Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fruits of the Week (Month)

Not just fruit of the week... Fruit of the month.  Heck, fruit of the Summer

For some odd reason, I have a hankering for peaches, cherries and nectarines.

I am not sure what is up with that. First of all, I know it's cherry and peach/nectarine season. But I am having serious cravings.

I read somewhere that we should eat intuitively. That means, if you are craving something, then there is something in it that your body must really need, so you should pay attention that.

Interesting concept... I don't know how that works out for you all out there who crave chitlins.  More power to you. Maybe you are in desperate need of protein... Yes, that's it!

Now, not only do I crave these fruits, I like to do a little extra to make them better:

I like to add oven roasted pecans or walnuts. I have this down to a science. Pecans take approximately 10 mintues. Walnuts, twice as long.  I spread the nuts out on a little foil sprayed with butter flavored Pam and add a teaspoon of cane sugar and I'm GOOD.

I remember looking for recipes for "candied" nuts and most called for adding a cup of melted sugar which is just waaaaay too much going on. I think I found a good balance. A teaspoon is good enough for me!!

So that's my fruit of the week. No, fruit of the month.

I wish that peach and cherry season could last all year long. That would be wonderful!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cat. Bounce. Rain.

(Experiencing technical difficulties around these parts, so I can't post up what I want to post today. So enjoy this repost of a writing prompt story instead. This one here is for that hypothetical stripper "Chocolate Drop")

“She got that Kitty-Cat! She know how to Bounce wit it!”
“She got that kitty-Cat! She know how to Bounce wit it!”

The DJ yelled that over and over again as he spun records on the turntable.
He yelled it as I spun round and round that pole.

Men hooped and hollered.
Dollar bills rained.
And rained.
And rained.

I didn’t hear any of it
As I swung round, and round and round that stripper pole.
Dollars raining, drowning out my tears.
Providing a light veil for my unspoken fears.
Soon it would be all over.

House lights on.
Adoring fans gone.
Only the sound of my careful footsteps, as I walked all alone.
Just me and a pocketbook of dollars,
Those wrinkled crumpled dollars
They'll soon be gone, evaporating like this summer rain.

Silence displacing the accolades.
Replaced by the sound of my own breathing…
My cigarette ember glowing, gray smoke unfurling.
Smoothed out by the taste of my salty tears.

Cat once warm, now cool against the hard wooden bench as I awaited a cab home.
No bouncing as the sun came up over the horizon.
“There would be more cat, more bounce," I whispered as I took a long drag from my cigarette.
"And there would be more rain tonight.”

From October 8, 2010 Women of Color Writing Group. Writing prompt: Write a verb and a noun on a card and place it into a basket. Participants pull a random card from basket and write for 10 minutes using the verb and noun they pulled.

I pulled a card with the words "cat" and "bounce" written on it.

Hmmm... maybe I was suppose to write about Oscar-Tyrone! lol

Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Monday Morning... The Robitussin and Beano SALON Editon

Monday again...

Wow... This weekend went by in a flash. Goodness.

And alas, Monday is upon us.

Here in the ATL, we will have 3 days- Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - of SUNSHINE.  That means no rain. It's been raining everyday since May. And I'm not talking about little nice showers. We're talking about rains of monsoon proportions, where one minute it is bright and sunny and the next minute copious amounts of water are falling out the sky.

Don't make no sense at all...

It would've been a great year to have a garden. Yes indeed.

Anyway, I am working half a day today. I have an appointment with my immunologist. This could be good or bad. I could get fussed out, or it all could be okay. I go there every 2 months, so whatever. I just want it over with.  I don't feel like hearing her mouth. I'm a little worn out from all the extra things she has me doing, so I need her to chill out. I am glad to be making the 30 mile drive in a rain-free, sunshiny environment. GLORY!!  (That will give me a little time to get my funky attitude together).

My weekend. I had a very good weekend. Saturday I got up and went to work for all of 5 minutes. I had to tour some Japenese Scientists though our lab and I thought I'd left out a container of ground up fish. And uh, you don't want that sitting out over the weekend. Negroes won't let that mistake go by.

(The Japenese were... interesting. They were nice ladies, but the shortest people I've ever seen. And I was talking slow so as to speak correctly. Ya'll know I'm ebonically inclined. I didn't want to confuse them. We have the same expertise. I went in ready to argue and answer hard questions, but they were a bit, I don't know... docile. They said their names and I was O_o. I don't know WHAT they said. All I could do was say, "And I'm Dr. LadyLee, and I hope you are enjoying your tour thusfar". )

Saturday, I drove Pam the Mazda. I tell you, I am so use to the smoothness and comfort of rolling in Lucy Jr., the Lexus. Goodness. Driving Pam is like rolling in The Fast and The Furious... rough and fast! I felt like I needed on a helmet and some racing gloves. And let's not talk about 4 cylinder versus 8 cylinder. Geez! She's driving well. I have to take her out every now and again and run that engine good. And that's a good thing!

And she needed some gas. Can't have her sitting on "E".

I've been stoked ALL week because a couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite authors these days, Jo Garner, said...

"I'm having a salon in July."

Yeah, something like that. I was stuck on this "salon" word. I was thinking to myself  "What, you gonna get some homegirls together and we're gonna get our hair and nails done?"

You know me. I'm not the most learned person. Now SHE is. Not me. She said something about writers and readers getting together for dinner and reading some of our writing.


I was still stuck on this "salon" idea... Where the heck did she get that word from?

I was also thinking... This Jo... she's a cool chicken. She actually made up a word.  And she said it so smooth like it was an actual word.

Then I thought... This word has to be located somewhere.

And I knew where to look for the definition... on Wikip.edia.

Salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectare aut prodesse est"). Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until quite recently in urban settings.

Did you know that? Or are you like me: you thought you were going to get your nails and hair done?

Tell the truth.

Yeah. You didn't know. Jo knows, because she is well read. That's a 17th/18th century word.

I don't really read anything that old. Reminds me of high school. I only read that stuff as required reading. 

Jo knows that type of stuff. I bet she can go on Jeopardy and shut it DOWN. Really though. 

Alas, I learned a new word. 


And I attended one, too. Yes I did.

And I had a GOOD time. Oh yes.

Jo had asked me in an email if I had any special dietary requirements. I said no. I am more of a fruit and veggie gal, but I don't make folks bend to my issues. But I did tell her, "Now if you get the notion to whoop up a pot of chitlins, I can't do that. I'd be sick for days."

That would be one of those occasions where I would be like "I'll have a piece of bread. And a glass of water please.Thank you very much."

Or I'd call an impromptu fast. Amen. *fans self with my Obama church fan*

Anyway, we had a french inspired dinner... A crustless quiche, salad and french bread.

Ooooh weee... that was some good quiche. It had a little chicken sausage from the farmer's market in it. And it was just the right firmness. That was some good stuff.

Man, that quiche tasted like she was a contestant on one of these food competition shows like Top Chef or Food Network Star.  Oh yes indeed.

We had good conversation. She has some FUNNY friends. We also have a friend in common: Tracey, aka, "Chocolate Drop", who inspired this story. I haven't seen her in a few years. It was SO good to see her, and to meet some new folks!

During dinner, one of the guests, we'll just call her "Laura", got a little sick. Her allergies were bothering her.

"Jo, do you have a benadryl?" Laura asked.
"Yes, I do."

*Jo disappears around a corner*

Okay. I don't know if she said "Yes, I do." We were laughing so hard over our dinner.

*Jo reappears*

"I have Robitussin!"


We all had that Scooby Doo look on our faces.


That caused a whole nother series of jokes and laughter.

Jo continued to look around in cabinets. "I have some Beano, too."

What the world?

Now these folks work at an agency similar to my own. I sat there and wondered... What the heck they got going on over there where they work, where they're mixing Robitussin and Beano together?"

Oh my!

And you know me... I'm trained as an synthetic organic chemist, even though I don't do that type of thing anymore.

But you know, I have residual flashbacks, and interesting things go through my mind...

The chemical compounds in Robitussin...


That's not good... That can even be addictive.

And some guaifenesin

That's an expectorant. In simpler terms, that helps you hawk up all that phlegm. YUCK!

And then there's pseudephedrine

That's a decongestant... But it's also a starting material for meth.


And Jo had hollered "I have some Beano, too."

Beano... I don't know the structure of the main ingredient, but I know it is an enzyme, and it breaks down whatever makes us gassy.

And if you mix a enzyme with that Robitussin... no telling what will happen.

Part of me wanted to know. Beano should bust up some of those chemical bonds. Or nothing interesting might have happeneed. Or we might've released some gases and poisoned ourselves. Or we might have come up with a new way to make that meth.


I thought about all this in a matter of seconds. That's just the nerdy part of me.

But thank goodness I didn't have any liquor in me. They were kicking the white wine, and I was sipping the apple cranberry cider.

Ya'll know how I get when I've been drinking. Sigh.

If I would've been liquored up, poor Laura woulda got straight tackled to the ground. Girl, don't you take that 'Tussin and Beano!"


Thank goodness Tracey has allergies, and she had a spare benadryl.

And Jo announced that the Robitussin had expired. And the expiration date was 1998.

Wow. This caused another whole layer of joning. Poor Jo. She was just trying to be helpful.

Now, I have a bottle of Zzzquil in the fridge. The plastic cap is all nasty and has residue in it. It's just a hot mess. Jo's bottle of Robitussin was different.

"The cap on that is clean," I said. "You never opened it."

"Yes," Tracey agreed. "Because the cap usually have stuff all on it."

"You clean it off when you're finished," Joe said.

I never thought to do that. I don't think Tracey has either.

Ha! Ha!  More joning. And Jo's homeboy D is a master at picking on her. He does NOT let up.

Jo threw it away before I could take a picture. Because you know I would've.

And I'm glad I didn't have to slap a cup of 'tussin out of the hand of an ailing Laura.

That was good fun. And our Laura felt better after taking a benadryl.

We retired to the living room. Some had tea, some had coffee. I had neither, as each would've kept me awake until the month of August. And we munched on the cookies made by yours truly!

And we continued our "salon". Laura, Jo and I gave some readings of our works in progress.

I read this piece, as I am working around with it right now using some techniques from something said in class.

Jo read from the sequel of Solomon's Blues... I LOVE to hear her read. I guess because I am a stan... and she gave me some 40 pages of a rough draft a couple of weeks ago. (That's like giving me some money, man!)

And Laura read one of her pieces, which was very funny. We encouraged her to develop that more. Because it was that good.

I, of course, got more encouragement to publish. And yes I will do that sometime soon. Yes indeed.

All in all it was a good time. Even the 40 minute drive home was very nice.

So that is it for my Monday Randoms... Expect a full lineup of posts this week.

Oh... I forgot the Song of the Week. Jo was playing the 1950's soul music on Saturday. You know I don't know nothing about that, but I will be finding it. It was good and different. It made me think of the oldest music I have on deck right now. And that's that David Macullum "The Edge", some of his 50-60s' jazz...

Yes, yes, yes. That's good music right there. And Tracey has a fantasy of being a stripper... she can work the pole with that song... on purpose!

Have a good week!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Freestyles

Happy Friday!

I am glad once again to see it. The only thing that would make it better is if it was PAY DAY.

Alas, it is not. And that is fine.

I have had a pretty decent week. I feel much better, thank goodness for that.

Highlights of my week:

Writing Class- I do like writing class. I sooooo look forward to it every Tuesday night. The discussions are good, the assignments are great. This week's assignment is to take our work in progress and rewrite the first 2 pages, bringing all the action and punch into that first page. Sort of hard, but doable. I've already been working on it, and I think it's going to work out fine.

I'm sad that one of our classmates from the last 6 week session died. Rest in peace, Ms. Linda. I miss your writing already:(

Your friendly neighborhood IRON girl- so I had an iron infusion on Wednesday. This threatened to be bad, because my doctor wasn't in yet and the other docs were on vacation. So I was there for an hour before we got started. By that time it was 10:00 (I arrived at 9).

There was this white woman sitting in the recliner next to mine. She was uh... really interested in what was going on with me, you know, like, listening in and staring hard whenever whenever a nurse came over to talk to me. I decided not to pay her much mine. I slept for a bit. I got a little reading done, and I played on my phone. I made sure to keep my belongings close by. I didn't want this woman snatching my stuff!

When I was finished up, my vitals were taken. This woman was peering at me hard, then. I tell you, I was out in the sticks, out there on Green-Eyed Bandit's side of town. I was NOT going to mix it up with white folks in the southern 'burbs. That's an automatic ride to jail.

This woman starts asking a ton of questions.

What an interesting conversation that was. Turns out we have the same chronic illness, with the same symptoms, and we were both doing iron treatments for the same reason (correction of storage problems). We both have the same hair issues, which affects 17% of sufferers.

Wow. I have NEVER met anyone with the same range of symptoms. She has more problems, since she is older than me (She is 63, I am 43, and she has had it for 40 years).

But man oh man. It was good to talk to her, if only for a few minutes. She should be there next Wednesday. I'm going to save her a seat if I can. I would love to pick her brain.

I get along fine some 95% of the time. But I just had a bad week a couple of weeks ago. I would like understand these things a little better, as it is such a lonely road. I don't even care to explain how I am feeling to people anymore. I feel like no one understands, and I don't expect them to.

But it was good to talk to that lady. She probably saw me sitting there and recognized herself in me. For that I am grateful.

Oscar-Tyrone - You know I've been wailing about Oscar-Tyrone's special food costs close to $70 bucks a month. That's his wet food. His dry food costs $58 a bag. I use it to stretch out the canned food. Well, the other day, I spilled a half of cup of the dry food on the floor. Oscar was on it before I could get up. I decided to let him eat whatever he could and get up the rest.

Well he ate it all. After he had gotten sick back in October, he had problems with his teeth and eating dry food. But I guess it's better now. So I will just watch him. I want this to work out. A bag of the food will last 2 months. That would bring his food costs down considerably. He's not due for a vet visit until fall. I will have to get them to do a dental exam. That little dude might need some dentures! LOL

Pictures of the Week. Thursday was "Bring Your Kids to Work" Day, followed by the Company Picnic at the local city Park.

Lt. Commander. By brought in a full brood of kids - his sons and all his nieces.

A whole brood of kids! All I heard was the voices of kids! "Uncle By!" and  "Daddy!"

Oh my!!!

Such sweet kids, they were. The oldest boy takes karate classes, and even showcased his karate moves. Awesome. I don't want to run into that lil' dude in a dark alley. No sir. He would whoop my tail. Good fashioned.

Lt. Commander Meek-Meek brought her grandbaby Ari...
Another sweet child. I've met her before. She is pure entertainment.  And she's holding that bag of candy given out to the kids like it's a bag of money. She was NOT letting that go.

It was good to see the kids. They are not allowed in the labs, but they have demonstrations and activities down in the big conference room. They all came up to the cubicle areas later, and that was fun.

Video of the Week. Not a big fan of Tweet, but I like this song: "Heaven"

That's it for today. I am looking forward to the weekend! Yes indeed.

I'm hope to have a good one! I hope you do, too! On purpose!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In Search of Opulence

Here's a story for you...

It was a class assignment a couple or weeks ago. It is much different than my usual fare, that's for sure.  Check out the afterword for an explanation of the class assignment.

We should have never put our trust in the drifter we met that warm day on the beach in the South of France.

We were vagabonds in our own right, traveling from town to town, making wicked game of the townspeople and peasants, cheating them out of the few valuables they held in their possession. I was always the temptress, opulent yet distraught, and ever more so skilled in catching any man’s wayward eye and imagination. It didn’t fare long before I would have him thinking he could perhaps receive a kiss, a dance, or something more. And while I did that which I could only do best, my companion Ian, that fancy rogue, would scavenge the valuables of the willing victim, taking that which would get us through another day or even another week. And if we were fortunate, we could survive months or perhaps a year on our bounty. One never knew which rags-donning peasant was carrying a stash of silver coins or gold with the dreams of one day purchasing a donkey or horse, so as to retire from walking to and fro.

We ourselves were able to afford a stolen horse and carriage. We also had swords handy, and twice sharpened daggers to protect our fortune.

No longer were the meager valuables of village peasants enough to meet our opulent needs. Our horse and
carriage afforded just the amount of extravagance to provide suitable refuge among the rich and famous that took holiday on the warm beaches of the South of France. We’d been celebrating our largest act of thievery the day before. Ian robbed the carriage house of the grand hotel in Lit-et-Mixe, while I made merry with the carriage hands. Our take of silver, gold, diamonds and furs were well worth sore lady parts. We’d been traveling for a few days and when we knew we were safe from capture, we took rest on a lovely deserted beach. That night we had delicious pheasant instead of hastily killed rodent for supper. It was indeed a good night.

It was there while relaxing and enjoying the soft ocean breeze that we saw him: the bearded man on a small wooden boat, drifting slowly towards the seashore.

Against the gilded sunset, with the setting sun a golden halo about his head, one would easily mistake him for an Angel, a messenger of the Lord, or even the Christ himself. But as he drew closer, donned in a burlap robe, his hair long and dirty falling in his face and hanging just above his waist, he was far from anything sacred.

“’Tis a sign, Abigail,” Ian whispered as he slowly rose to his feet and walked forward as if floating on air. “A sign.”

“’Tis merely a man,” I replied from my place near our small fire. “Most likely a peasant.”

“It is a sign to tell us that we must pray. Look at the cross he holds in his hand. We must ask for forgiveness. We must confess our sins to the holy man.”

My dearest Ian. He wrestled endlessly like a wild colt in need of breaking when it came to our thieving ways. This was unfortunate, as every time we passed a holy man, he felt the need to confess his sins. I myself didn’t care, as we always arose the next day and continued in mischief.
Ian had already fallen to his knees, his hands to his face to capture his tears.

I stifled a laugh as always. I too stood to my feet . But I retreated to our carriage, parked only a few feet away.

“Bless us, holy father,” Ian wept when the man was amongst us. “For we have sinned. We have sinned against God and against these good people.”

Yes, it was the same with Ian. I would let him release it all. Better for him to have the guilt taken away. It always made it easier to plan our next pillage.

“You are forgiven, dear child,” the holy man said. He touched the crown of Ian’s head with a rugged wooden cross held together by a length of dirty rope. He offered the holy Eucharist- the small wafer and the chalet of wine. “I promise you will have good fortune, here and forevermore. I promise you will laugh and not cry. You will never cry again. ”

Ian received the broken wafer from the man’s hand. He drank from the rusted chalet. He wept uncontrollably, but soon collapsed, from exhaustion, perhaps. When I looked up, back towards the holy man, he’d produced a large dagger and a broad smile.

“Away from the carriage, my lady,” he said.

I didn’t comply.

He moved forward and with one strong move, slashed me at the wrist. A thin trickle of blood fell to the ground.

“Again, away from the carriage or you die!”

I eased myself away. I winced from the pain of the fresh cut. “You can’t do this,” I said. “It is wrong, you simply can’t.”

He laughed, exposing the rotten teeth in his mouth. His hair fell away and out of his face, revealing a jagged scar in the shape of an “X” on the bridge of his long nose. He pushed me to the ground. I landed on top of Ian.

“Yes I can. I’ve watched you from afar doing to others what I have just done to you. “

I scrambled away from Ian. My dear dead Ian.

“Oh don’t worry yourself about him, my lady,” the man said. “A little poison stolen from a magic man in the forest will give him the sweet slumber of a newborn babe until morn. He won’t remember a thing when he awakens from such sweet sleep.”

And with that, the drifter, the mighty man of liturgy, was off- off with our horse, off with our carriage, off with all that was rightfully ours, rightfully stolen from those on holiday on that warm and beautiful beach.

I held my dear Ian in my arms and I vowed at that very moment to find this drifter, this trickster with his blind promises, and make him pay.

I would make him pay for what he had so wrongly stolen from us all.


Our instructor gave us an interesting assignment. She generated some phrases from an old "phrase generator" type of software. She gave us a list of about 300 different phrases. We were to choose three phrases for subject and plot material.

I couldn't decide on three, so I picked several...

Here are the phrases I used for my story:

Opulent Temptress
Opulent Rogue
Liturgical drifter
Gilded sunset
Warm beach
Blind promises

I agonized for days over it (well not really. I had about 10 phrases picked out. I stopped whining and started writing.

We were particularly giddy at work over the part about the "sore ladyparts". 

Hey, you gotta WORK to make that money sometimes, ya know? HA HA!!!

It gets a little hard because our teacher has a thing for the fantasy and historical genres. I like to read those genres from time to time, but I am more of a contemporary gal.

But it was fun to adjust.

"You should do more with that," our instructor said.


Uh, no thank you.

But it was a fun exercise.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Skin, Nails, and Rubber Band Tales


I was walking down the hall in the building adjacent to my own (as I must do to get to my own building when I first come to work). I ran into my fellow Doc, Dr. Hazel Eyes.

I chuckle to myself when I see her. I always think of my brother as a teenage boy. Whenever he would come down to my job to hang out with me, he would always whisper "Hey Shawty... take me over to see that girl with them light eyes. Oooooh weeee, I just like her. Take me to see her!"

And for him to go over there and see her and get his hug in, and for her to ask little questions about himself REALLY made his day. He'd be grinning the rest of the day. (This disturbed me. I could not relate. I would just... listen).

Anyway, I saw her last month.

And she looked different.

She is a bright skinned-ed girl (I would say "high yella", but that wouldn't be politically correct).

But she was darker that day I saw her... much darker.

"Whoa!" I said. "Where have you been?"

"I've been vacationing in Florida!" she beamed.

Yes she had. And she'd been laying out in the sun... from sunrise to sunset. So much so that her complexion was a few shades darker than usual.

"You 'bout dark as me, girl!" I hollered.

I really wanted to holler "You sho' is black!!!!"

Not quite, but close enough. Close enough to notice.

I went back over to her building a few days later and documented this.

She is dark, but not as dark as me.

Notice our accessories. She has a gold link bracelet. I have rubber band. (Serenity_23 is having a conniption fit right now. I asked her a couple of years ago if rubber bands counted as accessories. She said "NO". Sigh)

She even has a thumb ring.
Maybe I can find a rubber band that size and put it on my thumb. (Serenity_23 throws bricks).

I am intrigued by the french manicure.

Now I am such a tomboy. But the girly side of me has always been intrigued by the french manicures. I don't understand what they about. Do they paint the tips of your nails? Or is that an acrylic nail glued to your own nail.

Someone please break it down for me.

I don't ask the Asians who do my pedicures. I can't really understand their explanations, and they just want their money.

But I like them when I see them. I only get pedicures, but I may go get a manicure. It would be nice to have a french manicure. It is quite elegant, it is.

I may even get some precious metal for my wrist. That would be a nice change from the rubber bands, right?

And I might take a vacation. The light in Dr. Hazel Eyes eyes makes me want to find a nice beach... some blue ocean water... and a comfy towel to cover myself as I sleep in my lounge chair.

Yes indeed.

An Oldgirl can only dream!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Random Act of Kindness

You’ve been caught.

And at the time, you wanted to burst out in laughter because this never happens.

You’ve never been caught.

But now you’re staring down the barrel of a big gun is pointed at the span of space between your eyebrows, just above the bridge of your nose. And you know if you make one false move, it will be the last move you ever make.

“Don’t you dare move,” the female voice behind the gun says. She cocks the gun and secures her grip. “If you move, you’re a dead man.”

And you believe her too because you can see the truth in her eyes, even in the sparse moonlight shining through the kitchen window.

You stand there dressed in black from head to toe, just mere steps away from the kitchen back door, with a 15” tube television held securely under your arm, wondering why you ever felt so sorry for this woman in the first place.

You first saw her yesterday in the electronics department of the local Wal-Mart staring at the big flat screen televisions, going on and on with the salesman, telling him that she would give anything to have one of those big screen TVs.

You walked past her. She was pretty and she smelled so good. You watched as she points a slender finger at the 46” Toshiba flat screen television hanging high on the wall, and you nodded in unison with the salesman when she announced for all to hear that it was the television of her dreams.

It is a nice choice indeed. You know because you’ve stolen two or three in the past. And you just so happen to have one in your garage. It is standing on its side in the far back corner, next to the deep freezer, loosely wrapped in the quilt your Grandmother gave to you as a child.

You listen as the woman gives the salesman her address for the credit card application. Your shoulders slump the same as hers when she is told that her application has been denied. You watch as she walks away, leaving her fondest dream behind.

As you repeat the woman’s address over and over in your mind, you get the bright idea to break into her house and trade out her television for the television in your garage. You would never think of doing this, but the last time you talked with your beloved grandmother she made you promise her one thing:

“You make sure you take the time to be kind to someone this week. A little kindness goes a long way.”

You’re pretty sure your idea wasn’t what Grandma had in mind, but a promise is a promise.

Just when you’re about to open your mouth to explain yourself to the lovely lady with the gun, a large dog comes around the corner at full speed and charges at the two of you. The gun is dropped and it fires, shooting her in the chest. She falls to the floor, dead at your feet.

At the same time, sirens whir and squeal. Police break down the door and find you holding the gun in your hand. The lovely lady is cradled in your arms.

And now you’re on trial for armed robbery and attempted murder.

You are glad that the woman is not dead. And at the same time you are wishing you never answered the phone that day your grandmother called, even as you hear the lovely lady sitting there in the gallery saying to someone "You should go with that Toshiba brand. It's a dream."

“How do you plead?” the judge asks.

“Guilty,” you reply solemnly.

You are telling the truth.

For you are guilty.

Guilty of an attempted random act of kindness.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Morning Rambles.

Good Monday Morning.

The weekend was TOO short. My goodness. I don't understand.

I didn't leave the house on Saturday. I lounged around, did a ton of chores, and lots of writing. It was just a time to go and decompress.

These days, you have to do things early, because I don't know where you live... but in the ATL? Late afternoons bring monsoon rains. It rains cats, rats, and dogs. EVERY day. Bizarre. But let's just say there's no semblance of drought or rules for when to water your grass. This would've been a great year for a garden!

I need some time off. I remember that time I took a whole month off for my birthday! Wow! I need THAT type of time off. I need some time off where I can fast and pray and read and journal and that type of thang. I need that type of time off where I can work some things out in my head. Really.

Alas, I don't see that happening too soon. I haven't been feeling the best, but I am feeling better. And I have been more focused and productive the past week. That's what I truly want: to have productive days at work, where the time goes by pretty fast. I don't mind working when it is like that. Not at all.

My Weekend. Now what has made me happiest of all this weekend is that I have been working on a rewrite of Sweet Heat. I gave Josephine, my writing class classmate and someone who's work I'm a stalker stan fan of, the first rewritten chapter and she loved it. That had me a bit O_O because her writing is so refined and eloquent and Sweet Heat is a little off-the-cuff. So that gave me confidence to go ahead and work on condensing the 950 page manuscript down.

My writing class teacher thinks that it can be broken down into two or three books. I think I've learned the skills to go forward and do that. Class has gotten deeply psychological, going off in the realm of why we write what we write, and where we see ourselves going. For some odd reason, that has lit a fire under my tail to make decisions. I have so much stuff laying around, and now I am pretty definite on the route I want to take. And that's a good thing.

So I finished a second chapter this weekend, and I am currently working on a third. It seems to be coming along nicely. I am not as upset as I thought I would be about culling out huge pieces of unnecessary material. The story is tighter, and it seems to be moving along faster. And that's a good thing.

President's speech. Did you see the President's off-the-cuff speech on Friday afternoon? If not, here you go:

I was wondering if he was going to say something. You know how political he is. I expected him to be quite tightlipped. But I'm glad he added his perspective and put all of this in context. No, as usual, he can't please everybody. I don't expect him too.  But between the President and the Attorney General, two black men, they could at least make some statements. Both have done that.

Essentially the President has had to explain to white people why the black folk are so upset. He tried to do that. I am glad he talked about what it felt like to be his old self in this world, the old "Barry".

So I think he did the best job he could. At least he said something.

I still maintain that George Zimmerman didn't get off scot free.

You see, you and I can go into a store and pick up some cold medicine if we are sick.  We can go in the store and get skittles and tea.

Georgie can't do that.

Ever again.

It's gonna be a heck of a life always having to look over your shoulder and not even being able to enjoy the simple things of life that we all take for granted.

Yes indeed.

Great post on this subject by my blog bruh:  Don over at Minus the Bars with "Like George Zimmerman, I walk away from the "Trayvon Martin Trial" with a Peculiar Look on my Face"

Picture of the week.  My girl, my girl, my girl... Baby blog sista, that chicken Serenity_23, cut all that long natural hair off.

She text me that picture, and i thought it was one from 3 years ago.

I asked if she at least kept a lock of her hair. She said "For what?"

I told her that I think she should twist it. If she can twist that little bit of hair, she's a bad sista!! HA HA!

Chicken!! You always trying to be like me. Stop that!


She texted some pictures my way. I'm glad. I need to get a hair cut and I'm taking her pictures to the barber with me. Shouldn't be hard. I'm going a lot lower than that. I want to get up in the morning and not even have to comb my hair, man. My hair has grown only an inch, and in some places 2 inches, in the last 2 years. They should be done with me in a jiffy.

S23... you need to stop trying to be like me! LOL

Song of the Week.  You know I'm a Miki Howard stalker stan. Here is one of my favorite songs by her: "But I Love You"

Man. That's a sitting-in-the-back-booth-in-the-club songs. You got your sunglasses on and you on your third glass of brown liquor. And you crying and mouthing the words of that song.

And I'm sitting next to you. Sanging the chorus pretty hard.

I think every sister been in that situation. I know I have.

Expect a full battery of posts this week. I even have a couple of stories for you :)

Have a good week.

By design.

And on purpose. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Freestyles... The Jerk Edition

Good Friday Afternoon.

The weekend is nigh. I can almost reach out and touch it.

If only it was that simple.

My weekend starts in about 5 hours. And I can't wait.

Not that I have much of anything to do. I'm just looking forward to sleeping in. I've been going to bed around 1 or 2 in the morning. I'm not sure what's up with that. Poor Oscar-Tyrone can't even hang with those type of hours. I get a little jealous looking over to see him wound into a tight curl in his little bed, fast asleep. That should be me.

Sometimes I feel like a child: fighting sleep, because I'm so scared I'm going to miss something.

I'm not sure what I'm missing at 2 in the morning, though.

I know one thing: I'm feeling much better. I'm not sure why I was all nauseous. It could come down to me eating or drinking something crazy. I know I have a problem with pomegranet juice lately. Or it could come down to my meds. I'm not taking one right now because it is delaying my surgical wound from healing. I may be having a reaction to all that. I don't know. I just feel a little better. Now, I'm not out eating a plate of chittlins. (You know you feeling good if you can hold that down). For some reason, I eat a bunch of fruit during the day. The thought of anything much heavier than that scares me. This is bing cherry season right now, and for now, I'm a cherry eatin' chicken!

Kentucky. My sister Kentucky... sigh. She had a car accident a couple of weeks ago. Everything is fine, but she JUST paid her car off, so she was antsy about that. Anyway, this chick rear-ended her. And the chick had some bootleg insurance. It's legal and all, but the people are hard to work with. They're giving her the runaround. I'm glad her car runs, but the bumper is slightly out of place. I just don't want it to be totaled.

She needed some help the other day, and I was a bit beside myself because she didn't call me. She called her best friend, and it all worked out.

But she said some other words... "I thought about calling Mama..."

Ugh. I was driving down I-85, heading to work at the time. And this brought about one of our ongoing discussions. "Man, why you wanna call Mama, and she tripping still?"

This is my thing: They are still on the outs after this whole Grandma thing. Now, they have some quick general convos. Not sure what that's about. But they rarely talk. Why call her?

Kentucky has always had this thing about "keeping her options open."  If she's in need of help, she needs to be able to call folk. Now I understand that. Being the jerk that I tend to be, I don't have much of anyone to lean on when I need a helping hand. Luckily for me, a helping hand is rarely needed.

When I say "being the jerk I tend to be", I mean this: I don't consider myself a nice person. To some extent I am. I ain't gonna use you or throw you under the bus or nothing like that. I won't steal from you or hurt you in anyway. I won't be gossiping and backbiting. I don't manipulate or play silly mind games. That's just not me.

But here is what would make me nice, in my opinion: having the patience to deal with people, no matter how they treat me.

And I just can't do it. I'm really a jerk on that tip. I'll stop talking to janky folk. You treat me like trash, that's MY fault for letting you do it. That's on me. And I don't do well AT ALL with people who treat everybody around them all crazy. You treat your friends like trash, having them all exasperated and what-not... you're not gonna treat me any different.

My sister and I talk about this. She gets along with everybody, I don't. At least she tries. I don't.

I like my relationships genuine. Build me up. I build you up. Be a blessing to my life. I'm a blessing to your life. Don't bring unnecessary drama. And I don't bring the drama either.

Over a span of time can we each mutually answer the following question: have we been a physical, emotional, spiritual and mental asset to each other? Or have we been a hindrance to each other?

If the answer to that question goes in a negative direction, well... you know.

Did your life go downhill when I came on the scene? Did my life become a living hell when you showed up on the scene?

And my sister and I talked about this. Personally, I need to find some balance. I need to learn how to deal with folks I don't like. I can, and have. But I don't do well when it's ongoing, like on a permanent basis. I don't do well AT ALL. I am an expert at disappearing on folk. A well-seasoned expert. And that is something I don't particularly like about myself.

I like substance. The older I get, the more I want substance. My heart sings when we... me and you... interface well. When we can walk away from our interactions built up and not all dejected and exasperated.

Lord knows I know some exasperated folks. Goodness. People sho' nuff know how to put the people around through an emotional wringer. It is sad to see.

Oh well... just one of those ongoing conversations, I suppose. A complicated yet delicate one at that. My sister and I will continue to pontificate.

I don't know why she didn't think to call me with this car issue. I am itching to get away from work for any doggone reason. I could've rented a car for her and come on back to work. No big deal.

But I know she has to work things out for herself.  And I must do the same. I love that we each give each other the room to do so.

Oh well...just a little freestyle look into my heart of hearts on this Freestyle Friday.

That's what on my mind right now. That, and getting to a point of feeling a little better.

Song of the Day. I know I play this song at least once a day, either during my drive to work or my drive home. Michael Jackson "Heaven Can Wait".

Teddy Riley produced that song. I like when pop stars go back to their R&B roots.

That's all for today. I am tired. I want to get through this day and go home and enjoy my weekend. I don't plan on doing much. I may go to the library and do some writing. As long as it is QUIET. I don't do well with noise at all these days.

I hope you have a good weekend!

By design... and on purpose.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Your Friendly Neighborhood IRON Girl

Yes it's me...

Your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl...

But these days, you can just call me your Friendly Neighborhood IRON girl.


My hematologist showed me my numbers. No, I am still considered "anemic". I beg to differ with this, as I range a half a point to a point below normal. I am not all tired. I know the difference from "anemia tired" and just regular old I-ain't-getting-enough-sleep tired.

"How do you feel after your iron infusions?" my hematologist asks.

"I feel perfectly fine. The same way I feel before I get them," is my quick response.

I been all nauseated and jacked up for the past week and a half, but that don't have a thing to do with iron.

We were working on my iron storage in my bones and that has gone up considerably. That is a good thing. My hematologist said let's go another round and see what happens.

Here's the problem. One session is 2000 dollars. I pay 250 dollars after insurance.

Not a lot, but it adds up. So I will have had 8 infusions by the time this group is done. Doing the math, that's 2000 dollars out of my pocket.


I can pay that. No problem.

But doggonit. I should be able to do a Wonder Woman spin and fly like Superman by the time this is all over.

It is driving my storage up, which is regulating other things going on in my blood. I find that quite interesting.

But not enough for this to go on infinitely. Nerp.

But for now, I will just do what I'm told and go through these last couple of infusions.

It's just me and the iron bag.

Then I will return to being your friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl...

And I will be Wonder Woman in my dreams.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ferris Wheel in the ATL!

So... there's a big ferris wheel in downtown Atlanta now. Today was the grand opening.

That's one heck of a view. I have to drive in that general direction to go to work. I am too busy trying to be careful in our janky traffic to look over in that direction.

It looks odd against the Atlanta skyline. I guess it will take some getting use to.

Here's the strange thing to me:

They put this ferris wheel up in one to two weeks. Maybe closer to two weeks.

I don't know how long it took. But it's much too fast for me.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it has been inspected and cleared. And there is nothing wrong with it. It doesn't look too complicated. Just lock everything in place and let it whirl...

But uh, I'm need that to spin for awhile before I get up on it. I need some snow to hit it. I need lightning to strike that sucker. I need it to bake in the summer sun. I need ice to freeze on it.

I need for it to go through the seasons of life before I jump on it.

That's just me.

This is a tourist attraction. I am a resident, not a tourist. Heck, I've never even been to Centennial Park. And I was here when the Olympics came through. I lived half a mile from the main festivities way back then.

I hope the wheel does well and boost our economy. The cost is $8.50 for kids, $13.00 for adults. That's reasonable for a 15 minute ride. Ferris wheels are nice attractions in other cities. Hopefully this one will do well, and be good for our city.

But I'll let ya'll get up on it and tell me how it is...
Maybe they'll bring a roller coaster downtown next... That'll be really cool.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Night Fights,,, The Buttermilk Edition

Monday night.

You know, this was actually suppose to be a Friday freestyles. Didn't post it. I figured I will post it this morning. That didn't work out. So I thought I would post tonight. I need to post, nevertheless.

I am tired of work. I have been thrown into what I consider an unfortunate situation. I do need a week or two off. But that is not going to happen. Alas, I will go to work, without really wanting to be there.

Last week was a REALLY bad work week. Ugh. Those come every once in awhile, but goodness when they do, it is really disturbing. I ended up snapping at my boss, and that's not good. No telling how that's going to come back to bite me later. So my goal has just been to shut up and be quiet. Don't cause no further problems. Simple enough. I'm not in with the crowd or the cliques. I have no protection. So it's best to just hush up and be invisible.

And it throws me completely off. I don't feel like doing NOTHING, especially blogging. I don't even think I got my usual quota of crochet done. I don't wanna talk to nobody. Yes that makes me a jackass. And I am fine with that. It is better than sitting around complaining. I am around way too much of that as it is.

Complain, and remain the same.

I rather ask myself "What is the solution to the problem?"

And just spend my energy working on that instead of complaining. Hard. But can be done. I made much progress today.

And it doesn't help that I have been nauseous off and on for a week. It was especially bad today. Not sure what that is about. No. She is not pregnant. LoL

I wonder what would happen if I just threw up right in the middle of the cubicle area? That would be... hilarious. And gossip worthy indeed. Give chickens something real to cackle about. I don't think I would ever live that down.

And last week was actually a very good week outside of work. That surprises me. It started off really well. I think I was good overall.  Writing class was last Tuesday, and that's like a breath of fresh air. It is such a reprieve for me.  And I had a very productive finance group meeting on Saturday afternoon. (Even though I expressed a strong dislike of someone who is a friend with everyone there. Not sure if that will ever come back to bite me. But I don't run in those circles. I just have to make sure to stay FAR out of those circles... on purpose now. So that is okay).

I was writing in my journal the other day that in the midst of all the irritating things going on, I really have to stay alert, because in the midst of all that, fantastic and wonderful things are still happening. All the time. It is such a fascinating time of my life. And I must always be cognizant of that.

And that's what I've been thinking about all weekend. I can't let the bad rain on the good.It's like having a glass of buttermilk and a fly has fallen into it. I won't throw out all the buttermilk. I will take the fly out the buttermilk and enjoy my buttermilk.

Yes that is nasty. The fly is gone, but the memory of the fly is still there. But I can't let good buttermilk go to waste, can I?


And I can't drink buttermilk. I think it will make me more nauseous than I already am. That's not good.

So we will just scratch the buttermilk talk. Or just drink it proverbially.

George Zimmerman. Man. I didn't even know a verdict was coming down. Someone texted me "Not guilty". So I quickly turned to CNN to see what was going on. And lo and behold, this man got off.

Look at him. He's happy! Cheesing down!

I am not surprised at the verdict. I expected it. This was a reasonable doubt trial. It is his word against a dead teenager. And the dead cannot defend themselves.

 And I don't expect much from a state that let Casey Anthony go free after dumping her own toddler in a ditch. So this was no surprise to me.

I couldn't even tell if there was a prosecution in this trial. Seems like there were two defense teams. Either that or the prosecutors were REALLY bad. Those speeches at the end of the trial, where the prosecutors got up and thanked everybody like they had just won the Oscars didn't curb my thoughts about the whole thing.

Alas, while this man gets lucrative book and movie deals, young black males will continue to be profiled.

(Sidenote: you should talk to some white folks who have lived in the northern states and have had to spend time in north and central Florida. I snickered at what they had to say. But after the third one I spoke with hollered (with that horrified look in their eyes) that it's just an extension of south Georgia, I started believing them. Alas, another reason why this verdict didn't surprise me).

But Zimmerman will never be free. A mental prison can be worse than a physical one. He will always be looking over his shoulder. He's in trouble if he walks down the road day or night. Folks looking for him. Sad. Unfortunate. But people want their own brand of justice.

He can't even go into a drugstore and buy some cold medicine if he is sick.

Heck, he can't even go in the store and buy...a pack of skittles and ice tea.

That type of thing has to play with the mind.

George, I do think whatever money you make, you should share with the parents of the kid you stalked and murdered.

And George is a bit slow. Juror B37 already has signed with a literary agent! Imagine that. Less than 48 hours after the verdict. I bet that was in the works before the verdict! You don't figure all that out in less than 48 hours. Nerp.

Juror B37 is on Anderson Cooper right now! (10:00 pm as of this writing)! Let the media tour begin!

I know the other jurors are going O_O right now. *jurors scrambling to make money off the tragedy*

Ya'll need to give some money to the parents of the kid off which you are making money.

That would be the right thing to do.

I am reading a book about the conscience right now. And how you have to accept that there are people out there who don't have a conscience.

I thought that was odd. But after all this, I am starting to understand.

That is all I have to say about that.

Song of the Week. Some Whitney. This is my favorite song by her. I like the R&B feel of it. I wish she would've released it.

Final Thoughts. Stay peaceful, black people. Don't go out here taring up stuff because of the verdict. There will be more verdicts like this one in the future. Sad but true.

One of my conversation pieces that I didn't post for conversations week was about veiled inferiority complexes.

If you weren't such a positive threat and had such great potential, white folk wouldn't be doing so much to make you feel bad about yourselves.

Don't get mad at me for saying that! I heard that from a couple of white mentors.

When someone not of my race cares enough about me to let me know such of thing, I listen. That is forever etched on a mental post-it note in my mind. Nothing like some good inside information.

That changed the way I thought about myself.

If you truly thought you were better than someone, you're not even thinking about them. But if you see the potential in them, and you can scheme to bring them down... hmm...

Just a mini- food for thought for your week.

I will try to post all week. This is my peace of mind.  And especially now, I need my peace of mind.

By design... and on purpose.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Good Monday Morning.... The Post Holiday Edition

Good Monday Morning!!

Holiday is OVER. Have a good strong cup of coffee, now! It will wake you up from all the swine and liquor you drank over the holiday weekend!


This has been far from a holiday weekend for me. I worked 10 strong hours on the job on Friday. I am STILL tired from that. Then I came home and I've been struggling to deep clean my house...


'Cuz I have a houseguest! One of my readers and fellow bloggers, Mzinspiredmind, aka Sam, aka the soft porn Chicken, Cinnamon Sugar is in town. And she is residing at the literal House of LadyLee for a couple of days.


Yet this means I have had to clean the house completely up. Even Oscar-Tyrone has been a bit quizzical. He hasn't been his usual surly self. He's more puzzled about it all. I only clean up extra hard when I am going out of town. I like to come home to a clean house.

I rarely hang out upstairs so I had to wash up all the linens, vacuum, get the upstairs bathroom in order. Sigh. Wore me out. Then I had to take care of downstairs. Wow.

I did buy a new TV for upstairs. Man, flat screens are dirt CHEAP these days. I purchased a 15" with built-in DVD some 6 or 7 years ago, and it was 500 dollars. Now, a 32" flat screen can be purchased for as little as 200 dollars. WOW.

That is just wild!

(Sidenote: a couple of years ago I walked into the Best Buy and asked where the tube TVs were. I almost got laughed out the store. LOL)

So when she gets here, she decides to hang out on the sofa. I asked if she'd like to retire to her room upstairs... perhaps take a six hour nap? (This is the time I needed to clean up like I want to downstairs). She refuses, and instead she knocks out on my sofa. Sigh. I had to clean up around her, and be quiet.

Even Oscar-Tyrone was looking at her crazy, as if to say, in his best Squeak from The Color Purple voice...

"LadyLee... who this woman camped out on the couch? Who this woman?"


I cooked dinner - stirfry shrimp and sesame noodles and vegetables. She seemed please. I even raided the liquor cabinet (the laundry room cabinet) for a peach cooler. She seemed happy enough. Then I dropped her off at Atlantic Station so she can hang with her homegirl.

We woke up and I fixed her breakfast. She is all nervous, so she wanted a child size plate.

Check out that phat shoe!

Now that has to be the Picture of the Week. Shoe porn and breakfast in the same picture. How eclectic is your friendly neighborhood Oldgirl.

I'm just glad I cleaned my house up. I did some deep cleaning! Glory!

Nothing much planned for the week. I am OFF today. GLORY AGAIN!!

Song of the Week. So I was in one my favorite gourmet grocery stores in Candler Park the other day and I heard this song.

A House version of Portuguese Love?

I wanted to scream right there in the store.  NO ONE should do this song except Teena Marie. UGH!

So I will post her version, the version I absolutely LOVE.

I don't know if Teena remade that song from someone else's song. Man, I don't even know if I understand what the heck she is talking about. But I love that version. Yes ma'am!

Well, that's it for monday morning randoms.

You have a great week!

By design... and on purpose!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Holiday Treat: Fruit of the Week

Happy Fourth of July to you ALL!!!

I know many of you have a nice 4 day weekend planned. I don't. But I will enjoy my independence on this here 4th of July, honey! Sure will!!!


I like trying new fruits and vegetables. I see this often at the farmers's market. I saw it again last Sunday.

Jack Fruit!!!

Yeah, uh... that's something you can put on the grill for your holiday, along with those ribs and chicken!

They are HUGE. Big as watermelons, so I guess that's alright. But still... I don't know.
I don't know if I'd eat something like that. But I do see it in this oriental store I frequent, cubed up in cans in heavy syrup.

I haven't tried it yet. I would have to let you order that in a restaurant, and then I can taste a little of it from your plate.

I suppose it is like chitlins... you have to had grown up eating it to like it.


It reminds me of something similar, a cousin of the jack fruit: durian. Durian looks just like the fruit above, but only more dangerous.

Look at that thing. You get bust upside the head with that, you're in trouble. Somebody better call the ambulance!

Durian comes through the lab sometimes. They too are big as watermelons. It is thought to be poisonous if you eat it too soon. And it smells like vomit or rotten onions. (There is nothing like walking past our prep room and thinking, What the world??)I hear it tastes like strawberry cheesecake, though!

Uh, yeah.

I can't get past the whole poisonous aspect. And I'm not eating anything that smells like vomit.

And that looks like some straight alien spawn.

Who in the world was walking through the forest and saw these hanging from the trees and thought "Let's cut that down and bust it open and see what it is! Might be tasty!"

After smelling it, I wouldn't eat it.

Call me snooty.

Or just call me your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl Ladylee...

I'll let ya'll work all that out!

Throw a little on the grill! Let me know how it make ya FEEL!


Enjoy your holiday!

On Purpose!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Conversations Week.... The WINNERS!!

Alright ya'll...

The moment you've been waiting for!

The winners of The House of LadyLee Conversation week sweepstakes!

First of all, thank you for participating. I don't do that to drive up comments. No, your friendly neighborhood Oldgirl is not your friendly neighborhood comment whore. I wanted to draw out some of you who lurk endlessly. I also wanted to show some appreciation of you reading my blog.

You realize how much TIME it takes to read? That is time out of your life.

Also, this is the half year mark, and I was thinking of many of the conversations I have had already this year that have really made me think or answered some internal questions. So I decided to group those all together, and post them. And cut them with some funny posts to break up the seriousness of it all.

Blogger, Mrs. A., aka Bliss,  thought that it was Conversations Month!

Say WHAT???

Oh my!

And you know, I could've dragged it out to a month. There are 3 or 4 more conversations I wanted to post.  But I didn't get around to them. Sigh.

And a whole month of conversations? You already see how intense my convos are. We ALL would have been emotionally drained after a months worth of my conversations. All of us!

I got the idea for Conversations Week from my gratitude journal. I try to write a "one liner" everyday. There were a ton of entries that read "I am thankful for the conversation today with...".  Whether the conversations were comfortable or unsettling, I am really thankful for those conversations. They all came at the right place at the right time for the right reasons. I may have posted only 25% of those conversations, some of which I obtained permission to post. (All said "Of course! Maybe they will help someone else!")

Well they helped you all. And most of all, they helped me.

I am not one who has an opinion and tries to force my opinion on people. Nor do I get mad when people have an opinion that differs from my own. I personally don't deal with such people. And I am sorry, but that is a sign of someone with some personal issues (in need of validation, possible self esteem issues, inferiority complex and the like...)

I am a little different:

I am one who has thoughts and opinions on various things about life, yet at the same time I am always looking to re-examine, strengthen, and sharpen my thoughts and opinions. I am also always looking for clarity. So I am happy that through some of your comments and thoughts, I myself have found clarity. I am also able to focus my prayer life a little better concerning certain matters. And that's a good thing.

So on to the drawing!

There were 149 comments!


That's a lot!

Also a lot to count. I had to keep up with emails, comments and text messages. Goodness. Some folks don't like to comment in the comment section or they have problems from blogger. So that is why text and emails are allowed. Next time, I have to do some type of spreadsheet!

It is not my fault you don't have my cell number. You better ask for it if you want it! The best convos occur over text message these days!

So I counted all the comments, and the ones who had the highest comments.

The winner for most number of comments is SHAI with 17 comments.

Congratulations Shai! $25 gift card to YOU!


Shai had an interesting strategy: start a convo with me in the comment section. And comment on other people's comments.

Runner up to her was the Green-Eyed Bandit. And that was only because she was hipping me up to some church notes she was typing up for me. (Good looking out, Bandit!)

So now for the drawing.

My coworker Lt. Comm. By draws all my winners. This almost got out of control today when Mel, who REALLY begged me hard about changing Lucy Jr.'s windshield witpers, walked by. She started whining and begging to be the person who draws the winners next time.

So some of the pictures are blurry. This is becasue I was yelling at her and couldn't concentrate. Humph.

Lt. Comm. By takes his part time job seriously. His hands are lotioned and his nails are clean.

Thank you Mrs. By for looking after that. Us sisters don't like no ashy man. No ma'am.
He's certifying that the name strips are in the cup (he does this by expertly pointing at the cup). He has a stapler, tape and bottled water sitting nearby, just in case there's a... problem.
He spent a couple of minutes shaking the cup up while me and Mel walked to my desk. 

*angrily walking to my desk with Mel to get Mel's doggone paperwork*
Sigh. That doggone Mel.
For some odd reason, cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre tried to throw her name in the cup.
Lt. Commander By deemed her ineligible, as she is a government employee.

He knows I ain't trying to lose my job over no foolishness (although she could've entered and won $10. Cre (and Mel) didn't care for that.

And the winner is.....
Hmmmm... can you read your name!!?

You won a $75 gift card!!!
If you couldn't read your name, here you go!


Congratulations to Mzinspiredmind!! That is the winning comment... The first comment she left, on 6/17/13, on a post entitled "Conversations Week".

Gal, you had 9 comments. If you would've doubled your comments, you would've beat out Shai! You would've won $200.

(Ya'll should've seen me watching By pull names with baited breath.)

So congrats to the winners!

Thanks again for participating in Conversations Week. I tell you, I have the BEST readers in the world. Your comments and opinions have increased me so much over the past 2 weeks. No amount of prize money can compare to that...

I am the biggest winner of all!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Good Monday Morning

Good Monday Morning!

Today is the first day of the second half of the year!

Aren't you excited!?

Well, I guess you aren't. I am not overly excited, either. Just happy to see a new day!

My Weekend. Anyway, I had a pretty good weekend. For this was an "Operation Pam" Weekend.

Good Ol' Pam!

Ol' reliable Pam!

I haven't driven Pam in a good 3 weeks. Why? Because I got of Pam the last time I drove her, and the back brake lights didn't go off.

So I fooled around with her, pumping the brakes and what-not, and the lights didn't go off.  And that was odd. I had been out all day in the car, even visiting with Grandma.  I know I parked that car for at least 3 hours while on errands and visiting with Grandma. I am surprised the battery didn't go dead.

Whatever. I couldn't figure it out, so I just unhooked the battery and went on in the house. I would just be driving ol' Lucy Junior. No big deal.

That was three weeks ago. My goal this weekend was to get the car fixed. I hooked the battery back up on Saturday morning, just to see if the brake lights were still stuck on. Lo and behold they were:

Oh well. Time to get it fixed.

There were 2 options for this operation. First I could contact Cowgirl Cre's Daddy, Daddy Cre. My second option was to go to the shop that has been taking care of Pam for the past 12 years. The good thing is that I'd bought the part, a brake switch, some six or seven years ago, but it was never replaced. The part that was there only needed to be tightened. It finally broke.  Daddy Swain knew what to do. And my shop knew what to do.

So I called up the Cowgirl Cre and asked her for Daddy Cre's phone number. She said that her parent were on their way over.

So... it was early in the morning, around 8:30 am. I was already up and dressed. I decided to drive on over there.

She lives some 35 minutes away from me. So I jumped in Pam and headed on over!

I was excited to get over there anyway? Why? Because Cowgirl Cre just bought a bike!!

No! That's not a bicycle. That's a real bike. A motorcycle.

She had been taking classes. And she went and got her license. She's ready to get out there on the open rode.

Not exactly. It needs to be tuned up. And we sat around in the garage and watched Daddy Cre do this.

We talked much about what he was doing. I have every confidence now that I can repair Cre's bike if necessary. I sure can.

Daddy Cre repaired my beloved Pam!

While he was working on all this, I walked in Cre's house... and it was smelling good up in there. I looked for the source of the good smells.

That doggone Cowgirl Cre! She been hollering about wanting some ribs! And she cooked some up.

"No, I don't want any," I said. "It just sure smells good!"

I watched Daddy Cre mow Cowgirl Cre's grass.

Him and those patten leather shoes. I've seen him mow grass before in a pair of wingtips.

Oh well, maybe his dress shoes are comfy for lawn work.

That was the gist of my weekend... Other things happened, but I'm trying to keep it short!

I would like to thank everyone for participating in the "Conversations Week". I not only got a lot out of putting my feelings down in words, but I gleaned soooo much wisdom from what so many of you had to say. I am truly thankful for that.

The drawing will be tomorrow sometime. Comments close tonight. So you still have time to win those fabulous gift cards!!

That is it for today. I am off to a doctor's appointment.

Song of the Week. Here's a cut I've been on for awhile. The Roots "The Next Movement".

Have a good week! On purpose.