Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

As 2009 comes to an end a lot of people are reflecting on what the 1st decade of the new millennium has meant to them. There are a lot of "best of" list out there and I have enjoyed looking at them. One list that I am looking forward to is the "Best of the Decade Reads" from the ladies of APOOO. Just a small side note, if you are ever looking for new and interesting reads stroll through the post over at APOOO for some great choices.

I am not making resolutions this year, however I am setting life goals, which I plan to follow up on monthly in my quest to improve the woman I am. Resolutions are often made with the thought that you are going to set these resolutions and because you have resolved to do/not do said items as of January 1 of whatever year you are actually going to stick with it. Raising my hand and admitting that resolutions NEVER worked for me.

Towards the end of 2009 I started to look at people, events and habits in my life. I realized first that there were a lot of "friends" I was hanging onto that I needed to let go of. Why keep someone around who are malicious, do not have your best interest at heart or do not realize that you do not have to be a carbon copy of them and their habits in order to be their friend. My friends are people who know we do not need to speak everyday for them to be on my mind. My friends accept me, with my faults and do not judge me for them.

My life goals are set because they will enrich my life. I don't set them to make people happy, do what others think I should do or be socially acceptable amongst anyone. I have my planner already set for 2010 with appointments for myself to review my goals, which gives me a head start on one of my goals.

2010 Goals:
  1. Become more organized(started already)
  2. Take more me time away from the husband and kids guilt free
  3. Embark on a healthy lifestyle change with my sisters
  4. Pick my classes to begin taking this summer
  5. Set aside time to work on my book
  6. Read 100 books by the end of the year( I read 57 in 2009)
  7. Purchase a bible in an easier to comprehend translation and embark on a more spiritual path
  8. Work on my financial portfolio
  9. Plan our family vacation, including my siblings and their families
  10. Become active in my local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

Since this is about life goals and not New Years Resolutions I know this list will grow and I look forward to the new things I experience as a result of my goals. I am thankful for the past year and all of the changes that it brought. The people whom I have lost this year will always live in my heart and I use the strength they showed as a lesson to keep going, doing, striving and believing.

In closing, the statement "friends are in your life for a reason, season or life time" has really helped me sort people out. As I told my girlfriend, I am organizing things in boxes in my mind. Some of those boxes will remain open, some will be closed, but I will look at them when I need to and others will be sealed because that is where they belong, locked out of my life.

I hope 2010 brings you a more prosperous year and that you are able to achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving: What does it really mean for me?

So, I was thinking that I needed to write a blog because I had not in a while. While brainstorming I came across a FB post from the wonderful ladies at APOOO(thanks Yas) and my blog post was born. Thanksgiving is a time that most of us associate with cooking, eating, shopping and football. How often do we really step back and appreciate the actual act of being thankful?

Thanksgiving has always had some pretty rigid traditions for my family:

  1. Meals have always been turkey with stuffing, ham, collard greens, homemade mac and cheese, rice(greens, or any vegetable for that matter, can not be served without rice when your family is from South Carolina), rolls, candied yams and sweet potato pies.

  2. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was on the TV and we all watched it together between kitchen duty. The girls were supposed to be on kitchen duty, but my sister somehow always seemed to have less of it. She really was just not that interested in cooking and did as little as possible, where as I always wanted to learn and try new things.

  3. The turkey legs were not eaten by anyone in my house so they were cut off, wrapped up and given to my paternal grandfather along with the sweet potato pie my mother made for him. He was from North Carolina and since my grandmother was from Massachusetts there were a lot of southern meals he missed that my South Carolina born and raised mother was always willing to make for him. When he passed away we never really did anything with the legs, it just never seemed right without him to give them to.

Once I met my husband and we started sharing the holidays together, some of his favorites were incorporated into the way I prepared my holiday meal:

  1. My turkey was no longer stuffed, I made dressing on the side like his mother.
  2. He needed to have potato salad with his ham(something I can have come to expect now).

  3. He actually eats the cranberry sauce(something I only saw my grandfather do in the past), so I had to start remembering to buy that stuff.

I never really paid much attention to Black Friday until well into my adult life. I am not sure when this tradition started, maybe it was there lurking all along and my mother never gave into the temptation. I have yet to get up at the crack of dawn and go shopping the morning after, but the $5.00 fleece and $15.00 sweaters at Old Navy are calling me to be there at 3am this year. Football is pretty much an every week thing for my household, so Thanksgiving only makes the masses happier. I have however always felt sorry for the players who had to play and were in different cities from their families. This same sentiment rings true with me at Christmas time.

One year I thought it would be nice for my family to go around the table and say what they were thankful for. That lasted a year or two and then everyone just looked at my like I was crazy. Since no one in my family wants to say what they are thankful for, I will use this platform to share what and who I am thankful for.

Who am I thankful for?

As I wrote this blog and thought back on the last year I realize that I am thankful for family. Good or bad, happy or sad, my past experience with my family has molded me into the person I am today. This holiday season we are all going to rally around and lift the spirits of my cousins who are experiencing their 1st holiday without their mother/wife.
My cousin loved the holidays and spending time with family. It is going to be so strange to spend this time without her and I can not even begin to imagine how heavy her son and her husbands heart must be even more so now than it has been these past few months. My family has rallied around to become an even closer unit and help out where needed. I am really glad that we were not a family that only appreciated each other during the holidays. We got together just because, played guitar hero, broke bread together, emailed encouraging and silly things to each other, attending the kids functions when we could and just made sure that the words I love you were not only spoken but felt and meant.

I am so thankful for more than one person for many reasons:

  1. I am thankful for my spouse, especially after witnessing up close the extreme hurt of loosing a life partner.
  2. I am thankful for my children. With the disappearance and murder of a child right in a neighboring town, the pain of seeing a parent mourn for a child is still very fresh in my heart and I am glad I have not been made to face that.
  3. I am thankful that I still have my mother and my siblings to talk to. Distance has not hurt the strong family ties we share and I try to instill that same strong family tie in my children.
  4. I am thankful for my friends, both new and old. I appreciate my friends who understand that our friendship is strong enough that we do not need to talk everyday to be friends. I am thankful that they know a true friends place is not to judge, but will tell me when I am wrong and comfort me when I hurt.
  5. I am thankful for my extended family and find comfort in knowing that I have the type of family that can come together without judgement in times of need or sorrow, no matter what a persons circumstance may be. I am also thankful for those who are strong enough to tell those members who do judge and gossip when they are wrong.

Taking the good with the bad, despite the ones who slip and judge or gossip, I am thankful for my family. (Yeah, there is a story behind that gossip line since I said that twice so close together, but that is a story for another time and place. My sidebar - gossip always has a way of getting back around. Loving someone when they are down and embracing them just as family embraced you in your time of misjudgement is always a more heartfelt experience than the embarrassment of realizing your hurtful tongue has gotten back to some you say you love.)

What I am thankful for?

I am thankful that I have a job. In this economy, especially after witnessing, in my office, people I have worked with for years learning that they no longer had a job because of the economy. I work for an account who acquired a company and had to merge positions and cut more than 4000 jobs in the process, so I know how lucky I am to have a job. I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and food on the table. Let us not forget that while times may be tight for many of us, there are so many out there who do not even have the even the basic necessities of life. There are parents not sure where their children will lay their head or how they will be able to feed their family.

Happy Thanksgiving

Remember to give thanks!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ok, I am ready to admit it.

As I wrote that title I realized... I really don't have a problem. Other people just think it is a problem. Facebook came along and I enjoyed reconnecting with so many people. I actually found my first best friend. we had been friends since kindergarten and lost contact in high school. Thanks to facebook, we are now able to catch up with each other. This has been my story with Facebook. I am back in touch with my sorors from Jersey and friends from my childhood. I also use facebook to stay in the know with the friends I have made in the literary world. I do not accept request from people I do not know or who are not apart of the literary world since that is such a big part of me.

I post comments just about daily. Sometimes it is a quote I came across while reading, sometimes it is something insightful I thought of and sometimes it is just a comment about my day, my love for my family, my desire to get the kids to stop fighting, you get the idea.

Now facebook in itself can be addictive, but there are a few things I do on Facebook that holds my attention longer than status updates, my game!!! I love my virtual worlds. I enjoy the calm it brings to 'tend to my farm, plant seeds, plow fields, collect from the animals and any other task that needs to be done on the farm that day.

The funny part about this is that if you put me on a real farm, I would look at you as if you were crazy. My summers in South Carolina come to mind as I tend to my virtual farm. I remember my grandmother getting eggs from the chicken and me not wanting those eggs, but the ones from the store. I remember my grandmother grabbing a chicken by its feet as it ran past and killing it so that she could make it for dinner. A dinner I would not want, not because I don't eat chicken, but because I did not want to eat that chicken. A chicken I watched died, hang upside down with a slit neck and then plunged into boiling water to make plucking the feathers easier.

Needless to say, this aversion to home grown chicken products had me labeled as the prissy girl by my southern family. Honestly, being picky was beyond home grown poultry, they just never saw that side of me because they never witnessed my day to day life in New Jersey. I was just really thought of as the city girl who was looking down on her country side. That label was actually hurtful, because I never wanted my South Carolina family to think of me in that light. I was just used to my food packaged a different way.

There are so many aspects of that life I enjoyed and looked forward to each summer. Running in my cousins front yard, playing red rover when the sun had long since gone down. Going to the candy ladies house for a pickle and some candy because there were no corner stores there. Learning to make biscuits from my grandmother with no measuring at all. (please don't ask me to measure and tell you how to make them because the one time I tried to measure to share the recipe I made hockey pucks)

Ok, enough of memory lane, let me get back to the topic at hand. I love scrabble on Facebook, bejeweled and a couple of other games. Besides reading, it is really relaxing for me to just fiddle on the computer after a long day of sending people around the world. I know some people will wonder if I work on a computer all day, how can it be relaxing to be on a computer at home. Trust, when you are not being made to stare at the screen, it really takes on a different feel all together.

I do know that I need to let my crops go and get back to my reading because I am no where near the personal goal of 100 books for the year. I want to think that now that my son is done with Pop Warner football and I am done with being team mom I can get back into a comfortable reading groove and make reading and Facebook co-exist in my world and play nice together.

So back to the title, I thought I was going to add a snazzy line like, "hi my name is Lashonda and I am addicted to Facebook", but I have nothing to admit. I do not call it an addiction, I do not think it is bad for me and I need to give it up before it ruins my life. I am not ruining any lives, I am not breaking up any families, not contributing to the crime rate, I am just catching up with friends and cultivation my virtual worlds.

Now that I have gone from A-Z in this blog, I think I will sign out, take a shower and hit the hay. And no that will not be my status update on Facbook.(see I told you I was not addicted)

Friday, September 18, 2009

What Does Your Dash Say About You?

OK, so I know some of you are scratching your heads, wondering what my title means. On January 8, 2009 my cousin passed away at the age of 39. Luckie was more than a cousin to me. We were brought together because we are married to cousins, whose mothers are sisters. We remained friends through the years because we genuinely loved each other. Luckie was my birthday buddy, born 3 years before me on June 17.

So, my title is actually taken from the preachers words at Luckie's memorial service. June 17, 1970-September 8, 2009, what matters is how you lived during that time between the dash. Everyone, one day will have dates on both sides of the dash, but what have you done with you life, your dash. Luckie lived with Renal Failure for over 10 years. During that time she endured a lot, but always with a smile. Looking at someone have such a positive outlook on a life when day after day their life is filled with hospitals, needles, doctor visits, kidney transplant, kidney rejection and dialysis causes the people around them to look at life in a different manner.

There were never complaints from Luckie, even on the days you knew she was not feeling well. During family gatherings, she would excuse herself to go rest for a while and be back, smiling, the life of the party. Saturday, September 5, 2009 was one of those days. We were out together to celebrate a friends birthday, Luckie started to feel sick and ended the night with just going home to rest. The next morning I watched my husband pace as he talked to his cousin on the phone and watched his facial expressions and body language change, becoming more somber as he continued to talk. Hanging up the phone he advised me that Luckie was in the hospital and we needed to go there. Getting ready he gave me the details, as he knew them, and I began my silent prayer.

Arriving at the hospital we got off of the elevator and the look on Luckie's mothers face spoke volumes. Looking into Luckie's husbands face, I knew in my heart this visit was like none we have ever experienced before. Arrangements were made to bring family into Jacksonville, prayers were said and words of encouragement were offered around to everyone there. In the end, at 10:25p on September 8, 2009 Luckie passed onto the next life, leaving behind her 17 year old son, husband(whom she had been with since the 9th grade) and a host of family and friends who loved her more than words could ever express.

Listening to the pastor I began to realize what my dash really said about me. Yes I am married and the mother of 3 great kids, but what about those things (pointed out in a previous blog) that I have meant to do, but have not done. Over the past few weeks I have heard words of encouragement, shared moments about Luckie that have made us all laugh and realize just how full our life was because we knew Luckie.
I also reflected on my dash. The time to stop dragging my feet is now. I want my dash to say that I completed my education, I wrote those books and became a published author and I lost the weight I always talked about. I want my dash to be so much more than a dash.

Luckie's passing has showed me a lot of things; the importance of spending time with family, the need to let grudges go, the need to complete the task we set out to do and the need to live life to the fullest. There is no apologizing for things after the person is gone, no time left to stop by the house and just chat, no more opportunities to express to that person how much you loved them and so on. No one is promised tomorrow and that is something we all tend to forget from time to time.

Writing this was hard for me. There are things about her sickness and passing that are not discussed because some of it touches on emotions that are just too raw. I am thankful for the time I spent with Luckie. I am thankful for the family that has come together and put their arms around her husband and son and tried to make their life as easy and love filled as possible. I am thankful that there was nothing I wished I had said sorry for. I am thankful for the friends who have offered their words of encouragement to all of us in our time of sorrow. I am thankful that I got to know Luckie and will always celebrate June 17th with her in my heart. The picture for today's post is my youngest daughter with Luckie at my sons football game just one week before she went into the hospital for the last time.

RIP Alisande "Luckie" Nicholson

June 17, 1970-September 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Making Choices and the End of an Era

Wow, today is July 1st. I can not believe we are half way through the year already. Time has seemed to fly by. I have got to get moving with the things that I have been putting off for far to long.

I have decided I was going back to school and thought I knew that I wanted to complete my bachelors in Business. Then I started to wonder, with the current economy how well would that work out for me. I am already enrolled in school, I just need to complete my financial aid info and pick some classes. However, the looming question of what I would do with a BA in Business has me second guessing my choice. I thought I would use my 13 plus years of travel experience and a BA in Business to get a position as head over the travel department of a major corporation. I really do love the travel industry and could see myself doing that.

Lately I have been thinking maybe I would change courses all together and go into the nursing field. Something dependable and steady, two words that do not apply to the travel industry. I have played with the idea for a few years, long enough that I would actually have my degree now if I had done it back then. Nothing too crazy for me, I'm thinking OB/GYN or Pediatrics. My BF does not see me as a nurse, she thinks I am too emotional and would not be able to detach myself from the situation. As you can see, I have a lot to think about.

Now, this is like the third time I have said I need to finish baby Hayley's blanket before she gets here. As I type this I am just hanging up with my baby sister(Hayley's mom). She was telling me the details of her doctors visit. As of today Ashley has not dilated at all. Her due date was already pushed back from June 23(don't quote me on that date) to the beginning of July. If she has not started to dilate by her July 8th appointment, she will be admitted and induced July 9th or 13th. Every time I blog about this blanket I thank my lucky stars that neither of my sisters read my blog. Well that may change and you all may witness me getting chewed out by Ashley. She is on bed rest and spends her time at home finding things to do. Let's hope for my sack she does not read my blog. Since I link my blog into my Facebook post, she may just get curious(bored) enough to read it.

If you have read my blog before then you know I take part in a quarterly reading challenge hosted by APOOO. The challenge is to read 13 books in a quarter based on a list you create at the beginning of the quarter. First quarter I read more than 13 books, I just did not stick to my list. This quarter I am proud to say that I completed the 13 books I committed to read and read a few more.

I guess I just love a challenge because I have taken on a new challenge, 30 books in 90 days. This runs from June 13-August 13 and since I just posted my list today I am a little behind. At last count I own over 160 books that I have not read, so any opportunity to challenge myself is a welcome way for me to get those books read. The number of books I own keeps growing because I have a problem with buying books. I have really been trying to work past this, but I have come to realize there are worse things to be addicted to. (Spoken like a true addict)

My list is just that, MY LIST. I do not create this list to impress anyone. I love all types of books. Give me an autobiography, some street lit, a little really does not matter. If it interest me, I read it. I am sharing my list here. Browse it, you may find a book that you forgot you wanted to read or an author you have yet to read. I encourage people to read, no matter what you read. Everything is not for everyone, I am open and enjoy suggestions. Feel free to leave a comment including a book you really enjoyed, I am always looking for books to add to my ever growing list.

30 books in 90 days

1. Fit To Be Tied by Mildred E Riley(review book)
2. Caliente by Various Authors(review book)
3. Cougar Tales by Various Authors(review book)
4. Carnivale Diabolique by Various Authors(review book)
5. Chaser by Miasha(review book)
6. Assata:An Autobiography by Assata Shakur(picked this up and had to put it down to finish my challenge)
7. Intimate Seduction by Brenda Jackson
8. Taste of Passion by Brenda Jackson
9. Riding the Storm by Brenda Jackson
10. Surrender by Brenda Jackson
11. True Love by Brenda Jackson
12. Secret Love by Brenda Jackson
13. Fire and Desire by Brenda Jackson
14. In Those Jeans by Chantel Joile
15. Something He Can Feel by Marissa Monteilh
16. He Loves Me He Loves Me Not by Tracy Darity
17. Basketball Jones by E Lynn Harris
18. Just Too Good To Be True by E Lynn Harris
19. Going Down South by Bonnie Glover
20. The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
21. Single Husbands by Honey B
22. Sexcapades by Honey B
23. Bitch by Deja King
24. Bitch Reloaded by Deja King
25. The Bitch is Back by Deja King
26. Let's Get It On by Jill Nelson
27. Before I Forget By Leonard Pitts
28. Children of the Water by Carleen Brice
29. Rich Girls by Kendall Banks
30. We Take This Man by Candice Dow and Daaimah Poole

My personal memories and thoughts on Michael Jackson

A lot has gone on in the entertainment industry in the last week. The one thing that bothered me the most was the passing of Michael Jackson. You have to understand, growing up my best friend and I just knew that we were going to one day move to California and be with Michael Jackson. I owned all there was to own that pertained to Michael Jackson. My most prized item was a framed poster my parents got me for my birthday one year. That poster became the focal point of my bedroom. Like any true Michael Jackson fan I had the dolls, the biography, a picture book of his music videos and the trading cards. Any time Right On(wow that is a throwback magazine) had Michael anywhere in their pages I had that issue. I was very protective over my Off the Wall album(yes I said album) and the Thriller tape.

As I watch the media coverage of his passing, I am amazed, no appalled, by the vultures who report the news. I listened to Nancy Grace one night question why none of his siblings are taking custody of the kids, but leaving it up to their 70 plus mother. How does this woman know what is going on in this family other than the reported facts that Katherine filed for custody? How do you not know that this is the family's way of immediately securing the children within their folds? I have heard Cher tell Larry King when she first met Michael he was a normal kid, but seeing him years later he was "weird". Hmmm, "people in glass houses", that is my only statement on that.

News coverage of Joe Jackson saddens me as well. How do you think that the red carpet of a show to honor your son is the proper place to promote your new ventures? Doctors, nurses and so called family friends are coming out of the wood works for their 15 minutes of fame to share their knowledge of Michael's "drug use". What does this do for you as a person? How does it really make you look, if in fact there was a problem and you turned a blind eye? Do people really think about how stupid they sound when they say certain things.

I read a comment on a blog that said, "the family is exploiting Michael by moving his body all around". I have a cousin who passed away while she was living in the Bronx. Her sister had a memorial in New York for her friends and family living there and then her body was moved to South Carolina, where her funeral was performed and she was laid to rest. Was that exploitation? NO! Do you mean to tell me that none of these people making these statements have never experienced or heard of someone who experienced such a thing? Exactly why is this exploitation? Because he is famous? The family is not getting paid to bury Michael, they are allowing his fans one last chance to "see" the star before he is laid to rest. I have not blogged back to any ignorant comments I have seen or heard. How does that saying go, "never argue with an idiot, people watching may not know which of you is the idiot".

No matter what side of the fence you are on as far as Michael Jackson is concerned, there is no arguing that this man was an Icon. He reinvented the concept of the music video with Thriller. He has sold more albums than any other recording star. He raised more money than any other entertainer with his USA for Africa campaign in addition to his other efforts. Allow the family to mourn his passing without all of the extra antics. Allow his children more positive moments surrounding their fathers passing. Allow his fans to mourn his passing without a bunch of extra crap.

Yesterday a friend shared a link to OK! magazines upcoming cover and their take on why they are using the picture of Michael on a stretcher, "bagged" to assist his breathing. In a nut shell their take is that they are allowing the fans a look at his last photo. I have no desire to support that nor do I want to be standing in the check out line with my 4 year old and have to explain that image to her. Who has ever wanted to remember anyone at their worse? Never have I wanted to recall the memory of my father in the hospital, unable to respond to us.

Wow, I really got more emotional in this blog than I intended to. I love comments! Please feel free to leave one about anything I blogged about. Shoot, leave a comment about whatever you want as long as it is respectful. I will delete anything that I deem inappropriate in a heartbeat. Until next time I close with a post I left on Facebook.

"The end is not as final as you think it is. Take a step back, look at your situation and know that although it is hard to see it now, there is a positive outcome. It really is a lot easier to be optimistic as opposed to pessimistic."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Whole New Me

Ok, I keep saying this but I am getting really bad about my promise to blog at least once a week. I could blame it on a few things, as a matter of fact, just for laughs, let me list my reasons:

  1. My Crackberry, I really spend a lot of time on this phone. Recently thanks to reason number two I have reconnected with some really special people. Moving to Florida really took me out of the loop with people and I have enjoyed my conversations with my found friends. Plus, if you have a Crackberry you can sit in the bed and watch TV on Sprint TV, you can surf the net, follow your Facebook, Myspace and Twitter account. I can text with a full keyboard and post on some of my favorite websites all from the comfort of my bed. I realize that I can post a blog from my phone, but I have not figured that out yet.

  2. Facebook, a lot of my time on the crackberry is on Facebook. There are things on Facebook that I can not do from the phone that I have to actually log into the computer to do. Scrabble can only be played from the computer. I always have at least one Scrabble game going with my friend and sister and welcome anyone who dares to challenge me. Wow, that sounds really competitive, but maybe that is because I am. Besides the basic Facebook functions you can not get the full use of all of the Facebook applications on the Crackberry. I wonder if there are other phones that will allow this or is this just Facebook Mobile. Maybe it is time to upgrade phones, hmmm, something to look into.

  3. Reading is a big part of my nights. I have been playing catchup on some reviews that really need to be done. They need to be complete before I get Thug Lovin by Wahida Clark for review. I really do try to be true to the order that I get the books for review. I also have manuscripts that I get biweekly that must be read and critiqued.

  4. I am just getting old and forgot. I really have no explanation for this statement. I am getting ready to celebrate my 36th birthday on June 17th.(yes that was a shameless plug for my birthday.)

  5. Baby Hayley's blanket, boy my sister is really going to hit the roof if the baby gets here before the blanket. I have yet to make it to the store to get the last 2 skeins to complete the blanket. I am really hoping that there are no more babies in the family for a while since I have to go back and complete my daughters blanket.

  6. Love Jones. Yes the movie. The CD in on heavy rotation in my car. Maxwell's song is my all time favorite song on this CD. He is also one of my all time favorite singers and I am so glad that he is coming back out with a new CD and I am trying to figure out how I am going to see him in concert since his closest concert is about 5 hours from me. Maybe a road trip to NJ, I am always looking for a reason to get back there and can not wait to move back home. Ok, so off topic, but I have watched Love Jones about 5 times in the last month. Most recently last night. The spoken word delivered by Mr Tate in the beginning is probably a worn spot on the DVD as well as the end under the bridge in the rain. When that man says "...and this is urgent like a mother*&^%er." I tell you what! Needless to say this is my favorite movie of all time.

Pretty impressive list, and all good reasons for a girl to forget a blog or two. No really, I have to come up with a plan to get blogging on a regular basis. I am toying with the idea of sharing my short stories, but I have not decided that I am brave enough for that yet.

Ok, so this blog was titled "A Whole New Me", what does that have to do with anything I have said thus far? Nothing, but, I have pictures of my new hair and my new tattoo. I have Kinky Twist in my hair and I am loving it. I have decided for the next few months I am going to give my hair a rest from relaxers and MAYBE try locking my hair. I at least want to see how my hair does without the relaxer and I love how Sarah takes care of my hair. I have never gotten braids and had someone wash and condition my hair. When I questioned her about locking my hair and my apprehensions, she suggested that we grow my hair out some and start with two strand twist and lock my hair from that.

My tattoo was a first for me. I have a Z branded on each of my legs for my sorority but have never gone under the needle before. It was not as painful as I thought it would be or as some people told me it would be. My friends fiance did it for me, butterflies and my kids initials on my right shoulder. There is no color now, but I may add some in the future. Seeing as how the tattoo did not hurt, it has opened me up to the thought of going under the wax. Yes, a bikini wax, maybe even a Brazilian. I have toyed with this idea for a while, thinking just once I may try this, but so far I have stuck to Nair. Now I am sure that if I decide to do this a simple, yes it hurt, not it did not will do as an update on this blog. First I know it is illegal to post a before and after, second, I have no desire to enter the soft porn industry. Wow, I am cracking me up with this one. You have got to be able to laugh at yourself and the idea of sharing that with you all if hilarious.

Well, until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some of this and some of that.

So, I have not posted a blog since April 22. I had a good plan, post my weekly updates for the reading challenge, but that did not work. I have actually done rather well with my challenge list and will be done by the end of June. I had a few distractions that slowed my progress, but since I am on vacation I plan to get back on track. The bold titles are the books I have read.

1. Sandella’s Soldier by Sabrina McAfee (Review)
2. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book 3 by Kelley Nyrae and Mandessa Selby (Review)
3. One in a Million by Barbara Keaton (Review)
4. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book 2 by JM Jeffries and Dyanne Davis (Review)
5. Suite Nothings by JM Jeffries (Review)
6. Love Takes Time by Adrianne Byrd
7. Sex and the Single Braddock by Robyn Amos (Braddock Series)
8. Second Chance Baby by AC Arthur (Braddock Series)
9. The Object of his Protection by Brenda Jackson (Braddock Series)
10. Nobody But You by Francis Ray (Grayson series - friend)
11. Slow Burn by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)
12. Unfinished Business by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)
13. The Midnight Hour by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)

Wow, I just counted and realized I have 4 books left. The remaining books are all review books and I will make sure I post the link, as always, to the review when they are ready. I have read 4 manuscripts as well and sent reviews back to the publishing company for those. I still have 2 of those left to review. So that really brings my total to 13 books I have read so far.

I am excited because I am getting an copy of Wahida Clarks book Thug Lovin. That is one of the joys of doing reviews, I love advanced copies of books that I have been patiently(or not so patiently waiting for). I also have a copy of Rhonda Lawson's latest, Putting it Back Together. The link to that review will be up by the end of the week. I just mentally counted the fact that I have 6 reviews to write, guess I better get busy on that.

Now, I have also got to find the time to complete my sister baby blanket before baby Hayley gets here in June. I have to go to Michaels and get two more skeins of yarn. Yes this is the pink and green blanket I have been working on for a few months. Although my sister does not want to hear it, my carpal tunnel gets in the way of my crocheting sometimes. I will have it done and in the mail by Hayley's arrival. I will repeat what I said last month, I am so glad that neither of my sisters read my blog because I would be in big trouble with this one.

To give an update on my work out goal, I think watching The Biggest Loser was not a good ego booster for my workout. A friend reminded me that those people work out 6 hours a day, have no outside pressure and have people cooking for them. I do an hour of Cardio at least 5 days a week and 3 of those days include weights. I have decided it is time to take the dreaded spin class, but things have gotten in my way. I hate excuses and that sure sounds like an excuse. Now, to further challenge my weight goals, I not only made a lasagna for my family last week, but I ate it. No I did not just have it once and leave it alone, I had it I think a total of 3 times. Add in the chips I got out of the vending machine at work and that would explain why although I had lost 7.75 pounds as of May 15, I gained 3 pounds last week. No more scales for at least a week. I hate not seeing the number drop.

Speaking of my weight, I can tell you how much I have lost but is it wrong for me to refuse to tell you what I weigh? I have a doctors appointment tomorrow and I do not even want them knowing my weight. I think that I am also going to stop telling people what I have lost because anyone can do the math once I am done and figure out what I weighed since I plan to shout to the world when I reach my 125-130 goal. The above picture is me at that goal weight. I think that is a good place to be. My Bday is June 17 and I want to be down one size by then. Two sizes would be nice, but I will set a goal that is more healthy for my body.
I am getting a tattoo this weekend and kinky twist in my hair. I will make sure that I post pictures of both on my next blog. I will also really try to post more often. A fellow blogger has decided to post a memory lane blog, that is not a bad idea. I think I need a theme and a commitment to post about that theme each week. I really do have to make more time for my blog since I decided this was what I wanted to do.
Until next time, happy reading. In addition to my reading challenge list from 1st and 2nd quarter, I have reviews posted and the links to several other literary links. Take the time to explore and you may find something of interest to add to your library.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life has a way of running away from you.....I'm trying to catch it!

Ok, first I am going to start by saying that I have been doing great with getting my 2nd quarter reading challenge books read. I have read 5 books as of today and read 2 manuscripts which I had to provide feedback on. All of the books in bold are the ones I have completed so far. Pretty good for 3 weeks if I do say so myself.

1. Sandella’s Soldier by Sabrina McAfee (Review)
2. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book 3 by Kelley Nyrae and Mandessa Selby (Review)
3. One in a Million by Barbara Keaton (Review)
4. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book 2 by JM Jeffries and Dyanne Davis (Review)
5. Suite Nothings by JM Jeffries (Review)
6. Love Takes Time by Adrianne Byrd
7. Sex and the Single Braddock by Robyn Amos (Braddock Series)
8. Second Chance Baby by AC Arthur (Braddock Series)
9. The Object of his Protection by Brenda Jackson (Braddock Series)
10. Nobody But You by Francis Ray (Grayson series - friend)
11. Slow Burn by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)
12. Unfinished Business by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)
13. The Midnight Hour by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)

I am currently reading Love Takes Time by Adrianne Byrd. In reviewing my list I realized that I neglected to add my BOM(book of the month) for my bookclub. I have to finish reading Red Light, Green Light in time for our Sunday discussion.

Now, on top of that, my sisters baby shower is May 8 and by that time I am supposed to have her Pink and Green baby blanket made. All I can say is I am glad she does not read my blog because there would be some very nasty comments from her following this post. I really should have completed this blanket a while ago. Some would question is it my aversion to the colors, pink and green, I am after all a Zeta. All jokes aside, time just slipped away from me and now I must speed crochet to complete her baby's blanket.

I guess the Sunday afternoon cookouts, that turn into Sunday night cookouts with plenty of wine to go around could be part of the blame. Sundays were my lazy days, but for some reason the same four couples keep getting together, sharing good food and libations. Even though we have vowed to move this event to Saturday, it just never seems to happen. I get the call about 12noon, "Hey, we are going to throw something on the grill if you and your family wants to come by." Without fail we are there, grilling, drinking, laughing at their cat drink the pool water and asking the infamous question of the night. I have to say this weekend, while the men rode the motor cycles the women took over the grill and guess what....NO DRY MEAT!!!

Question of the night, now there is a concept that you may want to add into your next couple event. Actually we ladies do it for ladies night only, we just enjoy when the men are brave enough to take part and answer the question. Now, be careful, because this has made for some very long drives home and some very lonely nights for a few. This may be why the men tend to "eject"(yes they include motions as if they were being ejected from their chair so men in the other parts of the yard know it is question of the night time). The question can be anything you want. Here are a few of ours:

  1. Has your mate changed from when you first met? (my husbands answer, "Yes, but I have changed too.") No he was not being thoughtful, he was being politically correct and saving the need to "eject".

  2. Why do men show us a more romantic side in the beginning? (typical male answer, "we had a goal) No need to elaborate there.

  3. Why do men cheat?

  4. Do you care if your mate gains weight? (The men normally eject, have to go to the rest room, has decided the wife needs more wine and goes inside to get it, hears the kids calling, etc, etc. etc.)

It really is all just good fun and the mind behind question of the night actually made up a newly wed game that is played annually at the Christmas party hosted by one of the motor cycle wives. She has added a disclaimer to the beginning of the game, advising that it is all in fun and is not meant to cause acts of physical violence between couples. People do not normally listen, think they are beyond taking it serious, play the game and go home mad at their mate. Fun times!!!

Now the thing I am most proud of my new workout routine. I work out 5 days a week. I was doing 5 days of cardio, but have now incorporated 3 days of weight training into it. The trainer advised me that no matter what my goal is, I need to weight train to build muscle. My thought was, who see muscle under all of this fat? Fact is that muscle helps burn fat at a higher rate. So I guess when I am done I will have some great muscles under this fat I am melting away. Maybe one day I will share a full body and add update, but I am not that brave yet. Love Biggest Loser, but I would never have participated because I do not need millions of people knowing how fat I got. My husband does not even see my numbers on the scale and my doctor is really lucky I let him see it.

Do you have couples gatherings? Do you have a ritual like we have question of the night? I honestly wish I could record our "debates" and share it with you. Do you have any fitness goals you are working on? How are you going with sticking with it? I hope my reading list has inspired you to read. A great idea with our current economy is to visit your local library. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Don't let anyone tell you that your reading does not count because it does not include heavy reading. Reading is reading, and it all gets your mind going.

Friday, April 3, 2009

2nd Quarter Reading Challenge

Ok, I am back at it again. I have accepted the challenge for another quarter and will be striving to finish reading the 13 books I have picked for the 2nd quarter.

How did I do 1st quarter you ask? While I did not read all of the books from my original challenge, I did complete 15 book. So, I have decided to take a different approach. The first 5 books on my list are review books. Books I know I will complete since I have to write a review. The rest are romance novels from my shelf that have sat for too long. I plan to post weekly my updates in the challenge, providing the extra motivation to read. After all I am sure you do not want to read a post about nothing.

1. Sandella’s Soldier by Sabrina McAfee (Review)
2. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book 3 by Kelley Nyrae and Mandessa Selby (Review)
3. One in a Million by Barbara Keaton (Review)
4. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book 2 by JM Jeffries and Dyanne Davis (Review)
5. Suite Nothings by JM Jeffries (Review)
6. Love Takes Time by Adrianne Byrd
7. Sex and the Single Braddock by Robyn Amos (Braddock Series)
8. Second Chance Baby by AC Arthur (Braddock Series)
9. The Object of his Protection by Brenda Jackson (Braddock Series)
10. Nobody But You by Francis Ray (Grayson series - friend)
11. Slow Burn by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)
12. Unfinished Business by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)
13. The Midnight Hour by Brenda Jackson (Madaris Series)

In addition to the links I provide for my review books, I am making an attempt to post on Amazon reviews for the other books I read. If you feel motivate to take the challenge stop by APOOO and post your list. Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Finer Womanhood Week & Month

Finer Womanhood Week & Month

Finer Womanhood Week & Month is a Sorority hallmark begun in 1923. This observance was originally held the last full week of February, and was later expanded to also include the entire month of March. Finer Womanhood is defined as "the distinguishing characteristics of a woman-one superior in kind, quality or appearance, marked by or affecting elegance or refinement." Finer Womanhood is a principle unique to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Finer Womanhood celebrations and activities emphasize the standards, morals, customs, and attributes of fine young ladies, women and community and Sorority members

March is also the month set aside by our nation as Women's History Month. There are some great post by my fellow book club members dedicated to suggestions of great reading material for Women's History month.(check out the links to the right of this post).

My dedication to Finer Womanhood Month and Women's History month is to spotlight a few great women who have made a difference or broken ground in their chosen fields.

  • Soror Violette Anderson - 1st African American Woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Soror Judge Bernice B. Donald - 1st African American Female elected to the Tennessee Judiciary
  • Soror Dr. Alyce Gullante - First Black psychiatrist to receive an Emmy Award
  • Soror Elizabeth Kootz - The first African American President of the National Education Association, former director of the Women's Bureau.
  • Soror Versia Lindsay - The first woman to graduate from the School of Sciences at Atlanta University
  • Soror Clara McLaughlin - President/CEO, East Texas Television (1st African-American Woman to own and operate a television station
  • Soror Madame C.J. Walker - 1st African-American Millionaire (Inventor of the pressing comb)
  • Marian Anderson - The first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.
  • Dr Condoleezza Rice - the first African American woman to be appointed Secretary of State
Now, I would not be a true book-a-holic if I did not include some great female authors in this post:

  • Maya Angelou - poet, educator, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director
  • Soror Gwendolyn Brooks - Author
  • Soror Zora Neale Hurston - Writer and Folklorist / The Harlem Renaissance
  • Soror Frances Cress Welsing - Author of "The Isis Papers" and creator of the Cress-Welsing theory analyzing the nature of white supremacy
  • Virginia Hamilton - America's most honored writer of Books for Children
  • Akua Lezli Hope - poet, writer, and a founding member of the Black Writers Union and the New Renaissance Writers Guild; she is an Area Coordinator for Amnesty International
  • Toni Morrison - author;she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993
  • Alice Walker - Author; she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983

by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 1st Quarter Reading Challenge - Week 7 Update and my project

Ok, just a refresher on what the 2009 reading goal is. I made a pledge to read 13 books for the 1st quarter of 2009. So far I have read 10 books. Out of the 10 books read, I did not have 2 of them in my original list(bold purple). Now I have to admit that I dropped 1 book from my original 13, Where the Line Bleeds, but I am thinking of going back and picking this up.

If you are looking for a good book to read, my favorite so far is Dying for Revenge by Eric Jerome Dickey, but this is part 3 of the Gideon series, so I say read books 1 and 2 first. If you are looking for a good romance let me suggest Seducing the Matchmaker or Seduced by Moonlight(hmm that is a lot of seducing going on...LOL). I was surprised with J-Pop Love Song, it was an inter-racial romance with some suspense thrown in. It was really a nice story.

January 2009
In Blood We Trust by FD Davis
Seducing the Matchermaker by Elaine Overton
The Holiday Inn by Various Authors
Men, Money and Gold Diggers by Je=Caryous Johnson
Dying for Revenge By Eric Jerome Dickey (Finishing up last few chapters from 2008)
What White Boyz Ride by Various Authors

February 2009
The Cassandra CookBook By Shawn James(I had put this down in 2008 after skimming to the end. I went back and read it.)
J-Pop Love Song By Shiree McCraver
Sinful Chocolate By Adrianne Bryd
Seduced by Moonlight By Janice Sims

Now that I have 10 books under my belt I have to decide what I am reading next. I am going to share with you the books that have made their way into my bag for next week.

1.Fledgling By Octavia E Butler(I am a really big fan of her and if you have never read a book by her you are missing something amazing)
2.After the Lies By Mandessa Selby(I have a review to write for this)

Now I am a HUGE Brenda Jackson fan and although none of her books were part of my 1st quarter challenge, I have a bunch of her books I need to play catchup on, so I may be adding one of her books to my list.

Now, my project, I am crocheting a purple and cream blanket for my baby. I work on that when I get tired of reading, or when I talk on the phone. My second project is creating a baby blanket for my baby sister. She is having a little girl, Hailey, to be born in June(I am hoping on my bday June 17). Ashley has asked that I make her blanket pink and green. I picked up the yarn today and will start on that. I move around a lot with projects, it keeps me from being bored.

I have nieces and nephews I have not done blankets for when they were born, so I think over the next few years I will create them for the kids as a lifelong reminder of Aunt Shonda. My nephew born in October has one I made in blue, chocolate and cream. He got a really big blanket from me, I have not decided how big baby Hailey's will be, it will be a traditional granny square, so it will be easy to add onto until I get tired.

Happy reading until next time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I Gave into Pressure and Hit the Bottle

Ok, I know what you are thinking. "Lashonda, no! Drinking it not the answer." It is not a liqueur bottle, it is the hair dye bottle. I have had suggestions to pluck them, get one of those wands to hide the color, make sure my headband covers it, and the list goes on.

Well, I decided to dye my hair. My husbands suggestion, black. I did this color years ago and it makes me look dead. I thought about blond and had the box in my hands several times as I stood in the hair dye section of the beauty supply store. This was a color I visited in college and I remembered the drying effects it had on my hair. Plus I was smaller and I was not sure my now round face was ready for blond.

Looking at all of the different colors of red on the shelf I went with Red Hot Rhythm. My hair has always come out shades darker than what the box suggest for brown hair, so i figured this color would go nice. Now, I am a little scared that it will take on an ashy look. Can your hair look ashy? Hmm. That is food for thought.

As I type this I have second thoughts, but there it is, sitting on my bathroom counter. Calling my name. Telling me to take the plunge. Now, I know you are sitting there thinking, "why not a rinse?" I have tried those and in the sunlight you can see the color, but it does not cover my grays. At least with the dye my grays take on a nice highlighted look.

I am hoping that I do not have to go back to that same shop and get one of those wigs. Wigs are something I have always wanted to try, but never got up the nerve. I am not really sure what my apprehension is with a wig. I mean my hair has always had a nice length but I have worn the same style in my hair for years. Side part gently bumped under at the ends. I have switched it up and had side part, curled up and side part, full layers curled under. This was pretty and thanks to the doobie shop in NJ. A place that is not found in Jacksonville.

I have had those life moments when I had the Salt and Peppa side bob and the Hailey Berry cut, but I come back to hair that I can place in a ponytail when I feel like it. Although my sister made me give up pony tails and I have started to use headbands as my new pony tail. I hate to do my hair.

I love braids, but sitting there to get them done drives me crazy. I have had Janet Jackson Poetic Justice braids(always sat on those), micro braids, shreds(FL's micro braids) and different types of braids designs where my scalp was on fire for a week after because it was like a mini facelift. I have sat for over 18 hours getting my hair braided. I even had a stylist whose kids kept running in and out of the house and she kept taking smoke breaks(not cigs, but she did offer me some of it. I guess that was nice of her, just not what I did.). After 18 hours she was not done, my mom was ready to get out of Newark and my sister found someone to finish the top of my head the next day. I always wondered why she never offered her services in the beginning. Sitting in that house off of West Runyon(sp) in Newark at 10p was not a safe feeling.

Ok, so all of this said, I can not tell you how it looks because I am now off to take the plunge and see what comes out of this bottle. Will my kids run, hiding from the clown. Will my husband laugh until I cry. Only time will tell. I will let you know how it comes out and if it looks ok I will post a picture. If it looks bad, no picture because you all will not have the chance to post my picture on hot ghetto or some other crazy site.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Know Enough to Get By

So, I am home from work today. Nothing was planned, nothing major was wrong, I just needed a me day. Well, it is not really a me day because my 3 year old is running around me blowing bubbles and I hear the sound of her Backyardigans bubble blower in the background(a Christmas present I found in the back of the closet last night while I was looking for the PS3 instruction book)

I did run an errand this morning, so the day off was not totally about me. I have taken my time to read my emails, read a few chapters of my latest review book and actually eat my yogurt while it was still nice and cold. When you eat at your desk you have to realize that your food will never be consumed at the temperature it was meant to be consumed at. I added my word to my current facebook scrabble page and realized I had not posted a blog this week. I did take the time to update my ever changing 2009 reading challenge blog and it now includes books I have given up on. Knowing me, I will pick it back up eventually, but I have a few things that are pressing that I have to read and write reviews for.

Now, let me tell you what started my need for a me day. Last night my husbands friend hooked up our wireless router. I was excited because it gave me a head start on this list of things I needed to do before I got my laptop. That was not however the reason it was hooked up. You see my husband and his friends have this obsession with Madden for PS3. Hooking up the router would allow them to play from their comfort of their own couch. This means no nagging from the wife that they are not at home, no need to put on shoes or change out of your gym shorts to play your "boys" in a game or two.

Well, all seemed to be going great, I had the computer hooked to the router, the PS3 and my sons PSP were picking up the signal, but error 80710102 was causing the systems to not connect to the Internet. My major concern was how to now get the vonage modem to connect into all of this and work. Well, that was my concern. My husband wanted to play his friend who had since went home and another friend online, so he had me google this and google that to see if I could figure out what the problem was. The outcome of this is that I had to hook the computer back up to my clearwire modem, because I have no clue what I did to the router(which is no longer working hooked up to the desktop).

Now, I have to say, that I know my way around a computer and I can usually figure out most things, but since I do not have the instructions to this router, I am lost. I guess it is back to google for me so that I can find the instructions to the router and get this all going again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Change is good

A lot of change going on. Change in our nations capital. Change in my blog design. Change in the weather here in Florida. Change in my eating habits in hopes of winning the biggest loser prize at my job and winning a new me in the process.

There are many people who do not like change. So stuck in their routine that they hate all change. I have somethings I refuse to change.

  1. My toothpaste - Colgate
  2. My drink of choice - Diet Pepsi(anyone who knows me knows I do not touch diet Coke)
  3. My favorite colors - Blue and white way before I was a Zeta
  4. My football team - Go Dallas!!!!
  5. My hobby - Reading
  6. My Coffee - Light and sweet

I am sure there are other things I am stuck like glue to. However, there are times that change is needed. Recently I had to change accounts at work and at first I was upset because I had been with that other account for over 8 years. However, the other account began to ask agents to take mandatory leave without pay in day increments(something I can not afford), they only had one layoff but that was still a plus that I was not in the line of fire with that and the bonus program was taken away. Now I do miss the client paid holidays that we got as a bonus(really missed it when I had to work today because there was no time on the books to approve off). All in all I think I take change in good stride.

So tell me, what do you refuse to change? What current change are you most happy with? How well do you handle change? And since I love books...what book are you reading or what is the last thing you read? and you can tell me what you think of my new color scheme.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Founders Day to the ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

Happy founders day to my sorors, the fine ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated.

History of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was founded January 16, 1920 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. by five coeds, Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal. These women dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for Black women and sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood. The trail blazed by the founders has been traversed by thousands of women dedicated to the emulation of the objectives and ideals of the Sorority. It was the ideal of the Founders that the Sorority would reach college women in all parts of the country who were sorority minded and desired to follow the founding principles of the organization.

The Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes; and to be constitutionally bound to a brother group, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.

Colors: Royal Blue and Pearl White

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Founders Day to the Men of Phi Beta Sigma

On this 9th day of January 2010, I have decided to dedicate this post to the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. As a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated the men who wear the Blue and White hold a special place in my heart.
History of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded on January 9, 1914 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC. The founders were Most Honorable Brothers A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown. The founders envisioned the creation of a fraternity that was unlike any founded before it. This brotherhood would thrive based on "inclusion" rather than exclusion.
Motto: "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity"
Colors: Royal Blue and Pure White
So I say to the thousands of Sigma Men, who since the fraternity's inception have truly exemplified Service, Scholarship, and Brotherhood. Zzzzzzzzz Phi Sooooooooo Sweet!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Out with the old;In with the new

Borrowed from APOOO, I decided to post a recap of my 2008 reading and list my 2009 goals.

Out with the old

2008–How many books did you read? about 75
2008–What new author(s) did you discover last year? Wayne Jordan
2008–List some of your favorite books (maximum of 10).
  1. Two Grooms and a Wedding - By Adrianne Byrd
  2. Make it Hot - By Gwyneth Bolton
  3. The Law of Desire - By Gwyneth Bolton
  4. Protect and Serve - By Gwyneth Bolton
  5. The Hood Life - By Meesha Mink and De'Neesha Diamond
  6. Shameless Hoodwives - By Meesha Mink and De'Neesha Diamond
  7. Ties that Bind - By Brenda Jackson
  8. Long Time Coming - By Rochelle Allers
  9. Pleasure - By Erick Jerome Dickey
  10. Irresistable Forces - By Brenda Jackson

2008–What was the last book you read? In Blood We Trust By FD Davis

In with the new

2009–How many books do you plan to read? at least 100(and I am keeping track)
2009–What author–you haven’t heard from in a while–and you wish they would come out with a book this year? Shonda Cheeks
2009–What book(s) are you anxiously waiting to read? Thug Lovin' by Wahida Clark
2009–What was the first book you read this year? Seducing the Matchmaker By Elaine Overton

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1st quarter 2009 Reading Challenge

I have decided to take the 1st quarter 2009 reading challenge along with my sisters at APOOO. So, I commit to read a book a week or 13 books from January 1st through March 31st 2008. My list is comprised of books I have on my shelf at home that I need to get through as well as a few galleys I have to review. I will be adding a few BOM reads from my two online reading groups(APOOO and SexyEbonyBBWAA Book Club) as well as any review books I may receive, so I know my list will grow beyond the 13. I hope that you are inspired to check out a few of my titles or go to any of the blogs I have on my homepage and see what others are reading. Reading is a great exercise for your mind and allows a little break from the drama of your everyday world. Here is my list in no special order:

  1. In Blood We Trust By F.D. Davis - 2

  2. After the Lies By Mandessa Selby

  3. J -Pop Love Song By Shiree McCarver - 4

  4. What White Boyz Ride By multiple authors -4

  5. Love TKO By Pamela Yaye

  6. The Players Proposal By Angie Daniels

  7. Seducing the Matchmaker By Elaine Overton - 4

  8. Sex and the Single Braddock By Robyn Amos(This is a re-read, because I need a refresher)

  9. Second Chance Baby By A.C Arthur

  10. The Object of His Protection By Brenda Jackson

  11. The Holiday Inn By Phyliss Bourne Williams, Farrah Rochon and Stefanie Worth - 3(My favorite story was the one by Farrah Rochon but they were all cute stories)

  12. Seduced by Moonlight By Janice Sims

  13. Fledgling By Octavia E Butler

  14. Just Too Good to Be True By E. Lynn Harris
  15. Dying for Revenge By Eric Jerome Dickey - 5 (this was actually a 2008 book that I put down to complete some reviews I had to do)
  16. Sinful Chocolate By Adrianne Bryd
  17. Men, Money and Gold Diggers By Je'Caryous Johnson - 3
  18. The Cassandra Cookbook By Shawn James - 4

I know I keep adding to the list. My list is a work in progress and when a book calls me I have to pick it up.

I have now decided there is a need for books I gave up on. Boy this post has changed dynamics): I am not sure at this time if I will revisit the books listed:

  1. Where the Line Bleeds By Jesmyn Ward

Stop by APOOO and take a look at what books made peoples list. You may find your next great read.