Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: Seven Things I UNDERSTAND about Life



It feels just like yesterday that this year began...

And in a few hours, it will be history.

I glance back over my year, and no, I don't have any major accomplishments. Well, maybe I do, but honestly, if nothing jumps to mind immediately, then that means that it wasn't major or life altering.

But, I must admit that I did learn a few things in 2008.

Learned is not the proper word, though.

Things that I learned where basically things I already knew...

But now I truly understand them.

For "knowing" a thing has to do with what's in your head...

"Understanding" stems from what's rooted in your heart.

There is an earth-shattering difference between the two.

Now, while I was lounging on the sofa scribbling out my "understandings" on a scratch piece of paper last night, my best friend LadyTee called to talk.

I asked her what she'd learned in 2008. I thought I would include her list, since it is short.

LadyTee's 2008 Points of Light, lol.

1. Needy people are always in need. This does not include people who need a helping hand, because everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. I'm talking about people who, when you do for them, it is never enough. They are NEVER satisfied. You can give them a million dollars and tomorrow? They're gonna need SOMETHING. It never fails.

2. You have to prioritize your life. It's all about priorities.

3. Your life is VERY important and VERY short. Therefore, live life to the fullest because it can be gone in the blink of an eye.

Those are very good points of life. We spent a moment talking about each.

Now, on to my Understandings. Much stuff happened this year. I am probably the most intangible person on the planet, so material stuff don't phase me (that much). The type of stuff I am speaking of is things that reinforced who I am and why I am the way I am.

But...

There were a plethora of situations that happened that changed the way that I think about things.

1. If I pray about things, a path to the solution will open up. It's up to me to walk out that path. The thing is, I find that I will either walk it out, or stand off to the side digging around in the bushes like some crazy drunk man.

2. I better be real clear about what I allow to rent space in my mind.

Ponder the following scripture: Proverbs 4:23 (NCV) Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.

Another version: (NIRV) Above everything else, guard your heart. It is where your life comes from.

(Ya'll can go ponder the King James version, but I need versions that bite me in the butt.)

Again, I better be REAL clear about what I allow to rent space in my mind. Really though.

3. There's a difference between what's important and what's NOT important. I have found, especially this year, that matters which are truly important to me can fit in a matchbox, while things that are NOT important to me can fit in the trailer of an 18 wheeler.

4. There's a razor sharp difference between me doing things from my heart and me doing things for the approval for others. I tend to judge a good bit of my action based on these two. This was a year that, if there was even an inkling of me doing something YOU wanted me to do, well, I simply didn't do it. And I wasn't going to tell you I wasn't going to do it. I simply made myself scarce. (Yeah, that got me in some trouble this year. SO WHAT? I'm grown, and this ain't high school, i.e., I am NOT seeking your approval.)

5. An emergency on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. Shoot man, I am barely prepared for my own emergencies. If there's a problem with that, then I just paid a very small price to rid you from my life (And I am talking a VERY small price).

6. I understand now that everything in life I hope, dream and have faith for can happen in the very next breath. Likewise, everything I dread and fear can happen in the very next breath. (So... this goes screeching back to my #2 above).

7. I have learned that I have to be honest with myself. I mean brutally honest. No, I may not like what I see, or I may not solve the issha, but at least I KNOW what's up, and I'm not lying to myself. At least I can start praying about the darn thing, and working towards changing.

Those are the 7 things I understand this year.

Hope I didn't sound like an Angry Oldgirl. No, didn't mean to. These are my personal truths for 2008, going into 2009. And they answer the timesless question:

Are you yourself... or are you who others think you should be?

Hmmm... ponder that quietly to yourself. Can you answer that question truthfully? Are you judging your life based on what someone else is doing? Is it even sane to do that? Hmmm.

I am truly thankful for 2008.

I am here.
I am breathing.
The blood is running warm through my veins.

What did you learn, or should I say, truly understand in 2008?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blanket Watch: "The LBeezy Blues"

So...

I like to make one blanket during the holiday season...

And this year, the lucky recipient was the "The LBeezy" aka "The LBigga" aka "The LBoogie" aka "The LadyBug Mocha"...

(Chile, ya gots TOO many aliases. Too many!)

These days, if I spend more than 100 hours on a blanket, I'm giving it a name.

I present to you... THE LBEEZY BLUES!




It's the Blues! The LBeezy Blues! The blues!

*Lee does the HARD Running Man*

I had much fun making this one. My crochet mentor, the Cowgirl Cre said "That's the type of blanket where you close your eyes tight and somebody puts in front of you, then you open your eyes and you're like wooooooooooooo!"

(I think that means she approves).

Yeah, it's bursting with a bit of, uh-rah, high post color contrast. It surely pops and brightens up a room!

As usual, I was rushing on this blanket. I don't understand this 6-7 week fixation I have. I think I started this one the week before the election and had it done by Christmas. I really need a full 12 weeks to do this blanket. I wanted to mail it to her in time for Christmas, but unfortunately, it didn't work out like that.

Me and the lady postal worker had the most enlightening conversation on Tuesday, Dec. 23rd.

I slammed the box on the counter. "I want to get this to Virginia by Saturday"
"You sure you don't want to do this overnight?"
"No."
"We're the post office. We can get it there overnight."
We have a mini-staredown. "No."
She smiled hard. "It'll only be 50 dollars."
"No, that's okay."
"Well, you know, it'll be nice to get it there by Christmas, and-"
I shake my head, and I stare at her fancy manicured nails. She has minature black dice on the pinky nails. I was taken aback an utterly confused for a moment.

"Uh, no she'll be alright. She grown. She's a grown woman. She can get it after Christmas."

LOL!!!

Besides, 50 bucks for shipping. Man, I can't even wrap my head around that. The yarn didn't even cost half that.

"She'll be alright. She grown."


Now, I get tired of photographing blankets on that same ol' lounge chair, and since my house is no bigger than a matchbox, I try to find other places to take pictures.

One such place is the staircase.


While I was trying to work all that out a danggone CAT, i.e. the permanent houseguest Kramer William, was being nosy, as you can see by the light beams in the lower left hand corner of the picture.

Grabbing the blanket and stomping back over to the trusty lounge chair didn't fare well, as Kramer immediately jumped up on the back of the chair.





HUMPH.

Well anyway, I think it came out well. I had fun making it.






But the best picture is of the blanket on her bed.




And the blanket ain't the issha here. Sure, it looks nice on the bed, but uh, WHAT'S UP WITH THE PICTURE ON THE WALL?

"Beezy," I said the other night on the phone, "dang girl, is that you in the photo with dude?"
"Uh, no," she said.
"Cuz that look like you taking a picture with a dude!"
"No, I like the print."


That's good, because she was going to have to give details on that handsome chocalatety hershey bar dark FINE fella there.

GLORY!

Thought you were holding out on us, gal! LOL!

So LBeezy, you are such a great baby blog sista.

I just wanted to give you a little keepsake for Christmas. I hope you enjoy it for years to come.

Too bad the accompanying tin of oatmeal raisin cookies won't last quite that long.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Morning...

Good.

Morning.

Ugh.

That kind of eeked out of me, didn't it?

No, I ain't all smurfy this morning. Not in the least.

I somehow slipped up and caught a cold. I don't know where it came from, but I went to a movie on Christmas afternoon. I think somebody breathed on me. I got the sniffles on Saturday, and then I was sitting in Church on Sunday morning and needed a few tissues from the ursher, lol.

This might be enough to give me agoraphobia, a fear of crowds.

I can almost see myself walking into a thearter spraying people with Lysol.

LOL!

And if that ain't bad enough, Aunt Flo came busting through the door. I have no idea where she came from, but she do need to be pimp slapped good fashioned.

This is no way to be chilling on staycation, Man!

*Lee throwing open window and hurling herself out*

I will probably get a call from my doctor today. Whenever I have a cold, she will call and say "We've been looking at your bloodwork. Watch out for a cold."

I don't know how she does that, but I see it as a very mean joke indeed.

So, I plan to chill out this week, so I won't get worse. No in and out, just rest until I feel better. I am a bit disappointed because I had an itinerary for my last week off, and now that is cut short.

I'll get over it.

I give myself ample room to whine. But I always follow it up with good thoughts. I have had colds before and I have gotten over them. I will get over this one. I am thankful to be off, that all is good despite me not feeling well, and I will get a few things done this week, even though it's around the house.

The sun is shining. My bills are paid. Life is good.

There. I feel better already.

Anyway, I hope to post everyday this week. And I hope to keep it short. (*blog family gasps so hard that they suck all the air off the planet*)

LOL!

I am going to drink a couple quarts of watered down orange juice and go back to bed.

Ya'll who are at work. Work a little for me, why don't cha? LOL

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that you're ready for the New Year.

Holla!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Get Your "Tree On"

My BFF LadyTee's Christmas Tree for the past three years...




I remember the first time I walked around the corner into her den and was face to face with the thing.

"It's nice, ain't it?" LadyTee said.

I just stared at her, then back at the "tree". "Where ya'll get it from?"

"Mama's favorite shopping place, the Home Shopping Network!"

I stared at the tree. "Are you serious?"

She nodded. "It kinda grow on you!"

**crickets**

I laughed hard. "You are tripping!"

"I like it," she said.

"Man, Charlie Brown is somewhere right now looking for his Christmas Tree. DANG!"

"I'ma need ya'll to give Charlie Brown his tree back!"

*LadyLee breaks out into a bootleg version of "Christmas Time is Here" from a Charlie Brown Christmas.*

"I like it, Lee!"

"I'ma need ya'll to tack on some pine needles, a leaf or something!"

"I still like it, Lee."

"This the type of tree that you can put up during a commercial break. And you can have it up before the show even come back on!"

"It still grows on you," she said, completely ignoring my jonings.

Okay LadyTee, I'll leave you alone!

However you choose to get your "Tree On", get your "Tree on"!!!!

LOL!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am OFF!!

Glory!!!!

I am OFF!!!

Feels so good that I gotta type it multiple times.

I am OFF!!! I am OFF!!! I am OFF!!! I am OFF.

Off.
Off.
OFF!!!

For two whole weeks. I won't be seeing the Oppressor for two weeks!

GLORY!

I was so happy to be off that I woke up at 5:30 this morning.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed to death!

LOL!!!

I haven't really planned my day. I need to hit up the post office to mail some stuff. I've been writing most of the morning, which is a GOOD thing. I was thinking about going to see a movie later on (7 pounds or Doubt). Who knows?

The major thing is that I'm OFF!!

Okay, okay, I will stop that.

So, is everyone ready for Christmas? Got all your shopping done?

I haven't. But I only have a 100 dollar budget, and my list fits on a notecard. So I will be done shopping in no more than a couple of hours. 3 stores and I am done.

GLORY...

So, I know a lot of people aren't around this week.

I plan on getting a few posts done this week... maybe...

But if you don't fall back past The House of LadyLee...

Let me be sure to wish you a Merry Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Letter to Myself

I am a member of a journal writing group, and back in January, we were asked to write a letter to ourselves detailing the following:

1. Goals for 2008.
2. What I plan to get done.
3. What I will not tolerate this year.

We gave them to our group leader. She was to mail them back to us in December.

I got mine in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

It was interesting to read what I was thinking some 11 months ago.

My goals and plans for 2008 are few and far between. My reasonf for that is that I rarely reach said goals. So I will do something I'e termed the three point stance: Any goal I tacle will be attacked from three different points: habit, persistance, and patience.

Whatever I plan to do, I will be persistent in doing it. I will also be patient, as it will atke time to get in a groove and get i right. And I will form some type of daily or weekly habit of dealing with that goal. If I can do that, then I will make some headway in reaching my goals.

With that said, my goals are to do better in my finances and my health and my writing. Much was done in the area of finances and writing last year, but not much in the area of health. I must get healthy. I have all the information and resources to do so but i am being a slacker. And if I want to live, slackness and laziness must go.

I plan in my writing to start submitting short stories. Will I get rejections? Yes. But the goal here is to learn how to subimt and to get good feedback. I have good material, and it's time to start submitting.

Healthwise: I plan to start eating better and to be consistent about it. Consistency is key. I plan to be active in the health initiative, and most of all, not give up on myself when I fall.

Finances: I am doing well in this area, in spite of dips and valleys here and there. I will keep better track of my status. With hard work, I can pay off my bills, getting closer to debt freedom.

What I won't tolerate:
I wount tolerate my job controlling my life. i wil not tolerate management's mind games and what they think of me to dictate wht I think and feel about me and myself. I am brillian and those who don't understand that can kiss my ass.

I will no tolerate other's people drama to ooze it's way into my life. There was problems with this in 2007 and I will not tolerate it in 2008. If it even smells like I'm about to be caught up or blamed for your crises then I am ghost. If I can be of some help, then fine, but there are people out there who love drama with a passion and expect me to share in that love.

For 2008, it's not going down.

Enough said,

Sincerely

Dr. Ladylee
.


Hmmm.... interesting.

I didn't have any set goals for 2008. I wanted to be debt-free going into 2009, but a few financial things sidelined me. I had the cash to take care of it, but is offset my goals. I am MUCH closer to that goal, but it will take the next 4-6 months to get there.

Healthwise, I didn't do as much as I'd like. I lost 20 pounds this year, and that was because I came down on one of my medications. So I guess that is something to celebrate. What I REALLY want to do is go vegetarian. I am virtually symptom free when have gone vegetarian some Januarys. This will help me much if I did, just to feel a lot better. But that takes HEART. I ain't got THAT much heart. (Maybe I do).

What was up with me and the drama rant? Man, I really hate a bunch of drama. Now there is a difference between us going through things and some outright drama, which, far as I'm concern, some people get off on. They feel like life is boring unless there is a bunch of "mess" going on. I am totally opposite. I don't need that. And I am NOT going to dragged into some questionable B.S. I had a couple of falling out with people this year. I was called all kind of stuff, lol. But, one thing I know is true: an emergency on your part don't constitute an emergency on my part. Heck, I am not really even fully prepared for my own emergencies!

HUMPH!!

With the job... man, I must say, as the days go by, the more I don't like my job. It ain't even about the job, but management REALLY sucks BAD. They like to look down on people, and it gets REAL old. Plus we got a new director this year, and dude has a Napoleon complex out of the world (which is hilarious, really). I've never been on a job this long (7 years), so part of it is that. I want to do something new, but they pay really good, and that's what has my feet stuck.

So, I must say that there is much to think about, especially now when I am going to do better about forming some concrete goals.

With that said, I will most definitely be writing a letter to myself for 2009.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am God's Beloved

An entry from my personal journals, from my WHO are YOU? post, posted from my personal journals, per Ms.Blackliterature.com, one of the most nicest people I've met this year:)



I am God's beloved.

This is true, whether I feel like it is or not.

For feelings change like the weather. God does not.

Being God's beloved has to be true, since I am sitting here breathing, and the blood is running warm through my veins.

When I am down, which is not often, I spend time reciting out loud, all the things that God has seen me through in my 38 years. I don't get very far into the "all", because before I can, I faith has been jump started, and my fears have been quenched.

I have a laundry list as long as the distance from here to the moon of all the things he has done for me and mine... including things I don't even know about.

There has been nothing like praying about a matter and getting a definitive answer quickly, the next day, in the next moment, even. This has been a year that I have asked God what's in my heart, to show me my heart, my true self. I have been shocked by some things that I have seen, and happy about things in my heart that were good.

Right now, it's a matter of extinguishing that which is harmful, growing that which is beneficial...

... and having the wisdom to know and understand the subtle differences.



That had to be the shortest entry from the Who are You answer. Maybe because this is something I write much about in my journals often. A large portion of my journals are about prayers and answered prayers and spiritual matters in general.

So alas, my thoughts on it, on where I am in life right now concerning it, are short and succinct.

So uh-rah, we have two more requests to go...

Southern Black Gal wants to know about my chronic illness... I have not posted on that over here at the House of LadyLee before. I must admit, that will take a little courage. I will definitely do it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Most Important Gift

So, this has turned more into a "Who are You?" week, with requests made by a few of the House of LadyLee patrons of the journal entries mentioned in the post "WHO are YOU?" .

I think I have 3 more requests to go, but before that, I wanted to post something I received from a friend a few weeks ago...

And this thing I received... well, it changed my whole view of the true meaning of the holiday season. I don't really care for the holidays, as the emphasis on all things commercial and material are suffocating. I am so totally opposite of that.

But this gift I received, made me think of this season as more than that.

And I oh so needed that right then.

I was strolling through Publix one evening after getting off from work. I remember it being VERY cold, and I was very miffed because we had ran out of STUPID stuff at home, stuff I should have gotten on my weekend grocery trip. Stuff like dishwashing liquid, toilet paper... stuff like that. So I wasn't in the best of moods. And Publix is high as hell, but only a couple of blocks from the job.

I was picking up these few things I needed (and some that I didn't), when my cell phone rang.

I answered it. It was a friend of mine. We'll call her "Dana".

I was suprised when I saw her name on the cell phone screen. I hadn't talked to her in about 3 months. (I rarely call people. I have to gear myself up to do that).

"'Sup, gal?" [Ya'll who speak to me regularly know this is my usual way of answering the phone, lol]

"Hey girl!" she said.

We talked for a few moments. I heard at a meeting that her friend's husband had committed suicide. I talked to her about that, and how she was handling it. She said she was okay, getting along okay.

"You were on my mind, Lee. I was sitting here reading through my old journal from back in 2006, and I wrote something about you. I said to myself 'Let me call this girl'"

I didn't know what to say about that. I continued pushing my buggie through the aisle, trying my best to remember what else I needed.

"We talked about some things back then, and you helped me put a name to something that I was dealing with."

Now, I REALLY had no idea what she was talking about. We have had many important convos over the past couple of years. She and I have the same chronic illness, and she has been REALY helpful to me in that respect. It is good to have someone to talk to who can relate to me in such matters.

"Okay," was my simple reply.

"Like I said, I wrote about you, and I just had to call you and say thank you."

"Okay," I said again.

"I want to read it to you. You have time?"

Now, Dana is a GREAT writer, a GREAT journaller, and is one of the BEST wordsmiths I know. She has one of the smoothest silkiest reading and speaking voices (something I absolutely don't have), and I always tell her how I love to hear her read, and I wish I could read like her. We know we are in for a treat when she reads her words to us in journalling group.

So hell yeah... She could read whatever she had written! Who cares that I was doing some grocery shopping. READ TO ME!

LOL!!

I was on the baking supplies aisle by then. Thought, even though Publix is highway robbery, I would check to see if they had sales on stuff I needed for my cookies.

"Yeah gal, you can read to me! You KNOW I don't mind."

Then she read something that had me all choked up.

Ya'll know how hardcore I am. I'm a tomboy for life... HARDCORE. Rarely cry about ish...

But what she said, about ME of all people, someone who kinda prefers to stay off in the background...

Had me in tears.

"Wow," was all I could say.

"I thought you should just hear that."

"Wow," I said again. I was replaying her words in mind, trying to remember the many she had just read.

"You know what? I'm going to sit here and type this up and send it to you."

"Wow." Yeah, it's the only word I could utter.

"I'm going to do that right now."

"Okay," I said. "Shoot girl, I may just frame that and hang that up on my wall."

We laughed about that. But heck, I wasn't playing.

We said our goodbyes. I forgot about what else I needed.

I couldn't think straight.

Her softly spoken words were something that had erased all the woes of the day... even the hard gas face I had about having to go in Publix for "stupid stuff".

It was like someone had just called and told me that I won a whole bunch of money.

But this was intangible. Intangible things mean more than me than tangible.

So I told her I may post part of it, the words she sent me.

Hell, I'll just post it all.

So these are the words she sent. I am leaving it "as is", in tact, with my real name.

Alesia,

You know that I am a rambler and that I tend to go on and on so these are just a few lines from my journal entry that I wrote about you on December 20, 2006. That is one of the best things about journaling…looking back on the journey. You have been a true inspiration to me and I am ever so thankful that we crossed paths. You were there for me, really without even knowing just how much you were helping, to redirect my path. You opened up and gave me you – no rhetoric - no meaningless or useless “there, there…everything will be okay” kind of mumbo-jumbo, but real talk. Real sharing and understanding. I appreciated that. Keep on letting him use ya!
The words in blue italics are some of the exct word that I wrote about you in my journal. Please pardon any typos ;-)

Today this one Sista, Alesia, who happened to be new to the Journal Writing Group, opened her mouth and her words began to flow as quick and as slick as honey from a honeycomb. I mean the girl had such a way with words. Her thoughts were my thoughts, or so it seemed. She spoke openly and passionately about what was on her mind and didn't seem to be afraid of sharing her inner-most thoughts with the world. I envied that. Her words were poetic. I found myself paying close attention to every word that she uttered. I might even say I was ENTRANCED. I began to look forward to our Journal Writing Group meetings solely to hear she had to say. Wondering what's been going on in her world. The more I listened the more I learned.

Over the past month or so I have found an unlikely friend in this Sista and I'm all too grateful for her. this Sista that I've been talking about has become very intricate in helping me to know and realize that the time is now to reveal myself. Remove the mask. Let people see you for who you are... the real you and that includes your pain and disappointments. I've been able to share things with her that I haven't shared with anyone else. She's been very objective and I thank God that she did not allow herself to be fooled by my packaging. Adequately, she has identified my real issue...I mean, at my very core I've known all along but was ashamed to term it for what it was.

I am living and operating on fear.

…she called today I was having one of my "I don't feel like talking to nobody, not even Jesus" moments, so I almost didn't answer the phone. What made me spill, I'll never know, but I do know that nothing is by chance. NOTHING. God knows what we need and sometimes he delivers it in the most unexpected packaging ;-) Certainly I never expected that she would be the one to help me see that it was time to take off the mask and come clean.

There are people that I love and who love me but they don't know me. Why? Because I'm busy hiding. Again, I say that God knows what we need and when we need it. I’ve always been told that you should never judge a book by its cover. I just knew when I met her that we would have nothing in common. She was just somebody else that I sort of knew and someday would say I used to know.

This Sista was there for me at just the right time and here it was that I initially looked right pass her and gave her no or place in my life upon meeting her. I am ashamed. No, she hadn't said anything that I hadn't heard before but there was something divine about the way she listened. it was really good to talk it out
She helped me to see and I know that I have to begin to peel back the layers and reveal my truest self. I know that I can no longer live in fear, but most importantly I know that God has sent to me An Unlikely Friend. I say AMEN!


That right there? Goodness gracious alive. Almost got me weepy again.

That really just, I don't know, moved me.

And I must say again, it was the best gift I've ever received.

I feel like God was thinking about me, even as I was grumbling and pushing my cart through a grocery store.

And for her to take the time to write it up and send it to so I would have it.

Girl, I thank you MUCH for that.

You know, I've grown up all my life, with a mother who made sure, for some odd reason, to criticize me for who I am, because I was simply being ME. I was stupid, abnormal, someone with psychological problems (all of which are not or never had been true.)

It has affected me in so many ways, all my life, to the point where I am pretty much a loner, really. People who know me know how unusally quiet I tend to be, and how I snap when attacked.

I have always wanted to be mentally "free" from that.

Truly free... in my mind, heart, and spirit.

This letter, Dana's few simple words, was something that really broke the shackles on my mind. They really did.

I have goodness. I have purpose. I can have a positive effect.

I am not a bad person.

I know that now, 100%.

And for that reason alone, I must say, that this has had to have been one of the most important gifts I have ever received in my life.

And "Dana", for that, I am forever grateful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I am Quietly Compassionate

Posting per request of my Baby Blog sista, That Original Oldgirl Serenity30...

(Caution: My journal writing is VERY free flow and all over the place, so be forewarned. My thoughts about all this are afterwards in red.)

I am quietly compassionate.

Writing those words together, shoot... I don't really know what they mean.

I am not the most "learned" individual, so I looked up the definitions.

Compassion means "Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it."

Compassion is also a profound human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering.

Quiet means making no disturbance or trouble; not turbulent; peaceable; not showy or obtrusive; subdued;restrained in speech, manner, etc.; saying little.

The definitions give me more insight into what this means... for me.

I am quietly compassionate.

I'll never forget people in my life who have come along and have been eye-popping examples of what it means to be compassionate.

One such person is my New Orleans friend, Gigi.

10 years ago, my Great grandmother died. I lived in New Orleans at the time, and had already bought my plane ticket to come back to Atlanta for the funeral.

The secretary of my research group, a Columbian chick about my age name Gigi, who hadn't known me long, but had become someone to go talk to, someone who would sit in my office and simply listen to my whoas over a cup of coffee, listen to my cussing and vents about work, laugh with me...

She said something profound to me around that time:

"Lee-Lee, we just paid off our credit cards. You want my credit card so that you can get your ticket and clothes if you need them, so you can be ready for the funeral?"

I stood there at her desk, stunned. I shook my head no.

That encounter was on my mind all that week, and has stayed on my mind some ten years later.

She had something that I simply didn't have at the time:

She was compassionate... wanting to do whatever she could to make things easier for me.

I don't think I'll ever get to the point of offering up money or credit cards to anyone. I ain't down for getting burned.

But when we talked later about this, she said... "I know you, girl. You not dishonest. I just wanted to be of some help to you, that's all. I knew you would pay me back whenever."

I have desired, longed for this type of compassion.

She didn't have to do anything monetary for me, but her encouragement and shoulder to lean on were, and still are to this day, worth more than gold.

I have always considered myself to be cold and mean. I don't think that was an observation of myself about myself really, if I really think on it... but from what people tell me. Others have considered me to be such, as I choose not to be the life of the party. I am the type to sit off in a corner, be quiet, absorb, assess, and take everything in.

But compassion is something that I have longed for. It is one of the many intangibles I pray for.

"God, give me the words to say to help someone. Give me the right questions to ask, the right things to do. PLEASE."

To be caring and to be of help to someone, in the most intangible ways possible. I want compassion to be a part of me, to be the center of who I am.

My compassion comes in being a good listener and not being judgmental. This does not work in my favor at times, as I tend to listen TOO closely, and can pick up on if someone is pulling my leg, telling many different "truths".

The cold and mean Lee steps in, right then.

Thank God this is a rarity.

But oddly enough, I've been through something similar to whoever I deal with, and can relate to many feelings.

It never crosses my mind to say "Gurl, if I was you, I would do x, y, and z!"

Who needs that crap?

No if I were you, I probably would've behaved in the same way...

I have probably felt the same way you are feeling.

And have most likely shed the same tears.

I feel myself growing in this area, where it is less work, more automatic, to the point I have to "hold back" in some ways. I have probably been doing this to my own detriment. I may have missed an opportunity to sow a seed into someone's life.

But if I can send a book, a note, a card or any other quiet thing...

Anything to you that quietly says..

I appreciate you. I feel your pain. I am thinking about you.

I care.

Then, I am developing in this complex emotion called compassion.

I hope to continue to develop in the area of compassion, of having a good heart. There will be missteps, but the good steps are well worth it. If I can offer a quiet word, a good deed, or a shoulder to lean on... then I am well on my way.

Okay Serenity30... I hope you are HAPPY.

I saw much there. MUCH stuff I need to dig deeper into. I think I can develop a few goals out of that.

Funny... I followed that up with my alter ego of being "The enemy".

Hmmm...

I worry sometimes over this compassion thing...

But, I am okay. I have great examples to learn from.

The most compassionate person I've met this year is one of my favorite lurkers "Miss Celie 2" aka Ms.Blackliterature.com.

We had dinner when she visited the ATL... afterwards I felt like I'd had been in therapy or something. You just don't meet people like that everyday. The chick is just that anointed...

I told Serenity30, who lives in the same city as her...

"You have an incredible resource in her and don't you forget it. Be aware of that and be thankful for it. That is someone you can talk to."

Serenity30 may not fully comprehend what I said until she gets old like me, lol.

But...

I received the most incredible gift a couple of weeks ago, one that defined my compassion, and let me know that my compassion has an effect on others. Something completely and utterly unexpected.

I am convinced that every once in awhile, God makes something happen to validate whatever good you are attempting to do.

This was, hands down, the best gift I've received in a LONG time.

Stay tuned tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WHO Are YOU?

"Who Are You?" is a simple phrase, a simple question.

9 letters.
3 words.

But put together, these simple words ask a complex question . I find it difficult to answer in a few words.

I am a culmination of everything I've ever said, everything that has been said to me, everything I've ever done, and everything that's ever been done to me.

I am like a whole pie- and there are so many pieces to me.

I am a friend.
I am a sister.

I am a daughter.
I am an ex-wife.
I am a writer.
I am a chemist.
I am a doctor.
I am an enemy.
I am quietly compassionate.
I am oftern angry with and disappointed in myself.
I am undercover lazy.
I am a woman living with a chronic illness.
I am God's beloved.

I look at the many pieces of me, at this point and time in my life, and I realize I have been strong and gifted in many areas, and I've fallen short in others...

Okay, that is all you are getting.

*Serenity30's eyes roll so hard that they roll right out of her head and onto the floor.*
*Southern Black Gal chases LadyLee with a BIG baseball bat.*

Both of you gals can chill out...

No, I took each one of those areas, and went into seering detail.

12 pages worth. Found things within some that disturbed me, and I will write more on those subjects during my Christmas vacation.

Them 12 longs pages... That's for my eyes only.

MAN! That is a HARD question to answer in only a few words. There is SO much to me, to who I am. Anyone who hasn't tried to answer that question, sit down and do it. Especially if you are feeling a bit down on yourself.

Sometimes, you just need to sit down and sketch out WHO YOU ARE to really appreciate WHO YOU ARE.

Because who you are is not who the world says you are.

But I tell you what, Southern Black Gal or Serenity30. You know I'll do anythang for ya'll, right?

Pick one area, and I may post what I have written. (That will be hard for Serenity, since she knows me like the back of her hand, lol)

(Heavy emphasis on MAY POST... HUMPH)

[... I SEE you LBeezy. Stop giving me the gas face, gal!]

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Ramblings...

I didn't ramble last week, so thought I would ramble this week.

(Aren't YOU happy about THAT on a dreary Monday).

It is 60 degrees in the ATL, and the air is all heavy and soupy. Let's just say, I hurried up and got my butt to work this morning before a tornado had the chance to drop out of the sky and swoop me off to the Land of Oz.

This is the "gettin' sick" type weather, cold one day, hot the next. I can't stand it.

News of the weekend. Somebody tried to bust President Bush upside the head.



I heard on one of the newscast that dude is locked up and they are pleading for his life to be spared.

DANG.

I think they were exaggerating about that, because I haven't heard anybody else say that...

But imagine throwing some shoes at someone, and then having to hear about someone trying to get your life spared.

I bet dudes eyes got WIDE... I woulda been like "Yo, ya'll hold up, ain't like I was trying to shoot the President. Hold up, I was just playing!!"

LOL!!

They better make sure dude is not Al-Que.da. His Mama, his Daddy, his 2nd, 3rd and
4th cousins better not be Al-Que.da, or he's gonna be living the hard knock life!

My Weekend. Uneventful. The way I like it.

Terry called from his very Cheap Seats on Friday evening....

I was so tired after working like a Hebrew Slave all day... All I remember is

"LadyLee! Blah, Blah... Blah, Blah, Blah, BLAAAAAH!!!"

So Terry, call me back with the dates you will be in town. Or shoot me an email so I can write it down!

I usually go to church on Friday nights. I am strange... don't care to go on Sunday.

But I didn't this Friday night. I was BONE tired. I went and picked up some sushi, went home and went to bed.

On Saturday morning, I woke up around 5 a.m. This is the usual for me, because I am so happy I don't have to go to work, that I get up all early. (Yeah, that's stupid, but you know...)

So I get up to crochet. I have to finish The LBeezy's blanket this week, and I only need a good 10 hours to finish.

Someone starts ringing my doorbell at 8:15 a.m.

*crickets*

That's right: 8:15 a.m.

Of course I don't answer it. Whatever. Usually, whoever it is goes away.

But they kept leaning on the doorbell, for a good five minutes.

I decided to get up and answer it, with the intent of snapping HARD on whoever had the NERVE to be begging THAT early on a Saturday morning.

I swung the door open. It was one of the locals, Mr. Thomas, who takes care of my yard. I've told him time and time again that we don't answer the door, and he better catch us when we are outside. He usually takes a chance and rings it one good time, and then he comes back a few hours later.

But this time was different.

"What the heck you ringing my doorbell this early for, Man?" I yelled.

He held out his hand.

He had my raggedy cellphone, which I hadn't seen since Thursday.

"Your phone, it was in your front yard, girl," he said.

I felt BAD for yelling at him. REALLY bad.

"Thank you," was all I could say. I took it from him.

"You got something to eat?" he asked.

"Come back in an hour," I replied.

I fixed him some pancakes and sausage, and sent him on his way.

That's the least I could do for him returning my cellphone. He could've went and sold it or something.

That was the most interesting thing that happened this weekend.

I wanted to go to a basketball game on Saturday, but fell asleep (which is the usual case when I wake up so doggone early on Saturdays), and couldn't find my eyeglasses for a WHOLE hour. That was a BAD feeling. I almost panicked. By the time I found them, it was too late to head out. So I hung out around the house, did some chores, did some reading, and A LOT of crocheting.

That was the extent of my weekend. Hope you had a good one, or at least one that was more exciting than mine.

We're toning down the smurfiness at the House of LadyLee this week... 'Tis time for a bit of reflection and soul-searchin... Ladylee has a more serious side, you know.

With that said, a list of upcoming posts -

(And That Oldgirl Serenity30 is going to be REAL happy about this... she hates my smurfiness!)

1. The answer to my "Who are you?" question. (See last weeks list of questions). Serenity30 and That Southern Black Gal answered it, so I might as well MAN UP and stop being a PUNK and answer it too.

I'm not being a punk, I was just trying to FINISH answering the dang question. It was 12 pages long in my personal journal, but I will only post the first 3/4ths of page one. (12 pages is TOO longwinded, even for me, Man!)

2. In my journal writing group, we had to write a letter to ourselves back in January. We were to detail our goals for 2008, how we would reach them, and what we would absolutely NOT tolerate in 2008.

I found it... interesting.

I will post that letter.

3. I received the best holiday gift I've received as an adult, something that I would go so far as to say will help me have a better appreciation of the holiday season (which I've been known to dislike).

And it was HIGHLY intangible and unexpected at that...

Hmmm...

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Breaking My Rules

I broke one of my many rules last Saturday...

And I usually get terribly upset with myself for breaking my rules.

But this particular one, I broke:

"I DO NOT ATTEND CHILDREN'S ATHLETIC EVENTS!"

People know this, and they have to hear me talk much trash when they ask me about it.

So...

Last week, my Gang Leader The Green-Eyed Bandit, the Leader of my Triple F Posse (Financial Freedom Fighters), sent me an email:

"What are you doing tomorrow afternoon? Ced has a basketball game at 2:30 and wanted to know if you wanted to go"

**crickets**

Now, Green-Eyed Bandit knows I don't fool with childrens running around calling themselves playing sports. I have spent TOO many weekends carting my brother Milk and Cookies to his little league football games. I can still remember sitting on very COLD bleachers, my teeth chattering, watching that boy running around trying to play football.

HUMPH.

Never again. Never ever ever!!!

I sent her a polite email, telling her that I will attend her boy's basketball game when he plays for the Atlanta Hawks.

(I was sure to request free front row tickets... Nothing less will do for this Oldgirl).

She said she understood. But her boy Ced is the star of the team. It would be the first game of the year, and he was a starter.

And since we were having a Triple F Posse meeting that morning, she thought she would recruit some cheerleaders.

(I could've sworn I heard the sad violin music, or that sad Law and Order music playing within that email.)

So, I decided to throw caution to the wind... and break my rules.

(Oh, that Green Eyed Bandit know she know how to work that psychology.)

So, I go to the meeting, and I am all happy and hyped up, because all the ladies are making such wonderful strides in financial matters...

Afterwards, I start talking much trash to Ced.

He's a tall skinny 12 year old brutha, very laid back. I started pushing and shoving him around. He's very polite, and dealt with my harrasments well enough.

"Boy, I wanna see you score 100 points!"

"That's not allowed, Miss LadyLee."

He goes on to break down the rules to me.

I really didn't care about that. I wanted to talk trash, see some ol' Michael Jordan type action.

"Boy, I want to see some reverse back flip 360 degree flips in the air." I shove him hard again, hit him upside the head.

"That's not allowed, Miss LadyLee."

He goes on to recite more official rules of his league.

What is with this kid? No one is this dayum polite.

Well, I follow them out to the game. I start having flashbacks of being cold and sitting on uncomfortable bleachers. But the place was warm, the bleachers were good. That was a good thang!!

Then, the Green-Eyed Bandit morphed into something strange: a trash talking parent.

She snatched off her jacket, and tied it around her waist. Her eyes took on this eery steely look.

"This is my NBA," she spat as she stood in the bleachers. She placed her hands on her hips. "This is all I got."

*LadyLee scooting down the bleachers a little so as not to be a casualty of Green-Eyed Bandit's wrath*

Ced is #42 on the Phoenix Suns team. He's the tallest kid on the team, and I was still expecting him to do some behind the back slam dunks.

Now, this was actually a pretty good action packed game. And it was only an hour long. And these shorties were playing like they were playing for some money or something.

And the parents were yelling something awful. Green-Eyed Bandit was loudest of them all.


"Ref! Can I get some foul calls!?"

"This ain't football, Ref!"

"Play some D! Get on him!"

Ced was part of some really bad collision and left the game with a nosebleed. Green-Eyed Bandit went to check on her boy, but came back a few minutes later.

"Is he alright?" I asked.

"He's alright. I told him to man up and get back in the game."

*LadyLee raises an eyebrow. Green Eyed Bandit commences to hollering hard*

Green-eyed Bandit did more screaming, more hollering. She did a lot of walking back and forth in front of the bleachers. I'm suprised she wasn't all hoarse.

Thank goodness she didn't start cussing and throwing stuff around. I would've had to tip-toe outta there!
Ced's team won 28-13. Now that's a good opening day win.

And that was a good game. I hated that it was over in an hour.

(Imagine that!)

So Ced and Green-Eyed Bandit... I may make another appearance or two this season.

I kinda like breaking my rules.

And Ced... You're going to have to attempt at least one dunk for the Oldgirl. Really!

Ya'll have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Semi Wordless Wednesday

The House of LadyLee Mascots at Grandma Christine's house:



Grandma Christine is a VERY neat Grandma.

I can hear her yelling right now...

"Ya'll chilluns betta git off my good carpet. Sit ya lil' tails down over yonder on that kitchen floor and eat! HUMPH!"

LOL!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Great Assessment

I have no Monday Ramblings about my weekend.

Because, if I posted about my weekend, it would break out to anywhere from 5 to 8 posts.

I had a jam packed weekend... which I don't really care for. But I look back, and see that it was a good thang indeed.

Instead, I will do a repost, from someone else's blog.

The end of the year is almost here, and as is the usual case in the month of December, I, the Oldgirl, find myself pondering the past 11 months and the upcoming year, 2009. I'm thinking about stuff like: where I am at, where do I want to go, my goals for next year, where I succeeded, and where I missed the mark.

I already have a motto for next year...

"In 2009, everything's gonna be FINE."

Really though.

Anyway, a most interesting post showed up over in The Cheap Seats last month. All of the posts over in The Cheap Seats are interesting, but this particular post had more of an "a-ha" effect on me... It will serve as a proverbial springboard from whence I jump.

I'd like to repost that.

Hell, I didn't even ask Terry's permission.

I'm just gonna DO IT.

*Terry snatches cigar from his mouth and throws it hard across the room.*

Don't ring my cell phone and don't text me, Terry. I'm in no mood for cute verses from your Book of Cuss, lol.

So, I will repost that particular post...

I have a few comments afterwards.

Standing In The Universe (from Terry's Cheap Seats)

For a lot of people, this time of year becomes a period of reflection. You ponder who you are and where you are going; what you have and what you need. You think of the path you have walked down and wonder what the path looks like that lies ahead.

I am no different of course and I often have to take inventory of my life. I have to check in with myself and find out if everything is on the right heading.

Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.

So let’s take inventory today. It’s time for all of us to center ourselves in the universe here in the Cheap Seats. I will ask you a few simple questions. The idea is to think about them and give yourself an honest answer. Of course there are no wrong answers unless you are trying to fool yourself. And if you are, that alone speaks volumes as to where you are at.

Here we go.

Who are you?
Do you like who you are?
Who do you want to be, what is it that you must change?
What do you stand for?
What is your passion?
Who are the people that you love?
Why?
Do the people you love, love you?
Why/why not?
When people know you, do they really know you?
Is the place that you rest your head, your “home”?
If not where is “home” and do you want to be there?
If so, why are you not there?
When you wake up, do you go to the job that your really want to do?
If not, what are you doing to change that?
Is your family close to your heart?
If not why?
Who do you love?
Can you love them better?
Do they love you?
Can they love you better?
If you can love them better, why don’t you?
What do you want?
How will you get it?
What is important to you?
Who do you fight with?
Why do you fight with them?
What do you need?
What do you want?
Why don't you have it?
Are you happy or are you sad?
Why?
Are you smiling or are you crying?
Why?
What will make you better tomorrow than you are today?

These are all simple questions. Not anything earth shattering or overly introspective. They are just ones I think we all have to ask from time to time.

But I will admit, when answering them for myself, I’m not always happy with my answers.


Interesting post, isn't it?

Well, that post was up in late November, and a day hasn't gone by that I haven't thought about the questions posed therin.

So I thought I would scrawl them on the walls of the House of LadyLee for some of you who are pondering things yourself and setting up personal goals for next year.

I showed this to That Original Oldgirl Serenity-30 last week. I told her what I was gonna do. I like running things by her because she is that introspective type.

Well, she answered the very first question, "Who are you?" in a post titled the same. She is VERY brave to do so, because honestly I have no idea how to answer that question in a finite amount of words. (Ya'll know how long-winded I can be). I'd probably have to answer that question last.

As a matter of fact, answering all those questions would take me no less than about 100 pages.

And I plan on doing that up until January 1st. I think after all that, I will have a clear plan on what I want to be, or at least the general direction I want to go, in the year 2009.

A friend suggested that one not only answers the questions for oneself, but that one's entire circle should answer it.

That's scary, isn't it?

Might let you know who you should cut loose for 2009.

Or, who should cut YOU loose for 2009.

I've cut loose people in 2008, and Lawd have mercy, I have been cut loose.

(Yes, LadyLee is a horrible influence. Imagine that).

Hmm...

Just a little something for you to ponder.

Now, we likes to keep it smurfy over at the House of LadyLee, so there is NO way that I would post my answers...

But, if I see something, I don't know... interesting, I will be sure to post.

All I know is, no matter what's up, no matter what happens...

"In 2009, everything's gonna be fine."

Have a great week- ON PURPOSE.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Fairy Tale Food

I came across a brand of cormeal mix recently that I absolutely LOVE: Logan Turnpike Mill Cormeal Mix.

I have a problem with making cornbread from cornmeal: sometimes it comes out right, other times, it is jacked up. The Logan Turnpike Mill brand comes out just right. You CANNOT mess it up.

It is more expensive than Jiffy, at about $3.50 a bag, but for someone like me who rarely eats cornbread, well, it lasts awhile. One bag affords 4 pans of cornmeal.

Anyway, my sister Kentucky wanted to make cornbread chicken and mushroom dressing for Thanksgiving. She wanted to know where I bought the cornmeal mix that I was using, because the cornbread was very good, better than usual. I told her that I bought it at the Dekalbs Farmers Market. She said she would stop by and get a couple of bags.

Kentucky did her grocery shopping and laid everything out on the dining room table.

I wasn't going to cook... only supervise, and keep the kitchen clean.

Well, I picked up her bags of cornmeal mix, and noticed that they felt a little rough... I didn't think much of it. Afterall, this is stonemilled product, so maybe this was a rough batch...

Then I read the front of the package:

A package of cornmeal mix from my refrigerator is on the left.

The package bought by Kentucky is on the right.




This broad messed around and bought 2 bags of PORRIDGE.

What the...?

Well, it felt wierd enough, like a sack of grits. That explained it.

I called out to my sister.

"Kentucky!"

She was upstairs in her room. She came out, leaned over the banister. "What?"

"Uh... is Hansel and Gretel stopping by for Thanksgiving?"

She frowned up, and walked to the top of the stairs. "What are you talking about?"

"Is Goldilocks coming over to hang out with us?"

"Lisa, what are you talking about?" she said, as she started down the steps.

"You bought Porridge, girl," I said.

"No I didn't. I bought the cornbread. "I bought the type you said you bought."

"Porridge!" I said.

Kentucky took the bag from my hands.

"You have to read the front of the bag, Kentucky." I pointed at the size 12 font stamped black letters on the front. "Apparently, they use the same bag for everything, then stamp what's in it."
She frowned. "I guess I'll take it back."

I started singing hard, to her dismay...

"Itsy-bitsy spider, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three bears, and Little Miss Muffet are all coming to dinner!"

I sang this bootleg verse a few times as I twirled around the living room to my hearts content.

*Kentucky looks at me like I've lost my mind, then disappears back upstairs.*

Kentucky returned the sacks of porridge to the store. She made a fine pan of dressing with the cornmeal mix.

That's not really the point of this post.

My thing is (and I wonder if anyone else feels the same as me)...

I thought "Porridge" was some mess that was straight made up in fairy tale land.

I couldn't really figure out who ate porridge, as I don't read my fairytales everyday. I knew Goldilocks almost got her tail busted over it, but I am sure Hansel and Gretel, Little Miss Muffet or somebody else had been slurping on it, too.

I knew that I'd never heard of such. I remembered that there had to be more than one fairy tale with somebody getting down on some porridge.

I remember thinking whoever ate it was dirt poor. I wondered why the 3 bears got mad over some porridge. Wasn't like Goldilocks had taken a piece of fried chicken or pizza. Hmmm. They were poor, and this "porridge" stuff was all they had.

(Yes, I thought much too deeply about mundane things when I was a child).

Anyway, the card contained in the bag said that it was a mixture of cracked wheat, ground rice, and ground corn.

Sounds to me like porridge is a mix of all the staples in the house...

To top it off, the website makes a lovely suggestion...

"Have it for supper as a side dish by adding sauteed onios, green peppers and roasted garlic and cover with brown gravy."

**crickets**

Eww. That just sounds... Yuck.

Okay, they took it a bit far with that.

I don't know, I just found it all strange. I thought "porridge" was straight-up fairy tale food.

Apparently not.

I learn something new everyday...

And now you've learned something new for your weekend.

With that said...

Have a good weekend... on purpose :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast Pics

I thought I would post some Thanksgiving Food Pics today.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I should've posted these last week.

Hush up now. Ya'll will be alright.

(Besides, you never know when they will come in handy for some virtual parties.)

My sister Kentucky had been hollering hard about cooking for Thanksgiving. She went to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving last year, and realized that she had no leftovers the next day. So she wanted to cook this year.

(No going over to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving this year. We heard through the grapevine that our Uncle Tweet was cooking for all his "substance-abusing" friends. Ain't NOTHING worse than having to keep an eye on one's keys, purse AND car.)

She didn't bake a turkey. She purchased a fried turkey somewhere down in Buckhead.




Tom Turkey looks a little needy. It was a good turkey, though. I prefer a baked turkey (unless it is fried by someone's Lousiana uncle or somebody like that) but heck, she bought it, and that was cool!

By the way, it seems that the new trend now is the "Turducken". Has anyone heard of that? Well, it is a turkey, stuffed with a deboned duck, which in turn is stuffed with a deboned chicken.


That looks a hot mess. Somebody must've been smoking something when they came up with that idea. They run about 85 bucks prepared. That is way too much to be paying for a piece of meat.

Kentucky baked a ham.


It was good. We have a TON of it left, and I am not a big pork eater. I am bringing some of that to work tomorrow for my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre. Heck, I might just set up a platter over in the break room.

Now, the ONLY thing I baked was the macaroni and cheese, because I was taking it to someone's house. I baked 2: one for home, and one for my BFF LadyTee's fam.


I grated up an old loaf of french bread for the topping, but I could NOT get the top to brown. It was ready, all crunchy and what not, but wouldn't brown. I don't know what was up with that. LadyTee's family killed it anyway. And I was particularly disturbed when I had to hear from her man... "N****, how you just gonna bring one pan of macaroni and cheese???!"

I thought it would be enough. It was all gone by the next morning. We still have plenty at home. HUMPH.

Kentucky's collard greens were off the chain! She should've made more!


There ain't NOTHING like a good pot of greens flavored with smoked turkey. NOTHING. For me, this was the best part of Thanksgiving.

Last but not least, she made some chicken and mushroom dressing.


It was very good and quite mushroomy. It should've been, since she bought every doggone can of soup in the store.


(Kentucky, did it take all that? GEEZ).

(I have a funny related story about the dressing, which I will tell later this week.)

She cooked alllll day Wednesday, and for a couple of hours on Thanksgiving day (I had to hip her a couple of years ago to that being the right way to do things, lol).

I supervised her, from my spot on the sofa, lol.

We had a good Thanksgiving feast. Very good.

And I hope you did too.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday Morning Ramblings, Part 26291

Good Monday Mernting, Party People...

More like Good Monday Moaning.

I know we all ate too much. We all need to be burped. We all need to drink plenty of water, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (for that fiber, you know).

... And we all need a good laxative, or two.

Time to get back in the saddle, ya'll... Get back on track! LOL

"Staycation". My 5 day "Stay-cation" was nice. Had a very nice thanksgiving, and I got A LOT of rest (I will post on that tomorrow, I suppose). I meant to get a few things done around the house, but oh well... it's all good. I didn't participate in Black Friday activities. The Christmas Budget is $100.00. So I better plan very well.

I spoke with the LBeezy this weekend for an hour, which is always a good thing, because that chick cracks me up. I am still trying to contact the Queen of Lurk City, but my goodness, finding her is like looking for Waldo. (I think she has handlers now, and I don't want them cussing me out. I don't want to catch a beat-down, either).

Ah, the life of a fan is hard one, lol... I will keep trying. She better be careful, though. She's gonna jump in a taxi, and I'm going to be the driver! LOL!

I've been reading my book club book, The Shack, which is REALLY good. Thank goodness, because I haven't been intranced by the last several book club books.

I didn't get ANY writing done, despite having done a little longhand writing a couple of weeks ago. I have NO idea why I am being trifling in that aspect, but I managed to do much thinking, and I made a decision on what stories I want to mail out this month. So I guess that's a good thing, isn't it?

Monday. Fortunately, I won't be going to work today. I have a doctor appointment. My doctor is leaving the country in a couple of weeks. (That woman KNOWS how to go on vacation. I hear some of her fascinating European and Asian tales while she gives me my monthly checkup). We all better get our butts in there and see her, basically. Because once she bounces, she BOUNCES hard.

I HATE Monday appointments. Let's just say, this is the day that uh... how can I say this and be politcally correct? Hmmm... This is the day the uh, poor working class whites come in for their appointments. My doctor moved to the deep southside of the Metropolitan ATL area (Henry county, down that way), and this seems to be the clientele. They all get together and come in on Mondays.

I have an interesting post about stuff I've overheard in that place on a Monday if I can figure out how to write it.

So let's just say I prefer a good Tuesday appointment. I have another one next Tuesday, so that is cool.

Anyway, on to other random stuff.

Best posts of November: Heavy on my Mind by Aunt Jackie. Aunt Jackie reflects here on the death of her sister. What a moving post. I don't know if I could've written anything like this.

Another great post, by Ol' Terry from his Cheap Seats: Lessons in a Tear, about his lunch with a homeless woman name Christie. Terry has such a good heart. I want to be like you when I grow up someday, Terry!

Craziest post I read in November: Urban Myth by the Infamous La. This post tripped me out. See, this is the type of stuff that incites domestic violence. HUMPH. (And it's a reminder to google yourself periodically to see what's up.)

Quotes of the month: One from La's Urban Myth, linked above:

"But whether we like it or not, it's the things we hide that detail who we really are. It's our silences, not our words, that shade people's perception of us, add dimension. If the things we don't say are a shade of gray, consider our secrets the long shadows we cast."

That's some deep off the pages ish right there. I am a terribly silent and to-myself type of girl. Folks make some assumptions that have me scratching my head, but that explains a few of the troubles and run-ins I've had this year. Hmm... I may or may not write about that.

Anyway, I hope to post everyday this week. We will see.

Have a good week... on purpose.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Queen!

*LadyLee stands up, and bows so hard that her lips kiss the ground*

I would like to wish Your Highness, the Queen, a Happy Happy Birthday!!!

*LadyLee falls prostrate to the ground*



No, not THAT Queen. Not the Queen of England.

I'm talking about the Queen of Lurk City, the main lurker on my blog, Miss Celie, Tayari Jones!!!!!


Happy Birthday Tayari!!!

Now, I'll keep this brief, as there are Tayari shrines scattered all throughout the House of LadyLee...

Miss Celie turns 38 today.

Miss Celie, I want you to know, that I have been 38 for 9 months... and honey, 38 is GREAT!!

Miss Celie got a REALLY nice birthday present, early no less. She was laying in bed, minding her own bizness, when she got a phone call with some really good news. But she had to keep it to herself until it was officially announced.

You know me... I tried to pry it out of her.

"Lee, something great happened!"
"What is it, Celie?"
"Can't tell you, Lee."
"Why?"
"They say we can't tell"
"You can tell me. I'm your number one fan!"
"NO."
"Come on, Miss Celie."
"No, you'll have to wait for the press release."
"Just tell me, girl! I won't tell nobody!"
"No."
"Come on, girl!
"NO
!"

*Lee proceeds to have temper tantrum. Miss Celie keeps her mouth shut.*

Well, that Botanical Chick, Carleen Brice, hipped me to a press release. Turns out Miss Celie was chosen as one of 2008 United States Artist.

Now she coulda told me. I don't know what the hell that is. If it ain't science related, I don't know what's going on. She KNOW that.

HUMPH.

The interesting thing about the United States Artist prize: (I'm sure she gets a nice lovely plaque, with her name incscribed lovingly in gold).

It comes with a $50,000.00 unrestricted grant.

That's cash money ya'll... And "unrestricted" means she can smoke it up if she want to, i.e., do whatever the heck she wants to do with it.

Now if THAT ain't a good birthday gift, I don't know what is.

I might tare something UP if I come across that much bread.

Really though.

Now, I sent her a couple of small gifts. Nothing matches that type of bread, but you KNOW the #1 fan had to send her something.

Of course I sent her a card. (Don't know if she even got it yet...WHATEVER! I am posting it anyway.

I also sent her a couple of personalized journals, modeled here by my work group Super Hero, The Infamous Hen-Dog.




(Uh, these pictures were in exchange for the boy asking me to babysit his baby girl Chayse (see last two posts). I tried to get him to take the shirt off, but he was hollering about he had to go get shaved up. HUMPH).

Yeah, Lee know how to pimp a dude. LOL!!!

Anyway, I sent some little post it notes and pads with a "T" monogram.

Hope you like that, gal!!

(I almost sent you a homemade Obama Church fan, but I decided against that, lol).

Anyway, I want to wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

I am the #1 fan... And when Ol' Tayari blows up, I'll be standing there yelling

"I TOLD YA'LL. She the MAN!!"

I've been trying to call you on your house phone, Girl!! I know I'm a groupie, but you better pick up! (Or at least clean up your voice mail! GEEZ.)

So, you know, we should eat... You know how I do.

But, I know we're all still stuffed from Thanksgiving dinners.

(In other words, you negroes better eat before you show your face up in the House of LadyLee).

So we will do this like the Queen of England would do it... all civilized like.

We're just gonna have an "Afternoon Tea"... LadyLee style.

We're having a little coffee...



And I sip on that good stuff, the $26 per pound Hawaiian Kona blend and Kenyan Special Roast. (The rest of ya'll will get the Tasters Choice instant that I got on sale.)

We're having a nice homemade sweet potato cheesecake...




Yeah, that's what's hot!

Tayari, year 37 was a good year for you. That trip to Ghana this month, shoot, I know that made your whole year! And you're off to Uganda at the beginning of the year.

Oh the stories you will tell!

And I hope your next novel, The Silver Girl, will be out!

Yep, year 38 is going to be truly great!

So Tayari, don't know what you're getting into today, but it is your day!

Make it a good one!

And oh yeah, Tayari has the running list of people in her blog family who publish stories, win awards, publish novels and what-not.

I have alerted her to a couple of scientific publications I've had this year, but of course, it ain't enough. It has to be LITERARY related.

HUMPH.

I'm going to make the list during YOUR 38th year, Miss Celie! Watch! I'm going to publish a story, and you'll be the first one to know.

*Lee jumps from seat and pump fist in the air*

Yeah... really though.

Happy birthday, Honey Chile!!

From your number one fan for life, That Oldgirl LadyLee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Babysitting Blues, PART II: "The Queen of the Collard Greens"

Warning: If I babysit your beloved child, I will put your beloved child to WORK.

Case in point: Hen-Dog and Cynt's baby girl.

She already KNOWS she gonna work when she step into the House of LadyLee.

Best of all, she works with a smile. A BIG SMILE.



I told her, "Chayse, today, this very day... You ARE the Queen of the Collard Greens.





Yes, she was happy for that coveted titled.

We stood her little tail in a chair, threw the greens in the sink, and commanded her to get busy plucking the greens from the big center stem!


I stood there hollering "Go girl! Go girl! Go, Go, Go girl! "




And she was doing a GOOD job.


Next time, I'm going to buy a couple of those big red buckets of chitlins and let her clean them.

She also prepared the cornbread. Kentucky measured out the ingredients. We placed everything on the dining room table, steadied the little gal on a stool, and let her do the darn thing!




(Sidenote: Cynt, you are CRAZY for doing that girl's hair in all those little plaits. NO ONE has that much time on their hands.)



She made 4 round glass pie dishes of cornbread.



I complained about this. "Kentucky, ya'll coulda just used the big rectangular baking pan, and-"

Kentucky shook her head slowly, gave me a slight evil eye. "She's busy. We're just keeping her busy. Busy, busy, busy."

(Kentucky is getting a masters in childhood education. This is the age group she's been teaching as of late. I just decided to chill and let them make multiple pans of cornbread.)

One thing that had us all looking crazy... When Chayse sprays a pan with PAM cooking spray, she tries to empty the whole doggone can or something.



You see how cloudy that picture is? That's the spray flying all over the place.

Shoot man... even my glasses were all misted with Pam Cooking spray.

Once I realized that I was getting all greasy, I yelled "STOPPPPPPP, GUUUURLLLL!! STOP!"

*Chayse looks at LadyLee like she has lost her mind*
I followed that up by quietly instructing Kentucky to spray the pans. PAM is expensive. No need to get THAT happy with it. HUMPH.

All in all, it was a decent day. The girl was gone 3 hours before I would call DFACS to come and get her.
I can't wait for this child to be old enough to drive. I'm gonna run her ragged.

Until then... Chayse will have to come back and clean some red buckets of chitlins for us real soon:)