Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Monday, Mon.

Monday morning!!

Bleh.

The current temperature in the ATL is 53 degrees. We're expecting rain today.

BLEH!!!

Just trying to get excited about it. (It ain't working out, man).

This is going to be an interesting week at work. As you know, I have a one month vacation coming up, starting next Monday. So this week they are going to work the CHEESE outta me!

Not looking forward to that. They better get it in, because I'm going to work like a dog this week. And when I leave on Friday, I'm GONE!

Me and my cubicle mate The Cowgirl Cre have a complicated plan just in case someone tries to call me. She's on the look out. We will talk at night.

I could be called back in. Sigh. I hope that's not the case.

We have a new interim supervisor coming in today for 45 days... This should be interesting.

Hmmmm...

I will have a great workweek! On purpose, man!!!

My Weekend. It went by toooooo fast. It was GAWGEOUS outside, with the temperatures being in the early 70s. WOW! GAWGEOUS!

I did chores, ran errands, and had a Triple F Posse meeting.

We were under a financial fast for 21 days, and I was semi-participating. I managed to tighten up some finance plans that will take place for the rest of the year, so I was happy about that. I have a list of other things that need a little tightening, but that is ongoing. It was good to take a look at and assess myself financially. We had a good meeting, and there was good discsussion.

I want to go to New Orleans for the weekend, but I'm not sure it's a great idea financially. I have a cut off limit of what I want to spend. I also want to play some poker at the casino. Might not be able to afford it.

But it's my birthday weekend!

*Lee has a FULL blown temper tantrum early on a Monday Morning*

Let's just say... the hotel I want to stay in is about $400 a night. O_o

(Won't be staying up in that joint!)

We will see. I'll know by Thursday. Just doing a little planning right now. The RIGHT thing to do would be to stay my behind here in the ATL and chill.

Our 25th Church Anniversary is next weekend! Sigh! I reallhy want to go!

So I write a note to myself: Dear LadyLee: Get your priorities straight.

Yes. No. Maybe so.

All I know, if I can work it all out----> Rental car, hotel, and meet-ups with my friends, for a nice price, then I am outtie.

If not, then that's fine too.

Heck, I may just roll down there the following weekend! Stay tuned!

Quotes of the day. from twitter prophet, Consciousskillz

Passion without purpose is misguided enthusiasm.

A goal or a plan without action is only a wish.

Short quotes, but power packed. And the real truth.

Song of the Week. Last week we talked about Meshell ndegeocello, who sings one of my favorite songs.

That song "Soul Searchin" is my #2 favorite song.

Let's ask one of the Chickens, one of my favorite bloggers, what my favorite song is...

Blogger Southern Black Gal! Wassup Chicken!?

What's my favorite song of allll time!?

She stands up from her chair in her cubicle. "Lee!!!! It's that, it's that, it's that, it's that, Vesta song!" she screams. "You like that Vesta! I can't remember the name of it! But you like that cut by Vesta!"

That's right, babes.

Vesta's "You Make Me Want to (Love Again)"



This has been my favorite song for the last 23 years, since the age of 17. I KNOW this song. Can sang it better than Vesta, I can.

The lyrics are a bit... stalkerish. Nothing worse than stalking and begging a man. I can't hate. I haven't ever stalked a dude, but I've done my fair share of begging, when I didn't know any better. But I love the sweeping melody, and Vesta got a voice like WHOA! She sang the hell out of this here song!

My cassette tape broke about 10 years ago. Sigh. The full CD is a special rare collectors item now. Vesta's debut, that contains the song, usually goes for about $200 on ebay. (Trust, i've bidded on it in the $100 range. Some freakin' vultures always come in and drive up the price and swipe it! UGH!)

I'll get it one day! I'm just glad someone posted the song on youtube. So I can listen to it whenever I want!

Whelp!

That's it for today. I am going to get up and get ready for work.

I may post all week. I've been consistent. I like my daily posts, don't you?

If time permits, I will!

You have a great week!

On Purpose!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Freestyles

Awwwwww yes...

TGIF!!!

*lee thinking hard if it's payday too*

Nope, not Payday.

Oh well. It's FRIDAY! Good enough.

This has been a strange week. A bit monotone. And you know, I'm uber-cool with that.

But something FANTASTIC happened yesterday.

My Director approved my time off: February 7th, my birthday through March 4th.

Come on now... celebrate with me. Grab your Obama Church fans and holler

GLORY!!!!!


Man! That chick was taking her SWEET time. We have a big worktime changeover on February 1st, where everyone is suppose to work 5 days a week/8 hours days. I do this anyway, as my Doctor said she much rather me not work 10 hour days. But everybody at work is up in arms about it all. The Oppressor is causing trouble as usual.

I don't care! I just wanted my whole month off. That is ALL!!

And an Oldgirl got it!

I thought I was going to have to pull my trump card. My Doctor has said "Let me know when you need time off. We'll fax a letter.

I was around there threatening to be gone for two months. Don't think I can't do it. Call my Doc and work it out!

But alas, A MONTH OFF! I have that 8 day cruise coming up. I got a mini birthday vacay coming up. Trying to throw one more mini vacation up in there somewhere. There's lots of stuff to do around the house.

Announcement of the Week. So in other news... The Great Tayari Jones is gearing up to release her next book, Silver Sparrow in May of this year.



*running in circles hollering Hooooorrraaaay!!!!!*


If you've read my blog long enough, you know that I stalk the cheese outta Tayari. She's my writing idol. Ohhhhhhh, I worship at her feet! I worship the grounds she spits upon. There are, like, at least 20 Tayari posts/shrines tacked up on the walls of the House of LadyLee. I'm her number one fan! her number one Stalker Stan!

It is her personal mission to nurture the writer in me . (I believe this in my head, you see). I love being able to call her up with a writing question and she explains everything where I can understand it (Yes, I like to argue. She shuts all of that down. She knows better than me about this writing craft thing. I've learned to listen to her advice). But I've learned a TON about writing craft from her. A TON. I owe her a lot of money for her time! Thanks, Tayari!!

I don't jock that many folk, because folk just ain't worth jocking. But Tayari Jones is at the top of my "people to jock" list!

So, needless to say, I'm glad this book is coming out! I was one of the Team T reader squad for an earlier draft of the manuscript, and WOW. What an experience. I think I gave her about 30 pages of notes after reading. And we actually had discussions about it. It all helped me in that I think I can effectively edit my own work with an open mind now.

It feels funny stalking her... we talk on the phone like we some kin or something. You can't stalk and jock kinfolk, can you? LOL

Anyway, she's having a book giveaway. Advanced copies. All you have to do is leave a comment on her post, Do You Want a Copy of My New Novel? She will have a video drawing on her blog on February 1st.

I was yacking on the phone with her yesterday morning, and I hollered, "Honey, if you pull MY name, cast it to the side. I wanna walk in the store and pay for my book. I wanna slap my money on the counter!" She said that if she pulled my name, I could give the book away on my blog. So I thought that was cool. And that's what I will do.

But don't count on me winning! Click on the link above, and comment!! She's giving away 3 copies. Right now, you're looking at a 3% chance of winning, and that may go down fast. But get in on it.

Video of the Week. I talked about Meshell Ndegeocello this week. I wanna hear some more of her!

Here's concert footage of one of my favorite songs by her... "Outside Your Door" from 1993's Plantation Lullabies CD.

Yeah, you've heard that melody before. Brian McKnight jacked it. That ain't cool, Brian! I believe Meshell won that legal battle. Jacking someone's beat is not cute!

So, I want you all to enjoy your weekend. I'm waiting for this doggone Financial Fast to lift so I can take my tail SHOPPING for my vacation! Doggonit!! I have thangs to do! I have a Financial Freedom Fighters meeting this Sunday, so we will see how that goes. I haven't been participating much in our online activities, so I may get beat down for that. It's okay.

If you're expecting cookies in the mail from me, well, I'm baking this weekend. My goal is to get those out on Monday or Tuesday. I will let you know when they are coming! You may hear from me if I can't find your address. I have most of them, just have to double check.

You have a great weekend.

As always, ON PURPOSE!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Something New -The Meyer Lemon

One of my goals in my quest to be vegetarian has been to try new fruits and vegetables.

And in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, I read about the Meyer lemon.




Why, you may ask, did I find it interesting?

Because I've seen it in my local Whole Food store.

I think, "Oh that's a pretty lemon! Don't look like a normal lemon!"

But the price - $2.99 a pound- I kept it moving!

But reading that aritcle helped me put that lemon on my "to try" list.

The Meyer lemon is a little different from your average everyday lemon.

You'll notice that it's a little darker in color, a tad bit rounder, and a smaller.

Here's a picture of the two different types of lemons all mixed together. You might be able to tell the differences...


The lemons we buy in the store, the Eureka and Lisbon lemons, are more common because they tend to grow year round and are easy to ship. They are hearty and have a thin skin.

The Meyer lemon is a little different. Those have a season (they are in season now, hence the article). They are thin skinned and a bit more fragile than regular lemons. (I found uh, it was a bit TOO easy to crush them, lol).


Here's what I find interesting about the Meyer lemon: it is a cross betwwen a lemon and an orange. That didn't necessarily make it sweet, but it's less acidic and a tad less tart than a regular lemon. It tastes like someone put a teaspoon of orange juice in lemon juice. It even smells a litte different.

I drink A LOT of water (upwards of 1 gallon a day at times) and it helps to squeeze lemon in my water.

So finding this lemon was a nice change of pace.

They don't hold up as long as regular lemons. Shelf life is estimated to be about 2 weeks.

But I bought a few... (Whole Foods had them for $2.99/pound; Dekalb Farmers Market- $1.99/pound) and I like them... They are VERY easy to squeeze and give more juice than regular lemons.

Definitely glad I gave them a try!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Writing Sista Does it BIG!!

Shout Out to my Writing Sista Shakeia Cowan...

She's the first published author out of our Women of Color Writing Group.

She's written The Delicate Flower, a collection of affirmations on healing the spirit and soul.

The lighting in our meeting place was a little off, so here's a closeup of the book.

She's been super busy lately, as she is producing a stage play based on the book.

I love being in the writing workshop with Keia. She loves to write about the Motherland.

She makes me want to jump on a boat and paddle my way all the way back to Africa!

LOL!

So Keia, I'm proud of you. I haven't read the book yet, but it looks like it's something that's right up my alley!

Much much success to you, hon! Much success!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Favorite Concert

I'm not particularly a concert person.

Especially in this day and time, where it's not unheard of to pay a hundred bucks for a ticket.

No, I liked the concerts of old, when tickets were 18 dollars.

I've seen many artists at that price: New Edition, Fat Boys, Whodini, Salt N Pepa Boys II Men, Jodeci, Beastie Boys just to name a few.

I paid 30 bucks for a ticket for an MC Hammer concert. Me, my brother and sister went. What fun! (But I know now not to take a 3 year old to a concert. Humph).

Those were some great concerts.

But I wanted to blog about my favorite of all...

The year was 1996, I believe, some 15 years ago. I was in the lab, working on my research, when my friend and classmate came into the lab, talking about a concert.

"Meshell Ndegeocello is going to be playing at the Variety Playhouse. You wanna go?"

I didn't answer immediately.

"I'm just going around asking people right now. I'm going to go pick up the tickets. And someone needs to go with me. I don't wanna be the only white person there."

"Well, let me know who else is going," was my answer of choice at the time.

Now I like Meshell and her music. She is quite eclectic. She writes all of her own music and plays all the instruments for her songs. And even back in 1996, it was rare to find people like that. So many artists were and still are manufactured.

I liked her music, but I wasn't all crazy about hitting up a concert.

She was one of my favorite singers at the time, but she was a lesbian.

No, I ain't got nothing against lesbians. Nope.

But I knew that EVERY lesbian in the ATL would be at that concert.

I don't have an issue with that, either. Do you. Whatever.

But here's my thing: I have this AWFUL fear of there being a news camera would be there, and my face would show up on the news, etc...

And my best friend LadyTee would see me on TV.

And if you know LadyTee like I know LadyTee, she like to jone. She's one of the BEST at it.

And I would've never lived that down. I could hear her in my head! "Lee, you was on the news! Is there something you wanna tell me, girl?"

LOL...

And she's that type that like to stare at you. Who wants to deal with that?

Well, Timmy-Tim came back with a report of who else was going. Keisha and Jill wanted to go. These were two sisters, two other chemists that I was in school with. I agreed to go then. I called up my friend Carter-Anne, and she wanted to go.

Me and Keisha had much discussion about this concert with Timmy-Tim.

"Boy, every lesbian in the ATL is going to be there."
"I don't care," Timmy-Tim said. "I just don't want to be the only white boy there."
Keisha laughed. "Well this is what we're going to do. We're going to all pretend we're with you, Tim. We don't want nobody to think we're lesbians."
"Whatever. I just want to go to the concert."

(Yes, there was much strategic discussion about this. Hey, we were young, in our mid-twenties. Terribly concerned about impressions!)

The evening of the event arrived and we all went to the concert. For days I'd been hollering about something.

Meshell sings one of my favorite songs. A song I still LOVE to this very day.

"Ya'll," I hollered. "If she sings my favorite song, I'ma pass out! Ya'll gonna have to pick me up and carry me out. I don't know what I'd do if she sang it. OH LAWD!"

They rolled their eyes. They knew the song well. I played it continuously in the lab. (Those who know me, if I like a song or movie, I play it to death! Even to this day!)

I went on and on and on about this. I was sooooo excited by the time the concert came along.

When we arrived at the concert, we saw much. We didn't know there were that many lesbians in the ATL. But there were just as many other people there. Timmy-Tim's fear of being the only white boy was alleviated. Carter-Anne was white, so we had a good mix of folk in our crew.

The seating was first come first serve, and it looked like the concert venue held a couple thousand people. So we had good seats, around the 10th row. We received free posters of Meshell, all made up. I remember whispering "She don't look like this!" LOL.

(And me and Keisha were chatty, and doing much people watching... and whispering "look at them two women over there all up on each other! Wow!)

And we made sure to hang on to Timmy-Tim so nobody would think we were together, lol. (He had to be thought of as a lucky man that night, showing up with 4 women!)

The concert started. She sauntered out on stage. This woman had to be all of five feet tall. That was funny.

But that concert... It was FANTASTIC! We were on our feet the whole time. Meshell would sing, then sit down and paly the keyboards, and then play the bass guitar.

We had a good time! I remember looking over at Carter-Anne, who was drinking wine, and saying "This is SO cool!"

Me and Keisha were hollering "We love you Meshell!" right along with everybody else.

MAN we had a great time!

But alas, she didn't sing my favorite song.

So my friends didn't have to see me pass out.

I had a good time. Best concert EVER! She is truly a great singer and entertainer.

We talked about that concert for days.

And my folks were like, "Thank goodness she didn't sing your favorite song!"

What was that song, you may ask:

It's this one.


Soul Searchin'. It wasn't on any of her CDs, but it was a part of the Higher Learning soundtrack.

I LOVE THAT SONG! She has the smoothest voice. And the arrangement was on point.

Those opening lyrics:

"Come caress my saddened heart
My sunrise, my darkest dreams
All my hostilities tame when you kiss me"

*lee passing out at computer keyboard*


I was DEEP in love when that song came out. Deep. Mind blown bad.

That was me and man's song right there!

Really though.

I still get goosebumps when I hear it.

Too bad she didn't sing it that night....

Too bad!

But I loved that concert. I've always told people if you get a chance to see her, GO. What talent! What a show!

So that was my favorite concert.

Like I said, I don't go to concerts these days. And that's okay.

I have my memories of my favorite one.

Yes indeed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lazy Monday Morning...

Good Monday Morning....

Good LAZY Monday Morning that is.

I am still in bed. And this is not what I want. In order for me to do EVERYTHING I want to do in the morning, I really need to get up around 4 or 5 a.m. Instead, I'm getting up at 6:30, which leaves me with a couple of hours to myself before I start getting ready for work.

I'm not sure what to do about this, as I don't usually go to sleep until around midnight. But I need to tighten up on my schedule.

(I know you're like, why is she talking about this? Because it's at the top of my mind, man!)

I will wander... and continue to ponder. But I better keep it moving,. Because I only have about 15 minutes to write this post.

My weekend. Was NOT at all interesting. The only thing I did was run a few errands. I milled around the house for the most part. I didn't even go to work on Friday. Shame on me. (Well, I wasn't feeling the best, so uh... stayed home).

The highlight of my weekend: 3400 words written over the last 3 days. I'm on a writing kick, since I am close to finishing. I REALLY want to finish this manuscript by February 1st, put it aside for a week, then come back to it and edit it. Fun, fun, fun!

Mini Food-for-Thought. Not sure what this week will bring... but I noticed lately that my thoughts and prayers have changed concerning my day-to-day existance.

I'm starting to get away from "I, I, I, me, me, me, etc."

I'm starting to get away from the idea of everything being about ME.

Instead my prayers have morphed into, can I help someone today? Can I listen to someone today? Can I be of some encouragement to someone today? I've began to ask to be used in such a way, and being able to recognize those situations.

Because it's gotta be more to life than me focusing on "Me, me, me". Really.

These days, I'm trying to get away from this "Me" complex.... on purpose.

I'm finding it does much for my own heart.

And you wouldn't believe the talks I've been having with people. I can better appreciate it now, since I'm better at setting the course for my day.

Well, that's my 15 minute blog post. And it means that there's no quote of the week, no video of the week, none of that...

Just words.

On purpose.

Ya'll have a great week!

I'm not sure what this week holds.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Funnies for Thought: "Polly Wanna Cracker?"

I let one of my Stalker Stan Fans read this yesterday, something I posted way back in 2008... She'd been dranking much water and almost peed her pants while reading it..

Don't you all do that... YOU go use the bathroom before you read this piece.

This is a repost. If you read it before, read it again. It's so nice, read it twice! lol

This is a companion piece to yesterday's post... sort of. One of the few "funnies-for-thoughts" I have here on blog. I realized a week ago, when I'm worried or stressed, I sing. And it chases the blues away... And this post was the beginning of that.

Enjoy...



One of my favorite authors, That Original Oldgirl Chele, wrote a post back on August 13th on her Writers Blog entitled "Breathe... just Breathe" that simply stated the following:

"I was just handed an assignment to interview a parrot.**There are no words**"

LOL! Imagine that!

It made me laugh...

Because it made me think of my own interaction with a parrot back in 2001.

My car's odometer had hit the 60,000 mile mark. Well, it was reading around 62,000 miles. And you know what that means: time for that big service- replacement of time belt, water pump, transmission service and the like.

I was living in New Orle.ans at the time. A sista in my group, a wonderful mentor and a fellow Doc, a great microbiologist, Maureen, had a Mazda. She was a New Orleans native, and I went to her for advice on who to go to for this service.

"I take my car to Excellent Auto Service," she said.
I leaned against the doorjamb of her office and crossed my arms across my chest. "Uh, that's the actual name of a shop?"
"Yeah, been going there for years. The guy does a good job."
"Okay," I said.


I trusted her on that. Maureen was the woman. She was a BAD sista. She knew EVERYTHING.

So, I called and made an appointment. A week later, I dropped my car off at the shop.

The mechanic was nice. Looked like Tony Danza, lol. He told me to have a seat in the waiting room and he'd be back to take my information and give me an estimate.

I walked into the huge waiting room, and saw a LARGE cage that basically covered a whole wall. I mean, it was BIG! It had big tree limbs and all kinds of forest type stuff (probably all fake).


And in that cage was a big colorful parrot.

He was sitting on a branch, and looked my way when I'd walked into the room.

I walked over to the the cage and stared back at it. He flew to a branch closer to me and peered at me curiously.

"Polly wanna a cracker?" I asked in a high pitched voice.

The bird blinked. And continued staring.

I whistled at it a couple of times, made a few of the kissy noises one makes at dogs. And I asked the same question over and over again.

"Polly wanna cracker?"

Bird stared.

Then, the parrot threw back it's head and yelled "Ohhhhhhhhh!"

Oh Lord, I thought. I'd upset the bird. I turned to go sit down in one of the chairs, hoping that that the mechanic didn't run in the room and ask me what I did to upset his precious bird.

The bird yelled again. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh beautiful!"

I turned back to the cage. "You calling me beautiful, birdie? Thank you!"

A compliment from a bird! How nice, I thought.

The bird blinked. Stared at me for a moment. Then started yelling REAL Loud.

Or should I say singing real loud:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Beautiful!
For spaaaaaacious skies!
For amber waves of graaaaaaaaaaaaain!
For perfect mountains majesty!
Above the fruited plains!
Amerrrrrica! Amerrrrrrica!
God shed his grace on theeeeeeee!
And crown our good!
With brotherhood!
From sea to shining seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea!

*LadyLee looking around the room to see if she was on candid camera*

Dang! Tripped me out.

Parrot just stared at me.

I didn't know what to say. After a moment, I said "You're a patriotic parrot."

It flapped its wings and started up again.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Beautiful...

For some reason, I stood erect and placed my hand over my heart, and sang with it.

It gave me the *gas face* when I messed up the words (I still don't know the words), but I caught on...

And we sang America the Beautiful together a good four times. The bird swayed back and forth on his branch. I stood in the at the front of the cage, my hand on my heart, singing along.

I had NO idea where my mechanic was. But I was glad he was taking his time.

I spoke to him later. He'd ran up on me and that bird singing. (Of course, I tried to play it off, lol)
"You like my bird?"
"Yeah. He sure is patriotic."
"I taught him that song a few years ago. That's all he sings."
"Well, that's a good thing. He could be singing something derogatory."

We laughed. I got my estimate, and called a friend to pick me up.

I'm glad I ran into that bird. I was in a funk for the good part of that week. At the same time I was skipping around all happy because I'd just gotten offer for the job I have now, back in my hometown of Atlanta. I'd secured a nice condo to live in. Things were going WELL for ME. I was happy.

But there had been a couple of jacked up arguments with the hubby at home.

He was a manager at one of the local strip clubs, and he called one night to let me know that he was bringing one of his strippers home. She was drunk, was passed out, and he didn't want to leave her on the side of the club.


"Anything could happen to her, Lee. We're locking up, and I don't want to leave her here on the side of the road."
"Take her butt home," I suggested.
"That's all the way over on the West Bank," he said. "And you know that I don't have a car." [His had been repossessed.]

I was quiet. I had a car. And my car was off limits. He caught rides or walked wherever he needed to go. He use to chauffeur those broads around in his own car and would complain to ME about finding crack pipes and syringes in his ride. Can't use my car, bruh!

"I'm bringing her home."
"Where is everybody at?" I asked.
"They are gone. I didn't notice she was here until I did my final check for the night. She was passed out. I can't leave her here," he wailed.

I didn't say a word.

"I'm bringing her home."
"Do what you wanna do, man. I'm leaving Egypt anyway!"
"What's that suppose to mean?"

I didn't reply. Just hung up on him. It was 3 in the morning, and I needed to get some sleep. I looked out the window when he came home in a cab... with his drunk stripper.

My first thought was to grab one of the many shotguns, .38s, or .45s we had laying around the house and shoot negroes. But I would've gotten locked up behind that one.

Which meant I'd be stuck in Egypt, i.e. New Or.leans.

That wasn't going down.

You see, I'd been hollering HARD at work, to everyone's dismay:

"MY NAME IS MOSES, AND I AM LEAVING EGYPT!"

I was LOUD with that ish. I mean, EVERY time I stepped in the breakroom, in the halls, anywhere. The director pulled me to the side one day and asked "Dr. LadyLee, are you alright?"

LOL.

Anyway, I woke up the next morning and saw Tylenol on the counter. My hubby was sitting on the couch. He gave me a hard glare, as if he was daring me to say something.

"So you really brought her home, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I did. That's what I said I was doing, didn't I?"

He looked like he wanted to buck. He'd never hit me, but uh... he looked like he wanted to then.

I left it alone. I needed to get to work. I was packing up my office that day.

This whole thing did upset me. I would be lying if I said it didn't. For those who know me, I tend to hide my feelings (More often than not, I get verbally stomped if I express an opinion of any sort. I am getting better, though, I suppose).

For some strange reason I was REALLY popular among the employees on my job. There was a sign-up list in my office of whoever wanted to take me to lunch or dinner or spend some time with me before we left. (I spent the day with one Creole cutie that I had a slight crush on. Hung out in the Central Business District visiting his favorite places, even hung out at his grandma's house, met his kids...OH MY).

I mean, folks made going away videos, gave me HUGE going away parties.... DANG! It was overwhelming...

But that stripper mess was on my mind. It was like a storm cloud that had moved in over a sunny day at the beach.

During some of these "meetings" with a few lady friends, I discussed it with them. All of them basically said:

"Lee, you shoulda cussed him out."
"I wouldn't have allowed that sh**!"
"Lee, you shoulda bust him in the head!"
"You a much better woman than me, Lee! I woulda got locked up for murder that night."

"N'awl. We got too many weapons in the house," was my simple reply. "Somebody woulda got shot that night. And besides, my name is Moses, and I'm raising up outta Egypt."

I remember one of my homegirls down there pulling me to the side and saying "I've talked to some of my girls and they're prepared to go catch up with your boy over at the Su.gar Shack and beat his ass. You just give the word."

"N'awl. That's okay. Ya'll trying to have me locked up. And besides, My name is Moses, and I'm leaving Egypt."

I was still miffed by it all. Didn't speak to the hubby for a week. That type of thing messes with your "womaness". I mean, it really made me question my worth. And that ain't good.

And then... I took my car in, and met a parrot.
A caged parrot.
A parrot who, though caged, had a song in it's heart.
And I sang a song with a parrot.

Hmmm.

You know how a song can get stuck in your head?

Well, after singing America the Beautiful with a parrot four times in a row, I was humming that song, singing it around the house...

While I packed dishes.
While I got together old clothes to take down to the local teen runaway center.
While I made plans to have my cable and lights turned off down there and turned on up in Atlanta.

The hubby came in one day.

"What's wrong with you? Why you keep singing America?"
"Just singing a song, man. And packing my stuff."

He milled around watching me pack. I paid him no mine.

"Lee, I'm sorry for bringing that stripper home. I just didn't know what to do."
"Don't apologize. You take care of them hos better than you take care of me. That's on you. All I know is that you better pack. This lease is in my name, and once I turn the keys in, you are homeless."

Well that started an argument. His voice was shaky like he was about to cry or something. He was blinking hard. Whatever.

He was staying in New Or.leans a bit longer. I was leaving.

I hummed my song. He stormed out the house.

I thought about the simple lesson I learned from a mere parrot.

Even though I was in a bad situation, I could still sing a song. And choose to be happy anyway.

So Chele...

Interview your parrot, Oldgirl. Yeah, I know, I know, it's silly.

But do it anyway.

No telling what lesson you may learn.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Issues, Lonliness, Pride and Affection

A most interesting quote...

"I was straight up trying on his issues like I was ready to purchase those mofos... checking myself from various angles of lonliness, bargaining the price of my pride for a chance to choke myself within the fraying cloak of his insufficient affection."


That quote is from late blogger Nikki, who passed close to a year and a half ago, and I still miss her. She had such a fantastic way with words.

This is not a quote that I found, but one that was tacked up on the cubicle wall of one of my coworkers for a few years. It moved her so when she read it on Nikki's blog that she copied it, and printed it out.

It is a lush quote indeed.

Everytime I read it I see something different.

And I think any woman who's been in love with the wrong man for all the wrong reasons can relate to it.

I think of it from my own point of view, in lieu of my past relationships... I think of it now as I'm having to avoid being apart of something that is not good for me.

I think the central core of that quote is lonliness.

Being lonely has caused me to do some things I wouldn't ordinarily do.

It has made me willing to put up with issues I wouldn't ordinarily put up with.

Not to say that we don't all have issues. Because we all do. We are all under construction.

But issues isn't always the first concern. We just want what we want.

We want the perfect man: he has to be this tall, this fine, drive this type of car, make this much money... be this good in bed.

I have rarely thought about a man's issues. Until it was too late.

But I think the older we women get, the more we understand... content of character is key.

I, as a woman, also understand bargaining the price of my pride. Pride, the good type of pride, is the platform on which self-love, self-esteem and self-worth rests upon.

And I myself have put my pride aside, getting choked in a man's insufficient affection... his inability to take care of my emotions and needs.

I could go on and on... but I won't.

All I can really say is this: there's a time when we KNOW what we are dealing with. We know that man is a dog. We know he likes to cuss us out and smack us around from time to time. We know he's not affectionate. We know when he is not treating us the way you deserve to be treated. We know when he doesn't listen. We know when he plays the endless mind games. We know when his character ain't the best.

We know these things.

But the lonliness we sometimes feel don't care about those things. The wrong type of pride, that caring what other people think of us and trying to impress others... it don't care about those things either.

And that's where all the trouble starts... and we end up spending YEARS with someone that we had no business being with in the first place.

And we painfully realize, just like with ill-fitting clothes...

I shouldn't have bought this.

It don't fit right.

It's choking the essencee of who I am.

And frankly, I'm not willing to deal with that. I want something that fits me just right, makes me look and feel good, and is made just for me.

Good grief.

I got all that out of a quote.

And this post has been a note to myself, just to check myself, and remind myself of a few things.

I'm glad that I have my good friend's words... she's no longer here for me to talk to (lawd, I miss my confidant), but her words live on, and are still potent.

Where is Serenity23? She's always bugging me about writing prompts.

I challenge you to write on that one, Oldgirl.

(I think she may back away from that one).

My readership is incredibly intelligent, gifted, thoughtful, and insightful. I'm so glad the hoodrats don't hang out at the House of LadyLee. (Thank goodness for that!)

And I was wondering, dear reader...

What does that quote mean to you??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oil. . . For Sale

No one knew what to make of the woman who’d just walked into the cafeteria during the early lunch service at work this past Friday.

As a matter of fact, a hush settled over the place.

We were all probably in awe at seeing a woman so tall. She was well over six feet, closer to seven feet. She sauntered in like she owned the place, like she’d never been treated as the oddity she appeared to be.

She flipped her hair over her shoulder, and addressed the lunch crowd.

“Excuse me,” she said, in a voice delicate as a flower.

No one said a thing. The chatter had already been a bit boring, with Tom standing up in the front of the cafeteria, bragging about his great golf games. The sound of his bouncing golf balls were still pinging in our ears. This woman quieted even chatty Tom.

“I’m selling tea tree oil. Special tea tree oil for nails.” She held up several small gold packets. “I have samples for a dollar if you like. And I have full bottles here for ten dollars. I take cash, credit cards and checks.”

The guys were loving this, a big tall beautiful woman appearing out of nowhere. I, being a woman, was more interested in where she got her weave done. It flowed just right, which meant it was human hair. And she had nice highlights.

“I’ll take a bottle,” Tom said. He gave her his credit card. “Matter of fact, I’ll take two.”

Chairs scooted back hard and fast from the cafeteria tables. The men lined up to purchase full bottles of tea tree oil.

I wasn’t buying it. Tea tree oil for nails? Never heard of it.”

When lunch was over, she left. But she left her purse behind.

“Too late to run after her,” I said.

“Look in there, look in her wallet,” Tom said. “Maybe you can get her name and info.”

I opened the purse. All I saw was a kit kat bar, and several IDs, each for the same person.

Funny, when she made her speech, she didn’t give her name.

It could be any of the names printed on the IDs: Halle Berry, Janet Jackson, Michelle Obama, Lauryn Hill, Condoleeza Rice...

I smiled. And these fools gave her there credit card numbers.

“Well,” Tom said, as he bounced his golf balls on the floor. “What’s her name?”

"Sally.” I said.

“Her name is Sally. And I will call her when I get back to my desk.”



From Women of Color Writing Workshop, January 7, 2011. Writing Prompt: Pull a card randomly from a stack of cards and use the words or phrases on the card in a story (10 minute exercise). My words were the following:

1. Tea tree oil for nails.
2. Golf balls
3. weave with nice highlights
4. purse containing several IDs.
5. a kit kat bar.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Picture this:

Me.
Jack Moss.
Walking into the Starbucks
With my friend Tommy Edwards
Standing in line.
Tapping my foot to the music.
Not bothering to even look at the menu on the wall

Because I know what I want.
Because I get the same thing every time.
Venti
Caramel Frappacino
Two shots of expresso
Extra extra caramel syrup on top.

Then a man taps me on the shoulder
I look at him
He looks me straight in the eye and says
“I know you! But you don’t know me!”
I smirk, give him a polite nod,
And I look up at the menu.
Like I am interested
In the words written so nicely in brown cursive.

He taps me on the shoulder again
This time he taps harder.
Much harder
And he hollers
“I know you! But you don’t know me!”
I turn around,
Straighten my jacket
And I say
“Is that right, fella? You know me?"
“Yes,” he says quietly.
I look around.
Everyone’s interested.
Wanting to know what’s going on.
Needing to understand the commotion.
“Well how do you know me?” I ask.
My voice is calm, my tone is even.
“You’re the guy that fired my wife,” he says.
“You’re the guy that wrecked our lives.
She said she didn’t want to sleep with you,
And that should have been enough.
But you had to wreck our worlds, wreck our lives.”

Then he pulls out a gun and shoots me in the foot.
My friend Tommy takes off running.
Even though I am yelling,
“Tommy, man! Help me man!”
Tommy’s out the front door.
Disappears into thin air.
The gunman is in awe.
Looks at me.
Then at the door.
Then back at me.
“That’s Tommy?” he asks.
His voice is calm. His tone is even.
“Yes,” I said.
I wince and hunch over .
Like everyone else hiding for cover.
“Oh,” the man said.
“And who are you?”
“I’m Jack!”
My voice is high. It is not calm.
The man looks at door.
Then back at me.
Then back at the door.
“But that’s Tommy’s car. And you were driving."
His voice is calm. His voice is even.
“Yes,” I said. “He let me drive his new car.
Thinking about buying one myself!"
“Oh,” he said.
He apologizes.
His voice is calm.
And somewhat remorseful.
He shoves the gun in his waste.
And headed out the door.
Never to be seen again.

From Women of Color Writing Workshop, January 7, 2011. Writing prompt: Begin a story with "Picture This"; 10 minute writing exercise.

Afterword

I think this small story came out of what I see happening from time to time: people are enjoying themselves in some shop, restaurant, etc... and some mess jumps off. People are killed and injured. And then there is a long journey to find out "why" it happened.

This bothers me, as it would any other person. I struggle within the deep recesses of my mind, especially when the dead are remembered... they are loving, kind, the salt of the earth, would never hurt a soul, loved everyone, would give their last for their fellow man, wonderful parent, wonderful sibling, wonderful child... Great person.

I ask questions. Wonder why them... and not me.

I float back up to the surface of my mind... and...

I straddle the fence of being mindful of what is going on around me and just going wherever I want and enjoy myself.

But I often think about how blessed, lucky, fortunate (or whatever you'd like to call it) we are that we don't have to worry about sitting in a venue and someone comes in with a bomb strapped to their body and... you know the rest.

Middle eastern countries deal with such on a frequent basis. It is as rare as an eclipse in our country.

But we have tragedy from time to time. It shocks. It angers. It confuses. It pisses us off.

It leaves a nasty residue on the emotions... One that may never ever be erased, no matter how much elbow grease you use.

And the story above... It is not tragic.

Or is it?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Monday Morning to you...

Today is the officail observance of Martin Luther King's birthday.

Happy MLK Day!



I can't say that I'm doing much to celebrate the day. I love how people do their MLK day activities - attending a parade, attending memorials, etc. I don't. And I suppose that it's because I came up seeing it as a day off. I do make it a point to go watch an old speech, or do some reading, and learn one new thing about King that I didn't know.

A character in the manuscript I'm currently working on is an Asian-American, and he's so proud of the fact that his mother gave him the middle name "Martin". Of course this is thought to be funny, but he is proud of it, and when he is down, he speaks that whole "I have a Dream" speech to himself.

Of course this is hilarious. But it comes from my college days, when I worked with this older indian guy who absolutely LOVED black history, and enjoyed buying books and reading up on black history. "You're such an important people," he would always tell me. "You should learn to appreciate your history. It is very rich."

So I was thinking of that when I wrote that part of the character's personality. People snickered at his middle name, but he was proud to be named after such a "great man".

These days, thanks to Cheap Seats Terry, I have a greater appreciation of history in general these days. Anytime anything happens, like for instance, the earthquake in Haiti, I'd spend a few hours reading up on the history of that country. It adds so much to my knowledge base, and I also think I can learn lessons from our world history. And that's a good thing.

So today, i'll find something new about the great Dr. King, something I didn't know.... And if I do that today, it will make help me appreciate the man, and the holiday all the more better.

My Weekend. It has been slow. Not much going on. I mean, after such a FABULOUS snowcation, well, the weekend... I don't remember much of it.

I know one thing: I went to work on Friday for half a day which was STUPID STUPID STUPID. Why was it stupid? Because the roads were still ICY. It took me 5 trys to get out of my driveway. I slid on a hill at work, sliding into the sidewalk. JUST STUPID.

So remind me the next time this happens. Keep my tail at home. Enough said.

I didn't do anything this weekend. Just stayed around the house, getting chores done and writing.

Now the writing, that was exciting. I clocked about 7800 words over the snow holiday, and you just don't know how great that makes me feel. I know I was looking forward to taking a 4 week vacation next month, and it would be centered on writing (and cruising and vacation getaways), but it was a pleasant surprise to have an opportunity to really do some intense writing.

I am almost finished with this particular manuscript... One more chapter to go! I think I will just go back to my 500 word minimum word count for the week. That should put me close to fininshing up by next weekend.

Quotes of the Day. These are some great quotes from "twitter prophet" consciousskillz, concerning gossip, something I absolutely HATE.

Gossip is a social communicable disease.

Gossip infects both the listener and carrier of the germs.

Gossip is like a microscopic bacteria that only blooms within the darkest recesses of minds and hearts.

Man, I really HATE gossip. And I am having a lot of trouble with gossipy folks, which I must admit, troubles me to some extent. And when I say that, I don't really mean us gossiping about some star and what they are going through. For some reason that's the norm. And in that case too, I am always thinking to myself "Dang, that's tough what they are going through, all in the public eye. I'm thankful my life isshas aren't on display."

No, I'm talking about gossiping about people around you. It is TERRIBLE at work. Just terrible. And what's interesting, things ALWAYS get back to you. ALWAYS. I'm at a point where I watch what I say, and I just don't deal with certain folks because they fish so hard for information to spread, and I've heard things about people that I REALLY didn't need to know. The older I get, the more it bothers me. Like the quotes state above, it's infectious, it is. I am extremely vigilant about not spreading other peoples' business. This over the years has made me a "go-to" person for people who want to discuss private matters. I am thankful that people can trust me. You can't trust people who are gossipers. You just can't.

And on a deeper spiritual level, and speaking only for myself, me gossiping means that I don't like my life. It means I don't want to deal with or focus on my own problems, so I take delight and joy in digging into other people's business, searching and prodding for juicy juicy bits and details... just so I can feel better about myself and my lot in life.

And that bothers me.

I have to admit I think that of other people. It is my first thought, you see. I have to work on that. It may just be your sport, your joy in life... to gossip.

Hey... enjoy yourself. Just keep all that over there... waaaaay over that.

Whelp... An impromptu food for thought moment. That's been on my mind for a minute.

What does the day entail for me? A little reading. A little writing. Chores.

Grandma is one day older than MLK. So I plan to go by her house, spend a couple of hours with her. I bought her some sweats for her birthday (she likes to relax these days in sweats). I'll be doing a little crocheting and just kicking back with her.

So you enjoy your MLK day, however you choose to celebrate it.

I will enjoy it... and as I always say when I first open my eyes every day...

I am thankful to see a brand new day, a day that has never been lived or seen before...

Something great will happen today.

I will rejoice and be glad in and on this day.

On purpose.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Free on Friday...

Another wonderful episode of the Oldgirl's freestyle Fridays...

Where I go straight random on you.

The current temperature is 20 degrees.

That is COLD! Hope the wind ain't blowing out of control! YIKES!

I decided not to go to work yesterday. My driveway looks like a ice rink and I was having visions of cold taking out the fence. Not a good look. Plus my job is on a hill and my secretary said it was icy from all sides...

So, I'm still feeling like this:



I ain't screaming AS hard. Just whiny and fussy, lol.

Cabin fever has not been all feverish, you see. I've been warm, had plenty of food on hand, the internet, the telephone and satellite. My power didn't go out. Now if that latter 4 things were jacked up you'd see me screeching hard up outta this house.

But that didn't happen. And I do believe this is the longest I've ever stayed in the house.

So I will venture out to work today. This should be... interesting.

I messed around and took a four and a half hour nap on Thursday. I have NO idea what that was about. But it meant that I will be up all night, and that's why I'm sitting here typing at 5 in the morning. I went to sleep around 5:30 AM, and woke up around 7:30 AM. I think I will work half a day today. (Hope I can make it that long without needing a nap!).

I decided to use this Snowcation to get some writing done. Grand total so far for the week is 6944 words! Wow! I was a writing maniac, lol!! I even managed to do blog posts all week! GLORY!!

Did anyone see Beyond Scared Straight last night on A&E? I tell you what, my WHOLE twitter timeline was watching and we were ALL scared as hell. I do believe that none of us will be going to jail anytime soon.

I feel like hearing some OLD Anita Baker this morning. Old Anita, like, from 1986, my senior year of high schooll







Yeah, that's what's hot. I think I am ready to get up and properly get ready and go to work. Yeah.

Do I have any quotes that have struck me this week. Well I've seen a lot, but this one in particular, from a workbook me and Serenity are stomping through, has been on my mind:

No matter what you think you need from God, He knows what is best for you.

Ain't that the truth!

Yes indeed.

Ya'll have a good Friday... on purpose.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No More Snow Days

Aww man...

3 days was the charm.

We are to go back to work today on a delayed schedule. We are to report no earlier than 9 in the morning.

That made me feel like. . . That made me feel like. . .

. . . like crying. With my mouth wide open. And with snot and tears flying everywhere.

Somebody, hand me some kleenex... and my Obama Church Fan.

Lawd I don't want to go to work.

And I looked out the door, and the top of my driveway is caked with ice. I may not even be able to get out of here. Which is fine by me.

So I may take another day off. That ice gotta melt up or something...

Sigh...

And due to my Word Program acting up last night, I only wrote about 575 words, I believe.

*crying uncontrollably*

But on a good note, blog sista Mzinspiredmind little girl wanted to know if I wrote children's stories. I have a couple laying around, so I spent time finding one for her. I edited it up, changing the main character to her daughter's name. So I hope she will enjoy it.

That made my day happy!

So for now, I need a little pick me up music... Something that will help me Git UP, and Git OUT of this bed! LOL

I need a little of that old 'Kast! circa 1992!



Ya'll have a fine fine day, you hear me!

On purpose!

I'll holler!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day, Part 3!!!!


Man!

Ya'll just don't understand!!!

When I called my workplace hotline last night, and learned that I'll have yet ANOTHER PAID DAY off from work...

Man... It make me feel like

The FORCE,

It got a lot of power...

It make me feel like...

It make me feel like...

oooooooohhhhh!!!!



*ladylee kicking the old school Michael Jackson moves and busting up the living room furniture in the process*


LOL

Yes, your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl is feeling quite Original right about now!!

Nothing like an impromptu Staycation to get the year started off RIGHT!!!

GLORY!!

Well, it's been a good three days. I imagine they will have us reporting tomorrow at noon. Which is fine. I'll be going in.

I have to turn in my timesheet so I can get paid.

Might just do turn that in, get back in my car and go back home!!!

That would be CLASSIC!

And then take the rest of the week off. Yeah.

Nope, I'm not doing that. We have the King holiday coming up, which is a federal holiday, and I'm still on a campaign to take a whole month off for my birthday!

One of the best things I've been able to do while off is to WRITE. And I mean WRITE until my heart's content. WRITE until I drift off to sleep.

WRITE. WRITE. WRITE.

It's equivalent to me sitting around here and smoking up a bag of weed to pass the time!! LOL

So yestersay, my word count was 2761.

Add that to Monday's word count of 2113, and I have a grand two day total of:

4874 words

Wooosaaaah!! That's a lot of words.

"It makes me shiver," LadyLee whispered. "Shiver, shiver!"

Oh, that just gives me joy. I'm barely able to eek out a good 500-600 words on a day when I've worked long and hard, and I'm all tired. If I can write a couple thousand good words today, I'll be golden.

*lee's eyes glazing over*

I just really like to write, ya'll. And this little forced Staycation is priceless.

Alright, alright, I'll stop yakking about that.

This wonderful Staycation afforded some lovely pictures.

Here are a few I took on Monday, after the snow had fallen the night before.

My driveway... I can't even see it. My garage is in the back of the house.

Honey chile, if I tried to move my car, I'd bust a big azz whole in that fence!

And as you can see, there are footprints. A crackhead must've jumped the fence and walked around my house. Better be glad I didn't catch him. Too cold to be going off on jokers!

Front of my house:

I'm surprised the bushes are relatively snow free. Interesting.

A shot of the street from my yard:

Man! You can hardly see the street!

A shot of the street from my yard, in the other direction.


I'm not sure what was up with my neighbors. They moved that white car a few times. Somebody must've had to go to work, and didn't want to get stuck off in that driveway.

A shot of my house, from the street.
It doesn't look to bad. I don't know why it looks like a simple light dusting of snow on the house, yet the ground is completely covered.

A shot of the street... me standing in the street.


As you can see, some brave souls were walking up the street early in the mernting. Not your girl. Not me! I'm sure they bust their behinds a couple of times trying to make it up that street. A couple of cars tried to make itup that hill and it didn't work out for them!

A shot of the street in the other direction.

Once you make it up over that hill, you're going DOWNHILL. Slide, slide, slide!

Another shot of the street.


My driveway again. Thank goodness I didn't have to go anywhere. That whole fence would be knocked over.


So much for the plant at the foot of the steps...




I measured my snowfall by measuring what had fallen on the bricks of my steps. 3 to 4 inches! That's a lot for the ATL!



My porch steps. Almost bust my tail trying to come down those steps!



Half of my front porch is uncovered. This makes it interesting when it snows.



I usually grab Oscar Tyrone and throw him out there on the porch. He was wise to the game this time. He went off somewhere and hid where I couldn't find him.

So those are my SNOW STAYCATION 2011 pictures.

I'm still joyful and full of GLEE!!!!

*backflips, cartwheels and splits*

I don't know WHAT ya'll gonna do with me if I get a 4th day off. LOL!!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ANOTHER Snow Day!!!!!

HARK!

Man!

I tell you!

I cannot BELIEVE this!

Wow!!!

ANOTHER SNOW DAY!!!

Another African American Holiday!!

A free day off, due to the Great Atlanta Ice Out!! Snow Jam 2011

I was so happy that I jumped out of bed and did the "Smang it" Dance. Real hard, and with much fervor!



*lee clasping hands and moving hips real hard*

Turquoise jeep tummy scratch music for ya!

LOL!!

(That cheesy video is dedicated to my blog sista Southern Black Gal. She loves ridiculousness like that. And most likely, those guys in the video are some kin to her. Love your fams, girl! Love 'em!).

I knew we were off from work when, at 4 in the morning, the weatherman was saying "If you don't have to leave the house, then DON'T. You don't want none of this!!"

You got that right, baby!

LadyLee don't want NONE of that!

I remember when I was 19 years old, my '84 Cougar got stuck on some ice. The police had to stop traffic on the freeway just so I could get myself together.

And now, some 21 years later...

LadyLee STILL don't want NONE of that!!!

I had a pretty quiet snow day yesterday. Didn't do much of NOTHING! I played around on twitter most of the day. Did a little reading. There was much of nothing on TV.

The most important thing I did was get some writing done. I try to catch Southern Black when she has a school paper due, and race against her. I usually do well with that.

So yesterday, I got 2 hours worth of writing done -

2113 words

I finished a particularly difficult chapter in my story.

I have 2 more chapters to go!!!

I should be able to finish one of those chapters today.

Hopefully we get another snow day. Dare I say that I finish my whole story!?

HARK!

That would be GRAND!

LOL

So... stay tuned tomorrow for snow pictures of my house...

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy SNOW Day!!!!

Yeah! This is a good good Monday!!!

Why!!!

Because the ATL is BURIED under 3 to 6 inches of SNOW!

You up north may ask: "Gee LadyLee, that's not much! What's the deal!?"

Whatever man!

We some ATLIENS!

Meaning we can't drive worth a dayum!!!

It means the whole city is SHUT DOWN!

It's an African American Holiday!!!!

Weatherman is on for 24 hours around the clock! That means, uh, this is serious!

I don't have the number where I can call my job to see if we have to report for work.

But Cowgirl Cre texted me and said we don't have to go to work!

GLORY!!

I woke up this morning and did the happy dance! I was feeling like this:



Yeah! I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!

LOL!!

Even my sister texted me and said she was off. She ended her text with "prayer works."

I know that's right, honey!!!

Oh JOY!!!

Man... The snow came down hard last night over a 2 hour time period in downtown ATL. I remember opening the door and it being completely white outside. This is the heaviest I've seen it since the early 90s. And I think with us, it's not so much the snow, it's the ICE. And they are expecting a hard freeze.

Which means no work tomorrow either!

*lee whipping the stitch of hair she has back and forth much harder*

So of course, this means I must get some things done today.

But I'm not getting out of this bed until NOON.

Ya heard me???

I'm gonna lay here.

Watch TV.

Do some writing.

I MAY go in the kitchen and cook a little something. (Not sure about that).

I talked to LadyTee this morning. I said, "Pastor need to rest this fast. This a day off! I want me some steak and some chicken, honey!"

(Yeah right. No I don't.)

LOL... It's just the thought, man. I feel like I should get out here and crank up the grill!

That's all I have to say today. I'm going outside to take a few pictures later on this afternoon. I may take Oscar-Tyrone outside and let him run around.

*Oscar giving me the hard side eye*

So ya'll have a good Monday on purpose!

I know I will!!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

TGIF!!!

It's Friday!

*backflips*

The current temperature in the ATL is 38 degrees.

Brrrrr....

I am SO looking forward to this weekend. Just for a breather. And I hope to make the most of it.

The holidays are finally over. Like I said, it didn't really mean as much as it should have to me because I didn't take off (uh... I'm not working straight through next time. That was stupid. I'm STILL behind on my paperwork. Sigh).

I'm more focused on my February. In one month, on the 7th, I will be


41

*Backflips*

41 years old. That seems so surreal to me. 41. I still think of myself as 21, lol.

I have a big cruise coming up. 8 long days. And I'm in a balcony room now, so I have this vision of myself sitting on that balcony with my laptop writing...

And writing.

And writing.

And writing more.

I would love to get 100 hours of writing done. That is lofty, I know. But I would absolutely LOVE that. WOW.

I also have a trip planned to New Orleans. My birthday falls on superbowl weekend, so I have tentative plans to run down there and hang out with my girl Gigi. That's one of the people who takes care of LadyLee's heart, so I am looking forward to seeing her. So hopefully I can make the pilgrimadege dwon to N'awlins!

I wanna throw another trip in there somewhere. It all depends on if I can get the month of February off from work. We will see.

As you can see, this is where my mind is right now. And I am a tad bit excited. Just a tad!

This week was the first week of the church fast, which is always interesting. I'm doing whatever I do. Of course fruits and veggies and water don't bother me one bit. On a personal note, I've decreased my television time by some 90%, and I spend more time doing some reading and writing. My mind is a lot clearer. Funny how the mind gets clearer when all the static is cleared out. It's good thing to not allow so much trash in. I know it affects my heart in some way.

Quotes: I have more fascinating quotes from the brother Consciuosskillz on Twitter:

Measuring your growth by someone else's success is a recipe for failure.

The chance to do better is contained within every new moment given

Gravitating to people who always tell you what you want to hear will not allow you to hear the things that you may need. The more I stayed with those who told me what I wanted to hear, the further it pushed me from what I truly need to know.

Wise is the one who doesn't always look for truth to fit their emotional composition. Wise is the one who listens, then implements what is beneficial for them despite how uncomfortable it may be. Wise is the one who in silence has learn to let their actions speak volumes. Wise is the one who seeks to understand more than being understood.


Uh, yeah. that's good food for thought... nutrient dense and nutrient packed!

That should get you through the WHOLE weekend! The WHOLE weekend!

Song of the Week. I don't know 'bout you, but I feel like hearing some Lady T. This is one of my favorites: "If I were a Bell"



Rest in peace, Teena Marie.

My weekend. I have a Writing Workshop tonight. I have a Triple F Possee finance meeting on Saturday morning. Then after that, LOTS of FOOTBALL!!! I am happy about that! I plan to find somewhere to watch the games and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

I have a bit of baking to do also. Cookies still going out. Oh joy!

With that said... You all have a great weekent... on purpose.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Me and My Finances 2011

I have been sitting around here over the past month thinking about my finances.

I want some fancy smancy goals, man. You know, something big and bold.

But alas, I must admit, I don't have them.

For the past three years, it's been "Pay off my credit card debt!"

That was the big goal. The big target at which I've aimed many an arrow.

Then, last April, I paid off all my credit card debt.

It wasn't exactly a feel good event for me. Oh, I got excited later. But, I was a bit deflated, even upset for a minute? Why? Because everytime I got a nice piece of change over and beyond my normal paycheck, I had to look at some debt and pay it off. Yeah, yeah that's called being ungrateful, I suppose. But shoot, I need clothes and shoes. I wanna go splurge that money on a car. I want to take MORE trips per year.

I wanna put that money on ME and my desires. Period.

And this is bad. At least I acknowledge it. Spent time talking to God about it.

And it helped me understand within my own heart an interesting verse in the Bible, James 4:2-3

You want things, but you do not have them. So you are ready to kill and are jealous of other people, but you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God. Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things so you can use them for your own pleasures.

Ugh.

An Oldgirl be having some serious pleasures in mind. They roll like thunder through my brain. That's what happened when the EXACT amount of what I needed to pay off my debt minus the mortgage in entirety fell into my hands. I was thinking about things other than debt payoff.

A movie titled The Pleasure Principle starring LadyLee, in full technicolor was in full full effect in my mind.

But I also thought of something in my personal vision statement...

Like the setting on a thermostat, the temperature of my life is set on the vision statement, but it ain't quite there yet.

And that is the very last line of it:

"I am a good steward, a fine manager over the finances He has blessed me with, to the point that God knows He can trust me."

That sobered me up. Made me go ahead a pay the last of my debt off.

Felt okay about it. I think I learned, if I'm praying about something, I better be searching the reasons and motives for it, and I better come through like a trooper if given the choice to do the right thing versus something else.

Afterall, it's a trust thing... Am I faithful in the little things or not? A hard question to answer. But deep down, the answer to that question is always crystal clear, if I'm being honest with myself.

No, I didn't want this to turn into a spiritual post... No sir.

That might be due to my current activities and state of mind.

So let's walk into another room of the House of LadyLee right now. I wanna talk about my goals for 2011.

Whelp. The debt thing is off the list.

And that's a GOOD thing!

Let's see... other goals for this year.

Continue to maintain an account for Grandma. It's a small account. I just want to be able to make sure she has all the gas she needs to get around, and can buy groceries without worrying about it. She seems to maintain it well. And it doesn't put a strain on me in any way. This woman sent me $50-$65 dollars a month for seven years while I was in grad school. I could at least make sure that she don't have to buy her own groceries and gas.

I was trying to tell her if she needed things done around the house, to let an Oldgirl know. It might take me a couple paychecks to save up the money to fix a furnace or something like that. But she janky on that. Won't tell me anything. So I can't worry about that. I can just help in any small way that I can.

Make and meet a Savings Goal for the year. Last year I missed my savings goal by about $80 dollars. And that was stupid, because when I saw how close I was in December, I was gonna transfer money. But I forgot. OH WELL. It'll be alright.

This year, I want to put away double that amount. That bothers me a bit, as it is a lofty goal, but I've learned from my own personal goals technologist, Ms. Not so Anonymous, to JUST TRY. If I don't meet it, then it's okay. Identify what went wrong and fix it. So that is definitely a goal. I do this by automatic transfer, so that will continue to be the order of the day.

Pay a little more on the house than what's due. This almost seems futile to me. Heck, I wish I could sell and go live in someone's basement because I don't really care for home ownership. But with the market the way it is, and my house not being some grand mansion, well.... that will have to wait. For now, I want to pay down, and simply enjoy my house.

This is like eating an elephant: do it one bite at a time. And I'm starting with the elephants toenail, lol.

Continue with my Financial Freedom Fighters, Triple F Possee activities. I'm fickle about this, because I'm not sure where our group is going. All I know is that I need to stay in some type of group activity concerning finances. It is helpful, and the number one reason why I paid off my debt last year.

Green Eyed Bandit wants step down as group leader. I was thinking about being the leader, but that ain't going on. I ain't a leader. I have trouble leading my ownself, much less other people. We have 12 people returning this year, which I find bizarre, taking that we never saw some of these women. And me being a leader AND as standoffish as I am, I would be a problem for them . But I won't gripe about that. I will just continue with it. I learn something new with each meeting, and it motivates me to hear others stories, and to come up with suggestions and to actually see someone meeting their goals. That's worth it right there.

Budget better. I need to have it on paper and know where the money is going. I'm in and out with this. I can always do better. Spreadsheets help, but I mess up spreadsheets something terrible. I'm going to try again not to destroy yet another version this year. (You have to understand, I am DEEPLY disturbed by spreadsheets. I must find a way to get over this, and I think the way to do that is to keep trying them, destroying them, and trying again.)

I think with the spreadsheet action, I can incorporate other goals, like a clothing budget, a travel budget, church giving budgeting, etc... I'm also considering buying a second car (with cash) and there are more things I simply like to do. That takes budgeting.

So that will take some spreadsheet action. I have to get over this spreadsheet fear though. I am determined to do that.

Those are my financial goals, in no particular order of importance. There's no stunning quality to them. The goal this year is to identify my problems, locate the truth of solving those problems, and consistently work that truth until the desired breakthrough takes place.

Can I do it?

I think I can.

If I can't do it... at least I can do better than I've been doing.

And that's what really matters.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tuesday Morning Special

Wassup Boys and Girls...

It's me, your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl LadyLee

Man...

I haven't felt like posting.

Not that I don't have much to say. My posts are all jumbled in my head. It would do me good to post twice a day right now.

I just got so MUCH stuff going on.... on a mental tip, that is.

Nothing bad, of course.

Our church fast started today. And it's hard for me, since I've been transitioning out to vegetarian. Ugh, gotta make sure I do something different I suppose. We're under Daniel Fast rules, and it don't bother me one bit to eat vegetables, fruit and water. I'm down for that. I like cheese and ice cream, so I'm cutting that out. Also, I'm ditching sweets. Let's see, what else...

Serenity and I started a new workbook, entitled He Speaks to Me: preparing to Hear from God. Serenity picks workbooks that have me like O_O at times. This is a good one, though. A bit brutal. (Had me hollering "Lawd, I'm so frickin' trifling!"), but January is a good personal examination time and well... a good workbook definitely forces it.

I've had MUCH fun this week on Twitter with some twitta sistas... They wanted a look at some of my writing. I sent out a first chapter teaser. Do you know these broads BARRELED through 35 chapters in a matter of a day or two? Amazes me when people read that fast. I read slow like Celie, when Nettie was first teaching her how to read. Yeah, THAT slow!

This story is one that I'm particulary proud of, and how it's crafted. It's also a story where I wrote some chapters out of order. Like, I'm working on chapter 37, and I wrote part of it a year ago. I think I may practice that more in the future.

It made me feel real good for the young ladies to spend time reading my words, and getting totally caught up and to make a couple of them cry. I really like to throw the reader into emotional turmoil!!! I got a long way to go on that, but with more practice, I will most certainly get there!

I plan this month to sit down and think about my goals. I've already thought about them, it's just that they are up in my head. I definitely will blog about my writing goals, vegetarian goals, loosely about my financial goals, etc. I think it's important to write them down, get them on paper. Holds me a bit accountable.

That's all I got ta say today!

Here's a quote I came across on Twitter, from a brother name Consciousskillz:

"The removal of objects that stand in front of us begins with the removal of the doubts and negative perceptions that reside within us."

Yeah that's deep.

Let that marinate. I'll let you ponder... and wonder.

I gotta get UP! (Well, been up since 5 am, needed to get up at 4am. Oh well).

Go on into this workplace, and make it happen! Let my light shine! *church shouts*

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

Saturday, January 01, 2011

STAR DATE

2011.1.1

ALAS

THE FIRST DAY OF
THE SECOND DECADE OF THE
21st CENTURY IS AT HAND.

IT BEGINS TODAY!


(((((((HAPPY NEW YEAR)))))))


From your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl

LadyLee