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

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.