The Prayers of the Righteous

First, thank y’all for commenting on my last post. She brought her grades up…but not enough to stay in Jr. Beta Club. She has As and Bs, but not a 90 average overall. We talked about it, and I emphasized that she is the only one responsible for her grades. We can help her, prod her, nag her, but she’s the one who has to put the work in. I think getting kicked out of Beta Club might – might – have been a bit of a wake up call. I continue to stay prayerful that the next few years are kind to us.

So, I don’t know about y’all. But there are times when I have found myself saying things I NEVER thought I would. And my prayer last night was one of those times.

Smoochy was getting ready to go to work and I was out in the garage kinda straightening up and hula hooping (don’t ask). Well, Smoochy comes out, opens his garage door and peers up at the house. So I ask what he’s looking at. “Oh, there’s a squirrel trying to get in the house.” Um. Sir. I need you to not be so casual about this.

I. Am. Terrified. Of. Rodents. And squirrels? They’re rodents. People give them a pass because they have “cute” bushy little tails. But to me? They’re just fancy rats.

We have a Tudor style house. So it’s got these big plaster (?) panels on the front, trimmed out in wood. Well, the stupid squirrels have tried to get in before. And by try, I mean those jokers pried up a panel, ate through the insulation and bored a small hole into the wall…right next to LG’s bed. Be still my heart. Smoochy and his friend got up there, nailed the board back down, patched the hole on the inside wall and swore all was well. And it was. Until it wasn’t. Yesterday. This stupid rat is trying his (I refuse to believe a female would be so rude!) best to get in the house.

So I did what any grown woman would do. I started crying. Smoochy assures me that by the time I get home today he and his friend will have it all fixed – they are going to add a sheet of metal to help ensure the stupid rat can’t get in and he’s going to have someone come out and trim the trees back in the hopes that it impedes the pests.

So last night I found myself uttering the following – and meaning it with all my heart – “Dear God. Please keep that squirrel and his friends out of my house.”

Life. It comes at you fast.

Oh. If you have any horror stories to tell about squirrels?  Please keep them to yourself. Thank you 🙂

 

 

 

Looks like I might have to blog through it…

I need to complain. And I don’t like complaining. So I’m going to do it here, where I’m pretty sure traffic has dropped off to zero. Mostly because I stopped blogging.

Anyhoo.

My sweet girl. My only child. My beloved daughter. Yeah, that one. That child is working my nerves. Not every day or anything, but I’m definitely realizing that getting through these pre-teen and teenage years is going to require a lot of patience and prayer. And I might start drinking.

She has gone from a sweet, hilarious kid with a mind of her own to…a sweet, hilarious kid with a mind of her own AND the determination to follow her own mind. Jesus help me.

From all A’s and induction in the Jr. Beta Club to mostly A’s and a D (a D!!!) and Jr. Beta Club probation.

From mostly obedient at school to wearing a hat to school, knowing we didn’t know it wasn’t allowed, AND refusing to take it off when asked to do so by multiple teachers because…she said her hat made her outfit and she wouldn’t look right without it. -_-

I had to sign two pieces of paper this week. One acknowledging her write up – because of the hat debacle – and one acknowledging her probationary status in Jr. Beta Club because her average has dropped to an 88.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that in the grand scheme of things we are blessed. But I do not take this disobedience likely. It grinds all of my nerves that this little child has the unmitigated gall to look multiple teachers in the eye and flat out refuse to remove her hat. Child, no. This will not do.

I wanted to beat the brakes off of her. And I’m not exaggerating. My soft-hearted husband thought that was too much – I still disagree – so she ended up losing the use of her iPod for…a day. I fussed. And fussed some more. And then told her I was done fussing. And I am. For now.

But I can tell this kid is finna give us major attitude. And I will be praying for the wisdom and patience to get us all through this years as unscathed as possible.

And I might be posting more regularly. You know, just to complain a bit and get it out of my system.

If anyone is reading this, I hope that life is treating you well. Stay blessed.

It Scared Me. But I Did It Anyhow.

Oh, so I’m just gonna pop back in here and blog like it’s not been a while? Sure am.

Recently returned from a cruise with LG (who started 5th grade last week. 5th! My girl is growing up!), my parents, my SIL, niece, nephew, and three cousins. That’s right, ten of us set sail from NOLA to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. 7 days on the high seas. And we had a ball.

Now. You may – or may not – remember that swimming is not my thing. I grew up with a pool in my backyard, but I still never managed to conquer my fear of drowning and become a proficient swimmer. I’ve taken a couple of swimming lessons, so I can swim on my back, I can swim underwater as long as I can hold my breath, but an Olympian I’ll never be. But. I wanted to snorkel at least once on this trip. I know you don’t have to be able to swim to snorkel, but I figured I’d better go ahead and get back in the water. So I signed myself up for another round of swim lessons. And actually made great progress according to my teacher. Apparently I can swim. I just need to believe that I can swim.

Anyhoo, we decided to snorkel in Belize. My parents told me that you just wade out from the shore, put your mask on, stick your face in the water and ooh and aah at all of the sights. Except when you don’t. We booked an excursion and found ourselves motoring out into the Caribbean. I thought we were going to an island. Wrong. So wrong. When we got out in the middle of…nowhere, the captain threw down the anchor and said “everybody off!” Uh. What? Why are we in the middle of this huge expanse of water? Where are we gonna snorkel? Apparently, right there, right then.

Y’all. I was petrified. But I’m also cheap. And I figured since I’d paid $74.99 for me and $54.99 for LG to partake in this, into the sea I would jump. So I did. And I was more scared than a little bit. But once I calmed down, stopped panting (uh, your head is above water girl AND you’re wearing a mask that makes it possible to breathe out of your mouth), and whispered up a quick prayer? I had a ball. I went for it, stuck my head in the water, marveled at the sea life, and could not get over the fact that I was bobbing around in the middle of the sea, with 8 of my family members (one cousin chickened out), having a darn good time.

I held a conch, a sea cucumber, saw lots of beautiful fish, marveled at the beauty and vastness of the sea, and got “stuck” over a huge portion of the coral reef. But instead of panicking, I just rode the wave (literally) and eventually was able to paddle back to my group. It was an awesome experience and I am ever so glad that I didn’t listen to fear and chose instead, to experience something new.

I hope that if fear is holding you back from doing something you really want to do, you will choose to take a deep breath and jump in feet first instead of standing on the shore paralyzed with self doubt.

Happy Monday! Have a blessed week.

And just because this is the ONLY picture I have from the entire experience, here’s my kid, bobbing around in the sea having the time of her ten year old life 🙂

Year End Ramblings

Hey y’all. It’s been quite a 2014. Some good, some bad. I guess in some ways that means it is exactly like every year that has passed and every year that is yet to come.

My first semester of my doctoral program is under my belt, praise God! I ended the semester with 3 As. That A in Biostatistics? Nothing but grace. I had an 88. I guess the instructor felt bad for my struggling self and gifted me those two extra points. I will be auditing a Biostats class probably every semester until I take my comps – I am self aware enough to know that without notes and a book in front of me, there’s no way I could pass comps with my current “knowledge” of the subject. Anyhoo, semester 2 is next on deck. I did pretty well not procrastinating this semester, but there’s always room for improvement. Taking 2 classes and a lab again next semester. Next year I will start taking a minimum of 9 hours a semester. I refuse to be in this program until I’m 50!

Still in shock over the death of my father-in-law in November. I keep waiting for his smiling face to peer around the corner and offer me a piece of candy and a hello in his Central Mississippi drawl. Sigh. I was blessed with a great MIL and FIL and I miss each of them on a regular basis. Smoochy is doing well, LG continues to be weepy, but really when your Paw Paw is gone that’s to be expected. It’s weird for me not having a parent right around the corner who would do anything for me that he could. Have mercy.

We hosted Christmas day festivities – something that is sooo far outside of my comfort level that it’s not even funny. But I think that everyone – my SIL, her family, an aunt and her family, an uncle and his, and two sets of family friends – had a good time. Smoochy had someone cook dinner for us and had the house professionally cleaned so I really had to do was bake a few cakes, make some punch, and stay awake. I’ll let you guess which of those tasks was hardest for me….

Speaking of having the house professionally cleaned? Yeah – adding that to the budget for sure! Y’all I have fallen in love with our house all over again since it’s all sparkly clean and smelling good. We don’t need someone on a weekly, or even biweekly basis. But someone coming in once a month or so, dusting the place really well, hitting those baseboards and cleaning all the windows? Sign me up! Glorious I tell ya!

Went to see Annie with LG and her friend yesterday. And don’t y’all tell anyone as it would ruin my rep as a musical hater, but I actually enjoyed it! Who knew?!?

Anyhoo, I know that everyone has stopped blogging for the most part, but I’ve missed it, I’ve missed y’all and I’m pretty sure that 2015 will have me back in this spot on a regular basis.

Be well!

Hola! Que paso?

I miss blogging. So I decided to blog.

Randoms. Of course 🙂

  • I turned 42 yesterday! I’m not really sure how that happened since I was just 26, but apparently time? She marches on. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who refuses to share their age. I’m 42 and glad about it. Every day, every year is a blessing.
  • I thought my day was going to be full of work and school. But. I left work early and took myself to the movies – saw “This is Where I Leave You.” Pretty good. Reminded me a lot of my family dynamic. Then I ran home to see Smoochy and LG before I went to class. They sang, gave me a delicious assortment of mini bundt cakes (who even knew this was a thing???), I opened my presents and then I jetted off to class. Only to learn class had been cancelled. Which means I got to go see The Spinners at the state fair. Y’all! I love The Spinners. I’m not entirely sure who those 5 dudes in bright yellow suits were, but they sounded good and LG and I had a ball. And The Spinners have a new fan. Who happens to be 10. I’m pretty sure LG and I were the youngest people in attendance, but whatev!
  • I’m slowly getting back into the groove of being in school. Seems more difficult this time around for whatever reason. But I’ll get there!
  • So. I know this girl, okay, grown woman. We go to church together and have people in common. She’s mentioned hanging out a few times. So another friend and I went to lunch with her. She stayed tapping on her phone the whole time. Alrightie. Then we invited her to a concert. She stayed tapping on her phone the whole time. And then went home and told her husband that my friends and I were a bunch of wild women. Um. Yeah. No. Then she invites us (really our children) to her son’s birthday party – but tells us that she’s only paying for the 4 little boys who are coming from his class – we’d have to pay for our girls. Lady. This right here? Just may be the reason you don’t have any friends. My friend wants to fight this girl. I just want to tell her that she’s got some odd behaviors that are likely standing in the way of her developing the type of friendships that she says she desires. Did I mention that when she sees my other friend at work – they’re both in education – she doesn’t even speak because she “keeps her professional and personal lives separate.” Good luck sister. Oh. I typed all that because I’d like to know what you think – tell her about her…idiosyncrasies and the fact that they’re holding her back, or just let her be and hope she finds a friend or two who will put up with her? I think she’s decent. But confused.
  • I just realized I’ve been listening to Tevin Campbell’s “Round and Round” for a good half hour. Apparently I hit “repeat song” when I mean to hit “shuffle songs.” I wonder why that dude’s career didn’t take off…
  • Since I last wrote my little kiddo celebrated her 10th birthday! I cannot believe I’ve been her mom for a whole decade now. She is still the funniest kid I know (yep, I’m biased) and every day brings a new adventure and/or issue. Right now? We’re up to our necks in training bras and discussions on why I won’t let her shave her legs. Go sit down somewhere little girl!
  • I have three brothers. One doesn’t talk to the family as a whole. One is mad at me and our conversations as of late have consisted of monosyllabic grunts – on his part. The other one and I are still cool. I’ve been praying a lot for restored relationships.

I guess that’s it for now. How’s everything with you? Life good?

Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed. Ask For What You Need. You Have Not Because You Ask Not.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I don’t like to ask for help. From anyone. I will run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out how to do something on my own before I’ll ask for help. I don’t know why I’m this way, but I am.

I will offer to help someone in a heartbeat. Well, generally. And if someone offers to help me, I will surely accept. But it is rare that I open my mouth and say “will you please help me?”

Y’all know I’m starting school on Monday right? Right. I’ll be in class two nights a week from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Let’s not even talk about how I like to go to bed at 8:00. Anyhoo. I’d decided I was going to pick LG up from school at 2:00 on those days, take her home, get her homework done, get her fed, run her to the sitter, sit in class for 3 hours, pick her up from the sitter, run home, get her showered and in the bed, study my notes, and fall asleep.

Then I had this genius-level epiphany: tell Smoochy you need help.

Now. I love my husband, and he’s an all around good fella. But I have to tell him what I need. He’s not all that intuitive, and really, he shouldn’t have to read my mind.

So I tell Smoochy “look. I know you love driving that truck. You enjoy not having a “boss.” You like your schedule, and I get that. But I’m getting ready to go back to school and I cannot do this I do not want to do this by myself. I’m going to need your help.”

And do you know what he said? “Okay.”

He has started filling out applications for trucking companies that advertise as having their drivers home each night. He told his current supervisor that he needs a change in his schedule and that if they couldn’t work something out there, he was going to have to move on. That he wants to stay with them, but he needs to be more involved at home.

Y’all.

Y’all.

I am feeling so relieved right about now. It may take a minute for Smoochy’s schedule to be the way that’ll work out best for us, but I am so thankful that he listened to what I was saying, agreed, and is making some moves. I am so glad I didn’t try to be Superwoman this go ’round.

I am definitely going to be less hesitant about asking for help when I need it from here out.

Now. Who wants to do my Biostatistics work for me? Anyone? Anyone?

Ramblings

  • Ferguson, MO. My heart hurts that we are STILL fighting this battle. That we are STILL being killed like dogs in the streets by police officers and then blamed for our own deaths. I am filled with rage. Yep, rage. And I’m tired of folks and their “respectability politics.” Wearing a suit, getting one degree or five of them does not, in a racist’s mind, mean one damn thing. They will gun your degree holding, suit wearing self down in a heartbeat. Ask Dr. King. Or Malcolm X.
  • Okay, woosah, what else…
  • LG started school a few weeks ago. My goals for her this year: establish a schedule/routine for her and stick to it. I am the worst with follow through, but am working hard on resolving this. So far, so good. Come home, do your homework, eat dinner, sweep, tidy up and then, if there’s time, you can chill/watch TV until bed time. She doesn’t like it, but oh well. Mama’s gotta do what Mama’s gotta do!
  • I start school next week. My nerves are somewhat settled and I’m just praying for a great semester in which I do not procrastinate and drive myself crazy. Okay, crazier.
  • I thought I was going to take one class and kind of ease myself back into the whole school thing. Nerp. Apparently receiving financial aid means I’ve got to take a minimum of 6 hours a semester. So much for the whole gentle transition. This semester I’m taking two classes: Disease Pathogenesis & Risk Factors and Environmental & Occupational Health. One lady – with whom I attend church – is taking four classes and working full time. She must be crazy!
  • Speaking of financial aid – those folks offered me a WHOLE lot more money than I will need for the year. I see how this madness works. Not falling for the okey doke. Just loan me enough for tuition. Though we do need some work done around the house…I kid, I kid. Not really. Okay, really.
  • Went to the Jackson R&B Festival this past weekend. Saw Boney James, Estelle and Ziggy Marley on Friday night. Two of them were awesome. Estelle, was not. Saturday I saw Chrissette Michelle, BBD & Fantasia. Two of them were so good and so much fun. I’m still not a Fantasia fan. Oh well. It was supposed to be girl’s night out, but one girl was absolutely terrified to walk through the gates by herself so she brought her husband. Sigh.
  • I also drank some spiked iced tea and fell asleep. Outside. Surrounded by thousands of strangers. While Fantasia was on stage hollering. #ridiculous
  • I ended up sitting next to an older gentleman on Saturday. He kept calling me “young blood” and told me “they” told him to contact me. Uh…

I guess that’s it. I started this on Monday. I feel like I’m leaving a lot of stuff out. Maybe next time. Be well!

Why?

That’s all I’ve got today. A simple question with no simple answers.

Why?

I used to not watch the news. Ever. It was so depressing and weighed too heavily on my spirit. But somehow, the news, particularly in the morning, has crept back into my life.

And every day it’s the same damn thing.

Murders. Drive by shootings. Rapes. Robberies. Neglected children.

And the perpetrators always seem to be one of us. Black.

Now. The black men, the black people, I know are good. We are educated. We are well traveled. We love our lives. We don’t commit crimes. We go to work. We love our mamas and our daddies. We love and raise our children as right as we know how. We tail gate. We hold it down at home. Even the ones who are trife are just trife-light. Late on child support, drink a little too much, can’t keep a job – but still good folks at their core.

But I’ve got to wonder what is going on in our community that we just seem to be wilding out every day, in every way possible.

Why are these kids killing each other? Why are they killing the elderly? There was a woman here – 67 years old – who was found beated, raped, stabbed, strangled AND shot. My God. A woman was held at gunpoint and raped by three men in broad daylight at a gas station. No one responded to her when she cried out for help. No one.

Is it Godlessness? Is it babies having babies? Is it absent fathers? All of this? None of this? Don’t other races experience these situations as well? Why aren’t they acting a fool all over our cities and states?

I’ll give you a small bit of media bias, but that can’t be all of it.

Why? What are the solutions? What are your thoughts on this?

 

 

 

Monday morning randoms

  • How cute is this? Got a text this morning – apparently LG and her camp BFF were thinking along the same lines when they laid out their outfits last night. And this couldn’t have been planned because everything LG is wearing? We bought yesterday. Eager much?
  • MSB
  • Summer is, for all intents and purposes, over. LG goes back to school on August 7!
  • Speaking of August 7…why? This is the last week of summer camp, yet school doesn’t start until the next Thursday. For three days I won’t have child care. Oh, but I will. Someone will be joining her father in his big rig. I wish camps and schools would synchronize their foolishness.
  • School. I start on August 25. I’ve got less than a month to finish cleaning my house up and out and getting everything organized so that home/work/school doesn’t drive me any battier than I already am. Y’all pray for me.
  • I said I wouldn’t complain about this any more. On twitter. But this isn’t twitter, so…my pregnant coworker is driving me crazy. Every day she complains. And complains. And complains some more. Now I’m the first to admit that I had the easiest pregnancy and delivery in the world. And I try to be sympathetic. But it aint working. I know more about her body, symptoms, and issues than I want to. And she’s only about 7 weeks pregnant. I need to figure out a way to remind her that some things only her doctor and husband need to hear about without cussing her out (this is hyperbole – I don’t cuss people out!) and hurting her feelings. Okay, I’m done complaining about it on here as well 🙂
  • Oh wait. I do have one more complaint about her. She used to have an on campus parking space. Now she doesn’t. So she waits for me in the parking lot so we can walk in together. I realize I sound petty whining about this, but that’s my quiet time and she’s harshing my mellow. Okay, now I’m done for real.
  • I’ve kicked up my working out – I’m trying to work out at least 4 days a week and have done so for the last 3 weeks or so. I take a light weight lifting class, a 30 minute high intensity class, spin, and bootcamp. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost not one single pound -_- I’ve been eating better as well, but I guess I need to make some more adjustments in the kitchen, because I know I should see more change than I do.
  • Have y’all heard of the sandwich method of doing your nails? I tried this last night to see if I could make it through the week AND do a lot of heavy chores and still keep my manicure looking good. Right now, my nails are good for a week, but I don’t do a lot of heavy cleaning during the week. I was too…lazy to do all the steps she calls for. I did a base, gelous, color, gelous, color and topped it off with Seche Vite. 5 coats instead of my usual 4. Hope it works.

I think that’s it. Have a glorious day!

Road Trip!

roadtrip

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.

welp!

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!

LCM

“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.

shack

A sharecropper’s cabin

chapel

A plantation chapel

pose

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!