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

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.


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.


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,


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.