tales from the street minister

Scene: Since I've been working from home for the past couple of days, I have had time to check emails, read blogs (and write them), and call my folk in the N.O. I have been hassling my deacon daddy all day about evacuating. But he keeps saying that he has some things to do at the church, since his Pastor has been in Africa for the past 2 months...taking pride in the fact that he's next in charge.

Me: Dad, I need to know whatchu gon' do. All ya'll need to be up out of there. Gus.tav ain't playing!

Dad: When everyone gets home, we're gonna sit down and figure out when we're gonna go. Brenda and 'em gon' be outta here before me. I'm gonna go and handle some things at the church first.

Me: What exactly do you have to do??? What exactly CAN you do that will prevent that church from going down IF Gus.tav rolls through there?

Dad: Maybe I can minister to someone outside the church.

Me: Who in the hell you going to be ministering to if there's a mandatory evacuation. Didn't Jin.dal say that they're arresting people? I guess you'll be ministering to the other fools in jail.

Dad: I ministered to a man this morning at the gas station. I saw him drinking something out of a cup that he dug out of the trash can. I hollered at him and told him that he didn't know what kinda stuff was in that cup.

Me: Well obviously, he was desparate for food and lacked options.

Dad: I knew that he was homeless. I gave him some money...and I gave him some advice. I said, "Look here. I'm gon' give you this 5 dollars. You can take this to MACK-Donald's and get you something to eat. You might even wanna get on one of these buses that'll take you to safety. But let me tell you something...I'm not tryin' to question your smarts. I don't know what your education level is or anything, but in case you DIDN'T know...gas is HIGH! You got people pulling up to the pump, MAD already, and then YOU gon' ask them for change? They just might bust you in the head for the change YOU got. I ain't tryin' to tell you where to go, but if I were you I'd stand on the corner across the street or the one over there, but I sure as hell wouldn't stand here!"

LMAO!!! Lawd, hold my mule!

swag on

I actually have a 2nd grader...a 2nd grader whose face and belly seem to be on swole status since his trip to the N.O. PawPaw and 'em serve heart attacks on a plate daily, it seems. I'll give him a month to shed those extra pounds. I'm still trying to figure out how all of his pants look as if he's running from Gus.tav. Speaking of Gus.tav, I'm glad that I got my a$$ out of dodge. I don't predict a lot of damage (and I'm not Bob Bre.ck, so don't quote me on that) but one thing that I don't miss is the whole 2-3 day evacuation rigamaro. I called my dad this morning to make sure that he had a plan. His main concern was that the women and grandchildren evacuate first...and that he had enough liquor for the occasion.

But I digress...

Today, I got to meet my JJ's new teacher, Mr. Swag (that's what I'll call him b/c he had too many letters in his last name and those were the only 4 that I could decipher...dag, I feel sorry for those poor children when they have to ask HIM to go to the bathroom during the first week of school). Aside from that, this is the first year that I have actually felt excited about a teacher. I think b/c Mr. Swag gives me the impression that he loves his job. J's first grade teacher was a little too mellow for my taste and don't even get me started on his kindergarten teacher at his old school. The latter one had one more time to call me at work over some silly mess before I proceeded to throw some 'bows. But I think that me and Mr. Swag shall get along just fine. I was already in good spirits b/c I spent less than $15 on school supplies by shopping for them on tax-free weekend...and I sped through the maze of The Bottomless Pits of Hell Wal-Ma.rt, no less. I quickly wheeled that cart out of there, to the tune of Miss.ion Imposs.ible, with my shades on that fine Saturday morning. At 5 cents per notebook, I HAD to be stealing.

But I digress again...

I anticipate a strong year for J, from start to finish.

bottom of the map 2: from the eyes of a native-turned-tourist


OK, now that I've gotten all that whining about a man out of my system, I can now move on. As planned, I had my char.broiled oysters not more than a couple of hours after I had arrived. And they were everything that I dreamed they would be. It has become tradition, ever since I moved away, that me and a couple of friends do this on my first night back in town.

Afterwards, we met up with my boy, G, at Le Bon.s Tem.ps and caught the Sou.l Re.bels. I'm a self-proclaimed So.ul Re.bels groupie. As a native, I believe that an acute affinity for brass bands, jazz, and bounce music is in my blood...it makes it hard to not be caught up in the rhythm even when your feet hurt or you're 2 blinks away from a coma. Upon grooving and observing my surroundings, I was trying to calculate how long it had been since I was in a spot with so many attractive black men. I still have yet to come up with an answer. It must've been a grip b/c as more guy friends rolled through, I noticed that they were finer than I remembered. Be that as it may, I can't do anything with anyone long distance, so I had to avert my eyes and sidestep the flirtatious touching as much as possible. I'm not what I used to be so by 2 AM, I was propped up against an old piano, counting how many yawns I can muster in 10 minutes. We bounced shortly after.


I slept in the next morning and then joined a family game of Wii bowling. By that afternoon, I had made plans to have dinner with my former boss and then hook up with G afterwards. Seeing my FB was cool. She was telling me of some private contracts that were coming down the pike, to which I thought my current experience was beneficial. I believe that is when I first pondered the idea of moving back and perhaps acquiring what I deemed to be meaningful work. But considering how slow the N.O. can be in that aspect, I figured that I had more than enough time to fully do some research on the possibilities.

Later, me, K-Rizzy, and G met up for some good reminiscing and even-better drinks. We were having a good time on that bar's corner until G started looking a little too intensely into the cars that were stopping at the sign. G has been shot before. With that memory resurfacing, we thought it a good idea for us to take cover behind a wall, so we went down the street to the Bl.ue Ni.le. The So.ul Re.bels happened to be playing downstairs but we partook of the sounds from a DJ upstairs. Once we got to the balcony, this guy swooped in like a vulture and was much too overly aggressive for my liking. Just when I started to like the black people content at this joint, he ruined it. Upon pushing him off of me for the third time, I looked around and saw this guy that I had met a couple of years ago...or maybe last year. I really have no clue. I hugged this familiar face b/c he saved me from the other guy, but I still cannot remember his name and I was hoping that I wouldn't be forced to if he said mine. We maintained very little contact from our first encounter and I'm sure that was for a reason (a reason that escapes me, as well). We talked until I realized that I was both safe and bored and then me and K-Rizzy left to get a closer look at the brass band playing on the street, right outside of a taco truck. That taco truck had been there all evening, but this band appeared out of nowhere. Were they undercover? Was I THAT tipsy? I needed sleep.


I sprung up the next morning, b/c me and RC were booked up for a day of shopping at the French Mar.ket and the the Riv.erwalk. I only packed for hot, hotter, and hot-as-hell...and well that day, it was hot-as-hell! Perhaps I HAD gotten used to the slight breeze in VA but I swear that Satan was walking next to me saying, "You can't hang, hunh?" Now, I may have cheated my low cholesterol diet while in town but I got enough exercise to last me a month. At the market, I spent too much money on N.O.-themed black and white sketches to go in my N.O.-themed kitchen. What can I say? I am a sucker for artwork that reminds me of home. We then took a break at Caf.e Du Mon.de and grabbed some beig.nets as I started to feel as if my deodorant had punched in its time card while my relaxer had questioned its long, hard-working hours as well. Which sucked b/c I was scheduled to take a family picture that day and was wondering how in the world did I plan to recover from this. We continued to walk along the river and then get briefly air-conditioned inside the River.walk. It was hard but I refrained from buying anything else with a fleur-de-lis on it.

I went back to my dad's house to freshen up for this ghetto photo shoot. Leave it up to my dad to not decide that Ol.an Mills or Se.ars would capture our fam's best moments in time. Instead, we went to his sis-in-law's, who happens to run a beauty shop and photography studio out of her home. Never have I ever gone to take a family photo, during which I was offered wine, chicken, and red beans so that I could be relaxed for the shoot. Only here. But they did mix a jazz CD for me, so perhaps it was worth whatever my dad negotiated in payment.

I met up with K-Rizzy again b/c, for some reason, I just couldn't stand the thought of being in the house at 10 PM. We hit up Bour.bon and once again, I was trying to determine the last time that I actually walked down Bour.bon Street...and for the most part, without a drink in my hand or a line dance...i.e. "the Bus Stop" in my heart.


Mack texted me to see what my plans were for the day. I was the house heathen that skipped church that morning. K-Rizzy and I decided to have brunch instead. I had just bought a dress in the French Mar.ket and I thought that it was a brunch-y dress and I wanted to show it off. Unfortunately, Tro.pical Stor.m Fay.e was going to make my ANTM Sunday plans hard. Although I modified my wardrobe that early afternoon, I knew that I was going to have to be super-cute for when I met up with Mack.

When I told him where I was staying, he was a little too tickled by it and that's when I realized that his brother lived less than 2 minutes away. Small world N.O. We went to this dai.quiri shop up the street and chilled. Its weird...I was sitting across from this man, who could've used a shave, a haircut, perhaps even a change of clothes yet I was more into him than I let on (I hope)...more into him than anyone that I dated or merely thought that I liked (even Choir Boy) in the last 3 years. For some reason, I didn't want to ask him anything regarding his career...or if he was dating anyone. I figure that he gets interviewed enough. I DID feel as if we talked about me too much. But as I was listening to him discuss what all he did to move his sisters back to the N.O. and get their kids into good schools, I got all dreamy eyed. I told him about my 5-year plan and how I was considering moving to Te.xas and he looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I then back-peddled and said that maybe I'd stay in VA, to which he cut me off and stated that that wasn't happening. I knew in my head and in my heart that that wasn't happening either. And that's when he said,

"Why don't you move back to New Or.leans? It wasn't that bad to you before the storm."

I stumbled for a sec, b/c that wasn't necessarily true. He just didn't know all the drama that I needed to get away from and Kat.rina kinda freed me from all of that. I wasn't too interested in filling him in either b/c who I was 3 years ago is a far cry from the innocent, sheltered girl that he first met. Who I am now is no where near who I was 3 years ago, but "who I am now" doesn't know how she could possibly fit in Mack's world now. And to be honest, I just want to exist in his low key life...and still don't know if THAT's reasonable considering his schedule.

We stood outside and talked in the rain and I just wanted to freeze time.


Visited with a few friends to see their new homes or the progress of their old homes. K-Rizzy took me to Rod.ney's b/c I had been craving a bub.ble gum sno-ball and some soggy nachos. I used to live in walking distance from this place when I was a little girl. Everything felt the same, excluding the prices. I noticed that the housing looked more run down the further east we drove. While in the area, she took me to the house that J and I lived in before the storm. The man who bought my gutted home had made much progress...but I didn't too much care for his curb appeal decisions. To each, his own. The neighborhood still didn't have much life to it, in my opinion.

I missed G's speech at some women's empowerment convention. Why he was asked to be a speaker is still beyond me. I joked that he was supposed to be "empowering" the sno-ball that I had to eventually get with K-Rizzy. Instead, I went to dinner with J's godmother, EJ. She and her hubby used to be in driving distance while in B-More, but they moved back home 3 months ago. I still didn't get to see everyone that I wanted to see, but the more important players were present.


It was time to get in the VA mindset. My JJ had a hard time at the airport. Up until that point, he was ready to come back to VA but I guess the realization that his PawPaw wasn't coming back with him, hit him hard. I never had a grandfather or one that I had ever met but I imagine that the relationship that he has with his PawPaw is just as special as the relationship that he has with me. Due to the FAA glitch, I had time to wonder if all the benefits of being in VA truly outweigh all the benefits we would have if we were back home. Only time will tell.

bottom of the map

I's back...well, somewhat. I shall be recuperating from my trip all day tomorrow. Lawdtaday, I just do not want to do deal with work folks anytime soon. Anyways, I'll make this brief and perhaps elaborate later. I had a great time...so much so that I'm bouncing around the idea of amending my 5-year plan and moving back home. The jury's still out on that for the moment. I got my baby back and all is well. Somewhat...

I'll just share one part of my trip...guess what I discovered? Not only was Mack back home visiting as well, he was staying with his brother (who, I also discovered, lives in the same neighborhood as my dad). I texted him when I got off the plane just to see if he were already in town and, come to find out, he was coming down on Saturday. We went out for some dai.quiris Sunday night. Now, every night that I was down there, I was partying like a rock star...just to get it out of my system before my baby's school year officially started. And every one of those nights, I was grabbed and/or annoyed by some stranger. On that Sunday night; however, Mack and I had a good time ribbin' each other for a couple of hours and all I got was a hug and a peck on the cheek. And you know what I decided?

I want THIS man.

...but I don't know why. I don't know if its b/c our paths keep crossing. I don't know if its b/c the reason that I broke off our very short-lived high school relationship was REALLY stupid and I want to right that STUPID. I don't know if its b/c my momma liked him and made it clear that what I did was silly. I don't know if its b/c we think the same about many things. I don't know if its b/c he reminds me a lot of my dad (which is weird that that would be a positive thing in and of itself). Maybe its b/c I have some unrealistic idea of what it would feel and be like to be his lady. But then again, I don't know if its b/c I feel as if I can't REALLY have him. Can someone always have a hold on you even when you're dating or married to someone else? I feel so flighty in the man department...and I feel like a dumb a$$ when dealing with Mack. Like my granny used to say...one of us needs to either shyt or get off the pot. And certainly that person has to be me.

More on my trip to the bottom of the map later...or maybe not.

good times

Soon my carriage will turn back into a pumpkin. In 2 days, I will see my baby, whose teeth seem to be dropping like flies. In 2 days, I will give a charbroiled oyster a serious mouth hug. In 2 days, I will be able to see all my partnahs...and I'm excited. In 2 days, I will be back home and I CANNOT wait. But I have to admit, I will miss all of this freedom that I have had for the past 2 and a half months.

This summer was the hotness. I rolled wherever I wanted to without a thought towards babysitters or aftercare fees. Hell, I was ACTUALLY ABLE to roll wherever I wanted to, b/c I just hate asking anyone to babysit for me. My birthday was the sh*t and I've been enjoying 30 ever since. No arguments with my favorite barber while J was getting a fresh line, no races to my J's bimonthly allergy shots, and unfortunately, not as many gelatis after a grueling t-ball game of 2 hits: one in the head and the other to the groin. Nobody shoved me at 6 in the morning to let me know that it was a new day or that the sun was up. I was ACTUALLY ABLE to use the bathroom uninterrupted or without a bystander. No long, drawn out conversations about Spon.ge Bob, Harr.y Po.tter, or The Naked Brothe.rs Band (whoever they may be). Less laundry, no recycling projects to discreetly throw away, a heap of junk food, and not once was I awakened by a foot in my clavicle everytime I fell asleep on the couch (looking like a busted version of JJ and Micha.el on Good Ti.mes).

Yes sir, it was a glorious summer for Ms. LB. But you know what? I can't wait to get back in the groove. I might have to take the boy down a couple of pegs in the process but it'll be all good. He's been claiming that he's ready to come back and was planning his return to VA by the 10th of this month (why he picked that date, I still don't know). I'm sure that when he finds out that his TV privileges and new Wii are to be weekend activities again, he'll be hot with me from the start. And try as he might to yank another tooth out, he is NOT getting $5 from this regional tooth fairy. The block shall be hot again when he steps out with me to walk those hills. I still plan on us letterboxing and pottery painting, but I plan to tag that a$$ when we play his "Hig.h Sch.ool Musical" Playstation game. It shall be Good Times indeed.

But unfortunately, I reviewed my list of projects that I wanted to complete while he was gone...and well, I kinda half-a$$ed them. I never tiled my backsplash, or created that indoor bistro awning for my kitchen. The only things that I DID tackle were painting J's bathroom and cleaning his room out. I have yet to mulch around my now single tree and create that garden around my mailbox; however, I have dumped some money into having a yard man clean up the leftover debris from my MIA trees, bring in some top soil, and preparing my yard for some grass. So there IS progress on that front and I just rescheduled all of that mulching and planting action for the fall (my now favorite season). I gotta create the proper foundation first.

So it has been a helluva summer...not neccessarily productive on the home front, but great all the same. It's about to get real again. And I'm ready!


"Work smarter not harder..." is one of the core values of my company. The fact that it resides in the bottom half of that list should have possibly been an indicator of its level of importance...or better yet, truth. I believe that I have reached the point of delirium now. I can probably count how many hours of sleep, in the past few days, that I've gotten on one hand. I decided to work from home today and am blogging while on a Cheer.io break. Which is a good thing b/c I have peace and quiet...aside from the sounds of HGTV downstairs. Plus, I've been having dizzy spells (presumably b/c of these new pills) and for some reason, I think that its best to pass out by myself than to pass out and be embarrassed.

I remember being so bored at my last job that I spent more time visiting coworkers, playing on the internet or emailing than I did doing work. Now, if the company didn't already block the websites, I couldn't blog and comment throughout the day even if I wanted to.

Maybe 6 months after I was hired, the director of my department hired some hot shot guy with tons of both hands on and design experience. My boss was really pumping this guy up, to the point where I was anxious to see this dude walk on water on his first day. Well, its been over a year later and not only does this guy not walk on water, I feel as if he's the reason our boat is sinking.

My department had a mtg the week before last, during which this guy said that he needed help on his project. Little did we know, he needed us to DO his project. He came in with this bullsh*t list of 5 bullet points, but when I looked at the state of his drawings, I knew that this project would not be complete by the deadline. First thing, he is terribly unorganized and for me, organization is half the battle. An incomplete, yet organized project will get a pass before an incomplete project that looks as if the designer has ADD. We had to have another mtg just to discuss which direction this dude was going. During this same mtg, I volunteered to handle a specific portion of the project but I also had other projects on my plate with fast-approaching deadlines and overly anxious architects. I told him and anyone else that cared to know that I wouldn't get to it until last Tuesday (I probably could've said it nicer). In the meantime, I expected (and said so in this meeting) that certain plans be done by him and ready for me by the time that I get to them (I guess that I'm assuming a managerial role early).

Well, today is the due date. Those plans that I needed him to finish were done....hmmm, sometime in the middle of the night last night. Not that I had a whole lot of choice in the matter, but one reason that I wanted to help was b/c if I were in trouble, I would want someone to help me. Another reason is b/c incomplete work affects the whole company and I have this number in mind for my bonus this year. But you know what my attitude is at this point? Fugg it. Everyone else in our department (excluding my boss, I guess) has adopted that same attitude. This is the second time that I've had to work with this dude and this is the second time that he has cost me a whole weekend. I've had to work overtime many times but his inability to get the molasses out of his a$$ reaches well beyond that and disrupts my sleep.


So now I'm just doing some clean-up work. I shot him an email and said that I am quitting at a certain time and that I have limited availability this week b/c I need to finish up some items on MY projects before I go back home to the N.O. Translation: Don't ask me to do sh*t! Part of me HOPES that that's a problem for him...enough so, that he'll start whining to my boss. THEN I will have the license to get some serious stuff off of my chest before I leave town. It has been so hard to attempt to check my attitude at the door...all I really want now is for someone to open it.


As blessed as I am to have it, this job will not be the death of me. I'm just taking notes at this point, b/c when it comes time for my annual review, I plan to tell my boss exactly how I feel about both the written and implied company core values.

shellfish blues

"...so that means no shellfish."

**crickets...followed by HARD gas face to the receiver**

"But Doc, I'M FROM LOUISIANA!!! And I'm going back home next week!"

**laughs in dismissal mode**

"Well, I'll have the medication at the front desk for you to pickup and I need for you to schedule more labwork in 3 months."

**mouth goes dry**


I then hung up the phone ever-so-gently...right before I cussed him and his maw out. And the mother of ALL cuss words kept resurfacing in between thoughts of this...

and this...

and MOST importantly, this...

Naw bruh...I had already made a date to get my char.broiled oysters as soon as I got off the plane next week. I will take the meds, I will exercise every-dayum-day the week after, but I'm getting my char.broiled oysters!

Overall, my labwork came back normal, excluding my somewhat high cholesterol and my anemia. The latter didn't even phase me when he said it b/c anemia is the story of my life. Me and iron pills kinda have this "b.u.d.d.y" relationship...ya know, I only use them to feel good temporarily but we're no where near serious about each other. And the only time that I was good about taking my iron pills was when I was pregnant, b/c there was another life dependent on it. So after I finished my eye roll at that honorable mention, I focused on what this evil doctor said that I shouldn't have in my diet. I believe that I became a bit misty-eyed at the thought, b/c this is a lifestyle change that I wasn't ready for. He threw in the meds for good measure b/c he didn't want to wait for my new diet to take affect.

So while I'm digesting all of this, I decide to return my aunt's call(s) and give her the update. She has been concerned ever since she saw the cyanosis near my ankles. And now, she doesn't want me to be on those pills for a long time, so she started schooling me on what I need to do. As if my head weren't spinning enough, she told me that she has a good friend, whose daughter just had a stroke and is now presumed brain dead. This young woman's age...30. Her child's age, 4.

And that's when things got real.

So I made some goals...not certain how unrealistic they are. Me and JJ (when he returns) are going to be on a new program. I got double-teamed, so it looks as if J will be playing flag football this fall. Somewhere within our schedules, we will be hiking the nearby hills at least 5 days out of the week and I guess that I'll invest in some exercise video for the nasty days that are a-coming. I have been on a roll so far and now, the hills don't hardly bother me as much...the run-over raccoons are another story. Be that as it may, I just plan on maintaining the momentum. I have already researched low-cholesterol diets on the internet and plan to gather some recipes to support my healthy lifestyle. As long as they incorporate feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic in some way, I can do this with a big Celie grin!

By December, I plan to:
(1) Be off the pills. I'll probably always have to take my iron supplements but I want my cholesterol lowered to the point where I don't need no stinking pills.
(2) See a significant difference in the bruising near my ankles.
(3) Look like Be.yonce below the waist and show off a six-pack. The LAST thing that I want to do is lose weight, so I hope to redistribute it...and get some thighs that I can pinch the tails off of crawfish with in the process.

So where did #3 come from? I don't really know. I guess that I'm just trying to preserve both my outer and inner sexy...while somehow sneaking in a shellfish or 12.

allow me to BRAG for a moment...

Three years ago in August, I was blogging hard under another tag back home in the N.O. And as if I didn't have enough drama going on in my everyday life back then, Hurri.cane Ka.tri.na hit and I disappeared (without word) from the blog scene for a few weeks. But please don't be confused before I continue...this blog is not REALLY about me.

When I returned, I had about 40+ comments from a slew of lurkers and bloggers alike. Some of them were from people that were genuinely concerned about the well-being of me and my son...and some, (I thought) were just people jumping on the bandwagon trying to be a part of the majority and get noticed. But there was this one broad (and I'm laughing as I type this), who ACTUALLY typed her cell number in my comment section and offered to take me to dinner, I believe.

Who knows how long her number was put on blast like that before I had access to a computer to remove it, but I remember thinking, "I don't know who this chick is, but she has to be CRAZY to put her number out there for all the other crazies to see!"

That chick was S23...and YES, that broad IS crazy!

She's also unbelievably considerate, compassionate, charitable, articulate, a motivator, insightful, and sometimes I believe that she's selfless to a fault. I know another thing to be true...she's a hard-a$$ chicken and dayum if she doesn't challenge me and Leezarus almost everyday...read: get in our a$$es...or pour into our spirits until our cups runneth over. To the point where I don't know who invented "come to Jesus" meetings, but sometimes I'd rather deal with Jesus or the wrath of God than to hear her mouth! But you know what that is? That's love right there. Over the years, we have become like sistas and I truly feel that I'm closer to her than some of the friends that I've known for many more years.

So to read that someone was offended by her alleged "bragging", I was actually amused and I'll tell you why. I have read SO TOO MANY disparaging, belittling, judgmental, ignorant and derogatory comments and blogs about single mothers AND their kids. So to read that one of us has a hater, that must mean that we have come up in the world. Hey, maybe we're right above murderers now and, if that's the case, somebody pop the cork on the champagne b/c IT'S A CELEBRATION, BIATCHES!

So let me get this straight...this chick has overcome the odds and managed to BUY A HOUSE and provide more than a shabby shelter for her and her child? Is that right? Maybe I'm confused, but is this the same woman that is teaching her son through her ACTIONS that if you believe it and receive it, you can achieve it? Wait a minute...I absolutely cannot have this right, so tap me on my shoulder if I'm mistaken, but is this yet the SAME WOMAN that stepped outside of her comfort zone and moved her household several states away to provide her son with a better quality of life??? You know what...come to think of it...this HAS to be the same woman, b/c I witnessed all of that. NO ONE handed her a DAYUM thing!!! Her blessings come from God and, although I fall off the blog scene every now and again, I know that she attributes ALL OF THAT to the grace and love of God.

So if S23 won't brag about it, then I WILL b/c dammit, she's EARNED the bragging rights and EVERYTHING that she has acquired in this short time span, on down to every clear heel in her closet. I learned many moons ago that you should not be jealous of what someone else has b/c you do not know what all that person had to go through to get it. I also learned, around the same number of moons ago, that when one of us comes up, you should rejoice and pray that you're next in line.

In closing, I'll just say to ANYONE that takes issues with S23's blessings, the same thing that I said to a commenter that jumped stupid in my comment section some 3 years ago: Hop off her pubic hairs, b/c you're weighing her down!

one thing that I can't afford...

...is to be afraid of a diagnosis. I have been monitoring the skin around my ankles for about a month now. At first, I thought that the bruising (that looked similar to vericose veins or cyanosis) was related to some shoes that I may have worn. But I have noticed that instead of going away, they were getting progressively darker. There was no swelling or itching but I began to notice that my left leg and left pinky toe would go numb or hurt occasionally. So after some research, I thought that this may be the result of a circulation issue. What concerns me the most about that are the diseases that cause circulation issues and what circulation issues can cause. And I'd rather pay a copay to be told that I'm crazy than to wait and potentially have to spend more financially and emotionally while battling an ailment.

Upon looking at my ankles, the doctor confirmed my diagnosis. However, b/c of my age and weight, he didn't seem too alarmed. As it stands, I have to go back and have some blood work done this week, his main concern being my family history of heart disease and high blood pressure. In the meantime, he told me that I need to get on an exercise regimen that would help to improve the circulation in my legs. Right now, I'm just determined to be healthy. So after I stopped by one of my fave restaurants (creme brulee always makes me feel better about a situation...and I just KNOW that he's about to attack my diet next), I came home, dusted off my sneakers and took my soles to the hills and valleys that surround my neighborhood. My calves felt as if they were on fire. But that's just a minor battle wound. For everything, my motivation is my kid. But in this case, I'm gonna have to be a SERIOUS warrior with mine b/c this doc has already made it clear that he is about to be in my a$$!


I was a stay-at-home mom for about a year and a half. I had J right after I graduated from college and thought that it was a good idea to be with him during his first year. I wouldn't have thought that it was a good idea, if I couldn't afford to do so...but I could. I was living with his father...let me rephrase, his father was living with me at the time, which presented its own struggles and makes me reluctant to ever live with a man again, even in marriage...lol. However, I enjoyed being with my son and witnessing all of his "first"s. What's sad to say is that outside of that, I had very little joy in my life.

I remember saying to myself that I had been home long enough and it was time for me to get out there and put my degree to use. I was going through a lot at the time, b/c I watched from the side view mirror as my friends either got advanced degrees, great starting positions, and/or married and the highlights of MY day came when J decided to take a nap. I was also dealing with the consequences of many bad decisions...one being my rejection of a job offer with the company that I interned for, which required me to move to Texas. So I was left to start all over in the job search.

Back then, my favorite movie was "Two Can Pl.ay Tha.t Ga.me." I had decided that Viv.ica Fox's character was who I wanted to mirror. Everytime I had a job interview, I would watch that movie the night before, visualizing that I was that take-charge, successful woman in a power suit. For the most part, my interviews went well...it was the spacing between interviews that would frustrate me. But I felt that with each interview, I was one step closer to being that woman. One day, I would have the nice job with an even nicer income, a nice house, a nice car, gatherings at nice restaurants with my nice friends, and a new nice-looking man...everything would just be NICE. I measured success and happiness by these things.

Yesterday, I went to a pool party hosted by a co-worker. It was a group of us girls out there floating, tanning, and dishing about everything from work to relationships for hours. It was truly a rejuvenating experience. And then it dawned on me...

Somehow when I wasn't looking, I became the woman that I wanted to be.

It's interesting how the presence of other successful women will help you to realize that. I am successful, but most importantly, I am happy. I am thinking back to my 'bout with depression earlier this year and I'm typing that as I'm looking at this book on my shelf about black women and depression. You know what? I'm NEVER going to finish that book. It's probably an enlightening read, but that's not where my head is at nor is it where my focus needs to be.

We all have good days and not-so-good days, but if you took a snapshot of my life at this moment in time, I'm not sure that there wouldn't be a glare from my smile. I am no different from anyone else. EVERYONE is met with challenges and adversity. What truly makes me successful and every other successful person that I know is how we overcame those challenges. Patience has never been an asset of mine and my lack of it would defeat me before anything else could. But in the end...or rather, in the NOW, everything is where it should be. I can think of a lot of things that I want but I'm hard-pressed to come up with something that I need and absolutely have no access to it.

Several years and jobs later, I mirror Vivi.ca's character. I do have the nice job with the even nicer income...and the potential for an even NICER income. My whole house probably fits in Vi.vi.ca's living room in the movie, but its the nicest thing that J and I have ever lived in. A Co.rolla may not be considered a luxury ride, but with the fluctuating prices of gas, it sure is NICE to spend a lot less than $50 to fill it. Ever since they built this Popeye's on my side of the city, it sure is NICE to chat it up with my girls over some chicken, red beans, and RED drink, lol. And although I may not have a Mo.rris Ches.tnut on my arm, it sure is NICE to wake up NOT married to my son's father...to which I thank MY Heavenly Father. And the added bonus is that I have the unconditional love of a very special little person, whom at one time I had no idea what I was going to do with him. And now, I can't imagine my life without him. Yes, I sit amongst all the objects of my desire. Everything in this season of my life is where it should be...and the best has yet to come.

So if I should ever find myself looking through those side mirrors and being WAAAAYYYY too concerned about what's going on with other folks around me, while allowing my patience to defeat me, I just need to focus on those etched words...

"Objects ARE closer than they appear."