It’s a FAMILY Thang!

My family reunion for 2009 is being hosted by the NY committee (us). I haven’t been stoked about planning this thing for a long time…til now. It’s funny because, the 1st meeting was on Saturday and I didn’t even attend (due to being under the weather), so I didn’t even get to sit in on the pow wow. Yet, I am raring to go. 

Let me give you a little info. I don’t know how most do their family reunions…but we do ours in hotels. A lot of Black families still have old-fashioned cookouts where the family gets together on someone’s land for a weekend and BBQ, party, plan activities, etc. We don’t know anyone who owns that kind of land *sigh* so we commune in hotels. We are spread far and wide but primarily take turns between the Maryland Clan, the NJ clan, the Mass Clan, The NC/SC clan, and the GA clan. This past summer (which I missed) the reunion was held in Massachusetts. There, the NY clan decided they’d host. Even though us young folks were lobbying a few years ago for a cruise…we’re opting to just go by land. The reunion usually takes place over a course of 3-4 days during a weekend. Friday is the meet and greet and BBQ. Saturday is a free-for-all until the evening where we attend a banquet where we have all kinds of activities. We’ve had stand up comedy, fashion shows, praise-dances, plays and the reading of our genealogical tree. We’ve even had church.  Sunday is the farewell breakfast and then we say our goodbyes.

THIS reunion, the young people were given the steer of the ship. Friday is supposed to be “Hawaiian Night”. We’re slated to find some Hawaiian shirts and khaki bottoms. Some Polynesian-Soul fare, and all of that themed stuff. Leis on entry, etc. I say we have Chicken-Pineapple kabobs, BBQ pork sandwiches ala Keikikiwi and some coconut cake. The gift bags are being HI-JACKED by my cousin and my aunt-in-law, but I think I’m gonna kick the door in on that! LOL I KNOW me and sis can find some mini lotions from Bath & Body in Pineapple, Coconut and Banana scents. Some mini suntan lotions, lip balms in tropical flavors, and some sort of key chain that looks like sunglasses or something. My creative juices are flowing and I am coming up with a BUNCH of ideas. *wondering can I get a hold of mini ukeleles*.

I also am working on a website for the family’s tree. The color on the shirts this year are gonna be a blue-green. I am hoping we can fundraise enough cash to get the screening done in color, so the tree can be full bloom. I am also gonna work on acquiring the family’s heritage info from my cousin. She told me years ago that it would be ME to continue her legacy of finding out more and more about our clan…and I am seeing now that she did indeed pass her crown to me. *thanks Carol* I truly DO want to know more about my people and how we’ve cross-bred with other nationalities. Irish and Scottish slave masters. Cherokee and Blackfoot lineage. I’d even like to tap into my mother’s paternal side, find out a little bit about the man they say was half Puerto Rican (or hispanic)…and half Asian.

I’m ready to do this mane!

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The worst thing that can happen to a person is to be stagnant. Stuck in one place. Immovable by will or desire. A stuck thing will rot in its place. Still waters begin to smell stale. Still vehicles lack destination. Standing in one spot can be beneficial, as long as you’ve gotten the advantage from being there. You know how a pro b-ball player can get into a groove and everytime he steps into “that spot” he scores? Well, that usually only lasts but so long before the opposition begins to strategize and pinpoint where his spot is. Next thing you know, all those beautiful shots from that spot become blocked and the player must now find another spot or a different way of shooting from that spot. Maybe find some combined moves to go with that sweet spot to enhance the scoring and circumvent the opposer’s blockage. That’s how it is for us. The blessings from finding a spot that’s comfortable can only flow but for so long before they overflow and you drown in the mundanity of life. The negative forces begin to work against you because you’re easy to find. Why not? You’re still in the last place they left you! 

I say all that to say, that sometimes you find a spot. It’s conducive to what you’re going through in the moment. There’s things to be learned, experienced, regained…found. Yet, once those things are obtained…it is now imperative to move along. The spot has lost it’s usefulness and now there are other spots to be explored. Other benefits to be gained. 

The river must flow…traffic must forge forward…the time to move must be enacted. A still thing doesn’t move, and a thing that moves goes anywhere it wants. 

Have a Heart…

Tonight, I heard about something that brought me to tears. Someone who I’d seen around one of the social sites I frequent, died last night (the 21st technically since I’m writing past the midnight hour). She had cancer and passed on at the young age of about 25. I really didn’t know her. I’d seen her on other friend’s pages and knew her profile pic well…but, somehow we never crossed paths. I’d actually just heard something about her (in the negative) just days before…yet, I wept at her death.

I’m not at all wondering why it is that I was touched. She was human, had a life, people loved her and now she’s gone. What I wonder about is why it is so easy for people to detach from their emotions simply because someone that they DIDN’T know…died. Why is it so easy for people to dismiss the lives of others all because the tragedy didn’t roost on their front step. That truly bothers me.

Maybe today was an emotional day. A wonderful woman who I consider a mother figure in my life is struggling. As her man lies in pain and goes blind, she looks on helplessly not being able to do much more than BE there. As I prayed for her, the tears fell…a sign to ME that the prayer came from my heart. Then prayer went up for a new mom whose child is having complications after being birthed with the umbilical cord around her neck. I think of all the people who are suffering or have…and I pray a collective prayer for those in need of healing. It doesn’t have to be a physical one. It can be spiritual, mental, emotional…even financial one. There can be a break in the family that needs mending, or simply a void in someone’s life that needs filling.

Today, while in a taxi…the driver confessed (why, I don’t know) that he’d been robbed a few days earlier. He still pursued the robbers in his taxi even though he was afraid. He even wanted to obtain a gun permit to protect himself. I just told him, that he was gifted with the ability to say he was here! His daughter’s birthday was on today (the 22nd) and I told him that she got one helluva gift…dad’s life. I told him, that I prayed he’d find the strength to fight the trauma and fear of his experience. Here’s a man who makes his living driving taxis and he now no longer feels safe enough to do so. Considering that due to his persistence, the robbers were caught, the money recovered and his LIFE is in tact…I told him he was blessed and had angels amidst him. I gave him blessings and exited his cab.

I sometimes ask God, why? Why do I feel things so deeply. Why are my heart strings easily tugged? And then I think…this is the way it SHOULD be. In a desensitized world where people shrug their shoulders at the plights of others…I am glad to say that I do indeed have a heart. Thank God for that.

Family [really] Matters

*This post has been 2 days in the making…I had to stop a couple of times*

Family matters…anyone who says it doesn’t has either never had any or doesn’t like the one they came from…and STILL most people go their entire lives searching for mother and father figures…people to love…in order to fill those empty spaces at the dinner table. If they like being alone…more power to them, but I don’t believe that anyone truly ENJOYS being alone. I believe some think they have no choice. Whether it be because they’ve come to believe they cannot trust anyone else but themselves, or that they don’t feel worthy of love, possibly even that love is overrated (out of pain and growing cynically cold) …so they’ve decided to live in solitude.

The only thing about family is that they sometimes treat you worse than strangers. I guess it has something to do with knowing that you’re family no matter what and believing that they’ll be there when you need them because they’re SUPPOSED to. That is not necessarily true though. I’ve seen a LOT of people say to hell with their “families” and have gone on in life to find and adopt people they’ve met as their new family.

Whether it was work, school, church or nowadays…on the Internet, people are connecting to others who need family just like they do. People are finding a semblance of unity in others who they didn’t know all their lives. Motherless children find their child in a person who longs for a mother’s love. Men and women finding the siblings they weren’t God-given. Just look at the McCains! They’re quite the modern clan. It’s really the norm…the “nuclear family” where two or more families are thrown together through marriage, adoption, etc.

In some cases…it’s not so much that you DON’T have family…you just may be part of a family that doesn’t understand who you are and has never tried to. Knowing someone all your life doesn’t mean you KNOW someone. As I tell people often…there is capacity…and then there is skill. I learned that a while ago watching Oprah (she’s good for something, huh? LOL).

See…you can love someone with all your heart and soul. They can be the person that given the worst case scenario, you’d die for them…kill for them. Yet, everyone doesn’t know HOW to show it. A mom can love her child beyond her own heart’s comprehension…but, if she doesn’t know how to implement stability, discipline, patience, example, amongst other things…the child may never grow to his/her full potential. They may never know their mom loved them more than she loved herself. If you don’t show affection, nurturing, forgiveness, flexibility, vulnerability…all those emotions that endear you to someone, a person may never know they’re loved. If your child, sibling, parent, or other family member cannot come to you and speak their heart without feeling judged or made to feel small…they may begin to feel alone.
Left looking for a family they can choose for themselves…not that its a bad thing. People meet the best family outside the bloodlines. I just wish there wasn’t a need.

Yea, RIGHT…Youz a DAYUM Lie!!

Ok people. I’ve noticed something. I’ve heard it personally and I’ve had my friends tell me this over and over again. A lot of people say things in the beginning of a relationship because they are under some spell called, “illsayanythingtogetu”.

“I would NEVER treat you/hurt you like THEY did!”

~ I had a friend who was GORGEOUS, and guys usually fell over themselves to get with her. They’d promise to take the pain away only for the moment she showed she was HUMAN…for them to get discouraged, get turned off or for them to turn into just another fuck-up.

“I’m not the one before me”

~ Chances are you’re SOMETHING like the person before you. Can you accept that? People are drawn to LIKE things/people. You may be different in some of your behaviors, ways of expression, traits (good and bad)…but, you may remind them of someone they loved before…especially if once you “get in” you begin to act complacent and take for granted your mate. If that’s what they’ve experienced before…then you’re JUST like the one before.

“I’ll ROCK yo WORLD”

~ *rolling eyes* Get into the bedroom, theres NO foreplay and he just climb on top a ya and do his bidness. WTF? You ever seen Waiting to Exhale? The 2 scenes…the 1st with Lela Rochon where the chubby dude comes dancing in and just fumbles from the lifting her up to the quick finish? And then with Whitney Houston and dude from the New Year’s party…he climb on and begins growling and grunting and she’s looking at him like he’s a loose animal! Yea…shit like THAT!!

“I’ll drink your bath water”

~ Then when you draw the bath, take it and finish up…bring ole boy into the bathroom and give him a ladle and a soup bowl…he look at you all funny style! WHAT? LMAO…I had to throw some ha-ha in there.

Pants on fire Pictures, Images and Photos

So…what lies have you heard that were spoken in “absolute genuineness” and were reneged the moment he/she got hold of your ass. This is for the Ladies AND the Gentleman…shit, women lie too! *QQn*

Hmmm?: Music or Mess

I love music. I absolutely adore beautiful songs, intricately composed ballads and spirit-moving up tempos. I grew up on mom and dad’s music (a combo of Motown, disco and blues). I remember as a kid…sitting intently in front of a radio searching for the perfect song to sing along to. I remember falling in love with the Emotions, EW&F, Stevie, Patti Labelle, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Luther and so many others. I later put names to the groups. Like the Manhattans, Stylistics, Chi-lites, and Atlantic Starr. I had no clue I could sing until my mother busted in on me making up songs while playing with my little people toy set. (LOL) She tried without success for years to get me to step to a mic, but for me music was more about the soothing…the lulling…the world of perfect harmonies and simple melodies. As far as I’m concerned, God gifted me this voice to sing along to beautiful music for my own spiritual comfort.

I love to find all the instruments. I’m listening to a song by Jazmine Sullivan called “Make U Stay” and I hear pianos, some sort of woodwind (a flute, piccolo, oboe or somefin), something that sounds like moraccas even though it might be studio-engineered. I’m still feeling out those background chimes…but, I get totally entrenched in a song. My favorite instruments are percussions with strings and horns following closely behind. I’ve always wanted to play the piano. I still may learn.

Anyway (see how enraptured I become) I’ve been listening to a few select artists lately. I’ve grown tired of cookie cutter beats and producers giving all of their clients the same sounds. I also want to hear some soul in their voices. That’s probably why I’m feeling Jazmine Sullivan right now. I love her sound and her range. She’s only 19 but the potential she holds is phenomenal. I hope Teedra Moses comes out soon…she’s definitely been slept on. Ledisi could also use some shine. I am hoping that Jennifer Hudson continues to rise…her new song, “Spotlight” is one of my faves. I’m even feeling Dear Jayne’s collaboration with the Dream. My boy Raphael Saadiq is coming out soon with a new album (and I also love his “alleged” girlfriend, Joss Stone) For me, good music has no color, gender no genre. I’m tired of hearing MESS! I want to hear quality music. The kind where on tour they’re using BANDS instead of recorded tracks. Beyonce got hip to that…Alicia Keys has been doing it, among others. Artists like Kindred Soul, Ledisi, Amel Larrieux and many other underrated artists should be HOT right now…but, bullshit prevails in an industry where you “get in where you fit in”.

I continue to lobby for good…no GREAT music. I champion for the underdogs of music and hope that those whose passion far outweighs their musical gifts…affords them a chance at recognition for their craft. Music over Mess, ANY DAY!

Having Cake…and Selling it, though

I’ve been kicking around the idea for a while now…selling cakes! I’m a good cook. I can “burn” if I do say so myself. My repertoire of what I can make is SOLID. I can also learn how to make just about anything. I made a pound cake for the 1st time a few Mother’s Days back and it was GOOD! FIRST time out the gate. I also got a recipe from the Food Network site by Emeril Lagasse, for a sweet potato cake. I removed the nuts, swapped the all-purpose for self-rising flour, used pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg and added spiced rum and almond extract to the potato mixture. Drizzle it with orange glaze and its a wrap. EVERYONE who tastes this cake falls in love. It’s the kind of cake you have alongside a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I love baking. I love making things from scratch. I love experimenting. *looking for a new guinea pig* I love when something comes out perfect…or at least better than I expected.

I am also creative. I’ve made flowers out of card stock…so why not sugar? I have an eye for detail…why not apply that to something beautiful like a wedding/birthday/shower cake? As I was sitting here watching “Amazing Wedding Cakes” on the WE channel…I saw the combination of baking and art becoming intriguing. I need a little tutorial and some time to perfect a method. I have a few cake recipes in my artillery…some basics that can get pimped and morph into other things. I mean…a yellow cake is plain until you add lemon peel and extract…then VOILA…Lemon Cake. LOL As long as I’ve got basics…I can elaborate on that.

Basically, I am considering slinging dough! 😛 It’s something I like to do that comes easy…or at least doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. I know theres more to it than just baking a cake. Making a cake on demand…possibly in multiples is a whole lot different than making a few cakes for Thanksgiving holiday. Its a serious consideration…ya might just find a Kween’s cake somewhere. 😉


I’ve been trying to pimp my blogspot page for a few days now…and all I can tell you is…


I keep looking at my page and wondering, “What else does it need?”. I know for the most part that I’m trying to make the page more attractive. Something that will keep the readers here post comment. I found my old cyber-pet and renamed her. (Say hi to Wasabi) I also found a widget site, thanks to Mr. Chap…but the widget I wanted was too large for the page. I am still currently hunting for the perfect piece of entertainment for that left hand corner at the bottom. LOL

I actually don’t think that it will be enough. I can see this going on and on. Finding more interesting things to add to the page…hell, if anything it will keep ME occupied over here just playing games, teasing my virtual cat, and listening to my own music. I guess it’s like moving into a new apartment. You keep adding new pieces until you feel like it’s home.
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80 More Years Please…

I don’t know why…but lately when I speak to my grandmother I worry. She turned 80 in July on the 16th. I teased her and asked had she turned 8…she played along. My grandmother has been a mainstay in my life since I can remember. God blessed me with 2…yet this grandmother…my dad’s mother…has been monumental in shaping my personality. With my maternal grandmother, she’s a lot different. I love her to pieces as well…but she and my mom are cut from the same cloth. Very detached emotionally, my grandmother isn’t one for niceties and affection. For goodness sakes, she signs her cards with her full government handle like we’re not her peeps. She’s 100 times more caring and giving to her church family than her own blood. You could get in really good with my grandmother if you’re a stranger.

Not so with my dad’s mom. I lived with her for the majority of my adolescence. She was loving and nurturing. She taught me about the importance of a woman’s hygiene, she taught me to be a lady and she taught me how to love. I craved my mom’s love and attention, but she was never accessible on that level. My grandmother told me she loved me everyday. She let me make my own choices. All through my childhood my grandmother went to church faithfully every Sunday…but she never made me go. She DID encourage me to read the Bible though. If I asked to go to church, she’d take me…otherwise she left me to decide for self. My mom forced me once we moved back in together…and though I have benefited from some of those years…they were tough on our relationship. My grandmother is quite the cook. She made a lot of things from scratch…but played to my childish palate with things like Shake n Bake BBQ chicken, when she could very well have made homemade sauce. I have great memories of my grandmother…and some that aren’t. The years I spent living with her, my father and my uncle were sometimes traumatic because both of her sons were doing drugs and alcohol for most their lives. (They both are now clean and sober; dad almost 13yrs, my uncle almost 16) Yet, in spite of all the fights and struggles and sicknesses…they remained loyal to one another and have been there through each other’s most trying times. I learned that from dad’s side.

So, when I talk to my grandma…and I hear the frailty in her voice. I hear how she hasn’t been feeling well (even though she puts on her bravest voice) I often become afraid. I fear the day someone will call me and tell me she’s no longer here. To say that my heart would break is an understatement…she IS my heart. I know…she can’t live forever. But if I had one wish right now…I’d ask for 80 more years with her.

Don’t Take it out of Context

Context…its the difference between laughing at a well intentioned remark and taking offense. I left someone’s blog today where what was seemingly a simple explanation of events turned into someone accusing a person close to me of endangering her own children. I can’t and wont go into long elaboration about the situation’s origin…I will just say that ultimately certain things come down to forethought and respect. Though we may be conveying emotions and ideas through written words…we still need to THINK for ourselves. Before you make a statement that could be taken offensively, do you direct questions to the author to which you’re responding to? At least just to insure that you understood? Or do you sound off in assumption? We put “LOL” into sentences when speaking online to indicate a joke, laughter or sarcasm. But, what do you insert when trying not to offend. How do you discern from being attacked or someone’s “humble” opinion? So much can go wrong when reading and responding. Miscommunication is an everyday occurrence. It is quite common for people to have a disagreement inside of a blog or chat b/c of a misunderstanding. I just think that if people took the time more often to think before typing…backspace on a sentence and rewrite their reaction…it could keep down a lot of drama and hurt feelings. Its not as if you’re talking. I can understand a slip of the tongue…but, when typing you have options such as backspace, delete, and edit…there is no cause for oblivious disregard for the feelings of others.