siSTARS on Motherhood

Please enjoy this conversation featuring Michelle, the therapist with myself and Dr. K. E. Garland. In this discussion, we talk about motherhood and mothering adults vs younger children.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there!
LadyG loves YOU!😘💋

K E Garland

I promise we didn’t plan this, buuut this video comes just in time for Mother’s Day in the US! We each talk a little bit about what motherhood/parenting means to us, and of course, each is different based on our own background.

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My Cousin’s Appointment to the Department of Air Force Senior Executive Service

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Alphonso Thomas and LadyG

So, I could have started by mentioning the fact that his name is Alphonso Thomas, but I was compelled to be a bit more “possessive” in my approach 🙂

It made you look, didn’t it?

Anyway…

I had the great honor of being invited by my cousin to witness his official induction ceremony into the Department of Air Force Senior Executive Service!

Say what?

You don’t know what the Senior Executive Service is?

No worries, I didn’t know what it was either…

However, that is no longer the case.

Apparently, it is a RARE and GREAT honor.

Now then…

I have to say that during the ceremony, I was amazed to learn of Alphonso’s many accomplishments during his service as an officer in the Air Force, and later, as a civil servant.

Suffice it to say, he has racked up quite a few outstanding achievements. Most of which, I can barely understand, but I will say that it involves missiles, bombers and some other such wizardry that my mind can’t quite comprehend.

It’s alright though…most cousins don’t really talk shop….

AND

I THANK GOD

FOR

THAT!

LOL!!

Trust me when I tell you that Alphonso has to knock it down about 20 levels whenever he talks to me.

By the way, my cousin is also well known for his skills on the saxophone!

Actually, music is his first love!

He even released an album a few years back.

No doubt there is a Youtuber out there who has posted it without his permission… and if I can find it, I’m also going to publish it without permission!

LOLOLOL!!!

Anywhats…It is important to note that Alphonso also studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA!

Excuse that musical digression, but it’s hard to stay focused on one thing when it comes to this Masters degree having Electrical Engineering Saxophone player.

LOL!

So…if you landed here and you are obsessed with saxophone playing electrical engineers who are also members of the Senior Executive Service,

YOU

HIT

THE

JACKPOT

TODAY!

To that end, please check out this little video that I put together about Alphonso’s background in the military and highlights from his appointment into the Senior Executive Service.

FYI:  While working on this video, I learned that if you are not familiar with a given subject matter, you will most assuredly sound ridiculous should you choose to narrate about it.

Please accept my apologies in advance!

If that statement doesn’t make any sense to you now, it will become crystal clear after you listen to me vocally labor over Alphonso’s vast bio!

LOL!

But it’s all love!

Please enjoy the video, it’s a little more than 7 mins long.

 

Told you I was going to lift the video below! LOL!!!  It was disabled by the video owner!  LOL!  The owner?  Yeah..right! LOL!!!!

You’ll probably have to google it 🙂

Interview with my Brother Tack (Part 1): Our Childhood and Parents

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I am the curve and he is the line.

My brother and I are different, but there is more than enough room in this world for him, me and YOU!

-LadyG

Today, I wanted to share an interview that I recently conducted with my younger brother, Tack.

During our conversation, we discussed our childhood, living paycheck to paycheck; not to mention, our parents and their parenting style.

In this interview, my brother also revealed our mother’s most important lessons about people and life.

Be forewarned, you are listening to a conversation between me and my brother so my southern accent is BLAZING!!!  Good luck and Godspeed trying to understand some of this! LOL!!!

Enjoy!

 

Stay tuned for part 2, when we discuss a bit more about our Dad, and what it was like for my brother growing up with LadyG as a big sister.

Interview with Dr. K. E. Garland Part 3

Oh boy! The conversation is getting juicy!

The louder I get the more thick my southern accent becomes! LOL!

As you know, Dr. Garland’s subject matter centers around male/female relationships.  In this session, we continue our conversation from part 2 on the differences between men and women.

Please be sure to follow Dr. Garland and Michelle!  You can link to them via the first or second post of this interview.

 

A Charming Southern Cottage in Augusta

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Lady G of Seattle at a cottage in Summerville (Augusta, GA)

Salutations!

After last week’s post about my visit home, I got a lot of questions from people who were much too chicken to post a comment on the blog, asking about the accomodations in Augusta.

Well, basically, my dear friend, Lady G of Seattle, rented an Airbnb during the holidays and I must say that she stumbled upon a hidden GEM!

To be specific, this darling little cottage was nestled in a tony section of Augusta known as Summerville.

Now…

If you are a fan of the idea of Southern class, grace, charm, civility and hospitality, this type of place will DEFINITELY exceed your expectations!

According to Lady G of Seattle, the host at this cottage, Mr. —….don’t ask me his name…was the penultimate proprietor! She shared that his main goal was to ensure that all of his guest’s needs were promptly met.

Indeed, this visit was a much needed positive shift away from a world filled with folks hell-bent on hatred and destruction!

And so…

If you’re ever in Augusta, consider staying at a Summerville cottage like this one.

They are absolutely approved and endorsed by the Ladies G!

Love and light,

LadyG 😘💋💋  Don’t forget to like, follow and share!

 

The Best Breakfast!

 

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When I was a kid, the best breakfast was cooked and served by my Aunt Nell!

International House of Pancakes didn’t have ANYTHING on her!

She cooked those grits to perfection…

Her country ham and biscuits were unsurpassed…

And the fact that she let us kids drink Pepsi with our meal was freaking ingenious!

Clearly, she was a woman ahead of her time!

But, the thing that I remember most of all about breakfast with my Aunt Nell was her unrivaled ability to spin a good yarn!

I’m talking about good ole Southern Mama storytelling!

Baby, “captivating” ain’t the word for it!

From the moment Aunt Nell began to tell a tale, everybody in the room was completely mezmerized!

She’d intonate…

She’d gesticulate…

She’d immediately grab your attention and hold you in complete suspense!

A masterful comedienne, Aunt Nell’s timing was IMPECCABLE!

By the end of each story, EVERYBODY would be in tears laughing as she calmly sashayed away to tend to her dishes….completely unbothered!

In essence, she ALWAYS dropped the mic…

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

And, as you might have guessed, I wanted to be just like her!

And so…

A lot of the sass that you “hear” from LadyG can be directly linked to my Aunt Nell.

And, as I sit here, approaching my 50th birthday, I can’t help remembering her and everyone else who poured so much into my life; especially her husband, my Uncle Leroy!

I’ve mentioned him a few times before.

At any rate, one thing’s for sure, I’ll always think fondly of Aunt Nell, and will, no doubt, burst into ugly laughter whenever I do!

In this way, she’s just as much alive today as she was in that Alabama kitchen from 1975.

Trust me, she’s here–between every line.

RIP Aunt Nell.

Love and light LadyG

😘💋💋

 

 

 

A Study in Tenacity: My Son, the Graduate

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My Son with his Degree from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia
When he left for college…

We prayed for him.

We encouraged him.

We guided him.

We supported him.

We cheered for him.

We consoled him.

We pushed him.

We pulled him.

We LOVED him…

But the one thing that we could not do was go to school for him.

 

Nevertheless, we did all that we could.

And now…

After enduring any number of set backs, this young man soldiered on and did the DAMN thang!

He NEVER gave up!

And we expected nothing less.

So, please join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of my beloved son.

First, a word about his alma mater, Emory University.

Emory is a private university, nestled within the tony Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta, GA–actually it’s more so Decatur but anyway….. 🙂

The University was ranked by The Wall Street Journal as number 17 of 500 US national private and public universities.

It is the only University in Georgia to make the top 20.

Some notable alumni include, Robert W. Woodruff of Coca-Cola fame.  In fact, Mr. Woodruff’s family and charitable foundation remain huge supporters of the University.

Other notable alumni include:

Dr. Bernice King (Daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Robert Jones (Professional Golfer and Father of The Masters Golf Tournament)

Kenneth Cole (Famous Designer)

Notable Faculty include:

39th U.S. President, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr.

19th U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

It is also important to note that Emory University Hospital accepted and cared for American physician and Ebola patient, Dr. Kent Brantly back in 2014.

So….

I’d say, this kid was in good company huh?

But seriously, I am so proud of my sweet boy—now young man!

That said, we don’t get to celebrate the accomplishments of African-American men very often, so please indulge me as I do that here.

Here is a short video and a collage of pics.

First, a 30 second video of the Graduation Processional.

The music was provided by Atlanta Pipe Band.

Bag Pipes!  YAAAAAYYY!!!

 

Additional program music was provided by The Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet.

 

 

Mama loves you Rod!  And in the words of the great Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss, “Oh the places you’ll go!”

Oh the places

Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.  Please be sure to comment and offer any words of advice to my son as he starts a new chapter in his life!

Love and light to you all!

Lady G

😘💋

 

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Black

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Mama (Eva) holding Tack, that’s me on the right with my mouth wide open!

 

Random Woman:  Hey Brenda!

Brenda:  Hey girl, how are you?  I haven’t seen you in some years!

Random Woman: I know!  It’s been a long time.

Brenda:  Yes it has, by the way, let me introduce you to my friend, Eva.

Random Woman:  (Very dry, cold and nonchalant) Hey Eva.

Random Woman: (Directly addressing Brenda) Ooh Brenda, your little girl is so pretty, how old is she?

Eva: (PISSED) That’s MY child!

Random Woman: (Slightly Embarrassed but still chilly) Oh, I’m sorry, she just looks more like Brenda to me.

Eva walks off with child (ME) in tow.

Yes friends, my mother, Queen Diva Lady Eva, was tee’d off!

Why, you ask?

Because ‘Ms. Random Woman’ assumed that I was Brenda’s daughter based solely on the fact that we shared the same skin complexion.

She never thought for a moment that I could belong to my mother–who was a shade or two darker.

It simply didn’t occur to her to ask.

Sadly, this type of attitude was nothing new to Mama.  As a child, she had received whippings from a lighter skinned uncle for being “too black.”

Colorism 
col·or·ism
ˈkələrˌizəm/

noun

Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group–Oxford Dictionaries
What the Oxford folks failed to mention is that this phenomenon is a ‘carry-over’ of Slavery; having been birthed from the actions of slave owners.
In essence, slave masters created division among their chattel by treating them differently based on skin complexion.
The darker slaves were treated far worse than the lighter slaves.  Because of their color, dark skinned men and women were forced to engage in heavy labor while the lighter skinned slaves were treated better–relatively speaking.
Naturally, the lighter skinned slaves were told that they were superior to their melanin rich brothers and sisters and both groups bought into that belief.
And there we have it!
A lifelong mutual animosity between darker slaves and lighter slaves…which sadly continues with their descendants today–albeit to a much lesser degree.
Come now!
Let’s re-evaluate the scenario that I offered at the beginning of this post.
Notice how dismissive Ms. Random Woman was toward my mother.
She all but ignored her darker skinned ‘sister.’
‘Ms. Random’ never imagined that chocolate Ms. Eva could be the mother of a caramel colored daughter with long pony tails.
Of course, at the age of 3, I was too young to notice or understand the larger implications of this woman’s attitude.
I had no clue what was really going on.
Little did I know, I would continue to experience some form of this lunacy throughout my life as my father’s racial identity was, to the average onlooker, perplexing… to say the least 🙂
Lord, I got all kinds of questions like, “Is your Dad Mexican?”

Puerto Rican?

Cuban?

Arab?

West Indian?

East Indian?

Native American?

And everything in between….

Oh, and then there were the really stupid questions like:

How did your Mom get a handsome man like your Dad?

Ok, that’s when I got rowdy!

All bets were off!

Seriously?  What do you mean?

Do you not realize that you’re talking about MY MOTHER?

You better back the hell up!

I’m sorry guys but that mess really got under my skin!

Oh and if you think things got better as years passed…

Think again!

My Mama often recalled a time when an associate of my Dad’s came by to borrow a drill.

Apparently, he peeked past my Mom, who had answered the door, in order to get a better glance at me and whispered, “That must be Jim’s daughter.”

Mama said, “Yes, and she’s my daughter and we have a son too!”

What an idiotic thing to say!

“That must be Jim’s daughter.”

It rolled right off his ignorant ass tongue without a bit of thought attached to it.

The fact that he knew that my parents had been married for 100 years added insult to injury!

Ah…but here’s an even more egregious example.

One day, back in 2012, I had been sitting in the hospital room with Mama for most of the morning.

Well, this black nurse, who had been in and out, and who had seem me sitting there the whole time, asked, “Has any of her family come by yet?”

What the hell do I look like?

Chopped liver?

Of course I didn’t say THAT but I did say, “Well I’m her daugther.”

Naturally, the nurse apologized.

I thought to myself….Here we go again…after all this time.

Still dealing with issues of color.

Mama caught hell for being too dark and Daddy caught hell for being too racially ambiguous.

Good grief!

 

 

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Daddy and Mama at about age 15

 

Inspiration for this post came from comments between myself and these great bloggers:

Kelley at Gray Suede

Dr. K. E. Garland

Ron Brown