Monthly Archives: October 2016

Trick or treat?

I often wonder if we fully grasp what it means to have a long term relationship with anyone. It could be romantic, business  or platonic in nature but they all require work in order to sustain them fully.

I look around me and see these relationships fall apart for many reasons but it all came back to not maintaining the health and viability of your partner.

Someone asked me a question last week that led to my  wanting to delve into the romantic aspect of relationships here.

When we first meet and begin the process of getting to know a person, we should check the temperature of those feelings regularly by asking ourselves things like 

What are my motives?  

-Do I truly like this person or is it something to do that deflects/detracts from loneliness?

– What shared values do we have beyond the initial attraction?

-Will we openly communicate in ways that works through any issues that will arise?

– Am I in this relationship to rebound from a failed one?

You get the gist right? 

The way we enter a relationship, sets the tone for how it flows and it still requires work and checking in with each other regularly because life will get in the way.

Unhappiness breeds all kinds of malcontent when not addressed in a timely fashion.  When we add marriage to the mix, that flame goes way up because you are now dealing with blended families and lord knows, everyone has an opinion whether you asked for it or not. 

Leave and cleave is not a cute catch phrase. It really means something. If you gotta run back to momma every time you have a question, how do you develop relationship with your spouse?

If you allow your children to dictate your lives through whatever means they choose to employ, that will cause a serious rift.

If you gush about another person without fully acknowledging and routinely appreciating the one that lives with you, it’s cause for a situation.

Do not invite the opinion of others into the seriousness that is your life. Learn about your mate enough to know when to draw the line and pull back with compromise and love.

We say that we know  relationships won’t be a bed of roses but the first time we get pricked with the thorn of life and see blood, we run for cover  and end what could be a long term partnership 

The flip side of that is hanging around and grasping at someone who consistently shows you with their actions you are not valued.

A relationship that begins on shady ground will feel like a trick from hell. One that is nurtured becomes a treat that keeps on giving. You decide through your choices.

Know thyself. Love thyself.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

My Sojourn to Paisley Park 

Mannnn….. in late August when the news broke that Prince Rogers Nelson’s estate was going to be opened up for public tours, I went immediately into a purple purpose, looked at my calendar and proceeded to book a flight and then buy those VIP Tour tickets with the ONLY other person on earth I knew loves Prince like I do.

If you have no idea who the purple king of shade was/is, you can stop reading right here and go atone for your egregious sins because I am about to go IN about this experience and it’s not for the Prince novice.

Anywho, we were up and out our doors at a time that would frighten fish and landed in Minneapolis before noon only to see an airport that was devoid of folks and the car rental agency had zero lines anywhere. I inquired and was told it’s usually snowing this time of year here and nobody visits this place in the winter.

It was our lucky day I guess and we were cool with that! 

I took my friend Tanisha to see a couple of places where Prince used to frequent and one of them was First avenue where he filmed parts of the movie Purple Rain. She was super stoked and it was cool to watch her experience for the first time  what I had an opportunity to soak up last May when I took my first trip here after he died.



We then went to get ready for our tour which was to begin promptly at 5 pm and as I dressed, I could barley contain myself at the thought of what was to come!! 


Hontey!! I was ready baby!!

We took off and when we got within a mile of the place, I told Tanisha to prepare herself but when we turned the corner, she was shocked that the estate was RIGHT there visible to the highway. We pulled into the grounds and I could hardly contain myself because 6 months before, I was looking wistfully through the fence determined to be back and be inside.

We have arrived. 7801 Audobon Rd, our Mecca to all things Prince!!


We collected ourselves, hopped out that car and made it into that building in record time! We were given our Instructions, bought our flash drives for a special opportunity and off we went. Our VIP group consisted of 5 people and so we were  feeling special especially after seeing another group that was super large.

We were ushered into the entrance and the first thing we saw was Mural of the shady One with the inscription “I am watching you.” Right above that was a camera which told his guests he had cameras on them at all times. I cackled at the shadiness of it all.

Our phones were locked in special bags as NO pictures were allowed to be taken and it allowed us to fully soak in what we were about the see. On the first wall were all these gold and platinum records from his early and future work. As we stood there in awe, Tanisha was visibly shaken and leaned on my shoulder with tears in her eyes.

When we stopped into the atrium where he hung out and peeped into the kitchen where he spent loads of time when he wanted to relax , I could see him in my minds eye moving about within and felt his spirit strongly for some inexplicable reason. I was soon to find out why.

Smack dab In the middle of that atrium were his remains. I damn near fainted looking at that purple urn built into a replica of the Paisley Park compound and encased in fiberglass. 

Lawd. I got emotional. Had  a quiet moment.

 There were also two doves sitting in large cages above the atrium and we were told they were 24 years old. The lifespan for them is usually 15 years. That atrium looked like you were standing in the middle of heaven with clouds and points of light everywhere.

We went on to visit his office and it was in there I noticed how freaking cool his furniture was!! Deep purple and designed in the most unusual shapes!! I was fascinated!! We saw his handwritten songs in rooms dedicated to Paisley Park, Purple Rain, Musicology Tour and the list went on!! He was a pack rat and threw away nothing. They are still finding and archiving things. His penmanship was beautiful by the way. They found vaults of music and video. He was famous for firing editors and spent hours editing his own work. He was simply a creative genius!

He had hundreds of guitars. No exaggeration. My head spun at the volume of them we saw in every space! His costumes too were out of this world right down to the shoes of which he had over a thousand. Chile Listen.

We visited studios A, B and C, each space carrying his strong presence and we could feel Him Throughout. Studio C especially was lined with cherry wood for perfect acoustics and we were told artists like Stevie wonder recorded there.  

Hallowed ground I tell you. 

We got to listen to a jazz piece he was working on shortly before he died. I hope they release it because it’s dope.

This place was deceptive looking from the exterior because within was 65 thousand square feet of space !! He has a main stage that could hold over a thousand people, was 12 thousand square feet and had concerts there along with filming parts of his movies. We walked around and marveled at the rich history within. Behind the main stage was a more private setting to seat 120 folks and we heard Madonna performed for him in late 2015

We saw a wall of the artists he supported and the ones who influenced him. Tower of Power, Jimmie Hendrix, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Earth Wind and Fire and the list went on. We saw his numerous awards, the bike he filmed Purple Rain on, pianos in purple and a sundry of Other colors but I wasn’t prepared for this one. At all.


I’m told he bought it on the late 90’s. He was such a man before his time.

We had a special photo opportunity in Studio B that I will share soon and that was special.

Whew!! I think I captured the essence of the visit. 

Wait until you see his zen space. So peaceful!! He also loved scented candles and they were everywhere.

We left on a happy purple haze of peace and closure after buying stuff from the gift store but don’t tell my husband😂😂


Babay did we ever have a rocking good time!!! This place is for the true Prince fans!! I sang along to his music and even did a slight jig  watching him perform in various rooms.  I saw a clip of him in Philly during the Musicology tour and was ever so grateful that I was front AND center at the concert they highlighted..

We saw a piece of history and Prince was right there with us. How does it even get any better than that? Go see what has become the museum of his life if you can. Dude lived and died in his purpose and it affected millions of us around the globe.

That alone, is worth the sojourn there.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

Awww purple sookie now….

The good old year called 2016 has been a beast to The mind and soul. If I haven’t learned anything beyond the fact that folks can truly be here and be gone tomorrow, then I learned plenty. 
I have always fully embraced every ounce of my life and when I tell you that I am super psyched to be on a plane and heading to THE Paisley Park for a once on a life time VIP Tour of Prince’s estate, that is the understatement of the year. These bags have been packed since August honey and it is all I can do to keep my emotions in check… 
for the Rabid Prince fans- this is indeed the Mecca visit and I will get every detail to you later on.. the rest of y’all please catch up and get your purple lives!!😂😂

Today we will not be discussing elections or any such thing. If it ain’t purple, you can wait until

Tomorrow.

Lemme me grab my bag and get off this plane.. much to capture..
Deuces and Mad love, 

Diva

She almost got some Shug Avery pee in her food

A couple of mornings ago, I opted to have breakfast from home while doing some work and stopped in a spot up the street with fish and eggs on my mind.

I went to feed the parking meter some  coins and was 3 quarters in when the darn thing blinked and said it was out of order. I took a picture just in case Sone over zealous ticket writer decided to get “cute” and ignore the message to write me a ticket and walked inside to settle down, plugged up my computer, ordered my food and began reflecting on the day ahead.

In walks these two women and while I wasn’t clear if they were related, I was super clear that the older one used her age and authority to push the other around. Wasn’t none of my business but as I heard her berating the younger one about not having enough coins in the machine, I gently said good morning and offered my last quarter to which they said thank you.

Miss seasoned Sally looked and wondered aloud why I was giving up my money. I explained my machine was out of order so I was good.

My eyes lifted with surprise when she ordered me to move my vehicle to another machine or I would get a ticket. I patiently explained why I wouldn’t get one and she harrumphed as If she gave birth to me and I was too hard headed for my own good.

At this point I’m mildly amused at her control issues and went back to the task in front of me. 

I had to take a pause for the cause and look up again when the waitress went to take their order and this woman got on her phone just at that moment to make a phone call and had the nerve to say “I’m talking so you are going to have to wait for me to finish.”

Say what now?

The younger lady was mortified but stay ed silent and when the waitress looked at her like she was nuts and walked away from their table, Miss seasoned sally got up and left in a huff.

Good riddance.

It behooves us to treat people, especially the ones in the service industry, with a modicum of decency and some respect. If home training doesn’t kick in, think about the stuff they can put in your food if you make their lives miserable. All I could see was Miss Celie in the movie “the color purple” spitting in that mans water for messing with her friend and stirring it with her finger.

We got to do better.

When we pay for a service, we should get something good in return.but if you are waiting for someone to accommodate you while you are on the phone for instance, that is the level of a  paid butler in your home.

Some of y’all just need several cans of “act right.”

What we put out to people, we get back. It’s that simple and yet it’s a powerful reminder.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

Black folks and the movies

From time to time my friend Mister gives swaths of us free tickets to see the previews of upcoming movies and I love him for it because we get to share with the world if its worth watching.

Tonight we saw “Almost Christmas” with a star studded cast from Danny Glover to Gladys Knight and Gabrielle Union to name a few. 

I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by a great script but I certainly was looking forward to a chuckle or two.

I forgot one teensy weensy detail- I was in a theatre with mostly black people.

My people are the salt of the earth. They bring their popcorn, sodas and attitude right on into those seats and hand to God, during one viewing, cake was passsd around in a pan for us all to take a chunk.

I ain’t kidding. Cake was delish too. Yep, I tried and prayed fore gawd I didn’t get nobody’s germs as folks were cackling and cutting.

But I digress.

The movie began and by minute 2, I could see I was gonna hear less than 1/3 of the hilarity cause my people kept talking to the screen, howling and just being so loud, I gave up on what was a funny movie and watched them all instead cutting up.😆😆

I guess it’s safe to tell you it’s a good movie to see for the holidays  from the parts I was able to hear. The poor white folks within the walls with us were sitting shock still as if they were shocked but they gotta know Miss “Carmen” has a long day and this is how she unwinds from the madness that is her daily life.

The struggle is real and some of these black faces are starting to show signs of cracking  despite the melanin so I ain’t hardly upset that they get a Few hours of peace and laughter.

If you want to see any movie uninterrupted, find a theatre where folks are happy to sit still but if you don’t mind the noise, trust me this is an experience because it’s a movie inside of a movie..

My people.

Gotta love them.

The untouchables in handcuffs 

I have been incredibly fortunate in my roamings throughout earth to find myself often in spaces with eclectic groups of decision makers. The other day, the alphabet soup included, lawyers, cops, politicians, educators and folks from the federal government.

As we waited to start our work, I asked what was  a question I already knew the answer to which was simply this- what makes any politico in power lose their mind and become corrupt? We specifically cited the ethics  law that says any gift above $50 is expressly forbidden and we watched judges and politicians go to jail and lose their political seats for inappropriate behavior that becomes illegal.

And yet. 

We STILL see daily instances of once prominent figures being dragged through the news from an FBI probe/raid, their declaring innocence and then found guilty.

Some are so brazen, they continue to run for re-election as if the Feds will walk away with apologies for “bothering” them.

So it begs the question, at least in my head-what the hell is wrong with this picture?

Is it that they still  believe they are untouchable even with evidence that would suggest otherwise?

Is it that they think they brokered enough deals and carry enough entitled  power so that strings could be pulled to make it all go away?

Are folks still riding the waves of “legacy” and forgot they are servants to the people and not here to be served at the expense of the people?

Or are only ego maniacs running for public office?

Is abuse of power the new BUzz word for leadership?

Or maybe all the reasonable and sAne people left earth?

Whatever it is, I think it’s high time that we scrutinize people beyond the criteria already in place because at this rate, it seems like they are all under probe for one reason or another 

Humility is a Dish best served daily, core values are not curse words that bring doom And destruction  but rather, a set of habits that keeps one out of prison. Check those motives before they check you.

Dueces and mad love

Diva 

The fancy car with the bad engine

I was recently paid a visit from a home security sales rep who stopped by to discuss an additional service we required and when I opened the door to greet him, I noticed right away he had a Mercedes.

Not sure why I picked up on that because I don’t care what folks drive but it soon clicked into place. So we sat down to discuss costs etcetera and somewhere in the middle of it all, he asked if I was single to which I said no and wondered how he missed the rings that were clearly on my finger or that I was at least 20 years his senior.

Another minute went by and then I got the real story. His phone beeped, he looked at it, shook his head and said ” I am so tired Of these women out here that have all kinds of issues. I need to stop playing and figure out how to get a better quality.”

Chile. No he didn’t. I tilted my head. Clear sign I’m about to go IN.

“So let me see if I heard you correctly, you choose these women and they turn out to be bad apples. Did I hear you right?”

“Yes ma’am. They look so good on the outside but are so damaged that I can’t deal. I don’t like to argue or fight over foolishness.”

“So you CHOOSE the woman based on the way she looks physically and never checked the core values to see if she fully aligned with what you really needed past the initial cuteness. This isn’t about the women son, it’s about YOU. If you looked beneath the exterior of a car and saw that the engine was crappy, you wouldn’t buy it right?  So you should try digging beneath the surface and stop using that car you own to hook and bait. Am I off base with my assessment?”

He grinned and dipped his head in agreement saying that the engine in his current car is giving him all kinda issues too so he’s about to buy another Mercedes.

He howled when I told him he chooses women like he chooses cars- shiny on the outside with a rotten core.😂😂

I invited him to do some introspection on HIS life and choices of mates or he will look up one day and realize he’s been dating for a thousand years with nothing to show for it.

At this point, we were nearing the end of our business and he  commented that he learned quite a bit and did I ever think about being a relationship coach because I got him all the way together and pegged him in a way that was eerie 😂😂😂

I shook his hands and ushered his self absorbed behind to the exit of my house.

Sweet black Jesus of the corn.

What is within us shows up in the ways we behave daily. No matter how you dress up the exterior, that attitude and core beliefs immerges eventually as one can only pretend for so long.

Your energy mirrors back to you, the kind of person you are and this is where growth and mindset becomes critical. Cause what is worse than a fool? An older one.

If you ever wonder why you keep attracting the wrong mate, the answer comes back to you.  We can’t fix a soul but ourselves so we gotta do the work to the place where we invite better choices  to us

Dueces and Mad love 

Diva 

The eggs dropped by the birds nest for a little love 

A few days ago, my eldest child flew home to visit albeit briefly, so we could see each other before he went off to handle his real purpose for being here- his fraternity and the brothers he formed a deep bond with. I was with him for less than 12 hours but we squeezed priceless moments within and my soul and heart were full when he left.

I wrote about this son a while back in a post where he had an encounter with a police officer https://lawfultrainer.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/innocence-of-a-child-forever-gone/

Even as we worked diligently to be certain he was okay and told him to keep achieving, he continues to defy and exceed any expectations anyone could have of him.

Quite simply, he’s determined to succeed and writes 5 and 10 year plans to keep his purpose in the forefront always. So earlier this year, 2 weeks before his 24th birthday, he had already graduated from college, works for a Great company that values and relocated him to another state and after just 11 months of living in said state, he closed on his very 1st home.

As remarkable as that was, he also bought that home with no financial help from his father and I. In fact, he insisted it was something he wanted to see if he could do and he did. We couldn’t believe how disciplined he was to save by not buying a new car when he graduated from college even as his peers were stunting with new rides all around him. He paid his bills on time and kept his credit score in a place many adults do not have and he stunned the banks when they saw he really saved and had a stable job at his age. Once he bought that home though, I flew in and helped him to furnish and buy appliances. He smiled and said I was “such a mommy” as if that was an insult!!😂😂😂

He is now 24 and as I listened to him discuss what his next set of plans entailed, I teared up remembering all he had gone through to get to this point and that his adversities only made him grow to the place where he is an incredible advocate of his rights and can see things from a point of view most miss.

He is a really quiet and profound cat that I am so proud to call SON. I caught a brief glimpse of his need for parent love when he walked up to hug me and just laid his head on my chest for a good two minutes. It was cathartic and healing to us both.

He credits his tenacity to having parents who aren’t afraid to work hard and achieve-he astutely learned certain traits we carry that he found to be beneficial in business and life and built upon that. I have no doubt we haven’t fully begun to see what he will accomplish. and while the house was filled with both my children and all their friends, when the nest emptied and those birds flew back to where they came from, they all left a piece of their love joy and peace with me..

Parents- raising children is the most challenging thing we will do and it never ends. We want to protect our children from danger and harm while we coach them on being able to thrive in environments away from us. If we could, we would shield them and keep their innocence firmly intact but life doesn’t work that way. 

On this day, I pray you have the courage and strength to do what you know is right for your children and to seek advice when needed.

Those babies we carried and nurtured will one day become adults. How they get there depends upon you in those early years of learning and growth.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

when the oldest comes home for a visit

A pot for his flower

I awakened early this morning and convinced my husband to take us to our favorite stomping grounds for breakfast at 7 and he happily complied.

We had been both so busy that we decided to run all our errands while out and it wasn’t too long before We landed in a home improvement store and separated to seek The items we needed.

So there I was, looking for the perfect flower pot for an indoor plant when I noticed a man talking to himself and shaking his head in confusion.

I had mercy on his soul and asked if I could be of assistance…

Him: I’m trying to find two pots for my wife but I don’t know anything about this kind of stuff.

Me: indoor or out?

Him: indoor.

Me: okay then follow me..

I proceeded to ask what colors were in his house and helped him choose the perfect pots- and it was then He said “I love her so much, I’m willing to do stuff like this all out my element to make her happy.”

He thanked me and we parted ways but I couldn’t help but think how awesome that was for his wife as I went to find my man who would do similar things for me.

When a man loves a woman, nothing is too hard for him to do to see a smile on her face. It’s the kind of love we women strive to have but that only happens when the man sees something intangible in us that he doesn’t want live without and we don’t have to force it either.

He will also work hard on being able to provide for you while he is in hunt mode and this is where we as women have to be careful to not try and make everything okay or fix his life. What we may consider a love languge, often makes the men feel worse and while they accept being catered to, they ultimately are pulled by the woman that challenges and intrigues him on a level that keeps him wanting more.

We have standards and we should. Make no mistake about it though- Men do too. So if you desire to have  a mate like the man who was happily going through unfamiliar territory for his wife, work on being your authentic self that will reveal the intangible that makes you irresistible to someone.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

The Hot chocolate Trollop that took my man

I have been married for a little over a year now and in that time,My husband and I have been purging our living space which was his home for over twenty years before I got there.

I wasn’t fond of the space as it was but since we didn’t live together for the entire five years  we dated, I gave no energy to it beyond trying to help him organize it during his annual holiday party.

So when we jumped the broom and we  decided I would move in with him, I had no choice but to begin looking closely at my new home and I literally sat on the front steps and cried not knowing where to begin.

But to know my level of tenacity, is the recognize that once my tears dried, I rolled up my mental and physical sleeves and got to work.

The house was gutted and the main rooms painted with vibrant colors. Some appliances were replaced, the outside had a new driveway and the entire front facade redone along with planting a new garden. The basement was gutted and redone, plumbing and electric updated. And so it went. The house had taken a huge turn for the better and I was happier.

So when I said to my husband 7 days ago that it was time to replace one chair in our living room, he didn’t argue and said go ahead.

Well I began doing research and found what I was looking for except I didn’t just buy one chair. I found the perfect sofa and then went about seeking a love seat that would be just right for him. I found it too. Dark chocolate and soft as butter.

They were delivered 24 hours ago and when my husband got home, he was slack jawed with shock and when he sat in his new chair, the look on his face was worth the surprise.😄

So when I texted him today in response to his query on how I was doing, it took him a while to respond and this is what I got from him “Doing well. I’m sorry to tell you that I have a new love in my life. 

She’s long and smooth, with a nice chocolate body. I took Advil and fell asleep on that love seat, and I didn’t wake up until 11:45.”

😂😂😂😂😂

I have been replaced by a chocolate chair!! He can keep her since I will know just where to find him on any given day.

My consideration of his wants has left him super happy which makes me super happy..

And that my dears, is how we compromise to a better place.. wonder what I’m Going to do next… you just have to wait and see..

Dueces and mad love,

DivA