November 29, 2012

Happy Celebration of Life, Year 45.


It's been a long looong. Year.  Last year my birthday started off with a death. It was devastating. I put off celebrating my birthday until I felt better about it. I put it off for a year. Each time I thought about celebrating my life I could only thing about death.  My 44th year went uncelebrated. The whole year felt as if there was little to celebrate. It seemed like one negative thing right after another right up until this 45th year.

So this year I'll be doing the opposite. I believe that once you declare something to your life... the opposite shows up to test you and your resolve.  Meaning once I've declared this year of 45 to be one of positive things.... all that is negative will show up to test how serious and ready I am to be on a positive track. If you don't have a test, you can't have a testimony. I'm ready to have many testimonies. And I'm ready to create more positive things in the world. I believe that the things we do are born from our thoughts, words and actions. The things we do begin with the things we think. Where the mind goes, the behind follows. As a man/woman thinks, so they are. I will  create more positive thoughts. I will create more positive words. I will create more positive actions and things in this world. From December 1, 2012- November 30,2013 I'm going to create 45 positive things. Who will Celebrate my 45th year with me by doing 45 positive things?
    *Happy Birthday To MEE!!!* :)

November 11, 2012

Keeping Family Alive Through All Generations of Time

Johnnie Melba (Warfield) Flowers-Worrell's Cookie Jar. Always full of homemade rolled out sugar cookies.
22 Days of Thanksgiving: Day November 11. Today is my Great Grand Mother's Bday: Johnnie Melba Warfield. She was 1 amazing woman. The Oldest of 13. She had 1 child, Pearl Dryden Flowers. That would be 2 amazing women. And from those two amazing women I have learned an eternity of wisdom to base my life on. "How it takes a village to raise a child" and "If you don't ever start smoking or drinking you'll never have to worry about knowing how to stop" I also learned how to cheer people on who need encouragement, praise even in the smallest acts of accomplishments, learning is a choice, but teach so the option to learn is available. I also learned there's nothing like a good old fashioned cookie jar full of good old fashioned sugar cookies to raid when people come to visit, and if everyone gives up a small portion of what they have to those who have nothing then we all benefit from the goodness that comes from it. They were educated by schools, common sense, the streets, the bible and life. I often look to their example while being a woman, mother, mentor. I am Thankful for the lives they lived and the wisdom they shared that is still being shared down through the generations. Happy Birthday Great-Grandmother.

February 27, 2012

Make Me The Poster Child For SUCCESS

When you see me you will see a statistic: A black women who grew up in a broken home and a child out of wed lock at the age of 22 and didn't graduate college. I'm a menace to society and strain on the Government. I declare to you and to the world that I am a poster child. A poster child for success. February 2012 has been emotional for me. I do what I do each year during black history month: I think of my ancestors and what they've gone through, I watch the programs they put on TV about famous activist and citizens who left their mark in history: Rosa Park, Martin Luther King, The Delany Sisters. This year I watched the Lena Baker story which devastated me into a PTSD relapse I'm still fighting my way out of. For those don't know the story, Google will provide a history.

It is true I did have a child out of wedlock. I never graduated college and I was on the welfare system for 2 years. Also at one time I held 3 jobs and went to night school all at the same time while maintaining service callings in church. Each time I started to climb the "ladder to success" according to traditional means I got knocked down a rung or two. My plan was not God's plan so I submitted to his.

I went to work. I focused on my daughter's education. I focused on being an available parent and not brushing her education off to JUST the public school systems alone.. I required she pick a sport, and insturment and a language. She excelled. I took the time to be at performances and make sure she was at practices and participate. SHE made sure she was committed and when she wasn't she did it anyway. She couldn't drop out or quit in the middle she had to see it through to the end, not letting down teammates and learning to be true to her commitments.
I focused on her cultivating good friendships,good work ethic and self esteem. I spent time with her. We argued, we yelled, we screamed. I even apologized when I was wrong or when I hurt her. I was tough, I was fun, I WAS MOM. Today at age 44 none of the passed has changed. I am still that statistic you see. I am also that poster child you do not see.

My Daughter is in college at a state university on a scholarship. She did all she was asked in regards to schoolShe had a part time job that has propelled her into a training position. She is doing so well her professors are asking her to present at conferences for others already in the profession she has chosen to go into. They are pleading with her to go to Graduate School. The dean of College tracked her down at her job and offered her a paid internship and a paid apprenticeship to help with Graduate school. She has been offered an internship during the summer for credit towards her senior year of College. Remarkably everything has fallen in place for her from the time I brought her home from the hospital when she was 24 hours old. Because she is successful I, too am successful. I am not alone in my success.

I claim it for my family who took my daughter in during the summers and cared for her while I relished in time for myself. For family members who spend time, money and talent to help me raise a function member of society who can function on her own talents and abilities. I claim it for my church community who placed their hands upon our heads when we were sick, depressed and needed special care. I claim it for The Ballard and Smith Families in Provo, Utah whose home she spent so much time at growing up they truly could have claimed her on their taxes.
I claim it for my Mother and Father who, me being the odd man out, I KNOW were scared for my success in this world. I claim it for my Grandmother who great-granddaughter bares a remarkable striking resemblance of her and what she stands for, who happens to be going into the same profession. I claim it for my Grandma who I bear a remarkable striking resemblance to.
I purchased my own home in October of 2011.
Never in my life did I imagine being a property owner. This month, especially, as I get my new house in order I am overcome with emotion in recognition of the conditions my native American and slave ancestors survived in: Dirt floors, unclean water, no windows, sun up and sundown in the fields, living under the fear of being snatched and sold to another. I am in recognition for those who lost jobs, homes, dignity and were abused because of their participation in marches and boycotts and any behavior to find equality. I claim my success for them. This weekend I painted the last wall in my new home. I burst into tears. I am grateful for those who lost their lives in the hope that this day would come for me and others like me. That I would be successful in anything that crossed my path that I chose to act upon. I feel like my how is all of their homes to and I MUST honor the space I choose to live. Compared to their homes I am in a mansion. And in God's home are many mansions of all size, shapes and accomodations.

I am successful. Not by what I have but by what I do with what I have and I share that success. I share it with all family and friends, I claim it for anyone who I took from and gave to out of need because I want you to know I passed on your kindness to others in hopes to add links to chains of compassion, love and kindness. I claim it for passed, present and future people who have embraced me and mine and who will embrace me and mine. I claim it for me because of you AND I claim it for all of you and YOU DARE NOT DENY ME.

January 13, 2012


True story about fried chicken. It's my most favorite food. Ever. Crispy, golden, succulent, juicy, delicious. I love it. Fried chicken is one of those comfort food that make you feel secure, happy and loved.

Remember this guy? Nothing like taking him on a picnic to the park with the family for Memorial Day, July 4th, After t-ball games and softball practice. A bucket of the colonial best was always the main for a picnic.

There is something special about Sundays and holidays. People stereotype African Americans with the dish but it was roaming around Europe way back in Midieval times. The English preferred it boiled or back but it was the Scottish who introduced fried chicken to the United states when they immigrated to the southern states.
As slaves were brought to America work on southern plantations, those who worked as cooks added spices and seasonings that weren't used in Scottish cooking. Most slaves were only given or allowed to keep cheap meat sources such as the boney parts of animals such as the ribs, tongue, hocks, tails, and entrails (chitlins) of Pigs and Cows. And they were usually allowed to keep and breed chickens. African communities in the southern states friend chicken on special occasions.

Back in the day people realized fried chicken too longer to spoil and was great for traveling. The recipe is easy and timeless and hasn't really changed much at all. Fried chicken is still popular for Sunday dinner and it is also served on holidays such as Independence Day.
In actuality Minny was right: Fried chicken really does make you tend to feel better about life.

I watched the help for the first time 2 days before Christmas. My daughter watched it with me. When it came to the part of where Minny was teaching how to fry chicken my daughter looked at me and said.."That's so you! You and your friend Chicken! HEY we should have it for Christmas dinner!" We had been trying to come up with our Christmas Dinner Menu. Minny made that chicken look so good we did, indeed, have fried chicken for Christmas dinner. And it did make us feel better about life.

So in honor of this succulent bird that is so well loved, anytime I need to feel better about life, I'm all about the fried chicken!