A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Before Life Passes Me By

When I was 38 my father died. I was so upset, hurt, distraught and pissed! I couldn't believe God would take my father. Now, I know that people die. It's natural and happens everyday. What I couldn't fathom is that my father would die and leave me alone here. How would I survive? Who would come to my rescue when I'd left my keys in the car, or the battery's run down because I forgot to shut off the lights?

Well, I am surviving and I've found that time indeed heals all wounds. I still get a bit weepy when things happen in my family that he's missing (ie. my brother becoming an asst pastor, my nieces graduating college, the other children he'll never see etc) but we're all doing better.

Anyway, when my father died I realized how fragile life is so I vowed to do everything I had always wanted to do but had been afraid. One of those things was taking a cooking class. I'd been afraid that if I enrolled and went to the class the people would tell me to find a dieting class because I was too big to learn how to cook, or I needed to learn how to exercise not cook. Well that didn't happen. I enrolled in the class and the people there were warm and friendly. Foodies are a lot like bloggers, they take each other at face (faith) value. I've never met a foodie I didn't like. Well, over time I took other classes, even met published authors and was invited to private classes!

Last Saturday I took a sushi making class and loved it! You know how you see something and think, "I'll never be able to do this". Well I was convinced sushi-making was intense and mindboggling but it's not. Make the rice and include it with whatever your heart desires. I had the most fun making different kinds of rolls and even frying tempura. We had everything from spicy tuna to ahi tuna bowls. Tempura shrimp to rice pudding w/melted chocolate toppings, yum! My favourite was the spicy Ahi rolls and the caterpillars. I'm biased because my partner and I made these two and really outdid our peers.

There are many healthful benefits to eating sushi -such as being low fat, low sodium (watch the soy sauce) and some of the fish used is great for fighting colesterol and providing Omega 3. And not all sushi is raw. The California roll is nothing but fake crab (actually it's fish parts compressed together and died), cucumber and carrot.
There's some sad news about the state of over fishing has greatly reduced the population of Ahi tuna so some countries are calling for a ban on eating Ahi to prevent it from becoming extinct. I haven't read up on this so forgive me if the info's not exactly correct.

This Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, we're having a party and this year will be decidedly different from other Super Bowl gatherings. First, the game itself-two black NFL coaches are competing, 2nd-there will be no men with us and 3rd-we're cooking stuff WE WOMEN want to eat: sushi, clam/mussel stew, a fabulous dessert and fried chicken. Come on, y'all knew there was going to be fried chicken. You just knew!

We're gonna sit around eating and looking at all those fine men in those tight pants and daydream about being a football cradled in the arms of Peyton Manning or caressed and held tightly by a defensive lineback--oh oh. I'm beginning to sound like Mist1. Where's my Bible?

The moral of the story? Get on w/life because one day you're not going to be able to do everything you've always wanted to do. Take that class, learn to dance, become a magician or world famous poker player. Whatever you want to do, the best time is NOW. Go on, get!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Family Friday #2

Here we go with my 2nd installment of Family Friday, where I introduce you to members of my family, and I learn more about posting pics.

My grandfather had ten children spanning twenty years apart. That's why some of my cousins are my age, and some are about twenty years younger than me. So, when viewing my pictures, I don't want you to think I'm just labeling everybody cousin:=)

These two beauties are "Wilhela" and "Mouse". They both grew up in Idaho but now live in Nevada and Washington respectively. I miss them both but I'm very glad they're leading positive lives.

These are all nieces. See the variance in age? This is Mari, Selena and Wilhela.

Ready for her close up is "Shauna". The cool wanna be is 13-year old "Bogie".

My niece and nephew, each other's cousin.

This is 'Bean'. "Shauna's" sister.

These are "Shauna", my sister "Niece" and "Wilhela". Niece is their mother.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some Things On My Mind

Not world peace resolving things, just thoughts, wanderings and musings.

~There are some things black people should not do. Yeah we've come a long way and we deserve to be allowed the freedom to do anything we're capable of (or have a desire) but some things should be left to others.

1. Black people should not yodel. I was watching Jimmy Kimmel and he had these three black dudes actually yodeling songs. What the what?!
2. Black people should not sing Country/Western. Cowboy Troy, stop that!

~A recent NY Times article says more than 51% of all American women are unmarried. That number grows to 70% for Black women. All the experts give their opinions but they forgot to ask mine so I'll share it anyway-the number is higher for Black women because we are not as willing to seek interracial relationships as Black men and we may be settling for ANY Black man and his mess. Or, it could because Black women are fed up with settling and understand that we can do bad all by ourselves so why put up w/not living life to the fullest?

~Why do we fat women continue to wear unflattering stretch clothes? I'm a biiiiiggggg girl and I don't want to wear anything that will cling to me like saran wrap. I don't want the world to see every cellulite lump, every roll of thigh fat or every fat indention on my body. I'm not saying big girls should wear a tents. We should just take better care and find something that's flattering to our body types. We have more choices than ever nowadays so there are no excuses for our clothes lfitting like a leotards.

~Do we really have to have something in common in order to post on others' sites? There are many sites I frequent because I enjoy the sites, not because I have anything in common w/that site owner. C'mon!

~Why do family members try to make you feel guilty for your success and try to guilt you into paying for their sorry a$$es? I know how Oprah feels 'cause some of my relatives made their mistakes (losing jobs, not saving) and expect me to bail them out financially because I kept my jobs and saved my money. My family thinks I'm the biggest b-tch because I'm not supporting them. Yeah? Like I shared w/my little brother Dragon, ever seen a dog w/ticks and fleas? They're always itching and scratching but can't rest. Get them losers up off you and lay down in peace!

Again, just my thoughts and opinions.

Thursday Thirteen #10


1. I'm probably going to reduce my posting to twice weekly due to an increased workload and study time.

2. I bought a Canon A450 camera. I know nothing about a camera but was so influenced by the pics at Blogaway's and East of Oregon's I thought I could do this too. I've discovered I'm gonna need classes on handling this little silver beauty.

3. My boss really wants me to actually work while I'm at the office rather than build relationships.

4. There is a place called Amanpulo that's so beautiful it makes me long for sun-filled, slow lazy days on a pristine white beach where the only care is what's taking the waiter so long to bring the next drink. Discovered this over at Lizza's place.

5. There's a website that lets you create your own radio station. It's called Pandora.com and it's absolutely fantastic. You simply type in the name of a favourite artist (David Lanz, Tye Tribbett) and it finds music along the same genre. You can rate the song and if you don't like it the song will stop playing. Like YAHOO music, you can only reject so many songs per hour but it's still awesome.

6. No matter where you are in the world, that's where you'll be so get used to it and start living.

7. There are some very talented soldiers defending our rights and our freedoms. Salutes to Sarge for introducing his readers to this brave young soldier. Discover his prolific and amazing writing style for yourself. Look for his Walking on History post.

8. It's really not safe out here for us. Two days ago my company advised us of the theft of several company laptops containing our personal information. The company suggests we monitor our credit history with the three reporting agencies to prevent any harm to our CBRs. Man oh man. Makes me wanna go back to using cash for everything.

9. No matter how fat you are, people will still try to sneak a peak down your blouse. I'm buxomly blessed and was wearing a sweater that was buxomly-challenged so there was cleavage to be seen from blocks away. I can't remember the last time I had so many visitors to my desk.

10. Even though I know we have a lot of troubles in this country, I still get prickly when other countries criticize US. I don't agree with everything going on but I don't want to hear outsiders snip away at US. President Bush is MY president, Homeland Security is my government, Ford Motor company is a U.S. company. This is MY blog. You're entitled to my opinion.

11. When a family member's going through a divorce, the WHOLE family goes through the divorce. I usually babysit my nine month old niece on my days off but because everything that's going on w/her parents (read: things are getting uglier and nastier) my visits with her have been cxld tfn.

12. Parents grow old and feeble and it's up to us-the strong and the capable-to care for them. Don't just wait for your parents to ask you to help or allow your snarky relatives to handle your parents' finances or healthcare. YOU start helping with the bill-paying. YOU go in with the doctor to hear what's really going on. Yeah, you've got a lot of things to do: raising kids, completing your education, working full time etc. But these are your parents!

13. You can't please everyone so you may as well please yourself. Isn't this a song?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen Names for Baby Girls

I don't have children, one of my biggest regrets. I've always wanted to have children and as long as I can remember I have saved names for my little girls. At different stages in my life I had names for my children. When I was a teenager I found names after some of my favourite authors. After graduating college the names were more retrospective. During my 30's they were of my travels. In my early 40's when I thought I still had time they were tributes to my relatives. Now, they're just bittersweet daydreams of what could have been.

PS-this beauty is my niece "Butterfly".

1. Autumn Hope

2. Summer Joy

3. Bethany Elizabeth

4. December Carole

5. Kennedy Olivia

6. Carrington Alexandria

7. Hyacinth Rose

8. Effie MaeGratis Wyonna

9. Wyonna Darlene

10. Asia Beijing

11. Paris Wilhelmina

12. Brooklyn Arniece

13. Dominica December Effie

Friday, January 12, 2007

I've Been Tagged

Jeni was nice enough to stop by and order me to complete this latest meme. Hummph, who does she think she is Barb? Well, only 'cause I have nothing else to do, here it is.

1. If you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others what would it be?
A vice? I'll come back to this one. After thinking long and hard and dashing over to Sarge's place to steal from his answers, I still don't know. Maybe I'll start doing a bunch of stuff so that next time I get an answer like this I'll have something good.

2. If you could change one specific thing about the world what would it be?
There be easier ways of getting medicine to everyone.

3. Name the cartoon character you identify w/the most.
Velma from Scooby Doo because SHE, not Scooby and the rest was the brains of the organization. I've always been like her: setting the pace but doing it all from the background.

4. If you could live one day in your life over again which one would it be?
My first airplane flight ever. It was my first time flying and my first time I traveled with a singles group.

5. If you could go back in history and spend a day w/one person who would it be?
I would love to have been a guest at President Kennedy's Presidential Inaugural Ball.

6. What is the one thing you lost, sold or threw away that you wish you could have back?
A MickeyMouse autograph/diary book my parents bought me when I was 14. I loved that book!

7. What is your one most important contribution to this world?
Being a teacher and professional mentor I've helped guide and shape many youngsters who may be tomorrow's leaders. And they will have my thumbprint all over them.

8. What is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about?
I tried showing one person but was told there are still laws against it so I won't go into that here.

9. What is your most cherished possession?
My body.

10. What one person influenced your life the most when growing up?
Mommy. Don't keep wishing for the right time to live life. Live it now because time's gonna keep passing you by.

11. What one word describes you better than any other?

I don't know anyone to tag this so sorry.

Family Friday #1

It's early this Friday morning. I can't sleep because I'm in pain. When I'm in pain I take medicine. In order to take medicine I have to eat something because my stomach will kill me when taking medicine when it's empty. So, to take medicine I have to physically get up, walk into the kitchen w/o stumbling over something and waking the other occupants who are sleeping soundly, find something quiet to eat that's not fattening, has zero carbs, doesn't require microwaving or warming. Yeah, right. I grabbed the closest box of Triscuits (reduced fat 'course) and slices of cheese and am now waiting for the medicine to take effect.

Anyway, while I'm up at this hour I thought I'd check the blog world, then I thought why not play w/the pictures from Boise. Then I thought hey, why not post some on the blog? Then I thought why not just shut up and post the pictures already. It's my first time, hope it comes out all right.

This is what I was expecting (hoping ) Boise to look like when we got there because that same storm that had dumped so much snow on Denver had passed through Boise first. It didn't. While we were there no measurable snow fell.

My cousins who drove in from Pasco, WA had to stop midway and put on snow chains. That's my cousin and her two girls playing and burning off energy while the guys try to figure out how to put on the chains.

They finally had to rouse my other cousin who had to put the chains on causing her to ruin a perfectly great manicure. Note: the girl had to show the big, strong boys how to get it done. Go on, girl!

I remember when these little girls....

....Used to look like these little girls.

The first picture are my nieces, these are a niece and cousins' children.

This is pretty hard work! Maybe by next week I'll be better at this.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8


1. "All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."

2. "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

3. "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

4. "Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

5. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

6. "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars...Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

7. "Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality."

8. "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

9. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

10. "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

11. "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

12. "Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: -'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

13. "...and I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man." This is Rev King's last public speech before being assassinated.

To protect myself from having Mr. Knight declare this not being my own work, I found these and other great quotes at Quotationspage.com.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Divorce Hurts Everyone

My younger brother and his wife of nine years are finally calling it quits.

We've seen it coming for several months. Witnessed the aftermath of the physical escalations. Had to answer the early morning "come get your brother before I kill him" phone calls. Listened to the anguish from both sides. But more painfully, watched how the children are being affected by the warring episodes.

I'm upset about the divorce because I truly love my sister in law. She's patient, intelligent, a great planner. But thankfully she knows the fights and battles are etching painful memories into her children's fragile psyches that can negatively impact their abilities to resolve conflicts, build relationships etc.

She plans to take the kids and move in w/her parents until everything's settled, then eventually back to Wisconsin. My brother will probably move back into our already cramped home until he's able to resettle.

I know all the numbers about marriages in this country and with this divorce, if nothing changes, each of my brothers and sisters will be divorced.

My brother will see the kids each weekend or during the week if he needs to. I used to keep them twice a week but now I won't see them at all unless they spend the night here with their father. When they leave for Wisconsin I'll see them during summer vacations.

If she remarries will they guy love and take care of the children or will he abuse them? Same thing if my brother remarries. Who will take care of them?

Divorce affects not only the couple but the children who will have to endure one of the worst changes in their lives, the grandparents, aunts and uncles who now have to 'reserve' time to see the kids, the lawyers and judges who have to decide who gets custody.

I'm looking at all the toys packed in the corner of the living room and wonder what we should do when the kids leave the state. Shall we ship them to Wisconsin or donate them? Maybe we'll distribute to the other neighbourhood kids,

Divorce hurts. Sucks. But I'd rather have them apart than locked up for domestic violence or worse. "Only God knows the pain that you feel. He sees and He knows because He's always there." I can only leave it in the hands of the Lord.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Musings #2

Today's turning out to be one of those days. I guess you can say the whole weekend has turned out to be a "one of those days" because my agony and irritation is growing by leaps and bounds and today I'm feeling like Sicka or Bob, but I'm not going to post anything like them because A-I'm not that creative and B-I'm trying these great relaxation breathing exercises that will help me expell some of this negative energy. So what's happened to get me so irritated this fine bright blue morning?
Well, it all started last Saturday when I opened the mail to find out my credit card company sent me a dunning notice that I haven't made a December payment. What the what? I DID make the payment but had to call them to trace the payment. Seems they misposted it to my savings account. We finally found it but they had already placed me in a higher interest rate tier. No way, Jose! Not a chance, Lance. Don't be silly, Billy! I'm not going down like that! And unless I had known this would happen, the rep never volunteered to give me that important little tidbit. Folks, learn about credit cards and the MANY ways they screw you.
Then, the Cowboys lose by one point during a Wildcard playoff game. It's not that they didn't play well, it's just how they lost that's got my panties in a bunch! Let me fill you in on how they lost, just in case you didn't see this sorry episode. They get all the way to fourth quarter, trailing 20 to 21 and with less than two minutes left in the game they get in great, AWESOME field goal range. I think they're on the twenty yard line right? Well, the kicker's all ready and the quarterback, who's had an AWESOME year, who's been the wunderchild of coach Parcells, who's been more than wonderful DROPS THE BALL. endof game, endof season. We're done. We're over faster than a Donald Trump marriage to a woman older than 35.
At one minute after this great moment in Cowboy history, my cellie's blowing up with well-wishers (also known as haters) to laugh about my 'Boys. I take it in stride because hey, neither the Bengals, nor the Steelers, nor the Falcons OR the Packers are still alive so pffthhththh to all of my hating so-called friends. The worse part is I have to endure more heckling when I get to work today.
Okay, maybe I shouldn't pick on this guy but I was watching the Patriots yesterday because I love football no matter who's playing. Change that, I won't watch any team Dragon's with, period. Is it me or is Bill Belichick the worst-dressed head coach in the NFL? Bill's outfit yesterday during a playoff game televised around the world was horrible! He absolutely looked like he had come to the game after delivering furniture. What's with the cutoff sweatshirt?
Remember when NFL head coaches dressed like Tom Landry? They looked like coaches, not like they were delivering pizzas. Bill's supposed to be pretty hot stuff according to allegedly being involved in some type of affair last summer. Dressing like that? If he dresses like that during a game, can you imagine what he looks like at home???!!!
Here's Bill in all his splendor-

Speaking of the way things used to be, remember when all the important Bowl games were televised on the 1st and all we had to do was sit on the couch eating chips and chili for eight hours straight? Now the games are everywhere on any given day! I can't keep coming up excuses for leaving work early or missing work, let's get back to the one day marathon, people!
Finally, last night after work I was hungry. Now, I had been eating very well for the WHOLE week, even New Year's day I refrained from all the fatty foods my family dishes up. Except for ice cream I left the pies and cakes alone. I'm doing so well I'm gonna treat myself to a venti Macchiato w/mint from Starbucks and then it happens. Someone orders bone-out honey barbeque wings from Pizza Hut.
Here's a quick quiz. How many of you think I nibbled on one then left the pack untouched, raise your hands. Okay, those of you who think I ate everything but the foil the wings were wrapped in raise your hands.
Not only did I eat every wing set before me, I then had the nerve to stop by McDonald's and order a 10-pc nugget w/two apple pies. I am so furious w/myself! Why can't I stop eating all this crap? I keep eating and I keep eating. What's wrong w/me that I can't do something as simple as reaching for something healthy to snack on? I'm not gonna write everything I called myself. Those of you who have tried to lose weight or stop unhealthy habits know some of the foul things we call ourselves and I've called myself that and worse plenty of times today.
So on to another weak. I mean week. I'll go over to Barb's or Blu's. They usually find something to get me smiling about. I know Meloncutter will have something that will make me grin.
PS- I found this site through Blu. There's a post called "Girl, please" that's funny but the comments will have you rolling. Check it out if you have time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006 Most Memorable Meme

I can't remember where I stole this, but it looked like fun so I put it here.

What did you do in 2006 that you've never done before?
Lost 40 pounds! By myself by just cooking my own meals and exercising 20 minutes per day.

Did you keep your 2005 resolutions?
No because I don't make resolutions.

Did anyone you know give birth?
Some people from the office, my little brother's wife gave birth to their first little girl. We call her Butterfly and she's just perfect. A bit demanding, but perfect.

Did anyone you know die?
RIP- Pastor Mae Gratis Bowens, L.C. Jenkins, Sr., Pastor Arthur Strong, Sr., Deacon DeLloyd Harris, Mr. Alton Coleman, Deacon Willie Williams, Mother Tucker, Pastor Jimmy Colter, Mother Daisy Griffin.

Which countries did you visit in 2006?

What do you want in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
A stronger backbone.

What 2006 dates will be forever etched in your memory?
12/17/2006, 10/18/2006

What was your biggest achievement?
Losing the weight.

What is your biggest failure?
Gaining back 12 pounds after suffering shin splints.

Did you suffer an illness or injury?
Just my heart. It's broken but healing. Slowly.

What was the best thing you bought?
This laptop.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My managers for selecting me as an interim manager when my manager left the company. They recognized my value and took chances on me.

Whose behaviour appalled or depressed you?
1. People who kill whole families because they're going through a divorce.
2. The government for not getting our sons and daughters out of the ME.
3. Child abusers/molesters.

Where did most of your money go?
Bills, gasoline, insurance.

What did you get really, really excited about?
Babysitting my niece and nephew two days a week.

What song/album will always remind you of 2006?
"While I'm Here" by Brianna Scott

What do you wish you'd done more of?
1. Exercising control.
2. Traveling to see my family.

What do you wish you'd done less?

What was your favourite TV program?
Everyone Hates Chris.

Quota a song lyric that sums up the year?
I've had many tears and sorrows/I've had questions for tomorrow/There've been times I didn't know right from wrong/But in every situation I found joy in consolation/Jesus came to make me strong/Through it all/Through it all/I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God.-Andrae Crouch

Thursday Thirteen #7


Here we go, back to routine and hopefully no more deaths to shake me up. The great thing about returning to routine is it's comfortable, peaceful and NORMAL. Last week I traveled to Boise to celebrate the homegoing of my aunt. While there I had some experiences that have changed me, perhaps forever.

1. There are some responsibilities that I will have to undertake because I'm not a kid anymore and no one else is able to handle them as well as I can. I have become my aunt as she was 20 years ago which is why she was so adamant with me to accept a responsible lifestyle.

2. Keep a living will updated and within easy reach. Make sure the family knows and understands your wishes.

3. Buy a funeral/burial plan.

4. It's not about me and my mother or my family, her death is between herself and God alone. The reason she wasn't healed is not ours to question. We can ponder it and wonder but only God can answer this because He knows where she was. Just like He knows where I am, right now.

5. It is totally acceptable to laugh through a three hour funeral. That's the celebratory part, she was a jokester and prankster. It's okay to laugh, she would find something to laugh about if she were still here.

6. Don't let it be four years seeing my folks. It's time for me to start planning family outings, etc to bring us together for reasons other than funerals.

7. I'm not as cowardly as I thought and telling off some folks is good for MY mental and physical well-being. So the next time foolishness shows up it will know that I'm prepared to address it, head first.

8. Always call the airline to see if they will refund the extra seat if the flight's not oversold. If not, fly Southwest.

9. It felt good stepping back and allowing my brother to take the lead and take care of some things. He's really grown up. But so have I.

10. I've got to keep a closer eye on my mother's health and start keeping better track of her doctor's visits. I'm thinking about joining her for her next appointment and asking the doctor to schedule her for some tests that she hasn't had. Boy oh boy the hair on the back of her neck's going to rise higher than Brittney Spears' skirts.

11. Even though we didn't feel like celebrating Christmas and New Years, it is still important that children be allowed to enjoy opening gifts and having fun. A group of adults sitting around sipping tea and crying is not fair to the children. They will experience the pain of death soon enough. Let them enjoy life now.

12. A burial at sunset, in a cementary set on a high hill is very beautiful and shouldn't be interrupted by the flash from a camera. It was freezing and we all grouped together for warmth and as the preacher was reciting the Scripture I looked at the sunset and thought, "Oh Aunt Grat, this is the last sunset you'll be a part of and it's so beautiful!" Then bozo cousins and friends jarred me out of my solitude by snapping pictures. Stop!

13. My family values my opinions and seeks my advice. This is both humbling and frightening. I think I'm ready to take on some of Grat's responsibilities.