Life is a marathon, not a sprint…

…and it’s okay to walk when you get tired, just as long as you keep moving forward.

It’s been one of those days where the lupus is trying to wrinkle up my Wonder Woman leotard and I started to get the sads. But alas, I’m fighting as I always do and this too shall pass. I hope it passes quicker than my husband’s gas, but look, it’ll pass so I’ll take it.

Rather than do some disingenuous humblebrag, I’m going to straight up gloat. I have a FANTASTIC support team. I mean fantastic like the super strength Spanx that you wear under your good freak’um dress that make it look like you’ve been hitting the gym hard, when in fact you’ve been doing little more than eating all the things in the fridge while binge-watching Orange Is The New Black. This crew gets me through thaaaangs and reminds me that sometimes just smiling is a victory that should be celebrated.

There was a time when I felt like I had no support team. Hell, I didn’t even have myself

to lean on. Things were dark, yo. But then came this blessing in disguise called Lupus, and out of the woodwork came some great people. It’s true that your best friends are found during crises, but only to a point. The truly good ones are there after the crisis ends to throw shade on the ones who talked mess about you while you were going through it. And they come in the most unlikely places — Facebook, the dog park, work, wherever.

With that said, fighting gets tiring. I really wish I could say that I wake up every day ready to throw some whoop ass at my health troubles, but it’s not always that simple. I’m lucky to have what’s considered a fairly mild form of the disease, but I’m not free from related health challenges. Sometimes I do feel like I just want to sit the rest of the game out and watch from the sidelines. And I do. And then I feel guilty. However, a very wise friend said something to me today that just clicked. It started with an old cliché and ended with something I’d never heard.

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint and it’s okay to walk when you get tired as long as you keep moving forward”

For some reason, the last piece just resonated with me. It really is okay to walk when you get tired. We spend so much time trying to be everything and do everything that we get tired, but as long as you don’t stop trying, you’re in good shape. That’s advice that goes for everyone in every circumstance. Sometimes it’s good to walk even when you’re not tired because you need to reset your life GPS. We grind, we hustle hard, and sometimes we lose sight of why. Taking some time to walk rather than run to the next thing gives you a chance to regroup and reanalyze why you do what you do and also allows you to change course if that’s what you need to do. The finish line is the same for all of us, don’t be afraid to walk if you get tired.



Echo? Echo? Can you hear me? Do people still read blogs?

Feels like the grand canyon or your grandma’s musty basement up in here. There’s been so little recent activity on this blog, it kind of looks like my student loan payment history. Kidding, kidding. Sallie Mae, you know you’ve got me twisted like a Keith Sweat cassette single. #salliemaeaintbae For reals though, it’s been a while. *peeks at posting history* Three years to be exact.

I’ve been feeling the need to write again since, you know, I’m such a prolific and thought-provoking writer and all. The truth is, the Book of Faces, the Twitter-verse, and to a lesser extent Instagram just aren’t enough. The sound-bytes and snippets of the minutiae of people’s lives are beginning to clutter my brain. There’s only so many selfies and viral videos of people doing stupid shit that I can take — in one day anyway. Okay okay, lame jokes aside, I’ve been wanting to write lately and even if what I have to say is the equivalent of the $1 store’s clearance bin books, there’s something cathartic about writing. See what I did there? I found a word from one of my vocabulary flashcards I found from when I was studying for the SAT *gasp* 16 or 17 years ago *faints as I check my driver’s license to see that yes, Virginia, I really am that old*.

A lot has happened in my life since I last wrote. Rather than bore with some crap I’m sure no one really wants read, I’ll do a quick fast run down just for posterity’s sake:

-D and I are still married. We still love and like each other. Yay and stuffs. Seven, pushing eight years married, y’all.

-We left Maryland in late 2013 and moved to Upstate NY. My old stomping grounds. A bunch of my high school friends are moving back to start families and for the lower cost of living so we’re not alone.

-Speaking of families, we haven’t spawned. We have a dog named Romeo, a black lab. He’s our baby, so yep, that makes us a family of three.

-D is still in law enforcement — he’s a Deputy Sheriff in a town I won’t name for his protection. After 11 years as a cop at his former agency, it was time to go. He LOVES it. The Northeast lifestyle works for him. He was definitely a fish out of water in the DMV where he’s from. He says I moved down there just to yank him up to NY. *cue “Clueless” voice* As if!

-I have a job in Healthcare Network Operations that I LOVE. Like, dude, I LOVE my job. Words I thought I’d never say. Aaaand I work from home everyday. Win!

-I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus (SLE) in July 2011. I still have it. Remember, that’s with me for life. #rideordielupus (no really, ride.or.die). 

-I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Esophageal Achalasia in 2014. Basically I can’t swallow (food, dammit! Get your mind out of the gutter) very well so I can’t/don’t eat a lot. That equals fairly rapid weight loss. Hells yeah! It would be cool, but I was fluffy and I like food. I don’t miss the fluff, but I miss the food. When Taco Bell breakfast sandwiches look like Ruth’s Chris, things have reached critical mass. It’s related to the SLE, but again…I can’t fix it so I just work around it as best I can. Ensure is good as coffee creamer, I’m just sayin’.

-I became an auntie to the cutest little boy ever last year. Cute overload that I can give back to his parents when I’m ready and we don’t have to finance college for.

-We bought a Lamborghini. Just playin’…well, unless you count the Hot Wheels one I have in my office.

-Some other stuff happened too, but I can’t remember what it is. The saying really is true. Once you pass 25, your memory goes.

So yeah, that brings us to today. I may have just fallen back in deep like with blogging. I’m kind of going old school Doogie Howser, M.D. style here with the typed journal (minus that awful monochrome screen) and just writing to document stuff and empty my brain. Because again, I’m way past 25 and I can’t remember things and I can’t be bothered with digging around my Facebook newsfeed for old posts to jog my memory. Plus with all the changes on FB, I can’t deal with the full site most of the time and only use my phone so searching and scrolling get to be too much. Twatter (yes, that’s an intentional misspelling) isn’t enough characters to fully express myself and Insta is…well, it’s Insta and only good for posting pictures of my dog and looking at other people’s ratchet azz photos.

It looks like it may actually be a true welcome back for me. Hopefully this won’t just be a one night stand. It’d better not be, anyway because I changed my WordPress theme and everything. I don’t do that for just anyone.

The ABCs of Me

This meme has been going around the interwebs for a hot minute, but I figured I may as well get in on it:

A. Age: I was born early in the Reagan Administration…

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you dislike: Loading the dishwasher

D. Dogs: Moe, a great dane/lab mix puppy that we’re getting in a few weeks

E. Essential start to your day: Shower, prayers, and a cup of either coffee or yerba mate tea

F. Favorite colors: Pink, purple, and green

G. Gold or silver: Silver or platinum

H. Height: 5’7”

I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano

J. Job title: Senior Manager, Credentialing Program

K. Kids: Not yet

L. Live: Maryland, DC Metro

M. Mom’s name: Brenda

N. Nicknames: Tasha, Tash, T, Punkin, Niki

O. Overnight hospital stays: I have Lupus, so yeah…me and the hospital have been best friends at times

P. Pet peeves: Ungrateful people; when people stop the microwave before it gets to zero and don’t hit clear. If I see a microwave with a few seconds left on the clock and no food inside, I will hit the clear button each and every time

Q. Quote from a movie:  “I was at a funny angle!” -Snatch

R. Righty or lefty: Righty tighty

S. Siblings: 1 brother, 2 half brothers, 10 step-siblings (who are just as close as blood siblings)

T. Time you wake up: 6:17 AM, I know I’m weird like that

U. Underwear: Yep

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Radishes

W. What makes you run late: Misplacing my cell phone

X. X-rays you’ve had: More like what have I NOT had x-rayed. I was a clumsy teenager who played sports and danced competitively…broken toes and fingers and foolishness

Y. Yummy food you make: Broiled plantains with cinnamon and vanilla glaze

Z. Zoo animal you like: Polar Bears




Relating to the ‘rents

Another post topic taken from the list, again in no particular order. This one is day 3 on the list if anyone is keeping up. Topic at hand, describe your relationship with your parents. It’s no secret on this blog that my parents divorced when I was about three years old and both have remarried. That leaves me in essence with four parents, so I’ll describe my relationship with each one.

My mother

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday and I did a post about her so you can see just how imporant she is to me. After my parents split, she got sole custody of my brother and I so I grew very close to her. She was strict without words–my brother and I hated to disappoint her because she’d pretty much stop talking to us outside of the necessary stuff when we messed up. She held extremely high educational standards for us, which I’m grateful for to this very day. As a teenager, I hated her standards so I acted out in ways that I won’t go into right now, just to assert my independence. Eventually seeing her disappointed in me took hold and I got it together. As a young adult I think she struggled to see me as an adult so she made a big deal about me being her baby. She had grown so used to caring for her children that when I left the nest she felt like she wasn’t needed anymore and thus tried to baby me to death. By the time I hit age 25 or so, she started treating me like an adult and we started talking about things on a more grown up level. I realized that we have similar senses of humor and she’s not ashamed to ask me for help with things like picking a new car or buying a computer. We’re very close now and do a lot of learning from each other. I’m grateful for that. We talk just about every day or at least every two or three days, even if it’s just a text to check in. Some of my friends have toxic relationships with their mothers (a post for a different day…I’m an opinionated woman you know) and I’m glad to have that openness with her. She’s recently started reading this blog and I still say the same stuff I’d say before…not censoring cuz my mama’s lurking. *waves* Hey mama!

My stepdad

My mom and stepdad have been together for just about 18 years, and got married after 4 years together. I was a very young teenager when they got together but I never felt threatned by his presence or any resentment toward him. I call him Daddy and he calls me his daughter. Matter of fact, some of his friends don’t know that I’m not really his biological daughter. He moved upstate with my mom from NYC a year or so before they got married and he took the step to ask me, my brother, and all of his kids how we felt about them being together long term. His concern for our feelings was great. He gave me advice about dating and taught me the ways to spot a player (thank you, Daddy!). Now he and I are just about as close as me and my mom. He has made it a point to always let me know that he’s not trying to take the place of my biological dad, but for reals…Daddy raised me, and Daddy is who I danced with at my wedding. I’m his youngest and a girl, so he’s very protective of me which is a nice thing to experience. When he comes to visit me and D, he always has to do something like prune our hedges or mow the lawn or fix a broken window screen just so he can put his “Daddy stamp of approval” on things. ❤ that man.

My father

Well, ain’t much to say ’bout it. He’s been a spotty presence in my life, not always beneficial, and not always honest. Until I was about eight years old he used his opportunities for regular visitation so we were fairly close. But then he moved and he stopped calling as much, started forgetting birthdays, and yeah…being the typical child-support paying, phone-it-in kind of father. There are some things I was angry about with him, but I’ve let forgiveness in so I don’t lose sleep at night over it. He made it a point to come to my wedding, but it may have caused more ruckus than necessary. He has a young son and when we talk on the phone, he makes a point to tell me thta he’s trying to be a better father to his young son than he was to us. There’s supposedly an older brother that none of us have met but he doesn’t speak about. My mom apparently made sure he sent the child support payments until they finally started coming back marked ‘return to sender’. It’s hard for me to sum up our relationship in a small space, so I’ll maybe get it together to explain in more detail. All I can really say is our relationship isn’t bad, it isn’t good, and I’m okay with it.

My stepmother

I’ve met her a few times, spoken with her on the phone maybe three times. I’ve heard a few stories. However, I don’t know this woman. “Harpo, who dis woman?”, is what I say to myself when people mention her. Only on a technicality (her being married to my father) is she my step mother, cuz lawd knows she hasn’t done any mothering for me.

My Rock, My Mama G.

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am

I owe to my mother”   -George Washington

Growing up, people used to always tell me that I looked like my mother. At the time, I  didn’t see that as a compliment; my mother was forever tired from running around with my brother and I so I refused to see what they saw. She was always an attractive woman, looking younger than her years, but it wasn’t physical beauty that most people were speaking of. Right around my 19th birthday, she had to have a very serious surgery which thankfully she made it through. When she was laying in her hospital bed struggling to get her mental and physical faculties back together, I finally saw it. While I’d seen her at vulnerable points before then, I had never seen her at such a crossroads of vulnerability and strength. I was forced to pause and take a good look at the woman who was responsible for me. In her eyes I saw love and peace, in her skin I saw grace, and in her hands I saw the feminine dogged determination and strength of a nurse. For the first time, I really saw my mother. And I cried. I crumbled, humbled by her strength and awestruck by the fact that she saw what she was going through as a reason to rejoice. At the sight of my tears, she reached to her bedside, picked up a tissue, and wiped my eyes like she had so many times before that. I’d cried in anger because of her punishing me for doing wrong, I’d cried because of puppy love, and I’d cried over the sista girl drama of the day. That one action of her mothering through her pain let me know that I was blessed. She wasn’t always what I wanted, but she was everything I needed.

I got it. That day she went from only being my mother to being my mother and my best friend. I’m so blessed to have her in my life to this day. I find myself sharing my joys, my anger, my sorrow, and even my everyday junk with her and that’s okay. I’m a full grown adult who still calls home just to talk to mommy. 3 AM, noon, no matter. Frazzled nerves? Pissed at the boss? It’s okay. Sometimes only a chat with mommy can fix it. I saw that day in the hospital a woman with faults, with weaknesses, with strength and beauty. I got it.

One of the first things people say when they see my mom and I together is that we look so much alike. “You look just like your mom” is no longer received begrudgingly on my part, but rather with pride. It is my hope to one day truly look like her from the inside out.

Pardon the stream of consciousness rambling of this post; there just aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to describe my feelings about her. She’s my rock, my Mama G. And I’m a damn lucky daughter. I know one day she won’t be here anymore, but my life will have been better for her presence.

I love you, mama. Happy Mother’s Day.

-Your baby girl

30 Day Blog Challenge – #1

I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers,  Single Ma (read the description on her site — I linked directly to the list), but I believe she may have gotten it from somewhere else herself. There are  30 different topics to blog about over the course of 30 days. I’ve decided to modify it a bit, since there are other things I want to get into as well, but I hope this will get me on a more consistent blogging streak. I’ll do all 30 items in the order that they are listed, but won’t do them every day. I’ll just put what number I’m on so I can keep track.

First up is to list ten random facts about yourself. I’ve done lists like this before on this blog, so I had a hard time coming up with ten more. But here goes:

1. I’m like my own personal ‘Shazam’ app. All I need is to hear one or two bars of most any song and even if I’m not familiar with it, I’ll figure it out within a few minutes

2. When I get overtired, I get unusually focused and productive. However, that only lasts about an hour before I crash and burn wherever I am.

3. I sleepwalk on occasion. I don’t ever leave my bedroom, but I have found myself waking up in strange places like on the floor in front of my dresser. I don’t take Amb.ien or anything like that and I’ve done this since I was a kid. It took D some getting used to, but now he just guides me back to bed if he catches me while I’m walking.

4. When I’m counting items quickly, like the number of pages in a document or number of items in my grocery cart (to see if I can sneak into the express line), I count in French. It’s faster and more natural for me that way. *shrugs*

5. I love blankets with satin edges. I prefer when the satin binding is on all four sides, but I’ll take a blanket that only has it on the top and bottom edges. Whenever we buy new winter blankets, I always sew the satin binding on if it’s not already there. I love rubbing my fingers on the cool parts of the satin at night. When I was a kid I called them “feely blankets”.

6. When I hand write something, I typically use the normal combination of upper and lowercase letters. However, when I’m filling out a document like something at the doctors office or an application I always write in capital letters. In elementary school I loved how neat some people’s all-caps writing looked so I actually tried to model my own handwriting after that. I get a lot of compliments on my handwriting, saying it looks like an architect’s, but it’s not as neat as the writing I admired as a kid.

7. I love shoes, but I don’t really like to wear them. I even have a Loub.outin fund, and drool over the ones on the Bergd.orf website but would be cool in no shoes or Vibra.m Five Fingers shoes (if they weren’t so hideous) for the rest of my days.

8. Speaking of footwear, I love cute socks. You know, the kind with ladybugs or frogs or stars or whatever on them? I have about 30 pairs and am always rotating my stock. New pair in, old pair out. I do that so 1) I don’t end up with a massive stash o’ socks and 2) so I don’t get bored with them.

9. The sight of buttons that aren’t attached to either their garment or the card they come on at the fabric store give me the creeps. My grandmother used to have a tin full of loose buttons and for some reason they looked like eyes staring at me. I’d actually cry as a four or five year old when she wanted me to get a button for her. It’s not nearly that serious now, but when I buy clothes and they come with the bag of spare buttons, I sort of cringe when I have to put the bag in with my sewing supplies.

10. When I write emails, I always type the message first, then add the subject, then add the addresses. On replies, I delete the email address then type the response, then finally add the address and hit Send. I effed up once and sent a crazy email to the wrong person so I’ve been paranoid about it ever since.

Stupidity is a Disease…

After reading this story about a woman being charged with felony child endangerment for taking her six year old daughter to tanning salons. The interwebs is abuzz with the story, of course. I sincerely hope she didn’t put the baby in the tanning bed with her, especially since her daughter is a fair-skinned redhead. All the fair-skinned redheads I know say they don’t tan, but instead burn (I have no experience with suburns, so I have to go with what others tell me). Anyway, I saw the mug shot and I was like, “Umm…no. Not cute”, but then I saw a taped interview she did and this is what she looked like:

“Doo doo brown” means something completely different to me now. My girl looks like a 75-year old catcher’s mitt or a pair of old riding boots that have been polished to within an inch of their lives and left out in the sun to dry. I’m not sure if she’s that dark in the video because of makeup or what, especially since she looks a bit lighter in her mugshot. No matter what, that shit ain’t cute. People keep talking about tanorexia, but word? Ma’am, you don’t see your face looking like a pair of broke down cowboy boots? You don’t notice that your daughter is 50-11 shades lighter than you? Is this the opposite of what Michael Jackson was suffering from?? He just kept getting lighter, likely because this woman was sucking the black off of him in the middle of the night. Melanin vampireress.

Now she’s lashing out at people and saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with how she’s living is fat, ugly, and jealous of her. *scratches head* I didn’t have to get my melanin from a tan bed. I was born with it, and I have all my teeth. So I guess her theory is busted.

I don’t have many words for this one. All I can say is the tan booth has fried her damn brain cells. I hope the authorities find out just what happened with her daughter and remove her if needed. And for her sake, I hope she can stay out of the sun for a while. Shoe polish brown isn’t a normal skin color, boo.

Busted Up

For the last few years I’ve had a really rough time with TMJ. My jaw locks and clicks and pops…sounding much like a bootleg bowl of Rice Krisipies when it wants to. For years there was no pain involved, just the annoying noise and occasional lock up. Fast forward to last year. I was in paaaain and my jaw would just lock closed for inordinate amounts of time. One day it was stuck closed for 6 or 7 hours. The lockups would send me to the ER or urgent care and I’d be sent home with an Rx for painkillers and instructions to follow up with my dentist.

I never took the last part seriously until one day my jaw got locked open. I had to ride train home with my mouth wide open looking like I was either trying to catch flies or prepare myself for the bl*w job olympics (sorry, my mind is crazy raunchy today…blame the painkillers). I made a beeline for the dentist who sent me to the oral surgeon. Of course, just before Christmas, I had to have surgery. I was fine with it though…no more popping, clicking, locking, or pain. I thought I was cured forever but I should have known better.

Over the last few months, I’ve been experiencing soreness and fatigue in my jaw. I’d wake up in the morning feeling like I’d been chewing stale gummy bears all night. I knew I was headed back down the road to oral surgeryville but figured I had a few months before things got crazy. On Saturday morning, though, I woke up and I couldn’t get my mouth open at all. Like –” ma’am you’ll be drinking your meals through a straw type” stuff. Of course the oral surgeon isn’t open on the weekends and one emergency phone call later, I was headed for the urgent care yet again. Of course the urgent care can’t do anything but give me muscle relaxers and pain meds, so I was really on my own for the weekend. I had to grab hold of my face and actually move my jaw around so I could eat. D wanted to get ice cream so I was at the ice cream place looking like crazytown holding my face and mushing the stuff around my mouth. *I half think he took me there to embarass me as a way to get back at me for making him clean out the garage*

So anyway, I was FINALLY able to get to the oral surgeon yesterday. I figured he’d inject some medical-grade WD-40 in my jaw and send me on my way. Absolutely not. “Ms. Natasha, I’m going to have to operate on that right now”. With those words I saw pain, more pain, and dollar signs. After watching his secretary assault my credit card (because they make you pay up front and will send the claim to your insurance to have you reimbursed), I went back.

An IV of whatever anesthesia and an hour later I was done. The surgeon said, “Wow! I basically had to break your jaw to get things realigned. You’ll be really sore for a day or so but you can go back to work when you feel ready.” The secretary looked at me and said, “yikes” as I was being wheeled out of the office. That right there let me know that I wouldn’t be going back to work today.

So here I am, still swollen and looking like I went twelve rounds with a lead pipe. The painkillers I got plus naps on the couch are like little pearls from heaven for me. I’m working from home thankfully and my boss said, “I’m going to need you to stay home” after I sent a picture of myself post-surgery. I’m not sure if I should be offended or not!

Anyway, I’m finally getting through some things on my nook (so much for working, right?) and I believe it’s about time for another couch nap. Happy Wednesday 🙂


Picking Up the Pieces

As usual, I’ve neglected this blog again. However, it’s not really for lack of things to say but because I wasn’t so sure the things I have to say belong on this blog. My lupus has changed the way I look at things, and my perspective really isn’t the same as it was when I first started this blog. I’m not bitching about dating and life isn’t all jokes like it was almost seven years when I started this thing. But I guess that’s the beauty of it all, I’ve got a cyber time capsule that lets me go back and see what was going on at different points in my life.

I’m rambling now (but rambling is part of the title of this blog, right?) so let me get to the point. My life has been scattered for the last two years or so, but I’m trying to put the pieces back together and get back to that part of me that writes for the love of it. Grammar be damned, my little voice needs its own space too.

Life goes on and so do we….

So this is what I’m doing today…

I was about to come up in here and write something pseudo-serious, but then I remembered it’s Friday. And (not) payday. So I ain’t wanna do alladat. So instead I went ‘cross the street from work and picked up a couple of these:


Yeah, a (small) fistful of Millions tickets. I know I have a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning the jackpot, but lemme tell you…whoooo….if I did, it’d be lights out for employment. I love my job, but I’d start a non-profit so I can do the work I love without the corporate clog up at the top. I’m not sure how I’d leave, but I’d make sure to go out with gusto. Like photocopy my ass and draw lips on the page and send it to Human Resources kinda ish. And please believe I’d be completely incog-negro cuz I don’t want people to come out the woodworks talking, “Aye, we were in that play in Kindergarten together. Do you ‘memba? Yo, can I hold a couple dollas till I get my check next week?”

It’s hard for me to fathom being responsible for that kinda money. Like, yeah I took some time and got my own stuff together over the years, but that much? I dont’ have the slightest idea ’bout what to do with it except spend it. And I know better than that, after all there’s some book or something out that explains 9 out of 10 lottery winners lose all their money within 5 years. I’m not going out like that. So yeah, yearly payout for me. Might not be as sexy as swimming in my millions like Scrooge McDuck, but at least I won’t be broke.

Maybe at lunch, I’ll go buy myself a few more, from a different store. You know the hood theory about getting your tickets from different neighborhoods….yeah, I’m gonna try that. My limit is $10 on this mess though, you know I’m cheap frugal. I will NOT be that woman taking up three hours at the gas station talkin bout “Did you run all my sheets through??? I want them nummas straight AND box! You hear me?? Straight AND box!!”

If you see a black woman wearing sunglasses, holding a giant check in front of her face, and doing the Dougie/Pass Out on the news this weekend, go ahead and assume it’s me.