Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Freeeeestyles

(((Good Friday Morning)))

TGIF!

It is Friday

I am OFF!

And it is GOOD!!

Yes Sir. Yes Ma'am.

I actually put some time in the system to see if I could get it off. It took a few hours. Folks had to think about it suppose. But when I saw the email come up approved? I let out a Hoooray! Almost did a few cartwheels up and down the cubicle area!

*cartwheeling in my mind*

LOL

I'm suppose to hook up with my sister Kentucky today. This is her last Friday off before she goes back to school. All teachers start back next week, and good week before the kids, so I wanted to get a little sister time in.

We going shopping down in Newnan, a good 45 minutes south of downtown Atlanta.

Lawd knows that I don't like to shop. But she's a shopping diva. So we are going to go look around. I need curtains and house stuff. We are going to find somewhere to have a little lunch or something. And we are just going to hang out alllll day. And then I will go to church tonight.

I was going to go this morning because I love weekday morning service, but I woke up at 2:30 this morning... Aunt Flo is around. My sister told me the other day, "Aunt Flo is here with all her children: Irratibility, anger, confusion, and a few others!"

LOL. Gotta use that in a story. HILARIOUS.

That gal is funny. Looking forward to hanging with her today.

So with that, I will leave you with a couple photos. We are still doing the interim boss thing for our group at work. Can't say I like it. We need one boss. Permanent. Next person coming up is a mystery. Especially since dude got wrote up for 8 hours AWOL and He TOLD her he wasn't going to be there. You can't stand up for us. That's what it shows me.

But forget about that. The outgoing boss, Sir By, bought us some free lunch!

Cowgirl Cree's Lemon Pepper wings:





That chick ain't even in our group. How she get in on the freebies?


And I ordered the veggie fajitas!



Look at those veggies! There's a lot going on there! Sauteed veggies, spanish rice, black beans, tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa! Wow.

But look at the veggies.





Since when did they have broccoli in fajitas?


I didn't care babes! I worked it OUT!!


Cowgirl Cre gave me one of her chicken wings. It was alright... *throwing wing over my shoulder and concentrating on broccoli*


LOL...


Thought I would give you a good food picture. Ya'll were a bit perturbed by yesterday's picture. (YALL NEED TO MAN UP AND STOP being some PUNKS).


Can't take none of you chickens on the show Survivor.


Humph.


And finally, a note of warning, some good advice. Let me tell you something... Don't go leaving negative anonymous comments on people's blogs. No I don't have that problem at the House of LadyLee. I have mature readers. Ya'll either comment or lurk. I don't have a problem with that.


But listen. Most bloggers have site meters. Soooo, if you up in the middle of the night, leaving a nasty comment, that comment is time stamped. Then we see the IP address, the type of computer, the city and state from whence you leave it. We can match all that up.


You got that?


I rarely look at my site meter. It is over there in the margin to the right. Sometimes you can hide them. I know I have an average of about 70 readers a day. Which is cool. But it amazes me that people who don't like me, well, they lurk over here. Ain't that something? Interested in what I am talking about. Interesting.


But back to the issue at hand. Don't leave a nasty comment. You couldn't say it to that person's face. And you stepped low when you left an anonymous comment. AND it could be worse if you actually talk to this person face to face... smiling in their face. Yet you don't think much of them.


That's what I call classless. Good definition.


Anyway, leave it be. I have friends right now who can list things that they don't like about me. Some of my ways and idiosyncracies are MUCH different than their own. And I can imagine my isshas irritate the cheese out of them.


Yet they love me nevertheless.


They realize we are DIFFERNT. We handle life issues differently. We are different people. We don't judge. We love and appreciate each other regardless of that.


You may say, LadyLee why you saying all this? Cuz it need to be said. And this is friday freeeestyles and I can say what I want on the microphone.


And I don't like seeing immature stuff. Nope. Yeah, I will forever be growing out of my immature issues, just like everybody else... still don't like seeing it in myself or others.


And I don't like strange stuff. Like a really good friend leaving an bad anonymous comment. And then acting like nothing is wrong. That is strange... and telling. It tells a lot.


Your true friends are those who see your bad side... and stick it out with you nevertheless.


Alright! Enough of the LadyLee PSA. My weekend is here!


My 3 day weekend has begun! And I'm gonna work it out... on purpose, man! Straight up!


You have a good Friday, and a good weekend too!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Wormy Day

I get strange things in the lab from time to time to deal with...

The other day, lo and behold, it was some WORMS!



Wooooowww...

Interesting little things. They weren't alive. Thank goodness for that.

They looked to be dry roasted.


I am a true girl. Don't like this type of stuff at all. Yuck.

But at least they weren't squishy and wet and in a can. (Yes, we get canned worms sometimes).

Worms and bugs are edible and good for protein. They are not eaten much in this country. These worms are imported from Asian.

I don't care if they are edible. You will not hear me hollering "Yo, bring me back a bag of worms if you happen to stop by the grocery store."

Uh, no.

One of our specialists was working with a gang of shrimp and fish while I worked on prepping my worms.


I told him, all this seafood up in here, all we need is some hot grease and we can fry it ALL. And we can make good salad, and add the worms for a little crunch.


He looked at me... And he was careful not to give me a crazy look... Because I might be crazy. LOL.


Anyway, I grinded up my worms to a fine meal.


The smell reminded me of something I'd had before.


Smelled like pork skins!


Yum!


LOL


That was a fun thing to work with. I wasn't as squeamish as I usually am with things like that.


A coworker had grasshoppers, but I didn't get a picture of those.


Maybe next time!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Ramblings

I want to post today.

But what I want to post is tooo long.

So I will do some random thoughts.

Lunch. I just finished eating spaghetti and meat sauce with a side of broccoli. The meat sauce was made with soy meat crumbles. I made the sauce chunkier with zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions and peppers. It was GREAT!

Now... Why do I have the 'itis?

I had a bowl of field peas for breakfast. Felt the same way this morning: Itis.

Someone, please bring me a cot and a blanket. And a nice soft pillow. I am in the back of the cubicle area, next to Cowgirl Cre.

Car. My car drives like a dream now. For the past couple of years, I thought I needed another transmission, but it was only a good three hundred dollars worth of work. Engine mount and some bolts for the rack that holds everything in place. Why didn't I deal with that sooner? Sigh.

That's one of my idiosyncracies: I put things off, thinking it's gonna cost a lot, but it doesn't. One day I will learn.

Oslo. You know we got problems in this world when Norway has terroristic problems. NOTHING happens up in Scandinavia. Goodness. So sad. What's next? Iceland? Greenland?

Reminds me that anything and everything, good or bad, can happen in the very next breath you take. Really.

Amy Winehouse. No I won't be hating on her. I wasn't all that familiar with her music. I was riding somewhere with Serenity years ago, and she had the CD playing in her car. I remember thinking, "Why is this girl playing Judy Garland or Liza Minelli? This don't seem to be her type of music." She said it was Amy Winehouse.

Her death reminds me that I am glad that I don't have to live out my problems in the public eye.

And it also reminds me of something I read this week somewhere:

We have a tendency to look at our own problems with rose colored glasses, yet view other people's problems under a magnifying glass.

Hmm...

RIP Amy Winehouse.

Kentucky. I am reading Battlefield of the Mind with my sister Kentucky. WHAT A BOOK. And we discuss it over email. Maaaannn... my sister is one smart cookie! I am learning alot from her thoughts. We must read together more often! *cartwheels*

She turns the big 3-0 in a couple of weeks! I think I am more excited than she is! *more cartwheels*

Work. Work is funny. Someone in the group was wrote up for AWOL... after telling the supervisor that he had medical issues and was going to the doctor. NOTHING surprises me anymore.

So for my next doctor appointment, I see I'm going have to be like Chris Tucker in Rush Hour.

LadyLee talking slow... enunciating every word.

"I am taking off for a doctor appointment! Do you hear the words coming out of my mouth!!??"

LOL. Craziness. You can keep your AWOL. I'm going to the Doctor on August 15. Doggonit.

Funny Stuff. So the current interim boss, Sir By, is on his last week of detail. He is ordering lunch for us tomorrow from a local Taco Mac. So I am usually troublesome when requests come my way. I like to entertain myself. < By: Order what you like, and it will be picked up as a "To Go Order".

Lee: I would like to order an adult beverage. Please and thank you.
By: Funny, funny. What do you want, Dr. P?
Lee: Jack Daniels on the Rocks.
By: That translates to a Southwestern Wrap with fries. Right?
Lee: No. Liquid lunch.

No response. I ordered a California Portabella Wrap. Hope it's tasty!

GUMBO: So my play Mama Adrienne, who read yesterday's post, sent a picture of the Gumbo she had yesterday for lunch.




Looks like she got some kind of Po Boy action going on there, also... And she has some saltine cracker action goin on too...


hmm...


Thanks for the picture, Mama! That looks good! I can see the sausage over in there! Yum!
That's it for my ramblings. That was fun! and fast!


Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Food for Thought: For the Love of Gumbo

You love gumbo.

You absolutely love it.

You love when you can get it at your favorite restaurants. You like it even better when Big Mama cooks it. She's been making it forever and it is so good. It’s free and she gives you some to take home.

But you love it best when you make it yourself. That way you put however much and whatever amount of your favorite ingredients in it. Big chunks of andouille sausage, blue or snow crabs, the BIG big shrimp, chunks of chicken, and sometimes you like the small oysters too. You can’t forget the veggies, because they are good for you. They are also good in that gumbo. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, celery, okra, and whatever else you can think of.

All simmering in a nice roux…

And you like your roux the color of a penny, reddish and coppery. Not too dark and not too light.

Put in a bowl, and spoon a dollop of rice right in the middle… ah yes, you are in HEAVEN.



No, this post isn’t the recipe for gumbo. I wrote a detailed recipe for it several years ago over here on the walls of the House of LadyLee.

But it is about gumbo. Let's continue...

What happens when you don’t tend too it just right, i.e., leave the heat up just a little too long? You know, you walk off and get caught up in something else?

You have one of those moments. You pause. You look up from whatever has your mind occupied. You scream:

“Oh lawd! I forgot about the gumbo!”

*Running hard to the kitchen*

You quickly turn the fire down. (That’s how the old folks say it). The hard bubbling has slowed to a simmer.

The gumbo looks good enough. It looks ready to eat.


But then you stick your big spoon in the pot and you commence to stirring.

And then you notice something: the stirring isn’t going well. There’s a little resistance at the bottom of the pot. It seems that some of the gumbo is stuck to the bottom.

You shreik! You burned the gumbo!!

You hold your breath. You can’t believe that you let that happen. Because all you had to do was just stand there and watch it.

And stir it.

And watch it.

And stir it some more.

But then you breathe a sigh of relief. Because you know if you carefully pour the gumbo out of that pot and into another one, then everything will be alright.

You may have lost a couple shrimp and some veggies. But that’s okay. That gumbo can be saved. The burnt part can be thrown out.

Right?

Right.

And that’s what you do. You tilt the pot just right and transfer what you can to a clean stew pot. Once you’ve done that, you look in the pot from whence you poured out the gumbo, and you were right: you burned it up. The burnt portion is barely recognizable, a black sticky mess, stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Thank goodness you caught it in time. The ingredients for the gumbo- they are expensive. What a loss to have to throw it all out.

You allow it to simmer. You do the right thing and stand there and stir it.

And watch it.

And stir it.

And watch it some more.


And stir it some more.

This time it doesn’t burn. It simmers down to the right consistency. Perfect, just like you like.

You fix yourself a big bowl. You plop a little rice right in the middle. You grab a few saltine crackers and you sit down, your mouth ready to eat and enjoy.

And that first spoonful… it tastes funny. It has that burnt taste. Not much, but enough where you can tell.

You eat another spoonful and you taste it again... that slight hint of burn. You stir the gumbo in your bowl, and you see little black flecks floating around.

You have friends coming over later. You wonder if they can tell that it is slightly burnt. Maybe you can tell because you burnt it.


And your man has been talking about it. He wants some of the gumbo too. Can't wait to taste it.

O_O

You spoon some up and and you sniff it. You smell the burn.

Ugh. The gumbo is ruined.

Or is it?


AFTERWORD

That was a nice little story about Gumbo. No real writing prompt or anything. I had just finished my morning prayers, was just laying on the couch with remote in hand, feet kicked up, flipping through channels... Oscar Tyrone was walking by me with his back arched... his little way of asking to be rubbed.

I was feeling GREAT! All I needed was a toothpick in my mouth to chew on!

Then I thought about gumbo. It just welled up in my spirit for some reason. I thought about how good it is. And how long it takes to make. And how you gotta sit there and watch it and stir.

And did I mention how good it is?

And how sometimes it gets burnt. And how you may try to salvage it.

You got to at least try! Because crabs, shrimp, oysters and sausages are EXPENSIVE.
But this little tale is not about gumbo. On the surface it may be, but not deep down.
It's about something else:

That Gumbo... it represents EMOTIONS.

And the pot... it represents the HEART.

You know, I am a woman, and like every other woman, my emotions are sometimes all over the place. For me, it's mostly hormonal. Sometimes it is not.

But these emotions, just like the ingredients in that gumbo, they are valuable. They tend to guide us. We are either keeping them in check or we allowing them to keep US in check. They can even rise up within us and have our lives going in a direction we could never imagine.

That happens a lot. Hypothetical case in point: someone cuts me off in traffic. I get pissed. I give chase. I am cussing up a storm. MAD as all get out. I catch up with that person at a red light.

I give him the finger. He flips me off. I'm really mad.

I pull out my gun and shoot him.

I am sitting in a jail cell now in my orange county jumpsuit... awaiting trial for murder.

My emotions got out of control and caused me to do something that changed the course of my life, and those around me... forever.

Terrible thang when our emotions have us on a leash like that.

Naw that ain't me. Someone cuts me off, I may mouth "That sucka must got somewhere to go." And I go on about my business.

Our emotions can have us sometimes. They truly can.

No I am talking about something a little more subtle. Our emotions leading us around on an invisible leash of sorts.

Yes, the gumbo represents emotions.

And still, the pot of gumbo represents the heart.

But, the burnt mess at the bottom of the pot represents:

EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE.

Emotional baggage. That interesting mix of emotions that's left over after we make it through a hurtful or painful situation or relationship. Usually we've entrusted someone with our emotions- our HIGHLY valuable emotions- and they have treated them like mere cheap carnival or dimestore trinkets...

...instead of the precious rare jewels that they truly are.

Yes we pull out of the situation or relationship, and make it through. But the emotional baggage- we drag it along with us. It's that residual that's left over, wrapped tight in our memory. We may have it just sitting out where everyone can see it, or we may have stuffed it deep into one of the back closets of our mind...

Waaaaay in the back.

But it inevitably comes out. It always does. Just like when a fool cut you off in traffic, and you get so heated that you shoot and kill him. It all comes out, but more subtlely... yet searing nevertheless.

Just like the gumbo that we tried to rescue, separating the burnt from the good... Oh we THINK we got it all worked out. We think we fixed it.

But when we taste it, we still taste some of that "burn".

Hmm...

I love love LOVE a man who can handle my emotions, and all the extra baggage that comes along with it. LOVED-ED it. That is rare these days. But when it happens, I am happy. No there has been nothing long term. Heck, I don't know if I see myself getting married again.

Because I have to stop asking myself those little questions...

What if Shorty mess me over like the last one?

And if I ain't careful... I start treating him like the last one.

That's that baggage talking... trying to lead me around on a leash on the sly...

Maybe some of that old baggage is blocking my view. Hmmm.

Anyway when we come across someone who can handle our emotions, we still have those residual memories of what happened in the past creep up, even though we have buried it in our hearts.

There's that personal work that we have to do. Bring out the brillo and scrub the bottom of that gumbo pot. Get all that scorch off. Shoot man, make the gumbo over!
Or we do something different. Scrape off some of the burnt blackness. Do our best to salvage the gumbo.

Hmm...

This whole scenario reminds me that I am valuable. My emotions are valuable. I need to keep a careful guard over them. Guard my heart with wisdom, and just not let any ol' situation change that what is so valuable so drastically...

...to the point where it's all beyond repair.

I need to make better choices... Surround myself with those who are able to handle my emotions, and I do the same with theirs. And when the emotions are out of wack, I need to admit it. And just do the necessary work to make things right. And don't let those emotions cause me to take things out on others unnecessarily.

They are not responsible for the burn. No they are not.

It may mean something totally different to you.

Something to think about, on a Monday, no less.

This post is dedicated to my baby sis Serenity23 and my baby biosis Kentucky. We've been in deep conversation about related matters as of late. Each is truly blessing me with the wisdom they are imparting into my heart.

And it is dedicated to myself. No I don't plan on making gumbo. Meatless gumbo, well... man, I got a recipe, but I haven't been able to wrap my mind around making it, lol. Just don't seem right without the meaty goodness!

And it's dedicated to all you other Chickens out there who can take it in and learn from it.


I took it and squeezed all the knowledge I could out of it. I am sure that is MUCH more to be said. I needed to post it as a reminder to myself when I need it.




Get it now and understand while you are young... there's always time to make the necessary changes. Take the time to scrub away your own "burn" from that pan. Salvage that "gumbo".

Keep careful watch, and take intimate care of that which is truly valuable.

Better now, harder much later.

Ohhhhh, for the love of gumbo...

Oh soooooo much more for the love of my delicate valuable emotions.



You have a good week... On purpose.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Freestyles

Thank goodness it is Friday.

And it is PAYDAY.

I should be turning multiple cartwheels! But I am not. Putting money in savings and paying bills. Working a little on tweaking the budget. Won't be any ball 'til I fall moments!

And is it just me or did this week go by in a flash? I mean it went by FAST.

I had a really good week. I didn't post as much as I liked, or get done much of what I wanted to get done, but it was good nevertheless. I am happy for that.

On Monday, I had dinner with my sister. It is always good to see her. That was one of the highlights of my week. I had others that are personal, and I won't talk about those. But it was good to see and hang out and laugh with my sister. I find that I miss her company alot. We have to get together more often.

I had my mid-year work review. My poor director had the *crickets* all through that one. I know she had to be thinking "This broad REALLY don't care what's going on."

Nope. I don't. I think I'm just getting older. And really, I have completed my career goals checklist. It is basically balled up and thrown in the trash as far as I'm concerned. I turned in a blank development plan. We talked about all these supposed "opportunities" available. i've taken all the training available. Unless I can do it all over, that's a done deal. Nope, don't want those other supposed opportunities. Don't want to be running around the country doing details. Sorry. That's gonna stress me out and make me sick. Not going to be doing extra research stuff in addition to my regular work. I've done research, got plenty of peer reviewed journal papers, been there done that. Sorry, not gonna happen.

Then there was the question of going into management.

Nope, not gonna do that. "I need to keep a certain degree of honesty in my life," was my relpy.

I bet she STILL thinking about that one.

Man, I don't want to be in our management system. I don't want to look down on people, harrass people and make their lives miserable. Don't want to stab them all in the neck. Nerp. There are people who want to move up, etc... but are held down. I don't want to break people's spirits. I do not want any of this on my life record.

No!

"This environment and what goes on here isn't conducive to what I want to do. I'm 41 years old. I have other priorities and more important things than this job on my mind and going on in my life."

I know she STILL thinking on that one. She probably won't speak to me again.

That's cool.

I was thinking this morning... It's one thing to do things wrong, and feel a little guilt about it. But you have to do it, because you gotta stay out of trouble. But it's a whole nother thing to get to the point mentally where it doesn't bother you to do wrong, and you've made up in your mind that it is completely fine and the way to do things. You all of a sudden look up and you are looking down your nose thinking you are better than other people.

Integrity. It's value surpasses that of silver, gold, diamonds and everything else.

That's a "fear" of mine. And it has been on my mind for many years. Loss of honesty and integrity. I can't say I worry about it much. But it stays in the back of my head. I don't wanna develop that.

Gotta answer for that someday... somewhere.

I think too highly and forwardly, I suppose.

Plus I'm reading a book with my sister right now: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer.

And I'm reading two workbooks: Duty or Delight: Knowing where you stand with God and Brave: Honest Questions Women ask.

With all that... Man... I am thinking waaaaaay much about other things.

So with all that said, this was a good week. lol. We had another interim supervisor for the week, while another interim supervisor is on vacation. This chick don't talk to us, and I haven't needed any help or assistance so that worked out well. A quiet workweek with no harassment! *cartwheels*

This weekend I have a few things to do. I gotta call the autoshop to see if they got my bolts in so they can fix my car rack. And Green Eyed Bandit is having a slumber party. I am soooo not in the mood, but Bandit, you my girl, and I will at least comply. You may look up and I've gone home. You need to let me know if I need to bring my own cover and stuff. I ain't all that happy about sleeping on the floor, but like I said, you my folk, and I'll be there.

I've been doing a lot of writing which always makes me HAPPY! I have something... interesting for next week. Either next week, or the week after. We will see... even got a little food for thought for you!

The weekend... it is upon us. You got two days to make it special! Work it out! On purpose!

I know I will!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lawnmower Blues

Mannnnn....

I broke my lawnmower!





I've only had it for a couple of months. Now it's broken.

And it's my fault.

Let me tell you something: I must say that I do not like cutting grass. I was paying $15 every two weeks to have my grass cut, but my the local who cuts my grass dissappeared. He had a heart attack earlier in the year, and I thought that dude was dead. But it turned out that he'd been locked up for a month.

So I might let him cut it every once in awhile, but I usually cut it myself. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes. But this time, I let it grow to0 high and it was a bit harder to cut. (Not my fault! Whenever I wanted to cut grass it would rain. I am NOT cutting wet grass).

And it was harder to cut.

And the mower kept cutting off.

And I kept shaking it around to get the built up grass out.

And the lever that keeps the mower on broke.

LAWD!

I had finsihed cutting the front yard, and was working on the sides. That's when that happened.

I was pisseed!

So I swept up some of my grass clippings, put the mower in the garage, and went on in the house.

This meant that I had to go find Mr. Thomas.

Sigh.

He has said, when I've wailed in the past about where he is: "You should come looking for me!"

And I would think to myself "Man, I am NOT running up in a crackhouse looking for you!"

HUMPH.


I'm sure he could read the look on my face... everytime he says that.

But I went searching the other day. Didn't take long to find him.


I yelled out the window to various locals manning the corners, "Where Thomas at?"

The answer was a lazy "Over in that house."

Hmm... I wasn't getting out the car to go up in "that house".

(I thought about snapping a picture with my cellphone, but uh, no).

I yelled his name from my car, and he came outside. I told him the situation, gave him 12 dollars, and told him to finish my yard whenever. This could be a good or a bad thing. He disappeared real quick with that money. Hopefully he will get to my yard sometime this week. But that was 2 days ago.

If I don't see him by Saturday, I will go looking for him again.

Meanwhile, I gotta get this lawnmower repaired.

Sigh.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My ride, Man. My ride. Sigh

I love, love, love my little car...



My Protege... Pam the Protege.

No, I don't drive a fancy car. I am not a fancy girl. Folk holler "You make a lot of money, you should be driving a Mercedes or Lexus." Uh, first of all, I don't make THAT much money. People make assumptions. And I suppose that's a good assumption.

But like I said, I don't like fancy stuff. And I think if I drove alot, I would most likely have something more upsscale.

But the truth is, I only have a 9.2 mile round trip commute for work. I put an average of about 5000 miles on my car per year. I fill up my 10 gallon tank every 3 weeks. (2.5 weeks in the summer, because I am running the AC).

My car is low maintenance. I get major maintenance every 3 years on average. 3 years ago, I had a junkyard transmission put in, all my timing belt stuff, etc. I also had some CV crap happen when I went out of town one year (hence me renting a car from now on if I travel long distance. Sigh).

And on this past Saturday, I took it in for some simple stuff: oil change and tune up. I would have to crank it 4 times in the morning to get it to stay on, and I figured it was the spark plugs or something like that. I also needed some brake work done.

Sooo....

I went to my favorite autoshop, out in Union City, some 25 minute drive from my downtown home.



I usually go here when I don't have multiple things that need done, and it's not an emergency, i.e., when I don't have to go hit up Cowgirl Cre's Daddy!

So this time, I just wanted a tune-up, oil change, transmission flush... and whatever else... I expected it to run me around two hundred dollars.

Sigh.

Man... I had to get much more. I needed some gasket stuff done, a CV joint, and interestingly enough, whatever bolts hold my whole engine and transmission block up in the car had degraded.
Sigh.

AND one of my engine mounts is busted. I've known about this for about 3 years, so... that's my fault.

I needed to get all that done... And the parts are on order for the engine mounts and bolts to hold my block in place.

Close to 900 dollars total

I didn't mind paying it. I like the good folks at this place. They have been there for YEARS. They print out all the car diagrams. They lift the car up in the air and let you see what the world is going on...

There was a lot of "Think about getting this CV joint done, it's slinging grease, and it's gonna start clicking."

I figured I had about 6 months left on that, but I was like "Just do whatever."

*crickets*

"Well you don't have to do it now," was the reply. "Just letting you know, and letting you know how much it cost."

"Just fix it!"

Humph...

I don't care. I've taken my car there for the last 10 years. I remember I needed a idle engine once, because the car wouldn't idle when I was at a standstill. It would've been $1500. The manager Gordon said, "Hun, if I were you, I wouldn't do that. For $180 dollars I will take it apart, and clean it and put it back together."

Hmm... that was an easy choice. I ain't had a problem out of it in 10 years.

So every since then, I tell people "Go up there and talk to Gordon!!"


My sister did that the other day. All of her brake lights etc., went out on her car. She was afraid it may cost her 500 bucks to get electrical work done. When she got a ticket, she did what I said. "Go talk to Gordon!!"

I think she paid $35 dollars to get everything back right. I had dinner with her last night, and she was FULL of glee. Go Kentucky!

So back to my $800 bill. Not an issue. Car running good. Haven't had a bill that high in about 3.5 years. FINE.

"Just do whatever!" was my final answer.

Hopefully we can't keep Pam the Protege running good... for a few years more!

But right now, this year... I need an extra car. Something to sit in the garage.

Ain't like I do much driving, BUT I need something else in case of emergency...




2000 Lexus ES300... I am on the lookout for one. They run about $5000 right now. Which is fine. I WANT one. I need to be rolling in that by my next birthday!

But for now, I will drive little Pam...

She has gotten me this far... no doubt she will take me further.

Monday, July 18, 2011

monday again and again...

Monday has rolled back once again... as usual.

And I am in bed. I need to get UP and get ret for work. As usual I would like to take the day off, but that is not going to happen. We have a new boss for the week and it is in my best interest to go in. I wish we had a permanent boss, because this is all becoming highly dysfunctional. Highly.

I am thankful for a good paying job. Oscar-Tyrone could be my boss! Who cares! Where is my paycheck??

LOL

It is ARSE HAWT outside. It has been coof for a couple days in the ATL, in the 80s, but it is suppose to be HOT this week. Heat advisories are in effect all over the place, where it will feel like it's in the triple digits. I want NO part of that, man. NONE. I am not down with this tropical heat!

I forgot to post on Friday. Imagine that. The winner of the final autographed copy of Silver Sparrow was SASHA!

Let's give her a strong handclap!!

*lee clapping fervently*

Sasha was the first to email me, followed by Moe about an hour later, and then Jixxa rolled in third. We had one guy in the mix who didn't even open up my blog. I sent him an email with the link, and he was saving it for last after he checked his other email. I had to go off on him. "You gotta think like a woman, By! Open stuff up fast and look at it! Might be important! Think like a woman!!!!"

*By gives me the blank stare*

LOL!!

By the way, By attended Wednesday's Sade concert, and LOVED it. Of course he came back with the cellphone camera movies. Mannnn, his $180 tickets had him waaaaaaaayyyy back. Dude had his camera phone trained on the big screens. But he loved it. He said the sound system was so clear. It better be. If I can't see Sade, I at least wanna hear her!!! But she was on for 2.5 hours. Well worth it!

My weekend was... interesting, to say the least... It involved several things:









I really need to shorten my posts, so I will write all about this week.

And with that, I will stop right HERE!


I need to get up and get ready for work. I've been like, 2 minutes late on a consistent basis. I don't want to get in trouble. Humph.


It's a new week! Something GRAND and GREAT is going to happen this week!


Make it a good one... on purpose!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Glass


Glass half full, half empty
Glass broken.
Glass slipped from my hand when lifted to my lips for a cool sip of the water it held.
Damn that persperation on the outside of my glass half full, half empty!
Glass slipped from my hand, from my fingertips
Falling in slow motion down to the floor where the crash was louder than the pop and crackle of the ice floating in my
Glass half full, half empty.

Glass now broken.

A million pieces scattered all across the kitchen linoleum.
I shriek at the sight of it,

The very thought of having to pick up tiny pieces,
Sweeping them up with a broom
Missing unseen pieces, the forgotten flecks which will get stuck in my feet
Even though I'm careful to tip-toe and watch my steps.

Then You appear
Hurrying to my aid
Whispering ever so gently, "Wait, don't move."
You are quick to bend down
And carefully pick up the tiny shards one by one,
Even the pieces so small that I don't see with my naked eye.

You toss the shattered pieces far away from my eyes, from Your thoughts and Your memory.
I struggle to get past and put away the memory of my glass half full, half empty, then broken.

You hand me a new glass.
Unbreakable
Unshakeable
Full to the rim, to the point of overflowing
Full of living water,
Water living.
Never running out
Quenching my thirst forever more.
Glass always full, overflowing
Glass never empty
Glass never broken.




Writing prompt, "glass half full, half empty... I'll spiill ya". Taken from a Lil' Wayne's song 6'7'... timed: 10 minutes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

tagged...



I've been tagged. Whoop-di-dooo. *forced cartwheels*

I ain't a big fan of tags... My life is not fancy like ya'lls are. So hopefully we can make this a little exciting. Uh, no... I would have to make up some stuff, and I ain't doing that.

I was tagged by Singlema, so out of the utmost respect for that Oldgirl, I will go head on and do it. Fun, fun, fun...

RULES: 7 random things about yourself, pass the award to bloggers and answer a couple of questions...

7 Random things about me...

1. I can't stand harsh lighting or ceiling lighting in the house. I like the lights from lamps, preferably from 60 watt bulbs.

2. I love peach and lemon scented stuff, whether it be candles, incense, soaps, etc.

3. I don't like noise. I don't do well for long periods of times around loud people. I tend to enjoy quiet activities.

4. I have a bad habit of going to sleep with the lights, television, and laptop on.

5. I feel very strange if I don't pray for a good hour in the mornings. If it's less than that it better be very effective and highly cathartic.

6. I hate being a bother to people. I don't even like the perception of being a bother. Of course this is mostly in my head. I rarely incovenience people and I'm rarely a bother (so I've heard).

7. I have accomplished everything I would like to do in the field of chemistry, and I don't really care that much for the subject anymore, even though it is my profession.

Q and A Session

Favorite Color: Navy Blue

Favorite Song: "You Make Me Want to Love Again"



That song right there has been my favorite song for over 20 years... I've made plenty good love to that song right there. Plenty... That song breaks a tough Oldgirl down. It brangs out the Lady in LadyLee. LOL

Favorite Dessert: Fruit Cobblers (apple, peach, cherry or blackberry)

Biggest Pet Peeve: People who brownnose. People who brownnose me. People who get an attitude with me because I don't brownnose.

When You are Upset, You: Get really passive agressive, go brood somewhere til I can figure things out.

Your Favorite Pet: My boy cat Sugar circa 1974. He looked just like Sylvester the cat and got into a lot of fights out in the street. Granddaddy said that the reason Sugar got caught up in so many street fights was because his name was Sugar. LOL

Black or white: Black

Biggest Fear: Never fully resolving my inconsistent human nature. I really hate how inconsistent I have a tendency to be in many areas of my life.

Best Feature: hands and feet

Everyday Attitude: This is a day the Lord has made, a day that has never been seen before, and I will rejoice and be glad in it... doggonit! Whether I like it or not!

I am committed to sowing seeds of encouragement on a daily basis. I am an incredible asset to my friends. (These are things I concentrate on right now).

What Is Perfection: Fulfilling my purpose in life.

Guilty Pleasure: A good Law and Order Marathon. Yes sir! *cartwheels*

So that's it for the tag... Uh, I ain't tagging nobody. Well maybe one person...

That chicken Serenity! Do the tag, Chicken!

LOL

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eco

Wand on my neck
Cool metal sliding across sticky gel
Searching, seeking, probing
For trouble
Questioning, seeking, looking for anything which will hinder the blood flowling freely
From my heart to my head
And from my head to my heart again.

Cold wand gliding across my chest,
First above and then beneathe my left breast.
Searching, seeking, wandering
Looking for that which will block the free flow of blood from my heart, to my lungs, to my arms, feet, and legs.

Dear heart,
I turn my head, and I see a vibrant image of you not beating, but contracting and relaxing over
and over again, hard in my chest.
I hear the sound of you, your sound all characteriistically you,
Beating in the quiet darkness of the room,
The sound you make as you contract and relax.
So consistent and predictable
FASTER as I breathe in, inhale. . .
SLOWER as I breathe out, exhale. . .

Oh heart,
Dear heart,
I wish I could be like you,
Where my emotions and feelings wouldn't drift to and fro like a ship cast about on storming seas, anchorless, wandering aimlessly.

Heart, I want to be like you, consistent, moving forward, making adjustements...
FASTER as I breathe in, inhale. . .
SLOWER as I breathe out, exhale. . .
I can learn from you. If you were anything like me, one moment you'd be alive and free, the next moment you would be dead as a chopped down tree.

I am thankful for you, thankful that you beat. I see you on the screen, watching me, teaching me, how to stay strong and consistent.
Where breathe in means beat faster, take on much needed oxygen.
Where breathe out means beat slower, releasing waste.

Cold wand, sliding and gliding across gel on my skin, just over my heart, shows me my heart, which teaches me where real life begins.




Writing prompt: "How I felt during my July 5, 2011 annual ecocardiogram" (15 minute timed).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Morning... Good

It's Monday Morning again.

I won't say it's a good Monday Morning... I will just say that it is good that it is Monday morning. Period.

I want to go in late today.I need another couple hours of sleep, man. Really.

But alas I came on into work... Got waaaaay too much to do. Way to much.

My weekend. It was uneventful. A lot of sitting around thinking about the rest of my year, and what I want it to look like, and what I need to do to get there. So I was upset at times, and hopeful at others. So we will see how that goes.

I had a Triple F Possee meeting on Sunday. I have only been to a couple other meetings this year. I don't feel like I have much to offer. My financial plan is on cruise control right now, i.e., I am debt free minus the house, and I am saving money. BUT I did get a great idea of how to save about 25-30% more money per month, so I am going to put that in action.

I don't have much to talk about today.

Well I have to do the drawing for the gift card and the one extra copy of Silver Sparrow that didn't get claimed. So this is how it is going to go. I had a coworker from the other side of the cubicle area pull 5 names. If your name is on this list, well, whoever sends an email to Oldgirlladylee@gmail.com first, you win. I will post all names and times. So you will have to get on it, and send me an email. I am doing this because some of you may have Silver Sparrow already... If so, don't bother responding.

Jixxa
Moe
Jazzy
Byron
Sasha

Congrats to the winner in advance!!!

And the gift card... a $20 gift card... goes to

Ms.Blackliterature.com! (Sherri)

Congrats to you Oldgirl!

So that is all for today... I have a much paperwork to parlay today. I need to turn it in by days end. I actually took paperwork home this weekend. I haven't done that in a good 6 years. THE HORROR. Needless to say I left it in my bag... on purpose. I will work on it today. It would've only saved me about 2 hours of time. I will have to do all that on the clock. Sigh. Whatever! No more taking work home. Nada.

And that's it for today... Very uneventful weekend. I hope this week is the same. I think I'm suppose to show up at slumber party next weekend or something. Not sure. I have to check my calendar. That should be... interesting.

You all have a great week. I may or may not be posting all week, but I have a couple of interesting things in store for you :)

Have a great week on purpose!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Let your RIBS fry!!!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how The Green Eyed Bandit's Mama likes to fry up ribs. I told my online Mama Adrienne that I had plenty of pictures around somewhere of this um, process...

And I came across them!

*Lee picks up the mike and commences to sanging to the tune of "Let your Soul Glow" circa Coming to America*

Mama Bandit, let your riiiiiiibs fry!!!



Mama just let your ribbbbbbs fryyyyyyy!!!



Fry up them riiiiiiiiiiibbbbs, Mama Bandit!!!!



*lee singing XTRA hard*

I said "Mama, you better let your riiiiiiiiiibbbbs frrrrrrryyy!!!!"





Fry your riiiiiiiiiibbbbbbsssss, MAMA!!!!!!!






And when you're all done, Mama? Place those golden brown ribs on a plate with a nice paper towel to drain off the grease!





*drops the microphone and hollers SEXUAL CHOCOLATE*

There you go! Fried ribs! Fry them up like chicken or porkchops! Yes Sir!

I know Mama Bandit was standing there frying up the ribs wondering in her head "Lawd have mercy, why is this chile standing over me taking pictures? My daughter's friend, she special... XTRA special."

LOL

Nerp, I won't be cranking up the hot grease to fry them myself. Pork is not my friend. I have found that I need COPIUS amounts of water and a plethora of fruit and veggies after partaking of it. LAWD. If I eat meat these days, I tend to gravitate towards seafood, honey. Yes Ma'am.

But if you are fond on the swine, go for it. They are quite tasty!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Freestyles!

TGIF!

And I ain't mad about that.

Even though I will work only 30 hours this week, I am looking forward to the weekend.

They keep calling for overtime every weekend. I don't think many are taking it. And this Oldgirl isn't taking it either. I sent an email to my boss:

"Unless you got Ludicrus and Mary J.Blige performing a free concert in the back parking lot, I'm not coming in."

LOL

I NEED those two days to get things done that I need to get done.

And today is PAYDAY! Glory!

*cartwheels*

Now on to my random thoughts...

This has been a long week. 4th of July was good, as I got a chance to spend some time with my lil' sister. Then on Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment. I've had a sinus infection since last Saturday or Sunday and it is NOT making me great. To the point where when I was sitting in the doctor's office, my doctor walked in and said "What's wrong with you?" I guess me leaning against the wall, giving her the hard side-eye was not the bizness. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics, but I didn't fill it. I must say last night and this morning are the first times all week that I've felt normal.

I also had my annual ecocardiogram. Ugh. Nothing more interesting and jarring than watching an image of your heart on a screen, contracting and relaxing. It puts life in perspective.

And I've thought about that much over the last few days. This year is going by fast. Half the year has passed, and much has happened for me this year, and I'm thankful for that. It's amazing to look back over old journal entries, etc., and see so much happen and make so many strides in my emotions and my spirit. If I blogged about it all, it would be a dissertation... If I blogged about it all, you wouldn't understand it. I am having a hard time coming to grips with much of what is happened my ownself. But I am thankful for it.

So I am happy about that, and I'm blocking out some time this weekend to make goals for the rest of the year, one of which has been in the workings over the past few months: getting rid of as much mental clutter, people clutter, physical clutter... just ridding as much unnecessary clutter out of my life as I possibly can... I cannot tell you the amount of space and freedom that has been generated in my life. Man! I feel like I can think and breathe.. clearly.

The first half of the year was great. I can't wait to see what the remainder of the year will bring.

I actually finished a manuscript this year. Some of you have read Watch. That took about a year and a half to write, I was happy to finish that up, and I'm currently editing it. I'd given a coworker a full printout of it a couple of weeks ago, and she finished it this week and we had a great convo about it. I LOVE when people read things I write and enjoy it and get something out of it. She said that she saw my writing growth since the Sweet Heat manuscript. I actually think Watch is a weaker piece of work, a bit weaker than Sweet Heat, but hey, I'll take the compliment!

For the month of July I'm doing a writing prompt a day. I've generated some very interesting material. Totally blogworthy. Hmm...

I haven't decided on a next project, as I really don't care for writing long form fiction. I like short stuff. That's just me. I'm working on an anthology right now, and a YA story. Both of those are going to be available on Kindle, hopefully before year's end.

Oh and have you heard? Tayari Jones' Silver Sparrow is The Today Show's #1 pick for summer reads! I don't have the link, but I am soooooooo proud of her. Yay Tayari!

I still have to do the drawing for the gift card, AND someone didn't claim one of the books. So there is ONE autographed copy of Silver Sparrow left. All others were claimed and mailed out. So I still have that bag of names and I will pull a few. If your name is on the list, if you are the first to contact me, it's your book. I realize everybody got a copy now, but someone may not. So look out for that on Monday!

We had a VERY interesting development at work yesterday. Our director made an announcement yesterday that she was leaving for a new job. This rumor had been passed around earlier that morning, as I got jerked to the side time I came in at my usual ten o'clock and told about it. Everyone was wide-eyed wondering if it was all true. We couldn't imagine such a thing. I personally have thought that she was being forced out, but to hear that she is leaving... Everyone was happy about that. There was a different atmosphere about the place. Management has managed to run us all into the ground. Time for us to get up again. So good for her. I hope she is happy in her new position next fall. It's been a loooooong 5 years. Long.

Although I find it quite interesting that I was looking at my timecard a couple of days ago and I saw that my time hadn't been approved for my Christmas leave. I was thinking about going to her office and mentioning that. I heard in my spirit "It don't matter because she's not going to be here anyway."

Hmmm... Shoulda wrote THAT one down. 48 hours later she announced she was leaving. Hmmm.

That's all for today. That's about as random as it gets...

I hope every one has had a great week...

I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

On purpose.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Terrific Thursday: The Lisa B. Edition

Good Thursday Morning.

Terrific Thursday Morning! Why? Because tomorrow is PAYDAY!! Glory!

So that makes today terrific!!

But this Thursday is also terrific because it is dedicated to a special reader! An extra special reader...

So...

I was at work last month, minding my own business, doing everything else BUT work, when I decided to check my Oldgirl email.

Lo and Behold, there was an email from a "Lisa B."

The name looked familiar. I couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe because my family nickname is Lisa. I don't know. But I opened it. And she was a lurker/reader that likes to sit around on the front porch of The House of LadyLee! And she wanted to meet me. And was nervous about emailing me.

Okay that's enough to have me falling backwards out of the cubicle.

LOL

If you have ever met me... then uh... let's say it's not much to get worked up about.

I'm just an Oldgirl!

I thought she was one of Serenity23's readers, so some internet virtual peanut gallery madness went on for a moment.

*emailing Serenity within our usual 100 emails a day thread*

"Chicken."
"Yes?" Sereniy said.
"Who is Lisa B?
"I don't know?"
"Whatchu mean you don't know? I've seen that name over your way. That's one of your clientele?"
"I think she's out of Arkansas."
"What do you mean by that? She's a part of Shoeseed."
[inside joke. you will have to read Octavia Butler's Parbale books to get that.]

We fuss for a couple of moments. And then we get back to our usual email discussions. I email Lisa B. and she lets me know who she is. (Hence, more discussion with Serenity23. We both remember her. Ol' Lurker Lisa B!!)

Anyway, she said she was renting a vacay house central to a few tourists sites. I put two and two together, and she was renting a house in one of the four enclaves of my neighborhood, i.e., 2 minutes from my house.

*cartwheels*

We had a little email dialogue. And I thought to myself "This is a really cool chick."

She was still all hyperventilating about meeting me.

*big crickets*crickets got crickets*

Interesting. I told her, once she meet me, and someone ask her about me, she gonna be hollering "Yeah, I met Ol' 'Lesia! That's the Oldgirl!"

LOL

So we were going to go out to dinner. I wasn't sure how she was going to swing this because she was on vacay, with plans with the fam, etc. So if you know me, I don't bother people AT ALL when they are in town. AT ALL. So I would just let her call me.

So last Wednesday, I left work and made a trip out to the Dekalb Farmer's Market. I like going on a weeknight because there is no one there compared to the weekend crowds. I'd spent a good hour out there before I headed on home. My phone was off, but I happen to turn it on and there was a text from Lisa B.

She wanted me to stop by. I text back that I could, but I had to go put up my groceries. Then I'd fall through. Afterall, she was only around 5 blocks away. It was close to 9 o'clock at night.

And they are good country folks, I thought. Probably just sitting around shooting the breeze, like they out in the country, instead of in the hood. lol

So I thought I could stop by for a few minutes.

So I went home, put up my fruits and veggies that required refrigeration. I brushed my teeth washed my face, brushed my hair. I was not going to change clothes. They would just have to catch me in my work clothes. I usually try to put on something decent but that meant busting out the iron. Uh, NO.

Then I had a dilemma. Oscar-Tyrone must've known this because he sat there and peered at me curiously.

"Oscar? Original Oldcat? I DON'T HAVE ANY GIFTS TO TAKE HER!!!" I wailed.

*Oscar walks off*

Not a good look.

I don't like showing up empty handed. If I woulda had to take an egg out the fridge over there, then I would've had to make ti to what it do.

So I looked around for something. I was going to bake cookies, but I needed a little time for that. That was nothing I could do in a minute flat. There was a spoon on the counter. It was clean, but that was not appropriate.

So I looked in the laundry cabinet. And that's where I found a plethora of things to take.





The cabinet has plenty beer and wine cooler type stuff, ice cream salt, and over in the lower right hand corner, a whole gang of antibacterial wipes.

Those Hard Mikes, Purple Hazes, and Smirnoffs... that might not be proper. That's for when negroes come over and they want an adult bevrage. (They can't have none of my nonalcoholic premium O'Douls beer). Lisa B. might not drink. Not a good look.

I even considered the fake ivy plant sitting on top of the laundry cabinet.



I grabbed a couple bags of wipes, and headed out the door!

(Yeah, I know. But heck man! Everybody needs wipes in the car. And these are the GOOD ones.)

2 minutes and I was at her house!

Oh what a delight to meet her!

(And I know she was like.. this Oldgirl has bought me a couple bags of wipes.*crickets*)

LOL!!!

I met her daughter, niece, and hubby. And we sat down and talked.

Ohhhh what a good talk it was. Let's just say, I TRULY appreciate interaction with women that are my age. It's like it's a whole nother level of thinking. We won't get into it. Just a truly satisfying conversation. Good for my spirit, not just my head.

You's good peoples, Lisa B. *lee waving Obama church fan* You good peoples, gal!

Well, she had gifts for me! Oh my!!

Pear preserves, plum jelly, a WONDERFUL Orange vanilla candle... OH JOY!!!

Then she breaks out with a jar of something XTRA special.

"Now this is squash relish," she said. She held it up for me to see. "My Mama makes it."
*ladylee peers at it curiously*

Now what I remember about relish is that my Grandma use to make cabbage relish, better known as "chow chow". I have NO idea why they call it that, but it would take Grandma two days to make it. She would make it and put it in 20 mason jars.

Relish can be made out of any vegetable, and here Lisa B. was, holding up a mason jar of squash relish.

I ain't never heard of squash relish. But I had multicolor VISIONS of slapping some on a plate with some collard greens. Beautiful visions!

She explained it to me. I explained Grandma's chow chow. I think we saw eye to eye on that.

Man... I had such a good time talking to Lisa B... I didn't get home to one in the morning. Couldn't even sleep when I got home. Boy, I tell you... that gal know she drop some knowledge on me. I was a little bit taller, a whole lot wiser when I got home. Yes Ma'am!

It was good meeting you, Lisa B. You alright with me, Oldgirl.

Her husband, he was a quiet, kind fellow. Salt of the earth. But you know I had to ask him a question:

"You like cookies?"
"Yes," he said slowly.
"What kind?"
"Chocolate chip."
"You like nuts in your cookies?"
"Yes. Pecans."

He had that look in his eye. That look that said he knew exactly what to do with a cookie.

So a couple of days later, I delivered a batch of triple chocolate chip pecan cookies to Lisa and the fam.

And I hear hubby was being a warrant over those cookies!

"Those are HIS cookies, Lisa! His!" I texted.

(I am sure this didn't help the battles over those cookies. LOL)

But let's talk about this bag of gifts Lisa B gave me. Here are the contents, laid out on the ironing board.




Whoooo weee... That candle. Lisa B. said that it was her favorite candle. BOY! Sho nuff good smelling. WOW! Even had Oscar-Tyrone sniffing the air!

Now the relish... I know about relish. I have a couple of store brand relishes in the refrigerator.



Sweet Pepper relish and chow chow. GOOD STUFF, even though it's commercial. Those 2 jars will easily last me a couple of years.

But Lisa B came through with the really good stuff... canned by Mama. You can't beat that.



"The squash is perfectly sliced," I said to my sister as we peered curiously at it. "I bet it's good.

So I placed a spoonful on my 4th of July dinner paper plate.



It was sooooooo good with my collard greens. Soooo good.

And the squash relish is so good that you can eat it right out the jar! Even my sister loved it, and she's a finicky chick. She scooped out some to take home!

And she spent a good half hour on the internet searching for the recipe. Yes, she can find a recipe, but I bet it won't be as good as Lisa B.'s Mama's recipe. NERP.

But she's gonna try to make it. I will stand back and watch.

Now about the plum jelly and the pear preserves...



We didn't have any dessert for 4th of July. So we decided to taste test the jelly and preserves on toast points.



Okay, it ain't cute. This ain't the Food Network. It's the bootleg version. LoL.

I LOVED the jelly and jams. Kentucky couldn't really tell much because the bread was VERY hearty and overpowering. I loved it. And I was thinking, good, she won't want to take any home.

So I am VERY happy with my preserves. I would love to learn how to make and can jellies, preserves and relish. It's such a lost art, and we're losing it with each generation.

Lisa B! It was GREAT to meet you. I raved so much about you to Serenity that she got jealous! LOL. Toooo bad, Serenity! You really missed out!

Always glad to meet a reader! And Lisa B is extra special, a treasure chest of wisdom indeed. And I am down for that.

Thanks for the gifts and the great convo, Lisa B! I hope to someday meet up with you again!!!

Then there is the homemade plum jelly and pear preserves.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

4th of July Food fest (Bootleg Oldgirl Style)

I didn't think I was going to have a festive 4th of July.

I mean, I've seen fireworks ten or twenty times, and the bright explosions in the sky quickly lose their luster.

I was content to lay up on my sofa, put my feet up and... relax.

Until my sister texted me.

"I was going to come over."

My reply: "If u want to. Ain't doing nothing...

So she came over, some 15 minutes later (Goodness gracious that girl drives fast from Peachtree City to Downtown ATL).

There were no plans, she was just coming over, getting out of her apartment. It was around three thirty in the afternoon or so. I'd talk to her earlier that morning, and I wish that she would've told me she was coming over. That way, I would've had some 4th of July food ready for her.

But I think she just needed to get out. And I am cool with that!

She came over and we decided to go find something to eat. I've been talking about Chow Baby, and thought that was a good place to go.

Unfortunately it was closed. So, we drove around looking for something to eat, and most places were closed. So we ended up waaaaay over by Lenox mall at The Container Store. I know we spent a good hour in there looking at things. I even found some shelves I want to buy in the future. So it was a good time.

So we came home.

"Kentucky, you want me to cook a little something?"

I didn't know if she was sticking around or not. I hoped that she would. The fellows were starting to get crunk with the fireworks, so I could understand why she may want to get the heck out of dodge.

Sooooo I commenced to throwing a little something together... Let the virtual bootleg unplanned cookout begin:

Let's see, we had some field peas and collard greens and sliced tomaters!

I added a little tropical flare to our event! Plantains!


Come closer, boys and girls. Come closer and look at the field peas... just a little closer.


The libations were also of the bootleg variety. I like to drink O'Douls nonalcoholic beer. I found some sodas stuck off in the back of my adult beverage cabinet. (I didn't tell her the sodas had to be at least 3 years old, though.)



Here you can see some meat! Kentucky likes chicken so I fried a few pieces. And I found 4 ribs and some baked chicken in the fridge. There's a small piece of cornbread too!



I made sure I packed whatever she didn't eat in a nice size tupperware. Take the meat with you. Please and thank you.


An Oldgirl knows how to look in the fridge and freezer and pull a quick meal together.

Yes Sir!


And this meal was made EXTRA special by some extra special relish I received as gift from an extra extra special reader.




Hmmmm...

Lee standing at kitchen island tasting relish and doing the ((happy dance))... to be continued...

Monday, July 04, 2011

Hair Week. Final Thoughts

2 posts in one day!? On a Holiday, LadyLee? Really?

Yes Ma'am. Yes Sir. I got it like that.

I wanted to wrap up my thoughts on Hair Week.

Well, I would like to thank you for reading my Hair Week posts.

If I offended anyone, I am truly sorry. I'm not the type of person to knowingly go in on folks. I don't see where I did, but it is possible. I am sorry.

This was just my time to hit my personal pause button and examine my thoughts and feelings about hair. I even got a chance to write a couple of pieces of short fiction, and I am glad of that.

When I was around 20 or 21 years old, I was in my friend's kitchen cutting up some collard greens. My friend's son, who was around 10 at the time said, "No Miss LadyLee, you not suppose to cut the collard green up like that." He went on to explain the way his mother cut up the greens.

I explained to him that there are different ways to cut up collard greens. Some people cut them in ribbons. Some just remove the stems and cook the leaves whole.

There are different ways to do different things.

I will always remember that conversation with that young fellow. I remember his mother coming in the kitchen and him saying "Miss LadyLee is cutting up the greens, and she do it different from the way you do it, and it's okay!"

Yes.

It's okay.

It's okay to be different. To not be bogged down about being different. To not be punished for being different.

It's okay to be different.

I am glad that I understood that at a younger age. It hadn't really soaked in at that age when it came to the larger issues of life, but at least it was a seed. I understood the general concept of it.

I understand it much more now. It is okay to DO YOU. No everyone is not going to agree with it. And that is OKAY. Hell, that's usually a clue that I'm doing the right thing. For me.

I wanted to express my feelings concerning my own hair issues. I mean, it's a trip having hair issues, and watching women who have no issues bashing each other... over hair care choices.

It is sad.

Yet it is the norm. And that is sadder.

And of course it goes both ways. The permed folk look down their noses at the natural folks. The natural hair folks look down their noses at the permed folks. Everything is cylical, so we are in the cycle where natural hair is the "in" thing right now, so they have are the ones who swing the bat.

Correction: a minor percentage does that.

And I think I understand now that that is the case. Yes there is the saying, one bad apple spoils the whole barrel. But doggonit, it that is the case, there would be lots of spoiled barrels of apples sitting around.

You see, these types of things happen within any group. And people begin to associate that with that group.

I've had situations where I pull out my own food when I go somewhere. I sometimes tend to take a small tupperware of fruit or veggies if there is a chance that there will not be any at an event. I have gotten attacked by folks for such. They say I'm going to start lecturing and preaching to people about why it's wrong to eat meat. Wow.

People say such because of the jacked up experiences they have. But they don't realize they are talking to a woman who will stop somewhere and pick up a 20 piece hot wing for those at the gathering who may want some wings... even though I won't be eating any.

Yeah. That's just how I am.

But my hope, for myself, is to concentrate on the good apples of the barrel, and not the bad ones. I am usually not around any bad ones, so that's not a problem. But I need to be more cognizant of that. There is good in everything. I have to make sure to focus on the good.

And that's hard for me, a woman who HATES group mentality. Like, I can't be in a group of other Ph.Ds for too long, unless they are down to earth, and aren't looking down on people who don't have doctorate degrees. I tend to disappear in the wind when that happens. Let's not even get started talking about the judgmental religious crowd. They can get lethal. And I want NO parts of that.

I never want the residue of that mentality to rub off on me, where my mindset changes... and I become that way. To begin to think that I am in some way, any way, BETTER than you because of the choices I make for myself... well, it borders on insanity to me.

Same way with hair. Granted, I'm totally exempt from any hair convo, whether permed or natural. I have deeper problems to consider. Picking on folks is a luxury, a high class one at that. My illness affects my hair. Period. I'm not in the conversation. Something is WRONG with me if I look down on anyone's hair, whether permed or not. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That would be indicative of deeper problems within my own character and integrity.

This week was a week for me to ponder and consider my feelings about my hair. I explored my dislike for artificial hair. Sure, I am sure I could get use to it. But I don't like it, and that's alright. I am totally ecstatic about finding a barber who can cut my hair without judgment. Overly happy about that!

And I came to the conclusion of it's not all about whether it's good hair or bad hair. It is MY hair. I don't have much, and it does it's own thing, but it is MY hair. I can do with it what I choose. Right now I choose to embrace it. And those who judge me for that, well, they weren't important to my life's journey in the first place.

I'm not any less of a person because it isn't flowing all down my back. My character is not heightened by my ability to twist it and band it into bantu knots. You are blessed if I'm your friend, because I am an incredible asset to your life. Period. And we all want that from the people we interact with. Am I right or wrong about that.

At any rate, I'd like to thank you for walking with me through hair week. No twists, no cowashes, none of the same ol' same ol'... but something just a little...

... Different.

And there's nothing wrong with different.. is there?

I should hope not!

Thanks for joining me for hair week.

Enjoy your Fourth of July holiday!

Good Monday Morning... The Holiday Edition

Good Monday Morning!

And Happy Independence Day!





I tell you one thing... Yes I am glad to live in America where I know that I am free and all that. I am glad that I won't get stoned to death if I decide to throw on some booty shorts and walk up and down the street.

Yes I'm glad I got some freedom...

But doggonit, I ain't gonna lie. I am a bit more glad that I have a day off from work!

*cartwheels*

I am doing nothing today. I woke up and had a good hour of prayer, and then crawled back into bed. I am eating a bowl of shredded wheat with strawberries and almond milk right now. That may give me the 'itis, and I can go on back to sleep.

Or sit here and watch some Judge Hatchet. We will see.

LOL

I would like to go buy some yarn, but that's not going to happen. I have not left the house all weekend which is trifling. (Haven't figured out why it's trifling, but I know it is).

Aunt Flo is here. And as usual, I am like the women in the Old Testament of the bible: throw my tail off in some tent on the edge of the village, man. I just want to be quiet and very still. No noise or commotion please.

So I guess I'm not being trifling. Jury is still out on that.

I've been doing a lot of cleaning. This is a throw out and shred weekend. I may do some painting. (Yes, i will be painting the dining room and kitchen all summer long. I am super slow like that).

No grilling today. I am making roasted corn on the cob, stuffed tomatoes, okra, butter beans, field peas and whatever other veggies are lurking in the fridge. I need to fix veggies for the week, so my off day is as good as any day, right?

I have a doctor's appointment in the morning. Upper Management wanted to act STUPID and not give me the time off.

Really?

I told my boss... Listen, you go in there and tell that chick that I'm going to the doctor. I only requested the morning off. Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way. If I don't get my 3 hours sick leave, I will take the whole week off.

How bout them apples?

Needless to say I got my time off. Plus the threat of me going and talking to her one-on-one would've guaranteed a bit of suspension time for me.

Glad bossman took care of all that. LadyLee is going to the doctor in the morning.

But tomorrow is tomorrow.

Today is today.

I am going to sit here and enjoy my freedom.

You do that too!

Have a Happy and Safe 4th!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Run like the Wind

The cat calls are always coming, forever constant like the water babbling from a brook after a heavy rain.

"Hey baby, you sho nuff looking good! Can I run wit ya?"
"Hey sexy lady, why you running? You can ride with me!"
"Hey baby, bet you can crack these nuts with those muscular thighs!"

I ignore them. I ignore them all and I stay focused

Because I know I am a woman desired
A woman on fire
And I run like the wind.

I am ranked consistently as one of the top twenty women distance runners in the country, closing in fast on the top ten rankings. I consistently receive all expense paid invitations to top running events, some of which I turn down if it's not worth my while. I win enough prize money to quit my job if I'd like.

And it's not really even about all that. It's all about the run. For running, it helps me, it soothes me, it eases my mind. I don't even need music, no singers crooning in my ears about lost love and desire. The pound of my feet against the pavement, the sound of my breath coming out my mouth is cadence, pure music to my ears.

The fast beating of my heart, the delight of a good run: that's where my life is, where it begins.
It's a fringe benefit that I'm a woman desired
A woman on fire.
All that really matters is that I run like the wind..

But today is different. I run my usual route, fifteen miles through my neighborhood. I run down the main strip and around the park twice, sometimes three times if my body tells me too.

And then I see him. I see him in the park near the fence. My attention was peeked because I hear him, I hear him first, that laugh that I loved so much in the past.

He is out there with a large mechanical box in his hands, eyes directed at a buzzing object flying just above his head in the sky. I look up and there it is, a model airplane, I'm sure one of the many he has built, as that is hobby.

I should know. He built so many of those when he was with me. That was five years ago, and he's still doing the same thing.

I shake my head in an effort to shake the memory of him off of me, and all we had back then.

I try to remember

That I'm a woman desired
A woman on fire
And I run like the wind.

Visions of him flood my mind, like rushing water, from the special place I've hidden them in a crowded back room of my heart. He's still tall, still gorgeous, still has that same intriguing laugh. The hit of my feet against the pavement, the sound of my breathing is drowned out by it, drowned out by vivid memories of him.

When I first met him, he couldn't run. He said his asthma wouldn't let him. But I talked about it so much that he took his medication and got out there with me. I laughed as he leaned down and made sure his Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers were laced extra tight.

"Baby, I wanna support you in all you do," he said, squinting against the rising morning sun, "even if it means running with you. And I'm slow, can't run fast as you. I'm content with running behind you, and watching you run like the wind."

And that was back when I ran an eight minute mile. I run a five minute mile now, and I'm pushing for four.

He couldn't keep up now if he wanted to, and he sure couldn't keep up back then.

Couldn't keep up with this woman desired
This woman on fire
This woman that runs like the wind.

My eyes are like magnets, drawn to this man staring into the sky at his little plane buzzing to and fro.

My ears are alert to the little boy running around him hollering "Make it go higher, Daddy! Make our plane fly faster!"

My heart drops when I hear the woman sitting there on a blanket near them. "Now now, Junior, Come drink your juice," she coaxes as only a mother knows how to do.

I stare at this scene, this picture of a perfect family on a warm sunny day. He's there looking a little older, face bearded, a little heavier, but it looks good on him.

And she's there, relaxing on the white blanket, face upwards towards the sun, hand resting on her baby bump.

And she has that hair... that natural hair.

Her hair's not long like mine, but a kinky mass upon her head. My hair is long and silky, dyed a perfect auburn, and hangs halfway down my back. If she tried to pull a comb through her hair it would jump out her hand and land halfway across the room. I can comb my hair from scalp to ends without a snag, without static sound.

With that hair, she will never be like me:

A woman desired
A woman on fire
A woman whose hair blows in the wind.

I watch as the boy, the perfect image of my former man, runs over and falls into his mother's arms. His father's eyes follow him, and then they connect with mind.

Memories of him rain within my heart, a sudden unexpected thunderstorm in the corrals of my mind.

"Baby I love you, but I can't do this anymore. I'll never run as fast as you, and you will never let me forget it."

I was standing over him, looking down at him collapsed against the street curb, gasping for breath, grasping even harder for his inhaler.

I laughed at him on that windy day. The weatherman said the air was bad, but I didn't care. I needed my run. And it would've been my fastest run ever if I didn't have to help him.

I didn't know that day would be the last day I would see him. I thought he was talking just to be talking, just like he would complain when I didn't attend model airplane shows and competitions with him.

"You don't support me, girl. You don't even fake being interested in the things I like to do. Even though I get out here and run everyday with you."

"That's because what you do is boring," I said, my voice thick with disdain. "And my running is exciting. You can't compare sticking pieces of wood together with glue with my running like the wind."

I guess it was all too much for him.

I was no longer a woman desired
A woman on fire
Just a woman that ran like the wind.

He walked out of my house that day, still puffing on his inhaler, not even looking back. Calls to his phone were left unaswered. None of his usual calls came to mine. Funny how you don't miss something until it's gone... long gone.

As he smiles and walks my way, I realize that I'm way off my five minute pace.

I am standing stark still, clenching chain link fence hard with both hands. My face is pressed against it so tightly that the fence marks will forever be an imprint upon my face.

And the image of him will forever be an imprint upon my heart.

"I thought that was you," he said, grinning ear to ear. "No one runs as fast as you, girl. You still run like the wind."

I open my mouth to speak but there is no sound. It is hiding somewhere like a scared cat, refusing to come out into the light.

The little boy ran up behind his father and grabbed his leg, peering hard at me, this stranger, this woman. Does he know that I could have been his mother, given birth to him, if me and his father had stayed together?

I back away from the fence, check my Garmin, and get back on pace.

I get a mile away, running fast, running strong and I trip up on an unseen crack in the asphalt.

A fellow walking by runs to my aid, and is quick to help me up and check me for injury.

"Baby, you were running fast. You alright?" he asked, his face wrinkled in concern.

I tried to speak, but my voice was still hiding

I was a woman desired
A woman who'd lost her fire
Emotions in disarray
Mottled and mired
And my tears blow in the wind



Afterword

This is one of the stories I worked on for Hair Week, along with one earlier posted "D. Chicken". It's not really about hair (the title was originally "Hair") not really about running either, but about the choices we make, and whether they are choices that are good for us, or choices we later regret.

I'm not sure who this woman is. I just know she runs really fast. I have about 25 characters in my mind at any given time, and for the past couple of months, she'd run past while I'm considering other characters in my mind. Had me wondering "Who is that? And where is she running to? Better yet, what is she running from?

So I follow her through the streets of my mind. I listen to all the cat calls that she ignores. She can do that, because she's focused. She's one of the best. Gotta stay focused.

Then she runs by the park and sees a man she use to love. And it knocks her off her record pace. She sees this man's woman, and she does what we would all do. She ponders the woman, and comes to the conclusion that she is better than this woman... because of something as superficial as hair.

Sounds silly. But we do it all the time. Whether it be hair, body shape, intelligence, attire, etc... We do these things to pacify our hurt feelings. Just a facet of our fragile human nature, I suppose.

I would love to know this woman's story. Hell, I would love to know her name. Much is told here, but there is much more.

Maybe she will tell me one day...
Or maybe she will continue to run through the trails of my mind, running like the wind.