Thursday, December 31, 2009

Post 3: Southern Black Gal Postulate #99

Wassup ya'll...

It's the last day of the year.

The decade is winding down. Time is ticking away, and soon this decade will exist only in our thoughts.

I woke up this morning to some bizzare scratches and clickings. I quickly realized in all my grogginess that it was ol' Oscar-Tyrone. He was either scratching away in his litter box or the metal tag of his collar was clicking against the bowl from which he was eating.

Such simple noises awakened me. I was a little miffed about it, but I decided to get up and do a little praying. I had a fine time on this last day of the year, reviewing and thanking God for all the triumphs of the last 10 years.

I've been thinking about that all week. If you're anything like me, you are a little disappointed in a few decisions, occurences, etc. I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be in life. And that's okay.

But, do you realize how far we've come in 10 years? I mean, some of you didn't have kids 10 years ago, now you do. Many of us were in different jobs. Heck, some of ya'll hadn't even graduated from college yet. Many live in totally different cities.

Triumphant times galore. We have long laundry lists of things for which we could give thanks.

Then there are the tragedies. The failures in our lives.

As for myself, I was married at the turn of the last decade. That is no longer the case. I was diagnosed with an chronic illness during this decade. Some of my friends and family died during this decade.

We experienced the worst terror attack on American soil during this decade. The residual effects of that thing will be felt forever.

Triumphs

Trials

Tribulations

Troubles galore.

This decade is 99.985% over.

Time to look ahead. A new horizon is at hand.

I am reminded at this time of a food for thought nugget I posted up in 2007. One particular blogger, Southern Black Gal, stuck it in her back pocket and ran with it. She was SERIOUSLY excited about this one. Very much so.

It perplexes me when folk pick up my mindless (and mindful) ramblings.

Southern Black Gal Postulate #99:

"I can't fully focus on the drive ahead to my destination, if I keep staring in the rear view mirror at what's going on behind me..."


It no longer belongs to me. It rests on the mantlepiece in the House of the Southern Black Gal now.

Maybe she'll let us all borrow it.

Sometimes we have to quickly check the rearview mirror, just to get a quick view of what is going on around us.

The problem is that sometimes we keep STARING into it, pondering what's going on behind us, so much so that we aren't paying attention to what's going on ahead of us.

We are not fully focusing.

Which results in fear and doubt.

Which could result in us missing our purpose altogether.

(And ya'll know how much we like to ponder the age old question "Why am I here?")

And speaking for myself, I've missed out on some good things because I was too concerned with what happened in the past.

And in 2010, I can't let that happen.

And neither can you.

We will go through things. Assess the thing, make the proper adjustment, cry a little...

And then quickly get up, brush yourself off, get back in the car...

And press the pedal to the metal...

Focusing fully on your drive ahead to your destination.

(Well, that's what I plan to do... come hell or high water).

Ya'll have a safe night. Don't party too hard.

Because in 2010, it's time to win...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post 2: Vision Board Personal Statement, Part I

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my personal vision statement.

I called this statement my "thermostat". It is what I desire to be, the setting of "inner-me".

And I am not there yet. Like I said, it's where I want to be.

I don't want to be a thermometer, just measuring the temperature of my current atmosphere and simply accepting it and going with the flow. If society dictates it, then I just go along with it... mindlessly.

I don't think so.

I've noticed much lately. For some reason, society charts our course. I don't accept that.

I want to chart my own course.

I want to set my own thermostat. Period.

So, I wanted to discuss this course I've charted for myself, this vision statment. Some parts are easy to discuss, as I am pretty clear about it and accomplishing them. Some parts aren't so clear cut. It reaches far up into every area of my life, especially the problem areas. I think it will help me to talk about it.

I've never wanted to post it, as I consider it private and personal. It is mine, not for others to pick at or manipulate it, or judge me in light of it. But I decided to post it. And I am glad of that.

I judge myself in light of it. It is something I'm mindful of, something I've memorized.

Now, this is part 1 of 10 parts, but I will sprinkle those 10 posts amongst the 40. I don't care to do them in order. And in each post, the part I talk about will be highlighted in green.

I am 100% healthy in my body, soul, and spirit. I acknowledge God in all my ways, and I seek Him before I make any decisions, big or small. I am a blessing to my family and to those that God sends across my path. I am an incredible asset to my friends. I am a good listener. I am an excellent employee, and I not only work hard, but I work smart. I take time to periodically evaluate myself, and I make changes accordingly. I stick and hold fast to the path God has charted out for my life. I accept and openly welcome constructive criticism, as I know it will help me become "a better me". I am a good steward, a fine manager over the finances He has blessed me with, to the point that God knows He can trust me.

I am 100% healthy in my body, soul and spirit.
I have a huge "100%" label on my vision board. I wasn't sure why that caught my eye and I needed to cut it out of the magazine and use it, but looking at that first sentence of my personal vision statement helps me to understand (or as my big blog brutha Hassan says, "overstand") what that means.

I want to experience wholeness and be at total peace in my body, soul, and spirit.

Nothing busted. Nothing missing. Nothing broken.

I want wholeness and peace in my BODY. I want this lupus under control or in remission... something. GEEZ. I want to be healthy, man!

I want wholeness in my SOUL. The soul houses my intellect, my will and my emotions. It is where all my choices and decisions are made. It is the control center of my life, the battlefield of sorts. I want peace in that area.

I want wholeness and peace in my SPIRIT. That's the most complicated area. To me, my spirit is that perfect part of me, shaped by God and from God. It's the essence of who I truly am.

I want all those parts of me to be at peace. Healthy, bustling along at 100%.

I want everything alright, and as it should be.

That's a tall order right there. It's a broad and massive area where continuous construction is underway, and will continue until the day I die.

And I of all people have realized something very crucial, terribly crucial indeed in that "construction" process:

God does His part. And I do my part.

The two go hand in hand.

(Not sure I'm going off on a tangent here, but hey... you know how I am).

I get a LOT of answered prayer. A LOT. I'm talking some immediate answers.

We ALL get answers to our prayers. Here's the reasons why we think we don't:

The answers don't line up with what we want or think the answer should be.
The answers don't line up with the dictates of society, i.e., not approved of by society, not popular.
The answers require change.
The answers require us to rely on, trust in, and have faith in God.

(That last two are my problem areas. Hard sigh.)

My answers are never "magic" abracadabra type stuff. Like "ta-daaaah", no more emotional problems! No more health isshas! No more life problems!

No. It always requires me to DO something.

In other words, a path to whatever the answer is opens up.

And I better get up off my behind and WALK OUT THAT PATH. And in the process of walking out that path, a bunch of stuff goes down. I build my faith muscle on that path. I pick up a lot of skills along that path. I meet a lot of people along said path. I may even squash a lot of bad habits and attitudes along this wondrous path. I have to honestly judge myself on that path (and rightfully so).

[God know He likes to kill 100 birds with one stone. Sigh (but that's a VERY good thing).]

The path to "there", the answer, is sooooo important and vital.

Sometimes I walk out the path. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I whine. Sometimes I am pissed about it. Sometimes I plant my feet and decide that I ain't doing JACK.

Sometimes I get sidetracked, i.e., I get stuck headfirst off in a bush on the side of the path, lol

But I better do my part. Period.

I have found this to be very much so when it comes to that vision statement.

I am 100% healthy in my body, soul, and spirit.
I am working on being healthy in my body. I can't begin to even tell you how some of the lifestyle changes, i.e., me doing my part, has helped me in that area.

I am working on being healthy in my soul and my spirit. I have a lot of problem areas (don't we all), but I am prayerful about those. I find the path to that health is very interesting... It involves people who have the same goals I have. We are helping each other along, being of great support.

The thermostat is set.

I am a constantly evolving changing being, even when things appear to be stagnant.

And I must say, and continuously confess that first sentence of my personal vision. I must keep my eyes on that statement.

In time, I will get there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post 1: Serenity Postulate #23

This is a repost. Even though it's over 2 years old, it still rings fresh in my mind as one of the most important food for thoughts I've ever scrawled high up on the walls of this House. It encompasses several interesting truths that apply to my life at this very moment and time. And I am always mindful of it...

I wrote in an earlier post that I have a small baby blue suede journal that I tend to grab for recording little interesting things I hear throughout the day, hopefully for use in my writing material at some point or another. I sit in the cubicle I share with my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre and I read whatever I've written the night before. We get a good chuckle out of that, especially when I tell her where I got the idea from ("Girl, I got that from Good Times!")

My blog sistas and I have an email thread that goes on and on all day, and it might as well be instant messenger, LOL... All kinds of interesting convos go on... everything from joning on one another, uplifting one another, to the extremes of fighting and getting cussed out... Let's just say, uh, I feel kind of weird if we aren't "communicating" in one form or another, LOL...

I listed some of the interesting things from my notebook on the thread, and Super Shoe Queen Blogger, Serenity23, got WAAAAY too excited about one of them, to the point where she used it a couple of times... So we have jokingly called it "The Serenity Postulate #23". She asked me to use it as a "Food for Thought" and expound on it...

The Serenity Postulate #23 states:

My past...



I can't unscramble THOSE eggs.

Serenity saw that on the thread, snatched it up, and ran full speed ahead in with it... I remember her saying, "This happened in the past, blah, blah blah. I can't uncscramble those eggs!"

I wanted to send her an email saying "Woo, woo, woo, Serenity."

I have no idea what we were talking about, but that postulate is loaded, and we could discuss it alll day if we had to. I think I picked up the phrase from the finance class I am currently taking, but I thought that it had implications reaching far past financial isshas.

I suppose trying to "unscramble" an egg that has already been cracked and cooked is a most difficult thing to do. Can one actually take a scrambled egg and take it back to the state that it had been in a few moments ago, perfectly round yolk in the middle of the slimy whites, and place it back into a shell that doesn't look like it has ever been cracked?




I don't know.

Same thing with the past, i.e., the events and personal isshas of the past.

I find that when I think of my past I don't particulary think about the accomplishments. I purchased my first home a couple years ago, and that's a huge accomplishment. I obtained a Ph.D. close to 10 years ago (man, has it been THAT long?), and that is something to be proud of.

However, my accomplishments are gravely overshadowed by my failures (in my mind's eye). I think more about my failures than about my successes. And that's not good.

I mean, I say to myself often "Knowing what I know now, if only I could go back and do A, B, and C over..."

But that's not possible. The past is the past. I can't change the past...

I can't "unscramble those eggs."

I must learn from my past, instead of wallowing in regret of my past, and that is a difficult thing for me to do. A couple of nights ago, as I lay across my bed reading a book, I started thinking about some personal mess in the past, and I started crying. Didn't understand why I got upset all of a sudden.

I attributed it to PMS, and pulled myself back together.

All the failures, the mistakes, the pain, the anger... all of that is in the past. I can't change it, and most of all, I need to stop meditating on it. Today is a NEW day. And any day I wake up on the right side of the dirt is a GOOD day. Period.

I have tried to drill into the heads of my brother Milk and Cookies and my sister Kentucky that they will learn from my mistakes or they will learn from their own mistakes. Whatever the case... They will learn. But the thing that they don't want is to make those mistakes, and it be a part of their memory forever, to the point where they are analyzing it, trying to figure out how to undo it, and it paralyzes them, etc... They look at me with that "deer in the headlights" look when I say such things, but hopefully they will someday understand.

With that said, I can't fully focus on the drive ahead to my destination, if I keep staring in the rear view mirror at what's going on behind me...

I keep telling myself that. Hopefully, someday it will take root in my heart.

I'm glad this "postulate" touched Serenity's heart, and she took it in her arms and embraced it as her own. She has been through things that I don't think I could have ever handled, but despite all of that, she presses forward towards her goals and dreams... She is a huge inspiration to me because I have witnessed her, for close to three years, move forward and grow by leaps and bounds, despite the isshas of her past.

She knows that she can't unscramble THOSE eggs...

I have to, as our other blog sista The LadyBug Mocha says: "Man up and stop being a punk"...

...and get to the point where I know that too.

(I think, upon the hard approach to 40, I wholly understand that.... finally).

40 in 40: The intro-"The Hard Stomp"

Yes, yes ya'll.

And you don't stop.

'Bout to roll out 40 posts

Posts so hard they'll make your mouth drop.

*Blog fam gives LadyLee the blank stare*



Don't look at me in that tone of voice.

Just busting a hardcore rap in the wee early hours of the morning of...

Day 1.

40 posts in 40 days.

So if I get smurfy, I better get smurfy right here, right now.

Cuz ain't nothing smurfy about these 40 posts.

And I have to tell you, I am very nervous about it.

Not the "What will people think of me" kind of nervous. Because you know I don't give a flip what negroes think.

But, the "Lawd have mercy, I didn't realize there was so much to me" kinda nervous.

Let's just say there are about 100 different post topics on my heart, from which I've had to cull 40 that mean the most, and write on those. I didn't realize my life ran deep as the ocean.

And it's gonna almost have to be like I'm writing and no one's reading.

Wait. House of LadyLee is set up like that anyway.

But I'ma take you deep. Real deep into the heart of LadyLee.

And I'm not going to even be all longwinded with it.

*Blogger Chele spews her morning coffee all over the computer screen*

I know that's right, Ma. Who am I kidding? I'm the most longwinded sista in the Solar System.

*LadyLee hands Chele a roll of paper towels to clean up that desk. LadyLee hands Chele the phone so she can call somebody in IT to take care of her keyboard*

I'm gonna keep it brief, LadyLee style. This means no more than 5 to 10 pages, lol.

You know, I'm that way because I don't talk much.

I would say that most of it is spiritual. And I don't like to pull that too much up into all my smurfiness, but that's what I think about when it's quiet...

When no one's looking...

And the lights are out.

And I'm alone.

That's where the rubber meets the road. What's going on in the natural is a mirror reflection of what's going on spiritually.

(Did you catch that? You mighta read that too fast. Go sit in the corner and let that one marinate).

We busting down to where the rubber meets the road in my heart of hearts.

I'm gonna stomp hard in very acute detail through each sentence of my personal vision statement, posted a couple of weeks ago. That's 10 posts within itself.

I'm talking the HARD stomping, like when Cain stomped Iyesha's cousin head in Menance II Society.

(Yes, the hard stomp).

Other posts that have made the cut:

A sermon I heard a few years ago. It was so important and critical that I bought a tape and wrote it down word for word.

The most important conversation I've ever had in my life. Well, I have had few, but this one, which occured a few years ago, was important, for reasons that will become very obvious.

My worst hangup, i.e. idiosyncracy, one that I am ashamed to talk about.

Wait, make that two hangups...

Or three.

My feelings on the subject of love.

Strongholds. (This is more of Serenity's area of interest, and something i HATE thinking about). If you don't understand strongholds, you will when I finish talking about the subect. Heck, you gotta be blind, deaf, and stupid if you don't.

God answers prayers. And I've gotten some incredible answers. One or two have spooked my tail good fashioned, and stone cold changed my attitude immediately about a few things in my life.

Bet your head hurts from a few of those subjects.

That's just the tip of the LadyLee iceberg, man.

The tippy-tip.

Not even that, really.

It's the frosty mist rising off the iceberg.

LadyLee thinks very deeply.

So who got the guts to hang?

Through the good. Through the bad. Through the unexpected.

LadyLee's turning 40...

40 days from today. In about 960 hours.

Everytime I think about it, I must admit that I shed a few tears.

(Wait. Maybe that's my PMS. Whoever times themselves by me, be alert! lol)

So come with me.

Take my hand.

Let's take a walk over to that side.

Hold my hand. Hold on tight.

And don't let go.

Stay tuned in a few hours for post #1...

A post about eggs.



(Come on now, stop looking at me like I just got off the bus).

This is just the intro, not part of the 40. But, starting with this post, I'm counting up comments. No pulling the winner out of a bag this time. I'm counting up comments, minus spamish bizness. Substantial comments. We giving away cookies, books, cash and something outstanding for the top prize, which is top secret, lol. This one is skewed towards my regular commenters and longtime residents of the House of Ladylee.

But you lurkers are welcome to kick the ballistics (Wassup Canadians, lol).

Hmmm...

So let us begin...

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Monday After...

The Monday after...

The Monday after Christmas, that is.

And glory, glory, I don't have to go to work!

OH JOY!

lol

I do need to get up out of this bed and go do something. These past few days have been marked by sleeping late and much lounging. Waaaay too much.

My Christmas holidays. We are still in the midst of those, right? Right. But I think we're more geared toward the New Year, than not.

My christmases have been a bit uneventful the past few years. I don't spend them with family, due to the stress involved, and the older I get, the less I like dealing with stress. So I hope to see some relatives this week. I usually go over to my Bff's house, but she and her family spent the Holidays in Helen, a small alpine type village up in the North Georgia mountains, so I was basically on my own. Me and Kentucky spent Christmas at the house.

Our mother wailed about this. Kentucky usually does whatever she is told, and I always call her the "good perfect child". (I am the black sheep, the no good heathen). But she is like me these days... neither one of us could stand the holidays while we were growing up (they were very competitive- who bought the biggest gifts, were they wrapped right, etc). And Kentucky is realizing that she can do whatever she wants for holidays, and that's what she does now.

As I said, we hung out around the house and ate, and watched movies. We exchanged gifts... I gave her some bath stuff. She gave me a hot air popcorn popper, and underwear and a gift card. And we were happy and content.

There was a small amount of drama that pissed me off. But I won't get into that. It didn't unfold. Let's just say an Oldgirl knows how to head mess off. Really though.

Now the best Christmas gift came the day before Christmas: Getting a chance to hang out with the Queen, the baddest writing diva in the Solar system,

My favorite celebrity, Tayari Jones., aka "Miss Celie".




Author of the award winning novels Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling.

*Lee falls prostrate on the hard concrete*

Ya'll know I worship the ground she walks and spits upon. I am part stalker stan, part #1 fan, lol.

And she is a globetrotter. I was really surprised that she was coming home. She is a SWATlien (and so was I in my early years). You can take the girl out of SWATS, but I guess you can't take the SWATS out the girl.

But we have become friends, and we text, email, and talk on the phone from time to time. I read her latest blog post, and was a tad bit, uh, I don't know the word... perplexed over it. I sent her a text message, and lo and behold, she wanted to do brunch. I was NOT expecting to see her, so I was shocked, dazed and confused, lol.

We wanted to meet at the Watershed, a place I learned about through one of her good friends a few years ago, but it was closed for the holidays. So I left my car at that place and jumped in her ride and we rode through downtown Decatur and we found another eatery, Parker's on Ponce.

Now, I've passed this place a few times, as downtown Decatur is my cutthrough when I'm going to the farmer's markert after work. I DO remember the name of the place, as Parker is my last name, and I wanted to take a pic of it and post it. But I thought it was a gift shop or something.

But we walked up on it and saw that it was a steakhouse. Hmmm.

It was a very nice place, with the cherrywood decor and fireplaces, looking like a ski lounge. The food was the bomb. I had some calamari (Celie forced that on me, lol), and the best lettuce, goat cheese and tomato sandwich in the world (sounds lame, but it was very good). She had something called "pops" aka slider sandwiches, which looked pretty interesting. She sipped sparkling wine, and wanted me to have sparkling water. (I have no idea what either of those is. This is my slowness at it's best

We must've spent a good two hours in there talking. I know that chick think I'm slow, but heck, she talk fast, and I talk slow, so we have to work it out, lol. But we had a good time, good convo, and always, like a good mentor does, she gave me some good writing advice.

I gave her a gift of bodycology bubble bath and cocoa butter lotion. She liked that!

We perused a very interesting antique shop afterwards. It was expensive as hell, but there are several little shops all around downtown Decatur and it's definitely worth the excursion in the future.

She had a party to attend that evening, and needed to bring something sweet, so we found this amazing bakery called Southern Sweets. It is near the farmer's market that I frequent once a week (not sure why i never noticed it). I wanted a slice of cake, but they were only selling whole cakes that day. (I'll hit them up after Christmas). She bought a coconut cake for her party, and a caramel cake for her Mama and 'em. She stayed on that side of Decatur, while I delivered the caramel cake to her fam in SWATS.

What a fun afternoon we had.

It always perplexes me that she lurks heavily on this blog, and now she thinks I should do some memoir pieces. We talked about that, and we talked about the happenings in our lives in general.

I like that Oldgirl. She's a diva, but normal... a regular chick with the same isshas us commoners have, lol. I think that's what I like about her best. I always come away with some sort of plan -personal and professional -after hanging with her, and that's a good thang.

So it was great hanging with you, Miss Celie. A true Celie-and-Nettie adventure indeed.

Plans for the week. I am off all week. I have a TON of stuff to do. Anyone who is expecting mail from me will get it this week. Believer, I need your address, girl. Drop it in my oldgirl email, PLEASE. I plan to do much writing, and I plan to hit up the movies, go bowling etc. I got a whole list of things to do, and I'm going to work that list!

40 posts. Tomorrow is December 29th, exactly 40 days before my birthday. I plan to do 40 posts, more food for thought, really, looking at who I am and what has shaped my life over the past 40 years. I am a tad bit nervous about that, but 40 is a milestone, and I didn't get here by just staring blindly into thin air. I have a lot on my mind that I'm trying to deal with, and hopefully by looking at the past and present, I can be a little clearer about my direction in the future...

Does that make sense? I don't know. It barely makes sense to me.

But there are many things - people, experiences, events, regrets, emotions, idiosyncracies, beliefs - that shape our lives. Many. I've been pondering these as I quickly approach this age of 40.

Fabulous prizes and giveaways galore. Hmmm.... I already hinted at what they may be, and I won't mention them anymore. Like I said, I am not a comment whore, but I want to do something special for my readers.

So stay tuned for that. I am nervous about it, but I think it will work out fine.

I hope you all are enjoying your Christmas holidays...

And I hope you're getting ready to take on the next decade!

Friday, December 25, 2009

**MERRY CHRISTMAS**

I, Ladylee...

Your friendly neighborhood Oldgirl...

Would like to wish you a Very Very

***Merry Christmas***

Nothing much going on over this way. I woke up this morning, said my prayers to thank God for the real reason for the season, and then read a little of my book club book, The Doctor's Wife.

Me and Kentucky are going to hang out at home and chill. I was looking for a good Law and Order Marathon, but that's a no-go.

Lo and behold, there's a City Confidential marathon on the Biography channel so we are not moving from our spots!!

LOL

The the day is young, so I won't talk about any gifts.

A dog may show up at the door with a delivery in his mouth. I may unwrap the wad and find it's many thousands of dollars in cash. That'll be a great gift!

LOL!

So I will discuss my Christmas tomorrow. Just in case.

Anyway, I purchase flowers for the coffee table every holiday.

Here are the Christmas flowers.



I see these flowers, all pretty and white, in the midst of more colorful fare, everytime I walk through the sliding glass doors of my local Whole Foods Grocery Store.



I've been wanting to buy some, and I finally did. But I don't like them as my regular flowers. My living room furniture is cream colored, and I prefer a colorful flower on the table. They are pretty, nevertheless.

That was my gift to myself. That and a heavy stew pot bought from the local Wal-mart. I'm making some vegetable soup for the weekend. Our Christmas dinner will be baked tilapia, crab claws, stewed kale, green beans, squash and cornbread. Dessert will be key lime pie and carrot cake. Not sure what we'll be drinking. I have some nonalcoholic beer stashed in the back of the laundry room cabinet. Maybe we'll break those out and have a jolly good time!

But this Christmas is about relaxing for us...

Drama free... keep yours like that too, you heard me?

Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Ramblings

I need to post something, don't I?

But I don't have anything to talk about.

Oh, oh wait...

Yes I do!

Yes I do!

I am OFF.

This is RARE.

It feels GOOD!

*Lee cheesing hard like Celie*

Yes, I am off from work until January 5th.

Man, I thought yesterday would NEVER end. I worked 9.5 hours.

My boss called me around 5 pm at my desk. I think she must've heard me wailing hard before I picked up the phone. (Nothing worse than a ringing phone. I am working as fast as I can).

She said "Merry Christmas".

I gave a lurch like response.

She left. I was there for another 2.5 hours.

I didn't finish all I needed to do. And there was a discussion of me asking straight up if my vacay would get revoked. But we have a lot of work in the lab. EVERYBODY is ghost.

The general feeling is "Who cares?"

And I turned my phone off. Most of yall know what I do for a living. Let's just say, hope there's no national emergency. I've been laying in bed in the past and I've seen some craziness on the World news, with me hollering "Awwwwww dayuuuuuum!"

... And being pulled into some frantic long nationwide conference call the next day.

But I hope all is well this Christmas season. I'll watch the news, and turn my phone on if some mess go down...

(Someone will be knocking on my door hijacking me up to work if I don't, lol).

So, what will I do for my vacay?

Man, I have a TON of projects/goals/thangs-to-do I'd like to get to. I have made a list in my head, and I need to write it down.

Most notably.

1. Ten hours of writing. (I set the goal small, as I will easily overshoot that one). I should be able to finish the story I'm working on. It is 50 pages now, and it should easily hit 100 pages.

2. Work on 2 new vegetarian recipes. I want to make a whole wheat pizza, and I want to work on a sweet potato version of salmon croquettes. I made a chickpea version for thanksgiving, which was very very good.

Now I worked on a nonwheat pizza crust a few weeks ago. It did not go well AT ALL. So I will stick with the wheat. Perfect that one.

3. Go to at least 2 movies. I want to see Avatar and Princess and the Frog. I might check to see what's going on at the dollar movies, and kick through there.

4. Go Bowling. Me and my sista Kentucky plan to hit up some lanes! I haven't been bowling since 1995!

5. Get started on Crochet project. I am working on one now that is due in early January, but it's not going to be finished. I will keep fooling with it, and mail it off late. My bad.

I'm going deep down to the southside to purchase yarn for Ms. Blackliterature.com's baby blanket today. Hope I finish in time, Mama!

6. Do something in the garage. Notice I didn't say clean out the garage. It's a hot mess out there. I just want to straighten up, and gather some stuff for thrift store so I can write it off on my taxes. (Me and my motives, lol).

7. Work on Goals for 2010. My goals technologist Aretha posted hers. Serenity posted hers. So I guess I better make mine up. I probably won't post them. But I learned from Aretha, that I need to make them, write them down, and if I don't meet them, IT'S OKAY. Assess and tweek them, and keep working on them.

They will be bold and in full technicolor. That's all I will say about that.

8. Work on my 40 food-for-thought posts countdown to my 40th birthday. My birthday is on February 7th. I will be sunning down in the Dominican Republic that week. But this is a milestone. So I'm doing a serious self assessment blowout. I'll have you thinking so hard that your brain is will hurt, lol.

That will start on December 28th.

Plenty good cash and prizes will be given away to commenters. (Did you catch that "cash" part?)

LOL!!!

40 dollar gift card. I think I can handle that bit of cash.

BUT there's a prize more valuable than that one going out.

Going out to the two people with the most comments during that time.

Hmmm.

(No, I'm not a comment whore. Just want to show my appreciation for those who spend time reading my longwindedness).

I have a lot more I want to do during vacay.

And that includes plenty of rest and relaxation, and time spent with friends and fam...

I'll most definitely will be posting...

So stay tuned!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, Monday.

Monday, Monday.

COLD MONDAY!

The current temperature in the ATL is 29 degrees.

29 degrees!!!?!

The weatherman just said "It's cold, but you're not going to be thinking about it, because it's going to be soooo pretty outside."

*Lee throws brick at TV*

Uh, I guess we can say that summer is officially over.

LOL!

I'm going to work today. I don't know WHY I just didn't take the entire 2 weeks off, like most people. I think I was thinking of my birthday vacation. But we won't be thinking of that next year. I'm dipping just like everyone else.

But I only work 2 days this week. That will go by VERY fast. Very fast indeed. I plan to work hard as I can, despite having a fight with my boss on Friday. (I am still suprised that I wasn't written up and sent home), and being thrown under the bus by a couple of coworkers (which was quite funny, as the boss paid no attention to them).

I'ma make these 2 days count. Then I am OFF.

My weekend. I have a decent weekend. Saturday, I decided to go donw to see Baby Bandit, one of the House of LadyLee Mascots, play in one of his high school basketball games.

I got directions from his Mama on how to get there, but I fooled around and got off at the wrong exit. I called up the Green Eyed Bandit, and she was like "That's wrong, I'll have to talk you through the street way."

I whined the whole time. It was waaaaaay to deep out in Henry County, and ya'll know I don't like running around down there.

Once I got out there, in the middle of nowhere, I was all good.

But Green Eyed Bandit... that was the last basketball Im making. You got me all out there with Hansel and Gretel. Ugh.

The game was cool. But Baby bandit's team lost.

And he had the gall to say afterwards, "Miss LadyLee, did you see me dunk the ball?"

*Lee gives Baby Bandit the hard side-eye*

His friend Kool-aid asked if I saw the smooth alley-oops.

By that time, it was time for me to go. (Before I got the unction to throw both of them into a choke hold).

I'm always glad to support the boys. But I'ma need ya'll to move within the ATL metro area.

Afterwards I went to a bookclub meeting. I didn't care for the book, Eric Jerome Dickey's The Other Woman, but we had a very spirited discussion. We have one male member, who was trying to convince us that 95% of all men cheat. That cause a ruckus. He took a verbal shanking for all the things he, as a married man, said about cheating.

Certain things you don't say to a room full of black women. I thought dude was gonna get tackled. But I appreciate his presence, as the male point of view is always helpful (no matter how strange it may be).

I didn't do much on Sunday. It was a chore day. And I spent time with my sister. She cooked her tail off: curry chicken, rice, cabbage, broccoli cornbread, and blackberry cobbler. Goodness! She's a school teacher, and she's off for the next 2 weeks. She could've hooked that up some other day when I wasn't around!

I had a homemade veggie pizza, loaded with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, and peppers. It looked like something off the Flintstones. (You know how big that prehistoric food looked). I also had some braised kale/swiss chard. I meant to cook some baby lima beans, but I'ma hook those up when I come home tonight.

Post of the week. My special goals technologist Aretha closed on her first home. She didn't mention anything about it, but I knew that chick was up to something. I am sooo happy for her.

You go girl.

And she, being my goals technologist, posted her goals for 2010. I guess that means I better get working on my own!

Well, that is all I have for this Monday morning. I'm going to go into work early. So I can leave early. (Well, at least try to). That may be one of those things where I sneak out after my 8hours are done. We'll see.

I won't be posting everyday this week. We'll see.

Ya'll have a great week!

I'll holler!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Notes on Depression

I was asked by a new reader to post up my notes on depression, an area that is the topic of the Sundays sermons at my church for the rest of the year.

I was a tad bit confused about this, as this is the Christmas season... I expect some Christmas sermons, you know. But I suppose that this is a time of year where some people have a difficult time. I myself don't care for the holiday season, so I suppose there are people out there who get really down during this time.

So, I am posting my notes. This looks to be an overall general introduction, and things will be dealt with in more detail on other Sundays (thats how things usually go).

I will give my personal thoughts and how it affects me afterwards.

Notes on Depression

Do you go to bed sad and wake up sad?

Have you felt sad for so long that it hangs over your head like a dark cloud?

If so, you're probably depressed.

Definitions of Depression:

1. The result of external pressure getting in our heart and weighing it down.
2. Feelings that come from thinking thoughts that weigh you down.

Depression resides in your soulish realm (your mind, intellect and will).

Symptoms of Depression:

1. Reclusiveness - withdrawing from reality; becoming a hermit or antisocial.
2. A passive mind - matters of life have become unimportant to you; instead of thinking progressively and aggressively, you just don't care; things that use to matter to you, just don't matter anymore.
3. Magnification of Difficulties - turns conditions into major problems; having a tendency of turning a molehill into a mountain.
4. Lack of concentration - occurs when your mind jumps from one place to another, like a bird jumping from branch to branch.

Effects of Depression:

1. Steals your ambitions
2. It's an enemy of your faith
3. Can lead to physical illness
4. Guilt
5. Jealousy
6. Hostility

(The last two affect people around you).

Causes of Depression:

1. Trauma - something that brought sorrow or disappointment into your life.
2. Disappointment -results from unfilled expectations.

A better attitude to have and develop: "I expect nothing, but I am deeply appreciative."

3. Rejection - the feeling of not being accepted; a result of seeking your self-worth and approval from people.

[Self-worth is a combination of the opinions that people have of you, combined with your ability to perform at a level that makes other people happy.

This is a lie, and a bad definition. People change. They love you one day, and will hate you the next.

The true definition of self worth is the sum total of God's love and God's acceptance of you.]

4. Physical illness/sickness can cause depression, especially if you've had it for awhile.

Depression is real, even in biblical times: see Psalms 40, Micah 7:1-7 (Micah reference from previous week's notes).

Things to do to pull out of the depression:

1. Work on thinking different thoughts.
2. Face the issue, starting with being honest with yourself (Psalm 51:6)
3. Start speaking to your mountains.
4. Take authority over depression
5. Allow your spirit to speak.

Personal Thoughts

What I usually do with Church notes is really comb through them and see if anything said is applicable to my life. For example, I had a really bad day on Friday and went to church on friday evening, took 3 pages of notes, and I can count about 10 things in there that basically get to the gist of my personal isshas, and I have to spend time scarfing back through there, and taking action concerning such.

I did the same thing here. Although I didn't think this depression thing applied to me.

Or does it?

With regard to the questions posed in the beginning of the notes, I must say that I don't go to bed sad, or wake up sad. There's no dark cloud hanging over my head, either. But I have felt like that at times during my 39 years of life. So no, I am no stranger to depression.

There have been different times of my life that have weighed my heart down. I've detailed much of that here on my blog: a failed marriage, no relationship with my mother, death of my good friend. I can think of others, but those are what come to mind immediately.

I do understand the mention of depression residing in your soulish realm, i.e, your mind - which houses my intellect, emotions, and will. Those are things affected. For myself, there has a difference between things that go on in my spirit and in my mind. I think my spirit has kept me from falling into despair, and recovering or accepting what is going on.

For myself, I am a bit concerned about those symptoms of depression. I look at different areas of my life, and in general I am pretty happy with life. I have good friends, and I have a lot of interests.

But... there is one area of my life that truly bothers me when it comes to those symptoms described.

My job.

A year ago or so, I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, my head in my hands, praying, asking God how in the world am I suppose to survive in a pit of such depression and rebellion? I mean it's like a huge spirit of depression and a spirit of rebellion hover over the place. It's very mysterious to me, the level of depression and rebellion, each existing together. Very odd, mysterious indeed.

And I feel as though I am swimming against the tide...

And a hard Hawaii 5-0 wave is coming. And I'm fighting an undertow.

EVERYONE is depressed on my job. EVERYONE is unhappy. It is getting more disturbing by the day. I myself am more annoyed than anything, but lately employees have been describing problems that I can't even fathom.

We need better words than low morale to describe the dire situation.

The problem is the words haven't been invented yet.

I think you can tell (I know I can), that I am NOT happy with my job. It is wearing my mind down something terrible. Pondering the symptoms above, it really bothered me. My mind is very passive concerning my job. I magnify difficulties. I REALLY suffer from a lack of concentration.

I don't feel like that this is caused much by me. We have a very poor management, whose sole purpose appears not to affectively manage, but to drive the place completely into the ground.

Now, I have lupus, and depression is one of the major symptoms. This is more an effect of the cognitive/central nervous system than anything. My doctor has been happy that I haven't displayed this. I like my life in general.

She is concerned about the effects of this job on me. We talk about it. I have been stressed the last 3 months, something terrible. It has affected me physically, i.e., I've lost a lot of hair (didn't have much from the get go). She strongly enforced my 8 hour workdays (I use to work 10-12 hours a day). Plus I'm required to keep copius plans, list, and notes of everything I accomplish every day. She requires me to set goals for my day. This has afforded me a much better concentration. But I have to work on it real hard, and when I don't, it's like a house of cards falling down.

She, as my doctor, is a better boss to me than my own boss. That is a shame. But at the same time, I am grateful for that.

I can relate to those effects of depression listed above... the lost ambition and such. It is definitely an enemy to my faith, and if I'm not careful, I do understand that it can all be drowned out. I can't relate to the guilt, jealousy or hostility. I've worked toward not feeling guilty about stuff. I am not jealous of folks. I have a hostility issue, only when someone is trying to get over on me or is hostile towards me (trust me, I'm working on that). But I never initiate hostility.

The whole trauma and disappointment angle is interesting. Trauma absolutely knocks me off balance, as it does anyone. I think that it's not only the trauma that's an issue, but the RESIDUAL affects of said trauma that's the ultimate problem. The residual effects are residue-it stays around for a long time. I have to work hard on scrubbing away that residue. I find that I can come out from under the dark cloud.

I wholly agree with the disappointment angle. I don't expect much from people. But when someone genuinely cares for me or takes thought of me, I am deeply appreciative. Very much so.

I think I learned long ago not to seek self-worth through other people. It's not really possible. People change. I do understand though that this is an area, the area of acceptance and rejection, that can lead to depression. We see that every day. I learned a long time ago that God loves me, and it's all good, and I best get busy accepting myself and who I am. Period. Acceptance of God's grace and love is crucial, and of course that is all faith based. But I know many folks who think God hates them and is punishing them. Yeah... that's enough to depress a person, very deeply.

I did appreciate the scripture concerning depression, and I usually spend a bit of time seeking out more examples. One of the most effective examples that has meant much to me, especially since I've never heard anyone teach on it, is one I found a few years ago. It was a brief touch on the depression of Lot, as briefly mentioned in 2 Peter, chapter 2, and basically how his environment had him all discombobulated. That piece has had a profound affect on me because of the way it ended: God knows how to jump people out of depressing situations.

Finally, the issue of purposely doing things to pull oneself out of depression. Thinking different thoughts, well, that something that must be worked on, as the depressive thoughts have such a stronghold on your mind. That takes much work. Speaking to that situation, very actively, well, that is something that I plan to do. Looking back in my life, that has ALWAYS worked for me, as I have found nothing happens until my words and my thoughts are right. My mind starts charting a roadmap to the solution when that happens.

Most important right now is that verse of scripture, the last one mentioned in the notes. The Amplified version is given here.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.

Searching one's soul and being honest with oneself is all to important. I work hard on that one. Sometimes I don't like what I see, but at least I can say that I have set down and searched my heart and have been honest with myself. Only then can I ask God for the wisdom to know what to do next.

Then I must utilize that wisdom, and I must get focused and take appropriate action.

On purpose.

So that's where I am now.

This has been very cathartic for me. All things happen for a reason. Thanks Ms. Jennifer, new reader, for asking me to post my depression notes. I needed the courage to do so. I am eternally grateful to you, hon.

And these have been my notes, along with my longwinded thought. As always with Sunday scriptural issues, I like to end with a song. Here's one of my favorite songs, one I've posted before.

"Angels Watching Over Me"



Enjoy your Sunday... on purpose.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Freestyles

What's up peoples?

I actually came in to work 2 hours early today. Yay me!

And I bet my boss is going to be looking at me like I should stay until my usual 7:00 to 7:30 pm.

*Lee clears throat*

"NO SHORTY!"

I am leaving between 4:30 and 5:00 pm. I want to go to church tonight.

She and I had a crazy convo yesterday... she called me at my desk about something, while I was FEVERISHLY working on my own stuff, wanting me to stop and do something else.

*Lee clears throat*

"NOOOO!!!"

That convo ended with me (head laying on desk), wailing HARD!!

"I'ma need for you to understand meeeeeeeee!!!!!"

She was wailing "Oh girl, don't give me this drama!!!! You're full of drama!"

Nevertheless, I continued what I was doing. Thank goodness for that, because she gave me an assignment that will take about 20 hours to do on top of my other stuff.

My last day before taking off for the rest of the year is Tuesday.

You do the math.

*Lee digging ditch hard with broken toothpick*

LOL!!!

On to more interesting fare. Chele asked in the comment of the last post if I took multivitamins. No I don't. Although that is a goal of mine, over the holidays: to go to a health store up on the northside that specializes in such, and get a good multivitamin. I like the emergen-C variety packs, but I want something in liquid form. (I hate pills).

The problem is this: I get a blood test every month that details the levels of every vitamin, electrolyte, and some of the minerals in my blood at fasting state (no breakfast or lunch before doc visits), and nothing is lacking. So I essentially don't need it. I was a bit concerned about calcium, and my doc, who is a vegetarian, said for me to shore up on leafy greens and broccoli. That covers everything.

I raise an eyebrow at this, but I guess she knows what she is talking about. And my calcium levels are cool. My anemia is nonexistant now, which still perplexes me. I discussed that with her also. She says when you get all the junk out the way, and a bunch of the stuff out of the way that keeps you from assimilating nutrients, then you remove certain problems.

Okay! Good enough for me. I still had the *crickets* swirling around my head. But hey, she's the internist, she's the expert.

I've gotten her to the point where she explains things a bit clearer to me. She use to be like "Well, you're a doctor, LadyLee, so I know you've been reading, blah, blah, blah."

"Yes, this is true," I say, "But I ain't a medical doctor, and I want YOU to talk to me in layman's terms."

(Although I have been reading...)

She's given me much to ponder. Thank goodness for that.

Well, I look forward to a good weekend. It is raining cats and dogs in the ATL right now, but that will clear up over the weekend. Nope, I won't be staying in the house. I have a Book club meeting.

And Green Eyed Bandit! Baby Bandit has a game tomorrow (as if you didn't know). Give me a holler! I think it's in the morning, right? Call me! I want to go if it's around 11 a.m!!!

I have to get started on Ms.Blackliterature.com's baby blanket...

Look here, Shorty. I've asked you a gazillion times for a color scheme, or your thoughts. You got until midnight to let me know something. Text me, or call me, send up a flare... do SOMETHING. The blanket is my Christmas vacation project.

So holler at me, girl!

LOL!!

Someone out there wanted me to put up my notes on depression from church. For some bizarre reason, that is our subject matter for the rest of the year. I will be putting those up over the weekend. One set on Saturday, or two sets on Sunday, haven't quite decided. I'll try to intertwine my own thoughts regarding myself, because the more I ponder it all, the more interesting it becomes.

So that's it for my freestyle fridays.

*Lee smashes mike to the ground and walks off stage*

Decorate your toothpicks with Christmas decorations and get to work...

Enjoy your weekend... on purpose.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That Doggone Vegetarian Post

I need to give a vegetarian update.

And I've been avoiding this. Not avoiding it really, but I couldnt figure out how to blog about it.

This is not an issue, but I just haven't really cared to do it. Honestly, it would take several posts, and I get a bit drained by my longwinded self.

Plus...The shine wore off that thing.

Now, that in no way means that I've stopped the pursuit. I was a bit more excited this summer when I started this little venture on June 1, 2009.

My goal was to vet the whole situation for the last 6 months of this year.

I'm still kicking vegetarian. But, I have had some meat here and there.

When I went on vacation to the Mayan Riviera in September, I had plenty of meat.

I mean it was all inclusive... there were seven restaurants there!

I mean, they had lobster!





I ordered that on our first night there, I believe. I think I had a sliver of that steak, and gave the rest to Kimmie Kim.

She had shrimp that night.


I MADE her give me one of those shrimp (while I forced her to take that steak off my hands). LOL

I think I had all kind of things I hadn't been eating. And I did that on purpose.

I found out some very interesting things.

I don't care for eggs (scrambled or otherwise).

I really like seafood of all types.

I don't care for chicken or pork.

I could take or leave beef (I rather leave it).

I can't stand salty stuff.

I hate hate HATE cow milk.

Hmm... all interesting.

My taste buds have changed. I like the seafood deal. (Had some for the thanksgiving holiday).

I decided that if I eat meat, it will probably be seafood (even though I am feeling that thought fading away).

But like I said, the shine of all this has completely worn off.

I think that's a good thing...

It's almost like meat is going the way like the end of a movie.

It's fading to black, credits slowing scrolling up the screen.

I rather do my veggies and more healthier fare than meats.

And that's a very good thing.

Now, I have to focus on what to do next. Definitely decided that I'll just stay this way, but I've seen a problem areas, and room for improvement.

1. Problem Areas. I do like carbs. Carbs is an issha with me. So my behind needs to FOCUS in this area. One good thing for me is that I really like flourless breads and other flourless products, but doggonit, I like sweets, too. (Somebody needs to hook an Oldgirl up with some flourless doughnuts!)

The solution is rather simple: learn to cook good vegan desserts. Problem is that I don't care to bake said desserts. I do have a plan for a couple of desserts, though. My goal is to fool around with those over the holidays.

The local vegan store has an insane variety of vegan cakes, dessert bars, fruit parfaits, all kinds of craziness. I may just have to satisfy my sweet tooth up there.

I also got this thing for cheese and sour cream. I'm not sure what that's about. I don't eat much of either to cause concern, but I would like those out of the way completely. I found interesting substitutes for those. I can make my own sour cream, and I can make my own cheese from various nuts. I'm raising an eyebrow at that, but hell, it's worth a try. That means hanging out in the kitchen a little more. Sigh.

But, this type of thing, the carb thing, gets strong on me when I'm PMSing. So maybe I just have to get through my hormonal stages. Sigh.

2. Expand. This is somewhat related to #1 above. I'm at the point right now where I have to do some expanding, just cooking more stuff. Plus, there are things I purpose to add more of to my diet, especially on a daily basis, like more green leafy vegetables. Those seem to have all the vitamins and minerals I need, well most of them, and I have to ramp that up. So, it is a goal now to figure out new ways to prepare these things. This means more time in the kitchen, which I detest. But if I want to continue to eat right, I must cook from scratch.

3. Education. You know, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Really it is. So, I have found what has helped me the most is to do a little reading.

People get upset with me when I say I'm transitioning to vegetarian.

"How will you get your protein, Oldgirl."

That ain't a problem. I read that the American diet contains 3 times as much protein as needed. Beans contain much protein. Plus, there is a specific grain that contains every amino acid. I eat that one on a regular basis (I damn near crave it, lol). I found a sea vegetable that contains every amino acid. I found a heavy cream substitute that tastes justs as good as regular dairy cream. Came across some beef and chicken broths that are all natural, and don't contain chicken or beef (and taste better).

This is stuff I never knew.

I say all that to say this: I learn a lot from reading. New things to try, stuff I need to avoid, etc...

And I will continue reading. My goal is to learn one new thing a week. I learn more than that.

I am considering finding a support group of some type. That might not work out, as I am NOT interested in cavorting with a bunch of bone thin beatniks, lol. But I am sure I can find a few people like me who are transitioning and are looking to learn and share ideas.

Now I'm not doing this for weight loss purposes. The only time I get weighed is when I go to the doctor every 4 to 6 weeks. I've lost around 30-32 pounds.

No, I am doing this for health reasons. This vegetarian thing has greatly improved my lupus issues. In talking with my doctor, we figured out that I have squashed about 90% of my pain. I still have issues, like right now, I have a very mild tendonitis in my foot (which irks me to no end, although it is not painful), but I have greatly reduced the inflammation isshas in my body, thus less pain. I AM HAPPY FOR THAT, MAYNE.

And my iron issues somehow got solved in the process. I don't know WHAT that's about. I was popping iron pills like candy, and it was BARELY working out. My doc was like "You can stop taking your iron pills if you like." She got the hard side eye for that one.

Uh, no honey. Maybe a year from now.

I am doing this for a lifestyle change. And I'm seeing now, how this is slowly fading into my lifestyle.

I was told by another vegetarian that it will take a couple of years to get the hang of things.

That saddened me, but only for a brief moment.

I got this here toothpick, and I'ma dig this vegetarian ditch with my toothpick... doggonit.

So what if it takes a couple of years. We gonna take it, and conquer it!

I feel I have accomplished much over the past 6 months. I give myself a grade of a "B".

I will continue to grow, and accomplish much concerning this venture in 2010.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Writing Progress...

I was walking out to the back parking lot of my building last night, just after getting off from work. It was a bit nasty outside, as it had been raining all day. But it was not as cold as it had been. I was walking out with a couple of coworkers, one of which was telling me about the insane problems going on in her workgroup. (Good Lawd, I thought I had problems. My work life is squeaky clean compared to hers. I knew there were issues when this wonderful mother figure jumped up last week in the cubicle area and opened her Book of Cuss and read a few verses. My goodness. Scared me something awful!)

Anyway, I was walking to my car, which was halfway across the lot with my other coworker. I was going to give her a ride to her car.

A security guard came running our way.

Now, he had to hike all the way from the front of the building. They have cameras around there, and I suppose he saw me come out of the building. I think he knew he had to run, because I'm the type not to be dilly dallying around.

I was looking at him like "What the heck did I do????"

"Poet Laureate! Laureate Poet!!!" he yelled.

I walked toward him, still trying to figure out what his problem was.

He was waaaaaay excited about something I gave him to read.

Now, I didn't have a work badge for about 4 months (don't ask. It had expired, and my job is ass backwards about that type of stuff), so I had to sign out at night with the security guards. The same ones were always down in the lobby, so we'd gotten a bit friendly. They found out through our quick convos that I had a passion for writing and they requested that I let them read some of my stuff. I like men who read, as they can give me a different perspective on some things, like if my male characters sound feminine, etc.

So I gave them some things to read, just a few short stories and vignettes.

And they've been feenin' every since.

LOL

One guy, the one who chased me down in the parking lot, well... I gave him my current writing project, the one I was working on for NaNo. I wanted to know how he felt about the male character. There was a certain creepiness factor I was trying to hit.

"Poet Laureate!" he beamed, showing all thirty two teeth.

I wanted to tell him that was impossible, didn't make a lick of sense, but I left it alone.

"I loved it! You got skills, girl! I want more! I wanna know what happens!"

I thought dude was gonna jump up and down and start screaming, lol.

"I don't like that dude in that first chapter. He's a creep, a pervert. Made me feel uneasy."

I nodded and smiled. "Good. That's the effect I wanted."

We had a mini-discussion about it.

And THAT'S what I like about writing: getting a reaction out of people. Folk have ran up on me all joyful... and folk have cussed me completely out.

My readers run the full gamut. It's funny to get cussed out (I even got grabbed once, lol).

I have to tell folk... uh, it's just a story, those people aren't real.

"I don't give a ****, LadyLee. You wrong for that!! Blah, blah, BLAH!!!"


Getting that type of heated reaction out of people: I like that. That's what I like about writing.

Even if I never sell a word of it.

I told the security guard I had 5 more chapters for him. I thought that dude was gonna do backflips.

LOL!!

Do ya'll remember when I use to give a report on my writing progress once a week?

Man, I do.

I miss those days.

I don't care to do that too much these days, as ya'll aren't reading what I'm working on, but since I dabbled around with the NaNoWriMo (National Novel writing month) jazz, I thought I should give a report on how and what I did.

First of all, I jumped in to support one of my favorite Chickens, my baby blog sista, Serenity 3-0. I'd toyed with participating for the past few years, but I always thought it was a bunch of bogusness. People should understand, you could write a novel in a month, but your first draft is always trash. You have to edit it. When a book gets to stores, that ain't the first draft you're reading. It could be the 5th, the 10th, or the 20th. (yeah, I met someone who had wrote a 20th draft. I gave them the hard side-eye).

No one has time for that. Not working folk. The idea is to write without abandon or second thought.

So, that gal Serenity, she always doing something. Sometimes she asks for my cooperation, other times I just get nosy, mumbling "Let me go check on this girl, so she won't get lost."

lol

But I know Serenity wrote about 4000 words. And she let me read them. Now, you Serenity lurkers who like to peak in the windows of the House of LadyLee...Man... Serenity keeping it down in the valley over on blog. Because what she gave me to read, some nonfictional memoir type stuff? That chick took it to the mountaintop, tapping into something I didn't know she had in her. I mean, her blog is a thing of brillance, but what I read was beyond that. Way beyond.

I didn't know how to motivate her to go further. So I'm leaving that up to her loyal clientele to egg her on. The Oldgirl can write her ass off. Really. Much respect, S.
I'ma need you to keep that going, Ma.

Well, let's talk about moi.

My goal wasn't to write a novel. I work everyday, and frankly, I have too many other activities going on. It'll piss me off if that was all I had to do, and I had to force myself to do just that. Sure, it ain't nothing for me to bust out a couple thousand words a day, but still... it'll just piss me off.

My goal was to work on a short story (novella really), that's been on my heart this year, a little story titled Watch. It is a story I like, one that I can't fool around with in class. (The white people wouldn't like it). So I have to work with it all by my lonesome.

It delves into a spiritual principle that has always amazed me, one that I myself have never been able to get around in my own life:

What's done in the dark, always comes to light.

Always.

Skeletons seemingly sit quietly in closets, but they're coming out that closet one day...alive, kicking, screaming, and breakdancing!

I'm constantly meditating on such, within the realms of my own life isshas. And it is a theme weaved tightly into this particular story.

There are several interesting biblical scripture supporting that. It is one of those life truths, you see. As Parliament once sang, so low, you can't get under it, so high you cant get around it... you get the picture.

One of the main characters has some secret habits, some pretty bad ones, that he doesn't think much of. But it all begins to seep into his everyday life. It becomes a powerful stronghold. And that there is a problem in itself. I do believe dude even creeps me out a bit.

I got the idea from the antics of my neighbor who lives across the street. Whenever me or my sister are outside, he makes it a point to come out on his porch and... stare. It creeps us out. We come up with all kinds of ideas behind why he does this.

We are highly offended by this. And we are waiting him to step out of his front yard. We have a large brick sitting on the front porch.

We're waiting to bust that sucka straight upside his head.

(Don't think I won't do it).

I've muddled around with the ideas, and have come up with something that I really enjoy working on.

I had about six chapters written, I believe. I wasn't particularly happy with them, and was a bit befuddled about where to take things. My goal was to spend time with it, good consistent time, and fix some of the problems in it, and move it forward. It's a little more complex than I first anticipated, and I wanted to see what I could do with it.

And I liked the results. During NaNo, I rewrote the beginning. And I think I had about 8,000 words (6 chapters).

Today I have about 13 chapters, some 19,000 words. I am VERY happy about that.

One thing that helped much is my bootleg writing vision board, where I would keep notecards containing small synopses of each chapter.



The white cards are completed chapters. The yellow cards are chapter ideas. The lone orange card is the climax. I think there are a couple of climatic moments in the story, but this one was the one I've written, and am most interested in.

It becomes like a Soul Train Scramble Board of sorts. When I pass it, I move things around, or even take things off. So it has been extremely helpful. It keeps me thinking.

But one thing I've created, which was the point for me anyway, was something very important.

A habit.

I wanted to jump back into the habit of writing.

Nothing's about talent. It is ALL about habit for me.

And I am glad for it.

I feel odd if I don't get a few hundred words written out long hand or typed up.

And that's what I wanted. That was a major goal.

And I still love that reaction I get out of folk. Sherri, aka Ms.Blackliterature.com read the first chapter and sent a disturbing email back to me. "I don't like that guy. He's creepy." I could tell she was a bit lost, confused and freaked out.

Well, Sherri... that's a GREAT thing. I loved-ed it!

LOL.

So, I think I will start posting up my progress, and even a few excerpts like I use to do. That was always a lot of fun.

So that's my NaNo thoughts and progress. Fun, fun, fun...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good Monday Morning

Monday is here once again.

Real quick like.

REAL QUICK.

Ugh.

I have an hour before I need to get ready for work. I have pondered going in early, but that would mean I would be there 10-12 hours.

That is not going down. I stick as close to 8.5 hours a day as possible.

My weekend. It was VERY quiet. I've had 3 quiet weekends in a row. Strange. No, I'm not complaining, but I remembe thinking a couple of times over the weekend "It feels good to do the the quiet things I like to do, the things that relax my nerves."

That's all I'm saying about that. I'm beginning to regard such things as sacred indeed.

Video of the Week. Okay, this video clip of Rhianna on Saturday Night Live is insanely funny. (I don't think I embedded it correctly, so click here to see it: "Rhianna/Shy Ronnie digital short")

Okay... that was way too funny.

Post of the Week. Aretha posted her vision board and blogged about it in her post "My Vision". Very enlightening indeeed. That chick know whwere she wants to go and what she wants to do.

She's gonna be somebody's Mayor someday. All I know, I'm flying out to the victory party, man!

LOL. Aretha, may all the dreams you've posted up come true...

Thought of the Week. Not sure what's going on at church. I could right a good 10 really interesting posts concerning such. Nothing bad at all, just bizarre.

Like, this is the Christmas season. And it looks like my pastor is spending the rest of the year doing some really detailed sermons on depression.

*Lee raises an eyebrow*

Not this Sunday, but last sunday, he did an interesting sermon on suicide.

*Lee gasps*

Look here! It's the Christmas season. An Oldgirl needs to hear about Baby Jesus in a manger, because there was no room at the inn, and the three wise men, and the gifts, and...

And...

No I don't. I've heard those sermons a gazillion times. I suppose he thinks we need to get down to where the rubber meets the road.

Really.

Anyway, I've taken copious notes. One thing that caught my eye is the definition of self worth:

Self-worth is a combination of the opinions that people have of you, combined with your ability to perform at a level that makes other people happy.

Wow. This was given as a twisted jacked up definition. Because basing your self worth on other's opinion of you fails every time. People change. They love you one minute and hate you the next. People will have issue with you. All this is constantly going on.

And yet, we let it all determine how we feel about ourselves. When self worth should be dependant on one thing along:

Self worth is the sum total of God's love and God's acceptance of you.

Period.

In other words, people can go jump in the lake. (Well, that's what it all meant to me).

And folks know how I am. If you have expectations out of me, and you are bringing me down, I simply don't talk to you. (Yes, I'm mean like that, especially when you affect the way I feel about myself on the negative tip). Helped me understand something else about myself, and what I wrote down in my notes.

Don't hang out with buzzards, when there are eagles flying around.

I don't know, I just found that profound. Very few words, but profound. This seems to be a small theme weaved through some of the 40 posts I have planned leading up to my 40th birthday. Let's just say, what I've heard on Sunday, and wrote in my notes, really explained a lot of things.

I should do a post on such. Causes of depression, rejection, despair, I probably won't though. Don't care to have my blog too spiritual. We'll jump in here and there. But these are things I think about all the time... hmm.

Okay. This has gone on long enough. I have approximately 7 workdays until I have a week and a half of Christmas vacation. I am TOTALLY SHOCKED that my boss approved my leave. TOTALLY SHOCKED.

I'm not complaining. And I'm just gonna sit here and be eerily quiet. I do not want that broad to change her mind.

*Lee quietly doing the high Rockette kicks*

This week I'm writing a vegetarian post. The only reason I haven't written it is because I am being hard headed and haven't quite been able to pull my thoughts together concerning it.

I've learned much about myself over the past six months concerning it. The post will probably be convoluted, but oh well. And Oldgirl is working on some things.

I'm digging a ditch with a toothpick. And I'ma work the hell out this toothpick, Man!

LOL.

You hunker down and work your toothpick, too...

*Lee slangs a slew of toothpicks at blog fam*

We all got goals, and no matter how small the progress seems, progress is progress. You're a step closer to the dream than you were yesterday.

You heard me?

We can reach our goals if we persist.

You just keep working on it.

And do it on purpose.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Freestyle Fridays

TGIF does not even begin to describe how thankful I am that it is Friday.

Work has been a bit swashbuckling, so I am happy for the weekend.

Another freestyle friday here... stuff straight off the top of my head.

As of yesterday, I FINALLY paid off this new laptop. GLORY. The accrued interest, some 300 dollars worth, would've kicked in TODAY.

I was on the phone with the people yesterday, hollering "Are you SURE I have a balance of $0?"

LOL. I know they were wondering "Who is this fool?"

I have a small credit card to pay off before the end of December. That will fulfill my bootleg financial goals for the year. No, I didn't conquer the world this year, but little victories are victories indeed. I will rejoice and be happy in that.

What am I reading right now? Eric Jerome Dickey's The Other Woman.

Ugh.

I don't like it. And the only reason I'm reading it is because it is our December book club book. I am thinking about chucking it. It is too erotic and I don't know, nouveau riche for me. I read this book a few years ago, and I'd always been a fan of early EJ writing. This book, if I remember correctly, was just a'ight. So I am fighting through it, but there has to be something better I can do with my time. Really. We will see.

The Princess and the Frog comes out today. The first time I heard about this movie was back in October when I had gone to the movies to see Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair. There was a HUGE poster display for the movie.

And the princess was black.

I remember pausing at the poster and yelling "Something's wrong. The girl is black."

Obviously there had been a mistake. All the princesses and heroines in every Disney movie I'd seen were white, and not just white, but unusually pale.

(Well, let's not count Pochohantas and Milan. And that was a stretch, the native american and asian twist. Didn't think much of it at the time).

But a black princess? My sister said she told me about it. And some chick in her education class gave a scathing talk on the fact that the Prince wasn't black.

Yeah, ya'll don't need to ask for TOO much. If this movie does well, then maybe they'll consider such.

I think it will be a good thing for young black girls. I wish there were black princesses when I was growing up.

What am I eating today? I'm not sure what's for breakfast. I eat oatmeal every morning, but I think I'll just have a bowl of fruit (a cut up pear and apple). I need something light this morning.

The last two days, I've been fooling around with a 32 bean soup for lunch. The joke has been that I would blow my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre out the cubicle with my gasiness. I ain't gassy, but it has made me sleepy as all get out. An Oldgirl needs a cot and a pillow, and I can't have that at work. So I think I will have a veggie stuffed tomato for lunch, with a side of kale or swiss chard. Just trying to at least keep myself alert today, lol...

I want to go to church tonight, but that's only if I can dip on time. Church starts at 7. I get off at 7. I like a full service, but I might just have to roll in late (as usual on friday night).

This weekend will be uneventful (hopefully), full of my regular activities. I am getting geared up for Christmas, so I may at least make a small list of gifts I hope to purchase for peeps. (My Christmas budget is only 100 bucks every year, so that list will be very small and economical.) We aren't decorating, but I may throw a wreath on the front door.

I haven't gotten any writing done in the past few days, which feels... odd. I will most definitely put a dent in some writing this weekend.

Now, I hope you've had a pretty good week. And it's cold everywhere (even here in the ATL) so you be sure to wrap up and stay warm.

TGIF, doggonit.

And enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vision Board, Part II

I posted a picture of my vision board yesterday. I made it up in early 2008, as part of my journaling group activity.

There's a vision statement in fine print on the right hand side, a statement which I call my inner thremostat.

I think we are who we appear to be to people, but there is always the fine print of our lives. What does the "fine print" of LadyLee's life say?

More importantly, what do I want the fine print of my life to say?

That fine print on my vision board reads:

I am 100% healthy in my body, soul, and spirit. I acknowledge God in all my ways, and I seek Him before I make any decisions, big or small. I am a blessing to my family and to those that God sends across my path. I am an incredible asset to my friends. I am a good listener. I am an excellent employee, and I not only work hard, but I work smart. I take time to periodically evaluate myself, and I make changes accordingly. I stick and hold fast to the path God has charted out for my life. I accept and openly welcome constructive criticism, as I know it will help me become "a better me". I am a good steward, a fine manager over the finances He has blessed me with, to the point that God knows He can trust me.

Interesting.

You know, I've memorized that, and read it often.

And each time I ponder it, or read it, I see something different.

This personal vision statement is something I culled from my personal diaries, after reading many entries and assessing the subject matter, i.e., taking note of the things that were concerning me emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.

Of course I'm not all I've just written. It is where I want to be. It is the direction I want to go. The inner thermostat is set. The inner temperature isn't there yet, but it is getting there.

I've always thought that I would expand it, but I haven't. I have vision statements for my writing and other areas of my life, but the statement above seems to be the very core of the matter.

If I can strive for what I have just written, then I think I will be running in a positive direction at all times.

And that is all I can ask for.

So, I've posted this a little early, as I wanted to do 40 things I've understood about myself and life, leading up to my 40th birthday. It will be a "food for thought blow out" (which that doggone Serenity is so looking forward to, as she is the gatekeeper of the food for thought posts in the smurfy House of LadyLee).

But I think you will find some of what I have to say about myself pretty interesting...

I have a few other posts to get out of the way before we get into all that.

But the new year is about to begin.

And I'd like to suggest that you get your own vision board together. I myself thought it was a silly idea when it was first suggested. I am a tomboy, and I don't like touchy-feely stuff. And I had NO idea what I'd put on such a thing.

But it's interesting how what's in your heart can come out on paper.

It don't have to be anything fancy. Take a notecard and scratch some things on it, and place it up on your bathroom mirror and ponder it while you brush your teeth. Vision boards are vision boards, whether elaborate and glittery, or plain jane.

Do you.

For we all have dreams and desires.... we all long to improve in some area of our lives....

Right??

Right.

Have a great day...

And have a vision... on purpose.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

An Oldgirl's Vision Board, Part I

Last week, I put up a picture of a pseudo vision board for my current writing project.

It got me to thinking about the life vision board I made back in January 2008. (I wish I would've dated it. I think it was January 2008).

I had it rolled up, sitting in a corner. I taped it up on the wall and snapped a photo. (excuse the bluriness. My camera is acting funny.)



It's peppered with many words...

Things I want to be: good, special, unique and the like.

Things I long for: Hope, joy, passion, health, truth, peace, dreams, time, and real satisfaction...

And the overall theme: I want to be "A Better Me.

Not sure what I was thinking with that huge "100%" and "Life".

I guess it means I want to enjoy life to the fullest.

A huge part of the poster is taken up by what I am passionate about, something I truly love, and I think about all the time.

Writing.

There's a bootleg bookcase up there, all glittery and gold, with the names of all the books I want to publish.

And sadly, there's nothing concerning chemistry on there. That is like, my job... It is nothing that I think about anymore. (I suppose it gets that way when I've been in the field for 20 years, and accomplished all I care to accomplish in it.)

And that part above labeled "thermostat" takes up a large part of the right hand side of the poster.

It is my personal vision statement.

A thermostat is guage one uses to set the temperature, the atmosphere of the house. I've been taught to set it, don't mess with it.

Just set the darn thing.

For the atmosphere will eventually reach the temperature at which the thermostat is set.

And I've set my thermostat for my inner house.

This is very basic, and I've wanted to put it up, but I've always considered it deeply personal, as it is highly intangible and very spiritual in nature.

It is something I've memorized, and I keep it my heart. I ponder where I've fallen short, rejoice where I've been competent and successful.

I don't too much worry about where I've fallen short.

It don't matter.

The thermostat is set. I will eventually get there.

You may yell, "That's corny, LadyLee!"

No, what's corny is being a thermometer... something that takes the temperature of the atmosphere, and that's all.

Just going with the flow, not striving for anything, going with the crowd, being a followere, etc.

I don't want a thermometer. Give me a thermostat, man.

I am running up on my 40th birthday pretty soon, on February 7, 2010, and I'm doing something special leading up to it. (Well special to me).

I'm gonna do 40 posts on 40 things/lessons that have been important in shaping who I am, and where I've come from and where I want to be.

I wanted to do like my homegirl Chele, one of the bloggers I respect and jock like crazy. LOL

She did 45 days leading up to her 45th birthday. I learned a TON of things from her doing that whole thing.

If I did such, it would be 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday. But I don't know if I want to blog everyday, so I will spread it out a little more.

One thing I wanted to do: Post up this "thrermostat".

And I plan to discuss each part of it in full detail. That'll be 10 really detailed posts. Very detailed.

Like I said, I've never wanted to post it as I never wanted it tainted. I've never wanted to fall into people judging where I'm at at any given point.

I must be able to judge for my ownself where I am in the process. I

And since this post is running long...

We'll post that up tomorrow.