Saturday, June 24, 2006

"Tons" To Grow On

Even though it is said as if it is a badge of honor (which it may be), it is sometimes quite difficult to accept the fact that we are a work in realize that you're not in that perfect place or position of your dreams because it's just not your time...there is STILL work that needs to be done. Now, realistically speaking, will we EVER reach that "perfect" place or position? Probably not. But we sure was hell can get much closer than we probably are right now! And what might come as a shock to some is...for the most part, the ball is in OUR court.

Darbs...what do you mean, you ask? Well first let me state the obvious: I am no certified therapist or philosopher...but merely a journeywoman with my eyes on, and ears to the ground of, this thing called "life." So as always, in regards to my following thoughts and statements, feel free to take it or leave it. Now on to what I mean...

What I have come to know as true (the operative word being "I') is that not EVERY trial or tribulation needs to be on "stand by" awaiting remedy by divine intervention. Please don't misunderstand...there are some issues that DO require us to be faithful and wait...there is NO DOUBT in my mind about that. HOWEVER...most of them simply require us to jump start our lazy minds and/or get off our lazy butts and MOVE! And so that everyone is clear, I do not mean move as in relocate (change of scenery, alone, can not always do it...LOL). I mean move as in: Do something! Take action! Being stagnant results in our standing in our own way - doing that very thing that Patti LaBelle told us not to do - blocking our blessings! Hindering our progress.

And we must be honest and realistic with our flaws, weaknesses and bad habits. We can't skip over some and justify the others. Which brings me to the idea of "one to grow on" as it relates to life/personal lessons that I am learning. FOR REAL?? "One" to grow on? Only one?? Yeah right...if only I could be so lucky...LOL...take another look at the title of my post...LOL!

So, in the spirit of being real and honest, I charged myself with sharing some of my shortcomings with you. Here's five (LOL..."one"...that tickles me...LOL):

1. Discipline: from returning phone calls to shedding pounds for health, I must incorporate more discipline into my life.

2. Patience: seems weird to have this one when I just said we need to act, but keep in mind that patience does not equate to idleness!

3. Reservation: I cannot say "yes" to every request. I have to be sure to reserve time and energy for myself and the things that I need/want to do.

4. Honesty: as it relates to my feelings. Not for every little tiny thing, but for the big things...the ones that will keep me awake at night...I must be open with my feelings, concerns, wants and needs.

5. Risks: I have to be willing to take more risks. Without them, there can be no reward.

There are definitely more, but I reserve the right to keep the rest to myself...LOL. And even though I shared what seems to be a very "manageable" list with you - don't go looking for any immediate "breakthrough" posts because after all...I am a "work in progress!" LOL.

But, like they say: Knowing is half the battle!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More Creations

Now that I have gotten my beadin' back on...I have to balance between that and blogging. They both have brought so much joy into my life that I have to make time to include both of them in my regular routine.

I'm thinking about starting a entirely new blog that will showcase the new pieces that I am making. But...since I'm not totally sold on that idea yet, I'll share them with you here. After all, it has become an integral part of my well being during my Journey...

Hope you likes:

Oh and...GOOD NEWS...sending my other pieces to my friend in New York DEFINITELY paid off. She ended up selling quite a few pieces and I made over $ addition to generating a decent amount of interest in my work. Clearly I'm not at the point where I can "quit my day job" but it is definitely a step in the right direction, as well as a HUGE ego boost!

This concludes this portion of my "Show & Tell." LOL!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tag...I'm It!

Okay people...I finally got tagged (I was wondering if it was ever gonna happen). Once by my girl Laa and then by my girl Mocha . And of alllll of the topics in the HAD to be about food (one of the very few things I hate to love as my metabolism just isn't what it used to be when I was 20...LOL). I know I'm late with my response Ladies, but as you know I have been MIA for a minute and I'm just catching up on all of your lives. Better late than never though, right?

Here were my marching orders:

1. Pick your top ten favorite foods (which, for me, is impossible)
2. Give your rationale (and photos would be nice, but are optional)
3. Choose 3-5 of your favorite food bloggers to invite

In no particular order...just how they pop in my we go...

10. Doro Wat (Ethiopian)

Before you say anything (and it's probably already too late)...I COULD NOT find an appetizing picture of this dish. But TRUST me...if you like spicy, flavorful food (and you eat chicken & boiled eggs) will looooooooove this dish.

It's an Ethiopian stew of chicken in a red pepper paste and they "garnish" it with hard boiled eggs. The chicken is SUPER tender (and is usually dark meat, just FYI). It is spicy, but not the runny nose and watery eyes type of spicy...and part of that spiciness is dulled by the bread that most -if not all - Ethiopian food is eaten with, injera (tangy, spongy, flat bread that is less than appetizing if eaten alone, but provides the perfect je ne sais quoi when used as the "fork" with which to eat your meal)

Word to the wise: I would think twice before eating Ethopian food with anyone whose cleanliness is questionable as it is almost always served family style and is, as mentioned, eaten with your hands....LOL (but not really).

9. Oxtails (preferably Jamaican)

Even I doubted this dish at first. WHY I would want to eat anything's tail is beyond me...but I do...and it is mm
m-mmm-good! Like the Doro Wat, this dish is like a stew...juicy, fall of the bone meat drowned in savory gravy (which includes a white bean of some sort) served over rice and peas (that MUST be cooked with coconut milk!!!) Don't knock it 'til you try it!

8. Sushi

And it's all about the spicy tuna roll...mix the spiciness of the tuna, with the sticky cold rice, the chewy seaweed, the heat of the wasabi and the saltiness of the soy sauce...PURE.SEX! And never dawns on me that I'm eating raw fish...believe it or not!

7. Hoagies

I'm from Jersey...wuddaya expect? Seriously though...there is NOTHING like a good hoagie (sub, hero...I don't care what you want to call it). The absolute BEST hoagies, in my opinion, are from the Hoagie Hut on Route 28 (Union Avenue) in Bridgewater, NJ. One of the MUST HAVES in order to have a stellar hoagie is SHREDDED ICEBERG lettuce...anything else? FUGGETABOUTIT!!!

And for those of you who are craving a good hoagie but will not be visiting the Bridgewater, NJ area anytime soon...please believe that WaWa's hoagies are BANGIN'! I was introduced to them not long ago by my friend who is a pseudo native of Philly (another hoagie's just a fact...the Tri-State area - and I include Philly - is the TRUTH when it comes to deli sandwiches).

6. Hot Apple Tart A La Mode
(from Chili's)

I get the shakes every time I think about this dish...mainly because Chili's TOOK IT OFF THE MENU!!!! Me and my two "ride or die" sister-girlfriends used to frequent Chili's after work when we were all working together in NYC. Not to have dinner or have drinks...oh no...we went to have the hot apple tart a la mode that was served in a piping hot cast iron skillet and drizzled with just the right amount of caramel sauce. At first we all would share one...after about the second time we had it..."no my got to get ya own!" It was THAT good!!! So, you could imagine our shock, disbelief and utter disappointment when we heard those horrid 5 words: We. No. Longer. Serve. That. * Blink, blink....blink *. I just DON'T understand. We still get PISSED off whenever we get together and one of us brings it up...I think it will ALWAYS be a touchy subject for us.

5. Fried Whiting

Fried hard, served on white sandwich bread (the ONLY time I will eat it), with hot sauce and hush puppies on the side...need I say more?

4. Cobb Salad (from California Pizza Kitchen)

I love, love, love a good, hearty salad...and this salad is GREAT! It includes two of my favorite salad toppings...pickled beets and avocado...and the Gorgonzola gives it just the right amount of zing. The perfect lunch on a hot day!

Note: If you live in or around Manhattan Beach, CA - you can also get the same salad from LA Food Show in the Manahattan Village shopping center on Sepulveda. This is where I first had it...same ownership.

3. "Better Batter" & "Udderly Cream" Blended with Strawberries (Ice Cream)

I'm not a HUGE fan of ice cream (I prefer popsicles, freeze pops...that kinda thing) HOWEVER there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule. So...with summer quickly approaching (or is it here?) if you do not have a Maggie Moo's in your area...CALL. SOMEONE. QUICK!!!! Forget Thomas Sweets, Cold Stone and whatever else you might have heard. Maggie Moo's is what's' real! Like Cold Stone, Maggie Moo's uses the cold slab to mix and blend their delicious and cleverly named ice cream with an endless array of toppings. My favorite combination is listed above.

2. Potato Knishes

I know that you may have heard some foul stuff about NYC street vendors...but you still gotta love 'em...especially when you are working in the city, you're short on cash and it's lunch time (and sometimes, just because you liked the ish).

So one of my favorites was the potato knish...with butter and sauerkraut...sometimes (and not just because of this) I think I may have been Jewish in a former life (if there is such a thing).'s good, quick eatin'!

1. Fruit

Any and all kinds...seriously. At this very moment, I cannot think of any fruit that I don't like. Of course there are some that I like more than others, but none that I can say that I hate. Fruit is the perfect "anytime" kinda food...can be breakfast or dessert...gotta love its versatility...and its sugary sweetness (IF you know how to pick it!) there you have it. I must admit, this was no easy task! By no means are these my ULTIMATE favorite foods (some probably would be included in that list), but they are favorites of mine none the less. As you might be able to tell, I have a pretty undiscriminating palate...for which I am grateful. Variety is DEFINITELY the spice of life!


PS. I don't really know how many members of my blog family are "foodies" like me, so if you are...feel free to consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Letters to Our Fathers

"On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the guide and the weight of their world

So fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do..."

"Daughters" - John Mayer

Dear Upstanding, Biological Father:

Today, I celebrate you. But like Chris Rock, I am not celebrating you for doing the things that you are supposed to do as a father. Rather, I am celebrating you for how you do them so well. I celebrate you for the support and love that you give to the mothers of your children. I celebrate you
for the role model that you are to your sons - raising them to be responsible, strong, good men. I celebrate you for the role model that you are to your daughters - serving as the standard for how she should be treated by every single man that enters her life. I celebrate you for the leadership that you display in your churches and communities.

Way too many men have shown you how easy it can be to just walk away...turn your back on your creation...transition from being a "doer" to just a plain ol' "donor". BUT...with the state of families today - (like Robert Frost) "you took the road less traveled by...and that has made all the difference!" Know that it is very much appreciated!

So THANK YOU Fathers...for every game and recital you've attended, for every time you've stood as a united front with your significant other, for every mowed lawn and emptied garbage, for all that you've provided...for ALL that you are and do...I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Happy Fathers Day,


Dear Stepfather, Godfather, Adoptive Father, Foster Father and Guardian:

How can I begin to thank you for the choice that you have made. When family and friends told you not to do it...that it wasn't your responsibility...that is was going to change your life (and not for the better) - you made the decision to listen to your heart. Clearly, you are the reason that the quote "Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy" was penned. For your children, you are the ultimate superhero. Today, I want you to know that you are my hero as well.

Great is the reward for those who have accepted into their lives a child that was "not his." You have given your children the ultimate, hope, faith and opportunity. If I had ten thousand tongues, I still could not thank you enough! You didn't have to do it...but I am so glad that you did!

Happy Fathers Day,


Dear Dead Beat Dad:

The disappointment is immeasurable. You were a coward and took the easy way out...left it up to someone else to raise your child. How could you? I ask that question knowing that there is no answer that could EVER satisfy me. I've heard all of your lame ass excuses...trickery, immaturity, lack of finances, doubt, fear...guess what? They're played and I don't buy them!

I pray for your children. Pray that they will grow and mature into wonderfully stable and respectable adults. I pray that they will succeed in spite of, and not fail because of, you. There is no doubt that their lives will not be easy, but at the end of the day - it's YOUR loss.

The one good thing is that as long as you, and they, are still have time. Although it may seem like it, and it may even be said, it is NEVER too late. Never too late to contribute financially. Never too late to develop a relationship (on your child's terms). Never, ever too late to say "I'm sorry, I love you and I want to do better."

What will you do?


To Sarccastik & All the Blogger Fathers/Dads:

To My Daddy:
I've always understood...I love you and I miss you.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lost In Translation

This morning I have been lost in translation...lyric translation. I woke up singing...which happens quite often. But when I stopped and realized exactly what I was singing and exactly what it all meant...I was no longer lost in translation, but kinda found in to speak. You tell me:

Lyrics: "I can see clearly now the rain is gone..."
My Translation: I'm feeling a lot better now however, I'm still not back to my usual self...but I'm not sure that I ever will be. What I have realized is that through this healing process...I am learning. With learning comes growth. With growth comes growing pains, but more importantly, change. And change, well...even when it's good, can cause some discomfort. This emotionally charged "life flow chart" - of sorts - is definitely clear to me now.

Lyrics: "I can see all obstacles in my way..."
My Translation: Okay...what hit home about this particular line is the realness of it. He didn't say that the obstacles are no longer there. Oh no, no, no my would NEVER be that easy. BUT...I do revel in my ability to SEE the obstacles that are, inevitably, going to appear throughout my life journey. For when you are able to see, you can prepare...reroute if you have whatever it is you need to do to make it through.

Lyrics: "Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind..."
My Translation: And we arrive at my current state of being! Yay! Those blinding dark clouds are slowly moving out to sea...THANK GOD! You know what the interesting thing is though? Dark clouds are tricky little devils because they make you think of doom and gloom...right? WRONG...or atleast not totally correct. What I have discovered is that dark clouds can manifest themselves in the form of all things light and BLISSFUL IGNORANCE...which has been something with which I have been challenged. What I mean is sometimes, and just sometimes, when you walk through life - or a phase of life - willingly ignoring reality...possibly a little delusional, a touch naive, having slight traces of passive aggression or backstroking down that famous African river ( know...THAT one)...on the outside things look like they are all going your way. But on the inside? much. You end up walking around LOOKING like you have it all figured out...meanwhile, in reality, your life is falling apart. DARK. CLOUD. It is imperative that I must, always and at all times, confront the reality of my life (or life phase) and deal with it accordingly.

But wait...there's more...we finally get to the REALLY good part...

Lyrics: "It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day"
My Translation: Everything is gonna be alright! Trouble don't last always! This too shall pass! Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning! Don't worry be happy! Good things come to those who wait! I could go on and on...but I'll spare you from any more of the motivational/inspirational rah-rah...LOL...I think you get the point.

Just know...ya girl? She's gonna be aight!

Featured lyrics: "I Can See Clearly Now" - Johnny Nash

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Too Clogged to Blog

Have you ever had so may thoughts running through your head that you just couldn't think clearly? That's where I am right about now...and it sucks...BIG time! I have gotten up every morning, since my last entry, wanting to blog...having so much in my head and on my heart but no idea how to express any of it.

And no, it's not writer's's DARBS all of its extreme, unwarranted and inconvenient glory! I've allowed something to take my eyes off the has stuttered my steps and slowed my pace. But the fog is starting to lift and I'm seeing a bit more clearly now.

There's nothing like a dose of good old fashioned reality to get your mind right...LOL.

Stay tuned...

Friday, June 02, 2006

As Promised...

Sooooooo...tell me your honest opinion...I can take it...really...I can...LOL.

Okay, but wait! For all of you creative people out there (which is all of us because we all blog...and that's creative in its own right), you know I have to take a moment to be my own worst critic!

Just a couple of things:

1. For those of you who cannot tell, the dominant color of the pieces is jade. These pics do the color absolutely NO justice at all.

2. Originally, I made the necklaces without the pendant/drop - but afterwards I kinda thought (and my friend did too), that it should have one. In retrospect, I think I would have preferred it without...but the customer is always right and she ended up being very pleased (she told me that the bridesmaid's jewelry was better than the bride's...the bride was actually upset that she didn't have me make hers too).

3. My photography skills are not all that there was no way for me, personally, to capture the true beauty of these pieces (especially the "bling" of the Swarovski crystals)...but I DID promise you all pics and for fear of you guys never reading my blog again...I thought I should keep my word :o) LOL. I also need to get one of those dummy heads (I don't know what you call them) so that you can get the true effect of what the pieces look like on...the pendant in these photos looks worse than it really was.

4. The final presentation was the kicker...I boxed the sets in cute little jewelry boxes, tied it with ribbon and created a sticker with the "name of my business" on it and used it to secure the ribbon around the box. And then I put the boxes in a cute little "Thank You" bag. I must say that I impressed my damn self...LOL!

So there you go! I'm on a roll now, a slow roll, but a roll none the what I will TRY to do is post some more pics as I add more pieces to my collection. My girlfriend that I stayed with in NY finally convinced me to let her try to sell some pieces, so I sent most of what I made last summer to her and I didn't photograph any of it before I sent them. *sorry*

Recap of my trip to NYC to follow...I had a GREAT time!!!

Create something!