Category Archives: Restaurants

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

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He tried it… yes he did…

When my brain is full, I take comfort in finding the places that bring joy to my weary soul in an effort to rejuvenate myself.

Today that place was the Rangoon, which is still the only Burmese restaurant in Pennsylvania. Go figure. But the food? Made from scratch and is sinfully good.

So there I entered with my lunch companion, who roared when the owner chirped out my name in a warm welcome, said she missed seeing more of me and told me which friends of mine had been in recently! 

It’s like that.

 I told her I would be celebrating my birthday with her food in a few short weeks and no less than 10 of us would be there to liven up the place. She giggled and my friend and I settled down to eat.

Here is where it got interesting.
A brother came rushing through the doors, dropped his jacket at the table next to ours, ran over to the owner and began ordering food. He began with. “I will have 2 L9’s, a soup and two of the chicken and broccoli dish!”

It took me a minute to realize he was eating in because he seemed to be in such a rush and of course, I had to mess with him. 

You had a doubt?

He shared he has been visiting the restaurant for almost 20 years to my 14, and it’s one of his favorite places to eat. He was so personable, we kept chatting until his woman walked through the door. We said hello to her and went back to our respective lunches until my dishes showed up and his woman got my attention and asked what was I eating.

I looked at him and said. “Wait a minute. YOU have been coming here for 20 years and haven’t tried any  of the things in front of me? Dude, you killing me!”

He laughed and replied no,  so I promptly scooped a little from each of my dishes  she was curious about and put it on her plate to try and while telling him he didn’t deserve any for slacking like this!😂😂
Of course, she loved it and I admonished him to stretch himself beyond the one dish he had been eating for 20 years and actually ask for a menu and allow his lady to choose next time.

Can you imagine? All those delightful dishes and he stuck with one. For 2 decades. I ain’t never heard of such!

I ear hustled as I ate and learned she was frustrated with his flirting and crossing the line with some women they both knew and he became squirmy when the topic of his phone and texts came up.

Lord. A player from the Himalayas. 

Limited in menu choices and thinking too, I guess. He so needed another brother or person to sit and discuss a few things with him about life and choices because we could tell he didn’t have the right tools to deal with what was in front of him and that sister looked like she was at the end of her rope.
I don’t know what happened after they left, but I learned a lesson about really meeting people where they are. It was enough for him yo have discovered this place that he never thought to go beyond what he was comfortable with. I believe after his encounter with us though, he may change his choices next time around.

My lunch partner and I looked at each other and cracked up because we could see our husbands at his age probably doing some of the same things..

Whew Chile.. every day is an opportunity grow and learn should we choose to expand our minds. The alternative isn’t always pretty.
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

If we ain’t doing it, chances are You shouldn’t either

I can’t profess to know everything, HOWEVA- there at least TWO you should trust islanders on.
1. NEver EVA buy food  at restaurants that purportedly sell Jamaican meals if you walk in and the customers all sound like you. As in American. Islanders frequent the spots that are serving authentic cuisine. You should not understand the  conversation of the clientele taking place as you wait in line, and the cooks/servers should give you pause when they ask a question in patois-English. 😂😂

That means your food is going to be slamming good!! As a native to the island, I frequent ONE spot.  I have tried the others and invariably, my tatstebuds were offended by the cutting of corners and distinct American flare embedded within.

Sacreligious I tell you!!

Your rice and peas should be fluffy, your meats should carry the distinct flavors of thyme, scotch bonnet pepper and other natural spices and LISTEN, those soups and porridges should make you shout gloray!!

Don’t be drawn by the Jamaican signs and long lines hear? Can’t say you haven’t been told.


My home made soup.

The other thing is this- islanders living in other parts of the world almost never take a vacation in the Caribbean between the beginning of July to early November.  Know why? A tiny frightening thing called hurricanes.

Listen here.
When you grew up in a place where you lived through those storms, there is a mental note imprinted in your brain to try your best not to visit during those peak months unless you have to. Many are drawn by the great travel deals but you are literally tucking your tail as you hand over your monies and hope for the best.

Hurricane Matthew churned in those waters for days and caused all kinds of devastation only to be followed up by Nicole who was not to be outdone and is indeed a category 4 storm bearing down on Bermuda. If you are into flying cows and zinc roofs mingled with a magenta sky and rushing waters up to your neck, then by all means take the risks.

Don’t do it people- no one can predict where these storms will pop up and your sunny skies and blue waters will turn into something straight out of a movie except it’s your life in real time.

Now, you can go forth and do whatever you FEEL like doing after reading this but you can’t say someone didn’t tell ya!!

Dueces and mad love,

Diva