Monday, August 21, 2017

The Wonderful Eclipse... and Scoot Booty

So I have been annoyed with all this eclipse hype. I just remember a partial eclipse during my high school years that did not live up to the hype. But I was all excited about others being excited.

And I was more excited about someone who was a bit more important than this eclipse:

Scoot Booty.

But back to the eclipse. Did you get out there and see it?

I did. I saw it through a piece of paper.

And that's as good as it got.

Nope... someone put 4 holes in a sheet of paper and we saw 4 crescents.

Oh joy...

It made me happy enough... for a few minutes. I told people that I would've been happier if it got pitch black outside and it started lightning real bad and I heard some loud roars.


*everybody running like hell from the monsters*

Yes,  that would've made me more excited.

But something else happened that made me 1000 times happier.

Scoot Booty! 

I had to throw on some scrubs like I was on the medical drama shows...

And you can tell I don't know what I'm doing... that doggone mask kept coming undone. Sigh.

But it was worth it.

Because I saw the birth of Nephew #3 on Stardate 2017.19.08!!


Better known as Notorious J!!

Or as I have been calling him the last couple of days, Scoot Booty.  I call him that because he is a preemie and his little booty LITERALLY fits in the palm of my hand.

So amazing.

This is not a Milk and Cookies production, aka, my brother's baby.

This is a Kentucky production. So I guess we can call him Kentucky 2.0 also. 

(I love nicknames).

You know I took a gazillion pictures, many of which I will use to embarrass Scoot Booty.  I have some great posts coming. Yes indeed. So stay tuned.

And stay tuned for the sweepstakes drawing tomorrow. Comment to win!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Freestyles

It is Friday!

Freestyle Friday!

And it has been a long long GOOD day.  That is a good thing, because I LOVE it when my day goes by super fast. I like to get to work, look up and go  "Wow! It's time to go!"

That makes for a good day.

Alright, I talked with the military chick who does my official drawings and she will pull the winners on TUESDAY. So the contest runs until Today. Make your comments on today's post through
Monday... something like that. You will figure it out.

I would talk about the politics, but nope. It is such a... show. And we know it. I am sure there will be much more to think about last 

I don't think I ever talked about the workshop I attended last weekend. It was a legacy memoir workshop, and that was great. I can write my own story much better, which helps out much on blog.

But the place where it was held...

Farmview Market out in Madison Georgia.

I say "out" because it was way out in the countryside, a good hour from my house, way out past the  city's eastside. Waaaaaaaay out.

Out in "the country" as the old folks like to say.

And you can tell too from the pictures.

Not a doggone skyscraper in sight! Nope! I was 60 miles from downtown Atlanta, that's for sure!

And they have a huge meeting room that our writers group can use for free.

What was great is the place supplied free ICE.

And you KNOW how I feel about ice.

The best times were break times... that gave us a chance to explore the market!

I saw some things I liked:

How wonderful is that?

Then I saw something I didn't like:

Pure worm Castings! What the heck is that? I didn't bother to look it up.  I ASSUME it's some fertilizer. I can't imagine what else it's used for.

But I enjoyed the workshop. I made sure to get up early and leave the house (by 8:50 a.m. instead of my intended 8:30 a.m.) and I got there on time - 10:00 a.m.  However, the workshop didn't start until 11:00 a.m. so low and behold I was an hour early! Imagine that!

Then I thought it was a two hour workshop, but it was a five hour workshop!


I think I was just focused on getting there!  And I did. And I am glad of it.

And  I will be getting back there.

Song of the Week.  I have TWO great ones. I heard both this past week, and both are hail from the early 90's.

"Sending My Love" by Zhane

"Love's taken Over" by Chante Moore.

(I tell you... aren't you thankful that HD is the norm these days?  Because these videos. SMH)

Oh my! Those songs bring back some memories. If you're my age, you can remember where you were and what you were doing when those songs were hot.

That is it for me.

Look, DO NOT be discouraged by all the chaos going on.  Create your own peaceful space. That is and always be my goal. No matter what's going on in politics, take life day by day, and give strength to the great things that happen that day in your life. That is my plan. Yes, it is.

On that note, have a great weekend!

On purpose.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Special Birthday Month!

No it's not my birthday month. But it's my brother and sister's birthday month.

Happy 30th Birthday to Kari (Milk and Cookies), and Happy 36th Birthday to Kentucky.

(Today is actually Kentucky's birthday!)

I wanted to post my favorite picture of us. No, it is not a recent one, but it is one from some 29 or 30 years ago.

That picture is SO funny to me. We were so young. I was only 19, and I think Kentucky was 6 or 7, and Kari had just turned 1. (He was past 1. Maybe 18 months).  Kari had just learned to walk, no run, and I had to be sure to carry him. Whenever I put him down, he would take off running!  And it got old trying to chase him down before he fell down or ran into something.

That day, Kari told his first joke. The photographer said  to me, while posing us for the picture, "You got started early didn't you?"

I was bit perturbed by this, as people always thought (and still think) my brother and sister are my kids. "No, this is my brother and sister."

"Yes I is, Lisa," my brother yelled. "Yes I is!"

Meaning Yes I am your child.

The look I gave that boy as he fell out laughing. He was full of giggles.

Lawd. How upset that made me. And not to mention the awful look the photographer gave me. He looked at me like I was a liar.  

Kentucky had her own special brand of issues that day, namely her fascination with her arm on my shoulder. She thought propping her arm on someone shoulder like she did was a way of putting a curse on them.

(I to this day have NO idea where she got that whole idea from. NONE).   

And I myself was suppose to take a picture with my boyfriend that day, but I was mad at him. I snatched up my little brother and sister instead.

I am so thankful I did because that is the only picture I have us all together.

That is such a special memory, that day.

And over the past 30 years, it has been a pleasure to see them go and grow and do great things.

It makes my thoughts of them on their birthdays all the more special!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Roots and Fruits (Book Review of Small Great Things)

Oh once again, we are EMBROILED in chaos.

I am so sick of it. Ugh. Thank goodness I can just turn off the TV and do something constructive and valuable.

But all of this has reminded me of a book I read.

Not all of, but the sight of white nationalists in their sane outfits - not dressed in their golf gear. So odd. Or is it?

And with that said... fellas, the Klan wore hoods for a reason. Maybe ya'll should have worn them, because ya'll got put on blast on social media. Some of ya'll lost your jobs SAD).

But like I said, it reminded me of a book I read this winter.

Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things.

I like Jodi Picoult. She is not my favorite author, but she's on the list somewhere, easily in the top 20. I have read a few of her books, maybe 5 or 6. But anything I've read by her is entertaining and full of great themes and lessons to be learned. And I write long fiction in the same way she writes it, where each chapter is an alternating point of view. In her books, there are usually two or three main characters and the story moves along well from each point of view. I love reading and writing in that style.

So with that said, the story she tells in this novel is intriguing... and timely for days like this.

It's too hard to summarize the story without revealing the plot. But in a nutshell, it's based on a true story. It's about an black OBGYN nurse who is prohibited from caring for a newborn infant because the white supremacist father requested that no african-american nurses tend to his baby. Well, some unfortunate events take place and the nurse finds herself on trial, and the whole efficacy of the request by the father comes into question. The story is told from three points of view: the baby's father, the nurse, and the nurse's lawyer.

First of all, from the picture above, you can see that the author is white. But I tell you one thing, she was so very accurate when writing the experience of the black nurse, namely, the experiences that black women face in this country. I saw so much of myself in this character, in what I go through and how I am treated. It was painful to read Ruth's story, but more painful to read the detailed nuances. I saw where Jodi Picoult said that she had over 100 hours of interviews with black women, and that's how she understood and captured the essence of the character.

But the character who shocked me most, and what's also related to what goes on now, namely, what we all witnessed this weekend:

The portrayal of the white supremacist father.

So when I saw this weekend's chaos, I thought about the book.

The author goes into extreme detail concerning the who, what, where and why of how the father developed his views.

It was shocking just reading the whole radicalization process.

Because let's face it... no one becomes that way overnight. NOPE.

Everything is about process. EVERYTHING.

I'd never read anything like that before. So when I saw all these men this weekend carrying their tiki torches and dressed all conservatively in the pressed khakis and golf shirts, I thought "Yeah, unh-hunh, I know what's up."

And I'm glad I read that book. Because, yes, I know what's up. I got a glimpse into the whole white nationalist mindset. And it was NOT pretty. But it was necessary.

That's the best book by her that I have read. She stated in her afterword that  she knew she was a white woman of privilege and she was writing it to white people so that they could understand what  racism is about (And her afterword was one of the most powerful I have ever read in a book. WOW).

And it has helped me understand the whole white supremacist mindset.  And it's a bunch of craziness.

This is my thing: you know the tree by the fruit that it bears. And the fruit produced in this case is beyond suspect. If the fruit is rotten and full of hate, well....

And when I saw this weekend's events unfold... I just shook my head.

And thought of this book.

And when I saw our beloved President's attitude towards it all?

I folded my arms and just shook my head.

And I thought of this book. 

Oh what manner of fruit hangs from this tree!

That's all I got to say about that.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Freestyles


You know it's a good day when it's not raining cats and dogs. And you can open the sunroof of the Lexus!


You know it's a good week when you're folding clothes and a piece of currency falls out.

And it's NOT a $1 bill.


That was awesome. I immediately thought... I'm gonna SPEND that.

Especially since I was being way too lazy this morning with my snack preparation for the day.

How lazy is that? I usually slice up a pear or an apple, and some honeydew melon. I may even throw a strawberry or two over in there.

I didn't even remove the grapes from the stem.

I was running late and I just knew it was time to go to work. So that's all I had.

But it was good, though. Especially since I didn't have breakfast.

I had my $20 bill that mysteriously appeared in the dryer. And today is PAYDAY.

So I went out to lunch.

And I spent that money today at a new spot near the workplace... Babalus.

I've been there once before (last week). It's not all that. It is probably awesome for the midtown area, seeing that I have my favorite hole-in-the-wall tex-mex spots. NOTHING beats those spots.

Although they did have The Lucy Show playing up on the wall.

My favorite spots don't get down like that. I thought it was pretty cool. 

This is what I got, though.

One blackened redfish taco and two grilled shrimp tacos.

They were GOOD. That will be my go to menu item for now on. That and their Mexican street corn. That's some good stuff there!

But what I liked best was the glass of water I had. I asked for a side of lemon, but the waitress brought out lemon, lime, mint and blackberries.

That was GREAT! I will be rolling through there order more water with ALL of that!

And I will order one $3.75 taco.

I spent my $20. I was good and full. And I had to get back to work. I needed a good nap. STILL need a good nap. I will sleep well tonight, needless to say.

Atlanta Noir. Another reading in the books! We did some reading and discussion last night and it went well. It was shocking to see some peeps I did not expect to see. Thanks for coming out Aunt Ray-Ray and Erica! Ya'll shocked me. I'd been texting with Erica, but I was concentrating on getting there and reading. LadyTee and the fam came out, and that was cool. I read for a little longer (6 minutes instead of 4 minutes), and that was good, because I have one more reading and I can work on my delivery a little more.

I texted Tayari afterwards (she wasn't there).  She was all like "You didn't get any pictures?"

My answer: "No girl! I was trying to concentrate on reading!  Humph!!"


I enjoyed it. I will always remember this. I tell you that much. Even in my sad times, I will close my eyes and relive the moments!

New Haven Noir came out the same day as Atlanta Noir.

I may just go out and buy that one, too! 

Song of the Week. "Call Casting"  by Migos (parental advisory suggested for those with sensitive ears and hearts)

I like this song, but I like a dance troop's performance to the song. When I am feeling particularly sluggish, I watch this. It gives me energy. And wish I could move like them!

How funny is that? Whose apartment complex parking lot are they dancing in? Is that your complex, Ginae? Laura are they out in front of your apartment?

Just imagine being in the apartment and seeing them out there dancing. LOL.

Whelp. That's it for me! I have a writers group meeting tomorrow at a new location.  It will take me exactly 59 minutes to get there. So that means I need to get my money together TONIGHT. Make sure I have enough gas in my car TONIGHT. There is nothing worse then having to be on time somewhere far away and I have to stop for gas, stop for money, stop for breakfast. I am totally worn out by the time I get there.

So tonight I will get ready. I have to be there by 10:00 am, and the goal is to leave by 8:30 am.  So we will see how that works out.

You have a great weekend! On purpose! 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Atlanta Noir Book Party TONIGHT

So Newy is blowing down the comments concerning the next reading.

For some odd reason, I didn't even think to put it up here. I guess because I put it on Facebook...

Atlanta Noir Book Party
Charis Books in Little Five Points.
7:30 pm
Speakers: Jennifer Harlow, Alesia Parker, Gillian Royes and Sheri Joseph

Here's  the link: 

Atlanta Noir Book Party, Charis Books

And here's a bootleg pic of the flyer....

Can you read 0.002 sized font? I can't. If you can, then you are Superman or Wonder Woman. LOL

So I suggest you click that link.

If you're coming, see you there. Don't come late or you will not get in. There is a $5 suggested donation. Hmm... if you ain't got it, holler at me there and I got you.

Hope to see you there! The next one is at the Decatur Book Festival. I will post info about that soon!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A Special Gift (The Glass from the House)

My sister Kentucky attended my reading last Thursday and she brought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers.

How lovely are those?

Needless to say, flowers don't do well at my house. Sista Callie Jo  and Mitch see flowers and plants and think...

"Yeah. Unh-hunh. Just wait 'til Oldgirl set those down. We are going set it off up in the mutha! It's going DOWN!"

Look... Callie and Mitch like chewing on my plastic plants, so something real drives them crazy.

As can be seen by the work they did on the greenery of the lovely bouquet.
Look at that... They'd been gnawing on the pretty fern leaves.


So I brought the flowers to work in a glass from the house.

People called me out on "the glass from the house". Especially my workplace mother. She was NOT impressed.

"Lee, that's a glass from the house."

I looked down at the object in my hand. "No it's not!"

"Yes it is!" she hollered.

"Well, it will have to do. It's all I got!"

Workplace Mom did NOT want to hear it. She marched straight into her office and grabbed a fancy heavy glass vase, while her secretary hacked away at the tough flower stems with a pair of scissors. ("The stems must be cut diagonally before placing in water, LadyLee").

Hence, the special gift was made even more special. 

"And when the flowers die, keep the vase,"  Workplace Mom said.

I like her. She's a cool chick. And she keeps me straight.

And she won't let me walk around with my special flowers in a glass from the house.

I am so thankful for those flowers. Every time I see them, I'm reminded of my special night.

I wish they could live forever. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Sweepstakes Time... Atlanta Noir giveaway


I am giving away a couple of copies of Atlanta Noir.

Autographed by yours truly!!

All you have to do is comment on a post from this week or last week. So comment on any post since August 1. I think we will run this contest until AUGUST 15th.

So many people already have a book, so I will sweeten the pot with a $25 Visa gift card.

That is Visa... that means you can get gas, groceries, makeup and underwears from the Wal-marts... whatever from whoever takes Visa!

How cool is that?

I haven't given away anything in awhile. Most blogging has moved to "micro-blogging", i.e., Twitter and Facebook, so there are not many people reading. Although giveaways do bring the lurkers out of hiding. LOL

I lurk on those sites, and I rarely say anything. I prefer to write long long thoughts and stories. And my blog keeps that fresh for me! Yep!

But comment to win.  One comment per post, please. And who knows, you can leave just one comment overall and be a winner! That will make you lucky!!

So rest assured as always, I have someone pull my winners and certify them.

So comment to win!

*back to our regularly scheduled programming*

Monday, August 07, 2017

Things Left on My Desk

People always leave interesting things on my desk...

This offering has been the most fascinating as of late.

A plastic bag of potatoes.

*lee looks left*

*lee looks right*

Then I remember...

The Cowgirl Cre had extra, and she hooked me up.

Good looking out, Oldgirl!!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Friday Freestyles


This week has gone by in a flash.

And I am SO ready for the weekend.

This has been one of the most important weeks of my year. If you don't know, see the last post.

I am still on an emotional high from that! And I have had to keep practicing my reading every day (it is only 4 minutes long), so I can keep it fresh for the next reading on August 10th. So that hasn't been a big problem. Let's just say that I am SO looking forward to the next reading. It is one thing when I like my own writing, but when someone else likes it too, that's an awesome feeling.

And can I just take a moment to wish our beloved former President Barack Obama a Happy 56th Birthday?

Happy Birthday President Obama!

Do you miss him as much as I do?

There was less chaos. We'd all gotten use to folks feathers being all ruffled because a black man was in charge (let's face it, that has to be the reason. It is very apparent in the face of the current administration.  A dead giveaway is all the pretending that this here chaos is... normal).

I actually sat up and listened to what President Obama had to say whenever he gave a speech. There was something to be gained from it.

But now, it's a chore. This current president, well, the language is on a grade school level, which I am not accustomed to.  And then when he starts folding in multiple lies...

*turns channel*

God bless the President, but please stop emotionally draining me. Stop it.

And try to tell the truth.

There is some big grand jury assembled now. Hmm... Can't lie to them. Better plead the fifth!

You can just feel the atmosphere charging up. Everyone is upset. Mental chaos is everywhere. I want some peace. Peace of mind and all that.

But our current President... he is simply a reflection of who we are as a society. What he is is what WE are collectively as a country.


Oh. Well.

Song of the Week. Jay-Z and these videos for his new CD.  He is putting them out on a schedule of some sort, and I haven't quite figured that out yet. But the latest one is "Adnis".

See, I like that.  A think piece.

And I LOVE Mahersala Ali! Wow!

And no one is mumbling. Real rap MAY be returning. Maybe.

Who knows.
That is it for me. I am out of here!

I am ready for the WEEKEND!


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Oh What a Night

All I can say is...

Oh What a Night.

Four simple words. But they are full of glee and joy. They leave me breathless.

Oh what a night!

This was the first time that I can remember not being nervous when giving a talk in front of  a bunch of people. And it was a packed house, standing room only.

I have always done great with the scientific talks. But I have never given a reading before.

But it went well. We signed a load of books beforehand. And they sold out. How cool is that?

And I don't even know what to say about the GREAT Tayari Jones.

How awesome is she? She is awesome to the nth degree. She never ceases to amaze me.

And I don't say that because she gave a great reading. She always does that.

But I say that because she beckoned me over to her parents house in SWATS on Sunday and we practiced for a couple of hours. She taught me in that time how to properly read a piece of fiction. And how it is much different from reading something technical, much of which I've been always accustomed to. I will never forget her taking time to help me get my diction and pitch just right. Her Mom and Dad even took time to listen to me read, and they gave me great pointers. I incorporated ALL of that advice, and I did a pretty good job.

I can look over the past decade of our acquaintance, and she is one of those people over that period of time that's made a lasting and positive impact on my life and well being. I can't say that about many people. And I can only hope that someday, someone in the world  will be able to say the same about me that I say about her. 

I am simply shocked at doing something new and so different at this time in my life.

I will never forget it.

Oh what a night.

I have 2 more readings this month.

But I know they will never be good as the first time. :)