"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The great blanket battle of 2009

Last Christmas Mr. SLS' sister gave us this orange velour throw that I claimed immediately as my own.

Mr. SLS and I started calling it my Linus blanket after a bit because I move from room to room with it and sometimes use it as a pillow.

One day a couple of weeks ago Mr. SLS was cold and I put the throw over him and he discovered how toasty warm and comfy it is and now, this is the two of us with this blanket (sans the pop-up commentary from the person who posted the video):

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas redux

It was a great day. All the dishes I took over to the in-laws were eaten up. The gifts were loved. The vibe was fun with lots of laughter and gaiety.

Our niece loved the gift my mama gave her and played with it from the time she opened it until the time we left. What really made my day was when Mr. SLS' sister and her husband left, our niece and nephew (his brother's kids) jumped up and down screaming: "AUNTIE [my name] and UNCLE [hubby's name] ARE STAYING! AUNTIE [my name] and UNCLE [hubby's name] ARE STAYING! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" So I guess we are ALL on the same page in reference to Mr. SLS' sister. LOL!

That said, Mr. SLS' sister cried when she opened our gift. Apparently the idea that we picked out something that was so perfect for her overwhelmed her. His sister is very hippy dippy and emotional so while the reax was a little bit much it wasn't out of character for her.

Anyway, gotta get back to my family. Type at ya later!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas mes amies!

Well I am loving my gifts so far, which include a flip video and a ca-ute dress. Mr. SLS also got me another iTrip for my car, which is a standing joke between us because he has had to buy me one for every year we've been together because I keep tearing them up. Meanwhile he's had the same one pretty much the whole time.

What's really funny is I said we should get my mom a new phone for her house cause I swear every-damn-time I call her that phone is crackling or about to die or something. Well, apparently me, my brother AND her boyfriend all were disgusted with that phone and all got her the same thing. She laughed and laughed and laughed. We'll take ours back and get her this book she wants and some other things.

I baked two pumpkin pies last night with my gingersnap and walnut crust and topped with my homemade cranberry sauce. I also got my sweet potato souffle ready so I could pop it into the oven this a.m. after putting the topping on it (I used crushed pecans, crushed cinnamon cookies, light brown sugar, butter and a little flour for the topping) and in a bit I'll make the oyster stuffing. We're going to Mr. SLS' brother's house and it will be fun to watch the kids open their presents.

All in all, not a bad morning. Hope yours is as lovely and that you are sharing it with your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Transgressions of my mouth

For some reason I was thinking about my mouth ... and how I can snap off with it from time to time. Or, how I *used* to snap off with it from time to time.

In all the time we've been together I've only gotten greasy about the mouth once with Mr. SLS. He left the house. Later he told me not to EVER cuss at him again. And I haven't.

But in the past I have said some things with the intention of slicing and dicing a muthaeffer with my tongue.

Like the time I said to a dude, "Hell, all this yipyapping and shit, you sound like a bitch. Get some ballz 'bout yourself."

And the time after that when I said, "I'm sorry I said the shit, but only because you keep bringin' it up two, three years later, hell! Stop whining wit' yo' bitch ass."

There was the time I said, "If I gotta figure this out all by myself, what the hell do I need you for?"

And oh yeah, the time I said, "If you want to eat here, you need to bring some groceries, cause my money don't feed me and big [N-words]*, too."

I get it honest, I do. I've listened to and watched my mama, aunts, grandma, great-aunts, cousins and beyond grind a mofo down with their words. I used to be proud of being mouthy and having a quick comeback on the ready in case a negro acted up.

Not anymore. I remember my mama telling me a few years ago that she wanted me to be married and if I wanted to be married I couldn't do what she did. She had had her husband and didn't want another one, I still had to get mine and talking any kinda way to a man I supposedly cared about was not cool.

If it matters at all, I said all of that to the SAME man and I eventually realized I didn't respect him. Or love him. Or like him. We broke up and have never spoken again.

What about you? Do you let whatever comes up come out and talk to your mates/dates disrespectfully? If so, how's that working for you?


*This was before I decided to remove that word from my vocabulary.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hola! Bonjour!

I'm back! So much to tell you, I'll see if I can sum it all up.

I went shopping with my sister-in-law in a "bonding" outing. It was OK, though she is much more of a shopper than I am and about an hour in I was done. (Why does it seem like people with the least to spend stay in the mall frittering away money they aint got?)

I've talked to the people in the other city twice now and am just waiting to see what they intend to do. It's both a great opportunity and a not-so-great opportunity at the same time. Hard to explain. I'm not sure what I'll do if an offer comes. Whatever happens it will be the right thing, I'm sure.

Mr. SLS and I had our first big disagreement as a couple this past week. I was so mad I couldn't talk to him for a day or so. I finally calmed down enough for us to talk and we aired our grievances and got it all out just in time for the snow to fall and trap us in the house for a day.

Which leads me to being snowed in...and being snowed in and making up. I hate snow. But, I like making up all snuggly BECAUSE of the snow.

Finally, my mom will be here in a few days and when I was putting up the Christmas stockings I realized that she isn't extended family she is a part of our little family here in D.C.

I thought about starting my next IVF cycle this month and then changed my mind. Maybe next month.

There's more but I'm already tired of typing so, until next time!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let's get the weekend started a tad early

I'm in a good mood for at least five minutes so let's Get Off with Foxy:



And get a little Knee Deep with Parliament and George Clinton:



Then let Slick Rick tell us a bedtime story:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Internet is out...

And I haven't been able to post. BlackBerry is problematic for posting and I try not to blog at work so I'm in a blog bind.

But I can still read so I'm following you guys even if I can't post much.

      *** Sent from my BlackBerry***

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My mom called last night...

To tell me the husband of one of her longtime friends died over the weekend. Then some of her first cousins died. And she felt like everyone was dying.

She was sad and teary.

By the time we got off the phone she was gut laughing. I'm glad I could make her feel better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A possible change in the works...

Tomorrow I am traveling to another city to talk to some folks about a career opportunity. It would be a great move for me if it happened, but would require a lot of change and sacrifice for Mr. SLS.

Despite that, he is happily supporting me and encouraging me and even helped me pick out the right outfit and shoes so that I would make the best first impression.

But still, there are things to weigh and discuss and work out, if I come home with good news. It's no longer about what's best for ME, but about what's best for us. Us.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thoughts while under the hairdryer...

I don't really like this BlackBerry, I want an iPhonem

I can't even see what I'm typing on this damn thing. I could see on an iPhone

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger and Elin

Clearly Tiger missed this hit last year:



I feel sorry for Elin. And I don't condone any abuse against anybody.

But, I understand.

If Mr. SLS gets crazy and decides to wander, in the words of Miss Sophia from "The Color Purple," I will bash his head open and think about heaven later. KNOW THIS! Cause he does.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving recap: Recipes

I never laid out my menu for you so you could see what a bad azz I am in the kitchen. LOL!

But really, here are a couple of the dishes we had that our guests loved.

I brine my turkey -- which is always fresh, never frozen! -- then cook it breast down in a roasting bag. Turn it over during the last 30 minutes and split the bag open so that it can brown. Baste it well. Add a chopped onion, some celery, some garlic cloves, fresh thyme, rosemary and sage to the inside.

You can find brine recipes all over, but here's one a chef/food writer friend of mine recommends (video and recipe). You can also go to Williams-Sonoma and get a brine as well. I've done both of them and got rave reviews on my turkeys each time.

This year I did a couple of new (to me) dishes: oyster stuffing and pumpkin pie. I don't like pumpkin pie, but Mr. SLS has been asking me to make him one for two years so this year I decided to try it. I found this recipe for a pumpkin gingersnap pie in the O Magazine that seemed simple enough to pull off and it was easy, though I did make some variations because I cook by instinct more than following recipes by the letter. This was a winner. My brother-in-law wanted to take the whole thing home and told my husband, he "had it good" and thanked him for marrying me. LOL!

As for the oyster stuffing, my aunt makes this and I hadn't tried it before, but thought I would switch up this year. It was a hit as well. I can't really share the recipe for what I made, because I didn't follow it to the letter either, as I decided to try a twist on the breading and added some other stuff. But, the google will give you plenty of recipes. I'll probably be making this every year.

Mr. SLS made an au gratin, using gruyere, cream, nutmeg, white pepper, shitake, crimini and oyster mushroom. It's easy to make and a regular crowd pleaser.

Finally, our guests brought this dish, which was a winner with me and Mr. SLS: brussel sprouts with bacon and figs (video and recipe).
Happy cooking!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night as I baked my pies (pumpkin and sweet potato), made my cake and prepped my ham, greens, beans and other stuff so I could get them cooked in an efficient manner today, I talked to my two grandmothers. They like to "help" me when I'm doing big meals.

Grandma wants to make sure I washed the greens good and got the smoked turkey to season them with while they are cooking. She reminds me that fresh turkeys can taste gamey and walks me through her secret for fixing that.

Granny likes to give me little tips when I'm baking. "Cut it with a little butter and it will taste better." "I know it said a 1/2 cup, but add an extra 2 tsps."

For my grandmothers, cooking a big meal right (right to them means folks can't stop talking about how good it is, eat seconds and thirds, leave with plates and call making requests for specific dishes -- so far, so good) is evidence that they trained me up right in being a good wife and homemaker.

My mother -- who is very NON-homemakerish -- taught me about being independent and strong. To speak my mind.

My dad taught me to "control those things I can control."

And for all that and much, much more, I am thankful. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I don't normally do this...

Cause y'all know for the most part I'm incognegro on this blog, however, this is a video from the debut performance of the new orchestra Mr. SLS is playing with now and the music is great so I'm sharing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What is it that's supposed to be so good about pizza?

I've never understood the seemingly universal love for pizza. I do.not.get.it!

So you out there in blogland, I want you to explain to me how a piece of flat bread with some red sauce, veggies and cheese all swimming in orange grease from pepperoni is GOOD to eat. Yes, I know the pepperoni is optional but, it's nasty with or without.

How is this something that people want to eat all of the time? I'm flummoxed by this!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

1+1=2



So the house situation seems like it's about to be worked out soon. This means everything is moving along on schedule.

I like that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You're working my nerves

I call them "sick and tired" days as in "I'm sick and tired of working."

You know what I'm talking about, right? Those days you spend just doing whatever you want to. A decompress day. And it needs to be a WORK DAY when most people are at work and therefore not in the museums or at the movies or in the spas or at the mall. Or calling you on the phone. Or in the damn way. Cause they are at work sitting in endless meetings.

Since I was out for 6 weeks, I haven't been taking my "sick and tired" days. I need one. NOW. They make me a more pleasant employee and coworker.

Do you need mental health days?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Good towels, clawfoot tubs and other aimless ramblings

My husband's house was a true bachelor pad when I met him. His living room was filled with instruments, cds, records, sheet music, music stands and bicycles. Don't get me wrong, it was clean, but it was junky as hell in here. My house was comfortable and even today people prefer my house over his house.

But one thing that stood out to me is he had some good damn towels. Nice and thick. Fluffy. Smelling good.

Now that our linens are combined we have more towels than we know what to do with and no room for storing them.

In fact we are bursting out of this house and wish things would move a little faster with my house so that we can move forward on buying a bigger house together.

We've found one we like that fits the budget we have set and it's on a great street. It would need some work and that's cool, too, cause then I can get the kitchen and bathroom I want with all the trimmings. I hate all the granite-covered bathrooms that are en vogue today. I like beadboard and clawfoot tubs. Subway tiles. Something along the lines of this:



I also sort of like this kitchen, though I wonder how do you keep something like that clean??????

Friday, November 6, 2009

Speak no evil

I have a friend who has hit a rough patch in her marriage. I feel certain that they will work their way through it, but I'm watching how they get through so that I can learn ways to navigate us through trouble if/when it comes.

My parents argued a lot. Yelling and screaming and door slamming and all types of dramatics. Nobody bit their tongue and they would say anything to each other. I was glad when they split because it was finally peaceful.

But (and parents, take note of this) what I learned from them, I modeled in my relationships. I would say anything cause my perception was that if you're a man you can and will take it. Man up biyatch!

I don't do that now. Mr. SLS and I talk about a lot of stuff to try to keep things from festering. We've agreed that we will seek counseling if we need to in the future.

It hasn't been hard not to fight dirty. Mr. SLS doesn't do much that makes me 198 degrees hot enough to fly off the handle and talk greasy.

I know that I don't want the kind of marriage my parents had. They were ill-matched and their marriage collapsed. I want to be and stay happily married. That takes work and conscious effort.

My friend has a strong marriage and that's why I have no doubts they will get reconnected. In the interim I'll just watch, take notes and learn.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"The night. The Lights. Went out. In GEORjah!" -- Julia Sugarbaker

This will always, always, always be my most favorite Julia Sugarbaker speech. She was a live wire, but managed to stay classy at the same time -- something to aspire to for sure.

Monday, November 2, 2009

"American Gothic"

Me and Mr. SLS lay in the bed most of the day on Sunday eating Halloween candy, crackers, cheese and watching this show we had never seen before that wasn't so bad. Take a peek at a couple of the episodes, they were entertaining.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nathan Fillion's "Castle" and "Firefly"

I really love this guy (not more than Idris, don't get it twisted). He's goodlooking and funny. Over on Hulu.com they have some of the episodes and if you have a chance, you should check them out. Dude is funny, seriously.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

My room?

Last Christmas we decorated a room that was just for me. It's my sanctuary. I love my little personal space room.

When we were moving me out of my house last month, a lot of stuff got pushed in there and it took me a minute to face clearing it out.

Last weekend Mr. SLS said, baby you aren't going to use your room anymore? And I explained that I just had to get in the right frame of mind so that I could clear it out. He said to tell him where I wanted stuff to go and he would move it. I told him, he moved some stuff, that gave me the push I needed to get the rest sorted out and I was back in my room on Sunday.

On Tuesday I was in there at my desk doing stuff and watching my TV and he came in and hooked up my little stereo for me.

So how is it I come home on Wednesday, he has connected his PS3 to my TV and is all comfy cozy in there playing games and whatnot? HE DIDN'T WANT THE ROOM CLEARED OUT FOR ME! HE WANTED IT CLEARED OUT FOR HIM!

He denies this. But he is in there right now and I am in the bedroom.

::gathering up a weapons arsenal so I can storm the fortress and take back my kingdom::

I forgot to note this earlier in the week...

But I hit my 500th post mark.

Yay to me for wasting a whole lotta time typing to a bunch of people who don't know me! I'm so smrt. (<--yes, I meant to misspell that)

It has been fun though and I've managed to stumble onto some of your blogs which are wayyyyyyyy more informative and entertaining to me than the coffee grounds of my life.

Let's go for 1,000! Who's with me?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Helping hands

Last week I was running late. OK, I'm lateish everyday but last week I was running later than usual because Mr. SLS wasn't going to school so he got up later and he's my clock.

Anyways, I jumped up and said, DAMN! I have 20 mins to get to work! I run for the shower and tell Mr. SLS to pull some stuff out for me to put on.

I get out of the shower and see that he has dug down deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep in my drawer underneath many, many, MANY pairs of underwear and found some red lace boyshorts that I not only would not ever wear to work, I have never worn outside our bedroom.

I look at him, look at the panties, look at him and blink.

He says, "Well, I knew you would need underwear...."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spanking -- yay or nay?

If you have children, do you spank them? Why or why not?

If you don't have kids, but hope to have them, will you spank your children? Why or why not?

I didn't get spanked a lot but I was spanked. Mostly from my mom because my dad was the nuclear option. If he spanked us we had *really* done something wrong.

For example: When my brother was learning to walk he would crawl up the stairs at our house. One day I waited patiently at the top of the stairs until he got to the top and slammed the door in his face. He fell all the way back down the stairs. My daddy spanked me. And he should have cause that was some devil spawn ish. What if I had killed my brother??! My mama gave me some more when she got home and heard the story. My Grandma might have added some licks in when she heard about it, too. Granny has never spanked me. Neither did either of my grandfathers.

But for the most part, I was rotten. I cried and had tantrums when I didn't get my way. I did that until I was maybe 11, which was too damn old for all that, but my parents didn't break me. Grandma did, though. She gave me the old "I better not see one tear fall from your eye or I'm going to give you something to cry about!" business and I learned to keep my eyes bone dry.

I also manipulated my parents and grandparents. My Granny never liked my mama and I picked up on that really early so I knew if my mama told me no, all I had to do was tell Granny that my mama said no and whatever it was I wanted I would get it. That worked for a long, long, LONNNNNNNNNNNG time.

WIll I spank my kid? If we are blessed with a child I will discipline him or her appropriately based on age and infraction. Mr. SLS and I have discussed this and are on the same page.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Update on my bro-in-law

Though we were prepared to say no you can't move into my house (click here for background post), we didn't have to say anything.

Unlike my sister-in-law who is quite oblivious to the obvious, my brother-in-law figured out that we weren't feeling that plan and went ahead and found an apartment for his family. No pouting or hard feelings or any of the dramatics we would have gotten had this been sister-in-law. They did ask us for help in selling some of their stuff on Craigslist and I've been posting pics and stuff for them and getting stuff sold.

And they did need a cash influx, which we gave, but even then, it was more, "whatever we could give them that wouldn't hurt us" rather than a demand for any specific amount.

It is their turn to host Thanksgiving and Christmas but we're doing it this year and we will be more generous with Christmas gifts for the kids than usual (I don't like to buy toys for children, so we tend to give books, sing-a-long CDs, dinosaur kits and stuff like that).

So no hard feelings or hate or anything.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some folks got "Good Hair" twisted

I have friend who said she didn't like the movie. She felt it should have been a doc OR a comedy. She also doesn't like Chris Rock.

I, of course, enjoyed it as did Mr. SLS. But then, we *love* Chris Rock. In fact, for my birthday last year we went to see him perform.

I didn't approach this movie thinking it would be anything more than what it is -- a movie-length funny look at the craziness that is hair in the black community. I don't know how anyone who saw the previews could think it would be anything BUT that. Did you see the cast: Ice T? Video Vixen chickie? Derek J of Real Housewives fame? C'mon people.

I think part of the problem is that some people are taking this black hair thing too damn far. CreoleinDC has posted a few times about the "high hair priestesses" on her blog. In sum up, they are women who are fanatic about natural hair and generally believe if you opt for straightened or relaxed hair then you are selling out and adhering to the "white media's" brainwashing or some such bullshit.

This is MY hair and if I want it straight I'll wear it straight. If you want cornrows or twists or dreds or whatever on your head, do that, but that looks like shit on me. I don't have to prove I'm the blackest or downest or closest to my African ancestors via my hair or clothes or activities.

I've had braids and two-strand twists and a natural 'fro. All of that was a bad look for me and when I got tired of looking fugged up, I relaxed my situation and now I'm cute as all get out again and all is right in MY world.

Some of the same folks screaming "down with relaxers" are keeping McDonalds in money and get mad when they can't get their free fried chicken from Popeye's. Natural and healthy is only important when it's your hair. That's dumb to me.

As for "Good Hair" -- it got folks talking about hair in the black community. Good. ::runs comb through relaxed hair::

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Patience is a virtue...that I don't have

I have a hard time *not* showing my annoyance with people who cannot think for themselves and/or don't take initiative.

I am not a micromanager and I don't like (or need to be) micromanaged. We are all adults and know what we have to do and when it needs to be done. I expect you to do your shit and I will do mine. If I have a problem I will let someone know in enough time that we can still meet the deadline or change it if that's what's needed. I expect the people I work with to do the same.

That means, you need to have the confidence to be able to make decisions. (yes, I'm switching tenses and voices here just stay with me dammit)

If you interrupt what I'm doing to ask me if you should move the widget one smidge to the right, my kneejerk reaction is to talk to you as if you are stupid, because, YOU are working with the widget, right? Does it need to be moved a smidge to the right? Well, hell, move it then, damn!

Now, I know this is not the best way to "manage" and I am working on that, but I need some mofos around here to work on thinking for themselves as this is a two-way street. Use your brain. It's there, I've seen glimpses of it. Eat some cheese in the morning so it will kick into gear, then ride the rails with that mofo.

Then maybe at the end of the day we can sing kumbaya or something rather than me wanting to ninja kick yo' dumb ass in the head.

/rant

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heard over the weekend...



And I was jamming to it in my car! Took me back to some good times from back in the day.

Mr. SLS and I hung out with some of his friends from high school and had a blast. It reminded me that there were all these years we didn't know each other and all these experiences we didn't share together that brought us to today.

Anyway, have a great week and I'll try to give you one or two more posts before Friday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not feeling this blogging thing..

I sometimes start something gangbusters and then lose steam halfway through. Not with everything and not with important things, but it happens.

Like, for example, with this blog.

So here:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Good friends and blessings!!

Five years ago one of my best friends called and said, hey, a friend of mine is moving to town to go do her Ph.D work at a university there and her apartment won't be ready until two weeks after school starts. Can she stay with you for the two weeks?

I said sure. That two weeks became two months thanks to back to back hurricanes preventing the moving people from delivering her stuff.

One of my early dates with Mr. SLS was a play that we went to with that short-term guest and some other friends. She pegged him as "the one" that night, deciding she liked him after she saw how he handled me. That short-term guest would coordinate my wedding and reception.

She's taken care of my cats -- buying them gifts and treats -- driven my mama back to our hometown, taken care of my little cousin, checked up on my other friend pursuing a Ph.D and just in general been a damn good friend.

Today, she came by to help me get my stuff together for my graduate school application.

My grandma says some folks are a blessing. This friend has definitely been a blessing to me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Are you a NIMBY?

I've been following a discussion on a neighborhood blog about development in our community and it's interesting to see some of the views shared.

Made me think, am I a NIMBY? On some things, yes.

We own homes in my family. From the top to the bottom, 100 percent. We own homes. I have been a renter, but once I could see my way able to purchase I did and that was that. It was never something I thought was out of reach or unattainable and I wasn't rich when I did it.

I also didn't try to buy my dream home when I purchased. I bought what I could afford because it was important to me to own and I know how to defer a dream. I also knew that the best way to get that dream house was to leverage a smaller, starter house.

We've been looking casually at houses and one of the things that turns me off from a house is if it's close to (across from, next to, behind) an apartment building. I'm also drawn more to the suburban-type neighborhoods. And if I see a gaggle of folks hanging out on a corner, it's a big HELL NO. That signals a sidewalk covered in chicken wing bones, broken Chandon bottles and The Wire to me.

Mr. SLS grew up here and those things aren't the blights to him that they are for me. For him, it's the cost of city living.

Anyway, these are just random rambling thoughts....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Opportunities abound...

I am doing my best to take advantage of them.

How do you handle multiple plans at a time when all roads lead to different outcomes?

We've decided to start our next cycle in January so we can offset some of the out-of-pocket costs via a flexible spending account. I used up this year's FSA set aside with the two tests last week.

But there's this thing at work I want to do and I'm getting some intel about it now. And then I'm working on my grad school app this weekend. Deadline for that is December 1, but I want it in by November 15.

We're thinking about going to Argentina to celebrate new years. I'm excited!

I hope you are all having a great day!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm going to hell

My bro-in-law lost his job for doing something he had no business. He and his wife want to move into my house I have listed for sale/rent.

Here's the reason why I'm going to hell in a handbasket: I just spent a grip getting this house ready for sale and am not inclined to have them, their four kids and great big vicious scary ass dog moving in it messing all that up. Especially since they can't afford to pay the rent I quoted or any amount close to it.

Mr. SLS says he ain't inclined to be helpful because his brother is damn near 50 doing the same stupid ish, and what he did is very very very stupid.

I happen to like my bro-in-law's wife, and LOVE their kids, and I would not want them in the street. I told Mr. SLS either we let them stay in the house now or we end up giving them money later.

Mr. SLS said let's just mull it over. But, it's my house, so ultimately I have the last word.

We will do the right thing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Better choices follow up

I saw this article from The Washington Post today and it underscored what I was trying to say in my post yesterday.

Yes, most of us know that being overweight can have detrimental affects on our health, but still it doesn't hurt to be informed about some of the ways that extra poundage can hold us back.

Frankly the story gets at one of my fears: being old and infirm. We live a LONG time in my family. My Grandma turned 89 yesterday. And she still isn't as old as her mama was when she passed away.

Anyway, give the article and my post a read and try to make better choices as I want us all to be shakin' that thang at age 99+.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making better choices

Well, I haven't lost any more weight BUT I haven't gained any either. One thing I've really pushed myself on is making better choices. Now, that doesn't mean I never eat higher calorie, lower nutrient things ever, it means, I try to make the best choice as often as possible.

Here's an example: I was hungry and tired and on the way to the Home Depot for the 8000th time this weekend. I stopped at the 7-Eleven to get some sparkling water. There were rows and rows of junk I could have gotten in that store to eat. But, there was a little fresh fruit mix and I got that. It fought back the hunger, it was good for me and, hell, it *tasted* good.

Because I've been running to the house in the a.m. before work I haven't been able to eat breakfast at home. We have a cafe in the building that serves some of the greasiest heaviest food you can imagine. Even in the pre-do better days I didn't eat much up there, but now I pass by the muffins and get some fruit and/or greek yogurt.

The point to all this is, I have choices. I can choose to eat better, so that I can feel better, look better, live longer (hopefully) and enjoy life more OR I can eat junk, feel like crap, look like crap and -- you get the point.

Are you making better choices?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Work

I'm hating it. And I've put my finger on why: too many chiefs.

Last week someone was out and everything flowed so smoothly. Now this person is back and just one hour into the day and they have gummed up the works. Ugh.

But enough about that, let's talk about the house. I'm in the home stretch. We start listing on Thursday. They are putting in the new carpet right this very minute.

It trips me out that despite my taking very good care of my house, there were still all these little (and costly!) things that had to be done. And then of course, cosmetic stuff. My agent said not to paint, but the house needed a fresh coat of paint and new carpet. Nobody wants to live in/buy a house with scuffed walls and cathair carpet.

It looks SO different in there with the new paint colors. I wasn't into bold colors, but I did have some nice soft pastel walls. Now they are a neutral color.

And I swapped out some window coverings. All in all, I've invested some serious time and money in this, so I'm hoping it will pay off.

Hope all is well with you! Take care. -- sls

Monday, September 21, 2009

When I think about cheating.-- Gretchen Wilson (#musicmonday)

I told ya'll long ago that I like most music genres, including country. (Yes, I have two-stepped in a honkeytonk. And I went to visit Loretta Lynn's ranch. If you want to hear some really entertaining lyrics, listen to this Loretta hit).

But this post is about a Gretchen Wilson ballad from a couple of years ago. I love the lyrics to this song.

I've never done anything
That would ever bring a tear to your eye
I've never crossed the line
Or needed an alibi to cover up a lie
But darling I'll admit
There've been times when I could have
The thing that kept me strong
Is the one thing that is always on my mind

When I think about cheatin'
I just think about you leavin'
And how my world would fall to pieces
If I tossed your love away
Even when I'm tempted by some stranger
Oh there's never any danger
I just think about you leavin'
When I think about cheatin'

There was a time in Abilene
When he said all the things I wanted to hear
It was hard to turn him down
Between the champagne and the sound of whispers in my ear
But it just took one two-step with someone, and I was missing you
He never had a chance, cause I broke up the dance
Before the song was through

When I think about cheatin'
I just think about you leavin'
And how my world would fall to pieces
If I tossed your love away
Even when I'm tempted by some stranger
Oh there's never any danger
I just think about you leavin'
When I think about cheatin'

Here's the video, filmed at the old Grand Old Opry (yep, been there, too. I've seen the new building but never been inside). Check it out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't rain on my parade! -- Barbra Streisand

Don't tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade
***
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.






*This is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I fell out with my mother the other day

I was sooooooo mad, if she had been anybody but my mama I KNOW my snap response when she came at me with her craziness would have been "BITCH PLEASE!"

I apologized later -- for snapping not for what I said -- but she pushed the wrong button by essentially asking me to take responsibility for my 33-year-old brother.

Here's what I said: I didn't have him YOU did, so if you want to keep throwing good money after bad and wasting energies and fretting yourself to death, I can't stop you.

But I long ago made my peace with the fact that he will *never* be the brother I wanted, so for me, he is just a dude I share DNA with that my parents see fit to take care of even though he is a grown ass man who can work and provide for himself.

So I suggest you stop hoping he will become the son you wanted and accept that what he is now is who he is and work from there...

At the same time you need to accept that *I* am not going to pick up this burden and carry it because you are tired. If you are tired, stop. If he ends in up the gutter, then know that's where he wants to be.

As Mr. SLS says, take your victories where you can get them.



ADDENDUM:

OK, when I wrote this I was still mad. But last night I was reminded that my mama is being the best mom she knows how to be to me and my brother.

I was talking to her while waiting at my house for a man to come by and talk to me briefly about some business related to the house. My phone ran out of juice and died in the middle of our conversation which is right when the guy arrived.

When I got home about 30 minutes later my mom had called Mr. SLS and he was about to come to the house while she also had her finger poised over the 911 keys ready to dispatch law enforcement. From her perspective, man arrived, phone went dead. Something is wrong, send out the cavalry.

To sum up, like any mother, my mama just wants the best for me and my brother and I might not agree with her method in dealing with my brother, but it's what she feels she has to do.

How can I fault her for that?

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Motherlode

I read the Motherlode blog on NYTimes.com every now and again and they had a recent post about life after infertility treatments fail.

It sort of put into words some of the thoughts I've had about what happens if this next thing doesn't work. In theory I KNOW we would be fine, but still, it's hard to see that life as the one that I'm vested in involves us loving and raising our child.

But that said, you can go crazy (and broke) running after that carrot called "just one more cycle."

Anyway, the post is a good read. If you have a few minutes check it out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Turning off the "Fire and Desire"

Thanks to being cut open, having my uterus taken out, cut into, yanked about, sewn up, replaced in my body and then having my abdomen sewn up, there's been no grown folks' time for me and Mr. SLS for six weeks, per the doc's orders.

Our anniversary is approaching and we were looking forward to, um, getting back to it.

I got a call Thursday from my nurse caseworker at the infertility clinic saying they need me to retake a test now that the fibroids have been removed. I say OK, sure, and she says we'll send the info and the prescription you'll need in the mail.

I just got the info and prescription. I've had the test before but it was two years ago and I didn't remember the details so I scanned the info as a refresher and this jumped out at me: patient must abstain for 10 days prior to the test.

I HAVE TO ABSTAIN FROM GROWN FOLKS' TIME FOR 10 DAYS BEFORE THE TEST. AFTER ABSTAINING FOR SIX WEEKS THANKS TO THE SURGERY.

*blink*

I'm feeling some kinda way about this for realz. ::fans myself to try to cool my hot azz down::

Friday, September 11, 2009

A moment of silence for 9.11.2001

I thought about writing a post describing where I was at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001 (in the newsroom working the early shift).

Or a post about how my publication sent me to NYC to report in the days after the towers fell (I got overwhelmed and started sobbing on some random street in NYC and a crackhead asked me what kinda stuff I was on).

Or a post about how I fainted from heat exhaustion waiting in a long, long, long line at the Pentagon for press credentials.

But for real, the best thing we can all do today is pause for a minute to remember those lives lost and forever changed by the events eight years ago.

Let's also remember the soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thanks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A dream is a wish your heart makes!

Following up on my "Rise and Grind" post below about overcoming fear, I did some research on the master's program I'm interested in and I can take all the classes in the evening and finish in two years. That means I don't have to quit my job or anything.

What really tipped the boat was when Mr. SLS said, "You can use the rental income from your house to pay for it." Of course, I hadn't thought of that! Doh! That eliminated the two "barriers" I was using as excuses -- what about work and how to pay for it. Gotta stop thinking about how I *can't* do something and focus on how to get it done.

I'm gathering together things I need now so that I can apply.

As for the house, I got the next to the last step done so that I can legally rent in D.C. (the last step is an inspection by the city) and tomorrow I'm having an electrician come to install something and fix another thing I broke with my handy ass. LOL!

I put some stuff on Craigslist and FreecycleDC and in a week I'm having the carpet replaced. And...that's it! Ready for rent!

I go back to work next week so I'm glad I used this time to recover and get these things done. To be honest, I'm glad I felt good enough of the time that I was able to do this house stuff. It's a blessing. Other than having to take a midday nap, I think I'm pretty much well along with my mending and I'm sure once I get back into the work flow I'll get beyond the nap thing.

I've also managed to lose 26 pounds (since April) and I plan to continue losing weight. I've decided to take the opportunity to walk to work while the weather is still decent (not too hot, not too cold). That's four miles roundtrip. I'll continue to work on making better food choices and paying attention to portion sizes. I'm approaching a milestone birthday and one thing this surgery taught me is that I have to take better care of myself.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Get ready to "Rise and Grind"


I'm always worried about not having enough money and having spotless credit. I do not know why that is as I've never been hungry, homeless or without, though in my early days out of college I did struggle. As a result of that fear I'm very averse to risk and didn't want to do or try anything that might mess up my paper or creditworthiness.

I've recently realized that what I feared was having to rely on someone or ask for help. Or go home to my family. I was scared of failing or appearing to be a failure.

This year I've taken some small financial risks that have netted us some good results. Things I've wanted to do in the past but was afraid to do. My small successes have made me less fearful. But I was able to do them because I had support from Mr. SLS. I knew if things didn't work I would still eat, I would still have a roof over my head -- it would be OK.

This has made me think more about things such as quitting my job and doing something I really want to do. Mr. SLS said last night, "It's time for you to get that master's degree you've been talking about."

I hadn't pursued the degree in the past because I worried about the time and expense and, honestly, because I was scared. I didn't want to take on debt to do it, I was scared to leave work to do it, I was scared.

Yes, I know lots and lots of other people have done it, but, that was them. *I* was scared. (See the first part of this where I said I am always worried about money and creditworthiness).

For whatever reason, I stumbled on a blog by FreeMan, where he talked about becoming self-sufficient, reclaiming the black community, retaining more of the money that our community spends and various other topics along those lines.

He started a new blog this week, "Rise and Grind," that discusses how to start a business in layman's terms. If you've always wanted to get your own hustle, but thought you couldn't do it, wasn't sure how to do it or was just plain old scared, give him a read. Tweet with him. Take his tips, get past your fears and get your thing going.

That's what I'm going to do. Good luck!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Protective covering

Among the many things I love about Mr. SLS is the way he protects and takes care of me.

He is pretty easygoing and mild mannered and I'm sure most people who meet him think he's softhearted, which he is so they wouldn't be wrong.

But I think some people also mistake that for him being cowardly. They would be wrong.

In the past I have dated some big, macho, beat on the chest, I'm a big bad mutha-effer brothers. The kinda men you think would step up. But those bruhs were all chatter and bluster.

Not Mr. SLS. If somebody steps to me wrong, he will bust you in your throat. I've seen it. And I like it. ::drool:: It's kinda like how Clark Kent takes off his glasses and turns into Superman.

Now, I know some of you ladies are all "chivalry is dead" and "we aren't frail little flowers that need protectin' by the big strong menfolk," but dayum all dat. *You* may not need or want protecting, but I do. I need a provider and a protector and that, thankfully, is what I got. I chose well. Yay me!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Loving what you do for a living

One of the things I really love about Mr. SLS is how he found a way to get paid for doing something he loves: music. And because he loves music, he takes the time and effort to find and develop new and creative ways to teach the kids.

For example, I'm making cupcakes for him today and he's going to use them to teach some musical method.

He writes songs for the kids, teaches them how to improvise and takes them to perform with him sometimes so they can get comfortable being in front of an audience.

For their concerts he pays professional musicians to come in to accompany them.

I want to love what I do that much. I like it and it's interesting most days, but I know I don't have half the enthusiasm for what I do that my husband does.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I love this MJ song...

Maybe because he wrote it about his children..cause it's really sappy. But, I love it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Clean sweep, doors and windows

I've decided to become a landlord. After talking to the agent (who owns a primary residence and rental residence in my neighborhood) keeping my house and using it as an income property sounds like the best plan for us.

As such, I've had people in to make some minor repairs that are needed, have sked one more person to come next week to do a small project and I'm pricing out carpet.

I've been sorting through papers in my desk over there and shredding docs I don't need anymore and it's been so enlightening to see old paychecks and my original mortgage papers and the titles to my cars and the "paid in full" letter for my school loan. I have come a looooooong way baby!

I also found some old pics of me I hadn't seen in awhile and you know what always gets me when I see old pics of me? I realize that I am cute as all get out. One thing CreoleinDC always says is believe you are cute and act like it (she might not say it quite like that but that's the gist).

On a day-to-day basis, I don't think I'm cute. I'm always too self-conscious about being fat (I have a post coming about this, too, cause I had a revelation last night, that basically said, if being fat bothers me so much do something about it hell!). But I look at the old photos and my hair is always styled nicely, my outfit is flattering, my skin is right and I have a great smile -- I'm cute!

The thing that made me REALLLY REALLLLLLY laugh is the rejection letter I had saved for this job I wanted a couple, two, three years ago. I don't know why I saved the letter, but I read it today and saw the name of the lady who "rejected me" at the bottom and burst out laughing cause this chick has given me not one but TWO journalism awards in the years since she picked someone who wasn't me for the job I thought was mine back then.

Just goes to show you, when a door closes, a window opens so jump ya ass through it and keep it moving.

Also hilarious is a conversation I had with one of my BFFs today. She said she knew I wasn't even going to seriously entertain selling/renting my house until I had been married for a minute and had a chance to feel out this "death do us part" thing cause I am funny with my money. HAAHAHAAA! That really cracked me up. Cause it's true.

Altogether, things are shaping up nicely. I'm feeling better, the house will soon be making me some money, and interestingly enough, I'm getting excited about going back to work.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puzzle pieces

There are a few times when I try to do something and it seems too hard and I can't focus on it or push forward. Maybe the timing is off, or something but whatever it's not right, so I put a pin in it and step away.

That's the situation with my house. Up until now it seemed like I could not do what needed to be done to get this house sold or rented. Something was always distracting or blocking me. So, I left it alone. Yes, that meant I was spending money for a place no one was living in, but I could not get over the hump.

I'll admit that I think part of it was being a new bride and still growing in my marriage.

Getting to a point where in the back of my head I don't need to cling to my house as the last vestige of my independent womanhood.

Even as much as I trust(ed) Mr. SLS and know that he is a great man who loves me, that still didn't make me stop being ME. Meaning I trust but verify. In ALL situations.

Thankfully my husband understands me and is patient.

Anyway as far as taking care of my house, things are flowing now.

Agent is on the job, paperwork is moving along as needed.

The pieces are falling in the place.

The timing is right.

Right?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two baby steps forward

I'm meeting with a real estate agent this week to talk numbers about my house. Depending on the numbers the agent shows me I may put it on the market in the next month or so after I make a couple of tweaks here and there.

When I was paying bills at the beginning of the month (I schedule all bill payments for the month at the beginning of the month so that I'm not forgetting anything) I realized that the *only* bills I have outside of my car insurance are for this house.

I'm still open to renting it out, but only through a management company. This agent can help me with that, too. The going rent in my neighborhood for houses my size would easily cover the mortgage payment and Mr. SLS really thinks we should hang on to it rather than sell.

I worry about the tenant laws in D.C. though, as they seem to be heavily weighted toward the renter in any and all disputes. I don't intend to be a slumlord or anything, but neither do I want some scammer living in my house for free while I fight the system to get them out. This is one of the few issues where I'm cup half empty.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back that thang up!

One of my friends who works in the dying side of my industry is working hard to gain the skills and knowledge she needs to stay marketable and employable.

Her husband is in the same business and is content to take it as it comes. I asked her recently what his plans were for the future and she said: I'm his backup plan.

Hm.

I decided I would ask Mr. SLS what his backup plan was if he lost his job for some reason. He immediately rattled off a list of what he would do, how he would do it, where we would cut back etc. Which was the right answer.

What's your backup plan?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Granny is the bestest!

I got a get well card from my very sickly Granny (my dad's mother) today. It was soooo sweet and reminded me of all the cards and care packages she has sent me over the years.

When I was still a baby she started sending me postcards from her various trips. I still have some of them! She sent me cards for every holiday and birthday (I still have some of these, too!). Granny also was the one who bought me stationary for writing thank you notes. I still do this and have a love of great paper and handwritten notes.

She always made me Easter baskets and taught me how to make beans and greens to bring in the new year and did lots of "ladies who lunch" dates with me as I grew up.

I own a vintage dressing table and armoire because I have so many great memories of playing dress up at Granny's dressing table with her gloves, hats, furs and sparkly jewelry. I would spray myself with perfume from her atomizers (I have these, too), dust my face with her fluffy powder puffs and smear her red red lipstick all over (and around) my mouth.

She helped me pick my dress for my senior prom and gave me the accessories for it.

While I was in college she sent me care packages all the time, but the best one was on my 21st birthday. By then everyone knew she sent the bomb stuff in my care packages so all my hallmates were in my room gathered around waiting to see what goodies were inside the box: a homemade chocolate poundcake! And some slippers that looked like Lhasa Apsos. (I still have these slippers!) That is *still* one of my best birthdays ever.

She's always been into decorating and has an eye for style and there are accessories in my house right now that Granny picked out.

When I go home she always gives me some of her prized vintage pieces she has held on to over the years -- a satin clutch, some long satin gloves, a mink collared wool swing coat with 3/4 sleeves, some long leather gloves to wear with the coat, some crystal earrings.

Anyways, I love my Granny.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Long Goodbye -- Raymond Chandler

One thing my husband has in common with everyone in my family (except my daddy cause he's like me) is that when we're at an event and it's time to go he takes forever to say his goodbyes.

And I hate that.

Cause when I'm ready to go, I AM READY TO GO. But he always has to holler at one more person, just say one thing to suchandsuch etc. He will stand at the door for another 10 or 20 minutes chatting. How is that leaving?!

I'm not like that. I leave when I'm done. I wave goodbye and then walk out the door. Bye! If I need to talk to somebody I will call them later. Cause I'm rhet ta go!!

But I'm also funnyactin' and he's more social than I am so I deal.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A lovely day! -- Bill Withers

Went for my post-op appt yesterday and I'm recovering nicely though I can't go back to work yet. We're about to go to a musicians' jam session and cookout so I'm all duded up and cutified.

Here's some of what I listen to when I'm getting gussied up to go out with Mr. SLS:



Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chicken gizzards

I said a couple of posts ago that I saw my fibroids. Well here's what happened and it underscores why I really like my surgeon.

As I lay on the gurney in the pre-op area the surgeon came to visit me and I said, "I want to see what you cut out of me." He looked taken aback for a minute but when I said I wanted to see what was causing all the havoc in my body, he said, "After your surgery, tell the nurse you want to go to pathology to see them."

After they unhooked me from everything but the IV and I had done my first walk, I mentioned going to pathology to see my fibroids to the nurse and she said, "Oh, I don't think you can do that."

Then an assistant somebody to the surgeon came in to check on me and I mentioned to her and she hemmed and hawed and then pretty much said I couldn't do it.

About 10 minutes later the nurse I mentioned this to earlier comes in pushing a wheelchair and says, "Come along, we're going to pathology! Dr. [name redacted cause it's nobody's business] called and told them to get your fibroids out because you want to see them and for us to take you down."

I go down to pathology and they are puzzled about why I want to see this, but they show them to me and explain what they have done to them and what happens next.

They kinda looked like this, except much, much bigger. And rounder:


But then there were lots and lots of smaller ones that had been sliced up so they could examine them under the microscope and make sure they were fibroids and not cancerous cysts.

I wanted to touch them, but they were floating in formaldehyde so that was verboten.

All in all, it was a great teachable moment.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cereal killer


When I was growing up my mother never let us have sugary cereals such as Capt. Crunch or Boo Berry. We could eat Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Cheerios -- with fruit but no added sugar -- and Life (which I *really* hated). That's it. Don't bother asking for anything else. Many a day I sat at the table for hours staring into a soggy bowl of cereal because I didn't want it and you didn't waste food in our house. (<--possibly why I am fat today. that's a tangent though...)

I still hate those cereals today. For years I couldn't eat a cereal if it was a flake, but I also couldn't eat sugary cereals for the most part. I also would rather starve than eat oatmeal or cream of wheat. They look like something my cats vomited up.

I've grown, a little, but I'm still a picky cereal eater. Mr. SLS eats stuff like shredded wheat or some flake with a date and some nuts in it that makes me want to gag while he's crunching and munching as if it's the best thing ever. Ew.

Anyway, my favorite cereal of all time is puffed wheat.


You cannot go wrong with a bowl of puffed wheat! Look at the nutrition facts:

It's practically a spoonful of air. I add skim milk and berries and voila! breakfast is served.

Do you like cereal?

Monday, August 10, 2009

I should blog more

I have plenty o' time for it, but I'm not doing much so there isn't much to write about here. I figured you would value quality over quantity (yes that was a sneaky compliment to my blogging content).

I have clicked around the blogosphere and various news Web sites over the past week or so and the health care debate is really hot. And crazed. I just got my hospital bill in the mail a few minutes ago and thought how lucky I am that even if we didn't have insurance we could pay the bill out of pocket.

In fact, the various places the Web has taken me over the past week or so have shown me how very blessed I am.

What are your thoughts about some of the ideas that have been floated for overhauling the system?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Love me in a special way -- Debarge

Dear Friends and Family:

I appreciate all your well wishes and I am recovering nicely. I've been able to get out of the house this past week and do a few things, so I'm not bedbound.

However, when I entered the hospital on July 30, I weighed 18 pounds less than I did back in April. This is due to diet modification. That doesn't mean I am on a diet that means I try to actively make better choices about what I put in my mouth everyday and stop eating at 8 p.m. for the most part.

I want to note that I did not move ONE STEP MORE and lost 18 pounds. That means, I was taking in too many calories. Eating too much junk. Being a glutton.

Once I am a bit better I do intend to take some more steps, several in fact, as that is the next phase of my lifestyle overhaul plan -- becoming more active -- but right now, I can only move slowly and in small spurts. Which means during this convalescence time I have to be even more cognizant about what I put in my mouth.

So please stop sending baked goods to this house. I don't need them and my husband -- I know he is skinny, but he has sugar issues that we have to keep an eye on -- doesn't need them either. And we are not going to eat them so your generosity is being wasted.

I know your hearts are in the right place, and frankly, in the past this would be exactly the way to make me "feel" better. But I'm trying to change and become healthier and I'll need your help.

Yours always,

SingLikeSassy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Music hustle

Whenever he can, Mr. SLS goes out to the Metro during rush hours to play. Sometimes he's alone, other times he's joined by some friends. He does it as a way to mix up practicing (much more interesting than playing scales in our living room with the cats staring at him from the piano bench and windowsill).

The money he makes doing it ebbs and flows depending on the Metro, the weather, the day, the crowd -- anything. Though I don't go with him, I get a cut off the top of all cash monies earned. LOL!

Anyway, this cartoon made me think about all of that so, you got a blog post!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love my family, new and old

The next time I complain about my crazy family remind me of all the calls, cards, letters and flowers they sent me over the past few days.

And a huge thanks and big ups to my sister-in-law (no, not Mr. SLS' sister, I haven't heard from her at all -- no, this thanks is to his brother's wife). She came to visit me in the hospital, checked in on me constantly and yesterday she cooked dinner and they brought it to us. I couldn't eat much of it (not hungry) but what I did taste was delish and Mr. SLS is happy because she made his favorite dish.

I have to admit, a visit with the family sans Mr. SLS' sister is a different experience. We all laughed and relaxed and there was no drama or headaches or arguments and the babies ran around playing and it was just...family. His sister takes a lot of energy and focus. And patience. It's tiresome.

Bringing it back around to the positive: I feel very cared about and loved.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Did you pass gas?

Well I'm home! It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be, though for a bit I raged against all the needles and machines and such that were attached to me and kept me so confined and restricted that I couldn't move and I ended up throwing up all over myself. (<--gross, I know, and you're just reading this, I had to endure it. It was disgusting. I cried. Mr. SLS and the nurse cleaned me up and woo woo woo'd me).

But they kept offering me deals -- do this and we remove that. For example, we'll take the oxygen tubes away but you have to use this breathing thingy every hour on the hour to make sure your lungs are working at capacity. I used the breathing thingy.

Then they said we'll take these suction pressure-y band things off your legs but you have to promise to move your legs around a lot. I was doing high kicks in that bed.

Then they said, we'll take the catheter out, but you have to go tinkle within this timeframe or we put it back. I tinkled.

Then it was, we'll take out the IV but you have to drink fluids and keep tinkling or we put it back. Catheter, too. I drank. I tinkled.

Then they said, you can go home -- soon as you pass gas. I couldn't do it!! I didn't have gas! I wasn't eating! I wasn't hungry. I had three cups of hot tea, 6 spoonfuls of clear broth and innumerable amounts of water and ice cubes but nothing that would generate gas.

So I walked. Up and down the hall. Very slowly. And hunchbacked. Leaning on Mr. SLS. Hoping to generate some movement. Nothing.

Then on Friday night as I was sleeping I dreamed that I had a big gas expulsion and I woke up. And suddenly there was all kinds of movement.

Which is good because the first thing the nurse asked when she came in was, "did you pass gas?" And I when I said yes, she was like, "Oh thank goodness, that is the best news!" Then the doc came in and asked, "did you pass gas?" And when I said yes, he said, "You can go home!" I was out of there within an hour.

I'll share more about the experience (they let me go to pathology and see my fibroids!) in another post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Clean as a whistle!

So I've just taken the last of 28 pills to help "cleanse and flatten" my colon so it won't be in the way during surgery tomorrow. I want to throw them up because they are huge and make my stomach hurt a bit, especially since all I could eat today was clear foods, and since there are no clear foods, I've had nothing to eat.

OK, I'm exaggerating, I could have jello and chicken broth, but I didn't want that so I ate nothing and am now full to the brim with water, in which 28 horse-sized pills are floating.

But, my bag is packed, my paperwork is all laid out and, I'm ready. Everyone at work hugged me today and that just reminded me of how many really wonderful and kind people I work with.

We joked about me twittering the whole experience and I might actually post some updates to them via BlackBerry for entertainment purposes as I wait to go under anesthesia.

Well, that's it for now. I feel a "cleansing and flattening" moment coming on so gotta go.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"And it's deep, too!" -- Richard Pryor

Last week when I first heard the Gatesgate story, I didn't automatically think "racism." As I've heard more and more of the details, I still feel like my first instinct was correct. My thought was, "OK two men playing the 'who has the biggest member' game" a la this Richard Pryor joke (I'm remembering this cause I couldn't find a link to it via the Web so I might not have it exactly right. My version is also cleaner than RP's).
Two men are walking along discussing who has the biggest member. They get to a bridge and one of the men has to pee. He pulls his business out to pee in the water, so the other man does, too. Man one says, "Damn, this water sure is cold!" Man two says, "And it's deep, too!"
I talked to my parents about Gatesgate and they are convinced racism played some role in the incident.

And just based on the differing views between my parents and myself, I can understand how Gatesgate might have happened: perception is reality for most folks.

My parents grew up down South during the Jim Crow era. They have dealt with racism and discrimination firsthand. I have not. Have I somehow been affected by covert racism or subtle racism? Possibly. But I don't live my life looking for the racism in a situation so I'm guessing it pretty much goes over my head.

Here's an example of the perception/reality thing. At a previous place of employment, a black coworker decided a white coworker was racist because she didn't say hello/good morning.

Now, as I have noted in the past, I am not a "good morning" type chick. When I suggested that maybe that coworker wasn't a morning person either, the other coworker insisted it was racism and listed various reasons why. OK. That was her perception based on her experiences. My perception as an evil wench who *hates* to greet people in the a.m. before I put my purse down, get some coffee and generally settle in, was not the same.

Back to my parents. Based on their experiences, they are more sensitive to perceived racism. I suspect Mr. Gates' experiences have also made him more sensitive to perceived racism and his perceptions and experiences are what he brought to the incident that has led to all this drama.

I think this article is a good summary of the situation. Give it a read.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Paying respects

I spent a good part of today paying respects at the home of my friend and colleague who lost his two sons last week.

It's crazy anytime a parent has to bury a child, but to lose two children at the same time is almost incomprehensible to me. I cannot begin to imagine how they feel. I continue to wonder why this has happened to these wonderful people.

I'm humbled that at a time when I know they are hurting so deeply, they opened their home and let us all come by for a few hours and show them how much we care. I know there must have been more than 500 people in and out of that house today. They are loved. Their sons were loved.

I'll continue to keep them in my prayers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aside from being nasty as hell, what is this about?

Dear Prudence,

My wife and I recently had a large gathering of friends over the weekend. On the second morning, I was talking to my friend when his wife walked in, sat on a chair, and joined the conversation. When they both left the room minutes later, I saw a red stain on the fabric of the chair. I quickly cleaned it up. About an hour later, my wife came up to me and said she had found blood drops all over the bathroom floor. Just as we were beginning to wonder what was going on, another guest came in and told us that my friend's wife had just gotten up from a chair outside and left quite a bloody spot. Unsure of what to say, no one would approach her. We survived the next 24 hours with a minimum of mess, and then they left. This woman is married to a dear friend, and I hope to have them visit again, but this behavior is not acceptable. My wife says it is impossible that she did not know what was going on. What should I do?

—A Bloody Mess


Read Prudence's response.