Sunday, May 31, 2009

Break out the scissors...

I haven't had my hair cut or trimmed since I started growing it out in November 2007. Thanksgiving 2007, to be exact. Then bf pulled out the clippers with the 1/2 inch guard, and cut my hair for me. I had chopped it all off in September 2007, and at that point I felt like I just wanted to keep it short. Then, I realized my best friend was getting married in August 2008, and it would be good to have some hair to style. So, I started growing it out.

Fast forward to this month. I had to come to the realization that I'm NOT a person who can go for long periods of time without getting my ends trimmed. Reason? Hand in Fro disease. I love playing in my hair. I love doing different styles. I love twisting it and then untwisting it for a curly twist out. If I can go a week without doing something to my hair, that is a LONG time to me.

Hand in Fro disease means lots of manipulation. Manipulation can cause damage. While I was conditioning, deep conditioning, and using Ayurvedic products, my ends could not be saved. Not to mention, I had some old color hanging onto those ends. Color can dry out your hair as well.

Last night, I washed and deep conditioned my hair. I parted it into 4 sections, and put it in little mini-buns that I pinned with bobby pins. I let it dry overnight under my scarf. This afternoon, it was mostly dry, and I proceeded to flat iron. Usually I would blow dry and then flat iron, but I decided to save my hair some heat exposure. After flat ironing, I pulled out the trimmers.

Now, if you are going to trim at home, it's VERY IMPORTANT that you have a good set of trimming shears. You can't just be cutting your hair with scissors around the house. The other thing is, I'm not a hairdresser. I don't aim for perfection. I look for crispy ends and I chop them off. I cut about 1 inch from the back alone. I don't care if it's straight, either. I NEVER wear my hair straight. I just looks limp and lifeless when I do that. Since I wear it curly/textured, I'm not too much concerned about the cut being perfect. If you are concerned with that, you should let a professional handle it.

My hair feels 110% better. I gave it a light protein conditioner, and then put it back up in flat twists (I know, I flat ironed and then wet it - but, it just looks a mess when it's straight). The twists are holding so much better now that my crispy ends are gone.

I think that if I had been doing regular trims, I would have retained more length. So, I'm going to go with a trim every 12 weeks. If 12 weeks is not enough, I'll have to go back to my old schedule from when I first went natural - every 8 weeks.

Ladies, learn from my faux pas and be kind to your ends! Unless you have locs, or are wearing a bun every day (which is what we call a protective style), you are going to need to trim them regularly. Also know that with regular trims, you won't have to cut off as much hair each time. And finally, this is definitely a YMMV (your mileage may vary) situation - you may not feel comfy with trimming your own ends and that's fine - find a hairdresser you can trust, who knows the difference between a trim and a cut.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Puff

I decided to post a couple of pics of my Afro puff that S23 referenced. It's been a while since I've worn my hair out in a 'fro or a puff. Mostly because detangling afterwards can be a hot mess. It's much easier to deal with a twist out, or to leave my hair in twists and wear a wrap.

This 'do originally started out as an Afro, but I didn't like the way the front looked, so I pulled it back into a puff. This was on Thursday. Yesterday I did actually wear the 'fro, but forgot to get some good pics of it. Next time!

It's time to get my ends trimmed. It might end up actually be in a hair CUT, since I've waited so long. I will post pics after I have it done.

Lazy Bones

There are so many things I could be doing today. I need to straighten and trim my hair. I need to stop by the Indian grocery store to see if the products I ordered have come in yet. I didn't work out yesterday, so I could be hitting the treadmill today. I have laundry that needs to be done. All kinds of things.

I don't feel like doing ANYTHING!

I will eventually stop watching Snapped, get up from this couch, and do something productive. But really, I wish I had someone to enjoy this day with. Not even a boyfriend, 'cause I have a bad track record with those. Just somebody to hang out with. Alas, not gonna happen.

I also want to go and see Shear Madness. I had made plans to attend with a co-worker tomorrow afternoon, but yesterday she changed her mind. I'm debating on if I will go and see it by myself. I just want to do something different, for a change. It sounds like it's going to be a fun show.

I wish I lived a smidgen closer to my sisters. Not that 4 and 5 hours are extraordinarily LONG distances...but when you only have a weekend, 5 hours is a good chunk of time to drive. If they were closer, I'd be there right now. My nieces and nephews always have a way of brightening auntie's day. They make me laugh. They love me, and they don't expect perfection. They are just happy to see auntie.

Days like this, I really wish I was still in Atlanta. Oh well. I will try to make some lemonade with my perceived lemons. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009


This was a short week for me (off Monday and Tuesday), but it felt like one of the longest weeks ever!

This morning I made two executive decisions:
1. The morning needed to include a grande hazelnut soy latte.
2. It's Mint Condition Friday - now playing: "Nothing Left To Say."

That's about it on the important decisions. I'm already drained. I cannot tolerate any stupid folks today. I'm riding with the train doors open all day. Kicking stupid folks off at a moment's notice!

My knees were really hurting last night at the skating rink. I know I'm not 20, but I'm not 50, either. I think it's time for a trip to the ortho. I just don't want to hear the words "surgery" and "your insurance is not paying for this." Ugh!

RB has been noticeably M.I.A. Last night at the rink, he made it a point to mention that he was "giving me space." Thanks - but I was going to take it anyway, whether you were giving it or not. You're not my man! Then he asked me what I did on Monday. I told him, "nothing" (read: none of your business). He said, "you probably went on a date or something." To which I answered with pure, unadulterated SIDE. EYE. He said, "why did you look at me like that?" My cell phone vibrated (text from my sister), and he was saved from his cussing.

Let's see...not too much else going on. Just sitting here counting down to 5:00 p.m.! Debating on whether or not I will work out, given the knee situation. I'll see how I feel at 5:00. Might be a "cardio-only" day. I love lifting weights, and the way it helps to shape my legs, but I might have to give up the lunges in favor of healthy knees.

Did I mention that KC has been on my brain way too much this week? I need him to go away. I wore my 'fro out the last time we hung out. That usually helps me weed out the suspect/superficial people. The ones that need a woman with long, straight hair hanging down her back. You know the type. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Natural Naz.i and I don't walk around with my fist in a black glove, hoisted into the air. Angela Davis by no means. But, guys are attracted by the visual - so I need to make sure they understand what visual they are getting. So far, he doesn't seem overly-concerned with how I look on the outside, so that's cool points for him. Now that I think about it, he's seen me looking rough and sweaty after 4 hours of skating...I'm going to have to weed him out differently. LOL!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cleaning Up Other Folks' Mess

Maybe I need to learn how to take a "stress leave" like my infamous co-worker. Apparently she takes one every year. Go figure! If I took a stress leave every year, would I still have a job? Probably not. I frankly don't understand why she still does. Maybe she has some dirt on upper management?

We just got an email that we are going to get some more of this chick's work to clean up, because she had new claims that she never completed investigation on. The only good news, is that another office has agreed to help us out with new intake, so at least we are not going to get slammed with those.

Allegedly, she's coming back in June. We'll see. I'll try to refrain from punching her straight in the jaw when she does return. Frankly, I'd rather see her submit a resignation, so we can get someone on our team who really wants to do some work. Anybody need a job?

I'm so tired of lazy people! Color me verklempt!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Be Continued, Part 3

So, I hung out with KC yesterday. I had wine, he had Mich Ultra (he's got diabetes and has to be careful what he drinks), and we watched Seven Pounds. Man, that movie starts off slowly. Once it finally got rolling, I did enjoy it. He is one of those people who try to guess what happens. But at least he was smart enough not to spit out all his theories. I hate that.

I'm not even going to go into all the details. I'm just going to say that he's really messing up my plans. This thing may be doomed to failure before it gets started. We shall see.

That's it folks, short and sweet. Except that he's off again today (a rarity for him), so we're going to hang out again tonight. Right now, I need to stop daydreaming, and go get my tires rotated.

Peace out!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yeah, so...

I got back from the soccer tournament in time to take a quick nap, and then head to the rink. I was tired, but I made myself go, because I knew I would have fun.

Of course, when I got there, the first person I ran into was Roll Bounce, in the parking lot. I was trying to time it so that he'd already be in there skating. I forgot the traffic would be lighter, since folks are out of town for the holiday. I pulled up as he was about to walk in. He stopped and waited for me.

The first part of the night is generally slow jams/old school music, which I love. I skated with RB during that time, and I figured that would hold him for a while. The whole time I was scanning the crowd for Kansas City. I didn't think he was coming, but I tried to keep hope alive.

KC always sneaks in like a thief in the night. I never see him come in. He just materializes, skating around the outside of the rink. I see him with that signature hat he always has on, and that smooth skating, and it makes me smile. We got to skate all three slow songs tonight, because RB got caught up with teaching some newbies how to skate backwards.

If you remember in the first "To Be Continued" post (here), I said I liked my little skating rink relationship with KC. It was cool. We skated. We went our separate ways. I got to see his dimples the next week, if he showed up. No complications whatsoever.

Yeah, well...that got messed up tonight. KC asked for my number. If you saw his dimples, you'd know why I couldn't bring myself to say no. He was just so smooth with it. No corny lines.

KC: (Skates up behind me and puts his arm around my waist) "I've been meaning to ask you this for about 4 months now."
Me: "Really? What's up?" (Dunce! I was totally clueless about what was coming next. I thought he was going to ask me to clarify if I was dating RB, lol)
KC: "Can I call you some time?"
Me: "Yeah! Sure!"


Yep. I didn't even try to fight it. I changed out of my skates, walked over and gave him the number. LOL! At worst, he'll just be boring or a mess outside of the rink, and then I'll be over my little crush. At best...we'll just have to see.

He sent me a text when I was driving home, so that I'd have his number in my phone (how did he know that I don't answer numbers I don't recognize? lol). Now, it's a waiting game.

Definitely "to be continued."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Congrats to FASA U-11 - Tournament Champs!!

FASA U-11 is the team my nephew plays soccer for. FASA has three teams in the Fredericksburg area - White, Premier, and Elite. My nephew was originally placed on the Premier team, but was promoted up to Elite. He has certainly earned his position. He scored two goals for his auntie yesterday, in the second game.

This morning they beat up on somebody's team with an 8-0 romp. This afternoon's game was a bit more of a challenge. The other team was very physical, and the parents seemed to be encouraging it. Their goalie was pushing our kids out of the way during corner kicks and that is a blatant foul, and none of it was called.

No matta - my boys kicked butt and were able to pull out the victory, 2-1!

Auntie was bad, and realized on I-85 in Salisbury that she left the camera at home. At that point I was not turning back. One of the team moms had a nice Nikon camera - when I get the pics she took, I'll have to post a couple.

Go FASA!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Want One of These...

I have a 2005 Maxima, same Majestic Blue color. When I came out from lunch this afternoon, a 2009 was parked next to mine. Nice! Making my little baby look all beat up. This person had the black interior though, which I really wish I had - this heather gray is not the deal! Every bit of dirt shows up like it's nothing.

Anywho, the one parked next to me, it was clear the owner has had it for a while - he/she has already changed out the rims, and the windows are tinted.

Sigh. It's just a dream. I'm still payin' for the one I got. And that won't be over any time soon! In reality, if I could, I would downsize to an Altima with the 2.5 L engine and call it a day. Between the premium gas and the ridiculous maintenance costs, I should have just kept the Altima I had. Such is life!

But that new Max IS nice, though. I'm just sayin'.

Unresolved Feelings

I broke up with my ex-bf last summer. We were living together, and I moved out the first week of September, right after Labor Day. It's been 9 months...I was feeling good, thinking I had resolved all my feelings about the issue. I even tried casually dating someone, but that didn't work out 'cause he was/is retarded, and that in itself is a blog entry.

Last night, I went home and had a "me" evening. Lit my candles (I used to sell Partylite and I have boxes of stuff left over), had my wine, and fell asleep feeling nice and relaxed, around 9:30 p.m. What wakes me up at 2:30 a.m.? A dream about the ex. About seeing him out in public with the woman that he cheated on me with, and him finally admitting that he did cheat and that they had started a relationship before ours ended. The dream ended up with me ripping him a new one...I mean I have never cussed anybody out like that before, and that's what woke me up. I wouldn't be surprised if I was talking in my sleep. The dream was weird though, because the woman in the dream was NOT the chick he allegedly cheated on me with - it was somebody else that I know from skating. Weird! Anywho, I said "allegedly" because he will say to this day that he never did anything wrong...but that's another story for another blog.

I'm mad that I'm still mad about this thing! It's not a matter of wanting to get back with him, because I don't. He tried (back in the fall), and I made it clear that the trust was gone and there was no point. I'm not in love with him anymore. I think I'm just still angry. I'm angry about everything that went down. It was just so useless! It didn't need to be that way.

I want this anger gone. I know that I can't move on until it is gone. And it's not like it's there all the time (or maybe it is, and it's just repressed), it just seems to rear it's ugly head at random occasions. Au Naptural wrote a blog about giving up the things that weigh us down, because otherwise we won't be able to fly. That is totally on point. So why can't I give up the anger? I don't know. I guess I just need to pray about it. Y'all pray for me, too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I know you guys remember that scene from "Ghost," starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Vincent Schiavelli. Vince's character was mad pissed that Sam Wheat was on his train, and he made his feelings known. "GET OFF MY TRAIN!!!"

Well back in 2003-2004, a couple of co-workers and I adopted that phrase. When someone was calling us constantly, or bugging us about stupid things, we would say that they needed to get off our train. It makes us laugh, relieves stress, and helps us vent our feelings to each other.

Today has truly been a day where everybody needs to get the hell off my train. Like I'm [ ] <-- THIS close to screaming it to somebody over the phone. Just like he hollered it in the movie. I need for people to understand - while I get paid to handle your claim, I DO NOT get paid for you to be talking to me any kind of way. This economy has really made people lose their minds and their home training.

RB called me earlier this the midst of me being hella busy. I told him I was busy, but he kept talking. Asking me about bowling, etc. DUDE - I am at work and I am BUSY. I'ma need you to get off my train, right now. This is your stop. I'll pick you back up later when I have time.

I was talking to this woman earlier. She strained her ankle. She wants money like she broke a bone. Ain't gonna happen. While I was calmly explaining to her that she had a soft tissue injury and not a fracture, this heffa hung up on me! I called her back and she let it go to voice mail. I left her a message, with attitude, and told her to take it or leave it and call me back. If I wasn't at work, the end of that message woulda been, "and I'ma need you to get off my train!"

When will people understand, my train does not have room for all this extra dumbness?? Whether this is your stop, or not, I'ma need you to GET OFF MY TRAIN with the nonsense!!!!! I'm not even stopping the train anymore...I'm just going to push people off while it's moving.


It's blah today. We have had beautiful weather for the past two days. This morning? Cloudy. Reminds me of living in Upstate NY. Just dreary. I moved down here for the sun and fun. I coulda stayed in NY for this!

I feel blah today as well. As soon as I walked in this morning, and sat down at my desk, I felt my energy drain. It's like when you play video games, and you have a power/health level. They keep track of it with a meter on the side of the screen. If you get hurt, your power level drains. Mine is in the yellow right now...I will do my best to keep it from going down into the red.

I just looked at my diary (a claims "to do" list), and I have so much to do. All I could do was look at it and sigh, and then log on to write this blog. It's Thursday, and I'm supposed to skate from 6:00 - 9:00, but I think I'm going to skip it, and spend the evening "recharging."

What do you do when you find yourself needing to recharge?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Calgon, Take Me Away!

I work in insurance. Claims, specifically. Right now, I am working for a third party administrator. In plain English, we process claims for a specific client that is self insured. It's their money - we just dole it out accordingly. In reality, if they say "jump", we ask "how high?" But that's another story for another time.

This is a fairly busy season for this client. Which means we are getting slammed with new claims. We recently realigned our units, according to states/territories. I was working the Northeast, but now I have been switched to the Central unit. I feel like someone pulled the okie-doke on me. It seems like I have 3x more work than I ever had in my old unit. I'm constantly working unpaid overtime. While unpaid overtime is sort of a given/expectation in the claims world, I don't want to be working it all the time. I might not have the most exciting life, but I'd like to live it - and I can't live it from the office.

When I was switched to this unit in March, we had 5 adjusters. One resigned at the end of April. I knew they would not replace this person, due to budget issues. We could still manage, although his work had to be split up amongst the office. I found out today that another co-worker is leaving. It's supposed to be temporary. I found out because I was given some of her work to do. I probably had a confused look on my face, so my manager proceeded to explain that this person would be out of work, and that she'd send an email explaining. Have we received the email yet? Nope. At this point, I just feel like "whatever!" I hope they have a plan in place, because I am really frustrated right now.

I feel partially bad about being frustrated. I know there are people out here who have lost their jobs, and they are looking for work. I know that I am truly blessed to be gainfully employed at this time. I may not have extra money, but my bills are paid. I totally get this, and I am NOT, by any means, wishing to be unemployed. It would be nice to get a "thanks" every now and then.

Back in March, we got some snow here. It wasn't a ton, but some areas got more than others, and some got ice. I knew that there would be many people who didn't show up for work. I had freakin' BRONCHITIS and should have been in bed resting, but I got up and took myself in to work. A few other co-workers showed up as well. Did we get a "thanks for coming in?" Oh no. We got to hear about how the office manager was pissed that more people didn't show up. Um. OK.

It's the little things like that, which just grate on my nerves. Yesterday and today were hella busy. Tomorrow will be as well. Such is life. At least I have this blog to vent!

Interview Project

Last night, I started thinking about family history. I'm not sure why. It just came to me. I remembered being in elementary school, and even in high school, and having to complete projects related to our family history, and having NO CLUE. When I was younger, my grandma used to tell us all kinds of stories, but at age 8, I was only half listening...and certainly had no clue of the impact it would have on my future, if I didn't have this information.

My aunt (my mom's oldest sister) always tries to do a family tree project at our family reunions. She drew this big tree on a sheet...and she cut out "leaves" for people to fill out. Somehow we never get around to filling it out. Maybe we will get it done this year in Detroit.

My grandma is 98 years old now, and unfortunately has dementia. She's no longer able to relate those stories. My aunt remembers a lot of them, but not all of them. I don't want to miss out on stories from my parents...they are in their 60s now. I want them to give me as much information as they possibly can.

I decided I'm going to do some interviews with my family members. I'm going to start with my parents and work my way out from there. I'm sure it will have to be a series of interviews with each person. I want to know their favorite stories from childhood. How they got their names (were they named after someone?). I know that both my mom's and my aunt's birth certificates were filled out wrong when they were mom's name is Flora but I believe her birth certificate said "Florence" - the nurses could have cared less about what my grandma said, apparently. I want the tidbits like that. I know that during her childhood, my mom picked cotton during her summers, to help my grandma earn money to support the family. I know some of the stories about how she met my dad, and their teenage years when they were dating. I don't know a lot of my dad's stories...maybe because he doesn't talk as much as my mom? LOL!

In any event, I want all of these things documented. I want my nieces and nephews to have some things to talk about, should they have a project to complete. Should I ever have kids, I want them to have access to this information as well. We have so much technology available to us, at this point, there's no reason NOT to have this information documented!

I know what kind of basic questions I'm going to ask, but if you all have any ideas for fun/interesting questions, lay them on me. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Skating rink crush

I don't even know if this goes under "Relationships and Dating," because we're not in a relationship and we're not dating. But I don't have the energy to think up another category, so that's where it's going.

I have this crush at the skating rink. We're going to call him KC, 'cause that's where he's from - Kansas City. I knew it was somewhere in Missouri by the way he skates. I originally guessed St. Louis. I LOVE the way he skates. It's just so SMOOTH. And different from everyone else. We don't really have a skating style in NC. We are a hodge-podge of different styles. We have some folks from New York. We have some Chicago/James Brown skaters. We have a few Detroit skaters...then we have the youngins who think they are extras in ATL...

Anyway, he's so cute! He has dimples. And he's nice and can actually hold a conversation (as much as you can talk while skating). He will usually come and find me on the slow songs, because I can't keep up with him on the fast ones. He generally saves me from my Skating Rink Stalkers...usually some older men who are looking at me like I'm naked. Ugh. But besides that, me skating with KC usually causes a problem with Roll Bounce. I've told RB that he needs to get over it...I don't get to see KC often. He works/lives about an hour and a half from here, so he is not at the rink every week. I gotta get my skate in when I can! I come to the rink to skate, and that doesn't mean I'm always going to skate with the same person. Fools act like we are up in there dating or something. We're just skating! LOL

And that's really all it boils down to. I just like skating with him and talking to him. I don't want his number. I know his first name, but I don't even need to know his last name. We don't even have to interact when we are outside of the rink. I just need him to glide me around the rink for a few songs, and then I'm good for the rest of the week! LOL

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Randomness!

I think Randomness is becoming my favorite label this week.

I am up, even though I want to be sleeping. I decided I would be good and start the laundry. I want to change out my comforter set, but my blue set is my favorite one, and I might have to take my cat out if she gets up there with her claws. I guess that means I'm just keeping the door closed to the bedroom.

Breakfast today will be oatmeal and a banana. Then on to take my supplements and get started on my daily water intake. I have such a hard time staying on track when the weekend hits. Yesterday I really wanted brownies and ice cream. For real, for real. But, RB came over and had a sensible dinner request, so we had one of those Tuscani Pastas from Pizza Hut (the Chicken Alfredo), with bread sticks, and then he ordered some of their wings. He wanted to know why I didn't want any of the wings...I had to break it down for him. When you attend college in the city that is the home of the original buffalo wing, you can't just eat any ol' wings! Besides, Pizza Hut's wings are soggy. I like my wings to be more crispy, and then covered with sauce. Like the BBQ wings they serve at La Nova Pizzeria and Wing Company. La Nova's probably got about 65% of the extra money I had available for food back then.

I never left the house yesterday. I watched convocation on the Internet. One of these days I will actually attend. I did attend one of their social events, but I don't know if I'm ready to sit for 5 hours (although they do take a break in the middle for lunch) and study. Yesterday's lesson was on the question: "What is Righteousness?" I now know at least 3 scriptures I could point someone to when answering that question. Yay me! :)

This weekend I will be in Greensboro, NC. My nephew has a soccer tournament, so I am going to meet my sister there so I can attend. My nieces and nephews always have some kind of classic quote that makes me bust out laughing. They are older now, so it's not as frequent, but when they were younger? Out of control. Like the time my sister took the three of them to McDonald's. They went through the drive through, and apparently there was a longer wait than normal. It's quiet and then all of a sudden my niece busts out, "I thought this was supposed to be FAST food?!?" I laughed for days after my sister told me about that. If that's not funny to you, I guess it's because you don't know them. Those kids are hilarious. I can't believe they are 15, 12 and 10 now. They were all born in September, so my sister will officially have 2 teenagers in the fall.

OK, wait - why is my neighbor outside walking his dog in his PJ's?

Anywho...Snapped is on. I love me some Snapped. I watch it every Sunday, even if I've already seen the episodes. I have a couple of ex-bf's who might end up on Snapped...I gotta be ready if they call me for the interview. I have told them that one day they are going to run into a chick who is not as nice as I am. And I'll be sitting right there in front of that little fake background they have, giving my quotes. LOL!

Have a great Sunday, fellow bloggers!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

You know you're in your 30s when...

...your metabolism rebels. From ages 13 to 26, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and not have to deal with consequences. I could shake a leg at the treadmill and keep it moving. The little bit of weight I gained after college wasn't that much. I didn't even get the Freshman Fifteen. I actually gained it my senior year, but I was still a size 8. I got out of school and joined Gold's Gym. My trainer was awesome...I saw his before and after pics, and knew that he knew the deal. I got back in shape. Everything was gravy. Then I moved to the good ol' Dirty South.

If you don't have some meat on your bones down here, they think you are sickly! All the women at my job made it their mission in life to feed me. I was eating things I never saw up north - squash casserole, broccoli casserole...they pretty much make a casserole out of everything down here. Don't even get me started on the sweet tea. Everything was still gravy, until age 26 - that's when the bottom fell out.

I started dating KappaC when I was about 25 or so. He loved to cook. His dad had a restaurant back in their home town, and when he was younger he used to help with the cooking. I worked a part time job back then, and wouldn't get home until almost midnight. If I went to KC's house, he usually had some type of gourmet deli sandwich or SOMETHING waiting for me. The pounds sought me out with a vengeance, and I didn't fight them.

We broke up when I was 27. I was going through back then, probably depressed, but I didn't try to do much about it. The pounds kept coming on. I didn't think much about it, because I was gaining gradually. Around this time I cut my hair off and went natural. My dad and my brother came down so that we could all go to Savannah to see my dad's side of the family. While there, we took all kinds of pictures. When they got home and showed the pics to my mom, she did not recognize me! That shoulda been a clue right then. By this time, I was up to about 170 lbs. I am not sure how high I got, because at some point I stopped looking at the scale. 170 lbs might not sound bad, but at 5'2", that was just too much on my bones. My knees hurt constantly. Not good for me at all.

I look back on pics and I can definitely see how much I gained. I probably would have continued down that path, but my best friend decided that we should all go to Hawaii, in celebration of turning 30. She challenged me to be able to wear a bikini while we were there. This was October 2004 - the trip was in August 2005.

I had been working out sporadically, but I wasn't changing my eating habits, so it was basically useless. In January 2005, I decided I'd had enough. A group of co-workers were going to start doing Weight Watchers. I knew I didn't want to go for weigh ins, or anything like that. I gave a co-worker the money to get me the menu books and the ruler to calculate the point values of every food I was eating. I was on a mission. I dropped about 20 lbs, and my best friends and I were stylin' and profilin' down in Hawaii!

I have been able to keep this weight off, for the most part. Actually, when I started skating 4x a week when I was in GA, I lost more weight. I came back to Charlotte for a visit in spring 2007, and my friend Ron told me I needed to mix in a steak. LOL! Once I moved back in fall 2007, I started to get back into old habits, and I gained a few pounds back. Luckily, I can recognize when I'm going to far, and I know what to do to get back in gear.

However, I have noticed in the past couple of years, it has gotten harder to take it back down. Back in October, I weighed in at 151 lbs. I knew that I had lost muscle mass because I wasn't working out. If I had the body fat measurement calipers, I would not have been happy with the results. I hit the treadmill again, and did some weight lifting, and I have been able to bring it down. My goal was to get down to 135, but I don't think I have the dietary discipline to do so. At this point, I'm trying to make sure I maintain muscle, and get my cardio on. I have scrapped my plan to do the Peachtree Road Race in July, but I may try to run the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure in the fall. I figure if I put that in writing here, I'll have to try and live up to it. LOL!

Right now, the plan is to do cardio/weights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I skate on Thursday evenings and Sunday evenings, and I bowl on Wednesday nights after I work out. If I had been doing all this in my 20s, I'd probably be a size 4. Right now, I'm just lucky to maintain what I've got going. My ultimately goal is to burn fat and increase muscle mass. I was doing well, and then I got bronchitis in February, and a nasty ear infection last month (I wouldn't even wish that on my worst enemy, if I had one!) We shall see! If you've got health and fitness endeavors, I wish you well. While we are running around taking care of everyone else, we need to remember to take care of ourselves. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Randomness

I would have loved to post some type of old school video link here, but my job blocks YouTube, and frankly I should probably be working. LOL! Got a few random things to post about:

A friend called me yesterday, by mistake. He was trying to call a lawyer friend about a business he is starting. I was on my way to the rink, but we took a few minutes to catch up. He told me he was about to break up with the woman he had been seeing. When I asked why, I expected the usual answers: "we're growing apart...we're not interested in the same things...somebody cheated on somebody..." you know - the usual. The woman he was dating has multiple schlerosis. She is losing her sight. She can't move around as well. She asked him to come with her to her last doctor's visit, so he could see exactly what he'd be getting into. The doctor basically said that everything is going to get worse. She knews that he has a daughter (she's about 7 or 8), and that he wants to have more kids; she's not in the position to move forward with that, so I guess that's why she brought it up. He said he loved her and this was a really hard decision to come to. It just made me think - if I met someone who had MS (or some other debilitating disease), would I have ever started dating them? If I did, would I be able to stick with them through something like this, or would I have to go? Tough questions. I realized I don't have the answers right now. When you marry someone, it really is for better or for worse. I just know that I can't get into a relationship for the wrong reasons. I've seen people stay together because sex is good. OK, what happens if he has a car accident and he's paralyzed from the waist down? Now what? Things that make you go hmmm.

On another note, why did R call me last night? I was at the rink, so I didn't answer. He then proceeds to send me a series of text messages. He says he's been thinking back, realizes what mistakes he made. How I was the best woman he ever dated, and he wants me back. Will I give him another chance? Yeah, no. It took me about 8 text messages, but I think I broke it down for him so that he will never approaching me with this tom foolery again. His response was, "ok." Good. I hope you are ok. Get your mind right. You are realizing things you SHOULD have been realizing when we were dating, and I can't help you now!

It's time to introduce a new character. I'm gonna call him Roll Bounce, or RB for short. RB is really cool. He's 10 years older than me - let's hope there aren't going to be any whack duffel bags! Anywho, RB is very persistent. I ended a relationship back in didn't end well. After that, I decided I was going to just chill. Learn how to date again, etc. When I started skating back in January, I noticed that the vibe in Charlotte is totally different than in Atlanta. In Atlanta, if you are new to the rink, people KNOW it, and they come up to you and start talking to you, skating with you...etc. Especially the guys. So in Charlotte, I noticed people were not as friendly. Or maybe just shy about approaching people. I saw RB a few times before he came up to me and said hello. Then he asked to skate with me. Eventually he helped me work on my backwards skating, taught me some new moves...and now we pretty much skate together all the time. Which has led to other men coming out of the wood work - mainly NY and St. Louis, as I like to call them (because of their skating styles). Those dudes are another blog for another day.

Anywho, RB and I have been talking. A lot. We have great conversations. He is helping me with my study of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). And of course, we skate. He doesn't pressure me, but he has made his feelings clear. I'm just not there right now. He's trying to wear me down, like Urkel and Laura. I shall not be moved! LOL

I told y'all this was gonna be really random...I just spent my first hour at work writing this blog and emailing folks. I guess I should do some work now! I have become the "go-to" person in my unit, when crazy claims come in. I just got an email from my supervisor...with a forward of an email a customer's wife sent in on a new claim. She sounds Looney Tunes. This person will need extra hand-holding...apparently I am the expert of my unit when it comes to that. I appreciate being the go-to person. Sometimes. It lets me know that my skills are recognized. But, it's also frustrating to have to put out fires first thing in the morning. Or any time of the day, really. I don't have the patience for whiney folks. But, I'm about to get a great big does of Whiney McWhinerson in a couple of hours. Ah well. Such is life.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dating older men

A friend of mine wrote a blog about dating older men. She and I used to work together in Atlanta. She should be about 25 right now...or something like that. Much younger than me. She has way more gumption than I had at that age. Anywho, her blog discussed the reasons for possibly looking for an older man - more stability, the person is more grounded and has already "sown his royal oats," and other things similar.

I have to disagree...or maybe I'm just meeting the stupid older men. Take this guy I met in Atlanta in my bowling league...we'll call him Ashy Larry. AL worked for UPS...and brown clearly could do nothing for me. He got the nickname AL from myself and my teammates, because his knees were CONSTANTLY ashy and he always had those dayum brown shorts on. Lotion, fool! Olive oil! Crisco! Somethin'.

So Ashy Larry takes a liking to me. He's not completely unfortunate. I could always keep a vat of Curel in the car. AL invites me to go to dinner with him after church one Sunday. We plan a time, and I figure what the heck. I had just gotten out of a stupid relationship, and needed to learn how to "date" again. That Sunday arrives, and Ashy Larry calls...he's going to be late because they have a meeting after church with the deacon board...blah blah blah. OK, fine. I can't really knock him for being involved with the church, right?

So 5:00 p.m. rolls around...then 6:00 p.m., then 7:00 p.m. By 8:00 pm. I'm halfway between worrying that something happened to him, and cussing his azz out for wasting my dayum time! I had no other plans that day, but still.

He doesn't call over the next couple of days. I see him at the league that Tuesday and I am most certainly giving him the side-eye. I have a hard time keeping my feelings off of my face, although some of my friends are worse than me. Now AL's parents are older and they have some health problems...he tells me they had to take his dad to the hospital. I'm thinking, "ok - that is forgiveable." But oooooooooh no. That is not the reason AL stood me up. This FOOL said, "well the meeting ran late, so after we got out I went to dinner with the deacon board."

Um. You and I had dinner plans. You went to dinner with the deacon board?????????? JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL. I just sighed and walked away.

Now, my birthday rolls around (in January). AL gets wind of this. He approaches me and says, "I want to get you something for your birthday." I tell him it's not necessary...mostly because I can just imagine what sort of foolywang mess he is going to show up wtih. My birthday was on a Saturday. So the following Tuesday at league, my team is bowling the "vacant" team, and we finish earlier than everyone else. I'm about to leave and AL comes running up to me and says, "I have your present in the car." Sigh. OK, fine. We walk out to the parking lot.

I put my bowling bag in the car and turn around. He comes up to me with this black duffel bag. Now, AL bowls on several teams in different leagues. They all have the same name. I'm not going to give it here, LOL. But him and several members of his team have personalized license tags with the initials of the team name. I would imagine they have all sorts of goodies with the team initials on it. You will see why this is important in the next paragraph.

I look at the bag and notice the following:

1. At the top of the bag, his freakin' team initials are embroidered. Fool, I am not on your team. Why do I want a bag with your team name on it? Which leads me to believe that you had this bag chillin' in your closet and came up with the DUMB AZZ idea that it would be a good present for ME. Negative.

2. This fool has had my entire GOVERMENT name embroidered onto the bag. My first name on the left side of the bag, and my last name on the right side. My first name is in white thread, and my last name is in red. WTH? He's telling me that I can take the bag to use when I'm traveling. Do you think I want to be walking through the airport with a duffel bag with my ENTIRE GOVERMENT NAME WITH NON-MATCHING EMBROIDERY????

3. This fool has spelled my last name wrong. Anybody who knows me in real life, knows that gets on my nerves. But what really irritates me about that is, this dude is the LEAGUE TREASURER. You see my name EVERY WEEK when you collect the dues. Seriously???

4. It's a freakin' DUFFEL BAG. You coulda got me some flowers. A card and some candy. Just a card, frankly. What woman do you know who puts "duffel bag" on her birthday wish list???

Thankfully it was dark outside, because at this point it's about 9:30 or so. I don't think he saw my face, otherwise his feelings would have been hurt, and he was sitting there all jipper-looking. I can't even remember if I said thanks. He just kind of gave it to me and then was like well, "I have to get back inside" and walked away. I remember throwing the bag in my trunk and being thoroughly done and outdone. My teammates had already left the parking lot, so on my way out, I proceeded to call them and tell them about the whack azz present I had received. They were crying laughing at me. That was not that funny, y'all!

I am just verklempt at recalling this mess, and I can't write any more. But, I have more stories about older men. I'll have to share them later.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beauty Tip of the Day - Coconut Oil

This one is short and sweet - and it's related to hair care AND skin care. :)

I don't profess to be the expert when it comes to all things hair, and especially NOT an expert when it comes to skin. My skin and I have a love/hate relationship. The smallest changes wreak havoc. Between the stress of the summer (break up of a relationship), and change in medication, my skin decided to take a hiatus from being healthy. My face, my back, my shoulders, my chest...all broke out. But that's another blog. For now, I'm going to tell you about coconut oil.

Coconut oil is FREAKIN'. AWESOME. It is a moisturizing oil, but it can also be used as a sealant on your hair. Sealing your hair is the process of moisturizing your hair with a water based moisturizer, and then using oil to "seal" in that moisture, so you don't use the benefits. You can also use coconut oil on your skin. It is an excellent moisturizer. Coconut oil will turn solid in lower temperatures, and will liquify in warmer temperatures. If it's soild, scoop some out into your hand - your body heat will begin to immediately liquify it. It is lighter than shea butter (my other love) and much easier to spread. It's a great oil to use for massage. I've had enough foot rubs in the past week to testify to this...

Here is a great article on the benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin. This is the scientific breakdown that I can't give you...once you read this, your understanding of the benefits of coconut oil will be "forever and consistently broke" (all my love jones fans know that line, lol).

Coconut oil is also a major ingredient in Ayurvedic hair care. I have a mostly Ayurvedic regimen going now, and I love it. Coconut oil and sesame oil are the base oils for most Ayurvedic mixtures. Ayurvedic health care originated in India, but is becoming more and more popular around the world. To find out more about Ayurveda in general, click here. There is more to come on this subject - stay tuned for a blog about my specific Ayurveda hair care regimen.

To sum up, coconut oil is a great multi-use oil. Whether on skin or hair, I think you'll find the benefits to be great. I haven't bought regular lotion in months. Try it and see! Just make sure that the coconut oil you buy is unrefined coconut oil. The refining process removes all of the benefits.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What's with all those pills?

I get asked that question A LOT. I carry around a pill box with all the supplements I take on a daily basis. This post is all about supplements. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible, but it's a lot of info. If you're at work, you might want to check this one out at home. Unless you just don't care. LOL!

**DISCLAIMER!!!** Everythang ain't for everybody. Do your research. Consult with your doctor before trying any vitamins or supplements. Read and re-read! Trust me.

Now back to our show:

The basis of my supplemental program is Bargello's Regimen. Definitely read that link. She breaks down the supplements and what they do for your body and your hair. Bargello was a member of one of several online hair care communities. She had cancer and lost all her hair during treatment. She used this regimen to help grow it back. I use some of her stuff, and then I have tweaked it and added other things. One thing I don't do is the protein shakes. I probably could get up in the morning and make them, but I'm just too lazy for that right now. We'll see. Here's what I take right now:

MORNING (taken with breakfast):
Trader Joe's chewable multivitamin
Vitamin C - 1000 mg
Flax seed oil - 1000 mg
Evening primrose oil - 1000 mg
MSM - 1000 mg

AFTERNOON DOSE(taken with lunch):
GNC UltraNourishHair

EVENING (taken with dinner):
Caltrate (chewable calcium supplement)
Vitamin C - 1000 mg
Biotin (5000 mcg)
MSM - 1000 mg

I have to get to the store to purchase some silica, and then I will be adding that back in as well. I am also doing some research now on Chlorella and Spirulina. These are super foods. I am liking what I'm reading so far (not just that link, but others - including posts on hair care boards from people who are currently taking them), and incorporating those, may mean I can remove some of the other things.

I take supplements because I KNOW I don't get enough of what I need during the day. Besides having benefits for your hair, these are nutrients that your body needs for optimum function. The best thing would of course be to get what you need from the foods you eat. But if you can't, there are supplements out there to assist you.

Like my disclaimer says - read and re-read. Take notes. Read up on any supplements you are thinking about trying. Know the benefits and risks, and always consult with your doctor to make sure the supplements will not interfere with any other meds you are taking.

If you're going to take MSM and biotin, ease into it. Those two have been known to cause break outs. MSM has a detoxifying affect on your body, which is why you can get the break outs. I have bad knees, so I take 2 doses of MSM...I need some help with the cartilage down there.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to drink a lot of water during the day. What you need to drink depends on what you read. Some people say to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water per day. Some people say to drink half your body weight, in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ozs of water per day. I use that as my minimum. I have four 700ml water bottles that I get when I buy water at the skating rink. I keep them ane re-fill them, and bring them to work in the mornings. If I drink all four of them, it's approximately 94.8 ounces per day. But at minimum I try to drink 72 ounces, which is about 3 bottles.

Anyone taking anything else they find beneficial for health/hair growth?


Sometimes I'm probably too nice. But if an ex hasn't really made an egregious error, I don't just completely stop talking to them. I don't have a problem with polite conversation. "How are you? How's the cat? How's your family?" Whatever. I don't want deep details about your current life, and I'm not going to give you deep details about mine. Anywho, I have an ex who I occasionally talk to on IM. Good ol' R.

Lemme tell you about R. If I had been out somewhere, like a club or something, and met R, we likely would have never dated. He's not someone that I would normally be attracted to. Yeah, I'm 5'2", but I like taller men. Or at least someone who's still taller than me after I put my heels on. He wasn't completely unfortunate, but he's not Idris Elba either. Anywho...we were talking online and I liked his personality, and that's what got him in the door (little did I know, he just sent his representative, and not the real R - more on that later).

I'm a WYSIWYG kind of girl. I wouldn't send someone a pic that was not an accurate depiction of me. If I gained 20 lbs, I'm not sending you a pic of me in college where I was eating like a starving Ethiopian. So he knew that I wore my hair in natural styles from the jump, he knew how I dressed, etc. I guess he took that as a challenge, because one of our main issues was his attempts to try and change me. "Why don't you wear your hair like this?" or, "I don't like those shoes with the chunky heels, why don't you wear this kind of shoe?" FOOL - back up off me. Only time I need fashion advise from you is if I try to leave the house wearing plaid and polka dots (which I would NEVER do, lol). If you want to mention what you like or what you'd think I'd look nice in, that's fine. But I don't wanna hear it 248 times a week, ad nauseum.

I asked a friend of mine how married life was treating him. He told me that people send out their "representative" while you are dating, and then you meet the real person when you get married. The way he said it, cracked me up. But now that I think about it, he is right. R sent his representative. The real R showed up later - the insecure R who was so worried about what other people thought about him, and he tried to preject that mess onto me. The one who never wanted to go out and do things, and got mad when I discovered I had more fun roller skating or bowling than I did sitting around the house watching him take on home improvement projects that his azz had no idea how to do. Know your skill set and stay within it, people! Needless to say, I chunked the deuces to him and rolled out. This was a few years ago.

Fast forward to yesterday. I send him a quick note to say hello. He's telling me about all these activities he's doing now...which strangely include bowling and roller skating, amongst others. Things that make ya go hmmm. I don't speak with him long, because I have errands to run. Later that afternoon, this dude sends me a couple of text summary stating that he still loves me and wants us to reconcile.

Is he crazy? Absolutely NOT. Shenanigans. Like my girl Whitney said:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Motherly Musings

I didn't get home from skating and hanging out until 4:15 a.m. I am beat. But I made sure to wake up and call my mom this morning. I don't want to feel the wrath. ESPECIALLY since I didn't get to mail the Mother's Day cards for her and my grandma. It's been a crazy week. She's doing the usual - headed to the Mother's Day brunch with family. I wish I could be there.

I often wonder if I'm going to be someone's mom one day. I'm getting too old to be popping out children. Not old in general, but old in "child bearing years." My nieces and nephews are getting so big now. If I do have any kids, their cousins will be so much older than them. Right there I'm already relegated to have at least 2, so they have someone to play with. Ugh. I don't know if I have the patience, either. At least once a week I want to lay the smack down on somebody's random kid acting a fool in public. I miss the good ol' days, when the village really did raise the child, and kids knew how to respect all the adults around them. I already know that if I do have kids, I'll be the mean/strict mother of the neighborhood...sort of like my mom was. But hey - at least their little friends will know that I don't play!

I'm not going to put a time limit on this thing...and I don't have a biological clock ticking...but I just wonder sometimes what the future holds.

My first blog!

Yay! My first blog. I've finally decided to share my thoughts and stories with the world. Hope y'all don't think I'm too crazy. LOL! There will be random postings about my, friends, work...I may even share a few dating stores. Maybe. We'll see. Oh, and I am a hair care fanatic, so expect to see information about that, every now and then.

Let the games begin!