December 28, 2009

paint lessons

We've been in our condo for nearly 6 years and amazingly, we still have not finished decorating the whole place!  The reasons? We pay cash for MOST things (including furniture)...and TIME/ENERGY (to complete a project)....which is the biggest hurdle.  So needless to say, I've been planning to paint the guest bedroom for years, but decided I'd better get to it before this Christmas since my in-laws were coming to spend the holiday with us.  Talk about crunch time!  

For some reason, green has become one of my favorite colors....not dark boring green or cheap looking neon green....but smooth cool green.   So to my love's horror, I found a color called asparagus months ago which I was SURE would be perfect!  But as I went to buy the paint last week, confident and determined to get it done, love kept reminding me "This is YOUR project.  If you mess it up, it's on YOU!"....I became a little nervous...and a bit indecisive.

As a result, I got another peek into my soul.  The big Revelation?  I AM UNCOMFORTABLE WITH RISK.  There!  I said it.  As creative and different and everything else that I think I am, I must admit, I like to play it safe.  I like to have a plan....not only a plan, but one that I am relatively positive will be successful.  Instability or the unknown?  Let's just say they don't take me to the happy place.

So there I was in Home Depot staring at the color palettes on the wall, practically shaking from cold feet like a nervous bride on her wedding day. Will asparagus green be too loud?  Can I actually paint this room myself?  What if it doesn't turn out right?  What if it's down right UGLY?  WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE!?!  Oh God!!!
After poring through the palettes...again, and going through the suggestions and tips on their trusty computer program....and asking a stranger her opinion....and getting help from the sales associate....I finally decided to grow some "balls" and go with my first mind.  I quickly ordered two cans of Asparagus Green and got the heck out of there before my doublemindedness (if that's a word...) kicked back in.

Thus far, I've only painted one coat and you know what?  It's doesn't look half bad.  As a matter of fact, I think it's going to turn out quite beautifully.  Even love said so.  Sigh (....of relief).  YEA!!! One decision down...a million to go!

bite of the day ~ Trust yourself.  Don't let fear of making a mistake stop you from trying something new or doing something different.


December 14, 2009

good eatin'

The holidays are here...all too quickly, I might add!  And the good eatin' has officially begun.  This week alone I have three holiday lunches...and the official Christmas party at the job.  Of course, it's no longer called a "Christmas" party for all the conformers and politically correct folks in the world.  It's now the "Holiday Reception".  Whateva'!
Nevertheless, after my scrumptious Thanksgiving meal of  juicy garlicky Turkey (made by my very talented love),  Cornbread dressing, candied yams, mustard and turnip greens, mac and cheese, vanilla layered cake and cheesecake with whipped topping......the eating just seemed to continue.  So a thirtiesgirl like me has to find a way to enjoy all the festivities (I WILL NOT DEPRIVE MYSELF!!) without growing the gut or butt beyond repair.  So my health freak of a mamacita is always giving me little tips to keep the jiggle to a minimum and sickness at bay.  The most recent being CINNAMON and HONEY.

  This powerful duo is said to have crazy ridiculous health benefits like weight loss (apparently the mixture stops the body from accumulating fat...COULD THIS BE TRUE???), fights heart disease, hair loss, arthritis, yeast/bladder infections, indigestion and the lists goes on and on!
I've just added this to my regimen and I have high hopes. PLUS it is DELISH!  Smooth and sweet.  I simply boil water in a tea kettle, sprinkle some ground cinnamon in a large tea cup and pour the boiling water over it.  Then I add a nice tablespoon of honey and stir.  It's better than Hot Cocoa on a crispy cold night, I tell ya!  And if it does everything they say, I can definitely make this a permanent part of my life.  HALLELUJAH and pass the cheese! Just kidding.  Sigh.

bite of the day ~ Use Organic Cinnamon Powder and RAW Unheated Honey to get real benefits.  This combo can be consumed as a warm drink or taken straight from the spoon.  Enjoy! 

November 28, 2009


The other day, love and I visited a 3 story mansion called The Economy Shop where they hold special sales on antique and "gently used" items a couple times a month.  We LOVE going to places like this because you find little treasures that you won't find anywhere else.  I usually hit the book section ( addiction)...and this shop had an especially nice selection.  I paid $8 for a delicious little collector's item called LEGENDS: Women Who Have Changed The World Through the Eyes of Great Women Writers.  Now I'm no feminist, but I believe in the power and equality of women.  I believe that God has a special purpose and plan for women besides popping out babies (...of course I want to be a baby popper too)...or being arm, leg, brain or any other kind of candy for a man.  All that to say, "the women" focus of the book is not what got me.  Audrey Hepburn, whom I love, on the cover was the initial draw, of course. :-) But this book, with its one page writings about 50 "extraordinary" PEOPLE...half of whom I knew little to nothing about, is continuing to open my eyes and raise questions in my soul.  What makes a person great?  What is the thread between all these women's stories?

I've never felt ordinary.  I desire to be great.  I believe I am.  Translating what's inside into something The World can see is usually the issue for most of us who feel this way.  Somehow Golda Meir and Oprah and Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo did it.  So as I read my new book, once again, I look for inspiration, wisdom and knowledge from those of the past and present.....those who walked through unchartered political, artistic, business and social territory to BECOME what was already inside.  I reach to learn more....and to be better.

bite of the day ~ BE GREAT. 


November 9, 2009

another day...

The company I work for has recently gone high tech with internal job postings and benefit updates.  After jacking up my login twice and having to have it reset, I finally got into my personal page.  It has an ungodly amount of info on it.  I clicked on a tab that said "WORK".  It promptly reminded me that I've been with the company 10 YEARS 8 MONTHS and 9 DAYS.  Surely not!  How did I fall into this blackhole of a "9-5" life!?!  It was enough for me to want to run home and drown my sorrows in the last of the fattening homemade butter cookies I had tucked away in a zip-lock bag.  Now, I work for a great company...IF you want to work in corporate America and have a "normal" life....but for a lover of all things creative who never dreamed of working for someone else for the rest of her life, it feels like a slow torturous death at times.  I try to remind myself that my steps are ordered by God...I'm on assignment...there's a reason for GRATEFUL, etc etc blah blah blah.  But my God!  I can scream!  Today was one of those days.  I had to get out of the I decided to walk to the bookstore.  Books...they are my addiction.  And forget that sleek electronic crap!  I love the feel of the page, the color on the cover, the various cuts of the paper...I love the smell of books.  Needless to say, going to any place that has the written word always lifts my spirits.  And today, I found a gem!  The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. 

 It literally called to me from the shelf!  It was like God was saying "the ball has BEEN in your court.  What you gonna do, girl?"  The few pages I read basically talked about maximizing your life NOW...not waiting until retirement or until you have some miraculous windfall of money before you start really living and having fulfillment EVERY DAY.  The power of books.  The power of words.  It was like a shot of sunshine on a dreary day.  After all that, can you believe that I didn't buy the book! lol!  Something said, "Wait."  Guess it was God because when I looked it up online later, a new expanded addition was just finished. So I'll be running out to get the new and improved version.  Once again, Evidence.  My steps really are ordered.  

bite of the day ~ Take inspiration where ever you can find it and use it to boost you to the next level of life.  Don't wait another day!  Pursue life NOW.  


October 14, 2009


All this week you were on my mind.  I kept telling myself "you need to call your granny".  Kept saying "I'll do it today...on my lunch break".  Said it even yesterday.  I never did.  And now, I never will.

You are strong.  You are complicated.  You were fierce before anyone knew what it meant.  And you are my last....were my last GRAND-parent on this side.  Everyone always said I look just like you.  Loved the pic of you and grandpa in the "Cotton Club" as ever.  Young and vibrant.  Years ahead of you.  Hard years. 

I remember the visits when it was just you and I....lounging in our jammies all day...talking and eating and laughing and fussing.  I remember you visiting me in college.  Still got one or two of those towels you bought ...and the small Native American purse (that's seen better days)....and the nail kit....and the....memories.  I remember when I finally got to hear you sing.  Remember the surprise solo in church....the operatic voice that came out of you!  I was shocked.  You had told me over and over again the stories, the regrets, the missed chances of your younger days, usually due to some "evil" person that was holding you back.  Maybe I didn't think they were true.  I remember out of all the rooms and beds in your house, I always wanted to sleep with you.  And we would talk way past our bedtime.  And I felt safe.

I'll miss your laugh.  The way you held out your few choice cuss words (Shiiiiiitttttttt). I smile.  Even as the tears come and the regret for missing that one last opportunity to say "I love you Grandma"...and to actually hear you say it back.  I will never forget our days.  I am grateful that I had you to myself..a lot back then.  But now,  I can force myself to be happy that you no longer suffer under doctors practicing, probing machines....and a body that just couldn't hold you anymore.

I love you deeply.  You are free.

bite of the day ~ NEVER ignore that small still inner voice.  God may be giving you a chance that will only come once.


October 13, 2009

good hair

Ever since love and I went to see Chris Rock's documentary on black hair this past weekend, I have been ultra sensitive to the subject.  Not in a defensive way, but I'm very aware of my surroundings.  I'm already naturally analytical, so the film just kicked me into overdrive.  We stopped at the grocery store right after seeing it and we both were checking out heads.  "That's hers."  "Nah...that's a weave.  A bad one." "Is that Malaysian like Viviva Foxx wears?"  Of course WE don't know what Foxx wears but the dude with the flowing perm in the film seemed to be familiar with the details of her head.
The most disturbing scene was when Rock tried to sell "black" i.e. NAPPY hair to the very Asian shops that thrive in African-American communities.  NEWS FLASH!!!No one wanted the nappy hair.  Including the young black woman with the braided extensions that worked in one of the shops.  She actually looked like she was proud to "school" Chris on why the black hair was undesirable.
What I wished the film would have dealt a bit more with was the underlying psychological and spiritual reasons why Black women would pay boatloads of money that many of them don't have to attach someone elses hair to their head.  And why a good majority of black women, starting at a very early age, hate their own hair so much that they turn to extremely harmful and dangerous chemicals to straighten the name of style and the big one...MANAGEABILITY.  But who defines what's stylish or manageable?
For the majority of my life, I was one of these women.  I never did the weave...except the piece I added to my fingerwaved jheri curl in the 11th grade for prom....but that's a whole other story. sigh.
It has been almost 2 years since I had a relaxer and I feel FREE!  I have FINALLY accepted my natural beauty.  I wanted to transition years ago, but I was still too concerned about what others would think.  Concerned that I wouldn't be "cute" anymore.  I wasn't ready.  When I finally was, people told me I was "brave".  Wow. 
I discovered my hair is as versatile as ever!  If I want to wear it bone straight, I still can.  If I want a fro, twists, waves...I can do anything! 

But still...I have to admit, on Monday morning (a wash n go afro day) when the construction guys, who usually vie for my attention just to get a flash of this big smile and a wave, COMPLETELY overlooked me for the weaved-up sista walking a few steps ahead of me, I felt a brief burn in my chest...mourning for my long relaxed locks and the attention they used to bring me.  And mine were "real".  This society is jacked...and it jacked me.  Sigh.

bite of the day ~ If you find your worth in anything that is not naturally you, take a peek inside and seek to rid yourself of the lies that challenge your value and unique beauty.  You are a Queen, not BECAUSE OF your hair but REGARDLESS of it. Selah.


October 9, 2009

angry men

A brotherNfriend of mine was "jumped" by 20+ guys outside of a nightclub this week. Why?  liquor. women. misunderstanding. foolishness. pride. 
The high of a watching crowd. Devils. Demons. They don't call the strong stuff "spirits" for nothin'.  And this was no hole in the wall.  Supposed to be civilized folks far removed from the hood.
What makes a man...a grown man... angry enough to put his hands, his fists, his foot on another?  Losing your temper to this point is a sign of weakness.  Bringing your boys along for the ride....COWARD should be tattooed across the eyelids.  Fake punkS. 

I went to see my brotherNfriend today....knowing he wasn't 100% in the right, but definitely didn't deserve to have to defend himself against a gang of angry men.  Had to lay eyes on him to make sure the aloe vera and vitamin E I brought was strong enough medicine.  Had to make sure he wasn't torn to pieces...guts bursting at the seams....head smashed in like the baby from Fenger High. When I got off the elevator...I heard a door opening...and there he stood.  Gauze on half of his forehead, a fixin' on one broke finger....scratches...puffy...but ALIVE.  And strong.  Talking, walking, seeing, hearing.  A miracle.

The angels had to block the majority of those blows. sigh.

bite of the day ~ GOD LIVES.  Now live for Him. 


October 1, 2009

do you know tonex?

I remember when I first saw him. I was a teenager, watching some cheesy gospel awards show... when a man hit the stage to a tight beat, wearing a feather-lined jacket...and omg "is that make-up!?!" I didn't know what to think....don't know what he sang...but I never forgot his face. Years later, I was a dancer for a gospel group and they were opening up a "show" for tonex and his band. A sister was walking down the hall carrying a tray of food and asked me to help her out by opening a door. I opened the door to a sea of faces who stopped all conversation and stared at me...the intruder. MRS. tonex said a playful, "Ooooo! You gone get it!" Of course she had her curvy hips and designer jeans nestled comfortably in tonex's lap. He just stared, gave me a quick smirk and went on with his business. Little did I know that encounter preceded one of the most awesome, spirit-filled "concerts" that I'd ever witnessed. He was excellent, real and...different. From that moment on, I was in love with tonex...the gospel Prince, I called him. I followed his music, his ministry and his happenings. I used a tonex song in my wedding (on loan from my big bro and original sis-n-law...r.i.p.). I was in complete shock when he and MRS. tonex divorced and had many jaw-dropping moments reading his raging blogs on myspace. Yet, my love would not die or be denied. Now I have been informed...from tonex's own mouth, that he is "attracted to men". As everyone knows I love tonex, as soon as the news hit, so was my inbox. It wasn't a COMPLETE shocker as the feathers, weaves and make-up over the years was suspect, but I had to watch the 3 part interview for myself anyway. I had to look into the whites of his eyes and listen to every word....every syllable.

Now I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle and no amount of tonex lovin' will change that. Yet, I leave the judging to God. He sincerely believes what he feels. I don't know how he feels. I know what the word says. This situation has challenged me to dig deeper and TRULY "know for myself". Religion has no place in the true God and His Kingdom. As tonex admits he's still on a journey of soul-searching, praying and am I. This is way beyond a few cuss words on youtube. Nevertheless, love you still. sigh.

bite of the day ~ our job is to love and pray. as hard as it is, leave the judging to God.


September 29, 2009


Sometimes good enough just is not....good enough. Sometimes what you're giving is everything you have to give at that moment...even if it's still not good enough. Sometimes the intense desire to succeed and "do good" be so heavy that you feel like you're sinking. That's when I have to stop. Just stop. I need a mental, physical and most of all, spiritual recharge.......before I snap.


bite of the day ~ don't be afraid to just STOP. Take a breath. Try. Try Again.


September 24, 2009


A co-signer is someone who "stands" jointly with another person to confirm or guarantee a transaction or even confirm that something is true or valid. A co-signer backs another person up. If they can't pay, the co-signer must.

First of all, I am determined to avoid co-signing on any piece of property or vehicle for anyone, except my love of course...but in that case it would be joint ownership. :-) However, in our daily decisions, I've found that most people, unfortunately including myself, want a co-signer. Why? So we won't have to stand alone. Think about it. One of the reasons most of us want to be in a committed long term relationship is we don't want to go through this life journey ALONE. Someone else is there to take up the emotional, physical, spiritual and financial slack. Hopefully LOVE is involved too. :-)
A person normally doesn't want to drink alone....even if they are with a group of people (who don't drink), they really don't want to be the only one drinking. I've seen people develop friendships over bad habits like smoking, overeating, clubbing every night much. lol! And they really may not have bonded with the person if it were outside of that particular habit...cause they really don't like them that much. Sometimes we want a co-signer on an idea or someone to confirm that we are gifted in a particular area. Someone ELSE has to confirm it for us to believe it. Or maybe I'm just talking about myself. sigh.

Let me clarify....there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting others' opinions or advice about major decisions. That's wise. But when you put too much weight on what other people think in general, especially if it is the complete opposite of what you think, instead of going with your own conscience, spirit or gut (hopefully God is somewhere in your gut!)...that's where the issue lies. If you want to eat healthy, do it...even if the folks in your house are not "co-signing". If you have a dream, go for it....even if no one believes in it but you. If you want to sing (in public) and EVERYONE says you're tone deaf and off-key.......believe them. Sorry. But you get the point. sigh.

bite of the day ~ learn to follow your spirit, stand on your two feet, and take responsibility for your own.


September 16, 2009

compassion? not so much...

Being that all we had in the frig was frozen food, I decided to go to the grocery store and pick up a couple of items. My intention was to drop in and quickly grab bottled water and juice only....but unfortunately, I'm a sucker for BUY ONE GET ONE FREE sales. So 40 plus bucks later, I head back to my vehicle to unload. Out the corner of my eye I see someone approaching....vaguely hearing words come in my direction. A black woman with short curly blondish hair was indeed speaking to me. Being that I live in a major urban city....I'm used to the "begging" hustle. I can literally spot game a mile away. Her first words were "Excuse me...this ain't no homeless stuff or nothing like that....". In a split second I gave her the once over to decide if she was getting a penny out of me. Mouth in desperate need of a dentist visit....walking on the back of what was most likely house shoes...and last but not least, a cheesy "I don't mean no harm" grin with words spilling out way too quickly. I smelled a lie, so I stopped her mid-sentence. "I don't have any cash on me, if that's what you're about to ask." She nodded with a laugh, said that was exactly what she needed and moved on to the next possible....sucker?
Now don't get me wrong. I give, not only through my church and my job, but to folks on the street, train....wherever. My favorite is a gentleman who sings reggae on the train. He's loud, gifted and makes my ride home from work just a little more interesting. AND he's not just asking for money.....he's giving a service (entertainment). I can respect that, which is why he gets my donation everytime.
Now, I'm suspicious by nature, but the more street-wise I become, the more skeptical. This is not necessarily a good thing.

I watched as "blondie" worked the parking lot, telling her story...even at one point pulling out her I.D. trying to prove her sincerity. As skeptical as I've become, I always feel a little bad for not giving to everyone who asks. Did I mis-judge this lady? Maybe she really did need money for something legit? Maybe she's not like the guy working the Popeyes drive-thru begging for .75 for bus fare to get home....only to give the same story a month later, but this time he was 20 lbs lighter. Crack kills. Sigh.

bite of the day ~ don't let the crooks of the world taint you and your natural impulse to do good. show compassion, even to those who may not deserve it. the good will come back to you!


September 14, 2009


I want to travel the world. To never leave my own city, state....or country for that matter...UNTHINKABLE! After going back and forth about this year's vacation, love and I decided to hop in a rental and hit the highway. I absolutely adore road trips! Great transpo, music, conversation....and of course, great company makes for a fabulous time. After visiting family in Georgia and Alabama, we settled in New Orleans for a few days of fun and relaxation. To be honest, I was slightly nervous, as I didn't know what to expect. I recently attended a play where they were still collecting donations for N.O. residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. Of course, as we drove over the bridge into the city, we could see the scars left by the disaster. Damaged buildings, abandoned businesses, broken homes. The four star hotel we stayed in didn't seem to sustain any lasting damage, based on the lobby. But when we entered our room, there was a distinct odor....moldy...mildewy...old wet. Although they had replaced all of the carpet and furniture, the moisture locked in the walls gave away the secret. Damaged goods. The next room was a lot better. We hit Bourbon Street in the French Quarter the next day. I was anxious to walk down the same streets as the likes of Louis Armstrong and Tennessee Williams.....wanted to be captivated by the music and the art. Unfortunately, the first part of The Quarter we hit was the T & A section. Naked girls...liquor....more naked girls....more liquor. Now I know New Orleans is known for Mardi Gras and just partying in general...but in my naivety, I didn't anticipate bare titties and unmentionables in open view on the street. Silly me. Surely there is more to New Orleans than this! There is. We continued our exploration to find the arts district where there was not only quaint little shops (...Cafe Du Monde...YUM!), an open square/garden and a museum...but serious artists were on the street creating everything from portraits to bold paintings of New Orleans life. One such artist said her daughter had taught her the basics of the art just a few months earlier....and her work was good! I had to wonder whether it was a natural gift or whether she was exaggerating a bit in the name of salesmanship. lol! One thing I observed was the people, although scarred by the recent past, still had a pocket of life and freedom...even if it was only for the brief moments they broke out in a step to the music from the street band on the corner....or maybe it was just the cheap beer. Who knows.

bite of the day ~ visit a place you've never gone before. even if it's not your cup of tea, open your heart and mind to experience the beauty in it.


August 29, 2009

bit-size pieces

The day before my birthday, I stared at my frame in the mirror in front of me and my reflection in the full length in back (Ugh!?! Whose butt is that???), and thought, " are almost 35 years old." My God! That's 3 1/2 decades....5 years from 40...2 years more than Jesus walked the earth!?! Fact of the matter is, I don't feel 30 anything inside...whatever that means. Yeah, my shape is fuller...I'm taller...I'm wiser (I hope! lol!)....but the reality is I still feel like that same 11-year-old girl humpin' it up that hot Texas hill to school, another day of struggling through a Rudyard Kipling poem awaiting me. That girl who was always standing in the crowd, but never a part of it. Different. Misunderstood? That's how I felt inside...always. Now instead of a classroom filled with kids I mostly can't relate's a corporate office. Always in but mainly not of. Sixth grade is when I finally accepted this one fact of my life: IT'S OK TO BE DIFFERENT. ACTUALLY, IT'S AWESOME! Standing outside of the "like everyone else" box gives me more room to be uniquely who God created me to be. I've found over the years that I attract other "different" somebodies....outcasts who turned into genuine, many times, lifelong friends. Now, I was probably an outcast mainly because I acted my age and simply wanted to "do good". Whatever that meant, I aspired to achieve it. Being different now has translated into marching to my own beat. I don't need an entourage, posse or clique. If I want to eat lunch at 2:30 in the afternoon and the rest of my department goes together at 11:30 in the morning...I feel no pressure to change anything to be APART of the group. No matter the pressures of society, especially these days, I don't have to be a traditional daughter, wife, sister or woman. I don't have to follow the popular politics or be politically correct. I just have to be genuinely the me God made. Before my revelation in 6th grade, HA!!!

Since I turned 35, I've realized that I am a GirlnWoman. Experiences, both hellified and heavenly, separates me from my 11-year-old self, nonetheless....I am her. The girl still humping it up the hill of in bite-size pieces. Still searching for that balanced level ground.

bite of the day ~ embrace the lessons learned by your younger self & use them to help propel you up each hill of life.