Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Funnies... the Fashion Edition

So...

As you know, I sit in a new cubicle area. The people are interesting enough. Earlier this week I wrote about making cubicle mate E a batch of oatmeal raisin cranberry walnut cookies. E sits in the cubicle behind mine. I think he is very happy that I sit in front of him.

And then there's the chick that sits in front of me. Dr. Hazel Eyes.

I have talked about her before. That is my online name for her, for the obvious reasons. And when my brother Milk and Cookies was a teenager, he'd come down to the job to see me, and he would whisper to me in his best low voice "Is the lady with the hazel eyes here?  Can we go see her?"

*ladylee kicks the hard eyeroll as Milk and Cookies smiles with anticipation*

So now... I sit behind her.

And last Friday I saw her come back from lunch. I noticed the purse she draped over her shoulder. It had one strap. I thought that was interesting... and perplexing.

So later, as I passed by her desk, I asked if I could see her purse. She was on the phone at the time, but she handed it to me in one move, without looking, and while still continuing talking on the phone.

It was a nice purse. And it was a purse with one strap.

I brushed my hand across the cool surface. It was real leather, not that fake leather. I glanced at Dr. Hazel Eyes, wishing she would get off the phone. She continued talking. I looked back at the purse, examined the tag hanging from the side.

"U-G-G," I said slowly. I glanced back down at Dr. Hazel Eyes.

"U-G-G," I said again to myself.

"U Gucci Gucci," I thought to myself.

Dang. This chick done bought some doggone Gucci knockoff purse. I was gonna jone on her once she got off the phone.

Dr. Hazel Eyes had bought a U-Gucci-Gucci purse. The question was though, what did the "U" stand for?

Who knew?

"Look," I pointed, not caring whether she was on the phone or not. "What does this mean?"

"Ugg," she mouthed. She pointed at her shoes. "Uggs."

Uggs.  Those were some type of boots. They were the eskimo snow boots people wore. I only paid any attention to them because I saw some girl wearing them in the summertime.

Then I looked down at Dr. Hazel Eyes shoes.


Dang. When did the folks at UGG start making sneakers. Wow. And they looked like Nikes. Or Reeboks.

Of course I figured out after a moment that these are regular sneakers. Some Nikes or something. But for a moment I thought they were UGG. Well I don't know what they are. But I knew if I reached down and lifted her pants leg to look at the brand, she would kick my tail.

All while still talking on the phone.

She laughed later when I told her my thoughts on the U-Gucci-Gucci.

I decided to leave her alone while she is on the phone in the future.

This was funny. So funny that I can be dense like that.

Well, fashionably dense.

But that's alright. I got educated that day.

And you had to be there. It was indeed funny,.

And with that said, you be sure to have a good laugh... and a good weekend.

On purpose.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

For the Essential Woman...

My play mama Adrienne loves to sew. And there's nothing like spinning something you love into something profitable. Hence, her business.



(Here I go... jacking pictures again. And jacking good quotes)



Now that's some good food for thought!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cookies for Friends

I like cookies.

I like to bake cookies.

But here's my problem: when I want cookies, I only want one or two cookies.

NOT a whole batch.

They would sit around the house so long that they would go stale and I would have to throw them out. Maybe there is a way to freeze them. Hmm...

Anyway, the order of the day is to take any excess cookies to work. Let's just say people are always eager to grab them.

One of my new cubicle mates liked some oatmeal raisin cranberry walnut cookies I made a couple of weeks ago.

That made him a good candidate for receiving my excess cookies.

I made my old boss a batch of regular oatmeal walnut cookies. She doesn't like raisins or cranberries. When she was a child, she thought the raisins were flies.

O_o.

I look at her crazy whenever she says that. You would think that such fears would disappear in adulthood, but apparently they don't.

So I made a dozen cookies for her. And I made a dozen for my cubicle mate E. And there were 3 cookies left over. Those were mine.

He was very happy.  He even posed for a picture.


For some reason these days, I like to write messages on the bag of cookies. As you can see above, I wrote on his bag.

Here it is up close.


I noticed his wife and I have the same name. All these years I've know him, he's never told me that. So if I leave him a note now, I will sign my name now and follow that up with, in parentheses, not your wife.

Ha Ha! I think it's funny. (Yes, it is my own brand of internal comedy. Some things are funny just to me, you see).

I hope they made his day great.

The big smile and the big hug he gave me made me think that it did!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It is COLD!!

I walked outside last Friday, eager and ready for the weekend, and I saw a bit of sleet on my car.




My best friend LadyTee had called me an hour earlier and said "Lee, it's snowing out here by me [on the Southside], so you need to be thinking about getting out of there a little earlier."

I didn't want to leave, for I was in the middle of something. I even went downstairs to look out the windows (there are no windows in my area). I was expecting a wild blustery blizzard, but alas, it was bleak and dry out. So I decided to just leave before dark.

And I saw that sleet. Ugh.

It was early enough. And it had stopped. The ground was wet, but not slick.

But I thought that I better get on home before the temperature went lower, before wet ground turned to icy ground. I wanted to stop by the store, but it would be dark by that time.

But I felt more like this:


Not sure I would want to hitch it all the way to Haiti. But any nice Carribean island would do right about now. Sometimes it gets so cold that I'm not sure that we will see the 90 degree temperatures of summer we tend to complain about so much again.

I am wishing for that now.

Because it is COLD.

And it's in the thirties and forties here in the ATL. But it will be in the teens where I'm traveling to...

All I can say is.... GLORY

*forcing a smile*

Monday, February 23, 2015

Good Monday Morning... Birthday Sweepstakes Winner

It's that time again... Time for the sweepstakes winner to be announced!

First of all.... Good Monday Morning.

It's been a cold and rainy weekend in the ATL. Not really all that cold. But everyone seems to be collectively wide-eyed, trying not to get caught up in some tomfoolery where it's so cold that rain turns into ice and we all iced out and sitting on the highway looking straight up crazy...

But oh well. That didn't happen. And I need it to not do anything ratchet like that, as I am flying out to a conference later this week. It's only for a couple of days up north, but I don't want to be on the TV news telling a story of being straight stranded somewhere. Nope.

So hopefully all goes well. My weekend has been a blur of getting ready for this trip. I've pulled my flyest gear out the closet and making sure it all fit just right. And it looks like I am pretty much ready to go.

Anyway, on to the winner of the Birthday Sweepstakes. This year, there is only one winner. I kept it low-key on purpose. I've been so busy and distracted, that I didn't think I could blog as much as I wanted. But I actually posted all that blog posts I wanted to post, mostly reminescing about year 44. So I am glad about that. But since I said only one winner early on, then one winner it is.

So there were 73 entries. Here they are.
If you don't see your name, it's on the second page, under the first. That is mostly email and/or text messages. Sorry. By the time I realized it, I had cut up the names.

'Tis a small stack, as compared to my Dr. Parker soda can.

And that's cool. A low key drawing this time.

I have a new person responsible for pulling my names... I moved to a new building, and I found someone new in my area. Hence, Commander By has been fired. (He wasn't too sad about it. I think he is happy for his military comrad to take over his job).

The new person sits in my area in the new building. Her name is Commander "Git Jiggy Wit It!"

Just like Commander By, she too is a member of the military, trained in hand-to-hand combat. I NEVER worry about some active shooter, terrorist, or alien rolling up into the workplace with some tomfoolery.

I'm not all that worried because Commander Git Jiggy Wit It sits a couple of cubicles away. I will just go crawl up under her desk.

She got on her combat boots! Laced all the way up!

Anybody come near us, she will STOMP them. And when she kicks the enemy's azz, she doesn't have to worry about losing her footwear. That's smart, if you ask me.

She really doesn't even need to stomp a fool. She has deadly hands. When those hands ball up into angry fists, it is ON and POPPIN!

Fist's of Fury!

I'll just run over her way and be protected by her Fists of Fury!

Fists tough enough to take out the enemy!
In one shot. One right hand jab will do it!

Yet...

She has hands gentle enough to nurture and care for her children, a little boy and a little girl.

Hands precise and agile enough to pull the winning name of the Oldgirl LadyLee 45th Birthday Sweepstakes!

So it was time to pull a name. We needed a container. There was the plastic bag...

But I decided that would be better used as a purse.  A Jiggy purse, for when she was out in the field undercover. She can't carry her normal fly pocketbook, as that will cause her to stand out to the enemy.  She can conceal her Git jiggy essentials in this Git Jiggy Pocketbook and tape it to her chest. Yes. Undercover! Vice!

We can't have her standing out! (Especially since she is protecting MY freedom. NO!)

So we pulled out the Git Jiggy Cup!


So she shaked the Jiggy Cup...
And she shaked the Jiggy Cup!

And she pulled a name!



And the winner is....
That Oldgirl Chele!!!!

!!Chele!!

Chele! Your comment on the 9th on the Good Monday Morning Post Birthday edition did for you, hon!

Oh wait... Commander Git Jiggy Wit It has to officially certify the winnings...
Chele! You win a $45 gift card from Target or Walmart!

Go girl! I said Go Girl!

I like Chele. She's been one of my favorite bloggers for the last 8 or 9 years.

She is one of my favorite authors. I love her books.

And she is also my favorite SuperHero.

I think she had just won a figure competition. And righfully so. But that looks like some type of sword she has in her hands. I assume that is the trophy.

But she is a superhero in my book. I remember when she started that fitness journey, when it was a mere seed, a mere thought in her mind. It is always wonderful to read and be a witness such a uncommon thing happen.

And the trophy, it's a sword. She can take out some people with that... Hence Super Chele to the rescue!

All she needs is a cape, man.  Fab Fit Flygirl!

50 looks good on YOU!

(She is gonna kill me for jacking pictures off her site. Oh well. You need to lock those down, hon.You will have to come to the ATL and chase me down).

I've always wanted to meet Chele. That's a bucket list item. But I fear it would be like when Celie passed out on the dirt road when Shug Avery was leaving for Memphis. She is such an icon in my eye. Sigh.

I wish I lived up her ways. She has started her own personal training company. I would be a client. I would just have to get behind on my mortgage and mess up my credit score. I want to be fab and fit at 50 too!

Ok. Time for me to stop jocking!

So congrats Chele. Good for you. Holler at me on my gubment or oldgirlladylee email. Or twitter. Or facebook. Whereever honey! And if you want me to hit up a Sports Authority for the gift card, I will. Just make sure the sports store is near Downtown ATL, preferably out on the Southside. Okay??

I know you like Target. So holler back!

So that's it for the sweepstakes. Next Sweepstakes is in August for my 10th Bloggaversary.

I need to start saving up money for that one. What I want to do? I don't know if I can afford to do. But we will see. Yes indeed.

So watch out, now!

That's it for the sweepstakes. In honor of Commander Git Jiggy Wit It's first day on the job, the Song of the Week is dedicated to her!! Will Smith "Get Jiggy Wit it"



Not sure how long that will stay up before it is yanked. So enjoy while you can.

Thank you Commander Jiggy for pulling the names. And thank you for protecting my freedom!

Stay tuned for a full battery of posts this week, some automatic as I will ghost. And don't come trying to rob my crip. I have a bootleg housesitter. That should shock Mitch and Callie good fashion, lol.

Have a great week. Not by default, but by design. On purpose!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Onwards to the Future (Age 45 Randoms)

Whelp!  This is the last post for the Birthday Sweepstakes. Get your comments in. One winner will be chosen. And I have a new person drawing names: LT Commander "Get Jiggy Wit It". She's a very interesting Oldgirl. And she is HIGHLY ecstatic about pulling a name from the bucket. Go girl.

I wanted to spend some time thinking about 45... what I have learned leading up to here. And what's going on currently.

1. I am much different than I was at age 30. I am much different than I was at age 35, the age at which I started this blog. I don't fly into panic mode when something goes wrong. I know that it is a temporary situation. Just like a hairdo. Temporary. And I think that comes with life experience. Things go wrong. And on the way to working through it, much is learned. Specifically, much is learned that can be used for the future.

2. My interests are very abstract these days. I am waaaaaay bored by what the masses are interested in. Last year, I spent time reading a bunch of books that really changed my perspective in some key areas of my life. My prayer life, beliefs, and trust in God is strengthened. I saw a whole slew of results based solely on that.

I get a bit excited about things, and unfortunately, I get the deer-in-the-headlights look when I discuss some deep piece of knowledge or enlightenment that has helped me. I was discussing with a friend, and she felt this way too, that it is rough when the pool of people you have to discuss things with gets smaller... and smaller.

So I have to dial back, keep things to myself. Lord have mercy, the things that I could post here on blog would have you O_o. But they make sense to me. They move me forward. But I want to keep this a fun and interesting spot. Never preachy. Never over-your-head. Just a good balanced spot. And much of what I learn is for my own learning. Yes, some will leak out on blog here and there, but you have to peer... closely.

You never know. I may surprise you. Like when I said how I read in a couple of spots that we live in 11 dimensions. And the implications that has. There's way more going on around us than we pick up on.

Hmm...

3. Personal writing is going strong. Well not my fiction writing. There's been a goal to pick up on that. And lo and behold, things are shaping up QUICKLY in that direction. Some help I need, specific help, is at hand. I just have to grasp it and hold on. Just like, some of the information I got at the writing workshop this weekend singed my eyebrows. Really.

But personal writing is what is going uber-strong for me right now. During a long holiday break, for instance, Christmas, I do a little personal hardcore journaling. 3 pages every morning when I first wake up. This is what's called Morning Pages. A brain dump before you even get the day started. It supposedly frees up your creativity. It was from a book entitled The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. It was a book my favorite author Tayari Jones had us going through over on her blog. I remember after a few days way back then, I told her... "Girl, I'm learning I have a lot of stuff going on inside," She said she did too.

And we need to know that, you know.

Well, this is going so well for me that I have challenged myself to do this the whole year. That' s going to be a doozy. That will be a little over 1100 handwritten pages by the end of the year. Oh my.

I hit page 170 yesterday.


I usually write about whatever happened the day before. I don't go back and read. I have a TON of interesting conversations, so my pontifications about those. I would say 90% of the time, those convos are the answers to some problems I prayed about recently. It gets really interesting when I write out of my subconscious. And I love when I write out of my spirit.

And I read recently that those morning writings, even for a shorter amount of time (3 pages takes me around 45 minutes to an hour), strengthens the immune system. 

4. I need to become more aggressive  in the workplace. Much more aggressive. It seems this new position calls for this.

AGGRESSION

And that is such a harsh angry word. And you know that is SO not me.  That's like, too close to wanting to be validated to me. It skims real close to having self-esteem issues or something. And you can assume how I feel about that.

But it's a promotion, a new position, calling for a whole new tactic. I have to come up with a tactical plan. This is a more creative type position, so I have to do a lot of reading and I have to use more of this pure genius psyche of mine.

In other words, I must put on my tight fitting Dr. Parker sombrero. And my Dr. Parker neon pink hot pants.

Glory.

5.  I  like to go back and look at my personal vision statement from  time to time. I like to see where I have grown stronger in relation to it. 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."

That part in purple. Here and now, at age 45, I am mighty strong in that. And growing.

I didn't realize this, but I spend time each and every day, several times a day thinking about how I can be a blessing today, or if I have even been a blessing to someone today. And not a day goes by, in the past few years, where this is not the case. It is something I constantly think about. It is my mindset. Thank goodness for that.

Now the other parts are coming along. For me it's not a sprint, but more of a marathon.

A lifelong marathon.

And I hope that I grow in that vision, more and more each day, 'til it's time for me to be out.

So that's what I am thinking about now, at age 45. It's what I thinking of in terms of growth and growth potential over the next year. Over the next few years, even.

I wonder what 50 will look like?

I can't ponder that now. I will march onwards from here onwards to 46... and the future.

That's  it for my birthday posts. I posted all I wanted to post up.  So stay tuned for the Sweepstakes drawing tomorrow evening!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It is Lenten Season... Time for Increase


It is Lent.

Excuse me, let me be more formal. It is the Lenten season.

It is that time just after the Mardi Gras, where one gets oneself together after all the drunkeness and debauchery.

And people ask me... "LadyLee, what are you giving up for Lent."

*crickets*

Uh, nothing. I am not Catholic. I always considered that a Catholic thing.

But I respect those who give up something for the 40 days. Specifically, I enjoy the residual affects of such a fast.

And that's what it's all about, right?

I will let you ponder... and wonder about that for a moment.

Well I know where I will be for the next 40 days... Over at my homegirl Val's (Serenity_23) spot, over at Livingmyfaith.org

She's doing something quite interesting:


Hmm...

I'm looking forward to that. I participated in her 30 Days of Prayer. And I participated in her 30 Days of Thanksgiving and Gratitude.

Pure awesomeness. Fed my spirit.

I wanted to holler "You need to do something topical EVERY month, Babes."

Every. Sangle.  Month.

Really though.

But I asked myself,  concerning this subject of faith: Can she pull it off? 40  days?

Yes she can. Yes she will.  With bold flying  colors. And beautiful glitter.

She knows how to serve up and extensively exhaust a subject. She tends to look at subject matters from the rooter to the tooter. And that is FINE by me. She wants sooooo much to be like me, her big sister, that Original Oldgirl LadyLee. LOL!

So check it out.

On the serious tip, Val and I have been buddies for going on 10 years. (That picture to the left is living proof. Notice the date on the party hat, lol) She is one of the few people who pours into my spirit on a consistent basis. And she will check my tail at the door also. Upsets me, has me muttering "Silly Chicken", but I know she does it out of love. And she continues to love me anyway despite my numerous flaws. And I grow from her corrections. Who can be mad about that? Not I. Nope. She is more valuable than gold to my life.

She is one  of  my favorite Chickens. Yes. She is. 

So, like I said... check it out.

I think she has brought in several other ladies, including myself, as contributors to this series. I have a couple of ideas in mind concerning my take on faith. I will look back through my archives to see what I have. And I will write something new. I will submit my posts and let her pick what she wants. She  may send me back to the drawing board until I can come up with something masterful. And I will! I promise!

So I am looking forward to that. That is how I'm spending my Lenten season.

I'm not giving up anything. I'm taking the time to learn a thing or two.

I  am looking  it  as a time to increase.

In my faith walk. 

You could too... if you dare.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nostalgic Wax, Part III: Lessons Learned from His Funeral



So, at the end of one of my birthday posts, specifically the post about LadyTee's gifts, I mentioned the shadow box.

She'd gifted me a shadowbox for my father's flag.

It reminded me of not the actual funeral, but things I learned about myself and those around me during the funeral preparations and the aftermath. I've wanted to write about it, but I didn't because there was so much, and I just didn't think I could remember everything. But around birthday time, I ponder about my personal year, and the major events therin.  And my father's death was a major event.

I know I have written about a little of this, but I always have a different perspective once there's a little distance and time from it all.

So some things that stood out.

1. I can get along with my mother when I have to. It's no secret that I don't deal much with my mother. These days, I just try to support my sister's desire for a relationship with her, and it looks like Kentucky is getting a bit older and not really all that willing to put up with our mother's mentally and emotionally abusive behavior. (Lord knows I don't).

But I called her up when my father died. Out of respect really, because that was her first love and they did have a baby (me) together. I don't think I was interested in how she felt. I just thought it right to call her up. She asked if I needed anything from her, and she could tell I was exasperated with the whole thing, so for once she just left me alone about it.

But I did have to call my sister in for a back-up. Just in case our mother came to the funeral and lost her natural mind. My sister is a pro at handling her. And my sister had me laughing with an interesting saying that she'd come up with, since mother seemed to be about to run off the rails in their conversations:

My sister would sigh and say, in a high voice... "Jesus be a fence, a referee, and a counselor!"

That meant any old thing could happen. I was NOT in the mood. I told my sister, if our mother start tripping and showing out, deal with it. Because if I had to, it was not going to be pretty.

Mother did well, though. She even got up and said a few words when they asked for people to come up. So good for her. I hope it was her way of dealing with things. I hope it was some closure for her.

We didn't drive the hour to the burial place together. We followed the limo and hearse in separate cars. I don't think I could deal with that. And I just really wanted to be alone with my thoughts. Selfish? Perhaps. It was what it was.

I am not sure anyone got blow by blow pictures of the graveside ceremony.  Mother did. She snapped a ton of pictures. And she sent me some.

And afterwards, she asked me to stand in the grass and take a picture with the flag.


That was moreso for her, not for me. She has some keepsakes.

But I was glad all went well. No fighting, no yelling. No embarrassing scenes. Jesus was a fence, a referee, and a counselor that day.

2.  A conversation with my brother...he's a good guy-I have always been the one to take care of my little brother. I remember changing his diapers and feeding him. I remember holding my arms open so he could walk to me in uneasy steps when he first learned to walk. He's 17 years younger than me, so my memory is long.

So when I told my sister that my father had died, she texted or call him. He called me that evening, and he did something that I didn't expect: we had a long talk about PTSD and the affects of it.

I remember telling my father that my little brother had done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and my father saying "Tell him to make sure to get some help, because it can all really mess with you and mess you up. Mess up your mind real bad."

And that's what my brother called to talk to me about. My father had fought in Vietnam, and had returned home in 1969. And had pretty much been stuck in that time period every since. So when I would go over, here in 2014, he was talking about Vietnam.

I never understood that. That was over 40 years ago. Goodness. Come on into the present man, I'd think as I sat and nodded and listened to him.

But it wasn't until after his death that my brother answered all the unasked questions I had. I never understood how one could get stuck in time, and have addictions and what-not. But my brother helped me understand, as he himself has PTSD issues and has to have counseling. He has had to fight to have a normal life and to get better so he could raise his own children.

Never would I have thought that the little laughing baby I use to carry around so long ago would have words to ease the questions swirling in my mind. I am thankful for that, and I will never forget how much I grew from his wisdom.

3. The Importance of Friends - I tend to be a very quiet person. I am aloof, to myself. A bit detached at times. I am who I am. During this funeral time, I had NO expectations out of anyone. The total goal was to get through this whole thing. I hate to admit it, but I was a bit miffed that I had to be involved in planning the funeral of a man who didn't raise me. So I wasn't expecting anything out of anyone.

But I got a nice card and donations from coworkers. This was unexpected, as I really only deal with a few people at work. (I am sorry, but I have gotten too old for the complaining, gossip, back-biting, and severe negative judgment of others. It seems like you have to be deeply embedded in these activities to be... accepted). That was a nice sentiment. I appreciated it.

I rarely participate in activities at work. And when there is a death, birthday, or retirement, I go talk to the person and give them a personal gift. Just to avoid all the drama. So I didn't expect anything from anyone.

It was nice to be at the funeral and turn to walk out and see The Cowgirl Cre and her family there. And it was nice to see LadyTee and her family. My sister was there. And a coworker, an administrator in a building next to my own who I make cookies for from time to time. Heck, I think my folks made up half of the audience.

LadyTee has always been my protector. Every since we were 10 years old. "I know you can't handle a lot of things," is what she always says. I think I can. But like I said, I tend to be aloof. She is around to keep me talking and balanced. I had been hollering about how I was just going to go to the repast just to "show my face" and then get the heck on.  She made sure I stayed there for a couple of hours. And we actually had a good time.

4. My father's family are some really nice people.  I guess I shouldn't call them his family. They are mine too, but I don't feel much of any attachment. I was always an anomaly, an odd bird that had just flew in a room to them. I remember one aunt saying "I haven't seen you since you were 4 years old, Lisa. You remember me?"

Uh no. Not some 40 years later.

And that was sad to me. Because they are some really nice people. I get my quiet nature from them. They are super quiet. They are probably like me... they hate a lot of noise and volatility. It made me sad, and sometimes angry, that I didn't grow up around them.

"Now you see why we go get my cousin's kids," LadyTee says of her 6 and 13 year old cousins. "They need to know who we are, even though their parents aren't together. Leave up to him and we would never see them. Then we have a situation, decades later, like your situation, Lee."

I understand now, LadyTee. I wish I would've got to known such nice people as my father's people.

5. Best advice I got during that time. I had various conversations with different people during this time, just to help me with my feelings. There were several, and the ones that I remember clearly are text message convos with my readers Ginae and Lisa B.  These ladies let me just be me. These ladies are so full of wisdom. I am so glad that they poured some out on me.

But I was was perturbed during this time. Things were moving so slow. Honestly, I thought my father's family wanted me to pay for the funeral. I quietly thought this wasn't fair, as he didn't care to raise me. Why should I spend thousands of dollars on this. I remember thinking that I would just offer to do it since they were moving so slow. But I wanted to talk to someone I talk to about spiritual matters at work: a security guard on the job.

She's a much older lady, but she is really wise. I glean something from her every time we talk. And I tend to like people like that. As I get older, I find my patience is shot with people who bring the drama.

Anyway, I told her that I was going to call them and tell them that I was going to just pay for the funeral. She stopped me.

"Don't you do that. They didn't come bounce you to the park or ever come pick you up or call all these years. You sit back and be quiet. They'll call you."

That's what I did. And they eventually called me. There were a couple of small insurance policies. They worked that out and things moved along.

But someone need to tell me that. I was feeling that inside. I felt bad for feeling that. But I remember in my prayers saying, "Lord that ain't right. I don't want to pay for a funeral. But I can recover fast from that. So if I have to, I just want it to be over." All this was so much on my mind that I woke up with wet eyes a couple of mornings. Just in tears. And it wasn't even about the money. Sure, that's enough to piss one off, but the very thought that no one even cared enough to come get me over the past 30 years. No one thought enough to pick up a phone to see about me. It really bothered me.

But the conversation about it all with the security guard... freed something in my heart and mind that day. And I am thankful for that.

There is so much more that I could write about in this post about the circumstances and internal events of that time. So much. But this post would be longer than it needs to be.

I am just pondering and pontificating a significant event in my life this past year... one that shook me up on the inside. And it's not one of those shakeups as when one loses someone close to them., where it takes a very long time to get over them.

It's a quiet kind of shakeup. One where I had to deal with that little girl in me who has felt so alone and neglected by a father that didn't think she was good enough to raise and love. One in which I had to learn and understand that it wasn't about all that. That's just the little girl in me raising her head.

I have to tell her, she is loved. She is lovable,

She is worthy. She isn't worthless.

She is important. She has purpose.

She is gift. To those who will accept her as such.

She is alright. 

LadyTee went through some mental things during this time. "Your father," she'd wail. "He missed such a wonderful life. You are such a great person. He missed out on all that. You are such a great person."

Well I guess someone who has been by my side for over three decades would think that. She has been there through every triumph, tragedy, failure, and accomplishment. So she ponders all that.

I know my father wasn't capable of loving me. Only in his mind. He was barely capable of even taking care of himself. It is what it is.

And I am what I am. I will go on from here... with all the lessons I have learned. I know myself a little better. I know where I am weak. I know where I am strong. I know that I have grown. And that I am still in the process of growth.

And I know I am a better person because of it. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Afternoon Randoms: The President's Day Edition

Good afternoon, ya'll...

I want to wish you all a very Beloved and Happy Presidents' Day.

Hmmm,,,,

Let's remix that.

I wanna wish ALL ya'll a Happy Presidents' Day!


Yeah! That's what's up. Booyah!

Happy President's Day FOR REAL YO!

Taking a good look at that... somebody was having a Tax Return Party for Presidents' Day bay in 2011.

Shoot, honey. That would be fly right there. Get all your tax return documents together and come on over here! Jane is in the back there, with her crew, hooking up your taxes. Just sign up. The DJ will call out your name when it's time for them to do your taxes.

But while you wait...

You drank...

And Party...

And drank...

And party!!

Man... and don't let them have food. Hot wings. Nachos. Chips. Dip. Cake. ALL the liquor you can drank.

Wow!

That's a good idea. Someone do that. Yes. I will be there.

LOL!

(And you know EVERYBODY will be there. EVERYBODY).

Oh well. Wishful thinking.

I am happy about Presidents' Day. Why?? Because I am OFF. It is a gub'ment holiday. And I like it.

If I had one of those wigs that President George Washington wore, I surely would put that sucker on and parade around the house in it. Yes. I would.

But not today.

You know... I haven't done much today. I had some ice cream last night, and I have had a right sinus cavity full of mucus as punishment. So I have been moving slow all day. I talked to LadyTee for an hour, ate some grits, took my meds and took a two hour nap.

So now, my day is half over. I had these grandiose dreams of getting some things done. I was thinking, I am off, I can at least get 10 days done today. I've only gotten 2 things done: write my 3 personal pages I write every morning... and feed and water the cats. (You know Callie ain't going for not being fed. She will stomp up and down my sleeping body until I wake up and feed her. Mitch will just lay on my head.)

I have several more things to do. I think I can get them done from 4 until...

Anyway, I had a great weekend. I attended a GREAT writing workshop by David Darracott.


That guy David Darracott was AWESOME. It was a half day workshop. I learned a lot. I learned mainly that I need to go back and look at all the stuff I'm continuously editing on paper and in my head. It got me excited about my editing. I can write all the day long... it's just that editing thing. Ugh.

And I found a nice writer's group to join.

They are 40 miles from my house. The other one I belong to is 35 miles away.

Worth the drive!

That is all...

Song of the Week. I have been listening to way too much ratchet rap music for some reason. That needs to stop. Immeditiately.

But I found a song I really like. And it is a bit deep off the pages. "Fear" by Tech9ne.



I like that song. Speaks to our questionings of God when stuff is going wrong in our lives. If I could hear more rap that challenged my thinking, I would be alright.

I like tech9ne. Because he is independent and highly productive. And he is a bit older than these younger rappers. He be on some other ish sometimes that makes me raise an eyebrow. But I don't have to hear about bricks being sold out the trunk of the car. Thank goodness.

But I will have to move back to my regular old school music... Calming... soothing. Nostalgic.

Yes.

Well, the Birthday Sweeps is almost over... It was suppose to end yesterday, but I have 2 more posts to do. So I think we will pull on Wednesday or Thursday.

Note. I am giving away ONE gift card. One comment pulled. I usually give away two. But I didn't know if I was going to even post anything, and I have been too busy to be "Rah-rah-RAH" about all this. So go back and look. One card.

Someone at work laughed at me about the whole sweepstakes thing. "So, you giving away something on YOUR birthday."

"That's right," I said. "I'm sowing some seed."

I'm not sure they understood that. Oh well.

Let's just say, I like to present an offering at milestones in my life. I am not giving it at church. I am giving to someone around me.

My thanks to God for another year of life.

At church, we give offering now when church is over. On morning bible study sessions, we give our offereing at the end of the service, while leaving the chapel and walking out the door to the car. And that started a few years ago, but I see that I do that anyway in many areas of my life. When I reach a goal or milestone, I give an offering of some sort. But outside of church. I sow a seed of thanksgiving. It is like me saying "amen" at the end of a prayer.

That may be tooo deep for you to understand.

Oh well... you will understand this Oldgirl. Someday.

And with that said.... I'm out.

Stay tuned for more posts. And that drawing...

And have a Happy Presidents' day... and week... on purpose.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birthday Gifts Part II. Gifts from my BBF LadyTee

One thing my best friend and I do every year is that we spend our birthdays together.

This has been going on for the past 15 years or so.  That's a long time. She has fun planning my birthday, and I have fun planning hers. Although this year, she was a bit stressed about it. I didn't get that.

Anyway...

So my best friend LadyTee always gives me the coolest gifts. They are never expensive, but sentimental in value.

This year, she gave me a small framed picture of herself and her family.


And she also gave me some fresh flowers. And a polka-dot plant.

This is funny to me. I am such a tomboy. These are some bright bright colors. I think it is was a joke.

"When I walked around the corner and saw them, girl," she said, "I just had to get it."

That had both of us laughing. I don't like bright colors. She knows that. But she knew I would love them because they came from her.

I had both the flower and the plant on the dining room table, but your friendly neighborhood cats, Callie and Mitch, were NOT having that. I looked up and the plant had been knocked off the table. And they were going so far as batting it around. My loud shrieks broke up their shenanigans, sending them on mad dashes to their hiding places. Hence, the flowers are upstairs in the closed bathroom. And the polka-dot plant is at work on my desk.

And LadyTee always buys the best birthday cards.


And she writes the nicest messages in her cards.

I am thankful for LadyTee. I remember the first time I saw her. It was at Duncan Park, during our day camp's field trip in 1979. This bowlegged girl was walking around the pool with a towel over her head watching folk and dictating, telling folk what to do. I was only 9 years old at the time, she 10 years old. I couldn't understand why she was talking so much trash.

Who would've known some 35 years later that I'd be thinking the same thing she wrote on that card... "Jesus loved me enough to create you." 

That's such a bold, grand statement. There's no way I will ever feel unloved by God. He thought enough of me to give her me as a friend, someone who loves me unconditionally. She knows the total arc of me... and hasn't run away. That makes me feel great about life.

And she gave me one last gift. A shadow box.


For my father's flag.

I hadn't bought one. I didn't know what to even do with the flag. I wrapped in a ton of cellophane wrap and set it up on top of the bookcase until I could do something with it.

But she came in the door with the shadow box. And we figured out how to open it and put the flag in.

And dealing with my father's flag bought back so many memories of my father's burial, and the things that occurred surrounding it. I haven't written about it, but I want to...

To be continued... 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Birthday Gifts, Part I: Body Oil


One of my coworkers and friends, Lady M, gave me a wonderful body oil for my birthday.

And even though she is a white chick, she's one of those white chicks... one who is basically a trapped black woman.  It's always interesting to come across folks like that. It's a good thing!

And she likes body oils and cocoa butter and such. All the more evidence that she's really black.

Ahe spent a couple of years in Africa recently, so when I see her coming my way, I yell, "Here comes my real African- American friend!!"

Like I said, she likes to keep the body moisturized up. She is the first white person who I understands the meaning of "ashy".  She points sharply when she sees I need a bit of lotion.

All the reason to give me the most wonderful homemade body oil.



Such a lovely presentation.

This oil is made up of almond oil and jojoba oil. It also contains lavender essential oil, and it's infused with vanilla from a fresh madagascar vanilla bean.

Cre picked it up and said "It's so nice that you don't want to use it."

"I'm using that!" I said.

It is so nice. It smells sooooooo good. I have been keeping it on my desk, but I brought it home for the long three day weekend so I can use it when I get out of the shower or bath.

Thanks for thinking of me, Lady M, my African-American friend!

I appreciate you :)

Happy Valentine's Day 2015


I want to wish you a...

Happy Valentine's Day!!



And I want to post up a story that I first posted some 4 years ago on Valentines day, written from one of blogger Singlema's favorite phrases: "My eyes are stretched..."  I always thought it was funny. I simply means she's looking out at great attention at something or someone. But of course, I thought it was a worthy writing prompt.  I usually spend 5 to 15 minutes on my writing prompts, but I spent a full hour on this one. And it was fun to write.

Wanna read it? Here ya go:


Open, Stretched, and Baited

Sabrina searched frantically through her chest of drawers, searching for what she had hidden so long ago.

And she found it.

An open pack of unfiltered Kools cigarettes.

She shook out a cigarette, casually walked downstairs to the kitchen and lit it on one of the eyes of the stove.

She took a puff, inhaled hard.

Coughed even harder.

She heard him clear his throat. She could see him from the kitchen, sitting at the dining room table bare-chested, in a pair of black lounge pants, tapping his bare feet to a song playing low on the living room stereo.

He was sitting at the dining room table eating a bowl of cereal. He smiled at her and quickly looked away, all of a sudden interested in reading the back of the cereal box.

“Go head on and laugh, Rodney,” she said. “You know you want to.”

“I wanna laugh,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a good thing to laugh at a woman who’s about to cough up a lung.”

She took a long drag from the cigarette, her eyes still trained on him. She held the smoke a moment, then exhaled. “How’s that? That better?”

He smiled again, continued eating his cereal.

She walked over to the messy table and flopped down in a chair. She puffed lightly on the cigarette and shook the ashes on a napkin.

“You’re a health nut, Sabrina,” he said. He ate another spoonful of his cornflakes. “ And you’re smoking. More surprising than funny.”

"I haven't smoked in fifteen years."

"So what's the reason for the sudden smoking habit?" he asked.

“After last night, I need a cigarette,” she said.

He was about to eat another spoonful of the cereal, but he stopped. “Really?”

“Yes. You make a woman wake up in need of a good smoke. You got me laying in bed, opening my eyes, wanting to take pen to paper and write some poetry.”

He stared at her, eyebrows raised. He dug his spoon in his cereal.

She leaned forward. Stared into his eyes.

“You got my eyes stretched
Sitting here with baited breath
Nose open, open real wide
Wide as the Sahara in Africa
But not dry like that desert
Because you are my oasis
In the middle of that desert
You soothe me
You move me
You are that gentle breeze that blows my way
On such a hot dry day.”


Rodney frowned. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Sabrina took a long drag from the cigarette, held the smoke deep in her lungs, then blew smoke through her nose. “Do I look like I’m kidding?"

Rodney gave no response. He ate another spoonful of his cereal.

She gathered her housecoat around her, adjusted the strap as much as she could with one hand.

“You got my eyes stretched
Sitting here with baited breath
You got me open wide
Wide and deep like the Grand Canyon
Make a bitch wanna run fast towards the edge and jump
Jump high
Cause I know I can make it to the other side.
I got it like that
All ‘cause of you
'Cause you pulled up a chair
Sat it next to my heart
Cupped your hand to your ear
And listened close for each and ever beat.
Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.”


Rodney laughed hard, spewing milk and cereal everywhere. “Are you serious?”

Sabrina shook ashes off the cigarette and took another long draw. She blew perfect smoke rings into the air.

Rodney grabbed a napkin and wiped the milk from his face. “Girl, nothing went down last night. We stayed up and talked all night."

“The hell you say,” she shouted. She pointed the bent cigarette at him. “Last night was, last night was. . ."

“You acting like we had hot butt nekked sex last night, girl. We stayed up and talked. Watched a movie. Cleaned up. Burnt up the buckwheat blueberry pancakes we were trying to make from scratch. Washed and folded your clothes. Danced to that old scratched up Parliament Funkadelic album you like. And now you sitting here smoking a cigarette like it's a joint, and reciting poetry like you the headliner at Open Mic night at the club. Hilarious!”

Sabrina hit the table hard with her fist, so hard that Rodney’s half eaten bowl of cereal jumped and clanked.

“I’m vunerable right now, and you’re sitting up here laughing at me. Last night was special!”

Rodney laughed. “The first night I spent with you was indeed special. Not what I had in mind, so yeah, you can call it special.”

“I don’t believe you,” she said. She waved cigarette smoke from in front of her face. “You’re just, you're just. . . oooooh.”

“And if you keep smoking that cigarette, you gonna have some baited breath, alright,” he said with a chuckle. "You're going to be talking like Darth Vader, talking 'bout 'Bring the Wookie to meee!"

Sabrina smashed the cigarette nub into the napkin and balled it up.

“You better throw that napkin in some water or something, make sure that cigarette's out. You don’t want to burn your house down.”

Sabrina got up from the table, gathered her housecoat around her, and walked towards the kitchen.

“Hey girl,” Rodney called out.

“What?” she responded a bit too sharply.

He stared at her for a moment before speaking. “My nose is stretched, too. My eyes are open wide, and my breath is all baited up, just like yours. Okay? I'm laid out in the Sahara and chilling at the Grand Canyon too, alright?”

He winked, shoveled another spoonful of cereal into his mouth.

She smiled and sashayed out the room.

Oh what a lovely day it was going to be.



Happy Valentines Day, Ya'll. Have a great day!

Love,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Oldgirl, LadyLee

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nostalgic Wax, Part II: Missing Oscar-Tyrone

One thing for sure...

I am sorely missing the Original Oldcat...

Oscar-Tyrone.

I was looking for something in my phone photo gallery, and I came across some pictures of him. Of course I tear up.  I inherited him from the ex-husband after the divorce, but we had him since he was a kitten, and he died at the ripe old age of 17 years old. 

This is a picture of him a month or so before he died.

I was sitting on the sofa watching television and crocheting. And I finally noticed that he'd jumped up on the sofa and watched. Now, they know not to lay on or mess with my yarn. But I figured I would leave him alone since he wasn't trying to kneed or scratch at anything.

And it seemed to be his favorite thing to do off and on... Sit there and watch me. So that day, I just left him be.

There is one thing I have never liked... being watched by him. He has this really hard surly stare. And I would be wondering what the world he was thinking.

Funny story: Some 4 or 5 years ago, I woke up one morning and he was watching me. I think it was just that he knew what time I woke up in the mornings. So let me tell you, it was a bit unnerving to open my eyes and there he is, maybe a foot from my face... staring.

Well, one morning, I woke up and I heard the following in my spirit:

You see how hard this cat watches you?? That's how hard I watch over your life.  

Scared me so BAD that I jumped and yelled at him.

LOL.

He usually runs off. But he just sat there and stared.  I left him alone... and considered the gravity of the moment.

You know, that never happened again.

But you best believe, I will never forget that.

And I think of that whenever I am feeling a bit depressed, confused or afraid. What I heard that morning from somewhere deep inside always comes to mind. I may feel alone, but I'm never alone. God watches over my life. He got this. And I am thankful for that.

And I'm thankful for Oscar-Tyrone.

He had been with me for 17 years. He saw a lot. Oh the stories he could've told if he could talk.Thank goodness he couldn't. Many of those stories did NOT need to be told!

Nevertheless... Thanks OT for what you brought to my life.