Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Freestyles... The Strong Chicken Edition

Yes, yes ya'll...

It is Friday.

And it is Pay Day!

And I, the Oldgirl, am feeling like a chicken!

Feeling quite like the confident chicken...

Feeling confident, with my wings on my hips, with my leather red and white catsuit on, standing tall with my head to the side.

Confident strong chicken!


No, but I feel okay because I have had a pretty productive week so far. And that is all I wanted for my week. Rarely do I have days where my workday goes by in  a blur, and I look up and it's time to go home. I like those types of days.

And today is August 31st, which I consider to be the last day of my summer. I rarely make goals for myself (which has to change), but I made a goal to save a specific amount of money over the past three months and I did that. I did that on purpose, man. I am happy about that. I even went a little over my goal. So now, I can start thinking about some other things.

I am looking forward to a good weekend. Heck, the weekend is GOOD automatically because it is a 3 day weekend! GLORY!!

My sister and I am going down to CowgirlCre's Family and Friends Labor Day gathering in the country on Saturday. That is ALWAYS a good time. So we will be there if it doesn't rain.

Sunday will be a day that I go get the winning gift cards, along with my shopping for the week. So if you won anything during the LadyLee bloggaversary sweepstakes, you will have your prizes by the end of the next week. Oh joy!!

But that's it for me... No long drawn out post. I really want to get to work a good hour early. I have much much much to do. And that's a good thing!

With that said, I hope you have a good Friday.

And make it a good Labor day weekend... on purpose!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Supersonic Sushi!

One of our most interesting coworkers is a coworker I will call "Sushi".

That name was given to her by my cubicle mate, The CowgirlCre. You see, CowgirlCre ran up here when she was having some sushi for lunch one day. That made her sophisticated, you see. She wasn't a sandwich and salad girl like me or CowgirlCre.

She was high class. She ate sushi for lunch.

So when she happens to be walking down the hall, and she is spotted, she will hear us yell "Sushi!"

"Who is Sushi?" our boss has asked.

"That's your girl... Cuz she eat that sushi for lunch."

(I know Sushi just rolls her eyes.  She knows how special we are. We are bored. We will do ANYTHING to entertain ourselves til quitting time).

Anyway, she just had a birthday. I made a card for her. I put her name on the front to the card. I wanted to put "Sushi" but that would've been too much for her to explain to folks.

She likes stars. She has an interesting tattoo, a small spray of stars. I guess that means she likes stars.

She turned 27.
(I put Sushi on the back. Had to get that in, man.)

I don't really believe she is 27. She looks to be about 15.

She is the official youngster of the groups. She may as well be 15.

I like Sushi. She works really hard and really smart. She don't even bust a sweat. She just be walking up and down the hall with her paperwork, her ponytail swinging back and forth, like she out walking on the beach or something. I tell you, whenever I see her, it makes me want to go to the skating rink and skate and half some fun!

She is an excellent employee. I am lobbying HARD for her to be substitute supervisor when the boss is out. (Lawd knows I HATE when I come up in the rotation. Oh, I can't stand it). But my boss isn't down for that. I do think she will run the group well. With an iron fist, and that is fine with me. As long as I don't have to do it, who cares. LOL

I'm still working on that, Sushi! Keep hope alive, gal!


One day, I saw her walking down the hall... and I called out "Sushi! Come here, girl!"

She came back... I know it was reluctantly. I could tell by the look in her eye.  But whatever. I know she didn't want me to chase her down.

"You got on them shoes, girl. The shoes in the JJ Fad Supersonic video."

Do you know who JJ Fad is?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.

I almost don't believe her. I played the Stylistics for her one day. She thought it was horrible. I wanted to put her out the lab.

I pointed at her feet again. "Those are the Supersonic shoes you got on there, girl!!"

I pointed this out to our coworker Lieutennant By. "Come here, By!! Come look at her shoes. Those are the JJ Fad Shoes... from the JJ fad Supersonic video!"

Of course, By and I broke out into some Supersonic verse...

"Supersonic motivating rhymes are creative..."

"I'm suma suma lama lama..."

*lee whispering... "supersonic!"*


I loved that song! It came out when I was 18 years old. I knew every word, and could probably jump up and do a few of the dances they were doing in the video. That was the best song! That whole Supersonic cassette tape was GREAT!

Pour Sushi. She had to deal with our hard singing. She has the straight face mody times, staying poised and control. I KNOW she go back and talks about her...special coworkers.  I know we make for interesting conversation.

That's alright, honey. I still like that song. And those shoes.

And it gives me an excuse to post the video.

And as Missy Elliot likes to yell... REEEEEMIIIIIIXXXX!!!!

LOL! I'm not sure those are the shoes. I think Sushi has the later generation. But they definitely are the same style!

Happy Birthday, Sushi. May your 27th year be your best year yet!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Remember When...

I remember when the power went off.  

I was only 9 years old.  I was sitting Indian Style on the big fluffy rug that sat askew in front of the TV set.  It was a Tuesday night, and a new episode of the Jeffersons was on.  I was laughing hard.  The squeak of Grandma's chair made a rhythmic noise as she rocked to and fro. She wasn't interested in the Jeffersons. She was more interested in not messing up the sweater she was crocheting.

Then the power went off.  

It was as if God flipped a light switch, and the whole world was turned off.

I knew things were not good when Grandma's chair stopped squeaking. And there was no sound accept the sound of my shallow breathing.

"Looks like the power done gone out, Lil' Soldier, she said, in her hard lisp.

Even though my first name was Larry, Grandma called me by my last name, with the "lil" at the beginning.  My father was one of those black power people and had changed his last name to Soldier.  So I was Little Soldier, and he was Big Soldier.

"That don't happen much here in Atlanta," she said.  

She went on to say something else but stopped mid sentence.

It was then that we both smelled smoke...

From Women of Color Writing Workshop, early August.

Time = 7 minutes. 

Prompts:  Start your story with:  I remember when

Mention the following:

Age between 2 and 88.
Name of a city.
First name starting with a G.
Last name starting with a S.
Prominent physical feature
Perk or mannerism

I forgot to work on the prominent physical feature portion. I was just trying to finish.  I cheated a little with the names. I used Grandma, and Soldier. I didn't have time to think about some really good names. 

We discussed that story for a moment. There are some interesting questions. What's up with the kid's father and the black panther party....

And what's up with the smoke?

I'll let you decide. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, Monday... Oh well. Oh joy!

Happy Monday Morning.

I am not all that happy. I have to go to the doctor this morning. And I've been a bit ratchet over the past 8 weeks, so I will probably have to hear some noise from my doctor. OH WELL.

It would be nice to take the day off, but I'm not going to do that. I have to go to work. OH JOY!


This weekend was okay. I wasn't feeling 100% so I didn't get much of anything done. I got a few chores done, and I got out there and cut the grass (thank goodness).

I even managed to wash Pam.

 She is squeaky clean!
She never gets the photo ops that Lucy gets. I got her from her good side, the side with the hubcaps! Here's to you, dear Pam!

I've been driving her this weekend. I'm about to make the 60 mile round trip to the doctor's office today in her. (Lucy has an eigth of a tank of gas, and she won't be getting any 'til payday. Pam's tank has been full for a good week and a half.  So she's on program this week. Yes... I am bootleg like that).

Oh well.

Republican convention. Well well well. The conventions are about to be underway. And the Republicans have to do something. This is the second time they have nominated a candidate that they simply do not like. Compound that with the fact that Romney doesn't want to talk about his past at Bain, or as the Massachussets governor, among other things. Ugh. Is this a bad joke.

I haven't taken the Republican party seriously since they've been spouting this birther mess.  How can I.

Here's my theory on the whole fiasco: Obama is a first generation African American. And you have to remember, as african americans, we are probably 6 generations removed from Africa.  We aren't that far removed from the Jim Crow laws, where we were only considered three-fifths of a human being. We just got our full rights (if you want to call it that), within the past 2 generations. It doesn't surprise me that they are up in arms about Obama being even born on US soil. Not one bit. But it is still stupid. Especially considering that the hospital of birth at that time in Hawaii placed the birth announcements in the paper. That alone should kill the birther speculation. But nooooo...

Oh well.

And the republicans can make the economy perfect (what a fantasy that is)... That's all well and good, but you women out there won't be able to get birth control. an abortion, or female health care if they have their way. That is scary. And for goodness sake, don't be a victim of rape. Can you say "second class citizen"?

Oh well.

I'm going to watch some of the republican convention. Might as well. I like to know how the party spins sees things. Might dispell some of my thoughts. I'm still perplexed about them nominating a candidate they don't even like. Why should I?

Hurricane Isaac.  Oh my. A hurricane is about to hit somewhere along the gulf coast sometime this week.  And imagine the fact that I wanted to get out and cut the grass before we caught all that rain (we will get some of the bands, but the remnants won't be hitting here as hard).

It is suppose to hit 7 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit.  My goodness, the area hasn't even fully recovered yet. Especially New Orleans.  My prayers go out to them. I know no one needs to deal with the situation all over again.

Picture of the Week. My former coworker Lady Lifetime is getting settled in Uganda right now. It is interesting to chat with her on Words with Friends concerning how things are over there.

"I've been out all day hunting and gathering food!"

"I'm convinced that the chicken is roadkill here!"

Man. The conveniences of the USA are exactly that. Conveniences. I couldn't imagine no fast food restaurants or processed food products. Everything has to cooked from scratch. That is cool with me, since I like fresh fruit and veggies, but not having the options has to be taxing.

Anyway, she was having lunch at a restaurant there, and saw this:

Wow.. I bet I won't see that on Peachtree street, will I? Oh Joy!

Only in the motherland indeed!

I hope it's a wonderful experience for her and the fam... I truly do.

I'm going to have a productive week. Both personally, and at work... I surely am.

On purpose. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Scripture

Just a look at a little something I've been reading this week. It's always interesting to not only think about what I read, but what sticks and stays fresh on my mind long after reading it.  I even spend time journaling about it.  

I've been digging around in the book of Thessalonians. I came across a couple of interesting scriptures:

I Thessalonians 5:14-15  AMP And we earnestly beseech you, brethren, admonish (warn and seriously advise) those who are out of line [the loafers, the disorderly, and the unruly]; encourage the timid and fainthearted, help and give your support to the weak souls, [and] be very patient with everybody [always keeping your temper].  See that none of you repays another with evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and to everybody.

That's a nice scripture.

But the Message translation, uh... makes it a bit clearer.

I Thessalonians 5:14-15  Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet.  Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. 

LOL.  That's for Dee in San Diego, because I know she likes the rowdy translation, Message version. Be careful so you won't be straight snapping on folks, hon.

Paul was speaking in this epistle to that particular group of believers in Thessalonica.  I've always thought that church is a microcosm of society in general.  And that verse proves it. You have your freeloaders, the disorderly, the unruly, the timid, the fainthearted, the weak, the stragglers, the exhausted, etc... You also have your encouragers, helpers, and patient people, too.  All of that exists within and outside the church.

I'm not all that sure of the whole supposed perfection view of church people. Not likely. But that's another blog post.

That one scripture gives a good picture of how to conduct oneself in general, I believe.  Many parts of that I myself have to work on. (Me and my patience issues).  If I can learn to be encouraging, helpful and patient, and be careful in attitude... I might be getting somewhere!

One other verse out of Thessalonians... one that has become my meditation scripture over the past few days.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (Message)  It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. 

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (Phillips)  We know that God not only loves you but has selected you for a special purpose.

That has been part of my prayers this week. God loves me and has his hand on me for something special, and I am selected for some special purpose.

Man, that makes me feel good inside. Sure is. Get to saying that a few times a day? Might have me turning a few cartwheels (so git out the way!). LOL

That has been my Sunday Scripture, my scriptural ponderings for the week.

You have a great Sunday :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Freestyles...The Foto Edition

Good Friday Morning...

Thanks to all who participated in the Sweepstakes! The winners sent their information and requests very promptly with no prodding and begging from me, lol. That was fun! I have to have more giveaways, just to bring you lurkers out of the clouds!

This week went by FAST for some reason. Just odd. But I'm not complaining. At all.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Lot's of my routine stuff to do: cut grass and clean up.

Actually, I cut the backyard and one side of the house on Thursday evening after work, since it's cooler in the evenings. That will be the strategy until the fall. Break it all up over two or three days. We will see how that go.

Let me stop thinking and writing on the fly. Back to this post.

Friday Fotos. I took many photos this week. I want to post some of the more interesting ones.

So I went to the farmer's market on Tuesday evening. I like going during the week because it's not crowded like we're in a club on a hot Friday night, lol. Anyway, I saw the most interesting vegetable:

That is celery root. I am sure it's good. I saw a celery root soup recipe once.

But it looks like something from another planet. It looks like an alien will shoot out of it at any moment.

Yes, I left that on the shelf. I'm going to have to come across that at somebody's resturant or something.

I just had to take a picture of it. No picture taking is allowed in that place. The last time I took a picture, they hemmed me up. They hit me with the Celie crooked fanger curse. It was not a good luck. But I snapped that pic on the sly!

So... I was in the lab. I walked back up from my desk, rounded the corner heading for my cubicle and there stood my coworker T-Love with a huge cleaver in one hand and a hammer in another:

"Whoa... Yo, man," I said, as I stopped in my tracks (far from him).  "You alright? What's going on?"

He laughed.

Not funny. He looked quite... dangerous.

They were trying to "bust up some shrimp" or something. I don't think it takes all that to deal with shrimp.  Maybe it was some big frozen 20 pound block. Who knows? I didn't ask.  His boss was standing there, and everyone looked quite jovial. So I felt alright about sitting down in my cubicle.

Coworker Meek  likes to buy the huge plastic containers of salad greens from time to time.  She can't eat it all before it goes bad. (I keep joking with her that her salad greens go bad in her $100 dollar fridge. If she had a $1600 french door fridge like mine, she wouldn't have these isshas). So she always asks if I want to split it.... she takes half, I take the other half.

Are you kidding? Do you even have to ask, Meek?

*snatching salad in the blink of an eye*

That's good stuff! And it's free! What I don't eat? I will juice with some apples, honey! Good good stuff!

Nothing like fresh raw veggies!

There's a food truck meet-up every Thursday some 4 blocks from my job. There looked to be around 15 trucks.

I've never ventured out down there, but some of my coworkers go every Thursday. Coworker Meek called from back in the lab and asked if I wanted to go, and I went, without any attention of buying anything. The days are cooler, and it would be a good day for a good walk. I just wanted to take some pictures.

One of the most interesting trucks was the Jamaican food truck.

That picture just makes you want to run up and get some good jerk chicken, doesn't it?

Meek got a huge plate of jerk chicken, rice, peas and cabbage.  It looked VERY good. I knew she had the itis after that.

I decided on some fries laced with sesame oil and red paper flakes, served with a little shirachi cheese dip.  I don't know what food truck that was from. I think it was cuban-mexican. I couldn't figure it out. All I know it was good. I had that and a popsicle.

It's always good to get out of the building a couple of days a week. It does me good to even get in the car and go somewhere for an hour.  It's amazing what that does for my mental...

Quote of the week. One of my friends posted this on Facebook.

That's a healthy attitude to have about oneself.

That's how I want to feel about myself. And I on my way there.

Song of the week. Oldie but goodie.

CowgirlCre just rolled her eyes at this song. I can see her doing it, lol. I use to play that TO DEATH in the cubicle area a few years ago. LOL. I really like that song.

Well, that's my photo edition of Friday Freestyles.

With that said, you all have a great Friday.

And have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snack! Snack! Snack... Crunch!

So I am sure you've seen this viral Hot Cheetos and Takis video.

It went viral last week. I thought I would let the fuss die down before I talk about it.

I'm particularly enamored with the young fellow at 2:45. I think that is Southern Black Gal's little boy O.

We thought it was a girl at first. You know the transgender stuff is happening earlier and earlier these days. It took my coworker Lt. Commander By, who has little boys, to convince us it was a boy!

Overall, we thought it was funny! I was just glad that they weren't rapping about bitches and hoes and weed and guns and crack. They're rapping about snacks.

I like what AverageBro said.... "Meanwhile, similarly aged Chinese children have mastered Boolean Algebra."

Yes! that's probably true. But these kids like their snacks!

Yeah, you know you got your healthy eating folks out there. Yeah, yeah. Focus back on this being an innocent rap song.  You're not all that innocent... Question: What were YOU eating when you were 10 years old?

Me? I was all about the Funyuns!

And the Orange Fanta!

If there was no Fanta, or if I was feeling real good that day, I splurged on the Grapefruit soda, that Fresca!

(Yes, I tracked down the can designs from the 1970s. That's how I remember those.)

I could get my funyuns and soda for 60 cents. Prices were better some 30 years ago, honey!

I was standing in line at the Wal-Mart last Saturday and lo and behold, I saw something strange:

Flaming Hot Funyuns!!??!! When did those come out? I've never seen hot funyuns!

Sorry, but that's a lot going on. I paid 50 cent for those (my old grab bag in the 1970s of funyuns use to be 35 cents. My how inflation has hit home!). Me and CowgirlCre tested them out. They were fine. But all that onion flavor and heat had too much going on. Wow. I'll pass on those.

I don't eat as much junk these days. I tend towards a bit of fruit...

"Grapes and Strawberries! Grapes and Strawberries! I can't get ennnnnuuuufff of my grapes and strawberries."

That doesn't have the same ring to it. Nerp.

But I'll be snacking on it anyway!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A House of LadyLee Virtual Wedding Album!

Ah yes...

One of my favorite coworkers, Commander Meek-Meek, ran off to Detroit and got married!

I am sooooo happy for her... even though that meant abandoning me at work. We have worked in the same time shift together for years, and I just don't do well at all when she's not around. Not well at all. I trust her, she has a good work ethic, she is honest and I know she won't throw me under the bus. So that makes her fine by me.

So yes, I am happy to see her back! (yes, that is selfish of me. humph).

She brought in her wedding albums and we sat around and perused them. Thank goodness she sat there while we oohed and aahed over the picutres. If she would've walked off, I do believe I would've swiped a few of those pictures to keep for myself.

And she gave me permission to post some pictures.  I like to tack pictures high up on the walls of the House of LadyLee from time to time.

First of all, when she returned to work (even though I told her to take a month off), I asked to see her ring.

I was enamored not only by the rings, but by her manicure.

"That's those Detroit nails! They don't do nails like that in the ATL."

"Yes they do," Meek said. "My daughter knows where you can get them done like that."

"That's alright!" I said. "I'm not getting my nails done. If you see me with my nails done like that, you know I'm working the stripper pole somewhere at night!"

(CowgirlCre suggested that she gets her nails redone with gold tones... to match her military uniform for work. Not sure Meek liked that suggestion.)

Look at that ring!


"Those are real diamonds right there, Meek-Meek!"

"That's definitely not CZT," our boss said.

"Sure isn't cubic zirconias! Those aren't the diamonelles you see on the late night infomercials either!"


No, that's the real thing! That's that BLING!

Meek shines her diamonds every night with that "Diamond Shine"!

We ooohed and aaahed over this picture!

Oh what a beautiful bride!

It is so odd to see you out of uniform, Meek. I do think you would've set it off if you wore your formal military whites.

Meek didn't comment on that suggestion. LOL

I like the wedding dress. And I've never seen a veil that extends down into a train. When on earth did they start doing that?

"That's that Vera Wang, Meek," I said.

"No, that's that Gladys from Puerto Rico," she replied.


Here's Meek with her bridesmaids and her flower girl.

Everyone looks so nice in that green. Her flowergirl is her granddaughter. I've met her before. At that age, they are hours of fun. She did a great job as flower girl. (You know that type of thing can be touch and go with the little ones). She was on program, too, as she was charged with reciting the Lord's Prayer. I would've loved to have seen that!

Here's the groom and his groomsman, and Meek's father.

"Yo, I'm digging the all white he got on. It sets him apart from his groomsmen!"

It's actually cream. But it looks white on the picture.

"Why won't they smile? Why they all looking all hardcore!?"
"Detroit men don't smile," Meek said.


That's a hardcore town, and the men are hardcore, I suppose. Go head on and mean mug, fellas.

"Plus it was 95 degrees outside. They were hot."

I understand. Too much sun makes you frown up.  Well it makes me frown up. I know that much.

Here's A picture of the cake!

A small wedding cake with 2 sheet cakes. I think the sheet cakes are a great idea. Easier to deal with. (My mother has made wedding cakes for some 30 years. I know a good cake idea when I see one.)

And finally a picture of the full wedding party...

Ahhh... Some of the fellas are smiling. I really like that picture.

Meek! Congratulations on your nuptials. And thanks for allowing me to create a virtual wedding album. I can come back and peruse these pictures as much as I please.

And I'm glad you're back at work, hon. I just don't do well without ya, girl.

I just don't.

*lee leaning against the wall and crying hard*


(I still think you should've taken a whole month off. Humph).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WINNERS of the LadyLee 7th Bloggaversary Sweepstakes!!

The Sweepstakes is over and we finally have winners!


If you didn't participate, that's on YOU. YOU, honey, missed out of fabulous cash and prizes!!

But we have winners!


The veterans of my giveaways know the deal... comment and comment often! And as a result, we had close to 80 comments, emails and texts that qualified as entries!

So... all those entries were placed in a cup...

I hired my coworker , the Good Lt. Commander By, to pull the winning entries!

There he is, expertly mixing up the entries!

Lt. Commander By... what nice hands you have. They're not even ashy. Your wife must make sure you put on your Ultra Healing Jergens lotion every morning before work.  (Thanks Mrs. By... us chickens appreciate that! Nothing worse than a dude with ashy hands!)

Lt. Commander By commences to pulling  the prize winning entries...
I was hoping his watch and ring would fall off into the cup... they look quite pawnable. LOL

He pulled the names and wrote the prize on the back of the slip. 1st name out won 1st prize and so on...

And the winners are!!!

1st prize - $77 dollar gift card - SASHA

2nd prize - book + $10 gift card - REMNANTS of U

3rd prize - cookies - ALI


*throws glitter*

Congratulations to the lucky winners!

*grabs winners' hands and runs through a field of purple flowers*

Remnants already has a hardback copy of the book. I know because I met her at a signing. (What a surprise!)

Honey, we'll substitute some cookies for that book!

I may have to give that paperback copy of the book to Tayari to use in one of her giveaways. Everybody who reads this blog seems to have a copy of the book, whether won or bought on your own. (Yeah, I was pushing and advertising that book. I was her bootleg self imposed publicist, man!!)

Congrats to the lucky winners!  Get your information to me soon as possible (be specific about gift card and cookie types PLEASE). email me at or

Those gifts will be sent out around September 1st at the latest!

Thanks again for participating! It was my chance to give some of the lurkers a chance to come out of the woodworks! You can go back to lurking now!

Now Lt. Commander By was not only an excellent puller of winning tickets... he was also a great hand model.

Here's a better hand model... Lt. Commander Meek-Meek...

Yes. She is back from her wedding and honeymoon... I am happy to see her. She is my constant work partner... I have been in dire straights since she has been gone. Next time, I will just take off too... doggonit.

Pics coming up tomorrow!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good AND Happy Monday Morning!

Happy Monday Morning to YOU!

The only way this morning could be any happier is if I was OFF from work today.

Alas... that ain't the case. But it would be super duper NICE.

It is eight in the morning. I am going to write for a good 30 minutes. Then I will bounce away and gleefully get ready for work.

My weekend. I didn't have any big plans for the weekend. I remotely thought about doing some grocery shopping, but I didn't. And the grass needs cutting, but it rained the night before, and wet grass is a beast to cut. Can't stand that. So this weekend was to consist of catching up on my sleep and doing chores.

That was until Grandma called.

Let's back up. I called her on Friday to see how she was getting along. She said she was fine. She told me that my uncle, her youngest son, was in a nursing home. This is the first I've heard of that.  She hadn't been to see him, because she didn't exactly know where the place was at. I told her if she learned where, I would take her.

That started some type of scavenger hunt which had me a bit O_o.

"He's out there off of Thornton road, Lisa. You have to turn off there onto a certain street."

Hmm.  "Uh, you need to figure out what 'certain' street," I replied. "I can't take you anywhere and I don't know where to go. Call his wife, his kids, or somebody."

There was NO way I was going out to the west suburbs looking for where he was.

She called me back later on Saturday with an address. She didn't have a name for the place, but she had an address. Good enough. I put it in my phone GPS and it was legitamite. So I told her to call me once she got out of church and I would take her.

See, I have to keep myself from getting a little angry over this whole situation concerning my grandma. Not sure why it is so difficult for her to get the help she needs from other family members. They know she is elderly, and she is at an age where she needs some help. So I am assuming that there is more going on than I know. All I know is that I do my best to help IF she says what is going on.  I think part of the problem is that she is like me... she HATES being a bother to people. I know I do, and I am trying to improve when it comes to that.

So she called me when she got out of church, and I went to pick her up, and we went to see my uncle.

I haven't seen my uncle in some 10 years. Our family just doesn't get together like that anymore. And his family is the most distant of all. I think he has MS, and it has been giving him problems over the years. He still looks the same (he has always reminded me of the lead singer of Kool and the Gang), but he has obviously deteriorated much. So he has to live in this nursing home/rehab center.

My funniest memory of him comes from when I was little. I know he can't be no more than about 18 years older than me. My uncle is a very fine man, and women use to call Grandma's house all the time. We call him "Dean", but that's his middle name. I didn't know that as a 4 year old. So when women called asking, in sultry sexy voices for "Roland", I would holler "You got the wrong number!", and hang up the phone. He was sitting there when I did that one day. "Girl, what are you doing?" he yelled. "You messing me up! dean is my middle name! My first name is Roland!!"

This stunned me like nothing else. It was a topic of conversation and laughter for awhile.

All these years later, He seem to be in good spirits. He was watching old cowboy movies and old black movies to pass the time.

I really don't like these types of places.  Unless they are top of the line, they aren't all that great or sanitary. This one was okay, but it was very sobering to walk around the place and take in all the people in such poor health and state of mind. It made me understand how much I have taken for granted in my life. I work really hard on being appreciative of my life, especially since I suffer with a chronic illness. One bad turn could land me in one of these places. I think about from time to time, as I don't have family who will take me in and help me if I become debilitated.

But it is always sobering to be there.

On a good note, I was happy to take my Grandmother to visit with her youngest child.

My uncle's attitude is surprisingly good. "I like living here, Lisa. It's close to my house. The people are nice here. And my wife can get up here and check on me. And I can use the phone out front to check on them."

He asked me to call his house when I was there, to see when his family was coming to see him. His wife said she had spent the day with him the day before, and was at home washing up his clothes and she would be up there a little later with his daughter. I could hear the exasperation in her voice. It has to be hard working full time and having to make sure she takes care of his needs while he is there.  She said that she had told him that, and that he is sometimes forgetful, so to just be patient while talking to him. I understand that.

Of course I talked to my sister about it, who had called when I was there. She is the inside person to talk to when it comes to family issues, as she keeps up with that. She said that my uncle had been there for awhile. Grandma had talked about it, but she never said anything about going to visit with him. So that was good to know.

I think the problem is just getting Grandma to speak up about things. And it is a lesson I can learn also, as I am much like her in that regard. I am able to coax her a little better these days. "Mama, IF you need some help, feel free to call me. IF you can't figure out how to get it done, call me, and we will see what we can do."

(Always odd that I call her Mama. When I was little, I heard her kids call her that).

That was the personal food for thought for my own weekend. Wasn't expecting any of that, really. My usual weekend of concentrating on myself and decompressing from my workweek was interspersed with a sobering reminder of how good life is. Because it could be so much worse.

With that said, I am looking forward to the week. Maybe there will be less complaining... and more appreciation.  Maybe there will be more willingness to do well.

And a better, deeper sense of thanksgiving. Thankful that I can walk, that I can talk, and that my mind is sound. Man, it is a blessing just to be able to smell, taste, touch, hear and feel.  I've always been thankful that I have been able to take care of myself well, even 10 years after diagnosis. I hope and pray for another good ten years... and many more.

I am just thankful.

Who can ask for anything more.

THAT in itself makes it a Good AND Happy Monday Morning.

What a good lesson to learn this weekend.

Anyway, thanks for participating in my bloggaversary celebration. I hope YOU, dear reader and lurker, win a fabulous prize. I hope you win that $77 7th bloggaversary gift card. Or more importantly, those cookies. (Man, folks are gunning for them.)

Y'all can go back to lurk mode now!

We are pulling names today, and those will be announced in the morning!

With that said... you know how it goes.

Make it a good week... ON PURPOSE!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Scriptures Deluxe

Sunday scripture time!

Man, I like this! This may become a regular post I do on Sundays... albeit shorter. LOL.

I was reminded of one of my favorite verses this week. I memorized it some 10 years ago.

Proverbs 13:20 MES Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

I like this verse a lot. Why? Because it's a good measuring stick when judging my friendships.

Am I growing as a person because of our friendship? Am I a better person? Am I wiser? Do you give good advice? Are you a good listener? Do you love me in the midst of all my shortcomings and slow to judge me (because you have your own!)?

Or has the drama increased in my life sense I met you? Are their guilt trips involved? Am I more erratic or volatile since I've been running with you? Are you jacking up my money and credit? Am I worse off emotionally and spiritually? Are you constantly judging me? Am I just straight up drained?

As you can see, I moreso look at personal progress from an intangible point of view. The only tangible you see above is somebody messing up by money and credit (that ain't gonna happen).

Let's just say, I ain't calling nobody a fool... but this is a person I won't be hanging around. I don't stand long for people stressing me out. Period.

I read somewhere long ago that you should be able to put a "+" or a "-" next to the names of all the people you know. Anyone with a "-" next to their names needs to be kicked to the curb. I thought that was harsh when I heard that years ago. But the older I get, the more I understand that. Yes, it is harsh. But it's harsher dealing with someone putting you through drama for the next 10 to 20 years. Hmm...

Something to think about.

I found this verse of scripture... interesting.

18 Proverbs 26:18-19 CEB Like a crazy person shooting deadly flaming arrows are those who deceive their neighbor and say, “Hey, I was only joking!”

 That is one heck of a visual. A crazy person running down the street with a bow and arrows... which he lights on fire and just starts shooting. Well, imagine the scene: it is chaotic. There is confusion. Folks are trying to get out of the way. Those hit with the arrows are injured and burned.

But it describes the chaos and confusion and pain when someone deceives you, also. And then, even though they apologize, you can tell it's not all that sincere. Emotional injury occurs.

You know me by now. I accept your apology. But I am more prone not to too much fool with you too much too more. 

But I know people who have been conned by the same person over and over again. And that person comes back and cons them into believing that they didn't mean it...

And it happens again and again.  A vicious cycle indeed. 

And as that verse describes... a most painful one.

Finally, a few scripture from Romans 14. I posted the whole chapter last year, I believe. Complete with an angry manifesto (Not really angry... more like annoyed. It's the reason I don't get caught up in these religious discussions... and for goodness sake, why I don't pick on trivial stuff like people's hair!).  

We were directed to another verse in this chapter during a sermon. I remembered that it was one of the most memorable and important chapter I read last year, and I perused other parts of it.  

19-21So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault.

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

Finding fault with people drags them down. We see that all the time. We are pros in being judgmental. Encouraging and building people up takes a lot of maturity.

I am struck by the whole "You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent." That means that you're all good if what you say and what you do actually line up. It also means that I really have to watch my own self and actions closely.

And you can tell you are out of line if

1. You impose your opinions on others.
2. You are trying to please others.

Man, those two things... that's a big swath of every day human nature, ain't it?

I don't impose my opinions on others. If you want my opinion, you gotta drag it out of me, kinda like Will Smith was dragging that alien across the desert in the movie Independence Day. LOL

I just don't do that. For me, it's because my life and your life are different. I just feel wrong imposing my opinion on anyone. People who do that relentlessly, well, I see it as a way that they pump up their own self-esteem.

I told someone that one time. "Yo, if you need to use me to better your self esteem, then fine. Do that!"

(I didn't have to deal with anymore of that off that person. Ever again. Humph. I didn't ask for your opinion, and I KNOW how to get your dipping duck behind out of my business, honey).

Now if my opinion comes from a heart of encouragement and positivity? Or if there is a good history of discussion with positive results between myself and someone? Then I am more apt to give it. If not, I shut up.

Now, the whole pleasing of others... That is a strong indicator that one is not strong in their convictions. Man, we just wanna be accepted by others, don't we? Sometimes, we are willing to drop our beliefs to the ground in favor of being part of the popular group. This is understandable in high school, but I feel like once we hit those 30s, that should start to fall off. And I know people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who strive to please others at the inconvenience and detriment of their own selves. And that's not a good thing. Not a good thing to be in bondage to people like that. Not at all.
Those are three interesting scriptures/passages.

That could've been three posts, hunh? LOL

Me and my prolific self.
I couldn't decide between the three. They were all on my mind this week..

Those are self assessment scriptures. Who am I and what am I doing and how do I feel about myself and who am I running with? Yeah, those types of scriptures that help you gauge yourself and the people you trust yourself with.

Hope they are as useful to you as they are to me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kentucky!!!

My sister turns 31 today!

Happy birthday, Kentucky!!!

By the way, Kentucky isn't her real name. She has one of those interesting names that NO ONE else on the planet has. Although there's a chick in my writing group named Kianni. Her name is VERY close to that, but with many more letters. 

She was born when I was 11 years old. I posted about the morning she was born a few years ago. That was the year I started high school. I remember our mother taking me to register, and she had this little bundle of joy in her arms. 

It doesn't feel like 31 years. My how time flies.

I asked Kentucky what she wanted for her birthday. She said the usual... "I don't know"!

(kicking the hard eyeroll at her)

Awhile ago I told her "I'll just get you a gas card."

"That is fine," is her quick reply. "Just fine."

Everybody can use gas, you know. 

Last birthday was her 30th birthday. We went to ChowBaby for dinner. I gave her 12 bottles of this bougi mint water she likes to drink and a handful of cash! She almost jumped up and ran around that restaurant. 


She was a happy chicken indeed that day. 

I think she and her friends are hanging out tonight. She tried calling yesterday but I didn't catch her call. I will call her BRIGHT and early in the morning. She leaves the house at 6... so why don't I just call her now. (She sleeps hard... she will not answer the phone. 

So happy birthday, girl. Love you much! 

Hope to see you this weekend... so I can give you your gas card!!!

Friday Food for Thought... The Force of Habit

So, like I wrote of in my last post, my sister and I have some crazy conversations. Last Sunday's conversation involved crazy baby names and my deep need of getting my toenails painted. 

And as usual, we catch up on any emotional issues we're dealing with. I find that we can discuss things openly and honestly without judgment. And that is especially good for me because I rarely talk about whatever goes on in my head and heart. And she always affords an interesting perspective, and vice versa.  

So she was telling me about this teacher who is extremely negative. Absolutely no one wants to deal or interact with her. And from what I understand, it is difficult to even have teacher meetings because this woman's negativity gets in the way (to the point of storming out the room). Sigh.   

My sister is the poker face champ. She's the family diplomat and can deal with anything. But I told her, once she turns 30 or abouts, uh... that's going to start changing. And a few weeks ago, she said concerning some family situations... "Lisa, I'm learning that I have choices now. I choose what I deal with or not."

Doggone skippy you do, honey. That's been my mantra for the last 10 years. I ain't dealing with you unless I'm being helpful or being helped. I am more interested in being helpful. That's my barometer with people these days. 

She is great at dealing with difficult people. Me? Not so much. But the prospect of dealing with this teacher...  I could tell it was something that just upset her something horrible. 

I myself had been praying about this, this learning to deal with difficult people. Normally it means changing one's own ways in order to accommodate or compensate for the person's personality. I was having a little trouble with this at work. I'm alright for a moment, but not years and years. But I gotta work with folks.  My passive aggressiveness usually garners me much room to breathe. I rarely toss it up with people. I find it easier to allow you to think I am angry with you... or that I'm just a little bit "touched". Just enough so that you will not come mess with me. And that is fine with me. 

I find that folks tend to prey on the nice people. I like to make certain folks think that I may or may not be nice. 

But I don't really care to be like that. That's not who I am inside. I wanna be the nice person that I am. And I don't want to have to watch people. I don't want to watch what I say around people. THAT exasperates me. I know plenty of people who are extremely likable and  everyone likes them.... but at the same time, they are the most exasperated and mentally worn out people I know.  I don't want that for my life.

Back to my sister... I told her, "You know, I had been praying about this, and I got the most interesting answer. And for some reason, it lifted the heaviness of it off my mind.I'm thinking about it and peeling it like an onion. I'll probably be thinking about it for a long time."

"Really? What's that?" she said.  Our ears perk up when we discuss our prayer lives and answers.  

"People are good people.  The problem is that people are under the forces of habit."


I don't know where I was when I got that answer. No, I ain't one of them "on my knees" praying type of folks.  I get on my knees to get stuff out from under the bed. That's about it. I pray while crocheting, while driving, while folding clothes, while washing dishes... stuff like that. I do remember thinking, "What does that mean?"... and then writing it down somewhere. It is a simple statement. I wrote it down because I may come across it while reading some strange less talked about book of the Bible. (Yeah, I 've come across answers that were actual scripture before... months or years later). 

I did look up the word habit. Two definitions peaked my interest:

habit: a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality; an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has almost become involuntary. 

"People are under the forces of habit, Kentucky," I said. "I have come to the conclusion that that means that people have some seriously negative habits.  And those habits become such incredibly strong forces, so strong to the point where they negatively and grossly impact anyone and everything they come in contact with."

"Okay," she said. 

"And on the flip side of that, people have some wonderfully good habits. Habits that become such strong forces in that they are not only good for themselves, but they are good and are a blessing to everyone around them."

I had been thinking on that for a few weeks.  And it causes me to see people a little different. Especially those with noticeably bad habits.  

Why? Because I have begun to realize that people's idiosyncrasies have nothing to do with ME.  

Just like mine have nothing to do with them. Their personality quirks and habits are theirs, and mine are mine.


People are good people.

That in itself caused me to lighten up on taking things personally. I have a bad problem with that, this taking things personally. Sorry, but 9 times out of 10, no one is out to get me. They just got some deep rooted mess going on, and they are lashing out at everyone. 

Most of the people we deal with are "good people". They're not out robbing stores, taring up stuff, not killing folks or stealing your stuff.  You know, they're not doing things that we consider "bad" per se.

They just got janky habits. Habits that are personality deep. So my sister's coworker teacher has a habit of being negative. This didn't just start just yesterday.  The woman has probably been that way for years. That negativity probably started in childhood somewhere, as much emotional baggage does. And that habit she has has become a stronghold in her personality, and it has turned into a force... an emotional hurricane of sorts. It has breath and depth and strength. It's intense, violent and powerful. And it has become such an incredible force that it knocks over the emotions of anyone they come in contact with. 

And then we get over into some far out issues. People who get delusional and actually think something is wrong with everyone else because they aren't like them. They even tend to start getting with people who have the same mindset and habits they have (read: cliques), and then you have a whole nother animal on your hands. Then we get over into control issues.

(Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "People who can't control their emotions will  make an all out attempt to control the emotions of those around them.") 


"Yeah, that's true," Kentucky said. 

"When someone acts out like that, you are seeing the tip of the iceberg.  There is something more going on down beneath the surface than what you are seeing. All that stuff got some roots to it. But you have to remember that the person is a good person. They just have problems."

Now, with myself and my sister, our problem is that we have an extremely negative mother. Me? I don't fool with Mother unless I absolutely have to (Man, I don't even fool with people who remind me of my mother. I don't do deal with toxicity voluntarily). My sister deals with her, but she's exasperated. I do my best to try to help her navigate that relationship because I know she really wants it to work. If she needs to talk about it with me, we talk. I'm objective, with the goal of remaining positive. I support whatever Kentucky needs to do emotionally. But she has to understand that with that getting along with Mother comes a certain amount of exasperation. And she has to deal with it.

But don't forget to remember that Mother is a good person. That is key. I too have to remember that.

And it's the first thing I think when dealing with folk that rub me the wrong way: that's a good person, first and foremost. And for whatever strange reason, that gives me some peace and solace. And it has under girded my compassion and patience. And that's a good thing. 

I'm glad my sister's first thought was to pray about it. She has the most interesting prayer life and record of things turning around super fast in her favor. It is really amazing. And she doesn't have to co-teach with this teacher. She found that out the next morning. She was relieved. I was too. And I'm sure it strengthened her faith when it comes to going to God and trusting Him with her issues. 

"This is why I tell you to work on yourself. Get brutally honest with yourself. If you know you have a problem, and admit it to yourself, that in itself is a good start to winning over it. Many don't even know they have problems, and their problems are affecting others. And you want to affect others in a positive way... not be a bad oozing infection on someones life."

She seems to have taken that to heart. She works on herself. I too work on myself. 

We are good people. We ourselves have to remember that also.

My late grandfather told me one time that it was okay to have bad habits and addictions and such. As long as you aren't affecting the lives of others in the process. 

That's impossible. 

He told me that when I was in my 20s. I think of that often. I don't want to affect anyone in a bad way. I have kept that in mind over the years. Whether it be substance abuse or something as intangible as negativity, I don't want that thing to become a force where it is hurtful to others. 

So I hope you were able to grab a little something from this food-for-thought. It has layers and layers to it. I think of my life in 3 to 6 month intervals. I would love to write up some other interesting answers I've gotten to prayers that have really freed my mental up a bit, but I think it's a bit too deep, and probably just for me. Some things are just difficult to explain without writing a dissertation on it. 

But I hope that was useful. My sister found it useful, an interesting perspective. 

I hope you did too.

(Don't forget to comment for a chance to win the $77 gift card and other fabulous cash and prizes. See 7th Bloggaversery post for details).  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crazy Convos with Kentucky

Conversations with my little sister Kentucky start off simple enough:

Phone rings. I notice her number. I pick up.

"Wassup girl?"
"Hey Lisa," she says in her light voice with the hard Southern drawl.

She's an elementary school teacher, and she has been preparing for the upcoming school year. And with that comes the influx of new students... and the plethora of interesting names.

"I got some names for you," she said.
"Oh no," I groaned.

She usually spells out the name, and I have to attempt to announce it. (Note: I placed periods in the names so they won't come up on a search since they are so... original).

"This name is going to really trip you out," she says. "N.vee Miss Bertha Betsy Mae Wa.lker"


"You lying!" I holler.

"Nope. Saw that one the other day. And 'Miss' is actually a part of her name."

I pondered this. Why on earth would a parent name their child that?

"That's some family name mess. Those are names of grandmamas, of great aunts or something like that. Still odd."

Then Kentucky bust out with some other names. "There are some twin girls also. Their names are Shi.crayon and Shi.marker."

Wow. Some parent out there really likes their writing utensils.

Geesh. Have you heard of such a thing?  That's quite... original.

Last year, the most interesting name she told me of was a little girl named Beefa.roni.

Nickname: Beef.


Mama and Daddy must love some Chef Boyardee. That is all.

Those babies have strange names. Those babies will go on to do great things despite that.

Anyway our conversation moved along from that tomfoolery.

"Hey," I said. "I need you to paint my toenails. I figure I can either pay you to do it or I can pay them Asians to do it. And I don't need a pedicure, just need you to remove the old chipped stuff and paint them."

"I'll do it," she said. "I just have to see if I have some fingernail polish remover."

"You think they got sell fingernail polish remover at the QuikTrip gas station next to your place?"

"No," she said through a chuckle.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

She giggled.. "The gas station selling fingernail polish remover."

"Shoot, they sale everything else up in that joint."

I heard her rummaging around. "That's alright, I found some!"

"Alright, because you know I'd run up in the gas station and ask if they sold it."

I told her I would come over. She said she had cooked dinner. Pork chops, fried corn and squash and baked whole sweet potatoes.

"I don't care about no pork. I want some squash and fried corn and sweet potatoes, though.  And I have some greens and a piece of cornbread. We can share that!"

"Okay," she said.

It was noon at the time. I told her I would be over by four.

Then our conversation turned to more serious matters. I asked her about school. She was still getting the room together, and had been spending a week doing that. But she had received some news that she would be co-teaching with another teacher. Nothing much wrong with that concept, but the teacher was one of the most negative people she had ever been around, to the point of just dealing with her for any amount of time just completely drained her, physically and emotionally. And on top of that, my sister's teacher's aide doesn't get along with the woman, and they play off of each other (that means double the drama).

When her principle told her of the arrangement, she made a comment. She said she doesn't even remember what she said, but it was enough to make the principal look at her crazy and for the other teachers around at the time to snicker.

Oh how I hate for my sister to deal with that. If you have ever met my sister Kentucky, you'll quickly find out that she is the one of the kindest, nicest, most giving people ever. Very nice, wouldn't hurt a fly. Always looking for a way to be helpful to you in any way. Always. I think she is a really great individual.  She is also someone who has the perfect game face, and she could be thinking something and you would never know it. She has that much control.

But for her to groan and make a comment or whatever she did... It must mean this other teacher must be a REAL piece of work

She said she went home and prayed about it. She really didn't need to deal with that teacher for the rest of the year. I could tell it REALLY bothered her. Knowing her, I am sure she shed a few tears.

She went to school the next morning and the principal pulled her to the side and said that she'd changed her mind and wouldn't have them working together.

"Lisa," my sister said. "I just exhaled. I was so relieved."

"I know you were, honey," I said. "I know."

"God sure did answer that prayer quick."

"Yes he did," I said. "And that's a good thing."

We talk about our prayer lives a lot. I think we both want to make sure that we are praying over our situations. If there are answers, we talk about that. We get in agreement on prayer over different things. It is an important part of our lives and our faith.

She has a very keen way of dealing with a variety of personalities, whether good or bad. I, unfortunately, don't deal well with certain personalities, especially those that impose on me and wreck my spirit. As a matter of fact, I am one of the most passive aggressive people you will ever meet, and if you rub me the wrong way, I simply don't deal with you anymore. That's just me. It's not the most politically correct way to deal with things, but man... I refuse to be in mental and emotional bondage to you. Sorry in advance. But it's not going to happen, honey.

We talked about that. And I told her I'd been praying about some help in changing my attitude in the way of dealing with and understanding difficult personalities.

And I got a really interesting answer to that prayer that changed my whole outlook.  It seem to help my sister  alot.

"I never thought about it that way, Lisa," she said.

"Me neither," I replied. "But it has helped me understand people a little more."

And I want to post about that answer... in detail.

It might help you, too.

To be continued tomorrow as a Friday Food-for-thought.

(Hey! The contest still on... don't forget to enter the 7th bloggaversery sweepstakes: comment for your chance to win a $77 gift card and other fabulous prizes. See bloggaversary post for details).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 1/2 birthday, Lucy!

So, I've had Lucy the Lexus for six months.

Those pics above are on the day I purchased her. That was the same day Whitney Houston died. It was COLD and windy that day. And we were in the parking lot waiting for the salesman to put the dealer tag on.

And my sister Kentucky said "I'ma get it started for you, Lisa!"

She clapped her hands and stomped her feet.

And I did the... *church jog*church jog*church spin*church jog*church spin*CHURCH SHOUT*


All out in the middle of the parking lot! I know the salesman was like "What the...?"

Whatever. Woulda bust some olympic style cartwheels if I could that day. I'd just purchased my dream car. Debt free. Well, I threw it on a credit card, and paid for it 2 days later. Good enough! No car note!

My sister suggested I run her out to Texas and back at top speed to make sure she wasn't a lemon. Nerp. That is some craziness. A good idea, though. But a no go.


Lucy is 6 months old!

And, in celebration, I have some more pictures of Lucy.

*Blog fam rolls eyes* "Oh LadyLee, must we suffer through more Lucy pictures!?"

Yas! Yas'm! Yas you will! It's like a child! You will suffer through pictures, mayne!


Anyway, I've only had this car washed once. I suppose I should be having it washed and waxed every two weeks, but uh, that's not in my budget. I do the dirty finger test: slide my finger across the hood and examine my finger for grime. If there is grime? It's time to get it washed.

So here are pictures of Lucy getting a bath, i.e., at the carwash.

Lucy going through the washer!
Lucy getting vacuumed out!
Lucy getting buffed and waxed!
And then we came home. I parked Lucy in the garage!

You can't tell there, but Lucy was squeaky clean!

There's another garage picture.

(Look at Pam in the background over in the driveway! LOL. She needs some new hubcaps. You know it's bad, that when I see a car like Pam... it flashes through my mind to follow the car and steal the hubcaps. O_o. Not gonna do that, though. I still drive Pam. I put 100 miles on her the other weekend when I decided to go explore a little city in the far west suburbs. She is still as reliable as ever!)

Lucy hasn't been washed since that day, and that was around Memorial Day. Lucy doesn't appear to be dirty. She will get a quick wash and vacuum around Labor day.

You may think I am always talking about Lucy.

Yes I am. This has been my favorite car since 1999. I like the 2nd generation Lexus. I don't like the newer cars for the most part because they all look alike to me.  And it is stupid for me to have a $500 car note when I only drive around 5000 miles a year. So it was nice to get the car I wanted waaaaaay back then.

And not having to pay $40,000 for it.

And it is also important because it is an item on a vision board I made as an assignment for my journal writing group.

I was making it thinking "This is so stupid. Why am I doing this?" But I remember being determined to complete the little project so I would have something to bring to the next meeting.

A month or so ago, I remembered making the vision board and that I had a picture of my dream car on it. So I dug around in my closet and found the rolled up wrinkled vision board.

And there was that car on there.

And that meant much to me. For so many years I've been hollering "Pam is my spare car!" People laughed, and I laughed too. Lucy was my main car. The problem was that I hadn't purchased it yet. BUT it was on the vision board.

I learned an important lesson from this: Make a vision board!

That one above is 4 years old. And I've done a ton of things that were tacked up on that board. I've finished the manuscripts I had listed. I've traveled. I've made some progress on my vision statement, even maturing in some parts of it.

Time to make another one. My goal is to have one together by the end of the year.

I was talking to my sister about a vehicle I wanted for my 44th birthday. (Yes, I NEED for her to be thinking about it. She negotiated Lucy for me. You can't beat talking folks down by 40%. So she needs to think about this NOW.)

That ride already has a name: Frank. I saw at least 5 of them today! And I hollered "Hey Frank!" LoL

That's some 18 months away. And Frank is cheaper than Lucy. And Frank is gonna be tacked up on a vision board. Yes sir.

So that is important, to have a vision of some sort. Now I don't have it together like many of you, with your 3 year and 5 year plans. I just don't think like that. But I can tack a few things on a board, write out some desires, etc. I truly can.

And I most definitely will.

I remember some of the vision boards of some of the ladies of the group that day. The range of desires was a broad spectrum... one young lady had been having trouble conceiving so her board contained a baby. Someone else wanted their dream job. Another wanted to own their own home. Others wanted peace of mind. And it was GREAT to see over the years all of these ladies get what they want. I tell you, there is NOTHING like holding a baby in your hands that has been dreamed of and prayed for. I make sure they let me hold that child. The baby was thought of and hoped for before it even existed. And to hold the warm breathing manifestation in my arms... Wow.

Now if that ain't vision, I don't know what is.

Back to Lucy...

I had trouble with Lucy for a couple of months. No, not mechanical trouble (this car drives GREAT), but emotional and mental trouble. And I hate to admit that. Trouble as in, I felt guilty about buying her.    She wasn't expensive, but I could've use that money to help someone else. Trust me, I have gone waaaay over and beyond this year already when it comes to helping folk. I have truly shocked myself. Yet I can stand here and definitively say that I am not a selfish person. And man oh man, that makes me happy and at peace with myself in that regard. But I could have done so much more if I hadn't bought the car, and I felt guilty behind that. I prayed about it (whined about my feelings, really) and the answer was "You always thinking of others, yet you rarely do anything for yourself. So BE QUIET." Very odd answer. But I accept that. And now I can say I truly enjoy the car...without the guilt.

People will always need help. And people will be just fine.

Lucy will be going in the shop soon, because I have NO idea when the timing belt, water pump and all that stuff was changed. No idea. I called a place that specializes only in Lexuses, and got an very good estimate and they asked how in the world did I find a lexus that old with such low miles (most have about 250,000-300,000 miles by now)? I told them I knew it was a good deal, and it drives GREAT. Hopefully she drives the same when she comes out. I just need a baseline for scheduled preventive maintenance.

So Happy half birthday, Lucy. Yes, you are 13 years old, but you have been in my charge for only 6 months.

So you are 6 months old to me. I am very thankful for you.

So glad I bought you!

(I am really going long with these posts, ain't I? LOL. You will be alright, with your ADD self. You better comment often if you want to better your chances for that 7th Bloggaversary $77 gift card! See post for details!)