Bougie Cocktail Moment

When animals attack (Bougie edition)

As you may know, I've had my adventures with "critters" round here. (For those who missed it read here and here.) My struggle continues...

For some reason last week, BougieMom got it into her head to sweep up all the various dead leaves and insects in the garage and dump the charming combination into a box in a corner of the garage. I pointed out that since we live next to an open field in Texas, that was an invitation for "varmints" to come on in. She just laughed at me.

Fast forward to yesterday. BougieMom is off in North Carolina visiting BougieOlderBro and I have the house to myself. I decided to run up to the store at about 2:00pm. I swung open the garage door and heard a squawk, a flapping of wings and then saw some flavor of bird dive bombing me. Eeek! I slammed the door shut. Then I thought, okay really Michele? What's the worst a bird can do?

I opened the door slowly and the bird was perched atop Mom's BMW all gangstery looking at me like "who gon' check me, boo" - beady eyes all malevolent and what not. So I opened the garage thinking that the bird would have sense enough to fly away to freedom. No. He (She, who knows?) flew up to perch on some wires tacked to the ceiling of the garage.

What to do? I didn't want to leave the bird in there, looking around the creature had liberally "shared his offerings" all over the damn place. So I grabbed a broom and began swinging towards the bird on the assumption that this would prompt the thing to sense danger and flee. Hells no. The bird was clearly laughing at me and did not move an inch. So now I've taken a batter's stance and I'm about to swing for the fences when he started flying towards me. Of course I was shrieking and swinging the broom and ducking at the same time causing me to stumble into the side of my car and bang my knee.

Plus my body decided to remind me that I had surgery less than three weeks ago and all this jumping, swinging, spinning nonsense was not on the agenda yet. I got angry. And the bird finally figured out I was not playing and flew towards the back of the garage. Mr. Bird was trying to build some sort of elaborate setup in the box o' garage crapola BougieMom had stashed back there. I kicked the box in the street and swung at the bird one last time who finally flew across the yard to perch on the mailbox. 

I hustled to back the car out and close the garage before it could swoop back in. Why when I was pulling back in an hour later was I scanning the sky waiting for that damn bird to come back? What can I say... I like nature from a distance. 

Thoughts, comments, sympathies?

The more things change...

I have so many questions about this picture. Why am I sitting in the fireplace like Cinderella? Why am I leaned up against logs like they are super comfortable? What am I reading? WHAT AM I WEARING? Le Sigh.
You can handle birthdays a few ways - you can be shell shocked at where all the time went, you can be melancholy about time lost, you can be giddy that you're still here, or you can ignore the whole thing. I tend to be a little mood swingy about it. But this year, I'm just happy to be be here.

I did stop and think what's different, what's changed and what's stayed the same over the years. Here's what I've come with...
1) I used to be quiet and self-contained. Now I'm reserved until I'm comfortable and then I speak my mind.
2) I used to be a book worm. I still am. 
3) I used to be shy. Yeah, that ship set sail a while ago.
4) I've been an optimist then a pessimist than an optimist again. I'm firmly in the between of those now.
5) I used to be very sweet, seriously - I was a sweetheart. Now? I have my moments.
6) I used to be gullible and a shade naive. Surprisingly, I still find that I'm shocked and awed at folks' shenanigans.
7) I've never really been insecure but I've had different levels of security on different categories of my life. I worry a little less about the exterior more about the interior. I don't stress over who likes  me and who doesn't. I don't worry about my career, it always works out in the end as it was meant to be. Same thing with relationships.
8) I used to be a romantic. God help me, I still am. 
9) I wanted to be a writer. Then a lawyer, then a CEO and now? A writer. At last.
10) My priorities were God and family first, s/o and friends seconds, then career and ambition, a whole bunch of other stuff and then me. These are pretty much the same though I've moved me into 2nd place..
BougieLand, what's changed about you from childhood to adulthood? What's stayed the same? Do share...

BnB Meet-n-Greets

Coming soon to a city near you. You don't have to wait for me to gather with the BougieLand faithful. Pick a spot with cocktails, round up one or two and enjoy! Send pics and highlights and we'll post! For details on the upcoming events in Houston and DMV, I've added a link (BnB Meet 'n Greet) to the sidebar. The link is also here.

If you have an event, let me know and I'll put it on the page. Have a Bougie Cocktail Moment but remember... let's be careful out there.

Where is BougieFam?

We're partying. BougieOlderBro turns 50 this week. (50!!!) We've been partying since Saturday afternoon and we're not done yet. We have Cowboys tickets tomorrow night. Here's hoping they don't ruin the party. Let's not discuss my blood alcohol level right now. Life is for the celebrating. I'll be back. Stay tuned. 

Talk amongst yourselves.

Healthy breasts rock. Pause for the cause...

I posted this last year but it still rings true so...
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have intimate knowledge of this disease, it's no joke. BougieMom is a two-time breast cancer survivor for over fifteen years. Early detection, aggressive cutting-edge treatment and diligent follow-up aided in her recovery and survival. Basically, she kicked cancer's ass and said, "NOW who wants some?!" We send up multiple prayers for her continued good health.

If you are able, please donate directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the Pink Ribbon store (icon on the right sidebar). Close to 200,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer. That is one out of every eight women in this country!

Take a moment this month to raise your glass up not only for survivors like my brilliant mother but also for the unfortunate 40,000 women a year who die from this insidious disease. Raise 'em up for the Cure, ya'll.

There’s free and then there’s FREE – Some thoughts on Independence Day

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ~Declaration of Independence

On this day in 1776, our marauding, slave-owning, pontificating forefathers (most of whom had been booted out of other countries) declared this here land they stole from brown folks a country. Happy Birthday, America! We is free… aren't we?

I'm sorry to bring down the BBQ high but I have to wonder... In a country where as of June 20 an average of 842,000 people a week are homeless, 6.8 million people are considered long-term (27 weeks or more) unemployed, 45.7 million people are uninsured and Rush Limbaugh is still on the air… just how free are we?

I mean we've been given inalienable rights and then a whole constitution with a Bill of Rights and twenty-seven (27!) amendments. But it occurs to me that there is a difference between having rights and being allowed to exercise those rights.

How can you pursue happiness without a job? How can you preserve life without healthcare? And perhaps there's such a thing as too much damn liberty if we can't find a way to get the Limbaughs, Becks and Palins to go sit down somewhere. Ugh.

Alright, I didn't want to go all the way in. We're trying to celebrate. And let's face it, raggedy as our collective history may be… America still kinda rocks. The belief that your life can turn on a dime, that you can achieve anything given a brain and opportunity, that we're all in this together (even when we don't like each other), that no matter how bad things get we are determined to find a way to win… all of that is essentially American at its core. Football, apple pie, meat over hot coals and our contribution to cuisine around the world: The Potato Chip. Amen.

I recently invested twelve hours of my life to watch The History Channel's documentary "America: The Story of Us" – I really enjoyed it. For once, no one whitewashed American history (pun intended) and just served it straight… the good, the bad and the ugly. But it was fascinating and far better than any history class I sat through in school. If you get the chance, check it out. Here's a preview:


While you're out there celebrating the greatness of our nation, think a good thought for those without the means, the place or the health to truly enjoy this Fourth of July. Send up a prayer with the fireworks and be safe today.

Let’s sip a Peach-Mint Iced Tea – It’s BougieMom’s Birthday

Seventy-eight years old and still going strong. Wit still as rapier-sharp as ever, side-eye honed to laser intensity, Bible-quoting and bougenificent. Today we celebrate the birth of Nellie Mae, also known as BougieMom. Here's a woman who clawed her way out of the hood (and I mean hood) of Baltimore with grit, determination and brainpower.

BougieMom is old school, she believes a lady should have a string of pearls, a butter knife and money of her own. I don't know what the deal is about the butter knife but she is adamant that it is the true sign of a well-bred lady to possess one. I have two, just to be safe. J

BougieMom is a light weight drinker. My Dad used to tell a story about taking her to Birdland in New York City where there was a two drink per person minimum. He ended up drinking 3 ½ of the drinks. That was the last time he took her to a place with drink minimums. She does however like her flavored teas. So lift up a cool glass and send a shout out her way.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Oops. Happy Anniversary BougieLand!

So much drama went down on the blog this week, I blew right past the one-year blogiversary. June 23rd was the official date. So let's pause for the cause and raise up a BougieCocktail.

Woo-hoo!! Wasn't sure we'd make it. Some of you all have been with me from the very, very beginning (Shout out to BougieSis, JaymeC, My Girl "C", ASmith86 and TiffanyinHouston for being my first "regular" commenters), some of ya'll are brand new but I'm grateful for each and every one of you. Well, 99.87% of you totally rock. :-)

Some stats: 440 posts. 552 subscribers, 231 Google followers, 418 Facebook fans, 778 followers on Twitter, 33 BougieTales. 28 BougieCocktail Moments, 13 Ask a Bougie Chicks, 12 Guest posts, 1 Movie Week, 1 Music Week, 2 Relationship Weeks, 2 Pookies, 1 Ray-Ray, a Romey-Rome, 2 lifetime BougieBans, over 5000 Bougie Thoughts (comments), a Blog Talk Radio Show and one writer/blogger/bougie chick who is having a blast. I've met the bestest folks and look forward to whatever year two brings.

We've talked politics, pop culture, fashion, dating, literature, and cocktails... to name a few categories. And yet, there is so much more bouge yet to be shared. BougieTales yet to be told. BougieCocktails yet to be lifted. Just wanted to let you know you are appreciated. Stick around...

Two fingers of Crown for Father’s Day

It's a tough day in BougieHousehold. I was (and still am) a daddy's girl. Doctor Bougie passed away in 2000 and Father's Day has been bittersweet ever since. Instead of going into a whole tribute (which could take weeks), I'll just say that as much as I adore my Mom, there was nothing like the unconditional love of my father. He was unequivocally my champion. He truly felt that we were the brightest bestest kids in the world and expected us to act accordingly. None of us lack for self-esteem, none of lack for brains, none of us lack for personality. That's genetics mixed with motivation and constant validation.

Frank was born on the edge of a sugar cane field in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. (Literally, we saw the shack) He was the youngest of fourteen. His father was a ship's captain who sailed over to Barbados, met a beautiful woman and married her. She became the cook for the King. Against all (unbelievable) odds, my father was the one that got out. He came over to America on a tiny ship, worked in the Tootsie Roll factory to save up money until he was accepted into Morgan State University on a tennis scholarship. He pledged Alpha Phi Alpha and was quite the player on campus. He and his friend from the homeland were known as the Guyanese Thieves because they stole so many hearts. The one woman who was about business and not paying him any mind was a serious accounting major who was pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha. This is how BougieMom and BougieDad met.

So there they were, a charismatic and ambitious man from Guyana with the easy smile and seriously studious Baltimore native with a sly wit and tinkling laugh. What they had in common? A deep respect for the purposes of education, an urgent desire to live better than their parents and conventional ethics. Somehow his West Indian sensibilities and her Southern code of values meshed. Unless they didn't. One day during their courtship, he decided that they were too much of a couple and he told Nellie he needed some space. She disappeared. If she saw him coming, she went the other way. It got to the point where he literally had to chase her down. They married two years later. He was brilliant to choose her.

They had four kids; I was the third of four, the youngest daughter. I was born three days after his birthday and he used to say that I was the best present he ever got. We were similar spirits. I have his stubborn streak and his ability to put strangers at ease in his presence. My older brother got his sense of humor, my older sister got the driving ambition, and my younger brother got the ability to turn a chicken-shiggity situation into chicken salad. But he gave all of us the belief that there's no such thing as falling down and staying down. He gave us the tools, the education and the confidence to take whatever life throws at us and keep it pushing.

He loved my Mom, he loved being a doctor, he loved being a father and wow did he love being a grandfather. He was strict as hell as a father, no man I ever dated was good enough, he wanted A's with bonus points and thought C's were for the lazy. The older I get the more of is stuff I seem to pick up. The cooking, the baking, the grilling, the cultivating roses, wanting fresh veggies, the love of Duke Ellington and the big band classics.. is it a matter of time before I'm swigging back two fingers of Crown Royal?

I feel blessed to have had him as a father. Happy Father's Day to all the current and future daddies out there. Respect to the good ones, it's a legacy absolutely irreplaceable. Lift them up and enjoy the day.

It's Juneteenth ya'll...

Yeah, I'm late. I decided to commemorate all my emancipated liberties and whatnot by sitting on my hindparts reading a book and sipping tea. Thank you President Lincoln, appreciate ya! 

For those that don't know: Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

Since it's Saturday as well, here's a little video shout out. See what you think of this guy, Canton Jones, he's a contemporary gospel artist and his song Hello Sunshine talks about that feeling after you've come through the storm... kinda like Juneteenth. (see what I did there?) Enjoy...

So raise up your summer cocktail of choice and reflect on the fact that you are most likely not picking cotton, chained to a fence post or plotting your escape to the north. Sorry, I watched some of Roots last night...