Category Archives: Culture

The twists and turns to womanhood

There l was, enjoying a quiet breakfast this morning, when l got the text from one of my darling millennials who wanted to know how did l embrace my womanhood and what did it take to get there?

I read that text, chuckled and commenced to having a good conversation because she was shocked when l said, l didn’t fully began to walk into all that made me a woman, until l was about 40. Yep. I said it.

The first person l heard saying this statement and l looked incredulously at the television screen when she did, was Camille Cosby. I was all of 27 then, and just KNEW l was a woman, with all the mess l had experienced to that point and what was she even talking about?

But now that l am a half a century old, l have come to understand what she meant and the older l get, the more steeped l have become in being comfortable with who l am with zero apologies.

But to my millennials, it is indeed a journey-one that is fraught with second guessing yourself, making mistakes you swear you will never recover from, worried you will NEVER find the right mate, be a good mother should you so choose to become one,or be successful at anything long term in life.

You will lose friendships you swore would last your entire life, experience heartache that will have you questioning love and feeling fear when you want to feel hope.

So the bad news is that these experiences will shift in and out, one way or another for your entire life.

The good news is that you will be so settled into you are as a woman who knows herself and what she will not tolerate, that you will no longer second guess yourself to death or worry about that which you have no control over.

Someone doesn’t like you? Okay and? Keep it stepping.

That job isn’t working out? Move on in grace and find another.

Folks second or third guessing you on your decision to be an entrepreneur? Thank
Them for sharing and either fail or succeed splendidly for there are lessons to be learned in it all.

The bottom line is this- every molecule that is you, means that you are more than enough. Embrace your warts and all with as much dignity and grace you can muster up. Or not. Because the truth is, you have another moment to get it right.

In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy the journey to fully embracing the woman you will blossom into being.

Love, peace and fish grease,
Muva diva.

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Squatty potty 

So  I think my husband is over me. But I swear, I am slowly becoming my fathers child with embracing all that is natural for our human bodies.
In that order, I quietly got this thing below and when it came yesterday and I removed it from the box, he looked at me like 😳😳😳

What is it you ask? 

It’s called a squatty potty.

You simply put it at the based of your potty and hoist your legs to use it as you handle your necessary business.

I gently explained the instructions were on it and only western civilization embraces sitting the other way which leads to colon cancers and blockages.  

Again he looked at me like I lost my marbles but undaunted, I set it up in the bathroom.

This morning after taking his shower, he says to me, “my darling wife, I love you with all my heart but I cannot get my legs high enough to use that contraption, so I guess I’m going to stay uncivilized and do this the regular way.”

I looked at his pitiful face and cracked up!! The squatty potty is the absolute truth people. We eat so much of the wrong things and our intestines can’t fully rid itself of the excess as it should.

As a child growing up in the islands, I used to marvel when I would visit family in the rural areas and watch as the squatted with ease to relive themselves… they stayed thin too and I didn’t realize that was the natural order of things.

We often scoff at what we don’t know but opening our minds could save our lives. Literally.
Go forth.
Dueces and mad love,

DivA

Good Googa Uber!!

So I had to get an Uber for several Days  in a row and I have come to the conclusion that many of those drivers listen to people confessing their souls while giving up a few confessions of their own

Chile listen… it ran from the ridiculous to the scary but this one dude made me gasp, smile and shake my head all at once.. 

When he got to my door and saw my infirmities, he hopped out his car, got my crutches and bags and was just wonderful in a way that told me he was special. His Hat was on backwards and when I got in his car, I noticed the back of his seat was almost reclined to a sleeping position.

He slid in and sat up with his seat just that way. I didn’t question because I have seen it way too much with young guys driving around in Philly.. they will keep chiropractors in business with that mess but I digress..

After asking if he could call me Miss Andrea and my answering in the affirmative, he proceeded to tell me that he was originally from Ohio but was transplanted to Reading at a young age and after feeling like he had too few opportunities, he moved here after meeting a young lady online and had been here in Philly now for a few months.

As he shared his life story, he said “you know, people judged and asked why I was making these moves and taking these risks and I told them I am the author of my book. I didn’t ask for editors and I am writing the story the way I see fit.” I damn near high fived the back of his head for those profound words of wisdom!

He went on to say,  he was filled with nuggets but had a hard time taking his own advice.

Then it got real. 

He said he would always choose women for their bodies and what was between their legs instead of what was between their ears and that he realized he was choosing Shallow intimacy over substance because he didn’t want to put in the work it required to have a good relationship.

He is so into this new woman who, from all accounts is so smart, he wonders Why she is with him, that he made a pact to NOT have intimacy with her for a year. He is coming to the end of that year and swears he loves and appreciates her all the more because they spent time learning about each other and doing things beyond the bedroom. 

Well I’ll be. 

His lesson and the way he chose to go about changing his habits, showed up this way and who am I to judge?  He truly believes in the power of intention, following ones passion and hard work, after he met the owner of a Car dealership while being his waiter and the owner found him to be so personable, he offered to train and hire him to sell cars.

He went from making $7 an hour to 60k per year AND he Ubers on his days off! I love it!!

The tenacity of the human spirit is something else. 

When we got to my destination, he took my stuff to the door of the building, shook my hands, thanked me for listening and odd he went.

I learned so much from him, not the least of which is to not stay stuck in your circumstances and to take bold leaps even if you can’t see where you will land.

We don’t get to judge people in their journey because it’s different from our own- our oath is simply that. Ours.
Dueces and mad love.

DivA

The way THESE eggs are set up…

What a week this has been. I am still recovering from Hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our home and all the shenanigans of love that took place within.

My husband was feeling especially mushy for some inexplicable reason and at one point, sat on the porch with me saying how grateful he was for us. I reminded him we had guests after telling him I was grateful for his love too and so as we walked back into the confines of the house, he says from behind me to the entire family, “we have news to share, Andrea is having a baby.”

I kept walking to the kitchen as his crazy family members clapped in glee and without turning around I replied ” what the hell is wrong with you?”

He cracked up and told them he was playing and I thought that was the end of it.

Later on that night, I learned from his mother that she would not be opposed to us having a child and in fact, she was looking forward to it.

Now see here. 

Did they forget I was a clapback of 50? 

When I reminded them of my not so tender years, I heard ” Janet Jackson is 51 and she’s doing it!”

Ummm… my name ain’t Janet. It ain’t Jackson if you nasty either. Not to mention I am sane enough to know these eggs have done their final drop some two score and plenty years ago and they fitting to scramble and retire for good in these Fallopian tubes. And I have an excellent retirement plan called menopause awaiting their arrival

Chile no.

I spoke about it at length with my husband this morning and it seems he seriously has been thinking about it.  I refrained from asking him to get his brain checked as we are now grandparents and instead worked hard to see and connect with his sentiments.

He agreed the baby-ship has sailed  for us once I laid out the facts but was happy I heard him out.
Lawd have mercy.. 

Men should be able to get pregnant. I bet you it would alleviate some of this baby talk. Women aren’t toaster ovens who pop out little humans on cue. This is a lifetime thing and honey, our “baby” will be 21 in 3 months and seeking to live abroad once he finishes college.

I seee the horizon and it has no wailing babies that I can’t send back to its parents in it.

Hell does indeed go with no.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA

A safety pin? Y’all so easily distracted…

Madness, Tom foolery and chicanery erupted after the Presidential elections on November 8th 2016 and if it was possible, I would  have spared my soul from running the gamut of emotions listening to people rail at outcomes their votes didn’t want,  and then watched in morbid fascination as the blame game began.

White folks were embarrassed, people of color were miffed to hell and back and political party Leaders were stunned into shocked silence.

And then it happened. Reports started coming in about new Marginalized groups being targeted in the Jewish and LGBTQ communities and someone decided that the best way for folks to know who allies were and create solidarity, were through these safety pins that are now adorning clothing everywhere.

Black Folks went from miffed to hell no and the furious debate began.

I am Looking at all of this unfold and the only clear winners I see here are the savvy business heads  who jumped And began selling safety pin necklaces for upwards of $300 because I guess, even pins need to be Leveled up several social classes in order to adorn certain necklines.
People. Please. Enough already. Let whosoever  chooses to identify their affiliations through this pin, do so as they please because for me It’s a clear symbol of Privilege in a way that says should the wearers of Said pin become targets for their act of revolution, it’s a simple Matter of Removing it and blending in.

No Such  luck For Folks of Color .
So while we keep being distracted by this newest movement, let is not forget to focus on what really matters- surviving these next few years.
Dueces and mad love 

DivA

When your “petty” messes with growth and your coins..

 After witnessing something a few weeks ago, I am writing about self confessed petty people and where the thin line exists between funny and ” something ain’t QUITE right with you.”

So my friend Mister Mann Frisby comes to mind. Dude has a Phd in All things petty. He could and probably does make a decent living, throwing all kinds of shade and no one is off limits when he revs up the petty engines.

I simply refuse to be caught eating or drinking when I read his posts because I have had to clean up too many spills from guffawing at his foolishness. If you don’t know him personally, one would think dude was nuts. Wait. He IS nuts!! Chile you must trust me on this.

What is stark about Mister though?

 When you meet him, you see he is a kindhearted  and thoughtful cat, whose aura reeks off the chain love and light. I don’t even know if he realizes that. Not one of us are perfect folks but at his core, he wants what is best for those around him. As a result, no matter what he is promoting, I’m open to supporting his crazy behind and I often do.
Now.
There is another person that many of you love and revere for a similar brand  of pettiness and said person has had us all rolling with tears streaming down our faces, as we read their hilarious take on life in general. 

I was stunned when I finally had a chance to meet this personality and their  aura blew me back at the way they dealt with the public who will either continue to support or start to pull back because the petty on paper, is superimposed in real life and you realize standing in front of you,  is a human being who truly isn’t a nice person. They say the eyes are the windows to our soul and this Chile got some unresolved issues bubbling there.

When our livelihood depends on the very folks we are purportedly entertaining, it behooves us to do our own spiritual work to wellness or we will become a toxic dumping ground to anyone in our presence. Which then leads to disappointment and failures because no one will pay you money over and again to be emotionally wrung or abused. That ain’t funny. No matter what spin you put on it.

But hey- you don’t have to take my word for it. Do you. Experience is STILL the best teacher  around.
Dueces and mad love 

Diva 

Featured image is from the pettymuseum.org

Election fatigue.. 

Dear God up in heaven. Enough already. This election has left everyone so divided and so incredibly stressed that even when I stopped in to see my doctor for a well visit, this usually unflappable and congenial man was turning all sorts of shades as he discussed the insanity of it all.

It has gotten to the point that if I turn on my television and see pundits gleefully discussing the next big scandal, I turn it off and walk away  and dare my husband to part his lips and say one word to me about anything that starts with the letter “E.”

Friends are no longer speaking, I have gotten so many pieces of divisive literature that I could wallpaper a whole section of my house and I swear, I have never seen so many signs and notices on the street “selling” their candidates.

For goodness sake already. Is it Tuesday yet?

I asked my friends on social media what to place in my new election survival kit and they offered the following-

  • Wine. Lots of it
  • Ear plugs
  • Nutmeg in both cheeks to lower blood pressure 
  • A plot on Mars


My money is on mars…. like seriously. So  no matter where you land in this vortex do me a huge favor-

Go out and exercise your RIGHT to vote.

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

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