Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blogs I love

There are three blogs I absolutely love reading.  One is the fashion blog by Ari Seth Cohen for mature aged women called Advanced Style .  These women are the most beautiful and stylish women ever! The thing I love most about them is they are comfortable in the skin they're in. This one comes to my inbox EVERYDAY.

Another blog I love is Oh, hello frind: you are loved .  Lots and lots of beautiful vintage craft ideas plus she has an online store.  Danni Hong is the author of this blog, a lovely person with a large heart and beautiful spirit.  Oh! and she has giveaways on her blog.  This one comes to my inbox EVERYDAY also.

My third daily blog love is Happy Black Woman with Rosetta Thurman, a personal development and lifestyle blog.  Rosetta has an online community that encourages women to live their ideal lives.  Every month this inspirational and supportive blog does the Thirty One Days To Reset Your Life challenge, where you gain valuable insight into what helps to make you YOU.  Ever did a vision board?  well take this challenge and not only will you make one, but it will become an infallible remedy to some of things in our daily life that push us off tract. This one is a must have to my inbox EVERYDAY like my coffee.

There are many many more great blogs out there.  Check out BlogHer | Life Well Said and find blogs that you will want coming to your inbox....EVERYDAY!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Just one of those days when I don't see pretty colors

I titled this post Just one of those days when I don't see pretty colors when in fact it has been several of those days.  People are meddling, just elbowing their way all up into other's affairs.  Get your own business PLEASE!  I keep having to tell people that i'm o.k. on my island all by myself, but for some reason, they don't believe me, they use their subtle attacks to keep poking the hornets nest, disturbing it in hopes that I will soon sting.  Really?  Why don't you just walk away? Leave well enough alone? How many times do I have to tell you that I'm a hornet, and I am far more difficult and dangerous to control than regular wasp?

Maybe if I had better interpersonal skills, I could relate to you.  Naw, I would rather just not relate to you or interact with you at all. 

Tell you what! in an effort for me to stay off the edge of the ledge, i'm going to think pretty colors.  See, I feel better already, and you're now irrelevant.  Think pretty colors.

Friday, November 23, 2012

What we can do to keep this thankful feeling

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Now that the day is over, we're on to Christmas and Christmas cheer.  Ever wonder what the world would be like if love and kindness were displayed year round like it is on Thanksgiving and Christmas?  People are so cheery and thankful on these two days, and that's wonderful, but in the twelve months of the year, the 365 days, the 8,760 hours, the 525,600 minutes, and the 31,536,000 seconds, we can only muster up kindness and generousity for 2 days?

What if we took baby steps, and practiced being kind as if we were infants learning to walk? There are so many humanitarians, activists, philanthropist, and others who daily work diligently  helping to improve the welfare and happiness, and promoting social reform; and from those of us who have not reached that level of kindness, we say THANK YOU to these people.  But they can't do it alone. Find a cause that you love or like; something that tugs at your heart strings.  Get involved, and volunteer, or help as often as you can, until that often as you can turn into more that you thought you could.  Before you know it, I bet the two days of thankfulness and Christmas cheer will turn into a life of service and gratitude.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Shack

"Who wouldn't be skeptical when a man claims to have spent an entire weekend with God in a shack no less? and this was the shack."-Wm. Paul Young

This is from the forward of my favorite book, The Shack.  This book gets knee deep into when a person's pain meets the Giver of life.  This book can be found on my nightstand, or sometimes in my purse. Every time I read it, it explains a little bit more about the depth of a love that a Heavenly Father has for an earthly father who is struggling with loss, grief, and an overwhelming sadness.  

Imagine if you will going through something so painful that all you can do is breathe to let someone know you are alive, and in the midst of this pain, there is a letter in your mailbox addressed to you, and signed Papa, which is the nickname for God used by your spouse.  Then imagine you wondering if this is a letter from God.  On top of that, what if you went to this shack, where your great sadness originated from to find that it is indeed God who has come to see about you, and He brings His Holy Spirit and His son Jesus along with Him.  That's what this book tells of.

Do you have a favorite book?  One that you don't want to ever part with?  the one that if someone asked to borrow, you would go out and buy them their own copy? The Shack is that book for me.  What is yours?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lock me in.

If I had to get locked in some place overnight, alone, I would choose to be locked in a library.  One of my I lines for The Diva Journals is I am an avid reader of all things good and educational, so the thought of me being locked in a place that house massive amounts of authors, stories, knowledge and resources made accessible to only me; OH MY! brain overload euphoria.

Being I would have a night all alone with stories, characters, and just the words alone would certainly put me in a realm of exhilaration.  My family might not be ready for that: I might not be ready for that in fear there would be no return to contentment for me. There's only one way to find out, lock me in!

If you had to get locked in some place overnight, and alone what would you choose?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Why I think of things that make no Sense

You ever have one of those days where you're thinking random thoughts about things that just don't make sense?  Well today was one of those days.   Since I am participating in NaBloPoMo  I thought I would just share.  Warning, some of these are just plain ol warped, and I've added a touch of jolly sarcasm.  

  • I heard someone say the other day "We're helping a single mother and her children for Thanksgiving this year".  Wow.  who would've ever guessed that a single mother has children?

  • I'm going to the ATM machine.  So there is a thing called the Automated Teller Machine machine?

  • Hot dogs come in packages of eight, why do some buns come in packages of ten or twelve?

  • I was wondering do cows really sleep standing up?  I got the answer "Cows do not sleep standing up, despite popular belief. They only doze for short periods of time"  O.K.  Is sleep and doze not the same thing?

  • Why do people say that a doctor is practicing medicine?

  • Why do so many things that make women uncomfortable have the word man or men in them? (menstrual cramps, Menopause, Ailments, even the gender name woman) 

  • Why do we say "I have a mosquito bite", when a mosquito doesn't bite, they suck?  They really do..pesky critters.

  • Why don't psychics win the lottery?

  • When I put my laptop on the desk, does that make it my desktop?

  • Why do we open our mouth when we put on mascara?
  • Why are ends of bread referred to as body parts?  the heel or the butt

So today as you can see, I've had my fill of thinking of things that just don't make sense.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our girl Sandi

When I was a child, my mom got my two siblings and me a German Shepherd.  Her owners were moving to another state, couldn't take her and wanted her to have a good home.  She was seen by our neighbor(s) as a very large and mean dog, when in fact she was just a very attentive and watchful dog.  To us she was a beautiful, loyal, 85+ pound friend known as Sandi.

For the first year or so, my mom had a time trying to separate us from that dog.  Every minute of every day that we could spare, we were under her.  We could play in the front yard, the back yard, and as close to the sidewalk as possible and Sandi was always near with a watchful eye.  Because of that, Mom gave in under the countless times of us pleading "mama pleeaaazzzeee can we play a while longer."

We had the best times with Sandi, and with my mom being a single parent, that dog was the best thing that could have happened to our family, until a jealous neighbor (we think, it was never proven, but never denied) did something awful to our beloved Sandi, and she never recovered.  What a sad day back in 1973, when we woke up to run to the back porch to find the screen door unattended by her, and her laying in the yard by the fence where the neighbor lived but not breathing.

Neither my siblings nor I have had a close relationship with another pet since then.  At ages 7, 5, and 3, we bonded back then with our girl Sandi as the glue.  She was our common love denominator. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Throwing it all together

Ever been in the kitchen, standing there looking in your cabinets at what's in there as if the contents are speaking to you saying "there's nothing in here", but you just keep standing there defiantly staring back at them as if you're saying "there is too something in here".  And suddenly you decide to take a break from the cabinets and decide to torture your freezer the same way?  That's me on a daily basis.  But when it really gets bad, and I decide to show the staples in my cabinet who's boss in the kitchen, I create one of my 4T  (Throw Them Thangs Together) meals.  

During one of these battles with my imaginary friends in the cabinet, I made the most delicious rice and vegetable dish.  Strangely enough it was similar to the West African Jollof rice, because out of sheer determination to beat my cabinet in this war, I threw every vegetable that I had available in this rice along with some kimchi and tomato paste.  My family loved it, their only complaint was next time, throw in more meat!

They get squinted eyes and lip smacking when they make that comment.  One because that's a battle for the freezer and me, and two, they obviously are not aware of the secret wars my kitchen and I have with each other, and all the energy it takes when I'm throwing it all together!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hey! I'm speaking to you

So far, speaking in front of an audience was the bravest thing I've ever done.  

I took a six month theology class several years ago.  I love to read and study, so I thought this would be a piece of cake.  An ordained pastor, who was very knowledgeable in the word of God taught this class, and there was never a boring moment.  My brain enjoyed every minute that I took in the word and the understanding that came with it.  I was excited when I showed up to class....until four weeks before the end of the class and he told us that we would have to prepare a lesson, or a "trial sermon" to give in front of the congregation.  My excitement went from yippee to oh my Lord!

Over the next several weeks, the only good thing about this pending assignment was that I was picked to go next to the last person to speak, so there were four people ahead of me. I studied, and I prepared my talk.  I practiced, and each time I practiced, my knees would knock a little harder, palms would sweat more, and I worried my little self silly.  

I think my dad must have picked up on this from two towns over where he lived, because three days before I was to speak, he called me and proceeded to give me tips on what I was to speak about.  I couldn't tell if he was more nervous than me or what!  Looking back I believe that side of him was the parent side that must have felt that their child would be put on display to speak in front of people and with any mistakes made, that child would be held accountable, or worse case scenario, mocked for what would have seemed like the rest of their life! Papa Bear wasn't having it, so I think he was more afraid for me than I was for myself.

What my dad didn't realize is that I wasn't afraid of what I had prepared and the accuracy of it, I was more afraid of standing in front of my friends and family that were invited and the 75+ additional people that would be there.  I prayed, God give me the courage to do something that I am afraid to do.  

When my day came, after my introduction, I got up from the chair I was sitting in next to my teacher, and I walked to the podium.  I look at the front row, where my dad, mom and step-parents were sitting.  My dad bowed his head with a short smile, and right at that moment, my spirit led me to take off my glasses.  See I am near sighted, i'm unable to see distant objects (including judgmental facial expressions) (LOL) clearly.  When I realized how God had answered my prayers by having me to take off my glasses, which caused the entire congregation to look like a blur, I felt I had a new found freedom that gave me the confidence to do what I had to do.  I did it afraid.  I spoke to all those people and I sounded like I had been doing it for I got an A.  Bravest thing I ever done.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

NaBloPoMo-November 12th: My Blogging Paradise

My favorite place to blog is sitting in the middle of my bed. This is the quietest and most relaxing place in the house. Ideas seem to take on another form when I blog here, and often I loose track of time. I believe if left alone with nothing else to do, I would go on and on for hours, just emptying myself in a place of contentment, and peace.  Yep. This is my blogging paradise.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo November 9th, Diary of an Introvert

Dear Diary.  I have to let you know that sometimes I feel a little selfish about not being as much of a people person as most of my friends and loved ones, and sometimes it's a challenge to be in their midst for more that a couple of hours before my mind starts to wonder what new novel releases are out, or what my next scrapbook page will be about. 

You see I like to take walks, and just think.  I like to listen to the settling of the house when my children and grandchildren are not visiting.  I like putting my thoughts to paper.  I must admit I feel some kind of way when a person insist I "share my thoughts".  Excuse me, they're my thoughts, get your own! LOL.

You must wonder if I was the kid who didn't have friends, and if I am the adult who still doesn't have any; or if I was the kid who was never picked when they played Red Rover Red Rover.  Actually I have been blessed with a huge circle of friends, and I did get picked in the playground games, I just would rather have been reading a book on the bench or swings instead.  

You see, I'm an introvert. Carol Bainbridge wrote an article on that explains me to a tee.  She said
  "Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around  other people. Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge." When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.   Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk."

I'm truly grateful to God that my friends and my family love me unconditionally.  And I love them.  They have learned to recognize when I get that look in my eyes.  My mom calls it "she needs a nap" time.  I call it, "my inner me expressing me" time.  

What can I say.  I'm happy being me.  Spontaneity.  That's the word that pops into my mind as I'm talking to you Diary.  I'll try it more often.

Kindest regards,

The Introvert

NaBloPoMo for November 8th, 10 things I hate to hear

Light comedy.  On some days, I'll just empty myself after people watching; and after I've filtered the sense from the nonsense, The Diva Journals get all the nonsense poured out into it.  Word vomit if you will.

There are 10 things that I absolutely hate to hear people say, and if I'm in earshot of you and I hear you say one of these, you will immediately get a scrunched up nose, some squinted eyes with pursed lips attached to an appalled face glaring at you.

  • I'm doing da damn thang. People really.  What the hell is this? If what you have accomplished or about to accomplish is so huge, it really is o.k. to be excited and have other people excited for you.  Know what else is o.k.? just say "I've got my breakthrough" or "I've received a blessing" -I'm glaring at you.
  • Oh no you didn't! Listen.  If you witnessed it, or you heard it, then yes they did.  Stop acting astonished! is this the only thing that came to your mind to say and are you apposed to asking "is there a problem" -I'm glaring at you.
  • I'm bout it.  Excuse me?  You're what? Please stop using this as a filler when there is nothing else to say.  If you're willing to participate in something that is going on, just say so! -I'm glaring at you.
  • I'm grown! don't nobody tell me what to do.  And within two minutes of you saying this, you say "mama! can you come pick me up?" Sorry, you're not grown, know what you are though?  you're an adult toddler! you're potty trained, but that's all!  -I'm glaring at you.
  • I don't have to be here, I could be somewhere else.  I hear this one the most while I'm waiting in line at the supermarket to be checked out.  Really? Where else could you possibly be right now besides here?  and why aren't you there if you don't have to be here?  Oh is it because you need this paycheck? Then guess what?  you need to be here earning it! so shut up and check me out! -I'm glaring at you.
  • This just me, this who I am. No.  No.  This is just wrong, and so are you. There is a thing called change.  And you're afraid of it! Afraid there may be something better to become than what you are at this moment.  All change is not bad. You should try it sometimes. -I'm glaring at you.
  • You didn't hear this from me.  Yes i did!  You just said it!  Oh, i get it.  You're a gossip, and you want to tell, but you don't want to be held accountable for telling. Stop talking so much miserable person!  -I'm glaring at you.
  • You think you're better than everybody else. Stop it! Here's a little secret.  The person who says that thinks that everybody else is better than them. If a person is really making you feel this way, or is treating you unfairly, YOU are allowing it.  Whatever or whomever that septic tank is in your life has busted, it's time for all new plumbing.  You deserve it. In the meantime, -I'm still glaring at you
  • Psst.  Psst.  What cho name is?   Not the way to get attention guys.  If I get caught glaring at you because you are doing this, my response to you is going to be "no speka da english", and obviously you don't either, because you can't say "hello, what's your name?".  -still glaring at you. sideways though.
  • I'm Highly blessed. Then why are you looking highly stressed like a hot mess?  Listen.  People who are highly blessed, not only say the part, they look the part.  They represent God and his blessings well.  So before you say that out in public, sashaying past whomever's attention you've caught, and while walking on the back of your shoes, sportin three inch nails, four inch lashes, colorful hair and eyes that were purchased...You know what.  Don't even do it, cause right about now, I'm glaring at you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaBloPoMo 2012 November 7th, A lovely compliment

I have been learning how to listen.  For a woman that has so much to say and at the most opportune times, I have to just put it out there, that sometimes I don't listen very well.  I want to learn to become a great listener, I'm working hard on it. I want to really learn to hear people.  To everyone out there, and in my defense, There is still hope, and God isn't through with me yet.

Several weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a woman who wanted to share a few things with me in an effort to free her mind of the clutter that sometimes deplete our soul, and weigh down our spirits.  She began to share with me her thoughts, and I listened.  I listened hard, I defeated the urge to stop her mid-sentence and I defeated the urge to interject my thoughts to quickly.  I listened and wasn't fearful I would not remember something important to tell her.  I relaxed, and I let her relax, and before you know it, a couple of hours had gone by and she had rid herself of some crippling and potentially damaging thoughts.  

When it was my time to speak, I was surprised I had no problem remembering everything that she had said, and I remembered everything that I felt I needed to say to her.  She needed a  lot of comfort, and at that moment, all I wanted to say was something that would eradicate the path of thinking she was on.  I took a deep breath, and it came so naturally.  I felt at ease talking to her because I had listened so well to what she had to say. We had dinner, and talked more.  She left with some decisions to make, but she knew she had options, and she knew that she had someone who would listen to her and someone that she could talk to. 

A few days later, I received the nicest text.  It simply said "I pray to one day have the wisdom that you have.  Thank you for listening to me."  A lovely compliment.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaBloPoMo for November 6th, I'm a first timer

Two nights ago, I sat through my first pageant, and it wasn't Toddlers and Tiaras!  Sorry TLC, but the competitive world of children being judged on their beauty and personalities is of no interest to me.  Do children at the age of three and four even understand what a personality is? hmm.

I was invited  by one of the contestants to a Miss Black and Gold 2012 Pageant, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  She's a wonderful young woman, who has accomplished so much education wise.  She's a 5th year Public Policy Major, she's already earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Economics, and International Affairs, as well as a minor in Pre-Law, and she's not even twenty five! To add more to her accomplishments, she won the pageant and was crowned Miss Black and Gold 2012.

Several weeks ago when she invited us, I remember thinking, o.k. this could be fun, it'll be something different for me and my daughter to do. Well let me tell you, we had a blast! i found myself going what's next? oh the swimsuits are next, or ssh ssh, here comes the talent part.  The program only had one intermission listed, but ended up having to have another small one before they did the evening gowns and the question and answer part, and I found myself being a little irritated because my attention was being held, and here the program was being interrupted because of mere technicalities...the nerve! LOL.  I did not want to get to the crowning part of the pageant because I knew that was signaling the end of the program.

Even though we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves, i have a new found respect for pageants.  You could just tell the contestants had worked very hard to put together and be a part of a successful show. They were five beautiful, highly intelligent and talented young women.  I was impressed.  Now i'm eager to be a first timer again, and go and see or do something else that I've never done or seen before.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaBloPoMo 2012: November 5th, The Art of Compromise

The one question that I have about tomorrow’s election is for the next four years, what will I have to compromise?  Every four years in November, I go and I cast a vote in a general election of different federal, state and local races, and every time I leave wondering if I have just settled and accepted something because what I wanted was unattainable.  Wondering if or what have I compromised.

I’m a natural born analyzer, and I carefully look at what I might gain versus what I may lose.  I ponder on whether or not I want to give up something, what I’ll have to pay to give it up, and if what I have to pay for what I’m giving up is worth the price.  I’m wondering if I gave up something that I did not even need to lose.  I'm wondering why the process of voting is becoming more and more difficult.

The art of compromise is nothing new.  The history of The United States Presidential election, Article Two of the United States Constitution originally established the method of presidential elections, including the Electoral College.  This was a result of a compromise between constitutional framers who wanted the Congress to choose the president, and those who preferred a national popular vote.   So again this is nothing new.  I just hate wondering if I have compromised in any way my civil liberties, my rights, or my freedoms because I’m going out on a limb to believe that for the next one thousand four hundred and fifty six days, after whomever says the words “So help me God” that they’ll actually look to God to help us as a Nation.

 So I have mixed thoughts about tomorrow’s election.  We as a country are setting out on an adventure over the next four years.  God Speed. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The NaBloPoMo Prompt-If I could live anywhere, where would it be?

26°08′28″N 80°08′38″W !! 

Fort Lauderdale Florida is where I would choose to live.  

I can't swim a lick, however I love the sound of the ocean, and the beauty of a sunrise on a beach.  Here, average monthly temperatures are always above 66 °F.  The Summers  are hot, and humid, but the average high is only between 86–90 ° The warm Winters  would be nice with average highs of 75–82 °F and lows of 59–67 °F.  Yes, I could live here.  

Even though I couldn't afford a yacht, I could visit a marina or find a boat show to get a better look at  the lifestyle of luxury boating.  I'm not a clubber so the nightclub scene wouldn't appeal to me, however the restaurants, especially the seafood ones, I would love.  

Another attraction that I would frequent is the The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, the 14-screen drive-in theater that doubles as a daily flea market.  And this means what?  It's the largest drive-in and largest daily flea market in the world.  Me and my love of vintage would settle down here in a heartbeat. AAHH I feel a palpitation coming on.

Throwing away the Crutches

The month of November is National Blog Posting Month, and thanks to a very supportive and nurturing woman, Ms. Rosetta Thurman, creator of the personal blog Happy Black Woman The Diva Journals is going to become a NaBloPoMo'er and participate in the 30 days of blogging, hosted by BlogHer .  This is something very new to me, blogging every day, but i'm going to give it a try.  It should be good for me, actually i'm hoping it will be great for me.  Me coming out of my comfort zone into something uncomfortable and new is a good thing.  O.K. throwing away the crutches of doubt and second guessing myself!  I'm going on a long walk (30 days) without them.  Here goes.  Send your blessings! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Inspiration to all Divas

I love, love, love, when i run across women striving to make life easier for another woman, especially making it easier for younger women and single women.  It brings such a joy to see women sharing  knowledge and wisdom, and attempting to reach as well as teach other women.

 Ever wonder if your dating life coincides with the Word of God?  If you do, then this is a book that provides practical, essential tools for the Diva who desires to honor God in her dating lifestyle.  Calling Up Your Boaz by Dionne J. Edmonds is the book for you.  

I hear a lot of women  speaking on "finding a good man".  Ladies, it was never intended for us to find a man.  Proverbs 18:22 says 'He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.' We're not suppose to be looking, we're suppose to be found.  WE ARE THE GOOD that is supposed to be found. 

Being o.k. with being able to wait on the Lord is a blessing.  I know from experience. I was once the go get em type, and as a result of being such, I've experienced some difficult years of dating, marriage and divorce.  I wish this could have been around for me back then.  The good thing is I get to share it with my daughter and granddaughter, and women of all walks.

Dionne Edmons is the founder of Live Well Love Well; a Ministry for Single Women. Check out the Live Well Love Well website   There is a mailing list to join, (which of course I already joined)  and a blog...YAY!

Grab this book from Amazon, or load it up on your eReader.  It will be a book that either you will keep on the nightstand until your Boaz arrives, or  you will buy and share with others, or perhaps both! It will certainly bless you.  Remember I am the reader of all things good, and I'm always looking out for great things to share.

Enjoy Divas!