Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Naturals Night Out Gallery!

Head on over to Natural Selection to check out the great pictures captured of the fun-filled night! I'm looking very forward to the next night out on the town with the curlfriends.


May 21st, San Francisco, CA

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boy Energy

Lately, Emma has become quite the challenge for her teacher. Many a note home this last half of the school year reveals a level of bewilderment, amusement and most of the time all around confusion. I can never really offer too much of an explanation beyond the fact that the 'she' who shows up each and every morning is just who she is. Its no easy task trying to confine a dominant personality and energized spirit to a set rubric, especially when the two are intertwined within a Gemini. Now, this doesn't mean that dominant personalities are exempt from rule following, just that they often follow their own rules and demand that others do so as well. As expected, this is sure to create a clash in leadership. During our latest meeting, somewhere between the teacher's tales and the principal's rationalizations tumbled talk of 'boy energy'. I sat with that for moment.

When speaking of 'boy energy' they were of course speaking of all the rambunctious boys that help make up Emma's classroom, but I couldn't help but wonder about boys and girls and expectations, and was compelled to offer a reminder that rambunctious 'boy energy' does not just reside within boys. It just so happens to also resides within girls who love baseball and drum sets and guitars and race cars and video games and football and getting dirty. And just like some of those rambunctious 'boy energy' exerting tough boys, there are some nail polish wearing, dress sporting, tough girls who do not feel the need to apologize for being so. I gave birth to one of those.

The real challenge here is teaching the hard ugly lesson in the difference between effective leadership and just plain old fashion dictatorship. Seems that my little leader goes out into the world and dictates what those around her should be doing/should have already known they should have been doing/most absolutely WILL DO or else! The kid is that kid. Since I'm sure neither her teacher or principal will be giving her personology a lone stamp of approval anytime soon, the very best I can do is continue to assure them that we are all a part of Team Emma. So far so good!

June 5th Personology:

"You enjoy thinking about all manner of things thoroughly — be it a decision, a design, or a premise, it's all worth pondering. But you have too much zest to sit still with those thoughts. Once you've had time to process, it's time for action! Take care, however. Some people see this as officious. Try to express your enthusiasm in a way that doesn't come across as demanding." - Source

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter!

Perhaps it has to do with the world wind of a year we've just had, but these days, I've been keeping it very low key. The day before Easter is upon us and I'm not stressing about Easter dresses or Easter dinner. We will be kicking back this year with my grandmother and her delicious cooking. I did grab a few of Emma's favorites for her basket, and made up another for my little brother. I'm sure they will both be thrilled to find what's inside.

I hope that all of you have a very happy holiday weekend with family, and your special family traditions!

Happy Birthday to Me!

As eventful as that sounds, it was really a rather uneventful day. I took it easy. For a girl who trades in her weekends and a few of her weekdays for a living, 'easy' can be considered a form of celebrating. I hid out in bed for a spell - just me, Netflix and the ever so present Facebook notification of bday love. There was a part of me that had a problem with the stillness of non-physical celebration, but yet a deeper part of me that appreciated being left to just be, on my special day. Keeping with my lax day, Emma and I headed over to IHOP for some dinner. With kids eating free for the whole month of April, it was just a win-win.

Card that Emma made for me

That's not all she wrote though, ya'll know I party harder than this. This Friday I'll be trying out a new local spot that I stumbled on. I haven't read one bad review yet, so I'm looking forward to having a pretty good time. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For the Common Good

My car expenses may have just killed my chances of setting sail. It was a nice thought though. I really didn't see this break down in transportation coming. Like clockwork, at the worst possible time. There is no emergency car fund. That all went to the emergency restocking-of-the-fridge-gas-in-the-tank-tires-on-the-car-various-bills fund. I thought I had at least earned one reason to celebrate this coming Fall.

I have considered the possibility of giving up control of transportation, but I would be kidding if I said that I could do the day to day of the adventures of Emma and Barbara on a bus/train. Looks like I will have to catch the next one.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ripple: Fail

I got the basic pattern right, meaning I can make it ripple, BUT its obvious that something somewhere is very wrong here. I'm gonna have to break down an get a written beginning to end pattern for this one. Luckily, fellow lover of granny squares, Sarah London, is having a pattern sale! She has some great creations! I don't think I can go wrong with her Zig Zag pattern.

I'm about 21 inches away from finishing Emma's blanket. Since next week is Spring Break, I'll have plenty of opportunities to head outdoors and crochet in the sunshine... just as long as I don't forget the benadryl!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

After the Coils

Getting ready to head out to the Naturals Night Out event

I wish I could say that I had a fabulous coil out after removing my finger coils. Thanks to my itchy scalp, I did not. After a week I had to go ahead and wash. Ended up with my usual TWA. Since I waited until 2 hours before work to wash my hair there wasn't much styling I could do. I'm hoping to give the finger coils another shot later this month. I also want to give two-strand twists a try. I have 10 more days to make a birthday hairstyle decision. We'll see...

I had an amazing time at the Naturals Night Out event. There were a bunch of ladies in the building, with a bunch of cute styles, and we got to see THREE styling demonstrations, which included a cut. Not a big chop, but a nice cut that gave a growing head of curls a universal shape to play with. I learned some new things about cuts on curly girls, maintenance you can do at home, loc care, and got to sample some wonderful products from the Komaza Care line. The glass of champagne wasn't bad either. I love these events because I always walk away having met some great women, and reconnected with those that I usually on hang with virtually. I'm already looking forward to the next event, which I've heard will be around May 21st. I hope we have more events with more styling demonstrations. I'd love for someone who is passionate about natural hair care to get their hands in my head!

I didn't take any pictures this time, but there were lots of cameras in the building. I'll share some when they start to spring up.

Tales of Dad

From my private blog...

There was a part of me that feared my dad.

I had been told how my mother didn't trust him with me, and how the unborn baby before me, never was, because of him. We didn't have many encounters. He was locked up in jail the majority of the time. When he was out, we might go out to eat, or over to see one of his sisters. When he wasn't out, we were connected through timed collect calls, letters and hand drawn cards. I had been told he was an artist...

He once asked me about a kiss. He wanted to know how I would kiss him. Would it be on the lips? I suppose he was asking because he was infected with HIV, but in that moment, all I could think about were the reasons that my mother didn't trust him with me. His inquiry made me nervous and uncomfortable. I didn't tell him that. We'd been separated. I suspected that he felt bad enough about that truth...

He gave me a ring. I spent a few minutes with it this morning as I poured through the stuff in my jewelry box. It looks like an engagement ring. Mama said he probably stole it. I kept it anyway. I also kept his letters and cards - in shoe boxes. There were so many. Now I only have the most recent. I re-read some, and felt the love that he had for me, through his words. And then I re-read the cards that he'd sent for Emma, and felt what he must have felt for her...

Near the end, I think our past must have flashed before his eyes. He say no future in us. Deep down he felt that he'd fucked off the perfect opportunity to be who and what I had asked him to be, up until the time that I made it clear to him that I wasn't going to ask it of him anymore. He decided that he should not burden me with his deterioration.

So, he died alone, in a hospital room, and left me with ashes and penmanship.

Happy Birthday Leslie Henry Jr.

I love you.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm Startin' to Feel Like a Dungeon Dragon!

This is what my face looks like most nights in my new dwelling.

Like Nicki, I have a few alter egos myself. The one who is most like Nicki's Roman would have to be B. B doesn't happen to be a gay boy, but rather a hood chick. The chick that I would have been had I been raised by the streets like the majority of the other girls in my neighborhood. B is North Richmond all the way, that same Richmond that The Game's Tasha Mack is from. And B has no problem telling you what's on her mind, especially if she feels like she's been crossed. You've met her. She just doesn't give a fuck, and will tell you AND your mama to suck it.

This week, my upstairs neighbor had the opportunity to get acquainted with B. For the life of me, I can not understand why this man feels the need to walk his apartment allllllniiiiightlooooong. The shit drives me insane. It wouldn't be a big deal if there was more insulation, but there isn't in this building. When he decides that he wants to drop shit every five minutes, or hammer his nails back into the floor, or drag his feet across the floor - after midnight - for fuck's sake, it sounds as if my ceiling is going to come crashing down on top of me. Because yes, his favorite spot in his apartment happens to be right over my bedroom. While Emma is sound asleep I am tossing, turning and thinking evil thoughts.

There were a couple of nights in particular when enough got to be enough. He was doing something that sounded like sawing. It was a constant loud ass sound in a back and forth motion, right over my head. I jumped up, threw on some shoes and headed up the stairs. His explanation, "oh, I was inaudible my feet". At this point I was struggling with B to hold her back from cussing his ass all the way out. I instructed him to cut it out, and informed him that he was making a ruckus right over my bedroom. He acted surprised, as if it was totally out of his thought process that such a thing as keeping up a whole hell of a lot of noise could possibly disturb his downstairs neighbor. I had faith that this enlightenment would prompt him to sit his ass down after a certain hour. Not so much. A couple of nights later, we'd all meet again.

There is something particularly annoying about being in a comfortable position and having to raise up because of some bullshit. I don't know what he was doing, but this time it sounded like bowling. He was dropping shit one after another, so I decided to try to get his attention, again in hopes of prompting him to sit his ass down. I got my broom and went to work on the ceiling with it. I either scared him, or he was fucking with me because he make an intense BOOM, to which I answered with a sequence of booms. If he wanted to play the game, then we could play. He decided against playing the game and I didn't hear him drop or throw anything else.

My apartment seems to be situated in the twilight zone. I have this dude upstairs, and I have the laundry room right next to my bedroom. I'm actually sharing a wall with the laundry room. Laundry time is one of my favorite activities. Not necessarily the gathering and sorting, but the process of laundering and folding, I'm all for it. It brings relaxation for me. My proximity to our laundry space and the old pipes in this building are ruining that for me. When the washers are in use, the old pipes shake and rattle my walls. This is not ideal when you are trying to get to sleep after a long day or when you would prefer to stay asleep. Sounds like a god dammed train or an earthquake. Since we've been living in this space, I've been jolted awake by those pipes rattling my walls as late/early as 1:30am. I have made my share of trips outdoors to remind folks of the big ass sign posted on the laundry room door. The one about not doing any laundry after 10pm or before 8am. Either, these people can't read OR they're just retarded. I do believe they can read.

These factors are making it really hard for me to feel good about settling in. I do NOT want to move again. I am free to move after December, but moving is not fun, re-uprooting is not something that I want to do. However, it will probably be something that I will be forced to do. Or I might possibly have to cut someone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Pollen is not the only thing in the air around here these days. LOVE is swirling! Kiianah over at the oh so stylish natural hair blog, Rockin' it Napptural, awarded me this Stylish Blogger Award. Yay me! If you aren't following Miss Kiianah, you need to be! You don't have to be natural to benefit from all of the useful information that Kiianah provides about healthy hair and healthy hair care products. And, who doesn't love to look at beautiful hairstyles! Thanks a bunch for sharing your shine with little ole me :)

You know how it works. You can't receive props without giving some, so here are the rules for this award.

To accept the award, you must:
  • Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
  • Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

7 Things About Me (is there anything you still don't know?!?)

  1. I love cowrie shells! Every chance I get, I'm buying an accessory made with them.
  2. I think I may have been a child of the 70s in my former life. There is nothing like Disco!
  3. I still haven't figured out what I wanna be when I grow up.
  4. I got my first and only tattoo when I was 16 years old.
  5. Sunflowers are my favorite.
  6. I'm addicted to hairstyle magazines.
  7. I would love to have one more baby.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fall in Springtime

The beginnings of another multi-color for an expected April 27th arrival

While getting all caught up on season 4 of The Dead Zone via Netflix, I knocked out a good 22inches of this blanket last night. Who'd ever thought I'd rush to make another patience challenger? I think the secret to loving this pattern is the use of a J sized hook. With a J, I get a bigger gauge, which means a quicker finish. Big is good. I plan on finishing this blanket today, and possibly moving on to a little granny ripple practice for the sofa throw, followed by covering some more inches on Emma's blanket now that I'm stocked up a couple more skeins of yarn.

Check out this video tutorial for the granny ripple.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Think I'm On to Something

Coordination = Motivation

I spotted this Camo yarn in Mirage today while I was picking up yarn for another project. It happens to be in the same colors as the fabric that I've chosen for my living room accessories. I had been thinking about making a throw for my future new sofa. Now I will!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What's Even Better Than a Natural Hair Meetup?

A natural hair meetup... on the water! I checked in over at Natural Sunshine to spread the word about next weekend's Natural's Night Out, and got word of an upcoming cruise. I'm seriously trying to be on board. How awesome is this? Really? 5 days, on a cruise, surrounded by fun and beauty. What's not to love? Of course, I can think of a million reasons why I shouldn't even think about going. But then again, I can think of a million and one reasons why I can totally drop everything and allow myself an honest vacation. I'm allowing myself one week to decide!

When's the last time you took a real vacation?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Natural Selection's Naturals Night Out

It's going down next weekend! Time for the kinky girls to get down in the town! Its been a while since we've all linked up, so it will be great getting the chance to see everyone, meet some new folks, and get to see some hairstyling demonstrations. I'm excited!

Check out Cassidy's post at Natural Selection for all the details!

If you're in the Bay, I hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Swatch What Happens!

Project #2: Finding the right furniture

Two months in, and my living room is still bare. I know exactly how I'd like to fill it,deciding on the with what, is the challenge. I feel like I have to make the right decision, the very first purchase. Spending my hard earned cash on something that is completely wrong for my space is not an option. Ironically, free items are not excluded from this mode of thinking. I've been offered some pieces by co-workers, and I've looked here and there, thinking that I could make someone else's trash my treasure. No such luck. How ever gracious an offer might be, it doesn't mean that what's being offered is something that I want to look at every day. Despite what you may have been taught, beggers can most certainly be choosers, and I have a determination to create peace in my new space, which can't always be done with pieces that already have stories to tell.

With my budget in mind, I have been searching for affordable, functional and stylish. I think I may have narrowed my search. I recently ordered fabric swatches from a company called Home Reserve. They have some pretty uniquely designed furniture which features storage and a lot of options. The Oversized Pillow shown above is in one of the swatches that I ordered. I love the modern pattern and the cool colors. I received my package yesterday and the Ella Cafe pattern is gonna be a go for my throw pillows, a console table and a couple pieces of wall art - all options at Home Reserve. Thinking of going with a chocolate brown for a sofa and ottoman that I like, also at Home Reserve. I'm feeling pretty good about the space that I am envisioning. Hopefully it will manifest itself soon.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Sun is Shining

I think its safe to say that I no longer want to skip the Spring season. I don't think I have ever been this happy to see or feel the sun heat my skin. The countless days of rain and dark skies was so emotionally draining for me. I don't know how long this beautiful weather will be with us, but right now, in this moment, it feels so good to breathe again.

Sneezing and itching aside, I am actually looking forward to getting outdoors. Being without brightness and color for so long, I find it almost impossible to pass by a flower or plant and not stop to take in its beauty. I want to fill my house with them. A space that is naturally dark needs the life of nature. Emma and I are starting with this beautifully simple bunch of Sunflowers (my favorite flower). A compromise for the fruit tree Emma was eyeballing.