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Posts Tagged ‘life’

9 Nov…

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

blog

WHAT just happened?

All throughout the 2016 Presidential race, I was with her.  Never wavered… I was #imwither.  And, truth be told… being with her, meant I was 100% not with him.

Enter 9 Nov…

Heavily tuned in to watching the results be revealed, I had that feeling and I knew the imminent outcome.

That “ugly feeling” in my gut surfaced incredibly early and while I struggled to ignore… IT remained constant.

Throughout the primaries, throughout the state/city tours of the candidates, throughout the debates, throughout the media coverage and the venom written via social media platforms, throughout it all, that feeling was present… and, I knew.

So, while I had a sleepless night to begin processing the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, my 16 year old daughter did not.

Sound sleeping for her.  But… waking up on 9 Nov, her perception of the world shifted and now, healing beings.

This morning… as she stood in her bedroom door and I stood in the door of my bedroom, my daughter Zoe asked me did “he” really win…

I told her, “unfortunately yes”…

She quickly turned into her room, walked towards her closet and then I heard a thud.
As I entered her room, she was slumped in her closet door, head down, crying…
I kneeled down and started telling her that I understand her frustration and that we will get through this and be alright… she lifted her head, face drenched with tears, looked at me and said… “what is going to happen to Zack?!”
THAT statement…. it put a jolt into my heart.
My daughter, one who is of a liberal, encompassing spirit… one who strives to see the beauty and potential in situations, she automatically associated his win with a racist revolution and now worries about Zack… her black brother.
Her black brother who is away from home, for he is a Freshman in college.  Her kind, humble, intelligent and magnetic black brother, whose brown skin  — beautiful brown skin — could now make him more of a target… simply because HE won.
WHAT just happened?
And before you think otherwise, know that this is real talk. Real concerns.  Real discomfort.  Perhaps they are not your concerns… but they are real. Real. REAL.
Unprecedented.  Unsettling.  Device.  Malicious.  Uncomfortable.
All words that can be used to describe this most recent Presidential race.
And most unfortunate are the many, many, MANY conversations that families whose skin is brown are forced to have with their loved ones… especially their children. Conversations (repeated conversations) in which the message of being resilient, maintaining an optimistic spirit, and still displaying love for one another is paramount.
But,…the results are the results.
With any election, someone must rise as the victor. The voice of the people (or those who opted to show up and VOTE) has been confirmed.
Recorded… and delivered.  Many are elated with the results.
And… many are like me… thinking, who would have thought, eh?
More than ever it is obvious… #imwithher was trumped… literally!
And, as any day does, 9 Nov continues.
As I periodically shake my head, as if I were attempting to knock away a bad thought or wake from an awful dream…
as I wipe away the sporadic tears that my mind chatter seem to make appear out of nowhere…
as the reality of America’s new First Family becomes REALITY…
the, WHAT just happened?
Well… that must be replaced with…
WHAT now?
My reality is this…
Yes.. I have a black son.  A black son whose energy is so powerful, that his texts and comments have assured me (without him even realizing) that he will be alright.
I have a caring daughter.  And her father and I have reassured her that with God, faith, family and love, WE will be alright.
I have a supportive circle of family, siblings, and friends.  Their messages to me today and the love that has been displayed… I know that we will be alright.
For all of the above, the results will be accepted… and I will move forward in a manner to be supportive of  this new leadership.
FOUR years, eh?
Four years from now, I know that I will look back and read this cleansing blog.
But next election…
Well, lemme’ just keep my mouth shut…
cuz’ we are going to be alright!
Cheers!
-k
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Ready. Set. Click. Yes, she Canon!

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

unnamedIntuitively creative and artistic, eh?

Those in my circle would offer that as an assessment of my current photography skills… and humbly, I would  agree.

Attracted to every aspect of photography… countless hours of snapping images, reading, studying other photographers and web searching have been invested.  Haha — an abundance of trial and error indeed — if you only knew how I have pained over creating bokeh in my compositions!

Self- taught, and a decent photographer… I know that the information untapped is considerable.  Still perplexed by aperture, still perfecting composition and working my camera in manual mode, the mission of becoming astute continues to be the goal.

Action plan?

Check!

The action plan has been implemented and it is time for that next step… one that is LONG overdue.

Actually, it should read as such:  L. O. N. G. OVERDUE… for commencing tomorrow, yours truly is beginning studies as a student in the Washington School of Photography, Professional Photography Program.

Shhhhhh.  Listen carefully… you can hear me shouting from the rooftops…“Oh freaking happy day!”

All things happen for a reason…. and the reason that this endeavor hasn’t happen sooner, will perhaps one day be revealed.  I know for certain that timing is crucial; patience even more so.  Especially since two years prior, I participated in conversations with the program registrar and opted out — knowing that a “right-fit” wasn’t right then.

Since that conversation, the signs indicating that I needed to move forward, have been everywhere.   Even more so now…

How does one describe that feeling… the feeling of knowing that the moment is now right.  Elated?!  Yep… elated!

Big picture though…  29 days ago, my 45th birthday was celebrated.

For me, birthdays offer wonderful opportunities to be relished by loved ones, reflect on accomplishments and roadmap the way for new birthday wishes made.

Since turning 40 in the midst of an awful snowstorm… celebrating with friends and family in Paris on my 42nd birthday and shaving my head on my 43rd birthday, that day, 7 February, serves as momentum for newness.

More important, the wisdom that is gained with each passing birthday, I am truly compelled to share.  Since I am constantly learning from others, my hope is that perhaps someone; mainly my two children and especially my daughter (who, even though she will not admit it, is always carefully watching her mother’s actions) can possibly gain something from my experiences.

Back to the big picture…

Tomorrow marks more that just the beginning of a photography program.  It marks the notion that all things are possible and it is NEVER too late to pursue your aspirations!

Back in late December of 2014, serious preparations for this program officially went into play.  All with the objective of pursuing a dream and entering another birthday with a next step of improvement secured — fulfilling a wish made.

In being transparent, the African proverb – It takes a village – is applicable to me.  Without embarrassment I say that even at 45 years of age and working full-time outside of the home, the financial investment of family has enabled this opportunity to become reality.  For that, I am eternally grateful… and deeply touched that they too share my dream and see my potential.

More transparency…

What used to embarrass me and cause me angst in conversation is no more.  Never a untruth told… I just artfully evaded the question or skillfully used semantics in my favor when answering… but truth be told, I did not graduate from college.  For a long list of reasons (some 23 years later, many of which now seem so frivolous) the years spent at The College of William and Mary did not yield a degree… instead, a wealth of knowledge, an unforgettable experience, a close circle of friends, a compassionate man who became my husband and a career in interior design.  Haha — perhaps I did graduate, eh?!

Sans degree, I still know that knowledge is key and educating/investing in yourself is a nonnegotiable.

So… with the many hats that I wear, I am eager to add another and take my photography to the next level.  When my children become adults and coherent to rhythms of adult life, I am hoping that my actions make them proud.  I am hoping that they view me as a role model and see my appetite to improve myself as tenacious… and in their own life, they too follow suit.

This past Christmas, my husband gifted me with a phenomenal 50mm lens for my camera.  His way of offering me a nudge in the direction of my goals.  His words… “Kisha, you are about to blow up!”  My interpretation of his words… in a true T.I fashion, “do it, do it, do it… whatcha waiting for?  Big things poppin’!”

I’m on the move… and my appetite for photography is ravenous.

And… over this year-long program, I intend on quenching it and getting full!

Taking it one step further, my life as a stella & dot stylist and the company mission have definitely been a fantastic influence on my photography ventures… that mission:  to give EVERY woman the means to style their own life.

Well here I go… here I go!

Ahem… what was that?  Did you say you needed to hire me to take your picture?  (wink. wink)

Soon…

Very soon.

Cheers!

-k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s my pen…

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

pen2Pentel.

ENERGEL.

Liquid Gel Ink.

Metal Tip .o7.

And ONLY black ink.

As of late… that’s my pen of choice.

In true “Bob Dole” fashion, I’ve always kept a good writing utensil close at hand.

An Army officer for a father, this practice, along with the notion that one should have a signature with “strength”, was subconsciously ingrained in me as a child.  I’m certain that my artistic abilities heightened the attraction for “all things” that made a mark.  But…evolving with age, it wasn’t until the high school years, that I became utterly obsessed — naaaaah — probably more like, enchanted with pens.

Fellow lovers of pens… you know how we do, eh?

The aisles at Staples stop us in our tracks.

Truth be told… it is any pen aisle in any store that will cast this magnetic draw.

Even if we are loyal to a brand, just gazing at the potential possibilities keeps us entranced… like a toddler exploring a new toy, it is both eye and hand candy!  Weak, I say!  Haha… it is a weakness, that is also exhilarating!  Annnnnnd with that “weakness”… referencing my initial statement; you HAVE to be a lover of pens to comprehend.

As a pen devotee, I am giddy… rather proud to say that in early March of this year, I won an Instagram contest sponsored by #pentelofamerica, my FAVORITE brand of pens.  

photo-1.PNG

Script on paper, with a quick nod to the past Washington DC blizzard like conditions, earned me several new free writing goodies!  Who knew that $250 in brand spanking new writing tools, delivered to my door… could have the same impact as the first sip of a fabulous glass of wine!

Haha… I’m spinning off course.  So all embellishments aside…

There is power in a pen.

A good writing pen.

One that effortlessly accentuates and enhances your handwriting.  One that simply glides as you write…  where the weight and size of the pen feels fabulous in your hand.  One that is attractive in its appearance… absolutely showing no signs of grime.  One that dispenses theeeeeeeeeeee “perfect” ink.  And one that puts that “professional” stamp and emphasis on what you do.

Did you get that last statement?

(Enter the mildly OCD me… the me with a few pen “pet peeves”)

That last statement is the true power.

Within a professional environment, a good pen… a good writing pen matters.  Simple as that!

The professional setting?

The full gamut of professional environments…. which includes any setting from the grocery store, to the doctor’s office, to schools, restaurants, retail establishments… you get where I’m going, right?   In a professional setting, don’t you dare require my signature/ask me to complete a form and then extend a pen that lessens the experience with your business.  (Actually, my one exception is automotive repair shops… with their hands embedded in oil changes and such, they can’t help the muck that accumulates on their pens).

I get that “lessens”  could read as such a harsh word.  Sooooo, without sounding haughty or arrogant, for truly, I’m only talking about a “pen”… I offer this anecdote.

With my career as an interior designer, it is common for my design firm to finish the month with a half of a million dollars (or plus) in sales.  The cost of our product, coupled with the amount money generated in sales, absolutely sets the tone for the “expected” experience with my firm.

While projects, as well as the final price for a project vary, the experience offered to each client is fair and consistent.  It is a full design service experience.  Naturally, each client tailors the service to suit their individual project needs… but completing the project, while protecting the “experience” is always priority.  And with the interior design field… it is an aesthetic experience.  One that begins with the initial designer/client meeting… and ends with the client “signing” on the dotted line.

Circling back to the power of the pen…

Such a tiny component of the experience.  Most may not even make the connection… or, bet yet, realize the relevance.

But how, as a professional, does one present a project (possibly in a range of thousands of dollars), engage the client and secure their “by-in”… and then… (wait for it)… extend a pen for their signature that reads “Suzi-Q’s hot-buttered Muffins”… you feel me?

It’s important.  It matters.  And albeit a minor element to the big picture… it matters!

It must matter… for in my professional world, I am a stickler for my writing tool.

So much so that, since my firm provides their own type of pen, I have always (since being employed with them) personally purchased my own pen of choice.  Nothing extravagantly expensive either…. a pack of 7 of my tool of choice may cost about $9 or $10 bucks.

What’s wrong with always wanting to be prepared… armed…  and ready to enhance the momentum of the “experience”.

Sounds silly, eh?

So if I tell you that several at my company have followed suit… does it still sound silly?

Surely this is applicable to other areas in both personal and professional worlds.  Curious if you too might share this belief…

I always have a pen.

Pentel.

ENERGEL.

Liquid Gel Ink.

Metal Tip .o7.

And ONLY black ink.

My pen.

Haha… and don’t be offended if when you extend yours, I reach for mine.

Cheers!

-k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED lips are…

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

redlipSophisticated.  CHIC.  Classic.  STRIKING.  Powerful.  Timeless.  Utterly SEXY.

And… ABSOLUTELY, one of my favorite things!

What I know to be true is this:

E V E R Y woman can wear a red lip.

and…

E V E R Y woman should have at least one kick ass tube of red lipstick that effortlessly compliments her complexion.

Can’t believe that since starting this blog in 2011, that this is only my second post on the subject.  Considering how long I have been attracted to red lips, it should have been my introductory post, as well as every other post there after.  Ladies (and gentlemen) the passion is serious… I am a hard core fan.

HARD CORE!

There is no special occasion needed for me to don a red lip.  Haha — just ask my children.  5:30am in the morning, still wearing my pj’s, making lunches for school?  Check.  Off to work, or dinner with friends?  Check.  Sitting around the house with my husband?  My traditional “MD to Italy”  wine Skype session with my BFF? Or my favorite stella & dot Insatgram shots?

Check… check… CHECK!

I honestly don’t think about the occasion or the action of applying the lipstick — I just do it.  Kinda second nature for me now, eh?  Breaking it down to elementary terms:

red lips, simply make me happy.

Something about seeing my lips painted red… it provides an immediate energy.  And don’t even get me started on the energy that erupts upon seeing another woman wearing a stunning red lip… especially when she got it right!  Haha — it makes me wanna walk up to her and scream “DAMN!” while giving her a hearty high-five!

Several women have left impressionable and memorable “red lip” moments.

In college, two of my friends named Jane and Kim kept my eyes alert  — I watched (and still do via facebook posted pics), better yet, studied their precision and technique.  Currently,  Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross (who has forever reminded me of my baby sis), constantly keeps my heart fluttering.  She is my newly crowned “red lip icon”… the QUEEN; for she ALWAYS gets it right!

But hands down, my late grandmother, Ruth E. Brown gets all of the credit.

She was/is my first memory — my inspiration and teacher.  The absolute EPITOME of a red lip and my sustained standard for judgement when making my determinations.  Wonder if she knew just how many times I practiced with her lipstick and then carefully wiped away ALL evidence of any tampering.

Her influence created yet another lover of reds…. and I’m thinking that my grandmother would be proud of my endeavors.

Through research and experimentation, I have discovered what works for me.    In a true “pay it forward” fashion, I’m sharing my learnings with the hopes that another woman might become newly acquainted with her favorite red lipstick.  And of course, sport a gorgeous RED lip!

So…. what I have learned over the years boils down to three things:

ONE.  Only wear reds that suit your skin tone.

Why bother with anything else?? Just in the same manner that we dress and wear clothes that flatter our body shape, the same holds true for make-up/red lipstick.  If you are uncertain about your skin tone/undertones, for a minimal fee at most department stores, you could get a professional consultation.  For me, cooler reds (ones with blue undertones) suit me perfectly.  And since making that discovery — I stay in that color lane and I do not stray.

My favorites?

The unbeatable BEST, knock it out the box, works EVERY TIME color is MAC’s Ruby Woo.  I have YET to meet a woman who couldn’t wear this color.  It is like blood type O+… it is a universal donor!  Trust me and just do as I say…  IF you don’t own it, you need to order this color – ASAP!  You can wear it alone, or, you can use it as a base for other colors.  It is long lasting and it yields the most  the intense, bold red color is scrumptious… and damn near unforgettable.  Ruby Woo is the Ironman of all red lipsticks.  It just is!

Another favorite is Chanel 99 Pirate.  It reminds me of Ruby Woo… just a smidgen creamier.  The color is vintage and sleek.  #99 is so very old Hollywood… big sunglasses and head wraps.  An elegant color, but packed with attitude!  While I have worn this color alone, I mainly use it as the top layer over Ruby Woo.  The two lipsticks combined are a beautiful marriage and the color that is produced is exceptional.

SECOND.  The application process shouldn’t be painstaking or tedious.

When it comes to make-up, especially lipstick, you can Google search scores of ways to apply.  I’m not a make-up artist… but what I do know is that:  if it involves more than “apply lipstick to a clean lip”,  I am NOT interested.

The easier the better… clean lip, a very, very, very light amount of lip balm as a conditioning base and then apply your rep lip color.  BAM – that’s all she wrote!  Side note though.  If you apply a coat of red, blot/purse lips on a paper towel and then reapply your red… you will have a longer lasting lip.  I’m just saying…

THIRD.  Keep your red lip matte and refrain from adding gloss… you know, GLOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

No “wet-n-wild” lips please.  Otherwise… well, you run the risk of possibly looking a bit too scandalous suggestive racy risque?  And just like Forrest Gump… that’s all I have to say about that.

To all of my fellow red lip lovers, I do hope you concur.

RED lips are…

Fabulous and a must for all women.  And please… don’t just wait for a formal affair to dazzle.  Grocery store?  Check.  Picking the kids up from school?  Check.  Running shoes and work out clothes?  Check. (Seriously… check out #redlipfit)  Any place and any event — add a POW and show off your red!

And for all who are curious.

YES… I did have red lips on as I typed this blog!

redlip2

Cheers!

-k

…so fresh. So clean.

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2014 at 10:38 pm

snowDid the title prompt an immediate humming of that ever so catchy OutKast tune?

“…ain’t nobody dope as me.  I’m just so fresh, so clean. So fresh and so clean clean.”

Haha — great tune, but that’s not the reference I’m making.  I’m talkin’ snow.  Yep… snow.  A blanket of snow that has freshly fallen onto the ground.  Clean and inviting in its appearance.  Crisp and invigorating to the touch.  Snow.

Today, after he shoveled the most recent wintery gift, I asked my husband what feelings the sight of snow evoke.  His immediate response was… “Fun.”  He spoke of his childhood, being outside and playing in the snow with friends… not what I was thinking, or the response I was looking for… so I cut him off and quickly rephrased the question.  Even quicker — completely ignoring my interruption — he responds, “Fun”… and proceeds to speak of his childhood, being outside and playing in the snow with friends.  I asked… right?!

What response was I anticipating?

Something more figurative.  Something more “right-brained”… something that made reference to a fresh and clean perspective of life.  Basically I was in search of a response that provided confirmation of my own quirky and abstract thinking.  Yet, I did ask my “left-brained” husband… and his response (I should have known)  came in true form.  The expected format; logical and precise.

22 days into a new year, I intentionally refrained from creating any resolutions.  Instead, I decided (and put it out into the universe) that this year, 2014, would be comprised of baby steps.  Daily small steps in which I was always true to myself.

You know, steps like… being appreciative of my daily blessing.  Being aware of any toxic surroundings and the what/who I allow to affect my temperament.  Being completely present in “the moment”…for my children, husband and for myself.  Continuing to love my unique imperfections and the beauty of age.  Haha — and probably most important (and my mother would MOST certainly agree) is to simply sloooooooooow down and clear my plate.  With the many hats that I wear, and with my many endeavors/goals/activities… I simply need to pace myself with baby steps.  The race need not be run so quickly, for the finish line will be there… when I get there.

Trust me, all of this is MUCH easier said that done!

Believe you me, there are a plethora of “things” and “goals” that could be spewed — the list that I could create would make you (and me) dizzy.  I have aspirations with my full-time interior design career, goals for my part-time job as stella & dot stylist, photography classes to take, paintings to be painted, more blogs to be written, new books to be read, experiences/travels and trips with my family;  and let’s not forget about me continuing to fine-tune my wine palate… all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both with food and exercise.  WHEW!

So instead, I decided… a new method is in order.  What is that old adage about insanity?  Doing that same thing over and over and expecting different results…  Ha!  Not me this year!  I’m sticking to that other old adage… the best way to eat an elephant, is one bite at a time.

So with the snow… and the question…

With my 2014 baby steps mindset, the snow seemed to represent so much more.  The site of  an untouched snowfall (free from footprints, dirt and yellow splotches) was a visual treat.  Pure.  So fresh.  So clean.  Actually, kinda dreamy… for you could easily get lost in thought staring at the crisp white planes or slopes.  Intoxicating, eh?

Lost in thought I was.  And the “ah-ha” moment was when I made this connection.  The sheer fact that the blanket of snow that surrounded my home consisted of billions and billions and BILLIONS of tiny snowflakes… it just seemed to add confirmation that small things/baby steps absolutely matter and can make one hell of an impact!  Too deep for ya?  Perhaps…

But remember… I’m “right-brained” and an artist.  Haha — I see “meaning” in practically everything!  Now that I think about it… I might have been a wee bit hard on my husband and his snow interpretation.  Maybe his notion of “Fun” has elements of fresh and clean intertwined?!  Could be…

At any rate… tomorrow is day 23 of the new year.

My plan…

Yep, you guessed it.  Continue my baby steps.

With the hopes of making my mother proud… here is one more old adage.  As for my baby steps…

Slow and steady wins the race.

Cheers!

-k

Directions not included…

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm

16

18 October 1997.

5:00 in the evening.

I willingly…  happily… and eagerly became his wife.

That day is forever branded into memory.  To call it bliss, doesn’t even give the day its proper description.  It was simply what it should have been… absolutely perfect.

Fast forward.

16 years later.

18 October 2013.

Looks as if a celebration is in order, eh?  As Tony, Toni, Tone would croon, “It’s our Anniversary”!

In the context of this blog post, and the typed words on a computer screen, those dates sit so close together… making a span of 16 years appear extremely compressed.

Yes…  truly, time does fly!

However, with certainty, I can assure you that a 16 year span of marriage is far from compact.  Also… with ABSOLUTE confidence I know that such unions are a steady and beautiful work in progress.  Haha… and once you enter into such relationship, directions on how to make it work, are not included!

Keeping it real…

Since I have been his wife, there have been moments in which I have failed miserably.  Serious talk here… try as I might, there have been times where the connection is off.  Something (whatever that something may be) gets in the way… work, school, kids, bills, friends, family, outside interests, comparing “your marriage” to another’s… it just gets in the way.

These are the moments that you don’t talk about, eh?  Well, speaking strictly from my experience, these are the moments that definitely need and deserve breath — especially if you want your union to continue.

On another note, since I have been his wife  — and certainly more often than failing miserably — there are those moments in which I surpass the expectation.

Moments where I… WE… excel as husband and wife.   Moments where the energy and the rhythm is effortless.  Moments where I couldn’t imagine life without that connection.

Fulfilling and radiant moments that I know are our sustaining moments… and the conduit that has afforded a 16th year.

Life is good… and I am feeling the love.

I have been blessed with a man who complements my complex and outspoken being.  Haha — those close in my circle would probably insert a plethora of descriptive adjectives!  They would also say that he too has been blessed with a woman who provides the same to him.   We are a good fit… and somehow, despite the occasional challenge(s) within our union, we just keep going, and going and going…

And for that, I am incredibly thankful and fortunate.

Surely, my story isn’t unique.  Marriage is work.  And sometimes, it may take a second… or third marriage to get it right.  Right?

Who knows what the true directions are…

Perhaps the ideal directions are just a quick list of complied learnings.

Such as:

Marriage is an evolution.

Everything changes — and change is good.

EMBRACE the change.

Go with the flow.

Speak your mind.

Listen to the truth… even when the truth hurts.

Respect each other.

Love each other.

Protect each other.

Laugh together OFTEN!

Don’t take everything so seriously.

Be patient.

And, because it deserves reiteration…

LOVE EACH OTHER!

Yes sir!  The Mr. and I are in in to win it… and we are taking this thang one day at at time!

Raise your glass with me…

Cheers to my 16th year!

-k

…in my next lifetime, I’m coming back as a chef.

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

chef

If I were to put all of my interests on paper, then toss those papers into a bowl, I wouldn’t be surprised by the sight of overflow.

Various interests fuel my spirit.  An assorted, hodgepodge potpourri that span numerous topics… and pretty much, makes me, me.   Haha… this bowl that I speak of is not exclusive.  We all have them… and surely each one is as unique and as detailed as our own fingerprint.

What gets my head spinning and makes me dizzy is this…

How in the world does one master all of their passions in one lifetime?

Proficiency in each and EVERY one of your interests is impossible, eh? (Side note:  if you are an anomaly, and have mastered it all… please contact me post-haste so that I might learn from you)

I’m thinking that it goes down like this:

With our overflowing bowl of interests, we all just dibble dabble in some, learn a bit more about others and perhaps master a handful — sound about right?   Well, that seems to be my manner of attack…. and truth be told, the only way that I know how to devour the plethora of things I’d like to know, do, see, experience… etc.

Hey… now that I think about it, maybe we are meant to have this  excess — and the reality is that we just have to save somethings for later.

Hmmmm, like another lifetime?  Haha, I really do say “another lifetime” in jest.

BUT!

If that were the case… I’m claiming it now and I’m telling you that I am definitely coming back as a chef!

When it comes to my interests, cooking is easily one of my top five.

An interest that stemmed from childhood, has now matured with adulthood.  The only way I know how to describe this passion is that I view it as a succulent and luscious art form.  I am repeatedly stimulated cooking — a basic necessity that has inexhaustible creative interpretations.  It fascinates me!

For the record… never have I participated in any culinary classes or had professional lessons.  The skills that I do have, I would attribute them to a small collection of individuals, both in my past and present… and countless hours of searching Google and the Food Network.  These folks seasoned me and generated an enthusiasm for cooking that couldn’t be ignored.  As for the internet.  Haha — it will FOREVER be a resource and my constant instructor!

If I had to put my finger on it and declare just one person my cooking muse… by far it would be my late grandmother Mrs. Ruth Everett Brown.

7 years deceased and Bill Wither’s song Grandma’s Hands  (which, ironically is playing as I type) always brings her to mind.

My grandma.

A woman who was both complex and mysterious…

who never worked outside of the house and never held a driver’s license…

a woman who was dedicated to her family (especially grandchildren)…

a woman who could sing a Sunday hymn at the drop of a dime…

a woman who could grown a garden and nurture a house plant like nobody’s business…

a woman whose hand hands could mend, fix, soothe, ease anything…

AND a woman who could cook.  I mean COOK.  She. Could. COOK!  Damn… she could cook!

Reel it back in Kisha… reel it in.  Wow… interesting how nostalgia presents itself… didn’t mean to go off on a tangent.

At any rate, she was my first example.

She poured love and pride into all of her creations.  Sitting back to watch family and friends consume her breakfasts, dinners, desserts — especially her homemade rolls — filled her heart with immense joy.  Not to mention the aromas that circulated and the moans that were released while they ate… well that was a priceless recognition that would make my grandma — a woman of few smiles — grin from ear to ear!

Taking those lessons and combining them with what others have knowingly and unknowingly bestowed upon me… I’ve just got to feed this fire within.

There are just so many elements of cooking that excite me.

The planning/arrangement of your dish, the execution of the recipe, the scent of your food engulfing the room and the pleasure in achieving that tasty end result… all of the above do it for me.  But more so, I am incredibly attracted to the fellowship and bond that cooking affords.  It literally feeds the soul.  When you have something that is so satisfying… so delicious… it becomes a memory.  Everything about that dish… the place, the people who accompanied you, the presentation and the chef — it gets etched in your brain and onto your palate.

And you simply want more.  Right?

Preparing a dish for others and then the group communion as the dish is consumed — that creates a sensation inside that only one who too enjoys the craft would be able to comprehend.  I, like my grandma, revel in watching others eat what I have prepared.  I too find it flattering.  And just like her… it generates a smile like no other.

Humph…

You know what?

Waiting for whenever… or next lifetime… that is not an option.

I want it now.  So then why am I waiting?!  Although I am not completely sure how me becoming a better cook will unfold… what I do know for sure is that I am game… and I’m going for it.

Actually, I do know my first step…

According to several who have been in my kitchen, I need to update my utensils — especially my knives!

Got a favorite brand?  As always, I welcome any suggestions…

Cheers!

-k

And once again, the house is quiet…

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

houseThe expression that “time flies” gains more truth with year that passes.

For me, the gauge presents itself in birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weddings and funerals… mainly because these are generally times of reflection and or times in which you see and catch-up with family/friends who are removed from your daily routine.

Times when, for better or worse, the cyclical rhythm of our lives become more visible. And we note it like a bookmark, eh? Self-assigned “life” passport stamps, proving and illustrating the old saying that “time flies” and also, that it waits for no one.

So, as time would have it, yet another cycle has come to pass. The lazy days of summer have come to a close and the hustle, hustle, bustle, bustle of back-to-school now begins.

Today, it is official.

A new school year eagerly greets my 10th grader and 8th grader… as well as my husband who teaches high school special education and coaches varsity football. Their summer break is now a memory and the 5:45am wake-up time to prepare for the school day is now reality.

Back to school! Back to our morning routine… and my routine on my days off.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Which means for me… once again, the house is quiet.

Haha — certainly, I am not alone with my sentiments?! Show of hands…. raise them!

Keeping it real, I’m going to blame my feelings on an ever so slight (yes, EVER so slight) case of jealously. As a working mom, with a full-time profession that is unlike my husband’s, I have never experienced the joy of a summer break.

In the past, when the cycle of summer break would appear, I would grow incredibly envious of my family’s carefree days. The house was filled with constant activity, late bed-times and even later wake-ups! Hey… going to work while your family is still in the bed, enjoying their deep slumber … or knowing that they have packed and are off to some exciting day adventure — I’ll break it down into two words: NO FUN!

Don’t get me wrong now … during the summer, I’m really left out. Naturally, summer breaks afford an opportunity for a vacation, impromptu social gatherings, house guests, grilling, loud(er) music and laughing til’ the wee hours of the morning. Again, a hub of activity… and in my house, we are no strangers to such — and yes, I am an active participant! It’s just different… bittersweet knowing that the next day you go to work while they are still on break.

At any rate, it is what it is… and contrary to what it may seem, I do welcome the summer.

I’ve become more accustomed the summer break routine.

And, as time would have it (and since I’m a grown ass woman who basically had to get a grip on her feelings) instead of being OVERLY envious and focusing on what I wasn’t doing with my family, I curtailed it to a slight jealously… I decided to see the bigger picture. My children have a father who is on break with them… they are in safe loving hands… and, they are happy. Now I actually love the shift that accompanies summer… and when the new school year resurfaces, I realize how much I too adore the back-to-school routine.

Guess what?

Today, I have it back.

And while I miss my family when they are away… during my days off of work; once again, the house is quiet.

It’s me time.

Coffee time.

Blogging time.

Cleaning and redecorating time.

stella & dot time.

Anything I want to do…

Well, that is until 2:45pm… school’s out and it’s time for pick-up!

Cheers!

-k

When is it appropriate to say…

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

blog1

Anything…

and everything.

When is it appropriate to stop biting your lip and say… speak… release what is truly and authentically on your mind?

For clarification… I am speaking of those times in which, no matter how confident, self-assertive and vocal you are, there is a moment in the conversation in which you hold back and decide to swallow your words.  You decide to avoid that “something” and retain possession of your words/thoughts, and allow the person on the other end to be none the wiser.

Truth be told, I often struggle with this notion.  Surely, I am not alone.

A recent conversation with a friend forced me to seriously think about what I do and do not say.  It offered an unexpected enlightenment.  An “ah-ha” moment of sorts in which I caught myself holding back and doing that thing I sometimes do… biting my lip and refraining from speaking what was truly on my mind.  Why did I stop myself?  Hmmmm… perhaps the same reason we all do it.

The culprits could possibly be an effort to remain politically correct…. or, it could simply be we refrain out of respect for the other person… or, might it even be because of plain ol’ fear.

Fear of the consequences.  Fear of hurting someone’s feelings, assuming that the truth would be too much for the recipient.  Or… maybe even a fear of the truth that we may be trying to withhold from ourself (…pausing a minute to think about that one right there).  Inevitably, the reasons why will continue to remain numerous.  But what I know for sure is this;  in various forms and fashions, we all do it (Haha — and even if you think you don’t — YES, YOU do it too).

We hold back with our spouse, our girlfriends, boyfriends, our intimate partners, with family members, co-workers, friends and acquaintances — you name it — it happens.  The statement is on the tip of our tongue and consciously, we determine that this is the “time” that a filter is needed — and we use it.

Speaking of filters, this is possibly a learned behavior, eh?

As children, we were filterless and we spoke our minds.  That is, until that moment when an adult (who was stunned by the comments) redirected your thought and provided that lesson of what was and what wasn’t appropriate to say.  Haha — if your lessons were similar to mine, then you received a mild, yet forceful nudge to stop the words from flowing freely and then a VERY close and reprimanding, muffled lip to ear whisper.  In my case, goal accomplished, for it always made me stop in my tracks and take heed to what I was told.

But now as an adult… being a lover of words and having an insatiable appetite for conversation, I’m aware that when communicating to one another, “holding back and refraining” is generally not the norm… nor fulfilling.  The initial intentions tend to be sincere.  We open up with one another, we engage, we are genuine and we speak our minds.

But then there are those times.  Those times in which we simply hold back.  I take note of  when it happens to me and carefully monitor that action.  What is so difficult about always being true in the moment and just letting the words flow?  Easier said than done, especially with loved ones, eh?

As of late, this topic has piqued my curiosity and makes me want to solicit others to find out why.

Why, why…. why?!

When you hold back, what does that look like in your world?  But hey… perhaps you are the exception — the one who is exempt from this “hold back” club and you ALWAYS speak your mind.  Well, hell yeah — I most certainly want to hear from you!

Not trying to belabor my point or be rhetorical for that matter… for I’m truly interested in feedback.  Or at the least (no pun intended) a conversation free from refrain.

Cheers!

-k

…could this be perfection?!

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2013 at 7:31 am

IMG_8441Seriously…

WHAT just happened to my senses?!

Thunder!  Lightening!  BOOM!  ZAP!  KAPOW!

Haha… I think I just reverted back to my childhood days of watching Batman & Robin — conjuring images of the fist fights and the bold/colorful graphics that would follow each strike.  Truth be told… it happened just like that.  That luscious liquid contained in that dark glass bottle enraptured ALL of my senses and, as I just mentioned to a friend, I think I just might be marred from enjoying other red wines.

Damn… it was that good!

Since I am constantly on the prowl for my next wine discovery, this is how this love story plays out.

After a taxing day at work, my chosen manner for release was the idea of my feet elevated and a robust glass of wine in hand.  At my house, the cupboards were bare, so I knew that I needed to make a pit stop at my favorite wine shop.  “What to get, what to get?  Red or white?”… these thoughts swirled through my head during the drive.  Something new… or do I simply grab a tried and true variety?  From my job, the drive to the wine shop is approximately 13 miles… this internal conversation lasted the entire trip.  But, as I was backing into the parking spot, I decided to just go with the flow and let spontaneity strike.  Whatever “spoke” to me would be my pick!

After a few trips up and down the isles, the combination of a hand-made sale sign and a regal black and gold label caught my attention.  I’m just going to keep it real… the $25.00 now on sale for $11.99 sign made this budgeted “I’ve got a kid in private school and another wearing braces” chick raise an eyebrow.  Upon further inspection, seeing that the wine was from the J.LOHR vineyards — a CONSTANT tried and true for me; one that has never left me heartbroken —  it beckoned me.  And without hesitation, I picked up the bottle to read the description of this 2008 J.LOHR Tower Road Petite Sirah.

Haha… with me, words excite, especially when they are creatively and intentionally composed.  The winemakers comments on the back of that label did just that.  They bewitched me and before I knew it, I was headed to checkout with not one, but two bottles in hand.  With my taste buds alert, the short drive home could end soon enough!

All that is left to say is that my pick did not disappoint!  Could this be perfection?!

As a lover of a hearty and memorable red wine, this 2008 J.LOHR was most certainly all that AND more.  I always feel it necessary to remind readers of this blog that I am not a wine connoisseur.  Although I strive to be, my knowledge is limited — but quickly growing!  So when I find a wine that makes my picky palate sing, I always choose to share.  Other than sharing my finds, the most enjoyable element is the hunt.  Numerous sips, shared with friends and sometimes alone, have afforded me an ample list of great finds.  I always enjoy the hunt…and enthusiastically, I march on!

But back to my new love…

Here is when I call out to my fellow lovers of a plush red wine.  This one right here… will make you never love another!  Or at least make you stray from what you may have already deemed as your favorite.  Haha… if this wine were a female, the Commodores’ 1977 classic song “Brick House” would most certainly apply — “…she’s mighty mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out!

It’s deep inky red color, intensely stirring aroma and BOLD attack on your tongue provides a treat for your senses.  The boysenberries, blackberries and richness that was promised on the label was there — standing at attention just waiting for my arrival!  Sigh…

Have I got you interested… maybe even salivating?!  You know that was the sole goal, eh?!

I’d be interested in your review as well… but for now, as I recall, I carried two bottles to checkout and that second bottle is singing my name!

Cheers!

-k