Road Trip!

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My cousin – I lived with him and his wife my freshman year of college – died. So, on Monday afternoon, after a few hours of work, LG and I found ourselves in a rental car headed to Pine Bluff for his services.

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It’s a quick drive from here to Pine Bluff. About 4 hours. The speed limit is 65 mph in most places. But there are a few speed traps along the way where the speed limit just drops from 65 to 25 or 30. Lake Providence, LA is one of those places. And I guess they want you to know it!

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“Hey Mom? Can we stop here?”

“Here LG?”

“Yes. Matu and Batu (what the grand kids call my parents) said you should learn something every day. And we don’t have anywhere to be until tomorrow. So I think we should stop.”

And that’s how we ended up taking a quick tour of the Louisiana Cotton Museum. The museum, in Lake Providence, is closed on Mondays, but we walked around, looked at the buildings, read the placards, and took a few pictures.

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A sharecropper’s cabin

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A plantation chapel

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My precious, precious girl that I am glad will never experience the life that those before her did.

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My mom flew in from Cali and we met up in Pine Bluff. We went by the family land. The house where my mother grew up has been torn down, but it was nice to be there with her as she talked about time, perspective, and how things and places change yet remain the same in our memories.

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Of course we stopped by campus and LG humored me by taking a picture in front of the lion. All the while talking smack and stating her allegiance to JSU. I’m surprised we weren’t kicked off the yard.

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I promise half my face doesn’t live in the sun, the other in the shade. And I have all of my teeth. No matter what it looks like in this picture.

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And finally, this is my brother’s birthday present. We do gag gifts every year and I could think of nothing better for him this year than ugly rejects (this photo does not accurately reflect their horribleness!)  from the bookstore clearance bin -  a neon UAPB tshirt and a blue cap with gold lettering. UAPB’s colors are black and gold. This cap looks like the illegitimate child between UAPB and Southern….just fugly!

 

Fifteen Years, Two Pictures, Ten Randoms

15 years ago my Dad walked me down the aisle (okay, he walked me outside and down the patio)

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We said I do.

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And we have been since then!

  • Smoochy is a blessing in my life and I am so proud and happy to share my life with him.
  • I hope that God allows us many more happy anniversaries.
  • I’m so glad I broke up with a loser-faced-loser (copyright Psonya) in June of ’93. Otherwise I would not have been at all receptive when “that big guy who plays football” slid me a note in Pharmacology class in August. Okay, so I wasn’t really all that receptive. But it all worked out :)
  • I still can’t believe I married a football player (I did NOT date athletes) and moved to Mississippi.
  • I am thankful to my parents for providing an awesome example of marriage.
  • We are going to dinner this weekend (with LG) and out dancing next weekend (without LG) to celebrate. We don’t exchange gifts.
  • It’s not always easy, but for us, it’s always been worth it.
  • I think our first year of marriage was the hardest. Smoochy would probably say we haven’t had a hard year yet -_-
  • He makes me smile. He makes me laugh – especially when he sings, he knows the lyrics to approximately zero songs. He’s such a sweet man. Don’t tell him I called him sweet. But he is.
  • He is supportive, calm, and just an all around good guy.

Okay, I’m done.

Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

Well Alrightie Then

LG is still, for the most part, kinda sorta, a believer. She believes in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and I’d guess the Easter Bunny. Now, I’ve never told her that any of these entities exist. Nor have I told her they don’t exist.

Well.

She’s lost several teeth in the last few weeks. So, last night I the Tooth Fairy had yet another tooth to swipe and money to pay out. (The Tooth Fairy has to keep stack of ones on hand like she patronizes the strip club….)

In addition to her fallen soldier tooth, this is what LG left for the Tooth Fairy:

Envelope addressed to the the elusive Tooth Fairy

Envelope addressed to the the elusive Tooth Fairy

Demand

“If your (sp) REAL follow these steps: 1. sign here in cursive 2. give me powers 3. when I race I’ll be as fast as lightning. Powers on sheet 2.”

1. invisibility 2. super strenghth (sp) 3. flying 4. freeze/heat breath P.S. Sign in Perfect cursive

1. invisibility
2. super strenghth (sp)
3. flying
4. freeze/heat breath
P.S. Sign in Perfect cursive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So yeah, my kid is basically demanding that the Tooth Fairy prove her existence with perfect handwriting and sharing of super powers….

Randoms

  • Took two days off to hang with LG for her Spring Break. We had a ball! Thursday was my day to choose our activities – we went to the Art Museum to see a display of civil rights photographs and some quilts by a local artist. We also ended up making bells out of clay that will be hung as part of an exhibit, so that was cool. I also chose the day’s restaurant so we went to Wing Stop and my “chicken levels” are right once again! Friday was LG’s day – she had a friend spend the night Thursday night and Friday we: went to see Mr. Peabody (it was pretty good), to the park, and…to Golden Corral to eat. Those poor children were suckered in by the idea of chocolate fountains. Sigh.
  • Saturday LG and I, as usual, went to the St. Paddy’s Day Parade in downtown Jackson. Such a good time! No one ever wants to go with us, so we roll solo. Some friends called after we got home and said they saw us there, didn’t know anyone they knew went, and we made plans to hang out next year – same place, same time. Apparently the streets turn into one big block party after the parade – already making plans on what I’ll be toting in the cooler next March.
  • I did end up telling the teacher at LG’s aftercare to stop telling her I’m Jamaican. He acted like he was offended. I didn’t care. At all.
  • The other day on the twitter, someone mentioned being so angry with someone that they couldn’t even pray for them. Yeah. I used to be angry with my youngest brother like that. I’d sit up and stew over what I was going to tell him/call him the next time I saw him or whatever. Then I realized that was a tremendous waste of time and energy. So now, when he pops into my mind, I just say “God bless him and his family.” That’s all I can muster, but it helps me. I can’t ask God to bless someone and then continue to sit around and plan the most epic of epic cuss outs! And believe me, I tried.
  • I’m about half way through “No Buy March.” I’ve cheated, but not much. I had to have some pictures developed to clear up space on my phone and I had a phone charger go out which I replaced. The challenge allowed for one exception – I took the two days of Spring Break as my exception. I need to buy a few more maxi skirts and refresh my tank top wardrobe for the summer, but other than that, I may extend this challenge another month or two. I didn’t think I bought a lot of extra junk, but really? I do. Well, I did.
  • What’re you reading? I need suggestions! Last two books I read were thrillers – Anybody’s Daughter and Buying Time by Pamela S. Young. They were pretty good. Someone in the blogosphere mentioned them and I think just about everyone has read/is reading them. I’m currently slogging through I Come Alone which is the real life story of an Australian woman who sells all her stuff and travels the world. It is more annoying than Eat, Love, Pray. And I didn’t think that was possible. But I’m committed to finishing it. I think.
  • I don’t really like LG’s teacher this year. Not very communicative, not at all friendly, and seems eternally pissed. Not real sure why she’s teacher 3rd graders.
  • The Girl Scout Troop leader is currently pissed with me. I’m turning in my cookie money late – it was due Saturday and she said she’d collect it then. I tried to tell her I wouldn’t be around on Saturday. Next time I guess she’ll listen.
  • That’s it I suppose. What’s good in your world?

ST PAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My little leprechaun and some of her parade swag! I’ve got to get her to stop throwing up signs…

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The name of this float tickled me so bad!

 

 

40 Bags!

Okay, so I am forever de-cluttering our house and throwing/giving stuff away. Yet and still, there’s always more stuff to throw/give away. I don’t understand this. I think that clutter – much like laundry – has unprotected sex while we are at work and school and just multiplies exponentially!

So Disco Diva mentioned this 40 Bags thing she’s doing – basically straightening up one area of your home each day for 40 days and at the end of it all, you will have gotten rid of 40 bags worth of trash/stuff to be donated. I love a challenge, so I’m in! Now like I mentioned just a second ago, I am constantly editing stuff out of our home, so I really don’t think I have 40 bags worth of stuff to toss. But. I definitely have some and I won’t by the end of this challenge. (I’m not printing spreadsheets or anything like that – just more clutter IMHO – I know what I need to work on!)

The areas that I’ll be concentrating on are: my nightstand, the junk drawer in the kitchen, the junk drawer in the wet bar, the junk drawer in the office (notice a pattern here???),  the bottom shelves of two of my bookcases, and our linen closets. Oh, and LG’s closet – pray for me! These places seem to have accumulated stuff that I can’t quite bring myself to throw away or that I’ve not found a good place for…yet.

My nightstand was the closest and most obvious place to get started. Now, in my defense, most of what had it looking bad (not really, but cut me some slack) were pictures that I’ve had developed but not yet put into an album. The reason I’ve not put them in an album is because I’m also participating in “No Buy March” (What? I said I love a challenge) and I can’t buy an album or three to put them in until April. But I can – and did – put them into a large manila envelope for storage until then. I should be ashamed to share the following picture, and I am. But I’m posting it anyhow. I do it for my peeps. Y’all are welcome :)

Oh my! I just looked at the picture again as I prepare to upload it. The pictures were the least of my concern. Oh well. Here goes…

Nightstand

I have…put the pictures in a large manila envelope, put my tea cup in the dishwasher, turned the Girl Scout cookie money in, put that chocolate kiss in the candy jar, thrown away the paper towel, put the allergy meds in the bathroom, put my jewelry in the blue dish I bought to hold it, and dealt with most of what was in the drawer – papers from LG’s school that I needed to respond to or toss.

Do I have pictorial evidence of the cleaned up version? Naw. I forgot to take a pic. But I will.

Anything you need to be working on cleaning up and out? You gonna do it? Get down on it! Less stuff, less stress!

92

As you may remember, I went home in mid-December to check on and visit with my Grandma. She’d had a heart attack and while I had plans to go home this summer for a week or two, I thought that I’d better go on home and see about her – and I’m so glad I did! We had a great time visiting, she was doing well – for a 92 year old who’d just had a heart attack or two – and in good spirits.

Well, about a week after I came home, she was rushed back to the hospital as she’d had another heart attack. They’d treated her, released her and she was home. I told both of my parents that I wasn’t too pleased with the care she was receiving in the hospital – they released her even though she was having horrible chest pains.  On Friday my mother called me and told me my Grandma was unresponsive, the paramedics were at the house working on her, and they (my parents) were getting ready to head into L.A. to check on her. When my phone rang about 15 minutes later, I knew. It was my mom letting me know that my Grandma didn’t make it. Even though I’d been expecting the news, it took the wind out of me and I sat at my kitchen table and cried into the mug of tea I’d just brewed to calm my nerves.

So now LG and I are getting ready to fly home to celebrate my Grandma’s life. And celebrate we will! Though it hurts to no longer have her here with us, I can’t be too sad for too long. My Grandma lived a long, happy, blessed life and blessed so many people during her 92 years on earth. My mom remarked the other day that she just realized she had her “mother-in-love” longer that she had her own mother (46 years vs. 40).

My Grandma lived in South Central L.A. She lived there before it was “the hood,” during the gang wars of the 80s and 90s and while my parents begged and pleaded with her many many times – particularly after my Grandpa died – to move out to suburbia with them, she always refused and said “when God gets ready to call me home, he’ll find me at 53rd and Broadway.” And that, is exactly where she was when she was called home.  She died like she lived – on her own terms and that makes my heart happy.

RIL Grandma!

 

 

Greetings and Salutations!

Happy New Year!

How were your holidays? Absolutely marvelous I hope!

We had a great couple of weeks off. Okay, so technically LG was the only one off. I worked most of the time. And by worked, I mean I showed up. I can neither confirm nor deny my productivity levels.

So, let’s talk resolutions. I know a lot of people scoff at the idea of resolutions, but I think they’re a great way to put out in the universe those things which you are hoping to accomplish over the next 365 days. Sometimes resolutions work, sometimes they don’t, but I’m certainly not going to knock them.

I did a vision board this year. A physical vision board. I went to H.obby L.obby, grabbed a french bulletin board and got to work. I bought LG one and she’ll do hers in the next few weeks. Last year I did a virtual one on Pinterest, but I never really looked at it and decided this year I’d better do something a little more concrete. On my vision board are: my Bible verse for the year, a travel quote, a quote about God, a piggy bank to represent my increased savings, an exercise motivator and a PhD visual. I may add a few more pictures, but that’s pretty much it. I hung it beneath my window and it is now the first thing I see when I roll over in the morning.

In addition to those things, I will be more deliberate in the choices I make regarding my health and I will read at least 50 books (including the Bible).

My overarching goal for this year is to be more conscious of the words that come out of my mouth and the thoughts that I have – to make them more loving, kinder, positive, uplifting. No wonder then that my verse for the year is Psalm 19:14.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”

What are your plans for the year? Have you written them down? Will you?

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This is my vision board. I’m going to add a few things to “pretty it up,” but these are my areas of concentration for the year.

Jackson, Memphis, Dallas, SoCal, …and Back!

So, at the last minute I decided I needed to go home and check on my Grandma. I started looking at ticket prices and the only numbers popping up on my screen were $979, $1125 and other such nonsense.

I said “Look God. I want/need to go home and see my granny. And I need this to happen for about $300. So I went to Price.line, put in $300 and the next thing I knew, my trip was booked. I did a happy praise dance right there in my office!

Thursday I worked half a day, then hopped in my car and drove to Memphis (cheap tickets aren’t always the most convenient…). After battling Memphis traffic I found myself at Psonya’s home where I chilled, watched Scandal, learned that those little Hawaiian roll sandwiches floating around on Pint.erest really are quite tasty, and slept.

Friday, I got up early in the morning and flew out. After a quick layover in Dallas, I was back in SoCal grinning in my mama’s face. We went home, hung around with my dad and middle brother (he came in from AR), shopped a little and then headed to L.A.to see my Grandma. She was surprised and happy to see me. I was happy to see her and find that she was doing soooo much better than she had been earlier in the week. We visited for a few hours, went to Roscoe’s for chicken/waffles, then back to the house.

Saturday my brother – who is training for a marathon – suggested that since it was his off day from running we all take a little walk. Cool? Cool. Except. I put on yoga pants, a tshirt and the only tennis shoes I packed – my Chuck Taylors. My dad came out of his room with hiking boots, a walking stick, water strapped around his waist, a hat, and shades. Sir. Where are you going?!?!? We all walk outside and he makes a move toward the car. My brother shouts “it’s a set up, don’t get in the car!!!!” Like a fool I get in the car. My dad drives us to some mountain trail where we proceed to hike up and down a trail for the next hour. -_-. I can’t believe I fell for the okey doke. But, it was a good little hike and as soon as I get the feeling back in my legs I’ll let you know. Brother and I then went to In-N-Out for burgers. I will fall off my “no beef” bandwagon for them! Straight hometown nostalgia. My mom and I then went and got Thai massages. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Thai massages are the bomb! Now, they’re not really relaxing affairs – those folks stretch and pull and knead you all kinds of ways. Gives new meaning to the phrase “hurts so good.” But when they finish? Whew Lawd! Greed dictated that I stop by Taco Nazo and have one fish taco, which I did. I was still full from my burger, but I had to have one! Then back to L.A. to visit my Grandma – at home! That’s right, they released her from the hospital and she’s back at the house. She’s happy about it as are we all! Only God knows what tomorrow holds, but right now, all is well in my world and for that I am thankful! Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday we got up at the crack of dawn, headed to the airport and two flights and a three point five hour drive later I was back home. So glad to see Smoochy and LG! Smoochy left for work about minutes after I got home, I think LG caught me up on how she’d spent her weekend and the next thing I knew, my alarm was going off and it was time to get back into the swing of things.

How was your weekend?

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Psonya & Aidan!

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Roscoe’s! (Not as tasty as it used to be. I hate when that happens!)

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My brother. The most hot chocolate drinking grown man I’ve ever known!

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Before our “walk!”

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In-N-Out. That’s what a hamburger’s all about!

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Un taco pescado por favor. Muy delicioso!

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Until next time!

Speaking of Hair…

This happened today. I’m not a fan. Gonna let it fully dry overnight and take it down in the morning – should at least get some nice curls/waves out of it!

I want some different looks for my hair, so while I’m glad I branched out of my comfort zone, this isn’t it.

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Forty Wonderful!

So since last we spoke…

  • I turned 41! Can you believe it? Okay, you probably can, but I can’t. 41? Time really does zoom on by. So blessed to see another year!
  • LG has informed me that we need to spend MORE time together. More y’all! We are nearly joined at the hip now, but I love my girl so now? I wake her up at 5:45 instead of 6:05 so we can spend 20 minutes cuddling and discussing what’s happened in our lives since her 8:00 bedtime the night before  -_-
  • I’m down 5 pounds with my clean eating/increased exercise routine. Happy about it. Another 10 pounds and then I’ll be revisiting the whole “how to eat a few treats every now again without gaining the weight back” issue.
  • I have tailgated all across the south. And by “all across” I mean Baton Rouge and Itta Bena :) Of course we tailgate at JSU home games, but this season we’ve taken it on the road as well. Had a ball at Southern and MS Valley. We are truly making memories!
  • I have been wonderfully blessed by Disco Diva! One day on the twitter, I mentioned that I was going to ask for a stand mixer for Christmas. Do you know she told me she had one she never used and boxed that bad boy up and sent it to me? I am so very, very grateful. Ms. Mixtress posted the other day about folks saying it’s “just the internet,” but I wholeheartedly agree with her – the folks I have met and “met” via blogging and Twitter are simply awesome and I’m thankful for each of you.
  • And now? Pictures. Behold:

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My purty new stand mixer! Making a cake next weekend to break this bad boy in :)

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I know I posted this on the Twitter, but this bar/lounge that some enterprising folks at Mississippi Valley set up at the tailgate just tickles me to no end! I should be so smart.

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Deep fried koolaid from the fair. LG requested it and then declared it “gross.” I didn’t think it was gross, but it certainly wasn’t delicious!

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This kid cracks me up. Especially when she’s wearing light up shades and dancing around my room.

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LG and H after the 3rd grade play. I wish they weren’t so shy…

 

Y’all have a great weekend! We’re supposed to tailgate for JSU’s Homecoming, but since Grambling players are on strike and not coming to play, I’m not real sure how that’s gonna play out!