You Think Maybe…


You think maybe I don’t understand why so many women give a rats azz that Steve Harvey has written 2 books and is considered a “Relationship Expert”. If you are NOT in his target audience, if you don’t do have the dumb azz shyt that he is ‘counseling’ about, if you don’t need help with figuring out why none of your baby daddies will marry you and such then why do you care? Don’t buy it, don’t read it, don’t support it.


You think maybe …don’t hate the playa, hate the game.


You think maybe we should spend more time pulling the thorn from our side, wiping the blemish from our eyes & dropping those rocks we are so eager to throw?


You think maybe instead we should pray for others more instead of raking them over the coals & issuing that express bus ticket to hell? Most of us already have our own pass without adding passengers.


You think maybe misery like company? I rather be by myself.


You think maybe I have a slight addiction to signing up for races. You think maybe the more insane, the better? I need to come off the fitness crack.


You think maybe I need to rename True Blessings Estate to the True Blessings Transitional Home. My sister has moved in. We rented out a room to a friend. I need to see about writing a grant.


You think maybe sometimes I’m really, really tired. Yet I know that to whom much is given, much is expected and that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.


You think maybe, just sometimes, I pray for a ‘duty, responsibility & accountability’ vacation?


You think maybe if it wasn’t for ya’ll checking up on me, holding me to my word with love, kindness and gentle nudges that I would have fallen totally off the wagon, let stress, life, & sickness keep me from being Phat & Fabulous. Thanks for the check in’s. I’ll be back with updates soon.


You think maybe that if I didn’t sign up for all of these races that I would have not only said FUGG the Eat Right Plan but FUGG the working out too? Let me tell ya…when you spend on average $50 for a running race to $100+ for a Triathlon, you think maybe you train for those things?


You think maybe The TravelDiva don’t waste no moolah?


You think maybe I am excited about the road trip to Atlanta Friday to see the season opener tournament for Indiana Tech’s LAX. The road trip with all of my girls is going to be a friggin HOOT!


You think maybe I’m still going to figure out how to fit into my WW points the Smothered, Covered, Chopped & so on hash browns from the Waffle House?


You think maybe you shouldn’t judge me?


Just in…You think maybe that kid that doused a cat in lighter fluid, thrown in a milk crate and set on fire is a future serial killer? Seriously, what is wrong with people?


You think maybe I HATE watching the news?


You think maybe with all that is going on, I am loving my life? Yeah, I do. The journey…it’s all about the journey.


So, my friends – you think maybe you got some random stuff going on with you? Spill it.


DC Power Team (Pfizer) Reunion 2011

O.M.G! I went back into the archives and realized that the DC Power Team hasn’t had a “reunion” since 2007. O.M.G! The crime. How time flies. Life gets in the way. I just have to say that it is a damn shame and I am SOOOOO glad that Marsha & Debbie put together a reunion. I have yet to find a group of people that I worked with/for that became & STAYED friends after 4 rounds of layoffs, job changes and so on. EVER.


I love me some DC Power Team & let me not forget The Washington Federals (Ron, Sam, Russ, the Perry Boys & Crew). I swear, those were some of the best times of my life & career.


Click here to reminisce with me re: the 2007 reunion. You can even click a link to have some grins an giggles regarding The Power Team’s Mascot – The PowerBot!


From top-bottom/left-right: Joel Brown, Marsha Anderson –DM, Anissa Wilson, Debbie Wallace, Lisa Steptoe


We had two members from the Washington Federals join us for the reunion – Ron Steptoe & Sam Harris.


I had a wonderful time hanging with these guys. Let’s not let the years pass us by before we do it again…and we HAVE to get the new, world famous, Dr. Bryan Canterbuy to join us next time. What a hoot that will be.


Love you guys. Let me see if I can find our Boogie Nights and Mission Impossible video.

The Best Snowman - EVER!

Princess Cara has spent the past few days since ThunderSnow 2011 nagging the daylights out of us to build a snowman. The FireMarshall finally broke down and submitted to building a snowman. Princess Cara was the design engineer on the project. She actually got the snowballs going and showed The FireMarshall how to get it going. He was heavy equipment - as he had to lift the body pieces on top of each other. I furnished the decorative items. An epic production, indeed. They had a blast and we have a wonderful, pimped out snowman greeting people at the top of our driveway.

Princess Cara named him Frosty.


My View: Thundersnow 2011



Just Keep Swimming…

Just Keep Swimming…& Yes–Black Girls Swim too!

On Sunday, I met TriBecca for a swim workout. Her first for the Triathlon swim season and I got to unleash a bunch of the drills  I’ve been learning to improve my ‘swim efficiency’ at the Triathlon Swim Group Class.


I was so jazzed with TriBecca’s willingness to play along and when I pulled out my board with the workout on it and told her it was 1800 meters…she didn’t flinch.  We did the entire workout and coached each other on our form. TriBecca was right when she said it was so much better to swim with someone so they can see your form and tell you what you are doing wrong or could improve on.


When she coerced me into this Triathlon business, I HATED the swim part with the hate, rage & heat of a thousand suns. But I did it, cause, well…when you drop a c-note+ to register for a race, get gear, a bike and whatnot – you BEST train. So, I swam. After I started going to the group swim and getting coached – and getting better- I started to love the swim workout. I actually enjoy it.


And it thrills me to no end that there are ladies, just like Becca & I that are accepting the swim challenge. BK (BrooklynDiva) has learned to swim…and it is just a matter of time before she will add Triathlete to her titles. 1969 has been bit by the Tri bug and is doing her 1st Tri (I will be there in the race with her) in June. And BTW…1969, I know we didn’t get to finish our talk today, but that swim was the 1st of many – Just keep swimming, girlfriend. I’ll help you ANY DAY!  I also think that we will snooker Tsiphora pretty soon to join the insanity.


I’ll talk about all my running/fitness buddies (MsPattey, Myra, IlaGator, Shawn, BusyDiva and so many more) in another post soon. Right now, I want to say to all my friends on this journey…Just Keep Swimming.


Dory sure was one wise fish.

Cooking With Love: Chili Edition

Another episode in playing Top Chef…


I decided to give another recipe I got from Chef Carla –

The Pork & Roasted Butternut Squash Chili
w/Crisp Grit Rounds.


Yes. I made it with ground pork – I am a firm believer in supporting the much maligned swine industry. If you don’t, good for you – make it with something else (Chef Carla made it with tofu as an option too), just don’t get your panties all in a bunch.


It was a huge hit here at True Blessings Estate. LOVED IT. If you are interested in whipping this up for your family, I uploaded the recipe to goo,gl.e docs. Click on image above to print it out.



A couple of hints that I learned along the way to make this recipe go smoothly…
- Chop, cube & roast squash in ahead. Then you won’t be rushing to get it done and can just add them in when ready.

- Cook your grits ahead and let set. You can crisp as chili is simmering. You don’t have to use a mini-muffin pan like I did. You can also just scoop out rounds into a baking sheet – flatten with spatula.


The family enjoyed this so much (and I bought more squash than originally needed), I decided to whip up another batch on Sunday for the game. I also started up a batch of apple chips too and as I was slicing, I sliced a finger chip taking off about an eraser sized hunk of the tip of my index finger.


My kitchen turned into a mini trauma center as I would rather bleed to death at home than in an ER. Instead of Cooking w/Love, I was now Cooking w/Blood. YUCK. My family went to work and pulled out all the stops. Coagulation stick (felt like  I was being stabbed in the eye), tourniquet, bandages, pressure, ice…but the final straw that sent me howling for real medical attention was the liquid bandage spray. It felt like they were sawing my finger off with a chain saw. Princess Erin whisked me off to Minute Clinic while the FireMarshall & the Queen Mum stayed back to clean up two hours of carnage. I didn’t know a finger could bleed so much.


In under 40 min I was seen at the clinic and even had a flu and pneumo shot to boot. I’m all bandaged up now.


Poor Boo-Boo Kitty. The chili was worth it. I hope you enjoy.


The End of Civilization

The FireMarshall and I were laying up in the bed chatting before having to jump up & start the day get the miniDiva off to school and the Royal Cat, Socks, decides to join us.


Socks makes a circle, fluffs the blanket a little, lays down…and promptly begins…


The FireMarshall, Emperor of the Realm, and wise sage quips “If men could do that, it would be the end of civilization as we know it. World markets would collapse, business would fail – nothing would get done. We would just lay around and do that all day…maybe while watching a game or two on tv. The End.” And then he sighs and gets up to get the Princess ready.




All I could do was shake my head. He had a point.




Cooking With Love–Apple Chips

I previously wrote about taking a cooking workshop with Chef Carla Hall. One of the items on the menu that went with the Brule was Apple Chips. I couldn’t help but think that they would be an awesome – healthy - chip like snack instead of regular ole potato chips. You get all the joy & satisfaction of a crunchy snack without all the fat & calories. YES!


I decided to try both apple & pears for my first go round.

applechips pearchips

They are very easy to make.


First, prepare some simple syrup – I made the syrup from Carla’s recipe – Ginger Syrup. Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar & 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger in pan, bring to boil till everything dissolves, set aside. I used crystalized ginger because that is what I had in the fridge (which didn’t all dissolve – no matter – I worked around it, and, in fact, the syrup tastes even better today). Set oven to 350.


Next, slice up your apple thinly as in the photo above. Lay out your slices on parchment paper and brush both sides of slices with syrup. I sprinkled them with my “compliments” – kosher salt – and put them in the oven.



Place your trays in oven and back for approx. 40 min.




and…WHA LA! You have chips -



They are delicious. The FireMarshall liked them too. He said they have a slight sweet & sour taste to them.


Here are a couple of things that I will try with my next batch:

- either put the oven up to 400 or leave in longer. A few didn’t get quite crispy enough. You don’t want to burn them (remember – not ready, not ready, BURNT) but while the ones that are not crispy are still good, I want crispy.

- don’t forget the salt. I went light because I wasn’t sure how it would come out, but they are tasty indeed with the sweet and salty combo.

- make note to buy some silpats to use instead of parchment paper.


Now that I have some syrup already made I can do this any ole time. Gonna make me up a batch tomorrow for my snack.


Now, for all you Weight Watchers people wondering OMG! how many points is that…well, and apple has 0 (ZERO) points. I’m going to add 1 (maybe 2) points for the syrup. If you use a sugar substitute then you are back to ZERO points per serving. You get about 15-20 slices from a nice size apple.


Satisfying, Filling. I don’t know about anybody else, but the texture & ‘crunch’ or chew factor plays heavily in my choice of foods. That’s why liquid diets don’t work well for me. Unsatisfying, NOT fulfilling.


Add this snack to your fitness & healthy eating lifestyle. You will be pleasantly surprised.


Get Crunchin!


Cooking With Love

photo 4photo 1photo 2

Wednesday night, The Queen Mother treated me (an early birthday present) to a Cooking Workshop (Cooking w/Butternut Squash) at Alchemy by Carla Hall. What a wonderful treat. Throughout the whole workshop, you could tell just how much she loves to cook and to share her joy of cooking with others.


In between the cooking demonstration of each dish, Carla shared with us little tips & tidbits to make cooking easier and fun. Her husband ended up being our sommelier for the evening and was extraordinarily knowledgeable about each and every wine that was paired with each course. While Carla demonstrated cooking of each dish, we at each course, drank the pairing and took copious notes of everything.


Here is what was on the menu:

  • Mixed Greens with Butternut Squash, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds & Apple Cider Vinaigrette (Savignon, Domaine de l’Hermoniere Touraine 2009)
  • Moroccan Spiced Squash Rounds w/Dates, Pistachios & Mint (Chardonnay, Oak Grove 2009)
  • Pork and Roasted Butternut Squash Chili w/Crisp Grits (D’Autrefois Pinot Noir, 2009)
  • Butternut Squash Brulee w/Apple Chips (Presidential Ruby Porto)



Here are some of the tidbit I took home:

  • Always have a Bowl of Compliments (Salt) – If you don’t use it, you won’t get any compliments.
  • There is flavor in the brown.
  • Almost ready, almost ready, burnt (Bwaaahaahaa! Keep an eye on the stove, you might not have time to make that call)
  • If you can develop a quick & efficient way to get through prep (stage your ingredients) – cooking will be a joy.
  • Oil (or use cooking spray) your knife when cutting sticky foods (dates and such). Keeps things from sticking to knife. Also oil a bowl or measuring cup when using honey or other sticky liquids – no waste, wont stick to bowl.
  • Clean your coffee/spice grinder by grinding up white rice in it. Sparkly clean.
  • To see how a wine changes with food – make a wine sandwich: Wine, Food, Wine
  • If you want your grits/oatmeal to be ultimate creamy, add to cold water or milk and cook from there. CREAMY!
  • Put rubber bands on the teeth of tongs. It provides a grip to the tongs so things won’t slip as you try and grip them to take out of oven.
  • If you having a bad day or have an attitude, the only thing you should cook up is a reservation.

I learned an easy ways to make my own stock, syrups, finishing salt/sugar and more…and those apple chips…THE BOMB. This is going to be my new treat instead of chips(and Princess Cara’s). Maybe the chili too!


Yes, Chef Carla talked a little about Top Chef and the current All Stars Season she is on, but she couldn’t go into any real detail since the season is not over. After the class, Momz & I went home and were able to see Chef Carla win the challenge and a trip. GO CARLA! She didn’t say a word about it to the class either.


I left the workshop with not only an entire dinner menu using Butternut Squash and a bunch of other cooking gems, but also a renewed love for cooking and preparing wonderful meals for my friends & family.



My Diva-ness and sparkly goodness started at an early age.


Testing publishing directly from Windows Live Writer on new laptop my family gave me for Christmas.

Phat & Fabulous - Week 1

Thank you to those of you who asked me how my 1st week went with WWOnline, tracking and exercising. Well, I started out tracking everything very well and then...we had that "going back to college" dinner where I stopped counting the glasses of sangria...and I didn't get back to it until Sunday.

I think the tracking is extrememly helpful and keeps you thinking before you open your mouth or reaching for junk. I also don't want to tell ya'll that I ate an entire day (or week) of calories/points in one sitting. Definitly helps me make better choices. Perhaps I should make better choices just because...it's a healthier choice...yet accountability & the fear of a few snickers works well too. LOL.

Even with my slacking off on tracking points...Drumroll...

I'm down 2.7 lbs. GO ME!!!

How are you doing with your goals so far?


PMT - Pride Management Time

It is always a pleasure to have Prince Jordan, Heir to the Empire, Protector of the Realm home from college for a visit. However, it really hit me this time that my son was no longer "my baby"...he was becoming his own man and finding/making a place for himself in this word. Add to this the fact that he has essentially has chosen Lady Joan as "the one" already (and whenever I throw up the side eye...he patiently asks me why what worked for the FM and I can't work for him...umm, well...er...IDK).

The FireMarshall, to my eternal chagrin, keeps reminding me that "Boy's leave...as it should be." I would like to stab him in the throat every time he says that true bulldookie to me. HURSH.

This holiday visit came to a close and I kept whining to the FM and anybody else who would listen that "I am feeling some kinda way about The Prince. I feel ignored, forsaken, dumped, kicked to the curb."

I wasn't the only one.

Princess Cara was asked if she wanted to ride to the airport to see Prince Jordan (the same brother she used to "bully" a kid at school with a 'if you keep messing with me, I'll have my brother, the po-lice, sh--t you.') off to college. She went OFF! "NO! I only like Jordan a little now...he didn't spend any time with me...he stayed in his room the whole time."

The FireMarshall, Prince Jordan and I were killing some time in the kitchen a couple of hours before Jordan's flight and between my mewling & Cara's kick to the curb, the FM said..."Jordan, I think it's time for me to teach you the art of PMT."

Pride Management Time - or how to manage all the lionesses in your pride.

I blended into the background so I could listen to The King bestow some wisdom onto his son, The Prince & Future King.

The King explained that essentially there were only two male lions in this pride we call family and a whole slew of lionesses to include a possible future addition (Lady Joan) and he had to figure out how to divide his attention and give each lioness the attention she needs. Even though the male is busy out there building the Kingdom & protecting the realm, he still needs to give some time, energy and attention tot he women in his life that the realm & love him.

Pride Management.

The young Prince wasn't completely grasping the concept so the King gave up some examples:

"...that time you called your mom out of the blue and talked about college, your life and stuff for an hour kept her on cloud nine for months."

"...going over to Gma Willie's and setting up her rug cleaner and replacing light bulbs = her hero."

"...playing ball, lego's or any game with Cara would put you back into 'my brother will kick your azz' status."

"Next time, take your mother out to lunch - just the two of you. The hour or so you spend with your mother over the few weeks your in town will carry her for longer than you can imagine."

The King went on to explain that a little "time" given to your lionesses will go a long way to keeping the pride happy and harmonious. It takes time to master this skill and to figure out what will make each happy, but master it you must for peace in the Kingdom.

Wise words. Father to Son.

What do you think about PMT - Pride Management Time?


Thursday Thoughts

We had BIG DINNER tonight to honor The Prince, Heir to the Empire - Protector of the Realm & Princess Charlee going back/off to college tonight. Great times as we planned how to defeat the zombie apocalypse/Armageddon that is about to happen. I love & hate my kids at the same time.

I pick on Lady Joan because it is still hard for me to totally give over my son to the inevitable. I like her...and I hate her all the same.

I am currently "dating" vicariously through my BFF...and having the time of my life. Like I have any idea on how to date in the the 21st century...but talking with her everyday is pure joy. Well...I always talked to her everyday, but now...I LIVE for it. Between our workouts and her life...I can hang on...better than Xan.a.x.

My country BFF, that lives in the most spectacular Victorian Mansion that dreams are made of, sent me the most beautiful and awesome purse the other day. I opened the box and just stood there staring at it and tears started falling. I love her so...and KNOW I don't tell her enough or spend enough time with her. I love her. She is the ONLY person that actually WRITES letters. I'm going to sit down and write her back. It is so easy for me to just call her but NOPE...I'm writing her a letter tomorrow. I love her so. Thank you. That gift made my day...my month actually. It is beautiful.

I don't give a rats azz that they read the Constitution. SO. How bout you actually apply it...and not selectively. Do your damn job. Jeeze.

I really wanted a good friend to come to dinner tonight, but I knew it was a lot to ask and a long way to come so I let it go. I love her so, too.

It amazes me...and I realize how much of a blessing it is to have so many loverly friends.

I'm still finding it difficult to let go of The Prince. My daughters...not so much...my son...it's killing me.

Today is going to be a blank on the WW points tracker...I just couldn't keep up with how many glasses of sangria I had tonight. Oh well.

I have a phone interview (the second interview) tomorrow. I HATE phone interviews. I'm much better in person.

Is it just me...I LOVE to watch my husband get "dressed" (suit & tie). Just Chexy.

I'm really looking forward to the trip to Spain with the Queen Mum & Princess Erin (especially when the Queen Mum gets her knee fixed). The stories...Lawd hab murcey.

How was your day before FLUFFY!!!


Monday Musings & Other Random Thoughts

I don't make New Year Resolutions. I set goals and go about the business of achieving them...and that's that.

I was amused by the extensive natural hair twitter onslaught the other day...especially when one persons major life goals for 2011 centered around their hair. Really?

Prince Jordan, Heir to the Empire, Protector of the Realm goes back to college Saturday. I found out this holiday that I am no longer "running things" round these parts. Lady Joan has assumed the role and if I want the Prince to do something, I talk to her. Sigh.

The FireMarshall informed me that I need to get with the program...Daughter's come back like bad pennies...Son's leave. *Hangs head in resignation*

I'm trying NOT to be a helicopter mom with the Prince.

Princess Charlee is leaving us too this Saturday. She is off to study nursing at Salisbury University. I can't believe she's off already. Wow!

In related drama, her bio-dad managed to get her a hooptie at the 11th hour (after years of not doing a damn thing - I'm just saying). Yeah, the problem is WHO DA HELL IS PAYING FOR INSURANCE?!!! When I asked that of him, he was like..".well...umm...er - she only needs liability; I'm sure that won't cost much." Well, it ain't gonna be ours problem. You wanted a car, you have 3 pts on your license, you need to figure it out...I can't afford to carry you. Sorry.

The famous last words around True Blessings that always end in disaster are "I got this." They never do.

So, one of my goals for this year is to lose the 20lbs I've put on over the past 2 years. I actually want to lose 30. I have had a Weight Watchers Online account for like ever and I'm going to be using it. WW worked for me before - I'm confident it will help me develop a life plan again. I've never been big on the meetings - actually HATE them - so I'm going to count on you and my friends over in my FB group (Broken Record Fitness) to hold me accountable. I will post my points tracker and lbs lost/gained every Monday...if you don't see it. ASK ME! JUMP ON ME! Ya'll are going to be my meeting.

My fitness goals are to do at least 3 Triathlons this year (maybe 4 if I can squeeze it in)and a few 10k and/or 10milers. Here is what I have on tap so far:

  • 3 April - Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
  • 26 June - Philly Sprint Triathlon
  • 21 Aug - Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon
  • 30 Sept - 14 day Spain Bike Tour (really a vacation & not a race)
I'm looking at fitting in something in May, July, early Sept & late Oct/early Nov. I'll keep you posted.

It sure is gonna be quiet around here with Prince Jordan & Princess Charlee gone...Ummm...NOT. Princess Cara is STILL here to terrorize The FireMarshall and I.

It takes me 3-4 days to get all of our Christmas Decorations up...trust me that it will take me a couple of days to get them down. All the outside stuff is down and put away. The stuff on the inside is at least off the timers. Give me a minute.

I thought that the person I was talking about in this post would have recieved their clue...nope. I think I'm going to have to get them alone and give a gentle nudge because I know as fact that they would NOT want the general public to know. Damn shame.

The New Years Day party at The Tatum's was FANTASTIC!!! As always, Ila-gator is THE Hostess with the Mostest! It was fun to get away, even if just over night, to party with them. A great way to start 2011.

What's on your mind?



Yesterday, I attended a New Years Eve Brunch at CreoleInDC's with a bunch of The Usual Suspects. Good Times!!! Well, as is the tradition, we usually concoct a new drink. Last year we came up with "The Usual Suspect Sparkling Cocktail" which consisted primarily of champagne and White Cranberry Juice.

To a professional drinker as myself, the original Usual Suspect Cocktail is kinda like drinking koolaid. I took it upon myself to come up with a new cocktail to ring in the new year utilizing the resources we had on hand.

Utilizing what you see in the picture above, we created a new cocktail to ring in 2011....The Unusual Suspect - cause we are an unusual lot. Here is the mixology - more or less.

The Unusual Suspect
1 1/2 cup of Absolute Mandarin
1/2 cup of Triple Sec
3 cups of White Cranberry Juice
Juice of 1/2 of a lime

Adjust to taste.

Happy New Year!