiring, especially that you maintain such a “can do”, positive attitude in sprite of all that has been thrown your way.

side from your life story, which was gripping, the view it gave of the changes in salon services (and clientele) over the decades was interesting from a historical perspective.
I remember the days of setting lotion and curlers, and ladies going out with their hair in curlers. I remember the shift to tousled, “natural” looks. I remember when the color seasons swept through America (I am a winter who always thought I was a fall-switching my color palette made a tremendous difference). It was fascinating to hear about all that change from the perspective of a stylist.
I wish you all blessings and joy. I hope that others can read your story and be touched by it as well.

My mornings, my pain

  1. triangle-of-nature

This morning before I got out of bed I found myself making a wish. Nothing new about this wish but I was hoping this time it would come true. I was wishing for a pain free day. Well it is half way through the day now and I am still waiting for that wish to come true. Maybe I would be more successful if I wished for riches.

This is not an unusual wish the world is full of wishes just like mine. If I could find a Pain Fairy like the Tooth Fairy I would be a millionaire. When asked, most times I tell those who ask that I am not a morning person when in reality I couldn’t be if I wanted. The body and joints just won’t allow it. This is frustrating and depressing.

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Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part four

Today was to be one of those days that was embedded in my memory and still makes me smile. Christine, now ten, just came in from school while I was bleaching Bethany’s hair – something I did as a six-week ritual. This time I was using a new bleach product just out on the market. Instead of going on white, it went on blue. Bethany was paranoid when it came to using new products on her hair. She had, over the years had some unhappy results. Even though I had been doing her hair at Nora’s for the last two years she was still anxious. Christine walked in and seeing Bethany’s hair, she said, “What a pretty blue colour mommy.” With that, Bethany started to panic. She grabbed the hand mirror from the table and started to cry, “Why is my hair blue?” It took me some fast-talking to get her settled down. I needed to almost beg her to let me leave the product on to finish its work. Until the bleach on her hair was completed its job, she was very cool to me. It was as if all those years of total trust had almost vanished. I could not say anything to ease her anxiety. The stunning final results, the look of relief and a hug, were indicators that she was no longer concerned. Christine learned a valuable lesson that day never to make unsolicited comments again when it came to a customer. I calmly explained to her that some people are obsessed and over react when it comes to their hair. Once alone we joked about Bethany’s ‘panicky blue hair’ response.

My makeshift beauty shop was unusual and definitely not your run – of – the – mill salon. I had no specialized equipment, no fancy pump chair or lighted mirror above my hairdressing table. I used a kitchen chair, a utility room sink and a hand mirror. Sometimes the sunshine was my only overhead light, and a lawn chair my customer’s beauty chair. There was more than one occasion when Ron would have to remove an implanted hair from one of my feet or from my belly button. I had a habit in the summer of cutting hair outside, barefoot and in my bikini. I carried my scissors and comb everywhere I went. When we went to visit either family, I always had a haircut or style to do. Even my mother was treated to a professional cut and style when I went home. This pleased her. What a turnaround in her thinking from just a few years earlier. Oh, how far we had come from the attitude that my hairdressing training was a ‘ waste of time and money.’

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Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part three

I wished that was the end of my suffering but some of it was just beginning. Chronic pain and surgery were two constants in my life. I was only twenty-seven and I was already been four times under the knife. This left me feeling lost overwhelmed and useless much of the time. Needing to find something, anything, to take my mind off my pain and frustrations, I started accepting a few of my former customers for hair appointments in my home. No one had a problem with the inexact schedule I was a slave to. When it rained, my friends and customers knew not to call for their hair needs on those days. My fingers and my back were far too painful to work. I was, at first, restricted to haircuts and styling, but gradually as I was stronger I was able to stand long enough to do the occasional colour or perm. This was a far cry from the customer base I had while working in a salon, but it kept my hand in my craft, and helped us a little financially. This made the few customers I accepted happy. But, I missed having my fingers entwined in the long hair I so desperately desired to help make me feel alive and creative.

1974 was the year that things would start to turn around for us, financially. Ron was promoted to salesman and one of the perks was a fully loaded company car, his own office and expense account. Ron worked so hard for this position and no one deserved it more. We splurged with a celebration dinner. The kids were so excited they could hardly wait to go for a ride in Daddy’s new car. Ron could hardly contain himself as well. He couldn’t wait to share with his mom – showing her just how far he had come, from being a truck driver for one of the largest gas companies to a salesman with his own car. His father had passed away from a heart attack June 1968. It saddened him he could not share this great news with him too. There was no doubt he would have been proud.

For the first time in our lives I now even had my very own car. We had come so far in these few short years. We long ago decided we would never pack up our tents and give up we were determined no matter what it took we would fight to survive. We would forge ahead to make our lives better, not just for ourselves but especially for our children. It was obvious both our families were proud of what we accomplished. Frank and Cathy in particular showed their support.

Since I had my own car and when I felt well enough I would go back to the old neighbourhood. There I would cut a few heads of hair or give our former next door neighbour, Hildie, her much needed colour. Three of those haircuts and styles were for the three women of the family who had lived across the street from us before we moved. Sharon’s husband was the architect who had built the tiny castle we now owned. I loved doing Sharon’s, Leslie’s and their mother, Mary’s hair. They wore the elaborate, high bouffant styles that allowed me to be creative. Leslie, at one time in her career, was a practicing hairdresser and had a room in their house set up as a mini salon. This made my job very easy, but made me miss the salon atmosphere even more. Although I suffered afterward with body pain, it was so satisfying for my soul and my ego.

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