Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

Have you ever read a book and the entire time that you were reading the book, you were wondering "what was on the the mind of the author as she/he were writing that book?" Well, I thought about Octavia Butler from the first to last page of this book and after I finished the novel. I really want to get inside of the brilliant mind of Octavia Butler..

Well, it is not even possible to talk to the late, great Octavia Butler, because she died at the tender age of 58 in 2006. But, I would do almost anything to be able to meet and get to know this incredible writer. I want to know how she came up with a story like Wild Seed!

Wild Seed has a female protagonist named Anyanwu who was born in West African, and she has lived for thousands of years. She is not immortal, but she can heal herself; therefore, she is sort of in control of when and if she dies.

The other protagonist in this story is Doro, and Doro is a spirit. The only way that Doro can manifest himself is through the body of someone whom he kills. So, Doro has to kill people in order to live.

Anyanwu is found by Doro, and he convinces her to travel to America with him where he is gathering people who are 'strange like them," and he is breeding them in order to make more people who will live forever. However, this task seems to be impossible.

This story goes from the years 1690 to 1840, and it mimics the life of someone who leaves African for America and shows the difficulties of trying to take on a new culture.

However, there is another story line that is running that has to do with loneliness and love...

Doro and Anyanwu were both lonely; they have watched all of the people that they care about die and this would go on forever for them; humans eventually die. However, Anyanwu did not like many of the ways of Doro, and she began to resent him and knew exactly what to do so that he could not reach her for long periods of time, but he eventually was always able to reach her.

Anyanwu realized that the only to rid herself of Doro and the things about him that she did not like, was to commit suicide, and Anyanwu was willing to do that. She was willing to die for what she believed in. Doro suddenly realized that "Because of her, he was no longer alone. Because of her, life was suddenly better than it had been for him in centuries, in millenia." So, "There had to be changes. Anyanwu could not have all she wanted, and Doro could no longer have all that he considered his by right."

AND, they lived happily ever-after!

Of course this book made me think about slavery, and love, and loneliness, and I came to two conclusion: humans can adapt and get use to just about anything, and sometimes we must be willing to stand firmly on what we believe and we may be surprised to find out that things just may turn out in our favor.

Very Intriguing book that I highly recommend.

Read and Expand....

The late, great Octavia Butler... Gone to soon!!!

My next read is Americanah by one of my favorite writers: Chimamanda Ngozi...Join Me!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blessed Assurance

Every time that I read the above quote, my heart skips a beat, and I think to myself Blessed Assurance that after always comes!

I have been on this earth for quite awhile, and I can not remember one time when Spring did not follow winter; it has happened my entire life.

This winter, in the DC area, has been one that has made me think a lot about moving to Sunny California. You know how much I love the DC area, and I never, ever complain about the winter. So, if I had California on my mind, then that should explain the kind of winter that we had.

Tuesday, March 25, YES, almost the very end of March, it snowed just about the entire day, and it was COLD. I finally succumbed to the Blessed Assurance that Spring will come exactly when it is suppose to. There is always an after.

Applying the above quote to other areas of my life, I feel so excited to know that after everything that we go through, Spring always come.

If we would just hold on when we are going through things, the seasons should remind us that there is always an after... The Clouds always move back, and the sun does shine again, and this is a Blessed Assurance.

Today, it is still winter in the DC area and many other parts of the world, BUT Spring always follow winter...

Blessed Assurance!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


My very first racing number!

So, I had my first, cycling race on Sunday, AND I learned a few good lessons....

First, I learned that when I am asked at registration to show my license, I should show my racing license and not my driver's license...(OH BOY!)

Second, I must remind myself to ride my own race.. I can't compare myself to other cyclist. In my next race, I am going to pedal, pedal, pedal...

Third, I learned to never take myself out of the race...I will stop if I get pulled from the race, but I will stay on the course and pedal, pedal, pedal...

Fourth, I learned that I need to train, train, train....

Fifth, I learned that I absolutely love the energy that surrounds a race. It was such a festive but serious environment, and I was extremely happy to be in that number...

My people, I learned some valuable lessons, I have a long way to go, BUT I am going to stay the course...

The Race is Not Given to the Swift, but to the one who endures until the end......

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Someday is Today!

Right now is the time.....

I've been wanting to travel to Ghana for years, and I mean years. Last summer, while on a biking trip, I had an epiphany moment: Someday is Today!

So, after that biking trip, I started planning to travel to Ghana, and this August, I am traveling to Ghana.

What are you waiting to do that you can do right now?

Don't wait until it's to late.....

Someday is Today!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1984 by George Orwell

From 1984

Quite a few of the teachers at my school teach 1984 by George Orwell with lots of success. I had not read 1984 in a very long time, or I may not have ever read it, and so I decided to give it a try.

I loved this very disturbing book...

1984 was published in 1949, and it is a novel that remains as one of the most powerful warnings ever issued against the dangers of a totalitarian society.

The world that Orwell creates in this book is a world where 'Big Brother' is always watching literally. It is a world where there is a force, known as 'Big Brother' that continuously controls everybody by watching and studying people's every move, including their body language and facial expression. People are not allowed to think freely, to have sex, or to express any type of individuality.

The main character, Winston Smith, is frustrated by this world, and he wants to join a secret party that he has heard about called the 'Brotherhood' which is believed to be against 'Big Brother' and his party. Winston starts to engage in behaviors like writing a diary, knowing that keeping a diary could get him killed UNTIL...

A girl named Julia, slips him a note that simply states "I LOVE YOU!" AND all of a sudden, Winston has the desire to live and even work with "The Brotherhood" with Julia by his side.

When I got to this point, my mind started going crazy thinking about the idea of love, and the idea that love seems to be a great motivator. This theme plays out in literature quite often in works such as The Hunger Games, Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars, Their Eyes Were Watching God etc. I started thinking that there really is something to this love thing, and people really do need other people in order to survive.

Winston and Julia managed to 'secretly' meet quite often, but "Big Brother" was watching, and they were eventually severely punished.

The entire book was quite disturbing, but the ending of the book was very disturbing, because Winston and Julia were driven away from each other, and they both eventually submitted to the doctrine of "Big Brother."

Oh, what an awesome story!!!

My people, this is a classic that should be read and re-read, because it is well-written, has a great story line, and gives the reader a lot to think about.

George Orwell

Happy Tuesday....

Get Up and Leap; then go read a book!!!

My next read is Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Dream Team: Race Season 2014!

The Dream Team!

The 2014 cycling, racing season is upon us....

I am excited as can be.....

My first race is Sunday, March 23.....

My thoughts right now are " I don't care where I place in the race; I am just happy to be in the race."

Happy Monday, My People!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

What I do.......

Now, I know that I talk a lot about taking care of our temples on this blog, but I have never really told you guys how I do this. So, here it is....

I plan, plan, plan, plan, implement, implement, implement, and make no exuses ever...

I am very fortunate that I have a schedule that is the same most of the time, and I always, typically, know in advance when I will have things to do after school like meetings, dentist, doctor's appointments etc., and I plan my eating and exercise around these things.

I live by the calender, and I have a calender on my desk at school that has every school activity on it. I also add my personal appointments to this calender so that I know exactly what is going on in my life most of the time. And, I make sure that I plan my meals and exercise according to my appointments that are set in stone. Also, I religiously use the calender on my phone as a backup for my school calender.

On Sundays, I spend time thinking about what I am going to eat for the week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then, I go to the grocery store to buy the things that I need for the week, and that's all. I spend quite a bit of time on Sundays cooking things to get me started for the week, and I normally cook again one more time during the week to replenish my cooked food supply. Luckily for me, I don't mind eating the same things over and over.

Old fashion oatmeal with cinnamon and a few blueberries
Egg whites with sauteed spinach and mushrooms ( I saute the vegetables than combine them with the egg whites and bake enough for the week on Sunday.)

Lunch and dinner will be any combination of these things: (vegetables and lean meat)
sweet potatoes
kale soup
kale pesto

cottage cheese
peanuts, cashews, and/or walnuts

lunch today: salmon, broccolini, and lentils...taste better than it looks!

I keep my meals very basic. I prepare them in advance so that I can eat when I get home and do not feel the need to stop anywhere to get something quick, and I eat leftovers often. Preparation of  meals is imperative for me so that I can make sure that I eat things that are good for my body most of the time. Also, I try not to eat out Monday thru Thursday, PERIOD!!!

I have found that if I exercise at the same time on most day, then I can work everything else around my exercise time. So, I exercise every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 4pm. Everybody who is in my life know where I am at 4 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. I make no excuses to not get to the gym at 4 on these days.

On Wednesday, I may or may not have a faculty meeting after school so, I plan to workout later on Wednesdays. This winter, on Wednesday nights, I have been taking a compu-training class, a class where we bicycle on the inside. I make sure that I am at that class, and I schedule everything around my Wednesday night class that starts at 6:30.

Friday is my free day.

On Saturday and Sundays, I get up as early as I can, and I run or cycle. Lately, I've been cycling, because my cycling team rides every Saturday and Sunday. I like to workout early on the weekends so that I have the rest of the day to have lots of fun doing whatever I want to do.

Yea, I know that this all may sound boring, but I have found that if I am on a routine with eating and exercising, then it's all good. Without a plan, I may or may not take care of my temple the way that I am suppose to, and that does not add the natural boost to my life that I need.

So, this is my plan, I can't wait to hear your plan....HOLLER!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Temple!

When I think of a temple, I think of a place that is to be treated with respect, a place where if I wanted to eat a piece of cake, I am sure that I would hide the fact that I was eating the cake, or I just might wait until I got outside. Temples are to be respected!!!

Well, I also see our bodies as temples; they are places that should be respected....

If we are lucky, many of us were born with a perfect temple; everything was working the way it was suppose to at birth. However, I know that this is not just luck, but really a blessing from God, and a GREAT blessing at that.

However, I have heard people talk about and have also observed people who do not drink water, eats lots of junk food on a regular, drink a lot more alcohol than they should, do not believe in working out ever, are constantly on the go and not giving their bodies time to rest, are stressed out about everything on a consistent basis, and they are basically wearing their temples out... and our bodily temple, just like a holy temple, will wear down after years and years of abuse. Yes, I said abuse, because that is exactly what many of us are doing to our bodies.

And, the thing about abusing our bodies is that the results are the same whether a person is rich or poor. Money nor degrees does not make a body immune to the effects of bad treatment. Eating junk food, not drinking water, not exercising has the same effect on the rich person's body as it does on the poor person's body. The side effects of poor treatment of the body do not discriminate.

I know that there are people who are being fed intravenously and people who have found themselves unable to walk for whatever reason, who would do anything to be able to drink a cold glass of water or to go for a walk, bike ride, jog etc. Yet, there are those of us who boast about the horrible things that we eat and drink and also boast about not working out...Oh, the poor temple!

My people, I've been feeling really sad when I see people lined up at food trucks for lunch or sitting in a McDonald's line, because I wonder if the people even know or even care about the damage that they are doing to their bodies...

Now, I don't want to sound self-righteous, because I have consumed more alcohol than I should, eaten lots of fast food in my time, and have also eaten more than my share of processed food, but once I learned better, I started to do better, and I ain't never going back because I love MY TEMPLE that God made perfect. Also, trust me when I say that working to keep our TEMPLES sacred, feels so good; it's a natural boost to a person's life.....

Sometimes, we are knowingly or unknowingly doing things that are causing us harm: not drinking water, eating to much fast food, not resting, stressing, but we are still held accountable even for things that we do not know, and that's the unfortunate part of all of this.

BUT, My People, it's never to late to start Honoring THE TEMPLE!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

And Laugh........

This past weekend, I went to Charlotte, NC to spend some much needed time with a few of my girlfriends.

We've been getting together around this time of year in Charlotte for about four or five years. Yep, we do party a lot, and I completely enjoy that part of the trip. But, we also share and laugh a lot, and this is the part of the trip that I enjoy the most.

It is sooo good to be in a circle of trust and be able to be vulnerable and safe and laugh.

Oh, the joy of vulnerability and laughter.

Consider taking a trip that is good for the heart and soul AND LAUGH......

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