Friday, September 28, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: BLOG REVIEW

I started this blog June 2, 2007 with my first post at 4:48 am. I started this blog because I was so filled with fear and anger that I just wanted to release it to the universe. I was living with crippling heartache and self doubt. Suicide was a viable option. I knew I had to do something and I knew it had to have immediate effects. My blog surpassed my wildest dreams. I could not believe the heartfelt posts from complete strangers who wished me well, prayed for me and sent me links to continue my spiritual growth. This blog coupled with my in-my-face friends have turned me around and pointed me in the right direction. This blog has been a lifeline for me. Over 400 folks have stopped by to check my profile and many check me on a regular basis. I have not had one bad post/comment. I have made friends blogging, folks who are facing issues more compelling than mine and they graciously show me how to move forward. I have found some blogs that have changed my life and made me truly believe that blogging is what I ought to be doing. I love this blogging world, I love my voice in it. This blog has been a life saver and chill pill. It is my goal to move from A Life in Transition, to a Transitioned Life. I am on the right path. And thanks to all the folks who believe I matter and are watching prayerfully for my success.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I’m Heeere!

When my sister Babz asked me to fill in her absence, I hesitated. “Babz, I can’t commit to that, I don’t have enough time in my day.” I replied. How could I possibly find time to write about my thoughts on something without distraction – daily!?!! While I do spend considerable time using my computer and searching the internet, it's usually conducting research for work (or home remodeling projects). I have two new contracts which require my immediate attention, both my boys have been battling colds for the past two weeks and I need to finish reconstructing my fireplace. (sigh) Then I realized we find the time for the things that matter to us.

I make time for pro-football EVERY year. So much so that family and friends know NOT to call between 1-6 PM on Sundays in September through December (and sometimes Sunday nights!). When I gave birth to my first son on a Thursday night in November, I told my doctor and the attending nurses that I needed to he home by Sunday 1PM – I was.

So, this is important to Babz - which makes it important to me. I've promised to make time to maintain the vehicle that has provided her a source of strength and reflection. I will do my best to maintain the standard she has set and will communicate as frequently as possible, with the promise of at least three times a week. Check me next week.

INTRODUCING SISTER LO

HOORAY YAHOO

My Sister Lo will guest blog for me while I am contemplating my being in federal prison. My Best Friend Ron, declined and not because he didn't want to. He is technologically challenged. No really, it would take him 30 days to figure out how to get on, post and check other sites. I knew this would be the case when I asked him so I wasn't hoping against hope. I am so happy that my Sister Lo is going to blog--I know she will love it. She has let me know that she can't do it everyday, but she could commit to twice a week--but I think she will do more---I am hoping.
She will talk about whatever she likes, I will write to her and if she wants she can update my blog with my notes from prison. My Sister is very opinionated and will have lots to say on many things. So check her out--I will see if I can get her to post something today or at the very least before I self-surrender on Monday. Her profile is up so feel free to check her out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: UNDESERVED FORGIVENESS

My Minister, Reverend Rochelle Stackhouse preached a moving sermon September 16, 2007 titled: Undeserved Forgiveness. Here it is in its entirety. It may seem long--please stick with it, I think you will find as I did that it speaks to a place so deep and sacred that you will immediately be renewed. And feel free to share with folks. Of course I could have linked it--if I knew how to do that. I just like having it right here without clicking to it.


Undeserved Forgiveness
Exodus 32:7-14, I Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10
September 16, 2007
Rochelle A. Stackhouse

www.uccredeemer.org

Draco Malfoy. Isn’t that a great name, Draco Malfoy? The name has its linguistic roots in words that mean Dragon of Bad Faith. Draco Malfoy is one of the people you love to hate in the Harry Potter books. He’s obnoxious, mean, petty, cruel, sneaky and likes to dabble in evil magic; he’s the epitome of the school bully. All through the first 6 books of the series, many of us were just waiting for Draco and his even nastier father, Lucius Malfoy, to get what was coming to them in the final book.

But there we were given a surprise by the author, J. K. Rowling, and I’m not giving away a crucial plot point here for those who still haven’t read the final book. Our hero, Harry Potter, saves the life of Draco Malfoy twice in the climactic final scenes of the story, once at great risk to his own life and to the horror of his friend, Ron Weasley. And probably to the disappointment of many readers who were hoping Draco would get paid back for all he had done to Harry over the years.

Harry, clearly, was operating under a different sense of what is “fair” and “just” than many of his readers or his classmates at Hogwarts. In that way, he is like Moses in this curious little scene we witness in the story from Exodus, or like Jesus in the way he treats Saul, now Paul, the formerly zealous and venomous persecutor of Christians in the early church, as described in the Timothy reading. Not only do the faithless (“malfoy?”) people of Israel not get destroyed, as many of them might deserve, not only does Paul not get punished for his harm to the early church, but Moses and Jesus go out of their way to try to save the nasty, the faithless, the evil.

Look at Moses. God has made him a pretty good offer. “How about if I get rid of this people who have been a pain in your neck since before you led them out of Egypt and find you a people who would be more cooperative for you and faithful to me?” A tempting offer, no doubt. But Moses doesn’t even consider it. He pleads with God not to harm the people, and he does so by appealing to the very nature of God. He tells God that it would be inconsistent with who God is as one who is loving, merciful and patient, the one the Psalmist describes as “not dealing with us according to our sins or repaying us for wrong-doing.” “Remember who you are, O God,” Moses says, “and act accordingly.” So God does, and sends Moses with the Ten Commandments to give the people yet another opportunity to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with their God.” Not only does God forgive these people undeservedly, but God actively seeks after them to help them turn from their ways and live. A whole nation whose religious life has turned from faithlessness to faithfulness is pardoned and sought out; because God still hopes they may hear the words of justice and love and respond to them.

God does this a lot in the Bible. If you remember the little story of Jonah, you’ll remember that Jonah did not want to follow God’s command and travel far to Nineveh, (in modern day Iraq, by the way), to a people who were so mean and immoral that Jonah wanted God to fry them with a righteous and holy and vengeful fire. But God instead used Jonah to seek them out and call them back to faithfulness, hoping they would respond. God sent prophet after prophet to the Hebrew people every time they turned away to chase after them and try to bring them home. And when all that seemed to fail, God came in person, in Jesus, who went out of his way to seek out the lost, the sinners, those rejected by their neighbors and families, those of bad reputations and many sins. God does this because it is in God’s very nature to do so.

Jesus is trying to explain this when he tells these two little stories about sheep and coins, and then the parable of the Prodigal Son which follows. Notice that the shepherd doesn’t wait for the sheep to come home, saying, “stupid sheep; if she doesn’t know enough to stay with the flock, then she deserves to die. I can’t be bothered to go and find her. It’s up to her to find me.” Notice that the woman doesn’t just sit and wait for the coin to roll out from under some furniture or tumble out of a pocket in her apron. Both the shepherd and the woman search diligently, believing that a single sheep or a single coin is worth finding and bringing back into the community from which it came. After the lost are found, the response of the seeker is not to devise deep punishments for the foolish ones who are lost, but to rejoice that the lost have been returned to those who can love and care for them, that the community is reconciled and restored. The nature of God is to want the community to be whole, for it is only together, God knows, that each of us can come to our own wholeness, can receive mercy, can live into the abundant life God yearns to celebrate with us.

God is the seeker. What God calls us to do is to cooperate with grace, both the grace offered to us as individuals and the grace that is offered to others, individuals or groups of people, as in the case of the Hebrew nation wandering in the wilderness with Moses.

God knows, this is not easy to do. We are a suspicious people. Sometimes we cannot believe that God would so eagerly seek us out and so willingly forgive us, and so we lay on ourselves guilt and burdens that we could easily let down. Sometimes, like Jonah or Ron Weasley or the Pharisees and unlike Moses and Harry Potter and Jesus, we don’t want God to go seeking after those who have broken the rules, those who have hurt us or others, those who seem to be so evil. We want punishment, justice, we say, let them fry or at least not be accepted into our community. People who don’t deserve forgiveness shouldn’t get it, because it will seem like we condone what they do.

Yet neither God nor Moses condoned what the Hebrew people did by making that calf. God did not condone Paul’s persecution of Christians. The shepherd does not say to the sheep, “O, it’s okay, you go and wander, and it doesn’t matter.” This is not about condoning what is wrong. It’s about putting the wholeness of a person or a community or a nation above seeking punishment or vengeance. It’s about cooperating with grace.

I learned this in an interesting way when I was in seminary studying for the ministry. One of my classmates at Princeton was a man named Jeb Stuart Magruder. For some of you, that name will mean nothing, but for those who remember Richard Nixon and the Watergate hearings in the 1970’s, that name may ring a bell. Magruder served in the first Nixon administration and then as deputy chair of the committee to re-elect the President. He was the second person convicted and sentenced in the scandal around the theft and spying in the Watergate building offices of the Democratic National Committee. He served time in federal prison for a felony. Believe me, this was all still very present in the nation in 1979 when I went to Princeton. There were a number of fellow students (and perhaps some faculty) who did not trust him, who did not believe that this man who had so misused immense power on a national scale could have had a quick turnaround and now be a man of faith, to be trusted with the care of a congregation and fit to be called “pastor.” Couldn’t this smooth political operator be snowing all of us at this nice, naïve seminary?

Perhaps. But Jeb Magruder had a very strong sense of being sought after by God, and his road to ordination (he became a Presbyterian minister and has served several churches) was his response to being sought by God. The most challenging thing about becoming a pastor for him was not the study of Greek and Hebrew or thinking about the hours of pastoral care or the pain of sitting beside someone who had experienced a tragedy in their lives; the hardest part was the constant experience of having church people reject him as a sinner before they ever knew him as a human being.

God knows, it is not easy to cooperate with undeserved, exuberant, irrational grace. We tell our children every day to make the right kinds of friends and not hang out with the bad crowd (and really, that’s exactly what the Pharisees told people about prostitutes and corrupt government officials like tax collectors). But we also believe in and serve a God who, while on earth, constantly hung out with troubled and troublesome people in the hope that they would let him pick them up, drape them around his shoulders, and lead them back into the community of the safe and loved. Sometimes they responded; sometimes they betrayed him. Jesus felt it was worth the effort if only one lost sheep came home.

To those of you here today, then, who may feel you are beyond hope for the grace of God or of the Christian community, I say you are here this morning because God seeks after you and led you here to become one with us. To those of you here today who are among the 99 sheep still in community with one another and with God, I say that we need to be as zealous as that shepherd or that woman in Jesus’ stories (or Harry Potter, for that matter) in cooperating with God’s irrational, undeserved grace toward individuals and even nations whom we perceive to be beyond redemption. From the time of Adam and Eve in the garden, hiding after eating that apple, to this very day, God is still seeking. That, my friends, is the best news of all. Rejoice.

Monday, September 24, 2007

NEW SONIFIC MUSIC TO THE RIGHT: ALL GOSPEL!

This week I thought I would play nothing but Gospel music. Old School, New Age, Comtemporary, Smooth Jazz. I find it to be healing, restorative and joyful.
I NEED THIS THIS WEEK...SIGH...SMILE.

THE COUNT DOWN IS ON...YIKES!

Next Monday, Oct 1, 2007 I will self-surrender to a federal prison facility to start my 30 day sentence. But I am not there yet. I have today, tomorrow and the remainder of the week to get my proverbial house in order. I have to make lists for my estranged husband. I have to make lists for my brother, their Uncle Robert who will take to them to music lessons on Wednesdays. I have to make instructions for pick-up for Aunt Betty, who will pick them up everyday except Wednesday. I have to give contact info to my girlfriends Karen and Robin and make sure my sister Lo has everything because she is the back-up in NJ. I have to make blog-log instructions for my sister Lo and my best friend Ron--Yep they are going to guest blog for me while I am away. I am already feeling overwhelmed, I need a list to keep straight about the list I have to make. I am not nervous or scared yet, I am just trying to remember all that I have to do to make sure the kids are taken care of. I am keeping in the front of my mind that the hardest part is over--the waiting and the not knowing what will happen. I have been sentenced and I will be doing my time in 7 days. Doing the time is the beginning of the end of all this shit. And that my friend is joyous!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

JAZZ SUNDAY...HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLTRANE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN COLTRANE!

XM SATELLITE RADIO IS DOING A ALL DAY LONG TRIBUTE TO JOHN COLTRANE.
XM 70 REAL JAZZ.

I am cooking barbecue beef ribs-with a citrus barbecue sauce, curry rice with red beans and a vegetable medley-yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and zucchini. Soul the way I like it!

Friday, September 21, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: KEEPING MY EYES ON THE PRIZE

I am not thinking too much about my self-surrender date. I have been focusing on other things. There is no reason to agonize over going to prison. That will take care of itself--all I have to do is show up. I am however thinking about November 1st and what I will need to do to pack up this house. Yes, I am still sorrowful about losing my house--but again there is nothing I can do, it will take care of itself. I am focusing on my future and thinking about all the things I want to accomplish. I am keeping my eye on the prize--an old civil rights saying. Keeping my eyes on the prize and holding on! I am looking at my children more closely and trying to hug them more without freaking them out. Today is my son's birthday--and he was supposed to take cupcakes to school to share with his class, but the last couple of days he has been acting out--so I took away his cupcakes. I told him the other day "Gregory, you are not keeping your eyes on the prize" He got it, but still did his own thing--which got him into trouble. Anyway, that's where I am today, trying to imagine my life after Oct 30Th and you know it looks pretty good in spite of...well everything.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MEME VIRGIN NO LONGER...THANKS LAURIE!

I am new to this tagging thing, and I am intrigued by it so:
OK, here are the rules:
1) link to you tagger and post rules;
2)share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird
3)tag 7 people at the end of your post--list names;
4)let them know you tagged them by leaving them a comment on their blog--and hope they don't kick your ass.

My tagger--Laurie of http://www.notjustaboutcancer.blogspot.com/ this courageous woman tagged me and I am honored that she even reads my blog--so thank you Laurie.

1) I am a chef by trade--yes I went to a vocational, technical High School where I studied culinary arts for 4 years--My diploma is in culinary arts. I won awards for decorating-using sugar and french techniques--don't ask...eek! I dreamed of being an executive chef on a cruise ship.

2) I worked on the Grammy Awards when they were NYC before they got pissed off with Mayor Giuliani and moved to LA--Janet Jackson was my assigned celebrity that was a client of the PR firm I worked for. I was in charge of getting her ready for the press after she accepted her award--if she got one. She did and she refused to talk the press--she just stood there with a smile and a blank stare. I was mortified and caught hell because she wouldn't talk to the press--after I spend all that fucking time with her prepping.

3)I am mortally allergic to milk proteins, dairy, casein.--I have been in comas from eating dairy products. EGGS ARE NOT INCLUDED.

4)I love big band music.

5)I had cervical cancer when I was 22 yrs old. I participated in a clinical trial that was designed to preserve my reproductive system. It didn't work. I cannot have children.

6)I like tasteful pornography and erotica.

7)I felt my mother's death. I was in Grad school-commuting to NYC every day from CT. I remember waking up and knowing my mother had died. I got ready to catch my train, I told my husband to go to my mother's townhouse and check on her if she is dead then call my Sister and Brothers. I purposely left my cellphone off the entire day. When I got home My husband was waiting to tell me my mother had died and that he had found her just as I said. I have been clairvoyant all of my life.

Here are my 7 folks I am tagging:
This chick is hot and has a great perspective on life as a single woman--and she is so much fun http://www.confessionsofabottleblonde.blogspot.com/. http://www.mochamomma.com/ is a Sister with a great blog on life as a teacher/administrator/mother/woman of color. This is one of my faves. http://www.piecake.blogspot.com/ are my new best friends in Australia--they take some of the most beautiful photographs. http://www.ndelible.blogspot.com/ a Sister who keeps it real. Sister friend Two Feathers over at http://www.mandalamadness.blogspot.com/ she has the most beautiful art work that you will ever see--the lost art of mandalas is something to behold. http://www.goteeman.blogspot.com/ the only man in my bunch, but certainly no lightweight--he is a fellow journeyman on the road to self awareness. And last but not least, http://www.compassionate-news.blogspot.com/ if you are in need of a spiritual pick me up this is the site. Good news all the time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: BEING STILL

Each action and choice, each decision I made brought me to NOW. My first instinct is to strike out against the tide. I wanted to try to change the outcomes by doing something. I wanted to change everything by doing anything. I worried myself sick trying to analyze my way out of my mess. But here comes the grace: I sat still and let the hand of God move me forward. There is grace and divinity in being still. Not spending time trying to figure out every angle, trying to lobby God through prayer. Using prayer as a bargaining tool rather than a tool to center one's self. I learned to be still, to let go and let God. Being still does not mean doing nothing. It doesn't mean allowing your life to spiral out of control. Being still is not being inactive. For me, being still, quieting my mind and tuning out the world's chatter is about turning up the volume to hear God's whisper. Worrying is exhausting and draining and it accomplishes nothing. I caught myself still worrying about this house and I had to force myself back into reminding myself that losing the house is small. And that I will be OK. I am back to being still and that is priceless.

Friday, September 14, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: I AM MORE THAN MY WORST MOMENT

I am coming into my own. What I know now at 44 is so different than what I thought I knew at 24 and 34. I am more confident about who I am. I can depend on me. I am not helpless and I am not mindless. This season of my life is one of the best. I know I have a lot going on and a lot to deal with. I am handling it all in stride. None of this stuff killed me. None of this stuff takes away from all the cool stuff I have done in my life. I have stood in the Oval Office with then President Bill Clinton, talking about early childhood education. I have helped bring the Jacob Lawrence exhibit to NYC MoMA. I have worked backstage at the Essence Awards with Oprah hosting. I have adopted 4 children. I have taught business courses on the college level. I coordinated a hot line for our local Rape Crisis Center. I was sexually abused as a child. I have delivered meals to people shut in with AIDS and HIV. I have volunteered for years with Habitat for Humanity. I was elected to public office twice. I was a police commissioner. I committed a federal white collar crime. I am not the sum total of my worst days, there is so much more to me and that is where my faith resides; in all the best I have to offer. My best days are just up over the hill and I am ready...almost.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

THIS IS MY STORY AND I AM STICKING TO IT: TELLING MY KIDS ABOUT MY UPCOMING 30 DAY ABSENCE

We have decided not to tell our 4 kids the whole truth about where I will be for the month of October. After long conversations with their pediatrician, mental health professionals and family members, we have decided to tell them that I will be away working on a project for my job. Now I am sure many will say why wouldn't I just them them the truth--that I am going to prison. Well, since my children were adopted from the foster care system, they all have issues of abandonment and for three of them their biological parent went to jail and never saw them again. So they will associate jail with being abandoned. Each one of them has a story of abuse and abandonment and I did not want to undo all the progress we made with each one of them. Margeaux is a little different, she arrived as a newborn so I am the only mother she has ever known, and she is aware that she is adopted and that does cause her a bit of anxiety that we are working on. When I was an elected politician, I went to week-long conferences all over the country several times a year, so they have experienced me not being home. This was not a decision we made lightly; we weighed all the pros and cons. We purposely waited until I received my official letter directing my self-surrender. Last Sunday I sat them down and told them I was going away for about 30 days. I sort of down played it so they wouldn't get anxious or freaked out and I reminded them of all the times I went away before. I reassured them that their Dad and Uncle Robert would be home to take care of them. They seemed OK. I have about 2 weeks before October 1 so this will give me time to continue to reassure them. This is not easy no matter how you slice this. My first priority is the protection, care and concern of my children. Now there are pitfalls, people can be mean and self-righteous, someone could easily confront them or whisper to them or whisper to their kids and their kids confront my kids. I am aware of this. As a matter of fact I have friends who's kids are friends with my kids. They have felt it necessary for whatever reasons to share with their kids some of this drama--I don't know why. I can only concern myself with my kids and what I choose to tell them. Someday they will get the whole story from me...I look forward to telling them. But now is not that time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: I GET TO DECIDE WHO I WANT TO BE

I get it. I get to decide who I want to be. I get to decide how I feel about me. I get to decide how I feel about everything. Regardless of what is written about me, it is not my truth. It is merely someone's interpretation of who they think I am. And I do not have to accept it. I do not have to give energy to it and I do not have to try to change their mind about who I am. To get to this stage and thinking is quite liberating. Don't get me wrong I am new to this and and each day I grow more and more into myself. I am not going to get stuck on being labeled a felon. I am not going to get stuck on the fact that I committed a crime, lied about it and tried to cover it up. The facts are this, I am going to prison for it, I am making restitution for it, I am losing my home, I have lost a few friends and still, I GET TO DECIDE WHO I WANT TO BE. I am not wearing anybody's judgement of me. I am not accepting poor treatment from anybody because they think I am dirt, I am not going to beat myself up over this anymore. I am putting away my boxing gloves, whipping stick and broken glass. I am done with self imprisonment, I am done with trying to prove to people that I am sorry, that I am remorseful. I am taking back my life and my dreams. I am deciding who I want to be and that starts today.

Prayers to all the families who lost loved ones on September 11.

Monday, September 10, 2007

ONE CLICK TO A LINK AND MY LIFE IS TRANSFORMED--I AM ON THE RIGHT PATH

I was all set to go on and on about how my estranged husband behaved so badly this weekend. I was prepared to talk shit about him and his behaviour. But I checked my email before logging into my blog. I got an email from http://piecake.blogspot.com/ with a link to a website that they thought would be of support to me. At first I was dreading it. I wasn't in the mood for whatever I thought they were trying to share with me. I was on my mission to really let my husband have it on my blog. So I reluctantly clicked on the link http://beyondthewall.blogs.com/

Within moments I was immediately transformed by what I read. In the time it took me to read the first post, I realized that God was redirecting my mind, my heart and my life in this moment. I was supposed to get this email from my Australian friends today. God wanted me to redirect my energy and not at my estranged husband. Something is happening to me right now. I feel the transformation and rather than swim against the tide, I am slowly surrending to my transformation. Read Mr. Charles "Tom" Brown posts--start with the first one and work your way through. My whole day will be different because of this link. I am grateful for Piecake for thinking of me!

Friday, September 7, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: THE WAY FORWARD IS WITH A BROKEN HEART

The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart so says Alice Walker. I love this quote and title of her book. Because no matter what happens, life goes on. I believe you can move forward with a broken heart. I am. I can't sit and wait until I get over my broken heart. I got life to tend to, I got mountains to climb and good times to be had. And I plan to do them with a broken heart, moving forward. A broken heart can't be the excuse to not do your best, be your best, look your best. A broken heart cannot be an excuse to withdraw from the world and isolate yourself from family and friends. The way forward is with a broken heart. I have decided early on to choose happiness at every turn. I believe in this so much that regardless of a broken heart there is still joy all around me. I live in love, even though my heart is broken. The last couple of days were tough, but they were also happy and joyous. Yes, I got my letter for my surrender date and yes, my husband has moved on without us, but at the same time, my kids started school --a new school and they were very happy about it. Their first day was great! My nephew--my sister Lo's son started his very first day of kindergarten in New Jersey--that was joyous. It is these small moments of joy and love that carry me. Yes, the way forward is with a broken heart...indeed.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

OCTOBER 1, 2007 12:00 NOON

October 1, 2007 12:00 Noon is my self surrender date. I got my letter yesterday in the mail. Let me back up. I took the kids over to see their Dad yesterday. They haven't been to his new place. I haven't been there since he moved there. I was stunned at how lovely it was. I mean it really was well appointed. So now now back to getting my letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, United States Marshals Service about self surrendering; I was completely numbed by it. I was so full of emotion about my husband's place that the letter was almost the last straw. I had no physical feelings--all the feeling had drained from my body and I was hollow. That is how great the pain was, that it left me feeling-less. I tossed and turned all night. So where am I now. I am trying to stay afloat and stay focused. I am trying to keep it moving. I am trying to stay grounded in my faith. I am trying not to think of falling down. I am trying to remember that I am a mother and that no matter what my kids need me. I am trying to hold on, I am trying to remember that I have people who really care about me. I am trying to remember that I am not alone. I am not alone even as I sit here in a quiet house with nothing but the sounds of the radio in the background. I am trying to remember that it doesn't matter about the whispers and the gossip and the shame and the humiliation. That there is only right now and the possibility of tomorrow. Ain't shit I can do about yesterday. On October 1, 2007 12:00 Noon I will surrender to do my 30 day sentence.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

FOLLOW-UP TO TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL

The 1st day of school went very well. Everyone had a fab day...OK everyone except Margeaux--she had a bit of a melt down. Now here is some background on her, she is 5 years old and was skipped a grade to 1st grade, so she is the youngest in the class. I spoke with the teacher and she said Margeaux did a good job of turning her attitude around and getting herself together. Margeaux is high maintenance--she likes and needs a lot of attention. She is going to be my biggest worry when I go off to prison for 30 days. The other three will be fine. Khalil is so happy to go to school because his goal is to learn to read. He is the last one that doesn't know how to read, so he is anxious and gung ho. Briana and Gregory are going to do very well. They each like the excitement of new things. They are amazing kids, and I do my best to keep them focused. I am firm and I am creative with them. They have chores and responsibilities, they have set bedtimes that are age appropriate--I do not have the problem of dragging children out of bed in the morning, nor do I have the problem of pleading with them to go to bed. I am old school , so I do not allow for back-talking, stomping, pouting. They are not allowed to sit in on adult conversations. I limit their television viewing and there is no TV on during dinner, we all eat together. They are well behaved, well mannered children and I am so proud of them and I love them so. I am amazed everyday that I am their mother. I can't imagine what my life would be like without them. Don't get me wrong, they drive me up the wall on occasion, and that is OK too. This is going to be a great year for them we just have to get through the early bumps...and we will together.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL

I am a very protective mother-- I will kick ass about my kids. I had to wrestle with the idea of putting their picture on my blog. But they are so BEAUTIFUL that I just wanted folks to see what I see--that the world is such a wonderful place because of them. Today was their 1st day of school at a new school. They are so brave and confident and very much looking forward to this new adventure. That's what I love about them, they are always willing to venture into uncharted waters. They happily go forward, brave, determined and strong. Perhaps they are fearless because they were foster children each with their own stories of abuse and neglect and survival. Perhaps because they are curious about the world, or perhaps they, like me, innately know that the world is theirs for the discovery.

Monday, September 3, 2007

MONDAY IS JAZZ SUNDAY: HAPPY LABOR DAY

I have changed my Sonific line-up to the right. You can scroll through and see the music I've chosen for the 4Th installment of The Soundtrack of My life. It's a pretty heavy jazz lineup of legends--Mingus, Parker, Sinatra and some cool new artists. Take a listen and let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I AM ALRIGHT: MY UNCLE LONNIE COMES FOR A VISIT

This will be brief, because its Saturday and it's absolutely beautiful here today! There is a lush breeze and a slight crispness in the air. I have to enjoy this day, so my post will be short. My uncle Lonnie flew in yesterday from Columbia SC. He got on a plane and came to Connecticut. He did not alert us or anything. When he got to the airport he rented car and drove himself in--he is the original GPS. What make him so special--well for thing he is my late mother's youngest brother and only living brother, he is about 16 years older than me, and he is probably the only man in my entire life that has not hurt me, or mistreated me or molested me. He has been my biggest supporter throughout my ENTIRE life. When it was time to take me off to college, he drove from SC to pick me up in CT to drive me to NC. He taught me how to pack lite. He introduced me to Nikki Giovanni's poetry. He talked to me about the world, and recommended books and movies. Over the years he shared with me his experiences in Vietnam and later Thailand. He was and still is my hero. So his visit is quite moving to me and I know why he is here. He needed to come see about me. And I hope he sees that I am, as I have always been alright. Whatever kindness is in me, whatever commitment to humanity is in me, whatever love is in ME, it was nurtured by him. Did I say this was going to be a short post...SIGH. My Uncle Lonnie is here and I am alright.