Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lessons in Sharing

So it seems as if Sister Callie Jo is getting big enough to take over Oscar-Tyrone's favorite sleeping spots.

So he tries to make the best of it, be the bigger man, and share. 

As you can tell from the look in his eyes, he's not particularly happy about this arrangement.

But alas, sleep is sleep.  What's the harm in sharing?

So he curls up on his half of the ottoman and goes to sleep. Callie Jo does the same.
Callie Jo is getting her beauty sleep, but she is one of those young chicks that won't sleep in one place.  She has to turn what seems like every five minutes or so. 

Then she decides to just stretch completely out.

And then she throws that leg over Oscar's back end.
All I know is that I laid on the sofa and fell asleep myself. Then something jarred me from my own beauty sleep. A BIG fight broke out between Sista Callie and Oscar. He yelled at her something awful. I wish I could interpret cat language. Whatever he said was brutal.

I guess she moved one time too many and he got sick and and tired of it all.

He kicked her off the ottoman and she went to her favorite spot: under my bed.

"You should have kicked Callie off in the first place, dude," I said.

Let me be quiet. At least the old cat was trying to share.

Trying.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quotable Quotes: Patience and Courage

I have another good quote. Of course, I don't know where it's from. But I found it to be something I've been thinking about for the past couple of months:

The 2 hardest things in life to deal with are:

- The patience to wait for what we want.
- The courage to deal with all we encounter along the way.

 At first glance, that doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal, patiently waiting for what you want, and dealing with what goes on during the time it takes to get it. 

But this quote addresses a couple of my biggest problems: patience and courage. 

I think I am getting better, though, especially in my 40s. At least I am willing to admit to myself when certain hard situations scare me and render my courage a bit shaky. I wasn't so willing to admit this in my younger years. But as I get older I have learned to understand that there will be obstacles along the way in life. And for myself, those can be external or even internal in nature. I am learning that I must identify the problem and battle through it if I am going to grow.

And I have also learned that it's not the desired destination that's always important, it's the 1000 things I learn along the way that are just as important and equip me to handle that final destination. 

So I am understanding patience and courage are important... 

But what scares me is the microwave times we live in... where everything is becoming more and more instantaneous. And this instantaneous nature isn't applicable to all areas of life. Personal growth, for example, is NOT an instantaneous event. It takes patience. And Lord knows, it takes courage. 

So I think that's a good quote. It reminds me to be always mindful of my weaker areas of patience and courage. 

I hope it's helpful to you, too.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good Monday Afternoon


Good Monday Afternoon!

Short post today. Just checking in.

(And you know how I am when it comes to short. This could be a really long post).

Anyway, this has been a pretty decent weekend. And by decent I mean that I wasn't running around looking crazy. I actually didn't go anywhere on Saturday. I like to do that from time to time. Yes, I had some errands to run, but I just needed to decompress.

Plus it was raining. Who wants to be running around in that.

One of my cousins is having a baby. She's the same age as my brother, and she and he keep in touch, but I haven't seen her in the last 15 years. She's my mama's youngest brother daughter. Her mama don't too much like our side of the family (from what I hear), and yes, I can understand that. So we don't see each other. But I saw her on my brother's facebook page a few months ago and we've been chatting back and forth.

She invited me to her baby shower, which caused me to raise an eyebrow. I wanted to ask "Did you clear that with your mama?" and "Should I keep this to myself?"  But I didn't. She told me to tell my sister, and I did. So I MIGHT go.

At any rate, I am cranking away on the baby blanket. And that's another reason why I stayed home all day Saturday. The shower is on this coming Saturday, so I'll have to do some marathon hours.

Thank goodness for roku, because I got a notion to get nosey and watch the first season of this show. 


It comes on NBC I think. Not sure. But it looked stupid, and this ain't the type of series you come into halfway through. So I didn't bother watching it. I just happen to see it listed under my Amazon Prime, so I figured I would watch.

It's about a small town that becomes inclosed under some strange dome. Nobody knows why. But you can imagine all the chaos that goes on. Plenty room for conflict here. And it's a good show. And it made for some good crochet time.

The blanket is 24"x24" right now. I am shooting for 34"x34". So I have to really CRANK this week. I am looking to try to do upwards of 3 hours in the evenings. We will see how I feel. It WILL get finished.

She is naming her baby a variation of my name. My first name and middle name, but with an "x" in place of the "s". I told her to just go ahead on change that "x" to an "s".

She was puzzled. She didn't know my first name. She always thought it was "Lisa", since that is what everybody calls me.

NO!

Oh my goodness, that was funny. I told her, she herself was supposed to be named after me, but wasn't. She has my middle name. But she does have a sister who is almost named after me. Add a "F" to the beginning of my name, and you got it!

My own sister didn't know my name until she was 4 years old. She answered the phone one day, and when someone asked for me, she told them I didn't live there. I went off on her. Our mother told her that my name was not really "Lisa".

That little girl laughed at me HARD for three days. I'm still hot about that. LOL.

It is all a reminder that I need to make sure my folks know my name!

Now, I attended church on Sunday which is incredibly odd for me. There was a speaker I wanted to see, and I must say, that was a good sermon.  It was about pride, but not the definition that we are all accustomed to, where pride is defined as arrogant and thinking you're better than others. But it was looked at from the flip side, where pride is defined as being self-centered and having an inferiority complex. I thought that was a real stretch, but it made sense. It pointed right to something that I have personally been working on for years: my own selfishness. I get the comment all the time "Lee, you're one of the most unselfish people I know." Well that's good you think of me that way. But it is only because I am constantly examining myself and making the necessary corrections. And for me, it's like peeling an onion. The more layers I remove, the more I see underneath where I can make the necessary changes.  And it was good to hear a sermon about that very thing.

So that was the gist of my weekend.
  
Song of the Week. We loved that Angela Winbush last week. How about some Rene and Angela, "Your Smile"?



That song is not about her man. Oh it would be lovely if it was.

It was about her grandmother.

Ain't that nice?

Good song.

Our Triple F Posse financial fast starts tomorrow, so I am spending a little time today thinking about a few goals. This also gives me a chance to do it using the 2nd edition of Michele Singletary's book The 21 day Financial Fast. I would like to know how it differs from the last edition. A couple of people are sending out a bunch of spreadsheets, so I need to print those out and look through those and see what I can use.

Fun, fun, FUN.

My sister has been hanging out with my brother and his family in Colorado for the past week. She returns tomorrow. Can't wait to see her. I miss her much. She and the oldest nephew have been having a lot of fun looking at all the pictures on my blog. Those have made for some funny convos and text messages, lol.

The Bloggaversary Sweepstakes is still in full full effect. There have been over 100 comments already. As you can see, I have been diligently recording comments, and I have more to do today.  This is like a marathon race and all the major players are in a comfortable stride. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The person with the most comments overall will automatically win a $99 gift card. There are a good three weeks to go.

Get your money, honey. Get on it, doggonit.

On purpose.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Freestyles... The Finance Edition.



Good Friday Morning.

Or Good Friday Afternoon.

Or Good Friday evening. 

Whichever it may be, because I been working on this here post ALL day long on my breaks.

I thought I would do something a little different for our freestyle Friday. I didn't get a chance to talk about my Triple F Posse meeting, so I will do that today.

So we got together at one of the local malls in the food court and caught up on all things financial.

The whole food court thing was O_o. Folks were giving out free samples, and you know me. If it is free, it is good.

Look, what had happened was... I had some Chinese food. This is fine. But I told the man to give me some rice, the veggie medley, and a piece of that orange chicken. This dude dump a couple of spoonfuls on my plate. Sigh. Dude. That broccoli veggie stuff was GREAT. I picked around at the chicken. I took 90% of that home and fed it to Oscar and Callie.

Both of them were soon laid out with the 'itis. Especially that Sister Callie:

Look at her wedged between the arm of the sofa and my leg. She is getting her 'itis induced beauty sleep. I guess that deep-fried fructose corn syrup orange glazed coated chicken do that to a feline. And a human, too. Cuz I myself had to go lay down somewhere and get my beauty sleep. I appreciate my raw spinach much more these days.

I now know how to get them to go to sleep.That's good.

One of the things that limits us is having a good regular meeting place. I am remotely thinking about having the meetings at my house. That way I am forced to clean and sand blast my house once a month. But hell... that is just going to stress me out something awful. I just don't know. And my house is so small that if you do a Wonder Woman spin, you will knock EVERYTHING over. I have to think hard about that one. If it means having regular meetings, then I may have to suck it up and figure it out.

Back to Finances.  It was good to catch up with everybody. And since it is more of a group where I can't share what all was said, I can choose to share my own thoughts and accomplishments.

Oh but I know I can tell one thing about another member. Ms. Erica got married to Mr. T., the male member of our group. Look at that ring:


It makes me want to sing that song, holler "BLING-BLING". Everytime ya see me "Bling-Bling! Everytime I come around the corner, "BLING-BLING!!"

Congrats Erica and Mr. T.! 

We always do a round robin and talk about our financial highs and lows. I will talk about mine here.

Kentucky and I did a 21 day financial fast back in March. Our meetings had sporadic, to the point where I thought we were on hiatus.  Kentucky kept asking when the meetings were, and hell, I didn't hear from anyone. So we did the fast together (It was scheduled for march anyway).

It went well enough. I always put away some extra money during these financial fasts. It also gives me a chance to watch my patterns, and set new savings goals, which I ended up putting into effect and that is doing just fine. There's another financial fast coming up in another couple of weeks and I will participate in that one too.

Payoffs. I finally paid off last years "blood" bill. If you can remember, I had to have nine iron infusions. These were $6000 apiece before insurance. After my insurance paid, they came up to $300 a piece for me. So overall, with infusions and doctor's visits cost, that came out to roughly $3000.  I paid just fine up until that last $900 bill. I would just move money out of savings and pay as the bills came. But I decided to just pay $100 a month for that last bill, just out of being hard-headed and not wanting to pay it off. (This was definitely a high class problem).

My rheumatologist said "Your iron storage levels are normal, and you can go and get infusions if you ever need them." That ain't going down unless I am about to fall out or something. I feel the same afterwards. I told her that it was all just too pricey. Yeah, if they were $50 apiece, that would be cool. But if I am paying $300 apiece, I better have some special Wonder Woman powers behind it. I'm just saying.

I also paid off a couple small credit card bills. All in all, it freed up some $180 of money. So that money is mostly going to savings or other things I need to pay off.

Credit score. Man... my credit score on all three reports ranged from 841-846.  Now, 850 is a perfect score. I don't know HOW that happened, as I been hanging in the 790s for several years.

I thought it was because my mortgage got sold. The way it looks is like I paid it off or something. And they have a mortgage amount some $30,000 more than what I paid for my house. That is what is paid off. Not sure whether to call the peoples about that. I think I will just watch it. The account number is correct, etc. So yeah... since it's not deleterious, then whatever.

The group thought it was because I paid off some cards. Ok. I will take ya'lls word for it.

Credit Card Application. I got a special application in the mail.  Check this out.
 

A black card application. Ain't that special?  It made me feel special. It truly did.

I felt special until I saw that $495.

Hated it!

We discussed this in the meeting. Kentucky was looking at the brochure and thinks highly of the concierge service they offered.

"I don't need concierge service," I hollered.

And I don't. That's what blogger Serenity_23 is for. She is a bit on the bootleg, but if I need some feminine type stuff and help she will help. She will help her good tomboy friend, she will. Kentucky will too. Between those two, I am good. And there services are free.

And I don't use credit cards that much. They said that you should spend $3000 in the first 3 months to get some bonus points. That is absurd.

I did a little digging around and found out that the real black card is by American express. $7500 annual fee to start. And you have to spend $250,000 a year.  You see me with that, you know I am robbing banks, selling drugs, selling azz on the corner or something else illegal.

No thank you! How can I get financially free doing that type of tomfoolery?

LOL

So that was fun, just to imagine.

Seems like what you really want is the metal card. That's what these "black" cards are made of. So when you place it on the table and it clinks, and people can ooooh and ahhhh.  You can impress folks with it.

You know me. People can kiss my ashy kneecaps. I ain't trying to impress NO ONE. Nope.

But that was it for my update to the group. I have no big goals right now except to have a holding pattern until the end of the year. There was an interesting discussion about sinking funds, and for the next month, I may be setting up a couple of specific ones instead of having one for everything.

Additionally, by December, I will have one of my emergency credit cards paid off. And savings will be extra healthy, where I want it to be. But that's about it.

One thing that resonated with me was that someone said they had to keep things straight because they had no one to go to if they needed help financially. That struck me to my core, and I think about it from time to time. I have to immediately chase that thought away by confessing that God has never left me high and dry, impoverished, or without help, and I have no reason to have fear.

And that is that. Period. But it still comes to mind. And it is still a reminder of maintaining good stewardship over what I possess, and aiming to get better and better with that with each passing day.

Amen. *fans self with Obama church fan*

Oh, and there's new people in the group. They weren't there. But you know how I am. I get quiet around new folk.  And it's already known that if things don't shake out right, I disappear. That's it. I don't discuss nothing.  It seems that that shouldn't be a problem as these new folks are earnestly working hard on their stuff. But if I come away all stressed, I am ghost. Just habit for me. I will go so far as to call it an idiosyncrasy. There is a reason for that. And it will be discussed in a food-for-thought discussion next week. Kentucky and I had one of them convos... sigh. (You know how my conversations can go off deep like the ocean).

I was glad to get back into the folds of the group. The discussion is always great, and it is also a "safe" place to say whatever you have to say, especially if you messed up, without judgment. And that's what I like. Some are doing very well. Some are just getting along. But we all learn something from each other.  And I LOVE that, honey.

Alright, that's the recap. Sorry for the late posting. Busy as a bee today. Sigh.

I start a 30 day detail on Monday. That should be... interesting.

More about that later.

All I know, I better make it a great weekend. On purpose.

And you do the same.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Word Play 4... LadyLee Style

I am reading a book called Secrets of Your Cells by Sondra Barrett, PhD, and I came across this word.


monocytesmacrophages

Say whutttt? I thought.

That is a long word. I wrote it down. Then I came across it again, and it was written out as...

monocytes-macrophages

Oh. Okay.

That is an interesting word, or hyphenated word, I must say. I saw it in a chapter detailing the white blood cells and the immune system.   

I first recognized that there was much more going on in blood than I ever thought when I would get a copies of my bloodwork over the years. I always thought of blood as being red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (lymphocytes) and plasma. But each of these cell types break down into FAR more than I ever learned in school.

Let's just say I thought that 1/2 page of strange blood related words on my normal bloodwork was detailed, but when I went to a hematologist and she did 4 pages worth of bloodwork? It blew my mind. There were words on there I couldn't even pronounce, let alone remember. So many types of cells with specific jobs to do.

The monocytes-macrophages are white blood cells, and they are our first line of defense when something foreign is detected in the body. The monocyte macrophages are scavenger type cells: they don't know what the heck is going on, they just know there is trouble. They just run up on the scene immediately, and break down the foreign substance into pieces. This seems to send out a signal for more intricate white blood cells that can recognize the invader. And it goes on from there.

And it was a lot going on.

It made me think of an old post I wrote. We are indeed never stagnant. Thank goodness the immune response is involuntary and we don't have to think about it to switch it on and off. With our sway every which way feelings - funky one day, happy the next -, we would be in a whole heap of trouble.

So that's my word play word of the week.

I spent 30 minutes trying to get words from it.

Monocyte-macrophages
 
Here's my list:

mono, macro, phage, gas, gap, crop, cop, pom, mop, monochrome, age, chrome, mate, mace, gates, page, cypher, came, same, name, some, morph, room, home, ghee, hope, rope, cope, acorn, corn phone, hone, goon, cam, scam, pass, ass, mass, mast, past, cast, caster, master, prom, team, seam, sage, rage, corn, money, horny, horn, coma, comatose, morose, rose, year, tear, peat, meat, meet, seet, hoop, coop, cooper, stoop, heap, seep, steep, caste, preset, present, resent, trap, pore, cross, crass, hast, haste, paste, omen, someone, common, commoner, camp, camper, amp, honor, psyche, coon, noose, moose, porch, roach, encroach, reproach, couch, coast, post, cypher, gap, gape, hyper, coot, tome, mote, photo, photon, proton, grasp, raspy, cyst, hammer, stammer, gassy, corporate, tea, sea, storm, stormy, most, mocha, proctor, grope, grape, crepe, ghost, moot, stop, pot, step, stem, steam, sham, shame, hamper, chomp, champ, pester, scram.

Whew. That was hard. I really needed an "i" and an "L". 

Right at 150 words. That's good. My goal is 100. Someday I will make 200.