Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm So Honored

I was honored a few day's ago by one of my favorite bloggers, Hagar's Daughter, with the Superior Scribbler Award. Now, I can't begin to tell you how humbly this blog started. I had no other real intentions except to document my life, share some recipes, show my crochet--and write because I love to write and right now, I can't do it the way I want to. Blogging scratches the itch (and quite well, I might add). In my short time blogging, though, I've come across some phenomenal blogs and bloggers. I'm absolutely thrilled that folks actually read and take time to comment on my blog. I beyond ecstatic at having received this recognition (thanks HD!).

I would like to award the following bloggers: Khadija at Muslim Bushido, Just Me at My Little Slice of Pie, Original Glamazon at The Glamazon Chronicles, Nya at 80sBaby70sSoul.

The Rules: 1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends. 2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. 3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award. 4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor! 5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Sure you've heard by now . . .

Of the Wal-mart worker trampled to death by "overly-enthusiastic" bargain hunters.

Okay, here's a warning. I'm pissed off and concerned about a lot of things in my personal life so I'm much more easily affected by the horror of this whole thing.

When I heard this news, let me tell you, I was angered to my very core. How is it that Americans are so out of control with greed that they don't even value the life of another human being? What kind of sick, twisted addiction/illness allows you, a supposedly sane person, to step on someone like they are a piece of trash? Shoot, you avoid stepping on trash, don't you . . . how could you treat a person like as if they are worth less than trash?

Look, I'm not the most optimistic person in the world. My husband sometimes says that I don't have enough hope. But it is extremely difficult for me to have hope in humanity when things like this go on. I'm tired of reading about terrorist bombings, genocides and war, baby formula poisoning. When will human beings LIVE UP TO the great potential that the Creator has blessed us with?

I cannot believe it. I just cannot believe that someone was killed over a "good deal". Are you people idiots? Don't you know that if they are charging you $50, they probably only paid $10 and the manufacturer probably paid some poor child in India $0.25 for it? That sale you were willing to kill someone over, where you pay $40 or $35 still gives the merchant a serious profit. Does this merchant do anything in your community? Help your child in any way? What? Giving $0.02 for every dollar when they are making trillions of dollars is not anything to brag about. And what about all the negative environmental impacts the production of all this crap makes?

When you were trampling that HUMAN BEING, did you think?

That's somebody's child. Somebody's lover. Somebody's friend.

Oh, I'm heated and disgusted.

There is enough suffering and pain in this world that we who have more, who are blessed can find ways to lessen that pain, lessen that suffering not do foolish, heartless things to add to it.

My heart goes out to the family of that Wal-mart worker. I pray they find comfort somehow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

For the Love of Music

Okay, I think "For the Love of Music" may very well be the name I'm going to stick with. For some reason, this whole week, I've been really into Gladys Knight. Now, there are soooo many singers who are hot right now--some talented and some who require a lot of studio work and some who are just cute/selling sex. I recognize that the music industry is a business like any other and so they have to make money. But something about Gladys Knight and the Pips moves me and reminds me of what true artistry, true singing is all about. It's clean. It's controlled while inspiring all kinds of emotions. No super duper riffs (which so many people think makes a good singer). Just beautiful and pure. So . . . without further ado . . . the Empress of Soul singing Neither One of Us (1973).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Finding Love for the Holidays

When I "came into my consciousness" while in college, you know, the days of "I'm so deep and conscious" with poetry readings and hours-long sessions talking about "the man" and "the problem with Black people", I lost a lot of joy for life. Holidays went from being fun and exciting to being another "conscious" talking point. Thanksgiving? Think about what the pilgrims did to the Indians--how can we celebrate that? It's just an excuse for history to be mis-told and greedy Americans to gorge themselves while children in Africa starve to death. Christmas? Just a bunch of pagan rituals mashed together and an excuse for entitled Americans to buy tons of crap they don't need while people in Africa and other poor (Black and Brown) places around the world struggle to get clean water that won't make them sick.

I mean, these things are true. But there is a flip side.

The flip side is that when the holidays come, it seems, despite ourselves we are able to extend a hand of warmth and friendship to those around us. I
feel the energy change. Neighbors become neighborly. Drivers actually yield to the folks who have the right of way. People wait patiently in line at the grocery store while the new cashier fumbles around asking for the key to void a transaction. People smile at each other. They're good to each other. Even if it just lasts a few weeks. Or until the liquor wears off.

And I love that.

I still don't celebrate holidays in the traditional sense. You won't catch me going crazy cooking food and inviting folks over. I don't give out gifts or sing carols. But I do give thanks on Thanksgiving in a different kind of way because I know that all over the country, in many different households people of all of colors, creeds, and ways of life are being thankful. They might not give thanks to Jesus. Or any kind of god. But they are reflecting on the things that make life beautiful and rich. Even if it is just a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day.

And for this I'm thankful. Because growing up we always read in the Bible to give thanks in all things. And I always asked God how could I do that? There are people starving, people suffering. But at this time in my life, I realize that indeed, in all things there is something to give thanks about.
Something. There is such profound wisdom in the injunction to always give thanks.

The unmatched Nina Simone sang a song called "Ain't Got No" and it is so appropriate for this day.

Ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes
Ain't got no money, ain't got no class
Ain't got no skirts, ain't got no sweater
Ain't got no perfume, ain't got no beer
Ain't got no man

Ain't got no mother, ain't got no culture
Ain't got no friends, ain't got no schooling
Ain't got no love, ain't got no name
Ain't got no ticket, ain't got no token
Ain't got no God

What about God?
Why am I alive anyway?
Yeah, what about God?
Nobody can take away

I got my hair, I got my head
I got my brains, I got my ears
I got my eyes, I got my nose
I got my mouth, I got my smile
I got my tongue, I got my chin
I got my neck, I got my boobs

I got my heart, I got my soul
I got my back, I got my sex
I got my arms, I got my hands
I got my fingers, Got my legs
I got my feet, I got my toes
I got my liver, Got my blood

I've got life , I've got my freedom
I've got the life

And I'm gonna keep it
I've got the life
And nobody's gonna take it away
I've got life

Look, no matter what . . . really, no matter what there is something to give thanks for. I realized just how powerful giving thanks is when I stopped complaining about my allergies. In the midst of an allergy attack where I can hardly catch my breath, I'm sneezing 15-20 times, I can't see because my eyes are swollen and itchy . . . if I can stop to give a minute of thanks . . . even for something so ludicrous as an over-active immune system that takes regular environmental factors and thinks it's under attack--give thanks that it is functioning . . . well, perspective shifts immediately and what would have totally destroyed my day is a little hump I have to get over. I can focus on sending love and healing throughout my body. For me, giving thanks has to be powerful if it has given me an effective way to deal with allergies in a way that Claritin, Zyrtec, allergy shots and cursing have not.

There are many things I "ain't got" but so many things that I do have. And I'm grateful on this Thanksgiving Day and happy, I say damned joyful that I get the chance to be here to celebrate another Thanksgiving. I've got life!

So . . . Have a Thanksgiving full of giving thanks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Z2 woke up at 6:30 AM--30 minutes before he usually wakes up. His father just brought him to me and he's sitting on my lap right now slobbering on everything and trying to put everything in his mouth. Since I decided to blog and read blogs before doing my 5.5.5. (which usually takes about 30-45 minutes) , I won't get a chance to do it today. This is a reminder to be disciplined and do 5.5.5. first thing without fail. It is most important. And I have so much to do today. Shoot. I really needed to ground myself.


Wedgie-Free Wednesday!

Okay, so I won't front: I am a big booty miss. And being a big booty miss means that wedgies have been the bane of my existence since I was a little girl. Now, in my younger days, the solution to the problem was the thong (remember that awful song?). At least with a thong I had a wedgie on purpose and I could control the wedgie size. But I don't know. The novelty of thongs wore off after a while and I just wanted some comfortable drawers.

One of my closest friends from college and I had always said that one day we would create a line of underwear (bras and panties) for the more voluptuous woman. A line that was sexy. Yet practical and comfortable. And didn't cost an arm and a leg. Since then, I think, there have been a few companies catering to that market though and since our lives have taken different turns with family and careers than we expected, we pretty much abandoned the idea. And I abandoned the idea of finding wedgie-free, full-coverage underwear.

That is, until a couple of months after I had Z1 when I discovered the "hipster" style underwear and while still wedgie-fabulous, these drawers cut down my wedgie incidences by at least 50%. Great! So for about three years, I've been buying this style exclusively. Now, after having Z2 (and still holding on hard core to the pregnancy weight) I realized that my semi-solution was now giving me at least 40% more incidences of wedgie-ation. That means that over 90% of the time, I was experiencing a wedgie.

As uncomfortable as that was, I was determined to put up with it because surely as my weight came down, the undies would get comfortable again. But, I just couldn't. Too uncomfortable. I set out to find a better solution.

I'd seen commercials for the Hanes "No ride up" underwear but I was very skeptical. They just don't tailor things to big booty misses. I know that from experience. But even other big booty misses were recommending them so I decided to give them a try. I rolled up into Target and purchased two different styles: boy shorts and bikini. The boy shorts are just a little too much fabric. It feels like I'm wearing bloomers. The bikinis on the other hand are fantastic! They live up to the "no ride up" promise and feel great to wear. So I'm joining other big booty misses to recommend these drawers with no reservations. Okay, they're not Victoria Secret sexy but they're cute and functional, practical and easy on the budget. And above all, they're comfortable and sure to provide Wonderful Wedgie-free Wednesdays and every other day too!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I found a cute book

I borrowed it from the library. It's called Buddha at Bedtime by Dharmachari Nagaraja and I like it. It's not too preachy and basically presents the precepts of Buddhism in the form of stories for children. It is colorfully illustrated and really eye-catching and I just might purchase it at some point.

Generally, however, by 8 o'clock though, Z2 is too agitated and sleepy for us to read or do anything in peace. I may (and have been leaning towards) cutting out watching Wheel of Fortune (okay, laugh if you will) which comes on at 7:30. WoF is basically the only television I watch. If we start our bedtime routine at 7:30, it will give time (in terms of Z2's temperament) for us to read Buddha at Bedtime, do a visualization and get back to the candle meditation I used to do with Z1 before Z2 was born. I'm looking forward to when Z2 will appreciate these things too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Zucchini Cake

So here I blogged about wanting to try some new recipes that didn't require me to buy a whole bunch of ingredients that I may never use again. I have tried all the recipes with good results. The roasted butternut squash soup was good but came out too thick. The family loved the spanakopita. I wasn't thrilled with it but I'd make it again for them though. That's how much they liked it. The pumpkin muffins? Divine. And yesterday I finally got around to making the zucchini bread. Actually, it's zucchini cake. I fell asleep with the boys last night and didn't get to taste it but DH did and said it was really good. It had a difficult time coming out of the pan which is why it looks so jacked up, but hey, at least I remembered to take a picture. Oh, and I got to use my bundt pan which I haven't used in eons. Can't wait to give it a try later on today!

Weekend Thrifting

So because we are really trying to be wise about how we spend money, I've been limiting doing my favorite thing to do . . . thrifting. But we went this past Saturday because I realized (a little late) that Z2 doesn't have a snow suit. Because Z1 is a summer baby, his snow suits are all too small or too big for Z2. I intended to only get a snow suit but I found some other great things that I couldn't pass up.

When I say we scored, I mean we scored. DH found a Patagonia Baby Reversible Snow Bunting. Retail Price: $99. DH recognized the name as quality (he has a fleece pullover he paid a grip for at REI back in the day). And so we scooped it.
I wore Z2 in the mei tai yesterday to go pick up a couple of things on the Avenue (local shopping area) and he was toasty as he wanted to be. I'm so grateful for this find and wish I hadn't bid on the snowsuit on Ebay. Still that Ebay snowsuit was $10 (s&h included) and is size 18 months so we will probably still need it.

The second score was:

A 8 quart cast iron pot (heavy as all get-out) and a 9" cast iron fry pan, perfect seasoned. I'm still not 100% sure if the pot is cast iron or cast aluminum. I'm going to season it and see if it develops that rich, dark color which is the hallmark of cast iron. I really hope it is . . . it's as heavy as cast iron though. DH is convinced it couldn't be anything else. Oh, and someone at the thrift store was playing me mighty close when I was holding my cookware. If I had even had a flicker of a notion of putting them down, homeboy would have scooped them up. Shoot, I was looking over my shoulder to make sure he wasn't planning on straight taking them out of my hands!!!

Okay, so what, you ask, did I pay for all these lovely items? $31. I could hardly believe it.

I felt so incredibly blessed. We didn't get there early. We didn't have to dig around and search. It was like these things were there for us. So if You're listening, Thank you so much.
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