"Everybody's Money Don't Spend the Same" - #GuestsDontPay

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Stop charging me to attend your celebrations — #guestsdontpay

I discussed this article with some friends earlier today.  One friend shared it with our group outraged because baaaaaaaaaby...this article is a mess.

It made me instantly feel some kinda way when I read it.  See, I know that...in the words of one of my Elders, "Everybody's money don't spend the same."  This means that you will probably have people in your life who you love who have more or less financial obligations, savings, liquidity than you do.  Because of this...I have always been the type of person who had no problem with throwing a party at my home so there was no financial obligation present for us all to enjoy spending time together.  

See...people are weak.  If you are invited to a dinner you know you can't afford to pay for, have the guts to send your regrets.  Simple.  You are not obligated to attend.  Your obligation should always be to how your money spends and nobody knows this better than YOU.  You can miss out on some shit.  Check Facebook or Instagram later.  Somebody will have posted some pictures and you'll feel like you were there.  Okay...that's bullshit...but still...use your damn words.  Be a grownup. It is very easy to say, I can't make it.  You don't have to give a reason why.  If the person is truly someone who loves you, however, I'd suggest letting them know that the reason you can't attend is because a night out isn't in your budget and I bet you, 9 times out of 10, they will figure out a way for you to join them to celebrate somehow.  Be it drinks after work soon or just lunch or dinner at the crib.

People who love you want to spend time with you.  Don't make it about money.  Say you can't go, but figure out something you CAN do together soon.

Stuff your pride and the ridiculous arrogance of this article in a hole out back somewhere.  Seriously.  Adult better.  Whine less.  Everything ain't 'boutchu.  Stop acting like it is.  Being a victim is sooooooooooooooo pre-Obama.

Love,

Monnie

The Perfect Marriage

I want what you and Robby have.
— Woman I Love

My husband and I have a pretty good marriage as it relates to what both of us consider makes up a good marriage.  There is no cheating and beating.  No being out and about all hours of the night without knowing exactly why, with whom and what for, no disrespect of any kind.  We support each other, take care of each other, cherish each other.  I love him and he loves me.  We are each other's TRUE best friend in that there is no other person on this earth that I can be around when I'm pissed with them and vice versa.

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I do Christmas pretty big as I love it.  It was always my father's favorite holiday and he passed his love of it down to me.  And I go HARD.  LOL!

Last Christmas, I was sick during and after Christmas.  I didn't remember that until it was time to start decorating for THIS Christmas however.  I started getting things out to decorate and was startled to find things just jumbled up and thrown together in a haphazard fashion.  Lights all tangled up, faux flowers bunched up and crumpled, holiday textiles all wrinkled, bows with ornaments, wrapping paper with wreaths.  Just ALL.FUCKED.UP.

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!  KILL ME THEFUCK NOW!

It took so long to decorate because I didn't know where shit was.  Storage containers weren't labeled correctly, couldn't find the gotdamn outdoor extension cords, the fucking timers STILL haven't been found.

STILL.

Now...notice how this post has dissolved into full-on cussing after all that sweet shit up yonder?  Yup.  That's marriage, bruh.

Robby put Christmas away last year.  The Robby way.  Which is to just get the shit done in as little time as possible.  Just shove shit in where there is room, put the lid on it and stack the shit.  Cussing the entire time cuz, "DAMMIT, MONNIE, WE GOT TOO MUCH CHRISTMAS SHIT!  WHY THE FUCK WE NEED ALL THESE DAMN SANTA CLAUSES?  DO WE REALLY NEED TO KEEP THIS DAMN BOX?  THIS SHIT IS RIDICULOUS!"

So this year, Christmas was put away meticulously.  All containers were emptied and then organized and arranged in a manner which made perfect sense.  Decor for this tree in this container.  Decor for the next tree in the next container.  Lights rolled neatly and put individually into gallon sized Ziploc bags.  Bows with wrapping paper, ribbon, tags, tissue and gift bags.  Heavy stuff in the containers with wheels, outdoor decor in the clear containers so I can see them since I tend to do outside first.

I then stacked them neatly in the dining room and swept up the pine needles, glitter and random red sugared berries that fell off something.  Ready for my loving husband to put them back in the attic.

And they sat in there.

And sat in there.

And sat in there.

Until I no longer asked sweetly when would be a good time to put them away.  Until I had to stop, harden my voice and make a STATEMENT as to what needed to happen to them before the weekend was out.

And he went to play golf and came home without having a beer at the clubhouse because, "I knew I had chores to do."  And we put them away.  Neatly.  Organized properly. 

Today.

JANUARY 21ST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Almost a full month after Christmas.

There was, surprisingly, no cussing involved.  We simply did what we needed to do to get it done and now, he is showered and eating lunch upstairs in his football watching room, watching football.  

No shitting you...he has passed by me twice and given me a loving kiss and thanked me for cooking lunch.  Nothing at all out of the ordinary.  We just completed a mission and BAAAAAAAAAAAABY...he did that!

And I will probably bake some cookies or something later because I haven't baked anything since before Christmas and I know he loves warm cookies.

Tomorrow is a whole other day filled with cussing possibilities.  Yup.

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My husband and I are real with each other.  We don't pretend to be that perfect couple in front of people.  If cussing seems to be necessary...then cussing will happen. People who know us know to just look away.  No need to leave the room.  For what?  It's about to be over.  Just look away.

If I did something I shouldn't have done...he is the first person to be like...you know you were wrong for that right?  Right.  If I pass by his office when he's having a contentious conversation with someone, later on I'm like..."Did you feel like you handled that properly?" And, even though he will probably initially say, "YES!", later on he'll think about why I questioned him and consider it thoughtfully.  We work well for each other's conscious.  Thank God.  

When young people talk about marriage, I'm often surprised at how magical they think it's going to be.  Disney birds and shit.  No disagreements.  Ever.  And...if so...it's over.

Oh.

Women get a bad rap/rep when it comes to fairytales and relationships because I find that some of the most gregarious offenders of that belief are men.  Men seem to think that a woman is supposed to serve them, keep the house pristine, go to work and make money and take care of all the things the kids need after the woman has carried the child for 9 whole months doing the work of bringing the life they made together into the world.  

For the past two weeks or so?  We've been getting dressed out of the guest bedroom where all the clean clothes are piled on top of the bed.  What?  That's what that room is for when there are no guests on the horizon, right?  TRUST ME THAT THIS IS THE CASE IN HOUSEHOLDS ALL OVER THE WORLD. And if it ain't that way in your house...so.  Do you!  LOL!

Male framily: What’s that beeping?
Me: The oven. Robby is on his way home and I like dinner to be hot when he gets here.
Male framily: You a good wife.
Me: It’s easy to be a good wife when you have a good husband. My schedule is largely my own. He doesn’t EXPECT dinner to be ready when he gets home and, after all these years, he still appreciates that it is. But...if he came home and I suggested he make us grill cheese sandwiches for dinner while we watch a movie on the sofa...guess what we’d be having?”
Male Friend: I’m the man of the house. My wife needs to do what I say do!
Me: You her husband. NOT her father. And, truth be told, even if you were her father, who says you can’t learn something from someone younger than you from time-to-time?
Woman: A man need to be able to afford me!
SIP: Chile...YOU can’t afford you or what YOU think you should have access to.
Woman: There’s no spark. He so square. He wears mom jeans.
SIP: Oh. Okay.

I said all that to say...people got some shit with them that they take into relationships.  Unreasonable shit.  Fairytale shit.  And...a lot of them have never witnessed a successful marriage of any kind so they don't know what to look for.  Some women will tell other women that all men cheat.  Why?  Because all the men THEY have dealt with have cheated so they lump their experiences in with their determination that all men must cheat just because all men have cheated on them.

SIP:  Sounds like you have a type.

People don't like to hear stuff like that.  They don't like to think that perhaps their relationship problems are solely THEIR problems.  They need a brush stroke to justify it.  And...if it's not happening...the marriage must be PERFECT.

Some of the nastiest breakups I've ever seen have to do with money.  And not how you're thinking either.  A woman meets a man.  She's not all that attracted to him.  The man ain't stupid...he knows she's out of his physical looking league.  So...he buys her stuff.  She knows how to hint and hint well.  And he picks up on the hints knowing FULL WELL what game they are playing and buys her what she's hinting at.  Or...pays for what she wants paid for.  But see...for men...money is personal.  If he's spending money...it ain't cuz he's a nice guy.  He's putting deposits on shit she thinks she will be able to ration.

Giggle.

That shit always goes left.  Why, if you've made the relationship about money, are you EVER surprised if he starts thinking of you as someone who will exchange sex for things?  Shouldn't be a surprise there.  You drew that diagram.

Men...if you're pimping a woman you know you're not interested in for money and Kingly treatment while you wine and dine the hotel desk clerk on your business trip...why are you ever surprised that she snapped and went CLEAN-T.THE.FUG.OFF?  That woman has invested in you and now the stock market has crashed and she's out of the game like Bernie Madoff with ZERO RETURNS ON HER INVESTMENT.  She wasn't crazy when you met her.  She behaved accordingly once she realized she'd been played by your azz.  You need to take whatever is coming and yeah...she might try and cut you if you've shamed her in front of people who respect her.

This shit ain't new.  Folks got some fugged up azz thoughts on what a relationship is supposed to be.  Folks got this all twisted.

There are no perfect people.

There are no perfect marriages.

What we have is simply love and respect.  All else could be suspect based on who is looking in.  It might be odd as hell to you to hear some MF's slung around this motherfucker one minute and find us on the sofa reading the same article laughing our azzes off the next.  

To you...that might be some schizophrenic crazy shit.  To us?  That's just us and yes...we are STILL perfect for each other with our imperfect, bat-shat-crazy azzes.

Yall keep waiting for perfect ya hear?  That's going to be a long, lonely, confusing road to stay the course on with a whole lot of random azz people you gotta keep starting over with.  Marriage ain't supposed to be perfect but you're supposed to learn each other better daily until you are to the point where you consider each other before you do anything.  Will this hurt him/her or us?  Should I discuss this with him/her first?  Will this disappoint him/her?  

Yup.  That's marriage.  And yes...it can get janky quickly if you have jerk tendencies.

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$25 Engagement Rings and Things

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When you're trying to be careful using mobile data while out of the country, you tend to miss a lot that goes on because you're not on social media as much as you are when you are NOT roaming.  I have a few friends whose pages I go immediately to in order to catch up on what went down while I was offline.  I was over on Tiger Bush's page when I read something about a $25 engagement ring.

I re-read that.

Oh...I didn't read it wrong.

Not a $250 or a $2,500 or a $25,000 engagement ring...but a $25 one.

WHERE THEY DO THAT 'ET?

So I asked Mr. Google about it.

Oh.

And I read the comments all up and down-t the internet.

Oh.

I guess.

But my two cents is that...we all know that everybody's paper "don't spend" the same. 

What is wrong with having expectations for the best of everything and wanting a good life? Why we can't want it all? It's not like we're going to go postal if we don't get it...but wanting it all Is okay, right? When folks keep the bar low attempting to manage their expectations...it only falls lower. $25 rings today. Woman buying her own ring and doing the proposing tomorrow.

SIP: Aren't they already doing that?

Me: Right.

I jokingly quote Robin Harris all the time when I say, "I want everythang I'm 'sposed to git." But I promise I mean it. I want it ALL. That is my expectation. If it doesn't happen, I won't die, as evidenced by my struggle with infertility, but damn if I don't want EVERYTHING ELSE. I want as big a life as my breathing can encompass and my wallet can handle. I want it ALL. Pretty stuff. Funny stuff. Jazzy stuff. Gray stuff. Bright pink stuff. Shiny stuff. Dull stuff. Denim, silk, pearls, diamonds, leather, canvas, need batteries, wired, books, notebooks, writing pens, pencils, movies, music, planes, trains, cars, jelly beans, almonds, chocolate, puppies, E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I WANT EVERYTHANG I'M 'SPOSED TO GIT!"

Sneakers cost more than $25. You are not supposed to be keeping time with anybody who can't afford the basic necessities. What gives them the right to even think they CAN holla at you? Why don't they have any expectations for their own lives? Who is holding them accountable for being that damn deadbeat? NO.NO.ANDHELL.NO. There is a natural progression of life. If you missed a step...start over. If you are arrogant enough to not think you need to restart to get better at something...then enjoy your TV dinner on your tray alone. You ain't 'sposed to be married.

If my husband had acquired a ring and not have had to come up out his pocket...kudos to our soon joint bank account. This is the same as with a family heirloom. Grandmother's ring? Yes, please! But if said ring was only worth $25 Imma go with naw. And I certainly would never want a girl child I love to have an engagement ring bar lower than what she pays for one of Rhianna's lipsticks. And I also take into account age. First dates at 18 to McDonald's? Cool. At 28? You already know. What kinda man is cool with this? The cheapest video game cartridge seems to be $39.99. I love you, I am not accepting that ring. You are not placing appropriate value on our future as husband and wife. Two months salary is the industry standard so you can use that as a guideline.  If you live in an area like DC or NY where less than 6 figures is for real considered lower income, you can't do that because the cost of living is so much higher so save up.  Whatever you can realistically save for two months, maybe three?  Good.  Get a part-time gig, a hustle, something.  Save up.  A 10-year-old child can save up enough to buy his mommy a $25 ring for Christmas  off a $10 per week allowance .  Your grown behind should be able to save up too.

A $25 engagement ring.  

AS.

IF.

I want everythang I'm 'sposed to git. That should be EVERYONE'S mantra EVERYWHERE. STOP MAKING YOURSELF SMALL TO ACCOMMODATE SOMEONE'S TOO SMALL LIFE.

Skipping Christmas. Kinda.

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Every year for Christmas, The Robinator and I say we're going to travel NEXT year for Christmas.  We claim it's because it is entirely too much work to say we don't have kids.  We decorate the house inside and out (I get ridiculous with like 4 trees), host a party, do beaucoup gifts, and make sure my nephew has a Christmas to remember.  (The kid gets TWO Christmases...I mean really...where they do that et?)

I cook a prime rib dinner, set a beautiful table and wear myself thin.

So you can see why we thought skipping Christmas would be okay today.

Well...when we started talking about it...our family started kirking out...

"No Christmas?"

"Wait, so yall not hosting a party?"

"What about gumbo?  You still gonna make some gumbo?"

"Wait...Christmas game night tho!"

"None of Robby's eggnog martinis?????????  YALL.FOOLS.TRIPPING."

The noise got so loud, even though we'd book the trip, we had to have Crunk Christmas early.  *sigh*  These people...

Everybody left Christmas Eve and we packed and were on the road to the airport for a 5:30am flight Christmas Day!

It was soooooooooooooooo nice.  We did EVERYTHANG!  LOL! We had amazing meals, tea, shopped, did the true tourist stuff, got jiggy at a fancy bash, and just had the most amazing time ever.

So much so...we think we're going to skip Christmas again next year.  LOL!  But don't tell our family.  They be tripping.

 

A Little Bit of Christmas!

I will ALWAYS love Christmas.

I hope.

Are you ready?

DIY Chalkboard Menu Board

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I bought this frame and cut a thin piece of wood to fit the back of it. 

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I spray painted that with chalkboard paint, attached it using velcro dots (because I plan on using it for art later) and wrote out the menu for our cocktail party.

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It's currently hanging in the dining room over the buffet!  

I totally need to practice writing with chalk.  LOL!

By @Sunshynknits for ME!!!!!!!

Me: Can you make me a sleeveless cowl with an asymmetrical hem that is fitted like a vest that I can wear over a long sleeve t-shirt and not be cold or under a coat but not get too hot?

Susan: Um...I've never made one before but sure! Let's do it!

Also me: I want it to be chunky but with really good yarn stuff so it's soft and not itchy.

Susan: Yarn stuff...Monnie you funny. Color?

Also me too and again: Oatmealish. Me no likey itchy.
Baaaaaaaaaaby...when I tell yall how happy I am with my oatmealish chunky really good yarn stuff vest thingy...I can't even begin! GO ME!

GO SUSAN! YOUR TALENT BLOWS ME ABSOLUTELY AWAY! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And thank you for all of my other goodies too!

Contact her via www.Instagram.com/sunshynknits if you're looking for something amazing like this for yourself or as a gift! Or let me know and I'll connect you!

Broke Back

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I was in a rush to complete some pieces for Small Business Saturday at my shop.  I was rocking and rolling and went to pick up a deceptively heavy piece of furniture.  Nothing I haven't done before, I just picked it up wrong.  I picked it up so that the drawers were away from me and they slid out, quickly, and pitched the forward.  I felt something "give" in my back and the pain started radiating immediately.  I couldn't pick up my right leg or stand up.  I slid to the ground and rolled over on my back with my knees bent and my feet on the ground.  It was the only way I could find any relief.

  Actual pic of me on ground waiting on The Robinator.

Actual pic of me on ground waiting on The Robinator.

The Robinator was in his office on a series of conference calls before he had to go to the office and, since my phone was in my pocket, I slipped it out and called him sounding really calm.

Robby:  Hello?  (sounding like...WHY YOU CALLING ME FROM OUTSIDE???????  YOU KNOW I'M BUSY!!!!!!!)

Me:  Heyyyyyy (sounding all casual like I'm just shooting the shit)...when you have an opportunity, can you come outside and help me with something?

Robby:  Yeah, okay, okay...in a minute.

So...I did what any red-blooded American with a smartphone in their hand would do.  I surfed Facebook until he showed up.  Snapped a few pics.  You know...the norm.  LOL!

He came out about 10 minutes later casually strolling.  When he saw me on the ground, his face registered mild confusion because hey...sometimes I just sit or lay on the ground...I'm country but when he got closer and I told him that I'd messed up and he saw the dresser on the ground near me haphazardly, he started moving faster.

I couldn't move.  The pain was getting worse.  He carried me upstairs because, I wasn't about to go to the doctor looking like I was looking, called the doctor and rushed me in.

 Link Taylor piece that took me out.  Old super heavy, super well-made nightstand.  Humph.

Link Taylor piece that took me out.  Old super heavy, super well-made nightstand.  Humph.

Doctor determined it was a bad sprain.  Yall...I couldn't move my right leg without severe pain and screaming.  He suggested I get a steroid shot.  I declined.  He gave me some anti-inflammatory meds and muscle relaxers.  Silly me, I thought muscle relaxers were pain pills.

They aren't.

After waking everyone up screaming a few times in the middle of the night because I was trying to turn in my sleep, I called the next morning for pain meds.

I was told that my doctor doesn't prescribe pain meds.  To anyone.  Of any kind.

Wait, what?

This has been our doctor for 3 years now.  Neither of us have needed pain meds for anything.  But baaaaaaaaaby...if we need pain meds...DAMMIT...WE WANT PAIN MEDS.  So I did my thing I do when I'm trying to get what I want and or need.  After going around and around, turns out, the truth is that our doctor (ex-doctor cuz yeah...no) doesn't have a DEA license so he CAN'T prescribe pain meds.

Oh.

And this is how the opioid crisis ends up affecting us.  When we were in for real serious pain...we can't get pain meds. I was incensed.

Once I got some pain meds and was able to start stretching without that severe pain, I started moving better.  The worst part, however?  The drive to and from Houston for Thanksgiving at my sister's house.  SO TERRIBLE.  And the pain meds made me toss my cookies so I had to take half doses after eating two chewable Tums to coat my stomach first.  My body was so filled with foreign stuff I never take that I looked and felt completely different. 

When we returned home, I stopped taking everything to flush out my system even though my back still hurts. I can't deal with that hazy, super swole feeling and truly don't know how anyone can.  So I'm doing yoga, stretching and, to quote The Robinator, "sit your azz down somewhere and stop doing stuff!"

But see...that's hard for me.

The Robinator has not let me pick up anything heavier than my toothbrush.  He has been the most hilarious nursemaid the world has ever produced.  Let's me know what I'm in for as we grow old together.  *sigh*  Pure comedy. 

The whole, no DEA license thing was news to me and something I guess we all need to be aware of with our doctors.  People like us aren't trying to score drugs so to leave us in pain because a doctor CAN'T prescribe something to take us out of pain is just WRONG.

Humph.

Did yall know about the DEA license thing?  Would you use a doctor as your primary care doctor who didn't have one knowing that if you really hurt yourself he/she couldn't get you out of pain using pain meds?

Have you ever hurt your back?  What did you do to fix it?  Do you still have problems with it after you hurt it the first time?  Or did it completely go away?

Praying + Preying: Roy Moore and Rian Rodriguez

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I stopped watching the morning news a long time ago because it put me in a foul mood watching a lot of current events go down.  In fact, I got up one morning and started unhooking the bedroom television in a fit of rage.  I couldn't take it off the arm so I had to wait for Robby to do that and he did so quickly knowing I was fed up with the ridiculous noise squawking from the damn thing every morning.

I went for almost a year without a television in the bedroom.

When Hulu Live TV started, we got rid of cable finally (we had to get it again at the level where The Robinator could watch his games because he realized he didn't want to live without his beloved Ravens) but on the day "This Is Us" returned, we realized that Hulu Live TV didn't show NBC Live and there was a scramble to get a television up and running with an antennae where I could watch.

I drove that word train all around the track to basically say...we have a television in our bedroom again and I have been slowly adding morning news, ON OCCASION, back into my diet.

This morning was one of them.

I watched a segment of Roy Moore, Republican Senate candidate who molested 14 and 15 year old girls so much so that a local mall BANNED HIM FROM THE DAMN MALL FOR SEXUALLY HARASSING KIDS.  He was giving a speech in a Baptist church last night.  He was standing at the pulpit and out of his mouth came words like "protecting our conservative values" and "God wants..." blah, blah, blah...

Moore walked up to the pulpit with a bible in his hand.  He opened the bible and started speaking. He spoke of his soul being tried and the soul of the nation being tried.  He praised that dude in our White House and he called upon his work as "God's work."  He disparaged gays, etc.  He spoke to applause.  A church filled with applause.  The pastor of the church got up and said that it is ILLEGAL to interrupt a worship service and that hecklers would be turned over to the police who were waiting outside.  Moore leaned HEAVILY on the Christians in the church.  Christians he considers, JUST.LIKE.HIM.

To me, he represented evil.  Pure, sick evil.  Holding the bible.  Quoting scripture.  Standing at the pulpit of a Baptist church PRAYING. Knowing he'd PREYED upon those girls.

Oh.

That church is DIRTY for that.  Dirty, dirty, dirty.

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The very next segment showed a nationwide manhunt, which started in Florida, for 27-year-old, Rian Rodriguez who appears to be traveling with 17-year-old Caitland Friscina.  There is footage of him in a pawn shop in NC and they think they are headed to Canada.  Authorities are asking Rodriguez to turn himself in and the pundits are expecting Rodriguez to be caught within the week.  

You know...cuz he's not running for Senate.

And his last name is Rodriguez.

He won't be invited to speak at the church house.

SIP:  They might shoot his azz...

Queue the music folks! "O'er the laaaaaaand of the freeeeeeeeeeee and the hoooooooome of the braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!"

 

Kitchen Island for Small Kitchen

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My kitchen is pretty small and, when cooking big meals, I tend to run out of countertop space really quickly.  I've often wished I had an island so I've been keeping my eye out for something I could use as such.

I ran across this piece recently and recognized that it was the perfect height for what I needed so I bought it.  It is pretty heavy and has wheels so it will be easy to move closer to the electrical outlets in the kitchen for mixing and whatnot.  It's also going to be perfect to roll the turkey out so The Robinator can carve it the next time we host Thanksgiving!  (Not this year.)  It is the PERFECT place to cool cakes as you can see!

But...you know me.  I can't leave well enough alone.  I want it to be more functional like this piece:

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So...I have plans for it.  I'm going to add some oil rubbed towel bars and a tray shelf in the middle so that when I roll it around, things don't fall off.  And I might make the tray shelf jazzy.  Too many neutral things make my eye twitch.  I need COLOR IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!  Of course I'll find a great rug to put under it to ground the piece.

What do you think?  Do you have a small kitchen too?  If so...would you consider a standalone island like this?

Furry Coat Fun!

I needed some headshots done so I called this guy:

 Josh of  JBW Photography

See those looks on our faces?  That's because we'd just finished with some ridiculously good fun!  See...I just needed headshots but I'd recently purchased that fun coat which The Robinator calls my muppet coat.  

Josh:  We should totally do something with that!

So...once we were finished, I put it on and, before you know it, I was getting my Mary J. Blige on in front of the house!  LOL!  "My life, my life, my life, my life!  In the sunshine!"

I had sooooooo much fun!

He's on the Knot's website too as a wedding photographer in New Orleans so if you need a photographer...holla at him!  Tell him I sent you!  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Material Life Shop in New Orleans

A while ago I read this article on Apartment Therapy:  A Collector's Maximalist New Orleans Home  

Do you see her home?????????  It is sooooooooo gorgeous!  I noticed in the article that she has a shop in New Orleans called Material Life Shop so I went stalked her Instagram feed:  Material_Life_Shop

Everytime since, whenever I was in the city, it was either on a day she wasn't open or she'd already closed for the day.  Today was my lucky day!!!!!!!

The owner, Carla Williams, had the most magnificent energy!  Her shop / gallery is filled with amazing artefacts, art, books, photography, pottery, etc. from Black life.  And when I say the pieces she's curated are amazing?????? THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!  I walked up and down because I didn't want to miss a thing.  AND...if you ask her about a piece?  SHE TELLS YOU THE MOST FASCINATING STORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just shares with you things you knew nothing about and now?  You want to know everything about!

Take these two pieces I brought home with me:

They were both created by The Black Potter, Mr. Jim McDowell.  The first one is an ugly face jug and the second one is a whiskey mug.  LOL!  

The jugs were used to mark the graves of slaves and the ugly face was so that it scared away the devil.  Interesting right?  I just thought they were cool.  I'm totally looking forward to visiting this store often so that I can integrate some meaningful art into our home.  

Next time you're in New Orleans, you should go check it out.  Tell her I sent you so I can stay on her good side.  Yall know I have an inquisitive nature so I want to ask her a whole lot of questions whenever I'm there.  LOL!  

Oh...and use the address on her Instagram page.  If you just ask Mr. Google...he doesn't have the new address updated yet.  Yeah...we went to the old location first but we were determined to find it today!

Check this out:  http://www.pbs.org/video/history-detectives-face-jug/

 

Sweets from "In the Heat of the Night" and Lowes

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The other day I was in Lowes and there were six police cars in the parking lot with a lot of activity.  I exited my truck cautiously in case something was popping off.  When I got to the first policeman, I asked if it was safe for me to go in and he told me that the issue was resolved and they were just getting video footage, etc.

Of course, I was curious as to what went down.

Turns out, a fugitive in the area was shopping in Lowes and the Chief of Police and his wife walked in and saw him.  When the Chief yelled out the fugitive's name, he took off running and jumped in his car.  The Chief grabbed onto the car and the fugitive drug him for a few before the Chief let go.  A customer who was leaving, saw what went down and followed the car calling the police and telling them where to find the suspect.  The Chief was okay save for being scraped up.

Quiet as it's kept, one of my and Robby's favorite television shows is "In the Heat of the Night."  There have been plenty of Sunday mornings when we have stumbled upon a marathon and been stuck like Chuck.  When I told Robby about what went down at Lowe's he was like...

Robby:  The Chief didn't have his gun on him? 

Me:  Probably not.   He was with his wife.

Robby:  You don't think Chief Gillepsie would have his gun on him if he was with Harriet?

Me:  Hell no!  Harriet was a lady.  She would have made him leave his gun at HIS house.

Robby:  I bet the Chief still kept a gun strapped to his ankle or something.

And then we fell down the rabbit hole of our favorite episodes, etc.

Something we both always laughed about was how the Chief would always send Sweet down to the bottom to spy on someone.  I mean really.  Like nobody in the bottoms knew that Sweet was on the police force.  But he'd trot on down there and his disguise would be a baseball hat.  I'd be down in the bottoms talking about..."HEY SWEET!  WE SEE YOU!  YALL SEE THAT'S SWEET RIGHT?  RIGHT!"  Just crazy.  I can't believe they put Sweet in danger like that.  

Speaking of Lowes.  I had to go back there again today and went to use the restroom.  I had to go badly so I grabbed the first stall.  As I'm in there, I realize that someone was in the stall next to me talking to a man on speakerphone.  

ON.SPEAKERPHONE.

I was so annoyed.

As I was washing my hands, she came out.  Young girl.  I looked at her and was like..."Are you serious!  You work here????????????"

I asked her if she thought it was appropriate to use the speakerphone while other people were in the bathroom taking care of private business in the restroom.  I told her that it was highly inappropriate, especially at her place of employment.  The sound of everyone taking care of their business and flushing the toilets was just...EW!  SERIOUSLY????????  I couldn't fix my face to save my life.  I was SO.DAMN. ANNOYED.

I found an older lady that I'd exchanged friendly words with before and told her she should pull the young lady aside and let her know that her behavior was highly inappropriate and that, had I decided to tell a manager, she'd probably be in big trouble.

I am still annoyed.  Big time.

Would that annoy you? Or are we at a point in life where being annoyed with that is being a prude?  

 

 

"He don't want me no more..."

"So.  His loss.  Sounds like you dodged a bullet.  Next." ~ T-Monnie

That right there is what I will always say when a woman tells me they are broken hearted because some dude has broken up with them.  See...I'm not a fan of ANYONE being with someone who doesn't want to be with them.  Not even a lil bit.  I know it hurts...but you need to let him walk out of your life for good.  There is no way you can convince someone who has decided they don't want you any more to have any feelings toward you other than pity.

And who in the hell wants to be with someone who pities them?  

I'll answer for you.  NOT.YOU.  

NEVER YOU.

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER YOU.

You need to let that joker roll out and close the door.  Then...you have exactly 21 days to grieve what COULD have been had he still wanted to be with you.  Had he not disrespected you.  Had he not made you feel like something was wrong with you for wanting normal things a relationship between a grown azz man and a grown azz woman brings.

And what's up with all these "friends" people have these days?  My 15-year-old nephew has more of a mature relationship with his lil girlfriend than adults have these days.  You ask someone if the person they are spending time with is their girlfriend or boyfriend and they clutch their pearls like something is wrong with that. 

Them:  Oh no!  Nothing like that!  We're just friends!

Me:  Friends, huh?

Them:  Friends with benefits but yeah...just friends.

Me:  Oh.

Get a damn adult toy hell.

WHY IN THE HELL YOU DOING ALL YOU DO BEHIND SOME FRIENDSHIP SHIT?  THAT IS NOT YOUR DAMN FRIEND HELL!  THE MF DOESN'T EVEN CALL YOU LIKE TALKING ABOUT!  

People text from funerals these days so you don't think they are above texting you when they are with someone else?  Or texting someone else when they are with you?

THAT AIN'TCHO FRIEND!

My friends treat me with respect and dignity.  They look out for me.  They answer the phone when I call.  If I need them, they are there.

We don't bump uglies.

But yall out here doing that and more and calling them your "friend" because you CLEARLY don't know what a real friendship is either.

Imma need yall to stop.  Seriously.  I'm sick of this shit and, at the rate yall are going...the damn growth of the population is going to mess around and stop because nobody is thinking about starting a family with someone they love and respect anymore.  I am so sick of this crap man!

So again...if a man or woman tells you they don't want you anymore, that is a hint and half for your azz that they are not the one for you.  God sends you pebbles before He hits you with a brick.  If you don't let that fool roll on once they have drawn the line in the sand you are going to sign yourself up for being used and mentally abused by someone who never thinks about you unless you are texting them or trying to win them back.  The other times?  They are thinking about the possibilities with someone they DO want.

And, again...THAT IS NOT YOU.

Does it mean something is wrong with you?  No.  Just means that THEY didn't like you.  And that's okay.  Fuck them.

FUCK.

THEM.

NEXT.

And you know what?  Next doesn't need to come too soon.  You need to regroup and remember why in the hell you are so gotdamn fly, fabulous and funky.  You need to read some books and watch some great movies.  You need to spend time with people who VALUE you.  You need to cook some amazing shit and you need to feel good about WHY you are the way you are.  You need to peel that old scaley, dry snakeskin off and get your fucking glow back up.  You were fly when that fool met you...YOU ARE STILL FLY.

You need to be done with making excuses for who you are.  Be you.  Be every.single.thing you want to be.  Be amazing and awesome and so gotdamn charming and gracious that nothing but good energy is attracted to you from now on.

Shit.

AND NO MORE GOTDAMN "FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS" UNLESS THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT!  If you want a relationship with a dude...it NEVER starts with a friends with benefits situation.  Carry yourself like a woman who handles her business and who looks forward to living a good, drama free life.  

AND GO ON DATES!

If a dude doesn't go on dates that ain't the dude for you.

Shit.

He should be proud to have you on his arm at concerts, parties, barbeques, weddings, christenings, etc.  Why?  Because he knows you carry yourself well in all situations.

Because you are a FUCKING LADY!

I'm sick of some of the shit I hear about.  Spending time with a dude who called you a bitch yesterday?  Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. 

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

And sticking with a dude who constantly cheats on you?  You are some kinda special stupid doormat.  And everyone knows and thinks that.  Have some damn dignity about yourself.  PUT YOURSELF ON THE PEDESTAL YOU BELONG ON!

And if you don't feel it, can't feel it, for whatever reason?  Get a dog.  They will love you unconditionally forever.  

Be better to yourself.  Sheesh.

I know it hurts.  It always does.  We've all been there.  We have all done stupid things for love.  

And we all survived.

And most of us are with someone else now.  Someone who cherishes us.  And who knows to duck when we throw a pillow at them cuz they hit you with a lactose filled fart cloud while yall were watching a romantic feel-good movie.  Grieve.  Lean into it.  21 days.  You get 21 days to feel like shit.  Then...

BE FLY AGAIN.

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Reign Supreme

Ran across this in my memories from 8 years ago over on my old blog and it was relevant to a friend so I sent it to her.  If you need to read it, I hope it helps you too!

Facebook Status of "friend:" 

_____ is trying to learn how to put herself first. Any tips?

She received a few good comments that made me smile knowing she has some good people on her friend list:

1.  Take a mandatory 1 hour a day doing what you want to do (eat ice cream, catch up on your fav magazine or go get a mani/pedi).

2.  LOL Kelli...not only knowing but USING the word "no" is the first step

Not feeling guilty about using it is the second

Not needing to use it anymore is the third

3.  Make a list of everything you want to do and just do it! No apologies, no excuses, no guilt! Once you get used to putting yourself first, you won't go back!

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My response was simple.  To the casual observer...the simplicity may seem flippant but it's oh-so-true.

JUST DO IT.

Period.

I don't understand this idea that anyone should be better taken care of than you by you.  I mean yes...I understand the concept of putting your children first and why so that's a given but even as a parent...you need to find that space to be solid with you cuz without it...you won't be solid enough for others.

IN MY OPINION.

In Monnie-land I reign Queen Supreme.  I've built a life for myself that allowed me to take the time I needed for me and it gives me what I need to nourish those I love.  If I didn't have the kind of time to and for myself now things would get hectic but trust me when I say the last person that would be neglected would be me.  When I'm dealing with something I hear the following often:  "We don't see or hear from you anymore."

My answer to that? 

I was giving me the time and attention I needed.  I have a little extra time and attention to spread around now so what's up?

Cuz that's how I roll.  I come before all others.  I nurture myself before I even THINK about someone else.  Might sound selfish or it just might be the building block missing in a lot of folks' stairway to happy-ness.

Reign Supreme in your life.  Take the time you need to be all you desire to be.

Love you...mean it,

Monica Mingo

P.S.  Do YOU reign supreme in YOUR life?

From Gray to Dark Brown Again!

Remember this?  Going, Going, Gone Gray 

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I am happy to say that I handled that gray hair situation like a champ.  And by handle it I mean I went to a lovely, talented stylist and she put this lovely rinse on it.  I didn't tell her that I fully expected to break out from the rinse since that is what happened the last time I tried a rinse because I'm already her problem patient and I didn't want to add to her side eyes in my direction.  LOL!

She used the Wella brand hair rinse in a dark brown and put me under the dryer of death with a conditioning cap.  I loved the results when I left but I was wary for a day or two waiting on a bad skin reaction.

NONE!

*INSERT.CABBAGE.PATCH.HERE*

Now I look normal again!  GO ME!  She says it is mild enough that I could get it every two weeks if it washes out quickly.

I'm braiding it up again tomorrow for two weeks so after another wash, I'm sure the gray will be on and popping again but I will just trot my happy azz right on back over to Ms. Julia to get it re-done with the swiftness.  I am SO.HAPPY with the color it is ridiculous.  She refuses to do anything other than a rinse on my hair and hey...I can't blame her.  I know me and I know I'm special.  See...ya gotta own ya coo-coo.  LOL!

It even looks good when I'm pissed!  LOL!  Or pretty damn pleased with myself!  

Okay...I'm just being silly now.  Sowwy...

Do you do anything with your gray?  How often do you get a rinse if you do?

Kent Coffey Perspecta - Refinishing Part 2

  BEFORE

BEFORE

 AFTER APPLYING WATCO PAINT AND POLY REMOVER

AFTER APPLYING WATCO PAINT AND POLY REMOVER

As you can see...there has been progress!!!!!!!!

I started with drawer #9 since it had the most damage.  I used Watco Paint and Poly Remover to strip it and then, after wiping off the stripping residue, I used .0000 steel wool to wipe it down with mineral spirits.

Next, I hand sanded it with 150 and then 220 sandpaper.  This is as good as it gets for now.  I'm going to sand it using my electric hand sander and 220 sandpaper when I sand the rest of it down tomorrow.  That should make even more of a difference.

The entire piece has been stripped. 

Katy's name is almost gone even before sanding the top as is Michael's name. 

On the bottom, it didn't strip as well as it should have and I'm certain it is because I had it vertical when applying the remover.  I'll go over the bottom again with it horizontal the next time I work on it.  

Know what I hate doing?  Stripping a piece of furniture.  It's just a messy mess that messes with my delicate sensibilities as it relates to messy messes.  UGH!

After that?  Sanding with 150 and then 220 grit sandpaper.

Remember...this is my goal:

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Must have patience grasshopper.

Missed Part 1?  Kent Coffey Perspect Part 1

 

Mingo and the Bootie

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I'm going to see Sheila E. Thursday night and I'm super, dooper excited.  I had this idea of the perfect outfit in my head and I wanted to rock it.

A pair of skinny jeans, a white t-shirt under a cute fitted jacket and a stacked heel bootie.

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Cool!  I have everything except the stacked heel bootie. I have booties that I no longer wear because I consider the heal DEATH BRINGERS so I needed to find the shoe.  One night last week I spent HOURS searching for the perfect bootie.  See...this is a difficult one for me because I have a problem that doesn't bode well for me wearing booties.  I have stick legs.  So any bootie I rock has to be either adjustable or right IMMEDIATELY above my ankle.

I am NOT trying to look like a duck standing in buckets.  Nerp.  I'm good.

So I searched and found something delightful after HOURS of searching.  I ordered them.  GO ME!

I get an email today, two day before Sheila E. saying the shoes I ordered wouldn't be here until October 31.  *BLINK*  Seems it was a backorder situation.

I hate people with tastes similar to mine.

No biggie...I'll go buy another pair.

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Yall...I tried on over 50 pair of booties at over 6 different stores.  I bought a pair out of sheer frustration only to get them home, try them on again and HATE.THEM.

So yeah...Imma show up to Ms. Sheila E., one of Prince's favorite people, not wearing what I wanted to wear.

I hate life.

HATE.LIFE!

I bet you have cute booties already huh?  Hate you too.  Humph.

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Things I did today...

My two tough pieces are coming along nicely.  :)