Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Last Day of the Year 2017

'Tis the last day of the year...

...The very last day of 2017.

I've been wanting to post, but I have been journalling alot, so I guess it is just not working out for posting right now.

I have had a wonderful holiday break! I tell you, I have gotten a LOT done, and I'm just taking a break right now from decluttering to sit down and watch my Church's watch night service.  And I have been pondering and reflecting over what my favorite things and the changes in my life over the past 365 days. And much has happened.

Favorite songs.  That's easy.  I liked Terrified by Childish Gambino

And I liked Late Nights and Heartbreaks by Hannah Williams and The Heartbreakers

Childish's CD has multiple Grammy nominations. And Hannah Williams' song was sampled by Jay-Z. That song was nominated also.

I hope they win. I will be surely watching.

Favorite CD.  There were several:

Rather You Than Me by Rick Ross
Damn by Kendrick Lamar
Laila's Wisdom by Rapsody
All Amerikkkan Bada$$ by Joey Bada$$
Forever is a Mighty Long time by Big Krit
Rags by Earthgang

Much rap there! I don't like much R&B unless it's from the 70s, 80s, or 90s.  Oh, I liked Childish Gambino's Awaken My Love, even though it is nominated for a rap Grammy this year. That is a R&B funk album, with no rap whatsoever on it. Hmm...

Favorite Books. I surely miss the days when I read upwards of 50 books a year. I may read 10 or roundabouts. I often wonder where I would be if I read as

Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay.

The Queen of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis.

Both of those books were PHENOMENAL. And they were made all the more special because I listened to them on audible. To hear these women read their memoirs in their own voices really moved me. They both were more vunerable and candid than I would ever allow myself to be, that's for sure. They were so good that I have bookmarked and listened to sections over and over.

Black women writing their memoirs with boldness.  Oh my.

It reminds me that we matter, and we have stories to tell...

Even our own painful life stories.

Favorite Quote.  Not a day goes by that I haven't thought about this particular quote. It is from yet another great book that I read last year.

This is a book of Toltec wisdom, and it was so chocked full of wisdom that it was hard to digest. I know it's a book that I may need to read several times just to get the full gist of it.
But there was a passage I read that hit me hard, made me think. And I have thought about it every day since I read it.

"To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive- the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people's demands. We have learned to live by other people's points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else."

That hit me like a brick. Of course I was like, well, I am my true self.

But that quote is like a magnifying glass, and it shines a light on everything.  Let's just say, I am FULLY aware of moments where I am not being my true self. And it's a struggle to understand that growing up, I was always punished for being my true self. So I see now that I am way much more aloof and to myself. I don't care for dealing with a lot of drama, strife, or the judgment of others. That is something of myself that I struggle with, and I am trying to find some sort of balance. Hmm...

The biggest fear is not death. The biggest fear is being our true self.

That is a bold statement. But oh so true.

That book dug deep into such issues, and it was an analysis of all the agreements we make in our hearts over the course of our lives, and how they need to be examined and changed.

That was a great book.

Favorite Events: My favorite events? There were two that I will forever and always remember.

1. Becoming a published author. You know I love to write. LOVED-ED it. And this year I had TWO stories published, one in Atlanta Noir and the other in Pens of the Piedmont. One was a dark twisted story, and the other was an inspirational/spiritual creative nonfiction piece. They were different as night and day to the point where I considered using a different pen name for each.

But you know what? Those stories were from me, from me being my true self. I write all over the spectrum. And all my stories flow freely from my heart and soul.

2. Birth of Nortorius J - 365 days ago I would have never thought I'd have a new nephew. Lo and behold, here comes my sister back from living abroad. And she's pregnant. This was the source of much conversation, and alas Justin is here/ And what a joy he is!

I have so much more to write concerning the year 2017, but I just hit on a few highlights.

This blog is going on 13 years old. And I have noticed that I am doing what I have done most of those years on New Years Eve: sitting here writing.

This is my happy happy place. I get a little criticism here and there for not moving to instagram, facebook, and twitter and the like. I am on all of those platforms, but I don't think in short 140 character bursts.  I think much of that has changed our brains. We are severely distracted and we have super short attention spans because of it all. I want to try to keep my mind active so I like writing long and being creative as possible.. And I have no thoughts whatsoever of stopping or doing something too much different than that.

So with that said, I have had a great year.

2017 has had it's ups and down, but I give the ups, the good, the power.

I look forward to a great 2018.

I hope your 2017 has been great.

I pray your 2018 will be great... on purpose.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Merry Christmas/Happy Kwanza... etc

Merry Christmas

Happy Kwanza

Happy Winter Solstice

Happy Hanukah

And whatever else I forgot.


I had a great Christmas. I hope you did too!

My sister and my nephew spent the night at my house. She got up and fixed a large breakfast.

There was some patty sausage and polish sausage hiding under that bread.

I am not sure who she was trying to feed with all that food.

And you know what I realized? The last time I ate breakfast food was a year ago in Dubai. Wow.
I must have eaten some real breakfast food since then. I just don't remember. And that's a good thing, I suppose.

And it reminded me of what my grandfather would do for Christmas: make breakfast on Christmas morning. We didn't have Christmas dinner when everyone got together. And that made for a good memory.

Anyway, it was good. So good that I didn't eat anything until noon the next day. Killed my whole entire appetite, it did. I had the 'itis something terrible.

I made cookies for my sister. That's a cheap gift, and it's what she really wanted.

Oatmeal cranberry raisin walnut and Oatmeal chocolate chip.

She was waaaay excited about that. More excited about the cookies than about the $50 Visa gift card I gave her.

She gave me a $50 Best Buy card. Whooo weee... I can't even think straight about what I'm going to buy with that! She also bought me some earrings and gloves. Love those too, even more!

But it was nice to wake up and have a Christmas morning together, just like we did last year. Christmas is not a holiday in Dubai, so it was odd to be in the mall or driving around the city and everyone's working. And last year, we had breakfast at the highest restaurant in the world, at the Burj Khalifa.

And this year, we had breakfast with Justin.

Who would've known that he would be here with us now? Life sure moves fast, doesn't it?

I bought a swing for him. I still have to put it together. I will do that this week sometime, before they come back over to my house.

But it has been a good Christmas season. Very good.

And I am hoping for a great New Year.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Freestyles

So it is Friday.

This has been a LONG week. I think this is because I have not set a foot up into the workplace. Oh yes, I drove past the exit, and looked over in that direction while I sat in traffic, on my way home from the IKEA, but that's about it.

Now when I look over that way while driving down the freeway, I see a new building that leaves me mesmerized for some reason.  I think because it's all glass.

Now, I've worked in downtown area for some 16 years and I have seen many, at least 20, skyscrapers go up. It is amazing to see something go up from scratch. I'm talking from where they dig down deep and have to remove tons and tons of Georgia red clay before they even start building.

And that was the case with this building. While walking to my own work building, I would take pictures of it. I'd never seen an all glass building being built.
Turns out that's the world headquarters for NCR. I took a virtual tour on youtube. It is state of the art. There's a garden halfway up the building, extending out from the building. Let's just say I'm trying to find a way to get up in that building. I am sure somebody's mama or cousin work up in there. I want to see it in person.

Anyway... I did ALL my Christmas shopping today at the Dollar Tree and the Wal-Mart.  In 2.5 hours flat. You cannot beat that.

I have one more thing to get: a gift card for my sister. I have no idea what to buy her, but a Visa gift card never hurt nobody. After that, I am done!
Picture of the Week. Justin and Me!

He will be over this weekend. This means I probably won't get much sleep. He needs MUCH entertaining. He wants me to stand him up and bounce him repeatedly... hold him up while he walks across the floor. I don't remember babies doing all this at 4 months old.

Can you believe he's 4 months old??? Go Justin!

Song of the Week. A BUNCH of music came out this month. I not particularly interested in much of  it. So I guess what I see people hollering about in the twitter streets should be song(s) of the week. The new Cardi B song and the new Migos cut are good. I suppose they can serve as songs of the week.

But no... two videos from the TDE crew came out in the last couple of days.

"Love" by Kendrick Lamar.

He makes some great videos as of late. He definitely has a big budget.

"The Weekend" by SZA

Now, this is my favorite R&B song of the year. But the video SUCKS. Obviously TDE video budgets go to Kendrick Lamar. But knowing how SZA operates, she came up with this video by itself. It is an official thot/side-chick song. She could've done SO much more with that video. Sigh.

But that song is everything. SZA is an amazing writer, and her melodies are awesome.

That makes up for the confusing video. It is different, but I was expecting something different.

Both of them are up for Grammys, though. Go Top Dawg crew!!! That's such a strong talented camp!

That is it for me...

We have only one more good week in the year of 2017! If you haven't met your goals, you still got time!

You still got time...  Close to 200 hours or thereabouts.

Make it happen. On purpose!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ten Thursday Thoughts...The Rainy Day Edition

Ten Thoughts on a Thursday

1. Atlanta is SUPER dreary right now. There has been nothing but rain, rain, rain. And it's that type of rain where you don't even need an umbrella. Just nasty drizzle. Ick.

2. This should have happened when I was NOT on vacation.

3. But with that said, I always say the following when I'm out driving in such nastiness:

"Thank you Lord for watering the earth."

A simple thanks. Because imagine if we didn't get any rain all year.

4. This time last year, I was in Dubai. It did not rain. Even though it got cloudy, there was no rain.

5. I remember, upon returning home, waking up one morning to the sound of rain hitting my roof and the sound of thunder. I never thought I would be so glad to hear the rain.

6. Today was a busy day. Not really, but with all the rain and traffic, it felt like it was a busy day.

7. I got my teeth cleaned today. I haven't had a cleaning since June 2016. This Oldgirl has several cavities. Sigh. But I was in and out in 20 minutes. That was good service.

8. I walked around IKEA today.

I haven't been there since it opened, and that had to be a couple of decades ago at the most. I don't remember. I just know it took FOREVER to walk around that place. I was looking at furniture but once I figured that I had to haul it out and put it together, uh... NO.  I walked around the store for a whole hour and I found a nice plaid duvet for my bed. That is all. Here it is in the store:

(I was looking at that small chest. But like I said, this old girl is not putting furniture together).

9. The IKEA check out lines were SUPER long. I am talking 10 people deep. I was in line for 20 minutes. And that was the express checkout line. LAWD.

10. I came across a new restaurant after my time at IKEA. I was trying to go to a ramen spot but it didn't open until 5:30 pm, and it was 3:00 om at the time. So I went to the new restaurant next door:

Annie Mae's Pantry.

Wow... Annie Mae looking like she lived next door to Celie and Nettie back in the day.

I had a grilled brisket cheese sandwich and I bought a couple pieces of cake.


Sooooo good. But I am feeling some type of way now, as I have been slurping smoothies and munching fruit as of late. That sandwich slowed me down. Beef is a little too much for me these days. (At least it was on wheat bread!)

A couple of bites of that cake, and uh... wow. Let's just say, my sister needs to come eat the rest of it before I get to feenin' for more! Best cake ever! I think I bought strawberry cake, and chocolate cake with caramel icing.

Let's just say there was no dinner for me... Just water. Nice lukewarm water.

I know where to go now if I want some cake that tastes like it was made in my Grandma's kitchen.

That's in for 10 Thursday thoughts. That was a good hearty one :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Favorite Things 2017, Part I

This the time of year that I like to think about the things I fancied this year, i.e., my favorite things. Today I wanted to do a post on my favorite foods.

1. Sweet Tango Apples

I'd taken a picture of my apples, but my flash was too bright. I wanted you to see the label, so I grabbed a pic off the internet. I came across this apple at my favorite Farmer's Market. I think I also saw it once at the White Peoples' Whole Foods store out in Buckhead. Both of these places are quite a drive away (10-25 miles away), but when I go, I make sure I get a big bag of at least 6-8 of them... and I make them last.

They remind me of my favorite apple over the years: the Fuji apple. These have a stronger flavor. I don't know how to describe the flavor, but they keep me coming back for more.

2. Pomegranate arils

So when I went to Dubai last year and found them for $4 a pint- the going price over there- I bout lost my mind. Every time my sister and I went to the store, I would grab a pint. And I would eat them straight from the plastic container.

I do that now here at home. Especially since I saw a video on the proper way to peel and gut a pomegranate. When I catch them on sale, I buy them. And I can peel them in less than 5 minutes. Oh joy!

When I was little, I loved pomegranates. But I made such a mess when chewing up the fruit and spitting out the seeds. Who would've known that we were missing out on fiber and nutrients in those seeds. I learn something new every day!

3. Golden Berries

I'd never heard of these before. And I make an effort to try a new fruit or vegetable from time to time. This is my favorite thing I tried this year. And they remind me of grapes, but with a tropical flavor. This is odd to me, as I don't really care for tropical fruit. But these have grown on me. I've only bought them once, but they have been my favorite new food that I've tried this year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thirteen Tuesday Thoughts

Ten Tuesday Thoughts.

No, make that THIRTEEN Tuesday Thoughts. Just because I have that many thoughts swirling around my head.

The nighttime edition, no less...

1. This is the second official day of my holiday vacation.

2. I had a super busy day yesterday: doctor's appointment, furniture shopping, etc.

3. I have been in my house for 12 years. 12 YEARS. It does not feel that way.

4. It lets me know the importance of time and how it does fly. It goes on and on in a consistent manner. And it's best to use that time wisely.

5. I am reflective this time of year. I am thinking a lot about my time, and how well I use it. My use of time can always stand improvement. Always.

6. I am not really looking forward to Christmas. I have bought nary a gift, and I probably won't buy anything.

7. Although I was thinking about buying my nephew Justin a swing. But let's admit that is something more for me than for him. (I just remember the swing would help my sister Kay fall asleep. That way I could get something done. I am sure that method still works some 35 years later).

8. I did not leave the house today.  There's nothing like not having anything pressing to do, no real errands to run, and just being able to hang out around the house.

9. With that said, my favorite thing I did today: decluttering. I have been cleaning out my kitchen cabinets and I was able to get rid of a ton of stuff over the past week... old expired cans of food, kitchenware I don't use, etc. /

10. I have bought myself some new kitchenware, though: a new mini coffee maker, a coffee grinder and a French press. If I can figure out the French press, I will get rid of the coffee maker.


11. I am not big coffee drinker, but I can make my herbal tea in it.

12. When I tell you I had the best 2 hour nap this afternoon, I am not lying. There's nothing like dozing off on the sofa while watching television. Me sleeping under my favorite microfiber blanket is everything. People LOVE to sleep on my sofa for some reason. Today I understood why! LOL

13. On my playlist right now: "Rock N' Soul" by Oaktown 357

Man... that song got me chair dancing. When did that song come out? 1992 or roundabouts?

Still good.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Snow Day 2017

I have not been posting, as it is such a chore getting my pictures up. Sigh.

But nevertheless, here I am.  And I had a most exciting "snow day" this past Friday.

No it wasn't some craziness. But snow is snow. It is rare for it to snow in Atlanta in early December. And I'd decided to work from home that day. I hadn't been paying much attention to the news, but I'd sat down at the dining room table to work on a report while the TV was on. The news was on nonstop, so I knew that there was a problem.

All looked well from my front door. 

Then all of a sudden, the snow was coming down hard. Big wet snowflakes.

Here's a view from the garage.

I was out there because I wanted to take the garbage out before it got too bad, where the ground had iced up and I possibly couldn't even make it to the herbie-curbie.

Poor Pam the Protege. Too bad she couldn't be in the garage with Lucy Junior the Lexus.

Here's another view from the front porch.

Right as it started snowing, I placed an order on Uber Eats. I have to remind myself not to do that anymore because that driver who delivered my food was frightened, and soooo sorry that he was late with my food.

I didn't care if he was 20 minutes late. He was even nice enough to text me, and I could see him driving on the app, doing his best to get to my house. I said, "Bruh... you see how bad it is out here? Thank you for bringing my food!"

I gave him a nice tip. And I silently hope he turned his app off and made it home safely. No need to be driving in the snow delivering food. Nope.

Sister Callie and Mitch were pretty much unfazed by the snow issues. Callie stared out the window for awhile. Mitch slept. They got excited, as usual, when I took the sheets off the bed so that I could wash them. When I came back from the laundry room, they were lounging hard.

Not sure why they like a bed with no sheets.

I left out on Monday morning for work and the snow was still trying to melt.
By the time I got home, it was all gone.

I'm glad that it wasn't a storm similar to the one in 2015, where we were all stuck in our houses (and the freeways) for several days.  Although that was a good time, especially since I never lost power or internet. I didn't lose power or internet this time either. But since I teleworked that Friday, I had to work all day. Ugh.

Hopefully this will be the worst of the snow days. And that would be a good thing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Time Person of the Year 2017

You know, for a minute, I thought Time was going to name our beloved President "Time's Person of the Year". When I heard that, my eyes rolled so hard that they 'bout rolled out of my head.

You know he would not be gracious. Who wants to hear him gloat and gloat and gloat? Continuously tweeting about it?

Man oh man.

No ma'am. No sir. Stop it.


I don't know about you, but I am emotionally drained enough. Enough, I said.

But I think the right "person" got the person of the year honor: The #MeToo Movement.

"The Silence Breakers"

That may be too small to see. You can look it up online for yourself. Click here for the link to the article.

This is the movement that has highlighted and steamrolled how serious sexual harassment is. I mean folks are losing their WHOLE  entire livelihood. Losing everything, no matter how set they think they are in life.

I remember thinking a couple of weeks ago that we are seeing a HUGE cultural shift. HUGE.

And this whole movement caught steam only a couple of months ago. And you know what that shows me?

It shows me that life itself can shift... in an instant.


So bravo ladies for being brave enough to tell your stories.

Why?  Because I don't know one woman, including myself, who does not have a #metoo story.

Some of us have several. And finally, we have justice.

How great is that?

And even though not much can be done for ladies who have suffered in the past, this changes matter for the future. For our young girls and teen girls, they may not have to go through what so many women who have suffered in the past. Sexual harassment may be a thing of the past.

Now that would be truly great!!

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Saturday 7

So looka here... looka here.
A Saturday night post. That is so rare. I can barely post on the weekday, let alone the weekend. But I just felt like it. So here's a Saturday 7.

1. I had a pretty good day today, but I had a funky time getting started.

2. It is a... hormonal time of the month. And my medicine takes a moment to kick in. I am dragging until it does. 

3. Notorious J's "Sip and See" was today. 

4. My sister's best friend did such a fine job with it all. I will do a full post next week.

5. We co-hosted, but I tell you, I am a tomboy, and it don't do you any good to have a tomboy for a sister. This means I can't plan anything like this worth a damn. Nope. So she did all the work, with an occasional text here or there from me looking for direction.

6. The last baby shower I planned was in the year 2000. And that was at work in New Orleans, and by committee.

That "baby" is 17 years old now.  I last saw her when she was 8. Time flies like a kite, don't it?

7.  I had lovely drive home. But I stopped by an interesting barbecue joint on the way home. This is the south, so barbecue joints are scattered all over the place, but this one is a southern barbecue/korean fusion place.

Who does that?

Heirloom Market Barbecue!

Good good stuff. Confuses the brain, but it's still good!


Friday, December 01, 2017

Friday... The Crazy Week Edition!


And hasn't this been a CRAZY week!?!? Pure drama all over the TV screens!

Man listen... I was driving down the freeway when they announced that. My jaw hit the steering wheel! Lawd!

Do you not realize that Matt Lauer was the most powerful person at NBC, making over $25 million dollars a year?

That was the most shocking thing EVER. I think because I wasn't expecting that AT ALL.

This my thing that was CREEPY as all get out: This guy had a button under his desk to lock his office door. How creepy is THAT! Did you read the Variety and New York Times articles about this. Squeaky clean Matt was off the CHAIN. Wow. 

Now listen... this shocked me, but it didn't shock me. But it's going down, ain't it?

Dude was talking all that crap about Hillary, around here screaming "LOCK HER UP!"

NO Buddy, lock YOU up!

How embarrassing.

So I heard (and maybe I am wrong), that Trump and crew were not going to kick in on dude's legal bills.

They must not be from the hood. That's a good way to get a person to flip and drop a dime on you. Drop several dimes. Really,tho. 

This is my thing. They can do what they want to do, because with each passing day, it all gets shadier and shadier.

And  I miss the stability of President Obama more and more. 

This is my thing, though... With all this "making America great again" tomfoolery, I'm fine, because.

LadyLee will not be picking cotton.
Ladylee will not be nobody's maid.
Ladylee is not learning the Russian language. 
Ladylee is not hoisting the Russian flag.

Some  of these white folks trying to live some Color Purple dreams. We are not going back to those days. No ma'am. No sir. Ya'll better be glad that somebody in the justice department is keeping us from being annexed by Russia.

Now if we can keep all this under control, and keep out of a nuclear war, then I am GOOD!

Carry on.

And here's a  video for your weekend. It is funny, but sad and true.

Lock them ALL up! Even if the charge is stressing everybody out and emotionally draining ME!!


I am ready for the weekend! Hope you are too! Make it a good one!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

At the Gentrified Kroger...

So on Sunday,I made a run down the local gentrified Kroger.

This is the Kroger they built when all the white people started moving into my hood.

And it's a big fancy Kroger, 2 or 3 times bigger than a normal grocery store. There's even a bar.

I like it much, even though I rarely go there. I think this time was the third time this year I'd made a run there.

I needed something simple like dental floss. And I needed to take my spare car for a spin.

(These types of things could've waited until Saturday... but that dental floss, tho...)

Anyway, I saw some fascinating products up in my beloved gentrified Kroger. Things that weren't there for me, but if I wanted, I could buy them!

I came across some marvelous jellies and jams.

I saw a Cabernet jam.

I guess that's what's up if you love your wine. That peach marmalade looks great. But I will not being paying $9.99 for that.


So for the holiday season, we have a nice pumpkin preserves.

No, that's "preserved pumpkin". I won't be buying that. Not only am I paying $9.99, I'm not paying for something that I don't like: pumpkin.

Now if they served up some "preserved sweet potato", I may get that.

What's most interesting about the gentrified Krogers near my home (there are two), is that their are MULTIPLE AISLES of liquor and beer. Multiple. The one that I've frequented over the past decade actually has its own wine steward. This new gentrified kroger is only a couple of years old (if that). I saw no wine steward at this new store, but I sure saw some wine.

Down one of the aisles, I saw some wine bottles locked behind glass. And you know me... I thought I would investigate.

I was shocked to see some $149.99 wine!

Now, I am not a wine connoisseur. Not in the least. The most I've paid for a bottle of wine is $21.99. And the only reason I paid that much is because it had some chemical formulas on it, and as a chemist, I was immediately intrigued.

Now I was already bugging over $150 wine. But a closer look at the other wine revealed some wine that was a little more expensive.



Who pays that much for wine?  Grocery store wine?


Not me. Nope. But this is the gentrified Kroger. I am sure someone paid for it. It is there for a reason, you see.


A trip through  that Kroger is a far cry from the Kroger over in SWATS.

At least I know where to go now if I want something super fancy!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Night Musings

It is Monday!

The Monday after a long holiday weekend!

And it's more O_o for me... As I only really worked one day last week.


The time off was good, but my attitude needs to be better about the return to work. I must admit that I have today I have ran through a range of emotions - anger, sadness, lethargy, confusion. At the same time, I have gotten a few things done today. I remember driving to work this morning that I thought "Something great will happen to me today."  And just making it through the day - I receive that as my great thing.

Thanksgiving was good. The whole week was good. I happen to get a good bit of decluttering done, and even take some items out to the Goodwill. I have been in my house for 12 YEARS. So I have an abundant amount of stuff  that needs to go. I am starting in the kitchen which is easiest to do, and if I haven't used items in a year, they must go.  For real. And I must admit it is very freeing.

That brings me to the quote of the week. Not sure where I heard it, but I did hear it.

"A cluttered space is a symptom of a cluttered mind."

My mind is a bit cluttered. I need to be free.

I am working on my house, and I will also work on  decluttering my cubicle.  I will.

Pictures. So my sister made gumbo. I watched her do it, while I had the baby. It came out good, but I like seafood in mine, and she has shellfish allergies - something like that (it is very confusing). But she did a good job. There's no picture of that. When it was done, I split up and froze that stuff QUICK while Notorious J was calm.

But I also made what I wanted to make for Thanksgiving. I get a taste for traditional thanksgiving food every few years, but I try to do something different every year. Our family doesn't gather for thanksgiving, which makes me sad, so it is easier for me to just go get a plate of traditional food from someone's gathering. This year I stayed home.  My sister came over later (she'd made the gumbo the day before).

I made my stuffed acorn squash!

(And here's a picture of my acorn squash before roasting).

Here's the final product!

Oh it was so good. I thought I added to much quinoa, but that actually turned out to be the right amount. It was more filling.

Of course I mixed in WHATEVER was in the fridge. Here's my concoction.

I'd run out of pecans, so I substituted pistachios, which was GREAT.

The stuffed acorn squash is good because it makes for great meals this week. So I don't have to deal with leftover turkey. I deal with leftover squash. And this is something I will not get tired of!

I also made some red bell pepper-carrot soup. I don't have a picture of it, but I do have a picture of the roasted peppers.

Here's a link for the red pepper carrot soup. It is super easy and oh so good. I think I may have to make it more often. It's getting cold and I have to have something hot, and preferably good for me.

That made for a great  Thanksgiving. And this little guy did, too.

LOL!! Look at that expression on his face! I wonder what he's thinking about!?

Maybe he just has gas.

That is it for me. I am looking forward to having a great week. On purpose.

You do the same.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Freestyles


And it is PAY DAY!

And as usual on payday, the blinds of my mind are at half staff. Pretty much closed, really.

And I am thinking of the upcoming thanksgiving holidays! I have a 5 DAY weekend!


Oh the things I will get done. Or better yet, the DREAMS of the things I will get done.

And it is alright to dream.

I know one thing we will get done: gumbo.

I asked my sister what she wanted for Thanksgiving since she and I will be spending that time together. She thought about it and she requested the gumbo. I sent her the recipe that I posted on this blog years ago ("The Original Oldgirl's Gumbo Recipe").. (And until this day, that is my most popular blog post searched in google).

She didn't want to make it herself, though.  But she wants me to watch her make it.


Wow. And I guess I will do this while holding the baby.

"Okay, Kay.. Keep stirring that roux until it turns the color of a penny. Okay, Justin is crying right now. Let me take over while you breastfeed him.When you finish, come back and give him to me. And finish this roux."

Yeah. That's how that's going to go.

We can make gumbo. And the best part of that is teaching my sister how to make it. Now, no, we are not from New Orleans, and the recipe was not passed down from some family matriarch. But I lived there and I had my share of good bowls of gumbo, and I know what I like! So I have a recipe that I've used over the past 15 years that leaves me satisfied. So yes, I will watch her make it.

But I wanted something for myself. And that is this right here.

Stuffed acorn squash.

I posted up the recipe a year or so go ("An Acorn Squash Tale").

That is quick and easy. I will basically throw the french doors of the refrigerator open wide and stuff the squash with whatever vegetables are there.

So that will be our Thanksgiving. And we will watch movies, movies, and more movies.

Song of the Week. So I went to lunch with a coworker. This is special because I don't go out to lunch with people. I may go no more than 5 times a year. And I save hanging out for lunch for people who have a good positive affect on me and my life. We went to a local korean street eatery and bakery, Sweet Hut, in midtown. They play an interesting mix of contemporary pop music. It was all music from the past couple of years, meaning that I didn't know any of it. I do NOT listen to current radio at all.

But then they messed around and played some old Michael Jackson.

Man, I had to do ALL I could not to bust out crying.

I told my coworker, "I'm going to go back to the lab and pull the Thriller album up on my Spotify!"

And I did. My favorite song on the album is "Lady in my Life".

Oh how I miss Michael Jackson! He had his problems, but the music from 30-40 years ago was AWESOME.

The last song by him that I like that I listen to often: "Heaven Can Wait".

That song is SO good.

That's off his final CD. Sigh.

He died in 2009. That is over 8 years ago. Wow.

Gone too soon. Music was his legacy. I am glad we still have that!

Well I am off to my weekend. And it will be a GREAT one, whether it is or I imagine and dream it to be!


You have a great weekend, too. On purpose!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Moon Grapes

Someone brought these to work. And they were very excited about them.

"What are those?" I asked the coworker who brought them and placed them in the general area for all to enjoy.

"Oh, those are moon grapes," she said, with way too much glee. "I got them down at Publix!"

I nodded.

But I didn't get any. Nope. They look mad crazy.

I'd never heard of them. And I didn't eat any.

Those grapes look special, They look like something we would see while stranded on an island and we were starving for food.  And we came across a tree with some bizarre fruit hanging from it.

I would still wait for someone ELSE to try them first because they may be POISONOUS!

Nope. I passed on those. I may try them...

Maybe next time.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Of Wallets and Reunions

So... a couple of months ago I had the opportunity to attend a family reunion on my father's side of the family. I considered this a challenge because first, I don't really know these people, and second, the older I get, the more I don't care to deal in crowds. So with that said, I saw the family reunion as a great opportunity to not only be around my own kin, but as a much needed opportunity to tackle these minor social anxiety issues that are creeping into my life as of late.

The interesting thing is that my father's family is as quiet and calm as myself. This is hilarious to me, yet it makes me understand more about my personality.

And it also afforded another opportunity: running up on one of the popular local outlet malls.

I felt bad about this because, when having a phone conversation with a cousin about the location of the family reunion, my eyes lit up.  I said to her "That's down there by the Tanger Outlet. I want to go to the outlet! I haven't been there in 20 years!"

I was thinking that in my head and it somehow slipped out of my mouth. There's an Oldgirl at work that has a Michael Kors wallet and we discussed it maybe being at the outlet. Hmmm.

So at the reunion I heard the question a couple of times... "Did you get a chance to go to the outlet?"

Yes I did.

I stopped by Michael Kors. And I went to the Coach outlet, which was nearby. I didn't have much time. I should've gone down there a few hours early, but I didn't. But I bought a few items.

There was some odd 70% off  sale. I only went for one wallet, but hey, I saw some others that I wanted.  I purchased some wallets for around $100 total!

I only went into the Coach store to look around. But I bought that small Coach wallet also.

I wasn't all that interested in Coach, though.


Because I have a Coach edition car!

Look close!

I always tell people that you can attach a strap or handle to my car and it would be a very fine purse for a dinosaur!


It was a good trip to the outlets, and a good family reunion. I was glad I went. My father's side of the family, and I've noticed this whenever I am around them, are some very kind, quiet and calm people. It makes me understand that part of my personality better. And it definitely helps me to accept myself as I am with glee.

Those important lessons (and a few nice wallets), are a good thing!