2020 & Lemon Meringue Pie – OH MY!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!!

I pray your holiday was a good one and that your new year got off to a good start, well it’s here. Another year, another goal, another decade! Wow…

Before I can move forward, I must take a step back for a moment.

The ending of my year turned out to be quite a scary one, the last post I wrote in December – you can check that out below just in case you got too busy and missed it. It was my last post of the year, it was also a week before my daughter was to go in and have a heart procedure done.

December’s Going Already? & Safety is KEYYYYYYYYY!!

I knew this day was coming, my daughter, I and the Cardiologist had, had the discussion for months and in August of 2018 we got a date as to when the surgery was going to happen. I wasn’t worried, I had prayed; however, as the months and days came closer. No lie, I was a little nervous. The doctors stated that the procedure was “non-life threatening” and the procedure had a 95% success rate. So that was nice to hear. My faith was strong…and I put her, it and them into God’s hands.

That was until I got some devastating news from the nurse

Surgery day came and we were all set, I had to be at the hospital by 7:30 a.m. meaning I had to get up at 4 am to be out of the house by 5:15 am as the hospital was about 2 hours away. Talking about tiredness…but we had things to do.

Once we got to the hospital and all the preliminaries were done, my daughter was whisked away to anesthesia. I wouldn’t see her again for 4 hours…

I sat in the waiting room for quite some time, I had my books, blanket, and phone so enough to keep me occupied. As a protocol for anyone going into surgery I received a phone call every hour letting me know what was going on when the surgery started and the process in between…when I didn’t get the last call but looked up to see the nurse coming towards me instead. I immediately thought, “Cool, they’re done” but little did I know that was far from what she came to say.

“We ran into a problem, she said”

Sitting on the edge of my seat, she had my undivided attention – with eyes glued securely on her and every word that was now coming out of her mouth, I held my breath a little…

“While the doctor was completing the surgery, your daughter’s heart began to bleed out; blood surrounded her heart, which contracted the heart muscle. We don’t know what happened; we’re trying to stop the bleeding. “We had to perform CPR on her”

My heart stopped and for a brief moment, I stared at her in a daze — as if what she was telling me was something she was reading out of a book of grim fairytales. Before I knew it, I broke down…

My daughter, if she had not been at the hospital she was at, with special doctors that know how to handle cases of this matter in a matter of seconds – my daughter would’ve died a week before Christmas. Just the thought of that makes me cringe with fear, my baby girl. BUTTTTT and a BIG BUT, God is SOOOO AWESOMELY GOOD! She had to stay in ICU for a couple of days after that before she got moved to a regular floor but as of right now, she’s doing better and can resume her regular activities according to the cardio on Monday. I give God praise.  

While the year ended with a little turbulence, 2020 came in as sweet as pie, literally!

Over the holidays, I looked forward to spending time with my sister, brother-in-law and my nieces. Our children are around the same age, so my kids always look forward to being with their cousins.

The weather was favorable and I got a GOOD dose of Christmas movies, I even got a chance to catch up on Season 4 of Greenleaf (If you haven’t seen this show, what in the world have you been doing??? Please check out Netflix and catch up!!) I promise, it’s one of my favorite shows, so I binged.

I also read a book series by Lexcee Reel – Lexcee is a self-published author on the RISE!

She has a fourth book entitled “Undying Past”- The book series detail the story of Caroline Peatree Gibbs a confused, mean and downright sassy woman who finds herself caught in a love triangle with her dying husband, a flame from college and a new business suitor that has an eye for her. Lexcee’s four-books entitled, The Caroline Peatree Gibbs Series were full of action, suspense and chock full of drama and revenge!. I read ALL four books and can’t wait for BOOK 5 (In which I would like to do a FULL review!). Once I finished one book, I was trying my best not to read the next one –but I foiled, that’s just how good they were, I couldn’t put them down and you won’t either. If you’re looking for a FEW good reads, check her out. You won’t be disappointed!

During this much needed time of rest and relaxation, my sister bought me a piece of lemon meringue pie from the hospital in which my brother in law works. This hospital has the best lemon meringue pie ever!! Now, there’s a back story to this pie. When my mom was in the hospital back in 2016 –outside of seeing her beautiful face, I always looked forward to going to the cafeteria and getting me a piece of lemon meringue pie. It was a sweet indulgence I looked forward too. It somehow took my mind off of seeing my mother in pain and hearing all the negative doctor reports we received daily in regards to her declining health.

When my mother passed away that year, so did that lemon meringue pie. They stopped serving it. So, when my sister stated that she was stopping by there on New Year’s Day to visit her husband and asked if I wanted anything, I quickly said no.

When my sister got home, I was lazily slouched within the cushions of her couch with covers over me, she came in excited and said “Guess what, you’ll NEVER guess what I got” – her Styrofoam container smelled of some good hot fish, so I didn’t even attempt to guess. As she sat down swiftly on the coach, she began unraveling the bags and what she brought out next made me sit ALL THE WAY UP!

She looked at me and said, remember this?

Lemon Meringue Pie!!! –To be honest, I almost cried and I know that sounds super silly over a piece of pie but it had been 3 years since I had a piece and for some odd reason, when I saw that pie? A really good and positive feeling fell over me as if to indicate, this was going to be an EPIC 2020 Year! I just looked up and gave my mom a little wink…

So, no resolutions – no wishes for 2020, just a lot of God and a little lemony, sweet and tart meringue pie leading the way and guess what ——— I’m all game…

Cheers and Best Wishes to a Fantastic Year Ahead!

Did you have an epiphany or a little something that spurred your 2020? Share in the comments

December's Going Already?? & Safety Is The KEYYYYYYYWORD…

Hey, Peeps – What’s Up!

OMGosh!OMGosh!OMGosh!

Can you believe it’s December already?, can you believe next Wednesday is CHRISTMAS??!!! Okay, so I really don’t like how 2019 came in here as quick as the wind and about to leave us like THE FLASH!!

Image Credit: The Flash/CW

Like THIS. YEAR. DIDN’T. COME. TO. PLAY!!! (yes, that’s me doing a clap back) and even in these last few days/week, we have left it’s apparently not showing any signs of taking a pause. (Sigh, I digress) I will say however, I need it to SLOWWWW all the way down, the faster the years come the OLDER I’m getting…….sigh again…..Can someone please give 2020 a call and ask that it slow its roll? I feel like I can’t really ENJOY an age because before I know it, I’m about to turn another one! In the words of my favorite cartoon character…

Image Credit: Bing/Charlie Brown

So, do you have any plans for the “rushed” holiday season? I’m sorry, I know I seem a little salty about this whole year rush thing, but it is what it is and we might as well enjoy it, right? It could be so much worse, gotta be grateful no matter what (that’s me talking positively to rinse the salt out my mouth =)

While my emotions take a chill on ice, I have to say, I LOVE CHRISTMAS! now if the year wants to give us a blessing? It can make it be Christmas all year round, with good weather that is. It’s just something about this time of year that makes me feel giddy. Everyone’s so nice and caring, it brings me to a song by one of my favorite gospel artists. Grammy, Stellar and Dove award winner, Fred Hammond. He’s one of my favorite gospel artists, however, he has a Christmas CD entitled “Christmas, Just Remember” it was released in 2001 so it’s a little old but it’s definitely a goodie. My favorite song on the album is ‘Christmas Everyday’ – here’s a snippet of some of the lyrics…

‘I wish that Christmas would be every day
Let it go on and on, and on, and on, and on
Why does this feeling have to go away?
If it were up to me, the season would never change
It would always stay the same, the same, the same

Why can’t we show each other the same love?
The same, the same good love, real love
To me, once a year is really not enough’

The lyrics are so powerful and so very me of how I feel about the holiday season, it’s one of my all-time favorite songs (outside of Nat King Cole‘s “The Christmas Song“) however, I’m sure after you listen to Fred’s mellow, laid-back tune of Christmas gracing us every day, it’ll become one of your Christmas playlist songs as well. So while you’re cooking, reminiscing and spending time with family during the holidays, let this song draw you all closer together in love, unity, and peace.

🎵🎶🎵🎶 Christmas Everyday by Fred Hammond 🎵🎶🎵🎶

Fred Hammond – Christmas Everyday

Well, while Christmas can bring on the “good feels” – it can also bring on “fear” for some reason people choose this time of year to bring the negativity to an all-time high! It’s already bad that this time of year seems to bring on more death-related incidents than any other month in the year and if that’s not scary enough, there are countless videos of people getting scammed and kidnapped. I think I’ve received more DM’s from friends as well as family members passing on information about sex and human trafficking schemes. They detail things to watch out for and unfortunately people (women and children mainly) who’ve found themselves in the snares of such chaos.

Sometimes I feel like going home, locking all my doors and staying there until I turn 100! However, the bible tells us “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:7) While going into hibernation for the rest of my life sounds pretty tempting, I have to understand that I serve a God who’s in control and while I may not understand a lot of things, my faith’s in God and I know he didn’t call any of us to go into hiding but live the lives he created us to live. This includes praying and asking for guidance as well as discernment. The key to asking for this is that we actually have to listen when he tugs at us to not go a certain place or do a certain thing, which takes a lot of practice.

There are so many things going on and I couldn’t put up “every” video I received but I saw this one by Karolyne Roberts a couple of weeks ago, in which I thought hit the hammer on the nail in regards to all the scams out there. When I saw the video, I knew I’d be a great vid to share in my end of the year post (which is this one! 😁)

Karoline Roberts – YouTube

Karolyne shares pretty much all the stories I’ve heard and gives a warning as well as a word of encouragement to everyone who plans to go out shopping and etc this holiday season. I mean we need to be watchful no matter what, that’s a guarantee! The latest one I just heard last week was about a man at a gas station who asked a woman pumping gas if she was in need of painting services, she said no so he offered her supposedly his business card.

When the woman got into her car and drove off, she noticed that this man had gotten into a car with another man and followed her, by this time she became alarmed. She noticed she began to feel woozy and delirious, she had enough strength to roll down the window, in the meantime, these men were on her trail. Come to find out, the card she took had some type of gas on it. She quickly pulled into the nearest house’s driveway and began honking her horn and screaming. The men that were following seen this and drove off…

So please, please, please be careful – watch yourself as well as your kids, mom, close girlfriends and etc because it’s the women that are being targeted in these attacks!

Let’s Look our for each other and the very special GIRLS/GALS in our lives!

Well, that’s it, Everybody! That’s all I have for now. Until next year, Lord willing. I pray your 2020 is FULL of great vision. May 2020 bring extremely sweet things to you and yours!

Book Review: 100 Years Lead Author Mark Baynard on A Journey to Free Himself & Generations to Come

Do you know what a generational curse is?

You, like myself I’m sure have either heard the word before or if you’ve done research on your own family history, I’m sure you’ve actually “seen” it in action. While I couldn’t find the word “generational curse” in the dictionary as I figured I wouldn’t. I have my own definition of what this word truly means and that’s this:

A generational curse is an era, period, range, class or lifetime of something being carried down from one generation to another generation.

In other words, if your family has always been known to be alcoholics, maybe that started with your great, great, great, great grandpa or grandma and now, you’ve noticed that everyone in your family can’t seem to “break the spirit of alcoholism.” A generational curse is something your family has always done, what your family is consistently known to do and unfortunately what even your kids will continue to do unless someone stands up and says “enough is enough!”

Believe it or not, while alcoholism is just an example of what some families may struggle with, for others it could be infidelity, lying, cheating, gambling or even prison. Which was the case for author Mark Baynard.

Image Credit: Mark Baynard

Oftentimes I’ve heard about generational curses and wondered what in the heck was it and why were people so interested in discussing the topic. Needless to say, I got my first glimpse of what a generational curse was through T.D. Jakes who once preached a sermon entitled “The Spellbreaker.”

Within that series I got an understanding of what a generational curse was all about, In this series, he began to talk about marriage and looking into the lineage of your spouse, what their like and overall what their family history details, because all those things would end up being passed down to your children. DNA is something else however when it comes to generational curses, it’s something that very few people really do research about to find the real reason why we act and/or do or think the way we do. These actions all stem from the root of someone or something. I believe in order to successfully break a generational curse over your life, you seriously have to do some research on your family history and that is exactly what Mark Baynard did. While a journey of this nature isn’t easy, Mark Baynard shows in his book ‘100 years: A journey to end a vicious cycle’ that it’s totally CAPABLE!

You see, Mark’s family had a generational curse attached to them as well and that was the Prison system. Unfortunately, due to quite a few bad choices, Mark found himself adding to that generational curse lineage, but one thought was about to change it all. Mark Baynard had an epiphany after leaving his probation officer one day. According to Mark, it was something about that visit that made him think about his life-choices as well as his future. A successful future that many of his male family members weren’t experiencing because they were behind bars.

Birth is when our opportunities to value “life” begin, but we have until our lives stop to make and maintain positive changes.”

Mark Baynard – Author “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle”

Mark didn’t know why all of a sudden he became so hungry to know why the male members of this family kept failing; but he had an insatiable urge to find out and what he found out, was like a lightbulb that turned on brighter than it ever had before. This newfound discovery became the changing point in Mark Baynard’s life.

Mark came from a good family, he met his real mother at the age of 5 and began living with her and his other siblings. Mark had lived with his dad and step-mother for quite some time so while this was an adjustment, his mom and dad were very good role models and raised him well, along with his grandmother whom Mark attributes much of his wisdom lessons from.

So, one might say – Well, if family life was so great then what really happened? How can someone from a good family still end up in prison? And Mark has an answer for that, its called “The Crossroads of Life” – A former pastor of mine used to say “The choices you make will determine the life you choose” and unfortunately for Mark as well as the men in his family, these “choices” ultimately landed them all behind bars. The discovery Mark came to realize is that when he wrote down each of his family members that had been to prison, including himself and those currently serving time behind bars – it totaled to ONE HUNDRED YEARS!

While this devasted Mark to his core, he knew that as Sam Cooke once song so beautifully “A Change Is Gonna Come” and that change he determined was going to be through HIMSELF FIRST! and for future generations to come.

“The problem lies not in standing at these crossroads, but in each individual’s response”

Mark Baynard, Author “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle”

This book was so good, I found myself relating to Mark’s story in wanting to be a change agent in regards to my own family history. This includes putting a big stop sign on behavioral choices, old patterns and approaching things differently let’s say than my grandmother, her mother or even my own mother had done for the sake of my own two children.

In Mark’s book, he’ll take you on his very personal journey of ups and downs in his fight to close the gap to the “generational behavioral mindset” his family had come so used too. Mark’s journey to improve himself as well as make a difference in his community is met with lots of heartache and pain but shows Mark’s determination to break barriers and make the necessary changes his family desperately needed.

This book will have you crying, guessing and cheering all at the same time. I honestly couldn’t put it down and you won’t either! Now you know how I do, I can’t give you ALL the details of the book as I want you to read it for yourself. This would be a great book club read and the perfect Christmas gift for yourself, a family member or a friend. “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle” will motivate you to finally put an end to whatever generational family cycle you’re in and show you how to live your best life despite the odds set up against you.

Your past will never dictate your future unless you want it too, your future TRULY CAN change for the better and Mark Baynard is a true; living, breathing, inspirational testimony of that!

You can get both of Mark’s books “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle and 100 Years Part II: Truth Be Told” on >>>>>> Amazon!

You can follow Mark Baynard on his Amazon Author’s Page >>>>> HERE

Movie Review: Just Say Goodbye

Disclaimer: This Indie Film “Just Say Goodbye” was sent to me to view by the writer/producer Layla O’Shea. All comments about the film are 100% my own.

Have you ever had someone to tell you a secret and asked you to promise them that you wouldn’t tell anyone? What if the secret they wanted you to keep was detrimental to their life…? Would you still keep it a secret?

Just Say Goodbye Film is about two teenage best friends Sarah Morin (Katerina Eichenberger) and Jesse Peterson (Max MacKenzie) who have been friends since the age of 6. After the death of his mother, Jesse finds himself growing up feeling a little detached from society, his father is an alcoholic and abuser who wish Jesse would disappear, as looking at him daily reminds him of his mom, who committed suicide.

Jesse begins to wonder, why should he live anyway. No one cares or wants him, but someone does care and that’s Sarah, who fights Jesse’s battles at school as he endures taunts, unwanted fights and bullying from the kids at school, especially one kid by the name of Chase Gibbons (Jesse Walters).

With the constant bullying of Chase, a deceased mom and a dad who could care less about his welfare or wellbeing. Jesse decides the ultimate goal of getting rid of all the pain in his life would be to take his own. A secret he’s kept forever is now a secret shared with his best friend Sarah, who’s struggling to keep Jesse’s secret truly a secret between her or getting someone else involved in order to save her friendship.

What would you do, if Jesse was your Best Friend?

This movie was partly inspired by a true event in writer/producer Layla O’Shea‘s life who had a high school friend to confide in her about his attempted plan to commit suicide during an April vacation which at the time was only a week away!! Layla, who thought it was a joke quickly realized her friend was serious. Not knowing what to do, Layla broke her friend’s trust and got his parents involved in their “secret” conversation.

Secrets can kill. Let’s not keep bullying and depression a secret, speak out now! speaking up can very well save a life.

While her friend was disgusted with her that she betrayed his trust in her, days later after much thought, he embraced her, not saying a word but the hug he gave said it all.

This movie is very powerful and challenges us to think about what’s a good secret to keep and what’s a mind-blowing secret we should tell. With bullying on the rise, we have more teens as well as adults killing themselves daily to get rid of the pain and chokehold of society, but what’s really painful, is the secrets friends, family, co-workers, teachers and etc. may know and don’t SPEAK UP and SPEAK OUT about it.

Long live the days of “What happens in this house, stays in this house” – those are words I heard constantly growing up, from my family as well as my friend’s family around me but what our parents and neighbors fail to realize is what’s not said, can ultimately be a friend or family members demise.

This is a movie of Love, Friendship, Secrets, forgiveness & redemption You’ll have to see it for yourself to see what happens in the end. Did Sarah reveal Jesse’s secret?

Do me a HUGE Favor!! Please share this post and follow Layla O’Shea and find out more about the movie and the cast on the social media outlets below:

Check It Out! >> Just Say Goodbye is now streaming on Amazon Prime! http://amzn.to/2VZTpuk 

Just Say Goodbye is the winner of the Indie Spirit Best Director (Matt Walting) at the Boston International Film Festival. Matt was 18 when he directed this movie, making him the youngest in history to win the award. This movie was also nominated as the Stanley Kubrick Best U.S. Feature Film at the Blow-Up International Arthouse Film Festival in Chicago

Related Reads:

Bully, Bully, Bully October Month of Prevention

How to Stay Positive in A Negative Environment

Don’t You Do It, Don’t You Dare Overlook Thanksgiving!

Featured picture courtesy of Bing

How Dare the World!!! How Dare You???…. If it’s you, I mean, maybe it’s not 😊. So this post may seem like a little rant but…someone’s got to say it.

WHY DO WE FORGET ALLLLLL ABOUT THANKSGIVING!

I mean, you feel me, right? It’s always been like that. I went into the store the other week here and all I could see was Christmas items, and it was the end of October! I mean, don’t people like Thanksgiving? and what does Thanksgiving ACTUALLY have to say about this? probably nothing….lol…you know how you can get overlooked for soooo long until it doesn’t even faze you anymore. I’m sure that’s truly how Thanksgiving is feeling right now. And don’t get me wrong, I almost gave Thanksgiving the good ole boot myself.

I told a friend of mine as soon as Thanksgiving came in that I was going to BLAST my Christmas tunes, I just LOVEEEEEE Christmas songs and while the air has been very crisp with that fall/wintery smell, YESS…it’s beginning to feel a lot like……THANKSGIVING!!

Ha!! I bet you thought I was going to say Christmas didn’t you, hahaha…gotcha! 😊

But on a serious note, Have you thought like me? Was your heart pounding like mine for that Nat King Cole tune of The Christmas song? Well, mine was BUT before we can skip to the Lou my darling into Christmas, I feel like WE need to give some reflection and thought on Thanksgiving.

So, let’s take a moment and reflect on what Thanksgiving really is ALLLL about!

Thanksgiving is ALL about the FAM!

Yes, Thanksgiving is all about spending time with beloved or not so much beloved family. You know the nerving uncle who always asks if you have any single friends and he’s in a relationship…(at least that was my life, go figure). Anywho, even with that, Thanksgiving is nothing without family, whether they get on your nerves or not. It’s a time to give thanks to God almighty for them, because as we all know. There are so many people out there who don’t have one and would just love to have a pestering dad, mom, brother or UNCLE to get on their nerves.

Thanksgiving is ALL about the FOOD!
Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

I’ll take, “I’m a FOODIE” for $500 Alex! Yessss, I love me some good ole turkey and dressing (I’m from Arkansas so that’s what we call it there 😊) and put some gravy on the side with a little cranberry sauce??? and you had this girl at HELLO! Food has a way of bringing people together, hence the movie “Soul Food?” Put some good food on the table and I don’t care who you like or dislike, Food is one thing that we all can agree on. What’s your favorite holiday meal or food to eat for the holidays?

Thanksgiving is ALL about the SALES!
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

We can ALL thank Thanksgiving for those HUGE Black Friday sales, take that Christmas, HA! Thanksgiving gives us that and if you’re willing to stand in line for hours, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll grab ALL those goodies! If you don’t get run over first. I think in recent years, most stores are closed but open at 6 pm so you can start that black Friday shopping earlier, without getting bruised or a black eye! Yes, unfortunately, people are serious about their sales and that’s why Cyber Monday is POPULAR!!! Which is how I like to shop as I despise crowds. So thank you, Thanksgiving for bringing those sales in early.

Thanksgiving is ALL about Reflection…
Photo by Josiel Miranda from Pexels

It’s been a long year but a very rushed year as well. November came in here like a flash! Most people started new jobs, got married, had babies, started new relationships, businesses, bought homes and etc. This year has also been the opposite for most people, especially those that recently lost loved ones. I think I’ve heard of more people losing husbands, wives, children, grandparents and etc this year. It’s truly a praying and sad time indeed; however – it’s an even better time to reflect. I lost my mother, next week will be 3 yrs. It’s hard, especially around the holidays, so my heart goes out to those that have recently lost or have been estranged from their family for years.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the good, the bad and even the ugly things that happened, so we can get better, be braver and figure out how to do things differently the next go round. As far as that loved one is concerned, this is an even more special time to reflect on them. Just remember, as long as their in your heart, mind, and thoughts – they’re not ever truly gone. I know that for sure…

Thanksgiving is ALL about R&R
Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

It’s good to see family, serve family and have a good time with family and special friends but please make sure you take the time to REST & RELAX! Even if you have to go into a secret/quiet corner to do it. Get that rest, my friend!!

SOOOO, Let’s not DARE forget ALLLLL the wonderful things Thanksgiving has to offer. I mean, I even put off listening to Christmas music until the day after. Use this time to thank God, reflect, smell the air and TOTALLY be grateful for every. single. moment.

Life’s just way too short to rush moments. And while every store in town has its orders to move the months hurriedly along. Let’s just take a break, sip some tea and reflect on this one. I’m sure that’d be Thanksgiving’s orders…if it really had a say in the matter.

While it doesn’t, we do. So let’s not DARE forget it…

Have a Happy, Thankful, Joyous & Reflective Thanksgiving Everyone!