Music Soothes the Soul

It’s amazing just how music can totally change your mood.  It can give you energy to get you through that last set of exercises, it can lift your spirits, or it can bring back the memories of an old flame.  These days I don’t listen to too much music on the radio – unless it’s an oldies station.  I find myself listening to talk radio more, especially if Petunia is in the car with me.  A lot of this new stuff their playing – I. Just. Can’t.  Some of it is just down right embarrassing with all of the blatant sexual content.  Who wants to listen to some little 20 year old kid telling you how good he is in bed?  Boy, please!  (Well, unless you’re a cougar, you might be okay with it.)

Anywho, the following are a few of my all time favorite CDs:

Maze: Live in New Orleans

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly: “Live in New Orleans” is an album I literally grew up listening to.  I can’t begin to explain the love affair the people of New Orleans has with the group Maze. This was my mom’s cleaning music.  Every other Saturday morning, this sound of this album let me know that it was time to start cleaning.  I have since picked up the habit.  This music has a way of making the cleaning go by just that much faster. And if you’re in the club, and “Before I Let Go” comes on, the crowd will rush the dance floor!  This one always gets the party started!

Michael Jackson: Thriller
Michael Jackson’s Thriller is an album that I literally wore out!  I was 11 years old when this album came out, and was so excited when my mom bought it for me.  I even made up dance routines to some of the songs!  LOL!  My favorite song from this album is actually “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)“.
The Notorious BIG: Ready to Die
Released in 1994, this album introduced us to Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious BIG.  Produced by Sean “Puffy” Combs, the album was included on Time’s 2006 list of 100 greatest albums of all times.  My favorite track on this album is Juicy, which is a lyrical autobiographical account of his life from rags to riches.  Unfortunately the world was only graced with the presence of The Notorious BIG for 3 short years, as he was gunned down in a drive by shooting in 1997, a result of the East Coast/West Coast hip hop rivalry.
What about you?  What are some of your all time favorite CDs?

September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt: List 5 of your all-time favorite CDs and why you love them. Include clips from Grooveshark and/or YouTube.


Birthday Memories

Beignet Mamas 1st Birthday

Yes, that’s me celebrating my very first birthday.  Please don’t tell my mom I posted a picture of her with that huge afro.  🙂  Actually, my most favorite birthday memories actually are of my daughter’s birthdays.  She just recently turned two, and had a fabulous Strawberry Shortcake themed party.  I love watching her get excited over having a house filled with her little friends.

Now, let me give you some background.  My daughter LOVES company!  I mean really love it.  When folks come over she actually cries when it’s time for them to leave – adults or children, it doesn’t matter.

On the afternoon of her party, she was napping on the living room sofa when the first guests arrived.  When she opened her eyes and saw two of her friends from daycare, she leaped off the sofa and gave them both big hugs.  From there the screaming, squeeling and giggling commensed.  I escorted the three little ladies out into the backyard only to be greeted by a gigantic Strawberry Shortcake bounce house.  Their little eyes became big as saucers – followed by more screaming and squeeling.  They jumped until they could jump no more.  In all we had a total of 6 kids ranging in ages from 2 to 4 – which was perfect.
One of my aunts baked her the prettiest and tastiest strawberry themed cake – which was a big hit!

I have another aunt with whom my Petunia shares the same birthdate.  She lives in Las Vegas, and flew all the way out to the East coast just to share her special day with her great niece – making the  occasion even more special. 

Clockwise from top: Petunia & Vegas Auntie, bounce house, strawberry-theme cake, Petunia in bounce house

I know I have had plenty of cool birthdays, but watching the excitement on my little one’s face makes me happy.

September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt: Share some of your favorite memories.


Where Were YOU on 9.11.01

On September 11, 2001 I was in Washington, DC.  At the time I was in an office building that sat right on the Potomac river.  When we first learned of a plane hitting the first tower, myself and a few others rushed to the only television in the office to hear more about this horrific “accident”.  We then watched in horror as a second plane hit.  The realization then sank in that this was no accident. 

When we received word that the Pentagon had just been hit, we all rushed to the windows – knowing the Pentagon was just on the other side of that river, a view obstructed by trees.  From our location we could see the smoke billowing up into the air.  From there, everything just seemed surreal.  Everyone was scared.  Everyone was in panic mode – what should we do?  We all did the only thing we knew how, get out of the city the best way we could.

Forever changed, our daily lives can easily be described as before 9/11 and after 9/11.   From airport security screenings to all of the “See Something, Say Something” messages encountered on a daily basis, the way we do things are forever altered.  Minor inconveniences so that a tragedy like this can never happen again. 

Forever changed are the lives of the families who lost their loved ones.  Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters left for work that morning, boarded flights, only to never return.  Just as the events of that day are seared into our minds, the men, women and children who lost their lives on that fateful day never be forgotten.

September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt: Where were you on September 11, 2001? 


Do You Live YOUR Life, Or Someone Else’s?

So many times I have said, or thought to myself, “I wish I could go back to undergrad and do it all over again, there are so many things I would do different.”  I think I would have a totally different major, possibly attend a different school, take advantage of more opportunities, etc.  Yeah, yeah, I know, “Shoulda, woulda, coulda…”  But then when I think about it, my life’s journey probably would not be filled with the awesome people I met along the way.  Okay, well some of them I could do without, but anyway…

So many times I think I tailored my life to fit other people’s expectations.  I spent a lot of time making other people happy, and myself not so much.  Fortunately I realize that I have to live MY life, not someone else’s idea of what my life should be.  While I wish that I had come to this realization about 10 years ago, better late than never!

A few weeks ago, I found the following gem posted over at The Southern Belle.  It spoke volumes to me, and was a reminder that I have to continue to take charge and live MY life to the fullest.

What do you think?  Have you ever found yourself tailoring your life to fit someone else’s roadmap?


Will They Miss You When You’re Gone?

Photo Credit: saavem

Two weeks ago, an older neighbor suffered a heart attack while cutting his grass, and passed away at the hospital.  His passing has weighed on us (the neighbors) because no one really “knew” him.  He was transported to the hospital as a John Doe.
Over the past two weeks, a few neighbors, through collective conversations, have been able to determine his name, that he was once married, and that he “has family down south”.  He always kept to himself, rarely left the house, and no one witnessed any visitors – EVER.  When we did see him, he would smile and waive hello as he entered or exited his home.  The few conversations were brief and generic (ie. the weather, sports).  While the neighbors have picked up his daily delivered newspapers, and cut his lawn, we wonder if his family even knows he’s gone?  Has anyone missed his presence?

This has really had me thinking about how much we connect with one another.  I know sometimes I can get consumed with daily life and go a few weeks without checking on any particular friend, but usually someone within our social group has made contact.  The same with family.  There’s always someone that has talked with somebody.  I remember going to my 36 week checkup and being admitted into the hospital with pre-eclampsia.  After 2 days, one of my neighbors approached my husband because they felt something was wrong after noticing my car was gone and they hadn’t seen me waddling around.  While it wasn’t the best circumstances, it felt good to know that my absence was noticed. 

This situation has really struck a nerve with me.  What part do I play in the lives of others?  I’ve decided that whether it’s an email, card, phone call, or text, I will do a better job of keeping in touch. 

What do you think of this situation?  Do you know anyone this has happened to?  How often do you keep in touch with friends and family?


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