once again...

...we're snowed in.

I know that my poor car is not amused.

It's during times like these when I wish that I had a husband. Not for cuddling and whatnot (although I'm sure that that would be nice too). I'm sitting here trying to figure out who is going to dig my car out and shovel my steps once this is all said and done. Looks like I won't park in my driveway for a while, b/c I refuse to tackle that. I have visions of my busting my ass near my steps from last month's snowstorm and am not moved to go outside and do a darn thing. I'm just hoping that it stops soon.

I have napped, gotten my HGTV fix, and have eaten all the wrong things. Does anyone watch "Sarah's House"? That's becoming a new favorite of mine. J is downstairs doing something...I don't quite know what. He's come up here to grab paper, toothpicks, and styrofoam (left over from another project that we did together this past week). He was telling me that he was building a "city" in his room but I'm scared to go down there and see what he's created.

I have a whole bunch of chores that I COULD be doing, buuuuutttttttt...I figure if I stare at these dirty clothes long enough, they'll walk themselves to the washer...a gal can wish.

My best friend called to ask me a pregnancy question. I laughed b/c I was pregnant over 8 years ago and I remember very little. I only allowed one person to take a picture of me while pregnant and that was at my baby shower. I have no idea what happened to that picture...and that's probably a good thing. She's annoyed with her hubby and also asked me if I thought it was hormonal and if she was overreacting.

She was...but she's cute anyway.

Speaking of which, I think some ice cream will go lovely with these nacho cheese doritoes. I might just handle up on that and then take another nap and dream of a day off from work on Monday.

Happy Snow Day!

curly girl wonder diaries - this week in hair

So, the weather has been kind lately...and then I hear word that we may have more snow over the weekend.

J's response: "YAYYYY!"
Mommy's response: "F*%&! I'm so over this s%&$!"

Anyway...my initial plan was to sport my twists for 2 weeks, but I'm relatively new to dry/slightly damp twisting. I know that wet twisting makes my hair last longer, while dry twisting makes my hair look longer (or closer to it's actual length).

Well, I had a mishap over the weekend. I either used too much HE Hello Hydration or I shouldn't have used it at all as a leave-in. My hair has been flaking ever since. It looks like dandruff. Under some lighting, I can't see it...but I know that it's there. So, I just refused to leave the twists in any longer (which sucks) and I'll just have to start over tomorrow night...with a different product. But let's review...

I got fancy and bought some beads from Sally's to dress up the twists on Monday...can't beat $0.99 a pack.

I was on a "pinning frenzy" on Tuesday.

Who da hell knows what happened on Wednesday, but I was/am a wild child on Thursday, b/c I couldn't take the madness anymore.

So, I spent some time in Ulta during lunch, looking for something to put on my twists for shine and hold. I picked up a tube of styling cream (can't remember the name). I read the ingredients and then rubbed some in my palms. It felt like heaven...until I looked at the price. That mess was $30 and I don't even think that it was 5 fl.oz!!! I would rather settle for something that felt like purgatory instead. I promptly put it back on the shelf and wiped off my fingerprints. My relaxers didn't cost more than $8 and my hair didn't suffer. Some of these companies need to stop the madness.

I roamed around for a minute and then picked up Herbal Essence "Tousle Me Softly" Finishing Cream. It wasn't more than $5. I'm hoping that THAT underneath my coconut oil should do my twists some justice. I haven't splurged on a new conditioner in months and am running low on both Hello Hydration (which I'm a little salty with right now) and Yes to Carrots. There was a sale on Bed Head's Moisture Maniac, so I bought a huge bottle for $9.99 (Amazon is selling it for $17.91). I'm crossing my fingers.

I still hadn't bought a deep conditioner but I have S23's and Stacie's recommendations from my last post. Thanks, ladies.

So maybe this "snow" thing is a good deal. If that cancels J's basketball practice on Friday night and his game on Saturday, then I can hole myself up and pamper my angry strands.

Do you have a spending limit on hair supplies?

just when I think...

...that I'm not equipped to raise this young man alone, God shows me that I am NEVER alone! A lot of times I walk around seemingly unphased by what people say, but the area in which I'm hypersensitive is with regard to my lil man.

Some bloggers have very strong opinions about single mothers and children born outside of wedlock. I was a bit more spunky back in the blog-day and felt the need to speak on the subject. But even in the midst of my anger, I was hurt by what was being said TO me and about women LIKE me (AND children like ours)...but I had to shake it off and keep it moving. Everyone is going to have an opinion. In the back of my mind, I knew that it doesn't matter what those people (or anyone else) think about me. All that matters is what God thinks about me and what I think about myself. And if at the end of it all, my son pats me on the back and says that I did a good job, then I don't need praise from nobody else! And I mean NO-DAMN-BODY!

I can't count how many times, I sat here wondering how I'm going to pay for this and how I'm going to help him with that. Or thinking that I need a man to do this and I need a man to show him that. But then I have to check myself. God has ALWAYS provided. We live in a beautiful home. J is involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. He is bright and well-mannered. And the man that God provided might not be his daddy or my husband, but they've been his PawPaw, his coaches, my male friends, the husbands of female friends, and the other daddies in cubscouts (to name a few) that have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure that we were taken care of. With that said...

I don't know if anyone remembers reading about Ernie and how he helped me and J prepare for J's cubscout pinewood derby race. Well...I have something to tell Ernie.

I had J draw out his vision for the car.

Thanks to the supplies we were given and gifted by Ernie...

J's vision came to life.

J and his best friend were so excited before the race, but they had no idea what their standings would be after the race. And to be honest, I have NO experience in trying to carve a car out of a block of wood and simply didn't want to get embarrassed.

J won SECOND PLACE! His best friend, FIRST!

It's safe to say that even when I don't know what I'm doing in the natural, God steps in and adds the supernatural.

J ALSO won SECOND PLACE in Scout's Choice for the best-looking car! His peers even thought that he did a good job!

So, J brought home these trophies!

I told J, "You did it!"

J said, "No, WE did it!"

I have been teary-eyed all weekend.

I see YOU, God! Thank You!

randomosity (part II)

1. So…I got my gas bill. While my dad was here, he thought it a good idea to heat the house by turning on all 4 burners, my oven, and jacking my heater above 75 degrees. Needless to say, when I got the bill, I clutched my chest a la Fred Sanford and shouted, “Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you, honey!”
2. Why is my son so daggone ssssssslllllllooooooooooowwwww??? I swear that I hear the Fat Albert theme song as I watch him walk around the house in the morning, looking like one of the Cosby kids from the cartoon.
3. Is it normal to feel as if you're experiencing post-partum depression...8 years later???
4. I wonder if I have this note written on my forehead that says, "Please, tell me ALL your business." If something goes down, I don't want anyone to have a reason to subpoena me.
5. I had 2 coworkers confide in me...bad stuff about the other one. I remained neutral, but gave both of them a pep talk stressing how they should focus on their own work and suggested ways in which they could better deal with the other.
6. Well, one of them was fired today.
7. Yeah, I really need to work on being unapproachable.
8. Spring cannot seem to come soon enough.
9. I feel so disorganized and unable to focus...which is probably the reason why I can't come up with one cohesive blog.
10. I haven't had a good night's sleep in 2 weeks. I feel "wound up" almost all the time.
11. Sometimes I notice that the qualities that I don't like in other people are present within me.
12. How long is it still considered acceptable to have a Christmas tree up?
13. I'm having an unhealthy addiction to Nick at Nite...The Nanny, Everybody Hates Chris, Malcolm in the Middle & George Lopez. Man, if they somehow threw the Golden Girls in the mix...I'd never sleep.
14. For some reason, I can't commit to shows that I have to watch in sequence to know what's going on.
15. I have been suffering from all kinds of fears of commitment lately.
16. I didn't even want to commit to a Triple Play bundle with Veriz.on. I always feel like big companies are trying to take advantage of me in some way. I ask reps to repeat themselves and then write it down word for word...and THEN call back to talk to another rep to make sure that what the previous rep had in the system was correct.
17. After typing that out, I almost feel as if I should make an appointment with my Suzie.
18. I like being natural (for right now), but sometimes I wonder if some natural-heads are nutjobs.
19. I just can't wrap my mind around why what someone chooses to do with their hair, body, or simply their life period, is a problem for someone else.
20. Looks like I have a Valentine this year. :)


1. Today was "Drama Mama or Papa" day at J's drama class. I left work early to act silly for a whole hour. J seemed so proud and happy that I was there. I needed that.
2. I am overbooked. Keeping up with practices, meetings, scrimmages, clinics, projects, races, fundraisers, etc. is very overwhelming right now. And somewhere in that, I have to make time for me. (And I could've sworn that I only had ONE child).
3. Unless J turns into Mich.ael Jor.dan by March, I don't think that we're going to do this basketball thing next year. I can hardly stand to watch him out there.
4. Can you believe that I had to email J's teacher to ask about his grade for that simple machine project? I...I mean...J got a 100!
5. I marched my little butt right over to the office of the Board today during lunch and handed over my "appeal" to their decision. If they still won't allow me to take the test in April, then I'll just accept it and move on to Plan B (whatever that is), but I couldn't go down without a fight.
6. My mentor/former supervisor in New Or.leans wrote me a sweet letter after I "cried on her shoulder". Sometimes I need to remind myself that I have good people in my corner.
7. And with that said, I need to ease my frustrations...and cash in this massage gift certificate and this eyebrow threading gift certificate that I got for Christmas.
8. The latter certificate kinda scares me. I only let one woman touch my face.
9. The day that I get all of the forms that I need to do my taxes, is the day that I do cartwheels in the parking lot.
10. This past weekend was the BEST weekend in football as far as I'm concerned.
11. It's been finalized. I'm going home for Mardi Gras this year. I'm pretty damn excited.
12. I need a break from VA. Seriously.
13. I don't give a damn what happens THIS year, I'm going to Chicago in July. I will book those tickets next. One more reason as to why I'm still bitter about the layoff.
14. On some days, I can't even quantify how much my dad gets on my nerves. And on others, he takes his meds surprises me and acts like a father should.
15. I'm not certain, but I think that there are 3 white guys at work flirting with me. Yet, when I'm in close proximity to a black guy (i.e. the elevator), the nearest female tries to "sell" him to me.
16. My rule: Equal Opportunity, in general. No opportunity at work.
17. I was going to write a blog about my attempt at being debt-free (excluding mortgage) by the end of 2010. But after dropping some bills on my car recently, I'm not so sure. I am disappointed that my original goal of paying off my student loans by June 2011 is looking kinda shaky.
18. I am sitting here...eating whipped cream out of the container while thinking of ways to modify my diet.
19. It's not looking too good for the home team.

curly girl wonder diaries - winter edition

I have been slacking on my hair updates. Sometime last week I hit the 7 month mark, but I was too cold to celebrate. With that said, I have spent most of this month in protective styles, namely twists. It's a shame when the weather warms up to the 40s and you almost feel as if it's spring. The arctic blast terrorizing the east coast (heck, everywhere) is no joke...and none too kind on the hair and skin. I pray that we remain in these warmer temps for the long haul. Anyway...

My only hair resolution for 2010 was to keep it healthy. I took a picture of my hair on January 1st (ignore the hair clips and pre-poppage of my robe collar). This was 8-day hair! I kept my hair in twists for a week and then unleashed the curls on Christmas day. I was determined to make them stretch until New Year's. Success! It is my goal is to keep my hands out of my hair for as long as I can stand it....especially since I have been running through my coconut oil while trying to combat the cold air.

Twists and twist-outs have become my staple style.

And when all else fails...

Le puff!

I prefer to wear the "Dr. Spock" ones (above). Those twists were done on (dripping) wet hair. They take a lot longer to do, but I prefer to wear those in public over the ones done on dry hair (below). I think that the dry ones make me look like a little girl, but it is obvious just how real shrinkage is. I plan to make some hair jewels to jazz it up a bit. But for right now, I will sport some cute hats with a twist or 2 exposed to the world. Pics to come.

The dry twists DO yield a bigger look.

I will be doing coils once again soon to protect my hair during these harsh winter months.

I use the same products: Giovanni 50/50 shampoo, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, Vatika Oil, Coconut Oil, etc. However, I am in need of a good deep conditioner. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

This Month's Mythbuster

I had a conversaton with a coworker (caucasian), who has curly hair. I noticed that she recently started straightening it almost every other day. She said that she thought that straight hair was more professional. This was interesting considering how she's the only associate in our department...a position that she secured while curly. Natural hair is professional hair...but much like any other texture, it is all in the way that it is groomed.

Comment of the Month

While having dinner with my VA mom on Christmas day, I kept getting compliments on my curls. My dad shouts out (as if he has turrets), "I don't like short hair"...as he continues to stuff some greens in his mouth. Although his wife is natural and maintains a fade, he continuously slings these little snide remarks my way...including an insinuation that I would be a search target boarding a plane simply b/c I wear my hair in twists. This time, my response: "Well I, for one, think that's just great." Had there not been other people at the table, my response WOULD'VE been: "Nobody asked you for your raggedy-ass opinion. Thanks." Give me 10 points (at least) for keeping my cool and acting like I had home-training.

Still growing (in more ways than one),

Curly Girl Wonder aka LB

emotional rollercoaster

So what do you do when…a coworker stops by your cube and asks, “Do you think I’m an asshole?” My first thought was "hell to the mutha-effin' YEAH!" But I can't say that. The question and the setting couldn't be any more inappropriate. Within my first week of working at this spot, I did some character assessments. Needless to say, this dude didn’t rate highly as I witnessed him going on a witch hunt to blame someone else for something that went wrong on his project. I’ve since scribbled, in my mental notepad, “lacks integrity” and “untrustworthy” next to his name. Let's just say that b/c I recognize his propensity to "throw shade" that I document stuff in my notebook, just in case it comes to that. There's a fine line between caution and paranoia for me. At any rate, it makes me think about how some people ask you to tell them about themselves; yet, become angry or defensive when your honesty lacks praise.

This morning, I had a training session called “Managing Self”. When I signed up for the class, I assumed that the topics would focus on how to manage your workload, deadlines, and maybe even delve over into striking a balance between work life and home life (I struggle the MOST in this area). Nope. Shortly after I arrived, the instructor threw out a term that I had never heard before…”emotional intelligence.” This is defined as the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively. A different coworker passed me a note saying that he felt uncomfortable in this class. So did I (not for the same reason that my coworker did). I got pissed, in fact, b/c I felt that God is really trying to shove a message down my throat.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I picked up a book called “Managing Your Emotions”. I am not an outwardly angry person. I don’t walk around grimacing nor do I tout a nasty attitude. I joke a lot and I smile often. However, I internalize my negative emotions which wreak havoc on my idle mind. I have found myself in situations where my feelings got hurt or I became mad about something that someone did, but instead of confronting that person, I would let it ride and start detaching myself. I do believe that communication is very important; however, when I’ve expressed my feelings in the past, it was not received well. I was told (in so many words) that something was wrong with me. So, in turn, that makes me less motivated to work things out. I just accept that that's who that person is (at their worst) and then I either distance myself from them as a whole or I just don't deal with them in those areas that are of potential conflict. I'm not saying that that's right, but it keeps me in control.

The only exception to this rule is my dad. I can't exactly cut him off, so I lose my temper. Something that I've meditated on today: "No one can make you lose your temper. You give it up voluntarily."

My dad isn't all bad...and as much as I’d like to believe that the men in my past were all bad, that’s not exactly true either. They were simply bad for me. Doesn’t mean that it’s not possible for them to be good to somebody else (even if that possibility is hard to wrap my mind around). I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t know anyone that hasn’t done their fair share of dirt, made mistakes, or who is exempt from personality flaws. Oftentimes, we will vilify people b/c they’ve hurt us. But if it isn’t possible for someone to change, then what’s the point of life? I’ve bumped heads with the best of friends. I wouldn’t want them to stop dealing with me over a faux pas, on my part, that is considered small within the confines of our relationship. I would want them to feel comfortable enough to tell me when I’ve hurt or offended them. Even if at the end of that conversation, we decide that we’ll just have to agree to disagree or to go our separate ways (without belittling each other), at least, we would have discussed it before one of us pulls the disappearing act. This makes sense in my mind. But I have to admit that shutting myself off is a habit that may take some time to break.

A friend of mine often quotes, “If you can’t love me at my worst, then you don’t deserve my best.” I’m not sure if I’ll ever “love” the asshole at work. But at the very least, I can exhibit a little more
patience...towards him and others.

the day after

Scene: J and I are in an aisle at Home Depot, comparing sandpaper. A white-haired older man, a Home Depot employee donned in an orange apron with the name "Ernie" scribbled in black marker above the pocket, approaches us.

Ernie: Well hello! Is there anything that I can help you with?
Me: We (I mean, he) has an upcoming pinewood derby race and we need some items to finish designing the car.
Ernie: Oh, really! I JUST helped my grandson with that. Do you know that he came in second place? I can really teach you some tricks that will help you win.
Me: Well, I wrote down a list of things that I think we need. **Reading from list** Sandpaper, primer, paint, and weights. Will this sandpaper do the trick? All we're trying to do is round out the edges.
Ernie: Yes, it will. We'll grab that and now, follow me. **he motions with his finger**

**Ernie walks us to the front counter and points at a tube of graphite lubricant.**

Ernie: You see, you want to put this on your axles so that it reduces the friction between the wheels and the axles. **He looks at J** This will help you to go really fast!
Me: OK, great!
Ernie: Now, let's go look at some paint.

**Ernie walks us to the paint aisles and asks the lady behind the paint counter about spray-on primer. She points us to the containers that have paint and primer combined.**

Ernie: What color do you want it?
J: Red.
Ernie: About as red as your jacket?
J: Yes!
Ernie: **directed towards the lady behind the paint counter** Can you get us a red about the same color as this young man's jacket?

**She disappears**

Ernie: Do you have brushes at home?
Me: Not any good ones.

**Paint counter lady reappears with the paint.**

Ernie: Can you pick us up a brush too?

**Paint counter lady (PCL) leaves again and then comes back with some brushes.**

Ernie: **looking at the items and the paint lady** Good. Now how much is all of this?
PCL: I know that this **pointing at the paint** is $2.69. I'm not sure about everything else off-hand. I can check.
Ernie: **taking off his Home Depot apron** That's ok. I will see. **he taps me** Please be patient.

**Ernie walks away with my items. I smile b/c I was so happy that he was helping me. Ernie then returns with everything paid for in a Home Depot bag.**

Ernie: **pats me on the back** Merry Christmas.

**Ernie hands me the bag and then disappears between the aisles. I thank him as he walks away.**

I woke up yesterday feeling so heavy. Reality had set-in overnight, and although I plan to fight the decision, I was disappointed in myself. All I really wanted to do was stay in bed, but I had a tight schedule and taking a moment to feel down was not an excuse to NOT handle other business.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned having a 5-year plan. Well, at the end of those 5 years, I hoped to be back home closer to my family. In my mind, passing this test was going to help me get back there sooner, b/c having those extra initials would automatically make me more marketable...even in the toughest of markets. So I wanted to get it knocked out as soon as possible. The next one is being offered in October, but for some reason, that's not good enough for me.

Anyway, it's amazing how someone's act of kindness can not only motivate you to keep going but can also motivate you to be a better person. I will definitely pay it forward.

Thanks, Ernie.


Well...**sigh**...tonight, I received some disappointing news. The very thing that I feared has happened. The Board didn't give me the "ok" to sit for this exam in April. I could tell that the decision was unfavorable by how thin the envelope was. I have been waiting for their response for weeks now...and here it is.

Surprisingly, I'm ok. A few days ago, I picked up Joyce Meyer's book Managing Your Emotions. I must say that that purchase was right on time. Somewhat. I walked into the bookstore, caught the eye of a gentleman, who lingered around my aisles. We danced around each other until I picked up this book, suggesting that I may not be able to approach situations logically and...dude disappeared. Whatever.

Anyway...much like being downsized, the fear of this happening felt much worse than this actually happening. So, there's only one way to go from here and that's UP.

Also, on the upside...they didn't give me the "ok"...but they didn't exactly say "no". I got a loophole, a name, and a number. I don't really have time to be down as I need to work this out. A lot is riding on this.

The fight is on.

stalker alert

I want to just go on record and say that Chele is my best friend...in my mind. Two days in a row, she wrote about some things that have been bothering me lately. I mean, REALLY bothering me. It feels so strange when someone (who you've never met) is so in tune to your thoughts that it's as if they are peeking through your window. I am so excited about her journey that I may just take up singing in juke joints and find myself at the corner table, reading Confessions of a Beautiful Woman with a glass of merlot, stalking her and B on their date nights. OK, I'm kidding...I'm not trying to get cut.

Twice, I have tried to draft a post expressing this and this, but then scrapped them b/c I was trying to stay "smurfy". The latter post really choked me up b/c half the time I can't tell if people are for me or against me. I'm not requiring that everyone just fall in love with me when they first meet me b/c that's unrealistic. But damn, if you don't like me for some reason other than something that I directly did to you, then be honest with yourself. I'm not the enemy.

Single black female seeking GENUINE friendships. Keep 'em coming, Chele, b/c I'm jacked up now!

Real post, coming soon...