Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Develop Good Habits.....

And become their slave!"
(Quote taken from The Greatest Salesman in the World!)

I have developed the good habit of bike riding, and I must do it.

I have not ridden my bike since 2013 started, because every weekend has been filled to the rim with social activities.

I've been doing all of the other exercises that I love to do, but I have not been biking.

But know, as soon as things calm down in my life, I will be back on my bike.

Biking is a habit that has made me it's slave....

Develop good habits "My People" and become their slave......

Let's Do This!!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let's Do This People!!!!!

Image from The Montgomery Boycott!

I love the idea of February being set aside to honor Black History.

My sister, Tracy, and I were talking about giving up something for the month of February in order to confirm that power belongs to God, and that power is inside of us.

As we were talking, I starting thinking about the people who participated in The Montgomery Bus Boycott. "From 1955 to 1956, ninety percent of Montgomery, Alabama bus riders boycotted the public transportation system. During that time they organized, mobilized, walked, prayed and they endured taunts, humiliation and violent attacks until their demands were met." ( ( 

So, we thought that we would give up something this month and ask others to join us in order to honor the spirit of the people of The Montgomery Boycott and to also tap into the power that God has given us.

Here is the plan in the words of Tracy, my sister:

I am so excited about 2013!! I am determined not to let anything or anyone stop me from reaching my goals this year. I have made a decision to lay aside ANY weights that can so easily ensnare me, but I know this will take some serious self discipline! According to some reports, it takes at least 21 days to start the lifelong process of making or breaking a habit. During the month of February, which is only 28 days, I have made a choice to give up any weights, including Facebook, that might be holding me back (Not that FB is bad, but it can become addictive and a time stealer.) lol!! I began to explain to my kids that I am proving to MYSELF that nothing can have control over me, and of course self control is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22,23)! They became so excited, and our 8 year old son who LOVES his video games said, "Mom, I'll give up my video games, my 11 year old who LOVES ice cream said "I'll join you, and I'll give up my ice cream. Then our 7 year old said with excitement "I'm giving up juice and sweets!" I explained to them that this is by choice and might not be easy, but with prayer and the power of God, we can make this fast a success! After sharing with my husband Pastor Rex, he also decided to join us in this challenge! He is presently teaching a series that Self discipline is a MUST to obtain success in any area of our lives, and our family is definitely preparing for success!! We have decided to take control over our lives and run with endurance this race that is before us....and YOU are invited to join us and take on this challenge!!

Tracy Stallworth Ricks

Remember, if you take something away, you may need to replace that with something else: Rexie giving up video games means that he may need to replace the time spent on video games with reading; Christina giving up ice cream may need to replace ice cream with an apple; and Tia giving up juice may need to replace the juice with water. (Try and make the replacement something that is good for you.)

So, my readers, consider joining us by giving up something that may be controlling you, or hindering you from reaching your goals, or may be taking away from the Glory that belongs to God.

I'm giving up Facebook as well, not that it's bad or that I waste a lot time on it, but I want to make sure that with everything that I do, I seek the approval of God and not others, and I want to make sure that I personally connect with people this month.

Let's Do This People!!!

Remember that our start date is February 1st, but it's never to late to start.

I will post a follow-up blog mid-February to check in and a final blog at the end of the month where I will post some of our success stories. (That means you my readers.)

If you go to my profile on this blog, click on email, and send me a message at anytime. If you have a message for Tracy, I will make sure that she gets it.

A Dream Begins With One Step.... Just think about the people of The Montgomery Boycott whose dream literally started with one step.

Get to stepping "My People!"

Rex Sr., Christina, Rexie, Tia, and Tracy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why I love the ING Miami half marathon!

I've traveled to quite a few places to run races, and without a doubt, my all time favorite race to run is the ING half marathon in Miami. Here are some reasons why:

First: The Time

You absolutely can not beat the time: January! The race is always in January, and if you have ever been to Miami in January, you know how perfect the weather is, and if you have never been to South Florida in January, trust me when I say that the highs are normally in the high 70's and low 80's, and the sun is normally shining brightly.

If you live somewhere where it gets cold in January, than you should definitely run this race. What a great escape from cold weather! I laid on the beach both Friday and Saturday, and after the race on Sunday without breaking out in a sweat. Oh the joys of the beach in January...

The Beach!
Miami in January

Second: The Place

The race is located in South Florida, must I say more? I love South Beach in Miami for so many reasons such as the small boutique style hotels, a person does not have to be concerned with how he/she looks, the convenience of everything being within walking distance, people are normally extremely nice, a person can easily get around cheaply and/or on foot on and on and on......

I caught the bus to my hotel for $2. (Really!!). I woke up early Saturday morning and walked to Starbucks, which was right around the corner from the hotel. I sat outside and drank a latte, and I had not had a shower yet.(Yay!) I showered later, and walked to eat, shop, and to the beach, and all of these places were less than a five minute walk from my hotel.

Boutique Style Hotel
At Starbucks!
Relaxing in the early morning!

Third: The Race Expo

The race expo, which is where the runners pick up their race materials, has lots and lots of great vendors. A person can try on all types of running shoes, buy running gear, find out what type of shoes he/she should run in, try all types of power bars, nuts, smoothies etc. It is open to the public, and the freebies are completely amazing. A person can leave the expo with lots of helpful health tips, running tips, and lots of snacks. But, what I love the most is talking to all of the other runners. The expo definitely put me in an excited, running, frame of mind.

Fourth: The Course

The course for the ING half and full marathon is the best: At the beginning of the race, the runners run on the freeway that has water on both sides as well as cruise ships and beautiful views. This helped to completely take my mind off of the idea that I had about twelve more miles to go. Then the course goes down the main street in South Beach and there are so many people out. Many of the people are drinking and are in quite festive moods which caused me to smile and even break out in laughter at times.

The only long stretch of the race is the beginning, but the lovely view makes up for that. There are lots of turns and therefore the runners never have to worry about seeing people very far ahead which can be psychologically damaging. Also, the course is flat, except for a few inclines which really aren't a problem, and there are more than enough water stops.

The ING full and half marathon definitely have a great course.....

I have no pictures of the course, because I was running and having fun!

Fifth: The Snacks after the race

After the race, there are so many snacks to try; it's really a dream come true after burning a whole bunch calories. I had red beans and rice, coconut milk, and a banana. However, there were so many other things that I could have chosen....smoothies, chocolate milk, power bars, oranges, cookies etc.  If you love snacks, running this race would be worth it. After burning lots of calories running the race, a person can really go crazy with the snacking and not feel guilty.

Red Beans and Rice!

Bonus: Black Girls Run (BGR)

This year, there was an added bonus to the race! The ladies of the South Florida chapter of Black Girls Run hosted a pasta dinner Saturday night before the race, and the founders of Black Girls Run were in attendance. It was so good to have dinner with so many other runners and talk about running and races. It was also good to meet Toni and Ashley, the founders of BGR. I do not run with BGR in DC, but I do try and run with  BGR when I visit Atlanta. Toni and Ashley have started a revolution....

Toni and Ashley and one of their Florida running Ambassadors!

Toni, Me, and Ashley (Founders of BGR)

If you have never run a half or full marathon before, then the ING in Miami is the place to start. I know there is someone out there thinking that he/she can not run a half marathon, but you can!!!  Train, train, train....

Also, I must let you in on a secret, when you need to walk during a race, you can. There is no one with a whip saying you better run or I'll whip you... You get to run your race anyway that you want to.

I hope to see many of you in Miami next January...

Just start with one step!

Happy Tuesday "My People!"

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I'm happy.         I ran good.        I feel good.       I AM GOOD!

I love the ING half marathon in Miami.

Feeling Warm Inside!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

South Beach and a half marathon...

I am heading to Miami EARLY in the morning to run the ING half marathon; my first half marathon of 2013. I am super excited, but not just excited about the half marathon, but I am super excited to be heading towards warmer weather. Currently in DC it is 24 degrees, and in Miami, it is 74 degrees. (My, My, My!)

Look for updates from the race, and I promise not to post pictures of me in a bikini, but trust that I will have one on.....

Happy Thursday!!!!!

By the way, I am still riding the high from the Inauguration weekend.

My students and co-workers are getting a little tired of me screaming "Obama's on Fire."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Obama's on my Alicia Keys Voice

The Obamas are Game Changers.

Over the weekend, I thought about the idea that I have been living in the DC area for about fourteen years, and until the Obamas came alone, I had never given the Inauguration much thought. I wondered to myself if people of color were excluded from the events, or if people are not concerned when a person from their preferred party do not win, or if in the past, the Inaugural events were reserved for the wealthy.

All I know is that for the last two Inaugurations, I've felt like the Inaugural events were accessible for everybody. Four years ago, I celebrated the entire weekend, and this year was not much different than four years ago, except there were not as many people, and therefore it was easier to get around in the city and enjoy some of my regular spots.

On Inauguration day, there was a certain level of calmness in the air. The feeling was the same feeling that one may experience at a very dignified affair such as a wedding or a graduation. There was not a lot of talking but a lot of expectancy and anticipation. I know I was feeling excited and subdued and did not want to miss one moment of this historical occasion.

When President Obama got up to speak, tears welled up in my eyes. I felt such a sense of pride. I thought about the idea that it is the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Opportunity led by Dr. King, and we were standing on The National Mall, on the day that is set aside to honor Dr. King, watching our President, with African blood running through his veins, being Inaugurated. Not only is he part African, but he has an African name: Barack Hussein Obama, and he was being Inaugurated as the President of the United States. And, on the Inaugural stage, there was an African American Rapper: Jay Z.

President Obama, with that African blood running through his veins, that African name, his past of being raised by a single mother and grandparents, is confirmation that there is no limit to what God can do! He uses whomever he wants to.

After the ceremony, Tameika and I went to the National Museum of American History to see the exhibit to commemorate the anniversaries of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and The March on Washington which is more confirmation of how "Great is our God."

Then, being highly favored all of the time, we got to the parade in time to see President Obama and Michele and Joe and Jill Biden walk in the Inaugural parade. (Icing on the cake.)

What an awesome, historical time and I savored every moment.

Soooooooooooo happy to be alive during such a time as this!

I wonder what my God has up his sleeves next?

Inauguration 2013:

I must leave you with Alicia Keys singing "Obama's on Fire!" Love, Love this song!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


This Inaugural weekend has been one of those weekends that is difficult to put into words, so I will not try right now. (Look for an Inaugural blog to come soon...)

But, I really want to share this one thing:

About 15 minutes after I got to the Inaugural parade, President Obama and Michelle Obama got out of their car, and I started screaming....

My Soul is Happy........

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Pleasant Surprise!

My college freshman!

I taught Morgan when she was in 9th grade, and then I was blessed to teach her again when she was a senior.

She is home for a visit, and she stopped by to say Hi. What a pleasant surprise!

She is now a freshman at a college in Boston, and you can see from her smile that she is happy...

Morgan is a finance major and will be doing an internship with GE, she is on the lacrosse team, she has her very first boyfriend ever, she is learning great life lessons, and she is loving life.

She remembered me saying that if she plans properly, she will have time to do everything that she wants to do: go to class, study, party, workout, and sleep. (They really do listen.)

I am one proud teacher....

A visit from Morgan was such a pleasant surprise!!

Morgan, keep on keeping on.........

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Greatest Salesman in the World Parts I and II by Og Mandino

T. Smith, Me, and Brian

I have two friends, T. Smith and Brian, who are the most well-read men that I know. And not only are they well-read, but they are successful, love people, health conscious, supportive, and have a whole bunch of other admirable qualities

T. Smith and Brian are always reading something real deep. You know that I love novels, but these guys love books like The 48 Laws of Power, The 48 Laws of Seduction, anything by Pablo Coehlo and so on. They are always reading to become better and better people.

I was talking to T. Smith a few days ago, and he told me about the book titled The Greatest Salesman in The World by Og Mandino. 

The first page of the books states:

"I will persist until I succeed.

I was not delivered into this world into defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep.

The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

I will persist until I succeed."

From the ancient stroll III


This opening page had me hooked, and I eagerly devoured this book!

In this book, Pathos is "The Greatest Salesman in the World." There are secrets to his success that are printed on ten scrolls. Pathos was told that "through some sign I would recognize the individual to pass the scrolls even though it was possible that the individual would not that he was seeking the scrolls." It was revealed to Pathos that Hafid was the person whom he should reveal the secret to his success to. As Pathos sent Hafid on his journey he told him to state: "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." This line pushed me to read on with great anticipation.

All ten of the principles are definitely principles to live by. I wrote them all down, and I am planning to place them in my house and on my desk at work and read them over and over until they become apart of me. They are principles to live by.

After finishing this book, I called T. Smith, and he did not answer, so I called Brian, and he knew exactly what I wanted. We talked about this book and it's greatest. Then he had to go, because he needed to get a workout in. (What a focused man!) But, before he hung up, I was told that I needed to read Part II of this book.

Later, I talked to T. Smith, and we talked about this book and a whole lot of other stuff for awhile, and we both agree that this book is a 'game changer.'  He confirmed that I needed to read Part II of this book.

And, I did!

In Part II, Hafid is sixty years old. His wife has died, and he has spent fourteen years in isolation from the world. He suddenly realizes that "I am a healthy child of sixty! My lungs are clear, my flesh is firm, my vision is excellent, my heart is as alert as it was at twenty. I believe that I am prepared for a second life....!"

Hafid embarked upon a second career; the world still needed him. (Live until you die!) 

Hafid passed the scrolls on to another person and soon realized that the scrolls had been lost at sea. So, he went into the woods, and he rewrote the information. The ten scrolls in Part II are slightly different than the first ten, but they are equally divine.

What a "Game Changer!"

For those of you who say that you do not have time to read, these books are less that one hundred pages and are fairly easy reads.

You got to read these books.

I am so Thankful that I have well-read friends like T. Smith and Brian to recommend great books to me!!!

Read these books My People......

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Clouds Moved Back, and The Sun DID Shine Again!

All that I needed: My Daddy

I woke up with my Daddy on my mind.....

Jan 16, 2001, I received a phone call that would change my life forever!

I instantly went into doubt then the deepest grief that I have ever known.

Within hours of receiving that phone call, I was in the state of Alabama thanks to my dear friend Carolyn who booked me a flight right away and my dear friend Deanna who left her job to take me to the airport. (So grateful that they saw a need and filled it without many words.)

That time in my life still seems like a dream that I wish had never happen, but "How Great is Our God?"

Eventually, "The clouds moved back, and The sun DID shine again."

I am grateful to God for sending the man whom I called Daddy who was all that I needed and so much more.

And you know what? He will never die, because I hear something that he said almost everyday, and I pass it on.......

"The clouds moved back, and The sun DID shine again."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This is the day.......

Dr. King

Kim and Me!

That Dr. King and my niece, Kim, were born.

Let us rejoice and be glad.......

Happy January 15th everybody!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Thousand Splendid Suns AGAIN!

I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns a few minutes ago, and I must say that I love this novel more and more with each read. Tomorrow, I will start student led discussions on this novel, and I can't wait.

Today, my students turned in all of the preliminary work that I expect to be completed before we start a discussion on a novel. After collecting the work, we had a discussion about what they thought about the novel or anything else that they would like to discuss about this novel. One of the students stated something, I can't remember what right now, and one of my quiet thinkers started smiling. I turned to him and stated "What made you smile; do you have something that you want to say? He stated "I don't have anything to say, and I was smiling because you are so excited." Everybody, including me, started laughing, because it is true that I am very excited about A Thousand Splendid Sun.

As my students left the room, I told them that I wanted them to think about women and our roles in the world.

This novels never fails to make me think about the life of a woman and how much we can endure and how much we should not have to endure. The women in this novel were faced with so many adversities, and they were able to stand boldly and move forward in spite of all that they went through. (I want to start a women's revolution all over the world! Really..)

There are some women, such as the women in some parts of Afghanistan, who have to take the oppression because it is dictated by the law. However, there are other women in countries, like the United States, who are oppressed and sometimes it is self-inflicted by things that we allow into our lives.

You know that I love freedom, but I am not speaking of the freedom of being a single woman, I am talking about the freedom to make decisions for myself, the decision to be able to state what I like and don't like, the freedom to chose my career etc. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a reminder that not all women have freedom of the mind and/or body, and there is not much that they can do about it but maybe start a revolution.

"Freedom IS a beautiful thing!"

If you want to read just a good, old-fashioned story, then this is the book for you.

I can't wait to discuss this novel with my students and read their essays on this novel.

You must read A Thousand Splendid Suns!

Before I go to bed tonight, I am going to started reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. This book was recommended by my friend, T. Smith, who is one of the most well-read brothers that I know. So, you should get this book, and join me in reading it. If T. Smith recommended it, then it is a must read.

Happy Monday!!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

100 sho' looks and feels good to me!

Deanne: Super Delta

I am writing this post in memory of my dear friend, Deanna, who suddenly transitioned from this life to another in November. Deanna loved Delta Sigma Theta, the national public service organization that she and I are both members of, so much. Deanna is what I would call a super Delta, because she showed her love for Delta by being one of the most active members that I know. During the Ecumenical service this morning and last night on the campus of Howard University, I thought about Deanna and almost went into the ugly cry, because she was not here with us in body to celebrate 100 years of sisterhood.

Sooooo, here's to Deanna:

Thousands of women who are members of Delta Sigma Theta descended on the Nation's Capital in order to celebrate. 100 years ago, twenty-two strong women started a sorority that would change the world forever. I wonder if they had any idea that they had started a organization that would last for over 100 years and have over 300,000 members worldwide? Did they know that their organization would service the world in so many ways?

Founder's of Delta Sigma Theta

I wish that those twenty-two BOLD women could have seen the way that the organization was welcomed back home to Howard University.

When I first got to Howard University last night, where Delta Sigma Theta was founded, there were not many women there yet, and I was able to talk to some sorors and take a picture with a sculpture called "Fortitude" which was unveiled on April 28, 1979 to honor the founders.

Me at "Fortitude!"
You know that I am silly and could not resist taking this one!

I wish that those twenty-two bold women could have seen those thousands of women who took over the campus of Howard University last night. When the clock struck twelve, which meant that it was officially Jan 13, 2013, the excitement in the crowd could not be contained.

The Crowd
The Crowd!
Traci and Me with "Fortitude" in the background!

"100 sho' looked and felt so gooooooood last night"

After a late night at Howard University, I got up to go and have "church" with the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta.

There is a gospel singer whom I absolutely love to hear minister through song, and her name is Maurette Brown Clark, and she just happens to be a Delta. Well, I listen to two of her songs regularly: "Just Want to Praise You" and "It Ain't Over." And guess who was on program at the service today, and guess what two songs she sang?

Maurette Brown Clark

Thousands of Delta women and guest were at this service. I mean, this service was awesome with all of the pomp and circumstances that go with dignified services. The National President, Cynthia M.A. Butler McIntyre, and many other distinguished guests spoke, many songs were sang, there was dancing, there were great prayers, and an awesome sermon.

Delta Sigma Theta's National President

I sat with a high school classmate and soror during the service, and after the service, I met up with my cousin who is also a Delta and currently lives in Houston, Texas. (Ain't nothing like reconnecting in the name of sisterhood.)

High School classmate and soror!
Cousins and Sorors!

I left the services feeling fired up about Jesus, sisterhood, and Delta Sigma Theta, and NOW, I am officially tired!

When I looked over the crowd last night and this morning, I thought to myself  "100 sho' looks and feels good to me!"

Deanna, you would have been thrilled with your soul stepping sorors of DST....

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