Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sending a huge thank you over to Lisa at Rebirth of Lisa for this second nomination to receive the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

sister-hood-award

When I get a “Like” or “Comment” from a new blogger, I always take time to visit their blog.  And, this is how I found Rebirth of Lisa.  Her About Page hooked me; especially, the second paragraph:

“You will find my inter thoughts and lessons I have learned about life, love and the world.  I am open and honest and though I may offend some, my intent is only to tell my truth.  Topics will  vary depending on what’s on my brain at the moment and I will try to infuse a little humor.”

After reading the About Page, I immediately hit the  “follow button”; and. I have not been disappointed.

Here Are The Rules

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate seven blogs.

Questions from Lisa

  1. What is your favorite book? I love every word spoken or written by Maya Angelou, but my favorite is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
  2. Michael Jackson or Prince?  Having teenagers in the home during the 70s and 80s, my home was filled with music from both.  But, in my opinion, Michael Jackson was a musical genius and there is no comparison.
  3. Where is your favorite place to vacation?  Six years ago, my two daughters gifted me with our first Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.  I love visiting the Island but, most of all, I enjoy spending quality time with the daughters and my grandchildren.
  4. Who is your favorite writer?  Maya Angelou followed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  5. If you could have a super power what would it be?  I would choose as my Super Power the ability to eradicate social injustice, discriminatory practices, and unequal treatment against those viewed as “the other” or “different” in our country.
  6. What’s your favorite snack?  Popcorn, popped the old fashion way is my favorite.  But, I am not opposed to microwave popcorn.  
  7. What’s on your pizza?  Vegetables only.  Though, before moving toward eating healthy, it was either Pepperoni and, occasionally, The Supreme (everything).
  8. Name three things you like about yourself.  My Faith, Compassion, and Kindness.
  9. Who was your favorite teacher and why?  Over the years, there have been many teachers who advised and guided me through these many seasons of life.  Of course, my mother was the #1 and there are far too many to name.
  10. What’s your guilty pleasure? Lemon Meringue Pie.  I only buy it by the slice; otherwise, I would eat the whole pie.

My Nominees for This Award

  1.  Sincerely, Jess
  2. Pearl Before Swine
  3. The Understanding of Dee
  4. Our Rumbling Ocean
  5. Mountain Mornings
  6. Misifusa’s Blog
  7. My Eyes Are Up Here

Here Are My Questions for the Above Nominees

  1. What is one of your favorite quotes?
  2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
  3. What was the last movie that made you cry?
  4. If you won the lottery, what is the first things you would do?
  5. Have you ever had a nickname, what is it?
  6. What is your favorite holiday?
  7. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  8. If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
  9. What is one food that you will not eat?
  10. Would you rather use Facebook or Twitter?

Try It!

Thanks to Beverly of mywonkydonkeylife.wordpress.com for sharing this post. Since I began practicing meditation and mindfulness, my Christian values have been questioned by some. My response is always no. But, this post gives me better options.

My Wonky Life

http://www.1wallpaperhd.com/2014/07/small-gentle-waves-wallpapers-hd.html http://www.1wallpaperhd.com/2014/07/small-gentle-waves-wallpapers-hd.html

Sorry been a little quiet for a few days. Been thinking!. Anyone who knows me personally will know that me ‘thinking’ usually means some deep thought is emerging and needs time to grow and become, it is still becoming, but this is where it has got to.

This is how it began –

Someone on the Fibromyalgia forum was asking what else could they do to help them sleep, as they had tried every pill offered and still couldn’t sleep. So i suggested evening relaxation and meditation and that i have been teaching it on my blog. The person then came to my blog and did some reading and came back with ‘i don’t do all that spiritual stuff (no offence and no offence taken) but i am going to a meditation class tomorrow’. And it got me wondering.

My spiritual stuff tend to be like gentle waves on…

View original post 429 more words

Sunday Visit: Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens

Last year my friend, The Librarian, came down for a mini-vacation. One of our planned outings was a visit to the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens.  When we got there it was raining and the gardens were not open. So, we only toured the art gallery, sat in rocking chairs on the building’s screened porch, and looked out over the beautiful lake surrounding the grounds. Though, different than planned, we had a wonderful time.

Still determined, after her visit, I bugged Hubby for almost a year about touring the gardens. Surprisingly on Sunday he said, “Yes, let’s do it.”

We arrived shortly after the doors opened at 9:00 a.m. With cameras in-hand, we were off to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.

 IMG_0769

IMG_0342

IMG_0376

 IMG_0399

IMG_0701

IMG_0648

IMG_0658

IMG_0346

IMG_0694

IMG_0644

IMG_0661

IMG_0722

Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

writers-quote-wed-20151

My choice for Writer’s Quote this week is Phillis Wheatley.

An African-American Literature class I took back in the early 1970s introduced me to Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to write a book of poetry, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral,” published on September 1, 1773.

0001-54870174

The poem that generated the most discussion in the class was Phillis Wheatley’s,One Being Brought from Africa to America”:

“TWAS mercy brought me from my Pagan land, Taught my benighted soul to understand. That there’s a God, that there’s a Savior too:  Some view our sable race with scornful eye, ‘Their color is a diabolic die.”  Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, May be refined, and join the angelic train.”   

Most of the members in class voiced concern about statements like “mercy brought me from my Pagan land”, “benighted” and “Negroes, black as Cain.”

Casting a negative light on Africa and its people while giving thanks to those who captured and enslaved caused my former classmates to negatively review the poem.

But, I argued that this was a young woman captured and brought to this country as a slave, when she was 7-years-old.  She lived in the home of her slave owner with his wife and children until her marriage in 1778. Her privileged life was no comparison to the brutality suffered by most slaves.

Given this, I understood the rejection of an unknown people and country; and the acceptance of her known family and culture.

She was grateful to her rescuers, providers, protectors and educators and expressed it in this poem, “TWAS mercy brought me from my Pagan land.

Phillis Wheatley died in 1778, at the young age of 31.

 For more information on Phillis Wheatley visit:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/phillis-wheatley

Freedom Friday – January 23, 2015

On this Freedom Friday, I choose to exercise my right to express GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION to my blogging friend, Imani, for selecting me to receive the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  

sister-hood-award

About Imani

writer and poet, Imani encouraged me to write my first poem last year.  A major accomplishment for a poetically challenged 72-year-old.

I, especially, enjoy the  essays that she shares, which introduced me to the lifestyle, culture and traditions of her country.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT HER BLOG

Award Rules

  • Provide the link to the person who nominated you.
  • Add the reward logo.
  • Answer the questions your nominator has asked.
  • Nominate five other bloggers and let them know via comments.
  • Ask your nominee five questions.

The Questions Imani Asked Me

  • Who or what puts a smile on your face and why? A young child or baby will automatically bring a smile.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a photo or face-to-face interaction, they are cute and funny. 
  • If you could change the world, in one sentence how would you achieve it? I would end the unjust and unfair treatment of people because of their religion, race, gender, age, ethnicity, etc.  I would encourage respect and acceptance of those who are different citing Matthew 7:12, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.  This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
  • What is your favorite color and why? Pink.  Pink is my favorite color because tradition taught me this was proper for a young girl growing up in the 40s and 50s.  As a young adult, I identified  Pink with femininity and expressed it with the lingerie, gowns, PJS, and slippers that I wore. I dressed my baby girls in  Pink because it was expected in the 60s and 70s.  Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 68, Pink was the color that designated me as a survivor. Pink is my favorite because I never took the time to pick another color. 
  • Would you tell your friends/family the truth if you felt it would hurt them?  No, if I felt it would serve no other purpose than to cause more hurt.  Yes, if it would have a negative impact on their health and safety.
  • Like Lucile asked me, “Are you mad at me because I nominated you for this award and you have extra work to do?”  Of course. not.  I am grateful to you for opening up this opportunity to meet new blogging friends and  even more exciting and enriching experiences.

I nominate the following for Advising Me, Informing Me, Guiding Me, Training Me, Uplifting Me, Inspiring Me and just plain old Making Me Feel Better.

My questions to them:

  • Who would you want with you if stranded on a deserted island?
  • Would you rather travel by plane, train, or automobile?
  • If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
  • For what in you life do you feel most grateful?
  • If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

writers-quote-wed-20151

My choice for Writers Quote Wednesday 2015 this week is:

Iyanla (E-Yan-La) Vanzant

photo

Ms. Vanzant is an African-American inspirational speaker, lawyer, life coach, author, and host of “Iyanla, Fix My Life” a weekly series on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) Television.

Her accomplishments, as an author, include:

  • 15 Published Books,
  • 5 New York Times Best Sellers (translated into 23 languages), with
  • Sales exceeding 8 million copies.

 

Pain and Painting Black Figurines

Chronic Pain Memories

When I returned to Wisconsin for the Thanksgiving Holiday, this past year, I did more than spend quality time with family and friends.

I, also, reconnected with memories created more than twenty years ago.  Fond memories of struggling through the early years of a chronic pain condition.

As shared in earlier posts, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1993.  The daily, excruciating pain associated with this condition forced me to take a six-month medical leave from my dream job, which eventually led to a resignation for medical reasons.

Because of the severe joint degeneration in my hands, I lost the ability to do even simple self-care tasks e.g., buttoning my blouse, tying my shoes, putting on a bra, or even combing my hair.  In addition to working full-time, Hubby served as my primary caregiver.  That is one of many reasons why I have kept him around for almost fifty-five years.

Chronic Pain Management:  Painting Black Figurines

Approximately four months after the diagnosis, things changed.  It started, when I opened the huge box sent by the Eldest Daughter from North Carolina where she was living at the time. Inside were bottles of acrylic paint in an array of colors as well as a number of unpainted figurines.

photo 2
ACRYLIC PAINTS

 

photo 1
UNPAINTED PECAN SHELL RESIN ANGEL FIGURINE

 

I called her and said, “Thank you for the gift, but What The H… am I suppose to do with these things?”

“Painting may give you some pain relief as well as strengthen your hands.  Give it a try.” she said.

I tried and the first pieces were a disaster. But, I painted figurines almost everyday from 1993 until 1996.  The painting improved.  But, more importantly, the joints strengthened and the pain lessened.

Daily, for almost three years, I painted figurines depicting African-Americans in different roles — babies, clowns, children, angels, baseball players, basketball players, sorority girls, fraternity boys, historical figures, Buffalo Soldiers, doctors, nurses, etc.

After a while, the pieces went on display in the African-American Art Gallery that we formerly owned. They were quick sellers, especially the Santa’s and Angels.

I painted under the pseudonym, Marie Enno, which I took from the last four letters, spelled backwards, of my first name “Yvonne”; and, my middle name “Marie.”  A number of close friends and relatives purchased the figurines.  However, they had no idea that Yvonne Marie and Marie Enno were one in the same.

Painting the figurines distracted me from focusing on pain.  I know painting was the beginning of my journey:

  • from the non-productive invalid stage of chronic pain
  • to the productive and active lifestyle I continue to enjoy at the seasoned age of 73.

Yes, I still have pain but I work to control it rather than letting it control me.

Thanksgiving with The Black Santa’s

With the exception of the Santa’s shown in this post, all the figurines were either sold at the gallery or gifted to friends.

When the family Christmas Gatherings, outgrew the space in our home, the Eldest Daughter said, “Let’s move the Santa’s to my home so we can continue to enjoy them.”  I agreed and visited my Santa’s at her house every Christmas Holiday until retirement brought us to Florida in 2010.

Though everybody now comes to Florida for Christmas, Eldest Daughter wants to keep the Santa’s.  Since they have been in her possession for more than ten years, I believe her home is now their home.

This year, for the first time, she decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving; and, I was able to once again enjoy my beloved Santa’s.  She will continue to do this in the future; and I look forward to visiting with my Santa’s every Thanksgiving.

I added the photos below to my Cherished Memories Album. I can now enjoy looking at them when I want.

photo 4

photo 3

photo 2

photo 1

 

photo 4

 

photo 3

photo 2

photo 4

 

photo 3

 

photo 2

 

photo 1

 

photo 5

 

photo 2