Thursday, November 30, 2006


Ya'll know how I love a good birthday tribute...

I like to go all out and throw a special blog post up to honor my favorite peoples...

People who have made a huge impact on my life... I consider the day they were born to be a special day.

But some folks...

I swear, they don't even tell you it's their birthday...

You gotta find out by going to their blog, and seeing a short "by the way" type blurb...

Something like...

"It's my birthday. 36. Can you believe it? I used to be so much younger..."

That's what I saw when I went to Tayari Jones' blog today.

WTH? What kind of ish is that?

Now when she writes something that short, I stare... The *crickets* are hopping... I spend a moment trying to figure out the metaphor, the deep intense meaning of life she is trying to get across, or the intricate word play detailed within. I'm trying to even figure out if that is the opening line of some grand epic masterpiece she's working on...

No, I think she rolled out of bed, little tip-toed up to the laptop, typed out "It's my birthday.", and slowly tip-toed back to bed...

No countdown to the birthday, no mention of it...


I expected to see bells and whistles... some elaborate fanfare... a marching band.



Whassup with that, Tayari?!!?

Why you gotta be such a busta?

Come on, Homie, do better!

And you messed me up too, Tayari... I didn't have time to sit and ponder about a proper birthday blog post. I ain't a big time writer like you. I don't think fast on my feet, you know...

But here goes!

Happy Birthday, Celie!

Oh, I mean, um...

Happy Birthday, Tayari!

Now, I've ran up on Tayari a few times this year. I am too old to be a groupie. I just appreciate good writing, and try to support my favorite writers the best that I can. Plus Tayari always does an exceptional job when speaking about her books, Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling...

Let's face it, hon. If you were boring, you wouldn't see an Oldgirl. Nope. I'd buy your books, but I wouldn't waste my time trying to come see you talk... I might just pull you to the side and whisper...

"Yo gurl, you need to step yo game up! Big up, homie!"

Therefore, I ain't a true groupie. Just a fan!


Now my brother, the Milk and Cookies? He's a GROUPIE!

Screaming like an idiot on the Decatur square when he saw her walking by... I wanted to slap that little negro...

I get so sick of him yelling "LadyLee, how's my wife doing?"


Update, Tayari: Milk and Cookies is probably no longer your groupie. He has had a mad passion for older women for the past few years. He, um, ran into a little problem with one of these older women a couple of months ago, and um, let's just say...

His eyes are no longer glazed over, and I haven't heard your name float from his lips in a minute.
Let's just say he don't like older women no more. Yeah, we'll just leave it at that!

But you're still my favorite writer, Tayari!

*LadyLee jumping up from work cubicle, knocking over chair, and kicking the hard fist pump*

Now, I know that you are all "sophistificated" now with your new author picture and all...

Yes, that's nice. Very appropriate, quite dignified indeed...

Yes, yes. It will be a nice topic of interest amongst your literary peers. (And if I ain't suppose to be clipping your pics, let me know... don't run over here screaming about how you gonna sue a broad. Just shoot me a quick email. Humph.)

But I like the old "hood rich pictures". You know, the bootleg ones, the ones where you been dranking and looking all slizzered out of your damn mind... Especially the one you like to put up on your blog everytime you reach a goal of some sort.

(What is up with that, man? Thank goodness for tights! One more drink and you'll be falling over that balcony railing! Cut that ish out!)

Or even when you're keeping it REALLY hood, and getting your hair straightened...

Yep, those are the pics I like!!

And your shoe fetish is hilarious!

My favorite pics? Oh you know, that was when me and my brother came and jumped your car battery when you were stranded in SWATS at you parents house.

(Dude, you BETTER be glad my coworker Que, another one of your die-hard fans, convinced me to call you to see what was up! You would STILL be stranded if it wasn't for her, LOL).

But seriously? I want you to know that you are one of my biggest inspirations. I still have that first email you sent me after I commented on your blog.

"...Always remember, you already ARE a writer. You may aspire to publication, etc. but your heart it what determines if you are a writer or not."

Yo, that was DEEP off the pages right there! That knocked my Nikes AND my socks off! (My boss probably wants to kick your butt for telling me that, because she can't get an ounce of job participation out of me these days!)

But I want to thank you for answering all of my writing questions, no matter how silly they are. And the stuff you've hip me to has helped SOOOO much. It was advice I REALLY needed to hear. That means the world to me. I appreciate it when someone kicks this Oldgirl in the right direction...

You even put up with my funky, funky comments on your blog... I am suprised you haven't BANNED me. HA! Now THAT'S funny!

And on top of that, you are MAD cool! Imagine that!

So, your 35th year was full of accomplishments and excitement!

I can't wait to see what year "36" brings your way!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving Holiday Pictures

I have to admit... I didn't do much for the Thanksgiving holidays.

And I hate to admit... I am not the biggest gung-ho fan of the holidays, either.

But I did take a few pics... Not as many as I usually do, but just a few.

I actually bought fresh flowers for the coffee table... Just the bit of the diva in me coming out, babes!

I love Alstroemeria... They come in such a huge array of colors and they are dirt cheap!

My cat Oscar-Tyrone was terribly shocked that I was actually at home all day for a few days.

He had a perplexed look on his face most of the time. I thought he was going to say, "Um, LadyLee, shouldn't you be at work right now?"

He likes to watch TV alot these days (what IS up with THAT!), so that kind of made him feel better about my being home.

That is, until, I would interrupt him with a kick ever so often...

He'll be alright.

I also made my gumbo.

Took me doggone 6 hours to make that ish. Took me a good hour to clean up my kitchen and restore it to order. Took 2 days to get the gumbo smell out of my house. I made enough to freeze. Let's just say I should be straight until the fourth of July (if I can keep folks from coming over, looking in my deep freezer, and screaming "Ooooh LadyLee, lemme have a quart!!").

(Gotta put a lock on that freezer!)

I made the Infamous Hen-Dog his own special pot, since he don't eat the swine! He likes beef sausage (uggh!). Me, I gotta have plenty pork sausage in my gumbo. He better be careful that I don't trick him (Nah, I'd never do that, LOL!)

Anyway, I took a couple of quarts over to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner. We placed it in one of those old, OLD serving bowls that Grandma bought back in the 1960's, long before I was even born. Funny how she breaks out the old serving dishes every holiday...

The fam destroyed the gumbo... I shoulda brought over more of it!

The turkey was the bomb!!

As you can see, we don't fool around with decorating the turkey, or doing all that fancy ish. Throw that sucka on a platter so we can go head on and eat.

Grandma makes the best giblet gravy in the world. I almost asked her for the recipe, Chele, but um, Grandma is even more bootleg than myself, and I didn't want to confuse you, hon!

As always, I was happy to see my uncles.

And I met my new cousin, my Uncle Tweet's first grandson, Richard.

Now, peeps want to call him Lil' Richard... but um, forget that.

It is too weird to see that my Uncle Tweet has grandkids now. I still think of my uncles and auntie as being in their 30s, even though I am in my thirties... I was always remember them from when we were all MUCH younger!

And guess who else I saw...

My brother, Milk and Cookies!!!

Now I haven't seen the boy in over a month... He is stationed an hour away, but can't seem to find his way home. (He has a new girlfriend... I wonder if that has anything to do with it?)

He also has a new set of rims on his car. I found them interesting.

I was a bit perturbed by that. I thought he could do something better with his money! But you know how we all were when we were that age. ~sigh~

He was especially upset that I am riding around in my Zoom-Zoom, sans the front passenger side hub-cap.

As far as I'm concerned, if I don't need a hubcap for the car to roll, then screw it. As long as my car gets me from point A to point B...

It's all good.

This makes me feel as if I'm getting old. Oh how I yearn for the days when I was young, and had dreams of having a "tricked-out" car!

(Yeah right!)

I'm looking for a set of hubcaps right now... Haven't seen any that I like. All I know, like I told Milk and Cookies, I ain't spending thousands of dollars for no doggone rims, and that's that!

So that's it for me. The Holidays are normally a difficult time for me, some years good, some years disastrous. It's a time that I have to be on guard against being caught up in family drama with my Mama, etc... And I don't like that. I like to be at ease and I like to be myself.

But like I said, I have good and bad years. I just hope to make it through without a scratch.

I hope and pray my 2006 holidays will go well... and I hope the same for you, too!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Wooooo Weeeee!!!

The Kat is ECSTATIC!!!!

Um, I'm not talking about my 9 year old brown tabby Oscar Tyrone...

He looks a little more than ecstatic in that picture... He looks a little evil and spooky there...

No, I am talking about, Kat, the matriarch of our my book club and IJWG (Inspirational Journal Writing Group).

"Kat" turns 50 today!

Kat is like, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of our book club and writing group. She knows everything.

You need a scripture to lean on in your time of need?

Call Kat.

You need some advice?

Call Kat.

You need to share a deep dark secret?

Call Kat.

You need the next winning lotto number?


Kat knows er'thang!

Kat is legendary, you see.

Now I've heard quite a few rumors about the legenadary Kat. While sitting around late night bonfires, such wonderful legendary tales of the Kat have been told and retold.

Star Wars. Legend has it that Kat was the one that destroyed Darth Vader and the Death Star. She was trying to sleep on Hans Solo Millineum Ship, but was awakened by Darth Vader's annoying "Haaaaaaaaw, Haaaaaaaaw". Kat snatched up Obi-Wan Kenobi's Light Saber and killed Darth Vader in one hard swipe. She would've destroyed the Death Star immediately, but stuck around for a few days trying to talk to some fine brotha who was in charge of food service operation for theDeath Star (I think his name was Mel?) Well anyway, once she got that brotha off the Death Star, she destroyed the place. She and Mel got married and lived happily ever after.

Now,Obi-Wan Kenobi got jealous when he saw the legendary sista do something he couldn't do. That's the REAL reason why they made up all them damn Star Wars Movies.

They didn't want to give a sista the credit for taking care of business.

A True Friend.Legend has it that Kat is the reason we don't see Won.der Woman much anymore. She and Kat are good friends and journal writing partners, and when Won.der Woman gets tired of all the hussle and bussle and needs a rest, she calls on Kat! Kat snatches up Won.der Woman's magic lasso, the wrist bands, the leotard, AND the Invisible jet... and takes care of business. Won.der Woman ain't stupid. Kat does a better job than she can ever do on any given day. Besides, people can't even tell them apart. No one knows the difference.

See my short story "Good People"

A Broken Heart.Legend has it that wasn't always head over heels in love with Lane. Lane didn't become Sup.erman's main squeeze until Kat DUMPED him. hasn't been right in the head every since the breakup. As a matter of fact, Sup.erman goes bezerk whenever he sees the color Fuschia. Lane knows that dark side of him all too well: Lane comes out of her bedroom and twirls around in her new dress.

"Sup.erman, how do you like my new dress?"

"Um, it's okay," Sup.erman mumbles.

Lois frowns. "Just okay?" stares blankly, saying nothing.

"I love it!" Lane exclaims. "This fuschia color is wonderful! Don't you like it?"

"Go take it off and put on something else."

"What's that, Supe.rman?"

"You heard me. You're not deaf. Go take it off, and put on something else! Right now!!"

Lois silently walks out of the room.

A lone tear falls from Sup.erman's eye.

Why does Su.perman get all choked up when he sees the color fuschia?
It has something to do with Kat...See the story "Fuschia".

So Ms. Kat... you are a LEGEND, hon! I can't wait to see what the next 50 years brings you...

I want to wish you a VERY VERY VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

I know you're having your very first birthday party tonight! I know you'll have a great time! Kick up your high heels, Kat!

Now I've made over 10 CDs for Ms. Kat (see "The Kat Mixtapes"). She loves them, and listens to them often, so much so that if you tried to take them from her, I believe she'll give you a roundhouse kick to the head AND scratch your doggone eyes out! LOL!

And you know...

You know...

Ya'll know me... You know how I do...

I had to hook her up with a few more CDs!

5 CDs for 50 wonderful years...

The Sentimental Kat

Candlelight and You-Keith Washington
Love Saw It- BabyFace and Karyn White
I Never wanna live without You- Mary J. Blige
Anniversary-Tony, Toni, Tone
I Love Me Some Him- Toni Braxton
Send for Me-Atlantic Starr
Fire and Desire-Rick James andTeena Marie
Something in My Heart-Michele
Crazy-Miki Howard
Please Don't Go- Silk
Is it a Crime- Sade
Closer than Close
He Loves Me (Lyzel in E flat)- Jill Scott

The Slow Moving Kat, Disc II

I'm So into you - Peabo Bryson
Yearning for Your Love- The Gap Band
Reunited- Peaches and Herb
This is for the Lover in you - Shalamar
Unbreak my Heart- Toni Braxton
The Look of Love- Isaac Hayes
Walk on By- Isaac Hayes
Good Love- Anita Baker
I Miss You- Klymaxx
Feel the Fire-Peabo Bryson
Angel-Anita Baker
Cause I love you-Lennie Williams

The Slow Moving Kat, Disc III

It Never Rains In Southern California-Tony, Toni, Tone
Silly Love Song- Mi'chele
Pretty Brown Eyes- Mint Condition
Angel in Disguise-Brandy
Show Me- Jill Scott
You Should've told Me- Kelly Price
I Heard it through the Grapevine-Brownstone
U send me Swingin'- Mint Condition
All Seasons-Levert
Let It Flow-Toni Braxton
Love Taken Over (Long)-Chante Moore
Half of you-Brownstone

The Slow Moving Kat, Disc IV

How Can I Ease the Pain- Lisa Fischer
Nobody Suppose to Be here- Deborah Cox
Cherish the Day-Sade
Careless Whisper- Wham!
Lady - Alexander O'Neal
Seven Whole Days - Toni Braxton
All I want is you - Kelly Price/Gerald Levert
If you Still Love her- Miki Howard
Just the way you want me to- Miki Howard
If you think you're lonely now - K-Ci of Jodeci
Kissing you- Keith Washington
Adore - Prince


That Ol' Freaky Kat!!!
(Watch out, now!)

Cross My Mind- Jill Scott
Soul Searchin'- Michelle N'dechello
Say Yes - Floetry
Read Your Mind- Avant
Lose Control- Silk
Turn You Out-Silk
Piece of My Love-Guy
Virgin-Chico Debarge
There's a Right Way to Learn Somebody-Keith Sweat
Honey Love-R.Kelley
My Body-LSG
Stroke U Up- Changing Faces
Thinkin' bout it-Gerald Levert
Baby I Wanna- H-Town

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, KAT!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I, the giddy Oldgirl LadyLee...

would like to wish you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

Now, I saw something interesting earlier this year...

...a wild turkey hanging out in my neighbor's back yard.

How in the world did a turkey find his way to the inner city? I have no idea. All I know, it spent several hours hanging out in my neighbor's backyard...


Haven't seen him lately.


Well, I just found that... interesting!

Today, before you sit down to have turkey, take a moment to think of a few think of a few things that you are thankful for!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Book Review: Only True Love Waits by Dwan Abrams

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of sharing a ride to my book club's retreat up in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains with Atlanta author Dwan Abrams. She dropped so much knowledge on me that I am STILL trying to comprehend it all! She definitely makes me think differently about the whole writing process! After conversating with her... I was high as a kite!
Had me almost leaping from the car, snatching up my laptop and screaming...
I feel like writing!!!!!

So you know I had to read her book, right?

Really though.

Well, the title of her book is Only True Love Waits, and it is a romantic suspense. I was especially interested in her book because my manuscript is a romantic suspense. So you know I had to read it.
The book starts out with a bang, right off the bat (and I like that!). None of that warming up type stuff, let's just shoot from the hip!
Xavier Roberts, the male protagonist, has everything going for him. He's an aspiring rapper and he is engaged to be married to the love of his life, Summer Love. But a doctor visit brings some bad news: he's been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He goes through a range of emotions, and instead of sharing his feelings with his fiancee, he decides to call the wedding off. He doesn't want to put her through any unnecessary grief about his problem. Summer is crushed. Summer has no idea why he called everything off. As a result, she is left distraught, rejected, and alone.
Summer does what a lot of us women normally do: she pours all of her energy into work, i.e., opening her new company, Spa Nevaeh. She meets a nice man, Ryan Kennedy, at the glitzy grand opening of the spa. Ryan just so happens to be the CEO of the record label that signed her ex-fiance Xavier. Summer decides to date Ryan, as she feels that she needs to get over Xavier and move on with her life. She decides this even after learning of Ryan's troubled past.

That's not the end of the story, though. Xavier goes through medical treatment for his early stage cancer, and after receiving a clean bill of health from his doctor, gets up the courage to pursue Summer again. He comes clean about why he broke up with her, and Summer gets back with him (after breaking up with Ryan).

That's not the end of the story either. It would have been a nice ending, but nope... not the end.

Ryan's not going out like that. A darker side of Ryan is revealed...

And honey? It ain't all about him being upset about the breakup...

You will have to read the book to find out the details...

Now, at only 151 pages, Only True Love Waits was a FAST read, full of suspense, with so many twists and turns that it left my head spinning. It's been a long time since I've been like...
"Hold on, I know that THAT didn't just happen! Let me go back a page and make sure!"

And I liked that!
Now, what I really liked about this book was the inspirational/spiritual vibes and undertones. As women, you know we can always think back to when we were dating someone, and knowing within ourselves early on at some point that something just wasn't right about dude. I saw that here. Summer was a good girl, doing everything "right", like saving herself for her future husband, etc., but we all make mistakes and use poor judgement even in the midst of being prayerful about the situations. And as a result, we have to deal with the consequences of that lack of judgement. Even in the midst of the issues, we can still pray, and things come together again.
I was thinking about that aspect of the book long after I read the final page.
And I was very impressed with the amount of backstory in this book, especially in the latter chapters. I am always amazed when an author can successfully blend a good backstory into the main story, and everything is relevant...

I enjoyed this book, and I most definitely am looking forward to more books by Ms. Abrams.

So if you're looking for a good fast read that will keep your attention, and have you thinking long after you turn the last page...

Pick up Only True Love Waits.
You won't be disappointed!

Monday, November 20, 2006

LadyLee's Chicken Cornbread Dressing

Aaah Yeah!!

It is Thanksgiving. Not only a time to give thanks, but is a time to cook...

A time to cook everything in sight! LOL!

I thought I would share with you my recipe for dressing.

My BOOTLEG recipe... Note, this is bootleg, ai'ight? Try it out, and if stuff don't seem to be going right, then, um...

Do your best to work that ish out...

Now That Oldgirl Chele said last week that she needed a recipe for "Stuffing". So I thought that I would go ahead and share my recipe.

Now, I must admit that I am hit or miss with this recipe. The last couple of years I have managed to get it just right, though. The recipe shown here is one for dressing baked in a pan. I will try my best to explain how to make stuffing for the turkey from this recipe...

LadyLee's Chicken Cornbread Dressing

2 pounds of chicken quarters
1 cup of celery, diced
1 cup of onion, diced
1 cup of bell pepper, diced
1/2 stick of butter
8 cups of crumbled cornbread
1 can of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken (or) cream of mushroom soup (optional)
2 tsps. pepper
1 tspn. paprika
1 tbspn dry parsley
2 tspn. seasoned salt (or more, really)

Alright, let me see if I can explain this...

1. First boil all of the chicken, to the point where it is falling off the bone. I say this because I HATE pulling chicken from the bone. It is bad enough that I have to cut it up. But, it is easier if I cook it until it falls off the bone. Pull all of the meat off the bone then dice the chicken up. And SAVE THE CHICKEN BROTH.

2. While you are boiling up that chicken, make a pan of cornbread. A BIG pan. Follow the directions on the back of the pack, and DO NOT use that bootleg JIFFY mix PLEASE! The pan I made is about the size of a rectangular birthcake that you would buy from the grocery store. (Don't act silly. You know what I'm talking about. Nope, I didn't measure the pan... Remember this is bootleg, now). Now, you WILL NOT need the entire pan of cornbread... Why do I make more than I need? Heck, I don't know.

Don't buy the yellow cornmeal, buy the SELF-RISING yellow cornmeal mix. I like Three Rivers. Why? Because it is CHEAP around this time of the year. (0.99 cents for a 5 pound bag! WHOO-HOO!)

3. Dice up all of your veggies. I use a mini food processor because I hate dicing vegetables. That way, I can get it all as finely diced as possible. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the diced veggies. Saute until all the water boils out, and veggies begin to brown.



Um, that should be clear enough for ya!

4. Mix together the crumbled cornbread, sauteed veggies and diced chicken in the biggest mixing bowl you have. This is a good time to add all the seasonings (pepper, seasoned salt, paprika, and parsley). If you are using cream of chicken or mushroom soup, add it also.

5. Now here is the tricky part, at least for me. Now I don't like my dressing dry. It it is dry I better have a load of gravy on hand, and I'm not the biggest fan of gravy.

Start adding your chicken broth and your leftover chicken stock to the mixture... The issha becomes that you don't want everything to clump together (This is better for stuffing, see #8), because when you bake it, it will be DRY as the desert. You want it just past that stage where it is clumped together, but not soupy. You may be able to tell from the picture below what I mean...

This will give a soft dressing, that is easily sliced. (That's the way I like it!). I can't stand DRY dressing, and if you try to bake it where it is all clumped together (where you have to spread the mixture in the pan with a knife) it will be dry!

Now, I made three square pans of dressing. Spray your pans real good with cooking spray first, though.

6. Bake it until it's done! LOL!!

Just playing. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake it for about an hour. I have a convection setting on my oven, so it takes half the time. Just be sure to watch it. When it is done, it will be brown, with the sides pulling away slightly from the edge. If it takes more than an hour, then just let it keep going. You should be able to stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool to room temperature. This gives it time to set, where you can slice it.

8. Stuffing: Now for stuffing that is going inside of the turkey, you DO NOT want the dressing to be soupy. You want to stop at the stage where it is clumping together (where it is spreadable), after the addition of the cream of chicken soup, and a little of the broth. Take that mixture and spoon it into the turkey. The juices from the turkey should give the stuffing the right consistency while baking...

And you know, if you have problems? Just work it out.

9. Variations: I have added a can of chopped smoked oysters to this recipe. You can also add a cup of chopped cranberries, or a cup of cooked sausage. I have added crawfish instead of chicken, which is VERY good, but you better boil up the crawfish first and skim out the fat, THEN add the chopped crawfish to the dressing... or else it is gonna be greasy as all get out!

So there ya go, peeps...

And remember, if you run into problems with this recipe?

Work it out!!!