Friday, April 30, 2010

Freestyle Fridays

It's Friday once again...

And I haven't done much blogging this week. Just haven't felt like it. I've been doing other things. Got other stuff on my mind.

And right now, I am laying in bed. And I'm gonna make myself blog... on purpose.

I have not been able to get it together since turning the clock back an hour. It is more of a struggle than anything. I'm sleeping pretty well, but it is a trip getting myself together in the morning.

I think it is because I have a lot to do before work: namely, reading and writing. I know I spend a good hour or two doing those things, and if I don't wake up by 6:30 in the morning, well, I am in trouble.

Now that was a ramble, lol. And I think I've come up with a goal for May: get a better grip on my schedule.

This is Day 16 of my 21 day Financial Fast. Man! When I tell you I've gotten some things done, I mean it. This has all been VERY interesting. I've not only thoroughly examined a lot of my habits through the whole journalling protocol, but I've found and understood the root of my isshas and I have a plan to work on them.

What more can I ask for?

Wasn't really expecting that. And I like that this book is useful on any level, whether you're just reading it to be reading it, or going through the process. Very interesting, and more helpful than I would've ever thought it would be. I have to be sure to apologize to my book club sista for alllllll the trash talking I did behind that. This was all very good for me.

Serenity and her crew are starting up next Monday if you still want to join in, even if it's to just to read along. She asked that I do some type of intro for it, and I will be working on that this weekend. She is vacationing for the weekend, and said I could go over there and post it, so I may post it up on Sunday at some time.

What's up with the oil slick madness off the coast of Louisiana? They were talking about that on the Today show this morning. It seems to be getting out of control. 200,000 gallons a day spilling into the gulf, and they can't cap it off. WOW.

One thing I remember from the couple of years living out in New Orleans is that people had kin who worked on the oil rigs. Someone knew someone who worked "Offsho". I lived in a boarding house when I first moved down there, and there was an offshoreman who lived there off and on. They would be out on the rigs for a good three weeks at a time, and spend very little time at home. That is a very important industry out there.

One of the many rigs blew up out there, and now there are problems. My condolences to those who lost people in that explosion. I hope they find the cause and why it all happened. I'm sure the high bicker level of things going on over it all in the news isn't helping much. I hope it is figured out soon.

That's all that I have to say this Friday. I better get on up and get ready for work so I won't be rushing around. It has been quite cold in the ATL this week, but today is going to be really nice. I plan on having a productive day, and I'm going to church tonight. This weekend will be full of my usual chores and errands, and hopefully some exercise and relaxation.

Make the weekend a good one... on purpose.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Old Man

He was bent over, trying his best to walk with the help of a crooked cane that looked like it'd been passed down from the days of slaves.

His hair was sparse, wispy, and white, refusing to lay down, sticking up all over his head as if it was planning its escape with the blowing of the breezes.

Wrinkles covered his face, from forehead to chin, even the skin of his ears.

Ears ever so familiar and keenly tuned to the sands of time falling...

By Grain.
By Grain.

Phlemy voice, rheumy eyes held in place by wrinkles. Mouth chunked with crooked yellow teeth.
He took one step
Then two.

Then stopped.

His journey must've felt like a thousand miles.

(5 minute writing prompt -"Describe an Old Man", Women of Color Writing Workshop 2010)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'll Miss You, Kita

Yesterday, we lost one of our book club sisters... Miss Kita.

I love that pic, taken last August, because this is how I remember her. She LOVED a good party and all the festivity that went with it!

For her birthday, she had a spa party, and she had to convince me, forever the tomboy, to attend such an event. But I went, and had a great time. I even took time to make one of my favorite cards.

It is one of my favorites because I thought it captured her personality perfectly.

We're gonna work hard, but we're gonna get all girly and dolled up and have a GOOD time.

Kita, was one of the first book club sisters I met some 5 years ago. She was a member of the hospitality crew... She knew how to make sure EVERYTHING was hooked up just right.

Kita was there on my very FIRST vacation as a an adult. I will forever remember us hanging out on the beach, chilling in the cool breezes from the sea in Cozumel (and her laughing uncontrollably at me as I was being tossed to and fro out in the water!)

She is someone who was always happy to see LadyLee!

And I was always happy to see her.

She was a true Diva indeed.

It always hurts when someone goes unexpectantly.

Those questions of "Why?" always come up.

Why her? Why now? WHY HER?

She was one of the kindest people I've ever met. No drama whatsoever. And I loved that about her.

So Kita... we, your book club sistas past and present, will miss you dearly...

I will forever hold the memories of you and your friendship close to my heart.

I light a candle for you, girl.

Rest in Peace.

Love, LadyLee.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Freestyle Friday


Friday is finally HERE!
It's gonna be a NICE day in the ATL: 83 degrees.


I'm suppose to be around here doing some food-for-thoughts on Friday, but lately, by the time Friday whips around, I'm just looking for the weekend... and not feeling very thoughtful... I suppose.

Nothing much is going on over this way. This has been a sloooooow week. Looks like it has been going by pretty fast at work, though. It feels slow because I've been doing a ton of reading and journalling and not much else. So slow might not be the word.

Quiet may be a better word for it.

That's okay. I like quiet. I like quiet a lot. I remember times of my life when things weren't... quiet.

I like QUIET.

So... this is day 9 of my 21 day financial fast. I got, what, 12 days left?

I can't say that it's bothering me. You have to remember, I'm already in a finance group with a few young ladies. Someone thought that this meant a finance group where we pool our money and make investments. NO! This is a group where we get together and talk about our finances and be of encouragement to one another. No judgments, none of that.

Some of us are doing better than others, some are doing worse. Sometimes, you just need to sit down and talk about it, you know. That's what Triple F Posse, The Financial Freedom Fighters is all about.

So, yeah, I'm already ensconced in that, so something like this 21 day financial fast doesn't particularly bother me. I haven't strayed or anything, and if I do, it's all good. I have a couple of things to buy for other people, which is low enough to come out of the weekly budget I've alloted for myself. But it has done a lot to make me THINK, and make a few interesting adjustments. I am not as cynical now when it comes to my finances, either. (Yeah, I'm the "problem child" of my finance crew. I'm gonna do what I'm gotta do, but I will bitch and moan about it).

And during this time, I think that's what I wanted the most: for my attitude to be just a tad bit healthier.

Attitude determines altitude.

This is also an idea forage for me. And I have a lot of ideas now and a plan of action. And that's a good thing. I probably won't be blogging much on it. Serenity is requesting a guest post from me over on her site on tithing, I think, so I will get that together. She has a whole crew going through this over on twitter and her blog in early May. That should be interesting...

My laptop is busted! Oddly enough, I'm not upset about this. It is not a hardware crash, but something that goes on with the motherboard of those laptops, from what I've been reading. I have this ridiculously expensive 3 year warranty attached to the thing, so I'm dropping that off tomorrow.

Kentucky has let me hold one of her laptops, a MacBook. I LOVE this thing. I will NOT go out and buy one. I said, I will NOT go out and buy one! (And I mean that with a vengeance!)

Other thoughts. Is it just me, or is anyone else glad Ben Rothlesberger ain't black? Maybe it's just me. I'm just glad it wasn't Jason Campbell or Donovan McNabb raping making love to a chick in a dingy bathroom in a bar in middle Georgia. I don't even want to THINK about what jail they would be under right now. I'm surprised dude got suspended as it is.

Alas, there was another report on how dire and horrible the life of a single black woman is. (No, they didn't call it that, but you know what it is.)

Oh we don't have men, oh... woe is me, woe is me, woe is me.

I just shake my head. Geez. I feel like I'm on the outside looking in. I choose not to believe such things about myself. Really.

Honey, look at your life, with all it's accomplishments.

Heck, just look at the fact that you have air to breathe, and that the sun rises and sets every day...

And you mean to tell me we should be running around whining like we do? (Or how they say we do? Cuz all the sistas I deal with are enjoying life. Period.)

We all want good healthy relationships. What woman doesn't? We define ourselves by the quality of our relationships. We are loving, nurturing women. We want to give. We want to love.

The stories should be about what they should be about: us having standards and sticking to them. We have ALL had our share of dealing with the wrong men. ALL. Who wants to deal with that? No one. We all want what's right for us. And what's wrong with that? There was a reason why you broke up with said guy. Did he bust up your self-worth or self-esteem? Or did he walk off for someone else? Something went wrong. I'm not so sure I want to spend a lifetime in anything that is wrong for me. Even if I'm this awfully lonely needy black woman the media betrays me to be.

My solution: Enjoy life. Enjoy living. Tomorrow isn't promised. ENJOY LIFE. Live, live, live.

And check your motives. Stop giving God the *gas face* 'cause you don't have your man right now. Maybe someone's being prepared for you. Maybe you are being prepared for someone and you're not ready yet. Maybe you need to check your motives. Who knows.

This life goes by in a flash. You can meet the man of your dreams in the very next second.


In the meantime: Be HAPPY. Enjoy this LIFE.

Don't be held in mental bondage by all of this.

YOU ARE OKAY. We are all OKAY. We are all good, we have purpose in this life.

Be blessed, and be FREE in your mind.

Ya heard me?

That is all.

*Lee throws soapbox back into the closet*

Have a great weekend. ON PURPOSE.

From your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl, LadyLee.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More than a Queen

"How come love can be so tough, and what can I do to get really good at it?" I asked myself that cold misty morning, just after he'd left my house. He murmured something about how he had to get home, how he had to be there to celebrate his wife's 30th birthday with a breakfast the kids had so eagerly planned.

"Love is so tough," I said to myself again as I splashed warm water on my face, again and again.

For I thought I could keep him here in my bed.

"You're so sensuous," he had said.

"The Queen of Sensuality," he moaned in the late midnight hour.

It wasn't enough.
This sensuality.
This good stuff.
This good good loving of mine.

For he had a woman at home he had to get to and take care of.

Her sensuality could not have been above my own.

For if I was the Queen, what was she?

I splashed more warm water over my face. It trickled down my neck, my arms, and down my chest.

She was obviously someone who knew how to love.
She was someone better than me.

(by LadyLee from my Women of Color Writing Workshop; writing prompts "Queen of Sensuality" and "How Come love can be so tough, and what can I do to get really good at it?")

In this One

In this one you are confused.

Stunned to no end.

Because you know this broad didn't just up and slap you in your face.

But you can feel it
The very sting of her hand is etched in your skin.
You feel the pain of it all up in your teeth.
It's almost as intense as the cold freeze from ice cream or ice cubes chewed the wrong way.

In this one, you don't know what to do.
She had the right to slap you.
What woman wouldn't do such a thing?
Her coming home from a hard days work...
Finding you in her bed.
Riding her man like you're trying to win the Triple Crown.

In this one, you don't know what to do.
Standing there naked to the world
With nothing but sheets bunched up around you
To cover up what's been done.

In this one
You simply nod
And gather your clothes
And walk away.

You'll ponder what you'd do some other time,
Some other day.

(by LadyLee, Women of Color Writing Workshop, 5 minute writing prompt "In this one")

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

I had a bowl of squash for dinner on Sunday night. And that is all!

After that long walk on Sunday afternoon, I was not in the mood to cook.

That joker Oscar-Tyrone knows he's in trouble. Not sure why he has to get on the bed when I'm changing sheets.

Oscar-Tyrone! You're a PUNK! A PUNK!!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blazing the Silver Comet Trail!

My sister Kentucky has taken a liking to walking.

I like to walk too, but moreso around my 'hood.

She's a bit different. She likes to skip along the Silver Comet Trail.

It's a 66 mile long trail, starting in the western surburbs of Atlanta, and ending somewhere out in Alabama.

When she first started going out there, I was hollering "Be careful. They be snatching folks up there in those woods!"

(It is strange how when we see a couple of news reports about crime, we start associating the place with it).

Me, being the nosey Oldgirl, decided to go with her last month. We had a FINE time. So we went again this Sunday.

Kentucky's car is being serviced, so she rented this thing.

UGHHH!! I WILL NEVER BUY SUCH A THANG! LAWD HELP ME!!! That is the most horrible car. I could feel EVERY hole, nick, and cranny in the road. UGH.

Anyway, back to our walk.

As you can see, it's simply a long paved road...

Yep... just a road cut through the woods.

And uh, someone could jump out and snatch your tail...

So we were on the look-out.

*Lee set to bust a sucka upside the head with her headphones*

I did not like walking along this part of the path, where the dirt looked like it was all piled up on the sides.

Folks bicyling down the trail.

"Girl, we're gonna rent some bikes and come down here and ride it OUT!" I told Kentucky.

She's not really down for that. Bikes rent for 10 bucks an hour. We're gonna do it!!

We were walking it out, Mayne! More trail!

Folks running they tails on down the trail.

Walk it out, walk it out, walk it out!

Worst part of the trail: when it's all shady and NOBODY'S around.

We heard the crunching of leaves off to the side of the trail in the woods. It was only a squirrel off to the side, minding his bizness (and loooking at us like we were crazy).

I did not like this rocky stuff.

There was water pouring off the rocks. Nasty.

Some Grand Canyon looking craziness.

This sign right here is for my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre, and her horse Felix.

Cowgirl Cre, you cannot ride your doggone horse up through these parts! Don't even try it.

And that's about it for our walk. We walked 5 MILES. We were leaning on each other on that last mile back to the car, lol...

But it was all good.

I had a great time hanging with my baby sista, doing something she loves to do!

And that makes it worth the hike:)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Have You Seen IT???

*5 minute writing prompt from my Women of Color Writing Workshop: Write a note or ad about something that is missing.*

I am looking for IT !
The IT !
That thing I lost!

The IT !
The IT is what keeps me from loving the wrong man.
The IT is what keeps me from doing the wrong things.

I am looking for IT!

IT is what keeps me loving myself.
IT is what helps me to love others.

Have you seen IT?

If you have, please return IT
Please Bring IT back to me.

IT knows it's name well
IT responds to it's name if you call IT.

Just yell "SELF" and IT will stop in it's tracks.

Call IT by it's many names
And IT will turn around

And run to you.


IT will turn around and come to you

And when IT does that?
Oh Please
Please hurry,
And bring IT back to me.

Monday, Monday

*These rambles are dedicated to my homegirl Carter's coworker, Dedra. Turns out we go to the same church. Didn't hook up with you, cuz I read the email late. Ya'll betta call somebody. That Old Girl email don't get checked everyday*

Hey ya'll!

I am up and awake and chipper and I cannot WAIT to get to work!

*Lee does the raise the roof dance and the high rockette kicks*

(Blog fam hollers "What you smokin', Old Girl?")


Figured if I hollered that, it'll make it true. It ain't working. I think I need to yell that about 100 more times, or something like that.

But I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to go to work and make it do what it do.

No big weekend updates. Waaaaaaay too much went on. I'll be writing allllll day. (Hush up, Chele).

So I will ramble.

You will be glad to know that I met one of my financial goals. And that was to go to that Finance Conference at church- to make 2 of 3 evenings of it. (I was NOT going to kid myself. No way I was gonna make 3 days). So I made 2 out of 3 evenings -Wednesday and Friday night.

That was some good stuff. And it didn't appear to be much about finances. I came away asking myself a few questions, that have been burning on my mind all year... nonfinancial stuff, really. Let's just say I'm thinking a lot about honor and what it means. I don't care to write about this, as I will be writing alllll day. An Oldgirl has a little work to do in that area, and I will reserve it for my personal journals.

But I am happy that I had a written goal that I accomplished. My goals technologist Miss Not So Anonymous will so pleased!

I hung out with my best friend LadyTee on Saturday. She came over after one of her Saturday class. We sat around doing her biology homework. Now, I told this girl that I haven't taken biology since 1987 in college, but nooooo... She always hollering (and telling EVERYBODY she knows):

"Lee you know EVERYTHING. If you don't know it, it ain't known."

"My friend is a doctor! She know it ALL!"

Folks think a title on the front of a name mean more than it mean. But LadyTee is different. She's been hollering that since we were in elementary school, lol.

She thinks I'm the smartest broad on the planet. I helped her with a speech for her Public speaking class a couple of weeks ago. She made an A. Which cemented in her head that "LadyLee knows everything!"

It was all good. She had to put up with my food, though. I am not sure how she felt about eating that 6-grain pizza with all them doggone veggie toppings. She didn't say much, just for me to give her some ranch dressing to go with it. LOL. But we had fun... if you can call working on biology questions for 4 hours fun. We rarely see each other, so it was well worth it.

I thought my laptop crashed this weekend. The darn thing just started glitching out and beeping. It wouldn't come on. UGH.

My sister Kentucky was like "Don't worry. I have 3 laptops!"


She commenced to running outside and pulling a MacBook out of the trunk of her car.

She should NOT have done that. I LOVE that MacBook. She doesn't care for it, as it is a cheap school issued brand. She don't even use it.

Well doggonit, I'ma use it 'til I can use it no more! LOL

My computer is alright. It didn't crash. Just overheated, I suppose. Works just fine. (But I'ma still fool with this sleek MacBook. Makes me want one!)

I am doing okay on the 21 day financial fast. Yeah, yeah, just been 5 days, but it is helping to read and journal about it all. That book makes you get painfully honest with yourself. And it went well hand in hand with the Finance conference at church.

I had the most interesting writing workshop on Saturday Morning. I got A LOT of interesting material out of that. For blog anyway. I seem to have some strange fascination these days with people who cheat and their feelings and thoughts behind that. That is odd. I don't know why. I will ponder, and continue to wonder.

But anyway, I will post a couple of those pieces this week, I suppose. The ladies were deeply disturbed by one of them, which was hilarious. I will just have to forewarn you that they are PG-rated. So don't get over tripping out on me.

Quotes of the week. I am still reading that Boundaries on Dating book. No ain't nobody trying to get a date. Bump that. My motives are bad, so I need to sit my tail right on over here in my corner.

This is a series of books, and that's the only one that was in the store. So I copped it.

But I tell you, it DO have some truths in it.

"Do not think that someone who has no character is going to develop it just because you want him or her to grow. " (Page 119)

"Romance is great. Sexuality is great. Attraction is great. But here is the key: If all of those are not built upon lasting friendship and respect of that person's character, something is wrong." (page 120).

You got that right, honey!

Character is everything. One of my coworkers always says "Girl, you be knowing people. You pick up on crazy stuff way before anyone else."

That's cuz character is everything. Mine isn't perfect. I know that. I'm always working on that. I see stuff in people and take time to make sure that it is not within myself. If so, I need to deal with it.

And I think character is one of the most important things in a relationship. This book is dropping science that I thought I'd invented through my past romantic relationships. Hmmm...

That is all for now! And that's only half of my weekend. My goodness! LOL

Ya'll, this is a new week. A new chance to get it right.

Hit the reset button and let's make it happen... ON PURPOSE.

Look out for posts alllll week long from me:)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Freestyle Fridays


It is Friday!

*Lee does the HIGH Rockette kicks*

I am GLAD to see Friday!

And today is PAYDAY.

I am happy. It is Payday!

It doesn't really mean much of anything. It's not like I'm going shopping. No frivolous or unnecessary spending during this 21 day thing. I suppose I'm cool with that. I am spending the day thinking about what I need around the house and carefully preparing a grocery list. I'm good on groceries until next week, so we will see how that works out.

I don't have any big plans for the weekend. There are a gazillion events going on in the ATL this weekend- NASCAR, Braves game (I live a stones throw from the stadium), Dogwood festival, Robotics convention.

And Freaknik.

Sigh. I thought that ish was over. Man, they been hollering about it on the news.

LadyTee and I have already been reahearsing what to do when and if the gay frat boys next door get out of hand and I have to call the police. LadyTee's advice: Dont' call 911, call the main police dept number. Then act like a old white lady.

"These Nigras, I mean, these black people are out her fightin'! And I can't find my medicine!"

Then just hang up the phone.

LadyTee has crazy tactics. All I gotta say is don't be outside her house bouncing basketballs or grilling out at two in the morning. You won't be doing that again...

The frat boys have been calm, save for gay pride weekend. Frat boys better be careful this weekend. I'm too old for that loud partying!

I think I have a writing workshop in the morning. Not sure. Gotta make a phone call and check that out. I know there's a bookclub meeting later on Saturday afternoon. I'm not going. Didn't read the book. OH WELL.

I am close to getting kicked out. And I almost feel alright about it.

I had a bootleg "Come to Jesus" meeting with the boss lady yesterday. It's been said by many that she may listen to me on certain things. I'm up in the air about that. Nothing came from that talk. I wish that management didn't detest us so much. I got my little 2 cents in, and hopefully some of what I said will stick. She has some type of plan she wants to implement that I don't think is gonna work. But I'm not the boss, so uh, it's not on my head.

Hey, I'm there to make my money! Better have my check straight! HUMPH!

The Finance conference at church has been... interesting. I attended on Wednesday night, watched on the internet last night, and will attend tonight. It seems as if most of it is concentrated on checking one's hearts and motives. And you know how I feel about motives. I am ALWAYS checking mine. Always.

Sometimes mine are good. Sometimes they are not. I am more than willing to recognize and admit that.

The important thing is that I recognize it, admit it, and be faithful and sincere in making the necessary corrections. Much is going on in my life right now to chisel out any bad motivations, anyway. So I take solace in that.

The conference is working very well with me reading Michelle Singletary's The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom. There's SO much personal assessment she requires one to do with the daily questions and journalling. My money's not funny, but I am learning that there are so many adjustments and mindset changes I need to make. So that is working out well.
Now, Serenity is reading this book, and she's starting up a accountability crew to read and go through the 21 day Financial Fast. Go on over to The House of Serenity and sign up if you want to participate. I think they're starting up in early May. So you have a chance to take a look at the book and decide if you wanna run with it. (And I left a long rambling comment in that post. That might convince you to have a look at it.)

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy yourself... It's suppose to be real nice out!

Whatever you do, do it on purpose and with purpose!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thoughts and Possiblities

I am a member of a Women of Color Writing Group. Although, I love this group, it doesn't particularly provide a critique setting for my work. We decided as we grow, that may become available for each of us who are working on some material.

But it does provide something that I have come to enjoy: on-the-spot writing.

We use writing prompts and write and discuss them.

It affords me an opportunity to write without self editing, and I get a chance to sit and enjoy listening to my sistas writing.

It also provides good short blog posts, lol. I've even used some material as subject matter for my stories.

The writing prompt for this 5 minute short writing exercise was:

"It's just a possibility, it's just a thought."

We had a few seconds to let in soak in, then we began to write.

Here is my entry.

Thoughts and Possibility

I don’t want to work for The Man anymore.
I want to work for myself
Blaze my own trail,
Sail my own ship.

It’s just a possibility,
It’s just a thought.

I want that dream,
that dream that is only a mere seed incubating in my heart,
To go and grow,
To come alive,
And produce fruit on the outside.

It’s just a possibility,
Simple, a mere thought.

I want to leave an inheritance for my kids,
and for my kids' kids
and their kids.

So that many generations to come will not have to
Struggle and strive
Strive and struggle
Just to survive.

It’s just a possibility

Just a thought.

At some point, the two merge:

Possibility. Thought.
Thought. Possibility,

The two become one.


Thoughts are possible.
Possibility is a thought.

Alas, an incubated thought produces decisions.
Decisions produce actions.
Actions produce habits.
Eventually, my destiny is the ultimate result.

My destiny is birthed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boundaries, Boundaries...

Blogger Luv asked in the comments of the last blog post what my next book woukd be.

I usually read a couple of books at at time, so I'd like to comment on one of my current books.

I'm reading the most fascinating book right now, one of a series, recommended by one of my beloved House of LadyLee readers, Jennifer.

It's from a series, really. Definitely NOT the one of the series I was looking to purchase, but it was the only one in the store by the authors.

Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

I figured I'd buy it and pass it along to one of you young peoples.

But I wanted to peruse it first.

I'm keeping this one.

This book is fascinating.


And I'm only on page 86.

So no, this isn't a book review.


I would like to post a couple of quotes that have knocked this Oldgirl's Nikes completely off her feets.

And I'll probably post a few more as I see them. They definitely explain some things I've thought about and am currently dealing with.

from page 56, in a section entitled "Struggles":

"Ultimately, if you don't know your date's spiritual struggles, you can't honestly say you know your date... if you are dating someone who says she [he] has never faltered or doubted, something is wrong. Either she [he] is in serious denial, or you need to wonder what she [he] is doing with you. No one grows without experiences of loss or failure."

Another quote from page 62, in the section titled "Difficulties in Living the Life" - Concerning areas in one's dating life where one has problems where they don't "Walk what they talk", i.e. sexual, deceptive, control isshas, immature ways of conflict resolution, etc. (that is, places where there is a painful split or contradiction between what one believes and what one actually does).

"Whatever the causes, there are spiritual answers to these conflicts, and the couple needs to be dealing with these. That is why you want to be dating someone who is not only of the faith, but is aware of his or her weaknessess and issues, and is in the process of working things out, whether it be in accountability groups, support groups, or counseling. A lifetime of marriage to a person with a character issue that has never been addressed can be very painful."

I think these quotes really stood out for me because as someone who has been married and divorced, I truly understand the crucial importance of being honest with one's self concerning character issues and doing everthing possible to acknowledge and work on them.

The whole discussion of internal spiritual struggles and spiritual splits in personality, and being upfront and acknowledging them, fascinated me.

I thought I was the only one who thought about these things.

Apparently not.

Fascinatung book so far...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring 2010 Financial Goals

I really like my book club meetings.

It's always good to see my book club sistas and discuss our thoughts on the book selections.

Star likes to shock me with her t-shirts. This one here is not all that shocking.

Funny, but tame (for Star, that is).

The young lady posing with her is one of THE funniest people I've ever met. Simply cracks me up. I sat next to her at the book club meeting. Her Mom was a famous comedian and Broadway star (I'll let you figure out who that is, since they look more and more alike everytime we see her), so Tracey is testament that genes are passed on. Tracey picked up the "funny" gene.

Tracey loves to pose. She's not camera shy at all!

She was a journalling sister at one time, and she would always introduce herself with "My name is Tracey, and I dance down at the Pink Pony!", and she'd even bust a classic stripper move, lol. (The Pink Pony is a famous ATL strip club). I always believed her, until someone hipped me to this being her own personal joke.

No she doesn't work at the Pony. And I was so moved by this "Pink Pony Pride" of hers that, as a birthday gift, I wrote a short story about her quest to become a Pink Pony dancer, lol.

She was wearing some fly shoes at the meeting. I thought of the Super shoe queen Serenity, so I took a few pictures of them.

(Serenity, are these an example of peep toes you've been trying to help me understand??)

LOL. Just a little shoe delight for you. You don't get that over here in the House of LadyLee.

I tend to be a Nike girl.

Anyway, this post is not about shoes or books. Not at all.

Like I said, I sat next to Tracey at the book club meeting. And we were all congratualting her on a specific financial goal.

She had just completed a 21 day financial fast.

She talked of it periodically on Facebook. I was tripping, cuz if anybody knows her, she likes to SHOP! She likes to get her shop on like no other!

She has a PHAT decked out house. She drives a PHAT car!! She gives the PHATTEST baby showers! (I break my neck trying to get to her baby showers. She gives away gift cards as prizes!!! OH JOY! lol)

Yet she completed that financial goal. Hmmm. I imagined her shaking like a crackhead in the process. But she did it, and talked about it very calmly over on Facebook.

We talked about it. She followed the plan outlined in Michelle Singletary's The Power to Prosper: 21 days to Financial Freedom. The plan involves cutting out frivolous spending and an examination of personal financial behavior.

I told her I was gonna do it.

But I was moving the decimal point.

"Tracey, I'ma do a 2.1 day fast!"

This disturbed Erica (who was sitting nearby). She's a former FFF leader, and the first group member to go debt-free. She rolled her eyes.

"Come on now, Dr. Parker," Erica said.

My FFF prez, The Green Eyed Bandit, was giving me the side-eye too.

Tracey and I talked about it a little more.

I was still hollering about my "2.1 day fast".

"Write down your address. I'll send the book to you," she said. "That way, you can take a look at it, and see what you think."

"Alright, girl!" I said, as I wrote down my addy. "Send it to me!"

All the time continuing to holler about 2.1 days to freedom. LOL

I went home and forgot about it.

Lo and behold, the book came in the mail a few days later.

I've had it for a few weeks. I've thumbed through it, read a couple of chapters even. Tracey hightlighted some interesting parts. I read those, just to see what struck her fancy.

Looks interesting enough. And it's something I can do. I like to read a good mix of secular and spiritual financial material, and it is high time for a book on biblical economics.

So starting on the 15th, tax day, I'll get going. I think the last day will be around May 6th. I'm adding this to my other financial goals for the spring. Here they are:

1. Stay up on my Finance Journal. This is my budget notebook. For any given month, I have the budget on one page, and I have goals and to do lists on the adjacent page. I also keep FFF notes and ideas in there. The 21 day fast looks to require a bit of journalling, and I am set up for that. I spend about 15 minutes a week on this activity. I'm looking to double that.

2. Do some charting.. I want to examine the last 3 months (since the beginning of the year) of bank statements/online statements, and write out and add up how much I have spent (beyond mortgage, credit cards, and utilities). I want to figure out how much has been frivolous and what was necessary. I will come up with a spending plan from that.

3. Attend the Finance Conference at Church this week. I'm trying to make 2 out of 3 evenings. When I've attended in the past, I've gotten an idea or two for my own personal isshas that have stuck and worked really well.

4. Shore up my Automatic Bill pay. Throw as many bills as possible over onto automatic online pay. I've already started doing this. Works well for insurance, medical and phone bills. I also have my 2011 birthday cruise set up that way. I have about 7 more bills to figure out.

5. Save 1500 bucks. That's a TALL order indeed. But that's alright. I should be able to do that with the help of the 21 day financial fast plus our performance bonuses at work coming through soon.
6. Keep in touch with my Accountability Partners. I have two in FFF, and I need to send a simple email or something once per week. TGEB knows this is hard for me, but I will work around it. (I'm the only one that's not acting right. I hate bothering peeps!). But I plan on sendning weekly goals. It can be helpful, so I need to work it out!!

7. Do the 21 day fast. I plan on reading the book above, as it is set up to be read in 21 days. I hope to get an idea or two from it, in order to help me make a much needed correction or adjustment somewhere.

So those are my goals. I rarely list goals here, as they are private. But my goals technologist Ms. Not So Anonymous has taught me something important:

List the goals and strive to meet them.

If I fail, it's okay. Admit the failure, get back up, make the correction, and try again.

So that's what we's gonna do, mon!

At the base of all this, I am dealing with a couple of attitude problems that I wish to correct. I know that anytime I get to wailing about something or go into rock kicking mode in my prayer life, pathways start to open up. They lead to answers. Always.
It's just a matter of me having enough sense and fortitude to utilize the resources presented.

And I plan to do that.

Thanks for the book Miss Tracey. It looks like a great resource.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Pretty Monday

It's Monday, ya'll.

But I am still thinking about my weekend.

This past weekend in the ATL was simply gorrrrrggeeeeous!

I do believe that it was beautiful all over the world this weekend.

And if it was looking janky in your neighborhood, then you need to pack your bags and MOVE today!


I have no real breakdown of the weekend today. It was what it was: peaceful and quiet, just like I like it, filled with all the things I like to do: reading, writing, crocheting, walking, cooking, relaxing and all kinds of other things.

I love flowers and the ones out in front of my brick steps are in full bloom.

These are cool flowers, but they bloom to early. So I better enjoy them while they are in full bloom.

I love fresh cut flowers. I bought these nice tulips for the living room coffee table.

I try to eat something new and healthy a couple of times a month. Last night I had something absolutely fantastic!

A pizza topped with spinach, broccoli, red/green/yellow bell peppers, onions mushrooms, fire roasted tomatoes, and mozarella cheese. Yeah, yeah, I've had pizza before, but I've tried to make a good whole wheat crust, and uh, let's just say, it's not going down.

But while skipping through the vegan store on Saturday, I came across a pretty interesting pizza crust: Rustic Crust Six Grain Old World Pizza Crust. Very good, with just the right amount of chewiness and crunchiness. It's low calorie, low fat, holds up well to sauces and veggies... and best of all, it doesn't leave me with a bad case of the itis...

Let's just say, an Oldgirl won't be attempting to hook up any more homemade pizza crusts! lol

I've been waking up every morning to something wonderful:

Seeing that every morning for the past few days has felt really good. I mean, REALLY good. Over the past couple of months, it has been full of numbers, but it felt good to put the april financial debt up on the wall. I think I'm going to throw a couple of goals on there, but for now, I like opening my eyes and seeing a fat "0". We're going to leave it as it all month.

I've been a bit perplexed about my finances. More angry than anything, because my property taxes went up by 40%, which throws my escrow into a tailspin. So this debt-free-minus-the house has been a good thing. It's a springboard for a more positive attitude about my money.

I am also happy to say that after I showed up at my Grandma's house and gave her a good talking to, she is finally using her debit card again.

(I think me saying "Now look here! I'm tryna sow some seed your way! If you ain't gonna use the money, I can put it to good use elsewhere" kinda shook her up.)

So my finances are on my mind right now. No, I'm not having trouble, but I am looking to reorganize some habits.

Let me restate that: I am looking for the courage to reorganize some habits.

And this is one of the areas that I have had to ask God to orchestrate my prayers, because I am a stone cold trip.

Meaning I want to go buy a Lexus.

Or go jump my tail on a plane and lay out on some island somewhere.

With that said, I've established a small goal. A reading and evaluation goal. I'll talk about that tomorrow.

And there is some big finance conference at church later this week. I will make it to that at least two evenings this week (in person or on the net. I prefer in person). I go to one of the big ATL megas, but interestingly, my pastor rarely talks about money (not sure why the naysayers keep hollering about this, because over the past 9 years, I just don't see it), so it's one of those things where you better catch it where you can.

I've gotten interesting ideas from such meetings over the years. I have a couple of personal financial goals that I need to see shape up.

Again this feels good.

I want to keep it that way.

And I need to keep it that way.

Well that's it for now. I am looking forward to a great week, as I was a bit dejected last week.

I will be going in late today. (Shame on me!) Whatever. It is what it is. I have things to do around the house this morning. And I have more work leave time than I know what to do with these days.

Ya'll can look forward to some interesting posts this week. More food-for-thought type stuff (don't hold me to that!). We will see. I am SO behind on posts that I don't know what to do.

Life is a bit TOO full. (Is there such a thang???) LOL

Ya'll make it a great week... ON PURPOSE.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday Freestyles

It's Friday.

I LOVE Fridays. TGIF, man!

Time for thoughts straight off the top of my head.

I am a little tired right now. Why? Because I didn't go to sleep 'til 4 in the morning. Not sure what that was about. I went to sleep around 11:30 pm and slept for 30 minutes, and immediately woke up, feeling as though I'd slept for 10 hours. I hate when that happens. So right now, I need some Folgers. Or some Tasters choice. Since I rarely drink coffee, it may not be such a great idea.

I am so mean. I did something HORRIBLE last night. Serenity and I are starting a new workbook. I've been gently leaning on her about coming up with a reading schedule, but she's been quiet about it. I'd didn't even have the workbook yet, as I was suppose to get it from her when we had lunch last week. Then I was suppose to get it last weekend, but I'd been driving around running errands and did not want to kick out alllll the way to the deep southside to get the book. So she didn't mention anything about it, and I didn't say nothing.

But she said something yesterday on twitter. She has the extra book, but we decided that I'd just roll out and go get it. So I did that last night. I asked her again about the reading schedule. She was indecisive, and put it on me. Which I didn't feel like coming up with. We were texting back and forth about this until I finally said:

*LadyLee holds Serenity down and slaps super strength perm in her hair*

She text back "That's so mean!!!!"

Yes it was, dear. I am so sorry. That's the worst thing that you can say to the natural headed chicks.

So I apologized. Not her fault I was tired and in a foul mood. And I spent a couple of minutes looking at the book and seeing how much I could read and I texted her back. So I think we're on the same page now. I will email my thoughts when I get to work, hon!

She won't be having any trouble out of me for awhile. I must remember to play nice.

I was in charge a couple of times this week. Yep, my boss figured out a great way to get me back for all the drama I put her through. Make me boss while she is gone. I cannot STAND that. I feel a little less smarter because of such.

There were no problems, save for one. Some joker down in Miami was giving me problems about an email I was told to send to him. One of his employees messed up something, and he needed to do it over. I listened to dude rant, while my specialist sat next to me, wanting me to pass him the phone so he could cuss him out.

That woulda been a problem. I told my boss we would've allll been sitting down in the directors office if I or our specialist had to keep talking to this dude. Several books of cuss woulda bust him upside his head.

It was otherwise uneventful. Weird way for the boss to punish me. Very creative of her, though.

Tiger Woods. Did ya'll peep that Tiger Woods commercial? The one with him staring into the camera and the voice of his late father saying:

"Tiger, I am more prone to being inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?"

I tell you. I hope he learned something. Like, he should've learned to say next time "Ya'll better leave me alone, or I'm calling out all these other golfers who cheating!!!"

Yeah, that would've shut everything up real quick. It is what it is.

But what his father said was a bit profoud. Sure, it was from some old interview or something. But goodness.... That is a self assessement question that I could ask myself every day. How I feel, what was I thinking, and what did I learn.

The issue here is everybody got their issues. I could care less what Tiger is doing. He's trying to repair his perfection in all of our eyes, I suppose.

The problem is: there's no such thing as perfect. Only the illusion of being perfect.

And that's nothing but smoke and mirrors.

I'm just glad my personal issues have never been on display. Tell you one thing: I ain't explaining JACK to folk. I'll just start calling some folks out. How bout that? lol

That's it for me today. I need to get up and get ready for work. I'm going to go put on a pot of
herbal tea, and sweeten it with a little raw honey... and pretend that it's coffee.

Ya'll have a great Friday. And enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Thankful Thursday

I keep a lot of journals (just counting, I have 4 or 5 going right now). One that I started this year, which I've thought about starting in the past, is a Gratefulness Journal. It's a journal that I record what I am thankful for each day.

I''ve heard of this in the past, where the instructions were to write down 5 things you are grateful for, but for some reason , I never did it.

I feared that I couldn't come up with 5 things I was grateful or thankful for. Which is a shame.

And I must put that in context: I was thinking of it in terms of coming up with 5 different things I'm thankful for, totally different from what I wrote the day before.

Doing such is overwhelming. When it wasn't even meant to be that way in the first place.

So when my baby blog sista Serenity mentioned to me last year that she was going to start keeping such a journal, I decided to do one too (and you know I must chaperone her in whatever she is doing, lol). It is individual, nothing we particularly discuss. But I gave myself a small goal: I'd only write one sentence, only a few words long. And if I wrote the same sentence over and over again, then that's cool.

It'd only take a few seconds a day. At least I had something to be thankful for.

What was interesting is that in addition to my days of writing one sentence a day, I'd sometimes write much more.

A few sentences. A whole page.

I read back over my entries fromt time to time. And now, looking back over this journal containing 3 months of entries, I've realized something.

It has served to rein me back into reality when my mind wonders off or if I'm down.

Most importantly, I can see a snapshot of where my head and my heart is right now. It has given me insight into what is most important to me and what's bothering me.

So I'd like to post some of the entries from time to time. There are close to 100 of them. Some of these are simple. Some are terribly complicated. Some are deeply personal. These are some that I've found to not only be repetitive entries, but some that have made me think, and have also served as journalling prompts for my personal journals.

I am thankful for peaceful and quiet days.

I am thankful that I am 40.

I am thankful for time spent at my Auntie's table. These are sacred times for me.

I am thankful that God believes in me even though I sometimes don't have the faith to believe in myself.

I am thankful that I can speak words of encouragement to someone.

I am thankful for the Holy Spirit's counsel, and for His continuous effort in trying to get this one thing through my head: "Do not concern yourself with folks who set a standard for you that they themselves don't even meet."

I am thankful for my tears, even though they are tears of sadness.

I am thankful for the positive words of my fellow bloggers.

I am thankful that God is on the hustle tip - 24 hours a day. He never sleeps. He never slumbers.

I am thankful for a new day, where I can hit the internal reset button, and another chance to get it right.

I am thankful for my best friend.

I am thankful for Minister Hayes sermon on favor tonight, and for the following confession: "I walk in favor and honor in the midst of chaos and adversity."

I am thankful for good nutritious food, and the wisdom to choose it and to eat it.

I am thankful for God's grace, redemption and restoration.

I am thankful for clarity and insight.

I am thankful for honesty and integrity.

Those are just a few of the entries. But they encompasss the general scope and theme of my life over the first quarter of the year.

I feel like I am sometimes upset about one thing or another not going my way in life, or things just not happening fast enough. Although it is human to feel this way, it is a slap in the face to God, and very childish. The older I get, the more I understand that.

For I can't neglect, at the same time, I have so much to be thankful for.

Even if it is for the pollen enriched air I'm breathing today, I have something to be thankful for.

This journal is helping me to realize that.

I am thankful for this journal.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Monday Morning....

Good Mernting...

I don't have much to say today. I am still in bed. Thought I'd be up by now, but this spring forward bizness has me waking up around 7:30 in the morning. I need to wake up around 6 to get all the things I need to get done before work, and I refuse to use an alarm clock, and-

Blog fam yells "Stop whining, LadyLee!!! Man up and stop being a PUNK!!"

Well... whatever. I've been whiny these days.

One thing I can't whine about is the beautiful weather.

The current temperature is 60 degrees.

And it will reach 86 degrees sometime today.


That's a little warm. I like 78 degree temps, with a slight breeze.

But I'll take the 86 degrees. Better than 30 degrees.

On to my weekend.

Saturday. I woke up, did a few chores, then went walking up at the track.

Then I swung by Grandma's house.

She was happy to see me, as we haven't seen each other all year. (Yes, I need to take my tail over there more often). But I needed to talk to her about this debit card I gave her. She hasn't used it since mid-February, and I needed to straighten that out with her. Apparently, she felt like she was spending too much money on it. And she thought, for some reason, that she had went over the limit and it had pulled money out of her account.

I told her that was impossible, as I had it set up where there was no overdraft protection. If she went over the limit, then it would be rejected.

Of course she didn't understand this. And I explained this again. Even letting her know how much I keep in there for her. She still felt like she was spending too much.

Okay. Well, far be if for me to encourage use any further.

Do your thang, Grandma! I just want to help.

We ended up watching infomercials and talking. I crocheted furiously.

I ended up leaving there after a couple of hours. (We were both nodding off to sleep. Those darn infomercials do it to me everytime!)

I swung by my homegirl's Dawnie's house. She's a massage therapist, and I sent LadyTee over there on Friday to get a massage, since I heard from my book club sista Netrock that Dawnie is REAL good.

LadyTee called me on Friday after a 2 hour massage, yacking hard and talking 50 miles a minute about how GREAT Dawn was.

I was suppose to throw a check in the mail to prepay for the massage last week, but forgot. So I went by Dawnie's house to drop off the payment.

"My friend talking about you like you Black Jesus," I said.

Yeah, LadyTee really liked her. That was part of LadyTee's birthday gift. She has neuromuscular issues, and Dawnie could help with that.

I like Dawnie. She's a former book club and journalling sista. But I've peered at her curiously over the years. She's only home on the weekends. And she's in Canada or Mexico for work on the weekdays. She heads up my writing group, so I finally said something to her about this a week ago.

"Dawnie, you like Tommy on Martin! We don't know WHAT you do for a living."

That got a big laugh out of everyone. She finally explained her job to me. I understood, but still was looking at her half crazy.


Sunday. Sunday was a Happy Easter. Didn't do much. Got up and prayed, had some bootleg communion of cranberry juice and bread. (I tend to do this from time to time). I didn't go to church (I never do on Easter). But my services stream on the internet, and I watched it there.
(And the place was full 'til the point of bursting.)

LadyTee and I were on the phone watching on the internet separately. I had to hang up with her, after yelling "Tam, ya'll talking too much, I'ma need ya'll to BE QUIET!" She hollered at me for being loud and throwing stuff around. (I was in the laundry room folding clothes.)

They never did. get quiet enough for me. I don't like my church services interrupted with noise!

Kentucky and I went walking on the track. Then we came home and cooked. Crabs and shrimp. (Yep, I eat meat on the holidays. SUE ME!) She fried some chicken wings, and I had a few.

And I feel like CRAP right now. Uggggggh!!! My body is like "Whaaaaaaat the @%$#*&!!!!!!!!

*Lee searching hard for her usual oatmeal and fruit for breakfast*

I really feel strange. It don't help that I'm PMSing. Ugh.

I might have to dismiss the holiday tradition. I'd probably be laid out on the floor right now if I had some turkey or ham. lol

We watched TV together. I crocheted furiously. We watched the Unsung Sylvester episode. I think I disturbed Kentucky to no end with all my singing along, lol... The episode sparked a convo about our grandfather's brother, our late Uncle Olin, who was a female impersonator. (Remind me to write about that, Southern Black Gal. It was a trip for me when I was your son's age, and realizing and accepting that I had "two uncles", i.e., my uncle and his boyfriend.)

A very nice quiet weekend. I wish I could've gotten through to Grandma, but it's all good.

Thought of the week. Kentucky ran up on me while I was in the bed on Friday night and started talking. This is interesting, as we are both notoriously quiet individuals, but over the past couple of years, she's been real yacky.

She said I gave her the best advice some years ago, when she was about to go off to college. I told her that it was a time of a lot of change for her, and she'd really get to know herself and who she is. I told her to take time, once a year or more frequently, to quietly reflect on what's going on within herself emotionally and mentally, and be real honest with herself about things.

She took that and ran with it, and it seems to be the core of our talks. The chick is VERY reflective.

My question today is: Are you?

I am. And it's a new season, spring season. The flowers are blooming, spring is here.

'Tis a good time to sit down and reflect on where you've done well and where you've missed the mark.

And pat yourself on the back... or forgive yourself.

That's what I'm doing.

Well, it's time to get up and go to work. My boss snuck up on me while I was walking down the hall on Friday and quietly asked

"You wanna act on Monday and Tuesday?"

Which meant did I want to be acting supervisor while she's off doing WHATEVER she has to do.


My immediate response was "WHO? WHO?"

She must've asked me because NO ONE is around. Really pissed me off because I have NO choice in the matter.

This was followed by MUCH crooked 2 fanger Celie pointing for the rest of the day, and me hollering (very belligerently):

"I don't believe this! I can't stand ya'll!!! My IQ goes down a couple of points when I have to be a part of management!!!!"

My boss doesn't care for the Celie point. She drags her hands down her face and groans. "You and your drama, girl!"

Management is NOT my friend, and I have NO aspirations for such.

Last time this happen, her car had broke down out of town. I offered to hotwire one of the government cars and send our group SuperHero to swoop her up and bring her back home (so she could resume her supervisor role. Forget the broke down car.)

She declined. I think she had visions of a sunglass wearing muscle bound shorty rolling up her in a tricked out government car kicking gangsta rap. lol

As usual I will hide out in the lab. Hopefully no one will call or bother me. I have my regular work to do.

It is going to be a GREAT day!

I say it! I declare it!

You make it a great day too. On purpose!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Foto Fridays (and other Randomness)

Happy Good Friday.

I have photos and mindless random thoughts for you.

Just think of it as a proverbial "easter basket", a gift from me to you:)

I got spring fever.

I don't feel like doing NOTHING.

I wailed to my boss this week,"I need motivation."

She looked at me like I had grown 2 heads.

She was back in the lab yesterday, talking with me and the specialist, and I, being bored and spring struck, rattled her nerves a bit...

She's going to chase me down the hall with a broom real soon... I can see it!

I cause trouble when I am bored.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning. Should've gotten up and just gone on to work, but I didn't. I ended up going to sleep and having nightmares concerning the ex-husband. I was trying to get back with him, or something weird like that. What was I thinking?

Geez. My credit score just went down a couple of points with those dreams.

That's what I get for sleeping with the TV on.

That's what I get for having Thai food for dinner. HUMPH.

I like walking out on the track. This is my excercise of choice when it's nice out.

I live a stone's throw from downtown ATL (literally a couple of miles).

So you can see the Atlanta Skyline!

These houses overlook the track.

I love these houses. Would love to have one. Average price- half a million bucks apiece. Taxes should be a good ten thousand a year.

Hey, somebody buy me the house. I can pay the taxes just fine, just buy me the house! Much obliged!!

My transition lenses are working well.

I realize this after a LONG time of thinking, "It's so bright and sunny our here. Why does it look so dark?" lol

I like to try a couple of new foods a month. With that said, I've been fooling around with barley.

Barley works well in a stir fry, much better than rice. It has a nutty flavor, is chewy, adds character to a dish, you know. But there are issues with it. You have to soak it over night. Two thirds of a cup (which cost me 30 cents) cooks up to four cups. In other words:

Man, I got a load of barley on my hands! Somebody help me!!!

I gotta call Grandma today. She hasn't used her debit card in 6 weeks. I think she misplaced her card and doesn't want to say anything. It's gonna be like pulling teeth to get her to let me know such.

I had lunch with Serenity_23 on Wednesday. She was passing through the ATL, on the way to catching her cruise. We had lunch at a pizza parlor near my job. I was giving her the sideeye for making a 8 hour drive all glammed up, but hey, she hardcore like that, lol.

It was good to see the Oldgirl. It's always good to see my baby blog sista. I hope she and Tyler have a great time on the cruise. I can't wait to hear the stories!

Oscar-Tyrone is a trip. He treats me and my sister differently. When Kentucky's in the room or comes around, he gets all sprite, clears his throat and let's out a series of "meows" from somewhere deep inside. She always talks to him or gives him catnip or whatever she's eating on.

With me, he't totally different. His meows are barely audible. Weak and wacky squeaks.

And he stares at me a lot. Especially when he wants something. Like being rubbed. And I know this is the case, because he edges closer and closer, until he is laying right beside me. If I still don't pay him any attention, he lays his head on me.

And if that don't work. He GRABS.

This becomes interesting when I am writing or reading, and he grabs at my hand. I have to keep myself from YELLING at him like he's a kid.

I rub him for a few seconds. And it's not enough. He wants more. THEN I yell.

And he stalks off... all to come back a half hour later and bother me again.

There's some metaphor of life in there. I have NO idea what it is.

Maybe there is none. And I just got spring fever for real.

All of ya'll... Have a Happy Easter.

This weekend's gonna be BEAUTIFUL. A gorgeous Easter weekend.

Get out and enjoy it... with purpose, on purpose...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

On Being Finally Free

Happy Fools Day!

Man, that sounds a hot mess. Who came up with April Fool's Day?

There will be plenty of pranks pulled today. Some good, some bad.

I'm gonna celebrate the day in a different way.

Like I said, I had a FANTASTIC weekend. Please realize that "fantastic" to me is not at considered fantastic to others. If you know anything about me, I absolutely loathe being in sync with what's popular with the crowd.

One of my activities this weekend was attending my monthly Triple F Possee meeting. That's our nickname for our group, The Financial Freedom Fighters.

It's not an investment group. It is simply a group of ladies getting together and talking about their finances. We look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of what we did that month, and we openly share ideas and personal goals.

This month's meeting was at Ray-Rays house. She lives waaaaay out in the country. I mean, I have to pass farms and cows to get to her house. I live in a downtown inner city neighborhood, and I am usually no more than 20 minutes from everything, but the jaunt to her house is at least 40 minutes. (Pack a lunch and some good music to get to Ray Rays house, lol).

Our meetings are usually refreshment free. I bring chocolate chip cookies (only if someone reminds me).

But Ray-Ray is an entertainer, and she had refreshments:

Popcorn and Kool Aid!

I'm allergic to Kool-Aid. (This completely confuses black folks). But it usually makes me break out.

I hadn't had any in years. But Ray-Ray had the good kind, the RED flavored one, with lemons cut up in it! So I decide to have some. (And my eye swole up later that night, like someone had socked me, lol. But it was worth it!)

Ray-Ray's son Eric kept walking through.

Of course, he had to deal with my scolding and harrasment. I did not care for the shiny shirt and hustler hat he had on. ("Boy, you got a rap gig tonight or something?"), and I didn't like him quietly walking through while we had our meeting. (Dude, you betta knock on the door when you come in this house!")

This is also a time when I get a TON of crocheting done. I am currently working on baby blankets.

This one is for my group secretary. She's been hounding me about seeing it. That's as much of a glimpse as you're going to get, Shon... You have to wait for it!

The core of our financial discussions surrounds the Dave Ramsey plan. We watched a good video of his concerning making and planning budgets.

But I was happy to tell the sistas something that I didn't think I would be able to tell them for at least another couple of years.

This month, I will be debt-free, minus the house.

It was the first time that I felt like I had contributed something to the group. Some good news.

I'm usually a bit surly during meetings as of late.

"Listen, ain't nothin' happenin' right now. I'm gonna be faithful and sincere and pay my bills. THAT'S IT!"

I get really bad with the "I don't want to talk about it, Man!!"

I am glad that they ignored my mini rants and allowed me to stay in the group. I think I was gonna even sit out of the group this year, but my leader, The Green Eyed Bandit (dang lurker), wasn't having it.

I guess it's like trying to get out of a street gang. Not gonna happen.

My biggest issue has been what plagues my life in many different areas: My being very angry with myself.

I was just mad, man. I got hit with a big tax bill, from some mess from 10 years ago, back in October. I had to pay 500 bucks for a new toilet because I'd dropped an ink pen into the old one. Looked like I was working hard, paying things off for NO reason at all. Just mad, man.

I wanted to make contributions to the group. I wanted to have success stories like my fellow fighters. I just felt like I wasn't making a contribution. So why be there?

I had to go back to my old adage: Words are everything.

Hearing the words of my sistas, their talk of fighting to be financially free, the things that went bad that month and how they would correct the actions...

There's an interesting piece of scripture I like: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

Well, I've found that I can extrapolate that out to other parts of my life.

My faith is increased by whatever I'm hearing.

And you know this is true. we see it every day. You see it all over blogland. From natural hair, to working out, to eating right, to goal setting.

I needed to hear and read words. Words that increased my faith.

The more I hear debt-free, the more I can believe in being debt free. We've already had one sista hit it, and another is slated to be there in June... So I can believe it is possible.

And that time is here. I only owe about 120 bucks right now, and I haven't paid that because I am actually waiting on the bills to come in the mail. I have one bill now, and I think I will just call to see how much the other is for. I REALLY don't want to overpay.

So I will let this day, April Fools day, be a day that I become debt free.

A day I do something good for myself.

So thanks, Triple F Possee, for letting this Oldgirl sit in meetings and mean mug and crochet furiously.

Know that in all my ranting, I was listening to your words, working out things in my head.

I can now go on to reach other goals the group has been working on.

And I gladly drink a glass of Kool-Aid to that!!