Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

Yes...

2012 is almost history.

The year is 99.9% over. If you haven't gotten everything you wanted to get done this year, you best get go head on and get it in.

I have been waxing nostalgic all week over the events in my life over the past year. I have had many ups and downs, good times and bad times...

And I am still here...

And if you are reading this, so are you.

And that right there is something to celebrate. If you don't have nothing else to be thankful for, then you best be thankful for that.

This has been a very trying week, this past week has. I have had the most HELLACIOUS cold. My goodness. It started on the day of the Christmas, and I just started feeling back to myself on yesterday.

I was a hot mess the latter part of last week. You know it's bad when I'm coming in to work, walking slow as a snail, and the security guard asks "Are you alright?"

"Yes I am," I respond, my voice scratchy and barely audible. Just trying to make it into to work."

I worked half days all last week. Felt like 12 hour days with the way I was feeling. YIKES. Not to mention that it was cold and rainy all week long. What a time!

But alas, that time is over. Today the sun shines warm on my face yet once again. I am still coughing, but at least I have some energy and I can breathe clearly. GLORY!

And I am thinking about this past year. This has been a good year for me. I've grown in some areas of my life, and I still have areas in my life where more growth is required.

I don't make New Year's resolutions.  When I do, they usually fail.

I don't need a resolution.

I need a revelation. A clear cut light-bulb moment, some clear cut insight from God, that will set me in the right direction of my goals.

Yeah, a revelation. Ya'll can have the resoultions. Give me one revelation... or two... or three.

Interestingly, lots of direction is being given...

It's just up to me to have the courage to follow it.

See you in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve with my FAVORITE Author!


You know who my favorite author is, right?

And how much I like to stalker stan the cheese outta her, right?

LOL. I am not THAT bad. I am getting better.

I am not all that shellshocked when I see her these days. No wide-eyed starstruck ratcheness. None of that can't-barely-talk foolishness.

None of that.

I consider us friends. So I can talk to her any ol' kind of way, lol. And she is much accustomed to my laid back, ebonically inclined self. I'm not much of a phone person, but she is one of the few people I will call out of the blue. (As a matter of fact, I have a really good food-for-thought post coming up that came from one of our phone convos.)

So...

I knew she was in town for Christmas, and she always plans her days. I needed a 15 minute spot on the list. I haven't seen her since May, and that was at a book signing, so I wanted to see her.

I know she likes oatmeal chocolate chip pecan cookies, so I give her a batch when she is in town.

So I told her if I didn't get a chance to see her, I would drop them off at her mama and nem house over in SWATS. They live only 10 minutes away from me.

So here's her batch of cookies.


After MUCH arguing, I also made some oatmeal raisin walnut cookies too. The argument was over what to make for her mother. Tayari kept whining "Me and Daddy like the oatmeal chocolate chip!"

"Me and Daddy blah blah blah..."

*rolls eyes*

I got lost going over to her house, and when I got there, I almost didn't recognize her. She didn't have her usual twisted hairdo.

She had what she called her "Dianhn Carroll holiday hair". And she kept shaking her head, and flipping her hair with her hand.

This is what Dianhn Carroll holiday hair looks like.


I like it! And it had a bit of color to it! It reminds me of Dianhn Carroll during her Dynasty days!

She was at the door hollering "Nettie! Me and you will never part" and doing that patty cake thing.

I let my car window down and hollered "Look at that hair!! Hair, gal! You got big hair!!"

It was a press and curl. I fluffed it with my fingers... to make sure it wasn't a lace-front wig, you see.


No it was not. She had indeed pressed and curled her natural hair as she does from time to time.

She even had a specially made Christmas Eve dress.


Let it be known that she would NOT allow me to take pictures until she had on her full makeup and holiday gear. I was just stopping through to say hello and drop off cookies. This should not have taken but 15 minutes. But she made me wait a full 2 hours before she went upstairs and changed.

"Why are you holding me hostage, man!?" I hollered a couple of times.

LOL

In the meantime, she was prepping macaroni and cheese for Christmas day dinner.


And she was doing it with much "Dianhn Carroll Dynasty" attitude. This confused me something awful.

It didn't help that I kept asking "You need some help over there, Celie? Because you look like you having a hard time over there. Boiling macaroni ain't that hard!"

Then I would laugh. And she would give me the evil eye.

She finally got the macaroni situated. It looked a little pale to me, though. She doesn't put the cheese on top until the Christmas, and she finishes baking it then. That makes sense. Otherwise, no one wants pale macaroni and cheese!

I told Tayari, I don't wanna hang out with her anymore! I want to hang out with her Mama and Daddy! Mama and Papa Jones are pure entertainment!

You see... Mama Jones taught me the trick of putting whole vanilla beans in cheap whiskey to give it some flavor.


"Open it up and smell it," Mama Jones said.

*lee taking too hard of a sniff of the whiskey... and nearly passing out*

Yeah, that's a good trick. I don't drink whiskey, but I sure will rememeber it. That's a good trick! Maybe I can do that with some lemonade.

Mama Jones sho nuff was in the kitchen cooking hard.

She was making a pot of collard greens with ham hocks... It's rare to see people make greens with pork these days. Everyone uses smoked turkey. We had a whole convo about the search for ham hocks. It is tough to find bootleg pork these days, unless you go to some corner store that sells that type of stuff.


She also made a pan of cornbread.



That is PERFECT cornbread. I wanted a slice, because it looked good. But I didn't ask. She was going to use that for her cornbread dressing. And if someone snatched a slice when no one was looking, she would've known it was me. Hmm. Not a good look.

I could hear them talking about me. "Tayari, don't invite that girl over here. Ever again."

Anyway, the convo went back to adult beverages.

Mama Jones wanted to make Pomegrante martinis, but had never made them. (This caused Tayari and Auntie Jones to grown in unison. Papa Jones didn't seem to mind much, as he was drinking mimosas).

I, however, used my smart phone to find several recipes. We agreed upon one.

There was MUCH coaxing going on to get me to have a martini. My answer was always "No ma'am. I don't hold my liquor good. And I gotta drive home. And it's not a good look for me to passed out on ya'll's floor or sofa."

(There was NO way that I was going to sit up there and drank in front of Mama and Papa Jones. Not in front of high level academic folks and folks who were active in the civil rights movement. NO WAY, man.)

And I didn't want Tayari to have to hear "Don't invite that girl over here ever again".

I know we must've spent an hour discussing the martini concoction. I'd never had one, but the internet is always a trusty source.

Mama Jones even zested an orange.



You know me. You know what I do for a living. I wanted to ask "Is that orange a certified organic orange? And if it ain't, do you know it has thiabendazole, imazalil, and other fungicides sprayed on it?"

LOL. Now you know I didn't ask her that. I took my Dr. LadyLee hat off. I just stood there in the kitchen and watched Mama Jones zest her orange with much glee.

We had a LONG discussion on converting ounces to tablespoons. I told Mama Jones that I only work with milliliters and grams. I don't know nothing about ounces. But she figured it out.

The recipe we agreed on called for much more liquor than pomegrante and lemon juice. This concerned Mama Jones a bit. I told her I suppose you are just trying to flavor and color up your liquor. The point is the liquor!

And she made a fine martini.


She even handed me a glass.

Thank goodness it only contained an ounce of martini. We'll call it a mini-martini.

It was GOOD!

"Mama Jones," I said. "You did a fine job. I taste hints of lemon and pomegrante. That orange zest was a good idea. And I can feel the liquor burning in my chest."

Yes, it was good. And burned my chest.

"You want some more?" she asked.

*ladylee shaking head vigorously*

It was near time for me to get on home. But not before getting a picture of the Christmas tree!
Not the best picture... but it makes me want to somewhat consider putting up a Christmas tree next year!

Oh yeah... the BEST part of my visit? What I forgot to mention.

Tayari let me read excerpts of her next book.

Now, I'd gotten into whine and stalker mode. "Chick, look here," I said. "It's like this: I ain't trying to do all this pleading and begging, because we're homegirls now, SWATS rolling, and that ain't necessary. But you know you need to go head on and let me read what you've written. You need to give it up."

She said no. I continued to talk trash... and beg.

And plead. And beg some more.

She let me read a couple of paragraphs on her I-phone. She told me to give the phone back. I almost got the notion to run out the house with her phone. But I decided against that. We SWATS chicks. In other words, it was not a good idea to be seen fighting in the front yard.

Good stuff, Tayari! Put me down for the next reading and review crew like you did with the last book! Really though!

In the meantime, send me whatever you are writing. (Yeah, that's not going to happen).

I had a good time with her and her fam. Like I said, Mama Jones, Papa Jones, and Auntie Jones were tons of fun. Hours of entertainment!

I'll holler at you next time when you're in town, T! I surely will!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012... The Food Edition!

So....

My sister Kentucky cooked for Thanksgiving, so that meant that it was my turn to cook for Christmas.

(I guess that is the routine now. Seems to be shaping up that way).

Kentucky wanted fried chicken.

O_o. Well, I'm not sure why she couldn't roll by Popeyes and get herself a two piece chicken snack. But that's what she wanted... that's what she gets!

So I broke out my trusty old skillet that I've had for the past 20 years...

You know... that GOOD skillet!

And I fried her up a whole mess of chicken!

Just for Kentucky.

(I have NO idea what to do with all that grease).

And I thought it was a good time to try out some local pasture-raised chicken that I'd been eyeing.
Let me tell you something: yard chicken is some expensive chicken. That right there in that aluminum pan is a good $15 worth of chicken.

Let me tell you something else. When it's not all shot up with hormones and antibiotics and such? And it's been running around in the barnyard eating grass and worms? It needs to be cooked differently. Ain't much fat on it. It is VERY lean. I dried it out. It tasted alright, very clean tasting, as to be expected.  All I know is that you just better place it in a oven bag or wrap it real tight with a whole roll of aluminum foil. Either that or baste the crap out of it!

Seeing how that is too much work and too much going on, I won't be fooling with yard chickens again. And that's good since I rarely even cook meat.

But it was good, all flavored with rosemary branches and burnt up carmelized onions and such.

Anyway, Kentucky was happy with her chicken. And she took most of it on home with her! She set for the week!

Here's a lovely pan of cornbread.
Kentucky didn't want that. She was digging the Parkerhouse rolls (not pictured).

I wanted some cornbread because I cooked a whole mess of vegetables.

I made some swiss chard!

And here's a very unclear picture of some sauteed squash/zuchinni, green beans and potatoes,
okra/corn/tomatoes, spinach and orzo...
Baked sweet potatoes, collard greens, carrots!
And of course, Kentucky's fried chicken...

Is this a clearer picture of my veggies? NO! 

Time for a new camera, I suppose.

All I know is that I have my veggies for the week. I am good til' the weekend, baby! And that was my purpose!

Kentucky had never had swiss chard or spinach and orzo before. She liked it much. So she was happy to try something new.

For dessert, there was apple cranberry pie, peach pie, sherbert and ice cream. Oh, and oatmeal raisin cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip pecan cookies.  We didn't eat any dessert. Well, Kentucky was digging the oatmeal chocolate chip pecan cookies. I had made a batch for Tayari, and left a few at home. (Uh yeah, hanging out with Tayari and her mama and nem on Christmas eve was an adventure. O_O. Stay tuned for that post tomorrow, lol).

I had a pretty quiet Christmas. Very quiet. I woke up and had my prayer and crochet time. That's always a good way to start the day. I was in and out of sleep for most of the day, and Kentucky came over around one o' clock. I don't think I spent more than an hour in the kitchen.  The longest thing was frying up that chicken! You know I can whip veggies together super fast!

We ate and watched television and talked. It was a really good time.

She and I both love that time together. NO DRAMA. None at all.  Very very calm. And that's how I like it.

She gave me some nice gifts: clothes, earrings and body scrub. My mother sent me a bunch of scarfs. (Yes, this Oldgirl loves head scarfs, man.)

I bought my sister some of the ritzy high class peppermint water she loves so much. And I bought her a slew of bath items, since she loves her bubble baths. She must get that from our mother. I bought mother a bunch of bath gear, too. I owe her a gas card. I'll give that to her the next time I see her. (It's been raining too hard the past few days and her favorite gas station is too far away).

And of course, I made her that fried chicken for Christmas! I think that was Kentucky's best gift, lol.

I talked to a bunch of people also. I even got a chance to have a good long convo with my brother Milk and Cookies. He should be coming through at some time. We might have to do some ol' bootleg madness like go pick him up at some military base some 2 hours away or something like that. And that's cool. We can do that! You know I'm all about the bootleg!

I had a great Christmas. I hope you had a good Christmas, too.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From your Friendly Neighborhood Original Oldgirl LadyLee!

And that Original Oldcat Oscar-Tyrone

Also known as 

Oscar the Grinch

Even though he looks a bit...surly, he is thinking sweet sweet thoughts of you today! 

He wishes you a Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Monday Morning... The Christmas Eve Edition

Happy Monday Morning!

And yes indeed... it is a Happy Monday Morning.  Why? Because I have today OFF.

Now I wasn't suppose to be off today. I was going to work half a day. But my beloved president issued an Executive Order to give us Christmas Eve off!

GLORY!

Thank YOU, Mr. President! Good looking out, sir!

And my Director at work talking about he don't know what the executive order means. Dude, I can show you better than I can tell you. You won't be seeing an oldgirl at work today. And I printed out the email so I can staple it to my next time card, sir. Humph.

So, it felt good to just get up this morning and have nothing to do. I could just lay in the bed and watch TV or get up and walk around. Whatever! Didn't have to go to work!

I actually woke up around 6 and spent some time praying and crocheting. I read the book of James in the bible. Thought a little about that. Probably gonna read it again tonight some time, so I can take some notes on a few verses that are sticking with me.

I talked to my best friend LadyTee for about an hour this morning. And Oscar-Tyrone is staring at me in a most surly way, wondering why I am perched on the sofa.

I'm glad I don't have to leave. Because it is raining cats and dogs and frogs all day.

I need to go get a final gift- a gas card for my sister Kentucky. But that's not going to happen if it keep raining like this.

I did all my Christmas shopping yesterday morning at the Wal-mart. (I have a $100 budget. I don't even think I spent that much). I got out super early, around 7:30 in the morning. No one was out around that time. But by the time I was coming out of the Whole Foods with my Christmas dinner purchases, it was getting PACKED out there. That was around 10:00 in the morning. Ugh.

Speaking of Christmas dinner, my sister wants fried chicken. Not sure why she can't fry her own chicken, but whatever. I will fry her chicken. I've been eyeing some pasture raised chicken for a minute, and I bought a few pieces to bake. So as long as she take it all home, we're alll good.

Now, I'm not focused on the chicken. I plan on making a bunch of vegetables. These will be my vegetables for the week. And I'm not sure how Kentucky feels about this. If she wants some cheesy or gravy laden dish, she better bring it herself.

So, along with our chicken, we are having field peas and snaps, swiss chard, green beans with potates, tomates/okra/corn, spinach/orzo, and spicy collard greens, brussel sprouts, baked sweet potatoes, and hot water cornbread cooked atop the stove.

That's gonna be GOOD. I have some shredded cheese in the fridge.  If Kentucky wants to sprinkle that on everything, have at it. LOL

But we plan to spend a day hanging out at my house, just chilling.

I don't plan on going anywhere today. I might leave to take some cookies over to Tayari's mama and nem house later on, but I gotta catch up with her. I talked to her yesterday, so I know she's out running the streets pretty hard.

But this will be a day of rest and relaxation. I don't do the frantic-running-around-gotta-get-the-last-minute-Christmas-gift thing. Done with that.

Song of the Week.  I need to post a song. Hard to think of something, but this is one that I love and is on heavy rotation in the car!



Have a good Christmas Eve! On Purpose.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Food for thought: Of Dreams and Roaches


That's a odd title, isn't it?

Probably not all that appropriate for this post.

But it's an interesting visual, isn't it?

LOL

Maybe it will be more meaningful by the time you finish reading this post.

Anyway, It is the end of the year, and I find myself pondering my year, and conversations that I have had that have really affected me and stayed on my mind.

And this year, I've had some conversations that make me a bit confused. They shouldn't have, but they have.

Now, I don't consider myself the most friendliest person in the world. I tend to be a loner. And a lot of that is because I don't like to be around "common" folk that much.  And when I say "common", I mean people who are messy, gossipy, divisive, and are caught up in running with the crowd. I don't care for people who tend to be shallow and can't think for themselves.

You know what I'm talking about... common people.

With that said, people like to talk to me for some odd reason. I'm the type of person you can tell your goals and dreams to, and I'm not going to shoot you down. I have a fundamental understanding that your goals and dreams are different from mine. And everyone has a set of interesting and unique purposes that they and only they can fulfill in this life.

So this is something that excites me. I'm supportive of people's goals and dreams. I consider it an honor to be trusted with such conversations.

However...

Lately, these discussions have come with a strange attachment.

I want to do A, B, and C... but I'm afraid of rejection.

Afraid of rejection.  In other words, afraid of what people will say.

It's a bit disturbing to have a lively conversation with someone, and their thoughts end with the whole "fear of rejection" sentiment.

That is like taking your dreams, putting them in a pile, and pouring gasoline on them... then setting them on fire.

Really.

I wonder how many people have given up any notion of pursuing their dreams and goals because of a fear of what people will say? It may have always been this way, but I have noticed it as of late.

So I've had to come up with something to tell these people. Trust me, it's a LOT of people.

And it's essentially the same thing I tell myself.

I know my sister has some big things she wants to do. But she's a bit worried about others would say.

"Shhh!" I say. "Kill all that noise. Hush! Take all that stuff you said about what people will think of your decisions, and put it in an imaginary box. Tape it up and put it back in a corner of your mind... or over there somewhere out of the way. NOW let's have this conversation again. Tell me your goals and your plans concerning what you want to do."

The conversation was so much better.

Yes. Put all the negativity away. All the negativity tends to cancel out the positive things one says Concentrate on the positive.

And for goodness sake, stop talking to people who stomp on your dreams.

As I have said before... "Do not discuss your uncommon dreams with common people."

I had few friends who told me some interesting things they want to do. Hey, I was all excited for them. "Do it!" I immediately say. "You can do it!"

Then that old phrase creeps into the conversation. It's sort of like a roach running across the floor.

"I'm afraid of being rejected."

Ugh. It is indeed like a roach running across the floor. I want to find some spray and kill it!

And if you see one roach, there's a bunch more hiding, waiting to see if the other roach makes it. LOL

It's such a dream killer.

I asked one relative, who I hadn't talked to in awhile, a question. We had been catching up on things, and she was telling me of some pretty interesting plans. Then she talked about the rejection issue.

I asked her a pointed question: If she was the only person on the planet, would she like this thing she wants to do?

"Of course," she said.

"Of course you would," I replied. "Concentrate on that."

Yes, concentrate on that.

People don't realize this thing right here: People who constantly criticize other folks dreams and goals do so because they themselves don't have dreams and goals, or were for whatever reason unable to fulfill  their dreams and goals.  And they don't want to see you do well.

How can you support someone else's dreams and goals when you have failed at your own? How can you support someone's dreams and goals when you don't even have the courage to pursue your own dreams and goals?

Hmm...

This has been the gist of my conversations as of late. I'm not sure why. We are living in a time where we have so many resources available to us to do the things we dream of doing. So many.

And yet we are still afraid of rejection.

I myself have had these fears in the past. But it was when I was younger, and didn't have many accomplishments under my belt. I think as we get older, and accomplish more things, we gain more confidence. And we strive for more.

And I've noticed when I have been successful, some of that depends on surrounding myself with people who support me, and getting rid of people who bring me down.

That too is key. We all need support. And there are supportive people out there. The thing is to surround yourself with them. If they are not supportive, then don't discuss your dreams and goals with them. They can't handle it, and you shouldn't expect them to.  Leave your discussions with them to more common things.

So that's my advice these days to people. All that negative mess people are spewing at you? Put it in a box and put it to the side. The positive will shine brighter, and have more meaning for you.

And imagine you are the only person on the planet, alone with your goals and dreams in front of you. Do you like what you see? Are you yourself supportive of your own dreams and goals?

The answer is usually yes. Especially without all the negative banter in your ear.

Well... that's all that matters, doesn't it?

We are quick to grab a can of spray and kill roaches.  But we aren't all that quick to kill the negative things that people say concerning our dreams and goals.

It shouldn't be that way.

Hmm...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Food for Thought: In the Minds

I have the most interesting conversations with my sister...

She consistently comes to me for advice. I would've never imagined that we would have the conversations that we have. I can't really say that we liked each other too much. And I am 11 years older than her. I can't imagine that, as a child, she would look at me and consider me a fun person. And she was a pest to me.

But that has changed. And that's a good thing.

We lived together for a few years, and she moved away back in June of 2010. Boy oh boy, it took me awhile to get past that and to get use to living alone again. But I got past it.

Anyway, she moved to a really nice communtiy some 20 miles from me. (I live 4 miles from downtown ATL. I can see the skyline from my street). The area has been on the top 10 cities to live in Georgia over the years, even capturing the top spot as best place to live. The city has also been on the lists of top places to live in the whole USA over the years.

So suffice to say, if you can move there, you're all good!

Well, I called my sister a few months ago, and she sounded particularly down. I asked what was wrong.

"There's a rash of crime going on around here. Not sure what's up with that," she said.

We talked about the issues. She was really concerned.

"I thought when I moved out here, I was choosing the best place to live. These types of things are not suppose to happen out here."

"These types of things are not suppose to happen out here."

Man. Haven't we heard that before.

Haven't we heard that phrase... over and over and over again.

And I have to tell you, I heard it quite a few times over the past week when those affected by the tragedies are interviewed.

This is a nice area. This is not suppose to happen here.

I moved here to this nice area to get away from the crime.

Really?

Really.

Because let's face the facts... We all think like that, don't we?

I know I thought that when my sister told me where she was moving to. I knew the particular apartment complex she had chosen. I had friends who had lived there in the past. It was a nice gated apartment complex. I felt good about her moving there, especially with her living alone.

"I can't believe the stuff that's going on," she lamented.

I sighed. "Baby, craziness goes on everywhere. No place is exempt."

And I gave her a few examples, since I watch the local news on a regular basis (I know she doesn't).

We have all kinds of interesting things going on in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.
Look at this house right here...


That's a really nice house. In a really nice suburb, a community about 45 minutes west of Atlanta. I know it's a nice area because I have friends that live way out there. Gotta pack a doggone snack if I'm gonna drive out there IN TRAFFIC, as is the case when driving out that way.

Nice area.

Well that house is the scene of a crime. The parents who lived there held there son in a room for 2 years in the dark, not letting him out. I don't think the other two kids knew he was there. When he turned 18, they put him on a bus to Cali and gave him a list of shelters out there and told him good luck. He was severely malnourished, and a policeman spotted him at a bus station in Cali and helped him.

Look at the house. In that area. Would you imagine that this is going on next door to you?

There's a popular wealthy gated community in the northern surburbs. One of the mansions was raided because it was essentially a high class brothel.

Really.

Can you imagine that type of thing happening next door to your nice mansion?

We talked about all that. And lets not even get into the number of nice houses around here used as marijuana grow houses. All in really really nice communities. And there was some folks running a multimillion dollar mail order illegal drug business out of their house. BEAUTIFUL house in a nice community. All kinds of stuff like that goes on in Atlanta.

Imagine the crime going on behind closed doors that we don't know about... or will never know about.

"Crime occurs everywhere," I told her. "Everywhere."

She seem to understand.

"And you know why that happens?" I asked her.

"Why?" she replied.

"Because you don't know what's going on with people. You don't know what's going on with the people that live next door to you."

Let me correct that: You don't know what's going on in the minds of people. You don't know what's going on in the minds of people who live next door to you.

All you can do is look at the statistical data and hope for the best.

Ah yes. This community has the lowest crime and the top schools. These homes have the highest property values and resale potential. This is the best place to live.

Yes it is. And that's what you do. But don't be all shocked when some mess go down. No community is exempt tomfoolery and ratchetness. None.

You don't know who's quietly shooting up drugs in their basement. You don't know who's being abused. You don't know who's abusing folks. You don't know who has some strange secret habit going on.

You just don't know. Just because that mansion is immaculate... that don't mean all that's going on in the minds of the the occupants is wonderful. 

Now me myself? I live in the HOOD. Straight up. Why? Because I've lived waaaaaay out in the suburbs over the past 25 years. Everywhere except the northern suburbs. Honey, I cannot afford the Northside. Nerp.

That's just my personal preference. And can you believe I've ran into folks who look down on me because of it? Really? 

(You know me. I ain't trying to impress NOBODY. My self-esteem ain't gonna be based on what you think of me and my choices. Come on, now.)

I like convenience. Period. I don't like being stuck in a car and having a daily two hour commute. My commute is no more than 20 minutes round trip. And I'm HOT if it's more. PISSED, man.

And I lived downtown, about a mile from where I live now, many years ago when I was in grad school. Best place I ever lived, and my top goal was always to move back. And that's what I did.

If you ever hear of me living waaaaay out in the 'burbs, you know I work from home. Period.

And there have been problems, since I do live in the hood. There have been 3 murders a block or two from my house. That's scary. But it happens. And there's a lot of petty crime, like house robberies, etc. I have never fallen victim. Somebody stole my brother's truck some 6 years ago. That's about it.

I think I would be more pissed if I had a house waaaay out in the suburbs somewhere and these things were happening. And it happens all the time on the outskirts of metro Atlanta. Because, I mean, I watch the news and I am SHOCKED.  And I am saying the same thing that everyone else is saying:

"That's not suppose to be happening all the way out there."

And the neighbor- the next door neighbor- that the news journalist always interviews echoes my sentiments exactly.

And this false sense of security we have is unfortunate. It really is. Because you just don't know what's going on in the minds of people around you. You don't know what type of rage, fear, hurt, pain, jealousy or violence is incubating. And people have the most interesting secret lives. Interesting.

And that stuff is allll gonna manifest itself and come out in the open at some time. And most likely, it's gonna affect that person and everyone around that person in a negative manner.

And that goes for wherever we live. Great community or not.

So I did my best to encourage my sister that day. I was more concerned that she not be grappled by fear and that it all not overtake her faith and courage.

"That is why I tell you to always work on yourself," I told her. "You can't do anything about the state of the minds of people around you, but you can do the best to be the best person you can be. Your actions and decisions affect those around you. Make sure it's all for the good. Many people don't think about it all from that point of view."

It's been several months since we talked about it all, and she seems to be doing well. She still likes her place, but she's just a little more careful. As she should be.

As we all should be, no matter where we live...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Old Place

Here's a picture of my old duplex apartment.


I lived there some 18 years ago while in grad school, on the left side.

I loved that place. I lived there while in grad school. It was in the Atlanta neighborhood of Grant Park, and only 2 miles from downtown.

The rent was $390 per month. There was no air conditioning. The walls were made of concrete, and I had 2 radiators on the wall. Sometimes, when it got really cold, I would turn on the oven and it would heat up the small kitchen. And I only did that when I needed to sit at my kitchen table and study.

The elderly couple next door didn't have a car, so the driveway was allllll mine.

I really liked that place.

And it's only a mile from my current home.

I rarely drive by there, but I do from time to time. The farmers market is at Grant Park, and I have to pass there to get to the park.

That place holds great memories. It's good to be reminded of where I came from. I was in my mid-twenties then. I didn't know where I would be going in life. All I know is that I was working hard, struggling through grad school, and managing my little thousand dollar a month stipend.

I'm reminded that life's moments are temporary. That place was a temporary place to rest my head.

I'm reminded that life is always changing and always moving.

And that's a good thing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Food-for-Thought: Thoughts on the Tragedy

You know, there are days in your life where you remember where you were when something horrendous happens.

And I think Friday was one of those days for everyone in this country.

I myself had just finished a pretty happy blog post and posted it, then went to Huffi.ngton Post to see what the major headlines were. 

And I saw how 20 children had been murdered at an elementary school.


Just when I thought I'd seen some craziness when it comes to folks running up in somewhere and shooting, THIS happens.

I was shocked and horrified. It took me to go home at the end of the day and watch the actual news to actually believe what was going on had actually happened. Just horrifying.

How can one not be horrified such madness?

And madness it what it indeed is.

So here we go... and here we are. Everyone is trying to figure out what would make someone do such a thing. What was going on in the mind of the killer?

I don't think we will ever know.

My thing is this: I don't think no one even really cared what was going on with people prior to them doing unspeakable things. Did they? Frankly, it's too late to be asking such questions, but it is the right thing to do. It is the only thing, this explanation of what happened, that will give those most affected by it closure.

The most affected...

You know, all the cameras will probably be gone from that area in another week or so, especially after all the funerals have taken place and people get back to their work and are finding some semblance of normalcy again.

But things will never be normal again for those who lost children and family in this tragedy.

And it points back to a Food-for-thought that I posted here a couple of times. It still, unfortunately, rings true.

Not only is the tragedy immediately devastating, but the long term residual effects of it are devastating, even much so.

I tend to look at things spiritually. That's all I draw on, especially when it comes to this. And I won't get into my thoughts and beliefs on that. Lord knows I don't wanna ever be caught up in any debates.

But things like this are an attack on the very core or who we are and our mentality. The battlefield is the mind. Indeed.

You have a strange brew of issues here: mental illness, assault weapons, and an increasingly desensitized and violent society.

Tragedy comes out of such a concoction.

This has folks questioning their very faith and fears like never before.

And that was the point, wasn't it? Yes.

The tragedy is immediately devastating.  It affects the emotions like one can never imagine. We all have gone through something, some like this, some not as devestating. But we've had our personal tragedies.

And the tragedy is like a gaping wound.

The residual effects are like dealing with a gaping wound that is open to infection. And salt and alcohol is being poured into it. Constantly. Over long periods of time.

If that isn't pain and anguish, I don't know what is.

I can say this from experience. I was terribly bothered by this tragedy because I was a victim of attempted murder at the very same age as these kids are. 6 years old.

The ones that were killed, that is horrific. But the ones who actually saw what happened? And those in general who are pupils at the school? The residual affects on their little developing minds is something that can't be described.

And I tell you, a six-year-old mind is not able to take this type of thing. I know I wasn't.

And get this: no one even bothered to get me help for what I saw and went through. Life just picked up and went on like... nothing ever happened.

And to make things really O_o, a couple of years later, I was right in that age group that was a part of the ATL missing and murdered children. We were ALL worried about getting snatched. Walking around with special whistles and looking over our shoulders for the "man". Shoot!

And I had problems behind all of that. But I kept my feelings to myself. Because I thought no one even cared.

I am fully supportive of all I see right now in the aftermath, where the stress is on getting the children some counseling and help. FULLY support that and agree with it 100%. Because if they don't, that's a problem.

I am 42 years old now. Some 36 years after my tragic incident, I still have issues, and I still think about it. I am far past nightmares or anything like that. My stab wounds disappeared by the time I was out of my teen years. The man that hurt us said that he had mental issues. His daddy use to throw knives at him as a child. Not sure how that makes him see it as okay to stab people up, but whatever. I don't own any huge butcher knives, and can't stand it when people bring them out. And I don't deal with men who had similar mental issues as children. You wanna get rid of me quick, tell me something like that. I am ghost. I don't watch movies where folks are getting stabbed. No way.

I also don't go around domestically violent situations. You know what I'm talking about: folks looking like it's the happy family, but some mess is going on when no one is looking. People have the most INTERESTING secret lives (food for thought post coming up on that later this week. Sigh). And I don't do well AT ALL with people who expose their young kids to tomfoolery. AT ALL. They are children. They didn't ask to be born, and they didn't ask to be in the middle of your issues. Angers me something awful.

I am always aware of my surroundings, and I tend to sit near doors or where I can see doors or escape routes... just in case something suddenly happens. You would never know that unless you watch my behavior very closely.

And I think about it when I see my mother whose scars didn't heal- The large 4 inch keloid gash on her right jaw, and the long keloid on her abdomen.  The collar bone that juts out too far, resulting from being ran over twice by her own car. I remember all of that happening.

These are minor problems, I suppose, these memories and coping actions of mine. I am a successful, functioning human being in society. I wouldn't dream of hurting anyone emotionally, lett alone anyone physically. But when tragedies like this happens, it takes me back to my 6-year-old frightened and confused self. I remember laying in bed at that age thinking that no one cared, and that I MUST do better about being aware of who is around and what is going on around me. That is a must. Because if I didn't, I could easily be dead.

And a 6-year-old mind shouldn't be filled with such thoughts.

I can only imagine what's going on in the heads of the kids who didn't get hurt.

At least this is an affluent area. They WILL get their kids the crucial help they need. Believe that.

And that's a good thing.

I can't say much for the inner city kids, though. Chicago is approaching 500 murders this year. My city of ATL is approaching 100. I can remember incidences here, even near my home, where small children were murdered.

And I heard yesterday on the news that this tragedy is the 13th mass shooting of the year.

13th.

I am ashamed to say that I don't remember the other 12. Maybe the recent ones. But I don't remember any of the names and faces.

You see the IMMEDIATE attention the gun laws are given now. Why, someone is even introducing legislature during the next session of congress.  I'd like to see the NRA argue that down in light of 20 little innocent kids being murdered with military style weaponry. (And you know they are going to try to do it).

I wish some laws could be enacted concerning mental illness.  Because everything begins in the mind.

I hope and pray the families involved are healing... and those who need the mental help they need to heal are getting the help that they need.  Especially the children.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Indeed!

It is Friday!

Friday indeed!

And I, the Oldgirl, am ready for the weekend. It can't get here soon enough.

This has been a strange week. First of all, my cubicle mate, The CowgirlCre, has been coming down with something. Now, I don't know if it was a cold or the flu. Whatever it was, I was not trying to catch it. So she has been off for the past couple of days. Yesterday I thought I had caught whatever she had, because I was all congested.

And I was ready to hunt her down and whoop her tail. Really. This Oldgirl don't want NO parts of a doggone cold or flu.

But alas, I feel better today. No cold.

And CowgirlCre saved herself from a serious beat down.

Really though.

Anyway, someone put up a Christmas tree in the cubicle area.



OH JOY!

JOY to the WORLD!

Quite pretty, it is.

However, some horrid drama has creeped up concerning the "Christmas Party." The cubicle area has been a bit volatile and aflame. Uh... CowgirlCre...Let me just say, uh... BE GLAD YOU AREN'T HERE FOR THE RATCHETNESS. Hit me up on text, phone, or twitter. You wouldn't believe the wonderful things that are going on in your absence!

I am suppose to bring a "cheese tray", whatever that is. Nevermind that I won't be attending. I will bring my little cheese tray from the grocery store down the road. Don't wanna hear no mess, or I will take said cheese tray and give it to one of the homeless folks out on the street. Maybe he or she will appreciate it, eh?

Hmm...

Anyway, something completely random. I was at the Whole Foods down the street from my job, getting my $0.39 water refills, when I came across a 3 pound beet.



You probably can't tell how big it is, but it is HUGE. I am not sure why anyone would buy such a large beet. How on earth would you cook that.?

I'm not a big fan of beets. I immediately put that one down.

This is going to be a chill-out-in-the-house type of weekend for me. Aunt Flo is here (another reason why I don't need a cold right now. I would REALLY have to hunt CowgirlCre down and slap her repeatedly if that was the case), and I need to be still. I have a lot of stuff to do around the house, too. I like to throw out junk at the end of the year.  You know the whole, out with the old, in with the new thing. Yeah, that.

I am trying to plan my Christmas dinner. Kentucky wants me to fry chicken. I found some fresh pasture chicken from a local farm. Expensive as hell, but I'm gonna get some of that. I think I will have some baked sweet potatoes, squash and green beans with that. She better protest, or forever hold her peace. She knows how I am about my veggies! And I don't want to cook anything involving creams, butter and/or gravy. We will see how that goes.

Are you ready for Christmas? I still have some shopping to do. ALL of my shopping can be done at the Wal-mart in the span of an hour. So that will have to do.

I've cut a deal with the boss that I can work a handful of half-days instead of having to take off full days from work. Honestly, I don't want to take off, but the half days deal leaves me lots of leeway to do what I need to do, and not lose a lot of time. I plan on taking a few days off for my birthday or sometime early in the year.

Overall, it's been a pretty good week. I hope it has been a good week for you also.

Have a good weekend... on purpose!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Food for Thought: Fighting Battles


A little food for thought for you today!

I was watching a minister here, who has a church on the West side of town. I like him because my Aunt likes him, so I watch him from time to time.

I heard something on Sunday that has had me thinking all week:

"You never become exceptional by fighting the same battles.  You cannot be going through the same conflicts with the same trifling folks. You either demand that they grow up, or you demand that you yourself grow up, meaning that you choose your battles wisely. You learn what to ignore and learn what you can handle."

Wow. I scratched that down on a piece of paper before I forgot it.

That is a really loaded statement.  Each of us could write a thesis on that statement. A really long thesis.

There's a lot going down in that statment. I think the sermon was about fighting your battles (addictions, issues, etc) and getting through it, so you can go on to the next phases of your life. There will always be new battles to fight, new things to overcome.

But it began dealing with your battles with people... the ones you're fighting over and over, and there's no progress.

I think what I find interesting about that statement is that it's not one-sided.

Either somebody else is the problem - these "trifling folks"...

Or YOU yourself may be the problem.

In other words, it calls for some degree of self-assessment and the willingness to be honest with oneself.

And that is one thing that I notice about myself as I have gotten older: my tolerance for fighting the same battles has gone waaaaaaay down. I don't go through the same old vicious cycles with people. That is no longer tolerable. Anyone who knows me well knows that I won't allow anyone to exasperate me for long periods of time. And I will cut folks off with the quickness.

But before I get ghost, I take quite a bit of time to assess myself...

I ask myself: "Am I the problem here?"

If I'm being honest here, I assume that I am being the problem. I've gone so far as to try to make the other person happy. I try to apologize. All kinds of stuff. But it's not good enough. And that's fine.

We won't be fighting these same battles. No sir.

And I've told people before that if I'm causing you this much trouble, why are you even being bothered with me? I mean you gotta talk about me, run my name into the ground, call me everything except a child of God...

Why do you even want to be bothered with me? Obviously, I'm detrimental to your life.

Imagine that. Me. Detrimental to someone's life.

And to paraphrase the statement above... This Oldgirl can't grow by going through the same ratchetness over and over again with folks. Nope.

That's what it means to me. At this age, I have learned what I can handle and what I can't. I've learned what I can ignore and what I can't.

When it comes to my ownself and personal situations...

And when it comes to people.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Mane of the Lion

This is an extra special post, dedicated to one of my favorite readers, Remnants...

So, like I said, I have been hanging out at the local farmers market near my home.

Let's just say, I see some strange things. Very strange.

I was walking past one booth and saw the people laying out some interesting white slabs of...something.


I moved a little closer to the table so I could examine it.

I thought it was a piece of meat or something. It looked like some really big oversized mushroom.

Someone standing next to me asked the seller "What's that?"

"A lion's mane mushroom," the seller replied.

A lion's mane mushroom. I've never heard of that. The seller pointed to the mushroom sitting on a cutting board off to the side.

That's a big ol' mushroom, ain't it? Geez.

"Where do you get it from?" the inquisitive customer asked. I was glad she was asking questions, because I wasn't going to.

"We forage for our mushrooms," the seller replied. "They are found way up in the trees, and we have to climb the tree to get it."

O_O

Climbing a tree to get it? Really? I was waiting for her to say she was joking, but uh, no.

"How do you cook it?" the curious customer asked.

I wasn't really concerned about that. I was snapping pictures. But I waited for the answer.

"Oh, you slice it and sautee it in a little oil. It's really good."

Yeah.

You know me, honey. I really like to try new things. With my concentration on fruits and vegetables in my diet over the past couple of years, it is a MUST that I try new things.

But this lion's mane mushroom? That's taking it a bit too far. I'm not brave enough to eat that.

I would like to send some to Remnants, since she stated in some earlier comments that she breaks out in hives when she eats mushrooms. I wanna watch her eat it... then stand back and see what happens.

*Remnants gives LadyLee the hard side-eye*

That thing looks like it causes more than hives.

I found a picture of the mushroom in it's natural habitat.


Ugh. That is nasty. That looks like if you touch it, it will, uh... touch you back. It looks like some body-snatcher horror movie type craziness is going to jump off.

I admire the sellers for climbing trees and foraging for mushrooms. This HAS to be their passion. HAS to be.

Not me. No sir.

I did buy some of the wild salad mix on the table next to the mushroom. It was pretty with the little flowers in it. My cubicle mate, the Cowgirl Cre, made sure to watch me eat it. I think all of the offerings on that table were "foraged" foods. She (and I) just wanted to make sure I don't fall out from eating it. LOL.

Wild salad mix was tasty. I don't know about that mushroom.

The scientific name for this mushroom is Hericium erinaceus. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for regulation of blood glucose and cholesterol levels. It might even be useful against dementia, stomach ulcers, esophageal cancer.

Sounds beneficial!

Still not gonna try it.

I will let ya'll try it. Then holla back at me and let me know what's up.

I will just be satisfied with learning something new! On purpose.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Monday Morning



Seasons Greetings!

*throws silver glittery Christmas tree stensil at you*

LOL! That's as much holiday glee that you'll ever get from me.

Oh well, I don't have a tree. But here's one at work.



And that's not in my section. That's a tree for another group, and it's near the elevator I take to get out of the building.

A tree in my section? LOL. Do you realize how messy and how much drama will ensue from something as simple as a... tree??

Talk about taking the Christ out of Christmas. You don't even want to know.

LOL

Enough of that. I had a pretty good weekend. You know what made me ECSTATICALLY happy? I didn't have to go to work. I have been working anywhere from a couple of hours to five hours on the weekend. And it's not cute.

I didn't leave the house on Saturday, which is unfortunate since I had some errands to run. I rolled all that over to Sunday.

First stop was the neighborhood Farmer's market in Grant Park! That seems to be my Sunday morning jaunt!

This market is next to the zoo. And let's just say where I parked... uh, it was downwind from the elephant section of the zoo! I got out of my car and had to look around real quick. I didn't want any elephants coming towards me.

But once I got on the farmer's market trail, it was all good.

Lots of interesting offerings there. And you know I took pictures.


*eyes glazing over*

I didn't stop at that booth for anything.

But I did stop at a booth and bought the most lovely carrots.


I've never had multicolored carrots.  I plan on sauteeing those with some soy butter and pumpkin spice.  See how that works out.

I was going to juice the greens, but I read that they are bitter. Not sure what that's about, as most juiced greens are bitter. We will see about that too.

I bought more pasta from Antonio.


"I wish I could make fresh pasta," I said.
"You can do it," he replied enthusiastically. "You just have to buy the machine."

*blink*blink*

"How 'bout I just buy it from you," I said.
"That sounds good."

I know that's right, sir. I rarely eat pasta. I better have my own big italian family or pasta business to even remotely entertain such an idea.

I purchased the sweet potato ravioli, the jumbo mushroom ravioli, and the swiss chard and cheese ravioli. The latter two were GREAT. I can't wait to try the sweet potato one. I know that's gonna be good.

And I did all my fruit and veggie shopping for the week. Oh joy. I actually came across some reasonably priced organic veggies. It's getting to the point where I have to really be strategic about finding the best price.

Anyway, that is it for today. I have more Farmer's Market fare to put up. Believe me, I saw some STRANGE strange stuff.  I know that one particular thing I saw... uh, blogger Remnants will really like! Stay tuned for that.

I need a song of the week. But I don't have one. Sigh.

Quote of the Week. I did hear something really interesting on Sunday morning, though.

"What you BECOME is determined by what you OVERCOME."

We all have issues in our life that we are doing our best to get a grip on.

And we only get a step closer to our purpose by overcoming those issues.

Interesting. I am still rolling that over in my mind. Because it has me pondering my triumphs, accomplishments, sorrows, and failures. And filtering them all through that short phrase above makes it all makes sense.

Just a little food for thought for you for this holiday season.

Only 21 days left in the year 2012. You better make it do what it do in that time.

On purpose.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Seargent Cookies is Home!

Guess who's back from his tour in Afghanistan?

Seargent Cookies!!!

Milk and Cookies is home!!! And his boys are happy to see him!

Glory!!!  

As you can see, Senior and Junior are cheesing mighty hard.

And that's good!

As you can see, Milk and Cookies 3.0 hasn't quite got the hang of smiling extra hard.
And that's okay. I'm sure he doesn't have many teeth anyway.

I haven't seen my brother in a good 3 years. He is stationed all the way out in Seattle.

I am just glad my prayers have been answered... He is back home with his family.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Farmers Market Adventures, Part I

So, I happened upon a farmers market in my community some three weeks ago.

It's actually within walking distance of my house, and only open on Sunday mornings. It's no more than a mile and a half from my house, I think.

So it's a nice adventure on a Sunday morning. I haven't gotten up the nerve to walk yet, the major reason being that if I buy some good stuff and it's heavy... let's just say an Oldgirl won't be lugging bags like I HAVE to do that. Shoot man, I have two cars at home. I'm not going to be walking to market like my name is Miss Celie from the Color Purple.

Nerp.

Plus I live in the hood. I don't wanna get stuck up and shot over some kale, man.

Anyway, this Sunday was... interesting.

There had to be a good 200 folks there.


MAJOR crowd. And I don't like crowds. I just happen to be at the far end of the market in the picture above.

The last two times I've gone, there were no more than around 30 people at one time. I'm not sure what was going on. I thought this place was my little secret. And if someone was giving out groupons or something, I missed out on that, lol. There were some really long lines out there. Sheesh!

It was so crowded that you had to park several blocks away and walk down to the spot. There were a couple of times I tried to get a spot and someone beat me to it. And I was NOT about to be cussing folks out over a parking spot. People get shot over parking spots. Not me.

Uh no. I parked illegally right in front of the place. That's because I knew what I wanted.

Some of Antonio's Frest Pasta!

I purchased the red tagliatelle a couple of weekend. That was pretty good. I thought I would try the jumbo mushroom ravioli this past weeked. I tried to buy some the prior weekend, but by the time I'd circled back around to him, he'd sold out.

So I had my mushroom ravioli for breakfast with some sauteed squash and peppers. (Yes, I tend to do dinner type stuff for breakfast. I REALLY have to switch it up like that when I'm trying to stay away from meat, honey.).



That was GOOD. I added a dollop of fresh tomato sauce I'd purchased from another farmers market. Good and super fresh. The filling is a finely pureed mushroom filling. It is no wonder he sold out. I will have to ask him about that next weekend. He's quite the enthusiastic fella. And he sounds like he's from the italian motherland and learned to make pasta from his Mama or Grandmama. That should be a good conversation.

I also bought a swiss chard and cheese ravioli. I will try that later this week.

Makes me wanna get in the kitchen and make my own pasta.

Hmm... Don't think I'll do that. No telling what kind of ratchetness I'd come up with. LOL

I will most definitely be going back next weekend to get some more.

I like this little market. They have fresh local veggies at a decent price. And that's a good thing for me.

Stay tuned for more interesting farmers market adventures!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Oscar-Tyrone... The Surly Oldcat

So Oscar-Tyrone is still convalescing and doing his best to get over his pancreatitis and hepatitis.

He is looking better, though.



He's not as thin. He's not as active as he once was, but at least he's awake.

He looks alright, but I wouldn't know for sure until his vet appointment. And that was yesterday.


His vet said he was okay. I am waiting on a liver test to come back, so I will get a call about that this week, hopefully.

And he needed more of his special hypoallergenic food. That food was $130!

I remember looking at him as I was checking out to leave the vet office and mouthing under my breath...

"You lil' Ninja!"

LOL. We're gonna make that food last until February or March, man. I hope this is the last of his vet visits. He doesn't have to go back until October 2013, which is FINE by me. He has cost me a grip! Ugh.

At least he's gotten the hang of riding in the car.


He thoroughly understands that if one who has gastrointestinal problems doesn't want to be thrown to and fro around the car, one MUST sit still in the passenger seat. Very still. And be very careful not to scratch Lucy the Lexus' leather. Very careful.

He isn't all that active, but good grief... that Oldcat is needy. Every time I lay down, he wants to be held.  Either that, or he wants to lay on me.

As you can see, he still manages in all his neediness to have that surly look.  That look that says "I don't want to be bothered with you, but I will sit here until you decide to rub me."

I have thrown him in a choke hold so he will run away from me and leave me alone, but he returns 5 minutes later. And he will lay on me.


And he gets close to my head, which is disturbing.



Very disturbing.  It is odd to wake up and see the eye of the tiger, uh, I mean, the eye of the Original Oldcat.

I am just glad that he's alright. Hopefully this is the end of his woes. He is 15 years old, and maybe he has a few good years left.

A little video of a song that came out around the time he was born... from whence his middle name comes.



LOL.. That middle name caused some O_o at the vet. But uh, they have a gazillion Oscars in their computer system. Let's just say it was easy to find Oscar's name.

You better call Oscar-Tyrone! 

Call him!

And tell him come on and help you git your sh**!

Oh My!


Oh My...

How time flies...

Last week seems like a distant memory. Well not that distant. We had our biannual audit last week. I got dinged on a couple of things, but thank goodness it is OVER.

Ugh. I don't like those times at all. Especially when the auditor's biggest purpose is to

GET

YOU.


Really though.

Anyway, last week is over and a new week has begun.

Can you believe it's December? The year 2013 is literally around the corner!

Oh my!

I'm just happy for a new week beginning.

This was a quiet weekend. It was a juicing weekend. I like to do some juicing every six weeks just as a cleanse.

I love juicing because it is quick and fast. I usually have juice 4 mornings a week... and I have gotten over into some interesting juices. You can call them borderline dysfunctional.

There is a juice bar a block from the job. I went to work for an hour and a half on Sunday, and I had a blackberry-apple-banana-peach-spinach juice, which was GREAT!

I will most definitely hit that place up again since it is so close to the job.

I juiced some sweet potatoes for the first time. I didn't know you could do such until I ran across it somewhere. It is... okay. As long as it is mixed with other veggies.

The most interesting juice I made with my juicer was watercress-pear-celery-cranberry-cherry-lemon-blueberry.

One word: dysfunctional.

But good, nevertheless. Watercress is VERY spicy. The first time I juiced watercress, I juiced too much and I felt like my chest was on FIRE. It's not as bad as ginger. But it is fire hot.

Interestingly, the phytochemical that produces that chest burn is effective at combating a class of cancer causing carcinogens in tobacco smoke.

Oh my!

I don't smoke. Not sure it will do anything for me. But it is an interesting plant.

Never juicing too much again, though. I have to smooth that out. Those berries do the job.

I will be adding watercress to my salad. It's suppose to be good for you.

I will probably carry this on until tomorrow sometime.

I suppose tomorrow night I will go somewhere and have a big ol' bowl of chitlins.

(Yeah right),

LOL

I also hung out at the neighborhood farmers market this weekend.,


Song of the week. Last week I was on some weird bad boy vibe. Not sure what that's about.

But I have been playing this song alot.

Not sure. Maybe one of my characters like it. (Some of them have their favorite tunes).

Hmm... Oh my! Wouldn't that be interesting?



I MUST have a full blogging week this week. I am so far behind.

We shall see... 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Murder Kroger

There are a plethora of Kroger grocery stores all over metro ATL.

And you've heard me talk much about the White People's Kroger. That's the Kroger they built in the inner city when all the white people moved intown. There's even a nice Target, Best Buy, and Barnes and Noble also. It is super nice, as to be expected. I go there frequently, as that is where my pharmacy is located.

And you've heard me talk about Black People's Kroger. That's over by the CowgirlCre's Mama and Daddy's house in Southeast ATL. I don't go in there unless I absolutely have to because they are slow as all get out. Every negro in the world be up in that place. Good grief.

But Murder Kroger... I only go there when I don't feel like driving out to the White People's Kroger...

Murder Kroger...


It looks nice enough.

There are beautiful flowers for sale out front. I took this picture back around Halloween, so there are also bins of pumpkins too.

I'm not all that sure about the electric riding cart out in the parking lot. They need to get that on inside quick before someone steals it.

I can't say I have cared to go in there much. It's on Ponce, a couple of miles from the job. And it's the type of place that you go into when you need something quick. I was looking up the store hours one day, and I saw that it was lovingly referred to as "Murder Kroger" online.

No one said why, though. It is in the heart of Midtown and it sits waaaaay far back off the road, so I am sure some tomfoolery has gone on in the huge parking lot that is shared with some condos and other businesses.

Hmmm...

I have had good experiences in there. They get me in and out quickly. The staff is nice. And like I said, I only run in there for quick stuff when I don't want to drive the extra couple of miles to the White People's Kroger.

There are always...interesting people in the parking lot. Last Saturday I went, and some homeless dude tried to cuss me out because I would give him 25 cents.

I was the WRONG one to mess with on a Saturday. I had just worked 4.5 hours and I was not in the best mood.

"You the one out here begging, man!" I hollered.

"You right. I'm out here begging for a motherf****** quarter! I oughta be ashamed of myself."

I'm not sure if he was using reverse psychology on me or not... I don't carry cash. But by that time, I'd gone on in the store. I bought my toilet tissue and lawn bags for leaves, and I was out. Dude was gone.

Now, on the day that I took the picture above, I'd gone in for a few things (I don't remember what), and since I had only a few items, I thought I would get in the express lane.

Simple enough. Only one buggy ahead of me. No big deal.

Except the guys in front of me had a FULL buggy...

And these jokers were doing something I'd NEVER seen done before: they were counting out 10 items at a time and paying for them.

I wanted to holler "Really? Really dude?"

LOL!

I mean, who does that?

This dude pulled 10 honeybuns out of a box and then paid for them.

WHO DOES THAT?

Ugggh!

I just shook my head. And I decided to just pull out my phone and play around on it. They were done in 10 minutes.

That was some silliness...

Only at murder Kroger.

On that night I met another interesting fellow in the parking lot. He was kind and mannerable. He tried to sell me a handful of incense.

"No thank you," I said.

He nodded and walked away, eagerly looking for someone else to purchase his incense.

Hmm...

My adventures at Murder Kroger have been simple adventures...  nothing that lives up the moniker.

It is a decent Kroger... And I will continue to go there!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Cyber Monday

Happy Cyber Monday to you!

Are you gonna go online while you're at work today and find great deals?

Not me. Sigh.

We have an audit this week. So I am a bit O_O.

I really need to sit down and go through some material and actually THINK about all the questions that can be asked. But I've been doing my regular work, and you know how that goes.

As a result, I worked a half day on Saturday. Not particularly happy about that.

It is what is.

Other than that, this weekend was nice.

A couple of weeks ago I was rummaging around online and found an article stating that there were 37 different farmers markets in metro Atlanta.

Can you imagine?

My goodness. You know I love a good Farmers market.

And there is one in my community, only a mile or so from my house, over in Grant Park by the Atlanta Zoo.

Why on earth did I not know this? O_O

So you know me... I went and investigated:


It is large. A lot bigger than the one I usually go to some 6 miles away in Morningside.

I bought some veggies I've never had before...

Purple Mustard Greens:


Kholrabi:

Yeah, I'ma look up a few recipes and work that out. I'm always happy to find something new.

My experiments with such should be all quite... interesting.

Have a happy Cyber Monday. Hope you found some great deals!