Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Freestyles... The Wildlife Edition



Which means I will be sitting here paying out some bills today. That won't take but about 5 minutes, since some 90% of my stuff is on straight automatic. Whatever did we do before online bill pay? I gasp at the thought of writing checks and licking stamps.

Gasp, I say.

I don't have much to post today. It has been an interesting week. I didn't really even have a food for the week. Wait, I made homemade tortilla chips in the oven... take a corn tortilla, cut it up in 6 pieces and bake it for a few minutes. Add some salt and spices and you got chips. Here's a recipe I used. Oh no, I didn't fry them, and I sprayed my baking pan with olive oil spray. That is as good as it gets. And they weren't bad. Just saw that on Pinterest, and I thought, that's simple enough. DO IT. LOL.

So... the most interesting thing of the week (among other things):

My sister Kentucky saw this in her apartment's weekly newsletter:

She was livid. Because she likes to walk the complex everyday.

"Well," I said, "At least they warned you. And coyotes tend to stay away from people. You just be sure you don't be out there walking a small dog or cat. I would be more worried about a pit bull running around."

She wasn't trying to hear all that.

Aww yes... the joys of living out in the suburbs. These are problems of the suburbs.

I live in the hood, downtown. And the only wildlife I have seen was a wild turkey in my neighbor's backyard back in 2006.

Hmm... we will always wonder how that turkey found his way into the hood.

My brother also had a wild turkey in his neighborhood, out in the surburbian part of College Park. I think the kids named hime "James" or something like that. Sometimes James would come out in the open, and someone would yell "There go James!!!", and they would all give chase.

They never caught James the turkey. Maybe James decided to move further out into the southern surburbs... where the ancestors of my sister's coyotes GOT HIM.


Now, the only wildlife I have ever dealt with was the nutria rat. I saw those while living in New Orleans.

Such a lovely animal there, smiling, and showing his orange front teeth.

They look like beavers with long rat tails. There was a whole family of them living in the lake of my apartment complex. They were at least 30 pounds. If I was out feed stale bread to the birds, one would walk up on me. I never really noticed what was going on until the birds were O_o and moving slowing to the side. I would look down and see it standing there.

And I would throw it a whole slice of bread. The nutria rat will walk back through the sea of ducks. And everything would return to normal.

I don't think my sister would or should try that method. If she sees a coyote, she needs to go the other way. That won't be a problem, as she said she won't be walking anymore. Too bad because her complex is nice for walking.

Oh well...

Song of the Week. This song was the number one song 35 years ago this week. "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by Taste of Honey.

My goodness. That takes me back to my lil' 9-year-old self. That was my favorite song back then.

That and anything by Earth Wind and Fire.

It's going to a beautiful weekend in the ATL. And I have a ton of things to do. But I will be enjoying some of this good sunshine.

Yes i will.

You make sure to have a good weekend too, rain or shine... on purpose.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ten Thursday Thoughts

I had a good time cutting grass yesterday. That sounds odd, as I don't care much for yard work. I guess good sunshine and good music make it all a good time. All I needed was a toothpick to chew on and a nice cold beer, lol. I still have to cut my shrubs. But they are doggone near 7 feet tall. Not sure how that is going to work out.

Georgia passed a gun bill yesterday. These good Georgia White folks are jumping for joy right now.

Add this new wonderful bill to the call for a Confederate Flag license plate and it's a GREAT day in Georgia. I'm just about to start whistling Dixie in a minute. I wonder how fast I'd get my azz whooped if I ordered a plate for my car? Hmm.

I feel like if folk can have a Confederate Flag license plate, then I should at least be able to have a Martin Luther King,Jr. or a Mahalia Jackson license plate. I'm just saying.

I have a horrible craving for potatoes and popcorn. Just horrible. I must eradicate that PRONTO. I found a potato substitute called sunchokes, but it's too expensive. Plus, not all people can eat them.

Amber alert is no joke. A child was missing out of Mississipi, and the family was heading to Georgia. You can hang it up when your license plate number is being texted to EVERY cell phone. You might as well turn yourself in, honey. Child was found, parents arrested. And the reason this was an emergency was because an infant was found dead. You can not run. And you can not hide.

There is an excellent discussion about human sex trafficking on black talk radio this morning. This is befitting, as Atlanta is the number one city for it. I don't think I would've thought anything about it had I not read the novel Anybody's Daughter by Pamela Samuels-Young.

I need some new sneakers, but I can't find my size in the stores I have gone to. I guess I shouldn't have gone shopping on Easter Weekend. Folks were buying dress shoes AND fresh new white sneakers like crazy. Maybe I will have better luck this weekend.

I seem to be adjusting to these 6 hour workdays. I hear that we will be doing this for another month. I must admit it is nice to get off from work eveyday between noon and two o'clock. It is nice to be not be caught up in a bunch of ATL traffic. Yes indeed.

There's a big difference between what I should be doing and what people think I should be doing. I find that I am happier and more content when I do what I know is right for me to do... rather than seeking the approval of others. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day... From Oscar-Tyrone

Hello there.

LadyLee is busy right now, so I am taking over her blogging for the day.

It's me... Oscar-Tyrone.

Call me Oscar. LadyLee calls me Oscar-Tyrone. Oscar sounded too "white" to her...

I don't now why she thinks because she is black that I am black.

Maybe my name is Oscar because I am a caucasian cat. I don't think she ever thought about that. And I am not going to explain it to her.

Happy Earth Day to you.

LadyLee isn't even thinking about Earth Day. We are talking abot a woman who will fall asleep with every light left in the house. And let's not even talk about the plastic bottles and aluminum cans she throws in the trash.

She is not an earth day type of girl. No she is not.

So you have me.

So I was sitting in a chair in the dining room and I saw something that caught my attention. It was a picture of another cat.

I wanted to jump up on the table and get a better look, but LadyLee would have a complete fit if I did so. Let's just say it's been 15 years since I got the notion to jump up on a table.

I hit it with my paw. It wasn't alive. And I saw that it was some type of card. I opened the card and it had words. I don't read very well, so I think I will just let you read it for yourself:

That is from a kitten shelter. Dorothy, one of the readers who won one of the $44 gift cards during the LadyLee Birthday Sweepstakes, wanted her gift card donated to the Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue.

LadyLee was perplexed about that one.

I, Oscar, was elated. Anything to help my fellow brothers and sisters. That could buy kitty litter. And cat food.

(LadyLee only thinks about herself. She would've used that card to buy some groceries, makeup, and a couple of packs of panties from the Wal-mart. She is so crass, she is.)

I closed the card, and looked back at the picture on front.

Look at that little thing. Thank goodness there are kind people at Tiny Paws to take such good care of him.

That little kitten is a lucky one. Because if it was left up to LadyLee to hold a little one like that and bottle feed him like that?

He just would not make it. Unless I can figure out how to nurse him myself. And I am not lactating. Never have, and never will.

LadyLee whines and complains about my $70 a month special cat food. It's not my fault that I have liver and digestion issues. I am 17 years old. What does she expect?

She would really be whining about feeding such a little one with a bottle. With her crass self.

I would have to lead the poor kitty over to my water bowl and hope he drinks. He will, as he will quickly find out that LadyLee will be way off on his feeding schedule.


She's looking for a kitten right now, she is. I hope she gets one who can feed and clean himself. I really do.

My paws are tired from typing, so I think I will leave you with a special song. It is expecially nice, as it talks about rain. LadyLee seems to like it alot.

Maybe it will one day help her to decide to gather and conserve rain water. That would be nice.

Now, you go on out and make it a Happy Earth Day.

Recycle some paper, aluminum or plastic.

Save the whales.

Better yet, save a kitty.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Good Friday Freestyles

TGIF once again.

And I meant to say TGIGF!

Thank God it's GOOD Friday!

Hence, Easter Sunday is coming up this weekend. Lent will be over for many of you. I don't do Lent. I am not Catholic. But I think it's a good idea for folks, though. I have known many a catholic and noncatholic who get a LOT of things- physical, emotional, spiritual, mental- taken care of. And that's a great thing.

Anyway, I have no plans. I don't go to church on sundays as it is - I prefer weekday services- so I am definitely not going on Sunday. That's when folks who don't go to church go to church. On Easter and Mother's day. I will stay home, thank you very much. I am nontraditional, boderline heathen, lol. Plus, I figured out from scrolling around on my Roku that my church has a Roku channel. Oh joy! Shouldn't have let me find that. Live streaming on the flat screen. GLORY! *church jog in the kitchen while I'm washing dishes and watching church*

I have had a decent week, albeit I am a little stressed still. Hopefully that will diminish with the nicer weather. Hopefully.

Food of the Week. I am still trying one, maybe two new recipes per week, preferably raw recipes. This seems to be working out pretty well, as it takes me no longer than 10-15 minutes to prepare and/or cook. I am down for that, honey.

Here's one that I tried: Celeriac, pear and rocket salad from the website Coconuts and Berries.

Here is my version.

I thought it was good. It's just that I'm not that big of a fan of celery. And celeriac tastes like celery, but not as strong, if that makes any sense. I kicked mines up a notch and added some walnuts.

And I didn't grow up on celeriac. Grandma was in the kitchen cooking up plenty of turnips (which I hated), but I don't remember her cooking up no celeriacs. I have only heard of it from somebody using it on some cooking show. And even then, I thought "That's an ugly vegetable. Who on earth would have thought to eat that?"

Celeriac is a root vegetable. Here is the one I bought.

It only cost $1.00, as they were on sale at the Whole Foods that day. They had some as big as a human head. I bought the smallest one. I am not a fan of root vegetables, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Peeling that sucker is more than a notion, though. You best not use your good vegetable peeler on that one or you gonna break it. The longest part of the process was peeling it and chopping it down into matchsticks. As you can see, my matchstick cuts aren't all that uniform. It looks like I was a bit tipsy while cutting it up, lol.

It was interesting. Like I said, I don't care much for the celery taste, but it was good.

And "rocket"... You know what that is? That is the british word for arugula. LOL! Who woulda thought that? We would've ALL lost money on Jeopardy behind that one.

I am not a fan of arugula unless it is mixed with something. And if I buy a container of it, I better eat it fast, within a week, or it wilts away. But it was good in this recipe.

Celeriac is actually very good for the body.

And the celeriac root is heavy as hell. So if a sucker runs up on me, I can bust him upside the head with it and knock him out!

All that is useful to me. I have looked up other recipes. *in my Bubba voice* You can broil it, you can bake it, you can fry it, you can sautee it, you can mash it, you can eat it raw.

I may try something else with it.

I have also taken a liking to spiralized veggies.

That's zuchinni and squash. I can use that like spaghetti. Or just straight sautee it.

Hmm hmm good.

Thought of the Day. Man. I have been watching too much news. Much of that is just to see the weather reports, because the weather is so trippy... hot one day, freeze warning the next.

But is it me, or is there a LOT of craziness going on? They still can't find the Malaysian airplane that went down. And a ferry boat capsized this week. Between those two events, close to 500 lives were lost. Hopefully it's less than that, as they are trying still get up in that ferry boat.

But just think of that. And I am not one to watch much news, but it is a way overwhelming. It makes me think.

I wrote a post titled "5 Minutes" some time back. One of my favorite ministers said the following:

You worry about the future. You wail about tomorrow. Get all depressed, let the circumstances get to you. The truth of the matter is that you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.

Tomorrow isn't promised.

You can't even see 5 minutes in front of your face, people.

I have thought about that for a long time. The more I think about it, the more I realize how strong that statement is. We really don't know what will happen in the next 5 days or 5 hours, let alone 5 minutes. None of the passengers on any of those trips from point A to point B knew that THAT DAY would be the day of their death. And that is haunting. It truly is.

I myself try not to worry about the future. But it is hard with the media and all this outside distraction feeding my fears. So I must continue to do what I like to do: starve my fears and hope they die. That is a lifelong process.

My goal is to live in expectation. I like to expect some good "and suddenlys" in my life. And suddenly, something great happen to LadyLee. And suddenly something good happen to LadyLee in the next 5 days to LadyLee. And suddenly something good happen to LadyLee in the next 5 minutes.

And for me that could mean winning the lotto. Or it could mean making it through the day, and living to see one more day. It could mean getting 5 out of 10 things done on my "to-do" list for today. It could mean even mean the involuntary sneeze I may have in the next 5 minutes, where my body is trying to get rid of something that is not suppose to be there.

It's important to be thankful for the day... because we don't know what will happen tomorrow. We don't even know what will happen in the next 5 minutes. Let's hope and pray it's good things.

That's my mini food-for-thought, the freestyle edition. *throws mike to the ground and walks off*

Songs of the Week. It's gonna rain cats and dogs and frogs today in the ATL, so I need some rainy day music.

I love some Vesta. This is a song that never got any airplay, but it was a good song.

I heard this song last night, and I'd forgotten about it. "Whatever it Takes" by Anita Baker from the Compositions CD.

That's what I like to call "Begging after a man" song. Don't act! We ALL done "begged after a man" before. I know I have. Been awhile, though. Ya'll need to kick my azz if you see me doing that at my age now, lol. I don't do the desperation thing.

And my FAVORITE rainy day song, by a Anita Baker wannabe, lol.. Milara!

She is a bit dramatic in that song. But she's 1990s sharp, standing at the window wailing about a lost love!

That's the ultimate "my man done left me and now I'm crying". Don't act! We've all cried over that breakup.

I am particularly puzzled by the line at 1:37.

Oh Lawd I can see
So many eyes on me
And I imagine what they're saying...
They say I'm a fool.
They say I'm a fool,
If I'm still in love with you.
Don't they know I'm only human?

And she sings with SUCH emotion when she sings "Don't they know I'm only human."Ha! How self-conscious we become in these situations. I never look at any stranger on the street and say "She's a fool cuz she still in love with that dude."

I like Milara, but she is WAY over the top. But that's a good song. And she is sharp while standing at the window and wailing hard. I do think that I would be standing there in my pajamas. LOL

And that's my Friday freestyles for the week. You would think I would spread this out over the week, right?


You have a good Easter weekend.

On purpose.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Best Juice Ever


I was walking through a natural foods store and I saw this.

Something called "Chuice".


First off, there is a LOT of stuff floating around in that bottle. A lot.

Second, you may have to blow it up to see it, but look at that price!


$28.99 for a half gallon of juice!

What. in. the. world.

Why pay THAT much for juice? Granted, this place gives a 5% discount to members (which I think is absurdly low, even if I am not a member).

But that's pricey. Part of me wanted to pop it open and take a swig.

(No way did I do such a thing. But it's funny to think about such a thing).


They DID have a smaller bottle, though.

It was $7.00.

That is still expensive, but I was nosy. So I bought it.

Look at what it contains: "Over 45 all natural fruit, vegetables, seeds and herbs"

That's a lot going on.

And you can see it in the list of ingredients.

Now that don't make much sense to me, putting all that stuff in one bottle like that. That looks like somebody just opened the fridge and the cupboard and threw EVERYTHING in sight in a blender.

No way this could be any good.

And look at all that stuff floating around in it.
I thought it was a few things just floating around, but this was all throughout the juice.

Leaves and seeds and such....

Maybe if they could have placed it in a blender for another 30 minutes or so.

But you know what? That was the BEST juice I've ever had. BEST. The best juice ever. Very fresh, and very good.

(It'd better be for 7 bucks. That is all).

True enough, I was chewing like a cow the whole time. And I guess that's what the name was all about... I was actually chewing the whole time while I was drinking it.

But it was GREAT.

My only problem with it was that it wasn't organic and there was no expiration date on it. It would be a shame to pay close to $30 for a half gallon and not know it was going to spoil.

And I like my fresh green juices to be very heavy on the vegetable side, and lighter on the fruit.

I'm not sure I want to pay that much anyway. But my $7 bottle was a real treat.

And the story of how it came about is quite interesting.

I wonder if I can make that at home.


I don't think I have THAT many ingredients in my fridge and kitchen cabinet!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Freestyles

Friday is here.

And it is Payday.

*throws one single solitary piece of glitter*

Most bills are paid already... I think. My stuff is on automatic at the bank. I learned yesterday that I am a month ahead on the gas and light bill. I hate when that happens. Ugh. That stuff is not due again until June.

I am glad to make it through another week of the funky schedule at work. Yesterday morning I got in a little later. I really just wanted to leave the house when it wasn't still nightime, i.e., dark. I don't like that at all. I even scheduled my chiropractor appointment last Wednesday in the morning on purpose. I just wanted to be out after the sunrise.

The schedule is a drag, and yes it is a high class problem. But something happens with me some 10 days before the cycle hits. And I shouldn't have to explain that to you womens out there. So I don't think this is too much information. Lupus symptoms worsen with PMS onsets. I notice whatever strange symptom I have at the time worsens severely. What is interesting is that this does not occur if I eat very cleanly.  I don't feel nothing at all if I am consistently walking a couple of miles a day. I barely even notice anything. A little tired or something, I suppose. A worse ache in a joint here or there. I am rarely knocked off my feet, which is a good thing. This is why I try to do the right thing, which for me is to hit the fruit and veggies hard.  And this has been a good month. I barely have had anything processed, fried or sugary. There has been no dairy. So everything has been good for me, physical wise.

I have cognitive issues, though. And with this frickin' job schedule change, I am way off my usual schedule. I am messing up on my medications. I may even forget to take them. My sleep schedule was already not that great, but it is totally jacked up now. I am just having a hard time adjusting. I find myself frustrated, confused, impatient with myself, and downright irritable. I had a hard time even writing this week. And when I get like that, I get real quiet. I just don't have anyone in my presence to talk with about with these things who will understand, and it is difficult. (I've been blown off way too much. Easier to let folk just think I am mad. Much easier. The more I don't have to think about placating folk, the better).

I catch up with the lady I met when I had iron infusions from time to time. We have the same pattern of symptoms, and that's the first person I have ever met who is that close. And she is 20 years older than me, so she can answer some of my questions about the whole cognitive component. So I may call her. I think we have to have regular talks. You know me, a 5 minute talk does me good.

As for now, I am working on getting back on schedule with my meds and such. I may have to keep the current work schedule because I don't think I could take an abrupt change back to the old one I have had for years. I have a doctor's appointment at the end of the month. And I will see what she says. I can hear her right now, though..."Why didn't you just take the whole month off?" And she is going to suggest I keep the same schedule.


(She hates my job. I am not interested in it anymore and it has stressed me over the years. Sigh).

So that is just a little glimpse into the emotional and mental space of LadyLee. Like I said, I don't talk about this type of thing because it is something I rarely notice. Aunt Flo showed up yesterday and I feel GREAT today. Imagine that. Hormones back in order. Sigh.

On to more interesting things...

Recipe of the Week. Kale and Cabbage Salad, taken from the Rawmazing website.

There are a TON of raw websites around, but this site is really nice. Just the pictures... wow.  She said somewhere that one picture could be used, and a link back is required. I hope I am doing that right. My pictures aren't as elegant as hers.

This was really good. Fast and easy, taking less than 15 minutes from start to finish. It was chocked full og good stuff... kale and red cabbage and pumpkin seeds and cranberries. And the sauce/dressing for it was the best thing ever. Heck, I made up a batch of that to use as my own regular salad dressing. The major components are dijon mustard and cashews. It almost has some strange cheese effect. It is WONDERFUL. I will be making that again.

Quote of the Week:  From that Platinum Card Carryin' Original Oldgirl Chele in her blog post "Make A Choice":

"My present circumstances do not determine my level of happiness. My happiness is not determined by any outside source. My level of happiness or actually my joy is a choice that I have to make every day regardless of what else is going on around me."

I commented that I was going to snatch that. It is right on time. I wrote it on a piece of paper. And I now write it high up on the walls of The House of LadyLee.

Post of the Week:  By BluJewel, who is in the middle of a very interesting month long blog challenge right now. The subject matter for this post was to talk about "someone who has made your life hell and treated you like shit". 

And I just paused at the title, because Blu is way cool. I can't imagine ANYONE giving her hell and treating her like shit. I just can't imagine. This chick took time out and talked me through a bad mammogram issue last year. I hung on her every word and direction. She's just a really cool chick.

But the person she talked about was her mother. And she mentioned that she has never revealed it before. I can't remember her talking about it. It brought tears to my eyes because I feel the same way about my own mother. And it's always some dark cloud hovering over my head, or nearby, to even feel that way in my heart. But I read her post, and I felt like someone understood me and my feelings. I don't feel alone. And that in itself is a reason to exhale. So thanks for that post Blu. I sure am learning much about you in these posts. You know I have and always will see you as the perfect female. You even have the perfect British accent. But your posts have shown me how perfectly wonderful you are.

Song of the Week. One that I am listening to right now... one that has one of my favorite spoken word preambles. See if you can guess what it is from this:

You know this old world, it just keeps on spinning around and around 
You know sometimes it just spins to fast
And you not only lose your balance but you lose your rhythm.
And it's at times like these that you just need to STOP
And  not only find your way again, but find your own rhythm
Because life has a rhythm
And Mother Nature has a rhythm
And love... 
Oh yes love has a rhythm!

That Rhythm of Love CD is one of my favorite Anita Baker CDs. That CD was fabulous! *two snaps up*

It's so good that I just gotta post another song.

"You can't do right, 'cause you the wrong maaaaaaan!!!"

*ten snaps in a circle*


I like Anita Baker.

With that said, I am out. I am throwing my one remaining piece of glitter.

I am going to have a good weekend on the sole fact that I don't have to be at work at the crack of dawn.

You have a good weekend.

On purpose, honey child. On purpose.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lessons in Bootleg

Do you understand the meaning of the word "bootleg"?

It's explaining how ghetto LadyLee is.

If not, here's a clear picture of what bootleg is:


Don't act. You KNOW some of ya'll had the new TV on top of the old one when you were little. The new television sat on top of the floor model set that went out.

Am I the only one? I hope not. Maybe that's a southern thing. Who knows.

Let's not even talk about the cords wrapped around the staircase post like it is. I only did that to help Oscar-Tyrone. He 'bout bust his azz one day coming down those stairs and tripping up over the cord. The Oldcat did not take pleasure with being laughed at like that. And I myself wasn't happy about seeing the TV wobble when Oscar tripped on the cord. Ugh.

I brought that TV downstairs on Christmas to use with the Roku, as the Roku does not hook up to the old one...

And it's April, and I haven't taken the flatscreen back upstairs to the spare bedroom.

I rarely go upstairs. I was thinking about buying another TV and taking that one back upstairs. But the tube TV works just fine.

Plus my sister bought that old tube tv for me at an estate sale for $35 a couple of years ago. I don't want to get rid of my sister's gift. And it is too heavy for me to take upstairs. Sigh.

So for now, bootleg is the order of the day.

And this gives me a chance to play my song of the week. Of course it has NOTHING to do with bootleg.

I just like how it begins, and how I bootleged it for the opening words of this very post:

"Do you understand the metaphoric phrase Lyte as a Rock? It's explaining how heavy the young lady is."

Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday Freestyles


I am happy it is Friday. I am having all kinds of issues with my new work schedule. I am thankful for the 6 hour workday, and I am trying to work from 6 to 12. I even get a lot done as long as I don't allow myself to be distracted. But it is doing a number on my psyche. Wow. It has been 2 weeks and I am still trying to get myself together mentally.

But I think it will work out.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the weekend.

Thought of the week. These have been interesting days in the ATL. Someone seems to on a mission to snatch up kids. Women are being attacked while out walking or running. Even out in the more affluent areas of the city, out in the suburbs. As a matter of fact, all kinds of tomfoolery is happening out in the suburbs.

I would be pretty hot about that, because doggonit, if I live alllllll the way out "here", away from the hood, and my commute is an hour, sometimes two hours to work, then life needs to PERFECT in my neighborhood.

I live in the hood. Been living in the current inner city hood for the past 8.5 years. There have been 5 murders within a mile of my house, and there might have been more, but those are the ones I remember.

But if I lived in one of the "good" and affluent neighborhoods...

When I look out the window of my house, I want to see THIS:

Yes, I want to see Snow White skipping around, birds singing and having a good time, etc. I don't want to see no crime at all. Those things are for the inner city!

Or are they?

My sister lives in a good area, and she was a bit miffed and confused about some crime in her apartment complex. I told her, crazy things happen in every area. I am a bit convinced that the news doesn't report certain things on purpose.  I told her a neighborhood could be a wonderful place, but there is all kinds of stuff going on secretly behind closed doors.  And if it all came out... Hmmm...

But I don't wanna see no mess going on in my neighborhood. My good neighborhood. My neighborhood 30 or 40 miles from work in the city. None.

But the witch does come with the poison apple, and Snow White bites it.  And that is chaotic in itself.

You can't avoid it. So when crazy things take place in a nice area, no need for me to be surprised.

That was a mini food for thought.  Something to think about.

Recipe of the week. So I have been refining my eating as of late, working on eating more raw whole foods. I have been doing okay. I have a couple of issues, but for the most part I have been leaving sweets and processed food alone. I have a goal to do one or two new recipes per week. That in itself keeps me mentally occupied concerning it all.

My sister Kentucky wanted me to do some food posts. I may or may not do that. I told her I would put a few things up here and there but she and I talk on the phone enough to talk about ideas.

So my favorite meal as of late has been garden wraps. I got this recipe from a cookbook Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people by Jennifer Cornbleet.

Here are my wrap ingredients:

That's pretty cool because it takes me less than 5 minutes to cut up my vegetables.

But what's interesting is that a collard green leaf is used to wrap up the vegetables.
And here is my finished wrap.
I like that a lot. Good and super easy.

I tried the same thing with some romaine lettuce.
Those were good also, but I think I will stick with the collard greens.

But that has been my favorite find. Still looking for more.

Happy Anniversary. There's a special anniversary today! Happy 1st anniversary, Lucy Jr.

I have had Lucy Jr. for one year. She has proven to be a great replacement for the Original Lucy. Happy to have her.

I have driven 8252 miles in this car in the past year. Since January 1st, I have driven 2026 miles.  That is all a bit high for me, as I usually average around 5000-6000 miles a year. But I have had a lot of medical stuff going on, and my doctors are way out in the southern or western suburbs. So that means a lot of driving.

I need to drive Pam more.

That is a goal. I usually drive her on my weekend errand running. I need to drive her more, though. I have only put 200 miles on her this year. Sigh. She needs to get out more!

Song of the Week.  Ain't Nobody by Chaka Khan

This song is over 30 years old. It came out when I was in high school. It is timeless. My random play in spotify keeps going back to it in the rotation. I'm not sure what that's about. I am hearing it a bit too much! But it's still great.

Okay, that's it for me. Hopefully I can get myself mentally together with this new schedule. It is a doozy. But all things are possible.

All I know is that I am going to have a good weekend... on purpose.

You do the same.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Food for Thought: Life's Guardrails

What image comes to mind when you hear the word "guard rail"?

For me, I imagine myself hiking up a mountain trail, and there are rails along the way in some places - guard rails - that keep me from wandering off into the danger zone.

Well, I don't know if that is what happens on every mountain trail. I think it's like that out at the Grand Canyon, though.

Anyway, I was listening to a show by a local pastor here in Atlanta, Alan Stanley. I like him, as he is very practical. I like that. Keep it as simple as possible. Thank you, sir.

He comes on TV after Saturday Night Live, which is at one in the morning. I don't stay up that late. So I may catch the broadcast if I just so happen to wake up. That is rare.

Lo and behold, he has an app with all the broadcasts. So I can maneuver through those on my own time.

The other day while sitting at my desk crunching through paperwork, I listened to one of the broadcasts. It was from a series entitled "Guardrails". There were 6 broadcasts in that series, some 30 minutes in length. All were pretty good. (And they made my paperwork go by super fast).

But one episode stopped me cold. I had to go back and listen later... and take notes.

And I wanted to post my thoughts on it all today.

The subject, as I wrote earlier was guardrails. Pastor Stanley had a good definition for the word "guardrail".

A guardrail is "A system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off-limit areas."

It is designed to take the impact. It will do some damage to your car, and it's purpose is to keep you from catastrophic damage that could occur if the guard rail wasn't there. It creates a small accident to save you from a major accident.

I thought about this. This is better than my mountain trail guardrail description. I see these mostly on the middle median on our ATL highways. I get nervous when they aren't there. It's like that out in the far suburbs. There are hundreds of feet of land in the median, but I would feel better if a guardrail was there.

Guardrails. They are pretty important.

So... if we have guardrails in on our roads, it is just as important to have mental guardrails for our lives.Guardrails for our finances, relationships, morality, ethics, reputation, etc.

Annnnnd that's what the series was about. But like I said, one broadcast of that series caught my attention:

The friendships broadcast.

We need guardrails when it comes to our friendships? Why?

Because our friends are a big factor in controlling the direction and quality of our lives.

I thought that was a bold statement to make in the beginning. But it caught my attention.

My attention was at 100% when he discussed all of this in light of the verse below.

Proverbs 13:20 NCV Spend time with the wise and you will become wise, but the friends of fools will suffer.

Proverbs 13:20 CEV Wise friends make you wise, but you hurt yourself by going around with fools.

I've posted this verse before, as it is one of my favorite scriptures. Why, I've read it some 15 years ago, and I memorized it. But not the version above. I know the Message version by heart.

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

The message version. I like that version. Kicks you right in the teeth. Then turns around and kicks you in the teeth... again.

Now in context of this verse, a new definition of guardrails materializes:

Guardrails: A standard of personal behavior that becomes a matter of conscience.

Instead of doing things that are wrong outright, take time to step back, develop some rules (guardrails) on purpose that trip your conscience to stay out of the mess in the first place.

I think in this case, I can relate.  The whole guardrail analogy could be related to what we call "deal breakers" or "red flags". They are safeguards of sorts. Personal rules.

This is interesting as I can think of many times in my past where if I would've listened to my conscience and paid attention to the red flags waving in my face, I would've saved myself a lot of time and heartache... and I could've avoided a TON of mess.

Back to that verse of scripture. Pastor Stanley talked much about the "Fools" portion.

1. If you have friends who don't care about their own lives, they won't care anything about your life either.

2. Fools don't care about much, and don't realize that tomorrow is affected by today's decisions.

3. The companion of fools eventually will face and experience the consequences oftentimes of someone else's decisions. Your life will eventually be affected by their shrapnel. The explosions in their lives will eventually affect you in some way.

My goodness. The third one bothered me something awful. The whole use of the word shrapnel. Oh my. Because that is what it is. Emotional and mental shrapnel is something else. I've experienced. I know.

This is why I have a huge rule that I don't loan out money. If I can't afford to give it, I can't afford to loan it. I am not sinking my tugboat to save your cruise ship. You can hate me. And that's okay. I like to "locate" people. I don't care to deal with people who trip out on me because I won't do what they think I should be doing for their self preservation. So that's all fine with me.

Take that in context, now. You and I both know the difference between someone needing help and an alarm going off that tells us "something just not right about this person". I don't discuss nothing in terms of the latter. I disappear. Period.

Anyway, that was a personal mini-rant. I got messed over money-wise by a dude when I was 18. I lost my whole summer savings of $623.00. Looking back, thank goodness for that experience. It caused me to set up a special rule for myself.

It is funny how this broadcast brought back up THAT memory. Humph.

I found another statement profound:

"We all have a tendency to play as close as we can to the edge of disaster in our lives... We need to learn to stop deceiving ourselves, and set up guardrails."

I have played on the edge of the disaster in my life. This caused me to take time to think about if and how I do that now. I am still thinking on those areas that I never noticed. It gives me pause, it does.

So the core of the message was 5 things that should send off bells and whistles in our conscience when it comes to our friendships. Here are some guardrails to think about concerning our friendships. You should be on alert if:

1. Your core group isn't moving in the direction you want your life to be moving in.

2. You catch yourself pretending to be someone other than who you are when you are around them.

3. You feel pressured to compromise. In other words, when something has't been a temptation before becomes a live option now. (Compromise does not erase tension. It only weakens our resolve. The only thing that goes away without guardrails in our life is our resolve.)

4. You say I will go along with ya'll, but I'm not going to participate in what ya'll doing.

5. You hope the people you care about the most don't find out where you have been or who you have been with.

Wow. I tell you. I needed those on a mental post-it note on the wall of my mind some 25 years ago. And he explained each point in detail. Wow.

And the greatest part of the broadcast was the result of establishing guardrails in your life and paying attention to them: it then allows God to direct your path much better. It allows for protection.

How wonderful is that?

All in all, that was a great broadcast chocked full of information.

I thought I would share my notes with you. That is taken from the app "Your Move", the "Guardrails" series, the 6/09/2013 episode "Why can't we be Friends?"

This is good good food for thought.

Definitely worth posting about.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A Tale of Nut Butters

Someone asked me where I get almond butter. I think it is available wherever peanut butter is available, but I wouldn't know. Why? Because I get the fresh ground.

That's what I like. There's nothing added- no sugar, no preservatives, no stuff I can't pronounce. And it's organic.

That above is $6.99 a pound. I buy 2 or three dollars worth and that lasts me a couple of weeks. Not bad.

Fresh ground peanut butter is also available.

I rarely purchase that. I like the taste of almond butter better.

Now I saw something super interesting the other day at a natural foods store.

Here's a photo. It is a bit fuzzy, as I was sneaking to take the picture.

Can you see that? Macadamian nut butter.

I bet that is something good.

But uh... check out the price. If you can't read it, then that might be a good thing.

$28 for a small jar. $44 for a large jar.

I had to look twice, as I thought I'd moved the decimal point. Maybe the prices were $2.80 and $4.40 for the small and large jars respectively.

No. I was reading the prices right.

The small is no more than 8 ounces. The large looks like a 12 ounce jar.

I tell you what... I will let ya'll fool with that. You let me know how it is.

For now, I will just stick with my almond butter.

That's good enough for me.