Thursday, January 31, 2008

Political Mumbo Jumbo

Okay... count'em down. Seven days 'til my birthday! Whooo-HOOOO!!!

Super Duper Tuesday is coming up around these parts... And I've had to think about the candidates. I hate the presidential elections, as no one candidate embodies all that I really want to see in the White House. It can be really exasperating.

I rarely talk about anything political... not since the days of Katrina and such. You know how I like to keep it smurfy over here at the House of Ladylee...

But you know I have to get my 2 cents in.



John Edwards. As of yesterday, John Edwards dropped out of the race. I tell you, this is his second try for the nomination. But now he's outta here. Talking about how he didn't want to play spoiler and all.

I bet we'lll see him again in 2012. He's like the little engine that could, ain't he?

But he came in 3rd in his own state. And the writing was on the wall.

But he'd never get my vote. He had this big antipoverty message but has worked for a hedge fund that was involved in investing in companies that foreclosed on mortgages of New Orleans Katrina victims. Talk about an oxymoron for the ages! That didn't make sense to me.

He made his announcement of bailing out of the race yesterday from New Orleans Ninth Ward. How ironic!!

Hilary Clinton. You know what?

I said, you know what?

I won't be voting for Hilary. You know why?

Because I can't figure out if she or Bill is running for president. And I will not be voting for "Bilary".

Now, ya'll know Bill is going to slip up and say REAL soon: "During my third term as president, I will Blah, blah, blah." You KNOW he's gonna slip up and say some craziness like that.

That is, if somebody don't shut him up!

Hilary, MAN UP and stop being a PUNK!

You mean to tell me, you've supported Bill in all his endeavors for over 30 years, had to deal with all his messing around...

Had to deal with all your bizness being put out in the street...

And had to deal with that Monica Lewinsky craziness, i.e., cigars and stained dresses...

And Bill can't sit his ass down for a minute and let YOU do YOUR thing?
MAN UP, Hilary! Stop being a PUNK! It's your time to shine. This is YOUR show, not Bill's. News Flash: YOU are running for president, NOT Bill!!!

MAN UP and stop being a PUNK!

Nevertheless, you won't get my vote. Your whole downplaying of what Martin Luther King did, and ultimately giving Lyndon Johnson credit for the civil rights is some craziness.

Lyndon Johnson wasn't jailed for his beliefs. Lyndon Johnson didn't march nowhere. Lyndon Johnson wasn't spied on by the FBI. Lyndon Johnson wasn't harassed!

Oh, and uh... Lyndon Johnson wasn't assasinated.

Yeah, thumbs down to YOU, Hilary.

And this whole Bilary thing is spooky. You know the two of them have been laying up in bed at night for YEARS giggling about this. Bill's been whispering softly in her ear in the late midnight hour:

"First I'm going to be president, then you're going to be president."

Just spooks me, that's all.

Plus, there has been a Clinton or a Bush in the White House since I was 18. I'm damn near pushing 40 now. I'm NOT down with this dynasty crap!

Tell you what... Hilary has a decent platform and all, but unless comes out with secretly recorded convo of Hilary straight snapping on Bill, telling dude to sit his butt down so she can do her thing? She won't be getting my vote.

Yeah, Hilary... I need to see you give Bill the GAS FACE just like in the picture above. At least stage that ish and make it believable.

She is off my radar...

Because if she gets the Dem. nomination, the Republicans will eat her for lunch. You know they're waiting on that!!!

Really though.

Barack Obama. You know, I like Obama. I really do.

It's like someone has been hanging out in the bathroom a bit to long, blowing it up after eating a whole bowl of chitlins...

...and Obama comes in with his can of Lysol and makes it all fresh again.

Yes, I like Obama.

I agree with most of his platform. But I like the fact that he's bold enough to at least try to jump in the race and offer some glimmer of change.

But you know what I keep hearing from older black folks??

"The good ol' boy establishment gonna get him into office and mess him up on purpose. They're gonna blame him for it ALL! It's a conspiracy!"

Or people are afraid a crazy redneck gonna assasinate him.

I've thought about these things in the past.

I'm glad Barack Obama doesn't think like that. I'm glad he's letting his faith and courage take him past all the question marks? I'm glad he's going for it.

And he's got Bilary shaking in her/his shoes.

I say GOOD!

And as Obama says... YES WE CAN!!

Not sure if I'm going to vote for him. But he's in my top TWO.

I've also heard: "He don't have enough experience!!!"

Now these fools politicians in office have all the experience and resources in the world. And they STILL muckin' everything up!

And don't it make you feel good to see, even though he is Harvard educated, etc., that he don't have a blond-haired, blue eyed white woman on his arm? Don't it make you (black women) feel GOOD to see someone like Michelle up there, who looks like she could be in our family?

No, I don't care who you love, as long as you love the one you with.

But, there are sistas out there... You KNOW some of us would be hatin' HARD if he was with a white woman! It perplexes me that we hate that so much. Kinda like we feel like we been duped, you know?

Don't ACT! You know what I'm talking about.

Yes, that's a silly point, I know. Brought it up because it has been discussed all around me.

I applaud his courage... and his stand. A lot of black folks hatin' on him, saying he ain't black enough.

I am GLAD he has the courage to say YES I CAN!!

Now, as far as my thoughts on those Republicans...

Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Shopping for babies!!

dedicated to, as she does her own shopping for her little one...



It's not what you think.

I AM NOT having a baby.

But uh... there's something in the water, because of women all around me are popping up pregnant.

There must be something in the water.

*LadyLee loading up on the bottled water for drinking, cooking, AND bathing*


But lately, I've had the best time shopping for baby gifts! I usually crochet a blanket, but at times I go and peruse the baby section of various stores...

Now with that said, I'm working on two (maybe three) baby blankets.

I'm no shopper, but I saw the cutest little baby gear...

Calvin Klein onesies.

Isn't that something else? I didn't even know the "Calvin Klein for Baby" clothing line existed.

It was the best thing to buy for my book club sista who was having a baby... and wanted to be suprised by the sex of the baby.

So, it took a loooong time to find gear that would go for a boy or a girl.

I also got this nice pair of pajamas...
My book club sista, and FFF (Financial Freedom Fighters) Gang leader had a baby girl yesterday!

Congratulations Erica:)

Shoot man... All this shopping- touching and folding baby clothes, crocheting cute little blankets.

It almost makes this Oldgirl want to go ahead on and have a baby...

(You know I'm just playing right? RIGHT!!?)

I'll just stick to making blankies and doing a little shopping:)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Food for Thought: Notes from Serenity's Wine Cellar Part IV

This complete's Serenity's takeover of Friday food for thought.

More notes from her wine cellar:

“...for the most part, I'm realizing that the joy that comes in life comes from relationships and interactions with people. Not things, but people. The more apt you are to just throw them away, the more you miss out. People are not trash and can't just be thrown away.”

What you put in, you get out. How many pep talks you think I give myself? How much positivity do you think I read and listen to? I don't hang around folks who are negative or who have nothing going on in their lives. Why? I have no time for foolishness.

"It's not easy to realize right off that one's season in your life might be over, but after some time, you get that ah ha moment and realize what their purpose was and why it's over."

"...You can't change folks. Either accept them as they are or keep it moving."

“Don't be so quick to be down on yourself when someone doesn't want you. You are not going to be a treasure to every person you meet. What I've learned in those years is that my ego may be bruised, but I can't walk around worrying about what i can do or should do to make someone realize that I'm a treasure.. Why? B/c there's another someone right around the corner who already knows this.”

“As much as I plan and write and work towards my goals, I like to feel that everything is flexible b/c while I have plans, sometimes God has better plans for me and I have to be ready and willing to move with them.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A most unusual sleepover

I messed LadyTee's head up the other day...

We were talking on the phone one night and I said to her...

"Kramer's coming over tonight."

She yelled "What??!!!"

"No, no, girl. Kramer is Hen-Dog's cat."

"Oh, oh," she said, with a very hard sigh of relief.

She knows that I am ADAMANT about not having some dude lay up in my house. I got this fear of a joker trying to move in. I know, that's wierd, but my Mama's last man kinda just moved into her house without asking. She knew he lived there when his mail started showing up on the regular. So, uh... that freaked me out...

I tell a dude, when asked where I live and who I live with... I tell him I live in ATL, and I live with 10 of my relatives (grandma, cousins, sistas, mama, daddy, brothers, uncles) and we have to take turns sleeping on the floor. Yeah. THAT'S how you keep a dude from moving in. LOL!!

But I'm jumping off subject here. Waaay off subject!

Kramer is Hen-Dog's cat. It's actually his daughter's cat.

They've had him for a few months. When they first got him, he was cute, but he appeared to be quite, I don't know... annoyed.

Cute little kitty... but as you can see, he's a bit attached to Hen-Dog.

I asked Chayse a big question.

"What you gonna name him, Chayse?"

She picked him up and cuddled him close. "I'm naming him Kramer."

The look on my face called for explanation. Why would she name her cat after a Sein.field character?

"No, that's the name of an animal on one of her cartoon videos," Hen-Dog said.

"Oh, OK." Thank goodness for that.

Kramer is a good bit bigger now, all these months later.

"Kramer is crazy!" Hen-Dog exclaimed one day last week. Hen-Dog said that Kramer tares up the trash, and does a bunch of other crazy stuff.

I offered to keep him over the holiday weekend. We could see how Oscar-Tyrone acts towards him. I was thinking that Kramer has excess energy, and another cat would give him a way to work all that out. Plus I've been trying to decide whether to get another cat to keep Oscar company. Maybe I can keep Kramer, or maybe he can just hang out at my place from time to time.

It could be Kramer's personal vacation spot.


So Kramer came over. I think Oscar-Tyrone thought it was Jeremy, my orange cat that died couple of years ago. Oscar-Tyrone was a bit excited, but soon realized that this was a foreign cat, and would have absolutely nothing to do with him. They had a couple of "kitty conversations" and let's just say that Kramer calmed down REAL quick. He stopped all that running and clowning... And for awhile, Oscar kind of stood around and observed Kramer.

And yes, he did what many of us do when we are vacationing... He did A LOT of sleeping.

As you can see, he's a bit fond of my favorite chair. He also seems to like the coffee table.

I don't know WHAT'S up with that, because Oscar-Tyrone doesn't jump on tables. (I think he got tired of being yelled at so many years ago and abandoned the whole idea). I let Kramer lay there, assuming that that was just his thing he liked to do. After all, he was on vacation.

But what's really funny is tht he started sleeping on Oscar's personal blanket. Oscar ran up on Kramer a few times, and had that look that said "I would kick his butt, but he don't know any better". Oscar was the bigger man, and let him sleep on his blanket.

There must've been more private "kitty conversations" later on because Kramer will not get on that blanket anymore. Hmmm...

There are beams over the living room, and Kramer explored those also.

There were quite a few times when I was looking for Kramer and it turns out he was laying on the beams watching me walk back and forth. Darn cat!

He spent a good amount of time just staring out the window. You can see Hen-Dog's house from my house, and I guess he was looking that way.

"Where's my Daddy?"


Nevertheless, as time passes... Oscar and Kramer seem to be getting along.

Well, Oscar is tolerating him. I woke up this morning, and they were even chasing each other around.

So, this moves me closer to considering getting another cat.

We'll see!

Otherwise... Kramer is always free to vacation at my house!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Food for Thought: Notes from Serenity's Wine Cellar, Part III

Can you believe I posted every day this week? WHOA.
That Original Oldgirl
Serenity 30 has my Friday "Food for Thought" for the month of January...
More notes from the walls of her wine cellar...

"I'm a big proponent of taking stock of where I am and figuring out where I want to be and then charting the bridge to get me there. What's the point of standing in a place knowing that you need to get going somewhere else, yet making no attempts to move?"

“Once you evaluate and figure out what makes you happy and you start living for you and doing things that make you happy, you don't have to worry about competing and complaintng and criticizing others... And I don't know about you, but I have a lot to live for and wasting time tearing other folks down just ain't in the plans.”

“Whether it is employment, relationships, friendships, etc. do not stay somewhere you do not want to be and you are not happy in. You are the only one responsible for YOUR happiness.”

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let it SNOW!!

Let it snow!!!
Let it snow on the mailbox!! Let it snow on the front porch!!!
Let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW!!!!

Yes! It snowed at my house! All I know, I was pulling the herbie curbie trash can up to the curb and it just started coming down. . .

Could this be real?

We RARELY get snow in the ATL, to the point that it was the hot topic of conversation yesterday here at work.

I told my boss: "Look here, if the Henry County schools are closed, then I ain't coming to work tomorrow!!"
[Note: I live in Fulton County. My boss lives in Henry County, which is some thirty-odd miles away].

She gave me that look, you know, that LOOK... That hard eye squint your mama gives you when you're acting up.

"LadyLee, you only live five minutes away from work. You can walk to work."
"You think I'm crashing my car just to come in here and fool with ya'll? And I sure ain't walking!!"
"I'm not coming in either if it's bad," she said with a sigh.

Her answer threw me for a loop. She usually gets a bit agitated, but she was calm. I left her alone. She's pregnant, and I could tell that she wanted me to leave her alone. And she had that same look in her eye that I had... That look of glee, thinking she was going to get a free day off with pay!!

My sister Kentucky came in the house, all excited, a snowball cupped in her hand.

"Look, Lisa," she screamed. "It's snowing!"

I was in the bed at the time. I wanted to scream "GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!", but I didn't. She said that she hadn't seen snow since 1994, so I let her have her fun.

But, I woke up this morning, and the snow had turned to rain. The snow didn't stick, and there was no ice on the ground. There were no school closings.

Hence, I had to go to work.

I tell you... I had my day PLANNED, you hear me? I was going to write for a few hours, yack on the phone, clean up, wash clothes, look at a little Lifetime, Television for Women, yack on the phone some more. . .


Sigh... back on the chain gang.

The snow is gone...

Hope we get a "blizzard" like that once again:)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

LadyLee's 40 Hours of FUNK!

For Miss Celie:) ,, and the Original Oldgirl Critique Team...

I had the best time off from work during Christmas Break.

I say that because I RARELY take time off. The Oppressor (job management) looks at me like I'm crazy when I request time off. I was off for 2 FULL weeks, and I haven't had that much time off since 2002, I believe. So five years was a long time to wait for such, but believe me, it was well worth it.

And it won't be another five years before I do that again.

Really though.

Now, I gave myself a challenge:

"I will spend 40 hours of my vacation writing new material."

I called it my "40 HOURS OF FUNK"


Now, that seems like much, but it isn't. From the time I left work, at 3 pm on Friday December 21st to the time I went back to work on Monday January 7th is about 399 hours. So 40 hours of writing was essentially only 10% of my time.

(Yes, I calculated that ish. Yes, I am such a NERD, lol.)

Why did I do this?

Well, I have been a slacker with my writing. I was sick for most of December and I wanted NO parts of sitting in front of computer coming up with new material. When I got off from work, I would take my sick tail straight to bed. Plus, my writing class ended in October, so there was no reason to MAKE myself write. The most writing I did was my blogging, and I jotted down a few ideas here and there. But that's about it.

But I got an interesting gift from That Original Oldgirl Racer X, and I tell you, it left me quaking in my shoes. Literally, just shaking, my heart beating a bit faster than normal.

So needless to say, it lit a fire under my tail...

I was more than inspired, to say the least. It was more like using a blow torch to light a simple cigarette, lol.

Thus the mandate:

"I will spend 40 hours of my vacation writing new material."

And I don't mean, editing old material, rewriting stuff... Not starting all new stories, though, because I have at least 10 stories laying around. That was my goal: NEW stuff. True enough, I worked on old stories, but I was more interested in pushing those stories forward.

For one, I knew I had a 10 week workshop class coming up, starting January 3rd. So I had to get ready for that. I tend to crank things up a couple of weeks prior to class.

Anyway, I met my goal. That Sunday, the day before I went back to work, at about 10 p.m., I officially completed my 40 hours...

I tracked my progress in a spreadsheet.

The results:

I generated approximately 96 pages of new material.

Number of words written: 28,226

Average number of words written per day: 1764

Average time spent each day writing: 2.5 hours (which makes sense, since 40 hours total time). I spent at least 1 hour a day writing. The most I wrote in one day was 7 hours (broken up in 2.5 hour increments).

I worked on three stories during that time:

Leaving Jersey: This story is an offshoot of my Sweet Heat manuscript, and concerns a minor character from that manuscript. I think I may have written 10 pages worth of material, which brought that story up to about 80 pages, I believe. This story will be about 100-120 pages long.

Fancy That: I generated some character sketches sometime ago in preparation for my fall writing class, and posted them here on my blog. I think I wrote somewhere around 20 pages during my class time. Well, I cranked out the first 10 chapters during the 40 hour stint. This came up to about 65 pages or so. This could easily stretch out to novel length.

The Greyhound Blues: That funny short story I wrote for Tayari's birthday. Uh, the story didn't stop there. I wrote two other parts, and am currently in the middle of writing part 4. That story held my interest for some reason. Some of the Original Oldgirl Critique Team have read it, and it is NOTHING like they would have expected it to go, and it stepped away from being funny, and got a bit dramatic. I want to use it for an upcoming STORY WEEK here on the blog, but it is a bit long (21 pages worth, and that's only up to the middle of the story), so I don't know what I will do with that. Part of it will go up on the blog. But I think I will chalk it up to being good practice, lol.

This story had a couple of VERY interesting lines:

"The “ssssss” that flows from his lips is like that from the serpent that moved through the garden, and hung from a tree, convincing Eve that she could be all she could be. . .if she would just listen."

I have NO idea what THAT means... We were laughing hard at that. Cowgirl Cre kicked an especially hard eyeroll behind that one. An Oldgirl trying to be literary is not a good look, lol.

"But I know. And he knows. Even though wine mixes with tears, it’s not a good combination, as one weakens the other.
Wine made weak, and cleansing tears made strong.
Whoever knew that such coming together could be so wrong."

Ha! I know Miss Celie is going "WTF?" LOL LOL!!!! Chile, that ain't your character, and has nothing to do with you... not at all. Remember, you're just concentrating on getting to the Heavies concert. Keep driving that bus, girl. LOL!!

But that one had me doing the hard eye squint... Trying to figure out what it means, lol.

I learned a lot about myself during this time:

1. I HATE writing in the morning. Absolutely HATE it. I can't think straight for some reason, until about noon. Now, I can do my personal journalling and blogging in the mornings, but as far as writing fiction? NO! That part of my brain doesn't turn on until noon. Thus, this is why I like writing in the evenings. Best time: between six and eleven at night.

2. Editing time has to be different from writing time. I think I understand that now. During this time, I believe I spent 3 hours editing (not included in the 40 hours). This is the point that I wanted to get to. I've hated editing up to now, but don't mind so much these days. As a matter of fact, I've spent this month editing up all which I wrote during the 40 hour stint. I've also turned in 5 edited chapters of Fancy That for the workshop class I am currently taking, and will be reading from it in class in about 2 weeks.

3. Most important thing I learned: It is a MUST that I sit my butt in a chair and write, with no worry about how it sounds, or if it is totally junk. It simply doesn't matter. I've read this in several of my writing craft books, but I didn't have an UNDERSTANDING of such until I completed the 40 hour stint. I've learned that even if I write a a thousands words, a good fifty percent of it is usable. I will find out something new about the character or situation. And that's a GOOD thing!

4. I've learned that I must be opened minded about editing. I guess this coincides with number 2 above. I must say that I like my own writing, very much so, and as far as I'm concerned, no one has to read it but me. But in order for me to grow, I have to be ruthless with myself, and be my own harshest critic. With that said, my major goal right now is to "see" problems, then fix them. For example, the Greyhound Blues story I posted had about 20 problems. I listed them out, then went back and fixed them within the realm of the blog post. The story now has about 4 new problems, which I will fix. In the past, I really didn't give a damn one way or the other, but my goal now is to be able to "see" the issues, and fix them without hesitation.

5. I now have a good understanding of my writing patterns, and can now comfortably set my writing goals. I know one thing: after about 2.5-3 hours of straight writing, I start drifting and getting tired. I can take a break and then go back. I think my goal will be 10 hours a week of writing, and 2 hours a week for editing. I think that is good, considering my work schedule. I also like the idea of tracking my progress. It only takes a few seconds, and it is nice to have a record of what I am doing.

6. I can't stand working on one story at a time. Simply HATE it. This may be a good thing or a bad thing. I know that I don't like it. Hence here, I worked on three stories. I think that will be my limit.

So, I must say... I am growing. (Or at least I feel like I am growing, LOL).

But I am glad that I did this. Really glad.

Maybe next time, we'll have "80 HOURS OF FUNK".

Yeah right!!

LOL! !

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I often wonder...

While at Auntie's house, we came across pictures of my Mother and Father.
My Mother kicked the That Girl flip hairdo... I always thought that was funny.

My father looks very young. I think he was fresh from his tour of duty in the Vietnam war in these pictures. I think they were both only 20 or 21 at the time of these pics.

I soon realized that there are no pictures of us together- none of me, my Mother, and my Father together.

They divorced when I was a year old. I never got to know him well. We always went to his house for Christmas, which I dreaded. I didn't like having to go see this man that I simply did not know. My mother noticed how exasperated I was over all of it, and I think around the age of 10, the visits ceased. I saw him again when I was 21, at the funeral of his mother. His father died when I was 22. I went to the funerals, didn't sit with the family, only sat in the back of the church. I remember him yelling at me later, mad because I didn't come by his house.

I wanted to say... "I don't even know you."

That was enough for me to go the other way. People who know me know, if there is the slightest whiff of drama in the air, I disappear into thin air.

Here it is, some 15 years later, and I still don't know him.

When I bought my house in Downtown Atlanta, one of the first things I thought was "My father lives on the east side, less than 10 minutes away."

Shoot. Wish I was bold enough to stop by.

But I often wonder...

Who I would be...

If I was raised by both my mother and father all these years.

I have so many quirks and idiosyncracies that I can't even keep count. I often wonder if many of those would exist if I was from a "functional" home.

You know, I wonder if I would be a "normal" person.

I expressed to my Aunt a couple of years ago that I wanted to call my Father. I didn't want anything from him, just wanted to sit down and have dinner with him or something, and go on about my business. I called, but he was so shocked to hear from me that not many words were said. I took it wrong, I suppose, and haven't called back... losing his phone number since then.

I often wonder...

Has he thought of me?

Would he be proud of me?

Would he be proud of who I've become?

I often wonder if I will ever muster the courage to find out...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Days of Innocence

Dedicated to, who's having a baby, "publication date" sometime this summer. Congratulations, girl! You'll soon be taking baby pictures of your own:)

Over the Christmas holidays, I hung out at my Auntie Joyce's house. I told her that I didn't have any baby pictures of myself. So she ran off into another room. . . and came back with a whole slew of them.

Of course I don't remember much about life before the age of five or so, but my Auntie's memory runs deep, and that's a good thing. So here are some of the pictures that I found funny.

This picture was taken on the day I took my first steps, February 14 1971.

It was funny to hear Auntie reinact the whole thing. She said my Mama called her that Valentine's day and said in a robotic tone...


So Auntie, being the family photographer and all, ran over and took the picture. I look lovely, my eyes so bright, my hair up in afro puffs!

This is me at Christmas, back in 1974 or 1975 I believe.

Yes. . . an Oldgirl was happy to have that rocking horse!!

Here's me and Auntie Joyce at my Grandma's house.
Yo Supershoe Queen Blogger Serenity AND Queen of Lurk City T... I had the HOT shoes on! Those shoes are HOT, better than any shoes you two are working these days! That dress is a bit too short. You can see my draws and er'thang. Goodness gracious.

I have no idea what I was holding in my hand. None whatsoever. All I know, Auntie was 22 years old, kicking the fly afro, and cheesing quite hard, lol.

That picture was taken at Grandma's house. How do I know? I know because of that chair with the maroon and white stripes. Grandma STILL has those chairs, some 34 years later. That set of chairs still have those plastic covers that leave you all sweaty! I sit in that chair when I go over to her house. Grandma! Get some new chairs!!!

Okay, for pictures I do remember. Here is a picture of me and my Mama, back in 1976.

We were at my Auntie's apartment, over by Greenbriar mall. My aunt's profession, for as far back as I can remember, always involved photography. It is also one of her hobbies. On this particular Saturday night, she was photographing my mother in serious poses, holding wine glasses, looking away off in the distance.

Anyway, I was standing around watching all of this, cracking up. It was the funniest thing to me.

I remember yelling "You're suppose to smile on pictures! You're suppose to SMILE!"

They were paying me NO attention. I was running all over the place. I was told to stay out of the way, which I was doing, but I was running and yelling. But I begged to be in the picture. I think at one time I was trying to look all serious like my Mama, but I couldn't help but to smile.

I think they kicked me out of the way after my one picture, lol.

And finally... My granduation picture.

I was graduating from kindergarten, I believe. My bows were all jacked up. My mama had tied them right that morning, and I had pulled them loose and tied them up again.

I look at these pictures, and I wish I could go back to those days... those days of innocence. Those were the days when I was just happy, didn't have to worry about a thing. The days when I had dreams, big dreams, and didn't worry about whether I would fulfill them. All I knew is if I said it, I could do it. I could be it. There were no thoughts of the hardships, the tears, the haters, the disappointmens, none of that.

Those were the days, the days of innocence.

Hopefully one day, I can approach life with the attitude of a child: not remembering what occurred yesterday and how it would affect today. Not looking in the rearview mirror, all worried about how what I did yesterday keeps me from what I desire to do today.

Sometimes, I think that is what's missing.

I know if I can get that back? If I could just have the right attitude?

Man oh man. . . I can do anything I imagine or desire.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Food for Thought: Notes from Serenity's Wine Cellar, Part II

In celebration of super shoe queen and wine mistress blogger Serenity's 30 birthday and in celebrtion of her attaining her Original Oldgirl Status, here's a few quotes from her blog...

Just s little "Food for Thought" for your Friday.

If you enter her wine cellar...
You will find words written on the cellar wall...

Just behind the vintage Cabernet Franc,
To the left of the Riesling
Near her beloved oak-aged Shiraz...
Above the prized Meritage...

You will find words,
Her most cherished words
Thoughts from her heart,
just for you...

"I have always operated under the motto that there's nothing written anywhere that says I can't do something. If I can dream it up, then I can make it happen."

"I had a great propensity to know what bothered someone the most and what they were insecure about and what would hurt the most and use that against them. Thankfully, I was shown a scripture that speaks to this a couple years ago and got determined to change my ways. Now I know it is better to know what a person's weaknesses are and what they struggle with and do what I can to build them up versus tearing them down."

"I learned early on to surround myself with people that are constantly growing in life and that can and will support and encourage me in my goals. You may have different friends for different aspects of your life, but they should all have something in common - the fact that they add to your life, not constantly take away and they also support you in your dreams... people are either going to be adding to your life or taking away from it. You yourself need to be a blessing to someone versus a hinderance."

“When your gut tells you something, listen.. You don't always have to react, but don't ignore it… It's just hard to listen sometimes when it's telling you something you weren't prepared to hear.. Word to the wise, listen to it.”

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A LadyLee Christmas.

Now I know you're saying...

"LadyLee... How the heck you gonna be all late with the Chirstmas report?"

I just am. My Christmas wasn't all that spectacular. I was just happy to have 2 weeks off. I don't really celebrate the holidays. I'm not really down with hanging out with the family and what not. I was more interested in being by myself really. (Yes. I admit. I am selfish. SUE ME!)

I don't do the whole family get together thing any more. That is over. Stresses me out because I always get in some doggone trouble. I am 37 years old, and I am DONE with all unnecessary and preventable drama.

Looks like the older I get, the less of it I tolerate. Makes me come off as evil, but I don't give a flip.


What I do is, during the week of Christmas: I spend a whole day with my Grandma, and a whole day with my Aunt. We all seem to enjoy ourselves a little better that way.

I took Grandma to see The Great Debaters, which she loved. (It is an excellent movie, and Grandma loves herself some Denzel!). I also took her to her favorite Christian Bookstore, and bought her a few books. I also let her know that I was going to hook her up with a debit card for use of some for her small expenses (gas, grocery, etc.), but she was not under any circumstances to tell my mama, cousins, uncles, etc. I would hate to have to open up my Book of Cuss on folks. I really would. 'Specially if they come smiling in my face.

So we were rolling hard in my z00m-zoom down the highway and I was carefully explaining this arrangement to her.

"It's called confidential, Lee. You want me to be confidential."
I glance at her and then back at the highway. "Yeah, yeah, confidential. Do you know what that word means."
"Yes I do. Confidential means confidential." She nods real slow.
*Lee frowns hard*
"Alright, alright. Long as you know."

Grandma nods again and gives me the hard eye squint.

I'm convinced that Grandma has a little undercover gangster in her. LOL!

I like hanging out with my Auntie Joyce. She always got some type of project going on, whether it be her oil painting, her doll making, sewing, soap making... She always into something. We like to get together, sit at her dining room table and work on things. This time, I was crocheting a blanket for Oscar-Tyrone. I actually finished it up.

Yes, he finally got himself a blanket. I made it with extra yarn left over from Tayari's blanket. I had to pretend it was mine for awhile, but I layed it at the bottom of the bed, and he has taken to it.

But Auntie, she came out the box on me. She took coffee filters and made some, uh, lovely snowflakes, something like that.

Auntie asked an interesting question:
"You wanna try, Lisa? I'll show you how to do it."

I looked at her like she had lost her mind, then straigtened up my face real quick. "Uh, no. That's alright. It's real pretty, but uh, no, you do YOUR thing, Auntie."


Of course, I made plenty of cookies.

I have a 100 dollar budget for Christmas, which means people get homemade gifts or a simple "Merry Christmas", if you do get that from me.

LadyTee got her usual gifts, which I know I've given her for at least the past 10 years: storage bags, soap, and cookies. This time I did something new. . . she'd been talking about parchment paper, so I got that too!

And it's that good soap, too. She got locked up once, and they gave her the jail issued soap. She complained to the officers that she had sensitive skin, and couldn't use it, and that she only uses Dove or Tone. Of course they laughed at her.

I, as her best friend, from then on, make SURE she has her Dove and Tone soap! Always!


I know she yelled at me something awful on Christmas morning, because I said I would be over there early. We were suppose to go to the dollar movies to see Tyler Perry's Why I Got Married. I messed around and got up late, and dedided to do some writing, which angered her. Plus her son got a Playstation 3 for Christmas.

"Anyway Lee, all you gonna do is get in that back room with Nell and play that doggone game!!"

Yeah, this was my intention, once she told me that was his major Christmas gift. Yes, I've been wanting a Playstation3, but have had to come to terms with the fact that I can't spend that type of money on some ish like that when I have other priorities. (Yes, I am growing up, finally).

"No, LadyTee, I will just have a look at it. Maybe 10 minutes or so. That's all."

*silence on the phone line*

She was hassling me something awful. I was suppose to be over there by eleven in the morning, but I think I got there by three.

Once I saw Nell, I was like... "Yeah, Yeeeeaaaah boy. I heare WE got US a Playstation3."

He had that same glow in his eyes that I have when it comes to gaming. He and I both LOVE the Playstation basketball games.

He wanted me to come look at it.

I had to play it off, or else LadyTee would diss me again, like she had been doing all Christmas morning...

"Dude, let me go in here and talk to your mama for a minute. But set up that Basketball game. Set me up as the Celtics," I whispered. "Go head on and set everything up. I'll be back there in a minute."

I talked to LadyTee, who was in the den, for a half hour or so, then pat her on the shoulder and told her that I was going to go check out Nell's game, and I would be back in a few minutes. She looked like she wanted to go off, but she didn't.

Yeah, I think me and the boy played that game for a good 2 hours. LOL!!

Later, LadyTee, her daughter, her mother Bobbie Jean, and myself went to the movies. That was a good time, especially since the price was 50 cents a piece! They made me drive, so I drove them NUTS with my Coffy Soundtrack.

Afterwards, LadyTee had me drive way off deep in the woods to some house that had a gazillion Christmas light decorations. They had it set up where you drive through their property and look at the displays. It was pouring down rain, and I wasn't in the mood, but I went along with the program.

Some of the displays were... interesting.

Man... when did the peeps from the Wizard of Oz get involved with Christmas?

And when did Snow White and Seven Dwarfs show up for Christmas? Snow White even has a wreath in her hand...

Yo... why is Snow White looking like she's had too much coffee... or too much meth... or has she had too much crack? I mean, she didn't look in the zone like that in the movie or in my coloring books... She looks like she might be singing that "You said I gotta go to rehab... I keep saying no, no,no!) LOL! And my goodness... I'm tripping out on Santa with the Baby Jesus. WOW! And I do love the cake with the candles!

I was all tuckered out after all of that... I went home and went straight to bed...

Overall, it was a great Christmas!