Tuesday, July 31, 2007


So July was nuts. It didn't go by fast AT ALL and yet it's August already. Almost. I've been sporadic in my writing because I've had to put my focus on Son's summer program. Now it's time to pack up the tykes and hit the trails. To Grandma's and Grandpa's house we go! It's gonna be crazy. Late arrival there so I can turn around the very next morning for an early flight home, all because the amount of money to fly is astronomical right now and cheap is the word. Mr. T and I have our own tropical destinations ahead later on so I'm TRYING to watch the money but summer burns through money. It's just a fact. I'm trying to ignore it.

I'm hoping August will be as productive in life as it is my head:
1 - Organize the whole office - at last
2 - Organize Village Works electronic and paper files and get ready for next big jobs
3 - Organize/toss Daughter's toys, etc.
4 - Get bookshelves for both
5 - Do some little decorative stuff around the house, like finally paint the foyer
6 - Write that business article that's been mulling about in my head
7 - Do that long-overdue children's writing assignment
8 - Call some long-distance friends

Seems doable - as long as I don't do much else. But you can rest assured I will also sleep as late as I can as often as I can and go with the flow as many times as the tide rises.

Must get things squared away at work now. Tonight I go home and get it all together and I'll send you photos from the road.

Hasta la bye-bye!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

And The Award Goes To...

You got it. My baby. The closing ceremonies were tonight. After singing, presentations, cultural drum playing, dinner and about five hours, we found out Son had the best book in his group. One of the best rewards was it was not just him. Remember my gang? Most of our kids are at different levels so the daughter of one friend won. The daughter of one of her sisters won and their brother had one of his girls win too. These are my people. They have always been winners to me. You should know the books were judged by people totally independent from the group. It was truly based on their own merit. Son? He got his first trophy and could not get to me fast enough to show me. He was so proud. That was reward enough for me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It is Finished

Two solid weeks of work. One major marathon weekend. Another summer program project is complete with time to spare. We bound it about 4 Sunday afternoon so I could chill out for the rest of the day. I missed a friend's daughter's 1st birthday party too. I've got to get a gift figured out pronto.

So, I've got one more summer until I have TWO children in the program. That means TWO projects and even with TWO parents, it's not enough help. My friends? Well let's see.

One is a stepmom and her daughter is in the program. I read her book for her in the process and they finished on time.

Three friends are sisters and they have a brother. I'm cool with him too but hang with the girls. One sister has one daughter and they finished about when I did. She went to help the one married sister who has a son in the program, the other divorced sister who has one daughter in the program and the divorced brother who has 2 daughters in the program and an ex-wife who didn't help for some reason. Their cousin was also there to help with the 4 books that were going on. I text the one sister to tell her something. She asked if I was done. I told her I was and asked what she was doing because I expected her to be conked out. She told me about the group thing they had going on. At that point it was after 10 at night. I saw her this morning, wiped out. She left about 5 in the morning she said. They still weren't done. It's important to note, no one started late. This is just how it is when you work a full-time job and have a family (2 of the sisters have other children too) and this too. It's a job. It is. We are glad the kids are doing this, but it is truly work for the whole family!

But it is finished. That's all that matters. So I can't show you every page because it's 27 pages, not including the bibliography and title page and that kind of stuff. It only had to be 8-10 pages of content but that would just never do. So here's a sample! Excuse me while I enjoy the fruits of our labor!

The cover. Thank God it was a regular size this year so I didn't have to do that annoying contact paper thing. I was able to get laminate sheets in 9x12 and that did the job.

A little of the inside pages. He illustrated most of the pages himself.

A little more of the inside pages. Got a little 3D action going on. I did maybe 3 or 4 pages this way where I found a good image online and had him draw his characters for me to cut out and put into the scene.

A little splash on the back of the book. My parents don't know this yet but they gave the story rave reviews. See? Well, you can't read them from this picture I know, but trust me they loved it! Though they haven't read it yet.

So these are a tad blurrier than I hoped but then again, so is my vision right about npw. I need a drink. Pepsi machine, here I come!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wake Me When It's Over

Well, I am exhausted. It's not surprising and I did sign us up for this, but I am complaining anyway. We are in high gear with Son's project and the end of the race is near but I feel like I've got to run on one leg to get there.

My to-do list:

1 - Help Son finish book by this Saturday so we can get it bound Saturday or Sunday because it's due Monday.
2 - Work like mad at work because it's insane there and also find time to look for illustrations for Son's book because it's a lot for one kid to draw in a few days. This requires staying a little later, thus taking time from being home with him to do the project.
3 - Pay as many bills as possible in preparation for trip to take kids to parents and my own vacation a little after that.
4 - Figure out puzzle packaging for fund raiser project and get the kits printed before the end of August when the printer goes on his own vacation.
5 - Sleep.
6 - Wash dishes.
7 - Wash clothes AND put them away.
8 - Finish story for writing assignment and submit before August.
9 - Sleep
10 - edit friend's story whose daughter is also in Son's summer program
11- Sleep

Where is Mr. T in all this? Well, that's the thing. I am the keeper of knowledge in our house. If you want to know how to spell something, you come to me. (OK, HE comes to me.) If you want Son to get his math homework right - yes, summer math homework - you come to me. Although, I can trust Mr. T to listen to Son read a book so he can add it to the list of books he read over the summer. THAT he can safely do. But for the most part, anything related to the education of the kids is dictated by me and no, I didn't necessarily ask for it. It's just the job that fell to me. Mr. T mows the lawn and pays the bills and grocery shops and goes on all school trips with both kids. I wash everything and everyone, and do the school stuff. Still not sure that's equitable but frankly, this system will keep the lights on, food in the fridge and the kids advancing to the next grade every year.

So we drag. Up early; get them ready and off to respective destinations; work, work, work; come home by 7 or 7:30 to help Son work on project until about 9 because he has to get up too early to stay up too late; maybe I fall asleep, maybe I'm too wired to sleep so I'm up until 11 or so watching whatever I've taped, praying that window didn't close when I can successfully fall asleep and still get more than 4 hours.

I don't know what I'm going to do when Daughter is in the same summer program and we have TWO family projects to do. I can't even imagine having to do two books this year. Ugh! Depending on what it is, I may have to make someone with specific necessary talents an honorary family member for the month so I can get help.

My prediction for next year's project is something artistic like painting a picture, writing a song, something like that. Something the director said a couple of weeks ago about next year's theme - Reconstruction - put that thought in my head. I think it's time to start taking honorary family member applications.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Little Post Pilfering

Well, the prodigal sons have returned from their Ohio trip. Daughter and I spent all day yesterday running errands, which I didn't complete because she has the world's tiniest bladder and I hate public restrooms. So when we went home we stayed home. I was tired. She was tired. Mr. T and Son were home about 2:30 this morning and of course they were tired. I didn't go into a deep sleep until I heard them come home because I knew to listen out for them, first of all, and second, my sleep is never really that sound unless eveyone is home. So we all slept HARD and here I am, not at church today, because I didn't get up until late.

So instead I am going to share something from a newsletter I get from life coach Valerie Burton. This woman helped me when I was transitioning between the job I was sick of and the one I have now. It really wasn't just about a job change though, it was a life change - stepping into what I've always wanted and leaving behind the stuff that just wasn't cutting it. Do YOU want to make a change? Take a read.

I have to go work on Son's project now.

Our lives speak to us in a variety of ways and it is important to listen when your life is sending you a message. Whether in your work, relationships, health, finances or spiritual life, I have found that there are at least five ways that your life speaks to you:

1. Your life speaks to you through your intuition.
Your intuition – often referred to as a hunch, gut instinct, or sixth sense – is divine intelligence. It is a gift from God. Use it! Make a decision to begin trusting your intuition. The sooner you do, the sooner you will begin noticing a greater sense of peace about your decisions. The answers you need are available to you, but you must trust that they are there. Access your intuition through prayer and meditation. Begin noticing those little nudges in your spirit – and follow them.

2. Your life speaks to you through people.
Isn’t it amazing how others’ paths cross yours at just the right time to offer you a message you need to hear? Sometimes the message is a positive and uplifting one. At other times, it is a message that irritates or frustrates you – thus, moving you to make a needed change. People cross your path for a purpose and sometimes for only a brief period. Make sure you notice when a divine message or lesson is being offered to you through the people in your life.

3. Your life speaks to you through frustration.
Negative emotions and feelings are teachers. The problem is that most people don’t realize it. As a result, their frustration only serves to make them more frustrated. When you feel frustrated, ask yourself, “What change would I need to make in order to eliminate this frustration?” Problems such as frustration offer you an opportunity to make changes that will ultimately enrich your life.

4. Your life speaks to you through joy.
One of the most rewarding goals you can set for yourself is to experience joy on a daily basis. It was the pursuit of joy that led me onto the path of entrepreneurship. Two of the values that bring me the most joy are freedom and creativity. I wanted the freedom to create my own schedule and the joy of creating something of my own that would make a difference in the lives of others. Figure out what brings you joy and pursue it wholeheartedly.

5. Your life speaks to you through failures.
Failures, though frustrating and disappointing, offer a terrific opportunity for future success. Refuse to allow failure to discourage you to the point of giving up. Instead, ask yourself, “What’s the lesson in this failure?” Perhaps failure is meant to push you in a new direction, spark an idea, or keep you in a holding pattern until something better comes along. Failure is never about the failure. It is about the lesson learned and the wisdom gained in the process.

My challenge to you this week:
Listen to your life! Refuse to allow fear to stifle the desires of your heart.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

And They're Off!

It's gonna be a girls' night.
And day.
And night.
And day.
And wee early morning.

Mr. T and Son got on a bus for Cincinnati tonight along with about 90 some other kids and parents from his summer program. It's their weekly trip to somewhere educational and next up is the Underground Railroad Museum in Ohio where - after a 14-hour bus ride - they will have 2 days and 1 night visiting the museum and having a little (very little) R & R before boarding the bus for the 14-hour trip home, which is supposed to land about 2 a.m. Sunday back in our church parking lot. Oh, the things we do so our children will have life experiences. But I've seen it and heard it way too much; children who have NEVER left their own state or even their own county. Sad but true. Not that that was ever a concern for us. Mr. T and I both have the travel bug firmly nestled in our DNA so I'm sure the kids will follow suit. As it is, they like to go any and everywhere and want to do it as often as possible, whether you are tired and broke or not.

So that leaves Daughter and I to our own devices for quite a bit of time. A mini-vacation for me because I not only have to care for one child and not two, but I get the bed ALL TO MYSELF. Woo hoo! Son and I worked diligently on his book project this week and thankfully got the writing of the story done so that it is now in editing stage and I will not be as pressured to work on it as I thought I might be. I can edit while he's away and practice our illustration technique and we'll be ready to roll when he gets back. So attention will be lavished on Daughter who has been hurling activities at me since I got home.

"Can we go outside and ride my scooter?"
"Can we go to the beach?"
"Mommy, can we go to the movie feature! I wanna see Bratz. I wanna see Superdog!"
(It's Underdog, baby.) "Let's go! Let's go!"
"Can we go to the movies?"
"Can we go to the movies?"
"Mommy, can we go to the movies?"
I consider her movie request since this is the time to do untraditional things but her desired choices are not out right now so I ask her about Evan Almighty. She says she'll go but I see it's 7:30 and Fandango says the next movie is after 10.

"Can we go to the movies?!"
Not tonight. It's too late. We have allllll weekend. Chill, would you?
So we get something to eat because I haven't done that yet, go home and now she watches cartoons while I talk to you all before getting in my bed.

What? I DO have to work in the morning, ya know! Granted, I'm working from home so it's not like I have to get dressed. But one moment at a time. For now I must go. Daughter is psst-ing me and beckoning with her tiny index finger. I think there are some brownines upstairs doing the same.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You Really Like Me! (OK. A Few Do, Anyway)

La dee dah. Minding my own business when Kerri tells me to check out her blog. So I hop on over and lo and behold! She has bestowed upon me the honor of the Thinking Blogger Award! Wow! I am humbled. No. Really. Have you seen this young woman's Ye Olde Blogroll? It's as long as a new roll of toilet paper. So no, she did not have to tap me and to her I say THANK YOU!
It is my opportunity, as well, to tap 5 others with this distinction thus sharing the wealth and drawing new people to peruse our manic musings. It's actually hard to knight the other 5 not because I don't read other blogs but frankly my life is too hectic to read too many others with the regularity their good writing deserves. But I've made a couple of sweet friends here who, if given the chance to meet them, don't make me think I need to first give the FBI a heads up that I'm goin' a visitin' a relative stranger.

There are days when I can blog hop with the best of them and then there may be days when I am incog-negro for a while because I really can't do it all on the same day. But I think of you, truly I do. So I would love to go find more likeminds to get in sync with but it's not that simple to find people like you on the Internet any more than it is to find them in real life, providing the blog version is being their true selves, that is. Ah, but when you do, you hold on for dear friendship. The true blue kind is harder to find the older - and more guarded - you get.

But these are the ones I visit regularly, not to slight the ones I visit a little less often and therefore haven't formed that same connection in my mind. Because I will still be on the lookout for new people to meet and I will keep reading the ones I already do and before long, my little corner of the blogging world will get bigger.

So, without further adieu, here are MY four, yes, only four, very different picks for The Thinking Blogger Award.

YewNorkBabe - Theresa was the first blogger I didn't know to reach out to me with her compliments on my style and I am thrilled to say that when I went to check her out I was equally thrilled. Theresa is funny and her experiences in life? Well, they may rival the cartoon life that Kerri has going on but it's different. She's got this amazing cache of eclectic experiences and a wonderful patience with it all. It's truly inspiring and always a read that makes you go hmmm. She should be bigger than she is in the blogging world. In time. In time.

LooneyBin4Sure - What can I say about Liz? I've never met someone with talent like an onion like this. Peel away layer after layer and you keep discovering new abilities and she's got a million kids ya'll! OK, maybe not a million but I've got 2 kids because I've got 2 hands. Maybe a third will pop up one day but the Lord knows that is my limit. Liz has got me beat times over and she loves it! She's a writer, a designer, a baker, she homeschools, and when you visit her, it's like opening a present because you never know what her blog will look like from day to day. She's always redesigning it! Awesome. She's a woman of God who shares His truth as well as her experiences and I appreciate that.

Field-Negro - Field-Negro may not know how much I appreciate his blog. Believe it or not, being black does not make me an authority on my own culture. There is a level of enmeshment that's hard to realize if you're not actually in a place where you must keep up. It takes work to stay in touch with all the different things that affect us as a people as well as to be educated enough to know our history and apply it to our present. But so far, Field-Negro, in his unabashed truth telling, is doing that. I won't be naive to think his style won't put some people off because I know it can. One of my aunts, a college professor who teaches on black culture, has been known to rub people the wrong way too. But I have always loved her for her unique ways and Field-Negro reminds me of her a bit. He is one of my ways of keeping up with myself. Thanks for that.

Unbridled Bride - She's not a bride and she's not at all unbridled in her behavior. This one is new to the blogging world and you know what? I'm nor even sure she's willing to share her name yet. So I won't out her. She has been compelled because she's just so darn good at what she does and I've never used her professionally! I can just feel it. Before she started posting, I never had a chance to read any writing she may have done and I'm still not sure she does any other than this new endeavor but she is good. Really good. The writing, that is. The planning yes, but the good, funny, clear writing was an unexpected treat. She is one to watch.

OK, so here are the rules Kerri stipulated. If any of you I named wish to take on this meme, here's the deal straight from her blog, with a few tweaks.

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. (I did 4 because that's what I had.)

2. Link to Kerri's post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme or hey, go on back to the source. This award was started by Ilker Yoldas at The Thinking Blog. (Winners, you can go there to get the gold version of the award you see above.) The mission is to create a trail of interesting blogs with interesting content and to spread the word about great blogs.

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ - swipe it from above - with a link to the post that you wrote or go to The Thinking Blog to get the equally stunning gold version.

Happy Awarding!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Turning On The Light

There's a meme going on and thanks to Kerri, I am honored to be a part of it....but not just yet.

The plan was to come home and do my version of the meme after I ate and got a free moment. But first I had to take Son to the library to return a couple of books he read and to take out a couple of others that are going to help us with his project.

He is writing a book for his family project for the summer literacy program he is in. This is his second year. Last year we had to do a scrapbook. I am creative but I hate scrapbooks. This year we have to write a book. More up my alley.

The project is due on the 23rd, which is the last week of his program. "You don't have a lot of time!" you say. You are right. There is just never enough time. But I am much more comfortable with where we are this time around than where we were last year this time - nowhere, with me dreading even starting it.

Nope. Yesterday I had Son think of what kind of story he wants to tell. He has his main character facing a test in school so he builds a time machine to go back in time to talk to the people who can tell him directly what their time was like and he can come back and ace the test.

The criteria for the book is simple - well, maybe not to him but that's why we do this as a family. For his grade level (first grade as of this past year) he has to have a book with:

an about the author page
a dedication page
a preface/introduction
8 - 10 pages with a picture on each page
up to 3 sentences per page, about 150 words or so total

The story is to be historical fiction and will incorporate some understanding about the Underground Railroad and/or the Civil Rights Movement because this is the theme for the program this year - understanding where we've been in order to assess where we are and where we are going and how it relates to them as the individuals they are.

Son has ME for a mother so his book will probably be at least 2nd grade level since the outline we created showed that we would be doing at least a 15-page story, probably a little more.

We went to the library to get books I had looked up on scientists because my thought was to give the two other characters from the past times the same scientific inclination as the main character, thus making a connection that runs through the story. Hey, I'm proud of his little story. All the kids like science. The slave boy lives in Cincinnati (home of the Underground Railroad Museum which the kids will be visiting this weekend) and he likes to watch the stars ever since he followed the North Star to freedom, so astronomy would be his racket - if only he could read. The girl likes bugs. She is also from Cincinnati during the time of real-life African-American scientist, George Carruthers, who built his own telescope at the age of nine and went on to invent a special camera that made a trip to the moon on Apollo 16. The girl would study bugs and such in college - if she ever gets the right to go to the schools that teach it. The MC was a boy named Jake but Son has his own scientific interests so I had him rechristen the character by his own name in order to really bring him to life for my young writer and just maybe get him to see that he could indeed do and be the very things he is writing about.

We sat on the bed in his bedroom, occasionally chasing out Daughter who was only interested in playing with Son's toys and trying to pester him as all little sisters do. He has to do up to 10 pages but I knew that would be limiting.

"Page One." Son writes and we give the summary of that page.

"Page Two." Son writes more as I tell him how to spell the big words mixed in with his little ones.

"Page Four. Let's have Main Character meet...what shall her name be?"

"Umm, Katie?"

"Katie. Katie lives during the Civil Rights time." We begin to write and realize we intended to go further back to the Underground Railroad time first.

"Wait," I tell him. "Erase that four. We'll come back to it. Skip a line and write Page Five. This is where MC will meet the little slave boy first. What shall his name be?"

"Ummm. Cody?"

"No, baby. During slavery time you would not have found a little boy named Cody."

"Why not? Why didn't you name me Cody? I like that name!"

I roll my eyes. "Ugh. I don't. Why would I name you that? Your name is perfect and beautiful. Besides, Cody was not a name for that era. There are names that you just won't find during every time period and Cody was not a slavery time name."

We go on as I think out loud about what the character, now named Zeke, would be doing with and saying to the MC.

"Let's let him go back to his house for hot chocolate!" Son rolls on his bed, giddy and amused by his own 7-year-old wit. I sigh, standing in the kitchen doorway, perpendicular to his own, watching his mirth and thinking of how to explain this between my mouthfuls of spaghetti.

"Son, he can't go back to his house for hot chocolate."


"This was a time of slavery. Zeke is a former slave who took the Underground Railroad to freedom. You, as the character, are in HIS time. This is called historical fiction because you are basing a made up story in a real time period. YOU are from the present where you have a home and a room of your own, learning what you please and being free. Zeke's family is still hiding out from the possibility someone will take them back to the plantation they escaped from. If someone saw Zeke talking to you and heard you, they would hear your intelligence and in Zeke's time, that could get you killed. He can't take you home. It would be a danger to him and his family and even if he did, and someone found out, it could get them killed and you."

Son sits on the edge of his bed, his mouth slightly open, the light going on. He shakes his head no.

"No? No what?"

"It's not me."


"It's not me." I hear him.

"No, it's not YOU, it's You-the-MC you, not You-the-real-boy. No one is going to kill YOU. This is what your MC is facing. These are the times Zeke lives in."

Son's light mood falters a bit. Over the past few weeks he has been learning about the Underground Railroad and The Civil Rights Movement. What he cannot grasp yet is that they are only about 100 years apart - 1850's-1860's vs 1950's-1960's. He has been learning there have been places blacks could not go and things they could not do. He is beginning to feel some the burden carried by each adult before him who had their own dawning of realization and learned the harsh truth that they would have to someday pass on to their own offspring. It is reinforced as we finish the outline, 2 hours later, and I then call my parents so they can give him a little more Civil Right era background and explain to him their own civil rights experiences because see? It was not that long ago that equality was won - partially, as my father explained.

"What do you mean?" Son asked. But my father chose not to go there. "Let's just say it was a time when we could begin to get decent jobs."

My mother explained about being able to sit anywhere she wanted on the bus. "I was just a girl then but there was a store we would go to to buy dresses and it had a restaurant for white people and a separate section for black people. Now I could go anywhere I wanted."

Of course Son doesn't fully get it right now. When the silliness is temporarily silenced and he really hears the stories, the incredulity takes over and he can barely manage to picture how this happened to people who are still alive today. Out of the blue he may say, "once, black people couldn't go anywhere they wanted and they couldn't ride just anywhere on the bus because it was the law."

He is learning and it's not all pleasant but what the program and I hope to have him realize is that not one of us has made it this far on our own power. He is free to get those books from the library and learn in his school and dream of being an astronaut because of the fights and sometimes deaths of the ones who came before us. And not all of them are in the distant past. It was 1920 before ALL women had the right to vote. It was 44 years later before ALL blacks could freely vote too. It was 6 years after that when I was born and it was tonight that my father still called it, "partial freedom."

Son will come to his own understanding one day, though my charge as a black mother and a Christian, is to help him channel any rage he feels into the promise that God has given him in and for his life so that he can experience the full freedom and joy he was meant to feel, all while grounding him in the reality that is the world we live in. It's a tall order. But I am a believer that God knows what you can handle and He knew I couldn't handle raising twins. He knew I couldn't handle a chronic illness greater then the eczema I often battle. But He must have thought I had what was needed to handle the black experience in America. Not necessarily the worst of it, but bearing the brunt of the result of it.

When that light went on in Son's head as he declined to be linked to his own self-named character who could have been killed with his slave friend just for being himself, I just hope it didn't turn out some other light that I want him to keep on. His book has a little ways to go and there is much to learn in the process to convey everything we wrote in the outline. But I am proud of my little writer and frankly I am proud we are part of this legacy of struggle and strength. It is my job to make him proud too.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ready to Go!

The passport backlog must be finally catching up to itself because mine showed up on time yesterday. (No, silly. This isn't it. But you know what? It's got to be one of the best pictures I've EVER taken, and I couldn't even smile! I even had to do it twice because my eyes are dark and small so they said, "Can you open your eyes a bit more? We can't see the color!" Blame my genes.)

Bet ya didn't even know there WAS a backlog, huh? There was. Or maybe still is. Mr. T. had told me a week or so ago that someone applied in February and just got his this past month. It's supposed to be a 10-week process. I was expecting mine mid-July but I had to have a back up plan, just in case. Turns out, they are allowing some limited travel without it right now - if the country you are going to allows it. I was set. But now, no worries! It is here and I am set for the next 10 years. Mr. T claims he likes his better because mine has thicker paper. He's just jealous. I like the way it looks and feels. And now I can finally go somewhere the U.S. doesn't own or is pretty close to geographically speaking.

Soon. A REAL vacation. Can't wait.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Another photo post, pre-holiday. We are at the beach waiting for the fireworks and since it is still light, all I can do is eat pizza while Mr. T is with the kids at a special playground set up for tonight. Elmo showed up and led the kids away who were playing at the beach playground, Pied Piper style. I took a picture but he was too far so I guess this will have to do. So here I am feeling the cool breeze and I think I finally have a moment to call a friend. We live in the same state and still have to make appointments to talk.

Here are my two tykes happily bouncing around. I tried to take a good firework photo but it didn't work. It was a great show though! It was like 3D. You should have been there!

Happy 4th!

Testing, Testing

See this picture? This is partly a test to make sure I can photo blog when I go on vacation next month. But I am also still on the hunt for a sheer shrug I can buy to go with this spaghetti-strapped top. Eczema has taken its toll on my skin so a little modesty is in order. But on the flip side, I gave birth - via c-section - to two kids in a room full of men and women, plus I am 36 so I care about the opinion of others a whole heck of a lot less than once upon a time. So if you have an online store suggestion for plus-sized me, I am all ears!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Two posts in one day? I must have something to say!

Do you know this young woman yet? The lay wedding planner for unbridled brides? No? You will! A co-worker and I joined forces in to pestering her to at least start a blog if not a business - yet. She surrendered!

We listen to her almost daily because there are 3 brides-to-be at my place of employment and she has told us how she has often, quite often, been a bridesmaid but not yet a bride. Still, she has done more than that. She has planned and planned and really gotten some friends off to a great start with unforgettable ceremonies. She is something to listen to. The passion is evident. I have only seen the cookies she made recently from a Martha Stewart magazine - missed the taste test - but the joy she gets from this oozes from her pores. Since purpose and passion and encouraging others is MY passion, I couldn't help but jump on it when I saw it in her.

"You should start a business!" We all told her that. She shies away. But still, you can see the thought trying to surface in the back of her mind. The seed is planted. All we have to do is water it with our encouragement.

If you are getting married and want her take on things, give her a buzz. She's new at this blogging thing but she's got the wedding planning thing down pat!

Living Legends

How did I miss this award-winning gentleman, Kevin Clash?

My kids were only surprised that a kid wasn't the one doing this voice but I, like a lot of people, I'd bet, was thrilled to find this out when I was reading Jet magazine recently:

And then there is this young brother, Barrington Irving.

He is the first young, African-American male to fly around the world solo. He has a blog of his own so you can read about his adventures there.

And now I am starting to think I need to cut these pictures out and make a book for my babies to have as they get older and start to think about what they can do and want to do. In a way, it's a shame we can't just praise them for their accomplishments or even let people like Kevin stay in the background so the fantasy stays intact. But that is not the world we live in. When we as black people break the mold, go against stereotype and achieve in these ways, we may not toot our own horn but someone should, if only for the sake of all children who are still looking for their place in the world. Same goes for any "minority" including women. I always tell my own brood that they can do whatever they want and if they have a passion, deep joy, for it, then God is trying to tell them something - do it! Still, pictures are worth millions of words. In the meanwhile, in this age where we just may get our first African-American president, let's just bask in the glory of their success.