Friday, October 30, 2009


I am buying my grandmother’s home to keep it in the family. With her mounting nursing home expenses she can no longer afford the maintenance and taxes and between trying to qualify her for Medicaid and satisfying the nursing home's asset requirements, selling it is the only logical answer. Since I’m still living in it, it was the most reasonable option that I buy it to take some of the pressure off of my old people.

I have always loved older homes. This one is no exception. My father has done much upgrading over the past few years including a new roof and new vinyl siding. It has a wonderful front porch, great yard space and sits on a relatively nice, dead-end street, just minutes from Duke University. The interior however is a whole other beast.

Over the years I have attempted to convince my grandmother to change things around, paint and redecorate but she wasn’t having it. The walls in every room are wood paneling. The carpet needs to be pulled up and thrown away. I’m praying there are real hardwood floors beneath that 1950’s tri-colored shag. However, I won’t know until I can get the mess and clutter cleared out.

My grandmother never threw anything away and she horded the damndest things. I have found mail addressed to her late sisters and those women have been dead for decades now. The pantry was most challenging. Forty-six boxes of macaroni didn’t begin to touch the food stuffs she had stored away. Canned tomatoes and toilet tissue were also high on her list. For the life of me I don’t understand why everything she possessed needed to be tied up into a plastic garbage bag and stored in the drawers and closets. Three bags and nineteen tubes of Fix-A-Dent and I was too through!

Some of the furniture dates back to the 18th century and most of it is broken and no longer viable. But it amazes me that those women were able to tape-up, fix-up, tie-down, and put it together so that no one really noticed until, of course, you pulled back the chair covers and table cloths and went to move something from one side of the room to the other.

I have been inundated for weeks now and haven’t begun to make a dent in the stuff. But I’m also having mixed feelings because the wealth of it embodies my granny and her spirit and she is still here, still kicking up a fuss and definitely not ready to let any of it go at all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I have no desire to get out of my bed. It’s warm and comfortable and what I would most like to do is spend the day here finishing the book that was due back to the library two days ago. Thank goodness for the five-day grace before late fees kick in because I’ve exhausted every one of my renewals.

I’m reading Walter Mosley’s newest novel, The Long Fall. Y’all know I’ve got a thing for my Walter. My Walter makes me hot! I hadn’t forgiven my Walter for killing off his Easy Rawlins character. Easy was like that lover who comes in and out of your life as the moment moves you. Easy knew where my sweet spot was and how to curl my toes and make me call out his name as if I was in prayer. I loved me some Easy Rawlins. But my Walter is making up for that faux pas.

My Walter’s back with a new mystery series and a new hero. A man named Leonid McGill. I’m liking Leonid. I don’t have a love thing for him yet like I did with Easy but the man is growing on me. And I swear, the brilliance of my Walter’s words are absolutely orgasmic!

Walter Mosley never disappoints me. The man embodies everything I aspire to be with my own writing. His talents with the written word are endless. The man knows how to string emotion together like nobody's business. My Walter absolutely curls my toes!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It really has been one of those days.

My morning began with a man telling me I was mean. And cold. He said this after I turned down an invitation to join him for dinner. For some reason he can’t comprehend why I wouldn’t want to spend some quality time with him. He claims to be a great catch. He’s conveniently forgotten that he has a wife and a young child, he’s old (20-plus years older than I am actually), and that I am in a relationship. He also doesn’t seem to realize that most days he rolls in wearing last week’s unwashed clothes, lacking an ounce of personal hygiene, and has difficulty stringing a complete sentence together without adding “ya know what I mean?”

Suffice to say being told no for the umpteenth time he figured he’d win some favor points by pointing out my flaws, mean and cold being at the top of his list. I politely thanked him, muttered what I really thought under my breath and went back to doing what I was doing before I was so rudely interrupted.

And what I was working on was giving me a hard time. I couldn’t string my words together the way I needed to. The emotion behind the poetry was completely incoherent. Then just like that something clicked. The writing took on a life of its own and when I was finished I couldn’t have been more pleased.

For lunch, my son came to visit. He was motivated by hunger and the prospect of a free meal courtesy of mom. He and I had a nice conversation. He has set some new goals for himself. He has a new girlfriend, finally freeing himself from that she-devil who use to work my last nerve. It’s been some time since I saw him so happy. It's also the first time in a long time that he hasn't been insolent, rude, and just plain annoying. He hugged me, gave me a kiss and told me he loved me very much.

The morning temperatures went from chilly cold to absolute perfection with a cloudless blue sky to die for.

And right now, in this very moment, I am feeling something like happy. With luck, the rest of my happy day might turn out half as well.


Darryl and Kendra are in a relationship.

Darryl has issues with Kendra and her ex-husband.

Darryl was upset when Kendra and the ex-hubby attended a mutual friend’s wedding. He also had a problem with Kendra when she and the ex-hubby went to visit their only child in college. Kendra has tried to explain that it wasn’t about her and her ex because she wasn’t interested in him nor was he interested in her. Kendra had only hoped to keep the peace for the sake of other people. Darryl was quick to point out that he only had her word for that but since he trusted her he could let it go despite it having hurt his feelings. He makes a point of reminding Kendra of her transgressions and him having forgiven them every time there is an issue between them. Of course these things happened in the first year of their relationship.

Fast forward three-plus years. Kendra hasn’t spoken to or heard from her ex since forever. Darryl however is friends with his ex-wife. Darryl’s ex-wife calls whenever the moment moves her. Darryl will disappear for hours at a time to discuss his ex-wife’s problems and be a shoulder for her to lean on. On more than one occasion Darryl has cancelled plans with Kendra to deal with his baby mama drama. Darryl and his ex-wife even disappeared on a weekend vacation together with their kid but he seems to conveniently forget that when he’s pointing a finger at Kendra to remind her of all that she had done wrong.

And Darryl doesn’t seem to understand why Kendra has a problem with his relationship with this ex-wife. Darryl says Kendra is insecure. Kendra would beg to differ. Insecurity doesn’t have a thing to do with it. Darryl says Kendra doesn’t trust him. Kendra doesn’t agree with that either. Kendra says she doesn’t trust the ex-wife, a woman who’s made it clear that she wants Darryl back. A woman who Darryl himself says can't be trusted.

But the ex-wife isn’t the problem either.

I can’t help but wonder why Darryl would seem to disregard Kendra’s feelings? I have to question why Darryl would put any other woman before Kendra if Kendra is the woman he truly loves. And more importantly, why isn’t Kendra the one having the issues and pointing a finger?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Friends and family use to respect that this was my space to vent and vex about whatever I needed to rant about. Lately, no matter what I post, friends and family want to make it a conversation about them, or us, and more times than not I wasn’t thinking twice about them when I wrote whatever it was I wrote.

When it comes to my own stuff if I put it on paper and send it off into space, be it here or my desk drawer, then I am usually done with it. Once pen has hit paper, I have usually let go of the energy, the emotional baggage and whatever else might be attached to it. It doesn’t need to be mentioned or discussed so friends and family calling to have a conversation about it taxes my last nerve.

If I can let my mess go and be done with it, then so should everybody else. I don’t need to rehash it, rework it, or be bothered with other folks’ concerns. If venting here is what I need to do then I wish other folks would let me without it having to be an issue.

Bottom line though, if the stuff here has them concerned I’m going to hate to see what they do when the book comes out.

Friday, October 16, 2009


As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning playing a game of solitaire with insomnia, it dawns on me that I am in situation with a friend that does not make me happy. But I’m in it because it seems to be doing wonders for the friend. They would seem to be thriving but it is not bringing me an ounce of delight.

People-pleasing has been the bane of my existence for most of my life. For too long I didn’t know how to say no and saying yes became my mantra. I’m doing better with that but I don’t seem to be able to get over my compulsive need to make other people happy at the expense of my own contentment.

Between these games of solitaire, I’ve been trying to rationalize what all is right with the way things are between this person and me. It’s a short list in comparison to all that is wrong. The individual and I have had numerous conversations about our situation and why things need to change to benefit us both. After each conversation we digress back to what works for them. My feelings would seem to be inconsequential. And I truly am not happy with the situation between us.

It dawned on me that I haven’t been happy in a good while and I should be. But everything about my friend and I is wrong in so many ways. And I’ve grown extremely tired of making things work for other people when it means sacrificing my own joy.

Sitting here I realize that to preserve my own sanity I really need to kick my friend to the curb and move on without them. I need to get my joy back. And now that I have had my light bulb moment I’d give anything to be able to kick insomnia to the curb, too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It was an interesting conversation. Lauren, recently divorced, has begun dating again. Lauren has met a man that she really, really likes. This man also really, really likes her. But Lauren has decided that she isn’t going to get too attached. She has dreams and plans that will eventually move her across the country. She isn’t interested in her new relationship deterring her from her aspirations. Lauren says that if it’s meant to be then it will work itself out. A mutual friend of ours shares the same opinion. He feels that if his woman’s goals move her half way around the world then she should go regardless of him and their relationship.

I got the “me, me, me” factor from our conversation. What I failed to see was any “we” factored into their equations.

It was my intentions to head west once my marriage fell apart and my youngest child was out of the home and on his own. I loved the Phoenix, Arizona area and would have moved there without an ounce of hesitation. It also helped that at that time I had a potential job offer that would have made for a much smoother transition. But before I made my decision and went through with it I met my very special friend. A beautiful relationship blossomed. So I made the conscious decision not to leave and readily admitted that he was the one and only thing keeping me here in this state. Lauren thinks it was a foolish decision, that if my very special friend and I were meant to be together then he would have supported my choice to leave.

And I have no doubts that he would have. I know with every ounce of certainty that he would have supported whatever it was I wanted for myself. But why would I have wanted him to? Building a loving, respectful, mutually agreeable relationship requires an investment of time and energy. It also requires a little give and take from both parties. I fully agree that partners should support each other’s goals and aspirations but why would any partner reach for a goal that would exclude their other half, most especially if they are trying to build a life together? Why would I want to build a new life half way around the world without him if being with him was what I wanted most? If we are a couple building a lifetime relationship then shouldn’t decisions be factored around the “we” and not the “me”?

I would still love to move to Arizona. Atlanta is high on my list as well. But I wouldn’t want that without my very special friend wanting it with me, not just for me. The conversation was interesting but I just didn’t get Lauren’s argument about exclusion when inclusion was supposed to be the ultimate goal.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So, here I was rationalizing that although my diet wasn’t 100% healthy, it really wasn’t a bad diet at all. It wasn’t like I ate a whole lot of sweets or an abundance of food. I do enjoy a good meal and I’m not opposed to all things fried or fast food. Vegetables weren’t abundant but I did occasionally eat vegetables. Fruits however are few and far between. I also don’t typically eat three meals per day. Two seem to suffice and since exercise has become increasingly minimal, I figure less is best.

I got on the scale. Then I fell off the scale. I have hit an all time high. Every ounce of what I’d rationalized has been shot straight to hell. My so-called diet clearly hasn’t worked for me. Neither has avoiding the exercise.

My very special friend signed us both up for a gym membership. We’ve made a pledge to each other to do better.

Two tons ain’t fun but I’d give anything for a plate of fried chicken and a chocolate covered donut. And if you gave me enough time I’m sure I’d be able to rationalize that too.


Jill’s best friend liked Jack. The best friend told Jill. Jill dated Jack and they had a baby. Jill and her best friend are no longer friends. Jack and Jill were in love, happy with their baby. Then Jack started acting like a dick and Jill wasn’t happy any more.

Jill’s new best friend liked Peter. Jill decided she’d now be in love with Peter. Jill left Jack to date Peter. Jill was down another new best friend. Jill was happy. Peter was happy. Jack wasn’t happy at all. Then Jack made everybody unhappy. So Jill left Peter and went back to Jack. But Jack was still a dick so Jill left him again. Peter gave Jill an ultimatum, tired of Jill’s games. So Jill went back to Jack, again.

Now, Jack and Jill are getting married and Jill is all in love, again. And this has only been the first year in Jack and Jill’s relationship.

So, what have we learned from Jack and Jill?

(1) Don’t be best friends with Jill.
(2) If you like Dick, definitely don’t tell Jill.
(3) Jack is still a dick.
(4) Jack and Jill deserve each other.
(5) Child services should probably come save that poor baby from the train wreck that is his parent’s.
(6) Not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


The first woman a man falls in love with is his mother. Mom will set the bar for all the other women that will cross their son’s path. If mom has shown a guy unconditional, unwavering love, it will be hard for any woman to trump that but the implication will be there for her to try.

A mother might not completely accept the new girl and might only tolerate her at best until they realize their son is truly happy. But what a mother doesn’t want is to see her child hurt, especially if the woman is only going to be in his life for a short time. No mom wants to see their baby go through any heartache.

Most men who cheat are scared to be cheated on and afraid of being hurt so they hurt first. Men base how they handle their relationship and how they solve the problems in them off how their relationship was/is with their mother. If mom wasn’t a good mom and treated him badly, that man won’t be amped to show any woman love. If the one woman who was supposed to love him unconditionally has done him wrong, a guy isn’t going to trust that another woman won’t do the same to him. Why wouldn’t he expect a woman he has just met, or a girlfriend to do the same thing? It’s what will go through his mind.

A man will trust his mother over any other woman and as the saying goes, mother does know best. Most would hope that is really true. Because a mom will never have to compete for her son’s love. Mom’s are forever. A girlfriend might only be here for the present, hoping for the future.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Women have mistaken a man’s uncertainty about love and his not expressing it as quickly and openly as they do, as if we don’t love as hard. That is a big misconception. Men might not always voice it to you personally but if they truly love you they will show it to you in many other ways.

I hear it from guy friends all the time. From “she doesn’t believe I love her because I don’t say it”, to “she’s leaving me because she feels her love is wanted more somewhere else”. Women have doubted a man’s love for years, since before I was even thought of.

Give your man time to show his love instead of expecting him to express it out loud. You might like that more in the end. Remember, your man’s actions will forever speak louder than his words.

But remember, love is a two-way street. Take care that you don’t fall too quickly for a man. A women who falls too quickly in a relationship can be a turnoff for some men but don’t think you have to be afraid to let a man know you want more out the relationship if you do. Just don’t PUSH and make it seem like the changes you want have to happen right when you say they do. If you give a man time to break through his barriers or put his stuff behind him then you can trust that his love will eventually come pouring down.