Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Woman after God's Own Heart: A Review and Personal Thoughts

*dedicated to Serenity3-0

Over the past 45 days or so, I've been working through a most interesting workbook.

A Woman After God's Own Heart Workbook by Elizabeth George.

It came along at a time when I was just really sad and upset and didn't know what to do with myself.

Serenity sent me an email about some book she wanted me to work through with her.

(I think she has annointed me her personal chaperone or something, lol)...

I immediately saw it as something that would help me to get some type of focus back into my life. Sure, I was doing my day to day things, still trudging along, but I needed something to get my mind back where it needed to be.

And this book was definitely the key to that.

It took 2 hours worth of driving to find it (I had it held at one bookstore on the southside, but had gone to the wrong store), but I finally found it. I sent her a text saying "I must really love you, because I have been driving a long time trying to cop this book).

Now, reading with Serenity is a funky situation. It is close to impossible to read a book with her. I do better to read and discuss a book with The LBeezy. That works well with us.

But not with Serenity.


"Chicken [my pet name for serenity], we gonna read 3 chapters a day."
"Okay," she says.
"Are you sure, Chicken?"
"Yes. that'll work," she replies.
"Okay, don't jump ahead."
"I won't."

Next thing you know, I get a text saying "I finished the book."

Meanwhile, I'm stuck back on chapter 4. I read slow, at the pace Miss Celie was reading when she was first learning to read that Oliver Twist book. Not sure how I got a doctorate degree with my reading skills, but it is what it is.

Serenity knows this and outpaces me to the point of finishing the book in a couple days.

Then I call her up and verbally shank her REAL good. To which she laughs.

Sigh. Baby sistas can be a problem.

But this book was different. It meant sitting down with one lesson a day, and doing a lot of writing and thinking. That slows everything waaaay down. So she was at least able to stay on program, although she flippantly mentioned in some post that she wanted to do more, and she knew I would cuss her out if we did.

Girl, I wouldn't cuss you out. I would knock you upside the head with my Book of Cuss, though. LOL

Our plan was to read a lesson a day, even on the weekends. There were 45 lessons. We would discuss it via email, and on the weekends, via facebook email. Last weekend, I was slack about putting my thoughts up in facebook email, and that chick called me and we had a phone discussion (Don't do that again, girl. I was trying to crochet and you threw me off). This worked pretty well.

But today, we've done the last lesson, so we are finished. And this book was the focal point of last quarter. It really truly helped me get back focused on what is truly important. It is still hard to keep my attention on what is truly important, with all the stress I've been experiencing on the job lately, but I intend to go back through certain lessons that helped me the most.

I think Serenity has been giving her thoughts on and off about this workbook. You have to search for them, as she posts 2384 times a day, lol... But I can tell you from our daily discussions that it has had a positive affect on her... and me too.

But I haven't given my thoughts on blog...

Anyway, I wanted to go over some of the things I learned from this book...

1. It was a great way to learn to study your bible if you have no idea how to do that. I like the way it was set up: whatever the subject matter was, there were several scripture you needed to look up concerning it. Most memorable were the scripture involving many of the people of the bible, people who not only made good decisions, but people caught up in really bad situations and making bad decisions. This workbook really forced me to sift through that and think about it, and it's application to myself.

2. There was a hard focus on the quality of one's prayer life. And if you don't know how to pray or what to pray about, this is THE workbook to get to COMPLETELY solve the issue in your life.
I pray, and get a lot of answered prayer, but this book forced me to write a lot of my personal issues down and to immediately pray about them.

The most critical and poignant question asked in this book was the following:

What life concerns are robbing you of your peace at this very moment?

I challenge you to sit down and answer that question... NOT in my comment section, but on paper, quietly to yourself.

Me and my friend spent some time journaling about this when I was vacationing in sunny Mexico last month. She's a journalling sister, so we were down for that.

I answered it, and it helped me fill in many of the cracks in my prayer life, and I've gotten many good results behind that. We had some pretty candid discussions about that. I know Serenity has formed a pretty good prayer journal behind this, and so have I. I think Serenity has developed a pretty good knack for praying and interceding for others, and that's a VERY good thing.

I plan on sitting down and writing a personal answer to the aforementioned question once a month or so, just to keep my prayer life centered.

3. There was much discussion on decision making. Again, if you are having trouble making decisions, this book will jack you up out of that. One of the most important truths I read in the book, and there was much scripture to back it up is:

Every decision you make either progresses your spiritual growth or inhibits your spiritual growth.

A short statement, but I really had to think about it, and it is most definitely true.

4. There were 2 weeks worth of lessons on being a proper wife and mother. I am neither one of these, as I am not married and I don't have any children. But suprisingly, this was one of the parts of the book that Serenity and I had the most discussion about. It caused me to reflect on my failed marriage quite a bit, which I didn't expect. And there's much that needs to be known if I ever decided to marry again. A suprisingly good section indeed.

5. I found the one week section on building, maintaining, and watching over your home to be very good. I got A LOT of good things done around my house that week. A lot.

6. Each lesson ended with a real life scenario, and we were to describe how we would deal with that situation, or how we would counsel these people. The problem was, some of these scenarios were some straight up craziness, i.e., they would make a helluva Lifetime movie. I wailed and hollered about this. Serenity was calm about it all. I know the author must've picked these up from real life situations, and I learned from it that we all have our own problems, and no matter how bad it looks, there are way to deal with it.

7. I learned overall, and this was a common theme of the book, that you must be continuously pouring into other's spirits. You can't be like the Dead sea: like standing water, never giving, never receiving. Always share what you are learning, always be giving into another person or situation... Do some things to help others grow or get ahead, and it will in turn help you.

Very good lesson... and it gives you a little glimpse (for those who know me) of why I do what I do. The discussions in this workbook will strenghthen me in that direction.

7. The most helpful sections to me were those on spiritual growth in many areas (giving, mental, social, service to others). It provided a good roadmap for such, and a guage for where I'm at. I must admit that I got terribly critical of myself in some of our discussions, because there is soooo much stuff that I can be doing, to which Serenity hollered

"You're one of the best people I know, LadyLee".

*Lee kicks the hard lip quiver*

Thanks for the endorsement, Chicken.

(Inside joke... don't get mad at me. This is my pet name for her, and for some reason she likes it, lol).

There was so much more that I learned from this workbook, but won't talk about here, in an effort to be brief (which you KNOW is impossible for me).

Thanks Serenity for allowing me to chaperone you through this workbook, lol. You know, as a big sister, I have to continuously monitor your activities.

I know you were thinking to yourself "What can I do to pick Leezie up off the floor?" because I was in such a bad place emotionally after Nikki's passing. No one knew what to do with me, but this helped me get back some semblance of normalcy and going forward. One of the things I will forever rememeber about my recent vacaction in the Mayan Riviera was waking up in the mornings before dawn, saying my prayers, and working on my workbook lesson for the day...

So I thank you for that...

Nothing like a Chicken swooping down out the sky and coming to the rescue.

You're a good friend indeed, Ma.

Sooo... I will continue to reference this book. I didn't write in my book, but put aside a journal for my answers and thoughts. I have 50 pages of good material in my journal to guide me in the right direction. It really set me on course to some important things, and helped me understand the who, the what, the why and the how to getting my spiritual growth together, and things I need to change.

So, I said I was giving away a third book, and this is it.

So, this is part of my quarterly personal assessment spiel... and I'm already giving away 2 other books...

I'm giving away this one too, along with a nice journal.

Now you better comment if you want a chance to win. I have A LOT of Serenity lurkers over in these parts. That chick has been hollering about this workbook, and I haven't. (I leave that up to her, as she posts 592 times a day).

So any commenting this week and last week is up for the drawing.

If you don't win... get this book. There is something in it that will steer you in the right direction.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Still continuing with my quarterly assessment...


Makes me think of one person these days.

The low point of last quarter for me was the loss of my friend Nikki, who I affectionately called "ATLien Nikki".

This really busted me up something terrible, because it was so unexpected. I really don't want to talk much about it, as although I am doing better with each passing day, not a day goes by that I don't think of her, and the impact of her friendship on my life.

I am just glad that I am not a crying mess like I was. I haven't cried much since mid-September.

I got a little choked up at my last visit to my immunologist.

I was staring at her as she was reading through my chart, telling me that my cholesterol was great, and that my numbers look good. The lupus was still active (it has never been in remission), but my numbers were much better. She was happy with my weight loss. I didn't say anything. I was busy blinking back the tears forming fast in my eyes.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"My friend died," I found the courage to say. "Of dermamyotitis, or something like that. I can't pronounce it. I know it's autoimmune. Do you treat people with that? I've read up on it, but I don't understand it. The symptoms are similar to my own, but I just don't understand."

She stopped me in the middle of my rambling. I never talk that much.

She said she did, and she had patients with it, and took some time to explain it to me. She usually talks "up" to me, since she always says "You a doctor, LadyLee, I know you don't want me keeping it simple."

But this time, she took time to explain it to me in a simple manner.

She talked of how there was usually something that went along with it and it had to be caught pretty fast. She then lectured me on how this is why she runs so many tests on me, many of which catch anything that creeps up on top of my own illness.

I nodded as she explained. It all made sense, what she was saying.

But it doesn't take away the pain.

I loss my friend.

This terrible thing happened, and you know, I don't expect people to understand. Nikki wasn't my best friend. A close friend, but not a best friend. But for some reason, people expect you to just pick up and keep it moving... like nothing ever happened.

I know this from sitting at Nikki's parents table, talking to her best friend.

"Lee, I don't know what to do. She was me, I was her. And people are tripping saying stuff like 'Girl, you acting like this was your man or something. Why are you so upset?"

That messed my head up. For the best friend is of higher magnitude than your man.

The best friend is the one who picks up the pieces when that man is tripping, or after the breakup.

The best friend is the costar of your life. My own best friend, LadyTee, has been the costar of my life for 30 years.

I'm suprised Nikki's best friend didn't beat the brakes off of whoever was saying such awful things.

And they were awful things to say.

And I can only imagine how Nikki's best friend feels. Me and Nikki had been friends for about 3 years.

Our friendship hadn't become close until this past year and a half.

She would listen to me cry.
I would listen to her cry.
She would let me know when I was wrong.
I'd let her know when she was wrong.
She celebrated my victories.
I celebrated hers.
She'd pray for me.
I'd pray for her.
She'd helped me out in some situations.
I'd helped her out in some situations.

To the point where we could look at each other and be like "Yo, that's my friend right there. That's who I KNOW got my back."

You don't really expect that out of someone you meet through blog. I met a TOTALLY different person, a bit different from who she was on blog. The same ol' Iniquitous One, Nikki, but with so many more layers...

So, there has been some distance. Nikki's been gone for close to 2 months. I am not the sniveling mess I was for so long. I can't remember a time when I'd cried so much. It feels good not to cry so much.

And I know people are wondering why I was so upset...

There are several reasons.

1. I have never lost a good friend before. I mean, we lose people, we are sad and hurt, but this was something totally different, to the point where I was wondering if I will ever feel alright again?

And it is rare to meet good folks as we get older. You know how we get all set in our ways. For me, my really tight friendships were cemented when I was younger. It's that way for me because people know the total "arc" of who I am. There are no judgments, they love you for just being you.

It was that way with Nikki and I. It hurts to lose that, as it is rare.

2. It was difficult to look at my friends after this. That question was swirling in my mind "What if something happens to you? What will I do?"

So I was isolatory. (Is that a word?) I needed to be alone with my thoughts. Didn't want to look at people, but was forced to. I am thankful for some semblance of returning to normalcy, but it was hard. I think I was suppose to go to a party the night of Nikki's funeral, and I could not bring myself to do it. People who know me well, know I can't up and fake it out when I am upset, sick or sad. I tend to be to myself. I don't apologize for that.

And with the added weight of looking at people and thinking "I hope you don't die, too," is difficult to bear.

I still think about that. I am still getting through that.

3. It is TOUGH to watch someone my age, with an illness very similar to my own, to die. I mean, it was unexpected and that was a shock in itself. It was tough just to see her deteriorate. It was tough to see her on constant oxygen. Just tough to see someone so vibrant and active at one time to be so sick.

I remember, maybe a couple of years ago over dinner, when I told her I had lupus, and had questions for her, since it ran in her family. She and I had issues after that because she was ALWAYS worried about me, and I had to get her to the point where she would treat me like I was "normal". We had a couple of spats over that. But as recently as this past March, I could see her pause whenever I cough, or her hard squint at me if I wasn't feeling well...

And it just really messes with the mind to see something similar hit her so suddenly and take her away from here.

It is difficult looking at the urn of ashes of a close friend.

Very difficult, and it really messes with the mind.

All this worrying about stuff... the type of cellphone one has, the type of car one has, etc...

It's all very minimal and moot.

Life can end... just like that.

It makes me think about what is truly important. Very much so.

4. I've never had anyone close out a friendship before. I like to believe that this is what she did. I didn't understand this until talking with some of her other friends and family. She'd done the same thing with her best friend. Nikki died on a Sunday, and I was to spend the Friday before that with her. But she wouldn't let me come around. Of course I knew she was bedridden, and heck, didn't bother me one bit to just jump in on the other side of the bed.

I got a little upset about that, but she said she was having a bad day. Turns out she was telling everybody that.

But maybe a couple of weeks before, I'd spent time with her. I had to say it was one of our best face to face convos, one of those life convos that you have with your girlfriends while you do each other's hair, or something like that.

We talked about much that night. We talke about when I almost died from my own illness, that whole body-shutting-down process. We even looked at an obituary of some cousin of hers who had just died of an autoimmune illness and had much discussion about that.

I didn't think much of this. No foreshadowing or anything. I was just happy to see my friend that day. She wasn't up to getting out of bed that day, so I had moved all her books and stuff off the other side of the bed and jumped in with her.

(Learned that from my best friend LadyTee. When I was bed ridden at the age of 15 (dislocated knee) and at the age of 32 (lupus complications),LadyTee would come over every afternoon after work and jump in the bed next to me and watch tv and make me laugh. Weird at the time, but comforting...)

Nikki gave me a hug, kissed me on my cheek and told me she loved me when I was leaving. She was too weak to walk me to the door.

And that was the last time I saw her. And I think that she wanted it that way.

I can only hope when my time comes, I have the chance to say goodbye to my friends and let them know what they mean to me. I really do.

Those are the main reasons why this bothered me so much. Nikki was someone I talked to every day and for that to be over hurts a lot. These days, I think of her genuiness toward me, especially in light of people who you think are your friends really probably aren't.

I miss the realness of her friendship. I am realizing how rare it is to have that in my life...

I am understanding that in all its rarity, not to ever take such for granted.

These days, I feel better. I hang out with her family from time to time. It is good to be around her people, and they are going on. I think her Mother had some of her friends "on program", i.e., we all had to take turns coming over, going through and helping sort out some of Nikki's things. I sorted through much of her yarn. Nikki was always hollering about us making little caps for newborns and donating them to the local hospital. I've decided to carry that little "dream" of hers on, and I've made that one of my goals for 2010.

So there is healing... with time.

I am glad of that.

I will forever miss my friend, for she was a TRUE friend, through and through.

I can only hope I was for her what she was for me.

I was fortunate to know you, Nikki. I truly was. My true friendships, well, I am more aware and thankful for them now because of you.

I thank God for our paths crossing. I never knew that us being fans of each others blogs would lead to such an important life friendship...

You will forever be in my heart.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Funny Monday...

The Cowgirl Cre decided to honor my appointment to hang out for her birthday near the tail end of star-studded 4 day birthday bash of a weekend.

Well, I was around the house getting ready. I was sweeping the floor, when I heard a jiggle of a key in the front door.

*Lee stands stark still, gripping the broom in a way so that she can bust a sucka upside the head if need be. Oscar-Tyrone runs to the door*

It was my sister.

Followed by my Mother.

Apparently, no one knew I was off today.

"Hey Lisa!" my mother yelled.

I said hey back to her. (Don't worry, no attitude here. I did scream inside, though.)

She and my sista roll pretty tight lately. Not around my camp, though. No one knew I was home.
All involved were shocked.

Mother immediately started cleaning. "You know when I come over here, I clean up."

I immediately looked around and saw that much of my mail and bills were on the table. Me and my sister have had a talk about this. I fully support any relationship she has with our mother, but man, I asked her to PLEASE let me know when they are stopping through here so I can put my personal financial stuff up. I don't want her "cleaning up" and happening across my personal bizness. I shouldn't have to worry about this where I live, but Kentucky don't know how to tell nobody to sit down and relax.


Whatever. I am proud of myself for participating in a civil convo.

Kentucky was off. She'd apparently caught some very large lip herpes simplex 10 craziness from one of her students. She thinks she picked it up from some homework he turned in. She has been staying with Ma to save me and my lowly immune system.

I sprayed Lysol on her and everything she touched all the way out the door.


Hopefully she will be alright. Until then, stay away!!

Cowgirl Cre scooped me up afterwards. We laughed about this. Then we went to see the Chris Rock Documentary, Good Hair.

Very well done. Very funny, but also makes you think. He went over to India to the actual hair weave merchants. VERY interesting. Go see it!

Then we had dinner at Boneheads over in Atlantic Station.

Good food!

Cowgirl Cre had the taco combo (1 each of fish, shrimp, and chicken), and the grilled zuchinni.

They have a nice motto.

I told Cowgirl Cre "You know, the fish sounds good. Wonder how much they will charge me for a little piece on a fork?" LOL

I didn't go out like that. I had a GREAT salad.

It was topped with grilled portabella mushrooms. I have to figure out how to do that on my stove top grill. Very nice.

I think we sat in the restaurant and talked for well over 2 hours.

We can't do that at work. Too many long ears... (Sometimes, even though we sit next to each other in the cubicle, we have to email each other). It felt good to talk freely.

A good mental day off, with all it's suprises and laughter.

Gotta do that more often.
This is actually a good Monday Morning.

Because I am OFF today.

For no reason at all.

An Oldgirl needs a mental day.

I am not my job.

We were at half staff last week in our group. Not a big deal, but goodness gracious, I was working my tail off, with not much progress (well, not to my satisfaction). I think by Wednesday, I was like... you know... I think I need a 3 day weekend.

So I will be behind. So what. Negroes will grumble and look at me sideways. SO the "bleep" WHAT. (My goodness I wanted to pull out my good Book of Cuss, but I will spare you).

I am not my job.

(I found that quote in my smile box yesterday. Took it out and taped it to the bathroom mirror. Those 5 little short words really free my mind).

So I am off today. And it feels good.

No real schedule today. It's all overcast and chilly outside. No skipping through the tulips today, lol.

I have a few chores to do today... and of course, I will get ready for the work week.

My friend and work cubicle mate is winding down a most fabulous 4 day birthday weekend, so we are hopefully hooking up later this afternoon to go see that Chris Rock documentary Good Hair.

But today will be mostly surround relaxation and organization. I may even get a tad bit of writing done.

My Weekend. I had a pretty nice weekend. I got up early Saturday morning, did some reading and chores. I had a book club meeting/baby shower that day, and I'd slaved away on finishing up a baby blanket all week. I washed and trimmed it on Saturday morning. (Man oh man, it was ROUGH working like a hebrew slave all day and then coming home working 3 to 4 hours on a blanket. ROUGH!).

But it was a pretty good meeting. We read my blog cousin Carleen Brice's Children of the Waters. Most everyone loved the book, and I think the average rating was an 8. (I of course loved the book and rated it at a nine).

One of our book club sistas, "Seabreeze", is expecting a baby. She and her hubby had been working hard on this for a few years, and I remember her saying last year that she thought this would be the year. I started working on the baby blanket then, making small squares, when she said that. I could feel her faith, and wanted to get in on that!

For some reason, I thought she was due in February. But she is due in December. THEN they bust up and was talking about a baby shower on 10/31. THEN they bust up and wanted to have an additional baby shower with the book club meeting.


I had the blanket squares off in a bag, thinking I had time, so I had to really SMOKE to get that blanket done... That crochet needle was on fire, mayne. LOL.

But I got it done, and she loved it. I usually crochet at meetings, and Seabreeze has looked on with envy, lol... So I was glad to give her a baby blanket...

Don't feel like putting up pictures. I'll load them up next week...

Sunday, I had a finance group meeting. I haven't been in 2 months, and it shows. I am pandering along, but not being incredible vigilant with my finances. I plan on paying off 2 additional debts that creeped up this year by year's end, so I am going to get laser focused on that. We are going to eat this thing like we eat an elephant... one bite at a time.

Post of the Week. One of my own! A guest spot over at the House of Serenity, The Mystery of Mourning.

Someone asked me how that came about. She and I were discussing some stuff on our daily emails, and she likes to get my lame opinions on things. So she demanded that I write it up in a post. I've done this before, and posted up, but I didn't deem it appropriate for what I am doing over here for these 2 weeks so I told her to post it at her spot. So there you have it... guest spot.
I try to get that chick not to mention my name, because her followers come over here and sorry ya'll, it is NOT the same type of blog as she has... We deal with two different types of clientele, lol...

So looking forward, I want to finish up my quarterly personal assessment for the third quarter. I want to get this done this week. I think I am slow poking around because it's a little darker than I care for, but it is still me, and it all still a part of the personal effects on my life and thinking. Plus, things are already happening now that should be included in the 4th quarter posts (i've already written those posts), and I don't want to get all of that confused and fused in with this...

So... stay tuned. I, the Oldgirl, will be posting all week. And don't forget to comment if you want to be in on the book giveaways...

Lo and behold, a third book is being added to the mix...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Do You

One of my favorite pictures of my September vacation...

The birthday girl Kimmie-Kim asleep on the plane ride to Mexico.

(I think her whole row was knocked out. LOL).

Reminds me that you can be a diva whereever you are, right in place where you stand... or sleep...

Do You.

Have a great weekend... On Purpose.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


When pondering my life the last few months
I close my eyes and I see many words
A cacophony of words
Circling all about my head
At times beautiful like songbirds
Serenading me
Loving me with their beautiful voices
At times ugly like vultures circling and circling
Laying in wait for my most vunerable moments
Waiting to strike
Chewing me up
Taking me out

A cacophony of words
Swirling all about my head
Falling down suddenly
Landing at my feet
A disheveled mess
A pattern so intricate
that I don't recognize
Or I can't understand


A cacophony of words
A dishelved mess at my feet
A pattern so intricate
I don't understand
Can barely explain.

That is the gist, the bare essence, of my personal assessment for the third quarter of this year. The very core of all the feelings I've had, some of which I won't even discuss in upcoming posts, much of which I will. But it was quite a trying time for me, as some events overshadowed and swallowed up happier moments.

All events have helped me evaluate myself, and although sometimes painful, have helped me grow as a person.

They've helped me grow as a woman.

Seems like so much is happening, faster and faster, as I approach the wise age of 40.

So much has happen.

So much to ponder indeed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guest Blogging Duties

Guest blogging today...

Tacking my thoughts up over in the Chicken's Coop.

Painting my words up on the walls of The House of Serenity.

"The Mystery of Mourning"

Holler back, ya'll.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fowl Lessons

I went on a trip back in July to the west coast of Florida, not for vacation, but for work purposes.

It was one of those things when a command from the Ivory Tower (the offices of our illustrious leader) that I should go since I'd had training on a particular piece of equipment, and that more training would be provided.

I was sore over this. I absolutlely don't like traveling for the gub'ment. It involves MUCH paperwork and authorization. And on a 2 week trip some 7 years ago, my lupus got really bad and I spent some time in the hospital afterwards.

This Oldgirl don't like business travel AT ALL...

I didn't say no to my boss. She is deftly afraid of the King. I would've hated for her to have to go down to the Ivory Tower and bow and say "That Oldgirl said 'Ya'll can go sit on a tack! She ain't going NOWHERE."

I just went. Free trip away from the laboratory.

I'd been there before. The conference was taking place at a resort on the beach. Nothing swanky, but a resort, no less.

I decided to make a vacation out of it. Well, vacation after the day's lectures and trainings.

For I knew the way to the beach...

I was familiar with the sway of a palm tree.

I knew about the selling of sea shells by the sea shore...

And I knew how to appreciate a good sunset.

I also knew of how to sway the hearts of seagulls.

One of my favorite things to do after our sessions let out was to go down to the beach and feed the sea gulls. I'd bought a couple packages of the cheesy goldfish to snack on during the session...

The birds seem to like them. I was by far the most popular Oldgirl on the beach, for sure.

And I make sure whenever I have an occasion to provide sustenance to birds, I do so.

For it is a lofty reminder of Matthew 6:25-26 (CEV)

"I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?"

I, LadyLee, am worth more than a bird. I have worth.
I also captured some really nice flight shots of the birds.

I REALLY love this one. This is by far the best photo I have ever taken.

I was tossing crackers high in the air, over my head. My specialist "Wang" ran across the sand towards me, arms flailing, hollering to the top of his lungs, "Stop it LadyLee! Stop that! They're gonna sheet in your head! THERE'RE GONNA SHEET IN YOUR HEAD!!!!"

I laughed at him. Whatever. They didn't "sheet" in my head. LOL

A young girl yelled "Mommie, Mommie, the birds are following the lady! They're following the lady!"

"No dear," she said. "They are following her because she is feeding them."

Yes, I was feeding them. I had something they wanted.

They were only around because of what they could get from me, only because of what I had to offer.

Not because they loved me.

Not because they wanted the best for me.

Not because they had any concern for my hurt, my pains and my tears...

None of that.

Only because of what they wanted something from me.

I thought about this as I marched up and down the beach, a flock of seagulls marching in step behind me.

Life is about motive and agenda...

Business and pleasure go hand in hand, but people and motives... well, you have to examine those closely. It is more difficult than the obvious desires of mere fowl. More complicated than a solitary walk on the beach.

Even more strenous and complicated to discern and display honesty and sincerity concerning my own motives and agendas... which I am well practiced in.

And with that, I think I am taking it too deep. Let's keep this about business, pleasure, beautiful beaches, and birds who simply adore me...

But... It's funny what you learn from leading hungry birds along a sandy beach...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Monday...

Once again... Monday is upon me.

The difference today is that it is COLD outside. 38 degrees to be exact. And there are freeze warnings and frost advisories. And that is just odd.

I am still expecting 100 degree temperatures.

I don't think that's gonna happen. It's going to hit the high sixties at the most.

My weekend. This was a slow enough weekend. When I say slow, I mean there were no pressing things to do. And that's how I like it.

I had some burglar alarm work done this weekend. The alarm at my house back on October 1, I believe, and had to rush home to see about it. Heck, I didn't even say I was leaving work, just left. We have an unbelievable gossip news wire at work, and let's just say I didn't want to be the headline for the day. So I just left. Turns out that one of the sensors of my bedroom window was going out. I'd had a problem with it a few months ago, when me and my sister were talking in my bedroom and the alarm chimed like a door was opening or something. We figured out that it was my window. Opening and closing it seem to fix the problem. But I guess not, because I got a call at work.

By the time I got home, the police had come and gone. And looking at the boxes, there was an error with that same window. So I had it repaired on Saturday.

Okay, somebody help me out here. The repairman said he would be here between 8 am and noon.

Why did Ray-Ray come up in here at 12:01? What the heck is up with that? Why do they do that??? Geez?

And of course he couldn't find anything wrong with my window. I explained it to him several times and he just looked at me like I was crazy. After MUCH convo, he decided to change my bedroom windows over to wireless. Good enough.

I wanted to yell, "Now get outta my house with your late behind!"

But I didn't.


Television for womens. I ended up crocheting most of the day, and then having to run down to Fayetteville for more baby yarn. It's a 30 mile journey, so I made the drive and called my BFF LadyTee to see if I could stop by, since she lives down that way. They were watching some ol' sappy movie on the Hallmark channel. Ugh. I don't like touchy-feely movies.

"Lee, I like movies on the Hallmark channel," LadyTee said. "You know you're gonna have a happy ending."

"I can't stand that," I said. "Give me some violence."

*LadyTee kicks the hard eyeroll*

Needless to say, when their nice touchy-feely movie ended, we turned to Lifetime, Television for women.

I like Lifetime. Somebody is cheating, getting shot. Some woman is usually on the run from some angry dude. I like that!

LadyTee doesn't. But she and I watched a movie anyway. It was quite violent!

I'd taken a bag of crazy bread and crazy sauce over and we shared that. We both got sleepy as hell. I didn't watch the entire movie. It was one of them thangs where I was like "Ok! Commercial Break! I'm outta here! The movie will still be on when I get home, so let me know what happened!"

*Lee snatching up crochet project and running out the door*

LadyTee watched me walk out to the car, yelling (as usual) "Hurry up and get in that car! It's cold as hell out here!"


I got home, got in the bed and called her and she finished filling me in on the movie, the part that I missed. That movie was too doggone mysterious and complicated for Lifetime.

I guess they are getting more sophisticated over in those parts, I suppose.

Sunday. A good slow day. I went out to the white people's Whole Food for groceries. It was a field trip of sorts, because I usually go the ghey people's Whole Foods in midtown. (That is closer to the job). But the one in ritzy buckhead is very nice. A nice field trip indeed.

Then I came home, watched football and crocheted. (Man, I really need to smoke out this current crochet project. REALLY).

I am also finishing up a book right now: Soul Kiss by Shay Youngblood. Never heard of this writer, but Tayari dropped her name and seems to like this writer's teaching skills. So you know I worship the ground Tayari spits on. I probably can't afford to take a class by such a writer. So I decided to read some of this chick's writing.

My goodness, Tayari. We must talk. This is a bit on the deep side. A GREAT writer, but my goodness. GLBT writing is a bit hard to read. Good grief. I am a bit mentally exhausted behind it. YIKES!

A cool laid back weekend indeed.

Well, it's time for my quarterly assessment, a look of things that happened in my life that had an effect on me, between the months of July to September.

And I need to get it out the way... as there has been October drama already.

Man... I was thinking that I may have to sensor myself up in this camp. Negroes from the other buliding pulling me to the side, emailing me about some stuff I wrote. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff said about me. WOW. I didn't know peeps lurk on my blog THAT hard.

LOL. I ain't gonna sensor myself. This ain't high school. I'm grown.

Two things going on here: I am either a terribly malicious, very BAD person, or I am one who doesn't do what folks think I should be doing.

You know which one it is.

There are people in this world who simply don't like me. Imagine that!!


Very interesting. And can't worry about it. I will continue being who I am. I don't apologize for that. AT ALL. I'ma do me, and I'ma BE me. I gravitate towards people who build me up as a person. Constructive criticism is key for me too, especially when it comes with finding solutions. But craziness don't count. Now, when you begin manufacturing the air I breathe, then the negative things you think of me will begin to matter. And since that ain't never gonna happen, well... you get the picture. I'm learning to know who my true friends are. Period. And that's a good thing. (As if I didn't know this already. Really.)

Keep it smurfy or keep it moving.

Quarterly assessment has its perks. It's for suffering through my nonsmurfiness. So, as usual, any comments left in the next 2 weeks of my assessment period are up for the book drawing. I'm giving away 2 books...

Like last time, if you comment, I will enter your name in a drawing and you have a chance to win one or both of the following books.

One of my favorite books, blogger Chele's Confessions of a Beautiful Woman.

And/or Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Klauser.

This book was a staple of my old journalling group. If you need some direction in the proper goal setting, then this is the book for you.
If you have both of those books, we will just have to figure something out. Maybe I'll send you some money or something, lol...

(Don't hold your breath).

I will sprinkle pics of my vacation in here somewhere in the mix. Still have much more to share.

I had a good week last week. Me and my doc came up with a good work plan for myself. (It's BAD when my doc has to do this). And things are working out better. I have been having some stress related isshas, and they are clearing up. I am happy about that. Hopefully I can hold it down this week.

You hold it down too... on purpose.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Freestyles

I haven't posted all week.

What in the world is my problem?

Nothing really. Just busy. I've been doing much fall cleaning around the house in the evenings, and a bit of reading and sleeping in in the mornings. So blogging has fallen by the wayside.

The weather has been nasty here in the ATL. I am sick of rain. Enough already. And it's that hard ugly vacation stopping rain. That kind that destroys hopscotch markers carefully chalked on the asphalt... the kind that steals the bounce from yellow tennis balls left in the backyard.

(Uh, that is QUITE a visual. It ain't mine... that's from the first paragraph of Tayari Jones' Leaving Atlanta. I must acknowledge that or that Oldgirl will bust me upside the head with a lawsuit, lol).

It's been raining and cold. I don't like that combo. Either one or the other. I turned the furnace on last night, just to knock the chill off the house. Left it on a little too long, so it was a bit warm up in this camp.

Well, it's good to know the furnace works!

*Lee wipes sweat from brow*

I have had a good week at work, in contrast to last week. The key has been to ignore management and their monkey wrenchs. Set my own daily goals, and just work it out. Period.

They just need to make sure they pay me every other Friday. And today is Pay Day.

And some bonus money is on this check. Glory.

Happy 45th birthday to one of my favorite authors and bloggers, that Original Oldgirl Chele!

I was hoping she wasn't going to work. She's not. I think she's taking a little weekend vacation. That is GREAT! Nothing worse than going to work on your birthday. Geez.

She has been doing a 45 day self discovery countdown to her birthday. It has been very interesting to read, and has given me things to think about concerning my own life, especially since I am turning 40 soon.

So, good for you, Chele. Happy Birthday Oldgirl! Enjoy your day!

Well, that's it for Freestyle Friday. I have more to say, but I'll save it.

You all have a great weekend! On purpose, now... really.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Vacation Part V: "Card Sharking"

I like playing cards...

And I ain't talking about Spades. (Still trying to learn that. And is the devil. Just want ya'll to know that).

I like playing REAL cards. I like playing poker.

I've played Carribean Stud in the past at Casinos, and I usually break even.

Not enough for me to go professional or to be a card carryin' member of Gambler's Anonymous, you see.

But while on vacation, there was Texas Hold 'Em games held out near the pool in the Activity Center.

And on the day before we left to come back to flooded out Atlanta, an Oldgirl decided to take a little field trip out to the pool and catch a little action.

It turned out that there was a 20 dollar buy-in...

I could do that. Heck, I'd only spent 30 dollars in tips while there for 4 days. I could spare 20 bucks.

I took a seat at the table and ordered a margarita.

There were trash talking white dudes there. And a couple of European gals, too. One of them threw 20 euros into the pot. (That was interesting. I'd never seen Euros before).

There were 8 people in all... A bit too many, but heck, it was all in fun...

That fella sitting directly across from me... he was talking his ass off. Analyzing everybody and every move. Bragged about playing in tournaments. Yada, yada, yada...

They were all very interesting people. I didn't have much to say. Just listened... and watched, mostly.

I was mesmerized by this tatted fella. I know it had to be painful getting those tats all on his arm.

I wondered what kind of job he had, where he can be tatted up like that. I wanted to ask, but folks who know me know how I am around people I don't know.

I was eerily quiet. Playing and snapping pictures of the action.

(I know they were wondering why the heck I was taking pictures, lol. No one asked.)

Oldgirl had a few chips...

That was my short stack... about an hour into the game.

The chatty fella across from me was hollerin' "Don't count her out! She has a short stack, but she could come back!"

Folks weren't listening.

An Oldgirl stayed in the game while others were being picked off.

An Oldgirl hustled a few more chips...

I kept on playing. 2 hours in, I ordered up a strawberry daquiri with a shot of tequila on the side.

Tapped my feet to an INSANE 15 minute version of Diana Ross' Love Hangover. (I really LIKE that song.)

An Oldgirl knows how to stack chips...

Yep... That Oldgirl knows a little something about chips.


It got down to me and the tatted fella. They were whining about how he and I should split the money.


"N'awl,man... let's keep going, heads up," I said.

By that time, close to 3 hours in, Def Leppard was blaring over the loud speaker. It was really irking me and it was time to push dude. I was ready to go curl up on a lounge chair down at the beach with my book.

Final hand: Tatted dude had a Jack and a King... I had a Queen and a Jack.

LadyLee got them Euros!

LadyLee got ALL the bread!

That's how you do that there. Really.

I had a good time.

Should've been playing the first day I got there, lol...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Vacation Part IV: Sun and Ocean

This post goes out to Miss Celie (Tayari Jones)...

'Cause she scratches out my head when I was ailing.


She sent the most interesting text message before she took off for Brazil

"Bye Bye Nettie! Hold it down while I'm gone:)"

Really. I will hold it down, Celie. Whatever that means.

Celie was hanging out all over the Meditteranean last month. Now she's skipped off to South America. It looks like business though. She is lecturing down. Hope they are ready for her, because Celie know she talk fast.

I texted back for her to dip her big toe in the Amazon for me, lol...

She gave me my first pictures of good vacation water. I was so happy to replace hers with pictures of my own...

Safe travels, Celie... Don't forget to write!!!

When we first arrived at our resort, we changed out of our traveling clothes and walked around the property. We happened upon the beach...

We'd just made our way from the Cancun airport through heavy showers, so it was a bit dreary, but also very calm.

The Birthday girl, Kimmie-Kim at the beach...

The way she was looking at the water... well, I thought she was gonna dive in for a swim.

A couple of days later, we got some good sunshine down there. And it was hot, at a crazy 92 degrees...

And that made for some much better pictures. I wanted to catch a sunrise, but I was too chicken to walk down to the beach so early in the morning. I only took a couple of pictures of the sun:

Snapped quite a few pictures of the ocean.

My favorite one: