I know by now you’ve figured out I wasn’t doing my traditional yearly countdown.  There was so much going on and I wanted to handle this special time of year in a new way.  So, I decided to make an extra long post and bring you up to speed at one time.  I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you prefer the other way.  These are in no particular order but these are the moment that stands out in 2017. Let’s get it started.

Moving to 7732 – After a rocky and moldy ending (literally) in my old apartment, we were relocated to another unit on the complex. As you noticed through this blog and pictures on Instagram, I invested a lot of time into making that place feel like home. So when I moved over here, I didn’t even have the energy. We’ve been here since March and I still haven’t got this place organized. Let’s add that I truly thought I would be moving into the home I purchased this year but you all know what happened there. It’s a better apartment. Larger. Better views of the Detroit River. The neighbors are priceless. However, over the last half of the year, I’ve been living in a constant MAJOR construction site. They’re completely overhauling this property. This includes digging to install gas lines to offer residents forced and central air. Well, the majority of this smelly work is taking place right outside my windows and the smell is sickening. Now, the query on my brain is – do I wait for them to finish or move on to another place? I have time to think but I truly need to weigh out my options.

Year of Music – Oh, I saw some great acts this year starting with Thundercat. Chene Park offered up a few artists I couldn’t pass on. I didn’t hit the road as much this year for music but I had to see Chris Brown in Chicago. My cousin even got me out the house to see Xscape. Solange, Tyler the Creator, Boney James, Roy Ayers, Lalah Hathaway, Will Downing, Chante Moore and my jazz festival crew. In addition to those people, I saw a true legend this year – Patti Labelle. Outside of the live shows, I discovered a crew of new artists that I have every intention of seeing live – Smino, Moodchild, H.E.R, Daniel Caesar, and a few others.  My ears and heart were pleased. I didn’t make it to Paisley Park but I’ll get there in the new year.  My SeatGeek and StubHub notifications are loaded and I’m sure I’ll get around a little more in the new year.

AVMs – on Dec. 6, I called 911 to assist me because somehow the entire right side of my body went numb and I couldn’t get it to do what I commanded. As the dispatcher listened to my request for help, she asked, “why do you feel you’re having a stroke?” My response lacked no candor, ‘Bitch, because I’ve already had one. Help me.’ That was the best I could give her. The EMTs arrived and I dropped another B bomb. By the time I arrived at the local hell of emergency rooms, all my faculties were functioning. Afraid of a repeat battle with aphasia, I kept talking and reading everything. After a few hours and some rushed tests, they came back and said it was a TIA. Oh yeah, I thought, ‘fuck this I’m outta here’ and signed myself out. Then, my friend, Reggie appeared only to walk me back to the emergency room. (You never know how blessed you are until you look into the faces of your friends. My friends are unmatched. All of them are true blue. That’s only because they know the type friend I am.) As we sat there, catching up, laughing, trying to see if this nurse was worth him shooting his shot lol and talking about life, I appreciated him a little more. We were only planning to go out that night, I guess we did. Ha! He had done God’s work. I stayed in that hell hole until Friday. While I was there they diagnosed me as having another small stroke/TIA/vasoconstriction/AVMs. The reason it wasn’t a stroke is that I have no residual deficiencies. This TIA business was still up in the air but they presented 2 additional causes. These grabbed my attention and I needed to get to Dr. Miller at Henry Ford to confirm. I was active in a situation where I did NOT trust the people who had my life in their hands. After styling on them for one week in comfortable pajamas, twisting my hair daily, cleansing and moisturizing my face (thanks to Tamika) and laying on my satin pillowcase, I walked out calling my neurologist. He made room for me and I’m going to take all these findings over to him. I’ll let him tell me what our next steps are. One thing I know for sure, I’m going to live.

Rocket Love – After 4 years, the relationship I thought was going to mature into spending the rest of my life with Gino S., is over. Yep, that’s his name. I kept that real close, lol. himThis is the main reason I’ve gone missing over the last part of 2017. I don’t even have the energy to type it out. Bottomline: The feeling he had was that I was spying on him for the UAW or someone more powerful.  He’s being psychologically manipulated and I’m helping them do this to him. He doesn’t trust anything I say or even being around me. Trust me, I’m still confused but hey – maybe entering the institution of marriage – isn’t in the cards for me.  I still believe in love but at this point, I’m not sure if I even want to go through this again. This one hurt more than any other. The reason for this is because I’ve done none of what he believes and I truly felt I had found my best friend and life partner in this man. I stayed single for so long and when I opened myself up again, BAM I got hit. Understand this is the one thing I was protecting myself from and it still happened. Feel free to listen.  There is more but I just wanted to share a piece. My truth is all that matters to me.  Something that I’m not aware of happened (mental health issues) and he needed to push me away.

Book Author Ambitions – This year I decided to write a book. After writing this blog for 5 years and putting this idea on the back burner, I’m finally going to dedicate some time to finish it. If you follow me on Facebook, you can find out the title. I can promise you – it won’t be a short story. 🙂

New Assignment – In June, one of the best bosses I’ve ever had transitioned to the next chapter in his professional life. We truly had a great working relationship and you all know how much I enjoy stability but I had to accept this. His transition spearheaded mine and that included me moving away from everything I was familiar with except my parking garage. Lol, that had to remain the same. I may have started kicking and screaming. Moreover, this was my opportunity to show my worth on the team. Display that I had grown from the time I had joined the company. I had become more proficient and knowledgeable in the role. More importantly, this showed me they trusted me to transition seamlessly and learn about the new business organization I would be supporting. What I didn’t know was, this was only the beginning. At the end of November, I was informed I would be supporting our newest Senior Executive Leader. Wow! As word got around, the congratulatory messages and visits came and none was more surprising than that from Captain Stadwick. I still call him boss and always feel like I represent him and Rebecca. That’s the type of person I am – I just don’t want to disappoint the people that believe/support me. My new director seems nice and I’m sure we’ll build a great working relationship. Do I see you on the horizon STABILITY!? 🙂

Kid Graduating – I’m still excited about that kid graduating. He’s sincere about getting a degree. I think my sermons about making a life for yourself got through to him. With one img_4230semester under his belt, he’s still excited about school. We’ve experienced some bumpy roads but it was time for me to let him go & grow.  He’s becoming his own man and there’s not much I can do for him at this point.  He needs to work those things out for himself. I’m a little nervous about some military conversations he’s been having with some soldiers. I mean who would want their child to be in the military with a leader like 45. I’m not putting that guy’s name in my post but feel free to figure out who I’m talking about. Him graduating was certainly a major highlight of my life.

Lance – Y’all remember when I 1st start talking about getting a new car. I still love Cole but it was time for me to move on. After talking to our Technical Assistance Team, I settled on the CTS. Let me just tell you – I really love all the bells and whistles included in this vehicle. Eff all that – I love this car as a whole. The connectivity is unmatched. I haven’t even had it one year but I know I’ll be a repeat customer. It’s perfect for me. Don’t get me wrong there’s a vehicle from each of our brands that fit me. Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Yukon Denali. This Cadillac just spoke to me. Now, to try out the manual features when the weather breaks and only God knows when that’ll happen around Detroit. Lance

This hair – I still have my edges, more silver strands and it’s getting thicker. My plan is to wear wigs for the entirety of 2018. In addition, I will be doing chebe, hair supplements and deep conditioning on a regular basis. Some essential hair care practices were neglected throughout the year. My goal is APL by the end of 2018. I believe I can do it. So many stresses that were buried in my mind have eradicated themselves or I’ve made a pact to not allow them to drain me anymore. My complete health is important to me and that includes my hair. It may not be billowing curls like Tracey Ellis Ross but it’s all mine. I heart my hair, still.

My favorite Asian – On a quick getaway to Battle Creek, Michigan, I bumped into an Asian store owner. I’ll be the 1st to tell you, I only remember 25% of what he said. The thing that will remain with me until I die is something he said about time. “To waste time is to waste your life.” Even one minute is waste…. I share this message with you, don’t waste one moment of your life.

LIVE…. I’ll see you in 2018 with more smiles. 🙂

You all know I like reading. I miss my book club. Real Readers gave me an opportunity to keep a book in my hands and discuss the piece with others to gather a different perspective. For over 6 years this has been a missing component in my life – until this past summer.  After an exciting start, some things prevented me from joining on the regular. I’m elated to have an end to that piece of my life and add this one on permanently.

During casual conversation, a coworker asked if I liked books – of course, I do.  She then invited me to the meeting for “Writing My Wrongs” I’m sure you know I’ve read that selection.  I was eager to join because I was interested in seeing what others had to say about my friend and checking out the demographic of the group.  It was everything I had been looking for: mature conversation, food & drink with a special guest author. This was my kinda event. They added me to the group with open arms.

We had several great selections during the second half of the year.

I enjoyed reading on the regular again.  Between the football games and life, I wasn’t able to make it to all of the meetings.  Words really can’t express my happiness but I’ll be here silently reading.  During the holiday session, I learned how they decide on the rotation.  I volunteered for the month of March and I’m going to do it the same way I use to do Real Readers. Hopefully, I’m moved and settled before the time gets here.


Do you have any suggestions for a good reading selection?  Please share!

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.