Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Street Views

I live pretty close to Downtown Atlanta...

On a "clear" day, you can see the gold dome of the capital from my block.

(Yes, that's as clear as it get most days).

That's around 1.5 to 2 miles away at the most.

And there it is again, just a little closer, right before I make the turn to get on the freeway for work.

Just a couple of random pictures of my downtown. I rarely notice it, but I saw the sun beaming off the gold roof of the capital and decided to take a few pictures.

Now if I could just get the same pictures on a day when there is no fog or smog!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Food-for-Thought: The Choices Edition

It is Monday afternoon.

And I woke up this morning to one of the locals ringing my doorbell.

Even that surly cat Oscar-tyrone was looking like "Who that ringing this doorbell this early in the morning!!!"

I was in the middle of getting dressed so I made him wait for a few miniutes. (Yeah, you wait. Sit your behind out on the porch, since you got some nerve leaning on my doorbell at 9 in the morning. Humph).

"You got some lighter fluid, LadyLee?"


"Uh... yeah," I said.

I remember I had 4 containers of it in the garage. Don't ask me why. They are super old. It's not like I even barbeque anymore. And I was wondering how to get rid of them.

I gave him the lighter fluid. And I hoped that he wasn't going to go burn down something. I don't want my fingerprints coming up on a container of lighter fluid.

But alas, he was going to grill some chicken. That early in the morning.

Alright, dude. Whatever you say.

All is well in my beloved ATL. It is dreary and rainy, and it looks like it's going to be that all week. I can't wait for some good 80 degree weather. It's about to be May, and I don't know if it's going to be hot or cold that particular day. Right now, it seems as if we will have highs of around 75 degreesor so, that is good.

Weekend. My weekend was uneventful, just like I like it. I did a good bit of housework. I needed to do some things in the yard, but that will have to wait until it gets nicer outside. I even got a little editing done. Always happy about that.

I talked to my sister for a couple of hours on Sunday morning.  It looks like this move to the Middle East to teach may become a reality. I am happy for her, of course, but at the same time, I am a bit sad. That is my sister and she has a been a good anchor for me over the past few years. We spend all of our holidays together, so I will have to find something else to do with myself. We talked about all that, and it was helpful to talk about my feelings, and to think in a positive way about it all.

We also talked about church. We go to a highly controversial church, and people either really love our pastor or really hate him. So whenever something goes on, she gets a barrage of phone calls and she has to deal with a bunch of tomfoolery.

Interestingly, I don't have to deal with all that. Well sometimes. But it is weird.

"LadyLee, I hate your pastor. Why you go to that church. I can't stand him."

*ladylee staying silent*

Later, it's followed up by...

"LadyLee, I was watching your pastor this morning. He wrote this book titled "XYZ".  I would like to read that. Do you have that?"

"Uh... nope. Am I suppose to have it? Didn't know about it."

Then they proceed to tell me all about it.

Funny... you were just dissing dude last week.

"I ain't got it, but I will pick it up in the bookstore the next time I go to church. You'll just have to remind me."

LOL!!! Ain't that, I don't know... just BIZARRE!!??? 

Bizarre, yet hilarious!

Don't give me money. I'll buy you a simple book. Since you keeping up like that. Heck, I don't keep up with him like that. LOL.

Anway, I don't deal with much of that. I have a mature and responsible group of freinds who got some sense in their heads. We are too valuable to each others' lives, and we just accept each other. And I am fully aware of who is in my immediate vicinity, and who I should pay attention to... and who I shouldn't. A constannt smack talker can kiss my ashy kneecaps. Straight up.

Really though.

It disturbs my sister. She's still at that funky age, age 29-32, where you still give a hoot about what negroes think of you. So I have to deal with her feelings in a certain way.

I always ask my sister the same question...

"Looking at yourself, over the years, have you increased in your personal peace and are you making personal progress, spiritual and otherwise?"

The answer is always yes.

And I've tried to teach her, and my brother, that we all make different choices. But you have to make sure you sit down and look at the choices that you have made, and determine if those choices have been beneficial to your life... or detrimental. You must think about if your choices affect others in a negative way. And only you can honestly determine that for yourself... And you do that within your ownself, away from all the voices of other people.

Then I always ask... . "Why you worried about what your little chickenhead friends think about your choices, spiritual or otherwise?"

And with her folks, I notice they have a LOT going on. I mean, some serious tomfoolery. Some of these sistas got nine lives like a cat. MAN! Yet my sister is the stable one, and she is the one that they talk to when they have problems.

But at the same time, they have problems with her choices.

And isn't that how people are anyway? I mean, people who have a LOT going on in their lives always have something to say about what someone else is doing. ALWAYS.

It goes back to the old quote: "We have a tendency to look at our lives through rose colored glasses, yet we are quick to look at the lives of others under a magnifying glass."

Anyway, that's my experience. Because if I get attacked, I really ask a lot of questions. And my biggest question is... despite my choices, are you and I okay?

Are you and I still on good terms.

The answer is usually yes. I guess some people just want to express themselves. Nothing wrong with that.

My criteria for people I'm around is if we can sit down and watch a Sweet Daddy episode of Good Times and split a sandwich.

If we can, I'm good.

'Cause see, this is what's up: I only spin 1% of my time at church. The other 99% is away from church.

Combine that with the fact that I am who I am when no one is looking. That's the true measure of my character. That's my true self indeed.

And add to that the fact that I don't care what you're doing, as long as you're not hurting yourself or anyone else.

There are 7 billion people on this earth, and we are all wornderfully complex and different in our upbinging, attitudes, opinions, internal struggles, likes and dislikes, trials, tragedies, tribulations, hurts and pains, failures, triumphs, accomplishments, desires, goals and dreams. 

And the totality of who we are inside makes up who we are. And I respect the cheese out of that.

I'm on some other level, man. Ain't no way I'm going to come down on your spiritual choices. Even if you don't believe in spiritual choices, I ain't stressing you out about it. Nerp. That's because I'm confident in myself and my package. I don't have to harrass others. When you see me doing that (harrassing negroes), it is a clue that I don't feel very good about myself.

And shoot... I'm too scared I might miss out on something. Nothing does more for my heart and mind than when someone comes and tells me about some verse of scripture they read that did something to turn something around in their mentality. Or if they heard something in their church services that was really helped them.

I NEVER want to miss out on that revelation, just because I messed around and copped an attitude with their choices. Heck man, I have had athiest friends who have turned me around. I have one right now that is constantly talking vision. Every time they talk, they wash me in words of vision, vision, vision...

Man, I NEED to hear that. Over and over and over. I need that like food and water. That is all. *fans self with Obama church fan*

Oh what a joy when you see or talk to someone and you think "vision". 

Better than thinking "Aww #&*^!!! Here come this fool talking all that SMACK!"

I was laughing at this Hindu Indian guy once. He was a post-doc, while I was an undergrad. I was laughing at him because he loved reading books about the history of African-American (black) people. I thought that was silly. I remember him looking at me and saying in his thick indian accent "Oh, don't laugh. Your people are amazing, and have such a rich history. I just love reading about your people. You are a part of such an important group of people. Don't you ever forget that."

And I never forgot it, etither.

Now, if I was sweating this man about his beliefs, I would've missed out on something I needed to hear at that time in my life.

Til this day, some 20 years later, I always remember that I am apart of an important group of people. I remind myself of that.

If I was judgmental, I would've missed out on those moments in my life. And man..... I just can't afford to miss out on nothing. I have too many problems and sticky questionable areas in my life that I'm trying to navigate to be missing out on ANYTHING helpful. I don't know who gonna come along my life path and be the oh so essential missing piece of the puzzle of my myriad of life issues.

I don't have time to be missing out on nothing that I need. Nothing.

That's just me.

And I will quickly drop folks that are constantly wrecking my mental. And you better drop me quickly if I'm wrecking your heart, too.

I was telling a friend the other day that I don't ever want to be a "bad voice" in someone's life. Ever. Just leave me alone and go find some good voices. There are 7 billion folks on this planet. There are a handful out there who have every intent of helping you be the very best you can be. As a matter of fact, it may just be one of their assignments and purposes in this life--- to help you reach the next level in your life.

Find them. And cherish them. Even if their choices differ from your own. Respect them. Honor and cherish them. They are worth more than gold.

So we talked about that.

That's a deep conversation, isn't it??

I always want to make sure that she concentrates on being an asset and benefit to her friends, and that she is never someone that makes them feel bad about themselves or their choices. I want her to remain cognizant of that. Always.

And she is. My sister is one of the most consistently compassionate and caring people I know. And she is definitely one of the most critical-thinking people I know. I mean, she is a pro at looking at issues from many different angles. I, unfortunately, am not.  I only hope to reach her level of maturity in those areas someday.

My goodness, I'm gonna miss her when she goes overseas. *tears*

That's just my tiny take on the whole "church" thing.

I am glad I'm around folks that go to different churches than I do, etc... so when we do all come together, we all accept each other and learn from each other.

Yes indeed.

Song of the Week. I like this song by Minnie Riperton.

"Baby, this love I have."

I don't remember that song ever coming out. But it's a good song.

I remember when I was a little girl, there was a Minnie Riperton song with a bunch of birds chirping and tweeting in the beginning, that song "Loving You". Ohhhhhh how I hated that song (I was only 6 years old). I just knew it was soooo slow. I wanted to hear something that I could snap my fangers to, and jump around and dance to. A slow song meant be still and be quiet. And listen to Mama sing along. UGH!


Oh... to be young again.

How's about that? Starting off the week with a good Food-for-Thought post... Oh my.

I hope you got a little something out of a typical LadyLee and Sista Kentucky convo.

I hope you make good choices this week... choices that are good for you and your life. I may not agree or fully understand your choices, but as long as you're doing what's good for you, I'm down for you... All day, man. All day, Every day.

Really though.

And I hope you have a good week. 

By design...

and On purpose.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Freestyles... By Design

Today is a good Friday, and it is PayDay.

And that is all that really needs to be said.

And something else strange is going on: the Boss is not here yet. She hasn't said anything. I asked about this.

"She's not here yet," my coworker said. "So are you in charge?"

My response... "Not I."

Hopefully she comes in. Maybe she is running late. Maybe she is sitting out in the garage in her truck. She told me one day that she was out there and didn't want to come in. I myself have felt this way many a time. I have even come to work and turned around and decided to go back home and call off.

Sometimes you just don't want to deal with work and all the tomfoolery it involves... I fully understand.

This has been a halfway decent week overall. I got to work in 7 minutes flat today. In traffic. That is odd. I wish I could get to work everyday in 7 minutes. I really hate driving, so being in the car for that short of a length of time makes me happy.

Quote of the Week I. There is an interesting email thread going on with my Triple F Possee group. It took me two weeks to figure out that we were suppose to check in with a email about our progress. (Thanks a lot, Green Eyed Bandit for not telling me about this. Humph.)

Anyway, people seem to be doing pretty good and making good financial progress. And people end their emails with little affirmations or slogans. Here are a couple of examples.

"I (my family) will learn, I (my family) will act, and I(we) will teach!!"

That's a nice one. Learn, act, and then teach others. That's a good plan.

Someone ended with "Financial Peace to You!"

I like that too.

Our common slogan is "Financial Freedom Fighters... ACTIVATE!!"

That's always a good one.

But I read an interesting one this morning:

"FFF... Don't just ignite... Let's burn this "mother" down!!!"

O_O.  My goodness! That's someone who is dead serious about getting their finances straight, ain't it?

Or maybe they just had a little too much coffee... or liquor this morning.


I think I will stick with the tried and true "Financial Freedom Fighters... ACTIVATE!"

I will leave the rough stuff to the rest of the members.

Quote of the Week II. I like listening to Black Talk Radio when I'm in the car. There's always good discussion and it gives me a chance to catch up on the political ongoings in the city.  And the arguments and heated discussions are quite entertaining to say the least.

There was an interesting discussion on infidelity the other day. A caller gave a quote:

"Live your life by design, not by default."

So few words. But definitely bursting at the seams with food-for-thought. 

And the calleer simply said that you have to live your life on purpose. Purpose to do things.  Living be design is making it your purpose to do some great and positive things that day. Living by default is well, just simply going with the flow. And going with the flow tends to lead to mediocrity and complacency. And we end up in a place we really don't want to be when we live life by default.

I think that is true. My days are better when I am moving on purpose, rather than just being on autopilot. That's for sure.

This caused me to think about my days. I find that I have 2 "autopilot-default" days per week. That's fine, I suppose. I can do better, though. I know people who really plan and get the most out of every single day. And that's better.

Just a little quote to think on. That is an easy one for me to memorize. I wrote that one down in my journal.

So, the boss is here. Thank goodness! Maybe we can get some work done!

She called me to her office. This is always a dreaded walk for me, as I am going over in my mind, trying to figure out if I am in trouble about something.

I wasn't. Her baby, my favorite blog mascot Chayse, is here. It was nice to get a big hug from her, and to read the first paragraph of a story she is writing... about a sad princess who is always told what to do.

Awww... a fellow writer. Aww... Such a wonderful surprise.

That made my week, right there. It put a big smile on my face indeed.

Anyway, she brought the baby to work (well she isn't a baby per se, she's in the third grade), because her class is having a sleepover at the zoo.

O_O. I had a problem with this. I immediately thought of little children fighting bears and lions. But it was explained to me that it is a learning experience and they will be up late at night learning about the animals and nature and all that.

I told Chayse, "Baby, if you see a animal coming at you, you run! You hear me? Just RUN. I am not far away. I will come get you. But you RUN! And don't touch nothing!"

She looked at me like... "Ms. LadyLee is very crazy."


And I was just asked by the boss... "Will you be acting supervisior for the rest of the day?"


"Honey, you might as well just make a declarative statement. Because if you asking me, the answer is NO!:

Well, she said I was in charge. Period. Sigh.

Oh well!

With that said... I am going to run around and crack a whip and  harrass the other members of the group. ON PURPOSE.

Have a good weekend...

By design, meaning... On purpose.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Funny, the Nerdy, and the... Strange (Yet Wonderful)

The Funny... I talked to my sister Kentucky last night. I was glad to talk to her, since I hadn't talk to her since a couple of weekends ago. I was quick to apologize for not talking to her this weekend when she called as I just needed some time to myself. She shrugged it off. (The poor girl lived with me for over 5 years. She knows how I get). 

She gave an update on something she is trying to do right now: get a teaching assignment somewhere over in the Middle East. I must say I don't pretend to fully comprehend why she wants to go over there. I do understand, but I am selfish. I feel like she is the only piece of family I have right now, and if she goes that far away, well... it will just be an emotional adjustment for me. I just want her to be happy and go and do great things in her life. That is what is key.

Anyway, I could tell she was on the verge of tears about of few things. She was trying not to cry and just be strong, though. And I am thinking "Girl, please don't cry, because I been crying all week, and I may just lose it once again."  But we were able to talk and agree to pray about some things, and go on from there. I try to get her to end our convos on something positive that happened that day. Hard when the negative sometimes gets all the attention.

I still have some ability to encourage, I suppose. 

And I know how to make her laugh...

"When you get over there," I said. "I'm not coming to see you."

Nope. I'm not going to see her. She was telling me how a woman's ankle is considered sexy, and it is a problem showing your ankle.

"Ain't no way I'm gonna get locked up for wearing the wrong clothes and shoes. If I come see you, don't give me a burqa. Just give me a sheet to put over my head with a tiny hole so that I can see where I'm going. I don't need to eyeholes."

"I don't think they do that," she said through laughter.

"Whatever. You don't know that for sure, Kentucky. You better go outside with some boots and a lot of clothes on. I don't care if it is 200 degrees outside. When you get in the house, you can get butt-nekked then. But you better not look out the window. You get in trouble over there, I can't help you. And Obama might not help you either."

I know she was rolling her eyes.

"I'm not coming over there," I said. "We can meet in some neutral spot like France. That's as good as it get. I can speak french, so I can stay out of trouble and get back to the US if I have to. I can't speak arabic. Oh noooo."

She laughed too hard.

We got into a conversation about purses. Not sure what that was about, as I don't particularly care for girly stuff. I only have 2 purses. I will carry those until the straps break, which means for the next 10 years, lol.
"My friend Charlene, she likes designer purses," Kentucky said. "She really likes the Coach purses."

I know Charlene. She's been Kentucky's best friend since middle school. And that Charlene... she is a diva indeed. A designer brand girl head to toe.

"Is that right?" I said.

"Yes," my sister replied. "And I tell her that I can't do the Coach purse thing. My purses cost no more than $19.99. And I'm not ashamed to say it."

"Me neither, honey," I said. "I ain't paying no more that twenty or thirty dollars for a pocketbook!"

We laughed about that. 

"But yo," I added. "The next time you see Charlene, tell that broad that even though I don't have a Coach purse, I have a Coach car. That Coach edition of the Lexus! Bet she can't say THAT!"

"No she can't."

"You got that right, baby! And you be sure to tell her that when you see her. Tell  her that Godzilla could put a strap on my car and carry it like a coach purse!"

We both laughed hard about.  

And I am glad of that laughter. Because I think we both had to laugh to keep from crying. Sigh. 

I have had TWO Coach Lexus. Not on purpose though.  I don't think many folk could say that. I don't really think many would care. I don't think I cared much. I just liked my car. Period. Was distraught when it was totalled. Came across another and bought it. End of story, right?


The Nerdy...  I am such a nerd lately. I don't really know what that's about. I guess I just like my brain challenged a little. And anything the crowd is into is a bit on the fluffy side to me. I like, I don't know... strange stuff. I have to keep reminding myself that this is probably one of the most fascinating times of my life, even though I feel like I lost a lot this week. I have to make sure I give more attention to the positive and not the negative.

And that positive includes learning something new and interesting every day. I have been reading a really good theoretical physics book. I minored in physics, but I have to read it super super slow just to take it all in. I am amazed at all these theories, and how some are stomping hard looking for the "Theory of Everything."

The fact that they can't figure it out proves to me that there is a higher power indeed. And being a scientist, I am not suppose to think like that. Oh well... it is all proving to me otherwise.

I am reading some things right now that are helping me understand some scripture that I didn't quite understand before... so I have to read slow for sure. Don't want to miss a thing!

I have also been learning things I don't like, like mathematical theories. Algorithms and stuff like that.

I don't like math that much. I did okay in algebra, trig, and geometry, but when it came to high level calculus, uh... I hated that. When I was in grad school, there was a class in school called "quantum chemistry", that involved a lot of advanced calculus and that nearly drove me batty!

 I remember hearing the whole "algorithm" term in school, but I have repressed it.

But because of the TWO Lucys, I had to go back and take a look at them, and try to understand them.

The...Strange (Yet Wonderful).... Like I said, I've been thinking about algorithms.An algorithm is a step-by-step problem-solving procedure, especially an established, recursive computational procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.


I've been trying to understand the whole algorithm thing.

I, like you, holler "Who cares."

I don't. It makes me feel like I'm in school or something. And I done had it up to forehead when it comes to school.

But I had to figure this out for a reason. And it is quite interesting.

There's something interesting that goes on in society, right under our noses.

Everything has a numerical code.

The food and various goods we buy are barcoded. I think that is called a UPC code.

Our credit cards, bank account number, and the routing number are all codes.

The ISBN number on a book. The zip code (those bars that are on the envelope when it is delivered- that is a code). The health care provider code on your health insurance.

Those are codes.
And any code like that, where there is a long list of numbers, has something special embedded in it: a "check digit".

It is a digit that only has one thing to do with the code: an algorithm is used to calculate it. All the other numbers and letters of that code are put through an algorithm (a mathematical calcultation) to calculate that one specific number.
Simple enough, I suppose. But who on earth would've thought of such a thing? And why?

Well, a mathematician. I don't like math, so I don't understand why would someone sit around thinking up such stuff. Probably the same reason I sat around and came up with synthesis of chemistry compounds when I was in school. I needed to come up with something original if I wanted that doctorate degree. I guess the mathemeticians had to do the same.

Anyway, a check digit seems to authenticate a long series of numbers in a code. That is its only purpose. You know, just to check to make sure it's not a fraud, or that it wasn't copied incorrectly. It catches fraud, and human errors.

(I don't know... it all sounds a bit" big-brother-is watching-you" to me. Humph).

What is most interesting is that a car's VIN number contains a check digit. A car's VIN number is 17 digits long.

A hypothetical VIN number:


The check digit is in the middle.


Some of the guys at work were laughing at me because I was reading about VIN numbers. I thought the numbers were random, just arbitrary. But they really aren't. They contain a ton of information, like the country of origin, the engine type, restraint system type (whatever the heck that is), the model, series, brand of car, year it was made (that W in the above number means the car was manufactured in for 1998)...

All kinds of information.

Even the factory info. Hmm...

All the other numbers and letters (their numerical equivalent), can be put through an algorithm to get the number "3" in the above number. That may not work above, as I picked some random VIN for this example. But your car VIN number, if it is a real one, could be put through an algorithm to calculate what the "check digit" will be.

You may holler... "Who cares, LadyLee?"

At first I didn't.  Heck, I didn't even care about a VIN number. I am a girl, i.e., I don't care nothing about car stuff. I just need the car to crank when I turn the key, and just GO. Period.

Well... I figured, since the nice lady that sold me this car kept ALL her repair records, and gave them to me, then that was a good responsible thing.
Well, I should be equally responsible.Why don't I just go and print out the vehicle report, too? I had printed it out before, but had written all over it when I was questioning the nice lady who sold me the car. I wanted to print out another one.

So I had my 2 insurance cards... one for the old Lucy, one for the new Lucy. I had put "old" in red on the old busted Lucy's insurance card. And I left Lucy Jr's I left plain.

But the numbers were... interesting.

Hypothetical numbers:

Old Lucy:  JQ8BF19G3W4939937

Lucy Jr:     JQ8BF19G5W4939938

Interesting. Of course they have different check digits. That makes sense. That is so me and somebody like reader Ginae won't sit up here and steal a bunch of cars and make up VIN numbers. They have the check digit for authentication purposes.

But look closely at the sequence of those last 5 numbers.

Now I remember sitting at my desk one day last week, looking at all of this. The whole check digit thing had me confused, as I could give a darn about the whole algorithm thing. I found a site that said I could just snatch that digit out and look at the rest of the numbers.

If we look at the VIN numbers above, and snatch the red check digits out, then we see something quite interesting: The numbers are sequential.

I remember the moment the light bulb went off over my head. Poor cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre got the brunt of it.

*sliding to Cre's side of the cubicle and shaking her chair*

"Look! Look at this!" I said. I showed her the post-it notes with a bunch of numbers on it. "Lucy and Lucy Jr., blah blah blaaaaaaaah!"

Lucy and Lucy Jr.

They came out of the same factory.

They came off the same assembly line.

One right behind the other.
What are the chances of that happening, one right behind the other like that? Could that even be correct?

I did a little more digging around on websites and saw that yes it was. Those last few digits are the numerical sequence of the cars coming off the production line.

Numerical sequence of production are important in the manufacture of rare or expensive cars. So it means a lot if you bought the first car produced, or the last car produced after the car is discontinued. Both cars probably are collector items, and rightfully so.

The VIN numbers for my cars, though....That had me a little O_O for a few days. How on earth did I come across a car I really like, total it, then come across a replica of it, and they came off the line, one right behind the other?

And me, being nosy, and finally understanding the whole "check digit" ratchetness, calculated and figured out the check digit for both cars. That was unnecessary, as both titles for each car were clean (I got my title for Lucy Jr. last week. The original Lucy has a salvage title now. sigh). I just wanted to make sure for myself that this "Check digit" thing is actually true. And it is. It took me a couple of days, and a couple of websites that walk you through it to see for myself. (Still feels like some big brother mess to me, though).

I checked a few other VIN numbers of cars coming before and after these two cars. Three were shipped to the east coast. A couple of others shipped to the west coast, which makes sense. At least I know these cars were shipped in the same direction, to this coast. One was purchased in Florida, the other in Georgia. One (the old Lucy) was burnished gold. The other (Lucy Jr.) is cashmere gold. Hmm...

I don't know. That is just interesting.

And it is strange...What are the odds of that type of thing happening, me buying 2 special edition cars that just so happen to come off the assembly line, one right behind the other? It just blows my mind.

It is not a random thing. It is beyond coincidence, beyond luck and all that.  It is a blessing of some sort. Probably beyond blessing.

It is strange... yet wonderful

I haven't quite figured out the meaning behind it all. I have my thoughts, though. Many of my tangibles are born out of something intangible, so I am always thinking in that direction. I will probably post my thoughts on that later, in a food-for-thought post of some sort.

That is sure enough my "happy" moment of the year so far. I will be thinking about that for a long time.

A very very long time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Motel

(Not sure I wanna stay there, but it's better than Bates Motel.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Great "Chips"

I love trying new things, especially interesting fruits and vegetables. I must admit, I don't look hard enough for them these days, but I find that I do come across things I really like from time to time, meaning I will seek them out again.

Anyway, here are some interesting "chips"!

Green Bean Chips!

Those are good. They taste just like green beans... but crunchy.

I see those a lot.

Here's something I rarely see:

Okra Chips!

Notice that they are not sliced, but whole. Still taste great... just crunchy.

All the water has been dried out of those, to the point where they are almost translucent.

I like to leave interesting items like that on my desk, and watch people's faces twist up when they see them. But once they try it, they realize how tasty they are.

The only thing I don't like about these chips is that they are oily. You can't really tell. I can only tell from the nutrition labels. I'm not sure what process is used to make them, but I don't see why they contain that much fat.

I am sure there is a way to make them without the added fat. I have a downdraft stove/oven that has a dehydrator setting. I may attempt to make these someday, as I have had good success with drying herbs from the garden. (And I am sure it will take several trys to get something remotely close to the goodness of these!)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, Monday....

Monday again.

And I am glad to see it.

Not just because it is Earth Day. I didn't do anything to celebrate it. I drove 4.6 miles across the earth from my house to my job. I will drive 4.6 miles back across the earth from my job to my house after work.  That is as about as "earth day" as this Oldgirl gets.

Work is whisper quiet. That's because most people are gone to a chemistry conference a few miles away. I am not interested. I rather work while everyone is gone. And I don't like to go to conferences unless I am flying out to one. And it's on a beach. You get the picture.

And I actually caused myself  a handful of trouble this weekend. All because I turned my phone off and I didn't inform anybody.

It's a bit perplexing. Why? Because I rarely talk on the phone. VERY rarely. I text a lot less than I use to, also. My goodness, I throw up a little in my mouth at the mere thought of being on twitter every second of the day, and I don't fool with Facebook unless someone tells me "GO check your facebook email."  My brother is home from the war, so Facebook can be shut down for all I care.

I like my phone for my music streaming and my gaming. And heck, I figured out how to sync all that stuff to my Kindle, so I figure it is okay to just toss the cell phone in my bag and just have a queit weekend, right?


Oh well. I just caused myself a bunch of trouble. And you know me. Nothing worse in the world to me than being a bother. That bothers me to almost the pit of throwing me into depression. I don't like being a bother. Much of that stems from childhood, when the least small mistake would be used against me for days, months or years. So that bothers me, because I don't know how hard or long it will be all held against me.

I pride myself in taking good care of my needs and not being an inconvenience to anyone. I don't know how long that will last. I hope this lupus doesn't bring me to a point where I can't live alone and need help or anything. But until then, I am happy that I can exist on my own. No cane, no wheelchairs, no inability to work. Just living day by day.

And over the past couple of weeks I've been having bad lupus flares, which I kept to myself. Because the stuff usually passes. But it all got exasperated by my own doing plus a bunch of stress. When I feel all that coming on, I really can head it off by eating extremely clean. Then this whole car thing (which I really felt was not a big deal and was a little stressed over to why it was bothering me in the first place) had me a bit stressed and my schedule all flipped out. I tend to do better if I can wake up, go to work, come home and rinse and repeat. No so over the past couple of weeks. Sigh.

Mix PMS into the mix, which at times kicks my flares up several notches, and WOW. I remember telling my doctor a couple of years ago, "Uh, you know... I believe my meds bump into my hormones at certain times of the month."

"Yes they do," she said. "And sometimes it can get really bad. Especially if you are stressed, even a little."

This, of course was followed by a lecture to go somewhere and be alone and decompress. Get away from stuff and people and just be... quiet.

Which was what I attempted to do over the weekend. Aunt Flo showed up, and just like that, alllllll symptoms and pain vanished into thin air. And I remember thinking, I'm just going to sleep all weekend long. Turn this phone off, get some writing done if I feel like it, and for goodness sake turn the frickin' television off. I can't take anymore bombers and towns blowing up and gun law bad news. Man.

And that was a mistake. I learned that when Play Mama's brother, my "Uncle Corey" showed up at my door, all wide-eyed and staring at me, that was a big mistake. I thought that dude was gonna pick me up and spin me around.

"Girl... folk worried about you."

"Really? For what?" was my answer. Because I just didn't get it.

I understood what I heard earlier. I was laying in bed and heard what I thought was thunder. But it was him checking my garage for an echo. Interestingly, I had been out there for a good hour or so earlier that morning. I really need to clean out the garage and managed to sweep and throw out stuff. I think I was happy just to feel better. I had gotten some real sleep for the first time in two weeks instead of this 2 to 4 hour foolish mascarade of sleep I'd been getting. And I remember I didn't have any electronics or music or nothing on. There was just the sounds of the push broom. And I remember how warm and quiet it was and the sounds of the birds chirping. It was just a good morning.

Just... quiet. A little time to be alone at my thoughts.  That hasn't happened for a minute.

Until I was staring at a wide-eyed Uncle Corey. He had Play Mama A on the phone and I talked to her. I suppose she was worried about me. I don't think this would have been a problem if I hadn't texted the night before that I had been feeling horrible for the past two weeks. I remember being on the verge of tears when I text that, because it felt good not to be all achy. It wasn't unbearable pain, but just a constant joint ache. I don't know, sometimes I forget it is just flares, and that it will pass. And worst of all, I didn't mean to even text that. I was just thinking out loud about the causes of it all.  I really don't mean to cause anyone that much concern. AT ALL.

Uncle Corey and I talked for a good fifteen minutes. Then the police pulled up, as he had called them.

'Oh dang. Zone 3," I whispered. "I ain't holding anything. You holding something, man?"


"Me neither."

He went and talked to them. I don't trust the cops. Whole department got locked up years ago. (I very reluctantly went in to talk them at our local police house about how to do my car tag stuff with Lucy Jr. a couple of weeks ago just so I could get the car home without getting twisted up and arrested for having a tagless car. It broke my heart to see two female police officers up in there who were young enough to be my children. But they were really nice and helpful to me).

But it was interesting to talk to Uncle Corey. I told him something I wanted to do for myself, which he has been doing for awhile for profit. He told me in a few words what to do. So I am now en route to looking into it. I guess I just had to express it to someone who is actively doing it. A few words of wisdom in the midst of me just trying to get some alone quiet time. Happens on a daily basis these days. I am thankful for that. Part of me wondered if that was the whole reason for this whole misunderstanding: to kick me in a direction I want to go.

We talked about Lucy, Jr., since he knows cars and was fascinated by how clean the original Lucy was the first time he saw it. I told him I bought one much cleaner. And I told him of the ridicuously interesting factoid I discovered about Lucy Jr. last week. (His eyes went wide on what I told him. And he backed up down the porch stairs. I will post about that this week sometimes, because I just GOTTA make a post/written record of it. Just gotta).

Anyway, I turned my phone back on. I saw all this stuff on twitter, like I'm a missing person or something. It is all very O_O. I'm sorry, but who cares what I am doing? That really doesn't register with me, especially since I tend to be lone wolf and my interests are different from the crowd's interests. I was just happy to not have any joint pain and to get some sleep. That is all. I guess that will be seen as an excuse by some. And I understand that. Chalk it up to me just being selfish, something I'm working pretty hard not to be.

I sincerely apologize for causing any concern to anyone. Just needed to be quiet for a minute.

My phone's back on, chained to my hand. Sigh. I promise not to cause any more issues like this again.

My sister and I discuss this from time to time. She got a good verbal lashing for not answering her phone for a weekend.

"Lisa, I was just tired," she said with a sigh. "Sometimes you just wake up and decide you want to just sit around in your draws and veg out. All day."

"I know, girl. I only bother you if I ain't heard from you in a couple of weeks. I know how it is to just want to be still. Folks will trip, but as long as you feel alright and decompressed, they'll forget about it."

She's a bit more active than me. And I suppose that's a good thing. But I know it wears her out being pulled to and fro. Sometimes you gotta sit down somewhere. And it's alright. I tell myself the same.
It is Earth day. Let's all be happy.

Maybe I should plant a flower or two. Maybe they will be as lovely as these flowers next to the walkway next to my porch.
Every once in awhile, a purple flower blooms.

One of the locals grabbed those plants from somewhere and planted them near my porch.

*lee standing on porch, eyeing him suspiciously*

"Where you get those from?"
"Down the street. They were clearing out a yard."
"Uh-hunh... I ain't trying to get locked up over stolen flowers."
"They were throwing them out, LadyLee. I promise!"
"Uh... yeah. Okay."

I have had those for 3 years. They bloom every year. Nice flowers.

LOL. People know not to bring me stolen stuff. My constant answer is "Yes that watch is beautiful! I don't want to buy it!"

The flowers weren't stolen, I suppose, sense he didn't charge me for them. He just thought they would look nice in my yard.

I will end with a fascinating quote that I heard yesterday:

"Common people have goals. Exceptional people have strategies."

I like the word strategy.  I was thinking about it.

Goal + Plan = Strategy.

Interesting indeed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

What a Week...

What a week.

What a WEEK it has been.

I haven't posted much.

For I, like you, have been O_O concerning what's been going on in our beloved USA.

First of all, I was driving home from a doctor's appointment on Monday afternoon and I heard on the radio that their had been some type of bombing. I had caught the tail end of the announcement, but later heard it was up in Boston somewhere, during the marathon.

How horrible.

A whole city was put on lockdown today. That's like, really close to some Marshall law type of craziness. I can't say I remember a time when that has ever happened. That would scare the cheese outta me if the ATL was put on lockdown. Can you imagine? They can't leave the house. Why would you want to? This dude might have explosives strapped to his body. This is just... wow.

And all of this has been unfolding on television. Technology is something else, isn't it? I knew when the feds put out the camera footage of those dudes walking with those backpacks that it was only a matter of time.

And their time has come. That older brother was killed, and the younger one is on the run. 

When I see this type of thing, I think about a post awhile ago that I wrote after Bin Laden's death...

If you plant watermelon seeds, you get watermelons. Don't go out looking for green beans. You reap what you sow. You harvest melons.

Then, a couple of nights ago, a fertilizer plant blew up, and it took out a good bit of the surrounding area at the same time. Now, with me being a chemist, I growned. That's because when I think of fertilizer, I automatically think of ammonia, and how if one's not careful, that stuff is awfully dangerous.


This made me think of a Food-for-Thought post I wrote over a year ago titled "5 minutes".

There was a quote from a sermon in there.

"You worry about the future. You wail about tomorrow. Get all depressed, let the circumstances get to you. The truth of the matter is that you don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. Tomorrow isn't promised. You can't even see 5 minutes in front of your face..."

No, we can't see five minutes in front of our face. Tragedy happens in an instant. People were on the phone talking, eating dinner, watching TV, or sleeping... and tragedy struck in an instant.

No we can't see five minutes forward. Shoot... we don't even know what's gonna happen a minute from now. It's all a stark reminder of that.

Then, to just add to all this, our beloved Congress, pretty much spat in the face of those families whose children were killed in that massacre a few months back.  I myself didn't see anything wrong with all the stipulations surrounding a law that tightened up the gun control in this country.

I myself didn't know you could just walk up in a gun show or log in on the internet and buy a cache of weapons.  I thought there was a background check, like when you go into the store to buy one.

Wow.  Now I know. And I consider myself stable enough.

I am worried about all the UNSTABLE people who know that information now. I tell you... no telling what cat the media has let out the bag here.

But alas, Congress... as if that 16% approval rating isn't low enough, well.... it will probably get lower.

I see Congress somewhat as a desperate woman on drugs. She ends up, sometimes, having to sell her body and do other unquestionable things to get that next high.

And the NRA has basically told the Repubs... "Get on your knees. You know what you gotta do."

Yeah, I hate to be crass. But that's the analogy of the day.

I'm not sure I could look in the face of a parent - ANY parent - who has come to speak to me about the child they lost to gun violence and who is pleading with me to vote for changes in the gun laws... and then have the nerve to go and vote against it.

Being funded by the NRA is more important than human life, I suppose.

And it is just human nature. Makes me think of the following:

Nothing truly affects you until it falls on your doorstep.

Until one of their children or grandchildren has the same fate... doesn't matter. It really doesn't.

And that's sad. But like I said, it's human nature.

Compassion and empathy won't get you re-elected, now will it?

And America has the attention span of a flea. We will be interested in something else in the next few months.

Sad, but true.

My prayers go out to those who were affected by these tragedies. While we move on to other things, you must live with the memory and residue of it the rest of your lives. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Just my thoughts for this Friday, the end to a sad week.

I myself am looking forward to brighter days, even though tomorrow isn't promised.

As for now, I'm always thankful for today... and the life I have...


Thursday, April 18, 2013



A serious beat down occurred.

Check out this Words With Friends Game.

Look a little closer...
Yes. I beat the ultimate wordsmith, my favorite author Tayari Jones.

Yes, it is a beat down. I don't care if it's only by 3 points. It's a BEAT DOWN. Period.

And it gets interesting if I get that close in score to her and we are near the end of a game. It is like the world stops moving. I stop whatever I am doing and I concentrate hard, like I'm taking the SAT or something.

The possibility of winning against her gives me goosebumps. We talk a bunch of trash during the whole game, especially while it's close. (Your threat of putting some Shug Avery pee in my drink didn't go over well with me at all, Tayari. Humph. Gonna getcha back for that one, ma'am).

And that day I won. And while I hoop and holler and turn multiple cartwheels over this beat down, Ms. Jones is coming up with a reason why I beat her.

She was in a bad mood about something.

I stopped cheering and hollering and what not...

"Woo, woo, woo," I say. "What's wrong, Celie?"

She tells me. And you know me. I love to encourage folk. I encouraged her a bit. I know she was rolling her eyes, but heck, you know me. I ain't about to say nothing negative about anything.

"It's gonna be alright, girl," I said. "Woo, woo, woo."

But at the same time, I was saying to myself... Whatever gal... I still kicked your butt in Words with Friends.

Yes, there are a few times when I too can spell well.

Really though.


*high rockette kicks*

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Monday Morning!

It's Monday!


*throws glitter*

Yeah, right. Who likes Mondays? It is the most hated day of the week. I can't say I hate it. Some folks who were alive last week didn't get to see this day. That makes it a good day automatically.

And today is TAX day! Have you done your taxes? I did mine back in February. I never owe, so I want my refund as quickly as possible. I still haven't figured out how to adjust my exemptions so that I would get a small amount back. I would like to get back enough for a tank of gas. That's it. But that's walking a really thin line.

The weather is a bit funky in the ATL. It is 60 degrees now. This is baffling because it was HOT on Saturday. Just odd.

My perfect weather: 75 degrees, 5 mph breeze... still waiting, waiting, waiting for that.


I am OFF today. I am usually doing cartwheels about this, but I have a doctor's appointment at 1:00 pm. I am not sure how I have an appointment in the middle of the day like that. I should've changed it. I like my appointments to be around 9 to 10 in the morning.  It's going to take me an hour to get there, so I have to leave around noon. No need to go to work before or afterwards. Chalk it up to a sick day!

I am PMSing, so I just want to stay in the bed and sleep. I would really like to be still. Can't do that today, though can I? Shoot.

My weekend. Well, it was a busy weekend. I had TWO writing workshops. TWO.

That makes me giddy.

The first was my Women of Color workshop on Friday night in Mableton. That was okay, as we only made it through one writing prompt. Somehow it turned into a crochet circle. Not sure how that happened. Maybe it was because I brought a crochet project to the workshop. I won't do that anymore. But I got one good story out of it. And that's a good thing.

The second workshop was in Dunwoody. It was a fiction workshop, about 3 hours long. That was a great way to spend an afternoon. I think what I liked best about that is that the presenter wasn't pretentious or cocky (I've been to some workshops where the person just gloats... ugh). It was simple and straightforward. I liked that the focus was finding your own style, and being comfortable with that. There were rules, but not hard and fast rules.

She talked of 20 to 50 drafts of a novel. O_O. I didn't feel so bad about spending time editing my own work, but Id don't see myself doing THAT much editing. Wow. But it would be good. The novel would be PERFECT after 20 rewrites.

After 50 drafts? Masterpiece But that would take me forever Not gonna happen.

The most interesting thing I heard is that literature has changed in the last 100 years. Back then, there wasn't any television, so people wanted words, and plenty of them. But now, in our present time, we don't want that. We are distracted with our video games, computers, social media, etc... And as a result, we don't want words, and novels have to basically play to our attention spans.

And it makes me think back to something I posted a couple of weeks ago in my post on stagnancy. We are highly distracted. And it is getting worse by the year. I think, as a result, it gets harder for us to put in the hard work to make changes in our life, as this is always a process - slow and long. We expect EVERYTHING in life to be quick and fast. That's not a good thing. So when something doesn't happen instantly, we get bent out of shape. And if you're like me, I get upset because I feel like whatever it is I need is never going to happen. When it's not the case. It might take a little time, wisdom, and hard work.

Hmm... a mini food-for-thought for your week.

Anyway, since I was out in the northern suburbs, I wanted to do a little exploring. But traffic is so BAD out there that I couldn't really do that. They have a VERY nice Whole Foods up there, and I spent an hour wandering around the store. Then I went home. That traffic had me all tuckered out.

Sunday? Sunday was a LAZY day. I don't even remember much about Sunday. I talked to my sister for at least 2 or 3 hours. I remember her saying "I'm glad we talked on the phone. I got a lot done around the house." I should've been doing that too. Cleaning up goes by faster when you are on speaker phone with someone. I managed to do laundry. And church was good on the internet. That's about it

I didn't go anywhere because it was all gloomy out. I can't take anymore of the nasty weather unless I have to. So that means stay in the house.

Quote of the Week

 "Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be." -Abraham Lincoln

That's a good quote. It makes me feel really good waking up every morning and saying "I'm going to enjoy my life today, no matter what's going on."

There is too much room to be negative. Might as well be positive. My feelings and emotions will catch up later.

Really though.

Song of the Week. Don't Let It Go To Your Head by Jean Carn

I've never heard that song. Or maybe I had when I was a kid... and just didn't pay attention.  It's a good song, though!

That's all for today. I'm going to hit up this doctor's appointment far out on the Southside. Then I am coming on home.

Have a good day- ON PURPOSE!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Funnies: An Open Letter to Ex-Mom... from Lucy Jr. (formerly "Lexi")

"Lady M", the former owner of Lucy Jr., really loved the car she sold to me. I thought I would allow Lucy Jr. to write her a little letter to her, her ex-Mom... just to let her know how she is doing.

Dear Ex-Mom...

It's me? Lexi!

Remember me? You were my Mom for over 10 years!

Oh what a great Mom you were! But you're my Ex-Mom now. Sigh.

Oh my. It feels so funny calling you that. Ex-Mom? Geez. But that is what you are. Sigh.

If I had eyes, they'd be full of tears, and I would just cry, cry, cry.

Enough of that. I must be a big girl and pull myself together and write this letter!

It is interesting, this having a new Mom and a new home.

I didn't know what to think when we pulled up at the new house.

It looks nice enough. And there were pretty flowers out in front. It was nice and quiet.

There was another car in the driveway. This must be my new sibling, I thought.

"Hello," I said. "My name is Lexi!"

"Hi," the car said. "My name is Pam. And uh... your name isn't Lexi anymore. It's Lucy Jr."

"Lucy Jr.?"

"Yes, Lucy Jr. There was another car here just like you.  Her name was Lucy. But she was wrecked. I heard she was totaled. Now you're here. You're Lucinda. Lucy 2.0. L Deuce. You're Lucy Jr."

Lucy Jr.. I pondered this. Such an odd name. But I guess I would have to accept it.

Ex-Mom, I continued to look all around and around. It was very quiet, but you never know with new places.

"Do they treat you good around here?" I asked Pam.

"Yes. And you'll be treated just fine, especially since you'll be kept in the garage."


Pam paused before answering. "Yes, the garage. That is a room for you and all of Ladylee's junk."

"Okay," I replied. Garage. I was kept in a carport before. So if it's anything like a garage, that will do just fine."

"The garage is good," Pam said. "You won't have to be like me... sitting out here dealing with the rain, the wind, the snow, the ice, the hot hot sun... and this nasty pollen."


"Yes, the yellow stuff. You have some on you there. LadyLee sprays me with water from the hose if we have to go anywhere. Won't be that much of a problem when you're kept in the garage. It is nice in there. There are two large picture windows. And you get to stare at the deep freezer up against the back wall. You're special."

"I'm special," I said. "I am."

"Yes, you are," Pam said. She hesitated. "And we should stop talking. I have to admit that I'm trying to get over not being kept in the garage."

Hmmm... Did I sense a bit of hostility, ex-Mom? I hope not. I don't want trouble with the other car.

Oh well. Into the garage I went.

"LadyLee is gonna clean it out when it gets warm out," Pam hollered as the garage door closed. "And you'll have much more room."

Much more room. That would be nice. And maybe the new sibling Pam could come join me.

And we could stare at the deep freezer together.


I have been at my new place for a whole week, ex-Mom. Can you imagine? A whole week away from you. It is pretty quiet here. I haven't been driven much on the weekdays, but last weekend? We were allll over Atlanta

I was tired. Sooooo tired.

Last Saturday I carried LadyLee to the westside to Bankhead Library. She is in some strange group called the Triple F Posse. This didn't sound quite right to me. I thought it was some gang type of thing. I thought I would have to take on my L Deuce persona. I thought she would leave me running outside so she could make a quick getaway. But it wasn't! It is a financial group- the Financial Freedom Fighters. They talk about their financial goals and budgets. I felt better after hearing that!

Afterwards, several of the group headed down the street to Bankhead Seafood for some fish. There I am, parked out front.

Oh, this place... it's what they call the "Hood", ex-Mom. Oh my. I saw some sights while there. Not sure I want to go back. Oh my.

But LadyLee got her fish... a full tray for 5 dollars.

(If you ask me, ex-Mom... something's wrong with that. Even I know fish should cost more than that. But I wasn't going to point that out to LadyLee. I didn't want to upset the new Mom).

And it wasn't for her anyway. It was for her sister. LadyLee wanted the hush puppies!

Afterwards, I transported LadyLee to a veternarian hospital, all the way over on the eastside. Decatur! That's me, parked outside the place and waiting for her.

She had to pick up a case of food for her cat. I don't think she was too happy about that. I could tell by the way she was gripping the steering wheel. Very tight. Too tight!

We stopped at a local gourmet grocer in Candler Park on the way home. LadyLee wanted some fresh made hummus. She quickly got that and we were on our way back to the new home.

Now, I asked Pam about the hard gripping of my steering wheel, when we arrived home.

"She's pissed about that cat food. That is the Oldcat Oscar-Tyrone's cat food. That cat food costs $67 a case. He has pancreatis and hepatitis. Poor thing. And LadyLee doesn't like shelling out that cash for that."

"I can only imagine," I said.

"And it doesn't help that that's the ex-husbands cat. Doesn't help at all."

(Hmm. That Pam. She know, she's a gossipy car. Gossipy indeed.)

Anyway, the next day we were at it again. Brunch with LadyLee's sister waaay out on the Southside!

And LadyLee likes going way out to the southside. She likes to get gas while she's in the surburbs. It costs a little less than inner city gas. It means good cheap gas for me!

"I'll take a tank of premium," I whispered to her. She nodded yes, and proceeded to fill the tank.

"Thank you very much, LadyLee."

Ooooh-weeee! Golly gee whiz! Nothing like a full tank of gas!

LadyLee hung out with her sister for a couple of hours. And then we were headed back to the new home.  There was plenty of loud music. Too much base. My speakers hurt!

Ex-mom... her music selections are... strange. That's a good word: strange.

This new mom... She listens to a lot of Roy Ayers.

Songs about butterflies, bees, flowers and sunshine and the like...


Just odd.

And then she likes to play the song she played to test the car system out... you know, when she finished  her test drive? That Anita Baker song.

Oh Ex-mom... it's my official song! I do remember the two of you fiddling with the CD changer. And that song beginning to play!

If I had eyes, I would cry, cry, cry!

*lucy jr. composes herself*

I am doing well, ex-Mom. Just fine.

I think you left me in good hands. Mama LadyLee will do just fine, as long as she get me the good gas and plays that Anita Baker!

So I wanted to just write you a letter to let you know how I am doing.

I won't bother you anymore. I didn't want you to worry.

I am in good hands. Yes I am!


Love, Lucy Jr.

formerly "Lexi".

Ha ha...

Oh my. Blog family thinks I've been drinking a bit too much, huh?

Nope, not me. Unless someone slipped something in this non-alcoholic beer of mine.

I just wanted to send a little note to "Lady M".

What a nice chick you are... and here I was, making up things about you when I ran the VIN number through one of the report sites.

"Look at these low miles the past year for this car," I told my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre. "Under 1000 miles. Wonder what that's about."

"It may mean she works from home, LadyLee," Cowgirl Cre said.

"No, it doesn't. That chick has been in jail. She had to park the car for a year while she was locked up."


And your email address had me wondering. "Hmm... Sounds like a tattoo parlor.  I bet she's a tattoo artist. She messed up somebody's tattoo and she beat the person up when they complained. So she was locked up for a year."

My imagination. It is quite vivid.

Oh my. You were none of that! Thank goodness!

And thank goodness you didn't have a scavenger hunt, or some ol' crazy Lady M Hunger games madness for a chance to buy the car. (Yes, it is a very good car. I think I would've particpated, although begrudginly).  And what a great 15 minute test drive we had. You actually kicked a little wisdom my way. And that's a good thing! Even if i didn't buy the car, that was well worth it in itself!

There is a slogan that states "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

I feel in this case we can change it to "One woman's treasure can become another woman's treasure."

Because I know "Lexi" was Lady M's treasure. A treasure for so many years.

So with that said, this has been a good week with Lucy Jr. I get in the car and can't even tell the difference from the other car.  How cool is that!?

I will definitely take good care of her!

Yes indeed!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Case Dismissed!

So I went to traffic court on Tuesday for this failure to maintain lane ticket.

And the case was dismissed.

The most I did was fill out some paperwork pleading no lo contendre. Maximum fine was $1000 dollars and I had that available.

I just didn't want to go to jail.

"You are not going to jail, Lisa," my sister Kentucky said.

"I hope not," was my week response.

"Maybe I should catch a cab to court. That way if I get locked up, my cars will be at home."

My sister sighed. "You are not going to jail, Lisa!"

"I don't know what I'm going to do about Oscar-Tyrone. You know that lil' dude got his hepatitis and pancreatis isshas. He has that special food he needs to eat. Hope he be alright."

My sister chuckled. She has had her hands full with me for the past 3 weeks. I guess all she can do is laugh to keep from crying.

Well, I knew I shouldn't get locked up. But one of my friends was locked up over a ticket by some female judge. One of Kentucky's friends went before this lady judge before and yes, she was locking everybody up. "Yeah, that chick crazy," my sister's friend said. "Make sure you dress right. She tries to provoke you too. Remain calm and don't argue."


I was hoping I didn't get this lady judge. You just don't know who's having a bad day. Sigh.

Anyway, I had a notebook full of all of my pertinent information and pictures of a totaled Lucy. The fine would be less than $200, but if I could say something, I would.

I also made sure to drive Pam instead of Lucy Jr. to the courthouse. I didn't want Lucy Jr. in a parking deck all night in case I was locked up.

And I remembered my Prayers That Availeth Much book, and the prayer in there concerning Court Cases. I spent a little time praying and confessing and pondering that. That helped me to stop thinking about it, at least.

And I mustered up the courage to go on in to court.

I got there 30 minutes early. Interestingly, I live only 2 miles from the courthouse. (Yes I really do live THAT close to actual downtown, to the point that I just tell people that I live downtown.)

We all sat down on the benches in the hallway, waiting for something. (I just did what everyone else did).

The clerk opened the courtroom door and asked us to line up and fill out paperwork. I filled mine out and had a seat on the back row. The baliff came in and asked us to turn off our phones and to throw out our gum if we were chewing it.

(After awhile, I thought this dude just liked to hear himself talk. Sigh.)

I'd pulled up the docket for that courtroom and time, and personally, I was interested in hearing some cases. There were a few people charged with soliciting prostitutes and spitting on people. There were some people charged with hit and run. I wanted to see all of that.

But alas, that didn't happen.

The judge came in and sat down and looked through his computers.

"If I call your name, line up."

He called several names, including my own.

And I noticed people in front of me were getting dismissed.


Then two people ahead of me were at the podium. The baliff kept asking the man not to lean on the podium. He was a big man with obvious health issues. The baliff didn't have to do that. (I think he just wanted to hear himself talk).

Then it was my turn. The judge asked my name. I told him. He did some typing. Then he said "Case dismissed. You're free to go. Good-bye. NEXT!"


I walked halfway down the aisle and then I looked back. I raised my hand to get the baliff's attention.

"I have a question."

The baliff frowned. "Didn't you just see the judge?"

"Yes. But I still have a question."

"Leave!" he said.

"But I have a question."

"What part of the word 'leave' do you not understand? LEAVE!"

I looked him up and down. And I turned and left.

I figured there was no need in upsetting the baliff. I didn't want to get locked up.

I saw the guy who was in line before me (who wasn't allowed to lean on the podium), waiting for the elevator with his grandson. The little boy was talking away. "I thought we would be there a long time, but we weren't.

The kid was right. We were there no more than 10 minutes.

I still had a question.

"So, when they say dismissed, what does that mean?"

He looked at me like I was crazy. "It means it is over."

"No fine or nothing?" I asked.

"No. It is done. You can go home."

*lee cheeses like Celie*


I did a church jog on the courtroom steps and left. Pam's hood was still warm. I got in my car and drove over to the new Black People's wal-mart over in the hood (That place- sigh. I wish we could have a Wal-mart like the ones the white folks have. This was the smallest and darkest Super-Walmart I had ever come across. Sigh).

I talked to my sister later. I told her what happened.

"See Lisa? You didn't go to jail."

"No I didn't. But I still had a question."

"What was that?"

"I wanted to know if I get a receipt or something. Something stating that everything was dismissed."

"They have all that in the system. It's over with."

Sigh. That's not good enough. This is the City of ATL we are talking about. Heck, I don't want to be stopped by the police and thrown to the ground and handcuffed. I need some papers or something to keep in my glove compartment.

I live in Zone 3. Zone 3 is NOTORIOUS for some tomfoolery. I'm tempted to run if they drive by my house and I'm outside cutting grass. You know it's bad when a drug dealer is on TV crying about how bad he's been shook down by the cops. We just had some big citywide cop scandal a couple of weeks ago. Sigh. Shady, shady, shady.

But for now, I think this ordeal is over.

I need some paperwork, man. I read online that I can contact the county clerk for that. I will do that. I don't want no trouble. None at all.

I remember thinking back in late March that all of this will be over soon. If Lucy was totaled, I'd easily have another ride by May, and if I didn't, that was alright. I had an extra car and had a little time to look.

But interestingly, everything is now over and taken care of. Court is done, and I got Lucy Jr. out of this!

And all my wailing and crying is over. Thank goodness for that.

This whole situation is now dismissed!!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Food-for-Thought: Notes from the Triple F Posse Meeting!

This weekend I attended my first meeting of our beloved Triple F Posse. 

Better known as the Financial Freedom Fighters Posse.

We even have our own gang sign... as demonstrated years ago by my baby brother Milk and Cookies.

If you have read here over the years, it is just a group of us women, from all financial backgrounds, who get together and talk about financial issues. Personally, I like to try to read a financial book or participate in some type of class every year. Last year was the first time in a very long time that I didn't actively do anything to push my financial habits and dealings in a more positive direction.  I did ok, but I was just in my usual holding pattern... just working the principles I'd already learned in our meetings and the books I have read.

Well, the Triple F Posse has been having meetings this year, but I haven't attended. I'd see mention on facebook after the fact, in some email I missed, but that's it. But this time, for the April Meeting, my homegirl, blogger The Green Eyed Bandit, convinced me to go. I had missed much, but I know how she is. She didn't want to hear any excuses.

She knows that I feel like I don't offer much to the group. Like I said, I'm in a holding pattern. I just don't have much to offer the group.

But I decided to be nosy and... show my face.

Oh how glad I attended.

I wanted to post up a few notes and thoughts on what I learned.

1. Don't sink your ship trying to save someone else's ship. 

I thought that was a spectacular. Just awesome. Why? Because it is true.

Now, I have gotten in plenty of trouble over the years concerning this. For some odd reason, people think I am rich. Maybe it is because my name has a "Dr." tacked on to the front of it. I don't know what it is. But I will tell you, I have been called every name under the sun for not emptying my bank account just because...

Your finances being raggedy don't mean mine have to be. Nope. And you can't hate me for it. Get the heck on. Not gonna sink my ship TRYING to save your ship. And we all know eventually both ships will sink. Really.

I do my part in helping. But some folk you just can't help enough. And I simply can't afford them. I just don't make enough money. Sad to say, but it is what it is.

That quote came from the lone brother in our women's group. That was some serious knowledge he dropped. It was great to have a male's perspective on such, as he has been in danger of sinking his own ship many a time. He has built up the courage to be a little more stringent about things. And it gave me a little hope and courage to see that others have those same issues and have found ways to work on them too.

2. You can't control what people think. But you can control yourself and your thoughts about your path and your personal goals.

How true is that?

All too true. There are waaaaay too many times that I have made decisions, and somehow I hesitated on taking action. Why? Because I was pondering what people would think of it.

Tell me... how much time do we waste pondering what people will think of our decisions?  Or worse yet, when we make bad decisions, how often do we say "Oh shoot. People gonna talk about me."

How much would we get done if the ignorance, negativity and snickering concerning our problems by people who get a kick of us having a hard time?


Fortunately, the older I get the more I notice that I am growing out of this.  You know my criteria. If you're not being a blessing to me, and I'm not being a blessing to you, then you can go jump in the lake. I don't have time for the drama. And neither do you. I am FULLY convinced that out of the 7 billion people on this earth, there are folks out there more than happy to lift me up when I am down. There are people who won't laugh at my poor decisions, or my decisions to better myself. They will help me and encourage me. And I will do the same for them.

3. It can be a lonely place... the loneliness that comes with setting better goals for yourself and meeting them.

That one speaks for itself. When we are going against the grain, and not running nilly willy with the trends that the crowd tend to run to, then people tend to fall away from our lives. We agreed that that is true when it comes to sticking with a plan that moves us toward our financial goals. People realize that you can't do all the fun things you use to do. You are more stringent with yourself. You are trying to better yourself and your life. And people fall away when that happens.

4. Your financial blessings come because God recognizes your are being a good steward of your money. 

I think the brother in our group dropped this piece of knowledge. I agree. As a matter of fact, it is a part of my vision statement. I want to be a good steward of my money. No, that doesn't mean giving all your money to the church. That is an unwise thing to do. (And you know where I go to church. Interestingly, stewardship is what I've been taught. Be a good steward. A good manager of your money).

No, being a good steward means being a good manager of your finances. Taking the time to budget and get rid of debt. Your money is YOU. It represents the time you traded for your services on your job. So there is no wonder that people get all up in arms about it. Heck, we should. Your money is YOU.

So why not treat it with respect? And deal honestly with it? And have good motives concerning it.

There are no get rich quick schemes here. Only good stewardship.

5. What or who is sabotaging your success when it comes to reaching your financial goals?

That was the discussion question for the second hour of our 2 hour meeting. All of our answers were interesting and diverse.

Sabotaging means what is messing you up. So, you're going along just fine. Is anything or anyone keeping you from reaching the goal in a reasonable manner and time, or are you neglecting to utilize some resources to meet these goals?

I won't answer for anyone else, but while spending time listening to the others talk about what is sabatoging their efforts, I thought about my own. For myself, it is simply getting off track. I will set financial rules and boundaries for myself, and for awhile, I will be making great progress. And then I will say "Gee, I am doing well. I can take a break for a week from my rules, routine and schedules. Well, a week turns into a month. A month turns into two months. And before I know it, I have wasted valuable time and resources.

And that's not good. I have wasted valuable time and resources.  I have sabotaged myself.

I want to get out of that vicious cycle. So that is something I will be working on.

6. Money Mondays. I know that I said that I didn't go to meetings because I feel that I don't contribute much to the process. I always walk away with a few ideas and nuggets to help me along. And that is always good. But I want to be helpful at the same time.

My contribution to the meeting was talking about something I do every Monday. And when I do it, it is a good thing. I have been somewhat slack on it, meaning I may do it 80% of the time. That's not good enough. It needs to be a consistent thing.

I call it "Money Mondays".  It is just me simply sitting down for 10 to 20 minutes on every Monday and looking at my bank accounts and/or making a few goals for the day or week. Plain and simple.

The group thought this was a great idea. I did too, as it works well for me. I always have a short list of financial things to do, or I may check to see what bills need to paid, etc. 

For example, today's goal was to make a couple of calls about medical bills. I lost one, and they being all slow with the other. These iron infusions are going to run me around a grand after insurance, and uh... I need to get on that and pay it soon.  But I haven't gotten one of the bills. So I took care of that. I also checked to see whatever automatic bill pays kick in this week and to see if I need to make adjustments and what not.

I also go to traffic court tomorrow. So I took time to organize paperwork and pictures of ol' Lucy. I was telling one of my more spirited coworkers who, uh, seems to have much dealings in traffic court that I was gonna take a grand with me, and if that would be enough for me to walk free. To which she hollered "NO!!! You don't need that much!!!"

Cowgirl Cre said, her eyes wide... "Somebody gonna rob you and pay their own ticket."


LOL. I saw that I can pay by check. And if I can't beat the ticket, it is $194. I hope I don't have to do jail time. I know one of ya'll will come break an Oldgirl out, right?

So I thought about all that and took care of one of the bills today for my "Money Monday" goals.  I also made a short to-do list for the rest of the week.

Not bad for around 15 minutes of time concentrated on money matters, right?

I told them it doesn't sound like much time, but over many weeks, that little bit of time adds up. And over a year's time, it really adds up.

It is a small goal. And let's face it. If you are like me, you get overwhelmed by really big money goals. I have to eat it all like I eat an elephant... one tiny bite at a time.

Look at me! Making a contribution to a meeting! *cartwheels*

So those are my notes and thoughts following our meeting.

I am sooooo glad I attended the meeting.  I think it was one of the most poignant meetings we've ever had.

Thanks Green Eyed Bandit for coaxing me into coming to the meeting. I am more motivated than ever!

*throws up Triple F Posse gang sign*

Friday, April 05, 2013

Friday Food-for-Thought: The Lucys and Apples Edition

It is Friday.

And it's already April. But it hasn't felt like it in the ATL. This Thursday was cold and rainy.

I can stand cold. And I can stand rain. I just can't stand them together. And gloomy weather tends to throw me into a slight funk.  It was a day for laying in the bed dozing in and out and watching Maury Povich or the View.

I have been super busy, so I'm not blogging much.

And super distraught.



Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.

My lovely Lucy. Lucy the Lexus.

Lucy was TOTALED.

Lord help me.

*falls hard against church pew... ushers run to help*

That poor little black man who told me that on the phone last Friday caught my WRATH.

"What do you mean ya'll can't fix her!"

He just got super quiet. Like they taught him, I suppose. I just straight ranted.

And he was quiet.

I decided I didn't want to talk to him anymore. I decided to call the insurance adjuster (who was SO hard to catch up with) and try to calmly talk to him.

He simply said it was totaled. And that I could stop by on Monday and pick up the check.


My goodness. I was... distraught.

"Alright," I said.


I was an emotional mess.

I tell you. If it wasn't for my sister spending some time talking to me... I don't know how I could've even fathomed coming back for being so down.

And what bothers me the most is that if you know me, I don't get all discombobulated over material things. That's just not who I am. I am probably the most nonmaterialistic chick you will ever meet.

Why on earth was I so distraught?

I couldn't even think straight. And that bothered me.

I tell you. My doggone sister. That gal had to really work on me.

She has totaled a car, so she understand the all the processes and all the emotions. She dealt with my tears very well.

I managed to pull myself together and go to the collision shop and get some type of explanation of why this seemingly simple injury to Lucy couldn't be repaired. And it turned out that the metal was sliced to bad and they would have to replace a big piece that was continuous over the car. (I was a bit concerned about that. Saw it before I took it in). So it was a total loss.

They cut me a check for what it was worth, which came out about what I expected.

And they told me to go to the secretary and release it to my insurance company for towing.

While talking to her, I just broke down crying. I could hardly spell my name for her to find in the computer.

Man, it hurt so bad. I think it was just the culmination of the ratchet gamut of emotions I went thought. I am tearing up right now just thinking about it.

They told me to go out and remove whatever I needed from the car. I had completely cleaned it out that past Thursday when I took it in. All I needed was my license plate.  I watched as a worker unscrewed it.

They had already pretty much stripped Lucy. Sigh.

It was just a shell of what it had once been. Ugh.

I retrieved some papers out of the car and my license plate...

I made extra sure to find the guy I snapped on, and I apologized to him for my bad behavior.

(I tend to be like a seemingly empty mustard container... squeeze it hard enough, and a little mustard will come out. Yeah)

...and I got in Pam the Protege, and drove to work.

I felt okay, later. Better than I had. Why? Because I allowed myself just to let my emotions run their course. And my sister really really worked on me.

One thing she said made me feel hopeful:

"Lisa, you don't realize the dream position you in. You totaled the car, but you got your money back for it. You have an extra car. You don't have a car note. You can just hang out and look around and buy another Lexus when you feel like it."

She was right. I remember her having a car totaled when she'd almost finished paying for it. Then she had to rent a car for a good month, which is a giant bill in itself, and then get another car... and another car note. Back to square one.

She said she cried too. She even took a day off and stayed in bed all day. But she got up and got busy.

I decided I should do that too. I started looking at a few cars before I got the call about Lucy being totaled. I was just being nosy and looking at prices. I could essentially just go get another with the check I had. And I didn't expect much. Heck, it's a 14-year-old car.

I saw a few I liked. Kentucky got all excited because she is off all week, and I kept talking about her running me up to Tennessee to see one I liked. There was also mention of us shooting to West Georgia to peer at one I liked. (And if I was running up in a dealership, I was taking her with me. She negotiated Lucy's price).

I think the best thing about all of that is that I got my mind off my pain. I'm still not sure where all that pain radiated from. I would wake up in the middle of the night and pray about some things. I just wanted to not feel so BAD. Goodness. That is just not me.

I learned much about my feelings. And I was talking to a friend awhile back about how I treat my thoughts, feelings and emotions. It's a little cheeky, but I think you will draw something from it.

Imagine you and your child go to the grocery store one fine Saturday morning. The child is at an age where he or she can help out with the shopping. And that's a good thing, because it can be used as a teaching moment. (I know it was for myself and my baby bro Milk and Cookies, who considers himself my kid, since I am 17 years older than him).

Anyway, you tell your child to go and pick out a few apples. The child does it. He brings them back to the shopping cart in the flimsy bag that we all use for our produce.

You take a moment to examine the bag of apples. It looks to be half a dozen or so.

You notice that some of the apples are beautiful - big and red and shiny.

And then you see that some of the apples are not nice. They are bruised and soft and full of holes. One of them has some white mold growing on them.

You peer closer at one of the bad apples.

Oh my! Is that a worm peeking out at you?

Before you can finish the thought, the worm disappears back into the safety of the apple.

"Baby," you say. "Look at these apples. Some are rotten.  We don't want those."

You pick out those bad apples and you hand them to the child.

"Some of these apples are bad. And we're not buying the bad ones," you say. "Put those back. Get more good apples."


"Some of these apples are bad. And we're not buying the bad ones... Put those back. Get more good apples."

Hmmm again...

I find it interesting that we are quick to do this simple fruit... and slow to do this with our thought life and feelings.

You know me. You know how much I wail about thoughts. And I know you are tired of me wailing and hollering about it. That's alright. Because I post it up to remind myself of it. I struggle with my thoughts, feelings and emotions from time to time.  So shoot... I need to talk to myself about these things sometimes.

Thoughts are like seeds.  My heart and soul are fertile soil.

And fruit sprouts from seeds.

Now that could either be either a good thing or a bad thing.

You know people by the fruit they produce.

I could throw the microphone up in the sky and end the post right there. That is enough to food-for-thought to chew on right there. But I won't.

I go through my little negative emotions from time to time. But it is usually short lived.

Mostly because I spend a fair amount of time examining my thoughts. Kind of like the mother above who examines the apples and finds some of them are good and some are bad.

She has enough sense to put the bad apples back. Why pay for that?

They might get sick if they eat it. And who wants to eat rotten fruit anyway?

Same way with my thought life. I have enough sense to know that the rotten thoughts aren't good for me.

Eventually those bad thoughts are going to produce some emotions, actions and reactions. Most likely, it's gonna be negative.

Here I was sitting around meditating on the thought of how Lucy was lost in a wreck that was less than a few seconds long. Sigh. I kept thinking on that. And I got the ticket for it. Made me cry something AWFUL.

I was thinking a little on the fact that I wasn't hurt. Getting hit by a BIG giant tow truck could be big trouble. I sure was grateful for that.

But there were too many thoughts competing. And combine it all with my patience issues, and this adjuster... man. I tell you... Dude. Wow.

I spent much time examining all of this.  I need better thoughts. I definitely concentrated on the fact that I didn't have to be airlifted out of anything. And I concentrated on the words of my sister. I tell you, I am usually the one advising her... it was the other way around this time. Way around.

I did a lot of praying. Learned more about myself that I already knew, but some things that I needed to really work on more.

I think the core central thought for me that bugged me something awful is one that I have sometimes:

I don't have much. I don't have all the fancy stuff that many of you have. I don't have the best health. I don't have family things to look forward to, as my family is not tight knit at all. I don't have the husbands or the kids. I don't have a lot...


Geez. And now that's gone. *ladylee sits at the gates of the city dressed in sack cloth... crying and dumping ashes upon her own head*

That was the core of some things.

And if that is not some stinking thinking... WRONG thinking... then I don't know what it is.

That is akin to the worm coming out the hole of the rotten apple and looking at me... and running back in.

That was one of the many thoughts I examined. And I decided that that type of thinking was unacceptable. It wasn't true, really. And it didn't lead to a good place mentally at all.

I have more than most folks. I sure do. No doubt about it. And this is such a wonderfully fascinating time in my life. Just simply fascinating. There's not a day that goes by that I don't get multiple chances to impart some wisdom into someone's heart.  There's not a day that goes by where someone doesn't come across my path and imparts wisdom into my heart. Not a single day. I would have to go back a couple of years to find a "silent" day.

And I get a lot of answered prayer, which has me a bit O_o. But I'll take that!

It just fascinates me much.

That blows my mind.

And it is an excellent "apple", an excellent thought. Sure drowns out those wormy apples, those negative thoughts.

Really though.

Anyway, my prayer daily surrounds those intangibles. No, my nice automobile was gone. So what. That's some material mess.

(I was looking at Bentleys. I can afford a 10 year old Bentley if I wanted. Now THAT'S a nice automobile. LOL.)

Material things come and go.

And what I found most interesting is that I've been driving Pam the Protege for the past couple of weeks and I've been enjoying the cheese out of that for whatever reason. I tell you, that's the little car that could. And I actually prayed for that car. Lucy was my dream car, but if I'm being truthful about it, I was suppose to get that for myself for my 40th birthday. I didn't get that until I turned 42. So it wasn't that big of a deal. And the biggest reason Lucy got purchased is that I went out to crank up Pam and heard a "click" (dead battery).  I was planning on getting Lucy, but that was the day right there!

I have more to say about this. But I won't. I just had a couple interesting turning points in my thought life.

Not sure I explained the apples scenario well. I may have read something similar somewhere. Not sure. Heck, it may just be something that I understood while in the store myself picking out produce.

Anyway, let's end this post on a decent note.

The title... it looks like a typo.  WRONG. It is not.

This is a "Lucys" post. Plural. Means more than one.

Lucy, my beautiful Coach edition Lexus, was totaled. Got the check on Monday.

I'd like to introduce you to Lucy, Jr... an identical Coach edition (more gold, though) I picked up from a private seller on Thursday.



*church jog in the corner*

The circumstances of me coming upon this car has given me the shakes for the past couple of days. It's almost like it fell out the doggone sky or something.

Lucy Jr. was some lovely lady's spare car... just sitting in an carport collecting dust.

"You need to sell Lexi, Mom," her kids said. "It's in the way."


Mad interesting.

But I will just leave that alone.  I may blog about it one day.

But for now...

I will make sure I put the unacceptable apples back on the shelf. And pick out better ones.

I find that when I do that, it always opens the door for... something. Me? I was just looking for some peace of mind. Something else got ushered in with that.

Welcome to my family, Lucy Jr.


You have some good apples and a good weekend...