Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Morning!

It's Monday!

It's the last day of the month! 75% of the year is over. You have 25% of the year left to get it in. All those New Years resolutions you have... you can still accomplish it all!

You know me. I don't make resolutions. I don't need a resolution. I need a revelation.

Yes indeed.

I haven't watched much news in a week. And it's a good thing. The junk level in my mind is pretty low right now. However, I watched the news this morning, and lo and behold, they are STILL hollering about this government shutdown. I am a government employee, so it would affect me.

I for one think this whole thing is a pissing contest between the Republicans and Democrats. And as usual, the Republicans will lose. Personally I think Congress should be swept clean and replaced with people who actually know how to govern. That's all I will say about that. Humph.

Anyway, I had a decent weekend. I am LOVING the weather int he ATL. Not only is it cool (still warm enough for shorts), but the humidity is low. You can't beat that, after the monsoon rains all summer. GLORY!!

I have my regular bimonthly doctor's appointment this morning. I need her to check EVERYTHING and give me a big prescription just in case the government shuts down. Then I'm going over to Grandma's house for lunch. I don't think she likes this much, as she doesn't understand why I only stay half an hour. But I must go to work. And if we are furloughed, I will be sure to hang out with her tomorrow.

Quotes of the week.  We had a guest minister this week, and the sermon was interesting. It was centered around wants and needs.

"A need-centered person is someone so engrossed in their personal issues that they are not aware of what is going on all around them."

"A need-centered person always needs someone to affirm them all the time."

And "need-centered" here is synonymous with "self-centered".  So think of it in that context. And we all know some self-centered people. And we have all been a bit self-centered at times in our lives.

This sermon was mostly dealing with the "Me, Myself and I" mentality and learning to trust God for your needs and not be all manipulative in your prayer life and or in dealings with others. If you are truly depending on God for your needs, then the worry and fear should be out of your life.

I know for myself, I have issues and what-not that I am constantly thinking about. But for this year I have noticed, and I notice in my personal journals, that a common entry has been my problems, but balancing that with keeping alert about what's going on around me, because there is soooo much going on around me. Those answers I need seem to always be available if I get my mind off of myself and pay attention to what's going on. So that first quote confirmed that and resonated strongly with me.

Now that second quote. Humph. I know folks who need constant validation. It's very much draining. And I am on these folks' bad side after awhile. It's hard for me to keep affirming and validating people, especially when I see my words are not helping them. It becomes an exercise in stroking. I can't stand that.

Good quotes. Gave me something to think about.

Song of the Week.  I like this song. Reminds me a little of some ol' Marvin Gaye.



That's it for our Monday... Off to the doctor I go.

You have a good week! By design and On purpose.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Friday Morning

Humph...

Look at me, honey.

All lightweight on the posting this week.

Sigh.

And it's Payday. And I don't really care.

*lee throws one piece of glitter*

This week has flown by fast. I've been a tad bit busy. I was so busy on Thursday that I didn't eat lunch. And I promptly left work 20 minutes early.

I've been in a mighty fight. A fight against the machine!

All that training I had last week, I'm putting to work now. I have two complicated instruments. One of them has an old version of software, and it keeps locking up on me. The new instrument is slick and shiny, but I can't get it to print my data like I want. I told my boss that I was going to do a shot of the screen with my camera phone, and let that be my data.

One thing I know... I can do general maintenance and repair on the equipment. I can do that in my sleep.

Here's my instructor showing some other students how to do some stuff...




Me and this other dude "Johnny"... we didn't care about that. We wanted to get down on the terribly complicated software.  "Big Hunter software is a BEAST" was was my motto for the week. And Johnny had flown in from South America. We wanted software. And we got it, too... but the glitchiness of it is O_O. It has been a fight for the past couple of days.

Right now I need an intense class in Excel. Sigh. I wish I would've paid more attention in college.

I would go buy a book on Excel, but uh.... my specialist returns next week.  He may know how to move things faster.  He's away on training, in a town on a beach.

Yes. That's my kind of training. I am sure he will come back very relaxed, and with a niiiiiiice tan.  A really nice tan.

Song(s) of the Week.  Kendrick Lamar's performances on Saturday Night Live.



Now, I really like this Poetic Justice song.


That uses a heavy Janet Jackson "Anytime, Anyplace" sample. The only thing that would've made that performance better would've been if that chicken walked out and sang.  I do believe I would've passed out on the living room floor if that would've happened! LOL

I like this fella. He's not all bejeweled.  No platinum or gold in his mouth. He's not all tatted up to the point where we can't make out his face. And his pants ain't falling off his behind.

I was telling a friend he looks like he just got off the bus, just trying to make it to class or work.

He stood up there on the mike and rapped. And he didn't bring his whole posse on stage. And there was not one scantily clad woman bouncing around on stage. And he had a GOOD band.

And he has a GREAT CD.  One of the better rap CDs I've heard in a long time. It is pretty low on the bitches and hoes spiel. (Thank goodness for that). And it has a storyline, which makes it interesting.

I don't even remember the last rap CD I liked from top to bottom. Sigh. I think I would have to go back at least 20 years to Biggie's first CD.  And I rarely listen to rap these days. So maybe there have been good rap CDs out. I wouldn't know.

Goodness. I am getting old.

That's all for today

And with that, I will got fight the machine!

Today will have a good day. I will beat the machine!

*Lee doing victory lap around the machine*

LOL

Ya'll have a good weekend... on purpose.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Night Fights


This was to be a "Happy Monday Morning" post this morning, but it is a Monday Night Fights post.

Hmmm... are there fights on Monday Nights. Well, I bet there are not any in the professional world. But I live in the 'hood, so somebody out here fighting tonight!

And there are fights on the House of LadyLee station. LOL

And this just means a evening randoms post.

Anyway, I had a great weekend. It rained on Saturday. I didn't go out of the house. I didn't even look out the window. I'd been doing that strange commuting all week. I hung around the house and caught up on my sleep. Talk about some hard napping between chores! Glory.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. I went to the black people's Walmart (super early when no one was really there) and I saw this:


Really?

*LadyLee looks at calendar*

Excuse me, but isn't still September?

And I am always perplexed by the white trees... and the snow capped trees.

This is Georgia. I can only remember one white Christmas... back in 1989, I think. And that was a light dusting of snow (which was like a major thing for us in Georgia).

Although I am digging the little girlie pink and lavender toyota truck on the side of the tree. I need one of those... LadyLee size! LOL

So let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!

*throws tree tinsel at you*

Quote of the Day.   "Patience is not the ability to wait,  it is the ability to maintain a good attitude in the midst of waiting."

I don't "wait" particularly well. But I thought about something when I heard that quote. I pray for things... and it may take 10 years for that "thing" to manifest.  I can ask myself a few questions when that happens (as I have as I reflected over things)...

How much did  I whine? How much did I cry? What was my level of anger? And what was my level of thanksgiving over this time? Did my faith develop during this time?

Hmmm... Yes I think about that. I spend time journalling about all of that.  And the answers determine if I "waited" well, i.e., was I truly patient or not. Sometimes the answers are good, sometimes not so good. Overall, I know where my "sticky" areas are and what to work on.

We all "flip out" over stuff from time to time... but what matters is your attitude at the end of the day...

A small food for thought for your week, since I don't think I will have any food-for-thoughts this week.

Song of the Day. Let's go gospel today!  A good gospel song...



That's some of my Grandma's type of music. That song makes you tap your foot, sway, and cool yourself with your Martin Luther King church fan!

Or in my case, my Obama church fan.




LOL! (I always talk about my Obama church fan... so you know I have a bootleg one!)

I like that song. That is one of my "pack up" songs for when I am packing up to leave for work.

I feel pretty good by the time I'm walking out the door...

And I am hollering "You have a mighty fine day, Oscar-Tyrone!!"




Uh... that dude... He's an old man now. He;s still trying to get himself together for the morning. Too early in the morning for him, I suppose. I know he is probably thinking "Get on way from here with all that noise, LadyLee... with your non-sanging self! Glory!".

That's a good song right there!  I love it!

So with that... You have a great week!

On purpose!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Freestyles... The BONE Tired Oldgirl Edition

It is Friday...

And I am BONE tired.

I tell you, I take my hat off to you all who have long commutes from home to work and back home again. You are better than me.

I have had the shortest of commutes for the last 8 years. And I realized this week how much I have taken it for granted.

For this week I am taking a course on a instrument I use at work, and the training center is waaaaaay up in the Northern surburbs. I have been up that ways a handful of times, but only on the weekends. Going on a weekdays during rush hour... WOW...

I leave at 7:15 am and get up there at about 8:00 am... This means I must be up around 6. I am doing okay with that, but someone had to call me to make sure I was up this morning. Even Oscar is looking at me in the morning like he wants to say "Stop tripping! Pull yourself together and get ready to go!"

I leave the training center around 5:00 pm... and get home around 6:20 pm...

The evening rush hour is awful... Creeping at 5 miles per hour most of the time. OH JOY!

I find myself stretching to see up ahead.

"Is there a crash or something\? Why are we going so slow??"

No there are no crashes. We're just driving... slow.

Push the gas pedal, hit the brake... push the gas pedal, hit the brake... over and over and over.

And by the time I get home, I am........O_O.

Oscar is howling for his food... and I am stepping over him and collapsing on the sofa.

"Dude," I say real. "Gimme a chance to sit down. Just for a moment.

It's a good 2 hour commute total.

Versus my 20 minute normal commute for the past 8 years.

My hat is off to all ya'll who have to deal with that.

I usually fill my gas tank approximately every 2.5-3 weeks.

I think I will have to fill up after about 8 days now.

Sigh.

It has taught me not to take my easy commute for granted. Ever again.

My most interesting pictures during this time...

Toll booth to the northern suburbs...


Toll booth back home into the city!


At least it's sunny on the way home. And I am glad it's not raining.

I had to raid my birthday coin jar for a handful of quarters for the tolls all week. That's a trip!

Tomorrow it will be over. And there will be no rain until the weekend. And it can rain, rain, rain. That means I won't be leaving the house.

So that's what's on my mind immediately for freestyle friday... this commute. I'm learning a bit in the course. I'll post more pics next week. I may go in a little early tomorrow and play around with some data since it's the last day. That way, I can ask the last of my questions (and you know I've been asking a load of questions).

Song of the Week. "Sally Ride" by Janelle Monae. I'm not a big fan of hers, but she did a set on the Today Show, and since I have a subscription to Spotify, I'll listen to a whole CD in a heartbeat.



That chick said "I'm packing my spacesuit, and taking my shit and moving to the moon...."

That's a perfectly arranged song, and especially if it's not sampled... she is on some ol' Janis Joplin, Jimmie Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Jefferson Starship vibe. Very different.

Hmmm... There's a lot going on in that song. A bunch of themes rolled up into one. And if you know the story of the first female astronaut, the late Sally Ride, enough said.

That whole Electric Lady CD is very good. No doubt, she'll snatch a few Grammy's with this one. She has a song with Prince, which is unusual these days.The whole CD is swinging waaaay over on the LGBT side. Nothing wrong with that. I have a problem with her being all secretive about her lifestyle. Uh, honey, the CD says a lot.  It has me wondering... is that the new publicity tactic now? Be all androgynous and keep people guessing your preferences?

I don't know. And this is why I rarely listen to current music. Too confusing.

She is a bit too frenzied for me... all that jumping around wears me out. And this opera android storyline... I like my black science fiction, but I prefer it in print, lol.

Maybe I'm just getting old. But I can't knock her creativity. Finally, someone who isn't sampling left and right.

She has her audience. More power to her.

 *returning to Earth Wind and Fire Greatest Hits CD*

That's it for me. Off to the surburbs for the last time. I can't wait to get home this evening. I may do a cartwheel right out there in the driveway, lol.

Enjoy your friday!

And have a good weekend!

On purpose.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Food for Thought: Thoughts on Seed, Part III: The Uncomfortable and The Automatic

I was sitting with my father one day, and it occurred to me right then and there that I didn't have any photos of him.

“Can I take a picture of you?” I asked.

He was slumped a little in his chair, but he got all excited. “Yes you can. Hand me my glasses off the shelf right there.”`

I stood up from my plastic lawn chair and grabbed a pair of sunglasses from the book shelf. I placed them in his outstretched hand.

And he allowed me to snap a photo with my camera phone.


He looks all surly. But trust me, he was not. He was happy to take that picture. He posed for that picture, sitting up straight and placing his hands comfortably in his lap.

I'm sure that he wanted to smile, but he didn't because he doesn’t have many teeth. But if he could have smiled he surely would have. He was so happy to pose for that picture.

“Make me a copy of that,” he said.

“Okay,” I said, at the time thinking that I would just have our administrative assistant print out an 8x10 color copy of the picture.

There's a small picture taped to his bedroom mirror of his much younger self, taken when he was in the 10th grade. He looks to be a happy smiling young man. I guess that glee disappeared in the jungles of Viet Nam. And that's sad.

And then we just sat there, us in his little bedroom. He either sits on his bed or in a wooden chair next to the bed. I always sit in the same place... in the plastic lawn chair next to the door. We sit there and watch cowboy movies. This is okay because I stay no longer than an hour.

It is also okay because it helps him to see me.

And I don't pretend to fully understand that.

The whole thing for me is a bit... uncomfortable.

I am outside of my comfort zone.

And I am understanding that is alright. I am sowing a seed. I am giving of myself, when there is no requirement for me to do so. And I think it's a true test of my motives, meaning that I know that I am not around for the wrong reasons. I am there solely because it brightens his day. No, the conversation is not consistent.  There is not much to talk about.  He is very quiet, like myself. I suppose I get my "quietness" and contentment to be quiet from him. And when he's telling jokes, I realize we have the same exact sense of humor, meaning the comedic part of my personality must come from him also.

And that is the direction things have been going.

And my being there is... uncomfortable.

Why is it uncomfortable? Because I have only seen him five times since the age of 10. Two of those times were at the funerals of his mother and father, my grandparents. My mother made me go to the funerals when I was around 19. And I remember my father fussing at me because I didn't come by the house when his parents passed.

I wanted to ask why he never paid the court ordered $25 a week over the past 19 years. I wanted to ask why he was never there to protect me from an emotionally unavailable mother.

But I didn't. I just decided that he was a very mean man. And most people who have known me for a long time know that I don't subject myself to drama. If I allow prolonged drama, it's my fault.  I have learned that I don't have to deal with people unless I want to. And that's a rule that I live by. Any emotional abuse is my fault if I stick around long enough to let you do it. And I don't cause drama. If you tell me that I'm causing you problems, well, I just don't talk to you anymore. I know that is harsh, but heck, you don't need to be fooling with me if I'm being that much of a problem. So I take matters in my own hands and I disappear.

And so I sit there, in 2013, in his bedroom in the uncomfortable plastic chair thinking about these uncomfortable things. And having to push them back under one of those many locked doors of the back storage rooms of my mind.

And I don't say anything about it. I am hurt, but I say nothing. I was always punished for speaking my mind while I was growing up, so I rarely say how I feel now, even to close friends. If I trust you with my heart and thoughts, it says a lot. It says enough to fill a book. Several books.

No, I sit there for my half hour of time, which has stretched to an hour at times. I have learned to just bring something to do, like crochet. This might not be a good thing because he is full of questions.

"Ain't that blanket finish yet?"
"Can you crochet a coat for me so I can keep warm?"

The answer is always no. And he laughs about it, and wants to debate me on it. He doesn't understand that a blanket has to be big enough to last until the "baby" starts preschool. And he doesn't understand that I only know how to crochet square and flat blankets.

And lord have mercy, please don't let him want to discuss my job. Science is waaaaay over his head. My goodness. The *crickets* floating around his head, even when I try to explain things on a layman's level, are a thing of wonder.

My mother loves science. I think I inherited my love for science from her.

He doesn't understand much.

He doesn't understand much about me in general.

And that is on him. He has missed participating in a wonderful life, this wonderful life of mine.

And he laments much over it. He has pictures of me hanging on his mirror, and a collage of some of my pictures growing up on the wall.

He has said several times. "I just lay out those pictures of you, and I just cry."

What do I say to that? What should I say to that?"

I don't say anything.

That's a hard way to live, sir. Hard way. I have surely done my share of crying, but I can't fully understand that type of crying. Not one bit.

So just like he doesn't understand me, I don't understand much about him.

And that's alright, too.

I know I don't have any figment or threat of "lashing out" of him in my heart. And I think that is something I needed to know. If only for myself. For I have suffered much under the eyes of people who think something is wrong with me because I don't have a relationship with either of my parents. I don't worry much about that these days. And I am long past the point of what people think about these days.

And like I said earlier, it is quite uncomfortable to sow the seed of time of spending time with my father. I think about how I will never get that half hour of time of my life back... ever again. I think about how I could be doing something else with that time. This sliver of time spent with him... I will never get back.

And I have realized a couple of things. First, it has proven to me, like I said above, that my motives aren't shady. I spend much time thinking about my motives, you see. That's the first thing I think about most days. I have come to realize those worries about motives have slowly faded to black.

And it also proves to me that I am at a place in my sowing that I want to be... automatic mode.

I can only describe that in an analogy of sorts. You remember when you were first learning how to drive? How you REALLY had to concentrate? And how scared and nervous you were?

And here you are, some 10 to 20 to 30 years later... You can drive a car and eat a burger and talk on the phone and shift that stick all at the same time. Heck, sometimes you even drive to a destination and you don't even remember how you got there.  And if you have moved, to a new job or new home, you find that you have driven to the old job or that old home. You have done it all so many time for so many years that it's just automatic.

A better example is how we act when our favorite song comes on. You know, that song you've loved since you were 10 years old. You know every note of that song. You know every word sung by the singer. Not only do you know every word, but you know every high note, every low note, every single inflection of the singer's voice. You've heard that song so much that there are things in that song that others haven't heard and will never hear.

That's because it hasn't gotten deep down inside of them. But it's gotten deep down inside of you.

It's your automatic.

In spiritual terms, that's called being renewed in the spirit of your mind. Things aren't forced... they're just automatic.  Not just changing your mind about things, but things are so anchored and rooted in your mind that it's your automatic.

Being problematic and dramatic and causing problems in the lives of others doesn't cross my mind. I never wake up in the morning or lay in bed at night thinking about how much I hate someone and trying to devise schemes to get them and mess them up simply don't cross my mind. It's foreign to me.

And that's a good thing, especially from someone like me who didn't feel loved by my first line of defense in life... my parents. I was raised in a selfish and hoarding household. I was raised in a household where one wrong word, opinion, action or expression was punished severely. I work on a job where gossip, backbiting, and laughter at the expense of other's pain is the order of the day.  I have always feared over the years that that these behaviors would be my "automatic".

And thank goodness it is not. I wake up with seed and trees and roots and fruits on my mind. I go to sleep with seed and trees and roots and fruits on my mind.

Spiritual farming is the order of my day, whether it be a thing of joy or a something uncomfortable.

And I think that's why it doesn't bother to be around my father that much. I still haven't determined how I feel about this. I am a bit neutral and indifferent. I don't know this man. And it's rough trying to come up with questions to ask him, or to have a general conversation with him. The characters of the cowboy movies he likes to watch are the more talkative people in the little room.

I have thought much about my discomfort and the reasons for such. Discomfort is an expression of fear. I have thought about what I'm fearing. I think I've feared his rejection, even at my old age of 43. Like I said, parents are supposed to be the first line of defense. And he hasn't been.

I have also feared that I was called because his family wants me to pay for his funeral if he dies. I thought much about that. That is a motive issue. I simply don't have the money for such. And if they have a problem with that, then that's on them. But I don't have to fear that. I've had to always worry about ulterior motives with folks, and I don't think that's on their mind. I think the man has been around their wailing about me when he is drunk or high. (At least that's what I gather from a couple of veiled convos with his niece). So it helps him to have me around, even though it's for a limited time a couple of times a month. "He better since you been around, got himself together. He got off that stuff."

That stuff. I don't know if it's crack or heroin, but as long as he get off his stuff, then good for him.

I know it's not alcohol, though. He speaks fondly of his "dranking", and has even lifted a gallon of liqour in my presence and sipped from it like he was sipping from a glass of fine wine. (I think I messed up a crochet stitch when I saw that. Goodness).

For myself, this has made me realize my "automatic" when it comes to sowing seed. It overrides my confusion, anger, and discomfort.

And I am looking forward to what it overrides in the future.

Well, that's the end of the seed series. It is not concisely written, but I think that if you tie all three posts together, you  have a reasonable snapshot of my ideas and thoughts on it all

In a nutshell, I live in a world where selfishness is the order of the day.

Well I am thankful that it's not the order of my day. It is not my destiny.

I am more than thankful for that. 

Seen On the Side of the Road in the 'Hood...

Sometimes when I'm driving around my beloved ATL, going to and fro, I see some... interesting things.

Like this.


Look a little closer...


*ladylee joins hands with blog family... and walks just a little closer*


Wow.

Now, if that's not creative, I don't know what is.

A toilet full of flowers sitting atop a picnic table.

The flowers signify that it's a memorial. Someone probably had a crash and died at that spot.  But the spot is usually marked with crosses and teddy bears in addition to the flowers.

Never a toilet.

Maybe the person who perished was a plumber. Who knows. I hope that is what it means. That is the ONLY reason I can come up with.

Maybe it's a metaphor for life.

Something akin to... "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

Something like that.

If it is a metaphor for life, I have NO idea what this metaphor is and if I did, what it means.

All I know is that I stopped my car in the middle of the street and took a picture. I sure did. (After I made sure no one was around, of course).

That image is burned in my brain. Yes it is.

I'll let you all ponder it. Maybe you, my smart readers, can come up with an explanation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crazy Convos: Of Barbers and Guns

So I got a hair cut last week...

My head is skint! I like it that way!

And it looks like I will probably get it cut every 5 to 6 weeks.

My hair grows extra slow. And I am learning that the more frequently I go to the barber, the less time I have to be up in there.  I pick on Serenity23... She has that "good" hair, and seems to be getting hers cut every 3 weeks.. She has some puerto rican or cherokee ancestor a couple of hundred years back somewhere. My ancestors are some straight-up pure slaves, lol.

One thing about the barber shop... It's not my favorite place. In other words, I don't want to be up in there.There are too many people. And they were playing all that Drake and Nicki Minaj and rappers I have never heard of. They had the rap music going extra hard. EXTRA.



It was to the point that if someone would've jumped up and hollered, "We 'bout to go do a drive by shooting! Who wanna ride!?"

Why, I would've gladly raised and hand high in the air, and hollered, "I'll go! Ya'll just gimme a gun! LET'S ROLL!"

That's right. Hardcore gangsta music know it get all up in your head! I was ready! Let's go tare up something... or at least give me a mike so I can bust a rhyme. Either way, makes me no difference!

LOL. No. You know I'm scared.  I'm not a fan of guns. Too dangerous.

But I was sitting there thinking...

I sure wish someone would put on some Earth, Wind and Fire. Some "That's the Way of the World" would be real nice right about now. 



*lee swaying and singing along with EWF*

And my barber... Mr. Soho. He sure is a talkative fellow.

"Why you frowning all up, LadyLee! You making me nervous!"
"Are you asleep, LadyLee? You not sleep, are you?"

*silence*

No I wasn't asleep. Who could sleep with all that rap music blaring. And not with him talking so much. I don't care to have conversation. Cut my hair so I can go, dude.

Then the phone was ringing and he was talking to someone else for a moment. I heard him say "Legs, chops, ribs, steaks, sausage..."

I knew he wasn't talking to or about a woman. My goodness, I hope he wasn't.

He took another phone call while cutting my hair. This made me nervous. But he is the barber and knows how to handle a phone and cut hair at the same time.

When he finished the phone call, he started asking me questions.

"What would you do if you knew your barber had a gun?"

What the world? I didn't even answer the question. I was still trying to let it soak in.

"Let me ask that question another way," he said when I didn't answer. "What would you do if you knew your dentist had a gun?"

Hmm... my dentist with a gun.

I like my dentist, with his fine self. His name is Dr. Watson. He's a tall chocolate brother. And I like the hershey bar dark brothers. With the goatees. Oh yes. Oh yes sir indeed.

When he walks into the exam room he hollers "Wassup girl, let's do this!!!" just before he grabs the drill or whatever shiny dental instrument of his choosing.

He has good bedside manners, i.e., he makes me feel like we're getting ready to go to a New Edition concert instead of getting ready to fill some cavities.

And he drives a phat black Cadillac Escalade truck, sitting on 20s, all rimmed up and shiny.

No... it wouldn't surprise me if he had a gun.

"My dentist drives a nice big Cadillac truck," I said. "On nice rims. So if he had a gun in the waist of his navy blue scrubs, it wouldn't surprise me. As long as he hooks up my grill [teeth], I could care less!"

My barber laughed.

And then he asked his first question again. "What would you do if you knew your barber had a gun?"

I pondered this. We were in downtown ATL. We were in Midtown near my job, which is a little more buppie, but still hood. And there were a TON of brothers in there, and flat screens up in a glass front shop.
Let's just say if someone came in and tried to rob, it would've been a straight fire fight up in there.

"Wouldn't bother me one bit," I said. "You do what you gotta do."

"I have a gun," he said.

I didn't know what to say. I hope he wasn't trying to impress me. I am not a young chicken. I was most definitely old enough to be his Mama. And he's a redbone shorty. I like my men hershey bar dark.

"Okay," I said.

"And I'm excited," he said as he edged up my sides. "And you know why I'm excited?"

I didn't know. And I really didn't care. But I enlightened him. "Why are you excited, Soho?"

"Because hunting season starts tonight at midnight!! It's hunting season!"

*crickets*

Hunting season?

Wow.

I thought that dude was gonna start turning cartwheels.

It turns out hunting is his hobby. And he processes the meat and puts it up. And he sells some of it. That's what he was talking about on the phone when he was talking about "legs, chops, ribs, sausage..."

(Thank goodness he wasn't talking about a female. I think I would've passed out on the spot.)

I listened to this smiling young man with his tatted up arms as he talked about hunting season. He loves to hunt indeed. I could hear it all in his voice.

"Where do you hunt?" I asked. I imagined him taking a 2 or 3 hour drive to middle south Georgia, down to what we call "The Country".

"Fayette County," he said.

Fayette County. Down my sister's way, some 30 minutes away. It's straight woods down there. While driving down some of the backroads down there, I am always amazed by the plethora of trees and greenlands.  Wouldn't shock me one bit if Hansel and Gretel came skipping out of those thick woods. So I would think the forests hold plenty of deer.

And at that moment I was proud of him. You don't run into many young people who have such a hobby. And it was refreshing to hear him talk about it. That's because some of the "skills of old" have fallen by the wayside, fallen to all things electronic.

He reminds me of my brother, Milk and Cookies. Milk and Cookies collects medieval swords.



I have NO idea how he got into that. I remember him searching flea markets and going through various catalogs for ancient replicas of swords and daggers. I thought all of it was "plastic" toy items, but they are real metal and REALLY sharp, some as heavy as 10 to 15 pounds. I understand why the knights yelled and hollered when lifting their swords. That stuff is heavy!

So my little barber shop visit ended on a good note. There are still young folks who have old school hobbies.  There was a time when we had to hunt and fish.  It's easy enough to go into a store and get our meats, all cleaned an package. It wasn't always like that. And for some in other countries, it's still not like that.

And I'm not knocking the popular new techie hobbies. Nothing wrong with that. But his hunting hobby... I would've never guessed that.

When I left, I told him to be safe out there in the woods. It's seems a little scary sitting out in the forest in camoflauge all night waiting for deer, but hey, if he likes it, I LOVE it.

Ah yes...  I love it indeed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Good Monday Morning

Hello!

*throws confetti*

Good Monday Morning!

It is Monday once again... and I don't feel all funky about it. I'm looking forward to the day, even though I didn't go to sleep until 2:30 am (You should've seen me vacuuming the living room carpet around this time... and I was doing it with glee. LOL)

I had a pretty normal weekend... chores, yard work and errands. Church and FOOTBALL! (I am so happy it's football season. I hung out with my father, which was... interesting, to say the least.

Last week, one of the House of LadyLee Sweepstakes winners, Shai, received her gift card. And you know me... that gives me an excuse to send a greeting card!



I like that card.... all those positive words all over!

I know last time I stickered the card up so much that she couldn't open it the normal way. So this one was better.

I still need to get this doggone grand prize MAC card for Serenity23. That might just have to be done on the internet. I wanted a real card so I could send her a greeting card too, but I may have to scratch that. It may have to done on the internet. But it will get done soon.

Quote of the Week. 
 You can either be pitiful or powerful, but you can't be both." - Joyce Meyer.

I want to be powerful. I don't like myself very much when I'm having a pity party. That quote is a great reminder to me to keep watch over my attitude over things.

Song of the Week. "I Know I Can" by Nas



Yes... I need to hear that today more than the children need to hear it.

Not much to post today. I will be in training all week. I posted that second part of "Thoughts on Seed" this weekend. The third part will be up sometime this week, hopefully tomorrow.

This will be an interesting week for me.  I have training way out in the sticks. 70 mile round trip. That is 280 miles this week. WOW.

My car is gonna be like O_o.

I gassed up Lucy Jr. I usually fill her up every 2 to 3 weeks. I fill up Pam every 2.5 months. It looks like that will change this week.

Oh joy!

Lots of posts this week.  So stay tuned.

You have a good week... on purpose!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Food for Thought: Thoughts on Seed, Part II

I was watching a program a couple of weeks ago and a minister said something particularly interesting:

We are all well aware of ourselves- our wants, our needs, our pains, etc...

But when is the last time you did something for someone out of the goodness of your heart?

In other words, we are aware of what goes on with us, and rightfully so. But can we remember the last time we did something for someone? The last time we helped someone in need? The last time we paid a compliment, and it wasn't flattery?

I believe what the minister was asking was...

When was the last time you sowed some "seed"?

When I have thought of sowing seed, I have most times thought of church, and the whole spiel a pastor gives at offering time. It is mostly attached to church. And you know how many think... They tryna take your money.

And I have heard that off and on over the years, especially with my particular pastor here in the ATL... how I give them all your money.

No I don't. That's silly. And trust, I have heard tooooo many sermons on why it's silly. Real silly when I have other obligations in life.

Here's my thing: I only spend maybe 1% of my time at church. And that's a long stretch. The other 99% of the time, I am doing other things.

Yes I tithe. I give offering. I could probably do better, but I haven't thought about that much. I have a goal for my church giving that I set some 10 years ago... Guess what? I've never met it. I can't say that I lose sleep over that. It's just a personal goal.

But over the years, I have found something else to be on my mind and closer to my heart: the people I come in contact with every day. I come across people who are in need. It may be of financial help. (That's always a welcome thing, lol). That need is a tangible. Not only are the tangibles important, but it is just as important to sow the intangibles... like time, a listening ear, a compliment, a conversation, a joke.

We live in a world where you really have to watch people. People will use and abuse you if you let them.  Ulterior motives are the order of the day. (You know how I feel about motives. I've written a post or two on that). It's just a strange world, where we really have to have be alert and savvy about who we deal with. And that's sad.

And I don't want to be that way, someone who has ulterior motives when dealing with people. I've found over the years that that has been solved by "sowing seed". I can't have bad motives and sow seed in the same breath. It's impossible. And I learned that from a friend, my former workgroup secretary, some 14 years ago while living in New Orleans.

I won't rehash the whole story, but I posted about it here. I remember back in 1999, my great-grandmother passed, and I needed to fly home for the funeral. Not a problem. I bought my ticket, which was under 300 dollars, and I got myself together to leave on out. After I figured all that out, I talked to our secretary before I left and let her know my plans, since she took care of our timesheets, etc. She told me that her credit cards were paid off and if I needed to get some things, like my plane ticket, clothes, etc., to let her know and I could use them to get what I needed.

That BAFFLED me. I thought about it for awhile, even while away at the funeral, and after I came back. This chick is the most compassionate person I know. She is never in need of nothing. Whatever needs need to be met, they are always met. Things seem to always fall in place for her.

And we talked about that when I got back. It turns out that she sows a lot of "seed". Tangible and Intangible. And she was deeply developed in something I felt I was severely lacking in: compassion. And that made a huge impact on me. But still, I thought it was risky.

She said something that sticks to me 'til this day:

"Lee, it ain't hard... You always know what you're dealing with."

Meaning, we know the type of folks you're dealing with. We know it in your gut. We know who takes advantage and who doesn't.  And Gigi said she doesn't worry about anyone taking advantage of her.

I thought that was a stretch. But some 15 years later, I thoroughly understands what she means.

And I understand other things also. The more I get my mind off of "Me, Myself, and I" and on others, the happier I am. My anger issues have been decreasing as I increase in my giving and sowing. I also understand the concept of that it's not all about I do for you, then I expect you to do for me in return, but it's about I do for you and God makes sure to send someone along to take care of me in my time of need. It never fails.

I've always been concerned by my anger issues, because anger is not really anger on its own.

Anger is an expression of fear.

I've also found that worry is an expression of fear...

And recently over the summer I also realize something I haven't thought much about

Discomfort is an expression of fear. 

And around here lately, I've had to sow seed even though I am dealing with a little discomfort in the midst of it.

And I have been journalling about it because I'm wondering what that's about.

Too be continued... 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Freestyles

It is Friday!

And it is Payday!

*throws one piece of glitter*

Only one piece of glitter is thrown. That's because I am thinking of my bills right now. I will be paying a lot today. Sigh.

Anyway, it is Friday. And I will finish my seed series up over the weekend or early next week. I say "series" because it is longer than I thought it would be. Bliss was right... parts 2, 3, 4.  LOL.  No, I just think there are 2 more parts. My goodness, I didn't realize how much is going on, or what I thought about it, until I started writing, and how many facets and layers there are to it all (in my opinion). There are some 90 posts out of my 1600 posts on my blog that mention seed of some type. Some of that might be about gardening, but some are of the type of things I want to write about and I want to make sure I sift back through some of those and see where my thoughts were at the time. So that's my weekend assignment for myself. So hold tight! I MIGHT post it up over the weekend. Might. At any rate, next week I will finish up.

I am going into work a little late today. That's because I woke up at 3:56 am. I got caught up in watching Aljazeera America, the new all news cable channel. Have you checked that out? It is sooo much better than the other all news stations. It doesn't feel all partisan, and the level of stories is so much higher. I don't know, it's just different. Real low on the arguing and what not. I can watch it for a couple of hours and learn a TON of new things. I like that!

I fell back asleep at 6:30 am and I am just now waking up. So late to work it is. I wish I could take the day off, but that's not going to happen. Too much to do, plus I have training all next week waaaaaaaaaay out in Alpharetta (northern surburb).

This training is some 30-35 miles away. So that means I have to drive everyday. It's against the traffic, though. So it shouldn't be that bad. A list of hotels was sent with my confirmation.  So I asked my boss and my director if I could get some money for a hotel. 'Cuz I really like that Embassy Suites. Me and Oscar-Tyrone could ball up in there.

They had that deer-in-the-headlights look in their eyes. Let's just say the answer was uh... NO.

"Can I get some gas money?" I asked. "Some per diem? Some 0.25 cents per mile or something?"

There were more dears running around and staring into headlights.  The answer was.... NO.

That 4 days of training is $3200. They can kick me another $200 to for gas and lunch. I don't understand. I usually make money off of trips. I guess I can't when it's local.

This is still a bit pricey, even for a $300,000 piece of equipment. I told my boss today... "Look, not only does this need to be informative, I need them to throw some strippers in there, put on a show or something for that much."

The software is a tad bit janky. At any rate, I need them to answer a couple of questions. This is suppose to be some hands-on stuff. I'll be satisfied if all my questions get answered. We gonna have problems if that's not the case. Do NOT let me morph into "Dr. LadyLee" mode. They don't want NONE of that persona. O_O

So, the training is only half a day on Friday. How 'bout I said I ain't going back to work after it's over? That's my payment, as far as I am concerned. Yeah.

(Yes, I tend to ruffle feathers whenever and however possible.)

I have an appointment to get a haircut later on today. I walked into the barbershop looking for Mr. Soho, and he was looking at me all crazy because of what happened last time. But he is cutting my hair around three. And I followed directions this time. So there should be no more scolding.

Song of the Week. I am not a Maxwell fan, as I like my men sangers with a little bass in their voices... but I heard this song "Submerge" on Spotify. I really like it.



I have no idea what he's talking about. And that is the very reason I like OLD music. Give me some Earth Wind and Fire, or the Emotions. Yes indeed.

That's all for today.

I will work on those other posts this weekend. I want them to be thorough and just right. (I know Bliss and Shai expect nothing less).

Have a good weekend! On purpose!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Food For Thought: Thoughts on Seed, Part I

Bliss and Shai asked me to talk a little about some "seed" issues I am currently experiencing, namely the sowing of uncomfortable seed. I thought I would attempt to do just that. It has been a lot to think about, and I have no real idea of how to put it all down on paper (blog post). But I will attempt to do so.

As you know, just about everything with me is related to seed and fruit and roots and sowing and harvest and the like. And I have found some new and deeper thoughts on seeds beginning to materialize, and for that I am thankful. I don't think I could fully do it justice here without looking back at old blog posts. I found one that I posted some three and a half years ago that captures my foundational thoughts on the subject matter pretty well...

Now, I wrote this particular post here after a 30 day church fast, which was focused on the subject matter of "seed". By the time that was over, I was thinking hard about seeds and what they mean... from a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects. And all of that was good for me. I am still thinking about it.

So read this post, and tomorrow, I will post about the "uncomfortable seed" and other seed matters...


Reposted from 1/30/09...


Since I've been on this 30 day fast, where we can only eat foods that originate from a seed (see last post)...

Let's just say, I got seed on my mind.

All I'm thinking about is seed.

And that was the purpose of this fast.

Now, since I'm not the most learned individual, I tend to go look up words, to help me understand them properly. So I looked up the word "seed" over on dictionary.com. There were close to thirty different definitions of this word seed.

One stuck out, and I really don't know why... Maybe because it ties in closest to what I think of seed.

Seed: the germ or propagative source of anything.

That right there is a loaded definition. A phrase that sticks out to me is "propagative source". Source can also mean "root". So, if we alter that definition, then we get

Seed: the germ or propagative root of anything.

Now, that's a definition right there. Hmmm

Another word sticks out in that definition: "anything".

What do I take from this? The following:

Everything starts somewhere.

Those huge California Redwoods didn't just appear overnight out of thin air. They all started from a seed.

Likewise, you and I didn't develop into who we are overnight. Our problem areas didn't develop overnight. They started a long time ago.

A seed was sown somewhere. Where? Who knows! I can only speak for myself, if I examine my past really hard. But a seed was sown somewhere.

We saw something. Somebody said something to us. You and I received that seed (that thing we saw, that thing that was said)...

We incubated it, we nourished it...

And it grew into something.

Oh, and it grew into something BIG. Now, maybe we caught it when it was a mere seedling and we could pluck it out the ground with a little toothpick. But, if we've been growing it and nourishing it, it might be as big as one of them big California Redwoods. And a little toothpick won't do. It's gonna take some WORK to uproot that issha that started from a little seed.

Hmmm... Does that sound complicated? Maybe so... But you know what I'm talking about.

Let me give you an example: You've read on this blog, many a time, that I can't stand reading erotic fiction. First of all, much of it is badly written. And with me deeply ensconced in learning the art of writing good fiction, I ain't reading that. Second of all, I've gotten busy every which way possible, have swung from the chandaliers, got down on kitchen floors and counters... but heck, that don't mean that I want to read about it, i.e, I don't find it original.

But most importantly, if I keep reading it, and reading it, and reading it...

I'm sowing some seed into the ground.

I'm sowing some seed into the ground (my heart).

That seed is going to grow into... something.

So, why would I ever be surprised sometime later in life, that I wake up one morning and realize "I am such a ho!".

I suppose that is an extreme example. Surely it is. That ain't true for everybody. I, LadyLee, have a VERY addictive personality. I am ALWAYS mindful of that. That's another way of saying, if I start some craziness, it will take root and start to grow VERY rapidly and out of control.

A real life example about myself: I use to listen to A LOT of gangster rap in my 20's.

Why is it not a shock that I use to smoke a lot of weed and drink alot and cuss way too much? It's not a shock, because I was spending my time with music (containing words, which produced images in my mind). Eventually something's going to happen.

So, with that said, and looking at the condition of urban black music: Why are you suprised that our children and teens are out of control?

Everything in life is about seed.

Everything starts somewhere.

Jokers don't wake up and become hard core killers overnight. No way.

I submit to you that THAT is impossible.

Why do you suppose when you look at these documentaries on killers (stuff like Snapped, a show which I absolutely love), that they ALWAYS go back to the beginning.... waaaay before the murders take place?

They have to show you where things started. They are looking for the seed.

All these negative examples. GEEZ. Let's think about something positive.

Now, I love the fact that Barack Obama is president. I was neither here or there concerning the election. I just wanted that stuff to be over with, because it was stressing me and everybody else out.

Yes we are all clicking our heels, doing the running man over this.

But I'm not thinking about that, the end result, his presidency.

I'm thinking about the moment, the THOUGHT of "I want to become president" forming in his heart.

What was the "seed" that started all of this?

I've always imagined he and Michelle sitting at the kitchen table in the cool of the morning, just before the kids wake up, having their cups of coffee, and him saying "Baby, there's something that has been in my heart, and I want to know what you think about it."
His whole presidency grew from some seed.

Interesting example. I hope I got my point across.

And, this is what I have learned about seed during the 30 day seed fast:

Overall, I feel as if we are responsible for what "seed" we choose to receive in our hearts. We are responsible for the incubation, care and nourishment of that seed.

But, most important, and terribly crucial and critical-

We have to investigate if that seed is something that will bring us to our life's purpose or if that seed will eventually grow into something that will lead to our total destruction.

I am starting to throw everything in those 2 categories: Life purpose or total destruction.

And when I say "Destruction", I mean deterioration and loss of my self-esteem, self-love, character, self-worth, and a host of other things...

Even destruction of my life.

And I am finding now, over the last few years, that if I discern the DIFFERENCE and act accordingly, well... I can expect to "grow" a better life for myself.

Seed may mean something totally different to you. Enlighten me.

Question (which you can answer for yourself and quietly to yourself):

If you have a bad habit, are you able to locate the seed from which it originated? Are you able to locate the root, the "propagative source"?

If so... if you destroy the root, then you will destroy the bad fruit that's being produced in your life.

More importantly, when it comes to the good in you, the good things about you (your positive qualities), are you able to locate the seed from whence it grew?

Are you thankful for that today?

If not, take a moment to be thankful for it. It may be something that will grow into your life's purpose.

I hope I put a little sumthin' sumthin' on your mind today.

I really do.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Food for Thought: In Remembrance...



The people of my parents generation have always said, "I remember exactly were I was when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot" or "I remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was shot."

And people of my generation have said "I remember where I was when Marvin Gaye was shot."

And the people of my generation now have an additional "I remember" moment. ...

"I remember where I was the morning the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center."


That's how I started a post on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy. And I quoted that from a post I wrote 6 years prior to that post.

I myself was on travel for work. I'd been on my current job for only 3 weeks and I'd gone to Denver for a course given by my agency on an instrument that I use for analysis at work. I remember being particularly prayerful before my trip (I left ATL on a Sunday) because I had some strange sense of uneasiness inside. I am thankful for the "Prayer for travel" in my Prayers that Availeth Much book. It was such an odd feeling. I knew I could get on my own plane, but what was that feeling I was getting? So when the tragedy occured, that was a lightbulb moment. I will never forget how I felt inside the couple of days before it happened. And I know it wasn't just me feeling that way when my Pastor posed the question of whether people had strange feelings of "uneasiness" around that time. He had to take some time to explain that.

I don't want to feel that way ever again.

And do you notice that your level of distraction has increased over the years, however subtle it may be? I believe there's a spiritual reason for that, related to what I said in the last paragraph. I think about that on this day also. But that's a whole nother post in itself...

Anyway, it was tough getting on a plane the day after they lifted the flying ban. I actually made it back home that Saturday with only a 1.5 hour delay in flight. Some of the training participants from the Northeast had much worse delays.

On this morning, I took time to pray for the people who lost people that day in the tragedy. It's not only the tragedy that is devastating, but it is the emotional and mental residue left behind that takes its toll.

Many have moved on with their lives... but I am sure that there isn't a day that goes by that they don't think of the loved one lost. Not a day. I pray that they endure the pain and sorrow of it all. Because I know it has to be hard.

I heard on a program yesterday that anyone under the age of 17 years old doesn't remember or understand what happened on that terrible day.

Let's hope that they don't have a "I remember" moment in their lives of such a tragic magnitude.

Let's hope we never experience something that tragic... ever again.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Food for Thought: Excuses, Excuses...

So...

If you've been reading for the past couple of weeks, you may remember the blog post about the feud going on between my neighbors. The feud pretty much ended when my neighbor to my immediate left cut some of the shrubs and trees that were leaning in his driveway and scrubbing up against his nice Beamer. The neighbor to his left called the police and said he'd pulled a gun on her. And after that didn't work, she splashed paint in his driveway, on his porch, and across his front door.

She was arrested for that. My neighbor Benny said she had to pay restitution and received probation.

Why is it, that two days after this melee, this chick was outside in her raincoat there trimming the bushes... in the rain? O_o.

Really?

That's all it took in the first place. You see your shrubs and trees are overgrown from the rain. It doesn't take much to get out there and cut them back. Just as a courtesy to the neighbor. When she cuts grass, she gets out there and sweeps all the grass trimmings out of his driveway.

So what was up with the paint and the police? Why did she have to be all "extra"?

hmm...

She got a fine and probation behind all that. That's not enough for me. I need your tail to be locked up for 30 days. I am not down with the vandalism. And Benny said the restitution was not enough to cover his estimates. He was going to do the best he could on his own and get professionals to handle the rest.

Sigh. How unfortunate.

So imagine my thoughts when one day last week I was rolling my herbie-curbie (city issued container for trash) to the curb for trash collection...

And my neighbor was outside. I'm not sure what she was doing. She'd basically cut her shrubs and trees back to where they were looking like stick men. I think she was sweeping the debris out of the street.

"Hey baby," she hollered. "When you get a chance, I need to talk to you."

*ladylee freezing in midstep and staring wide-eyed*

"Hey baby," she hollered again when I didn't answer. "When you get a chance, I need to talk to you. I need to tell you something!"

"Uh, okay," I said.

What in the world did she want to talk to me about??

Now, notice how stealth I am. This woman doesn't even know my name. Nor will she ever know my name. I don't even think it has occurred to her that she doesn't know my name.

I don't know hers. Nor do I care to. That is by design... and on purpose.

It was morning time on trash collection day when this occurred. I left for work some 10 minutes later.

I made sure to leave in a hurry, making sure she wasn't outside. And I made sure to drive the other way down the block and out of the neighborhood.

Now, I'd forgotten about this by the time I got off from work. So I ended up driving past her house on the way to my own.

And she waved me down.

"Hey Baby!" she hollered.

I reluctantly slowed and let my window down.

She leaned into my passenger side window. "Move all that stuff so I can get in. I need to talk to you. I need to tell you something."

I was screaming inside. WHY YOU WANNA GET IN MY CAR???

I moved some stuff - my wallet and phone - off the front seat.

She was looking a bit rugged and dusty. She was sweating hard and noticeably braless under her purple terry cloth shirt, and her breast were hanging down to her waist. I almost wanted to go get my other car, ol' bootleg Pam and park my "good" car Lucy Jr. in the garage. This lady could sit on my cigarette-butt scarred cloth seats instead of my nice lexus leather.

She jumped in my car. "Turn that radio down."

I did.

"Look," she said. "I wanna tell you what happened between me and the neighbor."

Nobody had to tell me what happened. It was all obvious.

"It all got started when Thomas got out here disrespecting me. Benny told him to cut the bushes back one day when he was cutting grass. I told Thomas to leave my bushes alone. 'Cuz you know Thomas don't do a good job. I like thangs done professional-like."

"Un-hunh," I said.

Thomas. Good ol' Thomas. She and I have had a spirited conversation about her dislike of Thomas, one of the locals who lives in a shed behind some fella name Rat Cheeze's house. (I am still trying to figure out who "Rat Cheeze" is). He walks the street with his lawn equipment and does lawn work and odd jobs on the cheap. Thomas and this lady grew up together, from what I can remember. They go way back. And they fight a lot.

"Thomas got out here disrespting me and cussing at me when I told him to stop. And we got to arguing."

"Really," I said.

"You know me and Thomas don't get along," she continued. "And he ain't no damn good. And neither is that Benny. Benny act like a woman. I ain't got nothing to say 'bout how nobody live, how they lifestyle is, but he act like a woman."

*silence*

I just let her talk.

Now, she don't like Thomas. And from a prior conversation, I know she doesn't like Thomas cutting mine or Benny's grass.

Sounds like a personal problem to me. If I want Daffy Duck to cut my grass, then that's who will be cutting my grass. I don't care what she thinks.

And she apparently doesn't like Benny. She finds him argumentative. Yes he is. He has fought out in the yard with his men from time to time. And a couple of the lesbi.ans down the street were mad at Benny because Benny wouldn't let them come to one of his many house parties.

"LadyLee, that mutha***** Benny know he wrong," Kimmie said, as she sipped from her wine glass filled with beer..  "We all ghey! We all in this thang together! We can all party together!!!"

You know me. I just listen. And try to stay neutral. "He just like men at his party, baby. Don't worry about that. Have your own party."

So Benny is Benny. He does his thang.

And this neighbor sitting in my car at the time does hers. She cusses folk out on the regular. I was a little lost about her complaints of Benny being argumentative.

She went on and on about what happened.

Interestingly, she didn't mention the idea of throwing the paint on Benny's door. Or of disposing her weapon - the paint cans- in my trash. Nor did she mention the police. Or being locked up overnight.

She didn't mention any of this.

She hemmed and hawed about how her house has been in her family for over 60 years, and how she was here before everybody. And about how she and her family have had trouble with Benny for years. "Cuz Benny, you know, he act like a woman."

Yeah. Okay. I get it. He acts like a woman.

She stared over at that man's paint splattered door while talking to me. I thought that was intersesting.

"You know, I got a fine, and I don't know how I'm going to pay it. And me and him, we ain't suppose to talk to each other."

She was looking to me to say something.

All I was doing was listening. I am an excellent listener.

"It's gonna be alright," is all I could think to say.

Benny had his property resurveyed and had the sticks out there separating properties. He even has the line drawn between my property and his.

"You need to get out there and walk your property," she said. "I think he has that line drawn wrong on your side."

"My property line is just fine," I said. "It is drawn correctly."

{Goodness gracious alive. Was she trying to stir up some mess between me and Benny??? O_o)

"I don't know why Benny is all upset about the branches of my tree hanging over his car. It shades his car. Everybody needs shade. And windows crack. Look like he would want some shade for his car."

Hmph. What a strange excuse for not wanting the limbs of the tree cut back. She doesn't even have a car.

Then she got on her "God gonna gitcha" spiel.

"Benny don't act right. God gonna git him!"

Uh. Yeah.

She jumped out of my car and gave her parting words.

"I go to Church every Sunday," she said.

"Okay," I said.

"And if you don't go to church? God gonna gitcha!!"

Now, this is the problem I have with "church people", and with traditional religion in general. They know they are some authorities on who God gonna "git". It makes no sense to me. Some of the things I hear church people say make me think that I am probably the worst heathen out there, even though I myself go to church. And that's just not true.

Now, I told all this to my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre the next day. It afforded much discussion.

"Girl, you know she wants you to pay that fine."

I laughed. "Man, I thought about it when she was talking about her fine. And you know me, honey. I don't come up off no money."

No ma'am. No sir. I don't come up off no money. Excuse my ebonics. But I mean that. I don't loan money. And if I give you some money? I'm planting some seed. I'm in sowing mode. Trust... I've been thinking about it long before I give it. I even spend time praying about it. "Lord, I sure would like to help Jane out... I really would like to do something to help."  If it hasn't crossed my mind, you can forget about it.

None of that crossed my mind. No prayer, no nothing. Nerp. This chick got all emotional, filed a false police report about someone pulling a gun on her, splashed paint on a door, AND had the nerve to hide evidence in my trash can. Shoot.

And I don't validate people. Some people want their bad behavior validated. I am not good at that, nor do I care to be. I support people. I never validate. Those are two different actions, and I don't confuse the two.

And to top it off, she got in my car and made excuses... Excuses, excuses.

Excuses for her negative emotional reaction to a situation.

I heard a sermon a few years ago at my church from a guest minister who has a church up in Chicago. He was a bit different, because he is of Ira.qi descent. And his sermon was on gaining control of your emotions. He said he had a right to stand up in a room full of black folk and tell us that we were responsible for our emotional health. Afterall, he was from "over there", and his people are HIGHLY emotional. It was in his DNA. His people get all emotional and blow themselves up and everybody else up. So they trump black folk when it comes to that type of thang. So he had the authority to tell us to stop making excuses for bad behavior resulting from negative emotions.

That place was so quiet, you could hear a rat licking ice.  And no one could say anything. He knew what everyone was thinking. Look at the news concerning what's going on right now over there. Yeah.

After all, he was right. And it was him saying it about his people.

Every time I look at the news and see all that stuff going on overseas, I think of that sermon.

And when I sat in my car that day and listened to my neighbor's excuses, I thought of that sermon too.

And when I think of the many glitches in my own emotions and personality, I think of that sermon. And how I myself need to always make some assessment of my own emotions and how I react to some things. I, like most, am not perfect, and I still have a long way to go. I tend to stuff my emotions inside, since I was always punished for having opinions about things or being emotional about things in general. I didn't have a voice growing up. So I tend to be extremely passive aggressive, and I completely lose it when pushed too far. So to keep that from happening, I disappear, or I hide. I don't talk, until I can figure things out within my ownself. And it goes very bad if I am bothered or pushed about what's wrong. You don't want to be on the receiving end of my anger and wrath. That in itself isn't good.

"Man, when you snap on a joker, you shut the sucka completely down," my best friend says.

No, that in itself isn't good, either. A better emotional response all around is in order. And I'm always thinking about that.

I thought about a couple other things too. A couple old Quotes of the Week, if you don't mind.

Excuses are the nails used to build the House of Failure.

An excuse is a reason stuffed with a lie
.
Anytime I hear someone making a bunch of excuses, and in this case, not being remorseful for what was done...  And somehow blaming everything on someone else, I think of both of those quotes.

And I think about the current excuses in my own life. And how they are merely conjured up reasons overstuffed with a bunch of lies. And how I need to correct that.

And I'm not afraid to admit that.

I thought about all these things while my neighbor was sitting in my car, and long after she gotten out and I'd gone on home. I talked to my sister about it. And it makes my sister (and myself at times) afraid.

Afraid that if we don't recognize our own problems and work on them, that by the time we get into our 60s (like this woman, and others we know), that those bad attitudes, habits and behaviours will have formed deep deep roots, and are then difficult to rid from our lives. And then everything "flips" to something sinister, and way too hard to uproot:

 "I am right and everybody else is wrong."

Who wants that? I tell my sister that she is at that good good age, that age between 29 and 32, where she can recognize things and she's still pliable enough to work on things. There were things I worked on around that age, and I can say now that at the age of 43 they are out of my life. I also started some good things around that time which are well developed in my life now.

Good habits and behavior can run deep, but it's a shame when bad habits and behavior runs deep. I got the most interesting answer to a prayer some time ago, and I wrote about it in a post. Habits (and I find that this includes behavior, and attitudes) can get so deeply rooted that they not only affect our ownselves, but they become forces, affecting the lives of others. The older I get, the more I understand that.

And so the story goes on...

I hope the neighbors can find a way to be neighborly. All of this was unnecessary. I don't have a dog in this fight. Nor do I care to have much of anything to do with it.

And as you can see, it made me not only think about the situation in general, but also about my life and some changes I need to make. Any time anything bothers me like this, I use it as a chance to look inside and as a prompt to think about whatever within myself needs some correcting.

And that in itself is a good thing.

Yes it is.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Friday Freestyles

Good Friday Afternoon...

How ya'll rolling? Are you ready for the weekend?

I know I am. I have a lot going on. I don't care for that, but oh well. My gutters get cleaned first thing in the morning. I might get out there and take pictures of them doing that.

"You'll be asking the gutter cleaners 'Would ya'll like a glass of water?" my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre said.

"No I won't. They better knock 5 dollars off that price," I said. "And I'll serve a full breakfast if they knock off half the price."

LOL. We know that's not going to happen. I hope I'm at least awake. That shouldn't be a problem.

I have a Triple F (Financial Freedom Fighters) posse meeting tomorrow. I don't have much to contribute to the discussion. I may whine about my medical bills. But that's about it.

I have visits with my grandmother and my father, I think. I'll see how that goes down.

This has been a pretty good week for a change. I think the big difference is that I had no doctors appointments, and class is over. So I'm not doing a bunch of driving. Thank goodness for that. But over all, it's been a normal week.

And I don't have much to say. More food-for-thought than anything. But I've held out on that all week. I've kept it smurfy. So I'll continue in the smurfiness.

Snack of the Week. Check out what I found!


I came across that at a juice and smoothie bar near my father's house.

I have always been a bit iffy when it comes to dehydrated kale. It MUST be seasoned up to kill that nasty kale bitter taste. So I've had some with curry and sesame seeds and stuff like that. And it has always been too dry. Dropping the bag on the floor leads to straight crushed powdered kale. Sigh

But this is just right... sweet, but not too sweet. The honey is offset by the lemon. And that's all good.


It is slightly chewy, and seasoned with honey and lemon. Good stuff. I wish I could figure out how to make it at home. I have a dehydrator setting on my stove. I might have to try it. I am sure I can get it right after a few disastrous tries.

My boss tried a piece. Me and Cre keep bottled water under our cubicle. That chick grabbed that water so fast. I didn't know if she was reaching for water or "dropping it like it's hot" like in the club. It was funny! (Yes, you had to be there.)

Picture of the Week. This week's picture comes via the youngster in our group. my coworker Supersonic Sushi.


She was handing me some paperwork to sign, and I saw that on her wrist.

"When you get that?" I asked.

"I got that hook-up last week! This is tattoo #5."

We always wonder where the rest of them are. There's another on her wrist, but no telling where the others are. And I've kindly asked her NOT to drop her pants. We don't want to see nothing THAT bad. Now if she was a dude... uh yeah. But she's a female. We don't wanna know. We'll just be happy with the ones on her wrist.

"How much it cost?"

"Ten dollars!"

O_O

She was ecstatic about that. I imagined her back in some dark dank room with some skeezy guy with a dirty needle.

"Was it clean!?"

"Yes! I got the hook up!"

There was more back and forth about all of this. I questioned her thoroughly. Sushi has to be in her late 20s, but she looks like she is 12... so I treat her like that. LOL

I told her I want "Original" up one arm and "Oldgirl" down the other. She was not pleased.

I think that's a nice tattoo. And she can conceal it if she needs to.

She best not go committing any crimes, though. Too easy to identify!

Song of the Week.  I'm gonna take you WAAY back. "Can you feel it" by the Jacksons. The long version!



Man. That video is crappy. The sound effects are terribly annoying. But it was HIGH technology back in 1980, when I was only 10 years old. When that video came on, right when music videos were becoming just a little popular, it was all the rage. Oh my! That's a video we talked about at the lunch table in elementary school. We ALL wanted to be sprinkled with gold from the Giant Jacksons. LOL

Those were days of innocence. They truly were.

I am shooting for a "food-for-thought" week next week. So we will see how that goes. Ya'll know ya'll like those food-for-thoughts, man. They are just so time consuming. I'm going to work on some this weekend for posting next week. I have a lot of things on my mind that I need to write about.

So until then, Ya'll have a good weekend.

By design.

And on purpose.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Seen at Grandma's House, Part II

Grandma has a ton of books. I know she had over 3000 at one time. So now, there may be so many more. She loves to read. 

Most of those books are religious books.  But some are just regular books on various subjects. 

Here's a little booklet I saw at her house on the living room coffee table:


Boilin' and Bakin' in Boogar Hollow.

That sounds like some straight hillbilly Coal Miner's Daughter material.

It had some interesting recipes. Like this here recipe for chitlins...
Singlema loves chitlins. I think she will appreciate that.

And Flossie has a pretty good recipe for fried chicken.
Yes indeed. "Whack up a nice young chick'n".  That means cut it up. There's some "bakin' powders" and "sodie" in that recipe. That means it's going to be good and crispy.

And this here is for one of my favorite readers Mzinspiredmind, aka, Sam...


Way too much butter in that recipe. I don't think it takes that much butter, Sam.

And here's an average day in the life of Granmaw up in Boogar Hollow.



That's a long to-do list.

I found the foreword to the book most interesting:


There are some interesting life there.

1. Work hard.
2. Be enthusiastic about life
3. Realize that you have worth.
4. You are indispensible and necessary.
5. Don't waste time gossiping.
6. Mind your own business.
7. Don't feel sorry for yourself.
8. Be thankful for all things (health, family, and survival).

And I am sure there are other good things in that passage.  It was good to read it.

And Singlema... let me know how those chitlins turn out.

And Sam? Please save me a slice of that sweet potato pie.