Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fair weather reindeer

As many have been bombarded with Christmas songs the past few days, there's been one that has stuck with me, more like bugged me. We sing 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer', but have we analyzed what this song means...

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?

At first, this establishes a popularity situation of the named eight reindeer as if they were privileged. If the next reindeer was really as famous as stated, why ask if you can recall it?

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows

This statement immediately introduces Rudolph with facial deformity as a significant trait rather than mention a positive character trait as normally done in introductions.

All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games.

The well-known reindeer mentioned in the first statement and any others in their society were bullies. The story also negatively describes Rudolph's financial situation which inclusively degrades him physically, socially, and financially.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say, "Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Where was Santa earlier during Rudolph's abuse. He only appears when he needed Rudolph. What would Santa have done for Rudolph if it was a clear night?

Then all the reindeer loved him and they shouted out with glee

How could this be real love? Moments earlier he was being ridiculed. The named reindeer must not be in a union and their pay depended on working Christmas Eve. Why else would they be shouting with glee?

"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!"

Apparently history is just whatever is documented in a format that is recoverable by future generations. It shouldn't make abuse socially acceptable for all to sing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

H1N1: To Tell or Not to Tell?

There are times in life when you want to just shake someone hard enough to loosen the idiotic thoughts that cause them to do things that many others wouldn't dare do or even say. With all the facts and myths that have been circulating the media, one would need to take basic care of themselves and others around them.

In a household of members, if one was treated for H1N1 there is a possibility that others could take ill, especially young children and their primary caretakers. For some viruses, the contagious period occurs prior to the onset of symptoms. So it is possible for an infected person to transmit a virus, unknowingly.

A situation happened recently that still has me in awe. I wonder what thought patterns can others have that I can't comprehend.

A young mother held a birthday party for her child in her home. One to two months prior, she was treated for H1N1. Since her treatment, others in the household had been ill but not specifically identified as this virus. Knowing others were ill, she had the party with many family members and friends, including many small children. Her reasoning is, by spraying the household with Lysol, it was ok. She nor did any others in the household feel the necessity to inform the adults or parents of any children who planned to attend the party of the health issues in the home so they can make a personal decision whether to attend.

Compounding the issue is that a few days after the party, another member, a child, of that household was diagnosed with H1N1. This mother nor any of the other adults in the home notified everyone who attended the party, so they can be particularly watchful of their kids health.

I just don't understand them. Can anyone validate their reasoning to me?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Camping Preparations

So much has happened within the last week, I had no time to write of the fun we all had Saturday of last weekend at the Cub Scouts Fall Family Festival held at Camp Benjamin Hawkins. The planned event included a day full of skill building activities for the kids followed by some great BBQ, overnight camp out, morning service, and breakfast of pancakes made my local firefighters.
Having never been camping before, we opted to just spend the day with the others and leave after the closing ceremony. It was an excellent decision. I learned so much in one day of the preparations needed for a camp out that would not have been the same as researching on the internet.
I had planned to drive the car that day to save on fuel, but since Hubby had to work, I drove the truck. I am so thankful, because of previous erosion, someone could destroy a B-pipe or muffler in certain areas of the campgrounds. Parking was near the main entrance, so we had to walk to our pack's designated campsite. If I had a compass, I might not have needed to ask how to get there from our current location, appearing less than a mile away. The next lesson was during the long walk, hiking boots would have been better than Nike's, but since all was dry, we hoped we could survive the day in sneakers. 1st walk along the path.
Arriving at the site, several large tents were already set up along with a tent-covered kitchen. I told one of the parents I've seen at the pack meetings that I was not staying the night, this trip was to learn what I need to bring/do at a camp. She began to school me on tents, the good and the bad of tent selection. The main item to remember is the number of poles. The simplest is four, two to crisscross overhead, one over the entrance and one at the rear. Even though there were some elaborate and awe-inspiring tents out there, but the more poles the increased level of difficulty for the install. There was one that had several sections; screened sitting area in front, sleeping area in the middle, and storage area in the back. Another looked liked that USAF balloon that Gilligan (Gilligan's Island) destroyed years ago.
Downhill, the smaller tents were stationed. There were even deck platforms available for them. Son learned how to pitch a tent by helping another kid with his. After his first one, he began to help others. Others from our den arrived and each helped others to unload and setup. I left with another parent to take her car back to the parking area and to walk back with her. 2nd walk along the path. Returning, we found her tent at near completion. Once done, we unpacked their gear. I realized I should have brought chairs for us. Thankfully, my den leader had two and I used her son's chair. Our boys sat in the tent for their meal. The only time they sat.
We were given the morning to setup as the Opening Ceremony was scheduled for 12:30. We ate our packed lunches before we left camp as dinner was being provided for us later.
When it was time, we all hiked to the main activities field which was near the parking area. 3rd walk along the path. After the Presentation of Colors flag ceremony, the Pledge of Allegiance, and announcements, the activities began. Our group started with the Wagon pull. Two-by-two, a pair would pull a covered wagon through a maze of stacked cans in hopes to beat the other pair and not knock over any cans. There was only one pair that missed all cans, doing so by leaving the designated path the pulling their wagon all outside of the gaming area. It was all good fun and they were happy. Next the kids spent time on 3 blown jumpers, a waterless slide, dragon house, and obstacle course. It was then time for some skill activities.
Along the 4th walk along the path, we detoured off to the lasso area. Each kid had as many tries necessary to loop a horn once. Further down the detoured path, we arrived at the rifle range. Being son's first time with a BB gun, I was concerned that he might hit the target page at all, I was wrong. With a target sheet that had each ring exponentially larger than the next inner circle, he hit one in the 10 range, just out side the bullseye, another in the 9 range and a third in the seven range. He received special tokens for his performance. My son the marksman.
Next was archery in the same area. He didn't do so well, arms too weak to pull the tight bows. After a short walk uphill, we were back at camp. There was talk of more activities at main area but because of the lateness, we stayed at camp munching on light snacks until dinner. Having more time than expected we had our den kids complete some achievements that required outside activities. There were some one-on-one competitions like arm-wrestling, and group races. Many kids had gotten bored from running in the woods and joined us.
Dinner consisted of burgers and hot dogs mainly for the kids and additionally smoked pork tenderloins for the adults. It was DELICIOUS. Also there was spicy chili, 5 gallons of hot chocolate, and coffee. For the campfire, plenty of marshmallows, hershey bars, and graham crackers.
After some time at our fire, it was time for the closing ceremony. We made our 5th walk along the path to meet near the lake. After the ceremony we walked the steep hill to our parking area, while the others walked back to camp. The parking area was pitch dark. Another lesson learned. FLASHLIGHT or LANTERN. Luckily there were others ahead of us with illumination. When they reached their vehicle, hmmm what then. It seemed we should be near my truck. I pressed the keyless remote and thankfully, we were within adequate distance. The truck headlights, inner lights and taillights lit. Once made a wrong turn out of there but eventually we made our way.

The day was a great day and I learned a great deal. Now it's time to start checking yard sales, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores for deals on supplies. The next camp out is next spring and WE WILL BE THERE OVERNIGHT!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goal: Precious Time

Not having much time lately to maintain both blogs as often as I like. I have merged the posts of my a plan in action blog into this one a southern thang.

Same type of goal-oriented posts, just this new location.

Here's a few updates on some of the financial goals:
Currently working on design for 1st internet app
Completed 1st draft of database design of 2nd internet app

NERD:To Be or Not To Be

Listening to The Michael Baisden Show (10.14.2009) after work the other day, the topic was 'Dumb It Down'. It was heartbreaking to hear about kids being tormented for getting good grades. After picking up son, before letting him hear the show, I asked him if anyone bothered him about his grades. He said 'Yes'. With this kid, we had to immediately talk about it. While in preschool, he thought his name was 'Benjamin Is Smart' because he heard the phrase so many times from his teachers. In first grade, he once wore my mother's eyeglasses (with bifocals) to school because students were calling him a nerd and he thought nerds were supposed to wear glasses. I made him feel better by informing him that I, along with my friends, were considered nerds and we all NOW are doing quite well.
He's now in third grade and first term at a new school. He said that along with a few others, he was being ridiculed for receiving A's. It shocked me to know that there are 'B', 'C', and 'D' gangs. Since no 'A' gang, he was feeling isolated. I reminded him of my "nerdiness" and that the President and First Lady are both considered the same. He felt so much better and doesn't plan to "Dumb Down" at all, but plans to "get his". I'm so thankful he has the strength to not let others diminish his goals.

This morning I watched a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about nerds. I tried to remember if I was bothered in school about my grades or being a nerd. I do not recall any specific taunts, so I just checked my grades to see if I could notice a pattern. (My mother kept an album for all my report cards, certificates, and notices of excellence from 1st to 12th grade.) Excluding handwriting (lol), I had A's and B's from 1st to 4th grade. Something happened in 5th grade. I started Reading and Mathematics on 4th grade level with C's. During the 3rd and 4th grading periods, I moved up to 5th levels for both areas having B's in the last grading period. Finishing Reading with a final B average, but not enough for Math, ending with a C average. A note in my record that I could not receive an A or B when I was below average.

The progression continued in the 6th grade. Reading started on proper level with B's then to A's, but also excelled to 7th grade level with A's. Mathematics was on proper level with B's. In 7th grade, I was on 8th grade level in reading with B's and mathematics from B's to A's on proper level.

Looking at the pattern I had to think back for anything that happened to lower my grades in 4th and excellence in 5th grade. I do remember being teased that I didn't wear trendy clothing and I was not popular, but not which year. That could have been the cause. The only significant incident I can remember in the 5th grade was the ONLY fight I've ever had in my life. It started in recess with a "trouble-maker" (MT) began teasing me in a crowd of my classmates. Normally this didn't affect me but the addition of a "friend" joining them must have hurt and weakened my self-control. MT began to laugh and point a finger in my face, a BIG NO-NO! I recall pushing her hand out of my face. It was ON from that point. I lost complete control. I recall seeing my arms swinging can't recall any emotion. Also I recall pushing the PE teacher away and continuing. I have no recollection of how it was stopped.

Not known for getting in trouble, I was given a pass and not even sent to the principal's office. Ironically, MT later wanted to be friends and many others left me alone.
It's sad, but I'm glad it happened. It appears to have shaped what I am today and helps me guide my son through all he has faced and what he may face in the future.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Big 4-0 and still climbing...

I've heard that some dread reaching the age of 40. For me, it is a milestone. A moment to evaluate where I have been, where I am now, and where I want to be. I haven't completed several tasks that I have set forth to do. Some hindrances have been out of my control, but others have not. I take this moment in life to affirm my commitment to my goals and to myself and to my family. It's understandable that it won't be easy and a huge sacrifice of my already little "me" time, but the rewards of accomplishment will be worth it.

Onto softer conversation, my birthday weekend was great. Starting the day (Oct 2nd) with flowers and a balloon from Hubby when I woke. On-site co-workers from our consulting company took me to lunch. It was odd that it was the first time in the years we've worked there just the four of us had lunch together. It was Mexican.

My birthday coincided on First Friday Macon. An event where business owners in downtown Macon have several events to attract consumers to the area. Since Hubby had to work night shift, I spent the evening there with Mom, son and a girlfriend who also works with me. It was a lovely evening great for outdoor entertainment.

Saturday's plans were for us to have dinner with Mom, sis and niece at Golden Corral's. Dinner was actually a surprise party for me. I had no idea. It was a great feeling NOT being involved something. We arrived BEFORE many of the surprise guests. That was great also having to focus on a few at a time instead of everyone.
I saw first my mom sitting with a family friend which we've regularly shared family events. Once fully entering the room I saw one of the guys I had lunch with the day before sitting next to my girlfriend who hung out with me the night before. Payback will be later.
Within minutes, my brother (from metro Atlanta) and his three sons (7, 5, 1) came in. It was nice seeing my brother, but having my nephews there added a special touch.
Moments later an old friend arrived with her mother and her daughter. Their family used to live behind my mom. We both grew up together and used to be best of friends. They were definitely a surprise, she currently lives in metro Atlanta with her family. I hadn't spoken to her since New Year's and maybe a year since we've seen each other. My sister and niece arrived much later, but before some had to leave.

There were more invited but were unable to attend for prior commitments. It was fine. If all had attended, the room would have been crowded and maybe uncomfortable. The kids enjoyed the space; they had fun running around and playing around and under the tables. A tremendous joy was the cake. My mom had made and decorated it. Mmmm, pound cake birthday cake, yes!

Sunday was supposed to be dinner for just me, Hubby, and son, but I was too tired from working all week and trying to get weekend chores done early, then the Friday and Saturday events. The dinner was not cancelled, just postponed (I'm not crazy!).

Monday was back to normal. Before lunch, the same corruptible girlfriend asked if I wanted to go for Mexican for lunch. Needing to make a run to Home Depot (a long story), I told her I might not make it. Then she remembers that she needed to go also and so she tagged along with another friend of ours. Quickly finishing, we had a quick sitdown lunch at Zaxby's. Arriving back to the office, I noticed folks had been busy. There were posted fliers of me announcing my 40th birthday on two sets of the entrance glass doors, below the elevator button, (upstairs) security doors to the hallway to my office area. I began to wonder how much damage was done to my cubicle. I saw what was done to the guy who turned 40 last month, I began to cringe.

It wasn't as bad as I expected, but really funny. It's nice to be loved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Help Support Scouting Activities

Did you know you can help me earn my own way in Scouting?
Just click here and place an order on my behalf. There are
new products offered online, like flavored almonds and a
limited edition BSA tote.

You can even donate a gift of popcorn (2 levels) to those serving our country.

70% of your purchase will be returned to me, my unit and
my council. Online purchases help us fund fun, educational
activities and help more kids experience all the things that
make Scouting great.

Thanks for your support,
Benjamin B

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gas me up or Knock me out

Preventive and proactive care is normally a positive event in one's life, but there are times when you say, "I feel worse now than before I knew there was a problem." Last month I had my semi-annual dental visit which was also time for the annual bite-wing x-rays. Nothing unusual, during the visit, until near the end the hygienist mentioned I needed a filling. I glanced at the display screen noticing the highlighted tooth (a left molar). No big deal, I thought, it's been a long time since I needed one.

After some scheduling and rescheduling on their behalf, the procedure was scheduled for this past Thursday at 1:15. All went as planned until they called me a little after 12 asking if I could arrive earlier. Being that I was just finishing my lunch (a salad), they were located within 5 minute drive from my job, and all was slow, I left around 12:30, arriving there shortly after that. Spent a few minutes in the lobby playing BlackJack on BB and glancing at The Young & the Restless while I waited. Still, there was no indication that rest of my day would be dreadful.

I didn't remember until this woman stuck an anesthetic stick in my mouth that they were going to numb me with novocaine injections and it usually takes MANY before the work can begin. Having the previous experience of meds wearing off DURING a root canal, I recalled being told to try to relax as much as possible to let the meds work quickly. The first round injections came and went. I tried, REALLY tried, to "shut up", but doc's assistant continued to ask me several questions and instructing me to adjust my jaw in positions not normally done. During this inquisition, the second round of injections came and went because I still had sensations in lip and tongue. Maybe she thought that by talking, the meds would be "worked" into the proper areas. Not sure how much time had passed, but now The Bold & the Beautiful was on overhead monitor.

Finally when my saliva glands were in overdrive and my speech was so jumbled she could barely understand me, it was time to start. Doc was called in and he began with ANOTHER round of injections. It was a positive that I did not feel anything while doc went about doing his thing with his motorized gadgets, the negative happened later. I left their office just after 2pm.

Having a previously planned appointment canceled, I returned to work with no plans to speak to anyone, but of course Hubby wanted to have a phone conversation. Amid this conversation, I had to end it abruptly. Instead of the numbness decreasing, it began to increase to the other side of my face. This continued for the next hour or so.

Problem: lunch wore off and hunger cravings kicked in. There was no way I could eat my regular afternoon snack: Washington apple. Searching for alternatives in my desk I found some sugar-free thin mints. Breaking one apart, I was able to kill the snacking urge by letting pieces dissolve on my right cheek.

Rest of the day had a plethora of emotions: anger that I felt worse than before the procedure, annoyance to constantly push in my lower lip and check for drool, displeasure in taking Tylenol for the pain in the injection location, and aggravation that I couldn't eat anything until 8pm without fear of biting my tongue. Even then there was a possibility my cheek was still in danger.

Now here it is, three days after the procedure and there are still sensitive areas in my jaw. Next time, there has to be better way: either gas me up or knock me out.

Goal: Cleansers, who knew?

I haven't posted here is a long time because nothing has been technically completed. I was able to clear out a lot of stuff that was being stored in the office, but haven't gotten the room finished like I want.

A few weeks ago we were able to get the shelves up and empty SEVERAL boxes of books that had been packed for years. Some had been packed since the late 90's. Never really gotten around placing them in a "permanent" office. Most are our college textbooks, my computer science and his electrical engineering. It was interesting to find the several books on writing that we both had from our college days. We found a notebook of his writings from before we met that I will work to get published along with stories I've written in the last few years.

The newest books are Microsoft Certification study materials. Of course, those collections are still growing, for example my most recent purchases were on Javascript and AJAX. Of course, when hubby saw it he said, "why did you buy this book, I can teach you all about cleansers?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Catch a Thief

This is courtesy of a co-worker...

About a month ago, I set a trap because I was suspicious that someone was going in my desk draw. I have some Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars and (I had) some small packages of Nekot Cookies. First, my nutria-grain bars were missing. Now the bandit has taken my Nekot cookies. I bought some Newton’s Fruit Crisps Snacks that I leave on my desk. But noooooooooo, he/she/it…took my Lance Nekot Cookies with Peanut Butter.

I thought the thief was at least an honest thief. I left a note in the draw which read, “What in the Hell R, U, looking for. The next time, leave me a note that you stopped to steal my cookies. Well, guess what? My note is missing.

The moral of this true story is; I am not mad because if the bandit did not have a sense of humor, my note would still be here.

Thanks for letting me Vent.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I found the other woman, Vanesa

Some have asked me where I have been/what have I been doing since I have slacked on posting here. I have said that I have been busy working, but there is more to this story. For some time, this post has been on my mind, but I haven't had the strength to write it until now. My therapist said in order for me to heal, I have to let this go, for me to stop keeping this inside. Being that this blog has been the best outlet for me, I've finally decided to do this.

I do not remember when it was said, but in a discussion with Hubby one day, I told him that if the day came that I was not enough for him, I would find him someone else. My assumption was that it would never happen. As with my son's training in cub scout, when you make a promise, you must keep it if it is within your ability.

If you have been following me on Twitter, you may have seen my Tweets about Hubby's glucose levels being too high and being placed on short-term disability until his company says that he can drive for them again. He's been home for the past eight weeks. For the first four weeks, he was home with our son. But since school started he's basically been home alone all day. For someone accustomed to being away from home most of the time, I understand he could get lonely. In addition, after I get home from work, review homework, workout, having dinner and my side projects, there's wasn't much of "us" time before I have to do to sleep to start my daily routine all over again.

One day before going household shopping, I gave him a shopping list of items I knew we needed and told him to add what he needed. I didn't review the list until I was in the truck. The last item he wrote, "A woman, white or black". Saying I was shocked would be an understatement, but then I realized what I had promised him and had to honor it. We live about five miles from the nearest shopping centers so I had a little time to develop a strategy so the situation could benefit me also.

Quickly I selected certain qualities:
  • Dim: Can't have her challenging me intellectually
  • Quiet: Can't have her attempt to out talk me
  • Weak: If she steps out of place, I may have to beat her down. I don't have time for that
  • Meak: Can't have her challenging me to be the HSIC (head sista in charge)
  • Sturdy: with all the housework and yardwork to be done, since she's there, she might as well work, too

Arriving at Fred's, the parking lot looked sparse. There was not much hope for finding a large selection. That idea was confirmed as I perused the store selecting the other items on my list. Surprisingly in the toy section, or may be not surprising, I saw a possible candidate. She just had that "look" I was seeking. For the intelligence test, I asked her had she seen an item that was directly in her line of sight. She just stared as if I had asked her to name Saturn's moons. PERFECT! I explained the situation to her and she came along just as easily as the items in my shopping cart.

I had to also go across the street to get a few groceries from Ingles. She stayed in my truck to give her some more time to think about this and a chance to back out before meeting Hubby. When I returned, she was still there.

Arriving home, I brought in some bags and scoped Hubby's location. Returning with the last of the bags, I presented Vanesa to him as I will present her to you.

He didn't say she had to be LIVING!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2nd Time Around, Part 3, Final Chapter

Continued from Part 2...

I didn't mention earlier that I was spontaneously asked to be the Mistress of Service for our Sunday Service program. Spontaneous as in, Cousin Tina asked me from the front of the meeting hall as I sat at a table in the middle of the room, a room filled with our ENTIRE family. There was no way for me to decline. During the procession of the program I realized that my breathing wasn't as strong as normal. Thank goodness I declined from participating in the family choir.

I thought no more of this until later at home while unloading the truck; i felt the same weakness again. Once settled I read over the printed antibiotic prescription information that I mistakenly left home. I began to wonder if Hubby was correct in thinking the medicine had caused the additional symptoms, not the infection. I had one more day of pills to take and still had the recurring fever and chills. Not normal.

After several moments of contemplation, I decided to call my doctor's office. She suggested I go to the emergency room. Since Hubby and son were already in bed and I could tell Hubby was in his "you don't need to go the emergency room" mode, I decided not to press and drive myself. At least I did contact mom and sis to let them know of my plans. They decided that sis will drop off mom and if it turned out to be serious, they would workout getting my car back home.

Mom arrived not long after I completed the check-in process. In the examining room, I began to feel the effects of the last Goody powder wearing off. Being that the last few times I'd been on a hospital gurney I was well medicated, I don't recall noticing how UNCOMFORTABLE a gurney can be. I tossed and turned in the slim excuse of a bed. It took two people find a "good" vein to suck all the blood out of me.
It seemed like hours before I was given any Tylenol for the fever. I figured they wanted to perform all tests prior. By the time the pain reliever took effect well, the doc returned with the results.

Of course, since the doctor is PRACTICING medicine, he had no idea what was wrong. He had eliminated a reaction from the medicine and the initial infection was non-existent. He would have guessed it was something viral, but since I still had the fever, he suggested I had an infection that could not be detected in the tests they had performed. Either I could stay longer and let them take cultures or take a different antibiotic to see if it would knock it out. It was already in the wee hours of the morning, you know what option I chose.

Arriving back home before daylight, I took more Tylenol and went to bed. Thank goodness Hubby and I had taken the week off. Instead of working through our TO DO list, I spent Monday-Thursday either in bed or in my glider-rocker. The second antibiotic worked like a charm; after the first few doses, the fever and chills disappeared. It wasn't until Friday afternoon before I even left the house. At least on Sunday I was able to work on one project on the list.

Of course since returning to my regular madhouse schedule, nothing has been done since. Maybe I'll get more done on my NEXT vacation.

Side Note: Today is my dad's birthday, he would have been 78.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2nd Time Around, Part 2

Continued from Part 1... and pics from cookout

Let's see where was I. Oh yeah..back at the hotel I crawled into bed while Hubby and son visited the pool. With increasing aches and pains and the addition of chills, the plan was to get a little sleep prior to the Meet & Greet session that night. I'd already paid for the accompanying meal. Now I know that no one should fall asleep while watching HBO because you'll never know what you'll wake to and also it could affect your dreams. Since Hubby likes to watch channels like National Geographic and Animal Planet and left the TV on a channel like those, I thought it would be safe, NOT!!! I had disturbing dreams of some anteater-looking animals that normal lived in swamps but occasionally went to land in search of food. They had webbed feet. Needless to say, my sleep wasn't restful.

Later I dragged myself downstairs to the meeting room. Being that it was well after the start time of 8pm, I thought I would be able to say hi to everyone, eat and go back to bed. At this time I thought that was finally feeling the effects of the infection and figured it would clear soon. Exiting the elevator, I saw Hubby relaxing in the lobby with my uncle, not a good sign.

In the meeting room, only about 25% of the fam was there, they were still bringing in the food, and I was STUCK. There was no way I could bail. At least I was given the Family bag of goodies before the rush started. As soon as I received it, Mom (sitting across the room) motioned for me to see inside. There was a sample box of Goody's pain and fever powders. Being a Tylenol fan, I didn't put much thought on it (little did I know then).

After what seemed to be hours, we finally ate. Afterward, Hubby said he would go get some Tylenol for me, if I wanted. The hotel didn't have a convenience shop. Well, I wanted to watch the family slideshow, so I told him I would be up when it was over. He went on upstairs while son and I stayed for the show.

I should have known my family. The slide show of donated pictures was created WITHOUT labeling the images. Almost every slide had a discussion on who was pictured. Son fell asleep before it was over. It was a great idea and hilarious seeing pictures of some folks "young and skinny" who are not now so "young and skinny" .

Back in our room, I returned to find Hubby knocked out. There was no way I would wake him. Hmmm, the Goody powders. I took a dose and went to bed. I had chills when I first crawled in, but must have gotten hot later. By the middle of the night, I had sweat-soaked everything. Thank goodness we had gotten two queen beds and the sleeper. I was spent the second half of the night on the OTHER side of my bed. It was soaked too, by the morning. Hubby would have been miserable if we had gotten a king suite. We did leave good tips, though.

That's how I survived the rest of the reunion and the drive home. Goody powders every six hours allowed me to enjoy the Saturday cookout/fun and games, and the Sunday service and brunch during the days. But still sweating all night. Oh yeah, southern cuz and I did beat the other northern cuz and his wife in three rounds of Horseshoe.

Now throughout all of this, I continued to take the antibiotics. Hubby suggested that I stop since it appeared I was having adverse effects from it. Knowing you're not supposed to stop taking antibiotics, I continued.

Next, Part 3: All night in the emergency room.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2nd Time Around, Part 1

Having the last reunion for this family not turn out as expected, there was hope for a better vacation this year having the reunion planned for the first few days followed by a week off with Hubby to complete many projects around the house. Thursday morning, 1st day of vacation, all was moving along fine even though I was running late to meet at Mom's house. Two days earlier at a physical, I was informed that I had a Urinary Tract infection. Even though I haven't had one since I was in my twenties, I figured it was just a fluke. I started taking the antibiotics that Wednesday night.

I do not recall how far along we were on I-16 before it was noticeable that there may be a problem. Hubby began asking me how I felt. Knowing that I had been living full throttle for months and was on antibiotics, I thought my drowsiness was acceptable and no cause for worry. I must have had that "something is not right" aura, because he continued to ask me how I felt. I was just glad he was doing all the driving while I dozed all the way there.

Thursday evening was uneventful, we picked up supplies from a nearby Kroger and burgers on the way back. Friday morning was fine; breakfast was at a Shoney's Buffet.

For the Black History Tour of Savannah, I thought we were going to be on a "trolley" tour bus, but we were in a fully-loaded 15-passenger van.

It was a great learning experience, in particular visiting the First African Baptist Church. It was cool seeing the memorabilia from the 18th Century.

Outside the church, we stopped at the Haitian Monument. Rode around some more and stopped at what used to be an African school which now is an art gallery and museum. I began to feel a little tired and achy. We even saw the neighborhood that my mom used to live.

The tour was ending later than expected so the driver agreed to take us directly to River Street so we wouldn't miss the boat ride. On the way there, he took us by the holding areas where slaves were kept until they were sold. They looked like open garages in a hillside adjacent to stone streets. I wished we had time to stop and take pictures and contemplate.

After a quick snack, we moved along for the river boat ride along the Savannah River. We had to wait awhile before boarding. It was around that time I realized
that "a little tired and achy" felt more like "exhaustion and painful", but there was no where to go but forward. Once the river boat started, Hubby and I went out to the deck following the kids. The most comfortable seating was on the bow.
Great view, warmth from the Sun and a relaxing breeze. I forgot that I wasn't feeling well, amazing.

Back at the hotel, I realized the worst was yet to come.

Continued in next post.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

1st Time Around

The first part of my vacation was to have a relaxing fun time at my maternal grandmother's family reunion. It had to be better than two years ago when our chartered bus broke down TWICE on our way from Savannah GA to Austin TX. The first time was near 4 AM Friday morning somewhere in Mississippi. We all knew a higher power was watching over us because this breakdown began just before the exit for the Rest Area. The driver was able to make it to a decent parking area before the engine stopped. We had rest rooms, vending machines, and several benches in a well lit area. Also during this 20+ hour trip the A/C condensation ONLY dripped over the seats occupied by son and I. Because of the number of travelers, many were able to occupy double seats.
Needless to say, but I will, it was an extremely uncomfortable ride and not the best sleeping arrangements. I was one of the few who were awake and to notice the A/C was not blowing. It got warm quickly in the mid-July heat. After several hours and a patched repair job we were on our way. I was able to get a little sleep once we were on our way, after about an hour, family began to converse around 7 AM.

We were blessed during the second breakdown that Saturday. We were using the chartered bus for the tour of the city. While traveling down a winding, steep slope the bus stopped again directly across the street from a BBQ restaurant, the only level spot we had encountered. While exiting the bus and going to restaurant's parking lot, we saw antifreeze flowing to the embankment. Most of the family ate there, but as our food arrived, hubby, son and I, we had our meal packed since we were told we would be the first group to be shuttled back to the hotel so Hubby could help shuffle family using a cousin's SUV. Didn't work out that way. In the first group, there was only room for Hubby. Son and I stayed and I was in no mood to unpack our meals and eat cold food. We stayed outside as others joined us after they finished their meals.

When Hubby and the other drivers returned, I waited until all the older members had transportation. There was no room for son and I. On the next trip, hours after the first, Hubby made room for us. After traffic delays caused by Lady Bird Johnson's funeral services, we made it back to the hotel and was told another chartered bus was at the restaurant to bring those who were left. Once all was settled, we ate our meals in our room and took naps. By the time we woke and prepared for the banquet that night, the banquet was over.

Sunday's events did not go well either for us. Since many arrived in town via air transportation, many did not have means to travel to the picnic at a park not near the hotel. By the time we packed our bags, checked out of the hotel, the bus was fully loaded. There was no space for all our luggage. Like in all family there are some who can cause you to lose your cool. Since Hubby was an over-the-road driver at the time and had driven the truck there, I took the hotel's luggage cart over to his truck and loaded them there.

When we, son and I, arrived back to the bus, the only seats available were the two front seats held by the drivers of the original bus. We sat there and was hearing flack from a family member that the "DRIVERS" needed to sit there. I was getting so ticked off that I said (to myself) that the next person to say anything about us sitting there, I was going to exit the bus and go get in Hubby's truck, forget the rules that he did not have permission for any riders in the truck. It was that or say something that Grandma shouldn't here. Luckily all was quiet.

I can't recall what it was but another short-straw event happened again at the park. This time it was all I could take. I took a walk alone around the park to get myself together. By the time I rounded the area and arrived near the bus, my mom and one of her sisters met me wondering what was the problem. I told them all that had happened. In an effort to appease me, they encouraged me to select seats for the ride home. The rest of the picnic "seemed" like the horrible luck had ended.

When we left on the bus, Hubby left out too for his next route assignment. Sometime that night, somewhere in Louisiana, we met up with another bus that was to take us back to Savannah. It was a little smaller than the others, so seats were limited. I chose seats almost exactly where we were on the first bus.

All was well until we got on a not-so-smooth roadway. The window next to our seats began to pop open on one end when we hit the hardest bumps. GREAT!!! Being undone, I said nothing until we arrived back in Savannah. I told the driver, who immediately checked the window. One or two of the security clips were broken and only one clip was left holding the window closed. He thanked me for informing him and said he would get it repaired.

This was in July 2007. I was glad the next reunion was voted to be in Savannah in 2009. No bus ride necessary, but it did not go as planned also. Next post.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm doing a Lion King, here's Part 1 1/2

When I wrote Part 2, I was too tired to write all that happened in between Part 1 and Part 2 of my Truck Purchasing Drama. The story really didn't form until Hubby and I told it to Mom last weekend. So in tradition of the Lion King animated movies, here's what happened in between.

Being the geek that I am, I used the power of the internet in my truck search. and were my best friends. Even though most vehicles posted on their sites are 'teaser priced' to get you on the lot, at least you can get some competitive prices and negotiation power.
I expanded my search not just locally but 50 miles from my zip. This included southern ATL.

During the 1 1/2 weeks we were waiting on the Part 1 truck to be ready, I still continued the search to make sure we were getting the BEST deal, but not as aggressively as before. On, there were several trucks in the ATL area that were still on my list but I hadn't pursued. After the ordeal in Part 1 on Tuesday, I upgraded my search again, but this time the selection was dimmer than before. I was told that used crew cab trucks are hard to find and there are many other buyers searching for them too. Even when they do come available, they do not last long.
I was not surprised, there are plenty trucks in the parking lot at work, at the grocers, and other shopping areas around here.

I became so discouraged that I began looking for SUVs, even though I knew we needed a truck. Hubby was starting day shift the next week and we needed to get something by the weekend. Earlier had mentioned to Hubby that there were a few trucks in the ATL on my list that I hadn't followed up on. He felt that ATL was too far away, we should be able to find a deal down here. But being the stubborn person I am, I could not delete them from my saved list until I at least checked them out. One was in Union City (Ford F-150) and the other in Decatur (GMC Sierra). I made contact with both.

The salesman in Union City was quick, cordial and eager for me to come take a look. The salesman in Decatur was cordial too, but seemed to move slow for me. I guess that's the no pressure demeanor for Saturn.

On Thursday, I had made arrangements to go to Union City, and also made informed the Saturn dealership (via email, his preference) that I wanted to see the Sierra while I was up there. Since I hadn't heard back from Saturn, Hubby suggested I called the General Sales Manager to try to get the ball moving. With only 11,000 miles for an '07, it was the best option we saw. It was time for me to pick up son from camp, so Hubby called for me. A few minutes later, before I could get situated in the car, Hubby called with arrangements to go see the Sierra truck first. So after picking up son and getting something to eat on the road, we were headed up I-75 to the ATL.

Now one major concern Hubby had was that the Prelude would overheat on the way, if we were caught in the most common traffic backups. I was not concerned, son and I had a prayer before we left for the Lord to get us there safely, without the car overheating. We were to drive the Sierra back home so hubby can check it out.
As I drove through the 90F degree heat, the Temp indicator rose steadily, but I kept my faith and drove on. With the indicator nearing the top, the Lord stepped in and provided us an afternoon rainshower. As it began the car temp cooled drastically. I drove on slowly knowing the Lord was getting us there, as we had prayed. The rain continued until we neared the bypass I-675, once there, the skies cleared and there was no heavy traffic. The temp needle rose again but we were almost to Decatur. We arrived not long later, having no problems.

After a test drive, loaner paperwork was done and we were on our way, except for a quick "breather" stop to see my cuz before the drive home. There was rain on the way home too, but not as heavy.

Friday morning, Hubby checked out the truck and we decided to move forward with the purchase. I spent the day trying to get all the financing and insurance taken care of with the credit union when Hubby called and said that Saturn wanted the financing and was willing to negotiate and get us a lower rate. But since we was no guarantee we would finance through them, we hurried to get a check from the CU before they closed. Thankfully, they were open later on Fridays.

Now to the big day, Saturday, we drove back up to the ATL with check in hand. We had prior given Saturn our financial info so they can get started with the credit approval. What really proves that the Lord had intervened two days earlier, this time we were in the usual traffic backups. That Prelude would have surely overheated leaving son and I stranded on the interstate.

Eventually we arrived and met with the GSM, different one than Hubby talked to Thursday, to discuss their financing offer and complete the deal. The original offer was not what we expected. The rate was lower, but with their add-ons the payment would have been higher. As Hubby and I discussed it, the GSM was giving us payment amounts with the individual options but not all. We said that we would just move forward with the credit union offer. To my surprise, he offered to match the CU payment and give us all the options and lower rate. We agreed and the deal was done. This shows it's great to have a backup plan in place when negotiating.

After the dust settled and I began to think about the search, I realized that truck had been on my list near the beginning. The Lord presented it to me, but we looked locally. We were not meant to have that truck in Part 1. I could see that then. We had worried that the Prelude would die in days and had not put our trust in the Lord to get us through.

This is another example in my life where by putting my faith in Him, He blessed us with not just what we needed, but also what we wanted. GMC Sierra is my favorite truck.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am what I am...a trucker chic

Part 1: Of course you know, this means war! UPDATED

Part 2:
To be a trucker chic, the make is not all that matters. If it's a truck to be admired, then admire it. I am not a major Ford person, but this one caught my attention. Black with chrome package...NICE! but over 30 Grand/Stacks

This was the one that caused us much grief. Not as bold as the Ford, this Chevy Silverado met our needs. Our first truck was a 1993 Silverado. Pros: Price, Color hides dirt Con: Beige Cloth seats + 7 yr old boy = disaster

For some reason the GMC Sierra calls to me. Our previous ones (1996, 1999) served us well for years. The 1999 BIG DOG is no longer with us, but well remembered.

Son, Speed Racer enthusiast, named the Prelude "Mach 5". Years ago, it was exciting for him to see it being connected to a tow truck. It was cool following it to HI-FI Buys (alarm died). Once he realized that we were leaving it there, he boo-hoo'd all the way home. Glad it was a short trip.

Son's older now, but still having the attachment to the Mach 5, he was given the honors of naming the truck, the Prelude's replacement. So may I introduce you to BONE CRUSHER. Grandma is not trilled about the name but we gave him no naming limitations.

After finally depleting the first tank fill provided by the nice folks at Saturn Of Decatur, last evening was my turn. Yikes! can't wait till after Labor Day!

Although we had several rounds of negotiations, mainly hubby and General Sales Manager with me in the middle, all was well. They were respectful at every stage and were willing to "make the deal". We are greatly pleased.

P.S.: Key to financing negotiations: have a check in hand from one institution is a great bargaining tool when in negotiation with another.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Of course you know, this means war! UPDATED

If you've been visiting here for awhile you may be aware of my regular rants on customer service. Today was the first time since the early '90s that I've lost my cool. To think about it, today was the worst ever. Normally I am mild-mannered person and even under difficult situations, I have been known to not even raise my voice a decibel. But today was not the case.
If you've been following me on Twitter you might already know some of this, but for others, here's a little background. For the past few months, our '89 Prelude has been in the repair shop several times. After the last round and several hundred more dollars, the car began to overheat and expected to cost at least a hundred more to repair. We had to decide to sink more money into it and hope it lasts until the end of the year or purchase another vehicle.
Being under the impression that the vehicle would be taking it's last few breaths within a few days, we made a deal to purchase a truck with minor body damage. Great price, right age, and low miles. We made a deposit with good intentions, with the expectation that the warranty work would be done professionally in the told short turnaround. After a week passed with several delay excuses and without the work being completed, they provided us a rental vehicle last Friday with the expectation the truck would be ready Saturday or Monday. Well TODAY the paint job was finally completed. There's a latch also to be fix and the salesman was to get it checked out tomorrow.
This evening, during a discussion between Hubby and the Salesman this afternoon, there was a "misunderstanding" about who completed the paint job so Hubby called me to return the rental, get the Prelude and our deposit back. (Son and) I immediately left Kroger (without badly needed groceries) heading to dealership.

Being my normal calm and composed self, I spoke to the salesman and then the sales manager, the used sales manager was not on site. Within a few minutes, the "misunderstanding" was resolved and they brought out the truck for my inspection. Now prior, I had been given the "oh, it looks great!" snow job. On first look, the work seemed ok. But after further inspection, I noticed curvature where there not should have been and bulges that looked worse than the back of my thighs. Salesman talked to Hubby on my phone and was telling him how "GREAT" the truck looked and the "painter" wanted to do a second wet sand later to give it a better look. He then left to "talk" to someone. I finally had a chance to tell Hubby how really crappy it looked. He agreed with me to stop the deal.

Now before I went back inside to get the "men", I said a prayer on whether I should accept what they were dishing or continue to get out of it. I also prayed to my birth father too, he was the one to teach me how to deal with car salesmen. There were no signs, so I moved on ahead.

I got them outside to show them what I disliked. I can't remember every word of the conversation but I did not accept "song and dance" that the sales manager began giving to me. Had the nerve to say that I had to wait till Friday for the return of the Used Car sales manager since he was the one who made the deal. That didn't make sense. Someone had to be a decision maker in his absence. Would you believe it was HIM, but he said that he WOULDN'T make a decision without the other guy and I HAD to wait. I do recall next my hand flailing at the adjacent building and their Lexus lot across the street as I stated their should be SOMEONE else who could make a decision. He mentioned Mr. "Man" (who owns 11 dealerships). So I stated I should expect a call from Mr. Man in the morning. I guess that wasn't the response he expected and quickly stated that he doesn't know his schedule.

This "song and dance" went on for too long enough. I can't recall what was said, but I know I was loud, arms swinging back and forth. Eventually I told them that I was leaving and to give me my keys. They were in the car parked on the other side of the truck. Son and I went back in building to get my (work) things. It was then that I realized that probably EVERYONE was out there watching the scene unfold. There was so much "red and white shirts" around. (I don't plan to reveal the dealer manufacturer at this time.)
On the way to my Prelude I had to pass the truck. I did not look at them directly, but there were now several more men there, crowding the truck at the area of my dissatisfaction. Once in the car, son and I got situated. He quickly made me aware that I had used the "H-word" several times, I wholeheartedly apologized and had to explain to him what had me so upset. Before pulling off, the salesman came to my window and asked me to wait.
Being that this car SHOULDN'T be idled, I turned it off, we exited, and waited at its rear. I got back on the phone with Hubby. By this time, I was cool again but that quickly changed. Mr. Sales Manager, said he talked to the other manager and said they could TRY to work on the repair again. My response was "how could I expect a professional job the second time around if you couldn't do it the first time." NO DEAL. He also said that they wouldn't return my deposit since they had already done work and they paid for the rental. I lost it again. It wasn't my fault that THEY did a poor job, it took longer than expected, and they provided the rental as previously agreed on deal day. He talked all about "their" inconveniences. We ended it as he would talk to the General Manager in the morning and I would make "my calls".

Later I received a call from the salesman with his "I got your back" spill. I listened and responded as a "sista" to play along. He is supposed to talk to the GM in the morning too, they "tight". Uh-huh, we'll see.

Well, I'm tight with a different GM, I prayed and felt the strength to endure whatever was thrown at me. I still do. We'll see what happens tomorrow, but this was quite unexpected with this industry and this economy.

Victory Thru Hair Power: This new fro works.

UPDATE: Within an hour of calling Toyota Customer Service this morning, I received a call from the dealership's Customer Service department informing me that I would receive my deposit back. Those folks have been apologizing all day, even after the refund was applied to my card. The refund transaction hasn't appeared on my account yet, so until then...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

End Of Days is here

I had no idea of how well of a fictional writer I was until yesterday. Last week I wrote Brawl at Summer Camp not knowing that son would be involved in an altercation this week. The incident was not as involved as my imagination had portrayed, it was just him and an older girl. I can’t cite the details as I do not know yet the full story. Basically niece did not budge when she watched a portion of incident and she joined the defense of the girl.

Whether it was “divine intervention”, “Lord works in mysterious ways”, or just coincidence, as some may feel, but it was a blessing that Sis needed me to drop off niece to Mom’s on my way home. In the approximate 10 minutes drive, their incessant bickering pushed me to my “I’m turning the both of you over to Grandma” limit.

In a way, Mom was pleased we had the opportunity to get to the heart of the HATE portion of their LOVE/HATE relationship. It took some prying but we were able to force verbalization of their feelings for one another. Whether it’s called the “Devil”, “Satan”, or “Anti-Christ”, the name doesn’t matter, but what they had to understand is that they are following it instead of God and the teachings of Jesus. A person can’t follow both evil AND good as they are opposite.

It was emotional for me as for 7 ½ months, they lived in my home as siblings. Both agreed that their friction increased during that time. It should have been expected as both had prior lived as an “only” child in a household and then had to adjust to sharing time, space, and attention from “parent(s)”. In some aspect their relationship did grow as they had someone readily for playtime when indoors, even though they wouldn’t admit it.

Thankfully, after techniques of role-reversal and eye-contact communication, they both admitted that they loved the other, but frequently disliked each other. It was a start.

This situation applies to not just them but our society. There is so much hatred and no love for the fellow person. This hatred does not always personify as physical violence, there is ignorance of homeless, spread of sexual diseases, bigotry, envy, road-rage, and something simple as negative assumptions.

In reference to the “End of Days” as written in the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, some recant the time as the physical destruction of the world, but what about the destruction of Love. It would seem that this destruction should matter more as this physical world does not exist in Heaven.

We pray that ‘thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, but can we ever expect “peace on Earth”?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Goal Complete: Garage

Even though I did not achieve this milestone in the planned one year anniversary date of living in our home, but having this complete is a great feeling. With the approaching switch of vehicles this week, it wouldn't be polite to dump my car to Hubby in it's current internal condition. This dictated my weekend goal to wash it externally and detail the interior (as much as possible). To do this right, the correct environment had to be in order.

Way back when before ipods and mp3 players, there were these huge bulking monstrosities that played music and had internal speakers for sharing the listening pleasure. Some provided music from radio stations, some from cassettes and others from CD players. They were called Boomboxes. If you had a combination boombox that had more than one feature, you were in hog heaven. I still have one of such, a JVC brand that has all three, AM/FM radio, cassette player and CD player. The chosen source was the radio fixed on a local radio station that claims to play classic soul hits from 60s, 70s, and 80s. Along with the boombox was need for a portable fan, nothing expensive required. A box or circular fan would do. Finalizing the setup, would be unlimited source of ice water. Having the proper environment, the work began.

The first part of this task was easy, especially with the recent paint jobs. Early Saturday morning, son and I began working, me on the body, him on the tires. After about an hour or so, we were done with the exterior.
Before moving on to the interior, reality set in. It was approaching mid-day and getting increasingly hotter by the minute. Heat index values in upper 90's, hence, the interior work had to be done in the shade, and the garage clearing had to be completed first.

As you can see, the initial state of this area was monumental. After a year of pecking away, only little remained, but enough to consume an afternoon of work. It was spent hours and hours, box after box, sorting, storing, and discarding, item after item until no more to be done by me. Some of Hubby's cabling supplies remained, but they are not on MY to do list. The evening ended with a much awaited, "AAAAHHHHHH, finally done".

The second part of this task, was harder than the first. Having the shade, music and ice water on hand helped but from being muscle-fatigued from the previous day's activities did not help the situation. After we removed of trash, mainly son's normal seating area, and thorough vacuum, the daunting task of cleaning the leather seat covers began. Leaving the worst for last, son's seating area, I began on the front seats. Being that this was required use of "adult" materials, son was released from cleaning duty.

Thankfully, Hubby woke from his slumber and volunteered his assistance. Under different circumstances I "might" have requested his assistance, but since he worked the night before, I left him to the Sandman. Hubby began on son's disaster area while I continued with the front seating. Hubby worked on the back carpets as I cleaned the floor rugs. Remembering the recently purchased carpet cleaner, I used it to finish the job.

By late afternoon, the two-for-one job was over. Garage neat and clean car. The three of us wound down in garage, sitting around the fan, devouring freeze-pops and admiring a family task well-done and began to think, "All we need now is a BBQ".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chop, Chop, Chop

All the relaxed hair is gone and now natural fro.

Pics posted in my Task-Oriented Blog.

Next: complete other goals in list.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goal Complete: Hair

Hair: transition hair from relaxed to natural

I couldn't take it any longer. I was loving the feel and texture of my natural more and more each day and disliking the feel an texture of my relaxed just as much.

The humidity here has destroyed many time-consuming and costly hairstyles.

So tonight at a visit to a salon to temporarily rid the gray that my son has given me (gray-rate increased rapidly after son was born), as soon as I walked in, I told my stylist to cut it off. I had been transitioning for 27 weeks, yesterday.

Surprisingly to "the me of 6 months ago", I had no hesitation and no regrets.

On the drive home, through thick fog, I had the sunroof open. Woohoo!

Here's some before shots:

It's scary to see how others view your hair from behind.

Doesn't seem much of a loss.

Initial "dry" cut, kinda crazy looking

Final back (still a little wet)

Final front (this forehead runs in dad's family line)

Mom's reaction
You look like your Aunt and Cousin J (dad's side)

Son's reaction (while he giggled)
What happened to your hair? Why did they do that?

In preparation for Hubby's reaction in the morning, I stopped by the Caribbean Restaurant next door to the salon to bring home Oxtails and Red Beans and Rice.

As a styling option, stylist said my hair has a natural curly pattern. If she texturized it, with the gel, I could have a curly fro. Since it's still chemicals, I plan to research other options.

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