You’re Not the First, But You Can Be the Last


Newsflash…what you’re going through is nothing new. You’re not special when it comes to the trials of life.


So here’s the skinny…

  • Your money is not the only money which acts as if it’s forgotten your checking account number.
  • Your ex is not the first ex to do something to make him or her an ex.
  • Your children are not the first children to forget your rules or how they were raised.
  • Your job is not the first job to fail to value you in pay or praise.
  • Your friends are not the first friends to disappoint their friends.
  • Your family member is not the first family member to abandon, under-appreciate or fail to support a family member.
  • Your dreams are not the first dreams to take the long, long, long route to arrival.

The fact of the matter is you’re not the first to go through anything you’ve gone through. However, you can be the last to allow it to define you, permanently damage you, hinder you or steal your joy.



Monkey Bread is Bananas!

Here’s a tasty treat from my page…



Monkey Bread is one of those treats that is as delicious to eat as it is funny to say. Just who thought of the name Monkey Bread anyway?

Monkey Bread is also a great way to bring your family into the kitchen cooking together and creating great memories. Try this quick recipe for this sweet treat that’s sure to make any day or holiday happier. The best part of this delight is that it’s oh, so easy to make and one of those dishes that you can eat straight from the cake pan, especially if you can’t wait, like I usually can’t.

Magnificent Monkey Bread 

3/4 Cup of sugar
1/4 Cup of brown sugar
1 stick of melted butter
2 cans of biscuits
Cup of pecans
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a cake pan spread pecans evenly in the bottom of the pan.
In a bowl, mix your regular…

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Help for the Chick on the Side

Now that I have your attention let me say “Gotcha”!!!!!! Surely you didn’t think I would peck out a post about side-chicks in the urban sense of the term. No ma’am. No sir. Not here. Not ever. This post is for the professional woman who has found or finds herself as the 2nd in command, the behind the scenes builder-upper, the “doo-wop-bop” background girl, the right hand woman, the vice to the president, the assistant to the director, the make it happen helper or whatever the title may be.

While brushing my hair recently, a thought more than 15 years old came to mind. I was reminded of the time I worked as a Special Projects Producer at a local television station in Birmingham, AL and uncovered a development in major, major decades old civil rights story. News of the discovery, which involved a sensitive time in history, spread around the country. Soon national talk shows were calling me. I was excited about the possibility of going to Los Angeles to appear on the Leeza Gibons Show. We were working out the details. My parents were proud, especially my Daddy. Then, out of what seemed to be nowhere at the time, I was told I wouldn’t be able to go to the show, but instead the anchor for which I was writing for and working with would go. The words of the hit Gap Band chart topper “You dropped a bomb on me, baby” rose up in me like too much food at a hot State Fair. I was devastated. I was discouraged. I was angry! I was H-O-T, and, in my less mature stage at the time I probably let someone know it.  (BTW…The talk show appearance never panned out, and just a month or so later I found a great, new job.)


I wish I could say that was my first and last dip into the professional pool of “chick on the side”, but it wasn’t. I’ve spent a great deal of time as someone’s second. For seven years I worked full-time in ministry with my former husband. I was COO to his CEO, which meant a lot of my thoughts and ideas were welcomed, implemented and appreciated by some, and a whole lot more of them were not. That’s the skinny on that which I choose to divulge. I’ve done the same in careers more recently and prior to. I’ve been a COTS…a Chick on the Side. The fact of the matter is, it’s hard being the business chick on the side. The responsibilities are high. The pay, at least in my cases, is certainly not. The position can be supported. The position can also feel stifling. The pedestal of expectations is lofty. The path to discouragement at the actions of others can go low. The passion is often present. The motivation to carry on in the midst of madness can fizzle like a bottle of 7-Up with the top left off. The ‘I’m glad to be here” is awesome. The “I’m so over this” is awful. The prestige of the position can be intoxicating. The “real deal, behind the scenes truth” can be suffocating. The love of the people can be uplifting. The loss of that love can be gut-wrenching.


So what’s a girl to do? Glad you asked. Not that I plan on being a COTS (Chick on the Side) all of my life, but if the Lord values my gifts from Him enough to trust me to use them to uplift others then the least I can do is:

  • Pray for the leader(s).
  • Be grateful for my position, regardless.
  • Be grateful that I don’t have to carry the full weight of the job even if it feels like it sometimes, and especially when things go awry.
  • Watch out for, try to help avoid, learn from and never repeat the mistakes of others.
  • Borrow from the brilliance of others. (No need in being that close and not catching some of what’s flowing from the top.)
  • Stay humble. (Pride can attack a COTS like nobody’s business, especially in the area of hurt feelings. Ask me how I know.)
  • Develop my passions while trying to help others live theirs.
  • Keep the gritty and grimy confidential (a perfect COTS keeps it quiet.)
  • Stay motivated for now, and definitely for later.



If You Want It Ask For It

I had an acquaintance from college who was notorious for being a chameleon (also known as easy breezy, amenable, nonchalant, and a bunch of other phrases I would say but I’m not sure he’s not somewhere wherever he is in this great, big world right now reading this blog post. I doubt it. But you never know.). Anywho, this former associate could “go with the flow” like nobody’s business, which, often made him a great person to be around, but sometimes made him hard to read because his own thoughts regarding certain things weren’t always the first to show.


I think now about how many times I’ve followed in his footsteps, wanting more, different, better or just plain new and not being gutsy enough to say so. From requesting more money, to speaking up about unfair issues in the the world or my world, to having my say with matters of my heart, to being honest and saying “no” when someone asks me to do something I can’t or don’t want to do, to asking for help, or something as simple as saying I’d rather eat hot wings over hot dogs, I wonder how many times I, like a chameleon, have turned pink and blue and yellow or green just to fit the scene with which I’ve been.  I wonder how many times I’ve gone with the flow rather than ask for something else or speak up first with my thoughts, wants or hopes before I even allowed others to place me in my own concocted “back down” box. Probably too many times than this blog posts allows characters.

Growing up my Mama, who is my own personal sensei, would ask for anything. And by anything I mean anything. There was no trepidation about her politely, but assuredly asking for or speaking of that in which she wanted, desired, or felt she and hers deserved. And unlike some, she didn’t take it too far to the point of being a complainer or ungrateful.(Sidenote, I don’t do complainers really well.) No, my friend, she was just the opposite. Her notion was, and I literally quote, ” It won’t hurt to ask. All they can do is say no and no ain’t never killed nobody.”


So starting today, my “Mrs. Miyagi” will be proud to know that her “grasshopper” has gotten the memo, it’s duly noted and in full-effect. My ask is about to be on and popping.


I Had a Dream

I had a dream, and no, it was not because of the grilled fish and turnips I ate for dinner…

I had a dream that I was living in a Hampton’s style neighborhood connected to a LARGE resort hotel called the Wynfrey, but nothing like the one we have here.
Rikki Ross​, Edith Arms​, Kristalyn Lee​, Nishia Elizabeth Ross​ and Charmel Taylor​ were all there. Charmel, Edith and Kristalyn asked me to borrow $10 cash for something we needed as we were checking in (which means I had cash MONEY and they all knew it…Yippee!!!).
Edith left me in the lobby after she got her $10 and hollered as she sashayed off that she was going to her “Penthouse”. (And she did!)
Rikki, had her own Hampton’s style townhouse and had cooked a dinner so delish that my Mama drove from her own Hampton’s style house to Rikki’s gorgeous pad to pick up her previous night’s leftovers to snack on (Shocking, I know!)
Charmel checked in in a CUTE ski-like ensemble then disappeared in a black, stretch Escalade with her boo. (We waved, cabbage patched and blew kisses as they pretended not to see us behind those dark, dark windows. We saw them!)
Nishia was planning to host her parents at her house where we pulled up to find the ENTIRE extended family there sitting out on her porch grilling like we were in West End instead of this fru-fru place my mind concocted (That means her house was huge! And it was!).
Kristalyn must have been married or dating someone because she left me on the way to my house literally skipping to his (or their) house and even turned down shrimp scampi because she was in a rush (Shocking, I know!).
And I…well, I too must have been married. I lived in a BIG house with a salon and personal hair stylist connected to my home (in sort of an in-law suite fashion) because my face-unseen, deep voiced gentleman told me to run over and get a new hair cut if I wanted to so I did. And as I did I watched women and children come in and out of the salon connected to my Hampton’s house with Louis Vuitton luggage.

Whew! I need to go back to sleep and get some more of that dreamy goodness. Some things I know for sure…
-I love my family and friends and want them to thrive, grow, get, give, prosper and kick it like nobody’s business!
-God is speaking and I just need to listen.
-Maybe not exactly as dreamed but something big is going to happen to, and through those I love and me (vacations, material coverings, life-long coverings (there is a difference you know), family fun, and blessings to share with others).
-God has a sense of humor and a loving way of sending sweet reminders.
-And that grilled fish was tasty!



It’s Gonna Be Alright

I’m pecking out this petit post from a hotel room in Opelika, Alabama. As I retreated from the balcony after having taken pictures of the super/cute pool, and reflecting on things (many things) ahead the words to a song my three-year-old niece started signing out of the proverbial blue came to mind. 

In her sweetly southern, still developing, slightly Asian sounding dialect, a few weeks ago she belted out with full certainty these words, “It’s Gonna Be Alright. Yeah, yeah, yeah!” She kept singing it over and over. I captured her on video about the fourth time she broke out into her little number. As cute as she thinks she is on video (and she is) that footage serves as a simple and strong reminder. “It’s Gonna Be Alright.” That stuck with me like Super Glue (the real kind, not the discount store version). Now let that settle in your spirit like granules of sand in a mason jar.

And so it is as it was said. “It’s Gonna Be Alright.” Think on it. Pray on it. Hold to it. Sleep on it. Speak on it. And believe that, people.  “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”