Check Your Bags, Please

Situations and relationships come and go. Unfortunately, what doesn’t always leave when they go is the baggage they bring with them and to us. As women we are often the unknowing recipients of other people’s simmering stuff. That, mixed with our own mess, and carrying it along “for the ride”, stifles the very essence of life. And while I’m there, let me just say that, again, as women, we know when we’re not right. We know when our attitudes, actions, reactions or reasoning are off, and if we’re honest, we can be honest about the who/what/where/when/why behind it. Those subtle or not so subtle insecurities, sarcasms, quick (hot headed) responses, fears, bouts of envy, fits of doubt, lack of trust with anyone, assumptions of the worse in others and so much more could merely be baggage we failed to dispose. Baggage, ours or from others, and ALL it brings with it isn’t a mystery or invisible unless we choose to pretend that it is.

The older I get and the more I see the more I know that leftover baggage can do a lot of damage. It can weigh down, slow down, hold up and hurt! Yes, shame on the other parties for leaving their guck with us. However, shame on us for letting it linger.


Like the stellar services of an excellent concierge at a five star hotel or the terminal workers at our favorite airports, we have earned the right to check our baggage leaving it at the door. The ONLY baggage we need to carry into our future is that made by Samsonite, Louis Vuitton, American Tourister or Gucci, sold online or available in stores.
The days of holding on to what holds us up are passe’. That means PAST in case you didn’t know.


I Shall Not Be Moved

Whew! Last week was a doozy. On Thursday around 11am knee-deep in boxes, garbage, too much stuff, plans, phone calls, scheduling, rescheduling, unexpected conflict and the likes I was preparing for the move from my old house to my new and I found myself sitting on the steps of my downstairs den about to bawl like a baby. Actually, I think a tear did fall. This was supposed to be a blessed day. I’d prayed for this moving day FOR YEARS, and had overcome the struggles in the weeks prior just to find somewhere to live and a resource to afford it. I’d even celebrated this moment in advance as I prepared to finally be moved. But it did not feel like a blessing as moving day progressed.


On moving day things got off to a great start. I woke earlier than planned. The packing the days prior from some certified angels on earth was stellar. The threat of rain appeared to be only a threat. The Two Men and a Truck movers were moving right along. My very own personal handy man was fulfilling his role as only he could in helping me handle business then out of nowhere the rain came, the progress slowed down, the rain came even harder, the heavy items presented major problems, the rain stopped/tricked me/started again, the clock of payment kept ticking (at an hourly rate I can’t even type) and all I could think of was WHY. Why was this happening to me? Why did I have to go through this years-long process and pay for it big time? Why would it start raining just as they were moving out the things with fabric? Why was I already so tired from recently having to balance more on my plate to be able to afford to move because of circumstances totally out of my control or causing? Why was it taking so doggone long to move all of my stuff causing my ever-ticking tab to skyrocket? Why? Why? Why?

why why why

I know my attitude the morning of March 24th toward a few key people wasn’t its best as I grappled with what I was feeling internally. I apologize to them. To make matters worse, as in my attitude, when we finally made it to my new house it appeared that my furniture wouldn’t fit. You can not imagine the frustration overflowing. At that moment, with the amazingly helpful men struggling and sweating to try to accommodate me and all my stuff, moving a heavy California King bed and other items which are paid in full and all I have, and knowing the clock which started at 8:30am and was well into the pm, I was on the verge of officially losing it. I wanted to QUIT IT ALL right there in the midst of the move. But I didn’t. For one, I couldn’t. I was too far in. For two, I couldn’t. That’s just not like me no matter how tempting. So what I did was rally up the troops. I listened to the sound advice, the kind comfort, the touch of love, the tough love, the sage wisdom and the firm facts of faith from those who were privy to what I was experiencing and I heeded their advice, trusted the process, and I let go. I simply blew out a really deep breath and let it go. I relinquished my lists of “what ifs”, “what am I going to do” and “this isn’t fair”. I reflected not on how I ended up in this place in the first place. I didn’t continue to calculate the growing costs in my mind. I just let it go and decided I shall not be moved…but I finally was moved…into a new home and on with my life. Thanks be to God!






D, Don’t Kill My Vibe!

Have you ever had one of those days which made you feel like the scene in Goodfellas right before Henry, played impeccably by  Ray Liotta, gets hauled off to prison? I did. Yesterday was that day.


After an already taxing last week and start to this week of starting a new job in addition to my existing old job (Go God!) I was rising by 3am each day to make it to one career so I could then head to the new one and do them both well, with a little bit of Monday mentoring of teens from Birmingham’s Woodlawn High School on the side. Add to that the franticness which ensues when one (as in this girl) has to pack a big ol’ house she’s lived in since 2007 and dwindle down clothes, shoes, furniture and other purchased knick knacks to accommodate the three bedroom, corner lot home one (as in this girl) had been praying would come through.

Moving right along through the organized chaos and believing I was handling it quite well with the support of my loving cast of characters I was Heaven-bent on making sure I shared my struggles of the last several years, shared the success of what God was doing, shared my extra furniture and knick knacks with those who needed it and always, always encouraged others along the way to hopefully know that Romans 8:28 is truer than true…then out pops the devil in the form of unwarranted assumptions and implied accusations from an associate. Note, I know exactly who was behind the attempted mid-morning coup to steal my joy and tempt me to respond completely Montgomery mixed with 19th Street West End in the most genteel, southern belle kind of way, of course. It wasn’t this situation or any other human beings. It was the devil…and I hate him. So to him, I paraphrase that Compton master lyricists, Kendrick Lamar and say, “D, don’t kill my vibe!”


You see, I’ve learned a time or two that the devil will give it his best shot when he knows God is about to reveal His very own best for our lives. In the midst of this madness and feeling compelled to defend my character and integrity (something Nette and Ves (my parents) DID NOT and still DO NOT play about), I had to remember that satan is the great deceiver. It wasn’t this situation. he would like nothing more than to taint, distort, twist and distract so that the blessings right in front of us take the back seat to his tomfoolery. Not today. Not yesterday. Not any day and definitely not here.

I don’t blame man for the little sneak attack he launched yesterday. I’ve not yet encountered the reasons behind the event face-to-face and am sure I will, but it is my prayer that my spirit and my attitude are such to breed peace, harmony and all sights ahead to what’s productively forward. That is my prayer. I’ll admit. I’m shocked and hurt. It would be easy, as in REALLY easy for me to hold a grudge, galvanize my posse’, act immaturely or sling blame around like Mardi Gras beads from a balcony in New Orleans, but I blame satan. he’s the one who’s just jealous that on yesterday evening at 7:15pm after all of that professional rigamarole, and after six years of being in one home (blog post on that coming soon) God did something amazingly miraculous for little ol’ me by blessing me with a new home and a new beginning not because I’m worthy, not because I’m perfect, not even because I deserve it, but because He loves me and I’m His girl.

So, at the end of the day this happened…

And to pull from the musical brilliance which is Diddy…

Hey devil, “Take that! Take that! Take that!”



Ladies, We Can’t Become That Girl

Hearing of a former spouse of a superstar who is now engaged to another superstar share a bit of “shade” regarding her exes engagement brought a point home. Breakups are hard. Ask me how I know. Seeing the one you broke up with or who broke up with you build a new relationship can be harder, especially if it’s public, even in our own little worlds. BUT, Ladies, we can’t be that girl. What girl you ask?


We can’t become that girl who:

  • Talks about what happened ALL THE TIME.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the next boo, bae, wife or hunni of our ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Loses our identity when we lose a relationship.
  • Gets consumed with the goings-on of a person who is gone.
  • Engages our friends in the tomfoolery that is our newfound passion for being a part-time, unpaid private eye.
  • Compares our ex relationship with his next relationship.
  • Compares our next relationship with our ex relationship.
  • Doesn’t believe that the BEST is still yet to come, regardless.

We can’t become that girl, but we can be a better woman.



Kindness All Around

I frantically typed this blog post as I sat in a nail salon waiting my turn for an enhancement to my fingernails. (Shout out to Diva Nails in Alabaster!) With time to spare, and reflecting on my drive here I realized there is kindness all around me.

It was March 17th, one day after my 44th birthday. By March 30th, my home, which has been on the market since my ex-husband left in 2010, will sale and I will finally get to move. Finally. Thank you Jesus! The problem is I don’t yet have anywhere to go.

Not to dwell on that, I will celebrate and thank God for the loved ones who’ve helped me start to sort and pack, for the ones who will travel from as far as out of town this weekend for Packapalooza 2016, for people who scour the web for rental homes on my behalf, for the friends who have offered to share their Spring Break and barely-there spare time to join in the “fun”, for those who have given toward financial expenses, for the friend of a loved one who spent hours organizing my online yard sale, for the virtual stranger, whom I’ve only known professionally, who offered me a suite in her 5 bedroom house with a separate suite and inground pool, and for those who’ve offered the power of prayer, freely shared their testimony and showered me with constant, encouraging reminders that God’s got this and me with an amazing cherry on top.


Thank you for your kindness. I pray you reap far, far more than you’ve sown.


Party on Pause

March 16th marks the BIG 44 for me. WooHoo!!!!!


This past year has been a blessing in disguise to say the least, as I’ve seen life happen at a jackrabbit’s pace, and still managed to come out of it with a smile on my face, a New Edition song in my heart and too many good days outweighing any not-so-good-right-now days.

With that said, birthdays are often major for me. I’m talking MAJOR! After all, a girl only turns whatever age she is turning once. So each year I’ve been fortunate enough to have multiple parties, too many cakes, lots of memories, great food and gifts galore. This year, however, is different, and surprisingly it’s my preference and I’m good. So I’ll pause for a moment to relish in the birthday blessings of years past. #grateful

I’ve decided to celebrate my March birthday in April. Yep, you read correctly. I’m putting my party on pause. There’s been so much going on that to take time to party seems to be a misuse of my time, plus I simply don’t have much time to offer up. Those 24 hours get zapped up like a mosquito in one of those outside bug zappers. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely plan on thanking God appropriately for another year, eating something blog-worth in honor of my special day, and accepting gifts as offered, but the biggest gift is seeing my daddy home from the hospital and on the road to healing, frantically gathering family and friends to pack my house to sell after being on the market for six WHOLE years, even more frantically searching the city (as in Alabaster, Hoover, Pelham and Helena) for a rental house within a certain small budget with a garage and at least two bedrooms in enough time to make my April sell date and starting a new part-time job so I can afford said new rental home. I got tired just typing all of that!


So as you can see, while my heart overflows with gratitude at the thought of 44 and all the AMAZING things it has in store, my plate overflows with things more pressing right now. I’m uber proud of the woman I’ve become. 34-year-old Angela would possibly have pouted on th einside at the thought of putting off partying. 24-year-old Angela would have gone into full-fledged “why me” mode. But not this sophisticated lady. I’m growing, and that is the best birthday present I can give to myself. So… Happy Birthday to me and see you in April with belated-birthday bells on and pictures as PROOF!!!!!


Have You Tried Grille 29?

Have you tried Grille 29? If not, do yourself a favor and do so.

A Friday night friend-fest with two sisters I’ve known since high school ended up with a food experience etched prominently in our minds and mouths forever. Everything was special from the first course of four-meat gumbo cooked for hours with rice perfectly plump and enough meat to feed a small brigade to the closing act of cottony-soft, warm sour cream fudge cake and vanilla bean ice cream sprinkled with sugar and all things in between including the meal of filet mignon Oscar style with lobster macaroni and cheese and roasted asparagus….herb roasted, buttermilk marinated chicken with wild rice, green beans and garlic herb jus…and scottish salmon brulee crusted with brown sugar glaze and served with the most wonderful sweet potato hash I’ve ever had and a carmalized onion on the side.

As if this meal couldn’t have gotten more magnificent, the doting wait staff, cultured atmosphere, debonair manager (who looked as if he could easily be besties with Tim Gunn) and the personalized, tableside greeting from Chef Daniel Mitchell was exactly as their slogan noted…a sophisticated sizzle. I’d like to sizzle again soon! #sizzle






Grille 29 is located in Birmingham, Alabama on the outer perimeter of Brookwood Village.

Grille 29 Birmingham

971 Brookwood Village
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Phone: (205) 783-1295

Hours of Operation:
Sunday Brunch – 10am
Sunday – Thursday – 11am – 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday – 11am – 10:30pm