Real Good Food

Happy Monday! 😘💋
By now you already know that Lady G. loves to throw down in the kitchen 😉
Here’s my take on the importance of cooking and eating good food.

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Calypso Meal Real good food at Calypso Caribbean Grill in Columbia, S.C.

Grammatically speaking, the title of this post, albeit awkward, is somewhat deceptive.  I am not just talking about really good food.  I am talking about real, as in genuine, good food.

Is there a difference?  Absolutely!

Consider the two meals below:

  1. Baked chik’n nuggets with tater tots
  2. Baked chicken and mashed potatoes

Which one is really good? Well if you are a hungry omnivore, both meals will qualify as ‘really good.’  But let’s go a bit further.   Which of the two options is both real and good?  Undoubtedly the second option is the best choice.

Are you confused, no worries, I’ll clear it up for you.

In order to determine if your food  is ‘real’ use Old McDonald’s farm as a guide.  You remember Old McDonald, he was the farmer who had a “duck duck here and a duck duck there…” Anyway, look…

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The Flowering Vine: The Reaper

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The Reaper is a continuation of “To Mary” written by Ron Brown.  

 

Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!

Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass!

Alone she cuts and binds the grain,

And sings a melancholy strain;

O listen! for the Vale profound

Is overflowing with the sound.

All along the way, other sharecroppers could be seen laboring in their rented fields; men in torn, tattered overalls, and summer hats of plaited straw; women in patched osnaburg, cotton, and “plains” dresses with aprons; their heads covered with a rainbow of colored head wraps. The children were dressed as miniature versions of their parents. Everyone could be seen, swinging hoes and chopping cotton; dripping in sweat beneath the relentless Alabama sun.

As the old wagon crested the hill, Mary gave an ear-shattering shout to the figure below, toiling tediously in their own field. The weather-beaten house; with its small smokehouse, creaky corn crib, old outhouse, battered barn, and shady old oak, with the rope swing hanging from one of its strong, gnarled limbs; all surrounded by the slate-grey soil, now being tended by Jim; looked inviting, despite the fact that it was hardly large enough to accommodate Mary’s brood.

Jim ceased his tireless striving, as the wagon rattled to a halt in front of the house. Coley, disembarked the wagon and hitched the mules to the hitching post while the rest of the rest of the rowdy remnant, dismounted in a din of disorderliness. However, the confusion and chaos, almost magically, morphed into the apotheosis of order and the definition of discipline when Mary commanded, “Unload these supplies chillun!”

Lula, however, was exempt from this chore because her beautiful baby, little Leroy, needed tending to, immediately!

After receiving a briefing from Jim, on his progress—or lack thereof (due to no fault of his own, of course)—Mary declared the day’s work done and they all retired into the small house as the sun sank low. It was getting late in the evening.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt

More welcome notes to weary bands

Of travellers in some shady haunt,

Among Arabian sands:

A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard

In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,

Breaking the silence of the seas

Among the farthest Hebrides

Ella and Lula—who was now, temporarily relieved of baby business by Mary—prepared the evenings fare, while Mary—sitting in her old rocker—gently rocked Leroy to sleep. The rhythmic creak of the rocker curiously comforting to all, as they sat about and listened as Mary lamented the lack of fairness, wrapped in the hardship of the system, that was “sharecropping”.

She recounted the events of April, a year ago, when the notorious “Cyclone of 1909” struck the Southeastern states, including Barbour County Alabama, with a fierceness that fazed even the most stout-hearted of Southerners. She recalled being “summoned” up to the “big house” by ole Marse Hatfield.

‘“Mary’, he’d said, as he pulled on that old corncob pipe and blowed out that smoke in swirlin streams, like he wuz tryin’ to shape his words with it, ‘I know you don’t have no man’—like he ain’t tried to be my “man” evry since old man Harrell let me loose—anyways he went on; ‘even though your boy Jim is nigh grown’, then he blowed more smoke ‘I’ve got a proposition fer ya. Iffen you and yo young’uns wuz to gather up all of that corn, that the storm done blowed down up d’ere in the noff field, I’ll haul it to market fer ya and sell it fer you and give ya half the proceedin’s.

Natchully I seen that as a good deal. Ya’ll remember how we labored in that noff field fom sun-up, ta sundown. My po back ached me a’plenty. Ya’ll chilluns wuz so tied that ya’ll went off to bed without eatin’ a thing.

We’uns stacked that corn in piles taller than what Jim is, so’s Marse Hatfield’s big old wagons could just roll up to the piles and we toss the corn in ‘em till day wuz full. We worked for eight days straight! When finally, we wuz done, and ole Marse’s wagons was filled, I couln’t help but smile, watching them wagons ride off towards the settin’ sun. I knowed day would be money comin’ back to us, that is, if ole Marse wuz true to his word. But he wuzn’t!

We waited weeks and months for ole Marse to send our share of the proceedin’s for the sellin’ of the corn we’d picked, but nothin’ come. Bye and bye, I went up yonder on that hill and waited six hours fo ole Marse would see me. When he finally come a stalkin’ outta his liberry, he looked at me and say in his gruff voice, ‘What chu want gal?’

I say, Marse, I come for the money from the sellin’ of the corn. Ole Marse say, wit his eyes squinched and his pipe ‘tween his teef, “What corn?” I say, the corn we picked up that wuz knocked down by the cyclone, but he jest shake his big head and say, “I don’t know nuffin’ bout no corn!” and walked away.

Will no one tell me what she sings?—

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things,

And battles long ago:

Or is it some more humble lay,

Familiar matter of to-day?

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,

That has been, and may be again?

See, that how dey do us Colored folks, don’t matter how light yo skin is. So, ya better have sum else goin’ fer ya!’”

As Mary finished her story, she looked around to see that everyone was asleep, except little Leroy. He was listening!

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang

As if her song could have no ending;

I saw her singing at her work,

And o’er the sickle bending;—

I listened, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more

Poem, “The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth

to be continued

The Kindergarten Debacle

Why be a little late when you can be big-ly late?
LOL 🙂
In this case, I was epically late!

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When I was five I couldn’t wait to start school.  I wanted to read schoolbooks, eat school lunch, play during recess and do everything else that I had so often heard older kids talk about doing.  But alas, I was too young for all of that right?

WRONG!

One idle weekday in the 1970’s, my mom and I were partaking in an unconventional, yet hearty, breakfast of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Friends, this was one of my most favorite meals because mama used real cheese with the red stuff around it.  After one bite, that cheese stretched for miles.  It was delicious!  Oooohweeeee!  If memory serves, she called it hoop cheese.

Did I just digress?  I beg your pardon.  Just stay with me 😉

Anyway, while we were eating, my mom’s friend came over for a visit.  After a quick exchange of pleasantries, mama’s friend looked at me with a puzzled…

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The Flowering Vine: A Letter to Our White Great-Grandfather

black and white me

Dear Robert,

My name is Gwin and I am one of your great-grandchildren.  Today, I am writing to you in hopes that your soul has ascended to an elevated level of understanding and empathy-having left your dark and dense material world many years ago.

As you can see, I am not exactly what you might have expected.
I am not Caucasian.
I am a strong and beautiful brown-skinned girl.
I am Black.
We are Black.
You see, I am one of many.
We are the grandchildren of your son, Leroy.
From what I have been told, our grandfather spent quite a bit of time at your home with you and your other children.
In fact, he once showed me a knee injury that he sustained while playing on your farm.
So there’s no doubt in my mind that you knew him and he knew you.
But, do you know us?
Did you notice that he married a beautiful and educated black woman?
Did you see their babies?
Did you see their baby’s babies?
Would you have recognized us as YOUR children?
Or would you have been horrified?
Terrified?
Based on historical documents, I know that your family is deeply rooted in the South.
I know that many of them fought and died for the Confederacy-their cold dead fingers still wrapped around that flag.
I also know that they vigorously worked to maintain white supremacy and dominance well after The Civil War.
History tells me that it is very likely that you and some of your kin gathered up the women and children, put on your best suit of clothes, packed a picnic and gleefully watched as one, or more of my black ancestors was beaten to death and hung from a tree.
You and your kin normalized the murder and torture of black folks because, in your Earthly simple mind, we were less than human.
Yet, you wouldn’t have dared watch someone hang a horse.
There is no justifying that.
But, as I write this letter, I have hope that God’s grace has brought you to a higher level of awareness and you now know just how sick you were.  I pray that you have boldly accepted whatever karma came your way and released your hatred.
However, having said that, I must inform you that your inability to repent for your sins while on Earth has led to the creation of a very ugly wound on our current society that never healed.
 In fact, it’s beginning to fester and without an immediate intervention, it will become septic—which is, indeed, fatal.
If you don’t believe what I am saying, I give you this post written by your Great-Grandson, my cousin, Ronald.
Here’s the thing Great-Granddaddy, I want to forgive you and yours for your trespasses, but it is hard as hell when the worst of you continue to uproot any amount of progress that is made.
Therefore, I’d ask that you send prayers of enlightenment and love down to all of those who are working so hard to dominate and oppress people who do not resemble them.
I’ll join you in those prayers.  Maybe, between me and you, we can initiate healing and change.
Peace, love and light to you!
-Gwin.
PS:  You can reach me in my Alternate Universe version of 1982 :).
Also I am enclosing a picture of your son (Leroy) and your Grandson (My Daddy).
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Musical Affirmation: 11/17/2016

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Alternate Title:  That time we became Black Belts

Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas (Released 1974)

Just a fun song!

When I was little I remember doing my faux ‘Kung Fu’ routine all over the house to this jam!

Who knew that I’d actually go on to earn my Black Belt?

I sure’s hell didn’t!

But life happened… and I later gave birth to a son who was interested in martial arts.

One day, unbeknownst to me, my Dad signed him up for Taekwondo class, informed me of his actions, said his goodbyes and promptly went the hell back home to Alabama!

WTF?

Homeboy stuck me with a new project.

Thanks Daddy!

And so it went—-me taking Sir R to weekly Taekwondo practice.

One day, my son’s instructor challenged me to start taking the adult classes that he held at night.

It is important to note that, during those days, Lady G did not back away from a challenge.

Needless to say, I started attending and it was on!

You see, my instructor was very crafty.

Shortly after we started, he went ahead and ordered our Black belts and put them on display.

Everyday when my son and I went to practice we could see our Black belt high up on a wall for the entire galaxy to see!

I’ll be damned if I wasn’t gonna get that thing!

And so…

About 3 years later we were there!

In fact, my son and I were this instructor’s first mother and son First degree Black Belts!

Sir R was 9 years old.

YAAASSSS!

We stepped up to the plate baby!

Which brings me to today’s affirmation:

My word is bond!  Whatever I choose to do, I WILL do!

Just don’t hurt nobody in the process!

LOL!!!

taekwondo-gear

sir-r-testing

Here’s Carl….

Video Credit:  Netter 11

I’d love to hear about a time when you had to rise to a challenge!

Holler at me in comments!

Lady G 😘💋

 

 

Message from 1982!

sports-car-338319_1920
Daddy had a yellow 260-z in 1982

 

So…

I am still in 1982 and here’s how I spent my day today.

In no particular order:

I went to watch this good looking older guy name Jariah  my brother’s little league game.

Ate some meatloaf with mashed potatoes and some turnip greens.

Fed my dogs (Princess and Demon.)

Climbed my favorite tree and sat on my tree-bench.

Ever heard of a tree-bench?

It’s a long story–ask me about it in comments.

Anyway, I sat on my bench and thought about how much fun it would be to live on a magical star.

Recorded a few songs off the radio.

Was pissed off because the damned DJ started talking right in the middle of “Walk” by The Time–CURSES!

Watched “Bosom Buddies”–Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari are hilarious.

Read one of Mama’s “Jet” Magazines.

Watched a rerun of “The Fish That Saved Pittsburg.”

Asked Daddy why train engines sound so funny when they have to go in reverse.

And now…

I’m getting ready for bed!

I can’t wait to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow!

See y’all when 2016 becomes more hospitable.

 

Here’s a little something from my cassette tape.

Video Credit:  Funk Nation

Important Note:

I’m in an alternate version of the last 1982 we had.

It’s a whole lot better than the old one was 🙂

Holler if you want to join me 🙂

I’ll make sure you get directions!

Lady G 😘💋

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings from 1982!

the-new-odd-couple

Updated: 11-26-2016

To paraphrase a quote from the great Spencer Tracy, Lady G is officially inaccessible to anything in the way of reasoning!

Or something like that!

I’ve never had a problem with completely botching a quote!

YAAASSSS!

Anyway,

My friends, I have completely lost it and I am currently residing in 1982!

Why?

Because I simply cannot with 2016 right now.

I’ll do my best to keep in touch!

In the meantime, it’s TV night and I am about to watch “The New Odd Couple” with Ron Glass and Demond Wilson.

It’s my favorite episode!

The one where “Frances” (Telma Hopkins) moves in!

Everything is Kool and the Gang!

Take care my loves and Godspeed!

-Lady G 😘💋

Ron Glass:   July 10, 1945-November 25, 2016

Rest in Peace 🌹

 

 

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The Flowering Vine: To Mary !

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Greetings:

This is the most recent addition to our family’s story, as told through “The Flowering Vine” series.  If you haven’t already, please be sure to read:

The Flowering Vine:  A Family Story

The Flowering Vine:  Mother Speaks

Today’s story, written by Ron, is about our Great-Great Grandmother Mary, our Great-Grandmother Lula, and our Grandfather Leroy (Mother’s husband).

Enjoy!

Lady G 😘💋

_________________

 

Let other bards of angels sing, 

Bright suns without a spot; 

But thou art no such perfect thing: 

Rejoice that thou art not!

-William Wordsworth

The year is 1910, but 1910 is not where the story began, but it is where the story is; like an old, sepia-colored photograph that has somehow rumbled magically to life and has shaken off its sepia suit to don a cloak of many colors; a multi-colored cloak rivaling the one which inspired so much treachery and envy amongst Joseph’s brothers; a cloak in “living color”.

At one of the countless crossroads in time, an old buckboard wagon; drawn by two tired, black mules, rolled bumpily down the dusty, winding way, which went from the “big house”—where old Marse Hatfield lived and where he sold goods from the plantation’s “store”—down the gently sloping hill towards the patchwork of parcels on Hatfield’s ample acreage; down to the battered barns on failing farms, occupied by the down-trodden denizens who sharecropped there.

The wagon, heavily laden with sundry dry goods and various vitals, purchased at the “store”, carried an even more precious cargo than the farm life fundamentals. It also toted life on board, for the black mules were driven to tow the toddling wagon, by the firm brown hands and booming voice of the formidable “head-of-household”, Miss Mary!

Heed not tho’ none should call thee fair; 

So, Mary, let it be 

If nought in loveliness compare 

With what thou art to me.

Riding shotgun for Miss Mary, was her good friend and widowed sister-in-law, Ella; while sitting, squatting, laying, dangling, and napping, on the rear of the wagon, were six of the seven children of the immutable matron and her sister-friend Ella. Mary’s oldest son, Jim, had stayed home on the farm, for there was always a mountain of work to be done for a sharecropper and he, by default, was the man of the house.

Mary’s second oldest—her golden skinned, mulatto daughter Lula—sat with her back to the others and her shapely, cream-colored legs, dangling from the open-ended back of the wagon and her pretty, bare-feet, barely brushing along the top of the dirt road passing slowly beneath her. A light trail of dust marked her passing, as it lifted from the road then whirled briefly, before becoming intermingled with the larger cloud, whipped up by the weighty wagon’s wooden wheels.

She had been charged by Mary to; “Keep an eye on the little ones Lula!” but the cool feel of the dust beneath her toes and the wiggling and giggling of the ten-month-old boy sitting in her lap, with his head full of straight, jet-black hair blowing in the gentle breeze, demanded all of her attention. His name was Leroy, and he was simultaneously; sweet, irresistible, and a whole, big handful, for he was a bundle of energy; always moving, grabbing, pulling, and trying to escape his young mother’s loving arms.

Also on the back of the wagon was Mary’s youngest son, the quiet, and sometimes sullen eight-year-old, Coley, and Ella’s rambunctious crew consisting of: seven-year-old Eddie, five-year-old Jesse, three-year-old Willie, and Ella’s baby boy; bad-assed little Pleas, at a squirming, one and a half, but going on twenty-years-old!

These four boys were Ella’s love—and Ella’s curse! A constant reminder that their father had been killed, while serving in the post-Civil War Army. However, he didn’t die in battle, for no battle had been fought during his lifetime. The army sent Ella a letter—along with his body which was contained within a pine box marked in bold, black letters, “PROPERTY OF US ARMY: FRAGILE” and that was it.

However, many—who swam regularly in “Rumor Mill Pond”—circulated a different story. They said that Ella’s husband had been killed by grown-assed White men dressed as “ghosts”, who variably called themselves; “Ghost Riders”, “Night Riders”, or “Knight Riders”, but knights, in the true sense of the word, they most certainly were not!

True beauty dwells in deep retreats, 

Whose veil is unremoved 

Till heart with heart in concord beats, 

And the lover is beloved. 

William Wordsworth

…to be continued