Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Freestyles,,, The Emotional Edition 1.0

My goodness.

Friday once again.

I've actually had a pretty good week thusfar.

For that I am happy.

And I happen to wake up at 5 in the morning... and now I am watching the Royal Wedding. Didn't think that would be happening. But alas I get up around this time every morning. I don't have to be to work 'til 10, but I have way too much to do in the mornings. The earlier I get up in the morning, the better.

Thoughts for the week:

Tornado Devastation: You know, I didn't understand that storms were coming that evening. I hadn't watched the news at at all, and had been involved in other activites. But Alabama was hit, and upper Georgia was too. A friend was in the midst of it. And I paid attention then. And prayed.

I know my neighbors thought I was crazy. I like to practice.. i.e., I stood on my porch and rebuked this wind and rain. Spoke aloud some words from Psalm 91. And rebuked a little more.

This reminds me... Man, life changes in the blink of an eye. In the twinkling of an eye, really.

My heart and prayers go out to these people. Life has changed. And to me, it's not the event that causes the most pain, but the residual long term effects of the event that does the most damage. I hate that. I pray lives will come back together, and the people can go on... somehow.

Birthers. I have issues with this whole Obama birth certificate mess. I have to work really hard to not think something is wrong with these white people. Now folks, like Trump, are all up in arms about President Obama's Harvard education. Any respect that I had for Trump, I lost it. Folks know they show their true colors over time. That's true for you, for me, and these birthers.

I work for the government. They get up into every crook and cranny of your life when it comes to getting security clearance. Uh, I bet they did with President Obama too. Much more so.

I am associating all this with an inferiority complex. I've dealt with this myself over my professional career. You really mad because you don't have the education or position I have. That is all. So President Obama, I hope you remember that. These people simply feel inferior to you. It ain't you, it's them.

I've had the same issues. People question my education because of my gender and the color of my skin. When I was in my early years of grad school, I was the only black person in the class... and had the best grades. Among mostly white well educated males. I changed my perspective.

Because in my heart I was thinking "You're white. You suppose to be better than me. And you're not?"

I learned in my early 20s that black people are just as capable as white folk. I wish more of us UNDERSTOOD this. When talking to young black folks about grad school, and their angst concerning it, I have to let them know... you're just as good as them. You'd really be surprised at how much so.

Listen: the most powerful man in America is a black man (Barack Hussein Obama). The most powerful woman in America is a black woman (Oprah Winfrey).

The most dangerous thing in America is the eyes of black children gazing upon these two people.

Sit quietly, and ponder that... why don't you.

Royal Wedding. This has been the HYPE for a few months now. I hope they live happily ever after. There has to be a 0.000000000000001% chance of getting that whole Cinderella thing to happen in your life as a woman. I hope they live happily ever after just like in my fairy tale books. That all depends on keeping that Queen out of their business. I do beleive she is the family member that keeps a lot of mess going. Man!

I remember watching Princess Diana wed Prince Charles 30 years ago. I can still see my young 10 or 11 year old self sitting in front of the TV, staring, wishing I could be so lucky. And then watching the events of these people's lives unfold over the years, help me to come to a realization: to be happy with my own life, because when gazing upon the perfection of others, things are not what they appear to be.

No I am not glamorous... no, riches do not abound. No, millions don't gaze upon my life wishint they were me.

With that said, I am happy for my own life and the uniqueness thereof. No one walking this earth before me, no one living now, and no one in the future will have the exact same life walk, emotions, hurts, triumphs, pains, joy, etc... that I have had.

That makes me unique and special.

And the same for you too...

Not because others approve or say so... Only because it is what it is.

Other concerns. Well today, I think we suppose to do something new called "Lunch with the Director", where each group has lunch with the director and voices their concerns. I don't buy it, and I'm not going. It's hard enough to cope with going to work in a low morale workplace. I don't do well with brownnosing activities. Not well at all. I want to go to work. Do the job that I am paid to do. I will leave the politics, with all its built in ulterior motives, to others who take joy in that.

I was talking about it on Twitter last night with Cowgirl Cre. She is my good friend of 15 years, and is well tuned and familiar with all sides of me, and loves me nevertheless. I have to remember that others are listening in to these convos. I think people saw a dark side of me, and this is odd, because I am fiercely guarded when it comes to my feelings about things. Very private when it comes to my emotions and anything bothering me. We all have our less than happy side. I've had to apologize for this completely normal part of human psyche more often than not. As a result I am very good at talking to hurting people. I have hurt at times, and there was no one to listen. It's the least I can do.

Listen. I've dealt with emotional and mental abuse in my life, within family. It has taken much to get past that. I don't think you ever really get past it. I learned one thing: I have a choice in the matter, and I choose not to subject myself to it if any way possible. So my threshhold is a bit low when it comes to abusive behavior of people. Just yesterday, I had to talkto and encourage a contractor who was yelled at by this man because she was moving between labs without an escort. I must say I was embarrassed by his actions. It is depressing when you know you're dealing with people who are not kind. But it is what it is.

I've been spoken to roughly in a meeting. And I don't think it helped much when I demanded that my "Dr." title be used in official capacitieis. You don't say that to people who don't have a title. But I don't care. You WILL follow proper protical and show respect in official capacity. You will. As I will and don't hesitate to do also.

So I'm not going. I don't even go to "mandatory" company wide meetings because people come back from them depressed. When there should have been some "rallying of the troops", some morale building. And there is none. I tend to move toward activities where there is uplifting of the people, or where I can be of some use. And I don't see that here.

I don't want to be depressed and talked down to today. I'm no fan of psychological games I have a choice in the matter. It is my choice.

And then there's a precarious rule I have. I can put any decision into two categories:

1. Things I will do from my heart, or because they are the correct things to do, whether I like it or not...

2. Things I do for people's approval. If I don't do these things, people will disapprove of me, look disfavorably upon me. Make judgments about me.

Anything that falls into category #2, I automatically do not do. Under no circumstances. And if you got a problem with me, I just located you. And that's cool. LadyLee needs to know how people feel about her. That always comes out. Nothing wrong with that. If you love me despite my "flaws" that you disapprove of... well, that's a very good and true and honest thing. I respect that. I try to do the same.

I work on #1. It is work. Tough work. I am a selfish woman. #1 burns off selfishness.

#2... is cut and dry.

Hope I ain't depressing you. This is my blog, my place to get my feelings out from time to time. I try to stay true to myself, and not say what you want to hear. This is where my head is.

I ain't depressed. I've had a good week this week. I've been working hard on spiritual things. Some things I like, some things that help me grow, and some things I don't like. Somethng interesting has been going on with my prayer life. 1/3rd of the year is almost over, and I am a bit overwhelmed at some of the answers that have shown up. It's odd when you can say "Well problem solved, over and beyond what I could even ask or think. Ain't gotta pray about that anymore."

Lately, I've prayed about things, and answers have come in the very next breath. Very odd. Or should it be odd, and not the norm? I must think on that. Pontificate and ponder.

I've slept EXTREMELY well this week for some reason. My homelife has been great, and I am happy for that. Even Oscar-Tyrone has a little more pep in his step.

I am looking forward to a good weekend. If the weather is good, I hope to get some yardwork done. And there's a Lupus walk on Saturday. A short one (I think they know we all got horrible joints and can't walk and run 5 and 10Ks. This is only a 1.5 mile walk which is no problem for me). IF I can find a parking space at the park, I will participate. Even though it wore me out last weekend, I will try to do a little more painting, just a little. I may go to Church. I may attend a FFF meeting. Not sure. I don't have anything useful to report or offer right now concerning that. I owe quite a few people some cookies. I better get on that, as I don't like to mail them when the weather gets hot.

Add to that all the errands I have to run and chores I have to do and the weekend is packed to the hilt.

And that's a GOOD thing.

A very good thing.

This post has ran a bit long... Can I get a song of the week in?

Song of the Week. Stephanie Mills "Whatcha gonna do with my Loving", circa 1979.

Not sure why that song is heavy in the car and the IPod. It makes me happy I suppose. I have a very loud sound system in my car. I know folks in the hood are NOT happy with that, lol.

My goodness. This was an emotionally loaded friday freestyles. We'll try to keep that at bay in the future.

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Stalking Chickens

So ya'll know I stalk the cheese out of Tayari Jones.

I'm her number one fan... Her number one Stalker STAN.

She pays me no mind. She called me earlier today. We had the most delightful conversation.

*lee sitting in cubicle, cheesing HARD, eyes glazed over, crying uncontrollably, heart beating 500 beats per minute*
She text me about her updated website this morning. I text back later that I thought it was quite nice.

I do believe the chicken, Lil' Serenity liked the site. She is a fan too. She stood on my keyboard and posed with the website.

I heard this morning that a synopsis of Tayari's highly anticipated novel Silver Sparrow, (which comes out May 24th) was in Essence. So I ran around looking for an Essence Magazine. A coworker one building over had one. Lo and Behold I found a synopsis of Silver Sparrow in the book section.

The Chicken, Lil' Serenity, was pleased. Quite pleased. She stood atop my laptop and took a picture with the article.

I'm sure if she could open her beak, you would see all 10 of her teeth.

As you can tell, I am uber-excited about this book coming out. I remember when she wrote the very first words. I also remember seeing a marked up chapter on her Mama's kitchen table... and when Tayari walked out the room, I contemplated stealing it. (I'd been lobbying for a few pages, to which she was like... NO!).

That would not have been nice. I read the first line, and quickly averted my eyes.

Yes I'm excited... I am a stalker. (If she was a dude, i would be a groupie. I would be locked up by now. But she a girl. I don't like girls. So I stalk. With lil' Serenity the Chicken riding shotgun).

So please 'scuse the stalker stan activity that takes place on this blog in the next month. Please.

But this my FAVORITE author... and one of my favorite people. Really.Let the stalking begin!!!

I can imagine her ringing my cell phone, whispering through clenched teeth... "Stop it, LadyLee!!! Stop stanning! Stop stalking me, you STAN!!!!"

*lee hangs up on tayari*

*sinister laugh*

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Baking that "Better than Sex" Cake...


I got a call from one of my friends a couple weeks ago.

She had several requests, one of which was to make a double chocolate coffee infused cake with pecancs. I made it for a journal writing group gathering at my house several years ago.

(That gathering unnerved me. My house is about size as of a shoe box. Not meant for entertaining. It should be against the law for me to have more than two guests. Sigh)

But she wanted that cake. She's been talking about it for the past year, wanting me to bring it to a writing group meeting. I didn't care to do that. It takes to much time to try to do it on a weekday. Stresses me out, man.

It was what she called the "Better than Sex" cake.

She has said for a long time, "This cake here, you don't need sex if you have this cake. This cake does the job!"


I don't agree with that. But we won't discuss that.

Anyway... I was antsy about making this cake. Why?

Because she had that sound in her voice like she may change her mind.

There are about 12-15 ingredients. Some of them pricey. I had to buy them all. We were gonna FIGHT if she changed her mind. FIGHT, I tell you.

Let's just say she got a few texts from me throughout the week: "You sure you want this cake!?"

I hope I didn't make her feel bad. It's just that, Man...

If I spent time on this cake...



I wasn't going to eat it. Bump that. I can buy a slice of it for 8 bucks over at the Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, especially since I would only want a taste. And I haven't had any in a good 3 years, so that lets you know how much I'm feening for cake.

Plus I ain't a cake baker. My mother is. Not me.

So, I read the recipe and listed out all my ingredients on a pink slip of paper (pink so I could easily locate it). Then I did some obsessive compulsive madness - read the ingredients over and over and over to make sure I didn't miss a thing!

I bought my ingredients and then I commenced to making the cake. I bought the last ingredient, an extra large cup of coffee, from Whole Foods on Friday night. I was not brewing up my $26/lb of Hawaiian Kona coffe. Nerp!

Now I've made this cake 4 or 5 times. I remember that I needed to make the frosting the day before, but I wasn't sure why. Dawn wanted the cake by Saturday. That meant I had better make the frosting on Friday night. But I was bone tired on Friday night and not in the mood, so I made it Saturday morning.

Here's my frosting.

It looks pretty good. Very small lumps in it, but that's alright. That meant I didn't stir it long enough. I remembered why now that I would make it the night before: it takes about 4 hours to cool and thicken up. Sigh. So I would make it before bed and leave it on the stove. By morning it would be at room temperature and the right consistency.

But me... and my hardheaded self... decided to make it that morning at 7 am. Sigh. Oh well, it was all good. The frosting was ready by noon.

Making the actual cake wasn't too bad. The worse part was shaving down the unsweetened baking chocolate bars.

It was not too bad with a good sharp knife. But still, I can do that the day before. Now, I was supposed to do the same thing with the chocolate blocks for the frosting. But it called for blocks of semi-sweet chocolate. I did the bootleg thang, and got some bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Worked just fine!

It took about 20 minutes to get that batter prepared and stirred up. I poured it in pans I had sprayed with flour cooking spray, and then placed them in the oven at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.

It looked a little soupy. I thought about adding more cake flour, but decided against it.

I was going to use that 40 minutes to get some sleep. I was tired. Tried to go to sleep but was too scared that the cake layers would overcook.

But alas, all was well... They looked good.

I let those layers cool. Took a WHOLE hour and a half. (I went and took a nap for real, then.) I assembled my layers and commenced to icing the cake.

That wasn't too hard. Took about 5 minutes. (Yeah I was ready to be DONE with this.)

I got the notion to arrange chocolate chips on the top. Not a good look. It came out crooked. Oh well. I wasn't going to start over. It would have to do.

I sprinkled on my chopped pecans... and voila! Finished that cake.


A better picture.

Something strange was going on with that design, those chocolate chips across the top, look, I don't know...

Crooked. That's the word. Crooked.

Wasn't going to worry about it. That would mean rearranging some chips. Uh, NO. Better luck next time with that.

(And do you like my Easter flowers? It's a spray of mini-roses. That's the girlie side of me. I like fresh flowers on the table for holidays!)

I wrapped it up with plastic wrap.

I was glad to wrap that sucker. They said in the cookbook that the cake didn't travel well. Well, it was gonna travel well THAT day.

I sat it on the backseat of my car and headed out to the WestSide of ATL. I was still hoping that Dawn had not changed her mind, or if she was at home. I called before I left so that was cool (It would have been left at the gate of her townhouse complex, you know. Don't try me, lol)

I dropped it off. She was pleased. Just to see the light in her eyes was well worth the time and effort it took to make the cake.

And that made it all worth it.

I don't know why I was so O_o when it came to making this cake. I haven't made it in 2 or 3 years, and I was afraid that I was going to be looking crazy. Dawn gave up chocolate for Lent, and she needed that cake for Easter. I didn't want to mess up and have to start over. (Yep, been there, done that). Add to that me not being in the most stellar mood these days, and uh... the potential for problems was at hand for real.

But it went well. I watched a good Lifetime Movie while getting it together. You can't beat Lifetime television for Womens when you're cleaning up or cooking!

So Happy Birthday Dawn. I hope you enjoy the cake.

Correction: I hope you enjoy your "Better than Sex" cake...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Repost: My Favorite Easter Story

I'm out of the loop internet-wise until Wednesday. Something's wrong with my home phone.


It's all good, though. I should be posting every day this week.

So while that gets straightened out, I wanted to repost a blog post one of my favorite stories from an Easter 5 years ago. One of the LadyLee Mascots, my coworkers' daughter Chayse, came over to The House of LadyLee for Easter. She's 6 or 7 now, but I think she was only 1 or 2 at the time of this story.

Fun, fun, fun. I laugh everytime I read it. Hope you will too.



So, last year, April 2006 (was Easter in April?), I didn't have any plans. I usually don't go to church on Holidays, because er'body and there mamas are up in that place. So I celebrate at home.

But last Easter I didn't have plans either, until Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia, my coworker and bootleg "Work-for-Free" manuscript editor, quietly eased up behind me in my cubicle and threw an Ebony Magazine on my desk. The magazine was open to a recipe for Sweet Potato Cheesecake.

"Lee... make this," she ordered, pointing to the recipe.

*LadyLee has COMPLETE conniption fit*

"Dang, Man! Dang Man! Back up off me! Back up off me!! I ain't makin' jack! Leave me alone!!!!"

She rolled her eyes in the usual manner and glided away.

Negroes LOVE to run up on me about a recipe. They know that I'm going to GO OFF... but I will probably end up doing it, especially if it is interesting.

Anyway, after I finished tripping out, and Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia had long gone, I picked up the magazine and perused the recipe. It looked easy enough. So I yelled over the cubicles for her to "Come here!". I told her that I would make the sweet potato cheesecake, but the only stipulation was that I wanted a piece of it. She was cool with that. She was going to come over for Easter and get it. I decided that I might as well make a day out of it and throw some meat on the grill, etc.

We had a plan...


As she was walking away from my cubicle area, she yelled over her shoulder...

"And make my baby some Easter Eggs!"

This caused another small temper tantrum. I think I may have even swiped a few papers from my desk and turned a quite a few things over. Yep, pissed me off. (I have anger management isshas, you see.)

But I agreed to do it, even though I hadn't dipped hard-boiled eggs into colored water since my brother was a child.

This whole thing about the baby...

Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia has been on me to do a post on her baby Chayse. Chayse is 3 years old now, and was 2 at the time of the events in this post...

But what is a trip is tha my coworker and personal chauffeurThe Infamous Hen-Dog is Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia's "baby Daddy".

I remember when Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia, who I didn't know very well, and who is also an UNUSUALLY quiet AND mean person (way moreso than myself), said she was pregnant. She got bigger and bigger and bigger.

I never wondered who the baby's father was. I don't get caught up in work politics. They better get my paycheck together and keep it moving. That's really all I care about, you see.

One of my coworkers and Hen-Dog made me sit down in a chair one sunny day, and they told me that... Hen-Dog was Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia baby's daddy. Of course, I thought it was a joke. It took me a few hours to believe them. I believed it more when I saw Hen running around to doctors appointments, etc...

They were creeping around. And what's funny, I ran into them at a Sprint store one day, and didn't even put 2 and 2 together. Just talked to them for a minute, and kept it moving. (Yes, I am dense).

All I know... Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia, I salute you, gal! You are one stealth undercover broad!!! That's all I gots to say about THAT!! LOL!!

Anyway, you have the history of the baby...

And for that Easter, I was to make some Easter Eggs for the baby. That was cool.

Easter 2006 arrives. I'd barbecued it up, man! We had chicken wings and steak!

And I'd made that doggone Sweet Potato Cheesecake.

It looks good, don't it? And it WAS good! Check out the side view:

I was like... you know, this recipe wasn't all that bad. (I had to do the bootleg, and throw some chopped pecans on top of it. Recipe didn't call for that!) Took me about an hour to prep everything. I was thinking... "I can make this for family get-togethers, book club functions..."

(Sidenote: Haven't made that cheesecake since then. Don't even know where the recipe is. I still have my springform pan, though!)

Moving right along.

I made the easter eggs. That was weird, because like I said, I haven't made them in awhile. I managed to crank out a dozen colorful eggs... I even wrote Chayse's name on them with that funky wax crayon that's included in the Paas kit.

Well, Hen-Dog, Ol Mean Ass Cynthia, and Chayse came over. We had dinner -chicken, steak, string beans, salad, baked potatoes, and sweet tea- and then decided to do an Easter egg hunt for Chayse out in my front yard.

"Hen-Dog, go hide the eggs," I said.

"I'm not hiding eggs. Chayse don't care. She don't know what to do. She's too young to remember something like that."

Now, both me and Cynthia looked at Hen like he'd been smoking crack or something. We argued back and forth about this. Hen was determined not to hide eggs. He was being a busta.

So I decided to hide the eggs myself.

"Cynthia... where is Chayse's Easter basket?"

Cynthia gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look. "Uh, I didn't bring it."

Meanwhile, Chayse is looking at all of us. She is eager to get things started.

"Cynthia, how you not gonna have a doggone Easter basket for her? What is wrong with you?"

Cynthia shrugged. "She has some baskets at home. I just forgot to bring one!"

Man, I wanted to pimp slap the both of them. They better be GLAD I didn't call DFACS.

I looked around my kitchen for something that Chayse could use to hold the eggs that she would find on her easter egg hunt. All I could came up with was an aluminum pan. Chayse didn't care. She grabbed it out of my hand, and was ready to go.

Meanwhile, Hen was still whining. "I don't know why ya'll wanna hide eggs for her. She too young to remember anything."

"Shut up, Hen!"

I went outside and hid the eggs. I didn't hide them, but laid them out in plain view around the porch and in potted plant that was next to the front door.

Hen-Dog was still whining.

We ignored him. Chayse went outside and started looking around.

Poor thing... she didn't have a colorful easter basket. Only a lone aluminum pan.

But she didn't seem to care. She was working it out!

She was VERY excited about her eggs!!! Very excited!

"Miss LadyLee!! Miss LadyLee!!"

I have eggs!!Look at my eggs! I HAVE EGGS!!" she screeched with waaaay too much glee.

Of course this all shocked the Infamous Hen-Dog. He stood in my doorway, and watched the 5 minute easter egg hunt. He stopped his whining. He didn't realize that Chayse would be so excited.
Gee, I'm sure that he felt pretty stupid right about then. Really though.

Dude even had the nerve to say... "Hey LadyLee, let me hold some of them eggs so I can hide some for her tomorrow."

I went off. "I ain't giving you NOTHING, man. You shoulda got out here and hid that baby's eggs!!!"

We eventually went back into the house. Chayse was still excited. She walked around my kitchen holding that pan of eggs like it was a pot of gold, still screaming "I have eggs!"

She even counted them for her Daddy.

"1, 2, 3, 4, 18, 13".

(Yeah, she still had to work on her counting. It's been a year, and she is much better now.)

Well we had cheesecake, and they all headed back down the street to Hen's house.

Not bad for an Easter, hunh!! (Except for the aluminum pan.)

So that is my Easter Story... A bit away from the norm, but hope you enjoyed it...

And I hope you had a HAPPY EASTER:) !!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday!

Happy Good Friday!

And yes... i am at work. And I am congested. Happens when I eat cheese. And last night, I had a portebello mushroom brown rice burger... with cheese.

*lee looking around from kleenex*

I should be off partaking of some Easter activities. Alas, I am not. I don't even go to church on Easter. I will probably go tonight.

In my mind's eye, I see myself getting much done this weekend. I have a good bit of painting to do. Not sure how far I will get with that. I did a lot of wall taping this morning, so all is left to do is paint.

Baking cookies this weekend. That will be my Easter holiday thing to do. Our family doesn't get together anymore on holidays, so I plan to treat it as another Sunday, none of the cooking a big dinter.

I also plan to get a good bit of writing done... or at least organizing.

My neighbors from next door came over a couple of days ago. They are youngsters, in their mid-twenties or so. They're having a party on Saturday night, and invited me to stop by.

I was looking at them like they were crazy. They've been there a good 9 months and haven't said much of anything to me. I think my neighbor that's renting to them told them I was a MEAN Oldgirl and I don't like noise, lol. So they are VERY quiet. They mighta just told me so that I wouldn't call the police on them.

But I will stop by. Give them a bottle of wine. Be nosy. And walk on back to my house.

How's about that?

Oh, and I have to make a cake. A double chocolate coffee infused cake.

Sigh. Not looking forward to that at all. I will start on it tonight, and will finish it tomorrow. It is not for me, but for a friend's birthday. She loves it, calls it the "Better than Sex" cake.

Not sure where she gets that. It's good, but uh...

Ain't no food out there better than sex. LOL.

Well I gues she feels that way. Good for her!

Hopefully I have all my ingredients and I can finish it up tomorrow!

With that, I hope you have a Happy Easter, and if Easter isn't your thing, then I hope you have a great weekend...

... On purpose.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The First Day

The first day is always the toughest.

Her hands trembled, her mouth watered, and her stomach hurt. There was nothing and no one around to calm the aches and pains. Nothing to take the edge off, no relief in sight.

She was brought here to this padded cell after she came home last night after yet another night out on the town. She tried to sneak in the house like she always did, but they were there, all of them, sitting in the living room-







When she saw their faces in the low lamp light, her high was blown.

She immediately thought of the first day.

The first day after being locked away in a rehab center; the way it felt the first day after the good feeling from heroin shot in the arm the night before began to fade to black.

The first day was always the day the hands trembled, the mouth watered and the stomach hurt.

The first day was always the toughest.

If she could make it through the first day, she could probably make it through the second, the third. . . the tenth.

But she feared, as usual, the further she got from the first day, the closer she got to another first day. . .

And the cycle would start all over again.

Women of Color Writing Workshop, a piece that is 2 years old. Writing prompt: write for 5 minutes a story using the prompt "The First Day".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter is Coming...

Easter is coming up...

And I realized that when I walked into work on Monday and saw a gift bag on my desk.

It was from my Boss.

*lee afraid to look in it*

Oh well. The little chicken, Serenity, with the scarf covering her natural hair, gave me courage to open it.

She stood on top of the bag and said, "Look inside, LadyLee!"

There was candy inside...

My Cubiclemate, the Cowgirl Cre, doesn't like milk chocolate, so she traded her milk chocolate egg for my Whoppers.

Serenity the Chicken liked this very much.

I didn't know how to feel about this, as I am very leery of our interim boss. I just try to stay out of the way, stay out of trouble. These folks like to put targets on people's backs, and as long as I keep my back against the wall and shut up, I should be alright.

So you will be proud of me. I sent a nice email thanking her for her kindness in doing something nice for us.

Ya'll be patient. I'm working on my attitude. I really am...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Food For Thought: On Romans 14, Sandwiches and Good Times

Yeah. I'ma do it.

I'ma do it.

Post a WHOLE chapter of the bible. I rarely do such. I just read this this morning, and found it... important.

Read through it if you can... tell an Oldgirl how you feel about it. I'll put my 2 cents in at the end of the chapter. I've been reading through the book of Romans with my play Mama, a chapter a day (HATE that we almost done :::cries:::). We pick it apart like bones from a piece of good fish, lol.

Parts that stood out to me are highlighted in red.

This is taken from the Message Version of the Bible.

Romans 14

Cultivating Good Relationships

1 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

2-4For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ's table, wouldn't it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn't eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God's welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

5Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6-9What's important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God's sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you're a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It's God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That's why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

10-12So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I'd say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we're all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren't going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

"As I live and breathe," God says,
"every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
that I and only I am God."
So tend to your knitting. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

13-14Forget about deciding what's right for each other. Here's what you need to be concerned about: that you don't get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I'm convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.

15-16If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don't eat, you're no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don't you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!

17-18God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

19-21So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

22-23Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.

LadyLee's RANT, I mean, Thoughts

Well well well...

That's some good reading, ain't it? Some good information.

I am tripping on the vegetarian thing. Why is it that when I tell people that I am trying to transition to vegetarian, they automatically assume I'm about to jump on them about eating meat? What the world. Heck no. You do you. I do me. An Oldgirl just trying to be pain-free. Man, I've been known to stop and get a 20 piece hot wing and take it to a meeting... I dont' want any, but someone there may want a good hot wing, you know?


You do you. And I do me.

We should be able to sit down, enjoy each others company, split a sandwich, and watch a good episode of Good Times.

But tell me something... Why is it that us good Christian folk don't adhere to the standards presented there within, within this chapter? Because, you have to admit: this is a good chapter. Would clear up much mess if it was followed or taken a little serious.

This is a good explanation for why I don't get in arguments with folk over "religion". You never hear me hollering "My preacher better than yours" or "My church better than yours."

Heck, I don't even like religion. I fail miserably at whatever "rules" are set up. Sorry, that's just me. I just want to grow in my relationship with God. Help others on that road as I travel my own road. THAT IS ALL. Relationship. Not religion. Please and Thank you.

I don't fight with you. I'm just happy you found a church home where YOU are happy, content, and growing. Period. And maybe YOU can come back and share something with me that will help me in my growth, add to my being.

How about that?

CONCENTRATE on that. Instead of judging and criticizing others. (Man, people always got something to say when they figure out what church I go to. I don't care. I just make a mental note of you turning your nose up at me. And I MAKE sure not to criticize where YOU go to church. And go on from there).

Why is it that I have a better chance of having a healthy convo/discussion with an atheist, but have to deal with the closed-minded Christians? Baffles me.

Because at the end of the day, we should be able to agree to disagree...

And sit down and have a sandwich and watch a funny episode of Good Times.

Listen, I love people's opinion. I love getting an understanding of a person's opinion, whether it is like mine, or differs from mine. Why? because your opinion is critically important. It wasn't just formed yesterday. It is a culmination of all your hurt, joy, pain, failures, victories, needs, hatred, experiences, knowledge... it is a snapshot of who you are inside. I respect the cheese out of your opinion, like I said, whether it is the same as mine or different. I will tell you, I learn more about life when your opinion is different from mine.

We should be able to sit down and split a sandwhich... and watch an episode of Good Times.

That chapter above is about relationships. It delves heavy into how to cultivate good ones. As a result, it talks about how relationships go bad, most notably, centering on the judgmental nature of Christian folk, when all in all, everything should be centered on giving God glory and honor.


I have TERRIBLE issues with people who are always criticizing others. I've always thought to myself that such a person is doing so because they are not facing the issues of their own lives.

Two verses in particular, I find interesting:

So tend to your knitting. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.


22-23Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.

I know one thing. I am not perfect. I am a work in progress, and I have many problems of my own, so much so that I don't have time to sit here and dog you out about yours. I don't say anything unless I can help your situation and be of encouragement in some way. Me dogging you out or looking down on you means for myself, that I am not dealing with or taking care of the problems of my own life. And that ain't good.

I like where it says that you're fortunate if your behavior and your beliefs are coherent, i.e., line up. That let's you know that yes, that is a problem for some people. I see it in myself, and in those around me. It goes so far to say that you may notice you have days when you are busting folk upside the head with your opinion (you know how folk can get) and days when you have ulterior motives, i.e., doing stuff to get people to accept you. It basically tells you to check yourself.

I try to check myself contstantly against that...

Am I being opinionated, instead of being helpful?
Are my motives, purposes and intents on the up and up?

Self-examination and self-assessment is critical.

For I hope to be moving into a place where my beliefs and actions are consistent...

Yes, work in progress indeed. And that's alright.

Whelp! My biblical rant has ended.

I like that chapter. Don't you? Wondering what you thought of it. You may see something different that I didn't see.


Wish they would teach that chapter in church more often...

Guess that's why it's important for you to read the Bible for yourself, eh?

*lee eating sandwich while watching Good Times*

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good Sunny Monday Morning

Good Sunny Monday Morning...

First thought: I am cold. Looking out the window at the sunny day, it looks to be hot. But I know it's cold, because it's cold in my house. This is a confusing time. I don't know whether to turn on my heat or leave it off. Just confusing.

And it don't help that this ceiling fan is on.

Okay. That was a very random thought, lol...

Anyway, I had a GREAT weekend. I took care of the writer side of me. And that's always a good thing.

Friday night, I had my Women of Color Writing workshop. I may have some material for the blog. Not really all that concerned about that. It was a time to unwind and do some freestyle writing, and as always that takes my mind off of things.

The only brother in our Women of Color Writing Group, HC, signed one of his books for me.

He signed his book, The Congregation.

On Saturday, I attened an Atlanta Writers Club meeting.

I got a chance to meet one of my favorite authors, Berniece McFadden.

She gave an EXCELLENT talk on her writing life and who inspired her. VERY good, very inspiring indeed.

I also got outside on Sunday and cut the grass. Here's a picture of the end result.

I think I did okay, don't you? Well one of the locals was not pleased.


I'll talk about all these things sometime this week.

My video/song of the week.

Sometimes we need a reminder that all men ain't dogs. Period.

Just checking in with you on Sunny Monday morning....

And hoping for you to have a great week... on purpose.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Freestyles... TGIF

Friday! Thank goodness it's finally here.

*cartwheels* And it's PAYDAY

*backflips and rockette kicks*

Actually right now I'm all groggy. It's 7:30 AM and I took something to gelp me sleep last night, and uh... I'm still a little laid out in the bed. I have a bad habit of getting up super early, getting some things done, and then laying back down, when I should immediately be getting ready for work. Humph.

I'll learn one day.

I think me and my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre need to put on some music and do some impromptu aerobics... Just to wake us up. I think that it'll be quite proper, considering my song of the week... Robin S' Love for Love

Yeah, that will get the blood moving hard and fast through our veins. But it will draw too much attention if we stood up and hooked arms and commenced to rockette kicking. No telling how that will get gossiped around the building, lol...

I guess I'll just sit at my desk and tap my foot lightly and get a little shoulder action going. Hopefully today goes by pretty fast...

I feel so unsupervised. And that ain't good. Not really wanting to talk to our current supervisor because she can't help me with anything. She has me like O_o.

I feel SO alone! I need motivation. I have none! *lee throws self out of window*

No I will manage. My goal is to stay out of trouble. Don't have any arguments. Just quietly do my work.

I have an interesting weekend coming up. Tonight I have Women of Color writing group. Lawd help me, I don't particulary like doing anything on a Friday night except go to church. I am so exhausted after a long long week! But this always turns out well, as long as I get on to our meeting place and sit down and unwind. So it works out well.

Tomorrow there is an Atlanta Writers Club meeting. I haven't been there in a good while. And they will notice, since there are only like, 1% black folks there. I haven't gone because it's at the same time as my book club meeting, and I'm out of book club now, so I have no excuses. Tomorrow they will have Bernice McFadden, whose books I love, and someone there who's gonna talk about selling your books on Kindle. (I am REALLY interested in that and how it works. And I'm about to purchase a Kindle.)

Sunday will be Church. I don't like to go on Sundays, but I didn't attend my normal weekday services, so Sunday it is!

On to more randomness... Glad they signed a new budget. That means I have a job. But doggonnit, I HATE politics. I'm watching the news now, and all this arguing back and forth about it. DANG. No wonder Obama's hair is turning white. He's so calm. I'd be done busted some republicans upside the head by now.

And I'm tripping on Libya. Look Obama, I've seen Long Kiss Goodnight and Point of No Return. I know we have some assassins out here on payroll. Send somebody over there to uh, have a talk with Qaddafi. Ain't that hard!

(As you can see, I really don't need to be President of the United States. I may tend to get illegal... and violent on folk.)

I plan on getting some painting done this weekend. Me and Monique were yacking about it on twitter this week. She gave me some good tips. We'll see how that goes! Hopefully I will have a pic or two.

I also plan on cutting the grass. That fellow Tony Mack did a bad job. So we'll see how that works out...

I really want some Chinese food today. There's a place at the BellSouth building that has a GREAT veggie selection. They know, just give me a few noodles and fill up the rest of my tray with veggies - cauliflower, okra, kale, green beans, mushrooms, plantains, bok choy, chick peas, broccoli! GLORY!!

*lee cartwheeling through chinese cafeteria*

Yeah... I think I'll convince Cowgirl Cre to go with me up to the place!

Well, that's all I have for today.

It's a bit... random, but that's okay... this is me taking the mike and freestyling!

*lee throwing down the mike and walking off stage*

Ya'll have a great weekend! On purpose!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun with Tazzee and Singlema at the Sickle Cell 7K Race!

So this past Saturday, I attended the a 7K Race on the Atlanta's Southside.

Note: I didn't run the race. I attended the race. I don't run. I walk. And I walk super slow. So even though I've walked some 5Ks and 3Ks, it ain't my thang.

So I attended to support bloggers Tazzee and Singlema!

I've met Tazzee before. Went to her house and watched football with her and her peeps. I know she was like "That ladylee sure is quiet". Hell yeah I was. That was like meeting Janet Jackson or something. And I was told by a friend to behave myself, don't act a complete nut! lol

I'd never met Singlema. I was a tad bit nervous about that. I asked her for some advice last month, and she imparted some knowledge, and she was right. So you know that throws her on a pedestal. I thought that chick would be floating toward me in the race, kinda like the folks float down the street in a Spike Lee movie.


It was GREAT to meet her, and to see Janet Jackson, uh, I mean, Tazzee again!

I was EXCITED about going to this race. Not sure why. It was early on a Saturday morning, and I like to get my beauty sleep, but nevertheless I was looking forward to it. So much so that I went to the craft store a month ago and picked up some supplies for making posters!

I didn't like my signage that I made weeks ago and trashed some of it (this is usual for me until I get an idea of what I want to do).

So I came up with some signs, finally! And last Friday, everybody on my gubment job was all concerned about the gubment shutdown. Me and Oscar-Tyrone weren't concerned! We had bootleg praise service at the house that morning. We'd been running around the house hollering "God is my source! Er'thang else is a resource!!!". I happily went to work that day, and I brought my supplies in and worked on my signs when I had a break here and there.

Tazzee's avatar is the Tazmanian Devil (we prefer to call it the Tazmanian angel). i couldn't really get her avatar to print out big so we printed a bunch of small ones!

This sign screams excitement!

Hot pink and spiky! It made Tazzee want to RUN for real!

*tazzee frowning up thinking "What the heck is lee talking about?"*

Then this one... This was the first one I made. Couldn't figure out what to do with it, as I had ran out of the glitter glue...

But my cubicle mate, The Cowgirl Cre was terribly excited about the arrow. "LadyLee, you can hold it up in the air and it will let Tazzee know to "Run this way, Tazzee! Run this way!!!!"

LOL. I don't think it was hard for Tazzee to know she had to run for that finish line OR the direction she had to run in.

And then there were the big signs.

Cowgirl Cre was puzzled by Singlema's name. "You know, the way you got that written, all as one word, it looks like "Run Singleeema Run" Folk gonna be looking like What in the world, who name their child that??"

LOL!! Of course we broke out in the cubicle area with "Run Singleeeeema Run!!!"

Too Funny!

We had a HORRIBLE time printing out that Tazmanian Angel. Horrible! It was either to big, or the little ones. Ugh. But I posted it on a sign, along with SingleMa's avatar. And if they didn't know what to do, I made sure to print "RUN" somewhere on the sign.

And I'm ALWAYS hollering for Singlema to ***RUN Singlema RUN*** on twitter, so that was very befitting!

My cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre was EXTREMELY excited about all of this... especially when she saw me cutting out church fans...

One of my coworkers had a church fan from the essence music festival on his desk. I grabbed it up and did the outline for it. Like I said, Cowgirl Cre was excited about all the drawing and glitter work I was doing.

"Girl, if someone did this for me, I'd feel pretty special! I feel special just sitting here watching you do it, and I ain't even running in the race!!!"

*lee raising an eyebrow at Cowgirl Cre*

I didn't know what her problem was. She has known me for 15 years. She knows how much I like arts and crafts. I love stickers and drawing. Hell, she's the one who taught me to crochet! I've NEVER seen her all riled up.

Her boss came over and made some sarcastic remark. I wanted to holler "Dude, they bout to close this mothersucka down, and you worried about me drawing??? HA!"

He went on about his business, and I finished up my drawing and glittering. (Took plenty of soap to get all that stuff off of my skin, lol).

I actually made the church fans that night at home. Singlema's fan had a silver hologram backing. Tazzee's fan had a faux animal skin backing.

(Me and Cowgirl Cre got into a disagreement over the faux animal skin backing. She wanted me to go buy some journals and cover them with it. I was looking at her like O_O. NO WAY...)

I also made some cookies. Singlema was hollering about some cookies. I mailed her a dozen awhile ago, and she been lobbying on the sly for some every since. She likes the triple chocolate chip ones, so I made her a few.

I also made some for Tazzee, even though she didn't ask for any. (I was wondering... she's a bit... quiet concerning these cookies.) I think she's trying to watch the sweets intake. She gave me the hard side-eye when I gave them to her. I felt bad, man.

*lee groveling at Tazzee's feet (but there was NO way I was taking them back home with me. NERP. They would've sat on the counter and gone bad.)*

Next time, I'm gonna look in my fridge and hook her up with some of my favorite things... some fresh veggies, flax seeds, some psyllium seeds and some oat groats!

*Tazzee gives LadyLee the laser side-eye*

Now on to the race!

This race was sponsored by

This race had quite a few other sponsors, including one of the local TV stations.

There was a pre-race warmup out on the basketball court. That looked like fun! I wanted to get in on that, even though I wasn't running!

Then the runners lined up. I didn't get many pictures of them. I was too busy holding my signs up.

They took off down the road.

Then the walkers lined up and took off down the road.

I was standing around at the finish line, staring hard at the timeclock.

It had been 15 minutes. My eyes were stretched looking down the hill worried, wondering where Tazzee and Singlema were. Because I'd been telling Tazz to "Win that RACE!"

Told her to throw her elbows, knock some Ninjas down. WIN!

I didn't know if she would be quite able to do that. Her shin was bothering her. And Singlema was a bit crippled up at her knee. I should've bouught them some crutches! And I was contemplating going to find them and pick them up.

But really, no one had came in at the 15 minute mark. Not sure what made me think someone could run over 4 miles in 15 minutes flat. Uh, nope!

But at the 25 minute mark, there was a police siren signalling that someone was coming up the hill.

The winner of the race...

That dude came out of nowhere. He was stomping hard, running at full speed like his name was Forrest Gump!

I almost expeted him to holler in a Forrest Gump voice...

"Where Ever I went, I WAS RUNNING!"

Here's the female winner. She was running hard too.

I'm digging those bright green running shoes. Those were hot!

I had soooooo much fun cheering for people coming up around that corner! That was fun. But I got worried! Where were Tazzee and Singlema?

Their friend ran this race, and she was running with her son in a sports baby stroller. She ran it in less than 30 minutes! I wish I would've made her a sign too. But she's about to start training for a 50 mile race. O_o. So I guess that was a good workout for her, pushing that baby in that stroller all 4 miles. And she was running HARD too. Like she was running from the police or something. Go Girl!!

Then I saw Tazzee and Singlema coming up the hill and around the bend... I was hollering and waving my sign hard. They didn't see me! They were smiling and focusing on that finish line!

I was so happy for them that I fanned them with their church fans! lol

I talked with them for a minute and walked on back towards the gym. I saw an interesting sign on the fence.

When you finish the race? This sign reminds you to go on by Popeyes on Camp Creek!

They got that $2.99 2 piece dark meat special with the medium drank. You can't beat that!

Man, I had sooooo much fun, just walking around talking to people and cheering. That was waaaay too much excitement early on a Saturday morning. A great way to spend my Saturday morning.

I talked to them for a few minutes and headed on out. My car was a good half mile away, so I got a workout of my own, lol... I grew up on that side of town, so I went to the nearby fish house, Fulton Bay Seafood and got some croakers and raided their vegetable stand... Then I went to Home Depot to yell at them about my lawn mower, lol.

Then I went home and crashed. Too much excitement in one day for me!

I had fun! But I think the joy for me was watching Tazz and Singlema reach their goal and finish their race.

It will always be a reminder to me finish my own life races...

Congratulations ladies! Singlema - it was great meeting you! And it was good seeing you again, Tazzee!

Ya'll let an Oldgirl know when the next race is!

I'll be there with Church fans and signs... cheering you on :)