Thursday, December 31, 2015

Food-For-Thought: On the Last Day of the Year 2015...

On the last day of the year 2015, I reflect on my reflections of the year.

On this day, I have spent time thinking about my personal vision statement. It is my personal thermostat, as in this is where I "set" my vision for myself. I am more than likely not there, but I am moving toward it with each passing day and each passing year.

It is about 7 or 6 years old. But I set it, and just like the thermostat at home, I set it and stop messing with it. Eventually I will get there.

Here it is.

I am 100% healthy in my body, soul, and spirit. I acknowledge God in all my ways, and I seek Him before I make any decisions, big or small. I am a blessing to my family and to those that God sends across my path. I am an incredible asset to my friends. I am a good listener. I am an excellent employee, and I not only work hard, but I work smart. I take time to periodically evaluate myself, and I make changes accordingly. I stick and hold fast to the path God has charted out for my life. I accept and openly welcome constructive criticism, as I know it will help me become "a better me". I am a good steward, a fine manager over the finances He has blessed me with, to the point that God knows He can trust me.

Simple enough. Or is it?

I think about it all periodically. I have done well and progressed in some areas, and in others, I am moving along a bit slower. A few years ago, I wrote detailed blog posts on each and every sentence. So let's just say, I think and meditate on this. Deeply.

But when pondering this vision statement, I have realized that I have been thinking about something else these past several months in the latter part of the year. So much so that I have spoken it several times in discussion with people.  It is an answer to a specific question I get a little more often these days.

Why do you do the things you do?

I get this question because some notice how generous I am with people. Heck, I am generous with people around me that I don't particularly like. To me, it is essential as breathing or something. It is just me. And it's nothing major or anything. I have been generous with giveaways on this blog. I find that it is just a matter of establishing a habit, a matter of doing something over and over and over day after day after day.

What is my answer to such a question?

The answer is something that is added to the vision statement above:

I am well developed, well matured, and well seasoned in the areas of gratitude and generosity.

This generates interesting conversations.

Here's my thing: I like to be different from people around me. I like to be able to tell the difference between myself and others. It has gotten to the point that I can't tell one person from the next. We're all breastfed by all the negativity that's going on in the world... Everything from the elections to racism to any and every other injustice. I am around much murmuring and complaining. Constant.

And I want to be able to step away from that. I don't want to constantly judge someone else's life and actions with a magnifying glass while judging my own through rose colored glasses. No indeed.

For surely there has to be something in life to be thankful for.

For surely there must be a way to drown the self-centeredness and grow in generosity towards others.

Surely.

And I spent much time thinking about that. And I know it is on my mind when it comes up in conversations.

As the Bible says... For out of the heart, the mouth speaks.

And that's where I am in my meditation and quiet time. I spend time thinking about that. I think about if and how I complained that day and why. I ask God to catch me at thought level in these matters. I wonder and anticipate every morning about my day...  and how and who will cross my path so that I have opportunities to be a blessing.

I've seen that turned up a notch in my life. And I notice a few things.

You'll never have to worry about me backbiting and gossiping about you.

You'll never have to worry about me bringing you down.

I get joy out of giving a leg up and an arm up. Period.

But I have found a caveat here. A most unexpected caveat.

I probably won't really be bothered for you if it don't involve me being useful in some manner. And I am VERY uncomfortable around complainers, and find I have a tendency to excuse myself to pity parties.

Harsh statement, I know. It bothers me to no end. Because I find that I tend to be to myself a little bit more, if that makes any sense. I have to find a balance of learning to deal with people... for any reason or for no reason at all.

Hmm...

Hence... that's what I am thinking about on the last day of the year 2015.

Oh I wonder, I just wonder what 2016 will bring.

My prayer is for safety and soundness. And to move a few more steps in the direction of my vision statement.

And for that vision statement to grow and deepen, as it did this past year.

To go on...

Not by default, but by design...

And on purpose. 

End of the Year Quotes, Part V: The Success Indicator

My cousin put up a "Success Indicator" on her Instagram. You might have to double click to blow up the picture to read it clearly. I listed them out under the chart.

It is definitely an eye-opener.

Successful people
Have a sense of gratitude, compliment, forgive others, accept responsibility for their failures, keep a journal, want others to succeed, keep a "to be" list, set goals and develop life plans, continuously learn, operate from a transformational perspective, keep a "to do/project" list, embrace change, exude joy, share information and data, talk about ideas, read everyday, and give other people credit for their victories.

Unsuccessful people
Criticize, hold a grudge, blame others for their failures, say they keep a journal but really don't, think they know it all, operate from a transactional perspective, secretly hope others fail, Don't know what they want to be, never set goals, exude anger, horde information and data, talk about people, fly by the seat of their pants, fear change, watch TV everyday, take all the credit for their victories, and have a sense of entitlement.

I have qualities on each side of the diagram. I am happy to say that I have many on the successful side, and only a few on the unsuccessful side.

At least I know I am growing...

And I have a better idea of what I need to work on in the upcoming New Year.

Ten Thursday Thoughts

It is not only the last day of the year, it's the last Thursday of the year!

And how can I leave this year of 2015 behind without doing a Ten Thursday Thoughts.

Here we go:

1. I am sick of all this rain. 

2. Worse yet, I don't know whether it's going to rain that day or not. It all feels so haphazard.

3. Nevertheless, in the midst of all my irritation, I always say a thank you... "Thank you Lord for watering the earth."

4. My sister said last night that she misses the rain. It only rains hard a couple of times a year in her new city. There has been some light rain, but she completely misses it, as it rains at night. She only knows it rained from the sand spots on the cars. 

5. It rains so rarely there that there is no need for a drainage system. "Water be everywhere if it rain hard," she said. But it evaporates quickly.

6. I want to go see Star Wars today. But I want to see the IMAX 3D show. There was a 9:00 am showing this morning. I couldn't think to get up that early and go anywhere. The only way I would do that is if I am going to work, Sunday morning church, or to the doctor. 

7. I have to make a run to the Wal-mart. I hope it's not shoulder to shoulder crowded.

8. I am thinking about my New Years dinner. I will not be doing the traditional collard greens and black eye pea dinner. I am thinking about making sauteed kale and sweet potatoes, and lentils. That's different.

9. I may also fry up so fish.  I bought some croaker on last Thursday. It is in the fridge. I hope it's still fresh.  

10. This has been a phenomenal year, and I have a couple of food-for thought posts coming later today. 

That was a QUICK Ten Thursday Thoughts! Only took 8 minutes. 

That is what I call fast. Do you realize how many posts I would get done if they took 8 minutes apiece? Wow.

This is the last day of the year. 

Make it a GREAT one. 

On purpose! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A LadyLee Christmas 2015: Christmas Gifts


I would be remiss if I didn't post my Christmas gifts!

As always, I don't expect to get anything.  So I was pleasantly surprised to actually get gifts.

I gave cash and gift cards this year. That was all I had the presence of mind to do. I just wanted to get through the holidays, as it is not the best of times for me. This was a surprisingly good year though in that regard, though. And I am happy for that.

So on to my gifts

A Christmas mug from one of the maintenance guys at work:

It is just the right size for coffee or tea. I will be using that at work.

LadyTee gave me some storage containers.
She uses those type for her storage, and I admire them everytime I go into her refrigerator. So she bought me a set.

Serenity23 gave me a Book on Prayer and a journal.
I will be reading that book for the month of January. And I will use that journal as a prayer or gratitude journal. I haven't decided on which yet.

LadyTee gave me a set of sheets. And her mother gave me a selfie stick.

"What's up with this selfie stick, LadyTee?" I asked in a low voice so her mother, who was in another room wouldn't hear me. "I rarely take pictures, let alone selfies."

"I know, girl," she said.

Her daughter showed me how to use it. It was interesting enough.

"Thank you for the selfie stick, Bobbie Jean," I hollered.

"You're welcome,": she yelled back.

LadyTee also gave me a comforter set.
As you can see, Mitch and Sista Callie Jo are very nosy about it. Anything I bring into the house, especially something that big, they must investigate... and conquer it.

Those were great gifts.

I will get great use out of them.

End of the Year Quotes, Part IV


End of the Year Quotes, Part III






End of the Year Quotes, Part II




End of the Year Quotes, Part I



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

TWENTY Tuesday Thoughts... The After Dark Edition

I wasn't going to post today, but I thought I should. Why?

Because it is the last Tuesday of the year.

So why not have a Ten, no TWENTY Tuesday Thoughts?

And since the nighttime is the right time, this is The after dark edition.

1. This year has gone by in a flash, seems like. Maybe it's just me. Or maybe that means I need to watch and utilize my time better. I don't know.

2. I have been sickly all day. Way left of center sickly.

3. I had to go to work today even though I am off. I had to finish up a travel authorization with my secretary. We had a bad account number or something, I don't know.  It was the last thing I needed to do before it went up for approval.

4. Didn't she know I was just kidding when I said last week (all bright and cheery), "B, feel free to call me when I'm off if you need me to come in and finish up this up next week." ?

She nodded and added my number to her list of contacts in her cell phone.

Again, didn't she know I was just kidding?

5. The phone chirped and I was in bed. It was around 8:15 am, and I'd just made a MAD dash to get all the trash out of the house to the herbie curbie and out to the road for pick-up. I'm talking MAD dash. I wore myself out so bad and so fast that I had to go lay down... under the covers... and doze off.

6. One of the sanitation workers is interesting. First of all, she's a woman. She is part of a two man crew lately. She drives the garbage truck AND jumps out and empties the trash. Here's the kicker: she is wearing make-up like she is about to go to the club (or to church), and she wears false eyelashes. And it's not that cheap makeup either. That has to be some MAC or something similar. It looks like she gets her face professionally done every morning before work, lol.

It's as if she is saying "I dump trash, but I can still look like a lady."

She's very nice. She does her job with cheer.

The way she jumps out of that truck, though. I would break my neck with such acrobatic moves.

7. It all reminded me of how I am SUCH a tomboy. Ugh. *looking for my cheap wal-mart lipstick*

8. So back to me going in to work on my off day: the phone chirped (like a bird... it unnerves people something awful, lol).  I saw the message and hollered Say Whuuuuuuuuuutttt?????

9. I am proud of myself, though. I refused to have a major attitude. I got up, showered, got dressed and off to work I went. The traffic was nice and light and I made it to work in about 12 minutes.

10.  I thought I would be there only 15-20 minutes. But I was there for an hour and a half. Sigh. My director was trying to get his travel done, too, and he refuses to travel in peasant mode (like me). I can't get mad, because he is in charge, so...  *ladylee sits quietly at desk and plays on computer*

 It was awfully quiet. And I got a chance to see a couple of my favorite people.

11. I started feeling bad. I had, like, some odd sinus headache. And the right side of my body was hurting.

12. You know what I forgot to do today? Take my medication. Sigh. That was why I was not feeling well. I had laid it out, but walked out of thee house without taking it. I figured it out once I went looking for some aspirin for my headache. Lo and behold, there were my pills. All laid out. I took them IMMEDIATELY around 5 pm. I didn't start feeling better until around 10:00 pm.

13. I went to the Farmers Market today. It was crowded. Not Saturday-morning crowded, but moreso, Sunday-afternoon quiet.

14. A couple of the youngsters on the job got promotions. One wanted a bag of my chocolate chip pecan cookies. Easy enough. I baked those up last week. The other wanted red velvet cupcakes from the ATL Cupcake Factory. I bought the cupcakes today. And I am still trying to figure out why there was SO much traffic in the middle of the day in Poncey Highlands. I had to fight to get those cupcakes!

15. I even managed to go wash my car today. Lucy Jr. looks brand spanking new.

Thank goodness, because she was absolutely filthy! I never seent so much dirt!!

16. I made appointments for the cats for their annual exams. The only real reason I did that is because I may need to board them. It is going to cost me some $600 for all shots and boarding for a week. O_O.

17. The youngsters at work offered to look in on the cats while I am gone. I may have to take them up on that. That would save me a little cash.

18. What I watched on TV tonight: The last two episodes of Orange is the New Black.  This season was not as good as the last two seasons.

19. What I ate today: nothing, really, because I felt like crap. I managed to have some juice I had from the juice bar. And I had a cup of coffee at work, because I thought I was sleepy. And I have been drinking a ton of water. I had some pimento cheese on a few crackers an hour ago. I may have an apple before bed. I don't know.

20. Who would've thought that this would have turned into some bizarre semi-fast day? Go figure.

That's it for my TWENTY Tuesday thoughts... The After Dark edition.

Stay tuned for plenty more posts before the New Year (I hope).

LadyLee Favorite CDs of the Year

I listen to a TON of music.

I listen to a TON of ratchet music, most of which I wouldn't care to post.

But I want to mention 3 CDs I loved this year. And when I say "loved", I mean that I could listen to them from first song to last song without skipping a song. How rare is that?

#3 Reality Show by Jazmine Sullivan

This was a concept CD, sort of. She writes such great characters and turns them into great songs. Abused woman, Woman on Drugs, Jilted woman. And plenty more.

Favorite song on the CD: hard to pick but I like "Mascara"



Bonus song for reader Ginae, since I know she really likes this cut.



I like that one too... Every woman wants to feel that way about her man. Yes. Amen.

#2 Sound and Color by Alabama Shakes

I'm not sure what made me listen to this CD. Spotify posts up all the new CDs on Fridays and I just happen to listen to it. Blew me away, it did. And lately, the title cut has been used by Apple to promote their new IPad, and it was also used at the end of a show I watched the other day.  But I like every song on this CD. I can't say I am a fan of Southern Rock, but it does help that a sista fronts the band.

Favorite song on CD: "Sound and Color"



Folks didn't really hear this song until the Apple commercial. But this CD came out in March, I believe. And I am surprised they haven't continued the storyline in this video because there are at least a couple more sci-fi like tunes on that CD.

#1 To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. 

I LOVE some Kendrick Lamar. Oh my. I think it's because he's not run of the mill. And it seems like me and the over 40 crowd like him. I'm just happy that someone is making some music that makes a little bit of sense. And I like concept CDs and this one was put together in the best way ever.

Favorite song on CD: I like all of the songs. But I will have to pick one.

"Momma"




Honorable Mentions.... Some of my other favorites of the Year:

Sour Soul by Badbadnotgood (with GhostFace Killa)
B4.DA$$ by Joey Bada$$
Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd
Rodeo by Travis Scott
Summertime '06 by Vince Staples

I don't listen to these CDs top to bottom. I like only a few cuts. Usually 4 or more is good enough. I grab what I like and throw it in a playlist.

I am sure there are other CDs that should be in the honorable mentions category, but those are the ones off the top of my head!

Happy Kwanzaa


I don't celebrate Kwanzaa. And I am not sure why it hasn't taken off. I think it is a good idea and tradition for children. It would give them some semblance and respect for out downtrodden culture.

But to those who do celebrate, Happy Kwanzaa.

I do know I enjoy some of the discussions that go on daily. Like today is cooperative economics, something like that. Maybe I should go look it up.

Happy Kwanzaa!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Year Considerations


There are only a few days left in the year. If you haven't got it all done, get to it.

Whatever your "all" may be, get on it, doggonit.

I wanted to post something I keep seeing. have seen this memo floating around on Facebook as a list of "Things to Remember for the New Year".

Some of it is poignant. Some of it makes me wonder.

Let's just say I highlighted the in green the ones that resonated with me.


1. Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.

2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there's a 50% chance you'll die within the next 3 years.

3. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There's a 9% chance that you'll meet one of them in your lifetime.

4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.

5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their weight is determined by their mother.

6. If a part of your body "falls asleep", You can almost always "wake it up" by shaking your head.

7. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing - food, attractive people and danger.

8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side.

9. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.

10. According to Albert Einstein, if honey bees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead

11. There are so many kinds of apples, that if you ate a new one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all.

12. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping.

13. People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.

14. Laziness and inactivity kills just as many people as smoking.

15. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia.

16. Our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!!

17. Our body gives enough heat to boil 1.5 liters of water!!

18. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell!!

19. Stomach acid (conc. HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!!

20. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day & while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.

21. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

22. When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God's guidance for your purpose, today.

23. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

24. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.

25. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

26. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts and things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

27. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

28. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

29. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything.

30. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

31. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

32. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

33. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

34. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

35. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'will this matter?'

36. Help the needy, Be generous! Be a 'Giver' not a 'Taker'

37. What other people think of you is none of your business.

38. Time heals everything.

39. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

40. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you accomplished, today. What if you woke up this morning and only had what you thanked God for yesterday? DON’T FORGET TO THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING.


I don't know who came up with the list, but it is a good list.

#26 is EVERYTHING and a bag of chips!

I will most definitely be thinking about that one for a long while...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twelve Thursday Thoughts... The Christmas Eve Edition

'Tis Christmas Eve! And I am happy for it.

Mostly because I am enjoying just being off. Although I am thinking about work. Sigh.

Work will have to wait.

Right now, I need to do my twelve Thursday thoughts. Some of these are Christmas related, most are not. But that's good. They are thoughts, right off the top of my mind.

1. I had a house guest overnight... Serenity23. She was traveling from Charlotte to her hometown in Lousiana, and I am a midpoint stop. I was happy to have her. Next best thing to having my sister here. Although she wouldn't allow me to cook for them. (Humph). But it was cool just having her here, as she has never been to my house. (This made me nervous, as I am not fabulous like her. I live like a squatter).

We didn't talk much, as she was on a mission, but just seeing her bought a tear or two to my eyes. Seeing her felt like God's Christmas gift to ME. Thank you, Lord. You know what I need and when I need it.

She left earlier today. Safe travels, OldGirl!

2. I just got a recorded call reminding me that I have an appointment at the breast clinic on Monday. My oh my. I have visions of myself holding up my arms and having my breast examined. This is all so strange. I hope I don't need a mammogram. Oh my.

Merry Christmas to me.

3. I will add this to my goals list for my 10 day vacation period, this breast exam stuff.   The list isn't long, but it's a good one. It is something important that all women over the age of 40 need to do.

4. I want to read 2 books during this time off. The book I'm reading this week is The Man Curse by Raqiyah Mays. This is a great book and I have had to force myself to put it down so I can get some other things done. I was looking for a breezy fiction read, but this book is haunting me, hitting a little too close to home concerning my relationship, or lack thereof with my mother. I can tell I will be thinking about this book long after I have read the last word.

5. I don't have much of an appetite. I am eating, but I have pretty much skipped dinner the last two days. I wonder what that is about?

6. I will be glad when the day comes when everything doesn't have to be about Donald Trump. It is like having to watch or listen to a 7th grader. Lord help us if he becomes our President and I have to listen to him complain and listen to him insult people for the next 8 years.

7. "Let's take our country back!! Let's make America great again!"

Such interesting slogans, but what do they really mean. Sounds like some very scary dog whistling going on.

8. Back before my sister left, I was afraid I was going to have the worst holiday season. I already don't like the holiday season anyway because of the materialism. But my sister and I have spent our holidays together over the past 10 years, I suppose. Just me and her. So I was a bit antsy. But then I realized how selfish I was being. And I can't be that way.  And my holiday season has been just fine. Fun, relaxing and most of all, positive.

I am learning the actual thing and the fear of the actual thing are two different things. When I spent time dealing with the fear of not having my sister around for the holidays, I spent time dealing with the root of the problem: the fear. I have no fear of being without my sister for the holidays... therefore my holidays are pretty happy ones. Does that make sense?

9. Speaking of my sister, I spoke with her for about an hour today on facebook messenger. (Did you know that you can call or do video chats for free? Wow). She is spending the Christmas holidays in Dubai. She split the hotel cost with another teacher. They were going to go clubbing this evening, but she looked up the club and it's not her thang. I told her that she won't find her type of music anywhere, as EMF is the club music of choice. Plus the place is a haven for prostitutes, and I know she ain't down for that. Her teacher pal went there with his boys. She called me instead. And I am glad of that. Always good to talk to my sister, even though it was 1 am at the time. (4 pm for me!)

I am interested to know how the guys liked that club, lol.

10. Sister Callie Jo and Mitch are a nervous wreck. Sister Callie don't like people (except for my sister), and it wrecked her nerves for other people to be in the house. (I rarely have people over).  I am JUST now seeing her late this afternoon, as she's been hidding out in the boxsprings of my bed. I could hear her maneuvering around under the bed while I was trying to sleep.

Mitch tried to hang, but Serenity's boys chased him all around the living room and kitchen, he had that look of "To hell with all this. They tryna kill me."

Needless to say, he hid out with Callie Jo. He slept on the bed this morning, thoug. Callie stayed hidden.

"Callie, I know you under that bed with your legs crossed 'cause you gotta pee! You better go do your business while everybody is sleep!"

It was great fun to watch. Wish I had a video of it all, lol.

11. I am going to spend the day with LadyTee and her family tomorrow. They are doing absolutely nothing. I plan to throw on some sweats and go do absolutely nothing with them. They have been cooking all day. Let's just say I'm going to make sure to take a few choice pieces of tupperware with me. I will be loading up some of that good traditional food because you know I'm not going to cook it.

12. I will get up on Christmas morning and do what I've always done on Christmas morning: bake cookies. I will do it while I watch a movie. I think I will do it while I do my morning journalling. We will see.

Nope. Why break tradition? I will watch a movie.

Those are my 12 Christmas thoughts. I have so many more! I will save them for another day: )

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Baking Cookies, Part II


I have had a goal this year of baking cookies for everyone in my general cubicle area, where there are upwards of some 25-30 folks. So I have everyone's birthdays listed and I have a general idea of what type of cookie they like. I usually bake chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies, and people choose the type they prefer. Some like nuts, some don't. I baked some chocolate chip cookies today for one of our biologists in celebration of her promotion... and she likes chocolate chip pecan cookies with dried cranberries. (Those are GREAT! She and I are the only ones who like those).

I'd worked on a butter cookie recipe earlier this year. It was a variation of a simple 5 ingredient recipe out of Darius Williams' cookbook Stories from My Grandmother's Kitchen.

So my coworker, who we call YoYo or Yodi, wanted something different. She wanted butter cookies.

And that's what I was making at 7:00 am this morning.

I brought out my cookie cutters and surgically cut the dough into nice shapes.

What's interesting here is that Yodi had her grill worked on (had oral surgery) a week ago. I made the dough, but had to hold it in the refrigerator until her mouth was straight. This actually worked out well, since I now know that I can whip up this dough and store it in the fridge in a plastic bag. It takes a couple of hours for it to come up to room temperature, where I can roll it out. That is a good thing to know.

So I baked up the cookies this morning. I bagged them up and presented them to her, bootleg decorations and all.

Happy Birthday, Yoyo!

Even though it is belated. Her birthday was back in November. I have no idea how I missed that.

Maybe I need to type up my hastily scribbled birthday list so I can remember.

She didn't seem particularly phased by it.

"How were the cookies, Yoyo?"

"They are good," she said as she held up a cup. "And I had to go get some good coffee to go with it."

I'm not sure where she got the coffee, as it is just too nasty and dreary to be walking outside. But it was a cup of coffee that she bought outside the building.

I think she had about 18 cookies. And I listened as she talked of going home and making some chocolate ganache for them.

She comes up with some interesting ideas for the butter cookies. She has a "Top Chef" type of mind. I don't. But I listen intently!

Enjoy your cookies, Yoyo!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Freestyles

Friday!!

And better yet, it's PAYDAY!

I've lost track of paydays for the past couple of pay periods. That almost NEVER happens, and I think it is because we have to turn them in dirt early.

And there are like, only two more Fridays before the New Year.

So... that means the year is almost over. That means if you ain't got all your goals taken care of by now, then you still got a little time to get 'em done!

It's amazing that this is the 352nd day of the year. This year went by in a flash. Too fast.  And there are many things I wished I would've done this year, like take a vacation of some sort. I may take a couple next year. I know I want to go see my sister this time next year. And I want to go see my brother.

But right now I am reflecting on the events of the past year. And I am thinking about my personal internal "Stuff" for the year.  This makes for some introspective blog posts, and I am thinking about that. So look out for some food-for-thought posts... maybe.

Picture of the Week. Sister Callie Jo and Mitch on the lookout...

 There were a TON of birds in the yard earlier this week. So the cats were very interested and alert to this. Mitch has his paw on the window sill like he's ready to go get them all. LOL.


CD of the Week. I have been enjoying Erykah Badu's new mixtape all week.

That CD cover... hmm... It is quite eclectic, it is. But the CD is very good. She hasn't put out anything in 5 years, so it good to have this offering. It is short, and it is a concept CD. Everything is about a telephone, and it is all pretty much an answer record to Drake's "Hotline Bling".

Two Songs I like...



She even did a song with Andre 3000.



I know their son is 18 years old now. And it's always good when your baby daddy can drop a verse on your record. That's great!

Anyway, I am looking forward to the weekend. And next week is only a two day workweek for me. Then I am off for the rest of the year.  I am excited about this, as I have many special projects lined up. I suck at making up longterm and midterm goals, but readers BOP and Sasha said they did, so I have also been working on that.  I wrote most of them out on a piece of cardboard.  I plan on hanging that on those on the wall and crossing them off as I go.

I'm not sure why I'm even coming into next week at all. I've been working on a new lab method for cigar analysis, and I am pretty much done with that. We have a huge project cranking up in January, so I am good and ready. I also  have some training out in California in January, and I need to make sure my preliminary stuff is done for that in the system. And I guess I will clean off my desk, too. So there are always things to do.

That's it for me. This has been a quick lunchtime post. I meant to post something last night but my laptop froze at home. I think it overheated. I didn't care, so I went to bed. (Seems like it may be time to get a new one... hmm).

Have a good weekend... On purpose!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Baking Cookies (Parchment Paper Chronicles)

So...

I bake a lot of cookies. Not to really eat them, as I want only one or two if I do bake a batch. But it makes for a cheap gift and a quick potluck offering. And you know the holiday season is the time for potlucks.

I mentioned this to my best friend LadyTee. She knows I make cookies, as I have made many for her and her family for the holidays and on other occasions.

But I told her that I was doing something differently now. I was using parchment paper to line my cookie sheets instead of aluminum foil. For some reason, this excited her.

"I see parchment paper at the Dollar Tree! I'ma pick you some up the next time I go."

The Dollar Tree. I tend not to run up in there because I always spend more than a dollar. And parchment paper from that place... I just don't know.

"I'ma get some for you," she kept saying.

Fine.

Well, she bought it, and she'd forgotten to give it to me the last couple of times I've seen her. So let's just say she was more than excited to give it to me when I arrived at her house before her graduation.

"Here you go," she hollered as she handed the bag of parchment my way.

"She's been hollering about this parchment paper something awful," I said to her mother.

Hmmm...This is definitely dollar tree paper.


That packaging looks like something out of the 1970s.  And I noticed to felt a little thinner than the parchment paper I buy from the grocery store (I pay around $2.50 for that parchment paper). But I used it for a batch of cookies I made on Tuesday morning. What's nice about it is that it fits my cookie pans just right, whereas my regular brand is a couple of inches wider.

I was worried about it being thin. And it did turn beige while baking.

That was alright, which meant I just needed to watch it. And I needed to make sure I didn't turn it up too high.

Then I made the last batch. I left those in the oven too long.

The paper wasn't good for that. It became all brown and dried out around the edges.

LadyTee and I had a good laugh about that.

"Thanks for the parchment paper, girl," I said. "I just better not heat it up past 400 degrees or leave it in the oven too long. Might burn up on me."

LOL.

I am happy for the paper. It saves me a little money, as I will not have to buy any for awhile.

And there's nothing like saving some money.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Of Masks and Hair


I received the most interesting gift a month or so ago.


It is a mask made and cast in Uganda. The mask is made then burnt with fire. I don't know what that exactly means, but is smells strongly of fire and wood and barbecue (if that makes any sense).  I like it. Besides, I have no African art. This is a nice piece. I may look in to collecting a few more pieces.

My coworker Lady M's husband goes back and forth to Africa on public health business several times a year and sent it to work via Lady M.

The cats hate it. If they are running around being more raucous than usual, I bring out that mask. They sit down immediately. Not sure why they are so afraid of it, but it is hilarious.  Look at Sister Callie Jo below...

"Bet you sit your butt down and stop all that ripping and running," I told her.

I had no idea where Mitch ran off to. He wanted no part of that mask.

But my coworker's husband did something else nice for me earlier this year.

We'd always joked about taking some personal item of mine back to Africa. He could take it and leave it there. That way there's a part of me in Africa. It would be like my ancestors, who'd survived the Middle Passage, had made it back to their homeland. Of course I don't know what part of Africa from whence my people originated, but just to have something of mine taken back to the Motherland would be a great thing.

I thought about writing a poem. Or sending a scarf or a piece of clothing.

I pondered this for months.

"Don's going to Africa again, and he may not be going back for awhile," my coworker said. "Decide what you want him to take."

I couldn't decide what to give him. Then I had an idea:

It was about time for me to get a hair cut. So I washed my hair and I grabbed my clippers and shaved the hair from the nape of my neck. There was a half a handful of hair, but I collected a thimble full, enough for a teaspoon-sized plastic bag (a bag that previously contained small electronic parts for my new cell phone. For some reason I saved the tiny bag).  I placed the little plastic bag in a envelope and gave it to my coworker to give to her husband to take on his next trip to Africa.

"Tell Don to blow it into the wind," I said.

And that's what Don did.

"Don stepped out on the balcony of his hotel room and released your hair and let it blow in the wind," Lady M said.

I imagined this charming Caucasian man saying a few words and releasing my hair into the wind. I wondered what he said, but I didn't ask. I am sure it wasn't all dramatic. He was just doing me a favor, this returning my DNA to the motherland. 

"GLORY!" I yelled, my hands raised high in the air. "My ancestors made it back home!"

And we talked and joked about that even up until now.

I could not think of anything to give him to take back to Africa. But my hair was a great idea. It was personal. It was a part of me. The genetic material of many generations is found in hair.

And my past generations made it back from whence they came.

Even if it was in a small bit of my hair.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Congratulations LadyTee!!!

So something happened that was a few years in the making.

My best friend of 35 years, since the age of 10, graduated from college!



Glory!!

I am happy because she had to do it while working and raising kids. I didn't have to do it that way, but she did, and she made it happen.

She graduated from Clayton State, a University on the Southside of town...


She was so happy that she bought an alumni tag for her car license plate.

"How you gonna buy that and you haven't even graduated yet?" I asked.

"Don't matter," she said, as she and her son searched around for a screwdriver to use to put it on her car. "We're on our way to graduation."

And off we went. I wanted to just meet them at the graduation, but she made me ride with them. I obliged, even though I like to be able to jump in my car and get the heck on when I feel like it. It was her day so I did what she wanted.

I got all teary-eyed when Bobbi Jean (her mama) was helping her with her cap and gown.


They were tears of joy for her, but they were also tears of joy for myself. Ya'll just don't understand how many papers I had to proofread. It took hours and hours and hours, and...

Nevermind. This is about her, not about me.

Graduation commenced and it was great. It was short, lasting no longer than an hour and a half.

I caught a few pictures of her getting her diploma and walking out of the ceremony.





She don't look all that happy. Do you realize there are NO more papers to write, LadyTee????

So we all met back up at the car to leave. We couldn't do that without taking a few pictures, though.

LadyTee and her kids, Nell and Miracle!

LadyTee and her kids and her play Mama Anne!
LadyTee and Milc!

LadyTee and her Mama, Bobbi Jean!

Bobbi Jean like to show all 32 teeth. Turn down the wattage, Bobbi Jean!! Bring it down a notch!

LadyTee and her son Nell!


Finally, a picture of me, LadyLee and Ladytee.

I don't take or post many pictures of myself, so you better catch it while you can.

Our nicknames go back to high school, some 26 years ago. We'd see each other in the hall, and yell out those names. This worked best when we were at opposite ends of the hall. The hard yell was hilarious, and I know it annoyed people. And it goes on to this day. Without all the yelling, though. LOL.

We left graduation and went to dinner at the Golden Corral. We went back to her house and hung out for awhile. I finally left her house around 8 at night.

Such a great day.

Congratulations, my friend.


Lord knows you were and have always been my cheerleader in ALL things, through the good times and bad. I am so happy for you!  This is such a great accomplishment.  Go girl!!

On to bigger better things!

Always!

Yay Serena!!!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Freestyles

Friday!

The end of another week!

Glory!

I have been busy as usual, all week long. I had to learn a new method this week, so that has had me running.

I also had a dentist appointment this week. Everything is all good. A filling fell out and I will holler at them in  January.

I even had my regular doctor's appointment this week. That went alright. No fussing or arguing this time. Thank goodness for that.

I don't have much to say. I am thankful for life and for sunny days!

Quote of the Week. So my sister had a conversation with our Uncle Tweet. She said she only talked for him for about 5 minutes. He wanted to know how she was coping and getting along over in Dubai. And he talked about her about his military time in Korea many years ago, and how it changed him and made him see things differently. And he dropped some knowledge on her. She said it really helped her. She posted in on Facebook.

"Use this opportunity to set yourself free. This experience magnifies the good and the bad in people. Make sure you are working on you. Don't come back here in bondage to anyone or anything."

Now THAT's a great quote, chocked full of life lessons and instruction. 

I haven't had such a convo with Uncle Tweet. When I see him, I think FUN!!!, because when I was little, we use to go to Six Flags and go swimming. Just go EVERYWHERE! I don't think anyone wanted to do fun things with him. 

So when I see him and he walks in and says "Hey Lisa!"

I think FUN!!! Time to have FUN!!!

Oh wait, though. Tweet has given me some advice. 

When I was 17, he asked me how I was getting along in college (I started college when I was 16). I told him I was feeling it, and I was thinking about quitting and going into the army. 

*crickets*

Man, when I tell you he tore into my azz about that? WOW. Dude went OFF. And it didn't take long for him to say what he had to say. 

Let's just say that others had talked to me about it, and I was pretty much some 80% certain that I would drop out. I hated being at home (never much got along with mother like I could have), and I just wanted to leave. 

It was his tongue-lashing that had me staying put. 

And look at me now. I am Dr. LadyLee. And I have his admonishment to thank for it. 

So when my sister text me this morning saying how she'd been really reflecting on that, I said, Yes... I understand. 

Always good when you get the right word at the right time. Always. 

Song(s) of the Week. Sometimes when I am getting ready to leave home for work in the mornings, I will put on a song and say "by the time this song is over, I should be walking out of the house".

This morning, there was a song from Vesta Williams first CD, which happens to be one of my favorite CDs of all time. It came out when I was 16, and I have loved it every since, even some 30 years later. I want this CD, but it is a special collectors item, and I can't catch a bid right over on the ebay. Sigh. But I have it in my spotify. 

I ended up listening to 3 songs. 







And my favorite song of all time, my #1 song is this one!



When that song comes on, I tell you... I'm in Wonder Woman spin mode. I sang the WHOLE song. I know every note and inflection.  I don't care who is around.  You would think that I was on stage. 

It's my favorite song. Yep! 

That's it for me. Great weekend ahead! LadyTee graduates from college tomorrow! GLORY.

I have been proofreading her papers. That is over now. GLORY AGAIN. 

So my Saturday will be a good long one. And I am happy for that. 

You have a great weekend. On purpose.
 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Sister Callie Jo Blues


Poor Sister Callie Jo...

She is still struggling with my sister Kentucky, her "special person" being gone.

She doesn't care for people, but she became attached to my sister.

So her struggle continues. My sister left a pair of flip flops, and Callie Jo has been carrying them around. I can usually find her somewhere near the flip flops. She even carries them around. And she lays somewhere near them most of the time.


Poor Sista Callie. All splayed out on the floor showing her bizness. Forever hanging on to the flip flops.

So...

I notice that she observes when I go in and out of the front door. This is a rarity since I use the door that goes out and down into the garage more frequently. But she has been highly observant.

I placed a step ladder near the door. I put up another set of paper blinds, as she had tore up the last one trying to catch a fly or something. (I refuse to buy curtains or blinds. I have had blinds and curtains destroyed by cats. Sigh).

Sista Callie had some ideas.


She'd been studying me closely. And she was going to open that door!


She tried hard to turn it with her paws. Then she would try to wrap her mouth around the doorknob and open the door. Hilarious!

But what got me was her deadbolt action.

She worked hard on that. To no avail, of course. After about 15 minutes, she gave up.

Oh well.

I wonder how she will act when my sister comes back.

I have no idea.

At least she has her shoes. That will have to do for now.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Bread, Milk, and Butter!

 My sister sent me this link. I've never seen it before!



A loaf of bread.
A container of milk.
A stick of butter. 

My sister thought it was a School House Rock skit. Uh no. I would've remembered that one. It turns out that is from Sesame street. I don't remember seeing that episode.

All in all, they have what they need to make some French toast... just about.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

A Milk and Cookies Picture Show


Man oh Man, I have been trying to post!

But blogger is not making me great... I couldn't load pictures. They have a new system, so I THINK I may have it figured out. I think.

Anyway, my brother Milk and Cookies posted some pictures. I snatched them up. And here they are.



I am a gal that loves goatees, but I don't like them on him. I still see him as 3 years old. I want him to have a clean face with no hair. And I want his voice just as high as it was when he was 3 years old.

And here... I don't know what he's doing....


We can't call him Milk and Cookies here. He is more like a T-bone Steak and malt liquor. And he looks like you best not come at him with a bunch of mess because he is NOT having it.

Not today. Not ever.

But this picture... I love this picture!

Milk and Cookies and his boys.  Milk and Cookies with his megawatt smile!  I don't see how he's smiling that hard on an ice skating rink.

My sister visited him and the fam earlier this year and she said it was such a delight to go back through my 10 years of blog pictures and show his kids all the pictures of their Dad when he was younger.  She said they came across a picture of him and my favorite author Tayari Jones. Back in 2006, we'd gone to see her give a reading at a local book festival years ago. Milk and  Cookies was 18 or 19 at the time.

 
When his older son saw that picture, my sister said that he said, after a hard gasp, "THAT'S NOT MY MOMMIE!!!!"

"Lisa," my sister said. "If you would've heard that hard  gasp of breath. I had to turn around to see what was wrong with him."

"THAT'S NOT MY MOMMIE!"  he wailed.

My sister had to calm him down and explain that that picture was taken years ago.

"Look at him,"  she said. He's young. That was before he was with your mommie."

"You're right, that's an old picture" our nephew said. "My Daddy doesn't look like that now. He looks old in the face now."

Thank goodness for my sister. She teaches that age group. That could've all gone pretty bad.  But it didn't.

It was a teachable moment.

And funny at the same time. I told Tayari about it. We got a good laugh out of it.

Milk and Cookies is growing up!

Friday, November 27, 2015

FIFTEEN Friday Freestyle Thoughts

I want to post today. So here I go. This was going to be a five friday thoughts.

1. It is FRIDAY. And I have been off since Tuesday. I love waking up and laying in bed and thinking of what I would like to do. I can even go back to sleep if I want to. Glory!

2. I had absolutely no plans. Of course as always, I have these grandiose ideas of all the wonderful things I would do. I may get around 10-25% done. And I celebrate that like I got 100% done.

 Tomorrow, I MUST make some plans, though. I think I will just wake up and shower and get dressed early enough. Then get on out of here. I have a Walmart list that's pretty long. But I didn't want to get out today and have to fight anyone over TV... while I didn't even want a TV. I was only on my way to the aisle where the paper towels are. Sigh.

So hopefully it is fine tomorrow.

3. I have been on this sofa dozing in and out. I did manage to finish reading a very good book, though.

4. I have managed to get a few chores done around the house. Trash has been taken out, kitchen has stayed pretty cleaned, and laundry is in the midst of getting done.

5. The Unsung marathon on TVOne is giving me LIFE today. Awesome.  So far, the only new episode I've seen is the Chi-lites episode. I have missed most episodes from the last 2 seasons. Hopefully I will see some of those tonight.

6. I had phone conversations with several people over the last couple of days. I spoke with Grandma for awhile. I also had my usual convos with my sister. And my best friend always goes on a cruise during Thanksgiving, so we talked before her ship sailed.

7. When I am off like this, I get my full compliment of journalling done. That means 3 full college-ruled pages per day. I am getting much out of that. Since December 24th of last year, I have done 575 pages of journallng. I should make 700 pages by the end of the year. That is my goal.

8. My neighbor keeps cranking up his LOUD motorcycle. He keeps leaving and coming back and leaving again. Man. I would call the police, but you KNOW that ain't gonna happen. (He is white so he will be alright, though. Lord have mercy, too bad we think like that. Sigh.).  I looked out the window and he's simply trying to fix his truck. It looks like he is tinkering with it, running to get something for it, and coming back and working on it again. I hope he gets it fixed. He can rev up his motorcycle all he wants. I know what it feels like for a car to break down.

9. I just drank some sweet tea. That means I may be awake ALL nigh long. Sigh.

10. Overall, I am enjoying this time off. It is giving me time to decompress and think. I am taking a week off for Christmas, and I am already looking forward to that.

11. I really want to see the movie Secrets in Their Eyes. But it's not getting the best reviews.

12. I want to see Creed. I heard it was good. And I love Michael B. Jordan. He is a great actor.

13. I am up in the air about seeing the new Hunger Games. That third and final book was SO depressing. I know they will clean it up pretty good for the American public who loves happy endings, but I'm not rushing to see it. Besides, LadyTee wants me to wait until she gets back from her cruise so we can go see it together.

14. I am thankful that we didn't have any terrorist attacks in the USA on Thanksgiving. It is just another example of how the media likes to instigate a fear mentality in us. I'm not buying it.

15. Just think, this time next year we will have a new president-elect. Hopefully it's not Trump or Carson. My money is still on a repub Bush/Rubio ticket and a Clinton/Castro ticket. I can live with that. But not with Trump or Carson. You would think that we are smart enough not to elect folks who are blowing a dog whistle signalling that they gonna do some concentration camp tomfoolery. But like they always say... history tends to repeat itself. Sigh.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

I was looking back at the post for Thanksgiving Day 2014. I was only going there to do a picture grab, but I read the post and I thought I'd repost it. It is very much related to my thoughts on today.

No, I won't be spending Thanksgiving with my sister, as said in the post for last year. She is in the UAE, and since there is no thanksgiving there, she has to work today. But she and a few people of her group are getting together after work to celebrate Thanksgiving together. I saw on Facebook that she is making strawberry shortcake using our mother's cake recipe. She was so excited. And I am excited for her, as she is assimilating well into the culture there. Today is her "Friday" (they work from Sunday-Thursday), so I know she is happy for the weekend.

I will miss spending the day with her. Our family doesn't get together on the holidays, so she and I had developed a tradition of our own- spending Thanksgiving and Christmas together. That's no longer the case. Hey, maybe I will go visit her next year during this time. That's an idea.

I had no plans for today. Cowgirl Cre's parents live a few miles away, and I may go over there.

When asked about this the other day, I hollered "I'm calling a fast for Thanksgiving!"

She and a coworker Zack were O_O.

No, I'm not doing that. It was a thought, though! But I have already had my morning smoothing of super greens and kale. Good stuff!

And I may bake some chicken wings. That's up in the air. I may just have a salad. I may shoot by Cowgirl Cre's folks later on. We will see.

So I wanted to post the post from last year, as it is something to think about.

Repost from Thanksgiving 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

It is 10:00 a.m. as I write this post on Thanksgiving Day and I have finished my cooking.  I will post pictures later. But I only made veggies (and some dressing), and I am headed over to my sister's house at noon. She doesn't have cable, so I will miss football (darn). But that's okay. I will watch the highlights on ESPN later on tonight.

But as you can see, I want to do something different on a holiday, as I usually put up a banner of some sort and go on about my business.

I have been meditating on a particular scripture for nearly a year now.

Colossians 3:16 (Message Version)

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

There's a lot going on in that scripture. But for some reason the part I highlighted in red... that's the part that has stuck in me. That's the part I've been meditating and chewing on.

Those three simple words... And cultivate thankfulness... are action packed.

The word "cultivate" is an interesting word. When I see it, I think of a garden, and how you have to break up the soil to prepare the garden for seed, or to keep the plants growing properly.

There are several definitions of the word "cultivate":

Prepare or use land for gardening.
Try to develop or acquire a quality sentiment or skill
Grow or maintain living tissues in culture
Try to win the friendship or favor of someone
Apply oneself to improving or developing one's minds or manners

Whatever the definition may be, it involves some action on our parts... prepare, develop, acquire, grow, maintain, favor, apply and so on.

Back to that statement... "Cultivate Thankfulness"

To me, it means work on my thankfulness (or thanksgiving). Be mindful of it. Think on it, meditate on it. Grow in that area. Apply myself in that area.

Cultivate, cultivate, cultivate... just like working the soil of the ground, I have to continually work on being thankful, working it into the very fabric of my life.

And you would think no one would have to say "cultivate thankfulness", or it wasn't important to point out. For we all have things for which to be thankful, right?

But let me ask you a question...

How many people have you been around who murmur and complain incessantly? How much have you murmured and complained?

How many thankful people have you been around? More specifically, how many people have you been around who always find the good in a situation and who always find the silver lining of the dark cloud?

If you're anything like me, and if you are paying close attention, the numbers are severely lopsided. There are many many more complainers than thankful people in our lives. People are well developed in either one direction or the other. And that's sad.

That's why that verse has stayed on my mind.

Our hearts are very fertile soil. Anything-attitudes, beliefs, morals, idiosyncracies, etc- will grow in this "soil" when planted. And it will grow like crazy.

As for myself, on this Thanksgiving day, and frankly all this year, I've made a considerable effort to grow thankfulness in this fertile soil of mine.

And I'm glad of it. It has freed my mind.

So today, be mindful of one thing:

"And Cultivate Thankfulness"

And the more thankful we are, the more there will have in the future to be thankful for.

I can promise you that.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TWO Tuesday Thoughts... The Thanksgiving Edition

Here's an easy one:

TWO Tuesday Thoughts.

Around this time, I look back at my year, and I think about the turning points and changes. There are areas in my life where I have stayed the same, and I regret that. Those are the rusty dusty areas that I need to work through, and that will happen. But there have and have always been some good things, some great blessings.

And here are two great things for which I am thankful

1. I received a promotion this year.  I am still a bit surprised by this. I'd stop applying for promotions on the job years ago, as there was too much drama going on. So I applied for this job last year, and lo and behold, I got it. Not only did I get a promotion, but I got a new, more private cubicle, and a great boss. It all worked out well.

There are the ups and downs. I am "Dr. LadyLee" for real now. There is not much routine now, and I have to critically think more about what I'm doing and what I want to do, which has been a strain at times. (The biggest reason I say that is because my passion and purpose is NOT my profession of chemistry. It is writing). And it gets a bit rough dealing with a group full of PhDs. We do have our egos, and I have had to learn to work through that, because you know how laid back I am. I don't care for the pissing contests, etc. And I have to make sure that I don't get caught up in that. I make sure to examine my own ego and attitude, and keep it in balanced.

Every day has the potential to be a good day, and at the end of the day, I spend time thinking about what I have learned and how I have increased during that day. I must say that there have been NO days where I have learned nothing of interest. I have increased in knowledge daily. And there have been more days where I have been helpful in the lab and to my group in general.

Now THAT makes me happy. I am thankful for that.

2. I spent the summer with my sister.  That was TOTALLY unexpected. I was dealing with just being all emotional over her leaving for the UAE as it was. I think she told me she was officially hired sometime back in late spring, so that gave me time to get past it. She moved in with me after her lease expired on July 1st. We thought she would be leaving around August 1st, but she left on October 1st. So I got 3 WHOLE MONTHS with my sister. That was so unexpected. And I am thankful for that. I pray about it often. When I am down, I think about how God cared so much for me and knew that I needed that time with her.
 
And it made me examine some of the things going on in my life, and some of the answered prayers. I get answers to prayers that I haven't even figured out how to fully verbalize.  I have a much deeper appreciation of the depth and breadth of the answers these days. For some reason, my time with my sister helped me understand that a little better, if that makes any sense.

I still have to fight back the urge to holler upstairs to her, though.

"Kay, you hungry? I'm cooking something if you hungry."

She's not there. She's on the other side of the world. 

My eyes get wet over it from time to time, but there is no full out crying. I just take a time to be still and calm down, and give thanks for all the time I had with her this summer.  It was so unexpected. Granted, my utility bills went up, and as I paid my bills, I remember how I would say a prayer of thanksgiving for just having the money to pay bills, and to be able to afford to help my sister the best I could. It was all worth spending that time with her.

That's it for my 2 Tuesday Thoughts, my thanksgiving edition!



Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy COLD Monday Morning

It is Monday morning.

And it is COLD.

Specifically, it is 35 degrees in my beloved ATL.

35 degrees!

But you know what the silver lining is here?

There's NO rain. And it's going to be sunny all week long. Cold and sunny, but sunny all week long!

GLORY.

And you know what? That's all I can ask for. Because after all that rain? I didn't think we would EVER see the sun again. EVER.

Alas we see it. On Thanksgiving week, no less.

And this is a 2 day work week for me! So good, so good, so good!!

I didn't post much last week because I was so busy. It is rare that my mind is tied up in scientific things and I'm all O_O. I was learning a new procedure from someone who only gives 10% of the instructions and then the other 90% must be figured out on my own. I can't stand that. I am very detailed. Stop being nebulous, dude. So I was working hard on that. It got to the point where i would just come home and go to bed.

I told my boss the other day "My bullshit antennae is sky high and you need to make me feel better about what I'm doing."

And you know what? He did. Then the other boss came along and made me understand more. So now I have a correct state of mind to work out of. Thank goodness for that.

(I know that probably doesn't make much sense. Oh well).'

Look who I ran into the other day:




Snake! The self-appointed "Mayor" of my Hood! And the Poet Laureate of my blog. Just search his name in this blog and plenty of posts and poems come up.

I see Snake from time to time. I just don't get much of a chance to stop and talk, as I am driving and/or he is on his way somewhere. Well, I saw him in the middle of the day last week, on Veterans day, I believe. I happen to be off that day. He came running at me, his hands waving all over the place.

"LadyLee, I need some help!"

"Wassup," I said.

"I need to fill out a job application, but I need to do it on the computer."

I was silent, wondering what it had to do with me.

"I don't have a computer, can I use yours."

"Yes," I said. Stop through in another hour.

He was happy, his toothless grin wide. "Thank you so much!"

"No problem," I said as I sped off down the road.

I have my regular laptop and a netbook I rarely use around the house, so I figured I would just charge up the netbook and just let him sit outside and use my internet to do his application.

(At the same time, I was hoping he wouldn't run down the road with my stuff and sell it...)

He rang the doorbell and I handed him the netbook. He stared at it.

"What?" I asked. "Just sit out here on the porch and use it."

"Ladylee," he hollered. "I don't know how to use a computer or the internet."

"Really?"

"No, I don't. You have to help me."

So he came in and we sat at the dining room table and I pulled up the website and typed in all his information. It took all of 15 minutes."

"Thank you so much. I knew you would help me."

And I was glad to do so. It was such a simple thing to me, but it meant much to him. I can't imagine people not know how to use the internet. He actually had a cell phone, and he already had a gmail address, so that's a good start. But I remember the internet wasn't popular until I was well into my grad school years. It took much to get accustomed to even then.

I learned from him that the guy who takes care of my yard is locked up. My yard looks a mess right now. Thank goodness it's cold, because I can just take care of it myself. My yard man Wayne got caught running up in a house under construction. I guess they caught him running out with something. And I haven't seen him in a few weeks.

"I will go bail him out if it will cost less than $15," I said.

That's how much I pay to have my whole yard, front and back, done: $15.

Snake said, "Uh, more like $1500 or so."

Oh well. I won't be seeing Wayne no time soon. I even spent time cutting and shaping my hedges in the front yard. Oh well.

I need my leaves raked now. I'm going to just pull out the leaf blower and work it out. I can do it. I know I can.

And that will be my goal for my 5 day holiday weekend: straighten out my yard. That looks to be a combination of some leaf raking and grass cutting. I will spend no more than 30 minutes a day on it. That is all. Good enough. I would take a before and after picture of it, but honestly, it's not all that bad and may not be that much of a difference. Once I rake leaves, they will continue falling, but I have to at least stay on top of it.

Fun, fun, FUN!

I have a ton of half done posts that I want to put up. So I will jumping through those. I need about 45 more posts to surpass last years total, and that shouldn't be a problem.

Song of the Week. What is up with that Drake song? The Hotline Bling.

I say that because I saw the video, which was... interesting. But it samples something. And I remembered which song. MC Hammer's "Why can't we live together"



But it turns out that the Hammer song samples another song: Timmy Thomas "Why can't we live together"



Now, Drake's song sounds closer to Timmy Thomas' version. But Hammer's version stuck closer to the message of the original song. Drake's version is in the direction of some thotness.  Nothing wrong with that. Just a sign of the times, I suppose.

LOL. Can we please get some original music... Please.

Uh, no.

And it's okay.

Because I am the The Original Oldgirl. And that's all that matters.

This is Thanksgiving weekend! Please take a little time to ponder your year and what you're thankful for.

If you do, you will find out there's so much. So so much.