Why Can’t We Be Friends

If you’ve read my blog any length of time you’ll notice that, I don’t open up too often .

It’s a struggle of mine not only on this blog, but in my everyday life.

I tend to be a loner because, I don’t like drama.

If you’re the type of person to bring drama, I  steer clear of you.

I don’t believe friends have to argue. We can agree to disagree and leave it at that.

All the hooping and hollering stuff ain’t for me.

I’m not in the business of trying to change anyone’s opinion about anything.

I will not use anything you tell me against you.

If I can’t be a blessing in your life, I’d rather not be there.

I recently had someone use something I once told her against me.

It wasn’t traumatic but, it did let me see the type of person she really is.

I can not do the frenemy thing.

Life is too short for all that foolishness.

Which is why I tend to be a loner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jury Duty Hell

jury duty

I don’t know how many of you  have served jury duty but, I get called to the blasted thing all the time.  I mean it’s like, they must have my name flagged and as soon as my two years are up,

I’m called again.

NavySeal rarely gets a notice to serve. He has only received one summons  the entire time I’ve known him.

And he didn’t have to serve because of impending surgery.

I’ve received a slew of them.

jury-duty-300x225

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem being called to serve.

I don’t have a problem with serving.

 In fact,once I’m a juror, I’ll fight my tail off in deliberations.

jury selection

The problem is,

if I get called to go to a courtroom as a potential juror,

that’s it.

I’m going to be a juror.

jury duty2

I mean with about 100 people hanging around the jury pool area, if my name is called in the 35 or so to head to a courtroom so they can select 12 jurors,

I’m gonna be one of the 12.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s civil court or criminal.

If I walk into the courtroom,

those darned attorneys are gonna pick me to sit on the jury.

I haven’t figured out what it is that makes me so attractive to attorneys that, they want me sitting in that box.

jury1

But, I haven’t broken my streak yet.

Recently, I served on a 6 day trial.  Five days were from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.  and the 6th day (deliberations)was a marathon from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

It was a multi-million dollar civil case. Dude was rear-ended by a company truck and had to have surgery.  Doctors said that  it’s unlikely  he’ll ever work again.

At least with that case, I understood why the plaintiff’s attorney wanted a nurse as a juror.

But, they had two of us in the room and the other one had more experience than I did. She had 40 years experience.

They picked me anyway.

jury duty4

 

I actually teared up when they called my name.

I’ve been the only black person on the jury…

in New Orleans.

How does that happen?

I’ve been the only female on the jury.

I haven’t been sequestered yet though.

I have one friend who always tell me that, they need intelligent, honorable people on the jury.

And that I should consider it an honor  I’m chosen so often.

I think my name is stuck in whatever it is that selects potential jurors.

Have you ever been selected to serve on a jury? 

fate-court-jury-duty-demotivational-posters-1306706720

 

 

The Weight Of My Denial

Yesterday, I watched a documentary on PBS called Soul Food Junkies. In a nutshell it’s a documentary regarding the food that African-Americans eat (soul food) and how unhealthy it is.  Most of the things in the documentary I already knew. Being in the nursing profession, I’ve seen the ramifications of a diet high in saturated fats and low in fiber all too often.

I never was a person to  consume pig feet, chitterlings,pig lips or turkey necks like so many of my friends. I’m also not that big on what’s considered Soul Food. I can take or leave fried chicken, black-eyed peas,mac and cheese, and the like.

Still, I’m not the healthiest eater.

I have a terrible sweet tooth and I really need to eat more fruits and veggies.

I’ve been trying to correct that but, it’s a really slow process.

And while I’m not big on soul food, after watching the documentary I realized that,I do have an addiction to Creole Cuisine.

I didn’t realize how bad the addiction was until I had to shop for an evening gown for the Nyx Ball. When I began looking for dresses to try on, I figured I wasn’t in my usual size 3-4 anymore. I’ve been having fibroid tumors for a while  and my abdomen area isn’t as flat as it used to be. I picked up a few dresses in 5/6 and a few in 7/8 just to be on the safe side. I was totally floored when the size 7/8 dresses didn’t fit.  I reluctantly picked up a 9/10 and tried it on.

It was a perfect fit.

Still, it couldn’t be me.  Even though the scale said that I had gained weight,I attributed it to the fibroids.  There was no way I was actually in a size  9/10 dress.

I drove  home screaming about, how horrible it was that companies today are deliberately making dresses smaller, to make it appear that women are larger than what they actually are.

“I don’t gain weight so, I know it’s those frigging companies! Where is my tape measure?!”

I took the tape measure and measured my waist.

“Well, I expect my WAIST to be larger, I have fibroids!”

Then, I took the tape measure and measured my hips,

O_O

what happened to my 34″ hips?

How da hell I have 39 1/2 ” hips!?!

Still, that CAN’T be a size 10!

*goes to a computer and pull up women’s clothing chart*

O_O

Well, of course the charts are gonna say that!

I know what! I have a pair of shorts in the closet that I could never wear because they were too big!

*goes to the closet,pulls out shorts and put them on*

O_O

I’m still coming to grips with the fact that, I’m in a size 10.

I was in total denial because I did not “feel”  any larger.

I was still wearing the same clothes because most of my pants are baggy.

Nothing felt tight on me except shirts…but that’s because I have fibroids (I blamed fibroids for everything.)

I know I have some work ahead of me.

I have to get these extra pounds off of me and get my love for creole cuisine under control.

Because as much as I love eating it,

I love living more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Silence is Deafening

I always thought that I’d love it when my kids were grown.  I come from a fairly large family and there was always a bunch of kids hanging around.  My parents raised 7 of us in this house and then when we began to have kids, my nephews and nieces were always here…mostly the boys. And they were pretty rambunctious  so yeah, it was always pretty loud in this house.  My kids and their first cousins were always getting into something around here.

Most of my nieces and nephews are grown now and beginning to have families of their own.  They aren’t around as much and the family is beginning to splinter off.   I was sort of prepared for that part though. At least there’s Facebook because, we talk often using that site.

What is throwing me for a loop is my own Empty Nest Syndrome.  My kids are grown and the house is so quiet. YellowJacket has been staying by her dad’s house (she’s driving now and her dad has put wheels under her so she’s nesting there) and PurpleKnight is rarely home between working and going to school.  In the fall, he’s going away to college and won’t be here at all.

The house is so still.

The stillness of this house is hitting me like a ton of bricks.

I can only imagine how hard it was for my mom.  It must have been hell for her. My mom had kids around her from 1951 until three months before she died in 2002.  A lot of times, I think that’s what killed her spirit to live….this big, quiet ass house.

It’s obvious that I’m entering another phase of my life.

My third transition.

I have to let it sink in that it’s truly my time now and revamp.   It’s gonna take some effort, much more than I thought.

I don’t think I’ll ever leave New Orleans.

There is always something festive to do here.

And I’m gonna need her to keep me company.

Because the silence around here is deafening.

BayouCreole Battles The Silent Killer

This is one post that I’m actually glad to be able to write.

If I’m writing it, I’m still here

and I didn’t stroke out.

Even though I’m still stuck in the bed, at least I’m not in the hospital anymore.

It all started  Thanksgiving  Day while I was in the kitchen cooking something.

I just didn’t feel like myself.

I felt tired and my heart was racing.

So, I stopped cooking and took a nap.

I felt better after that so, I finished cooking my holiday meal.

I took my vital signs.

My blood pressure was elevated but nothing too bad.

My pulse rate was another story though…it was high.

I called it an early evening and went to bed to get some rest.

The next morning (Black Friday)  when I took my vitals signs, my blood pressure and pulse rate was still elevated.

I started to worry because I usually have a low BP and now, it’s been high for two days.

And my heart rate had been elevated for two days as well.

I began taking my vitals every 30 minutes  to keep an eye on it and

at  noon, my blood pressure hit 188/101 with a pulse rate of 130!

That bought me a trip to the emergency room.

I was hooked up to a monitor so they could keep an eye on my heart ( wouldn’t want me to have a heart attack or stroke while waiting to see the doctor)ran an EKG and some labs.

Everything looked okay.

My head was foggy as hell though and my pressure and pulse remained high.

So,  after many hours in the hospital,

they gave me some medication to bring my pressure and heart rate down,

diagnosed me with high blood pressure and gave me a prescription for some meds.

High Blood Pressure.

Hypertension.

The Silent Killer.

It runs in the family and it seems to have caught up with me.

But we’re gonna battle it out,

because I have no intention of remaining on these meds.

And I play to win.

Teen Violence.

Last night YellowJacket was on the phone with her boyfriend. She had him on speakerphone so, I could hear every word…and he would hear us.

I wasn’t paying attention to their conversation but he knew I was in the room because, I was helping her with a project and talking to her from time to time.

My ears perked up when I heard him say,”I’m not afraid to hit you in front of your mom”

My response was immediate…

AND I’LL SHOOT YOU IF YOU DO. I’m not afraid to kill you.

He got real quiet after that.

He may have been playing.

I’m not.

Don’t even try to entertain the thought of fucking with my girl.

To quote Tracie Washington, “Orange ain’t on my color wheel but, I’ll proudly wear it if you mess with my kid.”

Back in the Saddle Again….Hurricane Issac Journey

Well, I’m back!!!

Whew, that Issac was something else!

He moved so slowwwwww, it seemed like it took him forever to pass.

The storm began Tuesday night around 6ish and the wind was furious!

Issac was the first hurricane that I stayed in the house for since Katrina (we evacuated for Gustav) so, I had no idea how our rebuild would handle the storm with us in it.

As the heavy feeder bands came in, my lights began to flicker and then…

I lost power in half of the house.

We had no idea what was going on. NS checked the breakers and they were fine so we were prepared to ride out the storm with half of the house up and running. Dish network surprisingly did not cut off. We were thankful for that.

Around 9 p.m. the wind really started going crazy and that’s when we lost all power.  All of my neighbors still had power though so  we knew that whatever it was, it was affecting only our house.  We turned the radio to WWL AM 870 and hit hurricane mode.

Around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning we began getting the worst of it. My family was knocked the hell out.

The worrywart in me got up to see how much water the street had.

NO WATER!!!

But the wind  was blowing stuff everywhere….knocking down trees and stuff.

My neighbors lost power around 6 a.m.  I spent the rest of Wednesday listening to the radio and letting the storm pass.  This was thee slowest category 1 hurricane ever! It passed through at a whopping 6 miles per hour…dumping rain and heavy winds. We took a beating from him.

Thursday morning everyone was on a hunt for ice.  I woke the kids up early so they could come with us…just in case we were only allowed 1 or 2 bags per person.  I knew Rouses would open so we headed to there to begin our fight for ice. We were among the first to arrive and the guard told me that they were only letting a few people at a time in. I told NS to let us out because I saw some folks walking towards the door. We beat them in and headed for the ice. There wasn’t any limit so I grabbed 8 bags  and then headed down the aisles for other necessities.

THANK YOU ROUSES!

Rouses was the first store to open after Katrina and they were the first to open up after Issac. I will always be a loyal customer to them for that.

Driving around the city was a bit tricky because a lot of trees and electrical poles were down. They also had water in some parts of the city.

Trees down in Pontchartrain Park

Press and L.C.Simon near SUNO

I don’t know how this person thought he/she could drive through that.

Driving through City Park we had this tree on the road.

When we made it to the other side of the tree, this is what we saw.

This is the reason we cut down all the trees around our house.

After we managed to get a few things we needed, we headed back home and tried to find the coolest part of the house. The wind was still going pretty good and while Issac was pretty much finished with us, we were thankful for the wind. We opened windows and doors so the breeze could flow through.

YellowJacket’s dad called around 2 p.m. to tell us he had power. I packed her up and brought her over there.  The rest of us would have to tough it out.

My dogs were panting like crazy. We kept feeding them ice chips and putting ice in their bowls to melt so they could have cold water to drink but, they were catching hell just like we were.

Later that night we all took a cool shower and prepared for what would be our third night without power. Except NS, naturally he had to take a HOT shower!

Early Friday morning, I heard on the radio that water,ice and MRE’s would be handed out at various locations beginning at 6 a.m. I woke up NS and we headed to the Read Blvd and Lake Forest Blvd. location. We arrived at 5:50 a.m. and were the 8th car in line.  By the time 6 a.m. hit ,the line was through the parking lot and down Lake Forest Blvd.

Waiting on supplies

Getting ready to receive supplies.

While driving around the city, NS and I noticed camps of bucket trucks everywhere! There were about 30 trucks located at Lowes on Read Blvd. and entire camp located at Bundy Road and I-10 Service Road at the old Walmart/Sam’s location.

You would think that these trucks would all be on the road giving folks power but, the parking lot was wall-to-wall trucks. People across the greater New Orleans area are also noticing the same thing and began to call the radio station to complain. Their complaints were valid because there’s no reason to have an entire camps of bucket trucks sitting in New Orleans East, St. Bernard Parish and Jefferson Parish.

By Friday, they should have been on the streets.

Later that afternoon my dad got a phone call from my cousin and he tells my dad “congratulations! You have power!” My dad tells him that we are still without power. My cousin states that he’s staring at Entergy’s map and they have us green on the map for power. My dad gives the phone to me so I can talk to my cousin and find out exactly what’s happening.

Entergy did have us green on the map so, I walk down to my neighbor’s house to see if they have power because I already know, I have an issue with the power at my house.

My neighbors didn’t have it either. I explain what my cousin saw and my neighbors and I call Entergy for them to correct the map so, they wouldn’t think we’re good to go and we aren’t.

My neighbor’s son (who was the only other person back here with us  right after Katrina) says, “Ali, I’m going in Katrina mode again.”

Right after Katrina, if we needed a street light fixed,debris moved,etc. we’d find someone already working in the area and get them to come over to our block to help us out.

Well, he went around the corner and there was a man in a bucket truck working on a line and another man in a service truck. He explained the situation to the two workers and the one in the service truck came over to give the street a look.  He tells me that I need a bucket truck to get my feed connected but, he saw no reason the street couldn’t be on. He got on the walkie-talkie and in less than 5 minutes…THE ENTIRE STREET WAS LIT… EXCEPT FOR ME.

I WANTED TO CRY.

He told me that a bucket truck would there  tonight or tomorrow morning.

We had to endure another night without power and for some reason, it felt even hotter….that’s because my entire neighborhood was up and running and I was still sweating it out!

I woke up at 3:00 Saturday morning and began to wonder how much a whole house generator would hit me for.

Next hurricane season, I plan to have one.

About 7:3o a.m. NS and I were heading out the door when we heard  a truck coming down the block. We opened the door and saw an Entergy bucket truck heading our way. We asked the guy if he was coming for us and he said yes.

YAY!!!

He got out of his truck  and came over to talk to us.  He told us that he was trying to get over here last night but, he had to bring the out-of -state workers back to the camp and they were slow so, he couldn’t make it back.

NS and I noticed a suburban truck with him and asked him who they were.

He told us they were security.

0_O

Yeah, he said it’s THAT bad. Folks are hot and miserable and are beginning to take it out on the workers.

WOW!

Once he got in the bucket, it took him about 15 minutes and at exactly 8:19 a.m. Saturday morning…we returned to the grid.

You are so beautiful to me!!!

We thanked him for his help and gave him bottles of water to make it through the day.

Those two electricians  rock big time because we were NOT on their ticket but, they came over anyway.

I know the powers that be folks told us hot as hell folks not to bother the workers but, my neighbor and I have never played by those rules.

We’re the type of people who would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

Hurricane Issac through us all for a loop.

It’s been almost a week and a lot of people are still without power.

It’s more than just being “uncomfortable”…people are suffering in this heat.

In addition to that, some of our brothers and sisters in other parishes were flooded out and are suffering as well.

It’s time for Entergy to do their job and get everyone on the grid.

Because when you’re driving around hot and miserable and you stumble upon this,

Camp of trucks at Bundy and I-10- service road.

it’s kinda hard to convince the public that there’s a reason for ALL these trucks to be sitting around at 11:00 a.m.