I’ve been waiting on Frank Ocean like a little kid on the porch counting the minutes until their parent comes to pick them up from grandma’s house.  His music is unexpected and captures some foreign emotion that pulls at me.  I’ll give an artist a substantial amount of time to get their creative juices flowing to put out a good project.  After that amount of time has passed, I start looking for them even harder.  Check out some of the tweets I published in search of Mr. Ocean.

So, you already know how excited I was about the new music released last week.  This album has been on repeat, repeat 1 song, shuffle and let’s go back to Blond again.  I just wanted to share my most played song.

I removed the link due to copyright.

Are you enjoying Blond?  If not, I’ll give you a while to jump on the bandwagon or take a long hard listen to another great body of work from the elusive Frank.

“He’s dead!”  The only words I truly remember hearing on July 22, 2005.  This short narrative on what has been coined “Flashback Friday” will show you that miracles are still happening.  If I start rambling, please forgive me and understand that even 11 years later – I still get choked up.

We were planning a nice evening for ourselves after walking in the suburb of Grosse Pointe eating ice cream enjoying the afternoon.  You see, his mother had come and taken my kid to stay with her for the weekend. I was only a little uncomfortable but felt I could show them I trusted her with The Kid.  As we parted ways to get dressed for the evening activities, I received the call no mother wants.  I heard him trying to say the words my mind wouldn’t allow me to hear through tears and a muffled tone.  His exact words were, “They say he’s dead.”  In my disbelief, I responded, ‘who?’  The answer was my son.

I was driving and pulled over to the side of the road and began to sob uncontrollably.  No one was there to console me during this horrific hour. In a flash, I called my mother.  She asked me to come to her but I couldn’t – I had to get to him.  I had to be there with him.  I needed to find out where he was.  I wiped my eyes and headed toward Belleville, MI to find my one and only son.  I had the news but something wouldn’t let me rest.  The horror of calling his dad filled me and I didn’t even bother to call until I saw him for myself.

As I broke every traffic violation between Detroit and Belleville, I thought about the funeral arrangements for about 10 minutes.  Then I said “No!”  A simple prayer was all I could focus on for the rest of the ride ‘Lord please give him back to me, please don’t take him away.’  As I got closer to the exit, I realized I was going the wrong way, I needed to find out where the hospital was that held his body.  A gas station at the exit ramp became a figurative fork in the road of this entire story.

I jumped out of my car and began to ask everyone where the hospital was and shared the tragic ordeal and begged people to help me.  When I tell you not one person had the answers I needed and shared no additional information.  I screamed and cried louder and harder at every person that offered me no assistance in my time of need.  Then someone in the crowd called the police on or for me.  As he approached me, I was ready to give him the complete business if he didn’t display a spoonful of decency.

He was the sign that people always say they’re looking for from God – sent here to give me a message.  He begged me to calm down, sit down and breathe.  After several minutes of resistance, I followed his directives without sitting down.  It was in this moment that he probably became the best part of this day.  A 13-year-old boy from the apartment pulled him from the bottom of the pool. (His name is Matthew.) He informed me The Kid was at University of Michigan hospital.  The 1st officer on the scene had administered CPR 3x and he was NOT reviving.  The officer went beyond the instructions and tried one more time and The Kid began to choke.  My knees gave up on me and I buckled right there in the gas station.  He informed me that the pulse was faint but he was en route to the hospital.  Thank you, God!

I got in my car as a passenger by legal intervention and allow my ex to drive me there to the hospital.  While in the car I called my mother again, she said she was praying for him but she heard the EMS’s siren and knew they were preserving life in the vehicle.  She informed me she would be there shortly.  I was calming down at a rapid pace.  His dad was called and he informed me he would be there.  I just needed to see my boy.

When I arrived at the hospital the attendant began telling me to calm down and explained even more to me.  She said “he began modeling (1st stage of rigor mortise) and was unresponsive again in the EMS.”  At this point, I didn’t care what she had to say. In a VERY authoritative tone, I told her – take me to him now.  She informed me she was trying to prepare me for what I was about to see.  We began walking toward the room and I told her ‘he just learned how to ride his bike, was only six and was so excited to visit with friends this weekend.’  As I walked in that room, my knees failed me again.


There was a machine assisting him to breathe, tubes were injected in him everywhere and he had a shiny glaze over his entire body.  This wasn’t my boy.  They hadn’t determined if he was out of the water (no pun intended) and I went to him and whispered in his ear “I’m here… Stay here with me.”  I walked out the room and into the waiting area.  The Kid’s family started filing in to see him and check on me.  I wasn’t in the mood for conversation, hugs or explanations. I needed to know this would be alright despite how it looked.  As the early morning hours of the 23rd fell upon us and family members began to go home, I saw the opportunity I was looking for and I took it.  I just wanted it to be him and me.

I apologized for not being there and for his current state. I told him I needed to go home but I would be back before he woke up.  Getting comfortable in the chairs was almost next to impossible.  I guess the chairs were operating as designed. (Just a little work jargon to make me chuckle.) Something inside of me knew that everything would be alright. Around 3 in the morning, I tiptoed out of the hospital, cruised home to shower and get more comfortable.

The next morning he was awake and that evening they took the machines off him.  When he saw me he screamed my name in excitement.  The next words were etched in my heart and brain for eternity:  Him: Mom, we’re about to go swimming. Me: You already went.  Him: No, we didn’t.  I began to cry.  He’s brain damaged was all I could think.  It was later explained to me this could be blocked by the traumatic experience and all of the medication his little 6-year-old body was exposed to in the last 24 hours.  I accepted this way of thinking.  They moved him to another room for observation.  Sunday afternoon, we went home.


Outside of some slurred/incoherent speech and reduced cognitive impairment due only to the meds – he was perfect.  So, if you ever wonder – why I go to the mat about him it’s because I know he’s been given a second chance.  I refuse to sit by and watch him throw it away. So when I hear people say miracles aren’t real – I look or think of my son and tell them “every day is a miracle.”  Never stop believing in the impossible.

Reading has always been my joy.  A few years ago, I started a book club and it lasted a little over a year.  It allows my mind to journey off to far away places and get my mind off stressful things.  So, when I heard Sistah Souljah had released the third installment of the Midnight series – I was on it.  After a small riff in my household about the book, I finally got my hands on it. Who knew the events to follow would make one of my dreams come true?

The Midnight series is one of the most guarded collections in my personal library.  Sistah Souljah was the 1st author I read to reignite my love of reading as an adult.  “A Moment of Silence” was right on time.  I needed something to get my mind off of everything that was going on in my life.  My beau and I got into a huge fight because I wanted him to pick it up and he didn’t.  He doesn’t understand how important books are to me (in addition he probably doesn’t understand that I’m a real brat.)  It’s equivalent to his need for music.  This led to me waiting, even more, time to get me hands on the book.  One Sunday after church, the kid and I stopped at our local Barnes and Noble to cop the new SS read.

Half way through the read I was talking to my homie Mercedies.  During our conversation, we discussed the upcoming plans and you won’t believe the little nugget she dropped on me.  Sistah Souljah would be at the beautiful Detroit Public Library Main Branch to discuss her latest book. Hold please – I needed to write this down and put an alarm on everything I owned that would remind me to be ready.  In her very next breath she told me all the tickets were gone.  I told her I didn’t care what they said I was going to be there.  She quickly reassured me I was welcomed to join her.


The day arrived and the auditorium was packed.  We got some really good seats after dodging the big hair crew.  As the library introduced her we were informed to put our phones away and prohibited from recording the discussion.  I was in complete compliance.  When she spoke you felt her sincerity, passions and connection to the characters in the stories.  Something that latched on to my brain was her explanation to why women liked the Midnight character.  She said, “Women are attracted to him because he is a Muslim.”  I never thought of it that way.  He has always been the strong silent type and that’s very attractive to me in a man.  Hell, anybody that can keep their mouth’s closed get an extra point in my book (that’s another conversation.)  With my latest book in tow, I listened and prayed she wouldn’t tell too many parts I hadn’t reached in the book.  The Lord heard my prayer and she didn’t utter a word farther than my bookmark.  The real test was about to start – the book signing line.


This wasn’t a new an upcoming author.  This was one of our generations greats. She was a rapper, activist, and writer of the urban classic “The Coldest Winter Ever.” The line was serious – like out the theater serious.  I wanted to make my experience memorable and I had a strategy.  Being the last person in line was my goal.  As I waited I chatted with a few fans of her work, discussed the wait and offered book recommendations.  I’m not even going to go into detail about another incident I had while waiting in line. All I will say is, my parenting is universal and I will tell you if I see your kids doing wrong.  After waiting an additional 2 hours, it was my turn to meet her.

It was everything I expected- minus the 2 ladies that snuck in behind me and the chick trying to shop a play or whatever the hell she was pitching to Souljah. She didn’t even have a book for her to sign, ugh.  I could tell she was tired and we chatted for a few minutes about her works and my current enjoyment of the book thus far.  As she signed my book, Mercedies morphed into a photographer to grab a few shots for my post.


This is a moment I will never forget.  I’m smiling and finishing the book.  Pick it up if you enjoy a good read.  Midnight is an awesome character to get to know.  🙂

This one is getting placed right with my other signed books from Shaka Senghor, Billingsley, Alex Haley and a few more.

What would my spring, summer and fall be without the Slow Roll?  This past year I found out.  It was almost out of my control.  I missed it terribly and only got out for a few times this year.  However, I did purchase a membership.

The notice came prior to the season starting that all participants needed to purchase a membership to ride in 2015.  I bought my membership and was eager to ride.  The Mondays came and went, I just wasn’t riding with the tours.  Between nurturing a relationship and being overwhelmed with the size of the crowd, I was NOT participating.  I wanted to be there but I couldn’t escape my frustration with some of the horrible music choices, sporadic weed smokers and occasional under prepared children.  My first ride of the season didn’t happen until mid June with some co-workers.

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I went out again a few weeks later and ran into a few familiar faces.  It’s nothing against the event.  I miss sharing this with my people as a group.  Generally I do things on my own because I don’t want others to stop me but I’ve come to a place where I’d like to share the experiences of my life.  This is a new revelation for me as well.  This is still a must-do in Detroit if you visit during the season.  Maybe I’ll be out a little more next year but I’ll always be a member.

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Rent is a concept that many of us are aware of in lieu of ownership.  The official definition is to pay someone for the use of (something, typically property, land, or a car).  What they didn’t mention were high fashion garments for special occasions.  This is my newest best friend- respectfully after music, books, google and carryout, LOL.  The program is affordable and convenient.  Here is just a little insight I have on Rent the Runway and some fashion friendly options for our pocketbooks.

I don’t claim to know everything.  So, when my friend Tony was getting married, I realized I needed a great dress for this event.  Let me add that my ex would be there in all of his – hell I don’t know what to call the momma’s boy.  My co-workers had mentioned Rent the Runway before in conversation.  One for her own personal use and the other for the girls going to prom from her non-profit.  After scrolling the selection of several stores and factoring in the cost of the ticket with hotel, renting was a feasible option for me.  I checked it out and was amazed by the selection and prices. There is a little something for everybody.  Dresses from $30 and up.  This was a match made in the stars – more like my favorites on the task bar.

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I’ve used their service a total of three (3) times in the past 2 years.  It’s very easy to use.  Give them the date of your event, place your order and ship it back.  Other women who have wore the garments post their reviews of the item and give details about their size and shape.  I have found this to help a great deal in picking out the right size for myself.  The dresses I have ordered fit perfect and the compliments were never ending at the events.  As you can see I’ve worn dresses from some of the top designers in the business and a new collection I had never heard of in my life.

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Pay attention to the cost of renting the dress for one event to the price to hang it in your closet and pray for the day you can wear it again.  Yeah – that’s what I said!  They also send you a second dress in another size to ensure you have a comfortable fit.  In my initial test run for New Year’s Eve, you can see the size 0 dress hanging on the closet door.  They ask that you order items to be shipped one full day before just in case you need to make a change.  The dresses are packed to prevent any additional need for irons, steamers and whatever else we use to knock out wrinkles.  And the real brilliance of the program is the prepaid shipping materials for returning your purchase. Drama free – Gotta Love it!!

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I’d advise all of my fashionable followers and family to give this program a try.  They also have an app available on Android and iOS.  This may not be for some of you rich folks but for all of us on a TIGHT budget, it’s s godsend. Here I am in all the garments.  There’s also an opportunity to buy some dresses during the clearance event.  One of these dresses I truly wouldn’t mind owning. Can you guess which one? 🙂

Couponing has been a part of me for couple of years.  If there are coupons, which equal additional savings, I want in on them.  In the year 2015, there is a need to spend less money and promote good spending habits for the kid.  This is the only reason I buy the newspaper – the coupons.  There are a million ways to save and I think I’m up to 997,000 – lol!!!

As I mentioned, I’m old school with the coupon clipping.  Every Sunday there is a stack of paper shavings and savings in my dining room.  Some of the stuff I’ve never used, want to try and use on a regular basis.  These are usually arranged by expiration date.  On occasion, I’ve been able to bundle the savings based on in store incentives for using coupons.  So sad, Meijer isn’t double couponing anymore.  That was where I use to get the best bang for my buck.  Needless to say, my book lives with me and I will not make a purchase unless I have looked through to see if there is any cost assistance available.  I’m not cheap, I just like the idea of getting it cheaper than the next customer.  There have been times when I have passed the savings on to others in the store because I didn’t need it.

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Invitational coupons are another type of coupon I love more than clippings.  These offers come straight to ME – not my neighbor or son but me.  The best example of these would be Victoria’s Secrets monthly offers to save more on something I truly love and more than likely going to purchase.  It always helps when there is a free gift I can’t live without (ex. blanket, beach towel or tote).  This was a great assistant to me after, you remember what happened.  This increased my love and loyalty to the brand.  Every company needs loyal repeat customers.

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App coupons are the freshmen on the team.  I’m sure we all have used them from time to time.  JoAnn’s, Michael’s and Macy’s are favorites via this line of offering.  The only part that kicks me, is when I haven’t charged my phone (which is always) and it’s on the verge of dying   If it dies before I meet the cashier, I’m out of luck like Chuck.  There is one location that trumps all in making me prepare my phone.  Can you guess who that retailer is?  One place – Target!  That Cartwheel has been a god send to my purse.  If you don’t have it, get it.  I’ve saved more than $30 in one visit using clipped, sale items and this app.  After clipping on Sundays, I usually open my Cartwheel and accept every offer I THINK I want.  Talk about a bundle on the savings.  I even scroll it while I’m in the store to check for anything I may have missed.  This one little application re-energized my couponing adventures.

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Lastly, I may have been the last person to get a CVS card.  I just never wanted it because I couldn’t see the purpose of it when they scan something for you to get the savings anyway.  Moreover, I mastered how to get that free money.  ExtraCare Buck are a must.  This was a whole new world to me and I am loving it.  So far this year, I’ve accumulated $29.  You wouldn’t understand the joy I felt getting a few of my groceries while only spending $8 from my wallet.  Yes those baskets are small but mine was full.  I walked out with 6 bags of food and a brow pencil from NYX.IMG_8463

Saving money is the only way I’m going to fund some of my dreams.  There are times that I have to refuse the savings because I don’t need things or prioritize my cash.  My couponing isn’t extreme but it’s everything to me.

Do you use coupons?  Which are your favorite?

Who would have known I would still be here with you on this faithful day 3 years ago? Nobody!  That’s what makes this entry so special.  I didn’t believe this platform could keep my interest as long as it has.  The things I’ve shared here have helped me deal with life and moving forward.

Happy Burfday Beautifully Misunderstood

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There will be some exciting things happening this year as I look forward to keeping you informed on my journey to happiness!!