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Thursday, April 30, 2009

La Grande Katherine

In honor of National Dance week I am highlighting one of the dance world's greats Katherine Dunham. She is known as the "Matriarch of Black Dance." Her dance career thrived during the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Her study of Dance and Anthropology in places like Haiti, Jamaica and Martinique gave birth to a sub-major in Anthropology called "Dance Anthropology." From this study she became known for the Dunham technique which was a dance style that mixed African drum beats with ballet and modern dance. During her career Ms. Dunham made many breakthrough performances, and wowed crowds from Chicago to Europe.  She was also an Author. You may enjoy her book Kaiso! It is part autobiographical, part anthropological, and part historical.  Ms. Dunham lived a long life. She transitioned in 2006 at the age of 96. 

Here is a sample of her beautiful dance artistry in the movie Stormy Weather with Lena Horne.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mirrors All Around Us

I am a firm believer that what I see around me is what I've built. When I see my children being sweet to each other by preparing each others meals, getting each other extra blankets, and sharing their clothes with each other I feel very proud as a parent and I think all kinds of positive thoughts about the parenting skills of myself and my hubby. However, when those same children start bickering with each other, I feel horrible because it reminds of what they have seen their parents do around the house. Like a smart wife, I've tried to find a reason that it's all my husband's fault, but in reality I always have to come back to me being a part of the equation as well...sigh. 

I am what I have built around me. I speak into existence what I see, I consciously write what I see, and I sometimes unconsciously think what I see around me. It all comes to fruition as a reflection of me. 

For the most part I have a very good life. Yes, I've been pinching my pennies, getting bill extensions, and cutting out what I thought were essentials, just like a lot of us are today. All of that is a reflection of me overspending and under-saving.  However, I am well-provided for, and that is a reflection of my reliance on God. 

Yesterday, I went to visit a girlfriend I hadn't seen in a while. We were brainstorming about how we could work together, since she is recently self-employed. I didn't think we could, but by the end of the visit we came up with an idea that we thought could work. She said something to me that made my day. She said "I love you, and I'm glad I have you in my life, I admire you, and all that you do." Hearing those words made me realize that I've been putting in good work in my life. I realized that I am making good things happen in my life, and that I am bringing and keeping good people in my life. 

Sometimes, I reach out to people who are supposed to be close to me, and I don't get the response that I am looking for. I am now accepting, that those people may not be a reflection of me anymore, and I am becoming more and more okay with that everyday. 

Now my dusty floors and dresser piled high with clothes are also a reflections of me, so I obviously still have work to do. 

Look around your life at the people, the things, the love the hate , and see what you've built.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Aries Love. Step Aside Diva Coming Through!

The Aries season ended yesterday, and I almost forgot to post their tribute. I must want my ass whipped These women are adventurous, pushy, smart, self-confident, open, and fun to be around. I love Aries! I have two important Aries in my life, my grandmother, who has transitioned, and my youngest daughter. They make life a real adventure. Aries have truly loving spirits, but they also have a vein of selfishness that runs through them. Some of the adult Aries I know are unreliable, jealous, and untruthful, and in my opinion it's mainly because of their guiding statement, "I AM." Each astrological sign has a guiding statement, but I am most reminded of how powerful the statements are when I see Aries act out.

They will doing anything for us all to remember their statement "I AM." To me that means that we all better recognize who they are or suffer the wrath. I had been called to daycare or school every year for my little Aries because she would have an "I Am." tantrum. Whenever I would ask her what caused such a episode, it would always be an explanation like "they wouldn't listen and they believed Ashley over me." No matter how I reasoned, yelled, cried, lamented, my little Aries would never ever relent. If those around her didn't recognize her, she was gonna do what needed to be done to get acknowledged. I learned that the best thing to do was to give her her due because she really is an incredible human being.

If you want a great and beautiful ride, get an Aries in your life. They will never disappoint, and you will never fail to recognize their spectacular presence. If you need a break from all their over the top antics, just politely let them know that you don't want to be bothered with their showiness at the moment, and they will tone it down until the next opportunity.

I have a bloggy friend who is between an Aries and Taurus ( a glorious combination). To hear all the wonderful adventures in her life go to A Place of Comfort to check her out. She displays all the brilliance of an Aries. Happy Birthday Barbara!

Here is my little precious Aries baby.

Here are some famous Aries. When I went to gather images of these folks I had to laugh because most of them have had some kind of public tantrum or quiet squabble because they haven't been properly affirmed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Okay it's time to let the cat out...

of the bag. I am having baby number three. Yes, That's right. I'm 39 years old and my 40th birthday will be a blend between a shower and a birthday party. I am having a baby! I must admit some of you already knew about it. I've been slinking around facebook, and blog comments sections, leaking information. Today I am making it official. I saw my little offspring swimming around in my belly, and then I knew it was truly happening. Up until this moment I've been teeter tottering between denial and acceptance. I truly thought I was finish with the baby stuff, but I must take the blame because I didn't take any action to make myself done. Now I will get to smell the sweet breath of newborn once again. I'll also have sore nipples since I haven't nursed in 7 years. I'll be getting my waddle on, my hair will grow think and long, and then feel like it's falling out once baby comes. I'm already eating a lot, which is weird because I don't remember being this hungry during pregnancy ever. Right now I am not experiencing much discomfort besides feeling bloating and constipation (I know TMI). I can also feel the baby move in my belly, but no one else can feel it yet. I am somewhere between 12 - 14 weeks. I get an ultrasound next to determine the exact date, plus to check for "advanced maternal age" stuff. Yes, that's what she told me today. I am considered "advanced maternal age." Nobody cares that I can do the stanky leg, I'm considered an advance old hag having a baby, LOL!!! It's all good I am 31 in real age years, ha!

Since I have two girls of course everyone is giving me the ole' "you're gonna have a boy" jive. I don't know what I'm gonna have, but I will be happy either way. I see the benefits in having a boy and I see the benefits in having a girl. We'll just wait and see. I'll let you know next month what they say.

Meanwhile, here's some pics of me with the first two babies. Oh man! I just thought of something...does that mean my shoe size is going to go up yet another 1/2 size.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jewelry Rockstar's Do's & Don'ts

I saw a show on fashion do's and don'ts. I thought to myself, "self, you should do some do's and don'ts, since you have nothing else to post about." I am not doing mine on fashion because I think fashion is personal, and we should all be allowed to make our own decisions about what we wear. Not to say I don't often raise my eyebrows at what I see on the backs of folks, but I do feel that if folks want to look silly it's their right.

Anyway on to my Random Do's and Don'ts

--Do Enjoy your Easter Sunday, if you celebrate!
--Don't beat yourself up if you couldn't afford, Easter candy, Easter outfits, or Easter Vacay! (the picture above is me on Easter Beach Vacay last year)

--Do post pictures of your loved ones on Facebook with clear labels, so that your old skeleton boyfriends/girlfriends will be clear that they are African American History, European History, Gay History or Latino History.
--Don't have more pictures of yourself with the chick everyone thinks you are playing footsie, than you and your wife.
--Don't put your family in a picture folder on facebook labeled Misc, like they are a side annoyance
as you can see I am taking a few things a little personal about someone specifically in my Facebook family

--Do plan a yard sale, ebay sale or craigslist sale to make some money on excess stuff you have hanging around the house.
--Don't use that money to buy more excessive junk. Instead take the family to dinner, pay a bill, or use it to invest in a small business to bring you more money.

--Do tell me WTH twitter is about.
--Don't tell me to try it because I have for months now, and I am still extremely bored and confused by the whole experience.

-- Do, If you are laid off or if your business is slow enjoy this time with your kids. This might be the Summer that you get to do all kinds of cool things with them because you can't afford Summer camp!
--Don't yell at your kids because they want the same old stuff you have loaded them down with when things were more prosperous. Instead, explain to them that economically things have changed and teach them how to live within the family's means.

--Do remember that money is not your source, God is.
--Don't fall apart every time you can't go out and buy a sushi or shrimp dinner.

--Do eat some avocado, olive oil, flax seed, and almonds to flatten your stomach.
--Don't fill up on orange chips, blue "juice," and green cereal and expect you are gonna keep you girlish figure.

--Do look in the mirror and say "I love you."
--Don't go to the mirror with an angry face fussin' yourself out over flab, acne, and split ends.

--Do be careful what you say on facebook because it shows up on pages everywhere.
--Don't fly off like I did responding to something all willy nilly without completely knowing what's going on...hehehe.

--Do visit your myspace account once in awhile.
--Don't forget you were once addicted to it too.

Thanks to Tameka's comment I am adding this one.

--Do be careful who you accept as a friend on facebook because it's hard to figure out how to delete them.
--Don't keep it to yourself if you know how to delete friends on FB. I need to get rid of a few crazies...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring is Here!

I know technically Spring has been here since March, but for me Spring is not here until Easter Week. It's going to reach a whopping 48 degrees in Atlanta today, but the Azaleas, tulips, and dogwoods are out! It feels light and airy, and polleny too. I know we are used to seeing Spring colors displayed in shoes, dresses, and hats. I've decided to display Spring colors in stones.

Spring is here! Enjoy!

These are both tourmaline. This stone is associated with objectivity, happiness, compassion, and serenity. We can never have too much tourmaline.

Aquamarine is a beautiful Spring shade of blue. This stone is said to aid in giving a quick intellectual response. If there are any folks out there who have to defend a dissertation or thesis this is the stone to wear.

This is Fluorite, very unusual isn't it? It is said to aid in meditation, so if your thoughts chatter on when you are supposed to be clearing your mind try to focus on some of this beautiful Fluorite.

These are all Mohave Turquoise. Did you know Turquoise came in such beautiful colors? I've posted earlier about turquoise being a stone used to ward off evil spirits. Well, it's also good to help you communicate honestly and clearly. It is a master healer stone, which makes perfect sense since honest communication can lead to healing.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Not since Princess Di....

has the world seen such gracious royalty. Michelle Obama has walked into her role as American Royalty with ease and grace. She makes individuals from all walks of life feel appreciated and special. She offers hugs to Queens and to little girls in Washington D.C. Michelle is a well-educated woman, who has had a remarkable career up until this point, but she hasn't used her position to gain more power and respect for herself. Instead she has made a concerted effort to touch as many people as possible while in this role of First Lady.

Princess Diana used her role as princess to touch many people too, and her kindness and warmth left a powerful legacy that hasn't been touched since she left us. Until now that is. Michelle gives small designers a big chance, and she give everyday women the opportunity the to feel like the first lady by going to J. Crew's catalog or the Black and White Store to purchase the same outfit she's worn. I love her. I admire her. I am rooting for her. Not just because she's well-educated, smart, regal, and impeccably well-dressed, but because she is who we need right now. She represents the humanity that the world is longing for. She is going to usher in a new day of love and compassion. Thanks Michelle Obama!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

25 years ago...Today

I was 14 years old and I saw on the news that Marvin Gaye had been shot, by his own father no less. It was a sad sad day. His father received five years probation. Marvin had suffered many years of abuse at the hands of his father when he was young. His past haunted him, and as a result he couldn't overcome a severe cocaine habit and paranoia before his death. His Birthday is tomorrow.

The torture he sometimes felt showed up in his music. You can hear it in his version of The Beatles Yesterday. Of course, his wisdom, creativity, sexuality, and humanity showed up too. Just listen to this one and this one This is why we loved him so. I have Marvin Gaye days, where all I can do is listen to his music. My absolute favorite is Come Get to This.