Friday, July 31, 2009

Freestyle Fridays

Oh my... I don't have much to blog about.

We will go with another Freestyle Friday... just talking about whatever's on my mind.

I'm glad it's Friday. Thank goodness. But this is going to be a long hard workday. This is okay, as the time will past by super fast. I can't wait for 6:30 to get here! That's when my weekend officially starts.

I was combing my hair this morning, and I saw a bunch of gray hairs. My sister was in the kitchen fixing breakfast and I told her to look at it, to make sure that it was not my imagination, and it turns out to be true: I have about 20 to 30 strands of gray hair.

I didn't moan or groan. I told my sister

"It means I'm getting wiser!"

LOL. Gotta think positive!

For Breakfast this morning, I had some yellow corn grits with peppers and vegan cheese and a glass of orange juice. For lunch, I'm having chicken nuggets (vegan), broccoli crunch salad, a pear, and some nuts and seeds. I'm also having some nice... water.

OH JOY!

Not sure what I'm having tonight. Tonight is rib night at the vegan grocery store. May run up on them and catch a rib plate and some collard greens! That some good eatin' right there, enough to give this Oldgirl a case of the 'itis!

I can't believe that July is almost over. And I can't believe that I have been vegetarian for 2 whole months.

That comes out to be:

61 days

1464 hours

87840 minutes

5,270,400 seconds

Wow. That's a long time. One more month to go. If I make it through the month of August, we will kick it out until Dec. 31. Make it that far, and that's it... We'll just stay in that groove!

I feel alot better. And that's all that matters...

I turn 40 in February. So, I am already contemplating my 40th birthday vacation. I don't plan to be anywhere in Georgia that week, much less work. (The HORROR).

Places I'm thinking about: Cancun, Barbados, Aruba, or Dominican Republic.

Book club sistas, if ya'll trying to do this, well let's do this!! LOL...

I'm glad to be thinking about it. Turning 40 is gonna be a memorable time for me!

That's it for Freestyle Friday!

I'm looking forward to a great weekend... Heading to a spa party tomorrow, hope to visit one of my favorite bloggers ATLien Nikki, who's in the hospital. I know she is feeling better because she wants some cookies, lol... I have a host of other stuff going on.

I hope to get it all done it 2 days!

Oh well... we'll work it all out.

Ya'll have a great weekend... on purpose.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Workplace Funnies: "Dirty Ol' Man!"

(Special dedication to Mama Bandit Denise Freeman... because I know she has a heart...lol)



There's one in every girl's life...

Or two.

Or three...

And that is: An Old Man who tries to run up on you, like he still got it.

That Old Man that think he got some rap left.

A Dirty Ol' Man.

Mine is an Old janitor on the job. He's not very tall, and shuffles when he walks, sort of like a zombie. He has a lazy eye, so I can't tell if he's looking at me. His hair sticks up all over his head, and he wins the bad teeth award.

It's almost like he's lying in wait for me, waiting for me to walk around a corner, just so he can say...

"Hey Sweet Thing."

I cringe when I hear those three words, or even as I hear the creepy creak of his garbage can on wheels.

And it's even worse when I'm waiting for the elevator, pressing the call button repeatedly (as if that will make it come faster).

And I kid you not, not a day goes by that the elevator doesn't slowly open, and there he is standing there, with his stinky garbage can. When he sees me, he smiles broad, showing his brown crooked teeth (a few are missing).

He always croons "Hello Ferleesher."

"Hello," I say. My voice is like that of a cheap robot.

My curt reply never deters him. I think it pumps him up or something. It boosts his confidence or something.

A convo takes place on the elevator. I am up against a wall, as far away from hm as possible. He leans on his garbage can like he's leaning on a bar in a nightclub, enjoying his favorite drink.

Before the elevator doors slide open, he always says in his low scratch voice...

"Can I take you out to lunch?"

My answer is ALWAYS "I brought my lunch."

(I throw up a little in my mouth every time this happens).

And my name isn't "Ferleesher". I have no idea where he gets that from. I don't correct him. People laugh at this. My reasoning is that if I'm at the Wal-mart, or somewhere away from the workplace, and he sees me and yells "Ferleesher!", well... I technically don't have to turn around.
For that is not my name.

He flirts hard with several of the women on the job.

(It's as if he stands in the mirror every day and speaks softly to himself "I am Denzel Washington...I AM Denzel Washington.")

We all cringe as we talk about it.

Now, it would just take one simple phone call, and me putting on my serious "Dr. LadyLee" persona, to complain and get this man fired.

But I won't do that. I don't want to be responsible for anyone losing their job.

LadyLee has a heart, you see.

I just tune him out. We all are mildly interested when he talks about his being part of a Chitlin circuit gospel group. He brought in pictues. In those, he looks like he is dressed up and looks like he got a bit of sense.

He has some good in him, I suppose. But he is still a flirt. I continue, over these past 7 or 8 years, just to stay out of his way as best I can.

But there was one incident that pissed me off almost to the point of making a few phone calls.

So...

I was in the lab one day by myself, working hard, listening to some old school music, enjoying myself (as much as can be at work), when my work group Super Hero
The Infamous Hen-Dog, runs in.

He is laughing so hard that he can hardly breathe. I look at him, then back at my experiment. He leans on me, trying to catch his breath.

"What's wrong with you?" I ask.

"You won't' believe what Mr. Billy said about you!" he hollers, all the while trying to catch his breath.

"Whatever," I say.

Hen-Dog finally catches his breath, and says, in a low and gravelly voice just like the Dirty Ol' Man, "I was talking to him, just shooting the breeze, when he said 'Yeah, I saw that Ferleesha walking down the hall."

I roll my eyes hard.

Hen-Dog had yet another hard laughing fit before he could continue.

"He said, 'Yeah, I saw that girl. I spoke to her, ask her how she been. Told her I hadn't seen her in awhile, wonder where she been."

"Yeah, I saw that dude rolling that trash can down the hall."

Hen-Dog had another laughing attack. He was beginning to irritate me.

Hen composed himself and continued. "He said 'Yeah, I asked that girl where she been, and she started just blushing! She said 'I been here'."

What. the. hell.

I almost dropped what I was doing.

"What?" I yelled.

Hen-Dog had another laughing conniption fit.

"Blushing?" I yell. "Are you serious? You know good and well that ain't true, man."

"I know, I know," Hen said. "He just be talking."

"Ya'll need to correct that dude when he's lying like that."

"Oh, he's just tryng to compete with the young dudes, that's all."

"Whatever! Not at my expense." I cringed at the very thought of it.
"Dude is a liar. I am not blushing over him."

Hen-Dog has a bad habit of hyping the Dirty Ol' Man up. He probably listened to these lies with a straight face.

I was not happy about that. It would take just one phone call of complaint to the janitorial service that services our building and he would lose his job.

I won't do that. I would just rather avoid him. (Which is impossible).

His wife picks him up everyday from work. I find it very interesting that he doesn't spin his "rap" when his wife is outside. He shuffles hard towards the door and down the stairs, being sure not to eye me with that lazy eye of his.

I imagine myself rapping on her window and kindly asking her to tell her husband to stop harrasing me.

She probably already knows he's A Dirty Old Man.

And I wouldn't bust a joker up like that.

LadyLee has a heart, you see.

But I will just continue to avoid him as best I can. For I can hear the creak of the wheels of his garbage can a mile away.

*LadyLee turning around and walking FAST in the opposite direction*

The other day, The Dirty Ol' Man stopped me in the hall and said "I heard a name on the intercom, and I asked somebody who it was they were talking about, and they said it was you. I been calling you Ferleesher all these years? You should've told me that wasn't your name."

I stare blindly, and shrug. (I wonder if that would be mistaken for blushing?).

So now... when I turn a corner, he's usually there, tying up a trash bag.

He beams when he sees me, and yells "Helllloooo Aleeeeeeeshaaaaa!! How are you today, sweet thing?"

"Fine," I reply, my voice flat as an iron, edged with venom.

And the saga continues.

Luckily, Hen-Dog hasn't come running in the lab, screeching and laughing.

I would hate to lose my heart, and make a few phone calls.

Nothing worse than a Dirty Ol' Man who still think he got some rap left.

Hopefully, he will someday see the light, and leave me alone.

That probably won't happen.

(Maybe I should make sure to blush in front of his wife. I think that will clear it all up. Real fast. LOL)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

***Happy Birthday Southern Black Gal***

One of my blog sistas, That Southern Black Gal turns 31 today.

Happy Birthday Gal!!

My goodness. I don't even want to KNOW what she's doing to celebrate her birthday. Don't even want to know.


But for your birthday, I thought I'd invite your favorite rapper T.I. to perform on the front porch of the House of LadyLee.

You enjoy this, Gal... Because this ain't my type of music. Catch it while you can, babes!



Humph. He is such a whisper of a man. And got the nerve to take his shirt off to show off his huge muscles.

But that's your "whisper", girl.
Work it out!

Happy Birthday!
And many more.

LadyLee.

Monday, July 27, 2009

book giveaway winners (2nd quarter 2009)

Excuse that last post, I was all over the place and was not all that ecstatic about returning to work. I had a glass of almond milk and an apple, and I feel much better, lol.

On to happier news...

I yanked my sister Kentucky out of bed this morning and forced her to pull the winners out of the solid gold ziplock bag, lol.

And here are your winners!!




Sonya and The Brown blogger, Hassan!

Congratulations! You just won fabulous prizes. Hassan, you get Write it Down, Make it Happen. Sonya, you get Confessions of a Beautiful Woman.

Congratulations to the winners of these lovely prizes. Email your info to me, and I will get those out to you!

Good Monday Morning!

Good Monday Morning!

It's a dreary day in the ATL. In fact, it's suppose to rain all week long.

Yet the high is suppose to reach 87 degrees today.

Not sure how that's gonna happen with all this thick cloud cover. On top of that, it's gonna rain every afternoon. (Not looking forward to that at all).

But, it is what it is.

Whether it's blazing hot or bitterly cold, I appreciate the day.

Something good is going to happen today. If not for me, then for someone else.

Yes, a food for thought nugget for your Monday morning.

My weekend. I had a decent weekend. My weekend started on Thursday afternoon when I flew back from the Tampa Bay area to Atlanta. I was SO very happy to be home, as I am not a seasoned traveler. (And I can't STAND traveling for the job).

I hung out with my sister on Thursday afternoon. I thought she was only going to K Mart, but the chick is a shopaholic. Let's just say I was exhausted after "running the streets" with that chick all afternoon.

This is okay. I was just happy to spend time with my sister. And I wanted to get out and see some black people. Not seeing many peeps that look like me does something to an Oldgirl.

Friday? I don't remember Friday. I was vegging out on Friday. And Saturday was much of the same. I think I got a lot of chores done around the house.

Sunday: the highlight of my day was my Financial Freedom Fighters meeting on Sunday afternoon.

I baked the usual batch of cookies and headed on out to Henry County to our leader's house. July was the first month that I hadn't made up a budget, so I am a bit discombobulated.

But I went anyway. I needed a little motivation to get myself into gear.

But our fearless leader, the Green Eyed Bandit, was so moved by Friday's post on Finance that she pulled out her laptop and decided to read it aloud to all the ladies.

*Lee shrinks in embarrasment*

It is soooooo weird to hear my words read aloud. Now, I've had to read aloud in writing class, but that's about it. I believe that was the first time I heard my words read aloud by someone else.

Very strange indeed.

I think it was odd because it is very rare for me to express my feelings about anything. Much of that is because I've always been punished for having thoughts and feelings about anything, that may differ from whoever or whatever, so as a result, I keep my feelings to myself.

I think that is why I like my blog... I can express myself without any fear of retaliation. It is a forum for myself, and I do A LOT of talking to myself through here, and things can be a little "veiled" in that aspect.

In a lot of cases where things are not all smurfy, I am trying to answer the age old questions of

How do I feel about this?
Why do I feel this way?
Where do I go from here?

It was a bit strange to have my feelings read aloud and not be bashed up about it. There was a little discussion about it afterwards, and I got much out of that.

I just find it a bit odd that it is helpful to anyone else.

My personal "blog pusha" The Green-Eyed Bandit tends to think otherwise. I hear she emails my post around...

Her Mama, The Mama Bandit, reads here and I hear she reads my stuff aloud on her job...

Shout out to Ms. Denise Freeman!

(I bet you all giggly over that, Mama Bandit! LOL!!! Watch out for a post dedicated to you real soon...)

Anyway, I didn't mean to turn this into a Monday morning food for thought. Just rolling with the flow here.

I go back to work this morning. Not looking forward to that. I wish management would just leave me alone for a day, and let me get back into the groove of things.

I am NOT in the mood for petty harrassment this morning. I am not in the mood to be treated like I'm lazy and stupid. Not today, babes. Give it a frickin' rest.

No telling what I'm coming back to at work today.

Not in the mood.

Best to keep things in perspective.

I am thankful I woke up this morning. There are people who didn't make it to see this day.

I am thankful that I'm in my right mind this morning.

The blood is running warm through my veins.

And that's a GOOD thing.

So today is gonna be a great day, in spite of impending mess...

I say that... on purpose.

Look for me to post everyday this week.

(Blog family GASPS!)

Yeah, that's right babes, Lee's gonna TRY to post everyday. LOL. Mostly smurfy stuff.

I'm gonna get on up out of this bed and get ready for work...

Ya'll get it together this week.

Make it a good one.

(book giveaway winners announced in next post...)

Friday, July 24, 2009

The "F" Word, Part II

I had an "F" word for the first quarter of the year.

Not the cuss word. (Get your mind out the gutter).

That "F" word was forgiveness... even did a post on my feelings about it.

I even have an "F" word for this quarter.

Finances

This quarter was an interesting time for my finances. No, there was no major blow or anything.

There was a major triumph, followed by a cancellation of said triumph... and it was just enough to blow the wind out of my sales.

Last quarter I paid off a credit card.

Not just any old credit card. It paid off the first credit card I ever I got, back when I was in college. I got it when I some 21 years ago.

It started out with a 500 dollar limit.

Can't mess that up, right? That's pretty low.

Well, over the years, the limit ballooned up to 25,000 dollars.

No, I've never kicked up past that limit.

But this was THE credit card for me. It was my crutch allll through college and grad school. I think it reached it's highest limit, some 11,000 dollars, some 12 years ago.

Some time after that, I just stopped using it. Well, used it sparingly.

And it began to go down (real slow like, though).

Thanks to my time over the past 3 years with my Financial Freedom Possee, and the things I have learned there, I am proud to say that I paid the entire balance off.

What helped is that it was converted to a low interest lockbox loan some 3 years ago. That helped me pay it off quick.

And it was great to get the following letter in the mail:




That right there? That made it real.

Made me feel real good.

But some things happened that blew the wind out of my sails.

My laptop crashed. I had to cop a new one.



I decided to buy a tablet, as I've been wanting one for years. The thing is, it's on a payment plan. True enough, it will be paid off before year's end, but it is an unwanted expense.

My cell phone broke on the day Michael Jackson died. I dropped it (for the umpteenth time) and something snapped. The thing was ringing off the hook, but there was no way to answer it, and no display.

So I bought a new one:



Very cheap indeed. But it wasn't in the budget.

These two things blew the wind out of my sails.

Let me rephrase that: I allowed these two things to blow the wind out of my sails.

And they shouldn't have. I could've easily just not bought these items. They are "luxury" items, things that I don't need to survive.

And they showed me how important getting debt free is to me. It is important, but not critically important.

I believe I was about 4 months away from being debt-free (not including the mortgage).

That has stretched out a bit.

Some think I can simply write a check and just be done. It amazes me that folks think I am swimming in cash. I think it's great. It always makes me smile.

And you can tell by the 80,000 dollar Benz sitting out in the three car garage of my 10 bedroom house. And I do wear a lot of Jimmy Choo and Versace.

LOL!!

Nope. I drive a little Mazda beater. My house is a VERY small 3 bedroom/2 bath. And I don't own one piece of designer clothing or shoes.

I have to put other things first before the big luxuries... like medical bills, mortgage, being of a little help to family, and just saving my money the best I can...

But right now, I have to not get the mindset of "this is impossible".

I am fighting that. I mean it is a terribly bad mental fight, it is. I have been cowering in a corner at the FFF meetings.

But the thing is, most importantly, I am AT the meetings.

For I need to hear those words... a couple of hours a month, I need to converse with my sistas about money. I always come away feeling better, and come back with a plan.

And each month, I can say that some debt is being reduced.

And that letter above... I keep it posted on the back of my bedroom door, along with other financial goals and triumphs. I like to take it down sometime and read it, feel it and hold it in my hand, as evidence of it actually being possible.

No, I am not sitting here bitching about money. There are people out there who have serious financial problems. Very serious. I would never cheapen or disrespect that by whining about money.

I am just more concerned with my mindset concerning my finances.

The way you think about things ends up determining the direction you go in life.

And right now, I have to make sure I think positively about this "F" word. Never mind looking at the issues, just think differently about the issue.

Attitude determines altitude.

Gotta think differntly about the "F" word. I MUST have the right attitude about it all.

And that is what I am determined to do and have.

So... this concludes my quarterly assessment. I've looked off and on over the past 2 weeks at things that have happened over the 2nd quarter of this year that have affected my life.

Be sure to comment on any of those posts, including this one if you want to be included in the book giveaways. This is your last chance. The winners will be announced on Monday.

Thanks for taking this journey with me: with all it's highs, lows, and in between.

I'll holla at you on Monday. I am off to enjoy my weekend.

You be sure to do the same. On purpose, of course.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Big Break Up

I've been wanting to write about this but had to get a little distance from it to properly think about it.

Although I must admit that I'm not all that suprised about it.

The effect it had on me, well, it suprised me, and was something I didn't expect.

And it revealed something about myself that I do not like, that bothers me badly.

Last quarter, my beloved book club broke up.

Well, not exactly broke up. Let's just say, most people split, went there own way.

Why?

Because of shady leadership.

"Shady" ain't the nicest word. Not at all. It implies dishonesty. It implies folk act one way in your face, but are doing something totally different behind your back.

It implies something about your character.

As we all know, your TRUE character is revealed based on what you do when no one's looking.

Ugh.

That is harsh, but it is what it is.

Anyway, here is what happened.

Now, I had been a member of my book club since late 2005. I really loved it. There was a high membership, and I really loved the books that we read. I also met a bunch of really nice chicks, who've become great friends, women I truly respect and am glad to know. And I loved the fact that I could just be who I am, and not have to be something I wasn't. I like it when I accepted for simply being me.

Everything was "kume-bah-yah!!"

But, I would say in the past year, I hadn't been all that enthusiastic about my book club. I was enthusiastic about the OFFSHOOTS of my bookclub, namely the journal writing group and the Financial Freedom Possee.

So, I hate to admit it here, but the offshoot groups were the only reason I was still a member of the bookclub. I didn't want to lose being part of those 2 groups. Really.

And besides, Atlan.ta Wr.iters Club met on the same Saturday as book club, so I was hanging out with them, too. Sort of splitting my time between the two. If we were reading a book I didn't find interesting, I wouldn't read it, and I'd go to the AWC meetings. And vice versa, if the AWC was having speakers I wasn't interested in, I'd go to book club meeting.

Fair enough deal, right?

Well, I noticed something else happening: chicks started quitting the book club.

I wondered why people were dipping, but didn't think too much of it. Only in passing.

Because you see, I am always off...

over there...

way over there...

Out of the way doing other things I enjoy doing.

Then I noticed that some of the leadership began to split.

I was like... what the heck is up with that? I mean, the reasons given were that people were too busy to be a part of it, etc...

I accepted it, but uh... these were inner circle people. People who had been in the book club a loooooong time.

Now, step out on the back porch of the House of LadyLee for a sidebar.

I, LadyLee, PRIDE myself on not being a part of any clique... I've never been in what is termed "The inner circle" at any time of my life. I take immense PRIDE in that.

I like the fringe negroes. The sistas who are on the fringe, the outcasts. They tend to be more interesting. They are individuals who tend to stomp to the beat of their own drums.

I like that. A WHOLE lot.

But the inner circle peeps were hauling a** up out of the book club.

Hmm... that confused me. Caused me to raise an eyebrow.

And what REALLY threw me for a loop is when the book club treasurer got the heck out of dodge.

What???

And THAT is when all the trouble started.

In a nutshell (and I won't go into it), there was some seriuos embezzling going on. Serious.

By our president.

Not the treasurer. That chick is NOT like that. She had all kinds of safeguards in place against that type of thing. And when she left, and turned all accounts over to the club, those guards came down. And the money got messed up.

Heck, I don't feel bad putting it out there. We already know. I saw copies of the checks. (ALL that stuff was blind copied out by someone else who was on the account and discovered the craziness).

And it was some ol' bootleg craziness: writing a check to others and they cash it.

I don't know WHAT that was about. WOW. That's that OLD SCHOOL embezzlement type scheme right there.

And to top it off... It's really daunting to see book club funds being used to pay Comcast and water bills, too. Really.

(I NEVER knew one could owe Comcast 500 dollars. Never. WOW).

Now I can't judge folks. Just stating the facts.

When you come up on hard times, you do what you gotta do. That sometimes includes cheating folks. It sometimes includes buckling down and doing the hard honest work to get back on track.

The latter is harder than the former.

But.

There are some laws out here one just can't get around.

(I know, because I have tried. Just like everybody.)

That law is:

Your mess will find you out.

Period.

Parliament alluded to it best in their song "One Nation under a Groove":

You can't get over it. You can't get under it. You can't get around it.

You just can't.

Baby... I have tried. It is impossible.

Whatever is done in the dark eventually comes to light.

And let's take it a bit deeper, shall we?

Those bad habits that you don't take care of will eventually be the source of your downfall.

*crickets*

(Okay, that was tooooo deep for you. Let's just stick with the surface truths, i.e., Your mess will find you out.)

Embezzling is a bad habit, ain't it? I suppose so. It kinda snowballs out of control.

You keep doing that mess, and it will find you out!

And I knew something was up when the group treasurer left and sent an email out telling exactly how much was in our book club account. I was thinking, "That's odd, that's a good amount of money. Why do they nickel and dime us so much?"

Hmm...

But it all came out. Back in February, I went on a cruise with one of the chicks that quit the club. We had a good loooong talk about things over in Mexico.

'Tis a shame we gotta be in a whole nother country to talk freely).

But I found out a lot of stuff. We all have done much talking, after the fact.

And it all came out.

Now, I wasn't all that suprised by this. Just the way this person was acting... well, it didn't totally suprise me.

Plus she'd been ducking and dodging peeps something terrible.

But something did suprise me, and really blindsided me:

The terrible hurt my book club sistas experienced.

That REAAALLLLY bothered me.

I really like these ladies! We are diverse as night and day. I like that! And I hated seeing them hurt!

Look, let me tell you something about me. I don't expect much out of people. Especially when little "signs" go up of them possibly being a little "off". And I think that comes from me not wanting to be the center of attention, and not really expecting people to live up to my expectations. I will always be working to live up to my OWN expectations, and I am constantly examining and working on myself. So if people slip and fall, or do something crazy, well, all things are possible. That happens. I ain't gonna bash you up about it.

I'll just be over there...

Waaaay over there somewhere... doing my own thang.

(Not sure if I explained that good enough. I am complicated like that, I suppose).

But this woman hurt friends who were a good ten years deep with her. And come to find out, there has been a whole bunch of lying, a whole bunch of other stuff going on. To mess over your inner circle like that? Wow. Leaves me speechless.

Me? Well, I wasn't a part of her inner circle. I think I was a little too fringe for all that.

And book club is a small sliver of the pie that makes up the Whole Ladylee.

And it was hard for me to deal with my book club sistas' pain. I mean, we did a lot of talking. People were truly hurt.

And I realized something about myself: I am terribly empathetic. I was more hurt because my book club sistas were hurt, then about the situation itself.

This is something I can't stand about myself.

I am usually like that about my brother and sister when they go through drama with our Mother. I get a bit upset about that.

But with my book club sistas, it took me for a loop.

Some wanted to know my thoughts and feelings on it all.

I wrote the following to a friend, and later placed it in my diary. I've told my book sistas some variation of this:

Nothing starts off big, but always small, at a level that, if caught, can be tamed. This whole situation made me sit down and really examine and be honest with my ownself, and look deep into my own heart, to make sure that there are no strange seeds that can grow into something like what happened, where I am hurting people. You have to be honest with yourself and irradicate these things. Easier to dig up a little seedling than a 500 year old Oak tree. That's how I look at personal development. We should be constantly trimming and pruning our hearts.

Yes, I've hurt people in the past. Was it my fault? At times it was, at times it wasn't. I know lately I know I have to be careful to discern betweenst the two. If I am wrong I am quick to apologize. At the same time, folk have gotten an attitude with me because I wasn't doing what they thought I should be doing, i.e., playing into their entitlement isshas.

(I fail miserably at such).

No I'm not perfect.

BUT, I think we all are in, our own personal worlds, perfect.

And what happened with the book club caused me to pause and take stock.

For we all think we got it together, standing strong in a little room, windows and doors shut tight, everything taken care of.

But we forget to take care of the little cracks, holes, and crevices... those habits and circumstances that appear seemingly insignificant. Those unchecked areas, THAT'S where things can go wrong and barrel out of control before we know it.

Oh, I got away with this, got away with that, it ain't nothing.

But it grows into something big... and it hurts not only ourselves, but all those around us...

I don't want to get to that point. And I must admit, I had to, and still have to make the little tiny corrections. Or at least be cognizant of what is wrong, and what I must change, even though I haven't mustered the faith and courage to do so...

For as I said above (and I am making it personal):

My mess will eventually find me out.

Whatever I do in the dark eventually comes to light.


And most critically important:

The bad habits I let go unchecked in my life will eventually be the very source of my downfall.

(I think I said it a little better that time).

So my dearest Book club sistas...

I know you all are hurting. I hurt because you hurt.

But let's continue to support each other. I'm glad we have reformed elsewhere.

Many of you have been the light of my day when all was dark.

You have encouraged me when I was down and out.

You have dealt with me in all my hard-headedness.

Let's not let this harden our hearts.

Let's move on... and do better.

So, I think that was the most heartwretching thing that happened last quarter for me.

It's a good thing that the heart can eventually heal...

And it eventually will.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Semi Wordless Wednesday: Goodness Gracious Alive!

I saw this picture on wiki.pedia and my eyes glazed over.




Man, I would straight up pass OUT if I saw fruit and vegetables stacked all up like that.

DANG!!!

I wouldn't know what to do, where to turn. GEEZ!

As my Grandmother would "Goodness gracious alive!"

That's somewhere over in Barcelona.

Miss Celie (Tayari), you're headed that way soon, ain't cha girl? Go find THAT and take a picture of THAT for this Oldgirl.

Much Obliged!!!

LOL!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To Be or Not to Be?



To be or not to be?

That is NOT the question!

The real question is...

"Is that Original Oldgirl LadyLee a Vegan or a Vegetarian?"

Honestly, I thought the two terms were the same.

(Honestly, I never really cared... Much less thought about it).

Anyway, boys and girls, lets look at the two terms.

In other words, gather around Oldboys and Oldgirls, it's education time.

*Lee does the happy dance*

One of my goals (and check the goal list, goals keeper Serenity3-0), was to read a book a season about vegetarianism. It is important to educate myself about it all. I have been digging around in two books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Living by Beverly Bennet et. al. and The New Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melinda et. al.

It's been very intersting reading indeed. There's like a whole spread of different types of vegetarians. Too many to list here, so I've narrowed it waaay down.

Let's define some terms:

Vegetarian - is a diet that excludes all meat (fish, game, red meat, poultry).

Near Vegetarian - a diet that includes some meat, fish or poultry. Also known as semi-vegetarian.

Near Vegan - a diet that excludes all meat, eggs, and dairy products. This can range from no eggs or dairy, but could care less about traces of animal products in prepared foods to eating pizza or ice cream or whatever every now and then. They largely exclude egg and dairy products though.

Vegan - a diet which includes the avoidance of ALL products of animal origin. This include eggs, dairy, gelatin, and honey (made by bees). Not only are animal products avoided in the diet, but they are also avoided in other areas: no leather, no silk, no wool, no feathers, etc... No going to the circus, no hitting up a pet store, none of that.

*big MC Hammer dancin' crickets*

*crickets having visions of crickets*


Man, I was alright up until that Vegan definition. Avoidance of ALL product os animal origin.

I was lost at giving up honey, just because it is made by an insect.

I'm not too sure that I know of many sistas who will give up the silk panties.

And dudes like their silk boxers too.

(Ain't NOTHING like a brutha in some silk draws. Nothing).

And this Oldgirl would NEVER give up leather sneakers. If that had to be the case, I might as well go down to Fat Matt's Rib Shack over on Piedmont Road and order up a slab of ribs and half a bird, man.

Really.

(And you might as well throw me out the window if you think I'm giving up my down pillows and my down comforter. We gonna FIGHT like some mad dogs in the street if you think I'm giving THAT up.)

Man, that whole vegan lifestyle is waaaay too much thinking. Waaaaaaay too much.

I don't knock it. You do you. I always support you doing you.

I found it VERY interesting that vegans are warned not to get a "holier-than-thou" attitude because of picking on people who choose to do differently.

(I myself have seen this before).

One author warned vegans to not go picking on folk if they aren't vegetarian because people watch you and will call you out on your mess. Really.

It is unfair, it is. That's a daunting, stringent choice, and not right for everybody. I prefer to work hard on my lifestyle change, and do the best I can do. If I slip up and eat a pot of chitlins, so be it. Get back up, dust myself off and keep it moving.

I saw on the news that the animal rights people were upset that Obama killed a fly.

I am sure these people are some hardcore vegans.

I can't fanthom being upset about a fly.

If you think I would twist my mouth to whine about President Obama putting the smackdown on a pesky housefly to my Grandmother, who didn't get her civil rights until she was in her 30s or 40s...

... then you smoking something.

And it ain't a simple cigarette.

The rights of a housefly.

Black folks don't even have all their rights. Heck, women don't even have all their rights.

Work all that out, and I might think about the rights of a whale, a seal, a dog, a cat...

... or a housefly.

Okay, let me get off my soapbox. I'd be in major trouble if a wonderful vegan came over here and read this.

But like Mister said, This here is MY mailbox, i.e., this here is my blog, and I sayest how I feelest!

But anyway, I would consider myself Near Vegan.

And I won't be impressed with myself 'til I hit the 100 day mark.

It's only been approximately

50 days

1206 hours

72360 minutes

4341600 seconds since this all started.

I exclude all meat, eggs, and dairy. I had some quiche that I thought was tofu, but it was actually organic free range eggs. I had that twice, but that's about it.

I was never a big milk drinker, and I prefer the almond, rice, and hemp milks instead. I had a slice of cheese once. That's because it came on a black bean burger, and I didn't feel like fighting with peeps over it. (I'd already had to send the salad back).

But that's about it. I could give a flip about what is in my prepared food. (I ask, and leave it alone if it is dairy or egg related if I can).

I'm sorry. I am NOT having a conniption fit over that type stuff. I have too much other stuff on my mind.

Shoot, I took a gang of hot wings to my writing workshop last week. Whatever. Thought the meat eaters would appreciate some hot wings and ranch and bleu cheese dip on a balmy Friday night...

(Too bad everyone there was vegetarian except the host. LOL!!)

So there you have it... a VERY simple primer on some things I never knew, and some things I bet you never knew.

Yeah, and go tell all of that to the housefly buzzing around your house.

Sure that sucka would be terribly interested...

...And would be hoping and praying that you are vegan.

LOL!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Monday Morning... From the Road!!!

I am beautiful sunny Florida for a FPR Workshop.



(That picture is suppose to be a roundbottom flask. Looks more like Qbert to me. Whoever designed that must've been drinking and smoking something at the time).

Well, not so beautiful. It has been stormy, dreary, and just plain nasty.

You don't believe me? Look at this.




The palm trees look more weepy willows.

Florida is NOT suppose to look like that.

Despite the nastiness, I am sooooo happy to be here.

Not. I have been handcuffed, thrown an airplane, and FORCED to attend a weeklong work-related conference/workshop.

I got an email back in March from the head man in charge, telling me to sign up and go. I wanted to tell my boss "Can't you tell dude I don't like to travel for the job, and I don't care to go?"

That would've been a problem. ALL of management are VERY afraid of this guy, who is basically Zeus in their eyes.

An Oldgirl HATES traveling for work. It is too stressful getting there and getting square. I tend to break out in hives or something weird. I didn't this time. I'm just a little tired. (Moreso from hiking a mile up the road to the local grocery store for fruits and salad fixings....)

I slept well last night. Despite being in a very orange room...



When I turn off the lights, it glows in the dark, lol.

Okay, enough of my whining.

I'm gonna be POSITIVE. That is the word of the week. Be proactively POSITIVE.

I'm doing that ish on purpose, babes!

My goal this week is to learn 5 things I didn't know, catch 5 ideas that I can bring back to the lab. And I want to meet some of these chemists who I chat with on the telephone or on monthly conference calls from time to time.

That will make it a good week for me! A very good week if I can work that out.

My specialist told me the other day, "LadyLee you're gonna have to keep me from cussing folks out."

*LadyLee gives him the side-eye.*

Far be it from me to forbid folks from opening up their Book of Cuss.

I told him that I would ball up a piece of paper and throw it at him if he gets out of hand.

He knows me well. I think it is his way of saying, "Lee, stop working your puzzles, writing stories, and reading books and pay attention to what's going on!!!!"

LOL

(I get a case of ADD when things aren't interesting. My attention span is a bit better these days. However, I will be playing Scrabble on my laptop if I get TOO bored).

Hopefully the sun will come out and I can walk down to the beach. It'd be nice to wiggle my toes in a little sea water and get a few nice pictures.

Why, I could even pretend (for a few moments), that I'm on vacation!!

LOL!

I should be posting every day this week... Not sure. I had a couple of prescheduled posts worked out just in case I had no internet. I can now add more!

Book giveaway is still in effect. Comment and you are entered in the drawing.

You all be sure to make it a great week.

As always, on purpose.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gone Vegetarian...

The birth of Milk and Cookies Jr. was a most delightful interruption...

We now return you to our regularly scheduled broadcasts...

Now, one of my life goals has always been to become vegetarian...

It has been more of an imagination than anything.

Why, I've thought about it often, especially when I'm chowing down on a barbeque rib sandwich or a merrily eating a 2 piece spicy chicken dinner from Popeyes.

Always thinking about it, but never mustering up the courage to go through with it.

But, I noticed something particularly interesting during the fasts that we have at church every January. Sometimes I participate, sometimes I don't make it through. It is never anything stringent (like total water fasts - negroes will act a jack behind such), but usually involves some type of detoxifying element, like no junk food, no red meat, no white food (rice, potatoes, other high starcy stuff), nothing bad for you.

Very detoxifying indeed. The heart and mind is very clear during that time.

But like I said, I noticed something very interesting happened during these times:

My lupus symptoms virtually disappeared.

I could go so far as to say that they disappeared, because I don't remember any symptoms.

During those times I felt, what's the word... NORMAL.

And yo... an Oldgirl was REAL happy about that.

And soon as I'd go back to my old ways, well... the symptoms would raise their ugly heads.

Now my symptoms aren't terrible, as I am functional. I always have a low grade fever. I don't sleep well (only 6 hours a night, and constantly waking up). I have constant inflammation, and a little joint swelling. It gets a bit bad during PMS. I have spontaneous nosebleeds from time to time. Sinus infections prevail.

Like I said, I am very functional. I work everyday. I am limited in activities (2 on the weekend, 3 during the week). Anything more and I am virtually wiped out with fatigue.

I've always been proud of the fact that I can take care of myself. I am not dependent on anyone. Being completely debilatated had been a fear in the past.

But there was something about those periods of fasting that stayed on my mind.

And I looked into it one day.

I read all types of things on lupus, but one day I saw something interesting: that symptoms can be exasperated by animal protein, to the point where all the symptoms could be some sort to an allergic response. Essentially getting too much animal protein could cause all kinds of inflammation problems and kidney problems. I have had both at some time or another.

It could be bogus. Who knows. I blew it off and went on to something else. I don't see much about this in my mainstream book that I have on the subject. Such is to be expected from a book more centered on Western medicine.

But it isn't bogus to me because of what happens when I eliminate animal protein from my diet for periods of time.

Mix that with meeting one of Cowgirl Cre's cousins at one of her family functions who was a vegetarian just this past Memorial Day Weekend.

Our convo was interesting:

"So you're really a vegetarian?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"So how long you been like that?"
She laughed. "You make it sound like I have a disease."
"No, I was just wondering."
"For 10 years."
My curiosity was peeked. She was a young chick, couldn't be over 30. "And why did you decide to do that."
"Because I had an animal protein problem that put me in the hospital, and after that, I stopped eating meat. And if I try to eat it now, I just get sick."

Hmm. I didn't know what to say. We all went on talking and joking about other things. I was trying to catch her alone but couldn't. I was nosy as hell. I wish I could've gotten her number so we could talk privately. I wanted to know what caused her protein issues. (But I didn't want her to think that I was hitting on her. LOL!! Maybe I'll see her at another family gathering (as I tend to crash Cre's family stuff often)).

Anyway, I thought on that for awhile. And not to mention, me and Dr. HazelEyes, another sista Doc on my job, had decided we were going to fast together. (She'd done some similar fasting like I'd done in January).

So we made a pact to do the darn thing.

"We're starting June 1st, LadyLee," she said.
"That's cool, I'm ready," I said. "And I'm kicking it for the whole summer, babes."

She looked at me like I was crazy. "Naw, I didn't say all that. The month of June, that's it. I'll work it out past that when we get that far."

"I'ma do the darn thing, girl. And if I can make it to the first of September, I'm shooting for December 31st. And if I can do that, then shoot girl, I'm gonna just stay that way."

*Dr, HazelEyes looking at Lee REAL crazy-like*

It is a most daunting goal indeed.

It is the most positive and interesting thing I did last quarter.

How am I doing?

It has been:

46 days

1104 hours

66,240 minutes

3,974,400 seconds...

Since I "turnt" vegetarian.

How am I REALLY doing?

1. No constan low grade fevers.

2. I can't remember the last time I had any arthritic pain or pain from inflammation. (Well, yes I can: late May, that's when).

3. I sleep like a rock. I get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. And even if I get 3-4 hours of sleep, it is a very good DEEP and satisfying sleep. I am not groggy for the rest of the day on short sleep.

4. No lupus flares (suddenly worsening of symptoms) during PMS.

5. No spontaneous nosebleeds. (Gosh... I HATED that).

6. No sinus mess going on. (Thank the Lawd for that).

7. Lost 17 pounds (Doctor Bhaji was happy about that). I can't tell, but it is what it is.

8. Doctor Bhaji said my hands had gotten smaller. *Lee sees crickets flying around that statement* In other words, no real inflammation and fluid retention isshas were seen on my last doctor visit.

9. My cholesterol dropped about 60 points. (It had been borderline high- around 220). That was from a June 9th test. Might be lower now.

10.Much better concentration (I usually have the concentration of a flea, which is lupus related- I cannot STAND that).

11. I am more energetic.

So, uh... should I stick with it? Or should I let it go and go get some Popeye's chitlins?

LOL...

So, Chele, I hope I answered your question of why I went vegetarian. Purely for health reasons. I think this is one of the most important decisions I made in the second quarter of the year.

And now the question is... Am I vegetarian or vegan?

There is a difference, you see...

To be continued...

Wordless Wednesday: MILK AND COOKIES JUNIOR

My brother Milk and Cookie's firstborn son...

Kari Jr., July 15 2009, 3 pounds.

A true "Lil' Milk and Cookies"




















Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Proactive: Tests, tests, and More Tests

(Note: This a book giveaway week. (See Monday's post). If you wanna be in the drawing, make comments this week, on any post).

One thing that I really don't talk about in the House of LadyLee...

My lupus issues.

Why?

Because I don't wail and whine about my illness to people. I don't use it as a crutch.

I was diagnosed 7 years ago. (I have had it, from the symptoms, some 15 years, just didn't know it.) I only spoke about it on blog after a request from one of my favorite bloggers, That Southern Black Gal. (click here for that post). I'm glad she requested it, because it was a good thing for me to post on it.

I know several women with this chronic disease, and we all live pretty normal lives for the most part. We really don't even discuss it amongst each other. A coworker and I tend to email interesting articles to each other from time to time, and we check on each other and talk about medications, but that's about it...

But I go to the doctor a lot, every 4 to 6 weeks. I'm always getting a bunch of tests, giving many tubes of blood, all kinds of craziness.

I ask my Doctor from time to time, when she wants to do certain tests...

"Why do we have to keep doing this, Dr.Bhaji?"

"I'm just being proactive!" she says in her high shirll voice.

*LadyLee kicks the hard eyeroll*

Yesterday I had a heart test, called an echocardiagram. (I have no idea if I am spelling that right).

I have pleurisy, and a bit of continuous heart inflammation since being diagnosed. The only real effect it has is that I have a little pain along my ribcage on my left side around my heart when I take very deep breaths.

This doesn't bother me. I can go walk a few miles on the track without hyperventilating or anything wierd.

So she scheduled this "Echo" test.

"But I feel alright!" I said.

"You've never had the test. And I just want to be proactive, LadyLee," she said as she fills out my prescriptions.

So I had that yesterday. Very interesting. It seems to be a sonogram/ultrasound for the heart. I didn't discuss the test with the technician (I was a bit perturbed about laying up on a table with my chest exposed, lol).

But what was interesting is that I could hear the sound of my blood pumping in my heart over loud speakers.

Swoooooosh, swooooosh, swoooooosh.

Very loud, very pressure driven. Man, it sounded like something out of the Alien movies, lol.
(If you've ever seen the movie Contact, it sounded exactly like the signals the aliens were sending from outer space)

And it was very daunting. The heart pumping like that is a very complicated process...


I'll probably think about that when I get in a tizzy about mundane issues of life.

Gives a WHOLE new meaning to me thanking God for the blood running warm through my veins.

I literally know what that means now.

Talking to my Doctor about it later, she said there were reasons for that test: to measure the size of the heart, to check for leaking valves, and to check for fluid around the heart.

I sat quietly and listened. Wanted to wail "But I feel alright!", but I didn't.

I understood that she was just trying to be proactive.

I've had other tests, like the bone density test. It is interesting to see my whole skeleton on a computer screen. I upset the technician once, when I was standing behind her, looking at the results screen, yelling...

"Look at that! I got bones, man! I got bones!!!!"

LOL. That chick was having a bad day. Thought I was gonna catch a smackdown.

Then there was a kidney ultrasound test I once had. It is pretty much the same as an ultrasound. My doctor wanted to know the size of my kidneys.

I remember the technician squinting hard at the computer screen.

And I remember thinking "Please don't let this woman say she see a baby in there."

LOL!!! (That was what they told my mother when they were looking for the size of a tumor they thought she had. Said tumor was my little brother. LOL!!!)

But one test that I've always hated, one I have to do every 2 to 3 months, is a test that requires urine collection.

I am NOT talking the simple "pee in a cup" at the doctor's office test. Who cares about that? That is simple enough to do.

I am talking about the "24 hour urine collection".

Collecting ALL of your urine over a 24 hours.



LAWD HAVE MERCY I HATE THAT WITH A PASSION!



Yo, you drop a lot of urine in 24 hours! Good gracious alive!!!

(And I don't know what my issues were that day. I collected over 3 liters. Ugh.)

When my doctor wanted me to do this for the first time, some 6 years ago, I was like

"WHAT? You have GOT to be kidding me!! Stop playing!"

"I do this because I like to catch problems early" she said.

The reason for this is that a lot of lupus patients have higher levels of protein leaking out of their kidneys. Normal levels are about 100 mg. My range has been around 250 mg. I had something as high as 700 mg one time. My urine is foaming (a sign of high protein count, and possible kidney disease). My doctor adjusts my medicine accordingly to control this.

Anyway, I can't stand this process, and have wailed and whined about it.

Dr. Bhaji is use to me, after all these years. She ignores my whining.

"I'm being proactive, Miss LadyLee."

Over the years, the nurses have gotten a kick out of my disdain for the bright orange bottle. They would put my name on it, and hand it to me before I leave the doctor's office.

"Uh, check it out, homegirl" I say, as I stare at the bright orange bottle in my hand. "Ya'll need to give me a paper bag for this. I don't want to walk through the waiting room with this."

"No, Ladylee!"

I look around the room where I've just given several tubes of blood. "I'm sure ya'll got some bags around here."

"Nope. Take it like that."

To make things worse, one nurse in particular would grab my bottle from me and draw a BIG smiley face on the front. And then hand it back to me.

*LadyLee frowns REALLY hard*

So I would have to carry my bottle with the big smiley face through the waiting room. Ugh.

These days I don't care. I just do it. I don't know some of those people. WHATEVER.

Besides, my doctor is trying to be proactive.

At home, the bottle is not an issue, but I make it one.

Not only do I have to collect urine for 24 hours, I have to keep it very cold.

So I try to pick fights with Kentucky over this. I was particularly evil about this last quarter, in June.

"Kentucky, I'm putting this bottle in the fridge. I don't feel like getting up in the middle of the night loading my bucket with ice. You better not touch it, you hear me?!!"

"Lisa," she shot back. "You've been doing that for years. I know what it is, and I'm not gonna touch it. Just put it in there."

I left her alone. Kentucky is usually extremely docile, but I got the feeling that she didn't want to hear my mouth that day.

(Kentucky is undercover crazy. You have to watch the quiet ones).

Anyway, I turned in my bottle for last quarter 3 weeks ago.

I got a good result yesterday: a protein count of 159 mg.

My doctor was VERY happy about this.

My doctor and I talked about it.

And it seems to be largely due to my going vegetarian...

"Dr. Bhaji," I said through my hard Celie smile. "I'm being proactive!!!

To be continued.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book Giveaways

It's introspection time, once again.

'Tis a time to look at the important things that have happened in my life during the 2nd quarter of the year, from April to June, and how it has affected me.

I'm not posting anything today, just announcing some book giveways.

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. I think Serenity3-0 is rereading it again and setting new goals, and you know when that chick sets goals, she definitely makes it all happen. So, I have copies of this book on my bookshelf, and would love to give a copy away to someone who may find it useful...

I'm probably going to mix these posts in with my regular posts. We will see...

Stay tuned...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Morning... Again.

I tell you, it feels like the weekend speeds by real fast, don't it?

I need a good 4 day weekend. Several in a row!

LOL

Anyway, it rained cats and dogs last night in my beloved ATL. At least it's cool outside right now, 72 degrees. I think it will get up to 85 degrees today.

I am happy for that.

My weekend. Goodbye Milk and Cookies. My weekend was very slow. I like slow. This week is going to be hectic. I have to travel for the job (which I am NOT happy about) next week, so it was a good thing to relax this weekend.

One thing I did: I went to a going away gathering for my brother Milk and Cookies, who will be shipping out to Iraq next month. He has been in the ATL for two weeks. So I think he may be leaving this week.

I haven't seen him since January 2008, after a big fight we had. I won't go into it, and those who know me know what went down. But since he's going away, I was asked to stop by.

I make it a rule NOT to go to family gatherings. There's just waaaaay too much stress involved.

I am a staple at the family gatherings of my friends. You know it's bad when other people's family members are like

"Hey, where's your friend? Is she coming by? Is she bringing those cookies?"

LOL

My sister Kentucky had been discussing all this with me, and was planning a self serve taco bar, and was trying to figure out what to fix for me. That was unnecessary, as I was only staying for a few minutes. Seeing me walk through the door is like seeing a UFO zip through the sky: it is very rare, and you better not blink or you gonna miss me. I wasn't planning on sitting down, much less eating.

So when I walked in, eyes got big.

I was temporarily blinded by the flash of my brother's camera. He hugged me. I hugged him back. He was cheesing pretty hard. I was a bit nonchalant. His wife took a picture of us together.

He has a son due in October. I handed him a bag containing my baby gift, a baby blanket I'd been working on.



I didn't know when I would get it to him, and my sister said he'd been asking if I was working on something for the baby, which I was. I was just going to pack it up and place it with the items my sister bought for the baby. But I thought I would give it to him then. He and his wife really like it.



I was talking to my brother and I felt a tap on my thigh. I looked down, and it was my smiling mother. I don't remember the last time I've seen her. She said hello, I said hello. She thought I was pretty and liked my hair. I nodded. She jumped up so I could sit in her seat.

I just looked at the chair. I was NOT trying to stick around, but I sat down anyway.

I think I sat there for a few minutes. Grandma was real happy to see me, and we talked for a minute. I checked my phone messages and texts, and then got up and left.

Grandma walked me out, and obviously didn't want to see me go. She talked my head off on the front steps for 10 minutes, and ran back in the house to get an old birthday gift that she had tucked away for me. I talked to her about her money. I'd given her a debit card a couple years ago, and needed to talk to her about if it was enough and if she had a handle on her bills, etc... (she and I are alike -we HATE being a bother or asking for help). It reminded me that I need to get by and spend more time with her.

But I walked away unscathed, which is usually not the case. I usually get caught up in some weird drama started by my mother. I realized long ago that this is because she doesn't want me around. Alas, I don't show up to family gatherings.

I suppose she is better about that now. I don't really come around to figure that out.

My half hour there was decent. I left, and went to pick up a few groceries for the week.

On my way out of Grandma's neighborhood, I like to drive out slow, and look around at the places I use to go when I was a little girl Here's a picture of the store I use to frequent, which was a 3 minute walk from Grandma's house:

Mrs. Warriors store. The store was at the bottom, and the family lived upstairs.


My afternoon treat back in the 70's: A can of CountryTime lemonade or Tahitian Treat, a bag of Funyans, and Now or Laters (preferably apple or orange), all for 75 cents.

Those were the days.

Mrs. Warrior died years ago. And as you can see, the store is closed.

I'll miss my brother. I hope he prays, and makes the right decisions over in Iraq, and hope he stays safe, does his tour, and come back home. I really do. I don't want his son to be without a father.

So, this week, management, ALL of management, is gone, off on some type of training this week. Thank goodness for that. My coworker Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia has been left in charge to run the whole floor. One of the craziest inmates, is running the asylum, lol.

You know it's bad when we are planning a potluck. There will be music, fun, and games.

Yes, we are happy that the people who make our lives miserable are outta here. I think people made sure NOT to take time off this week just because of this rarity.

I can get a few things done, hopefully, without the monkey wrenches thrown by management. And that's a good thing.

I plan on posting every day this week. Gotta get this quarterly assesment stuff out the way, you know.

With that said... you know how it go.

It's a new week. Make this one count. I plan to be more productive... on purpose.

You do whatever you gotta do, on purpose too...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Freestyle

Wassup Peoples?

Sorry I haven't blogged much this week... My mind has been elsewhere.

I have PLENTY of posts to write, but I haven't gotten around to it.

That will change next week.

My week. Has been a little on the down side. This is midyear review week at work, and it seems like everyone is getting shafted. People are not happy.

Let's just say, one older employee who I admire, who's wife has been very ill, was told that he needed to...

...focus.

Yeah... Callousness is not even the word for that type of comment.

I haven't had my review. I have it today. Don't know how it will go. I've worked hard on my job, but I don't have the brownnosing trait, so you know how that goes.

Oh well, can't worry about it. My goal is to not get into a shouting match with my boss. I can do that. I am notorious for the silent treatment and the death stare. That'll work.

I am looking forward to the weekend. I have a writing group meeting tonight. Hopefully this will jump off once per month. My writing has been suffering much, and I need the jumpstart.

My brother is going to Iraq next month. He's having a gathering at Grandma's house. We've been at odds (well, I told him some stuff he didn't want to hear), and well, that killed our relationship. (This is why I RARELY give my opinion to people. You really have to push me, threaten me, and hem me up in a corner if you want me to give you my opinion on things. I always get punished for speaking my mind. ALWAYS).

But I will show my face. His son is due in October. I made a nice baby blanket. I will go over, give him and his wife the gift, stay a few minutes, and go on home.

Happy Birthday: Happy Birthday to blogger Aretha, proprietor of one my favorite blogs! Well, belated birthday, that is. She turned 29 this week! For some reason (say, the maturity of her actions and decisons), I thought this chick was in her mid- to late- 30's. I was shocked that she's only 29.

You know my motto: "You don't know nothing until you turn 30".

If that's the case with her, well... that chick is gonna do some MAJOR things in her 30's. Good gracious alive!

Happy Birthday, Chick! Do your thang!

Still vegetarian. Well, I'm still vegetarian!

Been vegetarian for

39 days.

944 hours.

56,640 minutes.

3,398,400 seconds... and counting.

Feeling okay. Doing okay. Will discuss my thoughts next week.

For now, I'm gonna hold the car in the road and keep it moving!

Video of the Week. I love video montages. Here's one from the Motown 40th anniversary box CD set.



You know, I am glad that Michael Jackson's kids have such a deep library of footage of their father. They can watch him over and over again. It's not the same as him being there, by no means, but it is a treasure within itself...

Definitely makes one smile in the midst of the sorrow.

With that said... find something to smile about today.

And have a great weekend... on purpose.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

GOOD

I had a long hard frustrating day at work today.

Let's just say, I was happy to get the heck out of dodge when quittin' time came. I stomped hard out of there like Miss Sophia, straight out to my car. It was cool, so I let down the windows and turned the music up real loud.

There are about 20 streetlights between my workplace in Midtown and my home in the downtown Atlanta neighborhood P-Town.

And I caught every. single. one. Every single light.

*Lee sitting at redlight grimacing hard and tapping fingers on steering wheel*


But the drive was GOOD. I screeched out my drivetime music Marvin Gaye's "Distant Lover"... you know, the long, long live version.

The one where Marvin says "Lawd Have Mercy" before the bridge.

I smiled at a few memories surrounding this sexy song (which I will post about later, lol).

I was feeling GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

LOL

I pulled into my garage, turned off the engine, and sat there listening to the song until it went off. I grabbed all my junk I lug off to work from the backseat and went into the house.

The kitchen light was on.

And there stood my baby sister Kentucky, looking shocked out of her mind.

The garage opens up into the laundry room, which leads into the kitchen. I stood there in the dark watching her. I threw all my stuff on top of the dryer and went into the kitchen to see what she was cooking.

She was busy with a tray of raw chicken wings... a whole LOT of chicken wings.

"Dang, girl," I said. "You getting down, ain't cha?"

"My cycle is on!" she said.

I blinked. I know how she is during her red dollar days. She usually craves chocolate cake. Not sure what was up with the chicken. Thought she would be making some chocolate covered chicken.

That don't sound good at all, man.

"I was gonna fry some chicken, and I was trying to do it before you came home."

I looked at the clock. It was 7:45 pm, my normal time of getting home. Not sure how she was gonna fry a gang of chicken before I got home, seeing that she'd just made it home after seven herself.

"Whatever, gal. Don't matter. I have no cravings for meat. None whatsoever."

"I didn't want to tempt you," she wailed.

I walked into my bedroom (just off the kitchen). I collapsed across the bed. ''Whatever, babes. Knock yourself out."

We talked a bit about the whole Michael Jackson Memorial. She was in class and didn't see it. Our internet was busted due to all the streaming at work, and I caught bits of pieces of it on various computers in my cubicle area.

All was well.

Then, a few minutes later, I heard that familiar sound.

The sizzle of chicken frying.

Then there was that smell.

The smell of fresh chicken... frying.






(Yeah, that right there is for YOU, Chele. Be strong, you Oldgirl you. Man up, honey child!)

Kentucky was frying chicken in my GOOD "chicken-fryin'" skillet. That's a skillet I've had since 1991, when I was 21. It was one of the first items I bought for my first apartment.

Chicken was smelling GOOD!

Sizzling all up in my GOOD pan!

Man... Kentucky was frying chicken so hard that the house fire alarms started going OFF!

It was as if the fire alarms were hollering "LadyLee, that's some GOOD chicken right there!"

LOL

Anyway, I went back in my bedroom and flopped down on the bed.

Turned on CNN and caught some of the clips of the Memorial.

The scent of fried chicken danced in my nose...

I don't know how I was feeling. I think the look on Oscar-Tyrone's face says it best.


What does that look mean? Perturbed, dismayed, annoyed, bored?


I have no idea. I just know I felt the way he looked.

I didn't want any chicken. Was just a little annoyed with my day. That was the root of my angst.

The chicken smelled good. I taught Kentucky how to properly fry chicken a good year ago.

So I know it had to taste good.

Kentucky fried 4 pieces of chicken. She busted the rest of the package up into 4 quart size freezer bags, and threw them in the freezer.

I prepared a very nice salad for myself.



That's one of those salads where you snatch open the fridgerator door and just throw everything in a bowl.

Fresh spring lettuce, cucumbers, strawberrries, onions, portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, nuts, raisins, seeds...

Topped it off with a fresh tarragon lemon dressing.

(I got that recipe from my Vegetarian Times magazine, you see).

Very nice indeed.

I am SO proud of myself.

I didn't put the smack down on Kentucky for a piece of her chicken.

I did GOOD, ya'll.

LOL

But uh rah...

Kentucky don't need to make a habit of that.

I ain't THAT good.

Or am I?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy Monday Morning...

Happy Monday Morning...

Yeah, yeah... I am NOT excited.

It is all gloomy outside looking like it will storm any minute. It's that good sleeping or good twerking kind of weather! LOL

The current temperature is 71 degrees in my beloved ATL and it will reach a high of 81 degrees today.

That's cool babes! Better than this 100 degree weather we've been having!!

So I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July weekend.

Tell me something: why do 3 day weekends go by so doggone FAST!?

Ugh!!

And it isn't like I had a activity filled weekend...

My 4th of July weekend was

Very

Very

SLOW.

I didn't even leave the house this weekend.

(Now that's what I call slow).

I hung around the house. Period.

And I LOVED-ED it!!!

Sometimes, I need that. Sure, I was invited different places, but I simply wanted to chill...

I watched a lot of television... and a lot of news...

There were some big stories...

Number 1: What's up with Sarah Palin? Chick just up and quit. And that speech she gave was a rambling mess. Made me wonder what she was smoking. I thought she was a maverick. Apparently not!

Number 2. RIP Eric McNair. But uh...what was up with the McNair situation? Is it just me or do you get the vibe that he and his woman on the side got into a fight and a murder-suicide went down?

I am hoping it wasn't a situation where your mess finally caught up with you... That ain't important right now. A wife and 4 sons are left behind. Their lives are forever changed. Sigh.

As you can see, I haven't been posting.

This is because I posted EVERYDAY last month.

Don't expect such out of me anymore!!!

Well, unless it is short. And you know how longwinded we are here at the House of LadyLee.

Short is NOT in my vocabulary.

Anyway, this is Quarterly Assessment time... a time where I look at the happenings in my life over the last 3 months that affected me in someway or another.

The 2nd quarter wasn't as earth shatteringly dark as the 1st quarter.

It was very quiet in comparison. That's what I like.

Worst thing I happened: My bookclub broke up. I want to talk about that without verbally shanking negroes. Haven't quite figured out how to do that.

I paid off a major debt. My thoughts about my finances are so-so, and I want to talk about that.

I became vegetarian, and have been vegetarian for 35 days. This isn't really going to mean much to me until the 100 day mark, because I could just slip and chow down on whole bowl of chittlins and a rack of baby back ribs at any moment, lol, but I wanted to discuss it nevertheless...

Plus a host of other interesting things are always going on with me.

You know how we do at the House of LadyLee.

Smurfiness, with a side order of food for thought.

So with that... you all be sure to make it a great week!

Do it big on purpose!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Most Tasty Dinter

I broke out the wok and cutting knives and hooked up dinner in about 20 minutes flat tonight!


Uh-oh... almost forgot about the rice!

Okay... NOW it's tight!

Blog fam yells "OH NO! That looks like chicken up in there, LadyLee!"

Uh. No.

Told ya'll negroes I was going vegetarian.

Been vegetarian for 31 days.

743.5 hours.

44, 610 minutes.

2,676,660 seconds.

In other words, that ain't chicken!

That's seitan!

Chicken-style seitan. Yeah, yeah, I haven't heard of it either. Been hanging around that vegan store I roll up on once a week, and found out about it. Good stuff.

Looks like chicken.

Feels like chicken up in your mouth.

Hell, you get drunk enough, you'd probably swear it was real chicken!!

Anyway, I am posting the recipe... Not for you, but for myself.

And to prove to my baby blog sistah and keeper, Serenity30, who has my list of summer goals in hand, that I am sticking to the goal of preparing 2 or 3 vegetarian dishes this summer.

(And you know how cantankerous that chick can get when it comes to goals. HUMPH)

LadyLee's Special Bok Choy Stirfry

3 cups bok choy, washed and rough chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup onion, sliced

1/2 cup portabella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup seitan, sliced

1/2 cup broccoli

1 tspn curry powder

1 tspn sriracha pepper chili sauce

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Insructions: Throw it ALL in a wok and let her rip!!

LOL.

There are no real instructions to stir-fry. Stir it, fry it... then eat.

Turned out pretty well. I had a small container of leftover dirty brown rice made with soysage (I don't care for that soysage, man... AT ALL), and I paired it with my stirfry.

Dinner, from cutting up everything to sitting down and eating: 20 minutes...

Now THAT'S what I call fast food!!

Really though.