"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What I'm reading now: "It's All Love"

I don't generally recommend books and whatnot, but this collection of essays I started reading today is too good not to pass along.

Here's a line from "After She Left" by Will Bester: I have come to understand the difficult truth that even with the ever-dwindling numbers of available Black men, a woman who values herself will not settle for the cruel quiet of a man who is only partially present. I have been taught that eligible and available are not necessarily the same thing.

Grab this from your library or, even better, purchase it since some of the proceeds from the sale will go to the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good friend and a blog shoutout

Next week my friend who blogs over on Honeysmoke.com will be in town with her husband. They are celebrating their 9th anniversary on Wednesday and have two adorable little girls.

She and I met in a newsroom and have known each other for almost 13 years, through various moves and life changes.

Anyway, click on over to her spot and join the conversation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Fast, Pray, GIVE" from 30 Something

This year for Lent I decided to give up sweets. For me this is a sacrifice because I have a sweet tooth like no other.

In the five days I've been doing this, I realized how many fewer calories I've consumed by avoiding cookies, candy, ice cream, cake, donuts and so on. I didn't even realize how much of that stuff I was taking IN until I noted how hungry I was at the end of the day. So this sacrifice is both a lesson in willpower and a lesson in consumption for me.

I know better. And I had convinced myself that I wasn't eating that much of the bad stuff. But consciously avoiding it has proved otherwise. I hope at the end of this I am both healthier physically and spiritually.

I clicked over to my friend Lottie's blog, 30 Something, and she had a post about Lent that made me think and I have to pass it along: 30 Something: Fast, Pray, GIVE.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

#HappyVday with the Sassy peeps!

Tonight we took a couples cooking class at CulinAerie in downtown D.C. and had a great time. It was a more creative way to spend the holiday as opposed to going to a restaurant.

Here's the menu:

Oyster stew with Pancetta

Braised lamb shanks with saffron and cardamom

Phyllo Bundles of Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Raspberries

Rocket salad and still and sparkling wines to accompany each course

We knocked the oyster stew out of the park! I'll be making that again most indeedly. The lamb was tender and tasty and the phyllo, while too sweet, was still something I would make again, using less ganache and more raspberries.

All in all a fun night. Now I gotta lay down cause I'm a bit buzzed from the wine.

Learning how to love #Happyvday

When I think back to my childhood and reflect on who I *knew* loved me, I can without question say my Granny loved me. Why? Because she told me. All the time. If I call her right now somewhere in the conversation she'll say, "Granny loves you!"

Granny hugged me and kissed me and spoiled me and I was never confused about her love for me. To this day I can bump into people who know her and they will say, "Your Granny loves you to death." My granddaddy (her husband) loved me too, though he didn't say it. I knew from the way he sat on the porch with me for hours and told me stories about when he was a kid and laughed and ate fig newtons with me. And maybe I knew it because Granny loved me so the environment was a loving one for me.

My parents, on the other hand, were not that overt with their love. I know now that they loved me, but, my mom raised me like her mom raised her and my dad was caught up in the issues they had and after they split, he was present but he wasn't expressive.

My parents did the things they knew to do -- fed us, clothed us, made sure we were educated and involved in various activities and kept us out of trouble and on the right path. But hugs and professions of love? No. From their perspective all those things they did should have signaled that they loved us. Because they were mostly angry and fighting, I didn't see a lot of hugs, kisses and "I love yous" between them either. Neither set of my grandparents was very affectionate with each other.

For years I had a hard time saying "I love you" to anyone. Nor was I affectionate. But I was sure starved for love and affection. This, among other things, led me to make some bad choices in relationships. I used to see people in what looked like good relationships and wonder how they pulled that off. How did they know how to do that?

I know this is why I was in my mid-30s before I met my husband. It took that long for me to get myself together and be open and receptive to real love. To learn what a good loving relationship looked like and should feel like.

My husband loves me. I do not doubt it. He tells me in words and deed all of the time. I feel loved. And I love loving him. I love being able to tell him I love him and show him I love him because he receives my love and gives it back tenfold.

If we have children, we will feed them and clothe them and make sure they are educated and involved in various activities and keep them out of trouble and on the right path. But we will also tell them we love them. We will hug them. We will teach them, through our love for them and each other, how it should feel so hopefully they won't settle for something less than authentic.

Here's hoping all of you love yourselves and refuse to settle for anything less than authentic.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Best Occupational Category: CREATOR

You're a CREATOR

Keywords: Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Black 'n Bougie: Shades and Pretty Girls

My fair-skinned Granny -- who loves me like no other! -- never liked my milk chocolate-colored mama. From the time I was little I got the sense it was because my mother was darker than my dad's people.

Anyway, Black 'n Bougie posted up on this issue today, so check it out: Shades & Pretty Girls: Didn’t we set the paper bag aflame already?

"Child Please" by 30 Something

I watch the Real Housewives of Orange County from time to time, and noticed over the seasons that the parents on this show are either overbearing or too permissive.

My friend Lottie, who blogs on "30 Something," summed up what I think in regard to one parent, Lynne, so I'll let y'all click on over to her place and read it: 30 Something: Child Please

Monday, February 8, 2010

I need for the snow to be gone...

I'm not made for this kind of weather. I've had enough. Stop. Now.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowtorious B.I.G. 2010

I haven't put a toe in that snow piling up outside and if I can help it I won't, not today anyway. But for real, can we catch a break here?

I know, I know, it's not a flood or a tornado or a hurricane, it's just snow and we can dig our way out and get back to our lives, but....can we catch a break here?