Friday, December 23, 2011

The Best Last Minute Gift Idea

If you are reading this, I know you just want me to get to the point because you only have a few more days until Christmas.  The best gifts are gifts that last forever.  It can’t be spent, worn or torn.  It won’t fade or be traded.  It is something that almost everyone wants.  At this point if you don’t have that special gift that will be talked about until next Christmas you are in luck if you have the money.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Flip-Flop of Road Rage

After being on the road for two weekends in a row, I realized that I had better get this article published before I lose somebody I love to road rage. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When Veterans Cry

(Warning: This is not just a Veteran’s Day message but an everyday message for all Americans!)

Thank you for your service.  This statement goes out to all active, Guard, Reserves, and retired veterans.  You deserve so much more than a thank you.  Although many of you smile when you hear, “thank you for your service” and appreciate the small token or gesture of gratitude; you know you need more than a thank you.  What you need is support and promises kept.  There are many veterans crying on the inside and some on the outside. 

Elections and “I Got a Rock”

Who said it?  This famous cartoon character came out every year with his friends on Halloween to “trick or treat” and while those tricker-treaters got everything from candy to quarters, this character continued to get the same thing, a rock.  Some people are calling the upcoming elections “trick or treat” all over again and it might not be that far from reality.  

Will Americans end up like Charlie Brown, with a bag full of rocks after the election for some of the same reasons?  We get a small dose of Halloween all year long.  The scariness of Halloween ghosts and goblins (demons and devils) or the thought of Jason showing up around every dark corner, might make some of us jump throughout the year.  But there are other scarier things than movies and imaginary characters that most adults think about.  It is the reality of life and voting result; that is scary.  Why does Charlie Brown continue to get rocks in his trick or treat bag?  Why do we continue to get rocks instead of representation?

The gridlock in Washington where all “bills” pass except something that supports the ordinary American, is so similar to Charlie Brown’s bag full of rocks.  When our representatives were voted into office they came from a very diverse background of businesses, lawyers, doctors, realtors, etc.  History confirms what they did before taking office has no real bearing on what results we receive as constituents.  It boils down to what we will accept from them.  It boils down to our questions to them of why and what do you plan to do next. 

Why did Charlie Brown always get rocks in his bag?  That answer is easy.  It’s the way the story was written.  But maybe after the second rock, Charlie Brown should have asked why.  Why do Americans continue to get rocks instead of congressional representation?  That answer is also easy.  It’s the way that we vote and follow-up after we vote.  We get short changed in Washington, state and local government because we continue to vote for the same type of people.  When we start getting rocks in our bags, we don’t ask why either, just like Charlie Brown.  Why don’t we ask why?

Why we don’t ask why is human nature.  We flash back in our minds to a time our representatives were in the community, sitting on the pew with us in church or even teaching Sunday school.  We flash back to visions of them being a good neighbor and businessman.  We have met, shook hands and been invited to many cook-outs sponsored by them.  We have received copies of their newsletters or e-mail alerts with sometimes one side of the issue (their side).  It’s the good memories that we recall.  All of these positive flashbacks are what leads us down the same path, time and time again.  Like Charlie Brown we end up with rocks.

Charlie Brown might not know why he keeps getting rocks put in his bag but you now know why we all get rocks, instead of representation.  If we put rocks into the voting machines than rocks will surely come out (rocks-in-rocks-out).  Don’t take my word for it; just think about it for a minute.  What does a rock do? 

Answer key for first and last questions:
-          Charlie Brown is the famous cartoon character created by Charles Schultz.
-          Nothing

Friday, October 28, 2011

Who Said It?

This whole situation with the Occupy of Wall Street (OWS) reminds me of one of my favorite books in the Bible and quote.  Now, before you run to the hills because I am using a quote from the Bible, in a non church setting please stay with me for just a minute.  I promise it will be painless, all about you and beneficial to you.  The question of who said it is just to get your brain warmed up.  The main question I want you to answer is this.  How does the quote below and the situation of the OWS relate to your life right now?  Read the quote in its entirety then go back and remove the word Jews and insert your family name.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Who The Heck Is Joan Brock?

Who she is doesn’t seem to be as important as what she has been through.  A story of perseverance against all odds that every man, woman or child should reflect on to get through the tough times.  Did you lose your job, home or, not sure if the job you have today will be there tomorrow?  Are you dealing with bullies at school?  Are you just having a bad hair day?  Whatever you might be going through, no matter the degree of seriousness or insignificance, Joan’s story, should get you back on track.  Joan Brock’s story will bring you back from the ledge. 

I want you to imagine yourself in the following situation:  You are teaching at a blind school.  You have been showing blind children for over five years how to do things while being blind.  You have not quite understood why these blind children are afraid of stairs.  Then one day your child is holding pink socks but you see white socks.   You have an eye condition that cannot be fixed and you will never be able to see again.  All the colors you were just seeing yesterday are gone.  You will have to judge people by their character and not their color.  All so quickly your world goes from color to no color.  This is a small portion of Joan Brock’s story. 

Joan must now put those skills that she had been teaching her blind school children into practice, immediately.  Keep in mind it’s not just about sight but independence.  There will be no more movie dates, no driving to the drug store or stopping to look in a mirror.  Joan can’t really take a step, without thinking about her location.  As Joan and family are working through these challenges she gets another 90 mph curveball thrown at her.  While blind, Joan’s husband and rock is diagnosed with sinus cancer and within seven month he dies at the age of 37. 

How many people do you know that would just throw in the towel?  Joan Brock’s story is true and is documented in a successful book and Lifetime movie.  Joan is back on her feet and although she is blind she can “see” life.  This whole story reminded me of Job from the Bible.  As I was writing my notes and thinking this is a story to share, no matter where you are in the world, Joan leaves us with three points.
1.       Don’t do life alone
2.      Family is so important
3.      God and Faith…it will get you through

Joan Brock was the guest speaker at the Outstanding Women’s Exchange (OWE) breakfast.  Although the OWE has a women’s label there were many men in attendance along with all the beautiful women.  In addition, corporate sponsorships brought out big hitters including four different banks that have to admit they got their money’s worth.  I realized now, that my ticket was a priceless gift.

What is priceless in your life?  Joan gave us a hint in her three points.  The story that I asked you to imagine above was only part of the trials and tribulations, Joan and her family went through.  She found the light from within and made the best out of a bad situation.  Don’t think about how much money you have or don’t have.  Think about the price of good health.  There are just some things money won’t buy.  Take a minute today to enjoy your surroundings.  Enjoy the colors of the trees, sound of the birds, and smell of the air.  In the end remember, God gave us everything we need to enjoy life; Him.

A Tour Every American Should Take

There is history and then there is history.  I never knew until this weekend what was nestled back in the woods of Charles City, Virginia.  Although close to Williamsburg, it is not the wooden bench or sparsely decorated cabins of the Jamestown settlement.  It would blow the socks off of any HGTV designer and bring sheer delight to any self-respecting decorator; but sorry this isn’t the story.  This is about interesting pieces of history that every American would enjoy seeing and exploring.  It is the Westover Church Plantation House Tours. 

I know looking at my picture, you may be thinking that I am the least likely person to be promoting or even wanting to talk about plantations.  Nevertheless, there are some important things to bring to light.  Because of the stories and images I saw and heard this weekend, I realized that if enough interest is not shown; this history will slowly and quietly slip away, be reinvented or be repeated.  I think the land fight with the Indians and slavery would be first on my list that does not bear repeating.  Nevertheless, none of us would be where we are today without the significant contribution of both.

The special part about these plantation house tours was that it was sponsored by the historic Westover Church constructed somewhere between 1630 and 1637.  I was told, because of its historic clout the plantation houses were opened for actual in home tours and not just the grounds.  This once a year deal and major fundraiser for the church supports meals-On-Wheels for senior and I am all for taking care of seniors. 

In addition to the Westover Church hospitality, they had live entertainment unlike any place I’ve ever been.  There was a modern day young Ludwig Beethoven music major student from the college of William and Mary playing and explaining the organ.  Now this is not your everyday run of the mill organ.  It was the built in structure organ, pull the stops and foot pedal playing type.  You would have to be there to get it but, that encounter alone was worth the price of admission.  There are some things in life that are priceless.

Yes, a plantation tour is very different from the past.  There are of course no slaves or slave quarters on the tour and I was allowed to move around freely.  There were no Indians on the path waiting to scalp anyone trespassing on their land.  The most notable plantations were Sherwood Forest, Berkeley, and Westover.  I stopped over at the Nance Major home soon to be converted into a Bed and Breakfast.  I’ll stop here and allow you to do the rest of the research by planning your fall trip next year and remember lunch is included. 

To preserve the true history of all participants, I suggest you visit and bring your children and research the stories.  I would have liked to see where the slaves lived and why the Indians who helped the first settlers survive the harsh winter were later deemed their enemies.  Those pieces of the puzzle were a little blurred but a must find, if all Americans are going to understand the full history and maintain its truthfulness.

Whatever your ethnicity may be, don’t dwell on the fact that the land was stolen from the Indians or that blacks were slaves.  As a black person, I did not harp on the negative side of slavery but applied a fresh perspective and one that inspired me to think about how slaves worked hard to better the lives of others by cooking, cleaning and being nannies.  They built walls and farmed the land that reaped wealth for their owners.  Although many were whipped and beaten they had hearts of gold to continue.  We were told stories how some slaves defended their owners and property during the war.  Now imagine that.

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Old Fashion Math Class

Do you know what you get when you cross “math” with “class warfare”? I am not exactly sure but let’s have a little fun today.  President Obama’s buzzword is “math” and Congressman Boehner’s is “class warfare”.  I think our leaders may have stumbled unknowingly onto a solution to the root cause of the systemic economic problem.  Now, with the gloomy news coming from the World Bank, this might end up being a global solution in the making and someone could earn a gold star. 

What Type of Person Are You?

Every day brings new challenges and opportunities.  But, in this current climate of us against them, (not sure who us or them are) you have to stop and take a second look in the mirror.  You need to determine, where you are going to draw the line, long before the big decisions have to be made.   Remember, your everyday decisions show family, friends, coworkers and the world who you really are and what you believe. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Are We Ready?

No matter where we are in the world, this question pertains to all of us.  Most of us are ready for some football but let’s get serious.  Most of us are not ready for the important things.  Who was ready for the fires and mudslides out West?  Who was ready for the flooding in the Midwest?  Who was ready for the last tornado?  Who was ready for the earthquake?  How about the smoke in the air?  Who is ready for drought, sandstorms and famine?  Then there are the manmade disasters.  Who was ready for the oil spill, wars and revolts in Iraq, Egypt, and Libya just to name a few? Who is truly ready for the hurricane that might turn out to be catastrophic?  Who is ready to die?  Ouch, let’s get serious, now is the time for multi-tasking preparation of epic proportion.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Congressional Smoke and Mirrors Part 1 of 5 (Social Security)

We got the wind knocked out of us during the last fiasco with Congress.  We had better get our wind back, if we are going to clear the smoke so we can see what is really going on.  There seems to be numerous smoke and mirror tricks coming directly from our Congress that has been overwhelming to the ordinary citizen.  In fact, there have been so many tricks, sleight of hand and toe tapping that one would need to be a master magician to keep up.  Based on the circulation of emails and blog posts, inquiring minds have a serious question this week:  “What type of social security benefits do members of Congress receive?” 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

“Fire” Steve and “Stone” Tiger

Here’s to hoping to have the last word on this subject, since the PGA golf tournament at Firestone Country Club ended three days ago.  It seems almost everything has been said however, there was no mention of the silver lining.  There is usually one in every situation and this Tiger vs. Steve is no different.  The spewing of fire and throwing of brimstones hopefully ended last week at the Firestone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The “Gabby” Giffords Bridge

Where is the dedication ceremony going to be for the first “Gabby” Giffords Bridge?  There should be bridges renamed after Congresswoman Giffords in every state. Every time we see Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, we should all shout and cheer because the world witnessed without a doubt, a miracle.  Because her recovery is a miracle witnessed by the world, there should be an equal response of goodness by the world.  Do we dare not stand up and make note of it?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Veto Pen vs. Veto Prayer

Wouldn’t it be great and almost funny if President Obama pulled out a giant size, six foot red ink pen and vetoed anything that did not raise taxes on the wealthy?  That is probably not going to happen but why should they get a free pass, while the rest of us have to pay?  Sure there are more components to the entire debt deal but fair is fair, right?  Once again our congressional representatives are not listening to the majority.  Is this news to any of us?  Is there one last ditch effort that has been overlooked that we all can do?  You betcha, there is.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The “PO” PARTY Introduction

Does your stomach start to turn when you hear or read about political news in America?  If so, I invite and welcome you to a brand new party that is just starting today, the “PO” PARTY.  We are overdue for a good party and it is time.  Life is not going to automatically bring us any encouragement, inspiration or peace.  We have to make it happen ourselves.  What we all need right now in life we are not going to receive without some action on our part.  There are five things you need to know or do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lebron James and S.E.D. Hunt

You didn’t get it done and neither did I this weekend.  I drove home from Myrtle Beach with that “bad taste” in my mouth for 6 hours.  You see, I lost a golf tournament this weekend in which I was leading at the end of day one.  I know many might be thinking, the nerve of this lady to relate her golf tournament loss to your NBA title loss, but I believe you will understand and agree a loss is a loss.  They never feel very good, no matter the level or sport if one is an athlete. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lies, Lies and More Lies: “The Weiner Lesson”

Well by now we are all passed “did he do it” and quite tired of hearing about it.  Did Moses part the Red Sea?  Does the wind blow?  Is water wet?  Did Obama win the 2008 election?  Is Hawaii a state?  Was Obama born in the U.S.?  Give me a drum roll for the next one?  Were there WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq… hmm?  Now we know that all has NOT been said and done here concerning the Weiner but what if it was, what would the lesson be?  What would be “The Weiner Lesson?