Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oh, How I love September!


Without a doubt, September is my favorite month, and here are just a few of the reasons why:

Labor Day Weekend and I ran my last half marathon of the year....

Adams Morgan Day!

The H Street Festival!

Congressional Black Caucus!

Spinderalla from the group Salt and Pepper!
Ran into Kenny Rocker whom I went to TU with, and he currently
lives in Nebraska!

Yes, the Honorable Congresswoman Maxine Waters!
The END!

Clarendon 10k race and street festival!

Before the Race!
After the race!

Celebration of 75 Years of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston!

The author Alice Walker
The Writer: E. Ethel Bert
Andy and Alice
The entertainers!

The DC Tuskegee Alumni Club's, Annual Dr. Luther H. Foster Scholarship Breakfast!

In the midst of "loving September," I managed to teach some pretty awesome lessons, I almost caught up on my Bible readings, had my dryer fixed, worked out 5 to 7 days each week, finished all 900 plus pages of The Count of Monte Cristo, got some training in for my century bike ride that is coming up in October and on and on and on....AND, I ain't tired yet!!

Next is always better so, I'm expecting October to "knock me off of my feet."

Every September in the DC area is completely awesome...... Try it sometimes!!!!!!!

Get to living people...Your Life is Waiting!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Father Is a Simple Man by Luis Omar Salinas

The awesome writer Luis Omar Salinas

I was skimming the 9th grade textbook, and I ran across this poem: "My Father Is a Simple Man" by Luis Omar Salinas. Whenever I think of fathers, I have these feelings that cause me to want to cry tears of joy and sorrow. Joy that my father was exactly what I needed, and I wish that every child could have the same. And, sorrow that my father is no longer physically here with us.

My Father Is a Simple Man by Luis Omar Salinas

I walk to town with my father
to buy a newspaper. He walks slower
than I do so I must slow up.
The street is filled with children.
We argue about the price
of pomegranates. I convince
him it is the fruit of scholars.
He has taken me on this journey
and it's been lifelong.
He's sure I'll be healthy
so long as I eat more oranges,
and tells me the orange
has seeds and so is perpetual;
and we too will come back
like the orange trees.
I ask him what he thinks
about death and he says
he will gladly face it when
it comes but won't jump
out in front of a car.
I'd gladly give my life
for this man with a sixth
grade education, whose kindness
and patience are true. . .
The truth of it is, he's the scholar,
and when the bitter-hard reality
comes at me like a punishing
evil stranger, I can always
remember that here was a man
who was a worker and provider,
who learned the simple facts
in life and lived by them,
who held no pretense,
And when he leaves without
benefit of fanfare or applause
I shall have learned what little
there is about greatness.

Ain't nothing like a father who is ALL that his children need!!!

Go out and climb a tree today...

Just playing, but definitely enjoy this day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Two winters ago, I decided that I needed to treat myself to a quick weekend getaway. I made reservations at a hotel in downtown Philadelphia and pretended that I was far away from home. Well, I do have friends in Philadelphia, and they met me for brunch at a swanky restaurant in downtown Philadelphia.

Omoiye and Jennifer

Some kind of way we got on the topic of books, and Omoiye, the one on the left in the picture, asked me if I had ever read The Count of Monte Cristo, and she also stated that the author was Black. She forgot to mention that the book is over 900 pages. Not that I don't read extremely long books, but damn!!!

You know me, I instantly downloaded The Count of Monte Cristo, and I started reading it this past August, around 2 years after it was recommended. I really should have started reading it at the beginning of the summer when I had a lot of free, but sometimes we just don't plan things correctly.

Alexandre Dumas' (1802-1870) grandfather was from a noble French family, and his grandmother was a Dominican slave. So, this made his father French and Dominican, and his mother was French soooo, I guess that we can say, if we stretch it, that Dumas was Black. I kind of feel that Omiyoe tricked me, but Omoiye is a trickster! (She's going to deny that she is a trickster, but she is.)

Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is captivating from the very first page. Edmond Dantes is wrongfully sent to prison, and the entire story is the story of Dante avenging his imprisonment. This novel has a lot of characters, and there are many different stories told about the people whom Edmond takes revenge upon. I would say that this is a mystery novel and Dumas gives clues along the way that makes the reader want to continue to read all 900 plus pages. The writing style of this novel is very similar to the writing of Charles Dickens in Great Expectations; they both tell stories within stories and cleverly puts all of the details together and leaves the reader with a very satisfying feeling.

If you want to work on your cognitive ability and be entertained for quite a long time, I highly recommend The Count of Monte Cristo. 

Thanks Omoiye for the recommendation.

Have a wild and crazy Friday!!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Ernestine Shepard

As I am getting older, I am getting stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually! If we continually train our bodies, minds, and spirits, I promise you that we will get better and better....

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I didn't know as much as I know now, I was not as strong as I am now, I was not as spiritually connected as I am now, I could not run as fast and for as long as I can now........ However, I am looking forward to getting smarter, stronger, and so close to God until my thoughts are his thoughts......

We CAN get better with age if only we would take the limits off of our minds: "I can't do this at my age," "I don't want to learn anything new," "I like where I am in life, and this is it," "My doctor said!" Make no excuses...............

Everyday and every year, we CAN get better.........

But, we must train, train, train, train every area of our lives, EVERYDAY.  Sounds like a lot? Well, it is, but it is so worth it.......

and Ernestine Shepard is the proof:

She is 75 years old. She started working out at the age of 56. She wakes up at 3am, meditates, and runs 10 miles before lunch, and I know, based on how she looks, she must be eating things that are good for her body regularly......

Train, train, train your body, mind, and spirit everyday, and see what will happen.............

Happy Thursday People!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are our faces and hearts saying the same thing?

I was starting to plan for the teaching of Song of Solomom by Toni Morrison, and I ran across this excerpt in my files. After a quick search, I realized that I got this from Oprah's website. It sure touches my heart everytime that I read it. (Toni Morrison is deep.)

Here it is:

"One of Oprah's favorite lessons comes from Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and the question she asked of all parents: When your child walks in the room, does your face light up?

"When my children used to walk in the room, when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up," she told Oprah in 2000. "You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you're caring for them. It's not. When they see you, they see the critical face. But if you let your face speak what's in your heart...because when they walked in the room, I was glad to see them. It's just as small as that, you see."

Toni's comment has become one of The Oprah Show's most profound lessons and has touched the hearts of many viewers—including Gennece, who says that hearing Toni's lesson changed her. "My daughter ended up dying of cancer," she says. "And the last two years [of her life], every time she would come home—whether it was from chemo or a party or the grocery store—I would always say, 'Niecy's home! Niecy's home!' And she would get so excited. ... That made a difference in my life. And now when children are in my space, it's authentic that my eyes light up, because my heart lights up."

Do our faces show what our hearts are feeling?

I love that Toni Morrison!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

LOVE really?


So, I have been reading the One Year Bible, and for some reason or the other, I got behind on my readings. However, with the One Year Bible, getting behind is not always a bad thing, because some of the stories are better when they are read in one sitting like the story of Esther. Which is what I read tonight.

Last week when I was having one of those days, I thought a lot about people who appear to desire not to be loved. They may be grumpy, don't respond to calls or text, will say some really crazy things, and God really wants us to love those people? You know the student with the smart mouth, the one who storms out of the room while blurting out "Bitch," and I am suppose to love that student? I mean, God really must know something about us that we do not know about ourselves.

Along with reading about Esther tonight, I read about love. (Oh, Lord, here He goes again!!)
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
New Living Translation (NLT)
Love Is the Greatest
13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Now, I have read this passage before, but for some reason, I'm sure that God will reveal it to me later, this passage really caused me to think tonight! What resonated is the idea that we can have faith, be very diverse in the things that we may know, give, but we are nothing if we do not love others. I started to ask myself, what does this kind of love look like, and the word answered for itself: "patient, kind, not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way........."

The part that made me want to do a hallelujah dance is "love never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (Deep Right?)

Love is very, very high on God's priority list so I guess we better use everyday to practice loving so that we may get closer and closer to perfection and please God!

Not sure why I wrote this post, but here it is....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Get It From My Momma!!!!

Momma in her exercise class "gettin it!'

If you read this blog often, you know that I get my exercise on.

Guess where I get this ritual, habit, routine from? My momma of course!!!!

My 77 year old momma goes to exercise, come hell or high waters, EVERY Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!!

Sooooooo, I just can't help myself; I get it from my momma.

Hey, find something that you love to do and do it like your life depends upon it.

Ritual, Routine, Training..... All of that WORKS!


Monday, September 10, 2012

"Trust the Training"

Robert Griffin III

I have never been a football person. I have been to lots of fooball games, but never really watched the games. However, if you live in the DC area, you must start to love football, or you will be bored on Sundays and Mondays and will have limited conversations with most people, because almost everybody is excited about the Redskins. So, to that end, I watch football on most Sundays, especially if the Redskins are playing.

The Redskins have not been a stellar team for awhile. But this year, they recruited the Heisman trophy winner, RG3, and this place has been on fire. There are such high expectations for this guy to turn this team around, and yesterday, RG3 sure made the Redskins and their fans proud. He was incredible, and he led the Redskins to victory over the Saints.

So, if you live in the DC area, you can't help but see this guy, day after day, on the news; it's quite entertaining. Last week, the news reporters were badgering him about the game on Sunday, and he calmly stated "I have to trust my training."

Being a words person, this statement sent me down a road of deep thinking: "I have to trust my training."

If we take our training seriously, we will more than likely perform when it's time to perform. Yea, there might be some mistakes, but the type of training that we do is a great indicator of the outcome. So, RG3 must be taking the training seriously, because yesterday, the man performed.

Let's talk about going to college, trade school or any other type of training that we may go through. If we take the training seriously, then we should feel a little less anxiety when it's time to perform. (I hope that you are following me.)

For instance, I run every Saturday, even during the winter. I treat every practice run as if it's a race: I go to bed early the night before, I make sure that I eat before I run, and I get to the starting point a little early to allow myself a little time to relax and get my mind right just like I do on race days. Because of taking the training seriously, I am not too anxious on race days, and I normally finish strong.

With whatever we are are trying to do, we must take the training seriously and training must be ongoing.....As a teacher, or with whatever you do, we can't just get into our careers or anything else and stop training, we must continue to train to keep up with all of the new and exciting things that are taking place, or we become irrelavant...

I am sure that after that great game yesterday, RG3 is still training. If he believes, even for a little while, that he had a good game and does not need to take the training seriously anymore, we will definitely see the decline of RG3.

Since RG3 seems to have this training concept down..... I'm expecting great things from him....

Take the training seriously people!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can I get an AMEN!!!!

Can I get an AMEN for the awesome speech, her workouts, her arms, her hair, for doing a public confession of how much she LOVES her husband, for family, for being strong, outspoken, for being the girl next door......???

Owwwwww Girl!!!!!!

Let the People say AMEN!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

One of Those Days........

I had an awesome weekend spending time with my niece and her family, and I really enjoyed the Rock and Roll half marathon in VA Beach, but I was very disappointed with my time......

Not sure if it was the disappointment with my time or yesterday being my Daddy's birthday or if it was something else that sent me into a really crazy place.

Yesterday, I had every negative emotion that a person can have: indecisiveness, doubt, grief, restlessness, sadness, anxiety and the list goes on and on.

My dryer was not working, and I wash everyday. (Oh MY!) So, I still washed, and I went to the laundromat to dry my clothes. Thank God that the laundromat is very close to my house, it was empty, and it took my things about 15 minutes to dry. (It was painless!) I called a friend to meet me in DC, and then I called him back to say that I changed my mind. (Indecisiveness!) I drove to Georgetown, and then decided that I wanted to go back home. (Restlessness!) I thougth of my Daddy on his birthday and went into the ugly cry. (Grief and sadness!) At least I was pleased with my dinner yesterday: butternut squash, kale pesto, and cottage cheese for a treat.

I was thinking that I am too much on a routine, I want to run faster, I need to try new restaurants and bars, I need to bike more, I need a running group for speed training, I hope that my dryer can be fixed, I want my light fixed in my kitchen, why don't I have dishwasher detergent, I'm not a good teacher, I need to infuse technology into my classroom, I am clueless when it comes to dating, I wonder why God places such priority on loving EVERYBODY, and on and on and on......

Finally, I really needed to be pulled out, and I called my friend Cliff, and he did pull me out. I met Cliff when we were both pursing degrees from George Washington University, and he and I spent a lot of time convincing each other that we could make it through GW, and we did. Since then, we have served each other by being there when we need to hear "The Truth" and to be "pulled out."

So, Cliff talked to me for about two hours while I cleaned the kitchen, made up my bed, ironed my clothes, packed my lunch etc....

AND, he pulled me out. I hung up feeling empowered and ready for the next day.

I have more good days than bad days, but yesterday was "One of those days."
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