Sojourner’s Brand of Truth

SojournerTruth

So I’m still reading the life story of Sojourner Truth. In her narratives, I find her to be child-like in her faith, very practical, a deep thinker, and of passionate heart.

Sometimes she seems a bit odd to me but then I have to think about her upbringing. Beforehand, I didn’t know that when only a child, she was enslaved in a Dutch household and only spoke Dutch from early childhood until sold to an English-speaking family. How would I have fared if someone plucked me from the only place I knew as home, only to be taken to another place of dwelling where a new language and religion was beat into me – be a good slave and the Lord will bless you. Don’t steal, cheat, or lie, above all, to your master or the Lord – in that order.

Now, I’m a Christian myself, but what do you call it when religion is twisted and used as a hold on other human beings?  Slavery, perhaps? So I understand why she was odd and different because she was pushed, shoved, uneducated, worked to the bone, and stripped of her secondary foundation – her own family – her husband and children.

I see her slave mentality develop into a wise old soul. She literally sat educated, loud, rich, white men down. And with only her voice. And with her broken-styled speech. And with her plain looks and tall, slim frame. I am starting to feel, right through the pages, her force that she brought with her. And yes, it definitely was from her brand of religion. The one which she developed, hewned, meditated on, and heard read aloud from the scriptures.

Her own thinking got her places unheard of during that time. Her mind, will, grace and reverence was awesome. Her quips – simple and plain – set things right. Her words were pithy and powerful. I have to end with an excerpt of one of her monologues. It is told by an onlooker who witness Ms. Sojourner’s speech firsthand:

I was once present in a religious meeting where some speaker had alluded to the government of the United States, and had uttered sentiments in favor of its Constitution. Sojourner stood, erect and tall, with her white turban on her head, and in a low and subdued tone of voice began by saying: ‘Children, I talks to God and God talks to me. I goes out and talks to God in de fields and de woods. [The weevil had destroyed thousands of acres of wheat in the West that year.] Dis morning I was walking out, and I got over de fence. I saw de wheat a holding up its head, looking very big. I goes up and takes holt ob it. You b’lieve it, dere was no wheat dare? I says, God [speaking the name in a voice of reverence peculiar to herself], what is de matter wid dis wheat? And he says to me, “Sojourner, dere is a little weasel in it.” Now I hears talkin’ about de Constitition and de rights of man. I comes up and I takes hold of dis Constitution. It looks mighty big, and I feels for my rights, but der aint any dare. Den I says, God, what ails dis Constitution? He says to me, “Sojourner, dere is a little weasel in it.”’ The effect upon the multitude was irresistible.

Laugh. Out. Loud.

 

 

Do I Really Want a Pet?

puppymessSo I am thinking about getting a pet.  I have narrowed it down – I’m a dog person.

Fish are too boring, lizards are too lizardy, and cats are sneaky and stuck up.  That’s how I see it anyway.  But I guess my main concern is how do you keep a clean house and a pet?  I have walked into one person’s house and smelled wet dog even before I crossed the threshold, but on the other hand, I’ve gone to another person’s home and didn’t even know there was an inside pet there at all.  What was the difference?

In hunt for the answer, I found some great information for those of us contemplating becoming dog owners.  These are a few tips that I thought were helpful:

  • Think seriously about the breed you want.  For instance, some dogs shed very little, think Labradoodles and Schnauzers, while others, such as the Akitas and Siberian Huskies, have so much fur they are what the vet world calls “double-coated.”  And remember, April and September are typically the shedding months.
  • Ideally, all breeds should be brushed a few quick times each week.  Better to do it beforehand and a little along versus after fur starts to fall everywhere and only once in a while.
  • To avoid cleanup, it is best to brush your dog outside.
  • On the norm, bathe your dog at least once a month.  Any more would disturb the natural oils in their skin.
  • Keep your dog healthy.  Nothing like cleaning up dog puke.  Yikes!
  • Keep pet food in covered containers.  This will to ward off unwanted pests and rodents.
  • Decide which parts of the house your dog is to share with you.  Be firm about this.
  • Have specific feed times and places.  But if you will be gone all day, leave out water and dry food only. 
  • And lastly, if you have white carpet on your floors and woven fabric on your sofas, you might want to think twice about a dog.  It’s going to be mad crazy to keep clean.  But for those of us with hard wood floors, tile, and leather or vinyl sofas, we have a more doggy-proof home.

In the end it’s like anything else, if you want it, you’ll make the adjustments.  Me?  I don’t know…still on the fence, but at least now I’m more informed.

 

A Wonderful Spring Day

Okay, this post is just celebrate having and enjoying a wonderful spring day.  Not gonna bore you with a lot of words…just enjoy!

Wonderful local art on display…

Spring Day 115 Spring Day 116  Spring Day 123 Spring Day 125

 

 

 

 

Beautiful sunshine casting its rays on our great downtown architecture…

Spring Day 128 Spring Day 127 Spring Day 126 Spring Day 118

 

 

 

 

and last, but not least, great people everywhere you go!

Spring Day 137 Spring Day 133 Spring Day 131 Spring Day 113

 

 

 

Can’t get any better than that!

 

Crazy People and the Things They Say and Do

I love the way crazy people get away with saying or doing what they want, when they want, and sometimes to whom they want.  Crazy can be bad, sure.  Look at Charles Manson.  That’s bad crazy all over.  But then, from some types of crazy come the most amazing words, films, art, and deeds.  Lastly, some crazy brings on just more plain old crazy.  I’ve listed some examples below, you decide.

Chris Rock

Chris RockI think comics as a rule have to be a little insane.  Come on, who gets up in front of masses of people and says, I’m gonna make you laugh?  Not only that, but I’m going to talk about me, you, and your fat wife you’re sitting next to but we are all gonna laugh about it?!?  Well, Chris Rock is one of those rare breeds and he is good…albeit a tinch crazy. This is just one of his brilliant quotes that I like listed below.

“You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn’t want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named ‘Bush’, ‘Dick’, and ‘Colon.’ Need I say more?”

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

JohnKelloggDr. John Kellogg helped to change breakfast way back in the 1800’s.  At this time only rich people could afford a “good” breakfast while the rest was stuck with porridge.  Dr. Kellogg changed that with two words:  Corn Flakes!

The good doctor had one weird obsession though:  masturbation prevention.  To which he claimed caused serious health problems like excessive hair loss, excessive hair growth, blindness, nausea, insanity, and cancer to name just a few.  To prevent masturbation, he advocated special dieting, circumcision (and not at birth mind you), and everything from special genital contraptions to electric shock therapy.  Talk about weird science.

Nikolai Tesla

TeslaThis man invented many, many things.  Just to name a few, the AC, the induction motor, wireless technology, the radar, and robotics.

His crazy?  Can you say OCD?  Not just washing hands, but a number three obsession to the ‘enth degree.  For example, when he entered a building he had to walk around it three times.  He had to have nine napkins at dinner, because nine was divisible by three.  His hotel room number had to be divisible by three as well.  And, of course, he counted all of his food before he ate it,  and hated dust or anything round or metal.  Wow.

Andrew Jackson

andrew jacksonOld Hickory.  Twern’t called that for nuthin’ ya’ll.  Yes, he was the seventh president, fought and won battles, reduced the national debt, and caused important structural changes to political systems at the time.

But in our time, Old Hickory would have easily been called the Terminator.  Why?  He was shot at (and hit) so many times that he probably jangled when he walked.  Good thing the musket was a historically inaccurate gun.  But it landed enough shots in him that he coughed up blood on a regular basis.  And the name “Old Hickory?”  Dude carried a hickory stick and whoop tail at a drop of an eyelid.

Crazy self.

OCCUPY TELEVISION!!!

Image by Microsoft
Image by Microsoft

Before I begin this article, let me first say that I have loved TV from since I could remember.  I believe it all started with Sesame Street, then cartoons (Popeye, Bugs Bunny and The Superfriends were my favorites).  Next, I graduated to The Little Rascals and Leave it to Beaver reruns.

My family teased me about my love of TV.  If I was into a program, you could do nothing short of give birth or set yourself on fire before getting my attention.  At first, this embarrassed me and I would deny that it was true.  I was not a TV-aholic!  But alas, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem or that you don’t have a life.  So I’m here to say…Good morning.  My name is Dita and I am a TV-aholic.

I thought nothing could separate me from one of the loves of my life.  Not until in recent years with the gamut of trash put out by the powers that be, that is.  You know what I’m talking about.  You can’t ignore them because they’re everywhere – Housewives of This or That, Snookie ‘Nem, Ba-Ba Kids and Love, Hip-Hop and Thugs Galore.  If I see one more fight with hoochie mammas and baby daddies!  And I could of bet you good money that Jerry Springer was cancelled, but as of the publishing date of this article, nope!  And that guy that comes on who scours the web for the most ridiculous, nastiest and foulest videos ever?  Ugh!  I purposely don’t use his name because knowing him, he’d probably love it.

And even the children’s cartoons are weird and downright obnoxious.  And before anyone asks the question – How does she know if she wasn’t watching these shows herself – it’s because I was watching these shows!  At least momentarily…that’s how I know they are so bad and horribly awful.  What can I say, curiosity got the best of me but common sense ruled.  Click.

What just happened?  People, that is the sound we should make to let the puppetmaster know that we have a brain, morals and class.  So when their stations produce programming worthy of our attention and time, then we’ll check back with them and not before.

Occupy TV, ya’ll.

Who’s Got Next? – Christian Keyes

Provided by Google Images
Provided by Google Images

Far be it for me to relegate a human being to eye candy or beefcake.  We all know we are – speaking specifically about the male counterpart – much more than that.

BUT isn’t it amazing how someone you’ve never met (and will never meet) can just ooze sex appeal???  That’s what I thought about Christian Keyes, an up and coming actor.  I saw him first in Tyler Perry’s play Madea Goes to Jail on DVD.  I’m just gonna say it – I pushed rewind more than once just to see him and his bare chest.  Umhum, sure did!

But thankfully, he’s very talented and seemingly very humble too.  Most recently, I’ve enjoyed him on BET’s Let’s Stay Together playing a character named Troy.  According to an interview on BET.com he’s planning more projects in the future.  Gotta luv that!

Sexual Cannibalism

Provided by Microsoft

A while back, I was watching Nova on channel 10.  Could you believe PBS had a program on about sexual cannibalism?  Alright, alright, it was referring to the insect world, but I have to admit I was thrown off guard.

Insects like the Praying Mantis and the Austrailian Redback spider (females) actually eat their sexual partners – while in the sexual act itself!  The Redback is so extraordinary because the male literally offers himself by flipping over on to the bigger female.  He begins to copulate and she begins to feast.  Wow!

So then I began to think, how similar this is to some human relationships.  How many times have we watched a strong, capable man offer himself willingly to his love and she turn around and scratch his eyes out?  Hey, I’ve got two ex-sisters-in-law that would fit that description perfectly.  But even more than that, I have a male friend who is married and has children.  He works, cleans up, cooks, takes care of the kids while this woman either sleeps all day (claiming to be sick – no one is sick that much) or is on the phone all day gossiping.  He can’t have friends.  She doesn’t like them.  Can’t have a good relationship with his own family either.  She’s intimidated by them.  But oh, he must LOVE her family and jump at every wish – of hers and theirs.  Epiphany.  She’s eaten him up.  Devoured him.  And if he doesn’t watch it, he’ll be nonexistant in his own eyes since he’s obviously nothing in her’s.

Sexy, Sexy Barry

Provided by Google Images

Barry is so sexy to me ya’ll!!  Who is Barry?  It’s what they used to call Barack when he was in college, that’s what.  Yeah I said it, he’s sexy.  I know to some I’ve almost blasphemed but they’ll get over it.  Back to the subject at hand, Barry.  Disclaimer:  from henceforth President Obama will be referred to as Barry.  When you see Barry, know that, yes, I am talking ’bout the President.  Saying ‘President Obama’ is a little unsexy and wordy, if you know what I mean. 

Anyway, have you noticed his walk?  It’s actually a swagger  He is long, lean, and muscular.  Did you see those pictures?  Umhmm…He is very smart, a little nerdy even but I get that.  Intelligence has always gotten my attention.  He has perfect teeth even if he does have smoker’s lips.  Thank goodness he quit.  I don’t mind though, it gives him character.  And you know what’s so funny?  I’m not a political person at all.  Nope.  I heard everybody gasp.  Calm down.  No, I don’t think one man can solve the problems of the world.  I try to be a spiritual person and therefore believe deeply that it will take someone bigger and better than us to get it right.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t do what we can to improve what we can or make an impact on others.  But don’t believe the hype – we can’t do anything we want. If that were true, I’d end suffering, hunger, wars, death, sickness, and cancel Dancing With the Stars TV show.

So love politics?  No. Love me some Barry?  Yessssssssssss.

Citibank is a Predator

Provided by Microsoft

This is a rant, plain and simple.  Okay, almost a year ago today my eldest brother died.  My mom was his closest adult kin.  He was divorced with two minor children.

Anyway, in the process of taking care of his business we found that he had mortgage insurance.  For those of us who are not aware of it, mortgage insurance is taken out just in case the homeowner(s) die.  If such is the case, then the mortgage will most likely be paid in full.  Simple, right?

Nope.  We begin the process of calling the mortgage company first.  We get connected to a Christina at Citibank – which was probably not her real name.  She gives a laundry list of things to do among which I clearly heard her say “probate court.”  Isn’t that where you go when there are questions about who the property of the deceased goes to?  We didn’t have those questions.  His property would go to his 17-year-old child on June 10, 2012 when she turns 18, that’s who.

In fact, Christina was so bold as to write a letter that listed the instructions in it just in case we forgot.  I know she could probably tell we hadn’t ever done anything like this before, but you know, we were smart enough to ask questions before making major decisions.  And ask questions we did.  We talked to a kind lawyer (They do exist!) who graciously told us that neither probate court or for that matter anything on Citibank’s list was needed.  In his words, insurance is insurance.  Meaning, a call and a death certificate should get the ball rolling.  At the very most, there will be a few forms to be filled out as a matter of record.  That’s it.

So my question to the audience is what in the world was Citibank up to?  I can only think that Christina of Citibank was trying to get my mother to sign my deceased brother’s house over in her name so she would be responsible for the mortgage instead of getting it totally paid off.

I am only writing this blog so others won’t fall for this okey doke.  This is predatory and insidious.  Times are tough and corporations are playing mean.  If someone is rushing you to do something, then say NO.  Then back up and ask questions to an independent source.

Needless to say, we got the information we needed.   Now my niece and nephew have their inheritance.  Have any one of you guys had similar experiences?  Let me know.

What I Really Believe About the Influence of Women

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This I believe…as a woman, I have no better inspiration than the women who have helped shaped my life and values.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the men I have been so privileged to know.  I need them in my life – my father, my brothers, friends and my future husband (whoever he may be).  I love the power, intelligence, and humanity of men – and when all of this is wrapped in compassion…O, how beautiful!

However, nothing touches my soul like the spirit of a true kinswoman.  It does not matter from which time period, location or nationality either.  Being a natural people watcher anyway, if a group of diverse women are congregated somewhere I’ll stop and take a slow look around.  I wonder at their lives and histories.  It makes me so proud to see our distinct beauties and physical differences.

So being proud of my sex (and yes, I do have a badge somewhere), I cannot think of just one person whose influence was life changing because by and far, there are just too many.  Like my beloved first grade teacher, Mrs. Zurbregg, who had the best hugs.  Or even when I see a momma wrestling with her babies and taking care of her business, I say the sisterhood prayer, “Go on, girl.”  Or like funny lady, Carol Burnett, of whom I remember thinking what a great job she had – making people laugh while most of the time cracking her own self up.  How I wanted to be Dorothy skipping along the yellow brick road in Oz.  She was a brave little girl in a big, strange place.

How did Madame C. J. Walker, the first American woman millionaire, really succeed?  Did she have a plan or did she stumble into it?  Where did Rosa Parks’ bravery come from?  Did it lay dormant like a seed and sprout at just the right time or was it gradual and step-by-step?  If Jane Austin or Emily Bronte were alive now would their books spark a revolution and the nerve of romantics worldwide or would we dismiss them as just some more Harlequinesque-type writers?  I know I can’t get enough of their gentile and subtle word pictures.  These two women are the first authors I remembered by name.  I have always loved to read, but when I read their books, I began to love to write.

Lastly, and most importantly, there’s my own mother.  When very young, I recall looking up at her thinking that she has got to be the fiercest woman in the world.  Now that I am not so young, I look over to her and tacitly think the same.

Ultimately, looking at these examples make me question facets of my personality.  What can I do to ensure that when I am called that I will answer.  I want to be able to answer.  This is what I really do believe – that because of these dear women, I will no doubt be willing and able to do so.