Thursday, May 31, 2007

A LadyLee Memorial Day, Part I

**In order to curb (disguise) my longwindedness, I am breaking this post up into two or more parts... That way, it won't seem as if I am being, well, longwinded.

I must admit that I'd been thinking about Memorial Day every since early April. I was thinking of how I was NOT going to cook at all or attend any get togethers. Wonderful visions of myself laid up in my king-size bed on my down pillows, snug under my down comforter listening to the whir of the ceiling fan all day long danced in my head. I was thinking of how I would not be seeing anyone that day, not attending gatherings... just doing NOTHING all day.

But LadyTee had different plans.

Phone rings. I check the caller ID and see that it is LadyTee.
"'Sup Gal." (My usual phone greeting for her).
"Nothin', man. Look here, Lee, we coming over to your house for Memorial Day."
I sat straight up in the bed. "Man, I ain't cooking!"
"Lee, that's cool. Big Corey [LadyTee's baby daddy] will cook."
"NO!" I screamed.
"Lee, you and me can go get the meat and everything, and put it in your deep freezer. That way, we won't have to worry about getting any."
"N****, calm down! I'm just trying to come over, chill, and eat a piece of meat, that's all. Big C will do the grilling."
"Well, ya'll can do whatever! I will be in my room somewhere sleep."
"Like I said, Lee. I just want to come over, sit in the shade, and eat a lil' piece of meat."

So, she talked me into it. Three weeks ago, I picked her up and we went deep into the 'hood and found some good sales on meat. As long as I didn't have to cook (and she had to stress this to me several times over the past month), I was cool. All I knew was that I was going to sleep all day because It's been a loooonng time since I've had a weekday off from work.

Of course, it didn't go down that way.

I got up at 5:00 a.m. as usual, and did some house cleaning. (I tried to go back to sleep, but I was so freakin' happy that I didn't have to go to work that I was pretty much a deer in the headlights). There were a couple of Law and Order marathons on (I LIVE for Law and Order marathons), as usual on the holidays, and I watched those. But I also cooked, which I said I wasn't going to do. Heck, I figured as long as I didn't have to go out in the hot sun and fool with charcoal and smoke, then that was cool. I ended up making potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and this:

A CAKE. It is a bootleg cake. I don't have a pretty glass cake plate, so I sat it on a paper plate. Some cups fell on it and smashed the icing. That's what I get for trying to decorate it. That's the last time I will attempt such a thing, that's for sure...

But it looked good. And it was from SCRATCH. Frosting and all.

The thing is, I've never made a cake before. My mother is caterer and makes wedding cakes and such. Let's just say I grew up around A LOT of cake and I HATE CAKE. But I had the Very Good Chocolate Cake (yes that's the name of it) from The 'Shed, and I bought the Chef's recipe book. So I decided that whenever I had a get-together of some sort (which is RARE since I have a very small house) I would make the cake. That way, whoever came over could take it home with them.

Because all I wanted was a slice...

To be continued.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gardens and Such, Part IV

Alright ya'll it's getting H-O-T outside.

As a matter of fact, downtown ATL is all SMOKY due to the wildfires burning down in South Georgia!!

Man, ain't NOTHING worse than walking outside on a nice spring morning, taking a deep breath and inhaling nasty SMOKE!!

Hope it rains soon, cause like I said, it's gettin' HOT!

But my garden's getting HOTTER!

And a sista should be seeing a bean or two pretty soon, ya think?

The radishes and okra are starting to do a little sumthin' sumthin'. I think I will thin those out next week.

Now, it's just a matter of standing around and waiting... It's kind of like watching grass grow, ya know. I gotta be patient, and it probably doesn't help much that I'm one of the most impatient Oldgirls on the planet.

But I'm going to work it out... And it is always good to have a little help in the garden. LadyTee's daughter "Milk-Milk" is a pro at planting seeds and fertilizing.

I'm going to have to get her to come by more often to work the fields.

So that's it for the garden news. Not all that exciting, but quite pretty, it is...

Stay tuned for a little something about how I spent my Memorial day... I have a SLEW of pictures. Here are just a few to wet your appetite:

Oscar-Tyrone was being a party-pooper... He had a slight hairball issha, and he was a bit constipated or something... (Walk it off, boy, because you are NOT going to the doctor!). Anyway, he was NOT a happy camper.

We threw a little meat on the grill, ya'll!

And there were random negroes, like LadyTee's son best friend Pat, laying around on the living room floor, sick with the "itis".

That's cool, Pat. You just graduated from high school last week. Congratulations, Dude.

You can stretch out on my floor as much as you like!

Stay tuned for more Memorial Day tales!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Afterword for "Cold and Heavy" and STORY WEEK

**Stories for story week: "I Love My Wife" and "Cold and Heavy". Go to sidebar and click on the posts for these stories.**
I must say, boys and girls...

Story week was loads and loads of fun!

It was sort of a "Think out Loud" experience for me. I was trying to understand some of the minor characters from my epic out-of-control Sweet Heat manuscript. I can go back now and dig into my manuscript and tweak the Sylvia character nicely. Interestingly, because of all this, three huge chapters of my manuscript are going to be cut, because they will fit nicely into a Sylvia and Fred manuscript.

I felt bad about that, but my writing instructor seems to make it a point to continuously screech "Ladylee, cut and tighten. Tighten, LadyLee! Just be ruthless and tighten!"

*LadyLee furiously scribbling the word of the year into her notebook... "TIGHTEN!! RUTHLESS!! T-I-G-H-T-E-N!!*

Now, I usually send my stories out over the email thread to various people who can give me some pretty good insight or directions to go with the story. This is especially helpful when I am stuck. One word from a person will make me go "Oh! That's it!".

But one member of my elite critique team has a crazy sense of humor, and that is my blog sista, The Ladybug Mocha, who is retired from the blogosphere.

Let's just say that I messed around and asked her to think of a name of the story "Cold and Heavy". (She and LadyTee thought that was When I hit "send" to send the email, I was like "uh-oh" because I knew she was going to run with it.

She came up with some HILARIOUS suggestions:

"Trigger Finger"
"While You Were Sleeping"
"Before You Turn Off the Light"
"Lights Out"
"Abra Cadaver"
"Where Sleeping Dogs Lie"

We were giggling (especially Serenity 23) over the email thread about other Ladybug titles:

"Mama Said Take You Out"
"Eggs Over Easy Does It"
"Wake up Dead"
"Ring the Alarm"
"Who Shot Ya?"
"Guess Who's Not Making It for Breakfast"
"Calgon Betta Take Me Away B4 I Take You Out"

And my favorite?

"One Shot: The Sylvia Ellison Story"

Now that title is HOT right there!! That's some ol' Lifetime Television for Women ish right there!!!!

This particular story got some interesting emotional responses from folks, most notably, that wanna-be Oldgirl, Serenity23, who usually reads my early drafts first. She had a huge problem with Sylvia leaving her son. I could imagine that S23 would get upset about this because she wouldn't think of leaving her son Tyler...

But S23? Calm your ass down...

It. was. a. dream.

RETRACT your CLAWS, ya chicken (inside joke).

And part of the reason Sylvia woke up crying, I believe. Now THAT'S a thought.

Don't fret, S23. Like I said over email, I had a problem with Sylvia ironing Fred's slacks... before he leaves for the night. Me, I ain't ironing a dayum thing. Betta be careful that you don't catch an iron upside the head...

Let me chill, because I'm getting pissed.

Back to what I was talking about.

"Cold and Heavy" was an interesting story. I tried to do some crazy stuff like mix flashback with a dream sequence. I am sure that there is some doggone writing craft law against such a thang, but I don't care. I got what I wanted out of it: some insight into both Sylvia and Fred's mindsets.
Part of this story, about the gun being wrapped in the pretty pink box, arose from a post I did last year about a birthday present that my Auntie Joyce received from Uncle Sean. We were sitting around the living room table and Auntie was all excited about Sean had bought. She pulled a black case out of a frilly pink gift bag lined lovingly with frilly pink tissue papers. She's an artist, so I thought it was some new paints or something. Turns out it was a gun, a .38 to be specific. I was horrified. My brother, who was 12 at the time I believe, jumped with glee, screaming "Auntie, it's a BB gun! It's a BB gun!". My sweet innocent Grandma leaned forward and whispered that she wanted to hold it. We passed the gun around. And I remember thinking, when I held it and pointed it...

"This sure is cold and heavy."

So that's where that little part of the story came from.

Now for heavier issues... Questions on my mind about the story, when looking at the Biscuit Blues Collective (funny how I keep naming this group of stories, LOL).

1. Why the heck is Sylvia fantasizing and dreaming about the bus driver Lester Johnson? What the hell is up with THAT?

2. Fred is not a violent man. He likes to sleep around a lot, though. In "Buttermilk Biscuit Blues", Fred came home from the club pushing up on Sylvia because she didn't have his breakfast ready. This was odd, because he has never laid a hand on her. That could only mean that something crazy happened at that club that night to upset him. What happened?

3. In "Buttermilk Biscuit Blues", Sylvia snapped and bust Fred upside the head with a rolling pin, knocking him unconscious. She left Fred lying on the kitchen floor, then she went to Sunday Morning church service. At the end of the story, she throws her busted rolling pin away, but decides to take it out of the trash. In a excerpt from Sweet Heat, Fred mentioned, in reminiscing about the situation, that Sylvia hemmed him up in the bathroom after he got out of the shower.

The usually quiet and reserved Sylvia had a lot to say to old Fred up in that bathroom. She had a lot on her mind. Scared the hell out of Fred, that's for sure.

Just what did Sylvia say to scare the man so bad?


These are questions on my mind.

Then one of my faaavoorite bloggers, my Online pastor Chosen (if you need your spiritual vitamin for the day, HURRY TO HER SITE), made an interesting comment in the comments section of that story:

What is the kid's point of view here?

Humph. Goodness gracious Chosen, you have just been snatched into the Original Oldgirl Elite Critique Team. You can't get out of it. It's like some old gang ish, or some old 1970's pimp and his women thang in the clubs... You've just been "chosen".

*LadyLee rolling on the floor laughing hard at THAT one*

I've been thinking about the son's point of view of things, but Chosen made a comment that brought that story together for me. She said a few things that caused me to say "OH!!"

So there are three more stories that will come out of this, all of which I will post.

I may just haphazardly just throw those out there, or I may have another story week sometime this summer. Who knows?

You never know with me!

So, boys and girls, that is the end of Story Week!

Hope you enjoyed it!!

Have a great holiday weekend!!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Cold and Heavy"

(Note: Click to read related stories "I love my wife" and "Buttermilk Biscuit Blues")

This story right here goes out to one of my blog mentors and blog sistas the Ladybug Mocha a.ka. Tae, a.k.a "Diggs", the chick whose blog style I have jacked! You've been reading a lot of my stuff, and have noticed a few running themes along the way. You called to see if I was, uh, alright. (We yacked for like, 2 hours, didn't we? LOL!) Yeah, I'm cool. It was GREAT talking to you!

And this one is for you, chicken (inside joke)...

"Cold and Heavy"


Cold and heavy in my hand.

An extension of my own hand, even of my very bones.

The scent is like that of a sack of pennies, coppery and new, ready to spent.

It’s loaded. The hammer is cocked.

It’s aimed at its target, and ready to be shot.

Fred bought the gun for me three years ago, back in 1978, for my 27th birthday. He’d given me a small box wrapped in pretty pink paper topped with a large fluorescent bow that changed colors in the lamp light. I thought it may have been the usual box of Calgon that he bought every year, but the box was too big and heavy to be bath salts. I got all excited about Fred buying me something different for a change.

But I opened the frilly box to find a simple black plastic case containing a gun. I carefully picked the gun up and held it in the palm of my hand.

It was cold and heavy.

"Happy Birthday, baby," he yelled. I jumped at the sound of his deep booming voice.

I glanced down at the gun in my hand, then back up at Fred. It was strange to see such a big smile on his face. Come to think of it, it was strange to even see him at home on a Friday night. He should've been gone long before now.

He could've at least given me a box of Calgon. I could never have too much Calgon bath salts around.

"Well, this is, um. . . nice. Thank you." I held the gun out to him. "I’m sure you will make good use of it, because I have no idea what to do with it."

Fred closed his hand over mine and pushed the gun back towards me. His gold pinky ring sparkled in the lamp light.
My breath quickened. I forgot how warm and soft his hands could be.

He stood before me, hands deep in the pockets of the black slacks I’d just pressed for him. "Didn’t you say there been a few break-ins on the block?"

"Uh, yes."

"That’s why I bought it. That’s your gun, and I’m gonna show you how to use it. I’m not ‘round here much, and you need somethin' just in case someone tries to break in."

I caught the hard "Ha!" before it jumped out of my mouth and slapped him across his face. I smiled and nodded as if he’d made the most thought-provoking suggestion known to man.

He had some nerve. He could be here at night with me and our son instead of running the streets cavorting with his girlfriends. It would almost serve him right if a burglar broke in here and stole everything we had.

It crossed my mind to gather up all of Fred's fine clothing, expensive cologne, fancy watches and pinky rings and sit them all out on the carport. I could get our son to use his fingerpaints to draw the word "FREE" on a poster board so I would stick on top of his belongings for all to see. It would serve him right, all of his fancy stuff getting snatched up.

"Yes, yes, I see ya smilin', Sylvia. You like that, don’t cha?"

I sat there, same plastic smile plastered on my face. I wasn't really smiling. I was just showing my teeth.

Fred could never tell the difference.

Fred eased down on the bed next to me and draped his arm around my shoulder. "Baby, I’m taking you to the gun range. There’s a couple of nice ones up in Cobb County. We’ll go out there and see how you do, a'ight?"

I didn’t really hear a word he said. I just knew that he was close to me, his body against mine. I could smell the fresh scent of his cologne and aftershave. I reached out and touched his forearm, patting it gently. He leaned in and kissed me on the cheek.

He got up from the bed and jingled his car keys. "Well, I’m gone. See you in the morning."

Seconds later, the front door closed and the familiar sound of his Cadillac revving up broke through the silence of the evening.

My birthday caused him to pause for only a moment. Who was I to think that it was enough to keep him home tonight?

I balled up the gift wrapping paper and threw it on the bed. I placed the box on the top shelf of the closet and pushed it far to the back, next to Fred’s gun.

Fred was true to his word. He took me to the gun range a few times. The first time I shot that gun, it scared me so bad that I let out a yelp and dropped it. Fred caught it before it hit the floor.
He placed it back in my hand and stood behind me, covering my hands with his to show me how to grip the gun. I had the hang of it after a couple of shots, but I pretended that I didn't understand what I was doing. I relished leaning back against my husband’s muscular body. It was as close as we’d been in a long time, and I made sure to enjoy ever second of it.

But now, some three years after the fact, I stood in the darkness of the bedroom staring down at Fred. . .

. . .With the cold and heavy gun in my hand.

Fred slept soundly, his snore loud as a rushed train trying to keep its schedule.

I could just shoot him, then get rid of the gun. He was worth more to me dead than alive. I could just say that robbers kicked in the door and shot him.

I raised the gun and pointed it at him.

A faint whisper cut through the darkness. "Sylvia."

A cool hand reached around me and gently took the gun away.

"Now Sylvia," he whispered, his voice rushed. "You said that you wanted to come back in here and get your gun. You got me waiting all out in the car. You got it, now let’s go."

“I know, Lester. I know. But―”

"But nothing, Sylvia. Let’s get out of here."

I turned and reluctantly walked out the door with the man that drove the bus I caught to work every morning, Lester Johnson.

We’d been seeing each other for the past few months.

We'd fallen in love.

He was taking care of things that Fred had long ago neglected.

And now he’d convinced me to run away with him.

I turned around as I exited the front door of my home. I held on to the wooden screen door. I was leaving everything. My home. My child. My husband. Lester and I were running off to California, never to see Georgia again.

"Sylvia," Lester whispered against the darkness, his breath hot against my ear. "Baby, Let’s go."
I stood there, still gripping the edge of the screen door, my feet heavy as lead.

Lester rubbed my arm. "Sylvia, I'm taking you away from all of this. Let's go."

I opened my mouth to speak but there was no sound. A tear slid down my face.


My eyes snapped open to Fred pulling on my arm. It took me a moment to gather myself and to realize that I was lying in the bed caught up in a dream or something. The alarm clock was going off, sounding like a stuck car horn.

"Sylvia," Fred barked, his voice lower than normal and heavy with sleep. "You gonna have to do somethin' about that alarm. Turn it off!"

I reached over and smacked the alarm clock, knocking it off the end table.

I sat up and turned on the light. A few deep breaths brought me back to reality. I looked around for my housecoat, which had slid from the bed and fallen to the floor sometime during the night. I slipped my feet into my house shoes.

My face was wet with tears. I wiped them away with the collar of my nightgown. "What do you want for breakfast, Fred?"

He stretched and yawned. "The usual."

I glanced at him. "Alright."

"And turn off that light," he mumbled from under the sheet. "I’m gonna try to get a lil' more sleep if I can. You gonna have to get better about turnin' that alarm off after the first beep."

I looked over at the open closet, at the top shelf where I kept my gun. I wondered if it would feel as cold and heavy in my hand as it felt in my dream.

I pushed that awful thought from my head. I needed to get up and get ready for work. Our son needed to be awakened and gotten ready for school. I needed to get breakfast on the table.

"Alright Fred, alright. Breakfast will be ready in an hour."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Afterword for "I Love My Wife"

Click here to read my short story, "I Love My Wife"

You know, ya'll trip me out.

I gotta watch what I say in my posts, LOL.

No, I am not ready to write anything long about Sylvia and Fred. That sh** is just a bit too complicated. Maybe in a few years, or something. But these little stories are helping shape up some type of storyline.

And that right there is a good thang:)

But, what I was working on with "I Love My Wife" is writing from a male point of view. I pretty much suck when it comes to writing from a male perspective. I only have one male reader, the Infamous Hen-Dog, who likes to run around the cubicle area at work reciting from some of my writings where the males are conversating. Let's just say he recites those lines with a glowing smile, a strange twist in his hips, and a wonderful two snaps up.

Every now and then, he whispers "Gaaaay."

That was written all over the place when I had the first half of Sweet Heat edited. So it's just not him picking at me...

Oh, how I almost shed a tear because of these things.

Whatever. I am the Original Oldgirl. I big up! I man up!

And I WILL change.

Which means that I have to do a bit of "drill writing" in that area. "I Love My Wife" is a part of all that.

And a convo about the matter with the great Queen of Lurk City, Inc., Miss Celie herself, Tayari Jones, REALLY got this Oldgirl stomping in the right direction (as always the case).

So... I woke up one morning, and I was laying in bed thinking about why the heck Fred be trippin' like he do, when he got a good wife at home who doesn't complain one bit about his escapades. And I heard Fred say something quite interesting...

"LadyLee, I love my wife."

He went on to tell all the reasons why he loved his wife, and why at the same time he loves the chase. Then he explained how he felt guilty about it all, to the point where he couldn't look Sylvia in the eyes.

Because he knows that she knows what's up. And he's not too sure what to do about that and/or how to deal with that.

Yeah, that is a bit... spooky, I must say. But there was a HUGE situation that occurred in Sweet Heat where my elite critique team was like "Damn Lee, I want to know the story behind all of THAT!!!"

"Too complicated," I would respond. "Plus it steps away from the plot."

And it does. I am having a hard enough time understanding my main characters as it is. I am beginning to find that people are a bit smitten with the lives of my side characters rather than my main characters. This was a problem in my writing class also, with a story I'd written. That can be either a good or a bad thing, ya know.

But what I LOVE about the members of the Original Oldgirl Elite Critique Team(yeah, I came up with that, and I may just buy them some t-shirts or somethings, LOL), is that they, even though their editing skills are NOT there, ask the most intriguing questions, and make the most wonderful suggestions. I have also been cussed out a couple of times. That's cool, because it let's me know that I wrote something that got a rise out of them.

Hen-Dog is getting better. He will sit and listen to me read to him, and he won't whisper "Gaaaay!" or get all feminine on me. He is making GREAT suggestions. This is good because I NEEDS that. He helped me with the "they better wake up and apologize" line and the whole basketball metaphor.

And he gave me some good advice...

Which I plan to put to use.

Now the next story will be posted in the morning. It is a twice as long as "I Love My Wife". The name of it is either "Cold and Heavy" or "Gun". I will let you decide on which.

All I know is that it pissed my blog sister Serenity23 off. That girl WENT OFF over the email thread. Goodness. Calm down, S. DANG.

LadyTee didn't even let me get through the first few lines before she yelled "Whoa player... whoa! Hold up! This sounds a bit Not sure where she got that from. Sometimes that chick got a dirty mind, LOL.

Another blog sister,the retired Ladybug Mocha, called me and just outright asked me, "You alright, Leezie? 'Cause you sure be writing about guns, and people being shoved and thrown up against walls..."

I'm alright, baby.

Just been watching too much "Snapped" on the Oxygen channel, that's all. And I have been reading a book entitled "100 little murder stories". Other than that, I'm cool.

Stay tuned tomorrow for "Gun. . . Cold and Heavy"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"I Love My Wife"

Story Week is dedicated to The Good Nurse because she scratches out my head when I was ailing. LOL, Naaaa, just playing. The Good Nurse called an Oldgirl to check to see how I was doing. It was good talking to you, gal! I was a bit blue and you put a smile on my face:) Thanks for the pick-me-up!

Welcome, Boys and Girls!

It's story week!

I will probably do a foreword and a story. An afterword of my personal thoughts may or may not be posted the following day.


The name of this story is "I Love My Wife". It is part of the the Biscuit Blues Anthology, LOL. (But I do like the sound of that, ya know?) But if you haven't read "Buttermilk Biscuit Blues", a story I posted a couple of months ago, then go back and read it.

Two of the stories this week are prequels to that.

The stories grew out of an excerpt from my Sweet Heat manuscript. All are set back in 1981, regarding some issues between Sylvia Ellison and her husband, Fred Ellison.

For some reason, my elite critique team, including the Good Nurse, who barreled through all 1003 pages of Sweet Heat (thanks, girl!), really liked one of the minor characters, Sylvia Ellison, She's a mother figure to the male protagonist Samuel and a voice of reason in the whole book as well. The critique squad got really excited about a very interesting storyline concerning some past issues with Sylvia and her husband Fred ("I want to know more about THAT Lee"!). This very minor storyline is very interesting, enough for a whole book in itself. But I am not experienced enough to write it just yet. Gotta dig into some backgrounds here and there.
So these stories are just a way of me to trying to wrap my mind around that storyline and the Sylvia and Fred Ellison characters. Be forewarned that they are very rough, and need work, but I got the information that I was looking for from them, which was my goal in the first place.

The following story is from Fred Ellison's point of view.

So without further adieu, I present "I Love My Wife"

I Love My Wife

I love my wife.

And if anyone even dreams of saying that I don’t…

Man, they better wake up real quick and apologize.

I do love her. I love everything about her. Her cocoa brown skin. Her sexy brown eyes. Her body, so fine and thick that when she walks across the room, my eyes zoom in on her like lasers.

I love the little things, too. I love the way the bathroom smells after she has finished taking a bath. I love that sound, that hiss, as she pulls that hot comb through her hair. I love the way her big toe curls slightly towards her middle toe. Her laughter when she talks on the phone to her family and friends is music to my ears. I love watching her as she reads a bedtime story to our son. I stare at her for hours as she sleeps, wondering if she dreams of me. Her light snore lulls me into a peaceful sleep at night.

Yes, I love my wife. She is a good wife, more than I could ever ask or hope for.

But I also love the chase. The chase is where it’s at, and the chase is all I think about. The high I get when I bed a new woman is a high better than free drugs. Going to a club, sitting at a bar, and catching the eye of some hot young thing at the far end is the sport of champions. One flash of my million dollar smile and a casual wink of my eye are my rod and reel. I reel them in like a fish. They're ready to be cleaned, battered down, and fried. Hell, It ain’t even necessary to hide my wedding ring. This is 1981. There are women out there, looking for a man, any man, married or not. And I’m a tall fine dark brother. I am what they all want. I am what they all need.

I please those women. I know I do by the way they moan my name late in the midnight hour. They worship the ground I walk on. They plead with me not to go, but I slip on my clothes and tell them that I have to go. It ain’t nothing for me to bed them and get up and get on to my house, to my wife, to my own bed.

Now, most of them have their own places. I would never take a woman back to my place. Not to the bed that I share with my wife.

That would be disrespectful.

I love my wife too much to do something as foul as that.

I’ve ran as many as eight women at a time, and that’s not easy. Some want more time than others, and some are just happy to get a moment of my time. Some are wild and kinky. A few are innocent and needy. Sometimes it’s hard to keep everybody straight.

No, maintaining eight different households wasn’t easy. It's easier to keep five or six different chicks on the team. My wife Sylvia always runs point.

And as long as they all play right, they all stay in the game.

And if anyone of them acts up? That broad rides the bench.

Hell, she might even get traded.

But I always come home to my wife. She never asks questions. Never fusses or nags. She always has a good hot breakfast ready, even taking the time to fresh squeeze my orange juice. She knows to have my newspaper on the table, open to the sports section, when I come in from a long night out.

But it has been a couple of years since I’ve touched her in a way a man touches his wife. The last time we had sex, I stared into her eyes, and her eyes said two words…

“I know.”

The look in her eyes was a storm cloud of shame over my head. It got to the point where I couldn’t even make eye contact.

No, she never whines or fusses. Afterall, she didn’t have to.

She knew she was the one that held all the power.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gardens and such, Part III





How does your garden grow, Oldgirl??

Well, it's been three weeks, and the garden is coming along just fine!

The beans are growing quite nicely!

I should have a bean (or two) in a couple of weeks!

Radishes are also coming up. They'll be ready in about three weeks.

But you know I had to bootleg and buy a few plants. Home Depot had the hot sale, so I planted a few herbs (lemon balm, basil, and rosemary). I also bought a couple pepper plants and one tomato plant.

I said I wasn't going to get a tomato plant, because I HATE caging and stringing up vines. But like I said, Home Depot had the HOT sale!

I planted some of my cucumber transplants, and I the okra should be coming up this week sometime!

So that's it for the garden update! Stay tuned every Monday for more!

STORY WEEK starts tomorrow, boys and girls:)

Come back tomorrow morning for some interesting storytelling!!

Friday, May 18, 2007


You know, the Oppressor has been working an Oldgirl really hard all week.

And basically, I am dog-tired.

I have all sorts of LadyLee adventures to share, but I've just been a bit... tired.

I know it is bad when I go home and go straight to bed. ~sigh~

But stay tuned, boys and girls!

Next week is Story Week!

I thought I would post two or three very short stories next week. I pass out stories at work, and we get a kick out of them. I am in the middle of some interesting character development work right now, and the stories are helping with such.

So stay tuned, boys and girls!!

I gots the weekend off baby!!

(Well, it was one of those "Ladylee, you working this weekend?" kind of things, to which I responded "Hell nawl! Go sit on a tack!!!!")

They shouldn't have let me get away with that. Let's me know I have a... choice.

Have a good weekend, and see you on Monday!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Garden Progress, Part II

Good Morning all! Hope you had a nice weekend:)

The garden is coming right along!!

I have two patches of snap bean plants, and here's a picture of one patch. I have about 40 plants. Man, we are going to be eating beans forever! LOL!

Even my cucumber and okra transplants are starting to kick in! Another week or two, and I'll be ready to transplant those into the garden!

Stay tuned. I will probably put up a pic every Monday morning, i.e., once a week!

Friday, May 11, 2007

10 Things...

Sometimes... things happen that make me scream:

What in the world??

I got tagged!!!

Rosemarie of VOMM (Voices on Miscellaneous Matters) notoriety tagged me!

Now I haven't been tagged in at least a year (and don't nobody out there get any strange ideas.)

Tags are a bit hard for me. I usually spend a week or so walking around with a large scrap of paper in the pocket of my sweat pants, trying my best to come up with answers to the question. A few times a day, I scribble down a couple of responses on the page.

The question this time is:

Tell 10 interesting or suprising things about myself (something like that.)

I came up with a few... Don't know if they are suprising or the least bit interesting. I'll let you be the judge of that.

So here we go!

1. I cannot drink any kind of juice without first cutting it with water. Therefore my juice is usually 50-75% water. It all started when I was a teenager. Don't know why, but it is what it is.

2. I am allergic to Kool-aide.Yes I am black, and that is not suppose to be the case, LOL.
It makes me break out in some serious acne or something.

3. I am a fruit fanatic. For instance, here's what's on my desk.

(Yeah, my desk is a mess. So what! Sue me!)

And here's part of my lunch!

Get a lil' closer to the fresh cut strawberries and mango!

Yes, yes ya'll. I am the Queen of Fruit City!

Enough said.

4. I like to wake up in the mornings, grab a broom and sweep the floor and the carpet. This is a funky habit I picked up from my Mama, who wakes up on Saturday mornings at 4:30 am and sweeps the carpet. Use to drive me crazy when I was younger. Now I do it. Go figure.

5. I had another blog once... I've called it my "batcave blog" over in these parts. I miss my batcave blog. I know my blog sistas who were privilidged enough to partake of the happenings over there miss it too. We took care of A LOT of bizness over in those parts!

6. One of the darkest parts of my personality is my tendency to be obsessive compulsive about simple things. I will constantly check to make sure that I have my wallet, or keys, etc. I sometimes don't remember if I let the garage door down, and I must go all the way back home and check to make sure. I am the same way about the stove or doors. Just a quirky fear I have...

7. My worst habit: I go to sleep with everything on: the lights, the TV, the laptop... everything. Nothing scares me more than laying in the dark, alone with my thoughts, trying to go to sleep. Even though I was probably sleepy at the time, I will probably lay there for hours, just... thinking. Goodness.

8. My favorite sounds: The whir of the ceiling fan and the sound of a train in the distance. That whir of the ceiling fan drives a few peeps in my critique team bananas, as I like to use it in my writings sometimes.

9. I have a favorite chair back in my chemistry lab, which is lovingly known by all as the "Queen's Chair".

I talk MUCH MUCH trash if I happen to stroll into the lab and someone is sitting in MY chair. You would think that someone stole my money, and I'm coming for them.

Typical LadyLee rant: "Have you lost your damn mind or something? Get your butt up out my doggone chair, man!"

Typical coworker response: *Co-worker jumps up and pushes chair hard at me*

"Girl, take your ol' stupid chair. Don't nobody like that stupid chair anyway!"

Yes, everyone hates that chair. It has no armrests. The back is not straight. Those seems to be the major quips about it.

I love it. It rolls with minimal inertia. I can roll across the room with one small push. That makes me happy!

I am the Queen of the lab. 'Tis my special chair.

So... Stay out of my doggone chair, you bustas!

10. Finally, a partial interesting thing/food for thought nugget: I love to see people do well in life. I get all excited when I see people accomplish a goal, especially if it is something that they have been praying about. I never get envious or jealous of anyone. Shoot man, if there is ANY way I can help or encourage you, I will willingly do it, i.e., sow some type of seed into your life. I will be happy right along with you. Heck, you would think I was the one who had the breakthrough!!

I feel I should celebrate with people when they make strides in their life.

Why do I mention this at all? It isn't all that interesting or suprising.

I mention it because I think it is a rare thing. We live in a society that promotes getting over on people, dishonesty, hoarding, cheating, jealousy, and hateration.

I promised myself I would work on not being like that. For I feel that whoever is like that has developed in such attitudes over time. And I do not want to look up at the age of 60, and have any of those negative qualities in my life.

And I find as I get older, I have a tendency to surround myself with people who are just like me...

Alright Ms. Rosemarie... I fulfilled my tag obligation.

Who am I tagging? Whoever wants to do this or has the time to do it. Just let an Oldgirl know so that I can come over to your blog and have a look-see.

But specifically, I am tagging (and only if you feel up to it):

That Original Oldgirl Chele. You Mother of the Year You! One of the few people who has the privilege of being continuously jocked by LadyLee. It would be interesting to see what another Original would would find suprising and interesting about herself.

That Super Shoe Queen blogger Serenity23. My baby blog sista, who constantly jocks me (LOL! I am going to get a nasty text message behind that!). We talk so much that I know her funky personality. But I suggest you do it, you fiery-headed chicken (inside joke), since you are up for your Original Oldgirl Platinum Plus card. DO IT, gal... DO IT.

Tayari Jones, Queen of Lurk City.
I layeth prostrate on the ground and I taggeth you, your Royal Highness.

Tayari! Stop getting drunk off of those tequila gimlets in trashy bars and do this tag, mayne!!!

The Queen and the greatest author in the known universe, who is acutely accustomed to being overly jocked by LadyLee. (I can see her yawning in boredom of my worshipping her, LOL! I must up the ante next time!) I hesitate asking the Queen of Lurk City to do such a thang! She is starting a new teaching post at Rutgers, and is about to move from DC to New York or New Jersey (where are you moving to, Celie?) I know you are busy, Miss Celie! So if you can do it... DO IT.

Frank a.k.a. Luke Cage, The Urban Knight, Ruler of the Planet Fantasy Beyond.

You sho nuff lookin' all hard and mean in that picture, bruh.

*Lee running up on Luke Cage and leaping up on his back*

Look here, I ain't scared of you, Urban Knight!!! You hear me?! You do this tag or suffer the complete and utter destruction and annihilation of Planet Fantasy Beyond!!

*Lee pulls out light saber and chases Frank as he runs screaming for the hills.*

Shorty... Let me tell you something. Let the games of "Iron Garden" begin. The Garden Battle is ON! Whose garden will rule? Bring it ON! Man, I expect to see some Superhero muscled-up Holograms all in your garden fighting off crows, rabbits and deer. Get to working, man!! (But do this tag first, LOL. And do it podcast style. That would be PHAT, bruh!)

UPDATE: DJ DIVA has raised her head from the turntables. She sitting on the edge of the fountain, lip poked out, clutching her Oldgirl-in-training card, all mad because she didn't get tagged. She's having candy-coated dreams of the day she will get her Original Oldgirl Platinum Card Carrying Status.

You're unbeweavable, DJ! I've got nothin' but love for ya! Really though!

I had to dig deep in your archives to find this picture. I wish I could've just ran up on you and pushed you into that water. I know how much you like to fight. I would've caught a beatdown for that one!

Keep reaching for your dreams! You can achieve with your weave!!! LMAO!!
You have my permission to do the tag, hon. (Happy now? Geeeeeez!)

Now ya'll get to work... Make it more interesting than my 10 thangs:)

And before I forget!

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mommies out there:)

~from LL:)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Gardens and Such, part I

This post right here goes out to LUKE CAGE a.k.a. Frank, who resides over at the House of Fantasy Beyond... For some reason, Frank, you think one should get dirty in the garden. Not me babes. Although I am only1% Diva, and I can't STAND dirt!

But that don't keep me from making it do what it do...

If you can remember back a few posts, Snake dug up a patch of land in my backyard so that I could plant a garden.

He is probably still a bit pissed about it (he thought he had to work to hard for 10 bucks), because he is missing in action. Humph.

So I went outside Saturday mornin. There's a little progress going on out in the garden, and it is happening rather rapidly. So as of Saturday afternoon, I saw a shoot kick up out of the ground!

And as of yesterday, there was even more progress...

My goodness, Frank... what do you think of THAT?

12 snap bean shoots have come up. GLORY!

And Frank... I didn't get one spec of dirt on my hands!

I know I must be really putting on a show for my nosy neighbors... I like to throw some music in my car's CD player, pop the trunk and crank up the music. There's nothing like watering the garden to some Luther Vandross!!

*Ladylee dancing in the backyard, getting water everywhere, and screeching out "Never too much, never too much, never too much, never too much, never too much!!!"*

Last year, I planted flowers in front of the brick steps of my house. (Well, my brother planted them. I just stood there and pointed at where I wanted them planted.)

Now these were supposedly annuals. Trailing petunias, they are called.

They weren't supposed to come back this year. But something strange happened: 3 of them came back.

And what was really bootleg was that they only came back on one side of the steps. I kind of just walked past them everyday and... stared.

My neighbor has been glaring at me pretty hard, his lips pursed, his eyebrows furrowed. He's been making all kinds of suggestions of what I should do. I wanted to ask him for the cash to do such things... but that would have been a bit, I don't know... crass.

But I found a good sale on trailing petunias, and I planted them on Sunday. This was not the best experience, because I had to get a little bit of dirt on my hands, to which I shreiked in horror.

But I made it through these outdoor experiences...

So stay tuned, blog fam...

There are more gardening and flower pictures coming:)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Convo with the Queen!!

I had a convo with the Queen the other day...

Yeah, that's me that her majesty is calling on the phone... The Queen was like...

'Sup LadyLee!!! Let's get together for a spot of tea and a couple of scones! Hollar back, You Original Oldgirl You!"

Yeah, right...

I ain't talking about Queen Elizabeth...

I'm talking about my faaaaaaaavoorrrrrittttte author, the REAL Queen!!


I call her the Queen of LURK City because like many, she lurks over here on my blog from time to time. She is getting better about raising her diamond and pearl encrusted gold scepter and blessing me with a comment or two every blue moon.

*Lee bowing so low that her lips kiss the ground*

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!!

And if you didn't know, I am her #1 Fan. I am not a groupie. A groupie follows people around, waits outside of hotels, weird stuff like that... I'm too old for that ish. Shoulda caught me when I was in my late teens/early twenties. The Queen of Lurk City better let an Oldgirl know when she's gonna be in town. I'm always quick to show up and give my full support then.

But I am a big fan... I worship the ground she spits on...

And I JOCK very hard. And I am proud to say that.

Blog fam screams... "Stop all that jocking, LadyLee!!!"

Shut up.

'Tis a priviledge to be jocked by me. Afterall, LadyLee don't jock many folks.

Well, as some of you may know, I've been in a writing class for the past 6 weeks. It was an enlightening experience. I won't write about it now, but later, I will reflect.

Anyway, we were required to write a story for the class. And you know me, being a #1 fan and all, I named my story "Leaving Jersey" which is a take-off of Tayari's novel Leaving Atlanta.

Yes... that's a real fan for you.

I even emailed her about that story. I gave my first reading EVER in class and I wanted to tell her about it. She sent an email back saying...

"...I'd love to read your story if you feel comfortable sending it. :)"

I was like... WTF???

Let's just say an Oldgirl had brain freeze for the rest of the day.

Now, asking her to read a story has been an issue that I have debated many a time with peeps. Even Tayari's good friend, The Good Nurse, said she didn't think Tayari would mind reading a little something. Good Nurse almost heard the good dial tone after that statement. She almost got hung up on, LOL. One of my book club sistas was like "Bump that, I would just have to be uncouth and ask her." A full fledge brawl almost broke out after that comment.

To hell with that! My whole answer has been that it is NOT proper writer etiquette to ask a writer to read ANYTHING. Not sure where I got that from, but I have heard it around. I am sure that is out of some writers etiquette book that I haven't been able to get a hold of. Anyway, I am VERY adamant about doing that.

I don't want the Queen to think that is the only reason I would run up on her. And I know she knows that I am in a learning stage right now, just happy to learn. My coworkers and such read my stuff. And that is good enough for me, until I get better.

Plus Tayari is good people, like Miss Celie. This is why I call her that, you see.

'Tis rare for me to like people, you see. And the more I talk to her, the more I realize that she is just, well... normal. For some odd reason, I don't envision her sitting on a perfect mountaintop anymore, in the perfect breeze, writing perfect prose all day. She's just a normal chick.

And me casually asking... "Hey Celie, could you read this for me?"

Shoot. That don't cross my mind, and it don't even sound right. I almost had a stroke when she asked me what my manuscript was about. Asking her to read something? Now that's just downright crazy.

But I sent my rough 5 page beginning of "Leaving Jersey" to her anyway. Haven't heard anything back about it. She said she was going to critique it and send it to me. That almost caused me to break out in hives. I am not looking forward to that. Don't know how hard she beats the brakes off of people's writings. May take a bit of courage just to read what she has to say about it. All in all, I know it will help me better the story.

We were also instructed to pick a short story to read, one that we have read before that we really liked. We had to read a page of it a day, read it forward, read it backwards and side-to-side. Just read it real HARD and dissect it and study the structure, voice, characters, etc...

Of course I chose one of Tayari's stories: "Press and Curl".

I'd been studying that story REALLY REALLY hard for a couple of weeks. I picked it like an afro, and saw a lot of interesting things. I emailed Tayari a question about how she determines the "voice" of a character.

She emailed me back. "Let's talk on the phone about this. Call me at 123-555-1234"


I had to peer hard at that email. I turned around and called over my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre. We both stared at it hard. Pondered it deeply. We were wondering if she was stranded or something, like the last time she emailed me her phone number.

A telephone number. And I think it was a home phone number. WOW. I saw The Good Nurse whip out her cell phone and call her while she, myself, and my brother were dining at the shed. My brother and I talked about that later on...

"Did you see The Good Nurse just whip out her phone and call her??"

We were in deep awe, to say the least...

I called her, and we talked about my question, which was HARD. Why? Because even though I am very bright and hold a doctorate degree in organic chemistry, I am very much ebonically inclined. So, I try to watch my english, especially since hers is so PERFECT. This is hard because that means I talk slooooowww when I do that.

I know she was wondering "Why is the Oldgirl all tongue-twisted and tripping all over her words? Good grief."

Your english gotta be right and proper when you talk to the Queen... right?

She answered my question, like she always does, with the greatest of ease. She made it all so... clear and simple. She asked if I had any more questions and I do have a zillion, but I told her that I would ask her a question a month or something like that, LOL. I think we talked for about 15 minutes, which is the same as a one day writing workshop when dealing with her.

Now if you've seen the 70's Japanenes anime Cartoon SpeedRacer, you would know that their are times when the SpeedRacer gets into a bind, and then Racer X comes along and gets him out of that situation. Racer X knows he is the man... he's just trying to help Speedy out, make sure Speedy is on the right road, and get the heck out of dodge...

Tayari is Racer X...

I am the SpeedRacer!


So thanks Tayari a.k.a. Queen of Lurk City, Inc. a.k.a. Miss Celie...

I came away enlightened and refreshed. I used her advice to make my story better... much better. "Leaving Jersey" is a rough 35 pages long now... Needs a lot of work, but I have some good ideas about how to shape it up.

Yo... and I know if I can't figure out?

A convo with the Queen will do the trick!!