My Friends are Like Good Gumbo

This revised post is in honor of National Best Friends Day!

Life Gets Better


In honor of National Best Friends Day I did the Diddy on this post (remixed it) and am telling the world about my super best friend!


The path to joy and happiness is made so much richer by the hands and hearts that help you get there. The only problem is, sometimes it’s hard to put yourself in position to receive the right people to walk that path with you, even if their strut is different from yours. Being a friend can be hard. You have to be open, honest, transparent, willing to listen, and available to build/maintain relationships. That can be challenging even for the friendliest people. It can be even harder to trust friends to walk all the way with you without letting thoughts of cynicism and fear creep in. Especially as women, we sometimes buy into the myth that women can’t be friends. That’s not so, I tell you. It’s simply not so.

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Can I Get an AMEN?!?!?


My family is something else! We’re teachers, preachers, civil rights leaders, PR powerhouses, military masters, administrators, secret chefs, lovers of life and most importantly people who love each other and have a LOT to say.

Two years ago I asked some of them to share some Words of Wisdom…and they did! I asked them to submit words they’ve said or been told about  life, common sense, faith, love, family, finances, fun, parenting, education, health or any other aspect of life.

Hold on to your hair, this is about to be a wild and crazy words of wisdom ride!


Words from her parents, Willis and Jean Walker (RIP) from Angenetta Scott:

  • Daddy, Rev. Willis R. Walker:  Don’t call your children ‘kids’ they are not goats.
  • Remember you are representing the family
  • Do unto other as you have them do unto you.
  • I’m fine and dandy like apple candy
  • Mother, Jean Johnson Walker: “Always wear clean underwear just in case you have an accident.
  • Boys, put on your ‘rain coat’ if you are having sex.
  • Don’t leave home with your bed unmade.


From Angenetta Walker Scott:          

  • Thirty seconds of pleasure can mean a life time of hell.
  • Always remember to be a blessing.
  • You can’t say Mama didn’t tell you.
  • Fiddle Darn Sticks!
  • I’m STILL the Mama!
  • I can show you better than I can tell you!


From Sylvester Scott:            

  • Don’t write a check you can’t cash.
  • Don’t let the green grass fool you the dew will kill it too.
  • You can’t beat that with a hammer.
  • You wish you looked as good as I do.
  • I love you.
  • One monkey don’t stop no show.


From Rodrick Scott:

  • Babies get rid of pacifiers in order not to hinder growth and development. If anything is pacifying you, it is time let go and journey towards your full potential of growth. Live and enjoy the experience of life.


From Kristy Scott Lee:

  • Chile, all I can do is pray!
  • Ain’t nobody finna be worryin’ bout that!
  • There’s nothing wrong with a “red cup” party!
  • The Lord is up to something. I’m telling you! I can feel it!


From Ozie Cotton (Tee Walker):

  • Jesus is my boyfriend!
  • Always put God first.


From Zelda Ann Ross:

  • No great thing is created suddenly. There must be time, Give your best and always be kind.
  • Every loss leads you to a gain and every no takes you that much closer to a yes.
  • It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Be persistent.
  • You must endure some rain to fully appreciate the rainbows.
  • Your absolute best is all anyone can ask of you.
  • Sometime you simply drift in the wind before you start to sail.
  • Grief is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. It is the price of love.
  • Life is fleeting. Enjoy each moment. If you get a chance to sit it out or dance I hope you dance.
  • Remember, if you are headed in the wrong direction you are allowed to make a u-turn.
  • Enjoy what you can; endure what you must.
  • Pick the battles that are big enough to matter and small enough to win.
  • Do what you can with what you have, where you are.
  • Don’t eat watermelon before the fourth of July nor oysters during a month that doesn’t have a “R” in its name.-Jean Elizabeth Johnson Walker
  • The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is simply a little extra
  • Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
  • Be prepared. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
  • Don’t burn the bridges behind you.
  • Your future depends on many things but mostly you.
  • All monsters don’t look like monsters.


From Britney Walker:

  • You can’t have your way and God’s way at the same time… -Pastor Oliver
  • God is not fooled with crisis Christianity…everyone gets holy when all hell breaks loose.  -Pastor Wesley
  • I’d rather feed my dreams and let my fears starve to death –  Rocstead (lyrics from a song)
  • You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel. – LeNora Hawkins
  • Honey, you can’t try to figure crazy out. – Lacetia Walker
  • Date people, not potential – if their potential doesn’t lead to their progress, then you’re just dating an idea.- E.B.II
  • Good morning girls, we love you. have a great day at school/work – John and Lacetia Walker (via/ text message)


From Betsey Whatley (RIP), Ken, Lawanna, Melissa and Orlando Walker:

  • Don’t be like me.  Be better than me.  Ken
  • Be responsible.  Melissa
  • I’m praying for you.  Melissa
  • God knows the truth…He knows.  Orlando
  • To God be the glory…To thine self always be true.  Betsy
  • Two wrongs don’t make it right.   Betsy
  • Every one deserves to be loved and respected.  Betsy
  • No matter what the situation…you do the right thing.  Betsy
  • You need to listen…just listen sometimes.  Betsy
  • Never allow anybody to belittle or lower your self esteem.  Betsy
  • You can do it…you may have to work harder but you can do it.  Betsy
  • Just try…you never know unless you try.  Betsy
  • If you’ve done your best, that’s all that’s expected of you.   Betsy
  • Always speak softly to your children, listen to them, trust them and make sure they know you love them unconditionally.  Betsy
  • I don’t need you when everything is well…I need you when I’ve messed up and/or disappointed you.  Betsy
  • Education is the most important thing you can get. Make them children read…better yet, you read to them!  Betsy
  • Expose my babies and constantly provide them with experiences.  This develops their confidence.  Betsy
  • You are no better or no worse than him/her…you are blessed with better opportunities.  Betsy
  • You are responsible for your actions.  Betsy
  • God makes “NO” mistakes.  When you complain you’re telling HIM, HE doesn’t know what HE’s doing.  Betsy
  • Don’t continue to defend or prove your actions.  Explain it once.  Either I believe you or I don’t.  Betsy
  • Keep GOD first in all you do.  As for me and my house we will serve the LORD.  Lawanna
  • GOD will convict you of what HE wants you to stop doing.  Lawanna
  • Always tell the truth…no matter what tell me the truth.  Lawanna
  • I’m not you; therefore, I can’t think, speak or react like you.  Lawanna
  • I’m not you; accept me for who I am and not what you want me to be.  Lawanna
  • In life you must play the hand you’re dealt.  Lawanna
  • Don’t worry.  Be happy.  Find the good in every thing.  Is it cloudy or partly sunny? Lawanna
  • If you got it flaunt it; if not others will want it.  Lawanna
  • Remember your manners.  Did you say Thank you?  Yes/no ma’am/sir.  Lawanna
  • Help/understand others.  Until you walk in their shoes, you don’t know how you would react.  Lawanna


From Ricky Ross:

  • Be the best you can be.
  • Be careful what you ask for; You may have to deal with it.
  • Be careful who you consider you friend.
  • Don’t be afraid to share.
  • Don’t go with Auburn on a bet! (sad)


From Rikki Ross:

  • Quit judging folks. The world needs strippers just like we need auto mechanics.- Rikki Ross
  • Sleeping with old men or women will give you worms.


From Nishia Ross:

  • There are only two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is though everything is a miracle – Albert Einstein
  • Every moment is a gift. Spend it on things that matter – learned from movie Flight 93
  • Make your life a mission – not an intermission – Unknown
  • Everyone faces challenges in life. It’s a matter of how you learn to overcome them and using them to your advantage – Thoughts about my Mom and brother RJ
  • At first dreams seems impossible, then improbable, then inevitable – Christopher Reeve
  • All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them – Walt Disney
  • Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.
  • All my children are beautiful – My Mom
  • Coffee will make you black! – My Granddaddy
  • You are somebody! – My Grandma Jean  


From Myia Hatchett

  • Always follow your goals and dreams don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it because you can do it if you set your mind to it! and “make wise choices” From her Meme Zelda Ross


From Melba Bateman:

  • Tell the truth, shame the devil.


From Rakia Craig Hassell:

  • Don’t be so ratchet!


From Bennie and Laura Smith:

  • Watch out, Boy, if you lie, you will steal.  A liar can’t tarry in God’s sight.  Ned Smith,  Submitted by Bennie Smith, son.
  • Be careful about carrying a lazy man’s load. 
  • Just wait, the Lord moves stumbling Blocks.  Violet Smith   Submitted by Bennie Smith
  • If you don’t follow this advice, you will see this again and wish for what I’m telling you.  Maggie Howard   Submitted by Donald Wallace


From Ann Turner:

  • Praise the Lord, darling!


Now can a get an AMEN?!?!?


-Angela Moore

How to Keep it Classy When Cussin’, Cutting and Acting Uncouth Are Not an Option


Let me just start out by saying I was baptized at the age of 15 and know all about what scripture says about character. I grew up in the church (except for the occasional times we stayed home to watch Blondie and Dagwood and go for rides in our Town and Country station wagon to look at mansions in Mountain Brook followed by eating “Baseball Nut” ice cream at Baskin Robbins).  I was voted Most Poised by my 12th grade class and have the picture of me in the floral print, peplum dress with white stockings from 5 Points West and black shoes to prove it. I pride myself in being a lady and try with everything Godly and good within me to stay on top of my West Endian roots (yes, I’m from West End Manor, Birmingham, Alabama and with that comes a sense of, shall we say, “spice” that seems to settle on a West Endian girl:) Sometimes, with all of those factors it is still hard to stay Godly and good.


In today’s society with a growing trend of women fussing and fighting on television (and everywhere else), I wouldn’t dare judge others because judging is wrong. Plus, I don’t know their stories, struggles, exposure or environment. With all that said, there have been times in my life where I wanted to cuss, cut (as in three tires, not four so the insurance won’t cover it) and act uncouth. Through all the wild and wacky reactions I might have taken as a result of not being mature enough to handle other’s actions I’m thankful for God’s grace. I’m also thankful for the fact that I’ve developed a sense of knowing how to keep it classy when cussin’, cutting and acting uncouth are not an option.

NoCussing      tumblr_m95wpyTLh11r04xyvo1_500

My divorce and the aftermath of handling lingering business was the most recent thing to test my West Endian heritage. Surprisingly, just a bit of it was directed toward my former spouse (as with any couple going through the end of a union, so don’t go TMZing in the mind or the mouth), but most of it wanted to be directed toward the fact that I was out of control of my life and anyone or any entity that I thought had some role in it. That’s crazy. I know! As strange as it may seem, while that was the most recent time I can remember (which was four years ago), it certainly wasn’t the most intense time I’ve had to keep myself in check or learn from times when I didn’t. (Trust me, there were times I learned through error. I flinch in embarrassment when I see a few of the victims of my inability to keep it classy). Situations in all forms of life have tried to get the best of me, as I’m sure they have many.


Not verbatim, but people often ask how I keep it classy or why I accepted that cussin’, cutting and acting uncouth are not an option. I’ve never, ever been a curser, but I had an uncanny way to being an undercover revenge seeker as if that were my part-time occupation.  Since I’m being honest, I’ll be the first to admit that I’d mastered seeking my revenge in a way that was so clever often time my targets didn’t know they were “gotten” until long after they were “gotten”.  I’m not proud of that at all, but learned a few things along the way. Put on your seatbelts and get ready for this “keeping it real” ride!


Here’s what I learned…

  • I’m too pretty for prison.
  • I don’t want my loved ones seeing me on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, BET, E True Hollywood Story or MSNBC unless it is because of how fabulously I did something fabulous.
  • I accept that acting “cra-cra” certainly won’t make anyone stay or anything change.
  • My Mama doesn’t “cuss, cut or act uncouth” and even if she did I don’t have to follow her unfortunate footsteps.
  • It’s never worth disrespecting myself just because I’m disappointed.
  • I care what people think. I know some people often say they don’t care what people think, but I do. I don’t want any of my words or actions confusing them about who I am.
  • I have people who look up to me. I’d much rather them be mimicking me in front of my face over a meal at Fleming’s or Panera Bread rather than while looking at my face on the America’s Most Wanted poster in line at the Post Office.
  • I know nothing says “I’ve moved on” like truly letting go, and looking and acting good while doing it.
  • I don’t want to plant a bad seed I’m not prepared to harvest.
  • I realize that Social Media is forever. Pictures, posts, videos and the likes might be deleted, but copies and memories are hard to erase.
  • I understand that life has a sense of humor. We never really know who’s coming in, going out and coming back in. I don’t want to have to deal with the repercussions of my reactions while trying to rebuild a relationship.
  • I don’t want to be known as “that girl”…you know the one that can’t seem to trust God enough to get over what happened and takes it out on every living, breathing thing in her path.
  • I believe that I can’t control other people’s actions, but I can control my reaction.
  • I trust God.
  • I know the Lord specializes in “your latter shall be greater”. Far be it for me to mess that up!



Gimme a Break!

The wonderfully talented and sassy Nell Carter belted out the following lyrics on her hit television show in the 80s: Gimme a Break Theme Song

Gimme a break I sure deserve it It’s time I made it to the top Gimme a break I’m looking forward Get behind me Pull out every stop

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it shall be received”. James 4:2 says “You have not because you ask not”. So taking a cue from God and Ms. Carter (RIP) I’m asking for this simple request….”Gimme a Break”.

Nell Carter in Gimme a Break.

You know it’s time for a vacation, a respite or reprieve when your two-year-old niece interrupts her own car seat serenade with Justin Timberlake to yell out emphatically and with authority, “Sweet Tee (that’s what she calls me), WE need a vacation!” I humbly agreed as if she were the adult and I were the toddler. Not that anything has to go on or wrong in life to need a break or a breather, but simply by default of living we all need a healthy escape. Being human requires rest, fun, adventure, and new memories. I’m talking about the kind of break that doesn’t have to cost a lot (unless you can afford it) but that’s so good, and so relaxing, and so invigorating, and so exciting and fantastically whatever you need it to be that you talk about it and thrive from it for years after it’s over. People often comment on how “nice” I am. And for the most part I am (or try my best to be), but that’s due in LARGE part to me being able to get myself in check and keep myself in check through regularly scheduled rest and relaxation, otherwise I’d be…well, I won’t even give my doubters or the devil any room there. So, I’m waiting on, praying for, looking forward to, and receiving any ways God desires for me to catch a break (meaning I’m very selective about who I share my spare time with, what I do and where:). But if the Lord prefers I enjoy a gift of a Groupon vacation. I’ll take it! A free trip from some contest I’ve entered? I’ll be present and accounted for! A trip to the spa or several spas? I’ll go! Some serious outlet shopping? Yes, ma’am or sir, I’m available! A girlfriend getaway? Pass my new luggage please! A four or five-day escape with money to spare? Count me in! A rainy Saturday with all day Food Network “Chopped”, “Restaurant Impossible”, ” The Pioneer Woman” and “Barefoot Contessa”? Remote, pizza and popcorn please! A daycation or quick retreat? Yep, I’m down. I’ve learned that knowing what it takes to keep you going is just as important as the act of keeping going. For me, that’s a break (or two or three or more) each year. I need breaks. I depend on breaks. I like breaks. I expect breaks and I don’t feel bad at all by admitting any of the above. So for now, I’ll enjoy some photos of breaks-of-old, hum along to Nell’s sweet song and make myself ready for the adventures ahead. And when it happens new posts and pics will follow!!!!


Will People Love My Babies?

Gifts are truly one of those things that keep on giving if you give them away. Just the other day, I stepped into my spare closet and took items that had been hanging in there for far too long, bagged them up nicely, moved to my other closet, repeated the steps and came out with a bundle of beautiful pieces to share with a beautiful friend.


I sent her a message about the bounty I’d stashed for her. We were both ecstatic, giddy even, about the great exchange that was coming. I could not wait to share with her what I’d been holding for her. She couldn’t wait to receive what I had. I knew she would like them. I knew they were perfect just for her. We met on a Saturday afternoon, made the big pass of the bag, graced each other with pleasantries, restaurant recommendations, hugs, “I Love Yous” and went away feeling great. It was a beautiful thing indeed. I was sure of that!


Oh, how I wish sharing my gift of writing were as easy. The whole experience is less like the sharing of clothing and more like the birthing of children. Having no natural children of my own, I can only imagine what mothers feel like wondering how the world will receive their babies. My words are like my babies. They’re my gifts from God.


So many thoughts, doubts even, come to mind as I labor day and night nurturing the words that often awaken me in the middle of the night.

  • Will people like them?
  • Will people think they are as beautiful as I do?
  • Will people make fun of them?
  • Will people misunderstand them?
  • Will people misunderstand me because of them?
  • Will they embarrass me?
  • Will people judge me because of them?
  • Will letting go of them cause me more pain?
  • Will people protect them?
  • My list goes on and on and on and on.

Just like a good mother with all sorts of concerns concerning her babies, daily, still I rise, get my babies together for the day, speak life into them, thank God for the path (often a painful one) that birthed them, dress them up for the day, look over them with a fine-tooth comb, correct them where they need addressing, and trust their Father to take care of us all.


Like any good, natural mother I’m not certain I’ll ever remove the “guardian eagle” eyes concerning my babies. I desire to grow as confident in sharing my words as I did in sharing my clothing with a friend. I believe part of me will always want to do whatever possible to protect my words, my babies, but my prayer is that with each letter, phrase, sentence, punctuation or paragraph I become more and more comfortable each time my precious eaglets leave the nest.


-Angela Moore


Doors Fly Open When Walls Fall Down

Life Gets Better

I had an interesting business meeting today that could possibly place me in position to return to doing something I love, and be compensated at least part-time for the time being. The meeting was scheduled and rescheduled a few times because of various reasons, but truth be told, any meeting (and many meetings) should have been held long before today. So what was the hold up? M-E

Today, I was reminded of this little quote I wrote as I pondered my future, “doors fly open when walls fall down.” You see, I could easily blame a man, the man, or anybody else for me not moving on those things that concern me, bring me joy, are part of my gifted purpose and my destiny. But at the end of the day (it’s actually 5:23pm as I type so I guess this blog is most fitting), I am responsible for waking up and making…

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