Thursday, March 31, 2011

Catalina Islands, DR Vacation pictures

Continuing with these vacations pictures... On to my Dominican Republic Catalina Island pictures. I wasn't all that excited about going to the Dominican Republic. I'd gone there for my 40th birthday, and I was going to stay on the boat. But it turns out that we were going to one of Carnival's private Islands, and they were having a big barbeque, etc., so I decided to go and have a look see. (All late as usual. The folks I traveled with left earlier that morning. I think I went over near noon). Here's a shot of the island as from my cruise ship room balcony.

How lush and green it was. The boat didn't dock at a pier. We stopped out in the middle of the water a good half mile from the shore, and they let the lifeboats down. Those didn't look very... sturdy. I am taking a picture from a big double decker open air party boat.

I was NOT getting on those rickety looking lifeboats unless we were sinking like the Titanic and needed to get the heck out of dodge. So I went to the back gangway and jumped on the big white double decker boat.

(Incidntently, I had to ride one of those suckers to get back to the ship. That was some PURE tomfoolery. Ugh. Here's us standing in line to go back):

Pictures of the shore from my time on the big party boat.

White people know they like to lay out in the sun.
I found a shady grove of palm trees to lay out under.

A picture of our ship from the Catalina island docks. I like to be where I can see the ship. That way, if some mess jump off, I can swim out to the boat! One of my favorite pictures of the trip- a palm tree blowing in the wind.
Another picture of the shoreline. I think we were getting ready to sail away. A picture of the calm blue waters when we left.

It was a nice 3 hours for me in the sun under palm trees a good stone's throw from the beach. There were some small shops there, and I bought a couple of shot glasses. I ate my lunch and read my book, then got back on the boat.

People went hiking out along the lush greenery of the shore, but I wasn't up to looking into that.

Just wanted to relax on the beach, and enjoy the cool breezes... on purpose.

Stay tuned for more pics next week:)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grand Turks Vacation Pictures

So, I guess I will blog...

I just need to just get back on the horse and BLOG.

I feel better today. One of those, "I feel nauseous, but if I sit still, I will be alright" type of days. But at least I'm alert, and not half comatose. I am not at all smurfy, but at least I'm moving around and working.

Easiest thing to do is put up vacation pictures. I don't have to think too hard about those. Can't say I'm particularly thrilled with them. They do not take my breath away. But we'll put them up anyways!

First up: Turks and Caicos.

So here's a map of Turks and Caicos.

As you can see from the map, that is a little tiny island on the far right hand side of the map above.


A bit small isn't it? Hmm...

No we didn't go to any of the big shiny islands of Turks. From what I read, those aren't highly populated. That small island is where the capital and the main population of around 6000 people are.

Here are shots of the island as our cruise ship approaches.

A beautiful shot of palm trees. A picture of our Phat ship! Here's the capsule that John Glenn landed in when he orbited the earth back in the sixties. Being a scientific Oldgirl, I wanted to jump out of the van and run up there and touch it! But you know I couldn't do that, lol. The post office...
We also saw the welfare office. We wanted to stop there! Our driver wouldn't. :(

The local library.
The National Museum...
Our driver...
I was worrying him before we left, wanting to know if he could get us back to the boat on time. I did not want to be left. He said "Ma'am, it will take us only an hour, hour and a half."

Yes, the island is THAT small.

He even drove past his house to show us where he lived, lol.

The water was beautiful.

Here's a gas station.
We thought that was FUNTY! 2 pumps! We'd be in line for HOURS in the ATL if there were 2 pump stations. And I only saw 2 gas stations on our tour. As you can see, it looks like a ghost town!

More of the pretty water. We actually saw some humpback whales! They were moving to fast for me to get pictures.
A picture of a rock... and more water.
Turks art! It was expensive.

Turks main attraction: the Lighthouse.
*crickets* Nice. But it needed a good coat of paint. We didn't get to go in.

And we even drove past a horse and donkey farm. Beautiful horses... roaming freely.
Roaming so freely that they walked right up to our Van. They even blocked the road.
My cubicle mate, the Cowgirl Cre, rides and owns a horse. I know why her horse pays attention to me, and I know why these horses were pushing up on our van: they thought we were gonna hook them up with some FOOD.

Once they figured out that we weren't, they got the heck on.


This was a nice little quaint island. Very quiet. It is less than 7 square miles in size. The driver said there was hardly any crime, and you could even take a walk in the middle of the night without a problem, and that everyone knew everyone around there.

If I ever go back, I'll just get dropped off downtown. I'd like to go to the museum, and roam around downtown. I would also like to visit the neighboring island, Salt Cay, which has a population of 80 people and is less that 3 square miles in size.

Both places would be GREAT writing retreats... hmm...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainy Rainy Monday...

Just pure rain.

That's all I can think about when it comes to today, and to this weekend.


Lots and lots of water from the sky.

I woke up at around 3:45 am in the morning to earth shattering thunder. It's rare to hear thunder that loud, to where it rattles the whole house and shakes me awake.

Very rare.

The first thing I do is look for Oscar-Tyrone, and observe his termperment. He wasn't rattled, so that meant that no tornado or tsunami was coming our way. (Yes, I do believe animals know these things).

And since he was his usual self (staring at me intently, hoping to be rubbed, I suppose), I lay there in the dark, a bit cold due to the ceiling fan being on. I don't feel like going and turning the heat up, so I gather my micromink throw and down comforter a little closer around me, hoping to warm up a little.

And I quietly hope for a better week.

For this week to be a better week than last.

For I've been a bit sick the latter part of the week and during the week, with some lupus flare-ups. This is rare for me. And I don't discuss it. Part of me was expecting it, because of the stress of coming off of vacation and having to get back to my normal routine. Plus I'm suppose to stay out of the sunlight and lately it's been bothering me. Add that with a few other things bothering me lately and I have a bad immune response.

I know for me, my lupus has a strange cognitive component to it: I get terribly moody, edgy and anxious, and I have a hard time concentrating, and my writing starts gettng illegible. I think I start paying attention when it's difficult for me to sign my name. I lose interest in my normal activities and people. My joints ache and I have bad headaches and I can't sleep. Then my appetite is just shot and I have to force myself to eat. I'm dehydrated. And I have NO energy. I was a bit mucousy, which is VERY rare for me.

Let's just say I've pretty much been in the bed since Friday evening.... been a bit horrified at even the mere thought of trying to pull myself together to go and run errands. Luckily, I didn't have anything pressing to do.

And I have a doctor's appointment this morning. I'll probably get scolded about something, like messing up my meds last week or spending too much time in the sun. I'll just lean against the wall and give my doctor the vacant Lil' Lee look.

LOL. She don't like that at all.

I'm hoping for a better week. I don't think I can take being all wiped out. I spent a few months like that back when I was first diagnosed, and ended up doing time in the hospital and having to have blood transfusions. I want NO parts of that. Ever again. There is nothing worse than laying in a hospital bed watching someone eles blood go into your body. All kinds of ish went through my mind seeing that.

Nothing means more to me than being able to take care of myself and to function normally on a day-to-day basis. I don't live the glamorous life, but I have independence, and just being independent, it makes me very rich indeed.

I really don't want to lose that. If I do, I have nothing.

I feel a lot better today. Actually felt better yesterday, as I did a couple of things I like to do (I wrote 4000 words on my story, and I participated in a weekly story crafting chat group on Sunday).

I have to spend the rest of the week working on my concentration, etc., which shouldn't be a problem. So I may or may not be blogging. Man, if I would've blogged last week, it would've all been some food-for-thought or something to the point where ya'll be hollering "Good grief, gal, what's wrong?" lol

I am off today, due to the doctor's appointment. Normally I would go in, but our Director got isshas. He might think I'm trying to sneak in late, and uh.... dude, I ain't in the mood for shenanigans. Run this workplace, and stop sweating an Oldgirl. Humph.

We have a new interim boss, which has left us all O_O. Our last interim boss was stellar. That's all I got to say about that. Although my work has been very light lately... I haven't done any lab work in 3 weeks. Hmm... All paperwork. Can I keep it like that? Don't know. Had a big argument with the new boss on Friday. I think I may be on her list. So I may be back in the lab. Sigh. And I'm cool with that.

So bear with me while I get myself straight. I may or may not be blogging this week. We'll see.

I'm going to make it a point to find a way to make this week a good one... on purpose.

You do the same.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yay Darius!

Sorry I haven't been blogging ya'll...

I just haven't been in the mood.

Hopefully that will rectify itself.

We'll see about that.

Anyway, my Mealtime Husband Darius is like, the best cook EVER.

(Yes, we's married in my head. We's married! *lee twirls round in round like Wonder Woman*)

And you know I am a Darius T Williams Stalker Stan. I've followed him for years on his Everyday Cookin' Blog! And he cooked for a group of us when he was in the ATL last year. Hands down, one of the best meals I've EVER had. LAWD!!!

So imagine the grin that spread across my face when he was on the Food Network with his friend Sunny Anderson on Sunday morning!!

And they put it up on Youtube!

So, you know I have to repost it here. (Don't know how long it will last until they snatch it, lol) If you can't see it, here's the actual youtube link.

LOL!!! Loved-ed it. They cooking in the kitchen like some black folk do for real! LOL!

Sunny, have Darius back on!

Better yet, Food Network! Give Darius his own show!!!

YaaaaaaY Darius! I am proud of you! You are the MAN!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Monday Merning

Good Monday Morning to you all...

It's the first day of spring!

*busted attempt at cartwheels*

I hope er'one had a great weekend.

It was nice in the ATL this weekend: 81 degrees on Saturday, 65 degrees on Sunday.

I ran an errand down to the Southside ATL on Saturday, and took in some of the nice sunshine. I stayed in the house on Sunday, and took care of a few things around the house.

Now it's Monday.

Let's just say I need to take off today.

Aunt Flo is not making me great today.

Too much information, I know. But whatever. A couple of ya'll out there use me as to let you know when your time is coming up, so listen up: Aunt Flo bout to roll up on you and knock on your door, honey chile! She sho is.


I apologize to my male readers. Ya'll will be alright. Us females, we serious about our red dollar days.

What a weekend. It was wonderful. And that's with Saturday and Sunday being totally blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Saturday felt a little to me like one of my favorite songs.

(You young gals don't know nothing bout that song. That's GOOD REAL music).

I felt like the tone of that song. Melancholy, man. Sad. Felt like crap. My hormones all jacked up. Headachy. Cramped up. Bedridden. Feeling yucky and anxious, but just wanna sleep.

That don't matter. This was one of my best weekends of the year thusfar.

Why!? Cuz I met one of the most fantastic and interesting people I've ever met on Friday evening.


I met my "Play Mama", Mrs. Adrienne...

I had been thinking about this meeting for a good two or three days. I must admit, for some reason, my nerves were a bit shot. My Fridays aren't all that wonderful, because I am bone tired from the week, but it gave me something to look fowrad to!

My cubicle mate, Cowgirl Cre had to hear me whisper all day.

"I get ta meet my play Mama tonight. I sure do."


I had to come up with some gift ideas. I made her 3 dozen triple chocolate chip pecan and oatmeal raisin and mixed dried berry walnut cookies.

And I got a couple other gifts for her. (Ya'll know I don't go nowhere empty handed. Humph).

She told me where she was hanging out in the ATL, and we had dinner near her at Kiku Hibachi steakhouse.

I'd never been to this place before. And these days, if I eat out, I look for somewhere with some seafood options. (I STILL haven't been to a vegetarian restaurant. That is on my to-do list). My coworker had shown me some pictures of her daughter's birthday at Kiku, and I looked at the menu, and sent Adrienne the menu to see what she thought and it was a go.

Man, it was good, and they give you a lot of food.

We both had the scallop and shrimp dinners...

We shared a side of lobster.

I wonder how they scooped that lobster out like that.

I liked that there were lots of vegetables. I got a good idea of how to cook my squash now.

Yep, that was a whole lotta food. And even the fried rice was good!

And she bought ME some gifts.

O_oOdd. People rarely give me anything. I don't look for anyone to give anything. I get so much out of giving. Your smile and appreciation is my gift. Period.

But she brought me some nice things:

A candle!

I smelled it. Smelled like one of those sugar cookie type candles. "I'm not burning this. I'm gonna sit it on my mantle."

"You better burn that candle," she said.

Yes, I burned it as you can see. It was very nice. *hard lip quiver, threats of crying.*

Then, there was another gift. She made monogrammed napkins for me.

Wow! They were so nice. And soft! I almost put one around my neck, but I would pass out if I got anything on it.

The most suprising gift of all was a little handmade hardcover notebook, about four inches by four inches in size. It was titled "Be Encouraged".

I touched the cover. It was so pretty that I didn't want to open it. But when I did, I was glad. It was full of different scripture related to encouragement.

My goodness. It was sooooo nice. And I LOVE giving handmade gifts to people. And it's always nice to get some. Really nice.

"I'm gonna take this book to work with me. Use it when I get the unction to open my Good Book of Cuss."

I can now go open my good book of encouragement.

My eyes got a little moist there. If she would've looked away, I would've busted out crying.

I was sooooooooooooo glad to meet my "play Mama". We had a good time, great convo, and I learned much from her and about her.

When I got home, I immediately called LadyTee and told her about the evening. "She's so such a sweet kind person. Just really nice," I said. LadyTee and I almost had an argurment over the fact that my play mama is younger than me.

Thought I was gonna have to open my book of Cuss on LadyTee. But I was good. lol.

It was a great end to a long week, great convo over a great dinner. I'll always remember that.

Shoot, I coulda ended my weekend on FRIDAY night.

Could've worked all day Saturday and Sunday for all I care. It's always nice to meet people who are nice, with really good hearts. Makes me feel very rich indeed and honored to be in the presence of such people.

It really makes my heart glad.It really does.

And that, my beloved readers... That's what I call a GREAT weekend indeed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kentucky Funnies, Part II" "Corn and Cheese"

My sister Kentucky continues to crack me up.

Every single time I talk to her.

Yesterday she called me about a problem she was having. We discussed it. We felt okay about the solutions.

Then we were talking about other things going on in our lives. I like to ask her about her hobbies, and how that is going.

She has a most interesting hobby: scouting out estate sales. She loves those things. I myself have only gone to one, back in 1991, back when I was in grad school. I bought a sofa, a rocker chair, a kitchen table, a couple chairs for that kitchen table and some plates for $75.

I kept that for about 4 years. So I know they are good places to find bargains.

And this has been my sister's hobby for the last couple of years.

And I celebrate it. She has had to hear my LOUD rants, when she tells me of how some of her friends don't approve of her hobby.

"Look here, gal," I holler. "If you decide to go outside and write "Kentucky" in black chalk up and down my driveway, so be it. If that's your hobby, be happy about it. Bump them chicks! I'ma be happy that you found something that you enjoyed doing!"

"Forget them!" I continue. "Their hobby is clubbing!! They just mad cuz you different!"


I have an issue with people looking at someone else's hobby and giving them grief over it, and getting a funky attitude because you don't like to do what they like to do. I may not agree with it, this hobby of yours. (I will silently look at Kentucky like she crazy if she start writing on my driveway), but doggonit, do YOU. Enjoy yourself!

Just because I like something a little different from you, or different from the crowd, that doesn't make anything wrong with it.

*lee cartwheels down off of soapbox*

With that said, we had an interesting estate sale convo last night.

"Hey man," I said. "I need a leaf blower. You ever see those at the estate sales?"

"Yes," she said flatly.

"Well if you see one, can you get if for me?"

"Yes, I'll look out for one."

She goes on to talk about the website,, that she likes to go to to find estate sales in the area. She even likes and dislikes different companies that specialize in setting up and running the estate sales, and how she bases her choices of where she goes on who is running the sale.

"You can go to the webpage and look at the pictures," she said. "And if you see a leaf blower, go to that sale."

"For real? I think I will do that."

We continued discussing this. I loved the excitement in her voice.

"They sometimes have the kitchen groceries for sale, Lisa."

*lee silently holding the phone waiting for the punchline*

"They open up the cabinets," she continued when I didn't say anything, "or place everything on the counter, and you can look through them. You should see them white people. They go through everything."

"They sell the groceries!? For real?"

"Yes Lisa. I bought a can of corn for 10 cents one time."

*lee screaming with laughter*

"It was some good corn," she said. "I ate that corn."

"No way, man! No way!" I said through my laughter. Please tell me that you didn't eat corn bought at an estate sale."

"I sure did," she responded. "It was good corn. I even bought a can of cheese once. That was some good cheese."

*lee laughing XTRA hard. XTRA*

"What's so funny," she said. "You examine the can, and look at the expiration date. That was some good corn and cheese."

"If you say so, man! But ain't no way! Eww!"

Man. It crossed my mind to get my sister a grocery store gift card. I do NOT want her buying corn and cheese at an estate sale. I really don't. But I came to grips real fast that she was just meandering around like all the others looking for good deals, and lo and behold, corn and cheese were great deals.

She went on to say, "And Lisa, you have to go up in there with no emotion on your face at all. It's like you're buying a car. You have to negotiate."

*lee imagining her baby sister negotiating a deal for the cans of corn and cheese*



We continued talking. (Kentucky is a whiz at ignoring my animated ways. She ignored my laughing.) I need some furniture, and she gave me some tips on what to do.

The most expensive thing she's ever seen at an estate sale is a 10 piece setting of gold lined Presidential china. It was $10,000.

"I'll bust a sucka upside the head if they try to drink out of my cups and drop 'em," I said. "I sho' would!"

She thought that was funny.

"Kentucky, do they sell cars at these things?"


"Well look out for me a Lexus ES300, alright?"


And I'm sure my sister will be on the look out, and let me know if she sees one.

Yes, I am sure she will find me one...

Just like she found those cans of corn and cheese.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vacation Pictures, Part I: Bon Voyage

So, as you know, I had a nice 8 day cruise...

It was my friend The Green Eyed Bandit's family cruise, but I call it my birthday cruise, since it falls near my birthday!

I wish our family did this type of thing. But who am I kidding. Our family doesn't even get together. A cruise? Yeah right! That's a stretch.

Bandit's folks let me run with them. They are a jovial crew, treat me like one of their own. And I'm happy about that.

Our ship's point of origin was Fort Lauderdale.

So here are some pictures of us sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.

These are random. I don't feel like putting them in order. So here we go:

A yacht!!! I wonder who it belongs to?

Very nice! It wasn't even as loud as I thought it would be. And it's as big as those houses!

Beach houses! Looks like something off of TV.

View from my room balcony: the lifeboats.
Good to know if some mess goes down, I can jump straight down on one of them suckers and drive it away!

View to the right of my balcony.
This messed up many a good view of a sunset. Humph.

A nice view of the piers and shore.

Look at the nice beach houses!

Honey, I don't even have to have one of the big ones, I'll be just fine with one of the ranch looking ones! The flat ones!

The big majestic ones are still nice, though.

Other big ships and boats in water!!

I like the big tan house here, with the palm trees in front of it.

I'll glady take that white ranch beach house.... and then just visit my next door neighbors. LOL

Shoot... I'd even live in one of these condos. Not as nice as the house, but they will do!

Finally a picture of downtown Fort Lauderdale from the ocean.

Nice indeed...

Like I said, I didn't know that Ft. Lauderdale was so close to Miami. If I would've known that, I would've went down a couple of days earlier and ran around a little.

So those are my sailing off from the USA pictures! Stay tuned for more!