Truly Phenomenal

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

Maya Angelou was always an inspiration to me.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size  

I read, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” when I was about 10. Not exactly regular reading material for a 10-year-old, but My Mom is a librarian and, growing up, I read anything I could get my hands on.

But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.

I was profoundly moved.

I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.  

I read, “The Heart of a Woman,” but none of her other autobiographies. I did, however, breathe her poetry like a cool breeze on a hot day.

I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I’ve always had a sense of pride about my heritage. Paternally, my family roots have been traced back to Ghana. We are the oldest documented black family in the US. Our ancestors were slaves at Mt. Vernon. A portion of my family tree hangs in the Smithsonian museum in DC. So her poems about black history like “Still I Rise,”were always moving to me. But the thing that truly resonated, the thing that gave me pause, made me stop and consider myself, was her poetry about being a woman.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,  
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.  
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.  

I had so much to learn about what it means to be a woman.

I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,  
And the flash of my teeth,  
The swing in my waist,  
And the joy in my feet.  

I was fat and awkward and I didn’t know who I was. But when I read her poetry, I felt… Strong. Like I could deal with my life.

I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

She was eloquent and intelligent and she knew who she was, wasn’t afraid of who she was.

Men themselves have wondered  
What they see in me.

As a girl, a teenager, a young woman, I struggled. Struggled with my identity, with my sexuality, with my self-esteem, with my role as a daughter, mother, student, friend, lover, me. I wanted to grow up, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what I was supposed to grow up into.

They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.

Dr. Angelou gave me a light. A guess. An estimate of who I might be someday.

When I try to show them,  
They say they still can’t see. 

It wasn’t like I aspired to be like her. I don’t think I have ever thought that way. I knew that I needed to be me, unique, special.

I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,  
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.

And over the years, I went back to her poems. Sporadically, not a constant thing. And through the years, as I grew older, as I evolved and changed, I kept going back. I kept reminding myself that yes, I can be attractive and funny and smart and still be me.

I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I did grow up.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.  
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.  
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.

I became an adult. A woman. With many identities and personas; smart, sexy, loving, caring, mother, daughter, wife, lover, friend, student, teacher, survivor.

I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,  
The bend of my hair,  
the palm of my hand,  
The need for my care.

And I can feel it in my soul when I say it’s

’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 Rest in peace Dr. Angelou. You made the world a better place.



Couldn’t help myself

Both of my children are fucking crazy.
Had to share.

Posted from my phone because I’m too lazy to get my laptop.



Been awhile hunh?

Didja miss me?

You know you did…

Soooo… Let me start by saying, the title to today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with any battery-powered “massagers” that I may or may not have stashed in my underwear drawer. In the back. Under the black and pink striped bra…

I digress.

Today’s post is actually about just how motherfucking busy I have been of late. Like a bee… Get it?

Work- Buzzz… Training new hires, managing my own workload and taking on a committee that I probably don’t have time for. Loving it though.

New house- Buzz buzzz… I adore my new house. Seriously. This is the first time I’ve felt like I’m home since I was a kid. This is my space, my family’s space and it’s home. That being said… There seems to be some kind of new issue/problem/repair/clusterfuck every day.

Thank you SO much Peppa Pig. ~sigh~

Thank you SO much Peppa Pig. ~sigh~

The paved driveway has more potholes that the dirt road to My Mom’s old house. That expense is going to have to wait. Right now we’re just kinda swerving (maybe pivoting? It’s a short driveway) around the deep ones in order to preserve the exhaust systems on the cars. The Peach thinks it’s fantastic and everytime it rains she has to go “jump in muddy puwdews?”

The pool that Princess Punk was so excited about? Well, the snow melted and we discovered that the previous owner (let’s just call her Frivolous Fanny… Heh… Fanny) had “neglected” to cover the pool over the winter and as a result the liner is shredded and needs to be replaced. As this is a major part of the backyard that would probably require $10,000 to remove and re-landscape and is actually a good investment should we ever decide to sell, we must replace it. That and the fact that Princess Punk’s bottom lip will hit the pavement if we don’t. So… New liner. A little expensive, but easy-peasy right? Wrong. Frivolous Fanny had a tendency to spend a lot of money on things. Top of the line everything. Ok… Top of the line things that she could brag about. God forbid she spend as much money on the electrical system in the house as the TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLAR ABOVE GROUND POOL. Yes. Seriously. Custom built, wood-sided, last forever (if you take care of it) above ground pool. So it needs a special liner. And a foam liner as well since the plastic liner can’t be directly against the wood or it will tear in a fairly short amount of time. And, since she didn’t cover it over the winter, the lining split a little bit. And then water got in-between the lining and the pool. And then it froze. And expanded. And blew out some of the packed-sand base and rocks surrounding the bottom on one side. So it’ll be expensive to fix. Like The Zen Master and I hitting our rather meager Scottrade retirement account (he was NOT happy) and My Mom hitting her rather meager IRA (she was NOT happy) expensive. And when I asked the guy who came to fix it (and left because it was going to take twice as long as he thought and he was already booked for another job that day) if it was worth it, he said, “You know, if this was a regular above-ground, I’d probably tell you don’t bother. But I was the one who actually installed this one and it’s definitely worth it to fix. And if you let it go like this, it’ll be truly ruined.” I need to remember to call him to see when he’s coming back. Princess Punk has her heart set on a pool party for her 8th grade graduation and it’ll take at least a week to warm up after it gets filled since the tap water is about 42 degrees.

Yes. That is my backyard. Jealous?

Yes. That is my backyard. Jealous?

We have a yard. Like a real yard, with gorgeous trees and a Big. Flat. Lawn. We have an acre of land total (which is a rarity since we’re actually in town) and I’m not sure how much of it is grass, but it’s… A lot. Definitely more than Princess Punk, The Zen Master and I combined could handle with our crappy little lawn mower that isn’t even running right now. Since we couldn’t manage any more one-time major chunks of pay-this-now-so-your-house-doesn’t-fall-to-shit, we went to Sears and got a 12 months, no interest, line of credit on a brand new little riding mower. With a bag. Because there is no friggin way I am raking up all those grass clippings. It’s actually pretty cool and if we can afford it someday, we can actually attach a snow-blower to it so we don’t have to pay to plow.

There are little things all over the house that keep… Fitzing. New word. Let’s see…

Fitz (‘fits) transitive verb – to break unexpectedly, causing a new homeowner stress and expense; generally referring to a small annoyance rather than a crushing financial blow.

The wall lights in the bathroom just completely fitzed.

 The wall lights in the bathroom completely fitzed. The mirror backsplash (Yes. Mirror.) behind the stove developed a 2-foot crack. The 3-season porch (that was supposed to be my special place) has undergone land development by ants as if it were Miami beachfront instead of a slate floor with too much loose mortar. The windows in the living room keep coming off their tracks. Some of the pipes in the basement are leaking. Again. The downstars bathroom sink isn’t draining properly. The doorknob on Princess Punk’s room gets stuck, both open and closed. The shelves in the door of the fridge are breaking off. One of the garage doors doesn’t always open. The other garage door never opens. There’s a light in the garage that we can’t find a switch for. Oh, and I’m pretty sure there’s a squirrel living in the attic.

And we’d like to have a garage sale at some point this summer. Because combining 2 households that both already had to much stuff then adding on all the crap that Frivolous Fanny decided she didn’t want to bother moving makes for OBFM… That’d be One Big Fucking Mess.


Kids- BUZZBUZZZ BUZZITY-FUCKING-BUZZ… The Peach is a joy. And a total pain in my butt. She is absolutely friggin nuts and delights in doing really weird shit and then gets extremely pissed off when you call her on it.

“OUCH! GODDAMMIT, do NOT put your wooden blocks under the rug!”


And then she stomps over to my bedroom door, looks at me, slams it, and proceeds to kick at it until her fat little toe makes actual physical contact with the door. Then she cries woefully, sticks her foot in my face and says,

“Moooooommmmm… I hab a booboo… kissit.”

Princess Punk is… Well, she’s a teenager. We live in town now. Princess Punk walks to school. It takes her about 3 minutes to walk to soccer practice. Which is really nice because I can actually be cooking dinner instead of waiting for her to call me for a ride. Several of her friends live within a block or two of us. And we have this great back yard. And a pool table (yet another thing that Frivolous Fanny decided it was too much trouble to move). So our house has become… The Spot. More and more frequently, I find teenagers in my house when I get home from work. They’re just… There.  And while I’d much rather have them here where I know who she’s with and what she’s doing, it is still taking some getting used to. Not to mention, there are boys there now. Did you see the last post? One of the kids she knows lives 2 houses down and cuts through our backyard on his way home on a fairly regular basis. So he ends up stopping by occasionally to play video games and hang out. He managed to be “walking by” when The Princess and two of her girlfriends were playing around with a hose in the backyard. In their 2-piece suits. 20140525_142703

“Heeheehee OHMYGOD, don’t give him the hose! EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”

Smart kid.

So basically, what I’m saying here is… Life is good. But TOTALLY chaotic. So I’m posting when I can, but I’m thinking it’s not going to be super frequently until things settle down a teeny bit. I do miss my blog, and I’m going to try and take a minute here and there to write (this post took me 4 days), but….



Princess Punk’s first coed party

Never, even in the most twisted corners of my mind (of which I have many), did I ever think I would utter the phrase;

“No cross-gender twerking!”

Posted from my phone because I’m too lazy to get my laptop.