Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Challenge - Day 30 The Finale

Day 30 – Some day…

Some day, I hope to be able to see all those around me happy and content and living in peace. It is so hard in this society with financial worries, job worries, kid worries and worries about life in general to have a small wisp of peace. Our lives are being controlled by things we can’t control.

Some day, I wish to see all my dreams come true whether small or big, but to live long enough to experience having dreams actually happen would be monumental. Huge.

I am not looking for perfect peace, just the peace of enjoying all God has deemed for me. I don’t think I am dreaming the impossible dream, I just have to have Faith it will happen. No worries because some day will be here soon enough and I am ready.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

June Challenge - Day 29

Day 29 – Favorite Place to Travel

I have 3 places that I love to travel to and if household repairs and such hadn’t taken up so much of my money I would be heading to one of the three this summer, but alas I will be right here in Montgomery this summer.

First up is the Bahamas, preferably Nassau. I fell in love with Nassau the first time I went there on a cruise and have been numerous times since, but always on a cruise ship. My goal is to fly down and relax there to see if it really is the place I can retire to and do nothing but write and enjoy life. I love the friendliness of the people, the island flavor and the fact there are parts that are undisturbed by tourism. I can see myself in a small bungalow near the ocean, seriously. There is something quaint about the area, but a bubbling excitement as well.

I love Memphis. I really do and if their crime rates weren’t so high and the humidity like the bowels of hell, I would love to live there. Seriously, the last time I was there they were coming off a killing spree and it was the same time as the football player’s death, you know one where the girlfriend killed him and herself? However, what I really love about Memphis is the music and the food. I mean you can get some good old, nasty, stank blues served up with some good, lip smacking bbq and still feel good. I just love the history of the city. I love the music. Hell, I love them damn ribs from The Rendezvous. Seriously, if I had a layover in Memphis I promise you I am taking a cab out to The Rendezvous for some ribs. Ain’t even joking.

Finally, I love traveling to New Orleans. I love New Orleans. I have some of the best memories of being there with good people. I can still smell the old of the history in New Orleans. I love just walking around and seeing the history before me and learning so much during each of my visits. I had a wonderful 35th birthday in New Orleans. Baby, we partied from the time we got there until the afternoon we left. When I say we had a good time that is a real understatement. We made New Orleans mean something during that visit.

My very first visit was with the owner of my 2nd job. He paid for me and another assistant manager to go to a food show in New Orleans. The other assistant manager got to see my true fear of bridges. I should have mentioned that about my fears, but that is a whole blog post. We had great rooms and we got to eat at Commander’s Palace, which is a unique and wonderful gastric experience. Although we were there on business, we managed to see some of New Orleans and I knew I was coming back the next year for vacation. And I did.

New Orleans has some good people there, but like anywhere else you go you will meet some not so good people. However, the good of the city far outweighs bad. I love the touristy parts of the city, but I really want to get to the swamp (seriously) and really go to the places that make the people of New Orleans some of the finest folks you will ever meet.

Now my last visit didn’t garner me any great food places except, Mother’s, New Orleans has some seafood for you. Although Hurricane Katrina took a bit of the history and people away from New Orleans you can still see its charm.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Challenge - Day 28

Day 28 – Saturday night

A typical Saturday night will find me at my second job supervising a crew of four young people. And since we are usually slow on that evening, I get to listen to their problems and weekly stories. Some of their tales are funny and some quite questionable. When we close I head home to usually prepare my dinner for the next day and week most times. And on the rare occasion I am tired, I end up in bed after a quick bath.

On the non-typical Saturday nights I may have a book club meeting, which lasts about 2 hours. If The Guy isn’t busy, we usually plan to get together after my meeting. There is nothing like a rousing good time with your girlfriends and quality time with your guy.

This coming up Saturday is actually book club meeting day and it is at my house so Saturday will be quite crazy for me. When it is over, I will most likely crash. LOL!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June Challenge - Day 27

Day 27 – Favorite Quotes

“The only lasting truth is change.” Octavia Butler

“Let me tell you something, and don't you ever forget it: that success is nothing without someone you love to share it with!” Mahogany the Movie

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The worst thing about being lied to is that you weren’t worth the truth.” Unknown

“Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes things happen because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.” Unknown

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Challenge - Day 26

Day 26 – Sports

Right now we are in the middle of the NBA finals and probably by the time this is posted (yes I write in advance), it will be over. (And Lebron got his ring!) I used to love watching basketball. I would be on cruises and be in the bars watching the division tournaments. I don’t care for college b-ball, but I was a fan of the Chicago Bulls when Jordan was playing and the Lakers. Right now I am favoring the Heat so Lebron can get his ring. Call it what you will, but I bet you that Karl Malone wishes he got one before he retired.

My first sports love was football when I was younger. Man, I was a Dallas Cowboy fan through and through. I represented for Dallas like I was from Texas. I also loved the San Francisco 49ers, LA Raiders previously Oakland, Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sunday and Superbowl were important, back then. Now, I could care less. That is really bad because folks don’t realize how much of the game I know and understand until I actually sit and watch one because The Guy is over or family has dominated the televisions. I know football. Only football I may watch is Alabama vs. Auburn and our house is divided as far as family is concern. War Eagle, baby! LOL!

When I was younger I was a real tennis fan. I remember when Yannick Noah won the French Open so cool. Now, even if Serena or Venus is playing I ain’t watching.

Me playing sports, not going to happen. I use to hit the tennis ball against the garage door, does that count? I played kick ball, volleyball and badminton during gym at school. I tried out for the track team in the 8th grade, didn’t make it. I was pretty fast, but undoubtedly not fast enough. I just was never really interested in playing sports competitively. Now, unless we are playing on the Wii, which is pretty much all the sports play I am doing.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

June Challenge - Day 25

Day 25 – Gym (favorite workouts, activities)

I am pretty darn lucky to have a job where we have a mini gym of sorts on the premises and on my floor. So at lunch I spend 30 or 40 minutes working out. This may include treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine or weights. I do a combination of cardio when I do weights so I try to do at least 15 to 20 minutes of cardio before I do reps of the weights at 2 or 3 different weight amounts. No heavy lifting. Although I was given the go ahead with working out 6 weeks after my eye surgery, I struggle with doing push-ups and planks because it feels like a brick is laying on the back of my eyeball with the pressure I feel, so I have had to nix those for the time being. But I also do plain old calisthenics, like jumping jacks. I do lunges and ab and core work. When I do the treadmill, I do interval training where I walk for so many minutes and jog for so many minutes at different rates per minute and yes, I do inclines.

At home before the murder at my community center, on Saturdays I would walk a 2.5 miles, which included jogging laps or intervals where I walk a section then jog a section. Now, I just walk about 1 mile around the block because I still do not feel safe walking at the community center. I also still use my Wii. If you don’t like actual working out may I suggest doing the Wii fitness, Zumba, Michael Jackson or other games which get your heart pumping and it really is fun.

Let’s be clear I do not love exercising, but in order to keep as much of the weight I lost back in 2009 and 2010 I must work out. I usually work out 4 to 5 times a week. The 6 weeks of no working out were torture for me because I worried about gaining the weight back and I did put on a few pounds because you can’t just keep and lose weight just on a diet and not exercise or vice-versa. Right now I am at a plateau, which is so evil. Really, no matter how little I eat or hard I exercise the scale says nothing, nada not even an F-you! But I try not to let it discourage me and I keep trying and looking at ways to increase my metabolism so I can reach my true weight loss goal. I currently have 36 more pounds to lose. Wish me luck!

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

June Challenge - Day 24

Day 24 – Food (likes, dislikes)

Should I start with the dislikes or likes? The list on both sides can be extensive. LOL!

You will not see me eating but four kinds of cheese (mozzarella, American, parmesan and sometimes mild cheddar). The smell of cheese will make me hurl. Really.

My mama must have craved cashews when she was pregnant with me because even when I was little I could not stand the smell of those nuts. I remember we went to pick my mother up from her job at K-Mart, and back then they use to roast nuts and of course they were roasting those damn cashews and a few whiffs of them and I threw up all over K-Mart’s nicely waxed floor. I get nauseous looking at pictures of cashews. I know that is quite unusual, but I blame my mother because this is unexplainable.

I am one black person who does not eat collard greens, cornbread or dressing. Just don’t like them. I used trade my sister my cornbread for her meat when we were younger. I do not eat Mexican because most of it has cheese in it. I don’t eat most Italian because it has cheese in it. I don’t eat okra so if you use it in your gumbo, I ain’t eating it. I can’t stand cantaloupe or honeydew melons. But will eat the hell out of watermelons.

I eat most vegetables and love Turnip greens (yeah, doesn’t make sense) and cabbage. I love a good steak every now and again. Sometimes I will crave a good old fashion piece of fried chicken, but I try not to indulge in fried foods often. Moderation. I love cream of wheat and oatmeal. Go figure. I like my fiber, man. Favorite dessert and I know is my Achilles heel, ice cream. Lawd, I can gain 10 pounds just thinking about it. I like chocolate, but I do not love chocolate. I love peanut butter, though. I was jealous my cousin cooked dinner the other night and she had…wait for it…a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on fresh soft bread. I can you hear me moaning the goodness of that combination.

And I know some of you all are going to judge me about these next few things. Don’t hold it against me, ok? I love chitterlings, pig feet and pig ears. I haven’t had any in over a decade, but my goodness that right there is some good soul food. Got my mouth watering right now. :::wonderingifBrendasisopenforafreshhotpigearsandwich:::

Stop judging me. I can’t help how my taste buds work!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Challenge - Day 23

Day 23 – How, Why, When did you start blogging? (Your story)

I started blogging back in 2006 as I prepared for my Sisterlock journey. I wanted to keep a journal of the trials and tribulations of locking my hair and I wanted to be a resource just like others were for me regarding Sisterlocks. Initially, the blogs I followed constantly updated and kept the pictures coming so I and others had lock envy as we transitioned. As time went on, the original bloggers stopped blogging, because there is only so much you can say once your locks have matured. Frankly, your hair is boring. I miss those bloggers. Now there is a whole host of new Sisterlock bloggers carrying on the torch. I changed the direction of this blog, because hey it was time to move past just one topic especially since I was writing other stuff anyway.

I have enjoyed reading blogs every since I discovered them, so it was really only natural that I would start one because as much as I like to read, I love writing. Although I do the editor’s note for my book club, I have so much more I want to say. And then there was a little problem, this blog wasn’t anonymous so I couldn’t write EVERYTHING I want to say. Meaning, I can’t talk about bad co-workers, politics, race relations etc. So I started another blog where I could be in my feelings and write whatever I want to without repercussions. It is where I feel free to write about any and everything, with the names changed for anonymity. That particular blog has moments of controversy, but it also does some educating and again allows me to show all aspects of my personality happy, sad, mean, angry, sensual, indifferent and of course sarcasm.

That is my blogging story.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Heat is Winning and the heat is winning...Randoms

Sunflower with a small yellow jacket in the lower right corner of the center.

I wasn’t going to post anything else, because I am sure you are tired of me and all these posts this month, but I was like what the hell? Let’s Go!

Heat, Heat, Heat…they did that. I was so happy they won so Lebron could get his ring. I do not care what you may think about the way he left Cleveland, all he wanted to do was win a championship. You may like to play basketball, but no one plays just because they love the game, they play with hopes of winning and winning means the championship. Heat, Heat, Heat!

My cousin’s husband is serious about this gardening competition. I don’t understand why he can’t realize, I ain’t competing. You can judge for yourself. Compare his first harvest and my most recent one.
My cousin's husband's first harvest...

Even with my mishapen cucumbers, don't laugh, they still taste amazing, my Sunday 6/17/12 harvest is impressive.

I like not having to purchase tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and green onions from the grocery store.

It is hot ya’ll. No really hot. It almost hurts my heart to go outside just to get in my car. Running errands, no, because if you keep getting in and out of your car the heat is still going to affect you.

My folks are planning a pretty nice family reunion of sorts for the 4th of July. I don’t have to do any real cooking except the corn on the cob and as soon as I find the recipe for corn baked in the oven, it is on!
Portulaca flowers aka Moss Rose in pink with a bumble bee.  The leaves are succulents.

Guess what I did first thing this morning? Random drug test. After 8 years, I guess my number was bound to come up. It is a bit disconcerting to try to do your business when someone is sitting right outside the door. Did you know you can’t flush the toilet when you are finished? I asked before I did, but I am sure she was wondering about all that damn tissue!

Last week the 2nd job was hellified. However, I made a decision not to allow folks to steal my joy or make me act unprofessional. I killed them…with straight kindness.
My killing them with kindness look...

I have decided that grape tomatoes will make a great salsa. Yeah, it is going to be tedious to cut up all those suckers, but I am up for the challenge. Do you know how many quart bags of tomatoes I give away ever week? It is amazing. I see why my neighbors think I have a tomato tree.

Speaking of neighbors the one who never finish paying for my uncle’s Cadillac has moved. Lawd, who gonna move in there? I pray someone with sense.

Speaking of neighbors, my next door neighbors are young folks. Their yard is ridiculous. I can have mine cut twice before they cut theirs once. And the last time, they didn’t cut the area next to the property line. My side was cut but next to it wasn’t. Now it is so high, they aren’t going to be able to cut it without a riding lawn mower. They know it is their property, but they seem to be lazy. The corner lot requires work, so get to it. The young girl works the young guy is home all day except when he is visiting the neighbors up the street, you know the hang out bunch. I need their grass cut so no snakes will sneak up on me.

I have taken to doing the Turtle man yell around the house now. Yeah. Really.
Portulaca aka Moss Rose in Orange, you can really see the succulent leaves.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to have a stray cat moved humanely from your property? I haven’t seen the cat in a while, but there is evidence it is around due to the damn droppings and I ain’t having it. I don’t want to kill it, just use something to deter it from coming into my yard.

I have been trying to work up the nerve to go to a retirement party next week. I want to go, but I don’t want to go. I do not like partying with co-workers; you know I keep my boundaries. So I got the guy to possibly go, then I let the RSVP date passed. Oh well. I plan to wash my hair this weekend and the party would mean another hair washing. I still may go. I hate being so conflicted.

Since I finally updated the book club site,, authors are contacting me about reviewing their books. Although it is nice folks want us to review their work, when the website clearly states the guidelines of no non-fiction or poetry book can be reviewed, why do you think it is okay to send a self-help book? Our book club has tried to read the self-help and non-fiction books, but they do not do well with our group, which means if someone sends a book in for a review it would fall into my lap to review. Seriously, I do not like self-help books, because what works for one person may not work for another. My thoughts.
Yeah, I wear my glasses a lot now, only because I need to order the new contact lenses.

I am so proud of my brother. He is still attending culinary school, but he went on a job interview on Monday and was offered a position at local restaurant. I am so happy for him. He is making strides. Wonderful.

I have quite a bit to do this weekend as I prepare for next week’s book club meeting at my house. The meeting stuff is done, but you know I have to clean extra hard. So you make sure to have a great weekend!

I was hoping to get a good hair photo.  This was from a Flexi-rod set that I kept in a bun for almost two weeks and this is the result. Cute, huh?  So vain~

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June Challenge - Day 22

Day 22 – When I Grow Up I want to be…

Able to live my life to fullest and enjoy every aspect of living. I want to not worry about the small things and wave away the major things because I have major faith things will be different. I want to also live out my dreams of living in the Bahamas and writing all day if I want to. I want to languish in peace and freewill. No worries, no cares, just living the life I deserve.

In reality, when I was little all I wanted to be when I grew up was an attorney. Little did I know how life would send me in the direction I am on now. I have to think, God knows exactly what he is doing. When I tell folks I have a law degree I tell them I had this grandiose idea of saving the world, but I learned in law school my gift was writing and arguing on paper and not in person and live and in Memorex. Life wasn’t a Perry Mason episode and law school was hard work and I learned I preferred being behind the scenes instead of in front of it. But I will debate you quite well on certain topics.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

June Challenge - Day 21

Day 21 – What Would You Do If You Had $1 Million Dollars

Honestly, because I am weird like that after paying the taxes and paying off all my bills, I would move to the Bahamas and write and live off the remaining money and my retirement. That is all!

Yeah you though I was going to give you this long drawn out list of things I was going to do, no way. Bahamas bound!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Challenge - Day 20

Day 20 – Fears (Or anything you are afraid of)

I think for a long time I feared I would die alone. When you don’t see marriage or children in your future, this inevitably will cross your mind. I have seen so many of my family members in regrettable marriages and relationships; I just could not see me repeating their same mistakes. I also have to admit, I purposely wanted to make sure I didn’t follow in the footsteps of my mother, don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother, but she made some questionable decisions. Her decisions were based on a lack of self-esteem and sometimes at the expense of her children. I never wanted to be that person who chose a man over her children. Never. Now I don’t worry about being alone because I have close family who will see to my wishes and to insuring my golden years are peaceful and beautiful. But I am going to need ya’ll to keep Hunny Bunny out of the mix because that child is going to put me in a nursing home and never look back, especially after she becomes a big star.

You all have read about my natural fears of worms and anything I deem just plain nasty. I saw a snail in my damn garden and I was just done. You saw how my copper tape was over my raised garden, so that gave the thing the inch it needed to climb into my garden. Well, since I know they are electrified by copper, my garden looks like a wishing well, pennies everywhere. I don’t think they anticipated my OCD way of dealing with it. Seriously, snails and slugs are disgusting creatures!

I also fear mice and rats. At one point, our house had entry points for the little rodents including squirrels. We couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on, but we knew something needed to happen and quick. Those suckers were destroying my sleep. Do you all remember when Aaliyah’s plane crashed? I was awake when it happened and stayed up all night. Yes, I was obsessed with news coverage of the accident, but the damn mice were under my bed. Okay, it was one little one, but it still scared the mess out of me. I was scared to get out of bed and when my aunt and uncle woke up, I jumped out of bed and ran like something was after me, in my mind the mouse that was stuck to the sticky thing my uncle thought was a good idea to put under my bed was chasing me! My uncle was like what is wrong with you? I was out of breath and could barely get the words out as I said, “Rat, under my bed!” He laughed the whole time he was getting the filthy beast out of the house, taking about I was too old to be jumping in folk’s bed about a small mouse! Whatever. Not long after that we had the house sealed up like Fort Knox, because when the squirrels were up in our attic my Uncle with his infinite wisdom, had the local crackhead put mothballs in our attic, so the squirrels ate them and proceeded to die in the attic, which created a stench that no one could live in the house. Thank goodness for the Critterman, RIP, he was killed last year, but he fixed our infestation and sealed off every possible entry point.

Lizards are like the bane of my soul. I just can’t deal with those nasty things. I just pray not one of them things touches me because I really will have a heart attack.

FYI to this day, I tell people I can hear a rat piss on cotton, but can’t hear an ambulance coming down our street when I am sleep. I hear some rustling I wake instantly. It is called PTSD!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 – What You Can’t Live Without

I can’t live without my family. No matter how difficult things may get, knowing I have my family within a phone call away brings me joy. Really.

But if we want to get silly, I can’t live without having my cell phone near me. It doesn’t always have to be on, but I better be able to put hands on it whenever I need it. Not being able to check the time or whatever I use the phone for, makes me feel like a crackhead. I think the inability to use my phone when needed makes me shake like I am going through withdrawal. I can see myself in the corner with my hair like Diane Ross’ in Lady Sings the Blues rocking in a straightjacket. That is really sad. How did I get to this place? Ya’ll pray for me.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

June Challenge - Day 18

Day 18 – Best Advice

When I think of the best advice I automatically think of my aunt and the things she said to me. One piece of advice she gave me is to never stay in a relationship if you are unhappy and miserable, because life is too short not to have peace in your life. I am serious about there being peace in all aspects of my life. If there is unrest in any portion it affects all parts of my life and I am not going to live miserable because others are miserable in their lives.

She also told me to do all I wanted to do as far as education before I ever get married and have children. I may have taken this advice a little too seriously. Anyway, she always said it is difficult to go to school and still be able to take care of home and kids. She did it, because she had her third and fourth kids while working or her bachelor’s degree and she said it was too hard and she didn’t want others to do it that way. She didn’t have to worry about me because I got all three degrees without worry about a man or children.

I really appreciated the advice about peace because when I look around and see family members and friends living in a state of chaos, I am thankful for understanding how important peace is. Thanks, Aunt Marie!

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

June Challenge - Day 17

Day 17 – What Others Should Know About You

I am funny acting. Meaning when you first meet me, I am standoffish and shy. So folks tend to think I am stuck-up and unfriendly, because usually I am scowling. However, once I get to know you I break out of my shell and you get to see the real me.

I do not like hugging folks, especially folks I do not know. Didn’t grow up hugging folks, so I am quite awkward with the perfunctory hugs folks like to dole out. I am getting better. I hug my nieces, but I can’t remember the last time I hugged my sister, hell if I ever hugged her. Seriously, we didn’t do that growing up. And if it wasn’t for The Guy, I would still be frowning over your shoulder when you hug me.

I have OCD tendencies. Which is why I will not get in a pool or ocean or river and it isn’t because I can’t swim, because I can’t, but bodily functions make me ill. I do not eat or drink after anyone. Really. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about someone drinking from my cup, like I am going to drink their saliva and germs. No.

I curse like a sailor. Blame it on my aunt, bless her soul. She had the mouth of a dirty old sailor and those around her picked up the nasty habit. She was still cussing when she was sick. “You go into the hospital with all your limbs and shit you come out with part of them gone.” She said this while in rehab after her leg amputation. I didn’t even try not laugh, because she was dead serious. Damn, I miss that woman. I remember her kicking me out of the kitchen when I was about 5 or 6 years old because she was about to let loose a bunch of f-bombs. LOL! Now my uncle, he cursed very little. Go figure…

I cannot stand for anything to be on my hands. You know like sticky things, water, food etc. I must clean and dry my hands immediately. That is why it is hard for me to bake some things because shyte keeps getting on my hands and I spend exorbitant amounts of time constantly washing my hands.

I am loyal and although I will deal with change, I don’t like too much change at the same time.

Finally, I am spoiled. That is all!

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Sunday's harvest.  Sighing...have you ever eaten cucumbers & tomato salads every day?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June Challenge - Day 16

Day 16 – Childhood Memories

My childhood memories start when I was about 4 and I remember always being with my grandmother. I remember her loving cantaloupe and always giving me some of the juicy fruit to eat. I remember living in the projects and playing outside with my host of friends. I also remember having worms and being scared to go to the bathroom and having to take these nasty pills so they would go away. I remember my grandmother being right there with me and pulling them suckers out. I know TMI, but I remember this. I also remember my grandmother trying to make me eat okra. I sat at the table a long time before she gave up on me eating it. I remember traveling to Detroit with my grandmother to spend time with my uncle. That is my earliest memory of loving the smell of flowers and fresh pears from the tree. I also remember realizing my mother was actually my mama. I didn’t know who she was because I was raised essentially by my grandmother. And in typical fashion, I didn’t call her mama or anything for a long time. I still do that to this day with folks. Some habits are hard to get rid of no matter how hard you try. In my case I didn’t even try. I remember when my mother married my stepfather and all us moving to a house not too far from my grandmother’s house. I remember going to a private kindergarten and didn’t cry like all the other kids. Silly kids. I also remember the only time I ever got in trouble in school was when this nasty little boy was spitting on me and I turned around and told him to stop. The teacher hit my hand with a ruler and I will never forget it because to this day, you better listen to my side of the story before you hit or punish me. I remember when my sister was born and when my brother was born. I remember my grandmother walking me to school which was actually one house and one fire department away down the street from our home. I remember my first boyfriend, Rodney Brown, who walked me home from school when I was in the 1st grade. I mean, we walked side by side and he did pass my house on his way home, he was perfect boyfriend material. LOL! I remember my grandmother dying in October of that year. I remember that was when I really realized my mother was my mama.

My childhood was filled with memories like the above. I had a good childhood and things didn’t really start to look shaky until my teenage years when I saw things in black and white. I saw our lives differently. I enjoyed the integration I experienced in Florida, but it spoiled me when I got to Virginia and we only stayed from November until January. Was possibly one of the most painful times of my life, especially as I was beginning to smell my teenage self. Yet, I can still remember playing mama and daddy with my siblings and cousins and making up games to play while we ate, because I was the oldest and the wisest. I had a good childhood with some unforgettable moments. By the way, I can’t stand the smell or taste of cantaloupe and I still do not touch okra whether it is fried or not, all I remember is the slimy version.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

June Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 – Hobbies

I think I have too many hobbies or maybe I have an over-stimulated brain. My oldest hobby has been reading. I have enjoyed reading since I was very young. I can thank my mama for instilling this interest in me at a very young age. I read anything I could get my hands on including her trashy romance novels. I loved being transported to other countries and living the life of the rich and famous.

From reading, I found myself writing. And depending on my muse, I can write for days on varying things. Truth be told, I have started 3 books and haven’t finished any of them. One day… So to keep the juices flowing I write the editor’s note for my book club newsletter and I keep two blogs. The anonymous blog has more of my more personal writings and stories. They are definitely not PG. LOL! Right now my muse has been whispering in my ear a story and eventually I will succumb to the nagging and put thoughts to paper. My dream is to retire to the Bahamas and write and read everyday God allows me to.

Prior to my aunt passing, I picked up the idea to do some container gardening. It was to be another outlet for the stress and angst I was feeling during that time. I did okay that first year, but you have to go back and read my tomato/hornworm diabolical. Since that year, I have continued to study and continue my container gardening as well as this year doing my first raised garden. And you have seen how that is going. It isn’t perfect, but I am learning so much. Time in my garden calms my soul and spirit.

Probably my most impressive hobby is my book club. Started 13 years ago with only 10 newsletters sent out to close friends turned into 14 members in the beginning and has had over 20 at one point in time. I like our 13 members now. It is more intimate and folks are more committed to reading and attending this bonding experience. It has been hard work, sometimes thankless work as well. I have dealt with issues that have threatened to cause me to disband, but I have to always weigh the good vs. the bad and typically the good we do far outweighs the bad. We have done a lot for our community, been resources for members, a support system for members and a good resource for African-American literature. We have experienced firsts with each other, shed tears, laughed hard but we have managed to maintain our sisterhood. Although, I have purposely scaled back on our social and fundraiser forays we still do what we can for others and have bonding events to keep the spirit and vitality of the group alive. And hell, I finally updated the website after a year of trying to do so.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 – Blog Rewards

As there are blog challenges there are blog rewards. Blogging has added a host of new “friends”. Now I have online friends who I have never met but are a great resource of ideas and information. Although I may never meet them, we have made a connection which is quite rewarding.

I have enjoyed reading the blog post of other bloggers as much as I have enjoyed writing on the two blogs I have. I have learned some valuable information and garnered so good hard truths about subjects I didn’t know much about. Watching folks succeed and make big accomplishments has been amazing. And even when things aren’t perfect or going as well being able to be a support system for them is part of what makes blogging rewarding.

Watching as the blog community offers support to their fellow blogger, such as MrsTDJ, you realize how much we care about this group of folks. And one cannot put a price on the rewards that blogging brings.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dallas is back! JR is back! Bobby & Sue Ellen are back! I am more excited about this then shopping for shoes...! At least today. LOL!

June Challenge: Day 13

Day 13 – Blog Challenges

This topic can mean different things depending on how you wish to interpret it. I mean, you can talk about this particular challenge or others you have seen or participated in or you can look at the challenges to blogging. Since this is my first challenge, I am going to discuss the challenges to blogging.

I started this blog to discuss my Sisterlock journey. I wanted to give those considering locking to get an honest look at the good, bad and indifferent of Sisterlocks. Initially, it was fun and because so many other SL’ers were blogging as well, it gave us a tight community to depend on and honestly folks who understood the intricacies of having and maintaining Sisterlocks. As my hair grew, the focus of this blog started to change and grow as well. So last year, I think, I changed my title and tweaked it a bit to discuss life with a few moments of hair talk. Because face it, many of you who started reading my blog came here for the Sisterlock information. So I try to keep the pictures coming and give a few antidotes of life with Sisterlocks. But as I have said over and over, I am so over my hair.

I have been journaling since I was a tween. My mother gave me my first diary with the key lock. I wrote in that thing faithfully because I thought it was safe to say whatever I was feeling. However, I learned it was the place my mother would go to discover what the heck was going on with me. I found it to be an invasion of my privacy, like I had rights as an early teenager. So I started to just write hateful things in it hurt my mother’s feelings. And since my sister is a middle child, she took great pleasure in telling me every time my mother read my journal. Eventually I stopped. Then I went on to writing profanity laces letters to God about the way I was being treated by my mother. Oh yeah, I was your typical teenager, but that is another blog post altogether.

Well, in high school I would write in a spiral notebook my thoughts and feelings. Then again I stopped writing and not because anyone was reading it, but I was enjoying my partying days. However, in 2005 my aunt got sick and I needed an outlet for my stress, because it was manifesting itself in major hive breakouts. Really. It helped me to keep a prospective on life and keep up with my aunts medical changes as well. Those journals came in handy for specific dates.

Writing in my journals is therapeutic. I have consistently written in them since 2005. I missed a few days during the deaths of my aunt and uncle and my own hospitalization this year, but I write as much as I read because it is a part of me as breathing. Blogging is just an extension of this need to express myself. Of course, this blog is not anonymous so I have the added challenge of being as honest as I can be, to an extent. I have some boundaries on what I will discuss. I do not discuss The Guy in detail or our relationship as a given. I do not expose all the family drama on here either. I have an anonymous blog for just that where no one knows me and I can write about politics, drama, love, sensuality and anything I want because no one knows me and I do not have to censor myself. I like that. And most of my followers on that blog aren’t even African-American go figure…

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 – Recycling and Sustainability

I could give you this glorified synopsis on how my family and I recycle and try to honor the earth in using sustainable products and eat sustainable food. But I am not going to lie to you.

I recycle a little bit, but not like I should. I try not to waste things, but that has more to do with me being cheap. I do try to get items and food grown and raised in the area or at least this country, but I do not hold fast to that distinction either.

When my uncle was alive we did save cans, but it was quite embarrassing because most of the cans were his Colt 45 cans. Since, we didn’t and still don’t drink sodas like that. I know I should do better, and maybe I will. Does my garden count?

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Monday, June 11, 2012

I wish I had the words...

My prayers to MrsTDJ, one my favorite bloggers, a frequent commenter and blog friend.  She lost her husband on Saturday.  On her site she gives you links of their love story.  So take some time and read them and keep her and her family in your prayers.

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June Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 – Weather and Seasons

I don’t know about most of you, but my mood can be determined just based on the temperature outside. Or how cloudy or how much it rains in a week. If it is too hot, I am irritable, if it is too cold, I am irritable. And if it rains consecutive days, I am depressed. Really.

I was born in the fall, and frankly I prefer fall and early spring. The temperatures are tolerable and that keeps my mood quite nice and friendly. In the winter, when it is cold and rainy my mood is reflective of this and it is hard to shake off the melancholy. And summer and extreme heat makes me evil. Read back on the summer of 2010 and what we dealt with back then and you know heat is not my friend.

Even with all the issues the seasons bring to me, I am blessed that for the most part I am able to witness the change of seasons and recognize how truly beautiful it really is. What is today like? Overcast and rainy. Just like my mood…

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

June Challenge - Day 10

Day 10 – TV Shows

I have written on this blogs about certain shows that were must see tv for me. I am so shame to say that I didn’t see but a half of an episode of Law & Order: SVU. And haven’t felt compel to watch it for some reason. On Wednesday night unless there is a game on, I am watching the original Law & Order.

I loved Scandal. The role was written for Kerry Washington and I look forward to what her character will bring to the screen next year.

If I am not watching a Law & Order, any of the three franchees, I watch something on HGTV or Food Network or 48 hours or some kind of crime show. And since I sleep with the television on at night I am watching something. Help us all when the cable is out. I don’t do well at all. Sad.

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

June Challenge - Day 9

Day 9 – Magazines

I am shame to say, I really don’t read any magazines right now. I used to read the usual black family magazines, but somewhere along the line I just got fed up with the magazines and the oversaturation of ads. Fluff stuff in between and some of the messages the mags were sending out really just got on my last nerve.

I recently did a survey about one of the magazines and I told them the same thing. So I have no magazine subscriptions and I don’t miss them.

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Friday, June 08, 2012

Randomness and Ramblings and Rants…

My First Sunflower bloom!

This was my second week in a row of a 4 day work week. And they were both nice and went by quickly. Now to get my head ready for next week when I must got to work every day next week. Oh, this includes the 2nd job too.

Orange Coneflower

My neighborhood is turning into something despicable. I have felt safe and comfortable in my neighborhood for well over 20 years. Now, I am started to feel a little apprehension. Why you may ask? Two weeks ago, a young man got shot not too far from me. My folks called me about it on a Sunday, but they were so damn late, it happened on Saturday. And according to the gossip, the guy who got shot in the leg was asked to leave by the home owner and he didn’t. Teach him to not leave when asked to!

This morning as I checked my morning news online there is a bright headline stating a body had been found at my neighborhood community center. Really? Yes, it was found last night. Now, I can’t hit the track on Saturday mornings. What is crazy is on Wednesday due to me being angry I hit the track as soon as I got home and changed and I was the only one walking, there were other folks but they were in the building.

There are too many young folks in the neighborhood who need to be working and being productive instead of trying to outwit the law. Doesn’t seem to be working.
My smaller marigolds, which grew like a planted bouquet.

My book club’s website is updated and back up with a more streamlined look and less shyte for me to update now. It took me damn near a year to get it done, but I did. I am so proud of myself. I was able to find a new webhost for a more economical value. Go! But let me tell the last two weeks of getting it up and going was no walk in the park.

I was working on a pizza recipe for the blog, but hell I just haven’t finished it.

I haven’t cook anything special the last couple of weeks because I have been busy with other stuff. And not cooking anything this weekend. I had to break the kids on my 2nd job’s heart and tell them I ain’t cooking anything right now. I do not feel like and it is just too hot to heat up a kitchen.
Red Coneflower...

I need a vacation. Not happening this year. My life used to be filled with vacations and events, now I am like an old spinster lady. (But I am still cute though!)

When I get mad, I try to exercise the anger out, it works somewhat. Unfortunately, I am still mad with my sister. Sighing…I need for folks to be honest with themselves.

Salads all next week. I am kinda excited about that.

My co-worker says I am a bit nutty. All because I like to be proactive. Geez!

A customer on my 2nd job asked for some remoulade sauce. The cashier didn’t have any idea of what the hell she was talking about. When I walked by, the customer repeated she wanted our remoulade sauce. And given I do not know how to censor my facial expressions; I looked at her and said, “You mean the special sauce, the secret sauce? Because we do not have a remoulade sauce and I know what it is, and our sauce is nothing like it.” She seemed to doubt my knowledge. After over 17 years, I think I know. Our sauce is the color of a remoulade sauce, but so far from the taste of it.
Jealous of a round cucumber and more tomatoes than a human can possibly eat!

My cousin’s husband is really jealous of my gardening skills. 1st of all, I have no skills I am still learning. My cucumbers look like round balls, my grape tomato plants are ridiculous and are taller than my fence (I can't eat that many tomatoes!), I am scared of sunflowers since a worm touched my arm, I have killed one sunflower pot of plants and two pots of peppers and my roses have black spot fungus. Not to mention, my arms are all scratched up and I break out everytime I water my "garden". What the hell is there to be jealous of? He went out Sunday and brought more seeds, not a good idea, he is gonna burn them seeds up as hot as it is getting.
I am proud of my container flowers, they are so beautiful.

 When my brother laughs, it makes my heart smile with joy.

I have to show you this picture of Carson, cool daddy, right?
You know I am taking him to the club, right?

Were you irritated by my need to post from my phone and sending out test shots? I was annoyed because it took me hours to figure it out.

I want to do Instagram, but no one in my family is doing it so, that is a wrap!

Happy belated birthday to Prince! I used to be so in love with his royal purple badness. I thought he was so sexy. And to be honest with you at 54 years, he could still get it. Don’t judge me!
His Purple Sexiness!

I am going to try not to work too hard this weekend and try to carve out a little me time, which means I will be taking copious amounts of naps, so next week will be the best week yet!

P. S. I cheated on the challenge; I scheduled Saturday and Sunday’s posts. I am rarely on the computer on the weekends.

Jealous of this overgrown monstrosity known as my raised garden?  Even the copper tape has had enough!

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June Challenge - Day 8

Day 8 – Favorite Brands

I don’t consider myself to be a brand whore, but some things require a certain brand name in order for me to purchase it. I use a certain tissue, a certain paper towel, a certain soap powder and I could go on and on.

Make up I stay with what works for me. My foundation is from FF and is their cover tone, their loose oil-free powder, my lipstick/gloss MAC or Clinique. Mascara is Maybelline Great Lash, the same eyebrow pencil for 20 odd years and Loreal eyeliner. My cleanser is from FF, my moisturizer, toner from Clinque and masque from FF and Aveda. And I am not changing what works for me.

So for the most part I can use a generic, but some things just can’t be generic, sorry.

I didn’t get paid to write about these brands and just see the disclaimer on the side.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

June Challenge: Day 7

Day 7 – Your Favorite Place To Shop

I really do not have a favorite place to shop. I don’t like shopping that much anymore. Maybe because I have gotten older or maybe because I got bills. LOL!

I am one of those people who scours the Internet looking for a particular item and then I go to the store to purchase it. I don’t lollygag or anything straight to what I want and I am out.

The only place I really would just take my time shopping in would be a bookstore. Roots and Wings here in Alabama closed many years ago, but it had the right ambiance where you could take off your shoes and lie on the floor for hours perusing books. I miss that place.

I do find myself getting overwhelmed in Home D.epot when I am looking for flowers and plants. They have too much stuff and I get so caught up I have to shake it off or else I am going to be broke.

As much as I love shoes, I can’t spend hours in a shoe store. I either find “it” immediately or it is a bust. We have a DSW here, finally. I have only been once. Really. Well, it doesn’t help it is out east and out east to me means Shorter, Alabama and my gas is too precious for all that.

So really my favorite place to shop is online. It is easier and keeps me from having to deal with crowds. Unfortunately, I rarely order shoes online. I must try them on and make sure I can walk and slink in them bad boys!

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

June Challenge - Day 6

Day 6 – Your Pets

Well this will not take long. I do not have any pets. When I was younger, my mom got us a beagle from the Human Society. He was cute as a puppy, but Rusty was a bit hyper and he wanted to jump all over folks as he got bigger. It got so bad we, meaning my sister, my brother and I were so scared of him we wouldn’t go in the back yard. My mother took him back to the Human Society.

She got my sister a kitten, because I do not like cats. And my sister loved her some Tabby. Even after he had runny diarrhea on her, ya’ll have to remember she was the middle child and that cat was her friend. Until Tabby ran away. I always said he ran away because she kept picking him all the dayum time.

I still want to get a yorkie, however, my life is too busy and I am never home to take care of an animal and it would be cruel to keep it in it’s’ kennel all day. I like dogs, not friends with cats and don’t want fish or any other animal so pets don’t have a place in my life right now.

June Challenge: Days 1-5…

Day 1 – Music

I love music. It gets me moving through my workouts. It gets me moving when I am cleaning. It makes me feel good when I am sad or even happy. Music transports me to times in my life when things may have been great or even the worse!

My mom used to have an 8 track machine and when we would travel the 8 hours from Jacksonville, Florida to Montgomery, Alabama, it was the music that kept her going, because her kids weren’t worth 2 nickels rubbed together if she was depending on us to keep her woke. The old 8 track would play Al Green, Marvin Gaye, and all the Motown favorites. To this day, you will find me playing Al Green like it is the newest R&B song out.

As a child growing up during the 70s and 80s disco was prominent in my life as well. My sister and I were notorious for making up dance routines to disco songs as if we were on Dance Fever or Soul Train.

My music taste today ranges from old R&B and hip hop. I still love to hear disco tunes. The passing of Donna Summer and Robin Gibbs made me sad because I remember twirling and doing my funky disco routines to their songs. Music is a part of my life and the songs really do convey my history.

Day 2 – Movies

Let me preface by saying I do not go to movies as a standard. The last movie I saw was The Help and it was because my book club was part of the screening group here in Montgomery. My reasoning is really irrational, but hey it is what it is. I just don’t like the smell of theaters, the nasty seats and filthy floors. And when I heard what some of the teenagers were doing in those seats, I threw up in my mouth…a little bit. Ugh! TMI!

However, I love to watch a good old fashion Blaxploitation film from the 70s. An old creature feature movie from the early 60s still makes me cringe, you know The Blob, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, old Vampire movies. If you ask me what my favorite movie is, I will most likely say, Mahogany. The movie is my love story for all times. “Success is nothing, without someone you love to share it with.” Diana Ross and Billie Dee Williams were a great cinematic couple. I still watch the movie and repeat the lines. Next would be, The Way We Were, with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. Geez, I need to go buy that one.

A movie I will watch over and over again is The Color Purple. However, I don’t know if I have ever seen the movie all the way through. No, when it comes on I always fall asleep and wake up right before the church scene so I can sing my gospel song, “God Is Trying To Tell You Something.”

The Exorcist made it so that I would not sleep with my window up for decades because that is how the devil got to that girl. No really, that movie still scares me along with Rosemary’s Baby.

Do you remember the first break dancing movies? Oh, yeah!

If I actually could stand to go into the theater, I would like to see the Avengers, Think Like a Man, Snow White and the Huntsman and hopefully, I will get to see one of my favorite bloggers feature film, The Coalition when it is in theaters.
Day 3 – Relationships

I recently saw an ex of mine and it was a good meeting, but it brought me a bit of sadness, but ultimately happiness, because of him I am with someone who is worthy of me now!

I don’t have many work relationships because I go to work to work and I am very private. I found after working with all women years ago, mudding the work and professional relationship can sometimes come back to bite you in the azz.

Day 4 – Best Friend

I have several acquaintances, but few friends. I have about 4 best friends and they are all from different seasons in my life.

Best Friend 1 – lives in Denver, CO and is older than me. However, we used to party like none other. We looked so much alike I was able; don’t tell anyone, to use her ID sometimes. But, our friendship was almost like a mentor/mentee. She helped to toughen me up, but she showed me what a true friend was and should be. Although, we don’t talk like we used to, when we do talk it is like we are still living in the same city. We both have grown since we first connected and although our friendship could have gone by the wayside many times over, we have managed to maintain our friendship after over 24 years. Damn, I am old.

Best Friend 2 – we have been friends since our days working at We.ndy’s. We saw each other in school, but we connected on the job. We have stayed in touch even though we are both far beyond the burger business. Her life hasn’t been a crystal stair, but she tries. When her life is chaotic, I tend to pull back because it isn’t my place to criticize her, but we have been there for each other in the most needed times. The morning my aunt passed away I called her at a quarter to 4 a.m. and she talked to me all the way home and I will always be grateful for her ear that morning, because my life changed immensely.

Best Friend 3 – we met when I worked for all those women. She is older than me, but if you see us together you would swear we were sisters. We cuss each other out and fight like none other and when we are finish we go on like nothing has happened. Her first plane ride was my graduation trip to Jamaica. And of course her ears got clogged during the flight and it took hours to clear up. So I was fussing at her because, shyte it was hot and she kept asking the same stuff over and over because she couldn’t hear and I kept saying, “Pop your damn ears,…!” And we got into a heated argument when we return to Atlanta and my sister and her best friend were scared to death. And we were like 15 minutes later acting normal. She also has been with me through some of my difficult moments in life and I appreciate all she has done for me.

Best Friend 4 – is my sister. Now mind you when my mother died, I moved to live with my uncle and aunt and she had to go with her father. So we were separated for about 4 years. When she graduated from high school she spent the summer here in Montgomery. We really got to know each other. We became friends. We talk almost every day. We cuss each other out. I told her do not have one more kid because I cannot take care of all those children if something happens to her. I accept her decisions on things I don’t like, but most of all she is the ear to listen when others don’t realize how difficult it is sometimes in my life. Plus, after torturing her during childhood we couldn’t help but be friends. LOL!

Day 5 – My Kids

And let the church say Amen. I don’t have any kids. Since I was 4 years old I said I wouldn’t have any kids. I believe because I had to help with my sister and brother and helped with my cousins, children just never seemed like a priority of mine. I enjoy working with them on my second job and love when they come back to visit and they are doing well. I just never wanted to have children of my own. I have thought about adoption and foster care, but I only want older kids and according to my sister, that isn’t the best idea. I like other people’s kids and that all right with me.

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June Writing Challenge...Because I haven't done one before!

I decided I would do a blog challenge for a month. Of course, I can’t do like everyone else. I have to start late and do one from a resource I googled. Yeah, not one to conform. Anyway, here is the challenge that I got from here:

From the site:  To get us started, I brainstormed a list of topics. Feel free to use them if you want to. There is no topic each week. Just write your heart out and link up!

1. Music

2. Movies

3. Relationships (work or personal)

4. Your best friend

5. Your kid(s)

6. Your pet(s)

7. Your favorite place to shop

8. Favorite brands

9. Magazines

10. TV shows

11. Weather/Seasons

12. Recycling/Sustainability

13. Blog Challenges

14. Blog rewards

15. hobbies

16. childhood memories

17. What others should know about you

18. Best advice

19. What you can't live without

20. Fears (or anything you are afraid of)

21. What you would do if you had $1 million

22. When I grow up, I want to be...

23. How, why, when did you start blogging? Your story.

24. Food (likes, dislikes)

25. Gym (favorite workouts, activities)

26. Sports

27. Favorite quotes

28. Saturday night

29. Favorite place to travel

30. Some day...

And since I am already five days behind, I will do the first five in one post. Yeah!

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.