One of the best New Years Eve celebrations ever was the time Ron and I went to Capetown, SA for 10 days in December of 2003. We sat huddled together in our rental car at an overlook on the back side of Table Mountain and watched the fireworks explode over the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. We had brought champagne & glasses from our hotel room (at the awesome Bay Hotel). We sat there sipping our champagne, making plans & dreaming of our future.
A lot of the things we talked about has happened since then - we have been truly blessed.
Promotions, 2 layoffs, 2 new jobs, building an addtion on our house, my husband starting his own company, a new addition to our family, celebrating 20 years of marriage, 20th West Point reunion, 25th HS reunion & so much more.
We are not traveling this year for New Years for a lot of reasons...bad economy, 5 months unemployed on a severance package & most importantly...we just want the family to all be together. We decided, a little late, to have a informal get-together for our family & friends. We thought that people may want to celebrate, but ya know, with finances tight for just about everybody, they may not want go out and spend a bunch of money. Why not bring your kids, family & a dish over and we ring in the New Year together.
We look forward to seeing all of the friends who are coming over. I can't wait to spend the evening with you all - huddled together in the family room, sipping champagne & making plans/setting goals for the new year to come.
If you didn't get your invite - drop me a line...all are welcome.
I picked up my practice of Bikram Yoga again today after a hiatus over the Christmas holiday. The class this morning was pretty packed but you still had plenty of room in order to not violate anyone's personal space with your sweat.
I found a nice space right up front. One of the instructors was on one side of me and a lady with some seriously weird looking pants on was on the other side of me. I didn't pay weirdy pants much attention besides thinking that "Damn, she sure is gonna be hot", cause her pants looked like they are made out plastic.
I am well aware of how much you sweat when doing Bikram Yoga and am not easily grossed out, but weirdy pants was so freakin gross with the sweat today that I thought I was gonna hurl. Just the damn sound of her sloshing around on her mat and in her on damn pants was enough to make me gag. Every 2 poses she would pull open the elastic around her ankles and let a flood of water out of her pants. *GULP* I just had this nasty, wet, sloshy sound of excess bodily fluid that would make the most stout of heart swoon.
There were times that I just had to lay there cause my stomach would turn over every time she "drained" herself. I was just mortified. I thought for sure that she would eventually drain her whole body of fluid...I've just never seen that much damn sweat. EEEEEEWWWWWAAAAAAAHHHHHH!...and then she would fall over from heat stroke. Humph.
Next time, if I see her in class, I'm moving to the other side of the room. I will not subject myself to that nastiness ever again.
I started with a facial and wanted to try out my new Rx for Brown Skin Virtual Peel. Basically giving yourself a glycolic peel in your bathroom.
Well, don't be a village idiot like me and spend 5 minutes trying to figure out why the ish won't stick to your face like it says on the damn box. Instructions say to peel the backing off and stick to dry face. I don't know why I thought the backing was the sticky stuff but I did. I am standing there fussing, bout to get a serious attitude that this mess don't work. Even took a picture of myself (looking a complete idjit). MAD ABOUT IT. I pull the paper off my damn face, pick up the box - reading the instructions again and again.
Finally, it was as if a freakin lightning bolt hit me, I realized that the clear sticky stuff was the mask I was supposed to put on my face. IDJIT.You're supposed to leave it on your face for 5 min and then peel off. Ummmm.....well, there was some tingling (it is a peel) but it wasn't too bad, easily bearable. The hard part is peeling that thing off your face when time is up. LAWD if can't bear having your lip or eyebrows waxed - then this product is not for you. You literally peel this stuff off your face. It felt like I was taking the 1st layer of skin off. Seriously. After you get it off your face, you put a serum on your face & WaaaLaaah...you've completed your Virtual Peel. My face felt baby smooth afterwards. No redness...just bright, healthy and soft. If you can stand getting your face waxed, then you will love this product.
After my peel, I then decided to play with my Elemis aromatherapy bath set and ran me a bath in our garden tub. Sure does take a lot of water. I used the Milk Bath therapy in the bath water and just made my skin feel so silky smooth. After soaking for awhile, I exfoliated with the Exotic Lemon & Ginger Salt Glow. I rinsed the scrub off, got out of tub, sat on edge and applied the Exotic Fangipani Monoi Moisture Melt to my damp skin. After toweling off, I applied the Exotic Flower Body Balm.
Not only did I smell wonderful, but everything from my face to my toes was silky soft. Must do this more often.
Everyone gathered in on the main floor to say grace before we chowed down and then announcements were made. First up was Mario, who announced his engagement to his lady of 5 years. When he told us the story of how it all went down, I couldn't help but bust a tear or two. This young man asked the girls father for her hand 3 days before Christmas Eve and then, in front of all of her family at a Christmas Eve party, he got down on his knee and proposed. Awwww. Next up was Phillip announced his engagement on Christmas day to his lady (don't know how long they were engaged) and his story was pretty much the same thing. Honor, love, respect IS NOT DEAD. These two young men were not brothers. They are good friends of Brian, our host for the evening. The FireMarshall and I were there for their entire romance, engagement and even attended their wedding in Jamaica....THE MOST ROMANTIC ISH EVER!
Guess there must be something to the notion of guilt by association. Each one of these young men got good home training and/or associated with like minded men and are DOING IT AND DOING IT RIGHT. Had to pull out the tissue box.
...and the absolute kicker to the evening was immediately following the announcements, the doorbell rings and it turns out to be a car salesman, delivering a brand new car for Tinera for Christmas. It was the EXACT car, down to the color, that has been on her refrigerator for a long time. Dreams Do Come True. You wanna talk pandemonium, screaming, crying as everybody piles out of the house to take pictures of this moment. Tinera was smiling so hard, all you could see of her face was her teeth.
We went home last night feeling like all was right with the world.
Jordan's favorite gift was a new lacrosse stick, Charlee - her new Samsung Behold cell phone, Mom - the Kitchen Aid Artisan, Erin - the Coach Clutch, the shoes, everything, Ron - *sigh* all his new unmentionables (I so hate that he is just that simple). My absolute favorite were my new timberland urban 14" round heel boots - CHEXY!
Mom made panny cakes & mimosas for breakfast and then after a morning of playing with our toys, finding batteries, assembling last minute stuff we went over to Grandma Willies for Christmas Dinner and opening of more gifts. Grandma was fascinated by her digital picture frame (of course I didn't load enough pictures on it) . We ate a small feast at Gma's and then went back home, put on our Christmas Pj's and started watching movies.
I hope the all of you had a wonderful Christmas day.
Check out last years trip:
He Lived All Alone,
In A One Bedroom House
Made Of Plaster And Stone.
I Had Come Down The Chimney
With Presents To Give,
And To See Just Who
In This Home Did Live.
I Looked All About,
A Strange Sight I Did See,
No Tinsel, No Presents, Not Even A Tree.
No Stocking By Mantle,
Just Boots Filled With Sand,
On The Wall Hung Pictures
Of Far Distant Lands.
With Medals And Badges,
Awards Of All Kinds,
A Sober Thought Came Through My Mind.
For This House Was Different,
It Was Dark And Dreary,
I Found The Home Of A Soldier,
Once I Could See Clearly.
The Soldier Lay Sleeping,
Curled Up On The Floor
In This One Bedroom Home.
The Face Was So Gentle,
The Room In Such Disorder,
Not How I Pictured
A United States Soldier.
Was This The Hero
Of Whom I'd Just Read?
Curled Up On A Poncho,
The Floor For A Bed?
I Realized The Families
That I Saw This Night,
Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers
Who Were Willing To Fight.
Soon Round The World,
The Children Would Play,
And Grownups Would Celebrate
A Bright Christmas Day.
They All Enjoyed Freedom
Each Month Of The Year,
Because Of The Soldiers,
Like The One Lying Here.
I Couldn't Help Wonder
How Many Lay Alone,
On A Cold Christmas Eve
In A Land Far From Home.
The Very Thought
Brought A Tear To My Eye,
I Dropped To My Knees
And Started To Cry.
The Soldier Awakened
And I Heard A Rough Voice,
"Santa Don't Cry,
This Life Is My Choice;
I Fight For Freedom,
I Don't Ask For More,
My Life Is My God,
My Country, My Corps."
The Soldier Rolled Over
And Drifted To Sleep,
I Couldn't Control It,
I Continued To Weep.
I Kept Watch For Hours,
So Silent And Still
And We Both Shivered
From The Cold Night's Chill.
I Didn't Want To Leave
On That Cold, Dark, Night,
This Guardian Of Honor
So Willing To Fight.
Then The Soldier Rolled Over,
With A Voice Soft And Pure,
Whispered, "Carry On Santa,
It's Christmas Day, All Is Secure."
One Look At My Watch,
And I Knew He Was Right.
"Merry Christmas My Friend,
And To All A Good Night."
composed by a Marine.
For much of the last forty years, ever since America “fixed” its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame
race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, “When are African Americans finally going to get over it?
Now I want to ask: “When are we hite Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color?
Recent reports that “Election Spurs Hundreds’ of Race Threats, Crimes” should frighten and infuriate every one of us. Having grown up in “Bombingham,” labama in the 1960s, I remember overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually, as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than “talk the talk.”
Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk I remember from my boyhood. We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress
blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did I read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassinations of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes. Call for their impeachment,
But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did
try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.
But elect a liberal who happens to be Black and we’re back in the sixties again.
At this point in our history, we should be proud that we’ve proven what conservatives are always saying -that in America anything is possible, EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead we now hear that schoolchildren from Maine to California are talking about wanting to “assassinate Obama.”
Fighting the urge to throw up, I can only ask, “How long?” How long before we white people realize we can’t make our nation, much less the whole world, look like us? How long until we white people can -once and for all- get over this hell-conceived preoccupation with skin color? How long until we white people get over the demonic conviction that white skin makes us superior? How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non-whites? How long before we get over our expectations that we should be at the head of the line merely because of our white skin? How long until we white people end our silence and call out our peers when they share the latest racist jokes in the privacy of our white-only conversations?
I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people will stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do?
How long before we starting “living out the true meaning” of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that “red and yellow, black and white” all are precious in God’s sight?
Until this past November 4, I didn’t believe this country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don’t believe I’ll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem. But here’s my three-point plan:
First, everyday that Barack Obama lives in the White House that Black Slaves Built I’m going to pray that God (and the Secret Service) will protect him and his family from us white people.
Second, I’m going to report to the FBI any white person I overhear saying, in seriousness or in jest, anything of a threatening nature about President Obama.
Third, I’m going to pray to live long enough to see America surprise the world once again, when white people can “in spirit and in truth” sing of our damnable color prejudice, “We HAVE overcome.”
Andrew Manis is author of Macon Black and White and serves on the
steering committee of Macon’s Center for Racial understanding.
It take a Village to protect our President!!!
I was recently asked if I would consider writing a few sentences of endorsement for the above mentioned book that would be included on the website and/or on the inside of the book.
A Love Letter to Black People explores the unique way high achieving Blacks today have learned to view the role of race in the pursuit of their success and why, for the love of the Black community, we must all apply these lessons. Love Letter is written from [the authors] own personal experiences as a former Fortune 500 executive turned author and entrepreneur and from the results of interviews and surveys performed with more than 100 high achieving Black entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and community leaders. Love Letter, which will be released in January 2009, is written with the intent to inform, inspire and, most importantly, uplift Black people.
"A Love Letter to Black People is a thoughtful, insightful and provocative book on what we, as a people, need to do to succeed and prosper despite some of the disparity and roadblocks that still exist for us. Through examples and commentary from Young Successful Blacks (YSB's), Brian shows us how and why we need to not only love each other, but also, most of all, ourselves. We need to let go of the baggage of past wrongs; the voices of acceptable failure and get back to the greatness we are (and should continue to be) as a people. A must read for our youth."
I am proud to announce that my latest book, A Love Letter to Black People: Audaciously Hopeful Thoughts on Race and Success, has been released. This book has been a labor of love for me, so I am appreciative of and humbled by the overwhelmingly positive early reaction to the book so far. Already, book reviewers and community leaders who have read advance copies have said the following about Love Letter:
* Beautifully written, uncompromisingly insightful, and 'get-out-of-your-chair' motivating
* Real. Raw. Refreshing.
* Could inspire a revolutionary transformation in our way of thinking
I strongly recommend this book to anyone - of any race - whether as an interesting sociological study or an inspiring handbook for success
I have chosen to contact you specifically and seek your help because you represent what this book is all about. The success you have demonstrated in your rise to a leadership position with an African-American focused organization such as the National Sales Network and your willingness to accept the responsibility of leadership embodies one of the central messages of the book. As Black people, we have an obligation to “lift as we climb.” As you demonstrate for us every day, if we love each other enough to uplift the Black community through our thoughts and actions, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. It would be an honor for me to be able to count you among the supporters of A Love Letter to Black People.
I invite you to read the excerpt and join me in a conversation. I'd like to hear what you think...about the book, about the subject, about being BIA.
A Love Letter to Black People: Audaciously Hopeful Thoughts on Race and Success is a book sure to challenge and inspire those who have this type of deep affection for the Black community but also deep concerns for its future. In so many ways, Black people are a people in peril, a people in need of love. Despite the fact that the most successful Blacks have never been more successful, in so many ways the Black community is struggling more than ever to succeed. Love Letter argues the prosperity, if not survival, of the Black community depends upon its willingness to abandon its current, outdated attitudes regarding race and success and address the following questions:
· How can we love ourselves enough to get out of our own way?
· How can we love each other enough to put each other first?
· How can we love our children enough to make their world dramatically better than ours?
These and many other questions are answered in A Love Letter to Black People.
Love Letter is aptly titled because its inspirational feel strikes an excellent balance between tough love and self-congratulation, delivering its message by inspiring rather than scolding or patronizing its readers. The obvious nod to Senator Barack Obama in its subtitle foreshadows one of the central themes of the book, the notion that Obama’s success on America’s political stage reveals lessons which the Black community must heed, the new mindset required to be successful and Black. Ultimately, Love Letter is a passionate plea to the Black community to
wholeheartedly embrace this new mindset.
The credibility and insightfulness of the discussion in Love Letter is bolstered by a supporting survey about race and success completed by more than one hundred young, Black entrepreneurs and corporate and community leaders. In fact, some of the most profound parts of Love Letter are the survey responses from these young, successful Blacks (“YSBs”) weaved throughout each section of the book. The YSBs were asked to offer their opinions on provocative racially charged topics such as “acting white” and the “right way” to be successful and Black. The responses to these questions are inspirational, thought-provoking and sometimes more provocative than the questions themselves. The result is a powerful exploration of the mindset that will drive Blacks to future success or doom them in its absence. Love Letter concludes triumphantly with a call to action that will leave its readers forever changed.
A Love Letter to Black People is dynamic social commentary that is sure to inspire deep thought and positive action among its readers. Love Letter is a must read for
those who love Black people and just can’t help it!
God is Great...His Delays are not His Denials...He is always Right on Time. I know I said it before...but I think THIS is going to be the best Christmas ever (or perhaps one of the most blessed).
She sums up on her site how I should deal with "My Issues"....I'm thinking I'm gonna have to ban her.
Isn?t it because you are just another one of Georgia?s overwhelming number of racially bigoted, corrupt and vindictive ?*WHITE TRASH*? klan mentality confederate ?*GOOD OLE BOY*? moral slut white officials who does not like my truthful comments about your ?*SOUTHERN BIGOTRY and CORRUPT*??
Okay...this guy is always trying to solicit other grads to join his "moral" cause to fight "white racism" when it sounds like he is spewing it from his very pores himself. I simply didn't want to be involved and/or associated with his crazy rants. Don't get me in the middle of your nonsense.
I have asked him at least 10 times or more to remove me from his distro list. I never get a response, I just keep getting emails from him. I finally set up my mail box to just have his ish go to my junk mail/spam. However, when I got my BB and started reading most of my mail on that crackberry, I started seeing his trash again. NO! I have not figured out how to send ish to spam on my crack machine yet (although I do know how to do FB & Twitter Mobile) so I wanted him GONE.
I replied to him AGAIN to remove me from his distro list and that if he didn't do it this time then I would contact his ISP and have them make him comply. Well, he ignored me again. WRONG ANSWER, IDJIT. I'm the wrong grad, the wrong byatch, the wrong everything to eff with. He refused. FINE. I contacted his ISP and then I copied him and his entire distro list on my complaint with instructions on they too could be removed from his vitriol.
Well, did he get his panties in a bunch and decided to write me an email:
SUBJECT: Lisa Steptoe-I am sorry that you do not believe in our Honor Code & Cadet Prayer
WTF!!!! What does my wanting to get off your distro list got to do with the freakin Honor Code & Cadet Prayer? Who da hell do you think you are talking to, you ignat MFer. He went on in his email to say that I "do not have the moral courage/guts to publicly oppose white racism" (HUH?) and that I was not a "a real West Pointer" (now you've gone to far). He agreed to remove me from his distro list, but the kicker and most revealing part of his craziness was at then end he said he was gonna tell on me to Oprah (You've gotta be kidding me):
PS – I am saving your cowardly email so I can read it when I appear on The Oprah Show to discuss my terrible experience with white racism and with some of my cowardly fellow West Pointers.
YOU GONNA TELL ON ME TO OPRAH!!!!! BWAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAA! Okay, playa. You crazier than a bed bug. I'm done. I really wanted to fire off something to him and read him the riot act, but I was at a loverly dinner with a friend so I had to wait till I got home to deal with CrazyMan.
I showed the whole exchange to TheFireMarshall when I got back to the house and he said, " Ya, know... you got what you wanted, he agreed to take you off his distro list...so why fight with a crazy person. Unless you can totally get rid of him (like kill him or something), then you will be going back and forth with a guy who is clearly off his rocker."
Ya know, he's got a point. There was no point in disputing him point for point for he would just go on and on. I AM NOT IN THE MOOD. I decided not to get into a pissing contest but I couldn't just let it go without telling him thank you for removing me from his list:
The FireMarshall just shook his head. WHATEVER. I may be all beautiful and nice and ish, but I will kill a MFer quick. Yet my Daddy used to always say, "Never wound your enemy. KILL them, put them down for good, lest they get back up, licking thier wounds and come back to kill you." Wise man. Imma let that crazy idjit have it as long as I don't get no more emails from him. If I do, then it is on. FOR REAL. FOR SHO.
BwaaaaaaHaaaaaaHaaaaahaaaaHa. As if... No wonder nobody wants to read your diatribes. Thank you for complying. I'm looking forward to your show on Oprah.- if ever.
So, what was my issue...Body Image. Somebody suggested that I might have Body Dysmorphic Disorder and that I really need to get some therapy. Perhaps. However, after looking up BDD and what the DSM IV has to say about it....NOPE that's not me. I still have issues with my image of self, but it ain't BDD:
Diagnostic criteria for Body Dysmorphic Disorder
A. Preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance. If a slight physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive. (Yes, I would have to say I am often preoccupied with an "defect" in apprearance. However, I don't really look at it as a defect, more of a disappointment in my appearance. I don't think my concern is "markedly excessive")
B. The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. ( NOPE. As all of you know, ain't nuttin impaired about my social, occupational or any other area of functioning. I might spend an extrodinary amount of time making sure all of my dunlap is appropriately harnessed, but I'm not missin fun, work or anything else that I find important.)
C. The preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., dissatisfaction with body shape and size as in eating disorders). (YEP. My preoccupation IS better accounted for by another "mental disorder"....DAMN...but my issue is not BDD)
But Wow....what other "mental disorder" - ISSUE could I have. More research and the one I came closest to (but still don't meet all of the DSM IV criteria) is and eating disorder, Bulimia Nervosa (non-purging type):
- While I don't have recurrent episodes of binge eating, I do sometimes feel like I don't have control over what I eat.
- I do have inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain - most notably exceessive exercise (I don't misuse or use at all diuretics, edemas, vomiting etc. I'm way to vain for that nastiness)
- My inappropriate compesatory behavior does/has occurred, on average, more than 2x/week for 3 months - how about ALL THE DAMN TIME.
- YEP - Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
Well now. Now that I recognize my issue at face value, it is time to recognize and get busy with course corrections. Like I said in the post below:
While in Italy, Karen shared with me the preface of a book she was reading (I've forgotten the title now), but the preface was a story about a boy watching an Eagle that was soaring through the air as Eagles do. Did you know that Eagles fly the highest of all birds (they reach for the stars), they can see the farthest of all birds (they have great vision), and they mate in the air as no other bird (they stay true)? Well this Eagle swooped down to capture its dinner - it swooped down and snatched up a Weasel. The Eagle soared back up into the sky and just as it was at it highest, the Eagle started struggling and suddenly came falling back to the ground. The boy had to find out what happened to the mightiest of all birds. When he found the Eagle, the Eagle was dead. The Weasel had bitten into the chest of the Eagle and stopped the Eagles heart, killing it. How could this lowly Weasel bring down the most majestic of all creatures?
The Eagle wouldn't let go of the Weasel. If the Eagle has just let go of the Weasel (the baggage, the past, the demons, the whatever is holding you down and keeping you from soaring), the Eagle would have been able to keep soaring.
What is your Weasel?
The minute I read this story, I knew but wanted to reflect a little on it so I was a little quiet that day with Karen. I wanted to think about what I had written a few days before in the middle of some Piazza waiting for a tour guide (that never arrived), when I was alone in the city with nothing but my own thoughts - my own noise - and that damn Weasel sitting on my shoulder weighing me down...
I was sitting on a stone bench waiting for my Photo tour/class and had about a half an hour before they were supposed to arrive. I pulled out my notebook (I journal/I blog) and just started writing exactly what was rattling around in my head at that moment making me a bit melancholy:
As I sit in this square watching throngs of people from all over the world, all shapes and sizes, I wonder and fret about my state of mind regarding my body image.
All these people, all these shapes, all these sizes - and a good majority overweight or just downright fat or obese. Do they think about how they look or how fat they are as much as me? Do they care as much as I seem to? And if the world doesn't fret about it, then why do I?
Where are all the thin, extrodinarily beautiful people I see on TV, in movies, in magazines? In the throngs of humanity I have encounted so far, I haven't see them yet. I see ordinary beauty to the left; a rugged handsomness over there; happy, well lived faces at the statue; some sad; lots of plain, everyday pretty; some just plain; some just, well, plain unfortunate. Ah, there she is...and then, on a rare occasion (maybe for this moment) the skinny beauty, but uh, with some slight un-airbrushed flaw. SO WHAT?! What am I aspiring to/for? What am I trying to acheive? And if I do, will it make me happy? Will I be satisfied?
Why do I look in the mirror and one minute see gorgeous and then later catch a glimpse of me in a reflection and cringe? I've starved, dieted, exercised like mad & put myself under a knife and I'm still not satisfied. WHY? When will I be happy? Why do I not see what otheres say they see?Why can't I seem to control this, this what? Is it my weight or is it what I think of myself, my image of me that I'm trying to control? It's there, the answer, right at the tip of my mind but I just can't seem to hear it for all the noise.
I feel the cloud of depression hovering over my head and I struggle at this moment to shake it off and quiet the voices of doubt and confusion. Be still, Lisa. Be quiet. I will hear God. Talk to Him now for you know that He can clear the voices. Be still. Be quiet.
You've been made in His image. I AM beautiful in His sight.
It wasn't until a few days later when I read the story about the Eagle and the Weasel. My Weasel is doubt in myself, in who I am. My Weasel is this issue of weight and body image that I have been trying to control myself. That damn Weasel makes me doubt myself, my worth - he is biting into the heart of me, keeping me on the ground, when I should be soaring. It is time to shake him off, let him go, let God and soar....and don't swoop down and pick him up ever again.
I am a work in progress. I AM beautiful in His sight.
Thank you, Karen, for sharing with me. Thank you for your company, your wisdom, sharing the truth, for loving & accepting me (and for spending 24/7 for 7 days with a crazy woman). I had a great time and dropped my weasel...I can still see him running after me, but I'm turning my gaze to the sky.
Really, I'm not a bad person. I'm just loud and obnoxious...and I wasn't the only one either. Still, I got called to the principles office for my colorful language in front of the chillins. Izz sorry. Thank you, Monnie for bringing it to my attention. I just didn't think - Hmmm, maybe that is my problem. I didn't mean nuttin by it. Really, I'mma good girl. Humph.
At last count, when we were cleaning up, we discovered that bout 14 bottles of wine had been kilt. Y'all are some damn al.CO.Hol.ics. I didn't have nuttin to do wit it.
I ended up staying over and me, Babs, Gladys & Monica stayed up till 3 am having a good ole girlfriend talk. It was wonderful. By time I got to down to bed; however, the airmatress had completely deflated. The two princess I was bunking with had no problem, but I'm old...I couldn't handle the floor so I went back upstairs to the couch and passed out. I think I startled the Robinator...he was like..."Umm, why you not downstairs, there is a couch down there." I told him there were additional bodies down there and I drew the short straw. I was exhausted, so I packed up and went home. I got home and threw myself across the bed, slept for about 2 hours.
Despite her militant, grinchy stance, I agree with her. I'm real tired of having to walk on tiptoes around people cause they might get offended if I say Merry Christmas to them instead of Happy Holiday's. Like the guy says in the clip below, there are a lot of holidays in February (Presidents Day, Valentines Day, my Birthday). Do you go around saying Happy Holiday's instead of Happy Valentines Day in February cause of some irrational fear that you might say that to someone who does not believe in Love? Why do we have to be so damn politically correct? WHO is the person who makes the effin rules on what is okay to say and what is not and WHAT makes that "phrase" the correct one?
Let's get this straight...If I say Merry Christmas and have a Blessed New Year to you and your panties get all in a bunch then just BE MAD and go ahead and have a Effed Up Christmas and a Cursed New Year with your stoopit, oversensitive self.
However, I recently received an email from the Outreach Coordinator of The Fresh Air Fund and it made me stop. I let it sit in my email for a few days and then I decided to really look at the site and what they do for inner-city kids and I was impressed.
THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.
You can give a child the experience of a lifetime with your gift to The Fresh Air Fund!Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities. Whether it’s a two-week trip to the country to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities. We are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing.
Host a Child
Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air vacations. More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year. Fresh Air Fund Host FamiliesThere is no such thing as a "typical" host family. If you have room in your home - and your heart - to host a child, you could be one too.
I wish it also included more cities, but what a great start. We are discussing Hosting a Child this summer. We need to see how things work out with a job and we have a graduation this summer, so we will see. To learn more, visit The Fresh Air Fund.
I was immediately told to make "gettin' ready" drinks and we got "bootiful" for the party. I tended the bar and could not make drinks fast enough. I can make a mean martini. All of Gator's friends were awesome & fun. The DJ was smokin the jams. We danced till 1am. I am pooped, but it was worth it.
Ladies, go to the actual website if you'd actually like to put someone in the doghouse or to see if any of your friends have already be sent there.
Yep...I am a "30 Second Photo F&#$ER" (but my pictures are really good, seriously). However, as for being a "Picture Taking, Scrapbook Making Pu.s.sy"....I have to take issue with the Pu.ss.y part.
For a refresher course on Social Media Etiquette, please take a read of this article:
For the love of all that is Holy, please.
Answer me this...why do companies always do this right before a holiday? And Christmas of all things. She at least got 4 weeks of pay, but then what?
I'm feeling a BAH HUMBUG coming on.
I told you we are serious.
Christmas Decorating - Serious Business 2
Mmmmmkay. I told my daughter to stop fretting about it. That her friend (who I have know for years and at one time lived in my home for months) had plenty of issues too...needs therapy herself...and since they can't seem to be able to discuss what the exact issues are that keeps the contention between them, leave her alone. Relationships change, people grow; some don't. Some people just want to be miserable and want to try and make you miserable too. Walk away, move on.
I put up on my FB page a comment/status update that read:
Lisa thinks that the same people that are quick to tell you that you have issues and need therapy...NEED IT THEY DAMN SELVES. Humph!
I believe that to be the God's honest truth. When you live in a glass house yourself, perhaps you shouldn't be throwing stones. Well, my daughters friend proceed to send me emails laying me out on the carpet basically telling me that I need to mind my business and stay out of what is going on between her and my daughter:
What goes on between me and Erin, should be between me and Erin... It has nothing to do with you.
DA HELL. I believe she has confused me with being one of the "girlfriends" and not a mother. IT IS MY FREAKIN' BUSINESS, especially if she comes to me for advice and guidance. Take the ish somewhere else and get a freakin grip. You don't know who da hell you are talking to...and I told her as much in my reply:
I'm not taking sides and never did. What I find offensive is the
fact that I have KNOWN my DAUGHTER for 25 years and you for 8 and that you think you are a resident expert on who needs therapy and who doesn't. I KNOW for a fact that BOTH of you need some damn therapy.
The shit that is going down between the two of you is stupid and childish. Erin coming to me to discuss with me the situation is NORMAL as her mother and when she doesn't understand and is trying to get
clarification on what the situation is and guidance in trying to resolve the matter is not a reflection on YOU or an indication on me taking sides. I am acting as a concerned MOTHER. I want the
two of you to remain friends.
However, your consistent remarks and jabs at Erin about her having "Issues", your inability to trust her and more without clarification or justification on exactly what those issues are and the exact reason for not trusting her are a PROBLEM...and perhaps you need some therapy too in order to resolve you "issues" with Erin...if you even want to
have a relationship.
If not, then why not just stop. Stop the innuendo, stop the jabs, stop the bullshit...and then I won't have to be 'in the middle."
Do not ever presume AGAIN that you are on equal footing with me and can call me on the carpet for acting as a mother. Been there and
done that - which you have not - yet. When you have been on this earth and have experienced as much as I have, then you can call me on the carpet. Don't let it happen
Obviously, she didn't really read the message or take anything in it to heart since she wrote me back and told me that I "didn't really have an understanding of what was going on", that she wasn't "criticizing" me, but addressing my jabs at her. You know what. I'M DONE WHIT YO AZZ. I am a grown azz woman and I don't have time for y'alls highschool angst bullshyt. GROW THE EFF UP and have a freakin conversation like grown women do. I advised Erin to try that and you want to continue to play childish games. FINE with me.
If Erin wants to talk to me about you, I'm gonna continue to say my piece. If she doesn't want my opinion then she knows damn well to not ask - cause she KNOWS imma say what I damn well think. PERIOD.
I ain't one of your girlfriends. Don't forget it. I'm so glad I'm past that childish crap. If I can't have a discussion with my friends when we have problems, then we don't need to be friends anymore. JEEZ.
Erin - move on.
Your "Girlfriend" - Get a grip and move on. You are effin with the wrong one.
deletes his contact information from your evite and from all future invitations?
Did we just get sent a message?
The Army Teams the Pride and Dream
of Every Heart in Gray
The Army Line You'll Ever Find
a Terror in the Fray
And When the Team is Fighting
for the Black & Gray & Gold
We're Always Near with Song & Cheer
And this the Tale Well Told
THE ARMY TEAM (The Army Team)
RAH, RAH, RAH
BOOM! (Cannon Fires)
On Brave Old Army Team
On To the Fray -A -A -A
Fight on to Victory
For That's The Fearless Army Way.
Funny thing...she told me that with all of the stuff I have sitting in various closets, I ought to rent the items out, like that boutique (I forgot the name) in Bethesda. I need to think about that. I got plenty for the inaugural balls...people renting out their houses, why not a gown. Hmmmm.
I also have a whole wardrobe box full of dresses, suits and more (designer ish) that I can't get my wide load into anymore. I keep thinking that one day, I'll get back into these items. I just need to give up the ghost. Instead of giving them to Good.wi.ll, I was thinking I could give them away to my blog friends who might need or just plain want them. I think it would bring me more joy to know who had the item and was enjoying it than it going out to lala land. What do you think?
Another of my bestest girlfriends, Terri, who came for a visit for Thanksgiving and took me to Tea at the Ritz, sent me a package that arrived today. What a wonderful surprise. Terri had bought me two bags of loose tea while she was here, but I didn't have a tea infuser to use the tea. In my package were two tea infusers. Awesome! I immediately make a cup of tea and took some time to start reading the book she also got me - Wicked.
I LOVE MY FRIENDS.
Finally, my BFF & Soror Val ...(Yes, I am blessed to have 3 FABULOUS, long time BFFs) called to tell me how long she was planning to stay with us this weekend and to ask if that was okay. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I asked her why she wasn't staying longer. BRING ME MY BABY - NOW! Friday? Why can't you come tomorrow? HELL. Make moves, girlfriend. I can't wait to have Val and my baby girl, Maia here. Best be tomorrow.
I LOVE MY FRIENDS!
Like I said earlier, Christmas is my absolute FAVORITE holiday and we (my mother and I) take decorating for the season to a whole new level each year. There are 15 extension cords & 10 timers (at present count) to make all of this work. There are a few final touches to be done tomorrow to complete the masterpiece, and personally, I still don't think that I have enough on the outside. It's about scale. The place is kinda big, so it requires big time decorations. If you can't land aircraft in the yard...there ain't enough lights. If I don't need a generator (yet), then I don't have enough lights.
My ultimate goal is to one day be able to afford to hire a company to put up all of my lighting and outline the house in rope lighting, wiring it internally to the house. Oh Yeah. I got plans, baby.
My mother just came over and asked the FireMarshall to check the breakers cause her bedroom and bathroom lights don't come on. He came back mumbling something about blowing fuses and ish. WHATEVER.
So, come on people. We can't be the only Christmas decorating fanatics around here. Does anyone else out there take decorating to a whole new level? Come on, admit it. I know you got talent.
That is the last sentence I said to the 3rd and final "sales person" at the "FREE" weekend trip in Williamsburg, VA (ain't shyat for free people - there is always a price) we are traveling back from as I type. The FireMarshall intervened cause he knew I was about to snap crazy on his acne riddled unfortunate face if he put one more MFn' offer in my face. "Look man, you might want to wrap this up and give the woman her $200 before she loses her pleasantness." Acne man slid a referral form to me and I looked at him with laser beams that would have done a better job on that face than anything he was currently working with. Seeing the smoke rising, he gave it to the FireMarshall, who for safety sake, doused the man in a winning smile and proceeded to give a bunch of names with unreachable/unreliable/non-existent phone numbers. Good for you, cause I ain't bout to get jack slapped by my friends.
Let me just tell you how crazy & desperate these people are: The initial presentation started at a price of 50K, went to 24K, then with a possible trade credit, 14K. When we told him that this was not a good time economically/financially to be purchasing ANOTHER week, the price then dropped to 11K. Seriously. We walked out the door to go pick up our gift & hotel credit and were met by AcneMan who made one last offer of 6k.
(*even Cara pointed out how bad his acne was - "Mommie, that man's got spots all over his face." DAMN)
Please tell me again how valuable this property is. Really. In BORING AZZ Williamsburg. I'm sure it suits some people's cup of tea. But for this clan, once you visit Colonial Williamsburg, you've done it. The only thing redeemable about the place after that is the shopping. Great outlets and stuff. We ran into a couple on the BORING AZZ Christmas Decorations Tour (which was nothing like what I thought it was going to be) that have been there 36 freakin times. TO DO WHAT? We just shook our heads, left the tour about 20 min into it, got back on the bus and went shopping.
The Tour was about how the Colonials decorated for Christmas back in the day and how the artists recreate that look. WHAT LOOK? And who cares. I was done.
Now don't get me all wrong and start yelling hypocrite and ish. I do own 4 units (3 Starwood Properties & 1 unit in Florida). We have traveled around the world with the trading power, star.op.tions, star.po.ints, & exchanges our ownership has afforded us. You best be serious about traveling, plan on doing it every year, and know how to work ebay (I sell weeks each year, for the ones I don't use) to make it worthwhile. OR DON'T DO IT. There are some other things you need to look for (Deeded, Red Time, Flexible etc) or you could be in for some shocks and disappointments. I haven't had a disappointing moment yet. But we've done our homework. You do yours.
When you have stayed at a Starwood Property, this stuff they were showing us in Williamsburg was slummin' - plain and simple. There was NOTHING you could tell me that would have changed my mind and when you still tried to work out financing and come up with a payment that would "work" for us - EVEN AFTER I TOLD YOU I WAS CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED - like sans job. I WAS DONE! What kind of fool did they take me for. There is no payment plan except FREE (and this is no such thing). I will not get into debt for you or anybody else, unless that item is an ASSET and generates revenue. Idjits.
Now the freakin kicker was the stalker moment we had outside the I.H.op this morning. The FireMarshall is on the phone with one of his business partners telling him about our Timeshare Adventure and this woman is standing outside listening to his conversation. She makes some comment about how that sounded crazy to her too. We smile and walk into pancake heaven to eat. Forgot all about that woman.
After consuming our panny-cakes, we walk out and there is StalkerBabe who turns out to be a TimeshareStalker. She walks up to us and starts talking all fast, asking about our experience and offers us ANOTHER $200 if we would come over and hear about a much "better product" than what we just saw. R U KIDDING ME. I ran for the car, Cara screaming "Mommie, don't leave me!" Every man for themselves. The FireMarshall is just so damn polite. I don't know what he said to her, but he took some piece of paper from her, jumped in the van and pulled out.
Da Hell we were going to another freakin presentation. I just can't take it anymore.
We survived and still have our sanity and money intact. How about you? Do you have any Timeshare Horror Stories?
So, earlier this year, Ron and I attended some event where you could enter your name into a raffle for a free trip. I didn't really think much about it, just filled out the form. I usually don't win stuff, but this year seems to be my year for winning contests (Wii, gift cards, trip). Might not have a job, but I got goodies. Earlier this month, we get a call saying that we won a trip to Williamsburg, VA. Yippie. I like free stuff and we could always use a getaway. Williamsburg is very pretty when decorated for Christmas and the shopping is good.
One catch. (There is always a catch - ain't nothing free) We have to take a tour of a new resort while here. Ron and I laughed. Did you do a background check before you offered us this trip? You would have seen that one of us is self-employed, the other unemployed and not about to buy a damn thing ...especially not a resort in Williamsburg, VA. Are you kidding me? Whatever, if you're going to pay my hotel stay & give me $150 in spending money, I've got nothing better to do. Why the heck not.
We pack Cara up (Jordan & the rest of the crew have social lives better than ours) and head down to Wiliamsburg. Guess what? We are not staying at the resort we have to go on a tour at. We are staying in some kind of guest suites down the street that is just one step up from the Su.per.8. At least the doors are on the inside. Yep...Snobbery. Smarty pants, the FireMarshall, says what did you expect for free? I hate him sometimes. He is laying across the bed, coloring with Cara, laughing at me while my nose is all up in the damn air blogging my disdain.
Actually, the place is not horrific, but when you are expecting a resort and you get Mo.tel.6, you tend to cop an attitude. I did plan us a nice day at Historic Williamsburg for us tomorrow (after our "tour"). We are taking Cara to "A Kids Holiday Memories" Event and then we are doing a walking tour of the Christmas Decorations in Historic City. I hope to get some new Christmas Decorating ideas. Serious Business.
Are you a travel snob?
We always start putting up the decorations the day after Thanksgiving and everything MUST be in place and ready to go by the 1st Saturday in December - the day of the Army-Navy Game and (if I say so myself) THE BEST football party EVER - which we throw every year that we do not go to the game. The invitation to that party went out on Monday. If you want to come to the best time ever and you didn't ge tyour invite, you need to drop me a line.
I have an entire storage area dedicated to Christmas Decorations as well as a lot of other spaces. Dedicated to my craft - Absolutely. How about 2 large storage bins of power cords & timers. Like I said, Serious Business.
My mother started setting up the Fontanini Display - you won't believe how much room that thing takes up, but it is going to be awesome. At 8pm, we finally gave up the ghost and decided to call it a night. Between our feet and backs hurting, I'm just simply exhausted. I'll have to finish the rest later.
So, how serious are you about your Christmas decorating?