1.  We’ve been to beauty supply nirvana and It Is Good.

2.  You might assume I’m talking about Ulta if you’ve meandered through their aisles.

3.  Now they’re planning to put Ultas in Target so once we return to recreational outings it’ll be even easier to fall down a shopping black hole. But I digress.

4.  Bear had a hair appointment this week. Turns out the stylist had space in a beauty supply store and MAN OH MAN was that place amazing.

5.  How many of us are curly mane folks? If you wrangle curls then you know how hard it is to find decent hair products.

6.  Not as hard as in the ’80s when that number of products was, say, zero but still.

7.  Now take that curly hair challenge, multiply it by 100, and that’s how hard it can be to source great Black hair products.

8.  Are they out there? Sure. Are they as easy to find as hitting the beauty aisle while picking up groceries? Hell no.

9.  Anyway, we stepped into this particular store and stopped dead in our tracks, gazing around in awe.

10.  Picture Charlie in Willy Wonka staring at a chocolate wonderland with delight and you’ve got the idea.

11.  There was display after display with every ethnic hair line you can imagine — SheaMoisture, Miss Jessie’s, Mielle, OGX, Miche Beauty, Camille Rose, Mixed Chicks, Diva, Cantu, Carol’s Daughter, Mizani, As I Am, Ouidad — and those are just the ones I remember! In.freaking.credible. We could browse that place all day.

12.  Plus there’s skincare, hair accessories, wigs, makeup, jewelry, nail stuff, and yes, even hair products for white folks. It’s worth the drive, people.

13.  Let’s see, what else. My oven’s still broken so that’s fun!

14.  The appliance guy came. After waiting more than a month for the heating element it seems that might not be the problem after all.

15.  Except there’s still no guarantee it isn’t so I’m stuck in limbo hoping for an oven that heats.

16.  On a related note, did you know you can make Grands biscuits in a Ninja Foodi air fryer? Because you can.

17.  One thing losing a major appliance has taught me is adaptability.

18.  Oh, I also learned I can’t run an air fryer and indoor grill at the same time without blowing a fuse.

19.  Here’s a look at my brain on meal planning: I’d love to make parmesan broccoli but the oven’s out. I can make it in the air fryer instead, maybe grill some chicken breasts to go with it — wait, no, that won’t work. So I can grill the chicken, make veggies on the stovetop, and I guess potatoes in the Instant Pot? Yeah, that’ll be okay.

20.  It’s like working a Rubik’s Cube, man.

21.  I was never good at Rubik’s Cube.

22.  I am good at meal planning, but some weeks take more mental calisthenics than others.

23.  And now I’m doing a running tally of childhood games I kinda sucked at.

24.  Hoola hoop: Couldn’t keep that thing going to save my life.

25.  Operation: Basically a game where an angry buzzing sounds told us we killed the patient if we twitched. No wonder we’re all so freaking anxious.

26.  Etch-A-Sketch: Twenty minutes of careful drawing ruined by one stray turn of the knob.

27.  Simon: Testing your memory over and over until you crash and burn.

28.  Connect 4: Because nothing says Family Fun like a game where one frustrated kid can shriek and dump out all the pieces.

29.  Magic 8 Ball: Letting “outlook good” and “don’t count on it” drive decisions seems like a solid life choice.

30.  Roller skates: Okay, never mind, I was pretty good at roller skates.

31.  Not that I’d test that roller skate theory right now, that seems like a spectacularly bad idea.

32.  I was grateful to get into a doctor’s appointment last week but man, the news wasn’t great.

33.  I thought it was really swollen from being slammed into the steering column or maybe I’d sprained it but nope nope nope, turns out I tore my meniscus.

34.  I injured it in early July and don’t get me wrong, I’ve been hurting since then. But my pain after the doc yanked my knee around reached a new level of special.

35.  Then I had to do that school shopping with Bear last weekend and BAM! I was back to the no-weight-bearing pain I felt in July.

36.  In a nutshell? Monday and Tuesday really sucked this week. The fact that I could stand again on Wednesday brought tempered relief.

37.  The pain is annoying. Sometimes it’s in the background, irritating because my knee won’t do what I need.

38.  Sometimes it spikes, forcing me off my feet to try and get the swelling down, making sleep difficult and stairs impossible.

39.  This getting old thing is a drag sometimes, man. A Big Fat Drag.

40.  Here’s hoping you’re enjoying your Friday on two perfectly good knees. Have a wonderful weekend!