Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tired

This has been one lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng weeekend. Saying goodbye to Grandma was a little harder than I thought it would be. I think because my mom had a hard time with it. She was at the nursing home with her pretty much every day before she passed. It was hard to watch her reaction.

Lemme tell you, my granny did NOT look like she was 99. She looked so pretty in her white outfit, with her white gloves and her hat. She had a white casket, too. Everything was beautiful.

It was nice to hear all of the comments from the people at her church. How she always had a kind word to say, and she would encourage people and always tell them to pray. All the activities she was involved in. That helped me to round out the picture I had of my grandma. Our families went to different churches (she went to the same church as my aunt), so I didn't know a lot about all her involvement and how many lives she touched.

My dad got up and told the story about how he went to my grandma to ask her if it was ok to marry my mom. He said he asked her, and my grandma said, "well did you talk to her yet?" We all chuckled. My mom is notoriously stubborn and sassy. He talked about how when Grandma lived with us, if they had a disagreement, she wouldn't take sides with mom all the time.

Then he messed us all up when he broke out with a verse from "In The Garden." Thank goodness LDR was there with me. He's been a great support system. Even got me to work out twice while I was here. Which is good, considering all the junk I've been eating.

The preacher told us during the eulogy that we were her legacy and that we should make sure we continue on passing down what she taught us.

I hope we can. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Le PEW!



So, tonight was Cardio Funk night. Somebody in class took the "funk" literally. If you smell like 7 skunks BEFORE class starts, that is a problem! Handle that! If you got to take a shower before you come to class, so be it! And then on top of that, your breath smells like 4 cloves of garlic. When Vincent Price said, "...the funk of forty thousand years..." this is what he was talking about. No. No, no, no, no, no.

I have burned her image into my head for future reference. I will never stand next to her again in class.

I will take two showers in her honor tonight. O_o

In other news, my co-worker came to class tonight. Bless her heart, she had a time keeping up. But I kept telling her not to worry about it. That was me in my first class. But 4 weeks into it, I know most of the routines. Although he did pull out some I hadn't done before tonight. I hope she's not intimidated and that she will come back. She said she had a lot of fun.

Andre said that he is going to have a class on New Year's Eve. I will soooooooo be there. He told us, even if there are only 10 people, we WILL work out. I have a feeling there will be WAY more than 10. I'll be sure to get there early to get my coveted spot in the back.

I'm almost finished packing. I did most of it yesterday. Working on toiletries, etc. The airline cancelled my flight. I got home from work and had an automated message: "your flight has been cancelled." Nothing else. Uh, I need some more info?!? I called and they got me on a different one. At least now I don't have to be at the airport at the butt crack of dawn. More like the arm pit of dawn now. But its cool. Time to go home and celebrate grandma's life. :)

Not Quite

Last night, I was catching up on some blog archive posts, and I started grabbing at my hair and randomly twisting. I definitely need another inch or so before I think they could really start some locs. I'll probably wait until after the new year.

I had no intentions of twisting my whole head. Next thing you know:





So, I threw my scarf on and went to bed. They didn't look half bad this morning. I decided not to conditioner wash in the shower like I normally do. Instead I just took them out and fluffed with my fingers.

Had I actually been PLANNING this, I would have used a hair butter and would have done them all on damp hair. I just started haphazardly doing this after I did my scalp massage with oil. I had oil in my hair, and eventually did dampen and re-twist some of them, but I prefer the results from butters. I also would have deep conditioned.

Anywho, this is how we look going to work today:



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One More Thing



Just had to share this. Bogey last night, sleeping on her "bed" - which is a towel that she has commandeered and made her own. Once she started that kneading crap and tore up the towel, it became hers. I'm ok with parting with it. :lol:

Look at that "woe is me face." Really? You just eat, play, sleep, poop, beg for treats, beg to go out on the balcony, and wake me up too early on weekends. But it's a hard knock life, huh.

Oh, and she's scared of the ceiling fan in my bedroom. This cat is just weird! But she's mine.

Hidden Treasures

When I know I'm going to work out in the morning (or, at least, I've PLANNED to work out in the morning), I have to get my work outfit ready the night before. It's a wonder that this self-proclaimed non-morning person has been getting up for the past 4-5 months and hitting the gym in the morning as it is! Definitely don't have time to be fooling around with ironing, matching, and making sure stuff is actually fitting at 5:30am.

I pulled out a pair of black NY & Co slacks I purchased this summer. We'll have to talk about my love affair with NY & Co in another post...sigh. I was trying to decide what to wear with them, and finally settled on a top. Now, the shoes.

Would I go with the t-strap shoes I've been LOVING? Or another pair? This is where that whole shoe organization thing came in handy. And also where I realized that idea of the pics on the outside of the boxes would really come in handy.

Anywho, as I was perusing the boxes, I settled on these:


I haven't worn these shoes in ages. They pretty much got tossed to the side for newer shoes. I remember buying them, too. Well, not the date or anything, but I know I was in Atlanta at that time. I was obsessed with stacked loafers. I had found a brown pair, and pulled out a box that was SUPPOSED to be a black pair. I opened it up, and this pair was sitting inside.

The rest, as they say, is history. I thought they were cute so I made the purchase. I used to wear them quite a bit when I lived down there. I guess I need to do better about shopping my own closet.

So, those babies will make their re-debute (is that a word?) later today. As I was sitting here writing this, my right foot started throbbing. I swear, if I was just sitting on my butt eating bon-bons every day, there'd be nothing wrong with my foot. Absolutely nothing. But nooooooooo. I try to get up and get active at least 5-6 times a week and this is the thanks my body gives me. Shenanigans.

Lemme go hit this workout. Clearly, this will be a light workout day. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carolina Balloon Festival

I've been talking about going to the Carolina Balloon Fest in Statesville for 2 years now. The closest I got was seeing some balloons floating over I-77 as I returned from the Rack Room Shoe Outlet up in Statesville (somehow shoes HAD to be involved).

The festival was this past Saturday. I went to my workout class, drove all over hell's half acre to find a Planet Smoothie in Charlotte (I prefer them over Smoothie King). Finally got my smoothie and came home. Then my sis called with the news about my grandma. At that point, I just got kind of tired and lost all my energy. I was going to call my friend and tell her that I wasn't coming, but then I changed my mind.

The website indicated that balloon ascension would be between 4:30 and 5:30. I planned to get there around 4:00 or so. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! I guess me and everyone else decided to try and get here at that same time. And we ALL followed the directions that said to take Route 70. I literally sat on Route 70 for 45 - 60 minutes! Frustrated, tired, sad, mad...alla that. I called my friend S and told her I was going home because I was sitting in traffic and CLEARLY was not going to make it in. She told me she had turned down a side street, and she could already see a balloon in the air. She was there with her little daughter and her mom, who had come down from MD. I pulled over to a field, where some folks were already parked, and looked around. I couldn't see jack!

Luckily, I remembered passing the street where she had pulled off. I got there in time to see all 34 balloons take off. It was beautiful. I really wanted to get closer, because I wanted to get photos of the different colors up close, but it was still beautiful to watch them taking off and rising into the air. My camera sucks, but here is a little bit of video:

video

I wish you all could have been there in person with me. Once I saw those balloons, I knew that was right where I was supposed to be. Grandma would've approved. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Am Free

I AM FREE

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God laid for me
I took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, to laugh,
to love, to work or play.
Tasks undone must stay that way
I've found that peace at the close of the day.

If parting has left a void, then fill it
with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times,
a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now, He set me free.

--Author Unknown

Grandma passed today. And I'm trying to remember that most importantly, she is not suffering or in pain any more. She put in 99 good years on this earth. She baked the best lemon merengue and sweet potato pies ever. She taught me how to sit in my rocking chair, cross my chubby legs, and watch The Young and The Restless. If I wanted hot chocolate in the middle of the night, she got up and fixed it, with milk - the old fashioned way on the stove...and Hershey's Cocoa, not Nestle Quik.

She didn't want for anything. Her three daughters took care of her. She outlived all of her brothers and she (unfortunately) outlived two of her six children. She may have had dementia but she knew she was loved. My mom was at the nursing home every day, along with my uncle and my aunt. My mom was with her when she took her last breath. She died peacefully, in her sleep.

I don't know what happens now. I would like to think she's reunited with Uncle Rafe and Aunt Lennie, and she's smiling down on us.

RIP Grandma Rosa... 5/9/1911 - 10/23/2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yes, No, Maybe...

This afternoon, I got a bit of sad news. I don't remember if I ever posted about my maternal grandma on here. She's 99. She had a stroke recently and has taken a turn for the worse.

I don't know how/why, but my mom and I have some kind of ESP type connection. And EVERY time she has called to tell me something that's not-so-good, I always get this feeling when the phone rings. I got that feeling today. I was at lunch with my friends, but I didn't take the call. I listened to her message on the way back to work, and like I thought, it was not good info.

It's a wonder I got any work done this afternoon, because my mind was all over the place. I talked to LDR and let him know what was going on. He was his usual supportive self, and once again I counted my blessings in regard to him.

I left work around 5:20, as I promised a co-worker that she could have some of the boxes I still had in my storage area from when I moved 2 years ago. (Yeah. The storage area is not as organized as my closet.) She followed me home and I gave her the boxes. We chatted for a bit, and then she left.

I came in the apartment and it was just silent. I set about straightening up the kitchen and trying to keep myself occupied. Then I hear the phone. A text message. Gotta love Blackberry with the difference in the tones.

I pick it up and it's LDR. It says:
Will you "go with me?" Yes, No, or Maybe? *wink*

That made me chuckle. Yesterday we were talking about how folks used to say that back in elementary and junior high, and how we used to 'quit' each other. What the heck did we know about going with and quitting each other back then? Not a darn thing!

I sent him back a reply and said "YES!" He replied, "Figured you could use a smile."

Sigh.

I definitely needed a smile. And he provided it. And I didn't even have to ask.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In The Spirit of Organization

Why stop with the shoes. Let's get the purses in order, too:


(Ignore the junk in the corner. We're still organizing! :lol:)

Set of two purse racks that can be hung over the door, or they can be mounted on the wall. I chose the door, because this is an apartment. If this was a house, I would have mounted on the closet wall.

The price? $9.99 at BedBathandBeyond. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Yes, There ARE Dumb Questions

Are we just getting sillier by the minute? I mean the country as a whole. Or maybe it's just the cross-section I deal with on a daily basis. Phone conversation I just finished up:

Me: May I speak with John Smith?
Female on the phone: He was supposed to leave at 4:00 but let me check if he's still here.

:::places me on hold:::

Female: Nope. He's gone for the day.
Me: OK, may I leave a message?
Female: Hold on.

:::places me on hold again:::

Male pics up: How can I help you?
Me: I was holding so I can leave a message for John Smith

:::gives him all my contact info:::

Male: So...you want him to call you back?

:::crickets chirping:::

Me, in my head:

No. I want him to take the note and wipe his butt with it. Of COURSE I want him to call me back! Really? Are you really asking me this? Why do you think I'm leaving the message??

Honest to God. I simply CANNOT with people sometimes!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shoe Organization

I keep the boxes for my shoes. It makes for easy stacking and organization. I can pretty much recognize my shoes by the box, before looking inside. It helps that the manufacturers have started putting the name of the shoe and a small drawing on the outside.

But thanks to several trips to the Rack Room Outlet in Statesville, I had several shoes that did not have boxes. They are no-frills up there. The shoes are in boxes, but the tops are not included, and many times they're in the wrong box anyway.

At first, I was keeping all those shoes thrown into a big legal tote box that I had leftover from moving. But it was truly a pain to dig through there, and then the box started to fall apart. I took them all out, sent some shoes to MzInspiredMind, and then the rest were just kinda in there on the floor. Haphazardly. Time for a new solution!

Enter Wally World, and the $0.97 clear shoe tote. Sweet! $20.97 brought organization and peace of mind this evening. I can walk into my closet without tripping over shoes!

The totes:


The other shoes:


Granted, this collection comes nowhere NEAR the exquisite collection kept by the one and only Serenity_23, but I do what I can. :)

I've already noticed some culling that can be done. There are 2-3 pairs that I really have not been wearing. I remember buying them when I was living in GA. Will probably take those to Goodwill. I also saw another pair that needs some repair to the heel.

Well, at least the shoes are in order. The rest of the closet? Yeah...no. Gotta do something about the purses and my collection of fabric that I use for head wraps. And my box of shea butter and black soap is in there. I guess I could move that to the other closet. I just don't want to take up too much space in there, 'cause that'll be LDR's closet when he gets here. :)

I also plan on taking pics of each pair of shoes in the clear totes, and putting the pic on the outside. That might be a project for this weekend.

Assumptions

In the car, on the way back from lunch, I turned the channel to XM 70s on 7. What can I say - I love old school music.

They were in the middle of this song:



I love this song. Always have. And although some re-makes should be avoided, I think Intro did a good job with it, before Kenny Greene's untimely death:



For the longest time, I never knew who sang the song. I always heard it played on R & B stations, so I just assumed it was some random Black, R & B artist. Later, I learned his name was Bobby Caldwell.

Imagine my surprise when I looked him up this year, and this was him:



Uh. Yeah. Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha! That's what I get for assuming!

Outside The Box

Some things, I generally do like everyone else. Other things, I like to step outside of the box and do my own way.

Yesterday, LDR and I were talking about about weddings again. More specifically, what we would want to do. Now, my favorite color is blue. Has been forever. For some reason he is stuck on fall colors. I DO like fall colors. It's my favorite season. There's nothing like a decor with burgundy, green, yellow, and burnt orange, put together in the right combination. But would I want that for my wedding?

At one point he emailed me this blog link. I'm not sure which dress or outfit he was looking at, but this one caught my eye:



I thought the color combo was really pretty. I started looking up other Indian wedding attire and really liked what I saw. Of course, their traditional wedding color is red. I don't know that I'd want red, but I guess it would depend on the shade of red.

I thought this website had some pretty things as well, such as this dress:



I don't want my belly out, though. I guess I'd have to learn how to wrap the sari.

Anywho, just some things I was thinking about. I just know I'm not wearing white.

Speaking of, do you know why people started wearing white dresses? It's probably not what you think. Unless you're a history major/history buff, then you probably already know the answer. If not, read here.

Happy Wednesday!

ETA: I forgot to mention, LDR said he would wear sherwani if I went this route. Sweeeeeeeeeeeet. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is It Monday?

I see it's going to be one of THOSE mornings.

  1. Tossed and turned last night in my sleep. No restful sleep = bad start to my day.

  2. I get to work and hang up my clothes in the locker room, preparing for my work out. I look over into the shower and the shower head is hanging down. Someone has broken the plastic piece that holds it up. Later, this was problematic when I actually tried to take a shower. I was knocking bottles down and it was just a calamity of errors trying to get out of there without wetting up the whole locker room floor.

  3. I get into the workout room and I can't get the TV remote to work. The batteries are dead. The TV is up on the wall where only the Jolly Green Giant can reach it. Thankfully the remote for the DVD player works the TV.

  4. I jump on the treadmill, realize I'm thirsty. I look around - no water bottle. Why? Because when I took all my breakfast food up to my desk, I left it there. So I had to jump off the treadmill, run up there and get it, and didn't get started on my workout until about 6:35 - 6:40am. I had planned to get started at 6:15.

  5. The Blackberry is doing a remote software update and this thing has yet to get fully updated. I promise you it's been at it for about 2 hours now. Hurry up!


Look here, Tuesday. This is NOT COOL. I'm gonna need this day to be back in order by lunch time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kohl's - You Got Some 'Splainin' To Do!

Matter of fact, don't even bother. This is just maaaaaad ridiculous. And obviously the people in your marketing department don't have the sense God gave a nanny goat.

There were posts today from Curly Nikki and Black Girl With Long Hair about this today:



::::crickets chirping::::

For real? It's like that now? Obviously you have no clue, because wearing an Afro is about the furthest thing from "ghetto" that I can think of. Maybe if this was a rainbow weave or something. Why not call it "disco" or "Afro" wig? That's all you had to do, man. And if there's a wig of long, stringy, greasy hair that looks like it hasn't been washed in 2 weeks, are you gonna call it "Trailer Park Trash" wig?

Why are we still dealing with this ignorance in 2010? It's dang near 2011. What the deuce?

Foolery.

Just Shoot Me Now

Frickin' Shoe.Dazzle strikes again:



Sigh.

In other news, the boots I posted about the other day are gone in my size. That was nothing but divine intervention. But then again, that might be why they are now torturing me by placing THESE in my showroom.

Double sigh.

:::goes back to work mumbling about winning Power.ball numbers:::

A Watched Pot

It never boils. Isn't that what they say? It's so true. Now that I'm trying to grow my hair back out to start locs, it's like it's taking FOR-EV-ER. And I've been through this before. This is the third time I've cut my hair off. Seemed like when I was trying to keep it short, I was constantly in need of an appointment with the barber. Now? I feel like that narrator on Spongebob Squarepants: "6. Weeks. Later." and nothing has happened.

I'm almost done reading my book about locs. I'm concerned about the budding stage. I work out a lot. I sweat A LOT from my head. I love getting in the shower and slathering conditioner on my head every day. The process is going to change once I start to loc. I don't want to undo the loc process, but I can't have all that salt chillin' on my scalp, either. I wonder if I can handle the randomness of it all. I know the reward in the end will be great. I just need to learn how to handle the beginning and middle stages - and to enjoy them for what they bring.

There's a woman I've seen at CF class. Her locs are gorgeous! They're a little longer than shoulder length. She got to Saturday's class early, like I did. So I went up and introduced myself and told her that her locs were beautiful. Her name is Kim. We started talking and she said she started her locs when she was living in NY, and that she did it herself with some beeswax. I was telling her that I'll probably let a salon start mine so the parts can be somewhat straight. I'm also worried that the front will take forever to loc.

She told me a little bit more about her loc experience. She said she was surprised that I came up and complimented her because her locs are in need of retwisting. I guess because I am just used to natural hair, it really didn't occur to me. She had a headband on anyway, so I was looking at the length more than the roots. She talked about going to a salon here to get her locs retwisted, and I told her what I thought of that particular salon. We had to cut our convo short because class was about to start. She was really cool, though. She helped me to push some doubts out of my mind.

I can't wait to start this new hair journey! I don't have any choice but to wait, at this point. I'd like to have 2-3 inches of hair, so I'm probably looking at January.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SHENANIGANS. FOR REAL.


Really, dudes? 1-4? And WTH was that lateral BS at the end of the game. Y'all still my team 'cause you don't abandon your team when they're losing, but DAYUM. This is foolery at its finest.

You got beat by Methuselah Jenkins. And he was hurt. You're last in the NFC East. I'm not understanding.Just goes to show, even with all that talent that Jerry paid for, if you continue to get DUMB penalties, you will give the game to your opponent. Sigh.

On that note, I'm taking it to the skating rink!

Ayurvedic Scalp Oil

I love Ayurveda. Love, love, love it. What I don't love, is that the most popular manufacturers of the hair/scalp oils I would LIKE to use, insist on putting mineral oil into their formulations. Blech. Why? There are some oils without it, but few and far between, and none available at my local Indian grocers.

Yesterday after my aerobics class, I stopped by the grocer since I was on that side of town. I had everything else I needed, but not the shikakai powder.

I found a recipe that I liked here.

My ingredients:

My potpourri simmering pot:


I found that 100ml of oil seemed to not be enough for all the powders she used, so I added a bit more. I let it simmer for a little over 5 hours, then unplugged the pot. I chose a potpourri simmering pot, because it doesn't get as hot as some of the settings on regular crock pots. If your crock pot has a "warm" or "warming" setting, that would be good. Low was too much heat, and in my old crock pot it was like the oil was scorching.

I'm going to strain through cheesecloth to get the powder out. I'll make a follow up post after that's done and I get to try it out on my scalp.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Here!


And this here is why I go to Cardio Funkytown class two times a week. Look at the bottom edge of my shirt. Note it's a lighter color that the rest of the shirt. Why? Because the rest of the shirt is soaked with sweat! We had a GREAT workout today. There were some new routines that I wasn't quite used to. And I ran into someone from the rink that I hadn't seen in ages! We exchanged numbers. She's thinking of running the Disney Half Marathon. While I won't be able to run long mileage with her, I told her I'd try to do some short runs with her.

I'm glad he changed it up a bit. I like that I'm getting the hang of more of the routines, but I don't want to get too used to it. I love the Footloose routine. It doesn't make me think of the movie, though. It makes me think of an episode of Will and Grace entitled, "Bacon and Eggs." Jack is stalking Kevin Bacon, but he blames it on Will. Then ultimately Will and Kevin start doing the dance from Footloose. I think I'm gonna pop that in the DVD player right now for kicks and giggles.

Anywho, it's a great workout. If you're in the Charlotte area, you should come out! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gotta Love Rewards

Happy Friday!

I logged in to Cha.se to pay my bill, and decided to see how many points I've earned on my Free.dom card.

Now, the history on this card is that it USED to be my beloved Duetto Visa. Those bamas discontinued the program. The hawra! I pay my rent, cell phone, power bill, and cable bill on that card and then pay it off after the statement cuts. So I was earning myself a nice little treat at Starbucks every now and then.

Imagine my face when I got that notice in the mail that they were discontinuing the program, and converting my card into a Cha.se Free.dom card. Um. What the deuce? I want my Duetto Dollars! :::shedding a tear now at the memory:::

Sigh. So anywho, the rewards points have been building up, but I honestly haven't been paying them much attention. 'Cause you usually need about 1 billion points before you can get anything decent. Like with the airline miles. That's some shullbit.

Today, I checked the balance. Say word? :::goes shopping at Cha.se::: Some time in the next 7-10 days I should be receiving $75 in gift cards to use at O.ld N.avy. I needed some new jeans, so that will come in handy. And all from paying my bills.

Happy Friday indeed! Well, except for the part where I paid my bills online and my account balance will be awefully anemic by the time all the monies are withdrawn. Oh well. Still happy! :lol:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Boot Envy


These are in my Sho.e Daz.zle show room this month. Who wants to contribute to the $39.95 cause? I have yet to find a pair of camel boots that will fit over my muscular calves. Truth be told, these probably won't fit over them, either. But the best thing about SD is that you can send shoes back within 30 days, for FREE! And the original shipping is free. Free.99 is always good. Ya know?

Another reason I DON'T need these boots (read: me trying to talk myself out of these) is that it is yet another pair of heels that is not the greatest thing for me to be wearing, given my plantar fasciitis issue with my right foot. But, um...yeah. I've pretty much been ignoring that and wearing my heels every day, much to LDR's chagrin. Does it count that I take my shoes off at my desk and do stretching exercises and all that?

I was doing a pretty good job of IGNORING my showroom, and then here comes Barista talking about her awesome purchase. Those were also in my showroom, but then I asked them to send me new selections.

I might have to un-join SD when the Budget Freeze of 2011 kicks in. Sigh.

Workout Gear

I think I may have mentioned previously that I need some new sports bras and some new tops. I have plenty of bottoms from the Kohl's sale I raided in the spring. But my t-shirts are getting worn out. I like wearing my shirts from previous races, because I was smart enough to get them in a fitted size. Other t-shirts I have, they are huge. Good to sleep in, not so good to work out in.

Additionally, I sweat PROFUSELY. After last night's cardio class, my shirt was soaked at the small of my back, and during class I could feel sweat dripping off my head and down onto my chest. With this sweat comes the funk. After a while, my work out clothing tends to want to hold on to the funk. So, it was time for some upgrades.

I was in WalMart and found these goodies:



The shirts are DanskinNow moisture wicking shirts. Moisture wicking is important. It helps to protect you from chafing, and helps you stay a little drier.

I wore one of these last night to class and I loved it! It stayed in place during all the movement, so I didn't have to constantly tug on it. They are fitted (but not too snug) and hit at the hip as far as length. Well...they hit at the hip on me, but I'm only 5'2". It did what it was supposed to do, as far as moisture wicking.

And guess what? IT ONLY COST $7. Yep. $7. Are you kidding me? So of course, I stocked up. They had several colors: brown, blue, hot pink, green, white...there was a big table display.

The other thing I needed was sports bras. I actually bought a Danskin sports bra (not the one pictured)to wear in my half marathon last year, and it worked well, but I bought the wrong size. I didn't figure out until after the fact that it was too big.

Yesterday I wore another sports bra I had purchased, and it worked very well! I mean, the ta-tas are gonna move a little bit, unless you have a compression bra on. But for my somewhere between B-C cup tatas, this bra was sufficient. It's the DanskinNOW high impact sports bra. It has adjustable straps and a closure like a regular bra.

And guess what, again? IT ONLY COST $10. Yep!

I know that bra may not be enough support for some of my more amply endowed sisters, but it worked for me. If you're similar in size, check it out.

I also found myself stopping by Run For Your Life to pick up this:



Penguin Sport-Wash - it's supposed to be used on your workout clothes, instead of regular detergent, and is supposed to be better at removing odors. I haven't tried it yet, but I will in the next couple of days, and I will definitely let you all know how it works.

2011 - The Year of Minimalism

I've got to get my spending under control and reduce debt. This year I was just all over the place. The trip to Vegas, Jazz Fest with my sisters, my trip to NY...just too much going on. Add to that extraneous spending on dumb isht...so, yeah.

Next year is going to be really minimal. I'm already warning my friends and family. Ain't no extras. I will probably register for very few races, if any. I'm not going to be doing a lot of extra traveling or eating out. It's time to get this mess under control!

LDR and I were discussing random wedding plans (no, we're not engaged - yet) last night and I told him whatever it is, it has to be SIMPLE because I don't have the cash to be throwing some extravaganza. Somewhere in that convo, two tired and delirious people were discussing dancing like Turbo and Ozone at the reception...and something about a dress with fall colors. Which I don't know why 'cause he knows my favorite color is blue so he just needs to get with the program. :lol:

So, anyway...I give my blog friends/TwitterFriends/FBFriends permission to go slap off on me if I'm talking about shoes and clothes and a bunch of stuff that are wants and not NEEDS. Really. Just go slap off. Cuss me out. Well, not on FB 'cause my nieces and nephews are on my friends list. But you know what I mean.

My last hurrah for 2010 is the Frankie Beverly concert at the end of this month in VA with my sister (I already paid cash for the ticket) and my trip home to NY for Thanksgiving.

After that, I'm in chill mode. I feel like, if I type it here, y'all will hold me accountable. So, yeah. That's what I'm doing. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lunch Munch

This is today's lunch:


--Baby spinach leaves
--Hot house tomato cut into chunks
--Salad Pizazz Gourmet Salad Topping with Cherry Cranberries and honey toasted pecans
--Balsamic vinaigrette dressing (hadn't put it on when I took this pic)


I have Cardio Funkytown tonight and didn't want to have anything too heavy on my stomach. And one can never have too many greens in their diet. )I am not happy about this extra poundage around my mid-section and hips. Now that I'm not running, I really have to be more cognizant about what I'm eating. And really - increasing veggie intake should be a goal for life, anyway.

Now that I'm not running, I don't expect to be a trim 6, but I don't want to be a puffy 8, either. :lol:

Taking it day by day. Working on my 2nd liter of water for the day. I made it through Monday and Tuesday drinking all three liters of water. I've tried out some new foods. I am determined to use up the veggies in my fridge and make it work.

My weaknesses are bread and sugar. I don't really drink sugar-y drinks, but if you put a cookie, donut or piece of cake in front of me, you can forget it. Gotta do better on that front. I think my biggest dairy weakness is cheese and cheese sauces. I haven't eaten a bowl of cereal in months, so milk is usually not an issue. I'm weaning myself away from ice cream as well.

It's a work in progress, as per usual! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dinner is Served!



--Blackened Mahi Mahi
--Steamed green beans
--Baked sweet potato fries

The Mahi Mahi recipe came from here. The sweet potato spears came from Trader Joes, already cut and skinned and ready to cook.

The verdict? I like it. A few things, though:

Next time I will use WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY less Cayenne. Not sure what I was thinking about. Oh wait. I was watching Y & R. 'Nuff said. Also, as you can see by the recipe, they don't mention how much they used of each seasoning. So I just mixed an equal part of each but I did use less Cayenne than the rest of the seasonings. Clearly not a small enough amount for my delicate sensitivities (read: I don't really eat spicy food).

I will also use less cumin. Why didn't somebody tell me about that stuff? Good GRIEF! It tastes good but definitely don't need as much.

Other than that, I think I did a good job for my first time. The 2nd filet is a bit, uh, charbroiled. Like, if you remember at the end of The Five Heartbeats when Choir Boy was making the ribs? Yeah. Got a little sidetracked (darn you, Victor Newman and Katherine Chancellor!).

I have another mahi mahi steak in the fridge and I will try this again on Thursday. Tomorrow is Cardio Funkytown and I won't have time to do all of this before I go.

All in all, two thumbs up!

Grateful

I've got a pretty awesome boyfriend. After all the duds I've been through, I really should be shouting it from the mountain tops. But I'll shout it from the blog, for now.

If you've been reading, you know my dad gave us all a scare with his ruptured ulcer. He was in the hospital for about 4 days. The first 2 were in the ICU. He was discharged home and should be starting back up with the chemo soon for his stomach cancer.

I was talking to him over the weekend, asking how everything was going. We talked about what was going on at the church I grew up in, etc. The same stuff we usually talk about. Then he tried to get me with the okie doke. :lol:

Me: LDR wants to stop by and say hi, and he said he wanted to bring you some food. What kind of diet do they have you on since you left the hospital?

Dad: Well...I can pretty much eat a regular diet, just have to be careful about how much I eat.

Me: OK. Well what kind of food would you like him to bring?

Dad: Some soul food would be good...or maybe some ox tails.

Me: (thinking, bingo! LDR's dad has a Jamaican restaurant, ox tails - no problemo!) Well I'll let LDR know, and he'll probably stop by his dad's restaurant on one of his days off. Make sure you answer the phone when he calls.

Fast forward to yesterday. LDR sends me a text that he called my dad but he didn't answer. I told him to make sure to leave a message, because sometimes my dad won't answer if he doesn't recognize the number.

In the mean time, my oldest brother sends me a text asking me a question about my XM radio in the car. So I ask him if my dad has any appointments this week, because LDR is trying to reach him and he's not answering.

My brother's response: "Yeah, he had to have another transfusion today as his red blood cell count was a little low still. As far as the ox tails go, he still can only eat soft and non-seasoned foods for now... "

As Serenity would say, insert :::record scratching sound::: here!

Um...what? Dad, didn't I ask you what your diet was?!? A mess! I knew I should have called my mom! What in the world? Pulling the freakin' okie doke! All I can do is laugh, and be glad that divine intervention stopped him from getting those dang ox tails.

So, instead, LDR went and got him some of the protein shakes that he SHOULD be drinking, to help get his weight back up. He went by there to day and sat and talked with my Dad a little while.

I don't think he understands how much this really means to me. I can't be there, so it's like another connection for me with my dad. He thinks it's just nothing, and I'm sure it's not out of the way for him because they live relatively close. He's happy to do it. I don't really think he understands how much my whole family appreciates his efforts.

All in a day's work for Mr. LDR. I think, if I had asked people I dated in the past, if they could stop by or take something over to my Dad, I'm sure they would have. But I've never asked him to do anything. He always volunteers to do things without prompting. I honestly think, if one my brothers was unable to take my Dad to chemo on a Thursday, that LDR would just take him. Never mind that he'd be just getting off work and wouldn't have had any sleep. Never mind that the infusion takes quite a few hours. He'd take him, stay there the whole time, and bring him home safely. And it would be no big deal.

How the heck did I get so lucky?? :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Challenge!

During this hiatus, I've been challenging myself to do different things. For the last two weeks it has been to work out at least 6 of 7 days per week. Since I found the Cardio Funkytown class, that has been a breeze.

This week, I'm working on getting my water intake back up. I would like to get at least 3 liters per day. I'm just about finished with my 2nd liter for the day. I will refill the bottle and start on the 3rd liter during lunch.

I also want to increase my vegetable intake. As I'm reading further into "The pH Miracle," I don't know if I'm ready for the restrictive nature of this eating plan. But it is sort of common sense to cut sugar intake and increase veggie intake, if you want to feel better, etc. I don't know if I'll ever be able to truly alkalize. I'm still working on trying to be a healthier me.

How much water do you normally drink per day? If you don't drink a lot of water, what are the road blocks to increasing your intake?

Friday, October 8, 2010

8 Days Down, 23 to Go

Man, 23 days sounds like a LONG TIME! This Twitter/FB hiatus countdown is almost as bad as when I'm counting down the days until LDR and I see each other again. Which is 42 days as of today. :(

I miss my Tweeps! I didn't realize how much we really "talk" to each other, until about 2 days into this hiatus. I miss my fitness motivation. I miss the "Shoe Porn" pics of all the fabulous shoes. I miss hearing about what's going on with folks' spouses, kids, jobs...everything! I *slightly* miss certain folks talking smack about their football teams and trying to clown mine. Slightly. They know who they are. :lol:

I miss our group tv show time: comments on Glee, DWTS, Teen Mom, and all the NFL games. It seem crazy, but it feels weird to watch these shows and not trade comments with the tweeps. Kind of boring.

I do miss FB, but not as much. Being gone from FB just makes me feel like I'm "out of the loop." Like, two people from my hometown passed in the last week or so; I found out the old fashioned way, via my telephone convos with LDR.

But, I am getting my reading done, and my bedtime is more consistent. I start yawning around 9:30 and most times I am in the bed by 10:00. If not for the hiatus, I'd be up late trading comments, recipes, photos and everything else.

For those who were wondering, Dad is back home. He had some swelling in his leg the other day, so he had to keep it elevated. I think the culprit is him not taking his Prilosec. With his limited budget, he wants to spend his money on other things. I can sort of understand. I'm sure he feels like his life is hanging on a thread, and he wants to go out doing the things he loves to do. But I need him to take those meds. I think I'll send my mom some money so she can go to the store and stock up on a few boxes.

So, what have y'all been up to? Is everyone still exercising? Eating healthy? Rebuking foolery? I know y'all miss the FBP posts. I'll be sure to bombard you get you caught up with his foolery when I return. Stop by the blog and say hi! I think I've posted a blog every day since 10/1. :)

Really?

I always notice weird stuff. And now that I just got this Altima, I check it out periodically and notice different things. It probably stems from my days at the insurance-company-that-shall-remain-nameless, when I used to work in the field inspecting vehicles.

This morning, when I was getting out of the car, I checked my VIN tag. I had been wondering when the car was actually manufactured...again, like I said - just weird stuff that only I would care about. :lol:

Next to the VIN tag, I saw this:



It's kind of blurry, but it tells you a few things:

1. The vehicle seating capacity is 5 persons - 2 in front and 3 in the back.
2. The combined weight of the occupants in the vehicle should never exceed 899 lbs.

There's also some info about the tire size and tire pressure, but not relevant to this blog so we're moving on. :lol:

So I started thinking: who neeeds to be told that only 2 people can sit in the front? Isn't that sort of obvious with the 2 bucket seats? And then, if you weighed 180 lbs, and 4 of your friends weighed 180 lbs, and y'all decided to carpool, I guess you'd be 1 lb over the limit. Does the car just fall apart? Do the tires flatten? LOL!

I just can't imagine someone sitting around thinking about the weight of their vehicle occupants. I wonder how long they've had that tag on their vehicles? I bet someone filed a lawsuit about something relating to this. That's how most of the "common sense instructions for dummies" tags end up on products nowadays. Things that you scratch your head and get confused about why there even has to be a warning, no doubt somebody has filed suit.

And those were the random thoughts in my head this morning. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sage Advice

One should probably NOT get up before dawn, do 35 minutes on the elliptical, work all day, and then go to Cardio Funkytown class from 7pm - 8pm. Especially if one has plantar fasciitis.

That is all. :lol:

Now We're Cookin'...

They couldn't install my XM, but at least they put my tag holder and Dallas Cowboys tag on the front of my car. Now we're cookin' with gas!



What's on the front of your car? Sorority tag? Favorite sports team? Or are you in a state where license tags are on the front and the back of the car, like in NY and VA?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So...yeah. Day 5.

I'm writing this from the Starbucks in Concord Mills. I'm here waiting to get the XM radio installed by Best Buy (cheaper than the dealer. They took the wires outta Maxiniti for me, but wanted to charge DEALER LABOR to install in the Altima. Uh, no. Rat Bastids.)

Well - of course, as I was finishing that, Best Buy called. So I'm finishing this from home.

Day 5 observations:

*I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit more productive at work without the shenanigans of Fb and Twitter.

*Clearly, I need to carry a book with me for the next 26 days! I had all this lag time while I was waiting for the car. I could have tweeted like a mad woman! Instead I sat in Starbucks looking forlorn. :/

*These two college girls talked NON-STOP the entire time I was sitting in Starbucks. Did I talk that much when I was 20?? Jesus.

*These Dead Sea Cosmetics folks are gonna learn to stop flagging me down from their kiosks. I will make you waste time and product doing a demonstration on me. I told you in the first 10 seconds that I make my own stuff and I'm happy with what I got. But if you want to exfoliate my wrist, knock yourself out. Oh - I'm gonna need to see the ingredients list before any of that touches me. Thanks.

*The guy who installed my XM was named "Shirley." I'm sure it was a derivative nick name, but I hate I didn't ask what his actual first name was.

*Yesterday, I found 2 gift cards in one of my wallets. One was a Victoria's Secret gift card that my friend Korin gave me for my birthday. In 2007. Yeah. The other was a Banana Republic gift card my old supervisor gave me for Christmas...in 2008. ::::hangs head in shame:::: Free money!! $30 and $25, respectoively. I am the proud new owner of 5 pairs bikini undies from VS, and 2 Banana Republic shirts. Score!

Hope you had a good day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's In The Mix

I wrote a previous blog about product ingredients, after attending a seminar entitled "What's In Your Hair Care Products." I don't know why, but attending that seminar really made an impression on me.

Well, I know part of the reason why: I heard the word "cancer" several times. There's been a LOT of cancer in my family. A lot.

So now, I pay more attention to ingredients. I pay more attention to side effects listed in these drug commercials. I was just watching one for this new drug called Stel.ara. They straight up said that this drug may cause you to get tuberculosis, or even worse - cancer. HUH? Isn't this supposed to be helping you heal?

The other day, iHerb posted a tweet about 8 ingredients to avoid. I was already familiar as I had talked about these same ingredients earlier this year. I re-tweeted the link and said something to the effect of, "your beauty is important, but your health is more important."

A fellow tweeter basically said, that's all well and good, but I just have to trust that I'm under the grace of God.

Hmmm. OK.

I don't know how I feel about that. This happened shortly before my hiatus, and with everything going down with my dad, I really didn't get to respond to her. But, I think God would want us to do better. When you know better, you do better. Hey - nobody's perfect. Pedicures are still my weakness. I have yet to make a move to get any toluene-free polish. :::scratches another entry on to-do list::: But, I think He put a lot of plants and botanicals on this earth that we can use to take care of ourselves, and we've just taken it to the next level with all the synthetics.

Take deodorant, for example. I still struggle with this because I just sweat like a pig. There's really no other way to put it. I struggle with getting natural deodorants to work with me, because they are NOT anti-perspirants. They are deodorants. But anywho - one of the things I noticed when I was using The Crystal regularly, is that the hair under my arms grew in faster! I thought I was crazy. I mentioned it to my friend Kenya, and she just gave me her usual "um...duh!" look. LOL!

So that got me to thinking: wouldn't the same follow for the follicles on my head? We hear people focusing on growing their hair and complaining about its health, but they are probably hindering it with the very things they're putting on their scalps to try and make it grow. I don't know. I see people whose hair is thriving and they don't care about ingredients. Which is perfectly fine. My scalp, on the other hand, was not thriving - so I decided to make a change.

I guess I'm a Natural Ingredients Na.zi. So be it. I'll take that label.

I just want to pass on information I feel strongly about. If people don't agree with me, then so be it. I've said my piece. And I'll keep saying it. If it helps one person, then I did what I was supposed to do. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Patience...it IS a virtue, right?

Yesterday, after the cardio class, I had to stop by the grocery store. Bogey needed cat treats and kitty litter, and I needed some food items. I went to the Food Lion that's close to my apartment, because it was on the way home.

I call this store Ghetto Food Lion. When I say it, my friends know exactly which location I'm talking about. They moved it from it's original location and built a new building, but that did not change a DANG thing. Frequently I go in here and they have like 20 check out lanes, but they'll have 4 cashiers working. What the deuce?

That was the case yesterday. It was around noon. There were several shoppers in the store, and when I went to check out, all the lines were long. And moving slow. O_o

I chose a line and prepared to wait. This would have been a GREAT time to tweet/FB, but of course, I'm on hiatus. So I'm just sort of standing there looking around, noticing my surroundings, and wishing I could tweet my thoughts. :lol:

After a while I notice this line is REALLY taking a long time. WTH is going on? I look up and this older woman is at the front of the line. She has apparently checked out. She has a basket full of bagged groceries, but now she's reaching into the basket and randomly pulling out things and handing them back to the cashier. I thought maybe she overspent, and just needed to take a few things off the bill. But then we (myself and the rest of the folks in line) can see that she's taking out more than a few things. She's pulling out all the produce items and handing them back.

Around me I hear, "this is ridiculous!" and "why is this line so slow?" and "what the heck is this lady doing?" Those were my initial thoughts as well. I've said before, I really don't have as much patience as I used to have. I was thinking, really lady? DID you not know what you could spend when you got here? How do you get a CART LOAD of groceries, get then rung up and bagged, and THEN you realize you can't pay for it all?? My feet were hurting from that cardio class, my legs were hurting, and I was definitely ready to go. Mood: aggravated.

Then, I happened to glance at the woman's face. She didn't look frustrated or angry, she looked sad. So that made me feel sort of bad about being impatient, like maybe she was having some sort of fixed income issue. Which made me think of my dad, because I know he struggles on Medicare and he won't go and get the other benefits he is entitled to.

I don't know why I went from zero to aggravated so quickly. It's not like I had any place to be. Yeah, my feet hurt, but I wasn't dying. It probably wasn't that long a blip in time, if I had actually timed how long we were waiting on her transaction to complete. I felt bad, because when I got up there, it looked like she left the whole cart there, but had pulled out the produce items so they could be put back.

I guess I need to work on some more patience.

Funkytown!

So, yesterday I tried an aerobics class called Cardio Funkytown. A friend/former co-worker has been going for months, and she asked me weeks ago to come and try it out. It's $5 per class, and they have classes on Saturday mornings from 10 - 11, Sunday evenings from 5-6, and Wednesday evenings from 7-8. They are held in a gymnasium at a local church. If you decide you want to attend all three classes every week, you can get a discount pass online.

This class was sooooooo fun! The warm up was to The Cupid Shuffle. Apparently this is what is done every week because everyone just jumped in line as soon as the music started. There was a mixture of people; young and old, black and white, mostly women, but there were a few men sprinkled in. I even saw a few women I knew from the skating rink.

This is a high impact class. If you have joint problems, I definitely would not recommend it. It had my knees a little sore on certain squat moves, but I expected that. By the time the third song finished, I was sweating so hard! I wish I had a HRM - I'd be able to tell you how many calories I burned in that hour. It wasn't hard to catch up on the moves, and even the members of the Rhythmless Nation were able to keep up. At the end of the class, he asked who had attended the class for the first time, and he thanked us for coming out. Next Saturday's class is going to be 90 minutes long, and he's going to have a live DJ. Sweet!

So, at the end of this class, I was really psyched. I had a great workout and was really thinking about getting the monthly discount pass. I think I will just make the time to get to the Wednesday night class, and sometimes on Sundays. Of course, that depends on what time the Cowboys play on Sundays. :)

I woke up this morning and my calves are SOOOOOOOOOOOO SORE. I've apparently worked muscles that I haven't worked in a while. Before I even got out of the bed, I could feel the soreness. Last night my quads were hurting before I went to bed. I guess it jumped to my calves. :lol:

Oh well. No pain, no gain! This was definitely the "shake up" my workout routine needed, and it helped me to get 6 workouts in this week.

Friday, October 1, 2010

And so it begins...

Today is day 1 of my social networking hiatus. It feels very weird not to be on FB or Twitter right now, shooting the breeze with my friends on the innanets. ESPECIALLY with all the stuff going on.

NEW CAR
So, the Maxiniti (the nickname for the 05 Maxima I had) was starting to have some transmission issues. That, coupled with the fact that it had 106,300 miles on it, was expensive in upkeep (the thing needed premium fuel, and we won't discuss the $800 I spent on tires in August 2008)let me to think about downsizing. Long story short, the Maxiniti is gone, and in it's place is this 2010 Nissan Altima S with the convenience package:


As I was leaving the dealership I actually got a bit sad as I drove past the Maxiniti. 4 years...been through a lot with that vehicle. I don't know why it made me a bit sad to leave it behind, considering. But, the past 24 hours have been emotional anyway.

MY DAD
Yesterday my mom and I were discussing some things going on with my dad, health-wise. Shortly after lunch time, she called to say she had to take him into the doctor because he was apparently having some internal bleeding. I immediately became worried; I thought it was related to the cancer.

While I was in the midst of negotiating for the vehicle above, my mom calls to tell me that she had to take my dad to the ER, and that on the way he was coughing up blood; I mean like huge clots of blood.

Long story short, I'm in the middle of the dealership just blubbering. Men are running around trying to find me tissue and bottled water. I left that night with a different Altima so that I wouldn't put any more miles on the Maxiniti, and a wad of hard toilet tissue in my purse. I guess no one in the dealership keeps Kleenex on their desk?

What's crazy is, my dad and his illness is probably the reason why I made it out of the dealership with a decent deal. How ironic.

He is stabilized, but still in the ICU. They want to make sure he's not bleeding anymore, and then he'll be moved to a regular room.

I feel like I'm running out of time with him. We didn't have the greatest relationship when I was a teenager or in my 20s. We're just now really getting to where I want us to be. I'm a little scared. When my aunt's cancer reappeared, I wasn't really told of the severity. I saw her the night before she passed. I don't want to go through that with my dad. It's frustrating to me that he withholds details about his health. I guess he's trying to keep us from worrying...but I would rather know what's going on.

I told my brother to tell him I was gonna shake some sense into him when I see him...lol. That (and the good pain meds) made him chuckle.

DAY 1 COMES TO A CLOSE
So...this has been day 1. Tonight, I'm going to start reading the pH book I referenced in my previous post. Tomorrow morning, I'm trying an aerobics class from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. It's being held at a local church gymnasium. One of my old co-workers invited me a few weeks ago, so I'm all set to try it out. Tomorrow will be my 6th workout of the week. Whoo hoo!

I have a feeling October will be a pretty interesting month.