Category Archives: odds and ends

Odds and Ends

August 5, 2015

Like I said on Monday, I’ve kind of been in hibernation the past two weeks since Snap, Crackle and Pop were away at camp.  Since the littlest of my warriors three came home a few days ago, I’ve had to get back into a routine of sorts.  No better way to do that than jumping in right in.

My plan for Monday was to get up at 5am, a 30 minute fitness DVD, have a shake and be ready for when V came down at her usual time of 7am.  I was way into my June Cleaver routine, with her breakfast laid out, my coffee ready to be poured so she and I could have some quality time before packing it up to go to the gym.

Tickety-tock, the hands went around and around the clock, with no movement from upstairs.  7am. Nothing. 7:30am. Nothing. 8am. Not a sound. Truthfully, I started to worry that she might have gotten sick or fallen out of her bed or something.  Typical #momproblems — any other time you would give your right arm for your little yokels to stay in bed.  The one time you need them up and out, they’re suddenly Rip Van Winkle.  At 8:15, I went up to her room and got in the bed with her.  She didn’t even crack her eyes open to see what the disturbance in the force was.

Well, far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth. I went downstairs and had my coffee, sans interruption, and almost forgot that I wasn’t home alone.  Almost.

Here a few odds and ends to get you through your Hump Day!

1. Winnetu Resort

We’re bi-annual Vineyarders who would have graduated to annual status this year, but sadly, we won’t be making the trek up for a variety of reasons.  Let’s just blame it on the boot and keep it moving.    In the meantime, I <strike>torture</strike> console myself by looking at the picturesque images Winnetu Resort puts up on social media.  Last summer, we drove by the property on our way to Katama Beach and I’ve been IG stalking them ever since. The phrase “I want to go to there” has never been more apropos.

2. Marley Bun Tutorial

During my “staycation”, I made some appointments to get some “landscaping” done (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) as well as an appointment to get my hair done. I did a no heat challenge back in January and even though that challenge has been over for a while, I still haven’t put any heat on my hair. I made an appointment to get my hair blown out, but as the date drew near, I cancelled it.  Why? You know, I really dig my curls and I was afraid if I blew it out, the curl pattern would be all “Bye Felecia”, leaving me with a wonky ‘do when I tried to go back to curly.  Plus, the last few times I tried to switch up my hair game (crochet braids, weave [yeah, I did it]), it was not the best look.  I need something that’s a temporary style that doesn’t have the potential to harm my hair.  Seeing as I can’t master perm rod set, the This Marley Bun might be the trick.  And can I say to my naturalistas, if you don’t know Naptural85, do yourself a favor and get on it.

3. Pinch of Yum Arugula Salad with Grapes and Black Pepper Vinaigrette

Along with hitting up the gym, I’m back in the kitchen trying to make healthy food choices.  It blows.  I really want to have wine and cupcakes.  Like a good Cabernet and a moist cupcake with buttercream frosting topped with bacon *drool*.  Instead, I’m being a good little bunny and having carrots and hummus. Not quite the same thing, but it’s the Cab and cupcakes that have torn apart the star-crossed lovers that are the button and the buttonhole of my pants, so you gotta do what you gotta do.  Last night, I made the bomb dinner — marinated flank steak with arugula salad with grapes and black pepper vinaigrette.  I almost broke both my arms — one patting myself on the back and one shoveling the food into my face.

4. Simply Balanced Sparking Water

Seeing as I’ve given up alcohol for the foreeable future (no more drinking my calories), I had to find another flavorful beverage to add to my rotation.  This is one of the better sparkling waters that I’ve found.

5. Lavender Recipes

So, this summer, I started a little herb garden and tried my hand at keeping some perennials (or are they annuals) alive.  Success with the former, not so much with the latter, but hey, new skill set.  I’ve enjoyed tending my little plots of dirt. I’ve got two kinds of mint, parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary and lavender.  Amazingly, I’ve used pretty much all of the herbs.  My fresh salsa tastes that much better knowing the cilantro in it came from my own garden.  The basil that I needed for the Arugula salad? Came from my garden! That detox water I’ve been drinking? You know where the mint came from? Yuuuuup.  I picked my own rosemary for the Epicurious marinade I did earlier in the season.  The one thing I haven’t figured out how to use just yet is the lavender. When I put the herbs in the dirt at the beginning of the summer, I thought for sure I’d be sniping those fragile buds and stirring them into cookie batter or muffin mix.  I’m not sure I have enough to even garnish a glass of iced tea!  Not quite a #greenthumbfail, but I need to read up on the care and keeping of lavender, and then branch out to cooking with it.  Still, I love a good recipe, so please share if you’ve got one.

What odds and ends have you bookmarked lately? Tell me about them in the comments!

Odds and Ends

July 15, 2015

It’s Wednesday, my good people!  This is definitely the day of middles: Middle of the day, middle of the week, middle of the month. . .middle of the summer! July 15th, can you believe it? When the girls got out of school on the 4th of June, the summer stretched out before us, a long lonely highway with ribbons of heat shimmering in the distance.

Here is is the mid-point and while some of us have already done their major summer traveling, others are gearing up for their getaways.  Over here at Camp Dixon, we’ve done everything from a tour of the White House, mid-day Minion movies, arts and crafts, the zoo, and the Botanical Gardens.

Seeing as I have completely blown my wad earlier this season, It’s a good thing our second act of summer activities includes Camp Grandma for V, Camp Alleghany for M and C, and Camp The-Kids-Are-Away for me.  I’ve got to get three little people packed for three weeks away from home, all within the next few days.  Oh, who am I kidding? Y’all know those jokers have been packed, labeled, and the bags by the door since the first of the month! I need to tuck a few odds and ends into their trunks and totes: letters from Mom reminding them to wear clean underwear everyday (seriously, this is a thing), a few of their favorite snacks and comics, and an extra lovey, you know, just in case. And as a reward for all my hard work, because these kiddos are packed like they’re hitting the Oregon Trail, a few odds and ends to put a smile on my face.

1. So when the kids are away, what’s a mom to do? Probably clean out my closet. Again.

2. And I’ve got some location work to do for an upcoming shoot near my alma mater.

3. It’s not going to be all work, though.  I’ll be hitting the movies again. I’ve already checked off Jurassic World (thumbs up) and Magic Mike XXL (two thumbs up).  If you’ve seen MMXXL, do yourself a a favor and read this recap to relive it all in all of it’s hilarious glory. #spoileralert

4. Speaking of movies, my Netflix queue is painfully thin. My brother recommended I check out this show called Sens8.  I watched the first episode and was like, “What. The. Entire. F*ck did I just watch”? I want my hour back.  No, really.

5. Instead of watching that weird show, I could have used that time looking for some white jeans for my wardrobe capsule.  I tried to try some on a few weeks ago, but you know that boot I’m rocking? Yeah, it kind of makes dressing and undressing a laborious process that involves more sitting and standing than a high holy service at church.  Even if I won’t be wearing the jeans any time soon, at least I have some style ideas for when the time comes.

Odds and Ends

June 24, 2015


Whew! The heat has been intense. All of the popsicles were gobbled up before the kids headed off to camp on Sunday. Here it is Wednesday and I am popsicle-less.  How did that happen?  How is it Wednesday already?! What is going on around here? A few mid-week odds and ends, that’s what.

1. Given the current boot situation, I think this is as close to the beach as I’m going to get this summer. *le sigh*

2. After stalling out several times over the week-end, my poor truck is getting repaired.  Since two thirds of my crew are at camp, I didn’t have to get a mini van from the rental company (Enterprise, you’re the real MVP).  I’ve been tooling around in this and I might not give it back.

3. I’ve been itching to do something craft-tastic lately, but have been coming up empty on ideas.  As luck would have it, Buzzfeed DIY sent 33 Gorgeous DIY Projects to Decorate Your Grown-Up Apartment right to my inbox! It’s such an ask and you shall receive moment, I’m seriously thinking I need to ask a little bigger, you know what I mean? Of the 33 ideas, this one looks will be perfect in the kitchen. V and I cleared out the paint chip aisle at Lowe’s like we were on Supermarket Sweep.

4. And speaking of stuff to hang on the walls. . .um, I need this, like, immediately!

5. Summer is a great time for cook-outs, clambakes, and generally any excuse to get together with friends and family over food.  I’d really like to try a picnic party: just invite folks over with blankets and baskets and just sit in the grass and catch up.  You know, like this.  Of course, given the heat index, the bugs, and the inevitable kiddie meltdowns, this may just have to happen in my imagination.

What odds and ends did I miss?  Share them with me in the comments!


You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

April 27, 2009

I am so angry right now that I’m about to burst into flames. I didn’t realize how upset I really am about it until it dawned on me that I was actually grinding my teeth. Seriously! I thought that was the kind of thing people only did in books and cartoons. I had the unfortunate experience of having an interaction with a “friend” who likes nothing more than to crack jokes about what a fair skinned Black person I am. Yes, pick your jaw up off the floor — there is such a thing as fair skinned Black people. Shock of all shocks! I’m still the same shade of brown that I was when I was born, ‘lo those 30 years ago. And,yes! I am the same shade of brown that I was when I first met this person 10 years ago. Nothing has changed, except perhaps my tolerance of their ignorance which has all but quadrupled. It wasn’t funny the first time. It damn sure isn’t funny now.

From Whence the Anger Came. . .
Why does this person feels the need to make such comments
2. Why does this person makes these comments despite my having said quite plainly that it’s not funny and I don’t like it?

Let me be perfectly clear here. . .I DON’T LIKE IT!

Why do I actually take a defensive stance when I know I am going to interact with this person and actually arm myself with witty replies and rejoinders in the hopes that something will crack through and get the comments to stop?

4. Why did I think that we are (at least I am) adults? I left high school in 1996 and left all this juvenile, ignorant BS on in the Senior Lounge.

There is a level of disrespect there that is galling to me. Sure, maybe in the beginning I joked about it, probably because I didn’t know what else to do. You know how when you’re caught off guard, you can’t do anything but kind of “heh, heh, heh” and keep it moving? I figured that after a while this person would grow up and it would stop. Then I figured when it happened, I’d handle it by ignoring it, which didn’t work. I tried to handle it by turning it back on them — didn’t work. And then I tried to embarrass them for saying such ignorant and juvenile things and that didn’t work. What’s left? Just punch them dead in the face? Mmmmm, so tempting. I have visions of the next time we are around each other, DH has to physically restrain me as I just land blow after highly scathing verbal blows.

*sigh* I don’t really want to have to stoop to that level. I’m a lady. Moreover, it would get really ugly, really quickly and more than likely cause ill will between our overlapping social circle. I now know what a seething rage is and yet, I feel completely and totally deflated at the same time.

I read on Gnostic Notes that, “When you give away your power to someone, that person has power over you. Anyone that can make or break your day has power over you. Anyone that can make you sad, mad or glad has power over you.”

I am reclaiming my power .
I refuse to be disrespected.

Yet Another Case for Childproofing

March 26, 2009

So, shame on me for wanting 15 minutes or so to myself. This morning basically started like any other — up at 5:45 to study for an hour, breakfast on the table by 7am, get the girls, the usual routine. After breakfast, we go upstairs and I strip the girls of their pj’s, jam them into their clothes and brush up their hair and teeth. When it’s all said and done, the clock reads about ten minutes after eight. We need to be out the door and head to the car by about 8:30. Inevitably, Co decides to have her morning constitutional (read: poop) right at breakfast, but lately, she’s been holding on to it until 8:29.

In the 10 or so minutes between the end of the morning hygiene routine and heading to the car, I take a few minutes for myself. I brush my teeth, maybe put on a little blush or mascara, and usually park myself in front of the computer to check my school email account, the weather, FB, or some such nonsense, if only for a moment. And of course, in these stolen minutes, the patter of 3 year old and 1 year old feet sound from overhead. Sometimes a screaming match erupts, usually someone is tattling on someone else, and I throw an obligatory, “Be nice to your sister,” up the stairs before SuperPoking my brother or sending a piece of flair to my lab partner from 10th grade chemistry.

Shame on me for trying to do me for a minute. I look at the clock, it’s about 8:27 and I figure that Co has done her thing, so I can speed change her while Mo puts her coat on and we’ll still get out the door on time. I head for the stair, my foot hits the bottom step, and as I call out, I get a distinct whiff of baby powder —- from two flights up. WTH?

And I’m off, taking the steps two at a time, rounding the landing, up the short, second flight when Mo scuttles out of her room, Co hot on her heels and the both of them are covered — tip to tail in baby powder.

Like someone grabbed them by their pig-tails and dipped them in a vat of flour. There is powder on the floor of both of their rooms, the hallway, in the bathroom, clinging to their dressers and Co’s crib like a thin layer of dust. And I say, “What are you doing?!” and they both say, “Oh!” — like that explains it. Mo regains her composure first and says, “Well. . .(she begins everything with well or actually) we made an ice rink upstairs.

Sidenote: Olivia the Pig, beloved piglet of the Ian Falconer has a series on TV and the episode du jour involves ice skating and a homemade ice rink – – – in the backyard. So I guess I should be grateful it’s powder and not water. I guess. . .

The two ice princesses had covered every inch of hardwood floor, free surfaces and themselves. And in my head, my punctuality gene is saying, “Uh, we gotta go now or we’re all gonna be late,” while my anal retentive gene says, “Oh HAYLE NO! We can’t leave this mess! And look at them!” Yes, they both look like Ashy Larry, like they’ve never heard of Jergens or Nivea.

So, I grab them both by the hand, wheel them into the bathroom and with a very stern, “I’m very disappointed in you,” proceed to blot the powder off of their faces, clothes and hair with a damp washcloth. After a minute or two, I don’t even care how they look. I’m still cringing at all the powder on the floor. I waffle on whether or not to just change their clothes and start fresh or sweep the floor. Anal retentiveness, as far as the house goes, won out and the floor got swept. I sent them downstairs to put their coats on. Little powder puffs followed in their wake and clung to the air, my sweats, and my face. I swept those floors with a vengeance and dust bunnies circled their wagons, tearing off at the sight of me coming.

This afternoon, Mo went to the bathroom and called for me to help her. She washed her hands and I reached for the hand towel to help her dry. A huge cloud of powder rose up in the air between us.

Mmmmm,” she said. “Smells good.”

Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

You’re Nothing But a Slacker

November 12, 2008

Man! I have been out of pocket for a while now. The funny thing is, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of anything to account for my whereabouts. Remember that scene in Back to the Future, where Principal Strickland gives Marty the what for, asking him if he wants to be a slacker all of his life? Yeah, that’s what I’ve been feeling like lately. I guess I’ve really gotten into my groove with school because I actually started doing things that I haven’t done since the semester started. I’m reading. . .for pleasure! Seriously, I burned through an Alice Sebold book and a Janet Evanovitch (love that Stephanie Plum) in like a week! I worked out, twice! I took the week-end off and spent the day in Richmond with my sorority sisters. Ahhh good times! And I had a test AND a quiz this week. Seriously, I was slack-tastic with a capital S. Here’s a snippet of a Facebook message I sent to another friend of mine who is also in school.

“School is moving right along. I am in complete slack mode. I have a test and a quiz on Monday and I’m just coasting. I’m done. I just need to get A’s on these last two tests in lecture and I don’t have to take the final. If I waffle on the quizzes in lab, I will still have a mid A. Of course we both know I’m going to go into full freak out mode tomorrow morning and bust out A’s on both, so I don’t even know why I wrote that stuff.

Seriously, I feel like the boy who cried wolf when it comes to my school work. Maybe the girl who cried “F” would be more appropriate, though, I haven’t gotten an F since that Bio 101 experience. Before that, the lowest grade I had ever gotten was C in fourth grade math (I’m still devestated).

DH doesn’t even want to hear me bellyache about how much I haven’t studied or how hard the test is going to be. The last two tests I came home completely ticked because I felt that the test questions were not an accurate representation of my knowledge. Yes, I am an overachieving douche. What can I say, I like getting A’s. I can’t sing, I can kind of dance, I’m a passable tennis player, but I don’t do basketball or golf or long distance running. I’m pretty average in a number of things, like playing instruments or being artistically inclined — drawing princesses being the exception *shudder*. What I do know, though, is that I know how to study. Sure, it’s been a lot of pump and dump, but I’m getting the grades I want. Now, I’m finding a way to get the more routine, pre-back-to-school activities back into my schedule.

Can I tell you how good it felt to read a book that had nothing to do with action potentials and the sodium/potassium pump? Sure, I’d been taking the girls to the library, but when I checked out books for myself, I swear I heard my library card humming the opening bars of “Reunited”.

Locker Room Dress Code

February 18, 2008

The YMCA has been a great place for blog fodder. Case in point — the locker room (again) today was the scene of yet another head scratching moment for me.

So, I sweated myself stupid after a grueling aerobics class that I was conned into by another SAHM friend. After a 2 week hiatus, I guess I should have paced myself with my return to the aerobic trenches, but I figured, “Hey, I’m a Grant/Dixon, I can do this.” Let’s just say, even after I had showered, dressed and gotten the girls out of ChildWatch, my face was still as red as a glass of Merlot. And FYI, I gave up wine for Lent, so there may be a few wine related phrases thrown in the blogs to come.

But, in the locker room, which was blissfully empty, I put my stuff away, grabbed my towels and headed to the shower. I decided to take a quick visit to the steam room and try to calm down the muscles in my legs for bit. That’s always a risky proposition because when you come out of the steam room, the entire shower room could be packed like Wal-Mart on a pay-day Friday. This time, however, it was empty.

So, I’m showering, la la la and in walk two women, one older, one younger in their bras and underpants. I’m thinking that they aren’t from the US, given their ethnicities and the fact that when I have seen them out and about in the gym, they are in the traditional garb of their country. I’m not going to even venture a guess as to where they are from, nor do I want to dabble in racial profiling — hey, I’m a Black female, I’ve been dabbled in that area enough. Let’s say these women are from, oh I don’t know, Wisconsin, just to be safe. Apologies to any Wisconsinites that I may offend.

These ladies come in with their shower paraphernalia and commence to clean themselves up, in their underwear. Bras and underpants, people. Doesn’t that impede the actual cleaning process if the vital spots (and you know what I’m talking about) are covered by cloth? How are you supposed to “wash possible” as my mom would say? Don’t we all as women know, that water, cloth and dark spaces are a recipe for a yeasty mess? What gives? Seriously, it wasn’t like they walked in and then removed the undergarments. They actually washed around the straps, leg holes, and armholes. Hey, it’s an open shower, you can see everything that’s going on. And guess what is the craziest part of the whole thing — THEY WEREN’T WEARING SHOWER SHOES!!!

I can understand the need for modesty in public, hence their traditional Wisconsin dress, but in the locker room, amongst women? I, more than anyone, have body issues, but as I’ve said in posts pasts, it’s the locker room, everyone has the same gravity afflicted parts. I’m just in there to de-funk, wash possible, shower, shave, all that jazz.

Clearly, I didn’t get the memo about shower attire. Standing there “bucket-naked” with these two ladies, I felt grossly under-dressed.

Yes, Morgan, there really is a Black Santa

December 17, 2007

These are the words that I hope to say to my eldest child come the Christmas season next year and going forward. Alas, it seems that Santa’s brother from another mother is as elusive as a reservation at the French Laundry or going through airport security in 15 minutes.

Case in point, in the holiday department in Dillard’s at the MacArthur Mall, there is a tree that is decorated with all Black Santa’s, Black Ballerina’s, and other Black-centric ornaments. Right after Thanksgiving, my mother stumbles upon that tree and excitedly, said to the clerk on the floor how wonderful the tree was. She then went on to ask him where and when the Black Santa would be coming to town. The clerk, who was also Black, said something like, “Yadda, yadda, yadda, there isn’t one”. Not one to be dissuaded, my mom, who I think was Nancy Drew in a former life, set out to find one for Morgan and Coever.

Fast forward to the 1st of December. Evidently, there IS a Black Santa, and he was going to be at the Newsome House in Newport News on December 8rd — FOR ONE DAY ONLY. WTH? And no, we didn’t make it to the Newsome House for their “Soulful Christmas Celebration”. The reason why is another blog for another day.

Anyway, in our search for Black Santa, I even went so far as to suggest to Craig buying a Santa suit, dressing up for our girls, snapping a few pics and then returning the suit!! Or keeping it for next year, whatever. Shoot, if word got out that we had a Black Santa, consider Christmas paid for! Those of you who know Craig get one guess as to his response.

So, in the spirit of 8-year-old Virginia Hanlon, here is my letter, not to the editor of the Virginia Pilot, but to Cyberspace.

Dear World Wide Web: I am 29 years old. It seems to be that there is no Black Santa Claus. Some have said “We live in Hampton Roads! There’s got to be one!”, while others have said, “There really isn’t one.” Please tell me the truth; is there a Black Santa Claus? By the way, I have included a photo to help you in your search.

Have You Seen This Man?