"Everybody's Money Don't Spend the Same" - #GuestsDontPay

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Stop charging me to attend your celebrations — #guestsdontpay

I discussed this article with some friends earlier today.  One friend shared it with our group outraged because baaaaaaaaaby...this article is a mess.

It made me instantly feel some kinda way when I read it.  See, I know that...in the words of one of my Elders, "Everybody's money don't spend the same."  This means that you will probably have people in your life who you love who have more or less financial obligations, savings, liquidity than you do.  Because of this...I have always been the type of person who had no problem with throwing a party at my home so there was no financial obligation present for us all to enjoy spending time together.  

See...people are weak.  If you are invited to a dinner you know you can't afford to pay for, have the guts to send your regrets.  Simple.  You are not obligated to attend.  Your obligation should always be to how your money spends and nobody knows this better than YOU.  You can miss out on some shit.  Check Facebook or Instagram later.  Somebody will have posted some pictures and you'll feel like you were there.  Okay...that's bullshit...but still...use your damn words.  Be a grownup. It is very easy to say, I can't make it.  You don't have to give a reason why.  If the person is truly someone who loves you, however, I'd suggest letting them know that the reason you can't attend is because a night out isn't in your budget and I bet you, 9 times out of 10, they will figure out a way for you to join them to celebrate somehow.  Be it drinks after work soon or just lunch or dinner at the crib.

People who love you want to spend time with you.  Don't make it about money.  Say you can't go, but figure out something you CAN do together soon.

Stuff your pride and the ridiculous arrogance of this article in a hole out back somewhere.  Seriously.  Adult better.  Whine less.  Everything ain't 'boutchu.  Stop acting like it is.  Being a victim is sooooooooooooooo pre-Obama.

Love,

Monnie

By @Sunshynknits for ME!!!!!!!

Me: Can you make me a sleeveless cowl with an asymmetrical hem that is fitted like a vest that I can wear over a long sleeve t-shirt and not be cold or under a coat but not get too hot?

Susan: Um...I've never made one before but sure! Let's do it!

Also me: I want it to be chunky but with really good yarn stuff so it's soft and not itchy.

Susan: Yarn stuff...Monnie you funny. Color?

Also me too and again: Oatmealish. Me no likey itchy.
Baaaaaaaaaaby...when I tell yall how happy I am with my oatmealish chunky really good yarn stuff vest thingy...I can't even begin! GO ME!

GO SUSAN! YOUR TALENT BLOWS ME ABSOLUTELY AWAY! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And thank you for all of my other goodies too!

Contact her via www.Instagram.com/sunshynknits if you're looking for something amazing like this for yourself or as a gift! Or let me know and I'll connect you!

Holiday Season 2016

This holiday season was so epically satisfying. Except for the bronchitis...it was perfect. Kids, family, framily, friends, good eating, amazing gift giving and receiving, hugs, kisses, games, dancing, laughter, giggles and just being so super comfortable in your own skin.

Our nephew goes to a charter school and had more days off than normal public schools and, with working parents, daycare can be a challenge so he spent the two weeks before Christmas with us.  We had an absolute blast with him keeping Santa front and center.

We hosted Christmas dinner and had a holiday party the day after, which was a lot of fun playing games and just catching up with everyone.  

After Christmas, we headed to Houston to bring in the New Year with family and checked out Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas too!  A good time was had by all.

The house was deep cleaned before we traveled for New Years and when we returned it was great walking into a perfectly ordered home.

And now...we rest and regroup. Make plans, go over financial goals for this year and focus on being ready for any eventuality this year may bring.

I hope it's the same for you. Just be better cuz if I know you...you were already good cuz I only know GOOD people. If all these GOOD people focus on being better? MAN...that will spread far and wide. BE.BETTER!

Happy New Year from The Robinator and I. We hope to see as many of you as possible in 2017 so we can hug your neck and remind you that we're in your tribe. Count on us for what you need from us be it support, encouragement, or just a good time chilling, relaxing and laughing.

LOVE YOU!!!!!!

My FAVORITE Uncle Got Married!

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 My uncle, my daddy's baby brother, is one of the men I always thought of when thinking of the qualities I wanted in a husband and he recently got remarried again.  It was a lovely event and I'm so, so, so very happy for him.  I hope, wish and pray that he and his new bride have the most amazingly happy life for the rest of their life together.

My Golden Boy!

This past weekend my Golden Boy has his bi-annual piano recital.  This was the first time he played the piano while he sung a song and I was way impressed.  Like...WHOA.

This kid is going far in life but he will never, ever, ever be cooler than his T-Monnie no matter how hard he tries to look in pictures.  LOL!  

E is headed to COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe he's graduated high school?  I wasn't ready.  *sigh*  So, of course, I harassed the absolute heck outta him.  LOL!  He's just so smart and handsome and we're oh, so proud of him!  This kid is gonna make us super, dooper prouder!!!!!!!

Mother's Day 2015: One Lantern Against a Dark, Vast Sky

For years I've tried to focus on the indomitable strength of my parents.  The people that brought me into this world and who made a conscious decision to be the all and everything to and for my brothers and I for a lifetime.  I made a consolidated effort to try and steer my thoughts whenever they strayed to the darkness and really focused on spreading light forcefully into anything that attempted to seep into my spirit and crumble my resolve.

Sometimes it works.

Sometimes it doesn't.

When I think of all a parent has to be, I am humbled by the sheer weight of the job.  Of dedicated fealty.  And honestly, sometimes, I'm thankful it's a job I never had to undertake.  I think of my mother, beaten and broken, getting up, no matter what, to get us ready for our day.  I think of her soft hands, smiles and kisses as she made our breakfast, placing our plates gingerly on the table in front of us wincing slightly at the weight of balancing the plate as she holds one of her wings close to her side to balance out her pain from her bruises, her abuse, her choice to keep her children in a two-parent home which all the Elders and society lead her to believe she needed to have so that we could grow, and soar and fly while she watched protectively from her nest.

With a broken wing.

So we had to learn early on to not depend on her always, not because she didn't WANT to take care of us the way she wanted to but because her choices might hinder her from being able to.  Her wing might be broken.  Or her jaw.  Or her collarbone.  Or four fucking ribs and her wrist.

And she'd arrange her long hair artfully.  A long spiral curl falling softly in her face hoping you wouldn't look closer into her eyes and see the bruise there fading or pay attention to how one half of her face slumped from the stroke she'd had and wasn't afforded with the luxury of recovery properly because he demanded that things get back to normal as soon as possible because the longer things weren't "normal" the longer he was faced with what he'd done.  Again, and again and again.  And how watching her hurt hurt him and he saw it in our eyes and he knew he'd done it but he didn't want to but dammit he did it.  FUCK HE DID IT.  HE HURT HER REPEATEDLY.

And always with remorse.  Always with gifts.  Always followed by something pretty when she was the most beautiful thing he could ever touch.

By age 12, I was put in charge of her Mother's Day gifts.  My father would give me a wad a cash or a credit card and he'd take my brother and I to the mall to pick something out.  He'd sit on a bench and wait no matter how long it took.  He didn't rush us, he wanted to make sure that she got something she'd love.  I'd go store to store looking for the perfect something for her.  Something I'd seen her linger on before but wouldn't buy for herself because she didn't want to spend the money on herself because she had four growing children running out of yesterday's clothes.  I'd touch the fabrics as I'd watched her do a million times.  Rub it against my cheek to see it if was a pleasing feel.  I'd imagine how she'd look dressed in it.  How'd she'd walk if she wore it while free and happy with the wind blowing in her hair and with her dress up jewelry and shoes.  I'd always get it gift wrapped there and take my time choosing the paper and ribbon in the back of the store or at Gaudchaux's up the elevator that smelled of ammonia and something sweet in the middle of it.  I'd be proud and my little brother would be quiet knowing that this was the most important thing we were tasked yearly because it was her day.  HER day.  The one who did so much and took so much yet  received so little in the form of hugs and kisses.  Not knowing then...that it's what she truly valued the most.

Her babies.

And when the box was complete, when I'd passed over the money and the gift was placed directly in front of me, he'd stand on his toes to take it off the counter so he could carry it gently.  Wearing his clean and pressed shorts, his tube socks with the coordinating stripes.  His afro picked out to perfection because she plaited his hair every night before bed so it didn't get tangled.  And he'd carry it reverently and I'd follow behind him, small chest poked out.  I got it right.  I know I did.  I know she'll love it.  Not that pretend mommy love either.  The for real kind.

She'd love it.

He'd see us coming and ask if we were good?

You good?

Big grins.

We're good, daddy, we're good.

Your mama gonna like it?

She's going to love it daddy.  

My brother silent, looking at him with eyes that were always cloaked hiding what I now know he never really hid.  He simply kept it at bay from this one.

From him.

And we'd keep the gift hidden.  A secret.  Until Sunday morning and we'd be so excited.  And she'd sit on the furniture we never sat on and she'd exclaim over how beautiful the wrapping paper was and she'd take it off gently so as to not tear it and we'd be giddy with excitement, jumping beans in pajamas with bed plaited hair and sleep crust on the corners or our eyes.  A runny nose from the air conditioning and ashy knees and elbows.  And she'd open it and lift it from the tissue paper, her eyes glazed over with happiness.  She'd place the box gently to the side and hold her gift and she'd look directly at me with softness in her eyes, girl-to-girl, and smile KNOWING IT WAS ME WHO KNEW HER SO WELL.

I so loved that feeling of being able to do for her something she'd never do for herself in a way she'd taught me how.  Paying attention to the details.  

I don't know if I would have been able to be her.  I doubt I could ever bend the way she did.  I doubt putting the lives of four other people always above her own is something I would have ever been able to do the right way.  The bar of motherhood she set would have been a struggle for me to lift myself over.  I don't have the dexterity it would have taken under the conditions she did it all under.  I doubt if my anger, always right below the surface, would have been able to be pushed out of the way by light as she did.  I doubt having my wing broken would have ended with my making breakfast.

All the mothers I know have this.  That all consuming power they use to cover their children and keep going. Bullshit at work with a smile because they can't pop off in an explosion of words and angry emails taking down fools with them and rolling out in a blaze of glory.

MINGO OUT.

I am in awe of what children do to women.  How it polishes them into such rare and beautiful sparkling gems.  How it preens them into powerful all knowing beings.

For the past month I've been on top of the world doing what I love.  Last night I dressed up like a girl and danced with true happiness.  Nearing the end of the night...someone release a lantern into the sky.  Just one.  As I watched it fly away my mind exploded with thoughts and images and sensations of her and my heart cracked open yet again.  A wound nothing will ever truly heal.  

I drove home in pain.  In silence.  With tears streaming down my face missing her so fucking much even as she'd been gone more years now than I had her.  

But I remember her.

And I miss her.

And God knows how very, very much I fall back on the strength of her.  Of needing her.

I walked into my cool, clean and quiet home dodging frogs at the door and went straight to him.  My love.  And he enveloped me, kissing me asking if I'd had a good time immediately up out of his sleep with a light on.  For me.  When I didn't answer...he knew the cracks in my interior were open and hugged me tighter.  

I miss my mommy.  I'd give practically anything for that to be something I never, ever felt.

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.  It's a bond so extreme...you will never be able to shatter.  And the power it gives you is a light we all see and admire.  Have an amazing day.  Be the Queen.

Love,

Monnie

MINGO OUT

Fug 'em!

I can't tell you enough how to not worry about people who aren't worth worrying about.  Every second you spend on them is taking away from you being the light you need to be.  

FUCK.

THEM.

Do you.

And smile because you're genuinely happy.  If you're not happy...don't smile.  That fake ish is for the birds.  Tweet...tweet!

A Love Note to My Best Girlfriend

I haven't been in a good place for a while now even though I've been trying to power through it.  Those who truly love me know this and have been being patient with me and my shit.  I can't explain what it's like being around me when I'm not me you know?  See...being me is this powerful ball of energy and light.  I can always find the best of it all and have a good time no matter what.  When you have access to me regularly you kinda get used to that so being around the absolute opposite spectrum of that for months on end can take a toll on you.  You can start forgetting the good bits of me because they are so far from the surface.  When I'm quiet it can be a struggle to find words to fill in the gaps and, those I love love me for all the right reasons.  Not because of what I have done or can do for them.  Not because of people I know or places I go.  Not for anything other than the feelings they get being around me.  The love they know I willingly share and can sometimes cloak them with.

Christmas Eve arrived with my not having purchased a single thing for anyone or even food for the dinner party we were hosting.  I kept meaning to start.  I kept picking up my keys, my wallet...I kept being inactive.  Robby decided that he'd go with me to help make it all happen and we did so even after having a family emergency health scare.  

I'd made lists of what I wanted to do and of what I had every intention of doing but lists mean nothing on Christmas Eve when the lines are long the shopping scare because of location and because the rest of the world has completed their lists and have their fabulous gifts wrapped under the trees waiting to exchange their thoughtfulness with those who deserve their thoughtfulness.

Me?  I did what I could knowing that we had guests arriving at 6:30pm and my menu consisted of standing prime rib roast, a natural ham and all the trimmings and fixings and Lord...all I truly wanted was my mommy and my daddy and my brothers and tree with trimmings and blue and silver decorations and noise and noise and noise and hustling, bustling and noise, noise, sweet glorious noise of happy and excited children and parents.

I craved noise in the silence of our life.  In a life without chaos.  With complete order around me at all times.

The pace I set for myself on Christmas Eve was crazy and only a crazy person would do it but I didn't want to let anyone down so I made it all happen and it was good.  It was a good thing.  We ate, we drank, we were merry.  I snuck away to wrap gifts for those in attendance.  Gifts my depression forced me to make do with and they all smiled politely and oohed and ahhed properly because that's what people who love you do.  They look at you knowing the truth of who you want to be.  Who you would be if you could just push past it all.  All the demons and disappointments you've allowed to heap on you and beat you down into a tiny bit of the tiniest of all you are and you smile with them knowing that this is the greatest gift they could ever give you.  That they could see through it down into the heart of who you are and not judge  you solely on today and not take it personally and not make your shit about them.

Because it's your shit.  It's my shit.

And it's only about me.

And you use that to do things that would be humiliating to some with your stats because you know it will always be a struggle to do what you love.  But you do it with a smile and a pleasant attitude so you're unthreatening.  So you can have access to those you need to have access to in order to get to that next step.

Depression can fuck up so much and sometimes I wonder if it's really the thing that gets you or...is it the circumstances of it all that brings the depression to you.  And that makes me think too deeply about the cause of it all.

My best girlfriend is one of God's most precious gifts to me.  For Christmas, she gave me the most awesome of the awesome things.  A box of them really.  A box of awesome that seemed to never stop.  Everything was magical.  One thing after the other.  Thoughtful things that she hoped, wish and probably prayed would get me back to being me.  The kind of stuff others would never get me because well...they don't GET me.  

A box filled with relaxation, good sleep, warm feelings and guilty pleasures.  

Her gifts are always so amazing and why I will always buy her things for no reason...just because I saw it and thought of her.

Last night, after a long four days, I used one of the gifts and took a hot bath.  I got into bed with the television on a thirty minute timer and I snuggled up next to my Robinator.  I was asleep within 5 minutes.  A deep, relaxing almost comatose sleep.  Satisfying.

When I got up this morning, I stretched languorously and felt the power I often feel flowing through my body as I'm planning out my next steps and moves.  As I'm shaking off that doubt that shows up sometimes even though I know perfectly well what I'm capable of.  I laughed at the things that happened this week.  The nail in my tire.  My husband in the driveway at 5:00am in the morning changing the tire.  My pumping gas in the dark standing there with cold rain sliding down my face making the cold colder.  The makeup I don't wear breaking me out.  My hair being damaged by someone who doesn't know how or care how to be gentle with my hair.  The noise, the noise, the noise.  The constant back-and-forth reaching out for something I know I can see.  The lines when I DON'T.DO.LINES.

On this day I'm so grateful for my best girlfriend.  That she GETS me even when the knowledge of who I am at that exact moment makes her want to strangle the shit out of me.  I'm grateful she knows that when I'm lost...I haven't forgotten who I am...I'm just struggling to get back there.

I'm grateful that I have no ego about many things others would have.

I'm grateful that I know how to use my resources, even the simple one of being a cute girl, properly.

I'm grateful for my husband, the perfection that is truly him as he props me up, no matter what, with his strong shoulders and pushes me outside my comfort zone so he can watch me, once again, fly.

I'm grateful for all those who love me.  The ones who aren't put off by the unanswered phone calls, texts and emails.  The ones who don't take it personally.  The ones who don't try to make my shit...about them.

Because it's not.

I love you.

I love yall.

Sometimes, however...I have to tuck in and rebuild and that's hard to do.  So very, very hard.

Jackie Brown and Wilona Woods

Okay, okay...she was going for Chaka Khan but I saw Wilona.  I had to remind her that Wilona was a STONE.COLD.FOX!  LOL!

Have you ever attended a 70's costume party?  Did you rock it?

Thanksgiving Family Dinner Survival Tips

My family is not perfect.  No where next to near.  I've developed survival tips over the years.  Hopefully your family is closer to perfect and you won't need to employ any of these methods.

1.     Men...if you want to be left alone to watch games while prep work and cooking is being done...show up wearing some good smelling smell good. We never follow through with threats against a good smelling man.

2.     Unless you were INVITED to cook in someone's kitchen do NOT show up with something that needs to go in the oven. People will be using their ovens. And their stovetop. And don't send those dang tall fruit bouquets that take up room in the fridge either. We got ish in there that needs to stay cold so we can't be rearranging stuff for flower shaped pineapples on a stick.

3.     Don't go in nobody's pot without washing your hands. You will be called nasty and talked about by every woman at the house over the age of 17 if you do. And then they are going to call people who aren't even there to talk about you some more.

4.     If you are trusted to fix your own bowl of gumbo do NOT keep digging around trying to get all the sausage and shrimp. I mean really. Act like you been somewhere hell. Other people like sausage and shrimp too and don't make us count it! Anything over 5 pieces of sausage might be a deliberate act of treason. WALK THE PLANK!

5.     Don't be the drunk Uncle. Or Aunt. Or cousin, brother, sister, friend of Ricky's, etc. Drunk and family don't mix. Somebody always spills secrets or sling fighting words they didn't mean to.

6.     You know your kids act bad when your eyes aren't on them. Keep ya eyes on your kids. Last year they broke Mimi's candy dish. You know...the one with the candy stuck together that she thought the little one broke when we all know it was your kid who broke it. The little one couldn't even pick it up good.

7.     This Thanksgiving might NOT be the best time to spring your brand new interracial relationship on your family if you know good and well some of the racist family members are going to be there. 'SPECIALLY if your cousins stocked the bar something good.  Wait til' 'round 'bout say...Easter.

8.     If there is a bottle of some expensive something, let the person who bought the expensive something pour you a glass cuz if you pour it yourself...no matter how much you actually poured, the story is going to be that you drank up all the good ish same as yo' daddy used to do knowing he brought over a bottle of wine he picked up at the corner gas station.

9.     If your eyes are bigger than your stomach and you pile your plate with too much ham knowing it's one of them expensive azz honey baked hams that Nadine 'nem drove over from Atlanta with and you end up having to throw it away...LAWD HELP YOU CUZ BAAAAAAAABY...they 'gon git you. Yo azz is grass.

10.   If you know THAT cousin is going to be there...just lock your purse up in your trunk and keep your car keys in your pocket. I ain't saying he still be stealing but hey...why take the chance?

11.   You know that cousin who used to be a hellion and put the entire family through hell and back again? Well...if you heard they just got saved 6 weeks ago...steer clear of them. You ain't living NEARLY right enough for the newly saved and sanctified religious gospel.

12.   The man who owns the house should be the only man with his hand wrapped around the remote UNLESS the man of the house hands the remote to you. If he does...use that power wisely. If he comes back and you've let some whippersnapper convince you to put it on the po-rade...well...guess whose name is mud duck from now on?

13.   Don't even try to commit the name of the woman with the too short skirt your slick cousin, Rayban brings with him. You know she won't last the year.

14.   Do NOT under any circumstances bring up or even HINT AT the money a relative owes you even if they just walked in flaunting or talking about the new 80 inch flat screen tv they just bought knowing good and well your big tv is only 40 inches. Bringing it up at Thanksgiving will force Grandmother to fake a "spell" and the last time she did that she bumped her head for real when she miscalculated her faint and James didn't catch her before she hit the floor.

15.   NOTICE! THANKSGIVING IS NOT THE TIME FOR YOU TO BE IN THE KITCHEN WITH THE COOKS LEARNING HOW TO COOK! THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS GOING ON! THE SUPER BOWL OF FOOD! GO SITCHO BEHIND DOWN WITH A POTATO PEELER AND PEEL SOME POTATOES! GRAB A TERRY CLOTH TOWEL AND WIPE A BROW OR TWO! STAY OUT THE WAY AND DON'T.GET.CUT!

16.   If you know your people funny acting don't be trying to bring new people around without giving them the Cliff Notes version of who's who and what to expect. If you tell your gorgeous girlfriend with the short afro that your shade throwing Aunt will tell her that she's "...so pretty to wear your hair like a boy..." then it won't be as much of a shock when your Aunt says it.

Cuz you know GOOD AND WELL SHE WILL! She's been funny acting about hair since that perm took her hair out back in 1969.

WARN.YOUR.FRIENDS! It's the right thing to do.

17.   If you have food allergies and issues, I suggest you eat before you arrive and don't make a big deal out of what you can and cannot eat. It will be the equivalent of growing a second head and styling the hair differently on both heads. Just put what you can on your plate and tell them you got food poisoning the night before so your stomach is still all messed up and you don't want to rock the boat. EVERYONE understands the misery of "bubble guts" and they won't press you. Someone might even get up and fix you a pot of hot green tea just like you like it with some local honey they bought at the farmer's market.

Sometimes ya just gotta lie.

18.   If you have it to give...get a few hundred dollars in $20's and keep in your wallet. If cornered and asked for a "few dollars" give some of what you brought with you. Hell...it's Thanksgiving. Be thankful you have it to give.

If you don't have it to give simply say..."Man...I was just about to ask you for _____ (double the amount they asked you for)."

Watch how fast they move on to the next one.

19.   Be careful who you bring home for the first time. Nobody cares much for the new person who talks too damn much.

20.   Be prepared for SOMEBODY to accuse you of thinking you're better than them. Combat this by running to the store right quick for your favorite Aunt. You know she's outta smokes and yes...you'll still be better than them. Buy some chatzky while at the convenience store and pass it out like candy when you return. This is the equivalent of "Yeah...I'm bad" in the "better than" world.

21.  If you didn't bring anything but are leaving with more than one plate of leftovers you are clearly the person they give a pass to because they all know you're "special."

You don't wanna be that kinda "special."

22.   What NOT to Wear!

a. Mini skirts - You will be sitting down the majority of the time. Too much leg for family dinner man. TOO.MUCH.LEG!

b. Wool sweaters - The house will get hot with a crowd of folks in there. Trustme. 

c. White clothes - One word. Gravy.

d. Tight skinny jeans / dresses / tops, etc. - Your after turkey bloat will make you miserable.

e. Heels - Seriously...why? To Thanksgiving dinner? You're going to sit, eat, drink, talk ish, watch football or play games. #GIRLBYE 

f. Hoodies - You can't relax in the haze of the itus on the sofa with a hoodie unless you put the hood on. Don't put the hood on inside.

g. Super short shorts - o_0

h. Leggings - LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS!!!!!!!!!

i. Crop tops - Um...turkey bloat is deep and it's real.

j. Low cut blouses - Um...your Grandmother doesn't need to see all that. She has seen boobs and is probably over them by now.

Me? I'm wearing some version of one of these pics. LOL!

The most important thing when it comes to surviving family is to remember that you're FAMILY.  There is no need for competition, snide remarks or ugliness in any way.  Smile, be lovely and keep it moving.  Thanksgiving is to remember what we have to be thankful for and family is a MAJOR reason.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Love,

Monnie, Robby & Jaru 

 

"Don't Put Me On that Blog"

Elder and I

Elder and I

Early on when I started blogging, I got into an argument with a family member about "being on the blog."  See...they always worried about their business being put out there.  You know...cuz they have SOOOOOOOO much interesting business. (Note sarcasm.)  So...I stopped talking about their azzes.  You'd swear I grew from weeds in a forest how much I DON'T say about my family on my blog cuz hey...I might be a bad azz in my head but we all know that I don't want no trouble when it comes to my family.  We fight dirty with each other at times even if we'd be the first people right there when we need each other.

Now it doesn't mean that they don't read the blog because I was shocked to find out how many do...and I still find that interesting seeing as though many of them think the internet is for email only.

Dealing with family every single day is a major part of who we all are.  Especially me.  I mean...I love my people.  I love where I come from.  I love the total complex mix-mash of practically everything good and bad that we are.  We are straight up 'bout THAT GUMBO LIFE.

But I don't talk about them on the blog.  LOL!

A couple of years ago, one of my cousins asked me why I don't ever put them on the blog.  I told them that it was easier to not write about them than to figure out who had a problem with it and therefore I don't have to wonder who is walking around mad about what the hell ever.  I mean...I put a picture up once of a relative that I thought was beautiful.  She got mad because I didn't crop out a basket of laundry she was folding while watching television.  Said it made her living room look junky.  It wasn't mind you...I mean...she was simply folding clothes but hey...her perception of how she wants to be seen should be up to her.  I took the picture down and apologized.  No biggie.  

I said all that to say that I hardly ever talk about my family on my blog but I'm going to today.  I want to talk about my Uncle, my father's youngest brother.  Why?  Because he's nothing short of amazing to me.  I've been getting to know him more adult-to-adult and he's a pretty great Elder.  He brings me joy because he's kinda like me.  He's taken the best of who are and made it work for him.  Our family's love of outdoors, good food, music, laughter, etc.  He loves good wine and good people.  He straight up LIVES life to the fullest.  

And it shows.

This past weekend, he went to a big salsa dancing event with his lady friend and then the next morning they got up and did a breast cancer awareness walk on three hours of sleep.  Throughout both events he sent me pictures, which is a good thing, because even though he joined Facebook a couple of months ago...he's real lax on uploading pictures.  LOL!  And hell...I like to see pictures because it makes me smile.

Unc looks exactly like my father...which isn't surprising because we all look alike.  But he looks like him so much so that it's hard to look at him sometimes and not get gripped by the shadows of whys.  When he hugs me, he hugs me tight.  And then...he just lingers there with a hand on my arm or across my shoulders.  He's easy with his praise and he is quick to express his pride in you.  He is good at seeing you exactly as you are.  He's a talented architect and wants to help me plan our next house.  He understands that I don't ask for help with anything and why.  And this is why he has no problem offering. "Why would you pay all that to someone else when your Unc can help you?"

Good point.  We'll see.  It's hard for me.  You know why.  Thanks for understanding.

I'm really proud of my Uncle and I love how I feel when I'm around him.  He makes me laugh out loud often and I enjoy interacting with him and this is why I put him on my blog.  LOL!

Slowly but surely my Elders are joining Facebook and posting pictures and whatnot and I'm enjoying seeing sides of them they don't necessarily show us "kids."  I love looking at the old pictures they post from when they were younger because I don't really get to see those since I've lived away from everyone for a very long time and pack in what I can when I visit.  I love how the pictures trigger stories I haven't heard and how they introduce me to other family members I don't know...but know...you know?

Yeah...you know.

So...your Elders.  Any of the cool ones on Facebook?  Are they bringing you joy?  

Those of you who blog...what's your family's take on being "on the blog?"

 

Women and Ambition

This is a great article about women and ambition with several different points of view.  We Asked Women How They Really Feel About Ambition -- This Is What They Had To Say

Which do you most identify with?  What would your 20 year old self say if they saw where you were today?  Would you be in line with what your aspirations were?  Did becoming a mother change your career goals?  Are you exactly where you think you should be now?  Are you STILL ambitious?  

 

 

P.S.  Yall KNOW why I'm super grin-t up right?  RIGHT!  LOL!  THAT'S MY DAWG!!!!!!!!

Brunching With My Girls!

They gave me the most wonderful, wonderful gift!   An emergency basket of wine!  LOLOLOLOL!  How awesome is that?  Each bottle has a tag on it telling me the circumstances by which I can open the bottle!  How awesome is that?  Me likey!  Me likey!  Me likey!

And I got a super fly t-shirt from the newly engaged Mia!!!!!!!!!

After brunch at my favorite restaurant in Montgomery Counry, Black Market Bistro we, as always, had an after party at Seasons 52.  It's crazy how when we get together we end up spending hours and hours and hours with each other!  We ran into the dinner crowd at the first restaurant and were so lively at the second restaurant the Executive Chef came out and gave each of us a card for a free appetizer the next time we came!  LOL!  GO US!  WE FLY!

Man...Imma miss my girls something fierce.  I might be too old to make these kind of tight friends ever again.  My girls always know my place is somewhere they can show up and have a good time or simply chill and I truly enjoy having them around.  *sigh*  I wish they could come with.

Seriously.

Did any of you move in your 40's?  Was it difficult to make new friends?