My “Village” is Dwindling…

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Another pillar from “my village” has passed away.  Rest in peace Aunt Mag. No more suffering. Eternal rest is yours. :)

The Parker Sisters (on my Mom’s side)……daughters of Andrew (Gus) and Sadie (Biggie)…up until recently, there were six: Blossom (my grandmother), Mary (my granny), Joeann (my godmother), Mag, Frances, and Sara Lee.  Sara Lee passed away last year; she was the oldest. Mag passed away yesterday; she was the youngest. The only other sibling of theirs that I knew, their brother Abraham, passed away several years ago. In addition to my Mom, the Parker Sisters were the women that helped raise me.  Mary, Mag, Frances, and Sara Lee all lived in Beaufort (and surrounding areas). Jeoann is in NY.  Blossom is in GA. Growing up, I thought of Beaufort as my second home. All of my cousins were there, and that’s where I spent the majority of my time when we had breaks from school. I promised myself that when I got older, and moved away, that they would not be “forgotten”.  

A trip around “the loop” to visit the sisters in that area is always on the agenda when I visit SC.  We (my fam) hop from house to house, if only for 20 minutes or so, just to be able to say “Hi”, and share a laugh or two (and eat whatever is on the stove, at EACH house, mind you…lol).  Up until last year, the same loop existed…Granny’s, then Mag’s, Sara Lee’s, then Frances’s.  It saddens me that the loop that has existed for all of my 33 years is broken…..two stops are now no longer on the route.  When Sara Lee passed away last year, I was comforted by the fact that I had visited her not too long before she died.  She had me in her huge walk-in closet, picking out the matching gold dress, hat, and pocketbook that she was going to wear to church the next day.  She lived within walking distance of Frances, so on my visits to see Frances within the past year, I just smiled as we passed Sara Lee’s house……

This hangs from a tree in her yard…

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Mag is a different story….her house is off of the “path” (in another direction), so I haven’t quite decided yet how to cope with that missing “stop”.  On my last “stop” at her house, which was in January, she was a little weak and dizzy, but still managed to fuss back and forth with me about whether or not she was going to eat the turkey wings that her sister, Mary, had sent for her.  She MADE me take some home with me and put the rest in the freezer. I forgot to mention earlier how feisty and sassy the Parker Sisters are…I think that gene has been passed on through the generations..lol

The good news is, I know for a fact that she was at peace! During our last conversation (last week), she said that she was fine….her voice was the strongest that I had heard it in a long time! We laughed and joked about a number of different things, and before she hung up the phone, she said “Alright now, call me and check on me. I love you!” :).

Aunt Mag…

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"Give me my flowers while I am living" <—— I’m sure that it’s a very familiar phrase.  It was taught to me by the late Rev. F.G.S.Everrett, pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Orangeburg.  As a kid, I would often doze off in church, but that is one phrase that will always stick with me.  He said it loudly, and he said it often. I remember it every day.

I sent these to my mom via text message one day…..yeah, cheesy I know….but she was SO thankful!

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That’s why I talk about my family so much! It’s easy to become transfixed on things that mean absolutely nothing! Trivial things. Minor things. Negative things. Petty things.  Sharing those positive/funny moments about family and close friends is second nature to me! I love to laugh, and I have a VERY low tolerance for foolishness and people/things who waste my time.  That’s how I was raised….that’s what “the village” taught me.  ”Love God.” “Put God first.” “Yes ma’am.” “No ma’am.” “Please.”  ”Thank you.”  ”Share.”  ”Have this.” “Have that.” “Help yourself.”  ”Anything that you see in there that you want, take it.” That’s the village mentality…..always there to help, to nurture, and to grab a branch (switch) off of the nearest tree!!!

My trips back home will never be the same.  The loop is broken. The village is dwindling, but the lessons and the memories live on forever.  Although I am sad, I am happy.  Although I will miss her, I have memories.  Although she is gone, she is forever with me! No more mini-bottles of hot sauce in her purse at the restaurants for me, so I’ll just have to remember to take my own! Four of the sisters remain, and I will continue to cherish them as I have always done!

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From Left to Right: Frances, Mary, Joeann, Mag, Blossom :)

Note: I dropped “Aunt” and  a “Grandma” from thier names JUST to avoid redundancy in this blog…..I wouldn’t DARE call them by their first name only….lol….unless I wanted to be picking up my teeth off of the ground and putting them in my pocket! 

Do I Look Like A Fool?!? Don’t answer that… :)

Okay, so I get to the grocery store and grab a buggy (or cart for you fancy folk), and before I can get a good roll going down the aisle, I’m approached by a woman (who SERIOUSLY invades my personal space) with a story about not having any cash to purchase essentials for her “womanly” time of the month.  I would paint a visual picture of her for you to imagine, but I’ll leave that up to you (hint: “ain’t nobody got time for that”). She tells me that all she has is a food stamp card, and that she’ll buy my groceries with it if I give her cash.

WAIT A MINUTE…….

Thoughts that are running through  my head at a thousand miles/minute:

1.  Of all of the people in the store, why did you approach ME? (It’s NOT rocket science….)

2. OBVIOUSLY you had cash at some point in time during the day…..you reek of cigarettes AND booze…..and I KNOW that food stamps don’t pay for that…

3.  Are you REALLY gonna stand in my face and ask me to give you cash for your food stamps?!?!?  Something that I, as a tax paying, STRUGGLING student, paid for so that you could have in the first place??? So now Imma pay twice?? That’s the shit that pisses me off…..’scuse my French<— (Imma call my BFF and we’re gonna go a few rounds about this in a minute)

What I REALLY wanted to say was: AYFKM?!?!?!? GTFOMFWTBS!!…. (BUT….her purse was stuffed to the brim with who knows what, and I was NOT trying to get knocked in the face with THAT!)….plus, I was raised better than that….

<insert deep breath here>

Through my frustration, I smiled, and calmly said: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have any cash on me.”

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I CAN’T with people like that…..GET A JOB.  Get out and work for for what you want and quit tryna scam people out of their hard earned money….in this case…TWICE.  I know people do this a lot, but I just want to caution y’all to watch your back during this holiday season.  People will say ANY and EVERYthing to try and “take you for a ride”.  

Don’t get me wrong, if people are need, I have no problem helping whatsoever, I’ve done it before, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat…..just be genuine about it…..I respect people more that have come up to me and asked me to buy them a meal, if I had any cans that they could have to recycle for change, or if they could have my leftovers from a restaurant…of course!  But don’t come up to me in the middle of the grocery store smellin’ like Bell’s Brewery and the nicotine factory, with some cockamamie story, because all you’re gettin’ is DISMISSED…..People like that make it hard for those who are really in need…..

I’m not from the streets, but C. Gadsden is….straight outta Charleston, SC, and he taught me well…..*still fuming*….

Lemme go find this wine…lol…and cake ;)

#RANTOVER

Awesome time in Chicago! I was there for a conference but of course I had more fun being a tourist! The next time I go, I need more time, better walking shoes, and a lot of money! Bucket list scratch off&#8212;-&gt; I stayed on the Southside of Chicago , and the Honda and I lived to tell about it! (Another bucket list scratch off within the next few days&#8230;.stay tuned) #excited

Awesome time in Chicago! I was there for a conference but of course I had more fun being a tourist! The next time I go, I need more time, better walking shoes, and a lot of money! Bucket list scratch off—-> I stayed on the Southside of Chicago , and the Honda and I lived to tell about it! (Another bucket list scratch off within the next few days….stay tuned) #excited

SOOOOO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME! YIKES! I’m good tho.

It’s funny how my thoughts arrive at the forefront of my noggin. When I first decided to blog a year or so ago, I told myself that I was going to do it EVERY week….#FAIL. My mind just doesn’t work like that.  As soon as I pulled out of the gym parking lot this evening, my mind was flooded with things to say! I was super upset and almost on the verge of panic, thinking that if I didn’t stop and get it down right then, that I would lose it….lol (riiiiiiiiiight)…so here I sit, at the dining room table (yeah, I came on home), sweaty and unshowered after my workout, because CLEARLY if I take a shower first, I’m gonna forget what’s on my mind. :)

Very busy week ahead, and I figure if I don’t share, I’ll become totally overwhelmed.  I’ve just started a mouse experiment that will run until the end of February. Had to get everything order for that, including some gentle pushing to get some things that I needed to get it done….yeah, TOTALLY different story.  Welcome to the grad life.  I have to get crackin’ on a poster that’s due for Phi Zeta Research Day at MSU on Friday……….haven’t started.  I got drafted yesterday (at the Lyme Disease Seminar where the constant “black-legged tick” reference was made) to present a seminar at “some date in November”- I’m secretly hoping that it’s the same date that I’ll be in Chicago presenting at an Immunology Conference.  I take it all in stride though, because I’m used to constantly movin’, Movin’, MOVIN’!  I got through 3 degrees and a residency that way….no need to change my strategy now right?……I get good breaks in during the workday, because if I’m not in the lab, I’m posted up at my computer! I’m surprised that it hasn’t gone on strike yet…haha

I’m an excellent multi-tasker….in fact, I think that if I only have ONE task to focus on at a time, I’d spontaneously combust!  However, make no mistake, I know when to slow it down……the words of my Father ring in my head on a daily basis.  He often says:”Hey Bud, remember that if you burn out, and can’t come in…they’ll just send you a card and give your work to somebody else. Take time for yourself, and if it doesn’t interest you, don’t waste your time on it.” <——BOOM! I DO WHAT I WANT. :)

As a kid, I wanted to be a Cosmetologist, but my Dad flat out REFUSED to pay for me to do that.  He said, “you can learn how to do that on your own”……so I did.  If you ask people that truly know me, they’ll tell you that I should’ve been an English major (I’m  grammar Nazi…sue me)…..soooo….I also make time to indulge in those hobbies….I braid a little hair here and there, edit people’s papers/application materials, aaaaaaaand just recently started to tutor….pretty well-rounded if you ask me. DID I MENTION THAT MY COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS FOR MY PHD ARE IN DECEMBER?!?!?! (that is if I can EVER get my last committee member to respond to my 5th email…ugh!)

Soooooooooo if I appear a little “off” until the end of 2012, forgive me in advance…lol….there’s a LOT going on.  Thank you to my family and close circle of friends who love me and keep me grounded (despite my stubborness, sarcasm, and direct demeanor, which, by the way aren’t bad qualities…..God Bless You….lol), you know who you are (don’t wanna call names cuz I might miss somebody)….I definitely could not have made it this far without you, and I want you to know that you are TRULY loved and appreciated! Can’t call/text everybody, so this will have to do! Love you guys!  :D

I’ll leave you with two quotes from one of my favorite poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."

"As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way." 

Last but not least: I hope that you’re registered to vote, support Breast cancer Awareness Month, encourage someone, PRAY, live a little, and laugh a lot!  Now, off to get showered and cozy before The New Normal Comes On! That wraps up this edition of Straight, No Chaser!

The drive to NC #cruisecontrol #tolls #charity

The drive to NC #cruisecontrol #tolls #charity

What NOT To Ask in an Interview…. #bubblebusted

As I navigate through my PhD experience, I’m always on the lookout for pointers that I can consider when applying to various jobs, especially help/tips for interviews.  Late into my residency, I always said I wanted a job where I’d be able to work from home SOME of the time.  I mean dang, after all of this work, I feel like that luxury isn’t too much to ask.

Every now and then, my Dad mails me a news article from Yahoo News, that he thinks is relevant for me to see and pay special attention to.  I know…..I know…..forwarding the link via email would be MUCH easier, and “sharing” it, with a tag for me on FB would be even easier…..but hes not into all of this “new technology stuff”, so let’s just suffice to say that snail mail is his delivery of choice….

Title: 10 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask on a Job Interview

The #2 question was…..yep, you guessed it…..”Can I work from home?”  The rationale given is that it raises red flags about home-related issues.  Once your employer has faith in your work ethic, then the subject of working from home can be broached……..smh….well knock me over with a feather….lol…needless to say I wasnt too thrilled about it, but I was happy to know that I probably shouldn’t blurt that question out when a potential employer asks Dr. Gadsden, do you have any questions for us?”

Another question that appeared in the list is:  ”Will you check my Facebook page?” Really? Now who would go into an interview asking THAT?  How can they check it if you don’t give them the password, which I hope no one would do under ANY circumstances…it’s an invasion of privacy…not unheard of though, because a few months back, companies were indeed trying to make their employees hand over their password…  know your rights, or at least what the civil organizations think 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/aclu-facebook-password_n_1372242.html

Just in case you’re curious, here are the other 8:

1. Is there public transportation nearby?

2.  Is there a probationary period?

3.  What does the company do?

4.  Is there on-site child care?

5.  Do you pay for overtime?

6.  How often do you give raises?

7.  How often do employees get paid?

8.  Do you offer flex time?

Just a few points to ponder….

Shout out to the greatest Dad in the world for keeping me on my toes!



UPDATED 6/20/2012 Just a thought (or five), triggered by a #TT on #Twitter, #ThingsMyParentMadeMeDo

UPDATED 6/20/2012 Just a thought (or five), triggered by a #TT on #Twitter, #ThingsMyParentMadeMeDo

UPDATE /20/2012: This video has my blood BOILING…..and it further reinforces my original post from April (below the link).  Kids these days have completely LOST IT, not all, but MOST.  Their parents should be outraged.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/greece-school-district-bullied-footage-causes-outrage_n_1612925.html

Original Post.

Most of the topics that trend on twitter these days are a joke, however, every once in a while, I’ll come across one that’s really fun for me.  This morning, close to lunch, was one of those times.  As I thought back to the things that my parents MADE me do (note the emphasis on MADE….not “asked me to do”, or “bribed me to do”, or “compromised with me to do”), I began to think about the kids/teens that I encounter/see now…what a HUGE difference…..sad to say…but for the MOST part, my generation is failing at this “parenting” thing….a bold statement to make, but yeah, I said it….let’s not even talk about the generation beneath me (who happen to still be kids themselves).  Children with no respect for authority and the nastiest “entitlement” attitudes ever! I blame the parents….respect/goals/morals/COMMON SENSE begins at home. Period. End of story.  I understand that everyone has a story and each situation is different, but face it….kids are in front of video games, the computer/iPAD/iPOD, and the TV, instead of the being somewhere with a mop, a broom, or a dish in their hand…..parents these days want to be friends with their kids, instead of parents…..therefore, when the kids get to school, they think that they are on the same level with the teacher…..WRONG.  

Discipline is a must, and it begins AT HOME, EARLY ON…but if your kid gets suspended from school, and you take them shopping at the mall on their suspension day, and they come back to school with the newest Jordans on, what kind of example is that? (true story from when I used to teach) 

There are a lot of lazy parents out there, that simply look the other way or shrug their shoulders when they should be having firm conversations, giving lectures about life, and handing down severe punishment. Take the time to invest n YOUR kid’s life and stop depending on others and shifting the blame. Find the “village” and stop getting so angry with other adults that tell your no-mannered kids to say excuse me when they brush by an elderly person or burp loudly in public.  Invest money in supplemental reading and math books/games, instead of paying for 10 and 11 year old girls to get a full set of gel/acrylic nails.  Pay for your son to get a haircut, instead of the fake diamond in his left ear. I could go on and on, but I’m out of time…..If it sounds like a rant, it is.

Get it together. Step it up. Our future depends on it….. #DONE

Soooooo….here we go!! #foodie

I’ve been SO out of order with my eating habits lately….trying to get back on the wagon, but it’s EXTREMELY tough….the water consumption has been steady, but this food thing is getting the best of me! I buckled down today (gotta start again somewhere)…especially after how guilty I felt after I inhaled all of that fried chicken (hot sauce) and fried catfish nuggets (tartar sauce) yesterday for dinner…mind you that’s ALL that I ate for dinner (and I washed it down with a blue/yellow slushy from Speedway)!

So today, here’s what it looks like….

Breakfast- Kashi Go Lean Berry Crumble Crisp Cereal

Morning Snack-Banana

Lunch- mandarin orange slices mixed with Cottage cheese, Vanilla greek yogurt ( I added blueberry Flaxseed to this)

Dinner- I’m gonna have a nice veggie salad (with a few slices of pepperoni <—- I HAVE TO! )….fingers crossed that I stick to this today….*HUGE SIGH* I’ll update this post later with a pic of my salad if I can find someone’s phone to borrow (the SD slot on mine is all jacked up so I can’t take/send pics right now).

As much as I love food, I’m definitely NOT gonna sit here and say that these will be my eating habits everyday…..but I aim to eat this way more often than not….

AW WHO AM I FOOLING?!?…*eats another spoonful of yogurt* bleh!!…..Maybe if imagine that it’s this…..it’ll all be better…..

(This is how we get down in SC)

Happy Tuesday!

I&#8217;ve rediscovered this today&#8230;&#8230;#ijs #woooossssaaaaaahhhh

I’ve rediscovered this today……#ijs #woooossssaaaaaahhhh

Truly knowing who you are means knowing where you came from (and all that you’ve overcome), where you are at the present time in life, and having solid dreams, goals, and aspirations for the future. When you focus on these things, and make them a priority, small, trivial matters will not break your spirits, nor shake/stir your focus.
BJG

Wow! Lol….ok, so this was kinda funny…especially the “lives off disability part”.  Moral of the story: Don’t be so quick to judge!

agathokakologica1:

god bless this meme

(via anephemeralbeauty-deactivated20)

Today, and everyday, find joy, peace, and happiness, regardless of your current situation. Life is meant to be lived, not wallowed in!
BJG

UPDATED 6/20/2012 Just a thought (or five), triggered by a #TT on #Twitter, #ThingsMyParentMadeMeDo

UPDATE /20/2012: This video has my blood BOILING…..and it further reinforces my original post from April (below the link).  Kids these days have completely LOST IT, not all, but MOST.  Their parents should be outraged.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/greece-school-district-bullied-footage-causes-outrage_n_1612925.html

Original Post.

Most of the topics that trend on twitter these days are a joke, however, every once in a while, I’ll come across one that’s really fun for me.  This morning, close to lunch, was one of those times.  As I thought back to the things that my parents MADE me do (note the emphasis on MADE….not “asked me to do”, or “bribed me to do”, or “compromised with me to do”), I began to think about the kids/teens that I encounter/see now…what a HUGE difference…..sad to say…but for the MOST part, my generation is failing at this “parenting” thing….a bold statement to make, but yeah, I said it….let’s not even talk about the generation beneath me (who happen to still be kids themselves).  Children with no respect for authority and the nastiest “entitlement” attitudes ever! I blame the parents….respect/goals/morals/COMMON SENSE begins at home. Period. End of story.  I understand that everyone has a story and each situation is different, but face it….kids are in front of video games, the computer/iPAD/iPOD, and the TV, instead of the being somewhere with a mop, a broom, or a dish in their hand…..parents these days want to be friends with their kids, instead of parents…..therefore, when the kids get to school, they think that they are on the same level with the teacher…..WRONG.  

Discipline is a must, and it begins AT HOME, EARLY ON…but if your kid gets suspended from school, and you take them shopping at the mall on their suspension day, and they come back to school with the newest Jordans on, what kind of example is that? (true story from when I used to teach) 

There are a lot of lazy parents out there, that simply look the other way or shrug their shoulders when they should be having firm conversations, giving lectures about life, and handing down severe punishment. Take the time to invest n YOUR kid’s life and stop depending on others and shifting the blame. Find the “village” and stop getting so angry with other adults that tell your no-mannered kids to say excuse me when they brush by an elderly person or burp loudly in public.  Invest money in supplemental reading and math books/games, instead of paying for 10 and 11 year old girls to get a full set of gel/acrylic nails.  Pay for your son to get a haircut, instead of the fake diamond in his left ear. I could go on and on, but I’m out of time…..If it sounds like a rant, it is.

Get it together. Step it up. Our future depends on it….. #DONE

Just whenever the mood hits, my fingers take to the keyboard, and let you know what's on my mind.....there's no way I can hold it all in; my head would spontaneously combust! I have the right to free speech, so I plan to exercise it. Some posts are funny, some are not.....none are meant to be offensive....so lighten up! Life is short; have fun, laugh often, and enjoy the ride!

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